History from the Archive: Medical Marijuana 2002 vs. 2014

Eighteen members of Congress yesterday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to remove marijuana from the list of drugs with federal Schedule I classification, which determines that a drug has no medicinal benefit and permits for harsh criminal penalties for those found in possession.

The letter comes weeks after Obama said in an interview with the New Yorker magazine that he doesn’t think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. He also openly acknowledged that marijuana arrests disproportionately affect African-American and Latino youth.

Twenty states permit the use and sale of medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington recently made recreational marijuana legal as well. Compare that to federal government actions against medical marijuana dispensaries in this February 13, 2002 report:

San Francisco officials — including the city’s District Attorney —  joined dozens of angry protesters outside the Commonwealth Club of California last night. They gathered as the head of the the Drug Enforcement Agency spoke inside the club. Asa Hutchinson’s talk came on the same day that federal agents raided the city’s medical marijuana clubs, the the consternation of local officials and in violation of California law. Christopher Martinez was there. He files this report.

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(Photo credit: Flickr user Rusty Blazenhoff)

 

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