John Kacavas: A Timely, Courageous Decision On Medical Marijuana

It’s great timing, and courageous leadership, that United States Attorney John Kacavas has said that his office won’t prosecute people who are using small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes.  He referred to the limited resources in his department in light of many significant priorities, and his announcement follows a declaration by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that federal agents should deal with medical use of marijuana according to state laws.  

Next week the New Hampshire House and Senate will be voting on whether to override the veto of Governor John Lynch on House Bill 648, which allows medical use of marijuana under very strict guidelines.  A dozen other states have such laws now, and perhaps the decision by John Kacavas has given us a little more momentum in our effort to override.  

Good for him.  John Kacavas is showing both compassion and logic, and is helping a lot of people in the process.  People seeking relief from pain and illness by medically using marijuana shouldn’t be considered criminals.  

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9 Responses to John Kacavas: A Timely, Courageous Decision On Medical Marijuana

  1. JonnyBBad October 21, 2009 at 8:29 am #
    • Paul Twomey October 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

      What Kakavas is doing is saying no matter what the State of NH decides to do, his office is not going to squander precious resources hunting down the sick.

      This is likely to be the first step in a long overdue redirection of the US Attorneys office in NH, which has been spending its time doing low level street crimes better suited for local law enforcement, while economic predators have been robbing the state blind.

      It would likewise be a more efficient use of state law enforcement resources if we let doctors choose medical treatments.

      Everyone who says that they are in favor of keeping government out of medical decisions in the context of reproductive rights needs to contact the governor and their Senators and Representatives to let them know that this issue is cut fromt he same cloth.

      • JonnyBBad October 21, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

        Like any drug, there will be an issue with policing unscrupulous medical types who see making a buck off abuse of medical use. See California. In other news

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10
        By SOLOMON MOORE
        Published: October 19, 2009
        LOS ANGELES – A temporary moratorium on establishing new medical marijuana dispensaries here was ruled invalid by a county judge on Monday, complicating the city’s efforts to crack down on cannabis clubs.

        classic David Seville

      • Tim Ashwell October 21, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

        Hey, Paul (and anyone else who deals with the US attorney): I presume the decision not to go after white collar crimes came down from DC, but how much latitude do local US attorneys here and elsewhere have on this kind of thing? Could John walk into the office and say, “Okay, gang, we’re now making (fill in the blank) our priority?” And how many resources do local US attorneys have to squander? Everybody has a budget, of course, but are we understaffed or simply looking under inappropriate rocks?

        Just curious…

        • Paul Twomey October 22, 2009 at 1:32 am #

          1. In aftermath of 9/11 almost all white collar FBI projects were gutted. While that is understandable in the immediate aftermath, it is inexusable that they remained severely understaffed 8 years later in the midst of what the FBI director called a huge  epidemic of financial fraud in 2006. The responsibility goes right to the top of the Justice Department and White House for failure to set overall direction.

          2. Lots of federal money was allocated for low level street crime while financial investigations dried on the vine. Responsibility: congress, white house, upper levels Justice, FBI, DEA etc.

          3. Low level street crime is easy for feds (they have tremendous resources and draconian sentneces). High level narcotics cases are hard and dangerous. High level economic crimes take work. The end result: no real corruption, economic crimes , environmental crimes, civil rights crimes etc were prosecuted in NH in the past 8 years. (There were plenty of them that justified a good  hard look by the Feds that never came. Several cases including that of several state politicians and wealthy business people who should have been seriously considered for federal investigation , plenty of others including a lot of mortgage brokers, should get on their knees each night and thank god that the US Attorneys office was so preoccupied with low level marijuana and coke dealers.)

          The people not responsible are the line level law enforcement who worked hard at what ever they were told to examine.

  2. hannah October 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    what people do to themselves, including ending their lives, as a crime not only violates the right to privacy but reduces respect for the law.
    But, it’s a common pattern.  Conservatives, in particular, seem to prefer focusing on the recipient/victim of an action to correct behavior, rather than the perpetrator.  So, for example, industrial generators of toxins not only escape correction, but individuals whose organs are injured by contaminated air and water are deprived of medical care.
    Much of the opposition to universal medical coverage, I would wager, is prompted by a reluctance to compensate people now for the haphazard disposal of toxins and carcinogens in the past.  All the nattering about the children of the future is simply a distraction from the fact that adults and children are suffering from the sins of the past.
    For that matter, when the agents of government are involved in the delivery of medical care, including drugs, they can start tracking their effectiveness and preliminary assessments, that prescription drug use leads to more deaths on an annual basis than the use of so-called “illegal drugs,” will be able to be verified.  Which is one reason “tort reform” is considered so important.  Pharmaceutical manufacturers will find it more difficult to hide negligent behavior behind the mantle of proprietary information.  Better record-keeping will make it easier to sue those who employ shoddy manufacturing and testing procedures.
    There’s a reason why Plan D is being administered by private HMOs and insurers.  

  3. Paul Twomey October 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    Another clear sign that a long overdue shift in priorities is underway at the DOJ. Unless the US Attorneys Office remains vigilant in combating systemic economic crime, citizens and taxpayers are at the mercy of the lawless– the State plays a part, but the real resources for this type of crime is in the DOJ. It is a refreshing change to see these resources redirected.

  4. BurtCohen October 23, 2009 at 2:36 am #

    It appears the governor is putting heavy pressure on Reynolds to switch and vote to sustain the governor’s veto of medical marijuana.

    Anyone who knows her is strongly encouraged to call and talk to her about it.

    • Dean Barker October 23, 2009 at 4:50 am #

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