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NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE REFORM OF
1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
TEL 202-483-5500 * FAX 202-483-0057
... a weekly service for the media on news items related to Marijuana Prohibition.
October 10, 1996
Multiple Sclerosis Patient To Travel To
Washington For Medical Marijuana
Husband To Push Wheelchair For 250-Mile Walk
October 10, 1996, Jersey City, NJ:
On October 14, Jim and Cheryl Miller will embark on a 235-mile
walk to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for medical marijuana.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1971, Ms. Miller has been unable to walk for over a dozen years. Her physician has prescribed her numerous medications, including the synthetic THC capsule Marinol, yet she claims that natural marijuana offers her the greatest relief for her illness. Her doctor states that he would prescribe her marijuana in the plant form if it was legal to do so.
"I hope that by bringing attention to my wife Cheryl, I can cause marijuana to be made available so that she and others are no longer needlessly forced to suffer with their pain or risk arrest," said Mr. Miller. "Right now, the only relief Cheryl can get from her painful muscle spasms subjects her to the risk of being put in jall and having her bank account and property seized."
The Millers intend to arrive in Washington, D.C. on October 21, where they plan on meeting with representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They also hope to persuade their representatives in Congress to come out in favor of legal access to medical marijuana.
For more information, please contact Jim Miller of No Problem Productions @ (201) 433-3907 or leave a message @ (908) 255-1713. For more information about medical marijuana, please contact Allen St. Pierre of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.
NORML Chapter Challenges Harassment Of Students With Hemp Jewelry
October 8, Cleveland, OH: Northcoast
NORML has sent a letter to the Willoughby/Eastlake School
District demanding that the school system stop harassing students
for wearing jewelry made from hemp fiber. Schools in the
district have been sending students to the principle's office and
calling parents to "discourage" students from wearing
hemp jewelry, in accordance with a new policy enacted by school
officials in September.
Spokespeople for the school system claim that the policy is designed to promote a drug-free environment and stifle "sympathetic" leanings toward marijuana, but Northcoast NORML contends that the administrators' intentions do not give them license to violate the First Amendment. "Legal precedents make it clear that students have the right to engage in symbolic speech," said Northcoast NORML President John Hartman.
The letter, written by Attomey William Saks, states that the courts have consistently ruled that "students' viewpoints cannot be constitutionally suppressed even if they can be interpreted as being pro-drug. Assuming ... that the students wearing hemp are expressing sympathy for marijuana use, ... the fact that marijuana use is illegal does not invalidate the First Amendment protection for the students' expression."
The letter demands a written promise that the school system will cease all action inhibiting the wearing of hemp in school.
"Hemp is a natural, [legal] fiber that is attractive and hip," said Hartman. "A student has a right to wear it whether they are promoting the medicinal value of marijuana, protesting the laws against it, or just for fun."
For more information, please contact John Hartman of Northcoast NORML @ (216) 521-9333.
Dole Aide Reportedly Used Pot In College
October 7, 1996, Hartford, CT: John
Buckley, communications director for Republican Presidential
Candidate Bob Dole, may have regularly used marijuana while in
college, according to allegations made by former classmates.
In a story that first ran in a Boston weekly last month, former classmates of Buckley said that they recall him using and occasionally selling marijuana while he attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Most describe Buckley's alleged relationship with marijuana to have been typical for the environment.
"Yes, he smoked pot. So what? A lot of people smoked pot," said former college roommate Ed Benfey during an interview with Reuters News Service. "It was socially acceptable in that place and time to smoke pot."
Benfey said that he didn't specifically remember Buckley ever selling pot, but a second classmate speaking to the Boston Phoenix anonymously maintained he both smoked and bought marijuana from Buckley.
Responding to the allegations in a prepared statement, Buckley maintained that, "Whether I or any member of the Dole or Clinton staff used marijuana 20 years ago when in college is not a relevant issue and I'm not going to respond to further questions on the subject."
Dole has recently attacked Clinton as being soft on the drug issue and specifically criticized the President for hiring people to the White House who had used drugs in the past.
Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Aims For 1998 Election
October 1996, Portland, OR: A
proposed Oregon initiative measure to allow adults to purchase
cannabis in state liquor stores has been certified by the state
Supreme Court and activists are already gearing up to place the
measure on the November 1998 state ballot.
Although this year's proposal failed to collect the 73,261 registered voters' signatures necessary to place the initiative on the 1996 ballot, organizers are convinced that a future, more organized, and better funded campaign will be successful. "The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) made it two-thirds of the way to the ballot with less than $10,000," stated a press release from initiative organizers. "That is amazing in this age of dollar driven politics. We [expect] to raise $100,000 to qualify OCTA for the 1998 Oregon ballot [and] we will begin on a volunteer effort now."
If passed, OCTA will replace all state and local marijuana laws except for DUI laws and will permit adults to purchase marijuana from state liquor stores. The measure would also allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients through pharmacies, allow farmers to grow marijuana with a license for sales to the state, allow adults to grow marijuana for personal use without a license, and allow for industrial hemp cultivation. Ninety percent of the net proceeds will go to a state general fund, and the remaining 10 percent will be used to fund drug abuse education and treatment programs. Sale and possession to minors will still remain strictly prohibited.
For more information on OCTA, please contact the Campaign for the Restoration & Regulation of Hemp @ (503) 235-4606 or write to: P.O. Box 86741, Portland, OR 97286. Inquiries can also be made to Portland NORML @ (503) 777-9088 or by checking out their webpage at: http://www.pantless.com/~octa/
ANNOUNCEMENT: NORML WISHES A SPEEDY AND HEALTHY RECOVERY TO COLORADO STATE SENATOR LLOYD CASEY. CASEY SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK ON OCTOBER 4 AND UNDERWENT SURGERY. HE IS REPORTEDLY IN STABLE CONDITION. WHILE SERVING IN THE STATE SENATE, CASEY TWICE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED FOR THE DOMESTIC CULTIVATION OF HEMP IN COLORADO. CARDS MAY BE SENT TO HIS HOME AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS: 10434 CARMELA LANE, NORTHGLENN, CO 80234.
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