Signs of Drug-War Shift

  Signs of Drug-War Shift

Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2005 at 19:10:17 PT
By Kris Axtman, Staff Writer of The CSM 
Source: Christian Science Monitor 

Houston, Texas -- Evidence is beginning to build that the approach to the war on drugs in the United States could be changing - by shifting attention away from small-time drug dealers and individual users toward major drug traffickers.The nation's drug czar, for one, has alluded to changes in thinking. "Break the business," said John Walters at a congressional hearing earlier this year. "Don't break generation after generation [of poor, minority young men], is what we're going for."
Another sign of a shift involves the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, which since 1988 has earmarked federal money for local communities to use in the war on drugs. Many have said the program's structure has been flawed since its inception, and now, President Bush is proposing the elimination of the program by next year - though this budget cut is still being fought in Congress.Short of the program's elimination, at least two moves are afoot to address Byrne's problems. The Texas Legislature has passed a bill that places strict limits on the drug task forces created under the program. And Sheila Jackson-Lee (D) of Texas introduced a bill this week in the US House of Representatives that would prohibit states from spending Byrne grant money on drug task forces unless they adopt laws that prevent people from being convicted solely on the word of an informant or law-enforcement officer.In all, these steps could portend larger changes in the war on drugs. "For so long, the federal government has focused on arresting a lot of low-level drug offenders instead of on stopping drugs from coming into the country or on terrorism," says Bill Piper, director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington. "But I think they are getting smarter and realizing that they can't arrest their way out of it."Indeed, many contend that the current allocation of resources has not been effective. Although prisons around the country are bulging under 1.5 million drug arrests per year, the price of drugs has never been lower, and the purity has never been higher.In discussing his 2006 budget before a House subcommittee in February, Mr. Walters touched on those concerns. "The issue is how do we best reduce the supply of drugs in the United States at the national and at the local and regional levels," he said, concluding that unless there is a shift in the fundamental approach, "you are chasing primarily small people, putting them in jail, year after year, generation after generation."What the Bush administration is realizing, especially after Sept. 11, is that federal efforts should be reprioritized and funding better spent, say analysts."There is a growing philosophical shift that the federal government shouldn't fund the daily operating expenses of local law enforcement," says David Muhlhausen, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. "They had gotten into paying officers' salaries that local communities should be paying for, and now they realize they need to focus their efforts in more urgent areas like homeland security and defense."In 2002, Dr. Muhlhausen did a study of the Byrne grant program and found "no evidence that these grants work to reduce crime."In fact, they may even contribute to it, as scandal after scandal in Texas suggests. The most notorious occurred in the Panhandle town of Tulia, when more than 40 residents were sentenced to prison after a Byrne-funded undercover officer lied in court about selling them drugs during a sting operation in 1999.Gov. Rick Perry pardoned most of the residents after nearly four years in prison and disbanded the regional drug task force. But scandals involving Byrne grants continue to occur - especially in Texas, which pumps 90 percent of the federal money into task forces, as opposed to other states, which channel 40 percent. (The rest is spent on things like drug treatment and probationary services.)"The structure of these task forces is so flawed that they create more problems than they solve," says Scott Henson, director of the Police Accountability Project for the ACLU of Texas. "They are federally funded, state managed, and locally staffed. There is no accountability."For their part, officers in charge of the drug task forces say they are being limited by the cuts to the Byrne grant program - and at a time when their communities are being ravaged by the methamphetamine epidemic.In Texas, for instance, the allocation went from $31.6 million in 2004 to $22.7 million in 2005, and many expect that the amount will be reduced again this year. Officers say that those cuts mean several Texas drug task forces will disband at the end of the month. The remaining 20 or so will be supervised by the state Department of Public Safety under the state bill just passed.Muhlhausen doesn't believe that the Byrne grants will disappear this year, but rather that the $800 million program will be cut again and eventually peter out under continued pressure from the Bush administration."I think the administration is realizing that what is a state and local responsibility isn't good fiscal policy" at the federal level, he says. And because the Tulia incident occurred while Mr. Bush was still governor of Texas, he adds, the president is "uniquely positioned to understand how this [Byrne grant] money has been misspent."Note: Efforts to end a grant program could indicate a change in the administration's approach.Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)Author: Kris Axtman, Staff Writer of The Christian Science Monitor Published:  May 27, 2005 Edition Copyright: 2005 The Christian Science Publishing SocietyContact: oped csps.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:ACLU Policy Alliance on Drugs Gone To Pot War on Pot: Wrong Drug, Wrong War Becomes Focus of Drug War The Other War - The Nation

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Comment #81 posted by Toker00 on May 30, 2005 at 06:24:04 PT
And they wonder why we lose respect for the law...
Police officers would get much more co-operation from the citizenry in dealing with real crime if they would only try to mend their relationship with the public. We hate police brutality! We hate the Blue Wall! We hate it when you don't serve and protect us but, instead, violate our Bill of Rights! We hate it when you racially profile young black men! Stop doing this, and you will have some serious help in fighting REAL Criminals! It would take only ONE change in the laws. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION!!!!! Also, you might want to end the complete sharade called War on Drugs. It's a scam. And it's RACIST. And it is a FRAUD against American Citizens!Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition) 
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Comment #80 posted by jose melendez on May 30, 2005 at 05:40:42 PT
from On Tuesday May 11th, 2005 NJWEEDMAN was attacked by New Jersey State Trooper #5773 Robert Rasinsky, who’s known as “ROWDY ROB” amongst his trooper buddies. This was an unprovoked attacked that will surely be “white-washed” as was done in a similar attack on NJWEEDMAN by NJ State Trooper Patrick Thornton #5411 in 1999.     NJWEEDMAN was going to the state capital building on legitimate business in connection to his campaign for the office of Governor. He was specifically going to PRESS ROW a public section in the state building reserved for numerous state newspapers and media outlets to deliver a campaign PRESS RELEASE. He has gone to PRESS ROW dozens of times delivering press releases without incident but on this day as he entered the building he was stopped by “ROWDY ROB” who took offense that he was wearing a shirt with a marijuana leaf and the statement “LEGALIZE CANNABIS”. Trooper Rasinsky doesn’t normally work the front door and claimed to be unfamiliar with WEEDMAN. “ROWDY ROB” falsely claimed the building was not open to the public and refused to allow weedman to pass. When weedman insisted that the building was public and he had every right as a state citizen to enter this building. TROOPER RASINSKY hand-cuffed the WEEDMAN behind his back and began to choked him by placing both hands around the front of weedman’s neck. As WEEDMAN struggled against this “ATTACK” the duo was joined by another un-named trooper who ended the melee with a swift kick to NJWEEDMAN groin. –     Immediately after this attack the New Jersey State Troopers went into CYA (COVER YOU ASS) mode and claimed NJWEEDMAN was being dis-orderly and the building was not open to the public. WEEDMAN was charged with (1) resisting arrest,(2) disorderly conduct and (3) trespassing.See also:
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Comment #79 posted by afterburner on May 30, 2005 at 04:59:30 PT
Read njweedman's Post at CC Forums
You'll find it.
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Comment #78 posted by jose melendez on May 30, 2005 at 04:16:44 PT
true commercial speech
Here's the article:,0,2984443.story?coll=va-news In the article, it noted that Andrea Barthwell...  enlisted the help of John Pastuovic, whose Chicago public relations firm specializes in issues promotion. He's sent alerts to local and national media about Wednesday's press conference, including to the networks, cable news and major newspapers.  Turns out that John Pastuovic is also the U.S. Public Relations contact for... [drum roll] ...GW Pharmaceuticals (makers of the liquid marijuana called Sativex). see also: here's the letter they did not print . . .Date:	Thu, 26 May 2005 06:29:47 -0700 (PDT)	
From:	"Air Jose Melendez" 	
Subject:	letter to editor with corrections: Mississippi, ElSohly	
To:	editor	
 	Editor, The "Just Say No" crowd insists that restraining the
cannabis (marijuana) trade sends a message to kids.
What's not so obvious is that such messages are
consistently exposed as lies, with self interest at
their root. For example, the article "Drug forum draws national
interest" quotes Andrea Barthwell, formerly employed
at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Dr.
Barthwell publicly and politically campaigned against
medical marijuana as a hoax, until she was hired by an
overseas company to assist with facilitating Food and
Drug Administration approval of Sativex, a high THC,
raw cannabis extract currently approved in Canada as
an oral medication. In US law, it is illegal to wage war against
Americans, or enable our enemies. It is also unlawful
to construct a device in restraint of trade, create a
monopoly or fix prices.  Yet the ONDCP colludes with
the Partnership for a Drug Free America to pay for
large, often full page newspaper advertisements across
the country, falsely claiming that marijuana is far
more harmful than pharmaceutical alternatives. Undisclosed in any of these ads is the fact that 15
of the top corporate donors to the PDFA manufacture
and distribute often deadly, defective drugs and
delivery devices.  From his drug testing facility and
15 acre farm, one Mississippi marijuana grower,
Mahmoud ElSohly is allowed a monopoly on any legal
marijuana sales in the government estimated $10.5
billion dollar annual pot market. Online at there are articles proudly
detailing how hemp enabled early Williamsburg
industry, providing gainful and honest employment to
the young and poor.* Indeed, this issue is larger
than Williamsburg. A war on (some) drugs undermines
truth, justice and the American way.   - - -  *
 In 1776, officials of the Williamsburg Manufacturing
Society advertised for apprentices in order to make
"some provision for the better maintenance of poor
Children." A year later the society sought young
people of African descent. John Crawford, Williamsburg
Manufactory manager, announced that a hemp mill was
being built and that the society would pay a fair
price for cotton, wool, flax, and hemp. *
 A Virginia Gazette still serves the city of
Williamsburg today. Books were more time-consuming and
complicated to produce. They were printed in
signatures of four, eight, 12, or 16 pages - two or
more pages on each side of a sheet that, when folded
and cut, presented the text in the proper order for
binding.A bookbinder compiled the signatures and beat
them with a heavy hammer to make the sheets lie close.
He arranged them on a sewing frame and stitched them
together at the back fold with linen thread. As he
sewed, he looped the strands around thick hemp cross
threads, which created characteristic horizontal
ridges across the spine and unified the assembly.  - - - Perhaps Virginia Gazzette editors will consider
disclosing these self evident truths in future
articles.  Jose Melendez
1600 Flightline BLvd.
DeLand, FL 32724386-848-1877
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Comment #77 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 20:55:34 PT:
At the risk of seeming pedantic
I'm sending the actual direct link to the article, in case the next round of news rolls it under:'ve got a feeling some sparks are going to fly real soon; *la* Barthwell has to be aware of this by now. And I also wonder if those kids who were supposed to have picketed TO BE DRUG TESTED are aware of this, too.
It could get real interesting if this letter forces her into having a real dialog with reformers, but somehow, given her past 'performances', I doubt she'll come back to Virginia after this LTE...
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Comment #76 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 20:39:26 PT
Thanks, Kaptinemo
 Charles M. Darlington presents a very clear picture of the situation. Great journalism, on his part, in a letter. I'm so glad it was printed. If journalists are unable to tell us the facts, thankfully a few brave citizens still can, and the least the corporately hamstrung media can do is print the truth sent in letters by outraged, but informed, citizens.
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Comment #75 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 19:46:58 PT
Just a Comment
kaptinemo about the LTE on Barthwell what came to my mind is this. We cannot serve two masters. I believe that wholeheartedly. We must be true to something and stay true to it. Barthwell doesn't seem to understand that concept.
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Comment #74 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 19:40:59 PT:
About Barthwell; she's in the news again 
But not in a way she would want to be: got started because of a posting at Pete Guither's DrugWarRant: Barthwell surfaces in a bizarre article from Williamsburg 
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Comment #73 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 17:48:36 PT
:-)My pleasure.
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Comment #72 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 17:20:48 PT
I bet Andrea will not say it, but I will . . .
Aw shucks, Hope, thanks! You just made my day . . .
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Comment #71 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 17:07:58 PT
what if she's . . . well, schizophrenic?
" . . . the biggest marijuana myth of all: Marijuana prohibition is an effective strategy to keep drugs out of the hands of children. Dr. Barthwell's claims not withstanding, no credible drug law reform activist asserts marijuana is totally benign. Nor are we intent on "getting marijuana into the hands of more people," especially children.   We do understand, however, that so long as there is no legal market where adults can obtain marijuana, criminal syndicates are more than willing to step in to fill the void. " "Despite Ms. Barthwell's claims, nearly half of all U.S. doctors with opinions support legalizing marijuana as a medicine, as do more than 80 prominent national and international health organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. " "In fact, what the medical community actually says is precisely the opposite of what Barthwell claims. In its official policy statement on medical marijuana, the American Public Health Association stated, "Marijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision . . . greater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use." "The one thing both sides agree upon is that marijuana is a plant - an absurdly basic fact from which the most serious of arguments stem. In the context of modern medicine, a plant is the opposite of a pill. It is grown instead of manufactured. It offers unending supply instead of controllable dosages. It exists in nature and thus cannot be patented by a pharmaceutical company - nor can it ever be as concentrated as what such companies can extract from it and repackage in a bottle of caplets.  Neither side argues that marijuana's active ingredient, THC, can have a beneficial effect for people suffering from pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by serious illnesses. Marijuana's medicinal use dates back nearly 5,000 years. It was legal in America until just before World War II. The question today's argument focuses on is not whether THC can be helpful, but whether smoking a joint is the best way to deliver that key ingredient into the body.  "There is tremendous promise with the plant," Barthwell admits. "But the way we bring medications to the marketplace in the 21st century is by taking the crude botanical, isolating [the active ingredient], then manipulating it to see if you can increase the speed of its onset of action, increase its affinity of binding to the receptor." In the case of marijuana, the discussion is about delivering THC while reducing the side effects that some studies say can come from smoking the plant, such as coughs, lung infection and cancer. " As a review, Illinois Senator Fitzgerald (R) is not seeking re-election, so there has been a race between Barack Obama (D), Jerry Kohn (L), and Jack Ryan (R). Jack, however, had a little problem -- a sex scandal involving the fact that he was interested in having sex with his own wife and then didn't. So now, everyone from Coach Ditka to Deputy Andrea is being considered.Having Miss Drug Propaganda in the race could be interesting. I know I'd have a few things to say in letters to the editor. I'd also like to see some debates with her and Kohn on the drug war. The Trib has shown in the past that they are not taken in by Barthwell's propaganda, and I doubt that she'd be able to win "Federal health officials had told doctors who recommend or prescribe the substance could risk losing their medical license. A federal appeals court ruled against the government, saying in its ruling, "physicians must be able to speak frankly and openly to patients." The Justice Department then appealed to the Supreme Court." "The doctor declares how much safer we are since the passage of the Food and Drug Act banned "folk remedies" in 1907. She conveniently ignores the fact that marijuana was a government approved medicine for 30 years after that act and was only banned after Harry Anslingers hysterical "reefer madness" campaign. She conveniently forgets that medicines approved by the FDA "Gold Standard" kill over 100,000 Americans every year.She also ignores that many if not most patients use medical marijuana through tinctures, elixirs, and vaporizers thus avoiding any potential harm from smoking. She ignores the fact that smoking tobacco remains legal and is infinitely more destructive of health (killing 500,000 Americans each year) than marijuana with no known fatalities whatsoever." Drug experts weed out myths of marijuana (Feb. 11, 2005) "I hate to say this, but if Barthwell is any indication, I'm beginning to worry about my own use of marijuana, and the possible psychological harms that may arise from my use, in that if she used daily for 15 years (her own admission- and did she herself do any prison time to get clean? If not, why force others to do the prisontime thing?), THEN went on to her current career promoting the policies that lock up others for the very same behavior, yes indeed I would be willing to be a bit nervous- but that said, I suspect that in this case as with most of the cases of schizophrenia and other insanities allegedly resulting from pot use were rather already present in these people and the pot use was only one small part of the coming out of said insanit(ies)."
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Comment #70 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 16:42:27 PT
Just a Note
By request comment 42 has been removed.
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Comment #69 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 16:24:06 PT

Russo and Barthwell
I love Dr. Russo because of my contact with him and the man I saw in his comments. He made me love him. It was easy. I'd have had to resist to not love him with the love one feels for a friend or someone one admires. Dr. Barthwell is another matter entirely. I do not admire her at all other than the fact that she, in the human body is a marvelous act of complicated creation. I pity her and do consider her an "enemy"...someone who sees no harm in doing harm to us because she does not agree with us about the cannabis plant...and is intolerant of us and feels no qualms at the injustice of jailing and "re-educating" or "treating" people who choose to use it.The "love" I feel for her, while real, comes from great effort and because of my love for God, as I know him, and his admonition to "love" my enemies and pray for them. I'm trying so hard, to see Christ in her, and love her because of that. I've never hated her...because to "hate" her would be to hate God...because "he who says he loves God, yet hates his brother is a liar”. To be angry with someone is not to hate him or her...although uncontrolled anger can certainly lead to hatred. I've been angry with my children before, but I've never hated them.I'm loving her...fiercely and with passion and determination, but it's not the same easy natural love that I feel for someone who appears in every way to be a kind, decent, and honorable man. An analogy would be that the love for one is like a beautiful wild flower that sprang forth, unbidden, a free gift, and is strong on it's own and enjoyable without having to be carefully nurtured, while the other, still a flower, has to be carefully nurtured or it will die before it ever can even produce a bloom.Understand?And you, Jose, are a huge, mighty, and extremely colorful, beautiful, and fiery wildflower type that has been a surprise gift for me, like the other "wildflowers" that have popped up in my life.
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Comment #68 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 15:35:17 PT

I don't love Barthwell only her soul. I love Dr. Russo just because he's a good guy. Remember he can't get involved in saying much. I understand needing to stay out of it for him. Barthwell's motives are very obvious to all of us here and about everywhere in the reform community.
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Comment #67 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 15:23:35 PT

conflicts of interest
We love both doctors Russo and Barthwell. Now if the latter would only admit what the former is avoiding, namely that jail for self medicating with cannabis is immoral and likely illegal, sales of Sativex would surely increase.
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Comment #66 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 15:22:27 PT

That's Right Jose
Cannabis is not a narcotic. Anyone who has ever gone thru withdrawal from a narcotic and also stopped using Cannabis will say there is no comparison between the two. It would be easier to stop using Cannabis then to stop drinking coffee in my opinion not to mention cigarettes.
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Comment #65 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 15:17:30 PT

All squares are rectangles, but the reverse is not necessarily true: something may be habit forming and kill pain but not be a narcotic may not be false advertising. That said, cannabis if classified as a nacotic may indeed be falsely advertised as such.
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Comment #64 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 15:12:45 PT

God Bless You too!Hope I think the world of Dr. Russo too. 
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Comment #63 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 15:08:34 PT

Non Narcotic
That new sleeping pill with the pretty butterfly in the commercial they say it is non narcotic. That makes people think it is not addicting. I really mind when something can be habit forming and a person can suffer withdrawal and it is mentioned as non narcotic. That is false advertising and potentially very dangerous.
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Comment #62 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 15:07:39 PT

That "salute" back at you.You're one of my spiritual treasures.
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Comment #61 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 15:02:56 PT

Dr. Russo
I still love and trust the man. I still believe he, in his heart, knows the value of the crudely labeled "crude plant" and wants the cannabis plant to be unprohibited and available to the people who will not be able to afford Sativex, and I know someday he will explain to us why he is being forced to be silent right now. I'm sure, in my heart, it is because he wants this form of the Holy plant to be legally available by prescription to those who would be fearful to use it otherwise. I won't believe he's "sold out" to the big money until he tells me so himself. It's not that at all. We all knew his character well enough to know that his heart couldn’t have been bought with a few pieces of silver or even billions of pieces.In my heart, I'm positive he's still with us one hundred percent, he's just on the inside of something that I'm sure he's wary of, for our sakes, working away for the good of all. I have no doubt that he is still steadfastly one of us.Sativex has "medical value" stamped all over it. It can't and won't be denied. It will likely be an obstacle, at first, to legalization of the plant, but eventually, I believe, it will be an obstacle that we mount and use as a podium, a bully pulpit, to be heard in our movement to give the plant back to mankind...where it belongs. If I know Dr. Russo at all, his heart and mind that is, I believe he’s well aware of that and still doing his part and more, even if he’s being forced to “lay low” at the moment, for the sake of his work.If he ever got to the point where he could see that what he was doing there was causing harm with no hope of ever being helpful to us, that he would be out of there in a flash.Maybe I'm proving my naivety, once again, but that's what I think.
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Comment #60 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 14:35:19 PT

Post 42....FDA integrity? What FDA integrity?
At the bottom of that post: " In a brief filed in U.S. ex rel. Gilligan v. Medtronic, Inc., WLF argued that permitting such suits to go forward would undermine the integrity of FDA's product-approval system and could result in patients being denied access to life-saving medical products."I find it difficult to believe that there is anyone out there, with any knowledge of what's been going on with the FDA, who still believes the FDA has any "integrity" to "undermine", as far as their approval procedures are concerned.
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Comment #59 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 14:23:00 PT

Pennyroyal is Legal Too
I grew Pennyroyal a few years ago just because it was pretty. in the past has been used to induce abortions, although it has other strong effects on the body when taken orally, and should be used with extreme caution.
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Comment #58 posted by global_warming on May 29, 2005 at 14:19:19 PT

Falung Gong
While listening to some their music, I am reminded, that the Son Of Man, is alive and well, he is breathing in China.Hey Fom, when you and Hope ever get together to write that book, I have to read it..You two gals got the jive and rhythms,may God Bless you both,If you ever pass my way, My salute and that little guy,Making his cross, supports you both,God love you all, gw
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Comment #57 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 14:14:36 PT

It works now, I don't know why not before.
You can right click this to download or just click and read the response from GWPharm:
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Comment #56 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 14:10:27 PT

Extremely poisonous plants all around us.
I was recently behind a man at the customer service desk at our local Wal-Mart as he was trying to return some lovely, yet extremely poisonous oleander plants that he had bought there. He didn't know how poisonous they were when he unwittingly bought them and when he found out, he became alarmed for his grandchildren's sake. The woman behind the counter seemed doubtful, and overhearing, I mentioned that they were, indeed, extremely poisonous and had even been found complicit in murder cases as well as accidental poisonings. They can freely sell deadly plants at Wal-Mart, even to children. Yet the prohibition, even for adults, of the simple, non poisonous cannabis plant, is enforced at the expense of billions of dollars, and putting thousands of people in cages and ruining their lives, each year.If we can trust the oleander plant to Wal-Mart to sell without even so much as a Buyer Beware...why not the cannabis plant?At the url listed below you will find a list of just a few of the wonderful plants growing all around us that can prove to be suddenly or slowly fatal to humans and animals alike.
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Comment #55 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 14:03:22 PT

"There is no reason cannabis should be illegal...&
I've been informed that I misunderstood the request to post the file in it's entirety, apparently I was supposed to a link to the .pdf " . . . not put on the WWW so that
everyone could take statements out of context and dissect them . . . "Apologies to all for the error. I tried several times to to post the pdf at and with no success at seeing the file in any other way than via ftp.Contact me at airjos (at) if you want a copy emailed to you.That said, the GWpharm reference to the word "crude" sounded so familiar, I could not resist the opportunity to frame these arguments _in_ context . . . Here is some background on the etymology, if you will, of the crude botanical argument as it applies to those with a clear motive and who most likely have exploited their means and opportunity in a flagrant attempt to earn otherwise unlikely pay or profits: "The people who are advancing marijuana as a medicine are perpetuating a cruel hoax that exploits our compassion for the sick," Barthwell says. "They are using patients' pain and suffering in an attempt to change America's drug control policy. Marijuana is a crude plant product that most definitely is not a medicine."It's a curious statement, given that it seems to reflect neither the views of the international scientific community nor those of the government's own regulatory agencies. For one thing, the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing 139 new-drug applications involving botanical research products, so plant-based medicines certainly aren't anathema. As for cannabis, in 1999 the Institute of Medicine, working at the behest of the White House drug czar's office, issued a lengthy report that assessed the scientific evidence concerning potential medical uses of marijuana. Its preeminent recommendation: "Research should continue into physiological effects of synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoids." Barthwell, however, says that marijuana hasn't been standardized for pharmaceutical production. Nor is there any evidence, she says, that the plant's various compounds can be reliably produced in consistent concentrations.from: Dr Geoffrey Guy, the mild-mannered founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, was eager to update Cannabis Culture readers about his company's successful efforts to use raw, blended cannabis extracts in GW's proprietary "medical delivery devices" to treat a variety of medical conditions. says that even if "little Johnny got a hold of a bottle of our extracts and sprayed the whole thing in his mouth, he might get sick or really high, but he is not going to die. Cannabis is one of the safest medicines known to humanity. It is unlikely to cause death, even in extreme overdose." Crude cannabis contains most of its THC in the form of delta-9-THC acids that must be decarboxylated by heating to be activated. This occurs automatically when cannabis is smoked, whereas cannabis that is employed orally should be heated to 200-210ûC. for 5 minutes prior to ingestion (Brenneisen 1984). "Waxes remain in the crude extract, which have to be removed in a separate step. Then we take those two crude extracts and we formulate them together to achieve precisely the desired ratio..." "A crude plant is definitely not a medicine," Barthwell said. "A surgeon doesn't come to a patient recovering from surgery and give them a pipe of opium - you give them a derivative."The Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana for medical use. A 1978 Illinois law allows participants in federally approved research projects to use medical marijuana, but that law never has been implemented. Barthwell conjured up images of people "gulping" smoke from crude cigarettes as if smoking was the only way to ingest cannabis. This couldn't be further from the truth. Many patients find relief by eating cannabis, and newer methods allow the cannabis to be vaporized by a machine and then inhaled. Further, she implied that supporters of medical marijuana believe it can cure any ailment. "I doubt it was in the scheme that the great Creator would put one plant on Earth that could cure everything wrong with you," Barthwell said -- as the audience laughed. Did the audience laugh because it realized how ridiculous this comment was? Unfortunately, probably not. None of the people that I know who support medical marijuana believe that it is a God-given panacea. But Barthwell insists that this is what medical marijuana supporters believe. In order to gain approval by the FDA and DEA, however, GWP has developed the "Advanced Delivery System" (ADS) for the American market. With it, the liquid or solid drug is contained in a cartridge that pops into a failsafe, access-coded device with Big Brotherish features such as a quantity monitor that reports to doctors on how high the patient is getting. "In the US, this is how it will be," Russo resignedly stated. There is no reason cannabis should be illegal, Russo said, since it is less harmful than other legal, addictive substances like nicotine, alcohol caffeine.There is no evidence - such as tolerance or withdrawal - that cannabis is addictive, Russo said.He said none of his subjects ever had to increase their dosages, and that if anything, some of them improved and were able to decrease their intake amounts. The patients had "cannabis drought," meaning they suffered from pain related to their illnesses if their cannabis shipment was late, but there was no evidence of withdrawal, he said . . . See also:
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Comment #54 posted by Hope on May 29, 2005 at 13:31:30 PT

Still appalled
at the extreme ignorance of the British high court in their recent decision.I pray that our top judges, the Supreme Court Justices, don't prove to be so horrendously ignorant and biased as theirs.Do they still wear those hideous wigs? If so, maybe they had better lift the edges of them a bit and let some air reach their heads. Their lack of knowledge on the subject of cannabis is astounding. They should be forced, because of extreme incompetence, to retire as soon as possible for the good of their country.

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Comment #53 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 13:28:53 PT:

Thank you, FoM, but I don't want to belabor
the point. Having done much ersatz carpentry in my day, I learned long ago that if you hammer the nail *too* hard, you'll split the wood. I'm trying to avoid doing so...if I haven't already. That's partly the reason for my long sabbaticals; give the pinkies and virtual mouth a rest so others can have 'the talking stick'. Everybody must be heard. It's what me and Stick and every man and woman who ever wore the green (or blue or khaki) wanted to make sure we still could. That's what this weekend is all about. For me it's not about sales; it's about flags at gravestones. But as far as I am concerned, the government's been hijacked by opportunists who never had to sweat blood to earn what they have, and feel exclusively entitled to something that belongs to us all. They've reached into every facet of life, trying to twist government to serve and enrich them, and they don't care who they hurt in the process. And the MMJ issue is a tiny, tiny part of that...but no less indicative of the struggle the citizens of this country face to get that government back.
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Comment #52 posted by afterburner on May 29, 2005 at 13:28:44 PT

Apparently Tobacco and Alcohol Have Medical Uses
Apparently Tobacco and Alcohol Have Medical UsesTobacco is un-scheduled is un-scheduled, what about smoke from fireplaces, campfires, and barbeques? Should they all be banned as health hazards?
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Comment #51 posted by Toker00 on May 29, 2005 at 13:17:05 PT

 I wonder...
It just doesn't make sense for a small group of humans to have the final say so on how medicine is injested. Isn't there medicine you put in a voporizer and inhale? Vick's vapor therapy or some such? Isn't this heated to release the medicine? Aren't they comparing the danger of inhaling ANY smoke exclusively to tobacco smoke and no other smoke? Which has all the ADDED chemicals which DO cause damage? Sure, the toxic smoke of a house fire would be dangerous to inhale. But what about all of us who have inhaled Cannabis smoke for thirty or fourty years, who have not developed enphasema or cancer? Wouldn't this give reason to differenciate between what KIND of smoke is dangerous to inhale? Seems to me Cannabis has a far higher smoking safety threshold than Tobacco. Have there been studies exclusive to smoked medicine? Have there been attempts to study OTHER medicines injested by smoking? Or did "they" just decide since CANNABIS is smoked, not swallowed, injected or applied, the delivery method is wrong? Maybe smoking medicine is the thing of the future. Maybe "smoking" your medicine is safer than forcing it through all the rest of your organs to get to the target, causing serious, even deadly,"side effects" along the way? Besides, the delivery method is irrelevent to those who claim medical cannabis is fraud. To them, NO delivery method is acceptable.Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition)   
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Comment #50 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 13:04:37 PT

You don't have to shut up. This is a very big issue. Personally for me I have never stayed involved in a project as long as I have with CNews. I'm just one activist in the very big scheme of things. Everyones efforts are important and should be valued in a democracy. Money doesn't influence me as to the worth of anything. I'm too old to be fooled by that.
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Comment #49 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 13:00:03 PT:

One last thing, and I'll shut up about this
For GWP to try to take the moral high ground by claiming this is the only route medicinal cananbis can take is disengenuous at best...and I won't tell you what I think of what I think of it at the worst end of the spectrum. But activists have been working for long, hard YEARS for MMJ, many of them actually being killed (Peter McWilliams, for one) for their efforts. This struggle has been going on way before GWP diddy-bopped onto the scene, and I don't take too kindly to my and other people's efforts to make the democratic process work the way it should and hold government accountable to the people it is supposed to serve being made light of in that fashion.The recent problems the FDA has been suffering from result from only one word: CORRUPTION. Corruption of both the drug certification process and individuals supposedly running it for the benefit of the citizens, but it becomes painfully clear it's being run to benefit the very pharma companies the FDA is supposed to watchdog. As the old saying goes: Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Does GWP need to be fitted for a collar?DOES IT?

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Comment #48 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 12:58:13 PT

One More Thing
Many medicinal herbs ( weeds ) have mind altering properties not just Cannabis Sativa. 
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Comment #47 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 12:56:23 PT

Health Food Stores
Cannabis is an herb. Herbs are just weeds that have known medicinal value. Cannabis shouldn't be isolated from the Herbal Market. 
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Comment #46 posted by BGreen on May 29, 2005 at 12:49:03 PT

I share your feelings, FoM
I'm just about at the point that I favor the whole sneaky, keep it to yourself form of self-treatment ... if it weren't for that pesky little *cops = loss of property = loss of freedom* thingy.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #45 posted by afterburner on May 29, 2005 at 12:47:23 PT

FDA Standards: Unconvincing
"In both our publications and presentations, GW has repeatedly stressed that only a cannabis-based pharmaceutical product--one that is standardized in composition, formulation, and dose, administered by means of an appropriate alternative delivery system, and tested in properly controlled preclinical and clinical studies--can meet the FDA standards and those of other regulatory authorities around the world."Vioxx, Aleve, Prozac, Viagra: FDA-approved with nasty side-effects."GW believes that adherence to such regulatory processes is essential to protect patient health and safety, and that only medicines which undergo such rigorous scrutiny can and should become available to patients on prescription."
"properly controlled preclinical and clinical studies": expensive, guarantee that only Big Pharma can launch medicine. Smacks of Codex attempt to control all herbs and supplements."only medicines which undergo such rigorous scrutiny can and should become available to patients on prescription."
Not political, oh, no! Is this the future of Health Canada (now that Sativex has been approved), US-style DEA raids on compassion societies? Operation Headhunter-style crackdown on medical cannabis paraphernalia? Arrests of medical cannabis growers? What's next, Asian-style life imprisonment or the death penalty?
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Comment #44 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 12:28:39 PT:

Thanks Jose!
Ultimately, no matter GWP's desire to remain above the fray, it has introduced a catalyst to a VERY explosive mixture. It won't matter what they want. The fact is, no matter how it's blended, homogenized, pasteurized, strained through fine linen, "shot from guns!" (as one old puffed rice cereal commercial went), whatever, it's still cannabis. The entire basis of their argument is that cannabis has medicinal qualities. The same thing we've been saying all along. The same thing the antis have been denying all along. If we take GWP's statement at face value, then, according to their lights, we shouldn't have access to the herbs and vitamins that FoM, me, and so many others take.Said herbs and vitamins haven't been put through the FDA's much vaunted - and recently shown to be disgracefully inept - process...and every time the FDA tries, they get their butts kicked politically. The public may not know much about the labyrinthine and Byzantine games played between the FDA and the corporations, but they want their herbs and vitamins, and woe to the fool who tries to take them. GWP wants to stay in the ivory tower and not get its' pinkies soiled? Sorry, it's brutal down here in the trenches...and they'll have to run the gauntlet, sooner of later. 
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Comment #43 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 12:00:30 PT

My Feelings
GW Pharm doesn't need to endorse smoking cannabis but it shouldn't talk down about it to make the tried and true way of consuming cannabis seem wrong for those who know it works for them.Let's say the whole medical marijuana community decides to use Cannabis prepared in a food or as prepared capsules or in butter or milk etc. then that should be an area where no one is upset with another. Nicholson, with the Wo/Men's Alliance
for Medical Marijuana, who says she suffers
from rheumatoid arthritis, sits with her bag
of marijuana next to bottles of cannabis milk
at City Hall in Santa Cruz, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2002. 
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Comment #41 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 11:48:22 PT

Herbs, Extracts and Tinctures
When I started taking herbs years ago I bought alcohol based extracts. The health food store owner said herbs in oil aren't as strong. Then you have some herbs that aren't water soluble like Kava and must be made in an oil extract or maybe an alcohol extract. Cannabis is not water soluble either and I would assume it would work the same way since herbs are herbs but some are water soluble and some aren't.
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Comment #40 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 11:37:23 PT:

FoM, I believe you've made my point.
Any attempts to patent the extracts from the drug, whether it came from clones or hybrids, so long as they possess the same physical effects as the 'crude smoked drug', open them to possible lawsuits based upon attempting to patent Nature. It also points out, in a way that Korporate Amerika really hates to become common knowledge, that prohibition is a lie if Sativex gets the nod and it's nothing but, as Rob Kampia so succinctly put it - AND, INTERESTINGLY, NO ONE FROM GWP HAS REBUTTED THIS STATEMENT - it's just 'liquid marijuana'. The antis have done everything in their power to keep medical efficacy of cannabis out of the courts by denying the medical defense in MMJ cases. But they won't be able to do so for very long should Sativex become available in the States. Unless I am mistaken, the only thing they may be able to patent is the DISPENSING REGULATION system that's supposed to prevent 'abuse'; as I tried (in my less than clear way) vaporization is pretty much a matter of public knowledge. Again, I could be wrong, and must hope that much more knowledgeable folks will come visit us here and explain in detail.
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Comment #39 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 11:26:25 PT

Let Me Try This Again
Lets say GW Pharm has clones that have protection by some patent. That would only be the exact type they have and nothing that varies from it. I hope this makes some sense.
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 11:15:01 PT

They might have rights to their clones that make their extract but clones are only one generation off from being something else if my thinking is right. What I mean is each type of cannabis is unique unless it is strickly clones. I'm guessing now.
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Comment #37 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 11:10:12 PT:

And this is why I say a court case involving
Sativex could well prove prohibition's downfall. Because, if I AM wrong, and GWP is *not* claiming any special properties for it's product and is, tacitly if not publicly, admitting it's just highly refined hash oil, then we have the antis in the legal gunsights for once and may be able to deliver a legal *coup de grace* to prohibition once and for all.
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Comment #36 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 11:02:23 PT:

That's *ex cathedra*, free translation: From the horse's mouth. As in 'the straight skinny'. THE 'word'. Or as we used to say in the Army, "Now, this is no s**t, lissenup!"
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Comment #35 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 10:58:04 PT:

FoM, I see your point
But mine is that GWP appears to be claiming that their re-blended cannabis oil is somehow the same thing as a common alcohol-suspended hash oil tincture; I don't believe that they are claiming *only* the delivery system is exclusively patentable; they are also claiming the product itself as being, due to the 'refinement' process, also patentable. Maybe I'm wrong; anyone who has a better grasp of the issue is, of course, quite free to jump in and correct me. But it would seem to me the only ones who could do so *ex cathdera* would be someone from GWP, and they aren't talking, at least not to the MMJ community. That in itself causes me to worry...
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 10:41:42 PT

This is confusing for me. There are many delivery systems. There are vaporizers, tinctures, prepared in food, hookahs, joints etc. The plant can not be patented just the delivery system. If someone copied the GW Pharms delivery system a law suit could prevail. As long as another device didn't copy GW Pharms device it should be fine.Patent: To obtain a patent on or for something, such as an invention. 
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Comment #33 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 10:29:28 PT:

FoM, the main point is: What *legal* means will 
be used to prevent someone who *already came up with an unpatented system (vaporization methods have been around for centuries before Volano vaporizors and the like became available in the last decade) of delivery based upon off-the-shelf technology not derived from special processes but publicly available* (again, Volcano's and their brethren) from using this method? This appears to be the heart of Mr. Lucas's legal quandary. His tincture must be vaporized. But it would appear that GWP is also trying to preclude access to natural cannabis by hiring the likes of (formerly, taxpayer paid propagandist) Andrea Barthwell as their 'in' with Uncle. First she says cananbis has no medical use; NOW she says only the 'crude, smoked drug' has no medical usefulness, but (queue Gomer Pyle's "Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!") you can expect very shortly to hear from her (corporately bought) lips that only Sativex does.This stinks like the proverbial skunk...the mammal, not the strain. I've built my own vaporizers in the past, but they were crude, hard to precisely control and destroyed too much weed in the process. I gave up trying after superior devices came on the market. (And no, I don't have one. I guess I am too cantankerous; I prefer my hookah.) If I were to build one again, make a tincture, and vaporize it, does that put me in the legal gunsights? By GWP's reasoning, apparently so. Unless I am missing something. 
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 10:19:28 PT

I agree once again.
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Comment #31 posted by BGreen on May 29, 2005 at 10:17:57 PT

I really care about Dr. Russo and always will
That's why I'm so sad and confused.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 10:12:50 PT

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Comment #29 posted by BGreen on May 29, 2005 at 10:10:36 PT

I lost a lot of respect for all GW employees
when their spokesman stated cannabis smoking is harmful, and used extrapolated tobacco studies as proof.GW pharmaceuticals IS trying to keep cannabis illegal in all other forms and using lies and hired liars to espouse disproved propaganda.What in the HELL is Dr. Russo doing? Remember, we did warn him about our fears.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 10:10:30 PT

I don't feel a need to edit a post of yours. Keep up the good work you are doing! 
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 10:00:26 PT

GW Pharm can patent it's delivery system I believe but not the plant.
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Comment #26 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 09:57:52 PT

duplication of effort 
The rest of the story, for you legal types out there:"Guy's warning was reiterated shortly after I arrived in England to interview him, when Mark Rogerson, GW's grey-templed, elegantly dressed, public-relations man, met me at the Oxford train station. "Once it's approved and Sativex becomes a medicine under the law, there needs to be a minor change in legislation so it can be prescribed," he said, as he steered his Hyundai (his Audi was in the shop) into near-gridlock."The Home Office has already said they will do that, and then patients will be taking a legal medicine. But if you are an MS sufferer, it would still be illegal for you to grow cannabis at the bottom of the garden to treat your symptoms. Our medicine will be legal, but anything else will not be."
Would you pay $73 to fund a Million Marijuana Lawsuit? Call 386 848-1877
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Comment #25 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 09:51:58 PT:

FoM, and anyone else who is interested
Go here: Corporate Cannabis the article:*The Vancouver Island Compassion Society also produces a cannabis spray, albeit a much simpler version. Unlike Sativex, which is a patented medicine, the Society's spray is a tincture of cannabis administered via a vapourizer called Cannamist.Last May, Lucas received a foretaste of possible legal battles to come with GW, Bayer AG, and its subsidiary Bayer Canada, when he described Cannamist at a medical marijuana conference held by a group called Patients Out of Time, at the University of Virginia. Geoffrey Guy happened to be in the audience, and afterward approached Lucas and asked him if he'd had a chance to look at the any of the many patent applications GW has for Sativex. "He said it with a twinkle in his eye," recalls Lucas, "but with firmness in his voice."There is no question that GW plans to enforce its patents on Sativex, which is a precisely dosed medicine. Warns Guy: "To protect our extensive investment, we have sought to identify and patent certain inventions throughout the growing, extraction and manufacturing process. My comments to Mr. Lucas were made as a friendly and, hopefully, helpful gesture as I did not wish him to invest a great amount of effort into obtaining approval for a product as a prescription medicine only to find that he did not have the freedom to operate in the first place."*It doesn't get any clearer than that; IMHO, it's like being legally threatened by Bayer because you made your own white willow bark tea to ease a headache instead of using buying a bottle of aspirin, or grinding fresh cloves to make oil for a toothache.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 09:44:29 PT

I checked me email and nothing was there about a threat but I do remember something about this from a while ago. GW Pharm does not own the rights to the Cannabis plant. No one but God owns the rights to the Cannabis plant and He gave it to everyone on this earth. Corporate control has always turned me off and the rights of humanity have always turned me on!
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Comment #23 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 09:39:59 PT:

Something else just occured to me
As with all new drugs, inevitably there are lawsuits. Like night follows day. Imagine what might happen if during a lawsuit regarding Sativex, for whatever reason, the mention is made that it is nothing but a reblended form of cannabis. The obvious question arises: besides liquifying, packaging and the delivery system, what's the difference?The difference is obvious: the corporate version got the nod because it has the potential(or maybe already has?) to put money in the wallets of corporate sponsors of politicians.GWP's legal wonks *must* know what a dangerous risk - to their hoped-for legal monopoly that is - that that kind of court case would be. So do antis; they've struggled to keep the facts about cannabis from being mentioned in court for decades; the 'discovery' phase of any trial would perforce lead to widespread dissemination of facts about cannabis. It's a legal landmine waiting for someone to step on.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 29, 2005 at 09:26:53 PT

When did GW Pharm threaten Philippe Lucas over a tincture? I haven't checked me email today but I will. 
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Comment #21 posted by kaptinemo on May 29, 2005 at 09:22:26 PT:

In Re: FoM's 'Control' theory
I tend to agree, but with a caveat: That the original intent was in fact two-fold and immediate: both societal control AND corporate profiteering by eliminating the competition provided by cannabis.I won't bore anybody with the details; we've read and said them often enough. Just about everybody who reads this - including *you*, antis - knows the history. We've left enough links to the facts often enough. But the theory of the corporate agenda to close off access to natural, whole cannabis (or as *la* Barthwell is increasingly referring to it, the 'crude, smoked drug') in favor of it's plastic wrapped, spray-bottle corporate *clone* is being further drawn into the level of reality.The actions of GW Pharma to legally threaten Philippe Lucas for distributing a *tincture* of cannabis (people have been making tinctures of cannabis since time, immemorial; where does GW come off pulling a stunt like that?) is a clear indication the above mentioned corporate agenda is very much alive and well and has moved to the next obvious step...a step that many activists have predicted.It is also why, at the very same time (surprise, surprise) we see the antis making ever more shrill and hysterical claims about 'mayr-ee-wah-na". The attempt is being made to associate the 'baaaaad' cannabis (that you can grow on your own for pennies on the dollar after the initial investments) with criminality...while they ready the 'good' cannabis for a major corporate debut. Here's where that societal control also comes in; it's not just the police truncheon being readied for your heads, it's also the corporate/government program to propagandize the public to realize that, yes, cannabis DOES have medicinal properties after all (despite all the lying to the contrary that's gone on before; I'd like to see how the advertising will square *that*)...but we only want you to use our 'good' cannabis...and pay through the nose for it.More "Emperor's Clothes". More "Smoke and Mirrors". More BS. But this time, it's too transparent. And it's happenning when the economy is in a bad way. Few of the people who really, desperately need cannabis can afford to wait for the fancy (and no doubt expensive) spray bottle. When this product hits the market, no amount of slick advertising can mask the history. A history many of the public will want to know, when they make the connection of Sativex=cannabis and want to know why the pricey spray bottle is legal and the (cheap-if-it-were-legal) bud isn't. A history many of us can recount in our sleep. Control? Yes. Profiteering? Yes. Simultaneously, and with intent, not accident. And it's getting more obvious all the time...
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on May 29, 2005 at 07:18:37 PT

FoM, If You Want to Edit Comment #19 for Size...
Here is a shorter link to the London Free Press story, "Averse to pot laws, poet objects in rhyme"
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Comment #19 posted by afterburner on May 29, 2005 at 07:08:50 PT

More Canadian Activism: Rally Supports Hippy Cafe
Averse to pot laws, poet objects in rhyme
KATE DUBINSKI, Free Press Reporter  2005-05-29 05:46:01 
 With the harrassment of the Hippy Cafe (London, ON), Planetary Pride (police seize supplier lists in Sudbury, ON) and Schapelle Corby's heartless 20-year conviction for cannabis "trafficking" based on all-too-familiar circumstantial evidence in Indonesia, the time to stand in support of cannabis war victims and against government obstinance is NOW! "Won't back down."We have become the cannabis guard dogs. Don't bite us, we might just bite you back.
Counterpoint: Saturday Morning Fever, The Asian Age India | M.J. Akbar
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Comment #18 posted by jose melendez on May 29, 2005 at 07:05:01 PT

That the War on (some) Drugs enables employment for habitually latent and overt racists is clear:from: "Many police forces changed from a .32 caliber to a .38 caliber pistol because the smaller gun was supposedly unable to kill black men when they were high on cocaine."see also: and Also, don't be so sure the creators of Public Enemy were "unaware of what happened early last century with the formulation of the first drug laws"from:" . . . political player, Russell Simmons is most famous as the co-founder of Def Jam Records, the label that launched Run-DMC, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, and along the way propelled hip-hop out of the ghetto and into the Mall of America . . . "
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Comment #17 posted by afterburner on May 28, 2005 at 23:16:30 PT

Hope & FoM, E_Johnson 's Back Pages
IN Wisconsin Should Take Lead In Marijuana Research:Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on January 15, 2002 at 13:15:20 PT 
The next battle in this war is here"It is a modern fallacy that people need huge corporations run by technocrats to control their medicine."The dosage of cannabinoids is best controlled by the patient, not by some highly paid technocrat with a security badge in some gated industrial park."Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on January 15, 2002 at 14:17:23 PT 
Pharmaceuticalizing won't stop the culture war"If the science community cared at all about the human rights of marijuana users, if the science community cared at all about this cultural project of exterminating marijuana from America, there would be no Schedule I status of marijuana, that would have been scientifically attacked and debunked and eliminated a long time ago."The science community has been ignoring the scientific falsehoods at the foundation of marijuana prohibition because marijuana users are also people regarded as social expendables or undesirables in the puritan ideology of science. "That's why this optimistic view of medical marijuana users being rescued by science and the pharmaceutical industry alarms me so. "Purity and control -- just look at who gets arrested for marijuana possession, and it's obvious what we've been trying to purify and control."Medical Freedom Amendment for 2005 - Medical Self-Determination, the next frontier.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on May 28, 2005 at 22:49:34 PT

The money
For sure. I know it's about money and greed and a sort of perverted welfare for those involved in promoting and enforcing it. And I knew it was about race from the start and I know racism has been a large part of it to this day. That's obvious. I've never really believed it was really about protecting children. It's just after reading your comments, it occurred to me that it's likely a bigger part of it, to this day…an actual conspiracy… than I had imagined. I knew it was bad…but now I’m thinking the racism part of it is much worse than I had realized. That it's perhaps the missing answer to that other "why?" that I'm always wondering about. Like why do people put up with it? and why can't they see? and all that. I'm thinking now it's more about racial fear and class fear than I had realized. I knew it was there, I had just never realized the possible magnitude before.Like I’ve said before, preferring to be naive about some things, and being rather naïve about quite a bit…especially the darker side of some people’s natures…it can sometimes nearly floor me when full awareness hits.

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Comment #15 posted by FoM on May 28, 2005 at 21:08:19 PT

When I think of the drug war I don't think of it as all the same. It has more meaning then just one thing. Let's see if I can explain this right. The war on marijuana is a war to keep the money coming in. That's the part of the war that is centered around what about the children. Forfeitures and big fines help finance the drug war and because it is a minor drug and not one that promotes violence it's easy. More fines then jail in this one.Now the other drug war. I stand by my feelings of the purpose of the other drug war. Look at the differences in crack and cocaine sentencing. I think they still are different but maybe they have the same penalities now and I don't know it. Look at the prison population and when we do why is it so out of balance? That's why I believe there are two drug wars.Ones about money and the other about control.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on May 28, 2005 at 20:36:31 PT

My Lord! Could it be?
Kap, Fom, Is it possible that's the answer to the question we have asked so many times? Why the Drug War? Why the war on marijuana? Why, when it makes absolutely no sense at all?Is it possible that that's really what it's about? That it was right in front of us all the time and we were too innocent of racism to imagine that was it all along? We realized that it might...even likely, be a big part of it and we knew that was why it started but is it possible that's really what it's still about?Oh my Lord. It's unfathomable that that's it...but it is, isn't it?

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Comment #13 posted by kaptinemo on May 28, 2005 at 20:13:37 PT:

FoM, more true than you know
In Dan Baum's book "Smoke and Mirrors", he reported a comment made by a police officer regarding the "Weed and Seed" program that was being fronted back in the early 1990's. The cop was watching Black youngsters playing basketball and commented that the new laws would give them the 'tools' to 'deal' with them; if I remember the quote properly, it went "That's how we'll 'take care' of those people." I wish I had the book with me right now and could give you the page number, but I'm away from home and can't get it.But you get the idea; even though the cop was much more circumspect than to use any epithets, the intent was crystal clear. All he did was say what's usually not openly said...unless you read some of the racial slurs posted on DEAwatch.There's a Black rap group called Public Enemy; their logo is a silhouette of a Black man with a rifle scope's crosshair superimposed on it. Although I am sure they are probably unaware of what happened early last century with the formulation of the first drug laws (which at first made no bones about the intended victims: transplanted Asians, Hispanics and Blacks) their logo carries a deeper meaning now. Because *that* in a nutshell encapsulates the DrugWar's racist origin and it's continued use as a political weapon.
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on May 28, 2005 at 16:45:30 PT

Colorado people see Howard at a event
Jun 1 05 Mountain Foothills of Evergreen 06:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Golden Colorado USA 
 Never fading in his desire to get out the truth about the failure of drug prohibition is Board Member Howard Wooldridge as he meets for dinner and discussion with members of the Mountain Foothills of Evergreen. Jun 1 05 Bellevue Libertarian Party 06:30 PM Bellevue Washington USA 
 The Bellevue Libertarian Party welcomes LEAP to speak about issues related to the failure of drug prohibibiton. The discussion is sure to explore the connection between drug trafficking and violence and how prohibition perpetuates the cycle of violence and hopelessness existing in the inner cities. LEAP speaker to be announced. Jun 2 05 Denver South East Rotary 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Denver Colorado USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge stops for breakfast and discussion of drug prohibition related issues with members of the Denver South East Rotary. Stay informed on Howard and Misty's cross country LEAP tour at Jun 3 05 Evergreen Rotary 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Golden Colorado USA 
 Members of the Evergreen Rotary welcome Board Member Howard Wooldridge and his horse Misty for breakfast. During this time, Howard will be discussing his cross country journey to spread the word about America's failed war on drugs. Follow Howard and Misty's trek at Jun 7 05 Littleton Rotary 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Littleton Colorado USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge lunches with members of the Littleton Rotary to discuss issues related to the failures of drug prohbition. Jun 7 05 Greeley Golden K Kiwanis 09:30 AM Howard Wooldridge Greeley Colorado USA 
 Members of the Greeley Golden K Kiwanis welcome Board Member Howard Wooldridge for discussion of issues related to the failure of drug prohbition. Jun 7 05 NORML for Boulder 07:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Boulder Colorado USA 
 No one is more normal or bolder than Board Member Howard Wooldridge when he meets with members of the NORML for Boulder organization. Howard will be discussing his cross country journey and efforts that LEAP is pursuing to end the failed war on drugs, as well as specific issues that affect the great state of Colorado. This event is open to the public and will be held at the Boulder Library. For a map to the library, visit Follow Howard on his journey at 
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Comment #11 posted by jose melendez on May 28, 2005 at 12:02:11 PT

bleeding edge
" . . . lay the blame for the massive amount of minority incarceration SQUARELY at the feet of the DrugWar...and it's proponents."from:"A new bill in Congress would strengthen and expand mandatory minimums for drug offenses, which I happen to think is a terrible idea. My friends at the Judicial Conference of the United States agree, and The King County Bar Association even drafted a resolution to surrender the War on Drugs in favor of state regulation of the laws.The government should not be asking us to foot the bill for more prisons and more prisoners. With the added pressure the War on Drugs has put on our prison system, wouldn't money be better spent building treatment centers instead? Perhaps (get ready for the conspiracy theory) the U.S. prison system is a business, complete with a brand name -- UNICOR -- and slave labor protected by the 13th Amendment. More prisoners mean more business. Never mind that 92 percent of prison wardens favor residential treatment programs for non-violent offenders. When we let media-induced fear of violent crime influence our votes, we allow this to happen. Private prison investment transforms a system built for rehabilitation and reform into a government supported industry. "
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 28, 2005 at 10:26:09 PT

Don't anyone take this wrong but way back when I read about how they were going to ratchet up the drug war ( 80s ) I thought well that will be the way to keep black people and minorities from becoming the majority. Slaves were freed and the drug war would be away of controlling them again.
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on May 28, 2005 at 10:20:11 PT:

Many thanks for the links, Jose
But in the very first link, there was one thing I found disturbing: a glaring omission. That omission is to lay the blame for the massive amount of minority incarceration SQUARELY at the feet of the DrugWar...and it's proponents. They danced all around it, but still are not yet willing to come right out and say it.Until they do, they will continue to suffer the predations of the DrugWarriors with the pol's blessings, because the pols haven't had the DrugWar excorriated publicly by the minority leadership. When the pols *are* embarassed by the minority leadership's bringing up the correlation between the racist *origin* of the War on Drugs and it's obvious, INTENDED results, the policy will shift much faster.One more thing: *"There is a growing philosophical shift that the federal government shouldn't fund the daily operating expenses of local law enforcement..."They had gotten into paying officers' salaries that local communities should be paying for, and now they realize they need to focus their efforts in more urgent areas like homeland security and defense."*How many times has the danger of allowing the Feds to interfere, through the vehicle of these grants, with local control of local police, been mentioned here? I don't know, and I've been amongst the most vociferous about this. Tulia is what results when the local LEOs start thinking of the Feds as their masters, not the local municipalities, counties and States they are supposed to be answerable to. And now? Now that the money is drying up, THOSE VERY SAME LEOs WILL HAVE TO FACE THE COMMUNITIES THEY HARMED WHILE DOING THE FED'S BIDDING. They will no longer be shielded from local ire by a Fed the goon who helped perpetrate the disgrace of Tulia has learned, as well as his comrades. Payback is approaching in very quiet, high-priced lawyer's shoes.Finally, this article demonstrates something: it is once more proof positive that CNEWS is the on 'bleeding edge' of DrugWar policy dissection and critique; this matter was brought up here YEARS before this wonk woke up and realized the obvious. Good jobs, people!
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Comment #5 posted by dididadadidit on May 28, 2005 at 07:59:05 PT

What About SenselessBrainer and SenselessSouder?
This shift flies in the face of proposals by SenselessBrainer (Rethugnican-Wisconsin) that would expand on mandatory minimum sentencing for - - -1. Sharing of any amount of illegal drug in an "urban" area
2. Sharing a joint with anyone who has been in rehab
3. Failing to turn in ones kids to the police within 24 hours when learning of any illegal involvement with drugsTo the extent this stupid SOB gets rethugnican support for his house proposals, it goes directly against Walter's BS of the day. Rethugnican family values, my posterior! Throw the parents in jail and raise siblings by the state because the parents fail rat out their experimenting 17 year old? Concentrate on violators in "urban" areas? Sounds like a good way to guarantee the continuing arrest and removal from voting rolls of city folks (black minority, as usual). And then there is Souder, urinating and moaning precisely about these very same budget cuts, he the author of the law denying college loans to the marijuana tainted, forever, regardless of having served the time.It is good to see the SOBs in disagreement and disarray, but I will not be celebrating any moves towards common sense until (expecting a long long wait) acts replace the words of some (from an administration with an awful problem with the truth). Preparation of a rubber room for SenselessBrainer would be a good start.Cheers? 

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Comment #4 posted by jose melendez on May 28, 2005 at 04:42:50 PT

Strange brew: medical beer
Worth reading: 
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on May 28, 2005 at 02:51:22 PT

Should I stay or should I go...
I don't get it. The prohibitionists are speaking out of both sides of their mouths, and a third orifice I won't mention. One side of the mouth is saying concentrate on arresting low level offenders (To the point of having nieghbors snitch on one another over the passing of a joint), then the other side of the mouth says this:"The issue is how do we best reduce the supply of drugs in the United States at the national and at the local and regional levels," he said, concluding that unless there is a shift in the fundamental approach, "you are chasing primarily small people, putting them in jail, year after year, generation after generation."?? They are in such fear and confusion over the enormous exposure of them as hypocrits, conspiritors, and Drug War Pofiteers, they DON'T KNOW WHICH WAY TO TURN! Anything they say after this twisting and turning of their "fundamental approach" will sound like it is coming out of the third orifice I alluded to.I say go, go Johnny, go go go!! (AWAY)Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition)
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on May 27, 2005 at 21:36:14 PT

A pattern of malicious racism, for profit!
Conference spotlights African American incarceration "Every 11 minutes, prison doors slam shut behind another American. The combined population of state and federal prisons and local jails reached 2.1 million last year, a number that keeps growing.
Florida accounts for a sizeable portion of that growth, incarcerating nearly 85,000. Here, as in the rest of the country, the inmate population is mostly young, mostly male, disproportionately minority. Corrections will claim more than $2 billion of the state's budget for the coming fiscal year. " Real Cost of Prisons Blog FRAUD ALERT! PRIVATE PRISON OPERATOR WANTS TO RUN STATE HOSPITALS 
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on May 27, 2005 at 20:51:59 PT:

To the tune of Handel's "Messiah!
"Vin-di-ca-tion! Vin-di-cat-tion!"In other words WE WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG, YOU BLITHERING IDIOTS! They just simply are fundamentally incapable of admitting errors. Reformers have been saying all along that the present approach is doomed to failure, if only because we simply can't afford the costs of housing prisoners incarcerated for 'concensual crimes' which have no victims. We've been saying this with increasing volme for the last twenty years. And they are only listening now?But I 'll tell you something else: Ol' Johnny Pee's scared, finally scared, of minority backlash. He knows it's coming. More and more minority members of our society are beginning to investigate the (racially bigoted) origins of the DrugWar
and they are spreading the word. It's not just about Tulia; Tulia was the blemish on the surface of something that runs deep...and festers. The correlation between minority arrest and incarceration figures are finally proving to all but the thickest skulls the War on Drugs is a tacit means of minority political disenfranchisement. It's too effing obvious, and the somnolent media is rousing itself enough to sniff the air. Between allegations of vote machine fraud and intimidation of minorites at polling places, coupled with vote disenfranchising, and there's simply too much red meat laying around not to get a good scenting...
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