NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- August 7, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- August 7, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on August 07, 2003 at 14:36:11 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Presidential Candidates Voice Opinions On The Medical Use Of MarijuanaAugust 7, 2003 - Washington, DC, USA"It's promising to see many of the candidates distinguishing themselves from the Bush administration by taking positions in support of the medical use of marijuana," NORML Executive Director Says.
Washington, DC: Among the nine announced Democratic candidates for President, more than half have expressed various degrees of support for the medical use of marijuana. Their positions stand in sharp contrast to that of the Bush administration, which has overseen approximately 40 raids of state-authorized medicinal marijuana patients and providers, and is appealing a unanimous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the rights of physicians to discuss marijuana therapy with their patients."It's promising to see many of the Presidential candidates distinguishing themselves from the Bush administration by taking positions in support of the medical use of marijuana a position shared by 80 percent of the American public," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. "We can only hope that they will back-up their rhetoric with real political action to protect patients from arrest."Of the candidates, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has been the most outspoken in support of the legalization of medical marijuana.Kucinich told the San Francisco Chronicle in May that pot should be available "to any patient who needs it to alleviate pain and suffering," and promised, if elected, to "sign an executive order [to] permit its use." Most recently, Kucinich lobbied on the House floor in favor of an amendment to bar the Justice Department from using federal funds to prosecute state-authorized medical marijuana patients. "States deserve to have the right to make their own decisions regarding the use of medical marijuana," he said. "The federal government should use its power to help terminally ill citizens, not arrest them."Kucinich's new found support for medical marijuana is a dramatic shift in the Congressman's position. In 1988, Kucinich voted in favor of a House resolution defining marijuana as "a dangerous and addictive drug [that] should not be legalized for medicinal use." Kucinich is currently a co-sponsor of a pair of federal bills seeking to liberalize federal law regarding the use of medical marijuana by qualified patients.Candidate John Kerry (D-Mass) has also expressed support for medical marijuana law reform, stating at a New Hampshire town meeting in July that he is "in favor" of its use under a doctor's supervision. Kerry also told California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer at a recent San Francisco fundraiser that he would establish an interagency commission to revise the federal government's ban on medical marijuana. This week Kerry repeated that he remains "open to the question of medical marijuana," but tempered his support by adding that he would like to review studies comparing marijuana to other medications before deciding whether to back its legalization.Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) has been less forthright in his position, though in July he told a representative from New Hampshire's Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana that he would "probably" sign legislation as President allowing seriously ill patients to use the drug medicinally. In addition, Lieberman now claims that he is "sympathetic" to the issue, despite having co-sponsored in 1998 a Senate resolution opposing any use of marijuana as a medicine.Similarly, Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) also appears to have shifted his position since 1998, when he backed a House resolution opposing medical pot. In July, Gephardt told Granite Staters' patient representative Linda Macia that he supported state laws legalizing the use of marijuana under a doctor's supervision, and that he would sign federal legislation allowing pot's use under limited circumstances. Unlike Kucinich however, Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman have yet to endorse Congressional legislation amending the federal government¹s ban on medical marijuana.Among the remaining candidates, both former Vermont governor Howard Dean and US Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) have said publicly that they oppose arresting and jailing patients for using medicinal marijuana, but neither one has endorsed the drug's legalization.Speaking on CNN earlier this week, Dean said that he didn't think the Feds should "throw [patients] in jail in California" for using marijuana, but added that he opposed legalizing pot through the state initiative process. "I think that marijuana should be treated like every other drug ... and there shouldn't be a special process which is based on politics to legalize it," he told a caller on Larry King Live. While Governor, Dean actively opposed a proposed state law to remove criminal penalties on the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes.Speaking at a New Hampshire town hall meeting in July, Edwards said that he would appoint a "non-partisan commission" to study marijuana's therapeutic value, but stopped short of endorsing the drug's use. Edwards also criticized the Bush administration's decision to target and prosecute state-authorized medical marijuana patients, but offered little in the way of alternatives, noting, "The government has a responsibility to enforce the law."Lastly, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) has said that he opposes the use of medical marijuana, but pledged that as President he would "defer to the states" on the issue. Candidates C. Mosely Braun and Al Sharpton have yet to make any public statements regarding the subject.For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano at (202) 483-5500. To download and send NORML's marijuana policy questionnaire to the 2004 Presidential candidates, please visit: Advice for Democrats Candidate Backs Medical Marijuana NORML Foundation (DC)Published: August 7, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- July 30, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 24, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 17, 2003
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on August 08, 2003 at 14:48:15 PT
Thanks Richard
I'll surely check it out! I really appreciate Dr. Russo. I know many of us do.Hemp for Headaches:
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Comment #20 posted by Richard Lake on August 08, 2003 at 14:36:29 PT:
Ethan Russo, MD, RealAudio on Medical Cannabis
Dr. Ethan Russo, noted expert in headaches and the clinical use of cannabis, was OPN's guest at the August Patient Forum Thursday evening which was participated in by about two dozen patients. Dr. Russo answered questions on a wide range of cannabis as medicine topics.The superb forum is now available as a low bandwidth RealAudio file at: Russo is editor of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics (see ). He also conducted the "Chronic Cannabis Use in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program: An Examination of Benefits and Adverse Effects of Legal Clinical Cannabis," which examined the overall health status of four of the seven remaining patients in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) program of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).One of Dr. Russo's principle areas of interest lies in headaches, particularly migraine headaches. He has submitted several protocols to the FDA to study the effectiveness of cannabis-based treatments in migraine headaches and was finally approved to conduct a clinical study in 1999. He has also authored a historical review of cannabis therapy in obstetrics and gynecology.The Ohio Patient Network is a non-profit coalition of patients, caregivers, medical professionals, concerned citizens, and organizations who support the compassionate use of cannabis for various medicinal purposes. Information about OPN can be found at
Ethan Russo, MD, RealAudio on Marijuana and Migraines
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on August 08, 2003 at 12:07:51 PT
Thanks i420
It's posted now.
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Comment #18 posted by i420 on August 08, 2003 at 11:45:26 PT
Use of bogus drug checkpoints raises concern
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Comment #17 posted by goneposthole on August 08, 2003 at 06:58:09 PT
not 'they'll say'
They'll LIE about ANYTHING.
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Comment #16 posted by WolfgangWylde on August 08, 2003 at 06:48:26 PT
Don't fall for it...
...they'll say whatever populist thing will get them elected, but once they're in office and serving the Washingoton power structure, they'll change their tune, just like our current president.
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Comment #15 posted by Lehder on August 08, 2003 at 06:44:53 PT
The principal issue of the 04 election will be "national security." The candidate who can conjure the most macho and appealing images of raw military power will have a strong advantage. Any mention of cannabis will be dismissed by the mainstream media with the insight that "smoking marijuana is not the way to strengthen America's defenses. Next question." The ongoing cheap propaganda probably retains enough momentum for one more election. Some time afterwards, when the collapsing U.S. standard of living becomes the main issue, scapegoats will be drafted from every handy minority group for punishment and for strengthening national security.I scanned Virgil's link. The author, among other points, presented good reasons why Blacks ought to vocally join our movement. Their enlistment would infinitely strengthen our political force. It's too bad that, all to the detriment of their own people, most Black leaders are either preachers or have a strong streak of the Christian stump speaker in their souls. They're retarded by the idea of drug use as sin and never make the little leap of insight that "drug problems" in their communities are caused by prohibition. Like John Ashcroft, they're very confused about the distinction between crime and sin. Meanwhile, the awakened former prohibitionist Jesse Jackson is in hiding somewhere, evidently afraid of George Bush.
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Comment #14 posted by Virgil on August 08, 2003 at 05:49:50 PT
A unique format in the argument against CP
This is by one of the regulars and not a publication. It is the format of his work that is of note. I could see how someone that was more trained in wordsmithing could improve on it, but this man, Jinx_Dragon, deserves credit for the style-
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Comment #13 posted by Dan B on August 08, 2003 at 03:42:41 PT
I read an interview with Emmanuel Todd by following a link at I was glad to see that he is predicting not just that the American Empire is going to end, but that it has been in decline for at least a decade. I love what this country could be and hate what it has become. When the American Empire ends (meaning when the one superpower is joined by three or four others, most notably Europe), the drug war will of necessity end with it.As for America's financial woes, I place them squarely on the backs of those who believe that war is the answer to every problem. As Todd says, military strength is losing its potency in a world where economic strength is becoming increasingly important. Europe is quickly becoming the new world leader economically. America has given up on economic leadership in favor of more guns, more missiles, and more governmental control of its citizens (who can, perhaps, be better described now as "captives").Just my two cents. Thanks for the article.Dan B
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on August 07, 2003 at 23:11:08 PT:
I Forced Myself to Watch ''Traffik'' Tonight
I have no love for heroin. I was once poisoned with opiated hashish and did not like the de-motivating state of mind. However, the movie portrays the same sadness as in the coca countries: dirt-poor farmers fight to grow a crop that will help pull their families out of poverty, traffickers smuggle and struggle with dirty deals, shootouts, and police entrapment, governments try to keep the drug off the streets of industrialized countries by encouraging forced eradication of crops in third world countries, corrupt border guards let the goods through, and the pathetic addicts fall into the silken cage of addiction, so foolish to start, too sick and weak to stop.All this grief over a plant because pharmacists senselessly refined the active ingredient in their mis-guided Western medical tradition to create one of the most highly addictive substances on earth, because some people in industrialized societies lead such lives empty of joy, of familial relationships, of meaningful work, of natural beauty, that their pain makes them easy prey.Sadness, gloom, heavyheartedness, melancholy. I can shake it off because I learned that thanksgiving is my antidote to depression. The sun is shining inside, no matter what the weather. Having seen the light, I return to society to guide others to the truth. For those who are burdened with illnesses which inflict great pain, opiates are sometimes necessary, but many find that cannabinoids can fight some of the pain without the "brain fog" of narcotics.ego transcendence follows ego destruction, God gave us plants, the mind-body split of science gave us half-witted over-confidence in analysis and insufficient respect for intuition and creativity.
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Comment #11 posted by Virgil on August 07, 2003 at 21:12:31 PT
For people that did not see Wideangle
There was one striking segment. The United States of course trains the people that fly helicopters to eradicate the peasants plants and furnish the helicopters. The United States pushed a drug law on the country that said that being suspected of being involved with coca could get you thrown in jail. You must prove innocense to get out even in violation of the Bolivian constitution. In other words they can throw anyone in jail and never let them go. On guy they filmed in jail on that segment said 80% of them in jail were innocent. Of course, what difference does it make? You are there until the PTB decide to let you go.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 07, 2003 at 20:35:36 PT
A comment on the program. It was hard for me to watch. The poverty was terrible. Children in jail because their Mothers are sent there. The war on drugs is so multi faceted that it can be overwhelming. What are we doing to humanity with this drug war? It is morally wrong. No drug eradication program is worth what little good it might possibly do. As long as Coca is illegal the horrors will continue. They need a way to make a living. They need jobs like the one man in jail said. 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 07, 2003 at 19:15:35 PT
Thanks Virgil
I just checked and it is on our local satellite PBS Channel!
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Comment #8 posted by Virgil on August 07, 2003 at 19:03:19 PT
Wide Angle on PBS is on Bolivia and coca
It started out saying Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and coca is the largest crop. I have waited several weeks for this. 
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on August 07, 2003 at 18:09:11 PT
I agree, Sam...
I will support Kucinich up until the actual election...if he gets that far. He can at least bring issues such as mmj to the forefront of the debate. I will never again vote for a RepubliCrat unless someone like Gary Johnson, with a proven track record of reforming the drug laws, appears.Here is yet another article rearding Afghan Opium...Britain losing new Afghan opium war:,1284,1013708,00.htmlThe way out is the way in...U.S. Clamps Secrecy on Warnings Before 9/11:,0,4849578.columnOperation 9/11: Rendezvous Points NORAD's Wag The 9/11 Window Dressing Tale: MCKINNEY DELIVERS FEARLESS ADDRESS IN HARLEM!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 07, 2003 at 16:29:16 PT
Here it is. It wasn't a CNews Ad but it was Ron Bennett's Ad for his web site. We are on the front page as news on and on the upper right corner of the web sites. CNews looks like because Ron made CNews and colored it similarly. Hope this helps. CNews is a non profit site. That's how we can do news.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on August 07, 2003 at 16:21:51 PT
Action, not words
is the way to judge these clowns. The only one with 'yes' position on Medical MJ is Kucinich. The rest are against. Don't forget, Bush was in favor of delegation of med MJ to the states. Clinton was in favor of decrim, according to direct quotes from a Rolling Stones interview. It's a lot of hot air.Stick with the Greens and Libertarians, otherwise you're supporting people who have ordered a bunch of thugs to lock you in jail.
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Comment #4 posted by i420 on August 07, 2003 at 16:14:38 PT
Could you please post the news thread that you posted the links to the c-news ads that ran in hightimes mag?? 
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Comment #3 posted by goneposthole on August 07, 2003 at 16:13:58 PT
neocon nitpicking nitwits
their days are numbered. It is time to call them on the carpet.We have too many men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount..... The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.General Omar N. Bradley, Chief of Staff, United States Army Boston, November 10th, 1948
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Comment #2 posted by Lehder on August 07, 2003 at 15:35:21 PT
here's how the drug war will end
along with lot of other abuse and bull.
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on August 07, 2003 at 15:02:41 PT
When the reports come rolling in
Medical marijuana in this country will come when the other countries say that prohibition was an insanity that served to keep this herbal remedy away from the people.NarcoNews started a series on drug reform in Argentina. South America has learned just like the American Indians, don't sign anything the white man wants you to sign. The first report shows with one picture that coca plant demonization and illegality has gone as a common people with Bolivia, Uraguay, and Argentina have traditional use that goes back who knows how long. This one paragraph comes from this first article- there are two issues more that we will discuss with ARDA. The first is the legislation presented some weeks ago to allow therapeutic uses of marijuana in Argentina. Authored by Congresswoman Irma Parentella, this proposal is already a pioneer piece of legistlation in the América that speaks Spanish.
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