NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- February 5, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- February 5, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on February 05, 2004 at 19:18:21 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Canada Likely To Resurrect Watered Down Pot Decrim Bill February 5, 2004 - Ottawa, ON, CanadaOttawa, Ontario: Parliament is expected to resurrect legislation this month to make marijuana possession a fine-only offense, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler announced this week. Last year's legislation (C-38) was backed by outgoing Justice Minister Martin Cauchon and former Prime Minister Jean Chretein, but languished in the House of Commons after some members of Parliament complained that the bill could encourage international drug trafficking.
This year's bill will likely seek to reduce penalties on the possession and use of up to 10 grams (less than half an ounce) of marijuana to a ticketable offense, while simultaneously increasing penalties on large-scale marijuana cultivation. Once reintroduced, the new legislation could become law as soon as this spring, Cotler said.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said that it was unfortunate that Parliament would weaken its decriminalization proposal. He noted that a Canadian Senate inquiry had previously recommended legalizing and regulating marijuana for those 16 years and older, while a House inquiry recommended decriminalizing the possession of up to 30 grams (approximately one ounce) of marijuana."It's a shame that Parliament is letting 'Reefer Madness' get in the way of sound policy-making," he said. "Both the Senate and House select committees determined unequivocally that criminal consequences for the possession of marijuana by adults are disproportionate to any potential harms associated with its responsible use. Parliament would be best to defer to their recommendation rather than the unfounded concerns of prohibitionists."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500.DL: Marijuana Bill Could Pass Up on Pot Growers, Canada's on a Roll Pot Law May Stand, but It Still Needs Fixing Study Estimates Dosing Guidelines For Medical Marijuana PatientsFebruary 5, 2004 - Centralia, WA, USACentralia, WA: Medicinal marijuana patients and their physicians will benefit from the development of dosing guidelines for medical cannabis, according to the findings of a new study released by the Lifevine Foundation.According to the author's findings, the daily dosing recommendation for patients smoking cannabis of 10 percent THC is between .15 grams and 5.55 grams. If a patient is smoking cannabis of 20 percent THC, the recommended dosage is .08 grams to 2.79 grams, and if a patients is smoking cannabis of 30 percent THC, he or she is recommended to consume between .01 gram and 1.86 grams. The authors formulated their dosing recommendations for natural cannabis upon existing prescription guidelines for Dronabinol (aka Marinol)."We have outlined reasonable guidelines for dosing of medical cannabis, based on the known pharmacology," authors conclude. "However, because of the complexities of the cannabis plant, the chemistry of the various forms of cannabinoids, patient tolerance, differing routes of intake and delivery systems, there are inherent limitations to these guidelines. Recognizing this, we recommend that an individual, patient-controlled, self-titration dosing model be used. The guidelines we have described provide a dosing construct for patients and physicians to do this. These guidelines also provide legal authorities some reference points as to what would be considered a reasonable amount of cannabis to use for medicinal purposes."Full text of the study, entitled: "Medical Cannabis: Rational Guidelines for Dosing," is available online at: Medical Marijuana Archives Proposes Spending $25 Million On Suspicionless Student Drug Testing February 5, 2004 - Washington, DC, USANORML Assails The Procedure As "Humiliating, Invasive, And Contrary To The Laws Of A Free Society"Washington, DC: Federal legislation has been introduced that seeks to appropriate $25 million to establish random student drug testing of high school students. Representatives John Peterson (R-PA), Tom Osborne (R-NE) and Mark Souder (R-IN) introduced the bill (H.R. 3720), entitled the "Empowering Parents and Teachers for a Drug-Free Education Act of 2004," just days after President George Bush claimed during his State of the Union address that "drug testing in our schools has proven to be an effective part of this effort" to reduce the demand for illegal drugs.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre criticized the proposal and said that President Bush is wrong to assert that student drug testing deters drug use. "Suspicionless student drug testing is a humiliating, invasive practice that runs contrary to the laws of a free society where citizens are assumed innocent until proven guilty," he said. "In addition, federal research shows that drug testing in schools does not reduce or discourage student drug use."According to the findings of a federal study of 76,000 students by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, there is no difference in illegal drug use among students in schools that drug test versus those that do not. "Among the eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students surveyed in this study, school drug testing was not associated with either the prevalence or the frequency of student marijuana use, or of other illicit drug use," researchers found. "Nor was drug testing of athletes associated with lower-than-average marijuana and other illicit drug use by high school male athletes. Even among those who identified themselves as fairly experienced marijuana users, drug testing was not associated with either the prevalence or the frequency of marijuana or other illicit drug use."... [The] results suggest that drug testing in schools may not provide the panacea for reducing student drug use that some (including some on the Supreme Court) had hoped."In the past decade, the US Supreme Court has ruled that warrantless drug testing of student athletes as well as students who participate in non-athletic, extracurricular activities is constitutional. The Court has not ruled on the legality of a policy mandating drug testing for all public school students.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. For more information on H.R. 3720, please visit NORML's website at: text of the 2003 University of Michigan study is available online at: Drug Testing Archives NORML Foundation (DC)Published: February 5, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Jan. 29, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Jan. 22, 2004
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Comment #16 posted by mayan on February 06, 2004 at 15:09:17 PT
My clock is fast again!!!
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Comment #15 posted by mayan on February 06, 2004 at 15:08:06 PT
Thanks for the poll! It's still letting people vote as of 5:15 CT.Do you believe DARE has been a useful educational tool in schools?Yes 21.3% No 78.8% Total votes: 80 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on February 06, 2004 at 11:10:01 PT
Off Topic: Dozens of Students Netted in Drug Sweep
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Comment #13 posted by E_Johnson on February 06, 2004 at 09:57:18 PT
I see why many doctors are hesitant
A pharmaceutical like predisone that is very toxic and has many side effects has to be prescribed very carefully. It is a big deal with prednisone whether you take 6 milligrams or 5.5 milligrams. If you normally take 6 and start taking 5.5, you'll swell up like a ballon and become manic-depressed for three days until your body accomodates to the lower dose. (Been there, done that.)It's not really a big deal with pot. We don't suffer horribly or risk serious complications if we vary our dosage from day to day according to convenience and disposition.It's really a forgiving medication. I guess many doctors have trouble understanding that right away because it's not the way medicine is in the modern era. 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on February 06, 2004 at 08:53:25 PT
I agree. They aren't called Peace Officers anymore.
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Comment #11 posted by BigDawg on February 06, 2004 at 08:49:26 PT
Cops in neighborhoods
They aren't walking around in neighborhoods anymore for several reasons. First... they are too busy chasing drug users. Second... because the drug laws have made a mockery of the Police Department... they are no longer respected. People see police and cringe... because they no the attitude of police is not "protect and serve" it is look for something to bust.In Holland... one can still see cops walking the beat... and still see them actually HELP people. It is common to see folks having a nice conversation with the local foot patrol cop.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 06, 2004 at 08:39:50 PT
They said that the man was a hard drug user. Heroin and Cocaine. They will make a big deal about that I bet. 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on February 06, 2004 at 08:20:38 PT
This is so bad what is happening to some young people at the hands of a sick person. We have so many people on the earth why isn't there a cop walking around the neighborhoods like they use to do? I was always told to walk up to the policeman if I needed help and he was always there to help me or just talk.
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Comment #8 posted by Patrick on February 06, 2004 at 07:21:19 PT
I am so pissed off
This morning I turn on my monitor and lo and behold…. Missing Florida girl found dead.It really turns my stomach when I think that our law enforcement has the resources to sniff out pot and cage people for it while sexual predators and serial killers roam our streets. One estimate I heard just last week put the number of serial killers on the loose in America at over 300!When I hear John Walsh talk about putting away a bad guy that kills and rapes kids it literally makes cry to think there are such sicko's in our society. This morning, seeing that headline it home for some reason. I think I now know why it bothers me so much. Deep down I feel I could have made an excellent detective and devoted my life to chasing scumbags like the aforementioned. Except for one thing. I have been smoking this miracle plant for over 30 years and we all know that pretty much puts a damper on a career in law enforcement. The freakin antis want to scream "save the children" well all I can say to them is stopping wasting the law's time trying to find me and others like me holed up at home with our plants and go find the real killers.Really I can't blame the cops. They are the puppets of the bureaucrats and politicians. My sincerest prayers and sympathies go out to Carlie Brucia's family. In my mind at least, she is yet another innocent victim of the useless war on drugs.
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Comment #7 posted by goneposthole on February 06, 2004 at 06:57:59 PT
It's the money
Canadian cannabis is being bought and sold right now. The Chicago Board of Trade should list it as a commodity on their futures index. Hands down, it would be the number one commodity traded.Time to stop this enslavement of the spirit.  '...The fundamental story
Of the contemporary man
Is to walk away and someday understand'- from 'Humidity Built the Snowman' by John Prine
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Comment #6 posted by SystemGoneDown on February 06, 2004 at 06:55:13 PT
E_Johnson.......about the 5.55 grams...
It's so stupid it's funny. I got pulled over before and i had to swallow about 5 grams worth of weed in case the cop wanted to search my car. It makes no sense to put decimals because I was able to swallow 5 grams relatively easy.
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on February 06, 2004 at 05:34:12 PT:
Doses, Decimals and Dunderheads
The antis just can't seem to get it.They declare cannabis illegal. Then they smugly sit back and think they have solved the 'problem' by simple dictatorial legislation. A dirt-cheap-to-grow-outside weed becomes more valuable than gold, and a whole cottage industry grows up around it, literally.To destroy the outside propagation of it, they spray things like paraquat. Now the grow operation moves indoors, with much greater yields due to almost total environmental control. The art of cannabis production evolves very quickly into a science. Strains specifically for every kind of cannabinoid effect and almost every malady under the sun are developed. Growers share information and seeds. The propagation of both weed and knowledge expands exponentially.Like cellular division, One begets two, two begets four...which begets 16...which begets 256...which begets...Well, YOU 'be gettin' it, by now. This, dear antis, is called 'evolutionary pressures'. But since many antis don't like the concept of evolution, they still don't understand that every turn of the screw they make causes an inverse and exponential degree of activity that becomes totally beyond their scope of the DrugWar was from the moment it was declared.So, now they think they can 'deci-mate' us using deci*mals*?(Sardonic, uproarious laughter) My lil' sister's son at age ten has more sense than these twits...
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on February 06, 2004 at 05:14:35 PT
DARE article and poll
"Do you believe DARE has been a useful educational tool in schools?" Vote ends 5PM central!
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Comment #3 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on February 06, 2004 at 04:09:19 PT
MPP press release
TO:   Illinois residents*FROM:  Larry Sandell, MPP assistant director of state policiesDATE:  Thursday, February 5, 2004SUBJECT: Medical marijuana bills introduced in the Illinois Legislature!Can you believe that in this day and age -- in 2004 -- Illinois state law still treats medical marijuana patients as common criminals?Well, this week may have marked the beginning of the end of the criminalization of medical marijuana patients in Illinois. On Tuesday, February 3, Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago) introduced S.B. 2440, MPP's model medical marijuana bill. And yesterday, February 4, Rep. Angelo Saviano (R-River Grove) introduced companion bill H.B. 4868, with cosponsors Rep. Larry McKeon (D-Chicago) and Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago).MPP is working hard on passing these bills with our hired lobbying firm, Ronan Potts, and with local reform group IDEAL Reform, but we can't do it without you!Both medical marijuana bills need more support as they begin the committee process. And you can help by urging your legislators to cosponsor the appropriate bill.Please take a few moments to visit . After you choose your favorite pre-written letter and type in your address, our site will automatically e-mail your letter to your legislator ... all with the click of a few buttons. The whole process takes less than two minutes, but it makes a world of difference. Also, you can print the letters and send them to your legislators through regular mail.So, you've already asked both your senator and representative to cosponsor ... Do you want to do more to ensure that Illinois' medical marijuana patients no longer face the threat of arrest and imprisonment? If you want to fight alongside MPP on the front lines, e-mail lsandell to get more involved.Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please tell others in Illinois about these bills, so that even more people can speak out for reform.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 05, 2004 at 22:43:50 PT
Excerpt from New York Times Article
Perhaps Next Year at the Super Bowl ShowPublished: February 6, 2004Mr. Schimmel has been in remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for more than three years.He told us that chemotherapy had had one unexpected bonus: his doctors suggested he use marijuana to help combat nausea and increase his appetite."My mom and dad are sitting there devastated, and I'm thinking this is a dream come true,'' Mr. Schimmel said. "I've got a doctor tell me that I have to smoke pot. Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on February 05, 2004 at 19:58:45 PT
Oh no here comes a pet peeve
"between .15 grams and 5.55 grams"I think it's pretty silly to put decimals in here. What is 5.55 grams? Can anyone tell the different between 5.55 and 5.60 grams of marijuana by looking or by smoking? The most meaningful dosing guideline I've heard is in terms of ounces per month. I guess that's another problem with pot. It's not a little self-contained unit like a pill. It is not meaningful to talk of unit dosages with the same degree of precision, nor is it really necessary.
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