Portland NORML News - Saturday, November 1, 1997

Hemp Videos In Real-Time On Internet Now (Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative
Campaign Upgrades Web Site)

Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 05:54:07 -0800 (PST)
X-Sender: treefreeeco@pop.igc.org
To: "Restore Hemp!" (octa99@crrh.org)
From: "D. Paul Stanford" (treefreeeco@igc.apc.org)
Subject: free Hemp Video's in real-time on Internet now

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp now offers streaming
video in real time on our free web site. Now tune in for CNN's special on
Hemp BC in Vancouver, Canada, and other video clips at

We have our unix workstation running a T3 connection with our affiliated
student group, Student Hemp Advocacy Group. Our video streaming software
will support up to 25 downloads at once. Our video server is located at

We are bringing a great variety of streaming videos about cannabis to the
internet. Tune in to get Web TV Hemp News.


(Paul Stanford)

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH)
P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Phone:(503) 235-4606
Fax:(503) 235-0120
Web: http://www.crrh.org/

Medicinal Use Of Marijuana (Two Addiction Specialists In November Issue
Of 'American Journal Of Nursing' Acknowledge Research
Showing Cannabis Effective, Advise Nurses How To Deal
With Medical-Marijuana Patients)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 21:04:46 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Medicinal Use of Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen" 
Source: American Journal of Nursing. Volume 97, Number 11 ISSN: 0002-936X
Contact: ajn.editorial@ajn.org
Pubdate: November 1997
Website: http://www.ajn.org/

Note: Mary Gorman is a certified addiction and psychiatric nurse specialist
at the Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA. Mary Lynn Mathre is an addictions
consultant at the University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA.

Departments -SUBSTANCE ABUSE - Coordinated by Mary Gorman, MS, CS, CARN


[Q] Our medical unit treats a number of patients with cancer and AIDS who
use marijuana at home to relieve symptoms. They often want to continue the
practice while hospitalized. I don't want to contribute to their
discomfort by stopping them, but since marijuana is illegal I'm not sure
what to do. I also wonder, how can I tell the difference between someone
who uses marijuana as a medicine and someone who uses it to get high?

[A] You're in a difficult position. Marijuana is illegal, and laws against
its use or possession are harsh. Users risk arrest, fines or even jail
time, forfeiture of property and loss of custody of children, not to
mention stress and legal costs. Nurses who help patients acquire or use
marijuana risk loss of license and job as well as criminal penalties.
Hospitals that allow the use of an illegal substance on their premises can
also face legal consequences.

You might respond to patients who wish to use marijuana in the hospital,
"I'm sorry. I can't help you obtain marijuana, and hospital policy does
not allow you to use it here. I believe you when you tell me marijuana is
helpful to you. I will do everything I can to communicate your needs to
your medical team. Additionally, you can discuss with the team a trial use
of dronabinol (Marinol), a synthetic version of
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of
marijuana. The drug has been approved by the FDA for relieving
chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients who don't
respond to conventional antiemetics and for stimulating appetite in
patients with AIDS. If the trial succeeds, the social worker can explore
the manufacturer's assistance program for the patient before he is
discharged, should his insurance not cover the drug.

Use of the cannabis plant (marijuana) for symptom control has gained
increasing attention among both clinicians and the public. As nurses, we
realize that sometimes we use medicines that can be quite toxic -
chemotherapeutic agents, for example. Cannabis, by contrast, has a wide
margin of safety, and throughout its 5,000 years of use a lethal overdose
has never been documented.

In the late 1970s and mid-1980s six states conducted research on
marijuana's effectiveness for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and
all concluded that marijuana is an effective antiemetic. Cancer patients
using marijuana report immediate relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea
and vomiting. AIDS patients with wasting syndrome demonstrate increased
appetite. Both groups of patients have indicated a greater ability to cope
emotionally with disabling or life-threatening illness. While dronabinol
represents a legal alternative to marijuana and one paid for by insurers),
patients don't experience the same degree of relief from the pharmaceutical
product. The cannabis plant contains numerous chemicals called cannabinoids
and it's believed that it's the combination of these - or specific
cannabinoids such as cannabidiol - that has therapeutic value, not the
psychoactive cannabinoid, THC.

You can support your patient who confides in you about his use of marijuana
by giving him clear and accurate information, thus minimizing potential
physical risks associated with the use of the drug. For example,
contamination by mold -- especially Aspergillus -- can cause fatal lung
infections in the immunocompromised patient. You can advise the patient,
"You need to be careful about possible contamination. Baking marijuana at
300=BC for about 15 minutes may slightly decrease the potency but will
destroy any mold, which could otherwise cause a serious infection,
especially with your compromised immune status." You'll also want to reduce
any potential risks from smoking. You can discuss alternatives, such as
steeping tea with the marijuana or baking it in brownies. However, the
oral route may not be an option for patients who have severe nausea or who
are vomiting. Inhaling marijuana is efficient and allows for titration to
the dose they need for comfort. (This has been cited as an advantage of
marijuana over dronabinol.) Refer patients to related research (see
Selected References) for additional information.

Some patients may be using marijuana to get "high" rather than for symptom
control. The best way to know if a patient is using a drug for therapeutic
reasons is to ask. "Tell me about your use of marijuana. When and how is
it most helpful? How do its psychoactive properties affect you? Are you
ever uncomfortable using it?"

In addictions nursing the definition of addiction includes three
components: a compulsion to use; loss of control of use; and continued use
despite negative consequences. A thorough assessment of your patient's use
of marijuana will reveal whether these conditions exist.

In recent years, several state nurses associations and other professional
societies have issued resolutions or position papers in support of access
to marijuana for medical purposes. -- Mary Lynn Mathre, RN


* Mathre, M. L., ed. Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical,
and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana.
Jefferson, NC, McFarland, 1997.

* Randall, R. C., ed. Marijuana, Medicine and the Law. Washington, DC,
Galen Press, 1988-1989, vols. I-II.

Study On Injuries Caused By Alcohol Versus Other Drugs (New Study
Sponsored By US National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism - NIAAA -
And Reported In 'Accident Analysis And Prevention' Found Only Alcohol
Associated With Greater Risk)

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 15:38:09 -0400 (AST)
From: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Study on injuries alcohol vs other drugs

I haven't seen this one before, and thought it might come in useful if
we need to respond to an argument about "what if they get all stoned and
drive" (whaaat abouuut the chilldddrrren, wahhh!?)


From Accident Analysis and Prevention, Volume 29, Number 6, November 1997.
Pergamon Press

Researchers studied blood samples from 894 patients admitted to two
emergency rooms with injuries from automobile crashes. The presence of
alcohol in blood was associated with more severe injury than in the case of
patients who were alcohol and drug free. Patients who had other drugs in
their blood (including marijuana AND opiates and cocaine) without alcohol
showed injuries no worse on average than patients who had no alcohol and no

..."When other relevant variables were considered, these (everything besides
alcohol) drugs were not associated with more severe crashes or greater

The title of the article is Crash Characteristics and Injuries of Victims
Impaired by Alcohol vs. Illicit Drugs. The study was sponsored by the
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The main author is Pat
Waller of UMTRI, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

New Book On Hemp (Look For 'Hemp Horizons - Past Present And Future
Of Industrial Hemp')

Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 08:44:54 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Peter Webster 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: New Book on Hemp

Drawing your attention to a book due out this month,
HEMP HORIZONS: Past, Present, and Future of Industrial Hemp
by John Roulac. Chelsea Green, ISBN 0 930031 93 8

Ignorance, Hypocrisy Are The Enemies In Drug War (Five Letters To Editor
Of 'Houston Chronicle')

Subj: US TX: PUB FIVE LTE: Ignorance, hypocrisy are the enemies in drug war
From: Richard Lake 
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 19:40:10 -0500
Newshawk: Richard Lake 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Saturday, 1 November 1997
Section: Viewpoints - the letters were in a boxed section titled as below.

Editor's note: The first two authors are active in the Drug Policy Forum of
Texas which has a website at http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/


In response to the Oct. 24 article "AMA calls for cease-fire in drug war,"
doctors are not the enemy in the war on drugs -- ignorance and hypocrisy
are. Fortunately, organizations and individual scientists, physicians and
community leaders are calling for open discussion of drug policies in
practical terms.

A former American Medical Association president, Dr. Lonnie Bristow,
stated: "The current criminal-justice-driven approach is not reducing, let
alone controlling, drug abuse in America." Bristow is a member of Physician
Leadership on National Drug Policy. Similar organizations are forming in
professional circles in Texas.

The Drug Policy Forum of Texas is one such organization that provides a
forum where alternatives to the war on drugs can be discussed by
academicians, policy analysts, public office holders and other interested
citizens. Treating Washington's $40 billion a year addiction to the drug
war with alternative policies offers a promising prognosis.

John Wilson, Waco


What a breath of fresh air was Jim Barlow's column calling for
decriminalization of drugs ("U.S. drug policy creates criminals," Business,
Oct. 26). I presume his use of "decriminalization" rather than
"legalization" was a reflection of the strict control that can be exerted
under "decriminalization."

That we have chosen a system that makes drugs easily available to the very
children we want most to protect is madness. For 20 years the experts have
told us that children have easier access to illegal drugs than to alcohol;
this would be dramatically reversed if drugs were only available through a
strict, prescription-like system.

Doctors would not be recruiting children to help them deliver the
prescriptions. Children would not have to grow up in a drug-lord-created
climate of crime, violence and corruption.

But the people are going to have to organize. Many bureaucrats, politicians
and special interests will fight desperately to protect the power and
profits they reap from prohibition.

Jerry Epstein, vice president, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Houston


Having lived through Prohibition, it is clear to me that the current "drug
prohibition" has even more seriously disgraceful consequences. Everybody's
against drug addiction and dissipation, but so what? Many are also using
drugs of one kind or another.

Why do we single out those drugs that came from Third World countries?
Booze came from "developed" countries. Prohibition was beneficial to the
U.S. politicians, racketeers, etc. Drugs are similarly profitable and
beneficial to politicians and racketeers.

But now we're causing a disaster in developing nations by blaming and
severely punishing them for our own stupidity and incompetence. Drugs are
becoming more readily available and openly used than ever.

Booze and cigarettes are produced and distributed under controlled,
sanitary conditions by highly respected, tax-paying industries. Drugs are
of variable quality and are a public expense for prisons rather than a
source of revenue.

Why do we try to kid ourselves? The politicians aren't about to cut off
their gravy train (as did repeal of Prohibition) as long as the
sanctimonious public permits it. Why not try a little reason?

Richard S. Schmidt, Houston


We wholeheartedly agree with Denny W. Dial (Viewpoints, Oct. 27). As long
as the demand for drugs is here, someone will fill that demand. This is a
simple and basic concept of economics. For example, when the demand for
hula hoops died, so did the supply of hula hoops.

Fred and Cathey Olenick, Richmond


Jim Barlow's Oct. 26 column tried to make an economic case for legalizing
drugs by making the point that drug profits are high and interdiction
efforts are not working, since supplies remain high enough to keep prices
relatively low. Drug prices have dropped despite efforts to stop the trade.

Decriminalization, according to Barlow, would have the effect of increasing
the number of addicts while profits in the drug business would plunge.

I agree with Barlow that removing the intimidation and stigma of criminal
penalties on addicts would surely increase their number. But by what weird
stretch of logic Barlow can conclude that profits would plunge is beyond me.

Legalization would eliminate the need for dealers to pay bribes and take
other expensive measures to smuggle their product, thus reducing their cost
of doing business dramatically. Legalization would increase demand and
reduce the cost of doing business -- a classic formula for booming profits.

There could be economic reasons for legalizing drugs, but Barlow fails to
make them. His arguments fail logically, economically and -- most important
- -- they fail morally.

Gary Gentry, Houston

Second Chance For Prisoner-Mothers ('San Jose Mercury News'
Looks At A Little-Known California Prison Program That Gives 100 Moms
A Chance To Stay With Their Young Children - Drug War Has Quadrupled Number
Of Women Behind Bars Since 1984 - 80 Percent Have Children)

Subj: US CA: Second chance for prisoner-mothers
From: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 21:00:05 -0500
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: November 1, 1997
Page: 1

Program enables chosen few to live in housing with their children
Second chance for prisoner-mothers

By Melinda Sacks
Mercury News Staff Writer

MICHELLE Williams is like many young mothers. She dotes on her 2
1/2-year-old daughter, John-nisha, reading her books like ``I'll Always
Love You.'' She splashes in the bath with her, and sings bed-time-favorite
Barney's theme song: ``I love you. You love me. We're a happy family.''

But the similarities to normal family life end there.

At 25, Williams has spent much of her life behind bars. Before she turned
14, she had owned a gun, been busted for selling drugs, and involved in
more violent street crime than she cares to recall.

Today, she is a habitual felon doing time and a mother who gave birth in
jail and now raises her daughter while incarcerated. Pat-down searches,
random urine tests and 24-hour surveillance are a part of her everyday life.

``When John-nisha sits with me and tells me, `Mommy, I love you,' said
Williams, ``all I can think of is, `You wouldn't have loved me if you'd
known me then.' ''

Even though ``then'' wasn't all that long ago, Michelle Williams' life has
changed dramatically.

At the center of that change is a little-known state program that gives 100
jailed moms a chance to stay with their young children. Instead of being
locked up in state prison at Chowchilla, Williams serves her sentence along
with seven other women in one of three restored Victorian homes in a
Salinas neighborhood. Inside the homes, the women attend parenting classes,
receive treatment for substance abuse, and spend time in a highly
structured residential setting.

If the idea seems anachronistic by today's tougher sentencing standards,
it's probably because the program was conceived nearly 20 years ago as a
way of handling increasing numbers of mothers in prison. The first
prison-mom centers, however, didn't open until 1988; the Salinas houses
followed in 1991.

Spread among seven locations around the state, the homes have allowed
several hundred women to be with their children since the program began.
Those hundreds, however, are just a fraction of the 11,000-plus female
inmates held in California prisons. Eighty percent of those women have
children, officials say. And the number of imprisoned moms continues to grow.

``The increase of women in prison is really quite dramatic,'' said Michael
Rustigan, professor of criminology at San Francisco State University.
``Since 1984, it has quadrupled.''

Drug cases led to rise

The numbers are a result of far more stringent sentencing laws and tougher
punishment for drug convictions, said Rustigan. He added that the majority
of imprisoned mothers are single.

``On the one hand, you can say let's be humanitarian and unite children
with their parents,'' said Rustigan, who strongly favors keeping women
prisoners and their children together. ``But the practical argument for
these programs is just as strong -- without them, the children are going to
become damaged goods.''

The state Department of Corrections recognizes this and has tried to find
additional locations to set up more mother-infant programs, said
corrections spokeswoman Christine May.

``The department believes these kinds of programs are very important,'' May
said. ``They allow young children to be with their mothers and bond at the
same time the women are in programs teaching about substance abuse
prevention, parenting and job skills.''

In California alone, it is estimated that 200,000 children are growing up
while one of their parents is in prison. Nationwide, the figure is 1.5
million. Illinois and California are the only states that have established
prison-mom programs as a part of their corrections system, officials said.

``Having your mom in prison is like having a parent die,'' said Jennifer
Tait, director of San Jose Friends Outside, a non-profit group that helps
families with a family member in prison. ``Children growing up in families
with parents incarcerated are five to six times more likely to be
incarcerated themselves.''

To apply for one of the 100 beds in California's mother-infant program,
women must have a child under 3 and be serving less than three years for
non-violent crimes. They must agree to the parameters of the daily routine.
If they stray, they are returned to prison, where they are separated from
their child.

Those who are accepted to the program share a double room with another
mother and both women's children. Mom goes to therapy, treatment for trauma
recovery (a majority of female inmates are victims of physical abuse), and
classes for addiction, parenting, stress management, and financial
management. There also are classes to finish high school or get a community
college degree. The children are cared for by staff and volunteers.

The program's goal, said the Salinas program director, Ann Harrison, is to
truly rehabilitate, not simply punish. Planning for life after release is
crucial, she added. When the women leave, they will be clean and sober,
they will know how to be good mothers, and, she believes, they will have a

``Most of the people who go to prison are going to come back into the
community they were arrested in,'' Harrison said. ``If they sit in prison
with no access to treatment or education, with close to animal conditions,
how are they going to behave when they get out?''

It is too soon to show success figures because the full program, including
the key element of treatment for substance abuse, is only four years old.
But Williams and her housemates say they will change the public's
perception about what they can accomplish.

``It used to be when I'd mess up and people would say, `This too shall
pass,' I'd look at them like, `What are you, in the Charles Manson school
of reality?' But now I've changed,'' she said. ``I believe God didn't
change my life this much to drop me off somewhere. I think this is it for
me. I believe it.''

Harrison is banking on those words. As executive director of Friends
Outside in Monterey County, she is confidante, house mother and eternal

Harrison and her staff work under contract with the California Department
of Corrections, operating the center from the three restored Victorians in
a neighborhood of apartments and low-income housing. The program costs the
state about $25,000 per woman each year, about the same as a prison stay.

Some would consider the lavender and pale-gray homes to be the nicest on
the block. There are no bars on the windows, and from the outside no one
would know prisoners live there.

But in the foyer just inside the front door is the check-in desk, where a
guard uses a video camera to observe residents in this and the other
houses. Every minute of every day, the women's whereabouts are tracked. A
wall chart tells what time medications are available. If anyone goes out,
they must get permission first.

For those who have obeyed the house rules for 90 days, a bit of freedom is
the reward. Day passes allow certain, pre-planned outings. Upon return, a
desk check involves showing receipts and purchases. In the four years the
Salinas center has been operating, two women have walked away.

While the moms do their work, the children go to on-site day care and play
with volunteer grandmas -- older women who live in the community. When the
children reach 4, they go off to nursery school at the local Head Start

In spite of a strict regimen of classes and therapy, there is little
resemblance to life in jail, said Williams.

While she was in prison at Chowchilla, she said, the day's activities were
``wheeling, dealing, robbing, stealing.'' In fact, she said, it wasn't too
different from living on the street, where gangs ruled and drug use was

In and out of jail for selling drugs, getting into fights, robbery and
burglary, Williams followed in the footsteps of her parents, who both
served prison sentences while she was growing up, she said. Today, four of
Williams' nine siblings are in jail, she said.

``I am determined to break the cycle,'' Williams said. ``Maybe if I am not
away from my daughter, she won't have to act out and go to therapy and be
in gangs because her mother deserted her. It's not that I'm against
discipline, but when I was a kid, everyone told me to shush and I got
whipped for everything, whether it was bad or just not perfect. Pretty soon
I just thought I was bad, bad, bad. I want my kids to be doctors or lawyers
or whatever they want. But most of all, I want to be a positive role model
like I never had.''

For all the turmoil of Michelle Williams' life, she is far from unique.
Women in jail, mothers in jail -- and now babies being raised by women in
jail -- are no longer considered rarities. Women have shown they can be
just as violent, and just as incorrigible, as men.

Tawanna Ward, whose fourth child was born in mid-October is living proof of
how it happens.

After her alcoholic mother died young, Ward, 22, was raised for a while by
her father, who she said was in and out of prison. She also spent years of
her life in foster homes, never really feeling like she belonged. Her
grandmother tried to keep her, she said, ``but I started going really fast
on her and she couldn't handle me.''

Ward was 12 when she was caught for petty theft.

``At 13, I started smoking cigarettes and drinking,'' she said. ``I dyed my
hair honey-blond, I started having experiences with older men. I'd tell
them I was 17. I got pregnant with twins when I was 14.''

An arrest at 18 for selling crack cocaine to an undercover agent landed
Ward in prison.

The twins, now 8, live with their father and his wife. They are used to
``seeing their mother behind glass,'' said Ward, who grew up in San Jose.
Last time they visited, she was still in jail.

``I've tried to explain to them that I'm not a bad person, I just did some
bad things,'' Ward said. ``One of them asked me why I was wearing an orange
jumpsuit. I told her I had to wear it in jail. She said, `Mommy, if you
took off that suit could you come home?' ''

`Home' is better today

At least ``home'' today is better than the cell Ward left just three weeks
ago in prison.

The biggest difference between prison and Salinas, said Ward, is the
feeling of family. Mother and baby have a built-in support system of other
mothers. ``Just being around other kids, being able to sometimes walk down
the street, or cook a meal (in the group kitchen they all share) is so much
better,'' she said. ``I go to the store with an escort, but it's better
than going to the canteen.''

As her baby grows, Ward will finish school: ``This time I have plans,'' she
said. ``I'm into service for other people, nursing, whatever I can do. I'd
like to help other people.''

Magistrate Calls Prison To Task Over Searches ('Associated Press' Says
US Federal Magistrate Rules Utah Department Of Corrections Illegally
Cavity-Searched Visiting Pregnant Woman And 2-Year-Old Son)

From: "W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
To: "Talk Group" (HEMP-TALK@hemp.net)
Subject: ART: Magistrate upset by drug searches
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 22:21:59 -0800

Magistrate calls prison to task over searches
Associated Press, 11/01/97 19:02

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah's Department of Corrections acted illegally
when it subjected a pregnant woman and her young son to body cavity
searches for drugs, a federal magistrate has ruled.

US Magistrate Ronald N. Boyce's ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the
American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Stana Lyn Laughter and her
2-year-old son, Tyler Ralstin.

No drugs were found in the searches, conducted on Oct. 9, 1993, when they
tried to visit Mrs. Laughter's imprisoned husband at the Central Utah
Correctional Facility at Gunnison.

Mrs. Laughter, then six months pregnant, and the boy were subjected to a
series of intimate searches.

``It was awful for our client and our client's child,'' ACLU attorney John
Pace said Friday. ``It was made doubly awful by our client having to watch
that done to her son.

Pace said the next issue is damages. ``Whether that would be settled by
negotiation or a trial focusing on that specific issue remains to be
determined,'' he said.

Elizabeth King, an assistant Utah attorney general assigned to the case,
did not return a call seeking comment. Corrections spokesman Jack Ford
said he was unaware of the decision and could not comment.

Two prison employees obtained a warrant for the searches from a local
judge, alleging in an affidavit that the object was to discover ``LSD and
marijuana and-or other controlled substances.''

Hemp - Historic Fiber Remains Controversial ('Textile World' Account
Of Industrial Hemp's Ancient History And Contemporary Status
Notes Imports Of Hemp Fiber Into US Increased 415.8 Percent
From 1995 to 1996)

talk@hemp.net using -f
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 18:11:08 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: some articles on hemp fiber for us
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Full content for this article includes photograph and illustration.

Source: Textile World, Nov 1997 v147 n11 p42(5).

Title: Hemp: historic fiber remains controversial.(includes related
Author: Elaine Gross

Full Text COPYRIGHT 1997 Intertec Publishing Corporation, a PRIMEDIA Company.
All rights reserved.

Use of hemp in yarns and fabrics grows as debate ensues over legalizing U.S.
cultivation of the versatile plant

Hemp is a great deal more than just an alternative textile fiber. It is one of
the few plants whose byproducts can either be eaten, sat on, written on, worn,
slathered on your body, painted on a wall or squirted into a machine. It is
also the subject of a worldwide controversy that involves such disparate
factions as farmers, government enforcement agencies, environmentalists,
supporters of legalized drugs and manufacturers of textile, food and paper

Historians say that hemp has been used in textiles since the 28th century
B.C., so there is no question about its viability or desirability for that end
use. The controversy, which is particularly acute in the U.S., stems from the
fact that the hemp plant, whose horticultural name is "Cannabis saliva" comes
in several varieties, one of which is the source of marijuana. The dispute is
about whether or not the fiber plant, which is different from the smoking
plant, should be, or can successfully be, grown at the same time that the
hallucinogenic plant is legally banned.

This heated embroilment has not prevented hemp yarns and textiles from gaining
a relatively small but growing place in the U.S. apparel and home textiles
market. During the past year and a half or so, the industry and consumers have
become increasingly aware of hemp thanks to the efforts of a number of
importers and promoters, most notably Hemp Textiles International (HTI), an
ecologically conscious manufacturer and importer of Cantiva hemp fiber, based
in Bellingham, Wash.

Although not yet a serious rival to any other natural fiber, Dept. of Commerce
import statistics confirm a recent surge of interest. From 1995 to 1996,
imports of hemp fiber (tow and waste) into the U.S. increased 415.8% by
quantity, imports of yarns increased 57.7% and woven fabric imports increased
31%. In quantity, 52,870 kilos of hemp fiber were imported in 1996, as were
5,871 kilos of hemp yarn and 132,230 kilos of woven hemp fabric.

China was the chief supplier of fiber with the Philippines in second place and
showing the largest import growth, going from 16 kilos in 1995 to almost
18,000 kilos in 1997. Turkey was the chief supplier of hemp yarns, followed by
Rumania. For woven hemp fabrics, China provided the greatest quantity,
followed by El Salvador, Hungary and Romania. A total of 423,239 sq m of hemp
fabric were imported into the U.S. in 1996, and as of June, 1997, the
year-to-date imports are 225,674 sq m.

In recent years there has been a general increase in the imports of
alternative best fibers, which includes jute, raffia and other vegetable
fibers, says Maria Corey, an economist with the Dept. of Commerce. By
comparison with flax imports, hemp is not so very far behind and is increasing
in areas where flax is declining. In 1996, 81,182 kilos of flax fiber (tow and
waste) were imported into the U.S., an increase of 22.8% from 1995. During
that same period, 724 kilos of flax yarns were imported, a decrease of 39.1%,
as were 6,465 kilos of woven flax fabrics, also showing a decrease of 2.3%.

"During the last year, hemp sales have grown steadily," reports David Gould,
president of HTI. "Business hasn't taken the huge `J' curve that we had been
anticipating, but there will be a critical mass once the right players get

With big names such as Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Adidas
already dabbling in hemp products, the momentum is building. Klein was quoted
in a New York Times article saying, "I believe that hemp is going to be the
fiber of choice in both the home furnishings and fashion industries." In that
same article, Ralph Lauren confessed to being a long-term hemp user, saying
that he had quietly included hemp fabrics in his collections since fall 1984.

Adidas sells more than 150,000 pairs per season of its Gazelle Natural field
shoe, made in Taiwan with Chinese hemp upper and bottoms made from trims
recycled from other shoes. Spring 1998 will be the fourth season for the hemp
footwear, which retails for $55. It was developed as a result of consumer
requests for natural and recycled materials.

At the same time that fashion designers are jumping on to the ecological
trend, farmers are looking for alternative crops to replace tobacco and other
waning products, and environmentalists are supporting hemp's eco-friendly
characteristics. As a result, there is a small but spirited and very verbal
group of hemp enthusiasts whose passion for the fiber is becoming infectious.
So much so that the ground swell of interest begun at the grass roots is
rising to environmentally concerned business. The network of "hempsters," as
they call themselves, includes several national and international industry
associations, importers and distributors, industry consultants, publishers and
retailers. A number of interest groups have been introducing bills into state
legislatures with the intention of legalizing hemp growing in this country.

Currently, it is legal to import hemp fibers and processed seeds into the
U.S., but it is illegal to grow the plant here. The U.S. is reportedly the
only member of the G7 alliance and the only industrialized nation that does
not permit the cultivation of hemp. Canada's first commercial crop in 70 years
will be ready for harvest in 1998, following recently passed legislation
legalizing its growth.

In the U.S., the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency does not distinguish between
the subspecies of Cannabis plants. The subspecies used for making fiber,
colloquially known as "industrial hemp," reportedly contains too little of the
hallucinogenic substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), between 0.1 and 0.4%, to
have an effect when smoked and, according to a number of sources, would make
one quite ill. The marijuana plant contains as much as 20% of THC.

Contradicting the DEA's belief that the two plants are indistinguishable,
Steven DeAngelo, CEO of Ecolution, a manufacturer of hemp apparel, says that
"the growing method is different. In the field, the recreational plants are
spaced wide apart, while the hemp plants are close together. The hemp stalks
shoot straight up and there is no room for foliage to grow, which is the part
you smoke."

Hemp is often referred to as an "ecological cousin" to linen (flax), since
both are best fibers and have similar, but not precisely the same, appearance,
growth and processing requirements. Under the microscope and in finished
textile products, they may look very much alike. In reality, the fineness and
quality of the two fibers overlap depending upon growing conditions, seed
variety and how the crop is handled after harvesting. Though the two fibers
have more in common than not, there is no consensus as to how closely their
market potential may be allied.

"In the past, some flax marketers and producers were feeling threatened by
hemp, but this has faded," says Gould. "HTI can foresee close alliances
between Cantiva (HTI's name for hemp) and flax producers and users. From our
end, there is a natural instinct to learn from the successes of the flax
industry. They are very synergistic in a marriage in a yarn or fabric. We
expect to be closely linked as we go forward."

"Over the centuries, not just since the contemporary ban on growing it, hemp
was never developed to make fine sheeting, like linen was," points out Pauline
Delli Carpini, Director of Operations for North America for the European-based
Confederation Europeenne du Lin et du Chanvre (hemp). Some years ago, hemp was
dropped from the organization, simply because there was no demand for it, says
Delli Carpini.

"It's a niche market, but niche markets in the U.S. are big," says John
Howell, editor and publisher of Hemp Times, published by The Hemp Company of
America. "Linen in the U.S. has 1% market share. Hemp has the potential to be
at least the equivalent."

Interestingly, most textile and apparel manufacturers currently working with
hemp do not compare it to linen, but to cotton, where the performance,
environmental and price differences are quite dramatic. The pollution of soil
and water by the pesticides used in growing cotton has been a battle ground
for environmentalists. Because hemp is naturally resistant to mold, bacteria
and pests, it is grown without pesticides, herbicides or agricultural
chemicals, except some fertilization, and is receiving the full support of the
green movement.

Another eco-friendly aspect to the fiber is that its dense growth makes it a
prime contributor to weed control and elimination. Hemp is a high-yield crop,
maturing in 120 days average, and producing significantly more fiber than flax
or cotton in equivalent space. Flax grows once every six or seven years on the
same land, while hemp can be grown every two or three years. Also, the entire
plant can be used, from seed to foliage, for use in such diverse products as
building materials, paper and foods.

"Water quality can be significantly improved by planting hemp because it
doesn't use pesticides or herbicides and has no toxic runoff from the fields,"
says Yitzac Goldstein, vice-president of HTI. "Using more sustainable and less
chemically intensive methods will save farmers money."

Simply put, as a cellulose rich plant, it is considered a core crop in the
model for sustainable agriculture.

The "cottonizing of hemp" is what Eric Steenstra of Ecolution, calls the
current interest for the fiber. "Hemp will be better and stronger. when it
isn't cottonized. But all the equipment out there is for cotton. To make sense
and be usable for the mainstream industry, it will have to be workable on
equipment made for cotton."

Steenstra had a hemp twill fabric tested for tensile and tear strength at
Greenwood Mills, and compared the results with Greenwood's 12-oz cotton denim.
Hemp beat cotton every time. Overall, the 100% hemp fabric had 62% greater
tear strength and 102% greater tensile strength. In tensile strength tests,
the hemp warp endured 266 lb of pressure while the cotton only 204 lb, and the
hemp filling endured 178 lb of pressure while the cotton fill only 100. In the
test for tear strength, the hemp warp tested at 19.9 lb of pressure with the
cotton at 12.7, and the hemp filling tested at 22 lb with the cotton filling
at 7.6.

Patagonia, the California manufacturer of outdoor apparel, also conducted
similar tests, with the results showing that hemp has, eight times the tensile
strength and four times the durability of other natural fibers.

The high cost of the multi-stage processing of hemp, the limited quantities
available, and the fact that there is little processing of the fiber in this
country, is responsible for its high price, about 100% higher than cotton, and
about on par with linen when comparing similar qualities. But Hemp Times'
Howell believes that the "green rate," the premium that people will pay for a
product with an environmental story attached to it, is about 25-30% above
market price. HTI's Cantiva fiber, which is controlled for quality, notably
the absence of wood residue, sells for about $1.67 per pound, baled and ready
for blending with cotton and other fibers. The price for finished fabrics
range from $4 to $12 a meter for 60-in. width, depending upon the quality.

The Hemp Co. of America is a privately funded, venture capital company which
has developed five vehicles for marketing hemp: a bimonthly consumer magazine,
Hemp Times; a stand-alone mail order catalog called, Planet Hemp, that is also
bound inside the magazine; a cyberstore on the web; and a real store, also
called Planet Hemp, located in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.

Many hemp products are offered in natural colors because dyeing becomes an
issue in maintaining its all naturalness. For mass production, there are only
two choices--using natural colors or low impact reactive dyes. Ecolution,
whose main products are hemp jeans and jackets for men and women, has recently
developed yarn-dyed hemp striped and plaid fabrics for shirts using low impact
reactive dyes. It has also recently begun knitting with 100% hemp yarns.

Updating the processing of hemp fiber is the key to its future success, and
because it has not been grown locally for 60 years, there is much catching up
to do.

"In many ways, hemp is like Rip Van Winkle. It has been asleep for 60 years in
terms of technology and processing equipment," explained John Roulac,
president of HEMPTEC, an industry consultant and author of several books about
hemp. "The challenge for hemp right now is, how do we make the fiber work in
the Western economic model where you need high speed production and high

Roulac says that retail sales of hemp product in the U.S. are now in the
$50-million range, up from just a few million in 1993. He projects that annual
sales of hemp products will reach several hundred million dollars in the early
part of the 21st century and could shoot up to $5-10-billion within a decade,
depending upon technology advancements.

Crescent Woolen Mills is optimistic about hemp's future. The company spins
hemp yarns for carpets, sweaters and T-shirts. Kevin Webster, vice president
of marketing, says Crescent mixes black wool with the natural hemp to create
gray and brown shades with a heather effect.

"If hemp can be spun fine enough, it can compete against cotton fairly
successfully," Webster believes. "It could even be a competitor to linen. But
I've heard of people having problems spinning on certain open-end systems."

Yarn Mavens is new to the hemp business and has just started developing
products with Stonecutter Mills. They are currently offering: 50-50 cotton-
hemp blend in coarse counts, from Ne 6 to 14, with either regular or organic
cotton; 50-50 Tencel-hemp blends in the same finer counts containing less

Beyond the problems of technology, hemp has an obvious image problem, not
least of which is its hard-to-break association with the pot-smoking, hippie
culture of the 1970s. These days, every cause must have its celebrity
proponent in order to be heard, and actor Woody Harrelson has volunteered to
play this role for hemp.

A life-long environmental activist, Harrelson has proven to be a very visible
and effective spokesperson. He even went to the extreme of being jailed in
Kentucky, purposely staging a planting of several hemp seeds in support of
farmers lobbying for legalization. In more Hollywood style, Harrelson was seen
at both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards events wearing custom-made
Giorgio Armani hemp tuxedos accessorized with hemp shoes.

Many observers expect hemp growing to be legal in the U.S. within five years,
following pressure from American farmers. Even with only Canada's involvement,
the repercussions for hemp are expected to be significant, with increased
fiber availability leading to lower prices. But manufacturers insist that hemp
should not rest on its ecological laurels alone to become a factor in the
fashion market.


Linen and hemp share many properties, both being best fibers, but there are
some important differences.

Similarities: Both are cellulosic fibers, exhibit high luster, withstand high
temperatures, highly moisture absorbent, easily damaged by strong acids, high
resistance to alkalis, difficult to bleach, highly resistant to moths and
other insects. Both use their seeds for oils, cosmetics and food products.

Differences: Their natural colorations are slightly different, flax described
as yellowish-buff to gray, and hemp as yellowish-gray to dark brown. Flax
fiber grows from 6 to 40 in. with the best averaging 20-in. and not less than
12. Hemp fiber is somewhat longer, growing from 4 to 16 ft in length. Hemp is
even less elastic than linen, but it is up to eight times stronger according
to some tests.

(Information excerpted from: Modern Textiles, 2nd Edition by Dorothy Siegert


Well before cotton was king, dating back to ancient China, hemp and flax were
the primary apparel textile fibers. In 4500 B.C., the Chinese made fish nets
from it. In the 16th century, Marie de Medicis wore luxurious shirts made from
it. Throughout the centuries, hemp's natural resistance to rot and mildew made
it especially suited to nautical end uses, such as ropes and sails.

Hemp growth was encouraged in the early American colonies, and was even grown
on the plantations of such patriotic gentleman farmers as Thomas Jefferson and
George Washington. Colonial taxes were often paid in hemp bales and soldiers
uniforms were made of hemp cloth.

Along with the pioneers, hemp growth moved throughout the U.S., with first
Kentucky, and later, Missouri, becoming the centers for hemp production. Much
of this hemp was used for making bags for cotton baling and ropes. When jute
and iron bands replaced hemp for these end uses, its agriculture greatly

In 1872, when tariffs were lifted on the importation of tropical fibers,
domestic hemp production faltered once again, despite many government programs
to encourage its growth. These programs continued until 1933, by which time
hemp had become a negligible crop compared to cotton.

The beginning of the end of hemp growth in the U.S. was the Marijuana Act of
1937. Its intent was to prohibit the use of marijuana but created so much red
tape that it made the production of industrial hemp virtually impossible.

Japan's invasion of the Philippines during WWII cut off America's supply of
hemp from that country, and partially fostered President Franklin Roosevelt's
"Hemp for Victory" program, which encouraged farmers to resume growing hemp
for military use. The publication of Jack Herer's book, The Emperor Wears No
Clothes, in 1990, a history of hemp, was the pivotal point at which
contemporary hemp re-awareness began.

Canadian Passports Gain Currency In Drug Trade ('Ottawa Citizen' Quotes Police
Saying Twice Now Passports Have Turned Up In Connection With Drug Busts -
'It Means There Is Something There' Deduces RCMP Sergeant Paul Jolicoeur)

Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 08:19:11 -0800
From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Canadian passports gain currency in drug trade
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Saturday 1 November 1997
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
Author: Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen

Canadian passports gain currency in drug trade

Police seize 25 blank passports in Orleans bust

Blank Canadian passports smuggled out of a high-security printing
business in Ottawa are increasingly being used as currency in the
local, national and international drug trade, police say.

Yesterday, the RCMP and Canada Customs said that a recent joint
investigation resulted in a $1-million heroin bust at a Vanier home.

Police searched another home in Orleans in connection with the bust
and seized 25 authentic, blank Canadian passports.

"This is the second time that passports have turned up in connection
with drug busts, " RCMP Sgt. Paul Jolicoeur said yesterday. "It means
there is something there."

A month ago, the Citizen reported that police seized 10 blank
passports during a cocaine bust in which two Ottawa men were charged.

As a result of that bust, the RCMP immigration and passport division
launched an investigation into how the passports were smuggled out of
an unidentified Ottawa-area secure print shop, who did it, and how
they made their way into the local drug trade.

That investigation is continuing, but no arrests have been made.

"We're working to determine where (the passports) are coming from, and
who is doing it," Sgt. Jolicoeur said yesterday.

"The fact that we have more of them (the 25 found in the bust) now may
help us in solving this."

Sgt. Jolicoeur said his investigation involves more than the 35
passports that have already been seized, but he wouldn't say how many
are involved. He wouldn't comment further because the investigation is

The director of security at the Canadian passport office said he knows
how the passports were being smuggled out and who did it.

"We know where the weak spot in the chain was and have taken steps
already to shut off the flow of the passports.  We are confident we
have fixed the problem," Jocelyn Francoeur said.

Mr. Francoeur wouldn't say how many people or how many passports were
involved, but he did say he was confident the individuals responsible
would be charged soon.

"The Canadian secure print industry is one of the best in the world.
But even with high-security checks, some bad apples got through. They
are not there now."

Mr. Francoeur said it is clear the passports seized in the heroin bust
were destined to be shipped overseas.

"The only people interested in having them would be people outside of
Canada. Who knows whose hands they would have ended up in."

Mr. Francoeur declined to comment on speculation that employees of the
print shop were selling the passports to local dealers in return for

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for
passports, declined to comment yesterday and directed questions to the
passport office.

The 317 grams of pure heroin seized in the bust were detected by
Canada Customs agents at the Vancouver airport on Monday. They were
packed into two pots with false bottoms and sent by courrier to 114A
Barrette St. in Vanier.

Customs alerted the RCMP in Ottawa about the shipment. When it arrived
in Vanier on Thursday night, several officers moved in and arrested
Robert Rockley, 27, of Orleans, and Tara Gerhards, 21, of Vanier.

Police had had the pair under surveillance since Monday, and also had
a search warrant for 1660 Barrington St. in Orleans. A search of this
home turned up the passports and a small quantity of marijuana.

It also resulted in the arrests of Mr. Rockley's brother, Michael, 22,
and his mother, Virginia, 54.

Insp. Dale Begbie, head of the RCMP's Ottawa drug unit, said the
heroin was the largest amount they have seized that was destined for
the local market.

"The last couple of larger seizures we've made were destined for other
places like Montreal or the U.S., but this was going to stay here," he

Reform party foreign affairs critic Bob Mills said lack of action on
the part of the ministry is putting the credibility of Canadian
passports in jeopardy.

"The minister (Lloyd Axworthy) has known for a month now about this
and hasn't told us what, if anything, he's doing about it," Mr. Mills

"This is going to cause serious problems for Canadians travelling
overseas and that is unacceptable."

The bust in Ottawa is the most recent in a string of events battering
the reputation of Canadian passports, which were once highly respected
in the international community.

Last month, Israeli Mossad agents were caught carrying Canadian
passports after a failed attempt to poison Khaled Meshal, a senior
member of Hamas, in Amman, Jordan.

This prompted Mr. Axworthy to recall Canada's ambassador to Israel. It
is still unclear how the Mossad got hold of the passports. Mr.
Axworthy said they were forged.

Mr. Rockley and Ms. Gerhards were charged with possession of heroin
for the purpose of trafficking, importation of heroin, conspiracy to
import heroin, and possession of property obtained by crime.

They appeared in court yesterday. Mr. Rockley was held in custody, and
Ms. Gerhards was released with bail conditions.

Michael Rockley and Virginia Rockley were charged with possession of
marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property
obtained by crime. They too appeared in court yesterday and were
released on bail.

All will appear in court again next week.

Lawmakers Must Decide Rights Of Unborn, Top Court Says ('Ottawa Citizen'
Says Canadian Supremes Overturn Decision Ordering Glue-Sniffing Mom
Into Treatment)

Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 08:17:24 -0800
From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Lawmakers must decide rights of unborn, top court says
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
Pubdate: Saturday 1 November 1997
Author: Stephen Bindman and Jim Bronskill, The Ottawa Citizen

Lawmakers must decide rights of unborn, top court says
Judges overturn ruling ordering glue-sniffer into treatment program

It's now up to politicians, not judges, to decide if unborn children
should be protected from their abusive mothers.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday that courts do not have
the power to force a pregnant woman to undergo treatment to prevent
harm to her fetus.

Only lawmakers can make a change of such "major impact and
consequence" to existing legal principles about the status of the
unborn, the top court said in a 7-2 ruling.

The Supreme Court overturned a Winnipeg judge's controversial ruling
last year that ordered into a treatment program a 22-year-old pregnant
woman who was addicted to sniffing glue.

At the time of the unprecedented order, the woman, who was five months
pregnant, already had three children -- two of whom suffered brain
damage traced to her sniffing of glue, paint thinner and nail polish

Since she became the focus of a national debate on fetal rights, the
woman, who can't be named, has kicked her drug habit and gave birth in
December to an apparently healthy boy, William.

She is now expecting a fifth child in January and is to be married
today to William's father.

"I'm happy that it's over, I just want to be out of the public," the
soft-spoken woman said from her lawyer's office.

"The mothers that are pregnant out there that are addicted, they
should think of giving their babies a chance to live like their
mothers gave them a chance to live."

Yesterday's ruling broke no new ground on the emotional issue of fetal
rights, strongly reaffirming earlier Supreme Court judgments that a
fetus does not acquire legal rights until it is born alive and viable.

Madame Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for the majority, said the
case was not a "story of heroes and villains."

"It is the more prosaic but all too common story of people struggling
to do their best in the face of inadequate facilities and the ravages
of addiction."

Judge McLachlin said courts cannot remedy "every evil" in society --
some remain for legislatures to correct.

Rewriting the law to allow pregnant women to be detained against their
will and forced to undergo treatment, she said, would force judges to
confront "a web of thorny moral and social issues," which are better
dealt with by elected politicians.

"To make orders protecting fetuses would radically impinge on the
fundamental liberties of the pregnant woman, both as to lifestyle
choices and how and where she chooses to live and be," Judge McLachlin

"If anything is to be done, the legislature is in a much better
position to weigh the competing interests and arrive at a solution
that is principled and minimally intrusive to pregnant women."

However, she warned that any attempt at legislation would have to
comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Legal experts say it would be up to the provinces, which have
jurisdiction over health -- not the federal government, which makes
criminal law -- to bring in a law allowing the forced treatment of
pregnant women.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Anne McLellan said her officials will
discuss the issue with the provinces to determine how they will
respond and whether there is any role for the federal government to

Besides bowing to legislators in a controversial policy area, the
Supreme Court majority also said forcing would-be mothers into
treatment may be "counterproductive."

Judge McLachlin said it may drive the health problems underground
because pregnant women may not seek prenatal care for fear they will
be confined involuntarily. Addicted women who would otherwise choose
to continue their pregnancies might instead undergo an abortion, she

"In the end, orders made to protect a fetus's health could ultimately
result in its destruction."

And what sorts of maternal lifestyle choices should the fetus be
protected against, the judge asked -- smoking, drinking, refusal to
take medication?

While the Supreme Court majority opinion seemed to focus on the
interests of the mother, the two dissenters concentrated on the fetus
-- "Someone must speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."

Mr. Justice Jack Major, supported by Mr. Justice John Sopinka, said it
would be wrong for the state to "stand idly by" while a reckless
mother inflicts serious and permanent harm to a child she has decided
to bring into the world.

"Society does not simply sit by and allow a mother to abuse her child
after birth. How then should serious abuse be allowed to occur before
the child is born?" Judge Major wrote in his most powerfully worded
opinion since joining the court five years ago.

Pro-choice groups were elated by the ruling and said what is needed is
not a law to force women into treatment but better health-care
services for would-be mothers.

Jo Dufay of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League said the ruling
sends a strong message that pregnant women can seek medical treatment
"without fear of incarceration."

"(Yesterday's) ruling reaffirms a woman's right to fundamental
liberties. The court is saying that a woman has got a right to control
her own body at all times, including when she's pregnant."

Michelle Blanchette-Lavergne of Alliance for Life, the umbrella group
for Canadian pro-life organizations, said lawmakers should act to
protect a child that a mother has chosen to carry to term.

"I think it's really up to the people of Canada, to the citizens
themselves, to take the initiative, to stand up for what they believe
in, and put a little bit of pressure on their members (of

Court Puts Mothers Before Fetuses (Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Version)

Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 08:15:08 -0800
From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Court puts mothers before fetuses
Pubdate: Saturday, November 1, 1997
Author: Kirk Makin, Justice Reporter
Source: Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca

Court puts mothers before fetuses

Supreme Court judges rule forcible treatment of pregnant
glue addict illegal, say 'woman and her unborn child are one'

Nobody has the legal right to interfere with a pregnant woman whose
behaviour threatens her fetus, the Supreme Court of Canada said in a
landmark ruling yesterday.

The court rejected the idea that a pregnant Winnipeg woman addicted to
glue sniffing could be forcibly confined and treated in the hope of
protecting her unborn child from harm.

"The only law recognized is that of the born person," the court said
by a 7-2 majority. "Any right or interest the fetus may have remains
inchoate and incomplete until the birth of the child."

It said that to permit a private party or the courts to confine or
forcibly treat a pregnant woman would violate "the most sacred sphere
of personal liberty -- the right of every person to live and move in

"A pregnant woman and her unborn child are one," Madam Justice
Beverley McLachlin said, writing on behalf of the majority. "To make
orders protecting fetuses would radically impinge on the fundamental
liberties of the mother -- both as to lifestyle choices and as to
where she chooses to live and be."

The majority said that if legal rights are ever extended to the
unborn, it will be elected legislators -- not judges -- who pry open
that Pandora's box of competing moral viewpoints and overlapping legal

"To describe such a change as 'major' is to understate the matter,"
they observed. "To predict that it would have important ramifications
is to state the obvious."

Many groups advocating for the rights of women breathed a collective
sigh of relief in the wake of the judgment.

"It was a very serious case, a very grave case," said Carissima
Mathen, a lawyer with the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, a
group that intervened before the Supreme Court.

"I was surprised how completely they appeared to agree with us," Ms.
Mathen said. "They grasped that this is an issue of fundamental rights
for women. I don't think this should be taken as an invitation for the
legislature to act."

To others, the decision was the latest blow in a sustained assault on
fetal rights by the court.

"We call on Parliament to immediately enact legislation to protect the
most defenceless member of our human family -- the preborn child,"
Campaign Life Canada president Jim Hughes said. "It is a matter of
scientific truth and fundamental justice."

His call was bolstered by the dissenting judgment, in which Mr.
Justice John Sopinka and Mr. Justice John Major said the "born alive"
rule has been superseded by medical advances. "The born alive rule is
a legal anachronism and should be set aside, at least for the purposes
of this appeal," they wrote.

The glue-sniffing case hit the headlines in August of 1996, when a
Winnipeg judge ordered the mother -- known as D. F. G. -- into the
custody of social-welfare authorities.

The woman was five months pregnant and hopelessly addicted to glue.
She already had three children, two of whom had suffered permanent
harm in the womb from her addiction and are wards of the state. Social
workers had been consistently rebuffed in their efforts to obtain
treatment for her. She did try to get help once, but it was

Although the judge's order was overturned two days after it was made,
the 23-year-old woman did stay in hospital until the child was born,
apparently health, last December. The woman has stopped sniffing glue
and is to be married today.

"This is not a story of heroes and villains," Judge McLachlin wrote in
her decision. "It is the more prosaic but all too common story of
people struggling to do their best in the face of inadequate
facilities and the ravages of addiction."

Given that the physical existence of a fetus is utterly dependent on
the mother, she said, the potential for intrusion into a woman's right
to make choices is great.

"As a result, any intervention to further the fetus's interests will
necessarily implicate -- and possibly conflict -- with the mother's

Solvent abuse cannot be described as a "lifestyle choice," the judge
wrote. "If outside intervention were permitted in such instances,
however, women who smoke cigarettes or engage in strenuous exercise
while pregnant may not be far behind."

She also said that, aside from the civil-liberties issue, it is far
from clear that forcibly protecting the interests of fetuses can
prevent injuries in the first place.

Aggressive intervention might simply drive the problem underground,
the court said. Women with substance abuse problems might avoid
seeking help for fear of being forcibly confined, and some might even
abort their fetus rather than risk being separated from their heroin
or solvents.

"In the end, orders made to protect a fetus's health could ultimately
result in its destruction."

The court, which has been accused in some quarters of usurping the
role of Parliament, stated over and over in the judgment that it had
no intention of doing so in such a complex case.

"If anything is to be done, the legislature is in a much better
position to weigh the competing interests and arrive at a solution
that is principled and minimally intrusive to pregnant women," it

The majority also observed that generally speaking, people should not
consistently look to the courts to tailor remedies for every perceived
problem. "It is not every evil that attracts court action," it said.
"Some evils remain for the legislature to correct."

Even if intervention was justified in the glue-sniffing case, the
court said, it would necessitate stretching the law far beyond where
it currently stands. Worse, there could be profound and unseen

Some of the devilishly complex questions the court said might result:
At what stage would a fetus acquire rights? Could women seeking
abortions face injunctions to stop them? Could the family of a
pregnant woman killed by a dangerous driver sue for the death of her
unborn child as well?

"If the unborn child is a legal person with legal rights, arguments
can be made in favour of all these propositions," Judge McLachlin
wrote. "Some might endorse such changes; others deplore them.

"The point is that they are major changes attracting an array of
consequences that would place the courts at the heart of a web of
thorny moral and social issues which are better dealt with by elected
legislators than by the courts."

In their dissenting judgment, Judges Sopinka and Major said that in
order to safeguard a mother's rights, intervention in her pregnancy
could be restricted to cases where it is reasonably probable that her
behaviour would cause "serious irreparable harm to the unborn child."

Confinement and treatment would be limited to instances where no other
solution was workable, they said.

"In any event, this interference is always subject to the mother's
right to end it by deciding to have an abortion," they observed.

"When a woman chooses to carry a fetus to term, she must accept some
responsibility for its well-being, and the state has an interest in
trying to ensure the child's health."

Dublin Man Jailed For Part In Murder In Drugs Feud (22-Year-Old Gets Life
Sentence - 'Irish Times' Account Quotes Defendant Saying He Was Set Up
For 40,000 Ecstasy Tablets Said To Be Worth 20,000)

Subj: Ireland: Dublin man jailed for part in murder in drugs feud
From: Zosimos 
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 20:37:15 -0500
Source: The Irish Times
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Nov 1997
Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times,11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2,
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407

Dublin man jailed for part in murder in drugs feud

A young Dublin man has been jailed for life for his involvement in the
abduction and "execution" of a friend after a drug deal went wrong.

Scott Delaney (22), unemployed, of Palmerstown Park, Palmerstown, Dublin,
was given a second 10-year sentence, to run concurrently, after being found
guilty of falsely imprisoning the victim.

After sentence was imposed by Mr Justice Morris, Delaney shouted angrily at
him, saying: "I was f . . . set up for those drugs. And I'm to spend the
rest of my life in prison?"

As prison officers tried to silence him he continued: "Why don't you give
me 10 life sentences? I was set up. I want the death penalty."

The Central Criminal Court jury retired at 2 p.m. on Thursday and took
almost seven hours before reaching its verdicts shortly before 4 p.m.

Delaney had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Mark Dwyer (22), of
Foster Terrace, Ballybough, Dublin, on December 14th, 1996, and also
denied falsely imprisoning him at Foster Terrace.

The body of Mr Dwyer, who had been shot in the back of the head after being
abducted from his flat by a gang of three, was found in a field on the morning
of December 14th at Scribblestown, Finglas.

The State Pathologist, Dr John Harbison, told the jury that Mr Dwyer died
from a laceration to the brain due to a single shotgun wound in the back of
the head discharged at virtual contact range.

He said the victim had received a "severe punishment beating before his
death". He had been stabbed in the arms and threatened with a shotgun. "There
were muzzle imprints over his heart."

During the five-day trial the court was told that a major drugs dealer believed
Mr Dwyer had "ripped him off" after 40,000 ecstasy tablets said to be worth
20,000 went missing.

The dealer arranged to have Mr Dwyer abducted from his flat by a gang of
three masked men, one armed with a shotgun.

The prosecution said Delaney had not pulled the trigger but helped to set up
the abduction and knew Mr Dwyer was to be killed or caused serious injury.

The jury found Delaney guilty of murder by a majority of 10 to two and was
unanimous in its verdict of guilty on the second count of false imprisonment.

Delaney stood in silence as Mr Justice Morris imposed the mandatory life
sentence for murder. Imposing the 10-year sentence for false imprisonment,
Mr Justice Morris told him the circumstances of the case were "quite

Delaney had deliberately set up a man of whom he purported to be a friend to
be taken away for at least questioning and possibly death.

Dublin Traders Say Drug Centre Is Ghastly Sore ('Irish Times' Says
Business Owners Around A Drug-Treatment Center Ask High Court
To Limit The Number Of Addicts Treated There)

Subj: Ireland: Dublin traders say drug centre is ghastly sore
From: Zosimos 
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 20:41:10 -0500
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: The Irish Times
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Nov 1997
Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times,11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2,
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407

Dublin traders say drug centre is 'ghastly sore'

The drug treatment centre in Pearse Street, Dublin, was described in the
High Court yesterday as "a ghastly, festering sore". The court was told
that business owners in the area want addict numbers to be limited.

Mr Aongus O Brolchain SC, for a number of Pearse Street traders, applied to
Mr Justice McCracken for an interlocutory injunction against the Drug
Treatment Centre Board which runs the clinic at Trinity Court. Judgment was

Counsel said his clients wanted a order, until the trial of the action, to
keep the numbers of addicts to their present level.

Mr O Brolchain said the traders claimed that none of their concerns had
been taken on board and the excuse being made was that it was central and
accessible from the north and south city.

There was now an indication that the drug board intended to increase the
number of addicts using the premises. Trinity Court itself was a fortress
on the inside rather than on the outside, Mr O Brolchain said. Addicts were
only allowed enter in regulated numbers.

Because there were such large numbers, drug dealers were now attending, he
said. Traders were claiming the drug board was responsible for creating a
public nuisance. The board had a statutory right to run this centre but not
to run it negligently.

The court would be satisfied the drug board had taken no reasonable steps
to protect the traders, counsel said.

Closed-circuit television had been installed after the traders issued legal
proceedings, but that was not adequate. It only shifted the difficulty from
one part of the street to another.

Mr O Brolchain said the traders were effectively under siege in their
premises. They had been attacked with syringes and subjected to
intimidatory actions. At all times the drug board claimed its intention was
to have localised clinics in the city, but the Pearse Street centre had now
become a "come-all" centre, he continued.

Damages would not be an adequate remedy. The traders were in fear of losing
their businesses. One had closed and others had suffered severely. This was
not a question of money but of protecting businesses, customers and staff.
Alternative clinics could be set up around the city.

Mr James Nugent SC, for the centre, said that not only had they a right but
they had an obligation to run this treatment clinic and to run it in this
particular area.

He did not know of a single, reasonable person in the country who would
like having a drug treatment centre near them. His clients accepted that.
But like all other unsociable problems the centre had to be somewhere. The
records did not bear out the claim that there had been an increased use of
the centre, he said. The hearing continues.




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