zach (zra) wrote in goplobby,

Sorry to anybody who has seen this already...


Today's topics:

2004: The Year In Review
NORML's Top Ten Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

#1: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Whether Feds Can Prosecute
Medical Marijuana Patients
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in late November to determine
whether patients who use marijuana in compliance with state laws are
constitutionally protected from federal arrest and prosecution. "If our
Constitution means anything, it should mean that 'the war on drugs' cannot
be made to be a war on the quality of life of the chronically or
terminally ill," NORML stated in an amicus curaie filed with the Court on
behalf of the respondents, patients Angel Raich and Diane Monson. The
Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case by March 2005. Read the
full story at:

#2: Voters Nationwide Embrace Marijuana Law Reform Proposals
Voters in 2004 approved numerous ballot proposals liberalizing marijuana
laws, including a statewide measure in Montana legalizing the use of
medicinal cannabis for medical purposes, as well as several municipal
proposals depenalizing the possession of marijuana for personal use. Read
the full story at:

#3: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2003 Hit Record High
Police arrested an estimated 755,187 persons for marijuana violations in
2003, the highest annual total ever recorded in the United States,
according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 2004 Uniform Crime
Report. A marijuana smoker is now arrested every 42 seconds in America.
Read the full story at:

#4: Cannabinoids Treat Pain, Protect Brain Cells And Delay
Neurodegenerative Disease Progression, Studies Say
Clinical studies published in 2004 reported that cannabinoids may aid in
the treatment of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including
Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as
aid in the treatment of pain and obesity. Read the full story at:

#5: NORML Activists Tell Congress: "We're Here. We Smoke. We Vote."
Hundreds of marijuana law reformers from around the nation convened in
Washington, DC in April to participate in NORML's first-ever Congressional
Lobby Day. "There's no substitute for face-to-face contact between
constituents and their elected officials," NORML's outgoing Executive
Director Keith Stroup said. "The intent of NORML's first annual
Congressional Lobby Day was to encourage hundreds of marijuana law
reformers to begin careers as 'citizen lobbyists,' and to urge them to
replicate their efforts not only in Washington, but also in their home
districts." Read the full story at:

#6: Canada To Authorize Prescription Use Of First-Ever Medical Cannabis
Health Canada issued a "Qualifying Notice" in December for the approval
Sativex, an oral spray consisting of natural cannabis extracts, for the
treatment of neuropathic pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Produced by the British biotechnology firm GW Pharmaceuticals, Sativex is
a whole plant medicinal cannabis extract containing precise doses of the
cannabinoids THC and cannabidiol (CBD). Health Canada is expected to
finalize marketing authorization for Sativex by early 2005. Read the full
story at:

#7: Feds To Employ Hair, Sweat And Saliva Testing For Government Workers
Guidelines proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
in 2004 would allow federal agencies to collect samples of employees'
hair, sweat and saliva to test for illicit drugs. About 400,000 federal
workers are subject to federal drug testing and stand to be impacted by
the new regulations, which would also clear the way for the expanded use
of alternative testing technologies in the private business sector. Read
the full story at:

#8: Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Hemp Foods Ban
The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in February struck down Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations criminalizing the possession
and manufacture of edible hemp seed or oil products that contain trace
amounts of THC. Read the full story at:

#9: Researchers Propose Per Se Guidelines For Cannabis And "Drugged
Laws prohibiting motorists from operating a vehicle with any detectable
level of marijuana or marijuana metabolites in the driver's blood or urine
improperly classify occasional marijuana smokers as impaired, concluded a
report presented in August at the 17th International Conference on
Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS). Read the full story at:

#10: Britain: Pot Reclassification Finally Takes Effect
Long-awaited British legal reforms downgrading marijuana from a Class B to
a Class C scheduled drug took effect in January, marking the first
substantial change to the nation's 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act in more than
30 years. Read the full story at:
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