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Maptalk-Digest Tuesday, December 23 1997 Volume 97 : Number 551

PUB  Art: C.Conrad story 11/97
    From: Mark Greer <>
SENT:LTE:  Waco Tribune-Herald: Global Market in Heroin. . 
    From:  (Joel W. Johnson)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 12:59:14 -0800
    From: Clifford Schaffer <>
ART: San Mateo County Times, 12/22
    From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
SAN MATEO County Times on 215: 2/2
    From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Re:  Drugnews-Digest V97 #412
    From: Rick Wagner <>


Subj: PUB  Art: C.Conrad story 11/97
From: Mark Greer <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 08:27:08 -0800

A big WAYTAGO to Chris Conrad for this nice article. I don't have
circulation numbers on this paper but you can bet that Chris influenced
many thousands of people with this article.

At 10:04 AM 12/23/97 +0000, you wrote:
>Source: Petaluma Press Democrat (California) Nov. 26, 1997. p. 3.
>Health advantages of marijuana touted
>Author promotes alternative
>By Janet Holman Parmer,  Correspondent
>	For maladies such as migraine headaches, arthritis and anorexia, marijuana
>can at times be more useful than narcotics in bringing relief, accord to
>Conrad, author of a new book entitled “Hemp for Health.” 
>	Prescription drugs such as Demerol and Valium are legal, but the side
>can be more debilitating than those from smoking or ingesting marijuana,
>Conrad said. He maintains the federal government is suppressing results of
>medical research on the salutary effects of cannabis sativa. 
>	Studies released last month, however, showed that the active ingredient in
>marijuana relieves several types of pain, without the risk of addiction. 
>	“Cannabinoids, at least In animal models, can reduce pain,” said University
>of California, San Francisco pharmacology expert Ian Meng, who is studying
>painkilling properties of several synthetic cannabinoids. 
>	Conrad visited Copper-field’s Books in Petaluma recently to talk about the
>historical references to hemp and Its derivatives being smoked, ingested or
>applied to the skin for health reasons. 
>	Conrad, dressed in clothing and shoes made from hemp fibers, describes
>himself as a “cannabis expert.” His two-page resume lists his research,
>writing, testimony before congressional committees, and organizations he has
>founded or Involved himself with that pro mote hemp or hemp-related
>businesses. He has taught classes on safely using medical marijuana and
been a
>panelist in drug policy workshops. 
>	Conrad said he was motivated to write “Hemp for Health” after his father,
>Robert, died in 1994 from cancer. He told the audience that when his dad
>became ill and self-diagnosed himself with cancer, his family discounted the
>gravity of his sickness because he tended to be a hypochondriac He was later
>diagnosed with the disease, and became a patient in a Veterans Administration
>hospital. Like many cancer patients undergoing treatment, he suffered from
>insomnia, irritability, lack of appetite and an upset stomach. 
>	In bedside conversations with his son, Robert Conrad expressed an
Interest in
>trying cannabis to relieve his discomfort, but didn't want to ask his doctor
>about it, fearing the repercussions for him and his physician. His daughter
>worked at the same hospital, and he worried that she could lose her job if he
>tried marijuana. 
>	“He didn’t believe it was worth taking the chance. He decided not to try it
>and died,” Chris Conrad said. “He wanted to try it but feared that if he were
>the guinea pig, he could lose his benefits, be thrown In jail or his doctor
>could jeopardize his career. He died in pain instead. But even though he
>couldn't take the chance, he hoped I would take his story as a wedge to
>	“Hemp for Health,” published earlier this year by Healing Arts Press, covers
>the nutritional and ecological uses of the cannabis plant. But Conrad focused
>last week on therapeutic uses of cannabis worldwide, and how it ended up
>becoming a drug banned by the United States in 1937.
>	Conrad contends it was a grave error—and a medical disservice —to ban
>cannabis, thereby depriving people of relief from symptoms caused by
>digestive, immunological, dermatological, and neurological problems. There
>60 different components reaped from the hemp plant that have been formulated
>into healing products such as topical ointments, antibiotic extracts,
>tinctures and even suppositories, he said. 
>	“Should it now be a medicine for the sick and dying only, when throughout
>history it was used for common illness?” Conrad asked. 
>	He maintains the government sanctioned studies that found positive
effects of
>marijuana have been kept secret from the public. 
>	“I wouldn't count on the government changing the laws unless people
>understand the importance and efficacy of medical marijuana,” he said. “By
>calling it a new drug, they overlooked history, so all the old studies don't
>	 For thousands of years in Africa, hemp has been used to treat beriberi and
>malaria, to alleviate cramps and to reduce the pain of childbirth. In some
>cultures, its derivatives have been used to treat mucous infections, bring
>down high fevers, and relieve eczema. 
>	 “Children were born from mothers smoking cannabis for thousands of
years. It
>was used in Israel and Germany. It was a normal part of the birthing
>he said. 
>	 In Europe, cannabis was used for psychological and medical applications in
>the 19th century and “even Queen Victoria’s personal physician prescribed it
>for her,” Conrad said 
>	 He talked about the nutritive value of hemp and how its seeds and oil are a
>natural food source, providing protein and essential fatty acids Hemp seed
>once boiled and ground and eaten as gruel, Conrad said. Five thousand years
>ago in China, hemp was considered one of the five essential plants in the
>	 Conrad, a political activist, served as the statewide community action
>coordinator for the petition drive that proposed the California Medical
>Marijuana Initiative, known as Proposition 215. The initiative, which became
>law after 56 percent of the voters approved the measure last year, allows
>people suffering from serious illnesses, such as AIDS or cancer, to get a
>doctor's recommendation for marijuana. 
>[Photo. Caption: Chris Conrad is the author of “Hemp for Health.”]
Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense


Subj: SENT:LTE:  Waco Tribune-Herald: Global Market in Heroin. . 
From:  (Joel W. Johnson)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 11:44:13 -0800

Pub:  Saturday, December 20, 1997

To the Editor:

The answer to all of the questions raised in Mary Alice Davis's article
"Global Marketing of Heroin is Claiming our Teen-agers" (December 20) can
be summed up succinctly:  prohibition and common sense.

It is prohibition that has necessitated and fueled the huge profits to be
made with illegal drugs.  "The opium poppies used to make heroin are an
important cash crop for
farmers" only because its illegality here has dictated so.  If we
eliminated our prohibition to illegal drugs, we would collapse such a
profitable black market.

It is prohibition that has created the popularity of illegal drugs among
teenagers.  Their very existence is synonymous with rebelliousness -- it
should come as no suprise that they curiously experiment with what we
prohibit from them.

And, the answer to "why kids who look like they 'have everything' are easy
marks for drug dealers," I ask you what teens have more time and money to
do so?

Finally, the element in our society that fosters "oblivion-seeking" is
buried within our human nature -- we have all done it in some form or
another, be it alcohol, drugs, sex or fantasy novels.  Prohibiting such
things only makes matters worse.


Joel W. Johnson
(contact info)


Subj: Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 12:59:14 -0800
From: Clifford Schaffer <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 13:10:35 -0800

   Dale Gieringer, and other friends are quoted in the December 29, 1997 issue of Time Magazine. 


Subj: ART: San Mateo County Times, 12/22
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 14:23:07 -0800 (PST)

MonacoThis appeared on Page one of the San
Mateo Times yesterday. Taken together with two other pieces by the same
writer, it's one of the more informed updates on 215 politics I have
seen published in Northern California.

Tom O'Connell


Pot law divisive year after it passes

By Jeff Israely


More than a year after voters ushered in California's controversial
medical marijuana law, those who use the drug to soothe their ailments
still are caught in the smoky crossfire between hard-nosed prosecutors
and unabashed pot advocates.

Armed with a doctor's written permission to use marijuana, thousands of
Bay Area residents with AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, arthritis and other
painful diseases continue to toke up while the official sanctioning of
voter-approved Proposition 215 wends its way through the courts and the
state's local governing bodies.

The battle tide turned again Dec. 12 when the California 1st District
Court of Appeal barred cannabis clubs from selling marijuana to
patients because they do not meet the measure's criteria of a "primary
care giver."

The court's ruling on the thorny issue of distributing medical
marijuana highlights the haziness of Prop. 215 an initiative even the
author now concedes was purposely vague.

According to Presiding Justice J. Clinton Peterson, "if the drafters of
the initiative wanted to legalize the sale of small amounts of
marijuana for approved medical purposes, they could have easily done

Standing on the sidelines for now is the California legislature, which
typically passes "enabling" laws following the passage of ballot
initiatives. Legislators have shown a reluctance to establish any
statewide policies for enacting Prop. 215, leaving the task of
interpreting the vague measure to local politicians.

Where cannabis clubs do operate, their methods of distributing medical
marijuana largely reflect the tolerance of the local elected officials
who have allowed them.

In San Mateo County, Board of Supervisors President Mikc Nevin wants
The County to be the sole supplier and regulator of medical marijuana.
The former San Francisco police officer envisions county-run pharmacies
that distribute to the sick marijuana confiscated by police. County law
enforcement agencies currently plan to destroy $165,000 worth of
marijuana being held in evidence.

"Proposition 215 didn't have a complete package to answer the question
of distribution and cultivation," Nevin said. "There's a control
problem. And since we haven't gotten a lot of leadership at a state
level, local government is left to figure it out."

Up north in the Humboldt County college town of Arcata Police Chief Mel
Brown personally approves identification cards-bearing the city seal
for eligible patients.

"If somebody would have told me two years ago that I'd be giving out ID
cards to carry marijuana, I'd said they were crazy," Brown said. "But
life changes."

Marin County's health and human services director. Thomas Peters. has
proposed a countywide verification system similar to Arcata's.

"We're on uncharted and uneven terrain.'' he said. "A pervasive
uncertainty has been allowed to linger a full year after the passage of
the proposition."

Other counties however. have taken a hardened stance against the law.

City councils in Concord and Palo Atto have passed urgency ordinances"
to prevent any marijuana- dispensing establishments from opening in
their communities.

"This was a thinly disguised effort to legitimize the wholesale
production and distribution of marijuana under the guise of helping
sick people."  Nevin said. "There's a control problem. And since we
haven t gotten a lot of leadership at a state level, local government
is left to figure it out."

Meanwhile, until stopped from doing otherwise, smokers such as Max
Gorgal will continue to seek relief where they can. The 55-year-old New
York native, who has had arthritis for 30 years, has found since
arriving in the Bay Area last May that buying and smoking marijuana to
lessen his pain is much easier.

"Every time I buy an ounce in New York, I wonder if I'm gonna be hauled
off to S1ng-Sing.'' Gorgal said while painting the interior of the San

Cannabis Cultivators Club. "Here, it's fine."

Similar sentiments were expressed by Frederick Demchuk, a 59-year-old
father of six who suffers from chronic arthritis and prefers marijuana
over ibuprofen. Pot is a more effective pain killer and doesn't cause
the sweating and jitteriness that popping four of the over-the counter
pills at a time does. he said.

Whether you call it marijuana or medicine . . . you know what's good
for you," the San Jose technical writer said between quick tokes from a
small blue bong at the San Francisco cannabis club.

At the two extremes of the great marijuana debate are State Attorney
General Dan Lungren, who casts himself as a law-and-order champion in
fighting Proposition 215 tooth and nail, and San Francisco cannabis
club owner Dennis Peron, who wrote the measure and has made it no
secret he also favors the legalization of pot for everyone.

Since campaigning for the initiative as a strictly compassionate way of
helping desperately ill people, Peron now freely declares that "all use
of marijuana is medical.... It cheers people up - that's a medical

As he sits at a desk strewn with several pipes and pots-tuffed plastic
bags, Peron, 51 -who cites alcoholism as his reason for smoking
marijuana- said he intentionally made the proposition's language

"The sore losers said the people were tricked,' Peron said. "But the
marijuana laws are no more ambiguous now. and they're on the side of
the people - especially sick people."

Although Proposition 215 allows the use of pot to relieve the pain and
nausea of 'seriously ill Californians," it also cites 'any other
illness for which marijuana provides relief." Peron is trying to use
that semantic opening to push the full legalization of marijuana.

Peron, whose club was raided and shut down for several months last
year. disputes Lungren's charges that minors were allowed inside his
club and that street dealers bought pot there to resell on the streets.
Yet he is steadfast in Operating the club under a loose interpretation
of Proposition 215.

To buy pot there. patients need only acquire a doctor's 'letter of
diagnosis" of a condition marijuana can alleviate. And although it is
filled with sick people, the club's atmosphere - pulsating music.
nightly entertainment. social smoking-offers a glimpse of Amsterdam,
where pot use is legal for everyone.

After opening in t992 with 75 percent of its members HIV positive, the
San Francisco club now figures that the majority of its 8.000 members
today have other maladies. including cancer, chronic pain. anxiety and

Lungren acknowledges he is in the awkward position of enforcing a law
he strongly opposed. In his interpretation, Proposition 215 allows
someone who really is sick to grow a couple of marijuana plants and
gives researchers permission to study the drugs effectiveness.

Nevertheless, he promises to continue trying to shut down

Peron's marijuana club, over the objection of San Francisco's district

"A major concern still is that it sends a bad message to kids." said
Lungren's spokesman


Subj: SAN MATEO County Times on 215: 2/2
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 14:28:45 -0800 (PST)

MonacoMedical marijuana test cases

Propostion 215 is being challenged on several fronts in the courts:

Distribution People vs. Dennis Peron (and other members of San
Frarncisco Cannabis suyers Club).

State Attorney General is prosecutinq two cases-criminal and civil-that
will help determine whether medica marijuana clubs are considered a
"pnma~ care giver under Rrop. 215's dehnition to distribute marijuana
to patients Peron is appealing a ruling that threatens to close such

Doctors recommendations: Conant, et al. vs McCaffrey, et aL

Several physicians filed a class-action lawsuit sut in U.S. District
Court to prevent federal agents from disciplining them for recommending
use of marijuana.

Use: Matter of Dunaway, Orange County employee.

Affer testing positive for marijuana, the employee was fired. Dunaway
filed a claim, saying he took the drug aher a doctor recommended it to
alleviate his glaucoma.

Cultivation: People vs. King.

Tulare County District Attorney is prosecuting a cancer patient for
growing 30 full sized marijuana plants. Case will help determine what
cultivation for "personal use" means under Prop. 215.

Attempt to give pot credibility after 215

By Jeff Israely


Calilornia's Proposition 215-which legalizes marijuana for medical
use-cleared the wav for long-awaited laboratory testing of the benefits
and drawbacks of pot in treating a variety of illnesses.

While several legal challenges to the proposition are pending. even
state Attorney General Dan Lungren - the law's most vocal critic-is
calling for a threeyear study of the effectiveness and safety of
medical marijuana use.

There is little common ground for opponents and proponents of the
initiative, passed into law by a 56-44 percent margin in November 1996.
But one concern they generally agree on is the need for a more precise
definition of the "medical" in medical marijuana. Achieving that. they
say. will help set clear standards for carrying out the law.

Another concern is that despite Proposition 215's protections for
pot-prescribing doctors. phvsicians remain unclear of their status.
With conclusive research results still years away and fcderal
prohibitions on marijuana still in effect, members of the Clinton
administration have hinted they may clamp down on doctors who recommend
the drug

Much anecdotal  evidence exists that marijuana relieves pain and
restores appetites, but the leafy drug had been caught in a Catch-22.
Researchers long have been wary of testing a substance that was illegal
and so politicized. leaving a vacuum of proven scientific backin,g that
potentially could have legitimized and legalized its use.

That is changing in the wake of Proposition 215. The National
Institutes of Health pledged $1 million in October for doctors at San
Francisco General Hospital to study the effects of marijuana on
patients using the latest AIDS drugs.

Like other tests expected to follow. SF General researchers actually
will oversee the consumption of marijuana. comparing both its short-
and long-term effects on people smoking and ingesting against those
given a placebo.

Stephen Goodin said he's already seen the results of marijuana's
medicating powers. The 38-year-old network engineer, HIV-positive for
more than a decade, has smoked marijuana to relieve his nausea and help
him sleep.

The Guerneville resident said he smokes four joints a day. In the past
20 months. Goodin has gone from 127 to 170 pounds.

One Bay Area psychiatrist believes marijuana can alleviate a depression
to chronic pain to seizure disorders. But Dr. Tod Mikuriya worries that
his recommendations of marijuana could prompt federal drug regulators
to revoke his right to prescribe anY medicines and receive Medicare


Subj: Re:  Drugnews-Digest V97 #412
From: Rick Wagner <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 21:37:59 -0800

Does anyone know where the article below has been published?

Is the ATF is targeting ginseng extract  because it contains alcohol, or
because it is not main-stream,  (i.e. "counter cultural")? Why aren't they
cracking down on mouthwash? Like ginseng extract it contains alcohol.
Furthermore mouthwash is much less expensive, and it is available in big

A vial of ginseng tincture contains 10 milliliters, (1/3 fl oz). Even with the
highest alcohol content (34%) one would have to drink 5 vials to get the
alcohol equivalent of one beer, or one glass of wine.

You might as well try to get drunk on vanilla extract (90% alcohol!) or cough

Granted, recovering alcoholics etc. would do well to avoid all of the
aforementioned, but they shouldn't drink orange juice which has been in the
refrigerator for a week either.

Lynn Carol


Subj: US: Wire: ATF Warns About Alcohol In Ginseng Products
From: Marcus-Mermelstein Family <>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 09:07:42 -0500
Size: 31 lines   1468 bytes
File: v97.n412.a07

Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Dec 1997


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government is warning that ginseng products sold at
health-food and convenience stores may contain up to 34 percent alcohol.

Only seven of 55 different ginseng products tested by the Treasury
Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms contained no alcohol.
All the others had varying amounts, including some that were as much as
one-third alcohol.

The alcohol content came to the agency's attention after several inquiries,
including one from New York state, where a public school teacher notified
authorities after several students fell asleep in class.

Ginseng is a bittersweet root, native to China. It's purported to cure
everything from the common cold to failing memory to impotence. It's
usually sold in small vials for about $1 and can be found near checkout
counters alongside gum, candy and other items.

The agency said Thursday it issued its warning ``to assist consumers in
making informed purchasing decisions ... (including) persons with health
conditions, persons who may be taking medications, or persons with other
sensitivities to alcohol who could experience adverse effects.''

The ATF asked the U.S. Customs Service to detain ginseng products
determined to be alcoholic beverages and is working with importers and
distributors to recall the products.


End of Maptalk-Digest V97 #551

Mark Greer ()         ___ ___     _ _  _ _
Media Awareness Project              /' _ ` _ `\ /'_`)('_`\
P. O. Box 651                        | ( ) ( ) |( (_| || (_) )
Porterville, CA 93258                (_) (_) (_) \__,_)| ,__/
(800) 266-5759                                         | |
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