Media Racial Profiling
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search

The Week Online with DRCNet
(renamed "Drug War Chronicle" effective issue #300, August 2003)

Issue #134, 4/21/00

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

subscribe for FREE now! ---- make a donation

Due to the coinciding holidays, we are not presenting our usual news coverage. Instead, this issue of The Week Online focuses on action items, events and job listings. Our usual coverage will return next week.


  1. Raise Your Voice! Students with Drug Convictions Losing Financial Aid July 1st
  2. Hawaii: Senate Voting on Medical Marijuana Bill Next Week
  3. New York: Letters Needed, Protests Mobilizing, Hearings Scheduled
  4. Washington State: Medical Marijuana Sign-on Letter in Legislature
  5. Stop the Helicopters
  6. Upcoming Events
  7. Job Opportunities
(visit the last Week Online)

(visit the Week Online archives)

1. Raise Your Voice! Students with Drug Convictions Losing Financial Aid July 1st

Tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of students will lose all federal financial aid under a provision of the Higher Education Act (HEA) passed in 1998, going into effect July 1. Several things are needed to help get this destructive law repealed:

  1. Visit to send a letter to Congress supporting H.R. 1053, a bill to repeal the HEA drug provision. Tell your friends and other like-minded people to visit this web site. Follow up your e-mail and faxes with phone calls; our system will provide you with the phone numbers to reach your US Representative and your two US Senators.
  2. Educators are needed to endorse our sign-on letter to Congress. If you teach or are otherwise involved in education, or are in a position to talk to educators, please write to us at [email protected] to request a copy of our educators letter and accompanying activist packet -- available by US mail or by e-mail.
  3. Please contact us if you are involved with organizations that have mainstream credibility that might endorse a similar organizational sign-on letter -- organizations endorsing already include the NAACP, American Public Health Association, ACLU, United States Student Association, NOW, and a range of social, religious and other groups.
  4. We urgently need to hear from students who have been affected by this law, especially students who are willing to go public.
  5. We need students at more campuses to take the reform resolution to their student governments. Campuses recently endorsing it include University of Michigan, Yale University, University of Maryland, University of Kansas, the Association of Big Ten Schools, Douglass College at Rutgers University and many more. Visit for information on the student campaign and how to get involved. (The site being updated this coming week, but is still useful even now.)
Visit and make your voice heard!

2. Hawaii: Senate Voting on Medical Marijuana Bill Next Week

Hawaii's medical marijuana bill, S.B. 862, is expected to face a final vote in the state Senate sometime between Monday and Thursday of next week, April 24-27. Last month, the Senate passed an earlier version of the bill with a 13-12 vote. If only one Senator changes his or her vote from "yes" to "no," the bill will fail. If the bill passes again, then Gov. Cayetano, who has supported it all again, has promised to sign it, and medical marijuana patients in Hawaii could have the right to legally grow and use marijuana as soon as early May.

If you live in Hawaii, then PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY! Just visit and take just two minutes or less to send a free e-mail or fax to your Hawaii state Senator. While you are doing that, please write down your Senator's phone number (the system will display it) and call as well, or call the Hawaii public access room at (808) 587-0478.

PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN HAWAII WHO MIGHT SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF PATIENTS WHO NEED MARIJUANA MEDICINALLY TO NOT BE ARRESTED FOR IT. Whether you are from Hawaii or not, you can use the web sites "tell-a-friend" form to let them know to visit or forward this alert directly.

S.B. 862 would provide protection from arrest and imprisonment to patients who use and grow medical marijuana with their doctors' approval and physicians who make such recommendations, similar to the ballot initiatives that have passed in Alaska, California, Maine, Oregon, and Washington state, provisionally in Nevada (initiatives must pass twice there) and in Washington, DC (law's status still in limbo).

The initial version of this bill passed the Hawaii House of Representatives on March 7 by a vote of 32-18 vote. The same day, the Hawaii Senate passed a slightly different bill 13-12. The 13 "yes" votes in the Senate consisted of 11 Democrats and 2 Republicans, Anderson (R), Bunda, Chumbley, Fukunaga, Hanabusa, Ihara, Kanno, Levin, Matsunaga, Mizuguchi, Oakland, Slom (R) and Taniguchi. The 12 "no" votes, all Democrats opposing medical marijuana, were Buen, Chun, D. Ige, M. Ige, Iwase, Inouye, Kawamoto, Matsuura, Nakata, Sakamoto, Tam and Tanaka. The current version of S.B. 862 was passed by the House on April 11 by a vote of 29-20.

Most of the information in this article was provided by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). This Hawaii medical marijuana alert site,, is sponsored by MPP, DRCNet and the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii (

3. New York: Letters Needed, Protests Mobilizing, Hearings Scheduled

The campaign to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws is mobilizing for a May 8th protest in Albany, marking the 27th anniversary of the enactment of these unjust laws. Please visit on the web site of the Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice for information on the 5/8 protest and how you can be a part of it, or call the Kunstler vigil hotline at (212) 539-8441.

Whether you live in New York state or not, please visit, a partnership of DRCNet and ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy ( Use the site to e-mail or fax your legislators if you haven't already -- besides directing needed correspondence to lawmakers, DRCNet will also get your legislative district and be able to contact you if special support is needed in your part of the state. If you don't live in New York, please use the site's tell-a-friend form to let people you know there about this important issue.

An important public hearing on the "Effects of Incarceration on Families of Inmates" will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Children and Families, Assembly Standing Committee on Correction and Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, May 4th at John Jay College in New York City. Point your browser to to find out more, or call Judi L. West at (518) 455-4371 to find out how to sign up to make a presentation. Contact Terri Derikart of the New York chapter of Families Against Mandatory Minimums ([email protected]) to get involved in this and other justice reform efforts in New York state.

4. Washington State: Medical Marijuana Sign-on Letter in Legislature

Washington law has allowed for medical marijuana research and distribution since 1979. Unfortunately, however, the program has been closed since the early 1980s.

To help reopen the program, Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) has authored a letter on behalf of state legislators to state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky, asking her to make an application to the federal government to open a medical marijuana research program.

Whether this letter creates a significant impression on Selecky and spurs her to action depends on the number of state legislators that sign on to Senator Kohl-Welles' letter. Our goal is to encourage every state representative and state senator to add their names to the letter.

Please visit to send an e-mail or fax to your elected state officials, asking them to sign on to Senator Kohl-Welles' letter and join the coalition of legislators who recognize the need for medical marijuana research. If you don't live in Washington but know people there, please visit and use the "tell-a-friend" form or forward this bulletin to them directly. This web site is a collaboration of DRCNet and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

5. Stop the Helicopters

The much criticized $1.7 billion Colombia military aid package has passed the House of Representatives but stalled in the Senate. Republican leadership have promised that the package, primarily military anti-drug aid, including expensive Blackhawk helicopters, will be taken up during the normal appropriations cycle in a couple of months.

Only an outpouring of citizen opposition can stop this ill-conceived legislation from passing and prevent the increase of human rights abuses that will result if the much condemned Colombian military receives this funding. Please visit to tell Congress you oppose the Colombia package, and please tell your friends and spread the word!

6. Upcoming Events

April 26-29, Portland, OR, "NASEC X, The Tenth North American Syringe Exchange Convention," sponsored by the North American Syringe Exchange Network. Visit, e-mail [email protected] or call 253-272-4857 for further information.

May 3, Washington, DC, "Building Peace in the Midst of War: Civil Society Initiatives in Colombia," seminar presented by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the George Washington University (GWU) Andean Seminar on Culture and Politics. At GWU's Marvin Center, room 403, noon to 2:00pm, simultaneous translation available. Contact Peter Clark of WOLA at (202) 797-2171 or [email protected] or Jamie Foster of GWU at [email protected] for further information.

May 6, "Millennium Million Marijuana March," visit for further information.

May 10-13, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 9th International Conference on Penal Abolition. At Ryerson Polytechnic Metropolitan United Church, $200 CND (agency), $140 CND (individual), $40 low-income, negotiable. Visit for info and to register.

May 17-20, Washington, DC, the 13th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform, sponsored by the Drug Policy Foundation. Visit, e-mail [email protected] or call (202) 537-5005 for further information.

August 10-13, San Francisco, CA, "Fourth Annual Hepatitis C Conference," sponsored by the HCV Global Foundation. For information or to register, visit or contact Krebs Convention Management Services, 657 Carolina Street, San Francisco, CA 94107-2725, (415) 920-7000, fax (415) 920-7001, [email protected].

7. Job Opportunities

DRCNet is currently offering a temporary 20-hour/week position working on the Higher Education Act reform campaign described in the first article of this issue. The ideal candidate will be of college age or near college age, highly motivated, self-starting, and will have good computer, writing, organizational and phone skills. Available immediately. DRCNet is located in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC. Send resumes and inquiries to [email protected].

The November Coalition, a non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to a reform of the nation's War on Drugs and the release of nonviolent drug prisoners, is seeking a qualified individual to head the organization's Nation Vigil Project. Write to Paul Lewin, [email protected], for a complete description of the position. Visit to learn more about the organization. Applicants should send a brief cover letter and resume to Paul Lewin at (760) 320-8169 (fax) or e-mail [email protected] by May 31, 2000. Interviews will be offered to selected candidates in June, 2000.

If you like what you see here and want to get these bulletins by e-mail, please fill out our quick signup form at

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]