------------------------------------------------------------------- Update on HB 3052 - Medical Marijuana Compromise Legislation (An e-mail to advocates for medical marijuana patients from Dr. Rick Bayer, a chief petitioner for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, forwards a message from Oregonians for Medical Rights about the status of the bill before the Oregon legislature that would nullify much of the voter-approved initiative. Yesterday the Oregon House approved HB 3052 by a vote of 49 to 8. The bill now goes on to the Senate judiciary committee. Please contact your state senator and ask him or her to vote "no" on HB 3502 when it goes to the floor. "Even more importantly, get involved in politics and rid our Capitol of extremists who have no concern for dying and suffering patients.") From: "teleport isp" (email@example.com) To: "Rick Bayer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: FW: Update on HB 3052--Medical Marijuana Compromise Legislation Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 10:33:49 -0700 Dear supporters of the OMMA I wanted to let everyone know about HB 3052, which I have described rather harshly as "the enemy" and have taken criticism for that description. Amy Klare is working diligently to try to defend patients' rights and gives a very good summary below of what is going on. This is a law enforcement bill to try to curb what the voters passed. Most legislators are hostile to us, law enforcement has the votes in Salem, so we are playing defense. This is seldom a good position to be in. In summary, Amy Klare & Geoff Sugerman (Oregonians for Medical Rights) and Dave Fidanque (ACLU - Oregon) are doing a good job on an awful bill to make it "less bad" but we don't have to like the bill and I don't. This is no way detracts from the efforts of Amy & Geoff to get as much protection for patients as they can negotiate. I have also included Lee Berger's comments at the end. Lee, a defense attorney, is involved in advocating for med mj patients and unfortunately they are often clients. He summarizes my objections to HB 3052 quite well. Once again, Lee & I disagree with HB 3052 but we are not criticizing the tremendous efforts in a hostile environment that Amy Klare & Geoff Sugerman & Dave Fidanque had to do so at to make this bill, "less destructive than it is". Thank you Amy & Geoff & Dave. If one is upset, please turn that negative energy into positive energy by contacting your Senator and telling them to vote NO on HB 3502 when it gets to the Senate floor. Even more importantly, get involved in politics and rid our Capitol of extremists who have no concern for dying and suffering patients. The year 2000 elections aren't that far away. Please don't simply complain - harness that energy and use it for positive political change. Thank you. Rick Richard E. Bayer, MD 6800 SW Canyon Drive Portland, OR 97225 503-292-1035 (voice) 503-297-0754 (fax) mailto:email@example.com [May 5, 1999 e-mail address change] *** -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, May 13, 1999 12:56 PM Today the Oregon House voted 49-8 on HB 3502--the medical marijuana "legislative fix" sought by law enforcement. (The Republicans have a 35-25 advantage). A handful of Republicans voted against the measure because they just didn't want to vote "aye" on any bill with the word "marijuana" in (unless it were a recriminalization bill). The sole "no" vote on the Democrat side was a rural legislator with an extremely conservative district (Kurt Scrader D-Canby). The real story is what isn't in the bill. As originally drafted, this legislation would have gutted the affirmative defense protections for patients, allowed cops to retain unlawfully seized medical marijuana, and a whole host of other things that would have scrapped the voter-approved law. The compromise legislation (the work of 3 month's negotiations with various law enforcement types) basically does the following: 1) Clarifies that for patients under age 18, the custodial parent (in the case of divorce or separation) will make the decision regarding the use of MMJ. 2) Regarding Affirmative Defense--Patients who intend to use this provision must have been diagnosed with a debilitating condition with 12 months of arrest. They must also declare their intent to use the affirmative defense at least 5 days before trial. (This mirrors protocol for the alibi defense). 3) Medical Marijuana Patients will not be allowed to use their medicine while incarcerated in correctional facilities. 4) Cops have to return useable marijuana (leaves and buds)--but do not have to care for or return live plants they seize. According to law enforcement, this scenario will most likely occur when patients exceed the statutory limits on the number of plants, and when cops encounter patients without their documentation from their physicians. 5) Requires caregivers to grow at a single location (this address must be on file with the Oregon Health Division). This does not preclude a caregiver from caring for other patients' plants at their homes. The bill now goes on to Senate Judiciary - where we will work to ensure that no draconian amendments are added. This late in session, anything can happen, so we'll be vigilant. That's all for now. Amy *** In a message dated 5/13/99 9:29:28 PM Pacific Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes: >The bill now goes on to Senate Judiciary--where we will work to ensure >that no draconian amendments are added. This late in session, anything >can happen, so we'll be vigilant. appreciate everyone's effort in making this not worse than it could have been. will continue to actively oppose its passage, as it guts the choice of evils defense (which Oregon activists had to insist be included, over Santa Monica's objection), unnecessarily tampers with the affirmative defenses, and unconstitutionally denies medicine to inmates. OMMA ain't broke and it don't need fixin. Lee Berger Portland
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawmakers consider clipping the end off Oregon's cigar tax (The Oregonian says the Oregon House of Representatives Revenue Committee approved HB 3371 Thursday on a party line vote of 5-4. The bill would limit a voter-approved tax increase on cigars, now 65 percent of the wholesale price, to 50 cents a stogie. The bill's supporters point to evidence that cigar consumers in Oregon have been avoiding prohibitory state taxes for years by making their purchases through the mail or via the Internet. With the cigar-buying public avoiding the tax, the increase has hurt small businesses and cost the state money, said Rep. Bill Witt, R-Cedar Mill, the bill's sponsor. Democrats said the bill would undermine voters and send the wrong message about tobacco.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, May 14 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: James Mayer, the Oregonian Lawmakers consider clipping the end off Oregon's cigar tax * A House committee approves a bill that would limit the tax, now 65 percent of the wholesale price, to 50 cents a stogie SALEM -- Owen Seaton sat in a high-backed leather chair Thursday afternoon, enjoying a $10 cigar after a wine-tasting at Cascade Wine and Cigar in downtown Portland. The good life, in other words. Life for the 28-year-old college student could get even sweeter if a bill that would slash cigar taxes makes it through the Oregon Legislature. "I'd like to see it happen," Seaton said. "I'd spend more money on cigars in Oregon." Seaton, like many higher-end cigar aficionados, buys his stogies through the mail or via the Internet from states such as North Carolina, which - surprise - impose no tax on cigars. "Only a fool would buy cigars in Oregon," said Don McIntire, the father of property tax-cutting Measure 5 and a leading force behind the cigar bill. McIntire said he spends $2,000 a year out of state on cigars. Cigar store owners say the trend has accelerated since Oregon voters increased the tax on cigars in 1996. Measure 44 increased cigarette taxes by 30 cents a pack and raised the tax on other tobacco products from 35 percent of the wholesale price to 65 percent, with the extra money going to the Oregon Health Plan. But with the cigar-buying public avoiding the tax, the increase has hurt small businesses and cost the state money, said Rep. Bill Witt, R-Cedar Mill, sponsor of House Bill 3371. Democrats said the bill would undermine voters and send the wrong message about tobacco. Witt's bill would limit the tax to 50 cents a cigar. That's a big cut for smokers such as Doug Berry, a Cascade employee who testified for the bill. His favorite cigar, a Pardon 1964 Anniversary Series, costs $18.55 a stick. The Oregon tax is $4.75. "I didn't have that cigar at my wedding," Berry said. "I had to have a much cheaper one." The House Revenue Committee approved the bill Thursday on a party line vote of 5-4. However, two Republicans, Max Williams of Tigard and Lane Shetterly of Dallas, reserved the right to vote differently on the floor. The committee approved a cigar-tax cut in the waning days of the 1997 session but reversed itself the same day after a reporter for The Oregonian started asking questions. "I walked down the plank last session, and I'm pleased to be here again," said Shetterly, who served on the 1997 panel. The committee's action appalled advocates for curbing tobacco use. "Oregon will be the only state in the nation to lower tobacco taxes," said Tom Novick, a lobbyist with the Oregon Coalition for a Healthy Future. Lawmakers lacked good information about the bill's revenue effect. Dick Yates, a Legislative Revenue Office analyst, said the original bill, which would have done away with the 65 percent rate and imposed a tax of 25 cents on all cigars, probably would have had no effect on net revenues because it would have raised taxes on inexpensive cigars, which account for most of the revenue from the tax. But amendments approved Thursday brought back the 65 percent rate and increased the limit to 50 cents. Yates said he did not know how the changes would affect revenues. He also said he could not estimate how much revenue had been lost because of mail-order cigar buying, or how much might be gained by buyers returning to local shops. Rep. Ken Strobeck, R-Beaverton, the committee chairman, said he hopes better information could be developed on the Senate side. Strobeck dismissed the argument that voters had spoken with their decision on Measure 44. "I never heard anyone who said, 'Gee, this is great -- it raises rates on cigars,' " he said. But Ellen Lowe, a Measure 44 author, said sponsors knew what they were doing when they included cigars in the measure. "One reason we raised the tax was to encourage lower consumption," Lowe said. You can reach James Mayer at 503-221-8234 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Panel approves rollback on cigar taxes (The Associated Press version) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, May 14 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Brad Cain, AP Panel approves rollback on cigar taxes SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon House panel has agreed to roll back a voter-approved tax increase on cigars after hearing testimony that tobacco stores are losing business to out-of-state cigar sellers. Opponents of the move said it would thwart voters' wishes and cause a potential loss of tax revenue at a time when lawmakers are scrambling to find money for schools and other programs. The measure endorsed Thursday by the House Revenue Committee would replace the current tax -- which amounts to 65 percent of the wholesale price of cigars -- with a maximum tax of 50 cents per cigar. Cigar store owners and other supporters of the change said the current tax has prompted many cigar smokers to buy their stogies from mail order houses or over the Internet to avoid Oregon's taxes. Among those who submitted testimony was David Hodgert, owner of a cigar store in downtown Bend, who said he's been losing business ever since voters raised taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in 1996. Hodgert said his retail business employed five people before the tax was increased but that he's been forced to lay off three of those employees. "This excessive tax is seriously hindering my ability to survive as a business," he said. Also weighing in on the tax cut was political activist Don McIntire, the chief sponsor of a 1990 property tax limit and a cigar aficionado who said Oregon's high tax has turned him and others into tax evaders. McIntire said he spends $1,000 a year on cigars -- all of it out of state. But a coalition of public health groups that worked for passage of the 1996 tax increase on tobacco products called the bill a slap at voters. Tom Novick of Oregon Health Leadership Against Tobacco said voters approved the tax hikes on tobacco products as a way to raise more money for the Oregon Health Plan and anti-tobacco education programs. "Plus, we know that one of the best ways to reduce tobacco use is to increase the price," Novick said. The tax cut won the House revenue panel's approval over the complaints of several members who noted that legislative fiscal analysts weren't able to say how much the measure would reduce state tax revenue. "I find that a really sloppy process," said Rep. Anitra Rasmussen, D-Portland. The measure, HB3371, now advances to the full House.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge cuts damages in Portland tobacco suit (The Oregonian says Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Anna J. Brown reduced a Portland jury's recent assessment of $79.5 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris to $32 million, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's insistance that punishment has to be proportionate to the level of wrongdoing. The $32 million, which is still the largest judgment against a tobacco company, could have been reduced even further but Judge Brown found that Philip Morris had not taken steps to keep from lying in the future, interpreting the multistate settlement sponsored by state attorneys general as lacking "substantial remedial steps" to prevent wrongdoing.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, May 14 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Patrick O'Neill, the Oregonian Judge cuts damages in Portland tobacco suit * The $79.5 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris is slashed to $32 million because of legal obligations A Portland judge on Thursday slashed a $79.5 million punitive damages award from a lawsuit against Philip Morris to $32 million. But the reduced amount is still the largest judgment ever against a tobacco company. Judge Anna J. Brown of Multnomah County Circuit Court said her decision was a difficult one and was not a criticism of the jury's verdict to punish the cigarette-maker for the death of longtime Marlboro smoker Jessie Williams of Portland. Rather, she said, her decision was the result of legal obligations imposed by both state and federal law. "By no means is my personal point of view substituted for that of the jury," she said. The $79.5 million award was granted by a jury on March 30 to the family of Williams, a former school janitor who died of lung cancer in 1997 at age 67 after smoking for 42 years. Jurors said they were infuriated by documents showing that Philip Morris executives had lied for decades about the link between smoking and cancer. Brown made her decision after a two-day hearing between attorneys for the Williams family and tobacco giant Philip Morris, makers of Marlboro. Her decision did not affect $821,485 in compensatory damages the jury awarded for medical costs and pain and suffering. Attorneys for both the family and the cigarette company declined comment on the ruling immediately after the hearing. But William Gaylord, who represented the Williams family during the hearing, appeared distressed by the decision. "It's a significant award, Bill," Jay Beattie, one of the tobacco company attorneys, told Gaylord after the hearing. "I'm not going to say anything because I'll regret it later," Gaylord said. Gaylord had said during the hearing that any reduction in damages would be a public relations coup for the company. The judge faced a fiendishly complex problem. The jury, acting under the judge's instructions, had slapped the company with the huge punitive verdict. But under the U.S. Constitution, punishment has to be proportionate to the degree of wrongdoing. Brown acknowledged that jurors might feel slighted by her decision, but she said they acted appropriately, within the limits of their responsibilities. Their job was to decide on a punitive damages figure based on the evidence in the trial, she said. But although Oregon law sets no limits on the amount of punitive damages a plaintiff can seek, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the sky is not the limit. "The U.S. Supreme Court said there are limits," she said. "They're not going to tell us what they are." Brown said previous cases involving punitive damages were too unlike the Portland case to be of much use for comparison. The $32 million figure, she said, is "my best call." The punitive damages could have been reduced even further if Brown had found that Philip Morris had taken steps to keep from lying in the future. Beattie argued that the company's participation in a multistate settlement sponsored by state attorneys general guaranteed that the company would behave itself. But Brown found that the multistate agreement did not amount to "substantial remedial steps" to prevent further wrongdoing. Gary Black, a tobacco-stock analyst with the New York investment firm of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said investors are returning to cigarette stocks because of favorable verdicts in other parts of country. A Missouri jury found in favor of defendant tobacco company Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. on Thursday. "Most of the country, except the West Coast, says smokers should bear the burden of their own actions," Black said. Since 1959, he said, tobacco companies have lost only six of 32 suits filed against them by individual smokers. Of the six, four have been overturned on appeal. Only two - a San Francisco verdict and the one in Portland - are still standing. The San Francisco verdict, in which a judge reduced $50 million in punitive damages to $25 million - is under appeal. Tobacco company attorneys said Thursday it was too early to tell whether they would appeal Brown's decision. You can reach Patrick O'Neill at 503-221-8233 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The fax number is 503-294-4150. The mailing address is 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge cuts tobacco verdict from $79.5 million to $32 million (The Associated Press version) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, May 14 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: no byline Judge cuts tobacco verdict from $79.5 million to $32 million PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A judge has slashed a $79.5 million jury verdict against cigarette-maker Philip Morris to $32 million, still the largest judgment ever against a tobacco company. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Anna J. Brown said her decision was the result of obligations imposed by federal law, not a criticism of the verdict. "The U.S. Supreme Court said there are limits," Brown said. "By no means is my personal point of view substituted for that of the jury." The $79.5 million award was granted March 30 to the family of Jesse Williams, a former school janitor who died of lung cancer in 1997 at age 67 after smoking Marlboro cigarettes for 42 years. Jurors said they were infuriated by documents showing that Philip Morris executives had lied for decades about the link between smoking and cancer. Brown made her decision Thursday after a two-day hearing between attorneys for the Williams family and tobacco giant Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro. Her decision to cut the punitive damages awarded by the jury did not affect $821,485 in compensatory damages awarded for medical costs and pain and suffering. Attorneys for both the family and the cigarette company declined comment. But William Gaylord, who represented the Williams family during the hearing, appeared distressed by the decision. He had said during the hearing that any reduction in damages would be a public relations coup for the company. "It's a significant award, Bill," Jay Beattie, one of the tobacco company attorneys, told Gaylord after the hearing. "I'm not going to say anything because I'll regret it later," Gaylord said. Beattie argued that Philip Morris participation in a multistate tobacco settlement sponsored by state attorneys general guaranteed that the company would behave itself. But Brown found that the multistate agreement did not amount to "substantial remedial steps" to prevent further wrongdoing. Gary Black, a tobacco-stock analyst with the New York investment firm of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said investors are returning to cigarette stocks because of favorable verdicts in other parts of country. Since 1959, tobacco companies have lost only six of 32 suits filed against them by individual smokers, he said. Of the six, four have been overturned on appeal. Only two -- a San Francisco verdict and the one in Portland -- are still standing. The San Francisco verdict, which a judge reduced to $25 million in punitive damages from $50 million -- is under appeal. "Most of the country, except the West Coast, says smokers should bear the burden of their own actions," Black said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Port of Portland sells county land for jail (The Oregonian says the final price for Multnomah County's new jail will depend on a survey, but is expected to be about $5.5 million. The newspaper characteristically omits the cost to taxpayers of interest on bonds and the annual cost of maintaining the gulag, the funding of which hasn't been secured yet. The 525 beds could be expanded later to 2,000 beds.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, May 14 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Bill Stewart, the Oregonian Port of Portland sells county land for jail * Moments after the Rivergate sale, the Port purchases the Radio Towers site, first choice for the lockup, for wetlands After two years and an estimated 100 community meetings, Multnomah County finally has a site for its new jail. In a turnaround Thursday, the Port of Portland sold 26.7 acres in its Rivergate industrial area to the county for the jail. More than a year ago, Port officials pledged to take the county to court to block a jail on a different Rivergate parcel. Two factors changed, making the sale possible, said Bill Bach, senior manager of Port property and development services. Sheriff Dan Noelle reduced the amount of property he thought was needed, and the new site is not served by a rail line, Bach said. The new site is on a peninsula bounded on the west by Columbia Slough and on the other sides by Smith and Bybee lakes. The jail, which will include secure facilities for treating drug and alcohol addictions, will include 525 beds. It could be expanded later to 2,000 beds. Final price will depend on a survey, but the county expects to pay $5.5 million, or almost $207,000 a acre. Conditions of the sale include: No prisoners will be released from that site, and people being transported to and from the jail must be in custody. Also, the county will extend the streets to the site, and the county will pay $1 million toward the future widening of Marine Drive. If the Port someday creates a local improvement district to finance a railroad overpass, the payment would be credited for that. County Commissioner Serena Cruz, who represents the area including nearby St. Johns, said the agreement overcame her reservations about the site, but she acknowledged that not everyone is happy. "There is still strong sentiment in St. Johns against this site," she said. Commissioner Lisa Naito, who had opposed the first choice of a citizens siting committee, called the new property "as good as it gets." The property first targeted for the jail was 91 acres, known as the Radio Towers site because of towers located there, wedged between Portland International Raceway and Metro's Expo Center. Moments after selling the Rivergate site to the county, Port of Portland commissioners bought the Radio Towers for themselves, to be improved as a wetlands to make up for wetlands that might be destroyed at the Portland International Airport or the planned marine terminal complex at West Hayden Island. Noelle, describing dealings with the Port as "at times a love-hate relationship," predicted it will take several months to take care of preliminaries and permits and then 18 months for construction. He pledged to the Port and to St. Johns that the jail's name will not mention North Portland, St. Johns or Rivergate. He said the name will help the jail disappear. Noelle said the jail, approved by voters more than two years ago, is critically needed. An average of 40,000 people are booked into jail every year, and 75 percent of the prisoners have drug or alcohol problems. During the past four years, the sheriff said, about 36,000 prisoners have been released early because of lack of space. You can reach Bill Stewart at 503-294-7670 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill Prevents Cities From Banning Smoking In Bars (The Associated Press says the Oregon House of Representatives voted 36-22 Friday to approve HB 2806, which would prevent cities in Oregon - except Corvallis - from enacting smoking bans in bars and taverns. Some representatives said they found it ironic the House voted earlier in the day to let cities zone sex businesses into restricted areas, but then passed a bill taking away their rights to enact tavern smoking bans. The bill now goes to the Senate.) Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 14:04:38 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Bill Prevents Cities From Banning Smoking In Bars Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, May 14 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Brad Cain, the Associated Press BILL PREVENTS CITIES FROM BANNING SMOKING IN BARS SALEM, Ore. - A bill to prevent cities from enacting bans against smoking in bars and taverns won approval Friday in the Oregon House. The bill would not affect Corvallis, which enacted a ban on smoking in bars last year, but it would prevent other cities from doing the same thing. Backers of the bill said Oregon already restricts smoking in many public places, including restaurants, and that it's going too far to tell bar customers they can't smoke in public. Rep. Ryan Deckert, a Beaverton Democrat who sponsored the bill, said bars are patronized only by adults and that they should be free to decide whether they want be in a place that allows smoking. "Bars and taverns should be the one last place in which smokers are able to congregate in public," said Deckert, who's a non-smoker. But opponents said the Legislature should not try to prevent cities from taking actions to protect bar employees as well as patrons from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. "It certainly isn't a matter of personal choice for the people who have to work in these places," said Rep. Diane Rosenbaum, D-Portland. The American Cancer Society and other public health groups said Friday they would work to defeat the bill in the Senate. "The only winners today were the tobacco industry and those who profit from them," said cancer society spokesman Jerry Spegmen. "The losers are local communities and those whose health will suffer from the effects of second-hand smoke." Some representatives said they found it ironic that House voted earlier in the day to let cities zone sex businesses into restricted areas but then passed a bill taking away their rights to enact tavern smoking bans. Rep. Lane Shetterly, R-Dallas, also said that cities should be given the freedom to be "quirky" and adopt ordinances that reflect local sensibilities. "Communities should have the right to establish their own identities," Shetterly said. But supporters of the measure said allowing cities across the state to ban smoking in bars and taverns would hurt Oregon's hospitality industry. "Often people come to taverns because they want to smoke and drink," said Rep. Jackie Winters, R-Salem. The bill, HB2806, was sent to the Senate on a 36-22 vote.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill curbs medical marijuana - Senate OKs pot limit, mandatory registry (The Anchorage Daily News says the Alaska state senate voted 15-5 Thursday in favor of SB 94, a bill that limits the medical marijuana law 60 percent of voters approved last fall. Most significantly, the bill would require patients to register with the state, and preclude a medical defense for nonregistered patients. It would also limit the amount of marijuana a patient can possess to one ounce or six plants. The bill now moves to the state house of representatives.) Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 12:09:04 -0800 From: Charles Rollins Jr (email@example.com) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Alaska sen. Passes SB-94 Sender: email@example.com Anchorage daily News may 14 1999 http://www.adn.com Bill curbs medical marijuana Senate OKs pot limit, mandatory registry By LIZ RUSKIN Daily News reporter JUNEAU - The state Senate passed a bill Thursday placing new limits on the medical marijuana law voters adopted last fall. "I assure members that this does not repeal the law," the bill's sponsor, Sen. Loren Leman, said. "It makes it work." Senate Bill 94 passed 15-5, with the minority Democrats voting no. It moves to the House. The voter initiative allows people with terminal or debilitating diseases to use marijuana if they have a recommendation from their doctor. It passed with nearly 60 percent of the vote in the November election. Leman, an Anchorage Republican, angered proponents of the marijuana initiative in March, on the day the new law went into effect, by introducing a bill to change it. He said he was trying to make it easier for police to determine who is a legal user of marijuana and who isn't. He said he wanted to prevent arrests of innocent patients. On the Senate floor Thursday, Leman told his colleagues he had compromised with the Alaskans for Medical Rights, the group that campaigned for the voter initiative. The bill before them was different from the one he originally proposed, he said. The revised bill would still change the initiative in several ways. Most significantly, it would require patients who want to use marijuana for medical purposes to register with the state. The voter initiative established an optional registry to give patients an identification card that would ward off arrest. It would also limit the amount of marijuana a patient can possess to one ounce or six plants. The initiative allowed patients to seek an exemption if they could show they had a medical need for more. Sen. Kim Elton, a Democrat from Juneau, where the marijuana initiative passed overwhelmingly, said he didn't think he should second-guess the will of the voters. "I think it's somewhat presumptuous of me to change an initiative that got more votes than I did," he said. After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Johnny Ellis of Anchorage said the electorate liked the initiative they approved. "The idea that the citizens didn't know what they were doing or that they were ignorant or that legislators know best is pretty arrogant and obnoxious," he said. David Finkelstein, a former legislator who is working for Alaskans for Medical Rights, said he still doesn't like the bill but it's much better than it was. It's true that SB 94 doesn't repeal the initiative, he said, but it burdens the patient with new requirements. Many medical marijuana users planned to register, he said, but some - particularly AIDS patients - feel they have to keep their condition a secret and won't sign up. If Leman's bill becomes law, the medical marijuana initiative will offer no protection from prosecution to patients who refuse to register. "To make it mandatory just isn't fair," Finkelstein said. "They're not criminals. They're not sex offenders." Bill Kozlowski said he doesn't like the mandatory registration or the strict limits on how much medical marijuana is allowed. Kozlowski is a 27-year-old Juneau man with severe hemophilia. He testified to a committee this week that he smokes about an ounce of marijuana every 10 days. That's not so much, he said, considering the doses of morphine and other narcotics he's been prescribed to control the pain from his internal bleeding. Marijuana, he said, lets him sleep at night and makes the days more bearable. "It doesn't take away the pain, but it makes it so, in my head, the pain isn't the only thing that's there," he said Thursday. He declined to say how he gets his supply. Both the initiative and Leman's bill allow patients and caregivers to grow marijuana, but they don't say where the plants or seeds would come from in the first place. "I don't know how this all works, but the people wanted it," Sen. Robin Taylor, R-Wrangell, said during Senate debate. Kozlowski said part of the reason he doesn't want to register is that no matter what the state does, marijuana use still violates federal law. "Why should I risk my already short and difficult life to be put on a list that can be used against me?" he asked. Even though the registry would be confidential, his disease wouldn't be listed and law enforcement officers could use it only for certain purposes, Kozlowski is skeptical that his privacy would be respected. He doesn't want to put his name on a government list because of his medical condition and legislators wouldn't want to either, he said. "Would they want to be put on a list for their heart medication or their diabetes medication?" he asked. "I don't think so, because it is nobody's business." Finkelstein said there is at least one thing he likes about SB 94: money. The funds for the patient registry aren't in the House or Senate versions of next year's operating budget. If SB 94 becomes law, it would provide $58,000 for the administration costs. "We want the money. We want the registration system," he said. "We just don't want it mandatory." Reporter Liz Ruskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Eli Lilly targets weekend, late-night TV viewers with Prozac infomercial (An Associated Press article in the online Nando Times says the pharmaceutical company based in Indianapolis will begin airing a 30-minute advertisement for the world's top-selling antidepressant on May 17. The ad will be broadcast during time slots when more depressed people are expected to be slouched in front of the tube. Late-night viewers will also no doubt appreciate a break from all those Partnership ads.)From: GranVizier@webtv.net Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 13:25:14 -0400 (EDT) To: email@example.com Subject: [cp] Prozac infomercial http://www.nando.com/noframes/story/0,2107,48680-78458-558252-0,00.html Eli Lilly targets weekend, late-night TV viewers with Prozac infomercial LOS ANGELES (May 14, 1999 8:58 a.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - Midnight couch potatoes, take heart: Television's glut of half-hour ads for food dehydrators, countertop broilers and exercise videos will soon be joined by an infomercial about Prozac. Eli Lilly and Co. has created a 30-minute program on the world's top-selling antidepressant. It will air on TV stations and cable channels in the middle of the night and on weekends, time slots when more depressed people are expected to be slouched in front of the tube. Millions of Americans pay about $60 a month for Prozac, which treats depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other ills. Its side effects include sexual dysfunction and sleeplessness. The infomercial, which begins airing Monday, is aimed mostly at women, with all but two patients featured being female. It includes shaky camera shots of people who are presumably depressed and testimonials from people who have benefited from Prozac. "It really gives us an opportunity to tell people about a disease that really goes under-reported or undertreated," said the infomercial's host, Freda Lewis-Hall. The drug generates nearly $3 billion in annual sales for Indianapolis-based Lilly. Copyright (c) 1999 Nando Media Copyright (c) 1999 Associated Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Third Massachusetts News (UPI says Stephen Greaney, a police detective in New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of taking $3,500 from a drug dealer for the name of an undercover police agent who had infiltrated his operation.) Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 09:12:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: Wire: Third Massachusetts News Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Fri, 14 May 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International THIRD MASSACHUSETTS NEWS A New Bedford police detective has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of taking $3,500 in bribes from a drug dealer. Prosecutors say Stephen Greaney in exchange gave the drug dealer the name of an undercover police agent who had infiltrated his operation. Subscribers with questions or suggestions are urged to call UPI-Boston at 781- 324-2511. The fax number is 781-324-3711. For line or equipment problems, call the UPI Customer Service Desk at 800-795-4874.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot ruling indictment of Health Canada (A staff editorial in the Toronto Star, excerpted from an editorial in the Montreal Gazette, says Jim Wakeford, a 54-year-old Toronto resident dying of AIDS, should not have had to sue the Canadian government to safeguard his use of marijuana to relieve his pain and suffering. An Ontario Superior Court judge's ruling this week that he has waited long enough is a damning indictment of Health Canada's approval process for the medical use of pot.) Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 09:20:48 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Haans (email@example.com) Subject: TorStar: Pot ruling indictment of Health Canada Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star (Canada) Pubdate: Friday, May 14, 1999 Page: A26 Section: Editorials and Opinion: Worth Repeating Website: http://www.thestar.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pot ruling indictment of Health Canada The terminally ill should not have to go to court to get relief from their pain and suffering. But that's just what Jim Wakeford was forced to do to get the marijuana he needs for medicinal purposes. Mr. Wakeford, a 54-year-old Toronto resident, is dying of AIDS. Smoking marijuana has helped to keep him alive by counteracting the nausea and loss of appetite brought on by his medication. Yet, after he applied for special exemption from criminal prosecution under Canada's drug laws, Mr. Wakeford spent months in bureaucratic limbo waiting for his application to be approved by Health Canada. This week, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that he has waited long enough. The judge granted him a constitutional exemption from prosecution while Health Minister Allan Rock figures out what to do about Mr. Wakeford's request. It is a significant victory for those who believe in the medicinal value of marijuana, but it is a damning indictment of Health Canada's approval process for the medical use of pot. Mr. Wakeford's lawyer has estimated that at least 20 other Canadian patients who medicate themselves with marijuana are in the same position, waiting for a Health Canada exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The court's ruling is likely to trigger many more legal cases like this one. Fortunately, Mr. Rock has said he will not appeal the court's decision. That would only have condemned other suffering Canadians to the same interminable delays. The court has come down on the side of compassion and common sense. Evidence, still largely anecdotal, indicates that marijuana can be effective in easing pain and nausea, relieving glaucoma and cutting the incidence of epileptic seizures. Not every doctor will agree that prescribing marijuana is the right thing to do from either a health or ethical standpoint. (The tar in a marijuana cigarette alone is enough to give the medical community pause.) But doctors who prescribe it in good conscience should be able to do so, free of the fear that they and their patients might be prosecuted. This is an excerpt from an editorial first published in the Montreal Gazette. *** Dave Haans Graduate Student, University of Toronto WWW: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~haans/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Our ancestors knew better . . . (A list subscriber quotes an item in today's Sydney Morning Herald noting the sale at auction of the world's oldest cookbook, from 15th century Italy, that includes a recipe for cannabis bread.) Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 03:21:25 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: David Brooks (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Our ancestors knew better... Item in the Sydney Morning Herald 14 -5 99. "An anonymous bidder paid £10,000 at an auction for what was billed as the worlds oldest cookery book. The 15th century Italian tome detailed 300 recipes in Latin, including bear on the bone, leftover hog and cannabis bread." Did they know something we don't? David -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1999 Daily News index for May 14-20
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to the 1999 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/ii/990514.html