NORML Targets Republican Task Force: Urges Panel To Lift Ban On Medical Cannabis, Reconsider Decriminalization Of Marijuana

NORML has sent a formal letter and 50-page informative booklet to each member of the new Republican task force on drugs. The letter urges the committee to lift the federal government’s ban on medical cannabis and re-examine the decriminalization of marijuana as a public policy. NORML also asks the task force to include testimony from medical experts on these subjects when the committee holds public hearings on drug use later this year.

Enclosures to the letter include endorsements of the potential of medical marijuana from such well respected organizations as the National Academy of Sciences, American Public Health Association and others. Also included in the booklet is a summary of the 1981 Monitoring the Future briefing paper that stated, “decriminalization [of marijuana] has had virtually no effect either on the marijuana use or related attitudes and belief about marijuana use among American young people.”

“This compendium makes a strong argument for a federal re-evaluation of our current marijuana policies,” says NORML Deputy National Director Allen St. Pierre. “It is intended to persuade as well as inform the newly established Republican drug task force.”

The letter and booklet are two of NORML’s latest efforts to garner political attention and support for U.S. Representative Barney Frank’s federal medical marijuana bill (H.R. 2618). Frank’s legislation would amend the federal law to permit doctor’s to prescribe marijuana as a therapeutic agent to seriously ill patients. The bill has been referred to the Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime where it is presently awaiting a vote.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of NORML at (202) 483-5500.