Pubdate: Wed, 15 Apr 2009
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2009 The Detroit News
Author: Bruce Mirken


Syndicated columnist Clarence Page ("End marijuana raids, begin new
sanity," March 15 online column) has it exactly right. The decision by
the Obama administration to end Drug Enforcement Administration raids
aimed at undermining state medical marijuana laws is a good start, but
it's only a first step.

Federal policy on medical marijuana simply ignores the growing mass of
scientific evidence that it can safely and effectively treat certain
types of pain, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss and other symptoms that
cause great suffering to patients battling cancer and other illnesses.

At the bare minimum, the administration should reconsider marijuana's
classification as a Schedule I drug under federal law -- a bizarre
categorization that treats marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine or
methamphetamine. And it should re-open the long closed "compassionate
use" program that continues to provide medical marijuana to three
federally approved patients, but was closed to new applicants in 1992.

President Barack Obama says he wants to base decisions on science
instead of ideology. Medical marijuana is an obvious place to start.

Bruce Mirken, Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project,
Washington, D.C. 
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