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October 30, 1996

In light of next week's vote regarding a California ballot initiative to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to seriously ill patients, NORML is forgoing its usual weekly news release to spotlight the following special report.

'Making The Case For Medical Marijuana'

by NORML Publications Director Paul Armentano

Marijuana is medicine. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments. Marijuana was legal in the United States and prominent in the pharmacopoeia until 1937, when possession and use of marijuana was outlawed by the federal government. Today, eight patients receive marijuana legally from the government; for all other Americans who could benefit from its therapeutic value, it remains a forbidden medicine. The passage of Proposition 215 in California, the Medical Marijuana Initiative, would be a first step in amending this grievous and unnecessary crisis.

Contrary to popular belief, there have been hundreds of studies on the medical uses of cannabis since its introduction to western medicine in the mid-nineteenth century. The best established medical use of smoked marijuana is as an anti-nauseant for cancer chemotherapy. During the 1980s, smoked marijuana was shown to be an effective anti-emetic in six different state-sponsored clinical studies involving nearly 1,000 patients. For the majority of these patients, smoked marijuana proved more effective than both conventional prescription anti-nauseants and oral THC (marketed today as the synthetic pill, Marinol). For example, in a 1988 study by Dr. Vincent Vinciguerra published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, 78 percent of patients who had shown no improvement with standard anti-emetics responded favorably to marijuana. In addition, 29 percent of those patients who did not respond to oral THC did respond to smoked marijuana. Vinciguerra concluded that the results of the pilot study "demonstrate that inhalation marijuana is an effective therapy for the treatment of nausea and vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy." [1] Similar findings were noted in state-sponsored studies in New Mexico, Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, and California. [2] Currently, many oncologists are recommending marijuana to their patients despite its prohibition. [3]

In addition to its usefulness as an anti-emetic, there exists evidence - both scientific and anecdotal - that marijuana is a valuable aid in reducing pain and suffering for patients with a variety of other serious ailments, and that it is less toxic and costly than the conventional medicines for which it may be substituted. For example, marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting, and the loss of appetite caused by the AIDS wasting syndrome and by treatment with AZT and other drugs without accelerating the rate at which HIV positive individuals develop clinical AIDS or other illnesses. Reportedly, 75 percent of the 12,000 members of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club were Patients With AIDS (PWAs) and a recent survey of HIV-positive patients in Australia found that one-quarter were using marijuana therapeutically. [4], [5]

It is generally accepted - by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and others - that marijuana reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients suffering from glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. This was first shown in a series of experiments by Robert S. Hepler of UCLA, stemming from research aimed at finding out whether marijuana dilated pupils. Hepler found a "statistically significant" drop in IOP in 429 subjects treated with marijuana or THC, 29 of which showed continued benefits during 94 days of treatment with no signs of tolerance. [6] Currently, three of the eight patients who receive medicinal marijuana legally use it to treat glaucoma.

There also exists historical evidence that marijuana is effective in treating a variety of spastic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, epilepsy, and quadriplegia. In the book, Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine, Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School describes several case histories of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and other disorders whose condition improved while they smoked marijuana and deteriorated after they stopped smoking. In addition, a number of animal studies have supported marijuana's ability to suppress convulsions. These studies specifically indicate cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijuana unavailable in Marinol, to be a potent anti-convulsant. This latter fact was recently reaffirmed by the government's premiere marijuana expert, Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly of the Marijuana Project at the University of Mississippi, who stated during an interview with the Journal of the International Hemp Association that, "CBD [cannabidiol] is famous for [its] anti-convulsant activity." ElSohly concluded that, "There is no question about the use of cannabis for certain conditions. It does have a history. It does have utility." [7]

Marijuana is also used to treat those who seek relief from chronic pain. Historically, marijuana was used as an analgesic from ancient times through the nineteenth century. This usage declined with the introduction of faster acting and more potent, yet sometimes addicting, opiates such as morphine. However, anecdotal reports demonstrate that some patients currently receive their most effective pain relief from using marijuana. Limited scientific studies on nearly 100 patients have shown marijuana to be a potent analgesic. [8]

Evidence in support of marijuana's medical value has existed for centuries and has been validated by numerous studies, researchers, committees, health organizations, and even the Drug Enforcement Agency's Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, who in 1988 declared marijuana to be "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." [9] Unfortunately, patients who could benefit from marijuana's therapeutic value have been held hostage by a federal government that continues to treat the issue as a political football. American medical patients deserve better and Proposition 215 is a genuine and encouraging step to address their needs.


1 Vinciguerra, V., Moore T., Brennan, E. "Inhalation marijuana as an antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy," New York State Journal of Medicine: October 1988, pp. 525-527.

2 Randall, R.C. Cancer Treatment & Marijuana Therapy, Galen Press: 1990, pp. 217-243.

3 Doblin, R., Kleiman M. "Marihuana as Anti-emetic Medicine: A Survey of Oncologists' Attitudes and Experiences," Journal of Clinical Oncology: July 1991, pp. 1275-80.

4 Personal communication with Dennis Peron, founder of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club.

5 Prestage, Garrett et al. "Use of Treatments and Health Enhancement Behavior Among HIV-Positive Men in a Cohort of Homosexually Active Men," Eleventh International Conference on AIDS, Vancouver, B.C., Canada: July 1996.

6 Hepler, R., Petrus, R. "Experiences with administration of marijuana to glaucoma patients." In M.C. Braude and S. Szara (eds) The Pharmacology of Marijuana. New York: Raven Press, pp. 63-94.

7 Interview with Dr. Mahmoud A. ElSohly on December 19, 1995 as it appeared in The Journal of the International Hemp Association: Volume 3, No. 1, 1996.

8 Gieringer, D. Review of Human Studies on Medical Use of Marijuana, NORML Reports, October 1996.

9 In the Matter of Marihuana Rescheduling Petition, Docket 86-22, Opinion, Recommended Ruling, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decision of Administrative Law Judge, September 6, 1988. Washington, DC: Drug Enforcement Agency, 1988.



Regional and other news

Body Count

Four of the nine 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 (Oct. 31, 1996, p. 10, 3M MP). That makes the body count so far this year 315 out of 579, or 54.50 percent.

Mom Convicted Of Sex Abuse Blames 'Drugs'

Willamette Week has shut up for the moment (see last week's item, "Mom Sells Daughters For Cocaine - Media Blame Cocaine") but The Oregonian has continued to use the Sherri Good case to promote its ignorant and harmful view that cocaine "led to" Good's behavior.

Inasmuch as the purpose of Portland NORML's weekly news release is to promote an open and honest discussion of drug-policy issues, let us re-examine the topic of "drugs," causality and sex abuse in view of some factors not mentioned last week.

"Mother blames drugs for abuse," a new story on the Good case appearing in The Oregonian Nov. 1 (pp. D1 & D7), reported that Good was sentenced to "eight years in prison for sex abuse and compelling prostitution." (That will probably be reduced to make room for more drug offenders, but forget about that for now. Also never mind that media coverage of such cases has led to sentences of as long as 10 to 20 years commonly being meted out to cocaine offenders.)

The Oregonian report contains two "witnesses" testifying that Good's cocaine abuse caused her behavior:

1) Good herself: "Drugs, she said in a soft, steady voice. It was the drugs. ... I hope this would be a lesson to at least one person to save them from doing drugs. Don't do drugs. ... It can lead you to things you have no control over."

2) And The Oregonian itself, which affirmed that Good's "endless hunger ... led her to sell the most precious thing a parent has - her children."

How's that for compelling evidence cocaine "led to" Good's behavior?

In the first place, it's important to note that the law couldn't care less about "cause." Good was sentenced for sex abuse and compelling prostitution, not cocaine use or abuse. The law, thankfully, does not generally recognize the use of alcohol, cocaine or any other drug as a mitigating factor. Second, to summarize last week's harangue, cocaine use is neither a necessary nor sufficient reason to explain Good's behavior. The vast majority of sex abuse cases do not involve cocaine. (They involve alcohol. More on that later.) The vast majority of cocaine users, or even cocaine addicts, do not prostitute their children. A path that millions of people travel cannot logically be characterized as "leading to" a terminus where only one or a few people end up. "Detour" or "wrong turn" would seem a better way to describe it.

A reporter, once criticized for the faultiness of such logic in his coverage of a similar case, wrote back something to the effect that, "You have a point, but in this case, the drugs did cause the behavior."

But he failed to understand the elementary logic involved. When hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people become addicted to illegal drugs for every one that prostitutes his or her children, it is illogical to infer that drugs are a cause of such prostitution. Something else must be at work. If dozens or hundreds or thousands of children are prostituted for reasons unrelated to illegal drugs for every one that is, it is also illogical to infer that illegal drugs "cause" such behavior. Again, something else must be at work. Enabling Good to blame her behavior on drugs will probably only delay her day of self-reckoning. The Oregonian can cite all the sex abusers it wants, but it will need more credible testimony and evidence to persuade anyone capable of reflection. Does The Oregonian think Good would make a compelling or even persuasive anti-drug speaker? Somehow, it's hard to believe anyone would get past, "But she prostituted her children!" Something else is at work and people widely understand that.

There is no big mystery here. The Oregonian didn't mention it, but the vast majority of the public already understands the primitive ignorance of scapegoating "drugs" for such behavior. Thanks to many generations of experience in dealing with alcohol, just about all adults understand that most people can consume alcohol responsibly. It is also generally understood that alcohol seems to turn some people into monsters. In such cases, most mature people don't blame alcohol or swear off alcohol themselves. Re-instituting alcohol Prohibition has even less public support than reforming drug prohibition. Instead, people widely blame alcohol abusers themselves if they continue to consume alcohol and engage in reprehensible behavior. If such drunks break the law, moreover, they are arrested for whatever crimes they commit. (Or at least they used to be, until jails got so packed with victimless drug offenders.)

What happens when Good gets out of jail in three or four years? Having learned her lesson, perhaps she will avoid cocaine. But what if she becomes a drunk? Or what if she simply develops some other "endless hunger" for money or something else? An "endless hunger" can fixate on many "foods." It would seem the public has more to fear from Good's "hunger" than from its particular object.

It would be interesting and helpful if The Oregonian published some credible information on the proportion of sex-abuse cases in Oregon that involve, respectively, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and especially alcohol. How many involve no drug use at all?

The ensuing item from the Sept. 5, 1996 Portland NORML Weekly News Release documents the overwhelming proportion of sex-abuse cases that involve alcohol:

"Child Molesters Should Start Smoking Pot"
from the Zychik Chronicle, Sept. 3, 1996, Part 1

(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 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.

If legal alcohol abuse is so strongly associated with sex abuse, why is there no outcry to prohibit alcohol on the same grounds the media use to whip up public fear and misunderstanding over illegal-drug use? Unless the media's stranglehold on the drug-policy debate can be loosened, and both sides of the issue discussed honestly, society seems doomed to waste ever more resources on irrational solutions guaranteed to exacerbate every aspect of the problem.

Letter To The Editor

Everett Herald [Everett, Wash.], Forum, Oct. 30, 1996, p. 11A

Drug War: Children Deserve It To End

We are pleased to see The Herald printing articles and letters concerning drug policies. We are also glad to see the spirit in which these are being presented. Healthy debate on drug policy issues is long overdue.

The Herald recently published a letter to the editor by someone concerned about drug policies. We have some of those same concerns, especially the problem of persons driving while under the influence. Nevertheless, we do have a real problem with one aspect of his letter - that is the erroneous idea that drugs have an inherent power to turn people into criminals. In the letter he said that "I've never read of people breaking into homes to support a cigarette habit."

What if we had a tobacco shortage, or we forced tobacco onto the black market? What would happen? How about some real life examples?

In 1994 Canada raised its tobacco taxes more than 100 percent. Gangs started importing illegal cigarettes and fighting each other over turf. This spring, after several bloody shoot-outs between gangs and police, Canada repealed the 1994 increases. The gangs have disappeared.

In Germany today, gangs are gaining ground due to harsh taxes on tobacco products. As a result more young Germans have access to tobacco than before the taxes. The result? A black market which sells its poison to anyone, no matter their age.

During a cigarette shortage in Europe during World War II, some nicotine addicts lied and stole to obtain tobacco. Some traded away personal treasures, even food despite food shortages. Some reports say women resorted to prostitution in order to smoke tobacco.

Does this sound familiar? If nicotine addicts lose their supply, they may act in ways associated with persons addicted to heroin or cocaine, but none of those drugs inherently degrades users. Was it something inherent in the tobacco that caused this criminal behavior? Could the cause of this kind of drug related criminal behavior be the consequence of our current drug policies?

The letter mentioned earlier was written in support of Bob Dole. It said that he will "bring new energy to the war on Drugs." Anyone who uses these "drug war" criteria to decide in this election is wasting his or her time. When one compares the Clinton and Dole policies, he or she will find that they are essentially the same (except tobacco). We need to get past the rhetoric, sound bites and misinformation coming from the candidates. They both support the same failed policies of the last 80 years of our nation's longest war. Of course, victory is always right around the corner. Just ask them. Instead of arguing over politics we need to work together to on this issue. Given the current statistics, what we are currently doing does not work. The definition of craziness is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Our nation's children deserve better.

Annie & Michael Marion

'Use Of Marijuana By Eighth-Graders Triples In Oregon'

A new state report on teens' use of illegal drugs (which, for them, includes alcohol and tobacco) was released recently. Like virtually all the other media who reported on the new survey, The Oregonian report ("Use Of Marijuana By Eighth-Graders Triples In Oregon," Oct. 22, 1996, pp. B1 & B3) irrationally focused on an alleged increase in marijuana use, even though the use of both alcohol and tobacco exceeded the use of marijuana and also increased. State officials also seemed to focus irrationally on marijuana, despite their professional obligation to be a little more objective.

The Oregonian article opened, "Marijuana use by Oregon eighth-graders has tripled since 1990...." Later, readers discover that means a jump from an alleged 4.5 percent in 1990 to an alleged 15.3 percent in 1995, up 5.5 percent from 9.8 percent in 1994. However, assuming a 5 percent margin of error, remember that usage could officially "double" from 4.5 percent to 9 percent while in actuality it might still be at just 4.5 percent. Similarly, the margin of error alone could mean the 1995 increase to 15.3 percent from 9.8 percent in 1994 might be entirely illusory. The margin of error and a variety of other factors discussed here in the past - particularly teens' tendency to base their responses on public attitudes about marijuana use - make the survey less than scientific. Or even believable.

As usual, teens' rates of alcohol use were omitted from most news reports. Inquiring Oregonian readers were told simply in the penultimate paragraph that "Alcohol use remained near the same high level among 11th-graders, with 69.2 percent reporting alcohol use in the past year."

Now, it should be obvious that the use of the word "triples" in The Oregonian headline is misleading and sensationalistic. When 70 percent of kids are using alcohol, it is mathematically impossible for alcohol use to "triple," and yet the media use "triple" to objectify an invalid inference that pot use has increased more than use of alcohol or cigarettes, and poses more risk to kids. Assuming a baseline rate of 5 percent pot use and 70 percent alcohol use, if pot use increased to 10 percent and alcohol use to 100 percent, would the public get an accurate understanding of the drug problem if the media reported, however accurately, that pot use increased 100 percent while alcohol use increased only 42 percent? (Remember the 100 percent increase could also be entirely illusory if the margin of error is 5 percent.)

Cigarettes kill about 400,000 Americans a year. Alcohol kills about 100,000. While NORML does not advocate or condone the use of marijuana by minors, it should be noted that marijuana has never killed anyone, and cannabis is considered much less habit-forming than either tobacco or alcohol. So why do the media and government focus on marijuana?

The Oregonian quoted Gary Weeks, director of the Oregon Department of Human Resources, saying "The most disturbing aspect of these findings is the tendency for marijuana use to be a gateway to other drugs and a predictor of harmful behavior." Well, does marijuana use usually precede alcohol or tobacco use? That would seem impossible if several times as many kids have used alcohol as have used marijuana, and if more kids have tried cigarettes than marijuana. So how can marijuana be a "gateway" to alcohol, or to cigarettes? Easy. Neither the state nor The Oregonian considers alcohol or cigarettes to be either "drugs" or illegal. Your tax (and consumer) dollars at work.

But wait, there's more. As noted by the obviously credible "Dr. Michael Finigan, a Portland independent contractor who evaluates government programs and who wrote the report" (how's that for a conflict of interest), "marijuana has a big effect on student behavior."

"For example, the report said, eighth-graders who use marijuana are four times more likely than those who don't to get D's or F's in school; 11 times more likely to bring a gun to school; seven times more likely to be arrested; 20 times more likely to sell drugs; and six times more likely to ride in a car being driven by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol."

Even ignoring the question of how many maladjusted kids use marijuana to express and effect their alienation, such statistics mean nothing by themselves. One also needs to know the rates at which kids who use alcohol or tobacco experience the same problems, as well as the number who used no drugs at all. One also needs to know the rates at which kids who use such drugs meet or exceed expectations. In other words, assuming the smart kids were just as stupid as the maladjusted kids and reported their marijuana use just as guilelessly, one might find marijuana users were indeed "four times more likely than those who don't [use marijuana] to get D's or F's in school" - but also twice as likely to get A's. (See the earlier item on this topic, "Illegal Drug Users - Helping Make America Strong," in the Sept. 12 Portland NORML Weekly News Release posted at

Kids' use of marijuana, tobacco or alcohol may indeed indicate trouble - or it may not. The evidence seems credible that the earlier a person begins to use drugs, the more likely he or she is to encounter problems. But do drugs cause troubled teens or are troubled teens just more likely to use drugs to express their disaffection, because of the anti-social connotations society has projected onto illegal drugs? Again, since there is no consistent correlation between use of marijuana, alcohol or tobacco and good or bad behavior, the only logical conclusion is that drugs by themselves do not cause particular outcomes. Other factors must be involved.

In fact, teens' experimenting with pot is well within the bounds of normality. It is often a teen-age rite of passage predicated on falsehoods about the "dangers" of marijuana. As the experience of the Netherlands shows, this only increases the "forbidden fruit" appeal. Repeated studies have shown that teens who don't experiment with pot may even be more "aberrant" than those who do. For example, a major long-term study of kids that followed their development from their earliest years through high school, "Adolescent Drug Use and Psychological Health: A Longitudinal Inquiry," by Jonathan Shedler & Jack Block, published in the peer-reviewed May 1990 American Psychology [45(5):612-630] found that:

... "adolescents who engaged in some drug experimentation were better adjusted than both abstainers (who were emotionally constricted) and frequent users (who were maladjusted). Also that psychological differences between the groups could be traced to the earliest years of childhood. This indicates that problem drug use is a symptom and not a cause of personal and social maladjustment, and that current efforts at drug prevention are misguided in not focusing on the psychological syndrome underlying drug abuse."
Here's something else from the August-September 1975 High Times, (p. 70):
"Pot Smoking Stops Delinquency"

Two surveys of American teenagers, taken five years apart, indicate that the sharp increase in marijuana use in recent years is probably responsible for the waning of juvenile delinquency in the United States.

The surveys, conducted in 1967 and 1972 by the Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, indicate that only 2 per cent of U.S. teenagers between 13 and 16 years of age were turning on during the "Summer of Love," while a half-decade later a full 20 per cent of American adolescence was smoking grass. Concomitant with dope's spread have been dramatic decreases in car stealing, trespassing, gang fighting and breaking and entering by that age group.

Rather than seeing the statistics as indicating a change in behavior brought about by pot, Martin Gold of the research center suggests that pot smoking has simply replaced hooliganism as the way teenagers satisfy their need for high jinks. According to Gold, 'Some youngsters are more motivated than others to participate in deviant acts, and which kind of act does not seem to matter so much as its deviant stamp." Gold opined that the upsurge in marijuana use can be attributed to "a great, albeit tacit, tolerance by their parents," who began to see through the horror stories. "In short," Gold said, "science and experience had eroded the marijuana stereotype."

Help To Fully Inform Jurors

Help distribute information about a juror's right and responsibility to nullify unjust laws 9 am every Monday at the Multnomah County Courthouse, 1021 S.W. Fourth Ave., Portland. (Meets Tuesday if Monday is a holiday.) For more details contact Floyd Ferris Landrath of the American Anti-Prohibition League at (503) 235-4524 or

Universal Hemp Opens In Bellevue, Washington

The Bell Town Hempery opened its doors to "everyone interested in hemp" with a "potluck" beginning 4:20 pm Saturday, Nov. 2, at 2221 Second Ave., Bellevue, Wash. Check out the newest store in the hemp industry. Activist organizations or artisans working with hemp products can call Cristina at (206) 443-7717 for more information.

'Family Physicians Oppose Three California Ballot Propositions, Support One'

SAN FRANCISCO (Business Wire, via Individual Inc., Oct. 29, 1996) -- The California Academy of Family Physicians, representing more than 7,000 members, opposes Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, Propositions 214 and 216, the anti-HMO initiatives, and supports Proposition 215, the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative.

.... Finally, CAFP's support of the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative statute is in keeping with CAFP policy (adopted by the Academy's Congress of Delegates in February 1994) to "Support efforts to expedite access to cannabinoids for use under the direction of a physician."

The California Academy of Family Physicians, the state's largest primary care medical specialty society, is the largest chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a national association of family doctors. With more than 82,000 members, the AAFP is the country's largest medical specialty society. Family physicians are unique because they are trained and qualified to work in all major medical areas, treat up to 90 percent of all conditions, and care for all family members: men, women, the elderly, and children of all ages.

CONTACT: California Academy of Family Physicians | Alison Anne Barnsley, 415/394-9121

'Drug Czar Warns Doctors That US Would Prosecute'

Los Angeles Times, Oct. 30, 1996
By Eric Bailey, Times Staff Writer

President Clinton's drug policy chief said in a television interview to be broadcast this week that the federal government would prosecute California doctors who recommend the use of marijuana if the state legalizes it for medical use.

Barry McCaffrey, Clinton's drug czar and the administration's most vocal critic of Proposition 215, said during a TV appearance taped Monday that federal officials would continue to enforce U.S. laws against marijuana and called the ballot measure "a hoax."

During a campaign swing through California on Tuesday, McCaffrey also released letters from former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and former Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford urging a vote against the California measure and another marijuana initiative in Arizona.

The presidents said it sends "the erroneous message that dangerous and addictive drugs such as heroin, LSD, marijuana and methamphetamine are safe."

Republican activists were quick to point out that President Clinton had not signed the former presidents' letter. But McCaffrey said Tuesday that Clinton is against the measure too.

But it was McCaffrey's comments during a taped interview on the Court TV program "Washington Watch" that were drawing the most attention Tuesday as the drug czar visited the Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles.

During the program, which airs Friday, McCaffrey was asked if he would enforce the federal law against marijuana possession and distribution even though California might make it legal for medical purposes.

"Without question," McCaffrey said. "A physician who tries to prescribe a Schedule 1 drug, with or without these referendums in California and Arizona, is subject to prosecution under federal law--and we will uphold the law."

Dave Fratello, a spokesman for the pro-Proposition 215 campaign, said McCaffrey's comments were not surprising, but could prove "chilling" for California physicians.

"We think that statement was just vicious," Fratello said. "That the feds are talking about going after doctors who are simply trying to take care of patients with an alternative they think works, that's exactly the climate of illegality that made 215 necessary."

Officials with the California Medical Assn., which opposes Proposition 215, have said a more pernicious problem than prosecution of doctors could be federal efforts to pull their licenses to prescribe certain drugs.

"There is something at stake for physicians who might be pursued by the federal government," said Sandra Bressler, CMA director of scientific affairs. "I understand there are lots of physicians willing to take that risk, but the truth is it is a risk."

Poll - Californians Don't See Proposition 215 Reforms Extending To 'Recreational' Consumers

[What follows if a press release and poll results from Californians For Medical Rights/Yes On 215, sponsors of the medical-marijuana initiative, which rather dispel charges by opponents that the medicalization of marijuana would create some "domino effect" leading to the demise of prohibition for adult recreational consumers. - ed.]

Poll Illuminates Reasons Voters Support Prop. 215

SANTA MONICA, Oct. 28 - According to a poll taken in June and released for the first time today, likely California voters' knowledge about the medical uses of marijuana runs deep, and helps explain the current broad support for Proposition 215, the Medical Marijuana Initiative.

Dave Fratello, a spokesman for the 'Yes on 215' campaign, said, "What we learned in this survey was that, when it comes to allowing medical use of marijuana, the voters fully understand the topic, and they are willing to side with patients and doctors who say marijuana is a necessary alternative in some cases."

A surprising one-third of the voters surveyed said they had actually known someone who had used marijuana for medical reasons. Meanwhile, some knowledge of the fact that marijuana has medical uses was almost unanimous, totaling 95 percent of the likely voters surveyed.

The lack of recent scientific research proving marijuana's medical value did not dissuade voters from supporting its legal, medical use - 56 percent said personal testimony from patients and doctors was sufficient, versus 36 percent who would hold out for more studies before allowing the drug's medical use. A huge majority - 76 percent to 3 percent - believed marijuana relieves pain and nausea for seriously ill people.


Support for Proposition 215 held steady at a two-to-one majority in the poll, with 62 percent for and 31 percent against. By contrast, support for legalization of marijuana for all adults - not just seriously ill people - stood at 58 percent against versus 34 percent in favor.

Fratello said, "Passage of Prop. 215 will advance the cause of permitting medical use of marijuana. It is clear from our data that voters can and do discriminate between medical and recreational use of this drug. Once our state law reflects that distinction, we can work on creating a safe, legal system of medical access to marijuana for patients who need it."


Poll Results
Opinions and Experiences of California Voters Regarding the Medical Uses of Marijuana
Survey Date: June 5, 1996
Sample Total: 800
Conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates
Provided by Californians for Medical Rights/Yes on Prop. 215
October 28, 1996

Knowledge/Experience of Medical Use of Marijuana

+ Have you ever heard anything about marijuana being used for medical purposes?

Yes:	95%	No:	4%
+ From what you've heard, for what medical purposes is marijuana used? [Asked of people (95%) who have heard of medical use of marijuana]:
Cancer treatment:	44%	Glaucoma:	32%
Relieve/reduce pain: 	21%	AIDS:		17%
+ To the best of your knowledge, have you ever known anyone who has used marijuana for medicinal reasons?
Yes:	32%	No:	66%	DK:	2%
Scientific Proof Needed to Permit Medical Use of Marijuana?

+ There is no hard scientific data that proves the benefits of marijuana for medical purposes. However, there has been a lot of personal testimony by patients, their families and their doctors to support the claim that marijuana relieves pain and suffering. Having heard this, which of the following statements comes closer to your opinion? [Choices rotated to prevent bias]

We should not allow marijuana for medical purposes until there are reliable scientific studies to prove that it actually helps victims of cancer or other diseases: 36%

The results of scientific studies are often unclear. The personal testimony of patients and their doctors that marijuana relieves their suffering is proof enough to allow marijuana for medical purposes: 56%. Don't know: 8%.

How Would You Vote on the Medical Marijuana Initiative?

Note: This was the second time likely voters were asked to give their opinions, after being given more information about the initiative.

+ Sometimes in a survey like this, people change their minds. Having heard more about the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative, if the election were held today, would you vote yes or no?

Definitely Yes: 40%	Yes Total:	62%
Probably Yes:	19%
Lean Yes:	 3%
Definitely No:	16%	No Total:	31%
Probably No:	12%
Lean No:	 3%
Don't know:	 7%
Opinions Against Legalizing Marijuana for All Adults

+ Do you approve or disapprove of the idea to legalize marijuana - regulated as alcohol is regulated - for adults to use socially?

Strongly approve:	21%	Approve Total:		34%
Somewhat approve:	13%
Somewhat disapprove:	13%	Disapprove Total:	58%
Strongly disapprove:	45%
Don't know:		 8%
Personal Experiences with Non-Medical Marijuana Use

+ Have you ever known anyone who has used or uses marijuana recreationally?

Yes:	77%	No:	21%	DK:	2%
+ Have you ever been with someone when they smoked marijuana?
Yes:	59%	No:	39%	DK:	2%
+ Have you ever used marijuana for recreational, non-medical purposes?
Yes:	38%	No:	60%	DK:	3%

More On The CIA-Cocaine-Contra Scandal

Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1996

Rebel leaders say the CIA gave permission to accept airplanes, cash from narcotics trafficker.
Spy agency denies account.

By Douglas Farah, Walter Pincus, The Washington Post

In the early summer of 1984, a wealthy Nicaraguan exile invited two representatives of the Contras fighting Managua's leftist government to her Miami home. Her aim was to broker a deal with a Colombian businessman that would help fill the rebels' empty coffers.

The hostess was Marta Healy, and the businessman was George Morales--a champion powerboat racer, socialite and big-league drug trafficker under indictment in the United States.

The Contra representatives were Octaviano Cesar and Adolfo "Popo" Chamorro, Healy's ex-husband. Both were working with Eden Pastora, a maverick revolutionary trying to open a southern front in the Contras' guerrilla war from a base in Costa Rica, in addition to the Contras based in Honduras on Nicaragua's northern border. The CIA had run out of money to support either group of Contras, and Congress refused to provide any more until the following year.

Despite their rift with the spy agency, Chamorro and Cesar said, they asked a CIA official if they could accept the offer of airplanes and cash from the drug dealer, Morales. "I called our contact at the CIA, of course, I did," Chamorro said recently. "The truth is, we were still getting some CIA money under the table. They said he [Morales] was fine."


U.S. officials, including the man who oversaw the Contra operation at the CIA, dispute the rebel leaders' account that they notified the agency about Morales' offer. Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, who at the time was head of the CIA's Latin America division and is now retired, said he "certainly never dealt with Popo Chamorro," although he may have met him, and never knew Morales. The CIA told Congress in 1987 that it concluded in November 1984--or just a few months after the Miami meeting--that it could not resume aid to the Costa Rican-based Contras or have other dealings with them because "everybody around Pastora was involved in cocaine."

The Morales case, as retold with new details in recent interviews with participants, seems to remain the best-documented example of a Contra group cooperating with a drug trafficker and receiving substantial aid in return. According to Pastora and Chamorro, Morales--who was convicted in 1986 of drug trafficking and died in prison in 1991--contributed at least two airplanes and $90,000 to the Pastora group, known by its Spanish initials ARDE.

In sworn testimony to a congressional inquiry headed by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in the late 1980s, and in a separate court case before he died, Morales said he gave the airplanes and cash to the Contras because he was promised by Chamorro that the Contras would use their influence with the U.S. government to help with his legal problems. Although imprisoned, he told the Kerry committee that he had in fact received some legal help, but he did not specify what that was.

Morales offered Pastora's fighters, who were stuck in remote jungle areas in Costa Rica south of Nicaragua that could only be resupplied by air, a deal that seemed too good to be true: a DC-3 airplane he had stashed in Haiti, to carry weapons and other materiel, along with cash for guns, boots and uniforms.

The money was vital because Pastora's troops, unwilling to join a CIA-engineered Contra umbrella organization in Honduras north of Nicaragua, were about to disband. Pastora said the CIA had cut off his funding in May 1984.

In desperation, Pastora turned to his second-in-command, Chamorro, and Cesar, who spoke flawless English, to scour for funds.

So the meeting set up by Healy with a wealthy, potential patron seemed heaven-sent, Chamorro and Cesar said. In return for his gifts, Chamorro and Cesar said, Morales asked for a face-to-face meeting with Pastora. They denied that drug trafficking was discussed.

But a July 26, 1986, State Department report to Congress said intelligence reports offered a different account. The report said an unidentified senior member of Pastora's organization had agreed to allow Morales to use Contra facilities "in Costa Rica and Nicaragua to facilitate the transportation of narcotics."


While it is unclear how much of that deal was implemented, there are signs that it went forward. In court testimony in 1990, Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, a Colombian drug trafficker turned government witness with immunity from prosecution, testified he had paid "millions" of dollars to Cesar and Chamorro from 1984 to 1986. Orders to make the payments, he said, came from his boss, Morales. Morales also told the Kerry committee that he sent $4 million to $5 million in drug profits to Contra groups.

Independent evidence is not available to substantiate that Morales sent such large amounts of money or that the funds were used for the Contra cause.

California Narcotic Officers Association Continues Lies

Dave Hall ( writes:

In a debate in California this weekend, the anti-215 forces threw out the old argument that there are 10,000 studies on file with the U. of Miss. showing marijuana is dangerous. That's a crock, and to prove it Keith Stroup contacted the university directly about it awhile back. Here's a repost of their reply for those who may be faced with the same argument some day.

Dave Hall, Washington Hemp Education Network
"W.H.E.N. educated people know."

>From Alan B.:
Here is the letter I received from Keith Stroup and a copy of the
letter received by Dr. Grinspoon.

I think this should be passed to all California media outlets.
It will make Lundgren and the CNOA look like the fools that
they are.

Alan B.
(Ain't this internet stuff wonderful!)


Persuant to our exchange of notes, Dr. Lester Grinspoon from Harvard Medical School contacted the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi to ask if they were the source of the supposed 10,500 studies demonstrating the harmfulness of marijuana, as alleged in a statement recently issued by the California Narcotic Officers Association. As you will see in the attached response from Ms. Beverly Urbanek, the institute takes pride in their 25-year collection of technical marijuana research, but they claim no knowledge of where such a number would have come from, unless it was a mistaken reference to the total number of marijuana research projects contained in their entire bibliography. If CNOA was referring to the U. Miss. collection of marijuana research, their claim is without factual basis.


Keith Stroup

cc: Dr. Lester Grinspoon

The University of Mississippi
Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Bibliographic Services
School of Pharmacy
University 38677
(601) 232-5914 FAX (601) 232-5116

June 12, 1996
Dr. Lester Grinspoon
Harvard Medical School
74 Fenwood Rd.
Boston, MA 02115
Dear Dr. Grinspoon;

As I indicated to you in our telephone conversation, we are totally in the dark as to where the statement that there are 10,000 studies showing the negative impact of marijuana could have originated. For the past 25 years, we at the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences have been collecting national and international technical research papers on marijuana and the Cannabis plant and now have a bibliography which includes over 12,000 citations, I can only assume that the 10,000 studies mentioned in this statement refer to the total number of citations in our bibliography, but even that number must have been obtained several years ago. Many of the studies cited in the bibliography are clinical, but the total number also includes papers on the chemistry and botany of the Cannabis plant, cultivation, epidemiological surveys, legal aspects, eradication studies, detection, storage, economic aspects and a whole spectrum of others that do not mention positive or negative effects. We are frequently contacted by various individuals and groups requesting the current number of publications that we have listed in the marijuana bibliography, and we readily give out that information. Apparently it is used as a gauge to follow the amount of research being done. However, we have never broken down that figure into positive/negative papers, and I would not even venture a guess as to what that number would be. Your offer to help us clarify our position in this matter is certainly appreciated.


Beverly Urbanek
Research Associate

Woody Harrelson May Do Time In Hemp Rap

BEATTYVILLE, KY. (The Associated Press via Individual Inc., Oct. 24, 1996) - Woody Harrelson wants to go someplace where everybody knows the difference between marijuana and hemp.

The actor was charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana for planting four hemp seeds in Lee County in June. Harrelson staged the event to challenge the constitutionality of a state law that makes no distinction between industrial hemp and its psychoactive cousin.

Lawyer Burl McCoy on Wednesday filed a request to have the charge dismissed. He said the General Assembly in 1992 arbitrarily deleted from state law a portion of the federal definition that distinguishes industrial hemp from marijuana.

Harrelson faces up to a year in jail and a $500 fine if convicted.

'Lost History - The Kerry-Weld Cocaine War'

The Consortium (on-line investigative journalism zine), Nov. 11, 1996
By Robert Parry

WASHINGTON -- The sudden uproar over a decade-old story -- cocaine smuggling linked to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contra rebels -- could reverberate with special intensity in Massachusetts, where the controversy has the potential for affecting the outcome of a close Senate race.

That race pits John Kerry, the Democratic senator who led the investigation into contra drugs, against Republican William Weld, the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division when the contra-drug allegations were emerging as a national issue and when the Iran-contra scandal broke in the fall of 1986.

In new testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Oct. 23, one of Kerry's former investigators, Jack Blum, fingered Weld as the "absolute stonewall" who blocked the Senate's access to vital evidence linking the contras and cocaine. "Weld put a very serious block on any effort we made to get information," Blum told a crowded hearing room. "There were stalls. There were refusals to talk to us, refusals to turn over data."

Weld has denied those charges and insisted that he conscientiously pursued the allegations. In that position, the governor has been helped by the main Massachusetts papers, particularly The Boston Globe, which have largely accepted Weld's word. Indeed, instead of digging into Weld's official drug-war actions in late 1986 and during 1987, the Globe has gone on the offensive against Kerry -- for sleeping at the homes of friends during his divorce a decade ago.

Yet, an investigation by The Consortium has uncovered new evidence that buttresses Blum's charge that Weld stonewalled the contra-cocaine allegations. Information also emerged revealing a cozy relationship between Weld and top Globe reporters in Washington during the mid-1980s.

A review of Weld's Justice Department phone logs and calendars, from fall 1986 to spring 1987, revealed Weld scheduling squash matches with the Globe's Bob Healy and speaking to the Globe's Steve Kurkjian far more than to any other journalist, even those who regularly covered the Justice Department. Kurkjian wrote the recent investigative story slamming Kerry's acceptance of friends' hospitality during his divorce.

More importantly, however, during the current Senate campaign, the Globe has given scant coverage to Weld's record of downplaying -- and trying to discredit -- the flood of contra-cocaine allegations that inundated his office in late 1986 and early 1987.

When Weld assumed control of the criminal division in September 1986, requests for contra-cocaine evidence already were pending from Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, respectively. In support of Kerry's probe, Lugar and Pell were requesting information on more than two dozen names of individuals connected to the contra operation and suspected of drug trafficking.

'Just Stonewalling'

One of Weld's top deputies, Mark Richard, expressed concern about the Justice Department's failure to respond to that request, as the Reagan administration sought to shield the contras from negative publicity. "In the September [1986] time frame, a new assistant attorney general [Weld] comes on board," Richard testified in a deposition. "I must confess I was concerned. I was concerned not so much that there were going to be hearings [about contra-connected drug trafficking].

"I was concerned that we were not responding to what was obviously a legitimate congressional request. We were not refusing to respond in giving explanations or justifications for it. We were seemingly just stonewalling what was a continuing barrage of requests for information. That concerned me to no end."

Richard said he raised his worries with Weld directly. "I impressed upon the new assistant attorney general that this, in my judgment, was an issue that had to be addressed. We had responsibility across section lines. ...To my knowledge, we just were not saying we're not going to give it. We're not saying we're going to give it. We're just not saying anything."

As part of the Reagan team, Weld continued to snub the Senate and its demands for action on the contra-drug issue. On Sept. 26, 1986, Kerry brought Weld an 11-page "proffer" statement from a female FBI informant who had told the senator that Colombian cocaine kingpin Jorge Ochoa had bragged about his payments to the contras. The informant, Wanda Palacio, also claimed to have witnessed the loading of cocaine onto CIA-connected planes twice in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Weld brushed aside the allegations, even though some of the woman's most important charges found powerful corroboration. Palacio had claimed, for instance, that one of the shipments was aboard a Southern Air Transport plane that landed in Barranquilla in early October 1985. When one of Oliver North's secret contra supply planes was then shot down over Nicaragua on Oct. 5, 1986, Palacio identified a photo of the co-pilot, Wallace Sawyer, as one of the cocaine smugglers in Barranquilla.

'Diseased Blankets'

As it turned out, Sawyer's flight logs, which were recovered from the Nicaraguan crash, showed that Sawyer had flown a Southern Air Transport plane into Barranquilla three times in early October 1985, just as Palacio had alleged. [For more details, see The Consortium, Oct. 28, 1996, or The Nation, Oct. 21, 1996] Nevertheless, Weld would continue to reject Palacio's testimony. When asked about the Palacio case recently, Weld described the woman's credibility as equal to "a wagon load of diseased blankets."

But as internal Justice records reveal, Palacio was only one of many witnesses turned away when they linked the contras, the CIA and cocaine.

The documents also show that under Weld's leadership, the criminal division continued to withhold information requested by the Senate in fall 1986.

Those delays finally prompted an angry response from Lugar and Pell, two of the most mild-mannered members of the U.S. Senate. On Oct. 14, 1986, the two senators complained that they had been waiting more than two months for information that the Justice Department had promised "in an expeditious manner."

"To date, no information has been received and the investigation of allegations by the committee, therefore, has not moved very far," Lugar and Pell wrote. "This has led to concern about Justice's willingness to provide information, its responsiveness to our requests and its readiness to cooperate with our investigation. We're disappointed that the Department has not responded in a timely fashion and indeed has not provided any materials."

That bipartisan volley caught the Justice Department's attention, but Weld continued to drag his heels. Weld called two meetings which bogged down over peripheral issues, according to Weld's deputy, Richard. "I remember being frustrated because he [Weld] was spending so much time on one [fraud] case," Richard explained in a sworn deposition.

Though still not forthcoming with the Senate, Weld was getting nervous, the records reveal. On Oct. 16, 1986, he sent a memo to another assistant, Victoria Toensing, ordering her to "get me a copy of Sen. Kerry's stmt re DOJ not investigating Nicaragua." By Nov. 6, another memo indicated that Weld had opened a special "Nicaragua" file. He wrote in still another memo that "Nicaragua is front burner."

By Nov. 11, Weld was lamenting in writing to his staff that "delay looks awful." He wanted to know where court records from a major San Francisco contra-cocaine criminal case were. That was the so-called Frogman case which had caught Norwin Meneses, a Nicaraguan contra fund raiser, smuggling cocaine by sea into the Bay Area. The federal prosecutor had returned $36,020 seized in that case when one of the defendants submitted letters from contra leaders who insisted that the money was really their property.

Though the Frogman case records were among the files sought by Congress, a former Kerry investigator told The Consortium that Weld's office never delivered those records to the Senate.

Just Saying No

According to other internal Justice Department documents, Weld continued to just say no when it came to Senate requests for advancing the contra-cocaine inquiries. Later in November 1986, Weld personally edited a letter to Kerry denying federal protection to Wanda Palacio, the woman who claimed to have witnessed Medellin cartel cocaine shipments connected to the CIA and the contras. "The Department ... does not provide protection for an informant," the letter read. "It protects a person providing information who agrees to become a witness." But by rejecting Palacio as not credible, Weld had blocked her attempts to become a federal witness.

Into 1987, Weld and his criminal division continued the pattern of failing to follow leads from other potentially valuable CIA-cocaine witnesses, such as George Morales who alleged before the U.S. Senate that the Colombian cartel had given a ton of cocaine which the contras smuggled into the United States through Costa Rica.

But a blind eye toward contra cocaine allegations was apparently common inside the Reagan administration. In May 1987, the U.S. attorney for northern Indiana notified the Justice Department that an FBI agent in Illinois had decided that one convict "was not used in a drug prosecution in Springfield, Ill., because he allegedly told the agents that he had offloaded arms in Nicaragua." The teletype, found among Weld's records on file at the National Archives, did not explain why the Nicaraguan connection would exclude use of the witness in a drug case.

Meanwhile, in 1987 and again in 1988, the CIA insisted that it had conducted investigations into the allegations of contra drug smuggling and had found no evidence implicating the contras or the spy agency. Even today, those CIA reports are being cited by mainstream newspapers as they seek to refute new allegations by The San Jose Mercury News that contra cocaine trafficking fueled the crack epidemic that swept American cities in the 1980s.

But at the Oct. 24, 1996, hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA inspector general Frederick Hitz conceded that the first CIA probe had lasted only 12 days. The second probe took only three days before concluding that "all allegations implying that the CIA condoned, abetted or participated in narcotics trafficking are absolutely false," he said.

Hitz also acknowledged that in the past two months he has been unable to collect the large volume of relevant documents that would allow him even to begin a credible investigation. Hitz's admission directly undercut the reliability of the previous CIA probes, which the mainstream media had relied on heavily to attack the Mercury News story.

Friends in High Places

Weld's friendships with key Washington journalists also helped him fend off contra-cocaine damage to his reputation in the late 1980s. Not only was Weld pals with prominent Boston Globe writers, he had a close personal relationship with Newsweek bureau chief Evan Thomas and other influential members of the press corps from the Harvard alumni set. That story of a pro-Weld press remains pretty much the same today. The Globe hits Kerry for alleged decade-old ethical lapses after his marriage break-up, while Weld escapes any serious scrutiny over whether he shirked his public duty to enforce criminal drug smuggling laws for political reasons.

Weld also has been one of the chief beneficiaries from the big-media attacks on the Mercury News contra-crack series. Over the past two weeks, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times joined The Washington Post in bashing that series, while continuing to accept the CIA's word about little or no contra drug trafficking. The new attacks, however, contained many of the same biases and factual shortcomings as did the Post articles. [See The Consortium, Oct. 28 for more details.]

Still, the public confusion over the validity of the contra-cocaine charges has limited the damage to Weld's strong Senate campaign. The result on Nov. 5, therefore, could be the removal of Kerry, the chief contra-drug investigator, and his replacement with the Reagan official who kept the stonewall in place.

Comments, Questions or Responses, Please E-Mail

[Kerry beat Weld in the election Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1996 - ed.]

Scottish Police Seek Wealth In Drugs

The mystery wealth sought by drugs police
Daily Mail, Oct. 28, 1996
By Robert Fairburn

Scotland's top police officers heard a call yesterday for drug barons to be forced to reveal the source of their fortunes.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Doyle said, what he called a new 'Unexplained Wealth Act' should be introduced because of the financial power commanded by underworld figures.

He said some dealers were so rich they now even owned islands in the Caribbean.

As head of the Merseyside Drugs Squad he also warned that criminals had become more violent in the major cities.

Mr Doyle said that the dangers for drug squad officers had changed alarmingly in the past decade, adding: 'We cover ourselves up using body armour. If that is what it is like now, what will it be like in ten years - Robocop? We might not be a million miles away from that.'

Addressing the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland's annual drugs conference at Dunblane Hydro, Mr Doyle agreed with another speaker that, because the drug problem was spiralling out of control, the Government would eventually be resigned to legalising cannabis in order to concentrate on fighting hard drug dealers instead.

But Mr Doyle said urgent action was required to curb their wealth and to stop drug dealers cashing in on other people's misery.

He pointed out that the money being made in Liverpool by the drug barons, many of them acting as wholesalers supplying smaller Scottish dealers, was phenomenal.

Mr Doyle added: 'We seize bin bags full of cash. The villains are too frightened to put it in the bank so they keep it in cash and invest it in real estate and gold.'



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