Some 10,000 studies have been done on cannabis, 4,000 in the U.S., and only about a dozen have shown any negative results and these have never been replicated. The Reagan/Bush Administration put a soft "feeler" out in September of 1983 for all American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries.
Scientists and doctors so ridiculed this unparalleled censorship move that the plans were dropped. . . for the moment.
However, we know that large amounts of information have since disappeared, including the original copy of the USDA's own pro-marijuana film Hemp for Victory. Worse yet, even the merest mention of the film was removed from the official record back to 1958, and has had to be painstakingly reestablished as part of our national archives. Many archival and resource copies of USDA Bulletin 404 have disappeared. How many other such priceless historical documents have already been lost?
In late 1995 and early 1996, Dennis Peron, founder of the Cannabis Buyers' Club in San Francisco, gave California voters Proposition 215, a statewide initiative to make cannabis legal as medicine. The medical marijuana initiative collected 750,000 signatures, made the California ballot and it passed by 56% of the vote in November 1996. Now, in 1998, hundreds of thousands of Californians are growing medical marijuana legally. Nonetheless, the federal government, in clear opposition to the people's mandate, has found ways to harass and close down most of the cannabis buyers'/cultivators' clubs including Peron's.
Interestingly, in 1996, more voters in California voted for medical marijuana than voted for Bill Clinton.
In August of 1997, almost one full year after the passage of Proposition 215 by the majority vote, an L.A. Times poll found that more than 67% of Californians would now vote for it - an increase of 11% in the first year.
Ninety-six percent (nearly 25,000) of the people responding to an ongoing CNN Internet poll, in March of 1998, said they "support the use of marijuana for medical purposes." By contrast, only 4% of respondents (less than 1,000 voters overall) said they opposed the use of cannabis by seriously ill patients.
Californians taking advantage of the new medical marijuana law include police officers, district attorneys and mayors. Some of the same people who formerly arrested and prosecuted citizens for marijuana, medical or otherwise, are now using it themselves or for their families in ever increasing numbers.
Upon reentering the United States from Canada, in March of 1998, California resident Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the highest scoring professional basketball player in history, was busted for possession of a small amount of marijuana. He paid a $500 fine to U.S. Customs and explained to the press that, as a California citizen, he had a doctor's recommendation to use medical marijuana.
Professional and collegiate athletes who live in California and have a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana theoretically do not have to undergo urine testing for cannabis.
Among the thousands of California actors, musicians and writers who legally use medical marijuana was famed author Peter McWilliams, who suffered from AIDS and cancer. He said, "If it weren't for the illegal pot dealers (before Proposition 215), there would have been no marijuana and I wouldn't be alive today. Marijuana eases nausea and makes it possible for me to keep down food and the pills I must take to combat my diseases. Fuck the federal government. Use it if you need it."
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