Everybody May Get Stoned….,
June 12, 2009 1 Comment
at least for medicinal purposes, that is.
I took some liberty with the Bob Dylan 1966 song, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (aka known as “Everybody Must Get Stoned”) in today’s headline. This, however, may become a reality, at least for medical marijuana, in the Obama administration.
Currently, laws that effectively remove state-level criminal penalties for growing and/or possessing medical marijuana are in place in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Ten states, plus the District of Columbia, have symbolic medical marijuana laws (laws that support medical marijuana but do not provide patients with legal protection under state law).
However, according to federal law any use of marijuana is illegal. In its 2005 opinion, the Supreme Court Raich v. Gonzales, ruled that the federal government can prosecute medical marijuana patients, even in states with compassionate use laws, and the Drug Enforcement Agency continues to investigate and arrest, under federal statute, medical marijuana providers and users in those states and elsewhere.
Earlier this year Attorney General, Eric Holder, has signaled an end to these federal raids by DEA of medical marijuana dispensaries, operating in accordance with state laws. His declaration fulfills a campaign promise by President Barack Obama, and marks a major shift from the previous administration.
Recently the Congressional Research Service recently released the report, Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies, outlining the current debate about legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana.