The Congressional Research Service (CRS), part of the Library of Congress, has a mandate to research and publish non-partisan, up-to-date and relevant information for members of Congress and their staff to help them craft legislation.
The most recent CRS white paper on medical cannabis in the United States is, in fishing parlance, a ‘keeper’. Released for public consumption on April 2, 2010, it is a well researched, scholarly and important document for reformers to download and keep close at hand as a very well presented primer on the history and current domestic legal status of medical cannabis. Of particular help are the many numerous citations and footnotes for greater reference and depth of understanding.
Very often, and rightly so, taxpayers–notably cannabis consumers–are frustrated at how state and federal governments spend tax dollars arresting, prosecuting, incarcerating; interdicting, eradicating and propagandizing in support of cannabis prohibition. But, this most recent CRS report (like many previous reports from them on cannabis and drug policy) is an invaluable report to add to one’s ‘reform library’ that you and I can feel good paying for.
These CRS reports are exclusively researched and published for Congress, and all members and their staff have access to the reports in advance of the general public accessing the documents, so there is little excuse for members of Congress and their staff to be the slightest bit ignorant or misinformed about the current legal status of medical cannabis, the rapid pace of reforms at the state level and the inherent public support medical access to cannabis enjoys.
The CRS report, ‘Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies’ is available for viewing and downloading here.