Barr Shifts in Support of Medical Marijuana

  Barr Shifts in Support of Medical Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on March 30, 2007 at 05:31:26 PT
By Gerry Smith, Cox News Service 
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Washington, DC --  Bob Barr, a former Georgia Republican congressman and anti-drug crusader, has become a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project. The switch marks the latest chapter in the surprising evolution of the four-term lawmaker from Georgia's 7th District since he lost his seat in 2002. Once termed "the worst drug warrior" on Capitol Hill by the Libertarian Party, Barr joined the Libertarians last year because, he said, of the GOP's move "toward big government and disregard toward privacy and civil liberties."
Barr's move puts him in the unusual position of lobbying to overturn a law he sponsored. In 1999, Congress passed a spending bill for the District of Columbia that included the so-called "Barr Amendment," which blocked the District from allowing medical marijuana use even though 69 percent of voters had approved a measure to legalize it. Barr declined to comment for this story, but told the Politico publication that "in light of the tremendous growth of government power since 9/11, it has forced me and other conservatives to go back and take a renewed look at how big and powerful we want the government to be in people's lives." Aaron Houston, the project's government relations director, said Barr, a former U.S. attorney, will bring "gravitas and credibility" to the project's lobbying operations, particularly among Republicans. But Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who once stood by Barr in his opposition to legalizing medicinal marijuana, said he was dismayed. "It is personally disappointing to watch him change from prosecuting drug dealers to defending usage of their product," Souder said.  Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)Author: Gerry Smith, Cox News ServicePublished: March 30, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionContact: Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project in Smoke - RollCall.com Barr Flip-Flops on Pot

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help


Comment #8 posted by whig on March 30, 2007 at 16:42:23 PT

Thanks for posting the video. I've been watching it, and I really think they need a liberal on such panels, especially when these two are now are more or less on the same side of the debate (libertarian conservatives).Arguing for the abolition of the FDA and/or federalism principles is perhaps interesting to some members of the right wing, but a non-starter in the nascent democratic era. "States rights" is not how to promote this to the left.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by Toker00 on March 30, 2007 at 16:18:28 PT

Warner Robins, in Houston, pronounced "Howston," county...What is it with the South changing the pronunciations of words when they use them to name cities or counties? For Example: Nevada co. Ar.: Ne"VAY"da co. There is a Prescott Arizona and a "PREScut" Arkansas, spelled the same. Was it just to be different, or just...never mind.Enlightening Texas,Toke.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by Sukoi on March 30, 2007 at 15:58:19 PT

Bob Barr Ethan Nadelmann "Debate"
I watched it today and I was quite impressed with what Barr had to say. Ethan said that he felt like he was debating himself and the moderator called it a "heated agreement". It was more of a discussion than a debate, it's quite good. Here's the link (Quick Time):
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 30, 2007 at 14:12:04 PT

Related Article from The Associated Press
Former Georgia Rep. Barr Lobbies for Marijuana Group***Friday, March 30, 2007 As a Republican, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr spent years fighting efforts to soften the nation's drug laws, including blocking a 1998 referendum in which nearly 70 percent of Washington, D.C., voters approved medical marijuana use.Now, as a Libertarian and a lobbyist, he's changing sides.Earlier this month, Barr signed on as a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project, where his duties will include pushing for repeal of his own "Barr amendment," which enraged medical-marijuana supporters as a gratuitous federal intrusion into local affairs in the nation's capital.According to the group's director of government relations, Aaron Houston, Barr also will be working to persuade his former colleagues to adopt broader medical-marijuana legislation and to get the federal government to stop airing what critics say are misleading and ineffective anti-drug ads that link dope-smoking to terrorism and violence."We're working together pretty closely right now," Houston said. "He brings a great deal of credibility and a lot of gravitas to the cause ... We hope he serves as an example to some of his former colleagues, particularly on the GOP side of the aisle."A spokeswoman for Barr said he was not available for comment Friday.Barr, a former federal prosecutor, served eight years as a Republican congressman representing an Atlanta-area district before losing his seat after redistricting in 2002.He became well known for his persistent attacks on President Clinton in the 1990s. He was among the first to press for impeaching Clinton and later was involved in a failed effort to build a "Counter Clinton Library" in Little Rock.Late last year, he announced he was leaving the GOP and joining the Libertarian Party, which generally advocates smaller government, including on social issues such as drug policy. At the time, he said he had become disillusioned with the post-Sept. 11 erosion of civil liberty protections and with Republicans' failure to cut government spending even as they controlled the White House and Congress.According to its Web site, the Marijuana Policy Project's mission is to eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana use. The group, which Friday advertised a fundraising party at the Playboy Mansion on its Web site, had pushed for legalizing marijuana use for people with serious illnesses.Copyright 2007 The Associated Press
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 30, 2007 at 10:54:01 PT

It sounds like Georgia was a harsh place back then. Hopefully it is better now.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on March 30, 2007 at 10:44:50 PT

Georgia ...
has been two places for a while ...In the center of the state is Macon, redneck and Warner Robins, a military town of the Air Force, where many knew of foreign lands and had lived in some.Warner Robins, in Houston, pronounced "Howston," county has enjoyed world-class influence since the 1930's due to the airmen who traveled, married and returned there.When my family and I arrived there Warner Robins had two high schools, Northside Senior HS which in 1963 was segregated, the one I attended, and Warner Robins HS over by the base that had been de-segregated sometime in the past as the black/brown/asian children of the servicemen needed a high school to attend.In the 80's an ABC expose' tracked Cannabis Farmers in the south of the state. the latest story is of indoor-grows in Atlanta and elsewhere.When my family and I arrived there Warner Robins had two high schools, Northside Senior HS which in 1963 was segregated, the one I attended, and Warner Robins HS over by the base that had been de-segregated sometime in the past as the black/brown/asian children of the servicemen needed a high school to attend.Georgia is pretty-much a redneck state, but it is changing rapidly. Many mouth racism, but that's all you can do there, there are an awful lot of Black folk there, and now it seems there is a increasing Hispanic presence.In 1968, I turned 18 in GA which at the time was one of only three or four states that allowed 18-year-olds to vote.I also had a driver license with my picture on it and I knew a guy that had a CA driver license that had no place for a picture on it.GA is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. is the site for the book that chronicles a GA rural community that perpetrated the "Last Mass Lynching in America" as told by Laura Wexler.This incident took place in 1946, so … there are still folks alive that participated in or caused that event.
Some perceptions of Georgia were accurate for much too long.I regularly travel to GA, was there last year for a week, and usually like to go there, but don’t think I ever want to live there again.Now you know more about GA than you ever suspected you’d want to. Gee, I ended that sentence with a preposition, shame on me …  J
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 30, 2007 at 06:11:51 PT

Fox Guarding The Hen House
I have leaned a lot about politics recently. What I have learned isn't what I believe and is against my conscience. I believe in caring for people and their rights and not worrying about money as the reason for something. Unless we can get some heart into this it is like a special interest hand shake. To me that is what I dislike about politics. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by potpal on March 30, 2007 at 05:56:42 PT

Georgia is still much an agricultural state. Betcha whole counties there have been turning a blind eye to cannabis farming for a long time. Farmers make money, banks get loans paid back, banks ask sheriff to chill, everybody's happy. Barr is finally representing his people.Souder be gone in 2008.

[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment