Pot-censorship bill passes US Senate

The US Senate has passed a vicious bill which proposes to ban Cannabis Culture, High Times, and any other publication or website which distributes “information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of a controlled substance.”

The bill is called the “Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act 1999” (S.486), but its real target is anyone that speaks out in favour of medicinal marijuana, hemp cultivation, or an end to the drug war.

Aside from censoring pro-pot magazines like Cannabis Culture, the bill would make it a federal crime for a doctor to recommend marijuana to a patient, as well as banning pamphlets explaining the safer use of drugs, brochures promoting needle sterilization and exchange, and even website links to other sites which do any of these things. Since hemp cultivation remains a federal felony, books on how to grow and process industrial hemp would also be banned.

The law would even prohibit linking one website to another that violates the ban. Since cultivation and pot-culture books are carried by every major online bookseller, every site that has a link to Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble could be penalized.

The bill also adds a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence for causing potential “harm to the environment” while producing marijuana or any other banned susbtance.

The restrictive bill is co-sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The House version of the bill (HR 2987) will be debated in January. If it is passed by Congress then it would likely become law, and there is no indication that President Clinton would try to veto the bill.

This bill is extremely harsh and could easily be used to shut down the distribution network of any pro-pot magazines. It was introduced one month after US Drug Czar General McCaffrey specifically quoted the Cannabis Culture website in a speech before Congress, and complained that he was “getting rolled in the public arena.”

For more details on this bill and its other nasty surprises, read Cannabis Culture #22, or go here: Congress Plans Pot-info Ban

To read about General McCaffrey’s diatribe against Cannabis Culture magazine, go here: US Congress hears ‘legalizer’ testimony

For the full text of the “Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act 1999”, go here: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:S.1428:

To read an August 1999 article in Wired about this bill, go here: www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/21152.html

To read the current US anti-paraphernalia law which this bill expands, go here: www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/21/863.html

? If you want to stop this bill, then please send a letter or email to your local and national media, alerting them to this bill and its negative repercussions. Also contact your local representative and urge them to oppose this bill.