Incrimination Without Representation: The Silence of the Senate on Medical Marijuana

  Policy manager, Drug Policy Alliance

As Democrats gather for the National Convention to banter back and forth about the issues most important to Americans, one platform that is conspicuously absent is the Federal crackdown on medical marijuana.
Legal in 17 states, plus Washington, D.C. and on the ballot in three additional states this November (Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Arkansas), conflicts between statements made by the Obama Administration and the actions of U.S. Attorneys in the “wild west” have sent the program into a tailspin.
Even though medical marijuana has overwhelming support in the U.S. — around 80 percent — there has been noticeable silence on this issue among those who represent the patients who are suffering. More than one-third of the Senate represents the medical marijuana patients and businesses under attack, yet not one has come to their defense. And, what’s worse, some may have even helped facilitate this crackdown via their support of the U.S. Attorneys responsible.
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