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... a weekly service for the media on news items related to Marijuana Prohibition.

April 27, 1995


        Following the tragedy in Oklahoma City, it has been suggested that groups that are critical of government policies are somehow encouraging violence.  Since its inception, NORML has had a commitment to non-violence in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.  NORML's principal message is that marijuana prohibition is unjustified violence against peaceful marijuana users.  There have been almost ten million marijuana arrests since 1965.  Each of these involves coercion and the threat of state violence.

        Richard Cowan, the National Director of NORML said, "Our message to the government, like that of the 'velvet revolution' that peacefully overthrew Communism in Czechoslovakia, is that they need not fear us because we are not like them.  We want to end violence, not spread it."

        NORML does not see the proposed anti-terrorist legislation as a significant new threat to marijuana users, who have almost no Constitutional rights remaining.  It is the narcocracy, not some "new world order," that is the real and present danger to our liberty.  For sometime NORML has been trying to get the media interested in the role of the National Guard in domestic law enforcement, but to no avail.  As one witty observer complained, "Why is it that Americans are paranoid about the wrong things?"  The problem with paranoia is that when you are fighting imaginary devils you cannot see the very real evils.

Affirmative Medical Necessity Defense Bill Being Considered In California

        Sacramento, CA, On Tuesday, May 2nd, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety will be voting on proposed bill A.B. 1529.  Supported by John Vasconcellos (D-San Jose), this legislation would exempt medical marijuana patients from prosecution for possession or cultivation of marijuana given a physician's prescription.

        [For more information on A.B. 1529, please contact Dale Gieringer, California NORML, (415) 563-5858.]

NIDA To Hold A National Conference On Marijuana

        The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will hold a National Conference entitled Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research on July 19 & 20, 1995.  The Conference will be held at the Crystal City Mariott Hotel, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.
        The stated purpose of the Conference is to, "Increase public understanding about the consequences of marijuana use by dispelling myths and providing science-based information on the drug." [emphasis added -ed.]

        [For Conference Schedule, Registration Form, and Hotel Information please contact: Marijuana Conference Logistics Coordinator, National Marijuana Conference (CRP1O4), Circle Solutions, Inc., 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 600, McLean, VA 22102; Fax: (703) 821-2098; Voice mail box (703) 902-1440; Internet address: CIRCONF@DGS.DGSYS.COM]

Major Increase In British Teens Using Cannabis

        April 24, Reuters reports that, "The number of 15 and 16-year-old British boys who have smoked cannabis has tripled in the past three years and one third now say they have used the illegal drug."  [these figures are the result of a recent poll conducted by Exeter University for the BBC -ed.]  The survey found that 32.9 percent of boys aged 15 and 16 and 27.3 percent of girls admitted having smoked cannabis in 1994.
        This is compared to 11.3 percent of boys and 8.9 percent of girls in 1991, according to Reuters.

(Conveniently) The BBC Airs A Rabid Anti-Marijuana "Documentary"

        April 24, London, UK, The traditionally respected, high profile documentary program Panorama presented some of the most extreme anti-cannabis propaganda that the UK public has ever seen.  The majority of the of the program was filmed in the USA focused on four main health risks associated with the use of cannabis, namely: addiction, birth problems, mental deterioration and cancer.
        Various parts of the program were split up with excerpts of groups of teenage age school children suggesting that cannabis: "isn't all that bad;" "it's just a bit of fun;" and "it could be bad if you smoke it with tobacco" as the only defense against several professors who were damning cannabis to hell.
        The Legalize Cannabis Campaign (LCC) is strongly contesting the content and obvious bias of the program.  It appears that this program has greatly raised the stakes in the UK's ongoing public debate about how or if the cannabis laws need to be modified.
        [For further information on the BBC program Panorama: "High Risk" or on the Legalize Cannabis Campaign, please contact David Colbourne or Rob Christopher, BM Box 2455, London WC1N 3XX, (from USA) 011-44-1-71-739-9155 (p) / 011-44-1-739-8522(f)]

Surprising Police Views Of The "Drug War"

        April 9, A San Francisco Examiner editorial reported on a survey of nearly 500 police chiefs, police officers, district attorneys, public defenders, judges, and Stanford students, which examined their attitudes toward "drug warring".
        The survey was conducted by Hoover Institute research fellow Joseph D. McNamara, former police chief of San Jose.  The Examiner editorial reports that the survey "found that 95 percent of the police officers believed the U.S. was losing the war on drugs and 98 percent thought drug abuse was not primarily a police problem.  Just over 90 percent of the cops said increased prevention and treatment could control drugs more effectively.  More than 30 percent of the cops said that legalization or decriminalization would lead to or cause a decrease in drug use or else not affect it.
        A majority of all those surveyed said the answer was not more military intervention, prisons, police or prosecutors."
        [For a copy of the Hoover Institute's survey of law enforcement officials, please contact research fellow Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institute, Stanford, CA 94305-6011.]

Jimmy Montgomery: The Importance Of Publicity

        April 27, In the past week, due in part to publicity being monopolized by the terrible bombing in Oklahoma, prison officials have resumed neglecting treatment of Jim Montgomery.  In the entire time he has been in prison, he has not had a fresh change of clothing.  He's still in the clothes that he wore when he entered the prison---nearly three weeks ago.  He has also been denied the ability to shower.
        Worst of all, he has been put back on oral anti-biotics rather than injected anti-biotics (which greatly upsets Jimmy's digestive track and is not effective in treating the chronic infections of his lower body).
        [To help secure Jimmy Montgomery's release from this cruel imprisonment, please contact the Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating, (405) 521-2342.  OK NORML can be reached by contacting Michael Pearson, (405) 840-HEMP.]