Yesterday, Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) released a statement to speak out against the recent federal crackdowns on medical marijuana in the state of California.
Pelosi’s statement comes after a petition was delivered to her, asking her to help end the assault on medical marijuana in the state. The petition was signed by thousands of San Fransisco voters.
In her statement, Minority Leader Pelosi not only details her concerns about the way the Obama administration is handling medical marijuana, but she also defends the medical benefits that cannabis can provide patients:
“Access to medicinal marijuana for individuals who are ill or enduring difficult and painful therapies is both a medical and a states’ rights issue. Sixteen states, including our home state of California, and the District of Columbia have adopted medicinal marijuana laws – most by a vote of the people.
“I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California, and undermine a policy that has been in place under which the federal government did not pursue individuals whose actions complied with state laws providing for medicinal marijuana.
“Proven medicinal uses of marijuana include improving the quality of life for patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other severe medical conditions.
“I am pleased to join organizations that support legal access to medicinal marijuana, including the American Nurses Association, the Lymphoma Foundation of America, and the AIDS Action Council.
“Medicinal marijuana alleviates some of the most debilitating symptoms of AIDS, including pain, wasting, and nausea. The opportunity to ease the suffering of people who are seriously ill or enduring difficult and painful therapies is an opportunity we must not ignore.
“For these reasons, I have long supported efforts in Congress to advocate federal policies that recognize the scientific evidence and clinical research demonstrating the medical benefits of medicinal marijuana, that respects the wishes of the states in providing relief to ill individuals, and that prevents the federal government from acting to harm the safe access of medicinal marijuana provided under state law. I will continue to strongly support those efforts.”
Thus far, the Obama Administration has not issued a response to Pelosi’s statement, but the support of such an influential political leader is at the very least a positive step for the medical marijuana community.