By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
Despite continued efforts of pot pushers from California to North Carolina and significant funding from some of the nation’s most powerful movers and shakers, marijuana will remain categorized as a Schedule I drug, thanks to a a DEA ruling issued last month.
“Praise the Lord, this agency is still telling it like it is when it comes to marijuana. The dangers of pot use far outweigh any medical benefits of this substance,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, which has lobbied against a number of medicinal marijuana bills introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly in recent years.
The Drug Enforcement Administration rejected the claims of marijuana advocates, who had filed a petition in 2002 to have the drug reclassified under Schedule III, IV or V.
Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research for the South Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also applauded the DEA decision.
“Marijuana is a dangerous substance. It is addictive and serves as the gateway to much more destructive drug use,” he said in an Aug. 11 press release, adding that rather than revealing beneficial medicinal uses, many scientific studies “demonstrate the connection of marijuana use to respiratory disease, risky behavior, addiction and crime.”
Nonetheless, those advocating for medical marijuana — the usual first-step tactic in their quest for full legalization — are appealing the ruling to the D.C. Circuit Court. Further, activists have pushed through pro-marijuana bills in at least 16 states, with many campaigns financed by well-known businessmen.
Robert Morgan, director of the Coalition for a Drug Free California, said George Soros, Progressive Insurance CEO Peter Lewis and Phoenix University founder John Sperling have poured millions into “the medical marijuana hoax” since the late 1990s.
The latest legislative push for medicinal pot in North Carolina is being led by representatives Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg), Patsy Keever (D-Buncombe), Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) Glen Bradley (R-Franklin), Susan C. Fisher (D-Buncombe) and Paul Luebke (D-Durham), who introduced House Bill 577 in April. Alexander also put forth House Bill 324, which would reduce penalties for marijuana possession.
Assigned to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House, neither bill made it out of committee.
“We understand this battle is one that we’ll have to fight again and again as marijuana pushers employ medicinal claims to get a crack in the door,” said the Rev. Creech. “But seeing what has happened in California and other places where this dangerous drug has been legalized should be enough to keep Tar Heel lawmakers from heading down that treacherous road.”