Pubdate: Wed, 29 Jun 2005
Source: Beacon Journal, The (OH)
Copyright: 2005 The Beacon Journal Publishing Co.
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Raich v. Gonzales)


What's the real impact of state-level medical marijuana laws on
interstate commerce? Patients with the option of legally obtaining
marijuana under a doctor's recommendation don't rely on the black
market. If the federal government decides to focus federal law
enforcement resources on busting voter-approved medical marijuana
suppliers, desperate patients will turn to street dealers for their

The U.S. Supreme Court effectively confirmed organized crime's
monopoly on marijuana distribution. International drug cartels are no
doubt thrilled with the court's ruling. It's now up to Congress to
decide whether or not to maintain the status quo.

Despite overwhelming public support for medical marijuana, many
politicians remain fearful of drug policy reform. Far too much
political capital has been invested in the war on some drugs.
Tough-on-drugs politicians have built careers on confusing drug
prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant.

I can only hope the prospect of federal agents arresting cancer and
AIDS patients inspires Congress to pass compassionate-use legislation.
Reefer madness is a poor excuse for criminalizing healthy citizens who
prefer marijuana to martinis. There is no excuse for prosecuting sick
patients desperate to ease their suffering.

Robert Sharpe Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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