Federal Drug Law Needs To Be Changed

Federal Drug Law Needs To Be Changed
Posted by CN Staff on April 22, 2005 at 09:45:30 PT
By Michael Krawitz, Columnist
Source: Collegiate Times
Virginia -- At issue in the case before the Supreme Court is if the DEA were granted authority by the U.S. Constitution to block an individual from growing and using Cannabis [marijuana] for their own non-commercial use within their own respective state. Why is this wording important? The case that clarified the authority the Congress could wield over industry was defined by the case of a wheat farmer that grew wheat on the side to feed his livestock and family.
The founding fathers set up the U.S. Constitution to allow the federal government to cover needs that could not be met by any state alone such as national defense, etc.: "If a farmer could divert a portion of his/her crop to a side use without paying homage to quotas that apply to the rest of his/her crop, the whole system of commerce that allows the states to interact with each other and the rest of the world could be made less stable."This interstate commerce clause argument as strong as it is, fails when faced with the current medical marijuana case before the courts. First there is no legal commerce of the plant material called Cannabis in the America. The DEA has made the argument that we should apply the commerce clause argument to protect the market for the marijuana synthetic pill that is now legal in the United States. The synthetic marijuana pill is called marinol. The thing is, no-one is diverting marinol from production to feed their cows and many if not most of the patients that use cannabis do so because marinol has failed to help them. Now why would a crude oil-based drug fail where a whole plant succeeds? I digress. This will be a topic for another day.Interestingly when the justices heard the DEA attempt to apply the commerce argument here, a justice asked why under this much broader interpretation wouldn't married couples be jailed for having sex that is affecting the illegal commerce of prostitution? This is a great point. Applying the Constitution in this way is a Pandora's box of federal control of individual action.There are other constitutional issues at stake. When I spoke with Valerie Corral who helps run one of the best hospice medical marijuana facilities in the world [W.A.M.M.] and is also personally vested in the Supreme Court ruling, she said "When citizens require protection from their own government and need to cloak in secrecy acts of compassion for the sick and dying, you have found the very definition of tyranny. Acts of tyranny by the government over the people will not be tolerated by the people, not now, not ever."Valerie said the central issue is substantive due process as protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law." Powerful stuff.But what of Schedule 1 drugs and protecting the public and all that? Schedule 1 in the federal code is a lie. When Tim Leary [the step-father of LSD] fought the original marijuana law, the marijuana tax act, he won in the Supreme Court on the grounds that the tax act violated the U.S. Constitution by requiring self-incrimination. Instead of the federal government learning its lesson, it created a new omnibus law that was fair and balanced and then arbitrarily included all the "soul-stealing" drugs from the reefer madness era into a small brig included in the new law, Schedule 1.You see the way the CSA works is all drugs must go through a FDA process where they are given the least restrictive schedule number that applies, and as the drug proves itself more dangerous, the scheduling is easily made more restrictive as needed. There is no process to downgrade the schedule of a drug since the scheduling is a one-way street. [Note: Mariniol is the only drug to ever be down-scheduled from Schedule 2 to Schedule 3 since the creation of the CSA.] Marijuana advocates have found themselves in the netherworld of proving marijuana as not dangerous ever since 1970. For the record you cannot prove a negative.So where does all this leave legal Virginia medical marijuana users who are currently awaiting the Supreme Court decision? Well, the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled our law was active and protected patients in 1999, and the federal government has never challenged it. So if the Supreme Court rules against Raich et al., then the Virginia state police will be asked to protect Virginia citizens from an insane and out of control federal drug police force. The state legislature can help a lot by rewording the law to help better protect patients from the DEA, but I am not holding my breath on that one.We will live, we will see.Note: Virginia state law  18.2-251.1 states in part: "Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes permitted. A. No person shall be prosecuted under  18.2-250.1 for the possession of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma."Source: Collegiate Times (VA)Author: Michael Krawitz, ColumnistPublished: April 22, 2005Copyright: 2005 Collegiate Times Website: Contact: comments Related Articles & Web Sites:WAMM Raich v. Ashcroft News Court To Rule on Medical Pot Marijuana on Trial Really Consider Cannabis My Miracle 
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