NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- January 15, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- January 15, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2004 at 16:18:50 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Medical Marijuana Patients In California Top 75,000, California NORML Estimates January 15, 2004 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco, CA: The number of patients in California using marijuana medicinally under a doctor's supervision is rising dramatically and now tops 75,000, according to estimates released this week by California NORML. The total is more than double the total number of patients estimated by the organization in a 2002 survey of patients' groups, registration programs, and physicians that appeared in the March 2003 issue of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics.
"The concentration of medical marijuana patients varies between different regions of the state, being highest in northern California, which has by far the greatest number of patients' groups, dispensaries, and medical cannabis resources," California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer said, noting that local registration programs in Oakland and Mendocino County indicate that medical cannabis patients total approximately one percent of the local adult population.Gieringer adds that a similar rise in the number of state-authorized medicinal marijuana patients is simultaneously occurring in Oregon. According to an Associated Press story published this week, more than 7,500 Oregonians possess state identification cards to use medicinal cannabis - up from 4,650 last July. (Unpublished reports estimate the current total is actually closer to 10,000.) Gieringer attributes this trend to a "growing acceptance of medical cannabis in the medical community," noting that "1,500 physicians are known to have recommended marijuana in California, and some five percent of all licensed physicians in Oregon."For more information, please contact California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer at (415) 563-5858 or Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-5500. Website -- Use Of Marijuana Prevalent Among AIDS/HIV Patients, Study Says January 15, 2004 - San Mateo, CA, USASan Mateo, CA: Approximately one out of four patients suffering from HIV has smoked marijuana within the past month to relieve symptoms of the disease, according to clinical findings published in this month's issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.Twenty-three percent of the 252 participants in the study responded that they had smoked medicinal marijuana within the previous month. "Reported benefits included relief from anxiety and/or depression (57%), improved appetite (53%), increased pleasure (33%), and relief of pain (28%)," authors stated.A similar survey conducted in Canada and presented last November at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network research conference concluded that 29 percent of HIV-positive Ontarians used marijuana therapeutically.Presently, clinical trials examining the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in HIV patient populations are ongoing at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.According to a recently published study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, use of inhaled marijuana demonstrates "no major, short-term harmful effects and possibly some beneficial effects ... in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the study, entitled "Patterns of Marijuana Use Among Patients With HIV/AIDS Followed in a Public Health Care Setting," are available online at: Medical Marijuana Archives To Overhaul Employee Drug Testing Standards January 15, 2004 - Washington, DC, USANew Policy Will Encourage Use Of "Unproven Procedures," Including Hair, Saliva, And Sweat Patch TestingWashington, DC: New government standards regulating employee drug screening will strongly encourage employers to conduct hair, saliva, and sweat patch testing among the nation's 1.6 million federal workers, a spokesman from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced this week. The agency - which sets the screening guidelines and is responsible for approximately 6.5 million of the 40 million workplace drug tests conducted annually by US employers - said that the policy changes would likely take effect within one year.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre criticized the pending change, emphasizing that the tests will not increase either workplace safety or production. "These tests, in particular hair testing, are for the most part unproven procedures unsupported by the scientific literature or well-controlled clinical studies," he said. "In addition, these tests do little if anything to detect an employee's actual impairment on the job - which should be the employer's primary concern. Rather, these tests allow employers to go on a virtual fishing expedition of their employee's private, off-the-job personal habits and practices, none of which are the employers' business."Currently, federal employers and the majority of private companies that drug test rely on urine screens, which detect the presence of non-psychoactive metabolites indicative of past drug use, but do not indicate impairment.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Further information on drug testing is available on NORML's website at: To Overhaul Employee Drug Tests NORML Foundation (DC)Published: January 15, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Jan. 03, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Dec. 23, 2003
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 18, 2004 at 21:47:16 PT
NORML's 2004 Presidential Candidate Report Card
NORML presents analysis of Democratic presidential candidates' positions on marijuana policy. Here we indicate their support for decriminalizing marijuana penalties, legalizing medical marijuana and repealing the HEA provision that prevents convicted marijuana offenders from receiving student aid. For details click on the candidate or a position. -- The Vote:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 16, 2004 at 21:03:49 PT
Important E-Mail News from NORML
 Help NORML Stop Super Bowl Marijuana PropagandaTake Action Now! Friends:As we approach the end of January, Americans are gearing up for the upcoming Super Bowl. For those of us in the marijuana law reform community, this means preparing for another barrage of anti-marijuana propaganda ads from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Partnership for a Drug Free America.This year NORML is encouraging CBS to reject these ads by persuading the network to abide by it's stated policy of not running ads on "controversial issues of public importance." Recently, CBS cited this official policy to deny airing an advertisement sponsored by the advocacy organization, which criticized President Bush's $1 trillion deficit.If CBS is to be consistent, then they must also adhere to this policy when it comes to the ONDCP's ads. Marijuana decriminalization currently enjoys 72% support among the American public, according to the latest CNN/Time polling data. Clearly this is a "controversial issue of public importance" that divides American public opinion, and any public service announcement on the subject that promotes only one side of this issue must be considered an issue ad.Clearly CBS only applies this standard to issue ads that they disagree with. For example, the network accepted a Super Bowl ad that discourages tobacco smoking and one from the American Legacy Foundation encouraging "lifestyle choices" for teenagers, in addition to the ONDCP anti-marijuana ads.NORML has created a pre-written letter that you can send to CBS executives demanding they apply their policy consistently and reject the ONDCP/PDFA anti-marijuana ads. You also have the option of copying this letter to your local medica outlet so that we can keep the public appraised of this inconsistency on the part of CBS.Please take two minutes to send a pre-written letter to CBS and your local media urging them to reject this year's anti-marijuana propaganda ads from the Super Bowl by visiting: you for your support on this important issue. Regards,Kris KraneAssociate DirectorNORML
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on January 15, 2004 at 19:19:11 PT
Dennis needs to talk to this
did I just hear right that all those people here with out -papers that must register for the draft. if called they could gain papers for themselves if they serve. and I think that I heard that even felons must reg. for the draft. that what bbc just said on Npr/.
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on January 15, 2004 at 19:09:07 PT
I hope Dennis helps Dave and Cynthia
seems that Eds jury that really searched for the truth could go and help the jury that will try these poor souls. If as the interviews after Eds trial were any where near the truth that in fact a very scary picture is flashed. Sending someone away for growing a plant which helps ourkind. outrageous. You can live with that and that's that or you go out and try to help someone understand what they are about to do. 
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on January 15, 2004 at 17:38:42 PT
Congrats to Norml for patient numbers
when all the states are added up the amount will be stunning. under the testing story ====someone said that the troops are pissing dirty and being sent over anyway. how many tests are comming back hot will be a big story. Dont ask dont Pee.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 15, 2004 at 17:12:05 PT
News Advisory from Americans For Safe Access
Update on Federal Arrests of Patients & Emergency Response 
 David Davidson and Cynthia Blake were released yesterday on $50,000 bond each, and will be arraigned Friday at 2 pm in Sacramento. The government alleges that they were conspiring to cultivate and distribute 1000+ plants (a 10 year mandatory minimum if convicted); and that they were in actual possession of 100+ plants.( a 5 year mandatory minimum if convicted) Their lawyers are confident they will be exonerated. You may recall that Bryan Epis was convicted in this same court of conspiracy (based on some misrepresented computer files). Please organize something locally for tomorrow if you can - sample press release, flyers, and Citation orders can be downloaded from:
 NEWS ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     CONTACT:  William Dolphin (510) 919-1498 or asa williamdolphin.comFeds Grab Medical Marijuana Patients from California State CourtroomCouple Arrested As Attorneys and Judge Meet in Chambers; State Charges DismissedPress Conference, Emergency Action at Sacramento Federal Building at Noon Friday Sacramento (Wednesday, January 14, 2004) – In a stunning display of duplicitous double dealing, federal agents yesterday seized two medical marijuana patients from a California state courtroom after the local prosecutor lured the couple’s defense counsel into the judge’s chambers to dismiss the state charges filed against them. David Davidson and Cynthia Blake were in state court on a motion seeking to have charges of marijuana cultivation and distribution dismissed, based on the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 which made medical use of marijuana legal in California. Both Ms. Blake and Mr. Davidson have doctors’ authorizations to use marijuana for medical conditions. Fewer than 30 plants, little more than a pound of dried marijuana and some cuttings were seized by the Tehama Sheriff’s Department during the July 29th raid on the Red Bluff home of Ms. Blake that resulted in her and Mr. Davidson’s arrest. As Davidson and Blake’s attorneys, Omar Figueroa and Shari Greenberger, met in the judge’s chambers with prosecutor Lynn Strom to discuss the details of dismissing the charges, prosecutor Strom informed them that she was dropping the charges only because federal officers were at that moment arresting Davidson and Blake in the courtroom.“These federal arrests are utterly outrageous,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, a national medical marijuana coalition. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already said they are violating the Constitution when they arrest patients. And now they are tricking defense attorneys to separate them from their clients. How many rights have to be trampled before we fix this?”Americans for Safe Access has called for emergency actions on Friday at noon at federal buildings across the country. Demonstrations are currently planned in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Cincinnatti, and Spokane, with more in the works.A press conference with Ms Blake, Mr. Davidson, attorney Tony Serra, and Steph Sherer will also take place in front of the Sacramento federal building at 5th and I. WHAT:    Press Conference and protest of the federal arrest of David Davidson and Cynthia Blake.WHO:     David Davidson and Cynthia Blake. Attorney Tony Serra. Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access.WHEN:    Friday, January 16, 2004 at Noon WHERE:  Federal building in Sacramento (5th and I). Federal buildings across the country.  A grassroots coalition of 5,500 patients, doctors and advocates, Americans for Safe Access is the leading national organization working on medical marijuana. For more information, contact William Dolphin (510) 919-1498.
 # # #Hilary McQuieCampaign DirectorAmericans for Safe Access1678 Shattuck Ave. #317Berkeley, CA 94709510-486-8083 
Join the fight for medical marijuana rights!To receive ASA alerts, email asa-subscribe 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 15, 2004 at 16:55:05 PT
Press Releases - Drug Policy Alliance 
01/14/04 -- Montel Williams Shares Moving Personal Account of Medical Marijuana Use on His Daytime Show
After Trying All Legal Alternatives, Marijuana Worked Best to Treat Crippling Pain of Multiple Sclerosis 
01/14/04 -- Congress Expected to Pass Bill Censoring American Citizens Who Voice Opposition to U.S. War on Drugs
Provision in Federal Spending Bill Would Ban Advertising About Medical Marijuana and Other Drug Policy Reforms, While $145 Million in Taxpayer Money Is Spent on Pro-Drug War Ads
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