Saturday, February 11, 2006

Steve Steiner: Guilty of murder?

The Associated Press is reporting that an unfriendly committee has voted to table New Mexico's medical marijuana bill, likely killing it for the session.
"Why are you trying to kill us?'' Essie DeBonet, 61, of Albuquerque shouted at committee members as the vote sank in after an emotional hearing on the proposal.

DeBonet said she has suffered from AIDS for 18 years and needs marijuana to control the pain without giving her nausea that prevents her from eating.

Reena Szczepanski of the Drug Policy Alliance Network, which lobbied for the bill, said supporters will try to regroup and get the committee to reconsider the measure before the session ends.

"We're really disappointed, absolutely heartbroken,'' she said.
In related news, the Santa Fe New Mexican ran an article exposing Steve Steiner's potentially illegal lobbying activities in the state.
Ironically, Steiner's group is partly funded by the company that makes the drug that killed his teenage son.


According to DAMADD's Web site, Perdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, is a sponsor of the organization.

Several other large pharmaceutical companies, including Jannsen, Bristol-Meyers, Roche, Alpharma, UCB, Endo, Cephalon, Teva and Boehringer Ingelheim, also support DAMADD. "Big (pharmaceuticals), they see what's happening," Steiner said. "They gave us funding unrestricted."


The pharmaceutical industry never has been visibly active in opposing medical-marijuana legislation in New Mexico.

But the industry -- which contributed more than $97,000 to New Mexico political campaigns in 2002 and more than $56,000 in 2004 -- stands to lose money if marijuana became a free and legal treatment.

Prescription drugs to combat nausea and other symptoms, as some supporters say marijuana can do, may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.
Good to see the mainstream press finally starting to expose this pharmagoon's antics.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Steve Steiner could be in big trouble

Melissa at D'Alliance has the scoop on Steve Steiner's potentially illegal lobbying activities against the New Mexico medical marijuana bill here and here. And he's not even good at it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Student journalists cover SSDP

SSDP continues to rack up media hits this week, with great pieces in campus papers like the Daily Illini and the Stanford Daily.

All college students out there should get in touch with the SSDP national office and make sure that your campus and local newspapers have a copies of our press releases. Getting these issues covered in campus papers is a great way to spread SSDP's message and to recruit new members for our chapters. Give us a call at 202.293.4414 for more information.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Israeli gov't to reformers: Just shut up

The Green Leaf political party in Israel is upset that they've been banned from a high school's mock elections.
Green Leaf's platform, which was unveiled Monday at a news conference in Tel Aviv, calls for the legalization of soft drugs, whose use would not entail punishment unless carried out in the presence of minors. It also calls for criminal cases to be closed for those convicted of using soft drugs.

The party's platform advocates allowing people to grow a certain number of cannabis plants for personal use, or buying it in special shops located in industrial areas, which would operate only in the evening hours.

"Green Leaf is not advocating free drug use. We're in favor of legalizing cannabis, like cigarettes and alcohol, with age and sales restrictions," Wachtel said.
Yeah, good thing this dangerous message is being kept out of high schools. It's a mitzvah those Israeli school officials are so resolute in making sure that young people don't hear an alternate perspective on the Drug War...

And check this out:

In the comments section under the article, someone with an Israeli government e-mail address posted the following rant, with the title "Drugs are a Modern Plague in Israel."
With respect to those who wish to legalize marijuana, research has shown that use of light drugs does lead to use of hard drugs. All drugs are addictive and can pose life threatening conditions whether by the physical reaction in one`s own body, impaired activities (like driving under the influence) which can hurt or kill others, or by doing things high that one would never do sober and putting one`s one life at risk as well as that of others.

To the writer from the US who is more concerned about our young people in Israel eating calamari and pork, let me point out that eating treif is rarely life threatening in and of itself, unless you were to choke or eat food that is neither handled or cooked properly.

I will also note that eating treif does not harm others. Observance of mitzvot is a personal thing, as is tshuva. One can much more easily give up eating bacon and lobster than an addiction. Please join us in the war on drugs.
Actually, the "gateway" theory has been disproved by reputable research. Let me also point out that drugs themselves, like treif, are neither inherently safe nor dangerous. Just as some people choke on trief or make bad decisions with drugs, many people eat trief without choking or use drugs without any serious negative repercussions.

It's a sad situation when government anti-drug officials spew falsehoods to prop up their disastrous policies. It's even more disturbing when alternative perspectives are stifled in the important debate about drug use and abuse and drug policies.

Sound familiar, Americans?

The Green Leaf party has the right idea, though:
"We'll teach Blich's principal a lesson in civics," said Green Leaf chairman Boaz Wachtel.
Apparently, the British Columbia Marijuana Party in Canada ran into that same political discrimination problem during the last provincial election.

Monday, February 06, 2006

USA Today on HEA Drug Provision

USA Today has a piece on Congress scaling back the HEA Drug Provision. The article also mentions SSDP's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, as well as the constitutional challenge that SSDP and CHEAR are working on with the ACLU.

I love the juxtaposition set up by the article's last two paragraphs:

The law has had a rocky history. It was the brainchild of Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., who said it would deter students from using or selling drugs, encourage abusers to get treatment and hold students accountable for taxpayer money. Souder also introduced the bill to soften the law, saying it reached beyond his intent.

But a congressionally created advisory committee suggested last year that the drug issue be dropped, calling it "irrelevant" to aid eligibility.

It really is ridiculous that Congress won't even follow the recommendation of their own appointees. What's even more crazy is that lawmakers are looking to someone like Mark Souder as a leader on the issue.

That's just B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Drug Czar has to sit this play out

Word has it that this year's Super Bowl will be the first one in a long time not to be interrupted by the Drug Czar's offensive advertisements. Want to know why?

He can't afford it!

That's right, due to poor performance, Congress has cut the Drug Czar's allowance for advertising down 44 percent in just five years. Those coveted gametime spots are just too costly this year.

Here's to a Drug War propaganda-free game!