This Week in History 2/25/05

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February 26, 1995: Former mayor of San Francisco Frank Jordan is quoted in the Los Angeles Times, saying, "I have no problem whatsoever with the use of marijuana for medical purposes. I am sensitive and compassionate to people who have legitimate needs. We should bend the law and do what's right."

February 28, 1995: In compliance with the 1994 Crime Act, the Sentencing Commission issues a report on the current federal structure of differing penalties on powder cocaine and crack cocaine. The Commission finds that "under some criteria, crack offenses deserve lengthier punishment than powder offenses, but on other criteria differential treatment could not be justified." It recommends that Congress "revisit" penalties enacted for these offenses.

February 28, 2000 -- UPI reports that Spanish researchers say the chemical in marijuana that produces a "high" shows promise as a weapon against deadly brain tumors. A research team from Complutense University and Autonoma University in Madrid found that one of marijuana's active ingredients, THC, killed tumor cells in advanced cases of glioma, a quick-killing cancer for which there is currently no effective treatment.

February 29, 1996: In his State of the Union address, President Clinton nominates Army General Barry McCaffrey, a veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm, as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Two days later, the appointment is confirmed by the Senate without debate. McCaffrey had been head of the U.S. Southern Command (SouthCom) which provides military backup for US policy in Latin America -- a policy long linked with chronically ineffective and corrupt drug enforcement.

March, 1977: US Representative and future Vice President Dan Quayle is quoted as saying, "Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana. We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society."

March 1982: Pablo Escobar is elected to the Colombian Congress.

March 1, 1915: The Harrison Narcotics Act goes into legal effect.

March 1, 1999: Advice columnist Abigail Van Buren in her popular column "Dear Abby" writes, "I agree that marijuana laws are overdue for an overhaul. I also favor the medical use of marijuana -- if it's prescribed by a physician. I cannot understand why the federal government should interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, nor why it would ignore the will of the majority of voters who have legally approved such legislation."

March 2, 1997: Judge John Curtin, an active member of the New York-based ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy, likens the "drug war" to the Vietnam War in an op-ed for the Buffalo News.

-- END --
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Issue #376 -- 2/25/05

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Editorial: PROOF | Campaign Against "Souder's Law" Progresses Forward and Outward in DC and the States | Ohio Drugged Driving Bill Hits Speed Bumps in House After Quick Senate Approval | Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse 2005 -- An Overview of Progress So Far | DRCNet Book Reviews: "Drugs and Democracy" and "Dangerous Harvests" | DRCNet/Perry Fund Event to Feature Rep. John Conyers and Kemba Smith, March 9 in Washington, DC | This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: Bush All But Admitted Past Drug Use in Secretly Recorded Tapes | Newsbrief: Pushing National Drug Control Strategy, Drug Czar Calls for Drug War to Emulate Terror War | Newsbrief: Parents More Chill About Teen Drug Use, Study Frets | Newsbrief: In Latest Border Killing, Agent Shoots Unarmed Marijuana Mule | Newsbrief: More Meth Madness -- Iowa School District to Ban Homemade Goodies for Fear of Crank Contamination | Newsbrief: Marijuana Legalization to be Debated at Canadian Liberal Party Meet | Newsbrief: Singapore's First-Ever Cocaine Bust Prompts Ad Campaign Aimed at Elite | Newsbrief: Counterculture Icon Hunter Thompson Dead By His Own Hand | This Week in History | Job Openings with MPP Nevada Campaign, and Other Opportunities | The Reformer's Calendar

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