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TCR Blog: Dangerous Freedom for A Cannabis Patient

During a recent interview with a local NBC affiliate, I was asked the question, “As a registered medical cannabis patient living in Texas, aren’t you afraid of what might happen to you?” My initial response, just little more on the confident side, was “I’m a 60-year old veteran; what would they do, take away my birthday?”

But, since I was just kidding, and really didn’t care for a walk across my 4th Amendment rights by law enforcement, I reflected on something Thomas Jefferson once stated. During one of his diplomatic speeches in France, Jefferson invoked the Latin phrase “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem”; or “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” It has also been translated, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.”

Freedom: is it just a concept, a word developed by an ideal, or is it possible that it rarely exists in the physical realm? We know that slavery exists. Today, more people are “economically” enslaved, and feel the constraints of government control more than at any other time in American history. But how many people, if questioned, will reply that they feel total freedom, or actually understand the concept? I’m sure the numbers would be quite low, and easily measurable. Another variable within today’s social strata: most people are unaware of the peaceful slavery that encompasses their world, and go about their lives not knowing they are part of a system that keeps them enslaved. Others have completely lost confidence in government, and feel oppressed in a “free” society.

Societies exist under three forms of sufficiently distinguishable structures of government. The first form can be defined as living without a governments’ intrusion or absence of a governing hierarchy, as among some early Native American people. It has always been the belief that Native Americans lacked a governmental structure, although the first confederation in North America was an alliance between five Native American tribes. It has also been noted that many individuals today, feeling jaded by the bureaucracy of government agencies, have renounced their citizenship and decided to live “off the grid.” The concept that is so hard for many to grasp is that this supposedly ideal situation is certainly not the best; just lookup the word “Utopia.” Also, the numbers are incongruent within any notable percentage of the population. Note: since the release of the federal government’s memo giving the right to grow and regulate cannabis on recognized Native American land, many are trying to trace a heritage to any native tribe.

The second type of structure is a government of force, such as a totalitarian government; as is the case in all dictatorships, and other areas of the world living under the threat of terrorist regimes. To live with the dreaded existence under tyranny, which is played out on the daily news, is not living. It is horrific; a government of wolves over sheep. Personally, I would have to take a stand against this form of adulterated government. Not that I’m a martyr, but “Try and take my head!!!”
The third form of government is one that aspires to offer everyone an equal voice. This is somewhat the case in America, and in our individual states to a larger degree, if one exercises their voting rights. This third structure of government does have a lot of positive qualities; the people under this system of government enjoy, to a small degree, freedom…and hopefully happiness. As with any form of government, a democracy has its negatives, too; chief among them being the plague of poor representation. But, weigh this against an oppressive, tyrannical government, and it becomes a fleeting thought. Poor representation can be voted out, provided that people vote effectively.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

So yes, Thomas Jefferson, periodically “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem”; because it is out of the ashes of revolt, that we find good. It slows down the progression of corruption within governments, and focuses attention on the will of the overall population. This thought process finds its roots in another Thomas Jefferson quote: “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” To that, I say, “Welcome to the rebellion, welcome to the storm.”

We are afforded the opportunity for revolution in America, and our respective states, but most are reluctant to become involved with this revolution: the voting process. Many would rather complain to those in representative positions, when their efforts could be utilized by voting for better representation. Better representation is available for each of us. One begins by becoming the solution to the growing problems; not voting effectively contributes to the continuing problem of the status quo remaining in office.

Plato once stated, “Those who refuse to participate in political affairs are usually ruled by their inferiors.” So…a few questions, if you don’t mind? Do you prefer dangerous freedom, or peaceful slavery? How educated and involved are you with the political process? What are you going to do to help solve the problem?

By: Clif Deuvall

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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