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Maptalk-Digest Saturday, December 27 1997 Volume 97 : Number 555

Re: Steve is back with the accusations, mudslinging and
    From: Donald Christen <>
The chat room for activists
    From: "MAPnews Sr. Editor" <>
ART: Abernathy's punishment may not be over
Exchange of letters
    From: "Tom O'Connell" <>


Subj: Re: Steve is back with the accusations, mudslinging and
From: Donald Christen <>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 03:30:05 -0700

Alan Mason wrote:
> At 08:29 PM 12/17/97 +0000, Mark Greer wrote:
> >Please take this private. You will both be amazed at how it will diffuse
> >instantly when others aren't watching.
> Ditto. about 5 thousand times.
> If we are so concerned about being monitored (a la "PAUL FREEDOM") then how
> can we continue to carry this on in public? Talk about giving "the other
> side" ammo against us.
> "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

Look around, where is this standing house you talk of.  All we seem to
have is disention from everywhere, with no support for any plans because
someone always has a "better" idea. These AMR Elitests have done more to
seperate us all then the "system" has and all you so called hero's can
do is wine about who's plan is "correct".  I have had it with this
bullshit and am getting back to work with the People's endorsed plan in

You all don't have to worry about the Message Being Sent fueling the
other side because they are well aware of our policies and actions up 
here in the Northland.  Maybe its time for a real "war" to shake this
whole movement up, to see who is really on who's side, because it sure
does look like all the Nat. DPR groups are deserting us for the big
money that has corrupted most others that make it to Washington.  All of
these groups tout total legalization of marijuana, and most would
legalize all drugs, but are suddenly waffling on this issue.  This is
just short of treason by any military standards, and will cost their
credibility and reputations plenty when the news of this is made known
to the public.  The public in Maine is well aware of our agenda, which
hasn't wavered, unlike the nationals who are virtually unknown up here.
We have a term for people like them up here, called FLATLANDERS, and
they are not well liked by the natives. The FLATLANDERS initiative will
be exposed for what it is by all Maine Reform Organizations and we will
work to defeat their unworkable piece of fecies.   The END


Subj: The chat room for activists
From: "MAPnews Sr. Editor" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 10:55:26 -0500

Another busy news week, with headlines like:

Initiative Proposed To Allow Industrial Hemp
With Unrelenting Pressure The War On Drugs Can Be Won
Swiss High Court Sows Seed Of Doubt Over Drug Laws
MP Calls for Cannabis Legalisation
Blair Backs Cabinet Minister Over Pot Incident
Court Decision Throws Cannibis Plan Into Question
S.F. Official Calls For Easing Curbs On Methadone
Marijuana Advocate To Run For Governor
EDITORIAL: Repeal Rocky's Drug Laws 

You are invited to discuss these headlines, and more, in the chatroom for
activists. Only a web browser (i.e., no special software) is required.
Simply point your browser to 

And join the discussion.  The chat starts at 9:00 p.m on Saturday and
Sunday night Eastern Standard time.  Folks drop in and leave as their time
allows over about a three hour period.

Oh, that is at 6:00 p.m. for folks living on the west coast, or about 7:00
p.m. Mountain, or 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

This is not a kids IRC chat, but the place well known activists and
newsmakers discuss the issues and plan for the future. 

Again, the URL is: 

See you there, tonight?

Richard Lake 
Senior Editor; Mapnews, Mapnews-Digest and Drugnews-Digest
For subscription information see:
Quick sign up for Drugnews-Digest, Focus Alerts or Newsletter: 


Subj: ART: Abernathy's punishment may not be over
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 11:52:46 -0600 (CST)

OK, folks, here's another opportunity to express you sentiments
regarding Ralph Abernathy III. There were some excellent replies
to the first Abernathy question on the Atlanta forum area. Let's
do it again with this topic.

There was no date on this article, but it is one of the topics
for discussion on the forum area:

You can use this URL to either post a message for the forum or to
send letters to the editor. There are four questions at the bottom
of the article to get your thoughts started.

- --------------------------------------------------------------
Abernathy's punishment may not be over
By Maureen Downey, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

In the "Most Embarrassing Moment of Your Life" contest, state Sen. Ralph 
David Abernathy III (D-Atlanta) might just take the prize. 

This month, Hartsfield International Airport drug-sniffing dogs led 
customs officials to Abernathy, who was returning from Jamaica. Customs 
found a quarter-ounce of marijuana in the 38-year-old politician's 
underwear, thereby pretty much eliminating the "Somebody planted it on 
me" defense. 

Because the amount of pot was small, Abernathy avoided arrest and paid a 
$500 fine, the standard penalty. But although U.S. Customs is done with 
Abernathy, his fellow lawmakers have only just begun. 

The state Senate Ethics Committee is recommending the Legislature 
censure Abernathy when it reconvenes in two weeks. 

A group of Republican House members promised to initiate impeachment 
proceedings against the Atlanta Democrat, who is the son of the late 
civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy Jr. 

In announcing plans to seek Abernathy's District 38 Senate seat, Fulton 
County Commissioner Gordon Joyner said voters deserve better 
representation than "an admitted international drug smuggler." 

Abernathy has apologized and described the incident as a stupid mistake. 
However, Gov. Zell Miller called it an outrage. 

"What kind of example is this for our youth? If he worked for me, he'd 
no longer be working in the executive branch," said Miller. 

But is Abernathy's behavior any more disgraceful than driving drunk? 
That's the question that Sen. Donzella James (D-College Park) raised 
during the ethics committee discussion. James, who lost a son to a 
drunken driver, pointed out that her colleagues did not rush to sanction 
state Sen. René Kemp (D-Hinesville) after a 1996 DUI arrest. 

While calling Abernathy's actions disgraceful, James said, "I just want 
to make sure we're fair." 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution would like to hear from you on this 

•What is a fair response to state Sen. Ralph David Abernathy III's 
attempt to bring pot into the country? 

•Do you agree with some Senate 
leaders who maintain that the incident at Hartsfield is between 
Abernathy and his constituents only? 

•Do you think it's fair to sanction 
Abernathy when state Sen. René Kemp faced no such action, especially 
since Kemp was charged with a crime and Abernathy wasn't? 

•Do you think 
it helps Abernathy to have such a famous name, or do you think his 
misdeeds garner more attention because of it? 


Subj: Exchange of letters
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 10:45:59 -0800 (PST)

The following letters and comments appeared in the Dec. 15 isue of the
Annals of Internal Medicine
<<> Rick
Bayer's & my letter were inspired by a typical "reefer madness" attack
by Voth & Achwartz which the Journal was moved to publish months ago.
It's interesting to me that all that can do is repeat the same old lies
and accuse me of being against prohibition.

Monaco       American College of Physicians

                  Annals of Internal Medicine

           LETTERS:Medicinal Uses of Marijuana


Annals of Internal Medicine, 15 December 1997


															   To the Editor: Voth and Schwartz (1) sound like
patriarchal moralists, not scientists. They conveniently
ignore												scientific studies, patient anecdotes, court
decisions, and					   voters who disagree with them when discussing a
5000-year-old herbal medicine. Many physicians and
organizations-including Dr. Kassirer, Editor of The New England Journal
of Medicine (2); the National Institutes of Health (3); the American
Public Health Association; the San Francisco Medical Society;

the California Academy of Family Physicians; Harvard professor Dr.
Grinspoon; the Federation of American Scientists; and the National
Academy of Sciences (4)-believe that cannabis may be beneficial and
that further research

                  should be done. Users of medical cannabis are not


If this issue is controversial, then suffering patients

                  deserve the benefit of the doubt so that they can
have access

                  to medical cannabis while more research is being
done. The

                  National Institute on Drug Abuse has even impeded

                  research on medical cannabis (5).

                  Voth and Schwartz also seem to encourage the use of

                  an oral product produced by a large pharmaceutical

                  (Unimed, Inc., Buffalo Grove, Illinois) and
containing only

                  the psychoactive cannabinoid

                  instead of the cannabis plant. Is it possible that
they have

                  a conflict of interest? What is the International

                  Strategy Institute? Do they directly or indirectly
get any

                  pharmaceutical money? The Annals Editors may have

                  negligent by failing to disclose to their readers

                  about financial incentives to promote the agenda of
the large

                  pharmaceutical companies over the agenda of


                  The "War on Drugs" is a political war on
compassionate U.S.

                  physicians and their patients. The "War" spills into

                  examination rooms and influences how we prescribe.
Even when

                  clinical practice guidelines on pain management have

                  followed (U.S. Department of Health and Human

                  publication AHCPR-0032), I have found that

                  narcotic prescriptions can trigger an investigation
by the

                  state Board of Medical Examiners. Calling off the
"War on

                  Drugs" will be good for science, physicians, and

                  Accurate (not DARE propaganda) methods for prevention

                  harm reduction need to be instigated.

                  Voth and Schwartz do not present a compelling reason

                  oppose the desires of our patients, the scientists

                  disagree with the authors, and the democratic process

                  voter initiatives.

                  Richard Bayer, MD

                  Portland, OR 97225


                  1. Voth EA, Schwartz RH. Medicinal applications of

                  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and marijuana. Ann
Intern Med.


                  2. Kassirer JP. Federal foolishness and marijuana

                  [Editorial]. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:366-7.

                  3. Voelker R. NIH panel says more study is needed to

                  marijuana's medicinal use. JAMA. 1997;277:867-8.

                  4. NORML Medical Marijuana Documents ONLINE.


                  5. MAPS Newsletter on Marijuana and AIDS Wasting


                  To the Editor: Voth and Schwartz's perspective on

                  use of marijuana (1) is significant for several
reasons. Most

                  disturbing to me is that it represents a departure

                  principle by a medical journal.

                  The federal government responded to "medical
marijuana" by

                  threatening physicians. Unlike Jerome Kassirer, in

                  straightforward editorial objection in The New

                  Journal of Medicine (2), you've chosen to obliquely

                  marijuana prohibition by publishing a slanted review

                  by two of marijuana's most infamous doctrinaire

                  Anyone unaware that the politics of this issue have

                  overshadowed science for six decades is not in touch

                  reality. This purported review of the literature

                  supports continued listing of "crude" marijuana on

                  1, while allowing its synthetic analogue, Marinol, to

                  legally prescribed on schedule 2.

                  This is logical sleight of hand: Schedule 1 cites

                  criteria: (lack of) safety, potential for addiction,

                  (lack of) medical utility. Because the two agents are

                  identical, neither efficacy nor potential for
addiction can

                  justify their separate listing. Furthermore, because

                  toxicity of marijuana is nonexistent, the major

                  for continued listing on schedule 1 while leaving
Marinol on

                  schedule 2 would have to be fear of chronic harm from

                  delivery system requiring smoking. This argument
loses all

                  validity when used by a government that allows
tobacco use.

                  The selective nature of Voth and Schwartz's
perspective can

                  be inferred from their choice of 92 references
claiming to

                  examine "relevant research published between 1975 and

                  but that ignores Hollister's exhaustive 1986 review

                  (3). The latter cited twice as many references as did

                  and Schwartz and reached quite different conclusions.

                  and Schwartz submitted their modern "scientific"
version of a

                  1930s "reefer madness" article, and you published it.


                  Thomas J. O'Connell, MD

                  Daly City, CA 94015


                  1. Voth EA, Schwartz RH. Medicinal applications of

                  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and marijuana. Ann
Intern Med.


                  2. Kassirer JP. Federal foolishness and marijuana

                  [Editorial]. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:366-7.

                  3. Hollister LE. Health aspects of cannabis.
Pharmacol Rev.


                  To the Editor: The well-documented review of

                  potential of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and
marijuana by

                  Voth and Schwartz (1) is timely because the
well-funded drug

                  legalization lobby, which includes physicians, is

                  trying to duplicate the California and Arizona

                  initiatives in many other states. Voth and Schwartz's

                  show that only a small percentage of oncologists

                  recommend marijuana as medicine. Moreover, no

                  suggests that even this small number of physicians
have the

                  necessary information on which to base their opinion.

                  U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of drugs

                  medicine is based on well-controlled scientific
studies, not

                  on surveys, polls, anecdotes, or popular vote.

                  with the current heavy advertising of prescription
drugs on

                  television and radio and in the print media,
physicians are

                  under unprecedented pressure to prescribe drugs that

                  patients demand. Indeed, it was the

                  television blitz fraudulently advertising marijuana

                  medicine that deceived the voters in California and

                  It is not compassionate for physicians to recommend

                  unsafe, unproven substance that may worsen their

                  condition, especially when better, safer drugs are

                  Janet D. Lapey, MD

                  Concerned Citizens for Drug Safety

                  Hanover, MA 02339


                  1. Voth EA, Schwartz RH. Medicinal applications of

                  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and marijuana. Ann
Intern Med.


                  In response: The attitudes of Drs. Bayer and
O'Connell are

                  precisely why we undertook the project of sorting out

                  and passion from science and fact as they relate to
the use

                  of crude marijuana as a medicine. We found no

                  reason to abandon the Food and Drug Administration
process of

                  proving safety and efficacy and stepping back to the
days of

                  unproven and potentially toxic potions and tonics.
That is

                  the net effect of views represented by Drs. Bayer

                  O'Connell. Unlike the anecdotal diatribes that

                  support for the medicinal use of marijuana, our
review was

                  extensive and covered existing science.

                  O'Connell's comments are consistent with those that
he voices

                  on pro-legalization or "drug policy reform" World
Wide Web

                  sites. He overlooks the fact that crude marijuana is
a toxic,

                  impure herb containing more than 480 substances.
Marinol has

                  side effects (as does marijuana) but at least is a

                  pure substance.

                  Bayer mixes fact with fiction in his criticism. In
fact, many

                  of the positions to which he refers are based on

                  anecdotes, not controlled studies. Contrary to

                  assertions, the National Institutes of Health have

                  stated that marijuana adds nothing to the currently

                  regimens for such conditions as nausea, glaucoma,

                  spasticity (Lee PR. Personal communication to
Congressman Dan


                  Bayer raises questions about the International Drug

                  Institute. We are a group of more than 40

                  attorneys, and drug policy specialists, including
some of the

                  most respected authorities on drug policy in the
world. We

                  receive no "pharmaceutical" funding and have no

                  interest in anything except the health and well-being

                  patients. In contrast, the medicinal marijuana
movement was

                  fathered by the National Organization for the Reform

                  Marijuana Laws. The stated goal of this organization
is to

                  use the medical marijuana issue to gain public
support and

                  the ultimate legalization of marijuana (1). Bayer
even cites

                  the NORML Web site as a resource. That site also
outlines the

                  medical marijuana and hemp legislative strategy for

                  United States.

                  Dr. Lapey draws attention to the organized and

                  ballot initiatives in Arizona and California, in

                  millions of dollars from wealthy supporters of

                  essentially bought drug policy. Dr. Lapey makes a
calm and

                  sane plea to base medical decisions on the Food and

                  Administration process of proving safety and

                  efficacy-something that the supporters of medicinal

                  are quick to abandon.

                  We continue to maintain that research should continue

                  alternative delivery systems for pure

                  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and its analogues.

                  should be provided with predictable, safe, and

                  medicines, not unproven herbal potions.

                  Eric A. Voth, MD

                  Richard H. Schwartz, MD

                  International Drug Strategy Institute

                  Topeka, KS 66606


                  1. Cowan R. Building a new NORML: strategies for the

                  legalization of marijuana by 1997. High Times.




End of Maptalk-Digest V97 #555

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