Gone to Pot

September 23, 2011

In Law we have what are called “legal fictions.” That’s a difficult concept to define. It refers to something that we presume to be true, even though it isn’t, because it’s necessary to apply other law to a situation. For example you either have or don’t have parents. And you can only have one set.  If an adoption takes place the biological parents cease to have any legal relationship to a child and the adoptive parents are completely, 100%, the Childs parents. We need that in order to deal with all of the parent-child laws and relationships that follow. That substitution by act of law, not biology, is a legal fiction in use. I’ve always thought of legal fictions as “useful lies” that we’ve decided to adopt.

Which brings us to medical marijuana. That subject seems to wind up on the front page of small town newspapers on a regular basis. It’s there because of a legal fiction. The people of Michigan through the electoral process decided to declare Marijuana a medicine and its use as medical treatment. We’ve all heard the sanctimonious bleating about compassion and the wonderful therapeutic effects of pot. Anyone smart enough to be reading this article knows that it’s utter BS. Sure, sick people that are stoned feel better than if they weren’t stoned. But the  pharmaceutical world is full of drugs that will do the same thing as THC. Delivering it through a cigarette is the worst possible way to give someone a drug. But so what? The referendum that created this nightmarish legal swamp of marijuana laws with its “caregivers” and phony prescriptions passed. The useful lie is now the law. The dopers are now all trying to raise the money to get a prescription for their “chronic pain” so they can smoke dope without getting arrested. You’d be hard pressed to find a more cynical or obvious misuse of the law than medical marijuana.

The problems that are arising were foreseeable. We have a legal fiction that the intelligent people in this state know is a lie. We know that the referendum was a thinly disguised effort to legalize pot smoking under the guise of medicine. Only the dimmest bulbs reading the advertisements for traveling doctors and the “cannabis crew” could think otherwise. Those people, some of whom fell for the “compassion” hype, now see just what they’ve done and they’re letting their Representatives and Prosecutors know that they feel duped and stupid. Now that the horse is out of the barn they want it put back in.

Prosecutors, the Attorney General, and to a lesser extent the Courts and State Legislature hear what these voters are saying. The result is that a law so complex and riddled with arcane provisions that it can hardly be understood by lawyers and judges is being violated constantly. Cannabis “clinics” are being opened and closed as their operators get arrested and Cities try to zone them out of existence. Meanwhile the stoners go on getting arrested for possession of marijuana just when they thought they could finally toke their lives away in peace. When you add in the Federal laws that apply to possession and delivery of marijuana a bad situation is going from bad to worse. Hard to believe that about government, huh?

It’s time for Michigan and for that matter, the Federal government to put together what are called Uniform Laws. These are laws that all the states pass that make for uniform and consistent control of marijuana. Obviously there are enough stoners out there that want to smoke dope and enough people that want to supply it to them that it isn’t going away. We should either legalize the stuff or come up with some simple and understandable rules regulating the growing, delivery and consumption of marijuana that we can enforce. It’s just another flush into the septic system we call Modern American Culture.

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