Medical marijuana: A science-free zone at the White House [Blowback] HealthDest

Medical marijuana: A science-free zone at the White House [Blowback]  HealthDest

Medical marijuana: A science-free zone at the White House [Blowback]

Stephen Gutwillig and Bill Piper respond to The Times July 9 article U.S. decrees that marijuana has no accepted medical use. Gutwillig is the Drug Policy Alliances California state director; Piper is the groups national affairs director.

President Obama came into office promising to reverse George W. Bush administration practices and elevate science over politics. He explicitly applied that principle to drug policy, an area long driven by ideology and prejudice. He quickly began to make good on the pledge by promoting three evidence-based drug policies: eliminating the ban on states using federal funding for syringe exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis; reforming the racially unjust crack-cocaine sentencing disparity that punished crack offenses more harshly than powder offenses; and vowing to end years of federal interference in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

But as The Times July 9 article makes dismayingly clear, the White House is putting the science-free zone sign back up.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice issued medical marijuana guidelines to U.S. attorneys that are at best confusing and at worst a flip-flop on administration policy. The department’s much-heralded 2009 memo on the subject fulfilled candidate Obama’s campaign promise and established a principle that federal resources would not be wasted prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers who are in clear and unambiguous compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The...read more!Article source: http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/07/medical-marijuana-the-deas-science-free-zone-blowback.html

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