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

Issue #253, 9/6/02

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Editorial: Federal Evildoers
  2. DEA Turning Its Sights on Patients, Small Growers in Escalating California Medical Marijuana Conflict
  3. Canadian Senate Panel Calls for Marijuana Legalization -- Urges Regulation and Control, Rejects US Pressure
  4. You Are Now Leaving the EU: Christiania Gets Raided
  5. Ducheneaux Guilty in Medical Marijuana Case as South Dakota Attorney General Candidates Unite Against Jury Rights Amendment
  6. Massachusetts Local Ballots to Include Marijuana Decriminalization, Medical Marijuana, Hemp Questions
  7. Medical Marijuana Polling: Yet More Info on MarijuanaInfo.org
  8. 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Results Published
  9. Stossel Tapes Still Available -- Support DRCNet and Reserve Your Copy of This Important ABC News Report Today!
  10. Newsbrief: Board of Canvassers Rejects Michigan Initiative, Appeals Court Next
  11. Newsbrief: California Legislature Passes Bill to Make Prop. 36 Clients Eligible for Food Stamps, Awaits Governor's Signature
  12. Newsbrief: Nevada Marijuana Initiative Loses Support in Latest Poll
  13. Newsbrief: Rainbow Farm to Be Auctioned
  14. Newsbrief: Chills Owner Gets 14 Months on Federal Paraphernalia Rap
  15. Newsbrief: DEA Busting Pipe-Sellers Again, This Time They Hit Illinois
  16. Newsbrief: Tennessee Towns Fire Police Forces, Cite Too Much Attention to Meth Labs
  17. Newsbrief: World of Competitive Bridge Fends Off Drug Menace, US Player Loses Medal for Refusing Drug Test
  18. Newsbrief: DEA Brokers Thai-Lao Border Drug Cooperation Deal
  19. Media Scan: Shawn Heller, Dan Forbes, Dan Gardner, Nando Times, Canadian Editorial Cartoons, DrugSense Drug Policy Links
  20. Third Annual Fortune Society Prisoner Art Contest
  21. Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision
  22. The Reformer's Calendar
(read last week's issue)

(visit the Week Online archives)


1. Editorial: Federal Evildoers

David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected], 9/6/02

Last week I editorialized against the attacks on pain doctors and patients by police and prosecutors overzealously pursuing opioids (narcotics). Unfortunately, there are other drug war crimes against patients going on and escalating as well.

The past three weeks have seen a major escalation of raids and arrests in California's medical marijuana war. Despite DEA chief Asa Hutchison's lies to the contrary, the DEA (along with other federal agencies) is in fact targeting patients and small medical marijuana growers at an increasing rate.

  • In Mendocino County, federal prosecutors have charged a disabled medical marijuana patient and his caregiver for a mere 27 plants.
  • In Orange County, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has arrested a medical marijuana patient for legally owning a handgun, stowed safely in a closet, while possessing marijuana.
  • In Butte County, DEA agents tore up a medical marijuana patient's mere six plants, despite pleas from a state DA to leave her alone.
The persecution has escalated against providers as well. Only yesterday, Valerie and Mike Corral of the Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz had been dragged off in handcuffs, their garden destroyed. WAMM serves 300 seriously ill patients. Some of them are terminal, and thanks to the DEA, they will have to waste portions of the scarce time left to them on the street, seeking their medicine from the underground at high price.

I'm proud to say I've met Valerie Corral. But I would gain no such pride in meeting the federal evildoers who have perpetrated this. I'm not referring to the rank-and-file agents, who are just as likely confused as evil. I'm referring to the decision-makers. They are not public servants; they are cruel tyrants consuming the lives of patients and friends of patients for political or bureaucratic gain. And they have betrayed the will of the people, who support medical marijuana patients and want law enforcement to protect them from terrorists, not persecute the nation's weakest and most vulnerable.

History will judge those who do evil as evil, it will judge tyranny and oppression as such, guise or veil of law notwithstanding. Seeking and using medicine is a fundamental human right, and no Bob Barr or Asa Hutchison or John Ashcroft can change that. The government must cease its immoral attacks on patients now.


2. DEA Turning Its Sights on Patients, Small Growers in Escalating California Medical Marijuana Conflict

While the US Justice Department has for months been escalating its campaign to reign in California's voter-approved experiment with medical marijuana, it has also claimed that it was really only targeting criminal trafficking activity disguised as providing medicine to the ill. That claim is growing increasingly threadbare. A series of raids this summer documented by California NORML (http://www.canorml.org) shows that despite its disclaimers, the DEA is now targeting patients and small growers in California.

"I don't know of any instance in which there's been a federal targeting of any user; that's not within the federal priority system," DEA head Asa Hutchison told a hostile San Francisco crowd in April. "We have gone after traffickers. If you have 500 marijuana plants, that is of concern."

Either Hutchison needs to have a word with his underlings or his San Francisco comments are, in that hallowed Nixonian phrase, "no longer operative."

"We have been waiting for the other shoe to drop with some big bust, possibly of a co-op or compassion club," said Dale Gieringer, head of California NORML. "But what we are seeing instead is a series of raids directed at patients and growers who have no connection at all to trafficking," he told DRCNet.

The list of recent DEA actions directed at patients or small growers includes:

  • An August 15 raid in which DEA agents destroyed a 6-plant patient garden belonging to Diane Monson of Oroville, openly defying a plea from Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey to leave her plants alone.
  • An August 15 raid in which DEA agents in Santa Rosa ripped up the medical garden of Alan MacFarlane, a cancer patient who was acquitted of growing 100 plants for his personal medical use in a jury trial last year. This time, the agents took 128 plants, which MacFarlane says were being grown for 10 seriously ill patients in accordance with Sonoma County guidelines.
  • In Orange County, patient Michael Teague was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after his Prop 215 cultivation case was dismissed in state court. Teague, who had a legal handgun in his closet, was arrested on charges of being an "unlawful drug user in possession of a handgun."
  • In Mendocino County, the federal government filed charges against disabled patient David Arnett and his caregiver David Kephart for growing just 27 plants on BLM land after their case was dismissed by the DA under Prop. 215.
The DEA has also targeted well-known medical marijuana activists, such as:
  • Lynn and Judy Osburn, who were recently arrested by the DEA for growing a personal use garden of 35 plants at their Ventura County ranch. The Osburns had been raided last year for cultivating for the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, but no indictment was delivered in that case. However, the government moved to forfeit their home, and they were put under DEA surveillance.
  • Charles "Eddy" Lepp, another well-known activist, was raided by the DEA in Lake County last week. Lepp, who was acquitted for growing 132 plants in a high-profile trial in 1998, had been openly growing for himself and other patients.
  • In Sonoma County, another former Prop. 215 defendant, Mike Foley, who was acquitted for providing marijuana to a San Francisco patients' group last year, was re-arrested by the FBI for growing a modest garden that was within county guidelines for personal use.
  • Valerie Corral of the Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, and Mike Corral, were arrested yesterday (Thursday, September 5) and their garden destroyed by the DEA. WAMM is a collective serving 300 seriously ill patients, many of them terminal.
"This is an ongoing campaign, and there is no doubt that US Attorneys have been given the order to go after medical marijuana," said Gieringer. "This is really vicious and is happening under the radar. They barely know it's happening on the West Coast, let alone in Washington, DC, and Texas, where the decisions are made. The audacity of the Justice Department in trying to claim it is not going after medical marijuana patients is mind-boggling," Gieringer added.

The sentencing of yet another medical marijuana grower, Bryan Epis, could provide the setting for a major protest of federal government policies, Gieringer said. Epis, who is to be sentenced on September 23, faces a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. Americans for Safe Access (http://www.safeaccessnow.org), a campaign of the Cannabis Action Network, is planning a mass action at the sentencing and has prepared an "emergency response network" ready to spring into action in the event of another major bust. But, given the federal government's new tactic of going after the small fish, medical marijuana supporters may have to rethink their response strategy.


3. Canadian Senate Panel Calls for Marijuana Legalization -- Urges Regulation and Control, Rejects US Pressure

The Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, which has spent the last two years doing a comprehensive review of Canada's drug laws, called Wednesday for an end to cannabis prohibition and its replacement with a legal, regulated marijuana market. The committee's final report, while not binding, will increase political pressure on the Liberal government of Premier Jean Chretien to address reform of Canada's cannabis laws, which have gone badly out of sync with popular practice and sentiment in recent years, the committee said.

"Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue", said Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Chair of the Special Committee, in an Ottawa news conference announcing the report's release. "Indeed, domestic and international experts and Canadians from every walk of life told us loud and clear that we should not be imposing criminal records on users or unduly prohibiting personal use of cannabis. At the same time, make no mistake, we are not endorsing cannabis use for recreational consumption. Whether or not an individual uses marijuana should be a personal choice that is not subject to criminal penalties. But we have come to the conclusion that, as a drug, it should be regulated by the State much as we do for wine and beer, hence our preference for legalization over decriminalization."

The call for legalization and regulation was greeted with cheers by cannabis advocates on both sides of the border. "Canada is moving in the same direction as Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The US is alone among developed nations in hanging on to marijuana prohibition," said Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy (http://www.csdp.org). "The US has for years forced our drug war on our neighbors. Canada is finally just saying no."

"Objective reviews keep debunking the thinking behind prohibition, but our government throws them on the trash heap every time," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (http://www.mpp.org). "We should be grateful that the Canadians, like the British, are trying to do the sort of honest, fact-based analysis that our government refuses to do. Americans should give this a serious look -- and reject the prohibitionist policies that have failed for two-thirds of a century."

"This is a great report," said Marc Boris St-Maurice, head of Canada's national Marijuana Party (http://www.marijuanaparty.org). "It's a recipe to legalize marijuana and make it work," he told DRCNet. "It's a must read for any self-respecting activist or advocate. We had an idea this was coming, but this is absolutely ideal. It will put pressure to change on Canada's institutions."

"We are extremely pleased," said Eugene Oscapella, executive director of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy (http://www.cfdp.ca). "These guys have thoroughly researched the subject and have the guts to tell it like it is," he told DRCNet. "We are pleased with the frankness and honesty. This has been a long time coming. This will make it safer for other politicians to talk about the issue in a rational way, and once the debate becomes rational, we will see change," he said.

According to the committee report, only cannabis-related activity that causes demonstrable harm to others, such as impaired driving or selling to minors under 16, or is related to an export trade in the weed, should be prohibited. The Canadian government should introduce cannabis regulation legislation "stipulating conditions for obtaining licences, producing and selling cannabis; criminal penalties for illegal trafficking and export; and the preservation of criminal penalties for all activities falling outside the scope of the exemption scheme," the committee recommended.

The committee also called for amnesty for all Canadians convicted of cannabis possession and recommended that Canada inform the United Nations it intends to seek to amend the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and related treaties, the legal backbone of the global prohibition regime. "There is a clear international trend to reassessing domestic drug policy such as recent initiatives toward decriminalization in the United Kingdom," the committee noted. Deputy Chair Senator Colin Kenny, glancing toward the south, added, "though what we are recommending for our country has an impact on our friends and neighbours, Canada must make its own decisions in the best interests of its citizens."

While the committee report is a welcome addition to reform advocates' arsenals, it will not necessarily lead to quick or easy change in Canada's cannabis laws. "There is no guarantee the recommendations will be implemented," said St.-Maurice. While members of either chamber of Parliament may introduce non-financial bills, such as one to regulate cannabis commerce, the ruling Liberal Party would have to push such bills. It has shown little interest so far in doing so.

Still, said St.-Maurice, it is one more straw on the camel's back. "In the context of cannabis in Canada right now, with the Justice Minister's recent comments, with widespread popular support, and with the Supreme Court cases on the constitutional right to use recreational marijuana coming in the next six or eight months, this just adds to the momentum," he argued. "This report could influence the Supreme Court, and if they rule favorably, that will put real pressure on the government to do something in the House of Commons."

But the House of Commons also has a committee working on drug policy, with a report due out in November. According to Oscapella, the House report may not be as favorable to reform as the Senate report because, unlike senators, House members face popular election. At any rate, Oscapella said, it is unlikely that any action will take place before the House report is issued.

Also notable, especially in contrast to the shrillness infecting the drug policy debate in the US, was the tone of reason and compassion reflected in the Canadian approach. "In a free and democratic society, which recognizes fundamentally but not exclusively the rule of law as the main source of normative rules and in which government must promote autonomy as far as possible and therefore make only sparing use of the implements of constraint, public policy around psychoactive substances must be structured around guiding principles respecting the life, health, security, rights and freedoms of individuals who, naturally and legitimately, seek their own well-being and development, and can recognize the presence, difference, and equality of others," the committee explained.

The committee made 11 formal recommendations for action to the Canadian government:

  • Create a "National Advisor on Psychoactive Substances," who would be less a drug czar than an inter-ministerial facilitator.
  • Hold a high-level conference with "key stakeholders" next year to set priorities for action for the next five years.
  • Change the name of the "Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse" to the "Canadian Centre on Psychoactive Substances and Dependence," fund it from Parliament, and mandate it to produce an annual report on drugs and drug policy, coordinate research on drugs and dependency, and undertake five-year assessments of the national drug strategy.
  • Create a Monitoring Agency on Psychoactive Substances to measure drug use trends on a biennial basis.
  • Adopt "an integrated policy on the risks and harmful effects of psychoactive substances covering the whole range of substances (medication, alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs)." Cannabis policy should focus on "educating users, detecting and preventing at-risk use and treating excessive use."
  • Create a cannabis production and licensing scheme.
  • Declare amnesty for anyone convicted of cannabis possession under current or past law.
  • Amend the federal medical marijuana program to ease rules regarding eligibility, production, and distribution, and do more research on medical marijuana.
  • Amend the criminal code to lower blood alcohol levels necessary to trigger drunk driving violations when other drugs are present.
  • Create a national fund for research on psychoactive substances and dependency. Key research topics would include therapeutic uses of cannabis, tools for detecting driving under the influence, and finding effective prevention and treatment programs.
  • Inform appropriate United Nations authorities that Canada "is requesting an amendment to the conventions and treaties governing illegal drugs."
The committee report, along with proceedings, testimony, research, and general information can be accessed at http://www.parl.gc.ca/illegal-drugs.asp online.


4. You Are Now Leaving the EU: Christiania Gets Raided

special to DRCNet by Valerie Vande Panne

The entrance to Christiania reads: "You are now leaving the E.U."

Christiania, the notorious autonomous zone in Copenhagen, Denmark known for its open market of marijuana, hashish and psychedelic mushrooms, recently suffered yet another raid on August 28, the eve of a European Union Informal Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs.

"The EU meeting is completely unrelated to this sweep," said Ulrick Knudsen of the Minister for Foreign Affairs office. "I wasn't even aware there was a sweep."

The meeting covered EU expansion, the international criminal courts and issues in the Middle East. While the Foreign Affairs office denies knowledge of the sweep, residents of Christiania believe differently.

"They swept the day all the government people came to town for the EU meeting," observed a merchant from the part of town known as "Pusher Street."

The Danish Police were unavailable during several attempts to contact them for comment.

"We never know when they're coming," said a man who owns a shop in Christiania selling trinkets from Mexico to Tibet. "They come eight to ten times a year, every year. They don't come here, because they know I don't sell hash."

Marijuana, hash and mushrooms are enjoyed openly in Christiania. It is important to the people there that access and use of these items be open. Sentiment runs strong, however, against heroin and "hard drugs," which Christiania residents do their best to banish from the community. Signs declare "No Hard Drugs." One resident even said the fact they don't allow hard drugs is the most important part of the community. "About ten years ago, we went through and moved everyone out who did hard drugs, or told them they had to quit. Then, we drug tested them to make sure the ones that stayed didn't use hard drugs. We also set up support groups for them and for people who drink heavily. We try to be supportive, and help the alcoholics before they become homeless and jobless."

"Hard drugs" might not be tolerated within the free city of Christiania, but they are readily available in other parts of the city. Cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines are quite popular in other neighborhoods. The drug trade as a whole continues to be operated by black market gangs in both Christiania and Copenhagen, and occasionally there is gang related violence.

Christiania is an enclosed community -- there are only a few entrances and exits. The streets are filled with "the biggest dogs in Denmark," as a Copenhagen local observed -- pit bulls and mastiffs lounge in the shade and play fight in the streets. Unmarked guards at the perimeter keep watch 24 hours a day. The residents and guards in Christiania are connected to each other through two-way radios and a closed circuit computer network. The guards keep the entire town abreast of what's going on outside -- including when the police are about to raid.

Even with a bit of warning, people are still arrested and goods confiscated. Twenty-one people were arrested in the August 28 raid. Among the items seized, the people of Christiania seemed most upset by the loss of numerous display tables that were large and in many cases heated.

"There are undercover officers here all the time," said the merchant from Pusher Street. "They are always watching."

Due to the government surveillance, Christiania residents are not willing to give their names for publication. "It would not be good for us," says one resident. They also do not permit photos. Large signs declare "NO PHOTOS" -- and if one is seen taking photos, a resident of the community will smash the camera and escort the violator out of the town.

Sean Bega, of DC Courier in Washington DC, was visiting Christiania the day of the raid. "It seemed civilized compared with what goes on in the US. It was more like they were saying: 'We just want to remind you we're allowing this to happen. No hard drugs, and keep the rest in here.' It's like there is a fine line, and the police want them to remember not to cross it."

Raids in Christiania are quite different then in the US. The police come in with shields. They do not draw their guns. Tourists and young people throw rocks and stones at the police, and the police have no reaction.

Though the police are relatively nonviolent, the experience of being raided, possessions confiscated and people arrested takes its toll. "Even though we are a free city, the continuous raids make it hard for us to relax," said a young man who grew up in Christiania.

The city is filled with some of the most beautiful graffiti artwork in the world. Some of it portrays their view of the police as death. Most of the art breathes life and color into the community.

One day after the August 28 raid, it was business as usual. Merchants had their supply, and tourists and residents of Copenhagen were strolling the quiet streets eagerly demanding their goods. Searching for a sunny spot, to sit, and relax.

Visit http://www.berlingske.dk/artikel:aid=209688/ for video footage of the raid. Visit http://www.christiania.org for information about the community published by its members. Visit http://www.drcnet.org/wol/228.html#christiania for past DRCNet coverage of Christiania.


5. Ducheneaux Guilty in Medical Marijuana Case as South Dakota Attorney General Candidates Unite Against Jury Rights Amendment

The Common Sense Justice Amendment (or Constitutional Amendment A on the November ballot), a simply-worded effort to throw a giant monkey wrench into South Dakota's version of the drug war, saw its logic highlighted in a Sioux Falls court case last week even as the two major party candidates battling to be the next state Attorney General came together long enough to denounce the proposed measure. Amendment A, which was drafted by South Dakota Libertarian activist Bob Newland and Fully Informed Jury Association co-founder Larry Dodge, would allow defendants in criminal cases to argue "the merits, validity and applicability of the law, including the sentencing laws."

Matthew Ducheneaux, a paraplegic Lakota who had been arrested in Yankton while smoking marijuana to soothe muscle spasms and who was first granted and then denied the right to offer a "medical necessity" defense by the South Dakota courts, was found guilty of marijuana possession in a Sioux Falls court August 27. The verdict came one day after the Wall Street Journal highlighted Amendment A and one day before attorney general candidates Republican Larry Long and Democrat Ron Volesky warned that Amendment A "would permit a juror to reject a law with which he or she may disagree or to decide that a particular defendant should not be subject to the law."

If Amendment A had been in place, Newland told DRCNet, Ducheneaux could have argued that he should not have been convicted despite the law. "He could have basically said, 'Yeah, I did it, but I didn't hurt anyone, the law is stupid, and you should not convict me,'" Newland said.

"The effort to pass Amendment A comes out of reaction to a particularly stupid drug law, which the Ducheneaux case illustrates," said University of South Dakota political science Professor John Fremstad. "And despite the nightmare scenarios about how it might be applied, it seems like it would mostly be used in drug cases, which is where we have some of our stupidest laws," he told DRCNet. "But Amendment A sends chills down the spine of any judge and any lawyer. I'm guessing that all the respectable opinion in South Dakota is horrified," Fremstad added, expressing no surprise at the bipartisan collaboration by the top cop candidates in denouncing the measure.

And the two lawyers and legislators who are vying to control the state's criminal justice apparatus mustered their best arguments for their four-paragraph press release. A single juror could subvert the law, they wrote. The amendment would "turn the clock back 300 years to European justice," they wrote, raising the specter of one law for the rich and one for the poor. And it would be expensive, they added, because prosecutors would have to retry cases. Lastly, "Amendment A has been rejected in every state where it has been considered, and it should be rejected in South Dakota," Volesky and Long informed the South Dakota electorate.

"Where to begin?" laughed Newland when asked to respond. "First of all, the Common Sense Justice Amendment has not been rejected in every state where it has been considered -- for the simple reason that it has not been considered anywhere before. And what is this stuff about one law for the rich?" Newland asked. "Isn't that what we have now? If Matthew Ducheneaux were a rich man, he could have bought justice. This amendment gives a poor man the chance to argue his case. And how much money has the state of South Dakota already spent prosecuting Matthew Ducheneaux?"

Despite the announced opposition of the South Dakota Bar Association, the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Abbott, who pronounced it "a terrible idea," and the two attorney general candidates, organized opposition has been slow to appear. "The lawyers haven't done much more than issue statements, and we know of no group not composed entirely of lawyers that has any opinion whatsoever on Amendment A," said Newland.

"This issue has had a low profile," agreed Fremstad. "But the more publicity this gets, the more clear it will be that 98% of the powers that be in both parties say it goes too far. Still, this could be a Jesse Ventura kind of thing. There may well be a lot of people in South Dakota who think the judge shouldn't be able to tell you to enforce a law even if it's a bad law," he said.

Amendment supporters intend to do all they can in the next eight weeks to achieve victory, said Newland, but the treasury is empty. "We've got enough money to get through one more week," he said. "We've received some donations from a few well-known players, as well as a bunch of $10 and $20 donations, but we're running on fumes as we come down to the wire," he said. But Newland is also a master at appearing on op-ed pages in newspapers across the state, as well as an energetic campaigner. (He is running as the Libertarian Party nominee for attorney general, a campaign designed primarily to boost support for Amendment A.)

And there may be support in unexpected quarters. "My wife told me this morning that she was going to vote for it," said USD's Fremstad, "and I just might, too."

Visit http://www.CommonSenseJustice.Us for the Common Sense Justice Amendment home page. Visit http://www.state.sd.us/sos/2002/02GBQpamphlet.htm for the South Dakota Secretary of State's pro and con pages on Amendment A.


6. Massachusetts Local Ballots to Include Marijuana Decriminalization, Medical Marijuana, Hemp Questions

Voters in 47 Massachusetts towns and cities, including 20 of the Bay State's 170 House districts, will vote on ballot initiatives instructing lawmakers to vote to decriminalize the possession of marijuana, to allow medical marijuana patients to use and grow their own, and to allow the production of industrial hemp. Nineteen districts will vote on marijuana decrim, one on medical marijuana and one on hemp. (One district, the 14th in Worcester, will vote on both decrim and medical marijuana.)

The campaign, largely organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (http://www.masscann.org), the Massachusetts NORML affiliate and sponsor of next weekend's annual Freedom Rally at Boston Commons, builds on a similar effort in the 2000 elections, when 18 cities and towns passed like-minded measures by a two-to-one margin. In an interview with the mid-state Sentinel & Enterprise, MassCann founder Steve Epstein argued that cash-strapped Massachusetts could immediately save "millions of tax dollars in police overtime, public defenders and probation," by making simple marijuana possession a civil, not criminal offense.

Epstein also cited gains in public safety to be had from freeing police from the burden of arresting marijuana users, but he also said it was a moral issue. Marijuana prohibition "persecutes otherwise law-abiding citizens and the ill, terrorizing people with the threat of arrest when they are harming no one or trying to alleviate life-threatening medical conditions or the effects of their other therapies," Epstein said.

The precise question facing voters in 16 districts (in Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester) is: "Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil violation, subject to a maximum fine of $100 and not subject to any criminal penalties?" In three other districts, all in Essex, the question contains an additional clause calling on police to hold marijuana offenders under 18 until they are released to a parent or guardian or by a judge's order.

MassCann targeted districts where it has a volunteer base or where elected representatives have opposed marijuana decriminalization bills. "It's important to let them know that their people by a good margin support ending the arrest of adults in possession of marijuana," Epstein said.

Voters in the Worcester 14th District will be asked: "Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote for legislation that would allow patients with certain diseases, who have a written doctor's recommendation, to possess and grow small amounts of Cannabis marijuana for their personal use until such time that the federal government puts into effect a distribution system for these patients?"

And voters in the Franklin 2nd District (Athol, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Orange and Warwick) will be asked: "Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow licensed farmers in Massachusetts to grow Cannabis hemp a crop with a 1 percent or less, THC, the active ingredient in marijuana for legitimate agricultural and industrial purposes?"

Of related drug policy interest, voters in the Norfolk 15th District will be asked to vote on a resolution calling upon the Congress and the president to withdraw all US troops from Colombia and to use the $1 billion directed to the Colombian military within the US for urgent health care needs.


7. Medical Marijuana Polling: Yet More Info on MarijuanaInfo.org

Last week DRCNet reviewed "A 4,739 Year History of Cannabis (Marijuana) as Medicine," a documented history of medical marijuana published recently on MarijuanaInfo.org. Today we inform you of MarijuanaInfo's latest addition, a summary of the results of polls on the issue conducted in the US since 1975.

The polling summary is particularly relevant to this week's lead story of escalating raids and arrests against medical marijuana patients and providers in California. While the federal government seeks to squash the medical marijuana movement without regard to state or local sanction for it, it couldn't be more clear that public opinion is against them. Of the 66 polls that MarijuanaInfo found, all but one of them came out in favor of medical marijuana.

Visit http://www.MarijuanaInfo.org and click on the "over 65 votes/polls" link to read more. Also visit http://www.drcnet.org/wol/237.html#marijuanainfo and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/252.html#throughtheages for our past coverage of MarijuanaInfo.org.


8. 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Results Published

This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services released results from the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The NHSDA like all such surveys is fraught with uncertainties, making its accuracy and value unclear. Nevertheless the results may be interesting. DRCNet will publish an article next week discussing the survey and its latest findings with experts. In the meantime, we present some "highlights" from the 2001 findings, extracted by Richard Glen Boire of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics (http://www.alchemind.org):

  • In 2001 15.9 million Americans age 12 and older used an illicit drug in the month immediately prior to the survey interview. This represents an estimated 7.1 percent of the population in 2001, compared to an estimated 6.3 percent the previous year.
  • 1.9 million persons used Ecstasy (MDMA) for the first time last year, and an estimated 8.1 million persons have tried MDMA at least once in their lifetime.
  • 1.3 million (0.6 percent) of the population aged 12 or older were current users of "hallucinogens," meaning that they had used LSD, PCP, peyote, mescaline, mushrooms or MDMA (Ecstasy) during the month prior to the interview.
  • Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug.
  • Most drug users were employed. Of the 13.4 million illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2001, 10.2 million (76.4 percent) were employed either full or part time.
  • An estimated 66.5 million Americans 12 years or older reported current use of a tobacco product in 2001. This number represents 29.5 percent of the population.
  • Almost half of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2001 survey (48.3 percent). This translates to an estimated 109 million people.
Read more about current and past NHSDA findings at http://www.samhsa.gov/oas/nhsda.htm#NHSDAinfo online.


9. Stossel Tapes Still Available -- Support DRCNet and Reserve Your Copy of This Important ABC News Report Today!

Since we issued our "call to action" to write to ABC News in support of John Stossel's excellent coverage of the drug war and legalization -- responding to an action alert by the "other side" asking people to criticize it -- over 450 of you have sent us copies of letters you sent to ABC News at our request. Thank you for taking action!

We are pleased to announce that DRCNet is now offering VHS copies of this pivotal Stossel/ABC News report. You can purchase a copy for $34 (shipping included), or you can make a $65 or greater membership donation (or sign up for a $6 or greater monthly credit card donation) and receive a complimentary copy. Visit http://www.drcnet.org/stosseloffer/ to make your donation or purchase by credit card (you'll be forwarded to our secure transaction server), watch the show if you missed it and play it for your family and friends. Or, send a check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

"War on Drugs: A War on Ourselves" featured interviews with California judge James P. Gray, Detroit police chief Jerry Oliver, New York priest Father Joe Kane, drug reform advocate Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies, DEA chief Asa Hutchison and others. Host John Stossel went the full mile and presented a thought provoking discussion of the case for legalization and the realities of the drug war at home and abroad. It is quite simply one of the best reports ever done on the issue by a mainstream news network. So please visit http://www.drcnet.org/stosseloffer/ and order your copy today!

Your donation to DRCNet will support work such as our international anti-prohibition conference series, "Out from the Shadows: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century." DRCNet is organizing with drug reform and other supportive organizations and institutions worldwide to mobilize reform forces in a clarion call for ending drug prohibition outright. We will convene in February in the city of Merida, capital of the Yucatan state of Mexico, and other events are in the works (pending funding) at the European Parliament in Brussels, Canada and the United States. Stay tuned to DRCNet for further details!

Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which support our lobbying programs, are not tax-deductible. If you need or want a tax deduction, you can also contribute to the DRCNet Foundation, same address. (Make sure to use the correct web form or organizational name on your check.)

Again, please visit http://www.drcnet.org/stosseloffer/ to contribute or purchase today! Your donation marks a vote cast for ending drug prohibition in the 21st century -- you are part of that making it happen! Thank you for being a part of DRCNet.


10. Newsbrief: Board of Canvassers Rejects Michigan Initiative, Appeals Court Next

Michigan's drug reform ballot initiative has been dealt a possibly fatal setback for 2002, according to an article in the Detroit News on Tuesday, September 3. The Michigan Drug Reform Initiative (http://www.drugreform.org/michigan/), along with an unconnected ballot proposal to earmark state tobacco settlement funds to health care, was rejected by the State Board of Canvassers, which ruled that the measures were defectively worded. The board voted 4-0 against the drug reform measure, saying it would cancel out an unrelated portion of the state's constitution that guarantees rights of crime victims.

A bulletin from the Initiative & Referendum Institute (http://www.iandrinstitute.org) stated that "many initiative experts believe that the Board of Canvassers overstepped their authority. The statutes seem to be clear as to what their responsibilities are: 1) approve and ballot wording proposed by the Secretary of State (MS 168.474); 2) assign the ballot number (MS 168.474a); 3) verify the validity of the signatures that are submitted (MS 168.476); and 4) declare if there are sufficient signatures to place the issue on the ballot (MS 168.477)."

Initiative proponents have said they will appeal the decision, so further Michigan initiative action is now in the hands of the courts.


11. Newsbrief: California Legislature Passes Bill to Make Prop. 36 Clients Eligible for Food Stamps, Awaits Governor's Signature

California's legislature has passed Assembly Bill 1947, which would allow persons enrolled in a Proposition 36 treatment program to receive food stamps if they meet eligibility requirements. Prop. 36 is the "treatment not jail" measure passed by California voters in 2000, which has led to measurable slowing of the state's prison juggernaut since being implemented in July 2001. California is one of 20 states that continues to deny federal benefits such as welfare and food stamps to persons convicted of drug felonies under a punitive federal law passed in 1996.

Sponsored by Rep. Carl Washington (D-Paramount), the bill only applies to persons in the Prop. 36 program and covers only federally funded food stamps. The state of California, which faces severe budget woes, would incur no new expense. Proponents of Prop. 36 are using the lack of fiscal impact as an argument to persuade Gov. Gray Davis to sign the bill.

"Signing this bill into law should be an easy call for the Governor," said Whitney Taylor, director of the Proposition 36 Implementation Project of the Drug Policy Alliance (http://www.drugpolicy.org). "The program it supports was adopted by the 61% of Californians who voted for Proposition 36 and it requires no funds from the state," she continued. "If we want to end the cycle of addiction and incarceration -- which is a socially and fiscally responsible goal -- we need to create a system that helps persons succeed. AB 1947 is an important addition to the provision of substance abuse treatment that will help people stay in recovery," Taylor concluded.


12. Newsbrief: Nevada Marijuana Initiative Loses Support in Latest Poll

The latest poll of Nevada voters, commissioned by the Las Vegas Sun and conducted by Mason & Dixon Polling and Research, found that opposition to the Nevada marijuana initiative, which would remove all criminal penalties for adult possession of up to three ounces, is increasing while support is decreasing. The latest numbers, based on a survey of 625 eligible voters, found 55% opposing Question 9, as the initiative is named on the ballot, and 40% backing the measure, with 5% undecided eight weeks before the polls open.

However, it is unclear to what extent the poll represents overall opinion within the state. According to a bulletin from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the pollsters only interviewed people who are the most likely to vote in Nevada's September primary, which means mostly the elderly, who are less supportive of the initiative than the population at large.

A month earlier, the same poll saw a tighter margin -- 44% in favor and 46% opposed, while a similar poll conducted for the Reno Gazette and KRNV-TV in Reno in late July found a dead heat, with 48% in favor, 48% opposed and 4% undecided. The slide came after the issue exploded in the Nevada media with the fleeting endorsement of the measure by the state's largest law enforcement organization, NCOPS. That endorsement galvanized the opposition, and its retraction days later has provided grist for foes ever since.

Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement (http://www.nrle.org), the MPP spin-off behind the campaign, continues to claim that Nevadans support the initiative's concept when it is communicated truthfully. A fundraising appeal from MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia stated that "[o]ur polling shows that Nevada voters support this common-sense approach to marijuana policy, so our opponents can only prevail if they lie to the voters about what the initiative would actually do."

Campaign spokesman Billy Rogers told the Sun the group will hammer on the point that the initiative only allows adults to possess marijuana at home, not in public places or while driving. "If that is what voters are hearing on election day, we will win the election," Rogers said. "We have to let them know exactly what is in the initiative." NRLE's ability to do that now depends on the generosity of donors.


13. Newsbrief: Rainbow Farm to Be Auctioned

Cass County, Michigan, prosecutor Scott Teter sure knows how to rub salt in an open wound. Teter, the man who presided over the events that led like a Greek tragedy to the deaths of Rainbow Farm owners and long-time marijuana activists Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm a year ago (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/202.html#rainbowfarm), took the occasion of this year's looming Labor Day weekend anniversary of their killings to announce that the property would be auctioned off under conditions designed to ensure it could never again be used as a place of fun, music, pot smoking and anti-drug war agitation.

Crosslin and Rohm were shot to death by law enforcement officers during a stand-off at Rainbow Farm last Labor Day weekend, an event that was obliterated from the public consciousness eight days later by the events of last September 11. Crosslin and Rohm had retreated to the farm as a last resort after Teter moved to revoke their bail in a pending criminal prosecution because they organized a pro-marijuana rally at the farm. Both men faced years in prison beginning that day; instead, they returned to their long-time home and began burning buildings they feared were destined to be seized by Teter.

After the men's deaths, Teter indeed initiated a civil forfeiture action. But he told the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune last week that he had cut a deal with the estate of Rollie Rohm's son Robert, now 14, who was taken from Rainbow Farm by state agents last summer and has been placed in foster care despite the requests of his grandparents to raise him. The 43-acre property would be divided into parcels and auctioned to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to Robert Rohm, Teter said, pronouncing himself "very pleased with this agreement."

And no wonder. It ensures that Rainbow Farm will not rise from the ashes -- now or ever. According to Teter, the deed to each parcel will include a restrictive covenant that the land may never be used as a campground or entertainment venue again. Also, any potential buyers must be vetted by county officials, who may block the sale if someone they consider an unseemly person (such as a Rainbow Farm friend or sympathizer) attempts to buy the land.

"We can conduct background checks on the buyer if necessary," Teter said. "Basically, we did not want the campground to be reopened under any circumstances. We didn't want a repeat of what happened there before."

Teter may be pleased, but relatives and supporters of the two dead men are not. Rollie Rohm's stepfather, John Livermore, told the Tribune the county had always been after the land and that an auction will bring "only pennies on the dollar," thus victimizing Rohm's son once again. And former Rainbow Farm manager Doug Leinbach told the Tribune he had received e-mail from Robert saying he doesn't want the farm to be sold. "He says it's the only thing he has to remember his father," Leinbach said.


14. Newsbrief: Chills Owner Gets 14 Months on Federal Paraphernalia Rap

special to DRCNet by Debra McCorkle

Chris Hill, the young Florida Republican pipe and rolling paper manufacturer who brought Chill's Inc. from a garage operation to national recognition by the business press, was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison on August 16. He will serve his sentence at the minimum security prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Hill was indicted by the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Iowa (Des Moines) after pipes of his manufacture were seized in head shop raids in Des Moines and Iowa City last year (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/221.html#chillsinc). Hill was charged with manufacturing drug paraphernalia.

Hill was surprised by the severity of the sentence, considering that he had no prior arrest record. "I walked into court hoping I was going to get house arrest", he said. In addition, he must come up with a $500,000 fine. Hill has continued to sell rolling papers and tobacco through the Chills company since his arrest, but expects to file bankruptcy as a result of his conviction and imprisonment.


15. Newsbrief: DEA Busting Pipe-Sellers Again, This Time They Hit Illinois

The federal bong police have struck again, this time raiding two stores in Springfield, Illinois. On August 15, DEA agents swooped into Traveling Treasures, a 15-year fixture on West Jefferson Street, and Penny Lane on South MacArthur Boulevard. The feds seized an estimated $35,000 to $40,000 in inventory from Traveling Treasures, owner Art Campbell told the Springfield State Journal-Register.

"They took all our pipes, saying it was drug paraphernalia," said Campbell. "I never knew I was doing anything wrong. I sell fatigues and I have policemen in this store almost every day. I always said, 'If you see anything illegal, take it away.' I've never had any problems. And one day the DEA comes in the door."

Pipe manufacturers and sellers have been the subject of an on-again-off-again federal campaign against drug paraphernalia in the last three years. Most of the cases are linked to two US Attorneys' offices, the Southern District of Iowa (Des Moines) and the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), and the feds have typically followed leads from one head shop or manufacturer busts to other sellers or makers. Under Supreme Court interpretations of federal law, bongs and other non-traditional pipes are considered to be drug paraphernalia.

"We're baffled," said Campbell, who added that his store sponsored a Little League team, contributed to charities and gave money to police organizations. "We're an accepted part of this community, and now all of a sudden we're villains."


16. Newsbrief: Tennessee Towns Fire Police Forces, Cite Too Much Attention to Meth Labs

Local police forces in the small central Tennessee towns of Gruetli-Laager and Palmer, both in Grundy County, have been given the boot in what appears to be an example of law enforcement providing more policing than the community wanted. In separate mid-August votes, the two small towns voted to fire their police departments, saying town police were ignoring local offenses to chase down meth labs in surrounding areas.

"We weren't paying them to go out of the county and bust meth labs," Greutli-Laager Mayor Donna Rollins told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "We pay them to take care of the city."

Other aldermen mentioned complaints of police harassment and the cost of maintaining a police force. But Alderman Wayne Grimes, the sole vote against firing Gruetli-Laager's four-man force, said police stepped on too many local toes when they busted 67 meth labs during the first seven months of the year. "I just feel like maybe they were doing their job too good," he told the Oak Ridger. Grimes also cited police crackdowns on beer sales to minors, which angered local businessmen and relatives and friends of those arrested. "To me it was a political deal. They thought hopefully if they got rid of the police department, they would drop the charges."

Gruetli-Laager alderman Jim Layne was among those who voted to fire the police. He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance three days before the vote. Layne had no comment on his motives in voting for the move.


17. Newsbrief: World of Competitive Bridge Fends Off Drug Menace, US Player Loses Medal for Refusing Drug Test

Who knew? The drug war is a battle of many fronts, but one would not have thought of the World Bridge Federation as one of them. Still, the bridge world was in an uproar last weekend after US professional Disa Eythorsdottir was stripped of her silver medal for refusing to take a drug test. The ritual condemnation came only after the World Bridge Federation met in emergency session to figure out how to discipline her, according to a report filed by the London Daily Telegraph's bridge correspondent.

The bridge federation instituted random drug testing of players in January 2000 as part of its campaign for bridge to become an Olympic sport. Since there does not exist a list of banned performance-enhancing drugs for bridge, the bridge federation relies on the International Olympic Committee's list of banned substances.

Eythorsdottir told the Telegraph she refused the test because she had taken a prescription drug. "They have taken everything, my medal, my name," said a tearfrul Eythorsdottir. "I am on a diet drug connected with a back condition. I asked the authorities whether the drug was on the banned list and they didn't know. The drug is on prescription, but I did not get a certificate to cover it," she added.

World Bridge Federation president Jose Damiani took a no-nonsense, zero-tolerance approach to the Eythorsdottir affair. "She refused the test," he said. "She is deemed to have failed the test. Her medal has been removed and her name referred to her federation."

And the world is a safer place.


18. Newsbrief: DEA Brokers Thai-Lao Border Drug Cooperation Deal

At an August 29 meeting in Udon Thani, Thailand, Thai and Laotian officials signed an agreement to work more closely to combat drug traffickers along their mutual border. The meeting was "observed" by representatives of the DEA, the Bangkok Post reported. Under the agreement, Thailand and Laos will set up a total of six new "coordinating centers" to exchange information on cross-border drug trafficking.

Both Thailand and Laos produce opium and both are feeling the effects of amphetamine production on a massive scale by the Burmese United Wa States Army. US Army personnel held joint anti-drug training missions with Thai forces last summer.


19. Media Scan: Shawn Heller, Dan Forbes, Dan Gardner, Nando Times, Canadian Editorial Cartoons, DrugSense Drug Policy Links

SSDP National Director (and former DRCNet intern) Shawn Heller is High Times magazine's "Freedom Fighter of the Year" -- article on page 36 of the October issue.

Editorial cartoons from Canadian papers about the Senate committee's marijuana legalization recommendation, compiled by Matt Elrod of DrugSense:

Hamilton Spectator: http://www.mackaycartoons.net/2002-09-05.jpg
Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/series/cartoon/05thuedcar.html
Halifax Herald: http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2002/09/05/fcartoon.html
New drug policy links database, by DrugSense:
http://www.mapinc.org/dpr.htm

Dan Forbes reports for DrugWar.com: "White House and DEA Work to Defeat Michigan Drug Initiative; ONDCP's New Pot Ads Play a Role"
http://www.drugwar.com/pforbesdea1.shtm

Nando Times on the DEA medical marijuana raids:
http://www.nandotimes.com/healthscience/story/525147p-4161518c.html

Dan Gardner comments on Canada's Senate panel in "Legalization Can No Longer Be Snickered Away":


20. Third Annual Fortune Society Prisoner Art Contest

Every year The Fortune Society, a New York based ex-offender assistance organization, solicits artwork from prisoners across the country for its annual prisoner art contest. There are over 130 artists from 30 states represented in this year's contest, for which the first and second place winners will receive cash prizes.

Visit http://www.fortunesociety.org/art/ to view or purchase artwork or to vote for your favorite pieces in the contest.


21. Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision

URGENT: Help stop S. 2633, the "Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act of 2002" -- call your Senators at (202) 224-3121, visit http://www.emdef.org for information.

Support States' Rights to Medical Marijuana: Visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/ to write to Congress today!

Visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com to tell Congress to repeal the Higher Education Act's drug provision in full and let tens of thousands of young people with drug convictions go back to college.


22. The Reformer's Calendar

(Please submit listings of events concerning drug policy and related topics to [email protected].)

September 6, 3:00-8:00pm, Washington, DC, Rave on the Capitol Lawn. Protest of the RAVE Act, sponsored by Ravers Organizing Against the Rave Act (ROAR), on the west lawn of the US Capitol. For further information, visit http://www.rpmonline.org/ROAR/ or contact Joey at (703) 593-9297 or [email protected] or Legba at (703) 354-2044 or [email protected].

September 6, 3:00-8:00pm, Los Angeles, CA, rave in protest of the Rave Act. At the Westwood Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Blvd., organized by Freedom to Dance. Park in Westwood Village, call (310) 854-2016 for further information.

September 8-11, Chicago, IL, "Racial Justice Leadership Institute," seminar sponsored by the Applied Research Center. Limited to 30 participants, application deadline August 5, visit http://www.arc.org/action_ed/ for further information, or contact Terry Keleher at (773) 278-4800 x162 or [email protected].

September 14, 2:00-10:00pm, Eau Claire, WI, Autumn Groove," fundraising music festival hosted by University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire Students for Sensible Drug Policy. At Mt. Simon Park, bands, food and speakers, visit http://www.AutumnGroove.com for further information.

September 26, Eugene, OR, "Confessions of a Dope Dealer," solo theatrical performance by Sheldon Norberg. At the Wow Hall, not recommended for children under 13, call (415) 666-3939 or visit http://www.adopedealer.com for further information.

September 26-28, Los Angeles, CA, "Breaking the Chains: People of Color and the War on Drugs." Conference by the Drug Policy Alliance, e-mail [email protected] to be placed on mailing list for when details become available.

September 28, Palo Alto, CA, "Putting the Government on Trial," a Continuing Legal Education Seminar hosted by the Fully Informed Jury Association. Nine speakers will address various legal defense issues related to jury nullification, including jury empowerment, opening and closing statements and strategies for defense attorneys. Visit http://www.fija.org or contact Iloilo Marguerite Jones at (406) 442-1388 or [email protected].

September 29, sunset, nationwide vigil for medical marijuana. Contact [email protected] or (510) 486-8083 or visit http://www.safeaccessnow.org for further information.

September 30-October 1, Washington, DC, "National Symposium on Felony Disenfranchisement," conference sponsored by The Sentencing Project. Admission free, advance registration required, visit http://www.sentencingproject.org or call (202) 628-0871 for further information.

October 1-6, Negril, Jamaica, "Mind States Jamaica," seminar featuring speakers such as Richard Glen Boire, Earth Erowid, Fire Erowid, Alex Grey, Jon Hanna, Stephen Kent, Jonathan Ott, Mark Pesce, Ann Shulgin and Sasha Shulgin. Registration $1,300 through September 15, includes admission, double occupancy accommodations, meals and drinks. Contact [email protected] or visit http://www.erowid.org/mindstates/ for further information.

October 7-9, San Diego, CA, "Inside-Out: Fostering Healthy Outcomes for the Incarcerated and Their Families." Contact Stacey Shank of Centerforce at (559) 241-6162 for information. October 19, Portland, OR, "PottyMouth Comedy Competition: Flushing Away the DEA," $5,000 first prize. Visit http://www.jeffandtracy.com or call (503) 605-5182 for info.

October 10, 5:00pm, Higganum, CT, Community Forum on the "War on Drugs." Featuring Cliff Thornton and Adam Hurter of Efficacy, at the gazebo in town center, contact Kevin at (860) 345-3387 or [email protected] for further information.

October 25-29, Albuquerque, NM, "International Conference on Altered States of Consciousness." At the Crowne Plaza Pyramid, visit http://www.bizspirit.com/alteredstates/aspeakers.html for further information.

November 2, Davis, CA, "Confessions of a Dope Dealer," solo theatrical performance by Sheldon Norberg. At the Varsity Theater, not recommended for children under 13, call (415) 666-3939 or visit http://www.adopedealer.com for further information.

November 6-8, 2002, St. Louis, MO, "2nd North American Conference on Fathers Behind Bars and on the Street." Call (434) 589-3036, e-mail [email protected] or visit http://www.fcnetwork.org for information.

November 8-10, Anaheim, CA, combined national conference of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Marijuana Policy Project. Early bird registration $150, $45 for students with financial need, visit http://www.mpp.org/conference/ for further information.

November 9, Anaheim, CA, Bill Maher benefit show for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Marijuana Policy Project. Admission $50, or $1,000 VIP package including front-row seat and private reception with Bill Maher. Visit http://www.mpp.org/conference/ for further information.

November 9-10, 10:00am-6:00pm, London, England, European Conference of The Libertarian International and Libertarian Alliance. At the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, admission £75.00 ($111 or 115 EURO), for information contact Dr. Chris Tame at +020 7821 5502 or e-mail [email protected].

November 22-24, Amsterdam, Netherlands, "Psychoactivity III," speakers including Arno Adelaars, Hans Bogers, Jace Callaway PhD, Hilario Chiriap, Piers Gibbon, Luis Eduardo Luna PhD, Dr. phil. Claudia Mueller-Ebeling. Visit http://www.psychoactivity.org for further information.

December 1-4, Seattle, WA, "Taking Drug Users Seriously," Fourth National Harm Reduction Conference. Sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General. For information, e-mail [email protected], visit http://www.harmreduction.org or call (212) 213-6376.

April 6-10, 2003, Chiangmai, Thailand, "Strengthening Partnerships for a Safer Future," 14th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm, sponsored by the International Harm Reduction Coalition in partnership with the Asian Harm Reduction Network. For further information, visit http://www.ihrc2003.net or contact [email protected] or (6653) 223624, 894112 x102.


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