Los Angeles (June 11, 2008) - Owen Beck, battling bone cancer, had a prescription for medical marijuana from his doctors at Stanford. He often filled his prescription at a legal medical marijuana dispensary run by Charles Lynch in California. But after being raided by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Lynch faces federal charges of distributing marijuana to minors - minors suffering from cancer, like Owen Beck.
In the Reason.tv video, host Drew Carey asks, "Are we really helping minors by keeping them from medical marijuana at all costs? Or are we treating their parents like children?"
"The feds need to face the facts: California voters legalized medical marijuana in 1996," says Reason.tv editor Nick Gillespie. "The federal government's continual harassment of cancer patients and legal businesses is shameful and serves as a frequent reminder of what a massive failure the war on drugs is."
The two major presidential candidates have taken completely opposite positions on medical marijuana and the DEA raids. Last month, Oregon's Willamette Week asked Sen. Barack Obama, "Would you stop the DEA's raids on Oregon medical marijuana growers?" Obama responded, "I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism."
In March, Obama told Oregon's Mail Tribune, "When it comes to medical marijuana, I have more of a practical view than anything else. I mean, my attitude is that if it's an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else."
The Republican National Committee attacked Sen. Obama's response to the Willamette Week's question and Sen. John McCain says he'll continue the Bush administration's aggressive efforts. McCain, who once supported states' rights on the issue, now says, "I don't believe that medical marijuana is necessary for alleving pain, relief of pain. I don't believe it's healthy…I believe it is a national issue and not a statewide issue."
When asked what he'd do to stop federal raids in states where voters have made medical marijuana legal, McCain said, "Nothing."
This is the second Reason.tv Drew Carey video examining the nation's medical marijuana laws. In a November 2007 video, Carey called for the legalization of medical marijuana, saying, "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."
Full Video Online
The Reason.tv Drew Carey video, Medical Marijuana and Minors, is online at http://reason.tv/video/show/413.html. An archive of Drew Carey's Reason.tv videos is online at http://reason.tv/featuredvids/.
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Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109