Pubdate: Fri, 30 Oct 2009
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Langley Times
Author: Travis Erbacher


Editor: Very quietly, U.S. President Barack Obama may have made one of the
biggest, most revolutionary policy decisions of all time. Lost beneath the
deafening noise of the 'public option' debate, is an equally significant bit
of healthcare reform: the U.S. federal government will no longer arrest
medical marijuana patients.

To the average person this may not sound significant. After all, if
they are medical marijuana patients, and the state they live in has
medical marijuana exemptions, why would they be arrested? Well, the
answer is that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is an
unconstitutional department that overrides state laws.

For years, the DEA has gone into states that give out medical
marijuana licences, arresting dying AIDS and cancer patients and
throwing them in jail. So even though these sick and dying people are
complying with state laws, they are in violation of the federal ban on

In the meantime, it looks as if California has a very real shot at
legalizing marijuana. Several bills sit in the state's legislature and
support is growing. In fact, national support for marijuana
legalization south of the border is almost at 50 per cent.

It is very possible that once California legalizes, other states will
follow suit. This makes it doubly disgraceful that our Conservative
government is bringing in mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.
We already have harsher drug laws than 13 U.S. states.

While it is unbelievable that stopping the arrest of terminally ill
people for using medicine is a controversial idea, the president still
deserves applause.

There is still a ways to go, but things are starting to look
optimistic. Thank you, Barack Obama.

Yes we can/nabis.

Travis Erbacher,

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