Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Good news from the interminable drug war

with one comment

An email from Marijuana Policy Project:

Late last week, Congress passed a measure involving the FDA that did not include a dangerous amendment that could have undermined the 12 state laws that are protecting medical marijuana patients from arrest and jail.

The FDA bill’s passage marks the defeat of the greatest threat the medical marijuana movement has ever faced.

The threat was in the form of an amendment that was authored by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and attached to the Senate version of the FDA bill back in April. The House thankfully omitted Sen. Coburn’s amendment from its version of the FDA bill, and the final bill that President Bush is expected to sign also did not include Sen. Coburn’s amendment.

This victory is the result of MPP’s tireless work on Capitol Hill — and your calls, e-mails, and faxes to your members of Congress. Also important were the behind-the-scenes calls from major MPP allies to key members of Congress.

If you haven’t yet made a donation to MPP this year, would you please consider giving $10 or more today to support our important work in Congress?

The defeat of Sen. Coburn’s amendment feels really, really good. He is perhaps the number-one opponent of medical marijuana in the U.S. Senate; for example, last year he told MPP’s lobbyist that “marijuana is not a medicine, and the doctors and scientists who say it is one are smoking it themselves.”

Sen. Coburn’s amendment was a thinly veiled attempt to undermine the medical marijuana laws in 12 states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — by placing them under the authority of the FDA (in addition to the DEA), while not providing the same approval process for marijuana as for other drugs seeking FDA approval as prescription medicines.

If the Coburn amendment had become law, a federal agency could have sued, say, the Oregon government for the purpose of persuading a federal judge to shut down Oregon’s medical marijuana ID card program that has done so much to protect more than 10,000 patients in the state.

MPP and its allies on Capitol Hill successfully worked with members of the House and Senate to remove the offending provision from the final version of the bill — making new legislative allies in the process. The House passed the final FDA bill on Wednesday, and the Senate passed it on Thursday.

Again, this success would not have been possible without your support — in the form of contacting your legislators, and in the form of financial contributions. Influence in Congress is not easily gained.

Please make a donation to MPP today so that we can continue to push forward with ending marijuana prohibition in this country.

Just today, the FBI released its annual Uniform Crime Reports, which documented that our nation just hit a new all-time high for marijuana arrests in the U.S. — 829,627 arrests by local and state police (not the feds) in 2006 alone. That’s one marijuana arrest every 38 seconds.

Written by Leisureguy

24 September 2007 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Congress, Drug laws, Government, Medical

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. You may be interested in an article relating to the War on Drugs from the current issue of Foreign Policy. The article can be found here:
    I must admit that I have done no more than skim it while reading the magazine in a store, but it seems up your alley.



    24 September 2007 at 4:08 pm

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