Apr 092014
 April 9, 2014

bill lant marijuana missouriA Missouri State Representative named Bill Lant is a Republican who represents Missouri’s 159th District.  It’s a small, rural district dominated, if you can call it that, by the little town of Anderson, population 1,998.

Aarden Gross is a 27-year-old constituent of Bill Lant’s, just 26 miles away in tinier unincorporated Rocky Comfort.  Aarden is interested in having Missouri’s marijuana laws reformed and decided to email his state representative, Bill Lant, to express his feelings.

Aarden’s not a professional lobbyist or even an amateur activist.  His writing skills aren’t the best and his emails are a bit long.  But he is a citizen, a constituent of Bill Lant’s, and most important to this article, a patient suffering from a vascular disease for which medical marijuana would be helpful.

Aarden Gross and Bill Lant got into an email discussion where apparently Aarden told Rep. Lant about his medical need.  ”I have reached out to you several times trying to get a conversation started,” Aarden wrote, “and the only words I have got from you out of half a dozen emails was ‘I will think about it’.”  In that email, Aarden expressed how a CBD-only bill under consideration wouldn’t help most patients and wouldn’t help him.  ”The only way to ensure all patients are getting the medicine they need,” Aarden continued, “is to completely legalize marijuana.”  Aarden also asked Rep. Lant about his personal views on medical marijuana and what sources he uses to shape those views.

Rep. Lant responded:

Aarden, my District survey shows 89% disapproval. We will not have an opportunity this session to vote on a proposal as bill filing has closed, but I will send out another poll before next session.    Thanks, Bill

Disturbed that Rep. Lant deferred to a survey rather than offering his own opinions, Aarden responded to Rep. Lant angrily, upset that Rep. Lant wouldn’t answer any of his questions.  ”You need to have a conversation about Marijuana,” wrote Aarden, “It is a serious subject and with your obvious lack of willingness to even discuss the current situation I doubt you will be my representative for long.”

Now maybe Aarden showed a lack of respect and decorum in some of his writing.  Maybe after nine or ten long emails about the same subject, Rep. Bill Lant too hastily hit “Send” late after a long night of legislating.  But this response from an elected state official shows a disturbing lack of maturity and respect for the people he represents:

Aarden, are you as dumb as you appear? I answered your questions as succinctly as I could considering that there is NO current legislative action by the House or Senate. I WAS willing to send another survey out (which you would have received four of already if you are are indeed a resident and a registered voter) I can assure you that sending me messages that impune [sic] my character or honesty will get you nothing! Get a job and get off dope!

Bill Lant ran unopposed in the 2012 General Election, so perhaps he feels quite safe insulting one of the ten thousand or more voters in his district.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation

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About Russ Belville

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.
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  48 Responses to “Missouri Rep Tells Marijuana Patient To “Get A Job And Get Off Dope””

  1.  

    Perhaps the last email sent was the one that pushed him over the edge to show his true colors. Now everyone knows exactly what Representative Lant thinks. I good thing? Maybe so.

  2.  

    My advice is to QUIT threatening him and DO what you threatened. WORK against him in his next election! Make his sentiments KNOWN to his constituents. Write letters to the editor of your newspaper QUOTING his statements. Make these things KNOWN. My point is… quit threatening and DO what you say you’re going to do. Protest outside his office holding signs with his quotes on them. No one else will know what he’s said if WE don’t do things like this.

    •  

      Have been spreading the word as quickly as possible since Monday right after it happened, trying work against him as best we can! Thanks for all the help, Russ!

      •  

        You’re the kind of activist we need more of. Good work drawing him out. Jetdoc is right, take a sign or sit up an info table right there. I bet you hear some amazing stories while you’re out there. Set up a page and share them with us.

    •  

      Not only “WORK against him in the next election,” but RUN against him in the next election.

  3.  

    Hey Russ, would you please get some dope, and stop working so hard.

  4.  

    perhaps it’s time he got off his useless butt and got a real job himself. Politicians are the leeches of society

  5.  

    Jeez. Aarden, dudebro… I’ve had some exchanges like that. Been there, so I know where you’re coming from. It’s easy to lose your temper when you feel as if you’re playing tennis with a wall. Rise above, my friend (at the very least, it’s easier to condescend from up there).

    Lant’s words shouldn’t be excused simply because he was, let’s say, “adequately provoked.” Stereotyping anyone who advocates to change our drug laws as someone who needs to “get a job and get off dope” is offensive no matter how you slice it. I can name at least a dozen prominently successful people who agree with Aarden AND can buy & sell Mr. Lant a thousand times over.

  6.  

    If I was this man. I would be pushing for it to be legalized. He needs to give him proven facts about marijuana. Show him what it has done for everyone. Kids, adults, fuck, they even came out with an alternative medicine thats cannabis based, for animals. They are not saying anything about the medicine for the animals though. The animals can take this medicine without fear of getting busted by the feds, they can take it without having to listen to fucking stupid politicians like this fuck head. I mean come on now. What the fuck harm is it going to do. Make peoples lifes better? Duh. Run the big pharma business, out of business? Who the fuck cares about them. They profit off the peoples sickness and treating them rather than curing them….

  7.  

    I like this. Now, all the assholes have a place to go.

  8.  

    This is another piece of shit republican that won’t be in office long enough to understand how bad he just messed up, its worthless fat lazy pieces of garbage like him that need to be removed from office immediately!

    •  

      Wow… I guess I’m one of those SAME “piece of shit Republicans” as well? People need to realize that this issue transcends party lines. There’s just as many Democrats against marijuana as there are Republicans. As a matter of fact, latest polls show 47% of registered Republicans believe marijuana should be legal. 58% believe it should be legal medically. Those numbers don’t change a lot when Dems are polled. So please try to refrain from blaming this on any particular party and work to change the laws.

      •  

        Unless you are this specific piece of shit republican I have no idea wtf you’re talking about, I clearly directed all my comments at him, had it been a piece of shit democrat that did that(and there have been more then a few) I would have ripped him a new asshole too.

      •  

        There may be as many Republican voters as Democrats who believe cannabis should be legalized, but that is certainly not true of elected Republican officials. Almost all are completely against legalization, and won’t even discuss it.

        •  

          All I did was give you the latest poll results. Honestly though unless I see data proving what you say, it’s simply opinion. Don’t get me wrong I’m NOT being an ass. I’m just saying I’ve SEEN the data I quoted. I’ve not seen the data you speak of

          •  

            Well, here’s a direct quote from a December 2013 Reason-Rupe poll of voters:

            “Majorities of Democrats (55 percent) and independents (51 percent) favor marijuana legalization, as do 37 percent of Republicans. Instead, a majority (59 percent) of Republicans opposed legalizing marijuana. Despite the libertarian streak in the tea party movement, a majority (54 percent) of tea partiers also oppose making marijuana legal, while Republicans who don’t identify
            with the movement are slightly more likely to oppose (61 percent).”

            Maybe we’re seeing different polls?

          •  

            Interesting… could be we’re seeing different polls and it also depends upon HOW the question was asked to participants as well. I know I’m fighting for legalization and I’m doing it from WITHIN the Party as well. I raise the issue at most every meeting, telling them were on the WRONG side of this issue. I definitely make the OLD GUARD squirm! ;-)

          •  

            and have you made any difference?

          •  

            Yes actually I have. I’ve made some of them realize that MOST of those in the Medical Marijuana program were already taking Pharmaceuticals/Opiates that are much worse for them and there cognition, than anything Cannabis could begin to do to them.

            I still here the “…what do we tell the children…?” bullshit, but my answer is always same. I say, “… no one’s advocating usage for children without a Medical necessity for it. However we QUIT lying to them for one thing. You tell them the truth! Tell them that it’s NOT for children, just like Alcohol and Tobacco and even Caffeine aren’t for children. Marijuana isn’t for children,unless they’re really sick. When you get old enough, you’ll get to make up your own mind, but this is NOT for kids! Then you enforce that on them… I know it’s a novel concept, but maybe BE A PARENT! Just don’t tell them in the schools that if you TOUCH it, you could die. As was recently done in an American school system”

            It’s definitely been an uphill battle because I live in AZ. There’s a lot of whackjobs out here! As well as a lot of “Old Guard”, but we’re making headway little by little. State Senator Kimberly Yee’s about to find out how powerful the MMJ voting block really is. One thing they’ve learned though, is that I’m not afraid to stand up to ANYONE who makes a STUPID FUCKING statement about it. I told the AZ AG he was a moron when he threw some statistics out that he’d just freshly removed his ASS! It actually was almost a Joe Wilson moment when he told Obama he was a liar during the SotU address. You should Google “Kimberly Yee + Marijuana PTSD study” and read about what’s gone down with her recently. She really shit in her Wheaties” this past couple of months.

          •  

            I applaud your efforts at reform from within the party. It makes sense that conservatives would prefer less government intrusion into citizen’s private lives. Thanks

          •  

            I also use that argument as well. The fact that Marijuana legalization is a Conservative principle to begin with. We’re SUPPOSED to be all about “States Rights & Personal Freedoms”, yet we OPPOSE the freedom of allowing a State to regulate it’s own drug policy, as well as the freedom of an American to put whatever HE wants in his body. Who the fuck do we think we are? That we can’t be FOR something in this sense and AGAINST the same thing in another.

            Thanks for your sentiments. It’s been tough but I figured I was in a position to maybe make a difference. If I had that chance and didn’t take it, I was a MORON!

    •  

      He’s been in office a long time already, read the article, not just the posts. That’s the problem, these “good old boys” that we keep in office even though they do not have our best interests in mind simply because we are either afraid of change or just too lazy to inform ourselves with their views before voting.

  9.  

    I was right to be worried , the cbd bill seems to be passing, the rest of us have to deal with our pain. thanks for the support , i was speechless when I received his email, I was sure I didnt do anything to warrant that kind of reaction. I dont believe he even read my first email he replied back within minutes in the middle of the day. oh well i wrote the local papers and news stations, i just have to wait now

    •  

      Thank you for exposing this asshole for the bigot that he is. Hopefully, national groups will get involved now and retire him in the next election. This congressman needs to remember that constituents are his bosses, and that by addressing one of his bosses in that fashion, he has committed insubordination and must be fired. Best of luck to you.

      •  

        You have spoken the truth about this political lifer this old asshole needs to resign and make way for an honest person

    •  

      Write him back one more time and tell him this: I AM your boss. In the next election I AM making sure you get fired. You DO NOT treat your bosses this way. I AM not stupid, but maybe you are. Remember it’s the little people, whom you are supposed to represent, who actually get you elected by voting for you will make sure you don’t get another term.
      Just my opinion though…

    •  

      If you felt like it, you could obtain the contact information for all the registered voters in the district. Then conduct your own poll or “voter information project”.

  10.  

    Send this asshole into the Real Time with Bill Maher’s flip a district contest. He seems like a prime candidate. He needs to be humiliated for this.

  11.  

    Does anyone realize that to have jobs, you have to have up-t–date education system? I’m in State School … and I’ll tell you – this is a waste of my time and money. This is bull shit.

  12.  

    Harvard Medical discovered that Marijuana consumption reduces resistance to insulin ( a good thing) by 17% and on average consumers have a 1.5″ smaller waist. Why would you let a politician decide which medicine I should take? Isn’t that up to the doctors?

  13.  

    I am 63 years old and marijuana should have been legal 40 years ago, So many innocent people dying and this wonderful plant would have helped them with their pain.This is a miracle plant and yet our messed up laws deny its use.

  14.  

    The editor of the local paper asked for the email to verify my story, hope they actually go with it.

  15.  

    Aarden, Get yourself ready and run against him next election. PS Shared to my facebook page.

  16.  

    The fact that an elected official would address a constituent in such a rude and disrespectful manner does not surprise me. I am new to the medical marijuana community having sustained a severe spinal injury last year for which nothing controlled my pain until a friend suggested I try a dose of her medical marijuana. It worked almost immediately and I applied for and received my medical marijuana card in NM. My point is, as a member of the healthcare community, I had never considered marijuana as a valid treatment for chronic pain. Now I share my experience with others whenever I can. Shame on Representative Lant for being such a narrow-minded person. And shame on him for using a childish action such as name calling.

  17.  

    And everyone talks about the President, which I really don’t think has anything to do with it. It’s old-timer’s like this that don’t have any term legislature so you’ve got the “good old boys” running things just like they did when the all were first elected 20-30 yrs some of them? That’s ridiculous, if we really want change & reform, get these old, stubborn, ain’t never gonna change “good old boys” out of all the National & State houses & Senates. Maybe we’ll get somewhere. Stop voting the same people into office!

    •  

      Amen to that! You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    •  

      No incumbents!
      Yes, if we vote for the same people over and over, we should expect, nothing will change. Not only is this a bad thing for marijuana legalization, it also, is a bad way to run a country. We complain about no term limits but we have the power to vote them out. I want new blood every term. I think four years is long enough to be a decision maker. We will loose a few good ones, but we will get rid of the bad ones. So I say, “no more career politicians”. No incumbents!

      •  

        There probably won’t be term limits for congress any time soon. After all, they would have to vote to change the law, and that seems unlikely. Our best hope, as always, is a free and strong press. Shine a bright light on every one of these guys and gals and keep it on as long as they are in office. And participate in our democracy! If we don’t vote for them, they’ll be forced to go out and get real jobs.

        •  

          The British have been trying to push through laws that effectively eliminate the freedom of the press ! Because of a phone hacking scandal that ” The News Of The World ” journalists were found guilty of , the politicians want to be able to shut down any story that they feel is “Inappropriate” (meaning anything that would embarrass one of them) ! THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS THE ONLY THING KEEPING THESE HOGS HONEST !

  18.  

    Missouri does have term limits. Eight years max as a representative, eight years max as a senator. I think a representative should represent the people in his district and not vote his personal opinions.

  19.  

    M letter to the editor wash published in the Mcdonald county paper Its a tiny town with a tiny paper, her is going to see it, I am happy. Its was tittled “Cant Call Your Boss Dumb” by the editor.

  20.  

    I find that quite rude, he obviously shows no sympathy towards others. I for one will not be voting for him.

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