------------------------------------------------------------------- Measure 57 - Marijuana Possession (The Oregonian doesn't make it hard to figure out how it wants you to vote as it describes the state ballot measure that would recriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.) Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 01:13:34 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Measure 57 - Marijuana Possession Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 Source: Oregonian, The Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Copyright: Oregon Live MEASURE 57 - MARIJUANA POSSESSION What The Measure Would Do Possessing small amounts of marijuana in Oregon would carry a possible jail term for the first time in more than two decades under Ballot Measure 57. The measure would make possessing less than an ounce of marijuana a misdemeanor, punishable by a potential jail term of 30 days and a fine of as much as $1,000. First-time offenders could agree to a diversion program; the new law would allow a six-month suspension of driving privileges for failure to complete the program. Background Currently, possession of less than an ounce is considered a noncriminal violation, punishable by a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. The Oregon Legislature in 1997 passed a bill increasing the penalties for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and the governor signed it. But petitioners collected more than 90,000 signatures to block the bill from becoming law, sending this tougher measure to voters this fall. The Pros I've seen a huge number of people whose lives have been devastated by drugs. John Minnis, former state representative Proponents of Measure 57 argue that marijuana use is rising among young people, showing decriminalization is not working. They say the state needs to get tougher on using marijuana, which advocates say is a gateway drug to other illegal substances. Drug users will not seek treatment on their own, proponents say; they need law-enforcement intervention. Advocates also say that current law sends a message that smoking marijuana is no big deal and that government needs to reinforce the message that drug use is wrong. The Cons People die from tobacco, and people die from sugar. People don't just die from marijuana. Michael E. Rose, Portland defense lawyer Opponents of Measure 57 argue that the measure costs too much, and money could be spent more wisely on drug-treatment programs. They also say the measure would lead to the early release of more serious offenders and that the measure wouldn't deter young people from using drugs. A provision in the measure requiring those facing the misdemenaor charge to admit they were in possession of marijuana before they could qualify for a diversion program would discourage treatment, opponents say. The measure also would broaden police search and seizure powers unnecessarily and lead to selective enforcement, opponents say. The Big Picture In 1973, Oregon became the first state to remove criminal penalties for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana. At the time, the maximum fine was $100. In 1989, the Legislature revisited the issue, opting to keep the violation status but increase the fine. The state fiscal impact committee estimates that recriminalizing marijuana would cost the state and county governments $1.42 million annually. The figure includes: * $586,000 annually for law enforcement, indigent defense, court operations and jury payments. * $229,000 annually in county costs for local jail beds. * A one-time cost of $50,000 for Driver and Motor Vehicle Services computer programming. * An estimated loss of $638,000 in state revenues. Contacts For: Rep. Ben Westlund, R-Bend Phone: 541-383-4444 Against: No on 57 Committee Michael E. Rose, Chief petitioner Phone: 503-371-6222
------------------------------------------------------------------- Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group (A local correspondent says the medical marijuana support group continues to serve patients, despite the prosecutions of Marvin Chavez and Jack Shachter and the seizure of the group's bank account. Please send donations to help with copying costs, postage, phone bills, and so forth.) From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 20:32:17 EST To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org (PLEASE FORWARD TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO MAY BE INTERESTED IN HELPING) The Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group has been hit hard by the arrests of patients/volunteers Marvin Chavez and Jack Shachter and the subsequent seizure of our bank account by police. Both are being charged by a ruthless Orange County District Attorney with numerous felony counts for giving away medicinal cannabis to patients under Proposition 215. The OCPDNSG provides support to patients with medical cannabis recommendations. Monthly meetings give patients a space to meet other disabled people and educate patients on their rights under Proposition 215. The OCPDNSG was founded to help provide safe and affordable cannabis to those in need, giving away free cannabis to patients with confirmed doctor recommendations. The support group operates off of donations from generous, caring people. Since the arrests earlier this year of Marvin Chavez and Jack Shachter, the OCPDNSG has struggled to survive. In order to keep helping patients out in Orange County, we need donations. Copying costs, postage, phone bills, etc., all add up. If you are able to help out patients in Orange County, please do. Even the smallest of donations would be appreciated, and would be helping out sick and disabled people in Orange County. Please send donations to: Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group P.O. Box 6826 Santa Ana, CA 92706
------------------------------------------------------------------- An In Depth Look At Question No. 9 (An MSNBC story broadcast by KRNV in Reno about the Nevada medical marijuana ballot measure quotes District Attorney Dick Gammick saying that in California, Proposition 215 "has already broken down, and a movement is under way for repeal," a patently false statement.) Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 09:42:03 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NV: MMJ: An In Depth Look At Question #9 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 Source: MSNBC/KRNV (Reno, NV) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KRNV/default.asp Author: Bill Brown AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT QUESTION #9 RENO, NV October 28 - One of the most talked about questions on Tuesday's ballot is drawing the least controversy. Question 9 would legalize the use of small amounts of marijuana, for medicinal use. Question 9 only legalizes marijuana for medicinal use. Unlike Prop 215 in California, it does not set up the system by which users would get the drug. Backers say that's up to the state legislature. Most people News 4 talked to, while worried about control, told us if marijuana would help the sick, the question should pass. However, not everyone agrees with the basic medical premise. District Attorney Dick Gammick says, "Show me the studies. Marijuana is not new. Show me where the FDA says it'll help." A marijuana user who wanted to remain anonymous says he's used the drug for 10-years, ever since he found out he was HIV positive. He feels the drug has helped him fight back. He says, "It's a quality of life issue. I tried one other drug that completely changed my personality." Backers say the evidence is there. They point to a collection of studies and a report of an ad hoc committee of experts to the National Institute of Health. Those studies do say marijuana reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and helps HIV and glaucoma patients. Medicinal supporter Dan Geary says, "The word that isn't used here is compassion. This drug helps people through very tough times." Still, Gammick says in California, the law has already broken down, and a movement is under way for repeal. This is a constitutional amendment. That means it has to pass twice. If the vote is for 9 on Tuesday, Gammick promises a stiff fight the second time.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Buckley Lied On Recount, Her Own Workers Allege (According to The Gazette, in Colorado Springs, employees of Colorado Secretary of State Vikki Buckley say they never completed a line-by-line recount of 88,815 signatures submitted for Amendment 19 - contrary to what Buckley told the Colorado Supreme Court after she disqualified the medical marijuana ballot measure.)Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 05:00:54 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: MMJ: Buckley Lied On Recount, Her Own Workers Allege Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (The Furnace Room) Source: Gazette, The (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.gazette.com/ Copyright: 1998, The Gazette Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 Author: Mary Boyle/The Gazette BUCKLEY LIED ON RECOUNT, HER OWN WORKERS ALLEGE DENVER - Employees of Secretary of State Vikki Buckley say they never completed a line-by-line recount of 88,815 signatures on a proposal to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana - contrary to what Buckley told the Colorado Supreme Court. About 50 people - temporary workers and employees pulled from other divisions of the office - worked to meet a court-ordered deadline to verify the signatures, sources in the office told The Gazette on Tuesday. Two employees paint a picture of an office in turmoil as the computer system kept crashing. Apparently, the computer was not designed to handle the mass data entry being performed, say the employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One employee said a few thousand signatures remained unchecked just two hours before time ran out Friday, Oct. 16. Another employee returned a list of about 50 signatures that were not verified because time ran out. And that employee knew other workers who did the same. It's unclear exactly how many signatures may have gone unchecked. Or if there were enough to give the medicinal marijuana proponents the 54,242 signatures they needed to qualify for the ballot. Still, the employees' allegations led Democrat Ric Bainter to accuse Buckley of lying when she issued a statement on Oct. 16 invalidating the measure known as Amendment 19. Bainter is trying to unseat Buckley in next Tuesday's election. In her disputed announcement, Buckley said she had "completed a line-by-line review of the signatures" and proponents of the marijuana proposal were 2,338 signatures short of getting on the ballot. But Bainter questions the veracity of that statement. "Amendment 19 proponents have evidence that the secretary of state lied when she told the Supreme Court and the people of Colorado that she had actually recounted all of the signatures," Bainter said. "They also have very strong evidence that their initiative was improperly disqualified from the ballot a second time." Buckley did not return telephone calls from The Gazette seeking comment. Nor were calls returned by her attorney, Maurice Knaizer, a deputy attorney general representing her on the medical marijuana challenge. Solicitor General Richard Westfall of the attorney general's office also declined comment, saying it was Buckley's decision whether to respond. "She's going to have to make that call," Westfall said. "These are just allegations. We don't have the facts." Lying by a public official is a serious charge, according to attorneys familiar with Colorado law, ranging from a misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony, punishable by a fine or up to three years in jail. Buckley's office has been under constant fire since June. She has mistakenly disqualified candidates from the statewide ballot, failed to meet initiative deadlines and mailed an error-ridden ballot to county clerk. Earlier this month, she blamed the media for the barrage of negative stories, calling them half-truths and lies. Medicinal pot proponents have been fighting Buckley since they submitted their signatures in August. First, Buckley ruled they lacked the required minimum of 54,242 signatures to make the ballot. Martin Chilcutt, the chief sponsor of the measure, challenged her in court and a Denver district court judge ruled the measure back onto the ballot. Shortly after, the Colorado Supreme Court intervened, ordering Buckley to complete a line-by-line recount of the signatures within 10 days. At that point, election ballots had already been printed and they included Amendment 19. So if Buckley found a sufficient number of signatures, votes cast for and against the measure would be tallied. If not, the issue would be moot. After getting a one-day extension on her deadline, Buckley reported that Chilcutt had 36,911 invalid signatures and 51,904 valid signatures, 2,338 short of making the ballot. However, when Chilcutt requested a list of the invalid signatures, it had only 35,151 names. Bainter claims that 1,760 signatures were never reviewed. In addition, Chilcutt says he found 2,000 signatures Buckley incorrectly disqualified. Bainter says Buckley could face a civil rights lawsuit from the proponents if it is found she lied or incorrectly kept them off the ballot. Attorney Ed Ramey, who is representing Chilcutt and his group, Coloradans for Medical Rights, said it would be premature to comment on a possible lawsuit. He said much depends on whether the issue is ultimately counted in Tuesday's election. "If in fact we can get votes counted, everything resolves itself," Ramey said. "If not, I agree with Bainter." Chilcutt plans to be in Denver District Court today to challenge Buckley's ruling once again. Mary Boyle may be reached at (303) 837-0697 or email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ruling On Leniency Shakes A US Legal Pillar (A New York Times article in The International Herald-Tribune 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. A three-judge panel from the same court disrupted proceedings around the nation in July when it said that was the case in the prosecution of Sonya Singleton, 25, who maintains her innocence from prison after being charged with involvement in a drug conspiracy and money laundering. "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.")Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 04:57:14 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: IHT: Ruling On Leniency Shakes A U.S. Legal Pillar Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.iht.com/ Copyright: International Herald Tribune 1998 Pubdate: 28 Oct 1998 Author: William Glaberson, New York Times Service Section: Page 3 RULING ON LENIENCY SHAKES A U.S. LEGAL PILLAR WICHITA, Kansas---Every day in courts across the United States, 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 a federal law prohibiting bribery. The decision, 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 American legal system since Colonial times. It has triggered a national examination in the courts, in Congress and among legal scholars. Since the ruling, which is 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 in Wichita. 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, 25. 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 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, Oklahorna, Utah and Wyoming. But because U.S. circuit courts are second in importance only to the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling was seen as damaging to prosecutors nationally. In legal papers, the Justice Department said the decision by the threejudge panel to "make a criminal out of nearly every federal prosecutor" was an "absurd result." Justice Department officials in Wichita and Washington, who are working together on the appeal, 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. Ms. Singleton's lawyer, John Wachtel, said prosecutors everywhere had perverted the justice system by offering leniency to criminals. 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, iust so they can go home?" Ms. Singleton is serving a four-year term. She says she is innocent, and she is appealing her conviction. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to support her appeal.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer Charged In Oregon Case Will Go To Trial (The Houston Chronicle says James Willis, a Houston prohibition agent, has been charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, after he and five other cops broke into the home of Pedro Oregon Navarro without a warrant and shot the innocent man 12 times, nine times in the back. Willis' attorney said Tuesday "He's not guilty." "There will be a lot of information that will come out in trial that will shed new light.")Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 04:59:25 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Officer Charged In Oregon Case Will Go To Trial Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: Stefanie Asin OFFICER CHARGED IN OREGON CASE WILL GO TO TRIAL A Houston police officer charged with criminal trespass in connection with the shooting death of Pedro Oregon Navarro will go to trial to defend himself, his attorney said Tuesday at his first court appearance. "He's not guilty," said attorney Brian Benken, who is representing Officer James Willis, 28. "There will be a lot of information that will come out in trial that will shed new light." Benken said his client should be tried in the next few months. If convicted, he could spend up to a year in jail. Willis has been suspended with pay pending an internal affairs investigation. If convicted of the misdemeanor, there is no Houston Police Department policy that prevents Willis from staying on the force unless the internal investigation shows he violated department rules, said John Cannon, HPD spokesman. Officers convicted of felonies lose their law enforcement license. On July 12, six officers burst into Oregon's residence after receiving a tip from an informant that drugs were being sold. The officers opened fire on Oregon after another officer accidentally fired his weapon. Oregon was shot 12 times, including nine in the back. The officers contend that he pointed a gun at them. The officers did not have an arrest or search warrant, and Oregon's gun had not been fired. No drugs were found in the apartment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The People Behind The Medical Marijuana Conspiracy (Richard Cowan, writing in marijuananews.com, notes it is a staple of prohibitionist opposition to medical marijuana that the movement is "exploiting" patients. He then shares a poignant tale about a friend in the District of Columbia who was about to go to bed rather late on a cold night last week. When he looked out his window, he saw a man in a wheelchair dragging himself along by his one leg. He was putting up posters that said, "Vote Yes on 59 - Medical Marijuana.") Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 16:25:38 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: MMJ: The People Behind The Medical Marijuana Conspiracy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Source: marijuananews.com Pubdate: 28 Oct 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.marijuananews.com/ Author: Richard Cowan, Editor and Publisher Note: This is a rare exception to policy posting of an article published only on the web. - Richard Lake, Sr. Editor THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY It is a staple of the prohibitionist opposition to medical marijuana that the movement is "exploiting" the patients. Here is a somewhat different perspective. I was talking by phone to a friend in D.C. He told me that when he was about to get in bed late on a rather cold night last week he looked out his window and saw a man in a wheelchair dragging himself along by his one leg. He was putting up medical marijuana posters on my friend's street. To do this, the man had to push himself up on his one leg and hold on to the pole. My friend got into bed, but was so moved by the image that he had just seen that he had to get up. He bundled himself up against the chill of the fall night and grabbed a staple gun that he happened to have and headed out. People in wheelchairs putting up posters don't move very fast, so my friend had no difficulty catching up. The man was a little startled, as D.C. streets are none too safe at night, but he was pleased when my friend asked if he could help. Oh yes, I forgot to say that the wheelchair was towing a little wagon filled with the posters. My friend asked if the fellow was a medical marijuana user. Yes, he explained; the accident that had cost him his leg also left him with a spinal fusion and a lot of pain. He even has to wear a catheter. He found that the pharmaceutical pain relievers were ineffective and too debilitating, so he uses medical marijuana. With my friend's help they plastered the neighborhood with "Vote Yes On 59 -- Medical Marijuana" posters. When they ran out of posters the guy in the wheelchair thanked my friend, but he wasn't too bashful to ask for a contribution for the "Yes On 59" campaign. (They get no money from the "Billionaire Backers" of most of the other initiatives.) My friend said yes, but they had to go back to my friend's home to get a check. Since the entrance is up some stairs my friend ran in and grabbed his checkbook and went back out and gave the man a check. My friend then went back to bed as the wheelchair disappeared into the night. The relevance of the check is that the guy in the wheelchair got my friend's address from it, and so the next morning there were ten more "Yes On 59" posters stuffed in my friend's door. The guy in the wheelchair had crawled up the stairs to leave them for someone who had helped him spread the word on a cold night. These are the people behind the medical marijuana conspiracy. Truly, they will stop at nothing! PS -- My friend who got out of bed was Allen St. Pierre, the National Director of the NORML Foundation. It is a very small conspiracy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana in the Federal Budget (A list subscriber notes Congress recently confirmed Dr. Jane Henney, a cancer specialist, as director of the Food and Drug Administration while inserting the language of Senate Joint Resolution 56 into the federal budget law. This means that the FDA must report back by Jan. 21, 1999 on its "new drug" evaluation process and the "interstate commerce" aspects of medical marijuana.) From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 17:14:48 EST Subject: Fwd: MATT: Medical Marijuana in the Federal Budget Subject: MATT: Medical Marijuana in the Federal Budget Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 13:20:19 PST From: "Terry Kennedy" (firstname.lastname@example.org) For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 28, 1998 Medical Marijuana in the Federal Budget Senate appoints new FDA Chief, cancer specialist Dr. Jane Henney to report on Medical Marijuana by Jan 21, 1999. In their final week the 105th Congress confirmed cancer specialist Dr. Jane Henney as Chief of the Food and Drug Administration and inserted the language of SJR 56 (HJR 117) into the federal budget law. This means that the FDA must report back by January 21st, 1999 on current efforts to enforce the "new drug" evaluation process and "interstate commerce" aspects of medical marijuana. This makes the new FDA Chief the first to use a new drug evaluation process which congress drastically overhauled last year in the FDA Modernization Act of 1997. "No person shall introduce ... into interstate commerce any new drug, unless an approval of an application filed ... is effective...." "...''Substantial evidence'' means evidence consisting of adequate and well-controlled investigations ... that the drug will have the effect ... under the conditions of use prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling.... If the Secretary determines, based on relevant science, that data from one adequate and well-controlled clinical investigation and confirmatory evidence (obtained prior to or after such investigation) are sufficient to establish effectiveness, the Secretary may consider such data and evidence to constitute substantial evidence... " -- Section 505 of the FEDERAL FOOD, DRUG, AND COSMETIC ACT (Click here for full text of section 505 without tripithica's, it is very long though) "By placing the rescheduling decision in the hands of the FDA Congress is de-politicizing the process," explains Dennis Peron, author of California's Compassionate Use Act of 1996. "Now America wants to know, does Dr. Jane Henney hear our call for compassionate rescheduling? She is going to either end the pot ban by January 21st or sanction anarchy and Congress is going to back her to the hilt on either call." "Pursuant to section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, before any drug can be approved as a medication in the United States, it must meet extensive scientific and medical standards established by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure it is safe and effective. ... Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act the Commissioner of Foods and Drugs shall...report on the specific efforts underway to enforce sections 304 and 505 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with respect to marijuana and other Schedule I drugs." - Public Law 105-277 "The Federal Budget Act of 1999" (became law 10/21/98).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-Presidents Rail Vs. Marijuana (The Associated Press says former US presidents Bush, Carter and Ford have responded to a plea by the White House Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, and written an open letter to voters in several states where initiatives have been placed on the ballot that would legalize marijuana as medicine. The rationale offered by the three stooges was that allowing sick people to be treated with cannabis would "undercut public confidence in the safety of medicines.") Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 23:22:14 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Fraglthndr@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Fwd: Ex-Presidents Rail Vs. Marijuana From: AOLNews@aol.com Subject: Ex-Presidents Rail Vs. Marijuana Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 19:53:03 EST Ex-Presidents Rail Vs. Marijuana c The Associated Press By ROBERT BURNS WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a letter solicited by President Clinton's drug control chief, former presidents Bush, Carter and Ford said ballot measures in several states to legalize marijuana for medical purposes would undercut public confidence in the safety of medicines. "These initiatives are not based on the best available science," the three former presidents wrote Wednesday in a "Dear fellow citizens" letter that closely paralleled the Clinton administration's position on the matter. In remarks on Tuesday, Barry McCaffrey, the White House director of drug control programs, asserted that marijuana initiatives on ballots in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia would prejudge clinical research to determine the safety of using marijuana by AIDS patients. "Prejudging that research through a political process would be irresponsible," McCaffrey said. Proponents of the marijuana initiatives said citizens ultimately will place more stock in findings of medical researchers than in McCaffrey's stance. "The public supports compassionate use of medical marijuana. Voters will heed the advice of doctors, not a general, in a political position advocating failed national drug policies," said Bill Zimmerman, director of Americans for Medical Rights, a private advocacy group for using marijuana to treat illnesses from cancer to AIDS. In their letter, requested by McCaffrey, the former presidents said the state ballot measures "undercut our national commitment to ensuring that medicines are proven to be safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration before being approved for use by the public." "Ignoring science does not promote good medicine and is not in our national interest," they wrote. Under the state measures, marijuana would be made legal only for persons suffering from one of a short list of specific ailments. Measures in Alaska, Oregon and Nevada would establish state registries of patients entitled to use it. In Alaska and Oregon, patients could get identification cards to avoid arrest. The laws would require a patient to get a doctor's recommendation that marijuana would help one or more of a list of illnesses that includes cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain, seizures and muscle spasms. Advocates hope the initiatives' narrow focus on medical applications will appeal to voter compassion and evoke images of solace, of pain eased, of appetite restored and of nausea quieted. Recent polls in Alaska, Oregon and Washington show most voters support the measures. Nevada appears to be a close call. A ballot measure in Arizona would require heroin, LSD, marijuana and certain other drugs to be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration before they could be prescribed as medicines. Polls indicate that measure is trailing. AP-NY-10-28-98 1952EST Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press. *** Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 18:03:17 EST Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Compassionate Care Alliance) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Fwd: Ex-Presidents Rail Vs. Marijuana With that mentality it is no surprise that all 3 are losers who could not get re-elected. ann
------------------------------------------------------------------- States Set to Confront Medical Marijuana (FoxNews says medical marijuana initiatives facing voters in five states are increasing pressure on federal drug policy.) Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 17:26:23 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: FOX News: MMJ: States Set to Confront Medical Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Author: Patrick Riley Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 Source: FoxNews Website: http://www.foxnews.com/ Contact: email@example.com STATES SET TO CONFRONT MEDICAL MARIJUANA ISSUE Pressure is mounting against federal drug policy as five states prepare to take on the issue of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. When voters in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington decide in Election Day ballot measures whether to allow the drug to be smoked by the sick, supporters say the government will have no choice but to notice. "It sends an overwhelming message that the citizens of this country do not support the illogical stance of the federal government in their denying of medicine to patients who need it," said Tim Killian, campaign director for Washington Citizens for Medical Rights. The government considers marijuana a dangerous narcotic without proven medicinal value, making it illegal for doctors to prescribe. But advocates of the drug's use say that it can act as an appetite stimulant and alleviate nausea for AIDS and cancer patients. Each state's ballot proposals cover the same basic ground: The new laws would allow doctors to "recommend" but not prescribe marijuana. And patients who use it would be able to invoke a "medical necessity defense" if arrested for possession of the drug. It gives the courts "a little more latitude in letting people go," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "We don't want to persecute and imprison sick people," said Steve Hager, editorial director of High Times magazine. "It's obvious that there's a huge groundswell of public opinion to allow sick people medicine rather than torturing them and putting them in jail." Polls by newspapers and supporting groups indicate that the measures have generally strong support, with as many as 60 percent of voters backing the reform in some states. Popular backing for the issue is not a recent occurrence. A Wired Magazine/Merrill Lynch nationwide poll of 1,400 adults last year found that 62 percent supported "legalizing marijuana if it is used strictly for medical reasons." Activists hope the campaign will only spread from here. "Our eventual goal is to force the federal government to reschedule marijuana as medicine that can be prescribed by doctors," said Geoff Sugerman, campaign director of Oregonians for Medical Rights. But the White House shows no signs of budging. A statement from the president's office of national drug control policy states that "smoked marijuana has not been demonstrated by science to be a safe and effective medicine." It does however note that the "existing scientific literature" on the topic is being reviewed by the Institute of Medicine, which will issue a report in early 1999. "If the federal government wants to see this issue go away, then they have the ability to immediately reschedule marijuana into schedule 2 and have it be taken over by pharmaceutical companies" and pharmacies, said Killian. Marijuana is currently classified as a "schedule 1" drug under the Controlled Substances Act, along with drugs such as LSD and heroin. Schedule 2 substances, which can be prescribed, include cocaine, methadone and morphine. Arizona's ballot measure differs from the others in that voters will decide whether to accept changes made by the state legislature to the original medicinal marijuana bill passed in 1996. The changes would effectively wipe out the 1996 decision by making federal approval a condition for use of the drug. Movements in Colorado and the District of Columbia are currently embroiled in court battles to have similar ballot questions count. In the District of Columbia, the question will appear on the ballot and be counted, but Congress passed an amendment to the District of Columbia's budget last week which removes funding for the votes to be certified. A Colorado judge ruled last week that not enough signatures were collected for votes on the question to be tallied. The epicenter of the current movement is in California, which, along with Arizona, legalized medicinal pot in 1996. The precedent set by California is one of continual clashes between the state and federal officials. While the law allows for caregivers to provide marijuana to their patients, problems arose when patients began designating large-scale "buyers clubs" as their caregiver. Despite an organized system where doctor's notes were kept on file for every patient, the clubs have been systematically shut down by federal and state officials for violation of federal law banning the distribution of narcotics. The current movements vow not to fall into the same traps. "We all learned from the California experience and we've tried to better the process," Killian said. All of the new proposals limit patients and caregivers to specified amounts that they can grow. Alaska, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon would establish a patient registry with ID cards for legal users and the District of Columbia initiative would explicitly establish non-profit organizations that would be allowed to distribute and grow medical marijuana. Some groups are worried that increasing acceptance of marijuana, a drug once labeled "the devil's weed" by anti-drug films in the '30s and '40s, sends the wrong message to young people. "When kids see more risk and less social acceptability in drugs, fewer children will choose to use drugs," said a statement issued by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. "When the opposite occurs - when children see less risk, and more social acceptability - more children are willing to use drugs." It has been suggested that such new laws would weaken law enforcement of the recreational use of marijuana. Organizers such as Sugerman and Killian say their strict regulations would prevent this from becoming a by-product of their movement, but others clearly hope this will happen. "I hope that we stop persecuting everybody for marijuana because it's a complete waste of money," said Hager. "And it tramples on a lot of our constitutional rights."
------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 States Face Vote On Medical Pot (The San Francisco Examiner notes the White House is lobbying against medical marijuana measures that will be on the ballot next Tuesday in five states and the District of Columbia. "The goal is to change national policy, but we know we will have to win more battles in 1999 and 2000 before that happens," said Dave Fratello, spokesman for Santa Monica-based Americans for Medical Rights, which is coordinating the initiatives in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.) Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 15:34:26 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: MMJ: 5 States Face Vote On Medical Pot 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: Oct. 28, 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Examiner Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Mark Helm, Examiner Washington Bureau 5 STATES FACE VOTE ON MEDICAL POT Opponents Fume Passage Could Make Drug "Quasi-Legal' WASHINGTON - Just as it opposed California's 1996 medical marijuana initiative, the White House is lobbying against medical marijuana measures that will be on the ballot next Tuesday in five states and the District of Columbia. "To be blunt, these initiatives would result in the quasi-legalization of marijuana," Barry McCaffrey, White House drug policy director, said Tuesday. McCaffrey said decisions to use certain drugs for medical use should be based on science rather than politics. "Medicine is not determined by popular vote," he said. Voters in Alaska, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon and Washington will consider such initiatives. The measures would allow physicians, under defined conditions, to obtain and dispense marijuana as a palliative to their patients. California and Arizona both passed similar measures in 1996, but neither has gone into effect. In California, state and federal authorities have made a persistent effort to prevent people from selling marijuana to individuals who obtain a doctor's prescription. Arizona's referendum was blocked by the state legislature when it discovered that the measure also allowed doctors to prescribe 116 other drugs, including LSD, heroin and PCP. If some or all of the initiatives pass next week, political leaders and police will have to deal with the fact that the new state laws will be at odds with federal law. Attorney General Janet Reno has strongly denounced the initiatives, insisting, "I don't think that the determination as to whether there is a medical use for marijuana should be made at the ballot box." Political significance "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." The proposals' supporters hope they are establishing a beachhead, and that eventually marijuana will be legally available from doctors nationwide. The initiatives' popularity suggests 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.' " Proponents of the initiatives say there are many cancer and AIDS patients for whom marijuana is the most effective drug in relieving nausea and other debilitating side effects of treatments. "The public has told us that they support the right of suffering patients to use medical marijuana," said Wayne Turner, who helped organize the ballot initiative in the District of Columbia. While medical research on the effectiveness of marijuana is continuing, proponents of the initiatives cite research that smoking marijuana is more effective than pills and patches containing THC, the chemical found in marijuana that some scientists and physicians believe is beneficial to terminally ill patients. More initiatives in 1999, 2000 Dave Fratello, spokesman for Santa Monica-based Americans for Medical Rights - which is coordinating the ballot drives in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state - said in a statement that his group hoped to put the medical marijuana initiatives on ballots in more states in the future. "The goal is to change national policy, but we know we will have to win more battles in 1999 and 2000 before that happens," said Fratello, whose group will spend $2 million on advertisements supporting the state initiatives. AMR is bankrolled by three multimillionaires: 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 TV 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 - one reason supporters are confident of victory. Opponents see a sinister agenda, the legalization of all drugs, hiding behind the mask of compassion. The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Stirring the Pot (abcnews.com covers a press conference in Washington, DC, Tuesday at which the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, criticized the effrontery of voters who think they're more qualified than the FDA to choose which medicines seriously ill patients and doctors should be allowed to use.) Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 16:23:49 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: ABC News: MMJ: Stirring the Pot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Conrad Source: ABCNEWS.com Copyright: 1998 ABC News Pubdate: 28 Oct 1998 Contact: http://www.abcnews.com/service/abc_contactus.html Website: http://www.abcnews.com/ Note: Not really sure if/how ABC used this story in it's news broadcasts. It is interesting that they use a quote from someone from the Partnership for a Drug Free America to lead the item. An objective source? - Richard Lake, Sr. Editor STIRRING THE POT 5 States Consider Marijuana Initiatives "It's better to make doctors and scientists decide what medicine to use through the process of the FDA, than to have John Doe standing in a voting booth decide." - Leigh Leventhal, PDFA The debate about marijuana as a gateway drug has shifted from classrooms to ballot booths. In school, smoking pot was condemned as the first step toward serious drug addiction. Now, critics say ballot initiatives that would legalize medical marijuana are a gateway between alternative therapy and the corruption of national drug policy. "What I would like to do is make the argument ...," said drug czar Barry McCaffrey at a Washington press conference Tuesday, "that these initiatives are simply not in accordance with good science, ignore the safety of the American people and send a bad message." With allied law enforcers and health officials by his side, McCaffrey urged voters to reject initiatives in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington state and California that would make marijuana legal, to varying degrees, for medicinal purposes. Proponents say marijuana, specifically in smoked form, has a range of valuable uses. Among the ailments pot is said to relieve are arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, nausea from chemotherapy, and the extreme weight loss associated with AIDS. Are Voters Qualified? But there's no science to back up those claims, say drug policy officials, and further, there's no precedent for letting citizens decide for themselves which drugs should be approved for public use. "What we are saying is that we question whether this is the best way to make a law," says Leigh Leventhal, a spokeswoman for the Partnership for a Drug Free America. "Medical marijuana is a medical issue and we feel that this is really best left to the medical community to decide. "It's better to make doctors and scientists decide what medicine to use through the process of the FDA [Federal Drug Administration], than to have John Doe standing in a voting booth decide," she says. "The way we make medicine in this country is tried and true, and they have to go through those rigors." But proponents of medical marijuana say they are resorting to ballot initiatives only because the government, unwilling to conduct new studies or honor old ones, has left them no other choice. "There are two tracks going on this right now," says Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws [NORML]. "One is the NIH [National Institutes of Health] study, and all it's doing is placating us by going back and reviewing all of the '60s '70s and '80s studies." "The other is the Donald Abrams study, a $1 million study to look at AIDS patients that would have cost $50,000 in 1991." The initial question in the Abrams study, St. Pierre says, was to see if marijuana helped patients gain weight. "But after six years as a bureaucratic study, now it asks 'Does marijuana impact the immune systems of AIDS patients?' So one is a non-study, and one is a study with big, fat asterisks," St. Pierre says. To Inhale or Not to Inhale McCaffrey and other critics denounce marijuana proponents' assertions that it's relatively safe. They point to NIH research showing that side effects of marijuana use include lung damage, rapid heart beat, loss of coordination, and impaired short-term memory. And the verdict, the researchers say, is still out on its damage to long-term memory. Foes of marijuana smoking also say a variety of already approved drugs with well-known side effects-including the orally administered form of marijuana's active ingredient, THC-that can serve patients better. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, associate professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and author of several pro-marijuana books, counters that the drug is safe. He says evidence, even if it is anecdotal, proves it. "This drug is among the least toxic substances we know of," says Grinspoon. "When I as a physician write a prescription, I do a risk-benefit analysis. Is the disorder that you're suffering enough that I know I should give you a medicine with side effects? Nearly all medicines, even common ones like ibuprofen and aspirin, have side effects that cause thousands of deaths annually, Grinspoon says. "And yet these are considered over-the-counter drugs. Now you tell me about [marijuana], which has never killed anybody, and yet you can go to jail if you get caught with it." Mixed Messages But McCaffrey warns legalizing even controlled amounts of marijuana for specific usage sends a bad message to the American public, especially to children. "People ask me what the most dangerous drug in America is, and I would argue unequivocally, it's poly-drug abuse, alcohol and marijuana combined by American adolescents," he says. "Because we know that young people between the ages of 9 and 18 that are involved in a lot of pot smoking and alcohol consumption have enormously increased statistical risks of ending up as compulsive drug users as adults." To combat this, the government has spent millions of dollars on campaigns that tell kids to "Just Say No;" that a brain on drugs resembles a fried egg, or a destroyed kitchen. Now, in five states, the question is: If a pocket of states sanctions marijuana's medicinal use, will it undermine the nation's efforts to combat illicit drug use? Polls show voters in four of those states seem poised to say yes. The final answer will come on Election Day.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Some depressed people missing brain cells - study (According to Reuters, neurobiologist Joseph Price and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, have reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that people inflicted with depression who also have a family history of depression have a relatively low number of glia cells in the part of the brain known as the subgenual prefrontal cortex. However, since the research as described was carried out on patients with bipolar disorder, it's not clear how the scientists arrived at their conclusions.) Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 04:08:29 EST Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Missing Brain Cells? From: email@example.com (ann mccormick) Date: Wed, Oct 28, 1998 Some depressed people missing brain cells - study WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some depressed people are missing brain cells, researchers reported Tuesday in findings that could help explain cases of inherited depression. Neurobiologist Joseph Price of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and colleagues say their finding could lead to new ways to treat many cases of depression. "One of the things we hope may result from our findings is the recognition that there are important differences between patients with a familial history of depression and those without,´´ Price said in a statement. "There might also be differences in appropriate drug therapies." Price´s team was building on earlier studies that show people with familial depression have less activity in a part of the brain known as the subgenual prefrontal cortex. In people with inherited depression this region, which is about the size of a thumbnail and is right behind the middle of the forehead, is also smaller. Price and his team looked closer. They compared the number of brain cells from that region in people with bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, and healthy people. In many of the patients they found a huge difference in the numbers of cells called glia, which help take care of other brain cells called neurons. Glia are also known to respond to serotonin, the neurotransmitter or message-carrying chemical involved in depression. The differences were only found in people with a family history of depression, Price reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "That suggests that this deficit may relate to the genetic difference that gives people a tendency to become depressed,´´ Price said. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man Who Grew Dope For Son Sentenced (According to The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, in Ontario, a Kitchener father with a colostomy who said he grew marijuana at home so his son wouldn't have to buy it on the street, escaped a jail sentence Tuesday. Lawyer Aaron Grupp said the man did it because his 15-year-old stepson was using marijuana and wouldn't stop. He didn't want the son exposed to the "dangers of street drugs," which could be cut with unsafe substances.) Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 05:02:54 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Man Who Grew Dope For Son Sentenced Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Starr Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.southam.com/kitchenerwaterloorecord/ Copyright: Kitchener-Waterloo Record 1998 Pubdate: 28 Oct 1998 Section: Local Author: Dianne Wood MAN WHO GREW DOPE FOR SON SENTENCED A Kitchener father who said he grew marijuana at home so his son wouldn't have to buy it on the street probably escaped a jail sentence Tuesday because he agreed to live with his mother for six months. Judge Donald MacMillan said the fact that the man wouldn't be living with his stepson made imposing the six-month conditional sentence much more acceptable. Otherwise, the judge said he would have hesitated to agree to a conditional sentence, given the nature of the case. He called the father's motivation for growing 20 marijuana plants at home "appalling." Lawyer Aaron Grupp said the man did it because his 15-year-old stepson was using marijuana and wouldn't stop. He didn't want the son exposed to the "dangers of street drugs" which could be cut with unsafe substances, Grupp said. Grupp likened his actions to those of a father who introduces a child beginning to experiment with liquor to drinking at home in a controlled environment. But drug prosecutor Pat Flynn said the father was supposed to be a role model and "guiding hand" for the son, not someone who encouraged criminal conduct. The judge called the man's actions "terribly misguided," and not the behaviour of a reponsible adult raising a child. The procecutor and judge said they also had to consider a conditional sentence because of the 41-year-old man's medical condition. He had a colostomy, and the bag would have been hard to manage in jail, Grupp said. "This is a person who has very significant health problems," MacMillan said. He also took into account the man's lack of criminal record and his guilty plea to production of marijuana and trafficking. The judge said trafficking in marijuana has to be treated more leniently than harder drugs such as cocaine. Along with the plants, police also found 96 grams of plant material and marijuana joints. The plants could have yielded three pounds of marijuana worth about $7,500 on the street. The judge also ordered the man to perform 150 hours of community service and placed him on probation for 18 months. He can't be named because his son was also charged, and is a young person. -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1998 Daily News index for October 22-28
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/981028.html