WeGrow, a company that provides information and products for medical marijuana use and is dubbed “the Walmart of weed,” will soon be opening a store in Washington, D.C. Not only will this facility allow more sick and dying patients a way to ease excruciating pain and nausea, but due to its training technicians and services, it will allow individuals to grow their own marijuana as well. The growth of WeGrow, which started in California, will likely lead to copycats, the increased use of medicinal marijuana, and a battle over federalism.
Although federal law prohibits the sale or cultivation of marijuana, 16 states (and Washington, D.C.) have legalized it for medical purposes. It is slowly but surely becoming a very important issue, especially when the use of marijuana can prevent, cure, or greatly reduce the pain from a multitude of crippling diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and strokes. And unlike poisonous and legal prescription drugs, there are virtually no side effects.
If the legalization of medical marijuana continues to spread across the country, the federal government will have quite the conundrum on its hands. Do they go after the sick and dying in society and those that are helping them? Or, let states make their own laws as the U.S. Constitution actually prescribes?
Tragically, so far the current administration has opted for the former method. Although candidate Obama vowed to end federal raids on medical marijuana facilities, President Obama's DEA has launched several raids in California and has increased security and cooperation with Latin and South American governments in order to further fight the drug war.
Although I firmly believe the drug war should be abolished tomorrow based on the rights of individual self-ownership and responsibility, the best way to handle divisive and complicated issues are to address them as locally as possible. An increase in state nullification of federal drug laws, however, and the spread of companies like WeGrow is hopefully a trend that will shine the light on the growing need for the decentralization of drug laws.