NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - July 31, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - July 31, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on July 31, 2008 at 13:19:38 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Members Of Congress Demand An End To Federal Pot Possession Arrests The use of cannabis “ought to be none of the government's business,” lawmakers say at Capitol Hill press conference July 31, 2008 - Washington, DC, USWashington, DC: Members of Congress called on lawmakers to enact legislation that would limit the government's authority to arrest and prosecute adults who possess marijuana for their own personal use.
The federal government should “not lock people up or use scarce federal resources to arrest people for using or possessing … marijuana,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced at a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday. “The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government's business. I don't think it is the government's business to tell you how to spend your leisure time.”Rep. Frank, along with Reps. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), called on lawmakers to support legislation, HR 5843, which would eliminate federal penalties for the possession and non-profit transfer of marijuana by adults. Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), William Lacy Clay, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Jim McDermott (D-WA) are co-sponsoring the bill, entitled “the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008.”The legislation is the first proposal to be introduced in Congress in 30 years that seeks to eliminate federal pot penalties. According to a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 12.7 percent of state inmates and 12.4 percent of federal inmates serving time for drug violations are incarcerated for marijuana offenses.Speaking at the press conference, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said: “With alcohol, we acknowledge the distinction between use and abuse and we focus our law enforcement involvement on efforts to stop irresponsible use. We do not arrest and jail responsible alcohol drinkers. This should be our policy with marijuana as well.”According to a nationwide Time Magazine/CNN poll, three out of four Americans believe that adults who possess marijuana should no longer face criminal penalties.Since 1990, more than 11 million Americans have been arrested for violating marijuana laws, according to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Of those arrested, nearly 90 percent are charged with minor possession - not trafficking, cultivation, or sale. Nearly 75 percent of those arrested are under 30 years of age.“The federal government's misguided prohibition of marijuana is a war on young people,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Because of this failed public policy we have alienated an entire generation to believe that the police and the federal government are instruments of their oppression rather than their protection.”House Bill 5843 is currently before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, which is a part of the House Judiciary Committee. In addition, the Bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's.For more information, please contact NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre at (202) 483-5500. Video footage from the press conference. Additional video is available from CNN. More information regarding HR 5843 is available online via NORML's Take Action Center.DL: National MS Society Makes Recommendations Regarding Therapeutic Use Of Cannabis  July 31, 2008 - Washington, DC, USWashington, DC: Cannabis has the potential to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis as well as limit the progression of the disease, according to an expert opinion paper published by the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society. However, the Society stopped short of recommending that MS patients use the drug medicinally.“Although it is clear that cannabinoids have potential both for the management of MS symptoms such as pain and spasticity, as well as for neuroprotection, the Society cannot at this time recommend that medical marijuana be made widely available to people with MS for symptom management,” the Society concludes. “This situation might change, should better data become available that clearly demonstrate benefit.”The Society recommends that future clinical trials focus on methods of cannabinoid administration that deliver the drug to the bloodstream rapidly, such as vaporization.The Society also recommends clinical trials be performed to investigate and quantify cannabis' potential to slow disease progression, citing “anecdotal reports from patients … that cannabis reduces the frequency of their MS attacks.”Investigators at Plymouth's Peninsula Medical School in Britain recently announced that they had recruited nearly 500 MS patients for a three-year clinical trial assessing whether the use of oral THC can significantly slow the onset of multiple sclerosis.Clinical data reported in 2006 from an extended open-label study of 167 multiple sclerosis patients found that the use of whole plant cannabinoid extracts relieved symptoms of pain, spasticity, and bladder incontinence for an extended period of treatment (mean duration of study participants was 434 days) without requiring subjects to increase their dose.Results from a separate two-year open label extension trial in 2007 also reported that the administration of cannabis extracts was associated with long-term reductions in neuropathic pain in select MS patients. On average, patients in the study required fewer daily doses of the drug and reported lower median pain scores the longer they took it.Commenting on the MS Society report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The MS Society's recommendations are a positive step, but they don't go far enough. Surveys indicate that as many as one out of two MS patients use cannabis therapeutically, yet this report does nothing to challenge these patients legal status as criminals.”For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Full text of the MS Society paper, “Recommendations Regarding the Use of Cannabis in Multiple Sclerosis". Additional information on cannabinoids and multiple sclerosis is available from NORML. DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: July 31, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #13 posted by user123 on August 01, 2008 at 09:23:00 PT:
Nuthin Changes
"According to a nationwide Time Magazine/CNN poll, three out of four Americans believe that adults who possess marijuana should no longer face criminal penalties." It could be four out of four and Congress still wouldn't pass it. They like stuff broken, just the way it is.
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on August 01, 2008 at 07:02:14 PT
paint with light thank you 
i am not Howard Wooldridge of Leap i just send along info from him.
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Comment #11 posted by Paint with light on August 01, 2008 at 02:09:00 PT
Thanks ekim
Thanks for enduring the disappointments and continuing to fight for our cause. The reward at the end of the line will be worth it.If we had a lot more like you, this movement could really take off.Thanks.Equal with alcohol, legally, is all I ask.
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Comment #10 posted by ekim on July 31, 2008 at 19:56:50 PT
Howard on the Hill
LEAP on the Hill Stories from the week of July 25, 2008 “That is a good question. (but I am not going to answer it),” said Mr. Will:  On Thursday at the CATO institute I arrived early and grabbed a front row seat. George Will* whom I have read and appreciated for 3 decades spoke eloquently* for 30 minutes, then took questions. My hand shot up and he called upon me.  After introducing LEAP, and myself I asked, ‘Mr. Will I have a question about the War on Drugs/Modern Prohibition. After 37 years of war on drugs and no progress made;  As the nation is now close to 10 trillion in national debt. Can the country afford and continue this modern prohibition? Do you support the policy of war on drugs/modern prohibition?’ Mr. Will essentially mumbled a few words about never could the nation legalize drugs like heroin or cocaine, but maybe marijuana could be discussed. He took no position that day, nor has he ever stated his position in writing.  I was disappointed, to say the least. This one man could change the minds of millions. As Abraham Lincoln said, “To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 31, 2008 at 19:51:45 PT
We've waited this long and we can hold on a little longer. I read about another raid in the news. They seem to have so many they just blur together anymore. 
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Comment #8 posted by fight_4_freedom on July 31, 2008 at 19:20:40 PT:
It was very good to get what coverage 
we did yesterday. I haven't seen too many news articles about it today, which is kind of surprising in my book. I thought with all the attention CNN was giving it, there would be a stack full of reports.But I agree, I think it has a better chance of passing if it's voted on next year. 
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on July 31, 2008 at 19:15:24 PT:
Well, it looks like the DEA is at it once again
A dispensary in Marina Del Rey was raided earlier. I can't find any other details on it as of right now.But we all know what happened anyways. Just more of the same terroristic tactics used to put a halt to the oh so dangerous medicinal herb gardening.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 31, 2008 at 19:14:52 PT
It was good even though it was short. I read in one of the articles that this won't come up for a vote until the coming year. If I read it right that's probably a very good thing.
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Comment #5 posted by fight_4_freedom on July 31, 2008 at 19:08:17 PT:
Here's the video of CNN interviewing 
Barney Frank yesterday. Also CNN reads off some letters from viewers about the issue.Well, I got to watch it anyways FoM :)
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Comment #4 posted by Vincent on July 31, 2008 at 17:33:32 PT:
HR 5843
Finally! Intelligence returns to this country. I would love for it to pass, but I'm doubtful because, in an election year, politicians can be quite cowardly.
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 31, 2008 at 16:54:05 PT
Representing Constituients
Let's say that my Representative proclaims that he is representing the majority of his constituients. Fine, let's put to a vote in our district. If the majority of The People vote to legalize marijuana, you leave office. If the majority vote against legalization, we have more education to get done locally, you can stay for two more years.No Dieblod machines!
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 31, 2008 at 16:47:53 PT
I've Already Sent A Letter To My Rep
Mailed letters get read from what I understand. I simply asked (my sorry as republican) representative to support this bill. Not much chance, he'll probably reply back about the horrors of marijuana, oh alarm. Maybe I'll write back this time and ask him, "Who gives a flying leap what your opinion is? Do you not have a fiduciary duty as my agent in Congress to represent me?"Or something more tactful.
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 31, 2008 at 16:24:58 PT
In case you missed it:Seems Obama has been sandbagging McCain. Obama launched the Low Road Express and slams McCain for being well, Republican. other news: It appears that the pot prohibitionist Karl Rove will be going to jail soon.
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