News Release

1001 Connecticut Ave, NW - Ste 710 - Washington, DC 20036
Tel. 202.483.8751 - Fax 202.483.0057 - E-mail - Internet

August 26, 1999

Marijuana Legalization Effort Grows In Pacific Northwest

        Aug. 26, 1999, Olympia, WA:  Marijuana legalization efforts in Washington received a boost as the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) received a hefty donation from a former Microsoft software programmer.
        Bruce McKinney donated $100,000 to CRRH, sponsor of Initiative 229 (Washington Cannabis Tax Act), to help finance the budding campaign.  If approved, the initiative would permit farmers to cultivate cannabis and allow for marijuana sales in state liquor stores.
        Ninety percent of taxes generated from the sale of marijuana would go to the state general fund; eight percent would be used for drug treatment programs; one percent would be used for a drug education program for school children; and one percent would finance a committee to promote industrial hemp.
        The McKinney donation would be used to pay a professional firm to collect the 180,000 signatures needed by year's end to submit the initiative to the state legislature.  If the legislature does not approve the initiative it would be referred to Washington voters in November 2000.
        "We're urging everyone to come out of the closet and support this effort," said Paul Stanford, CRRH executive director, who is also organizing similar legalization efforts in Oregon.
        To date, CRRH has gathered 15,250 signatures for the Oregon initiative (73,261 are necessary) and 17,568 for the Washington Initiative.
        "The northwestern states have always led the way in marijuana law reform efforts," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director.  "NORML hopes that the citizens in both Oregon and Washington will choose to legally control marijuana through state regulation, rather than continuing a black market."
        For more information, please contact Paul Stanford of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp at (503) 235-4606 or or Allen St. Pierre of NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.

Nevada Pharmacy Board Wants Medical Marijuana Implementation Study

        Aug. 26, 1999, Carson City, NV:  Before Nevada voters return to the polls in 2000 to reaffirm their support for medical marijuana, the Nevada Pharmacy Board wants to know how the state will obtain and distribute marijuana to patients.
        Nevadans gave initial approval to the medical marijuana initiative (Question 9) in 1998 but because this initiative is being offered as an amendment to the state constitution, it must be approved by the voters in two consecutive elections.
        Keith Macdonald, executive secretary of the Nevada Pharmacy Board, will ask the Board of Medical Examiners later this month to conduct a study on how to implement the medical marijuana initiative.
        Macdonald, an opponent of the medical marijuana initiative, said the state should further study valid uses for marijuana in medicine.
        "We need to decide who is going to get it and how it is going to be contained so we don't get in a mess like in our sister state to the West," Macdonald said referring to the number of California buyers clubs that formed after Proposition 215 passed in 1996.
        "Mr. Macdonald should know that buyers clubs still exist in California and they are protected under state law," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director.  "Also, in Washington and Oregon specifically, the voter-approved medical marijuana initiatives are operating as planned, with doctors making recommendations to their patients who need marijuana."
        For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

Marijuana News Briefs

Health Canada Will Spend $7.5 Million For Medical Marijuana Research

        Aug. 26, 1999, Ottawa, ON:  Health Canada, Canada's health care bureaucracy, will offer $7.5 million over the next five years to evaluate the medicinal use of marijuana.
        Besides determining if marijuana smoking is an effective therapy for a number of illnesses, researchers will also look into other methods of administering marijuana, such as with inhalers.
        In June, Canadian officials granted two individuals with AIDS authority to legally cultivate, possess, and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
        The government-approved study will be conducted by The Medical Marijuana Research Project which is a joint effort between the Medical Research Council of Canada and the therapeutic products program of Health Canada.

Dutch Agency Will Make Marijuana Available For Medical and Scientific Use

        Aug. 26, 1999, The Netherlands:  The Dutch government has created an agency to regulate the production and trade of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.
        The Dutch National Cannabis Agency was formed by the government so cannabis for medical and scientific purposes can be grown and delivered in compliance with international treaties.
        The National Institute for Public Health and Inspection of Health Care will control the cannabis production.