Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow

Congress is voting tomorrow on an amendment, introduced by U.S. Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), to bar the U.S. Justice Department -- which includes the DEA -- from spending taxpayer money on raiding, arresting, and prosecuting patients who are using medical marijuana in the 11 states where it's legal.

Action Alert time: Go here and let your Congressperson know how you want them to vote.

If you agree that sick and suffering patients should not have to live in fear of armed federal agents breaking down their doors, this is your chance to do something about it. The bipartisan Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment would prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice -- which includes the DEA -- from spending taxpayer money to arrest or prosecute medical marijuana patients in the 11 states where medical marijuana is legal.


Eighty percent of the American public supports the physician-supervised use of cannabis as a medicine, and they do not wish to see their tax dollars wasted by those in Congress who would target the sick and dying in their overzealous war on drugs. Last year, 161 members of Congress voted in favor of Hinchey-Rohrabacher, but we need 57 more members to join with them to stop Washington's war on patients.

It's time for the federal raids on medical marijuana cooperatives to stop.

Since last June when the US Supreme Court handed down their decision in Raich, the federal government has raided more than twenty collectives and dispensaries across the state of California and is seeking to prosecute more than three-dozen licensed medical cannabis patients and care providers.

Here's a paper on the history of medical marijuana by the esteemed Harvard Medical School emeritus professor Lester Grinspoon, M.D.

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    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 05:42:52 PM EST
    Thanks so much for calling attention to this important issue, Jeralyn. The amendment got 161 votes last year out of the 218 needed to pass. There's definitely a good chance of picking up more of those votes that we need this year! Since the vote will likely be tomorrow, it may be too late to send one of those prewritten letters. Therefore, it's really important that everyone call their member of Congress Wednesday morning!!! Here's the instructions and phone script that the Marijuana Policy Project put out: "It's easy: Just call the Capitol switchboard operator at (202) 224-3121. Give the operator your zip code and ask to be connected to your U.S. House member; you don't even need to know your U.S. representative's name to do this. When the receptionist for the congressperson -- not the Capitol switchboard operator -- answers, say something like: "Hi, this is [name]. I live in [city], and I'm calling to ask that my representative vote for Congressman Maurice Hinchey's medical marijuana amendment to the Justice Department's spending bill, which I understand will be considered on the House floor in a few days. The amendment would prohibit the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients in the 11 states where medical marijuana is legal." Please call now: (202) 224-3121"

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#2)
    by roger on Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 06:09:43 PM EST
    "Burn a spliff, not the flag"????

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#3)
    by Sailor on Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 06:28:33 PM EST
    Uhh, you don't know who my congress critter is ... I don't think I'll bother.

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 08:13:00 PM EST
    As a pharmacist of twenty years I have studied the effects of marijuana on chronic pain and spasticity; there are many studies which the Bushies refuses to acknowledge which have been controlled, double-blind that have clearly shown a medical effect of marijuana, but the drug companies do not want competition from drugs that can be grown organically at home without paying patent and retail prices to BigPharma conglomerates. As a paraplegic I can tesify personally to the superior spasmolytic effect of marijuana over benzodiazepines and baclofen in SCI; please don't let the big pharmaceutical manufacturers block another natural drug from being legalized while they push their Marinol (TM) and benzos, which are far more addictive, and expensive. Why does the "states rights" party, the GOP, only support that right when it doesn't conflict with their ability to make profits and their party's demonization of marijuana and other natural drugs. The majority of the citizens of eleven states have voted to allow medical marijuana; how dare the federal government tell states, which are charged with regulating pharmacists and pharmacies, as well as which drugs require a prescription, that federal law trumps state law. Pseudoephedrine, and guafenesin with codeine, are prescription in some states, and not in others. Products containing anabolic steroids are also regulated differently in different states. This is a state responsibility, and the federal government has no right dictating policy. The politicalization of the recent FDA report on the positive medical effects of marijuana, after pressure by the DEA, shows the extent which the Bush misadministration will go to in order to forward it's backwards and anti-science agenda.

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#6)
    by roy on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 07:37:57 AM EST
    I don't think this change will have the desired effect. The cops, prosecutors, or whichever beurocrats need only claim a hunch that some pittance of the pot was used for recreational purposes. There's probably some level of proof required for that to justify spending fedbucks, but I doubt it's "probable cause". If they turn out to be wrong, well, medical pot is still illegal and exclusionary rules apparently no longer matter, so those cancer patients are going to prison. Bottom line, administrative tricks like funding rules won't help much.

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#7)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 08:16:50 AM EST
    Yeah like calling Daryl Issa is going to help. But I did sign the MPP petition. Now I am going to get high because I'm off today and the best buzz is the first one of the day. 35 years of partaking. Never been busted. Never keep more than an ounce in the house. Don't drink. Leave me alone. There's still crime in the city. But it's good to be free. Neil Young Freedom

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 12:26:14 PM EST
    What about the children, Che?...lol.

    Re: Congress Votes on Medical Marijuana Tomorrow (none / 0) (#9)
    by Johnny on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 07:12:15 AM EST
    Why is pot illegal? Easy answer-because brown people use it. Why do rethuglicans (and a lot of democraps)feel as if it s governments right to tell me what to think (Don't burn that flag unless you ain't thinking dissenting thoughts!), what to wear (Don't wear that shirt that says Fvck The War in public, we will nail you with an obscenity charge), what to drink (Umm... that absinthe has some questionable hallucinigenic properties, better make it illegal to be safe), what to smoke (easy one), who to marry (don't marry your gay lover, the fate of nations rests in your official designation as second class citizens)... When it comes to the safety of pot, the evidence is in. If it was a murder, there would b a hanging. time to grow up and realize that the tens of billions of dollars spent pursuing and prosecuting pot-heads was a complete and utter waste of money. Thank you wrong-wingers, for Nixons escalation of that one.