Governors Ask U.S. To Ease Rules on Marijuana
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Governors Ask U.S. To Ease Rules on Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on November 30, 2011 at 12:34:24 PT
By Michael Cooper
Source: New York Times
USA -- The governors of Washington and Rhode Island petitioned the federal government on Wednesday to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses, saying the change is needed so states like theirs, which have decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes, can regulate the safe distribution of the drug without risking federal prosecution. The move by the governors — Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat, and Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island, an independent who used to be a Republican — injected new political muscle into the debate on the status of marijuana, which has been raging for decades.
Their states are among the 16 that now allow medical marijuana, but which have seen efforts to grow and distribute the drug targeted by federal prosecutors.“The divergence in state and federal law creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who may need medical cannabis,” the governors wrote Wednesday to Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin and L.S.D. Drugs with that classification, the government says, have a high potential for abuse and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The governors want marijuana reclassified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which would put it in the same category as drugs like cocaine, opium and morphine. The federal government says that those drugs have a strong potential for abuse and addiction, but that they also have “some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.” Such a classification would allow pharmacies to dispense marijuana, in addition to the marijuana dispensaries that currently operate in a murky legal zone in many states. “What we have out here on the ground is chaos,” Governor Gregoire said in a telephone interview. “And in the midst of all the chaos we have patients who really either feel like they’re criminals or may be engaged in some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want medicinal marijuana. “If our people really want medicinal marijuana, then we need to do it right, we need to do it with safety, we need to do it with health in mind, and that’s best done in a process that we know works in this country — and that’s through a pharmacist.” The state of Washington approved medical marijuana in 1998, with a ballot question that won 60 percent of the vote. But like many states, Washington soon found itself in a legal gray area. The Legislature tried to clarify things last spring, when it passed a law that would have explicitly legalized, regulated and licensed marijuana dispensaries and growers. But the Justice Department warned the governor that growing and distributing marijuana was still against federal law, and said that “state employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability.” Ms. Gregoire, while sympathetic to the goals of the bill, wound up vetoing much of it. It was similar on the other side of the country, where Rhode Island had passed a law authorizing state-regulated marijuana dispensaries. This fall Governor Chafee announced that he could not go ahead with the plan because federal prosecutors had warned him that the dispensaries could be the targets of prosecution. On Wednesday Mr. Chafee said that reclassifying the drug could help many people. “Patients across Rhode Island and across the United States, many of whom are in tremendous pain, stand to experience some relief,” he said in a statement. Other groups have sought reclassification of marijuana in the past, and as recently as this past June the Drug Enforcement Administration denied a petition to do so, based on a review conducted several years earlier. But Ms. Gregoire and Mr. Chafee said the attitude of the medical community had changed since the federal government last reviewed the issue. In 2009 the American Medical Association changed its position and called for reviewing the classification of marijuana, saying that the current classification was limiting clinical research. Ms. Gregoire noted that many doctors believe it makes no sense to place marijuana in a more restricted category than opium and morphine. “People die from overdose of opiates,” she said. “Has anybody died from marijuana?” Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Michael CooperPublished: November 30, 2011 Copyright: 2011 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on December 01, 2011 at 09:56:19 PT
FoM #4
Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 30, 2011 at 15:00:22 PT.
This Doesn't Make Sense.
Excerpt: Such a classification would allow pharmacies to dispense marijuana, in addition to the marijuana dispensaries that currently operate in a murky legal zone in many states.***How would Cannabis being made Schedule II allow Dispensaries to sell it?afterburner: The following quote from cannamed may be a description of the kind of dispensaries that would be allowed by Federal Schedule 2 of medical cannabis:Comment #5 posted by cannamed on November 29, 2011 at 18:23:57 PT:
Excerpt {
"ATTENTION DISPENSARIES."Remember, it is the DUTY of the dispensary to make sure the MMJ CLINIC is LIC (Has FNP Permit) and that the DOCTOR's license is RENEWED and CURRENT."If doctor's license is RENEWED and CURRENT, this DOES NOT MEAN the clinic is legal. It must be DOCTOR owned, unlike these illegal 420 clinics."ONLY A CA LICENSED MEDICAL DOCTOR CAN OWN, OPERATE and CONTROL A MEDICAL PRACTICE!!!!THIS IS THE LAW AND IT MAKES SENSE!!! LOBBY NOTICE FOR ALL DISPENSARIES." 
--Posted IN:Medical Marijuana Cards Available Today.
Posted by CN Staff on December 01, 2005 at 07:39:39 PT.
By Erica Solvig, The Desert Sun. 
Source: Desert Sun. It's time we heeded the prophetic words of Dr. Benjamin Rush, "Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict
the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom." Medical Doctors are responsible for many deaths. The pills and legal medicines that they push are also responsible for many deaths. It is irresponsible to give such people and industries a monopoly on the healing powers of cannabis!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 30, 2011 at 15:00:22 PT
This Doesn't Make Sense
Excerpt: Such a classification would allow pharmacies to dispense marijuana, in addition to the marijuana dispensaries that currently operate in a murky legal zone in many states. ***How would Cannabis being made Schedule II allow Dispensaries to sell it?
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on November 30, 2011 at 14:46:57 PT
schedule II
Schedule 2 will just mean it is nearly impossible for anyone to get officially, like pharmaceutical cocaine and morphine.
It will allow access channels through pharmacists or hospitals only, but again, will be as difficult to get as the most controlled, addictive pain meds.Schedule 2 may as well be schedule 1 for all practical purposes.
Access for most will remain the black market.
The only thing that would be gained from schedule 2 may be more access to cannabis for independent researchers.None of this scheduling makes sense for cannabis. It's safer than the OTC drugs and supplements. Just legalize it like beer.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on November 30, 2011 at 14:27:36 PT
prejudice runs deep
I wish them luck!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 30, 2011 at 13:43:19 PT
Chafee Asks Federal Government To Ease Pot Rules
November 30, 2011URL:
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