Skip to comments.Support States' Rights - OK Medical Pot
Posted on 06/26/2006 8:22:44 AM PDT by bassmaner
If ever a piece of legislation should pass readily through the U.S. House of Representatives, it is a measure sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would prevent the Department of Justice from using tax dollars to prosecute medical-marijuana patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Because it is a good bill, expect it to fail.
Polls show that some three out of four Americans support allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for patients who need it. Members must know that constituents within their districts use marijuana to control pain and nausea -- their families would like to live without the fear of prosecution. As Time Magazine reported last year, research shows that the drug has salutary "analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects."
Republicans should be drawn to the states' rights angle of the bill, while Democrats should go for the personal stories of constituents who have found relief, thanks to medical marijuana.
Yet when the House last voted on the measure in 2005, it tanked in a 264-162 vote. As the House is scheduled to consider the measure this week, few expect the measure to pass. "I wish I could tell you it's going to pass," Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken conceded by phone last week. "I can't realistically expect that."
Over the last decade, two big hurdles existed: Republicans and Democrats. Last year, a mere 15 Repubs voted for the measure -- down from 19 GOP members who supported it in 2004. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats are moving toward the light. In 1998, the Clinton Justice Department filed suit against California medical-marijuana clubs. Last year, however, an impressive 145 Dems voted for Hinchey-Rohrabacher.
Martin Chilcutt of Kalamazoo, Mich., has written to his local GOP congressman, Rep. Fred Upton. A veteran who believes he got cancer because of his military service, Chilcutt told me that his Veterans Administration hospital doctors supported his use of medical marijuana when he had cancer.
Upton's office told me that Upton believes Marinol, the legal synthetic drug that includes the active ingredient in marijuana, should do the trick.
I asked Chilcutt if he had tried the drug. "I don't like Marinol at all," Chilcutt replied. It takes too long to work, it is hard to calibrate the dose you need, and "it made me feel weird." He prefers marijuana because it works instantly -- "You can control the amount you're using, and you get instant feedback."
Upton also fears sending the wrong message to kids about marijuana. But federal law has long allowed the sick access to needed pain control with drugs more powerful than marijuana. Only bad politics can account for the fact that marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and thus deemed more harmful than cocaine and morphine -- drugs that can kill users who overdose.
Alex Holstein, a former GOP operative and conservative activist, is lobbying Republicans on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project. He believes that regardless of their position on medical marijuana, Repubs in the California delegation should support Hinchey-Rohrabacher because state voters approved Proposition 215 -- and Republicans should stand up for states' rights and the will of California voters.
As it is, President Bush should direct the Justice Department to lay off medical-marijuana users -- because it is the right thing to do for sick people.
It's not as if the administration doesn't know how to sit on its hands and not enforce existing law. Last week, The Washington Post reported that under Bush, the number of employers prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens plummeted from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003.
If the Bushies can look the other way when well-heeled employers break the law, they can look the other way when sick people try to relieve unnecessary pain.
That's a laugh, when has the government been know to 'do the right thing'? It's all about money, the Almighty Dollar. If MJ were legal, then people could grow it in their backyards, without the government getting it's share (tax). Alcohol sales would plummet, along with the tax revenue it generates.
I used it in the past (15 years ago) and so I know from experience that is it far less harmful than alcohol when used in moderation
You forgot to ping paulsen. He hates pot. He'll spend pages and pages debating semantics with you. Did I mention that he hates pot?
''Polls show that some three out of four Americans support allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for patients who need it.''
... while a tyrannical, dogmatic minority of thugs [led by Bush] continues to persecute the sick, dying, and lame.
Bush to America - ''Screw the Will of the People.''
WE abolutely need to legalize illegal drugs because they are doing the jobs Americans wont!!!!
Even recreational marijuana use should be allowed. Any argument to keep marijuana illegal can be applied to alcohol (times 10).
Stopping marijuana smoking is more important than going after the New York Times' treason. [/sarcasm]
To be fair, our side does has some pretty choice names for the Administration when we discuss illegal immigration.
At least she didn't say 'Chimpy McHitlerburton' ... :^)
That's not why. The reason why is that civil seizures of property associated with marijuana arrests is a massive windfall for law enforcement that is, as a bonus, largely ungoverned by detailed legislative oversight. If you took marijuana out of that picture, you'd scale back civil seizure income to about 1/10 of what it is now since, according to DEA figures, there are about 30 million marijuana "addicts", and about a million combined heroin/cocaine addicts.
It is in their genes to do that. You can sometimes mess with them by feeding it back to them carefully. I got ripped off by an illegal alien and when discussing it with my ultra-liberal acquaintances I say "I guess that's just the bushies charging me to support their open border policy." They go for the bait and jump right in, then it slowly dawns on them that they have wandered into a conundrum and after 3 or 4 sentences start stuttering. Heh.
It is, on available statistics, far less harmful than alcohol even when used in immoderation. No amount of marijuana will, for example, despite the best efforts of the Calif. Hwy Patrol, and others, to demonstrate otherwise, significantly impair the safety of a driver. In fact, in many of the tests they ran, the marijuana users were safer than non-users, because they became more deliberate and more in-the-moment than the control drivers--the upside of lowered short-term memory. You might ask yourself why alcohol is, according to the CHP, impairing above a .02 blood level, but no such measure exists for marijuana--CHP put a lot of expensive effort into establishing just such a number, and failed.
i've always believed that these issuse of "medical marijuana"/states rights have gotten Libertarians off message. This is the same situation for articles touting the benefits of marijuana.
The Libertarian message was, is now, and always should be that ...It is none of the government's DAMNED BUSINESS, what, if any, intoxicants a free adult individual consumes on their own time if they are causing harm to no individual. If they commit a crime, then they are responsible for their behaviour, and should be prosecuted for that crime.
It is high time (pun not intended), that the drug warriers stop prosecuting the substance for the bad behaviour of the individual using it. Prosecute the INDIVIDUAL for his/her crimes, they are no less responsible than the person who has committed crimes while 'under the influence' of alcohol.
Although I agree, I would never advocate driving while under the influence of anything.
I would never advocate driving. It has far more stupifying effect than most recreational drugs.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.