Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"Life, Liberty, (and the Pursuit of Happiness): Medical Marijuana Regulation in Historical Context"

The title of this post is the title of this great new book chapter authored by Lewis Grossman now available via SSRN.  Here is its abstract:

The struggle for access to medical marijuana differs from most other battles for therapeutic freedom in American history because marijuana also has a popular, though controversial, nontherapeutic use — delivery of a recreational high.  After considering struggles over the medical use of alcohol during prohibition as a precedent, this chapter relates the history of medical marijuana use and regulation in the United States.  The bulk of the chapter focuses on the medical marijuana movement from the 1970s to present.  This campaign has been one of the prime examples of a successful extrajudicial social movement for freedom of therapeutic choice.  With the exception of a single promising decision in 1975, courts have uniformly rejected arguments for medical marijuana access.  But the 1996 passage of Proposition 215 in California triggered a tremendous wave of state measures legalizing medical cannabis, as well as a dramatic change in American attitudes about the issue. 

The chapter recounts this history in light of the special legal, political, and rhetorical challenges medical cannabis advocates have faced.  First, many officials have opposed the legalization of medical marijuana, regardless of whether it offers therapeutic benefits, because of the public health harms and moral degradation they associate with the use of pot.  Second, marijuana’s designation as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and the DEA’s rejection of multiple citizen petitions to reclassify it, has placed extremely high obstacles in the way of researchers interested in scientifically assessing marijuana’s therapeutic efficacy.  Third, federal government policies have lagged behind public preference and state law.  Finally, medical marijuana supporters have had to negotiate an invaluable but fraught relationship with advocates for comprehensive marijuana legalization.  The perspectives and goals of these two groups have overlapped and conflicted in fascinating and unexpected ways.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2019/01/life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness-medical-marijuana-regulation-in-historical-context.html

History of Alcohol Prohibition and Temperance Movements, History of Marijuana Laws in the United States, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Medical Marijuana State Laws and Reforms | Permalink

Comments

The therapeutic benefits of CBD are proven. 2019 appears like it will be record-breaking year for all parts of the marijuana plant. Lawmakers and the public have historically feared and mistaken the potential value of the cannabis plant. Many still hold on to the belief marijuana has no therapeutic uses, and this is untrue. We are happy new conversation are beginning around the efficacy of using cannabinoids to treat health issues.

Posted by: Tru Cure CBD | Jan 16, 2019 9:52:55 AM

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