Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Deserving Better

When you take on a position of leadership, it comes with the responsibility to be mindful of those who fall within your sphere of influence. You may get elected for who you are, who you know, and what you have done in the past. If you want to go further,who you pay attention to has to change. You have to take into consideration people's legitimate stake in altering the status quo, because whatever we have in place today won't work forever for everyone. It is easy for me to think of a "for instance" of law that doesn't work for people who deserve better from legislators, and in particular those who stood against them.When a person needs medical attention, and there exists a substance that is helpful without being harmful, our leaders should not be standing in the door, keeping physicians from aiding the recovery of patients. An allegiance to keeping around legal barriers to accessing a substance that is readily available through illegal distribution only benefits a few special groups of people: The criminals selling the stuff on the black market, the people banking overtime in a vain attempt to incarcerate the drug merchants, and the merchants of man-made drugs who do not want the competition of an unpatentable, natural occurring agent. My children and yours will or will not smoke dope according to their character development. Availability under the status quo is plentiful, as the black market reaps the high margins sustainable only by the barrier to entry provided by our current scheme of enforcement.It is a tired argument to make that children will be adversely affected by providing patients in need a substance that will help them. Nothing beats the black market when it comes to the distribution of mind altering substances to minors. And kids really do not give a flying frijole what the statehouse has to say about their means of recreation. From the callous way legislators dismiss the needs of ailing patients, our children would be fools to look at the sausage factory in Hartford for moral leadership. Coming from a law enforcement background, it is easy to drink the Koolaid that makes you believe in the goodness of locking up people involved in the marijuana trade. If you want to write laws, you should consider the plight of someone who volunteers to donate a part of their liver to save a friend, then suffers extreme GI issues that are made worse by prescription pain killers. Is this person a criminal for taking something to help her get better? This law is changing due to the leadership of those who saw the wisdom of putting the needs of a patient above the wants and desires of crooks, cops, and pharmaceutical companies. Voters need to be careful to elect leaders who have the agility to change when what we are doing is not working for people whose skin in the game is nothing less than their own skin.

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