DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network


DRCNet Announcements, 2/4/97

Dear DRCNet Subscribers:

We have four media-related announcements in this message, but first we wanted to take a moment to thank the many people who helped us through our fiscal crisis last month. The response far exceeded our expectations. We plan to thank you all individually, but have been slowed down somewhat by various illnesses that have been going around this winter season. While we are still seeking the major funding that will keep our payroll going, at least we have money with which to pay our outside bills now. Our need to raise funds from members is ongoing, so if you haven't ever made a donation to DRCNet, please consider doing so. Our online registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html can take pledges or credit card donations, and is encrypted in order to protect your private information from Internet snoops. Or feel free to call in your donation at (202) 362-0030 (voice) or 362-0032 (fax).

Here are the announcements:

1) Once again, NBC has given the green light to Dateline for its story on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or DARE program for tonight, Tuesday, February 4.

The only catch is Clinton's State of Union address: no one knows how long it will run. If Clinton does not go on too long, Dateline will air after NBC's coverage of the address (about 10:30pm EST, but check local listings). If Clinton's speech runs overtime, NBC may still air Dateline, but it will reduce the show by a segment (if it isn't cancelled altogether), which could mean cutting the DARE story.

2) Chuck Thomas, of the Marijuana Policy Project, will appear on Court TV's "Cochran & Grace" program at 10:00pm EST, tonight, Tuesday, February 4.

3) DRCNet advisory board member Eric Sterling will appear tonight, Tuesday, February 4, on "Us the Folks" on KPFT (90.1 FM) in the Houston, TX area. It will start at 8:00pm with a tape of Eric's seminal speech at the 1991 Colorado Bar Association Convention, explaining how the war on drugs violates all the amendments of the Bill of Rights, which will be followed with Eric live at 9:00pm to speak and answer listener questions.

4) The Nightline coverage of the medical marijuana issue was excellent. ONDCP Chief Counsel Pat Seitz debated Jerome Kassirer, MD, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. It was interesting to see a lawyer (Seitz) who works for a soldier (Barry McCaffrey) who works for a lawyer (Bill Clinton) tell the editor of the top medical journal in the world what is and isn't medicine.

Not surprisingly, Seitz contradicted herself during the discussion. First, she noted that no medical marijuana research has taken place since the 1980's. Later, she claimed that "90's science has discredited marijuana as a medicine."

Clearly, for 90's science to have discredited marijuana as a medicine, it is necessary for 90's science to have examined the medical marijuana question. But as Seitz stated herself, no such research has taken place since the 80's.

Seitz and McCaffrey's self-contradictions are nothing new. A January 8th press release from Americans for Medical Rights detailed the following contradictory statements from ONDCP:

McCaffrey has been caught in other lies as well. On December 3, in a press conference attended by the international media, McCaffrey presented a chart titled "Dr. Tod Mikuriya's Medical Advisor) Medical Uses of Marijuana", which listed such applications as "recalling forgotten memories," and "writer's cramp". McCaffrey used the chart to charge Prop. 215 proponents with "Cheech and Chong medicine." But Mikuriya (a member of DRCNet's advisory board) denied that the list was his. It turns out that ONDCP had found an article by Mikuriya on the world-wide-web, which discusses the 19th century medical literature on cannabis. There was nothing in the article to indicate that Mikuriya advocates use of marijuana to treat those conditions.

All in all, hearing government's drug bureaucrats speak makes one feel as if one is inside the novel "1984", listening to Big Brother's slogans -- war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

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