NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 25, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 25, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2004 at 16:32:18 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
EU Think Tank Slams Global Drug Fight March 25, 2004 - Vienna, AustriaVienna, Austria: Representatives from the Network of European Foundations (NEF) Comite de Sages and The Senlis Council criticized UN-sponsored drug prohibition policies at a symposium last week coinciding with the United Nations 47th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Speakers criticized criminal drug prohibition and enforcement policies as fueling drug-related crime, endangering international security, and sponsoring terrorism."The system [of criminal drug prohibition] is not working but [this] is not being debated at the UN; it is a taboo," said NEF member Sir Keith Morris, a former British ambassador to Colombia.Former Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall said that the UN must "change its approach from repressive law enforcement" to one of harm reduction."The United Nations in 1998 set itself the aim of a drug free world by 2008," he said. "We are halfway down the road to 2008 and there are more drugs than ever. So much for the idea we have made progress."Canadian Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, who chaired a 2002 Senate committee that recommended regulating cannabis to those age 16 and older, said: "A drug free society has never existed in human history and will not exist in the near future. ... Sooner or later, governments around the world will have to, in the names of transparency and honesty, acknowledge this massive failure."Other speakers at the conference included Eugene Oscapella of the Canadian Foundation on Drug Policy, Portuguese MP Vitalino Canas, and General Paulo Roberto Yog de Miranda Uch a, national antidrug secretary for Brazil.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500.DL: Annual Hash Bash Takes Place April 3rd March 25, 2004 - Ann Arbor, MI, USAAnn Arbor, MI: Reformers from around the country will gather at the University of Michigan on Saturday, April 3, to celebrate the 33rd Annual Hash Bash, one of the longest running marijuana law reform rallies in the country.Speakers at this years event include John Sinclair and Jack Herer, as well as representatives from Michigan NORML, the NORML Chapter of the University of Michigan, and the Detroit Coalition for Compassionate Care (DCCC) - sponsors of a city-wide initiative petition to exempt qualified medicinal marijuana patients from criminal penalties.For more information, please visit: Australia: Pot Reclasification Plan Now Law March 25, 2004 - Perth, AustraliaPerth, Australia: Legal reforms downgrading penalties on the possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use to a non-criminal, fine-only offense took effect this week.Under the new statewide law, those who possess up to 30 grams of pot (approximately one ounce) and/or cultivate up to two marijuana plants will no longer face criminal charges.The law expressly forbids cultivating marijuana hydroponically.Since 1998, law enforcement officials in Western Australia have been "cautioning" minor marijuana offenders. The new law ratifies that long-standing policy.In recent years, a number of Australian states have adopted versions of marijuana decriminalization, including the Australian Capitol Territory, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Cannabis Law Kicks Off Today Use Decriminalised Compound Increases Cell Survival, Study SaysMarch 25, 2004 - Naples, ItalyNaples, Italy: Administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive compound in marijuana, increased survival in cultured rat cells, according to clinical trial data to be published in the April issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry."Treatment of the cells with cannabidiol ... significantly elevated cell survival," researchers at the University of Naples concluded. "Our results indicate that cannabidiol exerts a combination of neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects (effects associated with the programmed cell death of malignant cells) against [induced] toxicity. Authors further speculated that CBD's anti-oxidative effects may play a potential role in combating Alzheimer's disease.A 1998 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that CBD protected rat brain cells from injury better than standard anti-oxidants. A 1999 report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that marijuana's neuroprotective qualities are the "most prominent" of its potential therapeutic applications.Last year, researchers at the University of Milan reported that the administration of CBD in gerbils prevented brain damage caused by ischemia (a reduction of blood flow to the brain that can cause cell death).Earlier this week, the Israeli pharmaceutical company Pharmos announced that it had completed patient enrollment in a multi-country Phase III study of the effectiveness of the synthetic marijuana derivative Dexanabinol to treat brain damage resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or stroke. Study results are expected by the end of 2004.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, senior policy analyst of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-5500.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: March 25, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Mar. 18, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Mar. 11, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Mar. 04, 2004
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on March 25, 2004 at 22:27:37 PT
Tommy Chong's in the Enquirer
Working in the prison garden.
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