Who’s afraid of Mary J? Lina S? The law?


In urging that we think out of the box, I have long argued that marijuana may be decriminalized. On August 30, 1983, I wrote “Who’s Afraid of Mary Jane? The Truth About Marijuana,” in Mr. & Ms., and critics let me know what they thought of me and my ancestors.

The invitation for me to speak on Mary Jane or marijuana at AIM yesterday was premised on my alleged “expertise, experience and insights [that]will contribute substance and perspective to the on-going discussion on medical marijuana.” I was given to understand that “[t]he discussion will use an integrated, holistic approach in discussing the various dimensions of the policy issue: the legal, medical, scientific, humanitarian.”

The Forum’s objectives were:
Objective No. 1) To share and learn about the various aspects of the issue; Legal issue – Why is marijuana legal in some places?

Are the people there evil or dumb or idiots or know something we don’t? Their sanity and humanity have not been questioned.

Objective No. 2) To dialogue on the “whys and why nots” of medicalizing cannabis; Why ever not? It has not conclusively been proven in the last 3,000 years to be toxic. In 2734 Emperor San-Neng wrote in a pharmacological work that marijuana tranquilizes. See N. Zinberg, 71 Harv. L. Rev. (1971)
The user may be sick but not a criminal. Shortcoming is not wrongdoing. The user may belong in a rehab clinic, but not a jail where he goes in a human being and goes out a brute. If Dubya Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had been convicted for using marijuana in their youth would they have become presidents? (No wisecracks that Mary Jane occasioned or caused 1) going to Iraq, with its Guantanamo, 2) romancing White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and 3) Obamacare.)
And Objective 3) To draw inputs for future legislation and policy action.

I expand the topic from medical to recreational marijuana. In my view, medical hardly merited the AIM meeting, with all due respect.

We ought to follow what’s going on in the world today and examine the Shultz-Buckley-Friedman alternative.

Decriminalize drugs. We may start with marijuana that is legally available for medication or recreation.

Prohibition did not work but only spurred bootlegging and Al Capone. Nicotine is decidedly toxic but we have just driven smokers to sidewalks; second-hand smoke is equally toxic.

We cannot have society say, “aha, you are committing suicide on the installment plan. We’ll do, and accelerate, it, for you.

We’ll have you branded a criminal, not just sick. We’ll ruin you.”
We have here a crime without a victim, I submit.

* * *

Definitely toxic with many victims is having a Scofflaw Leadership.

I have not met Chair Lina Castillo Sarmiento of the Human Rights Compensation board. But, for nonlawyers to say “give her a chance” only works if her appointment was legal. We submit that it is not; she and her handlers have not shown that she meets what Sec. 8(B) of R.A. No. 10368, the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, says, that one “[m]ust have a deep and thorough understanding and knowledge and involvement in efforts against human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos”.

It’s immaterial really but was she at Edsa’86 when millions, including entire families, announced that they’d rather die on their feet, than live in shame on bended knees? We became darlings of the world, thanks to cable TV. Was Edsa’86 a failure?

Greece has problems now but none to diminish Leonidas and his 300 in Thermophylae.

For One Brief Shining Moment – 1986-87 – the best in the Filipino came out, to world acclaim.

CNN was there at Edsa but no cyberspace communication then.

* * *

Cyberspace is toxic when it comes to libel? To begin with, who has been charged with it in our robust, even rambunctious democracy? The higher courts fine but do not imprison today for libel.

Our unelected Supreme Court (SC) acts like a Super-Congress in reviewing entire laws without waiting for an actual case or controversy involving real parties in interest. Like a newly-married overeager couple with raging hormones.

* * *
Back to R.A. No. 10368. PNoy  stressed in Cebu last Tuesday Director Lina’s “physical energy,” which the law assumes and does not require, but which disqualifies me but not Joker Arroyo of FLAG-Mabini. Last we met, I thought Makamandag pa si Panginoon. There is MABINI’s Bobby Tanada, or FLAG’s Chel or Cookie Diokno, but if it has to be a Lina, why not MABINI’s Joey? MABINI’s Jojobama Binay’s eyes are too moist cast at the presidency.

It is said that appointee Lina Sarmiento ay di lang pinabili ng suka and has been involved in human rights work in recent years. But, the law specified Macoy’s regime. Joker and otherswere at Edsa not just for four days but from September 23, 1972, when Manongs JPE and Eddie were also at Edsa, but on the wrong side.

We seem to have have a Scofflaw Prez bent on keeping
Director Lina as head of the Board, despite the plain meaning of the language of the law. “P-Noy refuses to budge on rights board assignment.” (PDI, Feb. 26, 2014, col. 1.) He will continue to scoff at the law then. Hindi po siya nagiisa.

Sen. Miriam wants public officials to state their monthly income in the pending Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. Do we know anyone who complies with Sec. 8 of R.A. No. 3019, the anti-graft act of Sen. Tolentino, of 1960, requiring every public servant to “prepare and file, . . . a true, detailed and sworn, . . . statement of the amount and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and family expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year.”

No student of mine has been able to show proof of compliance by anyone and I doubt that anyone, from PNoy and Miriam down to the last Barangay dogcatcher, complies with same in this Scofflaw Republic. PNoy has openly defied Sec. 8(b) of R.A. No. 10368 and no one, I fear, obeys Sec. 8 of R.A. 3019.

Amnesty and start enforcing the law then this April or in 2015? Not enough room to jail PNoy down the line. I promise my students: “Anyone of you who may produce before the finals a copy of a filing showing compliance by anyone with Sec. 8 of R.A. No. 3019 in the context given is guaranteed a PASSING grade.”

But, in this Scofflaw Republic?


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  1. I think using canabis for medicalpurposes is ok as is cocaine used for medical purposes but if you legalise it surely it means anyone can then legaly buy it & smoke it. The problem with that is when they smoke it im sure they will love the effect it gives them ( thats addiction ) & will want it more & more & seeing as how they like it they will then try the next drug & the next drug as i guarantee every heroin addict started on canabis as their first drug.

    • Cannabis consumption should be a human right. medical and recreationally we as free citizens of this earth should have the right to put whatever in our bodies as we chose as long as we are not harming any other human being. Cannabis is already available to everyone and anyone who wishes to purchase it illegally (dealers dont look at IDs). By legalising it, it will not only solve many problems that has been created by “wrongly criminalising” it in the first place but will open other doors for medical, farming, building and other use’s of the plant (hemp) and also keep it away from kids buying it in the illegal market. We the people of Philippines and Earth need to do the right thing and legalise. The research is here and available to anyone with an internet connection…. before making any judgement on the plant please watch a few documentaries on it first. There is not 1 recorded death by cannabis in all of history, and it is less addictive than coffee. There is no correlation with mental illness and cannabis in any study completed, and current users will laugh at you if you claim otherwise. lastly it cures cancer! among many other diseases and conditions. The world is finally waking up to all this and will bring the wall of lies created in the 1930s down eventually.