C. Michael Pickens: California Assembly Looking to Keep Medical Marijuana Patients Off of the Roads

This article was posted today in The Nor-Cal Paper

In the State of California, using marijuana for medical purposes is perfectly legal. For anyone who runs a dispensary (and is legal to do so), it is important to follow the rules and regulations, which are entirely outlined in the emergency regulations. It is always best to do your research into this, as the rules are constantly changing.

People suffering from cancer, AIDS related side effects, and Huntington’s disease, among others, rely on medical marijuana to ease their pain. Yet, the proposed legislation within Assembly Bill 2552 would bar these same people from driving to work even a month after their last use of the medicinal herb. Some of these people live in areas where it is difficult to travel if they do not use their vehicle; since public transportation may be scarce, it is imperative that they retain the right to drive and still have access to their medicine. Essentially, AB 2552 is an assault on medical marijuana users’ driving rights, and in the bigger picture, an assault on our collective liberty.

Medical marijuana is not a danger to the driver or to the people on the roads that these patients drive on.
These people are not using the herb in their car; they are using the medicine in their homes. Because the herb usage is not directly related to the act of driving, it makes no sense to take away driving privileges from otherwise everyday people. It would be the same as drinking a beer; if the beer left traces for 30 days after it was consumed, anyone who drank alcohol would be barred from driving for as long as a month after consuming a single alcoholic beverage.

According to emedicalmarijuanacard.com, if AB 2552 were to become law, as many as 350,000 people living in California could be barred from driving by the California department of motor vehicles. This would result in these 350,000 people not being able to drive to their job, to pick their kids up or to the grocery store, especially in rural counties. Over time, businesses’ sales would drop and worsen California’s already bad economy. That sounds like a nightmare, right?

However, beyond that startling point, there’s more to why AB 2552 must not become law. The state government is looking to collect more fines and fees from its citizens. We, the People, pay too many fines, fees, and taxes as it is. Enough is enough. As the People of California, we need to shrink Big Government by not allowing it to create more laws that rob us of what’s rightly ours. AB 2552 only takes. It does not give. It claims to make public roads safer by not allowing medical marijuana users to drive, even if they have a minimal trace of their medicine (“any level of cannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoid compound”) still in their blood or urine. This is unrealistic in its broad scope. Many people take medicine every day and still get behind the wheel. Why are only medical marijuana users targeted with this unfair and undeserved bill? By charging fees and fines, AB 2552 only increases the size of government and increases the irritation of that government’s citizens. AB 2552 solves nothing and needs to be shot down.

What the creators of this bill don’t want you to know is that medical cannabis has numerous, scientifically proven, health benefits. They are not telling you this because slapping people with fees is how government makes money.

As protectors of Liberty, the Libertarian Party wants to keep Big Government out of your life and make sure your money stays in your pocket, not the government’s. Webmd.com reports that 5.2 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and the California Alzheimer’s Association reports that about 588,208 of those live in California. Medicinal marijuana, with its active cannabinoid ingredient (THC), can relieve “chronic inflammation in the brain, which is believed to contribute to memory impairment,” according to Britain’s “The Telegraph.” With this beneficial property, medicinal marijuana is a cure for many frustrating illnesses.

Chemotherapy and radiation only having a two to four percent success rate in curing cancer. There was also a survey that was conducted that showed that eight out of every ten cancer doctors would not undergo chemotherapy or radiation. What does that tell you? Since many cancer patients die, not, technically, of cancer, but from the chemotherapy and radiation damage to their internal organs, medicinal marijuana is one of the only, other, logical choices to help suppress the growth of the cancer. According to sciencedaily.com, “The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread,” based on research conducted at Harvard University. Given this information, it is apparent that medicinal marijuana is a positive presence in these patients’ lives, and in their families’ lives, and in their friends’ lives. For people who need the medicinal herb to calm their suffering, it would be uncompassionate to take away their right to drive, even 30 days after their last use.

Were this bill to be signed into law, more people would be confronted with fees, and, inevitably, some jail sentences. According to followthemoney.org, Assembly Member Norma Torres (D-Pomona) received numerous campaign contributions in 2010 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a union that overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party by almost 75%, in comparison to Republicans (no third parties). Assembly Member Torres is selling her vote. She does not have the interest of the people in mind, nor is she preserving any of our inherent freedoms. She is allowing union contributions to decide where she votes, and the people suffer because of it. In that regard, AB 2552 would cause more citizens who are otherwise harmless to enter the prison system, and for what? So the powerful Peace Officers union can recruit more union members and cause working taxpayers to foot the bill. Is this what we want; for Big Unions and Big Government to tell us when it’s okay to drive, what medicine we can’t take, and which institution (the prison system) is the best? No! We must protect our liberty and spread the word that AB 2552 is not the will of the people and that it has no place in our state constitution.

In conclusion, AB 2552 must not become law because it violates the liberty of medical marijuana users, which in turn disrupts the greater community. Medical marijuana has been demonstrated, through numerous studies, to be beneficial; it does not have a negative impact on the daily lives of Californians. The Libertarian Party defends freedom wherever freedom is being taken, and AB 2552 is a perfect example of such an oppression. When people who rely on a medicinal herb cannot drive to work, what else do you need as proof that Big Government is interfering with our lives? Get rid of AB 2552, not the people it serves to oppress.

Sources for this article are listed at the bottom of the original article.
Mr. Pickens is a young Libertarian living in Elk Grove, California. Among his other activities, he is currently the Northern Vice-Chairman of the California Libertarian Party.

4 thoughts on “C. Michael Pickens: California Assembly Looking to Keep Medical Marijuana Patients Off of the Roads

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    Those of you living in California may wish to check this out.

    “…20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually be getting a bad rap and that they may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers. There have been several studies done over the past 20 years and every one of them has revealed that using marijuana actually has a very minor, if any, effect on the ability of a person to drive a car or other vehicle.”

    http://www.4autoinsurancequote.org/uncategorized/reasons-why-marijuana-users-are-safe-drivers/

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    The legislators in California have ‘way too much time on their hands. Busiensses are leaving the state daily, unemployment is huge, and our education system sucks. They’re wasting their time on this? Despicable.

    Excellent write-up, Mr. Pickens!

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