Govenors petition feds on med weed

By Luke Walker 11/30/11

Governors Christine Gregiore of Washington and Lincoln Chafee of Road Island formally petitioned the federal government today to reform decades old drug laws by reclassifying marijuana as a drug with legitimate medical uses.
“The divergence in state and federal law creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who may need medical cannabis,” The governors wrote to Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the DEA.
The bid to reclassify marijuana from a schedule I controlled substance, to a schedule II drug, although a nominal move, would in effect protect states that have made medical marijuana legal from federal prosecution. Although marijuana would still be classified in the same group as heroin and cocaine, drugs recognized as having a high potential for abuse. The reclassification would legally concede that marijuana has legitimate medical purpose, and under federal law, marijuana would be eligible for sale in pharmacies. Curiously enough, heroin and cocaine are classified as schedule II drugs.
Though the petition on the surface may seem to be nothing more than a fruitless advocacy attempt, it formally legitimizes a growing national consensus that medical marijuana is a valid medicinal treatment, an issue where state and federal laws have long been at odds.   
“What we have out here on the ground is chaos – and in the midst of all the chaos we have patients who really either feel like they’re criminals or may be engaged in some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want medicinal marijuana.”

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