Medical Marijuana

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Medical Marijuana: California Appeals Court Throws Out Quantity Limits

In a May 22 decision, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles has ruled that state lawmakers unconstitutionally overstepped their bounds by limiting the amount of marijuana patients could possess. California's Compassionate Use Act became law as the result of a 1996 voter initiative, and the legislature cannot amend initiatives, the court held.

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California medical marijuana bags (courtesy Daniel Argo via Wikimedia)
Seeking to regulate medical marijuana in the state, the legislature passed a bill that set limits on the amount of pot patients could possess. That bill set the limit at eight ounces of dried marijuana and six mature or 12 seedling plants.

Prosecutors used that provision of the law to charge medical marijuana patient Patrick Kelly with marijuana possession and sales after they busted him with 12 ounces. Kelley was a registered patient, but did not have a doctor's recommendation that he needed more than the eight ounces envisioned by the legislative action. Prosecutors were wrong to charge Kelly, the court held.

"The CUA does not quantify the marijuana a patient may possess. Rather, the only 'limit' on how much marijuana a person falling under the act may possess is it must be for the patient's 'personal medical purposes,'" Justice Richard Aldrich wrote.

"The legislature... cannot amend an initiative, such as the CUA, unless the initiative grants the legislature authority to do so," Aldrich continued in the 7-2 opinion. "The CUA does not grant the legislature the authority to amend it without voter approval."

The unconstitutional provision was part of a 2004 bill by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) that sought to clarify the state's medical marijuana law. The following year, Vasconcellos got a bill passed that removed the cap language, but it was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who argued that it removed "reasonable and established quantity guidelines."

Marijuana: Idaho Resort Town Passes Three Initiatives -- Again

For the second time in less than a year, voters in the Sun Valley town of Hailey, Idaho, have approved a trio of marijuana reform initiatives. A measure legalizing medical marijuana, another legalizing industrial hemp, and a third directing the city to make marijuana law enforcement its lowest policing priority all passed. A fourth initiative that would have directed the city to tax and regulate marijuana distribution failed.

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Selkirk mountains, northern Idaho
Voters passed the same three initiatives in November, but city officials balked at enforcing them. That stance was strengthened by a December opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's office that the local initiatives conflicted with state law.

But Ryan Davidson, chairman of the Idaho Liberty Lobby, the group that organized both efforts, put the initiatives back on the ballot. Another round of ballot box victories would make it "politically less viable" for local officials to oppose the will of the voters, he told the Idaho Mountain News.

Where things will go from here remains to be seen. The Hailey mayor, a city councilor, and the chief of police sued the city earlier this month over the initiatives in search of a judgment the city can use as a guide for dealing with them.

Medical Marijuana: Employment Rights Bill Passes California Assembly

A medical marijuana employment rights bill that would protect California patients from being fired because their medication is marijuana passed the California Assembly Wednesday. Introduced by leading legislative medical marijuana defender Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), and cosponsored by Assemblymembers Patty Berg (D-Eureka), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego), the bill, AB 2279, would overturn a January California Supreme Court decision, Ross v. Raging Wire.

In that case, the state Supreme Court upheld the ability of employers to fire employees who test positive for marijuana even if they are patients. That decision left the state's estimated 150,000 registered medical marijuana patients facing renewed job insecurity.

AB 2279 would undo that ruling. It would "declare it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person, if the discrimination is based upon the person's status as a qualified patient or primary caregiver, or a positive drug test for marijuana, except as specified."

The bill also provides authorization for those who have been discriminated against by employers because of their medical marijuana use to sue for damages, seek injunctions and other appropriate relief. It would not prevent an employer from firing an employee who is impaired on the job because of medical marijuana use.

"AB 2279 is not about being under the influence while at work. That's against the law, and will remain so," said Leno, the bill's author. "It's about allowing patients who are able to work safely and who use their doctor-recommended medication in the privacy of their own homes, to not be arbitrarily fired from their jobs. The voters who supported Proposition 215 did not intend for medical marijuana patients to be forced into unemployment in order to benefit from their medicine," Leno continued.

"The California Assembly has acted to protect the right of patients to work and be productive members of society," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access, the medical marijuana advocacy group that argued the case before the Court and is now a supporter of the bill. "The state Senate now has the important task of passing this bill with the aim to protect the jobs of thousands of Californians with serious illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS."

"It's important that we not allow employment discrimination in California," said Gary Ross, the former plaintiff in Ross v. Raging Wire. "If the Court is going to ignore the need for protection, then it's up to the legislature to ensure that productive workers like me are free from discrimination."

The bill has broad support from labor, business, civil rights, and medical groups. It now heads to the state Senate.

Press Release: California Assembly Votes to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients' Right to Work

[Courtesy of Americans for Safe Access] For Immediate Release: May 28, 2008 Americans for Safe Access Contact: ASA Media Liaison Kris Hermes (510) 681-6361 California Assembly Votes to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients' Right to Work Anti-discrimination bill AB2279 passes State Assembly Today Sacramento, CA -- A medical marijuana employment rights bill, which would protect hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients in California from employment discrimination, passed the State Assembly today. AB2279, introduced in February by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Assemblymembers Patty Berg (D-Eureka), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego), would reverse a January California Supreme Court decision in the case Ross v. RagingWire. Support for the bill has been widespread, coming from labor, business, and health groups at the local and national level. "The California Assembly has acted to protect the right of patients to work and be productive members of society," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access, the medical marijuana advocacy group that argued the case before the Court and is now a sponsor of the bill. "The State Senate now has the important task of passing this bill with the aim to protect the jobs of thousands of Californians with serious illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS." The bill leaves intact existing state law prohibiting medical marijuana consumption at the workplace or during working hours and protects employers from liability by carving out an exception for safety-sensitive positions. "AB2279 is not about being under the influence while at work. That's against the law, and will remain so," said Mr. Leno, the bill's author. "It's about allowing patients who are able to work safely and who use their doctor-recommended medication in the privacy of their own home, to not be arbitrarily fired from their jobs," continued Mr. Leno. "The voters who supported Proposition 215 did not intend for medical marijuana patients to be forced into unemployment in order to benefit from their medicine." On January 24, in a 5-2 decision, the California Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling that an employer may fire someone solely because they use medical marijuana outside the workplace. The plaintiff in the case, Gary Ross, is a 46-year old disabled veteran who was a systems engineer living Carmichael, California, when he was fired from his job in 2001 at RagingWire Telecommunications for testing positive for marijuana. "It's important that we not allow employment discrimination in California," said former plaintiff Gary Ross. "If the Court is going to ignore the need for protection, then it's up to the legislature to ensure that productive workers like me are free from discrimination." The decision in Ross v. RagingWire dealt a harsh blow to patients in the courts, shifting the debate to the state legislature. But, before the court made its final decision, Ross enjoyed the support of ten state and national medical organizations, all of the original co-authors of the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420), and disability rights groups. Since it began recording instances of employment discrimination in 2005, ASA has received hundreds of such reports from all across California. Further information: Employment rights legislation AB2279: http://www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/AB2279.pdf ASA page on AB2279, including Fact Sheet and Letters of Support: http://www.americansforsafeaccessnow.org/AB2279 Legal briefs and rulings in the Ross v. RagingWire case: http://www.americansforsafeaccessnow.org/Ross
Location: 
Sacramento, CA
United States

Corrections: Law prevents proposed restriction on offender use of medical marijuana

Location: 
MT
United States
Publication/Source: 
Montana Department of Corrections (MT)
URL: 
http://www.cor.state.mt.us/News/NewsReleases/Archives/Medical%20Marijuana.pdf

Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 23, 2008

Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Ohio
Bill Is Similar to Michigan Initiative Expected to Pass Handily

CONTACT: Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications ............... 415-668-6403 or 202-215-4205

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Sen. Tom Roberts (D-Trotwood) introduced legislation today that would make Ohio the 13th state to permit medical use of marijuana by seriously ill patients without fear of arrest. The measure, S.B. 343, comes in the wake of growing support for medical marijuana nationwide and is similar to a Michigan ballot initiative that is heavily favored to pass in November.

Twelve states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington -- currently have medical marijuana laws. Similar measures are under consideration in several other states, including Illinois and New York.

"This bill is strikingly similar to the Michigan medical marijuana initiative, which polling shows to be leading by a wide margin," said Ray Warren, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "We're seeing a real groundswell of support for medical marijuana legislation in the Midwest, both among the public and within the medical community. There's no longer any doubt that marijuana can help some patients who suffer terribly, and voters in places like Michigan, Ohio and Illinois don't want their tax dollars spent arresting seriously ill patients who are simply trying to get some relief."

In Michigan, the only independent poll published so far -- conducted in mid-March by the Marketing Resource Group for Inside Michigan Politics -- showed the measure leading by a 67 percent to 28 percent margin, with only 5 percent undecided or declining to answer. In Illinois, where a medical marijuana bill is now moving through the legislature, a Mason-Dixon poll showed 68 percent in favor and 27 percent opposed.

Like the Michigan proposal, Sen. Roberts' bill would protect patients from arrest and jail if they have been diagnosed with one of a defined list of medical conditions and their doctor has recommended the use of marijuana. Patients would have to register with the state and receive an ID card, and would be limited in the amount of marijuana they could legally possess.

The last year has seen a series of statements in support of medical marijuana from a variety of medical organizations, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the 124,000-member American College of Physicians, which in February declared, "ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws."

With more than 23,000 members and 180,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.

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Location: 
Columbus, OH
United States

Bill to Protect Prop. 215 Passes Assembly Appropriations Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 22, 2008

Bill to Protect Prop. 215 Passes Assembly Appropriations Committee
AB 2743 Would End the Use of California Resources in Federal Medical Marijuana Raids, Now Heads to Assembly Floor

CONTACT: Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications ............... 415-668-6403 or 202-215-4205

SACRAMENTO -- In what advocates hailed as an important step toward protecting California law, the Assembly Appropriations Committee passed AB 2743 by a vote of 9-7 today. The measure, authored by Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego), would protect the integrity of California's medical marijuana law by making it the policy of state and local law enforcement agencies not to cooperate with the Drug Enforcement Administration or other federal agencies in raids on state-legal medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

DEA raids on medical marijuana patients and providers who are allowed to cultivate and possess marijuana under California law have been assisted - and in some cases requested - by local law enforcement agencies in communities around the state, including Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Mateo, San Diego and many others.

Jon Palmer, who uses medical marijuana to ease the agony caused by a rare blood disorder, lost his safe source of medicine when Kern County sheriff's deputies assisted the DEA in arresting the operators of Nature's Medicinal in Bakersfield. "Faced with the prospect of having to immediately double my morphine dosage and take to the streets to find my medicine, I was devastated," Palmer said. "The most outrageous part of the ordeal is that local officials used state and local tax dollars to arrest these individuals who were in full compliance with state and local laws."

"This bill is about maintaining the integrity of California law," said Aaron Smith, California state organizer for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Our medical marijuana law enjoys the support of three out of four Californians, yet in too many cases federal officials have intruded into our state affairs and raided patients and caregivers. Due to these federal prosecutions, sick, elderly and disabled Californians who almost certainly would have been found innocent in a state court are in federal prison right now. At a time when state and local governments are in fiscal crisis, California tax dollars shouldn't be used to undermine our own laws."

With more than 23,000 members and 180,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.

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Location: 
Sacramento, CA
United States

Feature: Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse -- Stalled in St. Paul, Progress in Providence, Coming Out in Columbus

State legislatures are once again proving a formidable hurdle for the medical marijuana movement. In the last two weeks, legislation died for lack of action in the Minnesota Senate, and while the Rhode Island Senate passed a dispensary bill, it is unclear whether it will make it to the House floor. But hope springs eternal, as evidenced this week in Ohio, where the first medical marijuana bill in years was introduced.

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Rhode Island Senate chamber
In Minnesota, a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana in the state, SF 345, died this week because of inaction on the House floor. The bill had passed the state Senate last year, the first year of the state's biannual legislative session, and passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee on a 13-4 vote earlier this month.

But it never got to a floor vote in the House before the session ran out. Supporters blamed the House leadership and the opposition of some sectors of law enforcement, which could not be pleased no matter how many changes to the bill -- 19 -- supporters made to assuage their fears. The bill also faced a likely veto from Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

"We're disappointed that the Minnesota legislature failed to enact a medical marijuana bill this year," said Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, the parent group for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, which led the lobbying fight to pass the bill. "But we've seen in other states that the legislative process often takes several years, and we picked up incredible support this year, including the endorsements of the state's two largest newspapers. The dozens of brave patients who came forward to tell their stories in recent months aren't giving up, and neither are we."

Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, the state Senate approved legislation May 15 that would create "compassion centers" or dispensaries where patients enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program could legally obtain their medicine. Under the bill, S. 2693,the dispensaries could legally grow and sell marijuana to the 359 patients in the state medical marijuana registry. The dispensaries would be regulated by the state Department of Health.

The legislation would create licensed marijuana dispensaries, or "compassion centers," that would legally grow and sell the drug at affordable prices to the 359 patients in the state's program. The centers would be regulated by the state Health Department.

But despite strong popular support and a 29-6 vote in the Senate, the bill is not expected to get through the House this year, the Providence Journal reported. It cited opposition in the House.

"I would really have to have a sock over my head if I didn't know that," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Rhoda E. Perry (D-Providence). "What I think is important is to show movement," Perry said of the Senate vote. "I think getting it out of a chamber is movement. It's showing that there is a level of understanding and a level of acceptance," she told the Journal.

How patients would get their medicine was "the unasked question" when the state's medical marijuana law was passed, House Majority Leader Gordon Fox told the Journal. "Do you send someone that may be suffering from cancer or whatnot out into the streets to procure it? I don't know if that's necessarily a good solution. I think the natural extension of that is that we provide some sort of safe place to obtain it for those who are legally authorized."

But Fox declined to support the bill just yet. "I'm not saying that the leadership's going to support it," he said. "I'd like to read the bill. I haven't looked at what the bill does."

While the Journal has pronounced the bill dead, that's a bit premature, said Jesse Stout, spokesman for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC). "The House leadership hasn't said they're not going to vote on it, so we're working with them to try to schedule it," he said. "We still have another month left in the session."

Stout was confident the measure would pass if it got to a floor vote. "We have a lot of rank and file support from House members who favor this common sense expansion of the law, and we have a new poll that shows popular support for this measure at 69%. We have lots of support, so this is by no means over," he said.

While the legislative process has been long and torturous in Minnesota and Rhode Island, it is just getting underway in Ohio. On Wednesday, state Sen. Tom Roberts (D-Trotwood) announced details of his proposed Ohio Medical Compassion Act during a press conference at the state capitol in Columbus. Under Roberts' bill, the state Health and Agriculture Departments would be authorized to set up an advisory board to:

  • Consider granting medicinal use of cannabis in cases of debilitated medical conditions.
  • Consider applications for and renewals of registry identification cards for qualified patients and primary caregivers.
  • Provide recommendations for the safe use and efficient growing of medicinal cannabis.

"Our laws should reflect the latest in medical research, which has shown that medical cannabis has a variety of benefits for treating pain, nausea and other symptoms related to a wide range of disease," Roberts said in a prepared statement. "In an era of scientific breakthroughs and medical advances, patients should not be put in the position of choosing between living a normal life and living a healthy life," Roberts said.

"We took what we thought was the best of other medical marijuana laws and created this bill," said Tonya Davis, director of advocacy for the Ohio Patient Network. Davis, a chronic pain sufferer who is unable to walk, was optimistic about the bill's prospects. "This time around we have a cosponsor and more support in the Senate than ever before," she said.

For Davis, access to medical marijuana is a quality of life issue. With medical marijuana, she can reduce her reliance on other medications, she told the Wednesday press conference. "I require medical marijuana to maintain a lifestyle with dignity," Davis said.

The Ohio bill will likely face the same long and twisting legislative path that medical marijuana has followed in any number of statehouses. Whether it becomes law this year seems unlikely, but experience has shown that getting bills through is typically a multi-year process.

And that's something to remember in Minnesota and Rhode Island, too, not to mention other states, such as Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, where bills are active this year, said MPP's Mirken. "I understand the frustration, but we've seen before that it typically takes several years to get medical marijuana passed. Elected officials by and large still think medical marijuana is more controversial than it is. It's never easy," he said.

Still, said Mirken, time and the angels are on the side of the movement. "There is no question the historical tide is with us. It's just that sometimes it moves more slowly than we would like."

Feature: New Mexico's Medical Marijuana Law Is Working, But There Is a Hang-Up Over Production and Distribution

After an exhausting seven-year struggle, New Mexico joined the ranks of the medical marijuana states last year. As of July 1, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program will be a year old, but while parts of the program are well underway -- patients are registering and obtaining ID cards -- the state law's innovative system of state-licensed production and distribution of medical marijuana is stalled in the regulatory process, with no end in sight anytime soon.

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New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signing a bill into law
Under the New Mexico law, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, patients suffering from a narrowly circumscribed set of illnesses -- cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spinal cord damage with intractable plasticity, and HIV/AIDS -- can, with a doctor's recommendation and upon registration with the program, legally possess and use up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants, and three seedlings. The law also calls for a medical advisory board to determine whether other conditions should be added to the list.

Some 147 patients have registered with the state as of Wednesday, said Melissa Milam, head of the Medical Cannabis Program. "We're the little program that could," she said. "We just keep plugging along."

"The patients are really excited to get their ID cards and have some legal protections," agreed Reena Szczepanski, head for the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico office, who has been intimately involved in the passage and implementation of the law. "The Department of Health and the Medical Cannabis Program are doing a great job of working with the patients, and it's been very thoughtfully implemented in terms of registration and the medical advisory board," she said.

But the law also provides for designated caregivers to be able to grow for patients and for a system of state licensing of production and distribution. Although the law called for the Department of Health to promulgate regulations for production and distribution by last October 1, that hasn't happened yet. As a result, the provisions for caregivers and licensed production and distribution have not gone into effect. That means patients must either grow their own medicine or procure it on the black market.

The Department of Health finally promulgated draft regulations in December and held a public hearing on them on January 14. Those draft rules provided for "five different kinds of licensed producers: a qualified patient, a caregiver, an association of persons, a private entity, or a state owned and/or operated facility."

Based on the input it got in the hearing process, the department has been crafting a revised draft of the regulations ever since. "We're still working on that rule," said Deb Busemeyer, spokesperson for the Department of Health. "We held a public hearing and received written and oral comments, and we made some revisions, and it looks like we'll probably hold another public hearing to let people comment on our revisions."

Busemeyer was vague on a timeline, offering only that she expects a hearing "some time this year" and resolutely declining to predict when the regulations on production and distribution would actually be implemented.

But he department is committed to crafting the production and distribution regulations, Busemeyer said. "The governor was really clear -- this is an important program, and he wants us to figure out how to implement the law. We've been working on hard on this, we believe in this program, we're not dropping it by any means, but we want a good strong law with the right kind of rules, so we're taking our time," she said.

Still, Busemeyer conceded that the delay was hard on patients. "They still have to get it the same way patients do in those other medical marijuana states," she said.

"The biggest source of dissatisfaction among patients is where do you get it?" said Szczepanski. "It's the same situation as in so many other medical marijuana states. That's why the legislature was keen on the state-licensed distribution system; the intention was that New Mexico would be different."

It may well turn out to be different, but the question is when. "I'm concerned that we don't have a date for when the rest of the regulations are coming out," said Szczepanski. "I don't have any reason to believe they won't implement it, but I'd like to know the time frame."

Although Szczepanski bemoaned delays in drafting the regulations, she said she is glad the department is holding another public hearing. "My understanding is that they are working on significant changes to the regs, and we are pleased to have a formal opportunity to have input," she said. "If there are drastic changes from the first draft, it's better to have another hearing."

While each of the five sorts of licensed producers and distributors envisioned in the first draft of the regulations has its advantages, there is a strong argument to be made for including a state-owned or -operated component, said Szczepanski. "We are a largely rural state and we have to be concerned about equality of access," she noted. "New Mexico has public health offices scattered around the state, and we have a Department of Agriculture at our state university that knows how to grow things. The possible downside to a single supplier is that if it's producing poor quality medicine or not delivering a range of products, what do you do?"

The best solution would be to have a mix of licensees as envisioned in the first draft regulations, Szczepanski agued. "Having a variety of options is important for patients. If you're in a small town with a public health office and only using for a short time, that might work for you. But if you live in Albuquerque and have a chronic condition with specific health needs, you might want other options. We have to do what's best for the patients," she said.

While Szczepanski chafed at the delays, she saw no sinister forces at work. "The feds pushed back against us when we were in the legislature, but I haven't heard any rumblings at all about any pressure from Washington," she said. "Our local opponents have also been very quiet. There's nothing for them to glom onto to; there have been no scandals or abuses or outrages. The program is working and the patients have their cards and are protected," she said.

But they still need help growing their medicine while the Department of Health ponders the regulations. The department could take interim steps to ease their plight, said Szczepanski. "If the department is going to wait much longer to produce the production and distribution regulations, they need to start certifying caregivers immediately," she said. "The department says it doesn't have the authority to do that until the regs are published, and we're not looking for hasty action, but the caregiver regulations could be done now. There are already applications pending."

Minnesota medical marijuana bill dies one step from governor

[Courtesy of Marijuana Policy Project] 

Dear friends:

Although we made unprecedented progress this year, yesterday the Minnesota House of Representatives adjourned for the year without bringing MPP's medical marijuana bill up for a vote.

The bill had passed the Senate at the beginning of Minnesota's biennial session and was endorsed by the Minnesota Nurses Association, the Minnesota Public Health Association, the Minnesota AIDS Project, the Minnesota Senior Federation, and hundreds of doctors and thousands of nurses who signed statements of support. Recent polling showed more than 2-to-1 support among Minnesotans.

However, a small but vocal group of law enforcement officials spread mistruths, exaggerations, and outright lies about the bill in an attempt to kill it — such as claiming that medical marijuana lacks support from the medical community and that medical marijuana laws increase teen use. We fought back hard, blanketing the airwaves with these TV ads, generating thousands of phone calls from constituents to their state representatives, and releasing a series of Web videos documenting our opponents' lies. But in the end, the opposition's false claims swayed legislators enough to keep us from getting the vote.

However, the battle to protect Minnesota patients is far from over. The work we've done this year leaves us in a stronger position than ever: Prior to this session, no medical marijuana bill had passed a single House committee, while our bill passed out of five this time around. And polling clearly indicates that our public-relations and grassroots-organizing efforts have increased Minnesota voters' support for medical marijuana.

Despite the failure of the House to bring this popular bill up for a vote on the floor, the momentum is on our side in Minnesota, and we'll be back to finish the job next session.

Sincerely,
Kampia signature (e-mail sized)

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $3.0 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2008. This means that your donation today will be doubled.

Location: 
MN
United States

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