Monday, July 21, 2003


CatiaTV is still down but the buzz is slowly building. The only source of real news on Blanca and her community station is coming from They have a significant amount of coverage archived(enter Catia TV). President Hugo Chavez Frias himself came out in support of the station, however the national Venezuelan media has been slow to cover the story and only did so in the glare of international outrage from activists within the authentic press. Journalists Without Borders issued a statement in support, Human Rights Watch has been reportedly vacillating. I wrote to Pena yesterday; I think I'll write to HRW today.

Quote of the day goes to Presidente Chavez:

I wonder how Venezuela would have been if I had not been returned to power on April 13, 2002.



The good news comes from Igor Grant, MD, director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis, professor of psychiatry. Grant's analysis, published in the July issue of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, concludes there is no long term damage from heavy marijuana use.

The bad news comes from Sanho Tree, Fellow, Drug Policy Project, Institute for Policy Studies and my sister Anne. Sanho sends a link to a slide show of photograhs taken in Columbia last month that brutally illustrates the harm the US eradication project is causing to the innocent indigneous people. If they operated in this manner in the US, they would be criminally prosecuted.

My sister sent me the most disturbing news of the week so far, districts attorneys in North Carolina have started to prosecute drug cases under the anti-terrorism laws. Seems they don't like the penalities under the existing drug laws and think they should be able to stretch the crime to fit a statute that delivers a longer sentence. I hate when my nightmares start coming true, but I really love that my Sis thought to send me the story.



Guess this falls into the category of flotsam and jetsam. Someone sent this eye-opening exercise that measures your consumption of the planet's resources, the site calls it your footprint. I fell below average, but not by enough. Kind of scary stuff if you think about it too long.

To balance the depressing nature of that I did also receive a charming bit of fluff that I found funny. Hope you do too.



At the opportune moment, activist burnout came up as a topic on the drugwar list this week. Burnout is something I struggle with all the time in my day job. I'm under a lot of stress in my fight for what passes for justice in present day America. I had just been asking myself, why I had become so involved now? This is what I told the list:

I'm a part time conscript in this war but I live and breathe the battle. I've only started actively fighting on this front in last few months but I've been engaged in the combat all my life.

I work 40+ at the law firm, at least 25% of the load is drug and alcohol related defense but the cases like Banamex v. Narconews keep me in the field. Trying to build precedents for common sense. My firm employs between 11-15 people at any given time. Four of us and the indefatigible energy of Al G. beat Akin Gump to protect the voice of the internet. The aggregate of our single efforts is making a difference.

I think and talk about this war almost all the time. Since I decided to join up - I have no real life. I don't return calls, I rarely go out except for my M-F stop at the local pub for one, on my way home from work. Then I get here and spend 2 to 4 hours reading and sometimes writing about my outrage. On the weekends I can easily end up spending all day catching up on what I missed.

My friends are worried. I haven't seen anyone in weeks. They're starting to talk about my new addiction. I've missed the last four big parties in town. They show up sometimes to pry my fingers off the keyboard...

Oddly, for a person who loathes schedules, my best defense against burnout is a routine of sorts. I make it a point to try to spend 30 minutes a day outdoors in a quiet place where I can hear the birds and see the sky and try to get quiet and think about nothing. I just watch the world unfold and see what the universe wants to tell me.

All I can say really is that I'm over 50 years old and I've seen this war ebb and flow more than once. I remember when cannabis felt almost legal, ignored at least by law enforcement, and I think it can happen again thanks to all your heroic efforts. Take heart my dears - it's like watching your kid grow. You don't notice the changes because you're there every day but the growth is apparent to those outside the daily grind.

I think we are winning,



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