Good evening. My name is Joseph Tierney and I am a medical marijuana patient. I came to your city as a cannabis refugee last year. My own story is unfortunately common. In this room are dozens of them, and millions more across the nation. We have lost much for being pro-cannabis. Turned away by friends and family; targeted by rogues & sociopaths who sought to exploit our status as second-class citizens; persecuted by our own government. Yet we have not suffered alone. YOU, too, have suffered under the War on Drugs. Don’t believe that name. Look at the statistics. This is a War on Minorities; this is a War on the Poor.
For generations, every person in America has suffered. Whenever a police officer suspected an honest citizen before they served them, America suffered. Whenever a young man or woman became the grease in the gears of a corporate prison machine that lines the pockets of a few, America has suffered- and paid handsomely for the privilege! When my mother was dying, in terrible pain, but was more worried about the legality of this medicine than the relief it could have provided, we suffered.
I have talked to many of my Pro-Cannabis brothers and sisters and what I have heard is how alone many of us are. I’ve heard a longing to come together, to share our stories with one another. But you say we are not allowed – in private, with the appropriate rules- the very thing we have fought for, and so you continue to play into the hands of fear-mongers and profiteers. You continue to feed the stigma against us. We are not dangerous. We should never have been made criminals. We are mature, responsible adults. There is nothing for us to be ashamed of. We are tired of hiding in basements and closets; we have grown TIRED of being SILENT! We desire a community. We desire not only your tolerance, but your acceptance.
I want to express my deep gratitude to the Mayor and the Council for standing up to Congress and standing by us last year. I am thankful to live in a city that values my citizenship and, most of all, for the security of my freedom. I want to thank those members of the Council that voted in favor of social cannabis use and, if you voted against, then I look forward to the opportunity to change your mind. May God bless you.