Portland NORML News - Thursday, August 20, 1998

The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Relative Safety
Of Moderate Marijuana Smoking Not Challenged By New Study;
Best Selling Author Jailed On Medical Marijuana Charges Expected To Post Bail
Tonight; West Australia Decriminalizes Marijuana On 'Trial' Basis)

From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 16:18:08 EDT
Subject: NORML WPR 8/20/98 (II)

The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release

1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Ste. 710
Washington, DC 20036
202-483-8751 (p)
202-483-0057 (f)

August 20, 1998


Relative Safety Of Moderate Marijuana Smoking Not Challenged By New Study

August 20, 1998, Los Angeles: Long-term marijuana smokers may develop
pre-cancerous changes in bronchial cells at similar rates to tobacco
smokers, suggests a UCLA study reported in this week's Journal of the
National Cancer Institute.

NORML board member Dr. John Morgan of the City University of New York
(CUNY) Medical School said that the data must not overshadow decades of
research illustrating the relative safety of moderate marijuana smoking.
"There are no epidemiological or aggregate clinical data showing higher
rates of lung cancer in people who smoke marijuana," he said. Morgan
noted that a decade long study completed by Kaiser Permanente last year
found no increase in deaths among 14,000+ marijuana smokers when compared
to nonsmokers.

"Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains a number of irritants
and carcinogens," Morgan said. "However, most marijuana-only smokers in
the United States probably do not ingest enough smoke to cause serious
lung damage." Marijuana smokers in the UCLA study admitted smoking 10
joints or more per week for the past five years. Most recreational
marijuana users smoke far less than that, Morgan speculated.

Morgan added that THC, one of the chief active ingredients in
marijuana, does not appear to be carcinogenic and may offer protection
against the development of some malignancies. He pointed to the results
of a $2 million federal study demonstrating that rats fed huge doses of
THC over long periods failed to develop cancer and had fewer tumors than
rats not given the compound.

The UCLA study found that 54 percent of tobacco smokers and 67 percent
of marijuana smokers showed evidence of potentially cancerous molecular
alternations in their lung tissues. Only 11 percent of nonsmokers showed
any pre-cancerous changes.

Habitual smokers of tobacco and marijuana had a 100 percent incidence
of basal cell hyperplasia, a genetic marker associated with increased
risk of lung cancer. One hundred and four people participated in the

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said the study's
findings do not justify arresting and jailing marijuana smokers. "Any
risk presented by marijuana smoking falls well within the ambit of choice
we permit the individual in a free society," he said. "We do not suggest
that marijuana is totally harmless or that it cannot be abused. That is
true for all drugs, including those which are legal. Clearly, however,
marijuana's relative risk to the user and society in no way warrants
arresting more than 642,000 marijuana smokers each year."

Stroup added that the research strengthened the need to reform federal
and state laws that forbid the use of paraphernalia that limits the
amount of noxious smoke inhaled by marijuana consumers. "Any potential
health risk from marijuana smoking comes from the consumption of
carcinogenic smoke, not the active compounds in marijuana. It is
counter-productive for the government to forbid the use of products like
vaporizers that can greatly reduce this particular risk to the lungs."

For more information, please contact either Dr. John Morgan of CUNY
Medical School @ (212) 650-8255 or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation
@ (202) 483-8751. Copies of the 1997 Kaiser Permanente marijuana and
mortality study are available upon request from The NORML Foundation.


Best Selling Author Jailed On Medical Marijuana Charges Expected To Post
Bail Tonight

August 20, 1998, Los Angeles, CA: Best selling author and medical
marijuana user Peter McWilliams will likely post $250,000 bail tonight
after serving nearly one month in jail on allegations that he conspired
to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.

McWilliams, who was diagnosed with AIDS and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in
March 1996, uses marijuana to combat the nausea caused by his life-saving
medical treatments. Police arrested McWilliams and eight others on July
23 and charged him with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana. He entered a
formal plea of not guilty to the charges.

"I am a vocal and occasionally effective proponent of medical
marijuana and that is why I am in jail," said McWilliams, who was
featured in May on the ABC News special "Sex, Drugs, and Consenting
Adults." "I use marijuana to treat the nausea caused by my AIDS
medications. If I do not keep the medications down, I will not live.
Medical marijuana, for me, is a matter of life and death."

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. criticized the federal
campaign against McWilliams and called his bail excessive. "This case is
an example of the worst abuses of the drug war," he said. "It is
unconscionable to treat sick and dying medical marijuana patients like

The arrest of McWilliams proves the federal government is "fanatically
determined to wage its 'war on drugs' -- even if it means putting sick
and dying people in jail," Libertarian Party National Director Ron
Crickenberger said. "Peter McWilliams is the latest victim of the
federal government's campaign to arrest and discredit advocates of
medical marijuana."

McWilliams is a #1 best-selling author whose 30+ books include "How to
Survive the Loss of a Love" and "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," a
stinging criticism of victimless crimes. He is also owner of Prelude
Press, a West Hollywood publishing house.

For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @
(202) 483-5500 or attorney Tanya Kangas of The NORML Foundation @ (202)
483-8751. Additional updates are available online from Marijuananews.com.


West Australia Decriminalizes Marijuana On "Trial" Basis

August 20, 1998, West Australia, Australia: Government officials
announced last week that first time marijuana users will no longer face
criminal charges for possessing less than 50 grams of the drug. West
Australia is the fifth state to enact marijuana decriminalization in
recent years.

Police Commissioner Bob Falconer said that the new policy will take
effect October 1 on a trial basis in the Mirrabooka and Bunbury police
districts. If the trial proves successful, leaders will extend the
measure statewide.

"Western Australia's experimental marijuana policy is similar to the
laws of ten U.S. states where marijuana users face a civil 'violation'
rather than criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug,"
NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "It is encouraging
to see other regions around the globe adopt these reforms. It is our
hope that West Australian political leaders will adopt this policy
statewide and not just in select regions."

Under the new system, individuals will receive a warning for
possessing marijuana as long as they attend a lecture on the potential
misuse of the drug. "It's not synonymous with being tough on drugs to
crunch people for small quantities of cannabis when it's essentially
about an education issue," Falconer said. He and other law enforcement
officials lobbied the government for the policy change arguing that
valuable police and judicial resources were being wasted prosecuting
marijuana smokers.

Other Australian states to recently adopt a marijuana "caution" system
are the Australian Capitol Territory (ACT), the Northern Territory, South
Australia, and Victoria. This spring, the Drug and Alcohol Council of
South Australia concluded a two year national study finding that the
decriminalization of marijuana does not lead to increased use.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202)

				- END -

Law Threatens Right To Pain Relief, Groups Say ('Reuters' Says Doctors,
Nurses And People Suffering From Chronic Pain Testified Thursday
Against Bills Before Congress To Nullify Oregon's Unique Assisted Suicide

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 22:50:38 EDT
Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com
Reply-To: friends@freecannabis.org
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
From: RandallBart (Barticus@att.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: Law threatens right to pain relief, groups say (Reuters)

From http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2555648899-b82

03:34 PM ET 08/20/98

Law threatens right to pain relief, groups say

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Proposed legislation aimed at
stopping doctors from helping people kill themselves may also
stop them from giving adequate pain relief to patients, several
groups said Thursday.

Doctors, nurses and people suffering from chronic pain all
spoke out against the proposed measure, virtually identical
versions of which are making their way through House and Senate

``Pain is severely undertreated. The proposed legislation
serves to compound this problem by creating an environment in
which health care professionals are reluctant to prescribe
adequate treatments, fearing scrutinization and misunderstood
intent,'' Pamela Bennett, president of the American Society of
Pain Management Nurses, told a news conference.

Bennett described the case of a 15-year-old cancer patient
who needed 46 times the normal dose of a painkiller, Fentanyl,
just to control her pain. ``She was awake, alert, talking to her
parents and joking with her nurses,'' Bennett said.

``This dosage was needed to control her pain at this point
in her disease process.''

The girl eventually died, not from the enormous doses of
medication but from her cancer, Bennett said.

She said she feared the bill -- which is aimed mostly
against Oregon's assisted suicide law -- would scare doctors,
insurance companies and managed care companies from allowing
such high doses of painkillers to be given.

The bill does distinguish between giving a drug to control
pain, even though it might hasten death, and giving a drug
specifically to cause a death.

But the House and Senate committees have heard fears that
the distinction has not been drawn clearly enough, and that
doctors might shy away from prescribing strong painkillers to
dying patients for fear that they would be investigated by the
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Under the bill the DEA would be authorized to revoke the
license of any doctor who intentionally prescribes drugs to help

Skip Baker, president of the American Society for Action on
Pain, said even without the law, doctors get hassled about
prescribing pain medicine.

Baker suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory
disease that affects joints between the vertebrae of the spine
and joints between the spine and pelvis, and says he needs
constant doses of narcotics to control pain that makes him feel
like his spine is in a steel vice.

``It took me 13 years of battle to have my medication
approved at 500 mg per day,'' he said. ``My own doctor spent
$40,000 defending himself before the Virginia medical board.''

The groups, which include the American College of
Physicians, the American Medical Association and the American
Geriatrics Society, are petitioning senators and representatives
about the bill.

Oregon's law, the first to legalize physician-assisted
suicide, went into effect last year.

A similar proposed law goes to voters in November in
Michigan, where retired pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian says he
has helped 100 people end their lives. He has been acquitted
three times of charges stemming from patients' deaths.

Oregon health officials said Wednesday that only 10
terminally ill patients have requested and received lethal drug
doses since the law there took effect.


Peter McWilliams Is Out On $250,000 Bail (The Federal Medical Marijuana
Defendant Posts A Brief Message From Los Angeles)

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 22:23:38 -0700
From: "Peter McWilliams" (peter@mcwilliams.com)
To: "Peter McWilliams" (peter@mcwilliams.com)
Subject: DPFCA: Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 22:21:48 +0100
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/


I am out,

I am home.

I am okay.

I am going to bed.

Take good care,


Peter McWilliams

Marijuana Initiatives Bloom Around West (A 'Seattle Times' Roundup
On Medical Marijuana Ballot Measures Facing Voters In Washington State,
Oregon, Alaska, Nevada And, Potentially, Colorado, All Sponsored By Americans
For Medical Rights)

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 17:22:31 GMT
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
Subject: WA: Seattle Times on medmj inits
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Seattle Times
Thursday, August 20,1998


by David Schaefer
Seattle Times staff reporter

When Washington voters decide in November whether to legalize the use of
marijuana for relief of cancer and other debilitating illnesses, they won't
be alone.

Voters in Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and, potentially, Colorado will cast
ballots on nearly identical measures.

That's no accident: Nearly all the money and much of the political
horsepower behind Initiative 692 and similar proposals elsewhere is being
provided by the California-based Americans for Medical Rights.

That group is principally supported by three wealthy businessmen:
billionaire global financier George Soros; John Sperling, founder of the
for-profit University of Phoenix; and Peter Lewis, chief executive officer
of Ohio-based Progressive Insurance.

They have donated nearly all of the $300,000 raised so far by the
Initiative 692 campaign.

They were also the financial backers for last year's unsuccessful
medical-marijuana initiative campaign, which lost handily despite spending
$1.5 million.

But Initiative 692 isn't a rerun of last year's measure, which would have
legalized an array of drugs and potentially reduced the jail sentence of
convicted drug users.

The current version is focused much more narrowly on marijuana use. It
would allow people with certain diseases to grow and use marijuana with a
doctor's recommendation. The measure would cover those suffering from
certain AIDS symptoms, nausea caused by chemotherapy, muscle spasms caused
by multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma or other illnesses causing
"intractable" pain.

"We are not trying to legalize drugs," said Initiative 692 organizer Rob
Killian. "It is just (about) marijuana and just for sick people."

Killian, a Seattle-area doctor, also was the leader of last year's
campaign. He said he has seen the benefits of marijuana on his own terminal
patients and AIDS sufferers.

The most prominent opponents are King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng and Lt.
Gov. Brad Owen, who both worked against last year's measure.

Maleng said relieving the suffering of seriously ill patients should be
addressed through the stringent clinical tests required by the federal
government, not by an "end run" around the drug laws.

Owen said he is concerned that medical marijuana is a stalking-horse for
decriminalization of other drugs. He said the agenda of the three main
donors goes far beyond prescribing marijuana for cancer patients.

"The first step to legalizing drugs is to accept medical marijuana," Owen
argues. "Soros has spoken out for changing national drug policy. That is
the real purpose."

Soros has criticized the severity of U.S. drug-use laws, donating millions
to study and promote reforms.

But Americans for Medical Rights is solely interested in the issue of
legalizing marijuana for medical use, said spokesman Dave Fratello.

The group is focused on the West because 20 of the 24 states that allow
voters to write laws by initiative are west of the Mississippi.

Americans for Medical Rights conducted polls in 10 states, concentrating
its political efforts this year on those that looked the most promising.
They also are relatively small states, where it is less expensive to
conduct a campaign.

The group, which passed the California initiative in 1996, provides
financial, technical and legal assistance to the local campaigns. Should
this year's initiatives prove successful, the group likely will sponsor
ballot measures in Ohio, Illinois and Florida in the next two years,
Fratello said.

There are minor differences among the current crop of proposals.

For example, Washington's initiative calls for medical patients to be
allowed to keep a 60-day supply of marijuana. Colorado would allow patients
to possess 2 ounces of harvested marijuana and six total plants, of which
three are flowering. Oregon would allow seven plants, including three that
were flowering.

The Alaska, Oregon and Colorado initiatives would create a permit system,
which would provide identification cards for patients eligible to use
marijuana. Washington calls only for documentation from a doctor, similar
to a prescription.

Initiative 692 would allow a caregiver to have access to marijuana or help
the patient with its cultivation. No caregiver could help more than one
patient or legally use the drug themselves.

None of the proposals would allow the controversial "buying clubs," where
the sick can buy marijuana, established in California.

CAMP Report Attacks 215 (A Bulletin From California NORML Says A Draft Report
From The Office Of Attorney General Dan Lungren, 'Marijuana - California's
Growing Problem,' About California's Annual Campaign Against Marijuana
Planting, Provides Useful Insight Into Lungren's Strategy Of Attack
Against Proposition 215 - Its Major Finding Is That CAMP Saw A 40 Percent
Increase In The Number Of Marijuana Plants It Eradicated In 1997)

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 16:33:21 -0700
To: aro@drugsense.org, dpfca@drugsense.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: CAMP Report Attacks 215
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

Following are extracts from what is apparently a draft version of a report
on California's 1997 CAMP marijuana eradication campaign by Attorney
General Lungren, "Marijuana: California's Growing Problem."

Although it hasn't been released to the public as yet, it provides
useful insight into Lungren's strategy of attack against Prop. 215. Its
major finding is that CAMP saw a major increase in the number of marijuana
plants it eradicated in 1997, to 132,485. This is 40% higher than the
year before, and the highest level in 11 years. (The total number of
plants eradicated in California is claimed to have jumped even higher from
386,262 in 1996 to 686,026 - an all-time high) Authorities have been
blaming this on Prop. 215, saying that it gave a green light to growers to
cultivate as "caregivers." (Of course, most of these folks have been
arrested by now, so we might expect such a bubble to collapse this year).

At any rate, the report opens on a defensive tone, with a quotation
from Dan Lungren to the effect that none of the plants seized by CAMP were
for medicinal use, but were intended for sales on the street to all,
including kids. (Obviously, Lungren has forgotten about his strenuous
efforts to quash the medical market market, thereby ensuring that pot
would have no place to go but the street). It proceeds with a bitter
critique of Prop. 215, which pretty much speaks for itself ("Prop 215, for
the first time in California history, allowed voters to choose what kind of
medicine a doctor should use," We have elected to use a voter-based
law-making process (proposition) that cannot be corrected by the executive
or legislative branches," etc. - that is, the people reclaimed their right
to medicine from the politicians and bureaucrats).

The report mentions surveys of California student drug use, showing
that marijuana and other drug usage have increased in recent years. None
of this is to Lungren's advantage, since the increase begins with his own
term in office, and predates Prop. 215. A new California student survey
is due to be released by Lungren's office in the next month - expect it to
get major publicity if and only if it shows a significant increase in pot
use since 1996.

Finally, the report plays on anti-Mexican sentiment, claiming that
40% of the "primary cultivators" in California are Mexican nationals. This
dubious factoid appears to be based on a few very large Mexican operations
that were busted in Mendocino County. These arrests are not representative
of producers at large: the most overly ambitious cultivators are the most
likely to get arrested, and skew the statistics accordingly.

The CAMP Report also includes an operational overview of the Bureau
of Narcotics Enforcement's organization and programs (but not budget!).
Ask if you want a copy, it's too lenghty to include here.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General

"...The plants seized during this operation [1997 CAMP Season] were never
intended to be used for medicinal purposes. Rather, they were to be sold
on the streets...these plants were part of a criminal enterprise - destined
for gang members and street dealerts to sell to anyone, including
children." - Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General

"This year (1997) 132,485 plants were seized, the most in the 1990's - a
40% increase in the number of plants seized when compared to 1996. That is
more than 120 million marijuana joints that will not be rolled, smoked, and
potentially offered to children." - Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General

California's Proposition 215 - Truth and Consequences

* What Proposition 215 really says (see enclosed Proposition
215 initiative)

* Ensures "seriously ill" Californians have the right to
obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where deemed appropriate and
"recommended" by a physician.

* Primarily for use in cases of cancer, anorexia, AIDS,
chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, "or any other
illness for which marijuana provides relief."

* Ensures that patients and their primary caregivers who
obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon recommendation of the
physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.

* Encourages federal and state governments (unspecified) to
implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to
all patients in medical need of marijuana.

* Exempts physicians in California from punishment or the
denial of any right or privilege for having recommended marijuana to a
patient for medical purposes.

* Exempts "patients" and "primary caregivers utilizing
medical marijuana from the criminal punishments of possession or
cultivation of marijuana.

* Defines "primary caregiver" as an individual, curiously,
and not a health care corporation or hospital.


What Proposition 215 doesn't say

* Does not provide for low-end age limitations or parental
consent for use by minors

* Does not provide government oversight by the Food and Drug
Administration as is the case with all other prescription drugs, which
ensures quality control, dose regulation, medical protocol development,
scientific research, and patient trials.

* Does not provide medical oversight to determine appropriate
use, when, where, how much and for how long the drug should be used.

* Provides no regulatory oversight, as is required in other
schedule drugs in California, to keep statewide records on lie use rates
and appropriateness of use by control agencies to govern and regulate
medical care service levels.

* Does not provide commerce regulations that control the
types and nationality of companies interested in producing medically used
marijuana such as pharmaceutical firms and tobacco corporations.

* Does not provide clear definition of the term "doctor" or

* Does not address the direct conflict in which Prop 215 puts
California law with federal law. Californians, for the first time in the
state's history, by the adoption of a state ballot proposition, would be
effectively removing a drug from Schedule I (the most dangerous illicit
drugs) to no schedule, creating medical treatment policy by vote rather
than by scientific research and removing all regulatory controls at the
state level meant to protect those under medical care.

* Post polling survey - What voters thought Prop 215 said

* Medical marijuana supported by Medical research.

* Medical use would decrease illicit marijuana sales
conducted by patients and caregivers.

* Quality control would be maintained on marijuana.

* Would only be given to persons seriously ill with cancer or

* Had tacit government approval because Proposition 215 was
listed on a voter choice on a government-produced ballot.

* Would require a prescription by a doctor.


Where we get our information and how we give it back - a study in

* According to the Journal of the American Medical
Association, most Americans get their drug information from the news media
-- mainly television.

* Most persons state that drug abuse is a "national crisis"
but 81 percent of persons polled say not in their family.

* Only 15 percent of persons polled say the government is
making progress and worry that drugs have all effect on our national
character, our link to higher crime rates, and have harmful health

* Most Americans surveyed do not support treatment as a drug
abuse reduction modality.

* 90 percent of people do worse at school work or at
athletics while using drugs.

* 63 percent of parents and 76 percent of teenagers say that
marijuana is less harmful than other drugs but lead to more serious drugs
of abuse.

* 68 percent of Californians support doctor-prescribed
medical marijuana

* 80 percent of people think the war on drugs has failed.


Where we are and where we're headed

* After several years of gradual decline in almost all drug
categories, beginning in 1991 a gradual increase in drug abuse was noted in
all categories. But the most alarming drug-use increase was in the area of
marijuana, and it occurred in 1995.

* In California the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting
(CAMP) in 1997 saw its highest year of plant seizures (132,000) in 11
years, a 40 percent increase over the prior year of 94,221 plants seized.
That's 120 million marijuana cigarettes (see CAMP report graphics). Net
value of this crop was $530 million.

* An influx of Mexican national drug-trafficking
organizations occurred in 1996 and 1997. Records indicate they were
responsible as the primary cultivators of 40 percent of California's 1997
production season marijuana gardens. A proliferation of assault weapons
and booby traps in marijuana- cultivation gardens.

* Marijuana drug seizures at the California/Mexico border
increased dramatically in number and size (see graphics). Seizures almost
doubled from 1995 to 1998.

* The Rodney Skager report of grades 7, 9 and 11 - California
Students Substance Abuse Survey for Marijuana Among Youth

* From 1985 to 1989, a steady decline of marijuana use in
7th, 9th and 11th graders.

* 1991 - beginnings of an increase: 56 to 70 percent of 7th,
9th and 11th graders admitted the regular use of marijuana.

* 1993 to 1996 - upswing in all drug categories, especially
marijuana abuse (highest in 10 years), while alcohol remained the same or
declined slightly from 1993+

* Poly drug use (use of multiple drugs) rose 50 percent
between 1991 and 1996.

* The two biggest contributing factors were ease of
acquisition and adult modeling behavior.

* NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse) reports for similar
time periods and age levels of youth indicate similar abuse increase
patterns (see NIDA report).


Trafficking trends - reports from the National Drug Intelligence
Center after the passage of Prop 215 in California

* To the north, Canada is poised to become a major supplier
from over 17000 indoor marijuana growing sites.

* To the south, crop yields in Mexico and Colombia are up and
growing due to decreased eradication efforts by their own governments.

* Mexican cartels have moved into California and controlled
40 percent of the major growing operations in 1997.

* To the east, Jamaican marijuana production is up, and
eradication efforts are down by home governments.

* Domestic cultivation is, in the United States, centered in
California, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, New York and Washington.


Medical emergencies

* Since 1990 emergency room episodes for marijuana, while
declining slightly in the preceding five years, rose 86 percent, from
15,700 to 29,200. Interestingly, half of those emergency room admissions
were in combination with other drugs or alcohol (see number of
marijuana/hashish-related episodes graph).

* According to the Drug Use Forecasting Study, marijuana drug
use by male arrestees in the United States tripled from 1991 to 1996.

* Drop-outs from high school use marijuana at one and a half
to two times higher rates than non drop-outs.


The corporate connection

* Cigarette firms in Great Britain have secretly discussed
lacing tobacco with marijuana to boost sales (Sacramento Bee article).

* Phillip Morris filled a trademark application in France
under the name Marley in honor of the late Jamaican singer Bill Marley.
Other requests for trademarks were Acalpulco Gold and Red Lib.

* Company documents of British American Tobacco suggest
"using almost subliminal amounts of marijuana with tobacco as one avenue of


Ending points

More far-reaching than any of the previously made points, however, is that
Proposition 215,. for the first time in California history:

* Allowed voters to choose what kind of medicine a doctor
should use to treat the symptoms of diseases and conditions rather than
scientific research, medical protocol, and standard government -
monitored tests.

* Californians legalized a drug for medical use with no
prescription requirement. The law only demands a recommendation by a
doctor; it also does not state in what form or to whom the recommendation
or records are kept thereof. Even the most simple antibiotic under most
state law requires a prescription from a doctor, not a recommendation. The
prescription then can be filed so appropriate records can be kept for
third party payers, pharmaceutical firms, doctors, health care maintenance
organizations, and governmental agencies regulating the distribution of
drugs that, by their chemical makeup, are dangerous for self-dosing and
have a high potential of abuse. The federal Food and Drug Administration is
completely bypassed.

* We have upset the very delicate balance between the doctor,
the pharmacist, and the patient because no prescription or recognized
production facility for the production of marijuana is required by the law.

* We exempted doctors and patients from all responsibility
including removing civil and criminal liability This has not been done with
any other prescription drug in the history of this state.

* We rewrote and despecified the definition of patient and
illness to the point where any ailment as self-described by a patient can
qualify under the law for the use of medical marijuana. This was borne out
during departmental investigations against various providers of marijuana
in the early days of Proposition 215.

* We have elected to use a voter-based law-making process
(proposition) that cannot be corrected by the executive or legislative
branches of the California government. Only the court can nullify the
proposition on a constitutional issue.

* We have placed ourselves in direct conflict with federal
law, which strictly forbids the use of marijuana as a medicine by any
person and schedules it, as in prior California law, in Schedule I of the
United States Code. Schedule I is reserved for those drugs in federal and
prior state law that have a high abuse potential and no legitimate medical


Finally, the courts, both state and federals and what they
have said thus far about Proposition 215.

* 1st District Court of Appeals says cannabis "clubs" are
illegal in California and can't act as a "caregiver" under Prop 215.

* U.S. District Courts order Cannabis Club closed and declare
illegal, and violations of federal drug laws upheld precedent of
federal over state drug laws. In Alameda County Superior Courts the
criminal case against Dennis Peron, et al., moves slowly forward.


Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114

Aggressive Probe Of Shooting Demanded ('The Houston Chronicle'
Said Members Of The Mexican-American Bar Association Of Houston
Demanded During A News Conference Wednesday That Harris County Prosecutors
Be Aggressive When They Present Grand Jurors With The Case
Of Pedro Oregon Navarro, An Innocent Man Who Was Shot 12 Times -
Nine Times In The Back - By Houston Prohibition Agents Who Broke
Into His Home Without A Warrant)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 08:17:22 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US TX: Aggressive Probe Of Shooting Demanded Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: viewpoints@chron.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 Author: Steve Brewer AGGRESSIVE PROBE OF SHOOTING DEMANDED Hispanic lawyers plan to closely watch case Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle A group of Hispanic lawyers urged Harris County prosecutors Wednesday to be aggressive when they present grand jurors with the case of a man killed by police officers who entered his home without a warrant. Several members of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston made the demand during a news conference outside the Harris County Family Law Center. They said they would be watching closely to see how prosecutors handle the case of Pedro Oregon Navarro. "All we ask is that when (prosecutors) go to the grand jury that they seek indictments that are appropriate to this type of case," said Frumencio Reyes Jr., chairman of MABAH's Civil Rights Committee. "We want to make sure every piece of evidence, every item is presented to the grand jury fairly and squarely so the family of this young man can get justice." Oregon, 22, was killed July 12 when six police officers, following a lead from an informant, charged into Oregon's southwest Houston apartment about 1:30 a.m. looking for drugs. A shot fired by one officer hit a fellow officer in his bullet-resistant vest and knocked him down, police said. The officers, who are now on paid suspensions, apparently thought Oregon fired that shot and opened fire on him. Police fired more than 30 shots. An autopsy found that 12 bullets hit Oregon from behind, nine of them hitting him in the back. But Oregon never fired the handgun found in his apartment and no narcotics were found. Toxicology reports also showed Oregon had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting. With Wednesday's statements, members of MABAH became the latest in a chorus of voices calling for an extensive investigation into the shooting. Reyes, who praised Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. for his handling of such cases in the past, said prosecutors should also investigate whether the weapon found in Oregon's apartment was a "throw-down gun" planted by police. Holmes said Wednesday that's already been done, but declined to discuss the results. A source familiar with the case, who requested anonymity, said the results of that inquiry did not reveal any signs that the gun was a "throw-down." As for presenting all evidence to grand jurors, Holmes said that's always been the plan. "Every witnesses we can find or produce, including down to the medical examiner is going to testify live and in person for the grand jury," he said. "I have no agenda in this. I'm going to do my best to put this in front of grand jurors and make sure justice is done." That includes making witnesses available to grand jurors who were suggested to prosecutors by attorneys representing Oregon's family, a practice Holmes said his office follows in every case. Grand jurors are expected to start reviewing the case Monday.

Town Stamps Out Smoking Ban ('The Hartford Courant' Says A Ban
On Teenage Smoking In Seymour, Connecticut, That Divided Neighbors
And Pushed The Limits Of Local Anti-Tobacco Legislation In The State
Was Repealed 1,366-545 In A Referendum Wednesday)

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998 15:13:59 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CT: Town Stamps Out Smoking Ban
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Thu, 20 Aug 1998
Source: Hartford Courant (CT)
Contact: letters@courant.com


SEYMOUR - A ban on teenage smoking that pushed the limits of local
anti-tobacco legislation in the state this year and divided neighbors in
the small New Haven County community was felled in a forced referendum

Residents voted 1,366-545 to overturn the ban.

``We got our town back,'' said Mary Adamowski, in a voice strained by weeks
of protest against the ban.

For a month, a small group of protesters led by Adamowski collected
signatures, addressed officials at town meetings and knocked on doors in an
effort to overturn what they called ``an infringement on civil liberties.''

The Seymour smoking ban became an immediate focus of attention for local
legislators after it was passed in July. The town was the first in the
state to place an outright ban on smoking in public for anyone under 18.

The ordinance was modeled on a similar law in Alvin, Texas, a tiny town
whose municipal officials have publicized their success on the Internet.
Alvin officials estimate their law has reduced teen smoking by as much as
20 percent in three years.

The Alvin law, and other teenage smoking bans that have sprouted up in
small communities across the country, have been praised by anti-tobacco
crusaders. But soon after Seymour First Selectman John O'Toole celebrated
the passage of the town's ban, local critics began to emerge.

``I don't know where they came from,'' said O'Toole, the outspoken town
official credited with being the ban's most forceful sponsor. ``A fair
amount of them are the types who, when their kids get caught doing
something wrong, say `not my baby.' ''

But many of the parents who cast votes against the ban Wednesday said
O'Toole was as wrong as the ordinance.

``This is all about parental authority,'' said Barbara Zanowiak, a Seymour
mother of four - including two teenagers - who voted against the ordinance.
``As far as I know, my teenagers don't smoke, but I think it's my job to
worry about it. I know it's difficult to raise children, but the town and
the police shouldn't be doing it for me.''

The ordinance said children caught smoking in public would be issued a
warning and their parents would be notified. A second offense would carry a
$20 fine and require enrollment in smoking cessation classes. A third
offense would draw a $50 fine and more classes.

``It's lunacy,'' said Adamowski, who quit smoking 10 years ago after a
life-threatening bout with pneumonia. ``It was my personal choice.
Officials in Seymour don't know what personal choice means. The
Constitution doesn't mean two cents in this town.''

Yet health officials stand by their initial endorsements of the ordinance.
John Sponauer, director of the Valley Substance Abuse Action Council, said
he hopes Seymour's failed attempt doesn't discourage other towns from
addressing teen smoking.

``When it comes to smoking, there's this big loophole,'' Sponauer said.
``With alcohol, underage kids can't buy it, possess it or use it. Underage
kids can't buy cigarettes, why do we let them smoke?''

But some said the outcome of Wednesday's vote is of little relevance to the
teens who light up outside the fast-food joints and the town pool hall
every night.

``Whenever we see cops, we stamp the butts out,'' said Christa Lydem, 17.
``Just like some of my friends stamp them out when they see their parents.
We're not going to stop doing that. We're not going to stop smoking

Florida - Medical Marijuana ('The Tampa Tribune' Says The Drug Free America
Foundation, Opponents Of A Florida Initiative To Legalize Marijuana
For Medicinal Use, Proclaimed Victory Thursday Because Proponents Failed
To Collect The 435,000 Signatures Needed To Get On The November 3 Ballot,
But Toni Leeman, Chairwoman Of Floridans For Medical Rights,
Said The Fort Lauderdale-Based Group Is Aiming To Place The Measure
On The State Ballot In 2000, Not This Year)

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 17:56:30 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US FL: FL-Medical Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Thu, 20 Aug 1998
Source: Tampa Bay Online (The Tampa Tribune)
Contact: tribletters@tampatrib.com
Address: P.O. Box 191, Tampa, FL 33601-4005.
Website: http://www.tboweb.com/
Author: Associated Press


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Opponents of a statewide initiative to legalize
marijuana for medicinal use proclaimed victory Thursday, but supporters of
legal pot said their campaign is far from over.

The Drug Free America Foundation hailed failure of supporters to submit
petitions by a deadline earlier this month for getting proposed state
constitutional amendments on the Nov. 3 ballot.

``They were unable to muster any semblance of an organized campaign,'' said
Terry Hensley, the anti-drug use foundation's executive director, in a news
release. ``Our education efforts must be working.''

Such celebration was premature, though, countered Toni Leeman, chairwoman
of Floridans for Medical Rights. She said the Fort Lauderdale-based group
is aiming to place the marijuana legalizing measure on the state ballot in
2000, not this year.

``They cannot `defeat' an initiative that's not on the ballot, so this
`victory dance' is inane,'' Leeman said. ``When we gather the 435,000
signatures, then it will appear on the ballot, and they can do nothing
about that.''

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Tim Moore disputed
Leeman's year 2000 scenario.

``That'd be my story, too, if I'd failed miserably,'' Moore said.

Copyright 1998 Associated Press.

Response From MPs And MLAs (Randy Caine, Whose Constitutional Challenge
To Canadian Cannabis Prohibition Is Under Appeal,
Shares Three Responses He Received After Writing To Numerous
British Columbian Politicians About His Case)
Link to earlier story
From: "Randy Caine" (vcaine@uniserve.com) To: "Mattalk" (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com) Subject: Response from MP's and MLA's Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 14:38:25 -0700 Recently I sent a copy of the judgement from my trial to numerous MP's and MLA's in BC. Along with the judgement I included a brief letter (3 pages) outlining the intent of the constitutional challenge, the position of the expert witnesses and the court's response to harm via poor social policy. I further asked some specific questions relating to their personal and party position on decrim., harm to children, authority of gov't, etc. To date I have had 3 responses which are posted below. As I receive additional responses I will also post those letters. *** August 4, 1998. Dear Mr. Caine, I am responding to your letter of July 24, 1998. Thank you for also sending me a copy of the Reasons for Judgement of Judge Howard. In your letter you asked me a series of questions about the issues surrounding the current laws and possible changes regarding the use of marijuana. The possibility of decriminalization and regulation of marijuana is not an issue that I have given any thought to, nor is it an issue that has been discussed in our BC Liberal Caucus. I will forward your information to our Attorney General Critic, Geoff Plant and our Health Critic, Sindi Hawkins. I expect that they will also have an interest in reading it. Thank you for informing me of your views. Yours sincerely, John van Dongen, MLA Abbotsford *** August 10,1998. Dear Mr. Caine, I am writing in response to your letter of July 28, 1998, regarding the "recent court judgement (April 20, 1998) relating to the adult use of marijuana." I read through the information you provided, and found it to be quite interesting. However, the decriminalization of marijuana is an issue that Reform has identified as being an "issue of personal conscience," and as such, we would support a citizen initiated binding national referendum to resolve the issue. In order to avoid any accusations that I might be trying to influence the electorate prior to any future referendum, I do not publicly state my personal views on such issues, so unfortunatel I am not in a position to answer the questions contained in your letter. I am however, 100% committed to providing the electorate with a legislative vehicle for forcing the government to hold binding referenda, which could be used to decriminalize marijuana if you were successful in mobilizing sufficient support. For your information, I have enclosed a copy of my Private Member's Bill C-229 - "An Act to provide for the holding of citizen-initiated referenda on specific questions." If you support my Bill as a vehicle to assist your cause, I urge you to write directly to the Prime Minister and ask that he support it in the House of Commons. He can be reached at The House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 Yours truly, Ted White, MP contact: whitet@reform.ca *** Aug. 15, 1998. Victor Caine, Thank you for the information regarding the April 20 court judgment concerning the use of marijuana. While I appreciate being kept up to date on this matter, I am not prepared to respond at this time to the lengthy list of questions you ask me to answer on such a controversial issue. I trust you can appreciate my position. Yours sincerely, Lou Sekora, MP contact: Constituency Office lou_sekora@bc.sympatico.ca Ottawa sekorl0@parl.gc.ca

State Declares War On Teen Drug Use ('The Courier Mail'
Says Somebody - It's Not Quite Clear Who - Announced Wednesday
That A Ministerial Think Tank Would Be Set Up To Fight An Alleged Increase
In Drug Use By Teenagers In Queensland, Australia)

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998 07:33:26 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Australia: State Declares War On Teen Drug Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kwr01@uow.edu.au (Ken Russell)
Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Contact: cmleted@ozemail.com.au
Pubdate: Thursday, August 20, 1998
Author: Ali Lawlor


A STATE Government ministerial think-tank will be set up to fight
increasing drug use by teenagers in Queensland.

The announcement yesterday came as police, youth centres and schools in
Ipswich called on the State Government to develop an integrated
departmental approach to the drug problem in their area.

Superintendent of Ipswich police Alex Erwin said information on drug use
should be shared between departments such as Health, Police and Families,
Youth and Community Care.

A report by Goodna police inspector Grant Pitman found the inability of
departments to release information about the extent of the drug problem in
Ipswich was inhibiting community drug education and rehabilitation programmes.

A spokeswoman for Premier Peter Beattie said "anything that helps to break
the curse of drugs among young Queenslanders should be implemented".

"The Premier will be discussing with ministers at the earliest possible

Ipswich police revealed last week that "starter packs" of amphetamines or
heroin mixed with honey were being handed out to children as young as nine
by dealers in the Ipswich area. Officers confirmed hundreds of children at
a high school in the area were using drugs ranging from marijuana to heroin.

Teenagers said a known dealer visited a local shopping plaza before and
after school to provide drugs to students.

Police Minister Tom Barton said there was a need for "a formal in-depth
discussion with relevant ministers and also a formal submission from the
people concerned to flush out their ideas". Families, Youth and Community
Care Minister Anna Bligh said she was looking forward to discussing an
integrated approach because it was "the only way to provide effective
services for these young people".

Supt Erwin said a coordinated approach would make a big difference to drug
problems in any community.

"You have to be careful with privy information but you can make a big
difference," he said.

"For example, if a nurse is talking to a child at school about their drug
problem, then it's a matter of confidence."

"But look at the big picture. If the nurse is dealing with 20 to 30 people
in the school she could then say in general terms, 'We have a problem at
this school and these are the drugs we're dealing with'. That doesn't
affect confidentlality and this is how we see the information being
delivered, maybe even in report form."

Supt Erwin said government agencies could outline patterns of behaviour in
particular areas by using anecdotal information.

Acting principal of Ipawich State High School John Allison said "hard data"
from the Government was needed for preventative drug programmes to be
society you're obviously going to have a drug problem at school - school is
a reflection of society." Mr Allison said.

"Once we get that information you can at least say, 'If this problem exists
we can start to have a hard look at it'."

Co-ordinator of the Queensland Intravenous AIDS Association Alex Wightman
warned the exchange of information could stop young people from seeking
help for drug problems at an early stage.

"There's always a need for a better inter-government approach to the drug
problem but I'd hate to see health service agencies and welfare agencies
becoming intelligence gatherers for police operations," he said.

"It will just drive the problem underground."

Huge Police Drugs Raid Took Months Of Planning ('The Age'
Says More Than 200 Police In Victoria, Australia, Took Action Early Yesterday
Against A Sophisticated Amphetamine Manufacturing Ring With 20 Arrests
And Raids In Three States, Including 32 Houses And One Business In Victoria)

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 08:14:13 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Australia: Huge Police Drugs Raid Took Months Of Planning
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
Pubdate: Thu, 20 Aug 1998
Author: Brett Foley


A massive police operation early yesterday against a sophisticated
amphetamine manufacturing ring was one of the largest police efforts in
years and the culmination of months of investigation.

More than 200 Victoria Police were involved in the operation, in which
officers raided properties in three states. In Victoria, 32 houses and one
business were raided as part of Operation Orbost, resulting in the seizure
of large amounts of drugs, cash, firearms and stolen property.

The head of the drug squad, Inspector John McKoy, said the raids by his
squad and the special operations group were the result of months of
investigation into amphetamines dealing in Victoria, New South Wales and

Properties at Nerang in Queensland and near Wagga in New South Wales were
also raided as part of the operation on Tuesday night and yesterday morning.

Inspector McKoy said the seizure of several handguns in the raid was
disturbing in the wake of the shootings of two police in Moorabbin on
Sunday morning.

``Handguns are only made for one purpose and that is killing. Fortunately
in operations like this the drug squad has the luxury of knowing who we are
dealing with and whether they are armed.

``Therefore we can plan these operations meticulously and enjoy the
protection of the special operations group.

``Unfortunately our members patrolling the streets do not have those
luxuries. They are particularly at risk, as we have seen in recent
events,'' he said.

Inspector McKoy said the raids across 19 Melbourne suburbs found several
handguns, several hundred thousand dollars in cash and other stolen
property. Large amounts of amphetamines and chemicals were seized from a
property in Mt Evelyn.

Police also raided a computer business in Plenty Road, Reservoir, where
police arrested five men from Melbourne, two from NSW, one from Queensland
and seized drugs and cash.

``Some of the people involved in this group are large-scale organisers in
the amphetamine trade and through their arrest we have put a dent into
organised crime in this state,'' Inspector McKoy said.

In all, more than 20 people were arrested and 17 appeared in the Melbourne
Magistrates Court yesterday. All were charged with drug trafficking and
firearms offences and all but one were remanded to reappear in the
Magistrates Court at a later date.

The police chief commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, praised members of the
operation for their work, despite the tragic events of the weekend.

``The professionalism and dedication of police working on this complex and
potentially dangerous operation shines through and demonstrates that,
despite the grief, we have kept working,'' he said.

Inspector McKoy said all officers involved in the operation were
``heartbroken'' but carried out their duties in a professional manner.

``We are dictated to by the criminals we deal with and we have to seize
opportunities as they arise; last night was the opportune time to end this

Only One Solution To Drugs Problem (A Letter From An Extreme Prohibitionist
To The Editor Of 'The Evening News' In Norwich, England, Says All Sellers
Of All Recreational Drugs Should Be Sent To Prison For Life,
With All Their Property Forfeited)
Link to three responses
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 15:28:06 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: UK: LTE: Only one solution to drugs problem Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA) Source: Evening News (Norwich UK) Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk Pubdate: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 ONLY ONE SOLUTION TO THE DRUGS PROBLEM DRUGS? We are all full of solutions, except the right one. Firstly, there is no such thing as a recreational drug. All drugs outside prescription drugs are harmful How many more kids are to die before someone says that anyone supplying drugs will go to jail for life. All property will be confiscated, sold and all monies used for rehabilitation. All drugs, not class this or that, ALL DRUGS. James Sandham Seabrook Court Bowthorpe, Norwich *** BERLIN HEMP PARADE: AUGUST 29 ALEXANDERPLATZ 2PM. hanfparade@hanfnet.de Smokey Bears and Free Cannabis in Hyde Park on Sat 26 Sept, from noon. Smokey Bears Picnic in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, 27 Sept from noon. more events around the UK - details to follow. CLCIA's on-line bookshop: use your card safely via Amazon.com http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webhome.html Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA) 54C Peacock Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1TB, England. Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia.html e-mail : webbooks@paston.co.uk Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780 "The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law." -------------------------------------------------------------------


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