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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: OPED: End Federal Marijuana Ban
Title:US CA: OPED: End Federal Marijuana Ban
Published On:2012-01-24
Source:Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)
Fetched On:2012-01-25 06:02:30

It is time for citizens to unite to end federal marijuana
prohibition. The marijuana industry is in communities throughout the
United States. Federal marijuana prohibition is generating violence,
corruption, ignorance, and waste on many levels. To deal with the
problems of marijuana abuse, and to develop the many new therapeutic
uses of cannabis being discovered, we should bring cannabis into the
light by repealing federal marijuana prohibition laws. The California
Medical Association, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, and
twenty-one members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently have
called for an end to federal marijuana prohibition.

James T. Hay, president of the California Medical Association, said
in an Oct. 16, 2011 news release, "This was a carefully considered,
deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific
grounds. As physicians, we need to have a better understanding about
the benefits and risks of medical cannabis so that we can provide the
best possible care for our patients."

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Dec.
13, 2011, to ask for an end to federal marijuana prohibition.
"Inconsistencies in local, state and federal law create challenges
within our public safety system network and criminal justice system,"
the supervisors stated. "Mendocino County supports the regulation,
legalization, and taxation of marijuana.."

Here in Northern California, marijuana growing is a major source of
livelihood. Medical marijuana is legal under California law.
Mendocino County and other local governments are struggling to make
regulations to permit medical marijuana growing, and to protect
citizens from the negative impacts of marijuana growing and sales.

Now there is a federal enforcement attack on growers and dispensaries
operating legally under California state law. Some local officials
have received letters from federal drug enforcement officials,
threatening criminal prosecution if they act to permit or regulate
medical marijuana. The outlaw marijuana society we are creating by
allowing federal marijuana prohibition is not good for us, our
children or grandchildren. There are the vested interests of outlaw
growers making profits, enforcement agencies building their budgets
and seizing assets from outlaws, criminal gangs spreading corruption
and violence in many nations, and a prison-industrial complex
overcrowded with inmates convicted of marijuana offenses.

Youth with few employment opportunities are being drawn into the
shadowy world of marijuana growing and sales. Houses which could
shelter people without homes are used to grow marijuana secretly,
using much electrical energy in a world crying for energy conservation.

Most tragically, proponents and opponents of marijuana are played
against each other, preventing us from openly discussing the real
problems of marijuana abuse by youth and others, and inhibiting
research into the many healing uses of cannabis

Please consider joining me in demanding that 2012 be the year that we
end the nightmare of marijuana prohibition by enacting HR 2306, the
Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, introduced in the U.S.
House of Representatives by Rep. Barney Frank and 20 co-sponsors on
June 23, 2011. This law, when approved, will repeal all federal
penalties for production, distribution and possession of marijuana.
The only federal marijuana penalties will be for transporting
marijuana to states in violation of state laws.

I hope our current California Northcoast congressional
representatives, Mike Thompson and Lynn Woolsey, will hear from
concerned citizens in a united outcry to enact HR 2306; and that
California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein will introduce
a companion bill in the U.S. Senate. The citizens of the United
States ended alcohol prohibition, and I know we can work together to
end marijuana prohibition.
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