Tuesday, June 14, 2005

US: Poll Finds Opposition to Pot Raids

Pubdate: Tue, 14 Jun 2005
Source: Oakland Tribune, The (CA)
Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Website: http://www.oaklandtribune.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/314
Author: Josh Richman, Staff Writer
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project http://www.mpp.org
Cited: Gonzales v. Raich http://www.angeljustice.org
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/topics/Raich (Gonzales v. Raich)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/walters.htm (Walters, John)

POLL FINDS OPPOSITION TO POT RAIDS

Results Released One Day Before Congress Considers New Bill

On the eve of a vital vote in Congress, medical marijuana advocates Monday
unveiled a new poll showing significant public opposition to federal raids
on patients who use pot.

A poll of 732 randomly selected registered voters across the nation found
68 percent said the federal government should not prosecute medical
marijuana patients now that it has been given the go-ahead to do so by last
week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The sentiment was slightly higher among men than among women, among those
under 45 than those older and among Democrats than among Republicans or
independents. But no demographic group's majority supported the raids.

The poll also found 65 percent agreed that adults should be allowed to
legally use marijuana for medical purposes. The poll was commissioned by
the Marijuana Policy Project and conducted Wednesday through Saturday by
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, D.C., with a 3.7 percent
margin of error.

The MPP revealed the results Monday, one week after the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled against Oakland medical marijuana patient Angel McClary Raich and
co-plaintiff Diane Monson of Oroville.

The court rejected an argument that the federal government is
constitutionally barred from regulating activity that's completely within a
state's borders and doesn't involve money changing hands.

Raich is in Washington today as the medical marijuana battle moves from the
courts to Congress. She and other advocates are lobbying hard for a
spending-bill amendment co-authored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y ., and
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, that would forbid the Justice
Department from spending money to raid or prosecute patients or providers
in states with medical marijuana laws.

The United Methodist Church and the American Nurses Association wrote to
Congress on Monday urging lawmakers to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher
amendment.

The amendment has been put forth twice before in recent years, each time
failing in the House by about 70 votes; advocates hope the Supreme Court
ruling could improve their chances.

MPP spokesman Bruce Mirken noted Monday that White House drug czar John
Walters last week pronounced medical marijuana dead as a political issue. A
day later, Rhode Island's state Senate voted 34-2 for a medical marijuana
bill, and now the MPP's poll shows most Americans oppose the federal
government's position.

"He is even more wrong than he usually is," Mirken said of Walters.

An AARP poll of 1,706 adults aged 45 and older conducted late last year
found 72 percent believed adults should be allowed to legally use medical
marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it.

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