Thursday, August 16, 2007


Gary King, Attorney General of New Mexico, was asked about the new medical marijuana law, enacted in 2007 in New Mexico with the approval of Governor Bill Richardson. The question was asked by an authorized questioner; Gary King did not volunteer. The question was whether State employees who work in the program to provide the medicine to those for whom a doctor has prescribed smoked marijuana to ease the pain of dying in a hospice among the terminally ill, or to tame the nausea so a sick one under cancer treatment can eat and hold it down, and so forth -- whether those State employees are subject to prosecution (as threatened in writing by United States Attorney David Iglesias before his discharge) by the federales under Federal Prohibition. Gary King had no choice; he gave the legal answer: Yes, the federal government may prosecute you.

We have heard nothing from Senator Pete Dominici, Congressman Steve Pearce nor Congresswoman Heather Wilson to indicate any pressure will be brought on the Department of Justice or United States Attorney (now acting, Larry Gomez), or any other of the powers that be, to back off federal prosecuion and threats of prosecution in those cases meeting the strict standards of the State law.

The United States Attorney could find in these cases, a defense of emotional or moral insanity. This defense was recognized in some State jurisdictions. The accused is exonerated if the act (smoking the weed drug) was the result of disease irresistibly impelling him or her to do it, even knowing it was wrong. Secion 428, page 771, Abbott Criminal Trial Practice Fourth Edition, 1939. Quite a stretch, but the Department of Justice could find this defense. Or what about "necessity?" Necessity is a defense to crime in certain instances, even though the accused knows he is breaking the law. Can this defense be stretched to this extent for this purpose?

Grandma, sitting in her rocking chair, dying of incurable, late stage cancer, was prevented by the Clinton administration (the "federales") from using her corn cob pipe to smoke a weed that grows wild in her back yard garden, and that relieves her nausea and other pains. Never mind that her medical doctor prescribed smoked marijuana for Grandma's relief. Never mind that the State in which she lived legalized medical smoked marijuana. President Clinton enforced this aspect of Federal Prohibition. President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales can do better.

In the name of common sense, and humanity, let us stop Federal Prohibition in its tracks in this instance. The people of New Mexico have spoken. Will our representatives in Congress speak up also?