NORML Advocates Call for Abolition of State Board

  NORML Advocates Call for Abolition of State Board

Posted by CN Staff on April 02, 2005 at 08:31:13 PT
By Chris Durant, The Times-Standard  
Source: Times-Standard 

San Francisco, California -- The beginning of the second day of the 2005 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws conference was dedicated to medical marijuana and the doctors who believe they put themselves on the line every time they recommend the drug.Dr. David Bearman called the Medical Board of California, the agency in charge of investigating claims against doctors, "a corrupt and incompetent organization."
"It's a group of people in search of a mission and they sure as hell haven't found it," he said.Bearman said the board should be abolished.During his presentation, Bearman referred to quotes from the nation's Founding Fathers and documents. "We must stand up and defend the Constitution of the United State and be true Americans," Bearman told a cheering crowd.Dr. Tom O'Connell, an Oakland doctor who conducted a study of medical marijuana patients, discussed his findings Friday.He said all of the medical marijuana patients he interviewed had tried marijuana, alcohol and tobacco in high school. He said marijuana assisted patients with dependency issues like alcoholism. "Once confirmed in the regular use of marijuana, whatever drinking problems they had went away," O'Connell said.Marijuana wasn't the only drug his subjects tried. "This population had tried an enormous amount of other drugs," O'Connell said. He also discussed the benefit of marijuana as an anti-depressant, even with teenagers. "Pot was Prozac before Prozac was even conceived," O'Connell said."It remains far more safer and effective," he said. "I have data that teenagers were helped by marijuana. It saved them from drinking, tobacco and other drugs."O'Connell said his study wasn't concrete. "My study doesn't prove anything," O'Connell said. "It just raises a lot of questions."Dr. Tod Mikuriya, longtime advocate of the medical marijuana movement, discussed sanctions against California doctors who recommend marijuana, and agreed with Bearman's thought on the medical board."We need to look at reform of the medical board," he said. "As well as a statewide audit."He said the audit should also include law enforcement agencies on state, county and local levels.Mikuriya referred to signs from medical marijuana proponents to stay hopeful: Proposition 215 has been active for eight years; more doctors are coming out and the number of patients has grown.Dr. Mollie Fry, a doctor from Sierra Foothills, said, "Dying is never politically correct; suffering is never popular."She stated that the Hippocratic Oath told her to help everyone she could and she believed she is helping medical marijuana patients.Fry became choked up when discussing a patient of hers who was taken off a transplant list because he tested positive for THC. She said he gave away all his marijuana and returned to taking the prescription drugs his doctors once told him to stop taking. "Now he sits at home taking poison every day," Fry said. "I've seen this federal government single out and murder sick and dying people because of a political argument. "The lobby outside the conference was full of booths from a number of groups. At the "Flex Your Rights" booth, volunteers sold a DVD that teaches viewers how to survive "police encounters."The Drug Police Alliance distributed literature on their goals, which included redirecting government drug control policies making medical marijuana legal and restoring constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.The editor of High Times magazine conducted a session on how the magazine has survived since the 1970s and how they plan to continue the magazine in the current climate.Richard Cusick, one of the editors, mentioned a recent case in which two journalists were ordered to reveal their sources. "When that happens, reporters will no longer have the ability to be protected from the First Amendment," Cusick said. "You should want to be a reporter looking for the First Amendment, but they'll be looking for the Fifth Amendment."He said a pending ruling may make reporters who witness a crime to report the crime to authorities instead of reporting on it. "Let me assure you, the pictures will continue to run in the magazine," Cusick said, even if reporters and photographers have to go to Amsterdam and Vancouver."This is a war and this is an offensive," Cusick sad.One of Friday's breakout sessions included, "Student activism: Stoking the reefer revolution.""The current level of student activism is unheard of compared to what it was 10 years ago," said Kris Krane, associate director of NORML. He added there are currently students influencing state legislatures.Saturday's conference will include seminars on drug driving tests.Complete Title: NORML Advocates Call for Abolition of State Medical Board Source: Times-Standard (CA)Author: Chris Durant, The Times-Standard Published: Saturday, April 02, 2005Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc.Contact: editor times-standard.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Policy Alliance Day of NORML Conference Smokers Unite in 'Hemp-Friendly City' Cutting Through The Haze -- NORML Archives

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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 11, 2005 at 09:38:33 PT
Just a Note
I figured out who Dr. O'Connell is. I didn't know he was concerned about medical marijuana and that was what threw me a curve. I'm a little slow in some areas. There I feel better.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 10, 2005 at 16:19:45 PT
You deserve any award ever offered by any organization. You've been a go getter and you are dedicated. I'm also glad for Jacki. I have a terrible time remembering people if I haven't ever talked to them that I can recall. I guess I try hard to remember people who comment here on CNews and that makes it hard for me to remember others very easily. The community of people that do different things as far as reform goes is enormous. I like the fact that web sites and people seem to specialize in different areas of reform. That's a good thing. I believe if one way doesn't work maybe another way will. I believe we overlap and benefit each other while maintaining our own different view. These truly are some of the hardest times in reform but also some of the most exciting and intense. That must mean we all are making progress.
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Comment #8 posted by Gary Storck on April 10, 2005 at 15:47:49 PT
Thanks FOM
It was a great honor for both me and Jacki. And, with all the health stuff she's been through in the last year and a half, much less the last few decades, it was great to see her receive this award in her lifetime. Definitely was a nice surprise that made our CA visit sweeter.
Is My Medicine Legal YET?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 10, 2005 at 14:39:21 PT

I'm so happy for your award. I hope you had a good time at the conference. I don't know who Dr. O Connell is or most of the Doctors. I will fix the name in the article. Keep up the great work you are doing.
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Comment #6 posted by Gary Storck on April 10, 2005 at 14:13:51 PT

Dr. TOM O'Connell
The article got his name wrong.Great panel! These doctors are all heroes for sticking up for patients. I really enjoyed this one, and the entire conference was wonderful. Great job by NORML, again!
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 02, 2005 at 19:34:59 PT

Thank you, Ekim
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the day doesn't come, probably sooner, rather than later, when the government, once again, will want everyone to plant every spare acre of ground with bio-mass usable plants, including hemp.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on April 02, 2005 at 19:28:50 PT

Dr. Tim O'Connell said
"Pot was Prozac before Prozac was even conceived," Only one thing. You can still cry on occasion when pot is your antidepressant. With enough Prozac over long enough time, you rarely cry, if ever. It's good not to cry all the time over every little thing and pot can really help with that. Emotional pain, and crying over all and every thing is exhausting, but sometimes we, all of us, really do need to cry. It's a release of sorts, at times. Sometimes, no matter how sad you are or how hurt or upset you are...if there is enough Prozac in your simply cannot cry. You begin to notice it after awhile. I've experienced it personally and know others who have experienced the phenomena. I suspect that may be what causes some of the violence in some Prozac users. They can't cry and they are only left with the fury.

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Comment #3 posted by ekim on April 02, 2005 at 19:17:12 PT

norml do a show on cellulose ethanol 75 cents gal got to all the above from this site new sites gave be this next peice and i have not been able to get back
to site since.Genencor To Defend Ethanol Patent Suit 28, 2005Genencor International, Inc., (NASDAQ:GCOR) announced today that on March
15, 2005, Novozymes A/S filed a complaint against Genencor in the United
States District Court for the district of Delaware for patent infringement
under U.S. Patent No. 6,867,031. The complaint, which was filed the same day
Novozymes' patent was issued, focuses on the manufacture, use and or sale of
Genencor's SPEZYMEŽ Ethyl, a high performance amylase enzyme that is sold to
the fuel ethanol industry."We intend to vigorously defend ourselves from this suit and fully expect
that Genencor will prevail before the court and demonstrate that Novozymes'
allegations are baseless," said Margaret Horn, general counsel of Genencor.SPEZYME Ethyl is a thermostable alpha-amylase for the liquefaction of starch
at high temperatures. The enzyme is a key ingredient for ethanol processing."With over 20 years of innovation, Genencor is fully committed to ensuring
that our customers have access to advance technology for this very important
market," said Thomas J. Pekich, group vice president, Bioproducts.About Genencor
Genencor International is a diversified biotechnology company that develops
and delivers innovative products and services into the health care,
agri-processing, industrial and consumer markets. Using an integrated set of
technology platforms, Genencor's products deliver innovative and sustainable
solutions to improve the quality of life. Genencor traces its history to
1982 and has grown to become a leading biotechnology company. Genencor has
principal offices in Palo Alto, California; Rochester, New York; and Leiden,
The Netherlands.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on April 02, 2005 at 19:15:15 PT

This is a wonderful article.
Thank you, Chris Durant and the Times-Standard.There are so many exceptionally worthy points made by so many of the speakers that I can't choose just one to elaborate on. It's a very good piece. I don't think I've ever seen one article, so short, and so filled with so many remarkable quotes, ever.
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Comment #1 posted by Hope on April 02, 2005 at 17:41:35 PT

There's a parade in the streets.
A Parade to celebrate the war on drugs.Can drummers drum Chopin? Can the Death March be drummed? Ten black drums of mournful, deep tone for every victim. The drummers veiled in black with sticks of black.A thousand silent, mourning marchers for every victim.
Black veils of sheer material over their heads reaching to the ground, each carrying a large professionally produced sign. On the front of each sign is a picture of one of the drug war dead or orphaned. On the back is the clearly printed, easily readable story of how they came to be that way.Marching day and night through every city in the nation.
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