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IACM-Bulletin of February 6, 2000


Canada โ€” Judge orders discharge on marijuana trafficking case

Saying people who use marijuana for medicinal purposes have to get the drug from somewhere, a judge has granted a conditional discharge to a man caught transporting cannabis to the Vancouver Compassion Club.

Marcus Richardson was caught in November 1998, when police found six kilograms of marijuana in his car and $6,000 cash, which Judge J.B. Paradis found was provided by the cannabis club to buy marijuana for its members.

Richardson was convicted in June of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, but Paradis noted in passing sentence last week that the Vancouver police department is aware of and tolerates the Compassion Club. While giving Richardson the conditional discharge and putting him on probation for six months, the judge also ordered that the $6,000 be returned to the club.

The Compassion Club distributes small amounts of cannabis to 600 patients. Noting there is no pharmacy that sells marijuana, Paradis said in a 14-page judgement that if Health Canada has agreed to grant exemptions from drug laws to people who get medical benefits from the drug, those people have to get it elsewhere.

"The pharmacy in this case, known to and tolerated by police, is the Canadian Compassion Club Society," he said. "Marijuana will not fall into its hands as manna from heaven. It must be obtained directly from growers, as is now the case, or through a middleman such as Mr. Richardson, as was the case in November 1998."

(Source: Vancouver Sun of 29 January 2000)

UK โ€” Government on odds over cannabis

Some days ago Mo Mowlam became the first Cabinet Minister in history to admit breaking the law on smoking cannabis. She admitted that she had tried marijuana, did not like it, but -- unlike President Clinton -- had inhaled. She is known to be "sympathetic" to proposals to decriminalise the personal and medicinal use of cannabis.

Mowlam, responsible for government drugs policy since October 1999, might have been thought to be reflecting a new softer government line on cannabis. But the apparently relaxed united front masks deep rifts in the Cabinet, the Observer reported on 23 January. She is being blocked by Home Secretary Jack Straw and Prime Minister Tony Blair who see any move in this area as the tip of an iceberg leading to the decriminalisation of cannabis.

The Government hit back at these claims of the Observer. "Any suggestion that the Government's anti-drugs policy is in disarray and that Ministers are at odds is complete speculation," a Cabinet Office statement of 23 January said. "Government policy on cannabis is steadfast -- possession and use of this drug is illegal and will remain so. (...) As for medicinal use, vigorous scientific tests are being carried out right now to discover whether any medical benefit can be gained from the drug."

(Sources: The Observer of 23 January 2000, PA News of 23 January 2000)

Germany โ€” Bioressource Hemp & Other Fibre Plants, September 2000 / Cannabis and cannabinoids: Call for papers

The world's largest scientific-technical symposium on hemp, BIORESOURCE HEMP, will open its doors for the third time after 1995 and 1997. For the symposium in 2000, about 400 participants are expected. BIORESOURCE HEMP 2000 will be held at the conference centre in Wolfsburg, Germany from 13 to 16 September 2000 as part of the EXPO-2000 project "Kreislaufwirtschaft" (Closed-Loop Economy).

The last day of the symposium will focus on the cannabinoids with emphasis on possible medical applications and unwanted effects in therapy. A total of 60 to 80 technical presentations will be given, including 10 to 12 on cannabinoids on 16 September. Conference languages are English and German (simultaneous translation).

As in previous years, the BIORESOURCE HEMP 2000 is organized by nova-Institute in collaboration with the event and promotion agency TriTec GmbH (Bochum). BIORESOURCE HEMP 2000 is sponsored by the City of Wolfsburg. Further sponsors are welcome.

Co-operating partners of the BIORESOURCE HEMP 2000 are


##The International Hemp Association (IHA), Amsterdam,

##Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Cologne.


Those interested in giving a presentation or showing a poster are requested to submit an abstract (e-mail) to the nova-Institute by March 1, 2000.

For more information please check:

Contact: nova-Institute, Daike Lohmeyer & Karin Schnurpfeil, e-mail:, or for the day on cannabinoids: nova-Institute, Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen,

News in brief


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors put its stamp of approval on 31 January on a plan to issue identification cards to medical marijuana users. The city ordinance is designed to allow qualified cardholders to obtain high-grade marijuana from several dispensaries without fear of being arrested. It still must be considered by Mayor Willie Brown. The card will not contain a name or photo for confidentiality purposes but will display a serial number. Similar ID card programs are used in Mendocino County and Arcata. (Source: AP of 1 February 2000)


A woman with multiple sclerosis was convicted of drug possession on 28 January for lighting a marijuana cigarette in a congressman's Capitol Hill office when she felt the onset of an attack related to her illness. Judge Stephanie Duncan-Peters of the District of Columbia Superior Court ruled that the woman, 39, had not met the burden of proof necessary for a medical defence. She could have sentenced the mother of four to six months in jail and fined her $1,000, but instead ordered her to perform 50 hours of community service and pay court costs of $50. (Source: AP of 29 January 2000)