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Call or write your Congresscritter!

Posted by Richard on June 23, 2006

In the next few days, Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) will once again introduce an important amendment to the Science, State, and Justice spending bill. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment would prohibit the Justice Department from federally prosecuting medical marijuana patients and caregivers who are in compliance with their state’s medical marijuana law.

It was a little over a year ago that the Supreme Court ruled in Gonzales v. Raich that federal law trumps state medical marijuana law and the 10th Amendment doesn’t mean what it says. At the time, I wrote:

In a nutshell, the Raich (medical marijuana) ruling means that Lopez was an abberation and that Wickard is alive and well. Damn it. It also means we have exactly one Supreme Court justice who can be counted on to stand by the Constitution — Clarence Thomas.

We also have some members of Congress, including good conservatives like Rohrabacher, who still stand by the Constitution. Unfortunately, too many Republicans mouth allegiance to "states’ rights," but run from the concept quickly when that eeeevilll cannabis — reefer madness! — comes up.

And too many Democrats say they’re sympathetic, but just can’t bring themselves to support even the slightest weakening of their beloved federal government (they still believe they’ll wrest control of it from the Rethuglicans soon — hah!).

Last year, Hinchey-Rohrabacher fell 57 votes short. And yet, polls and referenda consistently show that the American people overwhelmingly support state medical marijuana laws. It’s an election year — let’s put the pressure on and get Hinchey-Rohrabacher passed this time.

Please contact your representative. Americans for Safe Access has a very easy-to-use Take Action page. Just scroll to your state to see how its representatives voted last year. Click on your Congresscritter’s name, and it’ll take you to one of two Write Your Rep pages with appropriate suggested wording, based on their vote last year.

Or use the NORML Take Action page. Or the DRCNet Take Action page (use their Tell-A-Friend page to enlist your friends in the effort, too). Or go to the House website, look up your representative, and contact him or her directly.

In fact, calling your congresscritter’s office (in Washington or in your district) is probably the most effective step you can take. Sending a personally-written letter (snail mail) is next. Email is less effective, but better than nothing. Do take a few minutes to personalize the message, though. And try to remain polite, even if your Congresscritter deserves to be given what-for. 🙂

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