Protect the Patients!
Exit Polls Show Big Win for Medical Marijuana
Yes on 59
409 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
For immediate release: November 3, 1998
Washington, DC -- DC voters expressed their overwhelming support at the polls today for Initiative 59, despite attempts by Congress to derail the election. Initiative 59, organized by local activists, protects the seriously and terminally ill from prosecution in the use of medical marijuana, under a doctor's instructions.
Exit polls indicate that District residents voted by 69% in favor of Initiative 59 (Total voters polled 763. Margin of error +/- 3.6%) Exit polling was conducted by the firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, independently from the Yes on 59 Campaign.
The actual results, however, will not be revealed, according to a statement issued by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. "under pressure and mandate from Congress," according to the Board's news release issued late Tuesday afternoon.
A Congressional amendment to the DC budget mandates "none of the funds contained in this act may be used to conduct any ballot initiative" reducing the penalties for marijuana use, even by the the sick and dying. On Friday, October 30, the American Civil Liberties Union filed in Federal Court. The suit argues that the congressional Act (known as the Barr amendment) is unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, the DC Board of Elections and Ethics "is in the process of seeking a declaratory judgment as to whether it must abide by the First Amendment to insure the free speech rights of District of Columbia citizens are protected or whether it must follow the prohibition against conducting a ballot initiative which seeks to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes."
"The vote of the people will not be stopped," states Wayne Turner, who took over the Initiative 59 Campaign, after his longtime partner Steve Michael, died from AIDS. "Fighting Congress is easier than fighting a disease."
Visit I-59 website at http://www.actupdc.org