Congress To Hold Hearing On Medical Marijuana NORML Board Member, Others Scheduled To Testify

Dr. Lester Grinspoon — an international authority on medical marijuana and a member of NORML’s board of directors — will testify in favor of allowing seriously ill patients legal access to medical marijuana at an October 1 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime. Grinspoon is a professor at Harvard Medical School and the author of Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine as well as over 140 articles in scientific journals.

This hearing is a golden opportunity to educate Congress on the medical utility of marijuana in the treatment of glaucoma, cancer chemotherapy, spasticity disorders, AIDS wasting syndrome, and chronic pain,” announced NORML’s Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, who testified at similar hearings held in March 1996. “It is also a chance to gather Congressional support for H.R. 1782, the ‘Medical Use of Marijuana Act.'”

H.R. 1782, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) in June, would remove federal restrictions that currently prevent physicians from legally prescribing marijuana. Presently six members of Congress — Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), John Olver (D-Mass.), Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Peter Stark (D-Calif.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) — are co-sponsors of the legislation. Frank’s bill is the fifth proposal in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use to be introduced in Congress since 1981.

We welcome the opportunity to have someone with the qualifications of Dr. Grinspoon speak before this subcommittee on this important health issue,” Stroup said.

For more information, please contact R. Keith Stroup, of NORML at (202) 483-5500.