Sammamish Forum July 9
July 9, 2014
Stop prosecuting medical marijuana patients
Our country is home to the world’s largest population of prisoners; some of those prisoners are ill and serving time for medical marijuana (cannabis) related charges, despite being in compliance with state law.
The Obama Administration has repeatedly claimed that it’s not targeting individual patients. However, the U.S. Department of Justice has spent more than $3 million to prosecute Eastern Washington resident Larry Harvey and four other state-authorized medical cannabis patients, known as the “Kettle Falls 5.”
Seattle native and New York Times columnist Timothy Egan puts it this way: “If Larry Harvey, at the age of 70, with his gout and high blood pressure and bum knee, gets the mandatory 10-year term, he’s likely to die in prison, certainly not the last casualty of the assault on our citizens known as the War on Drugs. For him, freedom is just another word his congresswoman likes to throw around on the Fourth of July.”
Congress has the opportunity to put end to this unjust federal interference. Sen. Rand Paul’s (K-Ky.) and Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) medical marijuana amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill would end the funding that is currently used to arrest, raid and prosecute legitimate patients and care providers.
The U.S. House of Representatives already took a first step toward justice when it passed the amendment, 219-189 on May 30. Now it’s time for the Senate to take a stand and vote in favor of the Paul-Booker amendment and end to the war on patients.