Several States Take Another Look at Medical Marijuana Laws

Warning letters from the federal government about medical marijuana laws have prompted several states to start reevaluating their laws, USA Today reports. The recent letters from U.S. attorneys indicate that people involved in the growing, dispensing and regulating of medical marijuana have the potential to be prosecuted—even if they are following state laws.

One such warning letter prompted Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire to veto a proposal to create licensed marijuana dispensaries, the article says.

The letter to Gregoire warned that state employees would not be exempt from prosecution if they regulated medical marijuana. Although no state workers have been charged under federal law for regulating medical marijuana, Gregoire said she didn’t want to risk it, according to the newspaper. Gregoire, who is Chair of the National Governors Association, says she wants to work with other governors to change federal law so that medical marijuana is reclassified at a Schedule 2 substance, along with morphine and oxycodone.

Warning letters have also been sent to officials in California, Colorado, Montana and Rhode Island. In Montana, federal authorities recently conducted raids at growing facilities, and last week targeted dispensaries in Spokane, WA, the article states.

The medical use of marijuana, which is not legal under federal law, has been approved in more than a dozen states, USA Today notes.

The article says the Justice Department issued a statement that prosecutors will not allow significant drug-trafficking organizations to shield their illegal operations by pretending they are medical dispensaries

4 Responses to Several States Take Another Look at Medical Marijuana Laws

  1. PJC | May 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    In a few years, our Federal government will understand the costs associated with the wars’ severely magnified incidents of PTSD and TBI on their bottom line. May our government hear our wounded warriors plea to see the light accessible from a free-little-green plant.

  2. Brinna Nanda | May 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    It should be obvious that “another look” at medical marijuana is not coming from the “bottom-up,” i.e. the will of the people, but rather from the “top-down”, i.e. the federal government, which has an long-standing agenda of maintaining the web of drug-prohibition enforcement. This has had an increasingly deleterious effect upon public welfare, with virtually no positive results to show after 100 years of mindless adherence to a failed policy. I strongly believe that all of us in the public health community must speak up, and make our objections known to this continued criminalization of what is clearly an health issue. Our present system is so entirely broken, we simply have to step beyond old ways of thinking. Given the powerful medical properties of cannabis, not only in the realm of analgesia, and anti-emetics, but as we are now learning, as an anti-cancer agent, we can no longer keep silent. I am begging my colleagues to take “another look” at this situation, and speak out from both heart and sense.

  3. Joe Coykendall | May 7, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Our government has thoroughly brainwashed the American people to believe that marijuana is the killer drug when in fact alcohol has become so sociably accepted that we aren’t even aware of the devastating effects that it entails. The focus here should be more towards the educational aspects of any drug. I think that it is absolutely silly that we are so focused on marijuana abuse when we compromise the family values to the point that our children are not properly brought up right. It is really sad to see what the typical teen of today believes and what he/she does to find validation. They definitely CANNOT find it through only 1(one) parent…

  4. Sandra Streifel | May 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    It would be a good idea for the States involved to take another look at regulating, licensing, and taxing the sale of marijuana to supplement their budgets (not for further tax cuts). People with legitimate medical diagnoses could get discounts.

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