HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Update on Medicinal Marijuana

Last night, the House of Representatives, by a 264-161 vote,  rejected an amendment that would have prevented the Department of Justice from prosecuting medical marijuana users in the 10 states where medicinal use of marijuana is legal.  According to the Associated Press report,  

Opponents of the amendment said it would undercut efforts to combat marijuana abuse. They said Marinol, a government-approved prescription drug that contains the active ingredient in marijuana, offers comparable relief.

"Marijuana has never been proven as safe and effective for any disease," said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind. "Marijuana can increase the risk of serious mental health problems, and in teens, marijuana use can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide, and schizophrenia."

Proponents of medical marijuana had hoped to gain momentum following the high court's ruling. A poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project found that respondents, by a 68-18 percent margin, believe that medical marijuana users should not face federal prosecution.

The poll, conducted June 8-11 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, also found that 65 percent of those surveyed favored doctor-prescribed medical marijuana, with 20 percent opposed.

Well, I suppose I am supposed to be happy that my taxpayer money will be going toward the protection of the public from the dangers of seriously ill individuals who are using marijuana to relieve their symptoms.  I feel so much safer now.  [bm]

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