National solution for state pot, please

FEB 19, 2013, 4:45 AM


“Medical marijuana” in America needs a federal solution – not repetitive hit or miss measures outside of settling the issue through national legislation.

Michigan State Representative Mike Carlton, R-Nashville, has introduced a bill that proposes to allow local governments to decide if they want marijuana dispensaries in their cities. If passed, it may cause more problems than unscrambling our medical marijuana puzzle.

According to federal law, there is no such thing as “medical marijuana.” Not only can it not be smoked for recreational use, according to D.C., but there is no recognized medical designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA, in fact, states that there are “no sound scientific studies” that pot has medicinal purposes for regular consumption.

U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske recently stated that the feds will continue to raid “medical marijuana” dispensaries, and Michigan State Attorney Bill Schuette also said that he will send instructions to all county prosecutors to shut down pot houses.

Believing or not in the healing powers of weed is not the question. The issue is whether or not local or state governments can behave like confederates to ignore federal laws just because local populations disagree. I think not.

In fact, people who ignore federal drug laws are asking to be prosecuted. I wouldn’t call going to the clink for dismissing cannabis laws an act of righteous civil disobedience.

If marijuana indeed has medicinal purposes, then I suggest that smokers and their acolytes concentrate all efforts on a federal solution. And if there is to be any viable national solution, it must include pot being certified by the FDA and being taxed by the government. It’s absurd to propose that medical marijuana doesn’t need to be certified by the FDA, yet the FDA gives recommendations on using aspirin.

America’s drug laws are definitely antiquated and have our prisons clogged with non-violent drug offenders, some of them being pot offenders. I amfor reforming our drug laws. What I’m not in favor of are local gimmicks that do nothing to address the issue of marijuana usage, in particular medical marijuana, on the macro level.

Carlton’s pot dispensary bill should not even make it to the House floor for a vote, much less be adopted into law. National marijuana reform is the only real solution.