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POTENT QUOTES ON

CANNABIS and the LAW

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SAFETY

TOBACCO

SYNTHETIC THC

RECEPTORS

AMOTIVATION

GATEWAY THEORY

DRIVING

MEDICINE

PROHIBITION

CRIME

TRIAL & JURY

 PREGNANCY

LIFESTYLE

COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS

PSYCHOSIS

 

"Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed"

credited to President George Washington:

(Library of USA Congress 1794 vol. 33 p.270)

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INCIDENCE OF ACCLAIMED CANNABIS-RELATED PSYCHOSIS IN THE UK OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS:

The rate of general schizophrenia has stayed the same over recent years with 38,517 in 1998-99, going down a bit in the years in between and up

to 37,736 in 2002-2003.  Likewise regular schizophrenia has stayed pretty much the same with 25,967 in 98-99 and 25,269 in 2002-03.  The

rate of cannabis related mental health disorders has risen slightly between 98-99 and 2002-03 going from 669 to 788.  Within that figure psychosis has gone from 296 to 380. (source Department of Health 2004

 

REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1971: THE POLICE FOUNDATION, 2000

"... the law's implementation damages individuals in terms of criminal records and risks to jobs and relationships to a degree that far outweighs any harm that cannabis use may be doing to society"(page 106, para 32)

"In considering the current operation of the law and sentencing we are of the view that the possession of cannabis should not be an imprisonable offence. Consequently, it should no longer be an arrestable offence in England and Wales under section 24 of PACE. Further, the prosecution of offences of cannabis possession should be the exception and only then should an offence, if there is a conviction, incur a criminal record." (page 107, para 37)

"We recommend that the cultivation of small numbers of cannabis plants for personal use should be a separate offence from production, and should be treated in the same way as possession of cannabis."(page 37, para 41)

"As the Government has rejected the House of Lords recommendations and it will be some years before a standard licensed cannabis product is available, we recommend that there should be a new defence of duress of circumstances on medical grounds for those accused of possessing, cultivating or supplying cannabis. We recommend that the burden be on the accused to prove the defence."(page 113, para 68)


Although many Governments refer to the WHO Report to try to justify cannabis because of the claims that it is a dangerous drugs, this section of the report is usually ignored, yet puts it into perspective:

"A great many assumptions have been made in extrapolating from health effects observed in laboratory animals to the probable health effects of equivalent doses and patterns of use in humans. In addition, there may be problems in extrapolating studies with pure THC to human experience with crude cannabis preparations. The plant material contains many other compounds, both cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid in nature and the possibility must always be considered that differences between experimental and clinical observations may be due in part to the effects of these other substances."

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SAFETY

Peter Bourne, President Carter's Drug Czar

 ''We did not view marijuana as a significant health problem--as it was not....Nobody dies from marijuana. Marijuana smoking, in fact, if one wants to be honest, is a source of pleasure and amusement to countless millions of people in America, and it continues to be that way.''

Source: PBS's Frontline: ''Drug Wars,'' October 2000

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March 20, 1997, Sydney, Australia:

The health of long-term marijuana users is virtually no different than that of the general population, according to the latest findings by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Australia. The study, which involved interviews with 268 marijuana smokers and 31 non-using partners and family members, is one of the first ever conducted in Australia to determine the effects of long-term marijuana use. Its findings were reported by the Sydney Morning Herald last month. "We don't see evidence of high psychological disturbance among the [long- term users,]" said chief investigator David Reilly. "The results seem unremarkable; the exceptional thing is that the respondents are unexceptional."

The Lancet, vol 352, number 9140, November 14 1998:
"We.. say that on the medical evidence available, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, and that decisions to ban or legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations."

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JON OWEN JONES, MP, July 2001

"Cannabis is a far less harmful drug than almost all the other drugs that you are likely to mention."

Source: BBC News (UK Web), July 17, 2001

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Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church Study, 1980

"Some participants had smoked at least two to four large cigarettes (each containing 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of cannabis) over 16 hours a day for periods of up to 50 years.

"...the most impressive thing... is the true paucity of neurological abnormalities. "

"Heavy cannabis consumers suffered no apparent psychological or physical harm."

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Rosie Boycott, Independent on Sunday, 28 Sept 1997

"If alcohol is a tiger, cannabis is merely a mouse"

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Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1894:

"The commission has come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. ... ...moderate use of hemp... appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind,... no injurious effects on the mind... [and] no moral injury whatever."

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LaGuardia Commission Report, 1944

"Cannabis smoking does not lead directly to mental or physical deterioration... Those who have consumed marijuana for a period of years showed no mental or physical deterioration which may be attributed to the drug."

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1968 UK ROYAL COMMISSION, THE WOOTTON REPORT:

"Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission appointed by the Government of India (1893-94) and the New York Mayor's Committee (1944 - LaGuardia)that the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects"
"the long-asserted dangers of cannabis are exaggerated and that the related law is socially damaging, if not unworkable"

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Testimony of Professor Lester Grinspoon, M.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, before the Crime Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., October 1, 1997:
"Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never caused an overdose death."

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Jocelyn Elders, USA Surgeon General: "Marijuana is beneficial to many patients"

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The Report of the Australian Government 1996 says:
"The ... major possible adverse effects of chronic, heavy cannabis use ... remain to be confirmed"
"The major health and psychological effects of chronic cannabis use, especially daily use over many years, remain uncertain"
"As has been stressed ... there is uncertainty. ......To varying degrees....inferences from animal research, laboratory studies, and clinical observations about probable ill effects. In some cases inferences depend upon arguments from what is known about the adverse effects of other drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol"
"... "flashback experiences" ...have been rarely reported by cannabis users... have typically used other hallucinogenic drugs" "The probable and possible adverse health and psychological effects of cannabis need to be placed in comparative perspective to be fully appreciated".

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Dr J. H. Jaffe, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. L.Goodman and A Gillman, 3rd edn. 1965.
"There are no long lasting ill-effects from the acute use of marijuana and no fatalities have ever been recorded ... there seems to be growing agreement within the medical community, at least, that marijuana does not directly cause criminal behaviour, juvenile delinquency, sexual excitement, or addiction."

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Panama Canal Zone Report, 1925:

"There is no evidence... that any deleterious influence on the individual using [cannabis]"

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Schaeffer: A Neuropsychological Evaluation; A Case History

"...I.Q.'s of Zion Coptics increased after they began to use ganga"

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Cannabis in Costa Rica: A Study of Chronic Marijuana Use

Institute of Human Issues:
"No significant health consequences to chronic cannabis smokers"

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US Jamaican Study 1974

"... as a multipurpose plant, ganga is used medicinally, even by non-smokers. ....There were no indications of organic brain damage or chromosome damage among smokers and no significant clinical psychiatric, psychological or medical) differences between smokers and controls."
"No impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability, and cognitive style, and tests of memory"
"[Cannabis smoking] does not lead directly to mental or physical deterioration... Those who have consumed marijuana for a period of years showed no mental or physical deterioration which may be attributed to the drug."

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The Kaiser Permanente study

"Marijuana Use and Mortality" April 1997 American Journal of Public Health".
"Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalization of marijuana use may itself be a health hazard, since it may expose the users to violence and criminal activity."

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Researchers at the University of California (UCLA) School of Medicine

have announced the results of an 8 - year study into the effects of long-term cannabis smoking on the lungs. In Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. D.P. Tashkin reported: "Findings from the present long-term, follow-up study of heavy, habitual marijuana smokers argue against the concept that continuing heavy use of marijuana is a significant risk factor for the development of [chronic lung disease. ..Neither the continuing nor the intermittent marijuana smokers exhibited any significantly different rates of decline in [lung function]<%quot;> as compared with those individuals who never smoked marijuana. Researchers added: "No differences were noted between even quite heavy marijuana smoking and non-smoking of marijuana."

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See Also: Proven : Cannabis is a safe medicine by Ian Williams Goddard

CANNABIS DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER

BOSTON, Jan. 30, 1997 (UPI) -

The U.S. federal government has failed to make public its own 1994 study that undercuts its position that marijuana is carcinogenic - a $2 million study by the National Toxicology Program. The program's deputy director, John Bucher, says the study "found absolutely no evidence of cancer." In fact, animals that received THC had fewer cancers. Bucher denies his agency had been pressured to shelve the report, saying the delay in making it public was due to a personnel shortage.

The Boston Globe reported Thursday (1-30-97) that the study indicates not only that the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, does not cause cancer, but also that it may even protect against malignancies, laboratory tests on animals show.

The report comes on the heels of an editorial in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that favors the controlled medical use of marijuana, and calls current federal policy "misguided, heavy-handed and inhumane."

The Clinton administration has said that doctors prescribing marijuana could be prosecuted for a federal crime.

Marijuana has been reported to ease the pain, nausea and vomiting in advanced stages of cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses, but the federal government claims other treatments have been deemed safer than what it calls "a psychoactive, burning carcinogen."

However, The Boston Globe says the government's claim appears to be undercut by its own $2 million study.

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The USA Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy 1987

"Cannabis can be used on an episodic but continual basis without evidence of social or psychic dysfunction. In many users the term dependence with its obvious connotations, probably is mis-applied... The chief opposition to the drug rests on a moral and political, and not toxicologic, foundation".

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COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING

Cannabis Use and Cognitive Decline in Persons under 65 Years of Age: American Journal of Epidemiology, May 1 1999

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PSYCHOSIS

"Cannabis use was not associated with any particular ethnic group or with the onset of psychosis."'
Incidence of psychotic illness in London: comparison of ethnic groups, M King, E Coker, G Leavey, A Hoare, E Johnson-Sabine, University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London NW3 2QG Department of Psychiatry, St Ann's Hospital, London N15 3TH Correspondence to: Dr King.

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"It was impossible to establish any criteria for an independent classification of cannabis psychosis, since symptoms recorded were either shared in high proportion with the other 2 groups or they occurred too seldom to make such an independent diagnosis"
A retrospective study of symptom patterns of cannabis-induced psychosis, Imade AGT, Ebie JC; Acta Psychiatr Scand 1991: 83: 134-136

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"What is dual diagnosis?
This term is used to describe people who are diagnosed as having problematic drug use and a serious mental illness (particularly a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia). This might involve a primary diagnosis of serious mental illness with a subsequent diagnosis of drug use which might have particularly adverse effects due to the mental illness. An example could be someone who has schizophrenia which is made worse by them smoking cannabis. Dual diagnosis may also involve a primary diagnosis of drug dependence which leads to, or contributes to, mental health problems. This sometimes happens with chronic users of stimulants such as amphetamine, cocaine and crack cocaine.
"Making an accurate diagnosis can be difficult because mental health problems may result in similar behaviours to when someone is intoxicated or withdrawing from dependent drug use. Examples have been given of people rapidly diagnosed as being schizophrenic without considering the role of drugs and alcohol. A period of 3 to 6 weeks of abstinence from drug use may be needed to know what is happening. "
From
DrugScope has been created through the merger of the UK's foremost drug information and policy organisations: the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD) and the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (SCODA) - two charities with a total of sixty years in the national and international drugs field.

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CANNABIS AND TOBACCO

Cannabis in Costa Rica: A Study of Chronic Marijuana Use; Institute of Human Issues.

"Users in our matched-pair sample smoked marijuana in addition to as many tobacco cigarettes as did their matched non-using pairs. Yet their small airways were, if anything, a bit healthier than their matches. We must tentatively conclude either that marijuana has no harmful effect on such passages or that it actually offers some slight protection against harmful effects of tobacco smoke"

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SYNTHETIC THC - Marinol

At the 10th International Conference on Drug Policy, 1996, USA John P Morgan MD, Professor of Pharmacology, City University of New York Medical School, said of Marinol, the synthetic THC marketed in the States, "In a recent study, the scientists gave patients 20 mg of Marinol by mouth to see if it increased their appetite. Not only could they not detect much appetite-increasing effect, but they learned the interesting fact that, in one-third of people who take Marinol by mouth, you have no blood levels at all. The drug is so poorly bio-available it's surprising that it got onto the market. There may well be some reason to believe that there are individuals in our government who are interested in getting Marinol on the market to diminish the pressure for marijuana smokers."

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BRAIN RECEPTORS

"The biochemistry of cannabis is explained as follows: the active ingredients of cannabis (comprised of Tetrahydrocannabinol compounded with cannabidiol, tetrhydrocannabivarin, numerous cannabinoids and the elements and compounds common to most plants) temporarily attach to receptors on cells such as those situated on the outer surface of the brain, the meninges, this gently bringing about a feeling of well-being"....FCDA Europe, "The Report".

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A-MOTIVATION

Dr. Andrew Weil (Rubin & Comitas Ganja in Jamaica, 1975)

"a-motivation [is] a cause of heavy marijuana smoking rather than the reverse"

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ADDICTION /DEPENDENCY

The Shafer Commission of 1970

Marijuana does not lead to physical dependency, although some evidence indicates that the heavy, long-term users may develop a psychological dependence on the drug"

Canada: In 1997, (R. v Clay), Ontario Justice John McCart ruled, "Cannabis is not an addictive substance; does not cause a motivational syndrome; and health related costs of cannabis use are negligible when compared to the costs attributable to tobacco and alcohol consumption." His findings were confirmed by B.C. Justice F.E. Howard in a similar case in 1998.

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"Are all drugs addictive?
Continual use of drugs like cannabis, ecstasy and LSD does not result in physical dependency, even though people may become psychologically dependent. With other drugs and particularly stimulant drugs such as cocaine, crack, amphetamine and the nicotine in cigarettes there is debate over the extent that physical dependence can occur. "
Source:
DrugScope has been created through the merger of the UK's foremost drug information and policy organisations: the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD) and the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (SCODA) - two charities with a total of sixty years in the national and international drugs field.

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GATEWAY THEORY

The LaGardia sub-committee of New York 1944

"The use of marijuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marijuana smoking"

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"Marijuana: Facts for Teens." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, D.C. 1995, p.10.

"Most marijuana users do not go on to use other drugs."

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While it is undoubtedly the case that many drug addicts started with cannabis, to claim that taking cannabis is bound to lead to hard drugs has always seemed to me far-fetched."

Jack Straw, The Daily Telegraph, 3 April 2000

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DOES CANNABIS LEAD TO TAKING OTHER DRUGS?
From
DrugScope has been created through the merger of the UK's foremost drug information and policy organisations: the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD) and the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (SCODA) - two charities with a total of sixty years in the national and international drugs field.
"This is the so-called 'escalation' hypothesis. In the mid-80s research from the US revived interest in this idea. It was claimed that cannabis use tends to lead to heroin use, but the arguments are similar for progression to illicit drugs other than heroin.
"Most people who use heroin will have previously used cannabis (surveys suggest that cannabis users have only used cannabis and the vast majority have never used heroin). This could be because cannabis actually does (at least for some people) lead to heroin use, but there are alternative explanations.
"For instance, it could be that heroin and cannabis use are both caused by something else in the individual's personality or background that the researchers have not taken into account. Also the studies suggesting cannabis might lead to heroin have been done in Western societies at a time when cannabis is more freely available than heroin. This could mean people tend to use cannabis first simply because they come across it first.
"Even if cannabis use did lead to heroin use, there would remain the crucial issue of exactly how this happened. The assumption is that if cannabis leads to heroin, then more cannabis use would result in more heroin use - an argument against legalising cannabis. But the reverse could be the case. For instance, it could be that cannabis use involves people in the buying of illegal drugs, making it more likely that they will meet with an offer of heroin, an offer which some will accept. In this example it would be the illegality of cannabis use rather than cannabis use itself that led most directly to heroin use. The implication is that some heroin use might be prevented by legalising cannabis, even if this meant more widespread cannabis use. This example illustrates the fact that the mechanism of any link between cannabis and heroin may be as important as whether or not such a link exists in the first place. All that can be said definitely is that

1.Cannabis use generally precedes the use of other illegal drugs.
2.Cannabis use does not necessarily (or even usually) lead to the use of other illicit drugs.

"The unsatisfactory state of affairs with respect to the escalation theory is typical of our knowledge about other ill-effects sometimes said to be caused by cannabis. There is evidence suggesting a number of undesirable consequences of regular use (mental illness, poor motivation, decreased fertility, impaired development in adolescents) but no evidence to either convincingly refute or confirm these suggestions. The illegality of cannabis and the fact that most cannabis users do not approach treatment services makes detailed follow-up studies of cannabis users difficult, and laboratory studies cannot duplicate real life situations. Certainly, widespread cannabis use in the UK and other countries has not been accompanied by correspondingly widespread demand for medical, psychological or social help with cannabis-related problems - suggesting that cannabis users do not have or do not think they have a problem. But it will never be possible to prove that such problems might not materialise in the future or be found if research techniques improved. "

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DRIVING

Study Shows Cannabis Has Little to No Significant Effect on Drivin: Waking Times, 30 October 2015

"Drivers under the influence of only cannabis showed little driving impairment when compared to drivers under the influence of alcohol or both substances."

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Crancer Study, Washington Department of Motor Vehicles

"Simulated driving scores for subjects experiencing a normal social "high" and the same subjects under control conditions are not significantly different. However, there are significantly more errors for alcohol intoxicated than for control subjects"

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U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT HS 808 078), Final Report, November 1993:

"THC's adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small"

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Professor Olaf Drummer, a forensic scientist the Royal College of Surgeons in Melbourne in 1996
"Compared to alcohol, which makers people take more risks on the road, marijuana made drivers slow down and drive more carefully.... Cannabis is good for driving skills, as people tend to overcompensate for a perceived impairment."

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MEDICINE

Dr. Anthony Henman:

"One of the best effects Marijuana can have in any terminal illness is to produce a degree of euphoria which boosts morale in a depressing situation"

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The Economist March 28th 1992:

"Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political"

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Professor Lester Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School, USA:

"Marijuana is one of the least toxic substances in the whole pharmacopoeia"

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Dr. James Malone-Lee, consultant St. Pancras Hospital, London:


"I'm quite impressed by what's happened to (MS) patients who have used it".

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PREGNANCY AND CANNABIS BABIES

Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study Melanie C. Dreher, PhD; Kevin Nugent, PhD; and Rebekah Hudgins, MA

"Measurements and main results. Exposed and nonexposed neonates were compared at 3 days and 1 month old, using the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale, including supplementary items to capture possible subtle effects. There were no significant differences between exposed and nonexposed neonates on day 3. At 1 month, the exposed neonates showed better physiological stability and required less examiner facilitation to reach organized states. The neonates of heavy- marijuana-using mothers had better scores on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers."

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PROHIBITION, LEGALISATION AND LAW

Australian Parliament

''Over the past two decades in Australia we have devoted increased resources to drug law enforcement, we have increased the penalties for drug trafficking, and we have accepted increasing inroads on our civil liberties as part of the battle to curb the drug trade. All the evidence shows, however, not only that our law enforcement agencies have not succeeded in preventing the supply of illicit drugs to Australian markets, but that it is unrealistic to expect them to do so. If the present policy of prohibition is not working, then it is time to give serious consideration to the alternatives, however radical they may seem.''

Source: Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, 1988

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Jon Owen Jones, UK MP

"We have tried the prohibition route for 30 years and it obviously, patently isn't working."

Source: BBC News (UK Web), July 17, 2001

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Albert Einstein:

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." :My First Impression of the U.S.A., 1921

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President Jimmy Carter:

"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself"

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Judge James Pickles, UK:

"Cannabis never killed anybody and it's use is widespread. You can"t stop it. The law defeats itself because all the efforts to stop drugs coming in only drives up the prices and then gangsters move in to push the drugs. If they legalised there wouldn't be gangsters and huge profits...The police are gradually decriminalising the possession of cannabis because they realise there's not much point prosecuting"

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President Abraham Lincoln (December 1840):

"Prohibition... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans' appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded"

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Gustavo de Greiff, Former Attorney General of Colombia

''We should legalize drugs because we here are providing the dead, and the consumers are there in the U.S.''

Source: El Diario--La Prensa, May 8, 1994

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Jaime Ruiz, Senior Adviser to the Colombian President

''From the Colombian point of view legalization is the easy solution. I mean, just legalize it and we won't have any more problems. Probably in five years we wouldn't even have guerrillas. No problems. We would have a great country with no problems.''

Source: Ottawa Citizen, September 6, 2000

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George Papandreou, Greek Foreign Minister

''I can officially state that my government and myself believe that all over Europe we need to open a debate on the 'drug question' in order to create more coherent and human policies with better perspectives. . . . The policy of criminalizing consumers has failed, creating many problems to our society.''

Source: Transnational Radical Party's Anti-Prohibitionist Days, Brussels, December 11, 1997

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Edward Ellison, former Head of Scotland Yard's Antidrug Squad

''I say legalize drugs because I want to see less drug abuse, not more. And I say legalize drugs because I want to see the criminals put out of business.''

Source: London's Daily Mail, March 10, 1998

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Ray Kendall, Secretary General of Interpol

'' I am entirely supportive of the notion of removing the abuse of drugs from the penal realm in favor of other forms of regulation such as psycho, medical, social treatment.''

Source: Report of Premier's Advisory Council, 1996

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Joseph D. McNamara, Former Police Chief of San Jose and Kansas City

 

''We should immediately stop arresting people whose only crime is possessing small amounts of drugs for their own use....Marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol and cigarettes.''

Source: The Washington Post, May 19, 1996

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Volney Brown Jr., Federal Magistrate-Judge,(retired)., Los Angeles. At the DPF Conference, November 1996:

"There is only one thing wrong with drug law enforcement, just one - it doesn't work. And when I tell you this I want you to believe me because I have done it"

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Judge James Grey, Orange County Superior Court, Santa Ana, CA, at the DPF Conference, November 1996:

"If we continue as we have for the past 20 years in California, in the year 2020, everybody in the State will either be in prison or running one"

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Judge Pamela Alexander at the DPF Conference, November 1996:

"I am here because I am the first judge in this country to say, in 1990, that the war on drugs was racist. It still is and that hasn't changed"

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Juan Torruella. Chief Judge of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

''There is a need for pilot tests of some types of limited decriminalization, probably commencing with marijuana, and obviously not including minors.''

Source: Spotlight Lecture at Colby College, Waterville, Maine, April 25, 1996

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John Curtin, U.S. District Judge, New York

''Education, counseling, less use of criminal sanctions, partial legalization, and legalization are all alternatives. It is a hard road, but the present course has failed.''

Source: The Buffalo News, March 2, 1997

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Robert Sweet, U.S. District Judge, New York

''Finally, the fundamental flaw, which will ultimately destroy this prohibition as it did the last one, is that criminal sanctions cannot, and should not attempt to, prohibit personal conduct which does no harm to others.''

Source: National Review, February 12, 1996

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House of Lords, Great Britain

''We consider it undesirable to prosecute genuine therapeutic users of cannabis who possess or grow cannabis for their own use. This unsatisfactory situation underlines the need to legalise cannabis preparations for therapeutic use.''

Source: ''Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis,'' Select Committee on Science and Technology, March 14, 2001

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Alexander Shulgin, PhD, Chemist and author, at the DPF Conference, November 1996:

"I, as a responsible adult human being, will never concede the power to anyone to regulate my choice of what I put into my body, or where I go with my mind. From the skin inwards is my jurisdiction, is it not? I choose what may or may not cross that border. Here I am the Customs Agent. I am the Coast guard. I am the sole legal and spiritual government of this territory, and only the laws I choose to enact within myself are applicable"

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Ann Shulgin, PhD, Therapist and Author, Lafayette, CA, at the DPF Conference, November 1996:

"Several generations of high school students have grown up ignoring and disbelieving everything they've heard from government and police about drugs, including information that was factual and valid, because they discovered for themselves that most of what has been taught to them was simply not true."

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U.S. Representative Dan Quayle, March 1977:

"Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana... We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society."

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LEGALISATION / DECRIMINALISATION

Sir Paul McCartney, Independent on Sunday, 28th September 1997:

"I support decriminalisation. People are smoking pot anyway and to make them into criminals is wrong. It's when you're in jail you really become a criminal."

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Sir Richard Branson, Independent on Sunday, 28th September 1997:

"I'd like to see the government back a programme of research into the medical properties of cannabis and I do not object to its responsible use as a recreational relaxant."

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Detective Chief Inspector Ron Clarke, former member of Greater Manchester Police Drugs Squad:

"I got tired of seeing otherwise innocent young kids from all walks of life getting criminal records for, in effect, doing nothing more than millions of other people in society were doing with alcohol"

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Sergeant Gordon Payne, Southampton Police

"The only solution to the drugs problem is the legalisation of all drugs"

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CRIME

Jamaican Study 1970:

"This study indicates that there is little correlation between the use of ganga and crime, except insofar as the possession and cultivation of ganga are technically crimes"

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The LaGuardia sub-committee of New York 1944:

"Marijuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crime....The publicity concerning the catastrophic effect of marijuana smoking in New York City, is unfounded"

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TRIAL AND JURIES

President Thomas Jefferson (1789):

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which government can be held to the principles of its constitution"

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Chief Justice John Jay USA:

"The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy"

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John Adams (Second USA President):

"It is not only his Right but his duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court"

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Samuel Chase, US Supreme Court Chief Justice 1796:

"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts"

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Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes:

"The Jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact"

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Judge Harlan F. Stone, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1941-1946:

"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided"

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Plaque Outside Old Bailey, London
"Near this site William Penn and William Mead were tried in 1670 for preaching to an unlawful assembly in Gracechurch Street.
This tablet commemorates the courage and endurance of the jury, Thomas Vere, Edward Bushell and ten others, who refused to give a verdict against them although they were locked up without food for two nights and were fined for their final verdict of Not Guilty.
The case of these jury men was reviewed on a writ of Habeas Corpus and Chief Justice Vaughan delivered the opinion of the court which established the Rights of Juries to give their Verdict according to their conviction. "

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D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1972:

"unreviewable and irreversible power [of the jury] to acquit in disregard of the instruction of the law given by the trial judge. The pages of history shine upon instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge"

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Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone:

"If a juror feels that the statute [law] in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural God-given unalienable or Constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all - for no one is bound to obey an unjust law"

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CANNABIS LIFESTYLE

The Misuse of Drugs, Office of Health Economics

"It is certainly no longer true to say if it ever was, that smoking cannabis is a sign of affiliation to an "alternative" lifestyle. Clearly, in the light of its popularity and to a degree its apparent social acceptability questions are raised about the legalisation of cannabis"

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