Feds to stop prosecuting medical marijuana users

By | October 19, 2009

I don’t smoke, but I’m glad to hear about the change below, because I think states rights should trump all but the Constitution. If people want to twist up a rRzla in the privacy of their own homes, that’s their business…. but everyone should know about the health consequences of putting smoke of any kind into your lungs.

smoking-jacket.jpgImage: The jacket has a built-in pair of lungs on the front. As the wearer smokes, the lungs fill up with the exhaled cigarette smoke and begin to gradually darken over time. This project was a result of exploring reflective design as it relates to the body, behavioral choices, and information displays. – geekology

STORY

Pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allow medical marijuana, prosecutors were told Monday in a new policy memo issued by the Justice Department.

Under the policy spelled out in a three-page legal memo, federal prosecutors are being told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.

The guidelines issued by the department do, however, make it clear that federal agents will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law or use medical marijuana as a cover for other crimes.

The memo advises prosecutors they “should not focus federal resources in your states on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

“It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

By the government’s count, 14 states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Some medical marijuana advocates say Maryland shouldn’t be included in that group, because the law there only allows for reduced penalties for medical marijuana usage.

California stands out among those for the widespread presence of dispensaries — businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. Colorado also has several dispensaries, and Rhode Island and New Mexico are in the process of licensing providers, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a group that promotes the decriminalization of marijuana use.

Advocates say marijuana is effective in treating chronic pain and nausea, among other ailments.

via Feds to stop prosecuting medical marijuana users – Yahoo! News.

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