Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 2009
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Bruce Mirken


It is indeed heartening that the Supreme Court, by declining to hear
San Diego County's absurd attempt to overturn California's medical
marijuana laws, chose not to trample on the right of states to
establish small outposts of sanity in marijuana policy ("State's
rights affirmed," May 21). But the Appeal-Democrat is right: We need
more than baby steps.

Scientifically, the case for medical marijuana has been a no-brainer
for years. It's long past time for federal law to recognize this, and
let patients who need medical marijuana anywhere in the U.S. have
access to it

Beyond that, it's time to rethink our whole approach to a drug that,
even when used as a so-called "recreational" substance, is beyond any
doubt safer than alcohol. Different states may want to approach
marijuana regulation differently. It would be a fine thing if the
federal government were to get out of the way and let the states experiment.

Who knows? California might even decide to help dig its way out of
debt by regulating and taxing marijuana like we do liquor. As our
governor said recently, it's certainly worth discussing.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project, San Francisco
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