If you've been reading Drug War Chronicle for awhile or otherwise following the issue, you probably remember that last summer the United States House of Representatives held an important vote on medical marijuana: An amendment sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), cosponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), would have forbid the US Dept. of Justice from using its resources to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. Though the Hinchey amendment was defeated, the number of members who voted for it, 152, represented a 150% increase in Congressional support for medical marijuana since the only previous House vote on the issue five years before. Rep. Hinchey is again championing his amendment this summer, and it is anticipated that a vote on it will take place sometime next month.
If you didn't receive or haven't yet acted on our medical marijuana action alert distributed last Wednesday, please take action now to help ensure maximum support for the Hinchey amendment. The truth is that there is only so much we can do here in Washington to persuade members of Congress to take a stand for the rights of medical marijuana patients. Whether you think your Rep. is likely to support the Hinchey amendment or to oppose it, it is important that your Rep. hears from constituents like you who have the power to vote stay or go in November. YOUR LETTERS AND PHONE CALLS WILL COINCIDE WITH A NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORGANIZED BY A COALITION OF ORGANIZATIONS WHICH IS TAKING PLACE AT LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE TODAY!
To take action, please do the following:
1) Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/ to write to your US Rep. in support of the Hinchey amendment. (Note that the letters available at this URL will only work for US residents and only for people for whom we have a record of their Rep.'s vote on the Hinchey amendment last fall -- it will work for the vast majority of you living in the US, but not all.)
2) Please call your Rep.'s office on the phone to follow up. You can use the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to reach the office, or to find out who your Rep. is if you don't know, or you can find the direct phone number at http://www.house.gov online. When you're done, send us an e-mail at [email protected] to let us know you've taken action and to report to us any information you receive from the staffer taking your call on your Rep.'s intentions. We will forward any such information to lobbyists working on this bill here in Washington.
3) Please use the tell-a-friend form on our action alert web site, or forward this message, to let friends and other likely medical marijuana supporters know that now is the time to take action.
Thanks for being a part of this important effort. Visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/05_12_04dayofaction.cfm for information on the Day of Action.