------------------------------------------------------------------- Why The Colorado Initiative Is Bad Medicine (News Release From American Medical Marijuana Organization Faults Provisions In Ballot Measure Sponsored By Americans For Medical Rights - 'Voluntary' Registration With Police And Two-Ounce, Three-Plant Limit Endanger Patients) Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 03:35:05 EST From: "Amer. Med. Mj. Org." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Why The Colorado Initiative is Bad Medicine AMERICAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORGANIZATION (AMMO) Defending The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients Directors: Steve Kubby (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ed Rosenthal (email@example.com) Friday, Nov. 21, 1997 Why The Colorado Initiative is Bad Medicine Is it heresy to oppose the Colorado medical marijuana initiative? Are we giving aid and comfort to our opponents by opposing this initiative. We think not. The Colorado initiative will endanger patients by limiting them to just 2 ounces for possession or 3 plants for cultivation. Current Colorado law already allows possession of up to 8 ounces as a misdemeanor. Activists and patients in Colorado who complained about these limits were told earlier this week by Dave Fratello of AMR that these limits are necessary in order to assure the passage of the initiative and will not be dropped. We believe the out-of-state backers of the Colorado initiative have concluded that they can do whatever they please and activists will not dare to publicly oppose this initiative. Moreover, we believe the folks who drafted the initiative are dangerously misinformed about the real world needs of medical marijuana patients. Although most activists would have been happy to endorse the Colorado initiative if they had just dropped the limits clause, the entire initiative is bad medicine. The "voluntary" photo ID program which this initiative would establish, is a good example of the naive thinking of those who wrote this initiative. Photo ID may be popular with the police and government officials, but many patients, especially those with AIDS, worry that a photo ID program will allow the government to gain access to their records. Besides, how "voluntary" is such a program if not having an ID will get you arrested? We reject the efforts of those who want to bring medical marijuana into established, FDA approved, conventional guidelines. Medical marijuana is not like any other medicine and must be used differently than other medicines. Private cannabis clubs, not government run clinics is what patients need to receive the maximum benefits of medical marijuana. This initiative will only further marginalize buyer's clubs and the brave souls who run them. Prop. 215 was a genuine grass roots movement that embraced a wide coalition of support from patients, activists, gays, seniors, business leaders, doctors, nurses, police chiefs, legislators, celebrities and street people. In contrast, the Colorado initiative is a private and secretive affair that is determined to win federal rescheduling by whatever means necessary. Some of us within the movement have already disagreed, in the strongest terms, with the idea that we need gunslingers to go and challenge key states with a medical marijuana initiatives. Whatever short term gains can be secured by gunslingers, can be undone by other gunslingers. We view Prop. 215 as a change in political consciousness. The goal is not just to win, but to bring about change in ways that support this new consciousness and includes as many people as possible. Real political change must be based in the broadest coalition of citizens who believe that this is their cause. No government can defeat us if the people have a personal stake in the debate. Proposition 215 succeeded because we inspired voters to proclaim that the emperor wears no clothes. We can prevail without sacrificing our principles or our integrity. We don't have to resort to the tactics of our opponents. We can walk the high path and inspire others to join us. This is the challenge before us. AMERICAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORGANIZATION (AMMO) Defending The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients Directors: Steve Kubby (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ed Rosenthal (email@example.com) To unsubscribe to this list, just reply to this email and type "unsubscribe" in the Subject heading. For background, see: http://www.levellers.org/medmj.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Casualties Of America's Drug War (Member Of Cato Institute Writes Op-Ed For Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service Faulting US Assumptions Behind Interdiction Efforts - How US Policy Of Certifying South American Countries As Full Participants In 'Anti-Drug' Efforts Actually Destabilizes Such Countries) Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 17:47:55 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: ART: causualties of the drug war Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Source: Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, Nov 21, 1997 p1121K2942. Title: Casualties of America's drug war.(Originated from KRT FORUM) Subjects: Latin America - Crime United States - Relations with Latin America Narcotics, Control of - Laws, regulations, etc. Decriminalization - Social aspects Electronic Collection: A20011877 RN: A20011877 Full Text COPYRIGHT 1997 Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service By L. Jacobo Rodriguez Bridge News WASHINGTON - Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, recently suggested that the Organization of American States take responsibility for determining which countries are cooperating in the war against drugs. While having the OAS pass judgment on the anti-narcotics efforts of each country might save the U.S. government from some diplomatic squabbles with its Latin American neighbors, it would not affect the U.S. drug problem. That problem is the result of America's harsh anti-drug laws, according to a new report from the Geopolitical Drug Watch, a French research foundation. These anti-drug laws ``have greatly contributed to a rise in violence and to the criminalization of vast sectors (especially the African-American population) of an increasingly fractured society.'' Washington, however, has incessantly blamed Latin Americans for the drug-related woes of the United States. (If only those foreigners weren't bringing drugs into our country, the argument goes.) Latin Americans, for their part, are growing increasingly tired of Washington's holier-than-thou attitude and would like the U.S. government to shoulder more responsibility for the problems (at home and abroad) created by drug trafficking. Holding the United States (partially) responsible for Latin America's drug-related woes might sound like a revival of the anti-Americanism that has been waning in recent years in much of the region. It is not. The United States is the single-largest market for illicit drugs in the world, accounting for roughly one-eighth (about $50 billion) of the total world market. As a result, the drug laws and policies of the United States affect not only U.S. society but also the societies of drug-source and drug-transit countries. Because most of the drugs consumed in the United States are produced in Latin America, the U.S. government has turned that region into the main battleground of its international war on drugs. But trying to stop drugs at the border or at the source makes no economic sense, so long as drugs remain illegal in the United States. In the illicit drug industry, most of the value of those drugs (as much as 90 percent) is added after they enter the United States. This merely reflects the fact that the risk premium of selling drugs increases as the drugs approach the point of retail sale. Consequently, efforts to eradicate crops and interdiction of traffic -that is, efforts to reduce the supply of drugs - put only a small dent in the profit margins of traffickers. The decriminalization of drugs in the United States would inevitably lower or eliminate the risks of drug trafficking and the huge profit margins of drug traffickers. But rather than admit that the solution can be found at home, the U.S. government exercises its considerable leverage to coerce other countries to collaborate with it in an unwinnable war. The certification process whereby the U.S. government rules on the anti-narcotics efforts of drug-producing or drug-transit countries is at the heart of that war. Certification is an arbitrary and hypocritical exercise. Mexico's anti-drug efforts, for instance, are not any better than Colombia's. Evidence of drug-related violence and corruption is just as manifest in Mexico as it is in Colombia, and yet Mexico was certified again this year while Colombia was decertified for the second-consecutive time. Mexico was certified because it shares with the United States huge economic interests that could have been greatly disturbed if President Clinton had imposed sanctions against Mexico. Unfortunately, the mere threat of decertification has prompted Mexico, where drug-related violence has dramatically increased in the last months, to step up its own prohibition measures. For example, the Mexican government recently granted additional surveillance powers to the police forces as well as the military - which has in effect become the main actor in the fight against drugs in Mexico. Washington may consider the militarization of Latin American societies a welcome development in its war on drugs. But the certification process - whether unilateral or multilateral - has failed and will continue to fail to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Its only significant ``accomplishment,'' in fact, will be to weaken the fragile democracies of the region. L. Jacobo Rodriguez is assistant director of the Project on Global Economic Liberty at the Washington-based Cato Institute. His views are not necessarily those of Bridge News. This commentary was prepared for Bridge News and is available to KRT subscribers. Knight-Ridder/Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column. The opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Knight-Ridder/Tribune or its editors. Letters to the editor responding to this article should be addressed to Sally Heinemann, editorial director, Bridge News, 200 Vesey St., 28nd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10281, or faxed to (212) 809-4643. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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