Pubdate: Fri, 01 Jul 2005
Source: North Andover Citizen (MA)
Copyright: 2005 North Andover Citizen
Author: Steven S.  Epstein
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


To the editor: The Supreme  Court decided earlier this month that 
Congress has the power to prohibit the  growing and possession of 
marijuana for medical use in compliance with state  law. The decision 
written by liberal Justice Stevens expressed hope that through  "the 
democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these 
respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress." Nine days 
later the House of Representatives voted 161-264 and rejected a 
bipartisan  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.

Except  for Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts' nine other 
representatives were among the  161. 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 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 would reclassify marijuana 
as a  Schedule 2 substance with recognized medical benefits, force 
the federal  government to stay out of the lives of persons complying 
with their state's medical cannabis laws, and would permit 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 
permitted its use, but only if in  the state program.

That program requires a legal source and the federal  government 
refuses to provide it. If you  think that John Tierney, given his 
favorable vote on the amendment, should be a  co-sponsor, he needs to 
hear it from you.

Steven S.  Epstein, Esq.

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