If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. At least that’s what they say.
When it comes to bureaucrats, all they know is to further complicate matters, turning simple tasks that could be easily accomplished in a short period into huge, complex processes filled with hurdles. So when we allow governments to run our lives, we are giving bureaucrats the power to complicate it.
When the policy in question involves drugs that could save our lives, complicating the process in which we must take part to obtain said drugs could mean pain, suffering, and health complications.
In New Jersey, where a 9-year-old medical marijuana law has yet to be updated, patients hoping to have access to cannabis for treatment have been patiently waiting for regulators to follow the recommendations a state health panel made 5 months ago.
At the time, the panel urged regulators to expand the list of conditions that may be treated with cannabis, adding autism, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, chronic pain, migraines, and others.
But long before the health panel got together to make this recommendation, dozens of patients submitted petitions. Then, the panel met to review the case during three different hearings. During these hearings, the same patients who filed the petitions pleaded with officials for the freedom to choose what they will put in their own bodies in order to treat or soothe their ailments.
But even after all of this hard work and long months of wait, the New Jersey Department of Health does not seem to ready to embrace the changes.
Instead, officials are now saying that yet another must be held. After that and if the panel agrees that the changes must be adopted, the health commissioner will be able to sit on his hands for another six months if he so wishes before he decides whether he should adopt the panel’s recommendation.
Imagine that, waiting over a whole year just for the state’s permission so you may treat your illness the best way you see fit.
Being willing to try different treatments and drugs to help you manage or heal a certain health condition should be the patient’s decision alone. Precisely because government officials can’t possibly know what’s best for you or for me, giving him the power to tell us what we can and cannot put in our own bodies is ineffective — to say the least.
So while New Jersey patients suffer and wait for the state to listen to their plea, we hope that more states join the nullification revolution, going the opposite way of New Jersey by simply decriminalizing the use substances like cannabis so neither the federal nor the state governments are able to dictate who gets to use the substance for their health benefits and who doesn’t.