NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 24, 2003

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 24, 2003

Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2003 at 22:37:16 PT
Press Release 
Source: NORML 

NORML 2003 Conference Draws More Than 500 -- High Profile Speakers, Near Record Turnout Reflective Of "Progress We Are Making Politically" April 24, 2003 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco, CA: An overflow crowd of more than 500 marijuana-law reformers jammed the halls of San Francisco's Hyatt Regency Hotel to attend last week's national NORML Conference, and call for an end to America's criminal pot laws. 
This year's conference, entitled "Back to Basics: Stop Arresting Marijuana Smokers," also featured a special fourth day focusing on activist training techniques for student reformers."We attracted a wonderful group of supporters," said NORML's Keith Stroup, who noted that this year's conference was one of the largest in the organization's 33-year history. "The energy level and the mood of the attendees were extremely high. Also, this year we featured a wide range of celebrity and prominent speakers, such as actor Woody Harrelson, former NFL star Mark Stepnoski, travel writer and television host Rick Steves, Canadian Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, California Assemblyman Mark Leno, and ACLU President Nadine Strossen, among others. The willingness of these prominent citizens to join with us to call for a cease-fire in the war on marijuana smokers is reflective of the progress we are making politically."Additional speakers at this year's conference included San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan; NORML Foundation Board Chair Dr. John P. Morgan; Dr. Lester Grinspoon, author of "Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine;" national columnist Dan Savage; Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) President Shawn Heller; and legendary hemp activist Jack Herer, who received NORML's lifetime achievement award.News stories on the NORML conference were featured prominently in The San Francisco Chronicle and on several local television and radio programs.NORML and the NORML Foundation offer our sincerest gratitude to everyone who attended and helped make the 2003 conference our most successful ever.Photos and highlights from the 2003 NORML conference will be available shortly on the NORML web site at: To Basics: NORML Conference 2003 Times for Pot Advocates County, Patients Sue Federal Drug Warriors Over Medical Marijuana RaidsApril 24, 2003 - San Jose, CA, USASan Jose, CA: The city and county of Santa Cruz joined a federal lawsuit filed this week by the Wo/Mens' Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) and seven patients charging that the plaintiffs' civil rights were violated by last September's federal raid of the WAMM cooperative.Attorney Gerald Uelmen, co-counsel in the suit, called the decision by Santa Cruz's officials to join the suit unprecedented. "It's quite significant; it's really unprecedented," he said. "There haven't been any prior lawsuits where local governments have joined in."The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the US District Court in San Jose, argues that US Attorney General John Ashcroft, acting Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) director John Brown III, and White House Drug Czar John Walters are violating the Fifth, Ninth and 10th Amendments as well as exceeding their authority under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution by cracking down on medical marijuana use in California."Congress has made no finding that intrastate cultivation and use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients with the approval of their physicians, as permitted by California's Compassionate Use Act, has any effect whatsoever on interstate commerce," the suit says. It asks the Court to bar the DEA from carrying out similar raids of state medical marijuana dispensaries, and requests punitive damages for the WAMM raid.Federal law enforcement officials destroyed 167 medical marijuana plants in the WAMM bust. The dispensary served some 250 patients, 85 percent of whom suffered from terminal illness, by providing medicinal marijuana and other health related services free of charge.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.DL: from WAMM Protest Lawsuit Seeks To Curb Federal Authority Pot Seizures Targeted by Santa Cruz Joins Medical Pot Use Lawsuit Circuit Says No To Federal Hemp Food BanApril 24, 2003 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco, CA: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the hemp industry's request to stay pending Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations criminalizing the possession and manufacture of any edible hemp seed or oil products that contain trace amounts of THC - a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The DEA regulations, which were issued on March 21, 2003, were scheduled to take effect April 21, 2003.Representatives from the Hemp Industry's Association (HIA), which brought the "Motion to Stay" in conjunction with seven hemp food companies, were optimistic that the Court will ultimately invalidate the DEA's rule. One of the prime criteria in granting the motion was whether the hemp industry is likely to prevail on the merits of the case.Although some hemp products such as snack bars, veggie burgers and salad oils sometimes test positive for trace amounts of THC, there is no evidence that these levels are high enough to present any potential health or safety hazards to the consumer. Similarly, food products containing poppy seeds may test positive for trace amount of opiates.Retail sales of hemp products currently total some $250 million dollars, according to the nonprofit organization Vote Hemp.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751 or visit: http://www.votehemp.orgDL: Circuit Court Blocks DEA Hemp Rule Backers Celebrate NORML Foundation (DC)Published: April 24, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- April 10, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 3, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 27, 2003

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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 28, 2003 at 18:30:12 PT
NORML Conference Pictures from Gary Storck
A gallery of photos by IMMLY begins at: pictures by Richard Lake of the award ceremony and the Bulldog Cafe in Oaksterdam can be found here:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 25, 2003 at 16:20:46 PT
A perfect place! Thanks!
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Comment #3 posted by Richard Lake on April 25, 2003 at 14:29:52 PT:
Update list of NORML conference links
I guess this is as good a place to stick these as anywhere, FoM?NORML Conference Coverage, Links, and News Items to Date:NORML's report Lucas puts Senator Nolin amd Keith Stroup on the phone from the conference to conference picture slide show from the Seattle group conference pictures to Basics at 2003 NORML Conference - By Stephen Young CA: Column: Cannabinotes For 4-22-03 URL: DC: Column: Pot Parley URL: MO: Edu: Prop. 1 Failure Effects Reach Beyond Columbia URL: Story: Canadian Senator Stars At NORML Conference - As DEAland Threatens Retaliation, Again. Rightwing Think Tank Cited As Semi-Official Source. Is Canada Still Too White To Invade? Bad Neighbor Policy? It's 4/20 and We're in San Francisco, This Must Be NORML with Monday, 21 April, the KPFT 420 radio show each day features a guest interviewed at the conference which may be listened to on the net at Friday evening KPFT Cultural Baggage radio show will feature a large number of interviews made at the conference during the weeks ahead - details at (more details below)Dean Becker writes:4:20 Drug War News and the Cultural Baggage one hour shows this week feature interviews with those attending the recent San Francisco NORML Conference.3 minute "4:20" news spots on mp3 are available at features Dennis Perron. Tuesday has Richard Cowan of and Canadian Senator Pierre Nolin. Wednesday Elvy Musika, one of the 7 federal MMJ patients is online. Thursday, medical patients William Britt and Jackie Rickert say their piece. Friday has Shawn Heller of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access.Friday night on Cultural Baggage we have a SPECIAL hour of interviews with patients, providers, reformers, cops and many more and our special guests will be San Francisco District Attorney Terrance Hallinan as well as a representative of the upcoming Saturday "Texans Rally for Treatment Over Incarceration for Drug Offenders".Listen live at 12 midnight on Friday to 1 AM Saturday CST on KPFT Houston, 90.1 FM or live, online at shows are stored online as well.The Cultural Baggage shows are at news spots are stored at alert others to the Friday night Special on Cultural Baggage - The Unvarnished Truth about the Drug War.Thank you!Dean Becker=====NOTE: As time allows, the Friday night ( starts at 1 a.m. Saturday morning Eastern or 10 p.m. Friday evening Pacific time) live radio show accepts listener calls. Questions may also be asked during the period online thru the DrugSense Chat Room at
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 25, 2003 at 10:50:33 PT

Your link has upset someone and I needed to remove it. I looked and didn't see that he was in trouble because of Cannabis. I'm sorry but these are hard times and we don't need to mix up some of these politically volatile issues here on CNews. 
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