Marijuana Causes Schizophrenia (In Washington State Government)

Remember last summer when scientists released a new study claiming to link marijuana use with schizophrenia? See e.g. Reuters article.  Let’s face it, it is the government that has the split personality disorder when it comes to marijuana laws.  Can someone explain to me why there is a mandatory one day in jail for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in an amount under 40 grams (RCW 69.50.425), but a judge is not obligated to impose any jail for a person convicted of the felony of possession over 40 grams?  See page III-279 of State Sentencing Guidelines Manual. How about the huge disparities in the way in which marijuana laws are enforced from county to county and city to city?  For example the Seattle city attorney announced this year that he was not going to prosecute any misdemeanor marijuana cases period.  See source.   But in most rural counties of eastern Washington, marijuana enforcement is still in full effect.  In metropolitan areas of Washington, large medical marijuana dispensaries are tolerated, but in rural eastern Washington things are different.  Small-time medical marijuana grows are routinely raided in Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties.  A new medical marijuana clinic in Okanogan County will soon be held (see story) – I guess we will see how that goes over.

As a criminal defense lawyer it is becoming harder and harder to explain to clients that there is any sense to the system.  Under federal law, even a first-time charge of simple possession of marijuana is enough disqualify a young person from eligibility for student loans.  In Washington, proposed Initiative 1068 would legalize possession of small quantities of marijuana.  This initiative would be on the ballot next year.  But would such an initiative really pass in Washington State if a similar initiative just failed in California?  I think people are getting discouraged about any change in the marijuana laws here in Washington State.

What do you think about the disparities in enforcement?  Do you think the initiative 1068 will pass next year?

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2 Responses to “Marijuana Causes Schizophrenia (In Washington State Government)”

  • Micah:

    How about the fact that the law permits medical marijuana, but the legislature does not provide for any lawful way to obtain it? The use of the lawful medicine assumes and illegality that the State punishes. Schizophrenia indeed.

  • Bax:

    There are two governors — Christine Gregoire from yeah Washington, a Democrat, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a cool independent who used to be a Republican put up some new political muscle into the long-running debate on the status of marijuana. Their states are among the 16 that now allow medical marijuana, but which have seen efforts to grow and distribute the drug targeted by federal prosecutors. We were doomed when the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Michele Leonhart as new DEA Administrator. See Mrs.Leonhart this high heeled hairdo letter of the law follower did her company ” Zeig Heil” to Bush administration (Goon squad) and rejected the DEA Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) recommendation that it would be in the public interest for UMass/Amherst Prof. Craker to be licensed to grow marijuana for federally-regulated research. See way way back in September 18, 2007 A letter in support of Professor Craker from signed by 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives is delivered to the DEA demanding an end to it’s obstruction of scientific research aimed at developing marijuana as a legal prescription medicine. Yeah.. Gee you think the drug company’s got a say in that behind the scene. Your right.

    Prof. Craker’s lawyers had until March 7, 2011 to submit a final brief to Leonhart, This crossroads of policy and need opens divergence between our state and federal law and creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who may need medical grade pot. Both of these cool understanding governors wrote to Himler Leonhart SS but over paided broom rider who can no more think for herself and passed the dutchie … pretty much par for the course by our misguided and over funded Drug Enforcement Administration. She makes billions off the back end of the drug game they created. Oil Weapons and Drugs keep America running around like chickens with their heads … well not on straight thats for greedy needy sure.
    Marijuana is currently classified by the fed’s as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin and L.S.D. Drugs with that classification, the government says, have a high potential for abuse and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
    The governors want marijuana reclassified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which would put it in the same category as drugs like cocaine, opium and morphine. The federal government says that those drugs have a strong potential for abuse and addiction, but that they also have “some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered or dispensed for medical use.”
    Such a classification could pave the way for pharmacies to dispense marijuana, in addition to the marijuana dispensaries that operate in a murky legal zone in many states.
    “What we have out here on the ground is chaos,” Governor Gregoire said in an interview. “And in the midst of all the chaos we have patients who really either feel like they’re criminals or may be engaged in some criminal activity, and really are legitimate patients who want medicinal marijuana.
    “If our people really want medicinal marijuana, then we need to do it right, we need to do it with safety, we need to do it with health in mind, and that’s best done in a process that we know works in this country — and that’s through a pharmacist.” Gotta Love Christine for that all ball’s quote huh !
    The State of Washington approved medical marijuana in 1998, with a ballot question that won 60 percent of the vote. But like many states, Washington soon found itself in a legal gray area. The Legislature tried to clarify things last spring, when it passed a bill to legalize and regulate marijuana dispensaries and growers. But hold the phone .. now the badge brains at the Justice Department say that growing and distributing marijuana is still against federal law, and said that “state employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability.” Ms. Gregoire, while totally cool and sympathetic to the goals of the bill, wound up vetoing much of it. THE END. off to my friend of a friend of a friends house… see ya..

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Photo of Steve Graham Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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