Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jun 2005
Source: Wilmington Advocate (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Community Newspaper Company
Author: Steven S. Epstein,  Massachusetts Cannabis Reform/NORML


Nine days after the Supreme Court decided that Congress has the power
to prohibit the growing and possession of marijuana for medical use in
compliance with state law the House of Representatives voted 161 - 264
to reject a bi-partisan amendment to next year's appropriations for
the Justice Department  that would have effectively reversed the
Supreme Court's decision.

One hundred and sixty-one votes is the most ever received in Congress
on this issue. Federal  elected officials are starting to hear the
public on medical
marijuana; as well they  should given the passage of most medical use
laws by initiative Except
for Stephen F. Lynch,  Massachusetts' nine other representatives do
hear the public on this issue as  they were among the 161. With the
defeat of the amendment attention turns to H.R. 2087, The States
Rights to  Medical Marijuana Act,
 reintroduced by Barney Frank, with Michael Capuano, James McGovern
and John  Olver among the earliest co-sponsors. This bill reclassifies
marijuana as a  Schedule 2 substance with recognized medical benefits,
requires the federal  government stay out of the lives of persons
complying with their state's medical  cannabis laws, and permits
states to grow their citizens' supply. To those  who illicitly use
medical cannabis in Massachusetts this would be a blessing,  because
since 1991 Massachusetts law
has permitted its use, but  only if in the state program. That program
requires a legal source and the  federal government refuses to provide

If you  think that Marty Meehan, given his favorable vote on the
amendment, should be a  co-sponsor, he needs to hear it from you.

Attorney  Steven S. Epstein

Massachusetts Cannabis Reform/NORML
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