Medical marijuana supporters this week were high on statements from the governors of Washington and Rhode Island, who have joined a chorus of support for making medical marijuana possible across the land.
Christine Gregoire of Washington and Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island have formally asked federal officials "to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses," says the Drug Policy Alliance, a group with offices in Los Angeles.
Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the DPA, says:
The governors' call for re-scheduling marijuana so that it can be prescribed for medical purposes is an important step forward in challenging the federal government's intransigence in this area.
Though it's legal as medicine in 16 states. the DEA classifies marijuana as a top, Schedule I outlaw with no legitimate uses.
Gregoire told The New York Times that the differences between state and federal law add up to confusion:
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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The govs want to make it a Schedule II drug, which could allow doctors to prescribe it nationally.
The California-based group Americans for Safe Access has made a similar petition asking for "rescheduling" of cannabis and is appealing the feds' denial, according to an ASA statement.
The DPA, meanwhile, wants the governors to step up and approve "statewide regulation of medical marijuana" in their own backyards, Nadelmann said.