Allow Health Care Patients Access to Therapy - Not Time Behind Bars

For thousands of years, marijuana has reduced symptoms for the seriously ill effectively, and has helped improve their quality of life. Dozens of medical and health organizations endorse or allow patients access to medical marijuana with their physicians’ approval. Marijuana has been used therapeutically to control pain, alleviate nausea and vomiting in cancer patients due to chemotherapy, treat wasting due to HIV/AIDS, combat muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and more.

To date, 12 states have passed medical marijuana laws. While the laws differ from state to state, they all work to protect patients and caregivers from criminal charges associated with their medicine. 

The bipartisan Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill would stop the U.S. Department of Justice from spending taxpayer money to arrest or prosecute legitimate patients -- and their caregivers -- in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Seriously ill patients have the right to effective therapies. To deny patients access to such a therapy is to deny them dignity and respect as persons.

Urge Congress to pass the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment and allow health care patients the medicine they need!

Dear Representative [Last Name],

Please vote for the Hinchey medical marijuana amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill when it comes to the House floor for a vote.

The Hinchey amendment would prohibit the Justice Department -- including the DEA -- from spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

Your support for this amendment would be consistent with the views of most Americans. Seventy eight percent of Americans support "making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering." (Gallup poll, 2005)

Since 1996, 12 states have enacted laws to protect patients afflicted with HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other serious diseases from arrest and prison. In fact, just last month the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), America’s second largest cancer charity and the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services, endorsed medical marijuana access. In their June 2007 statement, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society “strongly urge[s] that in a state where patients are permitted to use marijuana medicinally for serious and/or chronic illnesses and a patient's physician has recommended its use in accordance with that state's law and that state’s medical practice standards, the patient should not be subject to federal criminal penalties for such medical use.”

The American Nurses Association has consistently supported protections for patients who use marijuana for medical purposes under their physicians’ supervision. They are joined by many other health care organizations, as well as thousands of doctors and health care professionals who are on record as supporting medical marijuana and opposing the arrest of patients who use medical marijuana.

[Your Comments Here]

I urge you to support the Hinchey amendment. Your vote of support will benefit tens of thousands of patients, and I will be immensely grateful. Thank you.


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