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February 28, 2013

"The right way to regulate pot"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new Los Angeles Times editorial.  Here is how it starts and ends:

Political movements like the tea party may come and go, but the pot party seems to get stronger with every national election, putting the federal government in an increasingly untenable position.

To date, more than one-third of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, at least for medical purposes, and, according to Americans for Safe Access, eight other states are considering bills to do the same. As a result, we're getting close to the point where half the country will have legalized a drug designated a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government, meaning it has no known medical uses and is as dangerous as heroin. This has been an overly restrictive classification since it was imposed in 1970, yet what's remarkable about the anti-prohibition movement is that it still hasn't prompted the government to reconsider its stance. A bill in Congress would do just that, but it also points out that there's a right way and a wrong way to proceed....

Regulatory failures have made it all too easy for recreational pot smokers to get their hands on the drug, even though that's not what California voters intended when they legalized medical marijuana in 1996. What we'd like to see is federal legislation that would treat marijuana like an ordinary prescription drug, complete with FDA oversight. Anything less would probably just add to the confusion and abuse.

February 28, 2013 at 06:39 PM | Permalink

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Comments

"Regulatory failures have made it all too easy for recreational pot smokers to get their hands on the drug, even though that's not what California voters intended when they legalized medical marijuana in 1996."

That is exactly what the proponents of the initiative intended. The margin of majority probably consisted of voters who bought the "medicinal use" line, though, so I suppose you can say that is not what "the voters" intended.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Feb 28, 2013 6:55:58 PM

And for what it's worth there is in fact an FDA approved form of THC. It's sold under the name Marinol.

Which does make me wonder if the pharmaceutical companies selling the stuff are amongst the supporters of the current CSA regime.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Feb 28, 2013 7:14:49 PM

"Regulatory failures have made it all too easy for recreational pot smokers to get their hands on the drug, even though that's not what California voters intended when they legalized medical marijuana in 1996."

I can't speak to what voters intended in 1996, but I wonder -- is it any harder to access medical marijuana in California than it is, say, Alprazolam or Hydrocodone?

Posted by: C60 | Mar 1, 2013 8:21:39 AM

1969: 84% oppose legal marijuana // 13% favour
2013: 43% oppose legal marijuana // 54% favour
(California)~Bay Area News Group

"Californians' support for legalizing pot at record level"

Funny that if one viewed movies & TV from '69 onward, such as "Cheech & Chong",
one should expect support for legalisation to have been at sky-high levels for decades.

Popular media have decidedly cheered and buttressed legalisation—and continue to do so—
somewhat akin to journalists' extraordinary endorsement of President Obama's 2nd inaugural, e.g.

:-P "You know, I feel, I feel like I should pinch myself right now Wolf (Blitzer)…I can't believe…to the President,
I'm very, very close."~~CNN correspondent, Jim Acosta

:-P "Reminds me of another 2nd Inaugural, Lincoln's..a..So much of Lincoln in that speech..aa..from the Gettysburg
Address to the 2nd Inaugural itself."~~MSNBC/NBC commentator, Chris Matthews

:-P "I just want to say…go back to the Founders, think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There was an uplifting, beyond rhetoric…
This was a bigger moment, I think, than a lot of people initially gave it credit for. ..and I was very moved…""…much more
eloquent than I expected, frankly...”~~NBC NBC News "Chief Foreign Affairs" correspondent, Andrea Mitchell

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 1, 2013 2:18:40 PM

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