James M. Ray: Open Letter to Ritch Workman

I found this on the the Facebook page of Mr. James M. Ray , and asked the author for permission to post it here.

Open Letter to Ritch Workman

Dear Representative Workman,

Florida’s Courts just did something really cruel and stupid last Monday. An innocent pain patient named Alfred Robinson was forced by an uncaring and scientifically-clueless Judge named Siracusa to plead guilty because he supposedly didn’t have a defense.

In reality, he was denied the right to present the medical necessity defense. Mr. Robinson is a medical cannabis patient who grew his own medicine in his yard. Florida law, as established in Jenks v State of Florida, provides for patients using cannabis to have an affirmative defense.

Denied an affirmative defense, Mr. Robinson’s only alternative was to plead “guilty” in order
to preserve his ability to appeal this obvious injustice.

As one of the people you represent, I’m now publicly saying this judicial idiocy needs to stop. In fact, it needed to stop decades ago.

I’m sure the lobbyists for Florida’s many “pill mills” breathed a deep sigh of relief at this latest in a long series of expensive injustices, but politicians like you need to start listening to patients’ voices for a change. What’s happening to Mr. Robinson and others is both fiscally unsustainable and morally WRONG, which adds up to evil in my book.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.” I don’t see how anyone with a conscience can stay quiet about what’s happening to Florida’s patients at immense cost to Florida’s taxpayers.

The sane thing to do is to regulate cannabis like we do wine. Wine (which, like cannabis, has medicinal effects in modest doses and is used both for recreation & medicinally) is not much of a problem in the state of Florida. Wine brings in much needed taxes and gives people who choose to use it safely much joy. Cannabis could, and should, be the same way; since it’s scientifically proven time & again to be far safer than alcohol. If you care about Florida’s budget, then you should care about this issue, even if you can somehow find a way NOT to care about victims like Mr. Robinson, whose plight WILL lead to even less respect for our entire legal system.

It’s time to show the kind of courage Dr. Sanjay Gupta just showed, much to his credit, and change your position on this issue to match the basic science that has long been out there in study after medical study, despite media bias to the contrary. I’d be happy to send these scientific studies to your office, or answer any questions you’d like. The phone number to reach me is 321-508-4693.

Thanks in advance for taking the sane side of this important issue.

James M. Ray

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus

Mr. Ray is a Libertarian who lives in Melbourne Florida.

2 thoughts on “James M. Ray: Open Letter to Ritch Workman

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    It was only a couple months ago that Hardy Macia got good press in his video about medical marijuana (https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/05/hardy-macia-libertarian-activist-releases-viral-video-calling-for-legal-growing-of-medical-marijuana/ ). I’ve posted this letter because I think this is an example of activism we can do on a daily basis. Most, if not all, Libertarians believe in the cause of legalizing marijuana, but the public is slow to embrace that. They DO seem to be understanding the cause of medical marijuana, however. This is the kind of letter we should be sending to our legislators everytime an issue of marijuana comes up in the community and/or the press.

    Good job, Mr. Ray!

  2. Matt Cholko

    Jill, I’m not sure that its fair to say that the public is slow to embrace marijuana legalization. From what I can tell, in many (most?) parts of the country, a slight majority of the public is in favor of legalization, though maybe not the pure, unregulated legalization that many Ls would like. The voting population may be very slightly behind the population at large. Legislators, on the other hand, are a few steps behind, IMHO.

    I think MJ legalization is a great issue for the LP, as we are the only party that agrees with the general public that it should be legalized. We probably have a few more years before the Ds begin to embrace it, so lets use it while we can.

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