When the Controlled Substances Act was created in 1970 a blue-ribbon commission was chartered by President Nixon to study marijuana’s proper placement. The recommendation in 1972 was that personal cannabis use should be decriminalized and it should not appear in the scheduling. Obviously Nixon ignored those suggestions.
Forty years later we live in the ‘Just Say Drug War’ era. Still, the status of marijuana has always been overseen by Congress and the President. They have been the quiet players at the poker game thus far. But the increase in aggression by the DEA and US Attorneys has produced an interesting result.
When the Washington state Legislature recently passed a bill to regulate a dispensary system for patients the fed came down like a ton of bricks on the political process. Governor Chris Gregoire (a former US Attorney in her own right) vetoed the bill. But then she turned around to announce plans to bring together the now 16 medical marijuana Governors in a unified lobby for re-scheduling to category II.
Gregoire currently leads the National Governors Association. Having the elected leaders of these states actively seek an end to federal cannabis prohibition could be a significant pressure point on Senators and Representatives in Washington DC.