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April 18, 1996

DEAth In Colorado; Hemp Cultivation Killed By House Agriculture Committee

April 11, 1996, Denver CO: Legislation (SB 67) that would have allowed Colorado to become the first state to legally grow industrial hemp since World War II was killed by the House Agriculture Committee by a stunning 8 to 5 vote. The results came as a surprise to many who had watched support for domestic hemp legislation grow in recent weeks, including gaining approval from the full Senate.

Many witnesses attribute the outcome to a major show of force from law and drug enforcement officials. During the four-hour hearing, 12 law enforcement officials testified against the bill, including regional DEA representative Greg Williams and Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director Carl Whiteside. Among their arguments, law enforcement testified that there is no difference between industrial hemp and marijuana and that passing the Hemp Industrial Production Act would send the wrong message to young people. "In the minds of many, ... [support for] this will be perceived as a weakening of our anti-marijuana message in our society," stated Special Agent Williams.

"Fear and intimidation" scared off support for this bill in the Committee, said the bill's sponsor, Senator Lloyd Casey (D-Northglenn). Hemp activist Laura Kriho of the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project (CO-HIP) agrees. "The emotional pressure and scare tactics used by these law enforcement agencies effectively strong-armed the state legislature, forcing them to vote for the police and against the farmers of Colorado."

One legislator who voted against the measure, Rep. Russell George (R-Rifle), explained in an interview immediately after the hearing how the testimony of law enforcement influenced his decision. "The key factor in making up my vote was when the ... DEA ... testified and said that under no circumstances would [they] issue any kind of registration or permit," he said. "That meant anything else we did with this bill was a waste of time and was moot because the bill itself said that ... farmer[s] couldn't go forward without a DEA registration."

The presence of the DEA at the hearing was especially troubling to both hemp proponents and Casey who had noted that, prior to the April 11 hearing, representatives from the agency had been cooperative with activists. In the past, the DEA in Colorado had "appeared helpful," noted Kriho. "We had even been told that ... the DEA in Washington, D.C. [was] in the process of reviewing policies related to industrial hemp production. ... [However,] after the DEA testimony at the hearing, I believe it is safe to say that the DEA is not [actively] working with hemp proponents."

Despite this setback, activists remain positive that domestic hemp cultivation in Colorado remains a tangible goal. "We [still] have a lot of momentum and a lot of support," Kriho stated. "We are now in the process of evaluating our strategies and determining our courses of action. We have several interesting options and are excited to be able to pursue them." Unfortunately, though, any future efforts to legalize industrial hemp in Colorado will be without the efforts of Sen. Lloyd Casey or Reps. Steve Acquafresca (R-Cedaredge) and Bill Jerke (R-Lasalle), all of whom are stepping down after this year's session. When asked by NORML if Casey foresees any legislators in Colorado willing to carry the torch after he leaves, the senator's only response was: "I hope so."

For more information on industrial hemp in Colorado, please contact CO-HIP at (303) 784-5632. For more information about the industrial uses for hemp, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500.

Medical Marijuana Initiative Enters Last Week;
Activists Expect To Have Necessary Number Of Signatures

April 18, 1996, Santa Monica, CA: An initiative to legalize the medical use of marijuana appears to have the necessary number of signatures to place it on the November 1996 California ballot, reports Californians for Compassionate Use.

"When organizers across the state turned in their respective estimates ... of signatures gathered for the Compassionate Use Initiative of 1996, the [total] came to over 500,000," reported the CCU on April 12, one week before the deadline. The number needed to qualify the initiative for the 1996 is 433,269.

Activists note that an additional 120,000 to 140,000 were anticipated to have been gathered and turned in during the drive's final week. Such a figure would appear to be well over the amount needed to compensate for any errors or invalid signatures.

California's medical marijuana initiative came about in response to Governor Pete Wilson's decision to veto legislation that would allow for the medical use of marijuana. If the initiative is passed by California voters this fall, the bill will become law immediately and cannot be vetoed.

The 1996 initiative has been endorsed by the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and West Hollywood; the Santa Cruz and Marin Boards of Supervisors; the California Nurses Association, the Los Angeles AIDS Commission, the California Multiple Sclerosis Society; the Orange County register, and many other health and community leaders and organizations.

For more information, please contact Dennis Peron of Californians for Compassionate Use at (415) 621-3986.

California Assembly Committee Votes For Tougher Pot Penalties

April 16, 1996, Sacramento, CA: The California Assembly Public Safety Committee slammed the door on drug reformers by soundly defeating a bill to lessen penalties for medical marijuana and approving another to increase marijuana prison sentences.

The committee, whose complexion has shifted sharply to the right with the Republican takeover of the Assembly this year, turned a deaf ear to the pleas of medical marijuana patients, physicians and AIDS support groups by rejecting a medical marijuana bill sponsored by Rep. John Burton (D-San Francisco). The Burton bill (AB 2120) was a heavily watered-down version of legislation introduced last year by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos to allow for the prescribed use of marijuana for the sick and terminally ill.

Nonetheless, despite the bill's concessions, Burton's proposed legislation was defeated by a vote of 7-1. To many, the vote signified a major reversal in the political attitude regarding medical marijuana. In the past, the Committee had been receptive toward the medical marijuana issue and had approved legislation allowing for its use three years in a row. Also unlike in recent years, Burton's measure was actively opposed by the California Narcotics Officers Association, the Governor's Department of Health, and Attorney General Lungren, who argued that the legislation undercut the established system of drug regulation.

Meanwhile, the committee eagerly approved a measure introduced by Assemblyman Charles Poochigan (R-Fresno) to enhance prison sentences for marijuana sentences involving a kilogram or more by three years and up. Two Democrats joined Republicans in approving the bill, which was strongly backed by the Narcotics Officers and District Attorney's association. "The Committee appeared indifferent to the costs of imprisoning more offenders for non-violent crime," stated California NORML State Coordinator Dale Gieringer, who had opposed the measure. "Throughout the day, it routinely approved all other penalty enhancement bills with no regard as to whether the offenses were violent, serious, or victimless."

Drug reformers hope to derail AB 2764 in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Gieringer noted.

For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer of California NORML at (415) 563-5858.

Assemblyman Vasconcellos To Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill For Second Year In A Row

April, 1996, Sacramento, CA: California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, who last year introduced a medical marijuana bill that made it all the way to the Governor's desk before being vetoed, has once again introduced a measure that would spell some relief for users of medical marijuana. This year's measure would allow a person suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, or glaucoma to enter their medical condition as a defense in a California courtroom if charged with cultivation or possession of marijuana. The bill will be considered by the recently-turned conservative California Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 23.

In the past, staffers for Governor Pete Wilson have stated that Wilson "hates" medical marijuana legislation.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Civil Forfeiture

April 17, 1996, Washington, D.C.: Oral arguments were heard before the Supreme Court in a battle to determine whether seizing property from criminally prosecuted drug dealers constitutes double jeopardy under the United States Constitution.

"Civil forfeiture has never been deemed so punitive ... as to constitute a prosecution or punishment under the [Constitution's] double jeopardy clause," contended Justice Department lawyer Michael Dreeben on behalf of the Clinton administration. The attorney urged the Court to overturn two double-jeopardy decisions in which federal appeals courts in Michigan and California found civil forfeiture to be unconstitutional.

"[This] is, in my mind, the single most important case involving the government's forfeiture authority in the area of narcotics, and possibly other area," said Attorney Lawrence Robbins of Washington, D.C., one of two attorneys arguing against the government controversial, double-barreled anti-drug strategy.

"If this looks like a punishment ... what then is the reason for not treating it like punishment," asked Justice William H. Rehnquist during the procedures. "Where is the principle of coherence?" added Justice David H. Souter.

Under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, no one may be "subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." The Supreme Court has interpreted this provision to prohibit multiple punishments for the same crime.

The Court is expected to rule on this issue sometime in June.

[Portland NORML interjects: It is patently unconstitutional that courts allow forfeiture at all. Every man who signed the Declaration of Independence had his entire estate forfeited to the King of England, and the King actually managed to confiscate many if not most of their properties. Seeing innocent families tossed out on the street penniless so incensed the first Americans that they prohibited forfeiture entirely and explicitly, not just in the Bill of Rights but right off the bat in Article 1 of the Constitution, which states "No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed." Everyone in 1789 knew exactly what a bill of attainder was, especially the people who wrote the Constitution. Webster's still defines it as "forfeiture of property and loss of civil rights of a person sentenced to death or outlawed."]



Regional and other news

Hood River Hemp Fest June 15

The first in what is to be the annual Hood River Hemp Fest is now in its planning stages. Set for 3 to 10 pm Saturday, June 15th in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge at Hood River's Jackson Park, the festival will feature music, vendors, information tables and more. For details or to volunteer call Julie Tucker at (541) 386-3243.

OCTA Petitioner Alert

Volunteers who would like to help gather signatures for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 1997 can attend training sessions which will be held at noon every Saturday and Sunday until the petitions are turned in on July 5. Training sessions take place at the Phantom Gallery, 3125 SE Belmont St. (Tri-Met Route 15) For more details call (503) 235-4606. Informal estimates of the signatures now on hand range from 60,000 to 65,000. The official requirement is 73,261, though as many as 105,000 will be needed to make up for invalid signatures and political machinations of election officials. (As reported by 'The Oregonian' of Thursday, Aug. 30, 1984, in a front-page story titled "High court reverses Paulus on marijuana vote," "The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Secretary of State Norma Paulus was wrong when she decided that petitions for an initiative to legalize marijuana growing contained too few valid signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. ... Alan Silber of New York, representing the initiative's backers, argued that election officials had used 'every little possible technical mistake to disenfranchise voters.'" [Anyone who wants to help type up such articles for posting on OCTA's Web pages is requested to please get in touch with the editor.]

Marijuana Task Force - Direct Action Request

As reported in past weeks, Mayor Katz has decided not to ask for more city money to replace $20,000 in federal funding for the Marijuana Task Force which expires in June. However, the Portland Police Bureau's Drugs and Vice Division was nice enough to confirm to Portland NORML that, despite its loss of federal funds June 30, the task force would continue to exist and that Mayor Katz had in fact turned down a request to double its size. Moreover, the task force is applying for additional federal funding through the Oregon Department of Justice-administered Marijuana Eradication Program.

It's time for Portland NORML activists and supporters to lobby again. Portland NORML made some inquiries and, according to one state official, "you can direct letters to AG [Attorney General] Ted Kulongoski at 100 Justice Building, Salem, OR 97310 and they will get to the right place." According to the state's e-mail search engine at, the e-mail address is The voice number is (503) 378-6002.

Portland NORML Director T.D. Miller's letter to Mayor Katz detailing the counterproductive nature of the task force and its propensity for busting medicinal and personal-use growers is still posted at Write persuasively and constructively, but above all, write!

Body Count

The "Portland" zoned edition in Thursday's Oregonian, delivered to subscribers in the central metropolitan area, shows that nine of the 18 felons who received jail or prison sentences in the most recent week from Multnomah County courts were sentenced for controlled-substance violations. (April 18, 1996, p. 4, 3M-MP-SE). One felony drug offender was sentenced to 18 months' probation, community service and a fine, but no jail, which makes the count nine rather than 10 of 18. On the other hand, one drug offender was sentenced to a work camp and another to a work-release program. Both of these sentencing options constitute incarceration by any standard - one difference being that work-release prisoners typically have to pay dearly for the privilege of keeping their jobs. That brings the total so far this year to 107 of 186, or 57.52 percent. A Multnomah County court official contacted by Portland NORML said the sentencing report on each offender averages two pages, and the county charges 25 cents a page for copies. Thus the weekly Body Count will continue to be collected from The Oregonian. Portland NORML may eventually be able to obtain the reports via public access to the county courts' own computer system. (Any volunteers?)

Crime Down In Portland - Bad News For Jail Bonds?

Reports from a variety of media including The Oregonian (April 17, "Portland takes a bite out of crime," p. B2 3M-MP) and KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8 ("Crime Rate," 6 pm April 18) cite Portland Police Bureau estimates that the overall crime rate in the city fell sharply in the first three months of 1996, including an 8.2 percent drop in crimes against persons and a 13.4 percent drop in property crimes. Significant increases occurred in murders (from 8 to 14), rapes (from 94 to 100) and robberies (from 588 to 609), but people imprisoned for such offenses go to state prisons. Now will The Oregonian please print at least one "Letter to the Editor" in opposition to $79 million for new jails facing voters in the May 21 election? Should the jail-bond and levy measures fail, it will be all the more important to begin an open and honest public discussion about the wisdom of spending the majority of the public-safety budget on controlled-substance offenders, primarily marijuana consumers.

Illegal Drug Users - Helping Make America Strong

US flag The Oregonian published a syndicated Associated Press story April 13 titled "Drug abuse highest in construction industry" (p. A7) which asserted that "The rate of illegal drug use by workers has been cut in half since the mid-1980s."

Since, as usual, Oregonian reporters and editors were too lazy, biased and ignorant to publish the facts in an accurate context, Portland NORML will do their job for them. According to the current "National Labor Force" figures posted on the government's own Web pages at [updated], "The employment-population ratio - the percent of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years old and over who are employed - increased from 62.3 to 62.9 percent" in "the first quarter of 1994."

According to the current, standard reference, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse posted at, however, "Current employment status is also highly correlated with rates of illicit drug use ..." "Seventy-four percent of all current illicit drug users aged 18 and older (8.0 million adults) were employed."

In other words, even considering the discrepancy with regard to 16-year-olds and 18-year-olds in the two reports, illegal-drug users work harder and contribute significantly more proportionately to society than do non-users. The only credible inference is that the nation's policy of making pot smokers homeless, to the extent it has really succeeded, has only reduced productivity and prosperity for everyone.

(This is not an attempt to glorify illegal-drug use. Consider it the weekly debunking. Those of you reading your first Portland NORML weekly news release can find a lot more compelling evidence on this topic in last week's Portland NORML news release. Go to, "How The District Attorney Sees It".)

Let's Do The Numbers

Two weeks ago here the government's own numbers were used to give a minimum estimate of what it would cost to build new jails to hold all the controlled-substance offenders in Multnomah County. What would it cost to build prisons for all such offenders in Portland and Oregon?

Based on local and federal government statistics, as detailed below, Portland NORML estimates there are at least 22,885 illegal-drug users in the city of Portland. Of those, 81 percent, or at least 18,537, would be marijuana consumers. Building new jail cells for all the illegal-drug users in Portland would cost the taxpayers almost $4 billion, or $3,766,489,500. With interest, the cost would come to more than $6 billion, or $6,388,729,000.

The same assumptions and methodology suggest there are at least 159,445 illegal-drug users in the state of Oregon, including at least 129,150 marijuana consumers. Based on the state's most recent cost for new jail beds, taxpayers would have to come up with more than $10 billion, or $10,107,377,000 to build jail or prison spaces for them all, not including interest.

These figures do not include the costs of detecting, arresting, prosecuting, providing public defenders for, or the costs of daily food, health and maintenance costs, prison guards or probation officers. The best estimates available suggest those ongoing costs currently amount to about twice the cost of paying for new prison space.

Drug-policy reformers in Portland and Oregon should make a point of impressing these figures on every candidate they come across during the current election season. Every candidate should be asked "How many pot smokers and other nonviolent, victimless drug offenders do you really want to arrest?" and "How much are you really willing to spend on an impossible mission?" There are no better questions which reveal the deep state of denial existing not just among policymakers but also the media and general public who still support prohibition.


According to the most recent (July 1, 1994) data posted by the U.S. Census Bureau in its World Wide Web pages at, the population of Portland is 450,777.

According to the current standard reference, the preliminary 1994 government-funded National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (, "The current illicit drug use rate ranged from 6.6 percent in the West region to 5.1 percent in the Northeast region."

[This is for ages 12 and older, within the past month. Many if not most non-government experts put the figure at closer to 10 percent - see for example the article "Legalizing Drugs - Just Say Yes," from William F. Buckley Jr.'s conservative National Review of July 10, 1995, posted in Portland NORML's Web pages at An appendix to the survey itself at notes that "response rates were lowest among whites (76%)" and that "NHSDA estimates are based on self-reports of drug use, and their value depends on respondents' truthfulness and memory. Although many studies have generally established the validity of self-report data and the NHSDA procedures were designed to encourage honesty and recall, some degree of underreporting is assumed. Except for the special estimates of heavy drug use given in section 5, no adjustment to NHSDA data is made to correct for this."]

The Census Bureau pages do not list a figure for the population over age 12. However, Walter Wink, in an article titled "Getting Off Drugs: The Legalization Option," published in the February 1996 Friends Journal, posted on the World Wide Web at, repeats the NHSDA figures in conjunction with a statement that there are 200 million Americans over age 12. Although a "clock" showing the day-to-day U.S. population growth posted in the Census Bureau's Web pages at says there are currently 264,677,062 Americans, it seems most reasonable to use the ratio reported by Wink, which is based on a U.S. population of 260,000,000.

Transposing that ratio to the latest, 1994 Portland population figure would mean there are 450,777 Portlanders in all x 200/260 (= 20/26 = 10/13) = 346,751 people over 12 in Portland. Dividing that by 6.6 percent yields an estimate of at least 22,885 illegal-drug users. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (ibid), 81 percent, or at least 18,537 people, would be marijuana consumers.

Multnomah County, which provides jail space for Portland prisoners not incarcerated in state or federal facilities, has a court-ordered ceiling of 1,371 jail beds, plus 480 more if the May 21 bond measure passes, for a potential 1,851 beds. If endorsed by voters in the May 21 election, the new jail bonds will cost $79 million, or $134 million with interest. The average cost per cell comes to $164,583.33, or $279,166.66 with interest. At that rate, the minimum cost of building new jail cells for all the illegal-drug users in Portland would be almost $4 billion, or $3,766,489,500. With interest, the cost would be more than $6 billion, or $6,388,729,000.

The same conservative assumptions reveal there are at least 159,445 illegal-drug users in the state of Oregon, including at least 129,150 marijuana consumers. The most recent (July 1, 1995) Oregon population estimate of 3,140,585 is posted by the Census Bureau at Divided by 10/13 equals 2,415,834 Oregonians age 12 or older. Multiplying that by .066 yields an estimated 159,445.08 illegal-drug consumers, multiplied by .81 equals 129,150 marijuana consumers.

During the most recent, two-day session of the Oregon Legislature Feb. 1-2, where ordinary citizens were prohibited from testifying, policymakers agreed to borrow and spend $94.2 million from the generation coming of age in the next 20 years to build 1,486 new jail beds at $63,391 per cell. (The cost with interest was not reported.) At that rate it would cost the taxpayers 159,445 x $63,391 = more than $10 billion, or $10,107,377,000 to build jails or prison space for them all.

Counterproductive Media Reports

The Portland mass media have gone out of their way lately to sensationalize marijuana-growing operations that have been busted by regional authorities. There is good reason to believe their distortions will just increase the number of clandestine cultivators. Take the case of "Pot Bust Suspects," a report broadcast 6 pm Thursday, April 18, by Portland's NBC affiliate, KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8. [A complete transcript is posted at] According to announcer Pat Kruis, "Clark County police seized more than 1,100 high quality marijuana plants growing at six houses in Vancouver [Wash.], a $3 million bust." Police always give inflated estimated weights and valuations in order to enhance penalties. But if one believed the KGW report, the logical inference would be that 1,100 marijuana plants are worth $3 million, which comes to $2,727.27 per plant. Other viewers might logically conclude that one house could produce one-sixth of $3 million worth of marijuana in one crop, which is $500,000.

It is hard to understand how a certain segment of the population is going to be deterred from growing marijuana in their homes if they fall for such media and police inducements as that. In a more interesting world, KGW and other such sensational media would be sued for false advertising (maybe soon after the advent of the next recession) by hordes of disappointed cultivators facing bankruptcy from onerous light bills.

KGW reported, "Police have made a big splash about some multimillion-dollar marijuana busts lately but they haven't arrested anyone. ... In both cases, the people police are focusing on have roots in the community and police don't think they'll run away." In the Vancouver case, the suspects "both turned themselves in to Clark County authorities, but the sheriff's office turned them away." Despite this tacit admission by authorities of there being no threat to the public, KGW quoted a Clackamas County drug enforcer who said that police typically delay filing charges in such cases so they have more time to gather evidence in order that their suspects eventually are sentenced to "as much time as we can possibly ask for."

If the media want to give a more balanced account of people getting "off the hook" for growing marijuana, Portland NORML suggests they follow the lead of Willamette Week, which recently reported on AIDS patient Scott McKinney and his roommate, against whom felony cultivation charges were dismissed by Multnomah County prosecutor Gary Meabe. ("Medical Marijuana Case Dismissed," Feb. 14, p. 9. More details were reported in the Feb. 15 Portland NORML press release.)

The final sentence of the KGW report was perhaps the most interesting. According to announcer Carol Jensen, "To give you an idea of how much marijuana is growing in the Portland area, Portland police confiscated $34 million worth of marijuana last year. That came from 275 growing operations."

In the first place, it ought to be obvious there is no correlation between how much marijuana is growing in the Portland area and how many people the police catch at it. But again, anyone listening could do the math: $34 million dollars divided by 275 growing operations would mean the average grower brings in $123,636.36 per crop. That assertion is ludicrous on its face, but hardly a deterrent to many would-be growers.

An interesting postscript: Technically, marijuana is not a drug. The DEA itself defines a drug as "a chemical compound capable of reproduction in standardized dosages." Marijuana is a plant with many drugs in it, just like any other plant. Even delta-9 THC, found only in cannabis, is just one of dozens of cannabinoids that marijuana plants produce in varying quantities and proportions.

So How Much Marijuana Is Growing in Oregon?

Because so many marijuana consumers take every possible precaution to conceal their use, and cannabis cultivators are even more reluctant to answer surveys honestly (the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse doesn't even ask), any estimate is extremely problematical. For example, in 1982 the DEA reported at the end of the year that it had confiscated more cultivated marijuana than it had estimated Americans consumed at the beginning of the year. Maybe the best answer is that the committee sponsoring the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 1997, Pay for Schools by Regulating Cannabis, took a lot of trouble to come up with a credible, even conservative estimate that OCTA would raise $500 million a year for public education and drug-abuse programs in Oregon. For more information, check out their Web pages at

It's worth noting that the biggest economic advantage to reforming marijuana laws would be the creation of an industrial hemp industry, which would provide an estimated $400 billion-a-year boost to the U.S. economy in the form of paper, clothing, building materials, food products and tens of thousands of economical "green" products, as documented by everyone from the U.S. Farm Bureau and Popular Mechanics to Popular Science. For more details order a copy of "Hemp: Lifeline to the Future," by Chris Conrad, 1994, Creative Xpressions Publications, $12.95 from FS Book Company, Sacramento, 1-800-635-8883 credit cards, 916-771-4203 customer service; or "The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy," by Jack Herer; or check out Portland NORML's extensive "Hemp and Commerce" Web-page links at

[A better answer to the question of how much marijuana is growing in Oregon was subsequently posted here.]

Missouri Says "Show Me" To Industrial Hemp

On Thursday, April 18, a concurrent resolution in the Missouri legislature allocating $50,000 for industrial hemp research passed the senate by a 23 to 5 vote. Information on the Missouri bill can be obtained from Boyd Vancill at the Oxford Hemp Exchange. The only address provided is for e-mail:

Dr. Dean Edell Confirms Marijuana's Medicinal Value

Dr. Dean Edell, the syndicated medical-news oriented talk-show host heard 3-4 pm Mondays through Fridays in Portland on KXL 750 AM, confirmed Portland NORML's March 28 report, "Marijuana, the Forgotten Medicine" in an April 11 broadcast. After a caller asked if cannabis in fact has medicinal value, Dr. Edell replied "No question," citing not only the ability of cannabis to quell nausea but also its efficacy as a treatment for asthma.

Drug Czar Makes Separate Peace?

While drug warriors in Congress and the media have been applauding the bellicose symbolism behind the appointment of a former general to the post of Drug Czar, the Los Angeles Times reported April 12 in its "Nation in brief" section:
Drug Chief Calls for Stress on Education
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Antidrug efforts should be focused on education and treatment, said Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a change from recent emphasis on stopping illegal narcotics at the border. Three-quarters of U.S. anti-drug money should be aimed at reducing demand, McCaffrey said. "We can have only one priority, and that's motivating American youth to reject illegal substances," the retired Army general said at a luncheon.

Meanwhile, Back At The Front

The following item from April 12 also went largely unnoticed:

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - President Clinton asked Congress Friday for $250 million to intensify the U.S. government's war on illegal drugs.

The White House said in a statement that Clinton proposes to pay for the supplemental appropriations for the 1996 fiscal year by rescinding $400 million in defense spending.

"There will be no impact on defense readiness,'' the statement said.

Clinton would spend $42 million to enhance efforts to interdict drug smuggling particularly along the air corridor linking the coca-growing areas in Peru with the processing labs in Colombia.

Another $98 million would upgrade two Navy P-3B aircraft to patrol both the air corridor and transit zone. Some $15 million would increase patrols around Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Clinton would spend $6 million to place inspection devices along the southwestern U.S. border to detect drugs hidden in vehicle compartments.

He would spend $27 million to augment domestic law enforcement activities, $14 million to enhance drug intelligence work and $48 million to enhance drug demand reduction programs.

[End quote]


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