Game changer of an editorial published July 27, 2014
That law, so antique that it uses the spelling “marihuana,” is still on the books, and is the principal reason that possessing the substance … is considered illegal by the United States government. Changing it wouldn’t even require an act of Congress — the attorney general or the secretary of Health and Human Services could each do so — although the law should be changed to make sure that future administrations could not reimpose the ban.
It’s hard for the public to take seriously a law that says marijuana and heroin have exactly the same “high potential for abuse,” since that ignores the vastly more addictive power of narcotics, which have destroyed the lives of millions of people around the world. (There are no documented deaths from a marijuana overdose.) The 44-year refusal of Congress and eight administrations to alter marijuana’s place on Schedule I has made the law a laughingstock, one that states are openly flouting.
John Entwistle says: Click here to read this important opinion piece. We do take exception to one part of the Times’ proposal which is quoted below:
"Consuming marijuana is not a fundamental right that should be imposed on the states by the federal government, in the manner of abortion rights, health insurance, or the freedom to marry a partner of either sex. It’s a choice that states should be allowed to make based on their culture and their values, and it’s not surprising that the early adopters would be socially liberal states like Colorado and Washington, while others hang back to gauge the results."
John Entwistle continues: This is just plain wrong. Medical pot is as important to patients in Kansas and Texas as it is to us in California. This is why federal action should start with rescheduling pot to Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act with all normal follow through to encourage the states to follow suit in the interest of uniformity. The two Bills mentioned are interesting but not the first step by far, although the “Hands off medical states DEA Bill” is a nice motion in the right direction.