opinion

What editorial writers are saying about medical marijuana laws

Many states have medical marijuana statutes, or are considering them. A recent crackdown in California, one of the movement's pioneer states, has others wary.

Posted June 21, 2010.

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Los Angeles has been implementing an ordinance limiting the number and location of marijuana dispensaries, a move expected to shut down hundreds of shops. Other cities are considering their own responses.

Easing the pressure for pot

Los Angeles is expected to face costly court battles while implementing its new ordinance. West Michigan cities are taking a wise approach, developing rules now, before things get out of hand. These new facilities should be licensed and taxed like any business. Public safety needs to be addressed. Cities just need to be careful that they don't prevent their citizens from doing something that is legal. Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, May 25

No more delays

New Jersey's new law makes it only the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. But legislators did a good job of studying the mistakes made elsewhere and have written one of the strictest laws of its type in the country. Unlike California, where liberal rules allowed the medical marijuana industry to explode into a booming pot business, the New Jersey law restricts access to patients with "debilitating medical conditions," including chronic pain and terminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Pennsylvania should follow New Jersey's lead with a similar bill. Philadelphia Inquirer, June 3

Medical marijuana law has too many holes

While [Montana's medical marijuana law] is all well for those who really need it and benefit from the use of the drug, the problem is there is just no regulation. The law doesn't require potential patients to show medical records to discuss their conditions with on-hand physicians. Doctors don't need medical records to recommend marijuana for the patient. Nor do they need them to sign forms required by state law for their patients to gain legal authorization for its use. Sidney (Mont.) Herald, June 8

Legalizing medical marijuana means legalizing all marijuana

Eight other states -- Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- no longer have criminal penalties for medical marijuana use. But as the California experience has shown, legalizing medical marijuana is a fig leaf for making pot available to anybody. And we do mean anybody. That's especially disturbing since 12- to 17-year-olds who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those who don't. Sixty percent of adolescents who use pot before age 15 will later use coke. Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho), April 18

Marijuana legalization important for WA

In 1998, Washington became one of the first states to recognize marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine. Since then, many more states have followed suit, and recent polls show that a majority of voters in the country see marijuana as having legitimate medical purposes. However, the medical marijuana system is frequently abused. First started by legalization activists as an intermediate step, medical marijuana isn't a medicine at all for some people, but merely a doctor-validated excuse to get high. Spectator (Seattle University), June 2

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