------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.") Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 05:28:07 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots - (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com), "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org), email@example.com Subject: CanPat - Contributions Lag on Anti-Marijuana Measure Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Contributions Lag on Anti-Marijuana Measure The Statesman Journal Salem, Oregon 10-27-98 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 ounce. 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 businessmen. 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 http://www.teleport.com/~nepal/canpat.htm 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. Paul
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Sheriff Is Opposed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Tuesday, 27 October, 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Daily Herald Co. Author: RICK BART, Snohomish County Sheriff MARIJUANA SHERIFF IS OPPOSED 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 evidence. 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." RICK BART 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Those Suffering Could Be Us Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Tuesday, 27 October, 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Author: Norma L. Plumb, Lynnwood THOSE SUFFERING COULD BE US 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: We Should Use Science, Not The Ballot Box, To Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Tuesday, 27 October, 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.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 WE SHOULD USE SCIENCE, NOT THE BALLOT BOX, TO MINISTER TO DISEASE 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 inhaler. Such developments may make it easier for more individuals to realize the possible therapeutic benefits of THC under controlled, prescribed conditions. 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 school. 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 initiative. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Charles Rollins Jr) Subject: CanPat - Ops of measure 8 speak! Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 patients 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, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (A H Clements) Subject: Nov-D: fwd: MMJ: Voters Favoring Medical Marijuana Initiatives Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: November Coalition http://www.november.org/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times. Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 VOTERS FAVORING MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVES 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 country. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: MMJ: Medical Marijuana Initiatives May Be First Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) - Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Author: Naftali Bendavid (KRT) MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVES MAY BE FIRST PROPOSALS FOR RELAXING DRUG LAWS 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 December. 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 therapeutic. ``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 industry.''' 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 doubt.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: USAT: MMJ: Medical Marijuana Faces Test At Polls Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 Source: USA Today (US) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Copyright: 1998 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Author: Patrick McMahon, USA TODAY MEDICAL MARIJUANA FACES TEST AT POLLS 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 own. 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 marijuana. 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 medicine.) 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) NORML Foundation NEWS ALERT 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org October 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 unsuccessful. A complete listing of these and other medical groups stated positions regarding the use of marijuana as medicine is now available online at: www.norml.org/medical/mjorgs.html. (more) 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) (more) *** 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: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert #86 USA Today MJ killer fungus PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE 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 http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ search on "fungus" (no quotes) For a more critical article about the dangers presented by the fungus, see: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n495/a03.html Thanks for your effort and support. You CAN make a big difference WRITE A LETTER TODAY It's not what others do it's what YOU do *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter, 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 *** CONTACT INFO Letters firstname.lastname@example.org NOTE: There are other related articles to choose from other newspapers at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ 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 http://www.mapinc.org/3tips.htm Letter Writers Style Guide http://www.mapinc.org/style.htm *** SAMPLE LETTER 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 WRITE AWAY! Mark Greer DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US KS: Ruling Against Testimony-For-Leniency Jolts Court Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: 27 October 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The New York Times Company Author: William Glaberson RULING AGAINST TESTIMONY-FOR-LENIENCY JOLTS COURT SYSTEM 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 prosecutors. "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 says. 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 ruled. 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 government." 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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