Portland NORML News - Tuesday, September 15, 1998

Assisted Suicide Supporters Say Bill To Overturn Law Ill-Timed
('The Associated Press' Says Congress Is Expected To Vote This Week
On The Bill That Would Nullify Oregon's Death With Dignity Act -
The State's Congressional Delegation Opposes The Legislation, And Opponents
Are Accusing Sponsors Of Trying To Slip The Bill Through The US House
Of Representatives In The Shadow Of The Presidential Sex Scandal)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Assisted suicide supporters say bill to overturn law ill-timed
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 18:13:23 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Assisted suicide supporters say bill to overturn law ill-timed

The Associated Press
09/15/98 3:58 AM Eastern

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Backers of doctor-assisted suicide are criticizing
the timing of a bill that could overturn Oregon's Death With Dignity Act,
accusing proponents of trying to slip it through the U.S. House of
Representatives in the shadow of the presidential sex scandal.

With the spotlight on possible impeachment, the bill could pass "under the
radar screen" without sufficient debate or consideration, said George
Eighmey, a state representative and executive director of Compassion in

A vote on the bill is expected this week.

"While our heads are turned, they are attempting to do some things that are,
in our opinion, a mismanagement of government," Eighmey, a Portland
Democrat, said at a news conference Monday. "They should not be doing this.
They could not be doing this under other circumstances."

Assisted-suicide opponents disagree, saying the quick movement of the bill
was driven by Attorney General Janet Reno's ruling in June that federal drug
agents cannot target doctors who help terminally ill patients die under
Oregon's law.

"The threat to patients was in place long before these recent events," said
Dr. William Toffler, professor of family medicine at Oregon Health Sciences
University and the national director of Physicians for Compassionate Care.
"Consideration of these issues has been going on for months. Our federal
legislature is well informed."

The bill would stop doctors from prescribing lethal doses of controlled
drugs to terminally ill patients. It is sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde,
R-Ill., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which also must decide whether
to draft articles of impeachment against Clinton.

Oregon Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Darlene Hooley and
Elizabeth Furse have promised to raise arguments that could narrow the
margin in the House and help stall a companion bill in the Senate.

The Oregon lawmakers say the bill violates states' rights and would
discourage doctors from prescribing medication that is strong enough to
control pain for terminally ill patients.

On Monday, Hooley announced plans to offer an amendment to the bill that
would prohibit states which have passed ballot measures permitting
doctor-assisted suicide from implementing such initiatives.

The Senate's version of the bill faces a tougher time, in part because
Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has expressed reservations.
Also, rules are different in the Senate. One senator can block or stall a
bill more easily than a House member.

If the bill is sent to the full Senate, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has
threatened to hold it up by starting a filibuster, or drawing out the floor
debate. Wyden also has been rounding up support against the bill.

Oregon is the only state that permits assisted suicide. The act, approved by
voters in 1994 and again in 1997, provides a detailed procedure by which a
terminally ill person can take his or her life. At least eight people have
died under the law, according to the state. Two others obtained lethal
prescriptions from doctors but died before taking them.

But in addition to assisted suicide, the Hyde bill could affect end-of-life
care across the nation, opponents say. More than 20 medical groups
representing more than 500,000 doctors, nurses and pharmacists and other
patient advocacy groups oppose the bill.

For Barbara Oskamp, the ramifications of the legislation are personal.
Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 1991, the 67-year-old West Linn
woman was given eight years to live. She said Oregon's law allowed her to
stop worrying about end-of-life pain.

"It enabled me to enjoy life and not be afraid of the final days," she said.
"Now, to have Congress doing this ... Oh gosh, it hurts."

Lawmakers Try To Shield Suicide Measure ('The Oregonian' Version)

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

Lawmakers try to shield suicide measure

* Oregon lawmakers will cite states' rights in offering an
amendment to protect the Death With Dignity Act

Tuesday, September 15 1998

By Jim Barnett
and Erin Hoover Barnett
of The Oregonian staff

Oregon Democrats on Monday readied a last-ditch
defense in Congress of the state's one-of-a-kind Death
With Dignity Act.

The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that
could block the Oregon law. The bill, which is expected
to pass, would prevent doctors from prescribing
federally controlled drugs to help a dying patient end his
life. The bill still faces a battle in the Senate.

Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., hopes to paint the bill as a
threat to states' rights. She said Monday she plans to
offer an amendment to the bill that would exempt
doctors from federal sanction in states that have passed
laws legalizing doctorassisted suicide. Oregon is the only
such state.

The amendment is likely to fail because it would wipe out
the bill's intended purpose -- stopping legalized assisted
suicide. But Hooley says the amendment focuses
attention on the extent to which the bill is an attack on
the will of voters.

"This legislation is intended to steamroll Oregon's Death
With Dignity law and ensure that no state could enact
similar legislation, no matter how keenly voters desire it,"
she said.

Proponents of the House bill, mostly conservatives led by
Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee, have said the bill is intended to end a "culture
of death" inspired by the Oregon law.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said he plans to take a direct
approach in arguing against the Hyde bill. In a floor
speech, he will warn his colleagues that doctors in their
districts would be angry at the prospect of being second
guessed by federal drug agents who could investigate
how they prescribe drugs for dying patients.

"If you're doing something that affects their people
intimately, and it affects people in their district like
doctors, then suddenly, you've got their attention,"
DeFazio said.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Elizabeth Furse, D-Ore., also
oppose the bill. Rep. Bob Smith, R-Ore., is inclined to
support the legislation, a spokesman for him said. But
Smith plans to listen to the debate Wednesday before
deciding how he will vote. Smith opposes assisted

Although the bill will likely pass in the House, DeFazio
and Hooley hope their actions could raise enough
questions about it to slow the companion bill in the
Senate. A work session in the Senate Judiciary
Committee is tentatively scheduled for the bill on
Thursday. The next step would be to schedule the bill for
a debate and vote on the Senate floor.

Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., the assistant majority leader,
is backing the Senate bill, which faces a tougher time in
part because Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch,
R-Utah, has expressed reservations. In addition, Senate
rules are different. One senator can block or stall a bill
more easily than can a House member.

If the bill is sent to the full Senate, Sen. Ron Wyden,
D-Ore., has threatened to hold it up by drawing out the
floor debate -- a tactic known as a filibuster. But that
may not be necessary because Wyden has been quietly
lobbying his colleagues to enlist their support, an aide

"If there were a vote today, I think Ron would be the
clear underdog," said Wyden aide, Josh Kardon. "But we
are much further ahead than we were a month ago in
rounding up support."

In Portland Monday, advocates for Oregon's assisted
suicide law accused Congressional leaders of trying to
slip the bill through the House while the country is
distracted with the possible impeachment of President

While everyone's "heads have been turned, they are
attempting to do some things which in our opinion are a
mismanagement of government, a misdirection of
priorities," said George Eighmey, a state legislator who
became executive director for Compassion in Dying's
Oregon affiliate this month.

Eighmey said the legislation "will directly harm each and
every Oregonian and will overturn 60 percent of Oregon
voters' decision last year," said "We can't allow that to

The bill could jeopardize the ability of all dying patients,
not just those in Oregon, to get adequate pain relief, said
Barbara Coombs Lee, who heads the Compassion in
Dying Federation, which includes Washington and
California affiliates. Doctors, fearing investigation by
federal drug agents, would shy away from giving high
doses of pain medication because the doses could also
hasten death, she said.

That view is shared by the now more than 40 medical
groups and patient advocacy organizations that oppose
the bill, ranging from the American Medical Association
and the American Pharmaceutical Association to the
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the
Leukemia Society of America Inc.

Many of the medical groups oppose the practice of
assisted suicide but fear this legislation could erode
efforts to improve care for the dying.

Dr. Leigh Dolin, a Portland internist, for example, said
the bill would make him more cautious about how he
prescribed pain medication. Rather than approving more
drugs for a dying patient over the phone, he said he
would want to see the patient, potentially making the
patient wait for pain relief.

Catholic and right-to-life supporters of Hyde's bill,
however, say the legislation actually promotes good
end-of-life care. They view the bill as offering explicit
protection to doctors who treat dying patients' pain
aggressively, so long as they don't intend to end the
patient's life.

Dr. Greg Hamilton, president of the anti-assisted suicide
group Physicians for Compassionate Care, said the
House has carefully considered the legislation in hearings
this summer and is well prepared to vote on it. He
discarded the notion that Congressional leaders are being

Notorious Inmate Slain In Rec Yard At State Penitentiary ('The Oregonian'
Says Mark Dean Davis, 31, Originally Sentenced To 20 Years For Five Counts
Of Burglary And Possession Of A Controlled Substance In Multnomah County,
Died Sunday Night After An Unknown Assailant Stabbed Him In The Torso -
In 1989 He Took A Guard Hostage For 50 Minutes To Demand Cigarettes
For All The Inmates)

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

Notorious inmate slain in rec yard at state penitentiary

* Mark Dean Davis once held a prison guard hostage and
threatened to slash her throat or scalp her

Tuesday, September 15 1998

By Michelle Roberts
of The Oregonian staff

A state inmate notorious for once taking a guard hostage
was slain in the recreation yard of the Oregon State
Penitentiary in Salem late Sunday.

Mark Dean Davis, 31, died Sunday night after an
unknown assailant stabbed him in the torso during an
outdoor exercise break at 7:25 p.m., corrections officials
said Monday.

Because Davis was considered "assaultive and
aggressive," additional corrections officers were sent to
guard the wounded inmate at Salem Hospital, where he
died at 9:10 p.m., said Jim Lockwood, Oregon
Department of Corrections spokesman.

Oregon State Police on Monday were investigating the
homicide with assistance from the Salem Police
Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

While normal daily operations at the penitentiary had
resumed by late Monday, many of the penitentiary's
2,000 inmates still were separated from their cellmates
"to keep them from talking and trying to get their stories
straight," Lockwood said.

State Medical Examiner Larry Lewman performed the
autopsy that confirmed Davis had been stabbed to death,
but refused to disclose what kind of weapon had been
used. Lockwood said it likely was "home-made."

Known for his combative nature Davis had been in
prison since February 1989 -- most of his adult life.

In 1989, while he was housed at the medium-security
Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, Davis
overpowered a female corrections officer, held a razor
blade to her neck and threatened to slash her throat or
scalp her.

During the 50-minute stand-off Davis demanded
cigarettes for all the inmates and told prison authorities
he wanted to exchange the officer for the prison security
manager. Eventually, he was subdued by about six
members of the prison's tactical emergency response
team and transferred to the maximum-security

Several months before the hostage incident, Davis tried
to slit the throat of cellmate Thomas Gowin with a razor
blade, prison records show.

In addition to his in-prison crimes, Davis was serving a
20-year sentence for five counts of burglary and
possession of a controlled substance in Multnomah

"He was considered a high risk by us," Lockwood said.
"He was not a well-liked man."

Davis had "gone in and out of" disciplinary segregation
over the years, Lockwood said. At the time of his death,
Davis was living with the general prison population, the
only way he would have been allowed outside in the
yard. His projected release date was November 2005.

Davis' death is the first homicide since the Dec. 4, 1996,
murder of penitentiary inmate Jackie Sharp.

A jury found fellow inmate John Charles Zalme, 51,
guilty of beating Sharp with a pipe, stabbing him 11
times, dousing him with lacquer thinner and setting him
afire inside the prison's furniture factory.

Prosecutors said Zalme hated Sharp, who was a child
molester. Zalme was sentenced to life in prison on
without parole.

Doctors Debate Medicinal Use Of Marijuana ('The Olympian' In Olympia,
Washington, Covers A Discussion Among AIDS Physicians Monday
About The Relative Merits Of Marinol Versus Initiative 692,
The Medical Marijuana Initiative Facing State Voters In November)

From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 12:44:05 EDT
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Article Publ.- Olympian
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

THE OLYMPIAN - 15 Sept. 98


By Peter Eichstaedt

OLYMPIA - A physician who works with AIDS patients in the Los Angeles area
says medical use of marijuana is unnecessary because synthetic forms of the
drug are legal and effective.

But supporters of Washington's Initiative 692, which would make medical use
of marijuana legal, counter that synthetics are not nearly as effective.

Dr. Gary Cohan - a physician with Pacific Oaks clinic in Beverly Hills, one
of the largest treatment centers for AIDS patients in the country - was in
Olympia on Monday to discuss I-692 and its alternatives with health care

Cohan argued that with effective alternatives available, I-692 is

"There is no other medicine we ask people to smoke," he said. "When a
patient is in need, we shouldn't send them out to the corner to buy

Medical use of marijuana was approved in Claifornia in 1996, but Cohan said
he prefers the synthetic drug called Marinol, produced by Roxane Laboratoroies
in Columbus, Ohio, as a substitute for marijuana.

Tacoma physician Dr. Rob Killian, a primary backer of Washington's I-692,
says marijuana is more effective and has no negative health effects.

Every published study that compares Marinol and marijuana shows that
marijuana is more effective," he said. "But we have not been able to find out
why because the federal government has not allowed elaborate studies to

Dr. Dave Edwards, a retired Olympia physician who is knowledgeable about
medicinal marijuana, said short-term use of marijuana for medical reasons has
no ill effects.

Marinol is not useful for the severe nausea suffered by cancer patients
undergoing chemotherapy, Edwards said.

"When you're nauseated, how do you keep a Marinol pill down?" Edwards
asked. "With marijuana you take some puffs, it goes directly into the blood
stream, and it has its effect within minutes."

Edwards also said patients can regulate a marijuana dose one puff at a
time. That cannot be done with Marinol, which stays in the blood-stream for
many hours and can cause lingering side effects.

But Cohan said Marinol is not less effective than smoking marijuana.

Because Marinol is taken orally, it takes longer for patients to feel the
effect, he said. But the effect lasts longer, he said.

Doses of the drug can be regulated for the best effects, he said, while
self-medicating with marijuana can have some unintended side effects.

The amount of THC, the active chemical in marijuana, varies widely from
plant to plant, Cohan said, so "you don't know what you're getting" when it is

But Edwards countered, "The more potent it is, the better it is for medical
purposes," he said.

Marijuana also has more tar in its smoke than tobacco, Cohan said, which
can harm lungs.

But Edwards argued that one would need to smoke the equivalent of a pack of
marijuana cigarettes a day for 20 years for marijuana to have any significant
lung damage.

Peter Eichstaedt is The Olympian's political editor. He can be reached at


Comment by DLE: Last year Roxane Labs (makers of Marinol) sent up Dr. Lonnie
Bristow (a past president of the AMA) from California to campaign against
I-685. This year they are sending Dr. Gary Cohan, also from California, to do
the same against I-692. "Science" again comes to the aid of politics and
economic gain.

DEA Raids Arcata Club (A Bulletin From California NORML
Says 10 Federal Prohibition Agents Raided The Collective Medical Marijuana
Garden Of The Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroying More Than 150 Plants
With The Assistance Of Four State Agents - Nobody Was Arrested,
And It's Not Clear Whether The Marauders Had A Warrant Or How
They Gained Entrance, But It Shows How Medical Marijuana Patients
Who Try To Cooperate With Local Authorities Can Be Harmed
When Local Drug Warriors Hand Off Information To The Feds)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 21:29:56 -0800
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: DEA Raids Arcata Club
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

California NORML Press Release - Sept 15, 1998

DEA Raids Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine

Arcata, CA: Sept. 9, 1998. DEA agents raided the collective
medical marijuana garden of the Humboldt Cannabis Center in Arcata,
destroying over 150 plants intended for medical use by its members.
Eyewitnesses report that a team of fourteen agents landed by helicopter at
the center's garden last Wednesday, Sept. 9th. Included were four state
narcotics agents, who claimed to be observers but participated in
destroying the crop.

The DEA did not raid the center's office nor arrest any of its
personnel. The DEA has staged similar raids against medical marijuana
gardens at the San Francisco Flower Therapy club and Dennis Peron's Lake
County Farm.

The Humboldt Cannabis Center is a patient collective with over 300
members. It operates in accordance with an Arcata city ordinance which
explicitly recognizes the right of patients to form "medical marijuana
associations" to help acquire marijuana for themselves. The Center has
worked in close cooperation with local authorities, including Arcata police
chief Mel Brown, who runs a patient identification card program.

In an effort to cooperate with local authorities, Humboldt Cannabis
Center had notified law enforcement of the location of its garden.
Insofar as cultivation of marijuana by medical patients is protected under
Proposition 215, state officials have no authority to disturb collective
gardens. However, DEA agents act under federal law, under which medical
marijuana remains strictly illegal. Observers suspect that a disgruntled
local law enforcement official tipped off the DEA to come in.

"I guess they'd rather that patients buy on the black market,"
commented Humboldt Cannabis Center director Jason Browne, "The federal
government is promoting illegal drug dealing."

California NORML denounced the raid as an outrageous example of
government piracy, noting that the Humboldt center is widely respected as
one of the best-run medical cooperatives in the state.

Contacts: Jason Browne, Humboldt Cannabis Center (707) 825-0839;
Dale Gieringer, California NORML (415)563-5858.


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

Gene Weeks (A List Subscriber Says The California Medical Marijuana Patient
Recently Busted Without Being Arrested Has Been Taken To The Hospital
After Suffering An Apparent Heart Attack)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 13:40:23 EDT Originator: friends@freecannabis.org Sender: friends@freecannabis.org From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org) Subject: GENE WEEKS I have unfortunate news. This morning, at 7:00 am, Rev. Gene Weeks was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, in the high desert. The doctors believe that he may have had a heart attack. I spoke to him last night and he was having pain and tightness in his chest. I also spoke to him briefly, this morning, as the ambulance was arriving; and Dave Zink spoke to him at the hospital. I will keep you updated as I know more about his condition. Save a prayer. She Who Remembers http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7525 http://www.remembers.com

LAPD Chief's Daughter Arraigned In Drug Case ('The Los Angeles Times' Version
Of Yesterday's News About The 37-Year-Daughter Of Los Angeles Police Chief
Bernard C. Parks, Charged In Las Vegas With Trying To Sell 20 Grams
Of Cocaine)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 19:11:45 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: LAPD Chief's Daughter Arraigned in Drug Case
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: September 15, 1998
Fax: 213-237-4712
Author: Matt Lait, Times Staff Writer


Crime: The L.A. police clerk and an accomplice are accused in Las Vegas of
trying to sell 20 grams of cocaine.

The 37-year-daughter of Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks was
arraigned Monday in a Las Vegas courtroom on felony drug charges,
authorities said. Michelle Lynette Parks, a civilian clerk for the LAPD,
is accused of conspiracy to sell cocaine and trafficking in cocaine.

After her arraignment, Parks was released on her own recognizance and
ordered to return to court Sept. 29 to determine whether she is financially
able to hire her own defense attorney or will need a public defender
appointed to represent her. She has not yet entered a plea.

Prosecutors allege that Parks and an accomplice conspired to sell 20 grams
of cocaine to an undercover Las Vegas police officer June 25. Parks
allegedly drove the accomplice to a spot where the transaction occurred,
prosecutors said. Parks' alleged partner was identified as Reginald
Gathwright, 21.

If convicted of the charges, Parks faces a possible maximum sentence of 15
years in prison.

Chief Parks declined Monday to comment on his daughter's situation. "As a
matter of department policy, the LAPD does not comment on other agencies'
investigations," said Cmdr. Dave Kalish, the chief's spokesman. Kalish said
Michelle Parks has been on medical leave from her LAPD job since November
1997. She has been with the department since April 1996, he said.

Clark County Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Mitchell said an arrest warrant
had been issued for Parks last week. Las Vegas police notified LAPD
officials that they had issued an arrest warrant for Parks. After finding
out that she was wanted by police, Parks surrendered to authorities Monday.
Mitchell said he was unaware of Parks' relationship to the LAPD chief until
reporters started calling his office Monday. "This is just a routine case
for us," Mitchell said.

A law enforcement source said Parks identified herself as the chief's
daughter when Las Vegas patrol officers pulled her over shortly after the
alleged drug transaction. Parks was not immediately arrested because the
investigation was continuing, authorities said. Kalish said the LAPD is
conducting an internal investigation into the allegations against Parks.
"She's being treated like any other employee," he said.

Chief Parks, who has four grown children--three daughters and a son--is not
the only local official to have the actions of his relatives scrutinized
because of his prominence. When former Chief Daryl F. Gates was in office,
his son Scott was arrested several times on suspicion of drug possession
and was sentenced to a year in jail for the 1985 robbery of a pharmacy.
Phyllis Bradley, daughter of former Mayor Tom Bradley, pleaded guilty in
1990 to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge and was sentenced to 60 days in

Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved

LAPD Chief's Daughter Facing Drug Counts ('The Orange County Register'

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 19:13:05 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: LAPD Chief's daughter Facing Drug Counts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W. Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 15 Sep 1998


The daughter of Los Angeles police Chief Bernard Parks was in court Monday
in Las Vegas on charges of cocaine sales and trafficking, but the hearing
was postponed to give her time to get an attorney.

Michelle Parks, 37, who also works for the Los Angeles Police Department,
was ordered to return to court Sept.29.

Michelle Parks was allegedly the driver of a car involved in a drug deal in
June, authorities said. She was charged in a Sept. 3 warrant with one
count of conspiracy to sell cocaine and one count of trafficking.

LA Police Chief's Daughter Faces Drug Charges (The 'Reuters' Version)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 19:40:46 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US NV: WIRE: L.A. Police Chief's Daughter Faces Drug Charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David)
Pubdate: Tue, 15 Sep 1998
Source: Reuters


LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - In an embarrassment for Los Angeles police chief
Bernard Parks, his daughter appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom Monday
on drugs charges.

According to Las Vegas police, Michelle Parks, 37, who works as a
police-typist on the force, was charged with one count of conspiracy
to sell a controlled substance and one count of trafficking in a
controlled substance.

The charges stemmed from an incident June 25 in Las Vegas in which 20
grams of cocaine was sold to an undercover police officer from a car
in which Parks was sitting.

In a preliminary court appearance Monday, she was formally charged but
made no plea. Parks was released on bail on her own recognizance and
is due in court for arraignment Sept. 29.

Another Patient Arrested Protesting US House's Anti-Medical Marijuana
Resolution (A Bulletin From The Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC,
Says Multiple Sclerosis Patient Renee Emry Of Ann Arbor, Michigan,
Was Busted For Smoking A Joint In The Office Of Florida Republican
Bill McCollum, Who Sponsored House Joint Resolution 117)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:47:30 -0400
From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG)
Organization: Marijuana Policy Project
Sender: owner-mppupdates@igc.apc.org
Subject: URGENT: Patient Arrested in Protest of H.J.Res. 117
To: MPPupdates@igc.org

SEPTEMBER 15, 1998

Protesting U.S. House's Anti-Medicinal Marijuana Resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the U.S. House of Representatives'
scheduled vote on House Joint Resolution 117, a woman with multiple
sclerosis smoked marijuana today in the office of U.S. Rep. Bill
McCollum (R-FL), who sponsored the measure. The resolution declares that
the House is "unequivocally opposed" to allowing seriously ill people to
use medicinal marijuana.

Renee Emry, 38, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, said, "I got arrested
today so that hopefully some day, other patients will not have to."
(More information on Emry is available from the Marijuana Policy

By urging "the defeat of State initiatives that would seek to
legalize marijuana for medicinal use," the resolution maintains that
the existing marijuana laws should continue to treat seriously ill
people the same as recreational users. The current federal penalty for
possessing even one joint is up to a year in prison. State laws are
similar in 49 states -- all except California, which makes an
exception for medicinal use.

Shortly after an earlier version of this resolution passed the
House Judiciary Committee, the Marijuana Policy Project coordinated a
demonstration in which multiple sclerosis patient Cheryl Miller was
arrested for using marijuana in U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan's (R-CA) office on
March 30. When charges were dropped on April 20, advocates put out a
nationwide call for more civil disobedience. (The arrest and acquittal
received nationwide media coverage - http://www.mpp.org/millers.html.)

"This resolution shows that the House is completely out of
touch with the American people," said Robert Kampia, executive
director of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.
"Eighty percent of the American people support medicinal marijuana,
so it is clear that the vast majority also oppose this mean-spirited

"We will do whatever it takes to change these cruel laws," said
MPP's Robert Kampia. "There will be civil disobedience like this
government has not seen in 30 years."

"Patients are outraged," said Kampia. "They are tired of being
persecuted by the federal government. It is time to pass state bills and
initiatives to remove criminal penalties for seriously ill medicinal
marijuana users."

				- END -

*H.J.Res. 117 is identical to H.Res. 372, which began moving in
the House this past spring.



House Joint Resolution 117, the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution,
will be brought up for a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of
Representatives *LATE THIS AFTERNOON* (Tuesday, 9/15). If you receive
this message before Tuesday night, please immediately call or fax your
U.S. representative to tell him or her to vote "NO."

* Most of you can and should keep your calls brief: Please ask
whomever answers the phone to tell his or her boss to vote "NO" on

House Joint Resolution 117.

* Doctors, patients, and others with a compelling personal story to
tell: Please ask for the staff member who deals with medicinal
marijuana and explain why it is so important to you that he or she
tell his or her boss to vote "NO" on House Joint Resolution 117.

Wednesday, it will be too late

Some reasons that your U.S. representative should vote "NO" on House
Joint Resolution 117:

* House Joint Resolution 117 declares that "Congress is unequivocally
opposed to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use." If your U.S.
representative votes for this resolution, that would mean that he
or she wants to keep the laws as they are, which is that seriously
ill people risk being arrested and sent to prison for using
medicinal marijuana.

* House Joint Resolution 117 is wrong because there is substantial
clinical evidence that marijuana has legitimate medical uses.
Indeed, marijuana's primary active ingredient, THC, is available by
prescription to treat cancer chemotherapy and AIDS wasting syndrome.

* House Joint Resolution 117 is an inappropriate attempt by Congress
to intimidate and interfere with legitimate, constitutionally
protected state policies.

* "Perhaps Representative ____ opposes medicinal marijuana except for
a few special cases where a terminally ill patient is not
responding to any conventional therapies. If that is what
Representative _____ believes, then he/she is not 'unequivocally
opposed' to medicinal marijuana. Therefore, he/she should vote 'no'
on House Joint Resolution 117."



To support MPP's work and receive the quarterly newsletter,
"Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual
membership dues to:

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
P.O. Box 77492
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20013

202-232-0442 FAX

Medical Marijuana Patient Arrested In Representative McCollum's Office
(The Drug Reform Coordination Network Version)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 14:27:48 -0400
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: David Borden (borden@drcnet.org)
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org


Drug Reform Coordination Network
Rapid Response Team


We've just been informed that the House of Representatives will vote
today on House Joint Resolution 117, a "Sense of the House" Resolution
declaring that "Congress is unequivocally opposed to legalizing
marijuana for medicinal use." While the bill would not create any new
laws, if passed it will create another political obstacle to the
rescheduling of marijuana as a prescription drug. H.J.R. 117 is
identical to a previous bill, H.R. 372, on which we've issued alerts
in the past.

IN PROTEST OF H.J.R. 117, Renee Emry, a 38-year-old medical marijuana
patient who suffers from multiple sclerosis, smoked marijuana today in
the office of Rep. Bill McCollum, the sponsor of the resolution. (For
more information on Emry, contact the Marijuana Policy Project at
mpp@mpp.org or visit http://www.mpp.org on the web.)

Please support the efforts of Renee Emry and many other patients who
risk their very freedom to use the medicine they need and to win that
right for others. Please pick up a phone right now and call your U.S.
Representative through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
or 225-3121. The operators will be able to transfer you to your rep's
office, and can look up who your rep is if you don't already know.

Or, you can go to http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html
to get your full nine digit zip code, and use that to look up your
Representative at http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html on the house
web site.

While you're on the phone with your rep's office, please also ask him
or her to oppose the "Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act" --
also sponsored by Rep. McCollum -- which would increase funding for
failed military source country strategies, and which would strengthen
abusive militaries in Latin America and impede the struggle for
democracy and human rights. This bill is expected to come up for a
vote later this week. Visit http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#andes
in last week's newsletter to find out more. (But don't take to long
-- the H.J.R. 117 vote could take place at any time.)

Last but not least, if you haven't called or written Oklahoma's
governor in support of Will Foster's parole, please take a moment
to do that next. (See http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/9-10.html
for the governor's contact information.)

Please call now, and then please reply to this message or send a note
to alert-feedback@drcnet.org to let us know which of these requests
you've acted on. We need this feedback to be able to assess our
impact and show our funders that we are effective.


(Note that there will only be one DRCNet bulletin -- The Week Online
-- during the typical week. There have just been a lot of things
happening this week and last, that were too urgent to wait.)


DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P
St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit
card at https://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (with
encryption, to protect credit card numbers) or
http://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (no encryption) --
or credit card donations can be called in to (202) 293-8340
or faxed to (202) 293-8344. THOSE DONATING $35 OR MORE
AMERICA'S DRUG WAR." Note that contributions to DRCNet are
not tax-deductible. (Deductible contributions to our
educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet
Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, same address.)




JOIN/MAKE A DONATION	http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html
DRUG POLICY LIBRARY	http://www.druglibrary.org/
REFORMER'S CALENDAR	http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html
SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST	http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html
DRCNet HOME PAGE	http://www.drcnet.org/

Medical Marijuana Resolution (A List Subscriber
Says House Joint Resolution 117 Has Passed With 317 Yes Votes,
93 No Votes And 25 Abstentions)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 20:32:03 -0400
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Kris Lotlikar (lotlikar@drcnet.org)
Subject: Medical Marijuana Resolution
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

The "Sense of the House" resolution against the use of medical marijuana
was passed tonight by 317 yes votes. This will put up another barrier
blocking federal acceptance of the need for patients access to their

The bright side is that 86 Democrates, 6 Republicans, 1 Independent voted
against the resolution which, this close to the election, is a large step
for the first vote on medical marijuana in the house.

25 members did not vote.

Rob Kampia, of the MPP, was "ecstatic" about the number of no votes because
he was only counting on 70.

We are 93 votes closer to a responsible policy and thats progress.

Kris Lotlikar
Membership Coordinator
Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
2000 P St., NW, Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036

V: (202)293-8340
F: (202)293-8344

Plug Into The Movement At

Visit The Largest Online Drug Policy Resouce At

Check DRCNet Central At

House Says Marijuana Should Not Be Legal For Medical Use
('The Associated Press' Version)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: House says marijuana should not be legal for medical use
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 18:16:38 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

House says marijuana should not be legal for medical use

The Associated Press
09/15/98 8:11 PM Eastern

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should
not be legalized for medical use, the House said in a resolution passed
310-93 Tuesday.

Efforts to legalize marijuana for medical use in several states are sending
the wrong message to teen-agers and the nation as a whole, supporters of the
resolution said during debate on the House floor.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which opposed the measure, denounced the vote.

"This resolution shows that the House is completely out of touch with the
American people," said Robert Kampia, the group's executive director.
"Eighty percent of the American people support medicinal marijuana, so it is
clear that the vast majority also oppose this mean-spirited resolution."

But the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., said repeated
scientific testing has not proved a medical use for marijuana.

"Science cannot be based on opinion polls," he said. "The research clearly
demonstrates that smoked marijuana impairs normal brain functions and
damages the heart, lungs, reproductive and immune systems."

Some Democrats, however, accused Republicans of grandstanding in order to
win more votes in the November congressional elections.

Scientists should be allowed to continue to study the drug, said Rep.
William Delahunt, D-Mass.

"No one who has watched a cancer patient with uncontrollable nausea for
hours on end could make such an argument," he said, noting that cocaine and
morphine are used for medical purposes.

"It seems to me that if we're going to ban the use of marijuana in the face
of growing medical evidence of its therapeutic value, then we should ban
morphine and cocaine as well," Delahunt said.

The Senate has not yet voted on a similar measure.

The House resolution asks the Food and Drug Administration to submit a
report outlining how the federal government enforces current law prohibiting
the sale and use of marijuana and other controlled substances.

It also asks the attorney general to send Congress data on how much
marijuana was seized in the United States and the number of federal
marijuana-related arrests and prosecutions from 1992 to 1997.

"The resolution is based on numerous committee hearings, testimony and
research presented, all of which conclude that marijuana not only contains
no plausible medicinal benefits, but is harmful to one's health when
smoked," said a statement released by the House Republican Conference.

California and Arizona voters passed state ballot initiatives to legalize
marijuana for medical use in 1996, and 30 states and the District of
Columbia are considering similar measures. The Arizona Legislature, however,
has passed legislation to prevent the dispensing of drugs not approved as
medicine by the FDA.

The measure is H.J. Res. 117.

House Joint Resolution 117 - Congressional Record (A List Subscriber
Posts The URL For The Full Text Of The Congressional Debate)

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 17:53:11 EDT
Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
From: "stuart kocher" (stuart_k@hotmail.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: HJRes 117 congressional record

If anyone is interested here is the congressional record of this
landmark event. Now you can see the unerring logic behind it all.



Sense Of Congress Regarding Marijuana (The Complete Text
Of The Congressional Record With Members' Comments
On House Joint Resolution 117, The Anti-Medical Marijuana Legalism)

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 17:20:07 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Sense Of Congress Regarding Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: DrugSense
Source: Congressional Record
Pubdate: September 15, 1998 (House)]
Page: H7719-H7726
Note:From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Note: The results of the vote may be currently seen at:


Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the joint
resolution (H.J. Res. 117) expressing the sense of Congress that marijuana
is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal
use, as amended.

The Clerk read as follows:

H.J. Res. 117

Whereas certain drugs are listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances
Act if they have a high potential for abuse, lack any currently accepted
medical use in treatment, and are unsafe, even under medical supervision;

Whereas the consequences of illegal use of Schedule I drugs are well
documented, particularly with regard to physical health, highway safety,
and criminal activity;

Whereas pursuant to section 401 of the Controlled Substances Act, it is
illegal to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana, heroin, LSD, and
more than 100 other Schedule I drugs;

Whereas pursuant to section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act,
before any drug can be approved as a medication in the United States, it
must meet extensive scientific and medical standards established by the
Food and Drug Administration to ensure it is safe and effective;

Whereas marijuana and other Schedule I drugs have not been approved by the
Food and Drug Administration to treat any disease or condition;

Whereas the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act already prohibits the sale
of any unapproved drug, including marijuana, that has not been proven safe
and effective for medical purposes and grants the Food and Drug
Administration the authority to enforce this prohibition through seizure
and other civil action, as well as through criminal penalties;

Whereas marijuana use by children in grades 8 through 12 declined steadily
from 1980 to 1992, but, from 1992 to 1996, has dramatically increased by
253 percent among 8th graders, 151 percent among 10th graders, and 84
percent among 12th graders, and the average age of first-time use of
marijuana is now younger than it has ever been;

Whereas according to the 1997 survey by the Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 500,000 8th graders began using
marijuana in the 6th and 7th grades;

Whereas according to that same 1997 survey, youths between the ages of 12
and 17 who use marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those
who abstain from marijuana, and 60 percent of adolescents who use marijuana
before the age of 15 will later use cocaine; and

Whereas the rate of illegal drug use among youth is linked to their
perceptions of the health and safety risks of those drugs, and the
ambiguous cultural messages about marijuana use are contributing to a
growing acceptance of marijuana use among children and teenagers: Now,
therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled, That--

(1) Congress continues to support the existing Federal legal process for
determining the safety and efficacy of drugs and opposes efforts to
circumvent this process by legalizing marijuana, and other Schedule I
drugs, for medicinal use without valid scientific evidence and the approval
of the Food and Drug Administration; and

(2) not later than 90 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution--

(A) the Attorney General shall submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of
the House of Representatives and the Senate a report on--

(i) the total quantity of marijuana eradicated in the United States during
the period from 1992 through 1997; and

(ii) the annual number of arrests and prosecutions for Federal marijuana
offenses during the period described in clause (i); and

(B) the Commissioner of Foods and Drugs shall submit to the Committee on
Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Labor and
Human Resources of the Senate a report on the specific efforts underway to
enforce sections 304 and 505 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
with respect to marijuana and other Schedule I drugs.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from

[Page H7720]

Florida (Mr. McCollum) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank)
each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum).

General Leave

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on
the joint resolution under consideration.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman
from Florida?

There was no objection.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Today we are about to consider a medical marijuana bill. It is a bill
probably with a misnomer because there is no initiative out there in the
country that proposes truly medical marijuana, where a doctor's
prescription is required, you have to go to the drugstore and get it, or
the Food and Drug Administration has approved the smoking of marijuana as a
drug and so forth.

But there is an awful lot of confusion in the public mind out there today.
I want to call my colleagues' attention to what this resolution actually
calls for after all of the sense of Congress is expressed in it. It
resolves that the House and Senate and Congress continue to support the
existing Federal legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of
drugs and opposes efforts to circumvent this process by legalizing
marijuana and other Schedule I drugs for medicinal use without valid
scientific evidence and the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.

I would like to point out at the beginning of this discussion that there is
a synthetic drug known as Marinol that contains the same powerful medical
ingredients found in marijuana for relieving pain and does not cause the
addiction or side effects associated with marijuana. Everybody here today
in this body is sympathetic with people who suffer from pain in this
country and the many Americans who have been told in some cases that the
smoking of marijuana will relieve that pain to them. Nobody is
unsympathetic to their cause, particularly those who are terminally ill,
but the ingredients that they need the medical profession has already laid
forth in medicine that is available and approved and is separate and apart
from the question of should we in any way provide for the opportunity to
smoke marijuana in a smoke form, which is what is in so many resolutions
around the country these days and initiatives.

Secondly, the Food and Drug Administration, which must approve all drugs,
has never approved marijuana as a prescription or over-the- counter drug.

Third, no doctor's prescription, under the initiatives that I have seen in
the States where this has been proposed and is being proposed today in the
50 States, no doctor's prescription would be required to obtain marijuana.
The only thing that would be required is for the doctor to say, ``It's
okay, I think it's a good idea, I'll sign a piece of paper.'' But you do
not have to go to the drugstore to get it. In fact, you could not get it at
the drugstore because the Food and Drug Administration has never approved it.

And fourth, there is a very important health problem that is associated
with this in terms of the body's immune system. Regularly smoking marijuana
weakens the body's immune system and doubles the speed in which the
AIDS-causing virus HIV produces AIDS symptoms.

Having made those statements, I want to discuss H.J. Res. 117 in a little
bit more detail. Congressional support, as I have said earlier, for the
current legal process is what this is all about: the process for
determining the safety and efficacy of drugs, including marijuana and other
Schedule I drugs for medicinal use.

I am pleased to say that the joint resolution we have here today is fully
supported by General Barry McCaffrey who is the head of our Office of
National Drug Control Policy, and he has a letter dated September 9, 1998
that so states that support.

At the outset, I want also to state that we personally do not possess the
medical or scientific expertise to pass judgment on whether marijuana is a
medicine. But the Food and Drug Administration does and so does the
American Medical Association, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the
American Cancer Society and numerous other organizations. Each of them has
concluded that marijuana is not a medicine. It seems to me that their
collective expert judgment and the long-established FDA approval process
should not be lightly set aside. Either on the basis of scientific evidence
and testing or whatever other basis you might come to a conclusion on,
marijuana is not a medicine. It has got to be determined by a scientific
basis. That is all there is to it. So far it has not been. No opinion poll
or State initiative in any way can alter that status.

Simply put, this resolution before us today reflects the view that science
cannot be based upon opinion polls. This was the position taken before the
subcommittee by General McCaffrey and by numerous other witnesses. Until
agencies with the authority and expertise, through established scientific
testing and review process, find marijuana to have legitimate medical
applications, it should not be legalized by States for medicinal purposes.

This resolution takes that position and provides the House of
Representatives as an institution the opportunity to weigh in on this
debate that is going on nationally. I believe such a statement is important
for a couple of reasons. First it is timely. More than 30 States and the
District of Columbia have been targeted for possible medical marijuana
initiatives. They have already been passed in California and Arizona.

I might add that the language of this resolution has been crafted in
cooperation with the gentleman from California (Mr. Cox) and Senator Kyl
from Arizona.

The resolution is also timely because of the tragic drug crisis engulfing
our young people today. The numbers are simply shocking. From 1992 to 1997,
drug use among youth from 12 to 17 years of age has more than doubled.

{time} 1330

It is up 120 percent. That is an increase of 27 percent in the last year
alone. For kids aged 12 to 17, first-time heroin use has increased 875
percent from 1991 to 1996, and from 1992 to 1996 marijuana use increased
253 percent among eighth graders, 151 percent among tenth graders and 84
percent among twelfth graders. Overall among kids aged 12 to 17 marijuana
smoking has jumped 125 percent from 1991 to 1997 in that 6 year period.
Today in the District of Columbia 96 percent of all youth arrested for
crime test positive for marijuana. That is 96 percent of all juvenile arrests.

Marijuana users today are younger than ever before. The most recent survey
by the Partnership for Drug-free America found that among children ages 9
to 12 who were surveyed, nearly one-fourth of them were offered drugs
during 1996 with marijuana being the most prominent. That is up from 19
percent for the same age group in 1993. The University of Michigan survey
for 1996 reports that 23 percent of the seventh grade students said they
had tried marijuana, and 33 percent of the eighth grade students had done
so. Mr. Speaker, our kids are drowning in a sea of drugs.

The second reason for this resolution is to send a message that cavalier
labeling of smoked marijuana as medicine sends an unmistakable message to
our youth. How harmful can it be if it is a medicine for any ailment? The
polls that have been taken before and after State initiatives clearly
demonstrate young people have a more accepting attitude towards marijuana
after the passage of those initiatives.

Kids get it. They understand it when civic and cultural institutions and
leaders are ambivalent, and I am of the view that future prospects of our
young people are too important for such a matter of ambivalence. As a
country we need to speak out, and this House needs to speak out.

Third, we need to know much more about marijuana today, and we do no more
than we did a few years ago, and the news that we do know is sobering. The
potency of marijuana has more than doubled in the last decade through
genetic manipulation and cloning. On top of that, the typical marijuana
dose is significantly larger than in past years, laced with other

[Page H7721]

drugs. As a result in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in
the number of marijuana related emergency room episodes for 12- to

Marijuana's troubling gateway effect is now well understood. According to
Columbia University, youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who use marijuana
are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those who abstain from
marijuana. The research clearly demonstrates smoke marijuana impairs normal
brain function and damages the, heart lungs reproductive and immune
systems. According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious
Diseases, HIV positive smokers of marijuana progress to full blown AIDS
twice as fast as non-smokers and have increased incidences of bacterial
pneumonia. In June 1997 the National Institute of Health found that long
term use of marijuana produces changes in the brain that are similar to
those seen after long term use of other major drugs such as cocaine and
heroin. It is with this disturbing back drop that we bring forward the
resolution today.

While the substance of the resolution is straightforward, I want to
highlight again a couple of points.

The resolution points out that before any drug can be approved as a
medication in the United States it must meet extensive scientific standards
established by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure its safety and
efficacy. The resolution points out that marijuana has been extensively
studied, but it has never been approved by the FDA as a medication. In fact
because of its high potential for abuse and its lack of any accepted
medical use in treatment marijuana is a schedule one drug, which means, of
course, it is illegal under federal law to manufacture, distribute or
dispense marijuana, heroin, LSD and more than 100 other schedule one drugs.

And let us be perfectly clear. This schedule one rating is not a function
of politics, it is a function of the rigorous medical scientific evaluation
process of the Food and Drug Administration. The doctors and scientists
with the greatest expertise have determined that marijuana is simply not a
medicine, however they have approved its active ingredient, THC, in a pill
form as medicine.

In light of these facts, the resolution affirms the importance of
supporting the existing Federal legal process for determining safety and
efficacy of drugs including marijuana and other schedule one drugs. It
further states opposition to efforts to circumvent this process by
legalizing marijuana and other schedule one drugs for medicinal use without
valid scientific evidence and the approval of the FDA, and it calls on the
Attorney General and the Food and Drug Administration commissioner to
report to Congress on their efforts to enforce the Federal marijuana laws
already on the books.

Again, I am as concerned and sympathetic as anyone else about
terminally-ill patients, but the scientific evidence does not support the
medicinal marijuana resolutions that are running around the country these
days, and they do not require prescriptions by doctors of these of
marijuana, there has been no approval at all to smoke marijuana by the Food
and Drug Administration as a medicine, and it is a highly dangerous thing
to do, and we need to condemn it today.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to my colleague,
the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt).

Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank)
for yielding this time to me.

As my colleagues know, this is truly a resolution that can be described as
a Alice in Wonderland resolution. Up is down and down is up. Marijuana is
dangerous for folks who are suffering, who very well may be dying, but
cocaine and morphine are okay. In other words, coke and morphine are less
dangerous than marijuana. That just does not make any sense whatsoever.

It seems to me, if we are going to ban the use of marijuana in the face of
growing medical evidence of its therapeutic value, in cases resistant to
other treatments, then we should ban morphine and cocaine as well.

What are the arguments for treating marijuana differently from these other
and arguably far more dangerous drugs? I am sure that if we ask anyone from
the law enforcement community, they will tell us that violent behavior is
far more endemic to the use and the abuse of cocaine and morphine and
related drugs than marijuana.

Well, the first argument is that whatever benefits it may have, marijuana
is simply too dangerous for us to send a single signal that it is okay. Yet
the same signal is sent by, as I said, allowing therapeutic access to
cocaine, and yet we allow it nonetheless. If we adopt a different policy
with regard to marijuana, what we will be saying is that we are willing to
allow patients to suffer excruciating, debilitating conditions so as not to
send a signal to others who might wish to use these drugs recreationally.
With all due respect, I do not believe that anyone who has watched an AIDS
or cancer patient suffer uncontrollable nausea for hours at a time could
make such an argument. That is not the signal that we want to send.

Proponents of the resolution are quick to point out that the scientific
community is divided over the medical benefits of marijuana. They are less
quick to acknowledge that both the benefits and dangers of this and
hundreds of other medicinal substances are subject to scientific dispute also.

It is not our role, I would submit, to prohibit scientists and researchers
from continuing to develop sound data regarding the safety and efficacy of
marijuana as they do with any other experimental treatment.

There is also another reason why Congress has no business legislating in
this subject. In November of 1996 Californians approved Proposition 215
which legalized the medical use of marijuana. That same year folks from
Arizona supported a measure allowing physicians to prescribe the drug. The
Californian measure was approved by a 56 percent majority, the Arizona
referendum by 65 percent. I am continually surprised and stunned really at
the capacity of some of my colleagues to preach the gospel of States rights
while doing everything they can to federalize State prerogatives. In this
Congress alone we have had legislation to deny juvenile justice funds to
States that do not comply with new Federal mandates to preempt State
authority with respect to product liability, tort and security litigation,
to curtail State court jurisdiction over class action suits, and to
override State and local land use decisions through so-called property
rights measures, to name only a few of the more notorious examples.

But if we are determined to override State authority, to really bury the
concept of evolution, if we are determined to replace sound medical
judgment with our own, at least let us not be hypocritical. Let us take
morphine and cocaine off the market as well. Let us make it clear to
patients who depend on these drugs to control their pain that they will
simply have to suffer so that we can send the right signal about drug
abuse. I am sure they will understand.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the
gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman).

Mr. WAXMAN. I thank the gentleman very much for yielding this time to me.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution is just another effort by the Republican
leadership to substitute slogans for substance. Time after time the
leadership has ignored the facts and slapped down the work of States and
public health experts because it serves the Republican leadership's
political interests, as they see it any way.

First, they are going to take a slap tomorrow at the State of Oregon, and
they want to ban here at the federal level, any funding or any attempt to
Oregon to have a law for assisted suicide. Yet in spite of this ban, the
Washington Post reported last April that Oregon's Death with Dignity Act
has profoundly improved the end of life care given the terminally-ill

Now the House also taken a swap at States and cities across the country
this spring by banning Federal funding of needle exchange. Needle exchange
is preventing AIDS and saving lives in dozens of American cities in over 20
States. The Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, the National
Institutes for Health, the American Medical Association all concluded

[Page H7722]

that needle exchanges save lives, prevent AIDS and do not encourage drug
use. But do not confuse the Republican leadership with the facts; they are
not interested. They want Americans to believe that the government was
going to install needle vending machines next to coke machines across the
country. They want everybody to know that the greatest wisdom in the
country is here in Washington, nowhere else in the Nation. Now the House
leadership wants to take a slap at California. The voters of California
supported Proposition 215. They support doctors prescribing or recommending
marijuana for medical uses. The voters of California have spoken on this
issue, and their judgment deserves the respect from this House.

Just as importantly, the National Institutes of Health is calling for more
research on medical uses of marijuana, the National Academy of Sciences is
due to report on this issue in the next few months, and the AMA, California
Nurses Association, California Academy of Family Physicians, the Los
Angeles County AIDS Commission all support Proposition 215. But the
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrich) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr.
Armey) and the rest of the Republican leadership do not care. They do not
want to wait for a report that will give them the facts. They want to
deprive seriously ill patients of potential therapies because they have a
political agenda. They think we should just say no to sick and dying
patients because it looks like we are getting tough on illegal drugs.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution is not about crime, it is not about legalizing
drugs, it is not about legalizing marijuana. This is about letting doctors
care for dying patients in the best way possible. This is about letting
scientific research proceed unhindered by politics.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution, and I want to
put into the Record a statement from the New England Journal of Medicine.
It is an editorial endorsing the physician freedom to determine the medical
uses of marijuana.

I urge that we oppose this resolution which is strictly here for political
purposes, and it should not be dignified with our votes because it deprives
the States and the people from making a decision in the local areas for
their own determination.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from New
York (Mr. Solomon).

Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, as a survivor of cancer twice in my lifetime, let
me put to rest this business that marijuana is needed to take care of pain
of cancer victims. Marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should
not be legalized for medical use or for any other use.

Let me just tell my colleagues as a 20-year Member of this Congress, I
fought for States' rights more than any other Member on this floor.

{time} 1345

This is not a States' rights issue. The illegality of marijuana is a
national law, and State laws do not override national laws. I urge all
States' righters to come over here, as I am going to do, and vote "yes'' on
this legislation.

I find it very disappointing that medical marijuana referenda will appear
in five states this November. Nevada, Alaska, Washington, Arizona, and
Oregon all have proposals to legalize marijuana as a medicine. This is a
sham. The FDA has repeatedly rejected marijuana for medical use because it
adversely impacts concentration and memory, the lungs, motor coordination
and the immune system.

Why would you give a drug, which has been scientifically proved to weaken
the immune system, to a sick person? I think we know the answer to that
question and it has nothing to do with compassion!

The simple truth is that the organizations promoting the legalization of
this dangerous drug - NORML and the Drug Policy Foundation - are
intentionally exploiting the pain and suffering of others as part of their
backdoor attempt to legalize drugs.

I agree with Drug czar Barry McCaffrey's recent statement, "This is not the
time to use ballot-box ploys to make this drug more readily available.
Instead, it is time to pay attention to the science-based information
already available about the consequences of marijuana use.''

While the people promoting the legalization of drugs would have you believe
that this approach is a viable alternative to the war on drugs it is
nothing more than a foot in the door to the legalization of all dangerous

Listen very carefully to what Lee Brown - the former Drug Czar and an
African-American himself - said about the effect of legalization on the
African-American community.

He said, ``When we look at the plight of many of our youth today,
especially African-American males, I do not think it is an exaggeration to
say that legalizing drugs would be the moral equivalent of genocide.'' -
The moral equivalent of genocide!

He goes on to state, "Making addictive mind altering drugs legal is an
invitation to disaster for our communities that are already under siege.
Without laws that make drug use illegal, some experts estimate that we
could easily have three times as many Americans using illegal drugs. The
proponents of legalization would have us believe that crime would go down
if drug use was legal, but an honest look at the facts belie this argument.''

Mr. Brown went on to state that ``statistics tell us that almost half of
those arrested for committing a crime test positive for the use of drugs at
the time of their arrest. Making drugs more readily available will only
propel more individuals into a life of crime and violence.

Contrary to what the legalization proponents say, profit is not the only
reason for the high rates of crime and violence that are associated with
the drug trade * * *. Drugs are illegal because they are harmful--to both
body and mind.''

The message is very, very clear. * * * Those who can least afford further
hardship in their lives would be much worse off if drugs were legalized.

Crude marijuana contains over 400 different chemicals. Safer and more
effective medications are preferred by physicians. We need to support this
resolution and reject those who make empty promises to patients with
chronic illnesses.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from
California (Mr. Cox).

Mr. COX of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me
this time.

I have listened carefully to the debate and it occurs to me that those who
have been speaking against the resolution have not read it. They have been
attacking various public policy positions that some people in America might
or might not hold, but they have not been mentioning the resolution. The
resolution itself is very, very clear, it is very straightforward, and it
is indeed entirely consistent with Proposition 215 in California.

The resolution says the following. First, it declares that Congress
continues to support the existing Federal legal process for determining the
safety and efficacy of drugs. That is the law, it is the existing Federal
law, and a vote against this resolution, then, is to take the position that
Congress no longer supports the existing Federal legal process for
determining the safety and efficacy of drugs.

The second thing that the resolution says is that the Attorney General, the
Department of Justice, in other words, shall submit to the Congress a
report, a report on the efforts of the Clinton administration to enforce
existing laws. Now, perhaps the Congress does not want to know whether or
not the administration is enforcing existing laws; perhaps the minority
does not wish to know that because the administration has a pretty sorry
record on that score.

In 1992, President Bush committed $1.5 billion to drug interdiction. In
1993, President Clinton cut $200 million out of that effort and rolled back
significant other involvement by the Coast Guard, the U.S. Customs, Border
Patrol and the National Guard. He then further cut his own Anti-Drug Policy
Office from 146 persons down to 25. In 1993 and 1994, out of 2,600 speeches
and interviews, President Clinton did not speak more than 2 dozen times on
the topic. Under President Clinton's watch, marijuana use among youths has
more than doubled, more than doubled during the Clinton administration.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore and their FDA have raised a lot
of hell about tobacco smoking, and that is important, but the FDA cares
only about whether or not there is tobacco in that cigarette. Go ahead and
put marijuana in it, and that is a different score.

What we are interested in with this resolution is where is the FDA when we
put something besides tobacco in a cigarette? The FDA went out of its way
in order to claim jurisdiction which Congress had not explicitly given it
over tobacco to determine that a cigarette is a medical device. Now, that
strains the lexicon a bit, but nonetheless, they made that determination. A

[Page H7723]

is a medical device and, therefore, the FDA has jurisdiction under our FDA
statutes over tobacco. Well, surely, then, if a cigarette is a medical
device, the FDA has jurisdiction over marijuana when put in a cigarette and
smoked. But the FDA has done nothing to determine the safety and efficacy
of marijuana for medical uses.

It is already the law that doctors can prescribe marijuana to sick
patients, and that is not what we are talking about here. But what we do
wish to do is get the FDA to focus as much as they are focused on tobacco
on what happens when we put marijuana in those cigarettes.

Mr. Speaker, the last thing that the resolution does is it asks the FDA,
the Commissioner of foods and drugs, to submit to the Congress a report on
the specific efforts underway to enforce existing law. That is the entirety
of what this resolution does, and a vote against this resolution is a vote
against either 1 or all 3 of those things, a position which is untenable if
one takes as seriously smoking marijuana as one takes smoking a tobacco

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute to say
there is one part of this resolution that specifically affirms the FDA's
current rules for determining not just the safety of a drug, but efficacy.

So if one votes for this and if one has told people in their district that
they think the FDA has been too restrictive on certain kinds of drugs, if
one thinks they have been too much interfering with people's rights to make
their own choices without regard to safety, understand that this resolution
contradicts it. Because one of the specific things in this resolution is an
explicit endorsement of the rules of the FDA, not just regarding safety,
but efficacy.

Now, I know Members have written in and said, oh, yeah, the FDA has been
too harsh on this drug and too harsh on that drug. I know Members have told
people that they think the FDA has been too restrictive. Understand that
this resolution is not just about marijuana; this is an explicit
endorsement of current FDA procedures for dealing not only with safety, but
efficacy, telling people that the FDA will tell them whether or not they
can take a certain substance, even if it is not going to do them any harm.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett).

Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this questionable
election year resolution. I do so as one who chose personally to never
experiment with marijuana, either inhaling or not inhaling, and who shares
the professed concerns of the supporters of this resolution that we do
nothing to glamourize the recreational use of marijuana.

I think that the gentleman from California has just made 2 points that
deserve further consideration. One is he suggests that we read the
resolution. I have. Not all of the electioneering in the early ``whereas''
clauses, but what this resolution actually does. All that it does is to ask
the Attorney General for some data which a phone call or one 32-cent stamp
would probably produce.

The other thing it does is to place Congress on record in telling the
States that they ought not to pass anymore initiatives on this subject. I
suggest that is going to be about as meaningful as them getting up and
making this list of speeches this afternoon as far as the views of people
in the individual States.

The gentleman from California also makes an important comparison between
marijuana and tobacco. This House has chosen to do absolutely nothing about
a much more addictive drug, that being nicotine, that threatens the lives
of thousands of our young people each day. This House has chosen, though
there have been many statements to the contrary, including by the Speaker,
that we have chosen to avoid an opportunity to deal with the very serious
public health problem that addicts 3,000 more young people every day to
nicotine; it has chosen to avoid that. The only way it has addressed that
issue was the unsuccessful attempt last year to pass a $50 billion tax
break for the tobacco companies.

But on the specific issue of marijuana use for medicinal purposes, it seems
to me that the basic difference that we have on this issue is whether to
entrust that decision to the scientific community, to the medical
community, or repeatedly to turn to Dr. Newt. I think that if someone has a
serious cancer, a serious case of glaucoma, one of the other uses for which
medicinal use of marijuana has been recommended, I would like them to
determine whether they might be saved some serious pain and suffering that
no other kind of medication attempts to relieve, not based on my opinion,
not based on Dr. Newt's opinion, but based on their doctor and their
scientific community as to whether this is an appropriate way to reduce the
pain and the suffering that that person has.

I note that the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most respected
publications in the medical community in this country, and a number of
oncologists in this country seem to believe that this substance has some
benefits, and for this Congress to mingle politics into medicine is a
mistake. But perhaps it was put best by a Florida woman who successfully
uses marijuana to treat glaucoma in her eye who said, ``You cannot outlaw
compassion, self preservation, or survival.'' That is what is proposed as
we inject here on the eve of the election Dr. Newt in a medical decision.

Announcement by the Speaker pro tempore

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Calvert). The Chair would point out that
Members should not refer to other Members by their first names.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York
(Mr. Gilman), chairman of the Committee on International Relations.

(Mr. GILMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of House joint
resolution 117, the sense of Congress on marijuana, and I commend the
sponsor of the resolution, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum) for
bringing this measure to the floor at this time.

In recent years, promoting so-called medicinal uses for marijuana has taken
hold in several States. In 1996, the voters in both California and Arizona
passed referendums in defiance of the Federal law permitting the use of
marijuana as a medical device primarily for pain relief.

This resolution, a result of several committee hearings and intensive
research, expresses the sense of the Congress that marijuana contains no
plausible medicinal benefits and that it is, in fact, harmful to the smoker.

Specifically, the resolution restates congressional commitment to keep
marijuana on the roster of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act and
requests 2 reports, one from the Attorney General, on the amount of
marijuana seized and destroyed, as well as the number of marijuana
prosecutions from 1992 through 1997; and secondly, from the Commissioner of
the Food and Drug Administration on the efforts to enforce current laws
prohibiting the sale and use of Schedule 1 drugs.

Mr. Speaker, the number of adolescents who have used marijuana has doubled
since 1993. It has been well established that marijuana is a gateway drug,
the use of which often leads to more serious drug consumption such as
heroin and cocaine use. These trends need to be reversed.

Moreover, I believe that it is important for Congress to take a firm stand
on the issue of medicinal use of marijuana. This is a poor cover for the
larger issue of drug legalization. Accordingly, I urge my colleagues to
strongly support this worthwhile resolution.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would point out that the gentleman from
Florida (Mr. McCollum) has 3\1/2\ minutes remaining; the gentleman from
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) has 7 minutes remaining.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman
from Texas (Mr. Paul), a real doctor.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am a physician, I am a parent and I am a
grandparent, and I am convinced that drugs are a very, very serious problem
in this country, not only the illegal ones, but the legal ones as well.
Just last year, 106,000 people died from the legal use of drugs. We are
drug dependent, on the illegal drugs and on the legal tranquilizers. That
is a major problem.

[Page H7724]

But I have also concluded that the war on drugs is a failed war and that we
should be doing something else. I might point out that the argument for the
use of marijuana in medicine is not for pain. To say that it has not
relieved pain is not what this is about. Marijuana has been used by cancer
patients who have been receiving chemotherapy who have intractable nausea.
It is the only thing they have found that has allowed them to eat, and so
many cancer patients die from malnutrition. The same is true about an AIDS
patient. So this is a debate on compassion, as well as legality.

But the way we are going about this is wrong. I am rather surprised in our
side of the aisle that champions limited government and States' rights,
that they use the FDA's ability to regulate nicotine as an excuse and the
legal loophole for the Federal Government to be involved in marijuana. I
might remind them that 80 years ago when this country decided that we
should not have alcohol, they did not come to the Congress and ask for a
law. They asked for a constitutional amendment realizing the Congress had
no authority to regulate alcohol. Today we have forgotten about that. Many
of my colleagues might not know or remember that the first attack on the
medicinal use of marijuana occurred under the hero of the left, F.D.R., in
1937. Prior to 1937, marijuana was used medicinally, and it was used with
only local control.

The Federal controls on illicit drugs has not worked and it is not working
when it comes to marijuana. Once again, we have States saying, just allow
the physician the option to give some of these people some marijuana.
Possibly it will help. I think the jury is still out about how useful it
is. But for us to close it down and say one cannot, and deny some comfort
to a dying patient, I do not think this is very compassionate one way or
the other.

The war on drugs has been going on now for several decades. We have spent
over $200 billion. There is no evidence to show that there is less drug
usage in this country.

{time} 1400

I have a program designed, which I cannot present here, that will change
our policy and attack the drugs in a much different way.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Indiana
(Mr. Souder).

Mr. SOUDER. Mr. Speaker, it is hard to believe, at a time when this entire
Nation is abuzz about what kind of moral leadership is coming out of
Washington, that we even have to consider this resolution.

In my hometown in Fort Wayne and throughout northeast Indiana and
throughout this country, kids are dying in the streets, they are dying in
automobile wrecks, they are getting shot down as innocent bystanders in
drug wars, most of which started in some kind of combination of cigarettes,
alcohol, and marijuana.

We have seen a lowering in attitudes about the positive usage of
cigarettes. We need to make more gains on alcohol. But we have seen a
reversal in the trends on marijuana, partly because the leaders of our
country have not spoken out as strongly.

The last thing we need in this House are Members of Congress using the word
simultaneously with medicinal use of marijuana when what they actually mean
is a component inside marijuana, THC, and giving the implication that
somehow this is a medicine, at a time when young people are becoming more
lax in their attitudes and in their usage.

Directly to make this point, in California, it is not for cancer patients.
It also can be used for such things as memory recall, writer's cramp, corn
callouses. It was a back doorway in California and Arizona and other places
where misleading commercials were run, funded predominantly by a man named
George Soros and two of his allies who have poured $15 million over 5 years
into this to oppose the war on drugs.

Among his statements in Time Magazine was, ``I do want to weaken drug laws.
I think they are unnecessarily severe. The injustice of the thing is

The director of Soros' Lindesmith Center said, it is nice to think that in
another 5 to 10 years the right to possess or consume drugs may be as
powerfully and widely understood as other rights of Americans.

We are at a moral crossroads in this country. The question is, where do we
in Congress stand? Are we going to work to protect our kids in this
country, or are we going to weaken these laws that we have tried to uphold?

I am very concerned about this trend, and I hope the Members of Congress
understand the moral responsibilities of this office.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself my remaining time.

Mr. Speaker, while I was glad to hear my friend express such indignation at
the large amounts of money George Soros is spending in a referendum, that
is the first support we have heard from that side for campaign finance
reform, at least in principle.

Of course we have people on that side who think spending unlimited amounts
of money is a good thing when they agree with the cause. It only becomes
bad when they disagree with the cause.

That is where we are with States' rights. The gentleman from New York who
spoke on the left said he was for States' rights, and that is true. I can
say now that I know this Republican majority very well. They are for the
right of any State to do anything they agree with. But let a State diverge,
and that State is going to be spanked.

The gentleman from California (Mr. Cox) who spoke is a little embarrassed,
perhaps, because there is a resolution that talks about how dumb his own
State is. He said, well, there is nothing in this resolution which
criticizes the State.

That is only partially a good description. It is the case, and I will give
the majority this, they did recognize that the resolution that they put
through committee was a little too explicit in spanking the State.

The Committee on the Judiciary passed a resolution calling the States all
kinds of names in effect, and telling the States not to do this, and
wagging their finger at the States. They get a little embarrassed about it,
but I am going to put it in the Record anyway, Mr. Speaker, because I think
people ought to know what they were really trying to get at.

So then they cleaned it up some. But they did leave in this telling phrase,
``Congress opposes efforts to circumvent this process.'' They are talking
about California's referendum. What effort is that? To circumvent the
process. So this resolution does say to the States, "Naughty, naughty. How
dare you differ with us?''

The fact is it also goes on to say, and I think this is important for
Members to understand, this is not just about marijuana, Congress continues
to support the existing Federal legal process for determining the safety
and efficacy of drugs, all drugs.

I know there have been Members on both sides who have been questioning
whether the FDA ought to have the kind of control it has where efficacy is
involved. We all believe the FDA should say that is not safe.

Indeed, this Congress passed a bill, I think it was sponsored by the
gentleman from Utah and, I know, our former colleague, the gentleman from
New Mexico, recently which relaxed FDA control. There were others who
wanted to relax FDA control further.

If my colleagues have told constituents that they want to relax some FDA
rules on determining efficacy, and if they vote for this resolution, they
better write them an apology, because they have just undercut that statement.

The final thing I want to say, in addition to saying that it seems to be
that States ought to be able to make some decisions in this matter, and
this resolution is clearly an effort to stop the States from deviating from
whatever the national orthodoxy is, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) who
spoke made a very important point. People get up and they talk about how
terrible the drug problem is and then talk about the importance of
continuing our current policy approach.

There is a great inconsistency here. When we talk about poverty, public
housing, welfare, we have a tendency to have people look at the amount of
money spent, then look at the fact that the problem has, if anything,
gotten worse, and say therefore we must stop. That method of analysis has
turned on its head for drugs.

[Page H7725]

There is a real problem in the way we have fought drugs. Obviously trying
to diminish drug use particularly, but not only among young people, ought
to be a very high public policy goal. But this current extremely punitive
approach, this current approach of not differentiating in this between
marijuana use for medical purposes and drugs that are instantly mind
altering doesn't work. It undercuts.

One Member complained about the diminution of funds for interdiction.
Interdiction seems to me a prime example of money wasted. Given the scope
of this country, the size, the commerce, the people who come and go,
physically keeping out terribly small amounts of things is fruitless
compared to money that could go into law enforcement, that could go into
prevention, that could go into education.

So what we have here is the latest, as the previous resolution was, the
latest endorsement of more of the same, and a failed policy, a policy that
says you can shoot drugs out of existence, you can outlaw them. It did not
work for alcohol. It would not work for tobacco. This approach of being
exclusively punitive and not allowing any differentiation does not work here.

The document referred to above is as follows:

Referral to the Committee on Commerce extended for a period ending not
later than March 18, 1998.

Committee on Commerce discharged; referred to the House

Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that
marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for
medicinal use

Whereas certain drugs are listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances
Act if they have a high potential for abuse, lack any currently accepted
medical use in treatment, and are unsafe, even under medical supervision;

Whereas the consequences of addiction to Schedule I drugs are well
documented, particularly with regard to physical health, highway safety,
criminal activity, and domestic violence;

Whereas marijuana--which along with crack cocaine, heroin, PCP, and more
than 100 other drugs, has long been classified as a Schedule I drug--is
both dangerous and addictive, with research clearly demonstrating that
smoked marijuana impairs normal brain functions and damages the heart,
lungs, reproductive, and immune systems;

Whereas before any drug can be approved as a medication in the United
States, it must meet extensive scientific and medical standards established
by the Food and Drug Administration, and marijuana has not been approved by
the Food and Drug Administration to treat any disease or condition;

Whereas a review by the Annals of Internal Medicine of more than 6,000
articles from the medical literature evaluating the potential medicinal
applications of marijuana concluded that marijuana is not a medicine, that
its use causes significant toxicity, and that numerous safe and effective
medicines are available, which means that the use of crude marijuana for
medicinal purposes is unnecessary and inappropriate;

Whereas on the basis of the scientific evidence and the testimony of the
American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the National
Multiple Sclerosis Association, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the
National Eye Institute, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana
has not met the necessary standards to be approved as medicine;

Whereas the States of Arizona and California, through State initiatives in
1996, legalized the sale and use of marijuana for 'medicinal' use, while
the State of Washington in 1997 rejected an initiative to legalize the sale
and use of marijuana for 'medicinal' use;

Whereas after the initiative in Arizona, the legislature of the State of
Arizona, with the support of a majority of the citizens of the State,
passed legislation to prevent the dispensing of any substance as medicine
which had not first been approved as medicine by the Food and Drug
Administration, thereby preventing marijuana from being dispensed in the

Whereas these States and a majority of States in the United States, as well
as the District of Columbia, have been targeted by out-of-State
organizations which advocate drug legalization for 'medical' marijuana
initiatives in 1998 and 1999, and these organizations have provided the
majority of the financial support for these State initiatives;

Whereas some individuals and organizations who support 'medical' marijuana
initiatives do oppose drug legalization, prominent pro-legalization
organizations have admitted their strategy is to promote drug legalization
nationally through State 'medical' marijuana initiatives, and, as such, are
seeking to exploit the public's compassion for the terminally ill to
advance their agenda;

Whereas marijuana use by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders declined steadily from
1980 to 1992, but, from 1992 to 1996, such use dramatically increased--by
253 percent among 8th graders, 151 percent among 10th graders, and 84
percent among 12th graders--and the average age of first-time use of
marijuana is now younger than it has ever been;

Whereas according to the 1997 survey by the Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 500,000 8th graders began using
marijuana in the 6th and 7th graders;

Whereas according to that same 1997 survey, youths between the ages of 12
and 17 who use marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those
who abstain from marijuana and 60 percent of adolescents who use marijuana
before the age of 15 will later use cocaine;

Whereas the rate of drug use among youth is linked to their perceptions of
the risks which are related to drugs and, in that regard, the glamorization
of marijuana and the ambiguous cultural messages about marijuana use are
contributing to a growing acceptance of marijuana use among adolescents and

Whereas surveys taken in the wake of State `medical' marijuana initiatives
indicate a more approving attitude toward marijuana use among teenagers
than prior to the initiatives; and

Whereas the evidence of the last 2 years indicates that the more the public
learns about the facts behind the `medical' marijuana campaign, the more
strongly opposed the public become to such initiatives: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That--

(1) the United States House of Representatives is unequivocally opposed to
legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and urges the defeat of State
initiatives which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use; and

(2) the Attorney General of the United States should submit a report to the
Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives before the end
of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the adoption of this
resolution on--

(A) the total quantity of marijuana eradicated in the United States
beginning with 1992 through 1997; and

(B) the annual number of arrests and prosecutions for Federal marijuana
offenses beginning with 1992 through 1997.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). The time of the gentleman from
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) has expired.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remaining time that I may have.

Mr. Speaker, THC, the active ingredient for medicinal purposes in
marijuana, is available widely as a prescription drug known as Merinol for
pain and other purposes, that doctors can prescribe anywhere in the United
States today.

Unfortunately, smoke marijuana is dangerous to your health. The American
Medical Association believes that, the National Institutes of Health
believes that, and numerous other organizations, including the American
Cancer Society, believe that.

I do not have the scientific expertise, but I have listened to them. I am
convinced it is dangerous; that it means those who are HIV- positive will
turn AIDS-symptomatic twice as fast if they smoke marijuana regularly than
those who do not.

I do not think that any of us want to see smoke marijuana made legal
anywhere in this country for any purpose at all that is going to be
detrimental to your health, especially when the Food and Drug
Administration has never approved it as a drug and where no doctor in this
country can prescribe it in the traditional meaning of the word
``prescription'' because the FDA never approved it.

That is what prescription means. Every drug in the history of this country
today, modern times, has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration
before a doctor is allowed to prescribe it. Marijuana cannot be prescribed
without FDA approval. FDA has refused again and again and again to approve
it in the smoke form.

I encourage my colleagues to adopt this resolution that says simply that we
oppose efforts to circumvent the process by legalizing marijuana and other
Schedule I drugs for medicinal use without valid scientific evidence and
the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, because to do otherwise
is a back doorway of legalizing marijuana. That is all there is to it.

A vote for this resolution today is a vote for the normal process of the
Food and Drug Administration approval and doctors' prescriptions being
required before any use as medicine. A vote against this resolution is
frankly a vote to legalize marijuana for all purposes, because that is what
would happen if we were not to use the traditional processes.

Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, Americans take their medicine in pills, shots,
sprays, solutions,

[Page H7726]

drops, creams, and suppositories * * * but no medicine in the United States
is smoked.

Proponents of marijuana argue that our compassion for those suffering
physical ailments should override our common sense and steadfastness in
combating illegal drugs.

With regard to cancer, proponents argue that marijuana will decrease the
nausea associated with chemotherapy. The Truth is that marijuana contains
cancer-causing substances, many of which are in higher concentrations than
in tobacco. The National Cancer Institute reports that new drugs have been
shown more effective than marijuana.

With regard to AIDS, proponents argue that smoking marijuana will relieve
the physical wasting aspects of the disease. The Truth is smoking, whether
tobacco or marijuana or crack cocaine, has been shown to increase the risk
of developing bacterial pneumonia in HIV-positive immune-compromised patients.

After 30 years of research, we know that marijuana impairs learning and
memory, perception and judgement. It impairs complex motor skills and
judgement of speed and time. Among chronic users it decreases drive and

Finally, marijuana use among our young people is increasing * * *
alarmingly so. From 1992 to 1996, marijuana use increased by 253 percent
among 8th graders, 151 percent among 10th graders, and 84 percent among
12th graders.

We should not let our compassion for the terminally ill and those in
chronic pain to deceive us into treating a dangerous drug as medicine.
Support the resolution opposing marijuana as medicine.

Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker and I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my

Mr. Speaker, today we are debating a non-binding resolution that would
express the sense of the Congress that because marijuana is a Schedule One
controlled substance, and therefore an illegal drug, then its use for
medicinal purposes should be prohibited. This is absurd. Medical use of
marijuana is a public health issue; it is not part of the war on drugs.
Marijuana has been proven to relieve the pain and suffering of seriously
ill patients. It is unconscionable to deny an effective medication to those
in need.

It would seem that the Speaker of the House and the distinguished Chairman
of our own Crime Subcommittee once agreed with that position. In 1981,
Representative Newt Gingrich and Representative Bill McCollum, co-sponsored
H.R. 4498, a bill introduced by the late Congressman Stuart McKinney, that
would allow the medicinal use of marijuana. In 1985, Chairman McCollum
again co-sponsored H.R. 2282, a bill reintroduced by Congressman McKinney,
which would have allowed the medicinal use of marijuana. I, along with many
others, would be very interested to learn why our colleagues changed their

Mr. Speaker, prestigious groups such as the National Academy of Sciences,
the American Public Health Association, and the British Medical Association
have endorsed the medical use of marijuana. I would like to refer my
colleagues to an article that was published by the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA, June 21, 1995-Vol. 272, No. 23) for more
detailed information regarding the legislative and medical history
regarding the medicinal use of marijuana.

Most recently, a National Institutes of Health report released in August of
1997 urged the federal government to play an active role in facilitating
clinical evaluations of medical marijuana. More than 30 medical groups,
including the ones I have previously cited, have endorsed prescriptive
access to marijuana, under a physician's supervision. Several medical
groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Cancer
Society have endorsed a physician's right to recommend or discuss marijuana
therapy with their patients.

Several published studies have found that the best established medical use
of marijuana is as an anti-nauseant for cancer chemotherapy. In addition,
these same studies have found that medicinal use of marijuana has helped in
treating patients with glaucoma, chronic muscle pain, multiple sclerosis,
epilepsy, spinal cord injury, and paraplegia. Tens of thousands of cancer
and AIDS patients use medical marijuana, and they report that it is
effective in reducing the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer and
AIDS treatment. In a 1990 survey, 44 percent of oncologists said they had
suggested that a patient smoke marijuana for relief of the nausea induced
by chemotherapy.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the question of a state's right to
implement policy that the voters of those states have supported. Many
states have held, or are planning to hold, state referenda on the use of
medical marijuana. Two states, California and Arizona, have successfully
passed legislation to allow the prescribed use of marijuana for medicinal
purposes. The voters of these states have spoken and in our democratic
system they must be respected. Those on the other side of the aisle seem to
constantly remind us of the power of big government over the ability of
states to make their own policies. Who is championing big government now?
Where are all the state's rights supporters on this issue?

Finally, Mr. Speaker, permitting the medical use of marijuana to alleviate
the pain and suffering of people with seriously ill conditions does not
send the wrong message to children or anyone else. It simply says that we
are compassionate and intelligent enough to respect the rights of patients
and the medical community to administer what is medically appropriate care.
It is time for this Congress to acknowledge that a ban on the medicinal use
of marijuana is scientifically, legally, and morally wrong.

Mr. DIXON. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my opposition to H.J. Res. 117.
The voters of California have showed their support for allowing doctors to
recommend marijuana for seriously ill patients by voting for the state's
Proposition 215 in November 1996. House Joint Resolution 117 attempts to
infringe upon the decisions of California citizens by expressing Congress'
opposition to the medicinal use of marijuana. While I did not support the
California initiative, I oppose this resolution which attempts to nullify
their choice.

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 117 because this
bill accomplishes nothing in the war on drug abuse other than highlight the
misplaced emphasis of the country's anti-drug efforts. The bill seeks to
tell voters how to cast their votes, and disregards the votes of over five
million people in my state. It focuses on arrests and prosecution rather
than education and treatment as the answer to drug abuse. And it seeks to
make criminals of people in pain because of serious illnesses. This is no
war on drugs. It is political grandstanding.

H.J. Res. 117 disregards the proven medicinal uses of marijuana, including
increasing the appetites of people with AIDS who have wasting syndrome, and
reducing nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy.

Opponents of medicinal marijuana argue that there are other ways to ingest
the active ingredient in marijuana, including the use of synthetic THC.
However we know that the oral drug containing THC does not work for all
people. The logic of the authors of this legislation therefore seems to be
that a very ill person should be sent to jail because he or she used the
smokable form of a drug whose active ingredient is currently licensed for
oral use.

Voters in my home state passed an initiative authorizing seriously ill
patients to take marijuana upon the recommendation of a licensed physician.
Proposition 215 has provided as many as 11,000 Californians who suffer from
AIDS and other debilitating diseases with safe and legal access to a drug
that makes life a little more bearable. Fifty- six percent of the
electorate voted for Prop 215. The voters have spoken, and there is no need
for federal intrusion on this matter. Thousands of constituents in my
district struggling with AIDS and cancer will tell you that choosing the
appropriate medical treatment should be a decision for public health
officials, physicians and patients. Congress would do well to stay out of
the prescription business.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the day when we can pass truly effective
measures to address drug abuse in our country. According to the Legal
Action Center, over half of federal drug control spending is dedicated to
the criminal justice system, and only 18% goes to drug treatment. To
effectively fight the war on drug abuse we must get our priorities in order
and fund treatment and education. Today's legislation, which encourages
making criminals of seriously ill people who seek proven therapy, is not a
step towards controlling America's drug problem. I therefore oppose H.J.
Res. 117.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Florida (Mr.
McCollum) has expired.

The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr.
McCollum) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the joint
resolution (H.J. Res. 117), as amended.

The question was taken.

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 5 of rule I and the Chair's
prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

Uses Of Marijuana - Request For Contributions (A List Subscriber
Forwards An Advertisement From 'The New York Review Of Books'
By Dr. Lester Grinspoon And William Novak, Seeking Personal Testimonials
From Those Who Use Marijuana For Medical And Other Reasons)

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 15:27:29 +0000
To: vignes@monaco.mc
From: Peter Webster (vignes@monaco.mc)
Subject: USES OF MARIJUANA -- Request for Contributions


An advertisement in the latest issue of New York Review of Books asks for
contributions for a new book being written by Dr. Lester Grinspoon and
William Novak. I have been in touch with Dr. Grinspoon, and at his request,
am forwarding the advertisement to various mailing lists. Please forgive me
if you receive this announcement more than once, as some overlap of my
address lists is inevitable.


For a book on the ways people find marijuana beneficial (enhancing,
therapeutic, recreational, etc.), co-author William Novak and I hope to
hear from articulate users. Anonymity available upon request.


Dr. Lester Grinspoon
Harvard Medical School
74 Fenwood Road
Boston, MA 02115



Dr. Grinspoon informs me there is a website which offers guidelines for
authoring of contributions as well as some accounts they have already
received: website (http://www.marijuana-uses.com/)


Peter Webster
International Journal of Drug Policy
DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy
The Psychedelic Library



The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to the 1998 Daily News index for September 10-16

Back to the Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980915.html