If news happens, but no one is there to issue a press release, is it still news? There's a koan for all you tree-hugging hippie stoner types to mull over while we offer up some rather old news to the less easily distracted: The League of Women Voters of Texas has come out in favor of decriminalizing medical marijuana use. The league's board did that in January, but near as I can tell forgot to issue a press release. I heard about it this week from Karen Heikkala, who does public relations for Texans for Medical Marijuana, who points out that the league's position is in line with the 75 percent of Texans who favored medical marijuana laws in a statewide poll taken in 2004 or 2005. (Note to the league: Your political positions might carry a little more heft if you tell people about them. Just a suggestion.)
Here's the league's position on drug laws and policies, adopted after a study conducted last year:
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"THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF TEXAS CONSIDERS SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND DRUG ADDICTION PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES. WE SUPPORT DURG ABUSE PREVENTION EDUCATION AND DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAMS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO INCARCERATION.
LWV Texas considers substance abuse and drug addiction public health issues. We support the following preventive measures: educational programs aimed at keeping children from using drugs; public education programs directed to adults; sterile needle and syringe programs to prevent blood-borne diseases.
These measures should be funded by all levels of government plus the private sector.
Laws regarding drug abuse and drug addiction should include drug treatment programs as an alternative to incarceration.
Laws regarding drug abuse and drug addiction should include no criminal penalties for cannabis (marihuana) possession when recommended by a physician."
I chatted with Heikkla and Linda Hanratty, program vice president for the League of Women voters of Texas, and checked news databases to see if somehow I'd missed the announcement of the league board's vote. Nope. Their position seems pretty reasonable, but then we're all tree-hugging hippie stoners around here, and even we can understand why that might not be a position you would want to trumpet too loudly, since reason, logic, rationality, etc. rarely crop up when drugs and law are mentioned in the same conversation.
Or maybe everyone just forgot about it. (Easiest joke ever.)