If the law is such that it requires you to be an agent of injustice against yourself...

The good news from the recent case about medical marijuana in California is that even though the Supreme Court ruled against federalism, it probably won't matter that much.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tucked into brown paper bags, baked into chocolate brownies and mixed into a solution of herbs and alcohol, marijuana streamed out the door of the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary here yesterday, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the federal government to crack down on the sale and use of medical marijuana.

At this stylish Noe Valley neighborhood dispensary, where disco music throbbed while customers browsed, Green Cross president Kevin Reed said he was not at all worried that his operation would be shut down.

"It will have no effect whatsoever," Reed, 31, said of the Supreme Court ruling.


"We investigate large traffickers," said Javier Pena, special agent in charge at the San Francisco office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. "We're not after the users, the sick people, the dying people. However, marijuana is still against the federal narcotics laws."

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said, "We're not going to use our resources to prosecute patients."

I'm sure the DEA has enough on its plate in California already. It's probably one of the busiest states for drug smuggling and use of the usual kind, and breaking up medical marijuana clubs and hauling off ordinary citizens must be pretty draining. So there's some consolation for the medical user.

But how much of a step is it from "they're not out to get you because they're busy enough" to "they don't even know you're doing it, so they're not going to get you"? This is the usual method that people employ in non-medical marijuana states. I know that it's a cruel injustice to make people petition the government for permission they should already have, or to jail them when they are found to be operating without permission that no one ever gets. This makes me furious. But my fury and years of rational persuasion have not gotten this cause very far with the modern-day Carrie Nation-types in the legislature—and since they're by far the majority, its prospects don't look good.

So screw 'em. The numbers vary, but what they show is that a whole hell of a lot of people smoke pot, at least occasionally. These people don't ask for permission, and only a tiny minority of them get busted for it. I don't mean that everyone should start smoking pot, but that if you want to use it for medicinal purposes and are bummed that you can't, don't despair. The classic method seems to work for most people.

Unjust laws don't disappear if you grovel enough. Add to it that life is short, and that if you wait for the government's ok, you might as well just quit now. You don't have to advertise what you're doing, and you don't have to convince everyone else to do it too. Just do what conscience allows and the hell with everybody else.

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True in a sense - security through obscurity, often works.
They didn't kill my friend Peter for getting high; they killed him for talking about it. He left us some books, pass them on.