------------------------------------------------------------------- Todd McCormick - National Call-In Day - April 13 (American Medical Marijuana Organization Provides Contact Information For Public Officials, And Publicizes Public Rally And Demonstration 6 PM Monday In Los Angeles - Speakers Include Dennis Person, Todd McCormick's Mother, Ann, And Jack Herer) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 12:18:13 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: AMMO (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Todd McCormick - Nat'l Call-in Day - April 13 ACTION ALERT: FREE TODD McCORMICK!!! NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY, PROTEST RALLY & MARCH Monday, April 13, 1998 Please copy and re-distribute this announcement. For more information, see: http://www.levellers.org/toddtoc.htm For an interview with Todd, see: http://www.marijuanamagazine.com Todd McCormick is being held in federal prison for failing to comply to the conditions of his bond when he allegedly tested positive for THC due to his use of legally-prescribed Marinol. Todd is one of the first patients to be prosecuted under federal law for cultivation of marijuana in California since the passage of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. If the feds succeed in convicting him of cultivation, no patient will be safe from the persecution of the feds. Please help protect Todd and the rights of all other patients! *** NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY: Monday, April 13 *** Phone numbers, in order of importance: 1) White House comment line: (202) 456-1111 2) U.S. Department of Justice -- Attorney General's Office Ask for the comment line: (202) 514-2001 3) Senator Barbara Boxer firstname.lastname@example.org DC: 202-224-3553 CA: 415-403-0100 or 310-414-5700 Fax: 310-414-0980 4) Senator Dianne Feinstein email@example.com DC: 202-224-3841 Fax: 202-228-3954 CA: 619-231-9712 or 310-914-7300 or 415-536-6868 SAMPLE MESSAGE: "I'm calling on behalf of Todd McCormick, a medical marijuana patient who is has been imprisoned by federal law enforcement in Los Angeles for taking a legally-prescribed drug called Marinol. I would like the federal government to release Todd from jail until his trial, to allow him to take Marinol for his pain, and to stop persecuting medical marijuana patients in California altogether. Additionally, I would like to see Federal Magistrate Judge James McMahon investigated for practicing medicine without a license when he ordered Todd not to take Marinol." *** FREE TODD McCORMICK RALLY! Monday, April 13, 1998 6:00 PM Federal Courthouse, Downtown Los Angeles, Main St. near Temple St. Meet at the LA Mall across the street from the courthouse. Bring signs, drums, candles, water, educational literature, etc. If you can't come, send your prayers for Todd!!! Scheduled speakers: * Dennis Peron, Republican candidate for governor & father and author of Prop. 215 * Ann McCormick, Todd's mother * Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" MARCH TO FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER: After gathering, the group will make a short march to the federal detention center where Todd is being held. We will send him our love and healing that will penetrate even federal prison walls. Bring lots of drums so he can hear us! *** DONATE TO TODD'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND Todd McCormick Defense Fund c/o David M. Michael Client Trust Account, Bank of America # 16644 11541, Pier 5 North The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-986-5591 This is an important case, and it is essential for Todd to have the resources to fight it well. *** EMAIL STATE and FEDERAL OFFICIALS Ask them to FREE TODD McCORMICK!!!! Use this short email list to cut and paste into the Bcc: field of youremail program. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com *** FEDERAL OFFICIALS: Contact your own federal senators and representatives too. For U.S. Senators in other states, see: http://www.senate.gov/senator/membmail.html http://www.earthlaw.org/Activist/senatadd.htm U.S. Representatives: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY AND SENATE:Email list:http://www.sonnet.com/CriminalJusticeReform/legislators.html Other lists: http://www.state.ca.us/s/govt/legisca.html http://clerkweb.house.gov/mbrcmtee/members/mbrsstate/uolmfram.htm *** Ask them to FREE TODD McCORMICK!!!! *** Send copies of any letters sent by email to the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project: firstname.lastname@example.org *** BACKGROUND: The Trials of Todd McCormick Todd McCormick, 27 years old, had cancer nine times before the age of ten. He uses marijuana to combat the constant pain he experiences due to his childhood cancer treatments and to help stimulate his appetite. In 1995, he obtained an prescription for marijuana from a physician in Holland. After the passage of Prop. 215, he moved to Los Angeles and began to cultivate cannabis to supply his medical needs and further his botanical research. In July, 1997, he was arrested and charged with cultivation. He was released on $500,000 bail. On April 2, 1998, eight U.S. Marshals raided Todd's home to arrest him for violating the conditions of his bond by allegedly testing positive for THC. Todd had passed hundreds of urinalysis tests since his arrest in July, but he had recently been taking a legally-prescribed drug, Marinol, which is a synthetic form of THC. Todd had quit taking Marinol after a March 17 court ruling in which Todd was ordered not to use "any form of marijuana, including any synthetic marijuana, any products that contain marijuana derivatives including but not limited to hemp seed oil, marinol [sic], or any other product containing cannabinoid derivatives, either with or without prescription." However, drug experts know that Marinol will cause urine to test positive for THC for weeks after the patient has stopped using it. At a hearing on April 3, the prosecution was not prepared and had no evidence to introduce that Todd had violated the conditions of his bail. Despite this, Todd was ordered by Federal Magistrate Judge James McMahon to remain in federal custody until April 22 to allow the prosecutors to get their act together. An emergency hearing has been called for April 14. Todd's trial is set to begin on May 27. He faces a ten-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and millions of dollars in fines. *** For more background information, updates, and other action alerts http://www.marijuanamagazine.com/ http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html http://members.tripod.com/~ez2bkind/RI.html *** PLEASE COPY AND REDISTRIBUTE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT!!! *** Distributed as a public service by the: Colorado Hemp Initiative Project P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466 Our hotline has been disconnected b/c the voice mail company went out of business. :( Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html "Fighting over 60 years of lies and dis-information with 10,000 years of history and fact." ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE??? *** To be added to or removed from our mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Club Leader, Partner Are Arrested ('Orange County Register' Says Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Director Marvin Chavez Has Been Arrested For The Second Time In Three Months) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 22:54:15 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Cannabis Club Leader, Partner Are Arrested Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 Author: Bill Rams CANNABIS CLUB LEADER, PARTNER ARE ARRESTED Police say they sold marijuana in violation of a judge's order. They call the payments 'donations' for medical assistance. GARDEN GROVE- The leaders of a group of ailing adults who distributes medical marijuana to more than a hundred Orange County clients has been arrested a second time in three months on drug charges, police said Friday. By selling the drug, Orange County Cannabis Co-Op director Marvin Chavez 41, violated a judge's January order not to sell marijuana, said Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust. In January, Chavez was released from jail on condition that he not distribute it again, Armbrust said. During the past month, police say, he and a partner sold marijuana to an undercover officer twice. But his partner denied selling the drug in a jailhouse interview Friday. He said he and Chavez gave it away - then asked for a $20 donation. The distinction is important because selling it is a felony; giving it away is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail. Proposition 215, which passed, allows people to use and grow marijuana for medical purposes. But an appellate court ruled in January that distribution of the drug is illegal. If convicted of the felony charges, Chavez could face up to eight years in prison, Armbrust said. The maximum penalty for felony possession of marijuana, possession for the purpose of sale and conspiracy is four years. But because he allegedly violated the judge's order twice, he could face an extra four years in prison - two years per additional sale, he said. Chavez and Jack Shachter, 41, were arrested Thursday night at their homes in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, respectively, police said. Police seized several marijuana plants at both houses and took firearms from Shachter's home. "I'm not surprised," said Robert Kennedy, Chavez's attorney, regarding the arrest. "He's a true believer. He's almost like a religious zealot." Kennedy said Chavez has pushed the limit of a new law. "The mandate of the people is that they want it to be available to those who want and need it," he said. But the problem is that people such as Chavez are not allowed to distribute or sell the drug, according to law enforcement officials. Chavez's partner said club representatives were giving it away for free to sick people who have been issued cannabis club cards. The only way to get a card is to have a doctor's note or be a club-authorized "caretaker" of somebody with a note, he said. After giving away the drug, Shachter said, he and Chavez would ask for a $20 donation. He said the club has 187 clients in Orange County, including some who are unable to grow the plants or otherwise obtain the drug because their ailments are so debilitating. "I'm helping people cope with pain, and it makes a world of difference," Shachter said. "No, I'm not going to stop. It's much safer and cheaper for these people - who have doctors' orders - to get it from me then from somebody on the streets." The undercover officer got a card saying he was the caretaker of one of their legitimate patients, he said. Shachter said he wrote the police officer receipts twice, in both cases noting in writing that the marijuana was free. He said the guns found inside his home weren't loaded - except for a handgun stored in a locked safe. The officer offered a $20 donation after each transaction, he said. "It's not about the money," he said. "It's about getting better."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ban On Funding For Needle Swap Expected To End ('San Francisco Chronicle' Quotes Unnamed 'Key Individuals Close To The Issue' Who Say The Clinton Administration Is Moving To Lift A 10-Year-Old Ban On Using Federal Funds For Needle Exchange Programs) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 22:54:29 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Ban on Funding For Needle Swap Expected to End Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell"
and "Frank S. World" Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 BAN ON FUNDING FOR NEEDLE SWAP EXPECTED TO END White House decision is imminent, sources say Louis Freedberg, Chronicle Washington Bureau Under intense pressure from scientists, public health experts, activists and its own AIDS advisers, the Clinton administration is moving to lift a 10-year-old ban on using federal funds for needle exchange programs, according to key individuals close to the issue. Although the administration's official stand is that it is still studying the matter, a range of AIDS organizations and key individuals say they have been assured a decision is imminent -- and they are anticipating that the ban will be lifted. ``We have reason to be optimistic that the administration will lift the ban, because it will fit comfortably within their perspective of research, prevention and care of people with AIDS,'' said Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. ``I know they are committed to stop the spread of AIDS, and I am confident they won't let politics stand in the way of that.'' Dr. Scott Hitt, a Los Angeles physician and the chairman of President Clinton's advisory council on AIDS, said he believes an announcement could be made within a week. About 100 communities -- approximately 30 of them in California -- run needle exchange programs without federal funds. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation runs the largest in the nation, using a combination of city and private funds to hand out 2.2 million needles a year. State and federal laws require a public health emergency to operate a needle exchange program, forcing the Board of Supervisors to make such a declaration every two weeks since the program started in 1993. Lifting the ban would allow San Francisco to spend federal AIDS prevention funds on needle exchanges and free up funds for other programs. It would also allow many other communities that do not have a needle exchange program to initiate one. ``There could certainly be a financial benefit to San Francisco, and it would certainly benefit hundreds of other programs around the country that do not have the kind of support that San Francisco has,'' said Regina Aragon, policy director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. According to authoritative estimates, more than half of new cases of HIV infection are related to drug use. Some experts argue that at least 14,000 new cases of HIV could be prevented each year if needle exchange programs were widely in place across the nation. The congressional ban imposed in 1988 gives the secretary of health and human services the authority to lift the ban if there is sufficient scientific evidence to meet two criteria: needle exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV, and they do not encourage drug use. As late as this week, a spokesman for Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala said the administration is not yet convinced that needle exchange programs do not promote drug use. PRESSURE ON SHALALA As frustration at the administration's inaction mounted, the president's advisory council approved a resolution of ``no confidence'' last month in the administration, marking an embarrassing rebuke to a president who has prided himself on his efforts to fight the AIDS epidemic. Hitt sent a sharply worded letter to Shalala saying that her failure to lift the ban represented an ``abdication'' of her responsibilities. On Thursday, council members held a conference call to decide whether to approve an even tougher resolution calling on Shalala to resign. But they decided to hold off after administration officials said a decision on the ban was imminent -- although they didn't provide details about what the decision would be. But those close to the controversy believe the administration will lift the ban in light of the mountain of scientific evidence demonstrating the efficacy of needle exchange programs. Scientific panels and reports commissioned by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association have come to similar conclusions. Within the administration, the emotional debate among Clinton's top advisers on AIDS and drug policy has led some officials to wryly refer to the conflict as ``czar wars.'' On the one side is Clinton's ``drug czar,'' retired General Barry McCaffrey, who insists that handing out clean needles to drug users would send the message that the government is condoning drug use. He has been supported in that view by a combination of conservative Republicans and some Democratic representatives of cities with large African American populations. THE `AIDS CZAR' On the other side is ``AIDS czar'' Sandra Thurman, head of Clinton's Office of National AIDS Policy, although she downplayed her differences with McCaffrey. ``We are not warring,'' said Thurman. ``General McCaffrey is every bit as committed to stopping the AIDS epidemic as I am.'' At the same time, she said ``We have convincing evidence that the criteria (needed to lift the ban) have been met.'' On Wednesday, a major obstacle appeared to be removed when the authors of the only major study suggesting that needle exchange programs lead to increased drug use contended that their research in Montreal and Vancouver had been misinterpreted by McCaffrey and others. Some AIDS advocates say they are skeptical of administration assurances that it is moving on the issue, saying they have heard the same thing too many times before. ``Until the decision is made, it is premature to say we have a victory here,'' said San Francisco's Aragon. ``This is not an easy thing for the administration to do, and I would caution my colleagues not to be overly optimistic.'' But others believe the administration is finally ready to act. ``I don't think it will be much longer now,'' said Daniel Zingale, executive director of AIDS Action in Washington, D.C. ``They understand where the science comes down on this issue.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Agents Look For Owners Of Rochester Area Pot Farm ('The Daily Olympian' Follows Up On Yesterday's Big Cultivation Bust In Washington State) From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "Talk" Subject: HT: Big Oly Pot Bust - 2 Olympian Articles Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 20:54:56 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Both articles in this post are about the "BIG POT BUST" in Rochester last week, as reported in the Daily Olympian. The second article below is a follow-up article. Bob Owen [The first article is here] *** Drug agents look for owners of Rochester area pot farm 4/11/98 By Larry Miller The Daily Olympian OLYMPIA - Thurston County drug agents are still looking for the owner of a Rochester-area farm where they seized an estimated $610,000 worth of marijuana plants this week. A warrant has been issued for the owner's arrest, county Deputy Prosecutor Steve Sherman said during a preliminary court hearing Friday for a tenant of the property, 43-year-old Cameron Noll Smith. The farm is located on 168th Street Southwest. "The owner of the residence is also under investigation, and there's a warrant for his arrest in connection with the next step of this operation," Sherman told Thurston County Judge Richard Strophy. Sherman did not elaborate or identify the owner. Strophy set Smith's bail at $25,000 cash or surety bond. Smith was represented in court by Olympia lawyer Jim Dixon. Smith was ordered held in the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance while armed, possessing stolen property and defrauding a public utility Police seized 488 marijuana plants, 41 halide light systems valued at $400 each, and "other assorted growing equipment" from a barn on the property, Sherman said. A stolen pickup truck and three plastic bags containing methamphetamine were found in the garage, he said, and a loaded handgun was found under a couch cushion in the house. Police also raided three other homes and two storage sheds in Thurston County. The Thurston Narcotics Task Force had been monitoring the farm since receiving a tip last August about a marijuana-growing operation there, Sherman told the court. In October, a 12-day joint investigation with Puget Sound Energy revealed that electricity was being illegally diverted past the meter to the barn, Sherman said. Three other suspects arrested Thursday at the farm were released on bail, pending charges. Larry Miller covers Lacey for The Olympian. He can be reached at 754-5465.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana A Scam (Misleading Letter To Editor Of 'Anchorage Daily News') From: "ralph sherrow"
To: email@example.com Subject: MMJ a scam says US Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:48:37 PDT US AK: PUB LTE:Medical Marijuana A Scam Newshawk: Dave Fratello Pubdate: Wed, 11 Apr 1998 Source: Anchorage Daily News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: David PepperMEDICAL MARIJUANA A SCAM A thought on so-called medicinal marijuana: The medicinal part of marijuana is a little chemical known commonly as THC. The amount of THC you receive from inhaling the crushed, shredded and finally burned leaves of the cannabis plant varies from location to location and from cultivator to cultivator and depends on whether or not the dealer cuts his stock with oregano. Regardless, the amount of THC is minimal compared with the levels of other chemicals that are inhaled, chemicals that can be psychoactive, harmful and even permanently damaging to the relatively fragile lung and brain tissue. So ask yourself: Do you want someone ''high on life'' cruising around the same streets, bike trails or shopping malls as you? Or maybe on the same streets as your children? Or hey! How about someone who has authorization to grow medicinal marijuana inviting your son or daughter over to ''study'' with his or her son or daughter. There is already enough of a problem with drinking and driving. Shall we get drugs involved too? The same people who are trying to legalize ''medicinal marijuana'' are also trying for ''medicinal PCP and LSD.'' Sound like fun? People who are smoking marijuana for ''medicinal'' purposes are lying to themselves and others, especially when you consider there is a synthetic form of THC out there with all the same advantages of the organic but without the need to ingest all the other chemicals. Let's keep the druggies wanted and their wares illegal.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ban Tobacco Like Marijuana And Cocaine (Syndicated Columnist Carl Rowan In The 'Houston Chronicle') Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 12:05:10 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Ban Tobacco Like Marijuana and Cocaine Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Art Smart
Source: Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 11 Apr 1998 Author: Carl T. Rowan BAN TOBACCO LIKE MARIJUANA AND COCAINE THE local drug pusher cornered the president of the United States at a fund-raiser and said: "Cocaine has been good. We paid for our mansion off cocaine. We educated our kids off cocaine. We paved our old driveway with blacktop off cocaine. We pay our property taxes. We pay the preacher on Sunday morning. We overhaul our vehicles, and we buy tires. We pay our insurance. And we pay our mules and runners, and give them Social Security and Medicare. And we just try to live right and do right off cocaine." Replace the word "cocaine" with "tobacco" and you pretty much have the emotional speech that tobacco farmer Mattie Mack gave to President Clinton in Brandenburg, Ky., Thursday. "Aw, come on," you say, "tobacco is legal and cocaine is not, and you can't compare the two." That's my point. I can compare them in terms of the damage they do to their addicted users, but I can't compare their legal status. Yet I know that there will be no solution to the curse of tobacco in this society until it is banned just like marijuana and cocaine are, and there probably won't be a solution even then. I never believed last summer that the tobacco companies would pay $368.5 billion and accept the terms of the state attorneys general, of the president and Congress, and of the health-care industry just to stay in business with curtailed prosperity. Tobacco is such a golden goose that I knew the industry would find some excuse ... like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raising the payment to $516 billion over 25 years ... to say that it would rather fight than switch. Clinton said in Kentucky Thursday, "I do not want to put the tobacco companies out of business. I do want to put them out of the business of selling cigarettes to teen-agers." The tobacco tycoons have always known that if they can't sell cigarettes to teen-agers, they are putting themselves out of business. A 14-year-old who reaches 24 without smoking is very unlikely to take up the filthy, killing habit. That is why tobacco industry leaders have lied to America for generations about the deliberate boosting of nicotine levels, the ad campaigns targeted at teen-agers, the special lures for minority members. The tobacco industry knows where survival and prosperity lie. And that is why the tobacco bosses have brazenly declared war on legislation that would increase the cost of cigarettes sharply by raising taxes on tobacco products; would give the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate the levels of addictive nicotine in tobacco products; and restrict drastically the advertising and marketing practices of tobacco companies. Big Tobacco has taken a colossal gamble that farmers like Mack, the millions of people who already are hooked on nicotine and the Republican Party will rise up and help them to maintain something close to the status quo. The tobacco moguls seem to think that handing out a few billion dollars in campaign contributions and sugar-coated bribes will provide more protection than any $516 billion settlement. But recent exposes of perfidy by the tobacco industry, and revelations of the health tragedies caused by tobacco, have made it politically impossible for Republicans to provide the shelter that the tobacco industry expects. So there will be legislation. But it probably won't be the "new Prohibition." It will be tough enough to make a lot of farmers think of growing collard greens, and force a lot of tobacco company employees to look for work elsewhere. But it won't put tobacco in the same pipe with cocaine. So a semi-black market for tobacco will arise, the health problems will endure, and our politicians will wring their hands and give more speeches. And all the hopes of protecting teen-agers, and of using tobacco settlement money for noble causes, will go up in schoolyard smoke. Rowan is a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.
------------------------------------------------------------------- I Love Life Now (Letter To Editor Of 'Edmonton Sun' From A Man Who Faces Life In Prison For Using Marijuana As An Antidepressant On The Advice Of His General Practitioner - And Suggests The Risk Is Worth It) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: LTE: I love life now Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 08:32:07 -0700 Source: Edmonton Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: April 11, 1998 [Comment: Parenthetical remarks are the Sun editor's] AFTER READING Kerry Diotte's March 8 column on decriminalization of marijuana, I would like to make a motion that under medical supervision, marijuana be provided to those in need. In 1973 I was charged with conspiring to sell stolen merchandise. I asked for a lighter sentence. I was single then and now I am married with three young children. I wanted three years. My lawyer did his job and I was sentenced to three years in maximum security. One week later the Justice Department paid me a visit. They wanted to charge me with committing a habitual criminal act. They said this is a very serious charge. I told them I'm only 25 and you want to give me life in prison? Again, I asked them to give me a chance. That was 25 years ago. I don't know how marijuana works and neither does my doctor, but after a real close call with a suicide attempt while on the drug Elival, my doctor told me, "There is no medical data on marijuana. I'm a general practitioner, I can't say try marijuana." I told him it's against the law. If I get caught it's a big sentence for me. I took the chance with marijuana. It makes me see things calmly. I have no more headaches and no more thoughts of prison life. I love life now. J. Foley (It would not surprise us if medicinal use of marijuana was legalized in the next decade.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Toughen Drug Laws (Letter To Editor Of Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Opposing Marijuana Prohibition Cites MP's Acknowledgement During 1996 Standing Committee Of Health Hearings That Tobacco Prohibition Would Fail Because People Would Just Grow It In Their Basements) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 12:16:19 -0400 (EDT) From: "Kelly T. Conlon"
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: PUB LTE: Don't Toughen Drug Laws Source: The Globe and Mail Pubdate: 11 April 1998 Email: email@example.com author: Carey Ker DON'T TOUGHEN DRUG LAWS RE Enforcers Challenge Cannabis Liberation Movement - April 6. In your recent series of articles concerning Canada's drug laws, you highlight the concerns of the RCMP, who are lobbying for stricter legislation against cannabis cultivators. Pierre de Savoye, the Member of Parliament from Portneuf, said of tobacco during the Standing Committee of Health hearings in 1996 the reviewed our current drugs legislation: "... if Parliament passed a law abolishing the use of tobacco in Canada, people would just grow it in their basements. We would also give the black market a magnificent boost. People would become criminals to get tobacco. This means that abolishing, or banning, tobacco is not necessarily going to improve things." This line of reasoning is axiomatic within the marijuana industry. Carey Ker, Toronto.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Partners In Crime - Smokers Should Sue Governments For The Billions They've Taken In Tobacco Taxes (Editorial In Britain's 'New Scientist' Says Living With A Smoker Is About 70 Times Less Likely To Give You Cancer Than Having A Bad Diet And About 20 Times Less Likely Than Regular Sunbathing, And While The Tobacco Industry Has Misled Smokers About The Risks Of Nicotine Addiction And The Relative Benefits Of Low-Tar Cigarettes, It Couldn't Have Done So Without The Help Of Government) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 18:07:15 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Mattalk@Islandnet.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster
Subject: New Scientist Editorial, PARTNERS IN CRIME Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: New Scientist Contact:email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/ Pubdate: April 11, 1998 Author: Editorial PARTNERS IN CRIME Smokers should sue governments for the billions they've taken in tobacco taxes AS THE legal net closes in around the tobacco companies, there are definite signs of panic in the air. In the US, smokers are being chased out of offices and public places with a zeal once reserved for rooting out communists, while one former smoker seeking damages has called tobacco companies "the most criminal, disgusting, sadistic, degenerate group of people on the face of the Earth". Even in cooler-headed Britain, things have been getting a tad hysterical. A few weeks ago, fears about tobacco companies dabbling in "mind control" surfaced when a newspaper disclosed that British American Tobacco planned to add cannabis to its cigarettes in the event of the drug being legalised. Needless to say, the fears were groundless: even if cannabis could be used to control minds (which it can't) no sane government would let the horribly discredited tobacco industry anywhere near the drug, legalised or not. And perspective was a definite casualty in the flap about passive smoking a couple of weeks ago. Depending on the headline, passive smoking was either a conspiracy invented by health officials or a passport to an early grave. Neither view is helpful. To be fair to the critics who claim epidemiological studies exaggerate the dangers of inhaling other people's smoke, the research is plagued by variables. People who live with smokers can and do lie about their own smoking habits, for example, while nonsmoking households are often richer and eat better than smoking households. Even so, the balance of the evidence suggests that inhaling the smoke of someone you live with does increase your risk of lung cancer---by perhaps as much as 20 per cent. The figure seems shocking but we must remember that active smoking increases the risk by a staggering 2000 per cent: it would be astonishing if second-hand smoke didn't cause some medical problems. And while the news that lung cancers from passive smoking may kill up to 300 people a year in Britain is clearly nothing to celebrate, the fact is that living with a smoker is about 70 times less likely to give you cancer than having a bad diet and about 20 times less likely than regular sunbathing. Even the much-talked about legal implications of passive smoking turn out to be mostly hype. Only one in five cases of lung cancer diagnosed among non-smokers is linked to passive smoking, so it would be virtually impossible to establish blame and win damages in the courts. Amnesia rather than hysteria was the problem last week. Antismoking campaigners in Britain produced a report which claimed that low-tar cigarettes are no better than higher tar brands. Of course, it's good to remind smokers that the tar ratings on packets are set by smoking machines, that the ventilating holes put in filters to reduce tar work perfectly for the machines but not for human nicotine addicts, and that people smoking brands low in tar and nicotine "compensate" by taking more and deeper puffs. And of course it's good to remind people that for years the tobacco companies have conned the public by implying low-tar cigarettes are a "healthier" option when they are not. But none of this is new. In fact, most of it was known in 1983 when New Scientist ran a series of articles campaigning for changes to the tar rating and labelling system. By the mid-1980s, it was clear to researchers that low-tar cigarettes delivered just as much tar as stronger brands---and as many respiratory problems. Even scientists attached to the tobacco industry were openly discussing the issue. The problem was that governments failed to grasp the nettle and scrap the system. So, yes, the tobacco industry has misled smokers for some twenty years about the risks of nicotine addiction, and yes, it has fooled them about the relative benefits of low-tar cigarettes. But it couldn't have done either without the help of governments who for decades pursued labelling policies designed to square their interest in public health with their own addiction to hefty revenues from tobacco taxes. Changing that equation has taken an epidemic of lung cancers and the prospect of smokers one day taking governments to court accusing them of negligence. Only now are health officials in Europe and the US planning big revisions in labelling policy. So go ahead: demonise tobacco and all those who have profited from it. But remember, not even "sadistic, degenerate" dictators can operate in a vacuum. Behind the scenes, there is invariably a democratic government or two pulling strings to keep the cigarette barons in power.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sentences For Drug Trafficking (Letter To Editor Of 'Irish Times' From Prison Chaplain Opposes Justice Minister's Proposal For 10-Year Mandatory Minimum For Anyone Caught With Illegal Drugs Valued At More Than £10,000) Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 12:07:38 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: PUB LTE: Sentences for Drug Trafficking Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 SENTENCES FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING Sir, - I believe the proposal of the Minister for Justice to legislate for a mandatory sentence of 10 years for those who traffic in drugs worth over £10,000 is a mistake. It may be that some trafficking offences indeed warrant a sentence of 10 years; some may warrant an even longer one; but I have no doubt that some will warrant a sentence of much less. Let me give a hypothetical example of the latter. A young man or woman with no involvement whatever with drugs is approached at an airport, perhaps in Spain or England, and offered £1,000 to carry a bag and hand it over to someone at Dublin Airport. This young person, for one reason or another, is tempted, is caught at Dublin Airport with the bag containing £20,000 worth of given the mandatory sentence of 10 years. This young offender has made a bad mistake. Their situation is such that the money has tempted them without fully realising the implications for others of what they have done. Yes, of course the law must punish this person. But 10 years? After a year or two in prison many such young people will have learned their lesson and will be unlikely to offend again. Surely it is not more than just to leave sentencing to judges who, from years of experience in the courts dealing with offenders, will be able to discern between the kind of case mentioned above and the hardened full-time dealer who is getting rich from dealing in drugs. Prison is supposed to be about rehabilitation as well as punishment. I believe that a 10-year sentence in such cases as I quote above is more likely to destroy offenders than to rehabilitate them. - Yours, etc., (Rev) PATRICK SEMPLE, Church of Ireland Chaplain, Mountjoy Prison, Dublin. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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