War on Drugs is Still On, U.S. Insists

  War on Drugs is Still On, U.S. Insists

Posted by CN Staff on September 05, 2002 at 10:41:40 PT
By Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen  
Source: Ottawa Citizen  

Advocates of marijuana reform in the U.S. celebrated a Canadian Senate committee report yesterday, while those who crack down on marijuana users insist the report will not dampen the U.S. war on drugs.The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the report won't change the way it does business, even if it results in a change to marijuana laws in Canada. "Our drug policy is intact," said spokesman Thomas Hinojosa. 
"Marijuana is against the law, whether it is possessed, cultivated or distributed," he said. "It is not our number 1 priority, but it is our responsibility. We will enforce the Controlled Substances Act."While Canada and some European nations, including Switzerland and Britain, have been slowly loosening their marijuana laws, conflicting signals come from the U.S. Eight states permit the medicinal use of marijuana, while Nevada will hold a referendum this fall to determine whether residents want to decriminalize the drug. New Mexico's Republican Gov. Gary Johnson has come out in favour of legalizing cannabis. At the same time, the number of arrests for possession has increased by 75 per cent in the past decade. There were more than 734,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2000, more than 80 per cent of them for possession. Just last month, the U.S. government starting running advertisements that linked drugs to financing terrorism. President George W. Bush declared that quitting drugs was synonymous with joining in the war against terrorism. Some U.S. lawmakers, including Detroit police Chief Jerry Oliver, believe there are better ways to spend law enforcement dollars than cracking down on marijuana users. But a recent survey of members of the National Association of Chiefs of Police shows almost 89 per cent of the respondents believe marijuana use should still be illegal. About three-quarters believe the 15-year-old war on drugs has been successful in reducing drug use. Mr. Bush's drug czar, John Walters has not softened. "The number of people seeking medical treatment for marijuana abuse is increasing rapidly, not decreasing," he said in a column in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. "In fact, the number of adolescent marijuana admissions increased 260 per cent between 1992 and 1999." This morning, when the U.S. department of Health and Illness Services releases its annual report on drug use reform, legalization advocates will point out Canada's "sane" Senate report to journalists in their fight to convince policy-makers that marijuana laws need to the reconsidered. The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which has about 9,000 paying members, cheered the report. "I think the report makes a very good case for taking it out of the black market, out of the criminal underground and out into the daylight where it can be discussed intelligently," said spokesman Bruce Mirken. The news out of Canada can't help but affect public opinion public opinion in the U.S., he said. "At a certain point, it has to become obvious to policy-makers that most of the world is moving beyond 'reefer madness,' " said Mr. Mirken. "John Walters treats it as an evil scourge that has to be demonized and wiped off the face of the Earth. Eventually, the silliness of that has to be obvious."Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which has 10,000 members including two federal judges, appeared before the Senate committee last November. His group does not advocate legalizing hard drugs such as cocaine, however, it does promote treating drug addicts rather than putting them behind bars. "There's a risk of increased use. But the benefits exceed the risks," he said yesterday. He believes a significant report released in a neighbouring country must affect policy in the U.S. It's like when Canada repealed prohibition laws 70 years ago, he said. "It was an important step in hastening the process of reform in the U.S."The Senate Committee's ProposalHighlights of a Senate committee report yesterday recommending that Canada legalize the use of marijuana and hashish:* Marijuana and hashish should come under a regulatory system for production and sale under licence for legal use by any Canadian resident over 16.* Looser rules for the use of medical marijuana should provide easier access.* The law should be changed for those who drive after using both alcohol and marijuana, with blood-alcohol limits lowered to .04 per cent in such cases.* The government should erase the criminal records of 300,000 to 600,000 Canadians convicted of simple possession.* The government should appoint a national adviser on psychoactive substances.* The government should call a conference of the provinces, municipalities and other interested parties to set the ground rules for legal marijuana.* The government should finance research on drugs and on prevention and treatment programs, financed by taxes on the sale of legal marijuana.Note: Senate report won't alter U.S. policy, officials say, but marijuana advocates argue it will sway public.Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)Author: Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen Published: Thursday, September 05, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Ottawa Citizen Contact: letters thecitizen.southam.caWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Marijuana Policy Project Policy Alliance Chief Slams Legal Pot Plan Senate Panel Calls For Legalization Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

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Comment #22 posted by goneposthole on September 05, 2002 at 20:45:29 PT
"...A regulatory system for production and sale
under license for legal use..."Could it be that the Canadian government wants revenue from legal cannabis sales?If they want revenue from legal cannabis, they are going to make a lot of money.American money.
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Comment #21 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 05, 2002 at 15:36:55 PT
How long, O Lord?
  I believe the feds would say that even if no money changed hands, it still falls under interstate commerce if the product crosses state lines. That will be much harder to prove or disprove, but I don't see why a bay area compassion club grow would send anything outside California. So yes, the ensuing court case over this should raise some important issues. Issues which should be moot, in a free society, but there you are.  John Walters, Asa Hutchinson... may you live long enough to see the end to this war, and may I live long enough to see you sitting in a dock on charges of crimes against humanity. I don't have enough middle fingers to let you all know how I really feel.
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Comment #20 posted by BGreen on September 05, 2002 at 15:04:51 PT
Here's the link to my original question
and the links to PAUL PETERSONS' answers.
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Comment #19 posted by BGreen on September 05, 2002 at 14:59:18 PT
PAUL PETERSON wrote here that his unofficial
viewpoint, not as a practicing attorney but as a private citizen who had attended law school, was that the only way the feds have overriding power over the states is due to interstate commerce, and he believed if no money exchanged hands it would eliminate that power. This case seems to epitomize that presumption.This could be the case that finally eliminates the DEAths' power over the citizens.
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Comment #18 posted by Jeaneous on September 05, 2002 at 14:56:37 PT:
We do need to kick them out of California and we have the power to do so. At least the Sherrif has that power. AG Lockyer says he is pro medicinal but yet he won't stand up to the Feds. And the Sherrif has had no input. It's still up to us to demand that the California Administration honor the law of 215. We still have to fight them to the end. No plea's of guilt for fear of jail. Trial by jury for even possession. Make them deal with us. I don't think they can jail all the marijuana smokers there are in California. Our fear of prosecution is the way they keep winning. It does work. None of us want to give our rights away, but if you never get in the ring, nobody can ever win. It's like they are giving it their all to try to show they can win the WoD when they know that they have already lost. They just have to make sure there are plenty of casualties.
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Comment #17 posted by firedog on September 05, 2002 at 14:29:05 PT
This has gone way too far
California needs to kick the DEA out, now.This is a kick in the face, plain and simple. A provocation to see just how much they can get away with. They'll ratchet it up a notch next time. It's an attempt by this administration to test how much sh*t Californians will take without complaining. That's the real issue here. Canada will probably be next.California, Canada, Nevada, it's time to show some balls!
Kick the DEA out, they have no business messing around with your internal affairs!
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Comment #16 posted by Rambler on September 05, 2002 at 14:18:08 PT
Former White House Drug Spokesman Bob Weiner Says Bush Reverses 
Drug Use Reductions 
To: National Desk 
Contact: Bob Weiner or Joe Hammer, 
301-283-0821 or 202-329-1700 
both of Robert Weiner Associates WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was 
released today by Robert Weiner Associates: -- Former White House Drug Spokesman Bob Weiner Says Respected 
Household Survey Shows Bush Administration Reverses Clinton Years' 
Drug Use Reductions; Bush Must Support Bipartisan Clinton Drug 
Efforts Like Media Campaign Bob Weiner, spokesman for the White House Office of National 
Drug Control Policy, 1995-2001, said that "a new survey today 
indicates that drug use has gone up significantly during the first 
full year of the Bush Administration, and that the new 
administration needs to quit laying blame and start supporting 
successful Clinton era bipartisan drug programs such as the 
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign." Weiner stated: "For the first time since the end of President Clinton's first 
term, drug use has gone up significantly in the first full year of 
the Bush Administration. 7.1 percent of the population used an 
illicit drug in the month prior to the survey, compared to 6.3 
percent the previous year -- a 12.7 percent increase among actual 
users. The new data comes from the highly respected Household 
Survey of the Department of HHS, released today. "Under Drug Czar McCaffrey, in Clinton's last term, drug use was 
stable and dropped slightly -- including a 23 percent reduction 
among teens. It's time that the Bush Administration stops laying 
blame at the supposed mistakes of the past decade -- to which they 
of course mean the Clinton Administration policies -- and starts 
supporting those programs which made and can still make a real 
difference, such as the landmark Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. "The media campaign's current focus on linking drugs and 
terrorism is not the effective tool of the direct prevention 
education ads which General McCaffrey and President Clinton put on 
the air and which had such a positive impact. "In addition, the comprehensive strategy first offered by 
General McCaffrey of education, prevention, treatment, law 
enforcement, and foreign policy initiatives must continue to be 
funded in full. The out-year treatment budget increases by 
President Bush are disingenuous and misleading. The $1.5 billion 
increase in treatment and research he is proposing will not be 
mostly funded for five years -- leaving the actual decision to the 
next administration," Weiner concluded. After six years at the White House Drug Office, Weiner is now 
President of a public affairs and issue strategy company, Robert 
Weiner Associates. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 05, 2002 at 14:12:48 PT
First Article
DEA Raids California Medical Marijuana Farm
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Comment #14 posted by Ethan Russo MD on September 05, 2002 at 14:02:53 PT:
That's Just It
California may recognize Valerie as a caregiver, but the Feds have usurped state power on this issue. This could very well be the case that breaks the stranglehold. All of Valerie's medicine is locally grown and distributed in exchange for work on the farm. No money exchanges hands. She has provided for and sat by the death-beds of hundreds of terminally ill clients over the course of many years. If such a person deserves to be imprisoned, there is no one who should be free. Do you see how perverted the law can be?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 05, 2002 at 13:57:39 PT
Thanks Dr. Russo
I'm so upset about this. Why bother her? She does good work. I don't understand and the article from MSNBC says she was state licensed.It says:MSNBC visits a state-approved marijuana farm in California.  
 Valerie Corral cultivates 32 varieties of marijuana to treat different ailments. 
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Comment #12 posted by Ethan Russo MD on September 05, 2002 at 13:41:17 PT:
Tragedy Unfolding
I just spoke with the CANORML office enroute to the WAMM garden facility. Both Valerie and Mike Corral are in federal custody in Santa Cruz, and reportedly the garden is being trashed at this very moment.I was there not 6 weeks ago, and have rarely seen a more beautiful garden of healing. This tragedy was obviously purposely juxtaposed to the news from Canada. It means to say, we still have the power, and nothing that happens anywhere else matters. Well, it should, and it will. Valerie has "beaten the rap" twice before, and likely will again. No jury in that area would ever convict her. If the Feds had any understanding of the truth on the ground in Northern California, they would have avoided this attack as certain suicide for their cause. I hope that it is just that.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 05, 2002 at 13:00:49 PT
No News Yet
I bookmarked the Santa Cruz Newspaper and will keep my eyes open for a story. I'm very upset about this. Wasn't Valerie appointed to be someone special and wouldn't be bothered? That was so long ago I'm not sure. This articles is from back a number of years ago from MSNBC.
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Comment #10 posted by MDG on September 05, 2002 at 12:55:20 PT
It seems the WAMM incident...
can only help the cause, considering it's timing. I can just see headlines (though not in this country, of course) read, "Canadians announce marijuana safer than alcohol; should be legalized" adjacent to "DEA busts sick and dying in Medical Marijuana raid".Uncle Sam has blown off another toe, it would seem.
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on September 05, 2002 at 12:13:51 PT:
A line from Frank Herbert's classic DUNE 
comes to mind:"When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong--faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a
precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it's too late."This is what the antis have done...begun their blind rush out of certainty of their moral rectitude. They have now attacked the one group whose activities have been so above board, they are templates for other groups. Major tactical error, that. Big, big goof, guys.The legal precipice awaits. And there's sharp rocks at the bottom...
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Comment #8 posted by Ethan Russo MD on September 05, 2002 at 12:00:09 PT:
Valerie Corral is an angel of mercy and a true hero. In a truly civilized society, she would be canonized, not persecuted for the work she is doing. My only hope is that this thuggery represents the death throes of a nearly extinct race, the ideologically-driven, scientifically blind and morally bankrupt prohibitionists. We need to make it so.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 05, 2002 at 11:56:19 PT
Two Web Sites
OK I got my thoughts together and I want to say what I feel now. They made one big mistake messing with Valerie. She was untouchable for the work she has done. They will find out how many people that don't even know her, but know about her mission, will be really upset. The wrong person.http://www.wamm.org
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on September 05, 2002 at 11:45:42 PT:
The mentally challenged and the balloons
The DrugWar balloon has been squeezed by non-DrugWarriors in Canada (this time)...and this latest outrage is the bulge in the opposite direction. The Beast was pricked in Ottawa; now it takes it's righteous wrath out on...Canadian diplomats? Canadian legislators? Nope. The great and powerful Oz, uh, er, I mean, DrugWar juggernaut...attacks the American sick and dying. The one group it can attack without worrying about being shot for their efforts. Such braaaaaaave public servants (spitting sound).Can anyone out there doubt, now, as to whether this is part of a concerted, planned effort by the US to use the present emergency to conduct as many attacks as possible to destroy the movement? With this timing?The news in Canada goes well, and then, CRASH! comes the Darth Vader wannabe DEA goon through the door of a medical facility, gun drawn and barking orders. I said something bad happens every time we make a gain. Now look. For the doubting Thomases: Think this is an 'accident of history'? Then you should lay off the booze and switch to cannabis; the alcohol is destroying the brain cells that cannabis protects.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 05, 2002 at 11:29:04 PT
I'm so mad right now since I read what happened to Valerie that I can't say anything for a while. I'll look for news! I'm really mad.
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Comment #4 posted by Shishaldin on September 05, 2002 at 11:23:13 PT

This just happened this morning. Damn DEAth goons....*This is an emergency alert from Americans for Safe Access. *EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIVATEDOn September 5, 2002 , federal agents raided the WAMM medical cannabis dispensary in Santa Cruz . Valorie has been arrested! We are asking all medical cannabis supporters to rally in opposition to this raid at noon on September 6th in front of the federal building in your city.These demonstrations are a vital part of our grassroots opposition to the federal crackdown. Please make plans to attend and encourage others to do so. Please check our web site or call the ASA office if you need additional information about the location of your federal building or other demonstration site.Our web site is You can reach the CAN/ASA office directly at (510) 486-8083.Thank you for your active support and participation.Americans for Safe Access is an aggressive grassroots campaign designed to force the federal government to stop its attack on patients and respect the rights of voters to choose medical marijuana policy.Our Demands:1. We demand that all prosecutions of medical marijuana patients, growers, and dispensaries cease immediately.
2. We demand that President Bush & Attorney General Ashcroft declare a moratorium on the Federal anti-medical marijuana campaign.
3. We demand President Bush declare his support for HR 2592, the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act.Steph Sherer
Executive Director
Cannabis Action Network
and Americans for Safe Access
1678 Shattuck Ave. #317
Berkeley, CA 94709
phone: 510-486-8083
fax: 510-486-8090

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 05, 2002 at 11:22:49 PT

 They keep bashing their heads against the drug war wall but I'm the one that has a HEADACHE! LOL!
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on September 05, 2002 at 11:20:36 PT:

Einstein is laughing his arse off
Because the US is going to continue bashing it's head against the DrugWar wall, despite what the rest of the world is doing. I can just see Walters standing in front of a schoolhouse wall, addressing TV cameras: "We're Americans, not weenie, whiney Euros and socialist Canucks whose everything is smaller! We can do anything! We'll show the world that by sheer brute force, we'll do what hasn't been done in 5,000 years of human history! We will save our children! We WILL create the Drug Free Society! We'll show them we can lick drugs!" (Turning from camera, Walters returns the BAM! BAM! BAM! of cabeza against mortar and brick, as blood flies everywhere. All the while never noticing the massive dark reddish-brown stains of blood left on the wall by his predecessors doing the same.)Einstein said insanity was expecting a different result from the same procedure which cannot guarnatee anything but the same result. Mr. Walters may not be doing the skit I oultined for your amusement in reality, but procedurally, it's no different. And no less insane.
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Comment #1 posted by TroutMask on September 05, 2002 at 11:18:28 PT

The world is still flat!
...and we're bringing back Betamax, and Latin as our primary language too!-TM
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