Support States' Rights -- OK Medical Pot

Support States' Rights -- OK Medical Pot
Posted by CN Staff on June 24, 2006 at 21:41:58 PT
By Debra Saunders 
Source: Town 
Washington, DC -- If ever a piece of legislation should pass readily through the U.S. House of Representatives, it is a measure sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would prevent the Department of Justice from using tax dollars to prosecute medical-marijuana patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Because it is a good bill, expect it to fail.
Polls show that some three out of four Americans support allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for patients who need it. Members must know that constituents within their districts use marijuana to control pain and nausea -- their families would like to live without the fear of prosecution. As Time Magazine reported last year, research shows that the drug has salutary "analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects." Republicans should be drawn to the states' rights angle of the bill, while Democrats should go for the personal stories of constituents who have found relief, thanks to medical marijuana. Yet when the House last voted on the measure in 2005, it tanked in a 264-162 vote. As the House is scheduled to consider the measure this week, few expect the measure to pass. "I wish I could tell you it's going to pass," Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken conceded by phone last week. "I can't realistically expect that."  Over the last decade, two big hurdles existed: Republicans and Democrats. Last year, a mere 15 Repubs voted for the measure -- down from 19 GOP members who supported it in 2004. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats are moving toward the light. In 1998, the Clinton Justice Department filed suit against California medical-marijuana clubs. Last year, however, an impressive 145 Dems voted for Hinchey-Rohrabacher.  Martin Chilcutt of Kalamazoo, Mich., has written to his local GOP congressman, Rep. Fred Upton. A veteran who believes he got cancer because of his military service, Chilcutt told me that his Veterans Administration hospital doctors supported his use of medical marijuana when he had cancer.  Upton's office told me that Upton believes Marinol, the legal synthetic drug that includes the active ingredient in marijuana, should do the trick. I asked Chilcutt if he had tried the drug. "I don't like Marinol at all," Chilcutt replied. It takes too long to work, it is hard to calibrate the dose you need, and "it made me feel weird." He prefers marijuana because it works instantly -- "You can control the amount you're using, and you get instant feedback."  Upton also fears sending the wrong message to kids about marijuana. But federal law has long allowed the sick access to needed pain control with drugs more powerful than marijuana. Only bad politics can account for the fact that marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and thus deemed more harmful than cocaine and morphine -- drugs that can kill users who overdose.  Alex Holstein, a former GOP operative and conservative activist, is lobbying Republicans on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project. He believes that regardless of their position on medical marijuana, Repubs in the California delegation should support Hinchey-Rohrabacher because state voters approved Proposition 215 -- and Republicans should stand up for states' rights and the will of California voters.  As it is, President Bush should direct the Justice Department to lay off medical-marijuana users -- because it is the right thing to do for sick people.  It's not as if the administration doesn't know how to sit on its hands and not enforce existing law. Last week, The Washington Post reported that under Bush, the number of employers prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens plummeted from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003.  If the Bushies can look the other way when well-heeled employers break the law, they can look the other way when sick people try to relieve unnecessary pain. Copyright: 2006 Creators Source: Town (DC)Author: Debra Saunders Published: June 25, 2006Copyright: 2006 King Features SyndicateContact: info Website: Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Group Presses for Medical Marijuana Resident Off To D.C. on Quest for MMJ Would Bar Medical-Pot Raids 
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on June 26, 2006 at 18:36:51 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
Action Alert: Call Congress Today About Key Medical Vote***Monday, June 26, 2006Congress will vote on an amendment this week (as early as Tuesday night) that would protect cancer, AIDS and other patients who use marijuana for medical reasons from federal prosecution. Make sure your Representative votes the right way: call him or her as soon as possible, and forward this alert to everyone you know. (You can check our website to make sure Congress hasn't voted on the amendment before you call).What to Do: Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to speak to your Representative. If you're not sure who represents you, the operator can tell you. You can also look up your Representative by entering your zip code at the top of the page.What to Say: Once the operator transfers you to your Representative's office, give the person that answers the phone the following message:"Hi, Iím a constituent. Iím calling to urge my Representative to vote for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment to the Science-State-Justice-Commerce spending bill, which will be voted on this week. This issue is very important to me."(Hinchey-Rohrabacher is pronounced Hinchee - Roy Bocker.)Then forward this alert to friends, family, etc.More InformationResponding to the growing conflict between the states and the federal government over the issue of medical marijuana, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) will offer an amendment to the Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill that would prohibit the U.S. Justice Department from undermining state efforts to provide terminally ill and chronic pain patients access to doctor-recommended medical marijuana. The amendment would prohibit the Justice Department from spending any money on arresting or prosecuting medical marijuana patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. 161 members of Congress voted for a similar amendment last year.11 states have enacted effective medical marijuana laws - Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The U.S. Justice Department, however, continues to spend millions of dollars arresting medical marijuana patients and their caregivers - even in states where medical marijuana is legal. At a time when violent drug cartels remain at large and threats of terrorism continue to emerge, it is irresponsible for the Justice Department to jeopardize public safety by wasting scarce law enforcement resources conducting raids on hospice centers and medical marijuana patients.The Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment would not prevent the Justice Department from arresting people using, growing, or selling marijuana for recreational use. Nor would it prevent the Justice Department from arresting medical marijuana patients in the states that have not approved the drug for this use. It simply prevents the federal government from arresting cancer, AIDS and MS patients that use marijuana for medical reasons in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws.Substantial majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents support medical marijuana. A 2001 Pew Research Center poll found that 73% of Americans support medical marijuana. A 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 80% of Americans support it. The Institute of Medicine has determined that nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety ďall can be mitigated by marijuana.Ē Allowing cancer, AIDS, and MS patients legal access to medical marijuana is supported by the American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, American Bar Association, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente, among other groups.Please urge your U.S. Representative to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment to the Justice Department spending bill by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
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Comment #18 posted by mayan on June 26, 2006 at 17:19:06 PT
Wrong Message
Upton also fears sending the wrong message to kids about marijuana.Those who vote against Hinchey-Rohrabacher will certainly get a message the next time they are up for re-election!
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Comment #17 posted by whig on June 26, 2006 at 16:01:01 PT
Ezekiel 34:29
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 26, 2006 at 10:16:19 PT
Cannabis Liberation is a World-Wide Call
Toker00 you got that right. 
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Comment #15 posted by Toker00 on June 26, 2006 at 10:11:45 PT
A dead end. John Walters brain is a dead end.
Yep. A dead end, alright. The dead end of his job. The dead end to the lies and bs propaganda against the world's most versatile plant. Cannabis is where the Drug War Lies DEAD END. Where Life and Truth stomp the sh*t out of DEAth and Lies. And no matter how hard you try, you cannot turn the Truth into a Lie. Show me the solidarity among Heroin users. Meth users. Cocaine users. (Not the leaf-chewers) There are no groups organizing to legalize any of these drugs, singularly. Cannabis Liberation is a world-wide call. While there is a group or groups organized to end the prohibition of ALL drugs, no one specifically seeks to legalize just one plant, like we do cannabis. At least not on this grand a scale. God didn't say a bunch of plants would be raised up to heal the nations in the end times. He said: A PLANT OF REKNOWN. One. Canna get a witness?Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!  
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on June 26, 2006 at 09:07:36 PT
"a dead end"
That's just laughable when I think of all the successful cannabis users there are. Including many in government.Could they, albeit poutingly, be ready to move forward?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 26, 2006 at 07:19:23 PT
John Walters Just Said
Cannabis is not a gateway but a dead end Walters just said. That means that people aren't interested in moving on to hard drugs if they use cannabis.That says to me that cannabis is not a gateway substance.Why is it illegal?
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on June 26, 2006 at 06:58:25 PT
Now the Dea 
release of the U.N. world drug report on C-span 
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on June 26, 2006 at 04:44:03 PT
Net Neutrality
C-Span now dir tv 350
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Comment #10 posted by lombar on June 25, 2006 at 17:37:45 PT
Anyone from Vermont?
Watch out for the red!
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Comment #9 posted by Richard Zuckerman on June 25, 2006 at 16:33:23 PT:
New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.; New Jersey Congressman Furgeson; New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt; U.S. Senators of New Jersey: Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez; and New Jersey State Senator Joseph Vitale, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee; do not REALLY support medical "Marijuana" and could not give a Rat's ass about our freedoms! They all support the United Nations International Narcotics Treaties and Small Arms Treaties, funding the DEA, disarming all Americans [especially the Bill submitted some time around 1989 by Congressman Rush Holt!!!!!!!], NOT developing alternative sources of energy, continuing the wars [Read the "Report from Iron Mountain", which government claims is fiction], continuing the war against Americans, in the spirit of government supremacy, in the spirit of the Council on Foreign Relatons plan to repeal the U.S. Constitution. The late Congressman Larry McDonald issued a letter warning Americans about the plan of Congress for a New World Order!!!!! They will not teach this in public schools, though!!!!! Please read the article in this month's issue of magazine for teachers, I believe entitled Phi Delta Kappa, entitled "It's The Curriculum, Stupid!"?, in which that author concludes that the curriculum of public schools does NOT prepare students to be competent adults!!!!!!! WE NEED TO BEGIN CONSIDERING VOTING! WE NEED TO BEGIN VOTING FOR THIRD PARTIES, ESPECIALLY LIBERTARIAN PARTY AND GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES!! I REALLY MEAN THIS, PEOPLE! This Dog and Pony Show by Congress is really a distraction for flushing America down the toilet for the sake of the International Elitists! Zbiegniew Brezizinsky warned us way back in the 1960s, in his essay entitled THE TECHNOTRONIC ERA, in his 1997 book entitled THE GRAND CHESS BOARD, that Americans are pre-occupied with sports and entertainment and ought to be more concerned with politics!!!!! The writing is on the wall! Are you people going to vote? Are you people going to vote for 3rd party political candidates? Are you people going to discuss these matters with others? Why is it I get the feeling that Americans are the biggest and laziest cowards in the world? How many years of your lives must pass by until you realize that the Democrats and Republicans have made so many campaign promises and have signed so many Bills supporting our enemies that you will actually believe that Congress are the true enemies of America????!!! I began voting in 1980, when I ignorantly voted for George Herbert Walker Bush. It has been 26 years since then. I would say it was around 1993 did I begin to learn that the Bush Family and Rockefeller Family are our true enemies of freedom! Yet, we continue to vote for Republicans (Bush Family) and Democrats (e.g., Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia)!!! When are Americans going to learn? When? Richard Paul Zuckerman, Post Office Box 159, Metuchen, New Jersey, 08840-0159, richardzuckerman2002, (Cell telephone number)(848) 250-8879.
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Comment #8 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on June 25, 2006 at 16:16:50 PT
Tea and hysteria
This sounds better than hemp-flavored lollipops, anyway...
Sky News UK: New Cannabis Drink
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Comment #7 posted by lombar on June 25, 2006 at 12:49:48 PT
I was writing some content for a personal webpage 
... yesterday and I thought of this. Perhaps I read it somewhere ;)The USA, DEA & FDA are OTL about THC. I am just going through all the letters to editors that did not get published. I will publish them myself. Perhaps it will help someone else see the senselessness of prohibition, and the manipulation of the authorities. (which is not acceptable in a so called free society, manipulators are not 'serving' the people)
Here's a short one that just gave me a laff.Editor,Certainly there is a correlation between psychosis and cannabis. It seems the authorities are obsessed with denying it to millions of people, single-minded in their pursuit of fear-mongering and non-conclusive studies, and are willing to use coercion to attempt to stop people. Further they suffer from the delusions that prohibition works. If anyone is made psychotic by cannabis, its the authorities.--------------------------------------------------------People here may appreciate the humor. Sad irony... what are they gonna do when they find that cannabinoids helps some schizophrenics too? (thus the correlation) If they can ever overcome the 'paranoia' of being dragged to a cage with a busted head for using non-sanctioned meds. Oh sorry, did I forget to mention paranoia is based on fears of 'imaginary' dangers... Oh and those evil 'drug dealers' who support their need for meds by way of their sales, some of them may even end up dead in a park somewhere..(happened in Vancouver, person in police custody, taken to park, beaten left for dead. Died too I'm pretty sure.)Power is not to blindly trusted to authority and 'authority' has no credibility about cannabis (or any other drug) now. Perhaps nothing remains but the worst kind of scum running the show, idolators and murderers. The drug war in the USA, Canada, and the world is a gross abuse of power that must stop, once and for all.
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Comment #6 posted by mai_bong_city on June 25, 2006 at 10:38:43 PT
i wrote begging
at least i hope that our rep will support this, it would be encouraging....our attorney general has vowed to protect patients in our state, the citizens voted for the mminitiave, and he should protect us, the rep, because they voted him to represent our wishes in d.c.
it would mean so much to have this protection at many times can the sick be voted against and still come back swinging yet one more time?
i wonder.
i just keep thinking 'What you do for the least of these, you do for Me.'
let's hope some reps are at least thinking.
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on June 25, 2006 at 09:24:14 PT
Gallup poll released November 1, 2005, found 78%
Medical Marijuana Briefing Paper - 2005Until 1937, marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) was legal in the United States for all ... A national Gallup poll released November 1, 2005, found that 78% of ... -
Fri, 23 Jun 2006
Source: Morning Sun (Mt. Pleasant, MI)WE'VE COME TO EXPECT THIS KIND OF RULING This week, the state Supreme Court handed down one of those rulings that makes you shrug your shoulders and say, "Well, it makes no sense, but it's hardly surprising." Under the ruling, motorists found to have a chemical byproduct of smoking marijuana can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. What's the beef, you say? Simple, the byproduct lingers in the body long after the effects of the marijuana have worn off. Thanks to this week's ruling, you don't actually need to be intoxicated to be convicted of driving while intoxicated. All that's necessary is that you were intoxicated at a recent enough point that it could be picked up by a drug test. The practical impact is that it is no longer necessary to gather evidence specific to the crime, just evidence of a crime that is related. It's like searching a murder scene, finding a recently fired pistol and concluding without further investigation that the smoking gun must indeed by the weapon. ( snipped)
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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on June 25, 2006 at 08:32:39 PT
yet there has been upsets in the past
I can only hope that these people vote compassion for the sick and dieing, like it says in the article "Members must know that constituents within their districts use marijuana to control pain and nausea -- their families would like to live without the fear of prosecution."Remember 264-162 should be 162-264 and it can be, in the face of human compassion and decency.
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Comment #3 posted by charmed quark on June 25, 2006 at 08:05:30 PT
Why it won't pass
While most Americans supposrt such a bill, it won't pass because the House members can do the math. It's not a "hot button" issue for nearly all the supporters, while it is a hot botton issue for the antis. So there is nothing to gain by supporting the bill and a lot to lose.We need to figure a way to make this a hot botton issue for more of the supporters. Then things will change dramatically.
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on June 25, 2006 at 07:41:04 PT
wrong message
I am so tired of that ďwrong messageĒ phrase. Young people arenít hearing any messages from the old geezers that run the government. Most of them take a cynical view of politicians and government anyway. If they want some cannabis, they will just go out and get it. They donít care what messages the government says it is sending. I think the politicians and others say things like this for each other to hear.And another thing, you would think the states rights angle would be a slam dunk, but the drug warriors are so adamant that they will twist logic like a pretzel to achieve their ends. (It actually seems they ignore logic altogether.) The writer did make one important point that it seems if the Bushie can look the other way while well healed employers (and I suspect big time contributors to Repub causes and candidates (see the cynicsm)) can hire illegal aliens surely they could look the other way for people that use medical cannabis.  
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Comment #1 posted by billos on June 25, 2006 at 03:30:53 PT
              When they say
......If the Bushies can look the other way when well-heeled employers break the law, they can look the other way when sick people try to relieve unnecessary pain. ....I totally agree. Especially when Bush himself ingested more booze, pot, and cocain than any other human being I ever knew personally.
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