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News (Media Awareness Project) - US WA: Edu: State Legislators Support Medical Marijuana
Title:US WA: Edu: State Legislators Support Medical Marijuana
Published On:2012-02-03
Source:Western Front, The (Western Washington Univ., WA Edu)
Fetched On:2012-02-04 06:01:50
STATE LEGISLATORS SUPPORT MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Washington State Lawmakers Sent a Letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration to Reclassify Marijuana's Drug Status So It Can Be Used
for Medical Purposes on Jan. 30.

Mitchell Moquin, a local artist and activist, has been using marijuana
medically for one year. He believes it should be legalized for medical
purposes only.

"Cannabis is critical for patients who are looking for a more
alternative method," Moquin said.

Under the Controlled Substances Act (1970), marijuana is currently
listed as a Schedule I substance.

Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse and are
currently not allowed or considered acceptable for use in medical
treatment in the United States, according to the act. Drugs classified
as Schedule I are the most restricted drugs listed on the DEA's website.

If marijuana were changed to a Schedule II substance, it would be in
the same group as cocaine, morphine and opium, according to the DEA.

The reclassification would clear up the legal status of medical
marijuana in Washington state, which was legalized in 1998 when 60
percent of voters approved its use.

The 43 Washington lawmakers who signed the letter did so in support of
a letter Govs. Gregoire and Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island) sent to the
DEA in November 2011.

"What we have out here on the ground is chaos," Gregoire said to The
New York Times. "And in the midst of all the chaos, we have patients
who really either feel like they're criminals or may be engaged in
some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want
medicinal marijuana."

[sidebar]

Legalize?

Initiative 502 would allow Washington state to regulate and tax
marijuana like it does for liquor. It will be on the November Ballot
if it fails to pass the Legislature.

The State Elections Division said the Initiative's sponsors gathered
nearly 278,000 signatures.

No public hearing in committee has been scheduled yet for the
initiative.

Source: Office of the Secretary of State's blog
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