Friday, September 17, 2004

Someday this won't be so amazing...

Last week, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld a 2003 ruling that found that adults have a right under the state constitution to posses marijuana in their homes.
The Court of Appeals based its 2003 decision on a 1975 Alaska Supreme Court ruling (Ravin v. State) which held that the state's constitutional protections regarding a citizen's right to privacy protects the personal use and possession of up to four ounces of marijuana in one's home. Since the state's existing marijuana possession law (based on the 1990 recriminalzation measure) conflicts with Ravin, the law is unconstitutional, the court ruled.

Yeehaw, it's a twofer! They both refused to reconsider the opinion of the lower court that adults have a constitutional right to possess pot in their own homes (ya' think?), and invalidated a reactionary voter initiative criminalizing any pot possession (let that be a cautionary lesson to all of you direct democracy fetishizing "progressives").
I must admit to feeling a bit silly for celebrating something so obvious. It's like giving a child a cookie for breathing. But in a world of felony possession busts and mandatory minimums, you take what you can get.
There are a lot of issues where I can at least see where the other side is coming from, even if I think their reasoning is flawed, or their facts wrong. But criminalizing possession of a bloody weed? No, I don't get that. It's one of the most useful plants in human history, but we can't have it. Why? Because it can be used as an intoxicant. Great. So can alcohol, and that's (rightfully) legal. If you don't want to get high, don't smoke pot. I sure don't, and somehow I manage to keep my blood pressure down when confronted with the fact that some people are getting stoned. Driving while high, you say? Driving recklessly and/or under the influence is already a crime.
The issue is pleasure. For some damn reason, we have a problem with pleasure in this country. You can take synthetic cannabinoids in the form of marinol for your chemo-induced nausea, but we'll toss your sick ass in the hoosgow if you eat a pot brownie. Simply because the brownie might give you a slightly euphoric feeling to go with your relief, it's verboten. This is just stupid.
Well at least in this election year we've got an historical opportunity to cast our votes and make a clear choice between the morally and legally backward status quo and...erm...a slight improvement over the morally and legally backward status quo.
*SIGH* Baby steps, I guess...

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