Portland NORML News - Monday, October 26, 1998

Senior Editor of National Review urges Yes on Oregon Measure 67
(An op-ed sent to mass media around Oregon by Richard Brookhiser,
a conservative Republican, recounts his experience using marijuana
while stricken with cancer and urges Oregonians to endorse the state
medical marijuana initiative.)

From: "Rick Bayer" (ricbayer@teleport.com)
To: "Rick Bayer" (ricbayer@teleport.com)
Subject: Senior Editor of National Review urges Yes on Oregon Measure 67
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 14:05:46 -0800

Dear Friends

Attached is an op-ed piece that Richard Brookhiser wishes to share with
Oregon media. His only request is that he be mailed a copy of any
newspaper in which it is published.

Richard Brookhiser
145 East 16th Street, # 14C
New York, New York 10003

Thank you. Please contact me if I can answer any questions.


Rick Bayer, MD, FACP
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
Chief Petitioner, Measure 67
6800 SW Canyon Drive
Portland, OR 97225
503-292-1035 (voice)
503-297-0754 (fax)


Yes on Measure 67

by Richard Brookhiser
Senior Editor, National Review

I am a conservative Republican. The only reason I didn't vote for Barry
Goldwater was because I was nine years old at the time. But I started
writing for National Review when I was fourteen. I am for Measure 67
because of my politics, not in spite of them. But I'm also for medical
marijuana because I've had to use it.

As a political journalist, I mark the milestones of my life by election
cycles. On the eve of Ronald Reagan's election, I got married. On the
eve of Bill Clinton's election I got testicular cancer. The treatment
was straightforward - an operation, followed by a rather harsh form of
chemotherapy. Any chemotherapy is harsh, because all chemotherapy is
poison. You're dumping poison into your bloodstream, killing millions of
cells, in order to kill the thousands of malignant cells, which will not
recover. Because it is poison, the body wants to get rid of it. That's
why, chemotherapy causes nausea. To deal with this, I took the latest
anti-nausea drugs, including Zofran, and I also did self-hypnosis and
mental imaging. These all worked-up to a point. But beyond that point, I
needed extra help, and so I smoked marijuana.

I had smoked marijuana maybe ten times in college, during the Seventies.
I even inhaled. I stopped because I found I didn't like smoke, or being
high, or the conversation of pot-heads. I turned to it when I got cancer
because marijuana gives people an appetite, and prevents people who are
nauseated from throwing up. None of my doctors or nurses at New York
University Medical Center, or Memorial Sloan-Kettering, discouraged me
from doing this. They had all had patients who had used marijuana to
fight nausea, and who had reported good results. I had good results too.
Because of the marijuana, my last two courses of chemotherapy were
almost nausea-free.

There was only one problem-I had to become a criminal to do this.

Cancer patients are not the only people in this bind. AIDS patients who
have the wasting syndrome report that marijuana gives them an appetite
again. Glaucoma patients find that it arrests the deterioration of their
eyes. People with chronic migraines, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis
use it to relieve their symptoms. But any sick person who wants to use
marijuana to help himself, has to break the law. I'm a member of the
media elite, so I wasn't at high risk. But plenty of sick people get
arrested, and plenty of them go to jail.

There are three common arguments against the medical use of marijuana,
all of them faulty.

The first is that THC, the main active ingredient in the drug, is
available in a legally prescribed pill form. But the pill has problems.
It's expensive. Because it's a pill, and therefore slower acting, people
have trouble adjusting the dosage; they often find themselves taking too
much. It all seems to cause high levels of anxiety and depression. In my
case, I thought treating nausea with a pill was not a bright idea.

The second argument is that smoked marijuana has never been tested
scientifically. This is not entirely true. One test was done at UCLA in
1970 for the Los Angeles Police Department, which wanted to prove that
pot smoking dilated the pupils. The researchers found that it actually
contracted the pupils; they also discovered that marijuana relieved
pressure within the eyeball. This is why marijuana is useful in treating

But it is true that it is difficult to test marijuana. That is because
the government makes it so. The case of Dr. Donald Abrams at San
Francisco General Hospital is instructive. Dr. Abrams is an AIDS
researcher who wanted to test the efficacy of smoked marijuana in
treating the wasting syndrome. For more than five years, he tried to get
marijuana legally from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for his
experiments. Marijuana wasn't made available to him until his
experiment was redesigned to test only marijuana's safety instead of its
efficacy. So doctors cannot prescribe marijuana because it hasn't been
tested for efficacy, but doctors aren't allowed to test its efficacy.
This is classic Catch-22.

The third objection is that by legalizing medical use of marijuana., we
will be setting a bad example to a society engaged in a war on drugs. In
fact we will be setting no example at all. The availability of morphine
in hospitals is not the reason people smoke crack. A hairless cancer
patient with an IV tube in his arm is not a come-on for a pusher.

My support for medical marijuana is not a contradiction of my
principles, but an extension of them. I am for law and order. But crime
has to be fought intelligently, and the law disgraces itself when it
harasses the sick. I am for traditional values-I support the Christian
Coalition, and I supported the Moral Majority. But if carrying your
beliefs to unjust ends is not moral, it is philistine. Most important, I
believe in getting government off people's backs. We should include the
backs of sick people trying to help themselves.

My cancer is gone now; I was lucky. God forbid that anyone else should
ever need chemotherapy. But statistics tell us that many of us will. Let
me assure you that, whatever you think now, or however you vote, if that
moment comes to you, you will turn to medical marijuana. Please extend
that liberty to your fellow Oregonians by voting Yes on Measure 67.

Richard Brookhiser is Senior Editor of National Review, the conservative
magazine Ronald Reagan calls his favorite.

Reprinted with permission of National Review, 130 East 51st, New York,
NY 10016. Annual Subscription $57.

Measure 67 - Medical Marijuana - Using the drug reduces suffering (An op-ed
in The Oregonian by Dr. Rick Bayer, a chief petitioner for the ballot measure.
"Nearly all of us agree that we want more scientific research on marijuana
as medicine, but the question remains, what do we do with patients
who benefit from marijuana now, but must break the law to use it?")

From: "Rick Bayer" (ricbayer@teleport.com)
To: "Mark Greer" (mgreer@mapinc.org)
Cc: "Dpfor@Drugsense. Org" (dpfor@drugsense.org)
Subject: DPFOR: Monday Oct 26, Oregonian OpEd
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 12:32:19 -0800
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/


This was in the Monday October 26th, "The Oregonian" on the OpEd page.




Measure 67: Medical Marijuana

Using the drug reduces suffering
by Rick Bayer

For hundreds of dying and suffering Oregonians, the medical use of
marijuana can mean the difference between relief of the symptoms they
suffer or a continued, agonizing existence, that leaves them unable to
live their lives fully.

I first learned about medical marijuana in 1978 when I was an internal
medicine intern on a cancer unit at Oregon Health Sciences University in
Portland. A patient with lymph node cancer was using marijuana to help
control the vomiting from chemotherapy. Conventional drugs had failed
and this was his last chance to try and tolerate the noxious drugs used
in chemotherapy and save his life. Marijuana worked.

In the spinal injury rehabilitation unit, patients discussed with me how
marijuana controlled their severe muscle spasms that frequently
complicate spinal cord damage. In the internal medicine clinic, one of
my patients had lost both legs fighting for his country and suffered
from severe phantom limb pain. He had morphine but preferred marijuana
because it worked well for him and did not cause the hallucinations,
nausea, and constipation that he had with morphine.

Since then, I have learned about the medical use of marijuana from many
patients including those with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple
sclerosis, spinal injuries, and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Stormy Ray, my fellow chief petitioner, is a grandmother of four from
Ontario, Oregon. Stormy suffers from multiple sclerosis, has tried
synthetic THC (Marinol), and finds it no longer works. The morphine and
Valium she was given had left her in a fog, unable to interact with her
family and friends.

Stormy was left with a decision no dying or suffering patient should
ever have to make: should she use medical marijuana and face arrest . .
. or should she allow her body to wither, becoming bed-ridden once
again, and unable to live the active and full life she enjoys today?
Out of desperation and love for his spouse, Stormy's husband attempted
to grow four plants and was arrested. No Oregonian should have to
experience this sort of humiliation.

In addition to the thousands of personal stories from patients, the
science is much better than many will admit and can be reviewed at our
website http://www.teleport.com/~omr. Nearly all of us agree that we
want more scientific research on marijuana as medicine but the question
remains, what do we do with patients who benefit from marijuana now, but
must break the law to use it?

Measure 67 asks voters to end the risk of state criminal penalties faced
by these seriously and terminally ill patients in a sensible, regulated
way. Measure 67 is more restrictive than California's Proposition 215
but will still provide a safe harbor for those patients who benefit from
its use and follow the well-defined safeguards in the law, which

* A requirement for a physician's written approval that medical
marijuana may help the patient's debilitating condition;

* A permit system administered by the Oregon Health Division that will
tell law enforcement that someone is "physician approved";

* Prohibits medical use of marijuana in public places or public view
(including workplace or schools); prohibits use while operating a

* Prohibits sales of marijuana under any circumstances (thus no buyers'

* Possession and cultivation is limited to personal use amounts; and

* Measure 67 changes no other existing criminal laws with regard to the
illegal use of marijuana.

Measure 67 is a moderate and carefully written law that for patients,
may mean the difference between a meaningful life and a debilitating
existence. Patients and their doctors should be able to discuss the
option of medical marijuana. Measure 67 simply allows patients with
debilitating illnesses to use a medicine that may help their condition,
free from fear of arrest and incarceration.

Dr. Jerome Kassirer, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of
Medicine wrote last year, "I believe that a federal policy that
prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana
for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane".
Many doctors agree.

Our opponents continue to fabricate the myths of the slippery slope and
try hard to blur the lines between appropriate medical use of drugs and
inappropriate drug abuse. In the end, Oregonians will vote "Yes" on
Measure 67 because they understand the issue is about compassionate
medicine for dying and suffering patients. This issue is not about pot
. . . it's about patients.

Rick Bayer, MD is a chief petitioner for Measure 67.

Voter Power Benefit Sunday 1 November (A bulletin from Measure 67
headquarters publicizes a fund-raiser Sunday night at Berbati's Pan,
in downtown Portland, for the Yes on 67 and No on 57 campaigns -
for medical marijuana and against recrim. Attractions include Jack Herer,
author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," a hemp fashion show,
and live music. Also, set your VCR to tape the live broadcast at 6 pm
Sunday of "Town Hall," apparently featuring a debate on Measure 67.)

From: "Rick Bayer" (ricbayer@teleport.com)
To: "Rick Bayer" (ricbayer@teleport.com)
Subject: Voter Power Benefit Sunday 1 November
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 14:06:05 -0800


I just received the following fax and will attempt to summarize it for
you. Please call Voter Power in Portland at 503-736-0907 for any


YES on 67, NO on 57 Benefit Sunday November 1st, 1998 at Barbati's Pan
231 SW Ankeny (503-248-4579) in downtown Portland.


*Fashion show with all hemp clothing from Cascade Hemp Supply
*Fire Eaters
*Bands (call for info)

Proceeds benefit Voter Power

Admission $5.00

Fashion Show starts 6 pm
Bands start at 9 pm (to 2 am I was told)

Featured Speakers:

1. Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Has No Clothes", The #1
Best-Selling Hemp Book of All Time!

2. John Sajo, officer of Voter Power PAC (Voter Power registered over
10,000 voters this summer and fall - congrats to John and Voter Power)


Some of you may be appearing with me on KATU (Ch. 2) Town Hall that
night at 6 pm (live broadcast). I urge the rest of you to support Voter
Power PAC by attending the event at Barbati's Pan. I won't even tell
you which of us will have the most fun (even though there may be some
"fire-eating" of sorts on Town Hall).


Please, please, please vote and tell everyone you know to vote. A good
voter turnout will help us and help patients. Thank you very much.

Rick Bayer

Marijuana Initiative Narrows Its Focus (The Spokesman-Review, in Spokane,
Washington, interviews some of those in favor of and some of those opposed to
Initiative 692, the medical marijuana ballot measure. One local supporter is
72-year-old Republican state senator Bob McCaslin, whose wife slowly died
over eight years, eating little more than milk and cereal, in pain all the

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 04:48:59 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Marijuana Initiative Narrows Its Focus
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: DrugSense
Source: The Spokesman-Review (WA)
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Oct 1998
Copyright: 1998 The Spokesman-Review
Contact: editor@spokesman.com
Website: http://www.spokane.net/news.asp
Author: Kim Barker, The Spokesman-Review


After Losing Last Year, Measure Back With Specific Conditions For Medical Use

Spokane - Bob McCaslin is a Republican state senator, a 72-year-old who
defends conservative causes and likes small government.

Yet, here he is at the lunch table at Dewey's East in the Spokane Valley,
trying to persuade two similarly minded Republican men to support an
initiative to legalize the smoking of marijuana by sick people.

McCaslin never has smoked pot. ``Too old for that,'' he says. His wife
slowly died over eight years, eating little more than milk and cereal, in
pain all the time. She never asked for any marijuana.

But McCaslin thinks she should have been able to have it. Who knows? It
might have helped the pain some, helped her eat something.

He tells this to Don Reed and D.G. Quinton, who stop by the lunch table to
see the state senator and talk Republican. He asks them if they'll support
Initiative 692. Reed and Quinton shake their heads.

``Cheat, cheat, cheat,'' Reed says. ``It'll get in the hands of the wrong

``You're going to deny marijuana to a person who's dying?'' McCaslin asks.

For the second time in two years, Washington voters are being asked to vote
on an initiative that would legalize the smoking of marijuana for sick
people. Last year, voters said no.

Proponents say this initiative is an answer for patients who need the drug
to fight nausea and pain. The New England Journal of Medicine supports the
medical use of marijuana. HIV and AIDS patients sometimes use it to combat
the ``wasting'' syndrome associated with the virus. Cancer patients use it
to relieve chemotherapy nausea. Multiple sclerosis patients smoke it for
pain relief.

There is a drug, Marinol, a synthetic form of THC, that aims to mimic
marijuana's relief. But still, some people say Marinol knocks them out,
that they'd rather have marijuana.

Opponents say the proposal is poorly drafted, with loopholes that don't
define how much marijuana a person could have. They also say it doesn't
provide a workable way for patients to get marijuana. Organizations such as
the Washington State Law Enforcement Association oppose the initiative. The
Washington State Medical Association decided not to endorse it.

``It's very irresponsible, and basically they are trying to use people who
are suffering from serious illnesses as pawns in a bigger game of their
attempt to legalize drugs,'' said Mike Suydam, coordinator of the anti-692
campaign, called ``We Said No!''

``You'd have just confusion. What's legal, what's not legal. You'd have
people going out on the streets, trying to figure out how to get marijuana.''

Supporters have raised a lot more money -- almost $786,100, primarily from
groups outside the state, like Americans for Medical Rights. Opponents have
raised a paltry $12,000.

Voters in four other Western states and Washington, D.C., will consider
whether to legalize medical marijuana this year. California voters already
have legalized it. Arizona voters passed an initiative last year like the
one proposed in Washington.

This year's initiative is much narrower than last year's, which also tried
to revamp Washington's drug policies and opened the door to legalizing
heroin and LSD.

Dr. Rob Killian put forth both initiatives. He first saw a patient smoke
marijuana 10 years ago in the hospice where he worked. She was 68, and she
suffered from breast cancer.

This year's initiative allows the medical use of marijuana for specific
conditions, such as cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.
To qualify, patients must first be advised by their doctors that medical
marijuana can help.

Of course, a doctor can't write a prescription for the drug. But Killian
hopes that networks might form to pass out marijuana. He thinks that many
people might grow their own supply.

The initiative would allow people to have a 60-day supply.

``We can't sell it in a pharmacy,'' Killian says. ``That's our weakest
point. We can't change that.''

Opponents of the initiative paint a bleak picture. Suydam says it would
encourage cancer patients and their families to buy marijuana from their
``friendly neighborhood drug dealer.''

Dr. Ronald Springel is more ambivalent. The Spokane physician, who treats
drug addicts, is opposed to this initiative. But he says the nation's drug
policy needs help. He complains that society treats addicts like it once
treated lepers. He says alcohol is much more damaging to society than

Yet this initiative would encourage people to try marijuana and could
increase criminal activity if drug dealers are looking for a new market,
Springel says.

``We have a failed national policy,'' he says. ``But this doesn't fix it.''

Lou, who is 54 and asked that his last name not be used, smoked marijuana
recreationally in the 1970s, but quit because he didn't like being stoned.
He learned he had HIV during a phone call at work, on his birthday in 1993.

He doesn't like Marinol -- it puts him to sleep. But he takes maybe a puff
of marijuana here, a puff there, just before meals.

``It takes care of the nausea,'' Lou says. ``And if I didn't have an
appetite, I'll have one shortly.''

He hopes that eventually the potency of medical marijuana could be
regulated, so he could get some that isn't as powerful as the kind he now

McCaslin says his wife's cancer started in her breast and never really
left. She had a mastectomy, a rod in each femur, chemotherapy, radiation.

``It kept getting worse,'' McCaslin says, his hands steepled in front of
his face, his voice breaking. ``It still hurts. She'd complain. I'd give
her all the medication she could have. At the end, she'd ask for pain
pills. I'd say, `Honey, I just gave it to you a half-hour ago.' She was
suffering so. But she was a brave soul.

``I think if smoking marijuana will make you more comfortable, God bless

Approve I-692 (A staff editorial in The Bellingham Herald, in Bellingham,
Washington, endorses Initiative 692, the medical marijuana ballot measure,
calling it sensible, straight-forward and long overdue.)

Subject: Bellingham Herald Endorsement
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 98 11:45:14 -0800
From: "Timothy W. Killian" (tim@eventure.com)

Bellingham Herald Editorial Opinion
Monday, October 26, 1998


ELECTION: Patients with terminal, debilitating illnesses should be able
to legally use marijuana.

Washington state voters should approve Initiative 692-a sensible,
straight-forward and long-overdue measure that permits doctors to
recommend marijuana for patients who are suffering from terminal or
debilitating medical conditions.

I-692 ought not be confused with last year's Initiative 685, which
Washington voters soundly rejected at the polls.

That measure would have permitted doctors to recommend the use of
marijuana, LSD, heroin and other Schedule 1 drugs if research proved them
effective in treating a "seriously or terminally ill" patients.

It also contained provisions that would have granted probation for people
convicted of personal possession and allowed judges to release
non-violent inmates serving time for drug possession and place them in
court-supervised treatment options.

Seattle physician Robert Killian, the sponsor of both measures, admits
his first effort to reform the state's largely ineffective drug laws
tried to do too much, too quickly.

So, he went back to the drawing board and came up with a greatly
simplified proposal that should be palatable to the general public as
well as open-minded members of the medical and law enforcement

Initiative 692 doesn't legalize marijuana, force physicians to authorize
its use or require health-care providers to foot the bill.

A prescription doesn't give patients license to drive under the influence
of the drug or permit medicinal marijuana to be smoked or displayed in

A patient who attempts to sell marijuana can still be prosecuted and
federal laws against sale, possession and consumption would remain in

What I-692 does do is set criteria that doctors and patients must meet to
prove they shouldn't be prosecuted.

A licensed doctor could recommend marijuana if he or she believes it will
help a patient who suffers from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis,
epilepsy, glaucoma or intractable pain. Those patients, in turn, could
then legally grow marijuana for personal use.

Physicians who advised qualifying patients about the risks and benefits
of marijuana use would be protected from prosecution.

I-692's foes point out that marijuana isn't endorsed as a medical
treatment by the American Medical Association and say there are no
definitive studies showing that the drug is effective in relieving pain
and other medical problems.

But that's largely the fault of the federal government, which has
steadfastly refused to fund research that could conclusively prove the
beneficial effects of marijuana.

And there are a number of studies indicating the drug is an effective
medicine-a conclusion echoed by an administrative law judge commissioned
in 1988 by the Drug Enforcement Agency to review the issue.

Additionally, initiative foes complain that because potency of various
kinds of marijuana can very greatly, dosages can't be reliably
controlled. They also say the "60-day supply" allowed under the
initiative is too vague and that the doctor-authorized marijuana use will
encourage drug abuse.

But the reality is that the health dangers posed by smoking too many
joints are far lower than overdosing on more powerful prescribed
medications such as morphine or codeine. And abuse of those drugs is
hardly a new phenomenon.

It's also a stretch to suggest that the 60-day supply provision would
somehow permit a patient to cultivate and/or store vast quantities of the

Granted, the lack of a reliable system for distributing medicinal
marijuana is a major problem - one thing that the Legislature needs to
resolve if I-692 passes. There will be doubt be others as well.

But the bottom line is that it's not possible to write a medicinal
marijuana initiative that addresses and resolves every last question and
stumbling block.

State and federal strategies for dealing with the nation's growing drug
problem have been futile to say the least.

Rather than pushing for stricter laws that will put even more people
behind bars, lawmakers ought to be emphasizing education, prevention and
treatment programs while making better use of drugs for medical purposes.

People with terminal and debilitating diseases should be able to legally
use marijuana to help relieve their pain and suffering. And doctors - who
are in the best position to know the needs of their patients - ought to
be able to legally recommend it.

Voters should approve Initiative 692 without reservation.


Timothy W. Killian
eVenture Communications
em: tim@eventure.com
url: http://www.eventure.com
Postal Box 9765
Seattle, WA 98109
ph: 206.559.2200
fx: 206.324.3101

Serious Side-Effects of Pot Club Closure (The South China Morning Post
in Hong Kong notes the Clinton Administration has shut down the Oakland
Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, and threatened to turn a 6-year-old cerebral
palsy patient and medical marijuana user into a criminal. With medical
marijuana initiatives coming up for a vote in six states on November 3,
federal authorities are trying their best to have the medical-marijuana
movement declared unconstitutional and closed down.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 09:37:08 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Serious Side-Effects of Pot Club Closure
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Contact: jfenby@scmp.com
Website: http://www.scmp.com/
Copyright: 1998 South China Morning Post Publishers Limited.s
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Oct 1998
Section: America Today


ANDY GOLDBERG of Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Oakland, California
Six-year-old Joy Simmons cannot walk, sit or even speak more than three
words, but she is well on her way to becoming a criminal.

The list of her ailments reads like a paediatrician's nightmare - cerebral
palsy, epilepsy, spastic quadriplegia and cortical blindness - and the
conventional drugs she took until 1996 just made things worse.

Now her father gives her a mixture of milk and marijuana, supplied by
medical marijuana activists. He says the improvement has been incredible.

"Without it she would have one seizure after another. It's frightening
because she could choke to death. But with the marijuana milk that doesn't
happen," says Scott Simmons.

"And do you know what the side effect is? She laughs."

In a 1996 state of California proposition, 56 per cent of voters supported
a proposal allowing the use of marijuana for a variety of medical

But with similar propositions coming up for the vote in six other states on
November 3, federal authorities are trying their best to have the
medical-marijuana movement declared unconstitutional and closed down. The
US Department of Justice claims that no-one has the right to use marijuana
for any reason because it is listed as a Class I drug.

The official position argued in courts is that it has no medical value,
despite recent research showing it as a more effective and less harmful
painkiller than opiates. The testimony of thousands of seriously ill
patients, that marijuana has significantly eased their suffering, is also
on record.

What effect the crackdown will have on voters in Alaska, Washington,
Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona is still unclear, though
medical-marijuana activists predict the propositions will pass in at least
two states.

The crackdown last week on California's biggest "pot club", the Oakland
Cannabis Buyer's Co-operative, left patients sad, defiant and worried.

The Oakland club closed its doors following a court ruling that it was
unconstitutional, leaving its 2,200 members without a regular supply of
their preferred medicine.

Most used the drug to combat the debilitating effects of AIDS, cancer or

They said they would continue to take it even if it meant getting their
"grass" on the streets.

Report Finds Marijuana the Top Cash Crop in California; Billions Wasted in
War on Pot (A press release from California NORML focuses on the locally
significant aspects of the recent crop report from NORML estimating the
annual value of cannabis grown in the United States. California's marijuana
harvest was the largest in the nation in 1997, totaling an estimated
2 million plants. The estimated crop value was between $3.87 billion
and $8.26 billion wholesale, or $6.45 billion to $13.8 billion retail.
California's second largest agricultural crop was grapes, which brought in
$2.6 billion.)
Link to press release about NORML's report
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 20:29:27 -0800 To: dpfca@drugsense.org, aro@drugsense.org From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Cost of Cal. Pot War Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ PRESS RELEASE October 26, 1998 Report Finds Marijuana the Top Cash Crop in California; Billions Wasted in War on Pot Despite 15 years of intensive eradication efforts, marijuana is the largest cash crop in California, according to a new report from the NORML Foundation. California's marijuana harvest was the largest in the nation in 1997, totaling an estimated 2 million plants. The estimated crop value was between $3.87 and $8.26 billion wholesale, or $6.45 to $13.8 billion retail. California's second largest agricultural crop was grapes, which brought in $2.6 billion. Another 690,000 marijuana plants were eradicated in California in 1997, by far the greatest number in history. This represents a total lost value of $1 -$2 billion - enough to qualify as a major agricultural disaster. Had the state's marijuana crop been legally sold at market value, sales tax revenues would have amounted to $500 million, comparable to the amounts currently raised by state alcohol and tobacco taxes. Instead, however, California taxpayers are forking over somewhere between $100 million and $1 billion per year in enforcement costs to arrest, prosecute and imprison cannabis offenders, according to estimates by California NORML. The state prison system currently holds a record 1,905 marijuana offenders, 20 times the level of 1980. Included are a growing number of medical marijuana offenders, who continue to be arrested and prosecuted despite the passage of Proposition 215. The recent closure of two major medical cannabis centers in Oakland and San Francisco has left some 8,000 seriously ill patients without a reliable supply of medicine, forcing them to resort to illicit dealers or forego lifesaving benefits. The war on marijuana has had other tragic human consequences in the form of prohibition-related violence. In Santa Catarina, Mexico, last month, 18 Indian civilians, including 5 children aged 4 to 13, were massacred by drug gangs trying to control the illicit marijuana trade. This is more than the total number of deaths ever ascribed to marijuana. "The war on marijuana is a tragic waste of resources," argues California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer, "The time has come to stop throwing taxpayers' money away on this unwinnable war and to reap the substantial benefits of a legal market." The NORML Foundation crop report is based on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) marijuana eradication statistics and published marijuana price reports. The authors calculated marijuana weight and yield estimates on a conservative ten ounce per plant model. The crop report may be found on the internet at www.norml.org . *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114 *** [The crop report is currently at http://www.norml.org/facts/crop/report.shtml - ed.]

Medicinal Pot Not About Greed (A letter to the editor
of The Anchorage Daily News responds to a drug warrior's earlier letter
opposing the Alaskan medical marijuana ballot initiative.)

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 18:47:58 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AK: PUB LTE: MMJ: Medicinal Pot Not About Greed
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: Whitney Lard
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Oct 1998


I have a dear friend who was diagnosed with cancer more than two years ago.
He has just finished six months of chemotherapy. His doctor prescribed meds
to stop the nausea and vomiting. Some of these pills cost $30 each. No one
told him he would exchange the nausea and vomiting for stomach cramps and
diarrhea. By smoking marijuana, he didn't have the nausea, vomiting, cramps
or diarrhea. My friend tried Marinol and likened it to a placebo. A waste
of about $7 a pill.

Will we forever be stuck in the Dark Ages? Is Wev Shea (Compass, Oct. 12 )
going to start showing the government's propaganda movie "Reefer Madness"?
Medical marijuana is not about greed. It's about not feeling critically
ill, even when you are.

- Whitney Lard

Porno Film Fest Follows Drug Bust - Did Cops Order Videos?
(The Salt Lake Tribune says prohibition agents in Layton, Utah,
working on a cocaine bust may be busted themselves for allegedly ordering
pornographic pay-per-view movies from a suspect's home
after he was shipped off to jail.)

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 08:22:43 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US UT: Porno Film Fest Follows Drug Bust:
Did Cops Order Videos?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Anonymous
Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
Contact: letters@sltrib.com
Contact 2: Antonio Ramirez (antonio@sltrib.com)
Website: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/
Copyright: 1998, The Salt Lake Tribune
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Oct 1998


LAYTON, UTAH -- Narcotics agents working on a drug bust may have been busted
themselves for allegedly ordering pornographic pay-per-view movies from the
suspect's home after he was shipped to jail. Investigations are under way
into the allegations that officers ordered the movies ``Fetish,'' ``When
Boyz Meet Girls'' and ``Fashion Plate.'' Part of the probe focuses on
whether state or county officers are accused of watching the films.
``Everybody is passing the buck at this point,'' said Capt. Al Acosta with
the Utah Criminal Investigations Bureau, which had agents on the bust. ``I'm
not going to place blame . . . in my opinion, no one is beyond suspicion at
this point.'' A team of agents from the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force
and the state Criminal Investigations Bureau raided Jim Passarelli's home on
June 24 and arrested Passarelli and his brother Anthony.

Agents alleged that Anthony Passarelli sold cocaine to an undercover
operative and that drug paraphernalia and scales with cocaine residue were
found in his room. That, they said, was cause enough to haul them both to
the Davis County Jail, where they were booked on drug-possession charges.
Meanwhile, agents stayed behind searching for more evidence.

Jim Passarelli alleges that, while he was in jail, narcotics agents accessed
his Direct TV satellite dish and spent the evening watching hard-core
pornographic movies. He said neighbors told him the officers did not leave
until about 7 p.m. and his bill reflected three adult channels accessed
while they were there. A spokesman for Direct TV in California said such
movies cannot be pre-ordered more than five to 10 minutes in advance.

State and county agents aren't disputing that movies may have been ordered
after the brothers were in custody, but neither agency will admit its agents
were involved. ``We executed the search warrant like we were supposed to,''
said Davis County prosecutor David Cole. ``We then turned the house over to
CIB [Criminal Investigations Bureau] for the search. We're confident none of
our agents were present when the movies started.'' The Criminal
Investigations Bureau is conducting an investigation into the alleged
misconduct and the Attorney General's Office is also looking into the
matter, but neither agency has reached a conclusion. ``Somebody out there
did something inappropriate, we know that,'' Acosta said. ``If there is
wrongdoing, there will be something done in the whole matter.

Nobody's going to get away with this scot-free.'' Passarelli has obtained an
attorney who plans to sue Davis County and the state for theft and burglary.
``There was no purpose in watching the movies on his TV, even if it was not
pay-per-view and it was Mary Poppins,'' said Aric Cramer, Passarelli's
attorney. ``The issue is the reliability and integrity of whoever the agents
are,'' Cramer said. ``If they are on a bust and watch pay-per-view porno
flicks, who's to say they are not going to turn over portions of drugs they
have seized?'' Cole said he is confident Davis agents will be absolved of
any wrongdoing. Acosta said CIB could not comment any further until their
investigation is complete. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, state
internal affairs agents will be brought in to handle the matter. Anthony
Passarelli pleaded guilty to two second-degree felony counts of drug
possession and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Jim Passarelli is
also charged with, but denies dealing drugs.

Demonstrators Demand Justice In Slaying Of Oregon By Police
(The Houston Chronicle says about 200 people marched in Houston
Sunday to protest police brutality and a grand jury's decision
to let off six Houston prohibition agents who broke down the door
of an innocent man, Pedro Oregon Navarro, without a warrant and killed him
with 12 shots from behind.)

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 10:58:31 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Demonstrators Demand Justice In Slaying Of Oregon By Police
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Oct 1998
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle


Protesters gathered Sunday to demand justice in the case of Pedro Oregon, a
Mexican immigrant killed during a Houston police raid.

Houston police burst into the 22-year-old's southwest Houston apartment
without a warrant in July and shot him nine times in the back. Officers say
they suspected him to be a drug dealer.

A Harris County grand jury on Oct. 19 cleared six officers of murder and
indicted only one officer on a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass. The
FBI is investigating the case, and the Houston Police Department is
conducting an internal investigation.

About 200 protesters from Houston's minority community called for a closer
look at police brutality in Houston.

"It's important because it's a great injustice that's been done," said
protester Tom Kleven. "We have a real problem with police brutality. It's
important that we bring this to the public's attention."

"We live in a society where we have a double standard," said Houston
attorney Mario Cabellero of the National Lawyer's Guild. He said law
enforcement and government officials benefit from this double standard that
provides more protection for law enforcement than for citizens.

HPD officers on horseback, bicycles and in squad cars lined the streets as
the protestors chanted: "No justice, no peace. Stop the killer police."

HPD spokesman Fred King said the FBI and HPD investigations are continuing,
and the officers who participated in the raid are still relieved of duty
with pay.

Community college student dies of caffeine overdose (The Associated Press
says a 20-year-old man in Morehead City, North Carolina, took a dare from a
fellow student and swallowed most of a 90-pill bottle of over-the-counter
caffeine pills, equivalent to drinking as many as 250 cups of coffee.)

From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: College student dies of caffeine OD
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 20:44:26 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Community college student dies of caffeine overdose

The Associated Press
10/26/98 6:50 PM Eastern

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) -- A 20-year-old man died after swallowing dozens
of over-the-counter caffeine pills on a dare from a fellow community college

Jason Warren Allen had swallowed most of a 90-pill bottle, which would be
the equivalent to drinking as many as 250 cups of coffee, authorities said.

"It's a terrible, terrible story," said Morehead City police Major Wrenn
Johnson. "No one suspects caffeine to be deadly."

Allen was taking general education development classes at Cateret Community
College. He collapsed outside the college during a break from class Oct. 20.
It wasn't known when he took the pills.

A security guard found him and called the rescue squad, which took him to
Carteret General Hospital, where he died Wednesday.

Authorities said it appeared that Allen died of heart rhythm irregularities
associated with the high dose of caffeine, which is a central nervous system

Prosecutor David McFayden said he wouldn't decide whether to pursue charges
until the police complete interviews and toxicology tests are in.

Medical Marijuana Documentary Now Online (A bulletin from the Media
Awareness Project inclues the URL for the acclaimed recent television special
by the Canadian Broadcasting Company, "Nature of Things - Reefer Madness 2."
Watch it in real time with RealPlayer.)

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 21:58:59 -0500
To: medmj@drcnet.org, drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: Medical Marijuana Documentary Now Online
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@drugsense.org
Source: The Media Awareness Project
Pubdate: 26 Oct 1998
Note: This is an announcement about a TV documentary.

A little over a week ago the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) aired NATURE

Several have commented on how well the documentary states the case
for medicinal marijuana.

We posted a summary of this outstanding show which is at:


And now you may watch it for yourself over the internet using RealPlayer
software. It is on-line at:


If you have trouble receiving it well do to net congestion, try very early
in the morning when net traffic is low. It is worth the effort1

If you watch it, let folks know what you think on your favorite discussion
lists - or drop me a note. I know that there are folks interested in your

Richard Lake



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