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Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 19, 2012

    A bipartisan coalition of Congressional lawmakers yesterday reintroduced federal legislation to provide state-authorized medical marijuana patients and their providers with an affirmative defense from federal prosecution.

    The legislation, H.R. 6134 –- The Truth in Trials Act (Read the text of the bill here.) –- would allow certain federal defendants the opportunity to “introduce evidence (at trial) demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.”

    It states, “It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution or proceeding under any federal law for marijuana-related activities, which the proponent must establish by a preponderance of the evidence, that those activities comply with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.”

    Fifteen Democrats and three Republicans are sponsoring the measure.

    Under present law, federal defendants are legally prevented from presenting evidence at trial that their actions were in compliance with state medical marijuana laws — or even acknowledging the fact that cannabis possesses therapeutic value — because the substance remains classified as a Schedule I prohibited substance under federal law. Passage of the Truth in Trials Act would ease these restrictions.

    House Bill 6134 is pending before the House Committee on the Judiciary, which is Chaired by ardent pot prohibitionist Lamar Smith (R-TX).

    Advocates can voice their support for The Truth in Trials Act to their members of Congress here.

    Of course, this legislation would not even be necessary were the Obama administration simply to have upheld the President’s one-time pledge to no longer use federal “Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws” regulating the physician authorized use and distribution of medical cannabis. You can tell President Obama to halt the administration’s escalating attack on medical cannabis here.

    41 Responses to “Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act”

    1. Mark Kazanoff says:

      The only reason poloticians don’t legalize it is they can’t figure out how the government is going to get it’s cut out of the business. Too much government. This is suppose to be the land of the free. Wish it would start acting like it.

    2. FRANK HERRELL JR says:

      I live in Tennessee and would like to have marijuana ligalized because of the medical uses it can provide and a lot of other things it can do besides it is in the BIBLE to smo the seed bearing plant it is in ISAIAH CHAPT 18 VERS, 4,5 AND NOT TO SOUND RUDE BUT WHAT RIGHT DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE GODS PLANTS ILLAGEL.

    3. Please let us take our meds and let people who want to use it for recreation use it as well. This is not dangerous like drugs and alcohol. The doctor gave me so many meds that didn’t work and when I finally switched to medical marijuana I was able to get off my daily routine of all the poisonous drugs that the doctor gave me and fell way better for it.

    4. sharon J. Horton says:

      Dear President Obama, I realize that you are up against the very monied Lobbies of the PharmacueticaL, Alcohol & Tobacco, Law Enforcement & Prison Industries.All of which Stand to Lose a Lot of $$$ if Marijauna was Legalized. I know you are a very Smart Man & You Know what is The RIGHT thing to. S.J. Horton

    5. Mark Gonterman says:

      I think it is outright barbarak to deny a person a natural remedy for treating PAIN,ANXIETY, DEPRESSION,APPETITE LOSS and many other medical problems.Marijuana is a natural plant that God put on this earth for us to use.Marijuana is not a drug.Our lying government banned it so they could profit from it.I have bone marrow cancer and I live in Alabama where it is illegal to posses marijuana.I have gone through many treatments and take alot of medication, which all make me sick and have a loss of appetite.I know marijuana works and helps but like everything else the POS government wants to tell me I cannot use this plant because they say it is a drug and they(THE ALMIGHTY ONES) say it is illegal.Its time this BS federal law was dropped and its time for the government to get its greedy hands of my body, out of my mouth,and out of my wallet.

    6. Bradson says:

      To bad the drug laws don’t require prosecutors to show that the “offender” actually caused harm to any person or property.

    7. Douglas says:

      Smith will not go a long this He will kill or not let it even come up for a vote

    8. […] Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act A bipartisan coalition of Congressional lawmakers yesterday reintroduced federal legislation to provide state-authorized medical marijuana patients and their providers with an affirmative defense from federal prosecution. The legislation, H.R. 6134 –- The Truth in Trials Act (Read the text of the bill here.) –- would allow certain federal defendants the opportunity to “introduce evidence (at trial) demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.” It states, “It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution […] […]

    9. what a kick in our butts, the u.s. government backs 100% of a small south american country in making pot legal, and selling through the countries government and taxing it for education and rehab, but here they throw you in prison wasting millions of tax payers money for a herb not a drug, to protect big insurance companies. just make it legal, tax it and use the money for the same !!!!!

    10. Rick says:

      Re: A small step in the right direction…Thank you bi-partisan bill sponsors and all in favor of right and just legislation on the topic of Cannabis. I urge those opposed to rethink their opinion again. On the topic of “reefer madness”, at least one study, the LaGuardia Commission study, revealed Cannabis does NOT alter basic personality traits. As i recall, the Schaeffer Commission found no sound reasoning to make using Cannabis in the confines of ones home, a criminal act. Economically, the MANY gains to our ailing economy would be greatly appreciated by ALL. Sales tax revenue (+), decreased Cannabis war spending (+), hemp biofuel (+), hemp plastics (+), alternative medicine (+++).

    11. Brian says:

      Where’s the link to tell Lamar Smith and Obama to kiss my ass

    12. C.RIce says:

      A punishment of a crime should not be worse then the harm caused by the crime committed. What harm has marijuana caused. Besides the money the Drug company are losing. Marijuana is a safe alternative to the poisons the government allows. Most medicines require you to take more meds just to counter balance the crap that the original meds caused. Where are my rights? Its my body i should be able to do what i want.

    13. Tlc says:

      So 18 congressmen support truth in trials…that’s telling: telling us we need many new congressmen. And is Lamar Smith the reincarnation of Anslinger…he needs to be replaced by a more forward thinking politician.

    14. Galileo Galilei says:

      The simple phrase, ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’ says a lot. Yet we need to specifically pass a law to allow truth in trials!

      What’s wrong with this picture?

    15. claygooding says:

      The reasons for not legalizing have grown as planned by the ONDCP,,they have made prohibition profitable for many corporations and even our own law enforcement and especially profitable to the banks,,billions of dollars being wired all over the world by banks and making millions doing it,,where is the federal prosecution for moving that drug money?

      And Obama and his AG keep saying all laws on the books must be enforced,,where are all the bankers awaiting trials for laundering illicit drug money?

    16. Cat Cassie says:

      Would this bill also apply to marijuana legalization voted in by one of the three states this November?

    17. Jim Duffy says:

      I just received this letter from my congressman in FL.. I thought I should share it with you all.

      July 20, 2012

      Dear Mr. Duffy,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on medical marijuana with me. I appreciate hearing from you on an issue that means so much to you.

      As a cop and the former Hernando County Sheriff, I have seen firsthand how drug use can destroy lives, families, and entire neighborhoods. Given these experiences, I cannot and will not support the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes. As I have said many times before, medical marijuana is a way to skirt the system. I believe the legalization of medical marijuana desensitizes the public to the drug and may, eventually, make it easier for all marijuana use to be legalized. This is something I cannot support. The far reaching effects of legalization would be detrimental for all parts of our society and our communities.

      Thank you again for contacting me about medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana, generally. While we may not agree on this issue, I appreciate the open dialogue we can have on the topic. I hope to hear from you again in the future about other issues facing the federal government. To that end, you can find all of my contact information on my website, http://nugent.house.gov. While there you can also register for my newsletter, “the SITREP.” This weekly “situation report” gives you all the details about how I’m working to make sure your voice is heard in Washington.

      Sincerely,

      Richard Nugent
      Member of Congress

    18. Haakonas says:

      I am really upset that they continue to use the word MARIJUANA WTH it is called Cannabis not a mexican word that instantly brings harsh feelings. Cannabis is the word of the DAY can you all say it with me?

    19. Dave Evans says:

      If the truth isn’t allowed currenly, then the trails are invalid. How can the truth be discounted? It makes no sense and sounds like a scam. I’m actually having trouble understanding this… If the judges and lawyers can’t follow the current laws, why do we need another law they aren’t going to follow?

    20. TheOracle says:

      Good show. It has to keep being reintroduced. The likelihood of it coming to a vote before Congress recesses is doubtful.

      All this shit Haag is doing in California and the crackdown in the Netherlands by Minister Opstelten looks like the world’s prohibitionists conived (probably electronically) to have a worldwise waste of money to enforce cannabis prohibition. They decided to crackdown to rid us of the solve the cannabis question once and for all. It’s completely wrong and against human rights. This is the new form of Jim Crowe and right wing fascism against people of color, foreigners/outsiders in both the Netherlands and the U.S. and it’s by the ruling ethnic group against perceived outsiders.

      I don’t know why they still have the mentality that they should be wasting tax dollars on such foolishness when the money could be used to stimulate jobs. Just think of all the lives that can be saved in Mexico if cannabis prohibition is ended, and elsewhere, too. That money that the U.S. is doling out to other countries could be used by them for real economic progress and infrastructure modernization.

      As I keep repeating, prohibitionists will not legalize cannabis until they have no other choice. All levels of government need the revenue. Even Germany’s economy is expected to stop chugging along slowly and is expected to come to a standstill. Keep running the economy into the ground until the situation is so bad that the government and the public at large discount the prohibitioniest outcries and legalize it for the savings and revenue.

      The sooner it’s legalized, the sooner the rich who have a conscience can start investing heavily in the market to upgrade electrical grids and spur new technology for renewable energy and new products and creature comforts that create jobs, because they’ll have the cooperation of the governments, who will no longer be part and parcel to all the death and misery cannabis prohibition is causing all around the world in the name of funneling profits to prison unions, private prisons, forced rehabilitation centers, adult beverage companies, and so on. I know I’m preaching to the choir.

      Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized.

      The Beat Goes On
      by
      Sonny & Cher

    21. sweet says:

      why should the sick and dieing have to behave as criminals to get some relief. We will medicate above ground or under ground. Your choice congress

    22. JJ says:

      As many conspiracy theorists believe, the govt. has not yet legalized or decriminalized cannabis because the govt. has worked out a way to profit from it. However, I disagree. After being close to the political machinery, I can tell you for certain that it is a much simpler and selfish reason why politicians maintain the status quo. It’s political suicide to introduce, or vote on legislation that seeks to legitimize marijuana. We are still the same country that elected and was led by George W. Bush for 8 years. I didn’t vote for him, but for every person who cares about things like research and “facts”, there are a dozen idiots who know nothing. Politicians know that as soon as they act on the information, they will simply be labeled as “soft on crime”, or “in favor of junkies” by the opposition. It’s FAR TOO EASY for a republican to sling mud than it is for a democrat to challenge the system.

    23. JJ says:

      somehow my change wasn’t added. The above post was supposed to say …”because the govt. has NOT yet figured out a way to profit”…

    24. Bob loblaw says:

      Keep MJ illegal! It helps the black market and helps my drug dealing friends make money. They don’t have to pay takes and my growing friends don’t have to pay takes. F the government. Their ignorance on the MJ issue is helping my friends. If they legalize MJ then my MJ dealing friends will need to get a real job. MJ is easier to get ahold of than alcohol. Almost any person can find weed but you need to be 21 to get alcohol.

    25. shawn kearney says:

      This law should not extend only to marijuana, but also to any activities permitted under local jurisdiction, such a law really ought to be a constitutional amendment. This would permit a catch-all safeguard against threats to state sovereignty.

    26. Uncle Larry says:

      Yes, definitely. Too much government interference with our lives. Both major parties in general are guilty of this, how does one choose? Which freedoms do you want taken away? If you look at things like the PACT act, and governor Bloomberg’s actions, the democrats screw us over too. I dream of a day we can actually get a libertarian in the White House.

    27. Uncle Larry says:

      (not that there aren’t some good exceptions in both parties)

    28. smokinplenty says:

      Well that’s great…it’s now become totally legal to lie in court, conceal evidence and obstruct justice. Our system has fully become what is wrong with the world. Surely this legislation will not pass. I must say that I don’t buy the ‘political suicide’ argument. Let me guess, the Earth is still flat and the sun orbits us huh? If politicians cannot face scientific fact then they should be relieved of their positions…and what the hell, anyone who votes against this basic principle of our society of including the truth in a court of law should be stripped of their position. For the love of GOD this should be a given. This country is doomed.

    29. smokinplenty says:

      NO VICTIM, NO CRIME!!!

    30. John says:

      The US is one screwed up country.Anyone can go to a pain management facility and get legal narcotics as long as they can pay for it which will 100% cause serious damage and make them an addict. When they no longer can afford these pills many switch to heroin.This is why we have so many heroin addicts today.Anyone with a brain can do the research and see how our government will let the pharmaceutical industry make us all addicts legally.

      So how can they not allow a non addicting much less dangerous naturally occurring substance to be used in its place?

      Cannabis may hold secrets to curing many diseases and yet our government prevents this research as strongly as it can.

      These same officials will have to face their peers when we find out the truth about cannabis.

    31. […] Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform. Be Sociable, Share! […]

    32. Joel: the other Joel says:

      This will not make it easier for the judge and prosecutor who benefits prohibition.

    33. somedood says:

      Key word “reintroduce”…

    34. Dave Evans says:

      Haakonas, what the heck is wrong with “mexican words”? That’s like saying folks doesn’t like to live in San Jose because Mexicans named it. WTF??? Get some non-racist logic please.

      Marijuana is awesome stuff! _Cannabus_ is the whole genus including all species and hybrids, males and females included and not specific to “marijuana”, nor all the dozens of other materials/uses the various parts of the plant are useful for as it doesn’t include the stems, leaves, fibers or seeds.

      “Marijuana” is only the part we use as medicine or for smoking and even it has multiple components which can be further separated for different medical, personal and even industrial uses.

      It is impossible to grow marijuana from certain kinds of _Cannabus_, which is one of the reasons making _Cannabus_ illegal makes even less sense than banning “marijuana” and demonstates how corrupt the law is and that there is no intent in making our country better for having it on the books. Anti-_Cannabus_ laws are pure corruption.

      Marijuana on the other hand does need some reasonable regulations.

    35. Dave Evans says:

      Another way to look at it is “lets make yeast illegal because some yeasts are used to brew alchol”. Really? But we can make bread from yeast. Government answer: “so? use unhealthy chemicals to make your bread instead.” This is exactly how freaking stupid anti-cannabis laws are.

    36. St. Nick says:

      The government could tax it like %150. $20 base for a pack of 20 Indica and Sativa strain joints costing a total of $50 with tax. I’d pay that at least until we pay off national debt and stuff. This would create millions of jobs too cause we’d need millions to grow, transport, and sell it-also we’d need more to make the glass pipes and bongs plus to make the hash cookies and candy, and we’d need scientists to inspect the weed and security for the “Grass Shops.” Making the minimum age 21 would keep it out of the hands of minors WAY more than now. It would keep a HALF MILLION out of jail a year reducing tax costs. Plus it would virtually put the cartels OUT of business making the world safer. There’s more good reasons cause it’s known that grass helps a myriad of illnesses. Poke Smot! Leave no turn unstoned! Legalize it!

    37. Luke says:

      @Dave
      Amen, brother. A-freakin-men.

    38. I,m a three yr medical patient that the local county has targeted me and my family they confiscated my medicine left my son in handcuffs for 14 hrs then they tripled the number of plants to suit their agenda then they harrassed my eighty yr old mother too they have used other law solid waste too harrass us attornys that rail road you the public defender wanted me to plead out i did nothing wrong I need a good lawyer I have 3000 to pay a lawyer that is willing to go after the crooked police here please help!!!!!!!

    39. […] some new developments – http://blog.norml.org/2012/07/19/con…in-trials-act/ A bipartisan coalition of Congressional lawmakers yesterday reintroduced federal legislation to […]

    40. Anonymous says:

      This country is a joke

    41. Anonymous says:

      And explain please, why is NORML and other agencies are not working on getting him voted out of office?

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