Today my oldest niece graduated high school. She’s a very smart and level headed young woman and great things await her. I wish I could have been there. I wish more that I could have been there without being a criminal.
When my conservative friends like to go on about (straight traditional Judeo-Christian) family values, I wonder if they know there are families separated because of a stupid prohibition on one herb? Nutmeg is highly hallucinogenic, nightshade will kill you, poison oak is obnoxious, but no, THAT one, cannabis, is God’s mistake and must be eradicated by armed police working overtime, and you must be caged if you use it!
So some Idahoans move to Oregon, California, Washington, Nevada, or Montana, where they can use “the safest therapeutically active substance known to man” (DEA judge’s words, not mine) instead of toxic, addictive, expensive pharmaceuticals that require more pharmaceuticals to combat the side-effects of the first! We market anti-depression pills that lead to increased suicidal ideation in some, then we market another pill to help the first pill that’s not helping. But to use this 5,000-year-old medicine, some Idahoans have to move out of state and watch their families grow and change from afar.
On those rare occasions when the Red State Refugees venture back home from the Green States, they become criminals the minute they cross the Idaho border. It is a misdemeanor with a 6 month jail term for merely being medicated by cannabis in public in Idaho. Possession of any amount is a crime and you’re going to the penitentiary, regardless of your new Green State home’s view of it and your adherence to regulations and your medical condition.
Or you could leave your medicine at home and hope you can get through the Gem State on pills or will, and you know both don’t work very well. And really, if you’re careful and lucky and white and short-haired and visible-ink-and-piercing-free and not poor and don’t have any suspect stickers on your car, it’s not likely you’re going to interface with any police officers, even with your out-of-state license plates.
But you can’t live like that forever. Eventually the risks one has to take in Idaho to get quality marijuana and keep it hidden from authorities will catch up with even the most careful patients. If you thought using pharmaceuticals sucked before, wait until you get to use them in the Idaho Penitentiary. And then your nieces grow up not seeing you very much, anyway, and only behind plexi-glass.
So the Red State Refugees move, forced to choose between family and health. And one day they realize they’ve missed the teenage growing-up years of someone they love so very much, because we still ban the safest drug.