Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Medical marijuana federal action still needed

I'm afraid that drug "czar" Gil Kerlikowske is reverting to his cop self after having been cooperative with the medical marijuana law and the hemp festival as Seattle police chief. There was his comment in Fresno and support of CAMP, and so far there's no evidence that he's interested in doing things any differently than the Bushies did, especially regarding marijuana, even medical marijuana. If he wanted to indicate a different tack, he could move to take marijuana off Schedule I under the (unconstitutional, but oh, well) Controlled Substances Act. It's been more obvious than before since the 1998 Institute of Medicine report that there's no legal (let alone medical) justification for keeping it there.

The importance of reformn at the federal level is highlighted by the case of a man in Niles, Mich. living in public housing. Now that Michigan has a medical marijuana law, his decision to grow for his personal medical use is legal under state law. But the feds oversee his public housing project and have a zero tolerance policy, so the authorities have moved to evict him. The legal brouhaha has finally led him to decide to move out. The continuing DEA participation in raids on medical cannabis facilities in California, despite federal promises to stop them, not only suggests Obama didn't take his promise very seriously, but that he has shown to date no intention to push for reform. It would certainly be more popular than his health insurance efforts.

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