War On Drugs Includes Fighting Medical Marijuana

October 10, 2004

Associated Press, WCVB-TV - Boston

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Bush administration's war on drugs stretches deep into Asia and Latin America -- yet one of its most crucial campaigns is being waged over medical marijuana this fall among voters in Oregon. 

At least that's the perspective of White House drug czar John Walters, who said activists seeking to ease drug laws have placed the medical marijuana proposal on the November ballot as part of a long-running quest to alter federal drug policies.

Oregon Measure 33 would dramatically expand the state's existing medical-marijuana program to create dispensaries for the drug and allow patients to possess up to a pound of marijuana. Supporters say it will allow access to pot for patients who cannot grow their own.

Walters has been campaigning in person against the measure. He said medical marijuana advocates are using the laws as a 'Trojan horse' to fully legalize the drug.

Montana also will be voting on a proposal that would make it the 10th state to legalize pot for medical purposes, and Alaskans will consider a measure that would make it the first state to decriminalize marijuana altogether.

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