Historic Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Seeks to Relax Federal Policy
Later this month, Michael Krawitz, who suffered a car accident while serving in the U.S. air force which left him permanently disabled and in chronic pain, and other advocates for medical marijuana will go before the U.S. court of appeal in Washington D.C. as part of a historic lawsuit that they hope will challenge the federal government's classification of marijuana.
Michael is a legal medical marijuana patient, and he has found that it helps him greatly with his pain in conjunction with other treatments. But when the department of veteran affairs found out about his cannabis prescription, they asked him to undergo a drug test, which he refused. They have now denied him further treatments.
Advocates behind the lawsuit seek to get marijuana reclassified under The Federal Controlled Substances Act, allowing federal agencies to recognize the medical value of cannabis.
"Medical marijuana patients are finally getting their day in court," said Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access. "This is a rare opportunity for patients to confront politically motivated decision-making with scientific evidence of marijuana's medical efficacy."
Oral arguments begin on October 16th.
"At the heart of this issue of the scheduling of marijuana and the federal government's refusal to look at the research that's out there every day is a bigger gap growing between patients and doctors and the federal government,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of ASA.
"The definition of cannabis as schedule I has caused my fellow patients to be imprisoned, denied work, housing, right to own a firearm, a place on a transplant list, and of greatest concern to me, is the latest casualty of the drug war, my VA doctor,” Krawitz said.
A rescheduling of cannabis would also go a long way toward taking the teeth out of the federal medical marijuana crackdown currently underway.
Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Florida
There have been several attempts over the past few years to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Florida, all falling far short of their goal. Now, if one state representative gets his way, the Florida constitution may be amended to legalize medical marijuana. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth, FL has submitted a bill the last couple of legislative sessions that would allow voters to decide the issue of medical marijuana, and he says he will do so again if he is elected to the State Senate, a post he is currently battling for. He is facing only a write-in candidate, so he is likely to win.
Florida is a heavily populated state with a large senior segment of the population. Since seniors suffer from more ailments than their younger counterparts on average, they can benefit greatly from legal medical marijuana. Many say that Mr. Clemens has little chance of success with his medical cannabis crusade, but every law has to start somewhere. Freedom, once taken, is not easily restored.
If you live in Florida and care about medical marijuana, you must make your voice heard to your local representative or state senator.
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