DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network

2/5/97

URGENT: VA Senate Considering Medical Marijuana Repeal

The Virginia bill to repeal the state's medical marijuana law has passed the house and is on the fast track in the state senate. Virginians please call/fax/write/e-mail your Senators NOW and ask them to leave the medical marijuana law in effect. Ask them to oppose HB 1621, the medical marijuana repeal bill. People in Virginia can call the constituent hotline at (800) 889-0229, 7am-7pm Mon-Fri. Persons with web access can e-mail their state Senators via http://208.9.8.6/comment.htm on the web.

It is especially important that support for medical marijuana be demonstrated now, in order to persuade the Senate Courts of Justice Committee to allow doctors and patients to testify. In addition to contacting your own State Senator at the Constituent Hotline, please call Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph V. Gartlan, Jr., (703) 339- 0033 (district) and (804) 786-6691.

You can also fax the State Senate at (804) 786-0095. From outside Virginia you can reach your state Senator, or find out who he or she is, by calling (804) 786-3838 (legislative information) or (804) 786-2366 (clerk's office).

Remember, we are opposing HB 1621, which would repeal medical marijuana in Virginia. Remind your Senators that Dr. Jerome Kassirer, the editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, possibly the top medical journal in the world, considers the government's medical prohibition of marijuana to be "misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane" and decried "the absolute power of bureaucrats whose decisions are based more on reflexive ideology and political correctness than on compassion."

Please also ask your Senators to oppose the following bills:

Please call your Delegate at (800) 889-0229, and also Delegate James F. Almand, chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee, at (804) 786-6893, and ask them to oppose:

Also ask your Delegate to support restoring the original provisions of SB 776, which would have expanded opportunities available to drug offenders for rehabilitation instead of incarceration.

For more information, contact Lennice Werth, Rt. 3 Box 692, Crewe, VA 23930, (804) 645-8816, (804) 645-8324 (fax), ebw1@ix.netcom.com.

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