Marijuana

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A Marijuana User Gets Arrested Every 38 Seconds in America

Marijuana arrests have once again reached an all-time high, NORML reports:
Washington, DC: Police arrested a record 829,625 persons for marijuana violations in 2006, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. This is the largest total number of annual arrests for pot ever recorded by the FBI. Marijuana arrests now comprise nearly 44 percent of all drug arrests in the United States.

"These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor marijuana offenders," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every 38 seconds in America.


Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent some 738,915 Americans were charged with possession only.
Possession of marijuana has got to be one of the stupidest, most trivial things you could ever get arrested for, and yet it happens with remarkable and increasing frequency. I reject, but at least understand the notion that marijuana should not be openly sold in convenience stores. But it amazes me that anyone still thinks we should be handcuffing people, hauling them to the station, ruining careers, collecting fines, administering drugs tests, and otherwise tormenting and humiliating people for having marijuana.

I honestly feel badly for people whose view of the world is so twisted that they can’t think of something better to do with our police and our tax dollars than this. At the same time, I'm convinced that most Americans don’t support a marijuana war of this magnitude.

I believe the right politician, at the right time, could make tremendous headway by simply coming out and saying it: "In America, we have better things to do than arrest each other for trivial reasons. We're sending the wrong message to our kids when we threaten to arrest them. Let's help people who need it and leave everyone else alone." If anyone wants to use this, please, be my guest. Hillary? Fred? Hello?
Location: 
United States

Americans for Safe Access Saves Medical Cannabis Laws!

Dear ASA Supporter, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) scored an important victory in Congress yesterday, one that may have protected the medical cannabis laws in all twelve states in which they have been adopted. In April, ASA was the first to get word from allies in Washington, DC, that staunch medical cannabis opponent Senator Tom Coburn planned to quietly introduce an amendment to the Prescription Drug Use Fee Act, that would have effectively blocked implementation of state medical cannabis laws by giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to obstruct these laws! ASA and our allies in the HIV/AIDS community sprang into action – launching a stealthy campaign to kill the amendment without alerting our adversaries. Yesterday, the bill was adopted without the harmful Coburn amendment! This is exactly the work we came to do when we opened the first office in Washington, DC devoted exclusively to medical cannabis advocacy. We need your support to be sure we are here to fight back again next time – and take the campaign on the offensive. Please take a moment to support ASA’s work today by visiting www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Join. ASA has worked hard to establish strategic alliances with health care advocacy organizations in order to expand and strengthen the coalition supporting medical cannabis. This new coalition had the power to persuade Senator Ted Kennedy and Presidential Candidates Senators Clinton and Obama to oppose the amendment. ASA and our allies continued working to be sure the sneaky amendment was not introduced in the House, and ultimately removed from the final bill. We had to act fast and work in concert with our allies, but we were able to stop the Senator’s attempt to do an administrative end run around states’ medical cannabis laws. Unfortunately, this will not be the last time we have to fight off an attack on safe access. That is why ASA continues to educate members of Congress, advocate for policies that promote safe and legal access, and keep an eye on our increasingly sophisticated opponents. We need your continued support to do this work so please contribute today: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Join. We rely on support from people like you to defend safe access against threats like the Coburn amendment. Please help us do this work, so that we can finally harmonize federal law with the laws of the states that allow medical cannabis use. Only then, will patients’ access be truly safe. Thank you for doing your part! Sincerely, Steph Sherer Executive Director Americans for Safe Access
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Medical Marijuana: Bryan Epis Re-Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

Bryan Epis, the first California medical marijuana provider tried in federal court for growing marijuana, was sentenced last Friday to 10 years in federal prison -- again. Epis was convicted in 2002 of growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants and served 25 months of his original 10-year sentence before being released on appeal bond.

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David Borden and Bryan Epis at the 2005 NORML conference
The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered the lower court to reconsider Epis' conviction, but it found him guilty again.

Epis argued all along that he was a medical marijuana patient who worked with other patients within California law at a medical marijuana grow in Chico. But prosecutors portrayed him as an entrepreneurial mastermind with plans to distribute marijuana across the state.

In an unusual move, Circuit Court Judge Frank Damrell refused prosecution requests to immediately take Epis into custody, noting that the 9th Circuit had earlier ordered him released "without comment," a move Damrell described as "unprecedented in my experience. The law requires such an action be supported by exceptional circumstances, so I can only assume that they found exceptional circumstances," Damrell said. "My suspicion is the 9th Circuit would grant bail again," the judge added.

Damrell set an October 22 hearing date for a forthcoming motion for bail pending appeal.

Epis' attorney, Brenda Grantland, has argued that prosecutor Samuel Wong and DEA agents intentionally misinterpreted documents seized at Epis' home when it was searched in June 1997. Wong described the documents as a statewide marketing plan, saying Epis' "goal was to go statewide and use Proposition 215 as a shield to manufacture and traffic marijuana."

Grantland told Damrell that the 9th Circuit was "very interested" in her allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and perjury by narcotics officers in the case. Damrell agreed that the appeals court "may have some interest" in the issues Grantland raised.

For his part, Epis told the court he was a martyr for medical marijuana.
"If Proposition 215 had not passed, I wouldn't be standing here today," Epis told Damrell. "I'm being prosecuted because I have a heart. I've seen too many people suffer and die from cancer and AIDS not to try to help them. I'm not ashamed of what I did, but I am sorry for my family."

Feature: CAMP Makes Little Headway Against California Marijuana Growers

Fall has arrived, and with it the annual effort by law enforcement across the country to eradicate the outdoor marijuana crop. Nowhere is the effort more elaborate or impressive than California, where the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) has been heading out into the countryside to rip up pot crops since 1983. CAMP, an amalgam of 110 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, racks up big numbers every year, but there is little indication that the program has any impact whatsoever on the price or availability of marijuana in California.

Last year, CAMP raiders seized more than 1.6 million marijuana plants, the majority of them from large gardens nestled within the state's national parks and forests. This year, the total will be significantly higher, according to CAMP.

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CAMP photo (calguard.ca.gov)
"Our plant count is definitely higher this year, and we still have a few more weeks to go," said CAMP spokeswoman Bureau of Narcotics Affairs Special Agent Holly Swartz to Drug War Chronicle. "This year so far, we're at 2.49 million."

The numbers sound impressive at first glance, but not so much when compared to estimates of outdoor marijuana production in the state. According to researcher and policy analyst John Gettman's Marijuana Production in the United States (2006), which relied on official government statistics to arrive at its estimates, the 1.6 million plants CAMP eradicated made up less than 10% of the 17.4 million plants planted.

Similarly, while CAMP proudly boasts that over its near quarter-century history it has eradicated $27.6 billion worth of pot plants, Getttman puts the value of last year's outdoor crop alone at $12.3 billion. (Never mind for now that CAMP apparently values each plant at about $4,000, while Gettman assesses them at under $1,000).

While CAMP cannot claim to make a significant dent in California marijuana production, neither can it offer evidence that its efforts have increased prices or decreased availability. "We don't evaluate prices or availability," CAMP spokeswoman Swartz conceded, while insisting that the program was having an impact. "The majority of the gardens are run by Mexican trafficking organizations, and taking them out must have an impact," she said.

"Nobody has seen anything on price or availability from these folks for a long time, and as far as I can tell, prices here have been steady for a decade," said Dale Gieringer, head of California NORML.

"What they achieve is virtually nothing," said Bruce Mirken, the San Francisco-based communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "The number of plants they manage to eradicate has risen twelve-fold over a decade, yet marijuana is by far the number one cash crop in the state. If the idea is to get marijuana off the streets, this is as crashing a failure as any program you've ever seen."

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CAMP photo (calguard.ca.gov)
But CAMP is also protecting the public safety, said Swartz. "It's a huge threat to public safety," she said. "You have people out enjoying public lands and they come across drug trafficking organizations and people with guns."

CAMP has seized a total of 34 weapons so far this year, up slightly from the 29 seized in 2006.

The threat is not just to the public, said Swartz. "Every year since the mid-1990s, there have been shots fired during at least one garden raid."

CAMP has brought it on itself, said Mirken. "CAMP has literally driven the growers into the hills," said Mirken. "There's a good case to be made that all this stuff they're moaning about being so terrible -- growing in the forests, the wilderness areas -- is the direct result of their efforts. All they do is aggravate the problems associated with marijuana production, all of which could be resolved if we treated it the same way we treat California's wine industry."

"This thing with the huge plantations in the national forest has really taken off since 2001, and I suspect it has to do with the border crackdown since then," said Gieringer. "I think some Mexican groups may find it easier to just grow it here. There has been really striking growth in the number of plants they are eradicating, and it will be even higher this year."

But the resort to the use of public lands by marijuana growers predates this decade and was driven by tough war on drugs tactics a generation ago, Gieringer noted. "This whole problem started during the Reagan administration, with the asset forfeiture laws they passed. Before that, people grew on their own land," he said. "Growing in the forests is one of the fruits of that aggressive enforcement strategy."

But despite the seeming ineffectiveness and unforeseen consequences of CAMP, the program is not facing any threat to its existence. Part of the reason is that it is relatively inexpensive. According to Swartz, the California general fund paid only $638,000 to fund CAMP last year, while the DEA and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program kicked in another $1.4 million and the Forest Service $20,000.

"It's not a huge amount of state money, but it would pay for a bunch of students who are getting their fees increased every year to go to the University of California," said Mirken. The figure also does not include the resources and staff time local law enforcement entities are putting into the program, he noted.

"It's just not that expensive," said Gieringer, "especially because they don't generally bother to chase down, arrest, and prosecute people."

In its more than 475 raids last year, CAMP arrested a grand total of 27 people. Swartz did not have arrest figures for this year.

There is another reason CAMP seems almost irrelevant, said Mendocino County Supervisor John Pinches. Mendocino is part of the state's famed Emerald Triangle, where marijuana-growing has been a local industry for decades now.

CAMP doesn't engender the hostility among his constituents that it once did, Pinches said, in part because it doesn't seem to have any effect on the county's number one industry. "Marijuana growing is out of control here," he said. "We hired economic consultants to analyze our economy, and they found that two-thirds of our economy is the marijuana business. With the medical marijuana and the cards and the caregivers, it's just blooming like crazy. Legal businesses can't hire help; they can't compete with growers paying $25 or $30 an hour to trimmers," he said.

But Pinches, who earlier this year authored a successful resolution at the Board of Supervisors calling for marijuana to be legalized, taxed, and regulated, said he now voted to participate in CAMP. "I had always voted against CAMP; I called it the best government price support system for any farm crop in the country," said Pinches. "But now it's so out of hand with gardens of tens of thousands of plants that we're almost forced to do something," he said. "Still, CAMP gets such a small percentage of the crop that I bet deer and wild hogs get more of it than CAMP, and they do it for free," he snorted.

For Pinches, a situation where his county's largest cash crop and economic mainstay is also the subject of continuing, though largely ineffective, law enforcement efforts is mind-boggling. "This is what inspired me to write that resolution we sent to all our congressmen and the president," said Pinches. "Didn't we learn anything from Prohibition days? Whether you love it or hate it, it's time to legalize marijuana."

That looks like the only way CAMP will be stopped. As Swartz noted: "We're law enforcement. We enforce the law. If they change the law, we will change our activities, but until then, we will enforce the law."

Feature: Wisconsin Medical Marijuana Bill to Be Introduced

Ten years ago Tuesday, Wisconsin medical marijuana patient Jacki Rickert led a 210-mile trek of wheelchair-bound patients to the state capitol in Madison in a "Journey for Justice" seeking legal access to the medicine they said made their lives bearable. This Tuesday, Rickert commemorated that anniversary with a press conference at the capitol, where she was joined by two state representatives who announced they would introduce a medical marijuana bill this session. They are calling it the "Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act."

With a history of failed medical marijuana bills in the state and a legislature with one house controlled by Republicans, proponents are not predicting certain victory this session, but they do say they will give it their best shot.

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Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck, with Jim and the late Cheryl Miller, outside former Rep. Bob Barr's office (immly.org)
While medical marijuana is legal in 12 states, a victory in Wisconsin would be the first in the Midwest. But Wisconsin will have to hustle to be the first; legislative efforts have already advanced in Illinois and Minnesota, and Michigan looks to be set for a statewide initiative in November 2008.

If Reps. Frank Boyle (D-Superior) and Mark Pocan (D-Madison) have their way, Wisconsin will be in the thick of the race. "We want to make sure that this is the year Wisconsin gets it," Boyle said at the Tuesday press conference. "Twelve states have now legalized medical marijuana, and I'm sick and tired of the state of Wisconsin dying a most regressive death in what used to be progressive tradition."

While the measure is still in the drafting stage, according to a cosponsoring memo being circulated by Boyle and Pocan, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act's key provisions include the following:

  • Provide a medical necessity defense to marijuana-related prosecutions and property seizure actions. A person may evoke this defense if they are undergoing a debilitating medical condition or treatment and have written consent from their physician or obtained a valid registry ID card from the Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS). Conditions include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS or HIV, diseases that cause wasting away, severe pain or nausea, seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms, and any other medical condition or treatment in rules promulgated by DHFS.
  • Create a maximum authorized amount of marijuana a patient may have, thus establishing clear limits for both patients and law enforcement officials.
  • Prohibit the arrest of a physician who provides a written certification in good faith. Also, the primary caregiver is protected by the same exceptions under the law.
  • The defense may not be applicable if the patient performs an illegal act while using marijuana. This includes driving or operating a motor vehicle, operating heavy machinery, smoking near a school, park or youth center, at a person's employment, etc.
  • Require DHFS to establish a registry for medical users of marijuana and an ID card to a qualifying patient.
  • This bill only changes state law regarding marijuana. Federal law on marijuana does not change. However, 99% of marijuana arrests are made by state and local officials, not federal officials.

"If someone has the written consent of their physician or has obtained a valid registry card from DHFS, they would be allowed to have the possession or be able to grow a certain amount of medicinal marijuana," Pocan explained.

"Please, we have to make this legal," Rickert told the press conference. "I beg all of you. We know it works. We know it's not going to kill us," Rickert said. "I have never had an allergic reaction to a God-given herb."

Rickert wasn't the only patient speaking Tuesday. A 21-year-old, who called herself only Lynn, said she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years earlier, and lost her sight, mobility and independence from the disease. Lynn told the crowd smoking medical marijuana worked on her symptoms when nothing else did, eventually allowing her to be well enough to live on her own.

"If you had a 19-year-old daughter who was in pain every day, what would you do to help?" Lynn asked. "You could be put on five different drugs three times a day every day, like I was. Or you can take pot, and now I'm on two drugs a day."

Another patient, J.F. Oschwald of Colorado, addressed the press conference from his wheelchair. "Medicine is medicine and if they can regulate morphine then they can regulate marijuana," he said.

"This was a nice start," said medical marijuana patient Gary Storck, who, along with Rickert, is a cofounder of the Wisconsin medical marijuana advocacy group Is My Medicine Legal Yet?. "We had a number of patients speak, as well as Boyle and Pocan, and we got some good media coverage," he told the Chronicle.

Responses at the capitol have grown less frosty than a decade ago, Storck said. "When I go up there lobbying with patients, I'm seeing changed attitudes. We're being well-received, and you can see that some of the staffers are really affected. It looks like this is finally gaining some legs," he said.

Part of the change in attitude is due to the educational efforts of medical marijuana activists and proponents, said Storck. "Patients are more willing to come out and let their stories be told, and that only helps," he said. "The fact that other states are passing it or coming close to passing it helps, too. We're ringed by states where they're already a little closer."

But with Republicans controlling the state Assembly, it will be a difficult battle this two-year session, he said. "We've got an agreement from one senator to hold an informational hearing in November, but I'm afraid this will just be caught up in politics as usual this session. I'm hoping the Democrats will take back the Assembly next year -- that would really improve our chances. Gov. Doyle has already said he will sign a medical marijuana bill," Storck added.

Still, Storck, Rickert, IMMLY and other medical marijuana supporters aren't waiting for next year. "There's always the hope the legislature will come to its senses," he said. "Legislators have until October 4 to sign on as cosponsors, and we're hoping a senator or two will sign on so it can move. While we think we'll have better luck with a Democrat-controlled legislature, we will continue to push now."

Two People I Know Were Sentenced to Prison Last Week

The Paey Pardon, as Scott blogged about here and here, was a nice piece of news, of the kind that doesn't come around too often. The last such pleasant surprise I had came in late 2000, when Kemba Smith and Dorothy Gaines were pardoned by then-President Clinton. I immediately left a message for my friend Rob Stewart, who had played a major role in bringing the Gaines case to prominence by writing it in the old Drug Policy Letter (Drug Policy Foundation, predecessor to Drug Policy Alliance), which led to coverage of her case by Frontline. Rob told me later he had two messages on his voicemail -- one from me and one from Dorothy Gaines. These moments are rewards for all the rest of it. Unfortunately, not many political leaders seem to be of the moral caliber of Gov. Crist, and there are many more victims of the drug laws who remain unpardoned. Two of them, whom I happen to know, were sentenced to prison a week ago. One of them was Bryan Epis, the first person prosecuted by the feds for medical marijuana. He received the same 10-year sentence. The other was William Mangino, a pain physician in Pennsylvania, sentenced to 8 1/2 - 20 years. Bryan was allowed to remain free pending appeal. See our upcoming Chronicle newsbrief for some detail. Bryan actually told me a few days before the court date that he anticipated getting another 10 years, but being allowed to stay free pending appeal, and he was right. He says he has a good chance on appeal, and it sounds like it -- the prosecution really acted unethically in his case, and the judge, who is by no means biased toward defendants, commented that there are issues the appellate court may want to look at. Dr. Mangino predicted a harsh sentence, and that he would not be allowed to stay free pending appeal. Unfortunately, he was right too. Christine Heberle's blog post on the War on Doctors/Pain Crisis blog lays out the glaring absence of any crime. Accountability for injustices committed under the guise of law may be too much to hope for. But at least we should have justice now. I simply don't feel that letting people like Richard Paey and Bryan Epis and Bill Mangino live their lives unmolested by the government is asking for too much.
Location: 
United States

Waiting to Inhale Screening

The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and the Columbia College Television Department present the free Chicago premiere of Waiting to Inhale.

The post-screening discussion will focus on medical marijuana, its context within the "War on Drugs," and drug policy reform. Jed Riffe, director and producer of Waiting to Inhale; Melanie Dreher, Dean of the College of Nursing at Rush University; and James Gierach, a former Cook County prosecutor, local advocate for drug policy reform, and featured speaker with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, will appear on the panel. Noted documentarian Gordon Quinn, president and founder of Kartemquin Films, will moderate the discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia College Chicago Television Department.

Waiting to Inhale examines the heated debate over marijuana and its use as medicine in the United States. Twelve states have passed legislation to protect patients who use medical marijuana. Yet opponents claim the medical argument is just a smokescreen for a different agenda—to legalize marijuana for recreation and profit. What claims are being made,and what is at stake?

The film takes viewers inside the lives of patients who have been forever changed by illness—and parents who lost their children to addiction. Is marijuana really a gateway drug? What evidence is there to support the claim that marijuana can alleviate some of the devastating symptoms of AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis? Waiting to Inhale sheds new light on this controversy and presents shocking new evidence that marijuana could play a large role in the future of medicine.

For more information about Waiting to Inhale, visit the film’s official website.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Jed Riffe, director and producer of Waiting to Inhale, is an award-winning independent filmmaker, broadcast journalist, and digital media producer. He is the senior producer for Jed Riffe Films, LLC. Over the last 25 years, Riffe has produced numerous highly-acclaimed documentary and dramatic films and interactive projects for PBS, NHK-TV (Japan), cable, international broadcast, and the web. He produced and directed Ishi, The Last Yahi , a dramatic documentary film, which won six Best Documentary awards, was released theatrically in 35mm, nominated for a national EMMY and broadcast on The American Experience. Riffe's documentary film, Who Owns the Past?, was broadcast nationally in the fall of 2001 on the PBS series Independent Lens. Riffe is Series Producer of California and the American Dream, a four-hour independently-produced, nationally-broadcast PBS Series. Riffe produced, directed, and co-wrote the series’ opening episode, California’s ”Lost” Tribes, and produced the fourth episode, Ripe for Change, with Emiko Omori--who also directed the award-winning film.

Melanie C. Dreher, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Dean of the College of Nursing of Rush University. Dr. Dreher is a nationally recognized leader in nursing education and has led a distinguished career as a researcher on the health and welfare of underserved communities and the influence of culture in patient-provider communication. Dr. Dreher came to Rush from the University of Iowa College of Nursing, where she served as Dean. During her tenure she was instrumental in establishing their Masters in Nursing and Health Care Practice degree, which became the national model for professional nursing education. A past president of the national nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau International, Dreher was paid the tribute of having the "Melanie Dreher Dean's Award" named in her honor in 2001.

James Gierach is a practicing attorney who has experienced the effect of the war on drugs from both sides of the legal system. As a Chicago prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in the early 1970s, Jim scrutinized and perfected search-warrant complaints for narcotics officers to "make the charges stick" in court. He also worked "homicide court" and witnessed the violence that exists as a direct result of drug prohibition. Referred to as "Illinois' preeminent conscientious objector" to the war on drugs, Gierach has spent the last dozen years fighting drug prohibition as a candidate for Cook County State's Attorney and Illinois governor in primary elections and as a featured speaker with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Gordon Quinn is president and founder of Kartemquin Films. During his 35-year career, he has produced an impressive list of documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Hoop Dreams. Recently, he co-directed and co-produced Vietnam, Long Time Coming, which was broadcast on NBC and received a National Emmy and the Directors Guild of America Award. His film GOLUB premiered at the New York Film Festival. He executive produced 5 Girls, which aired on PBS in fall 2001 and is executive producer of Refrigerator Mothers, which was broadcast on PBS in the summer of 2002. Quinn was series executive producer/producer on Kartemquin's PBS series The New Americans, broadcast in 2003. He is a member of theBoard of Directors at the Illinois Humanities Council and the Advisory Committee of The Public Square at the IHC.

This screening and discussion are part of The Public Square at the IHC's Civic Cinema program, a series of films, forums, and conversations that uses the most exceptionally creative and engaging documentary films of our times as a springboard for talking about some of the most pressing and challenging social issues facing us.

For more information call 312.422.5580 or e-mail The Public Square.

Date: 
Thu, 09/20/2007 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: 
1104 S Wabash Ave., 8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605-2328
United States

Medical Marijuana Advocate Memorialized in US House of Representatives

Joe Zoretic, a founder of the Ohio Patients Network (medical marijuana advocacy group), was memorialized in Congress this week by presidential candidate and US Representative from Ohio Dennis Kucinich. The following transcript comes from the Congressional Record (PDF here or search at Thomas for HTML):
IN REMEMBRANCE OF JOSEPH STEPHEN ZORETIC HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH OF OHIO IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Monday, September 17, 2007 Mr. KUCINICH. Madam Speaker, I rise today to reflect on the life of a courageous and passionate man, Joseph Stephen Zoretic, who dedicated his life to fighting for sensible drug policy and to free others from suffering. Along with his devoted wife, Dee Dee, he was a founding member of the Ohio Patient Network and its lobbying component, the Ohio Patient Action Network. Joe started his life-long residency in the Cleveland area on December 25th, 1968. He became an active figure in the medical marijuana movement in the 1990s, when his wife was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and needed cannabis to relieve the pain other medications could not. Since then, Joe provided policy ideas and inspiration to the state marijuana legalization activist community, from speaking at mainstream political events to testifying for better drug policy. Even if it meant going to jail, Joe stood up for what he knew: that love and bravery can overcome injustice. Madam Speaker and colleagues, please join me in honoring and remembering an extraordinary husband, father, citizen, and activist, Joseph Stephen Zoretic, who demonstrated the power we all possess to make change in this world.
And let us also honor and remember Joe Zoretic here. We will keep fighting in your name.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

National Mobilization to the Governor's Los Angeles Office

Over the past several years, the Bush administration's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has victimized patients and providers throughout California, undermining state law and stooping to new levels to shut down access for sick and dying patients in California. ASA has been working for the past five years to thwart the DEA's efforts, but as they escalate their tactics, we too must escalate our response and actions! We must put an end to the attack on patients and providers! Americans for Safe Access has launched a new pressure campaign, calling on Governor Schwarzenegger to "Stand Up for Patients' Rights: Defend California's Medical Marijuana Laws." We are calling on Governor Schwarzenegger to defend the rights of medical cannabis patients and caregivers and the will of the voters in California by standing up to the Bush Administration. We are urging him to take a stand against federal medical cannabis enforcement and to support efforts to harmonize federal law with the compassionate laws of California and the eleven other states that allow medical cannabis use. Go to www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/StandUpAction to take action immediately. ASA's new campaign consists of statewide call in days, legislative visits from constituents and lobbyists, and sign-on letters from key public officials and organizations. Our goal is to create a tipping point for pressuring the governor by organizing a mass mobilization on Thursday, October 11th, to Governor Schwarzenegger's office in Los Angeles. There, we will invite the governor to publicly stand up to the Bush administration, calling on them to end the attacks on patients and providers. Visit www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/StandUp to read more about the campaign, the mass mobilization, and to take action. Over the next several weeks, ASA will be calling on all of the medical marijuana supporters in California to take action with four action items. A description of each item can be found at www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/StandUp. Those will include: 1. National Mobilization to the Governor's Los Angeles Office on Thursday, October 11th. 2. Call Governor Schwarzenegger's Office and Demand that He Stand Up for Patients' Rights! 3. E-mail the Governor. Ask Him to Defend California's Medical Marijuana Laws and Call on the Bush Administration to End the War on Patients. 4. Spread the Word! Download and Distribute! Once more, a description of each action item can be found at www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/StandUp . With your help, working with the governor, we can help make this campaign the strongest response to the DEA's attacks on patients the Bush administration has seen. Don't forget to go to www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/StandUp to begin pressuring the governor to stand up for patients rights! If you have any questions on this campaign, please contact Sonnet@AmericansforSafeAccess.org. Thank you for your support and for taking action!
Date: 
Thu, 10/11/2007 - 12:00pm
Location: 
300 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
United States

Chris Dodd Advocates Marijuana Decriminalization

Nothing to see here. Just another presidential candidate appealing to voters by observing the absurdity of the way marijuana users are treated in America.

Dodd also pledges to protect medical marijuana and reform the crack/powder sentencing disparity. Notice how he lumps these issues together. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the democratic drug policy platform.

Location: 
United States

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School

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