NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- May 6, 2004

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- May 6, 2004

Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2004 at 19:24:09 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 

Severity Of Pot Laws Doesn't Influence Marijuana Use, Study SaysMay 6, 2004 - Santa Cruz, CA, USASanta Cruz, CA: Neither the severity nor leniency of marijuana laws play a significant role in influencing patterns or frequency of marijuana use among experienced users, according to a study published this week in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study, which compared the behavior of cannabis users in San Francisco and Amsterdam, "found consistent similarities in patterns of career use across different policy contexts," including mean age of onset, frequency of use, quantity of use, intensity of intoxication, and duration of career use.Buying and selling cannabis are permitted in Amsterdam in licensed "coffee shops," and public use is permitted, whereas in San Francisco, buying, selling, and public use of marijuana for recreational purposes remain criminal offenses."If drug policies are a potent influence on user behavior, there should not be such strong similarities across such different drug control regimes," authors concluded. "Our findings do not support claims that criminalization reduces cannabis use [or] that decriminalization increases cannabis use. Moreover, Dutch decriminalization does not appear to be associated with greater use of other illicit drugs relative to drug use in San Francisco, nor does criminalization in San Francisco appear to be associated with less use of other illicit drugs relative to their use in Amsterdam. Indeed, to judge from the lifetime prevalence of other illicit drug use, the reverse may be the case."NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre praised the study's findings, noting that they mimic similar results commissioned by the US government which have found no greater use of marijuana in US states that have decriminalized its use compared to those that have not. "More than 30 percent of the US population lives under some form of marijuana decriminalization, and according to government and academic studies, these laws have not contributed to an increase in marijuana consumption nor negatively impacted adolescent attitudes toward drug use," St. Pierre said."Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of approximately 700,000 individuals per year. Yet, study after study shows that this enforcement has little-to-no influence on individuals' behavior. Rather, it is a tremendous waste of national and state criminal justice resources that should be focused on combating serious and violent crime. It invites government unnecessarily into areas of our private lives, and needlessly damages the lives and careers of hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the study, entitled "The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and in San Francisco," are available online at: & -- PDF Version DL:, Amsterdam Similar in Pot Use Pot Legal Does Not Boost Use Debunks Feds' Marijuana Claims Marijuana Extracts Relieve Chronic Pain, Improve Sleep, Study SaysMay 6, 2004 - Oxford, United KingdomOxford, United Kingdom: Cannabis extracts alleviate pain, elevate mood, and improve sleep in patients with chronic neuropathic pain, according to clinical trial data published in the May issue of the journal Anaesthesia.Thirty-four patients participated in the randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Volunteers were administered randomized extracts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, and a mixture of both compounds. Patients self-administered the extracts and/or placebo via a sublingual spray.Authors wrote that 28 patients "obtained benefit" from the extracts, and that those containing THC proved most effective in symptom control, particularly pain relief and improved sleep. They further noted, "All eight patients with residual pain associated with the failure of spinal surgery obtained benefit and this is an exciting prospect for further study in this notoriously difficult group to treat."Side effects of the cannabis extracts were mild and "not substantially different to those seen with most other psychoactive drugs used in pain management," authors concluded.Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is currently reviewing a new drug application for the THC/CBD extract mixture, intended to be marketed by the GW Pharmaceutical company under the trade name Sativex.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the study, entitled "Initial experiences with medicinal extracts of cannabis for chronic pain: Results from 34 'N of 1' studies," are available online at: Cannabis Conundrum Firm Holds Hope for Users of Medical Pot Wage Yet Another Offensive Against Pot "Paraphernalia" May 6, 2004 - Miami, FL, USAMiami, FL: U.S. custom and immigrations authorities this week raided a Miami-Dade County warehouse and seized nearly $1 million glass pipes and other items commonly associated with marijuana smoking. The raid marks at least the fourth time since March 2003 that federal officials have targeted businesses for selling pipes and other paraphernalia "intended or designed to be used ingesting, inhaling or otherwise using controlled substances."Although no one was arrested in the raid, federal authorities stated that the investigation remains ongoing. Last September, a federal judge sentenced 65-year-old actor/comedian Tommy Chong to nine months in prison and fined him $20,000 for selling glass pipes on the Internet through his business, Nice Dreams Enterprises.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre condemned the raid, calling it evidence of the administration's gravely misplaced priorities. "These businesses pay taxes and do not in any way contribute to the crime problem in America," He said. "In addition, the day-to-day operations of these businesses are arguably a local or state matter, and should not be of concern to the federal government."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. For more information on NORML's "Free Tommy Chong" campaign, please visit: Raid Warehouse and Seize Paraphernalia Paraphernalia Archives Source: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: May 6, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 29, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 20, 2004'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 #1 posted by ekim on May 06, 2004 at 19:52:23 PT
"Save Our Children--Stamp Out Prohibition"
To make Bush’s hypocrisy even more outrageous, Texas and Florida have two of the worst prison systems. (Warning pictures much more horrifying than those from Iraq are on Movement Against Corruption and Complicity and The Texas Prison Abuse Campaign websites. Also see Stop Prison Rape.) On Tuesday, Donald Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference, that investigations were being opened to determine whether abuses occurred in other prisons and prison camps run by the U.S. military. What about those run by the President and his brother, Jeb?
May 8 04 Beyond Prohibition: Legal Cannabis in Canada 08:00 AM Walter McKay Vancouver British Columbia Canada 
 The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Presents - A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Law Reform: Beyond Prohibition: Legal Cannabis in Canada Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Senator Pierre Claude Nolin May 10 04 Lions Club of Norman 06:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Norman Oklahoma USA 
 The Lions Club of Norman, OK welcomes Board Member Howard Wooldridge for discussion of the failures of the war on drugs. Other speakers will participate. May 14 04 Social Service Coordinating Council 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Norman Oklahoma USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge lunches with the Social Service Coordinating Council of Norman, OK to discuss issues relationg to drug prohibition. May 17 04 The Foothills Boulder Kiwanis 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Boulder Colorado USA 
 The The Foothills Boulder Kiwanis welcomes Board Member Howard Wooldridge for breakfast and a lively discussion of the current state of the war on drugs. May 17 04 "Save Our Children--Stamp Out Prohibition" 03:00 PM Jack Cole Somerville MA USA 
 Public Meeting at The VNA Center, Union Square, 259 Lowell Street, Somerville, MA: Executive Director Jack Cole suggests solutions to the US failed policy of a War on Drugs. Sponsored by CASPAR Youth Services.
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