Republican Drug War Amendment to Tobacco Bill Passes Senate, but Legislation Will Likely Fizzle 6/19/98

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Two weeks ago it was learned that a large chunk of the Republican-led "World War II-style" Drug War legislative package would be introduced as an amendment to the rapidly expanding tobacco bill in the senate.  (See our alert at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/6-4.html.) Last week (6/9) that amendment passed along party lines (52-46).  According to Trent Lott (R-MS), the amendment was essential to the tobacco bill's prospects in the senate.  While news reports this week seem to indicate that the on-again off-again tobacco bill was finally dead, drug policy advocates see the passage of the amendment as an important indicator.

Alexander Robinson, director of legislative affairs for the Drug Policy Foundation in Washington DC, told The Week Online, "I think that whether or not the tobacco bill makes it out of the senate, the amendment is significant in that it is the first time that the republican proposal was voted on by either house.  Its passage is a further indication that the hard-line Republican plan, as draconian as it is, will not go away.  We can be sure that we will see this legislative package rear its head again in the near future."

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Issue #46, 6/19/98 McCaffrey Calls Legalization Movement "a devious fraud" -- Senator Biden Proposes Hearings | Republican Drug War Amendment to Tobacco Bill Passes Senate, but Legislation Will Likely Fizzle | Pain Patients Protest at Capitol, Blast DEA and Medical Boards | Report on the Heroin Maintenance Conference in New York | Money Laundering Sting Sparks International Incident | Royal Canadian Mounted Police Aided in Money Laundering | Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Recommends Decriminalization | French Government Report: Marijuana Poses Less Danger Than Alcohol | District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Initiative Seeking Volunteers, Petition Deadline Coming Up | Editorial: A Marker on the Path to Sanity
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