Pubdate: Wed, 31 Oct 2001
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Author: Donald E. Murphy
Bookmark: (Walters, John)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


When Hawaii Senators Akaka and Inouye vote on the confirmation of John
Walters for drug czar, I hope they remember the will of the Hawaii
Legislature, which passed legislation to allow patients to use marijuana for
medicinal purposes.

Our founding fathers feared a strong federal government and spelled out the
federal government's responsibilities and restrictions in the Constitution.
The Tenth Amendment specifically reserved all other responsibilities to the
states. Self-determination regarding medical use of marijuana should be the
sole responsibility of each state and its citizens.

In an administration that prides itself on returning power to the states,
Walters' drug policies regarding medicinal use of marijuana would do just
the opposite and would run counter to the wishes of the voters of Hawaii and
other states.

A drug czar should work with the states, not in opposition to them. It
should not be the policy of our federal government to arrest, prosecute and
incarcerate patients whose only crime is attempting to alleviate the pain
that results from cancer and AIDS treatment.

As the primary sponsor of medical marijuana legislation in Maryland, I
commend the Hawaii legislators for voicing their support on this issue.
Don't let the nomination of the new drug czar silence them.

Delegate Donald E. Murphy, Maryland House of Delegates, Annapolis, Md.
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