"Be careful about the new lax enforcement policy for medical marijuana," former White House Drug Policy Spokesman Bob Weiner is telling the Department of Justice and the Obama Administration.
"You may get way more than you bargained for", Weiner cautions of the new policy barring states attorneys from busting and prosecuting users and caregivers of so-called "medical" marijuana who act "in accordance with state law."
"Prescription marijuana use may explode for healthy people."
Unfortunately, as many as 90% of purchases at clinical distribution centers are "false defenses", some law enforcement agents report - "which means individuals are not really sick but simply want the pot," Weiner asserts.
"Medical marijuana is not as effective as other healing mechanisms for many illnesses such as glaucoma, pain, or nausea that users try it for because of false hype leading to false hope. Just as laetrile was legalized in the 1970's in 27 states to cure cancer but was found to be useless apricot pits, leading Senator Kennedy in a Senate hearing to decry the 'false hope' delaying true treatment, 'medical' marijuana today could be a placebo delaying far better treatments," according to Weiner.
"Many medical marijuana advocates press its use for pain killing and appetite enhancement," Weiner asserted, "but you might feel just as good after a shot of gin. Science, not politics, must drive what is determined to be safe and effective medicine in America. The medical marijuana advocates never mention the potentially better applications of THC in marijuana from suppositories, jells, aerosols, or the already approved pill Marinol -- they just want the high from the smoked version.
"There is a real danger that if marijuana is made essentially a prescription drug, its abuse and usage explosion could parallel other prescription drugs over the last decade, such as OxyContin, which have tripled nationally and quintupled in many locations because of the ease of availability."
"No one wants to deny a dying cancer patient a hit of grass, if that's what he or she wants. But to announce and implement a policy of broad-brush non-enforcement when there is so much loose about usage of medical marijuana and its distribution is a dangerous policy."
"The new policy, a three-page DOJ memo anyone can download, does not only say leave the users alone. It also says leave the 'caregivers' alone if they comply with state law. The distribution centers, which are suppliers, and the staff could well be considered 'caregivers'. DOJ would have serious problems discerning between illicit dealers and distributors."
Weiner served as White House Drug Policy Office spokesman for 6-1/2 years and communications director of the House Select Narcotics Committee for five years.
October 21, 2009