------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Marijuana Plays No Significant Role In Automotive Crashes, Australian Study Finds; Magazine Publishers Of America Enlist In Drug War Media Blitz; Alaska Nurses Association Backs Passage Of Medical Marijuana Initiative; National Black Police Association Supports Passage of DC Medical Marijuana Proposal; Medical Marijuana Proposal To Appear On Colorado Ballot, But Votes Won't Count, Secretary of State Announces) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 19:00:09 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 10/22/98 (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 October 22, 1998 *** Marijuana Plays No Significant Role In Automotive Crashes, Australian Study Finds October 22, 1998, Adelaide, South Australia: Drivers under the influence of marijuana run little risk of having automobile accidents, researchers from the University of Adelaide and Transport for South Australia announced Monday. The research team examined blood samples of 2,500 South Australian drivers and determined that those under the influence of marijuana were no more likely to have an accident than those who were drug free. "These findings, like those of the National Highway Transportation Administration, indicate that alcohol is by far the leading cause of drug-related traffic accidents, while marijuana's role is negligible," explained Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the NORML Foundation. The South Australian study is the largest ever undertaken to determine the link between drug use and roadside accidents. Study leader, Dr. Jason White, said that the findings hold worldwide significance. "[Alcohol] produces the greatest impairment to driving and the effects of other drugs are very small when compared with [its] effects," he said. He speculated that marijuana smokers are seldom involved in car accidents because they "compensate for the impairing effects of the drug. They are more cautious, less likely to take risks, and drive slower." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Magazine Publishers Of America Enlist In Drug War Media Blitz October 22, 1998, Orlando, FL: The Board of Directors of the Magazine Publishers of America announced Monday that it will promote a recently launched federal anti-drug media campaign by "running compelling ads in their magazines and providing editorial support appropriate for their audiences." Allen St. Pierre, executive director of The NORML Foundation, criticized the MPA's involvement in the federal ad campaign. "The 'objective' media have no business being involved in an anti-marijuana ad campaign that is based primarily upon propaganda and half truths," he said. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) launched a five-year, $775 million ad campaign this past January and challenged media outlets to contribute matching funds in the form of television, radio, and print advertising. The resolution passed by the MPA board states: "[We] accept the challenge presented to the magazine industry by [Drug Czar] General McCaffrey to join with the Ad Council, the Partnership for a Drug Free America, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. ... The MPA will use its best efforts to coordinate membership participation in a national magazine 'roadblock' in 1999 to raise the level of awareness of the campaign among parents and kids." The MPA joins the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), who announced in June 1997 that it would cooperate with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) to launch a nationwide television campaign against marijuana use. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Alaska Nurses Association Backs Passage Of Medical Marijuana Initiative October 22, 1998, Anchorage, AK: The Alaska Nurses Association recently passed a resolution supporting the passage of Ballot Measure No. 8, an initiative to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. NORML Publications Director Paul Armentano praised the ANA's stance. "Over the past several years, the medical community and nurses in particular, have spoken in favor of allowing certain patients legal access to medical marijuana," he said. "It remains law enforcement and politicians in Washington -- not doctors and nurses -- that continue to support policies prohibiting the use of marijuana as a medicine." The resolution states that marijuana "has a wide margin of safety for use under medical supervision," and is effective in reducing nausea, stimulating appetite, controlling spasticity, treating glaucoma, and controlling seizures. The ANA position aligns it with nursing associations in California, Colorado, Florida, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia. All support legalizing medical access to marijuana for some patients. For more information, please contact Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** National Black Police Association Supports Passage of D.C. Medical Marijuana Proposal October 22, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The National Black Police Association announced its support Monday for voter passage of Initiative 59, the "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998." "We believe this medical initiative is about providing a helping hand to those who are living with AIDS and other terminal diseases," stated NBPA Executive Director Ronald Hampton. "Initiative 59 is not promoting recreational drug [use] or the legalization of marijuana." The NBPA's support position came one day prior to a vote by the Major City Chiefs Association opposing medical marijuana. The NBPA represents more than 30,000 law enforcement officials nationwide. Initiative 59 seeks to exempt patients who use marijuana under a doctor's supervision from the District's criminal marijuana penalties. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Wayne Turner of ACT-UP @ (202) 547-9494. *** Medical Marijuana Proposal To Appear On Colorado Ballot, But Votes Won't Count, Secretary of State Announces October 22, 1998, Denver, CO: State officials alleged medical marijuana petitioners fell 2,338 signatures short of qualifying for the November 3 ballot after completing a line-by-line check of the more than 88,000 signatures gathered in support of the proposal. The state Supreme Court ordered the review after state officials appealed an earlier ruling ordering the initiative on the November ballot. Medical marijuana proponents, Coloradans for Medical Rights, said that they are conducting their own review to double-check the Secretary of State's signature count. In August, petitioners discovered that state officials had made several mistakes when conducting a random sample check of some 4,500 signatures. "We will be checking every bit of work that [Secretary of State Vikki Buckley's office] did to make sure there aren't massive errors like we found before," said CMR spokesman Luther Symons. "Should we find any legal basis for challenging this ruling, for example that she made a large number of errors, we will pursue all of our legal remedies." The Colorado initiative sought 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, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington will decide on similar medical marijuana initiatives this year. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Increase Marijuana Penalty (A staff editorial in The Oregonian endorses Measure 57, which would recriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, erroneously saying science has shown the herb to be addictive, as if that mattered with alcohol or tobacco or caffeine. The newspaper also says recriminalization would send the right message to kids - apparently that the state finds it unwise to build any new colleges, but is commited to building enough new prisons for an estimated 150,040 past-month marijuana consumers statewide.) Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 00:07:20 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org), "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org), Oregon Commonlaw (email@example.com), "firstname.lastname@example.org" (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - Increase Marijuana Penalaty-Oregonian Lead Editorial! Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org ------- BE SURE TO CONTACT THESE IDIOTS! CONTACT INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM----- INCREASE MARIJUANA PENALTY The Oregonian 10-22-98 * Making pot possession more than a traffic ticket sends a clearer message to Oregon young people When Oregon Legislators approved a new, slightly stronger penalty for marijuana possession last year, they were acknowledging the times have changed. Back in 1973 when legislators reduced the penalties for marijuana possession to the level of traffic tickets, they were responding mainly to old laws that overreacted to the crime of marijuana possession. They also were reacting to to the prevailing scientific and social opinion at the time that suggested that marijuana was safe and non-addictive. They were right about the old penalties, but they turned out to be wrong about the science. In the past decade, scientists have discovered that marijuana is addictive. There is also evidence that marijuana smoke poses many of the same health risks - cancer, lung damage - that other forms of smoking pose. The last legislature moved to "recriminalize" marijuana by increasing its status as an offense from a violation -- the equivalent to a traffic ticket-- to a Class C misdemeanor -- the equivalent of being a minor in possession of alcohol. Opponents forced it to the ballot and now voters must say, by deciding on Ballot Measure 57 on Nov. 3, whether they approve the change. Voters should just say yes. "Recriminalizing" pot sends the message society should send - especially to young people. The other thing that has changed in the past decade has been the frequency with which young people use marijuana. A study conducted by the Regional Drug Initiative in Portland indicated that the percentage of Oregon eighth graders who said they used marijuana within the past 30 days rose from 6 percent in 1992 to 15 percent in 1996. One reason for the increase is the mixed message that comes from possession of an ounce as an inconsequential matter. The move would make those convicted subject to greater -- but hardly draconian -- penalties and make it clear that marijuana possession is serious business. LETTERS POLICY We invite your letters to the editor. Send them to: email@example.com Please limit letters to 200 words. Include your full address and daytime phone number, for verification only. CONTACT US Editorial Page editor Robert J. Caldwell.......... 503-221-8197 firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Board members Phil Cogswell.................503-221-8519 email@example.com Larry Hilderbrand..........503- 221-8155 firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne Thompson..........503-221-8153 email@example.com David Sarasohn..............503-221-8523 firstname.lastname@example.org David Reinhard..............503-221-8152 email@example.com Nanine Alexander.........503-221-8340 firstname.lastname@example.org Jill Thompson................503-294-5052 email@example.com Rick Attig.......................503-294-5091 firstname.lastname@example.org OR THESE OTHER E-MAIL ADDRESS email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Department Phone 503-221-8150 FAX 503-294-4193 *** Here it is! The Oregonian's absurd editorial! Now let them have it please :-) Paul Freedom http://www.teleport.com/~nepal/canpat.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------- Family - Police killed suspect (According to The Associated Press, family members and neighbors said Wednesday they know exactly how Richard "Dickie" Dow, a 37-year-old Portland man with a history of mental illness, died early Tuesday outside a doughnut shop - he was killed by Portland police. "You want to know why that man died? They choked him to death," said Scott Pearson, a neighbor who witnessed the incident. "That's beyond excessive force. It's straight murder. If it'd been one of us, we'd be in jail.") Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 02:53:25 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org), "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org), Oregon Commonlaw (email@example.com) CC: "firstname.lastname@example.org" (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - Police killed suspect Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Family: Police killed suspect By HANS GREIMEL The Associated Press 10/22/98 1:58 AM Eastern PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Police called it a "suspicious death." An autopsy was inconclusive. But family members and neighbors said Wednesday they know exactly how a man died outside a doughnut shop -- he was killed by police. Richard "Dickie" Dow, a 37-year-old man with a long criminal record and a history of mental illness, died early Tuesday, nine hours after police tried to apprehend him for allegedly picking a fight with strangers. "You want to know why that man died? They choked him to death," said Scott Pearson, a neighbor who witnessed the incident. "That's beyond excessive force. It's straight murder. If it'd been one of us, we'd be in jail." Eight officers are on administrative leave while the investigation continues. But Dow's mother, Barbara Vickers, said she's not satisfied with the medical examiner's findings that her son had only broken ribs, bruises and scrapes -- none of which could have caused his death. "I'm not a doctor, but my son had no marks on him when the first police had hold of him, and when I saw him seven hours later, I could not recognize him as my own son," said Vickers, who witnessed the incident. "The only conclusion I can draw is that they literally beat him to death." Dow appeared to have a swollen eye, a bloody nose and bruises in a photo taken of him as he lay unconscious in Legacy Emanuel Hospital on Tuesday morning shortly before officials pronounced him dead. Police spokeswoman Cheryl Kanzler said investigators are still trying to piece together what happened Monday night, but she stressed "this is not a criminal investigation -- it's a suspicious death investigation." According to police, officers were trying to apprehend Dow after he allegedly challenged people to a fight outside Winchell's Donut House. Officers say Dow resisted arrest by trying to run down the block to the house where he lived with his mother. Kanzler said Dow was shouting obscenities and speaking unintelligibly. He then grabbed both of officer Dennis McClain's arms when McClain got out of his car. "He just turns on him, comes at him and grabs him," Kanzler said. "Dow has his arms pinned and is moving the officer down the street." Police confirmed Wednesday that they used both pepper spray and batons to try to subdue him. Dow's mother said she rushed from the house after hearing his calls for help. According to her, she arrived just before officers swarmed on him and wrestled him to the sidewalk. "I said, `Just don't hurt him, he has a mental problem, let me calm him down,"' she said. "And suddenly, the street was full of policemen and they came out of their cars swinging billy clubs and kept swinging and swinging." As Dow lay, neighbor Deborah Howes volunteered to perform CPR on him. She said police turned her away, and failed to administer any first aid of their own. "Police should be there to protect us instead of acting as a paramilitary force, and that's how they acted that night," Howes said. "People are very mistrustful of them." While neighbors admit Dow was sometimes a nuisance who threw rocks at cars and menaced people walking too close to his house, they blame his erratic behavior on his paranoid schizophrenia, not a violent predisposition. "I wish he'd made it home. He'd probably still be alive," Pearson said. "He was three houses away from freedom." State Medical Examiner Larry Lewman said officials are running additional toxicology tests on Dow's body to determine a cause of death. He said that could take another week. Vickers said the first thing she will do when she gets the body back is to pursue an independent autopsy. She said the family is also considering a lawsuit. "I just don't want to see it go unpunished," said Dow's stepfather, Ted Vickers. "These fellows are on paid administrative leave while I'm paying their wages. That's kind of a bitter pill to swallow especially after my wife watched her son get beat to death."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Brutality - Eyewitness report ("On Monday night, the Portland Police beat my neighbor to death," writes Deborah Howes, the Pacific Party candidate for District 17 of the Oregon House of Representatives. "It has taken 3 days for the police to come up with a story of why they started beating" Dickie Dow. "They are lying." Sympathetic mourners are welcome at the funeral 11 am Monday, Nov. 2, at the St. Johns Christian Church.) From: "deborah howes" (email@example.com) To: "Phil Smith" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Re - Police Brutality- Eyewitness report Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 20:43:47 -0800 Phil: You may archive it. Would you also please pass the word that the funeral is going to be on Monday, November 2 at 11:00 am at the St. Johns Christian Church, in St. Johns, 8044 N. Richmond. That is at the corner of Richmond and Central, a few blocks north of Lombard. Please pass the word and ask that people come. We will be forming a Dickie Dow Justice Committee. The family asks for the support of the community. Thanks Deborah *** From: "Wayne Haythorn" (email@example.com) To: "DPFOR" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFOR: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Police Brutality- Eyewitness report Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 13:53:04 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Hi all, I received this on a Pacific Party mail list. I thought I should pass it along. Wayne *** From: "deborah howes" (email@example.com) To: "Matt Donohue" (Donohmat@AOL.COM) Subject: Fw: Police Brutality- Eyewitness report Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 11:40:54 -0700 Subject: Police Brutality- Eyewitness report Dear PP friends and supporters. On Monday night, the Portland Police beat my neighbor to death. They refused to give him CPR when it became apparent that he was not breathing. They refused to allow me to give him CPR because I am not a nurse. (Funny, they didn't ask me if I was a doctor, only if I was a nurse.) Eight police officers, possibly more, contributed to his beating, hog tying, pepper spraying and possibly more. I did not see all of it because I am 5'4" and most of the Police are over 6' tall. But I watched what looked like a feeding frenzy of horror and mayhem. It was many minutes before I saw the object of their attentions and by that time, Dickie Dow was dead. One of the police officers said "Oh shit, he's dead" "He's not breathing" "He has no pulse". "Oh shit" These are the things I heard as they stepped away from his body that lay on the sidewalk. They had just flipped him over and he flooped like a large, bruised and bloody rag doll. His face was blue gray. He had the look of a dead man. I had never seen anyone die like that before. I knew as I stood there on the sidewalk asking that he be given CPR, that I had just witnessed a murder. It has taken 3 days for the police to come up with a story of why they started beating in the first place. They are lying. They are covering for each other. They have lost their humanity and I am very sad for all of us. I was not and am still not, a person who hates the police. There have been times that I have called them for help. There have been times when I have been glad to see them patroling my streets as I walk home late from the bus and around the neighborhood with my dog. At this point, unless one or more of them goes to jail I will feel, like so many people I know, scared of them. Unable to trust. Unable to believe or support them in almost any way that I can now think of. I ask that if you receive this message in time, you do what you can to come to one of the two following events. 1. A candle light vigil on Friday, October 23 at 9;00 pm at Lombard and Fenwick. This is in support of the family. Both his mother and father were beaten by the police and taken into custody. This was because they heard him screaming for help in the street, ran out of their house and tried to talk to the police. Barbara, his mother, told them that he is mentally ill, that she can control him and does. They threw her in a police car. His stepfather was beaten, thrown on the ground and also taken into custody. Dickie comes from a large family. They want to have a funeral. They cannot plan a funeral at this point, because the police will not release his body and refuse to say when his body will be released. So, if you can, please come out Friday night. 2. On Saturday, October 24 there will be a "STOP PLICE BRUTALITY" rally. This rally, being sponsored by Portland Copwatch and others was already on the books when this event took place. They have asked Dickie's family to participate and in all likelihood they will. The gathering is at 11:30 am. There will be a march from noon to 2 starting at NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. at Cook to Chapman Square, SW 3rd and Madison. Call 236-3065 for more information about that. Hope to see you soon. love, deborah Pacific Party Candidate for House Seat #17 Vote your beliefs, vote for our future, vote for Deborah Howes HOWES in the HOUSE means Safety First in Oregon!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Will medical-marijuana initiative ease their pain? (The Seattle Times does a relatively fair job of dispelling the notion that there is no research or science justifying the medical use of marijuana.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "News" (email@example.com), "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Will medical-marijuana initiative ease their pain? Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 19:22:51 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 07:15 a.m. PDT; Thursday, October 22, 1998 Will medical-marijuana initiative ease their pain? by Carol M. Ostrom Seattle Times staff reporter Is marijuana a safe and effective medication? Medical practitioners, drug-prevention specialists and even scientists give very different answers. Some claim there is no research. Others claim there is, but say it's not good research. Still others believe there's good research - but disagree about whether it shows marijuana is dangerous or safe and effective. Yet another group claims that while there isn't good research, there are very good stories. When it comes right down to it, emotion, not science, divides many people on Initiative 692, which would legalize the use and possession of marijuana by patients with terminal or chronically debilitating conditions. Research, including new work in pain relief and brain-cell protection, is promising but still inconclusive. And medical marijuana, like abortion, is an issue that brings out deeply held beliefs. On one side are the advocates, such as Dr. William O. Robertson, a pediatrician and medical toxicologist who is a past president of the Washington State Medical Association. "I'm biased," concedes Robertson. "I think patients should be enabled to make a choice. If they really believe this stuff is going to work, I have to say, why not give it to them?" Compared to smoking cigarettes, getting drunk on alcohol or even taking many other medications, "the risk is trivial," he says. "Will it make life more tolerable for patients whose lives are simply miserable? I strongly believe that it will." On the other side are opponents, many of whom believe marijuana is harmful to human beings physically, psychologically and socially. "Prescribing a smoked, psychoactive weed for conditions for which we already have excellent legitimate medicine borders on malpractice," argued Wayne Roques, a Florida drug-prevention consultant, in a column in Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Week. Prescribing marijuana, he argues, is like prescribing a pint of whiskey to treat depression. "Compassion that harms is cruelty," he concluded. These days, many people know patients who have used marijuana. But the questions linger: What are the facts? What is the research? First, a snippet of history. Once upon a time, the leafy green stuff called marijuana was legal. The only plant known to contain cannabinoids such as THC, marijuana had common medicinal uses. In the early 1900s, Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine, proclaimed it as "probably the most satisfactory remedy" for migraine. As concern about recreational drug use grew, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. Marijuana was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I. Schedule I drugs, by definition, have no accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, and cannot be used safely even under a doctor's supervision. For researchers, the classification made marijuana extremely difficult to obtain. In 1988, a federal administrative law judge recommended moving marijuana to a less restrictive schedule. In its natural form, the judge ruled, marijuana is "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. . . . One must reasonably conclude that there is accepted safety for use of marijuana under medical supervision." He was overruled by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. But a growing number of patients, families and medical people began claiming marijuana helped combat nausea, pain or other conditions. Were these anecdotes nothing but hot air, like rumors in the '70s that peanut butter would cure genital herpes? Or were these the stories of human guinea pigs, much like the six soldiers who first received penicillin, whose experiences were early evidence of a valuable medication? For years, the demand for research slammed into the government's lock on legal marijuana. "The government says you need studies," says Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard medical school psychiatrist and author of "Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine." "But then they will not release it to be studied clinically." In the past year, however, two noteworthy events took place. First, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a panel of neutral medical experts to review all available data - a "Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana." The panel's report was issued last year. Then, the NIH awarded money - and marijuana - to a California researcher to study marijuana's safety for HIV-positive patients. Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist at the University of California at San Francisco, was elated after earlier futile attempts to get approval for research. "I've got one million dollars and 1,400 joints," he chortled. The two-year study will look at the safety of smoked marijuana and Marinol, a synthetic version of THC, marijuana's main active ingredient, when taken with a commonly prescribed anti-HIV drug by patients. So far, one of Abrams' biggest problems is potential study subjects balking at the requirement that they give up marijuana for 30 days. "They say that's how they keep their pills down." Personal testimonials Anecdotes may be convincing, and there's no doubt a placebo effect can take place, but physicians must insist on scientific data when it comes to marijuana, argues Dr. Peter Marsh, past president of the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA). "In actual fact, there is no data" on marijuana's claimed medical usefulness, he told delegates to the recent WSMA convention. The organization voted not to endorse Initiative 692. Much of the research on smoked marijuana was conducted in the '70s, Abrams says, and involved a small number of subjects, poor quality research and flawed methodology. In recent years, anecdotes, more than data, have driven the medicinal marijuana movement. There's the story of Ralph Seeley, a Tacoma lawyer who died last year of bone cancer. Painting a vivid picture of lying in his own vomit after chemotherapy, Seeley sued the state, arguing that he had a constitutional right "to be free of unnecessary suffering." The state Supreme Court didn't agree. But the ruling hasn't stopped the anecdotes. Patients, including dangerously thin AIDS patients, it seems, get the "munchies" just like recreational users. They tell stories of hasty trips to the bathroom detoured by a toke or two into meandering raids on the refrigerator. Another patient, Margaret Denny, a 48-year-old former teacher from Maple Valley, began using marijuana, smoked and in tea, about five years ago. Severely injured in a 1979 head-on collision that required multiple surgeries, she was often disabled by pain and nausea. Some medications left her so zonked she couldn't function. Others had scary side effects such as destroying a patient's liver. Finally, a doctor suggested she try marijuana, and she did. She resumed life, earning a degree in computer programming. "If it hadn't been for marijuana, I wouldn't have been able to go back to school," she said. "It works the best of anything I've tried." Reefer madness? But is smoking marijuana safe? In a 1996 NIH memo rejecting one of Abrams' earlier research proposals, government-selected reviewers enumerated a long list of perceived dangers. Among them were smoking-related respiratory risks, possible DNA damage, injuries resulting from intoxication and immune-system inhibition. They also listed mental and "neurobehavioral" effects such as anxiety and anger. It's true that test-tube and animal studies hint that marijuana may harm lungs and immune systems. Other research has associated it with short-term mood disorders as well as temporary elevations of heart rate. The NIH panel also noted that the few studies on smoked marijuana used young, healthy male volunteers, suggesting little about possible dangers to older, sicker patients. Since large numbers of HIV and AIDS patients now smoke marijuana, further research on lung and immune-system effects is necessary, concludes Dr. John Morgan, a pharmacology professor and co-author of "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A review of the Scientific Evidence." However, there is now no basis for "dire warnings of immune damage," he and co-author Lynn Zimmer conclude. Morgan and Zimmer note that immune-impaired patients risk contracting a lung disease caused by a fungus. Studies also show marijuana impairs lung-clearing cells. Although marijuana's effects are "much less pronounced" than those of tobacco smoke, Morgan adds: "Smoking isn't good for your lungs." For the most part, however, test-tube and animal studies haven't translated into findings on actual patients. Studies simply haven't found proof of lasting physical or genetic damage in long-term, heavy marijuana smokers. Some observers also note that Marinol was given FDA approval almost 15 years ago and is available by prescription for nausea. Many who look carefully at marijuana say the most striking finding is how safe it is. "There has not been a single recorded death from overdose of marijuana in recorded history," Grinspoon says. "There aren't many drugs you can say that about." The NIH panel agreed, noting that there is no known lethal dose. May be useful in several areas Even if it's safe enough, is there proof marijuana helps patients? It appears to have potential medical usefulness, warranting further study, in several areas, the NIH panel concluded. -- Nausea and vomiting: The majority of reports, the panel concluded, showed that oral THC helped control nausea and vomiting. In one 1988 trial, 78 percent of patients who failed with other drugs rated smoked marijuana effective. The panel said inhaled marijuana's potential in this area "merits testing" in further studies. -- Appetite stimulation and "wasting" syndrome: The panel concluded there is a "strong relationship" between smoking marijuana and appetite, though research didn't prove this was a long-term effect. Weight gain in perilously thin AIDS patients with "wasting" syndrome has been anecdotally associated with oral THC, but there haven't been studies. Marinol was most providers' second choice after another drug; a study now under way at the National Cancer Institute is comparing the two. -- Pain relief: The NIH panel, which didn't consider some recent significant research, concluded it "highly likely" that smoked marijuana helps some kinds of pain. In one study of THC's effects on cancer patients, pain-relief effects of THC and codeine were similar and significant. Smoked marijuana likely allows a more precise dose than oral THC, the panel noted, but a dose big enough to relieve pain might also cause unwanted side effects. -- Spasms and neurological effects: There is good evidence, from clinical trials and anecdote, that marijuana can help control convulsions or spasms, and may have potential in conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and spinal-cord injury, the panel said. -- Glaucoma: Animal studies are conflicting, and effects on human glaucoma have "never been investigated by modern means," the panel noted. While there are other good treatments available, marijuana might help patients who have an incomplete response, the panel said. Intriguing findings In addition, recent research on THC has produced intriguing findings not addressed by the panel. -- Brain injury and stroke: Most amusing to some marijuana activists, recent research suggests that smoking pot may actually protect brain cells from damage. Scientists at the NIH found that two of marijuana's cannabinoids appear to protect brain cells when neurons are deprived of oxygen, as occurs during a stroke. Like most research on marijuana or its components, this wasn't done on human patients, but in a test tube. But researchers have long noted the presence of receptors for cannabinoids in the human brain. -- Marijuana, morphine and pain: Ian Meng's recent study at UC-San Francisco showed that marijuana and morphine, in rats' brains, act on the same neuron circuits. Using a chemical mimic of THC, Meng found that both THC and morphine turn off pain messages. Meng, a post-doctoral student in the department of neurology, says previous research pointed in the same direction. "I don't think there's much doubt now." Of course, the big question is always whether animal studies can be extrapolated to effects on humans. As the debate nears Election Day here and in several other states, more parties have joined the fray. The war on drugs notwithstanding, a number of groups have called for research on marijuana as medicine, including the conservative American Medical Association. Federal policies that prohibit prescribing marijuana, editorialized The New England Journal of Medicine, are "misguided, heavy-handed and inhumane." Morgan, the pharmacology professor, predicts a new day dawning for marijuana. The proof, he claims, is in the profits: Pharmaceutical companies are already scrambling to develop nasal sprays, lozenges, vaporizers, suppositories and skin patches to deliver marijuana's active ingredients to a patient, sans smoke.
------------------------------------------------------------------- With I-692, patients would grow their own (Another Seattle Times article about Initiative 692, the Washington state medical marijuana ballot measure, explains the technical aspects of the proposed legislation.) From: SativaFlo@aol.com Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 22:41:53 EDT To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Patients would grow their own Sender: email@example.com Posted at 07:26 a.m. PDT; Thursday, October 22, 1998 With I-692, patients would grow their own by David Schaefer Seattle Times staff reporter Initiative 692 would allow people suffering from illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, AIDS, epilepsy and glaucoma, as well as nausea related to chemotherapy or other forms of "intractable pain," to use marijuana for relief. With a doctor's recommendation, patients would be allowed to have a 60-day supply. A caregiver could also help with the marijuana, though he or she wouldn't be able to use it or tend more than one patient. The presumption is that a patient and caregiver would grow their own supply. It would continue to be illegal to sell or distribute marijuana, or obtain it through an agency such as Seattle's Green Cross Patient Co-op, which currently supplies marijuana to nearly 400 patients that have HIV/AIDS and other diseases. (Green Cross workers have been arrested in two cases, but not convicted.) Proposed medical-marijuana initiatives this year in other states would give identification cards to qualifying patients, indicating that they could possess the drug legally. Washington's measure just calls for documentation from a doctor. But exactly how these initiatives would work in practice is unclear. None of the proposed state measures can supersede federal prohibitions on possession or sale. When California voters legalized marijuana for medical use a few years ago, they authorized buying clubs where it could be obtained. Federal authorities recently shut down one of the buying clubs. Initiative 692 is much more modest than a proposal rejected by Washington state voters last year. Last year's measure would have allowed the use of a variety of other drugs. It potentially could have caused the release of convicted drug felons from prison, according to one of its principal opponents, King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng. Though he concedes I-692 is more carefully drawn, Maleng said it would still create problems because it would still be a felony for someone who delivered marijuana to a patient. Maleng argues that the appropriate way to legalize marijuana for medical use is at the federal level, through the Food and Drug Administration.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Initiative 692 - Marijuana measure about compassion / Marijuana initiative is seriously flawed (The Daily Olympian, in Olympia, Washington, publishes pro and con articles about the medical marijuana ballot measure facing Washington voters.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "HempTalkNW" (email@example.com) Subject: HT: Olympian PRO/CON on I-692 Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 20:04:25 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Daily Olympian 10/22/98 I-692 PRO/CON * INITIATIVE 692: Marijuana measure about compassion (by Patrick Kelley - Medical marijuana advocate) Patients suffering from cancer or AIDS can find relief by smoking marijuana. I must begin by paying my respects to the medical marijuana activists who have fought so hard over the years to get some form of compassionate use legislation in place in this state and others. Many of them are still living, but some have passed away knowing that others will have to suffer in their place. People such as Corky Hapeman come to mind. Hapeman, a recovering breast cancer patient, almost singlehandedly lobbied the Washington State Legislature to pass House Bill 259, which allowed the medical use of marijuana for cancer and chemotherapy patients in 1979. Even then state Rep. Brad Owen, now the lieutenant governor, voted "yes" on that bill. The study that followed at the University of Washington showed great promise. Yet medical use fell by the wayside in 1981 because federal regulations made it almost impossible to fully implement the program. Hapeman passed away several years ago, but she will never be forgotten. I can't help but think of Ralph Seeley, too. Seeley fought gallantly for the medicine he needed so badly to fight off the effects of chemotherapy used to battle lung and bone cancer - the same diseases that my father had died of years earlier. I remember his pain so clearly. It was an Olympian headline about Seeley that really opened my eyes to this issue. The headline read "Court rejects medical marijuana." The article went on to say that Washington's Supreme Court had ruled 8-1 against allowing Seeley to use medical marijuana in his fight against cancer. One dissenting - vote, that of Justice Richard Sanders, stood out. In his dissent, Sanders wrote, "Words are insufficient to convey the needless suffering which the merciless state has imposed." I feel that those words say it all. Unfortunately Seeley lost his battle with cancer. He passed away in January of this year. Since that day I have been very active in the fight for the compassionate use of medical marijuana, and along that road I have met and worked with many great people - folks such as Sen. Jeanne Kohl, who worked diligently on Senate Bill 6271 this year. That bill would have allowed the compassionate use of medical marijuana for the seriously ill. One cannot forget Dr. Rob Killian. He and his dedicated staff are responsible for Initiative 692. They have worked long and hard to help bring relief to the seriously ill. I would also like to commend Joanna McKee and the folks at Green Cross Patient Co-op for their great work. I know that people might say that there are plenty of drugs on the market that offer relief. Yet I have spoken to many people with serious illnesses. One AIDS patient in Seattle told me that he had taken many drugs to try to relieve his suffering and the wasting syndrome that strikes so many with AIDS. But, he said, "Marijuana is the best medicine in my arsenal." I have met many others with debilitating diseases who have benefited from marijuana's medical use. If the pharmaceutical companies had a monopoly on this natural plant, they would have lobbied for its legalization years ago. Their synthetic alternative "Marinol" has not been proven to be effective in most cases. The question that I must ask is: Can we allow people to suffer needlessly any longer? I don't think so. Anyone who has not lived with severe pain or seen a loved one suffer through a painful life or death has no right to decide the appropriate treatment. When I hear physicians dismiss medical marijuana, I always wonder which oath it was that they took to become doctors in the first place. Finally, law enforcement will argue that the drug problem is already out of control. But let's not get the two issues mixed up. This initiative is about human compassion. I urge the voters of Washington state to pass Initiative 692. It is a well-written initiative and it deserves your support. Patrick Kelly, a state employee from Olympia, is an advocate for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. *** Marijuana initiative is seriously flawed (by Glenn Dunnam - chief of police in the town of Yelm) * INITIATIVE 692: The initiative does not provide for the safe distribution of marijuana for medical patients. In 1997, almost 60 percent of Washingtonians voted against Initiative 685. The backers of Initiative 685 said they would be back and that the voters simply were not "educated about the facts." While the supporters of this year's Initiative 692 claim it is tighter and includes more controls, this year's measure includes many of the same problems as last year's. · 1-692 will allow "patients" to legally possess marijuana without a prescription from a doctor. · 1-692 does not provide for safe distribution of the drugs caregivers or the patients still must buy it off the street. · There is no way to control the potency or quality of the drug. · 1-692 does not provide specific guidelines for the amount of marijuana an individual can legally possess. · 1-692 does not specify for which diseases one can legally possess the drug. It just says "terminally or seriously ill patients." Going beyond the obvious problems in the initiative, there is a larger debate over the medical effectiveness of marijuana. While the proponents cite anecdotal situations in which people felt better after smoking marijuana, the fact of the matter is there is no single piece of evidence stating that marijuana is an effective form of medication. Proponents of Initiative 692 state that the legalization of marijuana is for humanitarian reasons - that marijuana may benefit patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses and appears to be beneficial for other disorders. While the proponents continue to state marijuana may or appears to be beneficial to individuals with certain illnesses, there is no medical proof to substantiate those claims. This is why the Washington State Medical Association has refused to endorse Initiative 692 and will continue to do so until studies are completed regarding its effectiveness and safety as a medicine. Along with the WSMA and its parent organization, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Association, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the National Cancer Institute have taken stands against the validity of the medical use of inhaled marijuana smoke. The use of marijuana by youth across America has risen dramatically over the past two years and why not? We, as adults, will not face the facts and take a stand against a drug that has not been approved by any health or medical association. Nor has there been any research into the long-term effects of "street" marijuana. Over the years, we have legalized alcohol and tobacco, which account for the deaths of more than 500,000 Americans each year. So why not just add another drug to the list. Fact: The potential for fraud, illicit drug sales and other criminal activities is not worth the risk to our communities, neighborhoods and children.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Todd McCormick's Hearing (A list subscriber forwards a message from the mother of the cancer patient and federal medical marijuana defendant, which says a hearing to revoke Todd's $500,000 bail is set for Dec. 14, presumably in Los Angeles.)Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 12:05:14 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Todd McCormick's Hearing I got this from Todd's mom regarding the hearing (yesterday) on his "supposed" positive test. From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ann mccormick) Date: Thu, Oct 22, 1998 Hi Genie, Todd goes back to court Dec.14 for the hearing. love ann She Who Remembers http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7525 http://www.remembers.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland down on its pot luck (An Associated Press account in The Calgary Sun notes the Clinton Administration has forced the closure of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, prompting the California city to declare a state of emergency.) Resent-Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:09:01 -0700 (PDT) Old-Return-Path: (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Oakland down on its pot luck Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:00:34 -0700 Lines: 59 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Calgary Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thursday, October 22, 1998 Oakland down on its pot luck City council declares state of emergency over closure of marijuana club By ASSOCIATED PRESS OAKLAND, Calif. -- City officials have declared a public health emergency over a shortage of marijuana. A 5-4 vote by city council allows officials to develop alternative ways to sell marijuana to about 2,200 patients cut off from the drug by the closure of one of the largest medical marijuana clubs in California. It was shut down Monday by a court order. "We're definitely making history," said Jeff Jones, director of Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Co-operative. "It's another time the city has come out and allowed patients to keep their rights." California law allows use of marijuana for medical purposes under a proposition approved in 1996, but federal law forbids distribution of the substance. Councillor John Russo voted for the measure despite his fear that Oakland "will be portrayed as a place that wants to have a big hippie party." City officials in San Francisco and Berkeley have in the past declared medical emergencies to allow distribution of intravenous needles to drug users to curb the spread of HIV. But no other city has passed a measure to allow use of marijuana for medical reasons. It was not immediately clear what impact the gesture would have. Council members said they would be wary of getting involved in the distribution of marijuana. When U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued an injunction in May barring six Northern California clubs from distributing marijuana, Oakland city officials responded by designating marijuana club officials as city agents, invoking a federal law that protects state and local officers from liability while enforcing drug laws. But Breyer ruled the club was violating the drug law, not enforcing it. A possible alternative would be to designate city property for the harvesting of marijuana by patients with doctor's recommendations, Jones said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Club Closure Spurs Crisis (A brief Associated Press item in The Statesman Journal, in Salem, Oregon, notes the city council in Oakland, California, has declared an emergency in response to the Clinton Administration shutting down the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative.) Date: 26 Oct 98 01:09:53 PST From: Paul Freedom (Paulfreedom@netscape.net) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MARIJUANA CLUB CLOSURE SPURS CRISIS Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org MARIJUANA CLUB CLOSURE SPURS CRISIS The Statesman Journal 10-22-98 the Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif.---- A public health emergency was declared after a federal court closed the city's medical marijuana club, leaving 2.200 patients with no legal source for the drug they say quells the pain of AIDS and cancer. Tuesday night's 5-4 City Council vote allows officials to develop other means of selling marijuana to people who can no longer get the drug at the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter from Dave Herrick (A list subscriber forwards a letter from the medical marijuana patient and former deputy sheriff in San Bernardino County, California, who just marked his 17th month in prison after being denied the ability to invoke Proposition 215 at his sham trial.)Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 23:23:39 -0700 To: email@example.com From: "Tom O'Connell" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: Letter from Dave Herrick Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Most of the people reading this list will recall that David Herrick is an ex-deputy sheriff (San Bernadino Co, I think), who was arrested on an obscene "sting" for the 'crime" of working (with Marvin Chavez) to distribute medical marijuana to members of a cannabis buyers' club in Orange County. He was tried last June after being held in a county jail for over a year. His trial (as a dealer) was a travesty in which the jury was never told that the case involved medical use of marijuana, or anything about 215, because the trial judge (Fasel) granted the motion of an obviously biased and hostile DA (Armbrust). David was sentenced to the maximum possible (4 years in state prison) for a first offender with less than 4 ounces in his possession at the time of arrest (three ounces were segregated in separate bags with the names of registered patients clearly marked, facts the jury never heard). He also had a valid Drs recommendation for the personal mj (less than an ounce) in his possession. Since sentencing, David has been held at a "reception center" at Wasco State Prison, where he is locked in a cell most of the day without exercise or even day-room priveleges. He is awaiting transfer to a more permanent location (CMC- I forget what those letters stand for). We've been corresponding since August. David has given me permission to pass his comments on to the list, at my discretion. This is an entire letter which I just received. For my money, he is a hero and deserves all the support we can give him. His address is: David herrick P 06857 B-5-B-229U PO Box 5500 Wasco, CA 93280-5500 If you write to him, it helps to send stamps and envelopes if you want return mail. For some unexplained reason, mailing labels are verboten - your letter will be returned. Tom O'Connell *** Letter from David Herrick: 10/19/98 Dear Tom, I received your letter today and could not wait to respond to the news that Amnesty International is focusing on the US. It's about time! And I thought I would never see it in my lifetime, to be sure. Today, I watched them remove the body of an inmate who died in his cell. According to the "gossip," he died from renal failure-since he was nothing more than a "hype,' no great loss to society; so with his feet bound together, his hands bound across his chest and no cover over him, he is wheeled out for the whole "yard" to see. Another victim of the "war on drugs," another dehumanizing experience. Forget that he was someone, perhaps a father, a husband. Just another "body" less to watch until he is replaces by the next one, which should be quite soon! I celebrated my 17th month in custody on the 18th of this month, and my son celebrated his 17th birthday on the 6th. So I'm rather depressed, but not to the point of feeling sorry for myself. I have to keep reminding myself that this is all worthwhile, and that the need to prevail exceeds the need to stay with the status quo. The way this country has destroyed our basic human rights is deplorable; I cannot wait to see the FBI investigation of Corcoran State Prison, and of course, I'll be anxious to hear about AI's report. We still get no news, per se, in reception, and according to my counsellor, I can go to the CMC anywhere from 2 to 3 wks from Wed. the 14th. It is supposed to be a lot less restrictive on news, organizations, etc. We shall see!! I'm in touch with a lady from November Coalition who is going to Key West Fla, (my birthplace) to testify on behalf of an AIDS patient who runs the Key West Cannabis club and also is aware, first hand, about Corcoran, since she has been corresponding with an inmate there. So I get tidbits of news from her letters, but not as much as I get from you (so keep up the "good work!!") November Coalition is a prisoner rights organization, and I'm certain she will be pleased to hear about AI and the US. I mean really- when the government's own "stats" say that they are #1 of the top 5 industrialized nations in incarceration, and that the most prisoners are found in California, and that the #1 business in California, what does that tell you? Either we have a tremendous crime problem, or a hell of a lot of repeat offenders. I believe it's the parole and probation systems. Parole does not require any "evidence" to revoke your parole. If someone contacts your P.O. (parole officer) and says "I saw so-and-so, or I heard so-and-so was doing this or that, bingo, you're busted and sent back to state prison. The preponderance of the evidence is all that's needed to violate; so any police contact, associations wirh known felons or "home boys", etc, or a "dirty" urine test, absconding, failure to report, etc, can be grounds to violate. Inmates in custody equal money; discharges mean no more "control," Thanks to Wilson, no rehab, no schools, no job placement, no "benefits," no nothing except punishment. You are in prison, you violated the law, therefore, you have nothing coming. Forget the fact that you may have been set up, that you received inadequate legal representation, or that the evidence was planted, or the cop lied, or the jury was denied hearing all the evidence, and on & on & on. I know from first hand experience, and I wish AI would speak with me! I could tell stories that would make their hair stand on end! I'm glad my case is in the appellate court. Maybe now I may get a shot at justice, but I'm not going to hold my breath. If I mind my Ps & Qs, April or May of '99 looks like my out date. I can see light at the end of a very dark tunnel. From here, who knows what or where, but I will never stop being an activist- never. The B.S. has got to stop! It has to!! I like your format, so keep up the good work and I'll talk at you later; my pencil is shot and my hand is cramping. PS vent anytime you feel like it, I love to hear about the outside, regardless of the news or the story. Dave
------------------------------------------------------------------- Say No Once Again To Legalized Marijuana (An op-ed in The Anchorage Times by Lynda Adams of Alaskans for a Drug-Free Youth urges voters to just say "no" to Ballot Measure 8, allowing marijuana to be used as medicine.) Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 23:25:37 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AK: OPED: MMJ: Say No Once Again To Legalized Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: ERIC E. SKIDMORE Author: Lynda Adams Pubdate: Thur, 22 Oct 1998 Source: The Anchorage Times (AK) Contact: AnchTimes@corecom.net SAY NO ONCE AGAIN TO LEGALIZED MARIJUANA KETCHIKAN -- Ballot Measure No. 8, a bill allowing the medical use of marijuana, was devised by the pro-drug lobby as an attempt to open the door for the use of marijuana by children and adults -- at schools, in the workplace, as well as in the privacy of their homes. This ballot measure is portrayed as a "compassionate use" issue to gain voter sympathy. But the initiative is not about compassion for sick and dying patients. Proposition 8 is nothing more than a clever ruse designed to legalize marijuana use in Alaska. This year, marijuana advocates targeted our state along with Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia because it costs less to get ballot measures passed in these states and in the district. The state initiatives are patterned after ones passed in California and Arizona in 1996. A National Household Survey shows that one year after those states passed a medical use of marijuana initiative, the perception of risk of using the illegal drug was lower and illicit drug use was higher in both states than in the rest of the nation. As of Sept. 30, the non-Alaska group, Americans for Medical Rights in California, had contributed more than $125,000 to influence the outcome of Alaska's election. This agenda of this California pro-pot group has nothing to do with the welfare of Alaska's children, families or businesses. Schedule 1 drugs (such as opium and codeine) have a high potential for abuse. To become a medicine, any substance, including Schedule 1 drugs, must undergo rigorous scientific testing. Without such testing, the Food and Drug Administration cannot approve a substance as a safe and effective medicine. Without FDA approval, doctors may not prescribe a substance, and pharmacies may not sell it. Asking voters, instead of scientists and doctors, to approve a drug as a safe and effective medicine is an attempt to bypass the FDA approval process that has protected Americans for nearly a century. Proposition 8 is loosely worded so that almost any condition could create the pain, nausea and muscle spasms for which a doctor could recommend marijuana use. The use of marijuana would not require a prescription from a doctor. A recommendation that marijuana "might" help is all that is required. All symptoms and conditions listed in the ballot initiative are currently treated with scientifically approved drugs -- including Marinol, which is derived from the active ingredient (THC) in marijuana. Marinol is currently available as a prescription drug. There is no need for "medical' Marijuana. Alaska produces marijuana with the highest THC potency (29.68 percent) in the nation. Ballot Measure No. 8 will provide no control over the potency of the marijuana nor the dosage used. A person would be allowed to possess an ounce of marijuana (equivalent to nearly 100 rolled joints) and would be allowed to personally grow up to six plants. Under the proposition, marijuana would be available to minors with parental consent. Increased accessibility to pot by children is guaranteed. From 1975 when marijuana was decriminalized in Alaska until 1990, our youth were using marijuana at twice the rate of other youngsters across the nation. Legalization efforts, including those that insist that illicit drugs are medicines, appear to be contributing to the erosion in young people's belief that drugs are harmful and to stimulating their increased use. If this initiative passes, it will seriously undermine all drug prevention work with Alaska's youth. Ballot Measure No. 8: *Eliminates effective law enforcement. *Allows prison inmates who have a medical condition to use marijuana. *Would not prohibit marijuana use in the workplace, thus having a devasting effect on drug-free workplace policies. *Would eliminate effective drug testing policies in the workplace The American Medical Association and the American Cancer society have rejected marijuana as "medicine" and denounced it as harmful. There are no prescribe medications today that are ingested by smoking. Alaskans said No to marijuana at the polls in 1989. Alaskans must say NO again. No legal marijuana. Not now. Not ever. It is in the best interest of all Alaskans that voters reject Ballot Measure No. 8. (Lynda Adams is founder and retired executive director of Alaskans for a Drug-Free Youth.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Say No Again To Legalized Marijuana (Same letter, same drug warrior, in The Anchorage Daily News) Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 18:13:15 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AK: OPED: MMJ: Say NO Again To Legalized Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.adn.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Anchorage Daily News Author: Linda Adams Pubdate: Thursday, 22 Oct 1998 Note: Lynda Adams is founder and retired executive director of Alaskans for a Drug-Free Youth. SAY NO AGAIN TO LEGALIZED MARIJUANA KETCHIKAN - Ballot Measure No. 8, a bill allowing the medical use of marijuana, was devised by the pro-drug lobby as an attempt to open the door for the use of marijuana by children and adults - at schools, in the workplace, as well as in the privacy of their homes. This ballot measure is portrayed as a "compassionate use" issue to gain voter sympathy. But the initiative is not about compassion for sick and dying patients. Proposition 8 is nothing more than a clever ruse designed to legalize marijuana use in Alaska. This year, marijuana advocates targeted our state along with Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia because it costs less to get ballot measures passed in these states and in the district. The state initiatives are patterned after ones passed in California and Arizona in 1996. A National Household Survey shows that one year after those states passed a medical use of marijuana initiative, the perception of risk of using the illegal drug was lower and illicit drug use was higher in both states than in the rest of the nation. As of Sept. 30, the non-Alaska group, Americans for Medical Rights in California, had contributed more than $125,000 to influence the outcome of Alaska's election. This agenda of this California pro-pot group has nothing to do with the welfare of Alaska's children, families or businesses. Schedule 1 drugs (such as opium and codeine) have a high potential for abuse. To become a medicine, any substance, including Schedule 1 drugs, must undergo rigorous scientific testing. Without such testing, the Food and Drug Administration cannot approve a substance as a safe and effective medicine. Without FDA approval, doctors may not prescribe a substance, and pharmacies may not sell it. Asking voters, instead of scientists and doctors, to approve a drug as a safe and effective medicine is an attempt to bypass the FDA approval process that has protected Americans for nearly a century. Proposition 8 is loosely worded so that almost any condition could create the pain, nausea and muscle spasms for which a doctor could recommend marijuana use. The use of marijuana would not require a prescription from a doctor. A recommendation that marijuana "might" help is all that is required. All symptoms and conditions listed in the ballot initiative are currently treated with scientifically approved drugs - including Marinol, which is derived from the active ingredient (THC) in marijuana. Marinol is currently available as a prescription drug. There is no need for "medical" marijuana. Alaska produces marijuana with the highest THC potency (29.86 percent) in the nation. Ballot Measure No. 8 will provide no control over the potency of the marijuana nor the dosage used. A person would be allowed to possess an ounce of marijuana (equivalent to nearly 100 rolled joints) and would be allowed to personally grow up to six plants. Under the proposition, marijuana would be available to minors with parental consent. Increased accessibility to pot by children is guaranteed. From 1975 when marijuana was decriminalized in Alaska until 1990, our youth were using marijuana at twice the rate of other youngsters across the nation. Legalization efforts, including those that insist that illicit drugs are medicines, appear to be contributing to the erosion in young people's belief that drugs are harmful and to stimulating their increased use. If this initiative passes, it will seriously undermine all drug prevention work with Alaska's youth. Ballot Measure No. 8: * Eliminates effective law enforcement. * Allows prison inmates who have a medical condition to use marijuana. * Would not prohibit marijuana use in the workplace, thus having a devastating effect on drug-free workplace policies. * Would eliminate effective drug testing policies in the workplace. The American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have rejected marijuana as "medicine" and denounced it as harmful. There are no prescribed medications today that are ingested by smoking. Alaskans said NO to marijuana at the polls in 1989. Alaskans must say NO again. No legal marijuana. Not now. Not ever. It is in the best interest of all Alaskans that voters reject Ballot Measure No. 8.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Group funded pot measure near end (The Rocky Mountain News says Americans For Medical Rights paid $250,000 in bills and $32,000 in cash to the campaign promoting a medical marijuana initiative in Colorado during the three weeks before the measure was ruled invalid, bringing the group's total donations in Colorado to $612,000.) Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 22:28:24 -0600 (MDT) From: ammo (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: US CO: Group funded pot measure near end Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com October 22, 1998 Rocky Mountain News Group funded pot measure near end By Burt Hubbard Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer A California group continued to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into an initiative to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes days before it was thrown off the ballot. Americans for Medical Rights, based in Santa Monica, gave $283,000 more to Coloradans for Medical Rights, backers of the initiative, for the three weeks ended Oct. 14, according to the latest campaign filing. That brings the group's donations to $612,000. Secretary of State Vikki Buckley ruled last week that the measure didn't have enough valid signatures. Votes for it will not be counted Nov 3. Buckley ruled in August that the measure didn't have enough signatures. But a Denver judge ordered it on the ballot. Then, the state Supreme Court ordered a line-by-line signature count. In its latest filing, the California group gave $32,000 in cash to the measure and paid bills totalling $250,000. *** Denver Post 1560 Broadway Denver, CO 80202 Phone: (303) 820-1010 Fax: (303) 820-1369 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.denverpost.com *** Re-distributed by: Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis P.O. Box 729 Nederland, CO 80466 Phone: (303) 448-5640 Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Measures Changed (An Associated Press roundup about the reform ballot measures in five states and the District of Columbia suggests the conservative language in the initiatives sponsored by Americans for Medical Rights is confounding the opposition.) From: LawBerger@aol.com Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 15:33:18 EDT To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFOR: Fwd: Medical Marijuana Measures Changed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ From: AOLNews@aol.com Subject: Medical Marijuana Measures Changed Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 15:19:56 EDT Medical Marijuana Measures Changed .c The Associated Press By PAUL QUEARY JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- When Alaskans voted to end more than a decade of legal marijuana smoking in 1990, the question was so hotly contested that pot got more votes than the man elected governor. Eight years later, Alaskans -- along with voters in Nevada, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia -- will decide whether to make the drug legal again, but only for persons suffering from one of a short list of specific ailments. Similar measures appear on ballots in Arizona and Colorado, but Colorado's initiative has been declared invalid for lack of approved petition signatures. Advocates hope the initiatives' narrow focus on medical applications will appeal to voter compassion and evoke images of solace, of pain eased, of appetite restored and body-wracking nausea quieted. Opponents, however, raise fears that the measures are just a wedge to loosen the nation's drug laws. ``I think that this is despicable, that they're using the sick and the dying to get their foot in the door to legalize drugs,'' said Marie Majewske, who campaigned to recriminalize marijuana in Alaska after a state Supreme Court ruling had made it legal for 15 years. Passage ``would be a dangerous step backward in the fight against crime in our nation's cities,'' said District of Columbia Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. Ramsey is president of the Major City Chiefs Association, an organization of the chiefs of police in the 52 largest cities in the United States and Canada. The association voted Monday to oppose the marijuana ballot initiatives. Criticism that the laws were too vague or that medical use would open the door to open use of pot, LSD and heroin helped sink or stall earlier legalization efforts, and advocates this year have taken care to fine-tune the proposals. The new proposals spell out specific ailments that warrant use of marijuana. Three measures -- in Alaska, Oregon and Nevada -- would establish state registries of patients entitled to use it. In Alaska and Oregon, patients could get identification cards to ward off arrest. The laws would require patients to get a doctor's recommendation that marijuana will help one or more of a list of illnesses that includes cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain, seizures and muscle spasms. ``I'm not a refugee from the hemp fest,'' said Dr. Richard Bayer, an internist who sponsored the Oregon initiative. ``This would help patients and this would help doctors who want to help patients.'' California voters approved the cultivation and use of medicinal marijuana in 1996, but the U.S. Justice Department and state Attorney General Dan Lungren have successfully limited the law's effects by persuading judges to close most of the clubs where patients bought their pot. The latest to be shuttered is a 2,200-member club in Oakland, where the City Council last week declared a public-health emergency and said it would find some other way to distribute pot to the ailing. An Arizona measure to legalize marijuana and 115 other drugs for medical use passed in 1996 but was thwarted the following year when legislators barred doctors from prescribing the drugs without federal approval. A measure on the Nov. 3 ballot backs the Legislature's bill. If it fails, the initiative Arizonans passed two years ago would take effect. And last year, 60 percent of Washington voters defeated an initiative that would have legalized a variety of drugs for medical use after opponents raised the specter of legalized heroin. This time around, opponents say the safeguards written into the 1998 initiatives are still insufficient. They note the measures would keep police from seizing or destroying marijuana and growing equipment until users have a chance to prove they had it legally. ``I think it was intentionally designed, and designed well, to thwart any kind of police intervention,'' said Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle, an opponent of Oregon's measure. Opponents also protest the funding behind most of the initiative campaigns. Three wealthy donors -- philanthropist George Soros of New York, insurance tycoon Peter Lewis of Cleveland and John Sperling, founder of the University of Phoenix -- have poured more than $1.6 million into campaigns coordinated by Americans for Medical Rights, the group behind California's successful ballot initiative in 1996. The group, based in Los Angeles, is assisting all of the campaigns except for those in Arizona and the District of Columbia. ``My question would be: Who's funding this effort, is it outside interests?'' Majewske said. ``I can't believe the people of this state would be essentially bullied into thinking that this was good policy.'' Recent polls in Alaska, Oregon and Washington show most voters support the measures; Nevada appears to be a close call. The Arizona initiative that would back legislative dismantling of legalization seems to be trailing. AP-NY-10-22-98 1519EDT 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Good news - medical marijuana class action lawsuit (A fascinating bulletin from a publicist for Philadelphia public interest attorney Lawrence Elliott Hirsch summarizes the first hearing on Hirsch's federal class action lawsuit on behalf of medical marijuana patients. The judge not only rejected the government's motion for dismissal, he proposed a settlement under which the government would enroll the 166 plaintiffs in the now-closed federal Compassionate Investigational New Drug program and provide them 300 joints a month.) From: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 22:01:46 -0700 (PDT) To: NTList@fornits.com Subject: [ntlist] GOOD NEWS- Medmj Class action lawsuit. Reply-To: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 21:21:36 -0700 To: "Chuck's List" (email@example.com) From: "Charles P. Conrad" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: GOOD NEWS- Medmj Class action lawsuit. Interim Report from Larry Hirsch: This is from the first hearing on the medical marijuana class action lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in July in Federal District Court in Philly. The feds sought to have the case dismissed using the argument that since the feds had the right to make drug law under the interstate commerce law, the case was without merit. The judge denied this. At the hearing the judge asked the government attorneys to confirm that 8 medical patients were being furnished with marijuana under a federal program. The attorneys did confirm the fact. The judge then asked them how fair it would be if only eight Americans had access to morphine. Larry says the feds were thunderstruck by the question. The judge then proposed the following settlement to the suit...The government would enroll the plaintiffs in the federal compassionate use program and provide them 300 joints a month, and the plaintiffs would settle their claims for acceptance into the program. If the federal attorneys were thunderstruck by the morphine comment, they were levelled by the judges proposed settlement. Larry Hirsch will be contacting the 166 plaintiffs to see if they are willing to settle under such an agreement. The government attorneys were directed to see if the feds would agree to such a settlement. There will be a complete report on the hearing posted by next week on the website with all the proper legalese. Distribution will be made by email to all appropriate lists. I know, I know, the feds are most unlikely to consider this proposed settlement, but what a great start to this court action. This is a very short version of all that happened at the hearing. Just consider what it might all mean. This was a good day for medical marijuana. *** Arthur R Sobey Communications Director email@example.com THE ACTION CLASS FOR FREEDOM OF THERAPEUTIC CANNABIS Lawrence Elliott Hirsch 1735 Market Street Suite A-414 Philadelphia, PA 19103 215 496 9530 Fax 215 496 9532 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fairlaw.org/coverpage.html "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Class Action Lawsuit (A list subscriber forwards a first-person account by Philadelphia attorney Lawrence Elliott Hirsch about the surprisingly favorable developments in his constitutional challenge to the US prohibition on medical marijuana.) From: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 11:57:17 -0800 (PST) To: NTList@Fornits.com Subject: [ntlist] MMJ Class Action Suit Reply-To: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) From: email@example.com Date: Tue, Oct 27, 1998, 11:43pm To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: FW: I'm not too sure if this is for public consumption, but I just received this email from one of the 169 members of the class action suit........... David Mercer email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Moderator for the Glaucoma mailing list http://come.to/glaucoma -----Original Message----- Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 1998 11:14 PM This appeared in my inbox early this AM. God Bless Judge Marvin Katz. May he continue to rule with compassion. *** Status Report: Class Action Class for Freedom of Therapeutic Cannabis The first step in the judicial proceedings in the Action Class for Freedom from Government Prohibition of Therapeutic Cannabis took place on October 21, 1998. In his chambers, the presiding judge, the honorable Marvin Katz, conducted the initial Pretrial Conference requiring attendance by trial counsel for the parties, prepared and authorized to discuss all legal issues, trial matters and settlement. The brief procedural background of the litigation is as follows: 165 plaintiffs from all over the United States filed a class action seeking a judicial declaration that the federal drug laws prohibiting marijuana are scientifically and legally arbitrary, unjustified, and clearly unconstitutional. The defendant, United States of America filed a motion to dismiss the class action contending Congress is empowered to legislate drugs on a federal level and arbitrarily classify and criminalize any substance anyway that they choose. In other words Congress is not only federal lawmaker, but also government physician with respect to cannabis, a natural, non-toxic plant, which has been accepted and used as a versatile and effective healing agent globally throughout recorded history. The government also complained that the Class Action Complaint, as originally pleaded was too long and created a burden on the government to answer. Plaintiffs then, asked the court for leave to amend the Complaint making it briefer in sections, and redrafting and restyling the constitutional arguments, to ensure clarity and precision in the delineation of the constitutional issues. Although leave to amend is freely and liberally granted throughout the entire federal judicial system, the government filed formal written opposition to plaintiffs' request for leave to amend. At the beginning of the conference, Judge Katz inquired concerning the fundamental argument propounded by plaintiffs that there is no equal protection of the law for all citizens if only eight sick people are supplied cannabis by the government and the rest who might be eligible to receive legal status do not. After hearing brief position statements from the parties, Judge Katz raised the possibility of settling the class action litigation. Addressing the settlement issue, Judge Katz requested the parties to consider and respond to a settlement which is founded on the following principles: The government would supply marijuana to each medically certified class action plaintiff as the government now supplies the eight legal recipients. The surviving eight receive a monthly supply of 300 pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes, aka joints. The marijuana which is supplied, has been grown and exclusively controlled by the federal government on farmland in Oxford, Mississippi for more than 20 years. There would be research studies conducted on this group of new recipients. In consideration, the plaintiffs would agree to settle, discontinue, and end the instant class action litigation. At the end of the conference, Judge Katz reiterated the settlement framework again, requesting responses to the settlement principles from the appropriate government decision makers, and of course each plaintiff class representative. As to pending legal and scheduling issues: The court denied the governments opposition to plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint. The court asked the parties to work out the details in a stipulation which recites that the amended complaint will be filed in 20 days (from 10/21/98) and that the government would again have 60 days to move, answer or otherwise plead to the Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs' counsel stated that he would either include in the amended complaint, or separately and simultaneously file a motion for summary judgment in favor of the class and against the federal government to complement and supplement the declaratory judgment and injunctive relief previously pleaded in the Class Action Civil Complaint. The stipulation relating to scheduling will also provide that the government has 60 days to file opposition to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. The court made it clear that before any judicial decisions were made, the parties would have an opportunity to place their respective positions and evidence on the record of this judicial proceeding. Lead plaintiff Kiyoshi Kuromiya, plaintiff #143 Elise Segal and Joan Bello in her capacity as paralegal attended and participated at the conference with trial counsel Larry Hirsch. Kiyoshi was asked for his observations on the settlement concept and whether this approach was a breakthrough. Kiyoshi's response follows: "I understood Judge Katz to say that he did not understand why the HHS terminated the compassionate use program in 1992. The lawyer for the government was not able to give any information at all on this and seemed in the judge's view not to have done her homework. The DEA official gave some vague and complicated explanation that the compassionate use program was to fulfill some obligations that resulted from a lawsuit. The Judge first asked if the government would consider settling with the action class by extending the already existing compassionate use program to these new applicants presumably based on their appeal for "equal protection." The government lawyer was adamant that that was unacceptable to the government and would be costly to implement and monitor. The judge did not appear to be swayed by the expense argument. He sent the lawyer back to Washington to get further information on the compassionate use program and why it was terminated and why it should not be extended. He also declined the government's petition to dismiss the class action suit. He also instructed the government lawyer to get more information on current research, the comparison between FDA-licensed Marinol and smokeable marijuana, and the possibility of running some research as part of the compassionate use program. He then asked the class action to poll its members as to the acceptability of a settlement that would add them to the compassionate use protocol. The sense of the class members in the room was that this might be acceptable since it would open the door immediately for the individuals suffering damages here and now and in the future for additional members of the class to be added to an expanded rather than a downsized compassionate use program." [KK] The breakthrough is the fact that this is the first time that the Judicial branch has intervened in the equal protection aspect of the termination of the federally sponsored compassionate use program for cannabis. There are members of the class who applied for admission into the program in 1992 but were declined without just cause. In one fell swoop, it collapses the government argument that marijuana has been shown by anyone not to be effective in the conditions that were part of the compassionate use program as it existed in 1992. McCaffrey's statements about the unproven value of cannabis are put on hold, because compassionate use programs can be instituted for experimental drugs prior to peer-reviewed research and licensure that is the very purpose of such compassionate use programs. That is why an individual can get an unlicensed drug, for individual use, shipped from abroad when it is unavailable in this country."[KK] Lawrence Elliott Hirsch, Trial Counsel for Plaintiffs Hirsch & Caplan Public Interest Law Firm 215 496 9530 Fax: 215 496 9532 Email: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno - Science, not ballots on marijuana (United Press International notes US Attorney General Janet Reno at her weekly news conference today continued to refuse to carry out her responsibility to arrest and prosecute government officials who have lied about the government's own research into marijuana, and instead lied herself, claiming her Justice Department was encouraging research into medical marijuana and that "There is no present scientific support for the medical use of marijuana.") Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 07:29:03 GMT To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) Subject: UPI: AG Reno opposes initiatives on medmj Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com UPI, Thursday, October 22, 1998 Reno: Science, not ballots on marijuana WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Attorney General Janet Reno says voters should let science, not the ballot box determine whether marijuana should be used for medical purposes. Despite current Justice Department opposition, five states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana initiatives on their November ballots. At her weekly news conference today, Reno said the department was encouraging research into the issue, but, "There is no present scientific support for the medical use of marijuana." Besides the District of Columbia, voters will face the issue on ballots in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Washington state and Oregon. Voters in Alaska, Nevada, Washington and the District of Columbia can decide whether marijuana should be legal for medical use, while Oregonians can vote for tougher penalties for possession of the drug. The measure on the Arizona ballot not only concerns medical use marijuana and other illegal drugs, but also reduces penalties for general possession of pot. California already has a medical marijuana law, and a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department not to prosecute state doctors who recommend its use. However, the department is fighting the injunction in court. Reno said, "I don't think" the use of marijuana as a medicine "should be made at the ballot box." Justice Department officials said a report on marijuana's usefulness was expected early next year. The officials acknowledged that there was anecdotal evidence of marijuana's usefulness in combating various "wasting" diseases, glaucoma and the nausea and lack of appetite associated with chemotherapy. But Reno and the other officials said any official sanction for medical marijuana use must await hard scientific fact. The possession or distribution of marijuana is still a federal and state crime.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Report - 1.4 million black men cannot vote because of felony convictions (The Associated Press says a new report released Thursday by Human Rights Watch and The Sentencing Project concludes that 13 percent of African-American men cannot vote in this year's elections. Nationwide, 3.9 million people - one of every 50 adults - are temporarily or permanently disenfranchised because of a felony conviction.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "News" (email@example.com), "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Many black men cannot vote because of felony convictions Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 19:28:01 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Report: 1.4 million black men cannot vote because of felony convictions The Associated Press 10/22/98 5:48 PM Eastern WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirteen percent of black men cannot vote in this year's elections because they are convicted felons, a report released Thursday said. Some of those 1.4 million black men are in prison, but others are on probation or parole or have served their sentences, the report by Human Rights Watch and The Sentencing Project concluded. Nationwide, 3.9 million people -- or one in 50 adults -- are temporarily or permanently disenfranchised because of a felony conviction, the research and advocacy groups concluded. Their state-by-state survey of voting laws for felons shows the greatest percentages of disenfranchised black men are in Alabama and Florida, where one in three cannot vote. Laws on voting rights for criminals differ among the states. All but four - Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Utah - bar prisoners from voting. Other states suspend voting rights until a felon has completed probation or parole. Fourteen states take away some or all felons' voting rights permanently: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. In Texas, voting rights are suspended for two years after a sentence is completed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Might Enlist Fungi In Drug War (According to USA Today, US Representative Bill McCollum confirmed Wednesday that US researchers are using genetic engineering to create strains of fungi that will destroy opium poppies, coca plants and cannabis, and will receive $23 million to continue research as part of the $500 billion spending bill approved 65-29 Wednesday in the Senate and signed by President Clinton.) Source: USA Today (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Copyright: 1998 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Author: Gary Fields, USA TODAY Pubdate: Thur, 22 Oct 1998 U.S. MIGHT ENLIST FUNGI IN DRUG WAR WASHINGTON - U.S. researchers are using genetic engineering to create strains of fungi that will destroy opium poppies and coca plants, Rep. Bill McCollum confirmed Wednesday. They'll receive $23 million to continue research as part of the $500 billion spending bill approved Wednesday in the Senate and signed by President Clinton. The vote was 65-29. McCollum, R-Fla., who co-wrote the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act, said the research on the coca and poppy fungi is in the advanced stages. It is expected to be finished in about a year. ''This is something on the cusp of being successful,'' McCollum said. The two plants being targeted are processed into highly addictive drugs: Opium poppies into heroin and coca plants into cocaine. The money also will allow research to begin on a fungus that could be used to eliminate marijuana plants. If successful, the Department of Agriculture's research could dramatically alter eradication efforts. The fungi would kill plants and prevent new ones. Currently, anti-drug forces cut down plants and burn fields as one of the primary eradication methods. The United States would need permission from other countries to use the fungi, but McCollum said the concept has support from Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. X.B. Yang, a plant pathologist at Iowa State University who works on creating biological ways of controlling weeds, says certain fungi only attack specific plants. He says researchers look for the most aggressive, toxic fungi to attack menacing plants. They also seek fungi that can be reproduced industrially. ''It is definitely a silver bullet in the drug war,'' he says. Researchers are concerned, however, that land treated with the fungi would be poisoned. Charles Mazza, a horticulturist at Cornell University, says research projects such as the eradication project take years. If a project is rushed, ''all kinds of things can happen.'' ''One year a fungus might be promising, and the next year it might leap over into a corn field. That's why you do research for years. It has to be tested every step of the way.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Congress Approves $2.7 Billion For Drug War (According to The Los Angeles Times, Congress targeted South American drug traffickers, saying the United States must crack down on foreign sources rather than internal demand if it wants to stop Americans from taking illegal drugs. The legislation also claims the Clinton administration has lowered its guard on the narcotics front.) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:38:39 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: U.S. Congress Approves $2.7 Billion For Drug War 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/ Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times. Fax: 213-237-4712 Pubdate: 21 Oct 1998 Author: Anthony Boadle, Reuters U.S. CONGRESS APPROVES $2.7 BILLION FOR DRUG WAR WASHINGTON--U.S. Congress gave a $2.69 billion shot in the arm to the fight against Latin American drug traffickers Wednesday, saying the Clinton administration had lowered its guard on the narcotics front. The money will go to buy planes, boats, radars and guns needed by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Customs Service and Colombian police to stop South American cocaine and heroin from reaching U.S. streets. The Senate approved the additional anti-drug funding over the next three years as part of the massive omnibus spending package signed into law by President Clinton. The Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act, authored by Republican Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio, beefs up international police action, reversing a 1990s trend towards spending more on domestic drug enforcement. The new legislation says the United States has to crack down on foreign sources rather than internal demand if it wants to stop Americans taking illegal drugs. "This law is a major step toward keeping drugs out of our country," said DeWine. "It will mean more planes in the air, more ships at sea and less drugs on the streets of our neighborhoods." "We're back in the business of putting the drug lords out of business," he said. The drug measure will, in particular, bolster Colombia's national police with new helicopters and equipment to confront leftist guerrillas allegedly allied with drug cartels. The law earmarks $201 million over the next three fiscal years to buy the Colombian police six powerful Blackhawk helicopters needed to reach high-altitude poppy plantations. It also provides for the upgrade of 50 UH-1H Huey helicopters into Super Huey gunships, the purchase of DC-3 transport planes and the rebuilding of an antidrug base destroyed by guerrillas in southern Colombia. The measure warns Colombia that U.S. drug assistance will be cut off if newly-elected President Andres Pastrana's plans to make peace with the guerrillas interfere with drug eradication operations. Pastrana's peace plan involves demilitarizing parts of the country. The law, however, allows Clinton to keep the aid flowing to Colombia for 90 days if he finds that it is vital for U.S. national interests there. Congress decided to add $180 million over three years for alternative agricultural development programs aimed at weaning peasants off drug crops in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. It authorized $69 million for U.S. agricultural research aimed at developing "environmentally-approved" herbicides to kill drug crops. Other major spending items are: $454.5 million for Coast Guard interdiction operations; $630 million for new Coast Guard patrol boats, planes and sensor and communications equipment; and $886.5 million for 20 new P-3 surveillance planes for the Customs Service. Another $36 million will go to improving the Coast Guards and port controls of Central American nations through 2001. Mexico gets $6 million to train its judges, prosecutors and police in skills needed to wage the drug war.
------------------------------------------------------------------- CIA's Trail Leads Back To Its Own Door (The Los Angeles Times doesn't come right out and say so, but after years of finding fault with The San Jose Mercury News' "Dark Alliance" series exposing the CIA-Cocaine-Contra scandal, the Times mostly reverses itself and agrees its competitor was pretty much correct, saying the report issued by CIA Inspector General Hitz a few weeks ago is the richest in devastating disclosures. It sets forth CIA cable traffic showing that as early as the summer of 1981, the agency knew that the Contra leadership "had decided to engage in drug trafficking to the United States to raise funds for its activities." Hitz confirms that the CIA knew that Ilopongo Air Force Base in El Salvador was an arms-for-drugs Contra transshipment point and shows that from the very start of the US war on Nicaragua, the CIA knew that the contras were planning to traffic in cocaine in the US. It did nothing to stop the traffic and, when other government agencies began to probe, the CIA impeded their investigations. When Contra money-raisers were arrested, the agency came to their aid and retrieved their drug money from the police. So, was the agency complicit in drug trafficking into Los Angeles and other cities? It is impossible to read Hitz's report and not conclude that this was the case.) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 20:50:11 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: CIA's Trail Leads Back To Its Own Door Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Thu, Oct 22 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Alexander Cockburn CIA'S TRAIL LEADS BACK TO ITS OWN DOOR Inspector General Says Agency Knew Of And Officially Shut Eyes To Drug Trafficking. Just under two years ago, John Deutch, at that time director of the CIA, traveled to a town meeting in South-Central Los Angeles to confront a community outraged by charges that the agency had been complicit in the importing of cocaine into California in the 1980s. Amid heated exchanges, Deutch publicly pledged an internal investigation by the CIA's inspector general that would leave no stone unturned. It is now possible to review, albeit in substantially censored form, the results of that probe. At the start of this year, inspector general Fred Hitz released a volume specifically addressing charges made in 1996 in the San Jose Mercury News. Earlier this month, Hitz made available for public scrutiny a second report addressing broader allegations about drug running by Nicaraguan contras. That first volume released 10 months ago was replete with damaging admissions. Two examples: The report describes a cable from the CIA's directorate of operations dated Oct. 22, 1982, describing a prospective meeting between Contra leaders in Costa Rica for "an exchange in [the U.S.] of narcotics for arms." But the CIA's director of operations instructed the agency's field office not to look into this imminent arms-for-drugs transaction "in light of the apparent involvement of U.S. persons throughout." In other words, the CIA knew that Contra leaders were scheduling a drugs-for-arms exchange and the agency was prepared to let the deal proceed. In 1984, the inspector general discloses, the CIA intervened with the U.S. Justice Department to seek the return from police of $36,800 in cash that had been confiscated from a Nicaraguan drug-smuggling gang in the Bay Area whose leader was a prominent Contra fund-raiser. The money had been taken during what was at the time the largest seizure of cocaine in the history of California. The CIA's inspector general said the agency took action to have the money returned "to protect an operational equity, i.e., a Contra support group in which it [the CIA] had an operational interest." The report issued by Hitz a few weeks ago is even richer in devastating disclosures. The inspector general sets forth a sequence of CIA cable traffic showing that as early as the summer of 1981, the agency knew that the Contra leadership "had decided to engage in drug trafficking to the United States to raise funds for its activities." The leader of the group whose plans a CIA officer thus described was Enrique Bermudez, a man hand-picked by the agency to run the military operations of the Contra organization. It was Bermudez who told Contra fund-raisers and drug traffickers Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandon (as the latter subsequently testified for the government to a federal grand jury,) that the end justified the means and they should raise revenue in this manner. The CIA was uneasily aware that its failure to advise the contras to stop drug trafficking might land it in difficulties. Hitz documents the fact that the agency knew at that time it should report Contra plans to run drugs to the Justice Department and other agencies. Nonetheless, the CIA kept quiet, and in 1982 got a waiver from the Justice Department giving a legal basis for its inaction. Hitz enumerates the Contra leaders--"several dozen"--the CIA knew to be involved in drug trafficking, along with another two dozen involved in Contra supply missions and fund-raising. He confirms that the CIA knew that Ilopongo Air Force Base in El Salvador was an arms-for drugs Contra transshipment point and discloses a memo in which a CIA officer orders the DEA "not to make any inquiries to anyone re: Hanger [sic] No. 4 at Ilopongo." Thus, the CIA's own inspector general shows that from the very start of the U.S. war on Nicaragua, the CIA knew that the contras were planning to traffic in cocaine in the U.S. It did nothing to stop the traffic and, when other government agencies began to probe, the CIA impeded their investigations. When Contra money-raisers were arrested, the agency came to their aid and retrieved their drug money from the police. So, was the agency complicit in drug trafficking into Los Angeles and other cities? It is impossible to read Hitz's report and not conclude that this was the case. -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1998 Daily News index for October 22-28
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/981022.html