Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jun 2005
Source: Daily News of Newburyport (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Essex County Newspapers, Inc
Author: Steven S.  Epstein


To the editor:

As an advocate for the reform of the marijuana laws, I
am disappointed with the decision of the Supreme Court holding the
intrastate activities of Angel Raich and Diane Monson to be within the
reach of federal authorities. The decision is not all bad news for
marijuana law reform.

The majority acknowledged that marijuana is an "extraordinarily
popular substance" with an "admittedly enormous demand for
recreational use." The majority also accepted marijuana's medicinal
use as bona fide. The majority opinion then suggests that marijuana
should be rescheduled so it can be used as medicine and expresses hope
  that "the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied
with these  respondents may one day be heard in the halls of
Congress." Just this past May, Barney Frank, with bi-partisan support,
reintroduced the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. Now assigned
bill number HR 2087, this  bill has gained more co-sponsors each time
around. HR 2087 proposes rescheduling marijuana under federal law so
that citizens in states that wish to legalize the medical use of
marijuana could do so without  fear of federal prosecution and states
could actually provide medical marijuana  to patients who qualify
under state law.

Last session five of Massachusetts' 10 representatives signed on as
sponsors, but John Tierney was not among them. Even though he has yet
to sign on, he has  twice voted, along with eight other members of the
Massachusetts delegation in  the House, in favor of prohibiting the
Justice Department from spending funds to  interfere with the
implementation of state medical marijuana laws. I urge your readers to
let Congressmen Tierney know you want them to support HR 2087.

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