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Premiere of Award-Winning Medical Marijuana Documentary & Debate in D.C. Sept. 13

Pulitzer Prize Winner Clarence Page to Moderate Debate Between White House Officials, Leading Reform Advocates CONTACT: Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications, 202-215-4205 or 415-668-6403 Jed Riffe, producer/director, "Waiting to Inhale," 510-593-6945 WASHINGTON D.C. -- Following the Washington, D.C. premiere of the award-winning medical marijuana documentary "Waiting to Inhale," Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Clarence Page will moderate a landmark debate in which present and former officials of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will square off against the leaders of two organizations leading the fight for legal access to medical marijuana. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Address and ticket information is below. "Waiting to Inhale" examines both sides of the heated debate over medical marijuana in the United States. The film takes viewers inside the lives of seriously ill patients who have benefited from medical marijuana and examines the views of those who oppose the medical use of marijuana. The film has won numerous awards, including the Cine Golden Eagle Award, the Gold Special Jury Award from Worldfest Houston, and Best Documentary awards from the New Jersey International Film Festival and Eureka! International Film Festival. Following the film, Dr. David Murray, special assistant to ONDCP Director John Walters, and Dr. Andrea Barthwell, former ONDCP deputy director, will debate Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, and Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in the first debate of its kind in Washington. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and nationally syndicated columnist Clarence Page will moderate. Filmmaker Riffe will also be in attendance. WHAT: Screening of "Waiting to Inhale," followed by debate on medical marijuana WHO: Clarence Page, David Murray, Andrea Barthwell, Rob Kampia, Ethan Nadlemann WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m. WHERE: E Street Theater, 555 11th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-452-7672 For complimentary press tickets, contact Nydia Swaby at [email protected] or 202-462-5747 x104; requests must be received before 6 p.m. Tuesday. To arrange advance interviews with participants, call MPP communications director Bruce Mirken at 202-215-4205 or Riffe at 510-593-6945. With more than 20,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.mpp.org.
Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States

Drug Election Agency

Localização: 
Boulder, CO
United States
Publication/Source: 
Daily Camera
URL: 
http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/editorials/article/0,1713,BDC_2489_4963104,00.html

Marijuana: DEA Steps in Deep Doo-doo in Denver With Abortive Bid to Defeat November Legalization Initiative

Jeff Sweetin, the DEA special agent in charge in Denver, probably wishes he had just kept his mouth shut. It was bad enough that the University of Colorado newspaper the Daily Camera reported Sunday that one of his special agents had sent out an e-mail on a Department of Justice account seeking a campaign manager for “Colorado’s Marijuana Information Committee,” an apparent astroturf organization being set up to defeat the Colorado marijuana legalization initiative. That initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults.

But then Sweetin really stepped in it, telling the Daily Camera that the law "allows his agency to get involved in the process to tell voters why they shouldn’t decriminalize pot" and that the committee had raised $10,000 from "private donations, including some from agents' own accounts."

That was enough to draw out the initiative's sponsor, SAFER Colorado, which criticized the agency for unwarranted interference in a state electoral matter. "Taxpayer money should not be going toward the executive branch advocating one side or another," the group's executive director, Steve Fox, told the Daily Camera. "It's a wholly inappropriate use of taxpayer money."

But SAFER Colorado wasn’t alone in taking offense at the untoward DEA actions. The state's two largest and most influential newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post, both condemned the move in editorials. The News' position was clear from its headline: "DEA Should Keep Out of State Politics."

The Post took a more concerned approach, worrying that the DEA politicking might pass the bounds of propriety, if not legality. "Providing facts to people who want them is one thing," the Post wrote. "Using the agency as a platform to influence elections is another. Sweetin says he clearly understands the difference. We certainly hope that's the case."

If Sweetin hoped the story would just go away, he didn’t help matters any when he further clouded the waters when KMGH-TV in Denver Tuesday reported that: "Sweetin said, despite reports to the contrary, his office is not campaigning against it or fundraising. When asked about the committee and the $10,000 mentioned in the E-mail, Sweetin said, 'There is no $10,000 in money that I've ever heard of.'"

That led SAFER Colorado to raise a whole series of questions about which version of the DEA activism was true, which they kindly sent to Colorado media. "We think it's really fishy that the same DEA agent who made it clear the committee had funds from private donors and agents is now saying he's never heard of this money," said campaign coordinator Mason Tvert. "We think DEA thought they could actively campaign against us, but then got told by some sort of legal counsel it couldn’t happen that way. In any case, we're just trying to spin this into the biggest story we can," he told Drug War Chronicle.

Feature: Medical Marijuana Victory in South Dakota Court Battle Over Ballot Language

The South Dakota medical marijuana initiative and its organizers, South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana, won an important legal victory last Friday when a circuit court judge ordered state officials to throw out the ballot explanation drafted by medical marijuana foe Attorney General Larry Long (R). Initiative organizers had filed suit challenging Long's ballot explanation as hopelessly biased against the initiative, and in his ruling last Friday, Circuit Court Judge Max Gors of Pierre, the state capital, agreed.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/southdakota.jpg
Can't even be left alone in South Dakota...
Under South Dakota law, the attorney general is charged with writing an "objective, clear, and simple summary" of ballot measures. But Attorney General Long's original didn’t even come close. Before he even got to the ballot summary itself, he decided to change the very name of the measure. Known from the beginning and filed with the state as "An act to provide safe access to medical marijuana for certain qualified persons," Long decided it would be better titled as "An Initiative to authorize marijuana use for adults and children with specified medical conditions." The complete text of his original ballot explanation is as follows:

Currently, marijuana possession, use, distribution, or cultivation is a crime under both state and federal law. The proposed law would legalize marijuana use or possession for any adult or child who has one of several listed medical conditions and who is registered with the Department of Health. The proposed law would also provide a defense to persons who cultivate, transport or distribute marijuana solely to registered persons. Even if this initiative passes, possession, use, or distribution of marijuana is still a federal crime. Persons covered by the proposed law would still be subject to federal prosecution for violation of federal drug control laws. Physicians who provide written certifications may be subject to losing their federal license to dispense prescription drugs.

In his ruling last Friday, Judge Gors ordered Attorney General Long to either rewrite the ballot summary or use language Judge Gors himself drafted:

This initiative will allow persons, including minors with parental consent, with a debilitating medical condition, to grow (not more than six plants), possess (not more than one ounce), and use small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes. "Debilitating medical condition" is defined to include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, or a chronic, debilitating condition that includes cachexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, including epileptic seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those caused by spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, Chrohn's Disease, fibromyalgia, or any other medical condition approved by the Department of Health. Certification may be accomplished by submitting medical records to the Department of Health or by submitting a doctor's recommendation. A person may not drive while impaired by marijuana or smoke marijuana anyplace tobacco smoking is prohibited. Growth, possession, and use of marijuana will still be illegal under federal law, but certification is a defense to criminal prosecution under state law.

Sarah Raeburn, a spokesperson for the attorney general's office, told Drug War Chronicle Wednesday that Long had decided to accept the judge's version as is. "That is what we will use," she said. "The only changes were two misspellings that we have corrected."

"We were very pleased with the judge's decision," said Huron attorney Ron Volesky, who argued the case for lead plaintiff Valerie Hanna of South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana, a former army nurse who suffers neurological disorders related to exposure to chemicals during the Gulf War. "We feel it is a victory for fairness at the ballot box. The circuit court put forth a remedy with new language that is fair in its substance," he told the Chronicle.

Volesky, a former state legislator who is the Democratic nominee for attorney general this year, was the perfect man for the job. Not only is he among the few South Dakota politicians interested in medical marijuana -- he introduced a bill that went nowhere in the legislature in 2002 -- he had previous experience challenging Attorney General Long's ballot explanations in 2004.

Plantiff Hanna also pronounced herself gratified. "I'm very happy and pleased with the decision," she told Drug War Chronicle. "It's a good day for sick people in South Dakota."

The Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, which helped bankroll the signature gathering drive to get the initiative on the ballot, was also pleased. "Thanks to this sensible ruling, South Dakota will now have a fair description of the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot and South Dakota residents can make an unbiased decision about whether they want to protect South Dakota medical marijuana patients from arrest and prosecution for using the medicine that works best for them," MPP spokesperson Rebecca Greenberg told Drug War Chronicle.

Now, with the ballot language issue behind them, South Dakota medical marijuana proponents are turning their attention to winning at the ballot box in November. The socially conservative state will be a tough nut to crack, but organizers are optimistic.

"We will keep pressing forward," said Hanna. "We are reaching out to the press, and I'm contacting clergy members right now. Hopefully, we will find some that have the gumption to stand up publicly, but it's pretty scary to advocate for this here. But I'm really hopeful people will respond positively to this initiative."

"It's time for the people to speak," said Volesky. "When the legislature fails to act, we do have the power of the people through initiative measures and referendums to get past the legislature. Instead of trying to win over a handful of legislators controlled by the administration, the people can make their own decision."

If the campaign is successful, South Dakota will become the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana and the ninth to do so through the initiative process.

Medical Marijuana Debate to Feature Top Government Official, Pulitzer Prize Winner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 30, 2006 Medical Marijuana Debate To Feature Top Government Official, Pulitzer Prize Winner Drug Czar Special Assistant David Murray to participate; journalist Clarence Page to moderate CONTACT: Jed Riffe, producer, “Waiting to Inhale” – (510) 845-2044 WASHINGTON D.C.— Dr. David Murray, special assistant to the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has announced that he will be participating in an exciting debate on medical marijuana on September 13, 2006. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and nationally syndicated journalist Clarence Page will be moderating the debate, which will take place following a screening of “Waiting to Inhale,” a provocative and educational medical marijuana documentary. Dr. Murray has served as the special assistant to Drug Czar John Walters since 2002. Murray earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and taught at Connecticut College, Brown University, and Brandeis University before coming to Washington, where he served as an adjunct professor in the graduate school of public policy at Georgetown University. He was formerly the executive director of the Statistical Assessment Service (a science, media, and public policy think tank), served on the U.S. Census Monitoring Board, and is coauthor of “It Ain’t Necessarily So: How Media Remake the Scientific Picture of Reality.” Clarence Page is a syndicated journalist and member of the editorial board for the Chicago Tribune. He is an occasional panelist on “The McLaughlin Group,” a regular contributor of essays to “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” host of several documentaries on the Public Broadcasting Service, and an occasional commentator on National Public Radio's “Weekend Edition Sunday.” Page often appears as a political analyst on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” Other panelists include Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP); Steve Steiner, executive director of Dads and Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers (DAMMAD); and Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). The medical marijuana documentary “Waiting to Inhale” examines both sides of the heated debate over marijuana and its use as medicine in the United States. Twelve states have passed legislation to protect patients who use medical marijuana. However, opponents claim the medical argument is just a smokescreen for a different agenda – to legalize marijuana for recreation and profit. “Waiting to Inhale” takes viewers inside the lives of patients who have been forever changed by illness — and parents who lost their children to addiction. “Waiting to Inhale” sheds new light on this controversy and presents shocking new evidence that marijuana could hold a big stake in the future of medicine. For more information, visit www.WaitingToInhale.org.
Localização: 
United States

Alert: Stop the DEA Subversion of Elections (DrugSense)

STOP THE DEA SUBVERSION OF ELECTIONS *********************PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE************************* DrugSense FOCUS Alert #335 - Tuesday, 29 August 2006 Sunday we learned that the Drug Enforcement Agency is encouraging its agents to use government time and equipment to oppose the Colorado marijuana initiative. They claim that this action is legal, not a violation of the Hatch Act. Our government considers the direct government interference by the governments of other countries in their elections to be unfair -- an ethical standard which should apply equally in the United States. Please contact your elected representatives at both federal and state level to demand that the DEA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including the Drug Czar, refrain from the subversion of the initiative and referendum process in the cities and states where marijuana initiatives will be on the ballot. Our tax dollars should never be used to undermine initiatives. Please also contact the DEA offices in your area to let them know what you think of their unethical political activities. Phone numbers are on this webpage http://www.dea.gov/contactinfo.htm You may remind them that the news reports puts the lie to their often stated position that they only enforce the laws - that they do not write the laws. The article, reprinted in other Colorado newspapers, that exposed DEA Agent Michael Moore's unethical activities is at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06/n1137/a09.html. Please also do what you are able to do to support the various marijuana related initiatives. Below is a list of initiatives pending a vote at the state and local level. Please use the links to find out how to donate or otherwise support the initiatives. Thanks for your effort and support. It's not what others do it's what YOU do CALIFORNIA: Santa Barbara Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Policy Ordinance http://sensiblesantabarbara.org Santa Cruz Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Policy Ordinance http://www.taxandregulate.org/sc06/index.htm Santa Monica Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Policy Ordinance http://www.sensiblesantamonica.org COLORADO: The Colorado Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative http://www.saferchoice.org/safercolorado/ MICHIGAN: The Flint Coalition for Compassionate Care will have a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in first city wide election of 2007, possibly in February or May. Details will be posted to this webpage when they are available http://www.drugsense.org/caip MONTANA: The Missoula County Lowest Law Enforcement Priority initiative has just been approved for the November ballot http://www.responsiblecrimepolicy.org NEVADA: Question 7 on the Nevada ballot http://www.regulatemarijuana.org SOUTH DAKOTA: The only state wide medical marijuana initiative on the ballot this year http://www.sdmedicalmarijuana.org Notes: Updates on local initiatives will be added to this webpage as we receive additional information http://www.drugsense.org/caip Your letters to the editor help move public opinion towards supporting change in marijuana policies and law. Every day new targets for your letter writing efforts may be found at http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm Prepared by: Richard Lake for DrugSense
Localização: 
CO
United States

Steve Kubby Running for President

This is a press release from former medical marijuana refugee Steve Kubby, who intends to run in the Libertarian Party presidential primary for 2008. DRCNet for legal reasons does not at this time take positions on candidates. However, we certainly can say that are glad that Steve is in a position to be able to run; that is, alive and not imprisoned. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 28, 2006 For more information contact: Steve Kubby or Sam Clauder, (909) 338-8215 STEVE KUBBY ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR PRESIDENT Seattle, Washington Steve Kubby announced his candidacy for the Libertarian Party nomination for President to more than 50,000 cheering fans on Sunday, August 20, at the 15th annual Seattle Hempfest in Seattle, Washington. More than 150,000 attended the event held in Myrtle Edwards Park on the shores of Puget Sound. "I'm running for President because I'm fed up with bad government, corrupt politicians, and arrogant officials," Kubby said. "Like you, I'd like the government to support my liberty, protect and serve my family, respect my personal property, and stop passing and enforcing laws that assume Americans have the intelligence of a child." Kubby lost a close race in 2000 for the Libertarian Party nomination for Vice President after he was the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of California in 1998. He has been a businessman, publisher, author, and adjunct college professor, and is married with three children and one grandchild. Kubby was born on December 28, 1946, in El Paso, Texas, to Seymour Kubby, an aerospace engineer and his housewife, Roberta. The Kubby family moved to the Los Angeles area in 1948 where Steve graduated from James Monroe High School in 1964. He received a B.A. in Psychology in 1968 from the California State University, Northridge, where he continued working towards an M.A. in psychobiology. He taught at Shasta Junior College where he received a lifetime teaching credential. He also participated in the Top Gun Naval Weapons School. In 1968, at the age of 23, Kubby was diagnosed with malignant pheochromocytoma, a rare, fatal form of adrenal cancer. He had tumors surgically removed in 1968, 1975, and 1976, by which time the cancer had metastasized to his liver and beyond, and he was given less than five years to live. After continuing chemotherapy, and another surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 1981, Kubby began treating his cancer solely with medical cannabis, and by maintaining a healthy diet. From 1981-1986, he ran a property management company in Lake Tahoe, and from 1986-1991 he founded and published "Ski West," the number one selling ski magazine in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Italy, Australia, and Japan. Kubby authored "The Politics of Consciousness" in 1995, and co-authored "Why Marijuana Should be Legal" in 1996. He was instrumental in the drafting and passage of Proposition 215, "The Compassionate Use Act of 1996," which led to the legalization of medical cannabis in California and 11 other states. Two months after his 1998 Libertarian campaign for California Governor concluded, the Sheriff of Placer County raided Kubby's home and found 265 cannabis plants that were being grown in compliance with California state law. In a guest's room the sheriff also found some peyote and a mushroom stem for which Kubby and his wife were arrested and charged with possession of controlled substances. Kubby's wife was acquitted of all charges while Kubby's jury hung 11-1 in favor of acquittal, resulting in the cannabis charges being dismissed. However, the jury convicted Kubby of possession for the peyote and the mushroom stem and he was sentenced to 120 days in jail. Fearing that his cancer would kill him if he was denied medical cannabis by his jailers, Kubby and his family moved to Canada where he fought extradition for five years. When the Placer County Sheriff's Office agreed to allow Kubby to use marinol, a pharmaceutical derivative of cannabis, to treat his cancer, he returned from exile on January 26, 2006, and turned himself in. On March 6, he was released early for good behavior, and subsequently served 22 days of a 60-day sentence for refusing to return from Canada. Kubby's announcement of his Presidential candidacy was endorsed by an all-star cast of cannabis activists including Jack Herer ("The Emperor Wears No Clothes"), Ed Rosenthal ("Ask Ed"), Chris Conrad ("Hemp For Health"), NORML Founder Keith Stroup, Eddy Lepp (Eddy's Medicinal Gardens), Seattle Hempfest producer Vivian McPeak and federally approved cannabis patient Elvy Musikka. More information is available online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Kubby and http://www.kubby.com/, or by calling Steve Kubby or Sam Clauder at (909) 338-8215. Kubby for President P.O. Box 50, PMB 199 28200 Hwy 189, N-100 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352-0050 909-338-8215 [email protected] [email protected]
Localização: 
United States

DEA Raises Cash to Fight Drug Issue

Localização: 
CO
United States
Publication/Source: 
Rocky Mountain News
URL: 
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4949933,00.html

South Dakota AG Must Rewrite Medical Marijuana Ballot Summary, Judge Says

Localização: 
pierre, SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy_main/2006/aug/26/we_told_them_so

We Told Them So...

Two weeks ago we <?php print l('reported in Drug War Chronicle', 'chronicle/448/south_dakota_medical_marijuana_lawsuit'); ?> that South Dakota medical marijuana patient Valerie Hanna had sued state attorney general Larry Long over a misleading (dishonest?) ballot summary of the state's upcoming initiative, charging the attorney general had violated state law. Yesterday Judge Max Gors opined in favor of Hanna -- and the rule of law -- according to the Associated Press:
"The whole impression leads one to believe that the attorney general wants voters to reject the initiative. The attorney general should confine his politicking to the stump and leave his bias out of the ballot statement that is supposed to be objective," Gors wrote.
The state is not appealing the decision because doing so would prevent them from meeting their ballot printing deadline of September 1. The AP story can be read for free on the web site of the Yankton Press & Dakotan, though you have to register first to get through. Score for our side! We told them so...
Localização: 
Pierre, SD
United States

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