NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 4, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- March 4, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on March 04, 2004 at 14:24:14 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Canada Considers Stocking Medical Marijuana In PharmaciesMarch 4, 2004 - Ottawa, ON, CanadaOttawa, Ontario: Health Canada is considering a proposal to make medicinal marijuana available in pharmacies, according to published news reports in the Calgary Herald and the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM).
According to the reports, Health Canada is expected to make recommendations regarding the plan later this spring, and hopes to establish a pilot program later this year.Under current law, qualified Canadian patients may legally possess and grow medicinal marijuana. Last year, Health Canada also began distributing government-grown pot to a handful of qualified patients.Presently, only the Netherlands allows medicinal cannabis to be distributed in pharmacies.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre applauded the Canadian proposal. "If we are to hold cannabis up to the same standards of safety and efficacy that we hold other drugs, then a policy regulating it in pharmacies is long overdue," he said. "Patients should not have to go the black market and risk arrest to obtain the medicine they need. Clearly, a model that calls for marijuana to be legally regulated in pharmacies is a safer, efficient and more sensible alternative."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500.DL: Pot at Pharmacies Considered Canada's Reefer Madness Canada Medical Marijuana Could Be Better Blasts Bush Anti-Drug Plan Calling For Expanded Student Drug Testing, "Compassionate Coercion" For Pot SmokersMarch 4, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The Bush administration's 2004 "National Drug Control Strategy," released by the White House this week, inappropriately proposes spending $25 million to establish random student drug testing for high school students, and unnecessarily calls for the "compassionate coercion" of millions of otherwise law-abiding American citizens who smoke marijuana responsibly, NORML's Executive Director Keith Stroup said today."Suspicionless student drug testing is a humiliating, invasive practice that runs contrary to the principles of a free society where citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty," Stroup said.He further noted that federal research shows that drug testing in schools does not reduce or discourage student drug use. According to a recent 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.Stroup also criticized the notion that recreational marijuana smokers require drug treatment. Responding to the administration's mandate that "we must create a climate in which Americans confront drug use [through] ... compassionate coercion," Stroup said, "The overwhelming majority of our nation's drug users and drug arrestees are pot smokers, most of whom do not need treatment - coerced, compassionate or otherwise." He added that the administration should abandon its current strategy of criminalizing and demonizing marijuana users, and instead implement policies such as those that have been successful in reducing cigarette smoking and drunk driving."As a nation we have significantly reduced the prevalence of tobacco smoking and drunk driving in recent years," he said. "We have not achieved these results by banning the use of alcohol or tobacco, or by targeting and arresting those who use them responsibly, but through honest educational campaigns. We should apply these same principles to the responsible use of marijuana."For more information, please contact Keith Stroup of NORML at (202) 483-5500. Text of 2004 National Drug Control Strategy available: Expands War on Drugs Touts Testing and Faith-Based Treatment Drug Czar Recommends Drug Testing in Schools Launch Second Wave Of War On Drug "Paraphernalia" March 4, 2004 - Raleigh, NC, USARaleigh, NC: Federal authorities this week raided six businesses and seized nearly 3,800 glass pipes and other items commonly associated with marijuana smoking as part of an ongoing federal investigation dubbed "Operation Pipecleaner." The raids follow a directive issued last year by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and mark the third time in the past 12 months that Department of Justice officials have targeted businesses for selling pipes and other paraphernalia "intended or designed to be used ingesting, inhaling or otherwise using controlled substances."Though none of the store-owners were arrested in the raids, criminal indictments are possible, according to published reports by the Associated Press. Those indicted face a maximum three years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine per count on charges that they sold or conspired to sell various types of drug "paraphernalia."Last September, a federal judge sentenced 65-year-old actor/comedian Tommy Chong to nine months in prison and fined him $20,000 for selling glass pipes on the Internet through his business, Nice Dreams Enterprises.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre condemned the federal raids, calling them evidence of the administration's gravely misplaced priorities. "At a time when our nation is engaged in a 'War on Terror,' it is preposterous that the Justice Department would waste limited federal law enforcement resources chasing after sellers of products such as roach clips and rolling papers - products which are legally sold at tobacco stores all across America," he said."These businesses pay taxes and do not in any way contribute to the crime problem in America. In addition, the day-to-day operations of these businesses are arguably a local or state matter, and should not be of concern to the federal government. Federal efforts would be better served keeping a bomb out of the hands of Al Qaeda than keeping a bong out of the hands of a marijuana smoker."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. For more information on NORML's "Free Tommy Chong" campaign, please visit: Seize Drug Paraphernalia From Six NC Stores Paraphernalia Archives Source: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: March 04, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Feb. 26, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Feb. 19, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Feb. 12, 2004
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Comment #1 posted by jose melendez on March 05, 2004 at 05:15:28 PT
common laws preclude such crimes
What do we have to do, start an unlawful restraint of trade antitrust lawsuit?
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