Let us assume for a moment that I have discovered, while studying dandelion plants and how they regenerate, that if one collects and crushes enough of these seeds amounting to a sixteenth ounce of dandelion powder and further discovers that ingesting at least this much daily, I am relieved of an excruciating pain that I experience frequently from a spinal arthritic inflammation. Now suppose that I have discontinued the use of the expensive prescription issued by my rheumatologist after I have discovered that there seemed to be no adverse affects from the ingestion of this dandelion powder and I have decided that though the collection and grinding of these seeds is time consuming and labor intensive that it is worth it to save a few thousand dollars via self medication.
Now, let us assume the probable. The neighbors, after watching how I deal with my infestation of dandelions (letting them go to seed, then picking the heads off and placing them in a bag), begin asking questions. “Why not just spray the damn things?” “Every time I come by, you’re on your hands and knees plucking the heads off dandelions, are you nuts?” Finally I confide in an acquaintance that I trust of what I have discovered. Of course, he laughs at the idea and eventually tells his family about my mission in life as a humorous thing about a neighbor of his. I become the “dandelion man” and the butt of jokes as word spreads throughout the neighborhood. In a good year I can accumulate about ten to twenty pounds of dandelion dust from my three acres to satisfy my medical needs so there are at times several pounds of dandelion dust on hand.
Now, let us assume the obvious. At some time as the word spreads about “dandelion man” and his discovery, could it be possible to get a high by ingesting this dust? Let us assume that the curiosity gets the best of a couple of curious teenagers and while visiting my premises make off with a couple of pounds of my dust. And further, they discover that indeed by ingesting a couple of ounces do a nice job of intoxication, which lasts for a couple of hours.
You can see where this would lead as time goes on. At some point of time, as word spread and more misuse of the dandelion powder became known, that this would provoke a din from those clambering for restriction of its use demanding the government to place dandelions on the list of controlled substances.
Now, try to imagine how much it would cost to police and/or eradicate the growth of dandelions. As history should be the lesson, regardless of the time and money spent, not to mention the lives and property destroyed, the war on dandelions would never end.
Which brings me to the point of this letter. Government in its quest to force people to conform to laws prohibiting certain substances will never, never, never prohibit the use of forbidden substances via ban or regulation limiting use. It didn’t work for alcohol or any other controlled substance. It won’t work for tobacco. In many cases, those who misuse any substance will very likely move on to another substance for the satisfaction of dimming their view of the world, which has somehow become unbearable.
The so-called “war on drugs” has never been a war on the drugs themselves but a war on the citizens, their families, and their property. Prohibition of substance use has not and will not ever work. It is time to end this costly example of trying to force people in their use of controlled or prohibited substances. Our governments are bound by our constitutions to defend and protect our rights to whatever we wish them to be as long as we do not harm others with those same rights. We need to return to a time when one could go shopping for any substance available looking no farther than a Sears Roebuck & Company catalogue. I totally disagree with the county attorney and the sheriff’s department in their recent attempt to enforce the temporary change in the Montana’s marijuana laws to its fullest penalties by raiding, arresting, and charging those involved with the Banana Belt Caregivers or any other association or individual exercising their rights.
It is well beyond time to end prohibition of the sale or use of any substances and return the responsibility to the individual to use or medicate at their own risk as long as no harm to others is done. As I see it.
David A. Merrick