medical marijuana

CallieMimosa at aol.com CallieMimosa at aol.com
Wed Jun 28 22:17:42 EDT 2006


 
Today, June 28, the  U.S. House of Representatives defeated by a vote of 
163-259 an amendment that  would have prevented the DEA and the U.S. Justice 
Department from spending any  more taxpayer money to raid and prosecute medical 
marijuana patients and  providers in the 11 states where medical marijuana is 
legal. 
Although we lost,  today's vote was a stronger showing than political 
observers had predicted, in  large part because of the more than 5,000 letters that 
MPP members and allies  sent to their U.S. representatives in the last week. 
Fully 72% of House  Democrats voted for our amendment, and 18 House Republicans 
bucked the White  House to vote "yes." 
This is only the  fourth time in history that the full House has voted on 
binding legislation to  end the federal government's war on medical marijuana. 
(The U.S. Senate never  has.) Today's vote was a record vote for medical 
marijuana — the  legislation received two more votes than it did on June 15, 2005, 
and this is an  election year. 
Leading up to the  vote, the MPP staff and our lobbyists had more than 250 
meetings with House  members, including visiting every single Republican House 
office, which had  never happened before. In the days leading up to the vote, 
we also delivered  plastic handcuffs to more than 100 House offices with 
"evidence tags" asking  them to vote for the amendment, and we generated several 
thousand constituent  phone calls and thousands of letters to members of 
Congress. 
Additionally, MPP  nurtured connections within the conservative movement for 
months leading up to  the vote, which helped lay the groundwork for the letter 
that was sent to  Congress this week by a host of prominent conservative 
organizations, blasting  the federal government for wasting tax dollars on raiding 
medical marijuana  patients. 
MPP also  coordinated an unprecedented grassroots campaign in California to 
pressure the  state's Republican congressional delegation to support the 
amendment and funded,  through MPP's grants program, the former executive director 
of the San Diego  Republican Party to lobby for the amendment. We also placed 
organizers in key  congressional districts throughout the country to run 
high-pressure grassroots  campaigns directed at targeted swing votes. 
Now that the  amendment has 163 votes, in the next year we'll be targeting a 
smaller number of  districts to pick up the remaining 55 votes we need to 
reach a 218-vote  majority. 
The momentum is on  our side, and we'll keep fighting until Congress listens 
to the American people  and ends the government's cruel and needless war on 
sick  people.
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