Insurance rockstar Peter Lewis is pushing for the legalization of Ohio medical marijuana. If all goes well for the well to do Lewis, voters will be deciding in November of next year whether to pass a medical marijuana act.
In the past 30 years Lewis has spent between 40 and 60 million dollars of his own money on various campaigns to change US drug laws. Although he has not stated what he is willing spend this time around, Lewis has sent out a request for proposals to political operatives to craft a ballot proposal and lead the campaign to pass it.
In 02 Lewis led the way to change Ohio laws so that non violent drug offenders were more likely to see treatment rather than jail time. There have now been 16 states that have voted to legalize medical marijuana, an 09 poll in Ohio showed that 73 percent of those respondiong agreed that adults should have access to medical marijuana.
Medicinal Marijuana has come up against some challenges. At first the Obama administration told attorneys and law enforcment agencies not to bother or spend resources on medical marijuana doctors, patients and dispensaries.
However, this spring saw what appears to be a change of heart with Federal district attorneys sending letters from Maine to Washington state saying that anyone producing or distributing medical marijuana was breaking federal law and could be subject to prosecution.
A good plan for Lewis will be tight regulations about who recieves the medicine and from where. We will have to wait out the tide and see if his efforts will be wasted due to the Justice Departments seemingly new hard line.
It is definatley time for the goverment to re visit its drug policy and remove marijuana from its list of highly regulated substances and start giving the states more leeway on how to control, distribute and ultimatley handle medical marijuana.
What are your thoughts?
The downside has always been that medical pot cannot be given through pharmacies. Therefore many small outlets like caregivers and dispensaries as well as “clubs” have popped up forcing state regulation due to the ‘casual’ nature of their distribution.