Reuters reports that an Amsterdam court did something compassionate and intelligent. Imagine that.:
Most of us have heard about the notorious coffeehouses in Amsterdam, where people are free to smoke cannabis without risk of arrest. That isn’t to say that the European city doesn’t have its control-freak side: Growing pot is illegal and only those with explicit doctor’s prescriptions can purchase it — and only in small quantities — from pharmacies. Recently, a man was charged with growing marijuana and put on trial. When he explained his situation before the Netherlands high court, the judicial panel actually listened — and ruled in his favor.
The Dutch high court on Tuesday acquitted a man charged with illegally growing marijuana who said the drug helped ease pain from his multiple sclerosis.
… The man suffered some negative side-effects after taking pharmacy cannabis, and then decided to grow his own marijuana, the Dutch high court said in a statement.
Citing the unusual circumstances, the court said it was acceptable for the man to grow the drug without a licence.
Why can’t US courts be as respectful or FINALLY accept the fact that marijuana is not only a recreational substance that shouldn’t be treated differently than alcohol, but a legitimate medicine and that has a myriad of productive uses? But hey, why is something grown from the creator’s green earth illegal at all? Why can’t responsible people decide for themselves? Trust me, the irresponsible ones — the ones who drive impaired, sell it to kids or use it around youngsters, or toke up in such a fashion that it affects their work — do and will pay for their actions no matter what. Nothing — I repeat, nothing — justifies 872,721 marijuana arrests in 2007. That figure is up 5.2 percent from 2006, and it is in itself criminally inhumane.
This interesting anonymous comment appears on NORML‘s web site:
It is about money and power over the people. Keep the prisons overpopulated, so they can build more prisons. … The government should legalize marijuana and tax it and billions in revenue would be made. Instead they want to throw our asses in jail and fine us. All they want to do is give us a criminal record and then [put people] under their microscope [with a bullseye on our backs]. PROHIBITION does more harm and destroys individuals’ and families’ lives. …[Y]ou have the DEA (dead end atrocities) out there destroying marijuana plants out there like they are really doing something, but all they’re doing is wasting our tax dollars. It makes me ashamed to be an AMERICAN. It is just the like the prohibition on alcohol; black-market stuff killed people from poisoning and crime shot up. BIG BROTHER still has not learned the lesson from the past and history repeats itself all over again, but this time with marijuana.
Seriously, I want to move to Amsterdam. Not to smoke pot — I have kids and responsibilities — but to be in a place that is a wee bit more sane and caring. Lord knows the US is neither.