It may be too much to hope for, but perhaps there’ll be a public debate this campaign over the scientific research into the efficacy of medical marijuana. There’s already a debate in progress over whether to allow its use in states where it has been legalized.
The Republican National Committee yesterday attacked Barack Obama for promising to stop federal raids against clinics that dispense medical marijuana in states where it has been legalized. (I reported his promise yesterday.) Danny Diaz, the R.N.C. communications director, released this statement:
“Barack Obama’s pledge to stop Executive agencies from implementing laws passed by Congress raises serious doubts about his understanding of what the job of the President of the United States actually is. His refusal to enforce the law reveals that Barack Obama doesn’t have the experience necessary to do the job of President, or that he fundamentally lacks the judgment to carry out the most basic functions of the Executive Branch. What other laws would Barack Obama direct federal agents not to enforce?”
Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which supports legalizing medical marijuana, said the R.N.C. statement “ignores a few salient points, such as the fact that last year 15 Republicans voted last year for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment to cut off funding for Justice Department medical marijuana raids, including such flaming liberals as Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Dana Rohrabacher of California, a former Reagan staffer.”
John McCain has echoed the Bush administration’s line that there’s no evidence of marijuana’s efficacy for pain relief, but several recent studies have concluded otherwise. You can read previous posts on research into medical marijuana by clicking here, here or here.