Divine Legislation: Refuting Science, By God!

Montana Reefer Madness

Republicans across the nation protest government-run healthcare, arguing that politicians and bureaucrats make medical decisions for Americans instead of  physicians yet GOP legislators in Montana consider themselves experts on medical cannabis.  None of the prohibitionist legislators, who are determined to repeal or severely restrict use of medical cannabis, are medical doctors and most have no medical training whatsoever, they are lawyers.  These attorneys moonlight for 90 days every other year serving in Montana’s legislature where they bolster their law practices by actually creating the laws.

We elect these men and women to serve in our legislature, hoping they will represent our best interests. These legislators are often faced with creating laws to regulate controversial industries entirely unfamiliar to them and we trust  lawmakers to obtain adequate education at those times.  We expect that rather than relying on long-held opinions or religious beliefs, lawmakers instead utilize critical thinking.

Critical thinking is:

the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action, the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which uses reasoned consideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria.

Montana’s 2011 Legislative session has thus far been vacant of critical thought on both sides of the political spectrum although primarily in the GOP.  This obstinate refusal to accept science has been prominent in various bills this session, but primarily in those regulating the medical use of cannabis, which Montana’s citizens approved in 2004.

My personal physician, who has more medical training than likely each member of the legislature combined, believes in the medical use of cannabis.  In fact, more than half of his chronic pain patients have eliminated the use of opiate painkillers entirely.  The dangers of opiates (heroin, morphine, oxycontin, etc.) are widely documented and legislators have no doubt heard countless times that not even ONE person has ever died of a cannabis overdose.  Instead of relying on legitimate patient, physician and scientific testimony, Montana’s legislature has instead chosen testimony like the following from Rev. Harris Himes to form puritanical legislation.  Himes also incidentally believes gays should be put to death and that marijuana use if offensive to God.

Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann of Billings sponsored  the draconian and socialistic SB 423, which not only destroys the industry through restrictions and financial impositions,  eliminates legal access to cannabis for most patients who now qualify.  Essmann relied on his education, which naturally includes a  J.D., and no doubt his religious beliefs, to determine that under 2,000 of the 30,000 or so medical cannabis patients in Montana actually benefit from using it.  Speaker of the House Milburn, whose HB 161 repealing medical use of marijuana was vetoed yesterday, reluctantly endorsed Essmann’s bill, with restrictions. Milburn isn’t a physician either, naturally. Other prominent members of the GOP God Squad include:

  • Rep Dave Howard (R-Park City) pastor and former FBI agent
  • Rep Cary Smith (R-Billings) and his lovely wife Susan, who created the Safe Community, Safe Kids group devoted to ending legal access to medical cannabis.
  • Rep James Knox (R-Billings) who now attends Harvest Church in Billings, but who cannot recall if he sold drugs in the past.
  • Rep Ken Peterson (R-Billings) LDS faithful who believes our law currently allows us to imprison homosexuals for acting gay in public and their recruiting of non-gays to try a little homosexuality to entice them into immorality.

Ask your legislators to stop ignoring the facts and the wishes of their constituents. Ask them how they can argue that lawyers shouldn’t be making our health decisions when they are doing the very same. Ask them to check their religious beliefs at the door of the Capitol.   If we allow Christian religious zealots to force their personal morality on our citizens, how can we prevent the same sort of actions by Muslims in the future? The suffering as a result of prohibiting marijuana use is the only thing truly immoral about it.

Our legislators are employed by Montana voters.   If you aren’t currently registered to vote, please do so now.  If legislators won’t listen to their constituency, voters will send the ultimate message in 2012.

8 thoughts on “Divine Legislation: Refuting Science, By God!

  1. Whenever you’re ready to come out of that republican closet and embrace the democrat inside yourself, we are ready for you. Just joking, good post though.

    • Thank you…. I’m not a liberal though, I am really not. Prior to this legislative session, many would argue I was far more conservative than the bulk of our party. I think they may have confused libertarian principles for conservative ones however. Should Montana’s lawmakers be legislating with their bibles? Maintaining a separation of church and state is vital to protecting our right to worship freely. Humans cannot separate their divine nature from the governments they create so we must prevent religious factions from legislating their beliefs at the expense of others. I cannot image the uproar if Muslims attempted the same sort of agenda in Montana.

      • I agree, there is a reason our Constitutional framers made sure to add the separation of church and state, and this is a good example. The fact that our government is insisting on taking away an effective scientifically proven herbal remedy approved by the voters of this state, because of religious stigma, is ridiculous. Medical Cannibus is effective, can be affordable and even be grown by individuals (without aid in many cases). The religious elite want it taken away, leaving us with only expensive, addictive prescription pills, that our children are stealing out of bathroom medicine cabinets and becoming addicted to, this is criminal. It is easy to see why the pharmaceutical company’s have so much power, our government is aiding them!

  2. I like how the Rev. called the use of marijuana offensive to god. What a tool this guy is. Where did marijuana come from? Hello! God put it here, doesn’t Genesis clearly state “I have given you all the seed bearing plants and herbs to use”? Oh, he must of convieniently forget about that one. I use Cannabis for medical purposes it truely does make me feel better and deal with the medical issues I use it for better, it gives me an overall better sense of being and better quality of life. No one has the right to tell a patient something is more beneficial like pills when that patient probably changed to Cannabis to avoid the pills in the first place. Fact, pills are not natural, cannabis is. Fact, alot of pills associated with ailments cannabis works well for are addictive and dangerous. Fact, many deaths have been associated with long term pill use, not a single death has EVER been reported from the use of cannabis. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  3. I work in medical research and am constantly amazed at what is being discovered about cannabis. In addition to being effective against wasting syndrome, chronic pain, neuropathy, MS, fibramyalgia, migraines, instestinal disorders, arthritis, glaucoma, (I’m sure I forgot some), marijuana has now been found to have neuroprotective, anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that combat the early neurological changes that occur during the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. So that means that if you smoke marijuana before you start to develop Alzheimers, you may be protecting yourself. Interestingly, the plant cannabis is much more effective than any of the physiologically active compounds that have been isolated and purified from it. It seems that there are many different cannabinoids in the plant product, and they appear to work synergistically in the beauty and wonder that only nature, not pharmaceutical companies, can create. How on earth can we ever get all of these legislators to change their minds when all they have to do is look at the research and see that there is no longer any doubt concerning medicinal properties associated with marijuana. All research that is done with smoked cannabis and not purified derivatives, is done outside the US. This ridiculous prohibition is seriously hampering medical research into treatments and cures for a number of major diseases in the US. What a waste. And all due to narrow mindedness and ignorance.

  4. Cannapropaganda, I disagree with you about conservative principles strictly supporting separation of church and state. I think that’s what libertarian principles do. In recent years, as the Christian Right has gained more and more control of the Republican party, this most important of our founding fathers’ principles has been slowly displaced. It is so ironic that the far right Christians are doing this because you are absolutely right that separation of church and state ensures freedom of religion. You see, I think the historical conservatives are not present in the 2011 Montana Legislature, and many are finding that they have no place in today’s Republican party. Please expound on how you think conservative principles differ from libertarian ones. To me, I associate “conservative” with “religious right” because of the influx of Republican Christians shoving their religion down our throats in the past 20 years or so (and especially this year!). Of course, it’s all cemantics and what really matters is FREEDOM on every level.

    • Sorry Anne, I’m pretty sure that my comment was sort of confusing. What I meant was that people regarded me as very conservative, but in reality, I was more libertarian. My mother was very unimpressed with this post…. I suppose it makes me seem un-Godly, which isn’t the case. I realize that it is impossible to remove the divine nature of the people within government, I more so worry about a specific religious faction’s control.

  5. Oh! So, once again, we’re in complete agreement. I’m sorry your mother doesn’t like the post. I LOVE IT!!! I didn’t know that Dave Howard was a pastor. My first impression of him when I saw him talking about all the people marijuana had killed, was that he was full of hate. Not at all what I think of when I think of pastor. I mean, real Christians believe in accepting others for what they are and letting God judge in the end. All of these God Squad individuals you cited are making real sure that THEY do the judging, and need to be called on it.

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