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Medical marijuana policy changes

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

President Obama plans to change medical marijuana policy – the Federal government will no longer prosecute medical marijuana users or their suppliers – as long as they remain in compliance with the law.

Justice officials told the Associated Press that going after those who supply medical marijuana is not a good use of time.

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Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington currently allow marijuana retailers for medical purposes. The Federal government will still prosecute for illicit use of marijuana.

The DEA has never viewed smoked marijuana as a medicine, and to date, the DEA’s position is “Legalization of marijuana, no matter how it begins, will come at the expense of our children and public safety. It will create dependency and treatment issues, and open the door to use of other drugs, impaired health, delinquent behavior, and drugged drivers.” The DEA has failed to recognize the benefits of smoked marijuana for treating medical illness, saying marijuana "has no currently accepted medical use in reatment in the United States.”

The medical marijuana policy is limited, but is a turnaround from the Bush administration. Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project "This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality." A change in medical marijuana policy is a victory for proponents and dispensaries that are widespread in California.

Reference: AP