MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVES: If you read our Wednesday alert, then you know the news -- Washington, DC's medical marijuana initiative, I-59, voted on more than 10 1/2 months ago, but whose result was concealed, has been released! A federal judge ruled the Barr amendment unconstitutional, and ordered the District's election officials to count and certify the vote, an order with which they happily complied. As predicted by an exit poll, DC voters favored medical availability of marijuana by 69%.
However, though Congress could not constitutionally block a democratically held election, they still have the power to overturn any law passed in the District of Columbia, even a law passed directly by the voters, if they take action within 30 working days. And Barr and his fellow hard-liners intend to do just that, and only YOU can stop them! If you haven't already visited our medical marijuana action site, please go to http://www.drcnet.org/medmjaction/ to send an e-mail or fax to your elected Representative and your two Senators, and if you have the motivation, to find out their phone numbers, fax numbers or addresses to contact them in those ways to make an even greater impact. Members of Congress don't want to appear "soft on drugs," and tend to vote against even medical marijuana because of that; but many of them are hesitant to directly oppose the will of the voters, so we have a chance. But only if you speak up, so please visit http://www.drcnet.org/medmjaction/ today!
Last but not least on that subject, please use our "tell-a-friend" form on that web site, or forward our alert by e-mail, to get the word out about this important vote. Not only will you be helping to save DC's new medical marijuana law, you will also be letting people know about DRCNet and growing our list (at about 11,400 right now) and strengthening us for future battles!
In other related news, Colorado's medical marijuana initiative, which the state's election commission had erroneously claimed had insufficient signatures to qualify, has now been declared qualified, and is set to appear on the November 2000 ballot. AND, Maine's medical marijuana initiative is coming to a vote on November 2, and polls show support ranging form 68-70 percent!
The one downside in Maine is that the Maine Medical Association has voted to oppose the initiative, though not to actively campaign against it. New reports indicate, however, that their vote may have been influenced by misinformation. The resolution, introduced by Dr. John Garofalo, chairman of the association's public health committee, claims there isn't evidence of marijuana's medical benefit, and that marijuana is a "gateway" drug to heroin and cocaine. But Garofalo's claims are at odds with the findings of the recent Institute of Medicine report, which found that there is evidence supporting medical use of marijuana, and that there isn't evidence of a gateway effect! Read the Institute of Medicine report online at http://www.iom.edu.