A bill to legalize medicinal marijuana didn’t get much love from the state House today. It failed on a 26-67 vote with most of the objection based on the idea that, while marijuana may have some legitimate medicinal uses, that the drug’s strange legal situation makes it impossible for the state to do things like standards for the medication.
The bill was HB1430, introduced by Rep. Pamela Anderson (D-Fargo), and it couldn’t find a majority even after amendments to disallow the growing or marijuana or smoking the drug.
I’ll be honest. I hate medicinal marijuana legislation. I think the drug should be legal, but I’m something of a skeptic when it comes to the medicinal uses. And I’m afraid that if lawmakers approve the drug for medicinal use it’s going to be in such a convoluted way – addled by restrictions and bureaucracy – that it will complicate the case for full-on legalization.
I understand that people have really strong opinions about marijuana, but we need to admit that prohibition isn’t accomplishing anything. Despite generations worth of attempts to eradicate production, distribution, and use of the drug it’s about as easy to get as ever.
It’s time we brought marijuana out of the shadows, and away from the criminals to serve the market now, where we can deal with the problems it creates in terms of crime and substance abuse forthrightly.
Medicinal marijuana isn’t a step toward that goal. It’s a step away from it, I’m afraid.