Blog Voices from the Frontlines

May 162003

Medical Marijuana Supporters Demand Meeting with DEA Nominee - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 16, 2003 4:00 AM
WASHINGTON, DC -- Medical marijuana advocates demand to know the views of President Bush’s expected nominee for head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Karen Tandy. Besides being the first woman to be named as head of the DEA, she recently made national news for her role in masterminding the investigation known as Operation Pipe Dreams – which resulted in the indictment of 50 individuals and businesses that sell or manufacture water pipes and other devices that could be used to consume marijuana. Advocates sent a request to Karen P.
May 142003

How Not to Write a Law - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 14, 2003 8:00 PM

CHRIS THOMPSON, East Bay Express,

The choreography certainly was impressive. On the morning of February 12, 2002, officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration simultaneously raided a San Francisco cannabis club called the Harm Reduction Center, the private homes of Bay Area medical pot activists, and a West Oakland warehouse where High Times columnist and author Ed Rosenthal grew hundreds of plants for critically ill patients.
May 052003

California judge blasts drug war at pro-marijuana rally in Reno - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 05, 2003 8:00 PM

By Martin Griffith, Associated Press,

A California Superior Court judge sharply criticized the drug war and renewed his call for the decriminalization of marijuana at a pro-marijuana rally in downtown Reno on Saturday. Judge James Gray of Orange County, Calif., said the drug war has cost billions of dollars and resulted in the United States having the world’s highest incarceration rate — with no end in sight to rampant drug abuse. The former federal prosecutor said he has never smoked marijuana, but supports the strictly controlled distribution of pot to adults. “We have made an illness into a plague.
May 052003

House clears legislation to tighten medical marijuana law - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 05, 2003 8:00 PM


SALEM - Restrictions on medical marijuana would be tightened under a bill approved by the Oregon House. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeff Kruse, R-Sutherlin, said it would avert potential problems with the federal government, which has gone after California's program in court. "I have come over time to understand that this is legitimate medicine for some folks," said Kruse, who is chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee. "But it is also a very popular recreational device for a lot of other folks.
May 032003

Medical marijuana clinic in Fairfax still battles feds - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 03, 2003 8:00 PM

Tad Whitaker, Marin Independent Journal,

Business is booming at a Fairfax enterprise that has no competitors, 50 daily customers seven days a week, all the publicity it can stand and annual sales of about $1 million. But making ends meet hasn't been easy for the Rev. Lynnette Shaw of Fairfax, founder and sole proprietor of Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, which cleared about $86,000 in net profit two years ago. As head of Marin County's only medicinal marijuana clinic, Shaw hasn't exactly traveled a yellow brick road to success.
May 032003

Protesters disrupt pro-marijuana event - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 03, 2003 8:00 PM


BUDAPEST, Hungary – Revelers at Hungary's first pro-marijuana rally and rock concert were pelted with tomatoes and eggs yesterday, forcing the festivities to end early. Police kept pro-marijuana demonstrators and their opponents apart to prevent clashes, but the anti-drug campaigners hissed, booed and threw objects, forcing the rally to end an hour early. Hungary has one of the toughest anti-drug laws in Europe.
Apr 212003

Santa Cruz to Sue DEA - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 21, 2003 8:00 PM


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California county and its major city plan to sue the federal government on Wednesday to allow the use of medical marijuana in a lawsuit they said will mark the first legal challenge over the issue brought by a local government. Plaintiffs, who include the city and county of Santa Cruz, south of San Francisco, said on Monday they will seek a preliminary injunction in federal court to allow a medical marijuana farm raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Santa Cruz last year to reopen and sick patients to obtain the drug.
Apr 092003

Bill Allows Medical Marijuana Defense in Drug Cases - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 09, 2003 8:00 PM

Todd Zwillich, Reuters,

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) - U.S. lawmakers have launched an effort that would allow defendants from states with legalized medical marijuana to use "medical necessity" as a defense against federal drug charges. A bill introduced in the U.S. House Thursday and backed by pro-medical marijuana groups would apply to California and seven other states where medical marijuana is legal. The measure gives defendants accused of growing or distributing marijuana in violation of federal drug laws the right to inform juries that they were acting legally in their state.
Apr 092003

Farr sponsors pot bill - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 09, 2003 8:00 PM

DAVID L. BECK, San Jose Mercury News,

In the wake of federal agents' widely publicized raid on a Santa Cruz-area medical marijuana operation, Rep. Sam Farr is introducing a bill today to legalize medical need as a valid defense in federal prosecutions. The bill's co-sponsors are two congressmen rarely found on the same side of an issue -- Massachusetts liberal Democrat Barney Frank and Huntington Beach conservative Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
Apr 072003

Federal Jurors Told They Must Acquit Marijuana Defendants To Stop Convictions of Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 07, 2003 4:00 AM
WASHINGTON, DC -- As a growing number of medical marijuana patients and providers face federal charges, DC residents will protest the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) harassment of the seriously ill by informing jurors that the federal government has blocked all medical necessity defenses in federal marijuana cases. The jurors will be given leaflets as they report for jury duty at the Federal Courthouse at 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, beginning at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, April 9, 2003.