Medical Marijuana Advocates Launch New Election-Based Website
October 24, 2012
The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) launched a new website today -- VoteMedicalMarijuana.org -- that provides patients and their supporters with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the candidates in their districts. The new website will give visitors a pass/fail "grade" for how their Member of Congress has voted on medical marijuana since 1997.For example, the website details the 72 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans who voted in favor of de-funding Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids in medical marijuana states this past May.
"Given that our elected officials decide whether and how to develop medical marijuana policy that affects millions of patients in the U.S., it's important for them to have the tools necessary to make decisions that will impact their future," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of ASA, the country's leading medical marijuana group. "The choices made by patients and their supporters at the ballot box should take into consideration the candidates' record on medical marijuana."
Ultimately, advocates argue, it's Congress that funds the aggressive federal enforcement campaigns against state law-abiding medical cannabis facilities, and it's Congress that has the power to grant patients a "medical necessity" defense in federal criminal trials, a right they are not currently afforded. VoteMedicalMarijuana.org also identifies key champions of medical marijuana with an "honor roll" distinction, reserved for co-sponsors of important legislation that protects state medical marijuana laws or seeks to develop a comprehensive federal policy.