“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil disobedience is a familiar concept to those who realize that government does not possess a greater wisdom and justice than the individual simply because it is government. As Thoreau wrote, we have a duty to resist when the state is recognized as an agent of injustice.
This is sometimes even embraced by those working within the system. Rep. Allen Peake, a Georgia lawmaker, admitted that he defies unjust cannabis prohibition by bringing medical cannabis into Georgia from states where it is legal, such as Colorado. He recently delivered medical cannabis to a mother whose son suffers from seizures.
In an interview this week, Peake went public.
“Listen, I made a commitment to these families when I got involved, that I was willing to do whatever it took to make sure they had access to a product from a reputable manufacturer. I’ve made good on that promise. If it involved civil disobedience, it’s been absolutely worth it,” Peake said. He paused to consider his next thought, then continued.
“I got a text this morning from the mother of a young child who I delivered product to,” he said.
“We’re on the record,” I reminded him. Peake didn’t miss a beat.
“And the heartfelt thanks from this mother, the difference in this child – the increase in cognitive ability, the reduction in seizures, has been worth every bit of risk that I’ve taken,” he said.