Viets Promotes Federal Action on Medical Pot

Viets Promotes Federal Action on Medical Pot
Posted by CN Staff on July 25, 2007 at 13:05:41 PT
By Jason Rosenbaum of the Tribuneís Staff 
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
Missouri -- A Columbia attorney is calling on U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia, to support a congressional measure halting federal prosecution of people who use medical marijuana when the use complies with state law.Twelve states allow the use of marijuana with a doctorís prescription. Attorney Dan Viets, local chapter president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said Congress would vote either today or later this week on a provision in a budget bill known as the Hinchey Amendment.
That measure would effectively say that the Department of Justice could not spend any federal funds on enforcement of laws against marijuana use and possession by medical patients who possess or use marijuana when that use is in compliance with state law."It really is the essence of what many conservatives claim to support - and thatís statesí rights, or in this case, also that the principle would be centralized decision-making," Viets said today in an interview."Why do we need the federal government to come in here and tell us how to run our business? So it strikes me as ironic that Ö our conservative congressperson in particular would resist supporting this."A spokesman for Hulshof indicated the six-term lawmaker would not budge from his opposition to the medical marijuana amendment. Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker said the amendment would prohibit law enforcement from enforcing existing federal laws, which he said "makes no sense and is a dangerous precedent.""Federal prosecutors could prosecute someone in Missouri, but those in Colorado or Hawaii, or any other state that has passed" medical "marijuana laws, would be shielded from federal law by their state law," Baker said.Viets agreed that the amendment would prevent federal officials from enforcing state law in narrow circumstances."It does make sense if you believe that people who suffer from cancer, from multiple sclerosis, from AIDS and HIV, if you believe that those people deserve an opportunity to relieve their suffering," Viets said. "There are other things at stake here other than some vague and amorphous idea that all federal laws must be enforced."Baker said several medical organizations - including the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society - oppose using marijuana as medicine. He called the amendment part of an incremental strategy to legalize pot."Everyone appreciates that Mr. Viets has a singular purpose in life. He wants to see pot legally sold on every street corner," Baker said. "Unfortunately he doesnít understand where the vast majority of people in the Ninth District are on this issue. He isnít even close to being in the vicinity of the ballpark."Viets and others at a news conference today in the Boone County Government Center said the amendment was separate from legalizing marijuana."People need to see this with different eyes," David Sapp of Columbia told reporters. Sapp said he used marijuana in California under a prescription to fight the effects of MS."Itís really not about drug use," Sapp said. "Itís really not even about marijuana. What itís about is providing compassionate medical care for people who are suffering."Note: Hulshof spokesman criticizes measure.Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)Author: Jason Rosenbaum of the Tribuneís Staff Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Columbia Daily TribuneContact: editor tribmail.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by whig on July 25, 2007 at 18:30:41 PT
Cannabis on every street corner
it would be a lot better to have that as an alternative to the tobacco that is being sold on every street corner now.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on July 25, 2007 at 14:18:50 PT
Baker, alcoholic? If it walks like a duck........
"Everyone appreciates that Mr. Viets has a singular purpose in life. He wants to see pot legally sold on every street corner," Baker said.C'mon Mr. Baker, you're leaping from simply protecting State's medical marijuana laws, to pot being sold on every street corner. Spare us the hysteria.What is the dry drunk syndrome? "Dry drunk" traits consist of:    * Exaggerated self-importance and pomposity
    * Grandiose behavior
    * A rigid, judgmental outlook
    * Impatience
    * Childish behavior
    * Irresponsible behavior
    * Irrational rationalization
    * Projection
    * Overreaction Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes.
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