Testing How Seriously We Take Medical Marijuana
Nov. 4, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — According to The Eagle-Tribune, Danny Vargas claimed there was a reason why he robbed a convenience store with a toy gun:
Vargas, then 21, would eventually blame his crime on his addiction to marijuana. He used some of the $500 he received in the holdup to pay off debts and the rest to buy more pot, he told police after his arrest.
Soon after, Vargas pleaded guilty to armed robbery, but, with a prosecutor and a judge sympathetic to his substance abuse problem, worked out a deal for three years of probation.
The main condition of the deal: Vargas was ordered by a judge not to use marijuana.
“I made a bad choice” is never as good as an excuse as something you can’t help. An addiction, even one to a substance that many believe isn’t addictive, is the sort of thing that gets sympathy. It helps when your audience is people who view marijuana use as something really bad, a common way of thinking for judges and prosecutors. For those judges and prosecutors, the idea that an evil substance is responsible for people’s misdeeds highlights the importance of their role in its prohibition. It also gives them an easy fix. The solution for someone robbing a convenience store because of marijuana addiction is simple; you address the addiction. The solution when the robber just messed up is way tougher. There may not be one, and that’s the sort of thing our system, with its fix-it mentality, can’t tolerate.
It seems everyone involved knew just what Vargas needed. That was probation and an order not to use marijuana. Unfortunately, some pesky medical marijuana laws might get in the way:
Now Vargas – who was sent to prison for two to four years after repeatedly testing positive for the drug – and his attorney are asking the state’s highest court to find that Vargas was entitled to smoke marijuana after he was given a marijuana “recommendation” by a doctor at a place called “The Holistic Center.”
“He had a pre-existing, qualifying condition,” lawyer Michael Cutler told the Supreme Judicial Court on Monday during a hearing on Vargas’s appeal. Vargas, he said, suffers from a herniated disk in his back.
Cutler argued that the state’s medical marijuana law, which went into effect in 2013, creates an absolute prohibition on any sort of punishment or penalty for someone who uses the drug on the advice of a doctor.
As compelling as allowing medical marijuana for people who genuinely need it may be, I doubt anyone would argue that people aren’t abusing the medical marijuana laws to get it for what really amounts to recreational use, even though there will be many medical patients wanting to use similar medical marijuana to this black diamond strain for example, that could be beneficial to many medical ailments such as epilepsy and more, as well as a slew of mental issues like helping those that suffer from PTSD and more. People have to realize that shady strip mall doctors guaranteeing a prescription doesn’t exactly make people take medical marijuana seriously. It feeds the skepticism of those who believe marijuana use should under no circumstances be legal and that medical marijuana is back door legalization, but we are slowly moving away from this idea with success stories cropping up thanks to people with legitimate need learning to buy weed online and regulate their intake.
If you’re wanting to experiment to see the benefits of medical marijuana, perhaps read something such as this buyer’s guide into purchasing different CBD (Cannabidiol) products that derive from the marijuana plant and is partly the reason for so many success stories within the medical marijuana industry. Looking at pages like https://kamadevayoga.com/best-cbd-oil-buyers-guide/ you can see the pros and cons you may come across when wanting to find medical CBD oils or other products. There’s also somewhat a success story on the same site from the author that has had her life improve dramatically since consuming CBD products for her anxiety and chronic pains. As anticipated, admiration is growing for CBD products like CBD oil across the world, and the Observer has posted an article which reviews the best CBD oil UK based people can try.
There should be a process that people have to go through before they can even be prescribed with medical marijuana. This is what happens for the residents of Utah, as they need to visit somewhere similar to GreenHealthDocs in Provo, Utah to get registered and approved before they are eligible to buy medical marijuana in the state. This should help to put a stop to the people who are misusing it and who think that they can get it legalized. I’m guessing that’s the position of the judge and prosecutor in Vargas’s case:
But assistant district attorney Philip Mallard questioned that medical assessment, suggesting that Vargas was trying to do an end-run around the main condition of his probation by seeking out a marijuana recommendation from a “mill,” a recommendation based on a single, brief visit and apparently without disclosing that he’d been addicted to marijuana or that he had robbed a store to support that addiction.
And he only sought out the recommendation after his first set of probation violations, including testing positive for both cocaine and marijuana and missing court-ordered programs, two months after his plea bargain.
Beyond that, it was Vargas himself who offered to quit marijuana cold turkey after being given a chance to re-negotiate the terms of his sentence.
“I don’t care if he has Barack Obama’s permission to toke at will, it doesn’t matter,” Judge Richard Welch told Vargas during a November, 2013 probation violation hearing. “I mean, he’s been given break after break.”
The judge went on to point out other violations by Vargas, including missing programs at the Office of Community Corrections.
Vargas isn’t exactly the best poster child for medical marijuana. In fact, he exemplifies nearly every thing that bothers anti-medical-marijuana people about medical marijuana laws. Not only did he go to a place that issues recommendations in bulk, but it seems they didn’t put much thought into it at all.
It sounds an awful lot like Vargas is just a screw-up who’s trying to get away with some of his mistakes by hiding behind a feigned medical condition. After all, even in liberal Massachusetts, I’m guessing he doesn’t have the ability to get a medical cocaine prescription, and he probably wasn’t missing programs because of his supposed debilitating medical condition.
People who are opposed to medical marijuana and think it is both unnecessary and absurd are going to see Vargas’s situation as reinforcing their beliefs. On the other side, the true believers like Christopher Wright, the ones who are absolutely convinced that marijuana is medicine and that withholding it from qualifying patients would be like denying insulin to diabetics, Vargas’s situation isn’t a big deal at all. He needs medicine and shouldn’t be punished for taking it.
Most people, however, aren’t hardcore prohibitionists or true believers. Instead, I imagine they view medical marijuana as a compromise, either a step in the direction of legalization or a way to placate those in favor of legalization without actually legalizing it. It’s those people who may be confronted with an uncomfortable reality because of Vargas, and that’s because using the medical marijuana laws as a compromise creates some unintended consequences. Whilst there are many people who have a legitimate reason to want to know how to make thc gummies for their health, and all the more power to them, there will always be those who exploit such provisions for their own personal wants and gains.
By sneaking it through under the guise of medical marijuana, we’re actually making it more powerful in some ways. If we’d just legalize products like thc oil and other marijuana derivatives completely, we’d have no problem letting a judge prevent someone from using it. Alcohol, after all, is legal, and every day courts across the country order defendants to abstain from it. When we make it medicine only, we’re giving its users not just an ability to use it, but also an entitlement of sorts. It’s an interesting irony for those who view it as a way to avoid legalizing it altogether.
It’s easy to smirk and wink and say “sure, take your medicine” when it’s some harmless user getting a prescription and smoking in his backyard. When it’s a guy on probation for a serious crime he said he committed due to his supposed medicine, it makes us think twice.