Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Rollin' down the street smokin' medicinal endo" just doesn't sound as gangster.

Yesterday, lawmakers decided that we as a great American state need a better slogan. "You've got a friend in Pennsylvania" and "The Keystone State" are pretty substantial, but "Mmmm...pop-tarts" seems to be more conducive to Harrisburg's latest solution to their budgetary (and metabolic) woes.

Enter Mark Cohen, a Democrat (duh) from Philadelphia. Cohen is supporting House Bill 1393, which would allow someone (me?) to obtain small amounts of marijuana for legal medicinal uses; so long as the "patient" procures a nice little suggestion from their doctor, a card issued from the state and has a desire to carry a glassy-eyed, shit-eating grin on his or her face for a few hours.
"The only thing blocking this bill's passage is the old image that marijuana has from the 1930s," Mr. Cohen said. "It's time to create a new image, as a form of treatment that, when prescribed by responsible doctors, could help thousands of patients in Pennsylvania."
The medical reasons are obvious. Get an anorexic person stoned and see if they can't resist a slice of pizza; give someone who is suffering from nausea caused by chemotherapy a bong rip and see how they're feeling. Hell, probably 90% of our readership knows it's a damn fine hangover cure.

But to Mr. Cohen and his 6 other sponsors thus far, there are other immediate advantages to this bill, like implementing the 6% sales tax and a $50 annual fee for using it. That's a cool $25 million annually in the state's bank account. To lawmakers concerned with high incarceration rates, or to people taking a hit right now and hoping the Schwann's guy doesn't walk in, this bill offers some relief:

Mr. Cohen said there are 35,000 marijuana arrests in Pennsylvania a year, with many of those charged being people suffering from a painful disease. "We need to have cures, not wars" on patients, Mr. Cohen said. "We need to stop arresting people using marijuana for medical reasons."
Not arresting people for medical reasons...that still isn't exactly where we at tRBT want the law to be, but it sure beats the hell out of what we're working with right now.

This is a big step for the Commonwealth, which is one of the few states still governed by creepy, puritan ideals that prohibit buying booze on the day the Lord rested, or for that matter buying booze pretty much anywhere else. It is also a big step for a nation that is inherently terrified of becoming European socialist, pot-smoking, sodomizing, Citroen-driving , tolerant, artsy, manpris wearing evolutionists.

With the sudden policy changes that are affecting gay marriage, drug laws, a diplomatic and multilateral foreign policy, health care reform and stem cell funding (not to mention the stimulus bill and Republicans jumping ship), I would say that right now it is a really, really shitty time to be a conservative in this country. Welcome to our world, 2000-2008.

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