Pot Fight on Ballot? That's Their Plan
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Pot Fight on Ballot? That's Their Plan
Posted by CN Staff on May 28, 2009 at 08:00:22 PT
By Jason Hoppin 
Source: Pioneer Press 
Minnesota -- Medical marijuana supporters, who finally pushed legislation onto the governor's desk in Minnesota only to see the bill vetoed, are preparing for an even bigger task next year: ensuring the right of the sick and dying to smoke marijuana by writing it into the state's constitution. Bypassing Gov. Tim Pawlenty and putting the question straight to voters is no easy chore. Supporters of last year's Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment spent nearly $4 million to get the measure passed. Yet, medical marijuana backers say they're willing to foot the bill.
But the key question for the 2010 election might not be whether voters approve the measure — polls show medical marijuana has consistent support in Minnesota — but how the issue affects other races, including what is expected to be a hard-fought gubernatorial campaign. "There's definitely a second layer any time you think about a constitutional amendment or a ballot question," said Mike Zipko, a political consultant at St. Paul's Goff & Howard. "You could see how someone from a progressive point of view (could use the issue) to push voter turnout even a couple of points." The Senate had already approved versions of the bill, which originally would have let patients suffering from a list of illnesses get a state-issued identification card allowing them to buy marijuana at licensed dispensaries or to grow their own. This session, the bill made it out of the House for the first time by a 70-64 vote. It was narrowed dramatically to affect only terminally ill patients and won a handful of Republican votes. But several Democrats voted against it, and it split St. Paul's all-DFL delegation. Pawlenty quickly vetoed it. "While I am very sympathetic to those dealing with end of life illnesses and accompanying pain, I stand with law enforcement in opposition to this legislation," he wrote in his veto letter. The chief sponsors of the bill issued a late-night news release promising a constitutional showdown. "For the governor to veto this legislation, even after the House narrowed it so much that thousands of suffering patients would have been without protection, is just unbelievably cruel," said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing. The issue is by no means assured of landing on next year's ballot; the Legislature has often been reluctant to put questions directly to voters. And once they get there, the campaign, which includes assuring a majority cast ballots in the affirmative (a non-vote counts as a "no") can be expensive. "The price of running a statewide campaign has just skyrocketed," said Charlie Poster, the former spokesman of Vote YES Minnesota, which supported the Legacy Amendment. But the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group pushing the legislation, appears to have the money to launch a serious campaign. Since 2005, the group has spent nearly $900,000 lobbying the Minnesota Legislature with money raised at events like its recent fourth annual Playboy Mansion fundraiser. "While nobody's drawn up a budget yet, our basic approach is we would spend what's needed," said Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the group. That sets up an interesting scenario. In 2004, a number of state constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage were credited with helping President George W. Bush win re-election by drawing social conservatives to the polls. Could medical marijuana be the left's version, drawing voters who aren't typically motivated to vote? Zipko said it might, pointing to Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial victory in 1998. Many voters turned out to support a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish, added a vote for Ventura and left the polls, Zipko said. "Everybody's looking for any kind of edge to get people to come out because these elections are getting closer and closer," Zipko said. Yet when California voters approved the nation's first statewide medical marijuana law in 1996, a presidential election year, fewer people turned out than in 1992, the previous presidential election. And when Oregon voters followed suit in 1998, a gubernatorial election year, voter turnout there was also down over the previous governor's race. Larry Jacobs, the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, is among the skeptics. He said the Legacy Amendment was passed through a broad coalition and posed a question that was fundamental to the Minnesota way of life. "My sense is (medical marijuana doesn't have) the kind of intense commitment and breadth of commitment that you see with the Legacy Amendment," Jacobs said.Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)Author: Jason Hoppin Published: May 27, 2009Copyright: 2009 St. Paul Pioneer PressContact: letters pioneerpress.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #21 posted by ekim on May 29, 2009 at 15:20:14 PT
hip hip huray for FoM lights the way Cannabinoid System has been around for over 600 million years. Before the Dinosaurs. The Cannabinoid System is continuously evolutioning and has been retained by all new species. Food and feeding is at the heart of the Cannabinoid System.please everyone say a prayer for the Gov.s -- cannabis has been given as a gift allow it use for the good of the whole planet.Closing of Forts as troops are taking there own lives, can cannabis be of help to these poor souls.Fast racing fires, can cannabis act as a firebreak. The troops in Afgahistan have told storys of how hard it is to burn a cannabis field.look to the future dont be afraid
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 29, 2009 at 07:05:54 PT
Storm Crow
Thank you. We just keep on keepin on. 
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Comment #19 posted by Storm Crow on May 29, 2009 at 06:39:55 PT
Thank you all!
How very strange! The article doesn't seem to be on yahoonews in any way, shape, or form, although I found it using the yahoo general search engine! Wonder why? You'd might even think that someone was trying to prevent the general public from finding out about how useful cannabis is! So I just did an "end-run" around whoever it is, since I'm certain that posting it here will get it noticed and spread. FoM, once again I want to thank you for all that you do! Cannabisnews is a VITAL service! My list is cool and all that jazz, but I can take a break for a week and no one notices. Your tireless work makes you a true heroine of the movement! Thank you for being you!ALL HAIL FoM!
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on May 29, 2009 at 06:10:28 PT
Storm Crow
Good going! Thank you for all your hard work.
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Comment #17 posted by christ on May 29, 2009 at 03:51:38 PT
Gov. Pawlenty's excuse
Storm Crow, congratulations on contributing to that article. That is quite a list. And just today I was wondering if gout can be treated by mmj, and i see from "Jack Herer"'s post that it is. Question on Gov. Pawlenty's veto excuse that he's, "standing with law enforcement."...We all read how law enforcement, prosecutors, and DA's oppose mmj. I wonder what are the real reasons they oppose it. I'd like to read a few replies/ideas on what the REAL REASONS are. I pray LEAP/Norm Stamper reads this. 
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on May 28, 2009 at 22:43:42 PT
Last paragraph of Salem News article...
"For “Doubting Thomases” don’t bitch at me. Somebody – Granny Storm Crow – must have spent hundreds of hours putting this list together. There are about 10,000 medical articles about cannabis/marijuana. If you have a couple of years to spare start reading them. ALL HAIL GRANNY STORM CROW!"We so agree, Dr. Leveque. "ALL HAIL GRANNY STORM CROW!"It is an amazing compilation, Storm Crow. Such a wonderous good job.I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Thank you, Storm Crow.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on May 28, 2009 at 22:20:45 PT
"Besides we"?
Not sure about my grammar there, but I'm going with that, anyway.You know what I mean. We are paying attention... and some other folks, too. It's about time.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on May 28, 2009 at 22:17:37 PT
Wow, Storm Crow! Congratulations!
Seems folks, besides we, are finally paying attention to your hard work.
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Comment #13 posted by greenmed on May 28, 2009 at 21:23:11 PT
Storm Crow
Well done - your list has gone international! Keep up the good work.ALL HAIL GRANNY STORM CROW!
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Comment #12 posted by Storm Crow on May 28, 2009 at 21:11:21 PT
Well, looky that! Marijuana Use: Miracle Medicine Good for Dozens of Diseases
Dr. Phil Leveque, Ore.) - When the State of Oregon first legalized Medical Marijuana I disbelieved and was astonished at the diverse medical conditions that State DHS said were acceptable conditions for a permit to use: Cancer, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Cachexia/Anorexia, Severe pain, Severe nausea, Seizures and Muscle spasms.There was NO medicine effective for all these. I deduced that officials at the DHS were into the evidence lockers someplace and found some GOOD stuff.I found out soon after I started seeing patients for marijuana permits that the DHS was far too modest about this surprisingly effective medicine. As I continued to see more than 4000 patients I was truly amazed at the diversity of diseases for which marijuana was helpful and more so than standard medicine.Recently a long-distance patient from Australia sent me a list of the diseases for which marijuana was useful with the website addresses of the references. Here is Granny Storm Crow’s list:  (Snipped)  
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 20:19:32 PT
MMJ: New York Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote
Medical Marijuana: New York Bill Wins Senate Committee VoteURL:
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Comment #10 posted by greenmed on May 28, 2009 at 20:08:58 PT
Moving cannabis from Schedule I to permit physicians to prescribe it is an idea this administration is surely considering. I wish you luck.A little background would have been useful. Signing up for a site is a commitment. Without knowing anything about up front most people are not going to go to the trouble. I personally prefer reading the exchange of ideas in a forum discussion rather than voting in polls. Stay around here a while... you might agree.
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Comment #9 posted by DarthNole on May 28, 2009 at 15:52:05 PT:
Today is the last day to Vote
Let’s Vote this up to #1:
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Comment #8 posted by BGreen on May 28, 2009 at 15:35:58 PT
I find it strangely ironic
If there would have been mandatory screening of athletes for cannabis back in the 1970's then we probably would never have even heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger.There would have been no body building championships, no movies, no marriage to a Kennedy and obviously no Governorship of a US State.What a hypocrite!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 14:24:33 PT
I think he doesn't want to touch it because he has enough trouble in California to handle right now with the economy.
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Comment #6 posted by MikeC on May 28, 2009 at 13:45:00 PT
I don't necessarily believe him. I think that republicans are afraid to speak their true feelings in fear of party backlash and loss of lobbyist cash.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 13:34:46 PT
Schwarzenegger: I Don't Believe In Legalizing Pot
May 28, 2009 URL:
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Comment #4 posted by greenmed on May 28, 2009 at 10:26:22 PT
Kuipers does not condone
"This legislation is not meant to condone medical marijuana or undermine the will of the public that overwhelmingly voted to allow marijuana usage for medical purposes," Kuipers said.How can Mr. Kuipers make such a statement and not suffer whiplash - this is a transparent attempt to speak to his "base" and at the same time try not to alienate the majority of voters who support medical cannabis. It is sad that he thinks so poorly of the critical thinking skills of the electorate.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 28, 2009 at 10:03:35 PT
legalization article
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 09:58:14 PT
MMJ Users Should Be Required To Have Prescription
Sen. Wayne Kuipers Says Medical Marijuana Users Should Be Required To Have Prescription***By John Agar, The Grand Rapids Press Thursday May 28, 2009Grand Rapids, MI -- State Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, says medical-marijuana users should be required to obtain doctors' prescriptions, with drug dispensed by pharmacists.He and state Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom, R-Norton Shores, introduced the legislation today.But a critic said the proposal is doomed, in part, because doctors can only recommend a patient use the drug, not prescribe it, and it subverts the will of voters who last fall overwhelmingly approved use of medical marijuana with fewer restrictions.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 28, 2009 at 08:33:55 PT
Just An Observation
When I checked out how Minnesota votes I see why it is so hard to get medical marijuana passed.
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