Aug 22 2013

firedoglake: Obama Punishes Medical Marijuana Patients in Many Ways Besides Arrest

Despite overwhelming support from the general public, significant backing from medical doctors, and even several prominent Republicans publicly acknowledging cannabis has a legitimate medical use, the Obama administration officially insists it does not.

The administration’s traditional dodge when asked to explain this unpopular and scientifically unjustifiable position is to act as if it is a non-issue because they are not arresting medical marijuana patients. When Jessica Yellin asked on Wednesday why the administration refused to use its power to reschedule marijuana to make it legal for medical use Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded, “the President and the administration believe that targeting individual marijuana users, especially those with serious illnesses and their caregivers, is not the best allocation of federal law enforcement resources.” They pretend since they are not arresting patients rescheduling doesn’t matter.

The possibility of arrest, though, is only a small part of how legitimate medical marijuana patients are significantly punished because the Obama administration refuses to use its power to remove marijuana from Schedule I. Over the years the legal tentacles of the war on drugs have been allowed to touch all parts of federal policy, from gun rights to education.

This decision by the administration can cost patients their jobs and employment opportunities. Companies that receive federal contracts are required to be “drug-free” workplaces. Since under federal law marijuana has “no accepted medical use,” it is considered a violation.

It can make it more difficult for people to pursue an education. Since federal law requires colleges to be “drug-free” to get federal dollars, patients can’t have medical cannabis on campus.

It creates added problems for sick veterans. Many veterans get treatment at the VA but under federal law these doctors can’t prescribe marijuana. To get medical marijuana they need to find a doctor outside the system which can be a real financial burden and complicates treatment.

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “firedoglake: Obama Punishes Medical Marijuana Patients in Many Ways Besides Arrest”

  1. John Johnsonon 22 Aug 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I think there’s a lot invested in keeping it labelled a dangerous drug, particularly the funding, infrastructure, and jobs created to combat its use. They know that if they downgrade it then eventually there will be calls to remove funding because its not dangerous. If it’s not dangerous then why should we fund efforts to stop its use.

    It makes sense logically, but it’s still a bunch of crap. We need to legalize it and tax it. Then we take that deadweight loss to the economy that’s currently going to the cartels and put it into new roads and American jobs, or better yet, actual rehabilitation for drug abusers and drug awareness instead of the antiquated bend over while we punish you and hope you change your ways out of fear of being punished again.

    Down worry guys, Sanjay Gupta is on our side now!! I equate it to the moment Cronkite said we lost Vietnam.

  2. The Deaconon 22 Aug 2013 at 7:30 pm

    “I think there’s a lot invested in keeping it labelled a dangerous drug, particularly the funding, infrastructure, and jobs created to combat its use.” Its a matter of financial readjustment. Obviously there is more money to be made from marijuana being legal and taxed than continuing the status quo. But the gov’t’s/people who are in power now do not want to hurt their own income. From Obama down to the lowly DEA agent with a wife and 2 kids. Since science is not relevant to the DEA’s Scheduling process what is their motivation in these times of medical marijuana’s miraculous healing properties being revealed? Money…

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