Medical Marijuana in Congress – Take Action Now

This July, the US House of Representatives will vote again on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment, which if passed will forbid the US Dept. of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. Your help is needed ? it is crucial that more members of Congress vote for medical marijuana this year than did last year.
Since medical marijuana initiatives were first passed nine years ago, the DEA has conducted raids against medical marijuana clinics in California, recently with increasing frequency, forcing hundreds if not thousands of patients to procure marijuana in the black market instead. In a ruling issued on June 6, 2005, the US Supreme Court upheld the government’s power to do this.

While this doesn’t change anything ? state laws protecting medical marijuana patients and their providers still are binding upon state and local law enforcement authorities ? it is a missed opportunity for the Court to rein in federal overreaching and help some of our society’s most vulnerable members.

Fortunately, Congress will have a chance this July, 2006, to set things right. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, to be considered during the debate on the Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill, would prohibit the federal government from arresting, raiding or prosecuting patients who are abiding by state medical marijuana laws.

Your help is needed to get it passed. Please visit www.stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana to send an e-mail to your US Representative asking him or her to vote YES on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment.

When you are done, please call your Rep. on the phone as well to make even greater impact ? call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected, or use our lookup tool at www.stopthedrugwar.org/lookup.html to get the direct number.

Please also tell your friends about this important action alert ? we need for everyone who cares about this to take action, and sending them to our web site to do so will also help to grow our list for the next time.

Talking points for your phone call or letters the the editor

? The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which will come up during debate on the House Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill this July, would forbid the Dept. of Justice from using funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws.

? More than three out of four Americans think medical use of marijuana should be legal, according to polls, and eleven states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington — have all enacted medical marijuana laws in recent years.

? Despite such strong support, the federal government continues to block even research to determine marijuana’s medical benefits. Yet the 1999 Institute of Medicine report determined that marijuana does have medical benefit.

? Medical organizations such as the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians support legal access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.

? Blocking patients from receiving needed medicine — threatening them with arrest, prosecution and incarceration — is senseless and cruel.

? Congress should respect state’s rights and not used armed federal agents to threaten patients and providers who are in compliance with state law.

Writing to your Congress Representative

Send a letter to get the message out, asking Congress to “Vote YES on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Medical Marijuana Amendment”. Click here to fill out an automated letter personally to your Congressperson! Or write by hand and send in the mail ? no postage required ? to your Representative.

Here’s a sample letter to get you started.

Dear [decision maker name inserted here],

On June 6, 2005, the US Supreme Court made a ruling upholding the power of the federal government to ban medical use of marijuana. While this ruling does not change law in the states that have passed medical marijuana protections, it does mean that the federal government ? unfortunately ? will still have the power to use its resources to undermine the will of the voters or legislatures of those states.

I think that is wrong, and I urge you to take an important opportunity coming up to set things right. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, to be considered this July, 2006, in the debate over the Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill, would prohibit the federal government from arresting, raiding or prosecuting patients who are abiding by state medical marijuana laws.

Please vote YES when the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment comes to the floor. Medical marijuana patients and their providers should not have to live in fear that police will break down their doors and take them to jail because of their choice of medicine, certainly not in states whose voters or legislators have voted to protect them. That is a horrendous state of affairs, and it is irrational to divert federal resources to attacking patients that could otherwise be used to protect the nation from terrorists who want to attack us.

Voting YES on Hinchey-Rohrabacher is the only rational or responsible choice that you can make on this amendment.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Comments