- CRITTER TALK
- NEWS I FIND INTERESTING
On July 2, 2011, Eric Perez turned eighteen. On July 10th, he died.
On June 29, 2011, Eric Perez rode his bike on a balmy Florida night. His bike had no light. The police stopped and found him holding a small amount of marijuana. He was on probation for robbery from years earlier, so the police immediately detained him and took him to juvenile detention.
He drew his last breath during his brief incarceration.
Perez complained of a severe headache and began hallucinating that an imaginary person was on top of him. He screamed, writhed in pain, and wretched for hours. Guards sought “guidance” from a nurse who did not answer her phone. Records indicate lockup supervisors and the facility’s superintendent instructed staff not to call 911.
Michele M. Leonhart, DEA Administrator, stated marijuana is as dangerous as heroin. She continues her illusory insistence that marijuana has a high potential for abuse… no currently accepted medical use [and] lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Further, she states the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.
Leonheart’s ridiculous support of cannabis laws killed Perez. He suffered over six hours before he received medical attention. By the time Perez was taken to emergency care, it was too late. He flat-lined.
Had Perez been given medical treatment earlier, he would still be alive.
In 14 states possession marijuana is a civil violation and violators are not sent to jail. If Florida adopted similar taxed and regulated marijuana distribution for adult medical and non-medical use, Perez would have received a ticket and gone on his way. Perhaps police might praised him for riding a bicycle rather than driving a car while intoxicated.
If Eric had no pot on him, the police would not consider a missing bike light a probation violation. The police placed him in custody and ignored him while he slowly died. Marijuana doesn’t kill, but prohibition sure does.
The current federal marijuana policy promotes consequences lean towards tragic—lost lives, destroyed families, and government waste. Until we replace our failed marijuana policies with more sensible and less destructive alternatives, we will continue to see stories like Mr. Perez’s.
Former President Jimmy Carter once said, Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use. Marijuana never would have killed Perez—but his incarceration did.
Study after study proves marijuana’s efficacy. In a 1997 medical study, marijuana is recommended for those who suffer from nausea associated with chemotherapy, alleviate cachexia (loss of weight, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness, and significant loss of appetite), decrease intraocular pressure for glaucoma patients, is an analgesic, and helps alleviate problems with neurological and movement disorders, such a Parkinson’s. Marijuana has been used medicinally for 5,000 years.
Prior to Perez’s untimely death, a de-facto marijuana legalization bill will be introduced in Congress. Criminal justice organizations and law enforcement professionals advocate for an end to the War on Drugs. The bipartisan bill was introduced by the unlikely paring of Rep. Barney Frank (D) and Rep. Ron Paul (R). .
Frank stated, criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said his panel would not even consider it.
Marijuana use and distribution is prohibited under federal law because it has a high potential for abuse and does not have an accepted medical use in the U.S.,” said [Congressman Lamar] Smith, who like Paul is a Texas Republican. “The Food and Drug Administration has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease.”
“Decriminalizing marijuana will only lead to millions more Americans becoming addicted to drugs and greater profits for drug cartels who fund violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Allowing states to determine their own marijuana policy flies in the face of Supreme Court precedent.”
“Our concern with marijuana is not borne out of any culture war or drug war mentality, but out of what the science tells us about the drug’s effects. The facts are that marijuana potency has tripled in the past 20 years and teens are using the drug at earlier ages.” The Times.
“The earlier a person begins to use drugs, the more likely they are to progress to more serious abuse and addiction.” Legalization remains a nonstarter in the Obama administration because research shows marijuana use is associated [fallaciously] with voluntary treatment admissions, fatal drugged driving accidents, and emergency room admissions,” the statement said.
Even if the bill passes by some miracle, it’s too late for Eric Perez.
Had a dream,
It was (a drug) war.
And they couldn’t tell me what it was for
But it was something they could lie about
Something we could die about
[Sleeping With The Enemy, Roger Hodgson]
Mad Mike’s America wants to know: should state law trump federal law regarding marijuana regulation? Is marijuana a gateway drug?Click here for reuse options!