The American College of Physicians also wants more research. In the meantime, the group has called for reclassification of marijuana, "given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana's safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions." That is, let doctors and patients -- not government -- decide what works for them.
Obama's position is not as clear as some advocates might prefer. Spokesman Ben LaBolt noted that Obama supports having the Food and Drug Administration regulate marijuana for medical use -- a bad idea and a surefire way to bureaucratize and corporatize what has been a grassroots enterprise.
What about real and dangerous abuses, such as dealers who are running criminal enterprises disguised as cannabis dispensaries? LaBolt answered that Obama "believes that states and local governments are best positioned to strike the balance between making sure that these policies are not abused for recreational drug use and making sure that doctors and their patients can safely access pain relief."
As for McCain, he would do well to heed the words of economist and conservative icon Milton Friedman, who before his death told Forbes, "There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana." And: "It's absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes."