Reprint of story during 2007 session.
It’s hard to stomach the lack of respect given testimony by law enforcement during legislative hearings (2007) on smoked “medical” marijuana. No, the legislators don’t give dirty looks or flip attitudes; just a subtle arrogance and superior demeanor, blithely shrugging off the testimony of these brave public servants. Frankly, I find it disgusting.
There is ample evidence that pot is linked to violent crime. A simple Google search produced four stories in the last few months linking pot to murder, violent death and criminal sexual conduct in the metro area.
For example, in December, 2006 Chaska native, Grant Everson was convicted in the murder of his mother. According to the Star Tribune, "Grant Everson is convicted of plotting with his friend, Joel Beckrich, 21, to slit Tom and Nancy Everson's throats with box cutters as they slept and use the insurance payout to open a coffee chop and sell marijuana in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "The prosecution argued that Grant primarily wanted revenge on his parents for being too hard on him about work and school; he was earning a 0.0 grade-point average, and recently dropped out of technical school, wasn't working and spent a lot of time smoking marijuana and playing video games with friends, including Beckrich," the Star Tribune reported.
In Anoka, the Pioneer Press reported, Jason Gonsioroski recently pleaded guilty to his daughter's death due to scalding. Gonsioroski portrayed himself as a "pot-smoking stay at home dad."
Last March marijuana was found in the automobile of William Krawchuk, the driver who dragged Trooper Thelen 1,655 feet before being shot.
The Pioneer Press reported that a 47-year-old man “was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct after an alleged six-year sexual relationship with” a 15-year-old girl. Apparently the “girl told a school liaison office that she had been having sex with the man since she was 9 because ‘she wanted things (he) purchased for her,’ including alcohol and marijuana for her and her friends.”
Pot causes paranoia. A Minnesota pastor shared written testimony with several legislators describing “fits of paranoia; not wanting to leave the house and being very concerned about how people looked at me. At one point I was going to invest in a machine fun, take my family and move to the mountains of Montana and shoot anyone who was opposed to my way of life.”
Anyone that has smoked pot knows this is not an isolated case. In March the Guardian reported, “A youth who murdered two school friends with a hunting knife was jailed for life yesterday in a case which has raised questions about the mental health risks of cannabis. Thomas Palmer, a habitual cannabis user, was 18 when he killed the two boys in an "explosion of anger" which left one of them with his head almost severed. ””He cut 16-year-old Steven Bayliss's throat and stabbed Nuttawut Nadauld, 14, on a footpath near their home in Finchampstead, Berkshire, in September 2005. Palmer admitted killing the boys but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, claiming he was in the early stages of schizophrenia.”
And how have legislators responded to mayhem, murder, criminal sexual conduct, and schizophrenia? Its “Henny Penny” scolds Senator Steve Murphy, author of the senate version of the smoked “medical” marijuana bill.
“If everybody here is so concerned about people abusin’ things, and law enforcement really wants to go after people, then you should bring back prohibition and just get rid of the alcohol," said Murphy.
"But you know what, we’re not going to do that because there are more people using alcohol, lots more, than are using marijuana, and seriously...medical marijuana. Now, you know, it’s just Henny Penny thinkin’ that this will change the state of affairs in Minnesota. It’s just Henny Penny," he said.
Apparently Murphy thinks we should legalize smoked “medical” marijuana because liquor is legal. Most people are familiar with the myriad of problems associated with alcohol. Yet few, if any, can explain how the legalization of smoked "medical" marijuana will provide any solution. Not even Murphy.
No, smoked “medical” marijuana is bad public policy that is unhealthy and dangerous. Rather than showing compassion for the few that might find relief, we should heed law enforcement to the innocent voices of the murdered, deranged and molested.