Pubdate: Thur, 15 Apr 1999 Source: Westchester County Weekly (CT) Copyright: 1999 New Mass. Media, Inc. Contact: One Dock Street, 5th floor Stamford, CT 06902 Fax: 203) 406-1099 Website: http://www.westchesterweekly.com/ Author: Mike Gogulski SELF-DETERMINATION FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION On March 2, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced H.R. 912 which--if enacted--would allow states to determine their own medicinal marijuana policies without federal interference. I encourage readers to ask their representatives to co-sponsor this important legislation. As you may know, voters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state have passed initiatives that permit the medical use of marijuana by seriously ill people. A similar measure in the District of Columbia is tied up in court, and another measure in Colorado passed but was prevented from taking effect because of litigation on the initiative's signature count. While patients who have their doctors' approval no longer face jail time for marijuana use in the aforementioned six states, they still face up to one year in jail on the federal level for possessing any amount of marijuana--even one marijuana cigarette. H.R. 912 would remove these federal penalties in those states where medicinal marijuana initiatives have already passed. These voters' wishes should be respected. H.R. 912 deserves to pass. Mike Gogulski Editor, The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Hamden, Conn.