Juliette Kayyem on medical marijuana

The Government’s Marijuana Problem
The Boston Globe
December 12, 2011
Op-ed by: Juliette Kayyem, lecturer in public policy with the Belfer Center and member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors
Topic: Medical marijuana

“EVEN IF I wanted to get marijuana, I wouldn’t know where to start looking. That predicament should not be true for the terminally ill. But the legal limbo regarding medical marijuana has left many state governments deciding between promoting patient care and exposing people to prosecution. Finally, the states are pushing back.

The debate over medical marijuana isn’t about the drug war. It is about where the issue fits in the federal bureaucracy. Location is as important for government agencies as for real estate. The Forestry Service is in the Department of Agriculture, not Interior; the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is within the Department of Homeland Security, not Commerce. Where an issue is handled is a reflection of the government’s priorities and policies.”

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