NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- October 14, 2004

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- October 14, 2004
Posted by CN Staff on October 14, 2004 at 16:51:34 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
NORML/NORML Foundation File Amicus Brief In Support Of Patients' Right To Medicinal MarijuanaOctober 14, 2004 - Washington, DCNORML and the NORML Foundation filed a joint amicus curaie brief with the Supreme Court this week on behalf of Angel Raich and Diane Monson, two California medical marijuana patients.
In December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction barring the Justice Department from prosecuting either Raich or Monson, determining that the prosecution of patients who possess and cultivate marijuana for their own personal use in accordance with state law is an unconstitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority. The Justice Department appealed that ruling, and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case (Ashcroft et al. v. Raich et al.) on November 29, 2004. "This case is about the confluence of the state and individual rights: A state's capacity to legislate its public health policy, by choosing its own means and ends to achieve what it believes best serves the good of its people, when there is no superior or even competing federal interest; and, the right of personal medical choices of the chronically and terminally ill, made in consultation with their doctors," states the brief, authored by NORML Legal Committee member John Wesley Hall with assistance from Michael Cutler. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), along with the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, also signed on to the brief as amici curaie. "If our Constitution means anything, it should mean that 'the war on drugs' cannot be made to be a war on the quality of life of the chronically or terminally ill," it concludes. "Sadly, ... the government believes in and promotes a constitutional regime that enables the federal government to enforce its policies which only serve to enhance patients' pain contrary to state law and in denigration of the principles embodied in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and to elementary notions of federalism. This Court must reject any such view of the federal law and the Constitution that violates the rights of both citizens and the states to enact laws for their common good where there is no federal interest and where the federal government expressly disclaimed any interest in preemption under [federal law.] For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the NORML/NORML Foundation amicus curaie brief is available online. -- Allies Back State on Medical Pot Backs Medical Pot Case Before Court Medical Pot Case To Be Heard Medical Marijuana Debate Renews THC Ineffective In Treating Parkinson's Symptoms, Study SaysOctober 14, 2004 - Plymouth, United KingdomShort-term use of oral THC does not mitigate symptoms of dyskinesia (impairment of voluntary movement) in patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD), according to clinical trial data published in the journal Neurology. Nineteen volunteers participated in the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Patients were administered oral THC for a period of four weeks. "Cannabis was well tolerated, [but] had no pro- or antiparkinsonian action," authors concluded, though they acknowledged that prior clinical and animal model data "support the view that modulation of cannabinoid function may exert an antidyskinetic effect." One possible explanation for the study's outcome may be that patients enrolled in the trial did not use THC for a long enough duration to experience objective relief. According to survey data published last month in the journal Movement Disorders, PD patients who said they used cannabis for at least two months "reported significantly more often a mild or substantial alleviation of their PD symptoms in general" than those who had only used cannabis short-term."The late onset of cannabis action is noteworthy," authors of the survey wrote. "Because most patients reported that improvement occurred approximately two months after the first use of cannabis, it is very unlikely that it could be attributed to a placebo reaction." Clinical studies of patients with other neurodegenerative disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis have also suggested that cannabis may provide more significant relief if used over longer periods of time. Most recently, a 52-week follow up trial of more than 500 multiple sclerosis patients found that participants gained significantly greater relief of disabling symptoms after one year of cannabinoid therapy than they did after 15 weeks. "In the short-term study, there was some evidence of cannabinoids alleviating symptoms of multiple sclerosis; in the longer term there is a suggestion of a more useful beneficial effect, which was not clear at the initial stage," the study's author noted. For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Medical Marijuana Archives on Cannabis Use in Parkinson's Disease Think Tank Predicts Legalization By 2020 October 14, 2004 - Bristol, United KingdomThe production and sale of marijuana and other illicit substances will be legally controlled and regulated by the year 2020, concludes a study released Wednesday by the British think tank Transform. "Drug prohibition [will be replaced] with a system of regulated and controlled markets," states the report, which is backed by several Members of Parliament as well as representatives from law enforcement. "Users will no longer 'score' from unregulated dealers. They will buy their drugs from specialist pharmacies or licensed retailers. Or, for those with a clinical need, via a prescription. At its simplest, this is what legalization, control and regulation will mean: shopping and visiting the doctor. It is simply a question of transferring the policy paradigm of management and regulation to currently illegal drugs." While authors of the report acknowledge that such a system will not be a " panacea" for the "drug problem," they argue: "The overreaching aim of drug policy should be to minimize harm and maximize well-being. ... Only the repeal of drug prohibition and subsequent regulation of drug production, supply and use will eliminate the problems of illegal markets and create an environment in which drug use and misuse can be effectively managed and the harm caused to individuals and communities minimized." Authors conclude, "As the negative impacts of prohibition and benefits of regulation are better understood by policy makers and the wider public, pragmatism will triumph over drug war populism, and the lingering resistance to reform will rapidly crumble away." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the report, entitled "After the War on Drugs: Options for Control," is available online at: Candidates Speak Out Against Federal Law Barring Financial Aid To Minor Drug Offenders October 14, 2004 - Washington, DCGeorge Bush, Senator John Kerry, and Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader all support amending a federal provision in the Higher Education Act (HEA) that bars students with a prior drug conviction (including the misdemeanor possession of marijuana) from receiving federal financial aid, according to written statements released by the candidates this week on the -- -- website. Since 1998, more than 150,000 students have been denied access to federal aid because of the provision, which was included in the HEA in 1998 by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN). Responding to the question, "Do you feel it is necessary to deny financial aid to a student ... with a drug conviction," both Bush and Kerry indicated that they would amend the law so that it did not apply retroactively."A good education is the most important factor in ensuring your future success," said Bush. "My 2005 Budget proposes to fix the drug provision of the Higher Education Act so that incoming students who have a prior drug-related conviction would be able to receive Federal student aid, and only students convicted while in college would lose their eligibility for student aid." Kerry responded: "Education is perhaps the best way for someone who has been involved with drugs or crime to turn their life around. If a young person has overcome past obstacles and is ready to go to college, I don't think that a nonviolent drug conviction in their past should prevent them from doing so. And the reality is that preventing them from obtaining federal loans means they won't be able to afford to go to college." Kerry had previously said that he supported amending the HEA provision so that the ban would only apply to those convicted of drug trafficking offenses, not possession. Only Nader responded that he supported repealing the HEA provision altogether. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. For a summary of the presidential candidates' positions on drug policy issues, please visit: To Protest Souder's Drug Policy Meant To Hold Students Accountable Law Hurts Some Students Aid Bill Needs Revision Source: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: October 14, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Oct. 07, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Sept. 30, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Sept. 23, 2004
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 15, 2004 at 16:50:26 PT
Just seeing the year 2020 in print made me very tired. That's bad. My hope is that the laws concerning Cannabis are changed. Then I would feel comfortable moving on to some other important issue. 
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Comment #8 posted by rchandar on October 15, 2004 at 16:18:51 PT:
yeah--I might be dead by then, you too--or at least arrested.But yeah, that's one of my dreams--to "see" legalization happen in my lifetime. Lots of people try to convince me its a futile wish, but I take it as a kind of private mission.--rchandar
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 15, 2004 at 10:11:33 PT
Thanks! That's It! 
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on October 15, 2004 at 10:06:38 PT
It's 2525, FoM, We Have Plenty of Time...
But not plenty of patience (plenty of patients though).Zager and Evans "In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"
Zager and Evans "In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)". ... In the year 2525
If man is still alive If woman can survive They may find..... ... topic, sort of: The Yonge Street drug connection
Oct. 15, 2004. 06:30 AM
[Toronto Star]
' The doctor is in — checked in, to be exact, to the gloomy confines of room 1101, sitting behind the sort of shaky table where hotels usually put the guest coffee maker and all those tiny packages of sugar and cream. Miro Cernetig reports. ' [Full Story]
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on October 15, 2004 at 04:17:41 PT
Here's a link everyone might want to save...VOTE FRAUD Archives:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 14, 2004 at 22:09:25 PT
The GCW - Democracy in a Trash Can
More on The Voter Registration Issue.***By Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange.comOctober 14, 2004A voter registration outfit largely funded by the Republican National Committee is being accused of destroying the registration forms of hundreds of newly registered Democratic voters in Nevada. These days, schemes to suppress the vote are coming down the pike at a NASCAR-like clip: In July, Michigan State Rep. John Pappageorge told a gathering of party officials at an election strategy meeting of the Oakland County Republican Party that "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle." In Orlando, Fla., members of the Orlando League of Voters – an African-American civic group made up of mostly elderly women that has helped turn out large numbers of Democratic voters in the city – were the subject of an intimidating house-to-house investigation by Governor Jeb Bush's state police, who were supposedly checking out charges of electoral irregularities. The Rev. Jesse Jackson recently charged Republican Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell with "trying to reverse gains made by the civil rights movement by limiting where some Ohioans can cast their ballots," the Palm Beach Post recently reported.Now, a new voter suppression scheme has been uncovered: One that thwarts the democratic process before voters even exercise their franchise. A voter registration outfit largely funded by the Republican National Committee is being accused of destroying the registration forms of hundreds of newly registered Democratic voters in Nevada.On Tuesday, Nov. 2, when hundreds and perhaps thousands of registered Democrats enter their polling places in Nevada, they will be in for a rude surprise: They won't be allowed to vote. Even though they filled out their registration forms properly and they did it way ahead of the deadline, there will be no record of their being registered to vote. That's because, according to an investigation by Las Vegas television station KLAS, a private voter registration company called Voters Outreach of America – an outfit largely funded by the Republican National Committee – has trashed hundreds of registration forms of registered Democrats."Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building may be affected," George Knapp, an investigative reporter for the television station's Eyewitness News I-Team, reported. Knapp was able to obtain information about an "alleged widespread pattern of potential registration fraud aimed at Democrats," from former employees of the company.Complete Article:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 14, 2004 at 19:16:43 PT
The GCW 
I am comfortable with who will win as long as there isn't fraud in registration or voting. I thought International Overseers were being brought in because of what they did in Florida in 2000? I turned off the news because the spin was getting my dizzy. I'm dizzy enough anyway! LOL!
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on October 14, 2004 at 19:10:54 PT
Wait till 2020?
No.Only till 420.Votes denied Were you recently registered to vote by one of those persistent clip-board-grasping fellows outside a mall, grocery store or government building? If so, and you’re a Democrat, you might want to double-check that you are actually registered. A Nevada TV news program is reporting that employees of a private voter registration company are alleging that hundreds, if not thousands, of registration forms signed by Democrats in Las Vegas have been destroyed.The culprit, Voters Outreach of America, or America Votes, hired up to 300 part-time workers in Las Vegas to collect hundreds of registration forms a day, but was only interested in registering Republicans, say former workers. When they registered Democrats, some say, they would end up shredding the forms and throwing them in the trash. That means that quite a few Democrats in Las Vegas will be in for a rude surprise when they show up at the polls on Nov. 2.The company is said to be employing these tactics in Oregon, Reno and who knows where else–maybe Colorado. So who would be behind such a diabolical scheme? It turns out America Votes has been largely, if not entirely, funded by the Republican National Committee.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 14, 2004 at 18:47:31 PT
In The Year 2020 Will Man Still Be Alive?
I know there is a song with something like the subject line in it. In the year 2020 I will be in a rocking chair and will have given up the computer for knitting. Seriously though no one will tolerate it taking that long. We have the Internet now and change comes much quicker. If it doesn't change before 2020 Lord help us all!
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