NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 10, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 10, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on April 10, 2003 at 18:32:01 PT
Press Release
Source: NORML
Columbia Voters Reject Municipal Pot InitiativeColumbia, MO: A municipal initiative calling for the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, and limiting the criminal prosecution of medicinal marijuana patients gained only 42 percent of voters' support on Tuesday's special election.
Dan Viets, state coordinator for Missouri NORML which co-sponsored the Columbia initiative said that low voter turnout and a last minute lobbying blitz from the U.S. Drug's Czar's office likely played a role in defeating the measure. Representatives from the White House Office of Drug Policy (ONDCP) traveled to Columbia last week and held a series of press conferences speaking out against the initiative.Despite Tuesday's vote, Proposition 1 backers claimed a partial victorybecause they persuaded the Columbia police to institute a policy that would refer all marijuana offenses involving less than 35 grams to municipal - not circuit - court. Under this change, students charged with pot possession in Columbia will not lose their financial aid eligibility. Currently, provisions to the Higher Education Act law bar federal student aid to anyone with a federal or state marijuana conviction; however those charged in municipal court do not risk losing their student aid.For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Dan Viets, Esq. of Missouri NORML at (573) 443-6866.DL: Proposition Fails Official Issues Pot Warning Initiative Draws Federal Attention Education Coalition Holds Capitol Hill Press Conference To Protest Federal Bill Barring Financial Aid To StudentsApril 10, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: A coalition of federal lawmakers, educational organizations and students came together today on Capitol Hill to protest a federal provision in the Higher Education Act (HEA) that bars students with a prior drug conviction including the misdemeanor possession of marijuana from receiving federal financial aid. Since 1998, more than 93,000 students have been denied access to federal aid because of the provision, which was included in the HEA in 1998 by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN)."While I don't condone drug use, I disagree with the idea of using the federal financial aid system to punish people who have been convicted ofrelatively minor drug convictions," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). He was joined by Reps. Tom Allen (D-ME), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and representatives from Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), among others.Congress is expected to debate the controversial provision later this year, and consider legislation to make the law apply only to students who are convicted while receiving student aid, as well legislation sponsored by Rep. Frank to repeal the provision altogether.NORML Affiliate Coordinator Kris Krane told attendees at the press conference that it was needlessly punitive for the federal government to remove educational opportunities from those found guilty of a minor pot conviction. "Marijuana is by far the most widely used illegal drug among young people and the majority of students impacted by this law have marijuana convictions," he said. "It's unfair to deny student's the right to an education just because they were caught with a joint or small amount of marijuana."For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Kris Krane of NORML at (202) 483-5500.DL: Policy Harms Youth's Policy Makes Stand on Drug Law Policy Missteps - Harvard Crimson Goes Own Way On Drug Policy Lawmakers Introduce "Truth In Trials Act" To Allow Patients To Argue Medical Marijuana Necessity In Federal CourtApril 10, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Congressmen Sam Farr (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Barney Frank (D-MA) held a press conference today to announce the introduction of the "Truth in Trials Act." If approved by Congress, the bill would allow medicinal marijuana patients and providers charged under federal law to introduce evidence at trial that their use of marijuana was for medicinal purposes and/or in accordance with state law. Currently, federal judges will not allow such evidence into testimony because Congress has never determined that marijuana has medical value."This affirmative defense bill has been introduced because the federal government continues to ignore the laws of eight states that allow the legal use and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. He noted that over the eighteen months, federal drug enforcement officials have taken action against approximately 40 medicinal marijuana patients, cooperatives and providers in California. "If a defendant is using medical marijuana in compliance with the laws of his or her state, then a federal jury should be allowed to hear that information, and the patient should not be sent to federal prison."Stroup added that a more comprehensive bill seeking to federally reschedule marijuana so that state governments could legally permit its use and distribution without running afoul of federal law will be re-introduced in Congress shortly. A previous version of that bill, "The States' Rights To Medical Marijuana Act," gained 42 co-sponsors in the last Congress, but failed to receive a hearing in the House of Representatives.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup at (202) 483-5500.DL: Bill Allows Medical Marijuana Defense in Drug Case Would Allow Medical Marijuana Defense To Unveil Medical Pot Legislation Truth in Trials Act to Be Introduced US Inmate Population Tops 2 Million Mark For The First TimeApril 10, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: There are more than 2 million Americans incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails, according to a report released this week by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The figure is highest ever recorded in the history of the United States.An estimated 12 percent of those incarcerated are African-American males between the ages of 20 and 34, the report found. Previous DOJ reports have calculated that 28 percent of African-American men will be incarcerated during their lifetime. Overall, one in every 142 US residents is now in prison or jail.Despite the overall increase in US state and federal inmates, the report noted that California experienced a 2.2 percent decrease in its total prisoners in 2002. The report attributed the decline to the passage of Proposition 36 in 2000, which mandates non-violent drug offenders be sentenced to probation and treatment instead of prison."Proposition 36 is working as voters intended and helping California buck this unfortunate nationwide trend," NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said.Today's inmate population is roughly four times what it was in the mid-1970s, and nearly twice what it was in 1990. About 25 percent of US inmates are incarcerated on drug-related charges.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. The report, "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2002," is available online at: Too Many People Are Behind Bars Prison Population Tops 2 Million American Gulag in The Making Industry Schedules National Day Of Action To Protest Hemp Foods BanApril 10, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: A coalition of activists will converge on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offices nationwide on Monday, April 21, to protest the agency's new regulations criminalizing hemp food products.The DEA issued a final rule regarding the new regulations last month, and the ban is scheduled to take effect on April 21, 2003. The regulations - which are being challenged by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - prohibit the possession and manufacture of any edible hemp seed or oil products, including snack bars, veggie burgers and salad oils, that test positive for trace levels of THC.For more information on the upcoming day of action, please contact Nadine Bloch at (301) 891-3680.DL: Hemp Archives NORML Foundation (DC)Published: April 3, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- April 3, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 27, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 20, 2003
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Comment #4 posted by i420 on April 11, 2003 at 07:11:30 PT
Two years that i have been using the net for mj activism not once have i heard mention of remonstrance petitions. These petitions are used to stop local projects. Hmmmmmmmm
is your prosecuting attorney for your county prosecuting non-violent marijuana offenders well just get on the remonstrance petition bandwagon and start petitions whenever you can. My goal is to turn in a petition opposing deregulation of city utilities with EXACTLY 420 signatures. I need only 200 signatures to make it happen.NOTE:This could be best described as local officials hit a brick wall called payback for pot prohibition.
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on April 10, 2003 at 21:38:36 PT
Amber Alert sails through Congress - A product of a House-Senate compromise, the House passed the bill by a lopsided 400-25 vote, and the Senate later approved it 98-0, sending it to President Bush, who said he will sign it swiftly.I read the NYT and Reuters and AP and several other sources listed at Google and their is no mention whatsoever of amendments, much less something that mentions anything resembling a Rave Act.Something tells me it was attatched as an amendment and the media neglected it. You would think the Guardian would mention it but something tells me the media does not want to raise a stink. Tomorrow will tell.
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on April 10, 2003 at 21:27:38 PT
Virgil, that article is very well written
I especially like this quote,...."All that changed last week when, following an extraordinary hearing in which Coleman's integrity was shredded -- with former coworkers portraying him as dishonest, untrustworthy, and a racist, and Coleman himself labeling his sworn testimony "questionable" -- presiding Judge Ron Chapman declared: "Tom Coleman is simply not a credible witness under oath," and moved to vacate the convictions. Which, in prosecution-friendly Texas, is the equivalent of pointing out that not only does the emperor have no clothes -- he's got a really lousy body."Yep, a stinky bloated body that cannot move anymore! Heck, boys and girls, alot can be done down there in south..Locals down there can vote. There are some strange laws in Texas.. Drive to a town and you cannot quench your throat with a fine Coors Light beer and just a couple of 30 miles away you can please your darn throat!Strange things can and will happen down there after all we got our Dixie Chicks and Psudeo Bush Dynasty down there..pazff
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on April 10, 2003 at 19:46:35 PT
Arianna on Tulia- 4/9
Arianna Online published a story on Tulia-
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