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LETTERS ON HEMP LEGAL MATTERS
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: MARCH 15, 2000.
RE: Drug Wars Priorities Commentary, Mar. 15, 2000.
Thanks to Arianna Huffington for exposing the limitless corruption of the "Drug War" and its failed policies. She said, "Yet putting $1.7 billion into Colombia, in the middle of a civil war, is more than misguided: Its nuts." Nuts like the rest of the Drug War.
Richard M. Davis
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: SEPTEMBER 14, 1999.
RE: Medical Need a Factor in Pot Cases, Court says. Page One, Sept.14, 1999.
God bless the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for punching yet another hole in the Prohibition of marijuana at the federal level. Then add them to the long list of non-physicians who feel compelled to practice medicine, or in this case force another judge to practice medicine. Dont we ALL have the right to determine our own course of treatment in consultation with our own physician in private. If not why are all these ads trying to sell me drugs for my sex life, my stomach, etc. Maybe I am just feeling compelled to practice being free. Marijuana IS medicine.
Richard M. Davis
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: AUGUST 10, 1999.
RE: Drug Policy Hypocrisy.
Is it any wonder that public health officials were "caught off-guard by the trend" of teenage use of bidi (beedie) tobacco cigarettes, when our focus is on a $289 million dollar military operation in Colombia over coca cultivation. And the bottom line: Tobacco: 400,000+ deaths annually; all illegal drugs (including coca): 7,000 deaths annually. I call it drug policy hypocrisy - no one goes to jail over a bidi.
Richard M. Davis, Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: MARCH 15, 1999.
RE: Reply to Times Editorial: "Be Wary on Marijuana Law," March 14, 1999.
When it comes to medical marijuana the people of California have much more going for them than Proposition 215. The Constitution of the State of California, Article 1, Declaration of Rights, Section 1, states: "All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."
Inalienable rights are the strongest rights; they are personal and fundamental as declared by the Legislature (California Code, Civil Code 1798.1). According to our founding document, the Declaration of Independence they are given to us by the Creator, as was marijuana.
The L.A. Times Editorial Staff and the people have got to get over their fear of their most cherished rights. It is our individual right to be left alone to both grow, smoke, or eat marijuana on our property, for medicine, recreation or any other reason. This is the right of half a million adult Americans in the State of Alaska with what I would say is weaker constitutional protection since 1975(Ravin v. Alaska, 537 P.2d 494, Alas.1975). We go to jail, and they light up. That contradiction is a sickness for which marijuana could provide some relief.
The Times argues against use, for any illness for which marijuana provides relief. Thats a huge loophole inviting illegal use of marijuana. Even in a medical context, its reckless." I say to the Times that my inalienable right " to enjoying and defending life and to pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy," take precedent over marijuana prohibition and your desire to practice medicine. Marijuana needs no "strict state oversight" as you suggest, save that for our inalienable rights. Giving patients the right to grow marijuana and not the rest of us is, as I see it, a violation of equal protection under the law.
Richard M. Davis Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: MARCH 10, 1998.
RE: Nation in Brief: "Scalia Says Court Defers to Congress."
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in speaking to the AMA, sounds like he forgot his job description. He said the Congress should decide such vexing questions as abortion rights, the death penalty and physician-assisted suicide. Justice Scalia needs to be reminded from the Declaration of Independence that governments are instituted to protect individual rights, not the rights of society as proclaimed by a male dominated Congress. As our first Chief Justice John Marshall said in 1788:
"To what quarter will you look for protection from an infringement on the Constitution, if you will not give the power to the judiciary?"
Richard M. Davis, Curator, USA Hemp Museum
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: 1995 & 1998.
RE: ALASKA AND FACTS ON CANNABIS.
Have we been missing something? Is marijuana such a powerful drug, that it has made the entire U.S. crazy. Governors of most states, the U.S. Congress, the judiciary, the last dozen presidents, all have failed to discuss, research, or act on the fact that marijuana is a lie. We have waged a miserable "war on drugs" for the past five or six decades, with twelve million person years served in prison in the past 63 years of Cannabis prohibition.
We need facts. The debate is so sensitive that the President of the U.S.A., has to worry about having inhaled it. What a joke that is to someone like myself who has used Cannabis virtually everyday for 31 years. Here are my facts and sources, along with my commentary.
FACT #1: All adult citizens of Alaska, age 19 and older, have the right to both grow and smoke Cannabis in the privacy of their homes-four ounces per adult. The Alaska Supreme Court in Ravin v. State, 537 P;.2d 494 (Alaska 1975), held that, "the state constitutional right to privacy protects the possession and use of marijuana, by an adult, for personal use in the home in a non-commercial context."
SOURCE: State of Alaska, Department of Law, Criminal Division, Bruce M. Botelho, Attorney General. P.O. Box 110300, Juneau, Alaska, 99811-0300.
COMMENTARY: Do we not have a right to privacy in California? Why is it that Alaskan citizens are smugly puffing at home, while we in California get our doors beat down and jail time for similar offenses. Why do I hear throughout the media that federal law takes jurisdiction over state law? Why isn't the Federal government invading Alaska? Could it be that states rule under the Tenth Amendment, since drug interdiction is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
FACT #2: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." (Amendment IX, U.S. Constitution.) And, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved by the people." (Amendment X, U.S. Constitution.)
SOURCE: The Constitution of the United States.
COMMENTARY: It appears as though the people of Alaska exercised their right to retain privacy in their state Constitution, thus securing their homes from invasion by the federal government. This is what I call family values-ones that begin at home. Why can't California extend this freedom to the people?
Ask Governor Wilson, he will not even let serious and terminally ill persons grow Cannabis as medicine. I believe like the people of Alaska, we should all have the right to the privacy of our homes and yards.
FACT #3: Nobody has ever died ingesting or smoking Cannabis/marijuana. This is an extremely important fact so I want you to read it from the Drug Enforcement Administration's own document, written by their own Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young, in 1988, after completing a two-year study of medical marijuana and its safety. He wrote:
"The record shows the following facts to be uncontroverted (undisputed):
3. The most obvious concern when dealing with drug safety is the possibility of lethal effects. Can the drug cause death?
4. Nearly all medicines have toxic potentially lethal effects, but marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.
5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision.
Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.
6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year."
SOURCE: DEA Docket #86-22, September 6, 1988. "Marijuana Rescheduling Petition."
COMMENTARY: We have all been lied to over and over. The "killer weed" and "assassin of youth" of the 1930's turns out to be a wimp among drugs- safe and mellow. How do we explain these facts? Legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and aspirin kill people, yet adults are free to buy and use them. And medically prescribed drugs kill many more. Prozac, which has l,700 use related deaths, is an example.
Cannabis kills no one, yet adults are jailed for a host of cannabis related crimes. Cannabis is effective, safe medicine, which we could all grow in our yards. Marijuana as the "killer drug" is a lie. Learn the facts.
Richard M. Davis Curator, USA Hemp Museum
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.
RE: BILLYS BILLS; L.A. TIMES, OCT. 2, 1997.
NOTE TO BILLYS MOM.
Billy has a right to use medical Cannabis in California. I have seen enough cases to know that Billys pain, nausea, and headaches will be reduced following chemotherapy and his appetite will be stimulated. Ask your doctor. Learn about Cannabis. You can take away Billys pain.
Judge Francis L. Young, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Docket # 86-22, in 1988, ruled that no person has died from Cannabis consumption in 5,000 years of recorded use, and that Cannabis has accepted medical use in the United States for the treatment of the symptoms of cancer. California has listened and made it possible to use Cannabis (CA Health and Safety Code 11362.5) through a peoples initiative.
Cannabis can be vaporized, smoked, baked into cookies, made into tinctures and extracts. Someone you know can get Cannabis for you, until you can legally grow a supply for Billy.
Good luck and God bless you both.
Richard M. Davis Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum