News Release

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October 26, 2000

Report Deems Oregon Medical Marijuana Patient Directory Successful

        Portland, OR:  The medical marijuana registry in Oregon registered 594 patients in its first year, and since May 1, 2000 another 474 patients have signed-up to receive a medical marijuana identification card.  In order to legally qualify for Oregon's 1998 Medical Marijuana Act, patients must possess a doctor's recommendation and register with the Oregon Department of Human Services Health Division (ODHSHS) for a $150 fee (which in turn funds the program).
        "Oregon was the first to implement a statewide registration system for patients," said Martin Wasserman, M.D., administrator of the ODHSHS.  "Our first-year review shows the system is working as it was intended.  A substantial number of qualified patients and their physicians are using it, and only a very few inquiries from law enforcement officials regarding patients have occurred."
        According to a report released last week by the ODHSHS, during the medical marijuana program's first year (May 1, 1999 to April 30, 2000):

        "We are pleased the patient registry appears to be working well in Oregon," said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director.  "Any system that permits patients to avoid arrest is clearly a step forward."
        For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500 or Bonnie Widerburg of the Oregon Department of Human Services at (503) 731-4180.

CA Law Enforcement Claims Record Marijuana Haul During 2000 Harvest

        Madera, CA:  Under California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program (CAMP), law enforcement officers harvested 345,207 marijuana plants which they say are valued at $1.3 billion.
        This year's seized crop was 43 percent more than last year's record haul.  Kern County ranked No. 1 in the state, accounting for a sixth of the plants seized after a 59,000-plant garden (the largest ever found in the state) was discovered in the Sequoia National Forest.  No arrests were made in the Kern County marijuana find.  In fact, only 16 marijuana cultivation arrests were made during this year's harvest season.  The marijuana found by law enforcement was destroyed on site.
        "For nearly 20 years, marijuana has been California's number one cash crop," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director.  "CAMP's efforts are, at best, nothing more than price support for the unregulated and untaxed marijuana market."
        For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

Calaveras Co., CA Establishes Amount Of Marijuana Patients Can Possess

        San Andreas, CA:  On Monday, Calaveras County supervisors approved a plan, by a 3-2 vote, to allow medical marijuana patients with a doctor's recommendation to legally possess up to two pounds of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants without fear of local prosecution.
        Since California's medical marijuana law passed in 1996 there has been a lingering controversy as to how much marijuana patients were allowed to legally possess and cultivate under state law because guidelines were not included in the law.  To avoid this dilemma some municipalities have set their own restrictions.
        "People need to have some sense of what is considered legal and illegal," said Peter Smith, Calaveras County District Attorney.  "What it does is provide a buffer zone for people who can legitimately use it under the law.  It gives them a sense of what they can do without getting their lives turned upside down."
        The Calaveras County protocol was designed by local law enforcement officials, doctors, pharmacists and medical marijuana patients and was initially presented to the county board last month but failed by a 2-3 vote after one of the supervisors felt the 1.3 pounds initially allowed for patients to possess was too little.
        For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer, State Coordinator of California NORML at (415) 563-5858.

ONDCP And Lycos Team Up For '' Campaign

        Washington, DC:  The Office of National Drug Control Policy announced on Wednesday that they have aligned with leading Internet network Lycos to "maximize the reach and visibility of the ONDCP media campaign."  The announcement coincides with a new multi-million dollar campaign "What's Your Anti-Drug."
        "We are happy to showcase ONDCP's important drug prevention messages and content," said Bob Davis, president and CEO of Lycos, Inc.  "The Lycos Network is committed to providing children and families with access to quality, expert-approved resources on a variety of topics."
        "Expert-approved resources?" questioned Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director.  "Doesn't Lycos mean to say 'government approved resources.'  Marijuana law reform advocates should send Lycos an email and inform them that they are boycotting Lycos and its advertisers as long as they serve as a propaganda arm of the drug czar's office."
        For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.  To share "your" anti-drug experience visit

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