Will ND Medical Marijuana Go Up In Smoke?
After at least five years of asking for legislative action, drafting a complex law, collecting signatures, winning a state referendum, correcting statutory errors, and planning implementation, will the North Dakota medical marijuana initiative go up in smoke?
As 29 other states with medical marijuana and eight more looking at recreational marijuana ponder the same question, the whole issue may becoming unraveled. According to federal law, marijuana has been an illegal drug from the outset.
Rather than coming to grips with reality, the Obama Administration told states that the Drug Enforcement Agency and U. S. Attorneys would not interfere in the marijuana business as long as state laws were strictly followed.
So this $7 billion industry mushroomed in spite of the cloud if illegality that hung over it. So when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently withdrew this tacit support given by the Obama Administration, investors and users started looking at huge losses.
At the outset, let us admit that we did not and do not need another drug ripping through American society. The police and rehab people are already being overworked to deal with tobacco, alcohol and the free movement of illegal drugs.
Because all of these investors and potential users knew that marijuana was an illegal drug sheltered by mere administrative policy, there should be no grieving for the losses of investors. They walked into this situation fully informed about the complications of state sponsorship and federal enforcement.
The tragedy is the loss of aid and comfort to people suffering from cancer, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, Crohns, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures and many other ailments unreachable by traditional medicines.
The withdrawal of the permissive federal protection throws the whole issue into the political arena. While Washington stewed over developing a drug