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News Articles on Drug Policy Reform and Religion


Article from Net: Bookstore privacy of records compromised. 1

Article from Net: RAVE Act passes w/o 'rave'; dance environment favors psychoactives. 3

Article from Net: Ricaurtegate: gov't censorship/lies & E research. 4

Article from Net: Cognitive Liberty in the Classroom.. 5

Article from Net: Cognitive Liberty Course. 6

Article from Net: 56% of congress acknowledge reasonableness of medical cannabis. 6

Newsletter: Drug War Chronicle #311 - November 14, 2003. 7

Newsletter: Rays of hope in drug policy reform.. 9


Article from Net: Bookstore privacy of records compromised

========= article from the net =======


Privacy Policy:

The information that you provide to us, either when you simply visit our site, or order from us online is held in strict confidentiality. We will not share it with anyone, for profit or for free. You may order from us with confidence that your privacy rights are protected.***

***As of the end of October 2001 there has been a slight change in the above policy. The antiterrorism bill has been signed into law. It gives the federal government expanded authority to search business records, including the titles of books purchased by our customers. The new law includes a gag order that prevents us from disclosing “to any other person” the fact that we have received an order to produce documents. The Episcopal Bookstore will resist any requests as far as we can. Except for complying with this law, we will continue to keep your information strictly confidential.

The events occurring since the September 11th event keep most of us on edge, not only us in this ministry-which-is-the-store, but, it seems, to many others. We’ve noticed a different pattern to the frequency of shoppers visiting our store. We have also seen a dramatic increase in orders through this Web site. Apparently many customers are more comfortable ordering without leaving their home or workplace.

If this fits you at this time, please know that we will do all we can to meet your needs as an individual, with our utmost care, and with the dedication to get your purchases to you quickly and safely. The increased number of sales has not effected our quick, personal service to you, our brothers and sisters in Christ.



Search past year for "tattered".  This case -- based around a drug book bought from Tattered Cover -- is still in development.



Prize-Winning US Writers Queue Up To Defend Privacy Of Customer Who Bought Uncle Fester's Illicit Manual

It never won a Pulitzer or appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists but a 400-page book about the manufacture of illicit drugs by an author known as Uncle Fester is at the centre of a legal battle over the privacy of the US book-buying public.  In what has been described as a landmark case for the US book industry, the Tattered Cover bookshop in Denver, Colorado, has spent 18 months resisting the attempts of both police and courts to obtain the identity of a customer who purchased Uncle Fester's opus, Advanced Techniques of Clandestine Drug Laboratories .

Many of the country's most celebrated authors, publishers and booksellers are supporting the shop, which has argued that handing over the information would be a serious attack on free speech.

'There is a right to privacy in this country and that includes the right to read what we like without government interference,' says award-winning novelist Michael Chabon.  'If the police get what they are after in this case, what is to stop them demanding to know all sorts of things - like who has been reading books about any subject the authorities deem to be 'dangerous', such as religious beliefs that don't fit into the so-called mainstream.'

Chabon, who won the Pulitzer last year for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, is one of several leading writers, including David Eggers, Dorothy Allison and the children's book author Daniel Handler, who have giving financial support to the Tattered Cover's legal defence fund, along with the American Booksellers' Foundation.

'People shop in bookstores on the understanding that their choices are confidential,' says Chris Finan, president of the ABF's Foundation for Free Expression.  'There are a lot of books about subjects - mental health, sexual dysfunction - that we do not want our wives or husbands to know we've been reading about.  If people know the police can get that kind of information they will not shop for those books.'

The case centres on a raid by drug enforcement officers at a trailer park near Denver in March last year.  The Uncle Fester book and another called Advanced Techniques of Clandestine Psychedelic Drug Laboratories were found inside a trailer owned by a man suspected of operating a methamphetamine lab.  An envelope discovered in his rubbish bin contained an invoice from the Tattered Cover.

The following day four plainclothes officers arrived at the shop with a search warrant, demanding to know if the books were bought there and, if so, by whom.  The shop's owner, Joyce Meskis, refused to provide the information.  'It is not our job to do the police's work for them,' she said.

Denver police then asked that it enforce the subpoena.  At a subsequent hearing, lawyers for the bookshop argued the police had failed to interview other witnesses who could have helped convict the suspect.  Details of a customer's purchasing record were not sufficiently important to the criminal case to justify the 'chilling effect' that releasing such information would have on the right to free speech enshrined in the First Amendment, they said.

However, the court upheld the police request - a decision which has been challenged by the shop's owners in the State's Supreme Court.  A ruling on the appeal is expected in the next few weeks.

The case has echoes of that brought by Kenneth Starr against two bookshops in Washington DC during his investigation into the Monica Lewinsky 'scandal'.  When it emerged that Lewinsky - who was said to have given President Clinton several books as presents - was a regular customer at the shops, Starr demanded to see her purchase records.  The shops' owners resisted his request, but the case never reached court after Lewinsky struck a deal with the former Independent Counsel.

Finan said yesterday there was a growing problem with authorities seeking private information from bookshops.  'I'm afraid this may be a bad idea whose time has come, and the chilling effect on publishing could be very serious indeed.  In the Lewinsky case, a false rumour went around that the bookshops were going to comply with Starr's request.  The effect of that was they saw a big fall-off in business.  People trust bookstores to protect them.  If they don't have that trust, they will not shop there.'

The Tattered Cover, spread over four floors in downtown Denver, is a required stop on the book tour schedule for every bestselling author and has a reputation for stocking radical, independently published books that have little chance of finding shelf space in chain stores such as Borders and Barnes and Noble.

Meskis said she had been heartened by the support she and her staff had received from writers, publishers and the public.  More than 400 people turned up at a fund-raising event at a San Francisco bookshop last night.

'Like us, they realise that everyone in society has to do what they can to uphold the rule of law but that we also have an obligation to the community to protect the constitution.  When you have one responsibility bumping up against another, then that's when the courts should decide.'

========= end of article from the net =======

Article from Net: RAVE Act passes w/o 'rave'; dance environment favors psychoactives

The RAVE act has been an ongoing struggle for a year.  It's surprising how it finally passed, by not being a separate bill but by slipping into another, and by removing the particular reference to 'rave'.  This news item shows that even though the drug policy reform situation is dismal, it is an ongoing battle and the existing activist efforts are having some effect.

Rock concerts have become extremely restrictive, the opposite of the early "dance concerts" of the late 1960s, which were like the Acid Test happenings.  Raves have served to replace the restrictive rock concert environment by a return to the more open environment of the Acid Test happenings and the late 1960s "dance concerts". 

There is a connection between "dance" and entheogens.  The necessary openness of a dance environment, compared to a stationary-seating rock concert, seems to break open enough free, flexible situation to enable psychoactives in as well.  Stationary-seating rock concerts have become almost totally controlled, whereas it is inherently harder to control a "dance" environment so firmly.

-----Original Message-----

From: Drug Policy Alliance

Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 1:39 PM

Subject: RAVE Act Passes - Tell Ashcroft Not to Abuse It

Dear Members, Subscribers and Friends,

I do not normally use our alert channel to send a personal message.  However, I wanted to let you know that the Illicit Drug Anti- Proliferation Act (also called the "RAVE Act"), which was attached to the AMBER Alert bill, passed both the House and Senate late yesterday (April 10). 

The RAVE Act threatens free speech and musical expression while placing at risk any hotel/motel owner, concert promoter, event organizer, nightclub owner or arena/stadium owner for the drug violations of 3rd parties - real or alleged - even if the event promoter and/or property owner made a good-faith effort to keep their event drug-free.  It applies not just to electronic-music parties, but to any type of public gathering, including theatrical productions, rock concerts, DJ nights at local bars, and potentially even political rallies. It gives heightened powers and discretion to prosecutors, who may use it to target events they personally don't like - such as Hip-Hop events and gay and lesbian fundraisers.

Sadly, the RAVE Act was added to the AMBER Alert bill conference report at the very last minute by Senator Biden (D-DE), its original sponsor.  The AMBER Alert bill creates a system for responding to child abduction.  It has nothing to do with drug policy.  The RAVE Act had not passed even a single committee in the House or Senate this year.  One senator's pet issue made a mockery of the Democratic process - becoming law without any public hearing or opportunity for input whatsoever.

You should be aware that your letters and faxes clearly had an effect.  (FYI - you sent Congress 13,000 faxes this week alone!!)  For example, the word "rave" was removed from the version of the bill that passed.  Eliminating such blatant discrimination is a victory for our continued freedom of speech.  Also, the original bill suggested that prosecutors should view the sale of water and the presence of glowsticks or massage oil as evidence of drug use.  These ludicrous "findings" were completely removed thanks to you. 

President Bush will sign this child abduction bill, which means the RAVE Act will become law as well.  We will be working with the legislators who opposed this provision - such as Senators Durbin, Kennedy and Leahy and Representatives Conyers and Scott - for its repeal.  In the meantime, however, it is up to all of us to be the watchdogs of its enforcement. 

Attorney General John Ashcroft will have to make decisions about its enforcement priority among the many public safety issues the Department of Justice handles.  He must be held responsible when he implements this scheme.  We want him to know that he is not free to shut down our dance clubs, our festivals and our freedoms.  We will be watching the activities of law enforcement and prosecutors, and we will act when our rights are violated.  You can help us by faxing Attorney General Ashcroft here. 


We thank our many partners in this effort for your hard work: EM:DEF, ROAR, Buzzlife Productions, Davey D., electronic dance and music organizations throughout the U.S., club owners, hotel organizations, beverage and licensing groups, the ACLU and many, many others.  But most of all, I want to say thank you personally to our members and supporters. 

You truly deserve credit for reacting so quickly and so forcefully.  It has really been amazing.  When Bill McColl, our Director of National Affairs, told me about this issue last June he said that he thought the RAVE Act would pass in about 2 weeks.  You proved us wrong.  It took 10 months, a change in control of the Senate, backroom maneuverings and substantial changes to the bill.   I'm proud of the hard work of our members, friends and our coalition.  Rest assured we will continue to work together to mobilize opposition and advocate to fix this dangerous law. 


Ethan Nadelmann

Executive Director

Drug Policy Alliance

Article from Net: Ricaurtegate: gov't censorship/lies & E research

The Ricaurte bunk-research expose clearly reveals the forces of prohibition-for-profit that distort and misportray entheogenic and therapeutic tools as worthless hazards. -mh

Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003

To: drugnews at psychedelic-library.org

Subject: Re: Ricaurte Retracts Science Paper about MDMA and dopamine

At 12:55 07/11/2003 -0800, Robert Forte wrote:

I find it more than plausible that Ricaurte was knowingly fraudulent in the corrupt field of drug research and politics.   Here is a little story.   I was a graduate student at the U of Chicago from 82-85, in the divinity school, where, among other investigations of drugs and consciousness, I conducted some quasi formal naturalistic studies of the effects of MDMA.  In the course of this three year project I observed that in addition to the theological language my subjects (students and faculty) used to describe their experience (grace, agape, love, acceptance, belonging), they also described the experiences, with little provocation, as intensely therapuetic, psychologically.  So I brought my little bag of the then-legal magic dust over to the medical school where I interested Daniel Freedman, then president of the American Psychiatric Association, in its curative effects. Dr Freedman was very interested in the abundant anecdotal evidence that MDMA experiences could be useful in treating addictions and he sent me over to Dr Charles Schuster who was directing the U of C drug abuse research unit in another part of the hospital. I think Ricaurte was on his staff at the time. Schuster and I had several meetings. I gave him some MDMA, which he gladly accepted, and suggested he try it with his significant other.

A couple weeks later, on May 31, 1985, as I was on my way to give a presentation to the divinity school on "The Curative Effect of MDMA," a summary of my observations, the headline of the Chicago Tribune read, "Ecstasy Declared Illegal."  The article cited some research done by Charles Schuster, who was now the national expert on the stuff, that it caused brain damage and therefore presented an imminent threat to the public health, justifying this emergency ban.  We knew the ban was coming. A number of us were quickly trying to get some research underway before the government's repressive classification would occur.  But I was shocked that Schuster and his team would so quickly be deemed the experts. The year before, I turned on a few folks at the Harvard medical school: one of them, Lester Grinspoon, then called MDMA one of the most valuable medicines in psychiatry.

So I called Schuster to express my surprise and dismay. He couldn't talk. There was press conference with NBC he had to get ready for. I was welcome to attend he said.  I quickly changed the title of my lecture to "America's Newest Crime," and set off for the hospital, to the news conference.  There I saw Schuster and Lewis Seiden telling the world that their earlier research with MDA led them to think that MDMA would cause the same damage to the brain's serotonergic receptors they found with MDA because of a structural relationship between the molecules; never mentioning that there are a great many fairly common drugs that bear a structural relationship to MDA and therefore should warrant the same concern. Was he calling for a ban on all those diet pills, anti depressants, etc?

While the reporters were still present, I accused him of ruining research into a promising drug by typing it this way in the popular media. I reminded him that there were still people who thought that LSD caused chromosome damage because of government attempts to tarnish that valuable medicine. He ushered me back to his office away from the reporters and explained to me that the government funded his Drug Abuse Research Unit and that sometimes he had to do what he was asked to do and that's all there was to it.  Two years later Dr. Schuster was named head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Article from Net: Cognitive Liberty in the Classroom

===== announcement from the net =======


June 10, 2002

Cognitive Liberty in the Classroom

A unique course recently offered in the Philosophy Department of the University of British Columbia explored the historical precedent and current applications of cognitive liberty. UBC student Mark Bryan was prompted to design this course after years of working within an academic system that ignored any connection between freedom of thought and altered states of consciousness, particularly those engendered by psychedelics. “It always seemed odd to me that the university, a place where freedom of thought is championed, will deal with an immense range of subjects, yet will pretend that psychedelics do not exist. Academic freedom was being hindered by the belief that a certain portion of human thought and activity could be swept under the carpet,” stated Bryan.

Taking advantage of a program allowing for student-directed seminars, Bryan designed and led this innovative course, saying he “wanted to design the ‘Cognitive Liberty: Psychedelic Perspectives’ course in such a way that it would be the most challenging, interesting, and unusual course that I (and hopefully my classmates) participated in at university.”

Despite admonitions that getting approval for this course from the UBC board might meet apathy or even hostility, Bryan’s enthusiasm and academically-sound course outline sparked the curiosity of the oversight committee. After the fact, Bryan confirmed “the success of the class can partially be measured by the amount of interest I received from people who heard about the course after it started.” A class poll elicited responses such as “excellent,” “dynamic,” “rare” and “invaluable.”

The structure and the subject of the course were unique for the university because the course was learner-centered not teacher-centered. Classes were formatted as discussion groups relating to the reading outlined for the week. The reading list ranged from John Stuart Mill to Richard Glen Boire to Thomas Roberts. Guest speakers were also invited to share with the seminar participants. During the “psychedelic cultures” week Scotto Moore, the editor of TRIP magazine, introduced the use of Internet groups as a form of psychedelic community. Additionally, Ken Tupper of Simon Fraser University spoke about his recently defended MA thesis on the use of entheogens as educational tools.

Participants in the course praised its unique focus and overall success. “I really feel that I have been part of a ground-breaking and radical new form of education (related not only to the unique course content, but also to its format as a student-directed course),” raved Stacey Sobell. “I feel more informed, aware and inspired about both psychedelic and cognitive liberty issues that I ever have before. Let’s hope that more and more of these classes start popping up all over, and perhaps our society’s negative relationship with psychedelic substances might begin to change for the better.”

STUDENTS & PROFESSORS -- If you would like more information about developing a “Cognitive Liberty” course at your university, please email info~at~alchemind.org.

===== end of announcement from the net =======

Article from Net: Cognitive Liberty Course

CCLE Announces Launch of New “Cognitive Liberty & Neuroethics” Curriculum

The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics is pleased to announce that its new "Cognitive Liberty & Neuroethics" curriculum is now available on our re-vamped website at:


With the intent of making this course as easy as possible to organize and run, we are offering a syllabus (along with a reading package and web resources) to interested post-secondary professors and students so that they may offer the course to students on their campus, or take it as an independent study option.

Many academic institutions fail to discuss the topic and importance of cognitive liberty (the right of each individual to think independently, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought), even though in today's drug and technology saturated world the topic of cognitive liberty is of utmost importance to anyone interested in living in a society where one has the ability to think freely.

We hope that students will find "Cognitive Liberty & Neuroethics" to be a stimulating, thought-provoking addition to their education. If you know of anyone who might want to run this course at his or her institution, please forward this message to them.

The list below is the weekly topical outline for the course. For greater detail, and many helpful resources for running the course at your university, please visit the course URL at:


Week 1:            Introduction to Cognitive Liberty

Week 2:            Introduction II: Philosophical Issues

Week 3:            Food for Thought: Input & Output

Week 4:            Manufacturing Content I: Freedom and the Classroom (Academic and Intellectual Freedom)

Week 5:            Manufacturing Content II: The Construction of Social Meaning

Week 6:            Consuming Thoughts: The Mass Media

Week 7:         The Politics of Consciousness, Altered States, & Baseline Consciousness

Week 8:          Drugs:  A Highly Opi(nion)ated Battle

Week 9:            Technology & the Mind I

Week 10:          Technology & the Mind II: Social Implications

Week 11:       Reading the Mind: Looking Out, Looking In–Surveillance Technologies

Week 12:       Reality Models

Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE)


Article from Net: 56% of congress acknowledge reasonableness of medical cannabis

According to an article from the net, 55.7% of the congress voted in favor of an amendment to prevent the DEA and Justice Department from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and their caregivers in states that have approved marijuana for medical use.

In practice, the phony racket of prohibition-for-profit is an all-or-nothing battle in the U.S.  If the demon weed is no longer under an absolute curse as king of dope addiction, the entire prohibition scam is bound to completely collapse.  If a single hemp seed is officially sanctioned in the U.S., the entire edifice of the bogus, phony "War on Drugs" will come crashing down. 

Being guilty of witchcraft and sedition is not a matter of degrees; it is inherently emotional, non-rational, all-or-nothing.  Either dope is evil -- pure and simple, absolutely evil, down to the last little hemp seed -- or else Prohibition is a huge, stinking pile of lies and evil.  The moment the prohibitionists are forced to give, even slightly, the entire game is up for them, because rationality is entirely and essentially set against Prohibition. 

To permit even the slightest ray of rationality to shine on Prohibition would bring the entire programme instantly and entirely to shame.  Prohibition is completely dependent on the entire lack of taking a rational stance, a rational and reasoned frame of mind.

-----Original Message-----

From: Drug Policy Alliance

Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:30 PM

Subject: Breaking News: Huge Support for Marijuana Amendment


The Drug Policy Alliance and its allies have been frantically calling congressional offices, converting members of Congress and preparing information on medical marijuana in anticipation of the most exciting drug policy vote in the past ten years and the votes have just come in.

Although the amendment to prevent the DEA and Justice Department from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and their caregivers in states that have approved marijuana for medical use DID NOT PASS, we are overjoyed at the number of Congress men and women who came out in support of reform.

The vote was 152 to 273.  There has never been a vote in U.S. history this favorable towards medical marijuana.

You helped achieve this, let's keep the heat on Congress. As soon as we know how each Representative voted, we will send you the information so that you can thank or educate them.

... the mailing list originating from alerts~at~actioncenter.drugpolicy.org.

Visit http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/managesubscription.asp to learn about other lists you can subscribe to.

Please consider joining the Drug Policy Alliance: http://www.drugpolicy.org/join

Newsletter: Drug War Chronicle #311 - November 14, 2003

A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network

(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psmith~at~drcnet.org

David Borden, Executive Director, borden~at~drcnet.org


http://stopthedrugwar.org/perryfund/psa1.mp3 OR

http://stopthedrugwar.org/perryfund/psa1.wav TO LISTEN!


1.  DRCNet Interview:  Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


2.  South Carolina:  High School Drug Raid Sparks Incredulity, Outrage


3.  DRCNet Honchos Challenge DC with CD -- Borden and Guard Refuse to Report for Jury Service in Protest of Drug Laws


4.  Drug Policy Alliance 2003 Conference


5.  BUSTED:  Special Video Offer for DRCNet Members


6.  Newsbrief:  Canada Decriminalization Bill Dies Quiet Death


7.  Newsbrief:  Bolivian Intellectuals Issue Call for Debate on Coca Law


8.  Newsbrief:  FAMM Study Show States Embracing "Smart on Crime" Reforms


9.  Newsbrief:  Illinois Targets Ecstasy, Speed on Campus


10. Newsbrief:  Texas Drug Task Force Prosecutor Plays "Let's Make a Deal" With Wealthy Defendants


11. This Week in History


12. DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime


13. Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions


14. The Reformer's Calendar



DRCNet needs your support!  Donations can be made by credit card at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ or sent by mail to P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036-8402.  Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible.  Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, same address.

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle is hereby granted.  We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites.  If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization.  If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis.  In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print.  Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail drcnet~at~drcnet.org.

Newsletter: Rays of hope in drug policy reform

There are an unusually high number of relatively positive news articles this week for the drug policy reform movement.  If I can only post an occasional peripherally on-topic posting about drug policy reform, I'd like to post good news.

2. National News

A. Prosecutors Vow Not to Retry Tulia Defendants After Sole "Witness" is Discredited


B. ONDCP to End Drug-Terror Ads, Cancel Evaluation


C. Anti-marijuana Drug Czar Ad Campaign Scares Parents, Endangers Youth


D. National Day of Action for Student Financial Aid


E. Oklahoma: Marijuana Decriminalization Advances


F. DEA Final Rule on Hemp Foods Challenged


3. International News

A. EU Presidency Joins NGOs in Calling for Harm Reduction, Reform of UN Drug Conventions     


B. Denmark: "Free City" Drug Dealers Go On Strike


C. Jamaica to Decriminalize Marijuana


D. Belgium to Legalize Cannabis


E. Brazilian Health Official Slams Failed Drug Policy



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