Pubdate: Thu, 29 Nov 2001
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News (FL)
Copyright: 2001 Northwest Florida Daily News
Author: Robert Sharpe,
Bookmark: (Ashcroft, John)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


As noted in your excellent Nov. 21 editorial ("Ashcroft tramples on states'
rights"), U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is attempting to undermine
Oregon's assisted-suicide law. Ashcroft cited a narrow Supreme Court ruling
against a medical marijuana club in Oakland, Calif., to justify his actions.
Our attorney general seems to have it in for the terminally ill. The
Department of Justice recently raided a Los Angeles medical marijuana club
renowned for its stringent requirements and the inability of federal agents
to conduct sting operations by posing as patients. The more than 900 cancer
and AIDS patients who depended on the club to help them combat nausea and
keep food down will now be forced to buy marijuana on the street.

Both Oregon's assisted-suicide law and California's medical marijuana law
were passed by ballot initiative and are protected by the Constitution's
10th Amendment.

Ashcroft's ideology-driven priorities would seem ludicrous even without the
all-too-real threat of international terrorism. His use of scarce federal
resources to force terminally ill patients to endure unnecessary suffering
is unconscionable.

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer, The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation

Washington, DC
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