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Ads in Favor of Legalizing Drugs OKd

 
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Lilli
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:50 am    Post subject: Ads in Favor of Legalizing Drugs OKd Reply with quote

Quote:
Ads in Favor of Legalizing Drugs OKd
Posted by CN Staff on June 03, 2004 at 07:36:13 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

A federal law cutting off funds to any public transit agency that runs ads calling for legalization or medical use of an illegal drug was declared unconstitutional Wednesday by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman of Washington, D.C., said the amendment attached to a $3.1 billion transportation measure, signed in January by President Bush, violated freedom of speech by banning messages based on their viewpoint.

"The government has articulated no legitimate state interest in the suppression of this particular speech other than the fact that it disapproves of the message, an illegitimate and constitutionally impermissible reason,'' Friedman said. He prohibited the government from enforcing the funding restriction.

The ruling in a suit by civil liberties and medical marijuana advocates could affect billboards and bus shelters in the Bay Area. The transit bill included $100 million for the already-completed BART airport extension and $9 million for the Municipal Railway's Third Street light-rail project in San Francisco, money those transit systems would have forfeited under the amendment if they accepted a forbidden ad.

Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said her agency hasn't been asked to carry any such ads but has been advised by city lawyers that its advertising policies must abide by constitutional First Amendment standards. "We certainly would not take an ad that would interfere with our federal funding,'' she added.

Snipped:

Complete Article: http://freedomtoexhale.com/favor.htm

Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, June 3, 2004 - Page A - 8
Copyright: 2004 San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: letters@sfchronicle.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/

Related Articles & Web Sites:

MPP: http://www.mpp.org/
ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/
DPA: http://www.drugpolicy.org/
CTC: http://www.changetheclimate.org/

Judge Voids Law Against Drug Ads On Metro
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18941.shtml

Railroaded Speech - San Francisco Chronicle
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18790.shtml

Judge: Ad Restrictions Unconstitutional
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18940.shtml

A Quiet New Tactic in The War on Drugs
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18776.shtml

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HvyFuel
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news, Thank you Lilli. Certainly a step in the right direction.

peace Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HvyFuel wrote:
Good news, Thank you Lilli. Certainly a step in the right direction.

peace Smile


For me it's not a step in the right direction, it's simply the right and only way to go about democracy. It's even shamefull this court case was needed to protect the law.
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Dances With Liberty
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said her agency hasn't been asked to carry any such ads but has been advised by city lawyers that its advertising policies must abide by constitutional First Amendment standards. "We certainly would not take an ad that would interfere with our federal funding,'' she added.


So what is she saying here?

We have a federal law that says basically that some power hungry tyrant can cut off federal aid to transportation companies if they don't agree with the content of the advertisements the company sells accomodations for.

People got ticked off and rightfully so then challenged the law in court FIGHTING to keep free speech alive in this country.

So US District Court Judge Paul Friedman agrees that the law is unconstitutional.

"The government has articulated no legitimate state interest in the suppression of this particular speech other than the fact that it disapproves of the message, an illegitimate and constitutionally impermissible reason,'' Friedman said. He prohibited the government from enforcing the funding restriction.

Maggie Lynch says her agency has not been asked to carry and such ads.
Maybe they will be asked? And what then would she do?

"We certainly would not take an ad that would interfere with our federal funding"

So are the good ole boys going to let this district court get away with disagreeing with them? Is NORML or another organization going to be able now to place and have an ad carried by Maggie Lynchs company? Without the company fearing the cutoff of federal funds?

Or will it be business as usual in that ads will be denied if the feds don't like it?

It is a good thing this upholding of free speech.It's sad it needs to be fought for right here in the land of the free where we hold it in such high esteem as to have it as our 1st amendment I think.
My wife tells me that perhaps it is a good thing.It keeps us on our toes and demonstrates that the fight for freedom is an eternal one no matter where we live.
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Dances With Liberty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Steven,

We won big.

Beating the federal government in court is something the Drug Policy Alliance does regularly - probably because the White House and the Congress seem to have no shame when it comes to violating the Constitution in the name of the drug war.

Last week we beat them again, winning our lawsuit to strike down a recent federal law banning marijuana reform ads in public transit systems.

You may remember that we filed suit in February to have the law declared unconstitutional. The measure, pushed by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), prohibited federal support for any transit system that permits pro-reform advertising. A federal judge in Washington last week concluded that the so-called "Istook Amendment" does indeed violate the First Amendment.

Now that our right to campaign for marijuana reform has been restored, we need to exercise it. Together with our allies who joined us in the suit -- the ACLU, Marijuana Policy Project and Change the Climate -- we want to run ads that tell the truth about the drug war.

Please help us send Ernie Istook a message by making a generous donation to our campaign. Your funds will pay not just for ads, but for our efforts to stop the government from spending your money on drug war propaganda. Donate now via our convenient and secure page.

Every ad we create sends two messages. First, that the "war on drugs" is a disaster for this country that is causing far more harm than good. Second, the ads serve notice that we will never stand silent in the face of mean-spirited and misguided attacks by drug warriors like Ernest Istook or John Ashcroft. They can toss taxpayer dollars down the drain on frivolous lawsuits and dishonest anti-drug propaganda, but the truth will always win in the end.

In declaring the "Istook Amendment" unconstitutional, Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stated that "there is a clear public interest in preventing the chilling of speech on the basis of viewpoint" and that "the government articulated no legitimate state interest in the suppression of this particular speech other than the fact that it disapproves of the message, an illegitimate and constitutionally impermissible reason."

The Istook ruling is only the latest legal victory in our efforts to foster policies based on science and compassion. The Alliance won another one for the First Amendment last year in the Conant case, which protected the rights of doctors and patients to discuss the medicinal benefits of marijuana. We beat the feds again in the WAMM case, relying on constitutional limitations on what the federal government can tell states to do. There have been other wins as well, and there will be more.

Meanwhile, Istook and other drug war zealots are fighting back, denouncing the ruling and pressing on with their crusade against free speech and compassion. John Ashcroft and Drug Czar John Walters have more than $100 million in taxpayer dollars ear-marked for drug propaganda in the coming year alone.

It's amazing how far we've come with the political cards stacked against us. I think it speaks to the rightness of our cause. It is also why I call on fellow reformers like you to be as generous as possible in supporting our efforts.

Help us take on Istook and other drug war zealots by donating now.

Our fight for marijuana and drug reform is unfolding in every public forum - the courts, the states, the Congress, and thanks to the Constitution, buses and subways. With the continued support of folks like you, we'll go all the way.

Sincerely,



P.S. Also, please join us online for a free live audio chat on marijuana with renowned author Eric Schlosser on June 15th at 3 PM Eastern/Noon Pacific. Watch your inbox or check http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/schlosser_chat.cfm for more details.






To Contact or Make a Donation by Mail to the Drug Policy Alliance:

Drug Policy Alliance
70 West 36th Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Get a PDF copy of the Donation Form. For subscription problems please contact Jeanette Irwin, Director, Internet Communications jirwin@drugpolicy.org, 202.216.0035
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HvyFuel
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the land of the free needs to be reminded of your freedoms.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Powerful Victory
by Rebecca Kaplan
Source:Oakland Tribune

In a powerful victory recently, the ACLU, the Drug Policy Alliance and other groups defeated the Bush administration in federal court. Our freedom of speech and our right to tell the truth were at stake -- in the face of a federal law that banned, from certain public areas, advertisements that question any aspect of the federal policy of prohibition of marijuana. The law that was struck down had even banned paid ads on public transit facilities regarding the legalization of medical cannabis.

In other words, even though the voters of California legalized cannabis for medical use in 1996, the federal government would prevent information about it from reaching the public.

Thanks to the advocates, we have won the right to tell the truth. Now, we must make sure to take full advantage of our freedoms while we have them.

Since Richard Nixon launched his "war on marijuana," hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent to prosecute and imprison non-violent people, primarily young people of color, while our schools, libraries, and public health facilities suffer for lack of funding.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that he considers the medical use of marijuana to be the same as non-medical use, even if the voters of a state explicitly pass a law legalizing medical use -- and he insists on treating marijuana more strictly than cocaine.

The federal government has ignored its own findings, including those from the marijuana study commissioned by Richard Nixon, that: "Most users, young and old, demonstrate an average or above-average degree of social functioning, academic achievement, and job performance. ... marijuana does not cause violent or aggressive behavior; if anything marijuana serves to inhibit the expression of such behavior. ... Neither the marijuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety" (The Shafer Commission Report, 1972).

When the public questions the wisdom of the expensive policy of prohibition and imprisonment, the government tries to ban speech.

Once again, the administration is trying to continue an expensive and wasteful war even in the face of mounting evidence that this war destroys lives and is also a miserable failure.

There is a better way. We don't need to put up with the endless violations of our civil rights, civil liberties, financial health and human dignity that the war on cannabis has become.

The Oakland Cannabis Initiative seeks to promote a more sensible, less war-oriented policy toward cannabis while advancing the national debate. The initiative calls for policies that tax and regulate cannabis for adults to keep it off the streets, away from kids, and to raise funds for vital local services.

To learn more or to get involved, please visit www.taxandregulate.org or call the Oakland Cannabis Initiative 268-3227.

Rebecca Kaplan, an Oakland activist and community organizer, holds a law degree from Stanford University, where she studied constitutional law issues.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medical marijuana merchant defies Oakland order to close

Others might go underground, as city's new rule gets mixed reaction from consumers, business owners

By Laura Counts, STAFF WRITER | Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND -- Medical marijuana patients who packed into the Dragonfly Holistic Solutions dispensary on Telegraph Avenue on Tuesday seemed unaware the business had been told by the city to shut down.
They said they were seeking the most potent medicine in town -- a strain of marijuana called "Barney Purple" -- and didn't like hearing that new city rules will limit them to four city-sanctioned establishments.

"If you enjoy feeling pain-free, this is the place to be," said Sullivan Wallace of Oakland, who says he has a cannabis prescription to fight chronic pain and anxiety.

Seven existing dispensaries and one proposed club had applied for the four business permits available. After a series of hearings and several delays, the clubs were notified Friday afternoon whether they made the cut.

Those that received licenses will have to pay a $20,000 annual fee. Those that did not were supposed to close Tuesday.


Dragonfly did not make it, but owner Ken Estes said he will continue to operate in defiance of city rules until he is arrested.

He planned a protest outside the dispensary Tuesday morning, but the only signs of one emerged when the doors to the club opened 15 minutes late.

"There is some kind of discrimination going on behind the scenes," Estes said. "Or else the city is out of touch with the patients, because we are the preferred club. When we opened, we forced prices down and brought in higher quality (than the other clubs)."

Other club owners, including some who were issued permits, criticized the city's process as arbitrary and complained that three days wasn't enough notice for them or the employees on their payrolls.

Still, no one except Estes continued business as usual. One dispensary owner contended there are clubs that did not even apply for a city permit and may try to operate under the radar.


"There are some who chose not to pay $300 and sign a confession," said Richard Lee, owner of the Bulldog Cafe, who got a permit for his cafe on Broadway but not for his small SR71 Cafe on 17th Street, according to the city manager's office.

Even though Lee received a permit, he contended the process was arbitrary and the four-club limit does not make sense. He plans to move to a larger location to serve the additional customers the closures will bring.


"This thing is getting too big for them to say there can only be four clubs. There are too many people who appreciate getting marijuana in a civilized way," said Lee, one of the backers of an initiative now collecting signatures for the November ballot that would all but decriminalize adult use of marijuana in Oakland.

Sparky Rose, operator of Compassionate Access on Telegraph -- which also was approved -- said he serves 7,000 patients and is expecting more. He plans to soon move to a larger location nearby.

"It was difficult to gauge what was important to the city when we were presenting ourselves. There wasn't a lot of transparency in the process," Rose said, adding that everyone was asked for the same information. "They should have extended the deadline, because a lot of clubs have a lot of employees and a holiday weekend isn't much notice."

The city inspected the clubs for code violations, checked for any complaints against them, and asked for information ranging from number of patients to products to prices.

In the end, according to a letter from the city's Administrative Hearing Officer Larry Carroll to Estes, the city seemed to put more stock on who had operated the longest. The three clubs issued permits in the "uptown" area had operated between two and five years, though the fourth club on West Grand is a relative newcomer.

The Lemon Drop Coffeeshop on Telegraph is one of the more established clubs in the area, nicknamed "Oaksterdam," but it did not receive a permit. Owner Mark Belote said the well-stocked coffee shop will continue to sell its mochas and pastries, gelatos and cakes, but stop pot sales.

"I want to do everything legally. I've always been honest with them, so we'll see what happens," he said. "I have an eight-year lease here, so the cafe will stay open."

Karry Carr of The Green Door dispensary on Webster Street said he fully expected to get a permit. The building met all code requirements and there were no complaints against the club. It opened last October with the blessing of the city, even stating it was a cannabis dispensary on its business license. The city renewed its license in February.

The Green Door is now seeking an injunction to stay open until it can get a court hearing. Its owners contend the application process was fraudulent.

Under the new rules, denial of permits cannot be appealed, Carroll said. The final determination was made by City Administrator Deborah Edgerly, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

As for those that continue to operate in violation, Carroll said, "the city is considering its options."

Carroll said he will send final warning letters and may give them a short grace period. However, he noted, "all of those operating without permits are outside of the city's low policing priority with regards to medical marijuana, so the police could take action."

The city will review the new rules in six months. Jeff Jones, director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative -- which issues identification cards but does not dispense -- said he has been advising clubs to follow the rules.

"The city is our friend, and we are in this together. They are doing what they feel they need to do," Jones said. "I think the best practice is to close down quietly, and we'll spend the next six months lobbying to increase the limit."
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:17 pm    Post subject: 'Commercials' - Pro-Cannabis Ads, PSAs - FREE download!! :D Reply with quote

Pot-TV is an excellent and entertaining resource, a huge streaming video archive of great pro-cannabis stuff.

Watch these pro-cannabis ads (they're supposed to be funny and informative at the same time):

Cannabis Commercials - Watch the Video! .

(Requires RealOne Player - Download RealOne Player for free by clicking here! (Once you have downloaded RealOne Player, you should go to This page for information on how to remove the spyware files that slow even fast machines down to a crawl. After doing the simple file renaming, the RealOne Player still has full functionality and runs faster too. Wink ).


For more information on these 'commercials', visit the Pot-TV page at:

http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-1756.html


For any of you (webmasters, etc.) who want to download the file to your hard drive so that you can show them later to other people or even possibly serve them off your own server or website, please send me an instant message and I'll tell you how to do it. Smile
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