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"Since 1971 British doctors have been barred from prescribing cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act...Anecdotes...are all very well, but is there any scientific evidence that cannabis has real therapeutic value? The BMA has addressed this question with an excellent report." British Medical Journal, Editorial, 4 April 1998.
"This year's certification process raised so little dust because no one in Washington wants to draw attention to the essential irrationality of the war on drugs. Indeed, the White House and the Republicans are in a competition for the wildest antidrug rhetoric." The Nation, March 23, 1998 Selected Editorial.
"Police and prosecutorial agencies that make drug-law enforcement their highest priority are extravagantly rewarded for doing so by the forfeiture laws. For law-enforcement officials, however irrational the drug war may be as public policy, it remains superbly rational as a bureaucratic strategy." by Eric Blumenson & Eva Nilsen, The Nation, March 9, 1998.
"Past commissions and reports have tried to clear the clouds of unreason but have been universally ignored. This week we make our own attempt to tackle the key issues, including the latest findings from the Netherlands where possession of small amounts of marijuana has been legal for a decade. Our report homes in on four key claims frequently made by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse." New Scientist, February 21, 1998.
"Over the next 5 years analysts expect the private share of the prison 'market' to more than double. [But] instead of streamlining the system, hiring corporations to run prisons actually adds a layer of bureaucracy that can increase costs and reduce accountability. Prison companies have been known to jack up prices when their contracts come up for renewal, and some defer maintenance on prisons since they aren't responsible for them once their contract expires." The Nation, January 5, 1998.
"It is apparent that the federal government is not about to relent in its opposition to the use of marijuana as a medicine. Threats by Washington to severely sanction doctors in California who recommended marijuana to a patient ceased only after a federal court ruling. No federal agency has yet to begin clinical trials involving the effectiveness of medical marijuana." by Paul Armentano, Liberty, January, 1998.
A review of The chemistry of mind-altering drugs: history, pharmacology and cultural context, by Daniel M Perrine, Washington: American Chemical Society 1996. Reviewed by Tim Chapman, Chemistry and Industry, January, 1998.
"In 1988 Congress passed a resolution proclaiming its goal of "a drug-free America by 1995." U.S. drug policy has failed persistently over the decades because it has preferred such rhetoric to reality, and moralism to pragmatism. Politicians confess their youthful indiscretions, then call for tougher drug laws. Drug control officials make assertions with no basis in fact or science...Drug abuse is a serious problem, both for individual citizens and society at large, but the "war on drugs" has made matters worse, not better." By Ethan A. Nadelmann, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 77 No.1. January-February, 1998.
"Perhaps once the debate on therapeutic uses has been resolved, the debate on recreational use can then proceed in a similarly rational way, by weighing the benefits and costs of prohibition as a harm-reduction strategy." Also in this issue of The Lancet: "Tobacco-promotion bans will work " and "Canadian judge allows marijuana as therapy". The Lancet, December 20, 1997.
"The federal government responded to 'medical marijuana' by threatening physicians. Unlike Jerome Kassirer, in his straightforward editorial objection in The New England Journal of Medicine, you've chosen to obliquely endorse marijuana prohibition by publishing a slanted review article by two of marijuana's most infamous doctrinaire opponents." Letters from Richard Bayer, MD, and Thomas J. O'Connell, MD, criticise an article by Eric A. Voth and Richard H. Schwartz which appeared in the journal's 15 May 1997 issue. (126:791-798). The original article was entitled "Medicinal Applications of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Marijuana." American College of Physicians Annals of Internal Medicine December 15, 1997.
"The only explanation for lawmakers' obsession with penalizing drug offenders while neglecting public safety is that they are far more anxious to control us than to protect us. As always, the lesson of political history is the same: Save us from our saviors." By James Bovard, ©Playboy Magazine, December 1997.
"If there is a key to understanding America's criminal justice problem, it lies in recognizing that the war on drugs has been lost and never was winnable. In order to feed the war machine, we have sacrificed our courts, prisons and law enforcement. More importantly, we have surrendered many of the freedoms that made us the freest society in history." By U.S. Senior District Judge John L. Kane Jr. The Denver Post, November 2, 1997.
"Reporters were apparently too stoned to question two hopelessly flawed studies "proving" that marijuana is a gateway to heroin." Reported by Cynthia Cotts, Salon Magazine, August 18, 1997.
"Britain's Labour government wants to do a better job of tackling the problem of illegal drugs. How about legalising them?" The Economist, August 16, 1997
"Aim for pragmatism, not dogma" Editorial by John Strang, August 9, 1997.
"Should we take seriously the new scientific "findings" that pot is as addictive as heroin?" By Phillip O. Coffin, Slate, August 9, 1997
"Marijuana is unique among illegal drugs in its political symbolism, its safety, and its wide use... Doctors are not the enemy in the "war" on drugs; ignorance and hypocrisy are. Research should go on, and while it does, marijuana should be available to all patients who need it to help them undergo treatment for life-threatening illnesses." by George J. Annas, New England Journal of Medicine, August 7, 1997.
"The prevalence of deaths caused by the interaction between prescribed and illegal drugs is unknown. Very few are ever recorded and there are no schemes in place for monitoring those that do come to light." Reported by David Concar, New Scientist, July 12, 1997
"Is this yet another moral panic, or is the discovery that cannabis and heroin have similar effects on the brain conclusive evidence that smoking marijuana leads to the hard stuff?" Reported by David Concar, New Scientist, July 5, 1997
"As the media and the White House turn up the heat on the Cheech and Chongification of the Net, the Drug Reform Coordination Network has launched a new Web site devoted to chronicling the social devastation wrought by drug prohibition." Reported by Steve Silberman, Wired News, July 3, 1997.
"Why the government and press furor over cannabis as medicine? Why raise a hullabaloo that (in the law's words) "seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes" when "recommended by a physician"? And do the 8 percent of the nation's teens who smoke marijuana represent such a national calamity that it should lead ABC (3/1/97) to launch "an unprecedented public service campaign"? By Mike Males, Xtra!, July 1997.
"Robert Randall receives his provisions under NIDA's Marijuana Project, a little-known federal program established in the 1960s to grow marijuana for research purposes. After learning about the government's hidden stash in 1975, Randall sued for access and became its first recipient. Soon after, he received his first shipment, paving the way for 13 others. Although the program has been closed to new applicants since 1992, it is still providing a ready supply of U.S.-approved reefer for its eight surviving patients." Reported by David Saltonstall, George Magazine, July 1997.
"Whoever wants to understand American public life had better understand mass hysteria, for the history of American politics is the history of mass hysteria." A review of Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure, by Dan Baum. Little, Brown & Co., 1997. Reviewed by R.W. Bradford, Liberty Magazine, July 1997.
"Prohibition's Past and Present." Reviews of Hep-Cats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams: A History of America's Romance with Illegal Drugs, by Jill Jonnes, New York: Scribner, Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure, by Dan Baum, Boston: Little, Brown, and American Women and the Repeal of Prohibition, by Kenneth D. Rose, New York: New York University Press. Reviewed by By Jacob Sullum, senior editor of Reason, July, 1997.
"Stand by. The Communications Decency Act will barely be dead before the Drug Protection Act comes along to make it a federal crime to talk about drugs on the Net, where young people congregate." Reported by Jon Katz, The Netizen, Hotwired, June 27, 1997.
"'There is near universal agreement that our current drug policies have proven less than ideal. Can we as historians offer any insight into better policymaking?' [Tracy] asked. 'Does our research suggest certain 'lessons of history' that may be applied to current efforts to regulate alcohol and both licit and illicit drugs?'" JAMA, Medical News & Perspectives - June 25, 1997.
"DANGER! Hyping these findings can lead to intoxicating headlines and unhelpful bouts of moral panic... All scientific studies of the drug Ecstasy should carry such a warning. And that includes the latest research indicating that Saturday night doses of Ecstasy can lead to depression midweek and a blunting of memory." Editorial in New Scientist, June 21, 1997.
"A weekend dose of the drug Ecstasy can lead to forgetfulness, poor concentration and mid-week blues severe enough to qualify the sufferer for clinical treatment, claim British researchers." Reported by David Concar, New Scientist, June 21, 1997.
"The never-ending saga of the San Jose Mercury News, the C.I.A., contras and crack dealers took yet another strange twist recently when the newspaper's editor saw fit to issue a public apology... What did the agency know and when did it know it? Don't expect answers any time soon." Editorial in The Nation, June 2, 1997.
"Forget marijuana. What we really need is more morphine, more doctors who understand it and less meddling by authorities." Reported by Stephan Herrera, Forbes magazine, May 19 1997.
"In the same spirit the FDA uses to hasten the approval of cancer drugs, federal laws should be relaxed in favor of states' rights to allow physicians to administer marijuana to their patients on a caring and compassionate basis." Consumers Union of U.S., Inc., May 1997.
"Grow marijuana for medical use in California, and you can get off. Do it in Oklahoma, and you can get 93 years." Reported by By Adam J. Smith, assistant director of the Drug Reform Coordination Network in Washington. Reason magazine, May 1997
"Why certification doesn't work." Reported by Eva Bertram (a policy analyst in Washington, D.C., and a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Yale University), and Kenneth Sharpe (chairs the political science department at Swarthmore College). They are co-authors (with Morris Blachman and Peter Andreas) of Drug War Politics: The Price of Denial. The Nation, April 28, 1997
"Is there 'reason to suspect a drug problem' among staff members of the New York Times?" Slate, April 19, 1997.
"The long, dry years of Prohibition, particularly in its ambitious American version, taught some very profound lessons about what happens when governments use criminal law to try to address the real harms done by a drug." The Ottawa Citizen, April 12 - 16, 1997.
"Marijuana gives rise to insanity in its users but in the policies directed against it. A nation that sentences the possessor of a single joint to life imprisonment without parole but sets a murderer free after perhaps six years is, the author writes, 'in the grip of a deep psychosis'". Reported by Eric Schlosser, contributing editor, The Atlantic, April, 1997.
"Few areas of science policy are as politicized as the debate over the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. The federal government historically has been reluctant to acknowledge that the drug has medicinal value. Initiatives passed last November in Arizona and California legalizing marijuana prescribed for medical purposes, however, have forced the National Institutes of Health to rethink the issue." Reported by Peter Gwynne, The Scientist, March 31, 1997.
"ABC abandons news for propaganda, and is devoting the full range of its resources to a month-long 'March Against Drugs.'" The article contains important links to other World Wide Web sites. Reported by By Jacob Weisberg, Slate, March 15, 1997.
"Marijuana as medicine? Tough-on-drugs America is finally coming round to the idea that the evil weed might do some patients a power of good. Reported by Kurt Kleiner, Washington DC, New Scientist, March 15, 1997.
"The anti-drug program called D.A.R.E. is popular, well-funded and widespread. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to workand saying so can get you in big trouble." Reported by Stephen Glass, The New Republic, March 3, 1997.
"The panel at a US National Institutes of Health workshop on the medical utility of marijuana (Bethesda, Feb 1920) concluded that existing studies are promising enough to recommend new controlled studiesdespite the difficulty of blinding such trials." Reported by Paul M Rowe, The Lancet, March 1, 1997.
"The Marijuana Referendums: Bolstering the Therapeutic State" by Thomas Szasz, Liberty, Volume 10, No. 4, March 1997.
"Why the Clinton administration is terrified by medical marijuana." Reported by Virginia I. Postrel, Editor, Reason magazine, March 1997.
"California and Arizona passed medical marijuana initiatives, but what do they mean?" Reported by Nick Gillespie, Senior Editor, Reason magazine, February 1997.
"I believe that a federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane." by Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D., Editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997. See also the CORRESPONDANCE in the April 17, 1997 issue of NEJM, including a reply by Dr. Kassirer.
"In the middle of a panic, what's needed is for everyone to calm down. And that's just the treatment Britain requires for the current panic over the drug ecstasy." New Scientist Editorial, January 25, 1997.
"A home-grown reform movement is beginning to challenge the status quo." Reported by Sarah Ferguson, The Nation, January 6, 1997.
"Resisters say we're fighting the wrong battles." Reported by Eva Bertram and Kenneth Sharpe, The Nation, January 6, 1997.
"Voters in California and Arizona just said no to draconian laws. 'The implications of this for the social norms that keep kids away from drugs are very serious,' says Steve Dnistrian, senior vice president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. 'There has been no greater fundamental challenge to the drug-prevention field in a long time.'" Reported by Jefferson Morley, editor for the Washington Post "Outlook" section. Slate, December 13, 1996.
"It was an unprecedented scene: 300 African-Americans filling a Capitol Hill hearing room for a session of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The subject was the allegation unleashed by the San Jose Mercury News that a California drug ring operated by Nicaraguan exiles 'helped spark' the 'crack explosion in urban America' and 'funneled millions in drug profits' to the C.I.A.-backed contras." Reported by David Corn, The Nation, November 18, 1996.
"According to government documents recently obtained by The Nation, evidence that the U.S. government turned a blind eye to contra drug trafficking has long resided in Washington files." Reported by Robert Parry, director of The Nation Institute's investigative unit, The Nation, October 21, 1996.
"The latest front in the war on drugs. The idiocies of drug policies are widely tolerated, or often celebrated." Reported by Wendy Kaminer Slate, October 9, 1996.
"It is one thing for the candidates to argue about tax cuts and school vouchers, areas of honest difference. When it comes to drug policy, voters deserve to know that Clinton and Dole are in agreement. Both parties refuse to address the critical shortage in treatment slots (even for pregnant mothers!). Both want to lock up more nonviolent drug dealers -- according to the Lindesmith Center, one-quarter of the 1.6 million jailed adults are there primarily for drug offenses -- even though that absorbs huge portions of police time and tax money. Both want to keep clean needles out of the hands of addicts, even though they account for most new cases of H.I.V. transmission." Reported by Joshua Wolf Shenk, a correspondent in the Washington bureau of The Economist. The Nation, September 23, 1996.
"It may be true that Mr Clinton failed to speak out against drugs during his first three years. The question is how great a sin this was. The idea of legalising some drugs...is a respectable one, supported by (among others) The Economist." The Economist, September 14, 1996.
"Since 1980, America's prison population has more than tripled, passing the one million mark last year. Annual drug convictions have multiplied tenfold, constituting a hundred thousand new convictions each year. In a country with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, with prisons in many states under court order to improve conditions, many people (the 'public') still call for more prisons, longer sentences, harder time. In May 1995 the state of Alabama reintroduced chain gangs..." Reported by Alex Lichtenstein, Dissent, Fall 1996, volume 43, number 4.
"Politicians live by different drug laws...'The president has a zero tolerance policy for drug use,' said McCurry, who, like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, has admitted to using marijuana. "I was a kid in the 1970s," McCurry told the press. "Did I smoke a joint from time to time? Of course I did." Reported by Nick Gillespie, Reason Magazine, August 25, 1996.
"Who's really addicted to dope?" asks Jack Shafer, deputy editor of SLATE. July 19, 1996.
A review of Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris by Richard Kluger; The Cigarette Papers by Stanton A. Glantz, John Slade, Lisa A. Bero, Peter Hanauer, and Deborah E. Barnes; and Smokescreen: The Truth Behind the Tobacco Industry Cover-up by Philip J. Hilts. Review by Michael Massing, New York Review of Books, July 11, 1996.
"400 Readers give their views" on the issues raised by the editorial of February 12 1996, in which the conclusion of The National Review was that the time had come to revise our laws on drug trafficking. Edited by Wm. F. Buckley Jr., The National Review, July 1, 1996.
"Morphine is the world's most effective painkiller, yet because of its reputation as a dangerous drug it is rarely prescribed even to terminally ill patients." Reported by Rita Carter, New Scientist, April 6, 1996.
"...Rational arguments against drug bans may not be decisive. Prohibition has never been based on a dispassionate cost-benefit analysis. It is driven by a moral vision that attaches paramount importance to eliminating a particular evil, no matter the price." Reported by Jacob Sullum, Reason Magazine, from the March 1996 issue of Across the Board magazine.
"The fact of the CIA's on-again, off-again consort with narcotics traffickers scarcely admits of dispute. Its purpose was, however, what it conceived to be freedom's cause. Any incidental damage done the poor at home would have been beside the point. The CIA gives no more of a damn about the weal or woe of America's poor than it does about Latin America's." By Murray Kempton, New York Review of Books, November 28, 1996.
"We have found Dr. Gazzaniga and others who have written on the subject persuasive in arguing that the weight of the evidence is against the current attempt to prohibit drugs. But NATIONAL REVIEW has not, until now, opined formally on the subject. We do so at this point. To put off a declarative judgment would be morally and intellectually weak-kneed." Wm. F. Buckley Jr. is joined by by Ethan A. Nadelmann, a scholar and researcher; Kurt Schmoke, a mayor and former prosecutor; Joseph D. McNamara, a former police chief; Robert W. Sweet, a federal judge and former prosecutor; Thomas Szasz, a psychiatrist; and Steven B. Duke, a law professor, in recommending a new approach to the drug problem. The National Review, February 12, 1996.
"The British government's drug strategy for the next three years states baldly 'There will be no legalisation of any currently controlled drugs.' But some legalisation would help." British Medical Journal December 23, 1995. See also the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR in response to this editorial, published in the March 9, 1996 issue.
"The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health. Yet this widely used substance is illegal just about everywhere. In this highly contentious area, the Dutch attitude has been often mentioned as the voice of sanity." The Lancet, Editorial, November 11, 1995.
"Big government, Gingrich style." Reported by Nick Gillespie, assistant editor, Reason Magazine, October 1995.
"We can't give up fighting abuse and addiction. But prohibition does far more harm than good." Reported by Joshua Wolf Shenk, The Washington Monthly, October 1995.
Letter to the editor of NEJM from Lester Grinspoon, M.D. and James B. Bakalar, Harvard Medical School, and Rick Doblin, John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a reply by Donald I. Abrams, M.D., Carroll C. Child, R.N., M.S., and Thomas F. Mitchell, M.P.H., University of California, San Francisco. NEJM, September 7, 1995.
A review of Drugs, Crime And Corruption: Thinking the unthinkable, by Richard Clutterbuck. "Of course, it is no such delusion that propels America's blatantly futile yet widely destructive "war on drugs", but rather the puritan urge to punish whatever can be punished by first being delegitimized, including of late cigarettes and rich foods (by medical intimidation), nude bathing (by county laws, in Florida) and office hanky-panky (by easily successful sexual-harassment law-suits). What is truly odd is that only in the Netherlands, for all its own Puritan antecedents, is the totally exploded theory of drug prohibitionism (repression reduces crime) openly resisted by a rival theory of monitored toleration." A review by Edward N. Luttwak, Times Literary Supplement, September 1, 1995.
"Legalizing drugs may be the way to help addicts, and win the drug war." An interview with Michael S. Gazzaniga, Director for the Center of Neuroscience at U.C. Davis. National Review, July 10, 1995.
"To tell DARE supporters that you have spoken with program critics often invokes astonishment, like telling Baptists you've been to hell and chatted with Old Nick himself. This us-against-them viewpoint is clearly stated in a November 1994 press release announcing the Substance Abuse Prevention and Law Enforcement Community Partnership Conference. Titled "Pro-Drug Groups Behind Attack on Prevention Programs," the release damns as advocates of drug legalization any who criticize DARE." Reported by By Jeff Elliott, Reason Magazine, March 1995.
"The vigorous enforcement of marijuana laws has resulted in four million arrests since the early 1980s. Owing to mandatory-minimum sentences, many of those convicted are receiving stiff prison terms, even as violent criminals are released for lack of space." The second part of a two-part article. Reported by Eric Schlosser, contributing editor, The Atlantic, September 1994. This article won the 1995 National Magazine Award for reporting.
"Marijuana has not been de facto legalized, and the war on drugs is not just about cocaine and heroin. In fact, today, when we don't have enough jail cells for murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals, there may be more people in federal and state prisons for marijuana offenses than at any other time in U.S. history." The first part of a two-part article. Reported by Eric Schlosser, contributing editor, The Atlantic, August 1994. This article won the 1995 National Magazine Award for reporting.
A review of Trail of the Octopus: From Beirut to LockerbieInside the DIA by Donald Goddard with Lester Coleman. "...If Goddard and Coleman are telling even half the truth, they have lifted the edge of the veil on one of the nastiest and most deceitful political corruptions of modern times." Review by Paul Foot, London Review of Books, January 6, 1994.