OUR OPINION: LePage should urge legalization of medical pot

December 2nd, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Posted: 12:00 AM

OUR OPINION: LePage should urge legalization of medical pot

The governors of Washington and Rhode Island are taking the lead in addressing a problem that also exists here in Maine. Gov. Paul LePage would do well to join the fight.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a Rhode Island independent, and Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat from Washington, have petitioned the federal government to reclassify marijuana so that the medical marijuana programs in their states won’t run into legal problems with federal law enforcement.

Maine people need that protection as well, and this situation is causing unneeded trauma for patients and care givers here.

Federal law classifies marijuana as a drug that is illegal in all circumstances. Sixteen states allow the legal distribution of cannabis for medical purposes. In Maine and the other states, a patient or caregiver could buy marijuana from a state-approved dealer and still face the risk of federal criminal prosecution.

This discrepancy was brought up by opponents of medical marijuana when the issue was before the voters in 2009, but the voters approved a law expanding the availability of medical marijuana though the creation of dispensaries. The state is licensing dispensaries, investors are putting money into them, and people with approved medical needs are relying on them for care.

Now is not

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/lepage-should-urge-legalizationof-medical-pot_2011-12-01.html