This issue of the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform begins with three articles about political strategies for reform. Doug McVay’s article on Cannabis Reform in the United States advances a general strategy for the end or marijuana prohibition based on Aristotle’s three forms of persuasion and summarizes the current approach of activists and groups in today’s movement. Mariann Garner-Wizard then takes a critical look at 2004’s Proposition 2 in Alaska and advances valuable lessons learned from that attempt to persuade Alaskans to authorize legalization in their state. Jon Gettman takes a look at the use of the public policy and political process to address the needs of medical cannabis users and argues for giving priority to the needs of patients over politically expedient strategies.
The next section of the March 2007 Bulletin concerns legal strategies for reform. Carl Olsen explains the legal foundation for his recent suit on the sacramental use of cannabis and provides a short summary of recent important court decisions regarding the religious use of drugs. Jag Davies and Rick Doblin discuss the recommendation of an administrative law judge that DEA award a license to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst to grow cannabis for medical research and the significance of this victory for the medical cannabis movement. Caren Woodson describes recent efforts to get the Department of Health and Human Services to recognize that cannabis has accepted medical use in the United States and the use of the federal Data Quality Act to get HHS to recognize scientific developments in this area.
More attention to the medical cannabis issue follows, starting with a brief article on how the Drug Enforcement Administration distinguishes between Marinol, dronabinol, and THC for regulatory and legal purposes. Arnold Trebach provides a valuable article on the medical cannabis issue, valuable not only as a summary of the importance of this pressing issue but valuable as well in that it was written over 20 years ago. First published in 1986 Trebach’s article demonstrates the clarity and moral persistence that launched the medical cannabis issue during the 1980s in response to the pressing needs and leadership of medical cannabis patients such as Bob Randall, the subject of the lead article in the August 2006 issue of the Bulletin. Trebach’s 1986 article is followed by an update on the events he described then. Together these two pieces provide a short summary of the issue over the last few decades.
The concluding article in this issue takes a historical look at hemp, focusing on the problems experienced by hemp farmers in the era immediately following World War II. This article reports on congressional hearings held in the post-war years and the efforts to protect hemp cultivation from harassment from federal narcotics officials.