Naked City

States' Rights for Kerry

In an interview last week on Portland, Ore., television, John Kerry said the federal government should not interfere with Oregon's assisted suicide or medical marijuana laws. In a one-on-one interview with Northwest News Channel 8, Kerry stood firmly in the corner of states' rights. "Individual states have the right to make a decision until the federal government has made another one, and we don't have the information to make that [decision], period," he said.

However, Kerry did not specifically address or endorse the Beaver State's Proposition 33, Oregon's Medical Marijuana Act II, which would strengthen the state's existing law passed in 1998. OMMA2, would increase the amount of marijuana that patients can legally possess, would create a state growing and dispensary program, and would add nurse practitioners and naturopathic physicians to the list of "attending medical personnel" who can qualify medi-mari patients. Meanwhile, President Bush declined an invite from Northwest News 8 to sit down in a one-on-one. The prez would be "unable to meet that request," campaign handlers told the station.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Weed Watch, medical marijuana, John Kerry, Kurt Schmoke, Clyde Bailey, National Bar Association, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., National Association of Black Psychologists, National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Justice Policy Institute

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