Texas Congressman Ron Paul today released a statement urging public support for a House Bill advocating the government stay out of the medical marijuana business and allow state sanctioned clinics the freedom to dispense pot without fear of being raided.
Paul has introduced the “Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act”, H.R. 5842, which would bar the Federal Government from intervening in doctor/patient relationships that violate no state law. This, by the way, is the second legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Paul dealing with the cannabis plant. More on that later.
As a physician, Paul states his position that doctors and patients should make health care decisions, not politicians or federal agents. His legislation would call off the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) “dogs” that regularly hassle state-sanctioned clinics and their patients.
He cited the plight of K.K. Forss, a resident of Minnesota, who suffers pain from a ruptured disc in his neck. Forss is unable to work or attend church due to the debilitating pain. $18,000 a year was paid by Medicare each year on various medications that were useless.
Then, Forss took a chance and tried marijuana, illegal in his state, and found it helped him regain 38 pounds he had lost, calmed muscle spasms and helped him sleep. If he could continue using cannabis for his pain, Forss believes, according to Rep. Paul, that he’d be able to work occasionally and attend some church services.
The Congressman cites a study by Scientists at the University of Calfornia at Davis that says cannabis demonstrates significant relief of neuropathic pain. Twelve states have passed legislation allowing marijuana, under certain conditions, according to Paul, but those clinics, physicians and patients are still under fire from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In summary,. the Congressman says,
“The bottom line is that K.K. Forss should be treated as a free American. Mr. Forss is one of many who would like to use marijuana medicinally because it helps him. Politicians and bureaucrats have no right to interfere”.
Congressman Paul is also co-sponsor of H.R. 1009, calling for the legalization of industrial hemp as an agricultural product. Hopefully, these two bills will begin to chip away at the DEA and it’s stranglehold on the issue of industrial hemp and medical marijuana.
Two North Dakota farmers have taken their case to a U.S. Court of Appeals Court in an effort to force the DEA into a “hands off” position when it comes to industrial hemp cultivation. In case you haven’t heard, industrial hemp is a lousy smoke, resulting in a bad headache and no high.
Of course, this action will not lead to legalizing recreational marijuana, but it will sort out the differences, allow the cultivation of an amazingly diverse agricultural product and promise medical relief for those who would benefit from marijuana.
But right now, the Feds have been striking out at state-sanctioned marijuana clinics, stating in most part that it’s just another way to dispense illegal drugs.
Hats off to Congressman Paul, and North Dakota State Representative David Monson and Wayne Hauge, both farmers, who are trying desperately to put the DEA’s feet to the fire.