"States with medical marijuana programs should now be free from federal interference since Congress has allowed local control," attorney Matthew Pappas at Pappas Law Group, based in Long Beach, California, told Toke of the Town Monday afternoon. "Congress, being the legislative branch of the federal sovereign and the only body that can change these laws, has now done so by recognizing the voting rights of Washington, D.C., citizens."
Likewise, Californians and citizens of the 15 other states which have legalized medicinal cannabis are equally protected and have the same voting rights in respect to medical marijuana, according to Pappas Law Group.
"Congress has turned over the area of medical marijuana to state and local governments," said Pappas, speaking for the disabled plaintiffs in the California case Marla James v. the Cities of Costa Mesa and Lake Forest. "Through Congress's duty to equally protect everyone under the law, all patients in states with medical marijuana laws operating in full compliance with those laws should not, from now forward, be subject to previous long standing federal marijuana prohibitions."
"They're not going to be subject to the CSA ," Pappas confirmed to Toke of the Town in a telephone conversation. "In our country, when one group of voters has been given the right to vote on something, other voters, likewise, have the right to do so -- in this case, approve medical marijuana."
The problem is when you live in a state that is not allowed to put measures on the ballots up for a vote. Those states remain hostages to the whims of their legislators, or, more precisely, in those states, the monied interests that continue to fight for prohibition do so at the expense of every single person's medical well being in those states.
Some legislators have tried to address this issue at the state level and their proposals are allowed to die in committee before ever reaching a hearing on the floor.
But here we have a non-toxic substance that has proven its capacity to improve the rate of cancer and HIV patients' survival - but we have state legislators that are more concerned with the money they get from religious conservatives and the federal govt. to care about the citizens they are supposed to represent.
I hope some of those red states will have candidates who run on a fiscal conservative legalization platform. If we can't get rid of the religious right by voting in democrats, we would all be better off to have conservatives who respond to rational arguments and data that goes back decades.