I thought i had a simple mission when this all started. I had attended a continuing legal education seminar for volunteer attorneys for people with AIDS. I had to agree to take one free case in the next year to get the seminar for free. That one case turned out to involve an AIDS patient who was in jail for a misdemeanor amount of “medicine”. I could not believe that a dying person was being treated that way for using something his doctor approved of.
That case changed my life. I thought everyone would agree with me that leaving a sick person alone to use a medicine recommended by their doctor was the only sane thing to do. Obviously, eleven years of fighting later, I was a trifle too optimistic.
After the medical marijuana initiative passed, I thought things would improve. Wrong again. I thought democracy still counted for something and that respect for sick and dying patients would follow and that law enforcement would respect the people’s wishes. By now you know the drill : Wrong Again.
The continuing struggle for the rights of medical marijuana patients has taken over my traditional criminal law practice. I now believe that this issue of personal freedom and medical treatment is one of the most important liberty issues facing us as a country today. If we cannot get it together and treat patients and others as full human beings with respect for their medical treatment, we are in serious trouble.
We ARE in serious trouble. Join me in fighting for patient rights in Washington State.