NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- December 22, 2005

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- December 22, 2005
Posted by CN Staff on December 22, 2005 at 15:15:08 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Senate Amends Ban On Student Aid For Marijuana OffendersDecember 22, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The US Senate voted 51 to 50 yesterday in favor of legislation that would lift the ban on federal aid to students who have a prior, non-violent drug conviction. The Congressional ban, known as the "drug offender exclusionary provision" of the Higher Education Act, has denied federal financial aid to some 175,000 students since its enactment in 1998.
Under the Senate provision, which was included in Senate Bill 1932 (the budget reconciliation bill), students with past drug convictions will now be eligible to apply for federal financial aid. However, students who are convicted of a nonviolent drug offense, including minor marijuana possession, while in college will continue to be stripped of their federal aid eligibility.President Bush is anticipated to approve the amendment, which would take effect in 2006."This partial reform by Congress is long overdue and is a step in the right direction," said NORML board member Chris Mulligan, campaign director for the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (CHEAR). "Nonviolent, minor marijuana offenders should not be singled out and restricted from receiving college loans over a joint."Studies have shown that those convicted of crimes are far less likely to be re-arrested after having received two years of postsecondary education, Mulligan noted. By contrast, students forced to leave school after their first year are unlikely to ever complete their education, he said.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Kris Krane, NORML Associate Director, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Drug Survey Highlights Drug War's FailingsDecember 22, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Nearly half of all high school seniors report having tried marijuana, and 86 percent say that cannabis is "very easy" or "fairly easy to get," according to annual government survey data released this week by the University of Michigan. Both figures are nearly identical to the percentages reported by the government when it first began collecting data in 1975."The federal 'spin' on this data is that teen marijuana use is falling due to the enactment of government prohibitionist policies; however, the reality is that - according to the government's own data - teen use and access to cannabis is virtually no different now than it was 30 years ago," said NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano.According to the University of Michigan's annual "Monitoring the Future" data, 47 percent of high school seniors reported having used marijuana and/or hashish in 1975. Today this figure stands at 45 percent. Likewise, 89 percent of seniors reported having access to pot in 1975 versus 86 percent today."In 1975, the federal government spent less than a billion dollars annually on 'drug war' related activities; today it spends over $20 billion, including several hundred million per year on advertising alone," Armentano said. "Yet neither this massive increase in federal spending nor the enforcement of criminal prohibition has done a thing to curb adolescents' use of cannabis or their access to the drug. Rather than stay the course, government officials ought to take a page from their more successful public health campaigns to discourage drunk driving and adolescent tobacco smoking - both of which have been significantly reduced in recent years."Our nation has not achieved these results by banning the use of alcohol and tobacco, or by targeting and arresting adults who use these products responsibly, but through honest, health and science-based education campaigns. Until the federal government applies these same common-sense principles to the responsible use of cannabis, America will be looking at another 30 years of failing pot policies."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: December 22, 2005Copyright: 2005 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 23, 2005 at 08:46:22 PT
Thank you so much. Happy Holidays to you and your family. I really am not political in nature. It messes with my happiness! LOL!
Happy Holidays from Us To You
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Comment #5 posted by gloovins on December 22, 2005 at 23:49:09 PT
Love it...
Ck this link out below's regarding minor's right to freedom of expression, which the Surpreme Ct has yet to really rule on but a point to take is that they will put one's LIFE on the line (think Raich v. the AG) and deny an adult access to medical cannabis but a minor's right to buy a video game that simulates violence, rape and killing in general is sacred amongst the Federal courts now -- check it out. This Surpreme Court and DEA gets more out of control daily...even during the holidays...well at least here   c-news are informed & we all know knowledge is *power*.FoM, like the freedomtoexhale poem & holiday site - nice touch btw. Martha, you are truly a kind, warm soul. Peace & prosperity to you this Christmas '05 & all of 2006.Now if we could just get you to vote Libertarian...;).. sorry, couldn't resist...xoxox :)
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on December 22, 2005 at 21:17:02 PT
Senate Bill 1932
Before ascribing any sanity on the part of the yea-sayers on this bill, a cursory look at the votes suggests that overall, the bill must be attractive to Repubs, since 90%+ of the yea-sayers were Repubs. personally know that ending any censure for pot use is the farthest thing from the tiny little minds inhabiting Oklahoma's two repobates.
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 22, 2005 at 18:28:55 PT
The Vice President (interesting title given the issue - Vice) himself voted to let pot heads go back to school. Even the jerks are starting to realize that pot is no big deal and nobody even cares. Isn't it about time that the marijuana critics get off of their "It's not healthy and that's wrong." HIGH HORSE and realize that the way they're persecuting and jailing people for smoking pot, is way more unhealthy than smoking pot.
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on December 22, 2005 at 16:02:06 PT
Am I seeing things or did Cheney break the tie on the HEA reform legislation? Is the White House in retreat mode? On an unrelated note, it seems that there will likely only be a one month extension of the PATRIOT Act. Let's hope we can make it through January without another "terror attack"...PATRIOT Act Update: Congressman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) has passed an amendment through the House on unanimous consent, extending the PATRIOT Act and "lone wolf" for one month. The Senate will vote on the matter tonight (12/22).Bill of Rights Defense Committee: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Did the Bush Administration Lie to Congress and the 9/11 Commission? to Barbara Boxer: Metal: Suggesting the Use of Small Hydrogen Bombs: 1, 2 & 7, Why & How Did They Fall? (mp3):
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 22, 2005 at 15:46:28 PT
NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- December 22, 2005
Synthetic Cannabinoid Is Neuroprotective, Study SaysDecember 22, 2005 - Novato, CA, USANovato, CA: The administration of a synthetic cannabinoid agonist protects neurons (nerve cells from excitotoxic injury (cell death produced in neurons by the overactivation of excitatory neurotransmitter receptors) by as much as 65 percent, according to preclinical data published in the November issue of the journal Molecular Pharmacology.The finding comes less than two months after a Canadian research team reported that cannabinoids promote the proliferation of newborn neurons in the rat brain.Researchers have previously reported that cannabinoids, including THC and cannabidiol (CBD), are neuroprotective in animals against brain damage caused by alcohol and/or stroke.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "Molecular mechanisms of cannabinoid protection from neuronal excitotoxicity," is available online at:
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