Portland NORML News - Thursday, January 8, 1998

NORML Weekly News Release, January 8, 1998 (Smoke A Joint, Lose A Limb?
Pending Mississippi Bill Threatens Dismemberment For Convicted Drug Violators;
CASA Prison Study Reaffirms That Marijuana Plays No Role In Violent Crime;
ACLU Argues For Change In Ballot Title For Upcoming Marijuana Measure;
House Speaker Calls For Increased War On Drugs; Former NORML Head
Launches On-Line Magazine)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 12:56:15 EST
Subject: NORML WPR 1/8/98 (I)
Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)


T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057
Internet http://www.norml.org

. . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana

January 8, 1998

"Smoke A Joint, Lose A Limb?"
Pending Mississippi Bill Threatens Dismemberment For Convicted Drug Violators

January 8, 1998, Jackson, MS: Persons found guilty of possessing marijuana
in Mississippi could face the removal of a limb if proposed legislation
becomes law. House Bill 196, introduced by Rep. Bobby Moak (R-Lincoln
County), authorizes "The removal of a body part in lieu of other sentences
imposed by the court for violations of the Controlled Substances Law."

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup called the measure "political
posturing at its most extreme.

"This is a truly barbaric proposal that shocks the conscience," he added.

Moak told reporters that he introduced the legislation because he felt the
state wasn't doing enough to combat drug use. Moak admits, however, that
the measure has slim chances of passing.

Provisions in the bill mandate that the convicted person and the court "must
agree on which body part shall be removed."

For more information, please contact either R. Keith Stroup or Paul
Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.


CASA Prison Study Reaffirms That Marijuana Plays No Role In Violent Crime

January 8, 1998, New York, NY: Findings of a study conducted by The
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
(CASA) conclude that marijuana alone plays no statistically significant role
in influencing one to commit a violent crime. The three year study,
entitled "Behind Bars" -- purports to be "the most comprehensive analysis
ever undertaken of the relationship of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction
to the character and size of America's prison population."

Of the findings reported by CASA, less than one percent of both state and
jail inmates were under the influence of marijuana alone when they committed
a violent crime. More than one-quarter of jail inmates and 21 percent of
state inmates were under the influence of alcohol alone when they committed
a violent crime. The percentage of inmates who committed violent crimes
solely under the influence of hard drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin
stood between four and one percent.

"These findings show that alcohol is the chief intoxicant in America that
influences its users to commit violent crimes," announced Allen St.
Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. "Not surprisingly,
marijuana plays virtually no role in encouraging violence among its users."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML
Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.


ACLU Argues For Change In Ballot Title For Upcoming Marijuana Measure

January 8, 1998, Salem, OR: Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) argued before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday that the title
of an upcoming marijuana ballot measure is intentionally vague and confusing
to voters. Attorneys urged the court to clarify the title by using more
specific language.

The ballot measure in question allows voters to reject or accept a 1997 law
passed by the Legislature that increases the penalty for simple marijuana
possession from a non-criminal "violation" to a class C misdemeanor crime.
Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) signed the measure into law on July 2, 1997, but
marijuana activists froze the legislation from taking effect by filing a
successful referendum with the Secretary of State. Persons convicted under
the pending law could face 30 days in jail, the loss of their driving
privileges for six months, and have their property seized by law enforcement.

At issue in Tuesday's oral arguments was whether the ballot title approved
by the state attorney general's office was misleading to voters.
It reads: "Makes possession of limited amount of marijuana [a] Class C

ACLU Attorney Katherine McDowell said that the title must inform voters that
passage of the measure enhances current marijuana penalties. "The average
person reading this ballot title may not know whether this [bill] increases
or decreases the penalty [for less than one ounce of marijuana,] she told
the court.

The Supreme Court did not indicate when it would issue a ruling.

Voters will decide on the measure this November.

For more information, please contact either Todd Olsen of Citizens for
Sensible Law Enforcement @ (503) 239-0575 or R. Keith Stroup of NORML @
(202) 483-5500


House Speaker Calls For Increased "War On Drugs"

January 8, 1998, Washington, D.C.: House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia)
called on his fellow politicians to dramatically increase federal anti-drug
efforts, at a January 5 speech to his constituents.

"Just say, now, what does it take to seal off the border?" Gingrich asked.
"What does it take to go after drug dealers? What does it take, frankly, to
raise the cost for drug users?"

The Speaker urged Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey to map a "World War II-style
battle plan," to end drug use in America.

Presently, state and federal agencies spend over $30 billion waging
America's "War on Drugs." NORML estimates that between $7.5 and $10 billion
is spent on marijuana enforcement alone.

"Marijuana enforcement remains the cornerstone of America's 'War on Drugs,'"
NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup said. "In other words, Gingrich's
rhetoric is really a call to step up the assault on marijuana smokers."

Currently, Gingrich is the sponsor of a federal bill (H.R. 41) that calls
for the death penalty for individuals convicted of importing illicit drugs
-- including marijuana -- into the United States. Although Gingrich claims
that the bill would ordain the execution of only large drug traffickers, its
language states that it applies to all offenses involving "100 usual dosage
amounts" of an illicit drug. Relying on federal marijuana-weight estimates,
NORML calculates that the death penalty could conceivably apply to anyone
convicted of importing more than 50 grams of marijuana across U.S. borders.

"Gingrich's rhetoric and actions are some of the most extreme attempts yet
to demonize and excessively punish marijuana smokers," Stroup said.

For more information, please contact either R. Keith Stroup or Paul
Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.


Former NORML Head Launches On-Line Magazine

January 8, 1998, Fort Worth, TX: A new on-line journal examining marijuana
prohibition is now available on the Internet at
http://www.marijuananews.com. Former NORML National Director Richard Cowan
is heading the project.

Cowan calls his new site "a personal newsletter on the cannabis
controversies." The site will feature daily updates on marijuana news and
will strongly support NORML and other effective reform organizations, he said.


Eighty Percent Of Crimes Are Drug-Related ('Reuters' Report On New CASA Study
Downplays Its Emphasis On The Harm Associated With Alcohol Compared To
Other Drugs)

Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 19:46:48 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Eighty Percent Of Crimes Are Drug-Related
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: 8 Jan 1998


NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Results of a survey released Thursday show that 80%
of all crimes and incarcerations in the US can be linked to drug and
alcohol use.

Joseph Califano, Jr., president of The National Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University announced the results of the
survey, entitled "Behind Bars: Substance Abuse and America's Prison
Population" at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He noted that
1.4 million of the current 1.7 million prison population have a history of
drug or alcohol abuse, committed crime under the influence, stole to get
money to buy drugs, or violated drug or alcohol laws.

In 1996, $30 billion was spent to incarcerate individuals with a history of
substance abuse. Califano said that if such individuals were identified at
the outset, assessed for treatment and training needs, and kept apart from
"criminal incorrigibles," then these inmates might receive "the hand they
need to become productive citizens and responsible parents.... The choice
is ours as well as theirs."

Califano remarked that if the current rate of incarceration continues, then
1 out of every 20 children born in 1997 will spend time in prison. This
would include 1 out of every 11 men and 1 out of every 4 black men. "The
case for change, revealed in the report, is urgent and overwhelming,"

Califano stated. "Reducing alcohol and drug abuse and addiction is the key
to the next major reduction in crime, and the prison population represents
an enormous missed opportunity."

The CASA survey, which took three years to complete, also showed:

-- the US prison population tripled between 1980 and 1996, going from
500,000 to 1.7 million.

-- if the current trend continues, by the year 2000, the US will spend more
than $100 million a day to incarcerate individuals with a history of
substance abuse.

-- the number one "substance abuse crime" in the country is drunk driving,
which accounted for 1.4 million arrests in 1995.

-- in the one-year period between 1995 and 1996, state corrections budgets
jumped 28%.

-- 81% of individuals who sell drugs test positive at the time of arrest.

-- inmates who are substance abusers are the most likely to be reincarcerated.

-- the incidence of AIDS is 17 times higher among inmates compared with the
general population.

-- alcohol is associated more often with violent crimes, including murder,
rape, assault and spouse abuse, than any other drug.

The report also found that 80% of the $38 billion spent in 1996 to build
and operate prisons in the US was spent to house substance-involved
criminals. The study authors estimate that in addition to usual
incarceration costs, it would take $6,500 per year to treat an inmate for
substance abuse and provide him/her with vocational training. But for every
inmate that returns successfully to society, such programs would save
$68,000 in reduced crime, prosecution, and incarceration costs and
potential earnings in the first year after release. Even if only 10% of
inmates who are substance abusers were treated, the economic benefit in the
first year after release would be $8.6 billion, say the CASA researchers.

"Failure to use the criminal justice system to get non-violent drug- and
alcohol-abusing offenders into treatment and training is irrational public
policy and a profligate use of public funds," said Califano in a statement.
"...Releasing drug-addicted inmates without treatment helps maintain the
market for illegal drugs and (supports) drug dealers."

Drug, Alcohol Abuse Helps Triple Prison Population ('Associated Press' On
Unnamed 281-Page CASA Report - 1.4 Million Americans With 2 Million Children
Incarcerated For Alcohol, Other Drugs - 1 Million Just In State Prisons)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 22:26:36 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Drug, Alcohol Abuse Helps Triple Prison Population
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Thursday, 8 Jan 1998
Author: Darlene Superville


WASHINGTON -- Eighty percent of the adults in U.S. prisons are locked up
because of criminal activity linked to drug and alcohol abuse, says a
report from a group pressing for more spending on prison drug treatment

The report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse urged
governments, particularly the states, to spend more money to help those 1.4
million inmates kick their habits before they are returned to society. In
addition, the report said prisoners need other services such as job
training, health care and religious instruction.

``The most troublesome aspect of these grim statistics is that the country
is doing so little about them,'' Joseph Califano, president of the Columbia
University-based center, told a news conference. ``We are talking about an
incredibly insane (prison) system that doesn't make that kind of

At the same gathering, President Clinton's top drug adviser said the
government has begun to spend more on treatment as it focused its efforts
on keeping the nation's teens and children from turning to drugs.

But Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug
Control Policy, said the federal government alone can't be the solution.
``This is a law-enforcement no-brainer to move toward treatment,'' he said.

The retired Army general said federal spending on treatment programs grew
from $1 billion to $3 billion in the last five years and that government is
experimenting with new programs.

The 281-page drugs report said the tripling of America's prison population,
from 500,000 in 1980 to 1.7 million in 1996, was due mainly to criminal
acts influenced by drugs and-or alcohol.

Most of the inmates, more than 1 million, are housed in state prisons.

Of the 1.7 million total, 1.4 million adult men and women were incarcerated
for behavior influenced by alcohol or narcotics. Among the 1.4 million are
parents of more than 2 million children, the report said.

Charles Hynes, the district attorney for Brooklyn, N.Y., said a program
allowing drug offenders to seek residential treatment instead of
imprisonment had helped 325 people since it began in 1990. More than
two-thirds are still employed and paying taxes instead of collecting
welfare, he said.

Army Troops, Construction Crews Ready Anti-Drug Effort On Border (US Military
Is Moving Construction Equipment And More Than 500 Soldiers
To San Antonio, Texas)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:36:53 -0800
Subject: MN: US TX: Army Troops, Construction Crews Ready Anti-Drug Effort on Border
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998


SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- In its first major move along the U.S.-Mexico border
since a Marine shot and killed a teen-ager, the military is bringing in
construction equipment and more than 500 soldiers for anti-drug operations.

The project will begin in about two weeks near Laredo and Carrizo Springs,
the San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday.

Army construction crews will build or improve more than 240 miles of roads,
build a dozen helicopter landing pads, build a refueling site for
helicopters and generally make it easier for the U.S. Border Patrol to
reach remote areas along the Rio Grande.

Targets of the operation are drug smugglers and illegal immigrants and the
bandits who prey on them.

"They know it's safe to be in there. They have cover, and it's tough for us
to get in there," said Luis Barker, chief of the Border Patrol sector in

The Army is sending 380 soldiers and 150 vehicles, including trucks,
bulldozers and graders, to Laredo from Fort Lewis, Wash. An additional 180
solders and 70 vehicles are heading from Fort Hood to Carrizo Springs.

Reaction to the project is mixed among the area residents.

Gene Allen of Carrizo Springs, owner of the 5,000-acre Stone Ranch where
one of the helicopter landing pads is to be built, welcomes the effort.

"The main thing is they fight drug traffickers. That's what I'm concerned
about," he said.

But a Laredo Community College professor opposes the plan, saying
road-building proposals will damage the Rio Grande's ecology and destroy a
recently improved campus nature trail.

Biology Professor Jim Earhart wants students to "jump out of the bushes" in
protest when the bulldozers show up to clear a road through a newly
established nature trail fronting the river.

"At least it would call attention to them screwing up what we've had down
here and our plan for an educational site," Earhart said.

The Border Patrol contends the military projects won't harm the environment.

The controversy is the latest for the Pentagon in its anti-drug efforts.

The Pentagon suspended the use of armed military personnel on anti-drug
patrols along the border after a Marine fatally shot Esequiel Hernandez
Jr., 18, a high school student who was tending his family's goats in
Redford in the Big Bend area last May.

The patrols have not resumed, but the Pentagon has given the go- ahead for
the joint Army-Border Patrol projects, which are to begin Jan. 19 and
should conclude by April.

Another mission set for later this month involves Marine Corps reservists
improving more than 80 miles of border-area roads in Presidio County in
West Texas, not far from where Hernandez was killed.

Maureen Bossch, spokeswoman for the military's Joint Task Force Six, which
coordinates joint law enforcement-military operations, stressed the troops
will be unarmed.

"They're not going to be carrying weapons," she said. "They're going down
there to do engineering and construction. This is great training for them
and what they would need to do in case of world events."

Timothy Dunn, an El Paso-based author of a book on militarization of the
U.S.-Mexico border, said the road-building projects follow a perilous path.

"It's building the relationship between military and law enforcement, which
is dangerous for a democratic society," he said.

Lungren's Put-Down Of GOP Rival Dennis Peron Fails Test (Letter To Editor
Of 'San Francisco Examiner' Says Lungren Abandons Republican Principles
With Threat To Close California Cannabis Dispensaries)

Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 23:24:34 -0600
From: "Frank S. World" 
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lungren's Put-down Of Gop Rival Dennis Peron Fails Test
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Pubdate: Jan. 8, 1998
Website: http://www.examiner.com

Attorney General Dan Lungren makes fun of Dennis Peron running for governor
as a Republican, saying Peron "has smoked more marijuana than even I

The truth is Lungren is abandoning Republican principles with his threat to
close once again the cannabis buyers clubs. Marijuana is a product. Peron
and the buyers clubs are meeting a market demand. Lungren is using the power
of the state to prevent an industry from developing and to keep California
capitalists from developing a product that is in high demand.

What kind of a Republican would do that?

Peron is running against Lungren in the June Republican primary. Anyone can
cross over [party lines] to vote for him. Lungren feels threatened, and so
lashes out with invective and innuendo.

Lungren needs to take another look at the potential in the marijuana
business. The entire region of Northern California would boom if the state
allowed its residents to develop this cash crop that is in high demand all
over the world. We have the Wine Country in Napa / Sonoma. Why can't we have
the Marijuana Country in Humboldt / Mendocino?

I thought Republicans believed in capitalism.

To twist Lungren's own invective back on him: He must be drinking too much
liquor. He's not alert enough to see a thriving industry that would bring
the equivalent of a gold rush to a depressed region in his own state.

He's reacting with resentment against his own delusion that people using
medical marijuana are just "getting stoned" like hippies 20 years ago - just
the way alcoholics hold onto old resentments.

Peron is the real Republican running in the June primary for governor.
Lungren wants to call out a militia-like police force to keep sick people
from getting their medicine at Peron's club. Sounds more like a Nazi - or at
least a Communist - than a Republican.

Kay Ebeling
San Francisco

Ammiano To Host Medical Pot Meeting (City/County Supervisor
And Harvey Milk Democratic Club Sponsor A San Francisco 'Town Hall' Meeting
January 24 On Status Of 11362.5, With Police Chief Fred Lau
And District Attorney Terence Hallinan)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 22:26:54 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Ammiano to Host Medical Pot Meeting
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org
Source: San Francisco Examiner (California)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Pubdate: Thur, 8 Jan 1998

San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano and the Harvey Milk Democratic Club
will host a town hall meeting Jan. 24 on the medicinal use of marijuana in
San Francisco and the status of voter-approved Proposition 215.

Police Chief Fred Lau and District Attorney Terence Hallinan have agreed to
attend and will address questions concerning the implementation of Prop.
215, the state initiative allowing the restricted use of pot for medical
purposes, Ammiano said.

The meeting is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy,
4235 19th St., in the Castro District.

Sheriff Pulls Deputies From Narcotics Detail (San Luis Obispo Sheriff
Relocates Three Deputies On County's 'Narcotic' Task Force
Pending Outcome Of California Department Of Justice Investigation)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 22:23:46 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Sheriff Pulls Deputies From Narcotics Detail
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune
Contact: slott@slnt01.sanluisobispo.com
Pubdate: Thursday, January 8, 1998
Website: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/
Page: B-1, SLO County Section
Author: Danna Dykstra, Telegram-Tribune


Department of Justice probe county NTF triggers move of 3 officers

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- Sheriff Ed Williams has relocated the three deputies
assigned to the countywide Narcotic Task Force, pending the outcome of a
state Department of Justice investigation.

"There is a personnel issue that arose out of the NTF, and that issue is
being handled by the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement," Williams said
during an interview last week.

"There is an internal investigation within the NTF, and while that is going
on, those deputies assigned to the task force are working out of our
detective bureau."

Williams said the deputies are conducting investigations independent of the
NTF, although they are in contact with task force members to ensure they do
not overlap investigations. The task force has continued to work cases
throughout the state investigation.

Williams, citing confidentiality laws, declined to name the target of the
probe or the circumstances surrounding it. He said his deputies are no
longer reporting to NTF Cmdr. Craig Wright, a state Department of Justice
employee assigned in 1994 to head the 10-member task force in San Luis
Obispo County.

The deputies have not worked out of the NTF office since late September.

Wright was not available for comment. An employee at the NTF office said
Wednesday Wright was out of the office and "would not be returning from the
holidays" until Jan. 13 or 14.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on whether Wright is the
target of the probe. "We can't go in to personnel matters," said Mike Van

Jim Gardiner, the chief of the San Luis Obispo Police Department and
chairman of the NTF governing board, also declined to comment on any aspect
of the investigation. He said the board is working toward returning the
deputies to the task force.

The multi-agency task force was created to target the county's major drug
cases. It is comprised of officers from various law enforcement agencies.
The only cities that do not participate are Pismo Beach and Morro Bay.

The NTF governing board, which votes and oversees task force matters,
includes police chiefs from some participating cities, Sheriff Williams,
District Attorney Barry LaBarbera and Dick Flood of the state Bureau of
Narcotic Enforcement.

Williams worked on the formation of the task force and has been on the NTF
board of governors since its inception in 1981. He said he has always
supported the multi-agency concept in battling the county's drug problems,
but the circumstances surrounding the probe were of enough concern he
decided to temporarily pull his people until the matter is resolved.

"I just put a third person in (the task force) six months ago; my opinion
relative to the concept has not changed a bit," Williams said. "I still
feel very strongly that the drug problem requires a countywide effort.
(Agencies working independently) is not the most efficient way of doing

'Weed,' The Movie, Gets Northwest Premiere February 20 In Seattle
(Documentary By Doug Wolens Filmed At 8th Annual Cannabis Cup In Amsterdam)

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 04:02:49 -0800 (PST)
From: pcehthns@scn.org (SCN User)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: NW premier of movie 'Weed' (Seattle)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

"WEED" the movie

A documentary by Doug Wolens will be making its Northwest premier at the
Varsity Theatre February 20th through 26th, 4329 University Way N.E,
Seattle. Ticket info call Varsity Theatre 206-632-3131

The movie was filmed at the 8th Annual Cannabis Cup Ceremonies in Amsterdam.
Opening film "Pressure Drop" (http://www.pressuredrop.com).

Their promo: "The 8th Annual Cannabis Cup & Hemp Expo, a haven for tokers
of every stripe - Patagonia clad slacker, chic urban business woman, blunt
toking homeboys, and refried hippies."

"great buzzy interviews"
-Village Voice

"A vicarious stoner's vacation"

Editorial - Worshipping In The Cult Of Irresponsibility ('Financial Times'
Diatribe, On The Occasion Of Chris Farley's Death,
Against 'Immoral' Actors Using Illegal Drugs)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
Subject: Editorial: Worshipping in the cult of irresponsibility
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 10:29:50 -0800
Resent-From: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Source: Financial Post
Contact: letters@finpost.com
Pubdate: January 8, 1998
Author: By Michael Coren -- Financial Post


I am truly sorry the U.S. comic actor Chris Farley is dead. What I
think of his abilities or lack thereof is irrelevant. The fact is the
former star of television's Saturday Night Live left this world after
only 33 years. He was, it seems, a man with a good heart.

Not, however, a heart good enough to sustain the consistent drug
abuse, alcohol abuse and self-abuse to which the 296-pound young man
submitted his body.

Once again, I am sorry for his death. But more has to be said. Farley
died from similar causes as his hero, John Belushi, did 15 years
earlier. Both men indulged themselves in immoral and illegal
activities. For the same reason, actors Christian Slater and Robert
Downey Jr. have recently been sent to jail.

What is so significant is that all four of these men, and several
more in similar situations, have loyal followings and are able to
influence hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.


Belushi, who to me irretrievably lowered the level of screen comedy,
is worshipped not just by members of the public but by other
performers. They revere not only his alleged genius but -- this is
important -- also his lifestyle. What was once considered decadent and
pathetic is now often admired as rebellious and constructive.

Farley's fate was a direct product of his having no anchor in truth.
Articles have already appeared and books are apparently already being
written, however, that portray him as the lonely clown searching for
acceptance, a fine individual merely misunderstood. The public is to
blame for his demise. His peers are to blame for his demise. Everybody
is to blame for his demise, except Farley himself.

Reality has been turned on its head. Farley was an extremely wealthy
man who could afford to squander thousands of dollars on cocaine,
morphine and other drugs, thus funding the pushers who fuel the misery
of the U.S. underclass.

He should have known better. He could afford to know better.
He committed suicide by his excesses and his lack of ethical fibre.
One can be sorry for his passing without passing over his sorry lack
of self-control.

On the day Farley died, 35,000 other people died of starvation-related
diseases. Just a few miles from his luxury home, children witnessed
drive-by murders on the street.

These genuine victims are unknown to us, anonymous to a North
American public growing numb and dumb on a diet of sitcoms and
contrived news that lionizes the likes of Farley, Belushi, Slater and
Downey and ignores or even degrades those who lead a more upright and
responsible life or make wrong decisions out of desperation.

Downey is in prison for crimes that might have given a less
well-known person a great deal more time behind bars. This admittedly
talented actor has a penchant for pronouncing on political matters but
not, apparently, on that major issue of the war against drugs.

But just like his fellow celebrities who break the law, Downey is not
treated like other criminals and is given special treatment either in
a small jail or in isolation from the general population in a larger

The talk in the trade newspapers is that Downey and Slater are being
offered big-budget movies and that a proposal for a television movie
about the life and times of Chris Farley is making the rounds of
Hollywood and New York. No surprises there. These privileged
performers are thought by some to be martyrs and by others to be
brilliant young men who simply made a tiny mistake.

Final contrition and absolution may well come for Slater and Downey
if and when they appear on chat shows to say how wrong they were and
how sorry they are.

They will smile, the audience will cheer and the host will put on a
concerned, compassionate look and shake their hands. The bad boys will
nod their heads, grimace with perfect teeth and all will be well with
the world.

Until the next time.

We have developed a cult of irresponsibility and we have to ask
ourselves if we are followers, worshippers or even high priests. I
prefer to think of myself as a heretic. But then there really should
no longer be any other choice.

Conflict Of Interest Between Doctors And Pharmaceutical Companies
Proven By 'New England Journal Of Medicine' Report

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 12:02:53 -0400 (AST)
Sender: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: NEJM: Pharm co./doctor conflict of interest proven by study

The New England Journal of Medicine - January 8, 1998 - Volume 338, Number 2


Conflict of Interest in the Debate over Calcium-Channel Antagonists

Henry Thomas Stelfox, Grace Chua, Keith O'Rourke, Allan S. Detsky


Background. Physicians' financial relationships with the
pharmaceutical industry are controversial because such
relationships may pose a conflict of interest. It is unknown
to what extent industry support of medical education and
research influences the opinions and behavior of clinicians
and researchers. The recent debate over the safety of
calcium-channel antagonists provided an opportunity to
examine the effect of financial conflicts of interest.

Methods. We searched the English-language medical literature
published from March 1995 through September 1996 for articles
examining the controversy about the safety of calcium-channel
antagonists. Articles were reviewed and classified as being
supportive, neutral, or critical with respect to the use of
calcium-channel antagonists. The authors of the articles were
asked about their financial relationships with both
manufacturers of calcium-channel antagonists and
manufacturers of competing products (i.e., beta-blockers,
angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, diuretics, and
nitrates). We examined the authors' published positions on
the safety of calcium-channel antagonists according to their
financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

Results. Authors who supported the use of calcium-channel
antagonists were significantly more likely than neutral or
critical authors to have financial relationships with
manufacturers of calcium-channel antagonists (96 percent, vs.
60 percent and 37 percent, respectively; P<0.001). Supportive
authors were also more likely than neutral or critical
authors to have financial relationships with any
pharmaceutical manufacturer, irrespective of the product (100
percent, vs. 67 percent and 43 percent, respectively;

Conclusions. Our results demonstrate a strong association
between authors' published positions on the safety of
calcium-channel antagonists and their financial relationships
with pharmaceutical manufacturers. The medical profession
needs to develop a more effective policy on conflict of
interest. We support complete disclosure of relationships
with pharmaceutical manufacturers for clinicians and
researchers who write articles examining pharmaceutical
products. (N Engl J Med 1998;338:101-6.)

Source Information

From the Departments of Medicine (H.T.S., G.C., A.S.D.),
Health Administration (K.O., A.S.D.), and Public Health
Sciences (K.O.), University of Toronto; the Department of
Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital (A.S.D.); and the Department
of Medicine, Toronto Hospital (A.S.D.) -- all in Toronto.
Address reprint requests to Dr. Detsky at Mount Sinai
Hospital, Rm. 427, 600 University Ave., Toronto, ON M5G 1X5,

The full text of Special Articles is not included in the Journal
On-line. However, you can order the [5]complete article.

Copyright (c)1998 by the Massachusetts Medical Society


Halifax Daily News


Thursday, January 8, 1998

Study shows medical conflict of interest

BOSTON (Reuters) - University of Toronto researchers found virtually
all the doctors who defended a class of drugs widely used to treat
heart disease have hidden links to the makers of the drugs, the New
England Journal of Medicine reported today.

The Journal said a team of researchers found almost all the doctors
who rushed to defend the safety of calcium channel blockers in 1995
had financial links to the drug companies that make them.

The authors of the new study, led by Dr. Henry Thomas Stelfox of the
University of Toronto, tried to gauge the involvement of
industry-supported doctors in the calcium-channel controversy by
identifying articles published between March 10, 1995, and Sept. 30,
1996, and categorizing them as supportive of the medicines, critical
of them, or neutral.

Then they sent surveys to the authors of the 70 articles asking about
their financial links to drug companies in general and calcium channel
blocker-makers in particular.

They discovered "96 per cent of the supportive authors had financial
relationships with manufacturers of calcium-channel antagonists, as
compared with 60 per cent of the neutral authors and 37 per cent of
the critical authors."

Police Close 'Drug Factory' (Undercover Police In Paterson, NJ,
Chase Suspect Who Gets Away, But Find 'Upscale Drug Factory'
With Cocaine And Heroin Said To Be Worth $60,000 On Street)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 16:09:13 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US NJ: Police Close 'Drug Factory'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Bergen Record
Contact: editor@bergen.com
Pubdate: Thu, 8 Jan 1998
Author: Timothy D. May, Staff Writer


PATERSON -- Undercover police who chased a suspected drug dealer into a
Pennington Street apartment found "an upscale drug factory," stocked with
$60,000 worth of cocaine and heroin, cutting agents, and other drug
paraphernalia, police said Wednesday.

Although the man that police Task Force officers had pursued from
Pennington Street and 17th Avenue ultimately escaped, police arrested three
other men and seized hundreds of small plastic bags and envelopes
containing powdered heroin and cocaine, authorities said.

"I want people to understand that if you buy drugs in Paterson, we're going
to see you," said acting Police Chief Lawrence Spagnola. "This is just the
beginning. Our Task Force officers and narcotics detectives are
aggressively hitting all known drug areas."

Arrested were Wilfredo Reyes, 19, Raphael Ortiz, 23, and Gerlando Todaro,
34, police said. The three men, all of whom face drug possession and
distribution charges, remained in the Paterson lockup Wednesday afternoon.
Their bail status could not be determined.

Inside police headquarters Wednesday, the drugs and paraphernalia seized in
the bust early Tuesday filled three medium-sized brown paper bags. Each bag
was stapled shut and included a list of its contents.

One list read: "6 plastic baggies of white powder;" "243 glassine envelopes
of white powder;" "103 small plastic baggies containing white powder."
Another read: "Boxes of small plastic baggies;" "Rubber bands;" "Knife with
residue;" "Razor blades;" "Playing cards; "Stamp pads."

Field tests revealed the white powder was heroin and cocaine, police said.

The razors, cards, and knife allegedly were used to divide the cache of
drugs into small amounts, police said. Before being packaged in envelopes
and baggies, the powder was weighed on a digital scale -- which police also
found in the apartment. The stamp pads were used to label the bags and

The bust occurred after Task Force officers Louis DeLucca and Robert
Pleasant saw a man wearing a beige jacket and jeans walk up to a man
sitting in a gray car near Pennington Street and 17th Avenue.

The officers, believing they had witnessed a drug transaction, approached,
but the man in the beige jacket fled north on Pennington, dashing through a
yard, and escaping, according to a police report.

The officers drove away, returning about 20 minutes later with four more
officers. They spotted the suspect near an apartment building at 26
Pennington St. Again, the suspect fled -- this time running to a
third-floor apartment.

The officers pursued the man into a rear bedroom, where they discovered two
other men lying on a thin mattress, the police report states. Atop a chest
of drawers in the bedroom, police allegedly found a large quantity of
suspected heroin and cocaine. Although the initial suspect fled through a
window and down a fire escape, police stopped that chase to secure the
narcotics and arrest the other men. As they searched the apartment, the
police rousted a third man, found in another bedroom, the report states.

In addition to the drugs, detectives seized a bottle of lactose (used for
dilution), grinders, tape, glue, letter pads, and glass stirrers, police

Addict Charged With Murder (Texas Police Say The Accused Is Addicted
To Smoking Fly, A Mixture Of Marijuana And Embalming Fluid)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:41:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Addict Charged With Murder
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: Lisa Teachey


Man held without bail in killing that followed sexual assault

A capital murder charge was filed Wednesday against a 22-year-old drug
addict who police say is the "dangerous predator" who recently killed two
men, wounded another and assaulted three women.

Franklin Dewayne Alix, 22, was held in Harris County Jail without bail. He
is charged with killing Eric Bridgeford on Saturday after a sexual assault
on Bridgeford's sister.

Lt. Greg Neely, who headed the 10-man squad that solved the case, said more
charges could be filed. Alix has been linked to another killing Sunday, a
second sexual assault and nonfatal shooting in mid-December and robberies
dating back to July.

Detectives identified Alix in a July robbery and connected him to last
weekend's rampage. On Tuesday, investigators traced him to a friend's
apartment in the 6400 block of Bankside in southwest Houston.

When officers arrived there about 3:55 p.m. to arrest Alix, he jumped from
a second-story window and ran. Officers chased him to a residence in the
10800 block of Bob White and found him hiding under a picnic table.

In Alix's pockets, officers found jewelry taken from Christopher Thomas,
34, who was robbed Sunday about 3 a.m. in the 5700 block of Thrush in
southeast Houston as he sat in his car listening to music.

Detectives said Alix shot Thomas and left him to die lying beside his car.

Neely said "good basic police work" led to Alix's arrest. "We did a lot of
research on existing cases we thought might be related" to the 24-hour
crime spree in which Bridgeford and Thomas were killed, Neely said.

Alix was identified by witnesses in some of the cases and located through
the license plate number of a car used in a July robbery.

Neely said Alix has confessed to both killings, the sexual assaults and
robberies but has shown no remorse.

"He has a drug habit ... and no means of support," Neely said. "He needed
money. This was the only way he could support himself."

Alix is addicted to smoking fly, a concoction of marijuana mixed with
embalming fluid, Neely said. Alix lived with whatever friends would take
him in.

All but one of his victims were apparently chosen at random, Neely said.
Alix may have known about Thomas' jewelry and habit of listening to his
music in his car late at night because Alix once lived on Thrush.

The search for Alix began Sunday after evidence at the scene of Thomas'
killing was connected to the Bridgeford slaying 24 hours earlier.

Police said Alix abducted Bridgeford's sister from the 6400 block of
Creekbend in southwest Houston about 2 a.m. Saturday and raped her.
Afterward, officers said, he returned to the woman's home and shot
Bridgeford, 23, who walked in while Alix was robbing the home.

Police said Alix drove Bridgeford's friend's Acura to the 6400 block of
Dryad, where he forced a woman into the Acura's trunk and stole her Ford

He drove the Ranger to the 6200 block of Ludington, where he stole a Nissan
Pulsar from a man he had tried to force into its trunk.

About 24 hours later, Alix robbed and shot Thomas, police said.

They believe Alix is the man who attacked a woman Dec. 19, also in the 6400
block of Dryad.

Police said he kidnapped and sexually assaulted the woman before forcing
her into her car's trunk.

Then, they said, he drove around southwest Houston and committed several
robberies, including one in which he shot a security guard in the head and
stole his pistol. The guard is recovering.

The woman in the Dec. 19 attack is suing the apartment complex where she
lived with her mother, saying it negligently tied open a security gate.

Caller Calls Paper To Claim Drugs
(Dumbass Of The Year, And It's Only January)

Subj: WIRE: Dumbass of the Year (And it's only January)
From: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 07:15:49 -0600 (CST)

This is a follow-up to a story that Frank World posted to
mapnews. It served as my morning humor.

Caller Calls Paper To Claim Drugs
January 08, 1998

MIAMI (AP) -- A day after The Miami Herald reported boxes of drugs
mysteriously delivered to its newsroom, a man called to claim the
packages and the person who came for them was taken away by federal
agents for questioning.

No arrests were immediately made.

Fifty-three pounds of cocaine and heroin were mailed to the Herald's
business section in cartons bearing a Bogota return address and a man's
name but no addressee's name. The editor who opened the package was not
considered a suspect.

On Wednesday, a Spanish-speaking man called the newspaper. "These are my
packages. They're for me," he told a Herald employee.

Pretending to check, the employee put the caller on hold and tried to
reach a U.S. Customs agent. The agent didn't answer, and the caller hung

When he called back, he was transferred to a Customs agent posing as a
business section editor. The agent told the man he'd have to come get
the boxes.

Cincinnati Businessman Convicted Of Drug Charges In New Zealand
(Successful President Of United Dairy Farmers Arrested With Wife, Three Kids,
Cannabis, Cocaine, Enters Rehab, Escapes Usual Two-Year Term Citizens Get)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 16:20:17 -0800
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Cincinnati Businessman Convicted of Drug Charges in New Zealand
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal
Contact: ohio@akron.infi.net
Pubdate: Thu, 8 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.ohio.com/


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Robert Lindner Jr., head of a three-state chain of
convenience stores, has taken a leave of absence from the company after
being convicted of carrying cocaine and marijuana in New Zealand.

Lindner, 48, president of United Dairy Farmers, pleaded guilty to bringing
the drugs into New Zealand after being arrested Dec. 29 while on vacation.

Lindner was fined $12,500 in New Zealand dollars (about $7,000 in U.S.
currency) on Monday and deported from the South Pacific nation after
admitting that he had a drug problem, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Lindner has taken an indefinite leave of absence from UDF and entered a
drug rehabilitation program, according to a news release issued Wednesday
by his brother, Brad Lindner, executive vice president of UDF.

``We will fully support him and his family during this very difficult
time,'' he said.

Lindner is the oldest son of Robert D. Lindner Sr., one of the three
Lindner brothers who built a business empire from the founding of UDF in
1940. He is the nephew of Carl H. Lindner, chairman of American Financial

Robert D. Lindner Sr. is owner of United Dairy Farmers Inc.

Lindner was arrested at New Zealand's Auckland International Airport.
Customs personnel using drug-sniffing dogs found 11 grams of cocaine in his
luggage and eight grams of marijuana in his pockets, police said.

Eleven grams of cocaine is a little less than a 1/2-ounce, worth about
$1,000 on the streets in the United States, police said.

In Ohio, possession of that amount of cocaine is a fourth-degree felony,
punishable by six to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Lindner was jailed overnight, released on bond and still was able to spend
time fishing at Huka Lodge before his final court appearance, the Herald

``He was granted bail, which is a bit unusual,'' said Denise Mackay, an
editor at the Herald.

If Lindner had been a New Zealand citizen, he could have faced a penalty of
at least two years in prison.

High Court Justice Sian Elias fined Lindner after he admitted bringing the
drugs from the United States for his personal use.

Lindner's lawyer, David Jones, said in court that Lindner's drug use was
``related to a number of family and business circumstances,'' the Herald

Lindner had been vacationing in New Zealand and Australia with his wife and
three children.

United Dairy Farmers operates about 200 stores in Ohio, Kentucky and
Indiana and has 3,000 employees.

Barczak Retires As County Clerk Of Circuit Court (Man Who Served Decade In
Wisconsin Assembly Before Becoming A Milwaukee Court Official Retires Early
After He's Charged With Buying 12 Grams Of Crack From An Informant)

Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 23:36:41 -0600
From: "Frank S. World" 
Subject: MN: US WI: Barczak Retires As County Clerk Of Circuit Court
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Author: Jim Stingl, Journal Sentinel staff
Contact: Fax: (414) 224-8280
Email: jsedit@onwis.com
Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/


Clerk of Circuit Court Gary Barczak, who is awaiting trial on drug charges,
is retiring today, now that he's eligible for his pension.

"He was in this morning and signed some retirement papers," Jac R. Amerell,
the Milwaukee County's employee retirement manager, said Wednesday.

Barczak has been off the job on paid leave since he was arrested Oct. 9.

The complaint charges him with purchasing 12 grams of crack cocaine from a
confidential informant cooperating with the Sheriff's Department.

He was charged with a felony count of solicitation to commit a felony and
misdemeanor charges of possession of crack and drug paraphernalia.
Washington County District Attorney David Resheske is the special prosecutor
on the case.

By remaining on the payroll until Jan. 1 and attaining 15 years of service,
Barczak qualifies for a pension of about $1,530 a month.

That amount will be reduced to $1,320 because Barczak chose a 100% survivor
option for his wife, Judy. If she survives him, she will get that same
monthly amount until she dies.

"He's taken a reduction now to provide a future benefit for his spouse,"
Amerell said.

Barczak, 58, also will receive paid health insurance for the rest of his

The county's Pension Board is expected to give final approval to Barczak's
retirement at a meeting on Jan. 28.

The benefits Barczak will receive could have been jeopardized if he had been
removed from office through a felony conviction or by a majority vote of the
county's circuit judges.

Barczak's lawyer, Michael Steinle, said he is in no danger of losing these
benefits. Steinle said he would submit Barczak's formal letter of
resignation today to Circuit Judge Michael Skwierawski, the acting chief
judge in the county.

"This was a decision by Gary to leave his office and go into the private
sector. It has nothing to do with the criminal case," meaning that it was
not part of any plea bargain, Steinle said.

"We're still set for trial. As the trial gets closer, I'm sure Resheske and
I will talk" about the possibility of resolving the case short of trial,
Steinle said.

Resheske said Wednesday that Barczak's voluntary surrender of his job "is a
factor I will consider" -- and consider favorably -- in any negotiations
with Steinle.

Asked for specifics about Barczak's plans, Steinle said: "He has a lot of
options. That's all I can tell you. Right now he's focusing on his
treatment. He's been released from in-patient treatment and he's continuing
out-patient treatment at this time."

The chief deputy clerk of courts, Jon Sanfilippo, has been handling
Barczak's duties since October.

Skwierawski said the job could be filled by someone selected by the circuit
judges, or it could remain vacant until the election in the fall. The matter
will be placed on the agenda of the judges' annual meeting later this month,
he said.

Barczak's trial is scheduled for Feb. 2 before Thomas S. Williams, a circuit
judge brought in from Winnebago County. Barczak is free on $3,500 bail.

If he is convicted as charged, the maximum sentence is six years and one
month in prison plus a $15,500 fine.

The criminal complaint against Barczak said he had known the informant for
many years and had purchased cocaine from him other times.

As deputies watched, Barczak met the informant in a West Allis parking lot
and then the two drove to Barczak's home, also in West Allis. A search
turned up cocaine and a crack pipe at the home and drugs in Barczak's car.

The informant also claimed that at times he had provided a prostitute for
Barczak along with the cocaine. And he claimed that Barczak had delivered
cocaine to other people at a party, court documents say.

Those same documents say Barczak admitted to deputies that he had been using
cocaine for a few years and was smoking the more potent crack for about a

Barczak, who has two grown daughters, served for a decade in the state
Assembly before becoming clerk of courts in Milwaukee.

Juror Smoked Pot with Defendants, Then Convicted Them (As A Result,
At Least One Of The Two West Virginian Men Still In Prison Is Attempting
To Put Aside The 1993 Verdict)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:33:44 EST
From: "Doug Keenan" (dougkeenan@email.msn.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: High times in West Virginia

Juror Smoked Pot with Defendants, Then Convicted Them


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) A juror helped convict three defendants of drug
charges one day after he smoked marijuana with them on a country road and
discussed the possible outcome of their trial.

Matthew Smith, 27, of Lost Creek, pleaded guilty to contempt of court Dec.
29 and is free awaiting a punishment left up to the judge, Assistant U.S.
Attorney Sharon L. Potter said Wednesday.

Smith's admission has raised questions about the three defendants convicted
in the 1993 federal trial on marijuana-manufacturing
charges. Timothy W. McCoy is serving 24 years in prison, Connie Sue Heater
is serving 10 years, and Harvey B. John was released after completing a
25-month sentence.

At least one of the two still in prison is attempting to attack the
conviction based on Smith's misconduct, Potter said.

Defense lawyers accused Smith of misconduct in their appeals but said they
did not have testimony to support the claims, Potter said. Federal
officials investigated and Smith was indicted last summer.

Jurors in all criminal trials are admonished against contacting anyone
involved in the cases they consider. But Potter said Smith spoke
briefly to at least one defendant during the trial and again with a
defendant who dropped a dollar bill in a parking lot.

After closing arguments, Smith and the three left the courthouse in
different cars and drove to a country road, where Smith discussed
potential verdicts while the group smoked pot, Potter said. Jury
deliberations began the next morning.

There is no telephone listing for Smith in his hometown. His lawyer, Peter
G. Zurbuch of Elkins, was out of the office today and did not
return a call to his office. McCoy's lawyer at trial had no comment;
Heater's lawyer did not return a call.

Sharp Unveils Wide-Ranging Anti-Crime Plan (Democratic Texas Candidate
For Lieutenant Governor Wants Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:45:26 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US TX: Sharp Unveils Wide-Ranging Anti-Crime Plan
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: R.G. Ratcliffe


AUSTIN -- Democratic lieutenant governor candidate John Sharp unveiled a
wide-ranging anti-crime plan Wednesday that looked like it was partly
tailored to appeal to voters in the North Texas Republican stronghold of

Sharp's plan includes expanding the death penalty to drug traffickers and
repeat child molesters.

Plano recently has been rocked by reports that 11 teen-agers died in the
Dallas suburb during 1997 due to heroin overdoses. Five years ago, a repeat
sex offender snatched a 7-year-old girl out from under her parents'
supervision in a Plano city park and strangled her.

Sharp likened drug trafficking to cold-blooded murder.

"This is not a crime of passion that you just woke up one morning and
decided to do," Sharp said. "You made a deliberate decision that you're
going to sell a lot of heroin and you're going to bring a lot of drugs into
the state of Texas, and it's going to kill kids."

Sharp so far in his campaign has tried to distance himself from his own
Democratic Party by portraying himself as above partisan politics. He also
has declined to endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Garry Mauro.

But by getting in the first lick on crime against GOP lieutenant governor
candidate Rick Perry, Sharp was moving into traditional Republican
territory in more ways than one. Democratic Gov. Ann Richards lost her 1994
re-election, many political consultants say, because Republican George W.
Bush beat her on the crime issue in suburbs.

Sharp said Texas should pass a law that ends retroactively a system called
mandatory supervision. Mandatory supervision allows automatic parole for
prison inmates whose time served and good time equals their sentence.

Mauro has criticized Bush for not pushing such a law to keep his 1994
campaign promise to end mandatory supervision retroactively. Bush dropped
his effort to do so last year, saying the U.S. Supreme Court would rule it
to be unconstitutional.

Sharp, the state comptroller, said he also wants to use prison inmates on
public works projects across Texas.

"The public would feel a lot better about what they're paying into the
prison system if every driver who drove down I-35 saw a bunch of folks in
orange jackets picking up trash on the side of the highway," Sharp said.

"The people of the state of Texas expect something to be put back into the
community, whether it's chain gangs or painting public schools," Sharp

Sharp said almost half the state's prison inmates do not work full time. He
said he would take away televisions and weight- lifting machines.

Sharp's plan also included a proposal to keep sexual predators under state
control after their prison sentence has been completed by having them
transferred to a state psychiatric facility.

Perry's campaign manager said much of Sharp's crime plan is stolen from
proposals made by either Perry or Bush.

"Many of the ideas announced today are so good they have already been
proposed," said Perry manager Jim Arnold.

Arnold noted that Sharp proposed using inmates to chop down cedars over the
Edwards Aquifer to help solve San Antonio's water problems. He said Perry,
as state agriculture commissioner, already has made arrangements with the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice to do that.

Sharp Proposes Anti-Crime Plan, GOP's Perry Says Ideas Echo His Own
('Dallas Morning News' Version)

Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 00:14:48 -0600
From: "Frank S. World" 
Subject: MN: US TX: Sharp proposes anti-crime plan
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Author: By Terrence Stutz
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Jan. 8, 1998
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
discussion forum: http://forums.dallasnews.com/dallas


AUSTIN - Democrat John Sharp proposed a criminal justice plan Wednesday that
would keep violent sex offenders locked up indefinitely and expand the death
penalty to major drug traffickers and repeat child molesters.

Mr. Sharp, state comptroller and the only Democrat running for lieutenant
governor, also called for putting more prison inmates to work and
retroactive elimination of mandatory early release for state prisoners.

"Making Texas safer must be our top priority," Mr. Sharp said at a news
conference. "My criminal justice reform plan will help accomplish that."

However, a prison spokesman said nearly 88 percent of the state's 141,000
inmates are already working on a daily basis.

And the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory early release cannot be
taken away retroactively. The Texas Legislature eliminated mandatory early
release for future criminal cases in 1995.

Mr. Sharp insisted that more prisoners could be put to work in Texas,
possibly even in chain gangs. And he said the state should try to pass a law
on mandatory early release that could be upheld in the courts.

Other parts of his "zero tolerance" criminal justice plan would crack down
on juvenile gangs and strengthen criminal penalties against those who
assault teachers.

Announcement of the proposals sparked an exchange between the Democrat's
campaign and that of his Republican opponent, Rick Perry, who said Mr.
Sharp's plan "echoes" his own crime reforms.

Both candidates accused each other of voting for bills in the Legislature
that allowed early release of large numbers of prison inmates. The measures
were passed when the state was under a sweeping court order to end
overcrowding in the prison system.

Mr. Sharp served in the Senate and House, while Mr. Perry, now state
agriculture commissioner, served in the House.

"John Sharp's political rhetoric does not match his weak criminal justice
record," said Perry campaign manager Jim Arnold. "Many of the ideas
announced today are so good, they have already been proposed by state
leaders like Rick Perry and Gov. [George W.] Bush.

"John Sharp is once again following the Bill Clinton-Garry Mauro [Democratic
nominee for governor] playbook. Take other people's ideas, claim them as
your own, and don't give details"

When Mr. Perry outlined a plan last month to crack down on drunk drivers,
the Sharp campaign responded that he - not Mr. Perry - co-authored
legislation to beef up the state's drunk-driving laws.

During his news conference, Mr. Sharp accused Mr. Perry of ignoring public
safety when he voted for a 1987 bill that allowed the early release of
thousands of prisoners.

"I will never put partisan politics above the safety of Texas families," the
Democrat said, referring to Mr. Perry's explanation that he voted for the
bill under pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Arnold said Mr. Sharp, while a state lawmaker, voted for a bill to allow
early release of some prison inmates in 1983 and against a 1981 bill
requiring criminals to pay restitution to victims.

A Sharp campaign spokesman said the 1983 bill allowed the early release of
only a small number of nonviolent offenders.

The plan unveiled by Mr. Sharp also calls for longer prison sentences for
drug pushers and use of tents to house inmates when necessary.

His campaign plans to purchase billboards around the state to promote the
anti-crime initiative.

Mr. Sharp's criminal-justice plan and Mr. Perry's drunk-driving proposal
would have to be approved by the Legislature to become law. The lieutenant
governor presides over the Senate and has a great deal of influence over
legislation, but does not have a vote except to break ties.

At his news conference, Mr. Sharp was asked about death row inmate Karla
Faye Tucker, who is scheduled next month to become the first woman executed
in Texas since the Civil War.

"Here's one human being who put a 3-foot-long pickax 27 times into another
human being and a jury said she was guilty. I would have a very difficult
time overriding that jury's decision," he said.

Ms. Tucker, 38, was convicted in the 1983 slaying of Jerry Lynn Dean, 27, at
his Houston apartment. She is scheduled to be executed Feb. 3.

Parents Ignoring Marijuana Problem, Research Shows ('St. Paul Pioneer Press'
Documents That Some 'Doctors' In Minnesota Don't Know The Difference
Between Propaganda And Peer-Reviewed Research)

Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 20:40:21 -0500
Subject: US MN: Parents Ignoring Marijuana Problem, Research Shows
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave West 
Source: Saint Paul Pioneer Press
Author: Matt Peiken, Staff Writer
Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Contact: Reader Advocate: Nancy Conner nconner@pioneerplanet.infi.net
Mail: 345 Cedar St. St. Paul, MN 55101
LTE FAX: 612-228-5564
Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/


St. Paul comedian Dwight York talks about marijuana causing short-term
memory loss, then repeats the joke five minutes later. But if adults knew
about the long-term effects, researchers say, they wouldn't be so blase
about the possibility that their teen-age children are smoking pot.

In an age when teens can get their hands on coke, crank, crack, smack,
cigarettes, LSD, ecstasy and God-knows-what in a bottle, research shows
more young people are turning to marijuana. On top of that, more are doing
so at a younger age.

Parental indifference is among the reasons, experts say, adding that many
believe marijuana, in comparison to other drugs, is "soft." Researchers say
adults are ignoring the cancers, reproductive disorders, addictions and
other serious health problems tied to marijuana.

"Drugs go through fads, like fashion, but marijuana has never really left
us," says Dr. Susan Dalterio, a life scientist with the University of
Texas, San Antonio.

Dalterio, who has studied the trends and effects of marijuana use for 15
years, talks about regional and national research, along with associated
concerns, from 7 to 9 tonight at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
in Plymouth. Among the findings she will address: Between 1992 and 1995,
monthly marijuana use in the Twin Cities rose from 4 percent to 14.5
percent among ninth-graders and from 10 percent to 18.5 percent among high
school seniors participating in the annual Minnesota Student Survey.

"Other drugs are more acutely dangerous, but that doesn't mean marijuana
can't hurt you," Dalterio says. "People think if something doesn't kill
you, it's not so bad. But marijuana works in a very different time frame
than drugs like cocaine and crack. The effects are more subtle, but they
can be very serious and permanent."

Along with short-term loss of memory and concentration, Dalterio says,
marijuana weakens the immunity and respiratory systems and can damage the
reproductive systems in men and women.

"And anyone who tells you pot isn't addicting has been smoking it for years
and years," Dalterio says, explaining that regular marijuana smokers are
fixed on releases of doparnine, a chemical in the brain that works as an

The chemical, also released naturally during short bursts of excitement,
flows at unnatural levels when people regularly smoke marijuana. So when
people stop smoking altogether, they often feel depressed. They don't
connect it to the cutoff of dopamine; they only know they felt better when
they were high, Dalterio says, so they start smoking pot again.

Compared to cigarettes, she adds, marijuana has more of the hydrocarbons
leading to cancers of the lungs, bladder and elsewhere. And because
marijuana is grown and sold without quality controls, it contains fungal
spores and other potentially harmful bacteria, Dalterio says.

"People think that because it grows in nature, it's safe. But there are
lots of mushrooms and poisonous wildflowers you shouldn't take into your
system," Dalterio says. "And the idea of smoking marijuana as a medication,
at this point, is a big mistake. You wouldn't take aspirin or any other
medication if it were produced under the same conditions."

The prognosis for teens today is worse than it was for those who started
smoking marijuana 20 years ago, researchers say, citing more potent plants
and the trend of smoking "blunts"- pot rolled into cleaned-out and resealed
cigar wraps.

As it is, in 1996, more Minnesota teens were accepted into treatment
centers for marijuana addiction .(11 percent) than for cocaine
(14.5:percent). Of those in for marijuana, more than one third were younger
than 18.

Carol Falkowski, an epidemiologist and senior research analyst with ?Iden
Foundation in Celit?? Minn., is particularly alarmed more kids are starting
to take pot before entering high school. Falkowski cites her own informal
survey of students in the Minneapolis public schools who said that, at
between $3 and $5 for a joint, it was easier to get their hands on pot than
on alcohol.

"Twenty years ago, hippies weren't saying 'Hey, let's get my fifth-grade
sister loaded,'" she says. "But now kids are getting into it when they're
not old enough to have the emotional and psychological skills to (handle)
mind-altering substances."

Can A DEA Agent Spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E? (Pharmacist's Letter To Editor
Of 'Rocky Mountain News' Ridicules DEA Agents Who Admit Celebrating Busts
With 'Stiff Drinks')
Link To 'God's Troops On Front Lines In War On Drugs'
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 01:18:35 -0700 (MST)
From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 
X-Sender: cohip@saturn.eagle-access.net
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 

Subject: Can a DEA agent spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

Letter to the Editor
Rocky Mountain News, January 8, 1998
400 W. Colfax
Denver, CO 80204
Phone: (303) 892-5000
Fax: (303) 892-5499
Email: letters@denver-rmn.com
Web: http://www.denver-rmn.com

Shouldn't drug agents concentrate their efforts on all mind-altering drugs?

The Dec. 25 headline said "God's troops on front lines in war on
drugs." The article told how federal DEA agents rationalize their daily
practice of lies and deceptions with "their stringent sense of right and

The punchline of this bad joke was about one of the agents getting his
first score and stopping to brag about it to his wife before joining his
buddies to celebrate with "raw jokes, high-fives, and stiff drinks."

That's right, drug agents busting citizens for using drugs and then abusing
drugs themselves. Can a DEA agent spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

Readers may wish to consider which is more dangerous: people using
deadly drugs such as tobacco or alcohol (which are more deadly than
cocaine or heroin), or true believers enforcing hypocritical drug laws and
violating your inalienable right of liberty?

Since tobacco (a Schedule I drug), alcohol (Schedule II), and coffee
and tea (Schedule V) meet the definitions of controlled substances, since
they are all mind-altering, physically-addicting drugs, will the DEA
immediately demand that Congress and state legislatures regulate these
drugs as controlled substances? Will any DEA agent uphold his oath of
office and actually guarantee citizens the equal protection of the law by
ensuring that all drugs are subject to the drug laws and not just most of

If these DEA agents are really "Peace Officers for Christ," won't this
be the highest priority for them in their professional and personal lives?

Tom Barrus
Registered Pharmacist
and President of the American Federation for Legal Consistency
Golden, Colo.

Prohibition Doesn't Work (Letter To Editor Of 'Boulder Weekly' Deflates WOD
Assumptions - 'When A Trafficker Goes Down, The Market Doesn't Even Blink
Because People Are Literally Killing And Dying To Get Into The Drug Trade')

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 21:38:40 -0800
Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: Prohibition Doesn't Work
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 
Source: Boulder Weekly
Contact: bweditor@tesser.com
Pubdate: Thu, 8 Jan 1998


Prohibition never equals regulation for real control at any point in the
spectrum. As one moves farther and farther toward attempting a "drug-free
society," the oversight necessary for regulation diminishes proportionally
until there is virtually no beneficial control. When an activity is made so
illegal that any participation in the trade mandates prison terms,
virtually all control over the market is lost because outlaws who defy
Draconian prohibition laws don't obey orders from the government.

Harsh sentences after the fact hardly add up to regulation. Putting
hundreds of thousands of people in prison for violating prohibition laws is
an admission of the failure of the policy, not a sign of success. Filling
our prisons with drug offenders proves that drug prohibition is not working
and never will work.

In the real world, drug prohibition abdicates market control to criminals
and corrupted officials. Prohibition laws control, suppress and regulate
very little, unless you think chasing street-level dealers from one
neighborhood to another accomplishes something. Prohibition has not
succeeded in attaining any of its original goals. Zero tolerance is a joke,
and drug use is out of government control because prohibition doesn't work.

The fundamental concept of prohibiting a substance with a market demand is
fatally flawed. Immediately, the price of the banned item skyrockets,
making it incredibly profitable for outlaws to deal in the contraband
commodity. With fortunes to be made, jailing users and dealers is an
exercise in futility because a replacement appears before the judge slams
down the gavel or the undertaker shovels the last spade full of dirt over
their bodies.

When a narco-trafficker goes down, the market doesn't even blink because
people are literally killing and dying to get into the drug trade. It
should be obvious that the laws and prisons are not working.

The solution to most of our "drug problems" is to legalize drugs for adult
use and license the dealers and manufacturers. Legalization won't eliminate
drugs, but it will eliminate all the problems associated with an illegal
black market. A licensing scheme similar to that used for alcohol would put
the criminals out of business overnight. Bootleggers couldn't compete in
the legal alcohol market after repeal, and neither will the drug cartels be
able to compete against licensed drug dealers regulated by the state.

With legalization, drug use by children could be reduced considerably
because licensed dealers won't risk their businesses selling to minors.
With prohibition, children are totally vulnerable to drugs because black
market dealers have nothing to lose by selling to all comers. A legal
market restricted to adults would greatly reduce drug use among the young,
exactly the same way repeal stopped the epidemic of children's drinking
that went on during alcohol prohibition.

The prohibitionists get excited by the word "legalization," but it really
means returning some measure of control and regulation to society. It's
time to abandon drug prohibition and regulate the drug market.

Redford Givens/ San Francisco, Calif.

Another Look At Methadone Maintenance (Op-Ed Writer Says San Francisco
Supervisor Gavin Newsom Is Right To Call For Changing Federal Regulations
To Allow Private Physicians To Prescribe Methadone To Heroin Addicts)

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 20:10:14 EST
From: "Tom O'Connell" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, January 8, 1998
Page A23

OPEN FORUM -- Another Look at Methadone Maintenance

Marsha Rosenbaum

LAST WEEK, Supervisor Gavin Newsom called for changing
federal regulations to endorse private physicans'
prescribing of methadone to heroin addicts.

Newsom is right for many reasons. Endorsing private
physician prescription and pharmacy dispensation would
allow patients stabilized on methadone to leave the
clinic setting, thus freeing up slots for addicts closer
to the street who may need more supervision initially.
Treatment by private physicians would be cheaper, and
would allow patients to lead more normal lives.

Citing increased overdose deaths and long waiting lists
for treatment, Newsom wants to `start looking at the
problem as a medical one.` It's about time. Today, less
than 20 percent of the nation's heroin addicts are
enrolled in methadone maintenance, largely because
programs are mired in red tape and regulations, or are
inaccessible because of cost or location.

In the late 1960s, after working with heroin addicts,
Drs. Vincent Dole and Marie Nyswander argued that
addiction was a physiological disease. Methadone, it was
found, could lessen the physical craving for heroin, and
its daily use would enable a patient to stop using
heroin and become a productive member of society.
According to Dr. Robert Newman of Beth Israel Hospital
in New York, the media heralded methadone as a
``Cinderella drug'' that could be economically applied
to hundreds of thousands of addicts, and, in short
order, solve the narcotics problem.`

Methadone maintenance was and still is defined as a
medical solution to addiction, analogous to daily
insulin for diabetics. The Nixon administration adopted
maintenance treatment as part of its arsenal in the war
on crime and drugs. Federally funded researchers
produced mounds of data showing that addicts on
methadone maintenance treatment were able, some for the
first time, to begin living without hard street drug use
and criminal pursuits. Methadone maintenance treatment
worked, and the number of patients on it increased
rapidly in the early 1970s.

With methadone's growth, however, came calls to control
its distribution. Regulations stipulated that methadone,
a synthetic narcotic, could be dispensed only in
licensed clinics on specific days and hours; the rules
also mandated random supervised urine testing and
counseling. Patients found that complying with the
program often did not facilitate -- but instead
interfered -- with work, school, and family

In the 1980s, scientists determined that shared IV
needles help spread the AIDS virus. Nonetheless,
addicts' access to oral methadone, which can eliminate
the need to use needles, was diminished even further
during that decade. Rea gan's fiscal austerity (toward
the poor) meant a 30 percent decline in funding for
maintenance programs between 1976 and 1987. ``Treatment
on demand'' became anything but a reality, particularly
for those who could not afford to pay clinic fees in
excess of $300 per month.

Just when it is needed most as a treatment to help
prevent AIDS, methadone has become almost fully
de-medicalized and inaccessible. Intravenous drug use
has now surpassed unsafe gay sex as the leading cause of
new cases of HIV disease. Study after study continues to
show that methadone maintenance, because it enables
addicts to stop using needles, effectively reduces drug
related death, disease and crime.

Newsom was wise to call for expanding methadone
treatment through increased medicalization. That is,
after all, where it has succeeded.

Group Reunites To Keep E. Palo Alto Streets Clean (Supposedly, The Same
Tactics Of Harassing Suspicious Young People Put A Lid On Drug Sales In 1993
- With Help From Police In East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Menlo
Park, The California Highway Patrol, And The Sheriff's Office)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 21:43:08 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Group Reunites to Keep E. Palo Alto Streets Clean
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Thu, 8 Jan 1998
Author: Sue Hutchinson, SHutchison@sjmercury.com


East P.A. group reunites against drugs, gangs

IF EVERYTHING goes according to schedule, Dennis Scherzer and a half-dozen
of his East Palo Alto neighbors will be patrolling the area around
Crystal's Dinette on Clarke Avenue today.

At the neighbors' meeting this week, the 6 a.m. stakeout was listed as
Number 5 on the agenda: ``Disrupt Crystal's Dinette drug meeting.'' It was
a couple of items down from Item 3c: ``Report re. drug addict nightclub.''

Scherzer said that's a pretty typical agenda for the group's weekly
meeting. They call themselves Turn Around East Palo Alto, and they don't go
in for a lot of polite bureaucratic language like, ``Address increasing
narcotics trade on Bay and Clarke Streets.'' They want drug dealers out of
their neighborhoods, and they're way past being tactful about it.

If you remember what East Palo Alto was like back in the bad old days of
'91 and '92, you probably heard about a lot of crime-watch and community
groups with names like Turn Around East Palo Alto. That's when lugubrious
TV promo announcers were touting upcoming ``special reports'' on East Palo
Alto's sky-high homicide rate: ``The little city they're calling Murder
Capital USA.''

I used to talk to Scherzer a lot back then and get reports from the front.
He stood in the street taking license plate numbers of drivers who'd come
over the Dumbarton Bridge to score drugs in his neighborhood. He was sick
and tired of trying to raise a family in a place where people turned up the
TV to drown out the sound of gunshots.

Then came the crackdown. East Palo Alto joined forces with Palo Alto, Menlo
Park the CHP and the sheriff and got enough cops on the streets to finally
put a lid on the drug dealing and gang banging. By 1993, the bullet-riddled
bodies of young men were no longer arriving at Jones Mortuary on a monthly
basis. The neighbors had won. And a lot of the crime-watch groups disbanded
or lay dormant.

But over the past year the gunfire-nights began to return. Some neighbors
began complaining again about being caught in the middle of gang turf
feuds. Meanwhile, a recent civil grand jury report recommended disbanding
the police department because it's underfunded and badly managed. It began
to seem like the bad old days might return.

That's why Scherzer and his neighbors resuscitated Turn Around East Palo
Alto a year ago. They aren't about to let the junkies take over again. So
they put on white hats and stand vigil on street corners and back lots
where drug dealers do business. They take camcorders and write down license
plate numbers and report back to the cops.

Scherzer's been at it so long his white hat is covered with stickers. The
stickers are part of the national ``Turn Around America'' program that was
started in Philadelphia. They're like Boy Scout merit badges.

One sticker has a drawing of a foot and a donkey. ``That's a `kick-ass'
sticker. You get it if you scare drug dealers away on your vigil,''
Scherzer said. Another sticker has the head of dog on it. ``You get that
one if a drug dealer calls you `bitch,' '' Scherzer said. ``And you get
these with the bird on them if a drug dealer flips you the bird.''

There are dog and bird stickers in two rows all the way around the brim of
Scherzer's white hat. ``The idea is when your hat is dirty, your streets
are clean,'' he said. He looked at the dog stickers and laughed.

I asked him if he was scared to keep showing up in his white hat every week.

``Frankly,'' he said, ``I'm scared about what will happen if we don't show up.''

Oakland Firm Admits Tobacco Plot (DNA Plant Technology Plans Guilty Plea
To Single Misdemeanor Count Of Conspiring To Export Without A Permit High-
Nicotine 'Fumo Louco' Tobacco Seeds, Illegal To Grow In The United States)

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 20:10:29 EST
From: "Tom O'Connell" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Lead Article SF Chronicle

Tom O'Connell writes:

There are many interesting facets to this story, starting with the fact
that cigarettes rich in nicotine are the equivalent of joints rich in THC.
The user needs less for the desired effect, thus reducing exposure to
(harmful) vegetable combustion by-products. On another level, the fact
that they were smuggling shows that the right law can turn "law-abiding"
business men into "criminals." Finally, if we succeed in outlawing cigarette
manufacturers, as some clearly want to do, we'll face 40 million or so
addicted fellow-citizens with the cruel choice of kicking their addiction
or buying on a criminal market.


San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, January 8, 1998
Page A1

PAGE ONE -- Oakland Firm Admits Tobacco Plot
High-nicotine research for big cigarette-maker

Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Staff Writer

An Oakland biotechnology company agreed to plead guilty
yesterday to conspiring with a major cigarettemaker to
jack up the nicotine content of tobacco plants.

The criminal case -- the first to stem from a continuing
federal fraud investigation of the tobacco industry --
casts new doubts on a proposed nationwide settlement of
tobacco-related lawsuits.

DNA Plant Technology Corp. admitted to having worked for
nine years on the secret research project, starting in
1983, at the behest of an unnamed ``U.S. tobacco

The manufacturer was widely but unofficially identified
yesterday as Brown & Williamson, maker of Viceroy, Kools
and other top- selling brands.

Opponents of Big Tobacco confidently predicted
indictments soon against some name-brand cigarette

``The Justice Department didn't go to all this trouble
just to nab DNA Plant Technology,'' said Richard
Daynard, a professor at Northeastern University School
of Law in Boston and chairman of the
anti-cigarette-industry Tobacco Products Liability
Project. ``They are after bigger fish, and I think they
are close to catching them.''

DNA Plant Technology plans to plead guilty to a single
misdemeanor count of conspiring to export tobacco seeds
without a permit. The company faces a maximum fine of
$200,000 or double any profits received.

Although the final chapters have yet to be revealed, the
case has all the earmarks of a high-tech corporate crime
thriller, complete with code names, exotic locales and
elaborate smuggling routines, according to interviews
and documents filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in
Washington, D.C.

Puff Daddies: What do you think about the Tobacco

The research project tried to harness the tools of
biotechnology, such as gene-splicing and advanced plant
breeding, to produce commercial high-nicotine varieties
of tobacco. This would allow a manufacturer to precisely
manipulate nicotine levels -- perhaps keeping it high
enough to maintain smokers' addictions even in so-called
``light'' brands containing less cancer-causing tar. DNA
Plant Technology's role involved research focused on a
designer tobacco plant, code named ``Y-1,'' whose leaves
yielded 6 percent nicotine, twice the normal level. It
is illegal to grow high-nicotine plants in the United

Company executives were until now best known for their
improved varieties of snack-size carrots, sweet peppers
and cherry tomatoes, and a genetically engineered tomato
called ``Endless Summer.''


Yesterday, DNA Plant Technology executives were
portrayed as having spent most of the past decade
boarding airplanes carrying secret stashes of designer
tobacco seeds. The seeds, which executives referred to
in memos as ``special material'' bound for ``winter
trials'' abroad, were smuggled to various locales known
for long growing seasons and had less risk of being
detected by competitors and government authorities. In
Brazil, farmers working for a subsidiary of the U.S.
cigarettemaker surreptitiously used the seeds to raise
what they called ``fumo louco'' -- high-nicotine ``crazy

Nicotine's addictive properties are well-established
among health researchers and recently became the basis
of new federal rules that treat cigarettes as a drug
subject to regulation by the Food and Drug
Administration. But the industry challenges those
assumptions and has been battling the rules in court.


The federal investigation of the tobacco industry was
prompted by leaked documents and whistle- blower
testimony before Congress that suggested a decades-long
pattern of corporate deceit about the hazards of
cigarettes and what tobacco executives knew to be true
vs. what they said in public.

Federal prosecutors would not say whether further
criminal charges are imminent. Brown & Williamson, a
unit of the British conglomerate B.A.T. Industries,
declined to comment.

The tobacco unit, based in Lexington, Ky., ranks as the
third-largest U.S. cigarette manufacturer.

The Justice Department referred to the company only as an
``unindicted co-conspirator'' in documents filed in
connection with DNA Plant Technology, citing the
continuing investigation.


Most tobacco observers focused on the case's potential
impact on the controversial tobacco settlement, which
would relieve the industry of certain legal risks in
exchange for a cash payment and other concessions.

Prospects for the settlement were considered shaky even
before yesterday's news.

Although White House officials expressed confidence that
the deal would go through, noted anti-smoking crusader
Stan Glantz said all bets are off if the big
cigarettemakers start turning up in criminal court, too.

``It's going to be a lot harder now for congresspeople
to vote with the tobacco industry on this,'' the
University of California at San Francisco researcher
said yesterday, portraying the proposed settlement as
``a complete sellout.''

Official Compares Boot Camp To Gang Recruitment Centre (Ontario Considers
'Beefing Up' Its Juvenile Justice System)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Official compares boot camp to gang recruitment centre
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 10:16:14 -0800
Source: London Free Press (Ontario)
Contact: editor@lfpress.com
CREDIT: By Jeff Harder -- Sun Media Queen's Park Bureau

January 8, 1998


WINNIPEG -- Boot camps can be nothing but recruitment centres for
violent youth gangs, the Ontario crime commission was warned

A 30-year veteran of the Aggasiz Youth Centre, Manitoba's version of
boot camp for young offenders, said inmates spend their sentences
signing up new members for gangs that specialize in selling drugs,
robbing stores and running prostitutes.

"Up to 58 per cent of our (110-inmate) population are gang members
already," said the official, who asked not to be named. "They recruit
here. The pressure is strong when 10 out of 15 kids in a room are in a
gang. It's hard to resist."

Ontario's three crime commissioners toured the 44-acre Portage la
Prairie prison Wednesday.

Jim Brown, London South's Bob Wood and Gerry Martiniuk are examining
youth crime initiatives with an eye to beefing up Ontario's justice

Ontario's only boot camp, called Project Turnaround, opened last year
near Midland. Two inmates escaped the night before Solicitor General
Bob Runciman was to open the facility.

The Aggasiz Youth Centre had 30 breakouts last year despite being
surrounded by a 12-foot chain-link fence.

New Tack In War On Drugs (Australian State's $160,000 Scheme
Will Send 'Mod Squads' Of Drug Counsellors Ages 16-22 To Rock
Concerts, Nightclubs And Surfing Carnivals)

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 21:34:49 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Australia: New Tack in War On Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: The Australian News Network/Herald Sun
Contact: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/
Pubdate: Thursday, 08 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/state/4263661.htm
Author: Michelle Coffey


YOUTH festivals such as rock concerts, nightclubs and surfing carnivals
will be the targets of the State Government's newest crackdown on drugs.

The government will use 18 hand-picked recruits to spread the anti-drugs
message at venues attracting large youth crowds in potentially drug-rich

The strategic switch to an "on-the-ground" approach will add a vital extra
prong to the government's $100 million drugs program.

Until now it has been spearheaded by adults.

Health Minister Rob Knowles, himself a key figure in anti-drug
advertisements, will today unveil the "mod squads" of drug counsellors aged
between 16 and 22.

"Young people do not differentiate between alcohol usage and a range of
other drugs, and they see the concept of adults using alcohol while telling
them not to touch other drugs as hypocritical," Mr Knowles told the Herald
Sun yesterday.

"If they've got people their own age, normal young kids who have been
specially recruited and trained to provide information, they are much more
likely to be receptive."

The youths, recruited by the Centre for Adolescent Health and the
Australian Drug Foundation, have been trained to discuss the risks
associated with the use of alcohol, marijuana and other illegal substances.

They will also give guidance on the safest way to use drugs.

The strategy, to be launched today, will begin at the Homebake rock concert
at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday.

The youth drugs squad will have a booth operating at the concert, and will
be handing out postcards with telephone numbers for hotlines and other
referral centres.

Other youth festivals they will attend in the next four months include
Orientation Week at Melbourne University, the St Kilda street festival and
the Bells Beach Easter surf carnival.

The program has been launched over summer, when youths are on holidays and
most likely to come into contact with drugs at festivals.

The roving counsellors will be paid for their four months' work.

The $160,000 scheme, the first of its kind in Australia, was a key
recommendation of the Penington report.

Mr Knowles said it would run until April, with the possibility of it being
extended permanently depending on an independent review of its success.

"We will see how the program goes over summer, when most young people are
on holidays, and assess its effectiveness after that period," he said.

Hard Laws Lead To Hard Drugs ('London Times' Columnist Responds To Tory Leader
William Hague's Contention That He Saw Cannabis 'Wrecking The Lives' Of Fellow
Undergraduates At Oxford With Her Own Account Of The Same Class)

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 20:09:14 EST
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: ART: UK: Hard laws lead to hard drugs
>From the 1-8-98 London Times

Cannabis is no addictive life-wrecker, Mary Ann Sieghart says. But its
illegality can draw young people into heroin use

Mary Ann Sieghart: high-flyers dabble
Hard laws lead to hard drugs

It's official: cannabis wrecks lives. So says the Home Secretary. So
says William Hague. And how does the Tory leader know? He saw the drug
"wrecking the lives" of many of his fellow undergraduates at Oxford.

It is the sort of assertion that you tend to accept - unless you know
otherwise. I was at the same university as William Hague, in the same
year, studying the same subject. Most of the people I knew at that time
smoked cannabis. None of their lives has been wrecked by the drug.
Indeed, every single one of those friends has since prospered.

Several are now entrepreneurs, worth millions; there is a clutch of
well-to-do barristers; an actor and a novelist who are both household
names; several investment bankers, and more than a handful in the media.
One or two are Tory MPs, but I won't mention their names. Most have
children and lead enviably stable, professional lives.

About half have grown out of smoking pot. A few still do so regularly;
most of the rest do only when offered it, usually at weekends. I know of
four who smoke joints every evening. But even they are extremely
successful in their fields. Far from sapping their motivation, the drug
acts as a relaxant after a hard day's work.

I do not deny that cannabis has its casualties. So does alcohol. Any
drug will do its worst to those who have addictive personalities. Some
people can do nothing in moderation: if they drink they have to get
blind drunk; if they smoke dope, they have to get wrecked. People who
roll a joint in the morning and are stoned all day are as sad as those
who wake up and pour themselves a brandy. But we do not ban alcohol
because a small proportion of those who drink abuse it. The same logic
should apply to cannabis.

Those who are natural addicts will anyway shift from one drug to
another. Heroin addicts who manage to give up know that they dare not
touch a drink, for that drug may enslave them as surely as the previous
one did. If cannabis casualties were denied access to pot, they would
simply escape from the world via a different route. What wrecks their
lives is their addictive natures.

But do soft drugs lead to harder ones? At Oxford, there were indeed
other drugs around: speed (to help students through essay crises), LSD,
magic mushrooms, cocaine for the seriously rich. Some people took these
experimentally and recreationally. I can't remember anyone having a
serious "problem" with them, although one rather bluff rower had an acid
trip that expanded his mind rather wider than it was used to being

Until our third year, drug-taking seemed to be a pretty harmless
occupation. It livened up people's evenings and weekends, but did not
affect their work. Then one of the dealers started selling heroin.

And suddenly a small group of otherwise lively, talented undergraduates
fell under its spell. My brother and I, who had seen heroin destroy the
lives of some London friends, became the most proselytising of
preachers, trying to persuade others not to touch the stuff. We had only
limited success.

Heroin is the really dangerous drug. One boy I knew died of an overdose.
All but one of the rest gave it up, and now lead perfectly successful
lives. (Oddly enough, so does the junkie.) But it took a chunk out of
their early adult years, and left scars that will never completely fade.

This is the drug that undoubtedly wrecks lives. The only reason why some
of my friends encountered it, though, was because they had to go to an
underworld drug dealer in order to buy their relatively harmless
cannabis. If anything acts as a gateway to dangerous drugs, it is the
illegal status of pot.

This illegality also has a distorting effect on the picture that most
people have of drug-takers. They encounter only the casualties, the
equivalent of alcoholics: those who smoke cannabis in moderation and
lead unwrecked lives are reluctant to advertise the fact because the law
has criminalised them.

But, if Mr Hague had moved in different circles at Oxford, he would have
discovered that "social" pot smokers, like social drinkers, are just
normal, respectable and well-adjusted members of society - no different,
indeed, from him.

Evidence Supports Legalisation (Letter To The Editor Of Britain's
'Evening News' Responds To Home Secretary Jack Straw's Condition
For Reform, That Evidence Must Show Cannabis Is Not Dangerous)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 21:19:46 -0800
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Evidence Supports Legalisation
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Evening News, Norwich UK
Contact : EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: Thu, 8 Jan 1998



So the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, is saying that if legalise cannabis
campaigners can show that cannabis is not a dangerous drug then the
Government may reconsider its stance on prohibition.

Strangely enough though, the evidence has always been there. In 1968 the
UK Royal Commission, the Wootton Report, concurring with other major
reports on cannabis, said that cananbis 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, detrimentally effect memory or motor
skills, and does not cause cancer. The British medical journal The Lancet
(November 1995) said "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not
harmful to health."

The US Drug Enforcement Agency's own investigative judge, Francis Young
(1988), concluded that cannabis is safer than most common vegetables.

The evidence has been there for some time, ignored by successive
governments as they ignore the many acclaimed benefits of smoking cannabis
to many people.

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
law may eventually lead to the arrest of their own sons and daughters, for
using a safe plant in preference to dangerous intoxicants.

Maybe 1998 will see the start of the most positive step this Government
could make towards healing society - the legalisation of cannabis.

Yours sincerely,

Jack Girling
Chairman CLCIA

Cannabis Trials (MP's Letter To 'The Independent' Explains Chicken-And-Egg
Obstacles To Use Of Marijuana As Medicine In Britain; Another Letter Evidences
Use Of Marijuana To Lift Depression From Flu, In Spain)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 21:48:56 -0800
Subject: MN: UK: LTE: Cannabis Trials
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Source: The Independent (UK)
Contact: Letters@independent.co.uk
Pubdate: January 8, 1998
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/


Sir: Dr Bill O'Neill of the British Medical Association predicts that
cannabis derivatives will be available legally for medical use within a few
years. ("Straw's challenge over cannabis drugs", 5 January). This would
return us to the position before the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, when doctors
were allowed to prescribe cannabis, most often in tincture form.

On Saturday on BBC radio the Home Secretary said there was nothing to stop
those who believe cannabis has therapeutic value from applying for a Home
Office licence to test the drug. There are currently three licences
allowing medical research with cannabis.

However, to satisfy the Government of the efficacy of cannabis, large-scale
trials are needed using a controlled dose of the drug, and this cannot be
done without the involvement of the pharmaceutical companies, who have been
reluctant to touch cannabis because it is in schedule 1 of the 1971 Act - a
category of controlled drugs with allegedly no therapeutic value.

We face a chicken-and-egg situation: the Government will not move cannabis
from schedule 1 to schedule 2 (a prescribable drug with therapeutic value)
until it can be shown to have a medical use. And this cannot be
demonstrated to the Government's satisfaction without large-scale trials.

After reviewing the evidence - much of it admittedly small-scale or
anecdotal - the BMA recognises that cannabis may have therapeutic uses for
people suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis. The Government
should now facilitate the large-scale trials that are needed.

Gordon Prentice MP (Pendle, Lab),
House of Commons


Sir: In the 1960s, when I was in bed with flu, four of my sixth-form pupils
arrived to ask how I was. They put four large, beautifully rolled joints on
my bedside table and wished me well.

A day passed before I could face smoking anything, but when I did my
depression eased at once, and in two days I was up. I shall always admire
those boys for their daring altruism, and I am sure they are not nowadays
marching their sons to the police station.

Maurice Hill, Alicante, Spain

An Unjust Law On Cannabis (Letter To The Editor Of Britain's 'Evening News'
Examines Absurdities In Cannabis Laws, Exemplified By The Arrest
Of Home Secretary Jack Straw's Son)

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 21:21:40 -0800
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: An Unjust Law on Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Evening News, Norwich UK
Contact : EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: Thu, 8 Jan 1998



The recent arrest of a prominent British Cabinet Minister's son, a
journalist from the Daily Mirror and another man, for small cannabis
offences, illustrates the ineffectiveness and the injustice of the law
which bans the plant.

In the midst of a public house where considerable quantities of the
dangerous and addictive legal drug alcohol are openly sold, a small amount
of a plant product recently described as "remarkably safe" by Professor
Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School, yet illegal, was sold.
Prosecution of this is surely the height of hypocrisy and nonsense.

So the lad did what probably a few million other UK people do each day -
pass a small amount of cannabis to someone who wants it.

The fact that the Daily Mirror journalist asked the youth to get some
cannabis as a basis for the story makes the journalist herself the only one
of the three so far arrested upon whom any allegation of harm could
possible be laid.

The annoying thing is the cost, both economic and to police time - the
costs of the phone calls, the interviews, legal consultations with
solicitors, letters exchanged, forensic anaysis, court expenses etc - will
all come out of the public pocket. To what end? Punishing someone for a
crime without a victim. A fine example of continuing British justice!

Now that the cannabis laws can be seen clearly for what they are, let's get
rid of them and the concept that the Nanny State is more capable to decide
what we can smoke or what we can eat.

Then maybe 1998 will see the return of the missing 'feelgood factor' - the
right to freedom of choice, lifestyle, religion, speech and, most
importantly, information.

Yours sincerely,

Tina Smith

Gardai To Consider Drugs Test Breathalyser (Irish Police Assume
Cannabis Use By Drivers Must Be A Hazard, Consider Pot Breathalyser
To End The Scourge)
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 21:24:41 -0800 Subject: MN: Ireland: Gardai to Consider Drugs Test Breathalyser Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Zosimos Source: The Examiner (Ireland) Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie Pubdate: Thursday, 08 Jan 1998 Author: Brian Carroll GARDAI TO CONSIDER DRUG TEST BREATHALYSER Gardai are considering using a cannabis-sensitive breathalyser test to catch the growing number of people driving while high. The head of the Garda Traffic Policy Bureau, Chief Supt John O'Brien, said they are considering the latest research on drug-specific breathalysers, that would catch drivers who were under the influence of the soft drug here. There is a problem with people driving when they are on drugs, mostly cannabis, but in some cases ecstasy or cocaine. They can often avoid being caught even though they are a major accident risk, because gardai can only stop drivers if they are driving in a suspicious manner. All the latest research on drug-testing is being examined with a view to eventually introducing a dope-driving offence in Ireland. "People are driving while on cannabis. "That is happening but it would be impossible for us to quantify the level of the problem at the moment," Chief Supt O'Brien said. "At the moment there is no specific test for cannabis, cocaine or ecstasy use by a driver. "However, existing legislation allows the gardai to arrest someone whom they deem unfit to drive due to the consumption of an intoxicant. "An intoxicant can be either drugs or alcohol so if someone fails a breathalyser test but exhibits signs of drunkenness they could be arrested and subjected to a blood test for drugs," Supt O'Brien said. In practice this rarely happens, however, and gardai are anxious to introduce a specific breathalyser test for cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy. "There are a couple of tests around in other police forces that test for a variety of drugs but one of the faults with the equipment is that drugs are not generic. "Cannabis is different from cocaine which is different from ecstasy. So you would have to use several tests," Supt O'Brien said. "Most police forces that have drug testing provisions have quite a number of them and they are quite expensive. "The big problem is the test is not generic. People driving while on drugs goes on here but the problem comes in detecting them. "A lot of research is going on all around us into developing a new test at the moment and I would definitely see us as being part of that in the future," the head of the Traffic Policy Bureau added. -------------------------------------------------------------------


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