Monday, February 20, 2006


I doubt that David C. Iglesias, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico was eager to write a threatening letter to the Legislature this 30-day session. According to the paper, Iglesias wrote that he would prosecute any effort by New Mexicans to use prescription smoked marijuana to treat nausea and other symptoms of terminal illnesses or illnesses in which the patient suffers intractable pain. In effect Iglesias said he would make a federal case out of it if Grandma, dying of cancer and in unbearable pain, chose to use smoked marijuana (with a doctor’s prescription).

Mr. Iglesias undoubtedly got his instructions from the Department of Justice, as that is the way the federal system works. The U. S. Attorney does not have the discretion that state prosecutors have; the Justice department has a great deal of control. Thus, the Justice department, which as a matter of course fails to prosecute those who possess marijuana in New Mexico (except in large amounts), came alive when it looked like the people of New Mexico might choose to cut some slack in the state prohibition laws.

Yes, it is a federal crime to smoke a joint, even if your doctor prescribes the smoke rather than opiates or other drugs. But if 60 million Americans have tried the smoke, as it has been reported, that is 20% of the population. Two Presidents that we know of did the dastardly act. If New Mexicans are keeping up in the smoking of marijuana, that means about 350,000 New Mexicans have tried the stuff (not me).

Where has the office of the United States Attorney been? Why take their frustration out on the old, sick, dying folks? Why be frustrated at all?

This is federalism at work for us. The federal government has prohibition; and the State has prohibition. They are two sovereigns, so both governments can prosecute for the same offense (no double jeopardy, because two sovereigns). The federals sit on their hands and let the State taxpayers provide the officers to enforce the marijuana prohibition, except in big cases.

The State of New Mexico should repeal its prohibition laws, with respect to smoked marijuana by doctor’s prescription for intractable pain or nausea; and tell the federal government that if the United States Attorney makes good on the threat to prosecute doctors or patients, then New Mexico will tender all of its marijuana cases to the federals in the future.

Meanwhile, a word to the legislators in the House of Representatives who killed or worked against the medical marijuana legislation. Next election, there are going to be posts at this site in an effort to let the public know what part you played. Those posts will not be at some higher ups’ direction; nor will they be paid for in any way. No hard feelings; no offense.

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