Dope Of The Week: N.J. Columnist Shows His Ignorance On Medical Marijuana


The Save Jersey Blog
Flaunting ignorance: Conservative columnist Paul Mulshine doesn’t trust those damned medical marijuana patients.

​Once in awhile, some rabidly anti-pot yahoo publishes a piece so mean-spirited and so bereft of facts that it calls out for correction. Paul  Mulshine, who purports to be a conservative columnist for The Star Ledger, today published just such a piece.

Mulshine is unhappy that New Jersey is apparently, at long last, going to allow the medical use of marijuana. His toxic little screed is shot through with the sort of sneering, self-satisfied ignorance of the boorish know-it-all who sees nothing but avarice and darkness in others (Projection? You make the call), and is filled with a resolute refusal to empathize or understand.
The benighted columnist’s “Legalizing medical marijuana in N.J.: What life will be like in the marijuana Garden State” isn’t even close to journalism, unless you have a taste for the yellow variety. His smug insinuations about the motivations and medical conditions of patients seeking relief through marijuana reveal a wrenchingly bitter and unhappy worldview.

“The proponents of medical marijuana argue that those who need it are often suffering from dreadful, debilitating diseases,” Mulshine knowingly tells us. “So I felt great sympathy for the patients as I watched them walk into the back room of the clinic to get their prescriptions filled. I could only imagine the agony these poor, unfortunate souls must have been experiencing.”
First of all, Mr. Mulshine, the fact that those who need medical marijuana often suffer from debilitating diseases isn’t up for debate; it isn’t something “argued by proponents of medical marijuana” and disputed by others (unless you include idiots like yourself in that “others” category).
It is a fact: Many medical marijuana patients have cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, and other devastating, life threatening diseases. To waltz into a dispensary, see a few people who don’t look sufficiently sick or suitably unhappy, and then tar every patient with the same broad and obnoxiously ignorant brush is insulting, petty, and cruel.
Mr. Mulshine, you seemingly have a problem with how broadly the medical marijuana law is interpreted in California. But while there is certainly room for debate on the application of the law, it would take one mean son of a bitch to be willing to deny safe access to patients who need pot, just to keep someone from exploiting the system to get high.
By way of comparison, do we deny opiate painkillers such as Oxycontin to seriously ill patients who really need them, just because a few addicts exploit the system to use the drugs recreationally?
No, of course not; we institute regulations on their distribution, we keep a close eye on the supply, but we do NOT make fun of ALL the patients who use pain medication just because a few may abuse it. Or at least, we don’t do that unless we’re an uninformed moron willing to flaunt his ignorance in public without bothering to do the research beforehand. Sound familiar, Mr. Mulshine?
Secondly, you seemed to have a problem because when you were observing patients leaving the Oakland dispensary you visited, “every single one of them exited with a spring in his step.”
Maybe you’ve never been seriously ill, Mr. Mulshine. Maybe you’ve never cared for someone who was seriously ill. But I can assure you, if you had a medical condition making you feel miserable, and a medicine was available that, unlike anything else, made you feel better, then you might be happy when you got it, too.
Of course, that would take a leap of imagination and empathy on your part, which I don’t expect you to take. Apparently all of your imagination is occupied imagining all the devious ways these dirty (but healthy!) hippies come up with to be dishonest about pot.
As for the spring in their steps? You know, even people with life-threatening illnesses are allowed to occasionally leave behind their pain and sorrow. I’m sure you’d feel much better if everyone at the dispensary had come in a wheelchair and left crying, but that’s just not the way it works.
Oh, by the way, Mr. Mulshine: Many of the conditions for which medical marijuana works aren’t immediately apparent. Even in your seemingly vast powers of observation (and even your God-like capacity, apparently, for judging the motivations of others), you can’t immediately spot someone with, say, HIV or hepatitis C. I’m sorry they didn’t try to look “sicker,” if that would’ve made you more comfortable.
“Another good thing about this clinic was that it didn’t have the antiseptic air of a typical health clinic,” Mulshine informs us. “On a sunny Sunday afternoon there was a jazz band playing on the sidewalk outside. Apparently jazz musicians long ago discovered the healing properties of marijuana, and they are eager to share their knowledge with the general public.”
It must really be a burden to go around with those kinds of enormous judgments, Mr. Mulshine. Let me clue you in: Even seriously ill people still find things to enjoy in life. One of those things is music.
That you’d regard as troubling the fact that medical marijuana patients — like most everyone else — still have the capacity to enjoy music, says nothing about the patients or the validity of their prescriptions. It does say a hell of a lot about your poverty of spirit and paucity of thinking. And once again, it seems you’d be ever so much more comfortable with medical marijuana patients if they’d only go around moping and feeling bad 100 percent of the time, never daring to enjoy a moment or a song.
That marijuana patients are allowed to grow their own medicine at home seems to bother you, as well. Presumably you’d feel a lot better about the situation if they weren’t so empowered, and could only get relief with overpriced, harsh chemical drugs from profiteering pharmaceutical corporations. That’d be so much more… respectable and conservative, wouldn’t it?
“Somewhere in there, I began to suspect that these patients weren’t as sick as advertised,” Mulshine writes with a palpable sneer. “Perhaps they were just sick of not being high.”
Or perhaps, sir, you are a clueless buffoon masquerading as a journalist. Perhaps you suffer from such a dearth of human feeling that, given a choice between ascribing noble motivations or avarice to your fellows, you always choose the later. Or, I don’t know; maybe you’re just an obnoxious asshole.
Insulting The Memory Of Patients Past

Coalition for Medical Marijuana – N.J.
In the memory of patients like Sean McGrath, we must speak out for compassion and against intolerance.

​How dare you insult the memory of so many brave New Jersey patients like Sean McGrath? How dare you speak with such scorn and derision for the seriously ill? Where the hell do you get off saying that medical marijuana patients are “faking it” to “get high”?
The McGrath family, who have experienced both the tragedy of serious illness of a family member and of the profound relief that medical marijuana can bring, don’t deserve the kind of hateful poison you are spewing their way. 
We are, each of us, just one diagnosis away from becoming a medical marijuana patient. Many of us are fighting, every day, for our lives and don’t need to spend energy warding off the attacks of law enforcement and of cluelessly ignorant blowhards like yourself. But some of us are stubborn enough to take on the job of doing exactly that.
Same As California? No, Not Really.
Mr. Mulshine, it’s interesting that you see fit to foment an outright inaccuracy near the end of your column. “I’ve listened to a lot of the debate over medical marijuana in New Jersey, and our pols insist that our medical marijuana law would be different than California’s, with tighter controls,” he tells us. “I doubt it. The same dynamic at work in the Golden State is at work in the Garden State.”
Mr. Mulshine, would you have your (hopefully not very credulous) readers believe that any medical marijuana law inevitably will have the same scenario as California’s? (Of course, we’re given to understand we should be horrified about that). What you don’t mention, Mr. Mulshine, is that California is only one of 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana — and that none of the others has an identical dispensary situation (Colorado is closest, but that still leaves 11 more states that are completely different).
The medical marijuana debate isn’t about a few people exploiting the law to get high. It’s about patients’ right to manage their own bodies and healthcare decisions without fearing the police. It’s about having the freedom to use the medicine that both clinical studies and personal experience tell us works best.
The “dynamic at work,” Mr. Mulshine, is that people are tired of alarmist Chicken Littles like yourself telling them the sky will fall if we have medical marijuana. The “dynamic at work” is that more than 70 percent of Americans, by most measures, favor the legalization of medical pot with a doctor’s recommendation.
The “dynamic at work” is that — thank goodness! — hateful little attitudes like yours are quickly becoming an anachronism. Your fellow conservative, blogger Matt Rooney, got it just right when he called you a “yellow journalist” and a “washed up grouch … at a failing newspaper.”
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey

For the real facts surrounding the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, visit: