Legalized Marijuana is Long Shot

Legalized Marijuana is Long Shot
Posted by CN Staff on June 06, 2005 at 14:26:12 PT
By Kevin Freking, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Washington, D.C. -- Federal legislation to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana legally is a long shot, supporters said Monday, though they contended that many lawmakers back it privately."I think support is strong, but people are still frightened a little bit by the politics of it," said Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. "If you had a secret vote in Congress, I'll bet 80 percent would vote for it."
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that California's state law doesn't protect people who use marijuana under a doctor's approval, the focus shifts to whether Congress will step in.Don't bet on it, said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., chairman of the House drug policy subcommittee. "Denying the federal government the power to set and enforce uniform standards would simply open up an alternative route for illegal drug trafficking and abuse," Souder said.Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., first sponsored the States Rights to Medical Marijuana Act in 1995. This year's version has just 30 co-sponsors, relatively few for a bill that is 10 years old.Frank said many lawmakers don't mind letting the courts have the final say on this particularly thorny issue."They wish the courts would make the tough decision, and then they yell at the courts when they do," he said.Frank said he didn't have high hopes that his bill would pass this year, either, but he said the court's ruling might help its prospects."They're not saying it's unconstitutional to pass a bill," he said. "What they're saying is that it's a congressional decision."Nine states have laws similar to California's exempting from state criminal penalties those patients who use marijuana for medicinal purposes under a physician's supervision. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., put a positive spin on what he said was a disappointing ruling."It gives it a national focus now," Farr said. "People in the states who have worked so hard to get their laws adopted will now focus their attention on Congress."Frank's bill says that no provision of the Controlled Substances Act shall prohibit a physician from prescribing marijuana for medical use. Nor may it prohibit an individual from obtaining and using marijuana as prescribed. Also, the bill would allow pharmacies to obtain and hold marijuana in those states in which medical marijuana use is allowed.The great majority of the co-sponsors of the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act are Democrats.Paul, a physician who describes himself and his congressional district as conservative, is an exception. He said he approaches the issue from the perspective that the federal government should not be telling state and local governments what's best for them."The whole notion that the Supreme Court is going to allow the prosecution of people who raise a weed in their gardens that may be helpful to them is astounding," Paul said. "It's not very humanitarian as far as I'm concerned."Souder disagreed, saying federal drug laws were designed to ensure uniform, scientifically based national health and safety standards for drugs and medicine."We cannot allow the state initiative process to undermine those standards on the basis of political, not scientific, arguments," he said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Kevin Freking, Associated Press WriterPublished: June 6, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links'No' On Medical Marijuana Use Marijuana Advocates Implore Congress
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on June 06, 2005 at 21:10:37 PT
Vote here Should the federal government prosecute medical marijuana users, now that it has been given the OK by the Supreme Court? * 69575 responses Yes 
10% No 
88% I'm not sure 
2%&&&&LOU DOBBS TONIGHT QUICKVOTE Do you believe the federal government should prosecute doctors who prescribe medical marijuana? Current Results: Yes -- 7% No -- 93% Total: 3264 votes
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 18:08:10 PT
80% of congress "secretly" for it
Their secretiveness and reluctance to come out and serve the people, is because if they do, then the money they get from the industries that oppose freedom for marijuana would not give them the money to get elected.Viola. That's how corporations run the nation and the world. Their profits take precedence over every thing else. Our system is rigged so that our leaders are bought and paid for by big business and big business cares about nothing but the money they make.If you can figure out a way to overcome can save the nation and the world.
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Comment #7 posted by john wayne on June 06, 2005 at 16:56:03 PT
80% of the people for it, 80% of congress "secretly" for it, well then what exactly is the hold-up? What entity is holding back 80% majorities in congress and public opinion for medical cannabis? What secret, black-op, dictatorial, secret-government, corporate interest is the obstacle to changes that 80% of the people and their nominal rulers would like to see?
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 15:30:31 PT
think PBS will mention this part?
Perfect lineup, kudos to PBS for choosing these two.Ethan Nadelmann needs no introduction here, but I think Calvina's actions and words have already been shown to be disingenuous, counterproductive, harmful to children and profitable for her "associates." (Using the word cronies makes me feel like I'm not addressing the substance of the issue.)The crux of the problem? Their weed wars have caused spikes in pre teen heroin use, not to mention systematic child abuse - for PAY:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 15:01:49 PT
PBS: Ethan Nadelmann vs. Calvina Fay Tonight 
Ethan Nadelmann vs. Calvina Fay tonight on PBS   
Ethan Nadelmann will be debating Calvina Fay tonight on the Lehrer News Hour.
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Comment #4 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 14:44:21 PT
Souder makes a weak Orwellian
"We cannot allow the state initiative process to undermine those standards on the basis of political, not scientific, arguments,"Ah, but they admitted for the record that the scientific arguments we present prove that marijuana DOES have medical utility, and it can be discerned that it is your previous stances on this fact that were political, and not scientific.It's food, stupid. - - -Unintended Consequencesfrom: Scott, born a slave, had been taken by his master, an army surgeon, into the free portion of the Louisiana territory. Upon his master's death, Scott sued for his freedom, on the grounds that since slavery was outlawed in the free territory, he had become a free man there, and "once free always free." The argument was rejected by a Missouri court, but Scott and his white supporters managed to get the case into federal court, where the issue was simply whether a slave had standing -- that is, the legal right -- to sue in a federal court. So the first question the Supreme Court had to decide was whether it had jurisdiction. If Scott had standing, then the Court had jurisdiction, and the justices could go on to decide the merits of his claim. But if, as a slave, Scott did not have standing, then the Court could dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.The Court ruled that Scott, as a slave, could not exercise the prerogative of a free citizen to sue in federal court. That should have been the end of the case, but Chief Justice Taney and the other southern sympathizers on the Court hoped that a definitive ruling would settle the issue of slavery in the territories once and for all. So they went on to rule that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was unconstitutional since Congress could not forbid citizens from taking their property, i.e., slaves, into any territory owned by the United States. A slave, Taney ruled, was property, nothing more, and could never be a citizen.The South, of course, welcomed the ruling, but in the North it raised a storm of protest and scorn. It helped create the Republican Party, and disgust at the decision may have played a role in the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860.
Once free, always free
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Comment #3 posted by runderwo on June 06, 2005 at 14:41:43 PT
"'We cannot allow the state initiative process to undermine those standards on the basis of political, not scientific, arguments,' he said."Who's "we"? Is this the status quo speaking as one voice? And anyway, the history of scientific obstruction by the DEA and of incompetence by the FDA allowing harmful drugs onto the market completely undermines his argument. Hopefully someone will make him aware of this...
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on June 06, 2005 at 14:41:18 PT
I'm calling for special legislation for a voter appointed representative whom will smack Souder in the back of the head each time he opens his mouth.What a buffoon!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 14:32:28 PT
Heads UP: NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
They mentioned they will talk about the ruling.
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