Last updated
reading time

IACM-Bulletin of August 20, 2000


USA — Legal fight for opening of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative

On 14 August the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has denied the federal government's request for a temporary emergency order to keep the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative from dispensing marijuana as medicine. On 16 August the Federal Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to intervene in this case.

The Oakland cooperative was the only one of six Northern California clubs to appeal a federal judge's closure order in 1998. In 1999 the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told that judge to reconsider, and Judge Charles Breyer last month ruled the cooperative could start dispensing again because the government failed to dispute a medical necessity for marijuana despite its prohibition under federal law.

The government is appealing that ruling, but the 9th Circuit on 14 August refused to stop the cooperative from dispensing during the appeal process. The government now countered this ruling by filing an application to stay the decision with the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Sources: Alameda Times-Star of 15 August 2000, UPI of 16 August 2000, NORML of 17 August 2000)

Belgium — Seminar on marijuana in Parliament

On 15 September 2000 members of the Belgium Parliament will hold a seminar on the 'Medical and recreative use of Marijuana'. The seminar was initialised by Patrik Vankrunkelsven, Vincent Van Quickenborne, Nelly Maes, and Bart Staes.

The morning session will focus on the medical use with


##Nelly Maes, Member of the European Parliament, President of European Free Alliance (EFA), Belgium,

##Patrik Vankrunkelsven, Member of the Belgium Parliament, Prof. of General Medicine, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium

##Prof. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard University, Boston, USA

##Prof. Robert Gorter, University of California, San Francisco, USA

##Prof. David A. Kendall, Nottingham University, UK

##Prof. Thomas Cerny, University of Bern, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Switzerland

##Marleen Haems, Representative of the Pharmacologists Organisation ?Koninklijke Apothekersvereniging voor Antwerpen?, Belgium


Place of the seminar: De Schelp, Vlaams Parlement, Hertogstraat, 1000 Brussels.

(Source: Personal communication by Patrik Vankrunkelsven)

News in brief


1.9 percent of Canadians reported using marijuana for a medical reason in the year preceding a survey of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The survey published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal involved telephone interviews with Ontario adults aged 18 years or more. Interviews were completed with 2508 people. 49 respondents (1.9%) reported using marijuana for a medical reason in the year preceding the survey. Eighty-five percent of the surveyed medical marijuana users reported using it to help relieve pain or nausea. A total of 173 other respondents (6.8%) reported using marijuana but not for medical reasons. (Source: Ogborne AC, Smart RG, Adlaf EM. Self-reported medical use of marijuana: a survey of the general population. CMAJ 2000;162:1685-1686.)


In Germany and the U.S. large events and demonstrations in support of the legalization of marijuana took place. On 19 August the Hanfparade 2000 started at Berlin's Alexanderplatz. On 20 August the Seattle Hempfest 2000 started at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle. Both events anticipated to draw over 50,000 supporters.