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(The articles below are posted at other domains. Portland NORML's Articles section and news archive also contain extensive information on just about every subject you could think of related to cannabis and drug policy.)Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do - The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes In Our Free Country, the complete text of Peter McWilliams' book. This year we will spend $50 billion jailing fellow citizens for "crimes" that did not harm the person or property of another. In 700 pages McWilliams explains how nonsensical (and harmful) this all is.
Dan Baum: Digging the Drug War Dirt, from High Times, January 1995. An interview with the former Wall Street Journal reporter about his new book, "Smoke & Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure."
Don't Forget the Hype: Media, Drugs, and Public Opinion, by Micah Fink, September 1992, from Best of Extra! a publication of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). In spring 1986, when the media "discovered" crack, the percentage of the public identifying "drugs" as "the No. 1 problem facing the nation" climbed from 3 percent to 13 percent in three months. A similar shift occurred in 1989, when the number of people who identified drugs as the most serious problem leapt from 23 percent in June to 65 percent in September. The statistics, however, indicate that illegal-drug use was declining throughout the 1980s. The public's sudden concern over the "drug crisis" can best be attributed to a huge increase in fear-mongering hype, as evidenced by the publishing record of The New York Times, whose lead is followed by media around the nation. (Click on their graph to enlarge it.)
Drug Testing and Labor Productivity; Estimates Applying a Production Function Model, shows that companies that use drug tests on their workers suffer a loss in productivity of nearly 20 percent. By Edward Shepard and Thomas Clifton. Le Moyne College Institute of Industrial Relations Research Paper Number 18, September 1998:1-30. [More details.]
The Effective National Drug Control Strategy was released March 3, 1999, by the Network of Reform Groups, a coalition of two dozen organizations representing more than 100,000 people working for more sensible drug policies. The report uses government data and independent research to show current policies have failed to protect America's children from drug abuse and failed to reduce the availability of cocaine and heroin. The report also suggests a comprehensive alternative strategy.
Encyclopaedia Britannica on "Hemp" (1856). The 1911 "Hemp" entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica is here.
Getting Off Drugs: The Legalization Option, by Walter Wink, from the February 1996 Friends Journal. The Quaker commitment to nonviolence has direct implications for the United States' failed drug war. It is a spiritual law that we become what we hate. The drug war is over, and we lost. We merely repeated the mistake of Prohibition. The harder we tried to stamp out this evil, the more lucrative we made it, and the more it spread. Our forcible resistance to evil simply augments it. An evil cannot be eradicated by making it more profitable. This nation is addicted to the use of force, and its armed resistance to the drug trade is doomed to fail precisely because the drug trade perfectly mirrors our own values. We condemn drug traffickers for sacrificing their children, their integrity, and their human dignity just to make money or experience pleasure - without recognizing that these are the values espoused by the society at large. We are the enemy, and we cannot face that fact. So we launched a half-hearted, half-baked war against a menace that only mirrors ourselves.
Interview - Lynn Zimmer: Drug War Truths, Drug War Lies, High Times, February 1997. Lynn Zimmer, sociologist, researcher, NORML Board member and co-author (with Dr. John Morgan) of Marijuana Myths/Marijuana Facts, talks about the role the criminal-justice system plays in exacerbating the harm caused by the war on drugs, and examines several pseudoscientific lies about marijuana that should finally be laid to rest.
Jury Power or Legal Anarchy? from PDXS magazine, Portland's alternative newsweekly, Vol. 5, No. 25, "First part o' April, 1996." A report on the Fully Informed Jury Association and Portland activist Floyd Ferris Landrath, who organizes FIJA volunteers to hand out information to jurors at the Multnomah County Courthouse.
Just Because You're Paranoid ..., from PDXS newsmagazine, Volume 06, Number 05, late half of June 1996. It's not easy being a marijuana-law reform activist in Oregon. For example, Paul Stanford, a chief petitioner for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 1997 (which didn't get on the ballot), continues to battle incessant dirty tricks aimed at his business and family.
Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance. A relatively lengthy executive summary concludes that "THC encourages greater caution." Published in November 1993 by Hindrik W. J. Robbe and James F. O'Hanlon Sponsoring Agency: U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 400 Seventh Street, S.W. Washington, DC 20590.
Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, the nearly 300-page report on medical marijuana was released March 17, 1999, by the Institute of Medicine, affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences. An html version has also been ocr'd and posted by DrugSense. An excellent summary, far better than the report's, has been posted by the Marijuana Policy Project.
Maximizing Harm: A book about the drug war's losers and winners, published online in 1999 by Stephen Young.
Reefer Madness - The Federal Response to California's Medical-Marijuana Law, from The New England Journal of Medicine, August 7, 1997. 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. There is certainly sufficient evidence to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug. Unlike quack remedies such as laetrile, marijuana is not claimed to be a treatment in itself; instead, it is used to help patients withstand the effect of accepted treatment that can lead to a cure or amelioration of their condition. As long as a therapy is safe and has not been proved ineffective, seriously ill patients (and their physicians) should have access to whatever they need to fight for their lives.
Todd McCormick: A Prescription for Pot Peace, by Peter Gorman, from the December 1995 High Times. Afflicted with a rare form of cancer at age two, Todd McCormick spent most of his early childhood in and out of hospitals and operating rooms. At nine, with his doctor's approval, he began smoking marijuana to relieve the pain and nausea of radiation treatments. In December 1994, while in Amsterdam for the Cannabis Cup, a friend suggested he get a prescription for medical marijuana, which he uses for his chronic pain. He did, and subsequently discovered that the preamble to the United Nations' Single Convention Treaty, which outlawed cannabis around the world, made a special provision to allow people to carry and use prescription drugs internationally that were illegal in some countries but legal in the country they were prescribed in.
US Government: No Link Between Marijuana Decrim and Increased Pot Use, by Paul Armentano of NORML, High Times, February 1997. Until somebody in the drug policy reform movement writes a comprehensive FAQ reviewing the evidence that dispels the "slippery slope" myth (that reform will lead to increased marijuana use), this column will serve well. The government's own facts flatly contradict its prohibitionist claims.
The War on Drugs is Lost, from The National Review, February 12, 1996. Includes the full text of essays by publisher William F. Buckley Jr.; Ethan A. Nadelmann, a scholar and researcher; Kurt Schmoke, the mayor of Baltimore and a former prosecutor; former police chief Joseph D. McNamara; Robert W. Sweet, a federal judge and former prosecutor; psychiatrist Thomas Szasz; and Steven B. Duke, a law professor.
What To Do If You Get Stopped By The Police? You should say, "I do not consent to a search; Am I free to go; I want a lawyer."
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