Olympia, WA: A number of governors from states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana are calling on President Obama to reschedule marijuana federally, to avoid the current conflict with state and federal law.
Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Democrat Governors Christine Gregoire of Washington, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont have petitioned the federal government to reschedule marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act from Schedule I to Schedule II, which would permit the drug to be prescribed by physicians as a medicine.
"What we have here on the ground is chaos," said Governor Gregoire., adding that patients "who ... either feel like they're criminals or may be engaged in some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want medical marijuana."
Connecticut Democrat Governor Daniel Malloy has said he will also be joining the group of governors petitioning the federal government.
Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado has announced that he will be making a similar request to the Obama administration prior to January 1, 2012, as required by state law.
Rescheduling marijuana to a lower schedule under federal law would not authorize medical marijuana dispensaries, such as those that exist under state law in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Maine, and that have been authorized in a handful of additional states, but it would begin the process of making marijuana available from licensed pharmacists.
For more information, please contact NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup at firstname.lastname@example.org.