In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 9, 2005 / 2 Sivan, 5765

Medical Marijuana as Compassionate Conservatism

By James Lileks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We now have an answer to the question of whether U.S. agents should knock down doors and bat the reefer from the fingers of cancer patients. Yes! By all means, yes.

The Supremes have ruled that federal anti-weed laws must trump individual states' laws on medicinal marijuana. So much for the idea that the states are the laboratories of democracy.

Of course, this doesn't mean they can be the meth labs of democracy.

But is medical marijuana such a threat? We'll get to that.

First, consider the rationale the court employed: our old catch-all pal, the interstate commerce clause. As the ruling notes: "Wickard (a case cited as a precedent) thus establishes that Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity that is not itself `commercial,' in that it is not produced for sale, if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."

I am not a lawyer, which is why the idea of the interstate commerce clause having jurisdiction over intrastate non-commerce is amusing. Everything is a matter of interstate commerce, it would seem.

Pity President Bush didn't claim the right to knock over Saddam Hussein based on the interstate commerce clause; every statist and big-government advocate would have gotten writer's cramp praising this novel approach. It's only a matter of time before fast food is regulated under the clause, since hungry truckers often take sacks of fries across state lines. It's the perfect law. We could use it to annex Mars.

This case isn't about the efficacy of medical marijuana or even the legalization of the stuff, but it's difficult not to consider the ancillary issues. Some insist that there's no place in the therapeutic process for illegal drugs. Why? "Well, uh, because they're illegal."

Hmm. Paging Dr. Tautology; Dr. Tautology to the dispensary. Hospitals have been using morphine by the gallon for decades, and you don't find it at the drugstore next to the corn pads and Band-Aids. It's very illegal, but its use in hospitals hasn't led to widespread use in the general society. You don't often read about once-thriving neighborhoods reduced to ruin by a plague of morphine addicts.

There are ways to keep medical marijuana from getting out into the general population. Keep it in suppository form — notoriously hard to light — and keep the dosage mild. Compared to the high-power knock-you-down reefer favored today, Uncle Sam Brand would suffer in the marketplace.

Yes, yes, once it's accepted by all, some doctors will prescribe it for anything, from "inability to endure Phish CDs" to "chronically mellow deficiency." It still won't increase the number of potheads.

Granted, it would diminish the government's moral authority to condemn cannabis use if it's prescribed for things other than cancer and glaucoma. But if the government wanted more moral authority, it wouldn't sue cigarette makers while making more off taxes than the makers earn per pack.

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The drug war will remain — the same grinding stalemate, played out for the foreseeable future. The state has no interest in ending it, as it seems, dare I say, addicted to the power the war grants.

The public isn't in the mood to legalize crack. But the public, now and then, realizes that there are some gray areas — all you need to do is hear a few hundred tales of cancer sufferers finally able to keep down a meal because they used medicinal marijuana, and you might believe that the Republic will not founder if we grant them this surcease.

That, however, will take a federal law.

And perhaps that's what it needs. Perhaps medical marijuana needs Food and Drug Administration approval — providing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will let them test it on rabbits, that is.

It may not be conservative by some people's definition to let a sick person grow some pot in the backyard. But it does not seem particularly compassionate to forbid it.

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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, James Lileks