cannabisnews.com: Muddle Over Marijuana Demands a Solution
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Muddle Over Marijuana Demands a Solution
Posted by CN Staff on July 23, 2011 at 07:06:58 PT
By The Spokesman-Review
Source: Spokesman-Review
Olympia, WA --  If uncertainty could cure nausea, Washington stateís new medical marijuana laws would be a grand success. Alas, this not the case.Before the last legislative session in Olympia, the call came from all quarters to please produce legislation that would clarify the muddle of laws on medical marijuana. Washington state voters passed an initiative saying pot should be available for medicinal purposes, but clear guidelines have never been produced for its production and procurement.
Instead, state leaders have doubled down on the confusion, and communities have returned to groping along their own paths.Looming large over this mess are some federal law enforcers who are hanging back, and some who are not. Those who jump in cite a federal law proclaiming there isnít any medicinal value to marijuana. That law was adopted 41 years ago, when it wasnít known that pot could quell nausea and stimulate hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, and lower eye pressure in glaucoma patients.The Seattle City Council recently passed rules designed to fill in the gaps between what the Legislature passed and what the governor vetoed. In doing so, the city will regulate the production of marijuana and tax it. Some medical marijuana proponents like it; some donít. To show how strange this issue has become, one medical marijuana attorney says he will sue the city over the ordinance, because it has no right to tax a substance that the state and feds deem to be illegal.Meanwhile, in Spokane the feds have indicted the owners of two medical marijuana dispensaries that were shut down after raids in April.This disparate treatment of the same issue in the same state demonstrates the need for a clear-cut solution. We need a cross-jurisdictional meeting of the minds so that medicinal marijuana can be dispensed just like any other drug that requires a prescription.Yes, there is a federal law, albeit obsolete. Ideally, Congress would simply rewrite it. In the meantime, federal law enforcement has the leeway to set priorities on what it will pursue. Raids and prosecutions of well-meaning suppliers of medical pot donít strike us as a high priority or a smart use of taxpayer dollars. This is especially true in a state whose voters overwhelming adopted a medical marijuana initiative. Itís not enough to robotically state, ďJust doing our jobs.ĒOnce the feds show that they will back off, the Legislature can focus on writing clear guidelines, as opposed to the dozens of laws that recently went into effect. These new laws have left potential suppliers puzzled over how many patients they can help, and how to legally deliver the goods.As one proponent told the Associated Press, ďI donít even think (Gov. Chris) Gregoire understands what she put in (the law).ĒThe answer is to put the wishes of voters and the needs of patients first. The solutions will grow from there.Source: Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)Published: July 23, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Spokesman-ReviewContact: editor spokesman.comWebsite: http://www.spokesman.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/6AENHmOBCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml 
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