margaret_mahar11111 
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Re: “Matthew Davies Facing Fifteen Years in Federal Prison for Stockton Dispensary

Students enrolled in People Power and the Media class at Columbia College Chicago were given the opportunity to research a topic and to share their opinion in the public domain via blog and podcast. The topic selected was the controversial medical marijuana dispensaries in California and the clash between state and federal drug laws.
This is their blog:
The investigation of business owner, Matthew Davies, began in September of 2011 after a routine traffic stop where Davies was pulled over for speeding. From there, Davies told the officer he was responding to an alarm at his medical marijuana warehouse. This was just one incident in the chain of events that led up to Davies’ arrest even though he was allegedly following the California state law for his medical marijuana dispensary. He is now facing a minimum of ten years in prison after being indicted by the Federal Government. This situation is very unfortunate for something that is so unclear. California exercised the state’s reserved power to not punish medical marijuana users and distributers when recommended by a doctor, so they are not in any violation with the Federal Controlled Substance Act.
The Federal Controlled Substance Act deemed marijuana, as a drug with “no currently accepted medical use,” however, there is research available proving otherwise. The University of California, San Francisco, conducted studies in December of 2011 where inhaling cannabis reduces pain significantly and can reduce the medical side effects including nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite from heavy medication such as morphine and oxycodone.
It’s also understood that the Federal Government has the right to overrule any state law that contradicts Federal law due to the “Supremacy law,” which is Article VI, Clause 2, of the United States Constitution. However, the mere fact that the Federal Government’s stance on the use and distribution of medical marijuana being far different than the state of California’s stance needs to be addressed, ASAP.
In the early days of the Obama Administration, Attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr., announced that medical marijuana users and caregivers would not be targeted, according to a Washington Post article in 2009. California voters approved the sale of medicinal marijuana according to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. What makes this unclear is that Federal law should not be able to “trump” state law – it is a separate jurisdiction. According to the New York Times, the Federal Government could sue the states on the grounds that any effort to regulate marijuana is pre-empted by Federal law, but such a severe response could raise complications for the Obama Administration.
It is sensible for the Federal Government to get involved if and when medical marijuana dispensaries are operating illegally. If the Federal Government sees the distribution of selling medical marijuana illegal, they need to address the businesses doing it illegally rather than raiding the dispensaries of professional doctors and managers. It is undeniable that time and money would have been better spent if the Government shut down the dispensaries throughout California that were selling marijuana illegally to minors and non-patients. With that said, Matthew Davies was the operator of a legally owned dispensary and is therefore being unlawfully prosecuted. Our call to action is that the Federal Government needs to find an equal balance with state laws in order to prevent innocent people from being wrongly accused.
Respectfully,
Margaret, Emily, Jessica, Ramon, Kyra, Ashleigh, Bridget, and Molly, members of the People Power in the Media course taught by Hope Daniels, Associate Professor/Teaching Fellow, School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by margaret_mahar11111 on 01/18/2013 at 11:59 AM

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