Breaking News: Two Governors Petition Federal Government To Allow For Medical Marijuana

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director November 30, 2011

    The governors of Rhode Island and Washington have both signed a petition asking the Obama Administration to re-schedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II, effectively ending the federal government’s total prohibition on medical patients having lawful and controlled access to organic cannabis products.

    “The situation has become untenable for our states and others. The solution lies with the federal government.”

    Both Governors Lincoln Chafee and Christine Gregoire of Rhode Island and Washington respectively were, ironically, two state governors who chose to heed to the warnings issued by the federal government in a Department of Justice memo (known as the ‘Cole memo‘) and not move forward with otherwise popular medical cannabis law reforms in their states. 

    However, no more! These two governors’ action today is a very important turning point in the history of cannabis law reform in America.

    Contrastingly, the governors of Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and the city council of D.C. all largely ignored the federal government and moved forward with their states’ respective medical cannabis programs.

    NORML began the entire legal and political debate about ‘medical marijuana’ in 1972 when it launched a 24-year re-scheduling effort, that is still laboring on all these years.

    Therefore to finally witness governors so frustrated with the absurdly mis-scheduled cannabis plant as being dangerous, addictive and possessing no medical utility (wrongly grouped with heroin and LSD) that they are reaching out to the president to fix this clear injustice and warping of science is a clear demonstration that the friction between the federal government’s recalcitrance on accepting medical cannabis (or for that matter ending Cannabis Prohibition in total) and state politicians who can no longer justify towing the fed’s ridiculous ban on physician-prescribed cannabis to sick, dying and sense-threatened medical patients is coming to a dramatic conclusion in a government showdown, one that may bode well for the larger Cannabis Prohibition reforms needed, festering just below the surface of the public’s mass acceptance of medical access to cannabis.

    101 responses to “Breaking News: Two Governors Petition Federal Government To Allow For Medical Marijuana”

    1. Nieboh says:

      I can see how this may be viewed as somewhat encouraging, I do not feel this goes far enough. It is not enough to baby-step this down from Schedule I to Schedule II, when the most appropriate action would be to remove it from the Schedule entirely and allow the states to regulate it on an equal footing with alcohol. I just can’t help feeling a half measure such as this may ultimately prove a setback to the repeal of prohibition.

      Under Schedule II, while admitting the possibility of having accepted use in medical treatment, it will still have the stigma whereby “Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

      [Editor’s note: Neither NORML (Gettman, ASA, et al) or these two governors are seeking to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act because there is ZERO political support in the federal government and Congress to do so. NORML and company suing the federal government and these governors are simply seeking that the government stop their insanity of insisting that cannabis has no medical values at all–when both the public and science know otherwise.

      If you want cannabis legalized out right, that will not happen through advocates suing the feds to make cannabis de-listed as a scheduled medicinal drug…ending Cannabis Prohibition is more complicated than this, namely having Congress pass an amended CSA sans cannabis.]

    2. Lita V says:

      How can the Feds Possibly want to keep this (Cannabis) Plant and what it has to offer on the “List” when They Themselves have filed Numerous Patents attesting to the Medicinal Values of the Cannabis and it’s Derivatives?

    3. Joe Theobald says:

      NORML: Can you please put together one of those nicely typed letters we can mail our respective state governors urging them to follow the lead taken by Chafee and Gregoire? The Feds need to hear from more governors on this, and the people need to pressure their governors to do so. Thanks!

    4. Smoke n toke says:

      Now that the real problem has been identified and the roots of prohibition are being seen very deeply in everything, maybe prohibition will be finally ceased as the joke that it has always been. (MAYBE)” To see a problem and do nothing is to be apart of the problem.”

    5. Crystal Deeann Whitcomb says:

      I am very pleased to see there is still interest to promote the health and well being for the sick and dying. I prey that one day that my mother, who is very young and has a severely damaged spine to the point that there is nothing left the doctors can do; will have the ability to throwout all of the harmful cancer pain management medications that do nothing, and use a natural marijuana to aid her pain. As well as millions of people like her. If the smoke is the main concern, opt for a vaporizer that will not harm the lungs through the water. If you believe its harmful… Read the research and history of this wonderful medicine. Also, compare it to the MILLIONS of FDA medications that are used for the same cause and have severe side effects. When treating the sick, the objective is to make them more comfortable, not to cure one issue and cause another. I support the legalization of this medication for those who need it. And…I prey that the ignorance of ill-educated members of our society do not prohibit the availability of marijuana to our friends and family who need it most.

    6. Joel: the other Joel says:

      I can’t wait to hear what the DEA says about re-scheduling cannabis.
      President Obama will have something to say about this.

    7. James Kline says:

      Let the people who needs cannbais you it you been giving it out to 4 people for over 30 years
      What the feds can do things but the wrong

    8. TheOracle says:

      It’s a nice gesture, but only two governors?

      MPP lays out the argument that cannabis is still subject to raids and prosecution by the Feds even after rescheduling.

      Slash so much funding from the various federal departments who are our pains in the ass that cannabis prohibition enforcement becomes a non-priority. That way they’ll be broke, and powerless to continue their prosecutions of the good folks they’ve raided out west and powerless to prevent eastern states from implementing the medical marijuana programs they currently have on hold.

      Since no one and no party wants to bring up cannabis legalization or cuts specifically designed to move cannabis closer to the legalized end of the continuum, the federal sequestration will be to blame. In plain English, no one will be accountable or take responsibility for the cuts that help bring cannabis closer to being legal. With the Feds immobilized, states can take their programs off hold, and more states can jump on the medical marijuana or even outright legalization bandwagon.

      Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized.

      Besides, the banks need the cannabis money, so much more of it than they can safely launder under its current illegal status.

    9. Tman says:

      Go get ’em, Allen. Keep telling the truth.

    10. R says:

      Won’t happen. Simple as that. Fuck the DEA.