Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Advocacy group seizes moment

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Americans_for_Safe_Access_-_Advancing_Legal_Medical_Marijuana_Therapeutics_and_Research.jpeg

MMJ advocacy group Americans for Safe Access filed a legal brief Wednesday with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of correcting "statements by the federal government that 'marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,'" says a news release.

The move was prompted by the Department of Veterans Affairs releasing its new policy toward military veteran MMJ users.

"Recognition of marijuana's therapeutic benefits by a federal agency makes it more difficult for the government to argue against marijuana's medical value," says ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford — who filed the notice with the court — in the release. "The government's reasons for maintaining an outdated and harmful position on medical marijuana are running out."

In this week's Independent, we talk to Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access executive director Michael Krawitz, who told us he foresees the VA's decision having further reaching consequences in places other than just the current states that allow medical marijuana.

“If they’re recognizing someone’s medical marijuana use in Colorado, they cannot just take away someone’s pain medicine in New Jersey or New York, who’s done whatever would have been necessary to be legal in that other state," Krawitz says. "There’s going to be just no way that the VA is going to be able to make this policy that doesn’t effect that veteran as well.”

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