NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 8, 2006 

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 8, 2006 
Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2006 at 13:29:04 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 
NORML New Jersey Files Suit Over State's Dormant Medical Pot LawJune 8, 2006 - Trenton, NJ, USATrenton, NJ: NORML New Jersey filed suit in Superior Court this week against the state Department of Health for failing to act on a 1981 state law that sought to make cannabis medically available to qualified patients.
The dormant law, entitled the "Controlled Dangerous Substances Therapeutic Research Act," requires the New Jersey health department to appoint a review board to qualify patients in therapeutic research programs. No review board has ever been appointed."The CDSTRA is New Jersey's only recourse for those seriously ill New Jersey citizens who seek to legally alleviate their symptoms through inclusion in federally monitored marijuana studies," the mandamus suit states. "Without a ... review board to qualify New Jersey patients, ... New Jersey patients ... cannot gain legal access to medicinal marijuana in New Jersey, in clear contradiction to the policy stated in the CDSTRA."The civil action was filed one day prior to Thursday's hearings before the New Jersey Senate Health and Human Services Committee regarding Senate Bill 88: "the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act." Among those scheduled to testify in favor of the measure are talk show host Montel Williams, who uses cannabis to treat Multiple Sclerosis, and NORML Advisory Board member John P. Morgan, co-author of the book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano submitted written testimony to the Committee.If passed, Senate Bill 88 would protect qualified patients who use cannabis medicinally from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and other state criminal penalties.Various polls have reported that over 80 percent of New Jersey voters' support the proposed measure.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500 or visit the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey at: of Armentano's testimony to the New Jersey legislature are available online at: ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Alaska Recrim LawJune 8, 2006 - Juneau, AK, USAJuneau, AK: The Alaska branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit this week in Superior Court to block the enforcement of a new state law criminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis in the privacy of one's home. The law, signed by the Governor last week, redefines marijuana possession of up to four ounces as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Possession of greater quantities is now a felony.The ACLU suit charges that the new law is unconstitutional because it violates the privacy clause of the Alaska constitution, which provides that "the right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed." In a 1975 Alaska state Supreme Court ruling (Ravin v State), justices' determined that this provision encompassed the personal possession and ingestion of cannabis in the home.Later court decisions defined the personal possession of cannabis as an amount up to four ounces.The Alaska Supreme Court recently affirmed the Ravin decision in 2004. "By imposing criminal liability for the use or possession of even small amounts of marijuana in the home, the marijuana prohibition statutes violate ... Alaskans' fundamental right to privacy," the ACLU suit contends. The suit seeks an immediate court order blocking enforcement of the law and an eventual ruling striking down the legislation as unconstitutional.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500. To read the ACLU's complaint online, please visit: South Dakota Voters To Decide Medical Cannabis Issue This FallJune 8, 2006 - Pierre, SD, USAPierre, SD: South Dakota election officials have confirmed that a statewide initiative that seeks to exempt authorized medicinal cannabis patients from state criminal penalties will appear on the November 2006 ballot.Initiated Measure 4, sponsored by South Dakotans for Safe Access, would allow state-qualified patients to possess up to six plants and/or one ounce of cannabis for medical purposes. Qualified patients must possess a physician's recommendation to use cannabis and must register with the state Department of Health. Non-registered patients, or those who possess greater quantities of cannabis than allowed under state law, would have the option of raising an 'affirmative defense' of medical necessity at trial.Eleven states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have enacted similar laws. Eight of these did so by voter initiative.A 2002 Lucas Organization poll of state voters found that that 64 percent of South Dakotans support allowing patients to use cannabis medicinally when recommended by their physician.For more information, please visit South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana at: http://www.sdmedicalmarijuana.orgDL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: June 8, 2006Copyright: 2006 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on June 08, 2006 at 17:44:37 PT:
Yes, that appears to be the strategy--change enough statutes in the states, then challenge federal prohibition. I think it could work. If enough politicians get on the "same page" about MMJ, it will circulate and traditional policy bents among the two parties will become modified enough to present a strong case in Congress. But it will have to survive the insane demonization campaigns taking place on Capitol Hill--bastards, they are.--rchandar
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on June 08, 2006 at 17:38:52 PT
South Dakota
A 2002 Lucas Organization poll of state voters found that that 64 percent of South Dakotans support allowing patients to use cannabis medicinally when recommended by their physician.I would guess that four years later the number would be at least 70%. It looks like another state will be colored green!
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 08, 2006 at 14:41:51 PT
Beginning of the end????
End of Army support in drug war questioned
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2006 at 14:38:11 PT
AP news- Netherlands at the forefront again
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - An addiction center is opening Europe's first detox clinic for game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can't leave their joysticks alone.
ADVERTISEMENTVideo games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs  and just as hard to kick, says Keith Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants.Here in the US we'll probably start throwing 'em in jail.
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