News Release

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August 5, 1999

MassCANN Files Decrim Initiatives for Massachusetts 2000 Ballot

        Aug. 5, 1999, Boston, MA:  Initiative petitions supporting marijuana decriminalization have been filed and are now awaiting the State Attorney General's ruling as to their constitutionality.
        The Massachusetts Cannabis Coalition (MassCANN), a state affiliate of NORML, presented seven potential ballot questions which could appear on the November 2000 ballot.
        The acts presented by MassCANN seek to permit the medical use of marijuana, decriminalize cultivation and personal use, and clarify defenses in criminal cases (for full text copies of the acts go to
        "The prosecution of adults for marijuana crimes is a phenomenal waste of our tax resources," said Bill Downing, president of MassCANN.
        State Attorney General Thomas Reilly must rule on the constitutionality of the petitions and publish the summaries for the ballot by Sept. 1.
        Downing said once they see Reilly's wording they will decide on which measure to pursue.
        MassCANN will be kicking off their petition drive at their annual Freedom Rally from noon to 6 p.m., on Saturday September 18th at the Boston Common.
        For more information, please contact Bill Downing of MassCANN @ (781) 944-2266 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.

Kubby Case Begins in California; Interpretation of Prop 215 At Issue

        Aug. 5, 1999 Auburn, CA:  Pre-trial motions and jury selection began this week for the trial of noted medical marijuana activist Steven Kubby and his wife Michele at the DeWitt Center Courthouse.
        The two pled innocent to felony charges of growing and selling marijuana in January after their Olympic Valley home was raided following a six-month investigation by a drug task force in which 360 marijuana plants were seized.
        Steven Kubby, last year's Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in California, said the growing of the plants is legal under California's Proposition 215.  He has had adrenal cancer since 1975 and Michele has an intestinal disorder.
        "Every aspect of our garden was documented and in compliance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 that the voters in this state approved overwhelmingly," said Steven Kubby.  "Michele and I broke no laws and should have been protected under the law.  Instead we are witness to how the legal rights of seriously ill people are routinely violated."
        "The Kubby case is an important test of the protections provided by Proposition 215," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq.  "If Steve and Michele are not protected, then no patients can feel safe from prosecution."
        For more information, please contact Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Dale Wood, Attorney at Law @ (530) 587-3450.

"NORML 2000" Conference Announced...Mark Your Calendar For Feb. 3-5, 2000

        Aug. 5, 1999, Washington, DC:  NORML and the NORML Foundation announced that the next national NORML conference, "NORML 2000", will be held on Thursday, Feb. 3 through Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000 in Washington, DC.
        The conference, which will feature talks by author and historian Barbara Ehrenreich, Harvard Medical School Professor Lester Grinspoon, M.D., and Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz, will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel.
        "Our last national conference, held in November of 1998, was a great meeting of activists and supporters from across the country, with featured talks by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Lindesmith Center Director Ethan Nadelmann," said NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup.
        The first day of the 1998 conference was broadcast live on C-Span and the entire conference was broadcast live on the Internet.
        "We hope to achieve even greater media penetration at the next meeting," Stroup said.  "Marijuana law reform supporters should mark their calendars now and plan to join us in Washington, DC for the first NORML conference of the new millennium."
        Those who wish to make a hotel reservation should call the Washington Plaza Hotel at (202) 842 1300 and tell them you are with the NORML conference (reference #8385).  Special rates for the conference are $100 per night, single or double occupancy.
        For more information, contact Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202)483-5500.