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Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy," by Matthew Robinson and Renee Scherlen (2007, State University of New York Press, 268 pp., $27)

There is probably not a single drug reformer alive who, at some point, has not sputtered into his coffee cup upon hearing some inane pronouncement from drug czar John Walters. We know what he is saying is wrong and unjustifiable. Sometimes we even go to the effort of thoroughly debunking one of his outrageous claims. It's not that hard to do, really, but up until now, no one had thoroughly deconstructed the claims made by the Office of National Drug Control Strategy (ONDCP, the drug czar's office), testing them against the norms of science and reason.

That has changed with the recent publication of "Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics," by Appalachian State University Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Matthew Robinson and Associate Professor of Political Science Renee Scherlen. Since the annual National Drug Control Strategy reports put out by ONDCP form the basis for crafting federal drug policy, this pair of professors decided to systematically put to the test the claims made by ONDCP as a foundation for those policies.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/damnlies-1.jpg
ONDCP misrepresents 'Just Say No' connection, 2003 strategy (graphic appears courtesy Prof. Robinson)
Every federal bureaucracy has to justify its budget, and it does so by setting goals and demonstrating how well it has or has not met those goals. But, as Robinson and Scherlen so admirably demonstrate with example after example of the misleading use of statistics and visual graphics, ONDCP is, in many, many ways, distorting reality to paint a rosier picture of its "successes" in waging the war on drugs. They do so in a calm, deliberate, and understated manner rather than engaging in a partisan attack on a set of policies they clearly feel are a disaster.

In order to gauge the accuracy of ONDCP pronouncements, the authors look at three broad sets of claims made by ONDCP: Claims of success in reducing drug use, claims of success in "healing" America's drug users, and claims of success in disrupting drug markets. Robinson and Scherlen examine the annual National Drug Strategy reports beginning in 2000 and extending through 2005 to look at what ONDCP says it is accomplishing in these three broad areas. These three categories describe what it is ONDCP is supposed to be achieving, but, as the authors so comprehensively illustrate, ONDCP is all too ready to resort to deceptive and misleading information.

Let's take claims of success in reducing drug use, for instance. In the 2001 National Drug Strategy, ONDCP produces a chart that shows a dramatic downward trend in teen drug use in the mid-1980s before remaining essentially stable throughout the 1990s. But since ONDCP and its mandate didn't exist before 1988, the chart is misleading. What it really shows is that throughout ONDCP's tenure, it has failed in its stated goal of reducing teen drug use.

Similarly, in the 2003 National Drug Strategy, in an effort to justify its prevention campaigns, ONDCP sought to show that Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign was effective in reducing teen drug use. But to do so, ONDCP relied solely on data involving 18-to-25-year-olds. Since the "Just Say No" campaign was aimed at kids, using data about young adults is "a selective and inappropriate use of statistics," as Robinson and Scherlen so gently put it.

ONCDP also has the curious habit of mentioning "successes" in one year, but failing to revisit them in following years when the numbers don't back them up. In 2000 and 2001, for example, ONDCP crowed about declining marijuana use, even though national drug surveys failed to back it up except in selective categories. But in the annual reports from 2002 to 2005, with marijuana use remaining steady, ONDCP doesn't make any specific claims regarding rates of marijuana use, nor does it provide easily accessible charts or figures. As Robinson and Scherlen note, "Indeed, it appears ONDCP ignores statistics that point to outcomes counter to the drug war."

Robinson and Scherlen go on to systematically dissect ONDCP claims about reducing drug use, "healing" drug users, and disrupting drug markets. Sometimes, they even find that the claims are justified, but this is rarely the case. What the authors repeatedly demonstrate is that ONDCP is unable or unwilling to accurately report its failures to achieve its goals and is willing and able to resort to statistical chicanery to cover up those failures.

In the final two chapters of the book, Robinson and Scherlen attempt a fair assessment of the drug war and ONDCP's ability to meet its self-imposed drug war goals, and offer a series of recommendations for what a more rational drug policy might look like. For one thing, the authors suggest, ONDCP ought to be either terminated or removed from the White House. For an accurate rendition of the numbers regarding drug use, they must be removed from the hothouse political atmosphere of the White House. Currently, the authors argue, ONDCP acts as a "generator and defender of a given ideology in the drug war."

"Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics" is surprisingly easy to read, and Robinson and Scherlen have done a huge favor not only to critics of current drug policy by compiling this damning critique of ONDCP claims, but also to anyone interested in how data is compiled, presented, and misused by bureaucrats attempting to guard their domains. It should be required reading for members of Congress, though, sadly, that is unlikely to happen.

U.S. drug czar urges Canada to crack down on pot

Location: 
Ottawa, ON
Canada
Publication/Source: 
Canoe Network (Canada)
URL: 
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2007/02/22/pf-3655412.html

Chronicle on the Scene Feature: Bolivia's "Coca, Yes, Cocaine No" Policy is Beginning to Work

On the long, arduous highway connecting Puno, the last major city in the Peruvian south, with the Bolivian capital of La Paz, travelers approaching Bolivia cross the border on the shores of Lake Titicaca near the small Bolivian town of Copacabana. There, the entrance to Bolivia is marked with a large billboard proclaiming Bolivia's intention to fight the traffic in cocaine and the precursor chemicals needed to transform coca into the popular stimulant drug. The billboard is a stark visual reminder that while Bolivian President Evo Morales, a former coca grower himself, has embarked on a policy of defending coca, his government has every intention of cracking down on the cocaine business.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/peru-bolivia-border-billboard.jpg
Bolivian government border billboard about anti-cocaine enforcement
Since his election in December 2005, Morales has broken with two decades of US "zero coca" policy in the country and appears to be having some success in establishing limits on coca production without, for the most part, setting off violent social conflict. He has also, as the billboard suggests, moved aggressively against the cocaine traffic. The question now, with the US State Department's annual certification of drug-producing countries' compliance with US drug policy objectives looming next month, is whether the Bush administration is willing to let Morales and the country's coca growers take the time necessary to arrive at reductions in overall coca production without engendering further social conflict.

The third largest producer of coca, from which cocaine is derived, Bolivia has for decades hewed to a policy of coca eradication directed from Washington, but it has paid a high price. In this decade, five presidents were driven from office in five years, at least in part because of simmering resentment over Bolivian obeisance to the US's "zero coca" policy. Prior to the election of Morales, eradication campaigns were accompanied by violent clashes, peasant rebellions, military and police violations of human rights, and numerous fatalities as successive governments sought to impose the will of the US on the country's impoverished coca growers.

"This has been a long-term negative approach," said Kathryn Ledebur of the Andean Information Network, (AIN) whose analyses of Bolivian coca politics inform much of this article. "The US needs to move away from just measuring the size of the coca crop or how much is eradicated and look at how this will play out in the next few years," she told Drug War Chronicle.

As a former coca grower union leader in the Chapare, Morales has the credibility with coca growers to enforce what is known as "cooperative eradication," as opposed to the forced eradication in pursuit of US policy aims that has engendered conflict and political instability in one of Latin America's poorest countries (average annual income under $1,000). While cooperative eradication began in the Chapare before Morales' election, it has gathered steam during his presidency, and in the last two years, Bolivia has seen the smallest increase in coca production of any of the Andean region's three big producers.

The other two major producers are Colombia and Peru. According to US estimates, coca production in Peru increased from 68,000 acres in 2004 to 95,000 acres in 2005, a 38% increase, while Colombian production increased from 285,000 acres to 360,000 acres, a 26% increase, despite widespread aerial fumigation of coca crops there. In Bolivia, on the other hand, the US estimated that production increased from 61,000 acres to 65,000 acres, an increase of only 8%. (The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, on the other hand, estimated an 8% decrease in Bolivian coca production during the same period, but both estimates are very close in terms of the actual size of the 2005 Bolivian crop.)

Overall, when looking at the regional coca production figures for the last five years, despite a US policy of aggressively seeking to eradicate coca, total coca production has increased in a step-wise fashion, rising from 125,000 acres overall in 2000 to nearly 500,000 thousand acres in 2005. This steady climb in overall coca production raises the question of whether any prohibition-based policy aimed at reducing production will achieve success as long as the global demand for cocaine continues to be high. Still, the Morales government is making what appears to be a good faith effort to both slow the rate of increase and appease the Americans.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/christo-deneumostier-coca-shop-cusco.jpg
Christo Deneumostier, owner of The Coca Shop, Cusco, Peru
In Bolivia, there are two major coca production areas, the Yungas of La Paz province and the Chapare in the eastern Amazon lowlands. Prior to the October 2004 agreement with Chapare growers, only growers in the Yungas, the traditional home of Bolivian coca production, could legally grow coca, and they were limited to 30,000 acres. But the 2004 agreement, which has been accelerated by the Morales government, ignored the 30,000-acre rule, instead allowing all growers in the program to harvest one cato (about 1,600 square meters, or about one-third the size of a football field) of coca, in return for which farmers agreed to accept eradication in two national parks and to cooperatively eradicate any coca beyond the one-cato limit. By growing a cato of coca, farmers are able to generate an annual income of between $900 and $1,300 a year.

That plan was to stay in place until the completion of a study to see how much coca is needed for legal markets, but that study has yet to be completed, and the agreement remains in effect. The majority of the reduction in coca production reported by the UN is now in the Chapare, and the violent conflict that plagued previous forced eradication efforts is now a thing of the past.

Despite the successful effort in the Chapare, US officials have continued to criticize the Morales government's coca policies. Last summer, US drug czar John Walters told reporters that Bolivia's "current level of [anti-drug] cooperation is not what it has been in the past, nor what it needs to be to continue reducing the problem." And just days earlier, a high-level USAID official, Adolfo Franco, testified before Congress that: "In Bolivia, Evo Morales and his Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party have continued to waver on economic policy, democracy and counternarcotics…"

The US has also been critical of an agreement between Morales and coca growers to de facto raise the legal limit from 30,000 acres to 50,000. US officials have criticized the agreement as allowing an increase in coca production. But as AIN's Ledebur told the Chronicle, "The idea that the increase in allowed production will lead to a real increase in production is mistaken. The increase merely accounts for coca that is actually being produced."

But the US Embassy in Bolivia has taken a slightly friendlier approach, one that recognizes the success in the Chapare. Last May, the month before Walters and Franco criticized Bolivia's coca policies, the embassy asked Bolivia to withdraw a US-funded police force from the Chapare, where it had been responsible for protecting eradicators and preventing the road blockades that had plagued the region in the past. The embassy has also publicly praised Morales' appointment of former Chapare coca grower Felipe Caceres as Bolivia's "drug czar" as an "excellent choice."

While the Morales government has adopted cooperative eradication in the Chapare and pro-coca policies that seek to increase legal markets for coca and recognize its positive attributes as part of Bolivian culture and as a food and medicine, it has also continued to work with US authorities in cocaine interdiction efforts and reported record levels of cocaine seizures last year.

Ironically, with the Chapare now essentially pacified, it is the Yungas region, home of the permitted legal cultivation, where problems are now arising. Coca production has expanded above the 30,000 acres allowed, and Bolivian government efforts to restrain the size of the crop have led to clashes between growers and the armed forces. Last May, the Morales government signed an agreement allowing growers in a part of the Yungas where production has been illegal to grow one cato per family, and negotiations are underway with growers in other parts of the Yungas.

But that agreement also called for a government task force to continue eradication efforts, and the first violent conflict with coca growers in two years occurred there in September, when two cocaleros were shot dead by members of a joint military-police eradication team during a conflict over eradication. The conflict had been simmering ever since last February when the task force entered the Vandiola Yungas after an agreement to eliminate coca in a national park there. But further negotiations about coca growing outside the park faltered, and in September the task force set up camps in the region. While local farmers allowed eradication to go inside the park, on September 29, they tried to block eradicators from entering what they considered a legitimate coca growing area, with the result that two farmers were killed.

Things have since cooled down somewhat in the Vandiola Yungas after an agreement allowing 650 families to grow 400 catos of coca, but tensions remain. Meanwhile, in the primary Yungas growing regions, there is increasing tension over efforts to curb cultivation there, which well exceeds the legal limit.

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much more to life in Bolivia than coca -- fiesta in the Altiplano
As Bolivian coca growers await the study that will determine the size of the legitimate market in coca, they are looking not only to their own government, which is seeking to expand markets and has contracted with the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez both to build a processing plant in the Yungas and to ship coca to Venezuela, but also to entrepreneurs like Peruvian Christo Deneumostier, owner of the Coca Shop, in Cusco, Peru, who sells everything from coca cookies and pastries to coca ice cream. He told the Chronicle this week he wanted to become the Starbucks of coca by opening a series of Coca Shop franchises across Peru -- and beyond. "We transform coca into legal products," he said. "We need to start marketing coca to expand the legal market. The problem is not the plant, but the demand for cocaine. If we can expand legal markets with our products, we won't have to see those plants turned into cocaine."

But the marketing of coca for legitimate medicinal and alimentary uses is still in its infancy, and Starbucks-like coca shops are still a glimmer in the eye of excited entrepreneurs. Still, the Morales government has substantially managed to put a lid on civil conflict around coca, has worked with the US government in interdiction efforts, and is undertaking real eradication campaigns. In that sense, Bolivian coca policy is working in a way it never has before. Will the US government recognize this, or will it continue to criticize Morales for allowing increases in production in some regions? Look for an answer to that question next month, when the annual certification report comes out.

In the meantime, Drug War Chronicle will be visiting the Chapare and, probably, the Yungas next week, as well as seeking a deeper understanding of the issues from analysts, growers, and Bolivian and US government officials. Stay tuned.

(Phil will be publishing several more from-the-scene reports over the coming weeks, during and after his stay. Read last week's report from Peru here and Phil's ongoing blog reports from the region here.)

U.S. Is Sued Over Position on Marijuana

Location: 
San Francisco, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The New York Times
URL: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/washington/22marijuana.html?ref=us

Op-Ed: Canada must not follow the U.S. on drug policy

Location: 
Ottawa, ON
Canada
Publication/Source: 
Ottawa Citizen
URL: 
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=a1b9fa14-8813-49ac-aed4-02cbd947ca76

CFDP and DPA Media Advisory: CHALLENGE TO US DRUG CZAR CRITICISMS OF CANADIAN DRUG POLICY

Who: Senator Larry Campbell, Ethan Nadelmann, Line Beauchance, Eugene Oscapella Where: Charles Lynch Press Theatre, Parliament Hill, Ottawa When: Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. Contact: Eugene Oscapella, 613-282-1864 or Ethan Nadelmann, 212-613-8020 OTTAWA AND NEW YORK, February 21, 2007: The Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy (Ottawa) and the Drug Policy Alliance (New York) will be holding a press conference in the Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, at 1:30 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2007. The press conference is being held on the occasion of the visit to Ottawa by the head of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (the US "drug czar") John Walters. Speakers at the press conference will challenge the continuing criticism of Canada's drug control efforts by Mr. Walters, and discuss pressure by the US Administration on the Government of Canada to follow the American model of drug control, which is based heavily the use of the criminal law, policing and incarceration ("criminal prohibition). Speakers at the press conference will also address the failure of US drug control policies in the United States, the misleading rhetoric by the US Administration about Canada's contribution to US drug problems, and the damaging effects of US drug control policies on Canada, including the risks US poppy eradication policies pose for Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Speaking at the press conference will be: • The Honourable Larry W. Campbell, Senator, former Mayor of Vancouver, former RCMP Drug Squad member, and former Chief Coroner of British Columbia. • Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, New York, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. Mr. Nadelmann is a former Princeton University professor and author of several books and articles on policing, crime control and drug policy. • Professor Line Beauchesne, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, the author of several books on drug policy, and co-founder, Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy. • Eugene Oscapella, Ottawa lawyer, co-founder, Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, and lecturer on drug policy in the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa. Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy: www.cfdp.ca, Drug Policy Alliance: www.drugpolicy.org
Location: 
Ottawa, ON
Canada

ASA Press Release: Patients File Lawsuit Challenging Federal Government On Medical Cannabis, Demand FDA Correct Misinformation

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 Contact: Paco Fabian or Kate Geller, 202-822-5200 Patients File Lawsuit Challenging Federal Government On Medical Cannabis, Demand FDA Correct Misinformation Americans for Safe Access suit follows two-year petition process, comes on heels of new study on effectiveness of medical cannabis Oakland, CA. The patients advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a lawsuit today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California demanding that the federal government cease issuing misinformation on medical cannabis and correct the information it has released. “The FDA position on medical cannabis is incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws requiring the government to base policy on sound science,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel for Americans for Safe Access. The suit charges a violation of the little-known Data Quality Act (DQA). The DQA requires federal agencies such as Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rely on sound science. It also allows citizens to challenge government information believed to be inaccurate or based on faulty, unreliable data. The ASA case specifically challenges the government position that “marijuana has no accepted medical value.” “The science to support medical cannabis is overwhelming, yet the government continues to play politics with the lives of patients desperately in need of pain relief,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. “Americans for Safe Access is filing this lawsuit on medical cannabis to demand that the FDA stop holding science hostage to politics.” Today’s filing is the outcome of a more than two-year petition process and comes on the heels of a recent University of California, San Francisco study demonstrating the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating pain in people living with HIV/AIDS. ASA first filed a petition to force HHS – the FDA’s parent agency - to correct statements about the medical value of cannabis in October 2004. Under the DQA, agencies must respond or file for an extension 60 days from the date of the first petition filing. The government response was a statement saying that it would not act on the petition, a position it has maintained despite ASA’s May 2005 appeal. Using the DQA’s judicial review provisions, the Oakland-based organization is now taking its cause to the courts. “Citizens have a right to expect the government to use the best available information for policy decisions. This innovative case turns the Data Quality Act into a tool for the public interest,” said preeminent legal scholar and case co-counsel Alan Morrison, who founded Public Citizen’s Litigation Group and currently serves as a senior lecturer at Stanford Law School. “I had side effects from morphine patches, oxycontin, and oxycodone before starting a medical cannabis regime that has allowed me to get off prescription drugs and live virtually pain-free,” said Blackfoot, Idaho resident Victoria Lansford, a named patient in the lawsuit who suffers from fibromyalgia. “The government’s refusal to face up to the science is irresponsible and harms citizens like me for whom this treatment is a lifeline.” ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers. ASA has over 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states. DQA Complaint: HYPERLINK "http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/DQA_Complaint.pdf"http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/DQA_Complaint.pdf DQA Background info: HYPERLINK "http://www.safeaccessnow.org/DQA"http://www.safeaccessnow.org/DQA
Location: 
Oakland, CA
United States

Medical Marijuana: Supporters File Federal Lawsuit Against HHS, FDA

The medical marijuana defense group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against two federal agencies over their contention that marijuana "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." The lawsuit names the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as defendants. ASA accused the FDA and HHS of issuing "false and misleading" statements about the medicinal uses of marijuana.

"The FDA position on medical cannabis is incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws requiring the government to base policy on sound science," said Joe Elford, ASA chief counsel.

"The science to support medical cannabis is overwhelming, yet the government continues to play politics with the lives of patients desperately in need of pain relief," said ASA executive director Steph Sherer. "Americans for Safe Access is filing this lawsuit on medical cannabis to demand that the FDA stop holding science hostage to politics."

The filing of the lawsuit comes at the end of a two-year petition process during which the FDA and HHS refused to respond to complaints that they were playing politics with the science of medicinal marijuana. The lawsuit charges that the two agencies are violating the Data Quality Act, which requires federal agencies to rely on sound science. The act, originally crafted by industrial lobbyists as a weapon their corporate clients can use in their ongoing battles with federal regulators, also allows citizens to challenge inaccurate information or that based on faulty data.

ASA first filed a petition seeking redress from HHS in October 2004, but the agency refused to act on the petition. ASA appealed in May 2005, to no avail. Now it is taking its challenge to the federal courts.

"Citizens have a right to expect the government to use the best available information for policy decisions. This innovative case turns the Data Quality Act into a tool for the public interest," said preeminent legal scholar and case co-counsel Alan Morrison, who founded Public Citizen's Litigation Group and currently serves as a senior lecturer at Stanford Law School.

A Special Letter from Ed Rosenthal

Dear Friend, As you probably know, I was tried in 2003 for providing marijuana starter plants to medical marijuana distribution centers. The exact charges were manufacture, providing a place to manufacture and conspiracy. The jury found me guilty on all three felony counts. Within four days of the trial eight of the jurors repudiated the verdict. After leaving the jury box they learned the whole truth. They had not been allowed to hear that I was appointed as a City Officer empowered to provide patients with medical marijuana. Jury members told the media that they felt that they had been used and worse. One of the jurors revealed that she had consulted a lawyer about the trial while she was a juror. After considering all the facts of the case the judge sentenced me to one day in prison, time served. I appealed the convictions on three grounds: improper actions by the juror, the fact that I was a city officer should have exempted me from prosecution under federal law and that even if I was not protected I had been led to believe I was by proper authorities and thus should be free from prosecution under the rules of estoppel, that is, when a person is advised by the government that his/her actions are legal, they shouldn’t be arrested even if the individual was ill-advised. The 9th circuit reversed the conviction on the basis of a juror’s fear of voting against the judge’s instructions and held that I could be re-tried. The trial was set for late October. However, just a few weeks ago the prosecutor filed a superseding indictment charging me with 14 counts including filing false tax returns, money laundering $1,854.77 as well as manufacturing and conspiracy. The sentencing structure for this case could put me away for the rest of my life. I don’t plan to lose this case. Just as it is for me, this is an extremely important case for the government. The Bush regime hopes that winning this case will give them a pass to attack all providers functioning under the California Medical Laws, as well as decimating progress made in the other states with medical marijuana laws. As you may know, the federal authorities closed all of the medical facilities in San Diego in September. In October they closed a few facilities in rural areas of California as well as San Francisco and in Los Angeles. Now in late January they are on another rampage in southern California. My success, not guilty verdicts, will send a message to the government that the public will not tolerate federal interference in state medical programs. It will be a major setback for the government’s efforts to contain the medical marijuana phenomenon I have recruited an extremely well qualified and dedicated legal team to work at a reduced rate. Even so we will need funds for court expenses as well as publicity. This is a critical moment and I am reaching out to my friends, to political activists and to all who have voiced concern about this issue as well as those concerned about my well being. Please help me fight these laws. Give me the tools so I can win this battle. The first trial cost over $350,000 and used up most of my savings. It left me in a critical, vulnerable position financially. I don’t have the money to finance this trial. Help me win this battle so to protect medical marijuana users and dispensaries throughout the state and country. To be honest, my experience in asking readers to help out the marijuana movement financially has been a failure in the past. Almost all of you will read this, sympathize with my position, and then turn the page, thinking that it’s not your concern. However, the outcome of my trial will have a direct impact on your lives. This is a cutting edge case that the U.S. government is attempting to use to intimidate activists in their battle against marijuana. You can help turn the tide by making a generous contribution to Green-Aid.com . Green-Aid is a tax deductible non-profit organization that with a goal of challenging the laws using tipping point court cases. This case will cost about $300,000. I am asking everybody who values their relationship with marijuana to contribute. Are you one of 300 people who value changing the laws as much as a quarter lb.? Or a thousand people who are willing to contribute the value of one ounce? If you can’t afford that, you could give the equivalent of a quarter ounce. Please help You can contribute online by credit card or by mail for checks. Donate at our website http://www.green-aid.com/ or send your check payable to “Green Aid” to: 484 Lake Park Ave. - Box 172, Oakland, CA 94610. Green Aid, The Medical Marijuana Defense and Education Fund is a non-profit 501(c)3 Charitable Corporation and all contributions to it are tax deductible. With your help these laws are doomed. Stay Free, Ed PS: Please find attached a full history of my case in 'The Bust and the Trial' and a note regarding a recent attack by the goverment on local authorities in 'CVAG Meeting'. The feds gameplan is to shut down all dispensaries & providers. Help me stop them.
Location: 
CA
United States

Vote Hemp Press Release: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 Introduced in Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 13, 2007 CONTACT: Tom Murphy 207-542-4998 tom@votehemp.com Breaking News! Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 Introduced in Congress H.R. 1009 Would Give States Right to Regulate Farming of Versatile Hemp Crop WASHINGTON, DC - For the second time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States, a federal bill has been introduced that would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. The chief sponsor of H.R. 1009, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007," is Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) and the nine original co-sponsors are Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jim McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). The bill may be viewed online at: http://www.votehemp.com/federal.html "It is indefensible that the United States government prevents American farmers from growing this crop. The prohibition subsidizes farmers in countries from Canada to Romania by eliminating American competition and encourages jobs in industries such as food, auto parts and clothing that utilize industrial hemp to be located overseas instead of in the United States," said Dr. Paul. "By passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act the House of Representatives can help American farmers and reduce the trade deficit - all without spending a single taxpayer dollar." U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a California company who manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over 2 million cars. Hemp food manufacturers such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Nature's Path and Nutiva now make their products from Canadian hemp. Although hemp grows wild across the U.S., a vestige of centuries of hemp farming, the hemp for these products must be imported. Health Canada statistics show that 48,060 acres of industrial hemp were produced in Canada in 2006. Farmers in Canada have reported that hemp is one of the most profitable crops that they can grow. Hemp clothing is made around the world by well-known brands such as Patagonia, Bono's Edun and Giorgio Armani. There is strong support among key national organizations for a change in the federal government's position on hemp. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) "supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp." The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has also passed a pro-hemp resolution. Numerous individual states have expressed interest in industrial hemp as well. Fifteen states have passed pro-hemp legislation; seven (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. North Dakota has issued state licenses, the first in fifty years, to two farmers so far. Rep. Paul's bill would remove federal barriers and allow laws in these states regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp to take effect. "Under the current national drug control policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it can't be grown by American farmers," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. "The DEA has taken the Controlled Substances Act's antiquated definition of marijuana out of context and used it as an excuse to ban industrial hemp farming. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 will bring us back to more rational times when the government regulated marijuana, but told farmers they could go ahead and continue raising hemp just as they always had," says Mr. Steenstra.
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