Obama administration makes medical marijuana de facto legal

Obama administration makes medical marijuana de facto legal

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the Drug Enforcement Administration would stop shutting down state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries, MSNBC reported last week.

“What the president said during the campaign … will be consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement,” Holder said last week in response to a question at a press conference in Santa Ana, Calif.“What (Obama) said during the campaign … is now American policy.”

Obama said at a campaign stop in November 2007 that he was “open” to the use of marijuana as a pain reliever, MSNBC continued:

“My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to,” Obama said in November 2007 at a campaign stop in Audubon, Iowa. “There’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.”

New Mexico is one of 13 states that allow the cultivation, sale, and use of medically prescribed marijuana. Gov. Bill Richardson, who signed the legalization bill in April 2007, said in a press release that Holder’s announcement was good news.

“This is welcome news and validates our bold action to allow this alternative treatment to improve the quality of life for those suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases,” said Richardson. “I have no doubt that other states will soon join New Mexico and the other 12 states in recognizing that allowing this effective and compassionate treatment is the right thing to do.”

According to Richardson’s office, since New Mexico legalized medical marijuana more than 200 patient applications have been approved. The law lists eligible medical conditions for which marijuana can be used and regulates the production of the crop.