Obama picked the wrong moment for a crackdown on medical marijuana

Nov 24, 2011 19:52 Moscow Time

Photo: EPA
The debate about the legality of medical marijuana has once again got into the spotlight in the US. Obama’s federal crackdown on Californian producers and retailers of marijuana has not only shaken the industry, but also revealed a bundle of contradictions between federal law and individual states’ policies.  Meanwhile Obama’s decision to initiate the crackdown on such a scale seems to have become the president’s another odd mistake. Medical marijuana is approved for use by 16 states including California, and the President’s move may easily cost him the support of many of his followers.
The federal prosecutors made a risky move targeting the billion dollar industry of Californian medical marijuana growers and retailers. This decision highlights the problem which has been successfully ignored for decades. While cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug and is officially prohibited in the United States under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 it is still legal in 16 states, including California. Federal law does not grant any exceptions for medical use, which means that any local state programs which allow medical use of the substance violate federal law. By staging an attack on California’s med. marijuana industry, the authorities would automatically have to deal with the problem on a full scale.
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