NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 01, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 01, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on July 01, 2004 at 15:06:38 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Congressional Vote To Bar Federal Officials From Targeting Medi-Pot Patients Next WeekJuly 1, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Drug law reform advocates expect members of the House of Representatives to vote as early as next week on an amendment to bar the Justice Department from prosecuting patients who use medical cannabis in compliance with state laws. The amendment, known as the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment, would prohibit the US Justice Department from spending any money undermining state medical marijuana laws.
Congress defeated the provision last year by a vote of 273 to 152.For information on the Hinchey amendment please visit: Williams Pushing Medical Marijuana To Urge Congress To Legalize MMJ Court To Rule On Medical Marijuana ExemptionJuly 1, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The Supreme Court agreed this week to consider a Ninth Circuit court ruling which found that the federal prosecution of patients who possess or cultivate medical marijuana in states where its use is permitted is an unconstitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority. The Bush administration is appealing the 2-1 decision, which granted petitioners - California medical marijuana patients Angel Raich and Diane Monson - an injunction barring the Justice Department from federally prosecuting them under the Controlled Substances Act.In that decision, Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for the appeals court majority that the medicinal use of cannabis by qualified patients in states which allow it "is clearly distinct from the broader illicit drug market."The Court added: "As applied to the limited class of activities presented by this case, ... the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and not for exchange or distribution is not properly characterized as commercial or economic activity," as defined by the CSA. "This conclusion, coupled with the public interest considerations and the burden faced by the appellants if, contrary to California law, they are denied access to medicinal marijuana, warrants the entry of a preliminary injunction."The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case sometime next winter, the Associated Press reported. Their ruling "will set national precedent by weighing whether or not patients have the legal right to treat their illnesses by medicating with cannabis when recommended by their doctors," legal counsel for the petitioners said in a press release.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit: Patients' Rights To Decide if Anti-Drug Laws Apply Medical Pot Case To Be Heard Average Pot Potency No Stronger, Study SaysJuly 1, 2004 - Lisbon, BelgiumLisbon, Belgium: The overall strength of marijuana available in Europe has remained stable despite claims from US officials and others that it has increased significantly in recent years, according to a study released this week by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.The study, which analyzed the potency of marijuana seized by police between 1995 and 2002, is the first-ever European review of cannabis potency."There is no evidence of a significant increase in potency," authors determined. "Today's report shows that effective potency of cannabis in nearly all EU countries has remained quite stable for many years, at around 6-8 percent THC."Average pot potency in the Netherlands was higher than the EU average, authors noted, because domestically-produced, indoor cannabis is more widely available there than in other European nations.Average potency of US pot is between 4 and 5 percent THC, according to federal statistics.In recent years, US Drug Czar John Walters and other anti-drug officials have alleged that today's marijuana is, on average, some "30 times" more potent than the pot available in the 1960s and 1970s.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study is available online at: Pot Packs More Potent High Cannabis Theory Goes Up In Smoke Testing Doesn't Enhance Workplace Performance, Study Says July 1, 2004 - Layerthorpe, United KingdomLayerthorpe, United Kingdom: Workplace drug testing programs do not deter employees from using illicit substances, nor do they increase workers' on-the-job performance, according to a study released this week in Britain by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the think-tank DrugScope.Authors of the report, entitled "Drug testing in the workplace: The Report of the Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work," determined: "The common assumption that drug and alcohol use has a major impact on productivity and performance at work is not conclusively supported by the evidence. ... Nor has it been demonstrated that drug testing has a significant deterrent effect, or is the most appropriate way of identifying and engaging with staff whose drug use is affecting their work."Researchers were unable to find any conclusive evidence of a link between drug use and workplace accidents, except for alcohol.Authors concluded that drug testing's role in the workplace should be limited to safety critical industries, where "direct testing of impairment" rather than conventional drug screening is appropriate.A previous report by the US Institute of Medicine analyzing the effectiveness of workplace drug testing concluded, "Despite beliefs to the contrary, the preventive effects of drug testing programs have never been adequately demonstrated. ... There is as of yet no conclusive scientific evidence ... that employment drug testing programs widely discourage drug use or encourage rehabilitation."Approximately half of all large US companies subject employees to drug tests.Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed new federal drug testing guidelines to allow government employers to collect samples of employees' hair, sweat and saliva to test for illicit substances.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-5500.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: July 01, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- June 24, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 17, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 10, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 03, 2004
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 01, 2004 at 15:16:35 PT
Tell Congress to Protect Med Marijuana Patients
Tell Congress to Protect Medical Marijuana PatientsThe Ashcroft Justice Department is spending your tax dollars to arrest cancer, AIDS, and MS patients who use medical marijuana. Support an amendment in Congress to stop them.***ASA Action Alert: Tell Congress to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients! The time to contact your US Representative is now! Visit:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment