Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are Compassionate Use laws moot?

Have Compassionate Use and Marijuana Medicalization laws become moot?

After passing two unenforcable Compassionate Use laws in the 90's, and full cannabis medicalization in 2010, Arizona has failed to open dispensaries, and created extraordinary requirements (such as submitting three years of Arizona Tax Returns, and other irrelevant and illegal financial requirements that would disenfrancise the patient population deriving the most benefit from dispensaries).

In New Jersey, another state with Medicalization and Compassionate Use laws, an M.S. patient appealed his arrest for growing cannabis to the state's Supreme Court, which summarily sentenced him to five years in prison.

Even after Compassionate Use laws have been passed, Medical Marijuana patients are still being arrested and imprisoned with the judicial rational that State administered dispensaries have not been implemented.

Travesties such as this may be expected in the yahoo states that have yet to pass compassionate use laws; but they have become much too common in states who's citizenry has approved and supported the medical use of cannabis. The fact that state-level medical marijuana administrations have failed in developing dispensaries should have no bearing on the impementation of the law, and acceptance of the law by the judicial system.

Advocacy and activist efforts would do well to define and promote medicalization and compassionate use plans that give more than lip service to the voters' wishes.  Voters should be encouraged to deny passage of propositions and plans that rely heavily on government organization, are full of loop-holes to stall implementation, that have restrictive and irrelevant application requirements, and (especially) forbid patients to grow their own plants.  Medical marijuana laws must be fair, accessible, and consistent, but most of all, they should be implementable. 

The Green Association for Sustainability
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