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September 13, 2010

The More Things Change...

A brief AP announcement last week described a late August request from nine ex DEA Administrators urging President Obama to sue California over Proposition 19, just as he’d sued Arizona over its decision to become involved in immigration policy.

Quite apart from not mentioning that the initiative process itself was not addressed by either the US or California Supreme Courts on the multiple occasions each has ruled on Prop 215 cases, the ex DEA administrators share an obvious bias in favor of a controversial policy. The only reason Proposition 215 came before California voters in 1996 was because the cannabis policy they had spent their careers enforcing had become so controversial. Continuing opposition by police agencies to any admission that cannabis has medical benefit is a given; the real news since Proposition 215 was passed in 1996 is its surprising popularity with people in all walks of life. If all supporters of medical marijuana are criminals, we live in a truly lawless country.

There are many reasons for unhappiness with Proposition 19's wording: it fails to protect the most vulnerable users (those below 21) it doesn’t incorporate the most important clinical evidence supplied by 215 applicants; it also still panders unnecessarily to the prejudices of the status quo.

That said, rejection by voters in November would be perceived as a set back and only encourage support by die-hards of a repressive policy that was already failing badly; even before Nixon's own lies forced him to resign in 1974.

Far a more balanced assessment of contemporary cannabis policy, see a recent column by David Sirota.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at September 13, 2010 06:35 PM