That’s right. During alcohol prohibition in the United States, your doctor could use one of these forms to prescribe alcohol for whatever medical condition he thought was necessary, and the Federal Government allowed it, in spite of the fact that alcohol was illegal anywhere in the United States based on the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
So the claims at the Federal level that “we can’t recognize state medical marijuana laws because marijuana is illegal because it’s illegal” or that “it’s illegal because there’s no recognized medical use for it” are total bunk. They did this for alcohol, and alcohol prohibition only lasted 13 years because everyone could see it was a failure.
Meanwhile, cannabis prohibition has been in effect for almost 75 years, and anyone can see it’s an even bigger failure. Despite being primarily responsible for much of the hysteria that caused prohibition around the world, the United States is now the leader in cannabis consumption per capita. Approximately a million people are arrested for marijuana offenses each year, leading to huge costs for investigations, raids (including massive payments to families of people killed by mistake), prosecution, incarceration, lost income, and eventually payment for public assistance after convicted individuals find it impossible to get jobs. And the human cost of all this is incalculable too.
Today, alcohol consumption is booming almost everywhere, yet as anyone with the knowledge of the toxicity of ethyl alcohol could predict, it kills 2.5 million people a year worldwide. Deaths from cannabis: zero.
All the young dudes in jail
Will remember when the laws are finally changed
And they’ll wonder ’bout Oscar
Who spent five years in a Texican jail.
— Dance With the Dragon, Jefferson Starship