Cannabis News Marijuana Policy Project
  Medical Pot Laws Don't Blow Smoke
Posted by CN Staff on January 07, 2007 at 07:11:43 PT
By Bill Zimmerman and Dave Fratello 
Source: Los Angeles Daily News 

medical California -- Ten years ago, California voters were first in the nation to legalize the medical use of marijuana. We managed the Proposition 215 campaign, and later had similar success in six other states.

When Proposition 215 appeared on the California ballot, political leaders and pundits of all stripes urged voters to oppose it. They made some dramatic predictions about what would happen if it passed. Let's go back and see how right, or wrong, they were.

President Bill Clinton's drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, was blunt: Legal acceptance of the medical use of marijuana would "cause drug abuse to increase among our children."

McCaffrey was wrong. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey, done in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared teen marijuana use in 1995 to 2003. It found an 11 percent decrease nationally in ninth-graders' frequent marijuana use (defined as use during the previous 30 days). But the decrease among California ninth-graders was a staggering 47 percent.

Nationally, frequent marijuana use by 11th-graders dropped by 12 percent, but in California the drop was twice as steep (24 percent). Similarly, the number of California teens experimenting with marijuana plummeted faster than the national average.

California's then-Attorney General, Dan Lungren, a Republican, claimed that Proposition 215 was "so loosely written ... so poorly defined, that in fact it would apply in situations far beyond" medical use. Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates, a fellow Republican who chaired the campaign against Proposition 215, said the measure "wouldn't just legalize marijuana for medical use - it would legalize marijuana, period."

Lungren and Gates were wrong. In California, marijuana arrests have hovered around 60,000 per year, unaffected by Proposition 215. Nationally, according to the Government Accountability Office, most law enforcement agencies in states with medical-marijuana laws said those laws "had not greatly affected their law enforcement activities."

Political pundit Robert Novak claimed medical marijuana was "the wedge in the door for legalizing marijuana," calling Proposition 215 "just the beginning" of a legalization effort by George Soros and other donors supporting the initiative.

Novak was wrong. Ten years later, Soros has not tried to legalize marijuana, and voters have rejected the few proposals to do so that were sponsored by others.

In addition to the seven states in which we helped pass medical-marijuana ballot initiatives, four others also have passed such laws. These 11 states, with over 70 million residents, have found ways to regulate medical marijuana - a feat opponents thought impossible.

Several states allow patients who have a doctor's approval to register with confidential databases and receive credentials recognized by law enforcement. They are not arrested if they grow or use the limited amounts of marijuana specified by law. Cops, prosecutors and judges have found that it isn't as hard as they had feared to tell the difference between a weekend smoker and a medical patient with a doctor's approval.

Medical-marijuana ballot measures were necessary because politics and fear had kept marijuana out of the medical mainstream for decades. Now, statistics show that thousands of doctors are recommending marijuana to patients in the states that allow it. New studies of whole marijuana and its unique chemicals are showing a wide range of benefits beyond pain relief and reduction of nausea, the two most common medical uses. Recent research shows that medical marijuana significantly reduces symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis, and marijuana's key ingredient, THC, actually slows the progress of Alzheimer's disease more effectively than any other known alternative.

National polls show that public support for the medical use of marijuana is in the range of 70 percent to 80 percent. Yet the federal government has maintained a policy of opposition, harassment and intimidation.

There is much the new Congress can and should do to allow states and patients greater freedom to experiment with medical marijuana. A starting point would be congressional hearings that fairly present the new scientific and medical facts.

Only a relaxation of federal obstacles can encourage researchers, physicians and more state legislatures to develop policies that can bring the benefits of this much-misunderstood medicine to all Americans.

Bill Zimmerman and Dave Fratello work for the political consulting firm Zimmerman & Markman in Santa Monica (www.zimark.com).

Source: Los Angeles Daily News (CA)
Author: Bill Zimmerman and Dave Fratello, Guest Columnists
Published: January 5, 2007
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Website: http://www.dailynews.com
Contact: don_debenedictis@dailyjournal.com

CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #25 posted by Toker00 on January 10, 2007 at 03:15:50 PT
Richard
CHUCKLE! Maybe our past can save our future!

Toke.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #24 posted by Richard Zuckerman on January 09, 2007 at 10:52:21 PT:

TOKER00, COMMENT #15, WORTHWHILE MEDICAL HISTORY
Thanks for those thoughts, Toker00! Judicial decisions have noted the importance of history. One particular legal phrase used in at least a few U.S. Supreme Court opinions is the term "historical error." Is it worth a chuckle that Chief Justice William Rehnquist had been addicted to the pain reliever Placadil (phonetic) while holding a rational basis for maintaining Cannabis in the Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substance Act?



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #23 posted by Hope on January 08, 2007 at 08:22:47 PT
Imagine
Some plants, if not all, contain some amazing healing properties for human beings and animals. There are discoveries to be made...horizons to reach.

Imagine if a chemical company, like Dow or Monsanto, could "engineer" a plant that could actually treat and cure some illness, ease pain and inflammation, and make a person feel better. Talk about money growing on trees...or bushes or grasses! Would that not be the discovery of the age? A plant that prevents, eases, and cures some of the misery of human kind! That is so exciting!

Mankind has already been given this plant and others. This amazing plant has already been discovered, although somewhat barely. Yet....and this is the big question....Why won't the authorities and the powers that be let you have it?

Why?

Why this great insult and injustice to humanity? Why is it kept from us, the people, and even scientists are hard pressed to even consider studying it?

Why exactly is this prohibition being done and on such a large and dramatic scale?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #22 posted by afterburner on January 07, 2007 at 21:41:19 PT
One More
CN QU: PUB LTE: Prohibition's Gotta Go http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n019/a10.html

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Comment #21 posted by afterburner on January 07, 2007 at 21:28:03 PT
More LTEs
CN BC: PUB LTE: Compassion Raid a Waste of Time, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, (05 Jan 2007) http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v07/n018/a13.html?176

CN BC: PUB LTE: Tumor Story A Nice Touch, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, (05 Jan 2007) http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v07/n018/a14.html?176

CN ON: PUB LTE: Igniting Modern 'Reefer Madness', The Intelligencer, (04 Jan 2007) http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v07/n018/a03.html?176

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 07, 2007 at 14:44:04 PT
Just Saw on CNN
They did a piece on Senator Reid and he likes the Cowboy Junkies. I went to their web site and found a video on Youtube that they said sums up December Skies.

http://www.cowboyjunkies.com/

December Skies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWa-TM_5jjE

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Comment #19 posted by FoM on January 07, 2007 at 13:52:35 PT
Off Topic: I Found This in My California Newsgroup
The Other Rocky: Salt Lakes City's Visionary Mayor

http://alternet.org/story/46195/

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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 07, 2007 at 13:43:42 PT
Hope
I can see you are really upset. I'm just happy today and maybe it's because I have been watching and listening to the Grateful Dead from the Closing of Winterland on New Years Eve in 1978 most of the day. They sure knew how to have a good time and get along with each other. I just saw them interview Ken Kesey and my was he in his own world happy as a bug in a rug. What is so wrong about feeling good?

Marijuana and probably LSD. Must have been really something.

When it started someone flew in overhead in about a 12 foot joint and threw joints out to everyone in the packed crowd. Oh for freedom to be really free once again.

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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on January 07, 2007 at 13:26:13 PT
Just a little more.
This just basically describes the difficulty of dosing cannabis. Not being water soluble was the riff. But, here was the answer:

Finally, in 1895 T. B. Wood, W. T. N. Spivey and T. H. Easterfield, research chemists at the University of Cambridge, made a breakthrough. Working with what they termed 'a red oil' extracted by a method of vacuum distillation from Indian hashish, they isolated a relatively impure extract which they named cannabinol. A viscous resin, it turned into an oily liquid on gently heating and induced delirium if eaten. For the next forty years, this was considered to be the psycho-active element in cannabis. In 1897, further research by an analytical chemist called C. R. Marshall proved that cannabis lost it's potency over time due to oxidation. With these discoveries, the stage was set for the pharmaceutical industry to assay accurately any drug but, for cannabis, this all came too late.

What finally put paid to cannabis as a viable medical product was the emergence of synthetic drugs created from the massive advances in chemistry made especially during the last thirty years of the nineteenth century. That these synthetics were often far more harmful than natural cannabis was considered by the way. It was the age of science, optimism and faith in scientific potential and infallibility overruling sensible judgement. When, in the mid-1880's, antipyrine and acetanilide appeared, the writing was on the wall. Five years later, a new drug developed from the research into these was put on sale for the first time. Its chemical name was acetylsalicylic acid but its trade name was aspirin.

Toke.

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Comment #16 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 13:02:27 PT
Whew!
A toke would do wonders to relieve some of the misery and sadness I feel now.

Ah well. No can do. Got to be miserable for the prohibitionists' sakes.

Yes...I'm pretty damned miserable. And yes...I'm going to bitch and bitch and bitch and gripe until something is done. I can't stand watching you prohibitionists make people's lives hell.

I'm awake. I'm miserable. I know the cause. I'm not going to let you rest, prohibitionists...oh you hateful sect.

Damned misery mongers!

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Comment #15 posted by Toker00 on January 07, 2007 at 12:59:17 PT
I'm just sharing a little bit, k?
Those researchers not concerned with the purely medical application of cannabis addressed the reasons for its efficacy. An American, Hobart Amory Hare, suggested in 1887 he had found a reason for the analgesic properties of cannabis: "During the time that this remarkable drug is relieving pain a very curious psychical condition manifests itself; namely, that the diminution of the pain seems to be due to its fading away in the distance, so that the pain becomes less and less, just as the pain in a delicate ear would grow less and less as a beaten drum was carried farther and farther out of the range of hearing. This condition is probably associated with the other well-known symptom produced by the drug; namely the prolongation of time." He also noted how cannabis calmed the anxiety felt by sufferers of terminal illnesses.

Not all the researchers, however, were necessarily as keen to discover a strictly medical relevance. The foremost English pharmacologist and author of the immensely influential "A manual of Pharmacology", Walter Ernest Dixon, wrote in the British Medical Journal that "Hemp taken as an inhalation may be placed in the same category as coffee, tea and kola. It is not dangerous and its effects are never alarming, and I have come to regard it in this form as a useful and refreshing stimulant and food accessory, and one whose use does not lead to a habit which grows upon its votary."

Come on. No research? Cannabis Medicine is just a competition for the present day Opiate Medicine based monopoly on pain. They are forcing a Physically Addicting medicine on us when they could be using Cannabis Medicine without the addiction risks. Cause No Harm?

Toke.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #14 posted by Toker00 on January 07, 2007 at 12:37:13 PT
They hate us now like they hated us then.
But they didn't ALWAYS hate us. This is an excerpt from the book: "Cannabis. A History"

Yet, as the years passed, the research became more exacting and specific, meeting higher scientific criteria. In 1889, an article by Dr. E.A. Birch in The Lancet, then as now one of the world's leading medical journals, outlines the application of cannabis for the treatment of opium and chloral hydrate withdrawal symptoms: the mixture reduced the opium craving and acted as an anti-emetic. The following year, an article appeared in the same publication by Queen Victoria's doctor, Reynolds. He declared cannabis "One of the most valuable medicines we posses and ideal for treating uterine bleeding, migraine, neuralgia and epileptoid and choroid spasms."

Too bad all medical research prior to the DEA/FDA is just "anecdotal".

Toke.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 12:08:23 PT
Hell and misery
"They" are wrong about it just making you strong.

Surviving it can make you stronger...tougher, as we know. But, hell and misery can kill and can make a life not worth the living.

Why cultivate, purposely, hell and misery?

The cannabis plant provides merciful relief to many. Why come down on the man who uses the plant so hard...so wrathfully...so savagely? Why come down on him at all? Much less with "Hell and misery".

Oh Lord. What we cultivate. Hate and misery? Love and peace?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 07, 2007 at 11:48:19 PT
Hope
I agree. I know they hate but hate most times is really jealousy in disguise I've always thought. They can't figure out how to be happy so hating those that are happy is what makes them feel justified I believe.

Isn't there something about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness somewhere.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 11:43:11 PT
"Our culture"
Easy to hate. Why? Because it has an "easy" and "smooth" quality to it.

Prohibitionists say, "Life is not supposed to be easy and smooth!!!!"

According to prohibitionists, "You and everyone else, including me, should have as much hell and misery everyday of our lives as we can possibly endure. It makes us strong. Misery is good for you! It's what's life is about. You're supposed to be miserable! I'm miserable! Why shouldn't you be?"

That's one thing Prohibitionists hate.

They hate the music, too.

"How dare they?", they think.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 11:35:39 PT
Richard
He does indeed have a lot of energy, Dankhank. He does indeed.

I'm so glad he's using it for good...for righting a wrong...for us.

I'm afraid, though, that for every Richard we have...they have ten.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 11:29:46 PT
Savage
Most certainly.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 11:28:51 PT
EXCERPT
Barry Cooper's new DVD, Never Get Busted Again, which went on sale over the Internet late last month, will probably not sell very well outside the United States, because in most other countries the possession of marijuana for personal use is treated as a misdemeanour or simply ignored by the police. But it will sell very well in the U.S., where many thousands of casual marijuana users are hit with savage jail terms every year in a nationwide game of Russian roulette in which most people indulge their habit unharmed while a few unfortunates have their lives ruined.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 07, 2007 at 11:27:21 PT
Savage
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n016/a09.html

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by Dankhank on January 07, 2007 at 11:23:58 PT
forgot ...
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=156&page=51

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 07, 2007 at 11:22:07 PT
Toker00
This is how I think about it all. I always thought that when people who were in the 60's counter culture in real time or in their heads would change the law on marijuana when they became high level politicians and had clout. If the time isn't coming soon then that idea I have had all these years will prove wrong.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on January 07, 2007 at 11:14:49 PT
Richard Z
you gotta lotta energy ...

I'm impressed and wish you well ... and thanx for the lesson on Sparf v US ...



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on January 07, 2007 at 10:08:40 PT
Can she end the Genocide?
Can our culture be saved? A Deadhead in the No. 3 position in Washington D.C.? But how far will she take it?

Article: This is so cool that some are actually realizing Cannabis Medicine helps the uncool, too. Will Johnny Six-pack ever get the message? Not if Budweiser gets their way. How can the alcohol industry get away with all the STUPID beer commercials about a very DANGEROUS drug, then in the next segment, Demonize Cheech and Chong over a much SAFER drug? No one(!), who has ever toked with me, has ever been as stupid as the CandC characters, or for that matter, the Bud-goons. Still, they use these movies where two actors, DECADES ago, innocently tried to portrait cannabis as FUN, to continue the oppression of Cannabis Truth? Then promote Alcohol Stupidity as reality? They made cannabis the scapegoat of Stupidity, when Alcohol abuse, to be honest, riegns Supremely Stupid! They ban the truth, yet promote the lies. The sad part of that is, the actors were really LIEING about the REAL effects of cannabis, and the REAL cannabis culture.

Maybe we should erect a Billboard with photos of Drunk Driver wrecks, Beaten Spouses, Abused Children, Homeless Bums who gave it all to ADDICTION, when cannabis could rehabilitate ALL these people. The other half of the Board could just have S.A.F.E.R.'s Website Logo and addresses, as well as L.E.A.P., A.S.A's, D.P.A.'s, and N.O.R.M.L.'s. Just a Tokin' thought.

Toke.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by Richard Zuckerman on January 07, 2007 at 09:57:18 PT:

XENOPHOBIA & GOVT. DISINFORMATION/BRAINWASHING
The public corporations stand to lose money and power if "Marijuana" was to be legalized. They LIE to the people for the tax free C.I.A. drug money laundering, other law enforcement, for police power, just as the trial judge will LIE to you when you become a juror that you MUST follow the judge's instructions of law even if you disagree with the law [which the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to directly address since the 1895 case of Sparf and Hansen v. United States.

Now you Democrats and Republicans are planning to overpopulate this country with Mexicans, who have no interest in this country, literally FOREIGN INVADERS, for the cheeeeep labor. Overpopulation, economic depression, and a lack of national security are the result of your misplaced empathy of the plight of Mexicans. I hope those of you people who vote Democrat, Republican, or who don't vote at all, suffer for your bad voting practices!!! It is your bad voting practices which is dragging this once great nation down the tubes!!! Donald Trump wrote on page 3 of his book WHY WE WANT YOU TO BE RICH, c. 2006, that the American education system is the greatest in the world UP TO THE THIRD GRADE, BUT AFTER 3RD GRADE THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE OF POOR QUALITY. I ONLY vote for Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates! You people vote for U.S. Supreme Court Justices whom refuse to grant certiorari on jury nullification, whether the Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms has been incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to apply to "any person", with expansive "interstate commerce" clause interpretion which gives federal jurisdiction to prosecute us for growing pot plants on our own property, to give judges, prosecutors, police, and those who lie under oath, too much immunity from lawsuit, leaving unaccountable much government misconduct, just enough to keep Big Brother alive and well in the "just for us" United States government!!

If you people do not believe "undocumented workers" pose no threat to our national security, then why do so many illegal alien gang members in Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona, comprise a bulk of arrest warrants for murder? The laws against "Marijuana" are a petty inconvenience we face compared to the problems of legalizing these illegal aliens!!

While Chief Justice William Rehnquist was exclaiming that the federal government has a rational basis for "Marijuana" being in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, he concealed his addiction to the pain reliever prescription drug Placidil (phonetic)!!!

I am appalled that Americans are so IGNORANT and COWARDLY that they would rather go along to get along by voting for the big Corporations and people with money instead of for freedom from taxation, pollution, and a police state.

I look forward to the N.J. State Appellate Division panel decision on whether a private citizen has had a Right to be free from retaliatory prosecution by police under the State Constitutional freedom of speech [NOT the federal constitutional freedom of speech, the STATE Constitutional freedom of speech]!!! The U.S. Supreme Court in Hope v. Pelzer (2002) held that the proper standard for determining whether a Right is clearly established is NOT whether a prior court decision addressed a materially similar fact scenario, but rather merely whether the police are put on notice that what they are doing is unlawful!! A recently published 2nd Circuit decision used the Hope v. Pelzer standard and wrote that there is a "clear and present danger" standard for determining whether the police may break up a protest, that there MUST be a "clear and present danger" of a SERIOUS disturbance during the protest for the police to stop the protest, not minor disturbances. [Police have been known to infiltrate large groups with provocateurs to create disturbances as an excuse to break up the protest and keep the message from being brought out to the public.].

I look forward to hearing what the U.S. Supreme Court will say in the case of the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case. I have wanted to send a copy of last month's issue of Cannabis Culture Magazine about the historical use of Cannabis in religious ceremonies, to the lawyers on the appeal. The published Federal Supplement case of Forchion v. ISP (D.N.J. circa 2003) makes the distinction between encouraging the illegal use of Cannabis and encouraging the legalization of Cannabis. In addition, if the student was on school time when he walked across the street onto the sidewalk to display the banner, you need to consider whether there was a rule prohibiting the student from leaving school property, in light of their parens patriae authority [Though you may disagree; Again, YOU vote for compulsory school attendance laws and the massive taxation for it when you vote for the two major parties!!!]!

I guess the New Jersey Legislature considers me a lone nut when I am the only person mailing them letters calling for REAL reform of the tax system by eliminating compulsory school attendance laws, improving the curriculum of public schools by teaching the dark side of government, the law, RELEVANT history, and, as Donald Trump complains is insufficient in his recently published book entitled WHY WE WANT YOU TO BE RICH, c. 2006: "financial education," and for the legalization, regulation, and taxation of Cannabis for adults, www.prohibitioncosts.org. This past Friday, the other day, while I was speaking to the Secretary of the Mayor of North Brunswick, N.J., in the Mayor's Office, a tall policeman walked into the Mayor's Office with an affect of a legalistic law enforcement officer and asked the Secretary if she is O.K. with me being there. The Secretary said it was allright. I visited the police department afterwards, noticed the policeman sitting behind the thick glass window, perhaps as a watch commander. He introduced himself as Lieutenant "Kosowski" (phonetic) and told me he received a call that I was wondering around on the floor. I have a lawsuit pending against the N.J. State Police for denying me entrance into the State House Annex to watch Montel Williams and Dr. John P. Morgan, M.D., CUNY, testify for the medical "marijuana" Bill, Senate Bill 88, though I do not expect much money from this lawsuit. I am suing Highland Park policeman, www.hpboro.com, for fabricating a "disorderly conduct" charge, the subject of the aforementioned retaliatory prosecution appeal. I am quite willing to make a third lawsuit, one against the North Brunswick police department, if the case arises. If nobody complains, the problems will go on forever!

Richard Paul Zuckerman, Post Office Box 159, Metuchen, New Jersey, 08840-0159, (Cell phone)(848) 250-8879.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 07, 2007 at 07:49:19 PT
OT: Speaker Pelosi Hosts Day of the Dead in D.C.

January 7, 2007

Excerpt: It didn't take long for ``San Francisco values'' to sweep into Washington, D.C.

In a tidbit so delicious, so horrifying to Rush Limbaugh fans, so straight out of central casting that it couldn't go unmentioned, it turns out the new House speaker is a Deadhead.

Nancy Pelosi, the person second in line for the presidency, is a fan of the late Jerry Garcia. That's ``Captain Trips'' to those of us in the Bay Area, and ``Captain Hide the Women and Children'' to most of the Midwest (and Texas).

Conjuring up images of chugging Volkswagen buses, puppies on ropes and glassy-eyed twirlers, Pelosi invited several former members of the Dead to her gala, $1,000-a-plate fundraising party Thursday night in D.C., along with more mainstream choices like Tony Bennett and Carole King.

``Ms. Pelosi is a huge Dead fan,'' her spokeswoman said.

Our Deadhead spies tell us that band stalwarts Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann, along with sometime members Bruce Hornsby and Warren Haynes, opened with ``Shakedown Street'' (a tribute to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff?) and played ``Truckin','' ``Touch of Grey'' and other chestnuts.

And proving that the old Deadhead bumper sticker ``We Are Everywhere'' is still true despite Garcia's 1995 death, consider this from the Associated Press:

``Outside there was even a genuine Grateful Dead fan trying to get in, holding a hand-painted sign with the classic Deadhead plea: `I need a miracle.' The fan, dreadlocked 30-year-old Scott Orellana, said he didn't have $1,000. A Democratic aide eventually sneaked him in the door.''

We're sure Dick Cheney would have done the same thing.

Complete Article: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/columnists/16404204.htm

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