NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 11, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 11, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on March 12, 2004 at 15:09:29 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Federal Bill Introduced Ordering States To Pass Mandatory Minimum Penalties For "Drugged Driving" - - Non-Compliant States To Lose Federal Highway Funds March 11, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Federal legislation was introduced this week to withhold highway funding from state legislatures that do not pass laws enacting mandatory minimum penalties for anyone convicted of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.
The bill, H.R. 3907, comes two weeks after panelists at a conference co-sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) called on federal officials to develop "uniform standards" and "model legislation" to encourage states to enact and/or modify their DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) laws.Under the proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV), states have until 2006 to pass and enforce DUID laws "approved by the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration," or lose portions of their federal highway funding.In a press conference introducing the legislation, Rep. Porter falsely stated, "Few states have enacted laws to address drugged impairment." In truth, virtually all states have approved DUID legislation. The majority of these laws forbid drivers to operate a motor vehicle if they are either "under the influence" of a controlled substance, or if they have been rendered "incapable of driving safely" because of their use of an illicit drug.Under these statutes, so-called "effect-based" DUID laws, a prosecutor must prove that the driver's observed impairment and/or incapacity is directly associated with drug ingestion. To do so, prosecutors typically rely on evidence gathered by law enforcement officers at the scene of an accident (i.e., a driver's failure to pass a field sobriety test), testimony from a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), as well as a positive result from a blood or saliva test indicating recent ingestion of a controlled substance. Unlike urinalysis, blood and saliva tests can identify "parent drugs" (i.e., THC), not simply drug metabolites (inert compounds indicative of past drug use).By contrast, ten states (Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin) have enacted so-called "zero tolerance" per se laws which make it a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle while having a drug or drug metabolite in one's body or bodily fluids - even if the driver's ability to drive is not impaired. Under such statutes, individuals can be found guilty of violating the law if the driver is found to have been operating a motor vehicle with any amount of a prohibited substance present in their bodily fluids, including urine - where metabolites may remain detectable for days after past use. For marijuana, inactive metabolites are identifiable in the urine for several days and sometimes weeks after its use.Representative Porter's proposed legislation does not specify which type of DUID laws - "effect-based laws" or "zero tolerance" per se laws - states must enact in order to comply with the federal mandate.NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup worries that such a mandate will be used to coerce state legislatures to universally adopt "zero tolerance" per se laws, which he called unfair and bad public policy. "While driving impaired by marijuana or other illicit and licit drugs is never acceptable, neither is it acceptable to treat sober drivers as if they are impaired simply because low levels of inactive marijuana metabolites may be detectable in their bodily fluids," he said. "These 'zero tolerance' laws are neither a safe nor sensible way to identify impaired drivers; they are an attempt to misuse the traffic safety laws to identify and prosecute marijuana smokers per se."For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. A state-by-state summary of DUID laws is available online at: Would Penalize People for Being High To Push for States To Punish Drug DUIs Target Driving While Drugged NORML Revises Pot Report Card For 2004 Presidential CandidatesMarch 11, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: NORML has updated its 2004 Presidential Candidate Report Card to now include detailed analyses of each of the leading presidential candidates, including Democratic nominee John Kerry (D-MA), Libertarian contender Gary Nolan, Green Party contender David Cobb, Independent candidate Ralph Nader, and Republican incumbent George W. Bush.The Report Card profiles each candidate's support and/or opposition to decriminalizing marijuana penalties, legalizing medical marijuana and industrial hemp, and repealing the provision to the Higher Education Act (HEA) that prevents convicted marijuana offenders from receiving federal student financial aid. It's available online at NORML's website at:"Marijuana law reform promises to be a pivotal and highly publicized issue this election," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. "NORML's 2004 Presidential Candidate Report Card is a quick reference guide to the candidates' positions on all things marijuana, and is a useful tool for any activist looking to stay informed of where the presidential candidates stand on the pot issue."Democratic nominee John Kerry (D-MA) rated one thumbs up (for his support for the use of medicinal marijuana in states that have legalized it), and three thumbs in the middle (for his mild support for decriminalization, his partial support for repealing the HEA drug exclusionary rule, and for refusing to take a public position on the legalization of industrial hemp). President George Bush received thumbs down in every category.For a complete listing of candidates' positions, please visit: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: March 11, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Mar. 04, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Feb. 26, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Feb. 19, 2004
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on March 14, 2004 at 09:18:51 PT
time for new management
The real question is why do the few in Congress outlaw our Farmers and Researchers from expanding the USA job market while allowing trade with 30 Countries around the world that use Hemp. These 30 Countries are making billions from new technology's while our people remain uneducated on the subject of Hemp for paper and clothes and fuel and hundreds of other uses. Consider the fact that most European Countries are using Hemp in many everyday products including Cars, building construction, paper making, fiber for cloths, ect, ect.If a USA Lawmaker votes against Hemp production while voting to allow another country to import Hemp products into the USA that Lawmaker should loose his or her job. As said Lawmakers are depriving the USA citizens of factual information relating to known benefits of the Cannabis plant.How are our children going to compete when the new processes are being patented in other countries that will effect our production our ability to have control over our Hemp industrys.
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Comment #4 posted by breeze on March 13, 2004 at 22:47:28 PT
comment #2- China
Is it true that China is a communist country?Isn't it true that men died in fighting in two wars against communism, but now days- free trade with communist countries is permissable?Its a shame that if a person makes their money by working in this country for their money they aren't allowed to spend it where ever they desire. Corporations are allowed to purchase goods from communist countries, but I am not allowed to buy what I need from other countries. Seems that the corporations have more freedoms than the worker ants, as well as telling the government what to do about allowing the worker ants where they can spend their money, and on what they want. I thought freedom was about buying whatever I want to buy as long as I worked to get the money to buy it with?
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Comment #3 posted by elfman_420 on March 12, 2004 at 18:23:48 PT
We got less than 2 years to legalize, hurry up!
"states have until 2006 to pass and enforce DUID(Driving under the influence of illegal drugs)laws"What if a state passed a law legalizing cannabis use? Would a state police officer be able to proscecute someone for driving under the influence of cannabis? This could start getting complicated like the MMJ issue.That's why current laws say "DUI", aka, driving under the influence (of ANY SUBSTANCE that impairs someone from driving safely)
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on March 12, 2004 at 16:47:44 PT
Kerry why can't we compete with China
China making 1.2 Billion in Hemp Products Over 2 years ago I wonder how many Billions they are making now. While our farmers are going broke and our jobs are being sent out of Our Country. Where is the Hemp industrys PR giving info to Kerry. Chinese Hemp Industry has Boundless Potential 
Posted by FoM on November 05, 2001 at 09:01:46 PT
Business News 
Source: People's Daily As world fashion increasingly moves toward simplicity, comfort and health protection, experts point out that hemp, a major economic crop in China, could have great market prospects after the nation's entry into the World Trade Organization. 
Xia Jingyuan, a senior official with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in charge of the extension of agricultural technology, said that the annual output of Chinese linen is worth over 10 billion yuan (about 1.2 billion US dollars). According to Xia, the ongoing upgrading of China's agricultural industry has given Chinese hemp a great opportunity. Environmentally friendly, high value-added and versatile, Chinese hemp products could be a major money-maker in market both here and abroad, said Xia. For example, ramie, once used as forage, could provide a new type of vegetable protein for livestock and boost stockbreeding of southern China. Red hemp used in paper making could prevent the felling of forests while clothing made from hemp is particularly comfortable to wear and poses no health hazard. Being one of the earliest fabrics used in China, hemp's heyday can date back 4,000 years when only nobles and royal families could afford to wear finely spun linen while coarse linen were favored by commoners. The production technology of linen has undergone constant improvement. In 1984, the country made a breakthrough in the degumming technology, bringing worldwide attention to linen products. Analysts say that to establish a modern linen manufacturing and processing system with Chinese characteristics, China should double its efforts in scientific research and international cooperation, because each breakthrough in relevant technology will greatly boost the sector's upgrading.Source: People's Daily (China)
Published: Sunday, November 04, 2001
Copyright: People's Daily Online
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on March 12, 2004 at 16:11:58 PT
The Green Boycott
Is there a list anywhere of companies and celebrities we should be boycotting as a community because they promote organized violence against us?
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