Medical Marijuana Supported by Former Anti-Drug, Reagan-Appointed U.S. Attorney

On the list of people we'd probably never expect to come out in support of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, we'd probably put an anti-drug crusader U.S. Attorney who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan somewhere near the top of the list.

However, we've seen that man, A. Melvin McDonald, all over the place in the past couple of weeks, giving a glowing review of medical marijuana.

See also:
-John Kavanagh Wants No Exception for Cancer Patients or Anyone Else in Proposed Medical-Pot Repeal
-Inside an Arizona Medical Marijuana Collective

McDonald, an attorney for the Phoenix law firm Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, has said that fighting the drug war was the "top priority" for the U.S. Attorney's Office when he was appointed by Reagan. Before that, he was previously a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and was also a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.

Now -- especially as Republican state Representative John Kavanagh is trying to get voters to repeal the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act -- we noticed that someone's paying for an online advertisement that links to a video of McDonald explaining why he supports medical marijuana.

His son was hit by a car in 1997, and due to complications from that, he's had persistent nausea. Sure enough, McDonald says none of the medications have helped his stepson like marijuana has.

"Do not criminalize people that are desperately needing medicine to help them eat and to remain alive," Mcdonald says in the above video. "Don't criminalize it, and force people like my wife to go underground and commit crimes to spare the life of her son."

You can see a more thorough, written-out version of events from McDonald here.

"Reform the system where it should be, but do not condemn my family and my son to a life of desperation rather than decency," McDonald's plea says. "Don't criminalize behavior of my wife, other mothers and fathers, or patients, who seek only to use the one plant that gives them some quality of life."

Kavanagh told our colleague Ray Stern last month that he doesn't support medical marijuana for sick people "because marijuana is not an accepted treatment for those conditions."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley