The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Can they really prevent you from saying, "I use cannabis to alleviate my suffering." ?

As of this moment, 151 South Dakotans have given SoDakNORML permission to use their names to promote the goal: Stop Jailing Cannabis Users.

There are about 250,000 people in South Dakota who vote. About 25,000 of them use cannabis more tha
n once a year. (Y'gotta make a distinction between "regular" use and "occasional" use.)

It is both remarkable and pathetic that 151 South Dakotans have agreed to point the spear of legislative scrutiny at themselves by publicly agreeing with SoDakNORML that cannabis prohibition cannot survive a look at what it accomplishes.

It's remarkable. Never before in any campaign in South Dakota have we been able to persuade this many South Dakotans to draw a line in the sand with their names on it, saying, "You've come far enough. You've failed. Stop now, before you REALLY fuck things up." At least we've not previously gained their public support on the topic of cannabis Prohibition.

It's pathetic. SoDakNORML has asked several hundred people to join us on this one issue. Most have not responded. 150 did. We think it's pathetic that 500 more have not. We also understand the power of the various repressive measures in place to punish those who want the State to stop imprisoning people for actions no sane person can call "crimes."

We know most of the people who gave us permission to use their names. We think they are a representative cross-section of South Dakotans. We think each name represents a significant number of like-minded folks in similar life situations.

We don't yet have a draft of the Nov. 12 Letter to Legislators. We'll be working on it tonight. Suggestions?

We'd sure like to use your name, and your friends' names, to sign these Letters telling the legislature to Stop Jailing Cannabis Users. Your name, if you live in or vote in South Dakota is worth more than any money you should have sent us to help stop Prohibition, but didn't.

With your help (your name, city, characterization) we WILL have a bill in the legislature to allow people accused of "Possession of 'Marijuana'" to argue in court that they use "marijuana" medically. Arguments to this end are rarely allowed by South Dakota judges.

Simple enough, isn't it? You get charged with possession, you produce evidence that you suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, and that your physician is aware that you use cannabis to alleviate pain and involuntary muscle spasms, and (s)he approves of the therapy. Any prosecutor who proceeds with a "possession" case in the face of that evidence will be quickly exposed as the jerk (s)he is. That is, if you are allowed to present that evidence.

SoDakNORML thinks that a sanely organized society can not deny a person accused of possession of a garden plant the right to say in court, "This plant relieves me of pain and other ugly symptoms of my medical condition. Stay the fuck out of my condition. My doctor and I have it handled as well as it can be."

We are pretty sure you can sign on to that. So do it. We need you to be a South Dakota resident/voter, your hometown name and a two or three word characterization. You can see how we're listing names at

Send us your name and permission to use it.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

South Dakota helped lead the way to the eventual repeal of the Volstead Act.