Campaign Targeting Congressmen on Medical Marijuana Starts Today

For the first time, a medical marijuana advocacy group is going after Congressmen where they live. Beginning today, every registered voter in four House Congressional districts will receive a phone call about their Representative’s vote against the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, which would have stopped federal medical marijuana raids.

The campaign targets Representatives Wally Herger (R, CA 2nd), Elton Gallegly (R, CA 24th), Joe Baca (D, CA 43rd), and David Wu (D, OR 1st). All represent districts in which federal authorities have prosecuted patients for using medical marijuana, despite state laws permitting it.

“We’re sure the congressmen are so busy with other matters that they don’t realize how important the suffering of everyday people is to their constituents,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the organization sponsoring the calls. “We’re educating the voters about the Congressmen’s record, so those voters can educate their Congressmen about compassion.”

The recorded messages feature either a medical marijuana patient describing her plight or one of the jurors who recanted their verdict in the Ed Rosenthal medical marijuana cultivation case. Both explain that the House member voted to continue the current policy -- despite polls showing 80% of Americans support medical marijuana -- and ask that voters spread the word. Over 600,000 voters will receive calls.

The messages feature either Angel McClary Raich, a medical marijuana patient suing the federal government over access to her medicine or Marney Craig, one of the jurors who say they were duped into convicting Ed Rosenthal on federal marijuana charges.

What: Campaign calling every registered voter in four House Congressional Districts.

When: Beginning Thursday, November 20, through Monday, November 24, 2003.

Who/Where: Wally Herger (R, CA 2nd—Chico, CA area), Elton Gallegly (R, CA 24th—Ventura and inland Santa Barbara, CA area), Joe Baca (D, CA 43rd—San Bernardino, CA area), and David Wu (D, OR 1st—Portland, OR area).

Why: In each of the four districts, patients have been prosecuted for using medical marijuana and their representative subsequently voted to continue the raids.

# # #