May 20th, 2009 – Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate today that sought to undermine the 13 state medical marijuana laws. Coburn’s legislation was defeated in committee (13-10) on a party-line vote.
Offered as an amendment to the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act, Coburn’s legislation would have placed state medical marijuana laws under the regulatory control of the FDA – not necessarily a bad thing on its own. But Coburn’s intentions become apparent when you realize that FDA approval requires specific, FDA-approved research into marijuana’s risks and benefits as a medicine, something the federal government has blocked for decades. Without the research, MPP feared that the FDA would shut down medical marijuana access nationwide.
The fact that medical marijuana opponents are going on the offensive (and failing) speaks volumes to the success we’ve had in recent months. The Supreme Court recently affirmed California’s medical marijuana law, and the new administration has stated a policy of non-interference with state medical marijuana laws – and both points were raised during the committee debate. Even Sen. Coburn conceded, “It is not an illegal product in 13 states.”
It is possible that Sen. Coburn will continue his attack on medical marijuana, but given the opposition he faced today, it’s unlikely he’ll succeed. Source.