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Because the very sound of her voice is like icepicks stabbed in my ears, I honestly couldn’t tell you if Nancy Grace is continuing to talk about marijuana all day every day like she talked about Casey Anthony for 5 years or so.
In the original CNN segment that generated so much buzz – and buzzkill – Grace featured guests Brad Lamb, “addiction specialist” and founder of Breathe Life Healing Center, and Mason Tvert, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project, who played an instrumental role in the passage of Colorado’s legalization bill. According to Nancy Grace, cannabis users will at best be unmotivated couch potatoes who will lose their jobs, homes, and families due to their “addiction,” and at worst will go on stabbing and shooting sprees in a crazed Reefer Madness rage. Grace talked over Tvert’s rebuttals, even turning his microphone off as he calmly attempted to answer her questions.
Grace’s rambling, tyrannical rant has been reported on extensively in both cannabis circles and mainstream media, even inspiring a Saturday Night Live spoof. In retrospect, it might be good if Nancy Grace kept “reporting” on cannabis legalization – because frankly, both her assertions and her demeanor are so laughable that it’s hard to imagine that any person could watch and actually think her arguments are valid.
And then we have Ann Coulter, the anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic “Christian” conservative, whose wiki page credits her as a social and political commentator, writer, syndicated columnist, and lawyer who frequently appears on television, radio, and as a speaker at public and private events.
Like Nancy Grace, it’s hard to take anything Coulter says seriously, but like Grace, she gets airtime. Last week on the Howie Carr radio show, Coulter referred to legal cannabis as “legalized retard pills” that take “a hundred points off your initiative and ambition.”
Way to go, Ann Coulter. As if that attitude about cannabis isn’t offensive enough, using a derogatory term for people with intellectual disabilities is a great way to get your point across. Again yes, there are certainly people who agree with Coulter, but her extreme views and delivery are sure to alienate all but the most steadfast prohibitionists, who would also have to be insensitive enough to accept her use of “R-word” in order to really be in agreement.
So since it’s pretty clear that both Nancy Grace and Coulter’s positions on cannabis aren’t truly threatening to the reform movement, and are simply laughable fodder for SNL skits and Onion articles, is our movement really at risk of being affected by some version of a new Woman’s Christian Temperance Union?
In short, yes.
And the threat comes in the form of the recent holier-than-thou conservative “Christian” trend within the medical marijuana movement. Brace yourself, kids. We all know about the infighting in our circles, and while it is totally counterproductive, it doesn’t generally affect legislation directly. This does.
Yes, there have always been conservatives and Christians in our movement. That’s a good thing. People who quote Genesis 1:29: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” People who pray for answers about medical cannabis and see the light. People who are conservative churchgoers who help to bridge the gap with right-wing politicians in lobbying for new laws. These folks are embraced by our movement, and have played a historical role in reform.
That’s not the people I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about the people who are pushing for CBD-only legislation, the people who are talking smack about “stoners,” the people who are distancing themselves from the brave work medical marijuana advocates have been doing for decades.
“We are not a bunch of stoners, and we do not associate with the stereotypes of what people would like to associate with us,” Realm of Caring’s Joel Stanley said in an article published in the Colorado Springs Gazette. “We care about what we do.”
According to the Gazette article,
When asked how five brothers who went to a Christian school could sell marijuana, Joel Stanley said people should ask the question in reverse.
“If we were growing psychoactive plants for a bunch of potheads, then that would be the question,” he said. “But what people should ask is ‘How did a group of Christians come to grow a plant for sick people?'”
Really, Joel? Did you really just say that? By their own admission in the Gazette article, 30% of the cannabis grown by the Stanley brothers is high in THC content. They are, in fact, growing psychoactive plants, and many of these plants are utilized by the epileptic kids who need THC supplementation along with their “Charlotte’s Web.” According to many parents, high-THC strains are also utilized in the form of non-psychotropic THC-A by children who are on the Charlotte’s Web waiting list.
Disparaging “psychoactive plants” and implying that “potheads” are the only ones using THC is just plain wrong, Joel Stanley. And throwing your “Christianity” in there for validation only makes your assertions more offensive. It’s not very Christian to lobby for legislation that leaves out the needs of cancer patients, HIV-AIDS patients, veterans…well the list could go on forever, but that’s a compelling start, right? Not to mention the epilepsy patients who need THC too. Guess those kids are just a bunch of potheads, right? Because that’s what a politician reading this article would be led to believe.
As a compassionate person, it’s a little morally difficult for me to speak out against an organization which has helped so many children as well as adults. There is no debating that Realm of Caring has done some amazing work, as well as playing an inarguably instrumental role in bringing national attention to medical marijuana. But once they got that national spotlight, they certainly could have played their hand a little differently.
If it wasn’t for the broad, non-THC-content-limited medical marijuana legislation in Colorado, how would the Stanleys have ever been able to develop the Charlotte’s Web strain in the first place? And by promoting narrow, strain-specific or cannabinoid restricted legislation in other states, how will growers be able to unlock the potential of the hundred-and-some other cannabinoids aside from CBD and THC?
I already know what the response to this article will be from Realm of Caring.
“We don’t want CBD-only,” they will say. But many parents in medical marijuana battleground states have reported that “CBD activists” have told them that it will be easier and faster to fight for CBD-only legislation. And no, by CBD-only I am not implying that the whole plant is not used – it’s just that when the whole plant has minimal THC content, and a who-knows-what assortment of other cannabinoids, there are only a limited number of patients who will be helped by its use.
“We believe in whole plant medicine, you have it wrong,” they will say. Yes, I am aware that Charlotte’s Web extracts are made from the whole plant. When the term “whole plant” is used in the context of my articles, however, it means whole cannabis family, which includes not just CBD-rich strains but every form of natural medical cannabis. It’s semantics. We all know what I’m saying.
While the Stanleys themselves might be the most visible and vocal Christian obstacle to broad-based medical marijuana laws, they are hardly alone.
It’s very difficult for me to say anything negative about parents who are seeking “hope for children with epilepsy.” I feel for these parents, I honestly do. But when an “advocacy” group prints on their website that “Hope 4 Children with Epilepsy (H4CE) is NOT advocating for a medical marijuana program” and instead is instrumental in creating legislation in Utah that calls for one particular strain from Colorado, implying that medical marijuana other than “Alepsia” is dangerous and unnecessary, that’s when I can say without reservation that there is a big problem here that needs fixing.
This is NOT the kind of activism our movement needs, and it is the duty of every activist who believes in broad medical legislation to speak out about this, reach out to legislators, and attempt to develop legislation that is not so narrow and limited. Especially those activists with conditions that THC would benefit. And yes, this includes parents of children with epilepsy, who often need THC in addition to CBD.
Alas, here we are. Ann Coulter and Nancy Grace may sound hysterical when they talk about “medical” marijuana and “stoners” and use their holier-than-thou form of Christianity against our movement. But they are not directly affecting legislation. If you believe in God, you surely believe that God created THC. And if you believe that God is calling you to testify for medical marijuana, I’m pretty sure He is talking about all of the whole cannabis plants, THC and all.
And also, please Love Thy Neighbor, even if Thy Neighbor is a “pothead” who uses THC medicinally or even recreationally.
I imagine that after reading this article, lots of folks will be praying for me. I’ll be praying for them too.