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TruthToTell, Mon., Jan 9 @9AM: MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Fears Overcoming Reality?-KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org
What is your perception of marijuana? Are you dead set against its use? Or could you be persuaded that what is actually calledcannabis (marijuana is a Spanish term assigned by someone a long time ago) is a plant about as beneficial as broccoli when consumed as directed?
How much do we really know about this controversial plant called pot, weed, grass, reefer and, no doubt, a couple of other names – almost anything but “good” for most politicians and the larger law enforcement community?
Minnesota is not among the 16 states and the District of Columbia that have, by one means or another, usually by a citizens ballot petition, enacted laws removing most of their prior penalties for the cultivation, processing and distribution of cannabis for a significant number of ailments, most of them including AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, persistent muscle spasms, including those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures associated with but not limited to epilepsy, and severe nausea. Covered conditions vary, but, in every case, a doctor’s formal approval for its use is required and, in most instances, even an approved patient cannot possess more than one ounce or, perhaps an ounce-and-a-half.
However, although a law allowing the use of marijuana as a medical treatment has not yet passed in Minnesota (this state does not allow citizens initiative or referendum as most of those approving states do, but that’s another issue for another day), Minnesotadoes allow possession of one and one-half ounces of marijuana without penalty. Where you got the stuff might be interesting to law enforcement, since holding any amount above the 1-1/2 ounces is a felony (even in states where’s it’s been approved).
That said – the real arguments that haunt marijuana’s life in these United States, for either medical or recreational use, may be more political than scientific at this stage. Those who have discovered and benefitted from its salutary properties don’t give a hang about what makes it work so well for them. On the other hand, the spectre of “reefer madness” may be dancing through the memories and perceptions of others persuaded that cannabis is as addictive as cocaine and thus bound to ruin the life of anyone daring to consume it. The 1930s film of the same name depicts users as going off their nut in response to smoking marijuana. No one has ever witnessed such a reaction. But it was this perception that got the stuff placed on the Federal Government’s drug list as aSchedule I substance, right up there with heroine and cocaine.
It’s been condemned as a “gateway” drug to the worst of addictions, and yet its proponents insist that at least a half-dozen prescription drugs – namely oxycodone, oxycontin, and others – have been abused literally to death, especially young people, whereas no one is known to have overdosed on marijuana.
This week, we talk with advocates for legalizing cannabis in Minnesota (and elsewhere), at least for medical purposes, but, in the long run, to get the Feds to drop its ranking down to a Schedule III substance, available by prescription. The state of Washington has an initiative ballot question legalizing pot entirely, not just for medical purposes.
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query three members of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) of Minnesota, each with their own stories about why they believe this stuff is a godsend to sick people, and may, in fact, be highly beneficial to take in on a regular basis, illness or no.
RANDY QUAST ~ Executive Director, MN NORML
KURT HANNA ~ Treasurer, MN NORML
KATHY RIPPENTROP ~ Medical Marijuana Caregiver, MN NORML Member
TruthToTell Jan 2: MOVE-TO-AMEND: The Case Against Corporate Personhood - AUDIO HERE
Back in early November TruthToTell brought you a great conversation with David Cobb, former Green Party Presidential candidate and national spokesperson for MoveToAmend – the strengthening effort to remove the designation of personhood from corporate entities in the United States. That corporate personhood has seriously damaged this republic is clear in any analysis of this nation’s economic, political and social history and the deference courts have paid to corporations regarding the Bill of Rightsand a myriad of other claims that compete with real persons.
This week, we are presenting both an encore of that discussion and the remainder of the hour with MTA Minnesota Coordinator,Nathan John Ness and two of his colleagues with an update on MoveToAmend’s current wok in light of the Occupy movement and their symbiotic relationship.
Here’s a bit of what we used to announce that show last month:
What do we mean by corporate personhood – and why is this not a good thing?
In 1819, the Supreme Court, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, recognized corporations as having the same rights as natural persons for the purpose of entering into contracts and enforcing those contracts. Later, in 1886, the Court’s Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad decision (118 U.S. 394 ) recognized corporations as persons for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment (states must provide equal protection under the law to all people within their jurisdiction).
Those two rulings have thus provided the century-old underpinnings for a number of subsequent decisions equating corporations with real people, two of the most recent being Buckley v. Valeo, which equates campaign finance with free speech – a true precedent in its own right – followed by last year’s 5-4 Citizens United (Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission) ruling, yanking all restrictions on corporate (and union) campaign monies and allowing unlimited dollars to flow directly to support or defeat candidates, just not to the campaigns themselves.
The 2010 elections demonstrated starkly the fallout from all of these rulings on the make-up of Congress, especially the reversal of the Democratic House majority to Republicans, and of several governorships and state legislative bodies. The best examples of the latter are Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Florida, and the passage of truly onerous, anti-worker, anti-teacher legislation. Corporate personhood gave life and power to the Koch brothers’ wealth as the primary financing tool of both the Tea Party entities and specific electoral contests in those states.
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI engage local and national advocates on the role of corporations and Move to Amend.
DAVID COBB – former Presidential Candidate for the US Green Party, National Projects Director of Democracy Unlimited and official spokesperson for MOVE to AMEND (Recorded)
NATHAN JOHN NESS – Minnesota Organizer for MOVE to AMEND (Recorded and Live)
PHYLLIS RODEN – Move To Amend activist, Conference on a Constitutional Convention at Harvard participant (Live)
ROBIN MONAHAN – Move To Amend activist who, with his brother, Laird, walked the length of the US in 2010 to bring attention to corporate personhood. (Live)