NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 28, 2005

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 28, 2005
Posted by CN Staff on April 28, 2005 at 15:40:01 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
ACLU Joins Suit Alleging Feds Obstruct Medicinal Cannabis ResearchApril 28, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined a legal challenge to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) alleging that the agency "obstructs private research that could lead to marijuana being approved as a prescription medicine."
The ACLU filed the case on behalf of Lyle Craker, director of the UMass (University of Massachusetts)-Amherst Medicinal Plant Program, who requested federal permission in 2001 to provide scientists with an alternative, independent source of medical-grade cannabis for FDA-approved research. Presently, all federally approved research on marijuana must utilize cannabis grown and supplied by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). However, in recent years a growing number of US scientists have complained that the low quality of NIDA-grown marijuana is insufficient for use in clinical trials evaluating cannabis' therapeutic potential. NIDA has also refused to provide cannabis for certain FDA-approved protocols, including research on cannabis vaporization.The DEA rejected Craker's application in December 2004, stating that the establishment of a cannabis production facility "would not be consistent with public interest" because marijuana is "the most heavily abused of all Schedule I controlled substances," and that NIDA's crop was of "sufficient quality" to meet researchers' present needs. The agency further noted that it discouraged research investigating the medical utility of smoked cannabis, stating, "Smoked marijuana ... ultimately cannot be the permitted delivery system for any potential marijuana medication due to the deleterious effects and the difficulty monitoring the efficaciousness of smoked marijuana."The ACLU's suit states that the federal government has a monopoly on supplying cannabis for research purposes, while all other controlled substances - including heroin, cocaine, MDMA (Ecstasy), and LSD - are purchased by scientists or sponsors from DEA-licensed private laboratories. The suit further charges that NIDA-grown cannabis is of insufficient quality and potency, and that the DEA's denial of the UMass protocol to provide an alternative source of research-grade cannabis obstructs scientists ability to conduct the research necessary to develop marijuana as a legal prescription medicine."While NIDA is legally allowed to provide marijuana for research, it is not able to provide marijuana on a prescription basis," says Rick Doblin, NORML board member and Executive Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which seeks to fund the UMass project. "This creates a situation whereby sponsors of research on medicinal cannabis are forced to conduct clinical trails with a product that they cannot be assured would be available for prescription use, potentially invalidating their research."A hearing on the matter before a federal administrative law judge is scheduled for later this summer, the ACLU stated in a press release.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin at (617) 484-8711.DL: Inmate Population Surpasses 2.1 MillionApril 28, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: There are now more than 2.1 million Americans incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails, according to a report released this week by the US Department of Justice. The figure is the highest ever recorded in the history of the United States, and represents a one-quarter increase in the US inmate population since 1995.Prisoners in the custody of the 50 states and the federal system accounted for two-thirds of the incarcerated population (1.4 million inmates), while the other third were held in local jails (714,000 inmates).Among black males age 25 to 29, approximately 13 percent were in prison or in jail, compared to less than 2 percent of white males in their late twenties. Overall, one in every 138 US residents is in prison or jail, the report concluded.Authors of the report cited mandatory drug sentences as one of the primary reasons for the sharp increase in the US inmate population over the past decade.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the Department of Justice report, "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004," is available online at: Use Not Associated With Injury Among Trauma Patients, Study SaysApril 28, 2005 - Louisville, KY, USALouisville, KY: Use of cannabis is not independently associated with injuries requiring hospitalization, according to clinical data published in the March issue of the Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care.A research team at SUNY (State University of New York) Buffalo's Department of Family Medicine conducted a logistical retrogression analysis of approximately 900 trauma patients with positive toxicology screens for drugs and alcohol. Authors found, "Alcohol and cocaine use is independently associated with violence-related injuries, whereas opiate use is independently associated with nonviolent injuries and burns. ... Associations of positive toxicology test results for ... cannabis ... with injury type, injury mechanisms, and outcomes were not statistically significant."NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano said that the findings countered allegations from the Drug Czar's office that cannabis use is a leading "factor in emergency room visits."Armentano said: "Among trauma patients requiring hospitalization, cannabis is rarely mentioned independent of other drugs. More importantly, cannabis use alone is not associated with the sort of serious or violent injuries that are typically correlated with the use of alcohol and cocaine - two substances that, unlike marijuana, often increase aggressive or risk-taking behavior among users."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "Toxicology Screening Results: Injury Associations Among Hospitalized Trauma Patients," appears in the March issue of the Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: April 28, 2005Copyright: 2005 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 21, 2005's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 14, 2005's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 07, 2005
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on April 30, 2005 at 11:30:16 PT
RE comment #6
{Organized by the Hemp Seed Association, or Kendermag, a nonprofit group that advocates for drug users' rights and drug reform in Hungary, the "Civil Obedience" campaign is designed to express discontent with Hungary's drug laws. Under those laws, simple possession of illicit drugs, including cannabis, can result in a two-year prison sentence. In a 2003 "reform," the ruling Socialist-Liberal government created the option of a six-month stay in a drug treatment program. In the rhetoric of the current government, drug users are not "criminals" but "sick people" who need treatment. That is not a paradigm Hemp Seed and other reformers are buying, and by presenting themselves for arrest, drug users hope to point out the glaring injustice of those laws, organizers said. ... {Drug users just want to be respected and left alone, said Juhasz. "We don't believe in forced treatment and medicalization," he said. "We would like to show that we want to live as law-abiding citizens." {"Many people identify drug users as the dregs of society; let us show them that drug uses are sometimes well-respected people with a normal lifestyle," said Peter Sarosi of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union's Drug Policy Project, whose attorneys accompany people turning themselves in and which has produced a how-to pamphlet telling people how to do it themselves. "When the police are arresting these people in front of the TV cameras, that shows the irrationality and injustice of the present law. It is also a sort of coming out for the movement." {The Hungarian campaign takes the Gandhian civil disobedience model and flips it, said Sarosi. "Civil obedience is a play on words," he explained. "It is modeled after civil disobedience movements, but it turns the philosophy of disobedience on its head: Why can't we protest by being obedient to the law we want to change? This is Gandhi-style passive resistance: Okay guys, if you think we're criminals, please arrest all of us who have ever used any kind of illicit drug," he told DRCNet.}Timing is everything. This tactic was proposed in the 1970's in the USA, followed by "Just say NO," forfeiture laws, SWAT teams, and UN treaties. Now, the US has 25% of the world's prisoners, the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world in history. No, they can't arrest everyone, but they d*mn sure have been trying.With all the world resistance, including the USA, to Drug War madness (mostly the War on Some Drugs, i.e., cannabis) and global bankruptcy threats at all levels of government, maybe this Hungarian effort of "Civil Obedience" will succeed. My prayers are with them. Canadians are trying a similar campaign of self-identification of medical cannabis patients to teach the general public that the stereotypes of the slacker potheads are inaccurate. However, an on-going Conservative blacklash to Canada's Liberal policies makes some in the cannabis community skeptical. Maybe, the Hungarians, the Canadians, the decriminalizers and legalizers of Europe, New Zealand and Australia, and the US medical cannabis states have it right. Maybe, the timing is right. One thing for sure, the cannabis movement has reached critical mass, and there is no going back to the bad old days of total prohibition!
Feature In Civil Obedience Campaign, Hungarian Drug Users Turn Themselves In
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on April 30, 2005 at 09:24:19 PT
The hippy half of Cheech and Chong??? - comment#10
Does that imply that Cheech was *not* a hippy or that Chong is only half a hippy? Hasn't the reporter ever seen a Cheech and Chong movie?
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 29, 2005 at 15:32:34 PT
Newsweek Article About Tommy Chong
Chong’s Bongs Gone WrongThe hippy half of Cheech and Chong, who just served a nine-month stint for selling drug paraphernalia, is being sued for quitting a traveling comedy show about—wait for it—marijuana.By Brian BraikerApril 29, 2005 - Tommy Chong is in a tight spot, man. To hear him discuss it, you’d almost think he’s describing the plot of one of the skits he used to do with his partner, Cheech Marin. But for a comedian who manages to find humor even in the nine-month prison term he recently served for selling bongs, his new legal woes aren’t exactly cracking him up. Forced, he says, by the terms of his parole to quit a stage production called “The Marijuana-Logues,” and uncomfortable with rejoining the cast even after his parole is over in July, Chong is now being sued by the show’s producers for breach of contract. Complete Article:
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 29, 2005 at 15:12:44 PT
NORML: Med Marijuana Introduced In Massachusetts
Medical Marijuana Introduced In Massachusetts Take Action Now! Friends:NORML and MassCann/NORML are pleased to announce that Senate Bill 998, a bill to protect seriously ill patients who use marijuana from arrest or prosecution (along with its companion bill, House Bill 2742), has been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. Now is the time to contact your state elected officials and urge them to stop arresting medicinal marijuana patients.The use of marijuana as medicine is a public health issue; it should not be part of the war on drugs. Modern science suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, particularly of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage); nausea; spasticity; glaucoma; and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective. According to a recent national survey of U.S. physicians conducted for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, nearly half of all doctors with opinions support legalizing marijuana as a medicine.These bills provide alternative procedures for patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana without approval of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health provided a physician provides a written recommendation for patients suffering from a chronic or debilitating disease, medical condition or treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic or severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, or any other condition or its treatment approved by a patient's doctor in the exercise of his professional judgment.If passed, these bills ensure that medical marijuana patients who grow and possess cannabis will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. However, this bill will only receive serious consideration if Massachusetts' elected officials hear an unmistakable message of support from their constituents.Please take two minutes of your time to write your state Senator and tell him or her how important it is that they support S 998, "An Act Relative To The Arrest And Prosecution For The Possession Of Marihuana For medical Purposes." NORML has created pre-written letters that you can send to your legislators by visiting: you have sent a letter to your Senator, please take the time to send a second pre-written letter to your State Representative in support of H 2742 "An Act Amending The Commonwealth’s Current Law Regulating The Physician-Approved Use Of Marijuana For Medical Purposes By DPH-Certified Patients," by visiting: help support NORML's state legislative efforts, please donate today at: you for your help.Sincerely,Kris Krane, Associate Director NORML
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Comment #8 posted by runderwo on April 29, 2005 at 14:14:35 PT
I think he meant...
can we in the US perform the same kind of passive resistance as those brave citizens in Hungary?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 29, 2005 at 07:28:44 PT
Sure you can post a link to other articles. That's never been a problem. We have their banner on the top of CNews.
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Comment #6 posted by potpal on April 29, 2005 at 07:13:43 PT
Can we do this here?
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on April 29, 2005 at 07:12:44 PT
Jack Cole will discuss LEAP’s last two years
Apr 29 05 “Century of Lies” with host Dean Becker débuts with LEAP Update 07:30 PM Houston TX USA 
 Executive Director Jack Cole will discuss LEAP’s last two years of progress toward ending drug prohibition, on Dean Becker’s new radio show, “Century of Lies” which débuts in the Houston-Galveston area of Texas from 8:30 to 9:00 p.m. EST on KPFT 90.1FM. You can listen on the Internet at May 3 05 Sante Fe Radio Café: KSFR 90.7FM 10:30 AM Howard Wooldridge Santa Fe New Mexico USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge and his faithful companion Misty, pause for a bit on their cross country tour to talk to Mary-Charlotte Domandi of the Sante Fe Radio Café Show on KSFR 90.7FM. Howard will be discussing the reason behind his one-man one-horse journey to end the failed war on drugs. Specific topics of discussion are sure to include drug prohbition issues related to the southwest region of the country, the waste of tax payer money on the failed war on drugs, the failed drug warrior ideology and other facets of American drug policy. Visit the Santa Fe Public Radio web site at: Follow Howard's cross country journey at
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on April 29, 2005 at 05:42:47 PT
marijuana studies
Have the 166,000 prison inmates in Texas grow medical marijuana for testing on the sick and dying. Have the 164,000 prison inmates in California grow medical marijuana for testing on the sick and dying.
Have the 79,000 prisoners that are in Florida prisons grow medical marijuana for the sick and dying. Or the 45,000 in New York or the 47,000 in Georgia or the 44,000 in Ohio or the 49,000 in Michigan or the 36,000 in Louisiana.Or the 173,000 federal prisoners could grow medical marijuana.It would do a world of good. During the Second World War, German prisoners of war were put to work to bring in the harvest in the US Midwest. They were happy to do it. A little sunshine, some good food cooked by the farmers wives, etc was better than being holed up in some place where they didn't want to be. Prisoners could become farmers and we wouldn't be in the pickle we're in... because, even though everything looks rosy, it ain't.Let's study the efficaciousness of marijuana on a grand scale and find out if it really is medicine. 2.1 million prisoner/farmers growing marijuana will be therapeutic. It will help us all.One thing is for certain: It can't go on the way it is. Any other way besides endless economic turmoil and the constant war business all over the world will be welcomed.But it won't happen and the spiralling race to the bottom will continue.That is a given, no studies will be necessary. All of the problems that beset us will continue and continue to get worse. That's the way things are.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on April 28, 2005 at 20:09:12 PT
The ACLU is one more large group working to control the government's out of control addiction to persecute cannabis.We must all stop the government from caging any more humans for using what God says is good on the 1st page of the Bible.Every step helps. Stop the cagings now.Stop the persecutions.NOW!Learn to love one another as Christ God Our Father, the Ecologician, requested in John 14-16 & 1 John; as a bonus You receive the "spirit of truth."The spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error.Don't be caught dead with out it.THCUStop caging humans for using cannabis and receive the "spirit of truth."The Green Collar Worker 
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on April 28, 2005 at 19:05:59 PT
Update on recent posting ...
Duchess' opium garden is unveiled
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on April 28, 2005 at 18:04:00 PT
Another Lie Exposed
From the last article on the bulletin...Associations of positive toxicology test results for ... cannabis ... with injury type, injury mechanisms, and outcomes were not statistically significant."Another one of Johnny Pee's myths officially debunked! unrelated...Editorial: Medical marijuana's time has come (RI) marijuana bill rekindled (AL) fringe parties enliven vote (BC) THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 am (ET) on C-SPAN2 - The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions - David Ray Griffin: Calls for Response to 9/11 - C-SPAN2 4/30/05: Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots:
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