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Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act Reintroduced In Congress

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 11, 2009

    Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, along with over a dozen cosponsors, reintroduced legislation in Congress today to strengthen legal protections for state-authorized medical marijuana patients.

    The bill, entitled the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009, seeks to amend the discrepancy between federal law and the laws of over a dozen states that have enacted regulations governing the therapeutic use of cannabis.

    Thirteen states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have enacted laws prohibiting medical marijuana patients from state prosecution.  Passage of the the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act would ensure that medical cannabis patients or providers who are compliant with state law, such as Charles Lynch (who was sentenced today in federal court), would no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies.

    Previous versions of the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act were introduced in both the 108th and 109th Congress, but failed to receive a public hearing or a committee vote.

    While campaigning for the presidency, Barack Obama promised not to use Justice Department resources “to try and circumvent state (medical marijuana) laws” — a pledge that has been repeated in recent months by US Attorney General Eric Holder.  Nevertheless, agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration have continued to target medical marijuana providers in states that allow for the drug’s use, and federal prosecutors have continued to bring federal anti-drug charges against defendants who were acting in accordance with their state’s cannabis laws.

    To support the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009, please log on to NORML’s Take Action Center here.

    85 Responses to “Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act Reintroduced In Congress”

    1. anonymous says:

      I made the comment earlier wondering if NORML, MPP and stopthedrugwar.com could just file a joint petition for medical marijuana and recreational marijuana reform but don’t see it. If it wasn’t approved and this re-posting is an inconvenience to the moderator of these comments, I apologize.

    2. #25 The Truth Doctor Says:
      June 12th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Did you hear the new ad The DRUG , TOBACCO and ALCOHOL
      companies came up with ?
      It starts out with a ” Mother ” asking her son if he ever tried Pot ,
      then she says ,
      Cocaine , Heroin , Mexican Speedballs ?

      Note:
      that the first thing she mentions is Pot .
      What they are trying to do is mislead the general public
      into thinking Pot is a hard drug just like heroin and
      the others by tying in Pot with all the other hard drugs .
      This is also known as ” deceptive ” advertising done
      to make you think Pot is like all other hard drugs . …
      These people are the Devil .

      RE:
      The Devil = “Father of all LIES..”
      - The technical-term for what they’re doing is called
      “conflation”,
      (Attribution of the more-dangerous to the lesser…),

      - ORWELLIAN:
      The thought-shrinking Drugwar NewSpeak dictionary
      lumps every outlawed medicine under the same banner of “illegal-drug”
      “Naw-Cah-Tic”, even if they’re not, pharmacologically-speaking…

      #26 The Truth Doctor Says:
      June 12th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      There is a great deal of fear in us Americans .
      Just notice how scared people are to use their own true first and last names……………..are you happy now , Government ?
      We should not have to live in fear of a drug that saved my life & others .
      I am a legal & legitimate California 215 patient .
      I’d hate to live elsewhere or i may be hung for my medical need of cannabis .
      I see on the TV show ” Cops ” about arrests made by cannabis users in other States .
      It’s hard to believe to see something that happened here 40 years ago in California still exists in other parts of the U.S. today . It’s pretty scary .

      RE:
      - The majority of COPS episodes are
      either from FloriDUH or California…
      An opportunity to observe the marked-contrasts
      between these two states’ DIVERGENT laws regarding cannabis…..

      CALIFORNIA: “Is it JUST pot / marijuana / cannabis?”
      FLORIDA: “Over 20 grams, felonious-possession, for distribution / sale !!!”

    3. Ed says:

      I saw Marijuana, Inc. and know that CNN is on whatever side brings them more ratings, although they seem a bit on the fence rather than leaning to either side. Fox news would never even air Marijuana, Inc, or even put up legalization as an option (and would ridicule any callers supporting it, I’d imagine). At least this week-long special will bring the marijuana legalization debate to many peoples’ attention again. I say we try to use this to push some momentum.

      Maybe everyone could comment on CNN.com, and quote a study (with links) that supports the legalization debate, or debunking some of the “studies” used by the prohibitionists. Their entire comments section will be flooded by people making points backed up by evidence. I don’t watch CNN too much, but I know that they sometimes show the comments people leave on their webpage, or twitter, or e-mail, whatever. At least by citing proof, we won’t be cast aside as “those people”, like the off-hand comment Obama made in the town hall discussion.

      It’s a start, but at least we might convert a few people on the fence who are actually watching CNN at the time.

    4. #45 d Says:
      June 13th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

      politicans not pot-iticans.

      RE:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      NOT “pot-iticans”…
      Cannabis Congress!!!

      Quit pot…and you will realize its illegal
      so no one ever uses it in the first place.

      RE:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      There are people who NEVER used CANNABIS
      who are in FAVOR of its RE-Legalization…
      (The War on SOME Drugs is a monumentally-wasteful,
      failed government-policy),
      It was not illegal at all until 30yrs into the 20th century.
      (It was made illegal for all of the WRONG reasons!!!),

      Please…
      Get a CLUE!!!

      - Make yourself literate,
      knowledgeable on the truth about cannabis…
      Especially its EMERGING…
      CLINICAL APPLICATIONS

      You guys are crazy,,

      RE:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      Who are you to say that ???
      Do ALL of the RESEARCH first,
      BEFORE you make that determination…

      BTW:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      Your grammar-skills are awful.
      What’s YOUR excuse???
      What “drugs” are you on???

    5. #45 d Says:
      June 13th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

      politicans not pot-iticans.

      RE:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      NOT “pot-iticans”…
      Cannabis Congress!!!

      Quit pot…and you will realize its illegal
      so no one ever uses it in the first place.

      RE:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      There are people who NEVER used CANNABIS
      who are in FAVOR of its RE-Legalization…
      (The War on SOME Drugs is a monumentally-wasteful,
      failed government-policy),
      It was not illegal at all until 30yrs into the 20th century.
      (It was made illegal for all of the WRONG reasons!!!),

      Please…
      Get a CLUE!!!

      - Make yourself literate,
      knowledgeable on the truth about cannabis…
      Especially its EMERGING…
      CLINICAL APPLICATIONS

      You guys are crazy,,

      RE:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      Who are you to say that ???
      Do ALL of the RESEARCH first,
      BEFORE you make that determination…

      BTW:
      d ropped on head at birth…
      Your grammar-skills are awful.
      What’s YOUR excuse???
      What “drugs” are you on???

    6. V says:

      I agree with comment #5, Obama is not really making any changes he promised us. He’s rather let everything unfold and under the guise of lobbyists and special interest. Honestly, I don’t think we need a president to get things done anymore, we need a benevolent dictator. When people hear the word dictator they automatically associate a negative connotation; but what if the dictator really knew what was good for society and acted in benefit rather than malice? I bet they would be hailed as a prophet. It’s time to stop pussy footing and beating around the bush. Obama could at least make well on what he said about nationally decriminalizing marijuana. He keeps spending money but has no plan to get it back…um..hello Mr. Obama, have you ever heard of regulation and taxation? Not to mention it is the number one cash crop globally, I don’t care what anyone else says. And if they oppose because the lumber industry will lose money or they’re afraid their pussy children will be exposed to marijuana (as if it isn’t already happening) they can piss off. I don’t care about your children and no one else does. Stop being the problem and be the solution. I’m sorry but your children are not going to save this country and they’re not the light of the world. What about the children? I have my own problems to worry about, and I’m sure other people don’t want to worry about your brat amreekee pig kids. If you can’t control your own kids don’t have any and don’t try to put that responsibility on society or anyone else. Your not special!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Legalize marijuana for God’s sake, look at the trouble we have. Marijuana can save and heal this planet if everyone would get their heads out of their asses and listen. Where in the Ten Commandments does it say we are not to smoke marijuana?! Someone tell me!

      (>^_^)><////W~~~~~ *Excuse me while I light my spliff! Haaaa Haaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaaaaaa!*

    7. Jeremy R. says:

      What we need is for ALL MPP , NORML and all others besides our selves to attend the AC360 and show them that their are more reasons why to legalize marijuana as well as educate them vurses letting them give BS excuses to keep marijuana illegal.
      I will be on there and will be posting this:

      “Evening Anderson and fellow Americans.

      I and many thousands of other Americans know that if marijuana was legalized and taxed that the the cartel would be lose 60 + % of their annual profit which would be like cutting off the legs of a chicken to the cartel. The only thing the Govt. is doing is suppling the cartel which gets more stronger drugs from the Taliban in which is also suppling the Taliban / Terorists. What we and the Govt. need to be doing is not suppling them but helping our nation by taking away the cartels annual profit which would also cut off the Taliban which would make it much easier for our Govt. to fight terorists who pose a threat to our nation. Alcohol & Tobaco are more addictive and more dangerous than marijuana ever could be combined yet marijuana which has a 0 death number is keep illegal when Alcohol and Tobaco causes more death and violence yet alcohol and tobaco are legalized and taxed.

      I think if we have strong facts and information like this as well as others such as violation to our rights etc…. with facts and other reasons why marijuana should be legalized and taxed that it would strengthen our cause even more. I told every one what I will be saying and urge every one to prepare what they will be saying and join the fight this up coming week on AC360 starting Monday at 10pm Est. Look forward to hearing / seeing every one their ….

    8. Ed says:

      The gateway theory is the last thread that prohibitionists are holding onto, and we need to not only debunk, but obliterate it. We need to make it so obvious how ridiculous the theory is that any politician that tries to argue it will be ridiculed themselves.

      I also suggest that we bring up the bit that NORML covered about how the Drug Czar is not only able to get away with lying, but is encouraged to do so:

      http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2007/10/09/theDrugCzarIsRequiredByLaw.html

      “…Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director’s individual statements in detail.”

      Let’s see Obama argue in favor of that in front of an open forum.

    9. Tyler D. says:

      When I emailed my state Rep and asked him why he was not in favor of leglizing marijuana, this was the conversation that followed.

      — On Fri, 6/12/09, Armes, Rep. (District Office) wrote:

      From: Armes, Rep. (District Office)
      Subject: RE: Laws, Taxes, and Common Sense
      To: “‘Tyler Delrie’” tyler.delrie@yahoo.com
      Date: Friday, June 12, 2009, 2:53 PM

      It is because of moral reasons. I really haven’t thought about it much. I would certainly not sponsor any legislation that legalizes any drug that is now illegal.

      I replied:

      Would you care to be more specific as to ‘why’?? As another question, did you look up cannabis facts or visit norml.org, or did you just immediately send “I would certainly not sponsor any legislation that legalizes any drug that is now illegal.”

      Here are a few fun facts for you. Many presidents farmed/consumed cannabis. The sails and rigging that brought Columbus to our new world were made from cannabis. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on cannabis made stationary. The original Levis were made from cannabis because they were so much tougher. 1 acre of cannabis supports as many and more products than 4 acres of cotton all while being less harsh on the land. Growing cannabis requires no pesticides or insecticides because it naturally fends for its self.

      There are too many benefits to just brush this one off. Check out these quotes from these intelligent people.

      “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?”
      Henry Ford

      “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
      Ronald Reagan, U.S. President

      Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marihuana in private for personal use… Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marihuana.
      Jimmy Carter, U.S. President in a message to the U.S. Congress

      This man was said to be the ring leader for prohibition.

      “You smoke a joint, and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

      “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US , and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
      Harry J. Anslinger, testimony to Congress, 1937

      Look at how far we’ve come man. We’ve been fed this “anti” propaganda for so long and look what the root of it is. All these advertisements for ‘TRUTH: the anti drug’ and all that is wrong. Believe me. This plant is not as evil as you were raised to think. When your folks taught you that marijuana was bad, it turned you crazy, and reefer madness was sure to follow, they honestly believed it. Every generation is less gullible and has more sources for information than the one before. Sir, people are finding out the truth, especially young people. They’re finding it out by experimentation. And when they see they’ve been lied to, they wonder what else wasn’t true. Arresting people for victimless crimes and putting a stain on their records is terrible. And that’s what’s happening today.

      Think about it sir. These are completely rhetorical because I’d rather you answer all my other questions. Do you or have you consumed alcohol? Do you or have you used tobacco products? Have you ever had an energy drink? All these things change your physical or mental state. I don’t know about you, but when I drink a cold beer on a Louisiana summer day I feel good. This is no different. If I were able to wrap up my work week by “sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp” just like President Lincoln, I would be pretty happy.

      I don’t mind you disagreeing with me sir, but IF that’s the way it is, I’d rather it be because YOU have researched and are making a stand on grounds that YOU know. So again, why are you against cannabis?

      Tyler D. Delrie

    10. Phil E. Drifter says:

      “There will never be a full legalizaion of cannabis. The reason is simple, anyone can grow it.”

      Anyone can grow tomatoes, too, but most people don’t. They leave it to farmers and then buy it at the food store. I hate it when people make that argument. NOT everyone can grow it. Not everyone has a yard (how many people live in cities in apartments with NO lawn? How many people live in places with very little lawn surrounded by trees effectively blocking all direct sunlight.

      Anyone can brew alcohol too, but most people don’t do that either.

      The reason it’s illegal is so uncle sam can replace lost slave labor with prison labor, tarnish peoples’ records for life, and refuse college loans to keep minorities down. I don’t know why they’re so afraid of letting minorities get educated or vote, but that’s exactly what these laws accomplish. They prevent minorities from getting educated, keeping them 2nd class citizens.

      Read tinyurl.com/1mn

      “It wasn’t hostility to the drug, it was hostility to the newly arrived Mexican community that used it.”

    11. Jerry Moler says:

      Isn’t it surprising that our first President of color supports a law that was based on racial prejidice.

    12. Joshua says:

      They better let my friend go. He is doing 20 years in jail for sailing weed. This law is not fair.

    13. Joshua says:

      They better let my friend go. He is doing 20 years in jail for selling weed. This law is not fair.) Correction.

    14. jim c says:

      i have had several operations and they want to give me PILLS with are addicting and dangerious if used wrong .I would rather smoke my WEED and relax and i dont need PILLS.When is the last time you hear of some one O.D ing on WEED.I SAY WEED NOT PILLS FOR PAIN.It really does take away the PAIN AND ANXIETY.I hope Delaware law soon passes.

    15. Drifter says:

      I have listened to your argument, but I’m afraid that we will have to
      disagree on this issue. I do not support using marijuana under any
      circumstance.
      I just e-mailed one of our state reps.Here`s his reply.

    16. Drifter says:

      I don`t think he`ll be in office for another term.There`s too many people here in N.C. that could benifit from marijuana.Also they are voting on 2 bills today HB1380&Hb1383 which would allow for medical use.FINALLY.I`m Praying they PASS

    17. [...] reintroduction of the Frank/Paul bill comes one week after the duo reintroduced HR 2835, The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 – which seeks to halt federal interference in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws – [...]

    18. [...] like alcohol. The reintroduction of the Frank/Paul bill comes one week after the duo reintroduced HR 2835, The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 ? which seeks to halt federal interference in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws ? and [...]

    19. [...] reintroduction of the Frank/Paul bill comes one week after the duo reintroduced HR 2835, The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 – which seeks to halt federal interference in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws – [...]

    20. [...] like alcohol. The reintroduction of the Frank/Paul bill comes one week after the duo reintroduced HR 2835, The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 ? which seeks to halt federal interference in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws ? and [...]

    21. Manford Mantis says:

      The only problem I have with schedule II is its limited in use and research. Well…that’s baby steps. Its proper place is schedule III. Hell! its proper place is
      completely off the schedule. It’s a food, not a drug.
      Next thing you know…chicken soup will be a schedule I.

    22. Thank you Legislators for trying to take Medical Marijuana Patients out of the cross hairs of the Federal Government!!!!! There is always reason to hope for the best. God will take care of the rest. I forgive them Lord because I want to be forgiven. But Please Lord, the Legislators that you will not forgive….. Please let me watch them suffer, even if just for 5 minutes!!!!! Thank you Jesus, my conquering KING!!!!

    23. #71 Manford Mantis Says:
      June 26th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

      The only problem I have with schedule II is its limited in use and research. Well…that’s baby steps. Its proper place is schedule III. Hell! its proper place is
      completely off the schedule. It’s a food, not a drug.
      Next thing you know…chicken soup will be a schedule I.

      RE:
      Mantis,
      - As I’ve said before, elsewhere,
      a God-Given plant should NOT be on a
      more restrictive “schedule” than isolated, synthetic compounds based upon that plant’s derivatives,
      (As if plants should be on any schedule to begin with…).

      - As for chicken soup, galangal-root,
      a traditional spice-ingredient in east-Asian / Thai cuisine, (hot and sour soup),
      is forbidden by recent, (as of 2005), Louisianna state law that bans whole list of plants that
      might be psychoactive in excessive amounts.

    24. Manford Mantis says:

      Neurogenesis1:29…Manny here.

      It seems we have an ongoing discussion, and are on the same page. R.O.E is pretty much right on too. I look forward to your comments, and enjoy your dedication to the cause.

      What seems evident to me is…there are many posts that include God. I can easily imagine how that makes prohibs blood boil…due to the fact that they “insist” that God is against cannabis. So, for their insistence, I offer, as reference,

      Genesis I:11,12 “He/she makes it.”
      Genesis I:29,30,31 “He/she gives it.”
      Genesis IX:3 “He/she reaffirms it.”

      Just as a point, I’m not a fanatic…far from it… because…I’m an individualist…but…”my Faith”…
      not religion…is based on trust and belief. I believe
      in “Manna” as the Holy Sacrament for CDXX Communion. When you think about it…what other reason do I need… but to embrace God’s word.

      Ya know…it doesn’t matter what religion one follows, the chapter and verse we keep quoting is found in every scripture. Amen

    25. [...] use federal resources to prosecute people acting within state marijuana laws. However, as NORML reports, such promises have proven empty. Thus, this law is not just a formality – this piece of [...]

    26. Brandon says:

      The real problem is not the marajuana but the years of abuse that some of the marajuana users have done to the peaceful loving pot users like me :) . like the church wierdos that want to worship it and say its sacrid and hide behind it as a symbol when they go to jail lol, its just a good weed that medically yes has very good value and yes non medically has very good value , theres no need to fight over this america, im all for taxing it and making it legal but dont arrest people for just having a good time and not harming anyone. Come on , ever seen anyone that was high start a riot or kill someone? have a nice day :)

    27. Joseph says:

      If the goverment was smart like they say they are they would look back at there own records that from only a year of DEA controlled search and seizures there was 10 billion dollars in only cash, properties,and cars, the weed is sapposedly burned.why wouldnt you use that idea to make an international tax for import/export local tax for licenses to smoke national tax on right to grow. laws for distrabution (so selling would still be ilegal to your friends)makin more jobs once you legalize it because more scientist would be needed or you could pay people who would have a hordacultureal degree (plant science), either way it creats more jobs. smoking weed is less likely to casue accidents for those people who use than alcohol, or most other perscription drugs that make you tired or sick etc.

    28. AngreeDealer says:

      BTW, buy Bluetooth jammer to jam all spy devices in your room or office.

    29. Sentences outweigh the crime. It’s a crazy world ain’t it?
      The government should legalize it. It makes the whole thing more controllable. And that’s what gov is after ain’t it? Did I mention the tax income boost it will give?
      I still find it funny that a country which is famous for prescription drug abuse cannot find a proper solution to one of the most harmless of presc drugs; Weed. I guess the green stuff has too much political gravity.

    30. AreYouKiddingMe says:

      I’m wasting away fighting to get to a specialist i can’t afford. Over 300 plus pills to stop the pain…FAIL. Tried cannabis to see if it would help. Wow. Its nice to have 4 normal days after years of pain and wasting. Could careless if you smoke eat or do it in the privacy in your own home. I have an illness that has no cure. Pills don’t work for so many reasons. I wish every opposition could feel the pain I go through. We need protection from abusive law enforcement that wish to make law and not enforce. Those people that are suppose to serve and protect. I wish people really understood the need of real medicine, Like the doc says you gotta take what works for you. Until those of you that oppose, becomes ill or have a loved one get ill you will go on like the blind leading the blind.
      Kids and drugs never mix.
      Read study find out for yourself. stop believing general statements find out the facts.
      Support cannabis control it. Protect the people.

    31. Patricia says:

      Since this is December of 2010 … can anyone give me a recent update on this The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009? HR 2835

    32. Patricia says:

      I received a very nice email from my House Representative, Adam Putnam (FL-12), when I followed NORML’s link above (“To support the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009, please log on to NORML’s Take Action Center here.”). I linked in September 2010 and he responded on September 7, 2010. I have typed the email he responded with on my Facebook page: Patricia Bixenman Young.
      At that time Bill HR2835 was not dead but in consideration by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
      Do your part and go to the link above and click on “here” and let your House member know your feelings. I am sure that this action by you will have to be repeated when the newly elected House members take office.
      Thank you,
      Patricia Bixenman Young

    33. [...] Frank along with Ron Paul were the first to introduce a medical marijuana patient protection act – this act would have prohibited federal actions in states which have voter approved medical [...]

    34. […] reintroduction of the Frank/Paul bill comes one week after the duo reintroduced HR 2835, The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 – which seeks to halt federal interference in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws – […]

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