US Marijuana Party

Monday, April 16, 2007

Libertarian convert urges medical-marijuana reform

Ruth Mantell
Apr 13, 2007

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- After years of opposing medical marijuana reform, Bob Barr decided that the government had gone too far in keeping patients from relief. The epiphany wasn't drug induced.

Instead, Barr, a former GOP U.S. representative for Georgia, became alarmed by the "growth in government power and the decrease in individual freedom" since Sept. 11.

"The fear that I have with government being so large, so big, so powerful is that there's virtually no freedom left," he said in an interview. "That has caused me to re-evaluate my position to medical marijuana, and also to re-evaluate and strengthen in my mind the whole issue of federalism and states rights."

Last month, Barr, 58, joined the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates making medical marijuana available to patients, and taxing and regulating marijuana for general adult use.

As a congressman, Barr introduced the "Barr Amendment," which prohibited an initiative on medical marijuana in the District of Columbia.

Now as a Libertarian (he switched teams in December) and paid lobbyist for MPP, he will work to strike down the eponymous legislation, among other efforts.


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