Don’t be a dick, Senator Brower

The Nevada Legislature’s response to the mandate in 2000 by Nevada voters to create a system by which sick Nevadans could get access to medicine was childish and a dirty trick on the most vulnerable people in the state.

Like when Mom said, “Quit touching your sister,” and you responded by holding your finger two inches from her ear, “I’m not touching her,” the Legislature followed the words of the law, but let the spirit of the voter-approved law and the intention of voters dissipate like vapor.

Those lawmakers came up with a draconian system, essentially re-victimizing those people who, through no fault of their own, were suffering from things like anxiety, nausea and lack of appetite caused by cancer treatment, Alzheimer’s, side effects of AIDS/HIV treatment, post-traumatic stress disorder, cholera, insomnia—more diseases than can be easily listed.

And not only were those victims given false hope of humanity from their lawmakers, but they were given huge obstacles to overcome—large costs to those already overcome by medical debt, scrutiny by government agencies unrelated to medical practices, expectations that they would manufacture their own medicine. Even those who were told by the law that they could assist the sick—medical practitioners—came under fire from licensing boards.

Those lawmakers said to those sick people, “Yes, you can seek medical help, but we’ll punish you for trying.” It was nothing short of monstrous.

And now that the law has been reformed, we are seeing before our very eyes the continuation of that wrongheaded, ignorant, self-righteous government intrusion into the lives of sick people by individuals who think they know better what’s good for sick people than doctors.

This week, Associated Press reported, “Nevada state Sen. Greg Brower said Monday he has reservations about a state law setting up a distribution process for medical marijuana and suggested it could be repealed,” and went on to say that he urged city and county governments to tell the Legislature that the law isn’t working, even though it has not even gone into effect yet.

C’mon, Greg, don’t be a dick. You don’t have to beat up on the infirm to make yourself feel powerful. Anyone can beat on a child with leukemia. Anyone can beat up a senior citizen with cancer. Denying treatment to veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome is beneath anyone. You can show compassion.

Legislators are not crazy about ballot measures initiated by voters. We’re not wild about them, either. But this one is law and should be respected by—ahem—lawmakers.

The original initiative was passed by a majority of voters not once, but twice. Lawmakers don’t need to open their minds; they don’t need to judge the people who seek out treatment; they don’t even have to agree. What they do need to do is remember they are responsible to do what the people require of them without acting like spoiled children.