Medical Marijuana

Maybe He Meant Antipathy

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On Monday both houses of the Minnesota legislature approved a medical marijuana bill that Gov. Tim Pawlenty promises to veto. Legislators narrowed the bill to address concerns raised by law enforcement officials, eliminating a provision that would have allowed patients to grow their own cannabis (they would have to buy it from state-licensed dispensaries instead) and restricting its application to terminally ill patients suffering from debilitating conditions. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the latter change "removes medical marijuana eligibility for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who need the drug to combat nausea"—remarkable if true, since this is one of the most common and best validated medical uses for the drug. (It was the indication for which the FDA initially approved Marinol, a capsule containing synthetic THC.) Despite the amendments, Pawlenty is committed to nixing the bill, though he claims to have "great empathy for the sick." The Marijuana Policy Project's Bruce Mirken comments:

Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota's Republican governor (pictured above), has "great empathy for the sick." I know it's true because he said so.

He just thinks they belong in jail if they need medical marijuana.

He announced his intention to veto the medical marijuana bill at his news conference today. Then, amazingly, he went on to wax rhapsodic about how "The sky is blue, the sun is out. The minds of Minnesotans are turning to Memorial Day, summer, fishing."

Tell that to Joni Whiting, whose daughter Stephanie gained some comfort and the ability to eat from medical marijuana during the last months of her doomed struggle with melanoma. Pawlenty thinks it's just fine to treat Joni, Stephanie, and others in that dreadful situation as common criminals….

Pawlenty reportedly has national ambitions. Maybe he thinks there's a large block of voters out there who think cancer patients belong in jail. Or maybe he's just heartless.

Medical marijuana activists, who have been trying to pass a bill in Minnesota for a decade, say they will consider a ballot initiative if Pawlenty delivers on his threat.

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  1. I’m here to domy usual service of slapping down the usual “equivalency” arguments of the Rightards and Liberpublicans:

    This measure passed the house 70-64 with 63 yes votes from Democrats and only 7 GOP yeas; 20 Dems voted no along with 40 Republicans from Republicans, and in the senate it passed 38-38 with 34 Democrats voting yes and only 4 GOP yeas; 12 Dems voted against along with 16 Republicans.

    Of course, a GOP governor plans to veto the bill.

    Yoo hoo, SIV et al, care to comment on which party was more pro-liberty here?

  2. Yo, fuck Tim Pawlenty.

  3. House: 76% of Dems, pro-liberty/15% of GOP pro-liberty
    Senate: 74% of Dems, pro-liberty/20% of GOP pro-liberty

    Hey, Rightards, what happened to your small government conservative GOP? Did they think a different bill was up for vote?

  4. Hey, Rightards, what happened to your small government conservative GOP?

    It’s around here some place… Could swear I was just looking at it…. eight plus years ago.

  5. If then.

  6. MNG,

    Arguing about which major party is the most pro-liberty is like arguing about which Olsen Twin is the least drug-addled (Mary-Kate, BTW). If the Dems love liberty so damn much, why did they have to water down the bill to only terminal patients despite the Dems holding a majority of votes?

  7. Good for the Democrats. My only fear is they are going to reinstitute slavery next. I understand that is the next logical step when states ignore federal authority.

  8. Pawlenty reportedly has national ambitions. Maybe he thinks there’s a large block of voters out there who think cancer patients belong in jail. Or maybe he’s just heartless.

    I’m going for the third possibility: he’s an idiot who thinks there really aren’t any people with a medical need for marijuana. (Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.)

  9. On Monday both houses of the Minnesota legislature approved a medical marijuana bill that Gov. Tim Pawlenty promises to veto.

    I assume that Pawlenty is not one of those small government libertarian leaning Republicans I’ve heard people talk about.

    Minnesotans – If you have the option of doing this by initiative, do it. To hell with the governor and the self serving LEO community.

  10. Why should anyone care what law enforcement officials think? Their job is to arrest or not arrest based on the law. Is that too complicated for them? Are they lobbying to outlaw vicodin because some people get ahold of it on the black market? How about cars? They should be concerned that people who legally own cars could sell them to others who are not legal to drive. What if someone made their own car? Oh noes…

  11. MNG,

    Don’t be silly. The federal government is controlled by the Democrats, and I see no let up on the WoD. Except for the name change.

  12. I hope Pawlenty vetoes it and then I hope it passes on ballot initiative. And then I hope Pawlenty loses whatever his next election happens to be, especially to someone who supports medical marijuane or better yet, the legalization of all personal choices. That would be true justice.

    (…holding my breath…turning blue…)

  13. Poetic justice demands that Gov. Tim Pawlenty be stricken with a painful debilitating disease that forces him to smoke pot for relief, and that he is then arrested and convicted and is forced to spend years in prison writhing in pain.

  14. Yes, Warren, that would be justice, but what would more likely happen is he’d end up advocating for it (and use it before it became legal) and claim “past ignorance, but I’ve seen the light” or some such bullshit. And he wouldn’t be arrested.

  15. No question, Dems have a better record on marijuana policy.

    On liberty as a whole? Meh.

  16. “On liberty as a whole? Meh.”

    I won’t argue that. I can think of areas where the GOP, vote for vote, does better than the Dems on liberty (gun control springs to mind). I just can’t stand the false equivalency folks.

    Pro L
    I guess you could look at the recommendation to end the crack-powder disparity or compare the number of fed raids in CA during Obama’s administration to the same number this far into Bush’s administration. I’m not arguing for it being ideal, just better.

  17. compare the number of fed raids in CA during Obama’s administration to the same number this far into Bush’s administration.

    I’d love to. What are the numbers?

  18. ‘Despite the amendments, Pawlenty is committed to nixing the bill, though he claims to have “great empathy for the sick.”‘

    Contrast this empathetic, uniting attitude with the following divisive comment:

    ‘Poetic justice demands that Gov. Tim Pawlenty be stricken with a painful debilitating disease that forces him to smoke pot for relief, and that he is then arrested and convicted and is forced to spend years in prison writhing in pain.’

    It is obvious, therefore, that Pawlenty has greater compassion and sensitivitiy to complex issues than the extremists who want to allow sick people to smoke the evil weed.

    Of course, a different picture emerges if we push aside the curtains of rhetoric and look at the underlying reality. If we look at Pawlenty’s actual policy positions, we see that he wants to put sick people and their doctors in prison for alleviating painful illness.

    But isn’t it more important that Pawlenty, despite his policy positions, has better rhetoric? That his *rhetoric* expresses sympathy for the victims of his medical-marijuana policy even while his real-world policies want to put these patients and his caregivers in prison?

    Isn’t a politician’s healing, unifying rhetoric more important than picky details about the practical implications of a politician’s policy positions?

    I bet you wouldn’t want Pawlenty to speak at Notre Dame, you divisive bastards.

  19. Legislators narrowed the bill to address concerns raised by law enforcement officials…

    They need dogs for target practice.

  20. Pawlenty is already running for the 2012 nomination. That’s all this is about — acquiring goodwill with the social cons.

    He’s as unctuous as Romney.

  21. Pawlenty’s political calculation is correct. Very few voters need med mj. Meanwhile of those voters who would care enough to switch their vote for a candidate based on this one issue, he’s probably on the gaining, not losing side. Doesn’t matter that it would win in a referendum; it’s not a priority to many voters, and among those for whom it is, more of them would probably make it a priority for a candidate to be against it than for it — at least in a primary, but maybe also in a gen’l election.

  22. Q: How much shit do you have for brains?

    A: Pawlenty!

  23. Mad Max (you ignorant slut), an empathetic, uniting attitude would be to go along with the other party (the uniting part) in your state that just approved pain medication for sick people (the empathy part).

    And, I’d much rather Pawlenty speak at Notre Dame than Obama so maybe priests wouldn’t be arrested for speaking their minds. But who know, maybe Pawlenty also wouldn’t give a shit if they get arrested, for say advocating pain medication to sick people.

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