Ashcroft's Crackpot Crackdowns

Like someone dressed up in a Superman suit, John Ashcroft wears a great big "C" on his chest ... for "Conservative."

But neither Superman nor true conservatives would go around intruding into the private lives of desperately ill people, bullying doctors, and asserting federal authority to overturn laws duly-enacted by the people in various states. Yet there's Big John, stomping around like some Big Government Goon in California, Oregon, and Who-Knows-Where next.

His first attack was on the people of California, who had passed an initiative in 1996 to allow doctors, under carefully controlled situations, to prescribe medical dosages of marijuana to their horribly sick patients, mostly terminally-ill cancer and AIDS patients. The marijuana helps relieve the chronic nausea and pain suffered by these people, but Big John was having none of that compassionate stuff ---- he's an anti-marijuana absolutist. To enforce his ideology, he unleashed federal agents to raid state-approved medical marijuana facilities in Sacramento and L.A. seizing computers, patient's records, and the supply of plants needed to treat sick people.

A month later, John was on his ideological high horse again, charging into Oregon to overthrow that state's right-to-die law that had been passed by popular referendum. It allows patients with less than six months to live to get a lethal prescription to end their own lives painlessly and with dignity, if they're judged capable of making this choice.

No way, bellowed John, saying that his extremist, pro-life ideology overrides even death-bed suffering, personal choice, and the voice of the people. He issued an edict, declaring that he would strip the license to prescribe drugs from any doctor who provides the dosage authorized by Oregon's state law.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... Shouldn't the Feds be chasing terrorists, not doctors and sick people? Ashcroft is no conservative, he's a crackpot ---- a tinhorn autocrat who has mistaken totalitarianism for conservatism.

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