Thursday, August 1, 2013

Governor makes up mind on medical marijuana – bad jokes bound to follow

I fear we’re going to have to dig up our old VHS copies of Cheech and Chong films – along with having to put up with the rants of the socially-conservative-minded ideologues who desperately want to believe that MARIJUANA!!! is some sort of liberal, hippie-freak drug that no sane person would ever want to touch.

QUINN: Digging up his bill-signing pens?
I write that because it seems that Gov. Pat Quinn is going to take action on Thursday that will make it possible for people to gain a prescription, of sorts, to use marijuana as part of their treatment for assorted medical conditions.

HIS PUBLIC SCHEDULE for the day indicates two events – the latter of which is an appearance at the University of Chicago Center for Care and Discovery, where he will appear with “veterans and people who are fighting chronic illnesses.”

These are the people who think that the marijuana high helps them to cope with the pain of their various medical conditions.

That is a concept that infuriates the ideologues because they want to believe that marijuana has no medical purpose whatsoever and is just the way certain people flaunt their disobedience to morals and all that is “good” about society.

Which is a bunch of bunk. Some people have watched “Reefer Madness” way too many times!

PERSONALLY, I EQUATE the concept that marijuana has no possible useful purpose with those same medical professionals of decades ago who argued that homosexuality was a mental illness – we know better now, and should quit listening to the quacks of the past whose theories have been disproved with more research.

Now before anyone goes any further, I don’t have any medical condition for which a marijuana prescription would be useful. I don’t anticipate taking advantage of the bill that was approved by the General Assembly this spring – which would allow people to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

Provided, of course, that they get a prescription from a medical physician and who suffer from some three-dozen specified medical conditions.

In short, the spaced-out guy who gets pulled over by the police (causing the cop to catch a whiff of smoke) is still going to be in trouble with The Law. Although with more and more communities heading in the decriminalization direction, it seems that marijuana is headed the way of being treated like alcohol.

THE PEOPLE WHO take so much that it impairs their judgment can face legal problems – particularly if their impairment causes them to have an “accident” of some sort.

We’re not exactly at the forefront of this issue – Illinois will be the 20th state to permit marijuana use under limited circumstances. I can’t help but wonder why it took the state so long to get around to this.

Although at least we’re not state number 48 or 49 to address this issue; that would be embarrassing!

Because while some people are determined to see some sort of cultural issue at stake, it really isn’t. Personally, I have known people of every political persuasion who want to get high – even including a few who like to believe they’re “strict law-and-order” types on everything else.

PERSONALLY, IT BOTHERS me (again!?!) to think that we have been denying some people medical relief from their pains – all because some people are desperate to cling to the image of aging hippies. Even though many of the biggest hippie-haters are probably toking up while also ranting.

So Quinn, barring any unforeseen change-of-heart, is likely to give his approval. And many of us will respond with the cheap druggie joke.

All I have to say is that if one does have to dig out a “Cheech and Chong” film to watch, go for “Up in Smoke.”

It’s not high art. But it’s about the only one of their films that has much of a story-line – while also giving us Cheech Marin’s take on his song “Mexican Americans.” It’s always worth a giggle.


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