News Release

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December 21, 2000

NM Governor Gary Johnson Heads Speaker List For NORML 2001 Conference

        Washington, DC:  NORML is pleased to announce that New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (R) will be heading a list of prominent officials addressing the NORML 2001 Conference in Washington, DC, scheduled for April 19-21, 2001.  The conference, entitled "4:20, A Celebration of Personal Freedom," will be held at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel.
        Gov. Johnson, who has been a vocal advocate for ending the drug war and legalizing marijuana, will be the luncheon speaker on Thursday, April 19.  Other featured speakers include Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the principal Congressional sponsor of a federal medical use bill; San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan; and ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser, who will deliver the keynote speech on Thursday morning.
        "The fact that these prominent elected officials will be appearing at the NORML conference is another sign that the position we espouse is finally gaining some traction with the American public," said NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup.  "Our opponents can no longer control the public debate by claiming those on our side of the issue are out of the mainstream.  More and more public officials are finding the courage to challenge current policies, and political leaders such as Gov. Johnson, Rep. Frank and D.A. Hallinan are showing them the way."
        Stroup says the underlying premise of the conference is "we should stop arresting responsible marijuana smokers."  Throughout the 3-day conference, panels will address topics such as the medical use of marijuana; drug laws, civil liberties and discrimination; the courts and marijuana policy; a rational harm reduction policy regarding kids and marijuana; state voter initiatives; developments in Europe and Canada; and new strategies to respond to new opportunities.
        NORML has scheduled this conference to coincide with "4/20," the date that has become associated in the popular culture as a special day for marijuana smokers -- sort of what "It's Miller time" has become to beer drinkers.  "We hope to build on that tradition and encourage reform supporters to join us in Washington, DC as a way to celebrate 4/20," Stroup added.
        Social events include a High Times/NORML opening reception on Thursday evening, with a silent art auction and a special awards presentation; and a special High Times 4/20 Celebration to benefit NORML on Friday evening.
        The annual NORML conference is open to all who support reforming marijuana policy.  It provides an exceptional opportunity to meet and network with allies from across the country and prepare for the year ahead.  For additional details and online registration, visit the NORML web site at

Who, Other Than The Government, Funds America's 'War On Some Drugs?'

        Washington, DC:  The NORML Foundation today released a report which seeks to identify those private companies, foundations and individuals who donate large amounts of money to perpetuate the failed war on marijuana smokers.
        The report examines private donations to so-called "anti-drug" groups, ranging from DARE to the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) to the Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse (CASA).
        The report was inspired by Drug Czar General McCaffrey's constant, four-year refrain that drug law reform groups (principally NORML, The Lindesmith Center and the Drug Policy Foundation) are awash in funding and are greatly outspending prohibitionists.  This obvious exaggeration by McCaffrey, oft repeated by anti-drug groups, is easily refuted by a basic financial review of the organizations' Internal Revenue Service returns.
        For the last 15 years, so-called anti-drug organizations have received funding far greater than that received by reform organizations.  More importantly, many of the prohibitionist donors have an economic interest in upholding the status quo.
        Further, ONDCP's Gen. McCaffrey and other prohibitionists consistently ask and receive more and more annual funding from Congress--the ONDCP's FY 2001 budget exceeds $20 billion.  However, as the new report indicates, an increase in spending does not translate into a reduction of drug use in government surveys.
        Drug use charts, organizational spending data, pro-drug war donor chart and more are found in the 'What's New' section of
        For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at 202-483-8751 or

DEA Proposes New Regulations To Limit Hemp Industry

        Washington, DC:  The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing three new regulations regarding the legality of hemp products, according to a notice published in the November 30, 2000 Federal Register.
        According to the notice, the first two rules reinforce the DEA's interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act and states that any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is considered a Schedule I controlled substance.  The third rule is an interim regulation and will exempt hemp products considered "legitimate" by the DEA, essentially, products not for human consumption.
        "As part of the ONDCP and DEA's attempt to support America's drug testing industry, these two pro-drug war bureaucracies are also trying to stymie the burgeoning public debate over re-legalizing industrial hemp production," said Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director.  "Supporters of hemp law reform need to immediately contact their members in Congress and tell them to stop the DEA and ONDCP from squashing America's hemp industry."
        NORML encourages all citizens concerned about these proposed regulations to contact members of Congress as soon as possible. NORML has composed a letter which people can fax to Congress from the organization's website:
        For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500.  To fax a letter to your members of Congress visit:

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