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Will of the People

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Jan.29, 00
Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2000 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Lee Monnet
Dear Editor;
This letter is in regards to the 01/21/00 Watertown Daily Times op-ed "Voter Apathy a Crack in the Foundation of Our Democracy". I fully agree with the writer that the lack of voter participation could seriously undermine our democracy and individual freedoms. But, I can also understand how some feel that voting is futile.
A very good case in point is medical marijuana initiative 59 of the District of Columbia. In November of 1998, 69% of the voters approved the use of marijuana for treatment of serious illness under a doctors supervision. But, U.S. Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) rushed an amendment through congress prohibiting the city council from even tallying the results. The votes weren't counted until September 1999 when a federal court ruled that Barr's legislation violated voters constitutional rights. Now Rep. Barr and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) has simultaneously introduced a formal "resolution of disapproval" to invalidate the new law. When our elected officials have the audacity to circumvent the will of the people it is no wonder so many people become frustrated with our political representatives.
Sincerely; Lee Monnet Ogdensburg, NY