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A Drug Policy Foundation Report:

Election ’98

The Vote for Medical Marijuana and Drug Policy Reform

 

Alaska • Arizona • Colorado • District of
Columbia • Nevada • Oregon • Washington

 
Report from the:
Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite B-500
Washington, D.C. 20008-2328
Ph: (202) 537-5005 • Fax: (202) 537-3007 • Email: [email protected] • Web: www.dpf.org
 
For more information contact:
H. Alexander Robinson
Public Policy Director
Scott Ehlers
Senior Policy Analyst
Rob Stewart
Communications Director
The Drug Policy Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating reasoned and compassionate drug policies. DPF members support comprehensive legislative and regulatory reform of our nation's drug laws.
Additional copies of this publication are available at $5.00 each.

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

Alaska

Proposition 8

Arizona

Proposition 300
Proposition 301

Colorado

Initiative 19

District of Columbia

Initiative 59

Nevada

Ballot Question 9

Oregon

Measure 57
Measure 67

Washington

Initiative 692

Resources

About the Drug Policy Foundation

Introduction

Election ’98 is shaping up as a test for drug policy reform efforts across the nation. On November 3 citizens in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia will vote on ballot initiatives that will determine whether bdoctors in those states can prescribe marijuana for seriously ill patients who would benefit from such treatment. In addition to a medicinal marijuana referendum, Oregon voters will decide whether to accept the legislature’s 1997 decision to recriminalize personal possession of marijuana. And, in Arizona, voters will consider two ballot measures that will determine if they accept the state legislature’s alterations to a 1996 voter-approved drug policy reform initiative.

The following report has been compiled to provide an overview of the problems arising out of current federal and state laws regarding marijuana, the need for reform, and the state-led efforts to make marijuana available to those patients who need it.
 

History

Marijuana has a long history of use in medicine, with the first recorded evidence of use being in China approximately 5000 years ago. Its recorded use in the United States dates back to the 1850s, and was used for a variety of illnesses until it was effectively prohibited by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

The DEA Ignores the Science

In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, which defined marijuana as a Schedule I drug, a category of drugs deemed unsafe, highly subject to abuse, and possessing no recognized medicinal value. In 1972, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) disputed this classification by petitioning the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (now the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)) to reschedule marijuana to Schedule II so that it could be prescribed by physicians. After 24 years of legal maneuvering, the DEA finally held public hearings on the issue in 1986 before chief DEA administrative law judge, Francis Young.

On September 6, 1988, Young ruled:

Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.... One must reasonably conclude that there is accepted safety for use of marijuana under medical supervision. To conclude otherwise, on the record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.1
 
Judge Young’s ruling would not stand for long, however. DEA Administrator John Lawn rejected the opinion of his own administrative law judge, calling claims of the medical utility of marijuana a "dangerous and cruel hoax."

Hypocrisy in High Places: The Federal Government’s Medicinal Marijuana Program

Although the DEA refuses to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana, today the federal government supplies eight patients with medicinal marijuana through its Compassionate Investigational New Drug program (IND). The first patient to receive marijuana under the federal program was Robert Randall in 1976, and 12 others have received marijuana from the program since then. Beginning in 1989, the FDA was inundated with applications from AIDS patients seeking legal marijuana to relieve nausea. By 1992, 28 patients were on the waiting list to receive medicinal marijuana from the federal government. The increase in patients posed a dilemma for the Bush administration, however, and in 1991 it announced that the program would be closed, claiming that it "gives a bad signal." The Clinton administration appears to agree with that reasoning, and has refused to reopen it.

The Federal Government Versus States’ Rights

Between the 1970s and today, 35 states passed laws supporting the medicinal use of marijuana. State legislation has proved largely futile, though, because marijuana is prohibited and the federal government controls the legal marijuana supply.

This changed somewhat in 1996, with the passage of California’s Proposition 215. Prop. 215 legalized the medical use of marijuana for patients with the written or oral recommendation of a physician. It has proved to be the most effective state-based effort at getting marijuana to patients because it was instituted through the referendum process and it allowed patients and caregivers to grow their own medicine. This has allowed, at least temporarily, cannabis buyers’ clubs to supply patients with marijuana after passage of the initiative.

But even that effort is threatened by the federal government. In January 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice filed civil lawsuits against six Northern California buyers’ clubs to shut them down. Three have since closed, and on October 13 U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ordered the Oakland club to shut its doors.

Overview of the 1998 Initiatives

Despite the federal government’s attempts to thwart the will of the people in regard to medicinal marijuana, more states are pushing to protect medicinal marijuana patients from prosecution for using and growing their medicine. As previously mentioned, medicinal marijuana ballot initiatives will be considered in 1998 by voters in: Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state. In Arizona, the future of medical marijuana depends on the voters rejecting Proposition 300. If Prop. 300 is rejected, physicians will be allowed to prescribe marijuana (and other Schedule I drugs) if two doctors agree that a patient would be effectively treated with the drug, and if there is scientific documentation that supports its use.
Comparison of Provisions in the 1998 Medical Marijuana Initiatives
 
 
Legal Defense or Exemption for Patients
Doctor's Written Approval Required
Eligible Medical Conditions
Marijuana Possession Limits
Patient Registry Requirement
Number of Caregivers Permitted
Permits Non-Profit Marijuana Suppliers
Statutory or Constitutional
Alaska
Yes
Yes
AMR Model*
AMR Limits**
Yes One No Statutory
Arizona Prop. 300 ("No" vote)#
Yes
Written approval by 2 doctors and supporting scientific documentation
"debilitating diseases" or "seriously ill or terminally ill" patients
"receipt, possession or use ... pursuant to the prescription of a doctor" is legal
No
Not Specified
No
Statutory
Colorado##
Yes
Yes
AMR Model
2 ounces; 6 plants w/ 3 flowering
Yes
One
No
Constitutional
D.C.
Yes
Written or Oral
HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, muscle spasms, cancer, and "other serious or chronic illnesses"
"sufficient quantity" to treat illness
No
Four
Yes
Statutory
Nevada
Yes
"Advice required"; to be determined by legislature
AMR Model
To be determined by legislature
Yes
To be determined by legislature
Possibly; system to be determined by legislature
Constitutional
Oregon Measure 67
Yes
Yes
AMR Model
AMR Model
Yes
One
No
Statutory
Washington
Yes
Yes
AMR Model
60-Day Supply
No
One
No
Statutory
 
* AMR Model includes: cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, cachexia, seizure disorders (including epilepsy), spasticity disorders (including multiple sclerosis), severe pain, and severe nausea. 

** AMR Limits include: 1 ounce of marijuana and 6 plants, 3 of which may be flowering. 

# Arizona’s Prop. 300: If Prop. 300 is rejected by the voters, then the drug policy reforms contained in 1996’s Prop. 200 will go into effect. Doctors would be allowed to prescribe marijuana and other Schedule I drugs if the doctor has scientific documentation supporting its use for the patient’s condition and a second doctor agrees that the use of the drug is appropriate. 

## Colorado: It was unclear whether the Colorado initiative had enough signatures to qualify for ballot status at publication time. It will appear on the ballot, but if it is determined that there was an insufficient number of signatures, votes for the initiative will not be counted. 

Although there are many similarities among the 1998 medicinal marijuana initiatives, there are some important differences as well. The above chart compares the key elements of each of the initiatives:

All of the state referenda include provisions that give patients and caregivers either a legal defense in court or specifically exempt them from certain controlled substances laws. Initiatives that would create patient registries also have provisions that would protect non-registered patients and caregivers if a doctor has advised a patient that marijuana would be beneficial in his/her treatment. All of the initiatives being directed by affiliates of Americans for Medical Rights (AMR) specify which medical conditions can be treated with marijuana, but also allow for the addition of conditions. The Washington, D.C., initiative lists specific medical conditions, but also covers "other serious or chronic illnesses." With the exception of the Washington state campaign, all of the initiatives that are being directed by affiliates of Americans for Medical Rights contain a provision that would establish a confidential patient registry and identification card system. Such systems are designed to protect patients from being arrested and give law enforcement a means of verifying whether a person is a legitimate medical marijuana patient.

In Washington state, Washington, D.C., and Arizona, no patient registry is required, but a doctor must recommend (in writing or orally in D.C.) that a patient use the drug to treat a serious illness. Washington state patients are required to present their documentation to a law enforcement agent if asked to do so.

The AMR-affiliated initiatives are generally very specific in terms of how much marijuana a patient is allowed to possess, but give a patient a legal defense in court if he/she can prove that the greater amount of marijuana was needed to treat an illness. The one exception is Washington state, where patients are allowed to possess a two month supply.

In Washington, D.C., patients would be allowed to possess a "sufficient quantity" to treat an illness.

For the most part, the AMR-affiliated initiatives do not contain provisions that provide for a supply of medicinal marijuana, except that patients are allowed to grow their own limited supply. The one exception is the Nevada initiative, which requires the legislature to authorize "appropriate methods for supply of the plant to patients…."

The Washington, D.C. initiative goes the furthest in its attempt to supply marijuana to patients by allowing non-profit corporations to be established to cultivate and distribute medicinal marijuana. It also requires the eventual supply of "safe and affordable" marijuana to patients enrolled in Medicaid- or Ryan White CARE Act-funded programs.

Shortcomings of the Initiatives

Although the Drug Policy Foundation supports the passage of all of the medicinal marijuana initiatives, there are some provisions that are potentially problematic for medicinal marijuana patients after the initiatives pass. Restrictive provisions were most likely included so that the initiatives would receive voter support, and so some of the "loopholes" of the California medicinal marijuana referendum could be closed. None of these problems would exist if the federal government allowed marijuana to be prescribed like other medications.

In the event that the initiatives pass, the following provisions are cause for concern:

The Drug Policy Foundation agrees with the intent of the patient registries - to protect patients from being arrested and verify patients’ legal status. DPF also understands that if marijuana were a legally prescribed medication, patient registries would not be necessary. DPF is concerned, however, about the possibility of confidentiality violations.  There is a danger that the legislature could open up the patient registry for purposes it was not intended to address. There is also the possibility of violations by employees of the state health departments and law enforcement, and, though not as likely, potential seizure by the federal government.

For these reasons, it is of utmost importance that confidentiality be strictly enforced and violators be prosecuted. The federal government should also be assured that attempts to seize a patient registry would be resisted by state government authorities.

Although some of the initiatives allow patients to grow their own medicine and possess up to an ounce of marijuana (two ounces in Colorado), some of the legal limits are too stringent in DPF’s opinion. A six-plant cultivation limit, with only three plants flowering, will not be sufficient for many patients. Limiting patients to legally possessing only an ounce at a time will force many patients to enter the black market too frequently if they want to stay within the legal limits. Fortunately, there is an "escape clause," whereby a patient has a defense if he/she can prove that the larger amount of marijuana was necessary for medical treatment. The final concern is that the supply mechanism for medicinal marijuana is inadequate for many of the initiatives. Patients can supply themselves if they cultivate their own medicinal marijuana, and will not be prosecuted for acquiring medicinal marijuana, but they will still have to enter the criminal market to buy their medicine.

Two of the initiatives do provide for a supply mechanism. The Nevada initiative requires the legislature to authorize "appropriate methods for supply" of marijuana. The Washington, D.C. initiative would allow for nonprofit corporations to be established to cultivate and distribute medicinal marijuana. DPF supports the efforts of these state campaigns to attempt to supply marijuana to patients from a source outside of the criminal market.

Conclusions

While there are some imperfect provisions in some of the medical marijuana initiatives, DPF fully supports their passage in all states. DPF also believes that Arizona voters should reject the legislature’s attempt to overturn key provisions of Proposition 200, the 1996 drug policy reform initiative. Finally, DPF’s position on the larger marijuana issue is that adults should not be subject to arrest for personal possession of marijuana. In that light, DPF is opposed to Oregon’s Measure 57, which would recriminalize marijuana if approved.

1. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition" [Docket #86-22] (September 6, 1988), p. 57.


ALASKA

— Proposition 8 —

An Act Relating to the Medical Uses of Marijuana for
Persons Suffering from Debilitating Medical Conditions

Organizational Sponsor: Alaskans for Medical Rights
Contact(s): David Finkelstein, Treasurer (907) 277-2567
Website: http://www.alaskalife.net/AKMR
 

Key Provisions


ARIZONA

— Proposition 300 —
Referendum on H.B. 2518

Organizational Sponsor: The People Have Spoken
Contact: Sam Vagenas (602) 222-6639

Endorsements ("For" State Legislature’s Revisions)
Arizona Pharmacy Association
The Center for Arizona Policy
Arizona Christian Coalition
Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police

Opponents ("Against" State Legislature’s Revisions)
The People Have Spoken
Grant Woods, Arizona Attorney General
John A. "Jack" LaSota, Former Attorney General
Judge Rudolph J. Gerber, Arizona Court of Appeals

Background

In 1996, 65.4 percent of Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, the "Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act of 1996." One of the provisions of that ballot initiative was that physicians would be allowed to prescribe marijuana and other Schedule I drugs (heroin, LSD, MDMA, and others) if: (1) the docator had scientific documentation that the drug was useful in the treatment of a seriously ill patient, and (2) the physician had the written opinion of a second doctor that use of the drug was appropriate.

In reaction to the passage of that initiative, the Arizona state legislature enacted H.B. 2518 and S.B. 1373, which nullified key provisions of Proposition 200. H.B. 2518 required that the federal government approve the medical use of marijuana before Arizona doctors would be allowed to prescribe it and other Schedule I drugs.

Because the passage of H.B. 2518 and S.B. 1373 was seen as being undemocratic and an attempt to "thwart the mandate of the voters," a signature drive was started by The People Have Spoken to let the voters determine if these two bills should become law.

A "Yes" vote for Proposition 300 indicates that a voter wants the legislature’s revisions to become law. A "No" vote indicates that a voter wants the legislature’s revisions to be rejected and for the original provisions of Proposition 200 to take effect. If Proposition 300 is rejected, Arizona doctors can prescribe marijuana and other Schedule I drugs without the federal government’s approval of the medical use of marijuana.

Key Provisions


ARIZONA

— Proposition 301 —

Referendum on S.B. 1373

Organizational Sponsor: The People Have Spoken
Contact: Sam Vagenas (602) 222-6639

Endorsements ("For" Legislature’s Revisions)
John Kaites, State Senator

Opponents
The People Have Spoken
Grant Woods, Arizona Attorney General
John A. "Jack" LaSota, Former Attorney General
Judge Rudolph J. Gerber, Arizona Court of Appeals

Background

In 1996, 65.4 percent of Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act of 1996. One of the provisions of that ballot initiative was that persons convicted of the "personal possession or use of a controlled substance" for the first or second time could not be incarcerated, but rather were required to undergo treatment as a condition of their probation. Second-time offenders and probation violators could have additional sanctions imposed, such as "intensified drug treatment, community service, intensive probation, [and] home arrest," but they could not be incarcerated. Persons who had previously been convicted of a violent offense were not eligible for probation under Proposition 200, but a person previously convicted of a felony drug offense (i.e. sales) was still eligible.

In reaction to the passage of that initiative, the Arizona state legislature enacted H.B. 2518 and S.B. 1373, which nullified key provisions of Proposition 200. Under S.B. 1373, persons with a previous non-violent, non-possession, felony drug offense (i.e. sales) can be imprisoned for a subsequent personal possession charge, whereas Prop. 200 required probation for such an offender. Persons who are placed on probation under S.B. 1373 can be imprisoned for testing positive for drug use or for a subsequent drug possession charge. Under Prop. 200, additional sanctions could be instituted in such cases, but the person could not be incarcerated.

Because the passage of H.B. 2518 and S.B. 1373 was seen as being undemocratic and an attempt to "thwart the mandate of the voters," a signature drive was started by The People Have Spoken to put these two bills on the ballot and let the voters determine if they should become law.

A "Yes" vote for Proposition 301 indicates that a voter wants the legislature’s revisions to become law. A "No" vote indicates that a voter wants the legislature’s revisions to be rejected and for the original provisions of Proposition 200 to take effect. If Proposition 301 is rejected, persons who violate their parole by testing positive for drug use cannot be imprisoned for violating parole, and persons previously convicted of drug sales could not be imprisoned for a subsequent drug possession charge.

Key Provisions


COLORADO

— Initiative 19 —
The Colorado Medical Marijuana Initiative

Organizational Sponsor: Coloradans for Medical Rights
Contact: Luther Symons, (303) 394-0440
Website: http://www.medicalmarijuana.com
 

Background

Coloradans for Medical Rights (CMR) submitted 88,815 signatures on July 7, with 54,242 being required. On August 6, after using a random sampling technique, Secretary of State Vikki Buckley ruled that only 47,960 signatures were valid. CMR appealed that decision after an independent review found that Buckley’s sampling technique was flawed, a fact that she later conceded in court.

On September 10, Denver District Judge Herbert Stern agreed that sampling errors were made and ruled that the initiative should be placed on the ballot without the need for a line-by-line signature count. Buckley appealed Stern’s decision to the state Supreme Court, which ruled on October 5 that the initiative should not automatically receive ballot status and that the Secretary of State should perform a line-by-line signature verification.

On October 17, Buckley ruled that there were only 51,904 valid signatures, falling short of the required number. At publication time, CMR was exploring other legal avenues to appeal the decision. The initiative will appear on the ballot, but if it is determined that there was an insufficient number of signatures, votes for the measure will not be counted.

Key Provisions

Prospects for Passage

58% in favor, 40% against
source: Denver Post poll, October 17


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

— Initiative 59 —

Legalization of Marijuana for Medical
Treatment Initiative of 1998

Organizational Sponsor: Washingtonians for the Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Contact: Wayne Turner, Campaign Treasurer (202) 547-9404
Website: http://www.actupdc.org

Endorsements
National Black Police Association
Whitman-Walker Clinic
Anthony Williams, Democratic nominee for mayor
Carol Schwartz, Republican nominee for mayor
John Gloster, Statehood Party nominee for mayor
 

Background

ACT UP-DC’s first attempt at getting a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot was 1997’s Initiative 57. This initiative was submitted in the wake of the passage of the medical marijuana initiatives in California and Arizona in 1996. Failing to gather enough signatures, ACT UP submitted slightly different wording in its next effort, Initiative 59.

On July 6, the campaign submitted over 32,000 D.C. voter signatures to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. At least 5 percent of the total number of D.C. registered voters (16,997) must sign a petition to put it on the ballot, including at least 5 percent of voters in five of the District’s eight wards.

After the Board disqualified over 4,600 signatures from one petitioner and ruled on August 5 that the number of verified signatures (17,092) was "statistically insufficient," Initiative 59 organizers challenged the signature count in D.C. Superior Court.

On September 2, the Board admitted that it had erred in the signature count, including not counting the signature of Steve Michael, the original campaign director of Initiative 59 who died from AIDS on May 25. D.C. Superior Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled on September 3 that thousands of signatures that were previously disqualified should be counted, opening the way for Initiative 59’s placement on the November 1998 ballot.

Key Provisions


NEVADA

— Ballot Question 9 —

A Constitutional Amendment to Make
Medicinal Marijuana Available to the
Citizens of Nevada

Organizational Sponsor: Nevadans for Medical Rights
Contact(s): Dan Geary or Dan Hart, (702) 259-0300
 

Endorsements
Las Vegas Review Journal
 

Background

This ballot initiative would amend Nevada’s constitution if voters approve it this year and again in 1999. Nevadans for Medical Rights (NMR) submitted 74,466 signatures to the Secretary of State, out of a minimum requirement of 46,764. The campaign was initially found to be seven signatures short in Lyon county and 36 names short in Nye county, but on August 3 the Secretary of State determined that signature-counting errors had been made and that the initiative would be on the ballot.
 

Key Provisions

Prospects for Passage

47% in favor, 44% against
source: Mason-Dixon poll,  conducted on behalf of the Las Vegas Review Journal, October 4.

OREGON

 

— Measure 57 —
Referendum on H.B. 3643,
Recriminalization of Marijuana

Organizational Sponsor: No on 57
Contact(s): Jeff Sugarman or David Smigelski, (503) 371-6222

Endorsements
ACLU — Oregon
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
Democratic Party of Oregon

Opponents
Oregonians Against Drugs

Background

Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement submitted over 90,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office on October 3, 1997 to have a statewide vote on H.B. 3643, which recriminalized marijuana in Oregon. The state was the first in the nation to decriminalize marijuana in 1973, when it made marijuana offenses a non-criminal violation, punishable by a fine of $500 to $1,000. H.B. 3643 would have made the personal possession of marijuana a class "C" misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and loss of a driver’s license.

The legislature estimated that it could cost the state up to $1.5 million per year in jail, court, and attorney costs. It also estimated that approximately 6,000 marijuana offenders would be arrested under the new law, half of which would spend a night in jail and pay a fine.

Because the legislation was put on the ballot, marijuana has not been recriminalized in Oregon at this time, but will take effect if the voters approve of Measure 57. If voters vote "no" on Measure 57, marijuana will remain a non-criminal violation.

Key Provisions

Prospects for Passage

38% in favor, 54% against
         source: Davis and Hibbits poll, conducted for The Oregonian, October 11


OREGON

— Measure 67 —
Oregon Medical Marijuana Act

Organizational Sponsor: Oregonians for Medical Rights
Contact(s): Jeff Sugarman or David Smigelski, (503) 371-4711
Website: http://www.teleport.com/~omr

Endorsements
The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon)
Willamette Week
Albany Democrat-Herald
Oregon Coalition of Black Men
ACLU — Oregon
Oregon Physicians for Social Resonsibility

Opponents
Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs

Background

Oregonians for Medical Rights submitted 97,648 signatures to the secretary of state’s office, while being required to submit approximately 73,261. In Oregon, signatures are checked by scientific sampling. The campaign had a validity rate of approximately 79 percent; it needed a 75 percent validity rate. The initiative qualified on July 10.

Key Provisions

Prospects for Passage

59% in favor, 37% against
source: Davis and Hibbits poll, conducted for The Oregonian, October 11.

WASHINGTON

— Initiative 692 —

Washington State Medical Use of
Marijuana Act

Organizational Sponsor: Washington Citizens for Medical Rights
Contact(s): Rob Killian, MD, Tim Killian (206) 781-7716
Website: http://www.eventure.com/i692
 

Background

This is the second drug policy reform initiative that Dr. Rob Killian has succeeded in placing on the ballot in Washington. The first initiative was I-685, "The Drug Medicalization and Prevention Act of 1997," which was rejected by 60 percent of Washington voters. It was modeled after Arizona’s Proposition 200, which passed in 1996. I-685 would have allowed doctors to recommend Schedule I drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and LSD if they had scientific research and a second doctor’s recommendation to support such use, as well as would have released non-violent drug offenders from jail or prison, and required first- and second-time non-violent drug offenders to enter treatment rather than be incarcerated.

Despite the fact that I-685 failed to pass, there appeared to be much support for medical marijuana. Exit polls for I-685 showed that 46 percent of persons opposed to the initiative would support a medicinal marijuana initiative. Seeing public support for the issue, two state senators (Sens. Jeanne Kohl, D-Seattle and Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane) agreed to introduce a medical marijuana bill (S.B. 6271) in the 1998 legislative session. That effort failed, however, and an initiative similar to S.B. 6271 was written and circulated to be placed on the 1998 ballot.

On July 10, the I-692 campaign submitted over 250,000 signatures to the Secretary of State. On July 30 the initiative was certified for the November 3 ballot.

Key Provisions

Prospects for Passage

59% in favor, 35% against
source: Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 17

RESOURCES

State Campaigns

Alaska

Alaskans for Medical Rights
Contact: David Finkelstein
Ph: (907) 277-AKMR
Fax: (907) 277-2565
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.alaskalife.net/AKMR/
Website contains the text and summary of Proposition 8, as well as medical marijuana research.

Arizona

The People Have Spoken
Contact: Sam Vagenas
Ph: (602) 222-6639

Colorado

Coloradans For Medical Rights
Contact: Luther Symons
Ph: (303) 394-0440
Fax: (303) 394-9135
Web: http://www.medicalmarijuana.com
Website contains the text and summary of Initiative 19, facts about medical marijuana, and frequently-asked-questions.

District of Columbia

Washingtonians for the Legalization of Medical Marijuana/Yes on 59
Contact: Wayne Turner
Phone: (202) 547-9404
Web: http://www.actupdc.org
Website contains the text and summary of Initiative 59, press releases, and legal documents pertaining to the initiative.

Nevada

Nevadans for Medical Rights
Contact: Dan Geary or Dan Hart
Phone: (702) 259-0300
Fax: (702) 259-7708

Oregon

No on 57
Contact: Jeff Sugarman or David Smigelski
Phone: (503) 371-6222
Fax: (503) 371-4720

Oregonians for Medical Rights
Contact: Jeff Sugarman or David Smigelski
Phone: (503) 371-4711
Fax: (503) 371-4720
Web: http://www.teleport.com/~omr

Washington

Washington Citizens for Medical Rights
Contact: Dr. Rob Killian or Tim Killian
Phone: (206) 781-7716
Fax: (206) 324-3101
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.eventure.com/i692
Website contains the text and summary of Initiative 692, press releases, and information about the organization and its supporters.

National Organizations

Americans for Medical Rights
Contact: Dave Fratello
Phone: (310) 394-2952
Fax: (310) 451-7494
Email: [email protected]
National group that is organizing medical marijuana initiatives in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state.

Drug Policy Foundation
Contacts: Sher Horosko, Executive Director; H. Alexander Robinson, Public Policy Director
Phone: (202) 537-5005
Fax: (202) 537-3007
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.dpf.org
National organization that educates the public about drug policy reform issues. Among its many programs is the Medical Marijuana Support Fund, a grant program that aids medical marijuana patients and efforts to make policy changes.

Marijuana Policy Project
Contact: Robert Kampia, Government Affairs Director; Chuck Thomas, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 462-5747
Fax: (202) 232-0442
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.mpp.org
National organization that is helping to organize volunteers for Initiative 59. Educates the public and advocates on behalf of marijuana law reform.

National Oranization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Contact: Keith Stroup, Executive Director
Phone: (202) 483-5500
Fax: (202) 483-0057
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.norml.org
The nation’s oldest drug policy reform group. NORML advocates on behalf of marijuana policy reform.
 


About the Drug Policy Foundation
DPF has over 17,000 supporters throughout the United States.  DPF’s long-term goal is to change the nation’s approach and attitude toward drug use and drug users, including comprehensive legislative and regulatory reform of our nation’s drug laws.  DPF is committed to the enactment of U.S. drug policies that respect individual rights, encourage individual responsibility, protect children and adolescents, and ensure public health by lessening the harms associated with drug use.

Since its founding in 1986, the Drug Policy Foundation has researched and promoted alternatives to current drug policies.  The Drug Policy Letter, DPF’s quarterly journal, and the annual International Conference on Drug Policy Reform have provided a forum for the discussion of a variety of reform proposals—from allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to presenting coherent and comprehensive plans for reform.

Through its public policy program activities DPF evaluates and disseminates timely information on foreign and domestic alternatives to the current drug policies, advocates for reform, and seeks to build public support for reform by stimulating grassroots activism.

Finally, DPF’s Grant Program provides funding for local, state, national and international advocacy, public education, and innovative harm reduction services that effectively respond to the harms created by drug abuse and by the current drug policies.

 


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