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Drug Czar Circulates Fraudulent Document at Press Conference

PRESS RELEASE from California NORML 

Contact: Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858                                             Jan. 5, 1997

Drug Czar Defames Prop. 215 Supporters Using Phony Display Of Marijuana 'Uses'

Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey used a phony display of supposed medical uses of marijuana, falsely attributed to medical marijuana authority Dr. Tod Mikuriya, to ridicule Prop. 215 proponents at his press conference last Monday, Dec. 30, 1996.

The display, fraudulently captioned "Dr. Tod Mikuriya's (215 Medical Advisor) Medical Uses of Marijuana" listed such applications as "recalling forgotten memories," and "writer's cramp," which McCaffrey singled out for ridicule in charging Prop. 215 proponents with "Cheech and Chong medicine."

Dr. Mikuriya, a longtime advocate of medical marijuana who did not have a formal position with the Prop. 215 campaign, flatly denies that the list is his. Supporters of Prop. 215, including Dennis Peron and Dale Gieringer, say they have no idea where the list came from.

"This chart is a fraud," says Gieringer, "Neither Dr. Mikuriya nor any other doctor we know of has ever advocated marijuana for writer's cramp, forgotten memories, or similar, ludicrous misuses. Once again, our government is resorting to gross lies in a vain attempt to discredit the needs of medical marijuana patients.

"Such defamation sadly illustrates the bankruptcy of this administration's drug policy. It's no wonder that kids aren't listening to our drug authorities when they spread lies like this. If they're really concerned about sending the right message, they should start telling the truth.

"Prop 215 is in no way intended to 'legalize' marijuana for kids, nor to undermine the country's food and drug laws. Rather, it is intended to protect the seriously ill from criminal punishment for using marijuana as medicine. Czar McCaffrey has no right to threaten physicians for approving the use of marijuana by seriously ill patients who need it for medicine. The federal government should respect the will of the five million Californians who approved Prop. 215."

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