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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Help me figure this out...

Anybody who's been watching knows that the Forum has adopted a policy position on allowing people accused in South Dakota of "possession of marijuana" to present evidence that they use cannabis medically. "Possession of marijuana" is the ONLY "crime" in South Dakota specifically denied a "prevention of greater harm" defense.

We believe that use of cannabis to palliate ugly symptoms is prevention of a greater harm, the "lesser harm" being the non-existent harm of "possession of marijuana."

Y'all know that. This is a question of a basic right under common law and statute law, the right to tell your story in court and have it be considered in the verdict. How can you ignore it?

Let me count the ways.

Every news organization in So. Dak. is aware of SoDakNORML's Letters to Legislators campaign. Only SDPB Radio mentioned the special edition SoDakNORML postage stamp, in a short public interest news item, and clearly did so simply to get me off their back.

All the South Dakota blogs check out the Decorum Forum from time to time. None except South DaCola have mentioned the campaign, and even they required prodding. I noticed today that Madville Times mentioned its probably accurate perception of the irrelevance of Rick Knobe's registration as a Libertarian. Madville Times has not once mentioned SoDakNORML's Letters to Legislators Campaign.

SoDakNORML assembled a list of endorsers consisting of a wide swath of South Dakota socio-eonomic and political representation in South Dakota. Still no one noticed.

I know that none of this is "hard news" yet, but "hard news" is not the purvey of most blogs. Madville Times, especially, is not shy on offering opinion based on its view of injustice. I think that the Forum's view of injustice intersects with Madville's on this issue.

I am mystified. 82402 people have been arrested in South Dakota for possession of cannabis in the past 14 years. 15 more will be arrested by 5:30 pm tomorrow. No benefits have accrued as a result of arresting a number equal to 10 per cent of the population of the state in less than a generation. No benefits. And almost nobody appears to give a shit.

A wide swath of South Dakota socio-eonomic and political representation in South Dakota endorsed the slogan, "Stop arresting cannabis users in South Dakota." Still no one noticed.

We've publicized that Rep. Dan Kaiser of Aberdeen and Sen. Craig Tieszen of Rapid City have committed to bringing a bill to committee that would allow people accused of possession of cannabis in So. Dak. to present a "medical necessity defense." That seems like something someone would like to follow up on.

Of course, there's the possibility that what I and the 208 cosigners think is just plain bullshit. What do you think?

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