Federal judge blocks marijuana prohibition
Federal judge overturns prohibition laws because of humanitarian concerns.
U.S. District Judge Mitty Wheat blocked federal enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws late Thursday. The judge cited U.S. Supreme Court privacy and abortion rulings, including last year’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortions.
Judge Wheat said that prohibition is unconstitutional because it would not allow a doctor to prescribe the medicine in cases where substantial medical evidence shows that it may save the lives or the sight of some patients.
“The alternative to marijuana, for some glaucoma patients,” said Judge Wheat in his ruling, “appears to be a dangerous cryogenic procedure that freezes eye tissue and runs the risk of removing whatever remaining sight they have.” In the case of cancer or AIDS patients, “the alternative is often a slow wasting, as other medicines cause the patient’s body to reject any nourishment. Not only is the result a quicker death, but it is usually a more painful life.”
The case hinged on whether the medicine is safer than other treatments, and whether marijuana prohibition would limit a patient’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“There really is no credible evidence that marijuana reduces inter-ocular pressure in glaucoma patients,” said U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK). “All the research and glaucoma patients you might have seen saying otherwise are just figments of a marijuana-addled culture. Robert Randall never existed.” The Senator went on to say that any AIDS patients and cancer patients who claim therapeutic benefits from marijuana prescription “are admitted felons. Who could possibly trust a felon to tell the truth about marijuana? All AIDS patients and cancer patients who use marijuana should go to jail. Hell, all AIDS patients should go to jail whether they use marijuana or not.”
In 1997, Senator Inhofe sponsored, with Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), the “Effective Medicine Prevention Act” which would have stripped doctors who recommended marijuana to their stricken patients of their license to prescribe medicine. The bill also would have sent doctors to prison for eight years.
Under the current blocked marijuana prohibition laws, doctors who prescribe marijuana to their AIDS, cancer, and glaucoma patients can be subject to losing their license, and their patients to lengthy prison terms. The sentence for marijuana use by patients can reach ten to twenty years or more, often with no chance for parole.
Following the ruling, businesses in the food service industry have reportedly been inundated with resumes from former DEA agents. Jack Straw, a San Diego McDonald’s manager, told the Reader “we are unlikely to hire any of these people. Customer service skills are uniformly appalling among these applicants.” According to Straw, one former agent, during the interview process, said that if a customer were to ask for alterations to their burger, he would shoot the customer and plant a Burger King burger on the corpse to justify the shooting. “We have a reputation to uphold at McDonald’s,” said Straw, “I don’t know where they got these people but I don’t want them in my establishment.”