21 October 2009

Obama Administration does something small but good

CNN reports that the US Justice Department has told federal prosecutors to pursue drug traffickers but NOT patients and caregivers in the 14 states that have legalised medical marijuana.

"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana," said Attorney General Eric Holder.


The Justice Department guidance said it would not be a wise use of federal resources to go after "individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law."

Of course, indeed it is the only humane approach.

Besides recognising the competency of states in deciding this sort of thing, it is a slight lessening of the rabid war on drugs that every previous administration, for decades has fought unsuccessfully.

The states where medical marijuana use is legal are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Let's be clear this is not legalisation, or decriminalisation, and drug users in those states wont be immune from Federal criminal action, but it does mean attention is withdrawn from a segment that simply comprises sick people using marijuana for relief. By what measure does the Federal Government have any right to interfere with this?

So dare I say it, a step for freedom from the Obama Administration.

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