More Excellent Articles
About Cannabis and Drug Policy
The articles below are organized alphabetically by title.
The articles posted here are copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107) for educational purposes. NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. These transcriptions are not for sale or resale.First page of articles
Arizona Proposition 200, a text file of the ballot measure that permits doctors to prescribe marijuana and other Schedule 1 drugs and, in short, medicalizes state drug policy. Two-thirds of Arizona voters endorsed the initiative on Nov. 5, 1996.First page of articles
Corporate Heads: High in High Places, from the Jan. 25, 1996 Metro, the Silicone Valley weekly. The paper's original table of contents reads: Pot smokers today can be found wearing Armani suits and police badges and walking the halls of Congress. What would happen if all the yuppie, non-dreadlocked pot-smokers came out of the closet and decided, once and for all, to break out of the stereotypes and stand up for moderate use of marijuana? With the current levels of paranoia, it could be a while before we find out.
The dare.org site, a collection of documents about Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the government's favorite drug-education program for children. Managed by a privately owned corporation, DARE America Inc., the program introduces children to "drugs" through classes taught by uniformed police officers (thereby commonly introducing the concept that drugs = excitement = adventure, etc.) Originally, the page this links to was registered as the domain, dare.org, by Nick Merrill, webmaster for Calyx.Net. It now also includes Jim Rosenfield's "Think for Yourself" DARE collection, featuring the best of the science and commentary about DARE along with abundant web-based reference material, including pro-DARE networks. In 1997 DARE America Inc. campaigned to take away the rights for the domain. Inasmuch as they maintain their site at http://www.dare-america.com/, one assumes they just wanted to make sure their opposition couldn't use dare.org. (See the "Friends of dare.org" page and you'll understand why.) The domain rights remain under dispute, and the dare.org domain unused. Portland NORML volunteered to archive the dare.org site in June 1998.
Drug Law 101: How People Like You Get Locked up for Decades, from Prison Life, January-February 1996. A brief legal history about why drug offenders get mandatory minimums while killers, rapists and other real criminals get out early.
Dutch secret: management of problems, from The Oregonian, July 12, 1994. Syndicated columnist Georgie Ann Geyer observes that the Dutch "have constructed their drug policy on the principle of 'social peace.' The Dutch actually hate drugs, but they also treat addiction as a reality of modern life, one that can be somewhat contained if treated primarily as a health matter. . . . After severe outbreaks of heroin and cocaine addiction started here with the 'flower children' of the early '70s, the Dutch came on the idea of 'harm reduction.' That meant not only stressing a health response to addiction as opposed to a police response, but also giving an unusual discretion to the police. Even a heroin pusher's treatment would depend upon his behavior. In short, rewards work toward the goal of 'social peace.'"
Fed Dope Bureau Censors Drug Info, from the April 1984 High Times. William Mayer of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration says the purge of 1970s NIDA titles had to be undertaken because back then there existed "people who worked for NIDA who were actually advocating normalizations involved with marijuana laws."
Fooling the Bladder Cops also known as the FWI (Frequently Wanted Information), by Justin Gombos. Text version
Grow More Pot, by Jello Biafra, from "I Blow Minds for a Living," a brief summary of Jack Herer's "The Emperor Wears No Clothes."
Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material, an excerpt from USDA Bulletin No. 404, Washington, D.C., October 14, 1916. Followed by commentary on Bulletin 404 from Jack Herer.
Hemp News, all 37 issues, a 1.7-megabyte compendium of wire stories covering cannabis and drug-policy news for almost three years, from Nov. 10, 1992, through Oct. 16, 1995. Paul Stanford, president of Tree-Free EcoPaper, originally compiled and posted "Hemp News" on the internet. Researchers and the curious alike can now easily access the entire archive at its first permanent web site. This link takes you to a directory listing each headline in every issue.
Listen To Be Heard an essay for activists by Rose Ann Fuhrman, from the April 1994 High Times. Remember to listen to what prohibitionists say, closely. Then try friendly persuasion, addressing their concerns, not yours.
Marijuana and AIDS by Peter Gorman, from the December 1994 High Times. Virtually the only medicine capable of treating the entire spectrum of side effects without causing harm to the user is marijuana. Naturally, it remains illegal.
Marijuana, Argument For Legalization, Column, from The National Review, May 14, 1990. Would you sacrifice a sick loved one on the altar of a failed policy?
More information about addiction and dependence, an excerpt from the chapter on "Addiction" in the book, "Mind Matters" (Houghton-Mifflin, 1988), by Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School, summarizing current scientific thinking.
The Myth of Marijuana's Gateway Effect, by John P. Morgan, M.D. and Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D., an authoritative, scientific debunking.
NIH Panel Says More Study Is Needed to Assess Marijuana's Medicinal Use, from The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 19, 1997. One of the most detailed write-ups of the February 1997 National Institutes of Health conference on medical marijuana.
Pinch Hitters for Defense, Popular Mechanics, December 1941. The Ford Motor Company has completed an experimental automobile with a plastic body reported to withstand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting. The plastic is molded under pressure of 1,500 pounds per square inch from a recipe of 70 percent cellulose fibers from wheat straw, hemp and sisal.
Pot's Big Bucks, from the Utne Reader, January-February 1995. As reported by California Lawyer, domestic marijuana production is worth $42 billion yearly. According to DEA estimates, notes the legal periodical, America's consumers spend more green on smoke than on the silver screen: Pot's contribution to the gross national product dwarfs the motion picture industry's 1992 receipts of $26 billion and the television industry's paltry $18 billion.
Proposition P. For some reason, nobody until now has posted on the Web the text of the medical-marijuana initiative endorsed by 80 percent of San Francisco voters in November 1991. This file also includes Resolution 141-92, implementing Proposition P, adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in August 1992. Oregon reformers should not try this at home, however: Local democracy is illegal in Oregon. Proposition P-style local measures interfere with the power bestowed on Oregon state and county officials and other antidemocratic forces by themselves to deprive citizens of their lives, liberties and health, according to the whims of police, judges and other powers that be. Text file
Reefer Madness, an editorial by Abbie Hoffman in The Nation, November 21, 1987. Who remembers the anti-drug hysteria whipped up the Reagan administration and the Republican-owned American mass media in the 1980s? Remember when Reagan in 1986 said illegal-drug users were "as dangerous to our national security as any terrorist"? Then, in 1987, Reagan's nominee for the Supreme Court, Douglas Ginsburg, admitted to youthful indiscretions with the same weed that, way back then, about 7 million Americans had been arrested for since 1965. Suddenly, Reagan did an about-face, characterizing Ginsburg's decision to smoke marijuana as a "youthful fancy" that should be forgiven. For those who were not already among the power elite, however, as in the Red Menace of the early 1950s, loyalty oaths were the order of the day - this time, in the form of urine tests. Unfortunately, urine testing as commonly performed was and still is very inaccurate. Extrapolating from margin-of-error figures supplied by manufacturers of standard drug tests (5 percent) and instances of laboratory mishandling documented by the Centers for Disease Control (15 to 20 percent), one can easily agree with a Northwestern University report claiming a national error rate of up to 25 percent. That would mean roughly one of every four persons tested for controlled substances is probably still being wrongly fired, not hired or denied promotion.
Reefer Madness, August 1994, The Atlantic Monthly. The first half of the two-part series, including follow-up letters from the November issue. "Marijuana has been pushed so far out of the public imagination by other drugs, and its use is so casually taken for granted in some quarters of society, that one might assume it had been effectively decriminalized. In truth, the government has never been tougher on marijuana offenders than it is today. In an era when violent criminals frequently walk free or receive modest jail terms, tens of thousands of people are serving long sentences for breaking marijuana laws."
Marijuana and the Law, September 1994, The Atlantic Monthly. The second half of the two-part series, including follow-up letters from the December issue. "Nowhere are the perverse consequences of mandatory-minimum sentencing more apparent than in the enforcement of marijuana laws. Minor offenders now crowd federal and state prisons, at a time when many of those convicted of violent crimes are quickly returned to the streets. ... Our incarceration rate has now reached about 350 per 100,000 (almost six times as high as that of a century ago). While the number of drug offenders being sent to state prisons rose by 1,100 percent from 1980 to 1992, the number of violent offenders who were being imprisoned increased by only 50 percent. ... In 1992, of the marijuana felons sent to federal prison 58 percent had no relevant criminal history at the time of sentencing; 91 percent were not considered organizers, leaders, managers, or supervisors of any drug organizations; and 92 percent did not own a firearm at the time of their arrest."
The Role of Cognitive Errors in the Drug Policy Debate an essay for activists by David Hadorn.
Smoke Alarm from Reason magazine, May 1996. Anti-drug forces are making claims about pot that once were made about cigarettes.
Turn On, Tune In, Get Well, from New Scientist, March 15, 1997. Last month, at the request of the US National Institutes of Health, a group of experts spent two days reviewing all the evidence. After scrutinizing the few scientific studies that have been done, and listening to doctors and their patients who say they have benefited from the drug, the panel concluded that marijuana could be useful for treating glaucoma, nausea brought on by chemotherapy, AIDS-related wasting, and the symptoms of other diseases.
U.S. Officials Joined Mexican Drug Smugglers from The Sacramento Bee February 18, 1996.
The U.S. Constitution (void where prohibited by law).
Users Off The Hook, from the Vancouver, British Columbia Sunday Province, June 18, 1995. Simple drug possession in Vancouver will no longer be prosecuted under new federal government guidelines. "We were simply indicating the system is badly overtaxed and we have more drug cases than we can deal with," explained Tony Dohm, of the Justice Department. "It doesn't make sense to criminalize the chemical alteration of consciousness with some drugs when we allow people to do it with tobacco and alcohol," said Prof. Neil Boyd, head of Simon Fraser University's criminology department. Most Northwesterners have been kept unaware that peace has broken out just a few hundred miles north.
Valley of the Nerds, from the July 1991 GQ, rather dispels the prohibitionist notion that illegal-drug use is invariably bad for productivity. The computer industry in particular has a fascinating historical association with psychotropic substances.
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