Monday, January 5, 2009

Anti-Pot Crusader Brad Owen Uses Lieutenant Governor's Office (And Taxpayer Money) To Spread Lies

Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen wants to put the hammer down on medical marijuana patients

Brad Owen exemplifies the kind of opportunistic, jingoistic career politician which represents the worst our system has to offer. Of the two kinds of politicians -- those who build hopes and those who feed fears -- Owen unfortunately falls in the latter category.

Brad Owen is lieutenant governor of a state which legalized medical marijuana nearly 11 years ago, but he has never respected the will of Washington's voters in that regard. He has repeatedly denied even that such a thing as medical marijuana exists, and has shown nothing but contempt and spite for the marijuana patients and providers in the Evergreen state.

His venomous contempt for medical marijuana in Washington -- which is supposed to have been a settled issue in this state for 11 years -- fairly drips from the words of a bulletin of misinformation and outright lies printed -- at taxpayers' expense, of course -- by his office:

"Marijuana as a medicine is the Trojan horse of the new millennium. The claim that marijuana can be used as medicine is proving to be one of the worst scams drug legalizers have perpetrated on the American people."

Owen has used the lieutenant governor's office as a bully pulpit to preach his science-denying, cynical creed of intolerance and repression when it comes to marijuana and its many medical uses. He has wasted the tax dollars of Washington's good citizens in printing and disseminating hysterical, fear-mongering lies regarding the medical use of pot.

Owen has toured the state musically traumatizing young and old with his horrid little anti-pot "rock band," twisting music into an ugly tool of right-wing propaganda and spreading lies smeared with the maleficent stink of his narrow ambition. He has tried to turn the citizens of our fair state one upon the other by using something as benign as cannabis as a wedge between those who know of its salutary medical effects and those who still harbor a superstitious fear of the herb.

His old-school Nixonian brand of marijuana intolerance has branded him as a rear-guard reactionary in the culture wars which unfortunately surround the marijuana issue, and in so doing he has incurred the wrath and scorn of Washington's weed community.

Brad Owen, since you are lieutenant governor of Washington, why don't you respect its laws? Why don't you respect the will of the people as expressed through passage of our medical marijuana law in 1998? Are you going to stop lying about medical marijuana?

Or will you continue telling the same old hateful lies? Will you continue victimizing patients who seek nothing more than relief from their terminal or debilitating conditions? Will the sick and dying, already facing quite enough stress, have to worry about your overzealous law enforcement thugs kicking in their doors for using a herb which was legalized for medical use in this state more than a decade ago?


Anonymous said...

This is a shitty situation for Washington, it almost makes me glad to live in Kentucky...well, nothing can really make me glad to live in Kentucky...

xenophon said...

I am not a happy camper.

I just spent over a year defending Gregoire from loathsome, red neck, half literate, misogynistic right wing attacks while dreading the election of her corrupt, reactionary opponent.

Now two months after the election she leaves town.

Leaving us with what?

I don't know much about Brad Owen, he just appeared in state politics several years ago with the blessing of the five big corporations that own and operate the state. These things happen in Washington State, one day he isn't there and the next day he is an up and coming junior member of the Politburo.

He certainly sounds like a conservative Republican. Is he? This makes me even more unhappy because that is the kind of guy lots of good people just worked so hard to defeat.

All this talk about him being an anti-marijuana crusader, and wanting to put the hammer down on medical marijuana patients makes me even more unhappy.

If all that is accurate then he is of a moralizing, arrogant, finger wagging blue nose character type that we have plenty of in this state. So it wouldn't be that surprising.

The medical marijuana question was supposed to be settled over ten years ago.

Whether Brad Owen or his type of folks like it or not marijuana is a major pillar in this states economy and prosperity. It is the six largest cash crop coming in just behind cherries in annual revenues at about $350,000,000. Brad Owen isn't going to change that he is just going to inflict a lot of pain and suffering on people who are sick.

Anna Russell said...

Reminds me of a Bill Hicks quote:

“Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn't the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?”

A friend of mine suffers from MS and used marijuana for pain relief. Not for a miracle cure, but for relief from the crippling pain she has to deal with through no fault of her own.

I have yet to hear the argument that will convince me that is wrong.

Brad Owen is an asshole.

Nice blog, glad I found it.

Anna xxx

Martin said...

Nice post & blog in general. I don't know anything about this Owen chap but I'm gonna play devil's advocate and just suggest he may possibly be sincere in his desire to outlaw weed.

It's probably true that a lot of American potsmokers jump on the 'medicinal marijuana' bandwagon solely to use it as a smokescreen for keeping up the supply in their area. I'm not suggesting you do, but I'm sure it's true of others. These people couldn't give a damn about its benefits for MS / glaucoma sufferers, they simply wanna make sure they keep getting high.

And if we're gonna talk about the medicinal benefits of marijuana we should also address the damage it causes. I personally developed asthma after smoking it for two years; and I have direct experience of the anxiety and depression it can cause. Most disturbingly, a friend of my brother's actually committed suicide after developing severe paranoia which those in his immediate circle attributed to his chronic skunk smoking.

So there is a downside as well as an upside. So I would hear what this Owen guy has to say. But personally I don't think anyone should ever get a criminal record over pot - that's just silly!


☮~alapoet~☠ said...

Martin, are you suggesting that since Brad Owen "may possibly be sincere in his desire to outlaw marijuana," then that somehow excuses the devastating effects of using a law-enforcement paradigm when a medical marijuana law has already been passed here in Washington (11 years ago)?

And how, exactly, could he be sincere when the facts -- both the medical facts, and the legal facts, since medical pot is now legal here -- are easily available to him? Are we to excuse Owen for what seems to be his willful ignorance, which you seem willing to charitably characterize as "sincerity"?

Having a different opinion is one thing; ignoring the law and continuing to persecute sick people for something that is no longer a crime is entirely another.

Then again, perhaps you agree with Owen on the dangerousness of marijuana. Wow, you must have been quite a smoker to have developed asthma after smoking pot for only two years. This is my 32nd year of smoking marijuana -- regularly -- and I've not developed any such symptoms. Could your asthma have been unrelated to your marijuana use?

As for anxiety and depression, those are very rare and very atypical reactions to marijuana. Those who experience such symptoms should consider not smoking pot.

But they shouldn't tell others they can't smoke pot -- especially when it's legal and used for medical reasons.

Anna Russell said...

@ Martin: I hear you on the paranoia thing, I've known friends who mine who smoke insane amounts of weed to suffer from it.


Anything can be bad for you if overused. Fruit can. Potaotoes can poison you. So can tomatoes. Do we outlaw them?

Excessive alcohol intake causes liver damage, but nobody's outlawing alcohol.

I am very sorry to hear about your brother's friend, it's truly sad when anyone's life is lost. However, that alone is not reason enough to outlaw pot. Suicide, sadly, is fairly common and so many factors contribute to it that it's impossible to lay the blame with just one thing. I say this with all due respect to your brother's friend's family as I know they must have suffered terribly from their loss, but oftentimes grief causes one to lay the blame on anything that gives that person's death some kind of meaning. It is more than likely he was already depressed. Depression is not something others can detect so easily and is often kept hidden.

Yes, many supporters of medicinal marijuana just like getting high. But that doesn't change the fact that is IS effective for MS and gluacoma sufferers. If people could get high from chemo, nobody would suggest that was a reason to stop treating cancer patients with it.

The point, really, is that Owen is, at best, not coming right out and saying what he really means and at worst, outright lying. Taxpayers like yourself pay this man's wages and if he is abusing his position to lie and persue his own personal agenda, then he deserves to be exposed.

Anna xxx

xenophon said...

Eleven years ago the people of Washington State went through a lengthy legally established democratic process to get a medical marijuana law on the ballot, and voted on by the people.

The vote of the people approved the medical marijuana law as written, and it became law.

If Brad Owen cannot faithfully support the laws passed by a vote of the people then he is by definition not a good public servant, not living up to his oath of office, and should resign.

Marijuana production is a major pillar of this state's economic prosperity and people like Brad Owen don't have a prayer of changing that, all they are going to accomplish is bringing a lot of pain, and injustice into the lives of people who are sick, or dying.

steve harman said...

I appreciate your writing in this topic.