Medical Marijuana Becomes ‘Easy Target’ in Current Political Climate, Chronicle Says
While the nation's law enforcement officials appear to be "making limited headway against terrorism," the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has chosen a "much easier target -- medical marijuana," a San Francisco Chronicle editorial says. The Chronicle editorial notes that the Bush administration is "cracking down" on California's medical marijuana clubs and may be "on strong legal ground." Following a May Supreme Court decision that "all but invalidated" Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative that allowed medical marijuana in the state, legal experts have "quibble[d] over whether the ruling gives California any wiggle room," the editorial states. Despite the ruling, medical marijuana remains "deservedly popular" with voters in California and eight other states that have passed similar initiatives. The editorial states that California's marijuana clubs not only provide relief to "many thousands of people" with cancer, glaucoma and AIDS, but have "caused considerable savings for local law enforcement." Moreover, the editorial notes, while the Bush administration "cracks down," other nations -- specifically Canada, Great Britain and the Netherlands -- have recently moved to protect marijuana use. Noting that legislation cosponsored by Democratic California Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Lynn Woolsey, Zoe Lofgren and Pete Stark -- which would allow states to legalize medical marijuana --is "probably dead on arrival" given the "current political climate," the editorial concludes, "In the United States, medical marijuana's legal twilight zone will continue until Congress clarifies the matter. ... But sooner or later, a sober, nationwide debate must begin" (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6).