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Top Cognitive Liberty News
From the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
February 14, 2005

Greetings! There's quite a bit of news for the past month. As you'll see, the cognitive liberty umbrella transcends the traditional red-blue, right-left, simplistic politics of today, in favor of a larger more integral and nuanced approach. Cognitive liberty is good for everyone. If you support our work, which escapes traditional categorization, we really do count on you for donations! Please give what you can:

 To donate online blip to:


Special Gift For You: Axis of Evil: Perforated Praetur Naturam
Qualiatica generously donated a limited number of factory fresh hard-bound copies of their new Axis of Evil book, which we are now offering as thank you gifts for donations of $200 of more. This is a beautiful coffee-table book with art and essays addressing the concept of "evil," something front and center in today's politics. Many thanks to Qualiatica President Jim Swanson for the gifts!

CCLE Welcomes Michael Ostrolenk as DC Policy Fellow
The CCLE is pleased to welcome Michael D. Ostrolenk as the new CCLE Policy Fellow in Washington, DC. In addition to advocating for CCLE issues in Washington DC, Michael will be providing reports, updates, and notes on federal topics that are relevant to supporters of cognitive liberty. We're excited to have Michael as part of the CCLE team. To learn more about Michael, follow the above link. His "Liberty Watch" for this month is included below.

UN Considers CCLE Suggestions 
for Protecting Freedom of Thought
In late-January, the UN’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) and International Bioethics Commission (IBC) met to review written comments to guide the draft of an International Declaration on Universal Norms on Bioethics. The CCLE recommended incorporating clear freedom of thought protections and stressed the need to incorporate clear wording and protections for brain privacy, autonomy and choice. We are still awaiting to see if our suggestions are incorporated in the final draft. The CCLE’s suggestions can be viewed by following the above link.

Child Medication Safety Act Passes as part of IDEA Bill!
Responding to parents who have been pressured by school officials to place their child on a psycho-stimulant like Ritalin or be barred from attending school, Congress finally has passed precedent-setting legislation protecting parental choice. In 2004 the CCLE worked hard on this issue (see the above link for more about our campaign) because we are opposed to the conditioning of a public benefit on the mandatory use of a psychotropic drug. While the new law is a big step in the right direction, there's much more to do. See our Liberty Watch Report below for info on HR 181.

CCLE Provides Free Help to Australian Ayahuasca Case
An Australian court is currently deciding an ayahuasca case involving a man who was arrested for allegedly possessing a small amount of ayahuasca. The case is important because the legality of ayahuasca is currently contested in a number of countries, and the US government continues to argue that US prohibition is required under several international anti-drug treaties. 

In January CCLE attorney Richard Glen Boire provided, pro bono, important legal documents to the Australian case, arguing that while synthetic DMT is a controlled substance, ayahuasca is not. A version of this argument was rejected earlier in the USA UDV case, but we believe it is an argument with merit that will hopefully receive review if a future appeal occurs in the USA UDV case. This is an issue of first impression in the Australian courts. In January, a French court ruled in favor of this argument in an important European ayahuasca case.

CCLE Opposes National ID Bill
The CCLE joined the ACLU, Amnesty International, and a diverse coalition of other privacy and civil rights groups in urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose HR 418. If passed, the bill will create a de facto national ID card.  

Salvia Divinorum Under Attack - CCLE Responds
A misguided legislator in Missouri, Rachel Bringer, has introduced a bill seeking to place the plant Salvia divinorum in Schedule I of the Missouri Controlled Substances Act.  On January 23, 2005, the CCLE sent Rep. Bringer a letter and report pointing out that Salvia divinorum does not meet the criteria for placement in Schedule I, and that criminal prohibition of the plant would make matters worse not better. We directed her to a more sensible solution which simply restricts sales of the plant to minors; a solution utilized with success by the city of St. Peters in Rep. Bringer's own state. See the above page for a link to our letter.

Dr. Shulgin Featured in New York Times Magazine
Dr. Alexander Shulgin, a member of the CCLE Board of Advisors, was profiled in an article that appeared in the Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005 New York Times Magazine. The article mentions the CCLE's drug education project Ask Dr. Shulgin Online. 

We'll be posting a new answer by Dr. Shulgin in the next week. All those subscribed to the Ask Dr. Shulgin announcement list will receive a notification. To join that list go here:

Alexander and Ann Shulgin will be chatting live on the web with Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
To join the chat, visit:

Converging Technologies For Improving Human Performance
NBIC 2005: A 2-day conference February 24-25, Kailua-Kona, HI.
For the third year in a row, the CCLE is proud to sponsor and present at this prestigious conference, chaired by members of the National Science Foundation. The conference looks at how nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science are converging on the human, and thereby making it possible for improved physical and mental performance. Simultaneously, these developments raise many new legal and ethical issues. In the past years, we've found this conference to be a great place for discussing and developing the multi-dimensional scope of cognitive liberty with a diverse group of experts from government, industry, and academia. Join us there!

Liberty Watch:  109th Congress
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in response to the Orwellian sounding New Freedom Commission on Mental Health’s recommendations which include calling for de-facto universal mental health screening of children in government schools and other citizens has offered H.R. 181 "The Parental Consent Act." H.R. 181 would forbid federal funds to be used to establish or implement any universal or mandatory mental health screening program. Also, parents cannot be charged with child abuse or neglect if they opt out of screening programs. There are efforts in the Senate to introduce similar legislation. 

In response to the bi-partisan efforts to destroy Americans privacy, Congressman Paul has introduced H.R. 220 The Identity Theft Prevention Act.  H.R. 220 among many things would repeal the creation of the unique health identifier which was required under HIPAA. The unique health identifier is a government number given to all American which will be used to track all of their healthcare information from birth to the grave. Up until now, Congressman Paul has been able to defund its implementation. The bill would also repeal the de-facto national id provisions in the Intelligence Reform bill that passed in the 108th Congress. It would also require all Americans to get a new social security number which can only be used for social security and not any private or other government purposes.

The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics has joined the Liberty Coalition which is a transpartisan coalition working to protect civil liberties. The coalition partners include ACLU, American Conservative Union, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Gun Owners of America, American Policy Center, Pain Relief Network, Cyber Privacy Project, EdWatch, Americans for Tax Reform, Meyda Online Info Security, Privacy, and Liberties Studies, Fairfax County Privacy Council, EdWatch, Republican Liberty Caucus, Free Congress, National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Citizen Outreach and the Center for Liberty and Community.

How do we do all this innovative  work? Because unique people like you make the CCLE one of the charities they actively support. The CCLE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so donations are tax-deductible in the US. Big donations, such as transferring appreciated stock, provide major tax advantages and really help us to plan beyond the short-term. Please make a donation today, and give whatever you can.  Thanks!

Top Cognitive Liberty News is a free service provided by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. The CCLE is rights-based public policy organization dedicated to promoting freedom of thought. The CCLE depends entirely on the private donations of individuals who seek to protect and enhance freedom of thought in the 21st century.