Ending the war on medical patients

SFChron:

In response to recent questions from The Chronicle about medical marijuana, Obama’s campaign – the only one of the three contenders to reply – endorsed a hands-off federal policy.

“Voters and legislators in the states – from California to Nevada to Maine – have decided to provide their residents suffering from chronic diseases and serious illnesses like AIDS and cancer with medical marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering,” said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

“Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice – though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulation like other drugs,” LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course

LaBolt also said Obama would end U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana suppliers in states with their own laws.

Ecumenical call to end “war on drugs”

Instant karma

Amnesty International can do more good in Darfur than the Bush administration.

Medical marijuana round-up

Thehim summarizes:

Already Legal: California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.

New Hampshire: A bill failed in the House.

Connecticut: A bill has passed the legislature and is on Governor Rell’s desk. It’s not known whether she’ll sign.

New York: A bill may be passed by the Assembly this week.

New Jersey: Hearings have been held in the legislature but no bills have been voted on.

Maryland: A 2003 bill allows for an affirmative legal defense for medical marijuana users, but it’s still technically illegal.

Michigan: The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care is collecting signatures to force a vote in the legislature.

Illinois: A bill failed in the State Senate.

Wisconsin: A bill is expected to be introduced this summer.

Minnesota: A bill died in the State House.

Texas: Legislators failed to get a bill introduced.

Even in the states where it’s been legalized, though, the federal prohibition on any use of marijuana still exists and puts medical marijuana users across the country in a state of legal limbo. You can check here and here for updates.

Related post:

Medical marijuana in New York

New York Daily News:

[New York Governor Eliot] Spitzer, who during his campaign argued against making it legal to prescribe marijuana, said his views on the topic changed after he met with medical experts and patients who told him pot helped them cope with chronic ailments.

“We have taken a hard look at it over the past number of months, and I’m open to signing a bill, if it’s properly structured for appropriate use, based upon the evidence that has been presented to me,” said Spitzer, who has acknowledged he smoked marijuana as a college student.

As to his altered view, Spitzer said: “You learn, you study, you evolve. This is one where I had, as a prosecutor, a presumption against the use of any narcotic. … Now there are ways that have persuaded me it can be done properly.”

It’s a race with Connecticut to become the 13th state to end cannabis prohibition and begin a process of sensible regulation.

John Edwards for President

Finally!:

Asked by a crowd member if he would continue the Bush administration practice of conducting raids against those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes, Edwards said he would not. In those states where voters had approved medicinal marijuana, he said he would honor the democratic process.

Related post:

(And it turns out, we share a birthday.)

Correction: His birthday is the day before mine.

Witness, receive and transmit.

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