Virginia Representative Morgan Griffith shouldn’t let the odds of his Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act passing discourage him. As Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” And you’ve got to start somewhere.
Griffith wants marijuana to be removed from a Schedule 1 classification which prohibits physicians from prescribing it to a Schedule 2 classification. “I think doctors ought to be able to have the ability to use marijuana like they use many harder drugs—opiates, hydrocodone, oxycodone– to be able to use it in those cases where it is the best treatment modality for their patients.”
We agree. And yet, odds makers say his proposal only has an 11 percent chance of making it out of committee, and 3 percent chance of being passed by Congress.
We repeat the mantra. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Just ask Susan B. Anthony. She drafted a federal amendment to grant women voting rights way back in 1875. In 1878, it was introduced to the Senate and was defeated by a vote of 16 to 34. The same version of that amendment failed again in 1914 (11 votes short), 1918 (2 short), 1919 (1 vote shy of passage). It fared a little better in the House, failing in 1915 by 78 votes, but passing in 1918 by one and 1919 by 14.
Women finally earned the right to vote in 1920…thanks to Anthony and others like her who didn’t let the odds stop them.
The Civil Rights Act didn’t fare much better. In a paper, “The Untold Story of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: How the GOP Helped the Democrats Destroy the Solid South,” the authors, Daniel B. Rodriguez and Barry R. Weingast, described the situation as this: “Congress had long proved a graveyard for failed civil rights bills. For nearly a century, southern Democrats relied on the Senate filibuster and other congressional procedures to prevent the passage of civil rights legislation.”
And yet, the 1964 Civil Rights Act finally set out to correct our country’s history of racial injustice.
So carry on, Representative Griffith. The odds may not be in your favor but history is.
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