------------------------------------------------------------------- California Police Forced To Return Marijuana (A Reuters article in the Press Democrat, in Santa Rosa, says Christopher Brown sauntered into the Ukiah sheriff's office Thursday and walked out with a half pound bag of marijuana after the California Supreme Court dismissed the government's contention that any order forcing police to return the marijuana would transform officers into "drug pushers." Prohibition agents had confiscated Brown's medicine during a 1997 raid on his house in Willits, about 120 miles north of San Francisco.) Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 18:50:07 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: California Police Forced To Return Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David Hadorn (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 Source: Press Democrat, The (CA) Copyright: 1999, The Press Democrat Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.pressdemo.com/ Forum: http://www.pressdemo.com/opinion/talk/ UKIAH, Calif. (Reuters) - Christopher Brown sauntered into the Ukiah sheriff's office Thursday and walked out with a half pound bag of marijuana. In what is believed to be one of the first cases in the United States of someone legally retrieving a drug stash seized by law enforcement, Brown's victory marked a turning point in California's battle over medical marijuana, his lawyer said. "It's the first time a person has walked out of a police station with marijuana legally in their hands," attorney Hannah Nelson told Friday's Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "The fact is that the marijuana was being used legally and he has a right to it." Local drug agents confiscated Brown's marijuana during a 1997 raid on his house in Willits, about 120 miles north of San Francisco. Brown took his case to the California Supreme Court, saying he was using the marijuana in line with Proposition 215, California's first-in-the-nation law that legalized the use of marijuana for the treatment of pain and symptoms of serious diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Now 37, Brown says he smokes up to two marijuana cigarettes a day to alleviate chronic pain from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. The state Supreme Court justices dismissed the government's contention that any order forcing police to return the marijuana would transform officers into "drug pushers" and ordered the stash worth about $2,000 handed back to Brown. "We do definitely see this as a big deal," Gina Pesulima of Americans for Medical Rights, a California-based group that has pushed for state measures legalizing medical marijuana around the country, said Friday. "We think it's great because it's what we'd like to see eventually in California and other places ... we'd like to see law enforcement on board," she said. Brown said Thursday that he hoped his case would open the way for more people to get their marijuana back from the police and use it according to California state law -- under doctor's orders. "It feels good. I feel I've stood up for a lot of people who need marijuana for medical reasons," Brown told the Press Democrat. *** Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 23:02:21 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "David Crockett Williams" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Fw: California police forced to return marijuana X-ListProcessor-Instructions: Send an email to email@example.com with the subject blank and the BODY containing nothing but the word HELP for instructions. X-Comment: Friends of Cannabis Freedom Fund List Subject: California police forced to return marijuana This article states that this is the first case like in in California. If Sister Somayah's case predates this one, she should be able to get on abc news too. http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/Reuters19990423_2012.html *** Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 23:36:58 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Sister Somoyah (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Fw: California police forced to return marijuana Yep, Congradulations to Christopher Brown for the return of his 2 grand worth of bud that he doesn't have to sacrifice a phone, or mortgage...or utilities to keep up with his own comfort....just to barely tolerate 'just putting up with the pain' ...Lets also applaud and give much Praise for the power of the people who wrote and voted in a law to be respected..so ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE !! Our 35 budded plants were pulled up in October 8th 1998 and returned by Dec 3, 1998 ......... within 2 months! and ....... they were plants ..... budded ..... BUT .. returned rotten! molded ......... Once i was saw the plants to be molded and useless......i prepared in pro per and filed a law suit against the City of Los Angeles, last week.....wish us VICTORY! till liberation.......hereafter...........thanks David.....yo Sister Somayah Kambui, c.e. Crescent Alliance Self Help for Sickle Cell/Project Hemp is Hep. David Crockett Williams wrote: > >Subject: California police forced to return marijuana > >This article states that this is the first case like in in California. If >Sister Somayah's case predates this one, she should be able to get on abc >news too. > >http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/Reuters19990423_2012.html *** Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 02:30:12 EDT Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Scott Imler (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Fw: California police forced to return marijuana The Brown case was settled first but Somayah got her marijuana back first. Somayah's attorneys used the Brown case in support of the motion for return of Somayah's property. Scott Imler
------------------------------------------------------------------- Arcata Police Chief Finds 'Local Solution' To Pot Law (The Sacramento Bee looks favorably on the registry system for medical marijuana patients instituted by Mel Brown, the top cop in Arcata, California.) Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 16:12:43 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Arcata Police Chief Finds 'Local Solution' To Pot Law Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Clay, email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 23 April 1999 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Sacramento Bee Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852 Feedback: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html AUTHOR: M.S. Enkoji, Bee staff writer ARCATA POLICE CHIEF FINDS 'LOCAL SOLUTION' TO POT LAW ARCATA -- In the chill of a spring afternoon, Charles McDowell gripped the bowl of a pipe with fingers gnarled with cherry-sized knots from arthritis. He raised the pipe to his lips, closed his eyes and dragged mightily on the orange glow as if his life depended on it. Some days, it feels like it does. "Yeah, see," said McDowell, spreading his fingers as wisps of smoke curled from his nostrils. "I take steroids and all, but nothing helps like this." Marijuana takes the edge off the pain racking his hands so he can get on with his life, McDowell swears -- and his doctor agrees. Luckily for him, he lives in this seaside college town, a sort of ground zero for the legal thorn bush of Proposition 215, the voter initiative that legalized marijuana for medical use. And luckily for him, Mel Brown is here. "Mel Brown is the bravest police chief in America," McDowell said with a throaty cough as he exhaled. Around his neck, a laminated card glinted in the hazy sunlight, a card that lets McDowell, 44, relax in a city park and fire up as officers stroll past. The police chief gave him the card, even snapped the Polaroid for it. A no-nonsense, straight-by-the-book kind of guy in sport coat and starchy white shirt, Brown commands a small-town police force with a big-city vision. "I kind of pride myself on taking risks," he said, parking his linebacker hulkiness behind his desk. In the palm of a beefy hand, he holds his latest risk: a picture identification card, saying the holder has a medical condition relieved by marijuana. "We're just trying to find local solutions to local problems," Brown said, offering a simple explanation for a notion that could reverberate statewide. Card-holders present them to police officers if caught with small amounts of marijuana, less than a half-ounce or no more than 10 plants. The card-holder avoids arrest and a trip to court to prove his or her medical condition. The city of Arcata saves the officer four hours of court duty. And for people like McDowell, their personal supply doesn't get confiscated and destroyed. McDowell is happy. Brown is satisfied. It's an unlikely alliance. Largely regarded as a legal land mine, Proposition 215 raised more questions than it answered after voters passed it in 1997: How much pot is reasonable for medical use? And what kinds of illnesses will it help? And the biggest quandary is how do medical users escape federal arrest since federal law doesn't permit medical use? A state task force drew together marijuana experts, medical and law enforcement representatives, including Brown, to ponder those issues, and is planning to propose a legal strategy within a month. New state laws might be necessary, though, or even another consideration by voters. Some kind of registration is one of the ideas being considered, said Terry Farmer, Humboldt County's district attorney, who also sits on the task force. Representatives of the state Department of Justice called Arcata's approach innovative, but held off on endorsing any ideas until the task force is finished. A city like Arcata can't wait for the lengthy decision-making process on something like this, city leaders realized last year. Like it or not, they know Humboldt County, along with neighboring Trinity and Mendocino counties, form the Emerald Triangle, named for the illicit, commercial marijuana growing in remote, lush regions. That reputation, along with a tradition of liberal sensibilities, primed Arcata for an immigration wave of Proposition 215 refugees, Brown said. He wanted to be ready. "We either had to try to partner with them to control it, or fight it," he said of medical marijuana users in town who have organized into a resource center. "It started kind of tenuous at first. They didn't trust us and we didn't trust them," Brown said. Few places in the state are better incubators for innovative ideas, unusual collaborations. Anchored by Humboldt State University, the town overlooking Humboldt Bay scatters along hillsides dotted with sky-scratching redwood trees. Grandly preserved Victorians rise next to distinctive bungalows. The town center, fanning from a park square, looks like a slice of Berkeley lifted and placed among uncluttered, scenic views. Shoppers can browse at Moonrise Herbs or pick up a $55 flowered shower curtain at Plaza Design, flip through menus and find tofu this or that, or pick a movie at two old-style downtown theaters running full tilt. Festivals for every kind of celebration imaginable seem drawn to Chief Brown's town, which is also the environmental battleground for controversial timber practices. He's arrested hordes of protesters, marshalled plenty of unruly revelers-vs.-citizens conflicts, including a parade of topless women. So the man who briefly distinguished himself by hauling in the largest albacore tuna from Humboldt Bay is unruffled by shifting gears on marijuana. "I don't agree with a lot of things, but I have to enforce it," he said of Proposition 215. After a trial run, Brown began issuing the cards last year. Residents bring in forms with medical recommendations from a doctor. After Brown confirms everything with the doctor, and he checks the physician's background, he issues a card with an expiration date. It's a hit. "I was truly astonished," said Debra Parry, who discovered new freedom when she moved to Arcata last year. She used pot for years to ease her ailments, but ran into the law in Arkansas where she lived before. She sat on a picnic blanket next to McDowell, her shoulders hunched over, making her seem older than her 46 years. A cane laid next to her legs, their outline lost in jeans that bagged around her limbs. For years arthritis has robbed her of free movement, and a bone marrow disease makes too much iron for her body. Her organs are rusting. "I would vomit for hours," she said. She took the pipe from McDowell and gingerly inhaled, closing her eyes. Several times a day, a pinch or two relieves the nausea and piques her appetite. "It relaxes my stomach immediately," she said, munching on a lone broccoli spear. A member of the local marijuana center, a resource group that works with Brown and helps people like Parry, she joined other members to picnic in a clearing of the city's huge Redwood Park. The nearness of police officers still gives her pause. "It just makes me edgy," she said, eyeing two officers patrolling the park. In spite of Brown's best efforts, her fear is not unfounded. She is breaking federal law, card or no card. And that remains a fact, said Brian Steel, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice. Recent interest in national health studies about medical marijuana and more states joining California's lead could eventually sway Congress differently, he conceded, and federal authorities have yet to arrest anyone like Parry or McDowell. But they could. Proposition 215 is no get-out-of-jail-free card in Arcata, either, Brown said. Except for the 100 or so card-holders in town, who abide by the rules otherwise, Brown is still in the busting business: "Marijuana is still against the law in Arcata."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Grower Has Home Confiscated (The Montana Standard, in Butte, says Duane D. Gray, a U.S. Marine veteran, tried painkillers, lithium and Prozac, watched what he ate and soaked in mineral-filled springs, but nothing worked like marijuana to relieve the nausea, fatigue and muscle pains he suffered from Gulf War Syndrome. On Thursday, Butte District Court Judge James Purcell gave him a three-year suspended sentence, fined him $1,000 and confiscated his home for growing 77 marijuana plants.) Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 08:48:16 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MT: Pot Grower Has Home Confiscated Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Montana NORML http://www.montananorml.org/ Pubdate: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 Source: The Montana Standard (MT) Copyright: The Montana Standard, 1999 Contact: email@example.com Address: 25 W. Granite St., Butte, MT 59701 Fax: (406) 496-5551 Website: http://www.mtstandard.com/ Author: Kim Skornogoski, of The Montana Standard POT GROWER HAS HOME CONFISCATED Duane D. Gray tried painkillers, lithium and Prozac, he watched what he ate and he soaked in mineral-filled springs. But he said nothing worked to relieve the nausea, fatigue and muscle pains he'd had since serving in the Gulf War I until he tried marijuana. To punish Gray, 28, for growing 77 marijuana plants in his attic, Butte District Court Judge James Purcell gave Gray a three-year suspended sentence Thursday, fining him $1,000 and confiscating Gray's home at 1741 Grand Ave. "Regardless of what (the marijuana) does for you, to ask this court to legalize drugs because of your situation ... I cannot condone that," Purcell said. Sheriff John McPherson said he hoped the sentencing would deter drug crimes. "This is the first time property was seized in a drug bust done solely by Butte law enforcement," he said Thursday evening. "This should send a message out that we're damn serious about cracking down on drug offenders." Chief Deputy County Attorney Brad Newman said the state considered Gray's lack of criminal background and that he earned his bachelor's degree in metallurgy from Montana Tech in December when it offered the three-year suspended sentence. Gray pleaded guilty to manufacturing drugs and using his home for the production of drugs I both felonies I last month. On Thursday, Gray told the court he knew he broke the law, but asked for lenience. "I'm asking for a chance, not condemnation," he said. "I feel it saved my life." Gray enlisted in the Marines after graduating from Butte High School in 1988, serving for five years, including in the Gulf War. He testified Thursday at his sentencing hearing that the symptoms hit him slowly after he returned from Iraq. He said he had difficulties adjusting to the cold weather, he vomited frequently and lost weight because he couldn't eat, he felt faint and his bones and muscles creaked and ached. Over a two-year period, he went to the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Helena nearly 20 times, receiving various medications for an "undiagnosed illness." The defense produced a letter Gray wrote in 1995 to then Congressman Pat Williams, urging him to talk to the veterans' hospital about what was becoming known as Gulf War Syndrome. Gray told the court that he didn't smoke marijuana until 1996, "when the VA hospital pretty much said you're on your own. "I wanted relief bad," he said. "With the marijuana I was able to eat, hold down my food and it reduced my stress." An Anaconda doctor, Paul Blocker, testified that Gray's symptoms matched those of other Gulf War veterans who experienced Gulf War syndrome. Blocker also said that while he doesn't support marijuana use, it isn't unusual for people who have Gulf War Syndrome to smoke marijuana for relief. Gray said he tried buying marijuana on the street, but wasn't comfortable not knowing what else might be in the stash so he began growing his own. For about two years, Gray smoked two joints a day. He said he harvested about two ounces monthly. But Detective Jerry Stradinger, who works with the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force, said the number of plants found indicated Gray wasn't just consuming for personal use. Had all 77 plants grown to maturation, 30 to 35 pounds of marijuana could have been produced and sold in Butte for somewhere between $21,000 and $52,500. "If he would have used them all for personal use, he would have to smoke them 24 hours a day for the next 200 years," McPherson said after the hearing. Butte police were granted a warrant in the fall of 1997 after a confidential informant told them Gray and another man had been building a marijuana greenhouse in the attic. Police also looked at Gray's power bill which increased in wattage in September and October of 1997. Newman asked Gray if fighting in the war or graduating from Tech excused him from obeying Montana's drug laws. "You made a conscious choice to take marijuana, didn't you?" Newman asked. "There are alternative means other than illegal means." Gray's lawyer, Jack Morris, asked Judge Purcell to give Gray a three-year deferred sentence so the two felonies could eventually be erased from his record. Morris also asked to have the state sell the house, worth $27,000 according to court documents, and split the money between Butte and the defendant. "There's no evidence he sold (the marijuana.) No money was found. The marijuana wasn't packaged in Baggies," he said. "We're asking for a second chance. He was at the end of his rope. He admits he was wrong and made a mistake." Morris said Gray plans to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, which will delay his home being sold. McPherson said the money made from selling Gray's house will go towards drug use prevention and confiscation, including equipment, dogs or to purchase drugs to catch sellers. If Gray didn't appeal, his house would go on the market in 10 days. Purcell chastised Gray after sentencing him, saying that drugs are decaying the country. "You're very fortunate... to get a suspended sentence," he said. "With this size of operation I this is the largest growth operation we've had in this court I I can't conceive that this was just for personal use. "The court really doesn't have any sympathy for you in this matter." Morris said Gray hasn't smoked marijuana since he was arrested in the fall of 1997, and instead is being counseled for post-war shock. *** From: Joe Wein (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" (email@example.com) Subject: RE: Pot Grower Has Home Confiscated Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 13:36:30 +0900 Ironic, isn't it, that the same country is fighting a war on the balkans against another country for driving defenseless families out of their homes? Regards Joe Wein
------------------------------------------------------------------- Decriminalize Therapeutic Marijuana Now, MP Says (According to the Vancouver Sun, in British Columbia, Bernard Bigras of the Bloc Quebecois said Thursday during a visit to Vancouver that Ottawa should not wait until the completion of clinical trials before it decriminalizes marijuana for therapeutic reasons. Bigras's medical-marijuana bill is to be debated in June and he is on a national tour to raise the issue. Bigras said many MPs are still resistant to the idea of any reform, but the Quebec member of Parliament expects strong support from other Bloc members, the NDP, many Tories, some Liberals and Reformers, and national groups representing people with AIDS, hemophiliacs and senior citizens.) Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 18:59:17 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: CANADA: Decriminalize Therapeutic Marijuana Now, MP Says Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: April 23, 1999 Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Copyright: The Vancouver Sun 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/ Author: Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun Note: The Compassion Club website is http://www.thecompassionclub.org/ DECRIMINALIZE THERAPEUTIC MARIJUANA NOW, MP SAYS Ottawa should not wait until the completion of clinical trials before it decriminalizes marijuana for therapeutic reasons, says a Bloc Quebecois MP. "Many people need to take marijuana to cope with their illness and it is important to adjust the law to this new reality," Bernard Bigras said Thursday during a visit to Vancouver. Bigras introduced a private member's bill in Parliament last year calling on Ottawa to decriminalize marijuana for medical reasons. The bill is expected to be debated in June and Bigras is on a national tour to raise the issue. Health Minister Allan Rock recently announced that clinical tests will be held to see whether marijuana provides therapeutic benefits to people suffering from a painful disease or terminal illness. Bigras was to meet today with Vancouver's Compassion Club, which in recent years has been discreetly supplying marijuana for free or at reduced rates to sick people in the Lower Mainland. The club's activity is illegal but it receives referrals from agencies serving people with cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. "The Compassion Club is a model for Canada," said Bigras. "Club members can take the marijuana in a secure environment and receive a very good quality of marijuana." Bigras said that many people are resorting to buying marijuana from the street and finding it laced with other substances that only exacerbate their pain. The MP said it is unfair that sick, even dying people, can still face stiff fines or jail time for using marijuana. Compassion Club founder Hilary Black said her members strongly support Bigras' bill. She said the clinical trials proposed by Rock will be of little benefit to many of her club's 700 members. "The truth is that the people who are in most need now are not going to be around to take advantage of the trials," Black said. "The people who are furthest along with cancer and HIV infection need to be freed of the fear and shame of breaking the law." The Liberal government does not plan to change the Criminal Code for the trials, but will use a section of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that allows the minister to exempt people from prosecution for special circumstances. Black said there is a long list of ill people in B.C. waiting for an exemption so they can buy low-cost marijuana. She said the drug helps relax spasms for multiple sclerosis sufferers and people with epileptic seizures. It also helps to relax muscles, counter nausea, improve sleep patterns and stimulate appetite. Bigras said many MPs are still resistant to the notion of legalizing marijuana for any purpose. Nevertheless, the Quebec MP expects strong support from other Bloc members, the NDP, many Tories and some Liberals and Reformers. B.C. Reform MP Jim Hart has been an outspoken defender of legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes. Bigras said his bill has also received support from national groups representing people with AIDS, hemophiliacs and senior citizens.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cops Stir Up The Great Pot Debate (The Ottawa Sun says Canadian Parliamentary Bureau Justice Minister Anne McLellan is receptive to a pitch by the country's top cops to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and hash. "We're going to take a look at this and we'll see where it leads us," McLellan said yesterday.) Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 07:41:09 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Cops Stir Up The Great Pot Debate 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: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 Source: Ottawa Sun (Canada) Copyright: 1999, Canoe Limited Partnership. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/OttawaSun/ Forum: http://www.canoe.ca/Chat/home.html Author: Mark Dunn COPS STIR UP THE GREAT POT DEBATE Feds Urged To Decriminalize Possession Parliamentary Bureau Justice Minister Anne McLellan is receptive to a pitch by the country's top cops to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and hash. "We're going to take a look at this and we'll see where it leads us," McLellan said yesterday. "I think this is a significant move on the part of the chiefs and they are a very influential voice." The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs say they could maximize their dwindling resources by targeting organized crime instead of busting potheads. The association's board has adopted a policy that calls on the federal government to give police the option of charging someone with 30 grams or less or issuing a ticket and fine or community service. Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana or a derivative is a summary conviction punishable by a maximum six months of jail or a $2,000 fine. A conviction under the act does not carry a criminal record. Brockville Police Chief Barry King says that while the association opposes legalizing illicit drugs, it supports decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish when a conviction does not give rise to a criminal record. King said if police caught someone on a schoolyard with 20 grams of pot, there would be no ticket issued. The chiefs would support decriminalization only if the government also introduced prevention and education programs, counselling and treatment for users and addicts, and diversion programs such as drug courts or community sentencing. "All we want to do is add another tool to the toolbox. We're not giving up the ghost on drugs, absolutely not," said King, who heads the association's drug abuse committee. The government is studying the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The chiefs say they will abide by whatever Health Canada decides with regard to allowing the use of any illicit drug for that purpose. The chiefs are motivated by statistics indicating year after year that about half of marijuana charges processed every year stem from simple possession, said King.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senior Police Officer Calls For Rethink On Cannabis (The Herald, in Britain, says Mr Tom Wood, deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, told a major drugs conference in Edinburgh yesterday that Scotland's Parliament should re-examine society's attitudes toward cannabis. "Speaking personally, I do not and will not support the legalisation of cannabis. I merely think it is time to take a fresh look at drugs," he said. Mr Wood's comments on the cannabis issue came just days after Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace announced he remained "open-minded" on the legalisation of cannabis when he outlined his party's drugs strategy.) Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 18:47:09 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Scotland: Senior Police Officer Calls For Rethink On Cannabis 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: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 Source: Herald, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.theherald.co.uk/ SENIOR POLICE OFFICER CALLS FOR RETHINK ON CANNABIS ANDY DROUGHT A Senior police officer yesterday called for the Scottish Parliament to re-examine society's attitudes toward cannabis. Mr Tom Wood, deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, told a major drugs conference in Edinburgh he hoped Scotland's future politicians would seize the opportunity to tackle an issue which political parties had previously dodged. He said they had failed to show either the "stomach or the courage" to take up the challenge. "Individuals who have brought up the subject have been severely lambasted by the party leader," Mr Wood claimed. Later, he told The Herald: "As a practitioner who has been in the business of law enforcement for 30 years, it is my personal view it is time we took a completely new look at the whole business of drugs. Now is perhaps the golden opportunity." Earlier, Mr Wood had responded to a speech by Councillor Pat Chalmers, convener of the Joint Grampian Police Board, at the conference on drugs and crime organised by Sacro - Safeguarding Communities, Reducing Offending. Some of those present maintained Mr Wood was supporting the legalisation of cannabis. However, he emphasised this was not the case: "I am a police officer, and it is my job to enforce the law. Speaking personally, I do not and will not support the legalisation of cannabis. I merely think it is time to take a fresh look at drugs." Mr Wood's comments on the cannabis issue came just days after Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace announced he remained "open-minded" on the legalisation of cannabis when he outlined his party's drugs strategy. At yesterday's conference, Mr Chalmers, who also stressed he was speaking purely in a personal capacity, strongly attacked the "blunderbuss" nature of the Government's anti-drugs message and said the appointment of a drugs czar had changed nothing. He also claimed the Government's policies had lost the confidence of the younger generation. Councillor Chalmers said the legalisation and taxation of cannabis, a drug which he believed killed far fewer people than alcohol, was something that should be examined afresh in light of the "generational tolerance" present in society. "We are losing this war," he said. "Despite having 3000 drug addicts in the Grampian Police area, there is no state-funded drug detox or rehab centre." The councillor accused the Government of "playing snakes and ladders" with the drugs issue and added: "Its so-called policies are in reality no more than a conjuror's trick with smoke and mirrors." Responding to Mr Wood's fears that the Scottish Parliament would lack the "guts" to tackle the issue, he said: "I hope we'll see a younger group of MSPs who will take this on. "I am sure there are people within our present Cabinet who have actually used cannabis." Councillor Chalmers heads the Joint Police Board of a force which at one time was led by controversial chief constable Dr Ian Oliver. Dr Oliver, who was later forced out of his post, had been tipped as a possible first UK drugs czar, a position which later went to Mr Keith Halliwell. Lothian and Borders Police last night distanced themselves from Mr Wood's views. A spokesman said the deputy chief constable was speaking in a personal capacity.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Swiss Recommend Legalizing Cannabis (According to the Associated Press, a government-appointed panel in Bern recommended Friday that Switzerland legalize the sale and use of marijuana - but with controls to keep the nation from becoming a drug haven. The committee's recommendation to the Cabinet will be considered as part of an ongoing study to revise Switzerland's drug laws, but would probably have to receive approval in a national referendum.) Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 16:12:46 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Switzerland: Wire: Swiss Recommend Legalizing Cannabis Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF@aol.com Pubdate: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press SWISS RECOMMEND LEGALIZING CANNABIS BERN, Switzerland (AP) Switzerland should legalize the sale and use of marijuana but with controls to keep the nation from becoming a drug haven, a government-appointed panel urged Friday. The committee's recommendation to the Cabinet will be considered as part of an ongoing study to revise Switzerland's drug laws but would probably have to receive approval in a national referendum. The existing ban on marijuana hasn't worked and may even encourage its use among young people, the panel said. "Cannabis is a drug and the committee isn't intending to trivialize it or say that its consumption is without risk ... but consumption is rising, especially among young people," panel member Anne-Catherine Menetrey told Swiss radio. The committee said the popularity of the drug and varying attitudes of different states to consumption and low-level dealing mean the Swiss policy on drugs is suffering from a "growing loss of credibility." Under the recommendation, prospective marijuana sellers would have to pass a training course and be licensed. Purchasers would have to prove that they lived in Switzerland to prevent tourists from flocking to Switzerland to buy drugs, the panel said. Last November, some 74 percent of Swiss voters rejected a constitutional amendment to legalize the consumption, cultivation and acquisition of hard and soft drugs, including heroin, for personal use. Government ministers said the legalization plan was a health risk and would turn Switzerland into a haven for drug addicts from abroad. No other European nation, not even the relatively liberal Netherlands, has legalized the possession or sale of any drugs or has plans to do so. In 1997, the Swiss overwhelmingly voted in favor of state distribution of heroin to addicts. Government studies showed this cut crime associated with the drug scene. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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