Upton also fears sending the wrong message to kids about marijuana. But federal law has long allowed the sick access to needed pain control with drugs more powerful than marijuana. Only bad politics can account for the fact that marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and thus deemed more harmful than cocaine and morphine -- drugs that can kill users who overdose.
Alex Holstein, a former GOP operative and conservative activist, is lobbying Republicans on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project. He believes that regardless of their position on medical marijuana, Repubs in the California delegation should support Hinchey-Rohrabacher because state voters approved Proposition 215 -- and Republicans should stand up for states' rights and the will of California voters.
As it is, President Bush should direct the Justice Department to lay off medical-marijuana users -- because it is the right thing to do for sick people.
It's not as if the administration doesn't know how to sit on its hands and not enforce existing law. Last week, The Washington Post reported that under Bush, the number of employers prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens plummeted from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003.
If the Bushies can look the other way when well-heeled employers break the law, they can look the other way when sick people try to relieve unnecessary pain.