Monday, March 02, 2009

US ends DEA medical marijuana raids

Medical marijuana advocates and users confront Los Angeles police [above] during a Drug Enforcement Administration raid of a medical marijuana dispensary on July 25, 2007.

Years of campaigning, thousands of busts, lives ruined, and untold needless pain may be coming to a close in the US as it seems that the strange medical and legal taboo against medical cannabis may finally be over.

The new attorney general Eric Holder, has announced that the DEA is being ordered to stop raiding state approved medical marijuana dispensaries.

President Obama, who has admitted he was a regular teenage marijuana toker, said during the presidential campaign that he supported the controlled use of marijuana for medical purposes, saying he saw no difference between medical marijuana and other pain-control drugs.

“My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to,” Obama said in November 2007 at a campaign stop in Audubon, Iowa. “There’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.”

This is a dramatic, although not unexpected turn about for Federal government policy. So dramatic that the official White House web site for drug policy has not yet been up dated. The Bush era Drug War propaganda which denied the medical value of cannabis is still there. Thankfully it is now just historical evidence of past ignorance and bigotry.