NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 20, 2004

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 20, 2004

Posted by CN Staff on April 21, 2004 at 15:54:36 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 

Drug Czar's Office To Hold Special Capitol Hill Briefing 24 Hours Before NORML's First Ever Congressional Lobby Day April 20, 2004 - Washington, DC, USA"What is the Drug Czar afraid of the truth?"
Washington, DC: In response to NORML's upcoming Congressional Lobby Day, to be held on Thursday, April 22, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is holding a special briefing session before Congress to speak on the alleged dangers of marijuana, specifically the use of cannabis as a medicine.The special White House-sponsored briefing, entitled, "Medical Marijuana: Myth and Facts," will be held Wednesday in the Rayburn House Office Building at 2pm, less than 24 hours before hundreds of citizens from around the nation are scheduled to meet with their members of Congress to lobby on behalf of various pending marijuana reform bills, including H.R. 2233, "The States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act.""The timing of this ONDCP briefing is no coincidence," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. "This is a last-minute push by the drug czar's office to promote their anti-pot propaganda less than 24 hours before seriously ill patients, activists, students and parents will converge on Capitol Hill to lobby in favor of saner marijuana policies. What is the Drug Czar afraid of - the truth?"NORML's first ever Congressional Lobby Day is being held in conjunction with the organization's 2004 National Conference, which takes place April 23-24, at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. Several hundred citizens from the United States and Canada are registered to attend the conference and lobby day, entitled: "We're Here. We Smoke. We Vote.""For many politicians, NORML's inaugural Congressional Lobby Day will be their first look at our emerging constituency," Stroup said. "They will see that the marijuana law reform movement is no longer a political fringe group, but rather, that we are a diverse, politically active group of responsible Americans who represent the interests of tens of millions of marijuana smokers nationwide."Days two and three of the 2004 NORML Conference will feature panel discussions and speakers on a variety of marijuana-related issues. Panels include: "Marijuana and Your Health: What You Need to Know That the Government Won't Tell You," "Don't Become Another Statistic: How Not to Get Busted," "The Federal Assault on Marijuana Smokers," "Where Do We Go From Here: Strategy for the Next Five Years," as well as a "High Times 30th Anniversary Panel," which will examine editorial changes at the magazine and the launch of High Times' Grow America.Featured speakers at the conference include best-selling author Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market); Boston University Law Professor Randy Barnett, chief legal counsel in Raich/Monson v. Ashcroft, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the federal prosecution of state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients to be unconstitutional; High Times publisher Richard Stratton; and the Drug Policy Alliance's Marsha Rosenbaum.Other scheduled events include a benefit screening of Ron Mann's latest documentary Go Further (starring Woody Harrelson), a joint reception sponsored by NORML and High Times, and NORML's annual Saturday night "4:20" benefit party.Complete conference information:Including conference agenda, registration and hotel information: more information on the 2004 NORML Conference and Congressional Lobby Day, please contact NORML Associate Director Kris Krane at (202) 483-5500.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: April 20, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 15, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 08, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 02, 2004

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Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 24, 2004 at 12:37:35 PT

News Brief from The Washington Post
A Different Kind of Joint Session By Richard LeibyThursday, April 22, 2004; Page C03 Last week the Capitol Police busted a young intern working for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) for toting a baggie of pot and a bong into the Cannon House Office Building, but they'll have to look the other way when stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld brings his stash onto their territory today. For more than 20 years, the federal government has supplied Rosenfeld with marijuana cigarettes, which he smokes under doctor's orders to ease symptoms of a rare bone disorder. Before arriving from Florida to lobby in Congress for medical use of marijuana with the pro-pot group NORML, Rosenfeld made sure to inform authorities of his dispensation to smoke 12 joints a day -- he's one of seven people who get Uncle Sam-grown reefer under a program that began in the Carter era. (It was shut down in 1992, but some patients were grandfathered in.) We couldn't reach Rosenfeld, but NORML supplied a letter from his Miami physician saying the pot helps with pain and works as a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory agent, adding: "Mr. Rosenfeld is not impaired by this medicine." William Emory, associate general counsel for the Capitol Police, assured us that Rosenfeld could light up on the Hill (in designated smoking areas) but said, "He can't share it with anybody else. The exemption is for him and him alone."

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 23, 2004 at 09:59:14 PT

2004 NORML Conference and Congressional Lobby Day
I was looking at the list of speakers at NORML's Conference that is going on now and it is impressive to me. I hope great things are accomplished!***We’re Here. We Smoke. We Vote.April 22-24, 2004The Hamilton Crowne Plaza HotelWashington, DC
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Comment #11 posted by Virgil on April 22, 2004 at 21:38:00 PT

Commenting on the comments
LEAP is going to be one forceful organization. The rivalry will do the cause of reform good. LEAP should get Paul Peterson as a speaker. It would put them on the map if they conducted their own poll on cannabis views and not even hire a polling company. They can break the silence with endless polls and raise awareness with polls. They should call ten thousand people a month and give people something to talk about. Go LEAP.
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Comment #10 posted by jose melendez on April 22, 2004 at 21:14:58 PT

great idea, ekim!
Re: "I wonder if you could tape the events, like most are at places like the Rotary clubs and others they could buy copies of the tapes to send to there sister clubs or there local Cable access stations. "Please contact Mike Smithson, the speaker coordinator for and let him know you want copies of any DVD we make. HE seems interested in doing this, also. The other side does not stand a chance.smithson twcny.rr.comI recommend everyone join Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.Maybe if we support them they will start filing amicus briefs on our behalf across the country . . .

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Comment #9 posted by ekim on April 22, 2004 at 19:29:05 PT

mike moores new movie is going to cann film fest
Dam jose your good. and the Leap speakers rule. I wonder if you could tape the events, like most are at places like the Rotary clubs and others they could buy copies of the tapes to send to there sister clubs or there local Cable access stations. hey now-- the best lawyer in Kal said he would see if he could help the 26 year old that lost her job after her employer fired her after running her drivers license thru the Matrix and coming back with 8 year old ticket for having a roach in the car.Thanks for all you have done, and thank everyone that reads hear.
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Comment #8 posted by jose melendez on April 22, 2004 at 17:40:46 PT

From: Jose Melendez jose xxxxxxxxxxDate: Thu Apr 22, 2004 19:55:54 US/EasternTo: info conchrepublic.comSubject: diplomat seeks assignment, titleThe Honorable Sir Peter Anderson
        Office of the Secretary General
        509 Whitehead Street Suite One
        Key West, FL/CR 33040Sir,Thank you kindly for honoring me with my 1996 Conch Republic Passport when I owned half of Skydive Key West. I have several times had it stamped by customs authorities in the U.S. and Jamaica, and have been actively participating in the drug prohibition criminalization and human rights movements in both countries.Today, Earth Day, I did as always have the opportunity to exercise diplomacy, truth and the mitigation of world tension through the exercise of humor, as well as celebrating our independence in a public and notorious manner to the fullest of my abilitiesI especially thought you might enjoy reading this entry* on a blog page that was mentioned in an NPR news story: Like Mind and Deportment,Jose Melendez
DeLand, FL
 - - - *Re: 'So what exactly does it mean to "wage peace" in the current context? Could I have a few concrete examples of how I can "wage peace?"'
-- HossSigh.
We could start by not training enemy mercenaries how to kill, maim, torture and murder. Second, stop sales selling and promoting weapons of mass destruction, whether they be cigarettes(*), coca plantation herbicidal spray in our rain forests, depleted uranium in our weapons and as shrapnel, dust and vapor on the battle field, or 'real' WMD's.None of these subjects are 'censored' by the media, the White House, State Department or the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us of, right?Also through diplomacy, truth and the mitigation of world tension through the exercise of humor, as well as celebrating our independence in a public and notorious manner through the exercise of humor to the fullest of our abilities, of course.You don't not really want to talk about concrete, do you?from google's cache of'm leaving in the artifacts leaves, hoping they will notice and fix this minor typesetting problem in an otherwise excellent and valuable, advertiser supported(?) service:As $18.6 billion of U.S. taxpayer cash is going to be flown over to Iraq, we need to ask some tough questions about the reconstruction efforts to date. Because if that is any indication of how this additional $18.6 billion is going to be spent, we have a problem. NBC News reported last week that the U.S. Army got a giant cement plant in northern Iraq up and running again. That was good news, and it was no small feat: it allowed 665 Iraqi workers back on the job, and it got cement production ramped up, which is important for reconstruction.  Now, at the end of the war, this aging plant had been looted, and it was inoperable. The Army was eager to get it going again, so it asked its engineers to figure out how much it would cost to fix it -- assuming U.S. contractors did the work. The answer: it would cost about $23 million, and would take up to a year. Thankfully, the commander of the 101st Airborne didn’t have the patience to wait that long. So instead of spending millions on a contract, the 101st took just $10,000 of Saddam Hussein's frozen assets and gave it to the plant managers. U.S. soldiers werePage 2 amazed to see the Iraqis get spare parts from old machines, use them to build new ones, and get the factory running again. The plant is now producing about 900 tons of concrete a day. That’s just 25 percent of capacity, but it’s a big first step, and generates $20,000 a day in profit.  The sort of can-do mindset that got that cement plant fixed should be taking hold everywhere. But instead, the Administration is writing contractors a big check, and often getting little in return. Halliburton has been accused of gouging prices on imported fuel – charging $2.65 a gallon when the Iraqi national oil company says it can buy oil at less than 98 cents a gallon. Is there anything more ironic than getting ripped off on the price of oil imports in Iraq, of all places?
- - -
from:'Tom looked with dismay at the large animals in each stall, a spotted white and black horse, a big brown horse, and so on. It looked like eight horses in all. The smell was beginning to get to him. Combined with the dizziness from yesterday, Tom thought he was going to lose his breakfast, good strong coffee and all."Hey," Hoss observed, "You don' look all that good."Using the pitchfork as a cane, Tom sat down on a bale of hay. "It really stinks in here. Would you believe I don't remember ever doing this before?"Sotto voce, Hoss said to himself, "Where's that commercial when you need one?" To Tom, he said, "I reckon I do believe it. Here, I'll show you on this first one. Gimme that pitchfork, Little Joe."Gladly, Tom handed it over."Now watch me carefully.""I will," Tom promised. And he did. He watched very carefully as the big man worked easily around the horse, making short work of the mucking out process. The stench it raised as the hay was disturbed assailed Tom's queasy stomach. He bolted out of the barn with only moments to spare. Outside, he slid to his knees by the corral and vomited up everything he'd eaten and drunk that morning, one arm hanging over the corral railing. It was the only thing that kept him from falling over. At some point, in between heaves, he was aware of Hoss leaning over him. There was a large warm hand on his shoulder.  '"It's okay," the big man reassured him, his back to the corral and its new contents, "they cut to a commercial."
 - - -
*Good old American cigarettes are sold to third world countries that coincidentally have lower per pack taxes, in quantities that could not possibly be smoked even if every citizen in some of those countries chain smoked 24 hours a day.Jose Melendez
 Dual Citizen
 (U.S., Conch Republic)Posted by: Jose Melendez on April 22, 2004 03:09 PM - - -I kindly thank all my friends here and everywhere so order Conch Republic Passports, especially with the completely blatant request to be assigned Diplomat status in the Conch Republic. least please do write or fax the Secretary General on my behalf. If only a few hundred of the 180,000 hits were real people supporting me, I will run for Congress. This year. Heck, with 45 percent stock in Skydive Jamaica, Ltd., I'd appreciate an ambassadorship there. Anyone know who Kerry is considering for State Department head? for those of you dead set against me, remember that your hero John Ashcroft has so much political baggage, he lost to a dead man, and would rather wage war on YOU . . . well rather, ME and hundreds of millions of (SOME drug, mostly cannabis) users and now computer security testers than fight real crime. Note that both groups are denied the opportunity to present exculpatory evidence, and relevant material facts at trial.
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on April 22, 2004 at 10:46:38 PT:

Jose, I didn't have a cam with me
But many of the participants there did; I can only assume some of the MPP people there will have some halfway decent vids of the proceedings.In an aside: one of the most striking aspects of the entire affair was something that I have noted before, many times: their almost pathetic dependence upon scripted generalities. THEY HAVE BECOME SO USED TO HAVING SHEEPLIKE ACCEPTANCE OF THEIR UNCHALLENGED PRONOUNCEMENTS THAT THEY HAVE BECOME RHETORICALLY FLABBY IN A VERBAL SWORDFIGHT. They would jab with a statement that they had scientific proofs; when the riposte came to prove it, they retreated with a futtering lack of available proof, trying to deflect matters by saying that they could argue point by which time came the inevitable offer to do so by our side. They keep leading with the edge, not the point, extend their reach in slashing and get slashed in turn every time. Worse, they repeat the same mistakes over and over. They keep thinking they are dealing with demi-conscious, ignorant 'rubber chicken' munching ___________-Club (fill in the blank) denizens, not lean and hungry fighters who have hot determination for slicing off a piece of rhetorical rump roast from those who've made our lives so miserbale. When they realize they've made a tactical error, they scramble for the moral high ground, not realizing it's already occupied...and we're looking down upon them from it with mixed embarrassment and contempt.If we really wanted to dine on their egos, it would be no contest. But...*our* problem, as I have mentioned in the earlier comment, is this: weed people genuinely are, for the most part, *nice* people. Despite all that's been done to us, even when our numbers have been murdered by the machine that people like "Dr." Barthwell support, we still hold out hope that reason will win out some day.However...some day, it may become unavoidably necessary to shed the 'nicey-nicey' decorum and verbally slug it out in the trenches. On that day, they will lose badly. Because, while they've tried to stay in the ivory tower of academia, we've been in those foul, vicious trenches for so long, fighting is second nature. We're the surviving, wily veterans of the DrugWar being waged against us for so long, and have had far too much practice. Unlike our opponents. To paraphrase a line from an old Billy Joel song, they "...have no scars on their face, and they cannot handle *PRESSURE!*.
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on April 22, 2004 at 07:09:55 PT

We win battle after battle, let's take it to COURT
" Looking into their eyes, despite their brave attempts to rationalize the irrational, I think they felt it, too."Heavy, Kapt. It makes me want to contribute to Waxman's campaign AND MPP. Kudos to Houston. You, sir, are leading by example.I just received a response to an email I had sent to a former judge that had written an article complaining that eighth graders claim an 80 percent marijuana use rate. Here's the article: did not have time to answer the list of questions I had sent to Dr. Robert DuPont, but in answer to his predictable question about youth drug use: (along the lines of, "you don't really believe thirteen year olds should smoke pot do you?" - I'm being careful to paraphrase the gist of the comments, and not disclose any privileged or otherwise private communications) I made it clear that FDA and DEA condone daily youth use of Prozac and Ritalin analogues as well as copious amounts of caffeine, sugar and fatty foods. I did not bother to mention that there are many documented cases of parents threatened with sanctions for NOT making little Johnny pop pills to make him stop acting like a child or that Johhny ocassionally kills himself, depressed from taking pills that drain his life, and from having to hide his weed from Mom and Dad.Furthermore, and by way of full disclosure, I pointed out that we are criminalizing prohibitions using existing law.While His Honor has not replied to that point, I could almost feel his stomach sink . . .Furthermore, and with as much diplomacy as I could muster, I pointed out that while he, DARE and the incarceration industry may be earning their retirement money now, it is at the expense of increasingly Ritalin and Prozac addled youth, enabled by prohibition to grow and sell the best pot to adults . . . for beer and cigarette money.Happy Earth Day, everyone! Is there audio or video of Barthwell and her Team Stonewall?" . . . (B)ut what I believe that we accomplished in drug enforcement is that number one we've corrupted law enforcement, at all levels, you can weekly pick up a paper somewhere, to find out that some cop had gone bad as a result of the war on drugs, we've corrupted our judiciary, and our military . . . we fill our prisons up with non-violent offenders so that we don't have room to keep rapists and burglars behind bars that get pushed out the back doors and start killing children, molesting children, and committing more crimes, violent crimes.Incidentally we spent one half a trillion dollars in the last four decades in doing that. And as a great side benefit, we created and turned a bunch of third world hoodlums into billionaires that can buy governments and launch terrorism around the world."Jerry Cameron, Law  Enforcement Against Prohibition
April 20, 2004 at the Liberation fund raiser for FL-NORML
held at downtown Orlando's Firestone Club: the way, I also got some great audio from this event, a cool band, drum circle sounds and a traffic cop laughing at my statement that I was on top of my car taking pictures as part of a story I am writing for Cannabis News.Then, just as he was about to get aggressive, I think he noticed my tape deck and the red recording light indicator. You should have seen the guy run when he noticed his conversation was being recorded. I asked him to stay still for a picture and he drove his little traffic cart away as fast as the thing would go!
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on April 22, 2004 at 06:22:16 PT

Thanks Kap 
What a great start to Earth Day 04---nice comment on how the community behaves in the face of terror. everyone have good thoughts today.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on April 22, 2004 at 05:28:34 PT:

E_J knows what a "5 Year Plan" means
And that's just what I witnessed yesterday. Literally. The American equivalent of an old Soviet 5 Year Plan propaganda event.I got there late, but from what I witnessed, I didn't miss much. The attempt "Dr." Barthwell and her male physician associate made at presenting a stonewall of propaganda was truly sad to observe. And gave me a feeling of 'deja vu' that I had somehow fallen through a rift in space/time and wound up in 'Moskva' listening to an 'apparatchik' blathering on about the unassailablity of Soviet ideology and it's inherent superiority.There was no attempt at dialogue on their part whatsoever. Whenever a valid point, such as when Stephanie Sherer from Americans for Safe Access pointed out that the pain meds she had been on were causing renal failure and that by using cannabis for analgesia she had prevented further destruction of her kidneys, "Dr." Barthwell off-handedly dismissed her claims by using technical gobbledygook as Sherer being nothing more than an "n+1" example of statistical sampling. Each challenge to their facts were met with the same kind of attempt to present a wall of impermiability. BUT...when they were challenged on specifics, they HAD NO STUDIES WITH THEM TO BACK UP THEIR ARGUMENTS! A Congressional Staffer - I believe it was from Henry Waxman's
office (Oo-rah! for Rep. Waxman anyways, he's been standing up for MMJ people in his State) DID produce the names of study after study to refute "Dr." Barthwell's claims, they were also lightly dismissed.One last thing: the event took place in a room about 20 feet by twenty feet...and it was literally PACKED with reformers wearing red T-Shirts saying "ONDCP spreads myths" on the front (I would have been less charitable, but I was a soldier, not a diplomat; my busted-glass tongue gets me in trouble sometimes, and this was MPP's show, so I kept my big mouth shut) and on the back with "Marijuana: No Overdose Deaths - Ever". If there were any other antis in the room besides those two, they were very, very quiet. It's a good thing we cannabists generally are a civil lot, despite being as oppressed as we are; had we been less reasonable, they would have been rhetorically eaten alive. Their deadpan attempt at invulnerability was seen for what it was: phony.One last thing: The entire 'truth squad' had been assembled by a Mr. Aaron Houston in just under a week. Mainly through the 'Net and calling MPP members. Less than one week. At least 35 people at one point in that tiny room, not counting staffers. That's a testament to both MPP's organizational capability and the power of the 'Net.I keep saying it: they're the dinosaurs; we're the mammals that will eventually supplant them. Looking into their eyes, despite their brave attempts to rationalize the irrational, I think they felt it, too.
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 22, 2004 at 05:20:24 PT

Almost Time to Hold a Vigil...
...for all the people we have lost to the Federal government in the war on medical marijuana patients.Seriously, all we nned to do now, is be successful in backing other candidates against the drug warriors in Congress (Mark Souder, Joe Biden).

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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on April 21, 2004 at 22:50:51 PT

So did the Bushies have their briefing?
With the big WAMM news, it looks like they were upstaged. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 21, 2004 at 16:05:06 PT

MMJ Collective in Santa Cruz Protected from Raids
ASA: LANDMARK JUDGEMENT TODAY! Medical Marijuana Collective in Santa Cruz is Protected from DEA Raids!! 
April 21, 2004                        CONTACT: Tony Newman
(212) 613-8026
Landmark Judgment Today: Seriously Ill Patients of Santa Cruz Medical Marijuana Collective Protected From Federal DEA Raids Court Grants Injunction Allowing WAMM Members to Grow and Use Their Medicine Teleconference 3:30 PM PST, April 21 2004 Featuring Plaintiffs, Legal Team and Santa Cruz Elected Officials San Jose, CA. Eighteen months after a brutal DEA raid on a medical marijuana collective in Santa Cruz, California, the seriously ill collective members finally got the protection from future raids and harassment they have sought since filing suit against the federal government one year ago. After reconsidering his earlier decision in the high profile case County of Santa Cruz et al. v. Ashcroft, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the Northern District of California has granted Plaintiffs a preliminary injunction and denied the government’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint. Today’s ruling will protect the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) while the lawsuit is pending, and allow the collective to resume cultivation. The Drug Policy Alliance, along with the law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP, the Santa Cruz City Attorney and co-counsel Prof. Gerald Uelmen and Ben Rice, represent Plaintiffs in this case. “In the face of overzealous federal law enforcement, for the first time a court has applied the law in a way that protects the right of a group of sick people to grow and share their medicine without fear,” said Judy Appel, Director of Legal Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Today’s decision affirms the right of WAMM's members to cultivate and use marijuana for medicinal purposes free from federal interference,” stated Neha Shah Nissen, an attorney with Bingham McCutchen. “The federal government can no longer ignore the will of the people of the State of California and the City and County of Santa Cruz to protect the health and welfare of terminally and chronically ill individuals." “We applaud the Court’s decision and we are profoundly pleased as we prepare to replant our garden,” said Valerie Corral, co-founder of WAMM. “But we also steady ourselves for a tug of war with the present administration’s unwillingness to honor the democratic process.” ****************************************************************************** WHEN: Wednesday, April 21, at 3:30 PM PST/ 6:30 PM EST WHO: Valerie Corral, Founder, WAMMEmily Reilly, Santa Cruz City Council Member, Former Mayor of Santa CruzHarold Margolin, Patient, WAMMNeha Nissen, Co-CounselEthan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance HOW: Call number 1 (877) 270-2156 pass code: 120769 ****************************************************************************** This case involves the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), a collective of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers. WAMM was raided by 30 federal DEA agents on September 24, 2002. These agents held the collective’s founders and a patient at gunpoint while they confiscated 167 plants. The founders, Valerie and Mike Corral, were taken into police custody but never charged with a crime.  After the raid, the City and County of Santa Cruz joined WAMM and seven patient members in suing the federal government.  County of Santa Cruz, et. al. v. Ashcroft, challenges the authority of the federal government to conduct medical marijuana raids and focuses on the constitutional right of terminally and chronically ill patients to control the circumstances of their own pain relief and ultimately their deaths—a right recognized by the Supreme Court. On August 28, 2003, Judge Fogel denied Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which would have protected the collective from future raids while the case was pending, and granted the government’s motion to dismiss the case. However, Plaintiffs asked Judge Fogel to reconsider his ruling in the WAMM case earlier this year in light of a landmark December 2003 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Raich v. Ashcroft. In the Raich case, the Court ruled that John Ashcroft and the Bush administration had improperly applied the Commerce Clause to the plaintiffs’ intrastate activity. The Court reasoned that when a patient is growing his or her own marijuana or a caregiver is growing it for the patient, there is no substantial effect on interstate commerce. No marijuana traveled between states in the Raich case, and there was no commercial activity involved. The Court ruled that the federal government lacked jurisdiction under the Controlled Substances Act to interfere with the plaintiffs’ activity. The facts of the WAMM case are almost identical to those in Raich; the WAMM collective is a group of terminally and chronically ill patients and their caregivers who grow and use their medicine with the recommendation of their physicians in compliance with state law and local ordinances. No one is charged money for the medicine, and therefore there is no effect on interstate commerce. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Raich specifically criticized Judge Fogel’s initial decision in the WAMM case, stating that the Court had erred in its analysis.  The Raich decision and the District Court’s subsequent ruling in Plaintiffs’ favor in the WAMM case have given new hope to the members of the collective, who suffer from cancer, AIDS, chronic pain and other serious illnesses.. Since the 2002 raid on the collective, over 25 WAMM members have died and the supply of medicine for remaining patients has dwindled while the legal battles continue. One of the seven patient plaintiffs in the WAMM case, Dorothy Gibbs, who began using medical marijuana at the age of 86 to ease the pain she suffered as a result of Post-Polio Syndrome, passed away three weeks ago.   Elizabeth Méndez BerryDeputy Director of CommunicationsDrug Policy Alliance(212) 613-8036eberry
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