------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon, Alaska Identify Legal Marijuana Users On State-Issued Cards (USA Today notes voter-approved medical-marijuana initiatives are being implemented in Oregon and Alaska, just as the federal government has vowed to loosen research restrictions. Alaska is expected to begin processing registry cards in June at a cost of $25 per patient. John Benson, co-director of the March 17 Institute of Medicine study, had a lukewarm response to the proposed new guidelines for physicians who want to obtain marijuana from NIDA to use in medical research. Although Benson's report recommended more research, "it's hard to discern that these guidelines have streamlined existing procedures.") Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 19:34:57 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Oregon, Alaska Identify Legal Marijuana Users On Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Fratello Pubdate: 24 May 1999 Source: USA Today (US) Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22229 Fax: (703) 247-3108 Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Author: Patrick McMahon, USA Today Section: Page A-4 OREGON, ALASKA IDENTIFY LEGAL MARIJUANA USERS ON STATE-ISSUED CARDS Jeanelle Bluhm of Portland, Ore., smokes marijuana to ease the spasms that come with multiple sclerosis, and now she has a new state ID card to verify that her doctor recommends it. Friday, Oregon became the first state to issue ID cards for patients to prove they are complying with a state law that allows marijuana use by certain seriously ill patients. The federal government also announced plans Friday to boost the prospects of more research on medical marijuana. "I'm very psyched," says Bluhm, a 47-year-old nurse who worked for passage of the medical marijuana law enacted by Oregon voters last fall. The Oregon Health Division issued her ID card No. 00001 on Friday. Her caregiver has card No. 00002. "It's been a long time coming," she says. "A lot of my friends said this would never happen." Under the state law, patients with cancer, AIDS and HIV, glaucoma, seizures, spasms, nausea and severe pain may use small amounts of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Oregon is one of five states that have enacted such measures. The others: California, Alaska, Arizona and Washington state. The laminated cards are valid for a year and are intended to make it easier for state and local law enforcement officials to know who is qualified to use marijuana under the law. Possession and sale of marijuana remain federal crimes, although they are rarely enforced for medical users. And it is illegal for doctors to prescribe marijuana. That's why the state laws generally say patients must have a doctor's "recommendation," rather than a prescription. "This is a great day for patients," says Geoff Sugerman, spokesman for Oregonians for Medical Rights, the group that pushed the medical marijuana initiative. "Finally, at least in the state of Oregon, patients can use marijuana as a medicine without fear of arrest and prosecution." Of the five states with medical marijuana laws, only Oregon and Alaska have provisions for ID cards. In Oregon, state officials have processed 35 applications for cards at a fee of $150 apiece. Another 135 are pending review. Alaska is expected to begin processing ID cards in June at a cost of $25 per patient, Sugerman says. Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, based in Santa Monica, Calif., says the Oregon ID card is evidence that "federal law is becoming irrelevant on this subject." "Patients and physicians in states with these new laws have adequate protection to use marijuana as a medicine if they need to. After all their bluster, federal officials have proved powerless to stop medical marijuana from taking root," Fratello says. Marijuana's effectiveness as medicine remains the topic of considerable scientific debate. In March, a report from the highly respected Institute of Medicine, an arm of the private National Academy of Sciences, found marijuana may be effective in treating chronic pain, nausea, and AIDS-related weight loss. The report, commissioned by the White House, was the strongest endorsement yet of medical marijuana, but the report was less than effusive. Marijuana's biggest drawback, the report said, was that it must be smoked, and the report called for more research. Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new regulations to make it easier for researchers to get marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for use in medical research. Critics contended that the federal government had deliberately made the approval process for grants so difficult that no substantial research ever took place. Following the report from the Institute of Medicine, White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey issued a statement saying that his office endorses the "decision to facilitate further research into the potential medical uses of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids." Groups favoring the legalization of medical marijuana were cautiously optimistic. "This will not help patients who are currently risking arrest because they need marijuana right now," says Chuck Thomas of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. John Benson, co-director of the Institute of Medicine study, had a lukewarm response. Although his report recommended more research, "it's hard to discern that these guidelines have streamlined existing procedures."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Kill Your TV Yet! (A news release from P'Town, Inc., a Portland production and placement agency, says KOIN, Portland's CBS affiliate, is airing advertisements for Cascade Hemp Supply across the river in Vancouver, Washington - "medical delivery devices" and all. "Cascade Hemp Supply is the first hemp retailer to broadcast their wares to a network audience.") From: email@example.com Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 12:46:33 +0000 Subject: [cp] Don't Kill Your TV Yet! To: firstname.lastname@example.org Portland CBS affiliate KOIN television is the only network in Oregon carrying a commercial for a hemp store! Cascade Hemp Supply, located in the Vancouver Mall in Vancouver, Wa. was allowed airplay of their television commercial promoting their products. What makes this interesting is that every other network turned the spot away after seeing the "medical delivery devices" displayed midway through the spot. Cascade Hemp Supply is the first hemp retailer to broadcast their wares to a network audience. Thus proving that television can also serve as a benefit to the masses that consume it. P'Town, Inc. Production/Placement Agency
------------------------------------------------------------------- Changes to assisted suicide law sent to governor (The Associated Press notes the Oregon house of representatives approved SB 491 Monday by a 42-17 vote. It was the legislature's third subversion of voters who twice have approved Oregon's landmark physician-assisted suicide law. The bill now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Mon, May 24 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Brad Cain, Associated Press Changes to assisted suicide law sent to governor SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon House gave final approval Monday to a bill to clarify parts of Oregon's landmark assisted suicide law, which was used by at least 15 terminally ill people to end their lives last year. The bill, which now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber, tightens residency requirements and seeks to discourage patients from ending their lives in public places such as beaches. But the Oregon Catholic Conference and other opponents said the bill doesn't go far enough to prevent doctors from being forced to aid in such suicides. Still, the bill was endorsed on a 42-17 vote after a brief discussion that was in marked contrast to the emotional debates of two years ago, when lawmakers ultimately decided to send the issue back to voters. In November 1997, Oregonians for the second time approved the Death with Dignity Act, the nation's only law allowing doctors to write lethal prescriptions for terminally ill patients who request it. Rep. Lane Shetterly, floor manager for the bill to change the law, called it an attempt to tighten the language but to leave the assisted suicide law intact. "After voters reaffirmed the Death with Dignity Act, this was a responsible approach by the Legislature to deal with some remaining cleanup issues," the Dallas Republican said. Among other things, the bill establishes a minimum residency requirement, a step that was taken to avoid the possibility that out-of-staters might flock to Oregon to take advantage of the suicide law. The measure requires patients to demonstrate residency by showing an Oregon driver's license or an Oregon income tax return. Responding to concerns that people might end their lives on a mountaintop or other scenic public place, lawmakers included language directing physicians to encourage patients not to take lethal drugs alone or in a public place. Further, if a person uses the drugs in a public place, the patient's estate must cover any related costs, such as emergency medical response. The bill also clarifies the rights of pharmacists to opt out of filling a lethal prescription on moral grounds without fear of sanction. Another part of the bill allows Catholic hospitals and other health care organizations that oppose assisted suicide to prohibit their doctors from assisting in suicides on their premises. But even at those places, the bill allows doctors to respond to questions about physician-aid-in-dying and to refer patients to other doctors who would be willing to write a prescription for lethal drugs. "Our primary objection is that `related activities' can occur on site," said Catholic Conference spokesman Bob Castagna. "The preparation, the conversation and the referral can all take place on the grounds of a Catholic hospital. That should not be permitted." The bill number is SB491.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police say marijuana crop exceeded new law (The Associated Press says David Teatsworth of Tacoma was indicted Thursday for cultivating 157 plants, despite a contract he says he had with Green Cross to supply medicinal marijuana to 11 patients with a doctor's recommendation. "The Green Cross lawyers told me everything was legal because I was acting as a caregiver for the 11 people," said Teatsworth. But the main author of Washington state's Initiative 692, Seattle physician Rob Killian, agreed with the interpretation of Pierce County prosecutor John Ladenburg. "The law clearly contemplates one person growing marijuana for one other person," Killian said. "If Green Cross is claiming otherwise, then they're wrong.") Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Mon, May 24 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: no byline Police say marijuana crop exceeded new law * A Tacoma grower's claim he was acting as a caretaker for 11 ill people may put the statute to the test TACOMA -- A Tacoma man charged with growing 157 marijuana plants was legally raising them for sick people, a proponent of medical marijuana use says. But authorities who charged David Teatsworth say the amount of the drug clearly exceeded the boundaries of last year's medical marijuana initiative. That disagreement could turn Teatsworth's case into a legal test of the voter-approved law. Teatsworth pleaded not guilty Thursday to unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance. Teatsworth said Green Cross, which supplies medicinal marijuana to patients who have a doctor's recommendation, had contracted with him to grow the drug for 11 people. He agreed to raise the crop because he knew how to raise plants and was unemployed, he said. "We had passed a law. I thought everything was OK. I am not a criminal," Teatsworth, 43, said in an interview in the Pierce County Jail. "The Green Cross lawyers told me everything was legal because I was acting as a caregiver for the 11 people." Under Initiative 692, people who are too sick to grow their own marijuana can designate a "caregiver" to do it for them, said Charles Grisim, director of Green Cross' Pierce County chapter. But county prosecutor John Ladenburg said the initiative doesn't give anyone the right to grow marijuana for more than one other person. "The initiative doesn't make it legal for one person to become the marijuana grower for half the state," he said. "If the Green Cross thinks otherwise, then this will become the test case." Grisim said Green Cross attorneys have advised his organization that arrangements such as Teatsworth's are legal. "We've got an imbalance in the number of sick people who can grow marijuana and the number who need it," Grisim said. Ladenburg said prosecutors asked the Legislature this year to set specific limits and enforcement guidelines for the initiative approved last fall. But the legislation died, and rules of enforcement remain vague, he said. The initiative's main author, Seattle physician Rob Killian, agreed with Ladenburg's interpretation. "The law clearly contemplates one person growing marijuana for one other person," Killian said. "If Green Cross is claiming otherwise, then they're wrong." Ladenburg said law-enforcement officials also aren't sure how much marijuana a medical user or his caregiver may possess. The initiative allows a sick person with a physician's recommendation, or his caregiver, to possess a "60-day supply." Killian said he is working with the state to define that quantity. The amount may vary depending on a patient's needs, he said. Police seized 157 plants from Teatsworth's home Wednesday. Green Cross was going to pay him $200 an ounce for the finished product, and he figured his yield would be about 1 ounce per plant, he said. *** Link to text of Initiative 692 at the official site maintained by the sponsors of the Washington State Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Section 5 in the act states "4. The designated primary caregiver shall: e) Be the primary caregiver to only one patient at any one time." - ed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Begin To Bend On Medical Marijuana (A press release on PR Newswire from Washington Citizens for Medical Rights, the sponsors of the Washington State Medical Marijuana Act, praises the NIH's recently announced policy opening the door to scientific research.) Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 10:50:48 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: Wire: MMJ: Feds Begin To Bend On Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: http://www.medmjscience.org Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 1999 Source: PR Newswire Copyright: 1999 PR Newswire Note: The IOM report, mentioned below, is on line at: http://www.drugsense.org/iom_report/ WCMR - FEDS BEGIN TO BEND ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA SEATTLE, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington Citizens for Medical Rights (WCMR), the sponsors of the Washington State Medical Marijuana Act, today praised a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy that opens the door to scientific research on the medical potential of marijuana and its unique compounds, known as cannabinoids. Dr. Rob Killian, primary sponsor and author of Initiative 692, called the change in policy significant. "It appears that our efforts on the state level are beginning to move the Federal Government towards a more compassionate stance," Killian said. "This announced change is an important first step in allowing patients in all states access to a medicine that works. We can be proud that our new law in Washington is helping to prompt change in our Nation's capitol." The NIH announcement follows up on recommendations from a landmark March 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which confirmed that marijuana is valuable for many patients for whom other medications do not work. The report urged the federal government to make a commitment to new medical marijuana research. In spite of his praise for the policy change, Dr. Killian stresses that this is only a small step in the right direction. "In March, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended the creation of an experimental access program to provide smokable marijuana to seriously ill patients who have not benefited from standard medications. The IOM investigators called this an important, interim step for patients who have no real alternatives while new medical marijuana research gets under way." The Federal stance on Medical Marijuana prevents patients in Washington State from obtaining marijuana through pharmaceutical outlets. "The time has come for the Federal Government to move out of the way of suffering patients, and their ability to safely use medical marijuana, under the care of their physician; politics has stood in the way of this medicine for far too long." Washington voters approved Initiative 692 in November of 1998 by a margin of 59% to 41%. Additional information can be found at the web site: http://www.medmjscience.org SOURCE Washington Citizens for Medical Rights CONTACT Tim Killian for the Washington Citizens for Medical Rights, 206-781-7716
------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter from B.E. Smith's wife (A list subscriber forwards a heart-rending letter from Mary Gale Smith about her husband's cultivation conviction in a federal kangaroo court in Sacramento, California. "I have never been in my husbands corner 100 percent where this pot issue has been concerned. I do believe sick people should be allowed to have it, but I have never been active in supporting it, other than I voted for it. But after seeing the injustice done to my husband through the federal court in Sacramento, to me, the issue isn't even the marijuana issue any more, its an issue of justice, and justice was not done in this case. . . . What my husband did, he did not just for himself but for people like Todd McCormick and Peter McWilliams, and he feels he failed them. But he didn't the federal government knew they were going to railroad him straight into jail. I would like to also add, that before the trial my husband was offered a plea bargain. They told him if he would plead guilty, he wouldn't get any jail time, and his response was, NO COMPROMISE!") From: "Peter McWilliams" (email@example.com) To: "Peter McWilliams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Letter from B.E. Smith's wife Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 16:18:49 -0700 This is an e-mail from Mary, B.E. Smith's wife. If this doesn't tear your heart out, nothing will. In addition to writing to B.E., which I strongly encourage, please drop a line of encouragement to his wife at email@example.com This woman is facing the next ten years without her husband. Take care, Peter *** Dear Friends: This is Mary Smith, BE's wife. The court room scene for his medicinal marijuana trial was very hard for everyone involved, except of course the judge, and prosecutor. They would not let him use proposition 215 as a defence. In fact, the only defense they would allow at all was some character witnesses. And because BE had people like David Michels, (San Francisco Lawyer) and another lawyer named Nicole, a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, a person he had been designated as a care giver from LA, (Sister Somya), Martin Lederer, Woody Harrelson, even one of the cops that was in on the bust and the defense had subphoenaed gave BE a good character reference (whether he intended to or not it came out that way). And because BE's character references were so good, there were 4 area's in character reference the defense could use, but because he was getting such good references, the judge even took out two of those, so what he had left were two things on character references they would let the defense use. They shut down everything the defense tried to do, and allowed everything the prosecution wanted. So of course my husband was found guilty. He is in Sacramento County Jail. ADDRESS: B.E. SMITH Xref: 3577809 Floor 4E Pod: 3 Cell 14B 651 I Street (as in eye Street) Sacramento, CA 95841 I don't know how many of you that I know, that this message is going out to, but I would like to say this. I have never been in my husbands corner 100% where this pot issue has been concerned. I do believe sick people should be allowed to have it, but I have never been active in supporting it, other than I voted for it. But after seeing the injustice done to my husband through the federal court in Sacramento, to me, the issue isn't even the marijuana issue any more, its an issue of justice, and justice was not done in this case. As Woody Harrelson said; not only was justice blindfolded, she was raped, mutilated, abused, and I can't remember all his exact words but he said it truly! I am a Christian, and I would say a pretty tradional christian, so you can imagine how some of my thoughts went on the subject of marijuanna. And many times my husband tried to explain to me about the war on drugs, and I have to confess most of the time I never got the message he was trying to get through to me. But let me tell you it got through to me in Sacramento this last week. What my husband did, he did not just for himself but for people like Todd McCormick and Peter McWilliams, and he feels he failed them. But he didn't the federal government knew they were going to railroad him straight into jail. I would like to also add, that before the trial my husband was offered a plea bargain. They told him if he would plead guilty, he wouldn't get any jail time, and his response was, NO COMPROMISE! How could he plead guilty to something that with all of his studying and his lawyers, through federal and state statutes, and regulations, he was excepted by those laws. How could he plead guilty to something that legally he could and did do? Some have already said he should have plea bargained but how could that have helped those that were coming behind him? It wouldn't have, and he cares very much for sick and dying people, as well as the healthy. He cares very much for his country and for all of you out there. He is not perfect, I would never suggest that in any way, he makes mistakes like all the rest of us, but I can tell you from living with him, he loves you people, and he wanted to walk point for you. He has never been in any of this for the money, and for those of you who know us well you know how true that is! Because we have never had any. Smile. He gave his time and energy away to I do not know how many people not just with his traffic classes, but to countless people that called us on the phone, and alot of them were collect calls. His patience with it sometimes drove me nuts, I would say, can't we have a life of our own? Or why don't you go to work like a normal person instead of sitting in the house working on law stuff, and talking to people on the phone? But his heart was so in it, it was like to him he had no choice. It was all he could do. And in my impatience, worry of the rent getting paid on time, I did not have much compassion or patience with my husband. But I see it now folks, and I am willing to take over where he left off. Please write him. Flood him with letters of love and encouragement, and God bless you for loving and caring for him. Those of you who believe in praying, please pray for him. We love you all, Mary Gale Smith
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alaska Tightens Medical Marijuana Law / Illinois Close to Allowing Industrial Hemp Growth (Two news items from Join Together Online note the Alaska legislature has passed a bill limiting the rights of medical marijuana patients; and that the Illinois House of Representatives is expected to give final approval to an industrial hemp cultivation bill.) From: Mireille Jacobson (MJacobson@sorosny.org) To: TLC_CANNABIS (TLCCANNABIS@sorosny.org) Subject: FW: Alaska Tightens Medical Marijuana Law; Ill. Close to Allowing Industrial Hemp Growth Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 11:03:20 -0400 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org *** May 24, 1999 Alaska Tightens Medical Marijuana Law The Alaska legislature passed a bill limiting the right to use medical marijuana -- a right enabled by a voter-approved ballot initiative, Reuters reported May 19. Last November, nearly 60 percent of Alaska's voters approved a statewide initiative that would give residents the right to use marijuana to ease the symptoms of certain illnesses. The measure also called for the state to maintain a registry of medical marijuana users, but did not require patients to register. The state legislature, however, recently passed a bill requiring patients to register with the state authorities in order to use marijuana for medical purposes. The measure also would limit qualified patients and health-care providers to possession of one ounce and six plants of marijuana, and it would require that patients make periodic visits to doctors' offices to renew their right to use medical marijuana. State Sen. Loren Leman (R-Anchorage) said the limitations were necessary in order to prevent recreational marijuana users from exploiting the voter-approved initiative. Alaska's constitution allows lawmakers to amend laws passed by ballot initiatives. *** May 24, 1999 Ill. Close to Allowing Industrial Hemp Growth The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to give final approval to a bill directing the state Department of Agriculture to reverse a law banning the growth of industrial hemp, UPI reported May 19. State Reps. Judy Erwin (D-Chicago) and Ron Lawfer (R-Stockton), who sponsored the bill, said growing hemp in the state would benefit the environment because it uses three times as much phosphorous as corn and soybean crops, and it does not require pesticides and insecticides. The bill, which has been approved by the state Senate, heads to Gov. George Ryan for final consideration. *** Find this article useful? You'll find 20,000 more just like it on Join Together Online (http://www.jointogether.org). Or, get the news via email. Subscribe for free at http://www.jointogether.org/about/jtodirect/email/ frameset.html. Reproduction or distribution of this information is encouraged! Join Together, a project of the Boston University School of Public Health, is a national resource for communities working to reduce substance abuse and gun violence. For information, send email to email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Misinformation Rife In The War On Drugs (A pharmacologist's letter to the editor of the Standard-Times, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, finds it objectionable that his son's DARE program claims heroin is an hallucinogen and the Standard-Times would lead him to believe that marijuana and cocaine are narcotics. All of these claims are wrong. It's not his opinion, it's basic pharmacology. Moreover, the displeasure many people experienced over a jury's recent failure to convict a defendant charged with an LSD-related offense is just a symptom of society's obsessive compulsion with its own addiction, this so-called war on drugs.) Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 18:41:10 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: PUB LTE: Misinformation Rife In The War On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 1999 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Frederic Schwartz, DPM, New Bedford MISINFORMATION RIFE IN THE WAR ON DRUGS There is too much prejudice and emotion involved in this never-ending "war on drugs" and not enough reasoned calm. There is a double standard, and an honest discussion with young people about drugs is generally not tolerated. The latest news case involving LSD is a case in point. Setting aside that the students involved were too young to receive even the legal drugs of alcohol or cigarettes, we are still left with a case of no harm done. No teen-agers killed in a drunken car crash. Nobody hurt. In my pharmacology courses, I learned that the hallucinogenics, of which LSD and marijuana are best examples, have absolutely no tendency to physically addict, unlike alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. My son's DARE program literature tells him that heroin is an hallucinogen and The Standard-Times led me to believe that marijuana and cocaine were narcotics. All these examples are wrong. That is not my opinion, that is basic pharmacology. The displeasure many people experienced over a jury's failure to incarcerate is just a symptom of society's obsessive compulsion with its own addiction, this so-called war on drugs. Let's look at an example: In Washington, D.C. per capita, $42 gets spent on drug prevention and treatment and $1,257 gets spent on criminal justice. This is insane. I say let's drop the prejudices, misconception and misinformation. Let everyone talk to each other honestly and straightforwardly without lies and deception. Take the law enforcement out of it so people can ask questions or ask for help without fear. No offense to our police officers, but the people who should be teaching our kids straightforward information about drugs should be pharmacology experts; not cops. Honesty is not the easiest policy, but I have heard it is the best policy. Let's give it a try instead of looking to throw more young people in jail. FREDERIC SCHWARTZ, DPM, New Bedford
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Rockefeller Drug Laws (A staff editorial in the Wall Street Journal isn't impressed by efforts to reform New York state's mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines for drug offenders. Although the official newspaper of monied America fails to discuss the current or future economic costs of current policies, it suggests the Rockefeller laws are partly behind the decline in crime. Citing an unnamed study just out from the state commissioner of criminal justice, the newspaper asserts that low-level offenders don't really get incarcerated, and the only ones who do have failed the diversion drug-treatment program, DTAP, Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison, which supposedly produces a recidivism success rate of 90 percent - although the paper carefully omits the number of inmates who drop out of the program. Locally, in Multnomah County, two-thirds who sign up for a similar program drop out.) Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 17:09:20 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NY: Editorial: The Rockefeller Drug Laws Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Tom O'Connell Pubdate: Mon, May 24, 1999 Source: Wall Street Journal (NY) Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ REVIEW & OUTLOOK THE ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS No one knows for sure why violent crime has fallen so dramatically nationwide. Whatever we're doing, it's working. We're not complaining, but it would be good to know just what it is we're getting right. The fall in crime is surely due in part to demographics; the current cohort of males in their peak crime years - teens and early 20s - is small. The fact that crack is no longer the scourge it was in the late '80s has also played a part. And the array of get tough-on-crime laws that virtually every state put into effect during the past decade meant that the core group of repeat offenders who commit a high proportion of violent crimes are locked away until the age where they're too old to do damage. We suppose it's inevitable that too much of a good thing is too much for some politicians to bear. Why sit still when you can tinker with success? But it's hard to understand why, in New York state, liberals and conservatives alike have been calling for drastic revisions to what are known as the Rockefeller drug laws. These draconian drug laws, put in place by the late Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1973, mandate stiff prison sentences for users and dealers alike. Someone convicted of possessing as little as four ounces of a drug or selling as little as two ounces receives a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life. As opponents of the laws are fond of pointing out, that's more time in prison than many people end up serving for violent crimes - even murder. That's appalling - that is, it would be if in fact those small-time, nonviolent users actually ended up in the slammer. A study just out from the state commissioner of criminal justice tells a different story. In 1996, 87% of the 22,000 people in jail in New York for drug crimes were in for selling drugs or intent to sell; of the 13% doing time for possession, 76% were arrested for selling drugs and pleaded down to possession. The study further shows that most convicted first-time drug offenders end up on probation or in treatment. Nonviolent offenders who are in prison on drug charges only are overwhelmingly there because they have long histories of drug convictions and of violating court directives. "You really have to earn your way into state prison," says Commissioner Katherine Lapp. The study shows that "it's very difficult the first time around or even the second time around to end up in prison." Behind these numbers lies a remarkable story about drug treatment and the men and women who have been able to shake their addictions and claim a productive place in society. One of the places that nonviolent, repeat drug offenders end up is DTAP programs, shorthand for Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison. These long-term, residential treatment programs have a rate of success that is "astounding," says Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who started the first program in 1990. The success rate for program graduates is close to 90%. The cost differential between DTAP and prison is also astounding. D.A. Hynes says it costs between $18,000 and $20,000 a year to keep a drug offender in his program, compared with $69,000 a year in prison. Treatment typically lasts two years. The key to getting addicts into DTAP and other treatment programs is the Rockefeller drug laws. Nonviolent offenders charged with felony possession are given a choice between the stiff sentence mandated by the Rockefeller drug laws or entering a treatment program. If they complete the program, the charges are dropped; if they drop out, they go to jail for a very long time. Guess which option many choose. "These tough laws have diverted lots of people into treatment who wouldn't otherwise go into treatment," says Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal, head of Phoenix House, a national drug treatment center based in Manhattan. "DTAP couldn't work if we didn't have the hammer of mandatory sentencing, " says D.A. Hynes. Both men, it should be noted, argue that the Rockefeller drug laws are too stringent; they support a plan by the state's chief judge to give judges a lot more leeway in sentencing drug offenders. Governor Pataki also supports revisions that would give judges more flexibility in sentencing, but in return he is demanding an end to parole, a troubled institution that needs a study as illuminating as the one these drug laws received; the Assembly Democrats aren't going along. And so it looks like the Rockefeller drug laws are going to be with New Yorkers a while longer. If that means more addicts are going to be forced into treatment, maybe that's not such a bad thing. Just look at the crime numbers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Quiet Primary In Kentucky (The Associated Press notes Gatewood Galbraith, who has campaigned in two previous races for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on a platform that included legalization of hemp, has registered as an independent and is expected to file again this summer.) Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 10:58:45 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US KY: Wire: Quiet Primary In Kentucky Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Mark R. Chellgren, Associated Press Writer Note: Gatewood Galbraith's website is at: http://www.gatewood.com/ QUIET PRIMARY IN KENTUCKY FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) When Kentucky voters decided their state officers should be allowed to serve more than one term, supporters argued it would reduce the turmoil of a statehouse turnover every four years. It has worked beyond expectations. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Paul Patton is unopposed in Tuesday's primary election and little more than token Republican and independent opposition loom in the fall. "Running against nobody, I think I can win that one," Patton joked. He is the first governor in nearly two centuries eligible for re-election. The state's first constitution allowed it and James Garrard served two terms from 1796 to 1804. Governors were later barred from seeking re-election, but voters changed the constitution in 1992 to allow succession in constitutional offices beginning after the 1995 election. This year, no Republicans filed for any constitutional office except governor, virtually guaranteeing a second term for the three of four other Democratic incumbents who are seeking re-election. As for the governor's race, even GOP leaders acknowledge they are sitting out this election for all intents and purposes. Die-hard Republicans some 834,829 registered voters do have some choice: Peppy Martin and running mate Wanda Cornelius, and the husband-and-wife slate of David L. Williams and Joanna Williams. Martin is a publicist who served for a few months as a secretary in the last Republican administration in Kentucky in 1971 and unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for state representative in 1981. Martin, who calls herself "a very Kentucky girl," has criticized Patton for raising the subject of casino gambling and overhauling the state workers' compensation system. She tried to associate Patton with President Clinton's efforts to regulate tobacco. But what drew the most attention to her campaign was the work of some computer hackers earlier this month. Her Web site was sabotaged and altered to present bogus positions on gay rights and gun control. It was by far the most publicity for a candidate who has raised less than $10,000 and found her running mate only two weeks before the filing deadline at a Federation of Republican Women meeting. And Cornelius has said she wouldn't have entered the race if she had known she would have to resign from the Taylor County school board. Williams, the other GOP candidate, is a former utility contractor who is disabled from throat cancer and speaks only with the aid of a mechanical device. He has spent only $796 on the campaign $500 of that was his filing fee and has disconnected his telephone and refused interview requests. As for the fall campaign, Gatewood Galbraith, who has lost two previous tries for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on a platform that included legalization for hemp, has registered as an independent and is expected to file this summer.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Conyers Churches Pray for Peace (The Associated Press says "T.J." Solomon, 15, a student at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, who shot and wounded six classmates last week before almost shooting himself in the head, had been taking Ritalin. The wire service's failure to emphasize the pharmaceutical link to two other such recent rampages perhaps encourages the U.S. Senate, in its infinite ignorance and demagoguery, to react by passing legislation targeting "drugs" - illegal drugs.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Mon, May 24 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Contact: http://www.oregonlive.com/cgi-bin/feedbk.cgi Author: Justin Bachman, Associated Press Conyers Churches Pray for Peace CONYERS, Ga. (AP) - With hugs and words of support, students returned to classes today at Heritage High School, including four of the six who were wounded in a shooting last week. Dozens of deputies and state troopers guarded the school and helped direct traffic as the students arrived in buses and cars under a bright morning sun. But Principal Lowell Biddy said there was no extra security inside, except for a few parents who had volunteered to be in the hallways. Biddy said 90 percent of Heritage students showed up for classes today, although some left early. Among those showing up were Jason Cheek, 17; Ryan Rosa, 18; Drake Hoy, 17; and Brian Barnhardt, 16, who were wounded Thursday. Several students hugged in the parking lot before they went inside. "A few students were apprehensive about coming into the building, but once they got support from their fellow students, they were OK," Biddy said. The students were given extra time in home room to receive and sign their yearbooks, which they would have done last week but for the shootings. Final exams, scheduled for this week, are now optional for Heritage students. "It's really freaky and really weird with cops at every door, but I can't blame them for being here," said senior Matt Powell. "This is definitely not the way to go out. Everybody was excited to go to school Thursday, and then this happened." Thursday was to have been the seniors' last day of school. He said he walked into the commons area today, and "all I could do was picture it happening. I could not get it out of my mind." The gunman, "T.J." Solomon, 15, remained in a youth detention center. Authorities are expected to decide this week whether to try him as an adult for Thursday's shootings. Fellow students said Solomon was despondent over a recent breakup with his girlfriend. He had been taking Ritalin, a drug commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The boy's mother, Mae Dean Daniele, apologized to the community in an interview shown today on CNN. "We thank God that all the children are alive," she said. "We grieve for each one of you and we pray for a full recovery from all the suffering of this tragedy." Ed Garland, the boy's lawyer, told CNN the defense would center on his mental condition, since the defense does not contest that Solomon was the shooter. On Sunday, churches in the area were filled with prayers for healing - and for Solomon. Worshippers said they saw the gunman not as a fiend, but as a troubled youth badly needing God's peace. At St. Simon's Episcopal, where several Heritage students worship, Solomon was listed in the bulletin's prayers of the week as one to remember. "We pray for T.J., the young man who did this," said the Rev. Leon Watts Jr. "We pray that this would never happen again." Only one of the six victims remained hospitalized today. Stephanie Laster, 15, still has a bullet lodged in her abdomen but was in good condition at Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital in Atlanta. Biddy said he had a brief conversation with Solomon just after an assistant principal disarmed him Thursday. "He was quite hysterical," he said. "I was asking him if he was OK. And then I asked the big questions. I asked if those are blanks, and he said no. Then I asked if he had acted alone, and he said yes. And then he started sobbing, and he said, `Mr. Biddy, I don't know why I did this. I just don't know why I did this.'" Members of Solomon's congregation, St. Pius X Catholic, erected three large sheets of blank paper at the back of the sanctuary for members' messages for Heritage students. "There will be a tomorrow and God will be there for you," was one of the hundreds of notes. "God loves you," a child scrawled.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Votes On Juvenile Crime (Excerpts from an article in the Washington Post note the U.S. Senate voted 73-25 for S 254, which authorizes $5 billion over five years for juvenile justice "programs," tightens gun control laws, allows youths 14 and older to be tried as adults in federal courts, and authorizes $450 million annually for states to build detention facilities and "crack down on drugs and gangs.") Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 14:29:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: Senate Votes On Juvenile Crime Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: V07 Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ FOR THE RECORD Roll Call Report Syndicate Here's how some major bills fared recently in Congress and how local members of Congress voted. NV means not voting. [ ...snip... ] SENATE VOTES JUVENILE CRIME For: 73 / Against: 25 The Senate passed a bill (S 254) that authorizes $5 billion over five years for juvenile justice programs and tightens gun control laws. The bill allows youths 14 and older to be tried as adults in federal courts for certain serious crimes. It also authorizes $450 million annually to states for purposes such as building detention facilities and cracking down on drugs and gangs, and authorizes $435 million for programs to keep juveniles out of trouble. It orders a study into the role of violent entertainment programming in juvenile crime. A yes vote was to pass the bill. MARYLAND Mikulski (D): YES Sarbanes (D): YES VIRGINIA Robb (D): YES Warner (R): YES [ ...snip... ]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Government Eases Marijuana Availability For Researchers - Woody Harrelson Unloads On Pot Trial Judge (Two items in the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report note Friday's announcement that researchers would be allowed access to government-grown cannabis; and a federal judge's refusal to allow B.E. Smith in California to try to put on a medical defense.) From: Mireille Jacobson (MJacobson@sorosny.org) To: TLC_CANNABIS (TLCCANNABIS@sorosny.org) Subject: FW: Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report on Medical MJ - research availability and Woddy Harrelson testimony in CA trial Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 10:07:29 -0400 Sender: email@example.com KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT A news service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation http://report.kff.org/aidshiv/ Monday, May 24, 1999 POLITICS & POLICY #1 MEDICAL MARIJUANA I: GOVERNMENT EASES MARIJUANA AVAILABILITY FOR RESEARCHERS The Clinton administration Friday announced that it will sell government-grown marijuana to scientists who want to study the drug. The Los Angeles Times reports that for most of the last 20 years, "the production and distribution of marijuana for clinical research has been restricted under several federal laws and international agreements, making it all but impossible for non-federally funded researchers to obtain it" (Cimons, Los Angeles Times, 5/21). The New York Times reports that Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an "ardent" opponent of medical marijuana, supported the decision. The office's chief counsel, Chuck Blanchard, said that "as long as you are willing to show that it is high-quality research and also provide your own funding, you can have access to medical marijuana." Experts expressed hopes that eased access to the drug could produce alternative delivery systems, such as inhalers, that "enable patients to benefit without suffering the toxic effects of smoke" (Stolberg, New York Times, 5/22). Researchers will submit study proposals to a Public Health Service medical committee for review (Sisk, New York Daily News, 5/22). REAX Medical marijuana and HIV/AIDS advocates hailed the decision. Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation, said, "For the last 22 years, the federal government has had a lock on the use of whole smoked marijuana for studies - they grow it at the University of Mississippi. . . . We've been imploring the government to come up with a system that will allow these studies to go forward. We want to do the science, but marijuana has become so politicized" (Los Angeles Times, 5/21). Still, some charged that the White House's policy shift did not go far enough. Lindesmith Center Director Ethan Nadelmann said, "It is a tiny step forward, but far too tiny. It's an implicit acknowledgment that the government has blocked research into medical marijuana for explicitly political reasons for the last two decades" (New York Times, 5/22). *** #4 MEDICAL MARIJUANA II: WOODY HARRELSON UNLOADS ON POT TRIAL JUDGE Woody Harrelson's testimony yesterday in the Sacramento trial of B.E. Smith, a Trinity County medical marijuana activist, nearly landed the actor in jail. When Harrelson angrily asked U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell, "How do you sleep at night?" the judge warned the former "Cheers" star that he might again find himself behind a bar - in jail - "if he continued to defy the court." Harrelson testified that Smith is his "good friend and mentor," and the "last free man in America." Earlier this week, Harrelson wrote a letter to the editor of the Sacramento Bee stating, "Apparently in Judge Burrell's courtroom, he is not content for lady justice to be blind; she must also be deaf, dumb, bound, gagged, raped and dismembered." Harrelson was the final witness in Smith's trial - the defendant testified yesterday that "smoking marijuana has successfully curbed his abuse of alcohol" - and the jury is continuing deliberations today (Walsh, Sacramento Bee, 5/21). *** The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation by National Journal Group Inc. Copyright 1999 by National Journal Group Inc., 1501 M St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005. All rights reserved. Phone: 202-672-5990 Fax: 202-672-5767 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Patricia Miller EDITOR: Amy Paulson ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Rosalee Sanchez STAFF WRITERS: Jeff Dufour, Charmaine Marosi, Allison Morgan, Adam Pasick
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Make It Easier To Study Marijuana (The AMA-approved Reuters version) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 22:55:13 -0400 To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (email@example.com) From: Michael Krawitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: AMA NEWS: Feds Make It Easier To Study Marijuana (Reuters 5/24) Sender: email@example.com http://www.ama-assn.org/insight/gen_hlth/med_news/tmp-news/0524-6f.htm This information sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from Emory Healthcare. Visit us! This content has been medically reviewed by Health Insight Editor and staff Reuters Health News Feds Make It Easier To Study Marijuana NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters Health) -- New procedures announced by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday will make it easier for researchers to obtain marijuana for medical research. "This is really an expansion of existing procedures to help researchers find out whether indeed there is a medical benefit to marijuana," Campbell Gardett, a spokesman for HHS, told Reuters Health. The aim is to provide "research-grade marijuana" for studies, including projects not funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to a statement from the NIH. General Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy, endorsed the move saying it would "facilitate further research into the potential medical uses of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids." "This decision underscores the federal government's commitment to ensuring that the discussion of the medical efficacy and safety of cannabinoids takes place within the context of medicine and science," the White House Drug "Czar" added. McCaffrey said that his office would work "closely with (HHS) to promote bonafide clinical research and to ensure appropriate medical access to drugs and substances that are deemed safe and effective for medical use in treatment." In an interview with Reuters Health, Chuck Thomas, spokesman for the advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project, expressed "cautious optimism" about the guidelines. However, Thomas said that he was disappointed that the guidelines did not support access to medical marijuana for single patients with chronic conditions such as pain or AIDS wasting. According to the guidelines, "single-patient requests for marijuana raised a number of concerns including the fact that the single-patient IND (Investigational New Drug) process would not produce useful scientific information." In March, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, issued a report on medical marijuana, recommending short-term use of smoked marijuana for selected patients. Thomas said that HHS's "callous disregard" for the IOM recommendation meant that individuals who need marijuana for medical reasons "will continue to live as criminals." For more information, researchers should contact the Program Administrator, Drug Supply and Analytical Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 6001 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, Maryland, 20892.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot haul questioned (The North Shore News, in British Columbia, says North Vancouver provincial court Judge Jerome Paradis is considering the legality of a police roadblock search that led to the arrest of Lions Bay resident Marcus Richardson, 26, and the seizure of 13 pounds of marijuana in his car. Compassion Club founder Hilary Black says "the cannabis in question was destined for the Compassion Club.") Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 19:03:02 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "H. Couch" (email@example.com) Subject: North Shore News - 2 articles North Shore News (B.C., Canada) May 24, 1999 http://www.nsnews.com/issues99/w052499/05219901.html Pot haul questioned * 13 pounds seized in West Van; judge adjourns case to consider validity of search of car trunk By Anna Marie D'Angelo News Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A Lions Bay man affiliated with a Vancouver non-profit business that provides sick people with marijuana was in North Vancouver provincial court on May 14. Marcus Richardson, 26, is charged with possessing more than three kilograms of marijuana for trafficking purposes and possessing a small amount of hashish. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. On Nov. 25, 1998, Richardson was stopped at 1:30 a.m. in a West Vancouver Police roadblock on Marine Drive near the Lions Gate Bridge. Six kilograms (13 lbs.) of marijuana was seized from the trunk of the car he was driving. Court proceedings on May 14 involved a voir dire - a trial within a trial - in which the legal validity of the trunk search was at issue. If the search is deemed to have been illegal, the seized marijuana will be excluded from being evidence in the case. North Vancouver provincial court Judge Jerome Paradis adjourned the case to June as he considered the voir dire information and judge's decisions in other drug search cases. West Vancouver Police Const. John Lo testified that about 10 minutes after the roadblock was set up, Richardson's car rounded the cloverleaf and abruptly stopped short of the roadblock. The Volkswagen Jetta than pulled up to Lo. Lo testified he could smell marijuana in the car. Richardson and the car passengers, Richardson's wife Charlene and another man, Ashley Boyd, were asked to get out. Lo found tips of marijuana cigarettes in the car's ashtray. "It was quite full," testified Lo, 24. Lo did not think the marijuana in the ashtray was enough to account for the smell from the car. Lo asked Richardson to open the trunk. "He (Richardson) said I'm not letting you look in those bags," said Lo. "He was getting in the way so I had no choice but to handcuff him." Richardson was handcuffed and put into a police car. The trunk was not locked. Inside the trunk, Lo found 11 sealed oven bags containing sealed plastic bags full of marijuana. There were about 10 smaller bags in each oven bag, said Lo. All of the marijuana has since been destroyed. A brown knapsack containing $6,000 cash and a scrap piece of paper with weights and dollar amounts were also in the trunk. Richardson had a tin in his pocket containing hash oil. Lo had two years' experience as a West Vancouver Police officer at the time. He was conducting the roadblock with another junior officer, West Vancouver Police Const. Susan Chalmers. Chalmers had worked for the police department for 14 months at the time of the incident. Richardson's lawyer John Conroy questioned Lo about the reasons the officer had to search the trunk. The defence lawyer took issue with whether the officer should have secured a search warrant and questioned the length of time it took before Richardson was informed of his Charter rights. Conroy argued that Lo "flagrantly violated the accused's rights" by not getting a search warrant in contravention of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA). Crown lawyer Jay Straith said that, contrary to the defence lawyer's argument, Lo had reasonable and probable grounds to search the trunk without a search warrant. Straith said that, from the outset, the incident was a drug investigation. Compassion Club founder Hilary Black would not discuss Richardson's case except to say that "the cannabis in question was destined for the Compassion Club."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Club Has 700 Members (The North Shore News, in British Columbia, says that for two years, East Vancouver's Compassion Club, a registered non-profit society, has been quietly selling marijuana to people with terminal illnesses and serious diseases. Compassion Club founder Hilary Black said the society has had no problems with the police. "Not that they think that people that need it medically shouldn't get it," Black said.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 23:22:33 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Club Has 700 Members Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Pubdate: May 24, 1999 Source: North Shore News (Canada) Copyright: 1999 by the North Shore News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nsnews.com/ Author: Anna Marie D'Angelo Related: http://www.thecompassionclub.org/ Club Has 700 Members For two years, the Compassion Club in East Vancouver has been quietly selling marijuana to people with terminal illnesses and serious diseases. Compassion Club founder Hilary Black said the non-profit society has had no problems with the police. "We are completely focused on the medicinal aspects (of marijuana) only," said Black, who was raised in West Vancouver. Black said the Compassion Club is a registered non-profit society with 700 members. She said that on doctors' recommendations, sick and dying people join the Compassion Club. Club members can purchase marijuana to combat the side effects of prescription drugs, for example. Black said Compassion Club members are HIV positive, have AIDS, cancer including leukemia, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis and chronic pain. Black said that marijuana can be used to combat prescription drug side effects such as nausea and appetite loss that results from anti-viral drugs for HIV and chemotherapy for cancer. "Generally the only complaint we get is that marijuana is illegal," said Black. "Not that they think that people that need it medically shouldn't get it." She said some people don't like the way some marijuana supporters are trying to change the law. "It's come to the point where we have had to resort to peaceful civil disobedience," said Black. Black said the marijuana dispensed at the Compassion Club is not treated with pesticides and is carefully checked to make sure there is no mould. She said that large amounts of marijuana are not kept on the premises in order to prevent being a target by thieves. Black said that the marijuana is given to the Compassion Club by a "few growers." Growers who do not wish to directly deal with the Compassion Club because of legal concerns connect with people Black called Compassion Club "friends." These friends collect the marijuana from growers and store it. The marijuana is then brought to the Compassion Club in relatively small amounts. "We don't have 20 pounds of pot here or at our homes because we are in potentially a high-risk situation," said Black. The Compassion Club marijuana is sold for less than street-level prices. Black notes that she and five others operate the cannabis distribution of the Compassion Club. Black notes that they all get $10 an hour for their work and "pay taxes." "I am sure we have been under a fair amount of surveillance. They (police) must know we are very strict, very bureaucratic, very careful and very thorough," said Black. She said that a person can't just walk off the street and buy marijuana. Potential new members need a doctors' "prescription," an appointment and must take part in an "intake session." The Compassion Club operates an alternative wellness centre as well which includes herbalists, a nutritionist and counsellors. "We are trying to encourage people to use cannabis holistically," said Black. North Vancouver RCMP Const. Shane Tuckey, of the drug section, points out the Compassion Club marijuana is unregulated and illegal. Tuckey wonders who decides and ensures proper marijuana dosages and how potential abuse is controlled. Tuckey said that some medical people frown on marijuana use because of its delivery system. Smoking marijuana harms the lungs and is a concern with pneumonia prone people with illnesses such as AIDs. But Tuckey, a 20-year police veteran, said police across Canada and especially in B.C., have a high tolerance for simple possession of marijuana particularly when dealing with people using it for sickness. "If I take a joint away from somebody who is dying of leukemia, how bad is that going to look in court? We would never proceed with that kind of charge," said Tuckey. Tuckey said drug enforcement resources are stretched to the limit in dealing with major cocaine and heroin traffickers along with the many hydroponic-grow operations linked to organized crime. Tuckey noted that last year North Vancouver RCMP did not recommend charges involving about 200 drug seizures of relatively small amounts. Police call such investigations "no-case seizures." "A lot of kids out there are just waiting to say, 'Look it's a medicine and it's legal' and then they are going to try it," said Tuckey. He warned that decriminalizing marijuana will result in more pot smoking by teenagers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp B.C., Cannabis Cafe owner set to close (According to the Vancouver Province, in British Columbia, Shelley Francis, a.k.a. Sister Icee, who bought the two famous hemporiums from Marc Emery in March 1998, expects to be out of business by the end of the week. Francis thinks Justice Thomas Melnick will grant the city an injunction. "I think our days are numbered, but I will not close Hemp B.C. until a judge orders me to. I will always continue this fight to decriminalize marijuana. It's one that has to be fought.") From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Hemp B.C., Cannabis Cafe owner set to close Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 07:43:09 -0700 Lines: 58 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Monday 24 May 1999 Author: Jack Keating, Staff Reporter The Province Hemp B.C., Cannabis Cafe owner set to close The owner of Vancouver's first marijuana joint expects to be out of business by the end of the week. "I will honour the wishes of the court and I will close Hemp B.C. and the Cannabis Cafe," Shelley Francis (a.k.a. Sister Icee) said yesterday. Francis thinks Justice Thomas Melnick will grant the city an injunction this week to close the two marijuana emporiums in the 300-block West Hastings. Lawyers for Francis last week launched a judicial review in B.C. Supreme Court against city council's refusal to grant Francis a business licence after a controversial show-cause hearing. "I'm saddened by the narrow-mindedness of the city council that would perpetuate this stupidness that has been going on for five years," said Francis, who bought the two businesses from Marc Emery in March 1998. She said she has been unfairly targeted by police and city council. "We are high-profile political activists here, speaking out against unjust marijuana laws in this country. Those laws criminalize otherwise hard-working and innocent Canadians." George Macintosh, a high-profile lawyer retained by the city, argued in court that council had grounds to deny a licence, and asked for an injunction to shut the two operations down. "I guess they've won," said Francis. "I think our days are numbered, but I will not close Hemp B.C. until a judge orders me to. I will always continue this fight to decriminalize marijuana. It's one that has to be fought." Neighbouring merchants said they'll be disappointed to see the end of Hemp B.C., which was featured in Rolling Stone magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and was supported by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and a petition signed by 10,000 people. "They're very good for the neighbourhood," said Don Vincent, part-owner of Bassix, a music store. "It's going to be bad for business down here if they're shut down. "They've brought down a lot of people between the ages of 18 to 28, which is also our age-group target. People that are here shopping now are middle-class kids and young adults with money. "It became a really happening block. If they leave, it'll bring a lot less affluent people down here. And it's going to be taken over more by junkies and pawnshops."
------------------------------------------------------------------- U Of T Link To Tobacco Under Fire (The Toronto Star says University of Toronto President Robert Prichard is under fire in an international medical journal after his refusal to step down as a director of Imasco, the holding company for Imperial Tobacco. The current issue of Tobacco Control, a specialist publication of the British Medical Journal, uses Prichard as an example of how universities, researchers, and teaching hospitals world-wide remain gripped by an "institutional addiction" to tobacco money.) Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 16:37:52 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: U Of T Link To Tobacco Under Fire Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Author: Leslie Papp, Toronto Star Medical Reporter U OF T LINK TO TOBACCO UNDER FIRE President's directorship criticized University of Toronto President Robert Prichard is under fire in an international medical journal after his refusal to step down as a director of Imasco, the holding company for Imperial Tobacco. He's used as an example of how universities, researchers, and teaching hospitals world-wide remain gripped by an ``institutional addiction'' to tobacco money. ``Through strategic appointments to boards, the tobacco industry uses people in key positions to lend respectability to its activities,'' write scientists at the government-funded Ontario Tobacco Research Unit in Toronto. Their work is published in the current issue of Tobacco Control, a specialist publication of the British Medical Journal. Hospitals and universities should sever all links with tobacco companies in light of mounting evidence showing the unethical behaviour of this industry, according to the authors of the commentary. These institutions have a duty to improve and protect the public's health, Joanna Cohen, main author of the study, said in an interview. ``If they have relationships with tobacco companies, it flies in the face of their mandate.'' Smoking-related illness kills 30,000 to 40,000 Canadians a year, Cohen said. ``And the tobacco industry is driving this epidemic.'' Labelling the U of T the ``university of tobacco,'' she said it's particularly close to these companies. ``There's a real incestuous relationship right here in our own backyard,'' Cohen said. ``Not everybody's aware of that, and we don't know the full extent of this throughout the country.'' Prichard refused to discuss the issue. ``I don't have any comment to make about it,'' he said in a short interview. Several members of the faculty of medicine have written Prichard, pleading that he step down from Imasco's board, but the university president has refused, said Cohen, a public health scientist. The research unit where she works was set up by the province in 1993 to study and recommend smoking control measures. Other tobacco industry ties to U of T, and its affiliated hospitals, were outlined in the journal, including: Imasco president and CEO Brian Levitt, appointed to a board that guides the university's fundraising. Robert Parker, head of the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers' Council, who sits on Women's College Hospital's fundraising panel. Hospitals affiliated with the university accepted $225,000 from Imasco in 1996, and $191,000 in 1995. ``It's really a conflict of interest for these organizations,'' said Cohen. She and other researchers are preparing to launch a nationwide study into hospital and university ties to tobacco. Parker, spokesperson for the tobacco industry, dismissed as ``ridiculous'' the call for a severing of relationships. ``I'm sure it's very morally satisfying to indulge in these attacks, but it provides no progress whatever,'' Parker said. He added that scientists would move closer to their goal by figuring out ways to blunt the public's appetite for tobacco. ``They're looking in the wrong place,'' he said. But Cohen said the industry can't dodge blame for the harm it causes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Venezuela To Deny U.S. Flight Request (According to the Associated Press, President Hugo Chavez said Monday that he would deny a request by the United States to use his country's airspace for anti-narcotics flights, citing Venezuela's status as a sovereign nation.) Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 16:42:03 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Venezuela: Wire: Venezuela To Deny Us Flight Request Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press VENEZUELA TO DENY US FLIGHT REQUEST CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) President Hugo Chavez said Monday that he will deny a request by the United States to use Venezuela's airspace for anti-narcotics flights in the region. The United States wants to use Venezuela's airspace for flights from three new staging centers being set up in Ecuador and the islands of Curacao and Aruba, which are located off Venezuela's western coast. The new centers are expected to compensate for the U.S. withdrawal from Howard Air Force Base in the Panama Canal Zone, which until May 1 had been used for such reconnaissance flights. Chavez, speaking Monday night during a nationally broadcast speech, said: "We cannot accept (the flights) because Venezuela is a sovereign country." He added that Venezuela is willing to otherwise cooperate with the United States in the anti-drug fight, and has its own fleet of airplanes that could assist U.S. authorities. U.S. officials say they have offered to allow Venezuelan air force personnel in Aruba and Curacao to ride in any U.S. aircraft that pass over Venezuelan territory. Information gathered on narcotics trafficking also would be shared. Chavez also named five new Cabinet members Monday night. Six cabinet members have resigned recently to run for seats in a constituent assembly that will rewrite Venezuela's constitution.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Do Not Let The USA Twist Our Arm (A letter to the editor of the Canberra Times, in Australia, says the government's hostility to the distribution of heroin to addicts on prescription is not, as they claim, because it sends the wrong signal to the drug-using community. The wrong signal is to the United States DEA.) Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 22:18:20 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: PUB LTE: Do Not Let The USA Twist Our Arm Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kenneth William Russell Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 1999 Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Author: Colin P. Glover DO NOT LET THE USA TWIST OUR ARM THE GOVERNMENT'S hostility to the distribution of heroin to addicts on prescription is not, as they claim, because it sends the wrong signal to the drug-using community. The wrong signal is to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), who have a strong influence in the International Narcotics Control Board. Soon after Mr Howard returned from a recent visit to the USA, where he had discussions with the DEA, Dr Michael Wooldridge, Minister for Health, up to that time supportive of heroin trials, gave a TV interview in which he recanted, fairly obviously because of the party line. In turning his coat, he made a very revealing remark about the possible disaster of losing the Tasmanian poppy industry, a $100 million a year export business. My guess is that his concern arose from a threat by the DEA to intercede to have the Tasmanian product, which goes mainly to Europe for use in pharmaceuticals, banned from world markets. Any officially sponsored distribution of heroin is contrary to the DEA hard-line total prohibition, which pays no heed to harm minimisation, the continuing failure to block the supply side of the drug business or the huge cost of drug-related crime and disease and its appalling social consequences. We need a study of the costs and benefits of distributing heroin on prescription, at least until they can be stabilised and rehabilitated. If we can gain control of the demand side, the supply side will collapse. Let's solve our own problem and not be a meekly compliant appendage of the USA. COLIN P. GLOVER Canberra City -------------------------------------------------------------------
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