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Monday, October 19, 2009

Obama Administration Issues New Policy On Medical Marijuana

The marijuana question and the argument of legalization made a huge stride today in Washington. It seems as though every passing month brings new developments that are in favor of legalization; if people are following state law then they are relatively free of any federal punishment. Obama administration issues new policy on medical marijuana. "The Obama administration delivered new guidance on medical marijuana to federal prosecutors Monday, signaling a broad policy shift that will mean fewer crackdowns against dispensaries and the people who use them", according to the Washington Post. The idea is that federal prosecutors should focus on those growers who exploit state law and traffic drugs behind the veil of medical marijuana.

"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal", said Attorney General Eric Holder. Obama's new policy raises a lot of questions about what kind of good will come of it; on one hand, every plant grown legally in the U.S. is another dollar that Mexican Cartels cannot get there hands on to fund their war. Obviously, taking money from the cartels is a good thing and may reduce the number of murders that happen everyday along the border. There are those who argue that giving addicts the ability to grow marijuana without the fear of punishment may increase addiction rates throughout the country.

Only time will tell whether the new policy will do more harm than good and there seems to be more people in favor of medical legalization then there are against it. The Mexican cartels should be the main focus of federal agents due to the violence that goes along with their business. the Washington Post reported that, "Tom Angell, a spokesman for the advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said in an e-mail message that the shift appears to be a "major step" in the right direction". The new development in Washington is in no way an all out legalization of the drug, rather, it is simply put in place to guide investigators toward the more important cases where serious laws are being broken. What is the right answer in all of this remains unclear because the new policy has yet to be put to the test. Is less crime and more addiction the right path to take?

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