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New Drug Czar Doesn't Care About Medical Marijuana

Submitted by smorgan on

In an interview with National Journal, Gil Kerlikowske didn't have much to say about medical pot:

NJ: Do you have plans to review potential changes to the country's medical marijuana policies?

Kerlikowske: I have not had my meeting with the attorney general, who had made some statements, but I plan on following up with that pretty closely.

NJ: Will you at least be conducting a study on the topic?

Kerlikowske: I don't know. I think it is a little premature, and frankly, looking at the overdose deaths -- there is such a huge increase in people dying from prescription drug overdoses -- is a little higher on my priorities right now than the medical marijuana issue....

Well that makes sense, but considering that there's a raging controversy in America right now over the federal government's war on medical marijuana, maybe the drug czar should at least be able to provide a little insight instead of changing the subject. Of course, it's likely that Kerlikowske's attempts to downplay the issue are actually intended to dismiss potential controversy surrounding the new administration's positive statements on the issue, i.e. medical marijuana isn't a top concern, so don't give us a hard time for not raiding dispensaries.

This 'medical marijuana isn't a priority' stuff is fine for now if it means they won't be interfering with state laws, but it's a pretty weak cop-out in the long run. Eventually, Washington will have to come to terms with the deep unpopularity of the war on medical marijuana. That means declaring an end to federal raids based on firm moral and scientific grounds, rather than vague policy statements.

They seem to understand that public opinion requires a new direction with regards to medical marijuana policy, but if that much is understood, why tiptoe around it? If the goal is to avoid controversy, then tell us exactly what we want to hear, follow through on it, and the matter will be closed.

For starters, why not look into rescheduling marijuana so it isn't any more illegal than these FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that are killing so many people?

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