Wed May 15 2002
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"Thank you for spreading the truth. I was born and raised a Catholic and always taught the general public opinion that pot is bad. When I started to smoke pot my opinion was quickly changed. All the lies that I had been told by the adults in my life were revealed to me. Instead of destroying my relationship with god (like many adults had told me it would) it strengthened it and actually gave me the courage to express my beliefs and spread the good word. Keep up the work of God, free the weed we shall prevail."
Mike F
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Dangers of Cannabis

The DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.:

Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 2022), p. 57.
 Post Date Title and Description
 2023-05-11 US NJ: Group To Inform Drivers Of Rights In Searches
 TRENTON, May 8 - The Black Ministers Council of New Jersey today announced a campaign to inform minority drivers that they have a right to refuse to submit to so-called automobile consent searches, which have been the focus of the fight over racial profiling.

The ministers said at a State House news conference that they would begin their "Just Say No" campaign next week, in messages to minority churches and the news media.
--New York Times (NY) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-11 US NY: Drug Law Reform Asked By Clerics
 ALBANY - Religious leaders called on the state to reform mandatory sentencing laws for drug offenders on Wednesday, the 29th anniversary of the state's Rockefeller drug laws.

The clerics said they are seeing momentum for changing the laws this year, with reform proposals from the governor and the Assembly and efforts to organize those affected by the laws.

Gov. George Pataki and legislative leaders have been talking about reforms to the laws in recent weeks, and Pataki said Wednesday he sees drug law reform as a priority.

Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders who spoke at a news conference Wednesday said the long prison sentences imposed under the drug laws tear families apart.
--Daily Gazette (NY) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-05-08 US NC: OPED: Drug War Supports Terrorists
 In recent months, the United States government spent $10 million of our tax dollars for its latest anti-drug campaign. Its new pitch: if you buy illegal drugs, you're supporting terrorists because terrorists are intimately involved in the production, sale, and distribution of drugs.

Guess what? I agree. People who buy illegal drugs do support terrorists. But here's what the government leaves out: By making drugs illegal, the government supports terrorists even more.
--Charlotte Observer (NC) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-02 US DC: Bad Pot Luck for D.C. Pages
 WASHINGTON -- The House quietly booted 11 pages this week after at least one was caught with a small amount of marijuana, sources confirmed yesterday. The pages were dealt with administratively, according to Capitol Police Lt. Dan Nichols, a department spokesman.

They apparently were spared prosecution -- perhaps because the amount of pot involved was minimal, sources said.
--New York Daily News (NY)
 2023-05-01 US DC: Illegal Batter
 Chris Corker will earn no more letters. The three-sport star of Chancellor High School in Fredericksburg, Va., recently baked his way off the playing fields. And onto the crime blotter.

This week, Corker must show up in Spotsylvania County General District Court to face one felony count of distribution of a controlled substance in a school. His controlled substance, say prosecutors, was marijuana. His method of distribution was brownies.

"This was a classic case of stupid," says William F. Neely, commonwealth's attorney for Spotsylvania County.

If stupidity were indeed the charge against Corker, Neely would probably get a quickie conviction. The prosecutor alleges that on Feb. 28, Corker, a senior, brought a pan of pot-laced brownies to school to satisfy a homework assignment in his math class involving the practical use of measurements.
--Washington City Paper (DC) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-01 US KY: OPED: Needle Takes Another Music Pioneer
 Much is made of the tragic deaths of '60s rock stars such as Jim Morrison, Jimmie Hendrix and Janis Joplin, voices for a generation gone by.

Yet last Friday, the needle took one of the voices of my generation, Layne Staley.

For those of you who don't know, Staley was a singer/songwriter with Alice In Chains, a Seattle band that rode the same grunge wave that ushered Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sound Garden onto the national stage.

Staley was part of a revolution in rock 'n roll. He and his contemporaries, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain among them, staged a coup against the corporate-controlled music industry
--News-Enterprise, The (KY) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-05-01 US NY: Edu: Drugwar A Failure Time To Return To NORML
 Last week, the WSN did a feature on one of NYU's newest clubs: the NYU chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. This organization represents political activism of the best kind. It is a campaign for more freedoms, less regulation and fewer government intrusions into our daily lives. The drug war is one of the most foolish legislative adventures in U.S. history. I don't use illegal drugs; however, I do oppose the grossly unfair inquisition that our government is conducting. Without further ado, here are four good reasons why everyone should oppose the War on Drugs:
--Washington Square News (NY Edu) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-04-23 US NY: 15 Suspended Over Drug Use Away From School
 Ed note: Who is responsible for these children using cannabis? Not any of the 700,000 people arrested for cannabis related offenses each year.

"Few students bring drugs to school because they know they'll get caught, he said. It's easier not to get caught at someone's home because so many students come back to empty homes after school, he said."
--Buffalo News (NY)
 2023-04-23 US: Web: Why Drug Tests Flunk
 "I'd guess 75 percent of my class has tried marijuana," senior Adam Sadler says, sitting outside the cafeteria during a sunny lunchtime in April; his friends, perhaps trying to impress, estimate even higher. "A lot of kids do drugs at this school; though it kind of depends on who you are," one says. "The thing is to just make sure you pass the tests."
--Salon (US Web)
 2023-04-18 US IL: Column: Puffing Pols Busted For Hypocrisy
 WASHINGTON -- My thanks go out to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for clearing away some of the smoke in the marijuana debate.
--Chicago Tribune (IL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-04-03 US NC: Editorial: Collateral Damage In The War On Drugs
 The high court ruled 8-0 last week that housing authorities, as landlords, may evict entire households if one member of that household, or even a guest, is convicted of drug use. The policy is so unbending that it covers drug use that may occur outside of the home. In fact, housing officials may evict a resident even "if the tenant did not know, could not foresee or could not control behavior by other occupants." One strike and whole families potentially are out.
--Greensboro News & Record (NC) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-04-03 US MO: Column: Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense In Real World
 Any doubt I harbored that the world had lost its mind was erased with the news account from Texas about a high school honor student expelled for one year because a parking lot monitor spotted a bread knife in the bed of the boy's parked truck.
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
 2023-04-03 US AZ: Editorial: Mocking Justice
 The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday made a mockery of justice. The high court voted 8-0 that it is legal to evict a tenant in a public housing project if any member of the tenant's family, a guest or any other associate is involved in criminal drug use, whether or not the tenant knows of that drug use.

By its action, the Supreme Court trampled the concepts of fairness and reasonableness, at least as they apply to families too poor to live anywhere but in federally-subsidized housing projects.

--Arizona Daily Star (AZ) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-03-22 US: Web: OPED: How Terrorists Profit From Drugs
 If a large volume for some product is sufficient to finance terrorism, why don't terrorists raise money by selling computers or aspirin or food?

Well, why don't they?

The answer is that those products generate very small profits per sale, while drug profits are astronomical.

Whenever the profits in computers, aspirin or food increase, the supply of the item expands - pushing prices and profits back again to levels similar to those of other products.

And why are drug profits astronomical?

Because drugs are illegal.

--WorldNetDaily (US Web) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-03-18 US CO: OPED: War On Pony Tails
 The Drug War Is A War Against Counter Culture

Apparently, it's OK to have more arsenic in water than it is to have hemp in cereal," comments U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., about a new Drug Enforcement Agency ban. The ban, which prohibits hemp food products containing even trace elements of THC, took effect on Feb. 6.

The crackdown on hemp foods is, according to the Washington Post, the result of lobbying by the religious right's Family Research Council, which believes "hemp has become a stalking horse for the drug legalization movement." The ban, then, is part of a political agenda.

--Boulder Weekly (CO) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc
 2023-03-14 When the Drug War Ends
 It's inevitable. Some day soon, Americans are going to recognize the U.S. government's war on drugs has been a total, unequivocal disaster.
 2023-03-14 UK: Victims' Parents Call For All Drugs To Be Legalised
 Parents whose children have suffered from heroin and other drug abuse told MPs yesterday it was time to legalise all drugs. Fulton Gillespie, whose son Scott died from a heroin overdose two years ago, told the Commons home affairs select committee inquiry into the drug laws that he believed "if you try to regulate supply there is no point in leaving the power station in the hands of the criminals".
 2023-03-14 US: Web: DOJ's Dot-Narc Rave Strategy
 "The NDIC said five types of people should be targeted, including previous drug offenders, legalization advocates, anarchists and people promoting "an expanded freedom of expression" that pushes the boundaries of the First Amendment." Thus the DOJ is supporting efforts and laws similar to the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act to shut down websites which discuss subjects like these: (Raves) (Cannabis - Medicinal) (Club Drugs) (Decrim/Legalization) (Ecstasy) (Harm Reduction) (Heroin Maintenance) (Needle Exchange) (Safe Injecting Rooms) Please: Read the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) report at
--Wired News (US Web)
 2023-03-12 The Beauty and Fashion Industries High on Hemp?
 Hemp is a hit (and not just on the party circuit). The beauty and fashion world has embraced this cannabis cousin, using it in clothing lines from an array of designers, including Patagonia and Giorgio Armani, and beauty products for practically every body part.
 2023-03-07 US MS: Column: Demand Is Causing Drug Problems
 Let's talk about the drug problem, which has been the object of America's phony war on drugs dating back to the Nixon administration.

First, forget about Colombians, Afghans, Burmese, Mexicans or any other foreign suppliers. They aren't the problem. They are supplying product to meet a demand, and the demand - 100 percent American in its origin, for our purposes - is our drug problem.

Demand in other countries is their drug problem.

If there were no demand, there would be no supply. Why, then, do Americans take these drugs? The answer is simple....
--Enterprise-Journal, The (MS) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-03-03 US FL: Man On Drug-Pipes Charge Was GOP Riser
 SARASOTA -- A businessman indicted for allegedly making pipes commonly used by marijuana smokers won an award from the National Republican Congressional Committee and was in the running for Republican of the Year.

Chris Hill, 30, of Sarasota, was named one of the 500 businessmen of 2023 last week, making him a candidate for the party's top honor. He was also an honorary member of the committee's business advisory council, which made him a candidate for the Businessman of the Year award.
--Miami Herald (FL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-03-03 Scotland: End Of 'Just Say No' Drugs War
 Jack McConnell is dramatically to abandon the Scottish Executive's 'Just Say No' stance on drug abuse after admitting it has failed to halt the rising tide of addiction.

In a major policy U-turn, the First Minister will give the go-ahead to a strategy geared instead towards helping young people make 'informed decisions' about drug taking.
--Scotland On Sunday (UK)
 2023-02-27 Libertarian Party Runs Provocative anti-War on Drugs Newspaper Ads
 February 26] The Libertarian Party has launched a provocative advertising campaign that accuses Drug Czar John Walters and other pro-War on Drugs politicians of financially aiding terrorism.

The full-page ads, a parody of an ongoing Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) advertising campaign, appear Tuesday in USA Today and the Washington Times.

USA Today has a circulation of just under 2.2 million. The Washington Times reaches just over 100,000 readers.

"We wanted to shake up the nation's drug debate," said Libertarian Party Executive Director Steve Dasbach. "The federal government has been using the hatred of terrorists caused by the September 11 attacks to prop up its sputtering War on Drugs.

"We want to make sure the other side of the debate is heard -- and we want to make our point in a provocative, in-your-face way that the Drug Czar, the White House, and pro-War on Drugs politicians cannot ignore. We think our ads will do that."
--LP News Online
 2023-02-27 Explaining the Libertarian Party's Drug War Strategy
 Is Drug Prohibition dying? If the Libertarian Party focuses resources against the Drug War, can we play a pivotal role to hasten its end? What will happen to the Libertarian Party if we succeed?

These questions provided more discussion, debate, and argument than any others during a year-long strategic planning process undertaken by the LNC.
--LP News Online
 2023-02-27 Raid a house, kick a dog, plug a suspect
 A family in Pueblo, Colo., is suing the DEA and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations after a no-knock raid resulted in their two sons being arrested and jailed despite the fact no drugs were found on the premises.

According to the suit, "black-masked, black-helmeted men brandishing automatic weapons and wearing all-black uniforms with no insignias suddenly burst into the house unannounced, kicked the family's dog across the floor, ordered the entire family to 'get on the [expletive] floor,' held them at gunpoint, searched the house, found no drugs or contraband, but nevertheless carted off the family's two sons, Dave and Marcos, and imprisoned them illegally and without charges."
 2023-02-16 US FL: OPED: Federal War Against The Sick
 NEW YORK -- Last Monday, the FBI warned that "a planned attack may occur in the United States or against U.S. interests on or around Feb. 12," thanks to 12 terrorists led by Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeei, a Saudi-born Yemeni. Suspecting this, federal officials should have deployed as many dedicated, talented agents as possible to protect high-profile targets such as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf or the pyramidal Transamerica Tower.

Think again. Washington instead chose Feb. 12 to unleash tough, gun-toting Drug Enforcement Agency officers against AIDS and cancer patients. These federal agents raided a suspected cannabis cultivation center in suburban Petaluma, Calif., and medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco and Oakland. They arrested four men who led these operations.

This unjust, outrageous and ill-timed misallocation of law-enforcement resources epitomizes the Bush administration's new effort to repackage the War on Drugs within the War on Terror.
--Naples Daily News (FL)
 2023-02-15 US CA: Pot Raids Stir SF Protests
 Oakland Activist Arrested; Plants Seized; Co-op Raided
--Oakland Tribune (CA)
 2023-02-15 US: Web: Our Children Are Not Terrorists
 "Making drugs illegal creates a black market. Reputable businesses don't deal in drugs, only criminals do. Buyers can't get warranties or refunds, and black markets raise prices. They raise prices so much, in fact, that people are willing to kill each other. You just don't see that happening with goods that are legal, like chocolate, for example. But if the government made chocolate illegal, then buying a candy bar would probably 'support terrorism.' That's the nature of a black market."
--WorldNetDaily (US Web)
 2023-02-06 US NM: Editorial: Legislature Should Pass Marijuana Bills
 "Consider, for example, the inconsistency of our expensive effort to combat marijuana use, which is illegal but claims few, if any, lives, while legal tobacco, by the government's own data, kills more than 400,000 Americans every year. It's OK, it seems, for farmers to raise and profit from deadly, addictive tobacco, while ailing New Mexicans, we are told, must be denied prescribed marijuana that could relieve their pain or nausea. "
--Albuquerque Tribune (NM) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-02-04 US NY: This Drug Ad A Hard Sell
 "It's not the drugs themselves that produce the huge illicit profits. It's the fact that the drugs are against the law.

Change those laws and - snap! Just like that! - those profits will disappear.

You want to blame someone for the drug-terror ties? Blame the politicians who refuse to change America's expensive and counter-productive drug laws."
--Newsday (NY) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc
 2023-01-29 US IL: Column: Drug Warriors - US's Internal Taliban
 The Bush administration's war on drugs is a fundamentalist crusade so irrational it resembles the failed jihad of Afghanistan's Taliban.

Just as the Taliban forbid music, kite flying, close shaving and female education purely in the service of religious fanaticism, America adheres to an anti-drug dogma that similarly defies logic. The U.S. and the Taliban may be mortal enemies in the war on terrorism. But in the war on reason, they are soul mates.
--Chicago Tribune (IL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-01-27 US ID Pub LTE: Legalize Marijuana
 The state budget is now $20 million more in the red. There is frightening talk about laying off teachers at the local and state level. The new construction on the Capitol appears to be coming to a halt. I have a great idea, which would save Idaho millions of dollars annually.
--Idaho Statesman, The (ID) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-01-24 US MI: Column: Trio's Ballot Measure Would Restructure War On Drugs
 Trio's Ballot Measure Would Restructure War On Illicit Drugs

A major battle in the drug war will be fought this year in Michigan.
The fight will have little impact on the amount of narcotics on state streets. But it may push Michigan toward a more honest and rational approach to handling drug crimes and drug users.
--Detroit News (MI) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-01-16 D.C. Court of Appeals to Review Administrative Petition Challenging Pot's Prohibitive Status
 Court to Decide Whether DEA Erred By Not Assessing Marijuana's Low Abuse Potential Compared to Other Drugs

Washington, DC: Oral arguments will be heard in March in the D.C. Court of Appeals to determine whether DEA officials improperly rejected a 1995 rescheduling petition filed by former NORML Director Jon Gettman challenging marijuana's legal status as a Schedule I prohibited substance.
--NORML Weekly News Bulletin, January 10th, 2002
 2023-01-16 US ID: Wire: Idaho OKs Marijuana With Driving
 In Idaho, you can drive high as long as you can drive straight.

Marijuana users can drive legally in the state as long as their driving isn't erratic and they can pass a field sobriety test, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that while it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, Idaho law doesn't list marijuana as a narcotic.

The ruling overturned an impaired driving conviction against Matthew Patzer, 21, who was stopped for a broken tailgate light in 1998 and admitted to police he'd smoked marijuana at a party. The appeals court said Patzer could not automatically be presumed impaired; he wasn't driving erratically and passed two field sobriety tests.
--Associated Press (Wire) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-01-16 US WI: PUB LTE: Spiteful Cannabis Laws
 "...It defies integrity and rationality to cage humans for using cannabis. And to cage sick citizens using cannabis for relief of pain is vile, morbid and spiteful for a civilization in the year 2023.
Christians: It is a sin to cage our brother or neighbor for using cannabis..."
--Racine Journal Times, The (WI) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2022-12-14 US IL: OPED: What Did You Do In The War Daddy?
 I chased criminal plants. I tore up fields of hemp. A plant that looks like marijuana but has no psychoactive effect. I filled the jails with drug users, letting untold numbers of violent criminals get a free pass to make sure there was room for dealers and users of the wrong kinds of drugs. I let terrorists go free in order to concentrate on jailing people out for a little drug induced fun. Of course I ignored those using the most harmful drugs commonly available in society, alcohol and tobacco.
--Rock River Times (IL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2022-12-12 US CO: Sheriff Scoffs At Drug War
 San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Master's again speaks out against the drug war and has written a book - "Drug War Addiction: Notes from the Front Lines of America's #1 Policy Disaster."
--Gazette, The (CO) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2022-12-10 White House Watch: THC Madness
 The drug war blunders on: The DEA is cracking down on hempseed oil in tortilla chips
--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 2022-12-05 US CA: Mom Keeps Son on Marijuana Regime
 "Since shortly after the boy's birth, diagnoses offered by 16 different physicians suggest he has been suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder."
--The Sacremento Bee
 2022-11-14 US WA: Column: DEA's Effort Against Medical Pot Is Misplaced
 Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican representative from Arkansas now serving as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a reputation as a straight shooter. When he was up for confirmation a few months ago, even Democrats who had strongly opposed his views as a manager of the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton testified in support of his nomination.

The other morning, Hutchinson was the guest at one of the breakfast interviews arranged by Godfrey Sperling Jr. of The Christian Science Monitor. Asked what the events of Sept. 11 had done to the war on drugs, Hutchinson readily admitted that the diversion of government resources to the anti-terrorism campaign had left his agency stretched thin.
--The Columbian, (WA)
 2022-11-14 US CA: DEA Raids West Hollywood Cannabis Club
 "You would think in a time of war, bio-terrorism, anthrax, national security alerts--the whole world changing--that there would be higher priorities for the federal government," West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran said at the news conference. Duran, who is also LACRC's attorney, noted that the DEA got a 70- year-old federal judge in Florida to sign the search warrant.
--Frontier Newsmagazine (CA)
 2022-11-14 US CA: Pot clubs bracing for DEA crackdown
 Operators fear members' records will be confiscated.

Days after federal drug agents burst into a well-known Los Angeles cannabis club to snatch up the medical records of 960 people who bought marijuana there, Lynette Shaw made sure her clients' paperwork wouldn't be so easy to seize.
--San Francisco Chronicle
 2022-11-06 UK: Cannabis A Medical Miracle - It's Official
 As the investigation begins in the UK, the jig is up in the US. How will our public officials and religious leaders respond to this study? Send it to them and find out....:*)
--Guardian, The (UK)
 2022-11-05 Australia: No Proof Cannabis Put Drivers At Risk
 Studies abroad continue to expose the myths of prohibition.

"Professor Jack Maclean said the lack of proof that marijuana was detrimental to driving was not because of a lack of effort by researchers.

'I can say that there are some quite distinguished researchers who are going through incredible contortions to try and prove that marijuana has to be a problem,' he said."

At some point, prohibition supporters will have no where to run from the truth. The accountability factor is huge and there will be many to hold accountable.
--Advertiser, The (Australia) Copyright: 2023 News Limited
 2022-11-03 CN BC: OPED: The Drug Wars: Worse Than The Disease
 Another credible source condemns the war on drugs. How many times must it be said before it will be believed?
--Peninsula News Review (CN BC) Copyright: 2023 Peninsula News
 2022-10-24 US MI: Westland Lawyer Questions Deadly SWET Raid
 "Roland Rohm died of a gunshot wound to the chest and left thigh," wrote the Examiner. "The manner of death is homicide."
--Westland Eagle (US MI) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2022-10-24 Marijuana Violations for Year 2000 Hit All Time High, FBI Report Reveals
 Washington, DC: Police arrested an estimated 734,498 persons for marijuana violations in 2000, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is the highest ever recorded by the FBI, and comprises just under half of all drug arrests in the United States.

"Today's war on drugs is really little more than a war on marijuana smokers," charges NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St Pierre. "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers approximately $10 billion per year. This is a tremendous waste of national and state criminal justice resources, which should be focused on combating serious and violent crime, including terrorism."

Of those charged with marijuana violations, almost 88 percent - some 646,042 Americans - were charged with possession only. The remaining 88,456 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses - even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.

The total number of marijuana arrests far exceeds the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Since 1990, nearly 5.9 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges, a greater number than the entire populations of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined.

"It's time we stopped arresting adults who use marijuana responsibly," says St. Pierre.

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. The report appears online at:
--NORML - National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
 2022-10-24 Cannabis Smokers Will Not Be Arrested
 A headline that begs for exclamation marks. Praise God for this unexpected victory and may He bless the UK. Emails and letters of support are encouraged.

The point that the drug laws must be credible to young people, which was obviously a factor in this decision has been lost on the US government and parents. When teens find out that marijuana is not the dangerous substance that they have been taught, they assume that the information about other drugs if false as well. Hopefully, someday soon we will learn that we have nothing to fear from the truth.

--The Times (UK)
 2022-10-17 The So Called Evidence Is a Farce
 Narco News Commentary: The following text has been circulating as an e-mail for some hours now. It has found a home at Narco News.

About two years ago, Stan Goff came to our attention when he wrote a brilliant critique of U.S. policy in Colombia and its narco-pretext for other agendas. This essay, like his previous work, is a "must read" for anyone attempting to understand the immediate historical situation that all the world today faces. Unfortunately, we have been unable to make contact with Stan Goff, and if readers can help us with a current email address or phone number, please send it along to [email protected]. We believe that his message is of great urgency and importance, and the fact that it is already circulating by email suggests a desire by the author to have it read by the widest possible readership. We hope we are correct in that assumption. Thus, we publish it here.
 2022-10-17 DEA Bans Consumption of Hemp Foods Effective Immediately
 In the latest move in the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) quixotic crusade against cannabis in any form, the agency has published administrative rules that effectively ban the consumption of food products containing hemp oil, hemp seed, or any other product containing any quantity of THC -- no matter how miniscule. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but is found in only low concentrations in cannabis plants bred to produce hemp. A common formulation for gauging the consciousness-altering capacity of hemp is "you'd have to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole to get high." continued...
 2022-10-17 Editorial by Al Giordano - Citigroup's Rubin: Banking on Terror
 Narco News has extensively documented Citigroup's history of impunity and corruption when it comes to laundering drug money for corrupt regimes in Mexico and Peru, and Argentina, among other nations. We have also reported on the hypocrisy of Citigroup executive chairman Robert Rubin, who prosecuted Banamex in the Operation Casablanca case when he was U.S. Treasury Secretary, and then orchestrated the former National Bank of Mexico's purchase by Citigroup. Rubin, as alleged in a pending federal lawsuit by a former U.S. Customs Agent against his former department, presided over a Treasury regime that punished, harassed and silenced honest whistleblowers against corruption in his agencies.
 All The Dope On The Musical Satire 'Reefer Madness'

Despite the Great Depression and distant rumbles of war, it seemed as though the 1930s were a simpler time than ours - a time of singing cowboys and the Sunday funnies, when people wore hats, listened to radio shows and traveled primarily by rail. And yet, when one watches the new stage musical "Reefer Madness," it's clear that there was danger lurking in the shadows, like a wolf at the gate.

That wolf was marijuana!

John Kassir and Kristen Bell freak out on devil weed in the stage adaptation of 'Reefer Madness.'

At least, that's what some people thought. The members of a church- funded production company were determined to show how deadly pot- smoking could be to the average American community, so in 1936 they made a movie called "Tell Your Children." It revealed how easily the average teenager could be led astray, driven down an unholy path to insanity, murder, sexual rapaciousness and utter degradation.

[continues: 82 lines]
--New York Daily News Online Edition
 2022-10-06 Drug War May Soon Become Much Deadlier - by Hal Turner
  Illicit drugs being sold on the streets of America may soon contain a little something extra, courtesy of Uncle Sam: Chemical Weapons designed to sicken or kill drug users! Prompted by the dismal failure of present interdiction efforts, well-placed sources in the international law enforcement community have told "The Hal Turner Radio Show" of the new plan being debated, which would end the drug trade once and for all. Implementation of this plan was said to have gotten a huge go-ahead yesterday from various legal sources who reviewed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of August 1994. According to those legal sources, the CWC Treaty which bans the use of Chemical weapons in "War" specifically allows the use of such weapons in Law Enforcement! Further, it is also reported that upon review of the 1972 Convention on Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons (CBTW), it was determined that such use is "justified for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes." All this legal mumbo-jumbo boils down to this: Rather than seize drugs as they make their way to the US and other countries, anti-drug officials are reportedly to be given training to secretly adulterate the drugs with chemical weapons designed to make drug users horribly ill or perhaps even kill them.

Dismal Failure Spawns Radical Solution

It is an established fact that the "war on drugs" has been a failure around the world. Illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth-amphetamine and the like are available in every major city, in every country on the planet. The United States presently enjoys the dubious distinction of being the number one consumer of illicit drugs in the world. The enormous profits generated by illegal drug sales have allowed drug traffickers to corrupt police, courts and politicians worldwide. Even worse, the drug lords have begun using their vast wealth to buy military weapons, hire and train para-military troops who now threaten the very existence of civil governments throughout Central America and elsewhere. . Given these realities, governments around the world face only two choices: Legalize the drugs or do something dramatic to stop the flow. Legalization seems a non-starter.

Bacterial Toxins To Be The Weapon Of Choice?

Toxins are effective and specific poisons produced by living organisms. They usually consist of an amino acid chain which can vary in molecular weight between a couple of hundred (peptides) and one hundred thousand (proteins). They may also be low-molecular organic compounds. Toxins are produced by numerous organisms, e.g., bacteria, fungi, algae and plants. Many of them are extremely poisonous, with a toxicity that is several orders of magnitude greater than nerve agents. Two different Bacterial Toxins are said to be under consideration: Botulinum toxin and Staphylococcus enterotoxin type B. Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, is the most poisonous substance known. The toxin is a protein available in seven different forms, where the most poisonous is type A (molecular weight = 150,000 D). The lethal dose to man has been estimated to about one microgram if ingested and even less if inhaled. A fatal dose could be inhaled by a person snorting his first "line" of cocaine, but death will not come immediately. The incubation period is between one and three days after which the victim becomes ill with stomach pains, diarrhea, disturbances to vision, giddiness and muscular weakness. The whole body including the respiratory musculature becomes paralyzed which leads to death by suffocation within a few days. It is possible to vaccinate against botulism but once the victim has become poisoned there is no antidote The Toxin cannot be spread by air, meaning just the drug user would be killed. Not all toxins have a lethal outcome. One of the others reportedly under consideration is Staphylococcus enterotoxin type B (SEB), which is produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. SEB is the toxin which is most commonly found to have caused food poisoning. SEB is a protein (molecular weight = 28,500 D), which is easily soluble in water and relatively stable. It can withstand boiling for a couple of minutes, which makes it the preferred weapon since many drug users "cook" their drugs for injection. This toxin is also ideal because of its "shelf life." When freeze-dried, it can be stored for more than one year. Persons exposed to SEB fall ill after a few hours with typical food poisoning symptoms, such as stomach cramp, diarrhea and vomiting. The sufferer frequently recovers without special treatment within 24 hours While Botulism and SEB may work for Heroin and Cocaine, other toxins are said to be undergoing genetic modifi cation and micro encapsulation for use against Marijuana users. The micro encapsulation effort is targeted at protecting the toxin from being washed off the plants and protect the toxin from the heat of smoking marijuana, allowing the toxin to survive the flame and be delivered to the drug user.

Believe It Or Not, Safety Is Major Concern

Despite the alleged plans to adopt a strategy to sicken or kill drug users, our sources report that a huge consideration is the safety of the general public. If such a system were implemented, the government wants to use a toxin that absolutely cannot be transmitted to others by accident. To that end, researchers are said to be working on geneticaly-modified toxins and sophisticated delivery systems to infect only the user.

Heroin and Cocaine Targeted First

The ideas being bandied-about on how such a system would be implemented include the following: . When drug shipments of heroin and cocaine are interdicted - either on the high seas or on land - the drug couriers will be isolated from the vehicle or vessel involved so they can't see what's going on. Shortly thereafter, specially trained law-enforcement personnel will respond with chemical compounds to be injected into the packages of drugs. Upon completion, the couriers will be set free to continue their journey; unaware that their cargo has been altered and is now deadly. Drug Officials estimate there is about two weeks supply of drugs on hand in the US, more in other nations. Once such an operation began, it would take two to three weeks for the tainted drugs to hit the streets. Since no one at the street level could be certain that their supplier had not been interdicted, the tainted drugs would immediately reek havoc on the street distribution network. Users would have no way of knowing if the drugs they were getting were deadly. When tainted drug deaths or severe illnesses began, the media frenzy over this new approach would crush drug sales, thereby destroying the drug cartels within months. NO LEGAL LIABILITY No one could be sued for such illnesses or deaths since there would be no way to prove who supplied the tainted drugs, who tainted them, when or where. Further, using drugs is a felony and persons who die in the commission of a felony (and their families) cannot sue since they died in the commission of a crime. Besides, the Government enjoys sovereign immunity, and the drug dealers certainly aren't going to come to court to testify as to the quality of their product. Sickened drug users or families of dead drug users would have no recourse.

Operational Secrecy Guaranteed

Should governments choose to begin this deadly approach, it could be done in complete secrecy. For instance, here in the US, The President of The United States can issue classified "Presidential Decision Directives (PDD). He would merely have to decide - on his own - that illegal drugs constitute "a clear and present danger to the United States" then order a remedy. The PDD and the Remedy would be immune from review by Congress, the Courts or the Public. Other nations have similar powers under "Official Secrets" acts. While our sources have specifically stated that this course of action has NOT been decided upon yet, they claim that SERIOUS discussions of such an approach are underway. Let the word go forth, The Party is over and it's "last Call" for drug users!
 2022-10-05 Editorial: What is it About Opium?
 What is it about opium? To listen to drug warriors these days, it is the lifeblood of terrorist organizations around the globe. Ohio Rep. Rob Portman lamented that Americans who spend money on heroin (made from Afghani opium) are financing the Taliban, who in turn protect terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Therefore, say Portman and his ilk, reducing drug demand and disrupting drug trafficking organizations is part of the war against terrorism.
--The Week Online with DRCnet - Issue #205
 2022-10-05 Feds' Pot Eradication Program Seizes Nothing But Ditchweed
 Hemp, Not Marijuana Focus of DEA Effort, Report ShowsWashington, DC: Nearly 98 percent of the marijuana seized under the DEA's "Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program" is feral hemp - a non-psychoactive variety of marijuana, according to figures published in latest edition of the US Bureau of Justice Statistics Sourcebook.

"The government is literally spending tens of millions of dollars to pull up weeds," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. "From a health and safety standpoint, they'd be better off plucking dandelions."
--NORML Weekly News Bulletin - October 4th, 2023
 2022-10-04Part I War on Terrorism: A Recipe for Disaster - Narco News 2023
 Washington and the US Press Declare War (Again) without Defining the Enemy
MEXICO CITY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2023: Is there a doctor in the house? Among the injured in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks is the United States press corps. American journalism has sustained a broken arm from patting itself on the back. The soldiers of the Fourth Estate don't admit it, but they are ecstatic to be the center of attention again. What journalists have failed to provide in hard information they have compensated for with pure adrenaline and self-praise. They are Media; hear them roar.
 2022-10-04Part II Washington's Terrorist List - NarcoNews 2023
 The Road Through Afghanistan Leads To Columbia
Two historic blunders by United States officials are converging into a boomerang upon all Am�rica.

The first is Washington's confusing and arbitrary definition of "terrorists," and the State Department's hodgepodge blacklist of "foreign terrorist organizations." That list fails to distinguish between groups that cross international borders to do violence and those that do not. It mixes national liberation or independence movements with others that wish to eliminate governments that are not their own. In some cases, the accused "terrorists" are no different from the American colonists of 1776 who fought for independence from the British Crown. But the "war on terrorism" drifts inexorably toward aggressors and defenders alike, constituting a betrayal of the very principles of self-determination upon which the United States of America were founded.

The second official blunder shall be the nitrogen added to the glycerin of the first: It is the U.S.-forced export of a prohibitionist drug policy upon the nations of the world, a policy that is, as Dan Gardner of the Ottawa Citizen noted, the "root and branch of terrorism" because it funds and arms violent political factions on all sides of this planet earth.
 2022-09-18 Hating the Taliban: An Afghan Perspective
 Tamim Ansary, AlterNet
"The Taliban and Osama bin Laden are not Afghanistan," writes one Afghan-American. "When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think 'the people of Afghanistan' think 'the Jews in the concentration camps.'"
 2022-09-16 War in the 21st Century - Will Conventional Weapons Be Enough?
 In the new war against terrorism, expected to start any day now, Klimaj predicts that American forces will "see our technologies being shot back at us."
--WorldNetDaily - US Web
 2022-09-16 In Pursuit of Justice - The Rational Response
 But the attack's evocation of Pearl Harbor to many Americans also underscores how different this event is from the triggering of the U.S. entry into World War II. The scale of carnage may warrant calling it war, but it is quite obviously not an invasion by a nation bent on conquest or war by any conventional definition. Indeed, although early information indicates a connection of the hijackers to the Middle East, it is not at all clear who was responsible, let alone the implication of any state in the devastation.

Labeling the acts as war risks leading the United States into a strategy that may only enlarge the catastrophe. Just as the attack demonstrated the vulnerability of the world's only superpower, the response needs to recognize the limits of force and violence as a solution. Rabid hawks--like Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, who called for vengeance not justice, and conservative leader William Bennett, who called for a bloody war against "radical Islam"--represent the kind of shoot-first, think-later (if ever) response that is likely to lead to more terrorist attacks on the United States and the massacre of civilians elsewhere in the world.
--In These Times
 2022-09-16 The Counterterrorist Myth
 A former CIA operative explains why the terrorist Usama bin Ladin has little to fear from American intelligence.
--The Atlantic Online
 2022-09-16 CUI BONO? Building a Map to Solve the Crime
 To understand events such as wars or any of the events on the nightly news, always ask the question "Cui bono?" which translates as "Who benefits?"
 2022-09-16 Terrorists Get Cash From Drug Trade
 The importance of illegal drugs to the financing of terrorism raises an obvious question. If illegal drugs are the single largest source of funding for terrorism, can you hurt terrorism by legalizing drugs?

"Probably," John Thompson said. "In fact I think you could hurt it considerably."
-- Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2022-09-16 AUC and Taliban: U.S. Policy Backfires from Colombia to Afghanistan
 In the wake of the attacks on U.S. soil, Afghanistan and its ruling Taliban are at the center of media attention.

The Taliban, whose name means "holy student," was created by the the Pakistani Intelligence Agency (ISI), and developed during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The Taliban army consists of Muslim fundamentalist mercenaries from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, armed and financed primarily by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Over the last six years the Taliban have gained control over 90% of the country. (Until recently the Taliban have been referred to as 'freedom fighters' in the western press.)

The Taliban, thus, began as a U.S.-backed paramilitary organization, using the same strategy as was used in Colombia with the formation of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). As in South America, the explosive mixture of paramilitary groups and the massive profits to be made in narco-trafficking under drug prohibition has grown into a force beyond control of its makers. Even as the U.S. government today opposes the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is creating another one in Colombia.

And as with the Colombian people and the paramilitaries unleashed upon them by U.S. policy, the Afghan people are not supporters of the Taliban. In fact, there is a very strong opposition movement in Afghanistan to the Taliban. Yet, as with Plan Colombia, a U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan could end up harming the innocent Afghani people who oppose the Taliban.

Just last week, the opposition movement to the Taliban lost its heroic leader.
 2022-09-06 MS patients sign for cannabis trials
 Dr John Zajicek, who is leading the project, said: "Many patients with MS and their doctors believe that cannabis is helpful in treating some of its symptoms. "
--BBC News
 2022-09-06 Two Marijuana Activists Killed By Police
 "Tom was a dedicated, caring guy," Chadman reported. "He wasn't a militia guy or a gun nut, but he did believe in the Constitution and in freedom, and he felt that if other people have a right to put on events where thousands of people get drunk, shoot guns, tie cattle in ropes and otherwise act crazy, that he had a right to provide a campground and entertainment for our non-violent marijuana culture. He hated the marijuana laws, and felt that people being busted for pot and the harassment of his events was a sign that America has become a police state."
--Cannabis Culture Magazine
 2022-08-30 US FL: Casualties Of The War On Drugs
 You can murder, maim and molest and still get federal financial aid for college. But get caught smoking a joint, and you have to pay your own way; if you can afford it, that is.
--Weekly Planet (FL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2022-08-29 A Report of the National Commission of Ganja

The National Commission of Ganja, pursuant to its terms of reference and after a period of exhaustive consultation and inquiry from November 2000 to July 2023, involving some four hundred persons from all walks of life, including professional and influential leaders of society, is recommending the decriminalisation of ganja for personal, private use by adults and for use as a sacrament for religious purposes.
 2022-08-28 US DC: Column: A Debatable War On Drugs
 The high esteem in which former representative Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas is held by his colleagues was demonstrated by the 98 to 1 Senate vote confirming him last month as the new director of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Even more telling was the fact that Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and an ardent opponent of the impeachment of President Clinton, appeared at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to praise Hutchinson, who had been one of the Republican House managers presenting the case against Clinton to the full Senate.
--Washington Post (DC) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2022-08-25 US IL: Column: Giving Up Drug Battle May Help Win The War
 "Anyone who knows who did this is just as responsible for the murders," she said. "I'm almost starting to think like my husband. Maybe they should legalize drugs. The people that are going to be drug addicts are going to be drug addicts no matter what. I am just so sick and tired of hearing about drug murders."
--Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2022-08-25 US LA: Editoiral: Baton Rouge Drug Court Wastes Public Money
 For every thousand Americans ages 10-17, nearly seven were arrested for drug abuse violations two years ago. That was more than double the number arrested in 1990, according to the national Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Drug abuse and addiction among youth is a serious problem in America. That's why allegations of system abuse at a publicly funded drug treatment center in Baton Rouge are so appalling.
--American Press (LA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2022-08-25 US IL: PUB LTE: Statistics On Netherlands Drug Use
 Dear Editor:
I am writing concerning the August 8 article, "World War." I wanted to supplement Mr. Simon's reference to the Dutch drug policy by providing some statistics on their country's drug status. The Netherlands has safe injecting rooms for heroin addicts, and marijuana has been sold in hundreds of coffee shops for almost 30 years. Where has it gotten them? ( Sidenote: This data comes directly from the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics; it cannot be debated )
--Rock River Times (IL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 5

Snapshot of a Grower

For One Local Farmer, Pot Is Part Hobby, Part Public Service

Among the thousands of Americans who grow marijuana for sale, the man I'll call Kevin is probably pretty typical. He hasn't gotten rich, but once you've got growing marijuana down to a system, seven or eight crops a year provide a nice cushion for a man like Kevin, with a low-paying day job, kids to raise, and bills to pay.

If, like him, you also have a green thumb and an interest in experimental botany ( not to mention a personal fondness for the weed ), it's about the perfect combination of small business and hobby, with a constant whiff of danger to spice the routine.

--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 6

My Time

In certain circles, I am identified primarily as a stoner.

I am the girl with the pocket-sized pipe at the ready, the one with the really good lighter, the easy laugh, and the head full of curiosity.

But the key to using marijuana effectively is to often not use marijuana.
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 7

Editor's Note - Content may offend some readers.

This Time

As a modern-day pothead, I've replaced my hacky sack with a Saab, roll joints rather than smoke out of an 8-foot Graphix, and sport Kenneth Cole more often than tie-dye. But let not my closeted dope smoking be mistaken for embarrassment. I'm a proud Rain-City Rastafarian and light up in public as often as possible. Still, like the heads from yesteryear, I have no interest in getting busted by the Man.
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 1

How Does Pot Work?

Nonetheless, says Dr. Iversen in an interview, "We know a whole lot more about THC now than we did 10 years ago." The most important discovery was of a special receptor in cells for THC, a kind of ready-made biological slot for exactly what marijuana has to deliver. This finding established that the drug was not just "dissolving in the membranes of brain cells in a nonspecific sort of way," says Iversen. "There's a very specific receptor protein."
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 2

Legalized Pot? Don't Hold Your Breath.

As if coveting our water and envying our dot-com fortunes weren't enough, those Eastern Washington wheat farmers also don't want us smoking pot.

The overriding powers of state law will continue to keep pot illegal in Seattle, despite the appearance of a city initiative aimed at chilling enforcement efforts against casual tokers. The recently introduced Initiative 73 would basically serve as a policy statement that citizens want the cops to focus on solving real crimes, not hassle pot smokers.

But, as cities have been prohibited since 1989 from passing more liberal local drug statutes, that's about all I-73 would do. Beyond directing the city to make the enforcement of laws pertaining to the possession of small quantities of marijuana the city's lowest public safety priority, the initiative would also remove marijuana prosecutions from Seattle Municipal Court and set a legal definition for the phrase "60-day supply of marijuana," a standard created by the state's 1998 medical marijuana initiative.
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 3

The Politics of Pot

Industrial hemp is a cash crop that can be used in a stunning number of ways--fiber, paper, building materials, cosmetic products, feed, fuel, flour, birdseed, paints, inks and dyes, bedding for cattle and horses, and untold numbers of industrial uses, among others.

When cannabis was criminalized in the first half of the 20th century, communist bloc countries exempted industrial hemp from their prohibitions; after the end of the Cold War, European countries started following suit, beginning with France. In the last five years, Germany, England, and Canada have all begun growing hemp, giving rise to hopes that the U.S. will also relent.

Edwards, however, notes that the DEA is trying to criminalize the import of hemp products and says that legalizing industrial hemp cultivation will be an uphill battle that can be summarized in one word: dollars.

With 85 percent of all drug busts involving marijuana, "Anything beneficial about hemp would mean the disintegration of the prohibition of hemp. . . . It would be very difficult to justify the $40-$50 billion a year [spent] on the drug war."
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Article 4

Standing Up For Stoners

Attorney Jeff Steinborn Fights For Your Right To Party

In the midst of the bandanna-wearing, tie-dyed crowd attending this weekend's Hempfest, Jeff Steinborn will be the guy in the suit. As a Hempfest organizer, he'll be smoothing his necktie and saying, "You're beautiful, you look great, but if you want to be taken seriously in this world, you've got to dress like me." Especially if you come to court, as Steinborn's customers do.

When he's not advocating the reformation of marijuana laws, he's in court as an attorney challenging them. Either way, "Dress to win," he says.

Specializing in drug cases since 1968, the dapper 58-year-old Seattle criminal attorney and cannabis activist is the go-to defender for anyone busted for marijuana violations. Jerry Sheehan of the ACLU tags Steinborn as an expert on drug laws and civil rights, and a county deputy prosecutor says simply, "He's the best, isn't he?" His admirers and detractors alike think he's what lawyering's all about--providing the most informed and aggressive defense available. After three decades of fighting laws and governments, he has earned an apropos title, the Public's Defender.

Aided by partner Alison Kay Chin in his small Pioneer Square law office, Steinborn juggles dozens of cases at a time, attracting an average of three new clients a week. He passionately believes potheads are victimized by the system and has earned a prize-fighter's reputation trying to prove it in the courtroom.

"Most of the accused," he says, "are demonized by the public and police. But my clients mostly are real nice folks. I don't represent any predators, child molesters, thieves, or wife beaters."
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-20 US WA: Series: The Politics Of Pot - Introduction

The words you are about to read describe illegal activity.

Despite the fact that, according to government figures, 70 million of the 280 million Americans alive today have smoked pot sometime in their lives, that this number includes our last two presidents, that 34 states passed laws between 1978 and 1996 recognizing marijuana's therapeutic value, that nine states including Washington have voted to legalize medical use of marijuana, that marijuana is less damaging on any number of grounds than alcohol, our government spends $7.5 billion annually fighting the war against pot. In 1998, nearly 700,000 citizens were arrested for marijuana offenses, 88 percent for simple possession. Yet over 100,000 supporters ( presumably ) of pot are expected to crowd Myrtle Edwards Park this weekend celebrating hemp, bud, medical marijuana--all the plant's many guises.
--Seattle Weekly (WA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-18 When SWAT Raids Go Wrong
 Editor's note: Proverbs 6:16-19 - "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,..."

A sampling of SWAT mishaps shows what can, and often does, go wrong.

Last Sept. 13 in Modesto, Calif., a SWAT team burst into the home of 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda to serve a drug trafficking warrant on his father. While rounding up his family, officers ordered Alberto to lie on the floor, face down, which the boy did. Seconds later, an officer accidentally fired a shotgun that was trained on Alberto's back, killing him.
--Capital Times, The (WI) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-08-18 US FL: Man Says Delta Should Apologize For Keeping Him Off
--Naples Daily News (FL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-08-02 Long-Term Pot-Use Study: No Ill Health Effects
 The government says smoking pot is bad for your health, particularly in the long run. But four of the seven people it supplies have been looked at from every angle, and researchers conclude that their marijuana use hasn't hurt them a bit.
--High Times
 2023-08-01 US TX: Column: A Bit Ill At Ease With Drug User
 Becker was not surprised when I told him he made me a little uncomfortable. He said he makes people like me uncomfortable because we think the main reason he wants the drug war ended is so he can use without fear of getting busted.

"I want to convince you people I am not a danger," he said. "I am a good person. I take care of my kids."

He pointed out that he has a good job as a project analyst and has a record as a reliable worker. He said he wants kids protected from drug dealers and, even after the drug war is ended, judges should throw the book at anyone who sells to kids.
--Houston Chronicle (TX) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-01 Canada: New Pot Law Cuts Access, Activists Say
 Officials Should Make Getting Medical Marijuana Easier For Sufferers, Woman Says

TORONTO -- Denise Beaudoin doesn't look like a pot-smoking activist. The quiet 56-year-old from Hull is more comfortable sewing needlepoint than protesting against drug policy.

But Ms. Beaudoin was bold enough to accept a marijuana joint passed among a dozen patients with chronic diseases who demonstrated as she did on the steps of a courthouse in downtown Toronto yesterday.

Ms. Beaudoin joined the protesters who say the new marijuana law makes it more difficult than ever to get medical pot.

"It makes me angry," said Ms. Beaudoin, who has lived with constant pain since a collision with a drunk driver in 1989 broke her legs, hip, pelvis and back. She used marijuana instead of painkillers for three years, until police raided her basement hydroponics lab last summer.
--Globe and Mail (Canada) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest
 2023-08-01 Washington, DC: Poll Shows Americans Strongly Oppose Jailing Minor Drug Offenders
 Three out of four Americans oppose jailing minor drug offenders, including those convicted of purchasing drugs, according to a recently released American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) poll. The results indicate that a majority of Americans draw sharp distinctions between drug trafficking crimes and other drug offenses.
--NORML Weekly News Bulletin - July 26th, 2023
 2023-07-25 Drugs Are No Escape From Europe
 We cannot legalise even cannabis without tearing up a mass treaty of commitments that go back to the 1920's. Almost without exception, drugs were made illegal in the country in response to American pressure; and this pressure is institutionalised within the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. In the legal sense, an Act of Parliament is enough to change our drug policy. In the political sense, however, there are all these international commitments to be renegotiated.
--Free Life - A Journal of Classic Liberal and Libertarian Thought
 2023-07-24 US: Libel suit raises questions about accountability online
 Giordano, an investigative journalist who used to work for The Boston Phoenix, moved to Mexico to expose what he believes is the complicity between some legitimate businesses and government officials and the drug traffickers. "You know the movie 'Traffic'?" he says. "I live that every day."
--Christian Science Monitor
 2023-07-24 CN MB: Minister To Argue Pot Is A Gift From God, Must Be Legal
 "If something is man's law and does not agree with God's law, God's law takes precedence," he said, adding that in Genesis, God gives man all seed-bearing plants, which would include marijuana and therefore the plant cannot be illegal. "If it's God's gift, who can take it away? If it's God against man, which law will prevail? I'll fight all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to."
-- Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-07-24 US: Congress Challenges Cost Of 'Unwinnable' Drugs War
 MIAMI - The Bush Administration's controversial strategy to end the production of cocaine and heroin in Latin America is under fresh attack from members on both sides of the US Congress, anxious about a deepening involvement in a war some deem unwinnable.
--Times, The (UK)
 2023-07-24 US TX: Freedom Ride Hits Tulia
 On Anniversary Of Drug Bust, Town Keeps Up Cry For Justice
TULIA - About 300 people helped celebrate an anniversary Sunday for Billy Wafer.
Wafer was among 43 people - 40 of whom are black - arrested July 23, 1999, during a drug sting operation that has been widely contested as illegal and a violation of civil rights.
The 7th Court of Appeals in Amarillo dismissed the drug charge against Wafer in January.
--Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-07-24 US: Web: Column: Attack Of The Killer Tomato Cops
 Without doubt, this mistake can be blamed on bad policing. The Keystoners should have double-checked before raiding. Triple-checked. It's not like the suspect's going to flush the whole crop down the toilet, thus requiring ( or excusing ) a "dynamic entry" or no-knock-style raid. Besides, the day after the raid the same officer who explained that tomatoes look like pot from the air because of the color admitted that the hue could have been obscured by the cloudy skies. Catch that? On an overcast day, we treat word from an airborne officer like gospel. What is this, Saturday morning cartoons? Before police rush in like Power Rangers, I would hope they'd use better recon than some guy in a chopper with less than great visibility. Neither the AP nor Daily Press articles filed on the incident confirm any police fact-checking before going off half-cocked. Kid Icarus spots some leafy stuff, and it's gung-ho, Geronimo! Worse, this was a major operation. The antidrug team that descended upon Coberly involved the National Guard, state police and a local narcotics taskforce. What if Coberly was showing his friend a pistol or rifle at the time of the raid? People who own guns do that sort of thing. Let's say he's just bought a new shotgun and the two are talking about duck hunting: "Hold on, let me show you my new Remington."
--WorldNetDaily (US Web) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-06-06 US CA: Oakland Cops Tried For Kidnap, Assault
 A West Oakland Man testified in court on Friday against three former Oakland police officers accused of conspiring to indict him falsely and maliciously for a drug crime he says he didn't commit.

Delphine Allen was the only witness who testified in the third day of a preliminary evidence hearing that will decide whether the defendants, Clarence Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung will be tried for criminal police misconduct.

The defendants, along with suspected ringleader and fugitive Frank Vazquez, are accused of 34 felony counts in connection with the case. The six allegations that involve Allen could be considered the most serious, since they include charges of kidnap and assault against some of the so-called "Riders."
-- San Francisco Chronicle (CA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-06-06 Jamaica: Jamaica Considers Legalizing Marijuana
 KINGSTON, Jamaica - Imagine a lush, tropical land just a few hundred miles off the U.S. coast where marijuana, although illegal, is a cultural icon worshiped by thousands and so plentiful it goes for just $26 a pound.

Now, imagine this place when it's legal.
--Register-Guard, The (OR) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-06-06 US VA: Drugs, Not Violence, Are The Fuel For Prison
 About 80 percent of prisoners are drug abusers, according to estimates, yet at prisons such as Powhatan Correctional Center in State Farm, Va., there is little or no treatment offered to inmates. For years, politicians of both parties have been promising to sweep the streets of violent criminals and lock them away in Virginia's burgeoning prison system.

"Violent thugs are getting the message: Virginia is not the place to earn a living as a criminal predator, preying on innocent, law-abiding citizens,'' then-Gov. George Allen declared in 1995.

But Virginia's prison population has been swollen by people incarcerated for nonviolent crimes -- especially drug offenders.
--Virginian-Pilot (VA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-06-06 US FL: Medical Marijuana Pioneer, Who Got His Pot From US, Dies
 SARASOTA, Fla. - Robert Randall, the first person in the United States to obtain legal access to marijuana for medical use, has died of complications from AIDS, his wife said.

Randall, 53, legally smoked 10 marijuana cigarettes a day until his death on Saturday at his home here, said his wife, Alice O'Leary.

Randall developed glaucoma in his teens and doctors told him the buildup of pressure in his eyes would cause blindness within a few years.

Arguing that no legally available drug could halt the deterioration of his eyesight, he petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for legal access to marijuana.

Therapeutic effectiveness of marijuana is still debated, but a U.S. District court in Washington ruled in 1976 that the young college professor's use of marijuana as "medical necessity." In November of that year he became the first person to receive legal access to federal supplies of marijuana.
--Philadelphia Daily News (PA) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-28 Canada: Column: Soft Drugs And Hard Crime
 The average grandparent, I suspect, has little sympathy for the more than 400 people charged with speeding in the Toronto area alone this past long weekend. Society in general disapproves of reckless behaviour behind the wheel, which is as it should be. Yet even though driving too fast can endanger the lives of children at play, drivers, passengers and the occupants of other vehicles; and even though thousands are injured and killed each year in motor vehicle accidents; people don't get saddled with criminal records for doing 90 in a 60 zone, or even for doing 195 in a 100 zone. Why? Because it makes no sense to penalize so harshly an activity that large swaths of the population have, at one time or another, engaged in. Nor does it make sense to ruin the lives of people who only occasionally break the law in this manner and who may do so only in moderation. Proponents of marijuana decriminalization have, with good reason, been using the speeding analogy for decades. When we compare the measurable harm associated with automobile mishaps to the far more difficult-to-quantify harm associated with marijuana, it becomes impossible to argue persuasively that this substance is so heinous people deserve to receive a criminal record for venturing near it. Put simply, the penalty associated with marijuana consumption is wildly out of proportion to the crime.
--National Post (Canada) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc
 2023-05-28 US OK: Editorial: No End In Sight To Corrections Demands
 News that the Corrections Department needs more money is now so routine that citizens probably pay little attention to it. The latest request was related in a seven-paragraph article on page A-11 of Wednesday's Tulsa World, headlined in typical fashion: "Prison budget hikes called not enough."

Will it ever get through to lawmakers and others that throwing money down a bottomless pit is not going to address corrections problems?
--Tulsa World (OK) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-28 US SC: OPED: In America
 "Regina McKnight needed help, not a prison sentence. Her I.Q. was reported to be 72, but people who know her believe it is even lower. Growing up she attended classes for the "educably mentally handicapped." She had three children she was unable to care for, was never able to hold a job, had been victimized by abusive men, and turned to drugs three years ago when her mother died. Humane intervention was called for, including intensive counseling, job training and, especially, treatment for drug addiction."
--New York Times (NY) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-21 US CO: Column: Irrationality Fuels National Pot Paranoia
 As Michael Massing relates in his fascinating book The Fix, facets of the federal government's current marijuana policy can actually be traced to a summer evening in Atlanta in the 1980s, when a suburban couple came home and discovered their 13-year-old daughter smoking marijuana in their backyard.

This couple started a grass-roots political campaign that eventually stretched far beyond Atlanta -- a campaign whose central premise could be described as "Marijuana is turning America's teenagers into depressed sociopaths who hate their parents."

That teenagers seem to exhibit such characteristics with about equal frequency whether or not they happen to smoke marijuana is the kind of detail that anti-drug crusaders tend to ignore.
--Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-05-21 US: A Shift In Policy On Marijuana Research
 Despite last week's Supreme Court ruling that federal law does not permit even the medical use of marijuana, the government quietly has begun to back research into whether the nation's most popular illegal drug could help patients with AIDS, cancer and other diseases.
--St. Petersburg Times (FL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-21 US FL: OPED: Waiting To Inhale
 In a free society, you shouldn't need arguments to make something legal, but instead, demand good reasons to make it illegal. Congress and the Supreme Court have both determined that marijuana has no medical properties. Fair enough. But neither do gin, sex, tobacco or chocolate, all of which can lead to excess and disaster.
--Tampa Tribune (FL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-17 US MO: Column: Medical Marijuana
 MEDICAL MARIJUANA Just The Tip Of The Problem

Our official position on narcotic drugs is schizophrenic. Even worse, it's foolish and counterproductive.

We could forgive ourselves a medical impairment in thinking, but why do we continue trying to enforce idiotic laws on drugs that show just plain ignorance?

The other day, the U.S. Supreme Court made a proper decision upholding lower court findings against use of marijuana for medical purposes. Numerous tests and lots of experience affirm the drug can be helpful in treating symptoms of several diseases. Doctors are prescribing it, and patients benefit without associated harm. A number of states have passed laws allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

But courts have found no exception for medical uses in the federal Controlled Substances Act, which outlaws marijuana.

Clearly, the proper solution here is to fix the basic law. At the very least, marijuana should be legalized for emmedical uses, but even with that an eternal debate would continue to define "medical use." Obviously, the sensible solution is simply to legalize marijuana, putting the law in sync with popular practice.

Americans smoke marijuana by the ton. The very existence of a law prohibiting its use is ridiculous. Worse, it spawns criminal activity even worse than illegal smoking. All the laws accomplish is a lot of busywork for law enforcement agents and a fair amount of crime committed by people who want money to buy marijuana at black-market prices. How many billions have we spent on the war against marijuana? Ridiculous.

If left to the private marketplace, marijuana would be cheaper than tobacco. It could be more easily taxed than tobacco products, and no black-market crime would be committed.

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling, members of Congress say they might take up the issue this year. If so, surely they will do more than merely approve medical uses of marijuana. Our society is harmed, not helped, by current drug laws.
--Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP, Inc.
 2023-05-17 US: OPED: The Hydra-Headed Drug Business
 The Hydra-Headed Drug Business There's No Killing It

At last we've turned the corner in the war on drugs.

A Coast Guard crew has seized more than 13 tons of cocaine in what authorities are calling "the largest cocaine seizure in U.S. maritime history." But careful news watchers have heard those words before. Back in 1998 Attorney General Janet Reno and Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin announced more than 100 indictments and the seizure of some $150 million from Mexican banks, representing a successful conclusion to "the largest, most comprehensive drug money laundering case in history."
--National Review - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-11 US IN: Religious Liberty Coming to and End
 We have irrefutable information that the stand that the Indianapolis Baptist Temple took that resulted in the loss of their property was and is absolutely correct. We also have new information coming out of the Internal Revenue Service that it is worse than we have reported and getting worse by the hour. All of this is on a 30 minute video that tells the latest regulations for churches and other ministries imposed by the IRS.
Did you know that a pastor can no longer take deductions except one? Did you know that the church can no longer give benevolent gifts to the poor? Did you know that a church must get an ID # before anyone ministers to the church in the area of Evangelizing, music, etc? And there is much, much more.
For approximately fifty years churches have been able to straddle the fence in the area of church/state relations. Fence straddling days are over. You have to make up your mind....Christ or Caesar? God no doubt is now sifting us as wheat as to determine the true church.
 2023-05-11 US: Column: What Is Washington Trying To Hide?
 The government outsources the war on drugs so it can point fingers at the private sector when the body bags start pouring in.
When longtime drug warriors like Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., start blasting American anti-drug efforts in Latin America, you know that something is rotten in Peru. And Colombia. And Washington.
--Salon (US Web) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-11 US MA: New Kind Of Test At Amherst, On The Day The Urns Went
 AMHERST, Mass. -- On any given day, the coffee house in the Amherst College campus center offers a dozen brews, plus espresso. But today the pots were covered with white shrouds, and the dispensers in the dining hall were empty.
This was the day that coffee was banned forever from the campus.
--NY Times - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-11 CN BC: All Out Of Joint
 They are getting busted all the time, and why not. Growing marijuana is still illegal, although there have been some recent changes made to legislation regarding its medicinal use.
Marijuana growers know the risks but what bothers some of them is the broad characterization, perpetuated by the police, that they are all dangerous, gang-related organized criminals.
Truth is, in many cases, they could be neighbours, friends or your kid's soccer coach.
--Kelowna Capital News (BC) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-05-11 US: 'Drug Education: The Triumph Of Bad Science
 Dare And Programs Like It Don't Stop Kids From Using Drugs. But There's Too Much At Stake To Replace Them.
IN FEBRUARY, THE HEAD OF DRUG ABUSE Resistance Education - used in seventy-five percent of U.S. school districts and fifty-five countries worldwide - made the extraordinary admission that the program has not been effective. Nonetheless, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave DARE a $13.7 million grant to bring the curriculum up to date and to scientifically evaluate its usefulness. The foundation reasoned that it would be easier to change DARE than to bring another program to its level of penetration. And so, in September, DARE will launch its new and improved program with great fanfare in six cities, including New York and Los Angeles. In March 2002, administrators will implement it worldwide.
--Rolling Stone - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, MAP Inc.
 2023-04-28 US NY: A Time for Mercy - Rabbi Gets Probation for Medical Marijuana
 Rabbi Yitzchak Fried, the longtime Lower East Side activist who was arrested last year for selling marijuana he said was for medical purposes, was given five years' probation and a $5000 fine at a hearing Monday in Brooklyn State Supreme Court. Nearly two dozen supporters of Rabbi Fried sat in the courtroom under a broken clock as he spoke, minutes before Judge Plummer E. Lott delivered the sentence.

"I am remorseful," said Fried, who pleaded guilty earlier this year and was facing up to three years in prison. "I feel I won't do it again, though I will fight for the principles within the law that I believe in. My family has been very devastated by this situation."
--Village Voice (NY) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-04-25 Only Losers In a War We Can't Win
 On the long list of casualties in the war on drugs we now can add missionary Veronica Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter Charity. The two were killed when a Peruvian military jet shot down their plane over South America in the mistaken belief that it was ferrying cocaine. Since Peru began such aggressive drug interdiction actions in the mid-1990s--at America's insistence--the military reportedly has forced more than 30 drug-running planes from the sky and seized more than a dozen on the ground.

Yet, Peru, even after considerable reduction in coca plants in recent years, still grows some 85,000 acres of the stuff used in making cocaine.

The Bowerses are just one recent example of how the U.S. war on drugs, as virtuous as its intent may be, has had consequences serious enough to call into question our ineffective approach to America's appetite for illegal substances. Last Friday, Chicago police claimed that $400,000 in cocaine was stolen from police storage, fueling the argument that the drug war has a corrupting influence on law enforcement.
--Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-04-25 US CO: Senate Gives Final OK for Medical Pot
 It was a special moment for Martin Chilcutt Monday as he watched from the galleries as the Colorado Senate gave final approval to a medical marijuana bill.

The 67-year-old retired psychotherapist and cancer survivor has battled since 1996 for the right of cancer victims and others with debilitating diseases to have the right to use marijuana to ease their pain or nausea.

First there was the lengthy battle to get petition signatures to put the issue on the ballot in 1998, only to have the measure fall victim to counting errors in the secretary of state's office and numerous court battles. But it was back on the ballot in 2000 and voters said yes.

"I'm just so happy that I got to see it happen," said Chilcutt. "It was a sort of closure.
--Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-04-25 US OR: OPED Treatment, Not Prohibition - Why Are We Punitive About Drug Use At All?
 The Oregonian's editorial "Treatment, not incarceration -- Why are we so punitive about drug relapses?" demonstrates that the prohibitionist editorial board of The Oregonian still doesn't "get it".

While it is praiseworthy to advocate treating an addict instead of imprisoning him -- because he is sick and not a criminal -- The Oregonian ignores the greater national moral turpitude of punishing people who are neither sick nor criminal.

The reality is that the majority of all users of illegal drugs are adult users of Cannabis who do not use any other illegal drugs, who do not violate any person's rights, and who are not addicted according to the medical definition of repetitive excessive use with harmful effects. The ostensive purpose of prohibiting any and all use of a given drug is to prevent the sickness of addiction -- in fact suffered only by a minority of the users of each drug.
--Oregonian, The (OR) - Courtesy of DrugNews Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-04-20 US NM: Gov. Preaches To Choir on Drug Reform
  Gov. Gary Johnson paid a visit to the heart of the national pro-marijuana movement Thursday and vowed to keep fighting for drug law reform in New Mexico.

The Republican governor, who over the past two years has become a national leader in the drug legalization crusade, spoke Thursday at the annual convention of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

At least 200 NORML supporters, gathered at a fancy downtown hotel and wearing everything from tie-dyed T-shirts to business suits, gave the governor a warm reception, especially when he talked about his efforts to change New Mexico's drug laws.
--Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Courtesy of Drug News Digest, Map Inc.
 2023-04-17 Switzerland: Just Say Yes
 The Swiss Move To Legalize The Cultivation, Sale And Consumption Of Marijuana

Switzerland may no longer be known just as the land of chocolate and cheese; marijuana could soon become as much a part of the Alpine landscape as edelweiss.

Last week the Swiss government approved a law, still to be endorsed by the Parliament, that legalizes the production, sale and use of marijuana, making Switzerland's policy toward the drug one of the most liberal in Europe. Sale of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine will remain illegal. "No research shows that marijuana is more harmful or addictive than alcohol and tobacco," says Georg Amstutz, spokesman for the Federal Office of Public Health.
--Time Magazine (US) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-17 US CA: 'West Wing' Creator Arrested On Drug Charge
 LOS ANGELES -- Aaron Sorkin, the Emmy-winning creator and executive producer of NBC's ``The West Wing,'' was arrested on a drug possession charge Sunday at Burbank Airport, authorities said Monday.

Sorkin, 40, was taken into custody by airport police after security personnel found a quantity of hallucinogenic mushrooms in his carry-on baggage, airport spokesman Victor Gill said.
--San Jose Mercury News (CA) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-14 US MI: 'God Created This Plant To Use'
 Minister Collecting Signatures To Put Legalizing Marijuana On Ballot.
BENZONIA - A licensed minister and former pot smoker is pushing a ballot measure to legalize marijuana. The Rev. Steve Thompson - a self-described "old hippie" who had smoked marijuana for "a good many years" - believes the cannabis hemp plant could save the family farm. Hemp has many uses, he said, including for paper, fuel and clothing.
--Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-12 US: Internet On Trial
 The War On Drugs, A Powerful Mexican Banker, And A Libel Suit Add Up To A Big Threat To Independent Online Journalism Ask Al Giordano about the theatrical possibilities of a high-profile libel suit that's been filed against him and his Web site, the Narco News Bulletin (, and he responds that he's not going to talk about it.
--Boston Phoenix (MA) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-12 CN BC: Movies About Marijuana And Other Evils
 EPHEMERAL DEVIANCE at the Blinding Light!! Mar. 20 and Mar. 21 Imagine yourself as a typical middle-class suburban teenager of the 1950s. It's a sunny afternoon, your high school social studies class is about to start watching a reel-to-reel film. Up until now you were blissfully unaware of the dangers of drugs, depression, and poor judgement, but that's all about to change...
--Ubyssey (Canada) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-12 The Netherlands: Translation: Netherlands Block Funds For UNDCP
 AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands have withdrawn their financial support for the drug-fighting agency of the United Nations. Minister Evelyne Herfkens of Development Cooperation has come to this decision after persistent accusations came to light about mismanagement at the highest level of the UN-agency in Vienna, the UNDCP.

A spokesperson for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, that the Dutch yearly contribution of US$ 4 million has for the time being been 'frozen'. This contribution had just been increased considerably in the last year. The Ministry itself qualifies the measure as drastic.

The director general of the United Nations Drug Control Program, a well-known mafia expert from Italy, Pino Arlacchi, has already for some time been the object of severe criticism. Numerous top staff members of UNDCP's head-office in Vienna have resigned, among them the experienced UN administrator and respected director for operations and analysis, Michael von der Schulenburg. In his letter of resignation the latter talks about UNDCP as an organization that is falling to bits.
--Het Parool (The Netherlands)
 2023-04-06 Ventura Backs Medicinal Pot
 ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Gov. Jesse Ventura said Wednesday that he supports legalizing marijuana for medical use.

"Medical marijuana? I fully support it, absolutely. Who is government to tell someone if they have AIDS or cancer, what they should be taking?" Ventura said in response to a question from a student at the University of St. Thomas.
--Bergen Record (NJ) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-06 Don't Say 'Just Say No': Facing Facts Of Failed Drug War
 A movie. A governor. A president. All three have shifted the debate on drugs more constructively in recent weeks than years of "war" rhetoric ever did, or could.

The movie is "Traffic," an artful message to the masses -- and Congress, it is turning out -- that border fortifications, criminal chases and prosecutions have negligible impact on drug addiction, and indeed may generate more corruption than true drug reduction.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who played a cameo role in "Traffic," told a Washington Post interviewer the movie had been a "final tipping point" convincing him to shift more government funds toward treatment and prevention.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said he'd been most impressed by the climactic quote of the drug czar ( played by Michael Douglas ) -- "I don't see how you can wage a 'war' on your own family."
--Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-03 Congressman Reintroduces Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana
 Washington, DC: Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) reintroduced legislation today in the 107th Congress to provide for the medical use of marijuana. The bill is titled the "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act." "People who are suffering from severe or terminal illnesses who find a measure of relief from marijuana ought to be able to use it without being treated like criminals," Frank announced. "This bill offers an opportunity for my conservative colleagues to decide if they really want to be consistent on the question of states' rights or if they think the federal government should tell states what to do."
--NORML Weekly News Bulletin
 2023-04-03 Drug Use, Drug Spending - What is the Correlation?
 From 1986 to 1992, as community anti-drug spending grew, drug use rates plunged. But in 1992 drug use rates reversed direction, and for the first time in over a decade, went up. That same year, those private money donations exploded, nearly doubling in a single year. Anti-drug spending bursts, yet drug use grows: how can this be?
--NORML - National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
 2023-04-03 Guardsmen Enlisted to Assist War On Drugs
 GUARDSMEN ENLISTED TO ASSIST WAR ON DRUGS Work With Police Concerns Some Civil Libertarians "It brings expertise and resources that wouldn't be otherwise available to us." -- Capt. Jim Chamberlain, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force "We don't feel any of our soldiers, full time or part time, should be involved in a war on the American people." -- Jerry Sheehan, American Civil Liberties Union
--The Washington Olympian - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-03 The War on Conservative Ideas
 "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right."
--New Jersey Star-Ledger - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-04-01 A Little Traffic On City's Streets
 A co-worker asked me recently where he could score some drugs. He doesn't actually use any illegal substances, as far as I know. Very few of us in the age bracket of 50-64 do use them -- only 1.7 percent, according to 1999 estimates from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA.
--Houston Chronicle - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 ALBANY - Armed with banners and an unflattering sculpture of Gov. Pataki's head, more than 1,000 foes of the Rockefeller Drug Laws flooded the state Capitol yesterday to call for their repeal. Pataki and the state Assembly have crafted dueling plans on softening what critics call New York's draconian code for punishing drug offenders. "We have never been closer," said Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry ( D-Queens ), a proponent of cutting sentences and boosting drug treatment. "Thirty years of imprisonment and pain is about to end."
--New York Daily News (NY) - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-03-28 Berkeley's Pot Limit Is 2.5 Pounds
 The Berkeley City Council settled the burning question last night of how much stash is too much stash for medical purposes. By an 8-to-1 vote, the council allowed a "qualified patient" to possess as many as 10 marijuana plants and 2 1/2 pounds of dried marijuana, disappointing more than two dozen medical marijuana activists who had urged the council to adopt a more liberal limit. "As one who has seen medical marijuana work and who has also been witness to illegal use of marijuana, it's hard to say which way we should go," said Councilwoman Margaret Breland, one of four council members who initially favored the generous limit but accepted the lower amount because they lacked a majority vote.
--San Francisco Chronicle - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With the federal government warning against creating "marijuana pharmacies," a number of Supreme Court justices expressed reservations on Wednesday about allowing marijuana to be given to patients who prove cannabis was medically necessary.
--Reuters - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-03-27 A Narco News Global Alert - Border Bombshell: Another Governor Says Legalize
 Chihuahua Governor Offers Solidarity to Neighboring Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico. Gov. Patricio Mart�nez Says: "Drug Legalization Must Be Supported".
--The Narco News Bulletin
 2023-03-27 Potful of Controversy -Supreme Court Weighs Drug Law - Medical Marijuana Puts States On The Front Line Of Federal War
 SAN FRANCISCO - It was Friday afternoon, his work was done, and Keith Vines had made his decision. The former Air Force captain turned prosecutor, who had prided himself on being a foot soldier in his country's war on drugs, was leaving his office and heading downtown to score some pot. "It was . . . awkward," he said, recalling the day in 1993 that he walked into a quasi-legal cannabis club holding a note from his doctor and walked out clutching a baggie of marijuana.
--Houston Chronicle - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-03-22 Court Curbs Drug Testing During Pregnancy
 COURT CURBS DRUG TESTS DURING PREGNANCY WASHINGTON The Supreme Court ruled today that hospital workers cannot constitutionally test maternity patients for illegal drug use without their consent if the purpose is to alert the police to a crime.
--New York Times, Inc., Coutesy of MAP Inc.
 A fragile truce ending a week of mud slinging was broken last night when the Prime Minister accused National of spreading rumours that cannabis was found in Health Minister Annette King's ministerial car.
--New Zealand Herald, Courtesy of MAP, Inc
 A mutliple sclerosis sufferer charged with possession of cannabis told a jury that his life wasn't worth living without the drug.
--Evening News, UK - Courtesy of Map Inc.
 2023-03-19 Report: Fox Talks Drug Legalization
 MEXICO CITY (AP) - Struggling with the corruption and violence caused by drug trafficking, President Vicente Fox says the solution might be to eventually legalize drug use.
--AP - Courtesy of Yahoo
 Sheriff's narcotics officers who came away empty-handed from a forceful early-morning raid on a South Memphis home last year relied on an informant who had seen drugs stored and sold at the home, says a search warrant.
--Commercial Appeal (TN) Courtesy of MAP Inc.
 2023-03-18 Hard Lessons From Traffic?
 HARD LESSONS FROM TRAFFIC? The Drift Of Public Policy In The Matter Of Drugs. The drug czar-elect in the movie Traffic has decided to look at the grit of drug trade and drug addiction first hand, to which end he forages about Tijuana and has a near overdose. Groggy from what he has seen, he accosts his staff on his posh private plane going back to Washington. Michael Douglas does one of his jut-jawed scenes, with which the movie is replete, and says he wants all ideas ventilated. Everything. The director, who is headed for Oscarland, wisely decided to cut away before any new ideas were in fact proffered, because the drift of the movie — like the drift of public policy in the matter of drugs — is: Continue, at breathless speed, to accomplish…nothing.
--National Review - Friday March 16th, 2023
 2023-03-16 5 On Miami Swat Team Facing Charges
 MIAMI (AP) -- Five members of the Miami Police Department's SWAT team were charged Wednesday with lying to federal investigators during a probe of a 1996 drug raid in which a 73-year-old man was killed in a hail of 123 bullets.
--San Jose Mercury News - Courtesy of Map Inc
 2023-03-15 Justices to Rule on Medical Pot Use
 Five years after voters passed Proposition 215 sanctioning medical marijuana use, the California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether the law creates immunity from prosecution or only an affirmative defense once a person faces formal charges.
--The Recorder
 2023-03-13 The War On Drugs Takes Another Hit
 In the California Gold Rush town of Auburn the curtain has finally rung down on a remarkable criminal trial that has raised some disturbing questions about the government's long-running war on marijuana.
 2023-03-13 The War On Drugs Is Lost - William F. Buckley
 NATIONAL REVIEW has attempted during its tenure as, so to speak, keeper of the conservative tablets to analyze public problems and to recommend intelligent thought. The magazine has acknowledged a variety of positions by right-minded thinkers and analysts who sometimes reach conflicting conclusions about public policy. As recently as on the question of troops to Bosnia, there was dissent within the family from our corporate conclusion that we'd be best off staying home.
--Natonal Review 1996
 2023-03-13 A Turning Point On Drugs
 President Bush has an opportunity to lead a budding revolution in the nation's policy on substance abuse. For the first time in the nation's many wars on drugs, the forces are there to balance and strengthen all four legs of the effort against abuse and addiction: research, prevention, treatment and law enforcement.
--Washington Post, courtesy of Map Inc
 2023-03-11 Swiss Government Decides To Legalize Pot Use

The Swiss government Friday endorsed a draft law that would legalize the consumption of marijuana and hashish and allow a limited number of "dope shops."

The bill submitted to parliament seeks to bring Swiss law in line with the reality that one-fourth of the people aged 15-24 regularly use the drugs in the Alpine state, according to a poll commissioned last month by the Swiss government.

"Decriminalizing the consumption of cannabis and the acts leading up to this takes account of social reality and unburdens police and the courts," the government said in a statement.
--San Jose Mercury News - Courtesy of Map Inc
 2023-03-11 Sacrificial Lamb
 Toward the end of a recent hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Judge Plummer E. Lott asked Rabbi Yitzchak Fried, who like so many other drug defendants in New York was waiving his right to trial and pleading guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence, if he had any questions about the charges against him. The Brooklyn district attorney's office had charged Fried with selling a total of more than seven ounces of marijuana to a police informant on five occasions in Borough Park. Under the plea, Fried would not serve more than three years in prison.

Fried, a 52-year-old man with soft features, a dark beard, meditative eyes, and the thin white strings of a tallis hanging past the edge of his gray pinstripe suit, answered with tension in his voice, "I have many questions."

The judge asked if he had sold the marijuana.

Fried answered stonily, "I sold it. But not for profit."

"Well, you may be a bad businessman. . . . "

"I was not doing business," Fried said. "It was medical marijuana."
--Village Voice - Courtesy of Map Inc.
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The commandments, Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
-Paul, Romans 13:9-11

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May 15 2002, 11:12:19
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