Ortman not dealing with reality

May 08, 2007

Jacob Mahan, Winona Daily News (MN)

I just finished reading Sen. Julianne Ortman’s column titled “Why medical marijuana is wrong for Minnesota” and was left terribly confused. She said, “Imagine a world where school teachers, bus drivers and custodians can legally possess marijuana, and the superintendent, parents, and school board don’t know.”

Let’s visit reality, shall we?

Aside from the word “legally,” we live in that world, and so far, the only damage caused by marijuana isn’t caused by marijuana at all, but by the prohibition of it — similar to our past experiences with alcohol prohibition (although alcohol carries more than its fair share of damage-causing problems, at least we realized we didn’t need to add the dangers of prohibition).

She then has the audacity to say: “Imagine a world where sickly grandparents and patients in nursing homes have marijuana in their drawers.” That line truly disgusts me. I can’t believe we have state senators going around saying, “Imagine how terrible it would be if our granparents could ease suffering and enjoy some quality of life in their last moments.” If there’s a downside to that, then I must be missing something.

Then, as if I wasn’t confused enough by the lack of reality and compassion (from a senator, no less), she goes on to say this, which makes absolutely no sense whatso-ever in the context of her writing: “Our children know how to find ways to buy alcohol and cigarettes illegally, and they know how to sneak liquor from cabinets.” That’s the point exactly: Making it illegal doesn’t fix anything.

To Ortman: Join me in reality.

Your opinion is written as if no one uses marijuana thanks to the laws in place against it. Not only that, it’s written as if approving marijuana for medical purposes creates some sort of free-for-all cannabis market (which is actually the market in place now, medical or not, thanks to prohibition).

In Holland, marijuana (not just for medical purposes) is decriminalized, and the claims you make simply do not hold.

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