------------------------------------------------------------------- DARE Right to be Dropped (A letter to the editor of The Statesman Journal, in Salem, Oregon, applauds the decision by the Salem-Keizer School District to reduce the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.)Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 05:38:33 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com) Subject: CanPat - DARE RIGHT TO BE DROPPED-Published Letter to the editor Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The Statesman Journal 11-14-98 email@example.com Published Letter to the editor----- DARE RIGHT TO BE DROPPED The DARE program has been proven ineffective by several studies. It has been removed by some big cities due to its ineffectiveness. Police officers are not trained health professionals. Their training is in law enforcement. Drug education should be left to health professionals. DARE has also been compared to the tactics of totalitarian regimes in which friends and relatives are encouraged to turn folks in for marijuana. From a study I undertook, I found that almost all of the high school age students I interviewed considered DARE a huge waste of time and money, and support dropped dramatically once students reach high school age. Does anyone else remember that the DARE program was created by former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates? This man told Congress that the casual drug user should be shot! There are certainly questions about his competence as evidenced by his controversial years as police chief. There are many questions as to the competence of the DARE program as well. Paul Stone Salem, Oregon *** I was pleased the way the Statesman Journal merged parts of my long and short version together. Paul Freedom To join our discussion list cannabis-patriots e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Grand jury returns no indictment in death (The Oregonian notes law enforcement officials are still able to get a grand jury in Portland to do anything they want, including sanctioning the murder of a mentally ill man.) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Groups want to snub out Grand jury returns no indictment in death The panel decides Portland police were not criminally culpable in the death of Richard C. "Dickie" Dow in their custody Saturday, November 14 1998 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff A grand jury on Friday unanimously declined to indict Portland officers in the death of Richard C. Dickie Dow, a mentally ill man who died last month in police custody. As police welcomed the outcome, and Dows attorney, family and neighbors criticized the decision, Police Chief Charles Moose appointed two committees to re-examine whether officers need additional training in CPR, or training in alternative tactics for handling suspects with extreme violent tendencies. "I understand the necessity to continue to learn and grow, Moose said. Certainly this incident has brought those two issues to the forefront. Dow, 37, a paranoid schizophrenic, collapsed in police custody Oct. 19 as officers tried to restrain him. Two officers attempted to do CPR, police said. Paramedics soon arrived and revived Dow, but he died the next morning at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. The grand jury met for six days and heard 35 witnesses, including several whose accounts contradicted police testimony, Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said. The Portland police investigative report on Dows death, released Friday night after the grand jury was dismissed, continued to point up discrepancies between what officers and witnesses said was done to assist Dow once he stopped breathing. Schrunk said it was not a matter of the jurors believing one side over another but a consideration of the cumulative facts. "Obviously my clients are concerned about such a conclusion, and don't agree with it, said Forrest Rieke, an attorney for Barbara and Ted Vickers, Dows mother and stepfather. He said his investigators are continuing an independent inquiry. Federal officials also will examine the police investigation to determine whether civil rights violations occurred. Schrunk made it clear that the grand jury decided only that there was no criminal culpability. It did not decide whether officers violated Portland Police Bureau policy or used excessive force, whether officers might be liable in a civil lawsuit or whether police procedures and training are appropriate. State Medical Examiner Dr. Larry Lewman ruled Dow died of positional asphyxia, or sudden death syndrome, in which a persons body position interferes with respiration, resulting in suffocation. The condition usually occurs during forcible restraint involving someone with a mental illness or who has used an excessive amount of drugs. Portland officers are trained to assess whether a suspect is likely to suffer from the syndrome. When possible, they are trained to limit the suspects physical exertion. Police said Dow was uncontrollable, flailing his arms and kicking officers even as they used pepper spray, struck him with batons and took him to the ground in an attempt to control him. Dr. Peter Kohler, president of Oregon Health Sciences University, will lead a committee examining whether police need better training on how to recognize or react to sudden death syndrome. "Do most officers want a prettier, simpler solution than beating a guy down with a baton or putting him down on his chest? Yes, said Tom Mack, secretary-treasurer of the Portland Police Association. If the bureau or citizens can come up with something that works better, then were all for that. Fire Chief Robert Wall will head a committee on emergency medical response that will evaluate whether police should have continual CPR training, what type of medical equipment they should carry and how much new training or equipment would cost. Portland police receive CPR training when they join the bureau as part of basic academy courses, but the bureau eliminated annual refresher training in 1992 because of budget and staffing shortfalls. According to the Portland police investigative report released Friday, the incident began when Dow made threatening remarks to two men outside the Winchells Donut House on North Lombard Street. One of the men called 9-1-1 after Dow threatened to poke one in the eye with a screwdriver. Portland School Officer Dennis McClain was the first to respond. Once he got out of his car, he said, Dow grabbed his wrists and dragged him about 150 feet. McClain called for emergency backup. Six officers tried to restrain Dow, but he continued to flail and kick officers as they tried to subdue him with pepper spray and their batons, the report says. Officer Steven Andrusko grabbed Dow in a bear hug and took him to the ground. Once he was face down on the ground, with his head to the side, officers managed to cuff Dows hands. As they crossed his ankles and bent them to his buttocks, they noticed he had stopped breathing. Police immediately removed the handcuffs and rolled him over. Officers Kathleen Pahlke and John Rebman attempted CPR, but the effort did not go smoothly because of problems with a protective mask, documents show. Pahlke screamed for an officer to get her a protective mask as she bent Dows head back to clear his airway. The mask is a device with a bag attached that allows artificial respiration without actual mouth-to-mouth contact. "I started to do CPR, applied a couple of chest compressions, and Officer Pahlke said we need to get some air in, get, get him breathing first, Rebman told investigators. About that time, the mask showed up. We attempted to give him a couple of breaths, three, four real good hard breaths with that. And I never saw his lungs inflate at all. So, about that time, we kind of briefly stopped. Rebman, who received CPR training in 1991 but has had no refresher course since, said he had trouble snapping on an airway piece attached to the protective mask that sealed off Dows nose and mouth. "From my training many years ago, I kinda remember that you snap that onto the fixture inside of the mask, and then that airway goes down inside the mouth, he told investigators. I just couldn't get it on. So rather than to continue fighting with it, I made an effort to just use the mask without that and see if it wouldn't work. Paramedics told investigators that when they arrived, they did not see police providing emergency medical care. Several neighborhood witnesses also said they never saw officers perform CPR. Some were disappointed with the outcome of the grand jury. "Im not terribly surprised, but I'm very angry, said Deborah Howes, who said she offered to perform CPR at the scene the night of the incident but was told to move away. Police, in their report, said Howes probably did not see officers perform CPR because she went into her home briefly to shut off running bathwater. "Im mostly angry that they're trying to discredit me, Howes said Friday. Were not happy that there isn't justice in this system. The Portland police investigation included accounts of several prior altercations Dow had been involved in, including a 1995 unprovoked assault against a Fred Meyer food department manager. At the time of that incident, Dows sister confided to store security that Dows family never knew how he would act when he was off his medication. His mother and stepfather have said Dow had not been using medication for months. Nine officers involved in the Dow incident took three days of paid administrative leave after Dows death, and all have returned to work. Two received hate mail. Some told investigators the incident was terrifying. "I was afraid, said Officer James Darby, who was blinded by pepper spray used against Dow. When you're involved in an encounter like this, and everything that you're taught to be true is suddenly not, and nothing you're doing is working, and this person is still coming at you and still attacking you . . . that's a terrifying position to be in. Moose said his decision to review police training and procedures is not a reflection on the officers who were involved. "I think we have a ruling that certainly tells me that they all performed very admirably, he said. Yes, its a tragedy, but there is no one here to be blamed. Neighbors and friends of the Dow family plan a candlelight vigil Friday where Dow collapsed, marking one month since his death. David R. Anderson of The Oregonian staff contributed to this story.
------------------------------------------------------------------- WSU hosts conference on alcohol and violence (The Associated Press says people at more than 100 colleges and universities in 41 states and one Canadian province tuned in Friday to a national conference originating at Washington State University in Pullman that focused on recent campus riots related to alcohol. One speaker noted the first reference to a student alcohol riot was in 1355, when students and townspeople in Oxford, England, rioted for three days after accusing a tavern owner of watering down the wine.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: WSU hosts conference on alcohol and violence Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:57:42 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org WSU hosts conference on alcohol and violence The Associated Press 11/14/98 8:21 PM Eastern PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Booze and violence are major problems on college campuses around the country, speakers said at a national conference originating from Washington State University. People at more than 100 colleges and universities in 41 states and one Canadian province tuned in Friday to hear a panel discussion that focused on campus riots at WSU, the University of Colorado and the University of Wisconsin. Student alcohol riots aren't new, said panelist Alan Lizotte, executive director of the Consortium for Higher Education Campus Crime Research. Lizotte, who tracks campus crime data, said the first reference to a student alcohol riot was in 1355 when students and townspeople in Oxford, England, rioted for three days after accusing a tavern owner of watering down the wine. More recent university alcohol problems appeared to occur at universities with a profile similar to WSU, said Lizotte: rural campuses with large numbers of students, large dormitory populations and a large Greek system. Richard Keeling, director of university health services at the University of Wisconsin, said binge drinking can be embedded into university culture because it is associated with opinion leaders and peer pressure. It is also tied to important events such as graduation and homecoming, and brings economic benefits to bars, restaurants and supermarkets, he said. Andy Boyd, president of the WSU Inter-Fraternity Council, said a May riot at WSU, which caused injuries to two dozen law officers and thousands of dollars of damage, was a combination of warm weather, alcohol and boredom. "We need to factor in here where we're located. There's nothing really to do here," he said of the Pullman area. But George Bettas, WSU associate dean of students, called Boyd's comment a "cop-out. "I don't agree with that. There's a lot to do here without getting involved in abusive drinking," he said. Bettas is teaching a graduate course in which students are researching the reasons and effects of the WSU riot by speaking to students involved. The second thrust of the teleconference was how to stop alcohol-fueled violence. Officials must see binge drinking as a public health challenge and by taking steps to create a cultural change, Keeling said. Steps Keeling outlined included involving the community to set appropriate guidelines, investigating issues such as the number of bars in one area and the drink specials provided at bars and restaurants and providing alternative entertainment options. Boyd said WSU fraternities and sororities are already working with alumni and advisers to create programs that do not include alcohol.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Settlement Would Give State $4.02 Billion (The Seattle Times says that's how much Washington state stands to gain over the next 27 years from the nation's biggest tobacco companies under a 30-state, $200 billion agreement that is being negotiated to settle fraud and antitrust lawsuits.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 20:37:14 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: Tobacco Settlement Would Give State $402 Billion Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Pubdate: 14 November, 1998 Author: James V. Grimaldi, Seattle Times Washington bureau TOBACCO SETTLEMENT WOULD GIVE STATE $4.02 BILLION NEW YORK - Over the next 27 years, Washington state stands to gain about $4.02 billion from the nation's biggest tobacco companies under a 30-state, $200 billion agreement that is in the final, frenzied stages of negotiations to settle fraud and antitrust lawsuits, Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire said yesterday. The amount, which would be paid through 2025, is about $1 billion more than the state would have received in the June 1997 proposed settlement, though the agreement would provide no money to the federal government and would not include agreements for the regulation of nicotine by the Food and Drug Administration. The proposed settlement also does not have penalties if tobacco companies fail to reduce teen smoking. The deal would include a wide range of public-health requirements for the tobacco industry, including curbs on cigarette advertising and marketing giveaways, said Gregoire's spokesman, Fred Olson, in New York yesterday for talks. It would also require the tobacco companies to spend about $1.45 billion on advertising to persuade youths not to start smoking. Plus, the cigarette industry would spend $250 million over the next decade to create a national foundation to reduce teen smoking. The foundation would pay for scientific studies researching factors that influence youth smoking. The settlement would end the current trial of the tobacco industry in King County Superior Court. The draft settlement also would limit tobacco companies to sponsoring one sporting event a year using a brand name, such as Winston or Marlboro. Advertising in sporting stadiums and arenas would be prohibited and outdoor ads larger than 14 square feet would be banned. In ads, cartoon figures would be banned, but human figures would be allowed. The deal also prohibits, after July 1, the giveaway and sale of clothing and merchandise - such as hats, shirts and backpacks - imprinted with brand logos. The deal also includes a promise to disband the Council for Tobacco Research, the Tobacco Institute and the Council for Indoor Air Research but preserve their records for use in future litigation. The $200 billion settlement would cover the nation's biggest cigarette makers, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Brown & Williamson Tobacco and Lorillard Tobacco. Four states - Mississippi, Minnesota, Texas and Florida - already have reached settlements of their lawsuits against the industry to recover Medicaid spending on smoking-related illness and to cut the number of smokers. Those deals were worth a total of $36 billion. Seattle Times staff reporter Matthew Ebnet contributed to this report
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Accord Would Aid SJ (The San Jose Mercury News says a proposed $200 billion nationwide settlement with the tobacco industry would generate an estimated $23 billion for California over the next 25 years, including roughly $287 million for San Jose.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 20:37:43 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: CA: Tobacco Accord Would Aid SJ Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Author: Howard Mintz Pubdate: 14 November 1998 TOBACCO ACCORD WOULD AID S.J. A proposed $200 billion nationwide settlement with the tobacco industry would generate an estimated $23 billion for California over the next 25 years, a figure that would be divvied up by cities and counties across the state, including San Jose and Santa Clara County. San Jose would receive roughly $287 million, and Santa Clara County's share might exceed $500 million over the life of the agreement, according to lawyers who have analyzed the tentative settlement, which is expected to be announced formally Monday. The deal now being completed has been hashed out by attorneys general of eight states, including California, and representatives of the nation's four leading cigarette manufacturers. The $200 billion would flow to the states to help pay their smoking-related health costs, according to a partial draft of the deal. The proposal restricts cigarette advertising and marketing. All cigarette billboards and merchandise with cigarette logos would disappear. Tobacco companies would foot the bill for ads discouraging youth smoking. In California, the settlement would be distributed under a 17-page agreement ratified in August by the California Attorney General's Office and the major cities and counties pushing five separate court battles against the tobacco industry. Under that accord, California will turn over 50 percent of any recovery from the tobacco industry to cities and counties. With the tentative settlement providing about $23 billion to California, roughly $11.5 billion would go to local governments, based on the August pact. Cities' special status San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have special status under the pact because they are cities large enough to pursue litigation under the state law being used in court against the tobacco companies. The formula worked out in the August memorandum, which gives the four cities 10 percent of the amount that goes to local governments, entitles San Jose to its $287 million share. ``That's the figure as I understand it,'' San Jose City Attorney Joan Gallo said Friday. ``Everything I have heard makes it sound imminent. We are very pleased with the agreement.'' Meanwhile, the agreement with the state calls for the 58 counties to divide the remainder of the tobacco payout. San Francisco Deputy City Attorney Andrew Chang, a member of his city's tobacco team, said Santa Clara County should receive about $500 million. County Counsel Ann Ravel said that figure appeared to be close to her office's estimates. Ravel plans to recommend the deal to the board of supervisors. ``It ensures that we will be able to recover when the likelihood of recovery from the litigation was not clear,'' Ravel said. Santa Clara County participated in a statewide case initiated by San Francisco, which sued the tobacco companies on behalf of the state's cities and counties, seeking reimbursement for the public health costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses. To resolve five cases Overall, the settlement, if approved, would resolve five pending cases now joined in state court in San Diego, including one brought by Governor-elect Gray Davis. At least one of those cases sought to force tobacco companies to relinquish their profits from selling cigarettes in the state under the theory that the public had been deceived about the dangers of smoking. A spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren declined comment Friday, saying there would not be discussion of the pact until Monday. A spokeswoman for incoming Attorney General Bill Lockyer also declined comment. Lockyer recently urged Lungren to accommodate a public debate on any settlement with the tobacco companies. San Francisco expects to receive more than $500 million under the settlement. The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the city and county of Los Angeles expect to recover as much as $3 billion. For the tobacco companies, the settlement terms could have been far worse -- a fact likely to be pounced upon by potential critics of the deal. Just five months ago, cigarette makers were staring down legislation in Washington that could have cost them $516 billion and regulated everything from the manufacturing to the marketing of tobacco. Only a week to decide Once the deal is announced, attorneys general of those states that were not directly involved in negotiations are expected to have about a week to decide whether they will take part or take their chances in a courtroom. The deal eventually could cover 46 states. The cigarette makers also aren't bound to the deal. They are expected to wait to see if enough states participate to make it worth absorbing the large financial hit. If companies finance the plan's cost by raising cigarette prices, the cost of a pack would increase 35 cents over the next five years. Some makers, however, for competitive reasons, may choose to raise prices less and absorb the cost themselves. The companies at the table are Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., and Lorillard Inc., the nation's four top cigarette makers. Key states are California and New York. Both attorneys general played lead roles in the five-month talks that have led up to this agreement, and they are expected to go along. ``I am optimistic that enough states will agree with this settlement and sign on,'' said Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher, another one of the lead negotiators. Holdouts are expected. In Alabama, for instance, Gov. Fob James said Thursday that even though the deal could mean almost $3 billion to his state, he will pursue a lawsuit against the industry in hopes of getting more money. Public health groups have decried the short timetable for the deal. ``If this is a binding agreement that we're going to be living with for the next 30 years, then we ought to at least have 30 days to review it,'' said Lynn Carol Birgman, an anti-smoking activist in Kentucky. One tobacco-control organization pledged Friday to ask judges in many of the states to withhold approval of any formal settlements until public health groups and others have had an opportunity to review it. ``If ever the devil was in the details, this is such a case -- and literally millions of lives and trillions of dollars are at stake,'' said Executive Director John Banzhaf of the group Action on Smoking and Health. Gail Gibson and Raja Mishra of Knight Ridder Newspapers and the New York Times contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Top Marijuana County Now Has Sympathetic Views In High Places (An Associated Press article in The Herald, in Everett, Washington, notes voters in Mendocino County, California, recently elected Norman Vroman, an ex-con, as the new district attorney, and Tony Craver as the new sheriff, who also backs the decriminalization of cannabis.)Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 11:44:10 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Top Marijuana County Now Has Sympathetic Views In High Places Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Daily Herald Co. Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Author: Associated Press TOP MARIJUANA COUNTY NOW HAS SYMPATHETIC VIEWS IN HIGH PLACES UKIAH, Calif. -- The rule of law seems to have a weak hold in this county of spectacular forests, canyons, rocky coastal cliffs and some of the finest marijuana in the world. In Mendocino County, pot is the biggest cash crop and the new district attorney is an ex-con. "People tell me one of two things," said District Attorney-elect Norman Vroman. "It's either, 'I wish I had the guts to do what you did against the IRS,' or it's 'How in world do you believe you can be the top prosecutor if you've served time in federal prison?"' Vroman, a lawyer, served nine months behind bars during the early 1990s for failing to pay several thousand dollars in income taxes. Last week, Vroman, running on a platform that included decriminalization of marijuana, defeated a three-term incumbent who was president-elect of the California District Attorney Association. This rugged county of 52,000 people 100 miles north of San Francisco also elected a new sheriff, Tony Craver, who also backs decriminalization. In Vroman's case, voters were displeased with the incumbent's handling of a big murder case in which a sheriff's deputy on stakeout was shot to death. The defendant was acquitted. But the folksy and engaging Vroman also was seen admiringly as a rebel. And Craver has a blunt, genial manner that went over well with people and was seen as having deeper roots in the county than the previous sheriff, who spent a decade in Los Angeles County. A lanky, mustachioed, by-the-book sheriff's officer, the 61-year-old Craver has busted drug dealers and growers for years in an area where the famously potent marijuana retails for $5,000 a pound. But he also believes marijuana use should be decriminalized. Decriminalization could reduce marijuana use from a misdemeanor under state law, which can bring a jail term, to the equivalent of a traffic offense, which normally carries only a fine. Commercial growers and traffickers should be prosecuted, but "if you light up a joint in your home, who are you hurting?" Craven said. However, both he and Vroman said their personal views on marijuana use will not affect their official duties. "It's illegal. If he arrests them, I'll prosecute them," Vroman said. Mendocino County has produced more marijuana since 1995 than any of California's 57 other counties. Last year, state and local agents in helicopters and ground squads raided 340 pot plantations in Mendocino County and seized $204 million worth of weed. Authorities believe that for every plant they find, there are perhaps 10 more out there. The county's isolated hollows are ideal for secret pot gardens that yield marijuana highly prized by aficionados. "It's considered about the best in the world, if not the best. It's about 10 to 25 times more potent than the marijuana of the 1960," said state Justice Department spokesman Mike Van Winkle.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California County's DA, Sheriff Hold Soft Stance On Pot (The Associated Press version in The Dallas Morning News) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 11:54:10 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: California County's DA, Sheriff Hold Soft Stance On Pot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Dallas Morning News Author: John Howard / Associated Press CALIFORNIA COUNTY'S DA, SHERIFF HOLD SOFT STANCE ON POT But both say their personal views won't be a factor in how they do their jobs UKIAH, Calif. - The rule of law seems to have a weak hold in this county of spectacular forests, canyons, rocky coastal cliffs and some of the finest marijuana in the world. In Mendocino County, pot is the biggest cash crop. And the new district attorney is an ex-con. "People tell me one of two things," said District Attorney-elect Norman Vroman. "It's either, 'I wish I had the guts to do what you did against the IRS,' or it's 'How in world do you believe you can be the top prosecutor if you've served time in federal prison?' " Mr. Vroman, a lawyer, served nine months behind bars in the early 1990s for failing to pay several thousand dollars in income taxes. Last week, Mr. Vroman, running on a platform that included decriminalization of marijuana, defeated a three-term incumbent who was president-elect of the California District Attorney Association. This rugged county of 87,000 people 100 miles north of San Francisco also elected a new sheriff, Tony Craver, who backs decriminalization. In Mr. Vroman's case, voters were displeased with the incumbent's handling of a big murder case in which a sheriff's deputy on stakeout was shot to death. The defendant was acquitted. But the folksy Mr. Vroman also was seen admiringly as a rebel. And Mr. Craver has a blunt, genial manner that went over well with people and was seen as having deeper roots in the county than the previous sheriff, who spent a decade in Los Angeles County. The two men's stance on marijuana figured in both campaigns in this county of mountain folk, ex-hippies, yuppies and refugees from big cities. "It was a hot issue. Up until now, there has been a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. They have not harassed us, but on the other hand, they have not cooperated with us," said Marvin Lehrman, who runs a 200-member medical marijuana club. "Vroman's slogan was 'It's time for a change,' and that's what we want." A lanky, mustachioed, by-the-book sheriff's officer, the 61-year-old Mr. Craver has busted drug dealers and growers for years in an area where the potent marijuana retails for $5,000 a pound. But he also believes marijuana use should be decriminalized. Decriminalization could reduce marijuana use from a misdemeanor under state law, which can bring a jail term, to the equivalent of a traffic offense, which normally carries only a fine. Commercial growers and traffickers should be prosecuted, but "if you light up a joint in your home, who are you hurting?" Mr. Craver said. However, both he and Mr. Vroman said their personal views on marijuana use will not affect their official duties. "It's illegal. If he arrests them, I'll prosecute them," Mr. Vroman said. Mendocino County has produced more marijuana since 1995 than any of California's 57 other counties. Last year, state and local agents in helicopters and ground squads raided 340 pot plantations in Mendocino County and seized $204 million worth of weed. Authorities believe that for every plant they find, perhaps 10 more are out there. The county's isolated hollows are ideal for secret pot gardens that yield marijuana highly prized by aficionados. "It's considered about the best in the world, if not the best. It's about 10 to 25 times more potent than the marijuana of the 1960s," said state Justice Department spokesman Mike Van Winkle. Mr. Vroman, who said he moved to Mendocino County in 1975 to escape the pressures of Southern California, has worked as a prosecutor, a fill-in judge, a defense attorney and a public defender. In fact, the last three district attorneys in Mendocino County had also been public defenders. "I don't know whether it's because people are suspicious of authority, but I think a lot of it has to do with people not wanting the D.A. to be tough on lightweight crimes. They don't like wasting money," said retiree George McClure of Ukiah. Mr. Vroman has piled up $1.3 million in tax liens and filed for bankruptcy twice. In 1991, he was sent to prison. "They cited the Internal Revenue Service Code, but there is no law that says you have to file a return," he said. "They use fear. That's how the IRS works."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Sellers Near State Line Welcome Prop 10 (An Associated Press article in The San Jose Mercury News says California's new ballot measure adding 50 cents to the cost of a pack of cigarettes could raise the price of a 10-pack carton to as much as $30. Because cartons are available for around $21 at several businesses just across the state line, retailers in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon expect Californians will start buying and smuggling cigarettes.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:28:09 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Tobacco Sellers Near State Line Welcome Prop 10 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press TOBACCO SELLERS NEAR STATE LINE WELCOME PROP. 10 Crush of tax-weary smokers anticipated Jesse Uras smokes half a pack of cigarettes a day and says he wouldn't think twice about driving a few miles out of his way to save money on them. ``If you're talking about 50 cents a pack, it would make quite a difference,'' said Uras, manager of a Chevron station in Yuma, Ariz., just across the state line from California. Uras is one of several retailers looking toward a 50-cent-a-pack tax hike, courtesy of Proposition 10, in January. The retailers are hoping for a windfall from Californians they expect will drive to Arizona, Nevada or Oregon to stock up and save. Proposition 10 was approved by a margin of 57,070 votes among more than 7.6 million ballots counted. Backers expect it to raise $700 million annually for social services aimed at families with children under age 5, including prenatal care, stop-smoking programs, immunizations and domestic-violence prevention. It raises prices on all tobacco products, not just cigarettes. Ann Wright, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society in Sacramento, one of the chief supporters of the initiative, said the tax could raise the price of a 10-pack carton to as much as $30 in California. Because cartons are available for around $21 at several businesses just across the state line, retailers there expect Californians will be eager to make the drive. Proposition 10 opponents argued it would cause black market cigarette sales in California. Mark Smith, spokesman for the Louisville, Ky.-based Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., said people will cross state lines to buy cartons and re-sell them in California. He said his company is trying to discourage such action. ``You'll probably see record levels of contraband in the state,'' he said. Wright said the increase targets young smokers who don't have the means to leave California. ``I don't see any 11- or 12-year-olds driving to Nevada,'' she said. Backers hope the price increase will persuade smokers to quit, not cross state lines, she added. But Paul Garcia, manager of the Avi Smoke Shop on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation near Laughlin, Nev., said many of his California customers already have promised to visit more often because of the tax increase. ``They said they're going to start coming out here once a month to enjoy themselves and pick up cigarettes, too,'' he said. Mike Eittreim, manager of Cy's Supermarket in Malin, Ore., less than two miles across the California state line, said a Philip Morris representative visited his store Wednesday with plans to help him snag California smokers. ``They're even giving us promotional dollars to try to get some California business,'' Eittreim said. Until January, the company will pay Eittreim $3 for every 10-pack carton he sells so that he can lower prices from $23.89 to $20.89 a carton, Eittreim said. Several other area stores are getting the same deal, he said. Brendan McCormick, a Philip Morris spokesman, said he didn't know what any individual representative might be doing but that the company was not making any effort to draw Californians across state lines. He said Eittreim's price break may have been part of a national promotion by the company.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Suit filed over pot initiative (The Denver Post says backers of a medical marijuana ballot initiative filed suit late Friday against Colorado Secretary of State Vikki Buckley, requesting that she be ordered to immediately certify the measure for the 2000 general election ballot. The lawsuit in Denver District Court claims proponents submitted 56,067 legally valid signatures earlier this year, 1,825 signatures more than the constitutionally required minimum to have it placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 20:58:53 -0800 (PST) From: Terry Miller (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Colorado M.P. (fwd) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 20:42:37 -0700 From: scott schlegel (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Colorado M.P. As you may know, Colorado now has a Republican-controlled legislature and executive branch. Apparently, Ms. Buckley is an imcompetent who can't be voted out. Scott *** Suit filed over pot initiative By Howard Pankratz Denver Post Legal Affairs Editor Nov. 14 - Backers of a medical marijuana ballot initiative filed suit late Friday against Secretary of State Vikki Buckley, requesting that she be ordered to immediately certify the measure for the 2000 general election ballot. The proponents of the initiative claimed in the Denver District Court suit that they have found that they submitted 56,067 legally valid signatures earlier this year to Buckley - 1,825 signatures more than the constitutionally required minimum to have placed it on the Nov. 3 ballot. In the months before the Nov. 3 election, Buckley repeatedly said that the backers of the initiative had failed to present sufficient signatures to have the initiative on the 1998 ballot. But in various court proceedings, the measure's backers claimed that Buckley was in error. At one point in the long legal battle, they were able to obtain a court ruling ordering Buckley to place the measure on the ballot. However, after it was added, Buckley again ruled that it shouldn't be there and the votes cast for and against the measure weren't tallied, despite two last-ditch attempts by initiative proponents to get them counted. The final blow to the amendment came Oct. 29, when the Colorado Supreme Court refused to order county clerks to tally the votes. Throughout the process, Buckley and Maurice Knaizer, the deputy attorney general who represented Buckley, said that if another review of the petitions revealed sufficient signatures, Buckley would certify the initiative for the ballot in 2000. The marijuana initiative would allow people with "debilitating medical conditions,'' such as cancer and AIDS, to legally process and use marijuana as a form of treatment. In their lawsuit Friday, the backers said that a review of the Buckley report that ultimately kept the matter from voters showed that Buckley listed 46,155 names accepted as legally sufficient and 35,161 names rejected. That made a total of 81,316 names - 7,499 fewer than the 88,815 names Buckley reported she reviewed in the line-by-line count ordered by the Colorado Supreme Court. A further review of the report showed that of the signatures stricken as invalid by Buckley, 4,163 were actually valid or never listed as an accepted signature or a rejected signature - but on voter records nonetheless. "Thus, instead of the 51,904 names found to be sufficient by the secretary, the petition contained no fewer than 56,067 legally valid signatures, 1,825 signatures more than the constitutionally required minimum,'' said the lawsuit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Threat From Oregon (A letter to the editor of The Houston Chronicle says the Houston prohibition agents who broke into the home of Pedro Oregon Navarro without a warrant and shot him 12 times from behind used the innocent man for target practice.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 18:45:06 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: No Threat From Oregon Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle NO THREAT FROM OREGON I take great offense to District Attorney Johnny B. Holmes' statement, "If it's OK to kill a guy dead, it is OK to kill him dead, dead, dead" (Chronicle, Nov. 5). I understand that deadly force can be used when police have reasonable cause to believe someone is in imminent danger. But if someone is dead or incapacitated, there is no imminent danger. A gravely wounded man, lying on the floor with a gun in his hand, could pose a continuing threat to police, but that has not been alleged in the Pedro Oregon Navarro case. What Holmes' statement condones is using a man who presents no immediate threat for target practice. Jim McMahon, Houston
------------------------------------------------------------------- FBI Chief Meets With Oregon Family (The Houston Chronicle says FBI Director Louis Freeh met with the family of Pedro Oregon Navarro Friday about the federal investigation into his fatal shooting by Houston police. Freeh said he didn't know when the FBI and federal grand jury investigation would be completed.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 05:19:25 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: FBI Chief Meets With Oregon Family Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: JO ANN ZUIGA FBI CHIEF MEETS WITH OREGON FAMILY Freeh says review of shooting by police will be thorough, fair `The only thing I am asking for is a fair investigation' FBI Director Louis Freeh met here Friday with the family of Pedro Oregon about the federal investigation of his fatal shooting by Houston police. Freeh said he didn't know when the FBI and federal grand jury investigation will be completed. "We'll do it as quickly as we can, but as carefully as we have to, to assure that it's a full investigation and a fair one," said Freeh, who met with local agents, officials and civic leaders on other issues. He also met with the family of Laura Smither, the 12-year-old Friendswood girl abducted last year and later found dead. Freeh said Smither's family "had a very supportive message to us that law enforcement needs to ensure that these cases receive the very best resources and priority in investigations." The Oregon investigation has been under way for about three weeks, he said. Freeh said the FBI would provide additional training to Houston officers in handling certain life-threatening situations if the city requests such assistance. Meanwhile, five of the six officers involved in Oregon's shooting appealed their terminations with the city Civil Service Commission Friday. The arbitration process of trying to regain their jobs could take several months, said their attorney, Chad Hoffman of the Houston Police Officers' Union. Police Chief C.O. Bradford fired all six last week, calling the shooting an "egregious" case of official misconduct. An internal police investigation found that the officers had violated HPD policies and state and federal laws, but a Harris County grand jury cleared five of them and charged the sixth with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. On July 12, the officers, though lacking a search warrant, burst into Oregon's residence on a tip that drugs were being sold. They fired about 24 shots at Oregon, 22, after Officer David R. Barrera accidentally fired his weapon, striking a fellow officer. Oregon was hit 12 times, including nine in the back. Only Barrera, who fired most of the shots, has not appealed his termination and is not expected to do so. "I wanted the director to meet directly with the family of Pedro Oregon," said U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, who organized the meeting. "There is a commitment by the director that an investigation will not cease until every stone is unturned." Oregon's mother, Claudia Navarro, said, "The only thing I am asking for is a fair investigation." Her attorney, Paul Nugent, said that if civil rights violations are found, a possible federal trial could still bring prison time for the officers. "Director Freeh pledged to the family a thorough and independent investigation to get to the tragic truth of what happened to Pedro Oregon," Nugent said. "It's not going to be a rubber stamp of the local investigation." Hoffman said the five officers filed appeals because "there is no question they were acting in their official capacity. They feel they were correct in what they were doing." Mexican Consul General Rodulfo Figueroa, newly arrived in Houston, said he will continue moral support of the Oregon family, immigrants from Mexico. "This federal intervention shows the state is not capable of handling this case," Figueroa said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Shooting Probe Still Devoid Of Solutions (A staff editorial in The San Antonio Express-News says the new Congressional report on the killing of Ezequiel Hernandez Jr., a 19-year-old goatherd in Redford, Texas, by US Marines on a drug interdiction mission, won't prevent future tragedies if the problems identified in the report aren't addressed.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 18:47:37 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Shooting Probe Still Devoid Of Solutions Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.expressnews.com/ Copyright: 1998 San Antonio Express-News SHOOTING PROBE STILL DEVOID OF SOLUTIONS How many people and members of Congress will have to find fault with the federal investigation of the border shooting death of a 19-year-old goatherd before there is a remedy? U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R- San Antonio, and chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, jumped into the fray shortly after the May 20, 1997, shooting of Redford resident Ezequiel Hernandez Jr. The teen was shot by a Marine patrolling the border with an anti-drug unit. After an 18-month inquiry, Smith's subcommittee was left with many of the same questions that many observers, including this newspaper, have put to officials overseeing the Marines' actions. Principally, the Justice and Defense departments have failed to address policy questions involving the training and supervision of soldiers assigned to such patrols. Neither federal nor state grand juries returned indictments against the four Marines who were part of the patrol that fateful day in May. But that doesn't mean there isn't a place to lay blame. There are many. The Marine Corps investigation, for example, cited troops' lack of training for domestic operations and resulted in reprimands of supervisory personnel. The Marines' review also criticized apparently poor radio communication between U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials in Marfa and the patrol they were supervising 70 miles away on the border, near Hernandez's home. Further, both Smith and retired Marine Maj. Gen. John T. Coyne, who conducted the Marine review, found that the border mission was seen by military commanders mainly as a training exercise, with apparent little regard or knowledge about the local border scene. Smith said the Justice and Defense departments "simply did not do their job." That has long been apparent. The realization won't bring Hernandez back to his family. Neither will it prevent future tragedies if the concerns are not addressed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bellaire Files Lawsuit to Force Slain Teen's Family to Accept Offer (The Houston Chronicle says the parents of 17-year-old Travis Allen signed a $90,000 settlement on July 25 in the wrongful death suit they filed in 1996. But two days later, the Allens and one of their lawyers, Graydon Wilson, told US District Judge David Hittner that the parents were bullied into accepting the ostensibly meager sum by the mediator and the opposing lawyers. A police officer in Bellaire, Texas, fired two shots into the boy's back while he was immobilized, allegedly under the influence of "drugs.")Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 10:44:56 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Bellaire Files Lawsuit to Force Slain Teen's Family to Accept Offer Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: Ron Nissimov BELLAIRE FILES LAWSUIT TO FORCE SLAIN TEEN'S FAMILY TO ACCEPT OFFER The city of Bellaire has filed a lawsuit in state court to try to force the family of a slain teen-ager to accept a settlement proposed during mediation of a federal suit. Noel and Rebecca Allen of Houston, parents of 17-year-old Travis Allen, signed the $90,000 settlement on July 25 in the wrongful death suit they filed in 1996. But two days later, the Allens and one of their lawyers, Graydon Wilson, told U.S. District Judge David Hittner that the parents were bullied into accepting the ostensibly meager sum by the mediator and the opposing lawyers. The mediator, M.A. "Mickey" Mills, and Bill Helfand, the attorney for Bellaire and the two police officers who were sued, strongly denied the charges. Helfand told Hittner the agreement should be enforced like any other contract, but Hittner said a federal court does not have jurisdiction to determine the validity of a contract between two parties who live in Texas. On Nov. 5, Hittner ordered the wrongful death case be delayed until a state court resolves the settlement dispute. Helfand said Friday that he hopes the state suit, which was filed Monday in the court of state District Judge Pat Mizell, can be resolved before the end of the year. Helfand also represents officers Michael Leal and Carle Upshaw. On Aug. 13, Mills, the mediator, told Hittner that Wilson urged the Allens to sign the agreement after acknowledging he would have a difficult time winning the federal suit. Wilson said the Allens realized they did not want the proposed settlement "probably within one hour of walking out of the (mediation) room." He said there are several reasons the signed agreement is not valid: Although it was signed July 25, the settlement said it would have to be finalized by Bellaire City Council on Aug. 3. This meant it was not a valid contract until Aug. 3, and the Allens withdrew their support of the settlement on July 25. The settlement was made on behalf of a third party who was not at the mediation, Gracie Allen, the Allens' daughter. According to Wilson, Gracie Allen rejected the settlement before the Aug. 3 council vote. The language of the settlement was indefinite. One paragraph outlined the terms of the settlement, while a later paragraph said if any disputes arose, there would be further mediation. Bellaire City Council violated Texas open meetings laws by conducting an executive session prior to the mediation and discussing the settlement in closed session Aug. 3 before voting on it in open session. Helfand said Wilson's contentions are absurd. Helfand said that according to state law, a contract is valid when "there is a meeting of the minds," which occurred July 25. He said Gracie Allen's name is not mentioned anywhere in the settlement. He said the city later agreed to put the money that would go to the Allens under a trust fund set up for Gracie, which he assumed was established to avoid paying taxes on the settlement. Wilson had accused Helfand of sending a letter to the Allens warning them they might have to pay the attorneys' fees for the city and the officers in the federal case if they lost. Helfand said he always advises adversaries in legal proceedings that they may have to pay his fees if he feels their claims are without merit. Helfand said the real tragedy in the contract dispute is that under Texas law, the Allens will have to pay the attorneys' fees if they lose. He said if this happens, as much as $20,000 could be deducted from the $90,000 settlement. Travis Allen was on drugs when he smashed through the patio door of a Bellaire home in the 4400 block of Acacia about 1:10 a.m. July 15, 1995. The teen-ager was injured and bleeding on the floor when police responded to an intruder call from the homeowner, the Allens contend. The family said Upshaw's foot was on the teen's back, immobilizing him, when Leal fired two shots into the boy's back. A grand jury declined to indict the officers on any criminal charges. Helfand said Friday that the Allens received a $108,000 settlement this spring in a state lawsuit they filed against Sharon Reed, the owner of a house where Travis attended a party the night he was shot.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Legalization Attempt (The San Jose Mercury News says the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday sent Woody Harrelson's marijuana possession case back to Lee County District Court, agreeing that Kentucky's ban on industrial hemp was too broad, but leaving unanswered a question about whether the seeds planted by Harrelson were capable of producing cannabis plants.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 18:35:37 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US KY: Hemp Legalization Attempt Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center HEMP LEGALIZATION ATTEMPT Woody Harrelson's attempt to have Kentucky courts recognize a legal distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp is going to have to start all over again. The Court of Appeals on Friday sent Harrelson's case back to Lee County District Court, where he was first cited for marijuana possession after he planted four hemp seeds in June 1996. Before his trial began, Harrelson argued that the statute outlawing marijuana possession was unconstitutional because it made no distinction between marijuana plants and their industrial cousin, which contains minute amounts of the drug THC. The district judge agreed that the statute was too broad, but left unanswered a question about whether the seeds planted by Harrelson were capable of producing marijuana plants. The appeals court said prosecutors appealed the judge's decision prematurely and it's up to the district court to decide whether the seeds were illegal. From Mercury News wire services
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woody Harrelson Hemp Case Returned To Lee District Court (The Lexington Herald-Leader version) Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 08:23:38 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US KY: Woody Harrelson Hemp Case Returned To Lee District 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: 14 Nov 1998 Source: Lexington Herald-Leader Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Copyright: 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader WOODY HARRELSON HEMP CASE RETURNED TO LEE DISTRICT COURT Frankfort - Actor Woody Harrelson's efforts to legalize hemp hit a snag yesterday. The three-member state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that Harrelson's case should be sent back to Lee District Court, which previously found that the state law outlawing marijuana is too broad. The actor was cited in Lee County in June 1996 for marijuana possession after he planted four hemp seeds. "The appellate ruling is kind of a win for us," said Harrelson's attorney, Charles E. Beal II of Lexington. "We don't know yet if we will appeal this to the Kentucky Supreme Court to try to get some ruling more quickly on the state law." If the case is not appealed to Kentucky's highest court, it would go back to Lee District Court, and the case would start anew. The high court could review the state's marijuana law and decide on its constitutionality. Lee County Attorney Tom Jones said yesterday that the plans to ask the Supreme Court to review the appellate court ruling. "I'm very disappointed that the appeals court did not rule on the state law," he said. Hemp proponents claim the plant has a wondrous future in medicine, fiber, fuel and food, but opponents contend it's difficult to differentiate from marijuana. Harrelson argues that the state law outlawing marijuana possession is unconstitutional because it makes no distinction between the plant that contains THC, which gives marijuana smokers their high, and its industrial cousin, which contains minute amounts of the drug. Lee District Court found in January 1997 that the state law was too broad. But it also left unanswered a question about whether the seeds planted by Harrelson were capable of germination or producing plants that produced marijuana. Jones appealed the district court ruling, which was upheld by Lee Circuit Court. The Court of Appeals said there is no provision for the prosecution to appeal an adverse ruling by a district judge. "We appreciate that this case involves issues of significant interest to the parties and to the public at large," Judge William Knopf said. "It is not this court's intention to cause undue delay in the adjudication of this case upon its merits."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court - Delete pot smoking expulsions from student's records (Tampa Bay Online says the 2nd District Court of Appeal found Friday that the Pinellas County school system in Florida had not "even a scintilla of evidence" that two St. Petersburg High School seniors went to class intoxicated when it expelled them for smoking marijuana on the way to school. In the past two years, 90 Pinellas high school students were disciplined for violating the school district's zero-tolerance policy on alcohol. Numbers were not immediately available for other drug violations.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: FL Court: Delete pot smoking expulsions from student's records Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:56:55 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Tampa Bay Online Pubdate: 11/14/98 Online: http://www.tampabayonline.net/news/flor100t.htm Court: Delete pot smoking expulsions from student's records ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Two youths were wrongly expelled after smoking marijuana on the way to school because officials had no proof they went to class high, an appellate court has ruled. The Pinellas County school system has a zero-tolerance policy that can mean expulsion for a student who takes drugs or even a sip of wine before or during school events. School officials took no tests to determine whether St. Petersburg High School seniors Marc Crawley and Zachary Moser were high while they were on school property, but still suspended them for being ``under the influence.创 Both students insisted they were not. Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell had declined to overturn the expulsions, but the 2nd District Court of Appeal found Friday that the school district had not ``even a scintilla of evidence创 Moser and Crawley were under the influence at school. Without declaring the zero-tolerance policy unconstitutional, the court ordered the School Board to delete the expulsions from school records. ``This ruling says (to the School Board) you can磘 have a zero-tolerance policy and apply it the way you磖e applying it,创 said Tampa attorney J. Meredith Wester, who represented the students for free. ``This is not condoning drug use. The issue here is who has the right to discipline your kids. I磎 a parent, and I don磘 want the School Board coming to my home to discipline my kids for something they did off school property.创 The decision caught School Board attorney John Bowen by surprise. ``I don磘 see how they can reach that conclusion,创 said Bowen, who wondered whether students should be made to walk straight lines or take urine tests before they can be disciplined for violating the ``under the influence创 provision. ``I don磘 think that should be the standard in a public school setting. It磗 imposing criminal standards on school districts that heretofore courts have not been willing to do,创 Bowen said. In the last month of Crawley and Moser's high school career, the two B-students skipped school and smoked marijuana with friends in the morning. Moser returned to school about two and one-half hours later and Crawley returned five hours later. School officials had been tipped off. ``We understand the School Board磗 concern and the basis for its zero-tolerance policy. However, that policy does not override the need for proof of a necessary element of the charged violation,创 the court wrote. Bowen said he remains confident the district is on solid ground with its zero-tolerance policy. He said school officials would review the ruling before deciding whether to ask for reconsideration or appeal to the state Supreme Court. The zero-tolerance policy came under renewed scrutiny recently after an East Lake High senior interning at a decorating company was suspended after drinking sangria during a toast by her employers. School officials said sipping sangria during a school-sponsored work internship is akin to sipping it on campus. Honor student Jennifer Coonce now has to take classes from home. In the past two years, 90 Pinellas high school students have been disciplined for violating the zero-tolerance policy on alcohol. Numbers were not immediately available for drug violations. As for Moser and Crawley, the discipline apparently had little long-term impact. Both graduated from other high schools and are attending St. Petersburg Junior College.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Research News (A bulletin from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies says NIH, the National Institutes of Health, has rejected Dr. Ethan Russo's second MAPS-supported application to study the use of marijuana in the treatment of migraine sufferers.)Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 11:15:30 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: News Item From: maps (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MAPS: Medical Marijuana Research News Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: maps (firstname.lastname@example.org) Medical Marijuana Research News Despite the elation of the medical marijuana victories at the ballot box, research seems no easier to initiate. Dr. Ethan Russo just learned today that the NIH has rejected his second MAPS-supported application to study the use of marijuana in the treatment of migraine sufferers. We will decide soon whether to try a third and final time to obtain NIH permission for his research. NIH only permits three applications for the same basic study. *** MAPS-Forum@maps.org, a member service of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (to become a member, see www.maps.org/memsub.html). To [un]subscribe, email the message text, [un]subscribe maps-forum youraddress to email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Benefits Disputed (The Globe and Mail, in Toronto, notes the propaganda published recently about cannabis and glaucoma, in the Archives of Ophthalmology, by Keith Green, a professor of ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 16:28:22 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: MMJ: Marijuana Benefits Disputed 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: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Globe and Mail (Canada) Page: A22 Copyright: 1998, The Globe and Mail Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/ Author: AP MARIJUANA BENEFITS DISPUTED AUGUSTA, Ga. A person with glaucoma would have to smoke a marijuana cigarette every two hours -- about 4,000 a year -- to experience any medical benefits from the drug, according to new research. In a study published yesterday in the American Medical Association journal Archives of Ophthalmology, Keith Green, a professor of ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia, attacks what he calls "the fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma." Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Washington last week approved measures allowing use of marijuana for medical reasons. Those reasons include reducing side effects of cancer chemotherapy and treating glaucoma, a degenerative eye diease.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombian Says US Mishandled Bust (An Associated Press article in The Houston Chronicle says Colombian President Andres Pastrana accused the United States of mishandling a drug bust on a Colombian air force plane in Florida, saying US officials should have told his government before the plane took off from Colombia that it carried cocaine. Pastrana also questioned why US authorities seized the plane at the Florida airport, rather than trying to gain more information by tracking the shipment to its final destination.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 05:19:25 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Colombia: Colombian Says U.S. Mishandled Bust 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: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: Associated Press COLOMBIAN SAYS U.S. MISHANDLED BUST BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- President Andres Pastrana accused the United States of mishandling a drug bust on a Colombian air force plane, saying U.S. officials should have told his government before the plane took off from Colombia that it carried cocaine. Customs officials at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Tuesday that they found 1,639 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of heroin hidden on the C-130 aircraft and detained the six-man crew. "Why, if they knew about this cargo, didn't they tell us first?" Pastrana said in his first public comments on the incident, which has been an international embarrassment for his 3-month-old administration. U.S. drug agents in the past have been loathe to share information with Colombia, fearing the intelligence would be leaked to drug traffickers. Pastrana also questioned why U.S. authorities seized the plane at the Florida airport, rather than trying to gain more information by tracking the shipment to its final destination. "We're truly sad that an incident like this once again blemishes the image of an entire country," said Pastrana, who took office vowing to step up the fight against drug traffickers. A spokesman for the U.S. Customs Service in Miami, Mike Sheehan, said the drugs were discovered in "a routine inspection, like those we have conducted many times in the past." In Colombia, the seizure has led to multiple arrests and a command shake-up in the 12,000-member air force. Federal prosecutor's agents on Thursday detained six air force members, including Maj. Gonzalo Noguera, the intelligence chief of the Bogota military airport from which the plane took off, as well as a lieutenant and four aviation technicians. Noguera and two other officers were forced into retirement. Air force commander Gen. Jose Manuel Sandoval resigned.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Beats Fags, Grog (The NT News, in Australia's Northern Territory, notes the influential British medical periodical, The Lancet, says the evidence indicates cannabis is less of a threat to health than tobacco or alcohol.) Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 07:12:35 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Cannabis Beats Fags, Grog Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken Russell) Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: NT News (Australia) Contact: Fax: +61 8 8981 6045 Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ CANNABIS BEATS FAGS, GROG LONDON: Latest evidence indicates cannabis is less of a threat to health than tobacco or alcohol. But it is not without risk, influential British medical periodical The Lancet said yesterday. It's editorial said: "On medical evidence, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little effect on health, and decisions to ban or to legalise it should be based on other things." The opinion piece followed a call by members of Britain's House of Lords for cannabis, of which marijuana is a derivative, to be made legally available as a pain reliever for those suffering from multiple sclerosis or cancer. A ban on recreational use should remain in place, the Lords committee said in a report released last Wednesday. The Lords drew on the views of Australian researchers Wayne Hall and Nadia Solowij from the Sydney-based National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, which were also published in The Lancet. Hall and Solowij said doctors could advise patients about the most likely ill-effects of using cannabis. These included the risk of an accident while driving, if cannabis is used with alcohol, respiratory complications, possible dependence with daily use, and a risk, with regular use, of subtle impairment of perception and reasoning. Among groups at higher risk of experiencing adverse effects are "people with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, schizophrenia, and alcohol or other drug dependence, whose illnesses may be exacerbated by cannabis use." The Lords committee argued the medical benefits of the drug, banned in any form in Britain for more than 25 years, justified an easing of the law. Pain The committee recommended doctors and pharmacists should be allowed to supply it on prescription to help patients in pain, and urged an immediate change in the law rather than waiting several years for the results of clinical trials now under way. The Lords called for research into other ways of taking cannabis than the traditional way of smoking it, and said there was enough evidence of the toxic effects to justify the ban on recreational use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Trials Urged (The Advertiser, in Australia, says a group of state and federal politicians, as well as the nation's lord mayors, came together for the first time yesterday in Adelaide to issue a united call for controlled heroin-maintenance trials. The group will compile a direct submission to Prime Minister Howard, urging him to relax his opposition.) Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 06:19:51 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Heroin Trials Urged Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Ken Russell) Source: Advertiser, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.advertiser.com.au/ Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Page: 10 Author: Annabel Crabb, Political Reporter HEROIN TRIALS URGED A JOINT group of State and federal politicians - and the nation's lord mayors - have issued a united call for controlled heroin trials. The group, which came together for the first time yesterday in Adelaide, will compile a direct submission to the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, urging him to relax his opposition to the trial. The chairman of the Capital City Lord Mayors Conference, Brisbane Lord Mayor Mr Jim Soorley, said drug law reform was long overdue in Australia's cities. "It's on the streets of the capital cities, where the crime, the violence, the overdoses and the real victims are," he said. Adelaide's Lord Mayor, Dr Jane Lomax Smith, said the group was working from estimates that a heavy drug user needed $40,000 to $50,000 a year to support the habit - generally funded by crime and prostitution. But treatment for users, including prescription trials and alternative drug strategies, would cost an estimated $3000 to $4000 a year. "It really makes economic sense to provide alternate drugs," Dr Lomax Smith said. The mayors each agreed to seek improved access to rehabilitation in their cities. They will lobby Mr Howard directly in conjunction with their State and Federal Government colleagues from the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform. A spokesman for the parliamentary group, SA Democrats Leader Mr Mike Elliott, said the principle of harm minimisation was driving the proposed reforms. Hobart's Lord Mayor, Dr John Freeman, said Mr Howard was "not well advised" when the Federal Government blocked proposed ACT heroin trials last year. "We believe the politicians are behind public opinion," he said. Before announcing the campaign yesterday, the joint meeting was addressed by health and drug experts and Assistant Commissioner Paul White of SA Police. Dr Freeman said information from the session would go into a submission to Mr Howard early next year. Associate Professor Steve Allsop, director of the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction at Flinders University, endorsed harm minimisation programs such as the drug trials, counselling and needle exchange facilities. "What the community must realise is that none of these programs condones such behavior as drug use," he said. "Instead harm minimisation for drug users promotes many levels of intervention - and can include abstinence."
------------------------------------------------------------------- UK Report Recommends Medical Trials Of Cannabis (The British Medical Journal notes a report published this week by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee recommended that cannabis should be reclassified as a schedule 2 drug, allowing research and prescription by doctors on a named patient basis.) Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 22:10:36 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: BMJ: UK Report Recommends Medical Trials Of Cannabis Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 Source: British Medical Journal 1 (Volume 317, Issue 7169) Copyright: 1998 by the British Medical Journal Section: News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.bmj.com/ Author: Hugh Matthews, BMJ UK REPORT RECOMMENDS MEDICAL TRIALS OF CANNABIS Britain's House of Lords Science and Technology Committee recommended in a report published this week that cannabis should be reclassified as a schedule 2 drug, allowing research and prescription by doctors on a named patient basis. The report called for clinical trials of cannabis in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and chronic pain but recommended that doctors should be allowed to prescribe cannabis before its benefits are proved. The recommendations follow an eight month inquiry, which concluded that although there was no conclusive proof of the medical value of cannabis, there was enough anecdotal evidence of its benefits for trials to be started "as a matter of urgency." Professor Leslie Iversen, specialist adviser to the committee, said: "As scientists, we would like to have had objective evidence from clinical trials," but he added that the weight of anecdotal evidence had led to the recommendations being made for the medical use of cannabis on compassionate grounds. However, the committee emphasised the need for alternative routes of administration, as the dangers of smoking made it an unsuitable route for a licensed medicine. Under the misuse of drugs regulations, cannabis cannot be prescribed by doctors, and clinical trials require a Home Office licence. The government has said that it would be prepared to permit prescription if medical benefit was proved, but this could take several years. The House of Lords report has circumvented this delay by recommending reclassification of cannabis, allowing research and prescription by doctors on a named patient basis, although it would remain unlicensed. A spokesman for the Multiple Sclerosis Society welcomed the report's call for trials to take place but said that the drug should be evaluated like any other before the society could recommend its general use (see p 1397).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lords Reckon It's High Time For A Change (The New Scientist version) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 19:36:35 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Lords Reckon It's High Time For A Change Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: New Scientist (U.K.) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/ Pubdate: 14 Nov 1998 Author: David Concar Section: "This Week" Page 24 LORDS RECKON IT'S HIGH TIME FOR A CHANGE BRITISH law should be altered to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana and pharmacists to supply it, according to an influential House of Lords committee. At present, doctors in Britain are not permitted to prescribe cannabis, and patients who want it to relieve the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis must turn to the black market for supplies. In an unexpectedly forthright report, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology concludes that this "exposes patients and in some cases their carers to all the distress of criminal proceedings". In recommending that doctors be allowed to prescribe herbal cannabis, rather than merely chemicals extracted from the plant, the Lords go further than other expert groups. This is bound to provoke opposition from ministers and the medical establishment. Last year, the British Medical Association called for more research into the main active ingredients of cannabis and recommended that these cannabinoids be made available to a wider range of patients. Pointedly, however, the BMA did not advocate prescribing cannabis in herbal or resin form. Several scientific witnesses who testified to the Lords committee agreed, given the absence of conclusive evidence that smoking cannabis offers patients more relief than taking individual cannabinoids. And the British government has repeatedly said it will only consider changing the law if such evidence emerges. "The problem with this policy is that it will take several years at least for this to happen," concludes the report. "In the meantime, 85 000 people in this country will continue to suffer the very unpleasant symptoms of multiple sclerosis."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Website Of The Week - http://www.ukcia.org/ (The British Medical Journal recommends the site of UK Cannabis Internet Activists. Edited by partisans, but responsibly, it incorporates links to information from many reputable sources. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act site also gets a mention.) Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 21:34:02 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: BMJ: Website Of The Week http://www.ukcia.org/ Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 Source: British Medical Journal 1 (Volume 317, Issue 7169) Copyright: 1998 by the British Medical Journal Website: email@example.com Contact: http://www.bmj.com/ Reviewer: Douglas Carnall BMJ 1998;317:1394 (14 November) Reviews WEBSITE OF THE WEEK http://www.ukcia.org/ The UK Cannabis Internet Activists met on line back in 1995, taught themselves HTML (the markup language used by all web browsers), and got to work on building a site that is clearly organised and nice to look at. A site edited by partisans must be interpreted with caution, but the approach seems responsible and incorporates links or references to information from many reputable sources. These include the BMA, whose report recommending a change in the law to allow research on the use of cannabinoids in chronic illness, published almost a year ago to the day, has plainly been influential. This week the House of Lords' Science and Technology Committee concurs (p 1337), and there seems little doubt that change in the law will follow. Events in the United States are moving in the same direction, following pressure from groups such as the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (http://www.crrh.org/ ). A total of seven states covering a fifth of the nation's population have directly contradicted federal drug laws in recent referendums. Far more sites argue for reform than for the status quo: despite an assiduous morning's browsing on a high speed network, anti-drug sites proved elusive. On the internet at least, those fighting the war on the "war on drugs" are definitely winning. While advocacy abounds, hard scientific evidence about cannabis is hard to find. There are, for example, no trials reported at http://www.controlled-trials.com/, although its presence refutes earlier reports ( http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/317/7167/1258/c ) that the website does not exist. Hint for press officers: if you want to publicise your website take care to supply the correct URL.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dangerous Habits (A staff editorial in The Lancet says the British scientific journal is qualifying its opinion of three years ago, that cannabis smoking, even long-term, is harmless. The medical evidence available still suggests moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, but decisions to ban or to legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations.) Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 13:19:47 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Lancet: Editorial: Dangerous Habits Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Lancet, The (UK) Volumne: 352, Number 9140 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ Editorial DANGEROUS HABITS 3 years ago, a Lancet editorial began, "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health" (Nov 11, 1995); an assertion criticised by many readers as encouraging an indulgence that is illegal in many countries. Predictably, the legalise-cannabis lobby seized on The Lancet's apparent endorsement of this substance's safety. This week we publish a seminar on the adverse effects of cannabis (p 1611) . Wayne Hall and Nadia Solowij conclude that the most likely adverse effects of smoking cannabis are bronchial irritation, the risk of accidents when intoxicated, dependence, and possible cognitive impairment with heavy, long-term use. The evidence summarised in this seminar was considered by a committee of the UK House of Lords which reported on Nov 11 . The committee recommended that clinical trials be done on the effects of cannabis in multiple sclerosis and in chronic pain, and that the UK Government should reclassify cannabis so that it can be prescribed by doctors under certain circumstances. The debate about whether or not cannabis, taken for recreational rather than medical reasons, should be legalised in countries where it is banned will rumble on, and further complicate scientific assessment of the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. The arguments advanced by each side are well-rehearsed, but usually fail to consider the problems presented by cannabis in a wider perspective. We would, perhaps, have been wiser to have begun our editorial 3 years ago with a less provocative statement; but, on the evidence summarised by Hall and Solowij, it would be reasonable to judge cannabis less of a threat to health than alcohol or tobacco, products that it many countries are not only tolerated and advertised but are also a useful source of tax revenue. The desire to take mood-altering substances is an enduring feature of human societies worldwide and even the most draconian legislation has failed to extinguish this desire--for every substance banned another will be discovered, and all are likely to have some ill-effect on health. This should be borne in mind by social legislators who, disapproving of other people's indulgences, seek to make them illegal. Such legislation does not get rid of the problem; it merely shifts it elsewhere. One aspect of taking mood-altering substances may require legislation: the protection of others from annoyance and harm. Whether or not a person's indulgence poses a threat to others has been used as a guide to define the limits of socially acceptable behaviour; although to do so begs the question of people's responsibility for themselves. Should it be, for example, permissible for people deliberately to put their lives or health at risk through participating in dangerous sports such as boxing or motor racing? Do people have the right to decide for themselves what risks to take, irrespective of any expense and inconvenience to others when the risks come home? Is it reasonable to say "It is my life, I shall do as I choose", when almost everyone shares their lives with friends or family who would be damaged by their illness or death? Whatever the answers to these questions, there is one aspect that is indisputable: people have the right to know what are the risks to themselves and to others. 2 weeks ago, we published evidence that the sustained use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy") was associated with a decrease in serotonin neurons in the brain (Oct 31, p 1433) . This is information that any user of Ecstasy has a right to know; just as users of cannabis should be aware of its possible hazards. Because the debate about use of cannabis arouses strong emotions, there is, as Hall and Solowij note, no "consensus on what health information the medical profession should give to patients who are users or potential users of cannabis." Doctors called upon for advice about use of cannabis will find the authors' last paragraph a useful source of dispassionate information. The advice is little different from that appropiate for many other mood-altering substances: do not drive motor vehicles whilst intoxicated and do not overindulge. We will qualify our opinion of 3 years ago and say that, on the medical evidence available, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, and that decisions to ban or to legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations. The Lancet
------------------------------------------------------------------- Adverse Effects Of Cannabis (The Lancet publishes an Australian review of the medical literature on the adverse effects of cannabis, which finds a lot of evidence that cannabis is harmless, but rehashes discredited "research" from Sweden and other drug warrior bastions - unreplicated elsewhere and unsubstantiated by the epidemiological literature - suggesting, for example, that cannabis just might cause an increase in automobile accidents or a significant increase in schizophrenia cases.) Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 13:20:17 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Lancet: Adverse Effects Of Cannabis (part 1) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Lancet, The (UK) Volume: 352, Number 9140 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ Copyright: Lancet, The (UK) Author: Wayne Hall, Nadia Solowij SEMINAR National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia (part 1) Cannabis The Drug Patterns Of Cannabis Use Acute Effects Of Cannabis Effects Of Chronic Cannabis Use (Part 2) References Further Reading ADVERSE EFFECTS OF CANNABIS Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in many developed societies. Its health and psychological effects are not well understood and remain the subject of much debate, with opinions on its risks polarised along the lines of proponents' views on what its legal status should be. An unfortunate consequence of this polarisation of opinion has been the absence of any consensus on what health information the medical profession should give to patients who are users or potential users of cannabis. There is conflicting evidence about many of the effects of cannabis use, so we summarise the evidence on the most probable adverse health and psychological consequences of acute and chronic use. This uncertainty, however, should not prevent medical practitioners from advising patients about the most likely ill-effects of their cannabis use. Here we make some suggestions about the advice doctors can give to patients who use, or are contemplating the use, of this drug. In many western societies, cannabis has been used by a substantial minority, and in some a majority, of young adults, even though its use is prohibited by law.1 Debate about the justification for continuing to prohibit cannabis use has polarised opinion about the seriousness of its adverse health effects.2 In addition, the possible therapeutic effects of cannabinoids have become entangled in the debate about prohibition of recreational cannabis use (see Further reading). The health effects of cannabis use, especially of long-term use, remain uncertain because there is very little epidemiological research and because of disagreements about the interpretation of the limited epidemiological and laboratory evidence.2 Here we summarise the evidence on the most probable adverse health effects of cannabis use acknowledging where appropriate the uncertainty that remains. CANNABIS THE DRUG Cannabis preparations are largely derived from the female plant of Cannabis sativa. The primary psychoactive constituent is -9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).3 The THC content is highest in the flowering tops, declining in the leaves, lower leaves, stems, and seeds of the plant. Marijuana (THC content 0=B75-5=B70%) is prepared from the dried flowering tops and leaves; hashish (THC content 2-20%) consists of dried cannabis resin and compressed flowers; and hashish oil may contain between 15% and 50% THC.3 Sinsemilla and Netherwood varieties of cannabis may have a THC content of up to 20%.3 Cannabis may be smoked in a "joint", which is the size of a cigarette, or in a water pipe. Tobacco may be added to assist burning. Smokers typically inhale deeply and hold their breath to maximise absorption of THC by the lungs. Marijuana and hashish may also be eaten, but cannabis is mostly smoked because this is the easiest way to achieve the desired psychoactive effects.2 A typical joint contains between 0=B75 g and 1=B70 g of cannabis. The THC delivered varies between 20% and 70%,2 its bioavailability ranging from 5% to 24%.3 As little as 2-3 mg of available THC will produce a "high" in occasional users, but regular users may smoke five or more joints a day. Cannabinoids act on a specific receptor that is widely distributed in the brain regions involved in cognition, memory reward, pain perception, and motor coordination.3 These receptors respond to an endogenous ligand, anandamide, which is much less potent and has a shorter duration than THC.3 The identification of a specific cannabinoid antagonist promises to improve our understanding of the role of cannabinoids in normal brain function.3 PATTERNS OF CANNABIS USE Cannabis has been tried by many European young adults and by most young adults in the USA and Australia.1 Most cannabis use is intermittent and time-limited: most users stop in their mid to late 20s, and very few engage in daily cannabis use over a period of years.4 In the USA and Australia, about 10% of those who ever use cannabis become daily users, and another 20-30% use the drug weekly.1,4 Because of uncertainties about THC content, heavy cannabis use is generally defined as daily or near daily use.2 This pattern of use over years places users at greatest risk of adverse health and psychological consequences.2 Daily cannabis users are more likely to be male, to be less well educated, to use alcohol and tobacco regularly, and to use amphetamines, hallucinogens, psychostimulants, sedatives, and opioids.5 ACUTE EFFECTS OF CANNABIS Cannabis produces euphoria and relaxation, perceptual alterations, time distortion, and the intensification of ordinary sensory experiences, such as eating, watching films, and listening to music.2 When used in a social setting it may produce infectious laughter and talkativeness. Short-term memory and attention, motor skills, reaction time, and skilled activities are impaired while a person is intoxicated.2 The most common unpleasant side-effects of occasional cannabis use are anxiety and panic reactions.2 These effects may be reported by naive users, and they are a common reason for discontinuation of use; more experienced users may occasionally report these effects after receiving a much larger than usual dose of THC.2 Cannabis smoking or ingestion of THC increases heart rate by 20-50% within a few minutes to a quarter of an hour; this effect lasts for up to 3 h.2 Blood pressure is increased while the person is sitting, and decreased while standing.2 These effects are of negligible clinical significance in healthy young users because tolerance develops to them.2 The acute toxicity of cannabinoids is very low.2 There are no confirmed published cases worldwide of human deaths from cannabis poisoning, and the dose of THC required to produce 50% mortality in rodents is extremely high compared with other commonly used drugs.2 Psychomotor effects and driving Cannabis produces dose-related impairments in cognitive and behavioural functions that may potentially impair driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.6 These impairments are larger and more persistent for difficult tasks that depend on sustained attention.6 The most serious possible consequence of acute cannabis use is a road-traffic accident if a user drives while intoxicated.2 The effects of recreational doses of cannabis on driving performance in laboratory simulators and standardised driving courses have been reported by some researchers as being similar to the effects when blood alcohol concentrations are between 0=B707% and 0=B710%.2 However, studies of the effects of cannabis on driving under more realistic conditions on roads have shown much more modest impairments,7,8 probably because cannabis users are more aware of their impairment and less inclined to take risks than alcohol users.7,8 Results of epidemiological studies of road-traffic accidents are equivocal because most drivers who have cannabinoids in their blood also have high blood alcohol concentrations.2 In two studies with reasonable numbers of individuals who had only used cannabis, there was no clear evidence of increased culpability in these drivers.9 The separate effects of alcohol and cannabis on psychomotor impairment and driving performance in laboratory tasks are roughly additive,9 so the main effect of cannabis use on driving may be in amplifying the impairments caused by alcohol, which is often used with the drug.2 EFFECTS OF CHRONIC CANNABIS USE Cellular effects and the immune system Cannabis smoke may be carcinogenic; it is mutagenic in vitro and in vivo.10 Cannabinoids impair cell-mediated and humoral immunity in rodents, decreasing resistance to infection, and non-cannabinoids in cannabis smoke impair alveolar macrophages.11 The relevance of these findings to human health is uncertain because the doses of THC used in animal studies have been very high, and tolerance may develop to the effects on immunity in human beings.12 A few studies that have pointed to the adverse effects of cannabis on human immunity have not been replicated.12 There is no conclusive evidence that consumption of cannabinoids impairs human immune function, as measured by numbers of T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, or macrophages, or immunoglobulin concentrations.12 Two prospective studies of HIV-positive homosexual men have shown that cannabis use is not associated with an increased risk of progression to AIDS concentrations.13,14David Summary of adverse effects of cannabis Acute effects * Anxiety and panic, especially in naive users. * Impaired attention, memory, and psychomotor performance while intoxicated. * Possibly an increased risk of accident if a person drives a motor vehicle while intoxicated with cannabis, especially if cannabis is used with alcohol. * Increased risk of psychotic symptoms among those who are vulnerable because of personal or family history of psychosis. Chronic effects (uncertain but most probable) * Chronic bronchitis and histopathological changes that may be precursors to the developmentof malignant disease. * A cannabis dependence syndrome characterised by an inability to abstain from or to control cannabis use. * Subtle impairments of attention and memory that persist while the user remains chronically intoxicated, and that may or may not be reversible after prolonged abstinence. Possible adverse effects (to be confirmed) * Increased risk of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, and oesophagus; leukaemia among offspring exposed in utero. * Impaired educational attainment in adolescents and underachievement in adults in occupations requiring high-level cognitive skills. Groups at higher risk of experiencing these adverse effects * Adolescents with a history of poor school performance, who initiate cannabis use in the early teens, are at increased risk of using other illicit drugs and of becoming dependent on cannabis. * Women who continue to smoke cannabis during pregnancy may increase their risk of having a low-birthweight baby. * People with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, schizophrenia, and alcohol and other drug dependence, whose illnesses may be exacerbated by cannabis use. Respiratory system Chronic heavy cannabis smoking is associated with increased symptoms of chronic bronchitis, such as coughing, production of sputum, and wheezing.15,16 Lung function is significantly poorer and there are significantly greater abnormalities in the large airways of marijuana smokers than in non-smokers. Tashkin and colleagues16,17 have reported evidence of an additive effect of marijuana and tobacco smoking on histopathological abnormalities in lung tissue. Bloom and colleagues15 reported similar additive effects on bronchitic symptoms in an epidemiological study of the respiratory effects of smoking "non-tobacco" cigarettes in 990 individuals aged under 40 years in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Non-tobacco smokers reported more coughing, phlegm production, and wheeze than non-smokers, irrespective of whether they also smoked tobacco. Those who had never smoked any substance had the best respiratory functioning, followed in order of decreasing function by current tobacco smokers, current non-tobacco smokers, and current smokers of both tobacco and non-tobacco cigarettes. Non-tobacco smoking alone had a larger effect on respiratory function than tobacco smoking alone, and the effect of both types of smoking was additive.15 In 1997, Tashkin and colleagues18 reported that the rate of decline in respiratory function over 8 years among marijuana smokers did not differ from that in non-smokers. This finding contrasted with that of a follow-up of the Tucson cohort,19 in which there was a greater rate of decline in respiratory function among marijuana-only smokers than in tobacco-only smokers and additive effects of tobacco and marijuana smoking. Both studies showed that long-term cannabis smoking increased bronchitic symptoms. In view of the adverse effects of tobacco smoking, the similarity between tobacco and cannabis smoke, and the evidence that cannabis smoking produces histopathological changes that precede lung cancer,17 long-term cannabis smoking may also increase the risks of respiratory cancer.20 There have been reports of cancers in the aerodigestive tract in young adults with a history of heavy cannabis use.21,22 These reports are worrying since such cancers are rare among adults under the age of 60, even those who smoke tobacco and drink alcohol.20 Case-control studies of the role of cannabis smoking in these cancers are urgently needed. Reproductive effects Chronic administration of high doses of THC to animals lowers testosterone secretion, impairs sperm production, motility, and viability, and disrupts the ovulatory cycle.23 Whether cannabis smoking has these effects in human beings is uncertain because the published evidence is small and inconsistent.2 Cannabis administration during pregnancy reduces birthweight in animals.24 The results of human epidemiological studies have been more equivocal.2 The stigma of using illicit drugs during pregnancy discourages honest reporting,25 and when associations are found, they are difficult to interpret because cannabis users are more likely than non-users to smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, and use other illicit drugs during pregnancy, and they differ in social class, education, and nutrition.26 Several studies have suggested that cannabis smoking in pregnancy may reduce birthweight.2 In the best controlled of these studies, this relation has persisted after statistical control for potential confounding variables,27 but other studies28 have not shown any such association. The effect of cannabis on birthweight in the studies that have found an association has been small compared with that of tobacco smoking.26 That cannabis use during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects is unlikely. Early case reports have not been supported by large well-controlled epidemiological studies. For example, the study by Zuckerman et al27 included a large sample of women with a substantial prevalence of cannabis use that was verified by urine analysis, and there was no increase in birth defects. There is suggestive evidence that infants exposed in utero to cannabis have behavioural and developmental effects during the first few months after birth.26 Between the ages of 4 and 9 years, children who were exposed in utero have shown deficits in sustained attention, memory, and higher cognitive functioning.29 The clinical significance of these effects remains unclear since they are small compared with the effects of maternal tobacco use.29 Three studies have shown an increased risk of non-lymphoblastic leukaemia,30 rhabdomyosarcoma,31 and astrocytoma32 in children whose mothers reported using cannabis during their pregnancies. None of these was a planned study of the association; cannabis use was one of many potential confounders included in statistical analyses of the relation between the exposure of interest and childhood cancer. Their replication is a priority. Behavioural effects in adolescence There is a cross-sectional association between heavy cannabis use in adolescence and the risk of leaving high-school education and of experiencing job instability in young adulthood.33 However, the strength of this association is reduced in longitudinal studies when statistical adjustments are made for the fact that, compared with their peers, heavy cannabis users have poor high-school performance before using cannabis.33,34 There is some evidence that heavy use has adverse effects on family formation, mental health, and involvement in drug-related crime.33 In each case, the strong associations in cross-sectional studies are more modest in longitudinal studies after statistical control for associations between cannabis use and other pre-existing characteristics that independently predict these adverse outcomes.34 A consistent finding in the USA has been the regular sequence of initiation into drug use in which cannabis use has typically preceded involvement with "harder" illicit drugs such as stimulants and opioids.5,33,35 The interpretation of this sequence remains controversial. The less compelling hypothesis is that cannabis use directly increases the use of other drugs in the sequence. There is better support for two other hypotheses--namely, that there is a selective recruitment into cannabis use of non-conforming adolescents who have a propensity to use other illicit drugs, and that once recruited to cannabis use, social interaction with drug-using peers, and greater access to illicit-drug markets, they are more likely to use other illicit drugs.2,34 Dependence syndrome Animals develop tolerance to the effects of repeated doses of THC,36 and studies suggest that cannabinoids may affect the same reward systems as alcohol, cocaine, and opioids.37 Heavy smokers of cannabis also develop tolerance to its subjective and cardiovascular effects,36 and some report withdrawal symptoms on the abrupt cessation of cannabis use.36,38 There is evidence that a cannabis dependence syndrome occurs with heavy chronic use in individuals who report problems in controlling their use and who continue to use the drug despite experiencing adverse personal consequences.2,39 There is some clinical evidence of a dependence syndrome analogous to that for alcohol.2 In the USA, cannabis dependence is among the most common forms of illicit-drug dependence in the population.40 About one in ten of those who ever use cannabis become dependent on it at some time during their 4 or 5 years of heaviest use.40 This risk is more like the equivalent risk for alcohol (15%) than for nicotine (32%) or opioids (23%).40 Cognitive effects The long-term heavy use of cannabis does not produce the severe or grossly debilitating impairment of memory, attention, and cognitive function that is found with chronic heavy alcohol use.2 Electrophysiological and neuropsychological studies show that it may produce more subtle impairment of memory, attention, and the organisation and integration of complex information.41-43 The longer cannabis has been used, the more pronounced the cognitive impairment.41 These impairments are subtle, so it remains unclear how important they are for everyday functioning, and whether they are reversed after an extended period of abstinence.2 Early studies that suggested gross structural brain damage with heavy use have not been supported by better controlled studies with better methods.41 Research in animals has shown that chronic cannabinoid administration may compromise the endogenous cannabinoid system3,41 (its function is unclear, but it has roles in memory, emotion, and cognitive functioning, as mentioned above). These results are consistent with the subtlety of the cognitive effects of chronic cannabis use in human beings.41 Psychosis Large doses of THC produce confusion, amnesia, delusions, hallucinations, anxiety, and agitation.44 Such reactions are rare, occurring after unusually heavy cannabis use; in most cases they remit rapidly after abstinence from cannabis.2 There is an association between cannabis use and schizophrenia. A prospective study of 50 000 Swedish conscripts45 found a dose-response relation between the frequency of cannabis use by age 18 and the risk of a diagnosis of schizophrenia over the subsequent 15 years. A plausible explanation is that cannabis use can exacerbate the symptoms of schizophrenia,2,46 and there is prospective evidence that continued use predicts more psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia.47 A declining incidence of treated cases of schizophrenia over the period when cannabis use has increased suggests, however, that cannabis use is unlikely to have caused cases of schizophrenia that would not otherwise have occurred.48 This observation suggests that chronic use may precipitate schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals, an effect that would not be expected to change incidence.45 Premature mortality There have been two prospective epidemiological studies of mortality among cannabis users. A Swedish study of mortality during 15 years among male military conscripts showed an increased risk of premature death among men who had smoked cannabis 50 or more times by age 18.49 Violent and accidental death was the main contributor to this excess. However, the association between mortality and cannabis use disappeared after multivariate statistical adjustment for alcohol and other drug use.49 Sydney and colleagues50 reported a 10-year study of mortality in cannabis users aged between 15 and 49 years among 65171 members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. The sample consisted of 38% who had never used cannabis, 20% who had used fewer than six times, 20% who were former users, and 22% who were current users. Regular cannabis use had a small association with premature mortality (RR 1=B733), which was wholly explained by increased deaths from AIDS in men, probably because marijuana use was a marker for male homosexual behaviour in this cohort. It is too early to conclude from the study that marijuana use does not increase mortality because the average age at follow-up was only 43 years, and cigarette smoking and alcohol use were only modestly associated with premature mortality.50 Possible effects of increased THC content of cannabis The average THC content of cannabis has probably increased over the past several decades, but without good data by how much is unclear.2 This situation probably reflects a combination of an increased market for more potent cannabis products among regular users,2 and improved methods of growing high-THC-content.3 The net health consequences of any increase in potency are uncertain.2 Among naive users, higher THC content may increase adverse psychological effects, including psychotic symptoms, thereby discouraging some from continuing to use. Among those who continue to use cannabis, increased potency may increase the risks of developing dependence, having accidents if driving while intoxicated, and experiencing psychotic symptoms. If experienced users can regulate their dose of THC, the respiratory risks of cannabis smoking may be marginally reduced. Health advice for cannabis users Uncertainty about the adverse health effects of acute, and especially chronic, cannabis use, should not prevent medical practitioners from advising patients who use cannabis about the most probable ill-effects of their cannabis use with emphasis on the uncertainty. In the absence of other risk factors, this should include advice about the possibility of being involved in a motor-vehicle accident if patients drive while intoxicated by cannabis; the higher risk of an accident if they drive when intoxicated by both alcohol and cannabis; the respiratory risks of long-term cannabis smoking, which are substantially increased if they also smoke tobacco; an increased risk of developing dependence if they are daily users of cannabis; and the possibility of subtle cognitive impairment if they use regularly over several years. We thank Greg Chesher for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. SEMINAR: ADVERSE EFFECTS OF CANNABIS (Part 2) References Further Reading REFERENCES 1 Hall W, Johnston L, Donnelly N. The epidemiology of cannabis use and its consequences. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R, eds. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. 2 Hall W, Solowij N, Lemon J. The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use. National Drug Strategy Monograph Series no 25. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1994. 3 Adams IB, Martin BR. Cannabis: pharmacology and toxicology in animals and humans. Addiction 1996; 91: 1585-614. 4 Bachman JG, Wadsworth KN, O'Mally PM, et al. Smoking, drinking and drug use in young adulthood. Malwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997. 5 Kandel DB, Davies M. Progression to regular marijuana involvement: phenomenology and risk factors for near daily use. In: Glantz M, Pickens R, eds. Vulnerability to drug abuse. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1992. 6 Chait LD, Pierri J. Effects of smoked marijuana on human performance: a critical review. In: Murphy A, Bartke J, eds. Marijuana/cannabinoids: neurobiology and neurophysiology. Boca Raton: CRC, 1992. 7 Robbe HWJ. Influence of marijuana on driving. Maastricht, University of Limberg: Institute for Human Psychopharmacology, 1994. 8 Smiley A. Marijuana: on road and driving simulator studies. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R, eds. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. 9 Chesher G. Cannabis and road safety: an outline of research studies to examine the effects of cannabis on driving skills and actual driving performance. In: Road Safety Committee, Parliament of Victoria. The effects of drugs (other than alcohol) on road safety. Melbourne: Road Safety Committee, Parliament of Victoria, 1995: 67-96. 10 Leuchtenberger C. Effects of marihuana (cannabis) smoke on cellular biochemistry of in vitro test systems. In: Fehr KO, Kalant H, eds. Cannabis and health hazards. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1983. 11 Munson AE, Fehr KO. Immunological effects of cannabis. In: Fehr KO, Kalant H, eds. Cannabis and health hazards. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1983. 12 Hollister LE. Marijuana and immunity. J Psychoactive Drugs 1992; 24: 159-64. 13 Coates RA, Farewell VT, Raboud J, et al. Cofactors of progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in a cohort of male sexual contacts of men with human immunodeficiency virus disease. Am J Epidemiol 1990; 132: 717-22. 14 Kaslow RA, Blackwelder WC, Ostrow DG, et al. No evidence for a role of alcohol or other psychoactive drugs in accelerating immunodeficiency in HIV-1-positive individuals: a report from the Multicentre AIDS Cohort Study. JAMA 1989; 261: 3424-29. 15 Bloom JW, Kaltenborn WT, Paoletti P, et al. Respiratory effects of non-tobacco cigarettes. BMJ 1987; 295: 1516-18. 16 Tashkin DP, Fligiel S, Wu TC, et al. Effects of habitual use of marijuana and/or cocaine on the lung. In: Chiang CN, Hawks RL, eds. Research findings on smoking of abused substances. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph 99. Rockville, Maryland: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1990. 17 Fligiel SEG, Roth MD, Kleerup EC, et al. Tracheobronchial histopathology in habitual smokers of cocaine, marijuana and/or tobacco. Chest 1997; 112: 319-26. 18 Tashkin DP, Simmons MS, Sherrill DL, Coulson AH. Heavy habitual marijuana smoking does not cause an accelerated decline in FEV1 with age. Am J Respir Critical Care Med 1997; 155: 141-48. 19 Sherrill DL, Krzyzanowski JW, Bloom JW, Lebowitz MD. Respiratory effects of non-tobacco cigarettes: a longitudinal study in general population. Int J Epidemiol 1991; 20: 132-37. 20 Tashkin DP. Is frequent marijuana smoking harmful to health? Western J Med 1993; 158: 635-37. 21 Caplan GA, Brigham BA. Marijuana smoking and carcinoma of the tongue. Is there an association? Cancer 1989; 66: 1005-06. 22 Sridar KS, Raub WA, Weatherby NL, et al. Possible role of marijuana smoking as a carcinogen in the development of lung cancer at an early age. J Psychoactive Drugs 1994; 26: 285-88. 23 Bloch E. Effects of marijuana and cannabinoids on reproduction, endocrine function, development and chromosomes. In: Fehr KO, Kalant H, eds. Cannabis and health hazards. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1983. 24 Abel EL. Effects of prenatal exposure to cannabinoids. In: Pinkert TM, ed. Current research on the consequences of maternal drug abuse. NIDA Research Monograph no 59. Washington: Department of Health and Human Services, 1985. 25 Richardson GA, Day NL, McGauhey PJ. The impact of prenatal marijuana and cocaine use on the infant and child. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1993; 36: 302-18. 26 Fried PA. Prenatal exposure to tobacco and marijuana: effects during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1993; 36: 319-36. 27 Zuckerman B, Frank D, Hingson R, et al. Effects of maternal marijuana and cocaine use on fetal growth. N Engl J Med 1989; 320: 762-68. 28 Shiono PH, Klebanoff MA, Nugent RP, et al. The impact of cocaine and marijuana use on low birth weight and preterm birth: a multicenter study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1995; 172: 19-27. 29 Fried PA. Behavioural outcomes in preschool-aged children exposed prenatally to marijuana: a review and speculative interpretation. In: Wetherington CL, Smeriglio CL, Finnegan L, eds. Behavioural studies of drug exposed offspring: methodological issues in human and animal research. NIDA Research Monograph 164. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1996. 30 Robison LI, Buckley JD, Daigle AE, et al. Maternal drug use and the risk of childhood nonlympholastic leukemia among offspring: an epidemiologic investigation implicating marijuana. Cancer 1989; 63: 1904-11. 31 Grufferman S, Schwartz AG, Ruymann FB, Mauer HM. Parent's use of cocaine and marijuana and increased risk of rhabdomyosarcoma in their children. Cancer, Causes & Control 1993; 4: 217-24. 32 Kuitjen RR, Bunin GR, Nass CC, Meadows AT. Parental occupation and childhood astrocytoma. Cancer Res 1992; 52: 782-86. 33 Newcombe T, Bentler P. Consequences of adolescent drug use: impact on the lives of young adults. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 1988. 34 Fergusson D, Horwood J. Early onset cannabis use and psychosocial adjustment in young adults. Addiction 1997; 92: 279-96. 35 Yamaguchi K, Kandel DB. Patterns of drug use from adolescence to adulthood: II--sequences of progression. Am J Public Health 1984; 74: 668-72. 36 Compton DR, Dewey WL, Martin BR. Cannabis dependence and tolerance production. Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse 1990; 9: 128-47. 37 Wickelgren I. Marijuana: harder than thought? Science 1997; 276: 1967-68. 38 Weisbeck GA, Schuckit MA, Kalmijn JA, et al. An evaluation of the history of marijuana withdrawal syndrome in a large population. Addiction 1996; 91: 1469-78. 39 Stephens RS, Roffman RA, Simpson EE. Adult marijuana users seeking treatment. J Consult Clin Psychol 1993; 61: 1110-04. 40 Anthony JC, Warner LA, Kessler RC. Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances and inhabitants: basic findings from the National Comorbidity Study. Clin Exp Psychopharmacol 1994; 2: 244-68. 41 Solowij N. Cannabis and cognitive functioning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 42 Fletcher JM, Page JB, Francis DJ, et al. Cognitive correlates of long-term cannabis use in Costa Rican men. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1996; 53: 1051-57. 43 Pope HG, Yurgelun-Todd D. The residual congitive effects of heavy marijuana use. JAMA 1996; 275: 521-27. 44 Chopra GS, Smith JW. Psychotic reactions following cannabis use in East Indians. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974; 30: 24-27. 45 Andreasson S, Allebeck P, Engstrom A, Rydberg U. Cannabis and schizophrenia: a longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts. Lancet 1987; ii: 1483-86. 46 Turner WM, Tsuang MT. Impact of substance abuse on the course and outcome of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bull 1990; 16: 87-95. 47 Linszen DH, Dingemans PM, Lenior ME. Cannabis abuse and the course and outcome of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bull 1990; 16: 87-372. 48 Der G, Gupta S, Murray RM. Is schizophrenia disappearing? Lancet 1990; 335: 513-16. 49 Andreasson S, Allebeck P. Cannabis and mortality among young men: a longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts. Scand J Social Med 1990; 18: 9-15. 50 Sidney S, Beck JE, Tekawa IE, et al. Marijuana use and mortality. Am J Public Health 1997; 87: 585-90. FURTHER READING General Hall W, Solowij N, Lemon J. The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use. National Drug Strategy Monograph Series no 25. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1994. Hollister LE. Health aspects of cannabis. Pharmacol Rev 1986; 38: 1-20. Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R, eds. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Programme on Substance Abuse, WHO. Cannabis: a health perspective and research agenda. Geneva: Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, WHO, 1997. Pharmacology Adams IB, Martin BR. Cannabis: pharmacology and toxicology in animals and humans. Addiction 1996; 91: 1585-614. Compton DR, Harris LS, Lichtman AH, Martin BR. Marihuana. In: Schuster CR, Kuher MJ, eds. Pharmacological aspects of drug dependence. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1993, Pertwee RG. Pharmacological, physiological and clinical implications of the discovery of cannabinoid receptors: an overview. In: Pertwee RG, ed. Cannabinoid receptors. London: Harcourt Brace, 1995. Patterns of cannabis use Bachman JG, Wadsworth KN, O'Malley PM, et al. Smoking, drinking and drug use in young adulthood: Malwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997. Hall W, Johnston L, Donnelly N. The epidemiology of cannabis use and its consequences. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Driving Chesher G. Cannabis and road safety: an outline of research studies to examine the effects of cannabis on driving skills and actual driving performance. In: Road Safety Committee, Parliament of Victoria. The effects of drugs (other than alcohol) on road safety. Melbourne: Road Safety Committee, Parliament of Victoria, 1995: 67-96. Robbe HWJ. Influence of marijuana on driving. Maastricht, Institute for Human Psychopharmacology, University of Limberg, 1994. Smiley A. Marijuana: on road and driving simulator studies. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Terhune KW. Problems and methods in studying drug crash effects. Alcohol Drugs Driving 1986; 2: 1-13. Immune system Hollister LE. Marijuana and immunity. J Psychoactive Drugs 1992; 24: 159-64. Klein TW. Cannabis and immunity. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Respiratory effects Tashkin D. Effects of cannabis on the respiratory system. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Taylor FM. Marijuana as a potential respiratory tract carcinogen: a retrospective analysis of a community hospital population. South Med J 1988; 81: 1213-16. Wu T, Tashkin DP, Djahed B, Rose JE. Pulmonary hazards of smoking marijuana as compared with tobacco. N Engl J Med 1988; 318: 347-51. Reproductive effects Fried PA. Prenatal exposure to tobacco and marijuana: effects during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1993; 36: 319-36. Fried PA. The Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS): methodological issues and findings-its easy to throw the baby out with the bath water. Life Sci 1995; 56: 2159-68. Richardson GA, Day NL, McGauhey PH. The impact of prenatal marijuana and cocaine use on the infant and child. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1993; 36: 302-18. Adolescent use Chen K, Kandel DB. The natural history of drug use from adolescence to the mid-thirties in a general population sample. Am J Public Health 1995; 85: 41-47. Hall W, Johnston L, Donnelly N. The epidemiology of cannabis use and its consequences. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Kandel DB. Issues of sequencing of adolescent drug use and other problem behaviors. Drugs Soc 1988; 3: 55-76. Osgood DW, Johnston LD, O'Malley PM, Bachman JG. The generality of deviance in late adolescence and early adulthood. Am Social Rev 1988; 53: 81-93. Dependence Channabasavanna S, Paes M, Hall W. Psychiatric and behavioural effects of cannabis. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Reseach Foundation, 1998. Jones RT, Benowitz N, Herning RI. The clinical relevance of cannabis tolerance and dependence. J Clin Pharmacol 1981; 21: 143S-152S. Stephens RS, Roffman RA. Adult marijuana dependence. In: Baer JS, Marlatt GA, MacMahon RJ, eds. Addictive behaviors across the lifespan: prevention, treatment and policy issues. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 1993. Cognitive effects Pope HG, Gruber AJ, Yurgelun-Todd D. The residual neuropsychological effects of cannabis: the current status of research. Drug Alcohol Depend 1995; 38: 25-34. Solowij N. Cannabis and cognitive functioning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Psychosis Allebeck P. Cannabis and schizophrenia: is there a causal association? In: Nahas GG, Latour C, eds. Physiopathology of illicit drugs: cannabis, cocaine, opiates. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1991. Channabasavanna S, Paes M, Hall W. Psychiatric and behavioural effects of cannabis. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 1998. Thomas H. Psychiatric symptoms in cannabis users. Br J Psychiatry 1993; 163: 141-49. Tien AY, Anthony JC. Epidemiological analysis of alcohol and drug use as risk factors for psychotic experiences. J Nerv Mental Disorder 1990; 178: 473-80. Thornicroft G. Cannabis and psychosis: is there epidemiological evidence for an association? Br J Psychiatry 1990; 157: 25-33. Therapeutic effects British Medical Association. Therapeutic uses of cannabis. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic, 1997. Hartel C. Therapeutic uses of cannabis. In: Kalant H, Corrigal W, Hall W, Smart R. The health effects of cannabis. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundaton, 1998. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Report on the possible medical uses of marijuana. Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health, 1997.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report: Let's chill out (New Scientist, in Britain, says the biggest obstacles everywhere to the reform of medical marijuana laws are political.)New Scientist Britain 14 November 1998 http://www.newscientist.com/nsplus/insight/drugs/marijuana/marijuana.html Marijuana Special Report: Let's chill out * Despite pressure to let sick people use marijuana, governments are wary The strength of President Clinton's revival at the ballot box last week surprised everyone. But then, so did the number of votes cast in favour of the drug Clinton famously never inhaled. In Alaska, Nevada, Washington and Arizona, voters all approved ballot paper motions asking that the smoking of marijuana should be made legal for people with certain illnesses. And in Britain this week, an inquiry launched by the House of Lords said that doctors should be allowed to prescribe cannabis on a named-patient basis. So is the tide of opinion finally turning for the evil weed? Not yet. The British government has not changed its view that relaxing the law on prescribing marijuana will require rigorous evidence of its effectiveness from clinical trials. Of course, scientific studies, long stifled by both British and US governments, should be carried out. But the Lords point out reasonably that anecdotal evidence of its value in relieving the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other conditions argues for a more immediate, compassionate approach. The objection that prescription marijuana might end up being sold on the black market seems implausible. Allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana would actually make it easier to distinguish between medical and recreational users. And as the report rightly points out, doctors in Britain have been allowed to prescribe heroin for people in chronic pain, yet there is no evidence that this heroin ends up on the black market. The biggest obstacles everywhere are political. In California, the state voted in favour of legalising marijuana for certain illnesses two years ago. And what happened? Federal law enforcers moved in to close down the growers' clubs that sprang up to supply patients. The US drugs tsar, Barry McCaffrey, continues to argue that the medical use of marijuana will send the wrong message to teenagers and encourage drug abuse. In the US, proponents of medical marijuana are now full of talk about a new era. And in Britain, the Lords report is being welcomed. But there is a way to go before either country can really be rational about the issue. From New Scientist, 14 November 1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs - Cacophony in the European Union (A translation of an article from Le Figaro, in France, seems surpised that, on the eve of the European Week for the Prevention of Drug Addiction, which begins Monday and continues through the 22nd of November, legislation varies from one country to the next. In France, the debate on decriminalisation of certain substances has never been able to be conducted calmly.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 08:30:18 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: European Union: Drugs: Cacophony in the European Union Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Pubdate: Sat-Sun, 14-15 November, 1998 Source: Le Figaro (France) Page: Section "Notre Vie" Website: http://www.lefigaro.fr/ Copyright: Le Figaro 1998 Translation: Peter Webster (from French) Note: some of the statements in this article seem a little dubious, but it is not a result of poor translation. DROGUE: CACOPHONIE DANS L'UNION [Drugs: Cacophony in the European Union] [sub-headlines]: On the day before the opening of the European Week for the Prevention of Drug Addiction, legislation varies from one country to the next. In France, the debate on decriminalisation of certain substances has never been able to be conducted calmly. Even though the European Week for the Prevention of Drug Addiction (SEPT) begins Monday and will continue through the 22nd of November, the member states of the European Union have still not succeeded in harmonising their legislation concerning illegal drugs. The only exceptions concern the traffic in drugs and money laundering. From 1999, the Treaty of Amsterdam will permit an effective collaboration between the various police forces, customs, and fiscal authorites of the countries of the European Union. But concerning the use of drugs, penal sanctions, and the sale of drugs, the law varies from one country to the next. Between the Dutch indulgence and the French intransigence, some of our neighbors have found a middle way. Their aim, more or less long-term: to let legislation evolve calmly in a way considered by many as inadaptive. Thus the Germans can smoke cannabis without fear, since April 1994, with the condition that it is in small quantity and for private use. Last week the Green Party, now an active part of the government, had hoped to move quickly in proposing that "soft" drugs be legalized. Their hopes were dashed, but for how long will this continue? In Belgium in the past few months, tolerance for cannabis smoking is now established. Consumption is not decriminalised, but repression is avoided. In Denmark, cannbis users are also tolerated. A Controversial Experiment Spain and Italy, more comprehensively and permissively, have simply decriminalised personal consumption of any and all drugs. In the U.K. and Ireland, consumption of drugs is likewise authorised, with the exception of opium. Holland, the leader in this domain, has established a distinction between soft and hard drugs that began 22 yers ago. Cannabis enthusiasts can buy between 5 and 30 grams in the "coffee-shops". As for hard drugs, they are tolerated with the condition that one has no more than 5 grams. The Swiss, though they are not part of the European Union, will vote at the end of November for or against the legalisation of consumption and commerce in all the now-illegal drugs. This small country has been a pioneer in the controlled distribution of heroin to addicts. This controversial experiment, certain aspects of which have attracted the attention of the French Secretry of Health, Bernard Kouchner, has also begun in Great Britain and Holland. And finally, France remains with Portugal, Luxembourg, Greece, Finland and Sweden as one of the most repressive regimes concerning drugs. In France, the law of 1970, often severely criticised by specialists, forbids and punishes the use of drugs. The detractors of the law do not cease in their insistence that it is obsolete and should be revised, especially when one in three young people admit having tried hashish. [note: in French, "haschisch" is ofetn used to indicate cannabis in whatever form.] On Februry 3, 1995, the report of the Henrion Commission pleaded for a controlled legalisation of cannabis and recommended the modification of the law concerning hard drugs, all the while maintaining the principle of punishment: "In three years, the situation has not improved," Professor Henrion bitterly insists. "Cannabis users are more and more numerous, and the use of ecstasy and synthetics has exploded (see included graphs). But the subject remains taboo." And it is regrettable that the politicians confuse the decriminalisation of use, and the repression of traffic: "The facts remain only very dimly recognised by our contemporaries. But is is time to force some recognition of the situation. Rather than having a symbolic law which is not always applied, it would be more intelligent to design regulations for those over 16 yers old, while warning them of the risks they might encounter by the regular use of cannabis." Stop Demonising Drugs Last June, the report of Professer Roques upset Prohibitionist convictions when it revised downward the negative effects of cannabis and classed alcohol as a hard drug. Along with the prime minister Lionel Jospin, Bernard Kouchner has always been against decriminalisation. Contrarily, he favored regulations which established a distinction between hard and soft drugs, taking into account alcohol, tobacco, and tranquilisers. It would not be surprising that the report just submitted to the prime minister by Nicole Maestracci, president of MILDT (Inter-minister project for the fight against drugs and addiction), in office since last June, continues with this idea. The former magistrate preaches a better objectivity toward different substances. "If we desire some progress", she confides to her partners, "we have to change our practices. The law, subject to international treaties on drugs, cannot be radically changed, but we can perhaps make recommendations. To open the debate freed from taboo and prejudice would be a good start, as well as separating the issue as it concerns children and adults. We must stop demonising drugs, without at the same time under-estimating the problems presented by drugs. We should simply tell the truth to the young." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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