Los Angeles (November 1, 2007) – "I think it's clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get it – safely and easily," says The Price Is Right and Power of 10 host Drew Carey in a new Reason.tv video examining medical marijuana and the war on drugs.
Voters in 12 states have legalized medical marijuana and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently said marijuana "is not a drug. It's a leaf." Yet the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ignores these laws and continues to assault patients and caregivers in states where medical marijuana is legal. Why is the federal government disregarding state laws passed by millions of voters? Because the feds classify marijuana and heroin as equals. The government bogusly claims marijuana has "no accepted medical use" and a "high potential for abuse." Cocaine and methamphetamine are just two of the drugs the government puts in a less restrictive category than cannabis.
To make these false claims the federal government has to ignore research it commissioned. In 1999 the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that marijuana has "therapeutic value" that relieves pain, controls vomiting and nausea, and stimulates the appetite. This year, in a study funded by the state of California, doctors at the University of California at San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital proved marijuana provides significant relief to HIV-infected patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Dozens of credible studies have demonstrated marijuana's medicinal benefits.
"The DEA is ignoring a large and growing body of evidence and needs to reschedule marijuana," said David Nott, president of Reason Foundation. "Cancer patients, HIV and AIDS patients, and millions of sick Americans deserve access to the drugs that ease their pain and suffering, and Congress can and should facilitate that."
Full Video Online
Medical Marijuana, hosted by Drew Carey, is available online at http://reason.tv/video/show/57.html. You can also view a lower-resolution version of the video, without the video's extras, on Reason.tv's YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/ReasonTV.
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Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109