A few months ago it was Iowa’s Democratic Senator Tom Harkin that was replying to his constituents claiming cannabis “use often has fatal consequences” and that cannabis users may actually sell their children for ‘drug’ money.
Now, Senator Charles Grassley (R) in a letter to constituents, oddly equates cannabis use to genocide, murder and child rape.
After several thousand years, civilized societies have failed to eliminate murder, rape, or child abuse. Nor have they eliminated organized crime, the manufacture of counterfeit money, or genocide. But no one seriously sees these failures as justification for surrender. Illegal drug use costs society at least as much as any of these social ills. Yet we do not hear any calls to legalize these abuses. Why then should we give up? Should we surrender to the criminals, and legalize marijuana? No. Instead, we should do whatever we can to prevent criminals from gaining the upper hand, do what needs to be done to give our families, our friends, and our neighbors a safe and secure place to live.
However, his major problem with this premise, and presumably his underlying rationale for supporting cannabis prohibition, is that few in the United States (even in Iowa) agree with such absurd assertions as most citizens perceive cannabis use closer to alcohol consumption—and since the mid-1990s, as a valuable, non-toxic, affordable and effective medicine.
Also, similar to the Harkin letter, Senator Grassley equates cannabis law reform with “surrender”, which helps one understand how hard it is to lobby these gents when they cast the debate as ‘winning’ or ‘surrendering’ (but, what else is new in DC?).
There are many reasons why America’s 70-year old cannabis prohibition, a failed public policy many times worse in scope and cost than alcohol’s short-lived prohibition, still prevails. Regrettably, because of the way the US Senate works regarding seniority, committee assignments and a senator’s individual ability to place a hold on legislation, cannabis reform is always against the eight ball in the Senate in a way not possible in the House of Representatives.
Senator Grassley is too smart and sophisticated a man to really believe that cannabis use equates to murder, child rape and genocide. Please join NORML in contacting Senator Grassley and asking him to stop replying to his constituents in Iowa with non-sense, and to support the decriminalization of cannabis and to allow sick, dying and sense-threatened Iowans (and citizens nationwide) to legally access and use medicinal cannabis.
Thanks to Ames Progressive’s Gavin Aronsen for the tip and Grassley’s letter to constituents who contact him about cannabis law reform is read here.