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1 US NY: PUB LTE: Cocaine And PregnancyTue, 22 May 2001
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Newman, Robert G. Area:New York Lines:43 Added:05/22/2001

To the Editor: Re "Woman Is Convicted of Killing Her Fetus by Smoking Cocaine" (news article, May 18): There are numerous causes of fetal demise.

Many are related to what pregnant women put in their bodies a " both illegal and, far more commonly, legal substances like alcohol, nicotine and excessive amounts of salt and sugar.

It is usually difficult, and frequently impossible, to determine the precise causes of fetal death. The prosecution of Regina McKnight was an outrage, and her conviction (after 15 minutes of deliberation) a travesty.

[continues 86 words]

2 US MA: PUB LTE: Progressive On PotMon, 21 May 2001
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Massachusetts Lines:27 Added:05/22/2001

I respectfully disagree ("Marijuana loophole closed," May 10). Not only should marijuana be allowed as medicine, but marijuana prohibition should be subjected to a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if abused but the health effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the life-shattering effects of America's punitive criminal justice system. Of course, a review of marijuana legislation would open up a Pandora's box most politicians would just as soon avoid. America's marijuana laws are based on culture and xenophobia, not science.

Robert Sharpe Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation Washington, D.C.

[end]

3 US CA: Help From My FriendsMon, 28 May 2001
Source:U.S. News and World Report (US) Author:Curry, Andrew Area:California Lines:145 Added:05/22/2001

The High Court's Marijuana Ruling Won't Play In Mendocino

UKIAH, CALIF.--A neat row of bright-green seedlings basks in the sunlight on Patrick's window sill. Together with the 20 full-grown plants sitting in plastic kiddie pools under fluorescent lights in his basement, these plants supply the stout, white-bearded Californian and a handful of other locals with medicine. And though part of his tiny marijuana crop is clearly visible from the driveway, he's unconcerned about the law. "I feel totally legal," he says. "I have searched my soul and feel like finally we got the law changed to a level where we can comply."

[continues 1037 words]

4 US FL: Doctors, Drug Investigators Trying To Stop OxyContinMon, 21 May 2001
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Thomas, Ken Area:Florida Lines:60 Added:05/22/2001

DANIA BEACH, Fla. -- Doctors and drug investigators, seeking a balance between helping patients and preventing abuse, gathered Monday to try to halt the growing illegal distribution of the painkiller OxyContin.

Drug manufacturers said they want to increase awareness about the dangers of the pill, also known by its generic name, oxycodone. The prescription pill, developed to treat chronic pain in cancer patients and those with arthritis and back pain, has grown in popularity among drug abusers.

"We want to make sure that OxyContin and other strong medications remain available to the patients with legitimate needs," said Dr. J. David Haddox, senior medical director of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin tablets.

[continues 297 words]

5 US PA: OPED: Reclassify MarijuanaTue, 22 May 2001
Source:Daily Item (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:44 Added:05/22/2001

The Supreme Court has dealt a setback to the drive to allow medical use of marijuana. In an 8-0 ruling last week on a California case, the court held that federal law recognizes no therapeutic benefits to the drug. Therefore, cooperatives that distribute marijuana to the sick can be blocked from doing so by federal authorities. The court did not address whether the states themselves may distribute the drug, or whether individual patients may grow or possess it.

Polls show widespread support for the medical use of marijuana. The drug has been found to ease the side-effects of chemotherapy, along with the symptoms of AIDS and other illnesses. However, substantial data are lacking, in part because the drug is illegal. The paucity of information has helped make Congress reluctant to reclassify marijuana (now a Schedule I drug), despite repeated promptings from advocates.

[continues 158 words]

6 US MD: OPED: Time To Redirect The War On DrugsTue, 22 May 2001
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Harvey, Philip D. Area:Maryland Lines:91 Added:05/22/2001

WASHINGTON -- The deaths of a missionary and her child over Peru last month serve as a brutal reminder that the war on drugs is a shooting war.

The CIA's continuing involvement with the Peruvian government to intercept drug runners also exemplifies the sadly mistaken belief that America's drug problem can be solved by attacking sources of supply.

Indeed, Donnie R. Marshall, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has recently written that the demand for drugs does not drive the supply; rather it's the other way around.

[continues 595 words]

7 US ME: PUB LTE: Change Marijuana LawsMon, 21 May 2001
Source:Times Record (ME) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Maine Lines:44 Added:05/22/2001

To the editor:

Regarding your editorial on the recent Supreme Court ruling against medical marijuana (May 16, "High court sends pot plan up in smoke"), the issue is by no means resolved.

Congress needs to show leadership on medical marijuana, which 70 percent of Americans support. Not only should it authorize medical marijuana, but marijuana prohibition itself should be subjected to a cost-benefit analysis. The health effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the life-shattering effects of the punitive criminal justice system.

[continues 180 words]

8 US CA: Editorial: Pot Law Creates QuandaryTue, 22 May 2001
Source:Bakersfield Californian (CA)          Area:California Lines:58 Added:05/22/2001

It is still technically possible under a 8-0 U.S. Supreme Court ruling for seriously ill Californians to defend against charges of possession of small amounts of marijuana in superior court for reasons of medical necessity. What is doubtful is how wise such a defense is.

At issue is the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, passed by Californians as an initiative. It allowed medical necessity as a defense against criminal charges of possession of marijuana for alleviating symptoms of such diseases and their treatments as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, lupus and other painful, chronic conditions for which conventional FDA approved pain- and nausea-relieving drugs may prove ineffective.

[continues 321 words]

9 US CA: Column: Bush's Faustian Deal With The TalibanTue, 22 May 2001
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Scheer, Robert Area:California Lines:94 Added:05/22/2001

Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention.

[continues 666 words]

10US CA: Supervisor Finds New CrusadeTue, 22 May 2001
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Herel, Suzanne Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/22/2001

Newsmaker Profile: Mike Nevin

Ex-Cop Hopes San Mateo County Study Helps Legalize Medical Pot

In his 27 years as a cop, Michael Nevin learned how easily illegal drugs can ruin lives.

"Parents from all over the country would call the San Francisco police and ask us to look for their kids," he recalls. "We'd find them dead in the Haight. "

Now, as a San Mateo County supervisor, Nevin believes that one of those drugs, marijuana, can be a lifesaver.

[continues 852 words]

11 UK: Lancet Questions FDA Integrity, Claiming Drug IndustryMon, 21 May 2001
Source:Lancet, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:162 Added:05/22/2001

LONDON (Reuters Health) May 17 - Patients taking a controversial new drug for irritable bowel syndrome may have died because the US Food and Drug Administration has become the "servant of the drug industry," the editor of The Lancet claimed on Thursday.

In a devastating editorial, Richard Horton said that although GlaxoSmithKline voluntarily withdrew alosetron (Lotronex) from the US market last November after the deaths of five patients, senior FDA officials were now seeking to reintroduce it.

"This story reveals not only dangerous failings in a single drug's approval and review process but also the extent to which the FDA, its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) in particular, has become the servant of industry," Horton said.

[continues 980 words]


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