Posts Tagged ‘Angela Goodhope’

by Angela Goodhope

Robin Prosser was Montana’s leading medical marijuana patient-activist – until she took her own life last October. She also was a good friend of mine. I first got to know her when she went on a month-long hunger strike in 2002, to publicize her predicament, and I spent a lot of time with her over the years.

There are lots of reasons why I have been moved to focus my energies as a progressive political activist on the goal of ending the so-called “war on drugs.” Knowing Robin Prosser, knowing of her life and struggles, was one of these reasons – and I will forever be grateful for it.

Robin quite simply was oppressed to death by the government. The fact is that the “war on drugs” is really a war on people. It’s old-fashioned oppression of those among us that the government finds it convenient to dislike. It’s a war that’s meant to be waged, not won. Like the so-called “war on terror,” the “war on drugs” has functioned as an extraordinary financial boondoggle, spawning the prison-industrial complex and the world’s largest population of prisoners, most of whom permanently lose the right to vote, the right to college loans and government subsidized housing — even all veterans’ benefits. Our country imprisons more people for nonviolent use of drugs – mostly marijuana – than all of Europe, which contains more people, does for all crimes combined.

Robin Prosser suffered from systemic lupus for 22 years, a horrible medical condition in which her immune system literally attacked her own body’s organs, causing severe and almost constant pain. Meanwhile, she was allergic to most “traditional” drugs – and only certain strains of marijuana helped control her condition and make life bearable for her. That’s why Robin became an activist – she fought for the fundamental human right to be allowed to follow her doctor’s recommendation… without the added burden of having to fear arrest and prison.

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