Let States, Doctors OK Marijuana Use

Let States, Doctors OK Marijuana Use
Posted by CN Staff on June 10, 2005 at 21:01:36 PT
Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin -- Most of the public understands why a doctor should be able to recommend marijuana to a cancer patient suffering from severe nausea, loss of appetite and pain.Next week, Congress - including Wisconsin's delegation - should show that it understands, too. The House is expected to vote on an amendment to an appropriation bill that, in effect, would prevent the federal Justice Department from arresting or prosecuting medical-marijuana patients in states that have legalized the drug's use.
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R- Calif., has gradually been picking up votes in recent years. Almost 150 members of the House supported it last year, including all of Wisconsin's Democrats.This year supporters are counting on about 160 votes and hope this week's Supreme Court ruling will sway even more. Passage would require as many as 218 votes.Republicans have been more skeptical of letting states let doctors prescribe marijuana to patients. Wisconsin's GOP representatives unanimously opposed Hinchey-Rohrabacher last year.Yet in Wisconsin's statehouse, a leading advocate for giving terribly ill patients the medicine their doctors say they need is Republican Rep. Gregg Underheim of Oshkosh. He plans to reintroduce legislation soon allowing limited use of medical marijuana in Wisconsin.Underheim admirably took up the charge after undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and being inspired by conversations he had with cancer survivors.But even if Underheim's bill became law in Wisconsin - just as similar legislation has in 10 other states - the Supreme Court decision this week means federal prosecutors could criminally charge patients whose doctors prescribe pot.The Supreme Court noted in its decision that Congress can adjust federal law to let states decide the issue. That's what next week's vote is all about.Opponents say there's not enough evidence that marijuana works. Tell that to the cancer and multiple sclerosis patients who swear by it - and to the doctors who have recommended the drug. The problem is that the government hasn't allowed comprehensive tests.If letting patients grow pot at home is too ripe for abuse, a drug company could grow the drug and dispense it through medical professionals or pharmacies. Remember that doctors already legally prescribe morphine and OxyContin.President Bush said the issue should be left up to the states during his 2000 campaign. Yet under his presidency, the federal government has raided and charged people who supply medical marijuana in California.John Walters, Bush's drug control policy chief, told the Associated Press this week that the Supreme Court's decision "marks the end of medical marijuana as a political issue."Who is he kidding?The public increasingly supports letting doctors prescribe the drug to terribly ill patient. The House should show compassion for those patients next week and approve the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment with strong support from Wisconsin's eight members.Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)Published: June 10, 2005Copyright: 2005 Madison Newspapers, Inc.Contact: wsjopine madison.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links as Medicine Marijuana as a Schedule II Drug Marijuana: Should It Be Legal?
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 11, 2005 at 19:05:01 PT
News Brief from The Associated Press
June 11, 2005HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. (AP) - The first medical marijuana dispensary to open in the San Gabriel Valley has been ordered to stop selling pot.A court order served Thursday bars the California Medical Caregivers Association from operations.Los Angeles County is suing the association, claiming it violated a 45-day ban passed May 31 on marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated county areas.Operators argued that a moratorium on dispensaries passed by the county Board of Supervisors did not apply because the association had registered patients before it took effect.The dispensary is located less than a mile from two schools, a library and two parks.Don Duncan, one of the dispensary's organizers, said he was disappointed that the conflict has gone to court."I'm always willing to negotiate," he said. "I just wished they had talked about negotiating prior to taking legal action."In 1996, California voters approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor's prescription. However, attempts to open dispensaries in various towns have met with mixed success.On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court said those who smoke marijuana because their doctors recommend it to ease pain can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws, overriding medical marijuana statutes in 10 states.
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Comment #8 posted by global_warming on June 11, 2005 at 11:55:48 PT
This may be the week
More and more American people are now aware of this war on cannabis, and prefer not to throw sick people into prison.
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Comment #7 posted by rchandar on June 11, 2005 at 06:51:56 PT:
don't count on it...
...but your effort signals gradual change in the years to come. Although many Republicans at the state level tend to support these initiatives, the same hasn't been true of Capitol Hill Republicans, most of whom are greedy men who support corporate-military power without question. But that will change, I'm just not confident it will within the week that we have.Legalize.--rchandar
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on June 11, 2005 at 06:15:37 PT
re:comment #5
What does the F stand for Jimmy, grow the eff up,.. Comments:
As a Wisconsinite, I am ashamed of him. He is a disgrace to our state and to this nation. I long ago decided that this year was the year to get him. Even though he comes from a very conservative district near Milwaukee, I think we may be able to defeat him this year. I plan on spending a good deal of time over that way working against him... I come from Wisconsin and I'm also ashamed...
Really, if a cardboard box ran, I would support it over him..Plus he's embarrasingly fat.Thanks for the links, some of the comments were hilarious,.There are changes coming, and lest we forget the Right Reverend and Honorable Mark Souder, cya later,
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on June 11, 2005 at 04:38:52 PT
global warming
I knew Sensenbrenner was an idiot but I didn't realize he was king of the idiots! I caught most of it and cannot understand how any individual with a functioning brain could vote for this guy. I'd say the heat is getting to these bums!"SENSENBRENNER MELTDOWN! UNILATERALLY GAVELS PATRIOT ACT HEARINGS TO A CLOSE! chairman walks off, bringing Patriot Act hearing to an abrupt end: after GOP cuts off microphones at Patriot Act hearing: Freak Show:
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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on June 11, 2005 at 04:00:51 PT
I'm surprised to hear such a pro cannabis sentiment coming from Wisconsin, the home of James Sensenbrenner.I watched CSPAN last night, they covered the hearing about the Patriot Act, which is currently going to end soon.I got to see James Sensenbrenner at his best. This overweight multiple chinned excuse of a human being was the chairperson, and was about as nasty as a person can get. While the whole time he insisted on proper procedure and how the chair has the power and final say, he managed to piss off just about everybody.I have to say, I don't know how John Conyers or Mel Watt held their tongues so well, while so many others would have just reached over and slapped this obese pompous and belligerent representative from Wisconsin.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 22:18:13 PT
A Statement from Angel Raich
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 21:33:58 PT
News Article from News-Medical.Net
Ruling Does Not Overturn California Law Permitting The Use of Medical Marijuana Friday, June 10, 2005 
 California Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued the following statement on this week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Raich, which holds that federal laws prohibiting the use of medical marijuana remain in effect regardless of state laws that permit its use: 
"The ruling does not overturn California law permitting the use of medical marijuana, but it does uphold a federal regulatory scheme that contradicts the will of California voters and limits the right of states to provide appropriate medical care for its citizens. Although I am disappointed in the outcome of today's decision, legitimate medical marijuana patients in California must know that state and federal laws are no different today than they were yesterday. "Californians spoke overwhelmingly in favor of medical marijuana by passing Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Initiative, and that law still stands in our state. Unfortunately, federal law continues to criminalize the use of physician-recommended marijuana medicine. This conflict between state and federal law means that seriously ill Californians will continue to run the risk of arrest and prosecution under federal law when grow and or they use marijuana as medicine. "The ruling shows the vast philosophical difference between the federal government and Californians on the rights of patients to have access to the medicine they need to survive and lead healthier lives. Taking medicine on the recommendation of a doctor for a legitimate illness should not be a crime. "There is something very wrong with a federal law that treats medical marijuana the same as heroin. The United States Congress and the President have the power to reform and modernize federal law in order to bring relief to medical patients and still punish those who illegally traffic in substances. Patients, physicians and the public that support medicinal marijuana should tell their Congressional Representatives and Senators to take a fresh look at the federal laws that ban its use."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 21:06:23 PT
Hawaii: News Brief from KGMB9
Hawaii Won't Attack Medical MarajuanaJune 9, 2005The United States Attorney in Honolulu said federal authorities will continue to go after commercial marijuana growers and dealers but do not plan to go after individual users. U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo Jr. was responding to questions about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that federal law prohibiting marijuana supersedes state law allowing pot use for medicinal purposes. Kubo said despite the court's decision, his office will not actively seek to prosecute people who have certificates from the state to grow marijuana. He also said doctors who prescribe pot use will not be targeted. "I don't think physicians have anything to fear about prosecution solely for a certification," Kubo said.
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