NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- November 29, 2005

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- November 29, 2005
Posted by CN Staff on November 30, 2005 at 08:04:51 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
NORML Questions Tactics Behind Feds' Latest "Drugged Driving" Campaign - - Organization Reiterates Stance Against Driving While Impaired By CannabisNovember 29, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Recent allegations by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that cannabis is a significant causal factor in on-road accidents and may adversely impact psychomotor skills up to 24 hours after past use are not supported by scientific evidence, said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre.
His remarks were in response to a White House campaign launched earlier this week, entitled "Steer Clear of Pot."While acute cannabis intoxication has been shown to have demonstrable impact on psychomotor performance, these effects are typically mild and short-lived lasting at most one to three hours, and certainly not 24 hours, as claimed by the ONDCP. Moreover, unlike with alcohol, the accident risk caused by cannabis - particularly among those who are not acutely intoxicated - is often limited because subjects under its influence are generally aware of their impairment and compensate to some extent, such as by slowing down and by focusing their attention when they know a response will be required. This response is the opposite of that exhibited by drivers under the influence of alcohol, who tend to drive in a more risky manner proportional to their intoxication.According to an analysis of on-road crashes released in September by an international expert panel: "The most meaningful recent culpability studies indicate that drivers with THC concentrations in whole blood of less than 5 ng/ml have a crash risk no higher than that of drug-free users." THC blood levels typically fall below 5 ng/ml in recreational cannabis users within 60 to 90 minutes after inhalation.Nevertheless, St. Pierre reaffirmed NORML's stance that operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any controlled substance is unacceptable. "Responsible cannabis consumers never operate a motor vehicle in an impaired condition, regardless of whether that impairment is due to alcohol, cannabis or some other intoxicant or prescription medication," he said. "Public safety demands not only that impaired drivers be taken off the road, but that better objective measures of impairment be developed to more accurately identify drivers under the influence of drugs."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. A comprehensive review of cannabis' impact on driving appears in NORML's report, "You Are Going Directly to Jail: DUID Legislation: What It Means, Who's Behind It, and Strategies to Prevent It," available online at: Challenge To NIDA's Pot Monopoly To Resume Next MonthNovember 29, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Administrative hearings challenging the US National Institute on Drug Abuse's (NIDA) exclusive control of the production and distribution of cannabis for clinical research are scheduled to reconvene next month. The hearings, which began in August, were originally scheduled to resume in September, but were postponed at the request of attorneys for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The second round of hearings is now scheduled to take place the week of December 12, 2005.At issue in the case is whether the DEA improperly rejected an application from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to manufacture cannabis for FDA-approved research. The DEA waited more than three years before officially denying the University's request, stating that the establishment of such a facility "would not be consistent with the public interest." Respondents in the case the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and Lyle Craker, director of the UMass-Amherst Medicinal Plant Program are challenging the DEA's denial, arguing that a private production facility is in the public interest (as defined by the US Controlled Substances Act) because it would encourage competition in the marketplace and promote technological and scientific advancement in the field of medicine."This lawsuit is really our last hope for trying to take marijuana - whether it's smoked or vaporized - through the FDA regulatory system," MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin said.Earlier this week Grover Norquist, President of the conservative think-tank Americans for Tax Reform, sent a formal letter to DEA Administrator Karen Tandy urging the agency to allow for a private production facility for research-grade cannabis. "Scientific research on agricultural products should not be influenced by politics," states the letter."If the test subject in question were dandelions, there would be no controversy here. The fact that some choose to abuse the cannabis plant illegally is immaterial. The use of controlled substances for legitimate research purposes is well established, and has yielded a number of miracle medicines widely available to patients and doctors. This case should be no different. It's in the public interest to end the government monopoly on marijuana legal for research."For more information, please contact either NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: (202) 483-5500. Additional background regarding MAPS' administrative law challenge is available online at: http://www.maps.orgDL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: November 29, 2005Copyright: 2005 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 30, 2005 at 17:30:20 PT
Portion of Article from
The Year in Medicine***December 5, 2005Marijuana Research into the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis continued to bolster the case for the medicinal use of marijuana, making the "patient pot laws" that have passed in 11 states seem less like a social movement than a legitimate medical trend. One trial--the first controlled study of its kind--showed that a medicine containing cannabis extracts called Sativex not only lessened the pain of rheumatoid arthritis but actually suppressed the disease. An earlier study published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed that synthetic cannabinoids, the chemicals in marijuana, can reduce inflammation in the brain and may protect it from the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease. Complete Article:,9171,1134763-10,00.html
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by runruff on November 30, 2005 at 08:41:40 PT:
Seig heil and puff puff pass!
I know it is a little over done the way we get angry or frustrated and start comparing government agencies to the Nazies. This though, is nazi through and through. Why 
does a government agency that pretends to be there to protect society by killing people for their feloneous gardening practices while 75 percent of the populace approve of these practices. Could there be some facist agenda at hand? How does such an agency exist in a so called free society? It is mind boggling to me how these guys who are obviosly only trying to protect the existance of their bogus agency by thwarting the advancment of science can get away with this. The public face the DEA is able to portray keeps the general public snow jobbed. 
What really takes place inside this agency is what needs to be revieled. Incompetence, greed, infighting, budget baiting and a cold disconnect to the loss of innocent lives due to their bungling or over exuberance. The DEA and the CSA are illegal by any intelligent understanding of what this once great nation stood for. They are both gifts from the late Pres. Nixon. A bigger crook in the white house the likes of which we have not seen since the
U.S.Grant administration and again untill Herr Bush.
The DEA and the CSA are Nixon two great gifts that keeps on giving. Why are they still here? 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment