Marijuana Bill on Shaky Legal Ground 

Marijuana Bill on Shaky Legal Ground 
Posted by CN Staff on March 29, 2007 at 16:10:50 PT
A New Haven Register Editorial 
Source: New Haven Register
Connecticut -- A proposed state law to allow the sick to use marijuana to relieve their symptoms is well intentioned but fraught with pitfalls that could ultimately cause patients more distress than relief.Possession and use of marijuana is a state crime. The bill the legislature is considering would carve out an exemption. It would allow people 18 and older to grow marijuana for their personal use if they had a condition diagnosed by a doctor, such as nausea from chemotherapy or glaucoma, that use of marijuana might alleviate.
Eleven other states have passed similar laws.The problem for Connecticut and other states is that marijuana use is a federal crime. There is no exemption for its medical use.The issue was definitely settled in 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court held that the sick who used marijuana in states where it is legal may still be prosecuted under federal drug laws. The California woman who fought and lost her appeal of the federal drug law that went to the Supreme Court has now lost a second ruling. A federal appellate court has held that even the terminally ill who use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms may be prosecuted.In states like California, where medical marijuana is legal, prosecutions have not been widespread, but they do occur.If the legislature passes this bill, it will present patients and their physicians with a choice, another treatment alternative at the risk of arrest. Criminal charges do not ordinarily fall within medicine’s scope. It is an unfair burden to place on the ill or their doctors. Connecticut should wait until federal policy changes. Until then, patients should stick with legal drugs and therapy to alleviate their symptoms. Note: Why pass a state law that exposes sick to possible federal arrest? Source: New Haven Register (CT)Published: March 29, 2007Copyright: 2007 New Haven RegisterContact:  letters nhregister.comWebsite: http://www.nhregister.comRelated Articles:State Should Legalize Medical Marijuana Call For Relief Marijuana Bill Gains Support
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