There are two proposals on the ballot in Michigan this year–one to authorize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the other to loosen restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. I am basically in favor of both, although honestly I don’t really care all that much about the medicinal marijuana one. But Proposal 2 (the stem cell one)–that I definitely support. Based on the informational brochure that was sent to me regarding both proposals, I am convinced that the measure includes appropriate ethical safeguards, and I think it is a problem both for the health of the citizens of Michigan and for our state economy that we have such stringent restrictions on stem cell research in place in the first place. We have several damn fine research universities in this state, and it frustrates me to think that anti-abortion interests are standing in the way of potential progress that could be made here in finding cures for diseases. So, fine. Case closed, right?

Well, yes; I’ll still vote for it… but it annoys me that the measure exists in the form of a Constitutional amendment. I don’t really like the current trend of amending the State Constitution anytime we pass a ballot measure. Can’t this one just become a normal law like the medicinal marijuana proposal will if it is passed? Don’t get me wrong, it’s far worse when we amend the Constitution to permanently codify bigotry and the ludicrous pretense that racism no longer exists, aka white privilege (on a personal and illogical tantrum-y note, I remain totally incensed at the snotty, privileged whiner who started that whole mess because she couldn’t get into the University of Michigan–how about get better grades in high school, honey? I’m white and though I didn’t end up going to U of M and am glad I didn’t, I had no trouble getting in, so cry me a fucking river. Ahem, better now), but I feel like there is also something… untidy… about amending it for this measure as well. Anyone who’s better versed in law than I am have an opinion on this?

The only possible bright spot I can see is that if it becomes a Constitutional right to perform embryonic stem cell research within basic limits, it would be really hard to turn around and pass some hypothetical future measure granting personhood to embryos, or whatever the anti-abortion sneaky move du jour is at that time.

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