Medical Marijuana Advocates Implore Congress 

Medical Marijuana Advocates Implore Congress 
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2005 at 19:18:31 PT
By Erica Werner, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Washington, D.C. -- With a key Supreme Court decision on medical marijuana pending, advocates pleaded with Congress on Wednesday to let patients use the drug without fear of federal prosecution."It is absolutely cruel that the federal government does not allow us the right to use this medicine," said Angel Raich of Oakland, Calif., who began using marijuana to combat the pain of a brain tumor and filed the lawsuit that's before the court.
"It is not easy for us patients that really need this medicine to come out here, to have to fight for our lives on this kind of level," she said.Raich was joined at a Capitol Hill news conference by talk show host Montel Williams, who said legal painkillers don't help his multiple sclerosis, and by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who endorsed legislation allowing states to make their own rules on medical marijuana.Ten states have laws that allow residents to use marijuana for medical purposes - California, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Maine, Montana, Hawaii and Vermont.Despite such laws, the Supreme Court refused four years ago to protect distributors of marijuana from federal anti-drug charges. Now justices are deliberating whether federal drug agents can go after patients in the states where the drug is allowed for medical purposes. That's the case Raich and another California woman, Diane Monson, brought after federal agents confiscated marijuana plants from Monson's yard.A ruling could come as early as May 16, and while Raich and others hope it will be favorable they also want Congress to act. Past attempts to pass legislation allowing states to make their own medical marijuana laws have not succeeded, but five lawmakers from opposite ends of the political spectrum said Wednesday they'd keep trying."The notion that a state-sanctioned practice of medicine ought to be criminalized really makes no sense," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who said he was reintroducing the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act.Reps. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said they would offer an amendment to a spending bill on the House floor to bar the Justice Department from using federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana use."It makes no sense at all to have the federal government overriding a vote of the people of a state on what should be criminalized and what shouldn't be criminalized in terms of personal consumption," Rohrabacher said.Also supporting the legislative moves were Reps. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Ron Paul, R-Texas."This is about access for people in pain," Farr said.Complete Title: Medical Marijuana Advocates Implore Congress for ReformSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Erica Werner, The Associated Press Published: May 4, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Sites:Marijuana Policy Project Raich v. Ashcroft News Talk Show Host Pleads Medical Pot Case Marijuana Debate Heats Up Williams To Help Introduce MMJ Bill
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Comment #5 posted by DeVoHawk on May 04, 2005 at 21:23:52 PT
Fox News and Supreme Court
I was turning channels and Brit Hume was on when I noticed the news scrolling at the bottom of the screen was on Montel Williams and it mentioned that other legal drugs do nothing and medical marijuana should be available.A strange week at FOX news. Are they hedging their position due to the upcoming Supreme Court decision on state rights and medical marijuana?
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 04, 2005 at 21:15:40 PT
It's likely about the legislation
and it's also likely they are doing it to influence the Supreme Court decision.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 20:38:30 PT
Thanks Patrick
I just checked and Aaron Brown will be on again at 1 am and I'll make sure I watch it! 
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Comment #2 posted by patrick on May 04, 2005 at 20:31:16 PT
Today’s conference!
I was hoping it would hit the mainstream media and I just saw Montel Williams speak on NewsNight. Aaron Brown was trying to play the Devil’s Advocate and give the government the benefit of the doubt in regards to its insane Cannabis Prohibition but Montel’s message was very clear. A change from Schedule 1 to Schedule II must be granted and he clearly and succinctly pointed out the hypocrisy of the government arresting citizens and patients today while at the same time supplying “marijuana” in its natural form to the seven remaining medical marijuana patients for the past 25 years. He pointed out and explained Sativex as well. Very promising news in prime time.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on May 04, 2005 at 19:56:59 PT
Curious isn’t it?
Curious isn’t it that a few days before this Congressional legislation thing began the Drug War people go on a new propaganda campaign with some tired old and discredited “cannabis make you crazy” stories? 
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