Gregoire Supports Reclassification

Six months after derailing a very well-crafted medical marijuana bill, Governor Gregoire joins Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island to ask the DEA to reschedule marijuana as a Schedule II drug. Leaving aside the argument that marijuana probably shouldn’t be a Schedule II drug either (the same as cocaine and certain forms of methamphetamine), this is clearly the most progressive position on marijuana we’ve seen from the Governor. But I also agree with the Drug Policy Alliance’s Ethan Nadelmann here:

“The governors’ call for rescheduling marijuana so that it can be prescribed for medical purposes is an important step forward in challenging the federal government’s intransigence in this area,” said Nadelmann. “But their call should not serve as an excuse for these two governors to fail to move forward on responsible regulation of medical marijuana in their own states. Governors in states ranging from New Jersey and Vermont to Colorado and New Mexico have not allowed the federal government’s ban on medical marijuana to prevent them from approving and implementing statewide regulation of medical marijuana. Govs. Gregoire and Chafee should do likewise.”

As the federal pressure on medical marijuana grew over the summer, Gregoire and Chafee were the two governors who balked and scrapped sensible regulations supported by the people of their state and passed by the legislature. This happened even as both Republican Chris Christie (NJ) and Democrat Peter Shumlin (VT) moved forward with their states’ programs despite the threats. It’s good to see Gregoire have the courage to stand up to the DEA (many still won’t), but there’s certainly more she can and should do.

Comments

  1. 1

    Deathfrogg spews:

    It’ll never happen. The Private prison industry has nearly every conservative politician in the country in their pockets. As institutionalized as corruption has become in the Government, especially amongst the “free market” cultists, this is only a footnote.

    The GOP exemplifies corruption. The love of money is the root of all evil, and Conservatives work only for the love of money. They hold money as the only measure of success, and the only purpose of any human activity they approve of.

    Welcome to Brazil.

  2. 3

    Upton spews:

    @1

    Yeah true the Republicans exemplify corruption, but so do the Democrats. Obama’s DOJ has been raiding MMJ clinics..last I looked he wasn’t a Repub, despite the fact that he governs like one.

    The choice in 2012 will be between drug warrior #1 or drug warrior #2..

    Both major parties are highly invested in the drug war. Big money is made off incarcerating and seizing assets from so called drug offenders. With no viable alternative to the status quo, I have serious doubts the persecution is ever going to end..

  3. 4

    Michael spews:

    If it gets reclassified wont we still have cops, judges, and editorial boards going out of their way to second guess who’s got the legit scrip and who’s just a pot head?

    People need to learn how to mind their own fucking business.

    Just legalize it.

  4. 5

    Deathfrogg spews:

    I’m not wrong about the Private Prison corporations. A major aspect of the campaign to eliminate the candy bar and soda pop tax in the last initiative election, was the idea that prisons in Washington State are going to have to be handed over to private companies “to save money”. Every State that has done this, has seen a rise in escapes, in-house murders, rapes, reductions in personnel, and massive increase in maintenance costs.

    Contract prisons are criminal in nature. The drive for an ever-increasing profit margin and revenue streams create the need for harsher punishments and longer sentences for an ever-increasing prison population. The drug War is the perfect example of this. In Texas and Arizona, the highest paid lobbyists in the State legislatures are those representing the Prison Companies. They demand longer sentences for even trivial low-level “crimes”, manufactured out of thin air for the specific purpose of increasing revenue. These same lobbyists actively work against any change or reductions in low level drug possession.

    When you can make or break a Legislators campaign with money, those Legislators will always follow and obey the highest bidder. All that bidders need to do is threaten to withdraw financial support and throw the money at the individuals that are willing to accept it. Vote against their “interests” (profits), and a Legislator is almost guaranteed to be replaced.

    That IS corruption.

  5. 6

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Why should we, the states, have to ask the goddam DEA for re-classifying anything? It’s time for the states to assert their rights and crush anti-Constitution, anti-individual freedom agencies like the DEA. The DEA was created by the most corrupt prez we ever had, Richard Nixon. To contiune to allow the DEA to exist continues Nixon’s crimes well beyond his death.

  6. 8

    Steve spews:

    From Lee’s link,

    “The DEA said in a statement it received the petition and would review it. The agency also noted the Department of Health and Human Services previously reviewed a similar petition and rejected it.

    After evaluating that previous request on scientific and medical grounds, HHS “determined that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. and lacks accepted safety protocols for use under medical supervision,” the DEA said in the statement.”

    This is why I don’t like the medical marijuana approach to legalization. It gets in the way. This is a matter of personal fucking freedom. Put the debate in that arena and the argument against is reduced to the potential of abuse. That potential for abuse, which could apply to so many things in our lives, is no damned excuse to infringe on our personal liberty. People should have a right to smoke a damned marijuana flower and get their buzz on. This is America and we do like to get our buzz on, whether alcohol, weed, prescription drugs, judgemental teetotalling, whatever. It’s the American fucking way. Your thing might not be my thing, but when some jack-booted thug says, “You can’t fucking get your buzz on”, those should be fighting words for all of us.

    “Ask the DEA”? Are you fucking kidding me? You don’t “ask” for your fucking freedom. You take it back from whoever in hell is fucking with you or you die trying. These times we live in are not for wimps. This is a time for freedom warriors!

    heh. Freedom warriors, high on pot. That’s kind of a funny thought. Excuse me, while I kiss the sky.

  7. 9

    David Aquarius spews:

    Schedule Two is the worse of all worlds for the cannabis issue. It would put the future of cannabis exclusively in the hands of Big Pharma. Cannabis would be on the same footing as Oxycontin.

    No caregivers/collectives/dispensaries, no home grows, no smoke shops, and no conflicting state laws. The states would acknowledge the change in status and leave it be. The DEA would back off but the FDA would step up.

    The recreational user and those medical patients who may not get a legal prescription would still be shopping on the black market.

    Activists would be shackled by this move. No politician would support total legalization, not if it was available by prescription.

    When the hammer falls, we have to make sure that cannabis drops to Schedule Three or Four.

    Look for this issue to get hotter when Sativex is approved by the FDA. GW Pharmaceuticals is well on their way to controlling the medical cannabis market.