Alabama State Senator Jim McClendon (R) was recently on a radio program in Birmingham for an interview, during which he suggested that cancer patients really didn’t need medical marijuana because they can just get it on the streets. From Bamapolitics.com:
“Well, let me give you the counter to that,” McClendon said. “Well if there is someone that needs it, let’s say there is someone doing the cancer treatment, they have nausea problems and they need something to control it, they can get it!”
Andrea Lindenberg then asked if that means they can get it legally in the state to which McClendon simply replied with a flat “no”.
The floored hosts pointed out that under McClendon’s solution, he would turn cancer patients “into criminals.”
McClendon didn’t seem concerned. “They’re probably not too worried about that.”
Of course, I could go on and on about the abject ignorance of that thought process, but in the end I don’t think the ignorance is the primary issue.
The problem is that people like this are making decisions about the legality of medical marijuana for people they will never meet. It’s nice to think that if we just get smarter people or more compassionate people in office that the system will somehow miraculously work. An in-depth study of the history of politics will disabuse almost anyone of this notion.
No matter how smart they are or how many votes they get, no person should be able to tell others what to do as long as those others are not infringing on the rights of anyone. The decision of whether or not to use medical marijuana should solely belong to the adult who is deciding. You can consult with doctors and friends and family and even the Internet. But in the end, the decision and its consequences lie with the individual making said decision.
If a cancer patient gets medical marijuana from a legal dispensary or some guy on the street, it in no way affects Jim McClendon – so why is he involved in the decision? Why are his thoughts on the matter necessary, ignorant or not?
Look, I get it. It’s easier if people in government make most of our decisions for us – what medicine to take, what bills to pay, what schools to go to, etc. But when you hand over the decision-making ability in your life to people you don’t know and who don’t face the consequences of those decisions, you have only yourself to blame when they exercise that power, in all of its ignorant glory.