Pubdate: Sat, 01 Nov 2003
Source: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram (WI)
Copyright: 2003 Eau Claire Press
Author: Gary Storck


While Rep. David Obey may be correct with his assertions about the Bush 
administration's arrogance, "Obey: Bush arrogant in Iraq efforts" (Oct. 
27), the fact is that Obey has his own problems with arrogance.

Back in 1970, freshman congressman Obey joined a majority of Congress in 
voting for the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which created a drug 
classification system that placed controlled substances into one of five 
schedules. This scheduling is supposed to be based upon medicinal value, 
harmfulness, and potential for abuse, but politics also played a role with 
the classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal use.

A terrible mistake had been made causing generations of American patients 
to be denied access to a non-toxic medicine recognized as a treatment for 
hundreds of ailments, including AIDS, a disease unknown in 1970.

Fortunately, this mistake can be fixed. There is a bill in Congress that 
would do so. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Dana 
Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, HR 
2233, which would reschedule marijuana so doctors can prescribe it and 
allow states to set policies on medical marijuana without federal interference.

With Wisconsin's Legislature about to consider medical marijuana 
legislation, HR 2233 is suddenly very important. Unfortunately, so far only 
one Wisconsin congressperson has co-sponsored the bill, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, 

Obey, as one of a handful still in Congress who voted the CSA into law, 
needs to take responsibility for his freshman error by fighting with all 
his might to undo that mistake by passing HR 2233 into law.


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