Let the Federal Government mind its own business. No, this does not reflect my general view of legislation; however, it certainly does as it pertains to the federal legislation which led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in May of this year regarding the medial use of marijuana. California is one of nine states that permits the use of marijuana under certain circumstances. California defines its particular circumstances as “medical necessity.”
There are many individuals who suffer a great deal of pain from their diseases or injuries, for which marijuana provides incredible medicinal value. Terminally ill patients who have been given marijuana often claim it is the only drug that helps with their pain.
The question now becomes how the federal legislation called the Controlled Substances Act and the Supreme Court ruling applying it to all states and, in effect, giving it the power of overruling all state laws, will play out in California.
Proposition 215, which is California’s medical marijuana law, is still in existence. Most marijuana arrests are made by state law enforcement officers; very few are made by federal authorities. It now remains to be seen how local law enforcement agencies decide to deal with this ruling. There is a common perception that if local law enforcement decides to make arrests of people using marijuana for medical purposes, they will encounter less than sympathetic juries.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for the Court indicating his belief that “marijuana has no medical benefits worthy of an exception.” To put it mildly, I am not a fan of Justice Thomas and I believe that this statement reflects his ignorance on yet another issue. I don’t know where he got that belief from, for literally everything out there in the scientific community indicates that the ameliorative effects of marijuana on people in significant pain are incredible. It is also valuable regarding relief from nausea, which comes from chemotherapy, along with pressure inside the eyes of those who suffer from glaucoma.
Only time will determine whether this ruling becomes a tempest in a teapot or whether it ends up having a significant impact on the citizens of this state.
The states of Nevada and Maine are presently considering creating their own marijuana distribution systems which would be sponsored and controlled by the states themselves. I think these states will run into difficulty after this ruling.
Hopefully, the federal authorities will not decide to get serious about the enforcement of this federal statute in our fair state and Californians will be left alone so that those who need the drug will continue to gain the benefit they presently receive from marijuana without federal interference.