Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Don't Think of Canada as an Escape Hatch

It's a time-honored tradition for us in the lower 48 to think of our neighbor to the north as some kind of safe haven for American dissidents. Time was when that was true -- I knew several draft dodging Americans back in the day who skipped out to Canada rather than allow themselves to be inducted into that immoral war in SE Asia -- but that door has been slowly swinging shut.

Case in point, disabled Army veteran Steve Tuck, injured in a parachuting accident, used morphine and other drugs for a number of years in an attempt to kill the constant pain. Unfortunately for him, he also used so-called Medical Marijuana, which seems to be higher on the DEA's list than heroin, crack cocaine or LSD, and that got him into trouble.

Despite the fact that California, where he was living at the time, had its own Medical Marijuana laws on the books, the Repugnican DEA and DOJ decided that state's rights don't really mean state's rights when they state tries to do something that the feds don't like. Steve was forced to flee to Canada in 2001 as a "pot war refugee".

So far so good, until earlier this month when Steve was glommed onto by the Mounties, dragged bodily out of a hospital and hauled to the US border with a urinary catheter still sticking out of his poor bladder. US authorities scraped him up and threw him into jail in Seattle, where he languished without medical care for five days, still attached to the catheter, and without even a medical examination.

What the fuck is up with this? My advice: Stay out of Canada if you are a refugee of any kind. That's also the hard lesson learned by the main character of Dawn Blair's chilling and prophetic and highly recommended America 2014: An Orwellian Tale. Buy it, read it, and prepare yourself for what just may come to pass in the next few years if this haunting dystopian vision turns real.

Oh, and what about Steve? He was finally released from jail last Thursday to seek medical treatment, but he has to go back to Northern California to answer to the drug charges.

What the fuck is wrong with this country?