The Bakersfield Californian: California Should Join Effort To Reclassify Marijuana
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The Bakersfield Californian: California Should Join Effort To Reclassify Marijuana

The governors of Washington and Rhode Island last week sought to clear up the legal gray area created by the decriminalization of medical marijuana in their states by asking the federal government to reclassify the drug. California Govenor Jerry Brown ought to join them. rnrn

Govs. Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a Republican-turned-independent, have asked the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses. Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance, which has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Other drugs in this category include heroin and LSD. The governors want marijuana reclassified to Schedule II, which is the classification for cocaine, morphine and opiates, which have “some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered or dispensed for medical use.” As we in California well know, conflicting state and federal views on marijuana have created a marketplace for medical marijuana that is void of legitimate regulation and patient safety protections. A reclassification of the drug could potentially lead to marijuana being dispensed by pharmacies, which would be safer than, and preferable to, the hodgepodge system of dispensaries, doctor “recommendations,” patient cards and uneven enforcement that has resulted in illicit, back-door distribution to recreational users and unnecessary difficulties for legitimate medical users.

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