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Introducing Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society

 The Alcohol and Drugs History Society Launches




Contact: Joseph Spillane, Managing Editor, [email protected], (352) 273-3355

The Alcohol and Drugs History Society Launches Points

January 18, 2010 - The Alcohol and Drugs History Society today unveiled Points, an interdisciplinary blog that examines present-day cultural developments and policy debates through various historical lenses. Led by Managing Editors Drs. Joseph Spillane and Trysh Travis, Points brings historical considerations to bear on contemporary drug and alcohol-related issues. Spillane and Travis hope the blog will act as a resource and virtual meeting space for  scholars, advocates, activists, and others interested in unraveling the complex relationship between past and present controversies surrounding mind-altering substances both legal and illicit.

Contributing Editors Caroline Jean Acker (Carnegie Mellon University), Charles Ambler (University of Texas-El Paso), Joseph Gabriel (Florida State University), Brian Herrera (University of New Mexico), David Herzberg (University of Buffalo), Amy Long (drug policy reform and free speech advocate), Michelle McClellan (University of Michigan), and Ron Roizen (independent scholar) will join Spillane and Travis in posting short, thoughtful reflections on topics as varied as addiction and treatment methodologies, the global drug war, media representations of substance use and abuse, the pharmaceutical industry, and alcohol and drug-related pedagogy. Points will also feature periodic interviews with authors of recent books on relevant topics and contributions from guest bloggers outside the university. "We hope to distill - no pun intended - some of the most exciting new scholarship on the history of drugs and alcohol into engaging and readable material that will interest a broad audience," says Spillane.

In addition to Points, the Alcohol and Drugs History Society publishes the ADHS Daily Register and The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Joseph Spillane is the author of Cocaine: From Medical Marvel to Modern Menace in the United States (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) and an Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida (UF). His most recent project is a study of liberal prison reform in twentieth-century New York State. Trysh Travis teaches in UF's Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research and is currently working on an edited collection entitled "Re-Thinking Therapeutic Culture." Her first book, The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2009.



Our chance to win!


For too long the medical marijuana movement has been forced into a defensive position, constantly pushing back against law enforcement and unjust legislation. Our movement has been so busy fighting what we don’t want, we haven’t had the time to fight for what we need. That ends today.

Our movement has come to a crossroads. For the first time we have a political climate that is ripe for this victory, but without your support we’ll miss this historic opportunity. We will be forced back to treading water, back to spending our time and resources fighting state-by-state, city-by-city, and case-by-case. This is our chance to end all of that. This is our chance to win.

ASA has always known that the best way to win—the only way to win—is with you at the helm. When we have your voice, your story, your fervent commitment to safe access with us in Washington, DC, we stand 400,000 strong against our opponents - and we stand to win!.  

We have always tried to make membership easy for you, and today we’re going to try and make it fun. If you donate $50 in January, we’ll send you an ASA t-shirt. Donate $100 and we’ll send you that t-shirt and a DVD of the groundbreaking documentary, Waiting to Inhale. Contribute $150 and we’ll send you an ASA hoodie, the DVD and our unending gratitude. 

We need your membership to win, plain and simple. We know that, so we’re giving some incentives for joining this month only. We know that $150 is a lot of money for you, but it’s a lot of money for us too. If you can agree to donate it, I promise we’ll put it to good use right away.

As always, we couldn’t do this work without you!

Steph Sherer

To check out these exciting incentives, click here to donate, and then click here to see the t-shirts and hoodies.

Americans for Safe Access

Please support ASA!

On The Web:

ASA's Mission

ASA Forums

ASA Blog

Take Action

ASA's Online Store

"Gear up" for medical cannabis activism with ASA's new T-shirts, hats, stickers, bags and more! All proceeds go to ASA advocacy


Canada: Voice Your Opposition to Costly Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Drug-Related Offenses (Action Alert)

The federal government of Canada is currently considering Bill S-10, which proposes legislative amendments that, among other things, would introduce mandatory minimum prison sentences for certain drug-related offenses. Research clearly demonstrates that mandatory minimum sentences are extremely expensive to the taxpayer and do not meaningfully improve public health and safety nor reduce drug use or crime in communities.

The Urban Health Research Initiative is inviting concerned health practitioners, scientists, researchers and academics in Canada to join it in supporting evidence-based drug prevention and treatment initiatives and opposing the introduction of costly and ineffective mandatory minimum sentencing legislation.  Please see the sign-on letter at


Your Turn to Comment on Medical Marijuana in Colorado (Action Alert)

Do you care about how medical marijuana is distributed?  Here's your chance to comment:

On January 27 and 28 the Colorado Dept. of Revenue is considering adopting wide-ranging rules governing medical marijuana stores and producers.  The proposed rules are available HERE (in highlights).

These rules embody the most comprehensive medical marijuana distribution system in history.  While considering this system, it is crucial that Department officials hear from patients and advocates about the importance of maintaining patient privacy and closely guarding patient health records.

Sensible Colorado and allies will be sending out suggested "talking points" on privacy and other issues soon.  In the meantime, please review the proposed rules and send comments to the Department by Friday Jan. 14 at:  [email protected] or

Colorado Department of Revenue
Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division
Attn: Mia Tsuchimoto - Rulemaking Public Comments
1881 Pierce Street – Room 108
Lakewood, CO 80214

If you would like to attend the Hearing and have an accessibility issue, send an email to: [email protected]

**Start off the New Year by supporting Sensible Colorado's quest to advocate for patients and reform marijuana laws for all adults.  Click HERE to help today!

United States

Philadelphia: City Saving Time and Money with New Pot Procedure (Press Release)


CONTACT: Chris Goldstein at 215-586-3483 or [email protected]

Philadelphia: City Saving Time and Money with New Pot Procedure

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office is calling a new set of procedures for minor pot cases a success and plans to continue with the Small Amount of Marijuana (SAM) program.

Last year the Pennsylvania Supreme Court worked with the new DA, Seth Williams, to make a pragmatic change in how the justice system deals with marijuana possession of 30 grams or less. A new program was created that includes a diversion court appearance, an education class and fees of $200. The major difference is that there is no longer an instant criminal prosecution. The offender pleads to a non-drug related charge that is automatically expunged from their record.

PhillyNORML's Chris Goldstein spoke with Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Joe McGettigan about the new marijuana policy. McGettigan said that the SAM program is working, "Look, certainly this was a much better option than sending all these people into the criminal court last year for misdemeanors," said McGettigan.

The DA’s office provided the following figures related to the SAM program:

June 2010 to September 2010

1636 marijuana possession cases less than 30g TOTAL

 339 bench warrants issued for failure to appear             

1297 marijuana possession cases less than 30g are heard

1025 enter the Small Amount of Marijuana diversion program ( 79% )

81 went to trial

187 statuses continued

4 cases withdrawn

The procedural shift has eased penalties and a particularly harsh process for offenders. For the last two decades anyone in Philadelphia who was caught with a single joint on up to 30 grams was held for bail then prosecuted in a criminal court. This involves a tremendous amount of the justice system’s resources and the expensive procedure was almost unique in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

There are over 4,500 such cases in Philly every year (the largest concentration of pot arrests in PA) so minor marijuana offenses were literally clogging holding cells, bail officer, printing machines, court reporters, clerks, judges and courtrooms. The real world cost savings for the city this year by eliminating those expenses could tally into the millions.The shift also made a significant, tactile change; residents who consume marijuana and run afoul of prohibition laws have a less traumatic experience.

PhillyNORML's Chris Goldstein said, "This was a positive shift for the city. Still minor marijuana possession arrests are increasing and continue a disturbing trend of being extremely racially disparate."

An average of about 325 black men, 50 black women, 95 white men and 8 white women will be arrested every month this year in Philadelphia.

 Link to more information on arrests 

Philadelphia, PA
United States

A Personal Plea from Sensible Colorado


Dear Friends,

As we begin 2011, I wanted to ask you to join me in becoming a monthly donor to Sensible Colorado.  I, like many people across Colorado and the nation, have a monthly contribution deducted from my credit card-- even $5, $10, or $50 a month makes a huge impact.  This allows me to benefit from a tax deduction and, more importantly, to support one of the strongest and most effective advocacy groups in the country.

I often receive calls from media members and friends who are astounded by the progress Colorado has made in terms of marijuana and medical marijuana reform.  They are amazed that our state licensing board safely regulates over 1200 medical marijuana businesses, or the fact that over 2% of our state population (over 116K people!) now hold medical marijuana cards protecting them from criminal prosecution.

Let me assure you this amazing progress would not have been accomplished without the work of Sensible Colorado.  Since 2004, Sensible has served as the primary resource for the state's medical marijuana patients-- fighting in the courtroom, the state house, and the streets.  In that time, Sensible has achieved unparalleled success in fostering patent's rights and protecting safe access to medicine.  We've also run successful campaigns to rewrite local marijuana laws for adults in Breckenridge and beyond, and our work has been highlighted in virtually every mainstream media outlet in America, including last month in Time Magazine!  In addition to our medical marijuana advocacy, over the next two years we are gearing up for our biggest challenge yet-- putting a measure on the Colorado ballot to regulate and tax marijuana for adults over 21 statewide.  We've already begun putting a stellar team together to push-- AND WIN-- this fight and forever end the disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition.

Please lend a hand in this crucial fight by donating, forwarding this email, and volunteering today.

In solidarity,

Brian Vicente

Executive Director

Sensible Colorado

United States

Tell Obama to End Federal Interference with State Medical Marijuana Laws (Action Alert)


Patients, Activists, and Concerned Citizens

The Federal Government has shown increased activity in medical marijuana communities across the country by raiding cultivators and dispensaries, subpoenaing patient medical records, and jeopardizing patient rights.  These actions are inconsistent with the spirit of Attorney General Holder's memo suggesting patients and other community members in compliance with state laws are safe from federal interference.  When will it end?

Tell the DEA to Step Away!  Call the White House today by calling 202-456-1414 and tell President Obama to end the hypocrisy by ending federal raids and interference today!


Violations of state and local laws are not in the purview of the federal government. The DEA and Federal Government need to let the state and local governments do their job!  Medical marijuana states are capable and equipped to enforce medical marijuana laws and address any violations.  The recent increase in federal raids and interference is not only aggressive and harmful towards our community; it also detracts from the state's ability to implement state law.  Please, tell the DEA to GO AWAY!

Thank you.

Please share your experience with us by posting to the  ASA Online Discussion Forums.

We look forward to hearing your response!


Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access

Please support ASA!

On The Web:

ASA's Mission

ASA Forums

ASA Blog

Take Action

ASA's Online Store

"Gear up" for medical cannabis activism with ASA's new T-shirts, hats, stickers, bags and more! All proceeds go to ASA advocacy

Top 10 Marijuana Victories in 2010



Dear Friends:

I recently put together a list of the Top 10 Marijuana Victories in 2010.  I wanted to take a moment to share that list with you, because through the support of our members, MPP played a significant role in half of the items on the list and provided ancillary support for another four items.  This means that 90% of the major marijuana victories in 2010 were supported by MPP's members.  As you look over the list, please consider joining MPP and donating today so that a year from now we can reflect back on even larger successes!

Top 10 Marijuana Victories in 2010 (in no particular order)


2010 started with a bang when New Jersey's outgoing Democratic governor signed a bill that made New Jersey the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. (Unfortunately, the new Republican governor has conspired with his state health department to delay and subvert the new law from taking effect and -- now one year later -- patients still do not have legal access to medical marijuana.)


Voters in our nation's capital passed a medical marijuana initiative with 69% of the vote in November 1998. After Congress blocked that law from taking effect 11 years in a row, Congress finally removed the federal ban in the fall of 2009, and in 2010 the D.C. City Council passed legislation to implement the local law. While the D.C. law is more restrictive than we'd like, five medical marijuana dispensaries will be opening up within a short cab ride of Capitol Hill by the middle of 2011.


By a mere 50.13% to 49.87% margin, Arizona voters passed MPP's medical marijuana initiative in November, making Arizona the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana. As a result, approximately 125 dispensaries will open up around the state by mid-2011. This campaign was successful despite severely limited resources, with MPP spending only $0.10 for each Arizona resident.


While Prop. 19 failed at the polls on Election Day, this ballot initiative still represents significant progress for our movement. First, the initiative received the highest level of support (46.54%) of any of the eight legalization initiatives ever to be placed on a statewide ballot. Second, the initiative received support from mainstream political institutions, such as the California affiliates of the NAACP and SEIU, the Latino Voters League, the National Latino Officers Association, and the National Black Police Association. Third, the initiative generated gobs of in-state and national news coverage, making marijuana legalization a respectable topic of political debate. Fourth, the campaign inspired the local governments and voters of three cities to pass laws that will automatically tax marijuana sales once they are legal under state law.


For the first time in memory, three gubernatorial candidates who are well known to be supportive of decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing medical marijuana were elected on the same day -- Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Dan Malloy (D-CT), and Peter Shumlin (D-VT). As a result, all three states are likely to pass favorable legislation in 2011.


While state governments sometimes tweak their existing medical marijuana laws, Colorado's government did much more than that in 2010 when it passed a new law for issuing approximately 2,000 licenses to medical marijuana retailers, growers, and kitchens; as a result, medical marijuana businesses are now scattered around the state like pharmacies. Also, Maine's health department issued regulations to establish eight medical marijuana dispensaries, building on the MPP-authored ballot initiative that Mainers passed with nearly 59% of the vote in November 2009. And, to close out 2010, New Mexico's health department increased the number of dispensaries in the state to 25.


In Massachusetts, voters in nine legislative districts passed initiatives recommending that medical marijuana be legalized on the state level; in another nine legislative districts, Massachusetts voters recommended that marijuana be legalized entirely. In Wisconsin, voters in two local jurisdictions urged their state legislature to legalize medical marijuana. In California, voters in two cities blocked dispensaries from being banned. And in Colorado, voters in 8 cities and counties voted to allow dispensaries (this overt support is significant, even though voters in another 34 Colorado municipalities decided to ban dispensaries).


For the first time since 1978, a federal agency recognized marijuana's therapeutic value when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued a new policy in 2010, stating that veterans who use medical marijuana legally under state law would no longer be denied other prescription medications or treatments.


In the "Anaheim" case, a California appellate court found that federal law doesn't prevent cities and counties from licensing medical marijuana dispensaries. And in a separate case, a California superior court blocked an L.A. City Council ordinance that would have wiped out most dispensaries in the second largest city in the U.S. (Neither case has reached its final conclusion yet, however.)


In 1975, California decriminalized marijuana, meaning that people who were apprehended with up to an ounce of marijuana could not face jail time. In 2010, the California government improved this law by changing marijuana possession from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction, meaning that -- in addition to not facing jail time -- small-time marijuana offenders will no longer have to appear before a judge, pay court costs or hire a lawyer, or get stuck with a criminal record.

Thank you for helping to make 2010 such a phenomenal success.  We hope you can all join us in making 2011 another year of which we can be proud.


Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

To contact MPP, please click here or reply to this e-mail. Our mailing address is Marijuana Policy Project, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20002. Any donations you make to MPP may be used for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates for federal office.



Drug Truth Network 01/10/11

Cultural Baggage * Century of Lies * 4:20 Drug War NEWS  *  Time 4 Hemp

Cultural Baggage for  01/09/11 29:00  Froma Harrop, nationally syndicated columnist


TRANSCRIPT:  Monday Late

Century of Lies for  01/09/11  29:00 Russ Jones, w/40 years experience in law enforcement speaks to Rotary Club on behalf of Drug Policy Forum of Texas and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition



4:20 Drug War NEWS, 01/10 to 01/16/11  Link at on the right margin -

Sun - Froma Harrop, 3/3

Sat - Russ Jones of LEAP 3/3

Fri - Froma Harrop, nationally syndicated journalist 2/3 Thu - Russ Jones speaks to San Antonio Rotary club 2/3 Wed - Froma Harrop, syndicated columnist 1/3 Tue - Russ Jones speaks to San Antonio Rotary club 1/3 Mon - Mary Jane Borden of Drug War Facts: "What is NAOMI?"

Programs produced at Pacifica Radio Station KPFT in Houston, 90.1 FM.  You can Listen Live Online at

-  Cultural Baggage Sun, 7:30 PM ET, 6:30 PM CT, 5:30 PM MT, 4:30 PM PT

-  Century of Lies, SUN, 8 PM ET, 7 PM CT, 6 PM MT & 5 PM PT

-  Time 4 Hemp, NEW TIME: Fri 12:45 M ET, 11:45 AM CT, 10:45 AM MT, 9:45 AM PT at

Who's Next?":  Robert Platshorn, author "Black Tuna Diaries"

Hundreds of our programs are available online at, and now at James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

We have potcasts, searchability, CMS, XML, sorts by guest name and by organization. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates.  You can tune into both our 1/2 hour programs, live, at 6:30 central time on Pacifica's KPFT at  and call in your questions and concerns toll free at 1-877-9-420 420. 

The two, 29:00 shows appear along with the seven, daily, 3:00  "4:20 Drug War NEWS" reports each Monday morning at .  We currently have 95 affiliated, yet independent broadcast stations.  With a simple email request to [email protected] , your station can join the Drug Truth Network, free of charge.

Check out our latest videos via  Please become part of the solution, visit our website: for links to the best of reform.  "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, DTN Producer, 713-462-7981

Federal Medical Marijuana Patient/Florida Stockbroker Returns to Montana to Help Save Medical Cannabis Laws (Press Release)

For Immediate Release: January 7, 2011

Contact: Patients Out of Time at 434-263-4484,

Florida Stockbroker Returns to Montana to help save Medical Cannabis laws

Irvin Rosenfeld, the longest surviving patient of the four Federal Medical Cannabis Patients in the United States and a Director for Patients Out of Time will be flying to Montana on January 8th to speak before the Montana Legislature for a week. Irvin will be there to educate people of the importance of Medical Cannabis and its true value as a medicine. As a Federal Patient for over 28 years, he has knowledge and experience that no one has in this country which he will share with others. To him, Cannabis is a medicine like any other medicine and should be treated that way. As Senior Vice-President of Investments for Newbridge Securities in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, he also understands the economic aspect and how this medicine creates jobs for thousands of Montanans.

“Montana is being watched Nationally, and what happens in this legislative session could set precedence around the world” states Rosenfeld. “Medical Cannabis Patients are productive members of society. I am living proof. I have been a stockbroker for over 23 years handling millions of dollars on a daily basis.”

“One of the biggest problems in Montana now is, they have had very bad press. The media in Montana has focused its efforts on one specific individual, and that has bled over Nationally. There are some very experienced, professional, caring people in Montana working very hard to care for patients who have went virtually unrecognized in Montana. I know, I have met many of them.”

“My goal is to help educate the politicians in Montana. There are some very intelligent people in Montana, and I am sure they will see the science and facts, and consider what is best for the people of Montana. Montana has a proud history of pioneering. It is my hope they will take the lead, and be the true pioneers for Medical Cannabis, and a shining example of the true value of not only Medical Cannabis but Hemp as well.”

United States

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