This Week in History

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June 3, 1876: Fairgoers visit the Turkish Hashish Exposition at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where many partake.

June 8, 1993: Leading conservative intellectual William F. Buckley says in an interview, "the amount of money and of legal energy being given to prosecute hundreds of thousands of Americans who are caught with a few ounces of marijuana in their jeans simply makes no sense -- the kindest way to put it. A sterner way to put it is that it is an outrage, an imposition on basic civil liberties and on the reasonable expenditures of social energy."

June 4, 1998: Common Sense for Drug Policy begins a $60,000 advertisement campaign on CNN and other outlets, timed to coincide with the June 8 UN drug summit, featuring a video of President Clinton at the UN with an overdubbed voice imitating the president and urging a change in drug policy (with a visual disclaimer saying it is not Clinton talking). On June 7, ABC Evening News covers the story.

June 8, 1998: A well-publicized letter signed by more than 600 international leaders and high-profile, influential professionals from various fields is written to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urging him to reconsider "failed and futile drug war policies" as the signers believe the war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself. The signatories call for opening the debate to alternative approaches to drug abuse based on common sense, science, public health and human rights.

June 6, 2002: The newly formed medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access holds a nationwide day of action with protests at more than 50 DEA offices around the country.

June 7, 2003: Cheryl Miller, a multiple sclerosis patient and leading medical marijuana advocate, dies from pneumonia and other MS-related complications at 57 years old. She is survived by her husband, Jim, who remains active in the movement.

June 2, 2004: Judge Paul L. Friedman of the US District Court of the District of Columbia strikes down a law passed by Congress blocking marijuana law reform groups from purchasing ad space in public transit systems. Judge Friedman notes that the federal government cannot ban certain types of speech because it disapproves of their content -- especially in light of the government's own anti-marijuana advertising on the same buses.

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