The Washington Post describes the response from federal drug czar John Walters to a Maryland bill that would set a $100 fine as the maximum penalty for people who use marijuana out of "medical necessity":
Walters, who has launched a campaign against efforts to relax state drug laws, said the General Assembly had been "fooled" by "drug legalizers" who are using the suffering of sick people to promote a pro-drug agenda that includes legalizing marijuana entirely.
"Unfortunately, they have snuck up on people in Maryland and used them to help the wider effort," Walters said.
Walters said he hopes "the governor will see through the con." The argument that marijuana is "a proven, efficacious medicine" makes no more sense than "an argument for medicinal crack," he said.
Walters seems to have forgotten that cocaine, unlike marijuana, is legal for medical use, mainly as a local anesthetic, although it is applied topically rather than smoked. Marijuana's active ingredient, by contrast, is absorbed most quickly and efficiently by inhalation. If Walters' comparison proves anything, it's that the distinctions made by the Controlled Substances Act, which allows cocaine and morphine as medicines but not marijuana, have little to do with a drug's dangers.