Why Medical Marijuana Patients Are Protesting at Obama's Campaign Headquarters Today

When Obama's supporters come to volunteer this evening, they will be greeted by a crowd holding political signs. It's not an Occupy protest or a Republican rally – it's a rally in support of medical marijuana access, organized by voters who feel left out of the electoral debate.

From Washington, D.C. to Washington State, from New York City to Denver, Colorado, patients and their supporters will be asking, how can I vote against my health in November?

My organization, Americans for Safe Access, has been engaging voters since July with our Camp WakeUpObama campaign, helping to give a voice to patients and their families. Today campers mark the end of summer with nationwide rallies outside of Obama's campaign offices, because we're not being invited inside. Things would be different if the President would apply his campaign slogan, "Forward," to our cause: stopping the raids and prosecutions of state-permitted institutions, and moving public health policy forward by ending the conflict between state and federal law.

I can't ignore the fact that many responses to Camp WakeUpObama have been critical and to those of you who disapprove I ask, what else are patients supposed to do? In asking President Obama to fulfill his stated policy of respecting state compassionate use laws, we are not asking him to do anything unpopular: 80% of Americans support safe access to medical cannabis, 74% are against the stepped-up raids and prosecutions and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is polling at 7% in Colorado campaigning on this issue. Even two-thirds of Republicans support state medical cannabis laws. With the public on our side, why should patients and our loved ones be silent?

Camp WakeUpObama is not about encouraging people to vote for Romney or any other challenger, but about expressing our own points of view. When I wrote during the Democratic National Convention that pro-marijuana candidate Gary Johnson's poll numbers could make him a spoiler in the crucial swing state of Colorado, I wasn't criticizing third-party supporters, I was showing Democrats the proof that their standard-bearer's wrong-headed cannabis crackdown is costing the party votes. I never thought that Mitt Romney's campaign would be emailing reporters our talking points or that his vice-presidential nominee would publicly support state decisions on marijuana law. Though a lot has happened in the past few months, it's not too late for Obama to seize the issue.

- Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.

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