Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Feb 242003

Former Dallas Cowboy Lauds His 20 Year Marijuana Use - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 24, 2003 7:00 PM

Michael Hess,

BBSNews - 2003-02-22 -- Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Mark Stepnoski has smoked marijuana for the past twenty years. For thirteen of those years he was a highly rated center in the NFL according to an AP wire story filed on Saturday. It seems that in spite of a sports star getting busted for "drugs" every other day or so, Stepnoski managed to lead a fit and successful life showing that the most horrendous consequences of marijuana use lie in its current legal status.
Feb 242003

California lawmakers stand up for medical pot - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 24, 2003 7:00 PM

James Tressler The Times-Standard ,

Some California lawmakers seem to be getting fed up with the federal government continuing to ignore the state's medical marijuana law. This past week U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, announced a bill intended to keep legitimate medical pot growers and users in California out of federal prison. The language of the bill hasn't been finalized, but generally anyone charged with growing, transporting or distributing marijuana in California or seven other states which have legalized medical pot could be acquitted by proving the marijuana would be used as medicine.
Feb 242003

'It's medicinal' vies against 'It's illegal' - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 24, 2003 7:00 PM

Daniel B. Wood - Christian Science Monitor,

LOS ANGELES – At the "Sixties Paraphernalia" shop on Victory Blvd. here, you can glimpse the past of US marijuana use - hash pipes, "bongs," cigarette papers - and catch an earful about its future. "The federal government is still stuck in the pre-Beatles days of 'reefer madness,' " says Skip Stanley, a bearded biker who also holds a graduate degree in sociology. He cites a recent poll showing nearly 80 percent support for medicinal marijuana use, and notes nine states have approved such use.
Feb 242003

Montana grapples with medical marijuana issue - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 24, 2003 7:00 PM

By COURTNEY LOWERY, Lee Enterprises-Casper Star Tribune,

HELENA -- Larry Rathbun spent 22 months in Montana State Prison for trying to ease the pain and the spasms that are inherent with multiple sclerosis. The nine plants that sent him to prison, he said, were the same kind of plants that helped him in his fight against the wheelchair -- marijuana. With out it, in prison, he lost that battle. "I walked into Deer Lodge and rolled out," he told the House Judiciary Committee Friday in support of House Bill 506 , which would legalize the use of medicinal cannabis, or marijuana. in the state of Montana. Rep.
Feb 242003

Jury Rights: Reconsidering Relevance - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 24, 2003 7:00 PM

Clay S. Conrad -,

Edward Rosenthal was prosecuted for growing and distributing medical marijuana in compliance with the California Compassionate Use Act. At his Federal trial, District Court Judge Charles Breyer refused to let the jury learn that Rosenthal was growing marijuana for medical use. Breyer ruled evidence concerning medical marijuana was irrelevant, because federal law does not recognize medical uses for marijuana. Implicit in the ruling was a concern that evidence about medical marijuana would lead to jury nullification.
Feb 202003

Bay Area politicians lobby for medical pot - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 20, 2003 7:00 PM

Josh Richman, Oakland Tribune,

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two Bay Area lawmakers are leading Sacramento's effort to urge California's U.S. senators to secure states' rights to regulate and oversee medical use of marijuana. State Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, have co-authored a letter signed by 48 legislative colleagues calling for an end to federal meddling in California's and other states' medical marijuana activities.
Feb 202003

Bipartisan law would emphasize state statutes
House members' bill seeks to give a medical defense - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 20, 2003 7:00 PM

Josh Richman - Tri-Valley Herald,

Three California members of Congress are preparing a bipartisan bill to let medical marijuana users, growers and providers protect themselves from federal conviction -- a bill sure to face an uphill battle. Reps. Sam Farr, D-Carmel; Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma; and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, are "putting together a bill that would basically say that in states that have medical marijuana statutes, you are able to use as a defense that you were in possession or distributing ... marijuana for medical reasons," said Rochelle Dornatt, Farr's chief of staff.
Feb 202003

Legislators ask Congress to protect medical pot - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 20, 2003 7:00 PM

Bay City News, reprinted in Benicia News & Vallejo News,

State Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, announced Thursday that 50 California legislators have joined in asking the state's Congressional delegation to push for changes in federal law to protect medical marijuana. "We're here to protect Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996,'' Leno said a news conference on the steps of the Federal Building in San Francisco. "The federal government continues its assault on the will of the people of California,'' the assemblyman said.