Colorado's "medical refugees"

It’s been a while since we’ve had a thread about this. A few years ago, a family in the Colorado Springs region developed an oil from marijuana that is high in CBD and very low in THC. They called it “Charlotte’s Web,” after a young girl named Charlotte, who has a very severe form of epilepsy.

Anecdotal evidence – which is all we have at the moment – shows a remarkable success rate with this oil. This experiment has been going on for about four years now, and hundreds of families have moved to Colorado out of desperation, because no medication was controlling their children’s seizures. The anecdotes are piling up, and so far there doesn’t seem to be any major side effects from this oil.

Some of these families are trying to change their home state’s laws, so that they can move back. They’re also trying to change federal law.

Links here, here, and here.

The research seems to show promising but mixed results. Perhaps as many as half are helped, with as many as ten percent becoming seizure-free. There is apparently some evidence of some patients worsening. Research is underway to try to identify the factors that determine a patient’s response.

If this stuff works as advertised, then it should undergo medical testing and receive FDA approval just like any other drug that’s intended to treat a disease.

Alternately, Congress should act to change marijuana’s status as a controlled substance.

For the state legislature to contravene federal law and declare a product to be medicine is unconstitutional and improper and I do not support it.

I’m reminded of the “remarkable success” reported for so-called Liberation Treatment (venous surgery on MS patients), which turned out to be useless and even dangerous, but not before many MS “refugees” paid big bucks for surgery abroad.

Don’t forget the “remarkable success” of Laetrile as a cancer cure.

(My bolding). Why?

Supremacy Clause.

Federal law defines marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, and it is not (aside from Marinol and things of that nature) approved for medical use by the FDA. The states do not have the power to legalize marijuana, for medical or recreational use, unless the federal law changes.

The Obama administration has chosen not to pursue court cases against states that permit marijuana use, and has chosen not to go after distributors in states that have legalized medical/recreational marijuana. That’s their prerogative, but it leaves all those states operating in a legal gray area where a future administration could bring the wrath of God upon them unless and until the federal law is changed.

Well, the licensing and testing of drugs is strictly within the purview of the FDA, which is a Federal agency, so I’d imagine that **Smapti ** is trying to say that a state that declares something legal like that is going against the 10th amendment, as that’s an ability that the states have expressly delegated to the Federal government, and given up any ability to regulate themselves.

And I think he has a point; Colorado’s legislature can’t just unilaterally proclaim weed and weed derivatives to be medicine with any real legal force; the FDA is the agency of the Federal government that does that, and I suspect they’ll be pretty jealous of that ability.

They have the power to legalize it at the state level, which is exactly what they’ve done. They are not disputing the authority of the federal government to prosecute violations of the federal law, are they?

They are not obligated to pass a state law prohibiting marijuana use/possession/sale/growth/distribution, no.

However, they are leaving any of their constituents who take advantage of this subject to federal prosecution if a future administration decides to be less tolerant of state marijuana laws, because the state does not have the authority to override the Controlled Substances Act.

That doesn’t make what they’re doing unconstitutional.

Of course just because we’ve legalized weed here in Washington that doesn’t mean the Feds can’t prosecute people for weed, it just means the state and local cops won’t prosecute you. Same thing with medical marijuana in various other states, just because a state has legalized it doesn’t mean the Feds can’t bust you.

It turns out the Feds aren’t spending much effort busting medical marijuana or recreational weed. That could change if we get the wrong President. Or it could stay the same. The states aren’t nullifying the Federal laws, they just repealed state laws. If the Feds want to prosecute someone that’s their business, it doesn’t mean state and local cops have to do the work for them.

It means that the state is telling its citizens that it’s OK to violate a federal law, and in my state at least, it’s created a regulatory/taxation scheme where the state is directly profiting from the sale of goods the federal government deems to be illegal.

That’s a problem, and it’s not something that passes Constitutional muster.

The Feds tax illegal income. Famously, that’s how Al Capone was sent to prison. For not declaring illegal income.

The State is not staying that it’s ok to violate Federal law. They are saying that they won’t prosecute at the State level. Like many other things, it’s a Federal law and the State of Washington has not authority.

Maybe the feds could get the tax returns and seize money that the states received from dealers.

But the Feds do get tax returns and dealers are supposed to pay Federal tax on the profits. I am certain that the dispensaries pay Federal taxes. If they didn’t, then you can bet that there would be arrests.

In Washington we don’t have a state income tax, but a state sales tax. When drug dealers and prostitutes and thieves and embezzlers buy goods, they pay sales tax on their purchases even though the money they spent was not obtained legally. You don’t get to opt out of the sales tax by explaining to the clerk at Walmart that you got your cash illegally.

I was thinking state income tax paid. You have no state income tax, but many states do.

Would the tax form contain a line listing occupation? If they list drug dealer maybe the feds could seize all their income?

They could just say that they are a shop keeper. There are tens of thousands of dispensaries across the US.

I can’t help but think of this thread whenever this topic comes up. It was one of the few times I’ve thrown down and genuinely, thoroughly argued with someone about their pseudoscience. In this case, it was a cannabis oil True Believer. Note that I’m actually neutral on the topic - I’d be thrilled if we could get some solid science done to find out what uses it actually has. But in that thread, I (and others) argued the guy into a corner more and more until he finally had to admit that he had nothing more than a gut feeling to back up his die-hard belief in cannabis oil as a literal cure-all. It was interesting.