NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 29, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- April 29, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on April 29, 2004 at 16:33:07 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
More Than 300 Tell Congress: "We're Here. We Smoke. We Vote." - - Hundreds Attend NORML's 2004 National Conference And Inaugural Congressional Lobby DayApril 29, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Hundreds of marijuana law reformers from around the nation convened in Washington, DC last week to lobby their members of Congress and attend NORML's 2004 National Conference. NORML applauded the greater-than-expected turnout, and is coordinating with other drug law reform groups to plan a similar, multi-organizational Congressional lobby day for late 2004 or early 2005.
"There's no substitute for face-to-face contact between constituents and their elected officials," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said.Following NORML's Lobby Day, at least four additional members of Congress promised to vote "yes" for the Hinchey amendment, which seeks to bar the Justice Department from prosecuting patients who use medical marijuana in compliance with state laws. The amendment, which is expected to receive a vote next month, was defeated last year by a 273 to 152 vote."The intent of NORML's first annual Congressional Lobby Day was to encourage hundreds of marijuana law reformers to begin careers as 'citizen lobbyists,' and to urge them to replicate their efforts not only in Washington, but also in their home districts," Stroup added.More than 150 patients, parents, and students participated in the Lobby Day - the first day of NORML's three-day conference, entitled: "We're Here. We Smoke. We Vote." Featured speakers at the conference included best-selling author Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market); Boston University Law Professor Randy Barnett, chief legal counsel in Raich/Monson v. Ashcroft, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the federal prosecution of state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients to be unconstitutional; the Drug Policy Alliance's Marsha Rosenbaum; and noted cannabis researcher Melanie Dreher, Dean of the University of Iowa's School of Nursing, and the 2004 recipient of NORML's Lester Grinspoon Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform.Over 350 individuals attended the final two days of the conference, which received prominent news coverage in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Roll Call, The Hill, The Free-Lance Star (Fredricksburg, VA), and The Anderson Valley Advertiser (Boonville, CA), among other publications.The conference was the first held by NORML in the nation's capitol since 2001."The underlying message of the conference was that marijuana smokers comprise a potentially powerful political constituency, and that it's high time for our elected officials to take this constituency seriously," Stroup said.NORML and the NORML Foundation offer our sincerest gratitude to everyone who attended and helped to make the 2004 conference one of our most successful.Photos and highlights from the 2003 NORML conference will be available shortly on the NORML web site at: Times or High Crimes? Puffs Against Pot Laws Free To Grow Medical Pot, Federal Judge RulesApril 29, 2004 - Santa Cruz, CA, USASanta Cruz, CA: The medicinal cannabis cooperative Wo/Mens' Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) received legal protection last week to cultivate and distribute pot free from federal interference.The cooperative was granted a preliminary injunction by Judge Jeremy Fogel of the Northern District of California. Fogel based his decision on a December 2003 judgment by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the federal prosecution of patients who possess and cultivate marijuana for their own medicinal use is an unconstitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority. Justice Department officials have asked the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit's ruling.Last week's decision was the first time the Ninth Circuit decision has been applied to a medical marijuana collective.WAMM filed suit against the Department of Justice last April after federal law enforcement officials raided the club, destroying approximately 167 medicinal cannabis plants. Over 25 patients served by WAMM have died since the federal raid.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Group Basks in Victory, Eyes New Harvest Prohibits Raids on Pot Club Cruz Group Wins Court OK To Grow Pot Canada: Parliament Contemplates Drug Testing Motorists April 29, 2004 - Ottawa, ON, CanadaOttawa, Ontario: Members of Parliament are considering legislation that would amend the Criminal Code to allow motorists to have their bodily fluids tested for the presence of illicit drugs and/or inactive drug metabolites. The proposal, Bill C-32, is similar to pending US federal legislation that seeks to criminally sanction anyone who operates a motor vehicle "while any detectable amount of a controlled substance is present in the person's body, as measured in the person's blood, urine, saliva, or other bodily substance."If passed, C-32 would allow law enforcement officers to request a sample of a driver's urine or saliva "to determine whether the person has a drug in their body," if the officer has "reasonable grounds" to believe the motorist is under the influence of a controlled substance. The proposal further states that a "qualified medical practitioner" may draw blood samples from drivers in certain cases.Proponents of the bill argue that Parliament must approve C-32 before moving forward with plans to decriminalize the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, according to a 2002 Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, "Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving."NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup criticized Bill C-32, stating: "At a minimum, this proposal should identify parent drugs, not inactive drug metabolites - which, even when confirmed, do not indicate recency of drug use or impairment. Further, it should include references to scientifically sound cut-off levels correlating drug concentration to impairment of performance similar to the 0.08 BAC standard that already exists for drunk driving. These amendments would offer a reasonable alternative to C-32's present language."For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500.DL:'t Criminalize Drug-Driving, Police Groups Slam Proposed Pot Law To Let Police Conduct Roadside Tests Source: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: April 29, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 20, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 15, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 08, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Apr. 02, 2004
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on April 30, 2004 at 16:50:24 PT
Marijuana activist wins NDP nomination
Marijuana activist wins NDP nomination 
by Reverend Damuzi (30 Apr, 2004) Alison Myrden set to make history! 
"Marijuana activist Alison Myrden yesterday won the Oakville riding nomination to represent the NDP in the upcoming federal election." F U L L S T O R Y
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