Will Suthers Protect Patients' Rights?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
John Suthers, nominated by Governor Bill Owens to replace Ken Salazar as Colorado's Attorney General, has been praised by Republican and Democratic leaders as well as by newspaper editorialists for his work prosecuting state and federal crimes. Sensible Colorado, a non-profit working for effective drug policy in Colorado, calls on Suthers to affirm he will uphold Colorado's medical marijuana law against federal interference. State Senators owe it to Coloradans to ask Suthers tough questions regarding the 2000 initiative to allow sick people to take marijuana for medical reasons.
As outgoing A.G., Ken Salazar refused to support the will of Colorado voters and allowed federal DEA agents to harass and arrest patients who were using marijuana for medical reasons within the guidelines of state law. Such raids occurred on John Suthers' watch as U.S. Attorney.
Colorado law recognizes that people have a right to use medicine that they find helpful, and the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly reserves such matters to the states.
Currently the Supreme Court is considering the case Ashcroft v. Raich. Attorney Randy Barnett, author of Restoring the Lost Constitution, argues the Constitution's "commerce clause" cannot justify federal intervention when it comes to intra-state growth and use of marijuana for medical use. Sensible Colorado agrees. Regardless of the Court's decision, Colorado's Attorney General will play a role in this debate over state vs. federal rights.
The people of Colorado overwhelmingly support the rights of patients to medical marijuana. These voters deserve to know whether Suthers will fight for the autonomy of Colorado law and the rights of Colorado patients.
ABOUT: Sensible Colorado is a new non-profit which seeks to promote rational drug policy through: (1) researching the public health, economic, social, criminal justice, and other effects of drug consumption and prohibition; (2) formulating innovative, economically-sound regulations and policies; (3) Working with the appropriate agencies of the Colorado state government and municipalities to implement these policies; and (4) educating the public through speaking engagements, seminars, mass media, and other means.