NY Times: Two governors Ask US to Ease Rules on Marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by min7b5, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/u...on-should-change-gregoire-and-chafee-say.html

    The governors of Washington and Rhode Island petitioned the federal government on Wednesday to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses, saying the change is needed so states like theirs, which have decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes, can regulate the safe distribution of the drug without risking federal prosecution.

    The move by the governors - Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat, and Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island, an independent who used to be a Republican - injected new political muscle into the debate on the status of marijuana, which has been raging for decades. Their states are among the 16 that now allow medical marijuana, but which have seen efforts to grow and distribute the drug targeted by federal prosecutors.

    “The divergence in state and federal law creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who may need medical cannabis,” the governors wrote Wednesday to Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin and L.S.D. Drugs with that classification, the government says, have a high potential for abuse and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

    The governors want marijuana reclassified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which would put it in the same category as drugs like cocaine, opium and morphine. The federal government says that those drugs have a strong potential for abuse and addiction, but that they also have “some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.”

    Such a classification would allow pharmacies to dispense marijuana, in addition to the marijuana dispensaries that currently operate in a murky legal zone in many states.

    “What we have out here on the ground is chaos,” Governor Gregoire said in a telephone interview. “And in the midst of all the chaos we have patients who really either feel like they're criminals or may be engaged in some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want medicinal marijuana.

    “If our people really want medicinal marijuana, then we need to do it right, we need to do it with safety, we need to do it with health in mind, and that's best done in a process that we know works in this country - and that's through a pharmacist.”

    The state of Washington approved medical marijuana in 1998, with a ballot question that won 60 percent of the vote. But like many states, Washington soon found itself in a legal gray area. The Legislature tried to clarify things last spring, when it passed a law that would have explicitly legalized, regulated and licensed marijuana dispensaries and growers.

    But the Justice Department warned the governor that growing and distributing marijuana was still against federal law, and said that “state employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability.” Ms. Gregoire, while sympathetic to the goals of the bill, wound up vetoing much of it.

    It was similar on the other side of the country, where Rhode Island had passed a law authorizing state-regulated marijuana dispensaries. This fall Governor Chafee announced that he could not go ahead with the plan because federal prosecutors had warned him that the dispensaries could be the targets of prosecution.

    On Wednesday Mr. Chafee said that reclassifying the drug could help many people. “Patients across Rhode Island and across the United States, many of whom are in tremendous pain, stand to experience some relief,” he said in a statement.

    Other groups have sought reclassification of marijuana in the past, and as recently as this past June the Drug Enforcement Administration denied a petition to do so, based on a review conducted several years earlier. But Ms. Gregoire and Mr. Chafee said the attitude of the medical community had changed since the federal government last reviewed the issue.

    In 2009 the American Medical Association changed its position and called for reviewing the classification of marijuana, saying that the current classification was limiting clinical research.

    Ms. Gregoire noted that many doctors believe it makes no sense to place marijuana in a more restricted category than opium and morphine. “People die from overdose of opiates,” she said. “Has anybody died from marijuana?”
  2. Only two. Shameful.
  3. Every governor of a mmj state and the Mayor of DC should be signing on to this,,if you live in a mmj state.besides RI and WA,get an email out to your governor tonite!
  4. Oh? I beg to differ. :rolleyes:

    There are virtually no independent pharmacies around anymore. The corporations are all over that, naturally. America has a horrid problem with pharmacy-gotten pills, and the FDA's track record of "safety" is an absolute joke.

  5. Posted a similar thread in Legalization news before I saw this. Sorry for the double post but happy about the news!:smoke:
  6. :smoke:Nice its front page of Huffington Post right now!

    Stoked when I see good press, good coverage, and I'm smoking good grass.
  7. #9 Storm Crow, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2011
    Dudes, being the cynical old broad that I am, I could see this transformed into being a BAD thing!

    Just cut and pasted Wiki- LOOK at what a schedule 2 drug is- :eek:

    * Cocaine (used as a topical anesthetic);
    * Methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta) and Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) (used in treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder);
    * Opium and opium tincture (laudanum), which is used as a potent antidiarrheal;
    * Methadone (used in treatment of heroin addiction as well as for treatment of extreme chronic pain)
    * Oxycodone (semi-synthetic opioid; active ingredient in Percocet, OxyContin, and Percodan)
    * Fentanyl and most other strong pure opioid agonists, i.e. levorphanol, opium, or oxymorphone;
    * Morphine
    * Mixed Amphetamine Salts under brand name Adderall
    * Lisdexamfetamine under brand name Vyvanse
    * Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) Dextromethamphetamine (Desoxyn)
    * Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
    * Pure codeine and any drug for non-parenteral administration containing the equivalent of more than 90 mg of codeine per dosage unit.;
    * Pure hydrocodone and any drug for non-parenteral administration containing no other active ingredients or more than 15 mg per dosage unit.;
    * Secobarbital (Seconal)
    * Pethidine (USAN: Meperidine; Demerol)
    * Phencyclidine (PCP);
    * Short-acting barbiturates, such as pentobarbital, Nembutal;
    * Amphetamines were originally placed on Schedule III, but were moved to Schedule II in 1971. Injectable methamphetamine has always been on Schedule II;
    * Nabilone (Cesamet) A synthetic cannabinoid. An analogue to dronabinol (Marinol) which is a Schedule III drug.
    * Tapentadol (Nucynta) A new drug with mixed opioid agonist and norepinepherine re-uptake inhibitor activity.

    Now how many of those are legally available without a big hassle? :confused:

    I worry that this may be a way to limit access to the patients! If cannabis is a prescribed drug, will YOU be able to grow it? Will the dispensaries be closed and you are told to get your government/ big pharma cannabis from a "know-nothing" pharmacist? Will your doctor know enough to say you need "White Widow" for your problems, and not "Super Silver Haze"?

    And just to make things fun, at the moment, we have natural cannabis at Schedule 1, Nabilone, a synthetic THC at schedule 2, and Marinol, another type of synthetic THC at Schedule 3! :eek: / :confused_2:

    So depending on its origin or method of synthesis, THC can be schedule 1, 2 or 3... and it should just be DE-SCHEDULED since it has medical uses recognized by 16 US states. It is not physically addictive, and has less of an abuse potential than legal tobacco! :smoke: And it is safer than common aspirin.

    Common aspirin KILLS over 500 Americans every year...yet cannabis relieves pain faster and better than aspirin. Aspirin can cause Reyes Syndrome in children and adults, which may cause brain damage, or death.

    Reye's syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I, or a child, can buy aspirin at any market, drug store, or service station and no one will think a thing about it. Aspirin kills! Cannabis, in over 4,000 years of WRITTEN medical history, has NEVER caused an overdose fatality. Unless you choke on a baggie, or have a bale drop on your head, cannabis isn't going to kill you!


    Granny :wave:
  8. I dont buy this move by Christine Gregoire of Washington.

    I live in Washington , she has one of the worst records of any .. all time.

    She isnt even bothering to run for reelection her ratings are so low..

    She has caved numerously to federal threats , and destroyed a very well written MMJ bill here in Washington...

    She is pandering , I am betting she is eying some sort of big government position in D.C.
  9. Schedule II = Doctors Can Prescribe/Recommend = Good Thing
    National Press = Public Debate = Good Thing

    IMHO :smoke:

  10. Yeah, they got something up there sleeve....

    Weird how two people who have appeared to be so anti marijuana are flip flopping and trying to reschedule, Id like to do some research on who they have been getting donations from , or what positions they are wanting to go into to...

    The worst kind of politicians these two...
  11. I understand your line of thought and I completely agree that demanding full de-scheduling of cannabis would be more appropriate, however...

    I agree with wataytay69's post, and I truly believe that Schedule II will will help to guarantee some forms of safe access to medical cannabis. I believe that placing cannabis on Schedule II will eliminate the federal government's ability to influence the states' regulation of medical cannabis dispensaries.

    As it stands now, the basis of almost every "restrictive" dispensary ordinance (or ban) that I have read about is the current status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. I believe that placing cannabis on Schedule II will be an immeasurable benefit to states trying to implement safe access, as well as to advocates in states that are considering medical cannabis legislation. The "political climate" regarding medical cannabis laws in the states will become much more friendly to patients.

    I also believe that as a direct result of moving cannabis to Schedule II more states will consider full legalization. The legal "stigma" of cannabis residing on Schedule I has been a significant hindrance to full legalization efforts in the states.

    I don't believe that placing cannabis on Schedule II will cause the medical states to alter their provisions for patients growing their own meds, nor do I think that dispensaries will be closed in favor of pharmacies. After all, here in California we have managed to make it legal to grow cannabis and to acquire cannabis from a dispensary, all while cannabis remained a Schedule I drug. Placing cannabis on Schedule II will only ease the pressure on the medical states.

    At the end of the day, however, I agree with you that the need for all of this legal maneuvering is ridiculous when you consider the overall safety of cannabis as a medicine and as a recreational intoxicant.
  12. #15 oltex, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2011
    The movement of cannabis to any other schedule marks the beginning of the end of it being scheduled at all,,because it takes control of the studies allowed and the production of the cannabis to be tested out of the control of the DEA and NIDA and removes the requirement for the drug czar to oppose it's legalization.
  13. I will be surprised if they reschedule but even if they do its still illegal and you can still go to prison and/or be fined. It would be great for the medicinal world, and potentially open doors wide for the real hard science to work its magic and prove its benefits, etc. I can also agree with Storm Crow. This potentially could go real bad. They could reschedule cannabis as a class II-IV and stay that way and just be limited to the medical field which could dig a hole so deep we would never get it legalized. If it ends up in the hands of pharmaceutical corporations you can say good bye to legalization.
  14. anything that takes control of the studies allowed on cannabis away from the drug warriors will result in legalization,,why do you think they resist re-scheduling so much.
  15. but if it is rescheduled, some big pharma corp will probably try patenting cannabis is some way or form. If one of them patents cannabis how will it ever be legalized? Maybe its a bit of paranoia but these corporations have led me to think this way.
  16. Understand,,I guess we would just have to keep being criminals,,I have been one for 44 years now,,I guess I can stand going out that way.
  17. How can they patent the whole species? Unless we're talking about what monsanto does where they infect all the plants with their genetics and claim ownership of everything with THEIR genetics.

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