Bush Administration Medical Marijuana Policy Not Compassionate

BERKELEY, CA – A summary judgment last week stated that California medical marijuana dispensaries have no Federal constitutional right to distribute the drug to seriously ill people. The decision is the latest in an accelerating crack down by the Bush Administration on state-approved marijuana cooperatives in California and other states. US District Judge Charles Breyer granted the government’s motion for a summary judgment and defendants have until May 24, 2002 to respond. Judge Breyer will make a final ruling on June 7th, 2002 on the case. Tired of living in terror of the Bush Administration, grassroots activists across the country are looking for new ways to help patients, even if that means pushing distribution networks underground, while others will focus on civil disobedience at Drug Enforcement Administration or other Federal offices throughout the country. “The Bush administration is trampling democratically implemented state laws and turning seriously ill people in these states into criminals,” says Steph Sherer, Executive Director of the Americans for Safe Access. “The government’s rigid approach is out of step with the public that has overwhelmingly supported reform of the nation’s drug laws to help ease the suffering of the seriously ill. We will aggressively defend medical marijuana dispensaries and the patients they serve from Bush administration attacks through legislative strategies, media campaigns, and non-violent direct action in communities all across the nation,” adds Sherer. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) encourages editorial writers to urge President Bush to not take away safe access to medicine for seriously ill people. Attorney General Ashcroft and the Bush Administration should back off its un- democratic campaign and grant states the right to choose and govern their own medical marijuana laws. Medical Marijuana Supporters Have Exemplified Citizen Democracy by:
  • Creating state laws through referendums and state legislation.
  • Working in full cooperation with local governments to implement safe and legal distribution.
  • Planning distribution with the support of local law enforcement.
  • Representing national public opinion. 73% of Americans support medical marijuana. New Drug Czar John Walters is Lying to the Public About Medical Marijuana In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, “The Myth of Harmless Marijuana,” by John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Policy, the nation’s drug czar lied to the public about the “efficacy of marijuana to treat various ailments.” The person responsible for recommending the nation’s drug policy blatantly lied when he said that, “most of what the public hears from marijuana activists is little more than a compilation of anecdotes,” and that scientific studies must be conducted first. Walters is blatantly ignoring the White House’s own comprehensive review of medical marijuana released by Institute of Medicine in March of 1999 which declared:
  • Smokable marijuana works as a medicine for some people.
  • Patients are already using medicinal marijuana despite its illegality.Marijuana does not present significant health risks relative to medicines that are legally available.
  • No evidence that prison is better for patients than marijuana.
  • While more research should be conducted into marijuana's medical uses, patients should be permitted to use marijuana in the meantime.