NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- January 8, 2004

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- January 8, 2004

Posted by CN Staff on January 08, 2004 at 17:14:39 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 

Alaska Pot Liberalization Initiative Certified For November Ballot January 8, 2004 - Anchorage, AK, USAAnchorage, AK: State bureaucrats announced this week that proponents of a statewide initiative seeking to remove criminal and civil restrictions on the use, possession, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana turned in sufficient signatures to qualify for this November's electoral ballot.
If passed, the proposal would amend Alaska's criminal code so that persons 21 years or older "shall not be prosecuted or denied any right or privilege, nor be subjected to criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, distribution, or consumption" of marijuana.Alaska voters previously approved an initiative in 1998 legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana under a doctor's supervision. However, in 2000 they rejected an initiative that would have legalized the possession, use, and sale of marijuana.Earlier this year, The Alaska Court of Appeals ruled that adults may legally possess up to four ounces of marijuana within the privacy of their own home. The Appeals Court based its decision in that case on a 1975 state Supreme Court decision holding that the right to privacy in the state Constitution precludes any penalty against private use and possession of marijuana by adults. Their decision also struck down a 1990 state initiative that attempted to recriminalize marijuana, on the basis that the initiative-passed statute conflicts with the state Constitution.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Text of the Alaska initiative is available online at: Initiative Going To Ballot To Vote on Marijuana Decriminalization to Vote on Pot Legalization in '04 Marijuana For Pain Study Underway After Nearly Three Year Delay January 8, 2004 - Montreal, QU, CanadaMontreal, Quebec: The first ever peer reviewed clinical trial on the effectiveness of smoked marijuana in the treatment of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage) is finally underway after a nearly three year delay. The study, which will examine the therapeutic effects of smoked marijuana on 32 patients unresponsive to standard treatment methods, was initially approved for funding by Health Canada in July 2001. However, the agency steadfastly refused to authorize the release of any marijuana to be used for the study until just recently.The McGill Pain Centre in Montreal will oversee the research, which is expected to be concluded by early 2005.According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), cannabinoids hold great potential in the treatment of neuropathic pain. "Neuropathic pain represents a treatment problem for which currently available analgesics are, at best, marginally effective," a 1997 NIH report found. "Since [cannabinoids are] not acting by the same mechanism as either opioids or NSAIDS [non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs], they may be useful in this inadequately treated type of pain."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.DL: To Pin Down Marijuana Doses for Pain on MMJ Produces No Results NORML Launches First Ever "Smoke The Vote" Voter Registration Drive January 8, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAGet Out The Vote Campaign Seeks To Register Tens Of Thousands Of Marijuana Law Reformers By 2004 ElectionWashington, DC: NORML has partnered with the citizen-action group Working Assets to register tens of thousands of marijuana law reformers to vote in the 2004 election. The campaign, known as "Smoke the Vote," allows citizens to register to vote quickly and easily via NORML's website at: "Smoke the Vote" is the largest "get out the vote" campaign ever undertaken by NORML and seeks to help transform the millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly into a powerful, visible political constituency."Currently, millions of marijuana smokers are unregistered to vote and, as such, remain politically inactive in state and federal affairs," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. "As a result, too many elected officials feel little or no political pressure from their constituents to support marijuana law reform - despite the fact that national polls show that 80 percent of Americans support legalizing medicinal marijuana, and that 72 percent support decriminalizing marijuana for personal use. NORML intends to address this political disconnect by specifically targeting responsible adult marijuana smokers, as well as non-smokers sympathetic to marijuana law reform, to register to vote and become politically involved in the 2004 election - arguably the first national election in recent memory in which marijuana policy promises to be a visible and highly publicized campaign issue."Of the nine candidates seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination, five - Retired Army General Wesley Clark, US Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), former Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, and the Rev. Al Sharpton - have publicly vowed to end the Bush Administration's policy of federally targeting and prosecuting medicinal marijuana patients in states that have legalized its use.In addition, Kucinich and Moseley Braun have also endorsed decriminalizing the personal use of pot by adults. Speaking today at the New Hampshire College Convention, Braun told attendees that she believes marijuana possession should be a fine-only, non-criminal offense, while a recent position paper posted on the "Kucinich for President" website states that he supports the establishment of national guidelines to regulate pot like alcohol."The 2004 Presidential election promises to have profound effects on marijuana law reform," Stroup said. "That is why it's critical that marijuana law reformers register to vote and make their voices heard this fall."Since launching the "Smoke the Vote" campaign in mid-November, several thousand citizens have successfully registered to vote through NORML's online service.For more information, please contact NORML's Chris Mulligan at (202) 483-5500 or visit NORML's website at:"Smoke the Vote" merchandise is available online at: Watch: Democrats on Drugs - Part II Says Law Should Treat Pot Like Alcohol NORML Foundation (DC)Published: January 8, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Dec. 23, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- Dec. 18, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- Dec. 11, 2003

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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 10, 2004 at 07:47:07 PT
I agree. I will vote for whoever gets the nomination. Anyone will be better then who we have now.
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Comment #16 posted by jose melendez on January 10, 2004 at 03:55:28 PT
how to acheive #15
We are a grassroots organization of regular people all across the country.  We're sick and tired of being persecuted and hunted and locked in jail; a lot of us have tasted the jackboot up close and personal.  We want to see all criminal penalties for adult marijuana use removed, criminal records expunged, the ability to buy, grow, and sell without prosecution, and the government out of our bladders.  We will run for office at every level of state, local, and national government.  We don't really expect to win on a one-plank platform, but to put the issue in the public spotlight.  We aim to shave a few votes from Democrats and Republicans here and there until some of them begin to realize that there are 90 million people in this country who have smoked pot.  The US Marijuana Party aims to wake up those people who are running for elected office and let them know they will pay a price in votes if they continue to oppress us. - Loretta Nall
US Marijuana Party 
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Comment #15 posted by rchandar on January 09, 2004 at 23:29:39 PT:
dems on drugs
hey--all of you, just do what you've got to do. get that bastard out of office, he's a thief and deserves to be thrown out with us laughing this time. vote for whoever
can throw the Great Satan out of office. Send him back
to his no-count baseball team and make him eat peanuts 
for awhile.        --rchandar
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Comment #14 posted by yippierevolutionary on January 09, 2004 at 15:44:45 PT
Kaptinnemo the problem with that is....
Most of the people who smoke marijuana don't have our radical political philosophy. A lot of people I know toke every day but some of them actually think Bush is a good man. What I am trying to say is the mindset of The Emperor Wears no Clothes, one that all of us here at Cnews share is not shared by *most* people who smoke marijuana.I can only speak for my fellow young Americans but for example, a lot of young people who smoke marijuana see it as a youth rebellion thing that they will outgrow. Not a cultural force that will save the world the way we do. Jesus a lot of guys I know who toke everyday WANT TO BECOME COPS. They say they'll be cool ones but I know the system will have them arresting sick medical users. It doesn't fit into The Bigger Picture, its not an issue of Freedom Vs Tyranny for them.PS Harry Truman gave the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Hell on Earth
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Comment #13 posted by The GCW on January 09, 2004 at 06:44:26 PT
Info for #1-3...
That was a quote I copied off Cannabis Culture's revolving quotes.
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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on January 09, 2004 at 05:01:56 PT:
Dammit, I've been saying this for years!
In regards to NORML working to register people to vote:Just the simple act of registering cannabists sends a slap upside the heads of the prohib pols, putting them on notice that we are not going to take this s**t anymore.'My Fellow Cannabists'...*we* are the sleeping giant of American politics. Even if only ONE-TENTH of the number of people Uncle says smoked cannabis last year register to vote, that's 8 MILLION SOULS. They don't even have to show up, just register...though, of course, if they DO show up and vote, that's a huge, *huge* bloc of 'swing voters' that can carry any election.I don't have to tell anyone here that of the pols running this year, Kucinich is the ONLY one with the cojones to stand up and address this and other DrugWar related issues. The Big Money machines are laughing at him, seeking to marginalize him.But if you show up, and register as a Dem...and then tell the registrars that you are voting for Kucinich? That sends a message that gets heard clear up in the halls of power. The word floats up to the point where the bean counters and spin doctors and political ju-ju men reside, and they get puzzled and worried that such a ground swell is rising suddenly, out of the blue, from below and behind them. They don't like such surprises. It makes them worry that their candidates might not be addressing the concerns of this seemingly new power bloc. They like to have everything nailed down, categorized, pre-packaged and sanitized for easy consumption by the masses, and this new 'rogue' power is suddenly showing itself, millions strong, with an ability to topple their carefully constructed gameplan and collapse it?You could hear the sweat dripping in the shocked silence.They'll want to know why...and we can sure as Hell TELL them why!As Harry Truman said when someone told him the "Give 'em Hell, Harry!". He replied, "No, I'll just tell the *truth* and it will *feel* like Hell!".Here's out chance, people. To do what's right by us AND the registering and voting for someone who isn't a bought whore doing tricks for our opponents.The most important question for us has never been: "Do you want to be free?"The most important question for us has *always* been: "WHEN do you want to be free?"This year could be the Jubilee, my friends. Let's show them how wrong they always been about 'amotivational syndrome'. (Spitting sound) Let's do it.
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on January 08, 2004 at 23:31:57 PT
good going Virg
I have not heard much about this petition. I was active on that was for three plants and three ozs. Greg Schmid wrote it. we tried to get funding but no group would help us, we had a few hundred people helping and got around 2 hundred thousand signers. I see that MPP is going to help a few states go for med use. It all takes money. Thanks for heads up FoM the Nightline on Goose Creek was riviting. I hope those who were not aware of it were shocked to see how down right violent it was. I was watching msnbc Hardball. Cris had on Bill Mahar and he was joken about the Dems running for President. He said Al Sharpton was not given press as he is not being taken seriously. He said a few lines on Kerry and Dean but Never mentioned Dennis Kucinich once, the only Dem calling for Cannabis Reform something that Bill has called for for years. Man i hope someone calls him on his Al Sharpton statement and makes him see his neglect of Dennis. The Carnegie Endowment for Int'l Peace with Joseph Cirincione said today on C-Span that no reason for war has been found. 
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Comment #10 posted by Virgil on January 08, 2004 at 21:24:03 PT
You mean "Total by County" was not a candidat
I added up 8 numbers. Actually there were only 7 candidates and the first column had the total number of voters in the first column. There were 3,177,565 total voters in the 2002 Gubernatorial race as seen here- were 6,797,293 registered voter out of a voting age population of 7,400,000 -,1607,7-127-1633_8722-29616--,00.html 
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Comment #9 posted by Virgil on January 08, 2004 at 21:09:07 PT
It seems like...
a referendum is when the legislature approves something to be approved by a general election and iniative is when the public use a process to bring an issue before the voters without involvement of the legislature. One source said 24 states have a referendum and iniative. Yea, I wanted to say reeferendum.In Michigan it would take a two-thirds vote in the legislature on a proposed amendment that would need a majority approval of the vote in an election. The iniative process in Michigan requires signatures equal to 10% of those that voted in the last gubernatorial election and then a majority approval in the election.A simple majority seems like a good bet, especially since Rainbow Farms is in Michigan. There were 6,355.130 votes in the last gubernatorial race in 2002. Eight candidates were in the race and the last 3 only got eighteen votes combined. From - Twenty-four states have the initiative & referendum process, including neighboring North and South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. The other states with a statewide I&R process are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
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Comment #8 posted by CorvallisEric on January 08, 2004 at 20:44:42 PT
Off-topic - Error of omission
In an otherwise good article about the farmed-salmon pesticide controversy:, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, has been recommended as a food source that can significantly help reduce the risk of heart disease. Carpenter [co-researcher of the study] points out that omega-3 fatty acids are also in many other wild fish and in canola and flaxseed oil and soy.What about hempseed? So, I wanted to learn more. Skipping the usual quacks and websites that sell stuff, I found an extensive article from Univ. of Maryland Alternative and Complementary Medicine (but apparantly created by content provider A.D.A.M.,Inc. - same article appears elsewhere without proper source credit). Again no mention of hempseed: Sources - Fish oils and plant oils are the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. Another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids is New Zealand green lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus),used for centuries by the Maories to promote good health. EPA and DHA are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring. ALA is found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, walnuts, and walnut oil.Geez, I'm no health-food nut and don't know anything about green-lipped mussels or perilla or purslane. Just thought I would share a bit of my own education process.
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Comment #7 posted by Virgil on January 08, 2004 at 20:33:11 PT
Comment6 continued
The link to the ballot iniative is off of this main page that has only been visited 8622 times- It has one link to a picture of Tom and Rollie and a few words. It has a little chat room that is empty as expected. It has the wording of the proposed Constitutional amendment. It has info off the link asking for help that says they want 500 people to get 100 signatures. I cannot find out what percent is needed for an amendment to the Constitution on the November vote should it occur.
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Comment #6 posted by Virgil on January 08, 2004 at 20:09:44 PT
Don't you live in Michigan? I gather you read the comment about having until July 5th to get the signatures together in order to amend the ballot to Free Cannabis- you tell us if you have seen a petition or have signed it or if you are actively involved in getting signatures. Can you comment on your next show on your public access show in regards to content in support of the petition and the vote should the petition make it to Nov. 2.This Michigan amendment to the Constitution just seemed to fall from the sky today in my world. Also there were some polls from Wisconsin or Michigan that were done this year that were up about a month ago.This is exciting news to me. I would like to know how many signatures are needed for the iniative and what percent is needed to amend the Constitution. I guess we shall soon find out.RC has part 9 in his series "The Battle for Canada" up at pot-tv- He talks of the corruption that prohibition has brought to Toronto and Vancouver by using recent articles from the Toronto Globe and Mail as one source. He spoke to the issue of the Alaska iniative. It seems like he said the vote would come in August. I could be mistaken. He says the newspapers are pro prohibition as if that is a surprise, but I liked it when he said they were wretched. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 08, 2004 at 19:55:53 PT
Heads Up: Tonight on ABC's Night Line
America in Black & White Thursday, Jan. 08The get tough approach isn't anything new in the war on drugs but it cost one man his job. Correspondent Jim Wooten looks at the story of a complicated drug bust in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Some think Principal George McCrackin went too far in his drug-fighting tactics at Stratford High School last fall —others think the incident was a racially charged.
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on January 08, 2004 at 19:23:09 PT
 lets get it together - in 2004 well stop this war CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION: We are working with U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to gather co-sponsors for the first-ever medical marijuana bill in the Senate, which will be introduced this month. In the meantime, we are organizing grassroots supporters in the districts of 70 swing House members who -- when added to the 156 House members who are already supportive -- will take us past the 218 votes we need to pass medical marijuana legislation on the House floor. Our next House floor vote is expected in June or July.5. TARGETING TWO OR THREE U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS FOR DEFEAT: The outcome of the House floor vote this coming summer will determine the two or three House members we will be targeting for defeat in November 2004. We intend to demonstrate to members of Congress that their political futures depend, in part, on voting for MPP's medical marijuana legislation.If you like what you see, please consider visiting to donate early to our work.
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Comment #3 posted by jose melendez on January 08, 2004 at 19:04:35 PT
link for comment #1
Well spoken, no? Nice to reading in the above NORML bulletin, it seems people are speaking out all over. Here's the link to the full text from GCW's quote:
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Comment #2 posted by SystemGoneDown on January 08, 2004 at 18:36:26 PT
Hit it on the head
 "As a result, too many elected officials feel little or no political pressure from their constituents to support marijuana law reform - despite the fact that national polls show that 80 percent of Americans support legalizing medicinal marijuana, and that 72 percent support decriminalizing marijuana for personal use" 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on January 08, 2004 at 18:35:43 PT
Stop terrorism
"In light of the White House's $43 million grant to the Taliban, if buying illegal drugs helps finance terrorists, perhaps paying federal income taxes has the same effect."
- Leo Carmody, third year law student from Sharpsburg, N.C. - 
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