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Monday, June 26, 2006

MundiMuster! Call Congress Today About Key Medical Marijuana Vote

[via Drug Policy Alliance] Congress 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.

Responding 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.

Eleven states have enacted effective medical marijuana laws: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Nevertheless, the U.S. Justice Department 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.

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 "all can be mitigated by marijuana." 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.

What to Do Now: 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 here by entering your zip code at the top of the page.

What to Say When You Call: Once the operator transfers you to your Representative's office, give the person that answers the phone the following message:

"Hi, I'm a constituent. I'm calling to urge my Representative to vote for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher [pronounced: Hinchee - Roy Bocker.] 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."

Please forward this alert to friends and family who can help.

1 comment:

Perry said...

Instead of crying bitter tears, we should look at what happened in the House of Representatives during this crucial vote. Yes, it was defeated 259 to 163 votes. But two more lawmakers voted for it than a year ago. Look how many years it took to get eleven states to pass laws in favor of medicinal marijuana!

The other factors we should consider is that 18 Republicans voted for this amendment! Perhaps next year we could increase that number by bombarding our representatives with good arguments to vote yes on this vital piece of legislation.

I’m ashamed to say that 53 Democrats voted against the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment. What were they thinking? How can they call themselves Democrats? Aren’t they supposed to be looking out for the interests of those who suffer in society? And who suffers more than terminally ill patients and people who have to live with chronic pain?

So if your person in Congress voted against denying funds to the Justice Department to use against medpot patients, growers, and doctors in states that have legalized its use, you have your job cut out for you. This issue will probably come up again in a year’s time, so start organizing now. As this blog posting suggests, call your member of Congress and chew their ear off about the benefits of medicinal marijuana.

I am a glaucoma patient living in Hawaii, which is one of the eleven states that have voted in favor of medpot. Yet people get hassled every day by the feds, both here and in California, which was the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to vote in medical marijuana by way of a referendum in 1996.

The substance that reduces the internal pressure in my eyeballs the best is marijuana. It’s as simple as that. I tried the drugs and have been suggested to have surgery. I also know people who have lost their vision due to botched surgeries. So I’m sticking with pot. It keeps the symptoms of my illness, which include the kind of pain you don’t even want to think about, in check.

I have a high fence around my backyard and I am able to grow some pot plants (just for my own use—if the feds are reading this) among high bamboo shoots. No use advertising to possible thieves what I’m doing. My doctor approves of my marijuana use and state law allows it.

It is a states rights issue, as far as I can make out. Didn’t the U.S. go to war in the nineteenth century over the issue of states rights? It was called the Civil War, if I’m not mistaken. Yet today, the majority of our lawmakers allow the so-called Justice Department to trample all over states rights, with hardly a murmur of protest. This in spite of the fact that, as you say, 80% of the American people approve of medicinal marijuana. If this was a true democracy, their will would be reflected in the decision making that takes place in the nation’s capital and the Capitol.

Oh, by the way, I am able to grow healthy, robust pot plants, due to the advice and products provided by a company called Advanced Nutrients Medical. They make 100% organic nutrients (as well as synthetics) that are expertly balanced to grow the most potent pot plants on this planet. They also make growth enhancers such as Piranha and Tarantula, which colonize the root systems with beneficial fungi and bacteria, respectively. This helps with nutrient uptake and results in bigger and better buds.

And that means that I have access to quality medicine 12 months out of the year.