(renamed "Drug War Chronicle" effective issue #300, August 2003)
Issue #109, 9/24/99
"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"
NOTE TO OUR READERS:
This week, we've decided to focus on important events and efforts that
people interested in drug policy reform need to know about NOW, including
information for students who want to be involved in the reform movement;
an important update on the medical marijuana fight; a calendar of events;
and the Drug Policy Foundation's announcement for their international year
2000 conference. Next week we will be back to our usual news format.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STUDENT CONFERENCE: On November 5-6 in Washington, DC, Students for Sensible Drug Policy will present the first Student Leaders in Drug Policy and Justice National Conference, on the campus of George Washington University. The conference will be held on the George Washington University (GWU) campus, and will be co-hosted by GWU Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the GWU Student Association. Sponsors and cosponsors of the event include DRCNet, the NAACP, the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and the Drug Policy Foundation.
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND AND WANT TO GET THE FAVORABLE CONFERENCE HOTEL RATE, YOU NEED TO REGISTER AND MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS BY OCTOBER 1. If you want to attend but are concerned about travel and lodging costs, please contact SSDP for information on limited scholarship funds (contact info below).
The conference will feature several keynote speakers as well as various topic-oriented discussion panels and workshops. A partial list of confirmed keynote speakers includes Lindesmith Center Director Ethan Nadelmann and leading civil rights/defense attorney Harry Silverglate. Panel topics will include Consequences of the Drug War, Building Coalitions on Campus, National Campus Campaigns and Incarceration vs. Education. Skill-building workshops will include Leadership Development, Media Relations, Legislative Training, Event Organizing, Working with Student Governments and Drug Policy on Campus.
Early registration (until October 15) for the conference is only $25 for students and $75 for non-students. Register online at http://www.ssdp.org or call Peder Nelson or Kris Lotlikar at DRCNet, (202) 293-8340. Hotel and travel information is also available on the web.
STUDENT CAMPAIGN: Last year, Congress decided that anyone who gets a drug conviction, no matter how minor and no matter what the circumstances, would LOSE FINANCIAL AID. Student governments across the nation have called for repeal of this counterproductive law, and the issue and the campaign have been widely covered in the campus media, as well as in mainstream media such as the Boston Globe, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and the leading outlet of the higher education community, The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Students at over 200 campuses across the nation are involved in the Higher Education Act Reform Campaign, and your help is needed too! Please visit http://www.u-net.org to learn more, or contact Kris Lotlikar at (202) 293-8340 or [email protected] to request an activist packet. (The U-Net site was last updated before the summer, and will be updated with the latest information by next week, but there is a lot of good information there now, so please take a look!) Last but not least, for students and all concerned parties, please sign our online petition to Congress at http://www.raiseyourvoice.com if you haven't already.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVES: If you read our Wednesday alert, then you know the news -- Washington, DC's medical marijuana initiative, I-59, voted on more than 10 1/2 months ago, but whose result was concealed, has been released! A federal judge ruled the Barr amendment unconstitutional, and ordered the District's election officials to count and certify the vote, an order with which they happily complied. As predicted by an exit poll, DC voters favored medical availability of marijuana by 69%.
However, though Congress could not constitutionally block a democratically held election, they still have the power to overturn any law passed in the District of Columbia, even a law passed directly by the voters, if they take action within 30 working days. And Barr and his fellow hard-liners intend to do just that, and only YOU can stop them! If you haven't already visited our medical marijuana action site, please go to http://www.drcnet.org/medmjaction/ to send an e-mail or fax to your elected Representative and your two Senators, and if you have the motivation, to find out their phone numbers, fax numbers or addresses to contact them in those ways to make an even greater impact. Members of Congress don't want to appear "soft on drugs," and tend to vote against even medical marijuana because of that; but many of them are hesitant to directly oppose the will of the voters, so we have a chance. But only if you speak up, so please visit http://www.drcnet.org/medmjaction/ today!
Last but not least on that subject, please use our "tell-a-friend" form on that web site, or forward our alert by e-mail, to get the word out about this important vote. Not only will you be helping to save DC's new medical marijuana law, you will also be letting people know about DRCNet and growing our list (at about 11,400 right now) and strengthening us for future battles!
In other related news, Colorado's medical marijuana initiative, which the state's election commission had erroneously claimed had insufficient signatures to qualify, has now been declared qualified, and is set to appear on the November 2000 ballot. AND, Maine's medical marijuana initiative is coming to a vote on November 2, and polls show support ranging form 68-70 percent!
The one downside in Maine is that the Maine Medical Association has voted to oppose the initiative, though not to actively campaign against it. New reports indicate, however, that their vote may have been influenced by misinformation. The resolution, introduced by Dr. John Garofalo, chairman of the association's public health committee, claims there isn't evidence of marijuana's medical benefit, and that marijuana is a "gateway" drug to heroin and cocaine. But Garofalo's claims are at odds with the findings of the recent Institute of Medicine report, which found that there is evidence supporting medical use of marijuana, and that there isn't evidence of a gateway effect! Read the Institute of Medicine report online at http://www.iom.edu.
DPF 2000: The 13th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform, sponsored by the Drug Policy Foundation, will take place on May 17-20, 2000, at the Washington Plaza Hotel in downtown Washington, DC. The DPF conference is the largest annual international gathering of drug policy reformers in the U.S. To receive a Preliminary Program, a Call for Abstracts, or a Scholarship Application, please contact: The Drug Policy Foundation, Conference Department, 4455 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 537.5005, (202) 537.3007 (fax), or e-mail to [email protected].
Important Conference-Related Dates to Remember: Wednesday, December 1, 1999, Awards Nominations Due; Monday, February 28, 2000, Paper and panel abstracts due; Monday, March 6, 2000, Early Bird Registration Ends; Monday, April 3, 2000, Scholarship Requests Due; Friday, April 7, 2000, Student Paper Entries Due; Sunday, April 16, 2000, Cut-Off Date for Hotel Room Reservations; Friday, May 4, 2000, Cut-Off Date to Sign Up for Congressional Visits.
The 2000 Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Drug Policy Reform will be presented at the conference, and DPF is requesting nominations. This program, established in 1988, serves to honor individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the field of drug policy reform. Nominations can be made for the following award categories:
The Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform; The Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism; The Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law; The Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship; The Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action; The H.B. Spear Award for Achievement in the Field of Control and Enforcement; and The Norman E. Zinberg Award for Achievement in the Field of Medicine and Treatment.
Please include some background of the individual(s)/ organization(s) you are nominating, as well as your reasoning behind your selections. The more thorough the nomination, the more information the selection committee will have for the decision-making process. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, December 1, 1999. Send all nominations to: The Drug Policy Foundation, Conference Department, 4455 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 537.5005, (202) 537.3007 (fax), e-mail [email protected].
REFORMER'S CALENDAR BACK IN ACTION: The following is a listing of a few important events coming up. This listing is by no means complete, and if you don't see your event here, we probably didn't know about it. We are restarting the Reformer's Calendar after a hiatus, and we need your help! Please send us listings of events large and events small. We publish mainly events relating to drug policy, but also occasional relating to other justice issues as well as AIDS, human rights, privacy and other concerns that intersect with drug policy. Please e-mail your submissions to [email protected].
October 5, 8:30am-5:30pm, Washington, DC. Beyond Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century, sponsored by the Cato Institute, featuring New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and others. Academic or nonprofit rate $60, individual or corporate rate $80, register by September 28. At the Cato Institute's F.A. Hayek Auditorium, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. For information, call Addison Wiggin at (202) 789-5248 or visit http://www.cato.org/events/drugwar/ on the web.
October 5, New York, NY. Demonstration outside of Pataki fundraiser for George W. Bush campaign, at the New York Sheraton Hotel, 7th Ave. & 52nd St., 5:00pm. Call the Kunstler Fund hotline at (212) 539-8441 for information and to confirm the time.
October 7, 4:00-6:00pm, New York, NY. The War on Drugs: From Jim Crow to Mary Jane, seminar at The Lindesmith Center, with Graham Boyd and Reginald T. Shuford, ACLU and Esmerelda Simmons, Medgar Evers College. At the Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), RSVP to (212) 548-0695, fax (212) 548-4670, or e-mail [email protected].
October 12, noon-2:00pm, New York, NY. Executive Luncheon Series on Drug Policy, sponsored by the Partnership for Responsible Drug Information. Ira Glasser, executive director of the ACLU, will speak on Drug Prohibition and Individual Rights. At the Harmonie Club, $50, RSVP to (212) 362-1964 or e-mail [email protected].
October 21, 4:00-6:00pm, New York, NY. Drug Policy Reform 2000: Opportunities and Challenges, seminar at The Lindesmith Center, with center director Ethan Nadelmann. At the Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), RSVP to (212) 548-0695, fax (212) 548-4670, or e-mail [email protected].
October 29, 8:30am-5:00pm, San Francisco, CA. Just Say Know: New Directions in Drug Education, presented by the San Francisco Medical Society and The Lindesmith Center-West, $25. For information, call (415) 921-4987 or visit http://www.lindesmith.org/news/conf.html on the web.
November 2, 4:00-6:00pm, New York, NY. Preventing and Managing Binge Drinking in College Students: A Harm Reduction Approach, seminar at The Lindesmith Center, with G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington in Seattle. At the Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), RSVP to (212) 548-0695, fax (212) 548-4670, or e-mail [email protected].
November 5-6, Washington, DC. Student Leaders in Drug Policy and Justice: First National Conference, sponsored by Students for Sensible Drug Policy, $25 for students or $75 non-students until Oct. 15, limited scholarships available for students. Contact Kris Lotlikar or Peder Nelson at (202) 293-8340, Shawn Heller at (202) 965-6257, e-mail [email protected] or visit http://www.ssdp.org on the web.
November 5-6, Washington, DC. Conference on Ibogaine, at the New York University School of Medicine. For information, contact: Kenneth Alper, MD, (212) 263-6287, (212) 263-6457 (fax), e-mail [email protected], or visit http://www.med.nyu.edu/Psych/ibogaineconf/ on the web.
November 17, noon-2:00pm, New York, NY. Executive Luncheon Series on Drug Policy, sponsored by the Partnership for Responsible Drug Information. Joseph McNamara, fellow at the Hoover Institution and former police chief in San Jose, CA, will speak on Police Integrity: A Hidden Cost of America's War on Drugs. At the Harmonie Club, $50, RSVP to (212) 362-1964 or e-mail [email protected].
November 18, 4:00-6:00pm, New York, NY. The "Pharmaceuticalization" of Marijuana, seminar at The Lindesmith Center, with Lester Grinspoon, MD, professor at Harvard Medical School and co-author of Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine. Grinspoon will examine the Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical marijuana. At the Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), RSVP to (212) 548-0695, fax (212) 548-4670, or e-mail [email protected].
January 13-14, 2000, Seattle, WA. Preventing Heroin Overdose: Pragmatic Approaches, hosted by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, Univ. of Washington, with initial cosponsors including the Addictive Behaviors Research Institute, Evergreen Treatment Services, Harm Reduction Coalition, The Lindesmith Center, North American Users' Union, Seattle Police Department, Street Outreach Services, and Urban Health Study, Univ. of California, San Francisco. For info, e-mail Nancy Sutherland at [email protected], Phillip Coffin at [email protected], or visit http://depts.washington.edu/adai/conf/heroin.htm on the web.
April 9-13, 2000, Jersey, Channel Islands. 11th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, leading gathering of the international harm reduction movement. For further information, contact: The Conference Secretariat, HIT Conferences, +44 (0)151 227 4423, +44 (0)151 236 4829 (fax), e-mail [email protected], or visit http://www.ihra.org.uk/ on the web.
April 26-29, Portland, OR. North American Syringe Exchange Convention, sponsored by the North American Syringe Exchange Network. For information, contact NASEN at (206) 272-4857, (206) 272-8415 (fax), or e-mail [email protected].
May 17-20, Washington, DC. 13th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform, sponsored by the Drug Policy Foundation. For information, contact: The Drug Policy Foundation, Conference Department, 4455 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 537.5005, (202) 537.3007 (fax), or e-mail to [email protected].
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