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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: Editorial: Medical Marijuana A Federal Problem
Title:US CA: Editorial: Medical Marijuana A Federal Problem
Published On:2011-10-09
Source:Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Fetched On:2011-10-11 06:00:54

Our View: Congress Should Clean Up the Mess Made by States Like
California That Allow Medical Marijuana.

It was inevitable that the federal government would at some point
start to push back on medical marijuana, and it appears that time is now.

Whether you consider it a medicine or a drug, using it, possessing
it, selling it, transporting it and growing it are all federal
offenses, unless Congress opts to change the law.

California and the other 15 states that have legalized medical
marijuana have done such a miserable job of setting rules and
enforcing them that it's become a shell game for profiteers and
recreational users of the drug.

The rules are so vague, the cops don't even know how to enforce them.
And those who exploit the law know it, and push the envelope.
Marijuana stores proliferate, disguised as collectives or
collaboratives. Grows expand beyond the needs of true patients. A
trade in marijuana develops.

And it appears the feds have had enough.

At a press conference in Sacramento Friday, the four U.S. attorney
covering California announced an all-out offensive against the
marijuana trade. Landlords who allow their storefronts to become
selling points for marijuana face seizure of their property and assets.

This comes on the heels of the stern warnings that have been issued
to cities like Chico that are or were developing permitting systems
for marijuana dispensaries. Anyone furthering such facilities faces
prosecution. Those letters hint that could include city staffers who
process applications, or city councilors who approve the application process.

And remember that last month, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives sent a letter to gun sellers saying it is
illegal for medical marijuana patients to own firearms. Medical
marijuana are faced with two choices: pass on gun ownership or lie
about their use of marijuana exposing themselves to federal perjury charges.

The states that have legalized medical marijuana have really brought
this on ourselves due to our haphazard laws. It's now a federal
problem. Federal law enforcement is on the move, but really it's
something Congress should act on. We have a federal law that's in
direct conflict with a growing number of state laws, and only
Congress can fix that.

It could create a national medical marijuana law, which doesn't seem
likely. It could legalize the stuff, which seems even a far more
remote possibility

But it might set national standards for how states that opt to allow
medical marijuana distinguish legitimate patients from people who
just want to get high, and set the ways those true patients could get
their medicine.

The current system is a mess, and without congressional action, it's
about to get ugly.
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