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(The lowest priced high grade marijuana in Holland is produced by the Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana in Rotterdam, Holland. To learn about the history of the SIMM, click here . ) (Sept. 23, 2002 ; telephone conversation with James and Linda Burton ; Directors ; Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana (SIMM) ; Rotterdam, Netherlands ; tel. 011-31-10-479-2850) (note to MAC users ; if this link is positioned incorrectly, hit the "back" and "forward" buttons on your browser until it is positioned correctly. This problem is due to a bug in IE for the MAC.)
The SIMM supplies the highest quality marijuana at the lowest price in Holland. Many patients simply cannot afford the prices for marijuana charged by cannabis coffee shops.  At this moment, there is no government subsidy for prescription marijuana in Holland.

James and Linda Burton have just informed NORML Canada that since August 2001 they have been producing all of their pharmaceutical grade marijuana in a glass-house (greenhouse).  Only organic (eco) methods are used  which means that no chemical fertilizers or chemical insecticides are utilized.  Electric HID lamps are still used to supplement natural sunlight.  The marijuana produced is tested by a certified medical testing company, TNO of Leiden and Zeist for THC, CBN, and CBD content, as well as 65 different chemicals commonly found in agricultural produce such as pesticides and fertilizers.  James and Linda are hopeful that soon their certified organic medical marijuana will soon be available again in Dutch pharmacies by prescription.

James mentioned that he had recently visited Italy and noticed that marijuana is easily available on every street corner, and in many pubs and bars, but that attempting to import marijuana into Italy would be extremely difficult due to strict border checks with drug dogs, etc.

Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana (SIMM)
Postbus 2008
3000CA Rotterdam

(31 Dec. '99) MINOR  Error Correction.  For over 4 years, NORML Canada has publicly stated that  the Iorfida/NORML Canada court victory in October 1994, which was not appealed by the Crown Attorney General in September 1995, was an all Canada win. This was true. But a minor technical error was made. We (yo) said the victory was in federal court. That was not true. The victory was in provincial court, but applied to all of Canada.

Why ? Because a constitutional question like this should not change substantially from province to province, court level to court level, policeman to policeman.

Original announcement was correct : this announcement.  Beginning about five months later, our first web site and a handful of print articles have asserted it was a federal win, until the NORMLIZER column by Paul Armentano appeared in the January 2000 issue of High Times, correcting this error technically, but omitting the preponderance of legal fact, that it was an all Canada win,  but in provincial court.

If Canada had recently split apart into a few separate countries, this would have been a provincially win. Of course there are provincial and national levels and separations of powers and duties within Canada.  But free speech is not provincial in nature.

In reality, the decision was made by a court with jurisdiction only in Ontario province.  This decision of Judge Ellen Mac Donald in Ontario provincial court  is not binding on the other provinces in strictest legal terms. But an agreement had already been reached between the Crown, provincial, and defense attorneys regarding just what was being considered. What was it ? Free speech concerning illicit drugs for all Canadians !

According to FREE legal counsel (thank you), it is quite likely that the issue of "literature concerning illicit drug use" is a dead issue in Canadian courts.
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Freedom Of Speech Is Affirmed In Canada

NORML Canada Wins Significant Court Case

September 28, 1995 ; King City, Ontario: A three-year legal struggle to allow citizens of Canada to have the freedom to purchase and read literature that describes or depicts "illicit drug use" has been won by Umberto Iorfida of Canada NORML. In a letter to Iorfida's attorney, The Attorney General (Ministry of Justice) indicates that the Canadian government has decided not to appeal the decision handed down on October 4, 1994 by the then Ontario Supreme Court [now called the Ontario Court of Justice, General Division]. That decision removed from the Criminal Code offensive language that made "literature" such as: NORML publications, High Times magazine, HEMP BC catalogs, Jack Herer's "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" and a myriad of other popular published works illegal in Canada.

Madame Justice Ellen MacDonald determined the inclusion of "literature" in the Criminal Code to be inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [The equivalent to the United States' Bill of Rights--ed.] and unjustifiable in a free and democratic society.

With this case finally put to rest, Iorfida and NORML Canada are now going to focus all of their attention on defeating Bill C-7. This legislation seeks to enhance the criminal penalties in marijuana-related cases.

For more information on NORML Canada's victory or information about how individuals (Canadians and Americans!) can contact and help NORML Canada's efforts to change the laws governing cannabis, please contact Umberto Iorfida @ (905) 833-3167 (p) / (905) 833-3682 (f).

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Three stories from Media Awareness Project (MAP) :

Even social workers in Holland have tolerated, even promoted, ecstasy, for many, many, years. Ecstasy was once the mainstay of an entire psychiatric movement. Then it took over acid's (LSD's) position as the main sacrament of the "rave" culture.

Ravers have been the main youth group, easily defined, which has been actively involved in drug legalization activities for many years, everywhere. I suspect that the Dutch police are attempting to split and divide the youth drug-legalization movement, there. Ravers in Holland take weed for granted. "Legalize" was a mantra for all the other drugs left in limbo. The Dutch are attempting to "draw the line".

Considering that rave originated underground, that may be where it's headed again. Got to stimulate those cravings for the prohibited things. Clever Dutch.

Full Legalization/Taxation/Regulation May be Premature.

1999, The Summer of Incarceration for Many Growers of Quality Marijuana

To legalize/regulate marijuana before releasing the many thousands of jailed drug war victims, is absolutely unthinkable ...

Related articles :
(25 Sept. '99, High Times) New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson calls for full decriminalization first.
(8 Sept. '99, High Times) Tax Act Initiatives in Oregon and Washington State.

One of the first things Umberto Iorfida and the web maintainer discussed soon after we met in January 1996, was that the "weakening and stagnation" of NORML Canada which had occurred in the late 1970's period, had occurred mainly due to conflict between the members over decriminalization versus full regulation/taxation/ legality.  A few years later, Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No", was the final fatal stab until Iorfida/Parker resuscitated NORML Canada parallel  with the U. S.  DEA medical approval hearings which culminated in Judge Francis Young's famous ruling.

Ironically, NORML Canada was fading as The Modern Cannabis Culture was just beginning. The late '70's, early '80's period, was pivotal in modern marijuana history.  Marijuana breeders in Northwest North America (both  in Canada and the U. S.) had been introducing new high potency sensimilla breeds such as Skunk, and serious home growing had begun.  Cannabis coffeeshops were functioning in Amsterdam, but the fare was mostly imported hashish. The first Cannabis Cup had taken place in Northern California.  The Contra - Cocaine events had not yet occurred. Research was increasingly appearing  that indicated marijuana might not be so bad.  It might even be good for some people. (see The Emperor Wears no Clothes, by Jack Herer, for an account of this period.)

The prospect of shutting down the beginnings of an underground cannabis culture in favor of an above ground regulated industry did not appeal to most marijuana users. For one thing, the real pioneers might wind up in jail while "big business" took over.

When "Just Say No" prohibition mania took over above ground, the leading cannabis seed breeders went underground ; to Holland and British Columbia mostly. The next 10 years would see a flourishing of home growing, seed breeding, and "marijuana as medicine".  Increasingly, marijuana buyers, when given the choice, began to buy the newer high potency locally produced marijuana over imported "standard commercial".

In 1999, the situation is very similar.  Marijuana legitimacy is practically at hand. But something is wrong.  What is wrong is that hundreds of thousands of marijuana growers, users, and dealers  are now behind bars. Alcohol prohibition did not end like this.  There is no reason to incarcerate "marijuana dealers" if marijuana dealing is no longer a crime.

As Governor Johnson says, let's decriminalize first. Let's get the people out of jail who don't belong there. That means dealers and growers as well as users.

Let's get the people out of jail who refused to inform on others.

NORML Canada does not oppose full legality at this moment, or at any time.  We oppose the marginalization and jailing of non-informant, pro-freedom, cannabis growers, dealers, and consumers.

To legalize/regulate marijuana before releasing the many thousands of jailed drug war victims, is absolutely unthinkable, in our opinion.  Let's release the prisoners, restore full citizenship rights, voting rights, and purge their criminal records.

These citizens could also VOTE and participate in any initiatives toward full legality, if released.  They could even apply for licenses and buy tax stamps.

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Report from NORML Canada European correspondent, Hans de Witt about  Euro-Parliament Elections June 10th :


Europe goes Regional

Thanks for the  article by B. v. Klaveren, in the June 1st NRC Handelsblad, in which he explains to us how this  Europe really functions. Funny that the first title of the piece was: "Europe more and more powerful" and above the second part, on the next page, it's called "National Parliaments more powerful than Eur. Parl."

This is, of course, because the Euro-parliament does not vote over laws, like national parliaments do, no they just advise the European Commission.  And a commission, well people know this from their local soccer-club, where they have an accountants commission, is a body that mostly checks, so it also advises; it advises the national governments to adjust their national laws to the Rules & Regulation of  Europe'  ..this could be a way to harmonize laws in Europe...   Still there is not a  a "European law". None.

Before this election, I only wanted to know Europe's policy towards ONE field of interest. DRUGS.  So, because I read at this site about this highly placed American (I think it was DEA chief Constantine himself), say: "The War on Drugs is Lost", thus I wanted to know, what is the European policy towards drugs ?

Call your own representative in Bruxelles! That's what they are there for! And if they
hang out in the streets, which they do a lot, you'll get their secretary, So VOTERS, do it!

So, after three days of telephoning Bruxelles, you get a load of information! I got at
least THREE A4 sheets full of totally incomprehensible language, well it was Dutch, but I couldn't make much of it. So, after a short course in European parliamentary thinking, and when I allow myself to get real angry, and in the middle of the night, then this following comes out:

European Policy
Substance Abuse and the Prevention of Drug Crime
We have to distinguish here between two matters; you have your health problems with sick citizens (harm reduction), and you have the prevention of crime (Justice  Department). In fact, this is the contradiction between Reagan's  War on Drugs' and the so called, so much celebrated Dutch Model: education, information, decriminalization, quasi-legalising, gedogen.

Europe already knows this for a certain time, and more specifically since Chirac scorned the Dutch approach so extremely in `95 I guess. (Dutch EP member Ms. D'Acona was then having physical hand-bag fights with other EP women.)  And it was since then that she went stirring in this issue. She was the chairwoman of a so called Committee on Civil Liberties, and this made a report about European drugs policy. (Click Here for the November 5, 1997 news release on this report.) And it advised the E.P. to advise to the Eur. Commission, to say to the member states that the Dutch Policy isn't so bad after all, after a LOAD of scientific publications, and blah blah blah....

Of course, certainly at that time, there was no way you speak out these words so directly ; that was European politically incorrect as hell. So they changed the words, and finally (I can imagine those meetings!) they came up with the advise to the Commission that it was best to leave the drugs-policy to the member-states themselves, thus protecting our Fine Dutch liberal policy... in a way (some guy in Bruxelles admitted this when I asked!) So, down to national, regional and local level... looking at experiments in different member states and a lot of scientific publications (European Observatory on Drugs, Lisbon, Portugal) and blah blah blah...

And so doing, only in May of this year, the Commission came finally with a Recommendation nr. #######.

And if you read that, you don't hardly see anything from what that original report from D'Ancona's Committee on Civil Liberties was saying ;  it's totally generalized and gone political (vague) ! I can not imagine ONE civilian - who is NOT going to vote next Thursday, who will make any sense out of this text...

In fact it says: Europe advises her member states to nicely find out their own way to handle this issue! So Go Your Own Way! Regionalize! So, what kind of Europe is that?

Hans de Witt,
Zaandam, June 8th, 1999
And what about Mr. Jan Stekelenburg, mayor of Tilburg, and a leading member of Kok's party, the PvdA  ? Mr. Stekelenburg is proposing that soft drugs be produced under the control of the local government in Tilburg.

 NRC Handelsblad, on 10 June, printed an article stating that Stekelenburg was unwavering in his intentions.

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(Exerpted from 2 June 1999, page 8b USA Today (European edition) newspaper)

A cocaine user's risk of heart attack multiplies 24 times during the first hour after using the drug, a study shows. The study, the first major attempt to uncover the long suspected link between cocaine and heart disease, indicates that cocaine significantly increases even a low risk person's danger of heart disease, says Murray Mittleman of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston.

"The average age of people in the study who suffered heart attacks soon after using cocaine was only 44," says Mittleman, lead author of the study in Circulation. "That's about 17 years younger than the average heart attack patient. Of the 38 cocaine users who had heart attacks, 29 had no prior symptoms of heart disease."

Researchers carried out the study between  1989 and 1996, interviewing 2,664 men and 1,282 women, ages 20 to 92, who had suffered heart attacks. Thirty-eight of them reported using cocaine the year before the interview; nine reported using the drug within an hour before their heart attacks.

(June 10, 1999) Georgia Supreme court ruling regarding "DUI Marijuana" reported by NORML U.S. and Iowa NORML : click here.

Decrim. Policy Growing in Georgia ?

The State of Georgia Attorney General's Office denies it, police deny it, lawyers deny it, but reports given to the NORML Canada web maintainer indicate that in many parts of Georgia, those caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana are paying fines, but not serving jail time.  However, records are kept and inserted into the national crime database available to all law enforcement in the United States and Canada, and maybe a lot of other places too. WHo knows ?

One report was of an individual caught by the Georgia State Marine Patrol (State Troopers on the waterways) in West Georgia. He was caught red-handed tossing a baggie into the water. The troopers retrieved it and arrested him.

He was ticketed, and paid a small fine that day.

Another individual was caught with about one roach in N. Georgia. He bailed himself out and was later informed by his lawyer that if he pleaded "guilty", the offense would be treated as a minor offense.

Another individual from S. Georgia informed the web maintainer that they obtained their weed from their parent, a policeman. That way, the parent felt the kid was not associating with informants (or lawyers).

The law has not changed, though ; only policy may have changed. It is likely that policy will vary from incident to incident, policeman to policeman, lawyer to lawyer, jailer to jailer, probation officer to probation officer, judge to judge, jailer to jailer, informant to informant until legislators make actual law changes which will actually benefit the citizens, right ? Does anybody even care about ordinary citizens anymore ?  I still wonder if parliaments even have the power to change laws anymore ?



(Nov. 3) District Will Not Issue Results of Marijuana Vote.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The District of Columbia Board of Elections, citing pressure from Congress, said Tuesday it would not release the results of a local ballot initiative aimed at legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In a statement released late Tuesday, Benjamin Wilson, chairman of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, said the board had been instructed by Congress that a District spending bill passed last month prevented not only certification of the election results, but their release to the public in any form.

The spending bill included an amendment that prohibits the use of any local funds to conduct the ballot initiative.

The American Civil Liberties Union last week filed suit in U.S. District Court to require the board to certify the results of the election and declare the ban unconstitutional.

The board of elections said Tuesday it would separately ask the court to decide whether it must abide by the First Amendment to insure the free speech rights of the District of Columbia citizens are protected or whether it must follow the prohibition'' passed by Congress.

Wilson noted that the initiative -- put on the ballot after supporters collected 32,000 signatures from D.C. voters -- was made part of the ballot and was distributed to absentee voters before Congress passed the D.C. spending bill on Oct. 21.

``Therefore, it was physically impossible as well as financially impracticable for the board to reprint and issue new ballots without including the test of Initiative No. 59,'' Wilson said.

He said the board would comply with the congressional directive and was reluctant to ``enter into a political dispute with Congress,'' but he said the board needed instruction from the court on how to proceed.

Wayne Turner, who spearheaded the campaign to legalize marijuana in the District, said board of election workers had been threatened by members of Congress with criminal contempt citations if they released the results of the vote.

``This makes me afraid,'' he said, calling the decision to withhold the vote tabulation ``a huge can of worms.''

``We worked so hard to collect these votes and get this initiative on the ballot. I just want to know how we did.''

The initiative was widely expected to pass in the District of Columbia, as were similar measures on the ballot in five other states including Washington.

21:33 11-03-98

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. All active hyper links have been inserted by AOL.


W. House dinner unites drug war vets from both sides

By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Drug war veterans from both sides of the trenches attended a White House state dinner on Wednesday for Colombian President Andres Pastrana, who vowed to win the battle against the country's infamous cocaine lords.

U.S. anti-drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey was joined at the gala event by outgoing Washington mayor Marion Barry -- who was jailed after a 1990 arrest for using crack cocaine but who won election to a fourth term in 1994.

Also on the guest list were U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the nation's top law enforcement officer, and Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner, whose publication has been the bible of the "sex-and-drugs-and-rock-and-roll" generation.

Wenner has been an outspoken advocate of marijuana legalization and a critic of the war on drugs.

Asked, as he was entering the dinner, what his connection was to Colombia, Wenner joked to reporters. "Is that a leading question of some kind? I view it as a leading question."

Wenner said he hoped to speak to McCaffrey during the dinner, but did not elaborate.

Rolling Stone this week published a special with Clinton on the cover and featuring an array of celebrities speaking out against further investigation of the president's sex-and-perjury scandal involving his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Said Wenner, "I spoke to him (Clinton) about a week and a half ago about it. He was excited about being on the cover again."

Barry said little as he walked into the dinner, letting his wife, Cora Masters Barry say the two had been to the White House several times but that this was their first state dinner.

As Barry met Pastrana in the receiving line, Pastrana encouraged a visit, "You are invited whenever you want," he said.

Other notable guests at the dinner included Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian artist Fernando Botero and "NYPD Blue" television actor Jimmy Smits.

During the two leaders' toasts, Clinton spoke of another well-known Colombian stimulant -- saying coffee helped fuel marathon negotiations the United States mediated between Israel and the Palestinians last week at Wye Plantation in Maryland.

"The United States remains captivated by the power of Colombian art, the force of Colombian literature and I might add, the strength of Colombian coffee," he said.

"If ever a prize is given to any of the people who negotiated the peace treaty at Wye, something will have to be given to Colombia, for without the coffee, it could not have occurred," he said.

Pastrana, in his toast, hailed Clinton as "the peacemaker of this generation" and voiced a determination to end the drug violence and civil strife crippling his country.

"After nearly 40 years of armed internal strife, we are determined to make peace. After too many years of drugs and the violence it brings, we are determined to win the war on drugs," Pastrana said.

02:37 10-29-98

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.



Drug or Medicine? Marijuana faces test at U.S. polls

By Andrew Quinn

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Is marijuana a medicine for the desperately ill, or the ``kindergarten of the drug industry'' designed to hook people into a life of addiction and despair?

These two opposing views of the cannabis plant will compete at the polls next week as voters in four states and the District of Columbia consider new state initiatives to allow the medical use of marijuana.

For embattled marijuana boosters, the new proposals in Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada are a ray of hope in a landscape grown dark with litigation.

While California and Arizona led the nation in 1996 by passing their own state marijuana initiatives, both have been effectively quashed by federal suits aimed at keeping marijuana subject to national narcotics laws.

``We're looking for a situation where science prevails,'' said Jim Gonzalez of the group Americans for Medical Rights, which is coordinating efforts to legalese medical marijuana use in the western states.

``We are not saying that marijuana is the only solution to nausea, chemotherapy or wasting disease. But is a solution for a number of patients, and those patients should not be made into criminals.''

But critics say the medical marijuana movement promotes drug abuse and criminal behaviour by ushering young people into what one judge has called ``the kindergarten of the drug industry.''

``Those who would surrender the war on drugs surrender our children to addiction, surrender our neighbourhoods to crime, and surrender our streets to violence,'' Gilbert Gallegos, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said in one typical anti-marijuana broadside.

The Clinton administration has been uncompromising in its opposition to medical marijuana. At a news conference this week, senior officials came out swinging, saying there was no official proof to back the contention that marijuana can help ease symptoms of AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other serious diseases.

``Smoked marijuana has not been tested (by the government),'' Dr. Don Vereen, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy said.

``We must keep an open mind about drugs with medical purposes, (but) before you vote, ask yourself: 'What other medicines do you smoke?' Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs and immune system.''

Barry McCaffrey, the administration's narcotics ``czar,'' dismissed the pro-marijuana camp as representing the thin edge of a wedge aimed at weakening America's anti-drug resolve.

``Let's have none of this malarkey (nonsense) on marijuana smoking by cunning groups working to legalise drugs,'' McCaffrey said. ``American medicine is the best in the world for pain management.''

That claim rings false for pro-medical marijuana groups in California, which have fought a long and ultimately unsuccessful battle to implement Prop. 215, the 1996 state law which allowed seriously ill people to use marijuana when advised to do so by their doctor.

Under relentless federal assault in the courts, the marijuana supply clubs that sprang up to provide people with the drug have been forced to close. The last, in Oakland, shut its doors this month -- leaving its 2,000 ``clients'' will little option but to turn to street dealers for the drug.

19:21 10-29-98

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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