The failure of the federal government to properly regulate marijuana is leading to terrible headaches.  MMJ is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that the Congress has determined it has a high potential for abuse and has no legitimate medical use.  The former may be true, but certainly not the latter.  At the very least, the facts point in the direction of putting MMJ onto a different schedule, permitting medical use but still outlawing consumption for intoxication, just as we do morphine and cocaine. One real downside of this policy was to substantially stifle testing to see which diseases and conditions could benefit from cannabis, and which not. Also, delivery systems such as sprays that would obviate the need to dispense “weed” have not gotten off the financial ground.

But our irresponsible representatives didn’t and don’t want to appear soft on drugs, and so nothing was done.  This created a huge opening for people who want to legalize marijuana and increase the trend toward hedonism that I think is undermining societal cohesion.  Joining with well meaning activists who just wanted to help suffering people feel better, legalizers saw MMJ as the foot in the door to outright legalization, and the Medical  Marijuana Movement began.  Voters approved measures in several states permitting weed marijuana to be dispensed unprofessionally (meaning not in the controlled circumstances of a pharmacy or for diseases  known to benefit from MJ as a therapy), with only a doctor’s letter the key to obtaining one’s stash.  This led to chaos and an anarchic quasi legalization that allowed the drug to be dispensed to people who didn’t need marijuana for medicine.  Crime  increased around the dispensing centers, to the point that even licentious anything goes San Francisco began to clamp down.

Now, with President Obama violating his oath of office by announcing that he will not enforce federal law against medical marijuana use in states where it is legal—which badly undermines our shaky commitment to the rule of law in this country—local authorities are forced to try to bring some order to the worsening mess.  From the story:

For years, since the first medical marijuana laws were passed in the mid-1990s, many local and state governments could be confident, if not complacent, knowing that marijuana would be kept in check because it remained illegal under federal law, and that hard-nosed federal prosecutors were not about to forget it.

But with the Justice Department’s announcement last week that it would not prosecute people who use marijuana for medical purposes in states where it is legal, local and state officials say they will now have to take on the job themselves.

Get that? The mostly empty threat of federal raids kept medical marijuana from spinning out of control.  But with that gone, local authorities will have to spread their already thin resources to regulate and enforce loose state laws. And that will impact events beyond the MMJ issue.

I am very worried that we are becoming a nation that runs on the fuel of vice—which, let’s face it, tempts all of us. As such, the medical marijuana movement became one front in the coup de culture I have warned against.  The federal government’s refusing to responsibly regulate marijuana so that it could be used in appropriate circumstances as medicine has added tremendously to that subversion.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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