Ron Paul for president!
Well, not really, but his speech in favor of the Hickey-Rohrbacker Amendment, which would have defunded federal actions against marijuana in states that have legalized it for medical purposes, is a doozy.
As a cosponsor of the amendment, I rise in support of this amendment and appreciate the fact that the gentleman from New York has brought it to the floor.
I would suggest that the previous speaker has forgotten some of the law; and to me, that would be the constitutional law of the ninth and tenth amendments. So changing the law is one thing, but remembering the Constitution is another.
This has a lot to do with State law; but more importantly, as a physician, I see this bill as something dealing with compassion. As a physician, I have seen those who have died with cancer and getting chemotherapy and with AIDS and having nothing to help them. There is the case in California of Peter McDaniels, who was diagnosed with cancer and AIDS. California changed the law and permitted him to use marijuana if it was selfgrown, and he was using it; and yet although he was dying, the Federal officials came in and arrested him and he was taken to court. The terrible irony of this was here was a man that was dying and the physicians were not giving him any help; and when he was tried, it was not allowed to be said that he was obeying the State law.
That is how far the ninth and tenth amendments have been undermined, that there has been so much usurpation of States’ rights and States’ abilities to manage these affair, and that is why the Founders set the system up this way in order that if there is a mistake it not be monolithic; and believe me, the Federal Government has made a mistake not only here with marijuana, with all the drug laws, let me tell my colleagues.
There are more people who die from the use of legal drugs than illegal drugs. Just think of that. More people die from the use of legal drugs; and also, there are more deaths from the drug war than there are from deaths from using the illegal drugs. So it has gotten out of control. But the whole idea that a person who is dying, a physician cannot even prescribe something that might help them. The terrible irony of Peter McDaniels was that he died because of vomiting, something that could have and had only been curtailed by the use of marijuana. No other medication had helped; and we, the Federal Government, go in there and deny this and defy the State law, the State law of California.
Yes, I would grant my colleagues there is danger in all medications. There is some danger in marijuana, but I do not know of any deaths that is purely marijuana-related. If we want to talk about a deadly medication or a deadly drug that kills literally tens of thousands in this country, it is alcohol. And how many people want to go back to prohibition? I mean, nobody’s proposing that, and yet that is a deadly drug.
The whole notion that we can deny this right to the States to allow a little bit of compassion for a patient that is dying, I would say this is a compassionate vote. If we care about the people being sick, then we have to vote for this amendment. This will do
nothing to increase the use of bad drugs. The bad drugs are there; and as a physician and a parent and a grandparent, I preach against it all the time, but the unwise use of drugs is a medical problem, just like alcoholism is a medical problem; but we have turned this into a monster to the point where we will not even allow a person dying from cancer and
AIDS to get a little bit of relief. I strongly urge support and a positive vote for this amendment.
Sadly, most of his fellow Republicans voted against the bill for the usual bullshit reasons.