McCaskill: Not Sure If Rape Victims and War Vets with PTSD Should Get Medical Marijuana

"Well, obviously not. I do not want them to be," McCaskill answered. "But I gotta tell you, I would love to find somebody in Missouri who has been imprisoned for just smoking pot. I know in Kansas City, even a long time ago, we were not interested in the prosecutor's office in pursuing low-level pot cases."

claire_lookin_serious_at_podium_but_saying_nothing.JPG
via

McCaskill seems to be unaware that people in Missouri are arrested all the time for small amounts of marijuana.

One can be arrested for any amount of marijuana in the state. Having fewer than 35 grams is only a misdemeanor, but one can still be arrested for it. In fact, this past weekend four Mizzou athletes were arrested and put in jail for having fewer than 35 grams of marijuana.

Missouri had about marijuana 20,000 arrests in 2011, and 91 percent of those were for possession, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. In St. Louis, black people are eighteen times more likely to be arrested than white people.

See also: Marijuana Report: St. Louis Arrests Blacks For Possession 18 Times More Often Than Whites

And these "low-level" arrests have greater impacts that just getting one's weed taken away and having to sit in a cell for a few hours. Often, people at least do time until they get bailed out, which usually depends on how much money that person has. Sometimes it can be months.

See also: Family of Man Shot to Death By St. Louis Police Say Cops Lied

In her town-hall answer, Senator McCaskill replied that, as a prosecutor in Jackson County, she didn't pursue "low-level pot cases."

Not only is that false, but she endorsed charging poor people to continue prohibitionist policies. As a prosecutor in Jackson County, McCaskill was an extreme proponent of the anti-drug sales tax, which was a regressive tax that had the greatest negative impact on poor people (because they are the ones most impacted by sales tax). Some monies went to treatment, but most of it went to increasing prosecutor salaries, increasing law-enforcement's budget and imprisoning people, including marijuana.

anti_drug_tax.JPG
National Institute of Justice

Despite the tax being unpopular, McCaskill tried hard to get people behind the anti-drug tax. According to a Harvard study that is very favorable of the senator: "in a conscious effort to draw attention to and revitalize the drug tax program, McCaskill had renamed it COMBAT, the Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax, and developed a new logo."

Here's the rest of McCaskills' answer to Amber Iris Langston regarding using marijuana for treatment of PTSD for rape victims and war veterans:


"Now, having said that, should we legalize pot? Or should we do some kind of iteration of medical marijuana? I think we've got a great opportunity to see what happens in Colorado where they have legalized it on a state basis. I'm talking to my colleagues out there about how's it going and I'll be honest with you - they are expressing some buyer's remorse as to some of the problems that maybe weren't anticipated. So I think we should go carefully on this and ultimately I think the lead on this should be not on the federal government but on the state level. But I will say this: I think the medication involving PTSD, we are doing some oversight on that right now because one of the problems we've had in the military is PTSD has been treated by too many psychotropic and pharmacological solutions. Too many drugs have been prescribed and when somebody is really struggling with that disease, sometimes too many drugs are gonna have the opposite impact that you're really looking for and that is a holistic sense that you're safe, you can contribute and becoming dependent on some of those drugs is not the best idea, either."

McCaskill might be a Democrat, but on marijuana policy, she uses the strategy Republicans use on same-sex marriage: Instead of taking a stand and fighting for what's right on the federal level, she cops out by saying "let's leave it up to the states." She also ignores the fact that even the federal government is looking at marijuana for PTSD victims.

Coming from a prosecutor-turned-senator who gets praised for passing a military sexual-assault bill, it might seem like McCaskill would at least say what she really thinks when it comes to rape victims. But then again, she blocked a bill that would have allowed military-rape victims to get their case heard in a civilian court rather than a military tribunal, where many critics -- including New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand -- say it's difficult to get justice.

See also: Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt Co-Sponsor Military Sexual Assault Legislation

McCaskill voted against the bill and instead advocated for taking that pesky civilian court part out. The result was an easily pushed-through bill that still allowed the military full discretion over its own sex-crime allegations.

So maybe it shouldn't be too surprising McCaskill takes a "wait and see" approach when it comes to allowing rape and PTSD victims the medication of their choice: Such a stance wouldn't be so easy to pass a roomful of politicians.

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.

My Voice Nation Help
49 comments
Kristina Starr
Kristina Starr

Oops . Accidentally hit post. Non-functioning individual.

Laura Hamm
Laura Hamm

There is a crucial lack of accurate information floating around about MARIJUANA. I mean, you at LEAST have to be able to spell it people, come on... Are you high? But seriously, we need to lovingly inform people of the facts regarding smoking marijuana, debunk the myths like it's bad for your lungs... Even if you're pro-medicinal but anti-recreational, you can choose not to partake, but you cannot choose whether any other adult will do, legality aside. Why would we continue to waste money on a futile pursuit when instead, we could be raking in massive tax revenue which we desparately need & creating jobs. People need to understand, that cannabis cures many types of cancer. It helps reverse damage caused by cigarette smoking. It lowers blood pressure. It saves the lives of tiny suffering children with rare forms of epilepsy. I mean how can so many people be so ignorant of these facts??

Lucas Jackson
Lucas Jackson

If she wasn't expecting questions on legalization she hasn't been paying attention

Matt Galati
Matt Galati

I dont get the issue. Its science you fucktards.

Matt Galati
Matt Galati

So if we put it in the states hands....what are you here for...again?

Michelle Accardi
Michelle Accardi

Listen to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he has done 2 reports on CNN about the medical findings of using weed.

Ray Thomas
Ray Thomas

claire get your old fuckin head out of the sand and get in touch with modern america,stupid cunt

Scott Bringhurst
Scott Bringhurst

Voted for her in the past. Won't make that mistake again. (Not voting for any Republican's either since they're just as phony and hypocritical, if not even more so.)

John Null
John Null

This whole thing is like a fucking circus freak show. What a bitch.

Robert L Massie Sr
Robert L Massie Sr

As much noise as is made about marajuana, I think it's too broad a statement to say that Missouri wants it legal. I live in IL, and suggest that the opinion here mirrors the one across the river. The people who "favor" legalization are not universally in favor of the same things. I, for example, am in favor of medicinal use but not in favor of recreational use. I am also not in favor of smoking as the form of ingestion for medicinal purposes. I realize I'm going to get a bunch of people who won't like the restrictions I place on it, but it still puts me at least partially in the "favor" camp.

Zac Miller
Zac Miller

I wonder if political contributions from the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries are a factor.

Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson

Time to go Claire and take all other incumbents with you. I want fresh blood at every level of government, the ones that are in there have been fucking it up long enough. Let's send these politicians a pink slip by voting out all incumbents in every election.

Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson

If you're not paranoid, then you're not paying attention.

Nicholas Frisella
Nicholas Frisella

...and pain killers can cause constipation. All drugs have side effects. Different strains of marijuana have different effects just like different antidepressants. Some strains don't even give a person the euphoria associated with marijuana (see: charlottes web). If we are talking medical marijuana then legalization is a no brainer. I agree with Victoria's point about our society being over-medicated. That however does not change the fact that people in the state of Missouri want marijuana legalized and Claire represents those very same people. Daren read about the gentleman in jail for life and I think you'd change your opinion (if you are capable of having an open mind).

Craig Mitchell
Craig Mitchell

McCaskill is in favor of medical marijuana for Todd Akin.

Victoria Garner
Victoria Garner

Why would a rape victim need to smoke pot? if they are traumatized then pot is likely only going to mask the pain and not "fix" it. People have been self medicating for years trying to bury their demons and all you get out of that is addicts. And as someone pointed out below, marijuana can lead to paranoia which would think negates the purpose in cases of PTSD. These people need help, not drugs. That's one of the biggest problems we have as a society. We want to numb ourselves to reality but drugs doesn't make it go away. It doesn't change what happened to you.

Daren Cortez
Daren Cortez

The guy in for life for weed has a lengthy rap sheet I'm sure & rather free him.... Let's just shoot him.

fzcfacebook
fzcfacebook

The fact is:

Marijuana is a multi-billion dollar industry (industrial, pharmaceutical, recreational), & the genie is out of the bottle.

The longer MO. waits to legalize, the easier it will be for out of state companies to build up war chests & come in to crush local startups with all the money theve amassed having been given a huge, unfair, unamaerican head start.

Once that happens the lions share of profits will be headed out of state.

What would STL be like today had AB Brewery been handcuffed for the 1st few years after Alcohol prohibition repeal?

Sen., please, lets do talk jobs & economy...

Wth this being an agricultural/industrial state, in this economy, & agressive competitive environment, dont you think its irresponsible for OUR (MO) state officials to be dragging their collective feet on the subject of Marijuana Legalization?

Bryan Sullivan
Bryan Sullivan

Dear Claire, I'm not sure if elected public servants should become multi-millionaires during their time in office based upon the salaries that they are paid as said elected public servant.

Christian Taylor
Christian Taylor

I dont care about marijuana at all but why should your opinion or mine effect if someone wants to grow, eat, smoke or whatever some stupid plant....its idiotic

Doug Tull
Doug Tull

What is wrong with her? Such a smart lady on the wrong side of the issue.

Fred Hoffman
Fred Hoffman

I dont think mc caskill needs to keep her job

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

are they "legitimate" questions, Claire? if Aiken would have said that about rape victims Rachel Maddow would be losing her sh*t right now.

Lynn Jones
Lynn Jones

marijuana can cause paranoia so i'd say that's a negative

James Madison
James Madison

I gotta laugh at many of the commenters here. A vast majority of them voted to re-elect her and now complain how out of touch she is. Perhaps the person out of touch is staring at you from your mirrors.

James Madison
James Madison

And exactly what difference does it make if she does change her mind on this issue? Not a thing. She's in Washington DC, not Jefferson City.

James Madison
James Madison

No Republican would claim her. She's an authoritarian. Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz to learn more than the silly left-right spectrum of ideas.

James Madison
James Madison

It is idiotic to care what Ms McCaskill thinks on this subject. It is a State issue, not a federal one. You might as well talk to Obama about red light cameras. Even if the Federal government were to legalize pot, the State still maintains its law against it.

Lisa Foehner
Lisa Foehner

Sounds like she's weighing all the policy issues. That's her job.

Chris Vose
Chris Vose

She's a Republican in blue clothes. She's clueless on marijuana.

Tim Mohr
Tim Mohr

We the people want marijuana legalized and she doesn't she should listen to the people

Frank Corona
Frank Corona

Just a little louder kids, maybe Horton will hear us.

bong422
bong422

Suicide rates in MMJ states are dropping, while 23 vets commit suicide daily. Please educate your elected officials as this matter requires immediate attention.

Margaret Booker
Margaret Booker

Hard for the former prosecutor to change her spots, but give her some time, and she'll come around.

Bill Roth
Bill Roth

She doesn't deserve anyone's vote........Remember the airplane tax that she forgot about ?

Claudia Minor
Claudia Minor

Perhaps because many people will be helped by medical marijuana. Ya think that is why it is on peoples mind?

James R Johnson
James R Johnson

It's hard for Senator Claire McCaskill to look relevant on modern issues.

claygooding
claygooding

I am sure the voters in MO can educate the Senator in her next few townhall meetings,,apparently she thinks marijuana makes people just as stupid as alcohol does.

If it did we wouldn't have PC's to type our words too each other on,,,or 80% of the technology that is now required to run our society.

And please don' tell her that 80% of legislators that went to college and smoked weed,,,she may have been nerd enough to have missed it.

bill.streeter
bill.streeter topcommenter

Who is the opposition candidate that is more "in touch" on this issue than her? Her last serious opposition in her last election was an insane person named Todd Akin. You can hardly blame someone for voting for her over that, even if they disagree with her stance on pot prohibition. 

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