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June 13, 1996

Medical Marijuana Initiative Qualifies For November Ballot

June 6, 1996, Sacramento, CA: California's Medical Marijuana Initiative has qualified for the November general election. The Secretary of State's office in Sacramento certified the initiative measure which will allow California voters the opportunity to legalize marijuana for medical use.

The initiative, which gathered 775,000 signatures to qualify for ballot access, provides that "patients or defined caregivers, who possess or cultivate marijuana for medical treatment recommended by a physician, are exempt from general provisions of law which otherwise prohibit possession or cultivation of marijuana." It also provides that "physicians shall not be punished or denied any right or privilege for recommending marijuana to a patient for medical purposes."

This measure will not legalize or otherwise change existing law against use, sale, or possession of marijuana for recreational use, proponents note. It will prevent the criminal prosecution of those patients who have a legitimate medical need to use marijuana.

Although more research is needed, it is clear from both available studies and rapidly accumulating anecdotal evidence that marijuana is a valuable aid in reducing pain and suffering for patients with a number of serious ailments including cancer, spastic disorders, glaucoma, and the appetite loss associated with the wasting syndrome of AIDS.

"This proposition would not have been necessary if Gov. [Pete] Wilson had not vetoed S.B. 1364 in 1994 and A.B. 1529 in 1995," said longtime marijuana activist Dennis Peron, referring to two prior medical marijuana bills that were passed by the California legislature. "This whole issue is more about compassion than marijuana. I think it's time to let doctors decide, not politicians."

For more information on the Medical Marijuana Initiative, please contact Dave Fratello of Californians for Medical Rights at (310) 451-2522.

Victorian Politicians Reject Marijuana Decriminalization

June 12, 1996, Victoria, Australia: Victorian politicians failed to endorse one of the chief recommendations of Professor David Pennington - head of Premiere Jeff Kennett's advisory council on drug reform - who concluded that the decriminalization of marijuana for cultivation and personal use would be an effective step in steering individuals away from hard drugs. Just prior to the Kennett Government's decision, Pennington had warned Parliament that the implementation of the council's findings without marijuana decriminalization would be "very much a second-best answer."

"The government firmly believes that before the decriminalization of marijuana is considered further, a better coordinated, better resources, more innovative and carefully focused education, treatment, and law enforcement strategy should be given a chance to work," stated a press release from the Victorian Cabinet.

"The Premier's 'firm belief' ... is laughable," responded Jamnes Danenberg of Hemp SA, spokesman for a leading Australian cannabis law reform lobby group. "Just how many more people need to be convicted [under prohibition] before the right signal is sent?"

For months Victorian politicians had been debating over whether to implement many of the 72 major drug reforms suggested by the Drug Advisory Council report, the most controversial being marijuana decriminalization. In all, the Kennett government approved a majority of the report's policies, including shifting the state anti-drug focus to education rather than enforcement, but rejected taking any steps toward decriminalizing marijuana. The government did conclude, however, that it "will review penalties applying to the use and possession of drugs of dependence to ensure that users are treated as having a health problem first and as criminal offenders second and that treatment, rather than punishment, is the priority."

"The fact that the subject of marijuana decriminalization is a serious topic of debate among Australian politicians is a positive note for drug-reform advocates everywhere," noted NORML Deputy Director Allen St. Pierre. "On the other hand, it indicates just how far behind the United States is lagging compared to other western nations when it comes to addressing the issue of alternative drug policies. Certainly, our own politicians would be well advised to heed the recommendations the Pennington Report."

For more information, please contact Jamnes Danenberg of HEMP SA Inc. at (+61) 8 297 9442 or write: P.O. Box 1019, Kent Town, South Australia, 5071. HEMP SA can be contacted via e-mail at or browsed on the World Wide Web @

Environmentalists Voice Concern Over State's Decision To Spray Marijuana With Pesticides

June 11, 1996, Tulsa, OK: Oklahoma narcotics officers and area environmentalists are clashing over the state's decision to begin spraying pesticides on wild marijuana plants in five counties. Authorities argue that the spraying will deter people from cultivating, selling, and smoking marijuana, but environmentalists are concerned that the chemicals could pose potential heath hazards to both the environment and the population.

Approximately 15 to 30 narcotics agents will begin spraying uncultivated marijuana plants with glyphosate, a chemical weed killer commonly marketed under the brand name "Round-Up." State officials claim that spraying is the most effective way to eradicate uncultivated marijuana.

"The herbicide has been tested, found to be safe and has a very low toxicity to wildlife," said Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman Mark Woodward to the Tulsa World News. To enforce his position, Woodward noted a 1986 U.S. Department of Justice study that showed an individual could smoke 139 marijuana cigarettes treated with glyphosate a day and still be under the safe level in regard to the chemical. However, some area environmental activists are not convinced.

"[Glyphosate] can do a lot of damage to our bio-diversity; this can wreak damage on our wildflower population," contested Noah Berry, vice president of EcoLaw Institute Inc., a state organization that works to strengthen environmental laws. Berry also cited a Journal of Pesticide Reform report from last year that claimed glyphosate exposure was the third most commonly reported of pesticide illness among agricultural workers in California.

"Maybe the state should get into the dandelion eradication business, if it's busy work they want," Berry suggested.

This will mark the third year the bureau has sprayed uncultivated marijuana crops.

For more information, please contact Michael Pearson of Oklahoma NORML at (405) 840-HEMP.

Medical Marijuana User, Activist To Be Arraigned On Felony Marijuana Charge

June 12, 1996, St. Paul, MN: Longtime medical marijuana user and activist Darrel Paulsen will be arraigned on June 24 in connection with a September 1995 raid on his residence by agents from the East Metro Drug Task Force. Paulsen has been charged with felony possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.

An outspoken advocate for medical marijuana, Paulsen has acknowledged to using marijuana as a means to control his cerebral palsy. He has been featured on local news telecasts, spoken at national gatherings, and is currently running for city council. Paulsen tells NORML that he intends to request a postponement at his arraignment.

Paulsen has publicly said that he uses marijuana daily for medical purposes. Approximately two ounces of marijuana were confiscated during the fall raid.

Paulsen encourages other activists to contact Assistant District Attorney Stuart Shapiro and voice their disapproval over the city's decision to file charges in this matter.

For more information on this case, please contact Allen St. Pierre of NORML at (202) 483-5500. To contact the assistant district attorney's office, please call (612) 438-4438. Paulsen's case number is: K7-96-1170. If any activists would like to contribute to a fund established to help offset Paulsen's legal fees, he or she can write to the following address: Paulsen & Company, Attention: Medical Defense Fund, P.O. Box 2865, St. Paul MN, 55102.

Supreme Court Rules On Traffic Stops

June 11, 1996, Washington, D.C.: Minor traffic stops can be used as justification for detaining motorists and searching their vehicles for drugs, ruled the Supreme Court in an unanimous decision. Critics argue that the ruling will encourage police to use phony pretexts to invade the privacy of motorists - particularly minorities - while proponents maintain that it provides law enforcement with an additional weapon to combat illicit drugs.

"This is an opinion that essentially allows police to do an end run around the Fourth Amendment," said Steven R. Shapiro of the American Civil Liberties Union. He warned that the judgment will most likely subject motorists to arbitrary stops.

"The Supreme Court has announced to the world, 'We don't care what the method is, so long as the search can be justified in hindsight,'" agreed Natman Schaye, a Tucson Arizona lawyer who filed an amicus brief for the defendants on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"Officers are still bound by the same rules that they were bound by yesterday," countered Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, who applauded the decision. "I think it's an affirmation of the manner in which good and innovative police officers are already conducting themselves."

Writing the opinion for the court, Justice Anton Scalia affirmed that ulterior motives do not strip officers of their justification for a stop as long as a traffic violation has occurred. "For the run of the mine case, ... [the Court] think[s] there is no alternative to the traditional common law rule that probable cause justifies a search and seizure." The case is Whren v. United States.

Chicago Bulls Coach Attributes Team's Success To Hemp

June 13, 1996, Chicago, IL: As the Chicago Bulls appear poised to win the NBA championships, The Washington Post reports that Head Coach Phil Jackson has his own explanation for his team's success.

"You've got to be in touch with higher spirits," Jackson told one reporter. "You have to smoke hemp."



Regional and other news

Body Count

Nine of the 13 felons sentenced to jail or prison terms by Multnomah County courts in the most recent week were controlled-substance offenders, according to the "Portland" zoned section of
The Oregonian, delivered to subscribers in the central metropolitan area. (June 13, 1996, p. 7, 3M MP-SE). That brings the total so far this year to 166 out of 303, or 54.78 percent.

Let's Do The Numbers

As mentioned in last week's Portland NORML news release, the cost of new-jail bonds purchased by Multnomah County voters May 21 has undergone some post-election markup. This requires a recalculation of what the minimum cost would be to build jails for all the marijuana consumers and other controlled-substance offenders in Multnomah County - more than $12 billion as it turns out, including almost $10 billion just for pot smokers.

Previously, in the April 4, 1996 news release, Portland NORML used various government figures to estimate the cost of incarcerating all drug offenders in Multnomah County at $5,234,737,300 - more than $5 billion - or $8.8 billion with interest. The new estimate is somewhat lower than before until interest costs are included. With interest, the real cost is more than a third of a million dollars per jail bed.

The county now says the $79.7 million in bonds will cost $208.5 million with interest over 30 years for 544 new beds. At that rate, each new jail bed costs a nominal $146,507.35 per cell. With interest, the real cost is $383,272.05 per bed.

Current statistics from the Center for Population Research and Census at Portland State University (tel. 503-725-3922, fax 503-725-5199) and the preliminary 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse suggest there are at least 31,806 illegal-drug users in Multnomah County. Eighty-one percent, or 25,763, would be marijuana consumers. At that rate, building jails for all the illegal-drug users in the county would nominally cost at least $4,659,812,700 - more than $4.5 billion. With interest, the real cost to taxpayers would be $12,190,350,000 - more than $12 billion.

Based on the same figures, just building jails for all the marijuana consumers in Multnomah County would nominally cost $3,774,468,800, about $3.75 billion. With interest, the real cost would be $9,874,237,800 - almost $10 billion.

Multnomah County now has a court-ordered ceiling of 1,371 jail beds. With 544 new beds, the total will come to 1,915. That means when the new jails are completed, there will still be at least 16.6 beds for each illegal-drug user in Multnomah County - assuming there will be no increase in such consumers. Another way of looking at it is that there will still be 13.45 marijuana offenders for each jail bed.

These figures do not include the costs of detecting, arresting, prosecuting, providing public defenders for, or the costs of daily food, health and jail-maintenance costs, prison guards or probation officers. The best estimate at hand suggests those ongoing costs currently amount to about twice the cost of building for new jails.

Additional documentation:

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

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

In Multnomah County, the latest population estimate (for 1995) is 626,500 according to the Center for Population Research and Census at Portland State University. The Center does not have a readily available figure for the population over age 12. However, Walter Wink, in an article titled "Getting Off Drugs: The Legalization Option," published in the February 1996 'Friends Journal,' posted on the World Wide Web at, repeats the NHSDA figures in conjunction with a statement that there are 200 million Americans over age 12. Although a "clock" showing the day-to-day U.S. population growth posted in the Census Bureau's Web pages at says there are currently about 265,000,000 Americans, it seems most reasonable to use the ratio reported by Wink, which is based on a U.S. population of 260,000,000.

Transposing that ratio to Multnomah County would mean there are 626,500 x 200/260 (= 20/26 = 10/13) = 481,923 people over 12 here. Dividing that by 6.6 percent yields 31,806 illegal-drug users. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (ibid), 81 percent, or at least 25,763, would be marijuana consumers.

Portland Hemp Fest June 22 At Holladay Park

Don't miss the second annual Portland Hemp Fest 10 am-10 pm Saturday, June 22, at Holladay Park, next to Lloyd Center and Interstate 84 at Northeast 11th Avenue and Holladay Street. Continuous music, nationally known and local speakers plus more than 50 legal-hemp businesses will be featured.

Jeff and Siouxsie Crawford, who organized last year's festival, are also organizing this year's Portland Hemp Fest. Vendors and reporters can direct all questions and requests for interviews, etc., to the Crawfords, who produce the Billboard Award-winning Bohemia Afterdark alternative-music video show. Jeff and Siouxsie's phone numbers are (503) 203-5427 and (503) 203-5428.

Hemp In The News

A bumper crop of favorable media reports have appeared locally and nationally in recent days.

A large green print of a marijuana flower graces the cover of the current issue of PDXS, "the Pulse of Portland," posted at (If the edition of June 14, 1996 is not still the current issue, go to the archives and click on the story by Paul Richmond, "Paranoid," in the edition of Volume 6, Number 5.) A variety of articles on cannabis and drug policy include "The Hemp War Hits Home," "The 1996 Hemp Fest Need You ... There!" "Dispatches From the Drug War Front" and "The Anti-Marijuana Conspiracy." A regular column titled "The Government Denies All Knowledge" also featured additional drug-war news.

The Portland State University Vanguard published a special "Hemp Issue" with a big pot leaf on the cover of its June 4-July 1 "City Edition" (Vol. 51, Issue 121). A mix of several articles covering historical information and the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 1997, the Vanguard issue was quite favorable, except perhaps for one piece in which the reporter had government employees violate Oregon state election laws ORS 260.432 (1) & (2) by giving their opinions on issues facing the voters. (If reporters can't find anyone except law-enforcement officials to oppose OCTA, that should tell them something.) Those who broke the law include local DARE coordinator Roy Allen, who seemed to suggest that the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 1997 would legalize pot for kids. Allen was quoted as saying, "I'm not in favor of the measure. I've seen too many kids, under the influence and mess their lives up" [sic]. Amazingly, the reporter did not challenge Allen to address the actual proposed ballot measure. (For the record OCTA would allow ages 21-up to purchase cannabis from state package stores. The complete text is posted at

Forbes magazine's current, June 17 edition ("1996 Money Guide") also features a very favorable article on Holland's cannabis policy and its economic and other benefits ("Just Say Maybe," pp. 114-116, 118 & 120). Forbes reporter Richard C. Morais writes, "According to estimates by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, over 7% of the U.S. population 'abuses' cannabis, compared with under 4% in Holland. Various EU studies indicate that Holland has 1.6 hard-drug addicts per 1,000 inhabitants. The number compares with 2.5 in France, 3 in Italy and 5.3 in Switzerland. ... The U.S. wasn't included in these studies, but others show that the U.S. is still by far the largest consumer of illicit drugs...." There is much more worth quoting - look for the complete text to be posted in Portland NORML's Web pages soon.

The National Review of June 3, 1996 features a story on "High Culture: The World's First Cannabis Museum," by Andrew Stuttaford (pp. 28 & 30), about the new London attraction run by the Cannabis and Hemp Information Club. (Actually, as the Forbes article mentioned above notes, another "Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum" was established earlier in downtown Amsterdam.)

The June 1996 GQ magazine features "Janet Cooke speaks: An Exclusive Report on Journalism's Biggest Scandal." For those with a memory lapse, Cooke was the Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer prize for her Sept. 28, 1980 story about an 8-year-old heroin addict. Later Cooke returned her prize and was obliged to confess she had made the entire story up. Cooke has refused all interviews in the intervening years, so this article, by a former Washington Post colleague, is something of a scoop. But the main lesson here, for those who have never worked at a major metropolitan daily paper, may be the newsroom attitudes that led to drug prohibition and which continue to this day. That is, along with pictures of pretty girls and pets, emotional horror stories about drugs (except tobacco and alcohol) are considered sure-fire money-making prize-winners in journalistic circles. Though the interview does not say as much, Cooke did nothing that thousands of other reporters haven't done, except get caught. As she makes clear in the interview, she was only doing what was expected of her, not gunning for a Pulitzer. Part of the blame lies in newspapers' traditional biases in dealing with drug issues. Hired in part because of her African-American heritage, Cooke came from a virtually all-white background. The inaccurate ghetto dialogue she reported in her story was just one slip-up that led to her exposure. One's compassion for Cooke's banishment from journalism is tempered by the realization that 75 percent of the African-Americans in Washington, D.C., have criminal records, the vast majority for violating victimless drug laws perpetuated by reporters and editors such as Cooke who are "just doing their jobs" and "being team players."

'Harsh Toke'

Willamette Week also weighed in June 12 with a report on the Portland Cannabis Buyers Club. This is verbatim:
What a long, strange trip it's been for the Portland Cannabis Buyers Club ("High Hopes," WW, Dec. 6, 1995). Legal problems and power struggles have dogged the organization, which provides marijuana to members who have illnesses such as AIDS or cancer, while membership has doubled to 200 in the past six months. The biggest headache: getting the "medicine" into members' hands. "Delivery's just killing us," says Michael T, who took over after director Marc Brown stepped down. Gas costs, trouble finding reliable drivers, and scheduling problems combine to make home delivery an organizational nightmare. As a result, Michael is trying to find a central location where the club's members can pick up their orders instead. No luck so far: Landlords have been unwilling to run afoul of Portland's drug-house laws.

Meanwhile, steady supply continues to be a problem. In its ongoing quest for new sources, the club now offers a "growers' certificate" to suppliers who provide steep discounts. Michael is also tightening the requirements for membership (some club members' files were missing letters from their doctors) and cracking down on toking delivery drivers. "Yes, we are illegal," Michael says. "But we want to break as few laws as possible." Philanthropic growers and suffering victims alike can contact the club at 224-6919. - CL (p. 16)

Portland NORML Joins DRCNet

Clifford Schaffer of the Drug Reform Coordination Network has announced that the world's largest online library of drug-policy information has linked to the Web pages of Portland NORML (at "The main page for has been revamped and expanded. Recent additions include National NORML, Portland NORML, and Americans for Compassionate Use. All of the above may now advertise that they are officially part of the World's Largest Online Library of Drug Policy," says Schaffer.

This is a real feather in Portland NORML's cap. Thanks to Krystal Cummins, Leslie G. and others who've done so much to type up articles and other information for our library. (More volunteers are still needed!) The DRCNet logo is now posted on our home page.

Family Values And Lifetime Exposure To Marijuana

According to statistics from the prohibitionists themselves, cited below, 60 percent of all American parents have smoked marijuana at least once in their lives, compared to just 35 percent of the general population 12 and older.

If the figures were reversed, there is little doubt how prohibitionists would interpret them and how the media would report them. In any case, don't look for any stories soon titled "Want kids? Smoke pot." Suffice it to say here that these numbers contradict popular misconceptions. As David Hadorn puts it, "although correlation doesn't equal causation, the former is necessary for the latter. Just what else needs to be added to correlation to get causation is one of the enduring, unresolved, and unresolvable philosophical problems of the era (following Hume, especially)." For more details on illusory correlation, see Hadorn's article on The Role of Cognitive Errors in the Drug Policy Debate or the first chapter of "The Natural Mind," by Andrew Weil, both posted in Portland NORML's library of articles at

Documentation and methodology:

The four numbers in this equation are: 1) the proportion of current parents who have smoked pot at least once [60 percent]; and 2) the number of Americans age 12 and older as a proportion of all Americans [200 million out of 260 million]; divided by 3) the proportion of Americans age 12 and older who have smoked marijuana at least once [70 million out of 200 million], which yields 4) a number [35 percent] to compare with 1).

1) The percentage of current parents who have smoked pot at least once. According to "Survey finds parents unaware as more teen-agers use drugs," by Christopher S. Wren of the New York Times News Service, as printed in The Oregonian on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1996, "Three out of every four parents interviewed said they would be upset if their children tried drugs, although 60 percent of the parents admitted they had used marijuana themselves at some time in their lives." (p. A6) The survey, "commissioned by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, tracked attitudes toward drugs last year among 8,520 children and 822 parents across the United States." The article also notes that "The study was conducted for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America by Audits & Surveys Worldwide, a market research company in New York. This survey, like one done two years ago, was based on confidential questionnaires in schools and homes across the country. Six earlier surveys done by another company had relied on encounters with young people in shopping malls." (The text of The Oregonian article is posted at

2) The number of Americans age 12 and older as a proportion of all Americans. This is the most complicated number to come up with - the U.S. Census Bureau does not have a readily available figure for the population over age 12. However, as mentioned above in "Let's Do the Numbers," Walter Wink's article titled "Getting Off Drugs: The Legalization Option," published in the February 1996 Friends Journal (on the World Wide Web at, repeats standard government statistics from the preliminary 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse in conjunction with the statement that there are 200 million Americans over 12 out of a total U.S. population of 260 million.

3) The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who've smoked marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse's own statistics, included in its brochure, "Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know," posted in NIDA's Web pages at, "Over 70 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana at least once." Which yields

4) A percentage to compare with 1) - Figure 2) above shows there are 200 million Americans age 12 or older. If, of those 200 million, 70 million have tried marijuana, that would mean seven out of every 20 people age 12 or older have used marijuana at least once, or 35 percent, compared with 60 percent of all parents. QED.

Black Eye In Tucson - Officer Killed In Robbery

Slain vice officer had shooter's briefcase

By Carmen Duarte
The Arizona Daily Star circa June 13, 1996

Tucson police robbery detectives searching the Catalina home of a slain undercover officer found a briefcase belonging to the man who killed him.

They also found small amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine at Officer Gabriel Abendano's double-wide mobile home, Assistant Chief Daniel Sharp of the Tucson Police Department said yesterday during a news conference at police headquarters.

A search warrant for Abendano's home was carried out Tuesday after a man he was trying to rob shot and killed him Tuesday morning, Sharp said.

Patrick Zanzucchi, a convicted cocaine dealer, told police he killed Abendano, 41, in self-defense after Abendano followed him from Curves Cabaret, a topless bar at 2130 N. Oracle Road, and pulled a gun on him.

Zanzucchi, 50, was arrested in Phoenix yesterday on a parole violation for possessing the gun he used to shoot Abendano.

The briefcase found by robbery detectives had been reported stolen by Zanzucchi on May 28, Sharp said.

The theft was reported at 2:52 a.m. from Carrows Restaurant, 2660 N. Campbell Ave., after an employee notified Zanzucchi that the window to his pickup truck was broken, Sharp said.

He said Zanzucchi and his wife, who is an employee of Curves, were eating at the restaurant when their truck was broken into.

Investigators found personal documents belonging to Zanzucchi and paperwork related to Curves in the briefcase, Sharp said. He said no other drugs or large amounts of money were found in Abendano's home.

The incident Tuesday is the latest in a series of apparent misconduct by Police Department employees. Eight officers and one clerk have been accused of crimes in the past year.

As part of his undercover assignment with vice, Abendano had been working on a criminal investigation into whether Curves was violating liquor laws and involved in narcotics dealings. However, police said undercover officers had not worked on the investigation for the past several weeks. Sharp said police did not think Abendano was pursuing the investigation on his own on the night that he was shot. Abendano knew the closing procedures at Curves, Sharp said. He said investigators do not know what Abendano had planned to steal from Zanzucchi.

Zanzucchi told investigators Abendano followed him when he left Curves to go to the home of Mike Pavon, the owner of the topless nightclub. Zanzucchi, who a source said was a consultant at the club, told investigators that he felt he was being followed. When he arrived at Pavon's house, Zanzucchi said he got out of his truck and a man in a ski mask got out of the car that followed him. The man approached him making remarks that Zanzucchi said he could not understand.

Zanzucchi said the man "assumed a combat stance with his weapon pointed at him." He said he then reached in his car and picked up a gun and the two exchanged fire. Abendano was shot in the side of his head, police said. They found him lying dead near the curb in front of Pavon's house in the 3200 block of East Lee Street. Police arrived nine minutes after reports of shots fired were called in to 911 at about 2:20 a.m.

Abendano was wearing a ski mask, dark clothing, a bulletproof vest and carrying a gun not issued by the Police Department. Duct tape covered the bottoms of his shoes, and he had a tape recorder taped to his bulletproof vest. After questioning officers who worked with Abendano, investigators learned that Abendano always kept the recorder taped to his vest and never removed it. He was driving an unmarked police car that was issued to him but the license plate had been removed. The screws to the plate were found in his pocket, Sharp said.

An ounce of marijuana was found in the car's trunk.

Autopsy toxicology results are expected to be completed tomorrow, Sharp said. The tests would show whether Abendano had taken any drugs the night he was shot.

Robbery investigators with the police and Pima County Sheriff's departments are looking into whether Abendano is linked to other armed robbery cases.

The cases in Tucson, in which restaurants or bars were robbed, are:

  • Fuddruckers, 6118 E. Speedway, on July 4, 1993.
  • The Outback, 296 N. Stone Ave., in January 1995.
  • Pink-E's, 8640 E. Broadway, in January 1995.
  • The Bum Steer, 1910 N. Stone Ave., on May 25, 1996.
  • O'Malleys, 247 N. Fourth Ave., on May 26, 1996.

    Sheriff's Department investigators are looking at "three or four cases of residential armed robberies in which victims reported it appeared the robbers were officers because of their actions during the crimes," said Sgt. Michael O'Connor, a Sheriff's Department spokesman.

    O'Connor did not have specific information on the cases last night. Sharp said other undercover officers in the department's special investigations section have been interviewed, and investigators "don't believe anyone else was involved" with Abendano. Sharp said that police also are reviewing Abendano's finances and that preliminary findings are expected next week.



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