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MAPTalk-Digest Wednesday, November 25 2009 Volume 09 : Number 117

001 Please Help Reform Marijuana Laws
    From: Richard Lake <>
002 Re: MAP: Please Help Reform Marijuana Laws
    From: R Givens <>
003 POLL: Kids with ADHD prescribed medical marjiuana in California. Do you
    From: "Herb" <>


Subj: 001 Please Help Reform Marijuana Laws
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 08:12:00 -0800



DrugSense FOCUS Alert #420 - Monday, 23 November 2009

Today the Washington Post printed a short summary of the current 
status of marijuana law reform efforts in the United States.

The article is not perfect as the statement "Anti-drug advocates 
counter with surveys showing high school students nationwide already 
are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco -- and that the five 
states with the highest rate of adolescent pot use permit medical 
marijuana." is less than accurate. The government's own studies show 
that adolescent marijuana use actually decreased after the passage of 
many of the state medicinal marijuana initiatives. See

The International Drug Reform Conference received a prominent 
mention. Many hundreds of supporters of DrugSense and it's Media 
Awareness Project were there. Mary Jane Borden, the Business Manager 
for DrugSense and MAP, participated in a very well attended training 
session 'Making the News: How to Get the Media to Cover Your Issue.'

As a service organization for the drug policy reform community 
DrugSense is keenly interested in the reform of marijuana laws. We 
host 136 websites for reform organizations, supply over 200 email 
lists and discussion forums, and provide news feeds to over 200 
reform websites. Our volunteers make the Media Awareness Project possible.

But in these hard economic times we, like all reform organizations, 
are in need of financial support to keep all of our activities going. 
Please consider donating. Please visit our Why Donate to DrugSense 

And please do what you can to support the efforts of all the 
organizations working to reform our marijuana laws. Remember, it's 
not what others do, it's what YOU do.

Please forward this alert to others who may be interested.


Copyright: 2009 The Washington Post Company


Author: Karl Vick, Washington Post Staff Writer


Approval for Medical Use Expands Alongside Criticism of Prohibition

The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents 
of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana 
over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries.

Later in the month, the American Medical Association reversed a 
longtime position and urged the federal government to remove 
marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which 
equates it with heroin and cocaine.

A few days later, advocates for easing marijuana laws left their 
biannual strategy conference with plans to press ahead on all fronts 
- -- state law, ballot measures, and court -- in a movement that for 
the first time in decades appeared to be gaining ground.

"This issue is breaking out in a remarkably rapid way now," said 
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. 
"Public opinion is changing very, very rapidly."

The shift is widely described as generational. A Gallup poll in 
October found 44 percent of Americans favor full legalization of 
marijuana -- a rise of 13 points since 2000. Gallup said that if 
public support continues growing at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per 
year, "the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug 
in as little as four years."

A 53 percent majority already does so in the West, according to the 
survey. The finding heartens advocates collecting signatures to put 
the question of legalization before California voters in a 2010 initiative.

At last week's International Drug Reform Conference, activists gamed 
specific proposals for taxing and regulating pot along the lines of 
cigarettes and alcohol, as a bill pending in the California 
Legislature would do. The measure is not expected to pass, but in 
urging its serious debate, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) gave 
credence to a potential revenue source that the state's tax chief 
said could raise $1.3 billion in the recession, which advocates 
describe as a boon.

There were also tips on lobbying state legislatures, where measures 
decriminalizing possession of small amounts have passed in 14 states. 
Activists predict half of states will have laws allowing possession 
for medical purposes in the near future.

Interest in medical marijuana and easing other marijuana laws picked 
up markedly about 18 months ago, but advocates say the biggest surge 
came with the election of Barack Obama, the third straight president 
to acknowledge having smoked marijuana, and the first to regard it 
with anything like nonchalance.

"As a kid, I inhaled," Barack Obama famously said on the campaign. 
"That was the whole point."

In office, Obama made good on a promise to halt federal prosecutions 
of medical marijuana use where permitted by state law. That has 
recalibrated the federal attitude, which had been consistently 
hostile to marijuana since the early 1970s, when President Richard 
Nixon cast aside the recommendations of a presidential commission 
arguing against lumping pot with hard drugs.

Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization 
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said he was astonished recently to 
be invited to contribute thoughts to the Office of National Drug 
Control Policy. Obama's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, was police chief 
in Seattle, where voters officially made enforcement of marijuana 
laws the lowest priority.

"I've been thrown out of the ONDCP many times," St. Pierre said. 
"Never invited to actually participate."

Anti-drug advocates counter with surveys showing high school students 
nationwide already are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco -- 
and that the five states with the highest rate of adolescent pot use 
permit medical marijuana.

"We are in the prevention business," said Arthur Dean, chairman of 
the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. "Kids are getting the 
message tobacco's harmful, and they're not getting the message marijuana is."

In Los Angeles, city officials are dealing with elements of public 
backlash after more than 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries opened, 
some employing in-house physicians to dispense legal permission to 
virtually all comers. The boom town atmosphere brought complaints 
from some neighbors, but little of the crime associated with 
underground drug-dealing.

Advocates cite the latter as evidence that, as with alcohol, violence 
associated with the marijuana trade flows from its prohibition.

"Seriously," said Bruce Merkin, communications director for the 
Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group based in the District, 
"there is a reason you don't have Mexican beer cartels planting 
fields of hops in the California forests."

But the controversy over the dispensaries also has put pressure on 
advocates who specifically champion access for ailing patients, not 
just those who champion easing marijuana laws.

"I don't want to say we keep arm's length from the other groups. You 
end up with all of us in the same room," said Joe Elford, counsel for 
Americans for Safe Access, which has led the court battle for medical 
marijuana and is squaring off with the Los Angeles City Council. 
"It's a very broad-based movement."


Prepared by: Richard Lake, Senior Editor


Subj: 002 Re: MAP: Please Help Reform Marijuana Laws
From: R Givens <>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 08:56:59 -0800


I have one admonition for reformers.

Do not go for any DECRIMINALIZTION schemes. Our goal must be REPEAL 

Decriminaliztion is exactly the same policy that enabled Al Capone, 
Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky to control the bootleg alcohol 
business for more than a decade. Decriminaliztion is the reason 
Mexican cartels et al are still in the marijuana business.

Decriminaliztion leaves the narks an opening to continue their reign 
of fraud, dissembling and misdirection.

We have to acknowledge the simple fact that law enforcement has a 
huge self-interest in continuing the status quo. Marijuana 
enforcement is worth billions to cops nationwide. Every officer who 
plays the marijuana game picks up thousands of dollars in overtime 
every year due to court appearances and other extra duty involved in 
marijuana enforcement. Except for LEAP, cops are not interested in 

We must break the influence of the police, prison guards and 
despicable judges who promote the most counterproductive policy since 
the end of chattel slavery. The racism involved must be laid on their 
heads.  The misuse of resources must be blamed on these greedy people.

Politicians who use the drug war as their excuse for holding office 
must unelected.

We must think in terms of repeal and thoughtful regulation which are 
the antithesis of the current system. Repeal is the only way a truly 
effective regulatory system can be brought about.
R Givens


Subj: 003 POLL: Kids with ADHD prescribed medical marjiuana in California. Do you think it's OK for doctors to do this?
From: "Herb" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 09:07:09 -0800

Kids with ADHD prescribed medical marjiuana in California. Do you think it's 
OK for doctors to do this? 


End of MAPTalk-Digest V09 #117

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