Medical Marijuana Gets A Boost In Washington D.C.

Medical Marijuana Gets A Boost In Washington D.C.

450px-Marijuana_plantThe U.S. Senate appears be taking up the battle over the medical marijuana. Two Democrats and one Republican are introducing a bill that would protect medical marijuana patients, doctors and businesses from federal prosecution in states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. 23 states and the District of Columbia permit the use of marijuana for prescribed medical purposes.

The bill also would remove marijuana from the category of most-dangerous drugs.

The bill, sponsored by Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republic Rand Paul of Kentucky would give military veterans in states with medical marijuana laws easier access to the drug by allowing VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana.

Some of America’s 100 million chronic pain patients use marijuana to help treat their pain, and generally report it to be a help, but there is no real science on the subject. As one doctor told the National Pain Report recently, because of its classification as a Schedule 1 drug that has no medical benefit and its illegal status, studies essentially weren’t allowed.

A lower schedule for marijuana would not make it legal under federal law, but it may ease restrictions on research.

Now, remember if you live in one of the 27 states where medical marijuana is not legal, this won’t change much. The bill doesn’t force states to legalize medical marijuana, but it does protect states that do from federal interference.

Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is picking up steam, In Alaska, adults 21 and older can now transport, buy or possess up to an ounce of marijuana and six plants. Washington D.C. just implemented a law approved by voters. Oregon voters approved a measure allowing adults to posses up to an ounce of marijuana in public and 8 ounces in their homes, set to take effect July 1.

Colorado and Washington previously passed similar ballot measures legalizing marijuana in 2012.

There are many strong voices still against marijuana legalization. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed its opposition to legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use.

The White House Office of Drug Control Policy has this statement on its website, which seems to try and find a middle ground but certainly doesn’t support legalization.

There’s no middle ground for Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz. In February, he actually threatened Washington D.C. officials with going to jail before they made marijuana legal after voters approved an initiative. Marijuana is legal in D.C. and no public official has gone to jail as a result of that.

What do you think?

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@Edcoghlan

 

Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Brian Kelly at 1:36 pm

    When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

    Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

    Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

    Support Medical Marijuana Now!

    “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

    “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

    “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003