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Dear John:




Thank you for taking the time to communicate with me regarding medical marijuana. As your elected representative, I appreciate the opportunity to learn your views.




I noted your support for H.R. 689, the "States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act" and H.R. 784, the "States' Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act". H.R. 689 would prohibit any provision of the "Controlled Substances Act" from restricting state laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Additionally, this measure would provide for the reclassification of marijuana, recognizing the plant's accepted medical use. H.R. 784 would exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by state law.



I am in favor of using marijuana for medical purposes. As a general surgeon, I am aware of the therapeutic benefits marijuana can provide to individuals suffering from a serious illness or chronic pain. In my opinion, state laws can regulate the use of marijuana for medical purposes, while ensuring that it is not used illegally. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expresses the principle of federalism: powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved, respectively, to the states or the people. In my judgment, the federal government is prohibited from interfering with state health laws, which properly reflect the will of citizens of the various states.




Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Although I do not serve on this committee, please be assured I will keep your views in mind should these or similar pieces of legislation come before the full House for a vote.




Again, thank you for contacting me—I appreciate hearing from you. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my staff at (202) 225-4735.





Dan Benishek M. D.

Member of Congress

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