------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Ninety-Three Members Of Congress Stand Up For Medical Marijuana; Colorado Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Appear On November Ballot; University Study Gives Green Light For Hemp Cultivation In North Dakota; DEA Raids Humbolt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 16:56:33 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 9/17/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org September 17, 1998 *** Ninety-Three Members of Congress Stand Up For Medical Marijuana September 17, 1998, Washington, DC: Nearly one hundred members of Congress expressed their support for a seriously ill patient's right to medical marijuana during a historic vote on the House floor Tuesday. The vote marked the first time in recent memory the House has deliberated over the issue of medical marijuana. The strong show of support surprised majority Republicans, but failed to prevent the passage of a House Joint Resolution expressing opposition to statewide efforts to legalize medical marijuana under a doctor's supervision. The House approved the measure by a vote of 310-93. NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup voiced a mixed reaction to the vote. "On the down side, this vote demonstrates how out of touch Congress is with the American people on this issue," he said. "On the positive side, we now have a significant base of support for medical marijuana on which to build in the next Congress." Stroup noted that NORML waged a high profile campaign against the measure, and generated more than 4,500 faxes to House members in support of medical marijuana. Representatives William Delahunt (D-Mass.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) led the charge against the resolution, sparking a heated, forty minute debate. Also expressing their opposition to the measure were Reps. Julian Dixon (R-Calif.), Gerald Nadler (D-NY), and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Republican leadership ... want[s] to deprive seriously ill patients of potential therapies because they have a political agenda," said Rep. Waxman. "They think we should just say no to sick and dying patients because it looks like we are getting tough on illegal drugs." Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett agreed. "The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most respected publications in the medical community in this country, and a number of oncologists ... believe that [marijuana] has [medical] benefits, and for this Congress to mingle politics into medicine is a mistake," Doggett said. "The basic difference we have on this issue is whether we entrust [a medical] decision to the scientific community, to the medical community, or repeatedly turn to Dr. Newt [Gingrich]." Longtime champion for medical marijuana reform, Rep. Barney Frank, criticized the resolution for failing to separate the medical use of marijuana from the issue of recreational drug use. Such a policy diminishes the credibility of our nation's overall anti-drug campaigns, he argued. Representative Delahunt agreed. "What [this resolution] is saying is that we are willing to allow patients to suffer excruciating, debilitating conditions so as to not send a signal to others who might wish to use [marijuana] recreationally," Delahunt argued. "With all due respect, I do not believe that anyone who has watched an AIDS or cancer patient suffer ... could make such a statement. That is not the signal that we want to send." Joint House Resolution 117 expresses a "sense of the Congress ... [in] support of the existing federal legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of drugs, and opposes efforts to circumvent this process by legalizing marijuana." Backers of the measure significantly watered down the bill's language at the last minute to assure passage. An earlier version of the measure sought to express a "sense of the Congress that marijuana is "a dangerous and addictive drug [that] should not be legalized for medical use." Resolution sponsor Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) also amended the measure to remove language urging the defeat of upcoming state ballot initiatives that seek to legalize medical marijuana. Ironically, McCollum previously introduced legislation in Congress to permit the legal use of medical marijuana in 1981 and 1983. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Colorado Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Appear On November Ballot September 17, 1998, Denver, CO: A Denver judge ordered state officials to place an initiative on the November ballot that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Petitioners Coloradans for Medical Rights (CMR) sought the court ruling after discovering that the Secretary of State's office made frequent errors when processing a random-sample check of the more than 88,000 signatures gathered in support of the proposal. "We are delighted," initiative backer Martin Chilcutt said. "I'm very happy that the citizens of Colorado and patients throughout the state have prevailed." State officials originally disqualified the initiative in August after a review of 4,500 signatures found that petitioners apparently failed to gather the necessary number of signatures to qualify for the ballot. However, after petitioners reviewed the random sample, they discovered mistakes made by the Secretary of State's office and sufficient signatures to qualify for a line-by-line review. District Judge Herbert Stern determined that there no longer remained adequate time to conduct such a review and authorized the initiative to appear on the ballot. The Colorado initiative seeks to allow seriously ill patients who have a doctor's recommendation to possess up to two ounces of marijuana or grow three plants for medical use. Voters in Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and most likely the District of Columbia will decide on similar medical marijuana initiatives this year. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Dave Fratello of Americans for Medical Rights @ (310) 394-2952. *** University Study Gives Green Light For Hemp Cultivation In North Dakota September 17, 1998, Fargo, ND: Hemp has the potential to be a profitable cash crop for state farmers, a one-year study by North Dakota State University determined this week. The study recommends allowing farmers to grow test plots of the crop for experimental production and research purposes. "There's real potential for [hemp] as a rotation crop with North Dakota crops," said David Kraenzel of the NDSU agriculture economics department, who headed the study. The state Legislature mandated the study in 1997 by overwhelmingly approving House Bill 1305. North Dakota is the third state to authorize and complete such a study. Authors of the study predicted that hemp could yield profits as high as $141 per acre to farmers, particularly those in the eastern one third of the state. Authors also noted that they will have a better understanding of the economics of hemp by observing Canadian efforts to commercially farm and process the crop. At least 29 nations -- including Canada, France, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia -- allow farmers to cultivate hemp for industrial purposes. For more information, please contact either NORML board member Don Wirtshafter of The Ohio Hempery @ (740) 662-4367 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** DEA Raids Humbolt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine September 17, 1998, Arcata, CA: Federal law enforcement officials raided the collective medical marijuana garden of the Humbolt Cannabis Center last week and destroyed over 150 plants intended for medical use by its members, reported California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer. Drug Enforcement Administration agents did not raid the center's office or arrest any of the medical marijuana dispensary's employees. The DEA has executed similar operations against medical marijuana gardens at the San Francisco Flower Therapy Club and Dennis Peron's Lake County Farm. The Humbolt Cannabis Center is a patient collective with over 300 members. It operates according to an Arcata city ordinance that explicitly recognizes the right of patients to form "medical marijuana associations" to help acquire their medication, Gieringer said. "This raid is an outrageous example of government piracy against what is widely respected as one of the best-run medical cooperatives in the state," Gieringer charged. For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Harrisburg Concert Results In 39 Citations ('The Statesman Journal' In Salem, Oregon, Says William Conde Was Charged With State And County Violations Wednesday For Holding The 'Cannabis Carnival' At His Rural Lumberyard This Month)Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 01:12:14 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots - Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com) Subject: CanPat - Harrisburg:Concert Results in 39 Citations Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Statesman Journal 9-17-98 Police charged a Linn County man who held a " Cannabis Carnival" on his property with 39 different state and county violations Wednesday. William Conde, who lives on North Coberg Road in Harrisburg, was cited after he held the mass gathering and concert event on his property Sept. 4 through Sept. 6. The charges accuse Conde of sanitation and septic violations, operation of a park without a license, illegal water pollution, building code violations, and conducting a commercial enterprise without first obtaining land use approval. Conde already had been charged with similar violations Sept. 4 as a result of a gathering he held on the property in July.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Measure Filled With Pain (An Excellent Staff Editorial In 'The Orange County Register' Opposes Henry Hyde's Bill In Congress That Would Nullify Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law, Noting, For Example, It Exacerbates The Problems Of Undertreated Pain And The Demand For Assisted Suicide By Making An Impossible Requirement That Pharmacists Second-Guess Physicians' Motives For Writing Some Painkiller Prescriptions) Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 11:02:11 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Measure Filled With Pain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 MEASURE FILLED WITH PAIN Decent intentions have gone awry in a bill by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) that Congress has fast-traked for House and Senate votes in the coming week.In an attempt to outlaw assisted suicide, the measure would also make doctors less likely to prescribe adequate painkillers for terminally ill patients. Hyde, saying he was concerned that Oregon's implementation in January of a law allowing physician-assisted suicide would encourage the practice in other states, introduced the bill in June to overturn the Oregon law. The bill, however, also authorizes federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents to investigate any doctor who prescribes "a controlled substance" in amounts that might be lethal and revoke a doctor's license if it finds any evidence of intent to hasten death. But who would decide, since tolerances to such drugs can vary wildly? Hyde's bill has rightly inspired a chorus of opposition from medical groups, including organizations like the American Medical Assn., which staunchly oppose any legalization of physician-assisted suicide. The groups argue that the Hyde bill would further discourage doctors from prescribing adequate pain control at a time when they are already under medicating. One recent study found that of nearly 900 physicians caring for cancer patients, 86% reported that most patients were under medicated for pain. Since pain and suffering are the leading reasons patients seek to commit suicide in the first place, Hyde's bill, by discouraging doctors from relieving severe pain, would only exacerbate the problem it was meant to solve. The bill is peppered with impractical provisions. For instance, it requires pharmacists to record the medical factors that led a physician to prescribe a painkiller, a literally impossible task. Should the pharmacist guess wrong, the entire pharmacy could lose its ability to dispense all federally controlled drugs, not just the one in question. The biggest problem with Hyde's bill is that it puts the DEA, which by its own admission has no experience in pain management, in charge of medical decisions that 90% of Americans say ought to be left to doctors and their families. Hyde is right to be concerned that the growing field of "palliative care," which uses painkillers to make patients comfortable in the final stages of a disease - could be abused by unscrupulous health care providers simply wishing to trim the expenses they incur in caring for terminally ill patients. But the solution to that problem does not lie in Hyde's punitive, ill-conceived legislation, which House and Senate leaders irresponsibly scheduled for a vote without allotting the discussion time that would have enabled Congress to understand the ways in which the bill would overturn existing medical practices in America. First, Congress should defeat this bill. Then lawmakers could let doctors and their patients safely and responsibly discuss how to best bring needed comfort and dignity to the terminally ill.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study Could Stall Attack On Assisted Suicide Law ('The Oregonian' Says That With The US House Of Representatives Scheduled To Vote Today On Henry Hyde's Bill To Nullify Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law, The Clinton Administration Attempted To Stall The Legislation Yesterday By Proposing A National Commission To Study The Use Of Pain-Killing Drugs By The Terminally Ill) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Study could stall attack on assisted suicide law * The Clinton administration proposes a commission to look into the use of pain-killing drugs for the terminally ill Thursday, September 17 1998 By Jim Barnett of The Oregonian staff WASHINGTON - On the eve of a possible House vote to block Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law, the Clinton administration proposed Wednesday to create a national commission to study use of pain-killing drugs by the terminally ill. The commission could shed new light on the circumstances that lead some terminally ill patients to seek physician-assisted suicide. The practice is allowed by the Oregon law, the only one of its kind in the nation. But on Capitol Hill, the administration proposal could have a more immediate effect: It could help stall legislation that would override the Oregon law, possibly halting it until a new Congress convenes next year. "I think it's clear that they're saying this requires more time, more thought," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been preparing for a last-ditch defense of the Oregon law. Today, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill that would prevent doctors from prescribing lethal doses of controlled substances with the intent of helping a terminally ill patient commit suicide. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is expected to pass easily. The vote was held over from Wednesday and could be postponed again. But opponents of the Hyde bill attributed the delay to a crush of business before Congress' scheduled adjournment on Oct. 9, not to waning support. "This is not a high priority," said Kathie Eastman, an aide to Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. "There are other things that are ready to go," she said, including must-pass spending bills. Support for the Hyde bill comes largely from conservative Republicans, but some Democrats have signed on. President Clinton opposes the practice of assisted suicide as well. But until Wednesday, administration officials said only that they oppose the bill because doctors would fear being investigated by federal drug agents. With its proposal, the administration hopes to enlist an unlikely ally, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hatch also dislikes the Hyde bill, but he is under pressure from Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla., to act on a companion bill in the Senate. The administration offered its proposal in a letter sent to Hatch on Wednesday. The letter asked if Hatch would agree to turn over the issue to a panel representing doctors, nurses, consumers, theologians, ethicists and law enforcement to study the issue. "If you find this advisory board concept acceptable we would be pleased to work with you to establish - through legislation or, if legal and appropriate, by Executive Action - any such entity," wrote L. Anthony Sutin, an acting assistant attorney general. Asked about the idea of a commission, Hatch was noncommittal, saying he would raise the idea during a Judiciary Committee work session planned for today. "It's a serious issue, but there are a lot of issues involved around it," Hatch said. "We'll see what the colleagues think tomorrow." Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who supports the Nickles bill, welcomed the administration's proposal as "a good idea." "We're interested in relieving pain and providing comfort, not in killing patients," Smith said. "I think in the end, frankly, that's where most Oregonians are." If the Nickles bill moves to the Senate floor, Smith has said he would offer amendments to ensure that it is not retroactive and that it does not discourage doctors from alleviating pain. But with only a few working days remaining before adjournment, time may be the Nickles bill's biggest enemy, Smith said. Republican leaders need floor time to finish debate on more pressing matters, including annual spending bills. "Anything that detracts in these limited numbers of days from that effort is likely not to remain on the agenda very long," Smith said. Hatch's committee is scheduled to take up Nickles' bill today, but any action is likely to be postponed for a week. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a Judiciary member, plans to request the delay as a procedural matter at the request of Wyden, who does not sit on the committee. Meanwhile, the National Right to Life Committee said Wednesday that 64 percent of Americans think federal law should not allow the use of federally controlled drugs for assisted suicide or euthanasia. Right to Life paid the polling firm Wirthlin Worldwide to include the question in its September national survey. Pollsters posed the question in telephone interviews with an explanation that "the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs is generally prohibited by federal law except when a doctor prescribes them for a 'legitimate medical purpose.' " The survey was conducted with 1,010 adults between Sept. 11 and 14 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.08 percentage points. Thirty-five percent of respondents said that federal law should allow the use of drugs for assisted suicide or euthanasia. One percent said they did not know. Erin Hoover Barnett of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Doctors Team With Law Enforcement To Launch Medical Marijuana Review Panel Program ('The Contra Costa Times' Says Physicians And Law Enforcement Officials In Sonoma County, California, Have Created A Patient Case Review Panel That Offers Benefits To Physicians And Law Enforcement Officials, But None To Patients Protected By Proposition 215, Who Would Be Forced To Allow Cops To Inspect Their Homes And Otherwise Require Them To Jump Through A Bunch Of Illegal Hoops)Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 06:51:39 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Doctors Team With Law Enforcement To Launch MMj Review Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Contra Costa Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.hotcoco.com/index.htm Pubdate: 17 Sep 1998 AP: DOCTORS TEAM WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT TO LAUNCH MEDICAL MARIJUANA REVIEW PANEL PROGRAM SANTA ROSA -- Sonoma County physicians and law enforcement officials have teamed together to unveil a new approach to resolve sticky legal issues regarding medical marijuana. A patient case review panel has been formed to keep all parties involved in the medical marijuana process in compliance with the law. Patients who want to use marijuana as medicine can now submit their medical cases for a physicians panel review. If the panel finds the use is legitimate, the panel's findings can be (made known? Ed.,pd) to the District Attorney's Office and the police. The proactive approach, believed to be the first of its kind in the state, is designed to reduce the anxiety of doctors who fear legal or criminal repercussions for prescribing marijuana as medicine. Sonoma County's public health director Dr. George Flores said the medical association's pledge to inform county physicians of the process is an essential component to making the new approach work. "There are many in our ranks who are not aware of the law that allows use" of medical marijuana, Flores told the Press Democrat. Proposition 215 allows marijuana use by seriously ill patients who have a doctor's approval, the plant remains a federally outlawed drug. A patient wishing to have his case reviewed by the medical association's Professional Standards and Conduct Committee must ask his doctor to submit medical records to the panel. The doctor must practice in Sonoma County. The committee then considers whether there is a relationship between the doctor and the patient, whether the doctor has recommended the use of marijuana, and whether marijuana use would alleviate the serious condition. The panel's decision cannot be appealed. If the patient so desires, the panel will convey its positive finding to an intermediary who would inform the police department or the Sheriff's Department. Sheriff's officers would then visit the patient to ensure the use of marijuana complies with the law and the marijuana is not for sale or distribution.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Houston DARE Study Online (List subscribers publicize the URLs for Adobe Acrobat and .html files with the recent report that led the city of Houston, Texas, to cancel its DARE program.) Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 01:07:22 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: "Rolf Ernst" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Houston study Folks, there is a first crack at the scan at http://www.friscodrugedu.org/studies/houstonx.pdf Due to the complexity of the tables I have not and most likely will not come up with an HTML version. Maybe Jim can get around to it, but it is hard to scan ... Kind regards Rolf Ernst *** Visit us at http://www.legalize-usa.org The resource for the anti-prohibitionist activist! *** Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:32:56 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Jim Rosenfield (email@example.com) Subject: Houston PD study Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com see http://mall.turnpike.net/~jnr/houston.htm for Evaluative Assessment of the Houston Police Department's D.A.R.E. Program Jim Rosenfield firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 310-836-0926 fax: 310-836-0592 Visit http://www.insightweb.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- DC To Vote On Medical Marijuana ('The Associated Press' Says It's Official - The District Of Columbia Board Of Elections Has Placed Initiative 59, Sponsored By ACT UP!, On The November 3 Ballot - In A Characteristic Response, The US House Of Representatives Amended Its Version Of A Bill Appropriating Money For The District Of Columbia To Make It Illegal To Spend Money Carrying Out The Initiative, Which Would Prevent Officials From Printing The Ballot Or Processing Its Results) From: LawBerger@aol.com Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 20:49:55 EDT To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: DPFOR: Fwd: D.C. To Vote on Medical Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ From: AOLNews@aol.com Subject: D.C. To Vote on Medical Marijuana Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 19:10:21 EDT D.C. To Vote on Medical Marijuana .c The Associated Press By NANCY ZUCKERBROD WASHINGTON (AP) -- Election officials approved an initiative Thursday to let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in the nation's capital. The District of Columbia Board of Elections had rejected the initiative a month ago but reconsidered because of a Sept. 3 ruling by D.C Superior Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle that the board wrongly dismissed 4,600 signatures that a petitioner collected. The board threw them out because the petitioner provided an incorrect address for herself on an affidavit. Huvelle ruled the woman's mistake was not enough to invalidate the signatures she collected. AIDS activists hailed the reversal. ``We are certainly pleased that D.C. voters are going to have a chance to decide for themselves on this important initiative,'' said James Millner, a spokesman for the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which treats AIDS patients. ``We don't like pot, but when other medications fail you should not have to face a jail sentence just because you're trying to keep weight on,'' said Wayne Turner of the activist group ACT UP. The White House drug policy office disagreed. ``We are confident that the voters of the District of Columbia will make the right decision that science, not politics, should determine what is safe and effective medicine,'' spokesman Bob Weiner said. Marijuana should not be used for medical purposes unless the Food and Drug Administration approves it, Weiner said. The Republican-led Congress also is critical of medical marijuana initiatives. On Wednesday, the House passed a resolution condemning attempts to legalize marijuana for medical use. The House version of a bill appropriating money for the District of Columbia was amended to make it illegal to spend money carrying out the initiative. If passed, that would prevent officials from printing the ballot and processing its results, but it is unlikely to be acted on before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate has yet to pass its appropriations bill for the district, and it is unclear if the House amendment would make it into final legislation or be signed into law before the vote. In 1996, voters in California and Arizona passed initiatives similar to the district's, but the Arizona Legislature enacted legislation forbidding sale in the state of drugs not approved as medicine by the FDA. Advocates contend marijuana helps patients of serious diseases such as AIDS and cancer contend with pain and nausea. AP-NY-09-17-98 1906EDT Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Nonsense Resolution (A Staff Editorial In 'The Orange County Register' Criticizes The US House Of Representatives For Passing House Joint Resolution 117, Saying Congress' Opposition To Medical Marijuana Ignores Evidence Both Anecdotal And Factual, And Borders On The Inhumane) Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:58:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Editorial: A Nonsense Resolution Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 17 Sep 1998 A NONSENSE RESOLUTION Casually and with virtually no debate, U.S.representatives rejected the idea that marijuana might have medicinal application for patients who seek relief. It is a position that ignores evidence both anecdotal and factual. It borders on the inhumane. House Joint Resolution 117, passed 310-93 Wednesday, with no public hearings, is not a new law. It's simply a "sense of the Congress" resolution to the effect that Congress believes marijuana to be dangerous and addictive, and that Congress is unequivocally opposed to the legalization of marijuana for medical use. It also directs the U.S. attorney general to prepare reports on how much marijuana has been eradicated through federal efforts in recent years and the annual number of arrests and prosecutions for federal marijuana offenses. In essence, the House stuck its finger in the eye of California and Arizona voters, who recently passed initiatives to make marijuana available to patients with the recommendation of licensed physicians. Even more important, it told thousands of patients and their doctors - who believe that marijuana can alleviate their conditions, often with less serious and dangerous side-effects than "standard" prescription medications - that Congress is pleased to see them continue to suffer or to obtain relief only at the price of becoming criminals. Perhaps it should be called the "Congress has no sense" resolution. Even more distressing is the fact that most of the orange County delegation voted for this resolution. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Loretta Sanchez vote. But Reps. Chris Cox, Jay Kim and Ron Packard, all of whom should know better, landed on the "yea" side. The stated intention of this resolution was to chide California and Arizona voters and to weigh in on medical-marijuana initiative races in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and possibly the District of Columbia. The message? A Congress filled with lawyers should have a veto power when patients and doctors are considering the medicinal use of a plant about which the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration reported that "there are simply no credible medical records to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death." The old joke is that if 'pro" is the opposite of "con," then Congress must be the opposite of progress. Sadly, Congress sometimes makes the quip seem more truth than joke.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Search Barred At Fed Buildings ('The Associated Press' Says The Ninth US Circuit Court Of Appeals In San Francisco Ruled Thursday In A Case From Hawaii That Heightened Security Rules For Searches At Federal Buildings Imposed After The Oklahoma City Bombing Are Unconstitutionally Allowing Guards To Look For Drugs) Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 18:56:24 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Drug Search Barred at Fed Buildings Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 DRUG SEARCH BARRED AT FED BUILDINGS SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Heightened security rules for searches at federal buildings imposed after the Oklahoma City bombing are unconstitutionally allowing guards to look for drugs, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The rules must be narrowed to allow only searches for weapons and explosives, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a case from Hawaii. Officers would still be allowed to seize any contraband they see in plain view while looking for dangerous objects, said lawyers in the case. The ruling will not affect many cases in the circuit's nine Western states but represents a victory for the constitutional right to be free of overly broad searches, said Alexander Silvert, the first assistant federal public defender in Hawaii. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nakamura said the government's main concern was keeping its authority to search for weapons and explosives. Federal buildings nationwide had been placed on ``yellow alert'' status since the April 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. The alert required officers to search all bags for anything that was either dangerous or prohibited in the building by federal regulations, including drugs, alcohol and gambling materials, the court said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Czar Wants Interdiction Bill To Lose In Congress ('The Orange County Register' Says That As The US House Of Representatives Voted To Add $2.6 Billion Over Three Years To Drug-Interdiction Efforts, General Barry McCaffrey Was Urging Lawmakers To Reject The Legislation As An Ill-Conceived Exercise In Micromanagement Possibly Motivated By Election-Year Politics) Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:59:13 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Drug Czar Wants Interdiction Bill To Lose In Congress Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 17 Sep 1998 DRUG CZAR WANTS INTERDICTION BILL TO LOSE IN CONGRESS As the House voted to add $2.6 billion over three years to the government's drug-interdiction efforts, the White House's drug-policy coordinator was urging lawmakers to reject the legislation. Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey said he would welcome extra money but criticized the bill, passed 384-39, as an ill-conceived exercise in micro management possibly motivated by election-year politics. The Senate has not yet voted on the measure. The bill would authorize spending $2.6 billion over three years for drug-fighting efforts involving interdiction, law enforcement and U.S. activities in countries where illegal drugs are produced. The bill does not say where the money would come from. The measure's goals are unrealistic, McCaffrey said, and its provisions are not tied to a coherent strategy or based on informed analysis of the drug problem. Furthermore, he said, some provisions authorize the purchase of equipment he's never heard of and micromanages decisions that would be better left to officials paid to make them.
------------------------------------------------------------------- House OKs $3.2-Billion Measure To Bolster The Fight Against Drugs ('The Los Angeles Times' Version) Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 11:32:06 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: House OKs $32-Billion Measure To Bolster The Fight Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: September 17, 1998 Fax: 213-237-4712 Author: Stanley Meisler, Times Staff Writer HOUSE OKS $3.2-BILLION MEASURE TO BOLSTER THE FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS Congress: Bill opposed administration as too costly earmarks funds, equipment for Coast Guard, Customs Service and Latin American nations. The House on Wednesday turned aside Clinton administration objections and overwhelmingly passed a $3.2-billion bill to bolster the Coast Guard, the Customs Service and Latin American governments in their struggle to stop drugs from reaching this country's borders. The House of Representatives passed the bill, 384 to 39, just hours after White House drug czar Barry R. McCaffrey testified in the Senate that a similar measure awaiting action there would be too expensive and would represent "micro-management of drug tactics based on a shallow analysis of the problem and our available tools." In the House, Republican leaders insisted that they were boosting the budget for drug interdiction because they believe that President Clinton has failed to stem the flow of drugs into the country. "By the summer of 1992," House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said, "we were winning the war on drugs." But he charged that after Clinton took office in 1993, "for a variety of reasons, the war on drugs went off track." The bulk of the bill's funds would be spent during the next three years on the purchase and maintenance of airplanes for the U.S. government--$917 million for the Coast Guard and $889 million for the Customs Service. The money would be in addition to $1.67 billion the administration has set aside for drug interdiction during each of the next three years. Despite some grumbling over Gingrich's decision to allow the bill to reach the House floor without committee hearings or approval, Democrats joined Republicans in supporting it. Latin America specialists were troubled by provisions that would increase funding for foreign military units engaged in drug interdiction. The bill earmarks $177 million for helicopters and planes for Colombia and $18 million for helicopters for Mexico. Bolivia and Peru also would receive extra funds. The Washington Office on Latin America, a private, nonprofit think tank that has often fretted over increased military assistance to the region, warned that the bill would "undermine U.S. policy goals of supporting democracy and human rights around the world." Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) sought to delete the funding for Colombia and Mexico, urging Congress to "stop dumping our dollars on corrupt police" in those two countries. But her amendment eliminating these funds was defeated, 354 to 67. McCaffrey, in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the bill "proposes authorizations that are far in excess of expected appropriations and the president's budget without specifying where these funds will come from." He seemed most upset by the congressional attempt to, in his eyes, exert excessive control over administration drug policy. As an example, he cited a provision that set aside $1.25 million for "concertina wire and tunneling detection systems at the La Picota prison" in Colombia. Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------------- City Cops Use US Agents In Drug Bust ('The Vancouver Province' In British Columbia Says Vancouver Police Used Four US Navy Undercover Agents To Gather Evidence For A Marijuana Bust At Hemp BC And The Cannabis Cafe) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: City cops use U.S. agents in drug bust Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 07:34:54 -0700 Lines: 69 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu 17 Sep 1998 News A4 Author: Jack Keating, Staff Reporter City cops use U.S. agents in drug bust Use of foreign investigators `bizarre, chilling' Vancouver police used U.S. military undercover agents to gather evidence for a marijuana bust at Hemp B.C. and the Cannabis Cafe. Court documents show that four U.S. Navy undercover agents were used in an attempt to buy marijuana and then smoke it at the internationally known emporiums in the 300-block of West Hastings. The four agents were named in an application for a search warrant that led to a raid on the stores on April 30. The documents show the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents worked in a joint operation with Vancouver police in April. Jim Millar, lawyer for Shelley Francis, who owns the stores, called the use of the U.S. agents ``absolutely bizarre.'' ``Politically, it raises real issues about having the American war on drugs coming across our border to a [hemp] store. The fact that the Vancouver police department is using U.S. military intelligence agents as undercover agents on our city streets and on our sovereign turf is a chilling prospect.'' Vancouver Const. Anne Drennan, who said earlier that Vancouver undercover officers were used, now confirms that the force used agents from the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service in the operations. ``Yes, in fact there were naval officers involved,'' she said. The use of U.S. agents ``raises questions about who is really driving drug policy in Vancouver -- who is really controlling drug policy in Vancouver,'' said Neil Boyd, professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University. ``It gives the impression that part of the American government is interested in being involved in regulating Canadian criminal law,'' Federal authorities were also surprised. ``It's not common at all that I'm aware of to use foreign investigators,'' said Bob Prior, head of the justice department's criminal-prosecution section in Vancouver, which swore the charges -- three of possession and sale of drug paraphernalia -- against Francis. The trial is set for July 19. The court documents say the navy agents were escorted to Hemp B.C., ``where they shopped for merchandise and tried to buy marijuana.'' They bought drugs elsewhere in Vancouver, the documents show. George Roberts, the assistant special agent in charge of the NCIS in the Pacific northwest, said his agents work with local police when U.S. ships are in port ``so that local people who might be trafficking in drugs don't want to sell to navy people.'' ``We're not up there enforcing our laws or your laws,'' he said. More than 3,400 sailors from the USS Constellation and the USS Rainier were in Vancouver in April. Millar, meanwhile, says he'll file an application in B.C. Supreme Court today to quash the search warrant.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Market Forces Cut Heroin Price (The Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Suggests Low Demand Rather Than Increased Supply Explains Why The Street Price Has Plummeted And Purity Has Increased In The Past Five Or Six Years - While A Gram Of Heroin Might Have Sold For About $700 In Toronto A Decade Ago, It's Now Readily Available For $100 To $200) Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:46:32 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Market Forces Cut Heroin Price Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thursday, September 17, 1998 Source: Globe and Mail (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/ Author: Salem Alaton MARKET FORCES CUT HEROIN PRICE Canadian police forces are unhappy to observe a buyer's market in the past five or six years for a particularly ugly consumer product: heroin. Not only has the street cost of the narcotic plummeted, but since 1992-93 the purity of the substance on offer has gone up considerably, says Detective Ed Roseto of the heroin section in the Toronto Police special investigations unit. While a gram of heroin might have sold for about $700 in Toronto a decade ago, it's now readily available for $200. And Det. Roseto adds: "We've had grams which we've bought [during undercover operations] for $100." Hard numbers for the heroin-addicted population in Canada don't exist, but Richard Garlick, spokesman for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse in Ottawa, puts the figure at about 25,000 to 30,000, and says that the number has probably been fairly stable for the past 20 years. That suggests the current market reflects increased supply, with dealers not yet succeeding in widening demand. "Once people are addicted after three or four weeks, the theory goes that the traffickers can up the price, but that in fact doesn't seem to have happened," said Mr. Garlick. "The price has been fairly low and the purity has been very high for a number of years now." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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