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Dec-09-2009 16:06printcomments

Congress Close to Ending Ban on Medical Marijuana in Washington, D.C.

Advocates noted that the welcome repeal will come too late to help Jonathan Magbie, a D.C. quadriplegic man who died in prison in 2004 from lack of medical care after being convicted for using marijuana to treat his pain.

Marijuana leaf
Salem-News.com

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - In a historic move, Congress is now poised to end the decade long ban on Washington, D.C. implementing the medical marijuana law District voters passed in 1998 with a 69 percent majority.

Known as the Barr amendment, the provision – a rider attached to appropriations for the District -- has forbidden D.C. from extending legal protection to qualified medical marijuana patients and has been derided by advocates for years as an unconscionable intrusion by the federal government into the District's affairs.

The omnibus spending bill that Democratic leaders will shortly be bringing to a vote in the House later this week removes this onerous provision. Once both chambers approve this final language and the president signs it, the Barr amendment will no longer block medical marijuana in D.C.

"The end of the Barr amendment is now in sight,” said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington.

“This represents a huge victory not just for medical marijuana patients, but for all city residents who have every right to set their own policies in their own District without congressional meddling. D.C. residents overwhelmingly made the sensible, compassionate decision to pass a medical marijuana law, and now, more than 10 years later, suffering Washingtonians may finally be allowed to focus on treating their pain without fearing arrest."

Advocates noted that the welcome repeal will come too late to help Jonathan Magbie, a D.C. quadriplegic man who died in prison in 2004 from lack of medical care after being convicted for using marijuana to treat his pain.

"Jonathan Magbie would be alive today if the District been able to implement its medical marijuana law when it passed in 1998,” Houston said. "Perhaps now nobody in the District will ever have to suffer as he and his family did simply for using the medicine that works best for them."

Recently, the American Medical Association called on the federal government to reconsider marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug, which bars medical use.


Source: the Marijuana Policy Project, the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States.




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stephen December 9, 2009 9:14 pm (Pacific time)

just take two prozac and call your representatives in the morning. :-) Press 1 for english, press 2 if you know that your phone call is useless. :-) Press 3 if you have campaign donations, we will approve anything for the right price. Press 4 if you know that most of us are just money whores, so we can put you on the no-fly list. Thank you, and call again. Seriously tho, come on! Marijuana illegal? Does not ANYONE look at the history of why it is illegal? I dont indulge myself, but its the friggin point here. I thought we were moving on into the 21st century, apparently not. And now, with the scare tactic, yet again, that if we dont pay the government, the oceans are going to devour us!! Dear Lord, this is not evolution, it is de-evolution.

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