« Hear No Evil... (Personal, Historical. Logical) | Main | Good News, Bad News (Personal, Political, Historical) »

January 07, 2008

Dishonest Harassment on Behalf of the Drug War (Personal, Logical Historical)

The unvarnished truth about our war on drugs is that in the nearly four decades since it was (unofficially) imposed  as a major new policy initiative on the basis of an insecure president’s uninformed medical judgment, it has been gradually corrupting most American institutions at all levels, and in a variety of ways.  Because supporting evidence for that statement can’t be gathered “scientifically,” it is mistakenly considered “anecdotal,” and thus usually excluded from newspapers by the editors who also decide how cub reporters will write up  minutiae relating to the day-to-day implementation of California’s highly evolved eleven-year-old medical marijuana initiative. The net result is that the drug war is still coasting on the same basic “reefer madness” assumptions invoked on behalf of the MTA seven decades ago.

Talk about the “dead hand” of the past!

For the past six years, I’ve had other sources on information on police activity: patients who have been stopped by the CHP or their local cops on a shabby pretext, then had their cars illegally searched and their marijuana confiscated before all charges were later dropped (or sometimes not dropped) by the local DA. That California’s state and local bureaucracies have remained very hostile to medical use is a no brainer that’s almost never discussed openly, as the following case demonstrates: a 43 year old man I saw for “renewal” last Friday had been stopped by a local policeman early in December because the trailer hitch on his vehicle allegedly obscured its rear license plate. As soon as he rolled down the window, the policeman announced that he could smell marijuana and ordered him out of the car. After three separate field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI marijuana and taken to jail where blood was drawn and he was held until his family could bail him out. He'd brought with him a five page DMV medical form identifying him as someone obligated to attend a vaguely described procedure, after which a “hearing officer” may recommend restricting his license for “ drug addiction.” This was the DMV's first beaureaucratic response to  input from an anonymous peace officer without medical training and well in advance of the still-pending criminal procedure!

Concerned about what this might represent, I contacted two attorneys and learned from one that it may well be a new tactic  intended to further harass medical users. More suspicion that it may be a straw in the wind: it's taking place just a week before I'm being forced to go to a nearby county to appear at the trial of a patient I saw only once in early 2004.

Although I really don’t have time for such harassment, the good news is that I’ll have the chance to scope it out in person and report back on it next week...

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 7, 2008 05:16 PM