Drug War Victory

Drug War Victory, from the Marijuana
Policy Project
Last week, federal judge Emmet G. Sullivan declared the Barr
Amendment unconstitutional. The 1998 measure effectively prohibited
District of Columbia residents from proposing or voting on a ballot
initiative to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Congress
approved the law shortly after 69 percent of D.C. voters approved a
measure to remove criminal penalties for the medical use of
marijuana. Specifically the amendment, authored by Georgia
Republican Representative Bob Barr, prohibited the use of federal
funds to ”enact or carry out’ any law that reduces criminal
penalties for marijuana or any Schedule I controlled substance,’
according to the Marijuana Policy Project news release. Judge
Sullivan, in reviewing the case, supported the MPP’s argument ‘that
the Barr Amendment violated D.C. residents’ First Amendment right
to utilize the District’s ballot initiative process to engage in
public debate on a subject of fundamental importance.’ With the
recent win, the MPP is scrambling to get a new initiative on the
November ballot.
–Sara V. Buckwitz
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