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Pro-marijuana Group Targets Vt. Legislators

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MONTPELIER, Vt.- A national group pushing a bill to legalize marijuana
for medical purposes plans to target Vermont legislators next year who
oppose or don't actively support the measure.

The Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D. C., group seeking to
decriminalize marijuana for medical and recreation use, is advertising
for a state-wide political coordinator in Vermont.

"What we've seen in Vermont, as well as some other states where we've
been working in the legislature, is that our problem is not with
public opinion," said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the
Marijuana Policy Project.

"Polls nationally show about 80% of people support allowing people who
are seriously ill to use medical marijuana without fear of arrest.

So our problem is a disconnect between public opinion and what's
happening in the legislature."

A bill legalizing medical marijuana easily passed the
Democrat-controlled Vermont Senate this year on a 22-7 vote.

However, it has languished in the house, which in under Republican

The bill, modeled closely after the one that passed the Vermont House
last year with tri-partisan support, requires a doctor's certification
that the patient suffers from one of several specified conditions or
from such diseases as AIDS and cancer.

Patients would be registered with the state Health Department; those
who were rejected could appeal to a panel of three doctors appointed
by the Medical Practice Board.

Pubdate: Mon, 13 Oct 2003
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2003 Johnson Newspaper Corp.
Address: P.O. box 409 Ogdensburg NY 13669
Website: The Journal