Medical Marijuana Advocates Oppose Legalization

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 27 2013 4:36 PM

Medical Marijuana Advocates Become Unlikely Opponents to Pot Legalization Efforts

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A sample of various strains of medical marijuana in one-eigth ounce containers at PureLife Alternative Wellness Center in Los Angeles

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages

Activists fighting to legalize marijuana in states across the country are running into an unlikely opponent: people who make a living in the medical marijuana industry. Politico calls it “Big Marijuana,” noting that those who form part of the billion-dollar industry are fighting hard to keep competitors out of the game. In its fight against full legalization, the medical marijuana sector has joined some unusual allies. The Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, for example, joined law-enforcement groups and social conservatives to fight against a bill that would have legalized possession of small quantities, reports Politico.  

Medical marijuana is good business not just for dispensaries but also the doctors who agree to prescribe the drug. Finding a doctor willing to recommend the drug “can take months,” reports Market Watch. In Massachusetts, for example, some 3,000 people are on the waiting list to see a doctor.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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