A Year in the Life of Pot Prohibition

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Apr 7, 2001.

  1. By Kevin Christopher Nelson
    Source: Honolulu Weekly

    JANUARY 18
    Atlanta: Louis E. Covar Jr., 51, a quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident on July 4, 1967, who says he uses marijuana to relieve the pain from muscle spasms in his neck, is sentenced to seven years in prison after being accused of selling marijuana out of his home. Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sent Covar to prison after investigators found about 1.25 ounces of marijuana in his home. "We feel strongly he was selling out of his house," Richmond County DA Danny Craig said.

    Covar denied the charges, insisting the small amount was for his personal medicinal use. According to the Department of Corrections, the special care Covar will need will cost $258.33 a day - or more than $660,000 if he serves his full seven years. A typical prisoner costs taxpayers $47.63 per day.

    Quadriplegic To Stay In Home http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5333.shtml

    Arizona: Deborah Lynn Quinn, 39, born with no arms or legs, is sentenced to one year in an Arizona prison for marijuana possession, thus violating her probation on a previous drug offense - the attempted sale of 4 grams of marijuana to a police informant for $20. Quinn will require around-the-clock care for feeding, bathing and hygiene. Terry L. Stewart, Arizona Corrections Director, expressed his frustration: "I simply cannot understand how a judge can sentence a disabled woman to prison who presents absolutely no escape risk, no physical danger to the public, and who will be an extremely difficult and expensive person to care for at $345 per day, without exploring any alternative sentence measures such as intensive probation."

    Health Costs Earn Inmate Ticket Home http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5829.shtml

    The United States' prison and jail population surpasses 2 million people. Prisons are one of the fastest-growing expenses of government, costing about $100,000 to build a single prison cell and about $24,000 per year for each prisoner. Some 1.3 million U.S. inmates are currently serving time for "nonviolent offenses." One-quarter of the world's prisoners are now incarcerated in the "land of the free."

    Nations Prison Population Climbs To Over 2 Million http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread6671.shtml

    Honolulu: The Hawai‘i Medical Association comes out formally against the pending state medical-marijuana initiative. Heidi Singh, director of legislative and government affairs for the Hawai‘i Medical Association, said more studies should be done on medical marijuana, and that "physicians cannot in good faith recommend a drug therapy without clinical evidence to back it up."

    Madrid: The chemical in marijuana that produces a "high" shows promise as a weapon against deadly brain tumors, say Spanish scientists. In the study on rats a research team from Complutense University and Autonoma University in Madrid found that one of marijuana's active ingredients, THC, killed tumor cells in advanced cases of glioma, a quick-killing cancer for which there is currently no effective treatment. The scientists found that THC pumped into the tumors cleared the cancer in more than a third of the test rats. The drug also prolonged the life of another third by up to 40 days but was ineffective in the rest. The cancer did not come back in any of the survivors. Researchers are not sure why, but the Spanish team says THC caused a buildup of a fat molecule called ceramide, which provoked a die-off of the cancer cells.

    Study Indicates THC May Eradicate Brain Tumors http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread4956.shtml

    MARCH 2
    United Kingdom: Marijuana-like compounds ease tremors in mice with a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, researchers say in a study published in the British journal Nature that appears to corroborate patients who say pot helps them deal with the disease. "This lends credence to the anecdotal reports that some people with MS have said that cannabis can help control these distressing symptoms," said Lorna Layward, one of the study's authors. Layward heads the research arm of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Multiple Sclerosis Study Aided by Marijuana http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread4933.shtml

    MARCH 13
    Mondovi, Wisconsin: Mondovi police conduct a 3:30 a.m. raid at the home of medical-marijuana activist Jackie Rickert, seize a small amount of marijuana and search her home until 10 a.m. Rickert is 49, wheelchair-bound and weighs 90 pounds. Rickert suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and reflexive-sympathetic dystrophy, bone and muscle illnesses that keep her in constant pain and often unable to eat. She smokes marijuana to ease her pain and restore her appetite. Rickert had just missed being accepted into the federal government's Investigative New Drug program, which distributes a tin of 300 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes to eight legally protected American citizens each month. Rickert's daughter, Tammy, claims the police raid has left her mother a wreck. "She's tiny, frail," Tammy Rickert said. "She's not out to hurt anybody. She's trying to maintain some semblance of a quality of life. The marijuana, which the government pretty much told her she could use, helps a little. This whole thing is unbelievable."

    Mondovi Woman, 48, Won't Face Drug Charges http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5388.shtml

    MARCH 16
    New York City: An unarmed black security guard, Patrick Dorismond, waiting for a cab with his friend Kevin Kaiser, is shot dead by undercover New York City police officers conducting a marijuana "buy-and-bust." Two plainclothes detectives approached Dorismond asking if he would sell them "some weed." Dorismond rebuffed the men, a scuffle ensued and a third officer, Anthony Vasquez, rushed in, pulled out his revolver and fired a single bullet into Dorismond's chest. No drugs or other contraband were found on Dorismond's body. The shooting was the third time in 13 months plainclothes New York City police officers have shot and killed an unarmed black man. Under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, marijuana arrests in the city have risen from 720 in 1992, to 59,945 in the first 11 months of 2000.

    Unarmed Man Slain In Police Struggle http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5101.shtml

    APRIL 1
    Toronto: Canada's premier national newspaper, The National Post, editorializes in favor of legalizing marijuana: "Marijuana legalization has long been the subject of academic debate. The time has come to turn conjecture into law. Canada's police, judges and prosecutors have better things to do with their time than track down those who produce and consume a substance no more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco. We should begin the decriminalization of marijuana by immediately reducing the punishments that can be imposed for its possession to modest fines - and start thinking about how to regulate its use."

    Time To Legalize Pot http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5261.shtml

    APRIL 12
    Santa Cruz, California: The Santa Cruz City Council unanimously approves an ordinance making the city the first in the nation to legalize the production and sale of medical marijuana without a doctor's prescription, as long as it is sold at cost or given away.

    Santa Cruz Council OKs Cultivation Of Marijuana http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5476.shtml

    APRIL 25
    Honolulu: Despite the formal opposition of the Hawai‘i Diocese of the Catholic Church, the Hawai‘i State Senate passes medical-marijuana legislation, joining California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Alaska, Arizona and the District of Columbia in shielding medical marijuana patients from criminal prosecution.

    2000 Hawaii Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5510.shtml

    MAY 11
    Charleston, West Virginia: The West Virginia Supreme Court, voting 4-1, denies a "medical necessity" defense to Donna Jean Poling, a multiple-sclerosis patient in the terminal stages of her illness, who was arrested for growing marijuana in her home. Poling claimed that marijuana kept her symptom-free for three years preceding her 1998 arrest, after which her condition worsened dramatically.

    JUNE 9
    New York City: Human Rights Watch releases a study finding that Illinois is the worst state for racial disparity among jailed drug offenders. Illinois' black men are 57 times more likely than white men to be sent to prison on drug charges, and blacks comprise 90 percent of all prison admissions in Illinois for drug charges - the highest percentage in the country. Nationwide, federal studies show that white drug users outnumber black drug users 5 to 1, blacks make up about 62 percent of prisoners incarcerated on drug charges in the United States, compared with 36 percent of whites.

    More Whites Use Drugs, More Blacks Imprisoned http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5984.shtml

    JUNE 14
    Los Angeles: Bestselling author, cancer and AIDS patient and high-profile, medical-marijuana activist Peter McWilliams is found dead in his home. McWilliams, barred by a federal court order from using marijuana to counteract the extreme nausea caused by his AIDS drugs, is found dead on his bathroom floor, having choked to death on his own vomit. His federal prosecutors say they were "saddened by his death."

    McWilliams bestselling books included How to Heal Depression, Getting Over the Loss of a Love, Life 101 and Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes In Our Free Country.

    Peter McWilliams Passes Away http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread6069.shtml

    JULY 31
    Ontario, Canada: Ontario's top court rules unanimously (3-0) that Canada's law making marijuana possession a crime is unconstitutional, because it does not take into account the needs of Canadian medical-marijuana patients. The judges allow the current law to remain in effect for another 12 months to permit Parliament to rewrite it. However, if the Canadian government fails to set up a medical-marijuana distribution program by July 31, 2001, all marijuana laws in Canada will be struck down. The decision comes in the case of Terry Parker, an epileptic who had been denied a federal medical-marijuana exemption. Parker has been hospitalized over 100 times for injuries sustained during seizures.

    Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Decision http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread6571.shtml

    AUGUST 16
    Los Angeles: The American Medical Marijuana Association reports that medical-marijuana patient, grower and author of How to Grow Medical Marijuana, Todd McCormick, confined to federal prison while appealing his drug-possession conviction, was sent to solitary confinement. According to his mother, Ann McCormick, Todd went to the prison's medical office and requested the synthetic form of marijuana, Marinol, produced by Unimed Pharmaceuticals, that he had been taking prior to his incarceration. One day after Todd requested the legal medicine, the Feds ordered that he be drug-tested. When the results came back positive for marijuana, Todd was placed in solitary confinement. "The pain in his neck and back has been unbearable lately," said McCormick's mother. "Todd has a spinal fusion - the top five vertebrae were fused when he was 2 years old. A tumor had completely eaten the second vertebrae and the old fusion is now literally carving grooves in the base of his skull, prompting severe headaches as well. His left hip stopped growing when he was 9, a result of radiation treatments for childhood cancer. He has severe scoliosis, nerve damage in his upper back, shoulders and neck and severe muscle spasms in his lower back. He has received no medical treatment since January," said Mrs. McCormick.

    Benefit For Todd McCormick http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread5642.shtml

    AUGUST 20
    Seattle: An estimated crowd of 100,000 people gather at Myrtle Edwards Park for Hempfest 2000, calling for the legalization of marijuana for personal and medical use, as well as legalization of hemp for environmentally sustainable industrial uses. The event is the largest of its kind in the world, with no arrests reported.

    Hempfest 2000 Heavy On Toke-Lore http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread6779.shtml

    Santa Fe, New Mexico: Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader joins New Mexico's Republican Governor Gary Johnson in criticizing the nation's war on drugs, calling for the legalization of marijuana and reform of what Nader calls "self-defeating and antiquated" drug laws. "Addiction, no matter what kind of addiction, should not be criminalized," Nader says at a news conference with Johnson in Santa Fe. "It's got to be subjected to health programs and caring programs, because they work." Rehabilitating drug addicts gives a far better payoff than "criminalizing and militarizing the situation," he said. "Study after study has shown that, and yet somehow it doesn't get through to federal policy."

    Nader Says Decriminalize Marijuana http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread6977.shtml

    OCTOBER 16
    Washington, D.C.: U.S. Drug "Czar" Barry McCaffrey announces his resignation, effective January 6, 2001.

    McCaffrey To Leave White House Job http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread7358.shtml

    OCTOBER 16
    Washington, D.C.: The FBI releases its 1999 Uniform Crime Report. There were a record total of 704,812 U.S. marijuana arrests in 1999, or one every 45 seconds. Of those arrests, 620,541 (88 percent) were for simple marijuana possession while 84,271 (12 percent) were for sales/cultivation. During the Clinton administration, there were 4,175,357 marijuana arrests, a record for any U.S. presidency.

    Police Arrest More For Marijuana Than Murder http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread7555.shtml

    Election Day: Voters across the United States pass sweeping drug-law reform initiatives. In California, despite opposition from Governor Gray Davis, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, statewide police associations and prison guard unions, citizens vote 61-39 to pass Proposition 36, diverting nonviolent drug offenders into treatment rather than prison for first and second offenses. Proponents claim the move will save the state $150 million annually and will cancel the need for a new state prison. In Mendocino County, CA, voters approve Measure G by a 58-42 margin, decriminalizing personal use and cultivation of up to 25 marijuana plants. Nevadans vote 65-35 to pass Question 9 allowing qualifying patients to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes. In response, a self-appointed task force of state healthcare officials, the Nevada Medical Marijuana Initiative Work Group, moves to limit use of the drug to research studies, adding months if not years to approval time. Said Louis Ling, general counsel for the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy and part of the work group, "No matter what system gets passed, it's going to be a good long time before medical marijuana is available." By a 53-47 margin, Colorado voters pass Amendment 20, allowing qualifying patients to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants. Tom Strickland, U.S. attorney for Colorado, in a statement released on the afternoon of Nov. 7, says that his office will continue to "aggressively enforce federal drug laws, including the prohibition of marijuana, regardless of the passage of this ballot initiative." Utahns, by a margin of 69-31, pass Initiative B, denying government agencies the right to seize property from individuals before they are convicted of a crime. Salt Lake County District Attorney Dave Yocom responds, "Obviously we're going to rethink this and decide whether or not to work to get (the initiative) repealed during the next legislative session." Oregonians pass a similar property-seizure reform initiative, Measure 3 - the Oregon Property Protection Act - by a margin of 66-34. Measure 3 diverts drug forfeiture proceeds from police treasuries into drug treatment programs.

    Voters Approve Medical Marijuana http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread7601.shtml

    Washington, D.C.: In the case U.S. vs. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, 00-151, the U.S. Supreme Court takes on the issue of whether "medical necessity" is an acceptable exception to the federal law that makes marijuana distribution a crime. A decision is expected by June 2001.

    Supreme Court To Decide Medical Marijuana Case http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread7784.shtml

    Brussels, Belgium: The Liberal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and the Brussels coalition of Liberals, Socialists and Greens vote to end marijuana prohibition. As of January 1, 2001, Belgium, joining its neighbor The Netherlands in embracing tolerance, will "exempt from punishment possession, consumption and trade of up to five grams hashish or marijuana." Belgium is the host country of the European Union.

    Belgium Agrees To Legalize Cannabis http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread8378.shtml

    New York City: In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine released today, President Bill Clinton was asked if he thought "people should go to jail for using or even selling small amounts of marijuana?" Clinton replied, "I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be." Clinton added, "We really need a reexamination of our entire policy on imprisonment. … a lot of people are in prison because they have drug problems or alcohol problems and too many of them are getting out - particularly out of state systems - without treatment, without education, without skills, without serious efforts at job placement."

    Clinton: Pot Smoking Should Not Be Prison Offense http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread7920.shtml

    Kevin Christopher Nelson is a writer living in Bellingham, WA

    E-mail: kcnelson@premier1.net

    Complete Title: Marijuana 2000: A Year in the Life of Pot Prohibition

    Source: Honolulu Weekly (HI)
    Author: Kevin Christopher Nelson
    Published: March 28-April 3, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Honolulu Weekly Inc.
    Contact: letters@honoluluweekly.com
    Website: http://www.honoluluweekly.com/
  2. If we could have politicians look at things like this, perhaps America would be a better place for it's pot smokers and the tax-payers.
  3. lol i forwarded it to my gov and a senator email
  4. whoa this was posted in 2001?
  5. Yeah 2001 and nothing changed yet.
    But it is the same in Germany .. :( When u read thought things u have to listen to bands like Bad Religon or Anti-Flag :)

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