August 4, 2000
On July 17 a Federal judge in San Francisco changed his previous injunction and ruled that the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative could resume sale of medical marijuana, under tight controls. The same judge had previously ordered the cooperative and several other medical marijuana clubs in Northern California to stop selling marijuana to patients; he modified his order in obedience to an appeals court ruling in favor of the club.
"On remand the government has still not offered any evidence to rebut defendants' evidence that cannabis is medically necessary for a group of seriously ill individuals. Instead, the government continues to press arguments which the Ninth Circuit court rejected, including the argument that the Court must find that enjoining the distribution of cannabis to seriously ill individuals is in the public interest because Congress prohibited such conduct in favor of the administrative process regulating the approval and distribution of drugs. As a result of the government's failure to offer any new evidence in opposition to defendants' motion, and in light of the Ninth Circuit's opinion, the Court must conclude that modifying the injunction as requested is in the public interest and exercise its equitable discretion to do so." [United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, et al., Defendants, Order No. C 98-00088 CRB, filed July 17, 2000]
A few days later the U.S. Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to overrule the Ninth Circuit appeals court and decide that medical necessity could never allow patients to use marijuana under the Federal law against it, no matter what their medical condition or need -- despite the advice of both the California Attorney General and the California Medical Association, which had urged U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno not to appeal the decision.
A Web site by a drug-reform organization, Drug Sense/Media Awareness Project [MAP] is getting more usage than several leading "prohibitionist" sites together. The MAP site (http://www.mapinc.org) provides a library of over 41,000 news clippings on both sides of the issue.
"The Mapinc Web site is the most-surfed drug-policy site in the nation, averaging over 70,000 hits a day last March and getting over 100,000 one day in April.
"According to a Webtrends.net comparison, the DrugSense/MAP Web sites are more popular then those of the Drug Czar's Office, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, CASA and DARE combined. Last April, almost 8,000 other sites had links to MAP. Aside from news clips, which are also accessible on lists "asset forfeiture" to "raves," the site offers guides to writing letters to the editor, and contains links to over 75 pot and hemp sites, 83 general drug-policy reform sites and 20 prohibitionist groups." [High Times, September 2000]
"Shadow Convention" to address medical marijuana, August 15 in Los Angeles. Information/registration at http://www.drugpolicy.org. "The Shadow Convention gathering in Los Angeles on August 15 will focus on: (1) Protecting our youth from both drug abuse and the war on drugs; (2) The racist origins, conduct and consequences of the drug war; and (3) The public health implications of U.S. drug policies." [Marijuana Policy Project]
A Shadow Convention in Philadelphia, held August 1, focused different drug-war themes, as well as other topics. These meetings were organized to address major national issues excluded from the Republican and Democratic party conventions.
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.
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