MINNEAPOLIS (July 1, 2015) – The first medical marijuana clinic opened in Minnesota early this morning, effectively nullifying federal prohibition of cannabis in practice in the North Star State.

The federal government prohibits marijuana for any purpose, even for treating patients suffering from painful medical conditions. Of course, the feds lack any constitutional authority to prohibit or regulate marijuana within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

Many people find it abhorrent that the federal government denies Americans suffering from debilitating pain a treatment that offers them relief. When states back the ban, these patients face an agonizing choice: risk jail or suffer in silence.

The federal government has shown zero inclination to end prohibition, but many states have taken up the cause for their citizens. At 12:01 a.m., Minnesota became the 23rd state to tell the feds to pound sand with legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes.

“The lesson here is pretty straight forward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

The Minnesota law authorizes eight distribution centers. Patients suffering from nine specific conditions qualify for the program. These include cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, severe muscle spasms, seizures, Crohn’s Disease, and glaucoma. Patients must register with the state Department of Health and pay a $200 annual fee.

“This is a great day for suffering patients who have been waiting a long time to have access to this medicine,” said Patrick McClellan of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, a Bloomington man with a rare form of muscular dystrophy who will be among the first patients served on Wednesday. “We are grateful that the Department of Health stepped up and implemented this law promptly. Patients in some states have had to wait years between their laws passing and medical marijuana finally becoming accessible.”

While the feds can still try to enforce their ban in Minnesota, the number of states legalizing marijuana for both medical use, and for the general public, has made it increasingly difficult for the DEA to police. The federal government simply lacks the resources to impose its will on more than half the country.

Statistics from Americans for Safe Access (ASA) suggest that costs-per-raid and costs-per-investigation far exceed the yearly DEA budget. Figures indicate It would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution.

The feds need state cooperation to enforce prohibition.

That has rapidly evaporated, practically nullifying the ban.



Mike Maharrey

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