Rhode Island, Uncertainty About Medical Marijuana

††Rhode Island, Uncertainty About Medical Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on June 29, 2005 at 19:54:43 PT
By Katie Zezima†
Source: New York Times †

Rhode Island -- Hearing that the Rhode Island legislature approved the use of medical marijuana Tuesday night, Rhonda O'Donnell sat in her Warwick, R.I., living room and giddily thought about legally sautťing the drug in some butter and putting it into a cake mix.Ms. O'Donnell, 42, who has multiple sclerosis, hopes ingesting marijuana will ease the stiffness and numbness in her legs that leave her unable to work or move without pain.
"It's not going to cure me, and it's not going to let me walk normally, but hopefully it can make me a little less uncomfortable and allow me to relax a little more and enjoy life a little more," Ms. O'Donnell, whose disease was diagnosed in 1994, said in a telephone interview. But whether she can legally consume marijuana is uncertain. Gov. Donald L. Carcieri vetoed the bill Wednesday evening, saying it would encourage marijuana use, sanction criminal activity and make the drug more available to children.Additionally, Mr. Carcieri said, it would lull residents into believing they could not be prosecuted for marijuana use, which remains a federal offense. The bill also does not have strong safety precautions, he said, and would allow patients to grow large amounts of marijuana with no guidelines for its disposal."This bill's noble goals cannot mask its serious safety flaws," Mr. Carcieri, a Republican, wrote. "This bill will increase the availability of marijuana on the streets of our state."It appears that proponents of the bill have the necessary three-fifths vote in each chamber of the legislature, both heavily Democratic, to override the veto. The bill passed the Senate 33 to 1 on Tuesday and was approved 52 to 10 last week in the House. If the veto is overridden, Rhode Island will become the 11th state to allow medical marijuana, and the first to do so after the Supreme Court ruled this month that federal authorities could prosecute those who use the drug for medicinal use, even in states allowing it.Mr. Carcieri's chief of policy and a group of legislators met on Tuesday with two officials in the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, an agency spokeswoman, Jennifer DeVallance, said. The agency presented state officials data showing that the drug was highly abused and had not been shown to be medicinally effective, Ms. DeVallance said."Obviously, this is not something that the federal government supports because the F.D.A. has not deemed that smoked marijuana is an appropriate medication for the variety of illnesses people claim it should be used for," she said.The bill would allow those with medical conditions including AIDS, cancer and glaucoma to receive what amounts to a signed prescription for marijuana from their primary care physician. The doctor, patient and person providing care would be entered into a registry kept by the state's Department of Public Health, which has 90 days to promulgate regulations.The patient and attendant, who must be Rhode Island residents, would receive identification cards allowing them to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants indoors or possess up to 2.5 ounces of the drug. The patient, attendant, doctor and anyone present while the patient was ingesting marijuana would be exempt from prosecution. Landlords, schools and employers would be barred from refusing someone because they were enrolled in the medical marijuana program.The Department of Health will issue a report on the program to the legislature by Jan. 1, 2007; if the legislature does not take action the bill will expire on June 30, 2007, and all marijuana will again be illegal.The Rhode Island bill does not address how patients would obtain the drug. Its chief sponsor, State Senator Rhoda E. Perry, said patients would "get it illegally, just like they do in the 10 other states."This worries law enforcement officials, who say the law will be difficult to enforce and that marijuana could easily find its way into the hands of those the bill is not intended to serve."We may very well see counterfeit registration cards, and then it becomes a quandary to figure out who legally possesses it with a card and which cards are false," said Maj. Joseph R. Miech of the Rhode Island State Police.But Ms. Perry and Representative Thomas C. Slater, who sponsored a similar bill in the House, say the legislation is a way to help ease the suffering of the sick and dying and is well-supported by residents. A poll taken last March by the Marijuana Policy Project, a national nonprofit organization that promotes the legalization of marijuana, found that 69 percent of state residents supported a bill allowing the chronically ill to grow marijuana for medicinal use.The issue has been a personal crusade for both Ms. Perry, whose nephew died of AIDS and refused to smoke marijuana for fear of arrest, and Mr. Slater, who has inoperable lung cancer and has seen three of his five siblings and his father suffer from cancer."It's an issue of compassion," Mr. Slater said. "It's an issue for those who are sick and dying and suffering and need that last-minute peace of mind."Complete Title: In Rhode Island, Uncertainty About Medical Marijuana LawSource: New York Times (NY)Author: Katie ZezimaPublished: June 30, 2005Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company Contact: letters Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Island Gov. Vetoes Medical Pot Bill Bills Go To Gov. Carcieri The Myth, There's Relief for The Pain 

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Comment #45 posted by Hope on July 02, 2005 at 21:12:29 PT
Rough indeed, 
Taylor said, "So I can understand why you are so down now, it sometimes will hit you and it's rough."I'm pretty sure that anyone who has been involved in this effort for any length of time has experienced this devastating sense of hopelessness that comes around every once in a while. Thankfully, it passes and the darkness of the moment recedes. People have been hurt horribly, even killed, as we know all too well, by the injustice and insanity of this prohibition. Fighting injustice and mass insanity is not something we can opt out of once we have decided we have been called to it. We get down sometimes. Sometimes we seem to lose all and any hope. Sometimes we feel a wound so deeply that we are, for a while, staggered or stunned by it. Most of us usually heal and the fire and determination return. We have what people since the beginning of civilization that fight for a just cause and liberty and freedom from oppression have always had. This coming Monday is a special day to remember and celebrate that fire that burns brightly, and occasionally, to our sorrow, not so brightly, in all of us here.
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Comment #44 posted by FoM on July 01, 2005 at 14:28:08 PT
Very well said. I agree that both organizations are important and we need them. I am a firm believer that we don't have to agree with them on 100 percent of what they do but they are only people behind a banner of an organization. When you look at it that way it's easy to respect them both for their successful efforts and forgive them their failures.
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Comment #43 posted by Taylor121 on July 01, 2005 at 14:23:12 PT
I'm glad you respect them. In regards to them thinking they are better, I have seen comments going both ways between NORML and the MPP so I donít think either side is fully responsible for this attitude. I don't take a side. I saw NORML criticize the MPP Nevada initiative in 2002 and I have seen the MPP call NORML a shrinking dinosaur. Both comments are ridiculous. We should be united in this effort. Both organizations should compliment each other on the good things they have done so we can change these laws. I agree the MPP should show more respect, but I think at the same time their tone probably stems from frustration that these laws are not already gone, and many see NORML having missed an opportunity with strong leaders that were catering to their end. So it goes both ways. Both sides should forgive and forget, MPP should respect NORML and NORML should respect the MPP. I see them as the modern attempt to change the law trying to be professional about it and treat it as a policy only issue with as few references to using and smoking marijuana as possible and just working on the law. They are simply trying a different tactic than NORML. Let's see what happens and be hesitant to judge. Letís get behind both of these groups.
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Comment #42 posted by FoM on July 01, 2005 at 10:35:08 PT
Respect What a Wonderful Word
Jose yes it does take a village to change these laws against Cannabis. We don't need to want to be friends with everyone but we need to respect each other always. 
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Comment #41 posted by jose melendez on July 01, 2005 at 10:30:38 PT
with respect, it takes a village . . .
We need help from all sides. Remember, more flies with honey: - - -" . . . Del. Bill Carrico, R-Independence, said his original bill included marijuana, but it was removed after lawmakers heard testimony from marijuana advocates that too little statistical data exists to establish a threshold of intoxication."
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on July 01, 2005 at 10:21:51 PT
I only want to comment about MPP. I have no association with them and I don't want to either. They are different then I am. I guess what I have always minded is they seem to think they are better then some of us who have been around a long time and have done good things. I always respect my elders because that was the way I was raised but I don't see respect coming from MPP for views other then their own. I am happy for the work they do and it has helped but the attitude makes me just not care for them. I don't have to care for an organization but I feel I must respect their work.
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Comment #39 posted by jose melendez on July 01, 2005 at 10:13:20 PT
hit it hard
Thank you kapt, I'm striking while the iron is hot, using their own corrupted laws as my tools, or as viewed from their perspective, my peaceful but overpowering weapons.I just got off the phone with runruff, his attorney discouraged him from using his personal knowledge of a DEA drug running operation to get himself less time. It's almost enough to make me go get a law license.Also, today I am in receipt of a letter from someone very powerful in Washington, D.C. who is contacting the "Justice" Department and getting their official response to my specific allegations of unlawful restraints of trade and federal authorizations of funds based on false claims of cannabis' comparative efficacy and safety.There's much more, but I'm learning not to show all my cards . . . - Criminalize Prohibition. Or, have another drink.
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Comment #38 posted by kaptinemo on July 01, 2005 at 07:24:17 PT:
Thanks again, Jose
I just can't shake this feeling about all the latest researches; they're coming out in almost a torrent of vindictaion regarding medicinal efficacy. Yet...almost all modern pharmas were derived from plant progenitors. Which our ancestors learned about through (often tragic) trial an error. And the knowledge passed on by the the survivors formed the basis of 'folk remedies' from which modern pharmas built upon. The same 'folk remedies' that "Dr." Bartyhwell and her ilk sneer at.Cannabis had been known as a supremely safe medicine to Ayurvedic practitioners in India millennia before the birth of The Christ. All we are doing with our modern technology is just, to my mind, 're-inventing the wheel'. The problem is the wheel hucksters are hoping to make a killing off of their 'new', 'improved' wheel, when there's not a bloody thing wrong with the old one...except a lack of profit.  
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Comment #37 posted by jose melendez on July 01, 2005 at 04:07:45 PT
pot push for fat cats, fat chance for us
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Comment #36 posted by Taylor121 on July 01, 2005 at 02:28:07 PT
Re:Nic; FoM, a long response stay with me
And I will be the first to admit it sounds like you have sacrificed much more than I have for this cause. I salute you and I respect you for that because I believe this is a fight about truth vs. deceit, and a fight for personal liberty, something that is on the back burner as of late. In a perfect world marijuana would not have any regulations on it whatsoever (unless you are dangerously driving on it putting people in harms way) and people would allow laizze faire economics run the show. I understand the vision but I also know that particular vision will never happen. People make a logical distinction between marijuana and other herbs simply because marijuana has intoxicating properties and is smoked along with the beat in propaganda over the years. In a perfect world, allow marijuana to be laizze faire, but I'm awake. That vision is so off the map with the public's attitude towards on not just marijuana, but the government's role in society on everything. You want a government that is hands off on marijuana; the government has their hands in everything. Believe me I don't like it, I'm a libertarian, but that is the reality. So I wake up and I realize that this vision about a laizze faire policy towards cannabis is a dream from a far away possible world and has no real bearing in this one.I looked into what I wrote about Carter and I now admit I was wrong. It appears that he didn't run on this as part of his platform, and the policy wasn't formalized until 76, after he was elected. I honestly thought I had read it was 75 when this was said or earlier, but I made a clear mistake. I am semi familiar with the history of the "scandal" during that time, although I wasn't even born, just read about it. I don't like reading about those times to be honest. I think there could have been an opportunity missed. I don't blame anybody though. Now onto your part about the Feds going after the sick, we are talking a little over 60 Federal arrests over medical marijuana since 1996. I'm going to be forthcoming. The Federal government even if they wanted to could not just start prosecuting a ton of marijuana possession cases without diverting resources from violence, meth labs, and other huge "trafficking" charges. The courts are clogged significantly, the entire criminal justice system is clogged. That is reality. I have no doubt they would LOVE to do it, every passing second of it would be a joy for them. The idea that the Feds, even the neo cons, would get away with pulling our limited resources off of other Federal crimes just to deal with small time marijuana would make national headlines and would actually put our movement in the spotlight. It would be akin to the city police chief taking all his detectives/street cops off DWI and murder cases to go after jaywalkers. It's already a HUGE waste what we are doing, but if Federal resources were used on a massive scale over small time marijuana prosecutions, it would make the headlines and it would look bad for them. A lot of the laws relating to marijuana are coming out as a hands off Federal approach, which essentially is less law (Federal law is voided in respect to a state law). There is no reason not to support these measures. It basically erases the Federal law when a state decides to pass a medical marijuana law (and now hemp). I openly admit no Federal victories YET. Yet is the key word. This isn't going to happen overnight. You mentioned the states' rights to medical marijuana act as never going to committee, look who chairs the committee. Souder happens to be the biggest prohibitionist in Congress. If we want hearings he has to go before anything can be accomplished. Hinchey failed, but more Democrats aligned themselves with the effort this year. I'm not saying that makes it a victory, far from it. I just have learned not to look at politics in absolutes. It didn't pass this year, what about the next, and the next, and 10 years down the road? Who knows where we will be. Picking up more congressmen minds to our side is important in and of itself. Do you deny that?As for a state with total decrim like you laid out, doesn't exist and never will (unless there is a major PHILOSOPHICAL shift in the public, not happening). The laizze faire policy that you mentioned doesn't even exist as a possible option in my mind realistically. So I can understand why you are so down now, it sometimes will hit you and it's rough. But that doesn't mean we give up and that doesn't mean we can't at least IMPROVE things. Alaska is the closest thing we have to a hand off policy inside the home. Far from full decrim, but hands off in the home isn't a bad start. Will it last? Hard to tell.Legal rulings, yeah you're right. Nothing concrete, just things that could help our grandchildren down the road, for instance in the dissents to Raich and the 9th circuit ruling. But yes you are correct, we lose time after time. Hey, at least the marijuana tax act was declared unconstitutional! :) Too bad a more horrible law replaced it.I can't point you to a single nation where marijuana is legalized. Closest we got is The Netherlands de-facto legalization which doesn't even count. You can thank international law/treaties for what amounts to world prohibition thanks in part to our very own United States of America. I won't lie, it disgusts me, but that's why we have to end the policy that is basically what we export now. Stop it at the source, it's our job. As for the MPP remarks, once again I can't say how strongly I disagree with you. I grew up in an ultra conservative environment, the family, the town, the state (home of gw). I grew up seeing how conservatives think (I was a zombie one for a while during my early high school years). One thing a lot of these people that are so illustrious in these areas judge people on is how one dresses, how their hair is cut, do they have an earring, have they shaved? I grew up with this mentality, and no I don't think people should be judged solely on their appearance, but I'm here to say once again welcome to the real world. MANY people ( I know some of these people) believe appearance means a lot, and they make up a HUGE portion of the masses. The idea that you think the MPP should be faulted because they look professional with a clean trim haircut and a business suit just seems.. I don't know it seems to just be out of bitterness somehow. I applaud the MPP for recognizing that the marijuana movement NEEDS a professional appearance and to actually play the game with the cards dealt and not try to change the rules that are in fact implicit in this political environment. They are doing what needs to be done and my hats are off to them. The millions that you say they waste are the millions that belong to them, and the billionaire that works for Progressive keeps giving them money despite some saying it is a waste. It's his right to keep doing so and I'm glad that he is because I like the MPP, and I'm glad they are in town here to stay. The MPP is fighting a battle wherein the vast majority of Congress has a stigma against cannabis.. millions of dollars don't magically alter the brain chemistry/souls of elected officials. I know you know this, but I'm just trying to exemplify what's going on. They don't care about that money, look at their donations at opensecrets, they get paid otherwise. There are no loopholes, the only way to beat this is to go to local and state government and to the voters themselves to start to put pressure on the Feds. How would you spend the money? I'm just curious because I hear how they waste all this money but I never hear how it could spend it better. Once again, you have my utmost respect; I'm just honestly asking what your strategy would be with this money. You don't seem to care about changing people's minds which is essential to change the policy. There have been some minds changed to our favor over the last few years even in this hostile neo con Congress. That is an accomplishment in itself. Spending the money got us no where if you consider the only benchmark to be Federal law. The real benchmark is in the minds and hearts of the public and the MPP recognizes that.That's one area you never responded to regarding public support that has started to come to our side. 20% in 1986 to double 40% in 2002 in favor of legalization according to CNN/Time scientific polling. I don't doubt the stats. It can be cross referenced with a Zogby poll in 2003 showing 41%. The MPP isn't just waging a campaign to get the law changed temporarily; they are running a campaign the change the will of the public in a realistic way.I respect you Nick. However, from what I have picked up, you are wanting an unrealistic picture. I sense the libertarian philosophy in you, or at least the part that relates to marijuana. I respect that and in that I consider you a strong ally. One thing I have learned about the libertarian movement is something Ayn Rand already had stated in speeches and essays. That vision isn't just a political venture; it is a fight to change the philosophies, the fundamental convictions of man. That's a tough bone to chew on and I am fighting that war too, but my primary focus is on the political battle over marijuana. I have already settled for a goal of taxing and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and up with similar restrictions akin to hard liquor. I think a practical goal is personal cultivation a small # of plants, and in some states they may want to consider a personal cultivation license similar to home brewing after we stop prosecuting people for the end product. I support these measures because I believe it will significantly reduce the harm involved overall (harm that I have witnessed) and because I believe they are attainable within the next two decades. The field exists where like minded people battle to change things for the better. The field of laizze faire decriminalization doesn't exist at this juncture; maybe one day it could once the truth gets out. Politics isn't a place for absolutes, so if you want to get there, help us reach at least legalizing small amounts. The public is being won over, and once the 50% threshold is reached which I hope we can reach, we might see some victories in certain states.
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 21:22:55 PT
If We All Just Quit
I've thought about this today since it has been a very heavy thread. If I decided that they won and we don't stand a chance at reform I would quit wasting my time doing CNews. I believe we have made progress. Even when it seems that we have been dealt an almost fatal blow we bounce back. Imagine if we all just quit and didn't care what this administration has done to us and our freedom in general. What will they try to stop next? I respect Soros for his efforts at trying his darnest to get Democrats in office and Bush out. At least most of the democrats voted for the Hinckley Amendment. 
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Comment #34 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on June 30, 2005 at 20:06:34 PT
Don't forget
There were a lot of people in the early 1930s who thought that alcohol prohibition would never end. I mean, it was a constitutional amendment - how were you supposed to trump that?? 
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Comment #33 posted by VitaminT on June 30, 2005 at 17:51:53 PT
 Barney Franks bill seeks re-scheduling ( RE: #17)
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.   This Act may be cited as the `States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act'. SEC. 2. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT.   (a) Schedule- Marijuana is moved from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to schedule II of such Act. .........Democrats AND Republicans are doing something (not enough of course, but these wheels turn notoriously slow) - we need to keep our heads up, stay comitted to telling the truth and build on our growing strength.I am just not willing become fatalistic about the task. I'm a realist - If change doesn't happen in my lifetime, tough luck for me.but. . . .For centuries (and still today in many places) homosexuals live(d) every day of their lives under a very real threat of persecution, torture and murder - but the world changed in a very dramatic way during the most recent 40 years. It can happen and it will because time is on our side and we will not back down.Did gays and lesbians make this progress because a lot more people started thinking it was good to be gay? Not likely, People started seeing that gays, as a group, had a right to be themselves and were sometimes treated unjustly by society. That conflicts with just enough people to make a difference.Our arguements will win the day in any fair debate, that's why prohibitionists rely on falsehood, demonization and misinformation to forestall the inevitable. Taylor121 cited some of the progress we've made - it's real and there will be a payoff.
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Comment #32 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 17:07:50 PT
Thanks for comments #28 & #30..
...and by no means would I ever discourage anyone from keeping the faith nor telling them to give up: I didn't burn my Republican bridges by leaving a lucrative GOP operative/conservative campaign consultan/public relations business by going to NORML in 2000 for nothing. I'm still a believer, but I'm a pragmatist as well.I should also point out that my personal -- NOT NORML's nor most marijuana reform organizations or "harm reduction" experts -- opinion is that marijuana should not be regulated, taxed or controlled by the government in any way, be it "medical" or "recreational". To me, it's a benign herb, not even a so-called "drug". It belongs in the herbal tea section of grocery/health food stores, grown in your yard or basement or picked wild: I could care less how people attain it, but I sure as hell don't support so-called taxation and/or "legalization". Nor do I want it to be Schedule I, II, III, IV, etc. or "prescribed" by "doctors". Let them push their poisonous pills: leave marijuana alone.As for the political & legal aspects:"Carter ran with decriminalization of personal amounts of marijuana as one of his goals".Jimmy Carter most certainly never ran as a presidential candidate advocating decriminlization of marijuana: that's a fact. I am very familiar with what he did have to say about the PROSECUTION of marijuana laws as POTUS:, Carter was speaking to a train of thought similiar to what is now called "harm reduction" by saying that penalties should not exceed the harm people bring upon themselves using marijuana in the first place."Drugs" and/or drug use -- by Americans young & old and even to some extent, rumors about Carter's staff's drug use -- led to the overall disillusionment with tolerance toward "drugs" in general and certainly marijuana in particular, which in turn led to you-know-who: Reagan, whom I worked for in his first administration as a staff writer."For example, you said that the Feds will come in and start prosecuting individual patients": well, actually, I did not refer to nor mean "patients". My thinking is the reverse of what the prohibitionists accuse the reformers of doing: totally decriminalizing possession and cultivation of marijuana would make the issue of "medical" marijuana moot.I was thinking more along the lines of jury nulification of marijuana possession, be it an ounce or twenty pounds. If the feds have the arrogance to "go after" people in wheel chairs, sick and dying people (horrible pr) then they surely will have no quams going after dealers and/or users -- even of small amounts -- if say, California juries by the dozens start nulification of marijuana prosecutions. Believe me: there is no limit to federal resources if the purpose is political in nature.We don't need new laws by Congress: we need LESS laws. We don't need the government to tell us what is right: we need to live our lives by what we know is right. In many ways, laws encourage the very thing they seek to hinder: make something illegal and there is an allure to doing it. People should not murder because it's against the law and they might get caught: they should not murder because it's wrong and against God's commandments."We are making progress, but despairing just like worrying will not change anything. Congress is moving towards our side on the medical issue."Please cite one single accomplishment on marijuana reform by the federal government since the Harrison Act essentially made it illegal. Hinchey/Rohrabacher: voted down. Frank/Paul: never even makes it out of committee.Please cite one single ruling by SCOTUS toward reform.Please cite one state where marijuana is totally decriminalized (not even a ticket or a fine for simple possession) let alone "legal".Please cite one single country IN THE WORLD where marijuana is totally "legal".The saddest thing is that many marijuana smokers think there ARE states where its legal, that there are countries where it's legal. I had one fellow tell me that medical marijuana was legal in the state of Maryland, when the truth is at best it can be used as an affirmative defense during trial (which means you've already been busted and are being prosecutued).With D.U.I.D. laws and prosecution on the rise, the D.E.A. striking at the very heart of the most marijuana friendly city in the country -- just to make a point -- and our friend Irv Rosenfeld one of the last of the "legal" marijuana users in the country, I'm sorry, but the situation ain't bad, in some ways, it's getting worse.And then we have some people in the movement who think that all they have to do is cut their hair, make inuslting remarks about ponytails and dress like Republicans and they will get somewhere spending millions on what: nothing.No my friend -- you too "I guess it's just time to give up.
HA! In a pigs eye!" -- we are nowhere near even a level playing field to takes these prohibitionists on.Show me the field: Ill be there, shoulder to should with you.
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Comment #31 posted by kaptinemo on June 30, 2005 at 16:41:07 PT:
FoM, "You've got mail!"
I'd like your comments on something...
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Comment #30 posted by Taylor121 on June 30, 2005 at 15:57:29 PT
I understand that advocating for what is right can be hard sometimes, but alot of what you said is exagerated to an extent. For example, you said that the Feds will come in and start prosecuting individual patients. The Feds do not have the resources to arrest all the patients when the states do not cooperate. It's as simple as that. 99% of marijuana related arrests happen on the state level. The resources are spread too thin and they really don't have enough slack to devote to arresting too many sick people. That is why state medical marijuana victories are so huge.Second I wanted to address something else. I do not think the baby boomers or whatever of the 60's are going to just flat out legalize the substance. That should be obvious enough by now. But what we should acknowledge is that times have changed a lot. 1986 20 % in favor legalization in 1986, 40% in favor of it 2002. That is a huge increase for an issue like this. We are making progress, but despairing just like worrying will not change anything. Congress is moving towards our side on the medical issue. The news has been bad lately, doesn't mean the issue is over with, far from it. You have been following the cannabis issue 5 years, for me only 3 years. I have less experience in politics than you though, and I'm sure I'm much younger, but I know for certain that the things you say will not help the morale of the movement or help move things forward.Carter ran with decriminalization of personal amounts of marijuana as one of his goals. As for Congress not doing anything to stop it, that obviously isn't true. The Hinchey amendment to defund the DEA from raids and the states' right to medical marijuana act are two efforts in Congress that will continue to go on. We just have to support them. I know we don't have much power in the voting block, our issue takes a back seat to most Americans and most Americans are not one issue voters which is why marijuana is usually not used as a campaign position with everything else going on. It's not an easy issue, but you have to stand firm. Just take a breather every now and then and realize that the process is slow. We may never see marijuana legalized, we may see Nevada legalize it in 2006. It is horrible not to know if the right thing will win, but it is a reality. One thing I have learned about being a marijuana activist is you better be ready to lose and press on because this is not an easy battle.
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Comment #29 posted by global_warming on June 30, 2005 at 15:25:49 PT
If you'all have the chance, download this program called Remover, Removal tool detects and removes many worms, trojans and backdoors: Mytob, Mydoom, Beagle, Netsky, Sasser, Blaster Zafi, Mabutu, Startpage and meny others.I was amazed that it found bad stuff on my 2 pc's. It will try to phone home, if you have a firewall program running, you should be notified, then deny, the program works fine.Adware, malware, and computer viruses, are closely related to that person called Judas the Iscariot, for the mere price of a small bag of silver, he kissed the face of the Christ.I hope the home of Souter is soon rebuilt into this Hotel and museum, a reminder, how age may not always be associated with wisdom, and the garments and robes of Justice, may have stains and the smell of big business.Freedom, was the last words, that William Wallace, uttered, when the British, gutted him, and, like BraveHeart, the peoples court, will soon convene.
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Comment #28 posted by VitaminT on June 30, 2005 at 15:16:00 PT
Well Nick, you said a mouth full
I guess it's just time to give up.HA! In a pigs eye!
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Comment #27 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 13:58:29 PT:
The Vast White Wing Conspiracy... gloating (for no reason) and rearing their ugly head:Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri has vetoed a "medical marijuana" bill, saying it would encourage marijuana use and criminal activity. His veto comes as an anti-drug group has released dramatic video footage of a marijuana activist declaring that he uses dope for a health problem that he doesn't really have. The bottom line for this activist, Ed Rosenthal, is that "I like to get high. Marijuana is fun." The video has the potential of dealing a major blow to the "medical marijuana" movement, largely funded by billionaire George Soros.THIMMESCH's take: Soros is a legitmate target (personally, I can't stand the capitalist commie) and this is what you get when you mix legitmate pot politics with all others.Sorry, Rhode Island, but please refer to post #17.
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Comment #26 posted by afterburner on June 30, 2005 at 11:48:15 PT
Winston Churchill once said:"A man who is not a liberal in his youth has no
heart,and a man who is not a conservative as he grows older has no brain!"For many people in the West this is true because of the Western fallacy of the mind-body split. People get busy with their jobs, their homes, their families and "move on." However, in the East, yoga, or union, heals the mind-body split, prevents the mind-body split, allows people to have a heart AND a brain. The tin man and the scarecrow would be so proud.Have a great Canada Day and a Happy Independence Day!"Buy" the way, scalpers bought all the Live 8 tickets in Toronto within one hour of the opening of ticket sales. How much of *that* money will go to African aid? Have a heart AND a brain, people!
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 11:44:21 PT
Willie Nelson and Golf
I really like Willie Nelson but my whole family were golfers and I never got into it. Being involved with horses was my thing. It's sounds like it will be fun for all of you at NORML. Have a safe holiday weekend.
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Comment #24 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 11:32:35 PT
Gas up the car, pack a few sandwiches..
...and hit the road FoM! Best to see Neil now while we still can! Just be sure you can get back in the Good Ole USA!Really wish I could go and have one of them special Molsons!BTW: for those who don't know, here's how Willie, Keith, Allen and others from NORML will be spending their holiday weekend:Inside the Beltway
By John McCaslin
Published June 30, 2005
Toke and stroke 
  Country music legend Willie Nelson will hold the inaugural "Willie Nelson/NORML Benefit Golf Tournament" this Sunday at his personal Pedernales Golf Club in Spicewood, Texas. 
  All proceeds will benefit the Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. 
  NORML founder and legal counsel Keith Stroup, a longtime friend of Mr. Nelson, says enrollment in the actual tournament has been sold out for several weeks and an additional 50 people have purchased VIP tickets "just to come out and hang with us." 
  In addition to Mr. Stroup, NORML's newly anointed executive director Allen St. Pierre will head down to the links from Washington. 
  Mr. Nelson serves as co-chairman for NORML's advisory board and has taped numerous public service announcements on behalf of the organization.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 11:08:35 PT
The line up in Canada is the one I'd really like to see. Deep Purple, Gordon Lightfoot and of course Neil Young! All in the city that grew 30,000 plants in the old Molson Brewery!Come for the beauty!Stay for the Bud!Ontari ery ery O!***Neil Young Bolsters Live 8 Canada Line-Up Bust Worth $30 Million, Police Say
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Comment #22 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 10:56:58 PT
Hell (or heck)...
...adults can't even drink a beer (a LEGAL substance for now) at the much touted "Live 8" concerts (even though as usual, those powers that be can):Pop, but no alcohol in the park
By Alexa Baracaia, Evening StandardLondon's Live8 will be strictly alcohol-free, organisers of the all-day event have announced. But star acts and VIP guests will have bars. The concert on Saturday will see 205,000 music fans descend on Hyde Park from 1pm to 9.30pm. However, the only beverages served in the main site will be water and soft drinks, while tickets warn that bringing any sort of bottles and cans is strictly outlawed. A Royal Parks spokesman confirmed: "The Live8 site will be dry. Nothing alcoholic will be sold and, according to the terms and conditions, people aren't going to be able to bring anything in with them." He said the no-drinks rule was standard for similar Hyde Park events, despite the fact that last weekend's Wireless Festival laid on stalls including a margarita bar, champagne and Pimm's area and real-ale and Smirnoff tents. The Glastonbury Festival, which hosts around 120,000 people, also provides alcohol. "Live8 isn't a festival, it's a concert and there are huge numbers of people entering the site, beyond anything we've had before," the spokesman said. "It's usual not to have alcohol available at this sort of event - it's an issue of public safety. Party In The Park has the same regulations, for the simple fact of numbers of people." But there will be bars in the backstage and so-called "golden circle" areas for about 5,000 VIPs, corporate guests and a select number of competition winners. One ticket holder, who won access to the concert through the text lottery, said: "It doesn't seem at all fair that the so-called VIPs can drink and the rest of us will have to make do with water and fizzy drinks. "It's the first concert I've been to that doesn't allow alcohol - and given that it's an all-day affair and not just a couple of hours it does seem rather harsh. I don't think people will be aware of this at all." Alright then:Have a wonderful, truly patriotic and I guess "safe" holiday weekend folks: celebrate what's good & great about America on her birthday (it's my favorite holiday!) and pray for the courage to change what's wrong with this Blessed nation.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 10:46:16 PT
I see what you mean. I think many people went on with life and probably just aren't into politics from that era. I know I'm not. Politics and that space in time and way of thinking just don't mix.
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Comment #20 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 10:39:30 PT
Well my wonderful, thoughtful, caring friend ... many ways "all the people from that time in history became of age in Washington and they would change the laws" is a myth: the so-called "counterculture" was mostly a media driven myth. There never was a "counterculture" majority amoung youth: Nixon in 1968 AND 1972 got over 90% of the "youth vote" (with the voting age going down to 18 in 1972, it actually HELPED Nixon get re-elected). And the vast majority of marijuana smokers from that era became yuppies, not hippies in their middle age. Last but not least: prohibition and all these years of "Just Say No" & countless media campaigns against "drugs" (like the school bus driver snorting cocaine before driving a bus full of what people thought include THEIR kid) has worked. I have numerous friends who stopped smoking marijuana not because they wanted to or had bad experiences with it but because it's still illegal and they feared getting busted and/or losing their kids from it.Sorry to be a bummer today (actually I'm in a great mood): as Bruce Hornsby says, "That's just the way it is".Many people say the proverbial "War On Drugs" cannot be won: in reality, it was won years ago by the powers that be.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 10:27:05 PT
I know exactly what you are saying. I am a person who wants to use my time productively. I want to use my time wisely and hopefully help make a difference. I thought many years ago that if the laws on marijuana didn't change soon ( the late 70s ) they would change when all the people from that time in history became of age in Washington and they would change the laws. So far I don't see a strong representation of the age I'm thinking was most influenced by the woodstock era. Where are those people now as far as politics go?
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Comment #18 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 10:23:05 PT
This is stupid...
...and should be removed: I happen to know for a fact that staff at ONDCP (as well as it's likely does the DEA) monitors this and many, many other reform sites and threats against anyone are the last thing we would want. It results in their being able to call reformers threatening or even worse, could result in action. Don't stoop to their level."It'd be real unfortunate if something happened to that pretty wife of yourn.."
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Comment #17 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 30, 2005 at 10:16:22 PT:
I really am starting to get annoyed by all of this
...well FoM, everybody who cares about this issue had better be prepared -- but not neccesarily accept -- being annoyed.Regardless of whatever the legislators, voters or people anywhere in the U.S. -- be it Rhode Island or Coney Island -- want, vote for or condone, the fact (like the song) remains the same: all "Rhodes" lead to Rome. In this case, Rome is Washington, DC.And Rome -- whether Democratic or Republican controlled -- ain't doing NOTHING to change marijuana from a Schedule I to any other "Schedule", let alone simply ignoring marijuana like it does green tea.I believe the primary reason is that there's nothing in it for them: marijuana smokers -- be they recreational or medical -- have no real power as a voting block. Nobody fears retaliation at the polls from marijuana smokers. They have no real power as lobbyists (despite decades of NORML doing their best with their always limited funds and the past years that MPP has spent -- with no real results -- their artificial millions). They don't matter to the powers that be: I've never seen one political candidate from either of the major parties ever make marijuana law reform a key component of their campaign issues to campaign on.Not in my lifetime, not in yours, and probably not in my now three year old daughter Sophia's. I believe despite incrimental and seemingly successful "victories" in state and local jurisdictions, as I've said countless times, the feds trump everything. And NOBODY, but NOBODY -- even Barney Frank, Ron Paul, et al -- has actually called for marijuana to be removed from Schedule I status. There has not been one piece of legislation introduced in decades -- let alone this century -- in Congress to change marijuana's status.People can write their representatives -- local, state or federal -- until their fingers bleed and it ain't gonna happen. People can support legislation all they want and it ain't gonna happen. Even juries can begin "jury nulification" of local marijuana law enforcement with individual state Supreme Court's accepting their verdict and the fed's prosectors will simply come in and start prosecuting federal laws for even simple possession.So we had better accept the reality of America today and just get better at living with the clandestine system prohibition forces us all to live under.Please, don't shoot (me)the messenger: this is just my opinion (I wish I was wrong or that someone could prove me wrong) after nearly five years in the marijuana reform movement and over twenty years in politcs.So as my old cab dispatcher used to say over the radio when I was driving a cab working my way though college and there was no business and we were just parked idle on the stands: "Smoke 'em if ya got 'em".
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 10:11:59 PT
When Will We Know?
Does anyone think we'll know soon about an override of the veto?
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Comment #15 posted by runderwo on June 30, 2005 at 10:03:08 PT
what a sleazebag
'"It would be truly unfortunate if today's actions led, however unintentionally, to greater use or availability of dangerous drugs in Maryland," Walters said.'Yeah, I'm sure that's what he really thinks. Does anyone else here think he'd be the first one to be gleefully cackling if it did happen?"It'd be real unfortunate if something happened to that pretty wife of yourn.."
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 09:13:04 PT
4th of July Related Links
I receive e-mail news from Julia Butterfly and I thought some here might like to check out these links too. I hope everyone has a safe and great holiday weekend. 
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 30, 2005 at 08:10:40 PT

I know about the article you posted. I think the arguing about Sativex and the natural plant shouldn't happen. I believe in natural medicine and shun anything made by a pharmaceutical company because I had my health hurt by pharmaceuticals. In the middle of the argument is an ancient plant and that is what bothers me so much about all the fussing. I believe we need money to live but money should never get in the way of something that would grow naturally and cost practically nothing if it was allowed to grow in front of God and everybody.
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on June 30, 2005 at 07:19:01 PT

Refusing to bend to pressure from the Bush 
Md. Gov. Signs Medical Marijuana Bill 
Posted by CN Staff on May 22, 2003 at 15:10:41 PT
By Angela Potter, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press Baltimore -- Refusing to bend to pressure from the Bush administration, Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich signed a bill Thursday that reduces criminal penalties for seriously ill people who smoke marijuana.
Ehrlich is the first GOP governor to sign a bill protecting medical marijuana patients from jail, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. The Bush administration had pressed him to veto the measure. Ehrlich had indicated his support for the bill early on as a way to help people with chronic illnesses ease their pain."This is a position I've had for many, many years," Ehrlich said Thursday. "It's not without controversy across parties, across chambers, across states, across the country."The new law does not legalize marijuana, but reduces the penalty to a maximum $100 fine with no jail time if defendants convince a judge they need marijuana for medical reasons. Previously, possession or use of marijuana brought penalties of up to a year in prison or a $1,000 fine.Supporters of the legislation say smoking marijuana can ease the symptoms of serious illnesses such as cancer or AIDS and help patients suffering from nausea hold down food and medications.Opponents, including White House drug czar John P. Walters, have objected that marijuana is a false and illegal remedy."It would be truly unfortunate if today's actions led, however unintentionally, to greater use or availability of dangerous drugs in Maryland," Walters said.Eight other states - Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada and Maine - have medical marijuana laws.In Washington, House Republicans want to move drug enforcement money from state and local police officers to federal agents in states that have legalized medical marijuana.Source: Associated Press
Author: Angela Potter, Associated Press
Published: May 22, 2003
Copyright: 2003 Associated Press
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on June 30, 2005 at 06:12:14 PT

know history or repete it
 Ryan's Veto Nixes Chance To Research Hemp 
Posted by FoM on February 27, 2001 at 09:18:08 PT
By Burke Speaker, Daily Egyptian 
Source: Daily Egyptian Gov. George Ryan vetoed legislation on Friday that would have given Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and the University of Illinois the green light to research industrial hemp as an alternative crop in Illinois. 
Ryan said concerns about the effect of a burgeoning hemp crop on law enforcement and traces of the mind-altering drug THC in hemp outweighs the projected demand for products derived from hemp, marijuana's genetic relative. "I will not ignore the unified concern of drug treatment and prevention groups that the ultimate commercial cultivation and availability of a product that contains a mind-altering substance would leave open the prospect of substance abuse," Ryan said in a statement. The governor added that the study should have included ways to develop a hemp plant free of THC. Hemp contains about 1 percent THC levels, as opposed to 20 percent found in marijuana. Both universities would have studied the use of hemp to make cloth, paper, oils, food products and building materials at a projected cost of about $1 million. But some SIU officials were concerned with how much money the government would provide, and the amount incurred by the University. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said this was one reason he voted against the bill when it emerged in the Illinois House. "Many of the concerns I had were ones voiced by the governor and there was also the concern SIU had about the cost," Bost said. "We didn't know the cost of implementation, what the government would require for security and guards." A major part of the cost would have included federal regulations requiring security in the form of surveillance and fencing around the hemp crops. Hemp is illegal to grow in Illinois. Bost added that SIUC has other important areas to concentrate on, such as wine and soybean research, and that in terms of finding alternative uses for hemp the "reality is that you can find other products cheaper and stronger." The Illinois House passed the bill 67-47 on Jan. 9, reintroduced after originally failing in November. The Industrial Hemp Act overwhelmingly passed the Senate 49-9 last spring. Complete Title: Ryan's Veto Nixes Southern Illinois University-Carbondale's Chance To Research Hemp Source: Daily Egyptian
Author: Burke Speaker, Daily Egyptian, Southern Illinois U.
Published: February 26, 2001
Fax: (618) 453-1992 
Address: SIU M/S 6887 1247 
Communications Building Carbondale, IL 62901
Copyright: 2001 Daily Egyptian
Letters To Editor: editor 
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Comment #10 posted by kaptinemo on June 30, 2005 at 04:49:02 PT:

OT: Lester Grinspoon on Sativex
Libby over at LastOneSpeaks has scooped me again. She has a link to an excerpt of an interview done with the sagely Dr. Grinspoon regarding GWP's irritation at Sativex being called 'liquid marijuana'. The Grand Master of cannabis research makes the same 'orange juice' analogy regarding Sativex that was made here not too long ago. Go see...
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Comment #9 posted by billos on June 30, 2005 at 04:30:04 PT

Off topic...humorous....
I just heard that Justice Souder (Souter?) who voted yes last week that emminent domain can be used to take private property to give to private contractors now stands to lose his own house in a development where he lives.
Talk about what goes around comes around. I hope they throw him out in the street.
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Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on June 30, 2005 at 02:45:07 PT

An Override Would Set A Precedent
No longer will the federal ONDCP be able to strong arm state govenors into vetoing Cannabis Legislation in states where a veto can be overridden by the legislatures. In fact, an override will scare the federal government. A few more states pass laws like this and the farce is over.On the article, the govenor acts like marijuana is not already widely available. And law enforcement is right, marijuana laws will become increasingly difficult to enforce - like that's a bad thing or something.Please RI legislators, override this govenors veto.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 29, 2005 at 22:47:57 PT

Related Article from The Providence Journal
Carcieri Vetoes Marijuana, Minimum-Wage Bills 
Sponsors of the medical marijuana legislation say they will try for an override, and believe it will prevail.
 By Liz Anderson, 
Journal State House BureauThursday, June 30, 2005 PROVIDENCE -- Governor Carcieri yesterday vetoed legislation to legalize the medical use of marijuana in Rhode Island, saying the proposal's "noble goals cannot mask its serious safety flaws.""Our desire as public servants to be compassionate must be balanced by our obligation to ensure public safety," he said. "The flaws inherent in this bill will place our children at an increased risk of abusing marijuana . . . [and] give our citizens a false sense of security against criminal prosecution."Carcieri also rejected legislation that would have raised the state's hourly minimum wage from $6.75 to $7.10 in January, and $7.40 a year after that.The governor said the change would "do nothing but exact another cost on Rhode Island businesses, especially small businesses."Sponsors of the medical marijuana bill said they would seek a veto override, and believe it would prevail. The House approved the legislation by a vote of 52 to 10 last week and the Senate approved it 33 to 1 on Tuesday.The bill proposes to protect patients from arrest under state law for using marijuana to treat symptoms of certain serious and chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis and cancer. Patients whose doctors recommended the treatment would receive registration cards from the state to allow them, or their caregivers, to possess up to 12 plants, or 2.5 ounces of marijuana.Two representatives from the White House's drug policy office spent most of yesterday and Tuesday urging lawmakers and Carcieri's staff to oppose the bill, reiterating that it would violate federal law and noting that the Food and Drug Administration does not consider the drug a safe and effective medicine for pain relief.Carcieri, in his veto message, called marijuana an "addictive narcotic" and said the bill would increase its availability in the state. He said "nearly anyone" would be able to grow the drug "in nearly any private location," and called the amount people would be authorized to possess "staggering."He said the bill was "full of other loopholes," including making no provision for how people obtain the seeds to grow the plants. The governor also said the debate over whether marijuana can help patients is "by no means settled."The bill carried the name of Edward O. Hawkins, the nephew of state Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence, who died of AIDS.Carcieri's concerns have "all already been answered" in testimony on the bill, Perry said. "I don't think there's one thing in his veto message that would change my mind . . . and I'm pretty certain it won't change anybody else's mind easily."Perry said suggestions that the drug would become more accessible to teens were "totally wrong." She said that in the 10 other states that have set up similar programs, "it just has not happened."Rep. Thomas Slater, D-Providence, the House sponsor, said: "Apparently the governor doesn't want to listen to the House, he doesn't want to listen to the Senate, and he doesn't want to listen to 70 percent of the people of Rhode Island."He wants to listen to the people that come in from Washington, D.C., to push against this bill."Neal Levine, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., which has lobbied heavily in favor of the bill, said it was fortunate "the Rhode Island General Assembly seems to have more compassion than the governor."Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on June 29, 2005 at 21:18:24 PT

Well, Let's Outlaw Driver's Licenses because ...
some people possess counterfeit driver's licenses. Let's outlaw money and credit cards too since some people possess counterfeit money and/or credit cards. Better pull all the CD's and DVD's off the shelves because some merchants or Internet pirates possess counterfeit CD's/DVD's. Then, there are the counterfeit pills. Better close down all the drug stores. Maybe then, we will really have a "drug-free America." So, millions of people suffer and die. That's a small price to pay for making police jobs easier!{"We may very well see counterfeit registration cards, and then it becomes a quandary to figure out who legally possesses it with a card and which cards are false," said Maj. Joseph R. Miech of the Rhode Island State Police.}Living as if. (The world was sane. The politicians represented their constituents. The police enforced laws instead of trying to write them.)UN UK US{"...the F.D.A. has not deemed that smoked marijuana is an appropriate medication for the variety of illnesses people claim it should be used for," an agency spokeswoman, Jennifer DeVallance, said.}Vaporized cannabis and eaten ("sauted") cannabis are alternatives to self-titrated "smokedmarijuana." The F.D.A., living in its glasshouse of Vioxx approval, should be careful throwing stones.
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Comment #5 posted by runderwo on June 29, 2005 at 21:04:51 PT

increase availability of marijuana on the streets
That's attractive speculation, but I note that he has not provided one plausible scenario where this could occur and it would otherwise not have.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on June 29, 2005 at 20:05:34 PT

Why do they keep raising the "where does it come from" issue? The bill specifically allows the people to grow the plants!  Is there something wrong with me that it seems obvious?  Why can't the NY Times present an informative AND accurate article on this issue?It looks unlikely that the veto will mean anything. Hopefully the bill will be passed this week. The Democrats that voted for it would look like fools if they back down now. 
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Comment #3 posted by Taylor121 on June 29, 2005 at 20:04:08 PT

Will the legislators buckle under pressure?
I am not as certain about this as some of you are saying about an override. The MPP had caution on their message that the separate vote could fail impliciately in their message. I advise that you call your senators/reps right away if you live in Rhode Island."Mr. Carcieri's chief of policy and a group of legislators met on Tuesday with two officials in the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, an agency spokeswoman, Jennifer DeVallance, said.."Keep in mind that group of legislators could mean the difference between overriding the veto and them losing. We shall see.
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Comment #2 posted by Patrick on June 29, 2005 at 20:04:00 PT

This worries law enforcement officials, who say the law will be difficult to enforce and that marijuana could easily find its way into the hands of those the bill is not intended to serve.Like the black market created by cannabis prohibition hasnít already effectively accomplished that!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 29, 2005 at 19:56:15 PT

More Details About Rhode Island 
I really am starting to get annoyed by all of this. 
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