URGENT! Stop DEA Medical Marijuana Raids! Congress Votes on “Hinchey” This Week!

In June 2005, the US Supreme Court unfortunately upheld the power of the federal government to ban medical marijuana. However, this week Congress will vote on an amendment that, if passed, would give patients the protection the court has denied. There might not be another Congressional vote on medical marijuana until next year, so your emails and phone calls are critically needed right now! It’s very easy to do.

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 medical marijuana amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill.

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 to get the direct number.

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 the ruling issued on June 6, 2005, the US Supreme Court upheld the government’s power to do this.

While this didn’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 month to set things right. The Hinchey 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, and there won’t be another chance until next year at the earliest.

– Article from Stop The Drug War

Talking Point for your Letter or Phone Call

The Hinchey Amendment, which will come up during debate on the House Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill this month, 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, New Mexico, 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.

Sample Letter

Dear Congressman/Representative,

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 amendment, to be considered this month 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 the Hinchey amendment is the only compassionate, rational, responsible choice that you can make on this amendment.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your address]

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