There aren’t too many differences between Democrats and (r)epublicans these days, but they do part ways on the issue of medical marijuana.
Here’s an article from the “New York Times” on an “announcement” by the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA statement was that there were “no sound scientific studies” demonstrating marijuana has medicinal qualities.
And there’s a zinger considering the federal government antipathy to the whole issue of medical marijuana.
There’s no actual report or research being discussed through the announcement, rather feeble reference to “a past combined review by federal drug enforcement, regulatory and research agencies.”
Whatever that is.
The point being they could have announced this in the past or in the future and that’s something a good journalist, good blogger, and good citizen for that matter, gets to the bottom of why we are being told this.
Because otherwise they might be using their position of authority to "make" news, because the war in Iraq is not going so well or because the guys who are for medical marijuana are doing a strange thing: raising more money for Senate races than the guys who are against it.
Anyway, the piece by Gardener Harris is both superb and critical given its positioning in a mainstream publication circulated atop coffee tables throughout the nation’s capital.
Harris makes it clear the Food and Drug Administration is being pressured by law and order folk at the Drug Enforcement Agency who don’t have any sympathy for people whose pain might be relieved by a variety of marijuana products.
He airs out the claim of conservatives like Rep. Mark Souder (R-Indiana) that the movement for regulated use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is a “front” to, you know, corrupt the nation’s youth with evil weed (which went out with the masonic threat).
Those of a more bureaucratic bent say the medicinal marijuana issue, as currently embraced, bypasses an approval process set up to protect consumers. But Harris makes it clear that no one in an official capacity is willing to fund or even condone research relative to marijuana.
Also discussed is a study from 1999 that found medicinal values, especially as a pain killer (and why not?), at the Institute of Medicine (which sounds legitimate enough).
That one the feds don’t want to know about. There is, also and again, the familiar charge by some that “politics is trumping science,” which is something we’re used to at this point.
The “San Diego Union-Tribune,” ran this piece on common sense regulation of the medical marijuana industry, which is developing apace and willy-nilly, because as your free market advocates would have it, "there's a demand."
The piece addresses the problem as it exists on the ground, and leaves the fire-eating to guys with badges and nice boys from Indiana.
The whole thing smacks of an attack by one class of Americans by another over a difference in approach to life.
There is no sense on the law enforcement-and-traditions side that one person should live one way, and a second a another way, and that what defines them as Americans is their ability to live side-by-side under those terms.
There is only one good kind of American. And it’s their kind.