Is America now one-30 second television commercial closer to legalizing marijuana? KTXL, A Fox television affiliate in Sacramento, California, recently started airing spots promoting its use.
It is, perhaps, the first ad of its kind to go on mainstream media.
Now before getting all toked up, over this new high, or low depending on your view, or mental state, the commercial does not show the drug, or utter the words marijuana, pot, or the urbane, “gange.” It refers to the green weed by its scientific name –“cannabis.”
Lanette Davies, the brainchild behind the commercial, spoke to RockTheCapital.org from her second office in California – a car. As she pointed out, the word cannabis has been around for thousands of years while “marijuana” and its ilk first came in to being in the 1930’s and “refer to a reefer mentality,” said Davies; that’s not what this is about.
Davies is the Public Relations Director for “CannaCare” – a medical marijuana dispensary. The commercial features real people, including Davies’ daughter, touting the benefits of relief for diseases such as, diabetes, hepatitis, and glaucoma. The drug is legal to prescribe in California as it is in 13 other states.
“Every walk of life comes into the dispensary providing relief for thousands of people. It’s an age old bigotry; you can have all the morphine you need, but talk about using cannabis – you are using a natural herb – and the reaction is, oh my gosh,” said Davies.
The commercial will air up until the time voters in the Golden State head to the poles to decide a proposition that would legalize grass for all uses. Davies is staunchly opposed to Prop 19. “Do we want it for medicinal use? Yes, for recreational use- NO,” said Davies.
California’s proposed measure is similar to what the long arm of the law is already doing in Philadelphia. District Attorney Seth Williams and the state Supreme Court have all but decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot (30 grams or less), for personal use so long as inside the City of Brotherly Love.
Earlier this year, prosecutors in Philadelphia began to consider these cases more like summary offenses than misdemeanors-which for many offenders results in no jail time or permanent record, so long as they complete a diversion program.
The goal: expedite roughly 3,000 petty cases annually, freeing lawyers and judges to devote more time to serious crimes.
In Pennsylvania, House and Senate bills propose to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Democratic Representative Mark Cohen introduced “The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (HB 1393), in 2009. The measure is currently languishing in the Health and Human Services Committe.
Leon Czikowsky, A researcher for Senator Cohen, said there are just not enough votes to pass it out of the committee because it has become such a partisan issue. “It’s an awareness thing,” said Czikowsky.
Representative Matt Baker, the Republican Chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee joins a long line of republicans opposed to passage of House Bill 1393.
In a letter, Representative Baker told RTC, “While I support the use of a long list of FDA approved prescription medication that will relieve the pain of those who have truly severe and seriously debilitating conditions, and I have deep compassion for those suffering from chronic illness and pain I find no compelling evidence for legalizing marijuana. To the contrary, ‘Marijuana smoke is known to contain harmful chemicals, which adversely affect all body systems from the brain and the immune system to the lungs and reproductive system.’ (Dr. [Robert] Dupont, Harvard M.D.)
A Franklin and Marshall poll conducted last spring found that a majority of Pennsylvanian’s favor legalizing marijuana for medical use. Of the 1,023residents queried, 80% were in support.
Lanette Davies has seen the relieving power of marijuana first-hand after her teenage daughter Brittany proclaimed she wanted to die. An autoimmune disease was consuming her daughter’s teenage mind and body, drugs such as Vicodin were only making matters worse, Davis said.
Desperate to help Britanny, Davis turned to a hospital for a medical marijuana prescription. Brittany, now a young adult, has enough strength to work and go to college.
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