Pubdate: Sun, 24 Jun 2001
Source: The Post and Courier (SC)
Copyright: 2001 Evening Post Publishing Co.
Author: Joseph G Lolli
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


It's not very often that I agree with a Democrat, but Rep. Barney 
Frank, D-Mass., recently filed a bill that would change federal law 
to legalize the use of medical marijuana and effectively overturn a 
recent Supreme Court decision.

Rep. Frank proposed this bill because, even though eight sovereign 
states have passed laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana, the 
federal government continues to arrest and prosecute cancer, AIDS and 
glaucoma patients who use the drug.

On April 3, Frank introduced H.R. 1344, the States' Right to Medical 
Marijuana Act. The bill would amend the federal Controlled Substances 
Act (CSA) to allow physicians to recommend medical marijuana and 
allow patients to use it, without facing federal charges.

Like numerous other federal laws, the CSA violates the intent of the 
10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, but then, that's never stopped 
the federal government from infringing on the rights of sovereign 
states or individual citizens.

According to Rep. Frank, "This bill offers an opportunity for my 
conservative colleagues to decide if they really want to be 
consistent on the question of states' rights, or if they think the 
federal government should tell states what to do."

H.R. 1344 would reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug under 
federal law, formally acknowledging the drug's potential "medical 
utility." It would also effectively overturn the May 14 Supreme Court 
decision, which upheld the feds' claim that there is no "medical 
necessity exemption" to federal drug laws. By changing the CSA, the 
bill would render the decision moot. Currently H.R. 1344 has nine 

Whether you agree or disagree with the use of medical marijuana, 
please ask your congressman to co-sponsor H.R. 1344, and send a 
message to Washington that the omnipotent federal government must 
obey the Constitution. The decision to allow physicians to recommend 
medical marijuana and allow patients to use it should be made either 
in Columbia or in our ballot boxes, but not in Washington.

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MAP posted-by: Josh Sutcliffe