NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- September 9, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- September 9, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on September 09, 2004 at 14:22:30 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Nevada Pot Initiative To Remain Off The Ballot, Federal Appeals Court RulesSeptember 9, 2004 - Carson City, NV, USACarson City, NV: Campaigners for a proposed ballot initiative to remove all penalties for the use or possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by persons at least 21 years of age failed to collect enough valid signatures to place the measure on the November ballot, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday in a 2-1 decision.
The court found that state election officials were correct in rejecting 2,360 signatures from residents who registered to vote on the same day that they signed the petition. Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller had previously determined the signatures to be invalid because the voter registrations were not turned in to the registrar on the same day that the petitions were signed.Petitioners needed 1,925 additional valid signatures to meet the 51,337 total signatures the state requires in order to place an initiative on the Nevada ballot.State election officials had previously rejected some 20,000 signatures because petitioners had failed to comply with a state law mandating voters to sign both the petition and a document attesting that the names on it were from registered voters. However, a federal judge later ruled that requirement to be unconstitutional, and ordered those signatures to be recounted.A similar initiative seeking to exempt adults from criminal prosecution for the use or possession of marijuana will appear on the Alaska state ballot this November.For a complete summary of this fall's pending state and local initiatives, please visit: Referendum May Get New Life Petition Fails To Qualify in Nevada Initiative: Backers Cry Foul Initiative Backers Forgot 6,000 Signatures Arkansas Medical Marijuana Measures Fails To Qualify For '04 BallotSeptember 9, 2004 - Little Rock, AR, USALittle Rock, AR: Arkansas election officials said last week that an initiative seeking to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis under a doctor's supervision failed to qualify for the November ballot because proponents did not collect enough valid signatures.The proposal sought to allow patients with "debilitating medical conditions" to possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana for medicinal purposes under the authorization of their physician. The measure also called for the establishment of a confidential state-run patient registry to issue identification cards to qualifying patients.According to state election officials, only 52,364 of the signatures collected by the initiative's proponents were valid. It needed 64,456 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.A similar statewide medical marijuana initiative will appear on the November ballot in Montana. In addition, Oregon voters will decide on an initiative to expand the state's existing medicinal cannabis law to allow qualified patients to possess up to ten marijuana plants and one pound of usable marijuana.For a complete summary of this fall's pending state and local initiatives, please visit:’s Initiative on Medical ‘Pot’ Misses Ballot ‘Pot’ Signatures Too Few for Ballot Added To Medical ‘Pot’ Drive on ‘Pot’ Falls Short of Names Court Boots Tallahassee Pot Possession Initiative Off Ballot Despite Fulfilling Signature RequirementSeptember 9, 2004 - Tallahassee, FL, USATallahassee, FL: A federal court judge ruled Wednesday that a municipal initiative seeking to make the arrest and prosecution of minor marijuana offenses "the city's lowest law enforcement priority" will not appear on the November ballot even though election officials had previously certified that petitioners gathered a sufficient number of valid signatures from registered voters to qualify.According to the ruling, the proposed amendment will not appear on the ballot because it "seeks to establish a different priority or strategy with respect to a particular controlled substance" than that of the state legislature, which "has clearly set forth a comprehensive and uniform law enforcement and drug control program for the state."The court also ruled that the local initiative process may not be used to enact a municipal ordinance, and that it would be "unlawful" for a city ordinance to "restrict the authority" of city police officers.Proponents of the initiative note that several cities, including Seattle and Oakland, have successfully passed marijuana "deprioritization" initiatives without running afoul of state law. In addition, several municipalities - including Madison, Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Michigan - have enacted local ordinances decriminalizing marijuana possession (making pot possession a non-criminal, fine-only offense) without conflicting with state law.For more information, please contact Tallahasseans for Practical Law Enforcement/Florida NORML at (850) 224-0868.DL: Smokers Comprise 75% Of Illicit Drug Users, Federal Study Says September 9, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Three out of four illicit drug users in the United States are marijuana smokers, according to survey data released today by the Department of Health and Human Services.According to the department's annual "National Survey on Drug Use and Health," an estimated 19.5 million Americans currently use illicit drugs (as defined as use within the past month). Of these, 14.6 million - or 75 percent - self-identify as marijuana smokers.By comparison, only 2.3 million Americans reported using cocaine, approximately one million reported using LSD, and fewer than 120,000 said that they currently use heroin.In addition, an estimated 97 million Americans - slightly more than 40 percent of the US population age 12 or older - have used marijuana during their lifetimes, the study noted.NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said that the prevalence of marijuana consumers compared to other illicit drugs begs for a change in the federal law. "Americans clearly delineate between the use of marijuana and the use of more dangerous substances like cocaine and heroin," he said. "Like the use of alcohol and tobacco, marijuana use is an acknowledged part of the American culture and economy. It is consumed by tens of millions of Americans, relatively few of which suffer significant deleterious health consequences due to their use. It is time for our public policies to reflect this reality and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health is available online at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: September 9, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Sept. 02, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Aug. 26, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Aug. 18, 2004
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on September 13, 2004 at 14:02:55 PT
military officer guy 
It's ok to be upset. I understand. I just don't believe in any politician from any Party enough to believe that they really cares. It's impossible to be the savior of everyone. I put my faith in the courts. That's where we have made progress. Politicians didn't help but good judges have. 
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Comment #26 posted by military officer guy on September 13, 2004 at 13:55:52 PT
i hear ya FOM
this war is just getting old and if this was america then we wouldn't need this forum and mmj would be legal, and if this was america we wouldn't be throwing people dieing of aids or cancer for a plant...
the federal government has no authority to do most of the things it does...
we've been on this forum for several years (you and others even longer) and guess what the same ol same ol, that's what we're going to keep getting if we keep voting for the lesser of two evils...and they are both evil...
sorry to be sooo bitter...
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on September 12, 2004 at 20:57:04 PT
military officer guy 
It's good to see you but I'm not a Libertarian. I'm not a Republican or Democrat or any Party. I will vote my conscience like everyone should. No one should vote for someone if they don't feel it's right for them. That's the way it should be in America. I do believe most people are awake this election. 
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Comment #24 posted by military officer guy on September 12, 2004 at 20:43:05 PT
wake up and vote Libertarian
when is everyone going to wake up and start supporting the Libertarian Party on this issue and every other issue that has to do with freedom and the constitution...
it's time to wake up and realize nothing is going to change by voting for the dems/repubs...
support Michael Badnarik Libertarian candadate for US president...
it's time to WAKE UP if we want this nightmare to end!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Comment #23 posted by rchandar on September 10, 2004 at 16:05:54 PT:
i think it's time california tried a legalization ballot. they've tried it before, i think it would garner some support.--rchandar
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Comment #22 posted by rchandar on September 10, 2004 at 16:04:06 PT:
tallahassee initiative
well--I should've known that those impassive republican bastards couldn't stomach such a bill, so us floridians will just have to suffer and poison one another's brains with insane paranoia for a few more years.--rchandar
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Comment #21 posted by afterburner on September 10, 2004 at 10:32:03 PT
Lehder's Great Insight Continues to Rule in US/Can
"Cities and entire states are being forced to make nonenforcement the unofficial policy on marijuana. The real problems that society faces are difficult enough to solve, especially with overbearing federal policies that make local solutions nearly impossible, without having to hunt down, imprison and destroy every responsible marijuana smoker.Marijuana is going to be legal one way or another. But life in the U.S. is going to decline a lot while we're getting there. What a stupid, stubborn way to legalize." --Lehder, Summer of Legalization, 2003.Even when enforcement zeros in on charges and arrest, they make a flashy show of it, like 30 police cars sent to bust Da Kine in Vancouver. This image *convinces?* Joe public that the LEOs are doing all they can until the next big show. Meanwhile, back at the ranch the Sheriff focuses on real crimes of violence while citizens enjoy the pleasure of cannabis and good health.Fri. Sep. 10, 2004 8:21 AM ET 
 Police conduct raid on Vancouver 'pot cafe'
Canadian PressVANCOUVER — ' Officers in a convoy of about 30 vehicles surrounded a cafe accused of selling marijuana, securing surrounding alley ways and erecting barricades to keep back angry crowds. '
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Comment #20 posted by Virgil on September 10, 2004 at 09:54:36 PT
Hope, this is no time for pussyfooting
If an iniative called for the release of all prisoners and the removal of all criminal records in an admittance of the wrong we call cannabis prohibition, don't you think that would energize a lot of people and guarantee a place before the voters? Whether it would win or lose a state election is not as important in the grand scheme as raising the issue nationally. The big question is if CP is wrong and has always been wrong. There will always be pussyfooters, but that is why Nevada will not have an iniative on the ballot.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on September 10, 2004 at 09:35:20 PT
Lehder's comment
It is a great comment. I miss Lehder. It was good to hear from him. I wish he'd start commenting regularly again.
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Comment #18 posted by CorvallisEric on September 10, 2004 at 09:21:16 PT
Virgil (comment 16)
That post by Lehder was one of my all-time favorites, even if you make a large allowance for poetic license. That's the kind of stuff that travel guides and "places-rated" books need more of.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on September 10, 2004 at 08:54:58 PT
Virgil and Goneposthole
Virgil, you said, "state cannabis charges be removed from people's records" that has got to be a "keeper"...but it might be second or third down the line after legalization is realized.Goneposthole, “It just doesn't matter anymore”. Sounds like you’re “low” right now. We all feel that way sometimes. It’ll pass, you know that. Hang in there, Buddy. (I know you will)
It does matter as long as someone is being arrested for marijuana possession. You know that.By the way, I've always got a kick out of your "handle", Goneposthole. It makes me smile.
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Comment #16 posted by Virgil on September 10, 2004 at 08:06:13 PT
Lehder on New Mexico
Lehder used to comment here regularly and it was good to hear from him recently. The Mormons in Nevada would be one big difference from New Mexico where Lehder hangs out sometimes as a Patriot at Large. I want to copy his comment where he tells us of reality in New Mexico as a study of the media that has never said such things. Nevada has to have some similarity to New Mexico because they are neighbors and are on the Mexican border. What follows is the entire comment of Lehder's at me tell you how lax - and impossible - mj law enforcement is in Albuquerque. First of all, you're not going to get arrested for pot unless you are drunk and call the cop a spic. Out of a population of about 650,000 probably half smoke marijuana, about 90% of them semi-privately and the rest without a care about public comsumption. I have been turned on by strangers at bus stops, on the side walk, and in clubs. People smoke on their porches, in the parks and nearly everywhere else. In the university area you can see plants in people's windows. Places that do not sell tobacco or cigarettes offer big boxes of rolling papers, and the head shops really push the limit by displaying large marijuana stalks, with the leaves and flowers stripped off, above their pipe racks and grow equipment. The only people who do not smoke in Albuquerque are cops, Q-cleared defense employees who either think that marijuana is a dangerous drug or else very likely snort a lot of cocaine, and a few outnumbered bigots who recently arrived from the East. You can buy marijuana on the street with little more trouble than you would have buying marijuana on the street in San Francisco or coastal Oregon.New Mexico provides a jail term for casual possession. But if this law were enforced, jails for probably 300,000 would be needed. In 1986, the Albuquerque Journal reported that "APD does not target individual marijuana growers," and as far as I know this policy has not been changed. Advertisements for apartments in Albuquerque - noisy, miserable places to live no matter what the price - boast "large closets," which is about all they have to offer.Street crime, robbery, vandalism, gang wars, burglary, DWI, assault are so pervasive in Albuquerque that there is simply no time or resources to deal with marijuana. Cops there have learned this lesson the hard way: from their own drug war that fosters crime and violence. The intersection of two major freeways and the proximity to Mexico have made Albuquerque a distribution center for big big loads of every kind of dope, and only a Hitlerian repression could dent it. Marijuana, despite the law, is almost legal in Albuquerque. In Santa Fe, there are only a few people who do not smoke marijuana: cops and a few of the employees of LANL who live there. In Taos the cops smoke as much dope as Julia Roberts does at her ranch; only Donald Rumsefeld, who does not smoke dope at any of his six plush New Mexico residences, is left out.New Mexico cops have their hands full with crime and especially drunkeness. If you can't see this in Albuquerque, then try Gallup, and if you're still unconvinced take old 666 north to Shiprock. A friend of a former friend traveling south from Shiprock in a rental car at night ran over a body on 666 - at least he thought he had hit a pretty big bump. Thinking it over, he decided that, well, that might have been a body. So, I'm told, he called the car agency and the cops and was advised - don't worry about it, this happens all the time.If you head north out of Gallup in the dead of night in the middle of winter you will see dozens of people setting out on foot for the 90 mile walk to Shiprock with nothing but a beer in their hands, not even a coat. When the bars are closed they'll puncture cans of hair spray to sip the intoxicating contents. If there were a power blackout in New Mexico, no one would notice.Cities and entire states are being forced to make nonenforcement the unofficial policy on marijuana. The real problems that society faces are difficult enough to solve, especially with overbearing federal policies that make local solutions nearly impossible, without having to hunt down, imprison and destroy every responsible marijuana smoker.Marijuana is going to be legal one way or another. But life in the U.S. is going to decline a lot while we're getting there. What a stupid, stubborn way to legalize.
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Comment #15 posted by siege on September 10, 2004 at 07:35:14 PT
Drug Firms Credibility 'Crisis'
Drug Firms Say Secrecy Fostered Credibility 'Crisis'
In House testimony, industry officials admit failing to publish studies on antidepressants and child suicidal behavior caused a public breach. 
 Times Headlines
Assault Weapons Ban Ends Quietly
Florida Awaits Another Blow
Drug Firms Say Secrecy Fostered Credibility 'Crisis'
	MENTAL HEALTH CARE,1,950016.story?coll=la-home-nation
	By Elizabeth Shogren, Times Staff Writer
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Comment #14 posted by E_Johnson on September 10, 2004 at 07:23:35 PT
It's a lot like the Votes for Women
The suffragists had some quick easy victories in the Western states and then learned some harsh lessons about social change and entrenched power when they tried to move from that pioneer comfort zone.There were also two competing organizations always with their hooks out for each other over issues of ideological purity.But in retrospect even if those issues had been resolved earlier, it would have taken just as long.
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Comment #13 posted by Virgil on September 10, 2004 at 07:21:14 PT
Elections are the big deal
I too hope the Nevada iniative does not make it. There are enough onerous laws without putting them into law ourselves. My belief is that it should have adopted language that reflected the findings of the Canadian Senate Report and demanded that all state cannabis charges be removed from people's records. That means letting the victims of this fraud out of prison, which is the right thing to do. If that is our ideals, then we should go for it. Cannabis Prohibition is either wrong or it is not. I say it is clearly wrong. It is my belief that the cause of freedom would have benefited greatly if the iniative brought the issue into discussion. Even if victory did not come at the ballot, which I think it would if the iniative did what was right in saying prohibition was wrong, we would have won some hearts by presenting our ideals.Until we as a movement can get people out of Congress and state legislatures, we are an animal without teeth and worthy of all the ignoring we are given. If we could get these guys out of public service, we would help the cause of reform, and with Congress, we would be doing the country a favor because they all need to go anyway. Congress needs swept clean.There really is a big event coming in Canada in only four days when a judge will rule whether an Ontarion court can resurrect a dead national law. Which my point here is to credit Turmel for his "shot on goals" that brought us Terry Parker Day to start with and his recent explanation of things that goes like this. The corporations are the slave owners. The governments are their overseers. That is why cannabis is illegal. It is because it is not about us and the common good. It is about keeping everyone so tired, so confused, and so divided that we are struggling for survival instead of killing the masters and doing away with the overseers. 
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Comment #12 posted by siege on September 10, 2004 at 06:59:23 PT
New Jersey 9/10/04
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin [1759] Push for Medical Marijuana Legislation Underway in New Jersey 9/10/04 Young musician Sean McGrath was a "straight edge," meaning he didn't smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. But when he developed biliary cancer (cancer of the bile duct) and couldn't keep his medicine down because of nausea induced by chemotherapy, one of his doctors suggested he use marijuana. It helped immensely in reducing the pain and nausea, and improved McGrath's quality of life. and CRCM sued again Thursday it will attempt to appeal that ruling to the full 9th Circuit."It's not over yet," vowed MPP communications director Bruce Mirken. "We have decided after conferring with our lawyers that we will ask the 9th Circuit for an en banc hearing. If 13 of the justices agree that the ruling seems in error, we get a hearing before a panel of 11. We will file within the next day or so. We don't really know how fast we will be heard, but at this point it is in everybody's interest to have a decision as soon as possible. We are waiting to hear from the court," he told DRCNet. Attorney General Bill Lockyer, whose job it is to enforce California's laws, has been quiet over the latest raids. Lockyer spokesperson Hallie Jordon told DRCNet Wednesday that while he protested the Wo/Man's Alliance for Medical Marijuana ( raids in 2002 because he was "concerned that federal drug authorities would trample on a business that was working with local law enforcement, prosecutors, and health officials," other raids are a different story. "If local law enforcement believes someone is dispensing marijuana illegally while pretending to be a medical marijuana provider, then the Attorney General thinks it is local law enforcement's prerogative to protect the community," said Jordan. "His concern is when the feds come in without consulting the locals and in contradiction to what the local authorities want."
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Comment #11 posted by goneposthole on September 10, 2004 at 06:14:26 PT
It just doesn't matter anymore
... how many losses that there have been There are just too many to count.
The cannabis movement gets beat and flogged and chopped and hacked and hammered at every turn and corner. It's downright discouraging to listen to all of the disparaging words. That's ok. Kind of like Candide, it's all for the best.Ronald Reagan was in favor of decriminalizing cannabis.Time to win one for the Gipper.
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Comment #10 posted by Overwhelmsam on September 10, 2004 at 05:30:11 PT
Ebb and Flow
It's interesting that the law reform organizations feel that the ebb and flow of court decisions is the best route to take. It's my opinion that the courts will dance back and forth on the marijuana laws forever.For real change to occur, we must become effective at campaigning against, and removing from state and federal office, those representatives who refuse to relax their stance against marijuana users.With people like Dennis Hastert and Mark Souder in office, we'll lose everytime. 
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Comment #9 posted by siege on September 09, 2004 at 20:48:18 PT
Bush Regime Attempts to Censor U.S. Media: 
-Book Unflattering to Bush Draws His Campaign's Fire -
A representative of the White House recently called Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News, to discourage that network from broadcasting interviews with Ms. Kelley about the book on its "Today'' program and on its MSNBC cable program "Hardball With Chris Matthews,'' a network executive said.
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Comment #8 posted by medicinal toker on September 09, 2004 at 19:18:26 PT
I agree also
I was very troubled by the penalties also, and am breathing a sigh of relief it apparently will not go forward. Hopefully, if they afre going to keep at it they redraft it to remove the noxious portions. Making a deal with the devil like the proposed language regarding minors does more harm than good. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 09, 2004 at 19:15:06 PT
People are smart. It didn't seem straight forward and I felt troubled about it from the very beginning. When I think of our success I think of Wamm, Angel Raich the good judges that are trying hard to put justice back in our system. I really like Paul from NORML. I do their weekly press release because he so kindly asked me a long time ago. Paul also thanked me for being so faithful at posting their weekly press release. They never ask for money either in their weekly press releases. Many people are poor and can't afford to contribute to organizations. I like Paul and even though Nicholas and I don't see eye to eye politically I really like him. He's always been kind to me. I don't know people from MPP so I have no idea what they do or why. That doesn't mean I'm not for their success but I judge things by how I'm treated and Paul and Nicholas have always made me feel I was doing a good job and seem to appreciate how hard I'm trying. That means a lot to me.
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on September 09, 2004 at 19:11:39 PT:
A point I've been making for years, here
The reparations bit is what has antis in a cold swaet, though they'd be the first to deny it. For it *would* snap already stretched State and Fed budgets. The cost to the taxpayers of returning to all those who've been incarcerated *just* their forfeited property (which is NOT being properly catalogued, just immediately sold) *alone* would be enough to cause an economic 'death spiral' of gargantuan proportions. That kind of clause is just what sank the Alaska proposal a few years back; a clear mistake which should be taken into account on any proposal.Make no mistake: I favor restitution of some sort. But the probability of it ever making it through any State legislature is zero. As much as I hate the concept of 'gradualism', we *do* have to take our victories as they come, not as we'd like.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 09, 2004 at 18:52:51 PT
Not sure who wrote the thing
But if they get another chance another time...I hope they will be careful to watch for such absurd "compromises".I know some compromise may be necessary. I doubt if we could ever see reparations made to people who have had their property and freedom seized. Not that I want to, but I can give in on that if it means that further "atrocities" won't happen. But we can't give into still more unreasonable penalties.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 09, 2004 at 18:32:26 PT
I agree with you. 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on September 09, 2004 at 18:30:35 PT
voting for it
As anti prohibition as I am...I would have had trouble voting for that proposition. It was excessively harsh in some of the penalties it called for.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 09, 2004 at 18:29:43 PT
I'm watching Outfoxed now. It's really good! I hope you get to see it. I just checked and F-9/11 is back up to number 2 position at Amazon. I can't wait to get it and see it in my own home. I saw it at the movies but I want to watch it way more then one time. 
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on September 09, 2004 at 18:22:16 PT
Billy Rogers
I bet he feels like an ass.The way out is the way in... 9/11 Truth: Summer of Truth - 2004:
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