------------------------------------------------------------------- Plight Of The Desperately Ill Deserves Marijuana Access (A staff editorial in The Herald, in Everett, Washington, endorses Initiative 692, the medical marijuana ballot measure, saying the medical use of marijuana might help young people disassociate the drug from any false perception of glamour.) Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 21:37:51 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Plight Of The Desperately Ill Deserves Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Monday, 12 October, 1998 Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Copyright (c) 1998 The Daily Herald Co. Author: Editorial PLIGHT OF THE DESPERATELY ILL DESERVES MARIJUANA ACCESS The difficult and serious question of medical marijuana is back. Voters will decide this November whether to approve a state law allowing limited medical use of marijuana for patients with terminal or serious illnesses. This is a much improved initiative measure that treats the question with the thoughtfulness that was scandalously absent last year. But because federal laws can't be removed by state action, vexing questions will remain whether or not Washingtonians support medical use of marijuana. Indeed, the federal questions limit how well the measure can be written. Despite the problems that will remain, voters will nevertheless do well to say yes to Initiative 692 as a matter of imperfect compassion and support for the very sick and dying. Voters should do so only with some careful understandings of the opposing views. The state medical association, for instance, doesn't support the initiative. What evidence there is about marijuana's medical effectiveness has not been subjected to the usual federal reviews. There is no quality control for any marijuana that will be obtained by patients. Indeed, opponents can reasonably speak of the initiative as abandoning the normal Federal Drug Administration process for approving medicines. Yet, there is no real prospect for the FDA to move forward anytime soon, at least without pressure from the states. This initiative is miles ahead of the measures passed in recent years by California and Arizona. Initiative 692 defines carefully who can use marijuana for medical purposes. Principally, those are cancer and AIDS patients, chronic pain sufferers and people with serious muscle diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. The measure also attempts to prevent the circus atmosphere around California "buying clubs" by saying that no person may provide medical marijuana to more than one person. In most circumstances, there are many traditional medical alternatives to marijuana. But society also ought to be as supportive as possible toward desperately ill individuals for whom those treatments aren't working. Compassion ought to be the guiding principle when patients are dying. That's especially true for a state that has rejected assisted suicide. If initiative supporters are being honest, this measure is not about legalizing marijuana. Legalization would be a horrible idea, widening use of a drug with some extraordinarily bad effects on the mental state of users. If somehow passage of the initiative were to be used to promote wider recreational use of marijuana, the Legislature would have an absolute duty to amend or wipe out the initiative, immediately. In fact, we would not support a yes vote if we weren't prepared to ask the Legislature to deal with any problems that may occur. Legislators are notoriously reluctant to overturn any initiative. But it is reasonable to hope that legislators would act if drug abuse or crime were to increase because of this measure. If legislators hear conflicting assessments, our advice would be to listen to those who know the problems best - police and prosecutors. If the medical marijuana initiative can be implemented responsibly, however, young people are capable of understanding that marijuana is being approved only for the desperately ill. They can see that first hand by watching a beloved older family member suffer from an illness. In such an instance, the medical use of marijuana might help young people disassociate the drug from any false perception of glamour.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Public Should Wait For Proof That Supports I-692 (An op-ed in The Herald, in Everett, Washington, by John Turner, chief of police in Mountlake Terrace, opposes Initiative 692 with a bunch of lies and factual misstatements.) Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 20:19:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: OPED: Public Should Wait For Proof That Supports I-692 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Monday, 12 October, 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Author: John Turner, Chief of Police, Mountlake Terrace PUBLIC SHOULD WAIT FOR PROOF THAT SUPPORTS I-692 Since 1992 the facts are that public concern for marijuana has decreased and teenage usage has increased. Research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as well as the National Institutes of Health show clear and convincing evidence that marijuana causes "amotional syndrome," which is characterized by "decreased drive and ambition, impaired communication skills and a diminshed effectiveness in interpersonal relationships." These the same background factors that are associated with those who commit violent criminal acts. These the same background factors that educators say are impeding our youth to receive a good education. What does it take for us to make the connection between marijuana use and societal ills? The question before us in Initiative 692 this election is not whether we have compassion for someone who is terminally ill but whether marijuana should be a considered a medicine with loosely regulated controls? Our society, like many civilized societies, has until now utilized research, scientific evidence and a recognized body of experts to determine what is appropriate medicine for a particular ailment. We have come a long way from the days of the medicine man hawkster who would sell his homemade remedy (using either alcohol or cocaine as a main ingredient) on the street corner without a license - or have we? Before we attempt to answer the medicine questions, we should understand the historical perspective of why this initiative. And why now? For as long as time can remember, there has been a political movement to legalize all illicit drugs. Financial backers of this movement have even raised $20 million to discredit law enforcement as being ineffective on the "war on drugs," incorrectly stating that the prisons are filled with marijuana-users so there is no room for violent criminals. Please consider the facts. From 1960 to 1980 (a period of high drug use) drug incarceration fell 374 percent. Murders increased 100 percent, robberies 318 percent. Drug use among teens climbed more than 500 percent. Now consider the facts from 1980 to 1995. Drug incarceration rates rose 447 percent. The murder and robbery rates declined. High school drug use went down a third. While these statistics are not perfect, they do prove that law enforcement efforts have become more effective in recent years. From a more local perspective, I will freely admit that as a law enforcement officer of 27 years here in the Puget Sound area we have only begun to touch the surface on the drug underground. Drug task forces did not become a reality until 1988 but since that time we have become very effective with their use. Now for the medicine question: Should marijuana be considered a medicine? Certainly not from what we know at this point. But who's to say that perhaps some time in the future research may prove differently. There are respected medical professionals who believe that marijuana may have medical benefits and respected medical organizations who have called for more medical research related to the benefits of marijuana. This is warranted and should be the public policy expectation, not a vote of a sympathetic electorate who are prone to believe a $20 million one-sided publicity campaign. More should be expected. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has wisely called for a six-point plan to protect the public's health. Legitimate proposals to test the medical efficacy of smoked marijuana should include: 1. Legal immunity for the state. 2. Legitimate scientific research first. 3. Limited conditions of use, not just "serious illness" which has a broad meaning. 4. Use only when proven medications have failed. 5. A safe product with defined channels of distribution. 6. Education. Not a $20 million campaign to discredit law enforcement, give false facts and provide false hope. During the recent political campaign in Arizona and California, teen-age use of marijuana increased by 6 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Partnership for Drug Free America. In the poll, teens stated, "I hear more and more talk about legalizing marijuana." That, experts say, reduces the teens' "perception of great risk." To me, this poses much greater harm to our children and the future of our country. My mother died of cancer in 1977. Unless you have experienced the pain, there is no way you can say, "I know how you feel." I would have done anything to reduce my mother's suffering. My mother never did meet my daughter, who is now 8 years old. But I do know my mother would have never stood for anything that would jeopardize my daughter's hope for a bright future. This is not an issue of compassion. Vote no! Let's wait for science and proper research by experts to determine what ought to be medicine and what should not. Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on this important issue. John Turner is chief of police for the city of Mountlake Terrace.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Initiative 692 will ease pain of many suffering patients (Another op-ed in The Herald, by William O. Robertson, MD, the former president of the Washington State Medical Association, endorses the medical marijuana ballot measure. For the patient who is suffering and believes that he or she will feel better, why does society choose to stand in the way, hold up its hand and shout "No way!") Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 21:03:26 -0700 (PDT) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Willaim O. Roberston MD says yes on initiative 692 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com The Herald http://www.heraldnet.com/ Everett, Wash Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters Monday, October 12, 1998 Op-ed: Initiative 692 will ease pain of many suffering patients By WILLIAM O. ROBERTSON, M.D. Last year, I voted against the marijuana Initiative 685. Its target was far too broad - way beyond the medical use of marijuana. This year, I'm going to vote for Initiative 692. By contrast, it is sharply honed and carefully worded to have Washington follow the lead of Arizona and California in bettering the quality of life of seriously ill patients. And it will do so without "legalizing" marijuana - without treading on the turf of those militaristic purists seemingly dedicated to banishing any and all drugs of abuse from the face of the earth. But, you might ask, is there really scientific evidence to substantiate the claims of advocates that marijuana can actually improve impoverished appetites, that it can quell overwhelming sensations of nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy, or that it can lower the intraocular pressure of glaucoma and all its consequences? I don't know for certain. Solid data supports the effectiveness of one of its ingredients - annibinol - but I'm far from being convinced that either marijuana or its ingredient work as well as many other modern drugs. But that is not the issue. The issue is giving the patient a choice of what he or she believes in. Certainly I'm pleased that at long last the National Institutes of Health have finally gotten around to trying to find out if marijuana works by funding scientific studies that are long overdue. In the meantime, for the patient who is suffering and believes that he or she will feel better, why does society choose to stand in the way, hold up its hand and shout "No way!" Why has it been so, so rigid in its opposition down through the centuries? In truth I'm even less certain about the answer to that question than I am to the question of marijuana's effectiveness. I'll admit to being a simple pragmatist on the topic - and I'm proud of it. As a physician, I have to be reasonably comfortable in making many recommendations to sick patients that I'm not at all sure will really be all that helpful. But, if both the patient and I believe it will, many, many times it works. I always worry that my treatment might instead hurt the patient or somehow be harmful. In the case of marijuana, worrying about harm is really a negligible issue for the terminally ill or chronically debilitated. (As you might suspect, I'm far more wary when it comes to the risks of marijuana for the youthful user but that is an entirely different matter.) Admittedly, we physicians are under the gun to do a better job in helping the chronically ill. Most certainly we ought to be able to do a better job. Some of us blame our shortcomings on being caught between governmental regulators who thrive on making more and more rules about how we should use pain medicines, and those patients who seem to take advantage of pain medicine for other than relief of pain. Remember too, that 50 years ago, physicians seemed to be fully occupied trying to cope with acute life-threatening infections. Today, these infections -- tetanus, diphtheria, polio, etc. -- are gone. Or they tried to cope with poorly understood dietary deficiencies that today are simply historical oddities. In contrast, coping effectively with chronic disease is a task of recent vintage for both physicians and our patients. For the long haul, we'll want to use all the scientific tools at our disposal to find out what works best and how to get everybody to use it. But, for the short term, I'm convinced that we physicians can and should do more -- and listen to patients' ideas about what they think will work -- and then use it if the risks to the patient are minimal. To me that is the basic question for you to consider when you vote on Initiative 692. Will it make life more tolerable for patients whose lives are simply miserable? I strongly believe that it will. Will it pose a risk to those patients? Of course, it will. Anything carries some risk. Does its use impose a huge cost akin to open heart surgery? No way! It's cheap. And Initiative 692 protects both the patient and the physicians from the clutches of the thought police. And, as I see it, Initiative 692's passage will also go a long way in bringing the "war on drugs" out of the closet for up-front, on-top-of-the-table reconsideration of how our modern society can best learn to live with all the chemicals that are out there. There simply has to be a better way. Marijuana's history dates back more than 12,000 years. The plight of the terminally ill is equally as ancient and neither is going to go away. Using one to ameliorate the anguish of the other as outlined so lucidly in Initiative 692 would bring solace to the suffering to the detriment of no one and to the credit of our civilization. Vote "Yes" on Initiative 692. William O. Robertson, M.D. is past president of the Washington State Medical Association. Copyright (c) 1998 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, Wash. *** hemp-talk - email@example.com is a discussion/information list about hemp politics in Washington State. To unsubscribe, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text "unsubscribe hemp-talk". For more details see http://www.hemp.net/list.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical marijuana is bad presciption (A staff editorial in The Tacoma News Tribune opposes Initiative 692, the Washington state ballot measure, admitting it is hard not to be swayed by emotional testimonials from cancer patients and others who say smoking marijuana eases their suffering. "We are realistic enough to believe that cancer victims and others who think they truly need marijuana will find ways to get it" without reform.) Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 17:25:11 -0700 (PDT) From: Ben (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org cc: email@example.com Subject: HT: Tacoma News Tribune Opposes 692 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Title: Medical marijuana is bad presciption Pubdate: October 12, 1998 Source: Tacoma News Tribune Contact: email@example.com Initiative 692, authored by Tacoma physcian Rob Killian, is a new and improved version of a "medical marijuana" measure voters soundly rejected last year. Although the version that faces voters Nov. 3 is far less objectionable than the wildly irresponsible proposal Killian wrote last year, it is still bad medical and social policy - and voters should say no again. Killian insists his motives are purely compassionate, aimed at allowing people suffering from "terminal or debilitating illnesses" to relieve pain by legally using marijuana. Indeed, it is hard not to be swayed by emotional testimonials from cancer patients and others who say smoking marijuana eases their suffering. To that end, Initiative 692 would allow patients suffering from cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders and other conditions involving intractable pain to use marijuana on the written recommendation of a physician. The initiative forbids the use of "medical marijuana" in public, says health insurers can't be required to pay for it, and says neither the patient nor a designated "primary caregiver" may possess more than a 60-day supply of marijuana. But what constitutes a 60-day supply isn't defined in the initiative - a loophole that could open the door to abuse. Let's grant that of all medical marijuana initiatives that have surfaced around the country, including measures voters approved in Arizona and California, Initiative 692 seems the most tightly written. There's nothing that would allow California's notorious cannabis clubs, nor would it dramatically change drug laws, as Arizona's now-repealed statute did. But the national and state medical establishment - including the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute - remains staunchly opposed to legalizing marijuana as medicine. The evidence for marijuana's value as medicine is not grounded in the kind of solid scientific research that is required for all legally prescribed medicines. If marijuana is a medicine, it is an exceedingly crude one; there is no practical way to control its quality or regulate the dosage of the active ingredient or ingredients that alleviate pain or nausea. In addition, smoking marijuana is known to have adverse effects on lungs and other parts of the body. A National Institutes for Health study last year, for example, noted that marijuana smoking increases the risk of potentially fatal pneumonia for HIV-positive patients and weakens some parts of the immune system - a special concern with cancer and AIDS patients. We are realistic enough to believe that cancer victims and others who think they truly need marijuana will find ways to get it. We also believe prosecutors are not going to go out of their way to throw dying and sick people in jail for using it. There is no need to legalize medical marijuana, nor is it wise to deliberately bypass all the protections and protocols that ensure any medicine is safe and effective. Initiative 692 is bad policy and bad medicine. *** hemp-talk - firstname.lastname@example.org is a discussion/information list about hemp politics in Washington State. To unsubscribe, send e-mail to email@example.com with the text "unsubscribe hemp-talk". For more details see http://www.hemp.net/lists.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Diego Medical Marijuana Trial Commences Wednesday, Oct. 14 (A message forwarded from an attorney says jury selection will begin Wednesday in San Diego Superior Court in the case of People v. Steven McWilliams and Dion Markgraaff, charged in connection with growing and supplying medical marijuana to local patients. Last minute expenses associated with the trial are mounting - please send donations.) From: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Fwd: San Diego Medical Marijuana Trial Commences Wed 10-14-98 Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 13:42:21 PDT From: "JAMES SILVA" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: San Diego Medical Marijuana Trial Commences Wed 10-14-98 Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 14:49:29 PDT San Diego Prosecutor, David Songco is going forward with the prosecution of two medical marijuana activists who have openly tried to pioneer the implementation of the new law in the dangerous and thus far uncharted political waters of the southland. Jury selection will begin October 14 in San Diego Superior Court in the case of People v. Steven McWilliams and Dion Markgraaff. Steven McWilliams is represented by Venice Attorney, James M. Silva, who also currently represents Marvin Chavez in an upcoming medical marijuana trial in Orange County (October 19th), and is a member of the defense team that is coordinating the defense for the several cannabis dispensaries in the northern bay area. McWilliams was arrested in March, 1998 while delivering eleven plants to a patient with quadraplegia in Warner Springs, Ca whose supply of marijuana was destroyed just days earlier in raid on his property by law enforcement officers; the same officers who are prosecution witnesses in this case. Later the next morning, these officers raided McWilliams home and destroyed a grow room that constituted the only supply of medicine for several serious ill patients in the San Diego area. McWilliams was arrested and ultimately charged with felony cultivation, maintenance of a location for cultivation and conspiracy to distribute and faces up to eight years in state prison. McWilliams was originally held on a $35,000 bond. Through arrangements made by James Silva, Acme Bail Bonds (800 442-0530) agreed to show their support for the medical marijuana movement by posting the bond without a premium and has since provided bonds at a reduced rate for medical marijuana patients who are charged with crimes. For more information, contact attorney James Silva. 310-450-2690 Co-defendant, Dion Markgraaff is charged with seven counts of sales of marijuana to undercover agents, one count of cultivation, and is joined in the conspiracy and maintenance of a location charges. Markgraaff dismissed his public defender shortly after one was appointed for him and is representing himself. It is expected that prosecutors will rely on the testimony of special agents to support their position that the marijuana was not for medical purposes. In defense of the charges against McWilliams, several medical patients have agreed to give testimony. Attorney, James Silva has also arranged for the testimony of Dr. Tod Mikuriya, who has examined and recommended that McWilliams use marijuana for the treatment of his medical condition. Mr. Silva has also arranged for the expert grow testimony of Michael Corral who is the gardener for WAMM and primary caregiver for his wife and founder of WAMM, Valerie Corral. Last minute expenses associated with the trial, including travel expenses, accommodations, copying costs, patient transportation and the like are mounting. We are calling upon the medical marijuana community at large to show support for Steve and Dion by coming to the hearings and contributing to the defense fund. For more information, please contact: James M. Silva, Esq. 33 Clubhouse Avenue, No. 3 Venice, California 90291 (310) 450-2690 -OR- Steven McWilliams Santmyre Cannabis Cooperative 3707 Fifth Avenue, No. 216 San Diego, California 92103 (619) 291-9617
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob Ames is being busted as you read this (A San Francisco Bay area activist sends out an alert about the cultivation bust of a Sacramento medical marijuana patient.) From: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Bob Ames is being busted as you read this 6:00pm 10-12 Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 13:46:44 PDT 10-12-98 5:30pm Everyone, Bob Ames of (firstname.lastname@example.org) is sitting in his livingroom with the Sacramento Sheriff's Department, while they're waiting for a search warrant. They came about 3 hours ago and Bob wouldn't let them search without a warrant so they're getting one. Bob has been talking to them about MMJ and showing them his & his mom's doctors notes. They ain't goin' for it. Reported to me by Newshawk Ryan Landers. For more info call Ryan Landers at 916-448-6442 Send in and ask for your absentee ballot and vote for "DAVIS" & "LOCKYER", If you don't vote for anything else, vote for GRAY DAVIS & BILL LOCKYER. Ralph *** From: "ralph sherrow" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Bust in Sacramento Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 13:50:41 PDT Hi everyone, Bob Ames of Sacramento was busted yesterday for cultivation (31 plants) Bail $3,000.00. Joe Farina (Libertarian , running for AG and also Ryan Landers lawyer) is defending him, pro-bono. Tommorrow 10-14-98 he will appear for arraingnment and ask for release on his O.R.. Originally the city narcotics agents appeared at his door saying they were investigating a cultivation report & asked to be allowed to search. Bob declined unless they had a search warrant so they detained him while they obtained a search warrant. (2:00pm 'til 7:00pm). They took his 215 propaganda and grow books. There's a big story in the Sacramento Bee. They left his computer 'cause it was his mom's. Took his equipment & plants. For further info call: Ryan Landers 916-448-6442 Ralph *** From: "ralph sherrow" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Bob's out on O.R. Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 14:40:21 PDT Bob's out on his O.R. He was released from jail in Sacramento about 2:00 pm today 10-13-98 His arraignment has been set for Tuesday, 10-20-98. 11 am department #8. I will get back to you with a press release as soon as bob can put one together. Him and his mom have been up all night so they're gonna want to get some sleep. Ralph
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Measure Is About Greed (An op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News by Wevley Shea, the former US attorney in Anchorage, says Ballot Measure 8, the Alaskan medical marijuana initiative, is about crime and the economic greed of cultivators, and attempts to "misuse the alleged individual rights to protect individuals and entities that grow, distribute, sell, transport, possess or use marijuana.") Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 22:44:00 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charles Rollins Jr) Subject: CanPat - WEV Goes WILD! Sender: email@example.com Hi The following is a editorial about the medicinal cannabis measure that will on the Nov. 3 ballot. It appeared in todays Anchorage daily news. I have already finished a position statement on Wevs comments in the election pamphlet, and also I also comment on the ballot measure in General. The position paper is due to be released on Oct the 27 at the earliest. Finally feel free to distribute this to anyone, across the net. See ya Chuck *** MEDICAL MARIJUANA MEASURE IS ABOUT GREED. Wevley William Shea Anchorage Daily News 10-12-98 Ballot Measure No. 8, "Allowing Medical Use of Marijuana," before Alaska voters in November, would be a bad law. All Alaskans concerned about the future of this great state should vote no on Ballot Measure No. 8. It creates a large new "bureaucratic Agency" in the department of Health and Social Services. Ballot measure No. 8 requires a confidential registry of drug user patients. It requires the state to police the medical use of marijuana .Ballot measure 8 allows the drug user patient or the caregiver to cultivate, grow, possess and distribute marijuana for the patient. The patient and/or caregiver may grow and possess the following amounts of grass. 1. No more than 1 ounce of marijuana in usable form. 2. No more than 6 marijuana plants, with no more than three mature flowering plants producing usable marijuana at any time. Basically, the patient drug user is allowed to grow his own pot. There is absolutly no quality control provisions in Ballot Measure No. 8. The pateints physican would be prescribing "street-grade grass" for an alleged "debilitating condition." "Debilitating" is so broadly defined in the bill as a medical condition that it can easily be misused by the patient, caregiver and or the prescribing physician. The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, tetrahyrocannbinol, is commonly referred to as THC. Today the THC or psychoactive ingredient in high quality-street grass is 50 to 100 times stronger than the pot of the 1960's smoked at the Fillmore West, Golden Gate park and the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Many of the 1960s free-thinkers are now trying to push legalization nation wide Within 50 miles of Anchorage, marijuana with the highest THC content ever recorded is cultivated, grown, distributed and smoked. This is a very cash rich crop that sells in the area of $7,000 to $8,0000 per pound. This pot is raised in ideal indoor growing conditions and grafted to the best strains worldwide to achieve its exceptional quality. The grass growing business is so cash rich that individuals are willing to risk everything to receive the high economic benefit. . Those at the top of the marijuana distribution chain do not use the product. They know the effects of marijuana on the mind, body, and soul. It destroys motivation, understanding and growth in all users, especially Alaska's youths. Marinol (Dronabinal) is an approved drug that contains the principal psychoactive substance in marijuana. Physicians prescribe this approved, quality-controlled drug for symptoms ranging from anorexia in AIDS patients to nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. Street-grade grass is not needed, nor is it a substitute for Marinol. The psychoactive effect of marijuana is parallel to Marinol on drug users: decreased cognitive performance and memory, decreased ability to control drives and impulses and alteration of reality, including distortions in perceptions of objects, sense of time, and hallucinations. In addition, drug users experience mood changes of euphoria, detachment, depression, anxiety, panic and paranoia. Street pot with no quality control is bad for any drug user. Marinol is a controlled substance with high quality control requirements. Ballot Measure No. 8 has no quality control guidelines. The drug user can grow his own street grass of unknown psychoactive or THC content. Ballot measure No. 8 is simply a bad law that creates another large state bureaucracy. Basically, Alaskans will be forced to pay for the ill advised control of illegal drug users. In addition, drug user patients, their caregivers and physicians prescribing the street grass are held harmless for the consequences of pot use. Alaskan society as a whole must bear the burden economically and socially of pot users. How can a well meaning, professional and competent physician prescribe a psychoactive drug that has not been tested and has no quality control criteria? The answer is that he or she cannot in good faith and in the best interest of the patient prescribe psychoactive marijuana without knowing the potency. Ballot measure No.8 is so poorly conceived and drafted that it is even a disgrace to the marijuana-legalization movement nation wide. It appears that the author of ballot measure No. 8 may have been smoking the product he or she endorses during drafting the bill. Do not be fooled. Ballot Measure No. 8 is not about helping debilitated patients, the sick, the infirm or the dying. The act is about crime and economic greed. Ballot Measure No. 8 is an attempt to misuse the alleged individual rights to protect individuals and entities that grow, distribute, sell, transport, possess or use marijuana. Legalization of marijuana tells Alaska youths that adults believe an illegal, non controlled street drug can be used responsibly. No drug can used responsibly when the "prescribing physician" has no knowledge of the strength of the psychoactive ingredient or THC. Alaska youths need your support. Vote no on ballot measure No. 8. Approval of this bill would make it difficult, if not impossible, to reach Alaska's youths and convince them doing drugs is bad. Wevley Shea is an Anchorage attorney and a former US attorney for Anchorage.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Whiffs of hypocrisy in hemp promotion (An op-ed in The Toronto Star comments on Health Canada's recent attempt to quash The Body Shop's sale of hemp-based skin care products. The Body Shop is even more annoying than Health Canada, using promotional slogans such as "Roll yourself in hemp fashions!" "High time for changes!" "Hope not dope!" while distancing itself from marijuana the drug. In light of Jim Wakeford's recent failure in his fight to smoke pot legally to help with his AIDS-related loss of appetite, promoting hemp through hip, drug-related colloquialisms while reiterating tired old stereotypes about a drug that's less harmful than alcohol is a cheap and hypocritical position. It's a little like saying you read Playboy for the articles - or that you never inhaled.) Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 08:41:24 PDT From: Carey Ker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: OPED: Whiffs of hypocrisy in hemp promotion To: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Toronto Star Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Pubdate: Monday October 12, 1998 Whiffs of hypocrisy in hemp promotion By Rachel Giese Last week, The Body Shop, the socially progressive cosmetics franchise, launched a new line of skin care products made with an industrial grade hemp, the non-mind altering sister herb of marijuana. Packaged in slick silver tins, the new hemp bath oils, moisturizers and soaps promise, like most Body Shop products, to soothe the skin while protecting rain forests, saving endangered species and providing jobs for oppressed people. But the new hemp line almost didn't make it on to shelves here. Just before the launch, Health Canada threatened to raid stores that carried the products. Health Canada - which is currently studying the risk of long-term marijuana use - recanted after a visit from The Body Shop's head chemist, who showed that the products contained less than the prohibited amounts of THC, the active ingredient in smokeable hemp. Hemp isn't a new product in the Canadian market. Health food and other specialty stores have been carrying hemp-based clothing, furniture and paper goods for the past few years. But recently, a hemp store in British Columbia came under attack. Officials from The Body Shop say they've experienced problems stocking the new line in other countries, too. What a panic over an herb that proponents call a miracle plant. Anita Roddick, the hyperbole-prone founder of The Body Shop International, said at a press conference that hemp ``should win a Nobel Prize.'' There's no denying hemp's value. It's a hardy, naturally pest-resistant, an excellent rotation crop that's much easier on the environment than cotton. It can grow in just about any climate and can be used as fuel or food and in textiles and building materials. In the past, the plant was widely grown and utilized - as a pro-hemp activists like to point out, Rembrandt and van Gogh painted on hemp canvases, the first pair of Levi's were made of hemp cloth and the Gutenberg Bible was printed on hemp paper in 1455. What's new about hemp is that it's so hip - it has become a cause celebre for hippies, environmentalists and liberal yuppies. It's been made into sneakers by Adidas and BMW is exploring hemp's use in the dashboards of its cars. There are hemp magazines, websites and advocacy groups. The plant even has a movie star spokesperson in actor Woody Harrelson, who work a hemp tuxedo made by designer and supporter Giorgio Armani to the Academy Awards. Compared to this, Health Canada and other regulatory bodies look downright square and regressive in their efforts to ban a plant which has such Earth-saving potential solely on the grounds that it may encourage or glamourize drug use. Health Canada can rest easy - there's little glamour to be had in hemp. The clothing made from the product is as sexy as sack-cloth. The skin care products, while effective, stink like a dirty bong. Hemp is way too granola-wholesome to pose anything of a threat to vulnerable teens, who are, apparently, just one 100 per cent hemp T-shirt away from heroin addiction. Reefer madness, this ain't. Even more annoying, however, than governmental prudishness are many hemp activists themselves and, in this case in particular, The Body Shop. The company's press bumpf is filled with facts about hemp, quotes from scientists, archival photos of happy hemp farmers and plenty of cheeky puns: ``Roll yourself in hemp fashions!'' ``High time for changes!'' ``Hope not dope!'' The product itself bears the iconic image of the five-fronded marijuana leaf - the very symbol of the ``legalize it'' movement. And yet, The Body Shop is quick to distance itself from marijuana the drug, even going so far as to use an angel image to represent hemp, and the images of a devil, a criminal and an evil alien to represent pot. This is particularly ironic in light of Jim Wakeford's recent failure in his fight to smoke pot legally to help with his AIDS-related nausea and loss of appetite. It's certainly a more serious battle than the right to use hand-cream, and one The Body Shop could have used its high profile to support, but didn't. Promoting hemp through hip, drug-related colloquialisms while reiterating tired old stereotypes about a drug that's less harmful than alcohol is a cheap and hypocritical position. It's a little like saying you read Playboy for the articles - or that you never inhaled. Giese is the features editor of Xtra, Toronto's lesbian and gay biweekly. E-mail: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Crime Rate Is Higher Than US (The Scotsman says a report by the US Department of Justice shows that robbery, burglary and assaults are more common per head of population in England and Wales than in the United States, although the rates for murder and rape are lower. A Home Office spokeswoman said, "We believe the study is limited because it compares only two sets of figures.") Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 11:56:27 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Crime Rate Is Higher Than US 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: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Copyright: (c) (c)The Scotsman Publications Ltd Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Tanya Thompson CRIME RATE IS HIGHER THAN US Report Claims That Life In Britain Is More Dangerous BRITAIN is becoming a more dangerous place to live than the United States, according to a report by the US Department of Justice. Jack Straw, the Home Secretary is considering the findings, which were submitted to the Home Office at the end of last month. The report shows that robbery, burglary and assaults are more common per head of population in England and Wales than in the US. The less common crimes of murder and rape are higher in the US, where guns are more prevalent, but the gap is narrowing. A larger proportion of accused are convcted in the US and are likely to receive prison sentences double or even two thirds longer than in the UK. The report showed that in 1995, 7.6 per cent of 1,000 people in the UK had experienced robbery compared with 5.3 per cent in the US. The prevalence of burglary was 82.9 per cent compared to 47.5 per cent in the US and assaults here were at 20 per cent, against 8.8 per cent. Norman Brennan, the national director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said: "I hope that these figures will shock the British public into realising that very little is being achieved in our battle against crime. "The Government will not be allowed to get away with the rhetoric of window-dressing exercises, looking for the soft option and endorsing weak sentences for those who are the blight of our criminnal justice system." News of the report comes as the Home Office is about to release new crime statistics for England and Wales tomorrow. A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have been aware of the comparisons for a while. We believe the study is limited because it compares only two sets of figures." She added that the Government was looking at alternative methods of dealing with offenders rather than increase their jail terms. Alum Michael, a Home Office minister, said yesterday: "We are determined to learn the right lessons from the report and reverse this trend." Last night, a spokesman for the Scotiish Office said it did not record crime on a per capita basis, making a direct comparison difficult but he added that crime in Scotland was falling. The total number of crimes recorded north of the Border fell from 451,956 in 1996 to 420,642 last year. Housebreaking reached a peak in 1992 at 113,160, but dropped substantially last year to 55,471. The number of serious assaults also fell to 6,053 last year - down by 13 per cent. The spokesman said: "Although it is difficult to compare the figures in England and Wales let alone in the US, we can say that the number of crimes in Scotland is falling. "The trend is definitely down with some large decreases in housebreaking. The chances of you being involved in a violent crime is very small." The number of robberies dropped by 15 per cent to 4,484 last year. However, petty assaults has risen to 50,088, up 5 per cent compared to 1996 and there has been a worrying increase in sexual assaults. In 1997 there were 1,979 sexual assaults, up 14 per cent on the previous year. Police say the fact that people are more willing to report sexual crimes may account for the rise. In the Strathclyde region, serious assaults were down 7.7 per cent, robbery and assaults fell by 10.1 per cent and theft by housebreaking fell 6 per cent.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Case Tests Legality Of Swiss Marijuana (Reuters says that after three years of rapid growth, dozens of Swiss marijuana retail stores could be facing imminent closure as prosecutors in Zurich take one shop owner to court in a test case. A turn of phrase in Swiss lawbooks leaves open a loophole by prohibiting trade in marijuana only if it is sold specifically as a "narcotic." Enterprising hemp retailers have been selling marijuana as potpourri, or dried hemp packed in small cloth bags as an herbal room scent and labelled "not for consumption.") Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 11:24:45 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Switzerland: Wire: Case Tests Legality Of Swiss Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kimmo Wilska (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: (c) 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Author: Marcus Kabel CASE TESTS LEGALITY OF SWISS MARIJUANA ZURICH, Oct 12 (Reuters) - In little shops springing up around Switzerland, you can buy all the marijuana you want. You just aren't supposed to smoke it. Drugs made from the hemp plant are illegal in Switzerland, as in most countries, but a turn of phrase in Swiss lawbooks leaves open a loophole by prohibiting trade in marijuana only if it is sold specifically as a narcotic. Enterprising hemp retailers are testing the limits of the law by selling marijuana as potpourri, or dried hemp packed in small cloth bags as an herbal room scent and labelled "not for consumption". But after three years of rapid growth, dozens of hemp shops could be facing imminent closure as prosecutors in Zurich take one shop owner to court in a test case. "I don't accept responsibility for misuse of the product," says Bruno Hiltebrand, who is due in court on October 16 to face charges of selling marijuana as a narcotic. Hiltebrand, a 39-year-old pixie-like figure with spiky hair dyed bright blond, sells 22 varieties of Swiss-grown hemp at between 20 and 100 Swiss francs ($15-75) per sachet with names like "Juicy Fruit", "Lemon Skunk" and "Organic Northern Light". Hiltebrand echoes the standard defence that others in the new Swiss hemp trade have been using since a few growers and their friends came up with the idea in the mid-1990s. The argument is simple. The potpourri sachets are legal, the shop owners say, because they are sold for aroma therapy and expressly marked as not for consumption as a drug. What the buyer does at home with the contents is outside the vendor's control, they say. "If the police catch a Porsche driver going over the speed limit, they don't punish the car salesman," Hiltebrand said. "If we get a customer who says they want something to smoke, we tell them firmly that we don't have anything to smoke, just aroma sachets." PROSECUTORS REJECT VENDOR'S ARGUMENT This is a line that prosecutors in Zurich, Switzerland's biggest city, are no longer willing to accept. "After carefully reviewing the legal situation, the district prosecutor's office believes the law is very clear," said Prosecutor Max Spoerri. Consumption of marijuana is illegal and so is its sale for consumption, he said. "I am convinced this case will be decisive regardless of which way the verdict goes," Spoerri said. If the court finds Hiltebrand guilty of trafficking in commercial narcotics and the verdict is upheld on appeal, then prosecutors across Switzerland will file similar charges aimed at shutting down other hemp shops, Spoerri says. If the verdict is not guilty, then politicians will probably start work quickly on rewording the law to seal the loophole, according to the head of the Swiss Federal Health Agency. "It is no secret that we have been watching the development of so many hemp shops in Switzerland with some concern," said the agency's director Thomas Zeltner. "Hemp as a narcotic is prohibited by Swiss law and the idea is that it should stay prohibited." OTHER PRODUCTS From a handful two or three years ago, the number of hemp sachet shops has grown to around 160 and is growing by about 50 per year, according to experts. Besides the aroma sachets, most hemp shops sell a wide range of less controversial products from clothes made of hemp fibre to hemp seed-flavoured ice cream. The fact that these shops were selling marijuana from Swiss fields and greenhouses started making headlines in 1997. Zurich prosecutors opened their investigation after a critical story in the conservative Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper. "The cause was various complaints, for example from parents who were upset that their children were spending their entire pocket money in these shops," Spoerri said. "Even the police in (neighbouring) southern Germany complained that people were coming back with marijuana from here and so did police in northern Italy." Spoerri is seeking a 14-month suspended sentence for Hiltebrand, a fine of 20,000 Swiss francs and a further 100,000 Swiss francs in alleged illegal profits. The figure of 100,000 francs is Spoerri's estimate of the net profit Hiltebrand's shop earned on hemp sachet sales of 195,000 francs from the start of the investigation in August 1997 to April, when charges were filed. Hiltebrand's shop "James Blunt" is typical of the genre, a small and crowded storefront in a side street behind the city's central train station. Its plate glass windows are painted with the names of ailments allegedly treatable by inhaling the aroma of bagged hemp -- everything from sleeplessness and irritability to impotence and hair loss. "I have loved hemp for a long, long time," says Hiltebrand. "That's why I opened this business, because I saw that other people were doing it and not having any legal problems." Spoerri says it was probably a mistake to let the hemp sachet business flourish for so long before intervening. The Zurich local court is due to reach its verdict on or shortly after Friday's one-day hearing. But a final decision could be delayed by months or even years through appeals all the way to the Swiss supreme court, leaving time for the active community of Swiss hemp farmers to find other ways to dispose of their harvest. "Experience teaches us that hemp growers have a very active imagination when it comes to finding new ways to market their product," said Zeltner. ($1=1.318 Swiss Franc) REUTERS 0209 121098 GMT -------------------------------------------------------------------
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