Five Years of Struggle: The DEA vs. Doctors and Patients

On November 5, 1996, five million California residents voted for and passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act. This Tuesday marks the five-year anniversary of the monumental decision by California residents to let doctors, not police officers, decide on appropriate medication for individual patients. Despite a growing nationwide consensus that marijuana is a safe medicinal herb, the DEA still vilifies the plant and federal agents continue to target patient-users.

Controversy concerning marijuana as medication greeted Proposition 215, and debate continues to rage on as an issue of state’s rights vs. federal control. A tragic episode in this struggle recently erupted as federal agents raided the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center (LACRC), confiscating medical marijuana and patient’s records. The victims in this struggle are genuinely ill people, whose access to necessary medicine is impeded and whose rights as patients are violently trampled. Ironically, federal actions such as those perpetrated at the LACRC merely force seriously ill patients to the black market for their medication.

“The federal government should quit treating sick people as the enemy," says Attorney Richard Glen Boire of the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics 
(CCLE), adding, “A person has a liberty interest in making important decisions concerning his or her own mind and body.” The CCLE advocates respect for the decisions of doctors and patients who are acting under state law, and calls on the federal government to re-examine its extremist policies with respect to marijuana.

For More Information:
Ms. Zara Gelsey, Director of Communications;
E-mail: zara@cognitiveliberty.org
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics 
Telephone & Fax: 530-750-7912

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