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Chill the FuckOut!
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Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 27,301
Loc: mndfreeze's puppet army
Urgent Action
    #1734588 - 07/21/03 12:35 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

***Congress To Vote This Week on Protecting Medical Marijuana Patients
from Arrest***

***Will Also Vote on Cutting Drug War Aid to Colombia and Spending
Money on AIDS
Prevention Instead***


Congress will be voting on two amendments this week in support of
freedom and human rights.

As early as Tuesday, the House of Representatives will vote on an
amendment to the 2004 Foreign Aid bill that would cut drug war aid to
Colombia and spend the money on global AIDS/HIV prevention programs instead.
U.S. anti-drug aid to Colombia is fueling a civil war, pushing
thousands of families into poverty, destroying the environment, and submerging
America deeper into the military quagmire. The last vote in the House
to cut Colombia military aid lost by only seven votes -- we are very
close! But we need your help today.

As early as Wednesday, the House will also be voting on an amendment to
the Justice-Commerce-State appropriations bill that would prevent the
DEA from undermining state medical marijuana laws. If approved, it will
put an end to the DEA arresting medical marijuana patients and their
care-givers in states that have approved marijuana for medical use.
Thousands of AIDS, cancer and other patients are being threatened by the
federal government. We need your immediate help to protect them.

PLEASE act now!


To reach your representative by phone, call the US Capitol Switchboard
at 202-224-3121, or call your representative's office directly by
looking up the phone number on

To find your representative's fax number so that you can fax them a
letter, see http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=693&l=2841 .
If you don't know who your representative is, see:

** Tell your Representative:
--I'm calling to urge my representative to support the
Hinchey/Rohrabacher (pronounced HINCH-E/ROY-BOCKER) amendment to the
Justice-Commerce-State appropriation bill. This amendment protects states' rights and
medical privacy by preventing the federal government from undermining
state medical marijuana laws. I'm a federal taxpayer and I'm upset that my
money is being used to arrest AIDS and cancer patients.

--I also want my representative to support the McGovern-Skelton
amendment to the 2004 foreign aid bill, which would reduce military aid to
Colombia and transfer it into programs to combat AIDS. *** If you respond
to this message after Tuesday it may be too late - Congress is set to
vote on this Amendment on Tuesday. If you're unsure whether you are too
late just ask the person you talk to in your representative's office.


Background on medical marijuana, DEA raids, and the Hinchey/Rohrabacher

National polls show that over 70% of voters support allowing doctors to
prescribe medical marijuana, including substantial majorities of
Republicans, Democrats, and independents. As many as two-thirds of voters say
they prefer candidates that support medical marijuana over those that
don't. Since 1996, ten states have enacted medical marijuana laws that
confer various state legal protections on persons whom use medical
marijuana. Most of the laws have been enacted by the voters. Over the last
couple of years, however, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration
has ignored the will of the voters in these states and increasingly
engaged in controversial raids on medical marijuana patients and their

Earlier this year the California legislature passed a resolution urging
Congress to pass federal legislation securing a state's right to
regulate medical marijuana, allowing individual patients to possess and
consume medical marijuana, and allowing individuals deputized by states and
localities to cultivate and distribute medical marijuana appropriately.

With the help of Drug Policy Alliance the city and county of Santa
Cruz, California, has even taken the extraordinary step of suing the
federal government arguing that the federal government does not have the
constitutional authority to interfere with state efforts to give terminally
ill and chronic pain patients access to physician-recommended medical
marijuana that is cultivated by the patients and their caregivers.

Responding to increased tension between state and federal officials,
Rep. Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Rohrabacher (R-CA) will offer an amendment
to the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill that would prevent the
DEA from spending tax dollars to undermine state medical marijuana
laws. The amendment would not prevent the DEA from arresting people using,
growing, or selling marijuana for recreational use. Nor would it
prevent the DEA from arresting patients for medical marijuana in states that
have not approved it. It would simply put a stop to the DEA arresting
medical marijuana patients and their care-givers in states that have
approved marijuana for medical use.

It will be the first Congressional vote on the controversial raids, and
as a result will force Representatives, many of them from states that
have enacted medical marijuana, to take a stand on the issue.

Numerous scientific studies have found that marijuana can have medical
benefits for AIDS, cancer and other patients. A 1999 Institute of
Medicine study funded by the federal government found that nausea, appetite
loss, pain and anxiety "all can be mitigated by marijuana."

Allowing patients legal access to medical marijuana has been endorsed
by numerous organizations, including the AIDS Action Council, American
Bar Association, American Public Health Association, American Nurses
Association, National Association of Attorneys General, and California
Medical Association. Many countries around the world are legalizing
marijuana for medical use, including England and Canada.

Background on the Foreign Aid Bill, Colombia Military Aid & HIV/AIDS
Taken from an action alert by the Latin America Working Group.

The 2004 foreign aid bill contains almost $600 million in aid to
Colombia, the vast majority of which is military and police aid. Since last
year, military aid to Colombia can be used for both counter-drug
efforts - mostly the aerial fumigation of drug crops - and
counter-terrorism/counterinsurgency. Since 2000, the United States has given over $2.5
billion to Colombia.

Fumigation is not an effective drug policy. When we spray the fields
of small farmers with herbicide and then don't give them resources to
grow alternative crops, farming families are forced to move and plant
coca again. Coca cultivation in the Andes has actually increased since we
began massively fumigating in 2000 - and families have lost their food
crops and livelihoods in the spraying. Fumigation hurts people in
Colombia, and it doesn't help stop drug abuse in the United States.

Military aid is also fueling civil conflict. By sending counter-drug
and now counter-terrorism aid directly to the Colombian military, we are
providing finance for a conflict that takes thousands of civilian lives
every year. The Colombian military has documented ties to brutal
paramilitary groups who are on the US terrorist list and regularly massacre
civilians. It makes no sense to send anti-terrorism aid to a military
that collaborates with a terrorist group. The billions of dollars
flowing to the Colombian military has not made Colombia safer: in 2000, 14
people a day died violently in Colombia, and that figure has now grown
to 19 a day, as brutal guerrilla groups and paramilitary forces
continue to attack civilians.

This U.S. aid could instead be used for global health. Funding for
HIV/AIDS prevention is badly needed. Some 42 million people live with
HIV/AIDS. During 2002, 3.1 million people died of AIDS and an additional
five million were infected. In his State of the Union message, President
Bush committed the United States to spend $15 billion over the next
five years--an average of $3 billion per year--on global HIV/AIDS
prevention and treatment. Yet his budget for this year requested only $2
billion. This transfer is only one part of the additional funds needed for
HIV/AIDS--but it is certainly money better spent.

The votes to end U.S. ffunding of the violence and destruction in
Colombia get closer each year. Because the foreign aid bill must be debated
and passed each year, there have been a number of amendments to the
bill since 2000 that would have reduced military aid to Colombia - and the
votes have gotten closer each time. The most recent vote on Colombia
was offered this April, when President Bush included $105 million in
additional military aid for Colombia in the Iraq war supplemental bill.
That amendment, which would have cut out most of the Colombia aid, lost
by only 7 votes. To see how your representative voted on the
amendment, see
http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=693&l=2843. If they are
in the "aye" category, they supported cutting military aid to Colombia.
If they voted well, thank them when you call!


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire

Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 14 years, 6 months
Re: Urgent Action [Re: silversoul7]
    #1735133 - 07/21/03 03:54 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

Those are both great issues that I think most people on these boards would support.  Thanks silversoul!  :thumbup:

To make it even easier for people, NORML already has a web site set up for the medicinal marijuana issue where you can just enter your name and address and everything else is taken care of for you.  Go to:

Take Action

Also, for reducing military aid to Columbia, the Latin America Working Group that you referenced has written a good sample letter for Congress which they encourage you to use.

Stop Military Aid to Columbia 


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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