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1 US MT: Corrections Proposes Medicinal Marijuana Ban for State ParoleesFri, 04 Jan 2008
Source:Helena Independent Record (MT) Author:Gouras, Matt Area:Montana Lines:71 Added:01/04/2008

A Department of Corrections proposal to prohibit all people on parole or probation from obtaining medical marijuana, drinking alcohol or gambling brought stiff resistance from several groups at a rules hearing Thursday.

An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana called the proposed ban on medical marijuana "flawed in nearly every aspect."

It is contrary to current state law, sentencing rules, and runs up against the Montana Constitution, said Elizabeth Griffing.

"It's almost as if the Department of Corrections is trying to obliquely regulate medical marijuana," she told a hearings officer. "This is just an overreaching of your authority and jurisdiction."

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2 US: LTE: Medical Consequences of Recreational Drug UseFri, 04 Jan 2008
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Blum, Alan Area:United States Lines:42 Added:01/04/2008

Stanton Peele ("Drug Use and the Candidates," Dec. 31) writes that "subtracting the approximately 20 million current drug users from the 110 million plus people who once used, almost 100 million Americans have left drugs behind."

Mr. Peele's math is as poor as his approach to preventing adolescent substance abuse. Dismissing educational programs that present individuals ruined by drugs, he would let our naturally risk-taking teens be risk-taking teens, just so long as they feel good about themselves and "develop skills," whatever that means.

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3 US WI: Remembering DreyfusThu, 10 Jan 2008
Source:Shepherd Express (Milwaukee, WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:37 Added:01/10/2008

Last week we lost one of our most colorful politicians, former Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus. Although many commentators chose to focus on his red vest, tax refunds and populist style, readers around the globe got a different picture of a man they had probably never heard of before: Dreyfus as a champion of gay rights.

According to the Associated Press headline reprinted around the world, "Former Wisconsin Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus dies at 81; signed first statewide gay rights law." Although local news reports tended to downplay that historic move, we're grateful to the AP reporter, Scott Bauer, for his description of the former guv.

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4 US OH: PUB LTE: Nation's Drug War Is Based on RaceTue, 15 Jan 2008
Source:Lima News (OH) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Ohio Lines:35 Added:01/15/2008

The drug war has been waged in a racist manner since its inception. The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 was preceded by a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment. Opium was identified with Chinese laborers, marijuana with Mexicans and cocaine with African-Americans. Racial profiling continues to be the norm, despite similar rates of drug use for minorities and whites. Support for the drug war would end overnight if whites were incarcerated for drugs at the same rate as minorities. The drug war is a cultural inquisition, not a public health campaign.

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5 CN ON: LTE: Jail Emery For LifeSat, 19 Jan 2008
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Lukings, Herbert Area:Ontario Lines:19 Added:01/19/2008

To those Marc Emery Supporters. This man has been thumbing his nose at the law for years and has gone scot free in the past. It seems to me it's people who are using pot that are supporting his taunting of the law. I personally feel this piece of crap should go to jail for life.

Herbert Lukings, London

[end]

6 CN ON: PUB LTE: Luciferous PersecutionSat, 19 Jan 2008
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:White, Stan Area:Ontario Lines:34 Added:01/19/2008

Re: Americans Are Dopes On Pot

It isn't just Canadians that are outraged (Americans Are Dopes On Pot, Jan. 16, 2008); millions of Americans also do not support extraditing or caging Marc Emery.

As a North American Christian, it's insulting and offensive to cage the heroic cannabis (kaneh bosm / marijuana) activist Marc Emery; not according to just me but according to Christ God Our Father, the Ecologician, who indicates He created all the seed bearing plants saying they are all good on the very 1st page of the Bible.

If Canada doesn't want to lose it's sovereignty, protect it by not allowing the extradition of Emery over such discredited law.

Further, next time elections come around, get rid of conservative oxymoron, misnomer Christian right politicians, who support and enable this luciferous persecution.

Stan White, Dillon, Colorado

[end]

7 US CA: County's Measure G - Uphold or Repeal? (Part 1 of 3)Thu, 24 Jan 2008
Source:Fort Bragg Advocate-News (CA) Author:Korbel, Connie Area:California Lines:332 Added:01/24/2008

Last May, when two Santa Rosa men were arrested and accused of pistol whipping a Ukiah-area woman in her home and then robbed her of marijuana, Mendocino County experienced its third pot-related home invasion in just 37 days. In 2007, frightened and frustrated citizens throughout the county appeared repeatedly before the Board of Supervisors with disturbing stories and scary examples of what is happening in residential neighborhoods taken over by illegal large scale marijuana growers.

"We are on the verge of an 1851 San Francisco post-gold rush," said Dennis Smart, a 30-plus-year resident of a rural area south of Ukiah, at the Dec. 11 Board of Supervisors' meeting. "Vigilante committees are forming. You folks sit on a powder keg. You have unleashed an ugly parasite on this county that we can't quite get a handle on anymore.

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8 CN AB: Editorial: Of Seeds And SovereigntyThu, 17 Jan 2008
Source:Gauntlet, The (CN AB Edu) Author:Rininsland, Andrew Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:01/17/2008

Early this week, British Columbia MARIJUANA Party leader, Cannabis Culture magazine editor and pot seed salesman Marc Emery accepted a plea bargain with American authorities to serve five years, mostly in Canadian jail, with no hope of early release. Marc Emery will serve a longer sentence than many violent crime offenders, but the alternative would be up to 20 years in American prisons, for not only him but also two of his closest friends (or "lieutenants," as one paper put it).

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9 US MA: PUB LTE: Drug Abuse Is Bad, but the Drug War Is WorseFri, 01 Feb 2008
Source:Patriot Ledger, The (Quincy, MA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Massachusetts Lines:46 Added:02/01/2008

So-called anonymous surveys that rely on the self-reporting of illegal drugs use are virtually worthless in this age of zero tolerance.

Teenagers know that honesty could result in drug-sniffing dogs in schools, locker searches and mass arrests.

Most teenagers outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving drugs.

An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life-shattering.

After admitting to smoking pot - but not inhaling - former President Bill Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism. And thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of shattered lives.

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10 CN BC: LTE: CAST ConcernsTue, 01 Jan 2008
Source:BC Medical Journal (CN BC) Author:Baker, Ray Area:British Columbia Lines:83 Added:01/01/2008

The provision of stable safe housing, social supports, coun-seling, and a regular family physician to substance-addicted people on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside is clearly one of the most exciting and potentially efficacious initiatives to be proposed in recent Vancouver medical care and research.

What is less clear is the rationale for tying these interventions to pharmacological substitution-the core of the CAST (Chronic Addiction Substitution Treatment Trials) initiative.

Even more troubling to us as physicians is the statement on the CAST web site that "substitution therapy is a means of reducing the users' impact on public order and public health until durable solutions are reached." This is not health care, nor is it likely that it represents the goal of addicted patients.

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11 CN BC: PUB LTE: CAST RepliesTue, 01 Jan 2008
Source:BC Medical Journal (CN BC) Author:Marsh, David C. Area:British Columbia Lines:72 Added:01/01/2008

The most effective and best-studied treatment available in addiction medicine is methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), which leads to a range of benefits for individuals with opioid dependence and society at large.[1] Unfortunately, not all those with opioid dependence benefit from MMT and there is no similar medication available for the treatment of stimulant dependence (particularly crack cocaine or crystal methamphetamine).

The Chronic Addiction Substi-tution Treatment Trials (CAST) are planned as a series of five scientifically rigorous, ethically sound clinical research studies to be conducted in Vancouver to evaluate novel pharmacological strategies for opioid and stimulant dependence.

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12US: Column: Bill Clinton Admits 'Regret' On Crack Cocaine SentencingTue, 04 Mar 2008
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Wickham, DeWayne Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:03/07/2008

PHILADELPHIA -- It was an expression of regret that didn't seem to register with the knot of journalists who came to cover the event -- an apology that deserves more than fleeting attention.

In a keynote address last week at a University of Pennsylvania symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report on the causes of racial disturbances in the 1960s, Bill Clinton did what many politicians find hard to do: admit he made a big mistake.

"I regret more than I can say that we didn't do more on it," he said about his administration's failure to end the disparate sentencing for people convicted of crack and powder cocaine offenses. "I'm prepared to spend a significant portion of whatever life I've got left on the earth trying to fix this because I think it's a cancer," the former president said of the devastating impact this sentencing imbalance has had on blacks.

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13 US OR: Editorial: Legislature Needs Improved Pot BillMon, 25 Feb 2008
Source:Bulletin, The (Bend, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:62 Added:02/25/2008

The bill to limit medical marijuana in the Oregon workplace died -- smothered by opposition from businesses. House Bill 3635 was a bad bill, but the problem the bill tried to address hasn't gone away.

Under Oregon's 1998 medical marijuana law, employers don't have to let patients smoke pot on the job. The law isn't clear, though, about what employers may do about an employee who comes to work impaired.

A 2006 Oregon Supreme Court decision didn't clear the air. In that case, a millwright had muscle spasms in his legs that made it hard to sleep. He used prescription medication and then switched to medical marijuana. He said it worked better.

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14 US MI: Editorial: Medical Marijuana Wrong As State IssueWed, 05 Mar 2008
Source:Daily Telegram, The (Adrain, MI)          Area:Michigan Lines:90 Added:03/09/2008

At issue: Approval of a state petition to allow medical marijuana use.

Our view: The issue will go to state voters in November, but action is wasted unless federal officials change their guidelines.

Should marijuana be legalized in Michigan for medical purposes? Voters most likely will field that question in November and, despite sympathy for the ill, they should just say no.

Michigan's Board of State Canvassers approved petitions Monday that would allow patients to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Patients would need a doctor's approval, and would also need to obtain a registry card to show law enforcement officials. Despite those restrictions, about 496,000 residents signed petitions in support. Only 304,101 valid signatures were needed, so support may indeed be as high as the 70 to 80 percent approval claimed by some backers.

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15 US MI: PUB LTE: Heavily-Armed Ninja-Clad ThievesSat, 16 Feb 2008
Source:Tuscola County Advertiser (Caro, MI) Author:Campbell, Keith Area:Michigan Lines:66 Added:02/16/2008

Dear Editor,

I totally agree with Bob Wood's Jan. 19th letter regarding the drug raids.

I know what he was talking about, because I am a victim of one of those terrorist raids.

Heavily-armed ninja-clad thieves broke into my home and robbed me. They claimed that an anonymous source told them that I had marijuana in my home. They went through my house as if they were at an estate sale. They stole anything they wanted to steal. They took my wallet right out of my pocket and stole all of my cash, and I had just cashed my disability check. They stole my 20 ga. shotgun that I bought 20 years ago and have not used in 15 years.

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16 US IL: State Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Sent to SenateThu, 06 Mar 2008
Source:Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) Author:Mehrotra, Kartikay Area:Illinois Lines:71 Added:03/06/2008

SPRINGFIELD -- The hazy path to legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois cleared a little Wednesday when a committee on public health sent the legislation to the Senate floor on a 6-4 vote.

The measure, sponsored by state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, would allow marijuana card holders to receive prescriptions for medical marijuana and the plant it grows on, thus avoiding any illegal means of obtaining the drug.

"Our first obligation should be ensuring that our laws don't prevent suffering patients from obtaining needed medicine -- or make them criminals if they do," Cullerton said. "This is about the patients, it's not about somebody abusing this law to illegally obtain marijuana."

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17 US OH: PUB LTE: Marijuana Hasn't Killed Anybody In, Like, 5,000 YearsMon, 10 Mar 2008
Source:Athens News, The (OH) Author:White, Stan Area:Ohio Lines:32 Added:03/10/2008

OU Associate Director of Health Promotion Terry Koons' assertion that "smoking marijuana is more physically harmful than smoking cigarettes" is discredited ("Depending on Whom You Ask, Pot's Harmless or Hazardous," The NEWS, Feb. 21) since nobody has died due to cannabis in over 5,000 years of documented use compared to over 1,000 Americans who die daily due to cigarette use. When citizens actually ask knowledgeable and honest people, we find out that cannabis is a relatively safe God-given plant that should be re-legalized for responsible adults.

So, why doesn't Terry Koons speak the truth about marijuana's effects?

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.

[end]

18 US AL: PUB LTE: Fund Treatment Not CopsFri, 21 Mar 2008
Source:Birmingham News, The (AL) Author:Palmer, Dawn Area:Alabama Lines:38 Added:03/21/2008

Congress has funded our law enforcement officers well, and they have done an excellent job. According to a recent report, 1 in every 100 Americans is in jail or prison. Because our jails and prisons are packed, states have come up with alternatives such as community corrections programs and drug courts in order to divert nonviolent drug offenders away from the prison system to make room for the violent offenders.

Treatment for nonviolent drug offenders is more cost-effective but, due to Congress not wanting to look soft on crime, these programs are underfunded. We need to let members of Congress know they won't be condemned for taking a more compassionate and cost-effective approach to our drug-abuse problem. They need to reform the laws concerning mere drug possession and free up more money for education, prevention and treatment. This could lead to more money to treat all the people with a drug-abuse problem, not just the ones who get caught.

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19 US AL: PUB LTE: Funding Police Anti-Drug Work Not Wise PolicyFri, 21 Mar 2008
Source:Montgomery Advertiser (AL) Author:Nall, Loretta Area:Alabama Lines:52 Added:03/21/2008

Letters Funding police anti-drug work not wise policy

In response to "Anti-drug effort must be funded" (March 12), I completely disagree.

In January, Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association, began protesting the federal government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces ineffective.

When have they ever been effective? Every year the number of drug arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises. If the tactics employed by Sgt. Henderson and other drug warriors were working, then shouldn't those numbers be going down?

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20 US AL: PUB LTE: Combat Real CrimeSun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:Anniston Star (AL) Author:Nall, Loretta Area:Alabama Lines:39 Added:03/28/2008

Since January, Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association, has protested the federal government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces ineffective. When have they ever been effective? Every year the number of drug arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises.

If the tactics employed by Henderson and other drug warriors were working, then shouldn't those numbers be going down? Should they be rewarded for repeated failure with more cash? Only in government does something as asinine as rewarding failure happen. In the private sector, they would be unemployed.

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21 US NY: PUB LTE: Breaking Down Marijuana MythsFri, 21 Mar 2008
Source:Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport, NY) Author:Mirken, Bruce Area:New York Lines:38 Added:03/21/2008

Bill Wolcott uses one auto accident in which the driver may have been under the influence of marijuana as "proof" that marijuana use is not a victimless crime. ("Marijuana use seen as a minor character flaw": 3/16) Does he think we should reinstate Prohibition because a small percentage of alcohol consumers foolishly drink and drive? In fact, Prohibition actually increased the rate of needless death and crime associated with alcohol by pushing the entire liquor market into the criminal underground.

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22US TX: Bexar County Awaits AG Opinion on Needle-Exchange ProgramMon, 24 Mar 2008
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Brooks, Karen Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2008

Project to Prevent Spread of Disease Legal Only in Bexar, Yet Isn't

SAN ANTONIO -- Bill Day uses his shoe to brush aside a couple of used needles littering the ground near a concrete arroyo in a seedy west side neighborhood.

The 73-year-old lay chaplain said he used to work with drug addicts at this spot all the time. He'd park the white minivan paid for in part by St. Mark's Episcopal Church and throw open the trunk.

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23 US MA: PUB LTE: Drug Abuse Is a Public Health ProblemThu, 13 Mar 2008
Source:Metrowest Daily News (MA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Massachusetts Lines:33 Added:03/13/2008

Regarding the Paul Campos March 10 column: Mandatory minimum prison sentences have done little other than turn the land of the free into the world's biggest jailer. If harsh penalties deterred drug use, the goal of a "drug-free" America would have been achieved decades ago.

Instead of adding to the highest incarceration rate in the world, we should be funding drug treatment. The drug war is a cure worse than the disease. Drug prohibition finances organized crime at home and terrorism abroad, which is then used to justify increased drug war spending.

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24 US CA: Funds To Fight Pot Crops DoubledThu, 13 Mar 2008
Source:Daily Triplicate, The (CA) Author:Grube, Nicholas Area:California Lines:83 Added:03/13/2008

As marijuana cultivation blossoms in Del Norte County, the federal government is nearly doubling its funding for local law enforcement to combat the growth.

Last year nearly 26,000 plants were pulled from public lands throughout the county and more than 1,200 plants were seized from indoor growing operations. That represented more than a 600 percent increase from 2006 when approximately 4,000 plants were taken from public lands and 465 from indoor grows.

Both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Forest Service are giving money to the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office to continue its fight against the illicit plant, kicking in a combined $42,000 to the department. This is an increase of $20,000 from last year.

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25 US CA: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Users Shouldn't Be Seen As CriminalsTue, 18 Mar 2008
Source:Daily Triplicate, The (CA) Author:Gargaetas, Pat Area:California Lines:45 Added:03/18/2008

"We investigate marijuana as a drug. It's not a medicine. If they have a medical marijuana card, then they can explain it to the judge."

This comment by Detective Sgt. Steve Morris in Nicholas Grube's March 13 story, "Funds to fight pot crops doubled," seems to advance the notion that those who remain within growing guidelines and who have legitimate medical recommendations (which are required by the law), or even the additional cards provided by the county health departments (which are not required by the law) will be considered criminals by law enforcement.

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26 Mexico: In Mexico, on the Lam With Ken KeseySun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Downes, Lawrence Area:Mexico Lines:362 Added:03/23/2008

I am in the ocean, doing nothing, just bobbing.

I am facing a golden-sugar beach, a low pink hotel, a thatched palapa baking in the heat. To my left, a long crescent stretch of bay, a cradling arm around a basket of blue. To my right, a stone jetty. Beyond it, a port full of oceangoing tankers and the cliff-hugging city of Manzanillo. Behind me, the limitless Pacific. All around, pelicans loitering in the swells, which lift and gently drop me, my arms out, toes brushing velvet sand.

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27 CN BC: International NGO Forum Takes Issue With UN'sSat, 01 Mar 2008
Source:West Coast Leaf (CA) Author:Harper, Debra Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:03/01/2008

An international forum to discuss United Nations drug policy, held in Vancouver, BC Canada on Feb. 4 and 5, aired sharp criticism of the current global Drug War.

The second of two "Beyond 2008: North America Regional Consultations" took place to provide the UN drug control bodies, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with public input on the effectiveness of international drug strategies over the last decade.

Nearly 100 delegates representing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the US and Canada and involved in the health, treatment, prevention, criminal justice, human rights, alternative development, prohibitionist and consumer sectors assembled for the two-day forum at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

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28 US OH: LTE: Don'T Put Blame On Police OfficerFri, 11 Apr 2008
Source:Lima News (OH) Author:Kohli, Audriona Area:Ohio Lines:33 Added:04/12/2008

I am highly irritated with the Tarika Wilson story. I do have sympathy for her family and am deeply sorry that it took a death of a human being to bring attention to the terrible drug problem. But the fact that we want to blame the police officer for so-called "murdering" her is beyond upsetting to me.

This man has served for the Lima community for 30 years, and that should be accounted for. If this man is put in jail, I fear it will make other officers think twice before firing and could possibly cost their lives and lives of others.

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29 US CA: Mother Pens Memoir on Life With Heroin Addict SonFri, 11 Jan 2008
Source:Jewish Journal, The (CA) Author:Firestone, Jay Area:California Lines:126 Added:01/11/2008

Rita Lowenthal raised her family in a nice Jewish home, lived in a nice Jewish neighborhood and belonged to a nice Jewish temple. So how did her son become a heroin addict at age 13?

The need for an answer to that question, as well as a desire for closure, is what inspired Lowenthal to pen "One-Way Ticket: Our Son's Addiction to Heroin" (Beaufort Books, $14), a memoir that compiles her experiences and correspondence with her son and his journal entries while in and out of San Quentin State Prison.

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30 US CA: Column: Marijuana in the Medicine ChestSat, 26 Apr 2008
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Banks, Sandy Area:California Lines:130 Added:04/30/2008

The advertising flier left no doubt about its pitch: a giant marijuana leaf with a phone number that ended GOT KUSH. A friend's teenage daughter brought it home from last weekend's Earth Day celebration on the Santa Monica Pier.

What else would I expect from a concert held on 4/20 -- a shorthand reference to smoking pot -- that featured reggae artist Ziggy Marley, son of Bob?

"Have you or anyone else experienced an illness [for] which you believe marijuana could provide relief?" the flier read. "If you don't qualify for a recommendation, your visit is free."

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31 US OH: Legalize-Pot Rally Held HereMon, 05 May 2008
Source:Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) Author:Ellis, Amber Area:Ohio Lines:84 Added:05/05/2008

Pain Sufferers Say It Has Medicinal Qualities

A few hundred people gathered at Fountain Square on Sunday for a rally to support legalizing marijuana - a scene that played out in many U.S. cities this weekend.

The crowd listened to music and speeches about why the drug should be legalized before marching to the federal building a couple of blocks away.

Young and old sported hemp jewelry and shirts with the plant - all for a drug they said should be available to "those who need it and those who want it."

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32US CA: Editorial: The High Cost of CourageTue, 13 May 2008
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/18/2008

Mexican president Felipe Calderon has been brave enough to try to wrestle back control of his country from the vicious drug cartels that have been terrorizing border areas and, increasingly, major Mexican cities for years. Some of Calderon's foot soldiers - he has put about 30,000 armed troops into the field - have been brave enough to risk their lives when it would be far easier for them to allow themselves to be corrupted by the cartels.

The price for this courage has been high and is getting higher - more than 100 people were killed as a result of drug-related violence last week in Mexico, including about 20 police officers. One of the dead was Edgar Millan Gomez, the chief of the Mexican federal preventive police. Thousands of ordinary Mexican citizens marched through the streets of Juarez (just across the Texas border) on Sunday to protest the incredible violence that has crippled their nation and paralyzed their own lives.

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33 US FL: Bust That Went Bad Prompts OutcryTue, 13 May 2008
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Royse, David Area:Florida Lines:102 Added:05/13/2008

Tallahassee's Mayor And an ACLU Leader Want the Death of an Informant Probed.

TALLAHASSEE - The mayor of Tallahassee and the Florida head of the American Civil Liberties Union called for independent investigations Monday after accusations that a 23-year-old woman should not have been used as a police informant on a dangerous drug bust.

Rachel Hoffman's body was found Friday in rural Taylor County, two days after she went missing. Hoffman, who was facing several felony charges, was working with narcotics officers and posing as a buyer.

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34Canada: Column: Not Your Mother's ReeferThu, 22 May 2008
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Kay, Barbara Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/26/2008

The 18th-century poet Alexander Pope was a keen student of human nature, and often delivered bits of timeless wisdom in memory-friendly rhyming couplets.

One that opinion writers in particular should take to heart from his Essay on Criticism is: "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."

The words "intoxicate the brain" bring to mind the Post's 2007 editorial on marijuana, enunciated in response to evidence that Canada's marijuana consumption was the highest in the industrialized world: "What is really remarkable about Canada's status as a cannabis capital is that if you were to set out looking for reasons to worry about it . you would have an awfully hard time finding them. Legalizing pot makes sense."

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35US CA: OPED: Pot PropagandaWed, 04 Jun 2008
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Sabet, Kevin A. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/08/2008

Science, Not Politics, Should Drive California's Drug Policy

With all of the talk about medical marijuana dispensaries in California, it is hard to separate truth and science from ideology and dogma.

In recent years, marijuana activists in the state have donned white coats and exclaimed a newfound concern for the seriously ill, while legislators and judges have been left to wrestle with the consequences of a poorly written referendum, Prop. 215. Known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, it allowed patients with a valid doctor's recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use.

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36 Canada: OPED: To Help, or at Least Do No HarmWed, 04 Jun 2008
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Mate, Gabor Area:Canada Lines:86 Added:06/04/2008

Canada's Health Minister urgently needs an education in harm reduction. Announcing his intention to shut down Insite, the supervised injection facility serving drug addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Tony Clement told the House of Commons health committee that "supervised injection is not medicine; it does not heal the person addicted to drugs." Mr. Clement got one thing right: Supervised injection does not heal addiction. It is, however, completely in line with accepted medical practice.

Consider other areas of medicine. Prescribing inhalant medication to open airways and reduce lung inflammation in smokers also does not "heal" nicotine addiction: It only saves lives and improves quality of life. Similarly, quadruple bypass surgery in overstressed type-A business executives does not heal workaholism; insulin does not cure people whose eating patterns and sedentary habits have triggered diabetes, and intestinal bypass surgery in relief of morbid obesity does not cure food addiction. But all of these medical interventions are harm-reduction measures.

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37 Canada: LTE: Do No Harm, Right?Thu, 05 Jun 2008
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Clement, Tony Area:Canada Lines:41 Added:06/10/2008

I was surprised to read Gabor Mate's article To Help, Or At Least Do No Harm (June 4). The examples he cites - providing inhalant medications to smokers with lung inflammation or bypass surgery to cardiac patients - are good examples of helpful treatments. More important, these actions cause no harm. But injecting heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine into a human's body does cause harm. We know the injection itself causes harm, and we know the drugs cause harm - assuming anyone knows what is actually contained within the untested, unregulated brew that is being injected. Inhalant medications and bypass surgery are not fair analogies to injection drug use. A more apt analogy of what Insite, Vancouver's safe-injection facility, does would be a doctor holding a cigarette to make sure a smoker doesn't burn his lips, or watching a woman with cardiac problems eat fatty French fries to ensure she swallows them properly.

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38 Canada: PUB LTE: In Harm's WayFri, 06 Jun 2008
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Kendall, Perry Area:Canada Lines:31 Added:06/06/2008

In response to Health Minister Tony Clement's response (Do No Harm, Right? - letter, June 5) to Gabor Mate's column (To Help, Or At Least Do Harm - June 4) in which he questioned Dr. Mate's choice of analogies for Insite's functions, I would like to draw the minister's attention to the finding by Mr. Justice Ian Pitfield of the B.C. Supreme Court. The judge came to the "incontrovertible conclusion" that "the risk of morbidity and mortality associated with addiction and injection can be ameliorated by injection in the presence of qualified health professionals." I see nothing in that statement or the published literature that would support a contention that supporting Insite, Vancouver's safe-injection facility, is either hypocritical or advocating for the promotion of harm.

Perry Kendall

Victoria

[end]

39 US ID: PUB LTE: Stop The MadnessWed, 04 Jun 2008
Source:Idaho Mountain Express (ID) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Idaho Lines:41 Added:06/04/2008

Hailey voters may not be able to skirt marijuana laws, but they can voice their opposition to them. If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican immigration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda.

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40US TX: Funding Not Only Tool Needed To Stem Drug ViolenceSun, 01 Jun 2008
Source:El Paso Times (TX) Author:Grissom, Brandi Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:06/01/2008

AUSTIN -- As lawmakers last week approved sending millions to help Mexico with its war against narco-traffickers, experts said the government is doing little to address the root cause of that violence and reduce drug use in the U.S.

"Throwing money into the drug interdiction processes is tantamount to saying you can't prevent drugs coming into this country," said Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

The U.S. House on Tuesday approved the Bush administration's Merida Initiative, authorizing $1.6 billion in aid to Mexico over the next three years.

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41 US NY: Editorial: Medical Marijuana Makes SenseSat, 07 Jun 2008
Source:Daily Star, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:41 Added:06/07/2008

With the introduction of legislation by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, New York state is looking to join California, Oregon, Washington and a handful of other states that allow the use of marijuana by medical prescription.

Two local men are among a group of patients and advocates who lobbied the Senate with Gottfried on Tuesday to seek approval of Gottfried's bill. They and others argue that marijuana can alleviate some pain, nausea, anxiety and a host of other symptoms better than any conventional medicine available, and many doctors have echoed these sentiments.

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42 US TX: PUB LTE: The New ProhibitionThu, 12 Jun 2008
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:McCool, Colleen Area:Texas Lines:31 Added:06/12/2008

Re: "Congress must help Mexico fight gangs," (Our Turn, Saturday):

Mexico's drug war has escalated to the bloodbaths of violence during alcohol prohibition. Our current prohibition creates the black market funding the cartel terrorists. Official lawlessness rules once again! The tool we need to fight drug abuse is compassion. Treat nonviolent abusers as patients, not criminals.

The cumulative effect of current policy is becoming obvious. While we police individual recreational and medicinal use of drugs, murderers and violent sexual predators roam free.

Repeal Prohibition! Restore justice in America. In the world, construct science-based drug policies about saving and rehabilitating instead of ruining lives. Get tough on violent crime! Warriors can get their adrenaline rush increasing public safety, chasing killers and other violent predators.

Colleen McCool

[end]

43 US NM: PUB LTE: Reform Harmful Drug LawsThu, 12 Jun 2008
Source:Taos News, The (NM) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:New Mexico Lines:47 Added:06/12/2008

Mike Jones' June 7 op-ed ('Another example of addiction to the war on drugs') was right on target. Drugs did not spawn Mexico's organized crime net-works. Just like alcohol prohi-bition gave rise to Al Capone, drug prohibition created the violent drug-trafficking orga-nizations blamed for all the killing in Mexico.

With alcohol prohibition repealed in the U.S., liquor bootleggers no longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings. It's worth noting that Mexico's recent upsurge in violence began after an anti-drug crackdown created a power vacuum among com-peting cartels. From a political perspective, Mexican President Felipe Calderon stands to ben-efit from the violence.

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44 US AL: Editorial: Salvia Should Be BannedSat, 21 Jun 2008
Source:Cullman Times, The (AL) Author:Price, Derek Area:Alabama Lines:63 Added:06/21/2008

We at The Cullman Times bet a lot of our readers were surprised to learn how some young people in Cullman County are using a hallucinogenic drug, called salvia divinorum, to alter their minds in a fashion somewhat similar to LSD. We suspect you were also surprised to learn that salvia is perfectly legal to buy, sell and use in Alabama.

We were definitely shocked.

Here in Cullman County, a place where adults can't legally buy a glass of wine with their dinner, it's perfectly legal to sell a hallucinogen to a 15-year-old. Granted, the only local store we know that sells salvia requires the buyer to be at least 19, but that's not the law. It's merely by choice, a decision that we think is made more for public relations reasons than any sense of ethics on the part of the retailer.

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45US CA: Feds Probe S.F.'S Migrant-Offender ShieldSun, 29 Jun 2008
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Derbeken, Jaxon Van Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/03/2008

San Francisco juvenile probation officials - citing the city's immigrant sanctuary status - are protecting Honduran youths caught dealing crack cocaine from possible federal deportation and have given some offenders a city-paid flight home with carte blanche to return.

The city's practices recently prompted a federal criminal investigation into whether San Francisco has been systematically circumventing U.S. immigration law, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

City officials say they are trying to balance their obligations under federal and state law with local court orders and San Francisco's policies aimed at protecting the rights of the young immigrants, who they say are often victims of exploitation.

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46 US CA: Editorial: A Hulking Drug ProblemTue, 01 Jul 2008
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:61 Added:07/01/2008

After 8 Years and Billions Spent, Cocaine Production in South America Appears Bulletproof.

It was probably unintentional, but "The Incredible Hulk" is much more than a summer afternoon's escape; it's clearly a satire, a perfect depiction of Washington's boneheaded belief that firepower can resolve any problem. Although the creature is obviously bulletproof, soldiers shoot him anyway. They get bigger guns, then tanks. He survives. They get cannons. They shoot and shoot. The Hulk sulks for a bit and then is fine.

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47 US MA: PUB LTE: Middle Ground Between Drug Prohibition and Blanket LegalizationThu, 29 May 2008
Source:Weston Town Crier (MA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Massachusetts Lines:52 Added:05/29/2008

To The Editor:

Regarding Isabella Jancourtz's thoughtful May 22 guest column ("Ending the losing 'War on Drugs'), there is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket legalization.

Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce disease, death and crime among chronic users. Providing addicts with standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates many of the problems associated with heroin use.

Heroin maintenance pilot projects are under way in Canada, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations addiction.

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48 US MA: Anti-OD Grant Triggers AlarmSat, 14 Jun 2008
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Caywood, Thomas Area:Massachusetts Lines:80 Added:06/14/2008

Adopting Narcan Plan Feared

WORCESTER-- A $300,000, three-year state grant awarded to the city late last month to reduce overdoses from heroin and other opiates has some neighborhood public safety advocates on guard for what they say is a creeping shift toward coddling drug addicts.

The Main South Alliance for Public Safety's William T. Breault and District 4 City Councilor Barbara G. Haller sent a two-page letter this week to a long list of local, state and federal officials decrying the "harm reduction" policies of state and local public health officials.

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49 US NY: LTE: Marijuana Use Is DangerousMon, 30 Jun 2008
Source:Daily Star, The (NY) Author:Pace, Nicholas A. Area:New York Lines:64 Added:06/30/2008

In response to your editorial of June 7, "Medical marijuana makes sense":

The last international NYU Medical conference on Marijuana and Medicine (Humana Press), showed that the active psychotropic pharmacological agent in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, did provide properties for possible medical use.

The use of THC has been narrowed to an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients and an anti-emetic in cancer chemotherapy. As an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients, it is not effective since they have an infection with a protein diathesis.

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50 Bolivia: A Bitter LeafTue, 01 Jul 2008
Source:Mother Jones (US) Author:Vernaschi, Marco Area:Bolivia Lines:139 Added:07/01/2008

There hasn't yet been a tin or copper war, but there once was a nitrate war, and in the past decade Bolivia has seen both a water war and a gas war-the latest struggles over the nation's only real riches, the lucrative resources granted by God and geology.

In this country nearly twice the size of France, where Amazonian jungles butt against 12,000-foot plateaus, the winners have always come from elsewhere.

The Inca royalty of Cuzco (in modern-day Peru) took power from the local Aymara; the Spanish took gold and silver; the British took tin; recently, multinationals Bechtel and Suez tried to privatize the water supplies of Cochabamba and El Alto, while other foreign companies fought for control of Bolivia's prodigious supply of natural gas; cartels continue to take the coca and its profits.

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