ACLU Urges Support for Maine Ballot Initiative on Medical Use of Marijuana

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
October 12, 1999 12:00 am

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Tuesday, October 12, 1999

PORTLAND, ME — The Maine Civil Liberties Union today urged voters to support “Question 2,” a ballot measure that would allow the use of small amounts of marijuana for the medical treatment of people suffering from cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, neurological seizures, and severe muscle spasticity.

The ballot measure would allow a person suffering from one of these conditions to use marijuana if his or her doctor has advised that marijuana use might benefit the patient’s treatment.

“All we ask on November 2 is that the people of Maine vote with compassion,” said Sally Sutton, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union. “Those suffering from these life threatening and seriously debilitating diseases should not be made victims of government laws and policies that make it a crime for them to have access to the one drug that may provide them with relief.”

Sutton emphasized that the measure would not legalize marijuana. In addition, the measure contains restrictions on what constitutes “medical necessity” and does not allow qualifying patients to possess unlimited supplies of marijuana.

“We agree with those who say there should be more research and that the federal government should change its laws,” said Sutton. “But, until that happens, approval of Question 2 may ease the pain and suffering of many people who don’t have the time to wait.”

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