Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jun 2005
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Section: Opinion
Page: A8
Copyright: 2005 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Although some media reports have been unclear, two things stand out about 
Monday's Supreme Court decision on the medical marijuana case.

First, the court did not strike down any state medical marijuana laws or 
take away any of the protections these laws provide to patients. It did, 
however, leave those patients vulnerable to federal prosecution. Second, 
the court explicitly recognized that "marijuana does have valid therapeutic 
purposes," and went out of its way to note that Congress can change federal 
law to address this reality.

Congress will have the opportunity to do just that when the appropriations 
bill funding the Department of Justice reaches the House floor. The 
Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, to be proposed by a bipartisan coalition, 
would end Drug Enforcement Administration attacks on patients in states 
that permit medical use of marijuana. Its passage would be a huge step 
forward for science, common sense and compassion.

- -- Bruce Mirken, director of communications, Marijuana Policy Project, 
Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom