Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New England Journal of Medicine on Medical Pot and the Supreme Court

Here's a good summary of the state of things after Gonzales v. Raich:
Immediately after the news of the high court's ruling, attorneys general in the states that have approved the use of medical marijuana emphasized that the practice remained legal under their state laws, and a telephone survey of a random national sample of registered voters, commissioned by the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, indicated that 68 percent of respondents opposed federal prosecution of patients who use marijuana for medical reasons. Nationally, most marijuana arrests are made by state and local law-enforcement agencies, with federal arrests accounting for only about 1 percent of cases. However, soon after the decision was announced, federal agents raided 3 of San Francisco's more than 40 medical marijuana dispensaries. Nineteen people were charged with running an international drug ring; they allegedly were using the dispensaries as a front for trafficking in marijuana and in the illegal amphetamine "ecstasy."

Bonus! Includes a nifty picture and description of a vaporizer system for inhaling marijuana without smoking it:

The cannabis is placed in the chamber and heated to a temperature below that required for combustion. The balloon fills with vapor that contains the active ingredients without the tar or particulates thought to be responsible for most of the drug's adverse effects on the respiratory tract. The patient inhales the vapor from the balloon.

Link to article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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