Press Release: December 12, 1997

From: Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana

AMR: Competition not Compassion in Maine
 
Americans for Medical Rights, a California-based campaign organization,  has launched a competing medical marijuana initiative petition drive in Maine, instead of supporting existing ongoing petitioning efforts by Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana, Maine Vocals, Maine Cannabis Alliance, Maine Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp, Maine Green Party, Maine Libertarian Party, and many concerned Maine citizens. Instead AMR has helped to form Mainer's for Medical Rights and has drafted a 2nd initiative petition to undermine and compete with the original grassroots initiative. Their efforts will conflict with all of the hard work already done by citizens, patients, and activists who have been working hard to bring this issue to the public to vote on. This is just another issue where "big money" buys their way in and tries to circumvent the will of the people, for their own agenda.

The AMR initiative is long, ambiguous, full of restrictions and regulations, which is the direct opposite of the MCMM initiative language. The MCMM initiative language is short, easy to read and understand, doesn't change any existing laws pertaining to non-medical uses, and doesn't have any "fine print".  It clearly puts the issue in the doctor's and patient's hands, and makes it legal, not just a defense or exception to the current law, removing the politics from medicine, just like any other medicinal herb or medicine currently available.

Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana are opposed to the government, who has outright lied to us about medical marijuana and who won't even admit that marijuana is a medicine, being put back in charge of an issue We The People had to petition for. If we are going to take charge, then let's do it right.

We are against limiting which illness or injury is eligible to be considered for medical marijuana use. That is between the doctor and patient, and is a protected relationship, none of the government's business.

We are against limiting amounts of marijuana a patient and caregivers can possess, and also against limiting amounts of plants patients and caregivers can grow.  Remember we have adequate laws on the books at this time regarding furnishing and sales of marijuana from which patients will not be exempt. We don't need a double standard set of regulations that's full of red tape and takes a lawyer to interpret.

Specifically, the limits set forth in the AMR legislation will have detrimental effects on the patients. They will be constantly short of supplies, forcing them to still participate in the "DRUG WAR", by purchasing their medicine on the black market and possibly getting marijuana that has been tainted. The other side of the coin is that if the patient's plants produce well, they are constantly oversupplied, again forcing them back into the "DRUG WAR" by having too much when it comes time to harvest.

So how much should a patient be able to grow and possess?  AS MUCH AS THEY NEED...
The Feds. supply upwards of 7 lbs. to each of the 8 federally approved medical marijuana patients per year, (3/4 lbs. every month) with no strings attached or babysitters!

The obvious detrimental effects are limiting access and determining who will qualify. Many more people that need cannabis "will not qualify" because of the guidelines. If We The People are going to take control, then we should be caring for everyone who has a legitimate need, let the doctors and patients decide. We don't let Sen. and Rep. perform surgery or run blood tests, why would we want them recommending or prescribing our medicines for us???

AMR's real objective is to "send a message" to the Feds., to change their laws, nationally, by using us in Maine, Colorado, DC, Alaska and every other state that they "compassionately help." They don't care that their plan is actually unworkable, as long as they just win, to send their message to Washington.

We are not interested in just messages, we want a plan that cares and works for Maine citizens, to hell with the bureaucrats and politicians. This is a people's bill. The politicians had their chance for the last 10 years to create medical marijuana legislation but have failed to do their jobs.   We The People are now going to do it ourselves, with legislation that will benefit Maine people, irregardless of what Washington or AMR has to say about it. Seems to me with these types of tactics, lack of cooperation with Maine activists, one would think AMR has jumped in bed with the very people who have been against what we are trying to accomplish.

Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana wants the people to be aware of this competing situation, so that it doesn't turn out like our forestry referendum that ended up doing absolutely nothing because of Gov. King's competing forestry measure. 



To support the real grassroots initiative in Maine, and not the one written by Californians, contact:

Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana
PO Box 189
Anson, Maine 04911
Phone: 207-696-8167
E-mail: mevocals@somtel.com

Donations are encouraged!!!! 


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