Medical Maijuana Defense Bill - A Reality-By Alexis Baden-Mayer

Dear Friend:

The new medical marijuana affirmative defense bill in Congress is a reality! On Friday, March 21, three members of the California delegation — Democratic Reps. Sam Farr and Lynn Woolsey and Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — sent a letter to all U.S. House members, informing them about the new bill and asking them to cosponsor it.

If you have not yet sent a fax to your U.S. representative urging him or her to protect states’ rights to medical marijuana and to remove the “gag” that the federal government is placing on medical marijuana defendants in court, now is the time.

The Marijuana Policy Project is especially excited about this new bill, having  played a major role in the development and drafting of  it. The purpose of the bill — which will be known as the Patients’ and Providers’ Truth in Trials Act or, simply, the Truth in Trials Act — is to correct the most fundamental injustice associated with medical marijuana today: the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of patients and providers by the federal government. It accomplishes this by providing defendants with an affirmative defense to marijuana charges. By raising this affirmative defense, any defendant who is found to have been acting in compliance with state medical marijuana law could not be sent to federal prison.

Pending the outcome of the situation in Iraq, this bill will be formally introduced in Congress in a few weeks. Before that time, we hope to encourage a large number of members to sign on as original cosponsors. The more faxes each Congressperson receives, the more likely he or she will be to support the legislation.

The Best and Worst States

Since February 4, 14,801 faxes have been sent from MPP e-mail subscribers to members of Congress. This is a fantastic display of support — but far short of what is possible. In order to inspire activity through a friendly sense of competition, we continue to provide you with a running tally of which states are producing the most and the fewest faxes.

Since our last alert, Montana has produced a burst of activity and has moved from the ninth spot all the way up to Number 1. A tip of the hat also to our subscribers in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Rhode Island who helped move their states out of the dreaded Bottom 10 list. Iowa and Alabama, which had moved out of the Bottom 10 a few weeks ago, slid back onto that list.

Top 10 states (with the average number of faxes sent per House district):

1. Montana (116)

2. Nevada (113.7)

3. Oregon (105.2)

4. Vermont (92)

5. New Mexico (66.3)

6. Hawaii (66)

7. Washington (63)

8. Colorado (59.86)

9. California (59.83)

10. Alaska (58)

Bottom 10 states (with the average number of faxes sent per House district):

50. Delaware (9)

49. Mississippi (9.75)

48. South Dakota (10)

47. Louisiana (14.3)

46. South Carolina (18)

45. Iowa (18.2)

44. Kentucky (18.5)

43. New Jersey (18.8)

42. Alabama (19)

41. Georgia (19.4)

Thank you for doing your part to ensure that democracy will triumph and the will of the 80 percent of the American public who support medical marijuana will prevail.


Alexis Baden-Mayer

National Field Director

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.