I don’t normally check my private/direct messages with my phone. I prefer typing at my computer keyboard. The other day, I got a private message via Facebook, basically calling me a moron. But I checked it on my computer and by the time I got to it on my phone, it was gone. If you change your profile or something after sending a private message, it deletes said private message.
I first noticed this oddity when I was accused of stealing some guy’s script because I had an unpublished novella called The Dysfunctional Mob and apparently he has a screen play by the same title, that hasn’t been copyrighted or appeared in film form.
Anyway, the writer of the private message told me I was an idiot who didn’t understand how the government worked and I needed to take some history classes because the 14th Amendment deals only with birth right citizenship, not the other stuff I mentioned. Event though said writer managed to get the message removed before I could get a screen shot, the jokes on them. I have a history degree and was unable to avoid taking classes in US government and history. And Amendment 14 deals with a whole lot more than just citizenship. Even Wikipedia is fairly correct on it’s inclusion of passages from said amendment and the explanation of the 14th amendment. I know because when it first came up in the news, I couldn’t remember what the 14th amendment was and had to Google it.
Anyway, I’m not here for the 14th Amendment today. The State of Missouri votes today on Medical Marijuana. But because everything is either feast or famine when it comes to voting in Missouri, we aren’t just voting for one amendment – there are 2 of them regarding medical marijuana and a proposition. Now both amendments might pass, but the one with the most votes technically wins. The proposition and either amendment could also pass.
I’m fairly sure the 2 amendments are meant to confuse people. Because Amendment 2 is much, much different than Amendment 3. And the language is super important. Why do I think it’s meant to confuse people? When the amendments were presented to our state government, the biggest complaint was about how this would make marijuana easier for teens to get. The whole “we must protect our children at any cost” stance.
Amendment 2 has a much longer list of conditions allowed to use medical marijuana. It also allows people to personally grow it, you pay a fee, send in a prescription, and they send you six plants and a license. The list of conditions though is part of the really important bit, Amendment 2 has more than 20 conditions allowed to be prescribed medical marijuana and creates jobs. Amendment 3 has much higher tax rates and says the extra goes to research, but if you read it closely the “taxes” go to a guy in Springfield, Missouri who’s a lawyer and on the board of a research institution and where the “research money goes” is at his discretion. Also the list of treatable conditions includes just 9 medical conditions.
Amendment 3 doesn’t help many people, it does seem to help the guy who wrote the amendment, the lawyer Brad Bradshaw – who I have heard described by numerous people as an ambulance chasing lawyer. I’ve never met him, but I picture Leo Getz as played by Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon when I think about it.
Several of my friends that live in Springfield have been debating the amendments on Facebook (which is where the ambulance chaser comments) have come from, because one of the adverts paid for by Brad Bradshaw said it would create 10,000 jobs in Springfield. Now Bradshaw is claiming he doesn’t know why the advert says that because it will probably only create a couple hundred jobs. Meaning Amendment 2 would create more and while the taxes on it are lower, it will also generate more revenue because more people could be prescribed it.
And Amendment 2 clearly states that the taxes will go towards helping the problem of homeless vets as well as medical research into cancer, but it is not at the discretion of a single person and his board of cronies, the funds get divvied up by a board made up of doctors who work at research hospitals and Missouri’s veteran’s affairs department.
Amendments are long and boring and full of legalese. They are hard to read and difficult to understand. But reading and understanding them are vitally important. Because there are always things hidden in them that don’t appear to fit with the amendment – just like the whole “it’s a 4% tax rate, but the money goes to help homeless vets and cancer research”. What? How and why is assisting homeless vets included in an amendment regarding medical marijuana? I haven’t seen any pro-Amendment 2 advertisements because I try not to watch TV with commercials in it. But I did see one anti-Amendment 2 advertisement and it was all about how doctors in Missouri don’t support medical marijuana, but they support Amendment 3 because it allows for more medical research into treating cancer.
In the last 17 months, I have yet to meet a doctor who doesn’t support medical marijuana in my state. Even my 74 year old primary care physician has told me if I moved to a state with medical marijuana treating my CRPS would be easier. These two commercials are important because both have been mentioned in the online discussion among my friends. What wasn’t mentioned was that states with medical marijuana have fewer opiate related deaths and fewer patients that need opiate prescriptions.
Despite the boring nature of amendments, it’s important to read them in their entirety because you never know what might be hidden in them. Also, just listening to adverts or spokespeople talk about them can be misleading. I still haven’t figured out what Missouri Doctor’s Association doesn’t support medical marijuana because from what I can tell, the Missouri medical community is good with it, across the board. Most likely it’s a ploy, if people think their doctor doesn’t believe in medical marijuana then there’s no need to vote for it, because even if they have one of the conditions on the approved for treatment list, their doctor won’t prescribe it. I live in a very liberal city that has a large pro-medical marijuana stance. I have yet to see a single sign that says vote no on Amendment 2. One of our law firms in town has a banner on their building that does say vote no on Amendment 3 and gives a web address on where to get more information on the two amendments. I didn’t go check it out because I figured it’d be skewed towards Amendment 2 since the law firm is obviously not in favor of Amendment 3.
I have kept an eye on the Facebook debate simply because I like reading the comments on why someone thinks everyone should vote this way or vote that way. It shows people exorcising critical thinking skills, and is a nice change from the normal political stuff that shows up on Facebook. I often fear we are a country losing our ability to critically think about things and are likely to just follow the crowd and take the word of a political official as gospel truth. In the end, we are all going to go to the polls and vote as we believe, but it will be informed voting. None of my friends in this discussion are going to get into the polling booth and go “I have no idea whether this is a good idea or a bad one, so I’ll just randomly decide to vote no or yes on it, based on advertisements I’ve seen,” which is a terrible voting practice since all adverts are skewed one way or the other in an attempt to get someone to do what they want. That’s why the anti-amendment 2 commercials have stressed the low tax rate and the expanded medical treatment list as awful and going to put drugs in the hands of our teens. It leaves out that Amendment 2 requires someone to be 21 or older to obtain a prescription for medical marijuana and it doesn’t mention that about half the tax money raised goes towards helping veterans. Why because these two things would help push amendment 2 through the polls. I’ve seen a few posts that were like “I’m not pro pot, but I am pro helping vets, so I’ll vote yes, because I don’t care if other people use it, and the money will help veterans.”
As a PS: normally when I write a political post, like I did with the removal of the 14th amendment, it’s not about taking a side (although about half my readers take it that way), it’s about dispensing information. It doesn’t matter to me if you are pro-birth right citizenship or anti-birth right citizenship or where I stand on the matter, what I do care about is that you realize this amendment doesn’t just deal with birth right citizenship and the removal of it could be used to subjugate or abuse US citizens, the ones that have been here for generations, because it like so many other amendments isn’t about just one single thing, there are clauses in there that have nothing to do with birth right citizenship. And I feel like before anyone takes a die hard, unmovable stance on anything related to our government they should be working with all the information and not just what they read in news articles or hear come out of the mouths of our political leaders, who all have an agenda.
Now, go forth and vote…