Mike Myer on marijuana and the "change everything" revolution
All of Sunday's column and half of Saturday's column is devoted to an attack upon the legislation that would permit the legalization of medical marijuana. In neither column is there any evidence. To make his case, Myer compares the growing use of medical marijuana to the acceptance of opioid painkillers and the fact that we didn't know any better on painkillers. (Except that we did; we just didn't know that drug companies would flood the state with them.) How then did the WV legislature (filled with conservative Republicans) pass medical marijuana legislation? This one is going to require some mental gymnastics but Myer explains in Saturday's column:
The original bill, allowing growing and smoking, was approved by a vote of 28-6 in the state Senate. Well over four-fifths of the senators saw nothing wrong with it. . . .
Now, I know some of the senators who voted “yes” on the original bill. They’re intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable, prudent, responsible folks. So what possessed them to say yes to smoking dope for any reason? My guess is that, like so many of us, they’ve just gotten caught up in a “change everything” movement.
Unless we've switched into some alternate reality when I wasn't paying attention -- are you kidding me? Myer is arguing that West Virginian Republican legislators got caught up in the "change everything" movement! (Everyone else must be in the revolution because West Virginia Republicans would certainly be the last group that I would expect to join.) Here's another possible explanation for this -- unlike certain editors, even these conservative Republicans can see some positive benefits to the legalization of medical marijuana.
Does the editor need an editor?
In the final paragraphs of his Saturday column, Myer moves from the war on drugs to the opioid epidemic to the Constitution to Freedom of Speech to the anti-establishment revolution to the excesses of the French Revolution to communes all in the space of just four paragraphs:
You can’t make this stuff up. Ask the families and friends of the hundreds of West Virginians killed by the opioid epidemic whether they view efforts to stop it as “absurd.”
Here’s something about which to worry: For years, many Americans have demonstrated they don’t understand the Constitution. Specifically, they don’t realize how important its protections of our freedoms are. Consistently, around 40 percent say the government ought to be able to ban speech — in all its forms, ranging from the conventional press to the internet — someone in power considers “offensive.” It already happens on some college campuses.
In this new anti-establishment revolution, is there a chance that could become policy?
At first, the French Revolution seemed like a great idea. Then they started lopping off heads by the wagonload and setting up communes.
Yes, a wagonload of heads. Beyond this rich imagery, I think this column just might have benefited from some editing.
Ogden "newspapers" will do anything for a favorite including recycling a three-month-old opinion piece
If you turn to page B5 of Sunday's Wheeling News-Register, you'll see a commentary by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Regular readers of Wheeling "newspapers" and this blog know that Morrisey is an Ogden favorite. However, with the EPA no longer offering a monthly target for a lawsuit, Morrisey has lost some of his ability to use his office to generate personal publicity. Today's News-Register, realizing that Morrisey hadn't been mentioned in a while and that he might fade from our memory, published an opinion piece by him on page 5 of the opinion/community section.
Nothing in "Battling Medicaid Fraud Vigorously in W.Va." surprised me. What bothered me about the article, however, were his calls for action by the legislature. For example:
Now it's time the state Legislature equips my office to punish those who defraud Medicaid.
Why would the AG be asking for this at the end of the legislative session? Shouldn't this op-ed piece have appeared in January when the legislature first met?
Except that this op-ed piece was published in January. This exact commentary first appeared in the Beckley Register-Herald on January 14, almost three months ago. (A number of other WV sources also published it in January.)
And so Wheeling readers were treated to a dated and inconsequential article as the Wheeling News-Register demonstrated once again that its primary purpose is not to present news but rather to function as a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party.