I believe that the term “victimless crime” is an oxymoron. I think some folks think if a person isn’t hurt it isn’t a crime. I say – sure, but victim may not be a person, but that does not mean there is no victim or victims. The victim of the crime could be a creature, the environment, or society. Make no mistake, for every crime there is a victim. That is the way the law works – it sets boundaries and maintains balance.
There are those that argue that the petition fraud in the news in North Dakota recently is a victimless crime. I don’t think so and neither do the folks who backed the measure to legalize the medical use of marijuana. It appears a number of folks genuinely signed petitions supporting the effort to get the measure on the ballot. Now there is a petition in front of North Dakota’s Supreme Court that seeks a bar on the printing of the ballots until the matter of whether the measure should be on the ballot is decided.
As you are likely aware, medical marijuana is used to address symptoms of a number of ailments. It has the power to alleviate a lot of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, its reputation as a gateway drug in the 60s and 70s precedes it. The medicinal value of it has been villainized by images of Doritos-eating potheads laughing their asses off at innocuous objects. As if that is the worst thing that could happen to society – too much Doritos and too much laughter. The reality is, there are folks who could genuinely benefit from the use of medicinal marijuana and they want the matter of legalization to go before the voters.
Here’s a wild thought – how about allowing it on the ballot and letting the voters decide? Let those who have seen loved ones suffer because they do not have access to medical marijuana use their vote to send a message. Let them send a message that North Dakota can see beyond the stigma of marijuana to the benefits it will offer so many people who need it.
This is a rare chance to provide restitution to the victims of the petition fraud case – to make them whole. Let the measure go to the people and let the people decide what they want or don’t want. This is one fairly rare instance where we can repair the damage with minimal effort and give those who so desperately need access to medical marijuana a chance to make their case to North Dakota voters. What is the worst that can happen – a win that results in higher Doritos consumption and random laughter? I think that is a cost we can all live with.
Day one thousand one hundred and seventy of the new forty – obla di obla da