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Medical Marijuana and Civil Obedience

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By Sam Sabzehzar

“When the law is unjust, the law should be broken” Ernesto “Che” Guevara

When the laws of the land (including a lack of law that would otherwise protect individuals or minority groups) would infringe on the rights that would ultimately be granted to a group of people, be it the right to vote for women, the abolishment of slavery for african-americans, how long should we listen to the agents that are in place to protect the injustice?

This question is significantly important when it is the Justice Department that is the one enforcing unjust laws.

U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin recently submitted a letter to the state of Vermont, which joins a growing number of federal prosecutors sending letters of ‘advice’ to the states that have allowed for marijuana to be used for medical purposes and are now focusing attention on implementing the new medical marijuana laws, which include created safe access for those who will be participating in the program.

“Individuals who elect to operate (medical) marijuana cultivation facilities will be doing so in violation of federal law,” writes Coffin, who is justifying his salary as a federal prosecutor by merely reading the law.

Now that we know that they know the law, it’s time for them to change it to reflect the Ogden Memo, which recognizes medical marijuana by conceding that those who need it medically will not be prosecuted (for breaking the law of using marijuana).

But if that patient is growing, they will continue to prosecute, they just don’t want grandma in a wheel chair in front of the courts and cameras.

Until the law is changed to reflect the concession by the federal government that marijuana does in fact have medicinal value, it’s time for everyone to read Thoreau’s essay, Civil Disobedience, and begin to question the very function of government.

Based on the language by federal prosecutors as they advise states, they seem to be very resistant to reflect the new information that has come to light, begging many questions, one of which is the following:

When unjust laws remain in place, how long do citizens respect that law before the make the necessary steps to change it?

We have reached to reasonable next step of choosing to ignore this law like we would ignore the boy crying wolf when there is no wolf.

In fact, if the boy was a man and the wolf was a fire, and he said it in a crowded theater, that man yelling fire would be breaking the law.

Our federal government is doing making that exact claim.

By citing the law that neglects science and fact without addressing the elephant in the room only makes the person repeating the lie all the less credible and the institution that upholds that lie responsible for the damage done by yelling fire when there is no flame.

Obedience in civil society does not imply blind following of laws, in fact, just the opposite. What makes a society civilized is recognizing the needs of the public and addressing those needs.

For the federal government to recognize the needs and then NOT address them is like yelling fire when there is one but locking all the doors so no one can leave a burning building.

There have been many POWs and casualties in the war on drugs and now that federal prosecutors have shown their cards and all they are doing is holding a weak hand, it’s high time to stand up and the rights of patients, now that we know they recognize patient’s needs.

Thanks Tristram, you could’ve provided help, but instead you’ve given us all so much more!

Article From Medical Marijuana 411 and h republished with special permission.

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