Open Thread

“bullet” Why wait for the feds? Iowa judge wants to know if marijuana has safe medical uses.

A Polk County judge has ruled that the Iowa Board of Pharmacy must examine whether marijuana has an accepted medical use – a decision some said could thaw the debate on its use for medical purposes in Iowa.
The ruling Thursday by District Judge Joel Novak does not legalize medical marijuana in Iowa. Instead, it requires the pharmacy board to consider whether marijuana is properly classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under state law.
“What this does is it forces the board to address medical marijuana,” said Randall Wilson, the attorney who handled the case for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.

“bullet” Neal Pierce asks Decriminalization Ö rather than legalization Ö could this be the sane middle ground we need?

The myth we need to break is that the use of mind-altering drugs is really different from a whole range of activities that humans have engaged in since the dawn of time.
I’d put gambling on that list, but even more deeply entrenched are alcohol, drugs and sexual practices. All have legitimate roles; each, depending on its form and application, can be seriously abused. A mature society warns of problems but holds back on prohibition Ö and sensibly, because rules of total denial will be broken anyway.

My quick answer to Neal’s question is that decriminalization would be an acceptable first step, but not the answer. Anything that leaves the black market in full gear is unacceptable in the long term.
“bullet” Rockefeller Drug Laws officially kind-of over.

Gov. David Paterson did a ceremonial signing today in Queens today of a bill that reduces sentences for non-violent drug offenders. The legislation, which was passed as part of the 2009-10 state budget early this month, gives judges total discretion to divert non-violent addicts to drug treatment, and it expands the state‰s treatment programs.
‹This is a proud day for me and so many of my colleagues who have fought for so long to overhaul the drug laws and restore judicial discretion in narcotics cases,Š Paterson said at Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities Inc., a state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services-funded drug-treatment center. ‹For years, thousands of New Yorkers have spoken out against the Rockefeller Drug Laws.Š

“bullet” DrugSense Weekly
“bullet” “drcnet”

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