Bad Medicine?

Bad Medicine?
Posted by CN Staff on August 09, 2005 at 07:10:31 PT
By Scott Thill, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet
USA -- Cannabis is proven to be a fairly harmless drug -- so why is the American right still waging a massive war on weed? "For me, the law is about the promise of justice," John Ashcroft confessed in his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing in the early months of 2001. "All men and all women, all people are equal."And so -- judging by the actions of the attorney general after that statement was issued -- are drugs. Although a wide expanse of independent and government-funded research into cannabis has proven the drug to be less dangerous than sometimes-lethal, but nevertheless legal, substances such as alcohol and tobacco, that accumulating body of evidence did nothing to shrink the growing impasse over marijuana (cannabis).
In fact, barely two years later, and in the midst of a frenetic Department of Justice scramble to secure America against the sort of terrorists that assaulted us on 9/11, there stood Ashcroft and his colleagues, announcing the arrest of...Tommy Chong. For selling -- what else? -- bongs.Although Chong's son Paris was the chief architect of the company Chong Glass -- as well as its Nice Dreams series of smoking pipes -- it was Tommy (the stoner icon that helped make Cheech and Chong one of 20th-century counterculture's funnier experiments) that "was the more responsible corporate officer, because he financed and marketed the product," U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan told LA Weekly. The punishment came down on Chong, ironically enough, on September 11, 2003: Nine-month prison bid, $20,000 fine and more than $100,000 in personal assets seized.And while some may not blink at that sentence, it's fair to rewind the clock some before moving onward into America's continuing war on weed. In the mid-'90s, when Dan Burton, Jr., son of the virulently anti-drug U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), was busted in Louisiana for transporting almost eight pounds of marijuana, and was found a scant six months afterwards in his Indianapolis residence with 30 cannabis plants and a shotgun nearby, the feds declined to prosecute the case. Instead, Burton was ordered by a Louisiana judge to engage in community service. (This is the same Rep. Burton who tried to pass a bill that would subject some drug traffickers to the death penalty, and who obsessively helped rake President Clinton over Monica Lewinsky's coals.) When Republican congressman Spencer Bachus' son Warren was apprehended in 1993 for possession of cannabis -- as well as possession of the kind of drug paraphernalia that cost Tommy Chong nine months of his life and a suitcase full of $100 dollar bills -- the younger Bachus wasn't even convicted. In fact, he was set free after paying $56 in court expenses.Fast forward several years later and nothing, as far as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is concerned, seems to have changed on the cannabis front.Unless you ask the 500 law enforcement and child welfare service agencies across the 45 states that participated in the National Association of Counties (NACO) recent survey on drugs, in which over 58 percent of those polled argued that meth -- not marijuana -- is the nation's top drug epidemic. In fact, less than 20 percent polled named cocaine as a major culprit, and an even smaller contingency laid the blame at the feet of cannabis. All of which seems to conflict with the arguments of the DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) -- which is managed by the nation's drug czar, John P. Walters -- who contend that cannabis is still the nation's de facto drug problem.This attitude seems to fly in the face of scientific facts, whether they are provided by cannabis anti-jail groups like the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), or hard-science advocates like the nonprofit Institute of Medicine (IOM), a component of the National Academy of Sciences which conducts research and dispenses advice to the nation-at-large on medicine, biology and health."Both the DEA and ONDCP[‘s missions are] to make sure that marijuana remains illegal," argues Keith Stroup, NORML's executive director. "ONDCP regularly puts out press releases and runs public service ads claiming marijuana is the number one drug problem we face in America today. Keep in mind, alcohol kills 50,000 people each year; tobacco kills 430,000 people each year. Marijuana has never killed anyone from an overdose in the history of mankind."Stroup's assertions are supported by evidence from far and wide. Regarding the ONDCP's so-called public service announcements, the drug czar's online bio proudly claims Walters is responsible for "ads linking drug trafficking with terrorism," as well as those "focusing on the harms of marijuana," although there is no specific mention of how such controversial methods have decreased cannabis use. In fact, the bio only claims that Walters' cannabis tactics "have been credited with helping change youth attitudes and behavior toward drugs," although it doesn't mention how.Furthermore, the DEA's April 2005 release on the dangers of cannabis -- entitled "Marijuana: The Myths are Killing Us" and penned by top administrator Karen Tandy -- argues first that "America is not suffering from anything that the truth can't cure," before launching into a sloppy critique of medical marijuana that it freely admits "three-fourths of Americans over the age of 45 support." How sloppy, you ask? The first paragraph of the release, which is invested in disseminating (as Tandy argues) the "truth" about cannabis, tells the tale of a 14-year-old Californian who died not from marijuana, but from ecstasy. The weed connection? Her young friends thought they could save her by stuffing cannabis leaves in her mouth.It gets worse. Tandy goes on to frame the argument in the type of "Myth/Fact" binarism that plays well in medical brochures, but lapses immediately into obfuscation in the first example: — "Myth: Marijuana is Medicine" -- by following it with "Fact: Smoked marijuana is not medicine" (emphasis added). By shifting the spotlight from cannabis to its more popular ingestion system (inhalation by smoking), Tandy erects a guilt-by-association condemnation of marijuana that continues for eight paragraphs. Not exactly hard science.By the time she gets to a landmark IOM study, conducted in 1999 and funded by none other than the ONDCP, Tandy wanders aimlessly off the reservation, claiming that IOM "researchers who conducted the study could find no medical value to marijuana for virtually any ailment they examined, including the treatment of wasting syndrome in AIDS patients, movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, or glaucoma," although the IOM's release on the study claims that "Marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting, and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials." Further, when the IOM took on the task of affirming the popular myth that marijuana is a so-called "gateway" drug, they were unequivocal in their assessment that "there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana acts as a 'gateway' drug." Tandy, meanwhile, had no room for conclusion and evidence: "Marijuana is a gateway drug," she baldly claimed in the release. Her evidence? "Rarely do we meet heroin or cocaine addicts who did not start their drug use with marijuana."When asked to comment on the discrepancy, the IOM's media officer Christine Stencel was noncommittal, albeit in a pointed fashion. "I'm sorry, but I cannot offer any theories or explanations for statements made by any other groups or organizations. We stick to stating facts as supported by evidence, not conjecturing about others' interpretations or reasonings."Fair enough; it's all about the facts with the IOM. So I moved on to the DEA to ask about the inconsistency, and was passed on to Rogene Waite, a DEA public information officer with an AOL email address. Rather than tackle any of my questions head-on, Waite responded by arguing that, "Congress enacted laws against marijuana in 1970 based in part on its conclusion that marijuana has no scientifically proven medical value, which the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in 2001 in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative." She neglected to mention that her statement was lifted directly from Tandy's press release -- which also appeared in the March 2005 issue of Police Chief magazine.Further, when asked to explain the U.S. vs. Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative case, or the more recent (and controversial) case of Gonzales vs. Raich (previously known as Ashcroft vs. Raich), Waite broke from her script to explain via email that the "DEA has NEVER [emphasis hers] targeted the sick and dying, but rather, criminals engaged in drug cultivation and trafficking." But, again, the evidence shows the contrary: Far from being a "drug trafficker" of any sort, Angel Raich is, according to a declaration filed under oath by her doctor, Frank Henry Lucido, a violently ill patient allergic to conventional medicine, one who will "suffer imminent harm without access to cannabis." Indeed, Lucido claimed, "it could very well be fatal [for Raich] to forego cannabis treatments." To combat her terminal illness, Raich procured cannabis from a series of caregivers, which is legal under California law yet maddeningly illegal under a federal law called the Controlled Substances Act. As a result, the DEA raided her home in 2002 and destroyed all cannabis plants in her possession. If that's not targeting the "sick and dying," I'm sure Raich is still waiting for an explanation for what is. Invoking the Controlled Substances Act as a basis for their seizure and destruction of Raich's property didn't work well as an excuse when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Raich and her co-plaintiff Diane Monson a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from interfering with her life, arguing along the way that they found "that the appellants have demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on their claim that, as applied to them, the Controlled Substances Act is an unconstitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority" (otherwise known as the oft-abused Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution that empowers the Congress "to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes"). "They said, 'Hold on! What we're doing is within California, it's completely non-commercial, we're not selling anything,'" explains Bruce Mirkin, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "'There's no interstate commerce here, so the feds should have no authority. That was a perfectly reasonable common-sense look at the situation." But in the end, that common sense was not so common, and the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Raich and Monson had indeed violated the Commerce Clause."Unfortunately," Stroup explains, "the Supremes made ... a drug exception to the line of recent cases in which they had limited the power of the federal government to legislate, based on the interstate Commerce Clause. Because the subject was marijuana, the court found the federal government could legislate, even when the marijuana had never crossed a state line, and no money had traded hands. What an intellectually embarrassing decision! I knew we were in trouble when I found myself agreeing with the dissenting opinion of Clarence Thomas."Indeed, although Sandra Day O'Connor put forth the persuasive federalist argument that the Supreme Court's "overreaching stifles an express choice by some States, concerned for the lives and liberties of their people, to regulate medical marijuana differently," it was the much-maligned Thomas who seemed most confused by the decision, explaining that "In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana." He's right: according to Martin Booth's exhaustive book Cannabis: A History, "both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson -- who were landowning farmers -- cultivated hemp as an important cash crop." In fact, Jefferson was known to prefer growing hemp to tobacco.In other words, the DEA, ONDCP and DOJ can try invoking the U.S. Constitution as proof that Congress has the ability to regulate marijuana cultivation and usage, but that is a case even the Founding Fathers would not make. And though the criminalization of cannabis continues to be marred by labyrinthine legalese and the sloppy condemnations of Tandy, and even though, according to Booth, cannabis has been cultivated since "prehistory, [and] it may have been among the first plants to be farmed" -- the trend toward legalization, and perhaps not just for medical purposes, is a runaway train that cannot be stopped."We're seeing an increasing number of organizations from all sides of the political spectrum starting to question these policies," explains Mirkin. "We've had reports just in the last six months or so from the Sentencing Project, which tends to be on the left side of the political spectrum, as well as the American Enterprise Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste, who are much more on the conservative side. But they are all essentially saying the same thing: This doesn't make sense. We're pouring money down a rat hole and very possibly doing more harm than good." Scott Thill runs the online mag -- His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, AOL and others.Newshawk: KaptinemoSource: AlterNet (US)Author: Scott Thill, AlterNetPublished: August 9, 2005Copyright: 2005 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Policy Project Raich v. Ashcroft News Use Not Nation's Biggest Drug Problem Rules Against Pot for Sick People Marijuana Effort Loses at US High Court 
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Comment #28 posted by cornoir on August 11, 2005 at 21:14:30 PT
Had a longer post
I had written a really good post concerning the US being a major player/partner of the world (economically supporting other countries and militarally, etc) but accidentally erased it so I will have to summarize with this quote;"First they came for the Communists,
 and I didn’t speak up,
  because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
 and I didn’t speak up,
  because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
 and I didn’t speak up,
  because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
 and by that time there was no one
  left to speak up for me."by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
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Comment #27 posted by b4daylight on August 11, 2005 at 12:23:49 PT
WOW important form
Comment #21 posted by FoM on August 11, 2005 at 09:33:54 PTWell it has been a very interesting ride :)got a wole lotta favorite links. 
Risks: Well I see nothing but free speech myself.Canada: Is there anything going on in the Hemp industry? I think canada could really do well here. Observation How forth coming are other countries with news and press releases?Here in america propaganda tends to have you talk about it alot.So maybe that is why things are slow. Not sure about the news slow down thing occcuring. Well Good Luck with what you decide on...Repose to the world 
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on August 11, 2005 at 11:54:23 PT
I'm tired of it all. All good things must come to and end and this might be my end since Emery seems important to many people. I have other things that I can do with my life. I must have a conviction in what I do to do it. Emery does not fit into the american plan. When MPP or NORML or DPA stands up for Emery maybe I'll deal with it then. 
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Comment #25 posted by VitaminT on August 11, 2005 at 11:29:19 PT
Fill me in on the "risk"
FoM, I understand that CNEWS is unpopular in some quarters, we have enemies for sure, but I see nothing that places you or your backers at risk - as freedom of speech is fundemental to our political system. If you don't run afoul of the intellectual property rights of others - something you seem to scrupulously avoid - what risk are you taking?I understand that you don't care for Marc Emery but unless this site is actively involved in promoting him and his quasi-legal activities, which it doesn't, how could his entanglements affect CNEWS - we're just reading, writing and talking.You've been a stalwart for this movement for years, and many of us love you for that and for who you are, but I find your comments about events in Canada to be a bit devisive. That makes me sad. Do you not want Marc Emery discussed here? I'm not particularly devoted to him but he's done much to push the envelope so to speak and in spite of the fine line he walks (maybe because of it) he has mobilized many people to our cause. For as long as you choose to continue this wonderful site I'll be reading daily but I know that nothing lasts forever. I only hope that those who follow you, do so with as much commitment, consistency, grace and good cheer as you have always put into CNEWS.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on August 11, 2005 at 10:55:16 PT
Max Flowers 
There are many web sites that cover canadian news. I have always done my best to keep it about what is happening here in the states. There is no reason to duplicate others work. Mapinc. and Medpot do a great job.
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Comment #23 posted by Max Flowers on August 11, 2005 at 10:43:09 PT
And a final thought -- Mission Statement
Thought of this two seconds after posting the last post:One thing that I think would really clarify what is about is a mission statement. In fact, considering what you're trying to do with this site, I suddenly realize how important that is and how it would be a very good thing. In my opinion, a mission statement on the home page that explains what your goals and mission for the site are would not only be very clarifying, but it would also strengthen it significantly as a political force for change. 
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Comment #22 posted by Max Flowers on August 11, 2005 at 10:36:00 PT
I am surprised at your position about Canadian cannabis news and would ask you to reconsider it. The name of the site is, not ""... if you ask me, posting news about the Canadian cannabis fight and anything to do with it helps the cause here by making people more aware of the issues that affect both countries. Moreover, the Emery situation is 100% US-related cannabis news, since it is the US that is trying to extradite him. I would say that makes it equally American and Canadian news. Like it or not, we in North America have our fates on this issue intimately intertwined.In my opinion, it *will* help change laws here faster by reporting Canada's fights as well. You might say that Canada's legal system is totally separate from America's, but the DEA has proved that is not really the case by pushing US policy onto Canada---in essence, making Canadians subject to US law. That sure looks to me like there's not as much a separation as many of us thought. So to me, their fight is our fight to a large degree, and vice-versa.My feeling, for whatever it may be worth to you, is that your goal of changing the laws here in the US is not at all detracted from by reporting Canada's cannabis news, and indeed is probably helped by it. I hope you'll think about it some more.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on August 11, 2005 at 09:33:54 PT
cornoir and everyone
I know some people really care about Emery but I don't. I have had a long talk with my husband and this is how I feel. I do CNews because I want to help change the laws in the states. Canada isn't the states and I decided a long time ago not to do Canadian news unless it was about the decrim bill they bring up now and then. If we can't keep this on track I doubt I will continue doing news. I risk for my country but I won't take risks for Canada. I can only fight one thing at a time. I always wondered if anything would make me want to stop doing news and this is the first issue that has made me think seriously about stopping. 
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Comment #20 posted by cornoir on August 11, 2005 at 08:33:53 PT
Petition for Marc Emery
The Cannabis Culture Forum has a posting for an online petition to block Emery's extradition here; someone with better writing skills could set one up for the US to send to the DEA - ODCNP - Congress, one or all (or someone better if anyone has some good ideas).Was also thinking of sending t-shirts with the excerpts from the ODCNP chaarter detailing their ant-democratic mandate as well as Karen Tandy's DEA staement concerning boosting to have stoppped Marc's funding of legal efforts of US supporters of Cannabis reform. Was also thinking of putting those two excerpts on the back with the title Ugly American on the front (red on black).Not that anyone in Congress or the White House would wear it, but time it with a media release and who knows, might make some people stand up and be counted aginst this whole mess.That or am still trying to dsign a traveling exhibit for Cannabis education/reformation to counter the exhibit the DEA spent our tax money on making the connection that 911 was partial fault of pot users.Did see Weeds finally and I will be impressed if those afraid of looking into the mirror to see their own ugliness and hypocrisy will not be the first to condemn it.Perhaps random drug testing for those who oppose it the hardest should be done. I would love to see someone offer free urine drug tests outside Congress, wonder how many Congressmen would "volunteer" to take one, especially when they are so pumped up about banning the Whizzanator (fake urine tester machine).
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 21:42:31 PT
Hi Ron
Thank you! I believe if Weeds isn't cancelled ( it's really too good to be cancelled ) it will have funny but real life twists in it that are moral issues. Pot is the center of the show but it's the boundaries that will make the show good and funny I think. 
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Comment #18 posted by Ron Bennett on August 09, 2005 at 21:29:48 PT
Go for it
FoM- A Weeds page would be a great addition, and would help make more people aware of the program; give Showtime more plot ideas. Go for it :)Ron
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 21:13:30 PT
Good night and I'll think about it too. It might take me awhile to make a page since I spend so much time thinking first but I just might give it a go. PS: I'm am so thankful for everyone here too. I know these days are very hard for many.
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Comment #16 posted by Dankhank on August 09, 2005 at 21:01:54 PT
web promotion
good idea ...I'll sleep on it and we'll discuss in the morning ...Night all ....Peace and thank the Lord for the people in here ...
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 20:52:08 PT
I have another idea. Maybe those of us who like the show and can make a web page could make a page to promote it and put a link off our front page of our personal page. It's not for money and it is free promotion for the series. I made a Neil Young page about Greendale just because I enjoyed Greendale so much. It gets hits from all around the world everyday and Greendale's tour was over in the spring of 2004. There's nothing wrong with promoting something we like as long as it is for free? I'm seriously thinking about doing one.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 20:42:42 PT
Go For It! Weeds is very good. Share it with people. Great idea. I like Weeds for many reasons. It has deep meanings but in a very subtle way. I lived in a young and growing suburb in Pa from the age of 4 until I was 12 and then we moved to the country. I saw enough in those young years to get how the suburbs were. It was such a sanitized upbringing. That wasn't a bad thing just well sanitized! LOL! In the suburbs you are polite and see, speak and hear no evil. It twists your head. Then if you meet some real people like the family she gets the Pot from it can shake you to the core. The theme of morality outside of what societies rules are is a very interesting concept.
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Comment #13 posted by Dankhank on August 09, 2005 at 20:26:23 PT
Weeds ..........
FoM, I'm like you, I can't get enough of that show ...The more I watch it, the more I like it ...I got the digital copy at 225Meg and plan to start burning it and sharing it with those "deprived" of the SHOWho knows I may be shilling for SHO ... people like it they may go get it ...
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 19:49:25 PT
I Have An Idea
The news has been very slow and I know how many of us feel frustrated because we don't like Sitting in Limbo. If any of you saw Weeds on Showtime and liked it go to their message board and compare the series Weeds with our issue. Who knows they might get ideas for more shows. I am looking forward to seeing it again. I think until the night was over I watched it three times and it's on again tomorrow so I'll watch it tomorrow. That's my idea!Showtime's Weeds:
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on August 09, 2005 at 19:06:52 PT
The Truth Will Out & 
Truth's Stranger than Fiction, Judgy-wudgy"the trend toward legalization, and perhaps not just for medical purposes, is a runaway train that cannot be stopped."
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Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on August 09, 2005 at 19:03:31 PT
Conoir, many here are doing things already ...What do you have in Mind?some of us may need a change ...peace to all who fight ...
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on August 09, 2005 at 18:24:08 PT
"ONDCP regularly puts out press releases and runs public service ads claiming marijuana is the number one drug problem we face in America today. Keep in mind, alcohol kills 50,000 people each year; tobacco kills 430,000 people each year. Marijuana has never killed anyone from an overdose in the history of mankind."It is so obvious to everyone that the government isn't concerned about "protecting" us from cannabis but in protecting the profits of the numerous industries that benefit from the prohibition of cannabis. Cannabis is exposing the corruption of the federal government more than any other scandal possibly could. Well, almost... THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...UK MAINSTREAM MEDIA RAISING MANY SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE 9/11 COVER UP: & Co: Still Stonewalling on 9/11: Journal Rejects Rep. McKinney Op-ed Penned in Response to Paper's Smear: Book: 9/11 Revealed:
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Comment #8 posted by cornoir on August 09, 2005 at 17:57:33 PT
Anyone willing to do something more
Okay discussion is nice but how many are reallly doing anything about change. Rallies are nice, meet new people, petitions are good if they lead to follow up action, complaining does NOTHING but waste air.Now I am as apathetic as most US citizens, but I'm bloody well P.O. about this BS in our country right now. AN ex military brat who was in the Panama Canal Zone when Noreiga turn from our employee to our enemy. Taveled a lot to Central America and South America, you want to see the military acting as police, try walking out your door and seeing para-military types with MP5 and Uzis.If you want the freedoms one must fight for them or except your false illusions and stay mute (figuratively and literally).I was wondering about the Data Quality petition, but by law was not HHS supposed to respond within 1 month or something? If they are dragging their feet at HHS, a rally of people is not going to make them rush, Bush has there ear right now more than we do.But a forced legal action against HHS would get better publicity and be far more effective. Hell I'll sign onto that as a Plaintiff if you need be, but let us be realistic and honest people, the history of US politics VS. the needs/want/wishes of the masses has not been real clear cut.Most changes came about do to forcing the issue legally or polically. Civil rights rallies helped yes, but I seem to remember something about needing Federal troops in Arkansas by Eisenhower in order to ensure compliance for civil rights in 1957.The 2006 Congressional elections are ramping up people, make a change in Congress and Bush is neutered more than he is now. I have many plans in my head to change this world for the better, but thoughts and words to little compared to action.Civil disobedience = don't think they will pay attention.
Rallies = nice place to tets out the new Tasers and water cannons, not to mention only about 2 minute coverage on the evening news.
Suing the crap out of someone = splits there resources elsewhere, brings media coverage and gives you free PR.Anyone want to help?
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Comment #7 posted by billos on August 09, 2005 at 17:44:08 PT
hey Walters!! yeah this is all New....
Those of us who knew......At this point she had realized she was suffering from malignant breast cancer and in 1978, Minnie became chairman of the American Cancer Society.Minnie died from cancer on the 12th of July 1979.It was reported that during her final days, Minnie had a bad reaction to the pain killing drugs administered to her, so she was allowed to use marijuana to alleviate the situation.Lovin' you all.......
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Comment #6 posted by jfrolang on August 09, 2005 at 17:30:54 PT
unconstitutional charter
The immediate thought I had when reading the excerpt of the ONDCP's charter is that it is blatantly in violation of the concepts of democracy. It clearly is an obstruction to the people's right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, as the constitution so eloquently puts it.I also hold that the CSA is unconstitutional in its entirety, and thus void, for the same reasons that Prohibition of alcohol required a constitutional amendment.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 17:21:53 PT
HHS Rescheduling Rally Oct 4, Washington DC 
CALL TO ACTION: HHS Rescheduling Rally Oct 4, Washington DC   
 Click here to download a PDF or Word version of this alert. IS UP: WE NEED OUR MEDICINE NOW!WHAT: RALLY FOR RESCHEDULING: MARIJUANA IS MEDICINE & ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN TRAININGWHERE: HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS), WASHINGTON DCWHEN: TRAINING: MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2005 – 10:30AM-6:30PM        RALLY: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2005 – 10 AMWHO: PATIENTS, DOCTORS, ADVOCATES & YOU! WHAT IS IT? In 2002, Americans for Safe Access as part of a larger coalition submitted a formal petition demanding the rescheduling of marijuana. Last year, to turn up the heat, ASA activists gathered at the Health and Human Services building in DC to echo the demands of the rescheduling petition. ASA simultaneously launched a Data Quality Act petition requesting HHS make corrections to published administrative statements regarding the accepted medical value of marijuana. But HHS continues to drag its feet. It's time to turn up the heat: Another year is too long for patients to wait! Join ASA as we return to DC for the “Rally to Reschedule” to demand HHS respond to the DQA petition and acknowledge marijuana accepted medical value. WHY HHS? To ensure safe and legal access for ALL patients, marijuana must be rescheduled. In order for rescheduling to occur the federal government must acknowledge marijuana’s accepted medical value. In 2001 HHS ruled that marijuana had, “No currently accepted medical use in treatment.” They did not, however, address the mountain of data recognizing cannabis as a useful treatment, by itself or as an adjunct to other therapies, for a variety of chronic conditions. Some of these conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, glaucoma, anorexia and recurrent migraines but this is not an exhaustive list. Refusing to acknowledge marijuana’s accepted medical value gives DEA the leverage they need to reject rescheduling. Worse yet, it gives DEA implicit permission to continue raiding medical marijuana patients and cooperatives. WHAT SHOULD I DO?1. COME TO WASHINGTON DC: E-mail Rebecca at rebecca or call (510) 251-1856 and give us your name, address, your phone number, and your e-mail address if you would like to join us. 2. GET YOUR MATERIALS: Download the Community Fundraising materials, action flyers and petitions from: 3. START FUNDRAISING: You will be representing all the medical marijuana patients and supporters from your community who will not be present. Ask your community for help sending you to DC! Personalize and send out the fundraising letter to everyone in your address book. Throw a house party and ask for donations to support your travel costs.SCHEDULE:Sunday, Oct. 2, 7:00pm: ASA ReceptionMonday, Oct. 3, 10:30am-6:30pm: Trainings covering lobbying, media, political art
                                & overview of ASA’s Rescheduling CampaignTuesday, Oct. 4, 10:00am: Rescheduling Rally at HHS 
WHO ARE WE? Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national grassroots coalition working to protect the rights of patients and doctors to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal access to marijuana for all who are helped by it. We provide legal training for lawyers and patients, medical information for doctors and patients, media support for court cases, activist training to grassroots organizers, and rapid response to law enforcement encounters. We work with local, state and national legislators to raise awareness of issues concerning medical marijuana patients. Our successful media and legal campaigns have resulted in important court precedents, new sentencing standards, and more compassionate community guidelines. For more information, visit -- 
Rebecca Saltzman
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access
p (510) 251-1856
f (510) 251-2036
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on August 09, 2005 at 15:55:15 PT:
And this is why the inevitable court case is 
so important; the public has no idea it has this anti-democratic snake in the grass silently coiled at it's feet, ready to inject it's venom into the democratic process, stunting or killing it.A Federal agency designed to destroy democracy...paid for by taxpayer dollars. If anything can be called diabolical, this can. But this will never be exposed as well as it deserves to be until it reaches the arena of law. Until the likes of Walters, Tandy and their ilk can be placed on the stand and questioned under oath as to what they believe those words mean as opposed to their actual effect- no weaseling allowed under oath - the average American will never comprehend the depth of corruption that that represents. Or the danger to their sovereign franchise of voting, for it simply nullifies it.Yes, the ONDCP needs to go, as well as the DEA; the existence of either is an affront tothe idea of a supposedly free democracy. The DEA especially, as they are the 'doomsday weapon' that Tricky Dick left behind to mess things up long after his sorry butt was driven out of office. I will always say to the day I die that pardoning him and his goons was the worst thing that could ever have happened, as it set the precedent for criminal Presidential behavior - essentially, what we have lived with ever since. If every President knew he stood a good chance of seeing the inside of a cage, they'd all have been a damn sight more prudent in the exercise of power given them by The People. The DEA was ol' Tricky's Frankenstein's Monster, and it is STILL terrorizing the villagers long after he was forced to vacate the laboratory....
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on August 09, 2005 at 11:19:54 PT
Purposely created anti drug hysteria
allowed the formation of such an anti democratic agency smack dab in the middle of our so called "democratic" government. Democracy, if it's convenient to those who consider themselves the "ruling" class.The ONDCP has to go.How many other entities are we supporting with the money that is drawn from the wages of "free" Americans, that are blatant and probably illegal roadblocks to democratic self government?
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Comment #2 posted by cornoir on August 09, 2005 at 10:58:08 PT
Some interesting facts about the DEA and ODCNP
Charter for the ODCNP states;(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 812 of this title and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that -     (A) is listed in schedule I of section 812 of this title; and
     (B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;
Quote from Karen Tandy, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA);"Today's arrest of Mark (sic) Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.""Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on."---
So an official mandate from ODCNP to prevent the legalization of Cannabis by any attempt, like say citizens practicing their right to vote or hell even go after Congress if they wanted to with such carte blanche.So with the ODCNP mandated to prevent legalization in any form, why is Marinol (a synthetic THC, not a alternate or substitute to Cannabis)allowed. Approved by the FDA, the same ones who approved Vioxx I might add, twice.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on August 09, 2005 at 07:55:24 PT:
.....and the walls came tumbling down!
It looks like with the right administration in the white house
this whole mess of lies and deception would come tumbling down. Good-bye Ms. Tandy. She would have to go back to tanning hides.
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