Congress Considers Lifting Ban On D.C. MMJ Vote!

Congress Considers Lifting Ban On D.C. MMJ Vote!
Posted by FoM on July 23, 1999 at 11:04:35 PT
NORML's Weekly Update News
Source: NORML
July 22, 1999, Washington, D.C.: A Congressional House Committee voted this week to remove a federal provision barring the D.C. Board of Elections from counting the results of last November's medical marijuana initiative. 
"This is thrilling; it's a triumph for democracy," said ACT-UP's Wayne Turner, who coordinated the initiative. "This is an issue of creating access for people who are dying of serious illnesses."   Exit polls indicate that nearly 70 percent of District voters approved Initiative 57, which legalizes the possession and cultivation of medical marijuana under a doctor's supervision. However, District officials withheld the vote results because an amendment by Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) to D.C.'s 1999 Appropriation Act prohibits them from spending funds on any measure that reduces marijuana penalties. City election officials estimated it will cost about $1.30 to push a computer button to tabulate the results electronically.   "Congress, and Bob Barr specifically, have held democracy hostage for eight months," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "By voting to lift this tyrannical restriction, the House Appropriations Committee has stood up for the rights of D.C.'s voters and the seriously ill."   The House will likely vote next week on the D.C. appropriations bill, and Republicans may attempt to re-insert the Barr amendment then. If the budget bill passes without the medical marijuana ban, Congress may still overturn the initiative within 30 days after it becomes District law.   For more information, please contact Keith Stroup orPaul Armentano of NORML   (202) 483-5500. Score Win in House Panel - July 21, 1999
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