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June 2005



Celebrating the holidays

Coming home from work today, I saw some guys putting up a large sign right next to the main drag through town (Bloomington, IL). It read:

4th of July – Defend your Freedom – Celebrate the Bill of Rights

Made my day.

Any idiot can send out a press release…

That’s the beauty of a free country. And today’s idiot is Steve Steiner of Dads and Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers (that would be DAMMADD for you acronym buffs). Here’s the press release:

DAMMADD: Video Footage Exposes Pro Drug MovementTIOGA CENTER, N.Y., June 29 /U.S. Newswire/ — If there was ever any doubt about the […]

A surreal glimpse inside the mind of a prohibitionist

This article is your fairly standard teens-have-the-most-fatal-car-accidents-exposÚ, and would not be of interest to me, except that Andrea Barthwell was quoted (as co-director of a physician-led group called End Needless Death On Our Roadways — an organization whose entire purpose appears to be to allow Andrea to ocassionally be quoted as co-director of it, while channelling some more treatment business her way.)
Anyway, here’s the quote that made me fall off my chair:

“Sometimes you can’t legislate all of the changes you need,” said Andrea Barthwell, co-director of the physician-led group. She said parents have to be brought into the campaign against risky driving because they are often the only ones who know they have risk- and thrill-taking kids. [emphasis added]

Yep, we may have to actually involve parents in raising their kids, because “sometimes you can’t legislate all the changes you need.”
Mind like a blotter. Soaks it up, but gets it all backwards.

America, land of the not-quite-as-free-as-England

Students for Sensible Drug Policy have put out this release:

Lawyers for the United Kingdom’s Department for Education and Skills have warned Prime Minister Tony Blair that students who are forced to take drug tests without consent as part of his anti-drug initiative could sue for compensation under the ‘right to privacy’ in the Human […]

Rhode Island tells John Walters to Suck Eggs

After the Supreme Court decision earlier this month, John Walters:

“Today’s decision marks the end of medical marijuana as a political issue.”

Not so fast, John. Yesterday, Rhode Island legislature passed their own medical marijuana bill. It passed the House last week 52-10 and the Senate yesterday 33-1. It looks veto-proof. State #11. John, as […]

A huge slap in the face of Plan Colombia…

Los Angeles Times:

The Bush administration and congressional allies are gearing up to renew a plan for drug eradication in Latin America despite some grim news: The $5.4 billion spent on the plan since 2000 has made no dent in the availability of cocaine on American streets and prices are at all-time lows.

United Nations […]

Illinois MS patient Julie Falco applies for Sativex prescription

Those who have followed Drug WarRant for awhile may remember me talking about Julie Falco, an MS patient in Illinois who testified on behalf of medical marijuana in the Illinois hearings. I got a chance to meet her then, and she’s quite an amazing young woman. (Here’s a great article about her by Steve Young.
Well, Julie and her doctor, Dr. Anthony Reder, are applying for access to the liquid form of marijuana called Sativex¬. According to Americans for Safe Access:

“The introduction of Sativex¬ to Canadian markets vindicates what patients, doctors, and medical associations have been saying for centuries: marijuana is a safe and effective medication, “said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the largest medical marijuana advocacy group in the country. “The bottom line is marijuana MUST be rescheduled so that we can have a real conversation about the best uses of marijuana as medicine, including the introduction of Sativex¬ to the US market.” (ASA information on Sativex¬)

Americans for Safe Access will be assisting a number of MS patients and their doctors through this application process, while they continue in their quest to change the schedule of marijuana from its current status, in the same category as heroin, to another category that recognizes the medicinal value of marijuana. Federal law allows for promising drugs that have been approved in another country, but not yet in the United States, to be used under the direction of a physician, pending special permission. The Investigational New Drug program (IND) is the means through which the sponsor (either a physician or pharmaceutical company) technically obtains this authorization from the FDA. The federal government has had a Compassionate Use IND program that has provided medical cannabis to patients for nearly 30 years. Only a handful of patients were ever approved to use NIDA‰s University of Mississippi-grown marijuana. Seven of these patients are still surviving and receiving their monthly allocations of medical cannabis.

Of course, I’ve talked about the IND program as well. And it seems likely to me that the government will deny this application. But once again they’re going to look bad doing it. This is what it takes. Keep chipping away.
Good luck, Julie. You deserve to get the medicine you need without having to be a criminal.
A press conference will be held on Wednesday at 11 am at the Kluczynski Federal Building, 230 S Dearborn St, Chicago.

Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005

Action Alert! Contact your Representatives. Via NORML:

NORML is pleased to announce the introduction of H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, sponsored by Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jim McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA) and Ron Paul (R-TX). This legislation is the first bill ever to be introduced in Congress […]

Medical Marijuana raids in San Francisco

My first reaction was to jump all over the story (which has been reported elsewhere) of DEA raids on medical marijuana operations in San Francisco (so quickly after the Supreme Court decision). Given the official stories of money laundering and ecstasy, etc. in conjunction with the busts, however, I decided to wait until I had […]

Shooting fish in a barrel

OK, sometimes I just need a little entertainment, and a column comes along that does the trick very nicely. In this case, it’s an OpEd by former Niles Police Chief Ray Giovannelli in the Journal Online (Northwest Chicago Suburbs): How To Win The War On Drugs (with a title like that, I had to check […]