COMMENTARY BY CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CHRIS DAY (R)
We should permit medical marijuana & the Feds must recognize state laws that legalize it entirely
With votes in both Albany and Washington on the subject of medical marijuana, and legalization or decriminalization laws passed in several states, this issue deserves our full attention.
Federal powers are immense, and as such they should be limited. There is simply no excuse for the Federal government involving itself in criminalizing actions that are legal within specific states. If a state decides that marijuana should be legal within its borders, the Federal government must respect that decision and allow those participating in that industry to freely engage in commerce.
This means ending raids on any legal facilities, letting sellers file tax returns or possess marijuana without fear of arrest by Federal authorities, and allowing banks to accept deposits – anything that someone engaged in what is in fact a legal business should expect to be able to do. This is no different from the way we treat gambling in this country – the states decide and the Federal government does not interfere through the tax code or enforcement.
Further, though I personally oppose full legalization efforts at the state level, and believe that smuggled marijuana should continue to be interdicted by Federal authorities, I also don’t believe that the decisions surrounding medical marijuana should be made by non-professionals – they should be made by doctors. As such, I support any effort to allow doctors to engage in medical marijuana research and, should they determine the need, they should be permitted to prescribe it as necessary.
As such, I applaud the recent vote by Congress to end raids on medical marijuana facilities and New York’s move to permit medical marijuana, and hope it will pass the NYS Senate – and I urge Congress to take the further necessary action to let the states make their own decisions on marijuana regulation.