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Congress Passes Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

September-October 1998

On September 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 310 to 93 forHouse Joint Resolution 117 (H.J.Res. 117), a nonbinding anti-medicinalmarijuana resolution, sponsored by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) (Judy Holland,"House Votes To Oppose Medical Marijuana Use," San Francisco Examiner,September 16, 1998; Cassandra Burrell, "House resolution puts pot outsiderealm of medicine," Wisconsin State Journal (Madison), September16, 1998, p. 2A).

Robert Kampia, director of government relations for the Marijuana PolicyProject (MPP), told NewsBriefs, "While we lost the vote, 93 votesin favor of medicinal marijuana was more than we expected, given that theseHouse members are nervous about their chances of re-election on November3." Eighty-six Democrats, six Republicans, and one Socialist voted in supportof medical marijuana.

H.J.Res. 117 was similar to House Resolution 372 (H.Res. 372). However,H.J. Res 117 omitted the words "unequivocally opposed" and removed directreferences to state ballot initiatives, which were included in H. Res.372. A Senate joint resolution (S.J.Res 56), identical to H.J.Res 117,was included in the omnibus budget bill (without a separate vote) thatPresident Clinton signed on October 21 (P.L. 105-277). S.J.Res. 56 wassponsored by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA).

View the House floor debate on H.J.Res. 117 at <http://www.mpp.org/pdf/117debate.pdf>.

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) - P.O. Box 77492. Capitol Hill, Washington,D.C. 20013, Tel: (202) 462-5747, Fax: (202) 232-0442, E-mail: <mpp@mpp.org >,Web: <http://www.mpp.org>.

Rep. Bill McCollum - 2266 RHOB, Washington, DC 20515, Tel: (202)225-2176, Fax: (202) 225-0999.

Sen. Charles Grassley - SH-135, Washington, DC 20510, Tel: (202)224-3744, Fax: (202) 224-6020, E-mail: <charles_grassley@grassley.senate.gov >.