Say 'No' To Green Harvest, 'Yes' To Medical Marijuana


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I am a patient with a medical marijuana permit in three states and Canada. I was a schoolteacher, a case manager and for the past 14 years I have been a disability advocate here in Hawaii. This is a call to all Hawaii residents to say "no" to federal money for Green Harvest.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Green Harvest is a program whereby Hawaii receives federal money to arrest growers of marijuana. Most people don't realize that our state allows patients to grow their marijuana or have a caregiver grow it, but we cannot buy it. We cannot buy the seeds, nor can we buy certain growing equipment without being prosecuted. Meanwhile, patients who can tolerate pharmaceutical pain medications are not required to "grow" their own anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers or muscle relaxants.

Allowing public funds to go to the war on marijuana violates many civil rights laws, for example:

» Propaganda by the government against this medicine violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by causing others -- the patient's family, friends, employers and community -- to discriminate against people with disabilities who have the right to use marijuana to treat their medical condition.

» Not only do patients have the right to use, possess and grow marijuana in 11 states, they have this right through the ADA of 1990. According to this act and the Rehabilitation Rights Act of 1973, a substance is NOT an illegal drug if it prescribed by a medical doctor. Both these acts are tied to the Controlled Substance Act, which is a federal law.

» By imprisoning growers, suppliers of growing equipment and distributors, we are illegally coercing and threatening people with disabilities, their families, their medical doctors and providers, further violating the ADA of 1990.

» People who are interfering with the legalization of medical marijuana should understand fully that they are, in fact, personally contributing to discriminating against, threatening, isolating and harming people with disabilities. They are causing families to turn against family members with disabilities, further isolating and harming these patients with disabilities.

» We do not use public funds to turn family members against patients using antidepressants, oxycodone, Valium and so many far more dangerous medications. We do not threaten users of prescribed pharmaceuticals from taking their medications on airplanes, buying it via the Internet or shipping via the post office; nor do we charge them with violating rules of interstate commerce.

Most states do not have the budgets to continue to incarcerate marijuana users, growers and distributors. We still have in our prisons people who merely bought fluorescent lights or sold seeds to grow marijuana. Our prisons are full, and as taxpayers we can no longer afford to spend money on Green Harvest. Shame on us, America and Canada, that we should be so intolerant, shortsighted, cruel and wasteful of hard-earned tax money.

Please, let's stop the prohibition and get on to better uses of our money. Please contact your County Council members and legislators, and say "no" to Green Harvest -- and "yes" to ending marijuana prohibition.

Newshawk: CoZmO -
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Hawaii)
Author: Sarah Margaret Taylor
Copyright: 2007 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Website: Honolulu Star-Bulletin
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