One of my pet peeves is when people talk about the issue of marijuana legalization being a “debate”. To be sure, one side feels one way and the other side feels another way, which is why I suppose some can be forgiven for thinking that the issue has the veneer of a debate.
But at the end of a debate, no matter who wins and who loses, everyone goes home without a criminal record. That’s why it’s so disingenuous – especially for those who support prohibition – to claim the issue is a debate. To advocate for stripping those who have not infringed on the rights of anyone else of their personal rights and then claim it’s all an exercise in verbal combat is a gross mischaracterization at best.
Make no mistake: those who support prohibition support stripping you of the right to do that which you want as long as it does not infringe on the rights of anyone else. They support criminalizing you for doing something that does not affect them.
Of course, people like Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana will tell you they are saving society from itself. “Legalization would create a new, potentially dangerous industry that, like both alcohol and tobacco before it, has a pattern of targeting young people, the low-income and minorities,” Sabet said.
See how Sabet is able to make the false comparison of marijuana to alcohol/tobacco while simultaneously broaching the idea that young, low-income minorities may just be too stupid to make their own decision about marijuana, especially if they see some slick advertising? But have no fear, dumb young minorities; Kevin Sabet is going to save you from yourself by criminalizing something that could be quite medically beneficial to you. You know, because he cares.
As C.S Lewis said: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive…those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
People like Kevin Sabet aren’t interested in debate or verbal exercises. They want to control your life – for your own good, of course. They don’t want you doing certain things in your own home, so they will use the power of government to criminalize those things.
But we can take solace in the fact that his side loses more ground every year. One day, no one will know the name Kevin Sabet, and that day can’t come soon enough.
The real debate has to be about the format and the meaning of the federal definition of “marihuana”. We the People need to take that debate to Congress.
From the Farm Bill of 2018:
(16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
(B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.
Sec. 297A. (1) HEMP. The term “hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Some issues to be debated are:
Isn’t “marihuana” a racist word? Isn’t the familiar, legally equivalent, and anglicized word “marijuana” not racist?
How can the list of things that do mean “marihuana” be a shorter list than the list of things that don’t mean “marihuana”? How then can so many people be imperiled by “marihuana” law?
If the definition says “all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L.”, then it says “does not include…hemp…the mature stalks, fiber, oil..or the sterilized seeds”, does that mean “marihuana” is NOT REALLY “all parts of the plant”, or even a plant at all? What is “marihuana”, actually?
Doesn’t that mean that the definition has obscured the meaning of the term? Isn’t a definition that obscures its meaning really an oxymoron? How can an oxymoron be a Necessary and Proper federal law?
How can the THC in “hemp” be any different than the THC in “marihuana”? If the difference is merely the concentration of THC, then why is plant-derived THC in Schedule 1?
Isn’t the format of the definition really a riddle? What is the single solution to the riddle? How can a riddle be a Necessary and Proper federal law?
The definition must be reformed to become a Necessary and Proper federal law.
The single solution to the riddle will clearly state the meaning of the equivalent non-racist term “marijuana”, which will carefully deschedule cannabis. It will also explicitly preserve the prohibitions that serve to control marijuana use. It will also implicitly retain the Schedule 1 status of marijuana for separate consideration of the adulterated medical value that marijuana itself derives from carefully descheduled cannabis. It will also retain the 0.3% THC limit, but convert it from a limit for prohibiting certain cannabis plants – that can’t get high, to a limit for intake by certain people – that shouldn’t get high. With all of these changes, marijuana can truly be a controlled “substance”. Best of all, the solution can be written with the Necessary and Proper format that upholds our Constitution.
This reformed definition is much better than the existing riddle that obscures the meaning of the racist term “marihuana”:
The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is the intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.
This reform eliminates the misguided federal tropes of “prohibited marihuana” and “legal hemp” by carefully descheduling all cannabis plants. Congress can invoke Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to make this specific reform become law, which will restore the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens to exclusively grow cannabis, and carefully use cannabis like the Founding Fathers intended. We should contact our members of Congress about enacting this reform.