NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 17, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 17, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on July 17, 2003 at 15:49:26 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
White House Asks Supreme Court To Overturn Ruling Allowing Docs To Recommend Medical MarijuanaJuly 17, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The Bush administration has asked the Supreme Court to review a unanimous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the rights of physicians to discuss the medical use of marijuana with their patients.
The administration filed an appeal with the high court last week, arguing that the ruling prevents the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from protecting the public from the threat of illegal drugs.On numerous occasions, federal officials have threatened to revoke the federal licenses of physicians who recommend marijuana therapy to their patients in compliance with state law. Last year, the Ninth Circuit enjoined the Justice Department from imposing criminal sanctions on doctors who speak about the medical use of pot, finding that such a "gag order" would violate physicians' First Amendment right to free speech.A doctor's recommendation that his or her patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana "does not itself constitute illegal conduct" and therefore "does not interfere with the federal government's ability to enforce its laws," Chief Judge Mary Schroeder wrote for the Ninth Circuit.Nine states have laws eliminating criminal penalties for patients who use marijuana under a doctor's supervision.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Doctors Won't Help Win the Drug War To Prosecute Doctors is Violation Wants Marijuana Ruling Struck Down Bush Escalates Marijuana War DEA Nominee Pledges To Target State-Authorized Medical Marijuana Patients -- Claims There Is "No Basis" For Believing Pot Holds Medicinal ValueJuly 17, 2003 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Bush's nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Karen Tandy, will target medical marijuana users and their providers in states where such physician-approved use of the drug is legal."It will be my duty to see to the uniform enforcement of federal law," Tandy said during a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing last week. "I do not believe it would be consistent with that duty for me to support a moratorium on enforcement of this law, or any law, in selected areas of the country."Tandy's predecessor, Asa Hutchinson, oversaw approximately 40 federal raids of medicinal marijuana patients and providers in California, despite a state law permitting the use of physician-approved pot by seriously ill patients. Because federal law makes no exception for the medical use of marijuana, defendants facing federal pot charges may not introduce evidence of its medicinal value or state laws allowing its use.When asked if she believed marijuana possessed any medicinal value, Tandy responded, "I have no basis for believing that marijuana ... has any such benefits."Tandy added that she was not familiar with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 1999 report, "Marijuana and Medicine," which concluded: "The accumulated data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. ... Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications." The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy commissioned the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine report in 1997."Ms. Tandy appears to be the perfect appointment for the Bush administration," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. "She remains willfully ignorant by failing to read the government's own research on the medical use of marijuana, but nonetheless concludes that marijuana has no legitimate medical value. Clearly, Ms. Tandy will not let science interfere with her personal views or those of the Bush administration with regards to marijuana."Despite the objections of some Senate Democrats, the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly confirmed Tandy's nomination. The full Senate is expected to vote on Tandy's nomination imminently.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup at (202) 483-5500.DL: Won't Be Dandy for Medical Marijuana New Hard-Liner At The DEA To Nominate 1st Woman as Drug Czar Nearly Nine In Ten Britons Back Medical Use Of Marijuana -- Support For Legalization More Than Triples, Poll FindsJuly 17, 2003 - Swindon, United KingdomSwindon, United Kingdom: Eighty-six percent of Britons support the use of marijuana under a doctor's supervision, and more than four in ten support the drug's legalization, according to a poll of 2,600 people living in the United Kingdom and Scotland conducted by the Economic & Social Research Council.The percentage of Britons backing marijuana legalization is more than three times as high as the percentage who supported legalizing the drug in 1983.A recent Zogby poll of 1,204 likely voters revealed similar attitudes among Americans, noting that 41 percent of the public believe "the government should treat marijuana more or less the same way it treats alcohol: it should regulate marijuana, control it, tax it, and only make it illegal for children."NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said the British poll results were not surprising. "Like the American public, Britons are gradually coming around to the understanding that a legally regulated market for marijuana, with age and quality controls, is far better than the unregulated black market that exists today," he said.The British Parliament is currently considering downgrading marijuana possession to a non-arrestable offense. That legal change is expected to be implemented by early 2004. In addition, Parliament's Medicine's and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is expected to license the country's first cannabis-based medicines later this year.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.DL: Use Not Raising as Many Eyebrows Urges Leniency for Cannabis Growers Source: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: July 17, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- July 10, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 2, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 26, 2003
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Comment #8 posted by Dan B on July 18, 2003 at 14:23:02 PT
Kevin Hebert
I agree that the most likely outcome for this ruling will be in favor of the doctors, but I have strong reservations about it being unanimous. Antonin Scalia will be sure to find in favor of the Bush administration because he has every single time. He is by far the most partisan of all the judges, fascist to the core. The majority will vote in favor of the doctors, but I expect the outcome to be at least 8-1 and not 9-0. Having said that, I think your comments here are always top knotch. I hope this doesn't sound like a correction toward you; it's more of a rant about Scalia. No offense intended.Dan B
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Comment #7 posted by Richard Paul Zuckerm on July 18, 2003 at 06:32:21 PT:
One thing Canadians and other countries need to realize:
The Bush Family does not represent Americans. He represents International Corporations, including oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, weapons manufacturers, etc. President Bush is culpable for his lies as to Iraq's possession of WMDs, under the collective knowledge doctrine, which is a legal presumption that the knowledge of one officer in an investigation is imputed to all of the officers of the investigation, created by a published United States Supreme Court around 30 years ago and followed up-to-date. The collective knowledge doctrine.Please read the Web article entitled Shadow of the Swastika, Please log on to Your cooperation in this matter would be appreciated.Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, N.J., 08840-0159, (Cell telephone number)(908) 403-6990, richardzuckerman2002;Diploma in Paralegal, New York University, 2003;Diploma in Truck Driving, Smith & Solomon School of Truck Driving, Edison, N.J., 1995;B.A. in Political Science, Kean University, 1987. 
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on July 18, 2003 at 00:31:54 PT
Will the AMA retaliate by changing position?
Wasn't the most recent AMA position on medical marijuana neutral? I wonder whether this attempt by Bush to control doctor-patient speech will make the AMA mad enough to support rescheduling.
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Comment #5 posted by Kevin Hebert on July 17, 2003 at 20:10:08 PT:
This Is A Good Thing
The Supreme Court always, ALWAYS holds its most idealistic standards for free speech. There is no way they will say it is illegal for doctors to recommend medical marijuana. We'll win this case -- probably unanimously.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 17, 2003 at 18:20:50 PT
Dave in Florida
Thank You! I'll will check it out tomorrow. Friday, July 18, 2003Whether a person gets depressed in response to the stresses of life may depend in part on a common gene mutation. We'll take a look at the genetics of depression. Plus, we'll discuss a new study that identifies some of the reasons why coral reefs are in decline. Canada has become the first country in the world to supply patients with government-sponsored marijuana as a medicine. We'll talk about the clinical science of marijuana.
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Comment #3 posted by Dave in Florida on July 17, 2003 at 18:03:26 PT
Talk of the Nation
I heard on NPR today that Medical Marijauna is one of the subjects tommorow on Talk of the Nation. I believe it is on at 3:00 pm on Friday
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 17, 2003 at 16:32:03 PT
Thanks Virgil
Paul Armentano is a good writer.
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on July 17, 2003 at 16:17:34 PT
Paul Armentano has UPI story up at FreeRepublic
The latest article up in the Smokey Back Room is from Paul Armentano carried by UPI- It is titled "Outside View: Drug war double standards (Relatives of Politicians Get Off Easy)"
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