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Pete Guithier, Drug War Rant: Must-read on the Medical Marijuana crackdown

Must-read on the Medical Marijuana crackdown
by Pete Guithier, October 25, 2011

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject so far.

In a Strange About-Face, the President Tries to Hack Medical Marijuana Off at the Knees by Ray Stern in the Phoenix New Times.

There was no doubt about it: Obama was intent on killing an entire industry — in the middle of a depression, no less. Left unexplained was why, especially since he was giving the finger to voters in 16 states just a year before he would face them in his own election.

Except one group, says Salazar: “It’s a mystery . . . where the pressure is coming from. My sense is it’s coming from law enforcement.”

Makes sense to me.

As more research comes in showing that pot can be an effective treatment, and with America’s elderly population exploding in the coming decades, interest in its medicinal qualities apparently will only rise.

Ignorance, false propaganda, and rank political posturing tend to be the foundation of the anti-marijuana argument. (Throw in bureaucratic turf protection, as well. The DEA, for example, would need fewer agents if pot was decriminalized nationwide.)

Bingo.

The author does a great job of ridiculing the public servants who try to push propaganda rather than science:

Last December in Arizona, Will Humble, the state’s Department of Health Services director, held a proposed-rules-on-medical-marijuana news conference about the state’s new Medical Marijuana Act. He took a moment to remind reporters that more than 1,000 Arizonans died last year from accidental overdoses of prescription drugs.

But when asked how many of them died from marijuana, Humble refused to answer — to chuckles from the audience. He referred the question to his chief medical officer, Laura Nelson, who would only say she’d “have to do the research on that” before she could answer.

Then Nelson began stammering about the danger of marijuana related to “car accidents” — though she had done no research on that, either.

He covers the importance of state action.

Like women’s suffrage, the medical-marijuana movement has — in 10 states, anyway — benefited by the direct democracy of citizens initiatives. These elections have taken the pulse of voters in a way that congressional elections cannot.

And he points out the challenge that the crackdown faces:

[Pheonix attorney Ty] Taber thinks the president may have underestimated his foe. “The people behind this marijuana movement — they’re committed. They are zealots. And these are smart people — not stoners saying, ‘Hey, dude, pass another slice of pizza.’”

Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza.

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