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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

F.D.A.'s Report Illuminates Wide Divide on Marijuana - New York Times - By KATE ZERNIKE

Food and Drug Administration statement on Thursday denying any medical benefits of marijuana reinforced the divide between federal officials and the states that have approved the drug's use to ease some medical conditions.
 
"It's consistent with the long-held federal view on this medicine, and that is that marijuana is the equivalent of heroin and cocaine," said Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for California's attorney general, Bill Lockyer. "California voters disagree."
 
State officials said the announcement would not affect their laws. But they and federal officials said it clarified the federal government's intention to continue enforcing its laws against marijuana, even in states that allow it for medical purposes.
 
"It's a very good statement so that people can clearly see what the policy of the United States government is," said Rogene Waite, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
 
While it has always been the drug enforcement agency's policy to enforce laws against marijuana, Ms. Waite said, "now it's clearly out there, so that people don't have to look everywhere to figure this out."
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