Monday night, 19 March 2012, on Kentucky Tonight with Bill Goodman on Kentucky Educational Television the topic was Prescription Drug Abuse bills and what the Assembly might be doing about them. As has been shown recently and known by medical marijuana users, those who use medical marijuana for pain generally use less prescription pain killers over time and many find they no longer need them. On the program was State Senator Tom Jensen the Chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee where the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana, SB129 is currently. Near the end of the program Mr. Goodman read to the Senator a question that was emailed in. The question was that given the fact that prescription pain medication use is lowered by using medical marijuana instead, shouldn’t the Senate Judicial Committee be calling up Senate Bill 129 the medical marijuana bill? Senator Jensen said basically that the bill would not pass the committee because the committee members are not knowledgeable enough about the issue, the bill had no support in the senate and until it has the votes he will not bring it up. The Senator went on to suggest that the Kentucky Attorney General who was also on the program might not approve.
I must take issue with the statement that there is no support in the Senate for the bill since it was filed by Senator Perry Clark and co-sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader Senator Kathy Stein and Senator Denise Harper-Angel. These are pretty influential Senators to support a bill that is supposedly going nowhere. Senator Clark has said that there is plenty of support for the bill and he expects it to pass next year.
It is interesting to note that the citizens of Kentucky who need this medicine have been told to wait another year in the same week we take note of President Nixon’s rejection of the results of the Shafer Commission. The Shafer Commission, appointed by President Nixon, was asked to study America’s drug problem and make policy recommendations accordingly. The commission recommended, among other things, that possession of and transfer of small quantities of marijuana should not be a criminal offense. March 22nd is the forty year anniversary of the rejection of the commission’s recommendations and the beginning of the Government’s War on Drugs. Marijuana would again be a scapegoat, used to harass not Mexicans in the southwest but Anti-Vietnam War protesters.
Forty years, billions of tax dollars, millions arrested and incarcerated, innumerable lives and families destroyed, and for what? The Vietnam War protests are long over. Can we, for the love of God, can we please put an end to it here in Kentucky while we wait for the Federal Government to come to it’s senses.
We have destroyed the credibility of our government and law enforcement with the untrue statements we have used to keep this war going, a war that thankfully with ballot initiatives for full legalization this coming November in Colorado, Washington, California, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, might be finally coming to a long awaited end. It will be interesting to see to what lengths the Government will go to keep the War going should any one of these initiatives pass. On to November!