Cannabis-related Ballot Initiatives and Referenda
to be voted on in the November 3, 1998 General Election
Compiled by Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
October 10, 1998

Update: NOVEMBER 3, 1998
Election Results

Several initiatives will appear on the ballot this year in various states.  Voters in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Washington State will be decide on the issue of medicinal cannabis.  Additionally, voters in Oregon will decide on a referendum to block the recriminalization of marijuana.  Voters in Arizona will decide on a referendum to block the gutting of the Proposition 200, the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act, passed by 65% of Arizona voters in 1996.

Medicinal Cannabis Initiatives (to be voted on 11/3/98)
These initiatives need to be divided into two different models for allowing use of cannabis by patients.

1) Therapeutic Model (Washington D.C. and Washington State)
These initiatives were modeled on the ideas embodied in the California Compassionate Use Act (CCUA - Prop. 215) passed by California voters in 1996.  These initiatives were written by the local grassroots patients and patient advocates and put the needs of the patient first. <http://www.levellers.org/theramod.htm>

2) Law Enforcement Model (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada)
These initiatives were written by Americans for Medical Rights to appease law enforcement concerns about the CCUA.  Since this model diverges so greatly from the California model, many patients have serious concerns about these initiatives.  <http://www.levellers.org/lemodel.htm>

We asked four questions about each initiative:
1) Does the initiative allow patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply of medicine?
The City Council of Oakland, California, adopted a standard of six pounds of cannabis and 144 plants as necessary to maintain an adequate supply for patients.  This was based on the amount of cannabis currently supplied by the federal government to eight patients in the Investigative New Drug program.

2) Does the initiative allow for legal distribution to patients?
Legal distribution is important to protect patients from having to obtain their medicine from the black market.

3) Does the initiative protect patients who are not registered with the state?
Many of the initiatives that follow the law enforcement model require a patient to register with the state to receive protection of the law.  Many civil libertarians and AIDS patients are concerned that the confidentiality of the registry is not guaranteed and that law enforcement would use the registry to target medicinal cannabis users for harrassment.

4) Is the initiative a constitutional or statutory law?
Constitutional amendments are much harder to change than statutory laws are.
 


MEDICINAL CANNABIS INITIATIVES – THERAPEUTIC MODELS

1) WASHINGTON, DC
Initiative 59: "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998"
Sponsors: Yes on 59 Campaign, Wayne Turner
409 H Street, NE Suite 1
Washington, D.C. 20002-4335
Phone: 202-547-9404
Email: dcsign59@aol.com, solution@clark.net
Web: http://www.actupdc.org/

Text of Initiative 59:
http://www.dcboee.org/htmldocs/measi59.htm
http://www.actupdc.org/text59pg.htm

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? YES, I 59 allows patients to possess “a sufficient quantity of marijuana to assure that they can maintain their medical supply without any interruption in their treatment or depletion of their medical supply of marijuana.”

Allows for distribution to patients? YES.

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? YES.

Constitutional or Statutory? Statutory.

DC Board of Elections
http://www.dcboee.org/

2) WASHINGTON STATE
Initiative 692: Medical Use of Marijuana Act
Sponsors: Washington Citizens for Medical Rights
Web: http://www.eventure.com/i692/

Text of Initiative 692
http://www.wa.gov/sec/vote98/i692txt.htm

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? YES, allows a patient to possess or cultivate a 60 day supply.

Allows for distribution to patients? YES, I 692 would not preclude the distribution of cannabis to patients

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? YES, does not require patients to enter an official registry of marijuana users.  Patients must only present a written recommendation from a licensed physician, similar to a prescription.

Constitutional or Statutory? Statutory.

Washington State Elections Division
http://www.wa.gov/sec/


MEDICINAL CANNABIS INITIATIVES – LAW ENFORCEMENT MODELS
(Written and funded by Americans for Medical Rights, Santa Monica, California)

1) ALASKA
Ballot Measure # 8 – Medical Marijuana

Official Ballot Language
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/ltgov/elections/meas98g.htm#97psdm
Text of initiative:
http://www.alaskalife.net/AKMR

Sponsors: Alaskans for Medical Rights
Web: http://www.alaskalife.net/AKMR/

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? NO, allows patients to possess only one ounce and cultivate only three plants.

Allows for distribution to patients? NO.

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? NO.

Constitutional or Statutory? Statutory.

Alaska Elections Division
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/ltgov/elections/homepage.html

2) COLORADO
Amendment 19 – “Medical use of marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating medical conditions”

Sponsors: Coloradans for Medical Rights
http://www.medicalmarijuana.com/

Text of Initiative
http://www.medicalmarijuana.com/initiative.html

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? NO, allows patients to possess only two ounces and cultivate only three plants.

Allows for distribution to patients? NO.

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? NO.

Constitutional or Statutory? Constitutional.

Colorado Secretary of State
http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/sos/elections/1998election.html 

3) OREGON
Measure 67: Oregon Medical Marijuana Act

Text of Initiative:
http://www.teleport.com/~omr/omr_omma_complete.html

Sponsors: Oregonians for Medical Rights
Web: http://www.teleport.com/~omr/

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? NO, patients can possess only one ounce if possessed off the production site and up to three ounces if possessed at the production site.  Allows cultivation of three mature and four immature plants.

Allows for distribution to patients? NO.

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? NO.

Constitutional or Statutory? Statutory.

Oregon Elections Division
http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/elechp.htm

4) NEVADA
Ballot Question 9: “An Initiative relating to the use of a plant of the genus Cannabis for medical purposes”

Text of Ballot Question #9
http://sos.state.nv.us/q9.html

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? YES.

Allows for distribution to patients? YES.

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? NO.

Constitutional or Statutory? Constitutional. But it needs to be voted on twice in order to be enacted.  If voters pass the amendment in 1998, they will have to do it again in 1999 before the law would have an effect.

(In looking at the Nevada initiative for the first time for this report, we were surprised that it didn’t set the restrictions on cultivation, possession, and distribution that the other AMR-supported initiatives had. It is curious because Nevada may be the most conservative of all the states in which AMR has proposed initiatives, yet their initiative is the most liberal.)

Nevada Secretary of State
http://sos.state.nv.us/
 


OTHER REFERENDA
ARIZONA – Prop. 300
Referendum ordered by Petition of the People relating to the medical use of Schedule I drugs

Text of Prop. 300
http://www.sosaz.com/election/1998Info/PubPamphlet/prop300.html

ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
In 1996, the voters passed the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996.  The Act allowed medical doctors to prescribe 116 Schedule I drugs, including heroin, LSD, marijuana and certain analogs of PCP to treat a disease or to relieve the pain and suffering of a seriously ill or terminally ill patient.

After the 1996 Act passed, the State Legislature enacted House Bill 2518. Before the 116 Schedule I drugs could be prescribed by a doctor, House Bill 2518 requires marijuana to be authorized by the federal food and drug administration or be authorized by the United States Congress. This proposition and the 1996 Act would conditionally allow a doctor to prescribe a Schedule I drug to seriously ill or terminally ill patients. Before prescribing a Schedule I drug, the doctor would have to document that scientific research supports the use of the drug and would have to obtain from a second doctor a written opinion that prescribing the drug is appropriate. A patient who receives, possesses or uses the drug, as prescribed by a doctor would not be subject to state criminal penalties.

If this proposition passes, doctors could begin prescribing Schedule I drugs, including heroin, LSD, marijuana and certain analogs of PCP, only after the federal food and drug administration approves or the United States Congress authorizes the medical use of marijuana or reclassifies marijuana as a drug that doctors can prescribe. If this proposition does not pass, under state law doctors could continue to prescribe Schedule I drugs, including heroin, LSD, marijuana and certain analogs of PCP, without any further authorization from Congress or the FDA.

Constitutional or Statutory: Statutory

Arizona Secretary of State
http://www.sosaz.com/
 



OREGON - Measure 57
Marijuana Recriminalization

‘No’ vote prevents recriminalization of marijuana by overturning the passage of HB 3643, passed by the 1997 Oregon Legislature, which imposed criminal penalties, including jail time, for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Under current law, which remains in effect until the vote, marijuana possession is a non-criminal "violation" punishable by a fine of $500 to $1000.

Sponsored by:
Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement
PO Box 113-C
Portland OR 97205

Oregon Elections Division
http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/elechp.htm


Elections Divisions of Other States
http://www.dcboee.org/htmldocs/linkindx.htm
 


The Therapeutic Model of Medicine
vs.
The Law Enforcement Model of Medicine

Compiled by:
Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
P.O. Box 729
Nederland, CO 80466
Vmail: (303) 448-5640
Email: cohip@levellers.org
Web:  http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html

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