NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- September 23, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- September 23, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on September 24, 2003 at 14:40:58 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Patients Rally On Capitol Hill In Support Of Medicinal MarijuanaSeptember 23, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAMembers Of Congress Join Patients, Doctors And Health Care Providers To Lobby For H.R. 2233, "The States' Rights To Medical Marijuana Act" and H.R. 1717, "The Truth In Trials Act."
Washington, DC: Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Sam Farr (D-CA) joined more than 20 seriously ill patients today at a emotional press conference on Capitol Hill calling on Congress to allow the state-sanctioned use of marijuana as a medicine. Patients, many stricken with multiple sclerosis (MS), flew in from around the nation to testify that marijuana is the only medicine that safely and adequately alleviates their suffering."I would not be here today were it not for medical cannabis," explained patient Jackie Rickert from Wisconsin, who uses marijuana medicinally to treat debilitating symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Rickert noted that she had previously received permission from the federal government to legally obtain marijuana in the early 1990s as part of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) program. However, government officials abruptly closed the program to new applicants following her approval a decision that has forced Rickert to obtain her medicine illicitly on the black market ever since.MS patient Jeanelle Bluhm of Oregon echoed Rickert's thoughts, saying that smoked marijuana alleviates her muscle spasms more effectively than other legal medications. "People should be able to choose with the help of their doctor the medicines that best help them," she said, noting that her physician supports her marijuana therapy. "Disabled people just want to feel better and don't want to be criminals."Several other patients, including Jay Howell of Washington, Joan Legospi of Washington, Beckie Nikkel of California, Darrell Paulson of Minnesota, John Precup of Ohio, Lisa Rasmussen of California, and Gary Storck of Wisconsin told similar stories. "How many more people must suffer and die before Congress does the right thing?" asked Storck, referring to a pair of bills in Congress that would minimize criminal penalties for medical marijuana patients.The first, H.R. 2233, "the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act," would reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II under federal law so that physicians may prescribe it in states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana under state law. Representative Frank, who introduced the bill along with Reps. Paul (R-TX), Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Schakowski (D-IL) said, "The notion that [the federal government] would prosecute people who are trying to alleviate pain is truly appalling. ... If people and their doctors agree, then federal regulators should not stand in the way." Frank's bill presently has 37 co-sponsors.The second bill, H.R. 1717, "the Truth in Trials Act" would amend federal law to provide an affirmative defense for patients who use marijuana in compliance with the laws of their state, but are facing federal drug charges. Representative Farr, who sponsored the bill along with Reps. Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Woolsey (D-CA) said, "The right of a state to determine its own laws is an integral part of the Constitution and our laws today."To date nine states Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have enacted laws protecting patients who use medical marijuana from state criminal prosecution.Jim Miller of New Jersey, who helped to organize the press conference and patient lobby day on behalf of his wife Cheryl a longtime medical marijuana activist who died in June of MS-related complications, demanded Congress hold hearings and schedule votes on the Frank and Farr bills."Throughout much of her life, Cheryl risked arrest and jail to use the only medication that alleviated her suffering," he said. "I hope that by bringing attention to the plight of my late wife Cheryl, I can hasten the day when marijuana will be made available so that others are no longer needlessly forced to suffer with pain or risk arrest."Also speaking at today's conference were MS specialist Dr. Denis J. Petro, nurse Mary Lynn Mathre of Patients Out of Time, and NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano, who concluded, "These are patients, not criminals, and it's about time Congress learned the difference."For more information:Please contact Keith Stroup, Executive Director of NORML, at (202) 483-5500 or visit: http://www.cheryldcmemorial.orgDL: & News Articles:Patients Lobby Congress Conference in Rayburn H.O.B. Lobby To Ease Laws on Medical Marijuana View: Arrest MS, Not Patients Marijuana Activists To Travel To D.C. NORML Foundation (DC)Published: September 23, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Sept. 18, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- Sept. 11, 2003
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 30, 2003 at 17:19:47 PT
NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- September 25, 2003
Western Australia: Decrim Policy To Become LawSeptember 25, 2003 - Perth, AustraliaPerth, Australia: The Western Australia Parliament approved legislation this week ratifying the state's long-standing practice of "cautioning" minormarijuana offenders. Under the new law, individuals who possess up to 30 grams of marijuana and/or two plants will no longer face criminal arrest, but will instead have to pay a small fine. Repeated offenders, however, may face criminal penalties.Law enforcement officials in Western Australia had begun cautioning minor marijuana offenders on a trial basis in 1998. Over the past decade, most Australian states have enacted some form of marijuana decriminalization.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. 
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Comment #8 posted by SoberStoner on September 25, 2003 at 18:55:42 PT
Damon Wayans used to be a great comic. His standup was some of the funniest I've seen, and who can forget his stuff on In living color..I am more surprised he has kept his show on ABC than I am at the storyline. ABC is notoriously conservative when it comes to black comedy. That's one of the reasons DL Hughley's show got cancelled and subsequently moved to UPN. According to DL, the ABC exens told him the show was...too black..even though he was the only black man in a white neighborhood. Just remember, this is the same network that gave us Steve Urkel and promoted him more than any other person on the show.Damon sold his soul for prime time..i hope it was worth it
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on September 24, 2003 at 23:33:31 PT
Damon Wayan's problem
He thinks it's cutting edge hip to be a reactionary right wing black man.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on September 24, 2003 at 22:33:37 PT
smile Virigl 
Damons a crack up. man --growen hair. and spazen out what a hoot. i hope many saw the show. did anyone read in plan site about hanging quilts out as roadmaps. hes doin visualrap/
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 24, 2003 at 20:56:49 PT
I watched it and it was terrible. Thanks for the heads up.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 24, 2003 at 18:15:51 PT
That is terrible! I don't watch Network shows very often. I watched The Sacred Balance on PBS and it was wonderful. I might need to try to see the show you mentioned when it is on PT later.
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on September 24, 2003 at 18:11:30 PT
I really don't believe this myself
Just how far can the nutcases that bring us the horrors of prohibition and imply the chant, "On with failure" go? It really does not matter because they are over the line and have to be pushed back anyway, but even I am surprised by what I just saw.On ABC at 8PM they had a one hour special for the new season premier of "My Wife and Kids." The lead male character is played by Damon Wayans and he is bald as can be on the show. About half way through he started taking pills that made his hair grow in certain spots on his head and extremely rapidly and it also affected his behavior to completely mental. He goes to have a will drawn up where his wife would get $3 million upon his death and he is over the top mental during the meeting with the lawyer. He becomes convinced that his wife wants to kill him. In the last few minutes his wife says she checked the Internet to find out the pills and found out they have THC in them. She says it is what is in marijuana and can induce paranoia. The lunatic, treasonous, murderous, Vicious and Malicious bastardly and dastardly, prohibitionist are way over my line but tonight they crossed over someone else's line and infuriated the educated. On with the War Against Prohibtion and screw their War of Insanity.One of my favorite expressions when I wore a young man's clothes was "Better pissed off than pissed on." Today's bumpersticker is a derivative of that- 3Piss on prohibition with a sister sticker of Piss on a Prohibitionist" and not to be confused with the earlier version of the popular bumpersticker, POW- Piss On Washington
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on September 24, 2003 at 17:59:08 PT
"10" States
"To date nine states Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have enacted laws protecting patients who use medical marijuana from state criminal prosecution."If I'm not mistaken, they forgot Arizona. Ten states now have mmj laws protecting patients from state prosecution...Alaska | Arizona | California | Colorado | Hawaii | Maine | Maryland | Nevada | Oregon | Washington 10 just looks so much better than 9. We're in double figures now!The way out is the way in...9/11 Citizens' Watchdog Group Issues Report Challenging 9/11 Commission: slams the door on 9/11 short-selling investigation: died long time ago: "German Firm probes Final WTC Deals" From 911 CitizensWatch: QUESTIONS ABOUT 9/11's Role In 9/11 Put On Center Stage By British MP:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 24, 2003 at 15:40:15 PT
Just a Reminder: PBS: Program - The Sacred Balance
TONIGHT! --"Coming Home", September 24th, Episode Four of The Sacred Balance TV Series on PBS (please check local listings). Plus... We invite kids (and their parents) to check out our KidZone featuring 4 fun hands-on projects for kids and their parents. For more activities download our Community Education Guide - 24 pages of environmental, earth science activities for use in classrooms, after-school programs, museums and in your own backyard! High Speed: Speed:
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