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May 1, 1997

Government Report From The Netherlands Criticizes Marijuana's
Label As A "Gateway" Drug

A typical small Dutch village

May 1, 1997, Utrecht, the Netherlands:  Marijuana prohibition -- not the use of marijuana itself -- appears to play a role in influencing some individuals to advance to harder drugs, according to a recent report from the Netherlands Institute of Medical Health and Addiction.
The 1997 fact sheet, entitled "Cannabis Policy, an update," reviews Dutch marijuana policy and criticizes the notion of marijuana as a gateway drug.  The report cites "social factors," not the use of marijuana alone, as the primary reason why a minority of marijuana users graduate to stronger drugs.  It concludes that marijuana must be separated from the illegal drug market in order to effectively discourage users from trying other drugs.
The following excerpt is taken from the summary conclusions of the Dutch report.

"The assumption that cannabis consumers run a higher risk of switching to hard drugs ... is known as 'the stepping stone hypothesis.'  This idea was first put forward in the forties in the USA and has since greatly influenced public opinion, as well as American and international drug policies.
As for a possible switch from cannabis to hard drugs, it is clear that the pharmacological properties of cannabis are irrelevant in this respect.  There is no physically determined tendency towards [sic] switching from marijuana to harder substances.  [Emphasis added. --ed.]  Social factors, however, do appear to play a role.  The more users become integrated in an environment ('subculture') where, apart from cannabis, hard drugs can also be obtained, the greater the chance that they may switch to hard drugs.  Separation of the drug markets is therefore essential."

The report defends the nation's policy of "tolerating" the use and sale of marijuana by stating that the Netherlands has fewer hard drug addicts and drug-related deaths than neighboring countries.  The report also states that Dutch marijuana-use rates are comparable to those in countries where use is illegal and notes that the overwhelming majority of the country's marijuana users do not experiment with harder drugs.
Surprisingly, recent literature from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reinforces the Dutch argument.  According to the 1996 guidebook Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know: "Using marijuana puts children and teens at risk with people who are pushers and sellers of other drugs.  So there is more of a risk that a marijuana user will be exposed to and urged to try more drugs."  The pamphlet also concludes that, "Most marijuana users do not go on to use other illegal drugs."  [Emphasis added. --ed.]
NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. praised the observations of the recent reports and called for the U.S. government to take action to remove marijuana from the illicit drug trade.  "Every federal study over the past century has revealed the 'gateway theory' to be a blatant falsehood.  As the Dutch model demonstrates, when the marijuana market is effectively separated from the harder drugs, marijuana is clearly a terminus rather than a gateway drug.  Politicians in America who voice concern about marijuana being a possible gateway to harder drugs should review the facts and support policies that will effectively separate marijuana from the black market."
For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.  Copies of NORML's position paper: Marijuana and the Gateway Theory are available upon request.  Copies of Cannabis Policy, an update are also available from the national office.

Federal Government Must Keep Hands Off California Doctors Who Recommend
Medical Marijuana

Power grab

May 1, 1997, San Francisco, CA: Federal officials may not sanction California doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Wednesday.  U.S. District Judge Fern Smith issued a preliminary injunction barring the Justice Department from taking any punitive actions against physicians -- including criminal prosecution or withdrawal of prescription licenses -- after negotiations broke down between area doctors and Justice Department officials.  The negotiations were ordered by Smith in April to settle a lawsuit filed by California physicians seeking an injunction to prevent federal officials from sanctioning doctors who recommend the medical use of marijuana to their patients in compliance with state law.
"The government's fear that frank dialogue between physicians and patients about medical marijuana might foster drug use ... does not justify infringing First Amendment," Judge Smith wrote in a 43-page order.  "It is important to recognize what this case is about.  It is not about doctors prescribing, growing, or distributing marijuana; nor is it about giving free rein to patients to make massive purchases of marijuana for distribution.  Instead this case is about the ability of doctors, on an individualized basis, to give advice and recommendations to bona fide patients suffering from serious, debilitating illnesses regarding the possible benefits of personal, medical use of small quantities of marijuana."
Graham Boyd, Esq., one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs called the ruling a "tremendous victory."
"I think the judge hammered the federal government for a policy of threatening doctors and for interfering with patients' health care," he said.  Boyd added that the government's attorneys will most likely appeal the ruling -- possibly all the way to the Supreme Court -- but predicted that the outcome will be the same.
"The problem is, they have a very weak goal to begin with," he said.  "They want to muzzle doctors ... and that runs directly into the First Amendment."
Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights (AMR), praised Smith's ruling.  "Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey and the DEA are paying a price today for designing an unconstitutional policy to thwart Prop. 215.  Today's ruling is a huge victory for the rights of physicians and patients, and for the authority of voters to make important policy decisions."  Fratello also announced that AMR will begin offering a free informational brochure about the implications of Judge Smith's ruling to patients and other interested parties who call theft toll-free number: l-888-YES-4-215.
It is yet to be determined what effect, if any, Smith's decision may have on a second federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of a group of physicians, health organizations, and patients challenging the administration's refusal to allow physicians to prescribe or recommend marijuana in states that permit them to do so.  Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the federal prohibition violates the First, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments and the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.  Plaintiffs also seek a declaratory judgment that those aspects of federal policy that terminate a physicians participation in federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and revoke their DEA drug registrations authorizing them to prescribe controlled drugs, violate the Administrative Procedure Act.  The plaintiffs request that the court enjoin the federal government from enforcing its policy against doctors and patients.
All pleadings in the Washington D.C. suit must be turned in by June 27 and a decision is expected shortly thereafter.
For more information on Judge Smith's ruling, please contact either attorney Graham Boyd of San Francisco @ (415) 421-7151 or Dave Fratello of Americans for Medical Rights @ (310) 394-2952.  For more information regarding the Washington D.C. federal lawsuit, please contact the law firm of Emord & Associates @ (202) 466-6937 or Berliner, Corcoran, & Rowe @ (202) 293-5555.  For additional information, please contact R. Keith Stroup, Esq. of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.



© copyright 1997 NORML NORML Home Page comments: norml@natlnorml.org

Regional and Other News

Body Count

Twelve of the 25 felons sentenced by Multnomah County courts in the most recent week received jail or prison terms for controlled-substance offenses, according to the "Portland" zoned section of
The Oregonian, ("Courts," May 1, 1997, p. 6, 3M P-NE). That makes the body count so far this year 74 out of 156, or 47.43 percent.

Multnomah County Judge Rules Drug-Free Zones Unconstitutional

Beacon Multnomah County Circuit Judge John A. Wittmayer ruled April 24 that exclusion orders issued by police to drug sellers on certain Portland city streets violated the double jeopardy clause in the state and federal constitutions. Surprisingly, Portland city officials seem to be backing into a harm-reduction solution. As reported in "City reviews ways it fights drugs," in The Oregonian of May 3, 1997, officials say that to control open-air drug markets downtown, they are considering keeping the 90-day exclusions and dropping arrests for first-time offenders. The complete text is posted at http://www.pdxnorml.org/O_City_reviews_050397.html.

Oregon House Votes To Recriminalize Marijuana

On May 1, 1997, D. Paul Stanford of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, who witnessed the whole fiasco, wrote:
A bill to recriminalize marijuana was passed by the Oregon House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 29, 1997. The bill passed by the same margin, greater than two to one, that is passed in the House by during the last legislative session in 1995. (I helped organize to kill that bill too, as some of you may recall.) The bill, HB 3643, to recriminalize less than one ounce of marijuana passed the House by 43-17. Now HB 3643 moves on to the Oregon Senate, where it appears likely to pass as well. There will be a hearing in the Senate Crime and Corrections subcommittee, at a date that has yet to be announced.
HB 3643 was debated for more than two and a half hours on the floor of the House, with several votes to adopt two different minority reports over the majority report from the Judiciary Committee. The House Minority Democratic leader, Rep. Peter Courtney, a cosponsor of the bill, called one 20 minute recess for a Democratic representative caucus, and began to call another one during the debate nearly two hours later, before he changed his mind. Several legislators rose to give, at times, eloquent and spirited opposition to HB 3643. Each time Rep. John Minnis, Republican Chair of the Judiciary Committee and a Portland Police detective sergeant, rebutted and successfully defeated the minority reports and other opposition.

The Judiciary's majority report which passed makes possession of any amount up to 28.35 grams/an ounce of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor, from its current status as an traffic-ticket-like infraction. HB 3643 appears likely to pass. Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana in 1973. The bill is opposed by a significant majority of people in Oregon, but the Republicans, who have a majority in both chambers, are set upon enacting a cultural agenda against the wishes of the state electorate. The Republicans took control of both chambers of the Oregon legislature by mailing premarked, postage paid absentee ballots to every registered Republican voter in legislative districts where the election was closer than ten percentage points. (Yes, that's legal.) By so buying the election, they have the power to enact this regressive, budget busting bill against the will of the vast majority of Oregonians. HB 3643 will put thieves and robbers on the street and allow police to confiscate cannabis users' property and get search warrants to raid mere personal, private cannabis users' homes.

Additionally, the bill would suspend the driver's license of anyone so convicted of minor possession of under an ounce of cannabis, and force those convicted to undergo drug treatment diversion programs to get their drivers license back. It would permanently suspend the commercial driver's license of anyone upon a second conviction. HB 3643 will leave a permanent record of the conviction on a persons record and marginalize some people's ability to obtain and keep a job.

All representatives who spoke against HB 3643, or in favor of one of the minority reports, were democrats. Rep. Floyd Prozanski of Eugene and Rep. Jo Ann Bowman of Portland, both also on the Judiciary Committee, moved immediately to endorse the first minority report, which would have made over a half ounce a Class C misdemeanor and let the traffic-ticket-like violation stand for 14 grams/a half ounce or less. Prozanski went over many issues in a lengthy 20 minute address. He pointed out that the financial report given was mistaken in claiming an increase in revenue from the fine included. He said that including money from the fine was, to use his term, bogus, since the fine was remaining the same, $500 minimum to $1,000 maximum, that it is now. he pointed out that he is a prosecuting attorney and the courts are already overburdened, underfunded, and that HB 3643 would cost at least $960,000 in indigent criminal defense attorney fees alone. Prozanski used a couple of points that this office had provided in lobbying against the bill in his speech. (Prozanski, in a parliamentary rule twist, something has a demonstrated flair for, had also barely kept his industrial hemp bill alive at the deadline of committee hearings for bills in this session just a few days before. His industrial hemp bill, confusingly HB 3623 (not 3643,) may get a public hearing yet.)

Rep. Bowman said that the Judiciary Committee heard testimony from across the state concerning cuts in revenue from a second property tax reduction initiative that passed last November. She pointed out that police kept testifying that they would not be arresting people for burglary, car theft, vandalism and many other crimes due to lack of resources. She asked where they now had money to enforce this new law. She ended saying that African-Americans would be jailed disproportionately now and under this new law. She urged adoption of the first minority report to have possession of a half ounce or less remain a violation, and increase the penalty on 14-28 grams to a Misdemeanor. (For over 30 years it has been for a Class B felony to possess over an ounce, and a Class A felony, like murder and rape, to grow even a single cannabis plant under Oregon state law.)

Rep. Minnis said adoption of the minority report would send the wrong message to kids. Rep. Westlund, another sponsor of HB 3643, stated that his arrest for drugs years ago had helped him. Prozanski rebutted that Westlund had not been arrested for marijuana and that he had eluded conviction and others with less means would not. Minnis again said we had to send a message to kids. The first minority report was rejected by the full house.

Then Rep. George Eighmey of Southeast Portland moved to ask the House to adopt the second minority report to HB 3643. This rewrite was identical to the majority report except in that it added an affirmative medical necessity defense for those with a demonstrated medicinal need. Minnis brought up Donna Shallala saying medical marijuana was a hoax, then he again raised the specter of messages and children. Though it is supported by most voters in Oregon, the second minority report was soundly rejected in a full House vote.

Then the debate began on the actual minority report. The Republican leadership first tried to cut off further debate and Rep. Brian Johnston of Salem interrupted and said he wanted to speak about the bill. Perhaps he gave the best speech on the issue. Rep. Johnston said that the legislature should take the medical oath to first do no harm. He said that HB 3643 would do a lot of harm. He said this allows some to act like they are tough on crime while really doing nothing and that the increase in penalties had no effect on usage by minors. He accused the bills sponsors of lying in the debate. He said they had not told the truth about the costs of the bill and he moved to send the bill to the Joint Ways and Means Committee to get a full assessment of the costs (a motion I had lobbied for on behalf of the CRRH as well.) Minnis said the purpose was to sidetrack the bill and opposed the motion. The motion was defeated.

Rep. Kitty Piercy of Eugene and Rep. Judy Uherbelau also gave speeches opposing HB 3643. Rep. Westlund again spoke and said it was about messages to kids and if it saved just one kid, it was worth any amount of money. Rep. Minnis again stated the real issue was to keep kids off drugs. Then the vote was taken and the bill to recriminalize possession of under an ounce of marijuana passed for the second session in a row with the exact same margin in the vote in 1997 as in 1995; it passed 43-17.

The bill has not come before the Senate yet, but it appears most likely to pass when it does. When it does come before the Senate, we should have an opportunity for public testimony before the Senate Crime and Corrections subcommittee.

In the House Judiciary Committee, the chair, Rep. Minnis, the police detective, manipulated the schedule to cut off any opposition from testifying at the afternoon public hearing. Many patients had been rudely snubbed, though they had made great physical efforts to be there to testify. Only police officers and drug prohibitionists were allowed to testify in the 1-3 PM hearing, though I and a few others were able to stay and testify at 8 PM, much later that evening. Several patients are filing a complaint with the federal government for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying they were excluded from the process. Several senators have been moving to ensure their testimony in the senate committee hearing.

The Senate Crime and Corrections committee is also chaired by a former police officer, Sen. Stull. Her husband is Chief of Police of Keizer.

Please call your Oregon state senator today and ask him or her to oppose HB 3643 to recriminalize possession of minor amounts of marijuana. The toll free number is 1-800-332-2313.

The toll free number is only voice mail, although they do hear the message.

The state is already reeling financially due to 2 property tax limitations measures which have passed recently. Education has been cut and is being cut more, and now the legislature is moving to spend our tax dollars to arrest, try and jail nonviolent cannabis users, who, by and large, aren't even hurting themselves! Tell your senator we cannot afford such an expensive, ill conceived bill.

Please call your Oregon senator today, or fax him or her, and let him or her know you oppose the recriminalization of marijuana. Stress that the state does not have the money to jail robbers, no less expanding the number of people who may be tried and imprisoned, and that all surveys show this is against the will of the vast majority of Oregonians.

D. Paul Stanford

Paul Freedom added:
Stull's husband was the Keizer chief of police until he was removed around 4-18 pending an outside investigation. I have a couple front page articles and am keeping track. He's accused of weird disciplinary actions and union busting!

Portland NORML Director Busted

You Have The Right To No Rights Portland NORML Director T.D. Miller was served with a search warrant by Portland's Marijuana Task Force Monday night, April 28. They found 16 plants and 32 clones. The cops also took T.D.'s computer, monitor and a bunch of NORML papers.

The warrant was obtained only after a months-long campaign of deception and subterfuge on the part of the police, trying to get in his door so they could claim they smelled pot growing. (Many people besides the editor who have been over at Miller's house recently can testify no such smell was present. The editor honestly had no idea T.D. had plants in his house.)

Cops have been coming around his home for months, trying to get in, but T.D. put himself in immediate harm's way by making a statement to the investigator in the state's case against medical-marijuana cultivator Phil Smith, elected assistant director of the chapter in January, after his own bust.

T.D.'s statement (and those of others) documented that Smith was producing cannabis exclusively for medical-marijuana patients, but it also implicated Miller. With T.D.'s knowledge, Smith's attorney submitted Miller's statement (and others) to the Multnomah County D.A.'s office as part of the discovery process in Smith's case - so Miller could testify at Smith's trial. To make a long story short, the police used T.D.'s willingness to stand up for Smith as an opportunity to serve him with a subpoena. Supposedly Miller was to appear before a grand jury on Monday, April 28, so the DA could try to indict Smith on additional charges. However, Miller could have taken the 5th Amendment, so it was all a ruse. Apparently all the police really wanted was to get a plainclothes cop knocking at his door so the cop could claim to smell pot growing. There's a lot more to it, but that gives one a whiff of what really smells.

Miller is being represented by Portland attorney Robert Goffredi.

Reform activists tend to be particularly aware of medical-marijuana users' suffering, and, being activists, are particularly prone to do something about it. Until doctors and more lawyers and other professional people get involved in Oregon reform efforts, it will continue to be easy for police to hassle reformers who put others' suffering before their own risk. While NORML does not advocate breaking the law, as a personal decision, there is nothing morally or logically inconsistent with saving lives while breaking the laws against marijuana. Nor is there anything ignoble about trying to change the law through legitimate means at the same time in order to make such lawbreaking unnecessary. So, surprised and dismayed as one might be at Miller's bust from a public-relations standpoint, it seems heartless to blame him for trying to help sick and dying people.

To contact Miller call (503) 777-9088. He's already back online at pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org. Donations for a legal defense would be much appreciated.

Pharmaceutical Companies Investigating Cannabinoids?

"Nature's pharmacy - Scott Ewan considers the healthy effect of plants"

Mensa magazine [Wolverhampton, UK], May issue, published April 30, 1997

Animated plant The use of plants as medicines has been around for a long time. As long as 2000 BC the Chinese and Egyptians were using plants as cures. Molds were used tot treat ulcers and garlic was a remedy for headaches.

One plant used to treat a myriad of illnesses is cannabis. Drug development programmes, based on the active constituents of cannabis, are currently under way in many of the world's leading companies. These have looked at potential remedies in the areas of glaucoma, MS, AIDS, pain, migraine, menstrual cramps, labour pain, spinal injury, epilepsy, depression, other mood disorders, and many other indications. Another commonly used plant contains capsaicin. This is the 'hot' ingredient in chili peppers which has also been studied for its potential role in the treatment of many conditions, on the basis that Native Americans have used it with success for centuries.

The interest of multinationals should come as no surprise. Many plants have been used to provide a basis for the discovery of many of today's money spinning drugs. The powerful analgesics, the opiates, come from the opium poppy; quinine (anti-malaria) from the bark of the Cincona; taxol (anti-cancer) from Pacific Yew bark; and new products are rolling off the production line regularly.

Prohibition's Failures Reach New Low

"Five Third-graders Caught Smoking Marijuana During Recess"

Way to go EATON, Colo. (AP, April 25, 1997) - Five third-graders were suspended from school after they were caught smoking marijuana cigarettes rolled with their homework paper during morning recess.

"I have been principal for over 30 years, and this is a first for me," said Principal Oren Nero. "Earlier this year we caught this same group smoking a cigarette, and that was even a first for me."

The students' names were not released because they are under the age of 10. They will not face criminal charges because state law bans prosecution of children that young.

"We're kind of fumbling our way through this right now to try to figure out how to handle this," said Rod Hawkins, police chief of this town of 200 people.

The students were suspended Tuesday after one of the boys lit up a marijuana cigarette and began puffing on it. The others were seen smoking it before caught, authorities said.

Police confiscated a bag of marijuana. The marijuana was traced to an older relative of one of the boys.

The students were suspended for four days and were to meet with parents and school officials next week to discuss further punishment.

Nero said his school will upgrade its anti-drug program, but has no plans to offer it to elementary school students.

'Deaths Caused By Alcohol In The US'

Scientific American, December 1996

winedrinker Excessive alcohol consumption leads to more than 100,000 deaths annually in the US. Accidents, mostly from drunken driving, made up a quarter of this number in 1992; alcohol related homicide and suicide accounted for 11 and 8 percent, respectively. Cancers that are partly attributable to alcohol, such as those of the esophagus and larynx, contributed an additional 17 percent. About 19 percent resulted from alcohol-related stroke. Another major contributor is a group of 12 ailments wholly caused by alcohol [..], of which alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol dependence syndrome are the most important. These 12 ailments represented 18 percent of all alcohol related deaths in 1992.

[End quote]

[The point in citing this Scientific American item is not that prohibitionists should train their sights on alcohol instead of marijuana. The point is, if it's not effective to lock people up to reduce alcohol usage, how can it be effective to lock up people to reduce marijuana usage? - ed.]

Panel To Recommend NIH Study Of Medical Marijuana

"Medical Marijuana: The Next Step"

Salon magazine, April 29, 1997

A panel of experts is about to recommend to the National Institutes of Health that smoking pot should be taken seriously as a possible way to treat sick people.

By Ros Davidson

An eight-member panel of experts, convened by the National Institutes of Health, is about to send an unprecedented report to NIH Director Dr. Harold E. Varmus suggesting that the medical use of marijuana shows enough promise to warrant more scientific study. The NIH effectively controls marijuana research because one of its branches, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, is the only legal source of the drug for medical experiments.

The panel was convened after voters in California and Arizona passed initiatives in November allowing people to smoke pot legally on their doctor's recommendation. The experts listened to scientific and personal testimony for two days in February, and have been writing and rewriting their formal report ever since.

In the interim, the Arizona legislature has passed a bill setting aside the voter-passed initiative until the Food and Drug Administration gives marijuana the go-ahead for medical use. Last week, federal law-enforcement officials raided a cannabis buyers club in San Francisco. Despite convening the panel, the Clinton administration is constantly reminding doctors that marijuana remains illegal under federal law - and they risk their licenses and time in jail if they prescribe marijuana.

Salon talked with the chairman of the panel, Dr. William T. Beaver, professor of pharmacology and anesthesia at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., about the panel's recommendations.

There have been some studies of the medical use of marijuana in its synthetic form - THC (tetrahyrdocannabinol). Your panel is going to recommend further study of the benefits of smoking marijuana. In what areas does the panel think smoking marijuana could help?

The same things for which THC has already been shown to work: nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy, loss of appetite and wasting in AIDS patients and other patients with wasting diseases, advanced cancer, that kind of thing.

What's the difference between THC and smoked marijuana?

THC presumably is the major active constituent of the smoked form. But they are different in many ways. The rate of absorption into the blood, and the duration or presence in the blood, is different than when you take (THC) orally. When you take it orally, only 5 or 10 percent of the dose actually winds up in your bloodstream. When you smoke it, a higher fraction gets into the bloodstream and gets in much quicker. It goes right into the blood directly from the lungs, in much the same way as, say, crack cocaine. That's why the effect comes on much more rapidly.

But aren't there dozens or hundreds of compounds in smoked marijuana? Doesn't that complicate the whole question of scientific testing?

Exactly. There are a couple of hundred that are formed when it's smoked. The heating and the burning generates new chemicals. You get carbon monoxide in the smoke, although there was no carbon monoxide in the marijuana. And, as I said, it's possible to get a more intense and higher dose quicker by smoking. On the other hand there's a tremendous variability in how efficient people are at extracting the drug from the smoke. If you don't inhale you get very little.

What, like Clinton?

Yes, that thought occurred to me. If somebody's an experienced smoker they take a very long, deep breath and they hold the smoke in their lungs for an extended period so more of the drug has a chance to get into the bloodstream before they exhale it. Whereas an inexperienced person may just sort of puff away at it and it's gone. So the delivered dose of the drug to the bloodstream can vary tremendously.

So when it comes to testing the usefulness of smoking marijuana, you're going to have to carefully monitor how people puff it.

Yes, this is potentially one of the things that might make smoked marijuana useful: that the person can take the drug quickly and what we call titrate it. That means taking a certain number of puffs, then they see how they feel; then take another few, and work their way to a point where they're getting a medically desirable effect. Theoretically this should be possible, but the studies would have to determine that for sure.

What about side effects?

There are a lot of undesirable features of burning marijuana. It creates contaminants, some of which are carcinogenic. Some of them alter the ability of the lungs to fight infection. If you're an AIDS patient, the last thing you need is something that's going to make you even more susceptible to getting pneumonia. A marijuana cigarette probably delivers four times as much tar, particulate matter and garbage into the lungs as a regular cigarette. So if you figure that somebody has to smoke several of these daily, that's equivalent to a lot of cigarettes full of undesirable materials.

Given these undesirable features, how will you justify recommending further study of smoking marijuana?

There was some talk among the experts about developing a dosage form in which the pure THC would be evaporated and volatalized without actually burning the leaves. This would give you a much purer form of the drug without the undesirable contaminants.

What about just eating it then? The Cannabis Cultivators Club in San Francisco, at one point at least, used to offer to sell its patients "pot brownies."

You'd get the same situation which you have with the THC capsules, which are currently available in dosage form.

One argument against legalizing the smoking of marijuana is that THC can be equally effective in certain situations.

Most of what we know about the medical benefits of marijuana is based on THC, because that's the material that was actually used in the scientific studies back in the 1970s and 1980s. These did show that the oral form of the drug had some efficacy against nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, and it also had some efficacy in restoring appetite and to some degree improving weight in AIDS patients.

So, you don't need to smoke marijuana to get relief from chemotherapy treatment?

As far as cancer chemotherapy goes, we now have a lot more effective drugs than we had 20 years ago, when marijuana was first being experimented with. The issue here is, if you've got drugs that are already pretty good, is marijuana a useful "add on"? To be eligible for approval, a drug doesn't have to be better than the existing therapy, it just has to be effective.

Of the conditions for which marijuana might be useful, which ones have the fewest effective drugs already available?

There are fewer therapies for appetite loss that goes with AIDS or cancer. There are some therapies for spasticity associated, say, with MS or spinal-cord injury, but they are not as effective as, say, anti-nausea or anti-pain drugs are. The panel heard one fellow with MS who said he would get these painful spasms at night that would wake him up and keep him from sleeping. Before he went to bed he would smoke a marijuana cigarette, and he would smoke another one in the middle of the night if the spasm came back.

So it's for pain that smoking marijuana might be most useful?

That's what the panel talked about. For example, there's a kind of pain that's very hard to treat, neuropathic pain, in which people get an injury to the actual nervous system. It's very hard to treat with conventional analgesics. On the other hand, there are very effective treatments for other kinds of pain, like dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps). The idea of someone saying, "I want to take marijuana for dysmenorrhea," makes very little sense. We've got good drugs for that and we've got a lot of them. On the other hand, for neuropathic pain we don't have anything that works that well.

If you get to the testing stage and scientific trials, which require placebos as controls, won't it be hard to come up with a convincing placebo marijuana cigarette?

You can get marijuana with a high THC content and with a low THC content. The material with the low content would be essentially a placebo. The problem is how many people will be fooled by it. People who are doing the studies are going to have to test out different methods so it isn't obvious to the patients what they're getting, and at what time.

Are there unrealistic expectations being expressed by marijuana supporters?

Oh yes. You have to realize that most of the drugs that we actually test on human beings do not pan out. It's sort of like hunting for gold. Most of the time you don't find it. But supporters would say, "Well, hey, people are seriously ill and dying, and if it makes them feel better, why make a big federal case out of it? Under controlled circumstances, how much harm can it do?" And it may occasionally do some good. So if you were to study marijuana in a number of different situations and have just one of them come through, then you could say the whole thing was probably worth it.

On the other hand, they're going to have to factor in some of the downsides, particularly immunological phenomena. You don't want someone with AIDS smoking marijuana to feel a little better while decreasing their life span because they're more likely to get a pulmonary infection. The benefit can't just be subjective - it has to outweigh the toxicity you get.

Ros Davidson is a regular contributor to Salon.

'Judge - Doctors Can Urge Pot'

The San Francisco Examiner, April 30, 1997, p. A1

U.S. District jurist upholds physicians' First Amendment rights to discussions with patients

Eric Brazil
of The Examiner staff

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Calling the federal policy that prohibits doctors from recommending marijuana "fickle," a federal judge barred the government Wednesday from enforcing it.

U.S. District Judge Fern Smith gave a first-round victory to a coalition of California physicians who protested that the policy violated their First Amendment rights.

Under the policy - enunciated in December by drug czar Barry McCaffrey - doctors who recommend or prescribe marijuana could face criminal prosecution, lose their federal authority to prescribe medications and be denied Medicare and Medicaid payments.

The policy was declared in response to California's Proposition 215, the November ballot initiative that allows patients who possess and grow marijuana for medical use at the recommendation of their doctors to avoid being prosecuted under state law. Possession and cultivation remain federal crimes, however.

McCaffrey's office said in February doctors could discuss marijuana with their patients as long as they took no action to help patients obtain the drug. But administration lawyers have argued before Smith that a doctor's "recommendation" of marijuana was the equivalent of a prescription and could be grounds for punishment.

Smith's ruling rejected that argument and said doctors could recommend the drug as appropriate medical treatment as long as they did not help their patients break the law.

"Physicians are free to discuss marijuana in an open and honest manner and to recommend marijuana to patients" with specific conditions, said attorney Graham Boyd.

"A physician should not take a telephone call from a marijuana buyers' club and should not fill out a form from a buyers' club. But the government cannot take action against a physician unless there is substantial evidence of criminal activity."

"When faced with the fickle iterations of the government's policy, physicians have been forced to suppress speech," Smith wrote in a 43-page decision.

"The government persists in issuing ambiguous and conflicting interpretations of (its) medical marijuana policy," she wrote. Consequently, "physician confusion as to how broadly the government policy sweeps is understandable."

As a practical matter, "this case involves no more than the ability of physicians to recommend personal use of marijuana to bona fide patients suffering from a narrow range of serious, debilitating diseases," the judge wrote.

Physicians who attempt to help patients obtain marijuana gain no protection from the injunction.

More restrictive

Thursday's ruling is more restrictive than a temporary restraining order issued April 11. That order prohibited federal action against doctors recommending marijuana.

The preliminary injunction is limited to physicians who recommend marijuana for treatment of patients who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive or with full-blown AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, seizures or muscle spasms.

Smith ruled on the day after an attempt to settle the physicians' lawsuit collapsed.

"It's a major victory for California doctors and patients who seek to responsibly recommend marijuana," said Graham Lloyd, attorney for the individual physicians and medical organizations which challenged the federal policy.

Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Mueller, lead attorney for the government in the case, was not available for comment. The government may seek a stay of the preliminary injunction or appeal it to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Unless overturned by a higher court, the injunction will remain in effect until the lawsuit goes to trial.

Key Rulings By Judge Smith

Dave Fratello wrote:

Following are excerpts from this morning's (April 30) federal court ruling by Judge Fern Smith, barring federal punishments of physicians for discussing or recommending medical marijuana to their patients. Compiled by Dave Fratello, Americans for Medical Rights - contact me if you would like a version half again as long... The full 43-page decision is available from the court.


...the court issues a PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION limiting the government's ability to prosecute physicians, revoke their prescription licenses, or bar their participation in Medicare and Medicaid because they recommend medical use of marijuana. [p. 2, ln. 8]

The First Amendment allows physicians to discuss and advocate medical marijuana, even though use of marijuana itself is illegal. [p. 26, ln. 24]

...defendants may only prosecute physicians who recommend medical marijuana to their patients if the physicians are liable for aiding and abetting or conspiracy under these statutes. [p. 40, ln. 20]

What the Court may and will do ... is to draw the line at criminal conduct, which plaintiffs concede the government may prosecute. [p. 35, ln. 4]

What physicians may not do is advocate use of medical marijuana "where such advocacy is directed to or inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." [pp. 26, 27, lns. 26, 27 & 1; citing Brandenburg vs. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 447 (1969)]

The Court acknowledges that this injunction does not provide physicians with the level of certainty for which they had hoped; however, it would violate the constitutional separation of powers to limit prosecutorial discretion in the way plaintiffs request. [p. 42, ln. 14]


Finding itself in disagreement with plaintiff physicians' views about the efficacy of medical marijuana, the government has announced a policy which significantly inhibits communication of those views. [p. 24, ln. 9]

Because the First Amendment protects physician-patient communication up until the point that it becomes criminal, defendants may not prosecute California physicians unless the government in good faith believes that it has probable cause to charge under the federal aiding and abetting and/or conspiracy statutes. [p. 41, ln. 17]

Although the practice of medicine is subject to state regulation, it does not automatically follow that speech that would otherwise be protected if between two ordinary citizens somehow loses that protection when it occurs in the context of the physician-patient relationship.... Moreover, sound policy reasons justify special protection of open and honest communication between those groups. [p. 26, lns. 11-15, 19-20]

The government's statutory authority to regulate [distribution and possession of drugs] ... does not allow the government to quash protected speech about it. [p. 24, ln. 22] ... The government's fear that frank dialogue between physicians and patients about medical marijuana might foster drug use ... does not justify infringing First Amendment freedoms. [p. 25, ln. 1]


..it is important to recognize what this case is about. It is not about doctors prescribing, growing or distributing marijuana, nor is it about giving free rein to patients to make massive purchases of marijuana for distribution. Instead, this case is about the ability of doctors, on an individualized basis, to give advice and recommendations to bona fide patients suffering from serious, debilitating illnesses regarding the possible benefits of personal, medical use of small quantities of marijuana. [p. 3, lns. 6-13]

This case involves no more than the ability of physicians to recommend personal use of marijuana to bona fide patients suffering from a narrow range of serious, debilitating diseases. [p. 33, ln. 21]


The government's statements range from suggesting that the governments will use informers and surveillance to detect physicians who recommend medical marijuana to assuring that simple advice about the risks and benefits of marijuana for a specific patient will not subject physicians to government sanctions. [p. 29, ln. 11]

Several of [the government's] statements indicate that the government means to take action against physicians who simply recommend marijuana to treat disease. [p. 29, ln. 1]

Plaintiff physicians' confusion as to how broadly the government's policy sweeps is understandable. Although the government purported to "clarify" the reach of its policy in the February 27, 1997, letter to the California Medical Association and in the various papers it has filed regarding the pending motions, the government continues to waver on the scope of its policy. [p. 29, lns. 18-24]

The distinction the government attempts to draw between a permissible discussion and an impermissible recommendation may well break down in practical application. [p. 30, ln. 3] [emphasis added]

The government persists in issuing ambiguous and conflicting interpretations of medical marijuana policy. Indeed, at the hearing on these motions, the government's attorneys were unable clearly to articulate the contours of federal policy on the subject. [p. 16, ln. 12]


.. [Defendants argue] that the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] provides broad authority for the DEA to revoke a physician's license for any act that violates the public interest. Defendants argue that a physician who recommends marijuana violates the public interest, making such a recommendation grounds for revocation of that physician's license. [p. 36, lns. 13-18]

In the abstract, the term "public interest" is broad and may allow the DEA wide latitude to revoke licenses for recommending marijuana; however, in the context of sections 823 and 824, the term public interest may be reasonably interpreted to encompass only actual violations of state and federal drug law. [pp. 37-38, lns. 25-27, 1-3] [emphasis added]

.. plaintiffs have raised serious questions as to whether the CSA can be interpreted in a manner that would allow the DEA to revoke a physician's license for merely recommending marijuana. [p. 39, lns. 8-11]


The record does not support certifying a class as broad as the one requested by plaintiffs.... [The Court] defines the class as follows:

(1) All licensed physicians practicing in the State of California who treat patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and/or seizures or muscle spasms associated with a chronic, debilitating condition, and who, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, discuss, approve or recommend the medical use of marijuana for these patients based on the physician's best medical judgment; and

(2) All patients in the State of California diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and/or seizures or muscle spasms associated with a chronic, debilitating condition, who, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, communicate with their physicians about the medical use of marijuana.

Time Magazine Calls Marijuana Addictive

On April 30, 1997, MJDOCDLE@aol.com wrote:
Check out the May 5, 1997, Time magazine cover story on addiction. It focuses on dopamine as the final common pathway for addictive drugs.

They lump marijuana in with the drugs that are mediated by dopamine and omit any mention of the anandamide receptor system for cannabinoids. From what I've read, the marijuana high is NOT mediated by dopamine. [See "Marijuana and the Human Brain," by former NORML director Jon Gettman, posted at http://www.pdxnorml.org/brain1.html. The science involved is the U.S. government's own, although it is being widely misrepresented, as the Time article indicates. - ed.] This assertion, along with the fact that experimental animals (except for the inbred "Lewis" strain of rats) will not self-administer pot, bolstering the contention that pot is not addictive like opiates, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, caffeine or amphetamines.

Washington Jury In Religious Defense Case Waits On Appeals Court

"The Area In Brief - Olympia: Marijuana case jury awaits federal appeal"

The News Tribune [Tacoma, Washington], circa Friday, April 25, 1997
By Karen Hucks, The News Tribune

The jury in the trial of a Tumwater man who wants to smoke marijuana for religious reasons will have to wait patiently for developments in the Washington State Appeals Court.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks ruled Wednesday not to dismiss the jury in the trial of Gene Balzer, said defense attorney Paul Reed. The trial was put on hold April 4 after prosecutors appealed Balzer's use of the federal 1993 Religious Freedom Act as a defense.

The appeals court intends to hear the case this fall, and gave Hicks the choice of retaining the jury, dismissing it or letting the jury decide the case but sealing the verdict. Hicks decided to send the jury a letter and retain members for the time being, Reed said.

Tom Doyle, the defense attorney in the appeal, is asking appellate court judges to reconsider Court Commissioner Ernetta Weathersby's decision that the higher state court review the case, Reed said. Another appeals court hearing is expected within a month.

Balzer, who claims membership in Rainbow Family of Living Light and Rastafarian religions, was arrested in November after police said they found more than a pound of marijuana in his car.

San Marcos, Texas, To Vote On Medical Marijuana

"Compassion Or Crime? San Marcos Voters To Decide On Medicinal Marijuana Use"

The Dallas Morning News May 1, 1997, front page
By Christy Hoppe

SAN MARCOS - The woman in a wheelchair holding a sign on the street corner has forgone her privacy to ask passers-by to lend her a little compassion.

They can keep their pity. All she wants is their vote.

Marcia Johnson, 42, mother of three, who was left paralyzed by a car accident nine years ago, is on the front lines in the drug war. She says she's asking for an inch: to be allowed to use marijuana to calm the wrenching spasms that can toss her off the bed at night.

The Chamber of Commerce, police, neighborhood leaders and adherents of zero tolerance say she's asking for a mile: to advance a political platform toward legalization of marijuana.

Under an initiative forced by a citizens' petition, San Marcos will vote Saturday on a marijuana use ordinance.

The measure wouldn't go as far as Arizona's and California's in allowing marijuana for medicinal uses. It would have no legal effect, asking only that police use discretion and refrain from arresting people using marijuana for specific medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and muscle spasms resulting from paralysis.

"You can see a drug problem, or you can see a drug need," Ms. Johnson said. "If you don't have the pain and suffering, you don't understand the positive connotation."

Nina Wright, spokeswoman for the San Marcos Drug Free Business Initiative, said marijuana causes too much damage, especially to the young.

"Police already have discretion," she said. "This is just a cover for the eventual legalization of marijuana."

The line dividing the 31,000 residents on this proposition is as distinct as the Blanco River. Now, in a town known more for innertubing and Ralph the Diving Pig, a turbulent debate runs through it.

The arguments fall for either compassion or law and order. None of the city leaders can say why such an issue has cropped up in San Marcos.

Perhaps it is as good a battleground as any: The city was named for a saint and the county for Texas Ranger Capt. Jack Hays.

Harvey Ginsburg, a Southwest Texas University psychology professor, started the petition that drew 1,500 signatures to force the initiative.

He suffers from glaucoma and said he has used marijuana to relieve symptoms. In June 1994, police broke down the door of his house and arrested him, finding him in possession of some home-grown plants.

The criminal case eventually was dismissed but continues to spark his activism. "All social changes in America come from the bottom up, not from the top down," Mr. Ginsburg said.

He has been a coordinator for the Hays County March of Dimes, advocated child safety issues before the Legislature and helped craft laws to protect the San Marcos River.

Now, he has found himself demonized. At a recent civic meeting, a man pointed at him and said he'd be hanged if he were in Singapore.

He said he is not asking the town to question the national drug response but to make a small allowance to ease human suffering.

"The drugs they're prescribing now are not working," he said.

He said for an initiative that doesn't change the law and doesn't ask to legalize anything, it is facing a tremendous backlash.

"The people are told if you do this, our children will become drug addicts. ... That's the opponents' message," Mr. Ginsburg said.

Tom Brooks, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said Mr. Ginsburg is trying to play down the consequences to the image and future of San Marcos.

The Chamber has voted to oppose the ordinance citing three reasons: It threatens the efforts of schools and businesses that have adopted a zero tolerance policy; it threatens the city's ability to attract new businesses; and it sends a confusing message to the youth about marijuana.

Mr. Brooks said a desirable company would weigh the prospect of hiring an employee with a medical disability who uses marijuana, which could affect the worker's productivity. The company could face a lawsuit for trying to fire or discipline the employee, Mr. Brooks said.

"That's our position, and that's the reality," he said.

Police Chief Larry Kendrick said the ordinance places police in the middle of something where they have no business being.

He said that prosecutors, not police, are in the best position to judge whether a person needs marijuana for medical purposes.

"How does the officer know if that person is sick or in pain?" Chief Kendrick said. "We don't want street-level justice."

He acknowledged that officers already use their discretion. An officer might even find "a teenager with the remnants of a marijuana cigarette, and he crushes it out, and says, 'Get out of here and consider yourself lucky.' "

As it is, Chief Kendrick said he sees little that will be legally affected by the ordinance, should it pass. The problem, he said, might be "how the rest of the world or the state will view San Marcos."

Both sides in the argument say they see insidious outside influences creeping into the small-town debate.

Mr. Ginsburg questions why the Drug Enforcement Administration, using taxpayer money, had a Houston special agent come talk to invited guests recently - an action he considers federal interference and inappropriate lobbying.

The agent, Ernest Howard, told local reporters he was there "to educate the community in San Marcos as to what the effects of drug abuse would be if this ordinance passes."

Meanwhile, Ms. Wright suggests outside pro-marijuana groups, such as the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, might be targeting the initiative. "In the 1970s, NORML said they'd start with the use of medicinal marijuana, and they've continued with that," she said.

Mr. Ginsburg said he's heard nothing from any national group and has never had any association with NORML.

He said he's unsure of how the election will go. Only 7.5 percent turnout is traditional in city elections. The university's 20,000 students could be a deciding factor, but there's no guarantee they will turn out in favor of the measure.

"It's just a bunch of people who want to get one step closer to legalizing it for themselves," said senior marketing student Michael Rodriguez, 23.

Even Mr. Ginsburg remains unsure of the potential for victory. "Perhaps we've provided a little insight into the intolerance of zero tolerance. And maybe it'll help us look at the human compassion within us," he said.

California Gubernatorial Candidate Attacks Military Subversion Of Voter Initiatives

Press Release
Lake Tahoe, California
April 28, 1997


California gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby blasted the federal government today for using active duty military forces, federal tax dollars, and tax free organizations that favor prolonging the War on Drugs, in a carefully orchestrated effort to undermine and subvert the free elective process guaranteed all Americans by the U.S. Constitution.

"On March 25th, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) used military installations, military personnel, federal office buildings and military communications facilities and equipment at 400 sites nationwide, to engage in a day long planning session aimed at coordinating efforts to subvert current state laws and implementing actions designed to undermine and sabotage citizen ballot initiatives in those states where such citizen efforts are currently underway. CADCA, a tax-free organization, expressly forbidden to engage in direct political efforts, appears to be in violation of federal tax laws. The use of military facilities and personnel, and the expenditure of federal tax dollars, in this effort, is clearly wrong."

"The use of active duty military forces, to oppose legitimate, peaceful, citizen protest, as expressed through the voting process, is a clear violation of the Hatch Act, and sends a chilling message to all Americans," said Steve. "The clear line between a legitimate expression of government views, and a criminal subversion of the electoral process has been crossed. Tax dollars and military forces are now being used to intimidate voters and legislators. CADCA has active duty military personnel assigned on a full time basis to coordinate these illegal activities, and to assist in the planning and implementation of this intentional disruption of the democratic process."

"There are many good reasons why military forces must not be used to interfere with civilian efforts at self-government. No nation in history has survived the use of military forces against their citizenry. President Clinton's willingness to use military forces against American citizens, is the clearest sign yet of a federal government out of control, and out of touch with the people. Once I am elected, I will direct the Calfornia Attorney General to bring charges against all federal officials and military officers responsible for these illegal and unconstitutional acts"

Arthur R Sobey
Communications Director
Kubby For Governor

Kubby For Governor
e-mail: kubby@alpworld.com
Fax: 916 581-5641

[Richard Lake responded:]

I am way behind on this, one of my favorite projects. However, a few quick comments.

First, I, and I am sure others, have documents passed out at the March CADCA/National Guard conferences. Mine, which clearly says it is an effort of CADCA, The National Guard Bureau and the Florida National Guard, is full of examples of their effort to oppose initiatives like 215/200 and instructions on how to oppose such efforts, to include bills before Congress and in the various states. It is as political as all hell, in my opinion.

Second, I believe the Guard participation, because of the political efforts of CADCA is clearly against the law. The Hatch act and various other directives/regulations forbids military members in uniform from advocating a political position and encouraging others to take action based on that position.

Talked with my state's Staff Judge Advocate (a Major, and the highest ranking legal guy in the state's Adjutant General's office, which is the state headquarters for a state's Army/Air Guard). He said that even if the Hatch Act may not cover the all uniformed Guard folks as some (uniformed technicians) are state employees only, something called the Joint Ethics Regulation does, and it includes as part of the regulation an executive order on the subject. He said, and I have not had the time to track down a copy, that the Joint Ethics Regulation has the same prohibitions as the Hatch Act.

He also agreed that it is unethical, Conduct Unbecoming and Officer (a chargeable offence under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the law that governs the military (the Constitution allows a separate set of laws for military folks)) for an officer to engage in any political discussion while on duty and/or in uniform when the goal is to encourage others to act in support of or in opposition to any bill before congress, or other political action of the states. [There is a bill to hang doctors, or something, for recommending marijuana, before congress].

The Code expects officers as gentlemen, to know what is unfair or unjust. He said it is hard for a trained lawyer, who advises folks how to get thru the loophole, to teach about this part of the code, which basically says that an officer doesn't look for the loophole, but is held to a higher ethical standard of upholding the spirit of the law!

Also, the Army Times of a couple of weeks ago had an article about how two Army chaplains were appealing directives that they refrain from telling their flock that they should write letters to congress on the abortion issue. The chaplains were told they could state the moral position of their church, but that they were in violation of the law and regulations when they encouraged any political action. Period! If chaplains have no exemption, I doubt that the Guard officers do.

If you are interested, drop me a note.

Richard Lake

[Charles P. Conrad followed up:]

Here's the answer I received from the Office of the Special Counsel. Guess the Military doesn't fall under the Hatch Act.

Will one of you who were going to check this out a week or two ago and who has a better handle on the situation please call the DoD's number in the message below and find out what rules apply to whom???


------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: HATCHACT@osc.gov
To: cpconrad@95net.com
Subject: (none)
Date: Mon, 12 May 97 9:32:04 -0400

The Hatch Act applies to civil service employees and Technicians in the National Guard. Uniform military personnel are not covered by the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act prohibits covered employees from using their official authority or influence to interfere with or effect the outcome of an election. We might be able to take a look at the incident under this section, but I would need more information to be sure. Generally, the Hatch Act provisions apply to partisan activities, so I'm not sure if your scenario falls under the Act.

If you would like more information concerning the DOD regulations call 703-695-3422.

This was my original request:

To: hatchact@osc.gov
Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 13:17:44 -0800

Is it a violation of the Hatch Act for Military and National Guard Members, acting under orders, to attempt to influence a state or local ballot initiative?


Charles P. Conrad

[Richard Lake responded:]

Wish I had more time to spend on this, but at this time I am very tied up on a couple of other projects. Still, will say what I can. - Richard Lake

Per a conversation with the senior Guard legal guy in my state, the above is kind of a mixed bag. The CADCA use of Guard and other federal facilities, and personnel, to oppose, and teach others to oppose, as a concept, political efforts for medical marijuana, initiatives or otherwise, at state level, may not violate the hatch act if the issue is truly non-partisan, AND is not the subject of a bill before congress. There is at least one, perhaps more, bills before congress on the issue [mostly wanting to punish doctors].

We have no reason to believe that covered civilian personnel did not participate in supporting CADCA's efforts. Indeed, the use of federal buildings would appear to insure it. Also there is a class of Guard Technicians who are uniformed; i.e. wear a uniform as part of their job, even though they are paid as civilians. These technicians are also drilling reserve soldiers.

If not covered by the Hatch Act, uniformed personnel are covered by the DOD regulations, something called the Joint Ethics Regulation, and an executive order. These are, I understand, similar to the Hatch Act. Also most states have laws/regulations or other directives which may apply to anyone paid with state or federal funds, who may not otherwise be covered. I have not, and do not expect to anytime soon, been able to explore this avenue....

Please note that officers on active duty, and perhaps those in the Active Guard and Reserve Program [which may well cover a number of officers who participated in supporting CADCA's political initiatives] are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Officers, under the code, are expected not to behave an unfair or unjust ways, which includes using the cover of loopholes. Thus we know the spirit of the Hatch Act and other directives is to preclude officers from using their office and/or uniform to influence others on contested issues. Period. A chaplain can not even suggest that folks write to congress on an issue like abortion, no matter what the position of his/her church, for example. [I have an Army Times article on this].

The Army's regulation is instructive. I had believed that it is based on the Hatch Act, but even if it is based on an executive order and a Joint Ethics Regulation, I find it possible that it has been violated. Here are the significant parts:

Only the paragraphs that appear to apply, or help in understanding the context, are included. Breaks are indicated by ----.


Paragraph 5-3, Political Activities

a. Obligations as a Citizen. Soldiers are expected to carry out their obligations as citizens. However, while on active duty, soldiers (including full-time National Guard) are prohibited in certain cases from engaging in certain political activities. The following policies apply:

(1) A soldier on active duty may:

(a) Register, vote, and express his or her personal opinion on political candidates and issues, but not as a representative of the Armed Forces.

(b) Make monetary contributions to a political organization.

(c) Attend partisan and nonpartisan political meetings or rallies, as a spectator when not in uniform.

(2) A soldier on active duty shall not:

(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for interfering with an election; affecting the course or outcome of an election; soliciting votes for a particular candidate or issue; or requiring or soliciting political contributions from others.

(3) To assist in applying the foregoing general policies to particular situations, Appendix B provides guidelines and examples of permissible and prohibited political activities.
b. Participation in political meetings or rallies, picket lines, and public demonstrations. Taking part in partisan or nonpartisan political meetings or rallies, picket lines, or any other public demonstration may imply Army sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or meeting is conducted. Unless sanctioned by competent authority, soldiers are prohibited from taking part:

(1) During the hours they are required to be present for duty.

(2) When they are in uniform, on a military reservation, or in a foreign country.

(3) When their activities constitute a breach of law and order.

(4) When violence is reasonably likely to result.

Appendix B Guidelines on Political Activities

3-2 Purpose This appendix provides specific guidance on those political activities which are permitted or prohibited.

3-2 Examples of Permissible Political Activities - A soldier on active duty may:

1. Register, vote, and express a personal opinion on political candidates and issues, but not as a representative of the Armed Forces.

2. Promote and encourage other military members to exercise their voting franchise, if such promotion does not constitute an attempt to influence or interfere with the outcome of an election.

3. Join a political club and attend its meetings `when not in uniform.
5. Sign a petition for specific legislative action or a petition to place a candidate's name on an official election ballot, if the signing does not obligate the soldier to engage in partisan political activity and is done as a private citizen and not as a representative of the Armed Forces.

6. Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing the soldier's personal views on public issues or political candidates, if such action is not part of an organized letter-writing campaign or concerted solicitation of votes for or against a political party or partisan political cause or candidate.
3-3 Examples of prohibited political activities

Per the statutory restrictions in section 973 (b), title 10, United States Code (10 USC 973 (b)) and the policies established in section d of DoD Directive 1344.10, and implemented in chapter 5 of this regulation a soldier on active duty shall not:

1. Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue, or require or solicit political contributions from others.
3. Participate in partisan political management or campaigns, or make public speeches in the course thereof.
6. Allow or cause to be published partisan political articles signed or written by the soldier that solicit votes for or against a partisan political party or candidate.

7. Serve in any official capacity or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.

8. Speak before a partisan political gathering of any kind for promoting a partisan political party or candidate.

9. Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate of a partisan political party or candidate.
3-4 Political activities not expressly permitted or prohibited Some activities not expressly prohibited may be contrary to the spirit and intent of this policy. In determining whether an activity violates the traditional concept that soldiers should not engage in partisan political activity, rules of reason and common sense shall apply. Any activity that may be viewed as associating the Department of the Army or any components of the Department of the Army directly or indirectly with a partisan political cause or candidate shall be avoided.

3-5 Local nonpartisan political activities This policy does not preclude participation in local nonpartisan political campaigns, initiatives, or referendums. A soldier taking part in local nonpartisan political activity, however, shall not:

1. Wear a uniform or use any Government property or facilities while participating.

2. Allow such participation to interfere with, or prejudice, the soldier's performance of military duties.

3. Engage in conduct that in any way may imply that the Department of the Army has taken an official position on, or is otherwise involved in, the local political campaign or issue.

3-6 Additional requirements Members of the United States Army on active duty engaging in permissible political activities shall:

1. Give full time and attention to the performance of military duties during prescribed duty hours.

2. Avoid any outside activities that may be prejudicial to the performance of military duties or are likely to bring discredit upon the United States Army.

3. Refrain from participating in any political activity while in military uniform, as proscribed by AR 670-1, or using Government facilities or resources for furthering political activities.

I hope this helps.

Richard Lake

Hatch Act Goes Online

An excerpt found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/osc/#11

Federal Hatch Act Don'ts

Federal employees covered by 1993 amendments may not-

  • use official authority or influence to interfere with an election
  • solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency
  • solicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by federal labor or other employee organizations)
  • be candidates for public office in partisan elections
  • engage in political activity while- [However,]

    Federal Hatch Act Do's

    Federal employees covered by the 1993 amendments may-

  • be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections
  • register and vote as they choose
  • assist in voter registration drives
  • express opinions about candidates and issues
  • contribute money to political organizations
  • attend political fundraising functions
  • attend and be active at political rallies and meetings
  • join and be an active member of a political party or club
  • sign nominating petitions
  • campaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, municipal ordinances
  • campaign for or against candidates in partisan elections
  • make campaign speeches for candidates in partisan elections
  • distribute campaign literature in partisan elections
  • hold office in political clubs or parties

    Arizona Voters To Have The Last Say On Proposition 200

    "Vote sought on declawing of Prop. 200
    Group wants public to void two new laws"

    The Arizona Daily Star, April 25, 1997
    By Shaun McKinnon

    Vote! PHOENIX - The debate over what Arizona voters meant when they approved Proposition 200 may be settled by the only people who know for sure - Arizona voters.

    Proponents of the so-called medical-marijuana initiative filed papers with the secretary of state yesterday seeking to place on the 1998 ballot two recently passed bills that dismantled key pieces of the proposition.

    Sam Vagenas, one of the original backers of Proposition 200, said the new drive is really a referendum on the arrogance of legislators who refuse to accept a decision made by 800,000 Arizonans.

    "We can't leave it up to politicians to decide which votes count and which votes don't," Vagenas said. "We can't leave it up to the politicians to decide which voters are stupid and which voters aren't. We are going to prove people are a lot smarter than the politicians think."

    The group, calling itself The People Have Spoken, has a more far-reaching agenda built on a planned constitutional amendment that would prevent the Legislature from changing a voter initiative for at least two years.

    Vagenas said the paperwork for that measure will be filed later.

    The new petition drive adds long-term fuel to a debate that has scorched a wide swath through the Arizona political landscape since Proposition 200 passed last November by a 2-to-1 ratio.

    Gov. Fife Symington briefly considered vetoing the measure and members of the state's congressional delegation have condemned it, enlisting national figures such as former education secretary and drug czar William Bennett.

    In addition to allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana and other drugs for seriously or terminally ill patients, Proposition 200 allowed the release of first-time, non-violent drug offenders and diverted future first-time offenders to treatment programs.

    The Legislature approved three bills changing the measure's provisions. The first, passed and signed by the governor early in the session, limited which non-violent drug offenders could be released from prison. Because the bill was passed with an emergency clause, it can't be referred to the ballot.

    Two others can: House Bill 2518 prohibited physicians from prescribing marijuana or other Schedule I drugs - which include heroin, LSD and PCP - until they received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration.

    Senate Bill 1373 narrowed the number of first-time drug offenders eligible for treatment or probation.

    If supporters of the referendum gather the needed 56,481 signatures by July 20, the state would be unable to enforce the new laws until voters have their say in 1998.

    Sen. John Kaites, a critic of Proposition 200 from the start and one of the architects of the three bills that passed this session, said yesterday that the ballot drive to repeal the laws should cast suspicion on its backers.

    "Clearly the more radical elements of the organization do not approve of what we tried to do," he said, "which would seem to suggest they are moving toward legalization of drugs and not medicalization."

    Kaites, R-Glendale, said legislators were trying not to undo the voters' wishes but instead smooth over some of the rough - an potentially illegal - edges.

    "When we were put in the position of implementing a proposition as poorly crafted as Proposition 200, we had to do it in a reasonable and rational manner," he said.

    The petition drive filed yesterday is the second attempt to undo what the 1997 Legislature did. The Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association has filed to block the state from spending $14.8 million from the tobacco tax medically-needy account on a new health department laboratory.

    'Hemp Rooted In Missouri History'

    The Kansas City Star, April 28, 1997
    By Bill Graham, staff writer

    Industrial hemp, one of mankind's oldest cultivated plants, was once the key cash crop in the Missouri River basin.

    In fact, Weston billed itself as the "hemp center of the world" in the late 1850s.

    A hemp-growing belt developed in Kansas and Missouri counties bordering the Missouri River because the river provided affordable shipping for the bulky crop.

    Hemp came west with early settlers, decades after George Washington raised the plant and Thomas Jefferson wrote drafts of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.

    "We became wealthy from its culture," pioneer W.M. Paxton wrote in his Annals of Platte County, Missouri, published in 1897. "After a few years the South looked more to Missouri than to Kentucky for a supply of hemp for bagging and rope."

    In 1861, Confederate troops used hemp as rolling bulwarks in a charge on Union troops at Lexington, Mo. During a recent re-enactment, historians re-created the "battle of the hemp bales" by buying imported fiber.

    But hemp fell from favor in the Kansas City region after the Civil War because its harvest and processing was labor intensive.

    Machinery that made hemp production easier was invented in the early 1900s.

    Henry Ford rolled out a car that had body panels made from hemp fibers and resins and hemp oil in the gas tank.

    Then federal anti-drug efforts in the 1930s regulated all varieties of marijuana, including industrial hemp. That made hemp less competitive with cheap oil, cotton and wood products.

    A "Hemp for Victory" campaign by the U.S. government during World War II temporarily revived the crop.

    "When I was a boy, I remember when they raised it," said John Bollin, 66, who farms land in Kansas but lives in Weston.

    Tight regulations including a special tax on fiber or finished products were reinstated after the war. That helped stymie domestic industrial hemp production, which ended in the 1950s.

    Hemp became illegal under 1970s federal drug laws pertaining to marijuana.

    77 Percent Of Kentuckians Support Industrial Hemp

    "It's a near-miracle crop. It's illegal. Hemp movement clouded by cousin"

    The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, April 27, 1997
    By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer staff writer

    CLAY CITY, Ky. - Some people who walk into John Centers' one-room store see only the sparsely stocked shelves of rough-hewn canvas shirts, caps, socks and bags.

    But Centers sees the beginning of an economic revolution, one he believes can save struggling farmers, revive rural communities, fill his store with customers - and just maybe make a few people rich in the process.

    How? Hemp. Not the notorious, pointy-leafed weed that sends its tie-dyed smokers to nirvana, but its industrial cousin, a slender plant whose fibers and juices can be turned into everything from carpets to cosmetics, stucco to salad oil and diapers to denim jackets.

    "It's only a matter of time before it all comes about," said Centers, who runs The Hemp Connection here. "It's something that's new, and everyone's getting into it."

    A widening alliance of farmers and businesspeople describe hemp as a near-miracle crop, one that can be grown cheaply with few pesticides, and harvested by existing machinery. Mostly, advocates say, it may be a way to wean tobacco farmers onto another crop and still make a living.

    There's just one problem.

    It's illegal to grow hemp in this country, and has been for nearly half a century. The plant contains a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical that gets pot-smokers high. Police will lock up anyone who so much as plants a seed.

    But that may change. Centers is part of a growing movement, based in tobacco states such as Kentucky but stretching north to Maine and west to Hawaii, to legalize the production of industrial hemp.

    Bluegrass State legislators are scheduled to hold hearings this summer. Lobbyists are pushing for a pilot program in Virginia, as they are in a dozen other states including Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The American Farm Bureau, representing almost five million farmers, has endorsed research into hemp's possibilities.

    With that activity has come controversy and confusion. The hemp movement faces little organized opposition, but plenty of informal resistance.

    Questions about hemp's economic viability, and its relationship to marijuana, cloud its image in the minds of many citizens. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration makes no distinction between low-THC hemp and its high-octane relative, defining any plant that contains THC as marijuana.

    Both plants are types of Cannabis sativa. Pharmacologists say, however, that hemp contains less than 1 percent THC, making it useless as a narcotic. Hemp supporters say comparing the two plants is like comparing a toy poodle and a pit bull.

    But they know they have a public-relations problem.

    The pro-drug National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has pushed to legalize hemp, saying it could pave the way for legal pot. And the energetic support of off-beat Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson, who was arrested in Kentucky last summer for planting four hemp seeds, has made some wary.

    "I think his involvement has scared people," said Julia Williams, who is active in the Community Farm Alliance, which endorsed hemp as an alternative to tobacco.

    Even in this eastern Kentucky town of 1,173, where farming is as natural as breathing, the mention of hemp doesn't rouse cheers. The mayor declined to attend the ribbon-cutting for Centers' store, and some residents fretted the business would become a draw for potheads.

    Centers says that's ridiculous - smoking hemp will make you sick, but not high. Meanwhile, demand for his goods is so strong that The Hemp Connection - he swears the initials are unintentional - will soon move to bigger quarters. It still will sell pants, chairs, cookbooks and soap, along with hats that say, "Do not smoke this cap," all made from imported hemp.

    The new store will stand next to a "Hemp Motel" that's being built in renovated apartments, where visitors will sleep on hemp sheets and pillowcases, and dine at a cafe featuring hemp burgers.

    "Every day I'm finding another way to expand it," Centers said. "The tobacco industry is just falling to pieces. This right here could bring our farmers back."

    Hemp once was among the nation's leading cash crops, a plant with a secure future and proud past.

    Drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, and Betsy Ross' flag was sewn of hemp canvas. During World War II, the federal government mounted a "Hemp for Victory" campaign, urging farmers to grow the plant that provided parachutes for battle and cosmetics for the home.

    But congressional action, drug hysteria and the arrival of new fabrics such as nylon soon strangled domestic production, a particularly hard blow in Kentucky, which once produced 90 percent of the nation's hemp.

    Today, a poll funded by the state Hemp Growers Cooperative Association showed that 77 percent of Kentuckians support growth of industrial hemp. For most the reason is simple: The farms are dying.

    Kentucky has lost more than 150,000 farms in the last 50 years, a lot of them small family farms. Often it's tobacco that keeps the survivors alive. And many farmers think they can't last much longer.

    "We're in a crisis situation," said Dorothy Robertson, a tobacco farmer in Bethel. "People are looking for anything to be able to stay on the farm."

    No crop will prove as lucrative as tobacco, which pays $2,000 to $3,000 an acre. But some farmers see hemp as an option because, theoretically, they could grow more of it.

    The hemp cooperative estimates that farmers could earn $270 to $300 per acre; others put the figure as high as $475. That's more than crops like corn, which pays about $250.

    Co-op president Andrew Graves said that if growing hemp is legalized, he expects the crop to be regulated and monitored, just like tobacco is now. Farmers would use government-certified, low-THC seed, raising only enough hemp to meet manufacturers' orders, to keep prices stable. Hemp is so bulky it must be processed close to where it's grown. Graves envisions spinning mills, paper factories and seed-crushing plants springing up around farms, creating scores of jobs in hard-pressed rural communities.

    But others say that's a pipe dream.

    Owensboro farmer Billy Joe Miles, chairman of a state committee that studied hemp, has called the crop a "complete fraud." Hemp would earn about a third as much money as soybeans, not nearly enough to offset tobacco, he said.

    Nearly two dozen countries including France and England now grow hemp to make paper, fuel, detergents, paints, coffee filters and artists' canvas. Advocates see the same thing happening here.

    "I know we're going to succeed. There's no doubt in my mind," said Joseph Hickey Sr., the hemp cooperative's executive director. "It's going to create rural economic development on a scale we've never seen before."

    Canadian Mounts Constitutional Challenge To Pot Prohibition

    "Hemp retailer is set to fight drug charge
    He aims to have narcotics laws struck down"

    The Toronto Star, April 28, 1997
    By Catherine Dunphy
    Toronto Star Staff Reporter

    This is one marijuana charge neither the accused nor his lawyer wants to go up in smoke. In fact, London hemp shop owner Chris Clay intends to go all the way to the Supreme Court in order to beat the charges of trafficking and cultivation he'll be facing in a London, Ont., courtroom today.

    And while he's at it, he'd like to strike down Sections 4 and 6 of the Narcotics Control Act - or, in other words, legalize marijuana.

    "I think I've got a good shot," said Clay, 26. "These laws should have been changed before I was born."

    Clay faces charges stemming from police raids in 1995 and 1996 on his store, Hemp Nation, after one of his staff sold an undercover officer a marijuana seedling or "clone."

    He has already spent a total of five days in jail and he and his employee could face life imprisonment if convicted of trafficking.

    But even Clay admits there's little chance of that. "Serving jail time (for convictions) is rare now," he said.

    He considers himself more an activist than retailer.

    His lawyer agrees.

    "My client is a political activist," said Osgoode law professor Alan Young.

    Young intends to argue this case in two parts. The second part is a constitutional challenge based on the argument that people have the right to make autonomous decisions with regard to their "bodily integrity."

    `We are working on the principle it is beyond the authority of Parliament to criminalize harmless conduct."

    But first Young will state no one can prove whether the seedlings sold by Clay were marijuana or hemp.

    And that no one can prove they were a prohibitive substance containing more than 0.3 per cent of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That amount is considered the threshold level for intoxication.

    Young said hemp, or fibre cannabis, was once a cash crop in southwestern Ontario during World War II.

    It was considered the source of the strongest rope and was so important to the war effort the government offered subsidies to farmers to grow it.

    "I will argue that there is a strain of cannabis which is not intoxicating and that it is absurd and arbitrary to prohibit fibre cannabis," he said.

    "I will have to persuade the court fibre cannabis or hemp is not covered by the Narcotics Control Act."

    If Young loses the first round, he'll move on to his constitutional challenge.

    "We'll prove marijuana is relatively harmless and may be the safest psychoactive substance," he said.

    "There are more hospital admissions in the U.S. from ASA complications than from marijuana."

    Chris Clay Of Hemp Nation Gives Constitutional Challenge Timeline

    Subject: Constitutional challenge begins Monday
    From: Chris Clay
    Date: 1997/04/30


    After 3 days of court proceedings, my trial over the sale of a cannabis cutting, or "clone", is nearly complete. Beginning next week, phase two begins; Professor Alan Young and his partner Paul Burstein will begin their complex constitutional arguments showing that prohibition of cannabis is unjust and without foundation.

    For another 2 - 3 weeks, many expert witnesses will appear, including doctors, criminologists, lawyers, sociologists etc. They will demonstrate clearly that Canada's cannabis laws violate basic rights guaranteed by our constitution.


    As our constitutional challenge proceeds, I'm adding daily summaries of our progress. Updates for the first three days are now online at http://www.hempnation.com/challnge/challnge.html

    Next week the excitement really starts, don't miss out ;-)

    Chris Clay

    Hemp Nation * http://www.hempnation.com/
    Chris Clay * E-mail chris.clay@hempnation.com
    Constitutional challenge is underway!

    Constitutional Challenge Features Hemp Expert's Testimony

    "Another researcher defends cannabis as cash crop"

    The London Free Press [Ontario], May 1, 1997

    The former agronomist with an agricultural college says hemp can be used in paper production, clothing, plastic materials, concrete materials and for many other uses.

    By Eric Bender
    Free Press Reporter

    A second scientist has said at the trial of hemp store operator Chris Clay that he has "enthusiasm" for the cultivation of industrial cannabis.

    Gordon Scheifele, a former agronomist with the Ridgetown Agricultural College who grew licensed plots of cannabis plants for two years, told Ontario court Justice John McCart Wednesday he sees great potential for commercial hemp as an alternative cash crop in Southwestern Ontario.

    Scheifele has left employment with the provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Food at the college because of downsizing in the research area and is in the process of moving to Thunder Bay.

    He'll be working for the University of Guelph, doing much of the same work including cannabis research for development in the northwestern region.

    Although the bulk of his career work has been corn research, he said, the ministry has been interested in exploring alternative crops.

    Scheifele said that among the alternatives, low toxicity cannabis or hemp plants have the greatest variety of uses.

    He listed fibre for paper production, clothing, plastic materials, concrete materials, fibreboard, and oils and seeds for the food industry.

    FIBREGLASS: He said the auto industry is extremely interested in hemp "fibreglass" because it is stronger, more flexible and lighter.

    In Europe, he said, interiors of Mercedes and Volvo cars have hemp interiors and dashboards.

    And in England, the Queen's own horses are bedded in hemp shavings.

    He said cannabis is recognized as "a natural, annually renewable fibre for many uses." Scheifele said the government's interest in commercial hemp has arisen as an economic concern resulting in the first test plots being licensed in 1994 after a 56-year hiatus.

    Cannabis was banned in Canada in 1923 because of concern over the intoxicating effects following human consumption.

    Clay and employee Jordan Prentice were charged two years ago in a raid on his shop with several counts of possessing and trafficking marijuana in violation of the Narcotics Control Act.

    NOT GUILTY PLEAS: Both have pleaded not guilty and are mounting a defence that the act should not include non-intoxicating materials.

    They are prepared to argue constitutional matters surrounding the criminalization of marijuana and personal freedoms.

    Clay is proprietor of the Hemp Nation retail store at 343 Richmond St.

    Scheifele, testifying for the defence, added his supportive voice for hemp potential to that of federal Agriculture Canada scientist Ernest Small, who said he has "enthusiasm" for the crop.

    Small said that as a civil servant he has had to be careful about expressing his beliefs because of "sensitivity" on the part of the department and government to the cannabis issue.

    He said it may be even more sensitive during an election campaign. However, he told the judge, he was speaking his mind in court.

    Scheifele said in his discussions with Health Canada and other departmental officials he has learned the government recognizes the "commercial development" that hemp production can achieve.

    He said there is a belief hemp cultivation and processing can develop into regional industries in areas such as the Essex-Kent-Lambton region and the northwest area of the province.

    It was Small who suggested a now-established guideline of 0.3-per-cent toxicity in cannabis as the defining level between toxic and non-toxic cannabis plants.

    Lower toxicity plants tend to be the fibrous hemp variety, he said.

    The 0.3-per-cent threshold has been adopted around the world, court was told.

    The trial is to resume Monday.

    Herbal Joints The Key To Bust Free Rallies

    On May 6, 1997, Neil Johnson wrote:
    Like the Extravaganja, the Boston Freedom Rally always sells/distributes herbal cigarettes. They serve as decoys to prevent busts. We always make a point of letting the press and police know we are selling the herbal cigarettes. BTW, we make a ton of money selling the herbal cigarettes.

    I also make a point of bringing a baggie of my bright green homegrown tobacco for consumption in public. (You gotta dry tobacco leaf in a micowave to get the green color).


    Court Limits No-Knock Searches, But Not Abusive Police

    "Supreme Court refuses to remove limits on no-knock drug searches"

    The Arizona Daily Star, Tuesday, April 29, 1997

    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, refusing to expand police powers in the war on drugs, ruled unanimously yesterday that officers armed with warrants sometimes may not barge unannounced into homes to search for narcotics.

    Giving the police a blanket exception, wrote Judge John Paul Stevens, the court's most liberal member, violates the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    In another decision, the justices made it tougher for citizens to collect damages from local governments when an employee, such as a police officer using excessive force, violates their constitutional rights. That decision was 5-4.

    The drug search case came from Wisconsin, where the state's highest court had decreed that the narcotics trade was so dangerous that the police could always serve search warrants in felony drug cases without first knocking and identifying themselves.

    The purpose of what is called the knock-and-announce rule is to protect privacy, reduce the risk of violence, prevent destruction of property and give an innocent person a chance to tell police officers they made a mistake. The rule has been adopted by most states and was endorsed last year by a unanimous Supreme Court.

    Stevens, while acknowledging that the war on drugs is violent and dangerous to investigators, warned against creating blanket exceptions to constitutional rights based on "the social norms of a given historical moment."

    Moreover, Stevens said, a blanket exemption for drug cases would open the door to exceptions for other categories of crimes - such as armed bank robbery - in which suspects are likely to carry weapons and can easily destroy evidence.

    In practice, the police still could avoid the knock-and-announce rule by showing they have good reason to suspect that announcing themselves would be dangerous or inhibit the investigation of the crime.

    In the case of excessive force, the justices overturned a lower court decision that required an Oklahoma county to pay $818,000 in damages to a woman who was severely injured by a sheriff's deputy in 1991. The deputy had been hired despite having a criminal misdemeanor record.

    The decision made it difficult to hold cities, counties and school districts liable for damages under federal law for single, isolated decisions of public officials - as, for example, when a carelessly hired or trained police officer breaks into someone's home, or when a teacher accused of sexual harassment is transferred and becomes the target of a similar charge in another school.

    Congress did not intend to hold local governments liable for isolated hiring decisions, ruled Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for a majority composed of the court's five most conservative justices.

    In another action, the justices refused to hear free-speech challenges to Baltimore child-protection ordinances that ban tobacco and alcohol advertising on most billboards within the city. The decision left intact a federal appeals court decision that courts owe "special solicitude" to governments seeking to shield children from harm.

    The action had no nationwide impact, but it could help the Clinton administration's broader effort to regulate cigarette advertising aimed at children. Last week a federal judge in North Carolina ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could regulate sales and labeling of cigarettes, but had no authority over advertising. President Clinton ordered an appeal.

    [A link above takes you to the Legal Information Institute site out at Cornell University, where the Supreme Court decision is online. A site called "Oyez Oyez Oyez" also features actual oral arguments in Real Audio of significant cases before the Supreme Court. - ed.]

    Former Pot Smoker Molinari Proposes Cradle-To-Grave Drug Tests

    "Legislation Would Require Drug Testing For All Newborns"

    CNN, April 24, 1997

    WASHINGTON (AP) - All newborns would undergo drug testing and positive results would have to be reported to child welfare agencies under a newly introduced child-abuse prevention bill.

    Such testing would be required for states to continue receiving federal substance abuse grants, said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Susan Molinari, R-New York, at a Wednesday news conference.

    "We feel that if a pregnant mother is abusing drugs, this should at the very least be a red flag for those charged with the protection of children," Molinari said, adding that exposure to drugs in the womb increases the chances that a child would become a victim of further abuse.

    How Drug Prohibition Kills The Unborn

    Commenting on the previous article, Art Sobey wrote:
    I don't think it too far fetched that mothers who use drugs and fear law enforcement will begin to abort their babies, late term, in order to avoid prosecution. Can people doubt any longer, the real intent of government regarding total control of our lives?

    Art Sobey

    To which R Givens responded:
    As the excerpt from "Smoke And Mirrors" below shows, many abortions have already been caused by this kind of misguided legislation. The unintended, but predictable, consequences of this law will be exactly opposite what Molinari has deluded herself into thinking. Once again we see the famous Vietnam strategy of "destroying the village to save it" at work. When will the madness end?

    R Givens

    [excerpt from "Smoke And Mirrors," by Dan Baum, copyright 1996, Little, Brown and Co.]

    Pregnant women would pay the highest price "for transgressing the rights of others" in Bennett's War on Drugs. No other group of drug users was treated as harshly by the media, the legislatures, or the courts. No other group took as much blame for the failure of the nation at large to act with reason and compassion. Having turned its wrath variously on Negro junkies, teenage potheads, yuppie coke dabblers, and black crack dealers, the Drug War now would elevate pregnant drug users - often poor, uneducated, and unable to get treatment - to Public Enemy Number One.

    The proximate roots of the "crack baby crisis" were in 1981, when federal cuts in Medicaid stripped more than a million poor mothers and their kids of access to medical care. Within a few years, half of all African-American women had access to poor prenatal care or none at all, and the effects showed up at once. By 1984, their infant mortality rate had noticeably worsened for the first time in twenty years - and this was a full year before crack appeared. The number of uninsured child-bearing women in California exploded by almost half between 1982 and 1986. And even those who qualified for public assistance weren't guaranteed access to care. Twelve of the state's fifty-eight counties had no doctors at all willing to accept Medicaid patients. Flu, infections, and pneumonia killed impoverished American babies in ever-greater numbers.

    And then crack arrived on the scene.

    Crack is bad news for pregnant women and their babies. Like men, women on crack binges neglect everything else - sleep, nutrition, safety, and their health in general. They tend to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and use other drugs to moderate the intense highs and lows of crack.

    Their babies show the effects. They are frequently premature, and on average smaller and lighter, with smaller heads. When suddenly deprived of cocaine they alternately howl and drop into deep sleep. At one Washington, D.C., hospital where the average neonatal stay was three days in 1989, babies born to crack-using mothers stayed an average forty-two days.

    By 1989 scientists had had four years to study the phenomenon of "crack babies" and some were backing off from their initially alarming reports. Ira Chasnoff, the Chicago doctor whose 1985 article in the New England Journal of Medicine started the crack-baby panic, now cautioned that crack was only a small part of the problem for small, undernourished, and sickly babies. Pregnant women are sixteen times more likely to use alcohol than crack, he wrote, and unlike cocaine, alcohol has proven fetus-damaging effects. Chasnoff and other researchers cautioned that the lives of poor, crack-using women were bad for babies in so many ways that there was no way to isolate crack as the primary cause of their infants' health problems. Poor women have always birthed smaller and sicker babies, and the sharp increase in the number of poor, uninsured women was certain to boost the number of ailing newborns. Prenatal care - and the insurance to pay for it - was and is a better predictor of a newborn's health than whether the mother smokes crack. "In the end," Florida health officials concluded in 1985, "it is safer for a baby to be born to a drug-abusing, anemic, or a diabetic mother who visits the doctor throughout her pregnancy than to be born to a normal woman who does not." The Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta tried to isolate cocaine's effects, administering a pure cocaine intravenous drip to rhesus monkeys for the entire duration of their pregnancies. Their babies were unaffected. Researchers of human "crack babies" furthermore found that the effects of cocaine wore off within a few months and that such babies who were well fed, loved, and properly stimulated could recover completely.

    These were not, however, messages even the medical community wanted to hear. Research papers trumpeting the fetal dangers of cocaine were eleven times more likely to be published in professional journals than those claiming few or no harms, according to the British medical journal The Lancet, which analyzed all the "crack baby" studies submitted to the Society of Pediatric Research during the eighties. Moreover, the "negative" studies were better, controlling more effectively for other fetus-damaging factors and taking more care to verify cocaine use, The Lancet found.

    Yet the myth of the "crack baby" grew ever larger. Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer dismissed "crack babies" in 1988 as a "biologic underclass whose biological inferiority is stamped at birth." Boston University president John Silber criticized "spending immense amounts on crack babies who won't ever achieve the intellectual development to have consciousness of God." The New York Times declared "crack babies" unable to "make friends, know right from wrong, control their impulses, gain insight, concentrate on tasks, and feel and return love. " Even Rolling Stone condemned "crack babies" as "like no others, brain damaged in ways yet unknown, oblivious to any affection."

    Reporters sent out to write "crack baby" stories sometimes got their facts right without knowing it. After forty-odd inches of horror stories of low-income women giving birth to "crack babies," the Wall Street Journal, in a typical July 1989 front-page article, let drop that "their mothers aren't all low income. Linda, an impeccably dressed 34-year- old, now looks more like the accountant she once was than a recovering addict who once had a $2,000-a-week crack habit." Turns out, the Journal reported, "her son was born healthy." No explanation was offered as to why a woman smoking $2,000 worth of crack a week can give birth to a healthy baby. And no connection was made to the fact that, unlike every other mother in the article, Linda is an impeccably dressed accountant who likely had health insurance and proper care.

    Getting poor women to stop using drugs during pregnancy wouldn't have guaranteed healthy babies, but it certainly would have helped. Even if the effects of drug exposure in utero are relatively short-lived, the home of a crack addict is no place for a baby to grow up. Infants of crack users frequently show up in the hospital again, dehydrated, underfed, filthy, and sometimes injured. If only for the sake of babies after they are born, getting pregnant women off drugs would have been not only humane, but a genuine bargain. The cost of caring for babies neglected and abandoned by crack-using parents was estimated in 1989 in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

    Yet the federal government refused to pay for residential drug treatment for the poor because it classified drug abuse as a mental illness, and under Medicaid rules that was a state responsibility. The states were similarly unwilling or unable to provide care. Of the various drug- treatment programs in New York City in 1989, 54 percent refused pregnant women, 67 percent refused pregnant women on Medicaid, and 87 percent specifically denied treatment to Medicaid women dependent on crack. Only one hospital in the entire Chicago metropolitan area had a residential treatment program for pregnant addicts, and the program had only two beds. The state of Indiana had only sixteen beds for the treatment of pregnant addicts. Nearly a third of the women living in California had no prenatal care at all, let alone treatment for prenatal drug abuse. "We seem more willing to place the kid in a neonatal intensive care unit for $1,500 or $2,000 a day, rather than put $1,500 into better prenatal care," one psychiatrist complained to Time.

    Jennifer Johnson, a black twenty-three-year-old mother of three living in Seminole County, Florida, tried several times during her fourth pregnancy to get treated for her cocaine addiction. "I thought that . . . if I tell them I use drugs they would send me to a drug place or something," she later testified. Alas, there was no "drug place" for her in Seminole County. What there was instead was jail, and the confiscation of her newborn.

    When she delivered her baby on January 23, 1989, the attending doctor recorded that the baby "looked and acted as we would expect a baby to look and act." But Johnson told the doctor she had used cocaine during the pregnancy, and urine tests on mother and child bore that out. The hospital reported the birth of a "crack baby" to a state child protection agency, which in turn called the local sheriff, who ordered Johnson's arrest.

    Assistant state's attorney Jeff Deen had been waiting for just such a case to test a new prosecution tactic. Deen was fed up with seeing pregnant women get away with abusing their unborn children by using drugs. When Deen heard about Jennifer Johnson, he decided to charge her with delivering cocaine to a minor. Courts throughout the country had held to the legal doctrine - which lies at the heart of abortion rights - that a fetus is not a person in the eyes of the law. But Deen had a new argument: In the sixty seconds between the baby's birth and the cutting of her umbilical cord, Johnson had "delivered" cocaine to her baby through the cord.

    Judge 0. H. Eaton Jr. of the Seminole County Circuit Court declared himself "convinced" and convicted Johnson, sentencing her to a year of house arrest and fourteen years probation. Jennifer Johnson thus became the first woman to be convicted of the special crime of using drugs while pregnant. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District affirmed her conviction.

    Given Johnson's repeated attempts to find treatment for her drug abuse, Eaton's decision seems particularly cruel. "Pregnant addicts . . . have a responsibility to seek treatment," he ruled. The same judicial reasoning applied in the 1988 prosecution of a heroin addict in Butte County, California, who was convicted of birthing a drug-tainted baby after making Herculean efforts to get treatment. For months, she traveled 130 miles round-trip to a private methadone clinic that charged $200 a month. When her car broke down, she hitchhiked. When her money ran out, the clinic stopped treating her, even knowing she was seven months gone. Visibly pregnant, she asked several doctors and clinics in her area to help her, but none would do so. Twenty-four hours after giving birth, the district attorney confiscated her baby and charged her. "I don't see people making a choice unless you force them," he explained.

    As has often been the case in the War on Drugs, the drug warriors wanted it both ways. Drugs are immoral, Bennett's drug office was saying at the time, because they "enslave" people and "take away their ability to function as free citizens." Yet when people fall into the "slavery" of drug use, they are prosecuted for making a bad "choice."

    It is no accident that the first woman prosecuted for prenatal drug abuse was black. During a single month in 1989, Ira Chasnoff and his colleagues collected urine samples from every pregnant woman who visited a public health clinic or private obstetrician in Pinellas County, which contains St. Petersburg and is the fourth most populous county in Florida. They found that equal percentages of both black and white women - about 15 percent - used drugs during pregnancy. But the black women were ten times more likely than the whites to be reported to authorities for drug use. And the poorest women - with incomes of less than $12,000 - were seven times more likely to be reported than those earning more than $25,000. Private hospitals and obstetricians weren't about to intrude on their paying customers' privacy with a drug test, but public hospitals often were required to do so. Typical was South Carolina, where one characteristic used by public hospitals to identify "probable drug users" for testing was "no prenatal care or late prenatal care (24 weeks)." In South Carolina, Medicaid doesn't cover prenatal care before nineteen weeks.

    "If these mothers were walking away from treatment, I might feel differently," said the director of Family and Children's Services in San Francisco. "But they are not walking away from treatment. They are walking away from waiting lists."

    With drugs at the top of every pollster's list, the country walked away from treating pregnant users. In one national poll, almost half thought prenatal drug abuse should be a criminal offense. Which perhaps isn't surprising, given such headlines as (in the Washington Post) CRACK BABIES: THE WORST THREAT IS MOM HERSELF and SHE SMOKED CRACK, THEN KILLED HER CHILDREN. Senator Pete Wilson of California in Iggo asked Congress to give treatment funding only to states that make it a crime to give birth to a drug-tainted baby, a classic Catch22: few pregnant women would seek drug treatment in a state where doing so invited jail and loss of the baby. In Florida, where such a law was already on the books, doctors complained to the St. Petersburg Times that pregnant women withheld important information about their drug use "because word had gotten around that the police will have to be notified." San Francisco deputy city attorney Lori Giorgi began noticing an increase in "toilet-bowl babies" - born at home or in secret. "They're afraid their babies will be taken away," she concluded.

    If they birth them at all. In one Washington, D.C., case, a woman "miscarried" days before appearing before a judge who'd threatened to jail her because he thought she was using drugs while pregnant. Researchers reported being told often about such abortions. This is particularly ironic, since the movement to prosecute drug- using mothers gets much of its steam from the anti-abortion movement. Such prosecutions create a legal division between mother and fetus that doesn't exist elsewhere in the law. If a woman can be prosecuted for drugging her unborn baby, why not for killing it?

    'Doubt Cast On DARE Program'

    "U.S. study calls cop-led effort ineffectual in cutting drug use"

    The Star-Ledger, [Newark, NJ], April 28, 1997, p. 1

    It ranks as the most popular youth-oriented drug education program in the country, has been embraced in 41 other countries and is a fixture in nearly 900 New Jersey schools.

    But the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program - better known as DARE - doesn't help keep kids off drugs at all, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report soon to be released.

    "There is not a scientifically sound study that shows DARE prevents kids from using drugs," said Joel Brown, director of Educational Research Consultants, which conducted a three-year study of the program that is to be part of the federal findings due out next month.

    The view of DARE and other anti-drug programs as failing their mission - essentially a variant on the "Just Say No" theme first trumpeted during the Reagan administration - comes at a time when drug use among teenagers is on the rise.

    Brown and other researchers who have studied a range of anti-drug efforts cite a University of Michigan survey that showed marijuana use among eighth- graders nationally tripled from 6 percent to 18 percent between 1991 and 1996. Others have noted that heroin is now pure enough to be just snorted or smoked, and is increasingly spreading from urban areas to more affluent suburbs.

    [photo caption:] Piscataway policeman Jerry Mahoney reviews the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program for fifth- graders at the Arbor School in Piscataway.

    Researchers say the philosophy behind DARE - police officers in classrooms warning fifth- and sixth-graders, for the most part, about the dangers of drug use - doesn't promote open, honest discussion among students, who often get conflicting messages about drugs in their communities.

    "Kids want to have real discussions of drugs, not just hear 10 ways to 'Just Say No."' said Brown. "When kids get old enough, they reject those messages, and the ones bringing the message."

    And some New Jersey students agree. Several students at Columbia High School in Maplewood dismissed the program as ineffective.

    "They did it when you were too young," said Sarah Bryant, now 17. " I really don't remember anything. It wasn't nothing that special. If it was, it would have stuck in my mind."

    At Union High School, students had similar reactions.

    "I used to say I'm not going to do drugs, but when I turned 12, that's when pot kicked in," said Tony Abridelloa, a 14-year-old sophomore. "'The only way to get drugs out of Union is to knock out Newark and New York City."

    But Daniel Skelton, principal of the Frelinghuysen Middle School in Morristown, said, "'We've had the program for six years and I have nothing but positive feelings about it."

    To "graduate" a program, students must take 17 classes that are each 45 minutes long. They normally receive certificates showing they've completed the courses. But there is no follow-up to determine the long-term benefits, a situation that Denise Zimmer, executive director of DARE New Jersey, said needs to be changed.

    Many school administrators say they retain faith in DARE, but concede it should only be part of a much larger campaign. DARE officials admit it may need some fine-tuning and can't be expected to work alone.

    Ralph Lochridge, a spokesman for DARE America, said some studies, including one released two years ago by Ohio State University, support DARE. He said the failure results from parents and community groups failing to reinforce what DARE is teaching.

    "DARE is not a magic bullet - it's just one little piece," Lochridge said. "The problem is that the parents of these kids are baby boomers who experimented with drugs themselves. They are reluctant to send a clear message about the dangers of drug use."

    Nicholas De Mauro, founding president of DARE New Jersey and a New Milford police detective, said the program has never touted as a sure thing for drug abuse prevention. The program, he insisted, is still "in its infancy."

    Launched in Los Angeles in 1983 as the brainchild of then-Police Chief Daryl Gates, it linked police officers promoting self-esteem and clean living with elementary schoolchildren who might be tempted to experiment with narcotics. The program was widely praised at the start. Even Chelsea Clinton is a graduate.

    DARE New Jersey began in 1988 and has extended to Australia, Italy, Spain, England, Costa Rico and Mexico, among scores of other receptive nations.

    DARE is turning to new approaches to increase its effectiveness, officials say. In New Jersey, a DARE advisory board of drug abuse prevention specialists which will "look at where we should focus and the direction we should take," De Mauro said.

    Nationally, DARE after-school pilot programs offer chess, gardening clubs, tutorial help and recreational activities in inner-city schools. That program, known as DARE Plus, is available in New York, Los Angeles Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

    Though classroom sessions headed by a police officer are at the core of the program, other DARE-sponsored events, like dances and other activities can be held in a community - and T-shirts and other DARE items sold - to help drive home the point about the dangers of abusing drugs.

    Despite DARE's detractors, the number of participating New Jersey schools is increasing and currently there are 425 police departments and some 1,160 police officers in DARE programs in 857 public and parochial schools, organization officials say. De Mauro said he is not aware of any New Jersey districts that have dropped the program.

    Elizabeth Superintendent of Schools Thomas G. Dunn Jr., who noted there are other anti-drug efforts at work in the district, said he is watching the DARE studies to determine whether the district's program should be modified or eliminated, but he said it is a good deal.

    "The cost (to a school district) is negligible," Dunn said. " 'The police officers' salaries are paid by their departments."

    De Mauro said DARE New Jersey holds its own fund-raising to provide workbooks to districts and most of the cost of a police officer's DARE training, and also receives state money.

    The Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse indirectly contributes to DARE annually - for example, giving $682,021 in 1994 for 217 program activities. Last year, the council spent $731,644 on 239 DARE activities and this year budgeted $699,745 for 274 DARE events. De Mauro said DARE receives a small grant from the state Department of Health.

    But even some law enforcement officers haven't bought into DARE.

    "I still believe we have to educate our youth, but the statistics (on drug abuse) are staggering," said Hackettstown Police Chief Leonard Kunz. "How successful have we been?"

    A number of cities nationally have the answer: Not very. In Seattle, the program was eliminated after Police Chief Norm Stamper labeled it "an enormous failure." School districts in Spokane, Wash., and Oakland, Calif. have also dropped the program.

    Star-Ledger reporter Barry Carter and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

    'FDA considers Prozac for children'

    The Associated Press
    The Oregonian
    Thursday, May 1, 1997
    p. A10

    * Many physicians already prescribe the antidepressant for youngsters, but critics fear formal approval will lead to abuse

    By Steve Farr
    The Associated Press

    INDIANAPOLIS - Dr. Paul Riley has prescribed Prozac to chronically depressed and obsessive-compulsive children almost since it appeared on the market in 1988.

    After 35 years as a pediatrician and child psychiatrist, Riley says he knows from experience that Prozac and drugs like it are safe and effective.

    "I lived in the old days when we didn't have antidepressants," said Riley, now at St. Vincent Stress Centers in Indianapolis. "Fifty percent of the people were dead (from suicide) within a year. People don't remember that, but I do."

    Now the Food and Drug Administration is considering formally approving Prozac for children, a move that could open a huge market for Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis-based maker of the drug.

    Some worry, though, that there haven't been enough studies of the drug's effect on children.

    And others are concerned that doctors will dispense Prozac for typical adolescent moodiness, in the same way the hyperactivity drug Ritalin is said to be overprescribed to children who are merely rambunctious or unmotivated.

    "Once the drug is on the market, its use is totally up to individual physicians, and hopefully it's based upon sound scientific fact and not marketing," said Larry Sasich, a research analyst for the consumer group Public Citizen.

    Doctors can prescribe it

    Doctors can legally prescribe FDA-approved drugs for non-approved uses. But formal approval would allow manufacturers to actually market the drugs for children. That could bring around many doctors and parents who might be wary of giving Prozac to a youngster.

    Young people could represent a huge new market at a time when drug companies have seen sales of their best-selling antidepressants begin to slow. Millions of children and adolescents are thought to suffer from depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Advocates say many go untreated.

    "The only way you could boost further growth is go after other markets, and one potential market is the adolescent market," industry analyst Hemant K. Shah said.

    Last year, U.S. physicians prescribed Prozac and competitors Paxil and Zoloft to more than 580,000 children and adolescents, according to the research firm IMS America Ltd.

    In 1996, about 28 million U.S. adults took the drugs, which are known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors for their ability to boost brain levels of the mood regulator serotonin.

    Prozac, the most established of the class of drugs, produced $2.36 billion in sales last year.

    Eli Lilly sent test data to the Food and Drug Administration in December. Pfizer Inc. has submitted data on Zoloft, SmithKline Beecham PLC is conducting tests of Paxil, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and American Home Products Corp. are preparing to test their entries.

    Last month, the agency cleared Luvox, a similar drug jointly marketed by Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents.

    Lack of data on children

    Fueling doubts about antidepressants for children is a lack of data on how they affect youngsters.

    "I think pharmaceutical companies have to be exceptionally careful because any side effect or abuse issue could come back to haunt them," Shah said.

    So far only one large-scale study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, has been completed on children and the new class of antidepressants.

    The four-year study compared Prozac and a placebo in 96 people ages 8 to 18. About half of those on the drug showed improvement, while a third of those on the placebo did.

    Rastafarian Lawyer Challenges Jamaican Ganja Laws

    Paul Chang writes:
    Legalize Ganja Campaign
    Kingston, Jamaica
    April 26, 1997

    Dr. Dennis Forsythe, a respected Rastafarian, author, sociologist and attorney-at-law [and one of our directors], is facing charges in the Jamaican courts for possession of ganja. A major constitutional challenge is being mounted on the grounds that "Jamaica's anti-ganja laws violate the Human Right to Freedom of Religious thought, action and worship."

    A joint parliamentary committee has recommended amendments to the Jamaican Constitution which would remove the legal block to such constitutional challenges.

    Money is needed to finance this constitutional challenge. The costs are as follows:

    Stage One

    Full Court Trial
    Jamaica - now
    US $2,000.00

    Stage Two

    Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court
    Jamaica - May/June 1997
    US $3,000.00

    Stage Three

    Privy Council
    United Kingdom
    US $20,000.00

    If you would like to assist this worthy cause, please send your donation to the "Legalize Ganja Campaign" and note that it is for the Dennis Forsythe Legal Fund. Cheques can be mailed to our PO Box as follows:

    Legalize Ganja Campaign
    P O Box 357
    Kingston 10
    Jamaica, West Indies

    Below is a copy of a newspaper article from the Jamaican Daily Observer.

    "Attorney challenges anti-ganja laws"

    The Daily Observer [Kingston, Jamaica], March 26th, 1997.

    by Sister Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah.

    The overzealousness of the Constant Spring police in intervening in a family dispute, has created a most important test of the laws against possession of ganja. Dr. Dennis Forsythe, attorney-at-law, best-selling author [Rastafari - The Healing of the Nation], sociologist and member of the Legalize Ganja Campaign [Jamaica], was recently arrested for possession of ganja.

    This, after police broke into his house with a crowbar and a search warrant, on the instructions of Dr. Forsythe's baby-mother, who wanted him to hand over their two-year-old child to her on 5:00 pm Saturday.

    Dr. Forsythe wanted to keep the child overnight so as to give him medical care and nourishment which he felt the child needed. Using the search warrant, the obviously informed police searched the house of this man, whose book and life has endorsed the medical and sacramental uses of ganja, and found a small bag of ganja and the pipe in which Dr. Forsythe smokes it. Thereupon, through the vindictiveness of an angry baby-mother, Dr. Forsythe found himself arrested on both civil and capital charges.

    Fortunately, further attendance at the Family Court asserted the legal possession of the custody of their child was a temporary and non-binding condition which has still not been ruled on, which in turn demonstrated that the police had no authority to break into Dr. Forsythe's house to take the child from its father, or to search.

    However, the larger issue of his arrest on charges of possession of ganja has stirred the respected lawyer to base his defense on the issue of the constitutionality of the laws against ganja, specifically where it infringes the Declaration of Human Rights which allows freedom of religion. Forsythe, an acknowledged Rastafarian, demands unequivocally his right to use ganja as a part of his sacramental worship. He points out that the constitution has written in and entrenched, certain fundamental rights, including the Right to Freedom of Religion and Conscience, which states that:

    "Except with his own consent no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his conscience and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion...and in private to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance."

    He has, therefore, taken his case to the Supreme Court, challenging the right of the resident magistrate to try his case, and demanding that it instead be brought to the highest court in the land. In an in-chambers hearing before Justice Wolfe, Dr. Forsythe was informed that he does not have to bring action but that he should proceed immediately to the full Constitutional Court for hearing. Dr. Forssythe ins now in the process of doing this.

    "If I were to simply admit guilt, it would cost me only around $5,000 [appx. US $150] in fines and that would be the end of the matter," says Dr. Forsythe. "However, I take the opportunity to challenge this law because it is an unjust law. Where the law makes I&I out to be a 'criminal' simply for possession of herbs, the law is a bad law.

    He sees his arrest as a test case for the newly formed "Legalize Ganja Campaign" [LGC], feeling that his very public association with the half-century-old struggle for legalisation of ganja caused him to be singled out for arrest. As a lawyer, there is the threat of being disbarred from practising, which will undoubtedly follow a conviction under the present law.

    "Jamaica takes international credit as the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement and of its leading prophets - Marcus Garvey and Robert Nesta Marley," says Forsythe. "Yet ironically, the right to religion is starkly denied to Rastafarians here in Jamaica, some 67 years after its emergence as a religion. The religion which Bob Marley devoted his life and songs, is legally repressed openly and flagrantly every time a Rastafarian [or any other person] is harassed, arrested, charged and sentenced by officers of the law for the simple use of ganja or a chillum pipe."

    Responding to Forsythe's constitutional challenge, fellow LGC committee member, attorney Lord Anthony Gifford, who is acting as an advocate in a similar case in Antigua, is doubtful Forsythe will be successful due to a clause entrenched in the Jamaica Constitution [chapter three, section 26, sub-section eight] which states that all laws which were in force in Jamaica before Independence in 1962 cannot be challenged. [No such provision exists in the Antigua law.]

    This "bucky-massa" ["slavery/colonial" - my translation of Jamaican slang - pc] clause of the Jamaican constitution retains the chains of colonialism despite our so-called "independence." However, it is encouraging to note that in its final submission handed down in May 1995, the Joint Committee on Constitutional Reform recommended "...that the present provision of section 26[8], by which pre-Independence laws are preserved, despite inconsistency with fundamental rights and freedoms, be repealed."

    Though no date is known for implementation of the recommended constitutional reforms, the fact that a new constitution will remove this legal obstacle gives Forsythe hope that his case will be successful, despite the enormous costs which will be incurred in taking this matter through the higher courts.

    "By defining the herbal sacrament of Rastafarians as not only profane but dangerous and unlawful," he says, "the lawmakers have delivered a fundamental attack on the Rastafarian religion and a clear denial of their fundamental freedom of conscience." "Parliament," states Forsythe, "has the right to pass laws for 'the peace, order and good government of the country,' but such laws must be reasonably necessary and must not stifle the creative impulse of its people. It cannot be fairly maintained by the evidence of this day and age that the Act in relationship to ganja, is "reasonably required in the interest of either defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health."

    Whatever the outcome of the case, it is certain to create a great deal of public debate and may - if Dr. Forsythe is able to stay the course - be a benchmark case of its king in legal and Jamaican history.

    Legalize Ganja Campaign [Jamaica]

    MISSION: To campaign by all legitimate and democratic methods to bring about reforms in the laws of Jamaica relating to ganja, and in particular to secure that no person should be punished under law for simple possession, use or cultivation of ganja.

    DIRECTORS: Sandra Alcott . Paul Chang . Sydney daSilva . Dr. Dennis Forsythe . Lord Anthony Gifford . Barbara Blake-Hanna . Antonnette Haughton-Cardenas . Dr. Ronnie Lampart . Junior Manning

    TEL: [809] 924-1787
    FAX: [809] 924-2500
    E-MAIL: lgc@infochan.com
    MAIL: POB 357
    Kingston 10
    Jamaica, West Indies

    'Mexico Overhauls Drug Agency'

    By Anita Snow

    MEXICO CITY (AP, Friday, April 25, 1997) - Mexico is overhauling its troubled drug-fighting program, creating a new agency, setting up an organized crime unit and - in the days before President Clinton's visit - beefing up field operations.

    On Wednesday, police confiscated 10.7 tons of cocaine in a truck heading toward the U.S. border in the largest seizure in Mexico since 1990. Clinton is to arrive on May 5 for a three-day visit.

    U.S. officials say they are pleased with Mexico's renewed anti-drug efforts, and are confident they now have a core group of Mexican agents they can trust on sensitive cases. But they warn much more needs to be done.

    Widespread corruption still runs through Mexican law enforcement agencies, and counternarcotics agents are especially vulnerable to bribes because of the large amounts of money traffickers spend for protection.

    Mexico's new anti-drug agency will replace the corruption-ridden National Institute for the Combat of Drugs. A U.S. official said on condition of anonymity that it will open in the next several weeks.

    The new agency - its name has not been announced - will be led by a special prosecutor who will report to the attorney general.

    For months, U.S. officials have been quietly suggesting that Mexico replace the institute.

    A panel of leading Mexican jurists recommended the move this month, telling President Ernesto Zedillo that the 3-year-old institute "has been in an advanced state of deterioration ever since it was founded."

    The institute's head, army Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was fired in February after authorities charged him with being on the payroll of Mexico's No. 1 cocaine trafficker, Amado Carrillo Fuentes.

    Mexico vowed to revamp its drug fighting effort after the embarrassing arrest of Gutierrez Rebollo, which came just weeks before the deadline for Clinton to recommend to Congress whether to recertify Mexico as a drug-fighting country worthy of continued U.S. aid.

    Mexico was recertified after contentious debate by American lawmakers.

    American law enforcement agencies have been training small groups of Mexican agents they hope will bolster the joint campaign against illegal drugs, the New York Times reported Thursday.

    The unit described by the Times appears to be the new organized crime unit, which U.S. officials say began operating in the Mexican capital several months ago.

    The unit, which will report directly to the attorney general, focuses on drug-related crimes such as money laundering and the trafficking of precursor chemicals used to manufacture narcotics, the U.S. official said.

    It was established by a new anti-racketeering law that set up a witness protection program, authorizes wiretaps on suspects' telephones and lets prosecutors try suspects under broader crimes such as conspiracy. Its 45-member staff eventually is expected to grow to 115.

    Prospective agents for the new agency are undergoing drug and psychological tests as well as extensive background, financial and even polygraph tests, the U.S. official said. It will employ up to 1,500 agents.

    Mexico has been conducting widespread roadside inspections over the last two years to search for stolen vehicles, illegal weapons and drugs. Authorities said they were intensifying field operations before Clinton's visit.

    The huge cocaine load was seized Wednesday at a checkpoint in San Fernando, about 110 miles south of the border town of Reynosa. Authorities originally estimated its weight at several tons less than what it turned out to be when it was weighed Thursday, the attorney general's office said.

    'Mexico Replaces Inept, Corrupt Anti-Drug Force'

    The Los Angeles Times, Thursday, May 1, 1997
    By Mark Fineman, Times Staff Writer

    MEXICO CITY - The Mexican government scrapped its corruption-ridden anti-drug force Wednesday, purging its 1,100 agents and replacing them with a specially trained, rigorously tested and better paid anti-narcotics unit directly under command of the attorney general.

    Unveiling the new drug enforcement plan at a news conference here, Atty. Gen. Jorge Madrazo Cuellar said it was merely the first in a series of sweeping law enforcement reforms ordered by President Ernesto Zedillo to win back Mexicans' confidence in their criminal justice system.

    The new agents, he said, are required to take psychological, drug-detection and lie-detector tests and open their personal finances to investigators - an effort to combat the corruption that he said had compromised the 4-year-old National Institute to Combat Drugs, or INCD.

    Members of the new unit, he said, also will be given "substantial" pay raises, expanded life insurance and better medical and retirement benefits - additional hedges against the billions of dollars in bribes that Mexico's drug cartels have paid officials to allow the smuggling of South American cocaine across the U.S. border.

    When asked how many agents the new unit has, Madrazo said only 60 of the 107 agents who applied for the jobs have passed the tests. U.S. and Mexican officials privately have said the new anti-drug squad will have at least 1,000 agents when it is complete.

    In discarding the INCD - created under a similar restructuring in 1993 - Madrazo cited the agency's "advanced state of deterioration," "documented corruption" within its ranks and its "proven inability to dismantle the drug cartels."

    Madrazo said the INCD's current director, Mariano Herran Salvatti - a career prosecutor who was the first to pass the stringent new tests in March - also will head the new drug unit, officially dubbed the Special Prosecutors Office for Crimes Against Health - Mexico's terminology for drug crimes.

    Madrazo's reorganization came just five days before President Clinton is due to arrive for the first U.S. presidential visit here in nearly two decades. The attorney general denied that the two events are linked.

    "This reform has absolutely nothing to do with bilateral relations with the United States," Madrazo said, detailing the months of study that went into it. But he added, "After this, we hope that these measures will make [the relationship] even better."

    Establishing better cooperation between the two countries in combating a drug trade that supplies up to three-quarters of the cocaine sold in the United States and generates an estimated $30 billion a year in illicit profits will be high on the agenda when Clinton, Zedillo and their key cabinet members meet here next week.

    U.S. officials, who privately hailed Madrazo's new program, have been pressing Mexico City for radical reforms in its drug enforcement operations since the Feb. 18 arrest of Mexico's anti-drug czar, Gen. Jose de Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo. Gutierrez headed the INCD when he was jailed along with two of his top lieutenants and charged with collaborating with Mexico's most powerful drug cartel.

    Gutierrez, an army general, was arrested just days before Clinton certified Mexico as an ally in the drug war. The arrest raised fears of intelligence leaks in joint U.S.-Mexican drug-enforcement operations and triggered a failed attempt in the U.S. House of Representatives to overturn Clinton's certification of Mexico.

    But officials in Washington also took steps Wednesday to clear the air on the drug front in advance of Clinton's May 5-7 visit.

    A U.S. official said the Clinton administration had dropped formal protests it filed with Mexico in March on a major drug-money laundering case, which touched off a series of charges and countercharges between Mexico City and Washington.

    A senior U.S. law enforcement official conceded that Washington was wrong in alleging that Mexico had seized only a tenth of an estimated $183 million in suspected drug proceeds that U.S. investigators said were in the Mexican bank accounts of Rigoberto Gaxiola Medina, who is under indictment for drug trafficking in Detroit.

    The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, told reporters Wednesday that Mexico, in fact, had frozen all $16 million that was in the accounts at the time, as Mexico had asserted all along. The $183 million, he said, represented the total in suspected drug money that had passed through the accounts.

    "The [U.S.] protests were based on a misunderstanding," the official said. Explaining the timing of the Clinton administration's apology - delivered formally to the Zedillo administration here last week - he added: "I'm not going to say this was unrelated to the president's trip. But these are areas [we] want to make progress on throughout."

    Meanwhile in Washington, the House International Relations Committee voted Wednesday to abolish the drug certification program that has angered the United States' southern neighbors and rejected an effort to tie U.S. aid to how a country votes in the United Nations.

    The votes came as members began work on a sweeping foreign affairs bill that seeks to make changes at the State Department and the United Nations. The panel voted 24-18 for an amendment to eliminate the certification program. This year's certification process, which approved Mexico and disapproved Colombia, brought calls for changes in the process.

    Times staff writer Mary Beth Sheridan contributed to this report.

    'Mexico Overturns Drug Lord Sentence'

    By Anita Snow

    MEXICO CITY (AP, Saturday, April 26, 1997) - In a move that could strain U.S.-Mexico relations ahead of a visit by President Clinton, a tribunal has overturned the sentence of a drug lord convicted of killing U.S. federal agent Enrique Camarena 12 years ago.

    Rafael Caro Quintero was convicted in the highly publicized death of Camarena, now considered a drug-war martyr among fellow drug agents.

    The Mexican Attorney General's Office said Friday there was no danger Caro Quintero would be freed because he already is serving time for another conviction. The 40-year sentence in the Camarena death was overturned on a technicality, and another one could conceivably be imposed after more court proceedings.

    In the unlikely event that Caro Quintero is released from all his Mexican sentences, there is a longstanding, provisional request on file in Mexico for his arrest and extradition to the United States, according to a U.S. Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    U.S. officials in Mexico City and Washington had no comment.

    But the tribunal's decision was expected to raise tension in the days leading to Clinton's visit here May 5-7, when the president hopes to address disputes about drug enforcement and immigration policy.

    News of the legal maneuver angered Camarena's former fellow agents, who still affectionately refer to him as "Kiki."

    "Kiki's killing symbolized corruption at its worst in Mexico," said Phil Jordan, a retired DEA special agent in Dallas and former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center.

    "We know why Kiki was taken from us - because the government was working in complicity with the godfathers of the drug trade," he said. "To even reconsider Caro Quintero's sentence is sickening and an insult of major proportions."

    U.S.-Mexico relations had plunged to one of their all-time lows after Camarena's Feb. 7, 1985, kidnapping in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state and a major drug trafficking center. His body and that of his Mexican pilot, both showing signs of torture, were found a month later.

    American officials accused Mexican counterparts of letting Camarena's killers get away. Caro Quintero was eventually hunted down in Costa Rica.

    At one point, U.S. Customs agents virtually blocked the U.S. border with Mexico, slowing traffic to a standstill while screening all incoming Mexicans.

    Camarena has since been lionized by fellow U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. A drug intelligence center in Texas has been named after him.

    Caro Quintero, once one of Mexico's most powerful drug barons, was sentenced in 1989 for complicity in the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of Camarena.

    A federal panel of magistrates in Jalisco on Thursday struck that sentence down after defense lawyers said their client had been denied the right to cross-examine co-defendants.

    New court proceedings will be held in the case while Caro Quintero remains at the high-security Almoloya prison outside Mexico City, prosecutors said.

    Caro Quintero already is serving a 34-year sentence on a conviction stemming from a raid in central Mexico that netted up to five tons of marijuana and cost Caro Quintero and his colleagues an estimated $8 billion in lost sales.

    A former Sinaloa cartel boss, Caro Quintero is said to have pioneered the first links between Colombian cocaine cartels and the Mexican smugglers who transport the cocaine into the United States.

    Prohibitionists' Fantasies Alter Caribbean Islands

    "Newest Cocaine Route to States: the Caribbean
    Drugs: Colombian traffickers are bringing violence, money laundering and addiction to tourist destinations."

    The Los Angeles Times, circa April 27, 1997
    By Juanita Darling, Times Staff Writer

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - With its palm trees, pastel gingerbread houses and friendly shopkeepers and hoteliers, this tropical port long has been a haven for British and U.S. tourists.

    But in recent years, its Caribbean calm has been broken by a laundry list of violent events: A former U.N. ambassador disappeared and was presumed dead; police found the body of the scion of a politically powerful family stuffed in the trunk of a burned-out car; the inspector investigating the cases was killed in broad daylight.

    Scotland Yard was brought in to try to solve those mysteries and ease the ensuing political crisis.

    But police now believe the three men were all victims of a growing wave of violence and corruption sparked by the new presence here of Colombian drug lords.

    Confronted with intensified interdiction efforts in the Bahamas and at the U.S.-Mexico border - and with the growing distrust of their Mexican allies - Colombian cartel members have pushed their drug trafficking deep into the eastern Caribbean, experts say.

    About one-third of the cocaine available in the United States and one-half to two-thirds of that sold in Europe - hundreds of tons of the drug - is now shipped through the tiny islands of this region, according to U.S. and European law enforcement officials.

    Traffickers in small planes and swift boats are following the necklace of islands from the Colombian coast eastward to the edge of the Caribbean and then on to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, officials say. Once in U.S. territory, they can move drugs to the mainland with no fear of customs inspections.

    Similarly, former and current Dutch, British and French colonies are providing the cartels with easy access to Europe.

    The traffickers are inflicting on the region what Caribbean security expert Ivelaw Griffith calls the "package": They are blamed for increases in money laundering, addiction and corruption so profound that they threaten to put criminals in charge of the government and the economy.

    "This is probably the best scenario a drug trafficker could invent," said Sandor Calvani, who heads the U.N. Drug Control Program's Caribbean office. "In the south, big producing countries. In the north, big consuming countries. And in between, 1,200 islands organized in 29 countries with four different [government] systems that do not communicate among themselves and [with] an infinite number of coves and small beaches."

    Richard Thomas, the top British official in the region, compares the upsurge in narcotics trafficking today to the perceived threat of communism that provoked the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983. "In the intervening 14 years, that threat has dwindled to almost nothing, but the threat to stability is now drug trafficking," he said.

    Colombian drug lords are paying those who ship their loot through the Caribbean with drugs rather than cash, creating a local supply that has increased consumption, experts say.

    The Psychiatric Hospital in Barbados has been flooded with addicts from throughout the region. "We have no systematic study as to the extent of the drug problem here," said Dr. Victor Ford, "But it ain't getting no better."

    The number of tourists complaining that they have been approached by drug dealers in Barbados has quadrupled over the past six months, Calvani said.

    He compared the drug traffickers' strategy to the way Italian ice-cream makers got into the German and Austrian markets. "They put small shops along the route to consolidate transportation and build consumption," he said.

    He added that "the other frightening observation is that instead of just wanting to influence government," the drug dealers "now . . . want to short-circuit the democratic process and actively and regularly influence electoral campaigns. It is becoming a direct challenge to the democratic process."

    Indeed, Caribbean political parties now regularly accuse one another of accepting campaign contributions from traffickers. Law enforcement authorities say they believe most of the claims but cannot prove them because they lack tough election laws that would, for example, let voters see just who is bankrolling a campaign.

    As for widespread political corruption, "If it can be done in Colombia, it can be done in St. Kitts," said Anthony Bryan, director of the Caribbean Studies Program at the University of Miami's North-South Center.

    The U.S. State Department already has reported that there is extensive money laundering in Aruba, the island closest to Colombia. Officials also note an increase in both cocaine and heroin trafficking there. A U.N. internal document says that 75% of all arrests in Aruba are now drug-related.

    Recently published Dutch intelligence reports cite "worrying indications" that Aruban democracy is being eroded by money laundering linked to the drug trade - an allegation denied by Aruba's government.

    As more Caribbean countries try to develop offshore banking, the threat of drug-related money laundering will increase, law enforcement authorities warn.

    European nations are so concerned about the burgeoning Caribbean drug trade that they are financing an 87-point anti-narcotics program.

    The United States has offered Coast Guard and Navy vessels to help patrol the region and has negotiated agreements for U.S. planes to fly over the islands and for its law enforcement personnel to pursue suspects into their territorial waters.

    Accustomed to dealing with nothing more threatening than drunken tourists or rowdy cricket fans, police in many of the small Caribbean isles are now facing drug-related crimes that could provide the fodder for Hollywood mysteries.

    The day after Dole Chadee, an alleged drug lord in Trinidad and Tobago, was ordered to stand trial for murder last year, the key witness against him - who had been in a protection program for two years - was killed.

    Law enforcement officials said the witness' death was just one of 30 slayings linked to the organization run by Chadee, who has been convicted of four killings.

    But such convictions are a rarity, especially as drug-linked bribery and intimidation of witnesses, jurors and judges increase, experts say.

    They also note that it can be difficult to bring suspects to justice because of the "island mentality" - the reality that in small Caribbean communities, the residents all know one another and distrust outsiders.

    Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, shaken by the two high-profile killings and the disappearance in 1994, police frustration is especially high. Officers have formally charged half a dozen individuals in the killings but have watched as the cases collapsed in bizarre judicial circumstances.

    "We have known who committed the murders for the past two years," asserted Brian Reynolds, the Scotland Yard inspector called in to clean up St. Kitts' corruption-riddled, 574-officer police force.

    Police have not been able to persuade a local judge to hear a case against six suspects. The one man who was put on trial - accused of killing the police inspector - was freed after two juries deadlocked.

    British police have acknowledged that in the killing of the man found in the car trunk - the deputy prime minister's son - they were not able to gather evidence as thoroughly as they would have back home.

    The car containing Vincent Morris' body - and that of his girlfriend, Joan Walsh - was found hidden in a field of 7-foot-tall sugar cane. Police normally would have waited to move the bodies until a pathologist arrived from London the next day to examine the scene. But several hundred islanders were threatening to burn the cane field, forcing authorities to move the car immediately, possibly destroying valuable evidence.

    Apparently, the crowd had moved upon the field because the suspects in the pair's killing had been arrested - and several of them are popular figures in Basseterre, the capital.

    Authorities identified them as:

  • Noel Heath. He is known as "Zamba," or "Big Dread" for his dreadlocks and full beard. He is a farmer who lives in town and gives away produce to the needy in his working-class neighborhood.

  • Glenn Roy Matthew. He is a respected businessman, the local agent for Amerijet, an air freight company.

  • Clifford Henry. He left St. Kitts as a young man but returned at the beginning of this decade to live in his mother's modest home. He was building a two-story Georgian house overlooking the bay at the time he was arrested.

  • Charles Miller. He is known as "Little Nut." He was a troubled teen who made good, in the eyes of many Kittsians. Five years ago, Miller bought a bankrupt trading company and a house nearby with an ocean view.

    Miller was seen regularly with William Herbert, the former U.S. and U.N. ambassador who was an island power broker and who disappeared on a June 1994 boating trip.

    Morris' brother, Dean, later testified in another case that Miller, Henry and Matthew were suspects in his brother's death because Morris had stolen cocaine from them.

    But police never got a chance to lay out their theories and evidence in Morris' killing because the prosecutor in the case, who could not be reached for comment, didn't show up for the trial. Opposition newspapers claim he was corrupted, and other observers suspect he may have been intimidated.

    In the end, the suspects were released.

    But Heath, Miller and Matthew - their lawyer could not be reached for comment either - were rearrested last year at the request of U.S. authorities who wanted them extradited to face drug-trafficking charges in Miami.

    After their arrests, flyers and graffiti appeared all over town denouncing U.S. imperialism.

    Police here were frustrated when a magistrate refused to extradite the men. That frustration deepened in February when a U.S. jury, hearing the same evidence presented to the magistrate, sent Henry - who had fled to Miami and was arrested there - to prison for life.

    "The morale of the officers," whose take-home pay starts at about $470 a month, has been "affected a lot" by the tumult caused by this case, Reynolds said.

    As for the government, it cannot do anything about the homicide cases, because "as in your country, the judiciary here is independent," noted Prime Minister Denzil Douglas. He also insisted that St. Kitts and Nevis is doing all it can to combat drugs - fully cooperating with U.S. authorities and tightening money-laundering laws.

    Still, its mixed counter-narcotics results show the uphill battle the small countries of the eastern Caribbean face, diplomats and law enforcement experts agree.

    "This is not the Gulf War," expert Calvani said, referring to the U.S.-led alliance's quick defeat of Iraq in 1991. "It is not something that we are going to win next year or in the next five years. . . . Now is the time when significant decisions of strategy will affect what will be the result in the next five to 10 years."



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