------------------------------------------------------------------- Donald Christen Of Maine Vocals Responds To Biased Media Reports Promoting Mainers For Medical Rights' Inadequate Medical-Marijuana Initiative Petition Over That Offered By Maine Citizens For Medical Marijuana Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 00:09:08 EST Sender: email@example.com From: Donald Christen (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Maine Response to Bangor Daily Article This letter is in response to an article in the Bangor Daily, by Sharon Mack, entitled "Freeport veterinarian used pot for cancer relief". It is fortunate veterinary Dr. Michael Lindey listened to either his peers or advocates and disregarded the law not to self medicate. He did so in spite of the fact he could have his license to practice medicine revoked, possible civil sanctions and fine, and the racist label of being a "Druggie" or "Pot Head" . The Dr. doesn't seem to realize who has brought this issue to the public in the first place. Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana, Maine Vocals, Maine BACH, and Maine Cannabis Alliance all have been involved with the medical marijuana issue in our state for years. (MCMM 1 Yr.) We have educated many " ignorant" legislators and citizens to the truth and facts, just as you may have found out indirectly through us or another who has the same knowledge. Either way, if many activists, nationwide had not been pushing the issue AMR would not be here today. Now you would have us go sit at the back of the bus? Oh Really I have gotten a label, not because I have been busted, but because I have been an outspoken and aggressive activist for ending cannabis prohibition, as well as for medical marijuana, and I stand by my principles that prohibition is wrong. Depriving sick or injured citizens of medical marijuana is not only wrong, it is a "real" crime, but the government still doesn't even want to admit marijuana is a medicine. Remember Dr. that is why we are petitioning, because we no longer are willing to accept their rhetoric. We The People are writing this law, and we are not writing it for the legislators' approval, the governor's approval, the judiciary's approval or the cops' approval. (they're already frothing at the bit to oppose any marijuana legislation ) We want the politics and cops removed from the Drs. offices and our medicine cabinets. They are not qualified to diagnose, or recommend therapy, are they? The AMR proposal is an unworkable plan, and will endanger patients either by putting them at risk of being constantly oversupplied, (a crime and jailable offense) or under-supplied because they are constantly worried about breaking the law and going to jail. Experts have been quoted saying, "The AMR plan is botanically impossible", and anyone who knows anything about marijuana cultivation is in agreement. Also they limit the patients to 15 to 20% of those who can benefit from medical marijuana. and the most obvious thing is there is NO DISTRIBUTION PLAN, which the Dr. mentions in his statements as being needed. The initiative defeats itself before it even gets to the polls, but only if people know what they are signing or voting for. They plan to sneak this initiative though without informing the public of all these facts. Just compare the two initiatives and you will see. The MCMM proposal is not open ended as some would lead you to believe. First, there is no need for limits, the patients should be able to have what they need. Current law provides the protections against sales and furnishing, which apply to all non-medical transactions. Patient can have a bale of marijuana and as long as they use it for themselves, what's the big deal? Second, this proposal is for all medically needy, not just a select few. If we can't pass legislation to benefit more than 15 to 20% of the population, something is wrong, we can and must do far better. Third, we have the mechanism for a distribution plan which will be the first of its kind in the nation, actually providing medical marijuana for the patients of Maine, in direct opposition to the federal laws. This is an essential part of any medical marijuana initiative, and one only needs to check out this now existing problem in California. No distribution plan for Prop. 215 threatens to close down all the buyer's clubs, leaving thousands of patients without anywhere to turn to get their medicine. We cannot allow this to happen in Maine. Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana are all local Maine patients and residents, who are all volunteers, and care about what they are doing. In contrast, Mainers for Medical Rights are a puppet org. for Americans for Medical Rights, an out of state PR firm. All people are on the payroll and they are paying by the sheet for their signatures. These people are bought and paid for, and would not be here doing what they are unless they are getting paid. Big money is trying to sell an unsuspecting public down the river, and will unless the public is informed. Never thought I'd be an informer, but we will be very VOCAL about AMR's deceitful plan in Maine. (AMR is also doing the same thing in Alaska, Wash. DC, Colorado, and any/all other states that have an initiative process. All these states advocates, org. and groups are also opposed to AMR's initiative language for their states and will also actively oppose them.) We would be willing to debate the issue any time, any place to inform the public of the facts about these competing initiatives. Why doesn't the Bangor Daily, in the interest of public knowledge and information, set up a debate or two with the MMR people and MCMM. Let's let a well-informed public decide instead of this chicanery. Sincerely Vocal, Don Christen MV/MCMM Tel 207-696-8167 E-mail email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Diplomat Favored For Mexico Post (Clinton To Nominate Jeffrey Davidow, A Career Diplomat, As Ambassador To Mexico, Former Candidate William Weld Having Withdrawn Due To Opposition By Helms Due To Weld's Stand On Medical Marijuana) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DC: Diplomat Favored for Mexico Post Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 23:13:49 -0800 Lines: 65 Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Associated Press Pubdate: January 6, 1998 DIPLOMAT FAVORED FOR MEXICO POST WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton apparently has settled on career diplomat Jeffrey Davidow for the long-vacant post of ambassador to Mexico, administration officials said Tuesday. Davidow directs the State Department's Latin America bureau and is a former ambassador to Venezuela and Zambia. He is reported to have edged out former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier for the assignment. Officials decided it was preferable to have an experienced diplomat in Mexico City as opposed to a political appointee. Lanier stepped down last week after six years as Houston mayor. The Mexico City post has been vacant since the departure last June of former Rep. James Jones, D-Okla. Opposition by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., blocked the confirmation of Clinton's first choice for the job, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld. Davidow won Helms' backing in 1996 when he was nominated for his current post. Helms' office declined immediate comment Tuesday on Davidow's expected nomination to go to Mexico. Last week, Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Latin America, expressed concern about the vacancy in Mexico City and called on Clinton to name a career diplomat to fill it. Davidow, 53, was named in an ``action memo'' sent to Clinton for final approval, The Washington Post said in a story attributed to unidentified senior administration officials. White House press secretary Mike McCurry said: ``The president's been interested in finding someone who would ably represent the interests of the United States government at a time in which we are building a very strong partnership with the government of Mexico and, of course, Assistant Secretary Davidow has been involved in exactly that.'' In Venezuela a decade ago, Davidow served under Ambassador Otto Reich, who said Tuesday that Davidow ``is as qualified for the job as anyone we have. ``He reports the truth. If it's bad news, he'll report it. If it's good news, he'll report it,'' Reich said. Drug trafficking is the most divisive issue in U.S.-Mexican relations. As part of an annual procedure, the administration must decide by March 1 whether to certify Mexico as a cooperating partner in the drug war. A finding that Mexico is not fully cooperating would carry economic penalties and produce a crisis in relations. Despite bitter criticism about Mexico's anti-narcotics performance by some members of Congress, the administration has complimented Mexico's performance. A decision to recertify Mexico is expected. Last September, Weld's bid for the post was defeated when Helms refused to schedule a confirmation hearing. Helms contended that Weld's stances in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use and needle-exchange programs for addicts made him an inappropriate choice as ambassador to a nation where drug trafficking is a serious problem.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The War On Drugs Is Being Lost (Columnist Anthony Lewis Reports On Ethan Nadelmann's New Article In 'Foreign Affairs') Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 16:21:01 +0000 From: Peter Webster
Subject: ART: The War on Drugs Is Being Lost Resent-From: firstname.lastname@example.org International Herald Tribune, Jan 6, 1998 contact:email@example.com The War on Drugs Is Being Lost By Anthony Lewis BOSTON -- Practicality has been a feature of American life from the start and a reason for the country's success. Americans on the whole eschewed ideology. We judged ideas by whether they worked. When they didn't, we tried something else. A strange contemporary exception to that tradition is the war on drugs. By any rational test it is an overwhelming failure. Yet leading politicians persist in calling for ever more stringent measures to enforce the policy of total prohibition, doing their best to prevent even a discussion of alternatives. In 1980, the federal government and the states spent perhaps $4 billion on drug control; today the figure is at least $32 billion. The number of people in prison on drug charges has also multiplied by eight, from 50,000 to 400,000. Yet the use of forbidden drugs remains a reality of American life. Supplies are plentiful despite costly attempts to stop the production of drugs in other countries. The human cost is worse than the financial cost. In 1996, 545,000 Americans were arrested for possession of marijuana, giving these mostly young people a criminal record for use of a drug as accepted in much of their culture as alcohol in ours. Many thousands of people are serving long terms in prison for a first, nonviolent drug offense. Is there an alternative way of dealing with the grave human and social problem of drug abuse? Yes, there is. It is explored in the new issue of Foreign Affairs, in an illuminating article by Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center in New York, a drug policy research institute. The alternative is to acknowledge what Americans came to understand about alcohol after 14 years of the noble experiment Prohibition. That is, as Mr. Nadelmann puts it, "that drugs are here to stay, and that we have no choice but to learn how to live with them so that they cause the least possible harm." The harm-reduction approach to drugs is in growing use throughout Europe. That includes a country as conservative as Switzerland. In 1994, Switzerland began an experiment allowing doctors to prescribe heroin morphine or injectable methadone for 1,000 hardened heroin addicts. The results, reported last July, showed that criminal offenses by the group dropped 60 percent, illegal heroin and cocaine use fell dramatically, health was greatly improved, and stable employment rose. Another policy adopted in much of Western Europe Australia and Canada is to allow exchange of used needles for clean ones. This has had an important effect in reducing HIV infections. In the United States, despite proposals for needle exchange by commissions starting under President George Bush, the White House and Congress have blocked the use of drug-abuse funds for that purpose. The result, Mr. Nadelmann says has been the infection of up to 10,000 people with HIV. Similarly with marijuana, the practice in much of Western Europe is not to prosecute for mere possession. "Most proponents of harm reduction do not favor legalization," Mr. Nadelmann says. But "they recognize that prohibition has failed to curtail drug abuse, that it is responsible for much of the crime corruption, disease and death associated with drugs and that its costs mount every year." A good many Americans including police chiefs and doctors, believe that it is time for a change in our failed drug policy. It is our political leaders who are afraid to change. It will take someone with the courage to say that the emperor has no clothes (someone like Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona) to end our second disastrous noble experiment. The New York Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- For Addicts, Force Is The Best Medicine (Prohibitionist Sally Satel, In 'The Wall Street Journal,' Fails To Address Exactly How Many Addicts We Should Spend How Much On To Lock Up To Take Care Of The Problem)To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Mark D. Walker"
Subject: ART: Force is the Best Medicine Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 17:26:24 -0500 For Addicts, Force is the Best Medicine Wall Street Journal January 6, 1998 By SALLY SATEL Autopsy reports confirmed last week that actor and comedian Chris Farley died Dec. 18 of an overdose of cocaine and morphine. Farley was 33, the same age at which his idol, Jdhn Belushi, fatally overdosed on cocaine and heroin in 1982. Two weeks before Farley's death, another actor, Robert Downey Jr., came before a Los Angeles County municipal judge in a Malibu courtroom on a drug-related charge. The judge,, Lawrence Mira, jailed him for six months, having gone easy on him after several earlier convictions. "I'm going to incarcerate you in a way you won't like," Judge Mira told Downey, "but it may save your life." 'Chris Kept Trying' Indeed it may. And if Farley had had the good fortune to be arrested and come before a tough judge, he might well be alive today. As a psychiatrist who treats drug addicts, I have learned that legal sanctions - either imposed or threatened - may provide the leverage needed to keep them alive by keeping them in treatment. Voluntary help is often not enough. After all, Downey and Farley had already been to some of the nation's finest rehabilitation centers, but their stays were far too brief. "Chris kept trying, and he would go into rehab and he would come out, and sometimes he'd be really healthy," Al Franken, who worked with Farley on "Saturday Night Live," told a reporter after his death. It's an all-too-typical story: Addicts avoid treatment for years or take it in small doses, enough to refresh themselves before starting out on another binge. According to the federally funded Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study, patients report being addicted for 10 to 15 years on average before first entering treatment. When they do enroll, only one in seven completes a program. Downey, for example, once bailed out after a few days. At the root of the problem are the misguided though well-meaning attitudes of many drug-treatment professionals. They believe in waiting until a drug user is "motivated" to get help, allowing him to reject help until he is no longer "in denial," and telling addicts that treatment won't work until they "want to do it for themselves." At the same time, the prevailing view holds that an addict is someone suffering from a chronic illness, rather than someone whose behavior can be influenced by meaningful consequences. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, even goes so far as to call addiction a "brain disease." In truth, drugs do affect the brain, but even many of my patients know that stopping is a matter of personal responsibility. In encouraging users to take that responsibility, coercion can be the clinician's best friend. Without it, our work is often in vain. In the methadone clinic where I work, many patients continue to use cocaine and heroin while receiving counseling and group therapy. Short of ejecting them from the clinic, there is little we doctors can do about this. But sometimes a patient will get a lucky break: He'll get arrested and put on probation with the requirement that he take frequent urine tests and the stipulation that he goes to jail if he fails. With this threat hanging over their heads, patients often test clean-no great surprise to anyone not steeped in therapeutic ideology. Some addicts themselves recognize the benefits of coercion. One patient told me he planned to get a job as a truck driver. "At least they'll test my urine, and I'll know someone's watching," he said. This patient put his finger on the crying need for built-in controls and individual accountability. When they're there, imposed by a judge or an employer, I can do my job better. The patient and I don't waste time bargaining over how many drug tests he can fail - "C'mon, doc, next week I'll be clean." I don't have to risk straining the treatment relationship by threatening the patient with discharge from the clinic. Instead, with externally imposed limits and expectations, I am clearly the patient's ally. We are working together toward his recovery, developing strategies to resist temptation and ultimately discovering larger reasons to stay clean, because we both know that there are serious consequences for failing. And it's a myth that addicts have to want treatment. Ample evidence from large-scale studies shows that when they are compelled to treatment by judges or mandated by their employers, these coerced addicts do at least as well as their counterparts who voluntarily enter and complete the program. It is also well documented that the longer a patient stays in treatment, the more likely he is to avoid future criminal activity and drug use. For example, any patient-whether treated voluntarily or under court order -staying 18 to 24 months in Phoenix House, a residential community program, has a 90% chance of being employed and out of legal trouble and a 70% chance of being completely drug-free five to seven years after discharge. The Brooklyn, N.Y.. district attomey, who routinely sends nonviolent drug felons to mandatory residential treatment programs instead of prison, finds they remain in treatment two to four times longer than their noncoerced counterparts. They also fare better than their imprisoned counterparts, whose re-arrest rate one year after release is more than twice the rate of those who have completed treatment. Treatment is one-third cheaper than incarceration, to boot. The idea of "harm reduction" - decriminalization, along with medically supervised heroin distribution, needle exchanges and other such measures-has been gaining currency in the drug debate of late. But addicts would be better off if more of them were arrested and forced to enroll in treatment programs. "I wish the cops could bust an addict for jaywalking or littering," a colleague of mine says, only half-jokingly. "At least then he would get placed in a treatment program where the court would make sure he'd stay." Civil judges can, without arrest, commit some addicts to treatment for their own protection if they are clearly out of control-as Farley appears to have been. More than half the states have statutes, seldom used, that allow civil commitment for alcoholics and drug addicts on the basis of grave disability or a threat to oneself or others. Payoff Is Immense To be sure, being forced Into a program and losing autonomy-either in a residential, a jail-based or a probationary treatment program-can seem harsh. But the payoff is immense: an opportunity to develop the social competence, trust in others and optimism about the future that are the prerequisites for a life without drugs. The payoffs for society are substantial, too. Numerous large-scale cost-benefit analyses reveal that every dollar spent on, drug treatment saves between $2 and $7 on law enforcement, corrections, health care, lost productivity and welfare. To my dismay, some of my treatment colleagues oppose coercion as "punitive." I suppose it may seem that way if one thinks addicts are helpless victims of a brain disease. But addiction is a moral condition as well as a medical one. If we view it in this light, then predictable consequences for failure and rewards for success are the essence of humane therapy. Dr. Satel is a psychiatrist specializing in addiction.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Says He Will Offer Tobacco Proposals ('Reuters' Reports Rich, Fat Cigar Addict Will Renew Drive To Curtail Youth Smoking By Offering Legislation To Congress Making Tobacco More Expensive For Everyone) Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 21:33:41 -0800 Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Clinton Says He Will Offer Tobacco Proposals Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: shug
Source: Reuters Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 Author: Laurence McQuillan CLINTON SAYS HE WILL OFFER TOBACCO PROPOSALS WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton said Monday that he would press his drive to curtail youth smoking by offering tobacco proposals to Congress that aides said would renew a call for higher cigarette taxes and fees. ``My first priority is to protect our children from the dangers of tobacco -- from the illegal dangers of tobacco,'' Clinton said during an exchange with reporters. ``I will propose a plan that I believe is best designed to do that that will build on the settlement agreement that was reached earlier,'' Clinton said. ``I will work with members of Congress in both parties in good faith to try to pass comprehensive tobacco legislation that I think will achieve that goal,'' he said. Last June the major tobacco companies and some 40 states suing them agreed to a plan that would have the industry pay $368.5 billion over 25 years and make health concessions, in exchange for settling lawsuits and winning immunity from certain types of future legal cases. Clinton will include his tobacco plan in the budget proposal he submits to Congress in February. Officials said, however, that he will not submit formal legislation. After a review by a special White House task force, Clinton in September rejected aspects of the proposed settlement as inadequate and called for tougher measures to combat smoking, especially among teenagers. Clinton listed his goals for a national tobacco policy and called for the price of a pack of cigarettes to rise by $1.50 through unspecified taxes, fees or penalties. White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said Clinton continues to back a $1.50 increase on a pack a cigarettes. ``The president has proposed that as part of the way of structuring the settlement that the parties have reached. That has been his view and has not changed to my knowledge.'' Some Republicans in Congress have faulted Clinton for a lack of leadership, and said it would be extremely difficult to enact complex tobacco legislation without more White House input. Senior White House officials said that although Clinton said he would submit a ``plan'' to Congress, he will not present his own formal legislation. ``He will present detailed proposals but not legislation,'' one senior White House official said. ``We want to work with the Congress. This will create a give and take situation.'' Three major bills have already been introduced in the Senate, one modeled closely on the state-industry agreement and two others that would require greater concessions from the industry. Clinton declined comment on a Wall Street Journal report that he would propose higher cigarette taxes and other revenue increases that would raise nearly $10 billion in 1999 when he submits his budget proposal that fiscal year next month.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Factors Predict AIDS In HIV-Positive Drug Users ('Reuters' Reports New Study In 'The Journal Of The American Medical Association' Shows HIV-Positive Black Intravenous Drug Users Should Receive Same Level Of Aggressive Therapy As Other Demographic Or Risk Groups) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) Subject: MN: Factors Predict AIDS In HIV+ Drug Users Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 23:25:25 -0800 Lines: 49 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Reuters Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 FACTORS PREDICT AIDS IN HIV+ DRUG USERS NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A study of injection drug users (IDUs) indicates that plasma levels of HIV, as measured by HIV RNA, can predict risk of progression to AIDS. The study published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association, also shows that the combination of HIV RNA load and CD4 cell measurements also provide "...powerful prognostic information for progression to AIDS and death." "This study is unique because in contrast to prior studies of this type, largely involving white homosexual men, this study includes mostly African-American men and women as well as large numbers of active IDUs," according to a report in the journal. Dr. David Vlahov of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and colleagues followed 522 HIV-positive IDUs residing in the local Baltimore community. Most were African-American (96%) and reported using injection drugs within the last six months (96%). None of the subjects had been previously treated with combination antiretroviral therapy. Over an average follow-up of about six years, 146 subjects developed AIDS and 119 patients died. The researchers then compared the patients' initial HIV RNA and CD4+ levels with the length of time it took to develop AIDS and time to death from infectious disease. Their results confirm that, as reported in other patient subgroups such as the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, which is composed primarily of upper middle-class white homosexual men, plasma HIV RNA and CD4+ cell levels independently predicted disease outcome. The researchers believe that "...an important finding is that the same basic relationship between virologic and immunologic factors applies in African-American IDUs as in nonminority persons from other risk groups." Therefore, "...the same level of aggressive therapy should be offered irrespective of demographic or risk group." These results complement the report by Dr. Michael Saag and colleagues in the January issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases in which they confirmed the value of using both viral load and CD4+ cell counts to assess the prognosis of HIV-positive patients and their response to treatment. SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association (1998;279:35-40)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Limits `Three Strikes' Judicial Power (California Supreme Court Narrows Its June 1996 Decision Letting Judges Refuse To Impose 'Three Strikes' Sentences, Now Says Law Applies To All Those Whose Past And Present Conduct Shows Them To Be 'Within The Spirit Of The Three-Strikes Law') From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Court limits `three strikes' judicial power Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 23:12:38 -0800 Lines: 62 Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 COURT LIMITS `THREE STRIKES' JUDICIAL POWER State ruling: Judges' discretion in exempting repeat criminals is curtailed. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The state Supreme Court put limits Monday on judges' power to exempt repeat criminals from sentences of up to life in prison under the ``three strikes, you're out'' law. The unanimous ruling appears to narrow the court's June 1996 decision that let judges refuse to impose ``three strikes'' sentences they considered too harsh, based on the facts of the case. Monday's ruling said a defendant whose past and present conduct showed him or her to be within ``the spirit of the three-strikes law'' must be given a full sentence, with no reduction. Using that standard, the court said a Los Angeles-area man who was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs -- and who had a long criminal record but no violent felony convictions in 13 years -- faced a mandatory ``three strikes'' sentence if convicted. Adopted in 1994 The law, approved by the Legislature and the voters in 1994, increases the sentences of criminals who have previously committed serious or violent felonies, or ``strikes.'' Monday's case involved a prosecution appeal of the nine-year sentence of Reginald Eugene Williams, charged in 1995 with driving under the influence of PCP in Norwalk. The charge can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Williams, 32, had three previous convictions for driving while intoxicated, in 1991 and 1992, and also had been sentenced to jail or prison 10 times since 1981 for various crimes and parole violations, including convictions for rape and attempted robbery -- both ``strikes'' -- in 1982. He had been sentenced to jail earlier in 1995 on a misdemeanor conviction for spousal battery. One strike disregarded Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Philip Hickok said he would treat the DUI charge as a felony because of Williams' record. But Hickok said he might disregard one of Williams' ``strikes'' because they dated from 1982 and because Williams had not committed any violent crimes since then -- apparently ignoring the recent spousal battery conviction, the court said. Williams then changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to nine years -- six for a second strike, double the normal term, and three for his previous prison terms. His sentence for a third strike would have been 28 years to life. A state appellate court ruled that Hickok had abused his authority in disregarding the previous conviction. The state's high court agreed. A judge can reduce a ``three strikes'' sentence only if, in light of the defendant's current and past crimes ``and the particulars of his background, character and prospects, the defendant may be deemed outside the spirit'' of the three-strikes law, the court said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Informant Says He Got Drugs From City Councilman (Duvall, Washington, City Councilman Dave Zumwalt's Attorney Vigorously Challenges Informant's Account) From: "W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "Talk Group" (HEMP-TALK@hemp.net) Subject: HT: ART: Informant - Councilman dealt drugs Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 20:20:08 -0800 1997 The Seattle Times Company Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1998 Informant says he got drugs from city councilman by Ronald K. Fitten Seattle Times staff reporter An informant testified yesterday in King County Superior Court that he purchased a half gram of cocaine from Duvall City Councilman Dave G. Zumwalt. The informant, who said he has known Zumwalt 11 years, testified he made the purchase inside a tavern last July while police watched outside in parked cars. He said he was riding with Duvall's police chief when he spotted Zumwalt's van outside the tavern and suggested he try to purchase cocaine from the councilman. "I told him . . . I could go down and make a buy from Ernie (Zumwalt) because there wasn't a lot of people around," the informant told King County Deputy Prosecutor Cindi Port and a jury during Zumwalt's trial for alleged drug delivery and possession. The informant said he received $40 from a detective to buy the half gram from Zumwalt, and another $5 from the police chief to purchase a beer, "so it (the drug buy) wouldn't seem suspicious." After police positioned themselves outside the tavern, the informant said he walked up to Zumwalt in the bar and told him he wanted to buy cocaine. He said Zumwalt told him he'd have to wait because the police were parked outside. The informant said he slipped Zumwalt $40. The councilman "broke" (shot) the first ball in a game of pool, then walked out to his van and returned with the cocaine, the informant testified. Zumwalt then allegedly gave him the cocaine in the bathroom, he testified. Defense attorney Tony Savage vigorously challenged the informant's account of the July 25 incident, and questioned why the man would walk up to Zumwalt and ask to purchase cocaine within earshot of two other people. He also questioned why the informant had attempted to conceal the transaction from police - when he was working as a police informant. Ronald K. Fitten's phone message number is 206-464-3251. His e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- When Property Seizure Goes Too Far (Letter To Editor Of 'Atlanta Constitution') Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 22:33:30 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US GA: PUB LTE: When Property Seizure Goes Too Far Source: The Atlanta Constitution Contact: email@example.com Fax: 404-526-5611 Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 Sender's note: The Constitution is, I believe, the largest daily paper in the South. WHEN PROPERTY SEIZURE GOES TOO FAR The article "Seized assets a cash cow for police" (State News, Dec. 28) rhapsodized about how much money the practice of asset forfeiture is bringing to Georgia police. Unfortunately, the article failed to emphasize that much of the money and property state and federal police seize for supposed drug crimes is not taken from convicted criminals; rather, it is seized from people only *suspected* of committing crimes. It may be hard to believe, but according to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), in his book titled "Forfeiting Our Property Rights," "80% of those who lose property to the government through civil forfeitures are never charged with any crime." Furthermore, although it is easy for police to seize our property on little more than suspicion, an innocent owner, to get this property back, must prove his innocence through a difficult legal process. In the name of "fighting drugs," billions of dollars have been seized from Americans who have never been convicted of any crime -- or even been charged with one. By legalizing such tactics, the War on Drugs is turning America into a police state and turning our police into robbers with badges. James W. Harris
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Profits Support Colombia's Rightist Groups (Letter To Editor Of 'New York Times' Cites 1995 Colombian Law Enforcement Report Saying Drug Trafficking Is Paramilitary Groups' 'Central Axis' Of Financing) Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 22:12:20 -0800 Subject: MN: US: LTE: Drug Profits Support Colombia's Rightist Groups Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: New York Times Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 Website: http://www1.nytimes.com/ DRUG PROFITS SUPPORT COLOMBIA'S RIGHTEST GROUPS To the Editor: You write (editorial, Jan. 3) that Colombia's rightist paramilitary groups maintain clandestine ties with the country's army as they carry out human rights abuses, but that only some of these paramilitary groups "traffic in cocaine and get money from traffickers." In fact, a 1995 Colombian law enforcement report about paramilitaries nationwide says drug trafficking is their "central axis" of financing. You mention only one paramilitary leader, Carlos Castaqo. Another mentioned in another Colombian police report, published by Human Rights Watch in 1996, is Victor Carranza. Each man has been implicated in drug trafficking and massacres. This should come as no surprise. In 1989 Colombian Government investigators found that the country's paramilitary groups had been taken over by Pablo Escobar and his Medellin cartel. Colombia's leftist guerrillas have also been involved in the drug trade, as you say. But according to the second police report, so are some Colombian military officers, including Maj. Jorge Alberto Lazaro, a former rural army base commander. Yet the Clinton Administration ignores these links as it provides Colombia's army with new arms and advisers, ostensibly to fight drugs. FRANK SMYTH Washington, Jan. 5, 1998 The writer is a freelance journalist.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scenes From December Hemp BC Bust In Vancouver, BC, Available From Web Site From: Ian_Monroe@cocc.edu (Ian Monroe) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 12:27:21 -0700 Subject: Hemp BC Organization: COCC I had been out of the country for a month, so this might seem a bit late, but did anyone hear about the protesting, beatings, and just general chaos that surrounded the bust of HempBC in Vancouver? (in mid Dec.) It is a real interesting (and disgusting) example of what sort of things the police stand for vs. the stand of the freedom fighters. Check it out at their site at http://www.hempbc.com/ There's a good account plus some neat pictures of the event, and its even possible to get a video copy of parts of it! --Ian Monroe email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Cannabis Let-Off' For Straw Son (Britain's 'Sun' Reports The 17-Year-Old Son Of The Home Secretary Will Face No Legal Repercussions For Selling Hash To A Reporter In A Tavern) Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 21:22:28 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: 'Cannabis Let-Off' For Straw Son Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (CLCIA) Source : The Sun (UK) Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 'CANNABIS LET-OFF' FOR STRAW SON Jack Straw's son is set to receive a caution for possessing cannabis. The Crown Prosecution Service will tomorrow tell police there is not enough evidence to charge 17-year-old William Straw with supplying the drug. The Home Secretary's son will escape a criminal record - but the caution will be logged with the police. He is likely to return to Kennington police station, South London, later this week. A source said : "If cautioned he will have to admit the offence." Reporter Dawn Alford - who was allegedly sold cannabis by William - will escape further action after her arrest for possession. Oxford University yesterday said that William's offer of a place to study at New College next year is safe.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Should We Legalise Cannabis? (London's 'Sun' Queries Its Readers; In Debate, 82-Year-Old Labour Peer Fails To Persuade Son, 33-Year-Old 'Reefer Addict') Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 21:42:42 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: Should We Legalise Cannabis? Source : The Sun Contact : email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 Section : The Page 6 Debate The Sun writes: NOW TELL US WHAT YOU THINK? SHOULD CANNABIS BE LEGALISED? OR WOULD THIS INCRESAE DRUG PROBLEMS? WRITE TO DRUG DEBATE, THE SUN, PO BOX 487, VIRGINIA STREET, LONDON, E1 9BW. YOU CAN DICTATE YOUR LETTER BY PHONING 0171 782 4056. 10 AM TO 5 PM, FAX YOUR VIEWS TO 0171 782 4170 OR E-MAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. SHOULD WE LEGALISE CANNABIS? It's the big talking point of the day - should cannabis be legalised? The debate has been thrust back under the spotlight by the furore surrounding allegations that Home Secretary Jack Straw's son sold the drug to a reporter. Here, a father and son give their views. See if you agree with 82-year-old Labour peer Michael Young or his journalist son Toby, 33. YES SAYS FATHER MICHAEL YOUNG Britain is a nation divided over drug use because the law insists on branding anyone who smokes marijuana a criminal. This is particularly hard to accept when, as a recent survey revealed, 37 per cent of British teenagers have tried it at least once. How can the authorities devise an effective policy on drugs when drug-users are too scared to contribute to the debate? How can William Straw be expected to discuss cannabis with his father when smoking it is illegal? The unease many adults feel about the legalisation of cannabis is due to their fear of losing control of their children. And the reason why adults have been losing out on this battleground is that we've allowed ourselves to be cast as the bogeyman. By identifying ourselves with the repressive and illiberal law on soft drugs, those of us who would resist this trend are seen as scolds and killjoys, the enemies of fun. But it is not difficult to see why older people have made their final stand as "customs officers." Young people do seem out of the control of their elders. The difference with drugs is that if the youngsters become addicted they're out of control of themselves and quite beyond the reach of other people. They've escaped into a world of heir own. Hence the desperate attempts of the older generation to clamp down. I think they are bound to fail. The parallel with the US prohibition of another drug, alcohol, is uncomfortably close. Prohibition was a wonderful gift to racketeers. The same thing is happening again but on a colossal scale. For every Al Capone who flourished in the twenties and thirties, there are scores of drug barons today. To a large extent their empires are built on the profits from the sale of soft drugs. However draconian the law, it shows no sign of being more effective in the next decade than it has been for the last thirty years. The law is impotent, and whenever a law is disregarded it brings into disrepute the law in general. EVEN SENIOR POLICE OFFICERS LIKE COMMANDER JOHN GRIEVE OF SCOTLAND YARD, CALL FOR REFORM OF THE LAW. THEY RECOGNISE THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT HASN'T STOPPED THE VIOLENCE LINKED TO DRUG CRIME. (emphasis in original) One result of reform is that drugs made legal could be taxed as heavily as cigarettes and the proceeds spent on education and health. Marijuana has a number of medical benefits in its own right. And scientific studies have yet to establish that cannabis is harmful, particularly compared to alcohol. But the strongest argument of all is that there can be no widespread education about drug use and treatment of addiction until the subject is out in the open. And the subject cannot be out in the open as long as taking drugs is illegal and anyone who admits to being a drug-users is liable to prosecution. NO SAYS HIS DRUG USER SON TOBY Going over my father's article, I can't quite dismiss the suspicion that he wrote it when he was stoned. Next time, when reflecting on these weighty matters, I suggest he fill his pipe with tobacco. Honestly, parents today! You can't leave them alone for five minutes without them breaking out their stash, skinning up a joint and getting stoned on wacky backy. To be serious, if the people currently clamouring for the legalisation of cannabis had smoked half as much of the stuff as I have they might well think twice about it. As a recovering reefer addict, I want to be protected from myself. My father refers to alcohol as a "drug" - a favourite diversionary tactic of the pro-legalisation lobby. Alcohol may destroy one of your vital organs but it doesn't make you think Stonehenge is evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Booze has killed off some of the greatest writers of the century - F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm Lowry - but it didn't prevent them writing great books. The only literature inspired by cannabis is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. As for the prohibition argument of course you will reduce crime if you legalise a widespread form of criminal activity. My father wisely only deals briefly with the so-called medical argument. The claim that cannabis can alleviate the suffering of the sick is a complete red herring. In their day, laudanum, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol and LSD have all been touted as medicine. The brother of Conservative MP Alan Clarke recently revealed that their mother was prescribed a nasal spray of heroin and cocaine to calm her nerves. On the street, that particular cocktail is known as a speedball. I just can't adjust to the shock of my father arguing in favour of legalising a practice I've spent such a large part of my life feeling guilty about because I thought he disapproved of it. I AM CURRENTLY IN THROES OF TRYING TO GIVE IT UP, ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER DRUGS, BECAUSE I RECOGNISE WHAT A DESTRUCTIVE FORCE THEY HAVE BEEN. (emphasis in original) The main cost, apart from huge sums of money, is that it wastes so much time. You do as little work as you can without jeopardising your livelihood and spend the rest of the time taking drugs. Friday evenings are spent getting stoned. Saturdays are spent sleeping and recovering, then making plans to do what you did on Friday night all over again. Sundays are just spent recovering. People like me would find it much harder to reform if cannabis was available in Sainsbury's and people took it openly. My father writes that "anyone who admits to being a drug user is liable to prosecution." Is that really true? I sincerely hope not!
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Great 1998 Cannabis Quiz (Britain's 'Independent' Invites Readers To Drug Test The Home Secretary) Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 06:26:02 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com (Alan Randell) Subject: The Great 1998 Cannabis Quiz Resent-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: January 6, 1998 Source: The Independent (UK) Contact: Letters@independent.co.uk URL: http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/C0601801.html Dr Phil Hammond - The Great 1998 Cannabis Quiz Just been invited round for Pot Noodles at the Straws? Then why not amaze the whole family with your pot knowledge. These fascinating snippets are sure to fill even the most embarrassing conversational pause. Please note, the quiz is only suitable for adults and those studying for a curfew violation. Starter for 10: 1 Cannabis is derived from: a An animal; b A mineral; c A bushy plant, Cannabis sativa, found wild in many parts of the world and easily cultivated in Britain Well done, Keeble, your questions on Cannabis start now: 2 The most powerful psychoactive ingredient is: a The tetrahydrocannabinols; b Cannabis sulphate; c Louise Botting 3 Hashish is: a The commonest form of cannabis in the UK; b Resin scraped or rubbed from the plant and compressed into blocks; c easily mistaken for a bogey. 4 Marihuana is: a Spelt incorrectly; b Stronger than resin but not as strong as dubin; c Dried plant material 5 Sinsemilla is: a Derived from resin containing roots; b Derived from the flowering tops of unfertilised female plants; c Particularly strong 6 Cannabis can be: a Smoked, drunk or eaten; b Injected; c Worn 7 Cannabis was first documented as a herbal remedy in: a Luke 4 vs 7; b A Chinese pharmacy text in the first century AD; c Boots, Lowestoft, 1906 8 Cannabis: a Is available on an NHS prescription for treating certain conditions (eg strangulated piles); b Was available on prescription until 1973; c Has never been prescribable on the NHS 9 The non-medical use of cannabis in Britain was prohibited: a In 1902 after the Boer War; b In 1928 after Egyptian objections at an international opiate conference; c In 1958 by Harold Macmillan 10 In the UK, it is legal to cultivate cannabis: a Never; b For decoration only; c If you have a Home Office licence 11 Your chances of getting a Home Office licence from Jack Straw are: a Zero; b Less than zero; c Less than mine, because I'm a doctor and I can cultivate it for research purposes 12 Cannabis usage is greater than the national average by those who: a Have experienced full-time further education; b Have ovaries; c Attend Age Concern luncheon clubs 13 Skunk weed is: a Half cannabis, half dandelion; b A particularly strong home variety, grown from imported seeds; c Something I've made up to catch you out 14 If you're a quarter-of-an-ounce-of-resin-a-day person, you're: a All over the place; b A sissy; c On about a joint an hour round the clock 15 While intoxicated, a user may do less well on tasks requiring: a Short-term memory; b Concentration; c Manual dexterity 16 The risk of fatal overdose is: a Virtually nil; b Between 1 and 2 per cent; c 5 per cent 17 Long-term use of cannabis has been linked with: a Nothing definite; b Lung cancer; c BSE 18 At street level, if you paid £50 an ounce for herbal and £14.25 a quarter of an ounce for resin, you'd be: a Getting it at retail prices b Ripped off c Very careful 19 What is a Camberwell carrot? 20 Who said, "Today there are those who see in society's attitude to drug taking the opportunity for questioning traditional values and social judgements of all kinds. This seems to be the real challenge of soft drugs, and it is growing. It is time to make clear that teenage drug taking is ill-advised, if not dangerous to personality and health": a Jack Straw; b Michael Howard; c Alice Bacon, Home Office Minister 1967 Correct answers: 1c, 2a, 3abc, 4c, 5bc, 6ac, 7b, 8b, 9b, 10c, 11bc, 12a, 13b, 14ac, 15abc, 16a, 17a, 18ac, 19 a 12-skinned amalgamation of a toilet roll and an ice-cream cone stuffed with dope, invented by Danny from 'Withnail and I', 20c
------------------------------------------------------------------- Unjust Cannabis Law (Three Letters To The Editor Of Britain's 'Independent') Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 06:26:14 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com (Alan Randell) Subject: Letters: Unjust cannabis law Resent-From: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: January 6, 1998 Source: The Independent (UK) Contact: Letters@independent.co.uk URL: http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/C0601810.html Unjust cannabis law Sir: The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, says that if campaigners can show that cannabis is not a dangerous drug, then the Government may reconsider its stance on cannabis prohibition ("Straw's challenge over cannabis drugs", 5 January). The evidence has always been there. In 1968, the UK Royal Commission, the Wootton Report, concurring with other major reports on cannabis, said that cannabis ought not to be illegal and its use did not pose unacceptable risks. Since then other reports have concluded that cannabis is not addictive, does not lead to hard drug use, does not detrimentally affect memory or motor skills (including empirical testing of the effects on drivers), does not cause cancer or damage the lungs, and is not associated with any particular lifestyle. Maybe the arrest of Jack Straw's son has achieved something after all. Maybe now people will wake up to the fact that this unjust and unworkable cannabis law may eventually lead to the arrest of their own sons and daughters, for using a safe plant in preference to dangerous intoxicants, a crime without a victim. Jack Girling, Chairman, Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association, Norwich *** Sir: I did not wish to know the name of the young man arrested on a charge of dealing in cannabis. Learning his identity, and that of his father, told me nothing useful about the Government, its policies, its probity or any other matter of legitimate public concern. Michael Streeter recognises (Saturday Story, 3 January) that "there are good reasons to protect juveniles facing criminal allegations". He then adds, "in cases of teenagers accused of similar offences . and named by the media, government law officers have not stepped in and sought protective injunctions". If it is true that the media are so lacking in wisdom and compassion, then the correct conclusion is that more such injunctions should be sought, and vigorously upheld. The Rev Paddy Benson, Heswall, Merseyside *** Sir: When 19 years old, I was convicted and fined £100 for possessing (not dealing) less than one-sixteenth of an ounce of cannabis at the Reading Festival. I too come from a "good family". Now 27, I wish to study for a PGCE and teach primary children. Does the Home Secretary think I would be suitable for such a post? I find myself hoping that William Straw is also convicted. The weed will not harm his prospects as it has mine. K Selby, Leeds
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug-Related Crime Soars In Russia ('Associated Press' Quotes Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov, The Country's Top Anti-Drug Official, Saying That Despite A Declining Crime Rate Overall, Drug-Related Offenses Nearly Doubled In 1997 - Send More Rubles) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Drug-Related Crime Soars in Russia Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 23:24:32 -0800 Lines: 30 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 DRUG-RELATED CRIME SOARS IN RUSSIA MOSCOW (AP) -- Despite a declining overall crime rate in Russia, the number of drug-related offenses nearly doubled in 1997, the country's top anti-drug official said Tuesday. Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov said law enforcement agencies need more money to combat the growing illegal drug problem. Kulikov heads a government anti-drug commission and his ministry is in charge of police. The number of drug users in Russia has soared to 2 million since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, with the fastest growth among women and teen-agers, Kulikov said, according to Russian news agencies. Increasing drug abuse and trafficking has led to more drug-related crime, he said. He did not provide any figures. The overall crime rate dropped 9 percent last year. The drug trade brings in more than $1 billion a year in profits to criminal groups, Kulikov said. Russia has become a major drug market and key transit route, with the largest flow coming from Afghanistan. Opium is refined into heroin as it works its way through the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and on to Russia, Western Europe and the United States. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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