Pubdate: Fri, 07 Nov 2008
Source: Joplin Globe, The (MO)
Copyright: 2008 The Joplin Globe
Author: Kelly Maddy
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Despite shameful scare tactics and outright lies by opponents,
Massachusetts and Michigan voters sent a signal to the new
administration on Tuesday that it's  time for this country to take a
hard look at our current marijuana policies.

Massachusetts voters approved a marijuana decriminalization
initiative by a 65 percent to 35  percent margin, Michigan voters
enacted the nation's  13th medical marijuana law by a 63 percent to 37
 percent margin, and at least nine local reform measures were
approved by voters in communities across the county, including Hawaii
and Arkansas .

In Massachusetts, criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or
less of marijuana will be replaced by a fine of $100, similar to a
speeding ticket.

In Michigan, patients with serious diseases like HIV/AIDS, cancer,
and multiple sclerosis will no longer  have to fear arrest if they use
marijuana pursuant to the recommendation of a doctor and have a
state-issued  I.D. card. One in four Americans now live in a state 
with such protections.

President-elect Barack Obama has said he would end federal raids on
patients and caregivers obeying state  medical marijuana laws.

Missouri legislators should take note and pass a medical marijuana
law next session.

Kelly Maddy, president, Joplin NORML

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