News Release

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August 17, 2000

Appeals Court Denies Government's Request For Emergency Order Halting Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Cooperative From Distributing Marijuana
Federal Government Immediately Appeals To U.S. Supreme Court

        Oakland, CA:  The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday denied the federal government's request for an emergency order to stop the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative from distributing marijuana to patients who qualify as having a "medical necessity."  The federal government filed the emergency order staying a July 17th ruling by District Court Judge Charles Breyer.
        The federal government countered Monday's 9th Circuit ruling by filing an application to stay the decision with the U.S. Supreme Court.
        The government previously filed a petition of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to review a September 19, 1999 decision of the 9th Circuit which allowed for the distribution of marijuana to patients who met the medical necessity defense.
        "It is a travesty that the Clinton-Gore administration is trying to invoke the majesty and power of that august body, the highest court in the land, in an attempt to try to separate critically ill patients from a medicine they need," said Robert Raich, Esq., attorney for the OCBC.
        Raich said the OCBC is "complying fully and faithfully" with the amended injunction.
        For more information, please contact Robert Raich, Esq., at (510) 338-0700.

Ann Arbor Libertarians Attempt To Get Medical Marijuana Initiative Placed On City Ballot

        Ann Arbor, MI:  A group of Ann Arbor libertarians have turned in the necessary signatures for a city-wide ballot initiative to legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients with a doctor's recommendation.
        "Today, we struck a heavy blow for freedom," said Charles Goodman, the leader of the initiative and libertarian mayoral candidate in Ann Arbor.  "This is not the end. This is just the beginning."
        On Tuesday, the group turned in 5,970 signatures (1,600 more than necessary to appear on the ballot) to the city clerk's office for validation.
        If the initiative appears on the November ballot and is subsequently approved, Ann Arbor would be the only city in Michigan which would allow patients to legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
        "It is not surprising to see this initiative transpire in Ann Arbor which has been traditionally a marijuana friendly community," said Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director.  "If this initiative goes to the voters, there's every reason to believe that it will be approved."
        For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500 or contact Gregory Carl Schmid, Michigan NORML State Coordinator at (517) 799-4641.

Seattle Hempfest 2000 Set For This Weekend

        Seattle, WA:  The Seattle Hempfest 2000, one of the nation's largest and most political cannabis events, featuring the world's leading drug policy reform advocates, takes place from 10 am to 8 pm, on Sunday, August 20, at Myrtle Edwards Park, Pier 70 in downtown Seattle.
        Founded in 1991, Seattle Hempfest has grown to become a respected local event and is anticipated to draw over 50,000 supporters.  This year's event features keynote speaker, Thomas Jefferson as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson.  Other featured speakers include: Krist Novoselic, Keith Stroup, Stephen Gaskin, Nora Callahan, Chris Conrad, Dennis Peron, Don Wirtshafter, Joanna McKee, Mikki Norris, Dan Skye, Sandee Burbank, Robert Lunday, Michele Miles and Chuck Armsbury.
        There will also be live music, an arts and crafts fair and industrial hemp workshops and demonstrations.
        For more information, please contact The Hemp Coalition/Washington NORML at (206) 781-5734 or visit

Amsterdam Internet Site Promises 30-Minute Marijuana Deliveries

        Amsterdam, The Netherlands:  An enterprising duo in Amsterdam will open up a new internet-based marijuana delivery service on September 1st that promises to fulfill orders within 30 minutes.
        The company, iToke, will allow customers to set up a user ID (keeping the person's name anonymous) and address profile through an internet browser or through Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) enabled wireless phones.  The customer would then order marijuana from any participating Amsterdam cafe through their computer or WAP and pay for their orders with prepaid and rechargeable cards called "iTokens."  Customers will be able to order two grams (approximately four "joints" at a time.
        "iToke was a no-brainer," said Tim Freccia one of iToke's two founding partners along with Mike Tucker.  "For years, Europe has been striving for a rational, balanced policy towards marijuana.  With the advent of comprehensive e-commerce solutions, we have been able to demonstrate a distribution system to communities that not only allays fears about criminality, but also guarantees that users can enjoy our products safely and responsibly.  Better yet, much like the state-sanctioned lottery in the UK, we have provided governments with a way to funnel tax revenue back into the community."
        "In the Netherlands, these two gentlemen are entrepreneurs," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director.  "In the United States, they would be treated as drug kingpins and subject to excessive criminal and civil charges.  This is yet another stark difference between the United State's misguided marijuana policy and the Netherlands' effective and pragmatic approach."
        For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751 or visit

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