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U.S.'s Second Largest Cancer Charity Calls for Legal Access as Vote Looms in Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a vote on medical marijuana looming in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has adopted a formal policy position calling for removal of criminal and civil penalties for seriously ill patients using marijuana with their doctor's recommendation. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the second largest cancer charity in the U.S., and the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services.
As the House prepares to vote this month on an amendment to bar Justice Department interference with state medical marijuana laws, the society's resolution cites federal interference with medical marijuana research, the harm that can be done to seriously ill patients by poor quality prison health care, and the wide support for legal access to medical marijuana within the medical community. It states, "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supports legislation to remove criminal and civil sanctions for the doctor-advised, medical use of marijuana by patients with serious physical medical conditions." The statement also calls for an end to federal prosecutions of patients in states that permit medical use of marijuana.
"This should put to rest forever the lie that the medical and scientific communities don't support medical marijuana," said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "As the House of Representatives prepares to consider medical marijuana, members need to ask themselves a simple question: What is better for seriously ill patients, medical marijuana or jail? There is no medical organization anywhere that believes jailing the sick is good for them, and yet that is precisely what federal policy does."
Journalists can contact MPP director of communications Bruce Mirken at the numbers above for a complete copy of the LLS resolution.
With more than 23,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.