Portland NORML News - Tuesday, October 27, 1998

Contributions Lag on Anti-Marijuana Measure (The Statesman Journal, in Salem,
Oregon, says proponents of Ballot Measure 57, which would recriminalize
possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, have raised only about
$20,000, compared to more than $600,000 contributed to the other side.
Rep. Floyd Prozanski, a Democrat from Eugene and a staunch opponent of the
recrim bill, believes there's a reason lawmakers are distancing themselves
from the marijuana measure they originally passed. "They are realizing that
they were barking the 'Reefer Madness' mentality.")
No on Measure 57
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 05:28:07 -0800
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots -
"libnw@circuit.com" (libnw@circuit.com),
Subject: CanPat - Contributions Lag
on Anti-Marijuana Measure
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@smtp.teleport.com

Contributions Lag on Anti-Marijuana Measure

The Statesman Journal
Salem, Oregon

by David Kravets
Statesman Journal

They call it the gateway drug to heroin and other hard drugs. They say
liberal marijuana laws send children a bad message that dope is OK. And they
ultimately approved a bill making it a misdemeanor to possess less than an

But so far this general election season, marijuana opponents haven't been
able to back up their message with the money needed to get it across.

They've raised about $20,000 compared to more than $600,000 on
the other side, all of which come from three out of state, pro-marijuana

The next batch of campaign spending reports comes out Thursday.

Marijuana proponents suggest that their foes are relatively quiet because
nobody is buying their message.

But opponents of the drug say other candidate races and controversial
measures on the Nov. 3 ballot are keeping money from campaigns for
measure 57, which would recriminalize pot, and against measure 67, which
would allow its use for medical purposes.

As the sponsor of the recriminalization effort put it, many of the lawmakers
who approved the bill in 1997 are busy seeking re-election.

"It becomes an issue of priorities," said Rep. Ben Westlund, R-Bend.
"We're running our own campaigns and helping other campaigns."

Paul Phillips, owner of PAC-West Communications, has been hired to
raise money for the anti-marijuana campaign. It's a tough job, he said. Much
of the money being spent on initiatives this election year involves just a few
highly controversial measures -- such as collecting union funds for political
purposes, and banning clear-cuts.

"These marijuana ones are sneaker measures, under the radar screen of
most people," Phillips said. " I think legislators who voted for it should
fight for it instead of letting it linger."

A year ago the recriminaization law was put on hold after enough registered
voters signed a petition seeking to reverse the Legislature and restore the
crime to an infraction, like a traffic ticket. Next week's measure 57 vote
will decide the law's fate.

Because the money is short, a handful of law enforcement officials have
embarked on a thrifty campaign for 57. As part of a statewide effort, they're
"talking to anybody who will listen to us" said Rob Elkins, Molalla police
chief. About a dozen other speakers have been trained to get out the
anti-dope message, he said.

Elkins, one of Oregon's most outspoken marijuana opponents, said he travels
1,000 miles a week speaking to various service organizations and
participating in radio debates.

The money hasn't come in to purchase radio, print or TV ads.

"We've been getting token donations", Elkins said. With everything that is
going on that can impact business and government on this ballot, this is not
rising to the level it normally would."

Meanwhile, the pro-marijuana side is bombarding voters with radio and
television commercials saying hard-core criminals would be set free to make
for marijuana offenders. Other commercials touch on voter's sympathy, urging
them to help the ill ease their pain marijuana.

Mark Hemstreet, the owner of the Shilo Inn and huge financial backer of
conservative causes, was among those the anti-marijuana side couldn't
persuade to kick in big bucks.

Hemstreet who has donated about $200,000 to conservative candidates this
year, " supported the cause, but he overcommited himself to candidate races,"
said Kathleen Deatherage, a spokesman for the Oregon Association Chiefs of
Police, which is raising money for the marijuana measures.

Deatherage said Hemstreet gave $500 to the anti-pot campaigns.

Sen. Eileen Quintub, a conservative Republican from Beaverton, was among
those who voted for Westlund's bill after the police chief's association
campaigned that marijuana was a gateway drug. But she says she has refrained
from the campaign for 57.

"That's something the chief's of police should do. They are much closer to it than
I am," she said.

But Rep. Floyd Prozanski, a liberal Democrat from Eugene and a staunch
opponent of the Westlund bill, believes there's another reason lawmakers are
distancing themselves from the marijuana measure.

"They are realizing that they were barking the 'Reefer Madness' mentality,"
Prozanski said.


Cannabis Patriots

These lawmakers who dumped this bill on us did not
even place one argument in Oregon's Voter's Pamphlet!
You mean these lawmakers couldn't raise $300 for that?
I think they did not want to be identified as the ones who
wanted to waste all our tax dollars and take away personal
liberty. This law, measure 57, if passed would allow the police
to expand their search and seizure powers for anything if they
find, or plant, one marijuana cigarette.


Marijuana - Sheriff Is Opposed (An op-ed in The Herald, in Everett,
Washington, by Rick Bart, Snohomish County Sheriff, illogically says
supporters of Initiative 692, the medical marijuana ballot measure, must be
"tugging at voters' heart-strings" because they can't say how many people are
in need of marijuana to relieve pain and suffering. Like, isn't that another
good reason to stop threatening patients with arrest?)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 12:44:51 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Sheriff Is Opposed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Tuesday, 27 October, 1998
Source: The Herald, Everett (WA)
Contact: letters@heraldnet.com
Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/
Copyright: 1998 The Daily Herald Co.
Author: RICK BART, Snohomish County Sheriff



Please join me in voting "NO" on I-692! This is the latest version in a
sequence of attempts to make marijuana a "legitimate" drug without proper

Contrary to what the supporters of this measure are trying to "spin" to the
voters of this state, it is not much improved in several critical areas:

1) Neither the American Medical Association, the Washington State Medical
Association, Dr. William O. Robertson (op-ed article, "Initiative 692 will
ease pain of many suffering patients," The Herald, Oct. 12) or any reliable
medical research data supports the spin that marijuana is a beneficial
medicinal drug that eases pain and suffering any better than existing drugs.

2) The growing, sales and/or distribution of marijuana remains a crime in
this state even if I-692 passes -- a huge discrepancy which I have seen no
one address! After a doctor prescribes marijuana to a terminally ill
person, where do they go to get it? They will go purchase it from the local
neighborhood drug dealer, or do I call them pharmacists now? That's if the
drug dealer can read the prescription.

3) Marijuana abuse, for that matter all drug abuse, is a problem here and
now! It has already significantly increased our crime rates.

4) Relying on the state Legislature to act if drug abuse or crime increases
(due to passage of this initiative) is ridiculous.

I am extremely suspicious of the proponents of this initiative for the
simple reason that they refer to opponents as, in Dr. Robertson's words,
"militaristic purists seemingly dedicated to banishing any and all drugs of
abuse from the face of the earth". You are wrong, Dr. Robertson, I am
dedicated (along with many others in criminal justice, human services and
the medical profession) to banishing drug abuse, not beneficial drugs!
Prove to me, as a voter, sheriff and compassionate human being, that
marijuana is a proven beneficial drug. This will be the first drug to
completely side-step strict FDA testing standards set up to protect
patients from harmful drugs.

I have a question. How many people in this state are in need of marijuana
to relieve pain and suffering? Does anyone know? Or is this an attempt to
tug at our heart-strings?

Why are supporters (the same sponsors who tried to legalize heroin in I-685
last year) in such a hurry to ram this down our throats? This initiative is
the precursor to legalizing marijuana. Even The Herald (editorial, Oct. 12)
agrees that "legalization would be a horrible idea."

Sheriff, Snohomish County

Those Suffering Could Be Us (A letter to the editor of The Seattle Times by a
woman whose pancreatic cancer won't let her keep her pills down urges voters
to endorse Initiative 692, the Washington state medical marijuana measure.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 17:22:59 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Those Suffering Could Be Us
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Tuesday, 27 October, 1998
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Norma L. Plumb, Lynnwood


I lost my mother to uterine and breast cancer the same week that I was
diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so I know a little bit about the
suffering of people with terminal or serious illness.

My stoic mother was in terrible pain for a week while her nurses and I
fought to have morphine prescribed for her. After my pancreatic
resection, which included partial removal of my stomach and colon,
food and medicine refused to stay down. Medications for calming my
stomach and reducing pain were of little use since they wouldn't stay
in my stomach long enough to digest.

This is a bit graphic, but now that a truly medical marijuana bill is
available, we need to face that swallowing "proven medication" doesn't
always work. We have to face that those suffering could be us or those
we love. Please vote yes on Initiative 692.

Some are concerned that this bill might make marijuana available to
our youth. When I was sickest, a friend confided that her non-using
kids said they could get marijuana for me within a day anytime. I
resisted asking someone to break the law. Now that we have a carefully
worded initiative that increases availability only to the seriously
ill, please allow cancer and glaucoma patients to relieve their suffering.

Norma L. Plumb, Lynnwood

We Should Use Science, Not The Ballot Box, To Minister To Disease
(A boilerplate op-ed in The Seattle Times opposing Initiative 692, the
Washington state medical marijuana ballot measure, by General Barry
McCaffrey, the White House drug czar, is almost identical to his recent op-ed
in The Las Vegas Review-Journal.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 17:22:59 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: We Should Use Science, Not The Ballot Box, To
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Tuesday, 27 October, 1998
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Barry R. McCaffrey and Donald R. Vereen Jr., Office of National
Drug Control Policy


Editor, The Times:

On Election Day, residents of Washington state will be asked to vote
on a referendum that would legalize cultivation, distribution,
possession and consumption of marijuana ostensibly for medical
purposes. We should all seek safe and effective medicine to treat
medical ills, but our collective interest is better served when
proven, scientific processes - not the ballot box - minister to disease.

Crude marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, and we know the
effect of only a few. The active ingredient in the cannabis leaf, THC,
is synthesized in measured dosages as Marinol, a prescription drug
that has been available for 15 years.

The FDA has encouraged the pharmaceutical industry to develop other
methods for administering THC - for example, by patch, suppository or

Such developments may make it easier for more individuals to realize
the possible therapeutic benefits of THC under controlled, prescribed

This marijuana referendum comes at a time we can't afford to send the
wrong message to our children about marijuana or other illegal drugs.
Juvenile marijuana usage rates have skyrocketed in the past six years.
Kids now begin smoking pot in the sixth and seventh grades.

Half of today's teens do so before completing high

Many will suffer from decisions made while their judgment is impaired
by the psychoactive effects of this drug. Indeed, marijuana is now the
second leading cause of car crashes among young people (after
alcohol). If we lower the societal barriers further, then marijuana
use among youth surely will escalate along with the negative
consequences of drug abuse.

Now is the time for concerned Washingtonians to say "yes" to their
communities, their children, and themselves by voting "no" on this

Barry R. McCaffrey and Donald R. Vereen Jr., Office of National Drug
Control Policy Washington, D.C.

Opponents of Ballot Measure 8 (An Alaskan list subscriber posts the text
of an advertisement in the Daily Newsminer listing those opposed to the
medical marijuana initiative - mostly cops and politicians.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 20:50:01 -0900
To: cohip@levellers.org
From: chuck@mosquitonet.com (Charles Rollins Jr)
Subject: CanPat - Ops of measure 8 speak!
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@smtp.teleport.com

This information appeared in the Daily Newsminer in a large ad on Oct-27-98
on page A-6. I have yet to see any ads run in the Local paper, also Alaskans
for Truth on the Marijuana Initiative Committee fail to address the real
legal questions about this measure

opponents of ballot measure 8
Gov Tony Knowles
Senator Frank and Nancy Murkowski
Senator Ted Steven
Congressman Don Young
Former governor Wally and Eramlee Hickel
Fairbanks North Star Borough Hank Hove
Fairbanks Deputy Police Chief James Welch
Alaska Peace Officers association
Alaska Association of chiefs of police

They charge

Marijuana would not require a prescription from a doctor

Patient does themselves, can grow their own marijuana, and sell it to other

Medically accepted and government approved alternatives already exist

Marijuana would be broadly available to anyone who could make a medical claim

Employees could be on the job under the influence of marijuana.

The American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have
rejected marijuana as medicine

Voters Favoring Medical Marijuana Initiatives (The Los Angeles Times
says that with a week to go, polls show that voters in at least four states
and Washington, DC, are poised to allow marijuana to be used legally
as a medicine - ignoring the years-long and escalating opposition
of the Clinton administration.)

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 14:38:40 -0500
To: November-L@november.org, november-d@drugsense.org
From: cheechwz@mindspring.com (A H Clements)
Subject: Nov-D: fwd: MMJ: Voters Favoring Medical Marijuana Initiatives
Sender: owner-november-d@drugsense.org
Reply-To: november-d@drugsense.org
Organization: November Coalition http://www.november.org/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times.
Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998


WASHINGTON--With a week to go, polls show that voters in at least four
states and Washington, D.C., are poised to allow marijuana to be used
legally as a medicine--ignoring the years-long and escalating opposition of
the Clinton administration.

"It certainly is plausible that we can win everything" in this year's
balloting, said Dave Fratello, a Californian whose organization, Americans
for Medical Rights, organizes medical marijuana initiatives around the

The group's private polling, Fratello said Monday, squares with newspaper
polls showing the measure ahead across the board, with the favorable
numbers rising toward 60%.

With a ruling expected any day on the fate of the measure in
Colorado--possibly making it the fifth state and the sixth jurisdiction to
vote on the issue Nov. 3--medical marijuana advocates show no sign of
surrendering to the federal government. Federal anti-drug officials,
cracking down even harder as a result of the success of two such ballot
measures in 1996, are not relenting either.

Marijuana has been banned from the federal list of legal drugs for a
quarter-century on the theory that it is a dangerous narcotic that has only
doubtful value as a medicine. Repeatedly, federal officials have rebuffed
efforts to relax that ban.

Advocates of the practice, though, are striking back--directly in Arizona
and with new initiatives in a widening campaign that will continue into
1999 and 2000, with petition-signing drives already underway in at least
two more states.

This year, voters in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington state and
Washington, D.C., also will vote on the question--as will voters in
Colorado, if the proposal survives a late court challenge.

Medical Marijuana Initiatives May Be First Proposals for Relaxing Drug Laws
(A Knight Ridder News Service article in The Chicago Tribune seems alarmed
that reform bills facing voters next Tuesday in five Western states, plus the
District of Columbia, are expected to win handily. Police, prosecutors and
federal officials are beside themselves with frustration. The initiatives'
popularity raises the question of how, after years of anti-drug ads and
horror stories, so many people still view marijuana as a benign force.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 20:12:00 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WIRE: MMJ: Medical Marijuana Initiatives May Be First
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)
Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) - Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Author: Naftali Bendavid (KRT)


WASHINGTON -- Renee Emry walked into the office of Rep. Bill McCollum
last month and did something rarely seen in a congressional suite: She
lit up a marijuana cigarette.

Emry, 38, suffers from multiple sclerosis, and she wanted to urge
McCollum, R-Fla., to support the legalization of marijuana as medicine
for patients like herself.

``I find that when I medicate appropriately, it calms my nerves, so I
fired up a fatty,''said Emry, who came here from Ann Arbor, Mich., on
behalf of a group called the Marijuana Policy Project. ``It's not like
I was trying to be rude, crude and totally uncalled for. I was there
to educate the man.''

Whisked away by Capitol police, Emry faces trial on a drug charge in

Not so easily ushered away is the issue itself. Medical marijuana
initiatives may be the first proposals for relaxing the drug laws that
have gained significant support since the war on drugs began in
earnest in the early 1980s.

Voters in California and Arizona approved medical marijuana
initiatives two years ago. Five more Western states, plus the District
of Columbia, will vote on similar proposals next Tuesday, and polls
released by supporters this week suggest they will win handily.

While those polls may be suspect, the public does face a real prospect
of waking up after election day to find that medical marijuana is
legal, at least in theory, in seven states that cover about one-fifth
of the population.

Police, prosecutors and federal officials are beside themselves with
frustration. The initiatives' popularity suggests that many people are
rejecting the message that marijuana is a dangerous ``gateway'' to
stronger drugs, and see marijuana instead as potentially

``This is a way to legally introduce people to possibly a lifetime of
drug abuse,'' said John Justice, a South Carolina prosecutor who heads
the National District Attorneys Association. ``The drug problem from
stem to stern in this country is tremendous, and I knew a judge who
used to call marijuana `the kindergarten of the drug

The proposals' supporters hope they are establishing a beachhead, and
that eventually marijuana will be legally available from doctors nationwide.

The initiatives' popularity raises the question of how, after years of
anti-drug ads and horror stories, so many people still view marijuana
as a benign force.

If some or all of the initiatives pass next week in Washington,
Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska and the District of Columbia,
political leaders and police will have to deal with the fact that the
new state laws will be at odds with federal law on the subject.

``Legally there is little significance if these things pass, but
politically there is a lot of significance,'' said Eric Sterling,
president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. ``Members of
Congress might start to re-evaluate their position.''

It is not entirely an accident that medical marijuana is catching on
now. A group called Americans for Medical Rights, headquartered in
Santa Monica, Calif., is pushing the crusade with small staffs in
several states.

AMR is bankrolled by three millionaires: financier George Soros,
insurance magnate Peter Lewis and John Sperling, who owns a successful
chain of adult education centers. The three have spent a total of just
over $2 million on the cause.

The campaign is airing commercials that stress the theme of
compassion. An Oregon television spot, for example, shows an avuncular
doctor bemoaning his inability to help patients suffering with
chemotherapy. ``Please, let us treat you with every medicine that can
help,'' Dr. Rick Bayer begs viewers.

Public officials and anti-drug activists are furious at this campaign.
But there is little organized opposition or advertising on the other
side, and that is one reason supporters are confident of victory.

Rep. McCollum, who pushed through a congressional resolution against
medical marijuana, claimed the drug can actually hurt patients by
weakening their immune systems. It is misleading for the initiatives
to suggest that marijuana would be available at the corner drugstore,
McCollum added, when in fact it would remain illegal to sell it even
if the initiatives pass.

``It is always phrased as though the doctor is going to provide a
prescription,'' McCollum said. ``In reality, there is no prescription.
The doctor gives you a chit and you can go down the street and buy it
from anyone.''

Opponents see a sinister agenda, the legalization of all drugs, hiding
behind the mask of compassion.

``They are taking the case to the voters in the most obnoxious and
irresponsible way, crafting television commercials that appeal to
compassion for the terminally ill,'' said Sue Rusche, executive
director of the anti-drug group National Families in Action. ``Who
doesn't have compassion for the terminally ill?''

Behind the social question -- is this just a way for old hippies to
push through drug legalization? -- is a medical one: Does marijuana
really have therapeutic value?

Doctors are somewhat divided. Supporters of medical marijuana say it
fights the nausea caused by chemotherapy and by AIDS treatments,
allowing some patients to keep their strength at a crucial level.
Marijuana is also said to relax the cramped and spasmodic muscles that
torment some multiple sclerosis patients.

But opponents say the evidence is far from conclusive. The Food and
Drug Administration has not approved marijuana as safe and effective,
and the Drug Enforcement Administration lists it as a ``Schedule I''
drug, meaning it has no medicinal value.

Barry McCaffrey, the nation's drug czar, held a news conference
Tuesday to drive home that point and to blast the state proposals.

``We need to leave medicine to the scientists and doctors of
America,'' McCaffrey said. ``American medicine is the best in the
world, and it's not based on this kind of malarkey.''

That, however, is not the view of Stormy Ray, a multiple sclerosis
patient in Oregon. She began smoking marijuana in 1991, she said, when
her regular medicines stopped working.

``I was absolutely amazed,'' said Ray, a grandmother who said she had
opposed drugs. ``It was like somebody finally found the right way to
turn my body back on. It took away the nerve pain. I could not imagine
anything being able to do that.''

If the initiatives do pass, that could be just the beginning of a
tangled legal battle. The sale and possession of marijuana still would
violate federal law, which takes precedence over state law.

In California, which passed a medical marijuana measure in 1996, legal
confusion prevails. Federal authorities say they will crack down on
doctors who recommended marijuana to their patients, but a court has
put a temporary hold on that crackdown, and the final outcome is in

Medical Marijuana Faces Test At Polls (A similarly biased article
in USA Today about medical marijuana initiatives facing voters
around the United States emphasizes drug warriors' fears rather than
sick people's suffering.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 20:52:44 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: USAT: MMJ: Medical Marijuana Faces Test At Polls
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kevzeese@laser.net
Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998
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: Patrick McMahon, USA TODAY


PORTLAND, Ore. - A state-by-state strategy for legalizing marijuana to treat
certain medical ailments gets its first big test next Tuesday as voters in
four states confront closely watched ballot measures.

To supporters, medical marijuana is a matter of compassion for sick and
dying patients who can't seem to find pain relief anywhere else. But, to
opponents, it's a dangerous step toward legalization of all drugs.

''The issue is that dying and suffering patients should not be arrested
when, under their doctor's supervision, they use marijuana as medicine,''
says Rick Bayer, a Portland physician leading the campaign here for Oregon's
Measure 67.

But Donald Vereen, a physician and deputy director the White House Office of
National Drug Control Policy, says the decision should be left up to federal
health officials. ''We don't want something determined to be medicine,'' he
says, ''because a bunch of people voted on it.''

Voters in Alaska, Nevada and Washington state, as well as in Oregon, will
consider ballot initiatives that list what illnesses marijuana can be used
to treat, including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain
and nausea.

In each state, doctors would be allowed to recommend marijuana, and patients
would be protected from criminal prosecution. In Alaska, Oregon and Nevada,
state officials are to establish a state ID card so police can easily
identify legal users. The amounts a patient could legally possess would vary
from one ounce plus three mature plants in Alaska to a 60-day supply in
Washington state.

A similar measure will appear on ballots in Colorado and Washington, D.C.,
but the results will not count. A judge in Colorado ruled that the
initiative did not attract sufficient signatures. And Congress amended the
District of Columbia's budget last week to forbid the use of public funds in
certifying the results.

Vereen dismisses as anecdotal the arguments of supporters that many people
find relief for their chronic pain only through marijuana. Arguments for
medical marijuana are often ''fluffy and pull on your heartstrings,'' he
says. ''You would think it's the magic bullet. People may be asking for
compassionate care, but that's what medicine does every day.''

Law enforcement groups also oppose legalization measures. They say it sends
the wrong message to children during the nation's war on drugs.

Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a dangerous drug like heroin
with no medical value. Unlike cocaine, amphetamines, or morphine, physicians
are not allowed to prescribe it. That's why the proposed state laws all say
doctors may ''recommend'' it.

The Clinton administration maintains that there have been insufficient
studies to determine the safety and effectiveness of smoked marijuana. But
Bayer says that there have been many studies documenting its value.

''The so-called lack of science is either ignorance or a smokescreen,'' he
says. ''I'm not saying marijuana is safe. I'm saying marijuana safety has to
be taken into context,'' and compared with less effective painkillers.

California and Arizona approved the use of medical marijuana two years ago,
although neither state government has embraced it and the federal government
has bitterly fought its use. The Arizona law was gutted by the state
Legislature and voters will consider overriding lawmakers next week.

In California, Attorney General Dan Lungren and federal officials have
succeeded in persuading judges to close buyers' clubs that supplied patients
with pot. But supporters of medical marijuana say courts have not stopped
perhaps as many as 100,000 California patients from legally growing their

The surge of interest in these laws ''started the day after the election in
1996,'' political consultant Bill Zimmerman says. He was manager of the 1996
campaign in California and is director of Americans for Medical Rights, the
umbrella group coordinating most but not all of this year's initiatives.

With little immediate hope for change by the federal government, the group
is seeking ''to go state by state to bring pressure to bear on future
congresses and a future president,'' Zimmerman says. The goal is to get the
federal government to reclassify marijuana so it can be used as medicine by
2002 or 2003.

Zimmerman's group will spend about $2 million nationwide this year, he says.
This includes paying for TV ads. Meanwhile, the federal government has
launched recently a $195-million-a-year, five-year advertising campaign that
includes anti-marijuana messages.

Americans for Medical Rights is financed mainly by philanthropist George
Soros of New York; John Sperling, founder of the for-profit University of
Phoenix; and insurance executive Peter Lewis of Cleveland. Proponents all
support reforming the nation's drug laws, but only some favor legalizing

The money behind the campaign also has provided ammunition for Barry
McCaffrey, head of the White House drug policy office. This summer he
blasted Zimmerman's group as a ''carefully camouflaged, exorbitantly funded,
well-heeled, elitist group whose ultimate goal is to legalize drug use'' in
the USA.

Medical Community United In Support Of Medical Marijuana Reform (A press
release from NORML lists more than 40 national and international medical
organizations that support medical marijuana research or therapeutic use.
The list is a response to claims by opponents of medical marijuana ballot
measures around the nation that doctors don't support marijuana as a

From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 16:06:35 EST
Subject: NORML Foundation NEWS ALERT-Drs. don't support med. mj.? (VII)


1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Ste. 710
Washington, DC 20036
202-483-8751 (p)
202-483-0057 (f)

October 27, 1998
Medical Community United In Support Of Medical Marijuana Reform

Washington, D.C.: A new directory compiled by The NORML Foundation
identifies over 40 national and international medical organizations that
support medical marijuana research or therapeutic use.

"Over the past several years, the medical community has resoundingly
spoken in favor of allowing certain patients legal access to medical
marijuana," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of The NORML
Foundation. "It remains politicians in Washington and law enforcement
officials, not doctors and nurses, that continue to support policies
prohibiting the use of marijuana as a legal medicine."

A large portion of medical groups advocate allowing seriously ill
patients legal access to medical marijuana. "Our position as nurses is
that we listen to what the patients tell us and patients tell us this
works," said Ileen Self of the Alaska Nurses Association, which passed a
resolution last month endorsing the passage of medical marijuana Ballot
Measure #8. The resolution further 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. Additional groups supporting
immediate supervised access to medical marijuana include: the AIDS Action
Council, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Public
Health Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicines, the
National Nurses Society on Addictions, and the state nursing associations
of California, Colorado, Florida, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Many other medical organizations admit that marijuana holds medical
value and back efforts to facilitate further clinical research.
"Anecdotal, survey, and clinical data support the view that smoked
marijuana ... provide[s] symptomatic relief in some patients," stated an
American Medical Association December 1997 report that called on federal
officials to encourage well-controlled human studies. This spring, the
group's California affiliate made an even stronger appeal. "Due to the
lack of scientific justification for Schedule I [prohibitive]
classification of marijuana and the consequent virtual standstill in
research on its medical benefits, ... we support efforts to reschedule
marijuana," the CMA Board of Trustees concluded. Medical organizations
holding similar positions include the American Cancer Society, the
British Medical Association, and the Federation of American Scientists.

Writing in the January 30, 1997, issue of the New England Journal of
Medicine, editor Jerome Kassirer, M.D. opined, "Federal authorities
should rescind their prohibition of the medical use of marijuana for
seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to
treat." Next week's medical marijuana ballot measures give voters the
opportunity to allow physicians the ability to discuss marijuana therapy
with those who may benefit from it, and gives patients legal protections
to use marijuana as a medicine when conventional medications prove

A complete listing of these and other medical groups stated positions
regarding the use of marijuana as medicine is now available online at:


Listing of Medical Organizations By Position


Medical Organizations Supporting "Supervised Access" to Medical Marijuana

AIDS Action Council (1996)
AIDS Treatment News (1998)
Alaska Nurses Association (1998)
American Academy of Family Physicians (1995)
American Medical Student Association (1994)
American Preventive Medical Association (1997)
American Public Health Association (1994)
American Society of Addiction Medicine (1997)
Australian National Task Force on Cannabis (1994)
Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (1996)
California Academy of Family Physicians (1994)
California Nurses Association (1995)
Colorado Nurses Association (1995)
Florida Medical Association (1997)
French Ministry of Health (1997)
Health Canada (1997)
Kaiser Permanente (1997)
Life Extension Foundation (1997)
Lymphoma Foundation of America (1997)
National Nurses Society on Addictions (1995)
New England Journal of Medicine (1997)
New York State Nurses Association (1995)
North Carolina Nurses Association (1996)
San Francisco Mayor's Summit on AIDS and HIV (1998)
Virginia Nurses Association (1994)


Medical Organizations Supporting "Legal Access to Marijuana Under a
Physician's Recommendation"

Alaska Nurses Association (1998)
California Academy of Family Physicians (1996)
California Nurses Association (1995)
Los Angeles County AIDS Commission (1996)
Maine AIDS Alliance (1997)
San Francisco Medical Society (1996)


Medical Organizations Supporting a Physician's Right to Recommend or
Discuss Marijuana Therapy With a Patient

American Medical Association (1997)
American Society of Addiction Medicine (1997)
Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (1997)
Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (1997)
California Academy of Family Physicians (1997)
California Medical Association (1997)
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (1997)
Marin Medical Society (1997)
San Francisco Medical Society (1997)



Medical Organizations Supporting Medical Marijuana "Research"

American Cancer Society (1997)
American Medical Association (1997)
American Public Health Association (1994)
American Society of Addiction Medicine (1997)
Australian National Task Force on Cannabis (1994)
British Medical Association (1997)
California Medical Association (1997)
California Society on Addiction Medicine (1997)
Congress of Nursing Practice (1996)
Federation of American Scientists (1994)
Florida Medical Association (1997)
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (1995)
Health Canada (1997)
Kaiser Permanente (1997)
Lymphoma Foundation of America (1997)
NIH Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana (1997)
National Nurses Society on Addictions (1995)
North Carolina Nurses Association (1996)
San Francisco Medical Society (1996)


Medical Organizations Supporting "Other" Favorable Positions Toward
Medical Marijuana

British Medical Association (1997)
--prescriptive access to active chemicals in marijuana; relaxation of
present marijuana-law enforcement

California Medical Association (1998)
--federal rescheduling

California Society on Addiction Medicine (1997)
--federal rescheduling

Congress of Nursing Practice (1996)
--instructing RN's on medical marijuana

New Mexico State Board of Nursing (1997)
--endorsement of a RN's right to discuss marijuana therapy with a patient

To read complete position statements by each organization, please visit:
www.norml.org/medical/mjorgs.html or call The NORML Foundation @ (202)
483-8751 for more information.

			- END -

DrugSense Focus Alert No. 86 - USA Today - Marijuana killer fungus (DrugSense
asks you to write a letter protesting Congress' appropriation of $23 million
to encourage genetic engineers to wage biological warfare on cannabis, coca
and poppies.)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 07:19:47 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert #86 USA Today MJ killer fungus


DrugSense FOCUS Alert #86 10/27/98

USA Today
US funds dangerous biological weapon for drug war


The US will spend $23 million next year to engineer a fungus to kill
marijuana plants, poppies, coca plants. Like most anti-drug schemes, this
is probably destined to fail, but the consequences of even testing the
weapon outside a laboratory could be disastrous. Critics worry the fungus
could mutate and attack other crops.

Legislators are naturally touting the plan as safe, effective and
inexpensive, but this desperate recklessness should be a sign to rational
people that increased risks are being taken to escalate the drug war. Let's
try to educate the public about the lengths drug warriors will go as they
realize all the traditional drug eradication efforts have failed.

Please write a letter to USA Today or any other newspaper that carried the
story about the fungus.

There are other related articles to choose from other newspapers at
search on "fungus" (no quotes)

For a more critical article about the dangers presented by the fungus, see:

Thanks for your effort and support.

You CAN make a big difference


It's not what others do it's what YOU do


Phone, fax etc.)

Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you
are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting
REPLY to this FOCUS Alert and pasting your letter in or by E-mailing a copy
directly to MGreer@mapinc.org




NOTE: There are other related articles to choose from other newspapers at
search on "fungus" (no quotes)


Original article:

[snipped to avoid duplication. Follow the link. - ed.]


ADDITIONAL INFO to help you in your letter writing efforts

3 Tips for Letter Writers

Letter Writers Style Guide



To the editor:

So now our drug-obsessed federal legislators are ready to leap without
looking again, this time with plant-eating fungi that seem more to likely
to appear in a science fiction story about the arrogance of man than in a
budget bill ("U.S. Might Enlist Fungi in Drug War," Oct. 22).

We are told this fungus will only kill crops that produce cocaine and
heroin, but what happens when all those crops are destroyed? Do we expect
these fungi to simply fade away? Or, in order to survive, will they mutate
and attack other crops?

The history of American drug policy is a catalog of Draconian actions
intended to end forever the abuse of illegal drugs. Every "solution" has
instead spawned a new set of problems. When upper middle-class women became
addicted to the heroin prescribed to them by doctors in the early 1900s,
those doctors were prohibited from distributing the drug, pushing heroin
and its users to the black markets of the streets. When an inner-city crack
problem was discovered in the mid-1980s, legislators drafted minimum
mandatory sentences, filling our jails beyond capacity and drawing a new
crop juvenile salesman into the more lucrative market.

Now we want to unleash a destructive biological agent in the world and our
leaders want us to believe it is a "silver bullet in the drug war."
Personally, I've seen too many cures that were more destructive than the
disease to accept such a dangerous absurdity.

Stephen Young


Mark Greer

Ruling Against Testimony-For-Leniency Jolts Court (The New York Times
discusses the hearing next month by the 12-member 10th US Circuit Court
of Appeals, in Denver, on whether prosecutors' offers of leniency in exchange
for testimony against other defendants constitutes bribery.)

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 18:59:28 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US KS: Ruling Against Testimony-For-Leniency Jolts Court
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kevzeese@laser.net
Pubdate: 27 October 1998
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Copyright: 1998 The New York Times Company
Author: William Glaberson


WICHITA, Kan. -- Every day in courts across the country, witnesses
take the stand in exchange for favorable treatment from prosecutors.
Some people call them informers. Prosecutors call them essential.

So it was a jolt to law-enforcement officials across the country when
a three-judge federal appeals court ruled this summer that federal
prosecutors could no longer use the testimony of witnesses, possibly
facing criminal charges, who had been promised leniency. Promises of
favorable treatment, the court said, violated the federal law
prohibiting bribery.

The decision, which some lawyers say may be the first successful
challenge under the federal bribery law to the practice of offering
witnesses leniency, a centerpiece of the legal system since Colonial
times, has triggered an unprecedented national examination in the
courts, in Congress and among legal scholars.

Since the ruling, which is now under review by the full federal
appeals court in Denver, courts in virtually every state have been
asked to bar leniency deals, bills have been introduced in Congress to
negate the effect of the panel's decision and legal scholars have been
debating whether prosecutors have grown too reliant on the use of informers.

"In the culture of this country, nobody likes a snitch, yet that has
become the crux of the criminal justice system," said Steven Zeidman,
a professor of criminal law at New York University Law School. "But
nobody likes to think about it, and now we're being forced to think
about it."

The federal bribery law says that "whoever" offers "anything of value
to any person" for testimony commits a crime. In its July 1 ruling,
the three-judge panel said that "whoever" includes federal

"The judicial process is tainted and justice cheapened when factual
testimony is purchased, whether with leniency or money," the panel
said in a drug case that began here.

Within days, the ruling was annulled by the full 12-member 10th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, in Denver, which decided it should review a
decision with such far-reaching consequences. The full court is to
hear the case next month.

In its original ruling, the three-judge panel ordered a new trial for
the defendant, Sonya Singleton, a 25-year-old mother of two children.
At her trial in 1997 on charges of being involved in a drug conspiracy
and money-laundering, she was identified as part of a drug
distribution scheme by a Wichita cocaine dealer, who was then given a
reduced sentence in exchange for his testimony.

Until the full appeals court decided to review the case, the ruling was
binding on all the federal courts in the six states of the 10th Circuit:
Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

But because circuit courts are second in importance only to the
Supreme Court, the ruling was seen as damaging to prosecutors
nationally. In legal papers, the Justice Department said the decision
by the three-judge panel to "make a criminal out of nearly every
federal prosecutor" was an "absurd result."

Justice Department officials here and in Washington, who are working
together on the appeal because of its national importance, declined to
be interviewed. But in their legal filings, they say the panel's
ruling could cripple prosecutors. During the short time it was in
effect, the ruling "caused chaos in the District Courts and U.S.
attorney's offices in this circuit and significant disruption
throughout the rest of the country," the Justice Department filing


Justice Department lawyers said, for example, that the ruling
paralyzed organized crime prosecutions because it was unclear whether
prosecutors could rely on the testimony of crucial cooperating witnesses.

Defense lawyers said the ruling was far from absurd and exposed a flaw
in the American justice system that had been ignored too long. In an
interview here, Ms. Singleton's lawyer, John Wachtel, said prosecutors
everywhere had perverted the justice system by offering leniency to
criminals so they could win cases, even against innocent people.

In a telephone interview from a federal prison in Texas, Ms. Singleton
said it was unfair that prosecutors had a tool as potent as freedom to
offer witnesses. "Who wouldn't testify against somebody," she said,
"even if it's a lie, just so they can go home?" She says she is
innocent; she is serving a four-year term while she appeals her conviction.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has filed a
friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to support Ms. Singleton's
appeal. And defense lawyers from coast to coast said that no topic had
received more attention this fall than the Singleton ruling. Although
the Singleton case deals only with federal prosecutors, defense
lawyers have begun to file similar challenges in many states that have
bribery statutes with provisions similar to the federal law.

Wachtel said that if the full appeals court reversed the panel's
decision, he would ask the Supreme Court to review the case.

Some legal experts say that whatever the merits of the argument in the
Singleton case, the panel's original ruling would tie the legal system
in knots because prosecutors use offers of leniency so frequently.

If the ruling is affirmed, said Roscoe Howard Jr., a professor of
criminal law at the University of Kansas School of Law, "the system
would grind to a halt." Howard, a former federal prosecutor, said that
without leniency offers, defendants would have no incentive to
cooperate and prosecutors would be forced to try every case.

"If a government attorney can't make these sorts of deals," Howard
said, "physically I don't think our court system could handle the
number of trials that would come through."

Some judges across the country have been hostile to the panel's
ruling. Since it was published on July 1, at least 16 federal courts
have published opinions after defense lawyers asked judges to bar the
testimony of cooperating witnesses. Of those, 13 of the judges said
the panel's decision was a flawed challenge to a fundamental legal
rule. Many other judges are thought to have made similar rulings informally.

In some cases, the rulings expressed fury or amazement that a court
would jeopardize so fundamental a tool. Judge Frederic Smalkin of U.S.
District Court in Maryland called the panel's ruling "amazingly
unsound, not to mention nonsensical."

Several judges have noted that in the 50-year history of the federal
bribery law, no one had apparently suggested that prosecutors were
violating the law by offering witnesses leniency. Several judges have
also said that deals with cooperating witnesses were standard practice
beginning before the Revolutionary War.

In a ruling rejecting a defense request to bar a witness' testimony,
Judge Federico Moreno of the federal court in Florida said, "The
holding of the Singleton panel would dangerously disable the
government's investigatory and prosecutorial powers."

But some federal judges have said that their job is to interpret the
law, not create it. Congress, said judges in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
and Knoxville, Tenn., did not exclude prosecutors when it drew up the
bribery law. Prosecutors, therefore, must be covered by the law, they

Some judges have said that promising a defendant a reduced sentence,
no matter how common, could encourage false testimony. "Regardless of
the good faith of the individual prosecutor," said District Court
Judge Ginger Berrigan of Louisiana, "any inducement is as much if not

more a temptation to fabricate than it is to tell the truth."

Wachtel said it was to be expected that some judges would be resistant
to a new idea. Judges, he said, seem trapped in a "Well, come on,
we've been doing it forever" approach.

But he said major legal changes had often come from a single case,
like the 1966 Miranda decision, which declared that all criminal
defendants must be informed of their rights.

Wachtel, 53, said he did not know of an earlier case in which a
defense lawyer had claimed that a leniency deal was a violation of the
federal bribery law. In the Singleton case, he said, the idea occurred
to him as he struggled to defend his client against the testimony of a
cocaine dealer, Napoleon Douglas. Douglas had been a friend of Ms.
Singleton's boyfriend, who was also charged in a drug distribution
scheme that prosecutors called one of the biggest in Kansas.

Wachtel, a trial lawyer in one of Wichita's biggest law firms, was
appointed to defend Ms. Singleton because she could not afford to hire
her own lawyer. While he was working on the case, he said, he came
across an article written by a California lawyer who said that it was
unfair that prosecutors could offer incentives to witnesses but
defense lawyers could not.

When the trial of Ms. Singleton began last year, Wachtel
unsuccessfully raised the issue of the bribery statute with the
federal judge in Wichita, Frank Theis. From the bench, Theis issued an
eight-word ruling: "This statute does not apply to the

Ms. Singleton was convicted and sent to prison.

Wachtel appealed and again raised the issue of the bribery statute.
The three-judge panel assigned to hear the case included the chief
judge of the appeals court, Stephanie Seymour, appointed by President
Carter, and two judges appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush, David
Ebel and Paul Kelly Jr.

In a densely worded 18-page opinion, the panel examined precedents as
far back as the Magna Carta, which imposed limits on the exercise of
sovereign power. The law prohibiting "whoever" from offering a witness
anything of value in exchange for testimony should apply, the judges
said, to prosecutors as well as to everyone else.

"Decency, security and liberty alike," the panel said, "demand that
government officials shall be subject to the same rules of conduct
that are commands to the citizen."



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