President Obama came into office promising to reverse George W. Bush administration practices and elevate science over politics. He explicitly applied that principle to drug policy, an area long driven by ideology and prejudice. He quickly began to make good on the pledge by promoting three evidence-based drug policies: eliminating the ban on states using federal funding for syringe exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis; reforming the racially unjust crack-cocaine sentencing disparity that punished crack offenses more harshly than powder offenses; and vowing to end years of federal interference in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.
The feds have come down – hard – on the Legislature’s plans to expand medical marijuana far beyond the voters’ original mandate. Marijuana enthusiasts have only themselves to blame.
Gov. Chris Gregoire did the state a favor Wednesday by trying to clarify how the U.S. Department of Justice might react to the free-wheeling dope industry many lawmakers having been pushing to legalize with a new bill.
The two U.S. attorneys who cover Washington quickly spelled out their likely response: fines, property forfeitures, lawsuits and possible criminal prosecutions. Individual state officials might be targeted if they licensed grow operations and dispensaries, as the measure proposes.
Later Thursday, Gregoire said she would veto the legislation as written.
Read the U.S. attorneys’ letter and you’ll see where they’re coming from. The Justice Department, they said, isn’t interested in pursuing “seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law.”
But marijuana profiteers – be they enabling doctors, retailers, wholesalers, processors or growers – are a different story. Continue reading →
(Source) Well, the word “bud” is in Buddha. Today, organizers of Saturday’s first-ever Buddhafest held a press conference in which celebrities and other big names spoke in favor of Proposition 19, the November 2nd ballot measure to legalize marijuana. Continue reading →
The U.S. government classifies marijuana—along with heroin and LSD—as a Schedule I drug, the most tightly restricted category of drugs in the United States. According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are unsafe and have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
As medical marijuana proponents have pointed out since the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress in 1970, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there has never been a reported case of a marijuana overdose. Moreover, in recent years clinical researchers around the world have demonstrated the medicinal value of cannabis.
We talked to a doctor, a pharmacist, and a patient to get three firsthand perspectives on medical cannabis. Special thanks to Dr. Donald Abrams, JoAnna LaForce and Don Grubbs.
Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.