My Representative Explains Why She Voted Against Hinchey-Rohrabacher

Although I'm sitting in British Columbia this month and will be in Northern California next month, I am registered to vote in South Dakota. My representative in Congress--South Dakota only has one congressperson--is Democrat Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Elected in 2004 in an extremely tight race, she has consistently voted against Hinchey-Rohrabacher, which would stop the feds from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. I emailed and telephoned her office prior to the vote urging her to vote for Hinchey. Again this year, she voted against it. Here's her reason why:
July 27, 2007 Mr. Phillip Smith XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Huron, SD 57350 Dear Phillip: Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of medical marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you. As you may be aware, on July 25th, the House of Representatives again defeated an amendment that would have prevented federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana users and providers in the states that have approved such use. I opposed the amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the scope of federal authority to make and enforce laws regarding medical marijuana. The Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice can continue to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana use in states whose laws authorize medical marijuana use. The ruling does not strike down state laws approving such use, but permits the Department of Justice to continue enforcing federal laws regarding such use. Thank you again for contacting me. I will keep your thoughts in mind as issues related to medical marijuana use are discussed in Congress. Sincerely, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Basically, Herseth Sandlin is saying that illegal (under federal law) is illegal, and she's not about to get in the way of the DEA--even if it means allowing the agency to disrupt the lives of seriously ill people (whom she never even mentions). She does not bother to say where she stands on the issue of medical marijuana, only that the feds are allowed to enforce the law. As much as I disliker her reasoning and her vote, she has something of a point: If we don't like a law, we should get rid of it, not allow it to remain on the books but with no funding to enforce it. Now, I understand the political realities that lead to efforts like Hinchey-Rohrabacher: A bill to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level will go nowhere any time in the foreseeable future, and we want to do something NOW to stop these raids. But as my Blue Dog Democrat representative and her fellow "no" voters demonstrate, Hinchey-Rohrabacher doesn't seem to be going anywhere, either. Maybe it's time to drop the Hinchey effort and retarget. Is it better to push for the currently unobtainable--a federal medical marijuana law--or try to seek interim fixes like Hinchey? I don't have a good answer. All I know is I'm getting very frustrated playing this political game. Where's my "Don't Tread On Me" flag? I'll have some more suggestions tomorrow about where we can go from here, and they don't involve begging our political leaders to do it for us. Stay tuned.
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

I need help!

Politicians are counting on their cowardly vote on Hinchley-Rorabacher going unnoticed,I intend on not letting it go unnoticed.
I have been posting stories from the Chronicle on Netscape and I am asking anyone interested to go to and vote and comment on my stories to get it on the front page where they will have the most exposure.I am posting under the name mntnman444.

borden's picture

Please help mntnman444!

This is really effective, or at least it can be. Once when mntnman444 submitted one of our stories (the incredibly unjust case of marijuana prisoner the Tyrone Brown), it got so many readers that we had to upgrade the server to handle all the traffic.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC


Hello David,thanks !
I've got one cooking right now on netscape,I need about 2 more votes to get it on the front page


Thank you Dominated4life...whoever you are :-)

Thanks Again

Thanks again everybody,it looks like at least five new members on netscape!

Major Medical Marijuana Story.

I wish to pass on to you a Story That can really be used to help push the Medical use of Marijuana.

My Story has many key points that can be used in this battle.

( 1. ) I was working an Honorable job when I broke my back. I was a Guard protecting TNT.
( 2. ) I could not walk for six months and it took seven years to walk Normal again.
( 3. ) Even with taking 500MG of Morphine a day and 60MG of Endocet I was still going through Grand Mal Seazures due to PAIN.
( 4. ) The Medical use of Marijuana is the ONLY thing that Stops the Seazures and pain blackouts.
( 5. ) My Family was thrown out of our home over the "Legal" use of Medical Marijuana.
( 6. ) I have to have Major Surgery due to Pain Pills & suffering Acute Diverticulitis.
( 7. ) Even the Police Cheif here in Town likes me according to the Moscow-Pullman Newspaper.

The link to the News Story can be found at:

Please pass this onto the Right people to help push our efforts to Stop hurting the Sick and Disabled. If we ALL work together we can get this done.

If you wish to view my Web-Site the Address is:

If you wish to call me or be on the Show my number is 509-397-3252.

Thanks for your Time,


puregenius's picture

Great points

We can certainly be encouraged by the increases in yes votes, but we lost people from last session. Patients cannot wait for Congress to come around.

We need to continue with strong rescheduling efforts. We also need to counter the DEAs efforts to force Marinol down our throats. It may be wishful thinking, but I sincerely doubt most members of Congress know how much Marinol costs. I know that Feinstein, Boxer and George Miller do because I have told them. Even if Marinol was everything the DEA and others claim it is, the price renders it ineffective.

she is an idiot

just because the Supreme Court said the DEA could enforce the law doesn't mean that it has to be enforced. All sorts of stupid laws across this country aren't enforced even though they are still on the books. There is nothing wrong with Congress telling the DEA not to waste its time with this cruel nonsense. If she can't figure that out she is too stupid to be in Congress.

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