Recently retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray is on a crusade. You might think a conservative judge from a conservative county would advocate for the prohibition of marijuana, but – based on his experiences, he is adamantly pro legalization.
Witnessing first hand what he calls the utter failure of our current policies of drug prohibition – marijuana in particular – he cites unnecessary prison growth, increased taxes, increased crime and corruption, and loss of civil liberties as the unhealthy side effects of an anemic policy in need of drastic reform.
Regarding medical marijuana, he states:
“Does marijuana work [as medicine]? Well, there’s no direct evidence by a government study showing that marijuana is an effective medicine. And you know something? They’re right. However, it’s beyond hypocrisy for them because it’s the federal government that controls the marijuana. Numbers of reputable groups, the Centers for Disease Control, The University of California and others have requested to conduct the studies and they’ve been deprived of that authorization… The government affirmatively does not allow this research to take place and then they sanctimoniously say, ‘well there’s no research [showing marijuana is medicine]…’ it’s beyond hypocrisy, I view it as Chutzpah” (audacity).
A little more on the problems our government has created for medical marijuana research (source):
At present, the only way for medical marijuana to be properly evaluated by the FDA is for privately-funded sponsors to conduct FDA-approved clinical trials (like any other drug evaluation). [If any progress is to be made on the medical marijuana research front, we must first] remove the monopoly imposed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on licenses for the cultivation of medical-grade cannabis for research purposes. Currently, the DEA exclusively licenses the cultivation of medical-grade cannabis to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), which primarily investigates only the negative effects of cannabis. This monopoly obstructs any investigation and research in the U.S. into the medical properties of cannabis and thwarts the normal drug approval process.
Listen to Judge Gray speak on medicinal marijuana:
Judge Jim Gray is a former prosecutor, member of the Navy JAG Corps and served as a judge for years in famously conservative Orange County, California. He’s never tried an illicit drug — which makes him one of the most compelling advocates for drug policy reform. In this exclusive interview, he discusses medical marijuana in California.
Many police officers are asking the question: if prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, why are we in denial about it working for other things?