SUITE 1010
Tel. (202) 483-5500 * Fax (202) 483-0057 * E-mail:
World Wide Web:

. . . a weekly service on news related to marijuana prohibition.

September 5, 1996

Drug Czar Says He Welcomes NORML's Participation In Drug Debate

September 5, 1996, Washington D.C.: Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey said that he welcomed NORML's involvement in the national debate over drug policy, while speaking on National Public Radio.

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup immediately responded to the invitation and delivered a written acceptance stating that the organization would be ready and willing to meet with McCaffrey in either a private meeting or as part of an appropriate forum.

"We hereby request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our concerns with the administration's current drug policy," announced Stroup. "Although we clearly do not agree on many issues, there may well be some areas, such as adolescent marijuana smoking, in which we can work cooperatively to achieve a common goal."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of NORML at (202) 483-5500.

Senate Holds Special Hearing On Teen Drug Use

September 4, 1996, Washington, D.C.: In the wake of a Department of Health and Human Services report indicating that monthly use of illicit substances has doubled among adolescents since 1992, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a special hearing to examine the issue.

Speaking before the committee were Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and John Walters. All agreed that programs to reverse current trends in teen drug use must focus on 1) tougher drug penalties for adult users; 2) a clear and concise message that use of any illicit substance is wrong; and 3) increased federal spending on youth education programs such as DARE.

"What both the speakers and senators neglected to mention is that none of these options have been effective in reducing teen drug use," stated NORML Publications Director Paul Armentano, who attended the hearing. "Today's graduating seniors are the first generation of adolescents who were exposed to the most massive, consistent, and expensive federal anti-drug campaign ever launched. They grew up listening to DARE officers in the classroom and public service announcements from the Partnership for a Drug Free America when they came home; yet the statistics indicate that they are using drugs at far higher rates than were their predecessors just four and five years ago.

"In addition, more drug offenders are being arrested and incarcerated for longer periods of time than ever before in our nation's history. Clearly, this problem requires more than the standard Washington rhetoric."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500.

California Re-Enacts Temporary 'Smoke A Joint, Lose Your License' Bill

September 3, 1996, Sacramento, CA: Minutes before its post-midnight adjournment, the California State Senate enacted a temporary, emergency "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License" bill. The decision surprised many who noted that the Senate had turned down a similar measure earlier in the day.

The legislation was passed at the insistence of Gov. Pete Wilson, a long-time advocate of the federal mandate. The law requires a six-month driver's license suspension for all drug offenses, regardless of whether they are driving-related.

State Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer is said to have reluctantly agreed to the measure as a means of guaranteeing federal highway aid. Under federal law, California must be in compliance as of October 1, 1996 or else lose $100 million in highway funding. The bill was passed as an emergency measure so as to take effect immediately upon the Governor's signature.

In deference to opponents, the new law is set to expire within six months. This will set the stage for another "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License" battle next year.

"Gov. Wilson's insistence on this foolish federal mandate is one more costly example of Republican anti-drug hypocrisy," said California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer. "It's clearly absurd for the government to take [your] driver's license away for possessing a joint in your home, yet not for speeding and reckless driving with a bottle in your car."

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

Marijuana Activists Arrested On Trespassing Charges After Being Banned From Attending Public Rally

September 1996, Columbus, NC: A North Carolina couple were arrested and charged with trespassing by the Polk County Sheriff's Department after attending a public rally to promote medicinal marijuana in front of the county courthouse.

Although both Steve and Jean Marlowe were involved in organizing the event, billed as the Second Annual Freedom Rally, Mr. Marlowe had been told by county officials that he was forbidden from attending because of allegations he smoked marijuana at last year's festival. Marlowe was arrested on charges of marijuana possession after last year's event, but the case is still pending.

Jean Marlowe argues that the recent arrest was in violation of their civil liberties and the couple plans on pursuing legal action against the county. "County council says they can set their own rules, but they can't violate your rights," she said. "They can't forbid you to attend a rally."

Philadelphia attorney Lawrence Hirsch has agreed to take the case on behalf of the Marlowes and called the suit a matter of principle. "To me, every step of the way, [the county] seem to be creating a case that's bound to blow up in there face," he said.

In 1995, NORML and the Southern California American Civil Liberties Union filed a civil rights lawsuit against an Anaheim ordinance that prohibited certain prior drug offenders from the right to use public parks for lawful purposes. NORML eventually prevailed in the challenge.

For more information, please contact Steve and Jean Marlowe of the Marijuana Relegalization Movement at (704) 625-2958.

Juror Held In Contempt After Refusing To Convict Drug Offender

September 1996, Gilpin County, CO: A juror who maintains that she had "reasonable doubt" regarding the guilt of a drug defendant could face over six months in prison and an unspecified fine after being cited by Gilpin County Judge Kenneth Barnhill for contempt of court.

Laura Kriho is scheduled to begin a jury trial in late September to defend herself against allegations that she tainted a jury in the case of a 19 year-old female defendant charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. According to Barnhill, Kriho allegedly disobeyed a court order by discussing sentences in her deliberations. Kriho insisted that she ultimately voted to acquit because she had reasonable doubts as to the defendant's guilt based on the facts of the case as presented by the prosecution.

Barnhill also alleged that Kriho committed perjury by lying under oath to the Judge and the attorneys by failing to volunteer information regarding a prior drug conviction from 1984. Kriho argued that she was never specifically asked about her criminal history and notes that she received a deferred sentence for the 1984 conviction.

"I tried to do my job as a juror well," Kriho said. "I had never been on a jury before, and the whole experience was unique and very stressful. Now I feel I am being unfairly singled-out and punished for coming up with the 'wrong' verdict."

Attorney Paul Grant, who is representing Kriho in this case, warned that the prosecution of his client threatens to undermine the jury system. "Jurors must be able to deliberate independently of the judge, without the threat of criminal prosecution hanging over their heads," he stated.

For more information, please contact Attorney Paul Grant at (303) 841-9649 or e-mail: Those wishing to donate money for Laura Kriho's defense fund may write to: Laura Kriho Defense Fund c/o Paul Grant, P.O. Box 1272, Parker, CO 80134.



Regional and other news

Body Count

Eight of the 11 felons sentenced by Multnomah County courts in the most recent week received jail or prison terms for controlled-substance violations, according to the "Portland" zoned section of
The Oregonian, distributed in the central metropolitan area (Sept. 5, 1996, p. 8, 3M-MP-SE). That makes the body count so far this year 255 out of 468, or 54.48 percent.

Overheard On NPR (Somebody Please Tell The Drug Czar)

Right after Clinton announced he was giving the FDA power to regulate tobacco, National Public Radio did an interview August 19th with David Kessler, the FDA commissioner. When asked about prohibiting tobacco, David Kessler said, "Prohibition doesn't work when dealing with addictive substances." When asked further, he said prevention is the best way to deal with it.

Clifford Schaffer On Drug Education

...a comment I recall a schoolmate of mine making after we exited our very first drug education class in junior high school[:]

"Wow!" he said. "If the stuff is that dangerous and people still use it, it must REALLY feel great!" He promptly went out looking for the drugs he had just heard about, as did a number of his friends.

Oregon And Multnomah County Arrests For Drug Offenses, 1986-1995 - 13.80 Percent Of Multnomah County's Estimated 1995 Illegal Drug Consumers Busted

The Regional Drug Initiative (at, which bills itself as a "Catalyst for a Drug-Free Community," may be prohibitionist, but they do put out several useful annual and periodic factual reports with official statistics for Multnomah County and Oregon. Anyone with an interest in local drug-policy issues should read the RDI's annual "Drug Impact Index," the most recent, 32-page edition of which was released in July. The "Drug Impact Index" is available, if you have Adobe Acrobat software or care to download it, from the Regional Drug Initiative's Web site at People can also e-mail a request for a hard copy of the "Index" from there. Or contact:

Regional Drug Initiative
522 SW Fifth St., Suite 1310
Portland, OR 97204
Tel. (503) 294-7074
Fax: (503) 294-7044

For the sake of future reference, the numbers from Indicator 8, "Number of adult arrests for drug offenses" (1986-1995), are detailed below. Other indicators include:

Indicator 1: Annual number of births of drug-affected babies.
Indicator 2: Percent of stores selling tobacco to minors during "sting" operations.
Indicator 3: Percent of adults using illegal drugs in the last 30 days.
Indicator 4: Percent of adults abusing or dependent on alcohol.
Indicator 5: Number of people treated in public programs for alcohol and other drug problems.
Indicator 6: Percent of employers of youth responding that they have a written Drug-Free-Workplace policy.
Indicator 7: Number of juvenile arrests for drug offenses.
Indicator 8: Number of adult arrests for drug offenses.
Indicator 9: Percent of arrestees testing positive for one or more illegal substances.
Indicator 10: Number of cases admitted to trauma centers which test positive for illegal drugs or alcohol.
Indicator 11: Alcohol-related traffic deaths.
Indicator 12: Number of deaths from alcohol-related diseases.
Indicator 13: Drug-related deaths.

The ensuing figures on arrests, from the Oregon Law Enforcement Data System, probably do not cover all the myriad drug charges people actually get arrested and jailed for, including positive urine tests. However, they do suggest trends, if only of law-enforcement budgets. As the "Drug Impact Index" states, "State adult arrests have increased steadily since 1991 and have now hit an all-time high. County arrests increased 19% in 1995 and are also at an all-time high."

Indicator 8 - Number of adult arrests for drug offenses.

		Oregon			Multnomah County

1995		14,390			5,367
1994		12,418			4,511
1993		10,493			4,536
1992		 9,698			4,333
1991		 8,962			3,632
1990		 9,195			3,519
1989		11,443			4,385
1988		10,646			3,572
1987		 9,001			2,786
1986		 7,073			1,941

Source: Regional Drug Initiative, "Drug Impact Index,"
7th edition, Portland, Oregon, July 1996, p. 19.
Based on Portland NORML's current estimate of 38,871 illegal-drug users in Multnomah County (Portland NORML Weekly News Release, Aug. 29, 1996, "Let's Do the Numbers"), the record 5,367 drug arrests in 1995 in Multnomah County would suggest that 13.80 percent of all illegal-drug users were arrested. (As mentioned last week, the actual number of illegal-drug users is probably much higher, and the proportion of arrests probably much lower.)

Increasing arrests since 1991 have not impeded illicit-drug use. Will just doing more of the same thing likely yield better results? Every candidate for political office this fall ought to be on record as to how many illegal-drug users should be arrested in order to make adult prohibition an effective policy. Whether arresting twice as many illegal-drug users would have any impact on use rates is arguable, but probably less so than the prospect of a taxpayer revolt over the costs.

By the way, objective readers will have to wade through several RDI "indicators" that are obviously biased or based on specious data. The figures for Indicator No. 1, drug-affected births, for example, are "artificially depressed due to underreporting," the RDI says.

Actually, the results are probably artificially inflated because diagnoses are not based on examining physicians' reports, and do not exclude abnormal births blamed on illegal drugs by unqualified observers, which should be attributed to use of the most harmful but legal drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Lack of prenatal care has also been identified as a major cause of the purported drug-affected baby syndrome. See also "Not About Hemp, But About Propaganda," in the Aug. 15, 1996 Portland NORML News Release at The first line of the article by UPI states, "Exposure to cocaine and other drugs in the womb has virtually no effect on early childhood development, University of Buffalo researchers said Friday. "In fact," the article states at one point, "in most instances, the children who were exposed to cocaine scored higher on a battery of psychological tests than did the students who were never exposed to cocaine or other illegal drugs during pregnancy."

See too the latest addition to Portland NORML's Web pages (thanks, Erica!), "Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica - An Ethnographic Study," from the February 1994 Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Volume 93, Number 2, posted at Sponsored by the March of Dimes, the study tested 24 Jamaican newborns exposed to marijuana prenatally and 20 nonexposed babies from socioeconomically matched mothers. At one month, the children of marijuana-using mothers scored markedly higher on autonomic stability, reflexes, and general irritability. Babies born to the heaviest smokers, those who smoked every day, at least 21 joints weekly, scored significantly higher in 10 of the 14 characteristics measured, including quality of alertness, robustness, regulatory capacity, and orientation. No ill effects from marijuana were found, and quite possibly there were dose-related positive effects. The researchers recognize the preliminary nature of the study, but go so far as to speculate that, "It is possible. . . that the outcomes at one month are related to neonatal exposure to marijuana constituents via breast milk...." Nineteen of the 24 Jamaican mothers reported that cannabis increased their appetites throughout the prenatal period and/or relieved the nausea of pregnancy. Fifteen reported using it to relieve fatigue and provide rest during pregnancy.

Also obviously biased is Indicator 9, "Percent of arrestees testing positive for one or more illegal substances," which is based on "voluntary urine samples from arrestees." RDI's omission of the percentage of people arrested on drug charges renders its figures meaningless. If 66 percent of adults arrested in Multnomah County tested positive for drugs in 1995, for example, what would that statistic mean if 66 percent of all arrests were for illegal-drug charges?

Indicator 10, "Number of cases admitted to trauma centers which test positive for illegal drugs or alcohol," is egregiously biased because it fails to specify the overwhelming role of alcohol, and the much smaller proportion of emergency-room admissions attributable to use of other drugs. According to "Consequences of Alcoholism, Alcohol Use and Abuse," published by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. [p. 236], from 15 percent to 25 percent of all emergency-room admissions involve alcohol. Similarly, self-reports of alcohol use indicate that 55 percent of people injured in fights had consumed alcohol prior to the event. More than half of homicide victims tested positive for alcohol. Compared to other drugs, the use of alcohol is also associated with a vastly disproportionate number of automobile and other accidents. According to the Regional Drug Initiative's Indicator 11, the number of "Alcohol-involved traffic deaths" in Oregon in 1995 was 228 - 43 more than the 185 Oregonians killed by illegal drugs the same year.

Luxembourg Becoming Unexpected Ally Of Dutch Drug Policy

By Janet McEvoy

LUXEMBOURG, Aug. 30 (Reuter) - In front of the central railway station in Luxembourg - the richest country in the world - a white van called the Camionette supplies clean syringes in a bid to help the tiny country's heroin addicts avoid AIDS.

The van might seem a blot on the green and picturesque landscape in the sleepy Grand Duchy, known for its banks rather than drugs, and a far cry from the Amsterdam world of coffee shops where young people smoke cannabis while the law looks the other way.

But with the highest proportion of hard drugs users in the European Union, Luxembourg is rethinking a policy based on repression and becoming an unexpected ally of the Dutch in its attitude to liberalising cannabis with the aim of no hard drugs.

Luxembourg's parliament, confounding expectations, has adopted a motion urging the government to open talks with Belgium and the Netherlands on a three-nation Benelux zone where cannabis can be smoked freely.

"There's no timetable but it's a clear signal to the government in that direction," said Renee Wagener, the Luxembourg Green member of parliament who initiated the move.

In the liberal Netherlands, where coffee shops are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis, only 1.7 people per thousand are addicted to heroin, according to figures published by the Dutch government.

In Luxembourg, where the police clamp down on possession of hard and soft drugs alike and drugs-related projects like the Camionette are still, on paper, illegal, the figures show five people per thousand are heroin addicts.

A report by a Luxembourg parliamentary commission showed 72 percent of the addicts take another drug like the new generation ecstasy, available in all Luxembourg nightclubs, or crack. The number of overdose deaths has climbed steadily since 1985.

Tom Schlechter, who operates the Camionette which visits the railway station five times a day, said about 30 people came each time and between 50 and 70 syringes changed hands, along with coffee and conversation.

He said that although in theory damage prevention projects such as his were still illegal, they were tolerated by the authorities on public health grounds and addicts were becoming less shy about coming forward.

Wagener said the policy of repression had backfired as prison sentences tended to teach addicts how to get drugs and criticised Luxembourg for not finding money to rehabilitate people who have just done time.

"I find it paradoxical that in the richest country in the world we cannot find the money to house these people," she said. Good-living Luxembourg has the highest revenue per inhabitant in the world and low unemployment at three percent.

"It's clear that these people are unstable and the first thing they will do (on leaving prison) is to find a hotel in the Place de la Gare where they sell drugs. They will meet their old friends and it's there that it starts again," she said.

Although the government has yet to decide formally whether to approach its Benelux partners over the plan, Justice Minister Marc Fischbach surprised even Wagener herself when he declared his support ahead of the vote.

Justice Ministry Counsellor Guy Schleder said that a lot would depend on the attitude of Belgium.

Belgian Interior Minister Johan Vande Lanotte has often spoken out against a liberalisation of drugs.

A Belgian parliamentary committee is currently examining all the options, from maintaining a current legal ban on all possession, sale and use of drugs to a Dutch-style system.

But an Interior Ministry spokesman said Belgium's decision would be coloured by its neighbours' attitudes, and those neighbours include not only the Netherlands and Luxembourg, but also France, the biggest critic of The Hague.

Because of the Dutch policy France has prevented the Schengen border-free pact between seven nations from working fully by refusing to open its borders to Belgium and Luxembourg on the grounds that they are transit points for the Dutch drugs.

Luxembourg took over the Schengen presidency on July 1.

Luxembourgers say the French approach is hypocritical, as drugs come into the landlocked country not only from Amsterdam, but also the south of France and the German city of Frankfurt.

"You have to be more subtle. Drugs do come from Amsterdam, but they also come from the south of France," said Schleder.

"I think it's hypocrytical because they do not block the frontier with Morocco and they get the most cannabis from Morocco," said Wagener.

'Child Molesters Should Start Smoking Pot'

from the Zychik Chronicle, Sept. 3, 1996 Part 1 [verbatim excerpt]:

(New York Times Sep. 1st, pg. E10) If you research the effects of drugs you will find that study after study proves that the most dangerous drug is the most legal one: alcohol. Now in an article discussing California's proposal to castrate child molesters, we come across one more confirmation about the perverse nature of the war on drugs: "most sex offenders are alcoholics - as many as 76 percent of sex offenders sent to a Toronto penitentiary over a three year period abused alcohol. . . and about half committed their crimes when they were drunk." This is no surprise to anyone who knows about the effects of alcohol compared to any other drug, including crack cocaine.

Now let me show you how these same facts can be used to further the war on drugs. A common drug warriors trick is to slip in a little question like this: "In the last 30 days did you use an illicit drug? Which one?" If the respondent admits to taking even one hit off of a crack pipe, or inhaling marijuana just once, the crime will be registered as a drug-caused crime.

Let me give you another example of the hysteria the drug warriors are creating:

(Los Angeles Times Aug 27th, pg. A3) The headline is "Drug Use Among Students Up, State Poll Finds." The article says that drug use is up about 5% to 10% depending on the drug. Before we get to the catch, do this little experiment. Ask yourself what they mean by "drug use"? Once a month? Once a week? Etc. Here's the catch: "Use in all categories is defined as at least once during a six-month period." This is drug use?

The real danger is that: "67.2% of ninth graders" reported using alcohol. "74.3% of 11th graders" also reported using it.

As for pot: "34.2% of ninth graders"; "42.8% of 11th graders."

Alcohol is being used about at about a 2 to 1 ratio to pot. That is not a good sign for parents who want to protect their children from child molesters.

CASA Survey Of Teens To Reveal Widespread Use And Sale Of Drugs At America's High Schools

CASA to Release First National Survey of Kids' and Parents' Attitudes on Substance Abuse on September 9

/ADVANCE/ NEW YORK, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ - America's teenagers overwhelmingly agree that students keep, use and sell drugs on school grounds, according to a survey conducted for The National Center on Substance Abuse and Addiction at Columbia University (CASA) [+ footnote] by the Luntz Research Companies.

When asked if their school is drug free or is not drug free - meaning some students keep drugs, use drugs or sell drugs on school grounds - 72 percent of American 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds, say their schools are not drug free.

"This survey demonstrates that in America the term drug-free school is an oxymoron," says Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA Chairman and President and former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

"With drugs so widely available in our nation's high schools, it's not surprising that marijuana and other drug use among teens is surging," Califano added. "This should sound an alarm for every parent of teenagers and every high school principal and teacher in the nation."

Mr. Califano and Dr. Frank Luntz, president of Luntz Research Companies, will release the complete findings of the first national survey ever conducted of kids' and parents' attitudes on substance abuse, on Monday, September 9 at 10 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The "CASA National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse II: Teens and Their Parents" was conducted during July and August by telephone of 1,200 adolescents age 12 through 17 and 1,166 parents, all with children in the same age group. Of the 1,166 parents, 819 came from the same households as the children. The margin of error for the teenagers is +/-2.8; for the parents, +/- 2.9.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA's goals are: to inform Americans of the economic and social costs of substance abuse and its impact on their lives; to assess what works in prevention and treatment; and to encourage individuals and institutions to take responsibility to combat substance abuse and addiction.

+ The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as "CASA") or any of its member organizations, or any other organization with the name of "CASA."

SOURCE National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

CONTACT: Alyse Booth, communications director of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 212-841-5260

'The Big Lie' (More On Benson & Rasmussen)

The Libertarian, a column by Vin Suprynowicz, Sept. 3, 1996
[Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of The Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at The Web site for the Suprynowicz column is at The column is syndicated in the United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.]
If the failed and unconstitutional "War on Drugs" really needed another nail in its coffin, the 60-page report "Illicit Drugs and Crime," by Bruce L. Benson and David W. Rasmusssen, professors of Economics at Florida State University, should do the job.

After studying crime rates in Florida, which poured vast resources into a beefed-up drug war in the years 1984-89, and in Kansas, which did not, Benson and Rasmussen conclude in their report, released Aug. 16 by the Independent Institute: "In hindsight, it appears that Kansas's relatively modest involvement in the nationwide drug war during the 1984-89 period has resulted in its citizens being relatively safe from crime. This assertion will come as a surprise to many people, but reality mandates that when scarce resources are used to do one thing, they cannot be used to do something else. ...

One consequence of shifting resources to the drug war is that "violent and property criminals are not caught until they have committed a relatively large number of crimes, if they are caught at all."

Then, as jails and prisons clog up with non-violent drug offenders, those violent felons "can be forced out of prison relatively early, ... freeing them to commit new crimes."

The "drugs cause crimes" analysis fails utterly, according to the Florida economists' research. Most drug users who also commit crimes against person or property reported in interviews that they turned to crime before they started using drugs, not the other way around. In fact, it was the higher disposable income and unsavory new connections produced by a life of crime that made it possible for them to buy drugs. "Crime leads to drug use, not vice versa," the professors found.

Because the diversion of resources into the drug war led to a "reduced probability of arrest" for robbery or burglary, "the property crime rate in Florida rose 16.3 percent" from 1983 to 1989.

Violent crime also increased markedly, as dealers displaced from neighborhoods where they had long been content "invaded the turf of established dealers, and residents of previously untapped markets fell prey to violent criminals. Since 1989, Florida has reduced its drug enforcement efforts, and its property crime rate has fallen."

The drug war has even uglier unintended consequences.

"Drug entrepreneurs" who run into trouble at the border develop domestic sources of production. "It is now estimated that marijuana is the largest cash crop in California," the professors report.

When the government started looking for domestic marijuana via aerial infrared reconnaissance, California growers moved indoors, switching to "more potent strains" which can produce a $75 million profit out of a $1 million investment in a single year.

And when interdiction started to have some success in California, some growing shifted to the mountains of Kentucky, "involving people whose cultural roots included moonshining and a history of violence, making the trade rougher than it had been before."

Of course, because marijuana is bulky and easy to detect, customers are urged to try "harder" drugs like crack cocaine and heroin, which represent higher profit per volume. And to reduce their chances of dealing directly with police informants, dealers "lengthen drug distribution chains and use younger drug pushers and runners," who are known to be dealt with far more leniently by the courts.

Well, the politicians did promise us they'd create new "youth opportunities."

Tobacco addicts who favor the drug war often argue that "their" habit doesn't produce the physical changes and withdrawal cravings of "bad" drugs.

In fact, marijuana and the hallucinogens are not addictive at all, in any medical sense. And if tobacco smokers think their drug of choice can't create any of the startling physical side effects of heroin addiction, they need only try one simple experiment: Quit.

If tobacco is outlawed - as Hillary Clinton obviously plans - how long will it be before we have "Shag houses" in our inner-city neighborhoods, before smugglers tired of being undone by tobacco-sniffing dogs come up with a purified white buffered nicotine, suitable for snorting or injection?

The pathologies of the drug culture are caused not by drugs, but by drug prohibition.

"Illicit Drugs and Crime" only bears out what anyone with open eyes should already know - with the War on Drugs, we've allowed Big Brother to tear up our Constitution and use it for toilet paper. In return, they promised that our streets and our children would be safe. They lied.

"Illicit Drugs and Crime" is available for $7.95 from the Independent Institute, in Oakland, Calif. Contact Carl Close, the Institute's public affairs director, at 510-632-1366, or via e-mail at

Jury Rights Day

The Jury Rights Project will commemorate "the courageous jurors in the trial of William Penn in 1670" during a rally 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm Thursday, Sept. 5, 1996 at Colorado State University in Boulder.

JRP's press release about the event advertises speakers on jury rights, Libertarian candidates, a mock jury trial, and includes an informative history of William Penn's trial:

"If justice is blind, should jurors be blind, bound, and muzzled?"

The 1670 trial of William Penn is being recreated in Colorado in 1996 in the case of juror Laura Kriho. Ms. Kriho is being charged with contempt of court for deliberating "improperly" when she served as a trial juror in a felony drug possession case in Gilpin County. Ms. Kriho was the only juror who didn't want to convict the defendant based on reasonable doubt. Ms. Kriho allegedly told the other jurors that the defendant might serve 4 to 12 years in prison if convicted and allegedly discussed the idea of jury nullification. One juror informed the judge in writing that Ms. Kriho had discussed possible sentences, in opposition to the judge's order not to. Judge Kenneth Barnhill became infuriated became infuriated and declared a mistrial. Now the judge and prosecutor have charged Ms. Kriho with contempt of court for her allegedly improper deliberations.

The last time there was a similar case was in 1670, when William Penn and William Mead were arrested in London for preaching their Quaker religious beliefs. English law had outlawed any religious assemblies other than those for the Church of England. Penn freely admitted he had been preaching at a Quaker meeting house, but he argued that worshiping God could never be unlawful. His jury of 12 men agreed with him and refused to convict him of unlawful assembly. The jurors held fast to their not guilty vote even when the judge tried to starve the jurors by refusing them food and water for two days. The judge finally accepted Penn and Mead's acquittal on Sept. 5, 1670. However, the furious judge fined the jurors for their verdict. Edward Bushell and three other jurors refused to pay their fines and were imprisoned for several weeks until England's highest court ruled in the jurors' favor. In one of the most important decisions in English legal history, the Court stated that jurors could never be punished for their verdicts.

Ms. Kriho's case may be the only modern case of a juror being punished for deliberations in a jury room. The case threatens to destroy any chance of seating fair and impartial citizens to serve on a jury. Who will want to be a juror if jurors can be prosecuted for not serving as the judge wishes? The Jury Rights Day event will call attention to these and other issues.

Invited Speakers:
Paul Grant, defense attorney for Laura Kriho
Kevin Wilkerson, Libertarian candidate for State House District 11
Chuck Wright, Libertarian candidate for State House District 13
W. Earl Allen, Libertarian candidate for US Congress

For more information, contact:
Ron Bain, Libertarian Party of Boulder County: (303) 443-9179
Jury Rights Project:

Singapore Trafficker Hanged For Two Kilos Of Cannabis

From the Singapore Straits Times (, Sept. 2, 1996

Trafficker, murderers hanged

A DRUG trafficker and three convicted murderers were hanged on Friday at Changi Prison.

Wichita Hemp Activist Gets 11 Months For .09 Of A Gram

Laura Green writes (on Sept. 2):

Debby Moore, Hemp activist from Wichita KS was sentenced to 11 months in state prison for felony possession of .09 tenths of a gram of marijuana. The sentance was suspended to 2 years probation if Miss Moore follows a complicated set of rules including 5 UAs a week, which she must pay for at a cost of $35 each, and repayment of 55,000 dollars in court costs and witness fees. (There were over 50 witnesses who testified.

Miss Moore was stopped by Wichita police officers for broken tail light. In conflicting testimony the officers said when they stopped Miss Moore they knew she was the "hemp lady". They searched her car without consent, and found .09 tenths of a gram (a roach) in her ashtray and 5 Kansas tax stamps. The KBI crime lab employee testified the substance was too burned to be identified.

In spite of the illegal search and unidentified substance, the judge ruled that because Miss Mooore was well known as the "Hemp Lady" the search was legal and the substance could be presumed to contain THC.

In order to charge her with felony possession (your second arrest in Kansas following a conviction for possession, is charged as a felony) the state had to prove that Miss Moore had been convicted previously. They dug up a 24 year old conviction from when she was present at a party where people had smoked marijuana. Since the record of that "conviction" was under previous statutes, her record did not reflect that she had ever been convicted of the crime. The state had to spend thousands of dollars to "prove" that Miss Moore was present at the party where she was arrested, and thousands more computer enhance photographs taken 24 years ago at this party. (I know this sounds really crazy, but it is true. They actually had to prove that they had convicted her, because the record not enough.)

The judge of course accepted this, and charged her with a felony. It took 30 court appearences before she was found guilty and sentanced. Testimony included officers who had arrested her in 92, when she won her jury trial. (You would think winning a case would work FOR you not AGAINST you.) The judge did tell her that she could keep on protesting, what a guy.

The judge told her that by her actions as the HEMP lady she was not subject to the same treatment as others. Her sentancing reflects that. After her arrest for .09 tenths of a gram in her ashtray, a search warrent was issued and her house searched. There they found a quarter pound and pipes. The judge told her that if charges are filed and she is found guilty, she will be sentanced to life in prison.

Now you may ask why the state of Kansas would go to such lengths to stop Miss Moore from functioning as a human being. You may also ask if she is going to appeal, and what you can do.

The answer to the first question is very complicated, as Debby has managed to piss off everyone from the White House to Dole, on down. It is no coincidence that she was stopped several days after receiving a personal letter from Clinton, and ominous e-mail from the Washintonian magazine. If you would like the full story please call Debby, 316.681.1743

Is she going to appeal? The answer is no, she has no money and on Tuesday she is going to ask her attorney. He has already said no, although he feels they would win.

What can you do? Debby has asked that noone contact the Wichita DA or paper unless it is a general article about the WOD. She is waiting to see if more charges are filed and she does not want to piss the DA off any more. You may write to the State Attorney General and protest this WASTE of taxpayer money. (Can they say mailious prosecution?) Carla Stoval, AG, 301 W 10th, Topeka, KS 66612-1597.

There is of course much more to the story, so call Debby, or send her e-mail, if you want to know more,

Laura Green

Brazilians Sing Praise Of Miracle Cure - Marijuana

BRASILIA, Sept 2, 1996 (Reuter) - A remarkable herb used as a cure-all by residents of a small town in northern Brazil has turned out to be marijuana, a television station said on Monday.

For years, people in Cruzeta, Rio Grande do Norte state, swore by the properties of what they called "liamba." But then a police officer grew suspicious about the true identity of the spindly, green weed and ordered tests, Globo said.

"If you've got a wheezing throat, it'll put you right straight away," said Marta Medeiros, recommending a potion made from her backyard marijuana for toothache and head pains.

Miguel Matias said he took a tea made from the plant as a pick-me-up. "I've already had two and I'm going to have another three, to keep me young," said the pensioner.

A local judge took a dim view of the use of the herb, which is being investigated by police. "The residents could be arrested," Sergio Dantas warned Globo.

Waters Calls On Reno, CIA And Congress For Investigation

San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 4, 1996

Mercury News Staff Writers

In the widest-ranging call yet for an official investigation, South Central Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters is requesting both federal and Congressional probes of the role U.S. goverment agencies may have played in sparking the crack cocaine explosion of the 1980s.

Waters, a Democrat, sent out a series of letters Friday to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Central Intelligence Agency Director John Deutch and Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders citing the findings of a recent Mercury News investigation into the roots of the crack epidemic. The series, Dark Alliance, documented how a Bay Area drug network dumped thousands of kilos of cheap cocaine into L.A.'s black neighborhoods in the 1980s to fund a Latin American guerrilla army that was being run by the CIA.

"As someone who has seen how the crack cocaine trade has devastated the South-Central Los Angeles community, I cannot exaggerate my feelings of dismay that my own government may have played a part in the origins and history of this problem," Waters wrote. "Portions of this country may have been exposed, indeed introduced, to the horror of crack cocaine because certain U.S.-government paid or organized operatives smuggled, transported and sold it to American citizens."

Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the CIA, said Deutch "is in the process of responding to these inquiries and (a written response) will be completed soon." Mansfield reiterated the CIA's belief that any suggestion that the spy agency was involved in drug trafficking was "ludicrous" and without merit.

The Mercury News, however, discovered that both before and during the time the drug ring was selling drugs in black neighborhoods, the drug dealers were meeting with the CIA operatives who were in charge of the guerrilla army, Enrique Bermudez and Adolfo Calero.

Myron Marlin, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, said, "We received the Congresswoman's letter and are currently reviewing the matter at this time."

Waters, who represented South-Central Los Angeles in the California Legislature before her election to Congress, asked Reno to provide her with the government's files on the three men featured in the Mercury News' series: Nicaraguan drug smuggler Norwin Meneses; former Nicaraguan government official-turned-cocaine-broker Danilo Blandon, and former South Central crack king "Freeway" Rick Ross.

"The impact and the implications of the Meneses/Blandon/Ross Contra CIA crack cocaine connection cannot be understated," Waters wrote to Reno and Deutch. "We all have an obligation to get to the very bottom of the origin, development and implementation of this seedy enterprise."

Meneses and Blandon were civilian leaders in California of the CIA's army, formally known as the Nicaraguan Democratic Force but more commonly called the Contras. Blandon has admitted selling Ross thousands of kilos of cocaine during the last decade and said he began dealing cocaine in Los Angeles in 1982 to raise money for the CIA's army, which was trying to overthrow the revolutionary Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

Waters, in an interview Tuesday, said she intends to ask the Congressional Black Caucus to conduct the hearings into this matter, saying she didn't want the probe "messed up" the way past investigations into CIA drug trafficking allegations have been.

During the 1980s, a subcommittee headed by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., explored an East Coast cocaine pipeline that was funding the Contras at roughly the same time. Though his investigation documented the drug network's existence and operations, Republicans on the committee refused to sign the report and its findings were largely ignored by the national media.

Though Waters has asked permission to do hearings through the traditional Congressional committee process, she said that was done mostly as a courtesy. Regardless of the response of Congressional leaders, she said, hearings will take place.

"You don't need permission from any damn body to do a hearing," she said. "We (the Congressional Black Caucus) did hearings on the church burnings. I don't want to have some sanitized hearings that won't do what we need to do."

On Tuesday, Waters went to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego to interview Rick Ross, who is currently awaiting sentencing on federal cocaine conspiracy charges. Ross said he spent two and a half hours speaking with Waters about his relationship with the Nicaraguans and the DEA sting that resulted in his arrest last year -- a sting run by his former cocaine supplier, Danilo Blandon.

Waters said she hoped the CIA and Department of Justice would turn over documents involving Meneses and Blandon voluntarily, but said the committee will issue subpoenas if necessary.

"We're in this for the long haul," she vowed.

When the Mercury News asked for the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, only one agency -- the National Archives -- complied. The CIA refused to release any records on national security grounds and the DEA said it didn't want to turn over documents because it was concerned about invading the privacy of the two convicted cocaine traffickers.

Waters said she was going to ask Reno Wednesday to safeguard the files until they can be turned over to Congressional investigators.

Meneses and Blandon have a long history of involvement with various agencies of the U.S. government, particularly the Drug Enforcement Administration. Blandon, in fact, is a full-time informant for the DEA, a highly sensitive job he was given when the Justice Department got him out of jail in 1994. Since then, Blandon has been paid more than $166,000 by the Justice Department for his work with the DEA.

Waters is the second federal lawmaker to make an official request for an investigation into the drug pipeline. Last week, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California, asked CIA Director Deutch to do an internal investigation of the relationship between the drug pipeline and the CIA.



Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at

Back to the 1996 News Releases page.

This URL: