State Should Not Violate Federal Law

††State Should Not Violate Federal Law

Posted by CN Staff on March 09, 2008 at 11:37:16 PT
By Mark Lenz†
Source: Daily Telegram†

Michigan -- When thereís more than one possible treatment for a problem, itís important not to grab the first item in armís reach. Supporters of a proposed state law to legalize medical marijuana should weigh that as they push for a likely initiative on Michiganís November ballot.The state marijuana initiative ó which The Daily Telegram recommended against in an editorial Wednesday ó is supported by a letter and guest editorial published today.
I think the issue deserves federal study, and I genuinely sympathize with patients seeking what they regard as the best form of relief. Still, it is important to remember three key facts.First, the state law would provide no legal protection because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Less than three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal law over a similar California medical marijuana law. Michigan would be forced to create a new system of tracking medical marijuana users and physicians who approve them. Yet, until federal law changes, that system would serve no more practical purpose than similar laws on the books in Detroit, Ann Arbor and several other cities.Second, there are other pain medications available. In fact, Marinol uses the same active ingredient ó THC ó as cannabis, the drug within the marijuana plant. Realistically, Marinol is not considered as effective, but expecting terminally sick patients to fertilize and tend their own marijuana plants also bears some unrealistic expectations.Finally, giving state OK to a drug that has not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration is a bad idea in principle as well as precedent. Do Michigan voters intend to create a backdoor method for states to manage controversial drugs such as marijuana (or Laetrile) rather than the FDA? People who think that breaking the rules is a good way to change the rules should take a look at the Michigan Democratic state presidential primary. Unintended chaos is typical of how rule breaking usually turns out.Changing Michigan law before addressing federal law is simply backward. Courts consistently give federal law priority. Supporters of medical marijuana should instead light a fire under the stateís senior statesmen. How much have Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow or Reps. John Dingell, John Conyers Jr. or Bart Stupak accomplished on this issue?Medical marijuana users need to apply pressure to Michiganís congressional delegation, not tie up state resources in another symbolic gesture.Mark Lenz, editor of The Daily Telegram, can be contacted at 265-5111, ext. 230, or via e-mail at:  mlenz Source: Daily Telegram, The (Adrain, MI)Author:  Mark LenzPublished: Saturday, March 8, 2008Copyright: 2008 Liberty Group NewspapersContact: editor lenconnect.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Stop Arresting Patients for Medical Use on Ballot Pot Proposal On Its Way To Ballot

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Comment #27 posted by FoM on March 16, 2008 at 05:29:24 PT
News Article From Kalamazoo Gazette's Blog
Most Southwest Michigan Lawmakers Oppose Medical Marijuana***By Chris Killian, Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette March 16, 2008 Kalamazoo, MI -- For five years, state Sen. Tom George worked for Hospice of Greater Kalamazoo, sometimes prescribing a synthetic form of marijuana called Marinol to help ease a person's pain or discomfort.But George, an anesthesiologist, opposes a ballot proposal that seeks to legalize marijuana use in Michigan for those seriously ill.State Rep. Fulton Sheen, a conservative Republican, opposed medical-marijuana use until he heard testimony from people who said they got relief from debilitating conditions by using the drug.He now supports the initiative, which could appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.Of southwestern Michigan's 10 state lawmakers, seven said they oppose legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Joining George, R-Texas Township, were state Sens. Patricia Birkholz, R-Saugatuck; Cameron Brown, R-Sturgis; and Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks; and state Reps. Jack Hoogendyk, R-Texas Township; Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton; and Rick Shaffer, R-Three Rivers. Such an initiative, they think, could lead to more crime and abuse among nonmedical marijuana users and could be the first step to complete legalization of marijuana. "Marijuana is illegal for a reason," Jelinek said. "Its legalization, even for medical reasons, would denigrate our society eventually. (Using marijuana) is akin to a self-induced mental illness." Complete Article:
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on March 11, 2008 at 10:47:20 PT
Afterburner, Museman, and Mike
As long as there are people like us, we still have a chance for a better society and a better government.Afterburner, I haven't read any of Naomi Klein's books, but I have heard of her. I'm thankful for her and her work.We don't have any choice but to keep on keeping on and trying to right wrongs and make society better and saner. Thankfully, there are more than a few of us who can see what is happening... though it's a hard thing to see. It would be easier to ignore it all... but that's what the perpetrators of all the crimes against human freedom and dignity are counting on.
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Comment #25 posted by museman on March 11, 2008 at 08:00:40 PT
Good 'take.' I believe similarly.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on March 10, 2008 at 19:42:05 PT
John Tyler
 I agree. That's how I see it too. 
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Comment #23 posted by John Tyler on March 10, 2008 at 19:09:16 PT
re #12
My Music: My Generation---The 60s
I have been watching that too. The folk music scene gave the country a social conscious in the early 60ís that lead to social activism and political change. Strangely enough, this was all started by the Fed. gov. in the Red Scare days of the early 50ís trying to stop Pete Seeger. Itís like Karma at work. The anti-communists begat Pete Seeger. Pete Seeger begat Dylan, Dylan turned on the Beatles. The CIA begat Tim Leary. Tim Leary turned on everyone. The Beatles meet everyoneís approval and the hippies were their progeny. The hippies were the social revolution.  That is my take on it. It's still going on.
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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on March 10, 2008 at 12:43:06 PT
Hope #17 
Have you heard of The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein? It is a dense political tome, which I'm slowly working my way through. It documents that Shock and Awe, torture and global New World Order are an orchestrated plan more than 30 years old. It provides a roadmap to understand the overwhelming cruelty and seeming incompetence of governments in many areas of the world.I'm not advertising it , but this link gives more details in the form of reviews, previews, and even a video:The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism info in this book is indeed shocking.
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Comment #21 posted by museman on March 10, 2008 at 11:32:48 PT
I was once a 'patriot.' I know how you feel. I lost friends to a couple of their damn wars. Vanity and pride. False. Discovering that the wool was pulled since the beginning was not an easy thing to swallow at first, but the dead and maimed convinced me.A lot of good people have been used viciously by our puppet government and the rich puppeteers. They thought it was for honor and God, and Country, but it was just for the lifestyles of the rich and famous.Unpleasant reality. Witnessed, and reported. Denial gets us nowhere.
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Comment #20 posted by museman on March 10, 2008 at 11:24:49 PT
Office of Homeland Security. BLM. CIA. FBI. - and federal guidlines and requirements for all command positions in Law Enforcement.We have a standing army represented by our country's police. The best armed forces in the world. Better equipped than our troops in the other wars.I'd say that constitutional restrictions no longer apply since the Patriot Act. The Gestapo exists, and between the WOT and the WOD -they're trying to consolidate the two together- they've overwritten the constitution. The people are the only way out of this.
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Comment #19 posted by Mike on March 10, 2008 at 11:10:35 PT
Speaking of Nazis, what scares me is that although the U.S. is not presently allowed to have a national police force, I could see an ultimate way around that by contracting Blackwater. A "National Security Force" to protect us against anything illegal or whatever else they determine to be a "potential threat to our liberty." They could have the power to detain indefinitely or torture. To me, the name "Blackwater" itself sounds even more ominous than "Gestapo." I'm betting we're closer to this reality than most people realize. Or care.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on March 10, 2008 at 10:10:56 PT
The United States of America
meant something to me. Propagandists, like the Nazi propagandists, professionally trying to twist the mindset of people, with glorious sounding, to them, words must have just been itching to use the sign of the swastika as an emblem of the war against "terrorists" as well. "Oh it just represents a lawnmower blade... cutting down the overgrowth of terrorism. That's all it is. It's just a lawnmower blade. Symbolic of cutting back the terrorists. It just represents a lawnmower blade to keep the Homeland looking good."
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on March 10, 2008 at 10:04:18 PT
I miss the United States
We used to be "The United States of America". We used to be "this country", and "our country"... now they call our country "The Homeland". That made my hair stand up when I first heard that expression. It sounds so very, very Nazi like to me. This "Homeland" stuff started after 9/11.It's sickening... and very alarming, too.The "Homeland". That's just so creepy. Didn't anyone notice there was something not right about that when they started using that term? You can almost visualize those uniforms and that way of being materializing right here in this country. When I hear the term "Homeland".... I can hear the sound of goose stepping soldiers and stiff arm salutes and shouts of "Heil".Our leaders didn't forget that stuff. They like it and that's wrong. Very, very wrong.
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Comment #16 posted by museman on March 10, 2008 at 09:43:21 PT
states rights
We should change our nations name to the Federation of America, no 'united,' no 'states.' At least that way some actual honesty might inadvertantly find its way into politics, law, and government.Lets examine the fine weave of the emperor's cloth. Notice the intricate colors and exquisite texture of the thread. See how grand the wearer appears. Pay no attention to the child clamoring for attention. Naked fools.
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2008 at 21:38:29 PT
Represent Me Or Get Out of the Way
This either-or fawning by Mark Lenz is not my idea of democracy.I have frequently communicated with and tried to educate my Senators and Representative regarding medical cannabis and medical freedom. Although they have done some good in other areas, their responses indicate an allegiance to the "drug war" mentality, which I find very unrepresentative, unscientific and dogmatic. I will continue to advise them from time to time on important votes. However, I will also exercise my constitutional rights to vote on an initiative that better represents the will of the people.There's always room for freedom!
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Comment #14 posted by The GCW on March 09, 2008 at 19:18:31 PT
I feel sorry for Mark Lenz.His kind of thinking would relegate most of Us to the dungeon. If Hitler says to do it, We must do it.If God says the plants are good on the 1st page of the Bible but Hitler says they are bad then they are bad.If leaders insist the world is flat then it is flat.If You have cancer and can not hold meds down that donít even work then too bad.Iím sorry for You Mark Lenz, it seems You are a let down to humanity.I feel a need to protect My children from people like You. I feel like the Mark Lenz's of the world are harmful to earth.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on March 09, 2008 at 18:12:27 PT
Keep up the good work!
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on March 09, 2008 at 18:03:59 PT

OT: This Is On PBS Now
I don't know if this is on everyones tv but it looks good.My Music: My Generation---The 60sSunday, March 9, 9:00pmPop acts of the 1960s perform, including the Association with "Cherish" and "Never My Love"; the Buckinghams' Dennis Tufano with "Kind of a Drag"; the Byrds' Roger McGuinn with "Mr. Tambourine Man."CC TVG

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Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on March 09, 2008 at 18:03:11 PT

DEA ...
has show the lowest demeanor possible from a government entity in Montana. They intercepted pot going to Robin Prosser causing her pain we can't imagine.There is another case in Montana regarding a DEA assault on ONE medical patient now the truth is DEA will attack the weakest citizens it can find and harass them with no letup.They have no humanity
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on March 09, 2008 at 18:00:17 PT

state by state
Is this guy saying that because the Feds say itís so, everyone has to bow down no matter what? I say no, and the history of the country says no too. When the Fed gov. is wrong as in this case, it is the right and the duty of the citizens to seek a change. (Itís our gov. too, we help pay for it.) This is what the citizens are doing now, the Fed isnít listening to the citizens, so they are seeking change themselves, the best way they can, city, by city, and state by state until the Fed canít deny it any longer.  
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on March 09, 2008 at 17:39:22 PT

Why doesn't this guy editorialize against Avandia and Vioxx and Seldane, drugs that killed thousands through heart attacks and strokes?Those were approved by the Feds and the FDA, cannabis is safe and was not approved.So I can only conclude that this guy think it's more important to comply with government rules than to avoid medicines that kill you.  One should only think of obeying the government in life. If the choice is between death and disobeying the government masters, then you should go die. What other conclusion can you draw from this stuff?There's a clear message in these medical MJ referendum victories. It's more than a health decision. It's the American voters telling the govt. they won't accept their lies anymore.
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Comment #8 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 09, 2008 at 17:28:32 PT:

A LTE I just submitted 
Although I doubt this guy will print mine considering he was the one that wrote the editorial against it. Not to mention the newspaper is against this as well. lol"I have a different opinion about the recent editorial
about medical cannabis.First off, if passed, our state and local officials
will still have to abide by state law. The feds can
come in and do what they want if they choose, but
federal agents rarely make small time marijuana
arrests anyway.Second, many patients who use marijuana have already
tried the conventional pharmaceuticals. Which is why
many times they move to marijuana in the first place.
Marinol has been proven to be not as effective in
treating patients as natural marijuana does. Marinol
also lacks many of the therapeutic compounds found in
natural cannabis. Not to mention natural cannabis is
much cheaper than a prescription of marinol. And finally, the FDA will never approve marijuana for
medicinal uses. Simply because they do not want a
plant that any sick person can easily grow, to take
away from the pharmaceutical profits. The FDA approves
all kinds of dangerous, deadly drugs on a regular
basis. Cannabis is an herb in which you can not die
from. The only difference is that they can make money
off of the deadly pills unlike natural cannabis. They
completely ignore any studies that say it is medicine.
A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine said that
marijuana has medical potential and should be made
available to patients. And the most recent endorsement
was made by the American College of Physicians.So let's put people in pain ahead of politics and vote
yes this November."
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Comment #7 posted by unkat27 on March 09, 2008 at 15:57:45 PT

Feds Should Stop Ignoring the Majority Vote
The majority has been voting in favor of legal medical marijuana for a decade now. State reps in congress have been ignoring and/or vetoing those votes and taking the money of FDA and Big Pharma lobby groups.When it comes to the issue of medical marijuana (and many other issues also) the US government has not been following its democratic policies, not by a long-shot.
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on March 09, 2008 at 13:20:28 PT:

Oh yawn!
I did mention that this year the Feds are going to be pushing very hard to reverse as many laws as they can while they can before they lose the White House.I'll bet you anything the Feds are behind this new push. I'll bet you anything they came up with the strategy of appealing this ruling to the fourth district court.First the state law is being superseded unconstitutionally by the Feds. They are ignoring the 10th amendment and the people's democratic right to choose.Second how many times must we argue the same old argument concerning marinol and you can always tell when people are trying to disparage cannabis they always refer to it has that drug or a drug. Cannabis as an herb.Third anyone who has done their homework would know without having to be told that the FDA was created by a newly formed industry called the pharmaceutical industry.
Even though the FDA is a shill for the pharmaceutical companies, prohibitionist love to cite them as the ultimate authority while ignoring their sketchy past.Just the same old same old.I am so tired.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam adams on March 09, 2008 at 13:19:44 PT

check out the home page
of this newspaper, they have a separate link to "Churches" in with the news. Looks like a fringe right-wing rag to me.You're going to lose on this one, Mr. Lenz. Maybe he should go to church more often, most of them support medical MJ access. 
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Comment #4 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 09, 2008 at 12:22:57 PT:

Here's part 1 
of the SD activists in action.
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Comment #3 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 09, 2008 at 12:10:49 PT:

Good Video of ASA and some local SD activists
buring elected officials face to face. This was from a couple years ago but still a good video."As elected officials from this mercurial border metropolis sought to challenge the rights of medical cannabis patients, Americans for Safe Access stepped up to the plate and swung at some of the right wing's greasiest curveballs. With Rudy Reyes, Barbara McKenzie, Seth Aronson, Amanda Brazel and San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn. Videographers: Steve Cioffi & Seth Aronson"
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on March 09, 2008 at 11:57:46 PT

it's been ...
12 years since Med cannabis arrived in CA, in 1996.CA hasn't burned down, yet ...hasn't imploded, except under it's ridiculous, penal system's obvious the two counties in CA have commissioners/pols ... what ever ... with too much time on their hands ...and we know what that means from childhood ...Idle hands are the devil's work ...Voter's should send unthinking prols/pols home and cause no more stupidity.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 09, 2008 at 11:40:24 PT

News Article from The Modesto Bee
Two SoCal Counties Seek Rejection of Medical Marijuana RulingMarch 9, 2008
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