Two Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced in House

Two Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced in House
Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2008 at 06:00:24 PT
By Bob Roehr 
Source: Bay Area Reporter
Washington, D.C. -- Two bills introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives last week would put a serious dent into federal prosecution of medical use of marijuana and offer protection to patients who use it.Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) is a leader on both measures, which were introduced April 17. The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act (HR 5842) would reschedule marijuana a from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The change would allow physicians to recommend use of marijuana under conditions set by state law.
The other bill, the Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults (HR 5843) would eliminate federal penalties for the possession of small amounts (up to 100 grams) or not-for-profit transfer of small amounts (up to one ounce, 28.3 grams) of marijuana. It would create a civil penalty of $100 for the public use of marijuana. The bill would not legalize growing or distribution of commercial quantities of marijuana, nor would it affect any state laws. "When doctors recommend the use of marijuana for their patients and states are willing to permit it, I think it's wrong for the federal government to subject either the doctors or the patients to criminal prosecution," Frank said in introducing the measures."Literally, to make a 'federal case' out of it is wholly disproportionate to the activity involved," Frank added. "We do not have federal criminal prohibitions against drinking alcoholic beverages, and there are generally no criminal penalties for the use of tobacco at the state and federal levels for adults. There is no rational argument for treating marijuana so differently from these other substances."Continuing on that topic, Frank said, "I think it is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does not seriously wish to prosecute. In my view, having federal law enforcement agents engaged in the prosecution of people who are personally using marijuana is a waste of scarce resources better used for serious crimes."Keith Stroup, legal counsel for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said no decriminalization bill has been introduce in 37 years. "If passed by Congress, this legislation would legalize the possession, use, and nonprofit transfer of marijuana by adults for the first time since 1937."The bill incorporates the basic recommendations of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse -- -- which was issued in 1972 during the Nixon administration."Congressman Frank's bill represents a major step toward sanity in federal marijuana policy," said Aaron Houston with the Marijuana Policy Project. "The decades-long federal war on marijuana protects no one and in fact has ruined countless lives. Most Americans do not believe that simple possession of a small amount of marijuana should be a criminal matter, and it's time Congress listened to the voters."The lead sponsor of the medical marijuana bill is Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas). The bipartisan group of initial co-sponsors includes Sam Farr (D-California), Frank, Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-California). They had supported similar legislation in earlier sessions of Congress but no hearings were ever held on those bills. Caren Woodson, speaking for Americans for Safe Access, said, "By disregarding marijuana's medical efficacy, and undermining efforts to implement state laws, the federal government is willfully placing hundreds of thousands of sick Americans in harm's way." The nationwide group advocates for medical marijuana. Pain Study  A study published online in the Journal of Pain on April 17 offered further evidence of the utility of marijuana in reducing pain. It was conducted at the University of California, Davis with 38 patients experiencing neuropathic pain from diabetes, spinal injury, and multiple sclerosis.THC is the major active chemical in marijuana believed to relieve pain. Patients were given marijuana cigarettes containing zero percent, 3.5 percent, or 7 percent THC and were asked to take the same number of puffs in the same manner so that the dose was controlled.The patients experienced no relief when they smoked the cigarette containing no THC, but roughly similar relief when smoking either dose of the cigarettes containing THC. The relief lasted over five hours. The higher dose did result in a temporary slowing of memory and problem solving. In other medical marijuana news, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom this month sent a letter to Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, urging the panel to investigate the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's heavy-handed tactics against landlords of medical cannabis dispensaries throughout California. Newsom wrote that the city recently passed a resolution confirming that San Francisco is a sanctuary for medical cannabis, including property owners who, pursuant to city regulations, lease space to the dispensaries. Newsom said the city opposes DEA "interference in medical cannabis dispensing and the recent issuing sensational threatening letters to these property owners threatening asset forfeiture and imprisonment."Source: Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco, CA)Author: Bob Roehr Published: April 24, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Bay Area ReporterContact: news ebar.comWebsite: Articles:Local Rep Backs Bill To Legalize Med Marijuana Frank Wants To Legalize Pot Frank: My Pot Bill Lives 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 25, 2008 at 13:14:31 PT
It is time to try something new. I agree.
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Comment #8 posted by Dankhank on April 25, 2008 at 13:09:55 PT
interesting ...
good points ...goes to support my point these days, that, rich white men have not comported themselves well in the Presidency and that it is time to try something else ...
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Comment #7 posted by w000t311 on April 24, 2008 at 23:30:45 PT:
Explanation of Lincoln and Jackson
only reason I mention Lincoln is he was the first in the line of many president to wipe his ass with the Constitution. He eliminated the first of the Bill of Rights Amendments: the 10th Amendment. The 10th hasn't been the same since the Civil War, because that war essentially said the Fed can trump the states, so tough poo-poo. When you start messing with the rights that the Founding Fathers put into the Constitution for a REASON, then you become a traitor to the Union. If we still had the 10th, every state that has decriminalized or has MMJ could tell the Federal government to go screw itself.Jackson is pretty self-explanatory. Trail of Tears. Man was a genocidal war criminal, which is why some tribes, particularly the Cherokee, refuse to exchange or handle $20 bills on their rez. 
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Comment #6 posted by Dankhank on April 24, 2008 at 18:42:09 PT
me too ...
thanks for the "eye."I forget about it, then you remind us ...once I figured out how to 'focus' they hooked me ...being dragged around by events ... don't that sound familiar ...
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on April 24, 2008 at 17:13:58 PT
Dankhank sometimes this happens to me
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on April 24, 2008 at 15:47:43 PT
w000t311, I agree ...
regular contact with our reps is always a good idea and likely none of us do it enough.Agree that Nixon surely will be in hell as will Anslinger and all the rest of the Drug Czars, not to mention most of the DEA ...gosh ... the list could go on indefinitely.I confess I am a little curious of your other choices ... would that be Leonid Lincoln and Pol Pot Jackson?
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Comment #3 posted by w000t311 on April 24, 2008 at 13:13:34 PT:
Get the word out!
I already wrote my Congressman and told every single one of my friends to do the same for their respective representatives. And these friends are not restricted to my same district, nor my same state. We really need to quit lighting our herbs and start lighting the feet underneath every member of Congress. I  remain optimistic, and think that even if the MMJ bill makes it to the chimp's desk, he just might sign it to make him look like he actually has "compassion" for human suffering. But then again, with his approval rating in the toilet and the unlikelihood of him ever running for another office in his life, I would not be surprised if he did veto it, just to spite us all. I dare say W will go down in history as the worst president ever, and will most definitely be burning in hell with Nixon, Lincoln, and Jackson. 
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Comment #2 posted by ripit on April 24, 2008 at 10:16:51 PT:
well ...
at least ya aren't stuck with larry craig the closeted hypocrite! so maybe now that he's on his way out we can get someone who will step up. i can only hope! we usually only get mormons like mitt romney here.
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Comment #1 posted by mykeyb420 on April 24, 2008 at 09:45:22 PT
way to go barney!
I wish Barney Frank was my congressman,,all I have is this LAME Nancy Pelosi,,,Ms. Doesnothing
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