Pubdate: Wed, 01 Dec 2004
Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2004 The Charlotte Observer
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


The writer is director of communications, Marijuana Policy Project.

The Supreme Court medical marijuana case will not decide "whether
states have the right to adopt" medical marijuana laws. The federal
government has never challenged the right of states to pass such laws.
The only question before the court is whether these laws also give
patients protection from enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

If this sounds like a narrow, technical distinction, remember that the
federal government makes only 1 percent of all marijuana arrests; 99
percent are made by state and local police acting under state law.
While 99 percent protection from arrest isn't perfect, it's a huge
step forward for seriously ill patients.

Bruce Mirken,

Washington, D.C.
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