October 25, 1998
Initiative 59 NOT "Snuffed Out"
Votes for Initiative 59 will be counted, but Congress bars certification of election results
Let the people decide!
Contact Wayne Turner or Anise Jenkins at (202) 547-9404
For more background information on this issue, see:
Washington, DC -- In the history of the Republic, Congress have never suspended an election. Even in wartime, this nation adheres to the democratic process and principles it promotes and defends throughout the world. Yet an amendment included on the FY1999 D.C. budget prohibits the certification of election results conducted in the District of Columbia on a citizens' initiative which protects the sick and dying, Initiative 59. (see text of the Barr amendment to the DC Appropriations bill at http://www.levellers.org/dcbarr.htm)
It took two signature drives, three lawsuits, and the death of the original
sponsor Steve Michael, to place Initiative 59 before the voters of the
District of Columbia. The Measure proposes to protect patients with
serious and terminal illnesses, such persons with cancer, and advanced
AIDS, when they are instructed by their doctors to use marijuana as a medication
The amendment, introduced by Republican Bob Barr (GA), reads:
"Sec. 171. None of the funds contained in this act may be used to conduct
any ballot initiative which seeks to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties
associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I
substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) or any tetrahydrocannabinols
According to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, the Congressional amendment does have limited impact on the election. The ballots for Initiative 59 are already printed, and will be distributed to polling places on election day.
District voters will have the opportunity to vote Yes on 59 on Tuesday, November 3. The votes will be automatically counted, and tabulated, by the Board. The total will be announced.
The Board may be prohibited from officially certifying the results, a process which requires minimal staff work. The Board may also be prohibited from publishing the Initiative 59 legislative text, or from publishing the 'sample ballot' in a newspaper of record.
The Yes on 59 Campaign is assembling a legal team, including attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-Nation Capitol Area). "Congress has struck at the heart of Democracy. Too many people have sacrificed their lives fighting for the right to vote." states I-59 sponsor, activist Wayne Turner.
"Let the people decide," states home rule activist Anise Jenkins. "We have no vote in Congress, our elected officials have been stripped of power, and now they're trying to stop an election. They're destroying democracy in the capitol of the United States of America. It's a disgrace! It's tyranny and we won't let this stand!"
Protect the Patients!
Yes on 59
409 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone (202) 547-9404
Fax (202) 547-9458
President Bill Clinton
U.S. House of Representatives
Directory of U.S. Senators:
Directory of U.S. Representatives:
2) Write a letter to the following newspapers
a) Washington Times
3600 New York Ave., NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone: (202) 636-3000
Fax: (202) 269-3419
b) Washington Post
The Post only accepts letters through their webform at:
Or by snail mail:
Letters to the Editor
1150 15th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20071
Read the Washington Post editorial on this issue:
c) Since the Post and the Times are surely inundated with letters to
the editor from locals this close to the election, send a copy of your
letter regarding the DC election to your local papers:
The email letter addresses for many newspapers may be found at:
Just put the name of a newspaper in the Keyword(s) box, and do the search.
3) Make a donation to the campaign:
Yes on 59 Campaign
409 H Street N.E. - Suite #1
Washington, D.C. 20002-4335
4) VOTE on NOVEMBER 3 AGAINST REPUBLICANS!!!
It is the Republican Congress that is trying to ban the election process and silence the voice of the People in the District of Columbia. Let's send a resounding message to Congress that this abuse of democracy will not be tolerated. Oust a Republican on November 3!!!
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Send a copy of your letter to the Yes on 59 Campaign and the Media Awareness
Project, who issued an action alert (#85) on this issue