Portland NORML News - Thursday, October 22, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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
foundation@norml.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 (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com),
"libnw@circuit.com" (libnw@circuit.com),
Oregon Commonlaw (oregon-commonlaw-l@teleport.com),
"nwlibertarians@teleport.com" (nwlibertarians@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Increase Marijuana Penalaty-Oregonian Lead Editorial!
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@smtp.teleport.com

------- 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: letters@news.oregonian
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 bobcaldwell@news.oregonian.com
Editorial Board members
Phil Cogswell.................503-221-8519 philcogswell@news.oregonian.com
Larry Hilderbrand..........503- 221-8155 larryhilderbrand@news.oregonian.com
Wayne Thompson..........503-221-8153 waynethompson@news.oregonian.com
David Sarasohn..............503-221-8523 davidsarasohn@news.oregonian.com
David Reinhard..............503-221-8152 davidreinhard@news.oregonian.com
Nanine Alexander.........503-221-8340 naninealexander@news.oregonian.com
Jill Thompson................503-294-5052 jillthompson@news.oregonian.com
Rick Attig.......................503-294-5091 rickattig@news.oregonian.com

OR THESE OTHER E-MAIL ADDRESS
letters@news.oregonian.com
oped@news.oregonian.com
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 (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com),
"libnw@circuit.com" (libnw@circuit.com),
Oregon Commonlaw (oregon-commonlaw-l@teleport.com)
CC: "copwatch@teleport.com" (copwatch@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Police killed suspect
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@smtp.teleport.com

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" (debhowes@spiritone.com)
To: "Phil Smith" (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.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" (haythorn@gorge.net)
To: "DPFOR" (dpfor@drugsense.org)
Subject: DPFOR: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Police Brutality- Eyewitness report
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 13:53:04 -0700
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.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" (debhowes@spiritone.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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "News" (editor@mapinc.org), "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Will medical-marijuana initiative ease their pain?
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 19:22:51 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

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: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Patients would grow their own
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "HempTalkNW" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Subject: HT: Olympian PRO/CON on I-692
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 20:04:25 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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.)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 12:05:14 EDT Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com Reply-To: friends@freecannabis.org Originator: friends@freecannabis.org Sender: friends@freecannabis.org From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org) Subject: Todd McCormick's Hearing I got this from Todd's mom regarding the hearing (yesterday) on his "supposed" positive test. From: annmaria@webtv.net (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: (creator@islandnet.com)
From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Oakland down on its pot luck
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:00:34 -0700
Lines: 59
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Calgary Sun (Canada)
Contact: callet@sunpub.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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: MARIJUANA CLUB CLOSURE SPURS CRISIS
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.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.)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 23:23:39 -0700 To: dpfca@drugsense.org From: "Tom O'Connell" (tjeffoc@sirius.com) Subject: DPFCA: Letter from Dave Herrick Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AK: OPED: MMJ: Say No Once Again To Legalized Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AK: OPED: MMJ: Say NO Again To Legalized Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: DrugSense
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Contact: letters@adn.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 (ammo@levellers.org)
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: US CO: Group funded pot measure near end
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

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: letters@denverpost.com
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: cohip@levellers.org
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: ocdla-list@pond.net, dpfor@drugsense.org, nlc@norml.org
Subject: DPFOR: Fwd: Medical Marijuana Measures Changed
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.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" (cpconrad@twow.com)
From: "Charles P. Conrad" (cpconrad@twow.com)
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
asobey@ncfcomm.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
actionclass@fairlaw.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: stinky@psnw.com
Date: Tue, Oct 27, 1998, 11:43pm
To: stinky@psnw.com 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
stinky@psnw.com glaucoma@geocities.com
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: actionclass@fairlaw.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
Subject: UPI: AG Reno opposes initiatives on medmj
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "News" (editor@mapinc.org), "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Many black men cannot vote because of felony convictions
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 19:28:01 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

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: editor@usatoday.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: U.S. Congress Approves $2.7 Billion For Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: CIA's Trail Leads Back To Its Own Door
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: letters@latimes.com
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.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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