News on Medical Marijuana in Vermont
from the Marijuana Policy Project
Great news! The number of states that protect medical
patients from arrest and prison is about to jump from eight to nine.
Yesterday, the Vermont Legislature approved the Marijuana Policy
Project's bill to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest --
and Vermont's Republican governor announced that he will let the bill
MPP's bill passed the state Senate by an overwhelming
yesterday, finally bringing an end to a long and complicated
Although the Vermont House of Representatives tried to
kill the bill
twice this year, MPP fought hard to resuscitate it -- and won.
We deployed a massive grassroots mobilization that swamped
legislators' offices with postcards, phone calls, and e-mails from
And in Burlington, Vermont's largest city, MPP ran a successful
campaign to pass a ballot measure back in March which called on the
state Legislature to enact a statewide medical marijuana law.
Burlington voters passed the initiative by an 83% to 17% vote, causing
a key state legislator from Burlington to switch his vote ... which
gave us the majority we needed to move the bill out of his committee.
And MPP's blanketed the airwaves with hard-hitting TV
Vermont patients explaining how marijuana helps control their
suffering. Quite simply, the ads shamed certain wavering politicians
into supporting MPP's bill. To watch the ads yourself, please visit
the following links:
According to MPP's records, you have not yet made a financial
to MPP (or the tax-deductible MPP Foundation) in 2004. Would you
please consider visiting http://www.mpp.org/donate0941 to donate $10
or more today?
The Vermont Senate first passed MPP's medical marijuana
bill in 2003,
but the House passed a different version on May 13, necessitating a
return to the Senate for an additional vote on the revised bill. After
fighting and winning in the Senate yesterday, the bill is finally
being sent to Gov. James Douglas (R).
The governor consistently opposed MPP's bill while it
debated in the Legislature, but he announced after yesterday's Senate
vote that he will allow the bill to become law without his signature.
His statement yesterday acknowledged that "marijuana offers those with
the most painful chronic diseases a measure of hope in a time of
suffering." See http://www.mpp.org/states/site/quicknews.cgi?key=7305
to read his statement.
Since Gov. Douglas will not stand in the way, the bill
will become law
marking the first time a medical marijuana bill was
enacted into law over the objections of a governor.
The bill allows patients suffering from AIDS, cancer,
sclerosis to possess and grow medical marijuana for personal use.
Vermont's victory is the second time a state legislature
legislation to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest. Of the
other eight states that have enacted similar laws allowing seriously
ill patients to use medical marijuana with their doctor's
recommendation -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada,
Oregon, and Washington -- all but Hawaii's law were enacted through
the ballot initiative process.
And, in Maryland, the Legislature and Gov. Bob Ehrlich
(R) enacted a
different kind of medical marijuana law ... one that protects medical
marijuana patients from jail if they can demonstrate that their use
was medical in nature ... but the law doesn't protect them from being
If one counts Maryland's law as a medical marijuana law,
then the last
two state medical marijuana laws will have been enacted with the
consent of Republican governors.
Thanks to MPP's 15,000 dues-paying members, we are making
progress. But we need your continued support to fund our work through
the rest of this year. Won't you please visit
http://www.mpp.org/donate0941 to make a financial contribution today?
Or visit http://www.mpp.org/Pioneers to set up your own personal Web
page to raise funds for MPP from your friends and family. Thank you ...
Marijuana Policy Project
The Marijuana Policy Project hopes that each of the 79,000
on this e-mail list will make at least one financial donation to MPP's
work in 2004. According to our records, you have not yet donated this
year. Would you please consider making one donation this year by
visiting http://www.mpp.org/donate0941 today?
As a part of this campaign, we hope that 500 volunteers
commit to raising $1,000 from their friends and colleagues, with
another 250 volunteers committing to raise $2,000 each. Please see
http://www.mpp.org/Pioneers to sign up for this campaign. (Since MPP
launched this campaign on May 4, 34 people have signed up.)
MPP will be able to tackle all of the projects in its
plan -- http://www.mpp.org/2004plan -- if you and other allies are
generous enough to donate and/or raise the following sums in 2004:
TYPE OF DONOR ..... $ GOALS FOR 2004 ..... $ RAISED IN
monthly pledgers ........ $52,000 ............ $24,226 ....
less than $1,000 ....... $446,000 ............ $92,174 ....
$1,000 to $1,999 ....... $500,000 ............ $14,025 ....
$2,000 to $2,999 ....... $500,000 ............. $4,591 ....
$3,000 to $24,999 ...... $100,000 ............ $24,000 ....
$25,000 to $99,999 ..... $300,000 ........... $135,000 ....
$100,000 and up ...... $1,600,000 ........... $130,000 ....
TOTALS ............... $3,498,000 ........... $424,017 ....