B E T W E E N:
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, HANS-JORG ALBRECHT (Ph. D.), of City of Dresden, in the Country of
Germany, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am a Professor of Law at the Dresden University of Technology. I am
currently the Chair of Criminal Law at that university. Previously, I was
the Chair of Criminal Law at the University of Konstanz. As of March 1,
1997, I will be serving as the Director of the Max-Plank-Institute for
Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freidburg. I also act as editor
(or co-editor) of a number of legal and criminological journals including
the French journal, Deviance et Societe, the European Journal of Crime
Policy and Research, the European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and
Criminal Justice and the German Journal, Monatsschrfi fur Kriminologie und
[continues 1931 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, Bruce Alexander, of the City of Vancouver, in the Province of British
Columbia, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am a professor of psychology at Simon Fraser University. I have
specialized in the study of drug addiction and drug use, and I have been
doing research in this area since 1970. Attached hereto as Exhibit "A" is a
true copy of my curriculum vitae.
[continues 1916 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, MARIE ANDREE BERTRAND, of the city of Montreal, in the province of
Quebec, hereby MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am currently an Honorary Professor of Criminology at the University of
Montreal, having officially retired on June 1,1996, after having been a
member of faculty since 1967. At present, I am also a research associate
with the International Centre of Comparative Criminology. From 1988 to
present, I have been acting as President of the International
Anti-Prohibitionist League in Brussels. Attached hereto as Exhibit "A" is a
copy of my curriculum vitae.
[continues 3009 words]
B E T W E E N:
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, NEIL BOYD, of the City of Burnaby, in the Province of British Columbia,
MAKE OATH AND SAY:
1. I am a professor at the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University
in Burnaby, British Columbia and I have worked there since 1978. One of my
areas of study and expertise relates to the sociological and criminological
implications of Canada's drug laws. I have received several grants to
further my studies in this area and I have authored numerous articles in
this area. In 1991, my book, High Society: Legal and Illegal Drugs, was
published by Key Porter Books. Attached hereto to this my affidavit as
Exhibit "A" is a copy of my curriculum vitae which outlines my professional
qualifications and my various publications.
[continues 1279 words]
B E T W E E N:
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, LESTER GRINSPOON M.D., of the City of Boston in the State of
Massachusetts, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard
Medical School in Boston and have been a professor at Harvard since 1973. I
have written approximately 29 articles on various aspects of the use of
cannabis, and I have been studying the social and medical aspects of
cannabis use since 1967. In addition, I have authored two books on
cannabis; namely, Marihuana Reconsidered (1971, Harvard University Press.
1st ed.; 1977, 2nd ed.; classic ed. 1994) and Marihuana.. The Forbidden
Medicine (1993, Yale University Press). My book, Marihuana: The Forbidden
Medicine has been translated into eight languages. In 1990, I was awarded
the Alfred Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship.
Attached hereto as Exhibit "A" is a true copy of my curriculum vitae.
Attached hereto as Exhibit "B" are copies of the two books noted in this
[continues 2640 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, JOHN P. MORGAN, Professor of Pharmacology, of the State of New York,
MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am a Professor in the Pharmacology Department at CUNY Medical School
in New York City. I have studied cannabis and its effects for over 25
years. I regularly review medical literature regarding cannabis, toxicity,
and the medicinal use of cannabis. I have written and published eight
articles that focus on and/or relate to cannabis and its use.
[continues 1763 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
Affidavit Of Eugene Oscapella
I, EUGENE OSCAPELLA, of the City of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario, MAKE
OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am a barrister and solicitor in the Province of Ontario having been
called to the Bar in 1980. I have worked as a researcher and consultant for
many government agencies including the Law Reform Commission of Canada, the
Department of Justice, the Ontario Law Reform Commission and the Office of
the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. In addition, I served as the first
Chair of the Drug Policy Group of the Law Reform Commission of Canada and
also now serve as a member of the policy committee of the Canadian Criminal
Justice Association. I am a founding member of the Canadian Foundation for
Drug Policy and, among my other professional duties, I currently serve as
one of the Directors for this foundation. The Canadian Foundation for Drug
Policy is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 by several of Canada's
leading specialists in drug policy. The Foundation is designed to act as a
forum for the exchange of views of the reform of Canada's drug policy and,
where necessary, to recommend law reform alternatives that will make
Canada's drug law and policies more effective and humane. Attached hereto
to this affidavit and marked as Exhibit "A" is a copy of my curriculum vitae.
[continues 1392 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
Affidavit Of Patricia G. Erickson
I, PATRICIA G. ERICKSON (Ph. D.), of City of Toronto, in the Toronto
Region, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am a Senior Scientist within the Social and Evaluation Research
Department of the Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto. As well, I am
an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology, the Director of the
Collaborative Program in Alcohol, Tobacco and other Psychoactive
Substances, and a member of the Graduate Faculty at University of Toronto.
Before joining the Addiction Research Foundation in 1973, I was a
researcher with the Centre of Criminology, at the University of Toronto. I
am the author of works such as Cannabis Criminals; The Social Effects of
Punishment on Drug Users (ARF Books, 1980), "Living with Prohibition" in
the International Journal of the Addictions (1989), the co-author of The
Steel Drug: Cocaine in Perspective (Lexington Books, 1987) and The Steel
Drug: Cocaine in Perspective. 2nd ed. (1994), as well as the co-editor of
Illicit Drugs in Canada (Nelson Canada, 1988). My other publications and
professional interests are in the areas of law enforcement and social
policy with respect to illicit drugs, comparative juvenile justice systems,
deterrence and drug market violence. I received my Doctorate in Criminology
and Social Administration from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, in
1983. My curriculum vitae is attached hereto at Exhibit "A".
[continues 2851 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, ROBERT RANDALL, of the City of Sarasota, in the State of Florida, MAKE
OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOW:
1. I received my B.A. degree from the University of South Florida (Tampa)
in 1969. I obtained my M.A. degree in Rhetoric and the Oral Interpretation
of Literature in 1971. Currently, I am President of the Alliance for
Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT), an organization which seeks to make marijuana
legally available for legitimate medical uses. Attached hereto as Exhibit
"A" is a copy of my curriculum vitae.
[continues 1711 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, DIANE M. RILEY, of the City of Toronto in the Toronto Region, MAKE OATH
AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Behavioural Science,
University of Toronto, and a policy analyst at the Canadian Foundation of
Drug Policy at the University of Toronto. I completed my undergraduate
studies at the University of Sydney, in Australia. I then obtained a
Master's degree (in 1979), and a Doctoral degree (in 1983), in Psychology
(Psychophysiology), from the University of Toronto. I completed my
education with post-doctoral work at the Addiction Research Foundation in
Toronto. I then held the position of Assistant Professor in both the
Department of Anthropology and Department of Psychology, at the University
of Toronto. From 1988 to 1990, I was a consultant on AIDS Education and
Prevention for the Metropolitan Toronto and federal Governments. In 1990, I
joined the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse as a Senior Policy Analyst, a
position I held until 1996. I was a founding member of both the Canadian
Foundation for Drug Policy and the International Harm Reduction
Association. I currently serve as a director of the latter organization. I
was also on the board of directors of the Canadian Hemophilia Society from
1987 to 1994. From 1988 to present, I have planned and chaired many
conferences, such as the AIDS and Drug Use Symposium in 1988, and the Harm
Reduction Around the World Symposium in 1996. Additionally, I have written
and published widely on many topics, including Drug Use and
Decriminalization of Marijuana. Attached hereto as Exhibit "A" is a copy of
my curriculum vitae, setting out my academic credentials, my professional
experience, research and operating grants received, and my list of
[continues 1660 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
I, NEEV TAPIERO, of the City of Toronto in the Prnvinee of Ontario, MAKE
OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am a 25 year old student at Ryerson Polytechnical University in
Toronto, Ontario. I became interested in the medical use of cannabis sativa
and have been studying the application of marijuana for medicijnl purposes
for the past two years.
2. As a result of my studies, I have been interested in the formation of a
local Buyer's Club in Toronto. A Buyers' Club is a public organization that
supplies people wuth cannabis sativa for diagnosed medical needs. Such a
club has been operating successlully for a number of years in San
Francisco. A buyer's club provides marihuana that is affordable and of a
quality that is both safe and effective for the club's members. in order to
become a member, a letter of diagnosis from a medical doctor and a release
of confidential medical information to confirm the diagnosis is required.
People with recognized ailments such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal
paralysis, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines, and AIDS often qualify for
membership. In order to become a member there are certain rules that must
be followed. Members will often have the amount of cannabis they receive
limited to a daily dosage and are strictly prohibited from trafficking or
sharing their medical cannabis with non-members. Other rules include no
driving after ingestion of the cammbis. The staff is trained to deal with
each patient in a compassionate manner in order to create an atmosphere of
[continues 588 words]
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN respondent
CHRISTOPHER CLAY and JORDAN KENT PRENTICE Applicants
Heard at London: April 28, 29, and 30, and May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20
and 22, 1997.
McCART J.: (Delivered orally August 14, 1997) The accused were jointly
charged that on or about the 17th day of May, 1995 at the City of London
did unlawfully traffic in a narcotic, namely cannabis sativa, contrary to
s.4(1) of the Narcotic Control Act and further, that on or about the 17th
day of May, 1995 at the City of London did unlawfully possess a narcotic,
namely cannabis sativa, for the purpose of trafficking contrary to s.4(2)
of the Narcotic Control Act. In addition, Clay alone was charged that on
the same date he did unlawfully traffic in a narcotic, namely cannabis
sativa; that he did unlawfully possess a narcotic, namely cannabis sativa
for the purpose of trafficking; and did unlawfully cultivate marijuana
contrary to s.6(1) of the Narcotic Control Act.
[continues 8128 words]
Addendum To The Judgment Of Mccart J. F.
DATED AUGUST 14, 1997
A Summary Of The Potential Harms & Benefits
Prepared by Chris Clay May 17, 1997
Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission (India, 1893 1894)
*The excessive consumers then must be regarded as bearing but a small
proportion to the moderate - certainly not more than 5 per cent, or 1 to
20. (p. 130)
*Cannabis indica must be looked upon as one of the most important drugs of
Indian Materia Medica. (p. 175)
[continues 5249 words]
The advanced stages of many illnesses and their treatments are often
accompanied by intractable nausea, vomiting, or pain. Thousands of patients
with cancer, AIDS, and other diseases report they have obtained striking
relief from these devastating symptoms by smoking marijuana. (1) The
alleviation of distress can be so striking that some patients and their
families have been willing to risk a jail term to obtain or grow the
Despite the desperation of these patients, within weeks after voters in
Arizona and California approved propositions allowing physicians in their
states to prescribe marijuana for medical indications, federal officials,
including the President, the secretary of Health and Human Services, and
the attorney general sprang into action. At a news conference, Secretary
Donna E. Shalala gave an organ recital of the parts of the body that she
asserted could be harmed by marijuana and warned of the evils of its
spreading use. Attorney General Janet Reno announced that physicians in any
state who prescribed the drug could lose the privilege of writing
prescriptions, be excluded from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and
even be prosecuted for a federal crime. General Barry R. McCaffrey,
director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, reiterated his
agency's position that marijuana is a dangerous drug and implied that
voters in Arizona and California had been duped into voting for these
propositions. He indicated that it is always possible to study the effects
of any drug, including marijuana, but that the use of marijuana by
seriously ill patients would require, at the least, scientifically valid
[continues 639 words]
Los Angeles - Ever since Ronald Reagan's "new federalism" revived the
debate over states' rights in the 1980's - and particularly since
Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 - power has seemed to be
ebbing from Washington. Last year, the Federal Government gave up its
six-decade responsibility for welfare. California, like other states, has
moved to assert its authority in other areas, voting to side-step the
Federal commitment to affirmative action and Federal drug laws on marijuana.
The trend may be unmistakable, but devolution, it turns out, isn't
revolution. Arid it isn't easy, as advocates of states' rights,
particularly in the West, are learning the hard way. They have been angered
at recent assertions of authority by the Clinton Administration and the
[continues 945 words]
A Drug Prosecutor's Pot Conversion
When two doctors told Keith Vines three years ago that he should consider
smoking marijuana for his health, the 46-year-old San Francisco assistant
district attorney was thrown into a quandary.
He had always been a strong advocate of the nation's anti-drug policies.
And as a self-styled "foot soldier" in the war on drugs, he had prosecuted
one of the biggest pot busts in San Francisco history, sending a man to
prison in 1993 for possessing more than 400 pounds of marijuana.
[continues 1345 words]
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 - When the letter from the Orange County
government arrived last week, Rod Dunaway knew what it said even
before opening the envelope.
A heavy-equipment operator from Mission Viejo who smokes marijuana to
relieve pain from glaucoma, Mr. Dunaway, 38, had recently taken a
random drug test under a 1991 Federal law that requires random testing
of many transportation workers. He tested positive for marijuana, and
is now being dismissed by the county.
But this was no routine dismissal. After voters in a controversial
statewide referendum last year approved the use of marijuana for
medical purposes when recommended by a doctor, Mr. Dunaway became the
first person in California claiming to use marijuana for pain relief
to lose his job as a result.
[continues 879 words]
Inside the club, order seems to reign, as well. The computers are up, the
phones are ringing. Reporters chase down sick people in wheelchairs. The
reporters are here because today is a news event: the relaunching of the
mothership, as the club is known to its grateful patients, marks the coming
out of California's medical marijuana movement after years in hiding.
Founded in 1992, the club existed in an uneasy truce with the city of San
Francisco, selling pot to some 12,000 customers designated as medical
patients. It grew to become by far the largest medical marijuana club in
the state, serving as many patients in a day as the other seven or so clubs
together might serve in a week. Then, in August, 1996, state narcotics
agents raided the club and shut it down on a host of marijuana possession
and distribution charges. Three months later, California voters, by a
margin of 56 to 44 percent, passed Proposition 215: The Medical Marijuana
Initiative, making it legal to smoke marijuana in California with the
approval or recommendation of a doctor. A local judge promptly gave the
club permission to reopen and designated the club's owner, a former (and
often-convicted) marijuana dealer named Dennis Peron, as a caregiver (which
is to say, pot provider) for up to 12,000 patients.
[continues 6136 words]
By Tracey Rochelle Hayes (email@example.com), Joe Ptak
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and Noelle Davis (email@example.com) - Texas
Network of Reform Groups
The experience of organizing the Tulia Freedom Ride was like experiencing a
poem as it was being written. The apparent simplicity of the idea versus
the reality of it's execution reveals the complexities involved in
developing relationships with many individuals displaying a variety of
motivational levels and aptitudes all at once. Consistently keeping our
eyes on the goal, and adapting to rapidly changing circumstances with grace
and humor, we achieved all of our short-term goals, placing us in perfect
position to achieve our long-term goals.
[continues 1817 words]
An Open Letter To Senator John Kerry And Teresa Heinz
JULY 26, 1997: from somewhere in the mountains of southeast Mexico
Dear John and Teresa,
Picture this. I am kneeling upon volcanic rocks, alongside a turquoise
mountain stream. The breeze keeps the flies and bees away, softens the red
blows of the pounding Mayan sun on my skin. A spotted lizard scampers by my
guide, Francisco, age 10, a child -- get this -- with an attention span.
Your so-called First World of television and computer games, the world of
money-media-Sony-Disney-Microsoft, hasn't yet colonized his mind and spirit
in the nefarious ways it has manufactured half-persons out of his
counterparts in the North. He watches patiently, curiously, as this
37-year-old gringo tries to wash clothes in the river -- occasionally
cracking a quiet smile at my obvious difficulty with the task.
[continues 4230 words]
MONTREAL (CUP) -- The movement pushing for the legalization of marijuana is
gaining strength as a nascent pro-pot political party gets ready to run
candidates in the upcoming Quebec election while Torontonians are being
invited on the Can-Abyss train.
The Bloc Pot is being organized by 28-year-old Montreal musician Marc St.
Maurice, a six-year veteran of marijuana activism.
He has collected the nearly 1,000 signatures needed to get official party
status and is looking for 10 people to run for office. St. Maurice says
lots of people have stepped forward, adding that it only remains to work
out who will run in what riding.
[continues 495 words]
The Examiner, which has done a good job of covering new directions in the
public debate about drug policy, should be commended for allowing a
dissenting opinion by Ethan Nadelmann ( "Pro: The case for medical
Reading the opposing viewpoints, we can see how impoverished the drug
debate has been for the past 20 years. For every scientific claim McCaffrey
trots out to demonstrate marijuana's danger, Nadelmann has a competing
proof of its relative safety and efficacy as a medicine. Nadelmann shows
the difficulties doctors have had in demonstrating the legitimacy of
medical marijuana in the climate of hysteria created by sound-bite
[continues 64 words]
The editorial asserts that pot-prescription laws in Arizona and California
are misguided, that there are better drugs than cannabis available for life-
and sense-threatening illnesses. On the contrary, marijuana is sometimes the
*best* medicine -- that's why six individuals legally receive marijuana from
the federal goverment to smoke for glaucoma and other diseases. (Yes, *only*
six.) The wake-up call from Arizona and California is that states are
justifiably choosing to expand this prescription policy, which the federal
government, in its duplicity, is trying to scuttle.
[continues 96 words]
The article reports that the government's plan to fight the
California referendum legalizing the medical use of marijuana "would
threaten doctors with revocation of their federal registration and
possible criminal prosecution if they prescribe the drug."
But under the law, doctors will not be prescribing or dispensing
marijuana. Recommending marijuana for a patient is a communication
to the state and local law enforcement authorities. It remains up to the
patient to obtain the marijuana. How can that be a violation of
prescription-writing rules? Since the federal government cannot legally
move against the law or the doctors, the drugwarrior establishment is
resorting to terror tactics.
GERALD M. SUTLIFF,
Walnut Creek, California.
As regards the latest developments in the war against drugs and the
decriminalization of Marijuana, I assert that some basic issues are being
ignored, namely : If we go to the Bible, we find in Genesis (Chapter 1:29)
that God says: "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is
upon the face of the entire Earth... to you it shall be as food." Secondly,
on every note of American currency it is stated that "In God We Trust".
Thirdly, in the Declaration of Independence, by which our forefathers
stated that we are a nation, we find that we are apportioned by the same
God the right to "...Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."
Finally, (even putting aside for now the God-given right to the pursuit of
happiness) we find in The Random House Dictionary that Liberty means (Def.
4) "Freedom from external control or interference, obligation, etc.;
freedom to choose."
[continues 78 words]
Chartrand already contradicts himself by admitting that THC is a valid
medicine after denying that the source -- marijuana -- is also a
medicine. It's like saying that vitamin C in a pill is good, but vitamin C
in an orange is worthless.
AIDS, cancer and chemotherapy all produce devastating nausea, vomiting
and wasting from slow starvation. When nausea relief is needed most,
Marinol is worthless because it is impossible to swallow the pills
Chartrand promotes so carelessly. Marijuana is vastly superior to THC
pills because when you are in the pits of hell heaving your guts out, a
puff or two of good cannabis instantly stops the nausea and vomiting. I
know from first-hand experience.
[continues 88 words]
You say that Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala's "line of
argument implies a responsibility to devote greater attention to the medical
use of marijuana and to the essentially human impulses behind the two
initiatives' passage - the relief of suffering" (Jan. 3 editorial). So why
are you telling my doctor that he is a criminal if he recommends that I use
You say that "a successful war on drugs chiefly benefits children." And I
have to suffer? Why? Is it really a war against marijuana? No. It is a
misguided war against the misuse of marijuana. I don't want any children
[continues 58 words]
In response to the December 30th article concerning the Clinton
administration hard line opposition to the voter approved medical marijuana
measures. I would like to share these thoughts.
Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey uses typical scare tactics by calling marijuana a
dangerous drug. I wonder if he knows that there has never been a case where
marijuana toxicity has been the cause of death. Compare this with the
number of deaths each year from over dosing on such common legal drugs as
aspirin, sleeping pills, alcohol and tobacco to name a few.
[continues 187 words]
In my book, Diana McCague and Thomas Scozzare are heroes.
Unfortunately, the state of New Jersey claims they are criminals.
Diana and Thomas were arrested in New Brunswick one cold night
last April because they were trying to stop the spread of HIV by
giving out clean needles to persons who injected drugs.
No knowledgeable person contests Dianàs and Thomas̀ assertion
that New Jersey is at the epicenter of the American AIDS epidemic
caused by the use of dirty needles. According to the New Jersey
Health Department, over half of all AIDS cases in New Jersey are
injection-related. By the end of September 1996, 16,800 New
Jersey residents age 13 and over were living with
injection-related AIDS or had died from it. We can expect the
epidemic to continue on an alarming scale.
[continues 815 words]
It's Time to Just Say No To Self-Destructive Prohibition
Like many people, I was delighted this past November when voters in
California and Arizona approved, by substantial margins, two ballot
initiatives that represent a change in direction in our drug policies. The
California initiative legalized the cultivation and use of marijuana for
medicinal purposes. The Arizona initiative went further, allowing doctors
to prescribe any drug for legitimate medical purposes and mandating
treatment, not incarceration, for those arrested for illegal drug
possession. It also stiffened penalties for violent crimes committed under
the influence of drugs.
[continues 1706 words]
In considering research only after launching a federal attack on medical
marijuana patients and their doctors, drug czar Barry McCaffrey has
embraced the macho maxim "shoot first, ask questions later."
Gen. McCaffrey isn't the first drug warrior to target doctors. The first
major drug prohibition law, the Harrison Act, originally allowed doctors to
dispense maintenance narcotics doses to addicts. Around 1920, a
re-interpretation of the law forbade this common practice, leading to
35,000 arrests and 6000 jailings of doctors. When police oversee health
care, unseemly things happen.
[continues 144 words]
Now gangs, overcrowded jails and rampant substance abuse by teens are
being caused by that very war. Drugs are easier to get than alcohol for
most children. The government regulates who can purchase alcohol; not so
with illegal drugs.
There comes a time in a debate when one side realizes that they may not
be right. I wonder how many of the government's drug warriors see the
damage they are inflicting on our society but choose to continue. When
you seek the truth, you'll see many studies that have been suppressed by
our government. You'll read articles by reputable people in favor of
drug policy reform.
[continues 63 words]
In stating long-term residential treatment facilities were needed for
addiction, she also condemned methadone programs as "fast, ineffective,
temporary solutions to a tremendous drug problem". Miskolczi introduced these
remarks with credentials to give merit to her statements (having a master's
degree in social work).
The people who have contacted me also were knowledgeable in drug treatment -
doctors and other professionals - some of whom were program directors.
Despite their diversified backgrounds, all rejected most of the content of
this letter and substantiated their dissents with research and empirical
findings. Most also pointed out that methadone programs were unparalleled in
their efficacy in reducing drug use, death, crime, and disease among heroin
users, and that their biggest problem was politicization leading to over-
regulation from misinformation.
If there is any "real help" needed on this issue, it is in the area of
examining accomplished research without political and moral prejudices.
John M. Koons
Kudos to you and Contra Costa Times for your editorial reminding the
federal government that the people of California have spoke on medical
marijuana and it is time the feds to butt out.
My minor quibble is with the use of the term "prescribe." Doctors cannot
prescribe marijuana because pharmacists are not allowed to dispense it. A
recommendation, under Proposition 215 whether written or oral, is a
communication to law enforcement, local and state. It is not a violation of
federal controlled proscription authority. If a doctor dispenses
"recommendations" in an irresponsible manner and thereby violates his
Hippocratic oath it would be the duty of the State of California or the
appropriate authority in California (not the federal government which does
not issue medical licenses) to revoke said doctor's license to practice
Very truly yours
Gerald M. Sutliff
Walnut Creek, CA
The Australian Illicit Drug Report 1995 - 1996 produced by the Australian
Bureau of Criminal Intelligence puts the price of heroin somewhere between
$6,500 and $17,000 per ounce, which makes it from 15 to 40 times more
valuable than gold.
Can any factor other than prohibition be responsible for easily harvested
plants and their extracts such as cannabis resin and heroin now being
priced so far above gold?
Can you think of any way in which some people will not be tempted by
such prices into criminally marketing these or other equally dangerous
[continues 273 words]
Two years ago a relative, dying of cancer, was advised by his VA doctor to
smoke marijuana to relieve his nausea and rapid weight loss. Other
medicine wasn't working; indeed, he couldn't keep it down.
This gentleman's wife, in desperation, ventured into seedy bars and found
marijuana for her husband. As a result, he gained weight, lived longer and
enjoyed a higher quality of life.
How sad that Barry McCaffrey, a retired general with no medical credentials,
chooses to threaten doctors and patients who wish to use this effective
medicine (Blade Pro & Con Issue, Jan 12).
[continues 105 words]
Maybe he is right. After all, cigarettes are highly addictive, serve no
useful medical purpose and have a high chance of being abused, the three
criteria for schedule-one classification. I'm sure if the government banned
tobacco as a controlled substance, people would gladly report to their local
precincts to hand over their newly designated contraband and swear off
cigarettes forever. Those who didn't could be sent to prison, where they
could mend their evil ways.
And maybe we should ban alcohol, too. It's also highly addictive and serves
no useful medical purpose. On the other hand, we tried that already.
Evans tells us that marijuana's only effect is to mask symptoms and make
some people feel better. Hmmm. Sounds like codeine, morphine and many other
painkillers. Maybe we should ban them, too.
Now gangs, overcrowded jails and rampant substance abuse by teens are being
caused by that very war. We are putting our children in the middle of this
war. Drugs are easier to get than alcohol for most children. The government
regulates who can purchase alcohol, not so with illegal drugs.
There comes a time in a debate, when one side realizes that they may not be
right. I wonder how many of the government's drug warriors see the damage
they are inflicting on our society but choose to continue. When you seek
the truth, you'll see many studies that have been suppressed by our
government. You'll read articles by reputable people in favor of
[continues 63 words]
The questionable premise of your medical marijuana article (Star
Tribune, Jan. 6) is that marijuana may be justifiably decriminalized
for medical use only if it is the sole medicine for treating each of
its many indicated diseases.
This tight-fisted attitude stems from the peculiar belief that
marijuana, even as a medicine, is naughty and because inappropriate
use could pose safety risks.
What makes a medicine naughty? If the possibility of inappropriate use
justifies prohibition, we should ban thousands of medicines: cold
remedies, tranquilizers, and anesthetics.
By contrast, no one has ever died from the pharmacological effects of
marijuana --- lethal overdose is essentially impossible.
Billie Young and Paul Bischke,
Drug Policy Reform Group
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
I am only left to think: What's wrong with this nation's youth? Are they
not paying attention to the messages our country's role models are sending?
Ezequiel Hernandez is dead, another victim, not of drugs, but of the War On
An innocent 18 year old boy, who everyone says was a good kid, who was just
tending his family's goats, has been shot by Marines given the job of
stopping the drug flow.
Most Americans have a good sense of the fact that the War On Drugs has
failed in its basic intent to curb the availability or the abuse of drugs.
Ezequiel's death is a tragic example of a less understood facet: the damage
done by the unintended consequences of our policy.
[continues 563 words]
Perhaps the most interesting use of medical marijuana, and in this case a
``single exposure'' has been known to work miracles, is in the cue of that
mysterious psychological condition which renders otherwise intelligent
humans willfully ignorant of the truth about the drug.
In agreement with Ms. Rodgers, I would say that the demonization of
marijuana is a crowd madness on a scale not seen since the medieval
Le Cannet, France
Prohibition has diverted the energies of the Salvation Army from the
drunkard in the gutter to the boys and girls in their teens The work of the
Army has complelety changed in the past five years . . . Prohibition has so
materially affected society that we have girls in our rescue homes who ore
14 and 15 years old, while 10 years ago the youngest was in the early 20 s.
Those are the words of Col. William L. Barker, head of the Northern
Division, Salvation Army, as quoted in the St. Cloud, Minn., Daily Times,
Feb. 9, 1925.
[continues 98 words]
The actions by the DEA against laws passed in Arizona and California leads
the U.S. closer to a police state than ever before. The majority of voters
in these two states passed legislation to allow the compassionate use of
marijuana by seriously ill people when prescribed by Doctors. Backers of
Proposition 215 -- including many influential medical officials and
organizations -- say marijuana relieves nausea and stimulates the appetite
of patients who are wasting away with cancer, AIDS and other serious
illnesses. The measure was designed to make cultivation, sale and
possession of marijuana legal for certain medical purposes, and it included
specific protections to assure that doctors would not be punished for their
recommendations. The Justice Department chooses not to challenge these
laws in court because they might lose, so the DEA and drug czar plan to
subvert the will of the voters and prosecute the professionals that are
trained to diagnose and prescribe medication.
[continues 71 words]
Yes, most Americans including myself are firmly opposed to drug use.
That is clear. The medical marijuana issue has simply brought forward
the drug issue to the political forefront. If you want to enlighten the
public, why not address the real issue: Is our current policy working?
Most Americans I meet say no. But in the same voice, they don't know of
an alternative. What an opportunity for you!
As a progressive national newspaper, shouldn't The Dallas Morning News
in the spirit of its great tradition seek out the truth? Or are you too
afraid of the truth and seek simple remedies by swallowing government
doctrine fed to you? That doesn't sound like The Dallas Morning News I
have come to respect.
Re "Doctors Given Federal Threat on Marijuana" (front page, Dec 31):
Apparently California's Proposition 215, which legalizes marijuana for
medical use, wasn't so badly written after all.
As its drafters knew, if doctors wrote a prescription for
marijnuana they would be subject to Federal punishment--regardless of
California law. That is why the proposition requires only a verbal or
written recommendation from a doctor, not a prescription.
Those who are determined to circumvent the will of California
voters are in a difficult position. They must admit defeat or declare war
on the First Amendment. The Clinton Administration threatens to deprive
doctors of the right to free speech. President Clinton's drug czar (an apt
phrase) and Attorney General are threatening to punish doctors who give
patients their honest opinion, if that honest opinion is that the herb
cannabis (marijuana) may provide relief.
Rose Ann Fuhrman
Santa Rosa, Calif
At the end of the column, Mr. Rich suggests that if we were to legalize
and regulate marijuana, it would actually be harder for kids to get it
than it is now. This is absolutely correct.
When I was in high school, about a decade ago, I knew exactly where to
go if I had wanted to get pot. I could not, however, get alcohol, since
Massachusetts (where I lived at the time) had a very strict enforcement
of the drinking age. Illegal drug dealers have no incentive to ask
customers for ID, but legitimate store owners do, for fear of losing
[continues 100 words]
"The United States Patent Office is ready to grant patents for medicines,
although it is an open question in professional ethics whether a physician
should patent a remedy. Synthetic medicines, prepared by chemical
processes, often coal tar products, are now invading the field of Nature's
simples, and it is possible that there may yet be a number of patentable
medical compounds invented, to replace quinine and other vegetable
alkaloids and extracts."
It is interesting to note that 100 years later we have created a medical
system that uses patent medicines almost exclusively. We are taught to
take our medicine in pills instead of vegetable extracts. The law even
prohibits the use of one vegetable alkaloid that was commonly used, namely
It appears as though The Herald's editorial staff just fell off the
turnip truck. Based upon the recent reports by the paper on this
wonderful new method, it appears that it is nothing more than a
rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. There is nothing new here,
just the same old failed policies of the past 30 years in a slightly
The item that jumps out at me is the spending breakdown: $2 million
toward law enforcement and $1 million toward "prevention." If these
numbers were reversed I would not be quite as critical of this "terrific"
new plan, because such a scenario would truly be new and innovative. The
prevention/treatment "specialists" mentioned in the editorial probably
know better, but they also probably realize that they will have to
cooperate with this breakdown or lose their funding -- and, subsequently,
[continues 179 words]
Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that the war on drugs is
actually the cause of most of our drug problems: gang violence, crime
and corruption of police. In our experiment with alcohol prohibition,
we thought we could eradicate drinking. But with more enforcement, we
saw more profits and more viloence.
Time has shown that education and support groups are better at
reducing alcohol abuse than incarceration. What parent, seeking a
remedy for their son's drug problem, would call upon the services of
say, Graterford prison. Yet the federal government has been such a
[continues 231 words]