NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 30, 2003

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 30, 2003

Posted by CN Staff on July 30, 2003 at 15:39:57 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 

Organizers Of The World's Largest Marijuana Law Reform Rally Expect Record Crowd -- 12th Annual Seattle Hempfest To Take Place August 16-17July 30, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Organizers of this year's 12th annual Seattle Hempfest are expecting more than 175,000 people to descend on Myrtle Edwards Park in downtown Seattle this August 16 and 17 to show their support for ending marijuana prohibition.
More than 60 speakers, including NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup and NORML Foundation head Allen St. Pierre, and 40 bands will participate in the two-day event, which promises to be the largest marijuana policy reform rally ever held.The Seattle Hempfest advocates "defending the rights of the sick and dying, using limited law enforcement resources wisely and allowing cultivation of domestically grown hemp. Adults who use marijuana, without harm to themselves or others, should no longer have to tolerate living as second-class citizens in a free country."Others scheduled to appear at this year's event include: NORML Advisory Board Members Woody Harrelson, Mark Stepnoski and Rick Steves; syndicated columnist (Savage Love) and best-selling author Dan Savage; hemp luminary Jack Herer; NORML Associate Director Kris Krane; Washington NORML head and Hempfest organizer Dominic Holden; marijuana grow guru Ed Rosenthal; and Cannabis Consumers Campaign organizer Mikki Norris.For a complete schedule of this year's Hempfest speakers and events, please visit: http://www.seattlehempfest.comDL: Inhibits Neurodegeneration In Animal Model Of MS, Study SaysJuly 30, 2003 - London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom: Cannabinoids and the cannabinoid receptor system offer neuroprotection against allergic encephalo myelitis (EAE), an animal model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), according to findings published in the July 22, 2003 issue of the journal Brain.Scientists at London's Institute of Neurology determined that mice deficient in the cannabinoid receptor CB1 developed "substantial neurodegeneration" as a result of EAE Researchers also noted that "exogenous CB1 agonists (agents that bind to the receptor, such as THC) can provide significant neuroprotection from the consequences of inflammatory CNS disease in an experimental ... model."Authors concluded: "Therefore, in addition to symptom management, cannabis may also slow down the neurodegenerative processes that ultimately lead to chronic disability in multiple sclerosis and probably other diseases."Multiple sclerosis is believed to be a neurodegenerative disease that is triggered by an inflammatory attack of the central nervous system. Although several previous human studies have demonstrated that marijuana may provide symptomatic relief to common symptoms of MS such as muscle spasms, depression and incontinence, the U.K. study is one of the first to indicate that cannabinoids may potentially stave the onset of the disease.A previous study published in the May 6, 2003 issue of the journal NeuroReport similarly noted that "cannabinoids could provide neuroprotection" and "modify neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of both studies, "Cannabinoids inhibit neurodegeneration in models of multiple sclerosis" and "Effects of cannabinoids in the rat model of Huntington's disease generated by an intrastriatal injection of malonate," are available online via the PubMed search engine at: Leading Health Journal Opines For Patients To Receive Federal Exemptions To Use Medical MarijuanaJuly 30, 2003 - Brisbane, AustraliaBrisbane, Queensland: Governments should grant federal exemptions to qualified patients who find therapeutic benefits from the medicinal use of marijuana, conclude a pair of researchers writing in the current issue of the journal CNS Drugs."The best prospects for the medical use of cannabinoids lie in finding ways to deliver THC that do not involve smoking and in developing synthetic cannabinoids that produce therapeutic effects with a minimum of psychoactive effects," write Professors Wayne Hall and Louisa Degenhardt of the Office of Public Policy and Ethics at the University of Queensland. "While awaiting these developments, patients with specified medical conditions could be given exemptions from criminal prosecution to grow cannabis for their own use."Hall and Degenhardt note that governments could grant patients individual exemptions to use medical cannabis without conflicting with international drug control treaties.Recently, the Canadian government enacted regulations exempting qualified patients from criminal marijuana penalties. To date, an estimated 580 Canadians have received federal exemption authorizing them to grow and use medical marijuana. A similar program (the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program) exempting US patients from state and federal pot laws existed during the 1970s and 80s, but was closed to new applicants in 1992. CNS Drugs is a "world leading peer reviewed publication providing independent and objective evaluations of drugs and their place in patient management."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751. Abstracts of the article, entitled "Medical Marijuana Initiatives: Are They Justified? How Successful Are They Likely To Be?" are available online via the PubMed search engine at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: July 30, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- July 24, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 17, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 10, 2003

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Comment #26 posted by afterburner on August 03, 2003 at 21:58:36 PT:
Another Thing That Boils my Blood...
is the indiscriminate use of the word "drugs" to cover opiates (mentioned in the following article), stimulants, psychedelics, sedatives (also mentioned), but never tobacco, coffee, or alcohol, as if they are all the same with the same effects and dangers. The media is very irresponsible not to do their research on the specifics, but instead to rely on sound bites from law enforcement representatives. This results in nothing but a scare story, which then cripples rational debate about alternatives to the hard-line zero-tolerance, mandatory-minimum lock-'em-up mentality.Excerpt:"Drugs are everywhere," said Marietta Police Captain Jeff Waite....Waite agrees it will take more than law enforcement to control drug activity in the community. "It is going to take education, parenting and society in general to refuse to tolerate drugs in our community before things are going to get any better." --Drug Problem Widespread 
by Brad Bauer, (02 Aug 2003) Marietta Times Ohio
ego transcendence follows ego destruction, stop listening to your fear and rise into the light of truth.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on August 03, 2003 at 14:14:43 PT
Dr. Earleywine
Cannabis is an excellent medicinal herb. It is the greatest of peacemakers. If I would guess what the best effect from cannabis would be I would have to say it's calming effect. That's just my opinion though.
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Comment #24 posted by earleyw on August 03, 2003 at 14:01:25 PT:
Cannabis does not cause violence
I'm with you on this one. For what it's worth, over 400 people who responded to the survey had used cannabis in the last 90 days. Although some of them claimed to be angry or aggressive in the early items, only 14 people actually said that cannabis made them more angry, short-tempered, or rude, and nobody claimed that cannabis made them more likely to hit or slap or do anything aggressive. I'm hoping that these data will help dispute concerns about cannabis and aggression, which still appear in recent journals. 
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on August 03, 2003 at 12:16:33 PT
Thank You Dr. Earleywine
I appreciate your comment and survey. My only confusion was the violence questions. I strongly believe that many people that smoke Cannabis take prescription drugs too. I don't know how to be fair since some drugs can make a person violent. Do we blame Cannabis or a legal prescription drug?
Maybe ask if a person takes any other drugs might help clarify my question. 
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Comment #22 posted by earleyw on August 03, 2003 at 12:05:07 PT:
My hearty thanks to everyone for completing the survey. I can tell from the comments here that you folks have some of the same concerns I do about the questions. Some of them were limited because they are based on previous work. I also wish I could've asked more. And yes, the sample was not the same as calling random digits on the phone. Nevertheless, the responses have helped me immensely and I'm really grateful.
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Comment #21 posted by Lehder on August 01, 2003 at 12:04:58 PT
nowhere in sight
About 175,000 showed last year too. But there was not a mention of it on national TV, nor will there be this year.In 1968 hundreds of thousands protested the war. The marches and sit ins were televised daily. Nixon won the 1968 election on the basis of a "secret plan" to end the war. That plan was revealed in March 1970 as an expansion of war to Cambodia. The protests and the war continued for another seven years. The losers of that war all excused each other and blamed hippies for their defeat.We'll win eventually, but if we must then start from scratch on the next death-for-profit scheme we'll really have won very little. We need this time some deeper fundamental changes in governance along with the cessation of hostilities. This war is not excusable.I'm keeping an eye on Kucinich, but am not ready to sign on. His web site says the war on drugs was "well-intentioned," a point of view, if Kucinich is to be taken at his word, that displays basic misunderstanding. 
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Comment #20 posted by E_Johnson on August 01, 2003 at 11:30:02 PT
NORML has really matured on the Internet
The coming of the Internet has been so incredibly good for nonprofits and social movements of all kinds.
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Comment #19 posted by afterburner on July 31, 2003 at 19:11:28 PT:
I couldn't agree with you more about the search for synthetic substitutes for cannabis's natural balance, and the term "high." On the first point, the "magic bullet" or active ingredient theory of medicine, or curative allopathic medicine, has caused more problems than it's solved. The creation of morphine, codeine, heroin, methadone, and oxycontin were all failed attempts to remove the addictive properties of opium, and in the case of methadone the narcotic "high." The idea was to create the perfect painkiller without the addiction hazard. Good luck, anyone familiar with medical and law enforcement statistics can see just how poorly these attempts failed. In the case of methadone even the so-called "high" is still available, according to addicts. "Better living through chemistry"? I don't think so! On the second point, "high" is a very inappropriate term since it is commonly used to describe a brain-numbing alcohol state, a narcotic opiate state, and a mind-expanding cannabis state. In light of my yoga training, I view the typical Western mindset as a "mind-body split." To me and my experience, cannabis psychoactivity engenders a "healing" of the mind-body split, like most meditation techniques and martial arts disciplines. The term "high" completely confuses the issue, vilifies the participant, and renders objective scientific study nearly impossible.ego transcendence follows ego destruction, but the misuse of the scientific method is a major roadblock to progress.
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Comment #18 posted by SoberStoner on July 31, 2003 at 18:00:34 PT
I thought it was ok
It seemed to be fairly unbiased in the way it presented the questions.Granted, there were no POSITIVE 'side effects' listed, and they were almost all violence related, but possibly he's trying to destroy the lie of mary-joo-wanna causing violence in users (as well as seditentary behavior) And I dont use the proper term since I dont want to despoil it's name by linking it to such unproven BS theories.I left my email for him, if he contacts me, I'll inquire about if/when the results will be available and how to obtain themPeace and loveSS
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 31, 2003 at 08:08:25 PT
Non Cannabis Related Article
Here's an article about Oxycontin. Drug Czar Vows To End Abuse of Prescriptions,0,6497610.story?coll=sfla-news-palm
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 31, 2003 at 08:03:07 PT

I'm sure you're right. 
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Comment #15 posted by Patrick on July 31, 2003 at 07:54:14 PT

One of the many Bush-it reasons cannabis was made illegal in 1937 was because of propoganda that its users (blacks and mexicans) turned into stark raving mad murders and rapists. Reefer madness made smoking marijuana look like the root cause of all criminal behavior. These are the stereotypes ingrained into an entire generation or generations of Americans. Marijuana is still a political hot potato today because of its "link" to violence in my opinion. 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 31, 2003 at 07:42:16 PT

Just a Comment on Survey
It was an easy survey for me and thought it was good. When the violence questions popped up I didn't understand because I never heard of cannabis people being violent. Maybe if there had been a section on prescription drug use and violence it would have clarified why some people who smoke cannabis might get violent. Prescription drugs can make the saniest of people act differently when events trigger them. 
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Comment #13 posted by Patrick on July 31, 2003 at 07:34:33 PT

I agree with you on the slant of the questions. However, if most of the answers go the way I think they will, the survey results will dispel many of the common myths about cannabis. Things like it causes you to be violent, lazy, and that it is an addictive substance. The survey asked how many times/years you have used cannabis. I for one hhave to admit to over 25 years of use. Damn, I am not really getting older just better LOL. Anyway, I would love to see the results published. And I am willing to bet that they support cannabis legalization over prohibition. Especially if people provide honest answers. Garbage in garbage out!
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Comment #12 posted by Jose Melendez on July 31, 2003 at 07:15:38 PT

survey says...
I will not characterize the survey as stupid, but did point out to the authors that some of the questions almost force us to assign to assign blame for problems to cannabis without acknowledging the root causes: prohibition.

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Comment #11 posted by Ethan Russo MD on July 31, 2003 at 05:26:01 PT:

Mitch Earleywine
Mitch Earleywine is a Psychology professor at USC, and author of this fine book:'s 5 stars at Nobody has ever bothered to rate my books there.
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Comment #10 posted by Motavation on July 31, 2003 at 00:02:46 PT:

*****Stupid Survey*****
The last question about marijuana being legal-would you use more?If MariJuana was legalized it would be of the highest potency. So a Cannabis Connoisseur would have to use less or burn less or vaporize less, to get the desired effect.A bag of low potency marijuana =
"I can't get no satisfation", he said
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on July 30, 2003 at 23:27:44 PT

The reason I ask
For me, the subjective psychoactive effects of marijuana relieve the emotional numbing and dissociative aspects of chronic post traumatic stress. "High" is really the wrong word to describe the feeling. It's more like turning on the color from black and white, or sometimes I think of it as gluing my head to my body. Which is really the opposite of a "high".This idea of removing the psychoactive effects has me in fear because the psychoactive effects are part of the total effects package that I personally need.So this perennial word "high", which carries so much baggage with it that is social, religious, political baggage, this word is a problem.Coming from a puritan mindset, being "high" is a sin because it is presumed that one is being distracted from one's mindful and devoted duty towards God.So when the effects of marijuana are referred to as a "high", we're already being branded in some implicit way as a pack of sinners.
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Comment #8 posted by freedom fighter on July 30, 2003 at 23:02:59 PT

Dr. Russo!
As commanded! Seig Heil Bush!Done as you requested!Sir!, permission to speak?Who is Mitch Earleywine? Someone who is famous for brewing earlywine?? :)) Does he work for Johnny p Walters?:))))))Sorry for those nasty questions...:0)pazff
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Comment #7 posted by Virgil on July 30, 2003 at 22:56:46 PT

EJ- mood elevation and anger suppressant
Charlie Rose had that Taylor guy that is the world's leading wine taster. He uses so many adjectives to describe wine it makes you dizzy.How high you get often depends on mood to start with. A person experiencing a high for the first few times does not have anything to compare it to and the structure to deal with it or evaluate it. This guy from West Virginia first got me high. His word was blistered. I do not think I have been blistered in years. I know it elevates my mood to a more desirable level and when I have had cause for raging anger it helps with that too. I wish I could do an experiment right now and because I cannot my mood just slides down. Cannabis Prohibition is a downer. Herb will remedy the blues, the gray, and the blacks. The damned stuff is ubiquitous as an herbal remedy. I would not be suprised if it replaced orange peel oil as a cleaner. It probably would make a good, cheap casket for those killed by prohibition. It definitely is the way to improve an Irish wake.
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on July 30, 2003 at 22:04:35 PT

Question about the survey
There are questions that relate to feeling the effects of marijuana, and to being what is commonly known as "high"."High" is an incredibly subjective word, and dangerously so.I don't like categorizing the so-called psychoative effects as a "high" because that's rather simplistic and assumes the effects are the same for everyone and the effects can all be classified as a "high".I think there needs to be a more objective categorization of the psychoactive effects of marijuana, especially given the puritan influences in Western science, which show up in this endless quest to create a synthetic cannabinoid that doesn't make anyone feel good.Is there any way to discuss the psychoactive effects of marijuana without imposing upon people the puritanical Western preconceptions about consciousness that permeate Western science?What exactly is this so-called "high"?How long are we going to keep using such a silly inadequate word to describe the effects of such a complex and amazing substance?
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Comment #5 posted by freedom fighter on July 30, 2003 at 21:48:44 PT

sssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh!  ssssssshhhhhhhhhush your mouth!:)pazff
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 30, 2003 at 18:52:01 PT

Dr. Russo
That was a nice survey. I just completed it! Thanks!
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on July 30, 2003 at 18:24:24 PT

Rave Act Threats?
I take it Myrtle Edwards Park is a city park? I wonder if the city of Seattle has been threatened with the rave act yet. There just migh be some folks partaking in cannabis there on August 16th & 17th!Here is a link to some pics from the SARS benfit(more coming all the time)  The way out is the way in...Former Congressional Nominee Threatened by U.S. Marshal in 9/11 Evidence Cover-Up: House Won't Declassify Saudi Material in 9/11 Report: Report Raises More Serious Questions About The White House Statements On Intelligence: Words and 28 Pages: Thompson's Complete 9/11 Timeline: Prior Knowledge/Government Involvement Archive:
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Comment #2 posted by Ethan Russo MD on July 30, 2003 at 18:19:51 PT:

Please Complete Survey for Mitch Earleywine
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Family:I was complaining about how all the studies of marijuana involve people in substance abuse treatment, so I thought I'd do something about it.Here's a survey I'm conducting to combat some of the stereotypes, misconceptions, and outright lies about cannabis. If we could get a whole range of people to fill this out, from folks who have never used cannabis to daily users, it could really help this literature and may change policy and lives.If you'd click on this link and spend 10-15 minutes answering questions, it would be a huge help. If you'd forward this email to your friends, and ask them to do the same,....well, you get the idea.Thanks,
Mitch EarleywineHere is a link to the survey:
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on July 30, 2003 at 15:58:15 PT

The glaringly huge blind spot in "modern science&
These people believe in evolution. They believe that evolution is a genius, in fact they believe that evolution is a bigger genius than any scientist ever was or ever could be.Yet at the same time they still believe that scientists can design a better cannabinoid medicine than the one designed by human-cannabis coevolution.I think this shows the pernicious influence of economics in science. Where do biologists get jobs? Either working for the government, or working for a big corporation.Therefore they are forced to continue to spout this moronic malarkey about synthetic cannabinoids -- the magic synthetic cannabinoid that will solve the whole problem for them, so they can keep all of their own desperate personal compromises from being strained beyond endurance.
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