Medical Marijuana Patients and Activists Ask California Senators for Help

October 16, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO – A coalition of medical marijuana patients, doctors and supporters have today launched a statewide ad campaign aimed at California’s two senators. Americans for Safe Access is asking Senators Boxer and Feinstein to add their names to new federal legislation that would allow a medical defense in some federal marijuana trials.
 
The fullpage ads appear beginning today in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly,  LA Weekly, Sacramento News and Review, the San Diego Reader and the Santa Barbara Independent.
 
The ads ask California voters to contact their senators about co-sponsoring the Senate version of the Truth in Trials Act (HR 1717), a bi-partisan bill introduced in the House by California’s Dana Rohrabacher (R) and Sam Farr (D) as a result of the jury revolt in the Ed Rosenthal case. A majority of that jury repudiated their guilty verdict after learning that Mr. Rosenthal had been cultivating marijuana for patients with the blessing of local authorities.
 
Thanks to Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision, doctors may now speak freely to their patients about using marijuana medicinally, but the drug remains illegal for any use under federal law. As a result, neither patients nor their providers may use medical evidence in their defense, should federal authorities charge them.
The Truth in Trials Act attempts to fix that. It would allow federal defendants in states that allow medical use to present evidence showing they were in compliance with state law.
 
Media interested in a photo op with patients presenting petitions and blow-ups of the new ads to Senator Boxers’ office tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. should contact Steph Sherer at (510) 872-7822 to make arrangements.
 
A national coalition of patients, doctors and advocates with 5,500 members nationwide, Americans for Safe Access is the leading organization for medical marijuana.
 
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