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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: Editorial: State Should Join Effort To Reclassify
Title:US CA: Editorial: State Should Join Effort To Reclassify
Published On:2011-12-03
Source:Bakersfield Californian, The (CA)
Fetched On:2011-12-10 06:03:52
STATE SHOULD JOIN EFFORT TO RECLASSIFY MARIJUANA

The governors of Washington and Rhode Island last week sought to clear
up the legal gray area created by the decriminalization of medical
marijuana in their states by asking the federal government to
reclassify the drug. Gov. Jerry Brown ought to join them.

Govs. Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat, and Lincoln Chafee
of Rhode Island, a Republican-turned-independent, have asked the
federal government to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted
medical uses. Marijuana is currently classified by the federal
government as a Schedule I controlled substance, which has "no
currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."
Other drugs in this category include heroin and LSD.

The governors want marijuana reclassified to Schedule II, which is the
classification for cocaine, morphine and opiates, which have "some
accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered or dispensed
for medical use."

As we in California well know, conflicting state and federal views on
marijuana have created a marketplace for medical marijuana that is
void of legitimate regulation and patient safety protections.

A reclassification of the drug could potentially lead to marijuana
being dispensed by pharmacies, which would be safer than, and
preferable to, the hodgepodge system of dispensaries, doctor
"recommendations," patient cards and uneven enforcement that has
resulted in illicit, back-door distribution to recreational users and
unnecessary difficulties for legitimate medical users.

As recently as July, the DEA decided against reclassifying marijuana,
but the decision was primarily based on old studies. A number of
medical associations and organizations support the reclassification,
including the American Medical Association, which reversed its
position because current law limits clinical research.

Sixteen states have adopted medical marijuana laws. The other 14
should join the effort initiated by Washington and Rhode Island -- and
it should start with Brown.
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