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

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- May 20, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on May 20, 2004 at 15:32:37 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
This Week Marks The 30th Anniversary Of NORML Filing To Reschedule Medicinal MarijuanaMay 20, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: This past Tuesday, May 18, marked the 30-year anniversary of the Drug Enforcement Administration's acceptance of NORML's administrative petition to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to II so that physicians could legally prescribe it. Under federal law, Schedule I drugs - by definition - have "no accepted medical use in treatment," and lack "accepted safety" for use under medical supervision.
NORML originally filed its petition in 1972, and it was formally accepted in 1974. However, it wasn't until 1986 that the DEA finally held public hearings on the issue before an administrative law judge. Two years later, Judge Francis Young ruled, "Marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving distress of great numbers of very ill people," and recommended "the Administrator transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II to make it available as a legal medicine." Nevertheless, then-DEA Administrator John Lawn rejected Young's ruling - a decision the US Court of Appeals allowed to stand in a 1994 decision.In October 2002, NORML joined a coalition of drug-law reform organizations and individual citizens in filing a similar rescheduling petition with the DEA, arguing that current evidence of cannabis' therapeutic utility contradicts its Schedule I classification. Administrative proceedings remain ongoing.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. For more information on the current rescheduling petition, please visit: Approves Amended Medical Marijuana MeasureMay 20, 2004 - Montpelier, VT, USAMontpelier, VT: Legislation allowing state-qualified patients to grow and possess marijuana for medicinal purposes will become law, Gov. James Douglas (R) announced Wednesday. Douglas - who had previously spoken against the measure - said that the proposal will become law without his signature. The House and Senate had given final approval of the measure earlier this week.As passed, Senate Bill 76 legalizes the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to three marijuana plants (one mature plant, two immature plants) for patients suffering from cancer, HIV, AIDS and/or multiple sclerosis. Patients and their caregivers must be registered with the state Department of Public Safety, and their cannabis must be stored in a "secure indoor facility."As introduced, S. 76 allowed patients to grow as many as seven plants, and expanded the number of qualifying medical conditions to include glaucoma, seizures, and chronic pain. After receiving Senate approval in 2003, the House narrowed S. 76 earlier this month.According to local news reports, Bush administration officials strongly lobbied Gov. Douglas to veto the bill, and had called the governor personally to ask him to reject it.Since 1996, voters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC have passed initiative laws barring state law enforcement from arresting and prosecuting patients who possess and use medicinal cannabis under a doctor's supervision. (Arizona and DC's laws were never implemented.) In 2000, the Hawaii legislature passed similar legislation exempting state-qualified medical marijuana patients from arrest. Most recently, Maryland's legislature passed a medical marijuana affirmative defense law in 2003. This law requires the court to consider a defendant's use of medical marijuana to be a mitigating factor in marijuana-related state prosecution.Medical marijuana initiatives are currently pending in Arkansas and Montana, as well as in the cities of Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan.For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano or Keith Stroup of NORML at (202) 483-5500.DL: Pot OK'd; Session Ending Today Marijuana Bill Will Become Law Behind Effort To Pass Restrictive Bill Of Cannabis Not Causally Linked To Problematic Behavior In Adolescents, Study Says May 20, 2004 - Birmingham, United KingdomBirmingham, United Kingdom: No strong evidence exists indicating that the use of cannabis in itself has negative consequences on the psychological or social health of adolescents, according to a systemic review of general population longitudinal studies published this week in the journal The Lancet.Researchers at the University of Birmingham's Departments of Primary Care and General Practice conducted a systemic review of 48 studies reporting associations between illicit drug use by young people and psychosocial harm. After reviewing the studies for "unmeasured as well as measured potential confounders," authors concluded, "Available evidence does not strongly support an important causal relation between cannabis use by young people and psychosocial harm."Researchers added, "This finding is not equivalent to the conclusion that the use of cannabis is harmless in psychosocial terms; problems with the available evidence render it equally unable to support this proposition. Better evidence is needed in relation to cannabis, which is widely used, and in relation to other drugs that, although less widely used, may have important effects."NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre praised the review. "Marijuana is not a harmless substance; no drug is. However, marijuana's relative risks to the user - most of which may be mitigated by consuming cannabis in ways other than smoking - does not support criminal prohibition or the continued arrest of approximately 700,000 Americans on marijuana charges every year."The study's authors surmised that their findings would likely have little impact on federal drug policy, stating: "Drug policy is sometimes justified on the basis of a causal relation between drug use and psychosocial harm. We have shown that evidence for this relation is not strong. However, it would be naive to assume that scientific evidence is generally an important determinant of policy, particularly in this area."An accompanying commentary in The Lancet reiterated that allegations of cannabis' potentially detrimental effects are "less certain than often claimed," and argued that decriminalizing its possession and use "is a sensible attempt to balance the possible harms caused by cannabis and its prohibition."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the study are available online at:'s Social Dangers Unknown, Say Researchers Use Not Linked with Psychosocial Harm NORML Foundation (DC)Published: May 20, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- May 13, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- May 06, 2004
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #24 posted by afterburner on May 22, 2004 at 08:59:18 PT
If I were Contrarian-King of the United States 
By Pete Guither, May 21, 2004
DrugSense Weekly
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #23 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 14:58:27 PT
Maybe Bush respects us more than Kerry does
Bush has come up against this movement and lost. Kerry hasn't had that experience yet. Maybe Gray Davis can clue him in on what it feels like.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 13:24:32 PT
This is Interesting To Me
The president also commuted the sentence of Bobby Mac Berry, of Burlington, N.C., who had been sentenced to 108 months in prison in 1997 for marijuana and money laundering convictions. Berry will be released on May 27.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 13:20:06 PT
One More Comment
We have made progress in reforming drug laws and it didn't have anything to do with who is our president. In spite of Bush we have ever so slowly moved forward. I'm the kind of person that won't put my faith in just one person or political party or organization either. As a group of people we will win but not by one person.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 13:08:06 PT
A truly sustainable human society
has to be sustainable in spite of the whatever type of odd or out of touch or dangerous or ill intentioned people might be hired to administer the civil government.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by cloud7 on May 21, 2004 at 13:07:32 PT
I really hope he doesnt win either, but Ill deal with it too if he does. We've survived four years so far and we'll just have to do the best we can if there are four more. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 12:59:58 PT
I just want to say I understand why you would want to vote the way you are going to vote. I'm the kind of person that can accept what happens if the election goes Bush's way and we have him for 4 more years. It could happen but I hope it doesn't.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 12:55:47 PT
Maybe I should vote for Putin
He's not so good on the news media and Chechnya, but lately he's been active on drug reform, police and govermnent corruption, and global warming.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by cloud7 on May 21, 2004 at 12:51:32 PT
Earlier, when Kerry had just received the nomination, I had considered giving my vote to him, but after seeing how he thinks we should deal with the war and the Patriot Act and other issues nearly identically to Bush, there is no way I can vote for him. He may be the lesser of two evils (as is usual), but what does that still make him? I will be voting Libertarian.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by cloud7 on May 21, 2004 at 12:45:25 PT
I think strict political philosophy doesnt carry much weight in either the Democrat or Republican parties. Otherwise conservatives would legalize to minimize government spending and involvement and liberals would legalize for social freedom and equality. Power is what both parties crave and that is why there is little difference between either of them. Getting elected is their philosophy, sticking to their ideals is not. I dont know if this is what you were looking for.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 12:41:54 PT
You need to tell it to my housecleaner cloud7
By the way, read my post again and start to worry. I am not talking out of my hat. Black voters are planning to ditch Kerry like they ditched Davis and for the same reason.I have delivered my warning. Whether anyone will hear it in time is another matter.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 12:37:11 PT
A question cloud7
Just name the part of Democratic political philosophy that is compatible with a government led war against the underclass and I'll shut up.Getting elected is not a philosophy. It's just a way to get power.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 12:36:23 PT
You're more then likely right. I'm in one of my no nonsense moods today after seeing more of the prison abuse pictures from Iraq. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by cloud7 on May 21, 2004 at 12:23:36 PT
About Kerry
I dont know whether Kerry will come down on our side or not, but I think it would be a mistake for him to give his full support for our issue now. Although this would be great that he does support us, the Bush regime would get the silver bullet they need to paint him as a far left liberal. The elections are won and lost by the moderate voters and repeatedly hearing scary, fear ridden commercials by Bush & Co. about how Kerry wants to make marijuana available to as many people as possible would sway more than a few away from Kerry. I really think this issue will be a wait and see with Kerry.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 10:56:24 PT
What John Kerry Should Do
John Kerry should run a poll on his site and ask people if the laws against marijuana are obsolete. I'd vote and so would many people. Let the people have their say and LISTEN to them.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 10:42:37 PT
EJ I'm Sure You Could Be Right
They think we live with our heads in the clouds! Ha!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 10:39:25 PT
I hate to use these words FoM but
The liberal cultural elite that runs the Democratic Party is totally out of touch and out to lunch.Their one and only advantage is that the Republicans are even more out to lunch than the Democrats are.But the Democrats only have that advantage as long as the Republicans don't come back from lunch.If the Republicans ever come back from lunch and abandon the drug war, the Democrats are toast.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 10:32:08 PT
About John Kerry
I wish he would do what Jimmy Carter did and say that marijuana should be decriminalized. Heck Clinton said marijuana should be decriminalized as he left office. Why are they so afraid to mention our subject in politics? I know people are connecting who funds all this against us. It's time to stand up and do it right this time. Kerry should win but it will be because Bush has screwed up so royally. How will Kerry gets us out of Iraq? I hope he starts talking soon. Winning because someone is so bad that you're running against isn't a win. It's just being the lesser of two evils.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on May 21, 2004 at 10:18:03 PT
Kerry is losing black voters over drug war
I knew Gray Davis was going to lose because black voters were going against him. I live in a fancy neighborhood but the woman who cleans my house talks to me a lot about what goes on in her church in the less affluent part of town and the women in her church have turned against the war on drugs in a big way.The hip hoppers have turned the black church ladies, apparently.It looks like a whole constituency is defecting from the drug war, and now supporting the drug war is turning out to be a liability for the Democrats.Maybe it's an asset if they want to get campaign contribuitions from LEOs but the people on whom this war has been waged seem to have had enough of it.The affluent Democrats I talk to tell another story -- the drug war is not something they like, but it's not a truly important issue, like tax cuts or Medicare.Yes, well, your children get probation instead of prison rape, so of course you can wait another four or eight or twelve years to address the situation.Are things bad enough to pay attention to when black Democrats say they don't know who they'll vote for?This is what happened to Gray Davis and now it's heading for Kerry if he doesn't freaking wise up freaking darned soon.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on May 21, 2004 at 08:31:09 PT:
Unrelated: A LEAP founder's epiphany about Sheriff Bill Masters, courtesy of Reason's Hit & Run weblog at
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 21, 2004 at 08:19:31 PT
Too Much Time On My Hands
The news is so slow that last night I was watching one of the Discovery Channels and it was about floods and the effects of weather and showed previews for the new movie The Day After Tomorrow. I made a page. I don't think the timing of this movie could be any better then it is now. I know this movie is extreme but many movies have been extreme and in time they aren't so far fetched. Here it is if you want to check it out.Hollywood's Global Warming : The Day After Tomorrow:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by dongenero on May 21, 2004 at 07:39:18 PT
Dr. Andrew Weil
Thanks for posting the Dr. Weil statements. Those are some excellent comments on his part.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Jose Melendez on May 20, 2004 at 21:43:36 PT
Words Have Meaning
I'm so proud of you all. Thanks for posting Dr. Weil's comments about so-called 'purified' drugs, afterburner. Excipients needn't be toxic.I was not sure where to post it, not wanting to be off topic. Wage peace! We ARE winning. Words DO have meaning:
- - - "The emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality?"
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by afterburner on May 20, 2004 at 21:05:49 PT
Dr. Weil Answers the 'Crude Plant' Charge day when medical science catches up with other sciences, like physics, plants will be recognized as true medicine. Then, the long overdue rescheduling of cannabis will seem like common sense. Eveybody knows. Eveybody knows. Hindsight is 20-20.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment