Monday, August 13, 2007

Steps forward and back on medical marijuana

Here's a link to the piece I did for Sunday's Register Commentary section on medical marijuana. I mentioned progress -- Orange County approving a patient ID card program, Los Angeles County working for effective regulation of dispensaries -- and serious regress -- the DEA's hardball game against dispensaries in Southern California and the decision of some cities to prohibit dispensaries altogether.

I'm glad I made the point that under federal law as written -- the Controlled Substances Act -- marijuana should not even be on Schedule I, since it doesn't meet any of the criteria, and the debate over medical marijuana should be moot. I doubt if the DEA or Congress will take the point seriously -- the rule of law is a joke to them and prohibitionism is more religion than policy -- but it's important that at least some people understand that the DEA is a bunch of scofflaws rather than upholders of the law.

Of course if we took the constitution seriously any more some court would rule that the whole drug war is unconstitutional, since nowhere in the document is Congress or the national government given the power to do anything so radical and foolish -- remember it took an amendment to prohibit alcohol, back when more people thought the constitution meant something more serious.

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