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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Just My Opinion - By Theo Gantos

    Everyone in the medical marijuana community needs to look beyond any personal self-interests to defend the rights granted under the MMMA. There are many current threats to rights of medical cannabis patients lurking in Michigan; this is not a time to be complacent.

    The rise of the pirates in our justice system is a serious problem and ultimately a threat to the foundation of our system of justice, the presumption of innocence. We need to modify the basis for law enforcement and municipal finance to eliminate the dark incentives that stem from asset seizure and forfeiture. It is now too common for township and village boards to discuss joining in funding and sharing the booty of seizures as an acceptable revenue-producing venture. Career law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect the public and many have expressed concerns that questionable financing ethics such as medical cannabis raids and seizures without prosecution have the potential to pervert their mission and threaten the basis of our justice system. Asset seizure is punishment before conviction, a morally reprehensible practice, and not a sustainable means for maintaining democracy.

    Recent US Supreme Court rulings nearly guarantee tidal waves of cash to continue to flood legislators to draft legislation favorable to special-interests.

    Patients and caregivers need to come forward now and let their legislators and local government representatives know how cannabis is medicine for them and emphasize how it helps restore their life. If only dispensary owners or other narrow special-interest groups are speaking, then their message will be all that will be heard.

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