WASHINGTON: Organizations advocating medical use of marijuana are
preparing to turn up the heat on federal and state lawmakers - and pour
money into PR - following the Supreme Court's unanimous vote last Monday
to uphold federal law prohibiting the practice.
The ruling, which has no affect on the nine states which currently allow
medical use of marijuana, may seem a devastating blow to groups pushing
to reform marijuana laws. But the silver lining is that it gives birth
to a whole new fight, according to advocates.
Keith Stroup, executive director of the National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said the ruling is his group's cue to
take the fight to Congress. 'The courts were simply applying federal law
as it was adopted by Congress in 1970,' he said. 'We're going to use
this decision to get Congress to revisit this issue.'
NORML will spend an additional dollars 600,000 on PR and advertising
with Fenton Communications, with which it has worked in the past.
Chuck Thomas, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy
Project, said his team had been working overtime since the ruling to let
the media know that the decision did not overturn states' medical
marijuana laws - a fact he found largely ignored in press coverage of