US Marijuana Party

Monday, June 13, 2005

POLL: Voters Say "Don't Arrest Medical Marijuana Patients" by 3-1 Margin

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a new Mason-Dixon poll released today, registered voters said by a greater than 3-1 margin that they don't want the federal government to arrest medical marijuana patients, even though the Supreme Court has given it permission to do so. In the poll, conducted June 8-11, 68% of voters said medical marijuana patients
should not be arrested, compared to just 16% who said they should.

Responses varied little by party, age, or gender, with 63% of Republicans, 73% of Democrats, and 68% of independents agreeing that
medical marijuana patients should not be arrested. Full details of the survey are available at Mason Dixon Poll .

The survey was released as Supreme Court plaintiff Angel Raichjoined religious and medical leaders in an appeal to Congress to pass the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which would bar the Justice Department from using any of its funding to interfere with state
medical marijuana laws. The amendment is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives as early as Tuesday.

"Last week the Supreme Court said that patients like me must ask Congress to protect us from being arrested and jailed for the simple act of taking our medicine," said Raich, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, life-threatening wasting syndrome, and a number of other serious illnesses. "Today, I am asking the House of Representatives to do just that by passing the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. Every House member needs to understand that a vote against
this amendment is a vote to sentence me to death -- and to sentence many thousands of severely ill Americans to needless suffering and pain."

In a letter being sent to Congress today, the United Methodist Church declares, "Seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if the patient's physician has
told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial. ... We strongly urge you to support an amendment ... that would prohibit the use of federal funds for prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers who are following state law."

Another letter of support is coming from the American Nurses
Association (ANA), which has consistently supported legal access to medical marijuana. The ANA supported a similar proposal last year,writing, "ANA opposes the U.S. Department of Justice's willingness to pursue seriously ill people who only seek relief from chronic illnesses, and who are complying with their states' laws."

"This new poll confirms that it is not only politically safe for House members to vote to protect patients from arrest, but that it's
politically risky for them to vote to against protecting patients fromarrest," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy
Project in Washington, D.C. "This is one of those happy situations where good policy and good politics are one and the same, and we hope Congress is listening."

You have NO EXCUSE for not using this to encourage your Congressman to vote YES on Hinchey/Rohrbacher


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