FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 29, 2008
Law Enforcement Objections to Medical Marijuana Bill at Odds With Reality, Advocates Say Bill Supporters Refute Demonstrably False Statements, Unveil New Ad
CONTACT: Neal Levine, MPP director of state campaigns, (612) 424-7001
MINNEAPOLIS — In a press conference held today at the statehouse, advocates offered a point-by-point refutation of misleading-to-outright false statements made by some law enforcement officials during testimony before the legislature and in the media regarding the medical marijuana bill pending on the House floor.
Proponents of S.F. 345, the bill to protect from arrest seriously ill Minnesotans who use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation, said certain aspects of the law enforcement community were relying on misstatements and untruths to derail the bill.
"Some legislators, as well as the governor, have indicated they may not be willing to support this sensible and compassionate legislation, based on the words of certain aspects of the law enforcement community," said Neal Levine, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Therefore, we feel it’s important to look at those words."
For example, Dakota County Attorney James C. Backstrom stated in legislative testimony that "there is no proven medicinal value in using marijuana to treat illnesses or disease.” In fact, the 124,000-member American College of Physicians has noted "marijuana's proven efficacy at treating certain symptoms and its relatively low toxicity."
For a detailed list of false and misleading statements made by Minnesota law enforcement officials, along with sourced refutations of each one, visit: http://www.minnesotacares.org/media/law_enforcement.pdf.
Also during the press conference, Levine announced the latest in a series of TV ads airing statewide, featuring Minnesota medical marijuana patients urging Gov. Tim Pawlenty not to veto the medical marijuana bill as he has threatened to do if the House passes it.
The new ad features K.K. Forss of Ely, who suffers constant debilitating pain caused by a ruptured disk in his neck and nerve damage from subsequent surgeries. The ad is available online here: http://minnesotacares.org/Ads_video.html.
"This doesn't have anything to do with culture wars," Forss says in the ad, noting that he is a registered Republican and a born-again Christian. "We have people suffering in horrible pain, and we talk politics – it doesn't have to be that way."
With more than 23,000 members and 180,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. For more information, please visit www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.