Measure Aims To Prevent Marijuana Prosecution

Measure Aims To Prevent Marijuana Prosecution
Posted by CN Staff on June 14, 2005 at 15:13:25 PT
By Emma Burgin, Knight Ridder News Service
Source: KRT 
Washington, D.C. -- Seated and steadied by her husband's hand, Angel Raich's eyes welled up with tears at the mention of her son. "He's 19 and tomorrow night he'll be going into the U.S. Army," she said.Raich is thankful she has lived to see him grow up. She wasn't always sure she would. Since she won her case against former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2002, Raich has become a public face for the legalization of medical marijuana.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals prohibited the Bush administration from prosecuting Raich and her suppliers, who grow about 8 pounds of cannabis each year for her at no charge. They all live in California, which legalized medical marijuana in 1996 through a statewide referendum.On Tuesday, Raich was in Washington to support an amendment to an appropriations bill that would prohibit the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money on medical-marijuana prosecutions in states that allow its use."It is an absolute waste of public funds," Raich said. "They will be prosecuting us like criminals even though we're sick."Reps. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., proposed the one-sentence amendment Tuesday in response to last week's Supreme Court ruling that deemed it constitutional for Congress to prohibit the cultivation and use of medical marijuana in California and the 10 other states allowing such activity."It is a travesty for the federal government to step in and override a state law that would permit this activity," Rohrabacher said. "The people of the states have a right to make this decision."Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have legalized medical marijuana. All except Hawaii and Vermont held statewide votes on the measure.Raich, who said she has been ill since adolescence, suffered an allergic reaction in 1995 to birth control. Since then, she's been diagnosed with a multitude of medical conditions, including an inoperable brain tumor.Restricted to a wheelchair in 1996, Raich was not able to keep down any synthetic drugs. Her doctor then recommended medical marijuana, which Raich said has restored her appetite and helped her manage chronic pain."It has restored my mobility," she said. "When I get out of the bed in the morning, I can't move without cannabis."Critics say the younger generation might have a hard time distinguishing between the medical use and the illegal use of marijuana."You just need to be open with kids about everything in life," said Raich, who also has a 16-year-old daughter.The measure's sponsors also acknowledged the fight against the culture created by the recreational use of marijuana."The decision-making surrounding this drug has been clouded by other consideration," Rohrabacher said. "It's time to leave the '60s behind."Complete Title: Measure Aims To Prevent Medical-Marijuana ProsecutionsSource: Knight Ridder News Service (US Wire)Author: Emma Burgin, Knight Ridder-Tribune News ServicePublished: June 14, 2005Copyright: 2005, Knight Ridder News ServiceRelated Articles:Marijuana Backers Seek Support in Congress Proponents Seek House Vote Tuesday 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 15, 2005 at 08:15:25 PT
OCR Commentary: A Humane Opportunity 
Congress should pass the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment on medical marijuana. Wednesday, June 15, 2005 The Supreme Court decided last week that Congress had not overstepped its legitimate powers when it passed the Controlled Substances Act and prohibited the use of marijuana even for medicinal purposes.In the majority opinion, however, you could almost hear the justices pleading with Congress to change the law to something a bit more rational and less onerous.Early on, the high court noted that "[t]his case is made difficult by respondents' [medical marijuana users Angel Raich and Diane Monson]strong arguments that they will suffer irreparable harm because, despite a congressional finding to the contrary, marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes." The opinion closes on what sounds like a recommendation: "more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."Today Congress has the chance to answer that plea for common sense.Reps. Maurice Hinchey, a New York Democrat, and Dana Rohrabacher, the Huntington Beach Republican, plan to introduce a key amendment to the Department of Justice appropriations bill. It would prohibit the department from using any funds in its budget to prosecute people who use marijuana medicinally in states that have passed medical marijuana laws.This is a responsible use of Congress' power of the purse to influence policy, in this case in a direction approved by the vast majority of all the constituents, Republican and Democrat alike, who elected these House members. Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on June 14, 2005 at 20:15:59 PT
Almost; it should be:
Measure Aims To Prevent Marijuana Persecution.
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Comment #7 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 14, 2005 at 19:10:18 PT
With Iraq going nowhere there's a lot mistrust in govt. about their leadership. Related article:'m sorry to say, I don't think it will pass, it is busine$$ as usual with this Congre$$.
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on June 14, 2005 at 18:18:42 PT
If it's business as usual you can bet that Congressmen are together right now lining up the "no" votes against Hinchey-Rohrabacher. They are seeing which of them are up for re-election next year and which ones are vulnerable in their given districts. Those up for re-election may have to vote "yes" if they want to prolong their careers. Those not up for re-election will likely vote "no" and hope we forget about it by the time they are. We will not forget.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...UPI Hears... Bush official casts doubt on cause of 9/11 attacks: Personal Decision: Roundtable Discussion on C2C - Thursday! 9/11 INFO:
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on June 14, 2005 at 17:51:35 PT
E Pluribus Unum
June 14th 1775  US Army founded June 14th 1777  Continental Congress adopts Stars & Stripes replacing Grand Union flag's 'Flag Day' today.The least we can do is remember how it all came to be.Angel's son enlisted for duty in the Army. I would hope the US Congress would see fit to take note of that, too.I do hope that the US Congress will set itself free and do something worthwhile, like allowing medical cannabis for those who truly need it.They should remember where they came from and how they got there.Have a nice day. You, too, Congressman. Don't forget to represent US. Thanks
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 14, 2005 at 17:35:03 PT
charmed quark 
You're very welcome. I don't know if it will help but I do know that doing nothing never helps. 
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Comment #3 posted by charmed quark on June 14, 2005 at 17:24:28 PT
FOM - thanks for your site
I wouldn't even had know this was coming up for a vote tomorrow if it wasn't for your site. I don't think it will pass, given the craven behavior of Congress in the past on this issue, but I would have felt very bad if I hadn't tried.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 14, 2005 at 17:14:40 PT
charmed quark 
Thank you! I just did too!
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Comment #1 posted by charmed quark on June 14, 2005 at 17:06:38 PT
Hinchey-Rohrabacher Ammendement
As I understand it, this is likely to come up tomorrow.I just sent an email to my congressmean asking him to support it. I outlined the statements in the majority Supreme Court Raich decision that imply support for such a change, as well as recent poll data showing very strong support for medical cannabis. I also mentioned last years AARP poll. I ended the email with "Please respond to the will of the American people. This is the compassionate and right thing to do".I followed up with a phone call to his DC office and left a brief message about supporting the ammendment and mentioned I had also emailed him.Please do the same with your representative as soon as possible. Be polite and organized in your messages. 
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