Pubdate: Fri, 22 Aug 2003
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2003, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Gary Storck
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Congressman Paul Ryan was on Wisconsin Public Radio on August 13, so I
called in to ask him why he recently voted against an amendment to an
appropriations bill, which would have prohibited the use of federal funds to
subvert state laws in those states that have decided to legalize medical

The amendment's sponsors were a New York liberal Democrat, Maurice Hinchey,
and a California conservative Republican, Dana Rohrabacher, who was
President Reagan's speechwriter. During debate, Rohrabacher passionately
begged House members for their votes, citing his late mother's cancer and
saying it was "immoral to try to put people in jail" for using or dispensing
medical marijuana.

While Wisconsin's four Democratic members of Congress voted for the
amendment, Congressman Ryan joined his three state Republican colleagues in
supporting what their own very conservative party member called immoral.

On WPR, Ryan answered my question by saying he felt that legislating through
an amendment was not the right way to do it, and that the issue should be
debated as a separate bill on it's own merits. Perhaps Ryan is unaware there
is such a bill, HR 2233, the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, a
bipartisan bill that the House GOP leadership has bottled up in committee,
just as they did when the bill was introduced in prior sessions.

If Ryan really expects anyone to believe his rationale for opposing the
Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, he ought to 1) cosponsor HR 2233 and 2)
demand the House Speaker bring the bill to the floor for a hearing and a

Gary Storck

Director of Communications

Is My Medicine Legal YET?

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