------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Sue To End California Pot Clubs ('Chicago Sun-Times' Erroneously Says This Is The First Federal Attack On CBCs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 20:29:55 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US CA: Feds Sue To End Calif. Pot Clubs - Chicago Sun-Times Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Sun-Times Pubdate: Jan. 11, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Section: sec. 1, page 2 Website: http://www.suntimes.com/ FEDS SUE TO END CALIF. POT CLUBS SAN FRANCISCO - For the first time since California voters approved the medical use of marijuana, the federal government has begun legal action to close six Northern California clubs that sell the weed. The government wants to "send a clear message regarding the illegality of marijuana cultivation and distribution," said Michael Yamaguchi, the U.S. Attorney for Northern California. His office filed civil lawsuits Friday accusing the clubs and 10 of their operators with distribution of marijuana and seeking permanent injunctions to close centers in San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ukiah and Marin County. The move comes as medical marijuana advocates in Colorado, Alaska and Washington, D.C. are pushing to follow California's lead, seeking similar ballot initiatives to let patients grow and use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. "They are trying to thwart the will of the people of California, trying to put out a brush fire before it sweeps into a forest fire," said Dennis Peron, founder of the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club, the state's largest club selling marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Clubs Vow To Continue Operations (Almost All 17 Clubs In California 'The San Francisco Examiner' Knows About Said They Are Seeking New Ways To Continue Serving Their Estimated 6,300 Clients - CBCs Have 20 Days To Challenge Injunction) Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 10:24:03 -0800 (PST) From: "Tom O'Connell"
Subject: SFX 1/11: update on MMJ in SF San Francisco Examiner, Jan. 11, 1998 Page 3, Metro Marijuana Clubs Vow to Continue Operations By Lisa M. Krieger EXAMINER Medical Writer California's cannabis clubs vow to continue distributing marijuana -one way or another - despite a formidable attack by the U.S. Justice Department. Almost all 17 clubs in the state said they are seeking new ways to continue serving their estimated 6,300 clients, either by restructuring their organizations, opening under new management or creating clandestine distribution routes. "We'll devise a plan to help people (get marijuana)," said Dennis Peron, whose Cannabis Cultivators' Club was targeted in the federal probe. "We cannot abandon the sick and dying.... This will not stop medical marijuana." In a broad and sweeping effort to close the clubs, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit Friday to enjoin pot distribution by six clubs in Marin, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz and Ukiah. Officials would not say why those six clubs were singled out, but they did not rule out investigating activities at the others. Activists concede, no matter what their efforts, that it will be more difficult for legitimately ill people to obtain marijuana legally. Clubs in Berkeley, San Jose, Los Angeles and elsewhere were not targeted - and will keep operating while exploring new options. "Right now, it's business as usual," said Peter Baez, whose Santa Clara Medical Cannabis Center in San Jose was not investigated but locked its doors for the day on Friday in fear of a raid. "It's made us realize how reality can hit you hard ... we've known, since we opened, that we'd be at the mercy of the federal government." 'We plan to remain open' John Pylka, director of the Berkeley-based Cannabis Buyers Cooperative Club, also not included in the probe, said: "We definitely plan to remain open.... I'm going to stay here, take the pressure, take the bust if I have to." Proposition 215, which voters approved by a 60-40 margin in November 1996, allows growing and possessing marijuana - if it is recommended by a doctor for treatment of symptoms of AIDS, canlcer, arthritis, glaucoma, migraine or other conditions. The law has come under fierce attack by state Attorney General Dan Lungren, who won a ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal in December that the clubs aren't "caregivers" as defined by Prop. 215, nor shielded by their nonprofit status. Clubs have been braced for a raid by state officials; the federal crackdown was unexpected. The federal action has much broader implications than previous state interventions. The U.S. Justice Department isn't debating the language of Prop. 215. Rather, it charges the clubs with violating the sweeping federal Controlled Substances Act, which states it is unlawful to cultivate, distribute or possess marijuana. Federal law supersedes state law, the Justice Department said. The six targeted clubs say they |will vigorously fight closure in court - but this legal route is clearly an uphill battle. Few have the financial resources to sustain a long legal battle against the U.S. Justice Department. Some, such as Peron's club, say they will continue to operate their public storefront in the open, risking closure, steep fines or jail time. Peron vows to commit civil disobedience, handing out joints until federal marshals haul him away. But others, staffed by the elderly, sick or dying, don't want to spend their remaining days behind bars. "I can't do something that would put everybody on staff at risk. They're sick and dying . . . and don't want to sit in jail," said Jeff Jones of the Oakland Cannabis Club. "But (the marijuana) will be gotten to them," Jones promised. "We started as an underground delivery service, we can always go back to that. We didn't like it . . . but if that's the way it's going to be, we will," Jones said. Technically, any club not targeted by the probe can continue normal operation, said attorney Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs at the Lindesmith Center in San Francisco, a drug policy think tank and public interest law center. Clubs can continue selling The clubs that have been sued can continue selling until they go to court; they have 20 days to challenge the injunction. Some clubs plan to restructure their operations to encourage more personal cultivation, hoping to be less offensive to state and federal of ficials. Valerie Corral of the Santa Cruz-based Women's Alliance of Medical Marijuana, not cited by federal of ficials, said the club plans to expand their emotional and medical support services for patients, as well as offer them leased space for cultivation on hidden acreage deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The safest, although least convenient solution is for patients to grow their own supply, drug attorneys say. Club members predict a resurgence in small backyard or basement gardens. Federal officials are unlikely to go after any seriously ill individual who, with a doctors' recommendation, has the means and ability to grow medical marijuana, Abrahamson predicted. "(Federal authorities) cannot prosecute (against widespread personal cultivation), unless they're willing to station tens of federal agents at Californians' doorsteps," he said. Finally, clubs face the grim prospect of going underground, returning to pre-Prop. 215 days. Already there exist several surreptitious "personal distribution services," where clubs discreetly deliver pot door-to-door to clients. The new heat on cannabis clubs "turns the medical marijuana movement from something run by well-organized and tightly run clubs - with the support of local officials - to back yards, basements and streets," Abrahamson said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Clubs Face Shutdowns ('Knright-Ridder' Summary Of Federal And State Actions Against California CBCs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:08:03 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Cannabis Clubs Face Shutdowns Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Knight Ridder Newspapers Pubdate: Sunday, January 11, 1998 CANNABIS CLUBS FACE SHUTDOWNS WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Three days a week, behind an unmarked office door above an auto-parts store, the Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers' Club discreetly goes about distributing medical marijuana to people with serious illnesses and pain. The nonprofit collective has 764 members, most of whom have HIV or AIDS. All have major health problems -- as recorded in writing by their doctors. Staff members carefully check each application, verifying doctors' letters, checking doctors' licenses with the state medical board. To get through the front door, each person must pass through three security checkpoints. Members arrive, get their marijuana and take it home to use. Up the coast in San Francisco, a giant green pot leaf is painted on the street-level front door of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club on busy Market Street. Inside the 8,000-member club, people pass joints in crowded smoking lounges, visit the head shop and greet staff members, some of whom wear green cloth pot-leaf wreaths on their heads. They travel from floor to floor on the Jerry Garcia Memorial Elevator, and hundreds of origami cranes in all the colors of the rainbow hang from every ceiling. Since Californians voted in 1996 to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana, cannabis clubs have popped up across the state, to get the drug to those who qualify. But the future of the clubs is in jeopardy. In recent weeks, state and federal authorities have cracked down on the clubs -- saying their existence is illegal and unprotected by the medical-marijuana initiative. On Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco began legal action against six Northern California clubs and their operators, saying they flagrantly violated the Controlled Substances Act. California Attorney General Dan Lungren, whose agents raided the San Francisco club and temporarily got it shut down in August 1996, last month successfully pushed a state appellate court to declare the club illegal and reinstate the injunction that closed it. That decision goes into effect Monday, although a Superior Court still has to reinstate the injunction. Lungren says he plans to use the decision to close every club in the state. The looming threat of closure is fracturing the medical-marijuana movement, whose diverse elements always have barely coexisted. On the one side are people like Dennis Peron, an author of the initiative and director of the San Francisco club, who openly tells anyone who asks that he believes all use of marijuana is medicinal. On the other are those like Los Angeles club director Scott Imler, who argues that the only way to continue to supply marijuana to those it can help is to run very strict and businesslike operations. ``We have more rules than all the other clubs put together,'' Imler said. ``The people who come here have cancer, seizures and epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, chronic pain from botched surgeries. Their problems are not what I would call trivial or marginal or temporary. This isn't about fun, and this is not the kind of club you want to be a member of.'' Proposition 215, the medical-marijuana initiative passed with 56 percent of the vote in November 1996 -- does not legalize cannabis clubs. In fact, it does not provide for a method for patients to get the drug. It states simply that marijuana can be used medically in the treatments of AIDS, cancer, anorexia, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine ``or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.'' Patients, with recommendations from their doctors, are granted the right to possess and cultivate marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation. The patients also can pass that right on to designated primary caregivers. A section of the initiative encourages federal and state authorities to come up with plans for ``safe and affordable distribution of marijuana,'' but such plans have not been forthcoming. That angers many club directors, who say sick people would be forced to approach dealers on the street if the clubs were closed. They are quick to admit that making marijuana available in pharmacies would be a much better way to distribute the drug than their clubs, which are forced to buy much of what they give out from dealers, often at exorbitant prices. ``What has the attorney general done besides raid clubs and try to prosecute patients?'' said Jeff Jones, director of the 1,000-member Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which was one of the clubs targeted Friday. ``He hasn't offered a single alternative to what we do.'' Not all anger is reserved for the government. Some within the medical-marijuana movement are increasingly angry at Peron for pushing the limits of what the authorities might tolerate. State officials say undercover police have bought marijuana at that club without prescriptions, have found evidence of club marijuana being resold on the streets, and witnessed minors on the club premises. Some club directors believe such lax standards in San Francisco put the other clubs in jeopardy. ``Dennis is widely credited with being the father of the whole movement, and, unfortunately for the rest of us, whatever sticks to Peron sticks to the medical-marijuana issue,'' Imler said. ``We call his club Peron's-town, like Jonestown, which was another San Francisco-based nightmare. It's a three-ring circus.'' (He was referring to the 1978 mass suicide in Guyana of more than 900 members of the People's Temple cult, including leader Jim Jones.) Hoping to make his club less vulnerable to attack, Imler works closely with West Hollywood officials, who support him. He carefully tracks every bit of marijuana he distributes and advocates a policy of total disclosure. In October, he organized a conference of organizations involved in the distribution of medical marijuana. Meeting in Santa Cruz, Calif., they drafted an affirmation of 25 principles, resolving to, among other things, ``diligently verify all applicants,'' ``observe responsible and accountable business practices'' and ``refrain from behavior and statements blurring lines between medical and nonmedical use of marijuana.'' Peron's club did not sign on, but 28 other organizations did. Among them was the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center in San Jose, started by Peter Baez and Jesse Garcia, who was diagnosed with AIDS six years ago. Garcia began taking marijuana when his illness led to severe malnutrition. He was losing weight rapidly. He couldn't eat or digest the drugs he was prescribed. He had chronic diarrhea, which lasted for more than three years. ``I couldn't get my body to help repair itself,'' he said. Marijuana changed that, stimulating his appetite. ``My whole health condition made a 180-degree turn. Marijuana changed my life,'' he said. ``Even my mother quickly noticed the difference. She's a 68-year-old Latino woman. Marijuana isn't something she'd approve of. But when she saw how I was improving, she said, `Don't stop taking your medicine.''' Garcia persuaded Baez to open the center after he found he could no longer make the trip easily to Peron's club in San Francisco, 85 miles away. The San Jose club, which does not permit marijuana smoking on its premises, is housed in a nondescript four-room office, wedged between doctors' offices in a single-story office block. As in Los Angeles, the club has worked hard to ease the discomfort of local officials, even going so far as agreeing to allow law-enforcement authorities to come in without warrants. On two different occasions, when people came to the center with forged letters, Baez and Garcia turned them in to police. Both forgers were prosecuted. ``We don't play games with the rules or the issues. We run a very tight ship,'' Baez said. ``We had hoped that the authorities would recognize that when they started talking about shutting clubs down. But it doesn't look like they're going to make any distinctions.'' Peron is unapologetic about the way he runs his club and unwilling to take the blame for the crackdown. ``The biggest criticism of what I do is that I allow people to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere,'' he said. ``I don't see anything wrong with that. They're sick and they're suffering. Why not let them experience a little joy?'' ``If I could go to jail and allow the rest of these clubs to continue to serve sick and dying people, I surely would. But in the end it's not just me they're after, it's all of us.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- There's No Justice In The War On Drugs (Milton Friedman In 'The New York Times' Says Prohibition Is An Ethical Failure, Generating Only Informers, Corruption, Overflowing Prisons, Disproportionate Imprisonment Of Blacks, Destruction Of Inner Cities, Compounded Harm To Users, Undertreatment Of Chronic Pain, And Harm To Other Countries) Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 10:06:37 -0500 Subject: MN: US: NYT OPED: There's No Justice in the War on Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Art Smart
Source: New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 Author: Milton Friedman Note: Milton Friedman, awarded the Nobel prize in economics, is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. THERE'S NO JUSTICE IN THE WAR ON DRUGS STANFORD -- Twenty-five years ago, President Richard M. Nixon announced a "War on Drugs." I criticized the action on both moral and expediential grounds in my Newsweek column of May 1, 1972, "Prohibition and Drugs": "On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults, I, for one, would answer no. Reason with the potential addict, yes. Tell him the consequences, yes. Pray for and with him, yes. But I believe that we have no right to use force, directly or indirectly, to prevent a fellow man from committing suicide, let alone from drinking alcohol or taking drugs." That basic ethical flaw has inevitably generated specific evils during the past quarter century, just as it did during our earlier attempt at alcohol prohibition. 1. The use of informers. Informers are not needed in crimes like robbery and murder because the victims of those crimes have a strong incentive to report the crime. In the drug trade, the crime consists of a transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. Neither has any incentive to report a violation of law. On the contrary, it is in the self-interest of both that the crime not be reported. That is why informers are needed. The use of informers and the immense sums of money at stake inevitably generate corruption -- as they did during Prohibition. They also lead to violations of the civil rights of innocent people, to the shameful practices of forcible entry and forfeiture of property without due process. As I wrote in 1972: ". . . addicts and pushers are not the only ones corrupted. Immense sums are at stake. It is inevitable that some relatively low-paid police and other government officials -- and some high-paid ones as well -- will succumb to the temptation to pick up easy money." 2. Filling the prisons. In 1970, 200,000 people were in prison. Today, 1.6 million people are. Eight times as many in absolute number, six times as many relative to the increased population. In addition, 2.3 million are on probation and parole. The attempt to prohibit drugs is by far the major source of the horrendous growth in the prison population. There is no light at the end of that tunnel. How many of our citizens do we want to turn into criminals before we yell "enough"? 3. Disproportionate imprisonment of blacks. Sher Hosonko, at the time Connecticut's director of addiction services, stressed this effect of drug prohibition in a talk given in June 1995: "Today in this country, we incarcerate 3,109 black men for every 100,000 of them in the population. Just to give you an idea of the drama in this number, our closest competitor for incarcerating black men is South Africa. South Africa -- and this is pre-Nelson Mandela and under an overt public policy of apartheid -- incarcerated 729 black men for every 100,000. Figure this out: In the land of the Bill of Rights, we jail over four times as many black men as the only country in the world that advertised a political policy of apartheid." 4. Destruction of inner cities. Drug prohibition is one of the most important factors that have combined to reduce our inner cities to their present state. The crowded inner cities have a comparative advantage for selling drugs. Though most customers do not live in the inner cities, most sellers do. Young boys and girls view the swaggering, affluent drug dealers as role models. Compared with the returns from a traditional career of study and hard work, returns from dealing drugs are tempting to young and old alike. And many, especially the young, are not dissuaded by the bullets that fly so freely in disputes between competing drug dealers -- bullets that fly only because dealing drugs is illegal. Al Capone epitomizes our earlier attempt at Prohibition; the Crips and Bloods epitomize this one. 5. Compounding the harm to users. Prohibition makes drugs exorbitantly expensive and highly uncertain in quality. A user must associate with criminals to get the drugs, and many are driven to become criminals themselves to finance the habit. Needles, which are hard to get, are often shared, with the predictable effect of spreading disease. Finally, an addict who seeks treatment must confess to being a criminal in order to qualify for a treatment program. Alternatively, professionals who treat addicts must become informers or criminals themselves. 6. Undertreatment of chronic pain. The Federal Department of Health and Human Services has issued reports showing that two-thirds of all terminal cancer patients do not receive adequate pain medication, and the numbers are surely higher in nonterminally ill patients. Such serious undertreatment of chronic pain is a direct result of the Drug Enforcement Agency's pressures on physicians who prescribe narcotics. 7. Harming foreign countries. Our drug policy has led to thousands of deaths and enormous loss of wealth in countries like Colombia, Peru and Mexico, and has undermined the stability of their governments. All because we cannot enforce our laws at home. If we did, there would be no market for imported drugs. There would be no Cali cartel. The foreign countries would not have to suffer the loss of sovereignty involved in letting our "advisers" and troops operate on their soil, search their vessels and encourage local militaries to shoot down their planes. They could run their own affairs, and we, in turn, could avoid the diversion of military forces from their proper function. Can any policy, however high-minded, be moral if it leads to widespread corruption, imprisons so many, has so racist an effect, destroys our inner cities, wreaks havoc on misguided and vulnerable individuals and brings death and destruction to foreign countries?
------------------------------------------------------------------- White Flag Time (Letter To Editor Of 'Chicago Sun-Times' Notes The Shooting Of A 3-Year-Old Boy In The Back Was Caused By Prohibition, Not Drugs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:19:58 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US IL: PUB LTE: White Flag Time Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Sun-Times Pubdate: Jan. 11, 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.suntimes.com/ WHITE FLAG TIME A gang shooting in a drug turf war again makes front-page news ["Charges filed in shooting of toddler," news story, Dec. 29]. This time a 3-year-old boy, trying out his Christmas present, a Big Wheel, was shot in the back by a bullet intended for rival gang members. The Rev. Charles W. Lyons said of the shooting, "That neighborhood has been a drug store since I've been there, and I arrived in 1974." Is anyone else infuriated? Of course. But at whom? At what? The shooter? The shooter's gang? All the gangs? Directing our anger there accomplishes nothing. In my book this horror story will be listed under a growing list of "drug war tragedies." We should be pointing our finger at themost responsible player: a drug war out of control. Can this mindless "save our children" drug war continue to riddle kids with bullet holes without someone in authority saying, "enough drug war. We must stop the violence, stop funding the gangs with drug profits, stop putting guns in the hands of kids as an unitended consequence of a misconceived drug war." Prayer vigils, another prison and enhanced penalties for gang bangers picking off toddlers is not answer enough. I demand an end to drug wars. James E. Gierach, Oak Lawn
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Will Require States To Cut Prison Drug Use ('New York Times' Says The President Is Scheduled To Sign A 'Directive' Monday Requiring States To Determine And Report The Extent Of Illicit Drug Use Among Inmates Before They Can Receive More Federal Money For Prisons) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:34:46 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Wire: Clinton Will Require States To Cut Prison Drug Use Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: N.Y. Times News Service Pubdate: Sunday, January 11, 1998 Author: Christopher S. Wren CLINTON WILL REQUIRE STATES TO CUT PRISON DRUG USE Seeking to cleanse prisons of illegal drugs, the Clinton administration plans to tell the states that they have to determine and report the extent of illicit drug use among their inmates before they can receive more federal money to spend on prisons. The information that the states provide will be used to create a baseline to measure their progress in reducing drugs inside prison, which in turn will qualify them for more federal money. President Clinton is scheduled to sign the directive in the Oval Office on Monday. A draft copy, which is addressed to Attorney General Reno, was provided by a senior administration official who said that it had been circulating in the White House, the Justice Department and other interested agencies for the last month or two. The document reflects a belief within the administration that crimping the supply of drugs in prison will cut the demand for them after the convicts are released. ``With more than half the individuals in our criminal justice system estimated to have a substance abuse problem,'' the draft says, ``promoting coerced abstinence within the criminal justice system offers us a unique opportunity to break this cycle of crime and drugs.'' The directive builds on legislation that Clinton promised in the 1996 presidential campaign and pushed through Congress last year. The law requires states to draw up comprehensive plans to test and treat prisoners and parolees as a condition of receiving money for prisons from the federal government. The states have to present their plans by March and implement them by September. The directive would go beyond that in requiring that states report on drug use by prison inmates and demonstrate progress toward eliminating it. The directive further proposes that Reno draft legislation that would let states spend some of the federal money earmarked for prison construction to test and treat prisoners and parolees for drugs if the states increased penalties for smuggling drugs into prison. ``This is about testing and coerced abstinence,'' Rahm Emanuel, a White House senior adviser, said in acknowledging details of the draft directive. ``We have to slam shut the revolving door between drugs and crime. ``You have a number of drug users who commit a lion's share of the crimes in this country in a controlled environment, and that time should be used to advantage,'' he said. ``Through mandatory testing, you will force a change in their behavior that will break the link.'' A report released on Thursday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, at Columbia University, estimated that illegal drugs and alcohol contributed to the incarceration of 80 percent of the 1.7 million inmates in the nation's prisons and jails, and said that most of those inmates are not treated for addiction before being released. The center's report said that the annual cost of building and operating prisons and jails in the country had more than tripled since 1980, reaching $38 billion by 1996. The 1994 Crime Act authorized federal grants to the states for prison construction amounting to $7.8 billion over five years. A more modest amount was earmarked for drug testing and treatment. Clinton has tried to use the large grants to induce states to subject drug felons to regular testing and treatment while they are locked up or on parole. The administration has also increased to 42 from 32 the number of residential treatment centers in federal prisons, and more than tripled the number of federal inmates undergoing treatment for substance abuse to 19,943 in the last fiscal year from 5,450 in 1993. A program was also created to give drug tests to defendants arrested under federal laws, resulting in tests on 9,308 of those arrested, or more than half, last year compared with 4,929 in 1996. Clinton has made federal money available as well for local drug courts, which divert nonviolent petty offenders into treatment as an alternative to prison. The extent of illicit drug use inside prison has been far more difficult to measure because of its clandestine nature. Prison officials tend to be reluctant to concede that drugs get smuggled in by visitors or sometimes prison guards. But many inmates say that drugs are there for anyone who wants to buy them, usually at a price higher than what is paid on the streets. Sixty percent of one group of 46 inmates undergoing treatment in Delaware prisons admitted to using drugs while incarcerated, primarily marijuana but also some cocaine and alcohol. ``I think there's a great deal of drug use in prison,'' said Robert Silbering, who retired last month after 13 years as New York City's special narcotics prosecutor. ``I don't think anyone really knows how widespread it is, but certainly a fair amount of drugs get into prison.'' In 1995, only 8.9 percent of 1.6 million drug tests conducted in state and federal prisons proved positive, a figure that Steven Belenko, the author of the study released on Thursday, said probably reflected underreporting. ``There's very little hard data'' about drugs in prison, Belenko said. ``But the anecdotal stuff suggests that it's pretty much available.'' Though state prisons hold nearly 90 percent of the inmates in prison, drugs have reached into federal prisons, too. Jeff Stewart, who now lives in Washington, was sent to a federal minimum security prison for five years for growing marijuana. He said the judge warned him beforehand, ```Where you're going there will be drugs.''' ``If they bust you for drugs,'' Stewart said, ``they know they're going to lock you in a cage full of drugs.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Testing Of Workers Keeps Rising (Chicago's Police Recruits Now Face Hair Analysis) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:15:48 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US IL: Drug Testing Of Workers Keeps Rising Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Sun-Times Pubdate: Jan. 11, 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Authors: Cam Simpson and Michelle Roberts DRUG TESTING OF WORKERS KEEPS RISING City's Police Recruits Facing Hair Analysis Though it was virtually unheard of 15 years ago, mandatory drug testing in the workplace has spread faster than marijuana smoke at a Grateful Dead concert. Testing requirements now blanket millions of people nationwide - especially job seekers. And technology is improving to the point that it's difficult, if not impossible, for drug users to escape the net of some advanced tests. "It's becoming more accepted and more widespread. And it's still growing," said Daryl G. Grecich, a spokesman for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, a pro-testing group in Washington, D.C. The Chicago Police Department is the most recent employer here to crack down on drug users. But the latest sweep isn't in the streets - it's now screened through hair samples, a cutting-edge technology that can extend the reach of a drug test almost 90 times for most substances. "We've had people show up for processing, and when they were told aobut the hair testing, they've just gotten up and walked away," said police spokesman Keven Morison. No profession, it seems, is immune. Virtually all of the Fortune 200 companies - the nation's biggest firms - require their employees or some job candidates to submit to some kind of drug testing, Grecich said. Pre-employment screening - requiring a job applicat to take a drug test as a condition of employment - is the most common practice. Nationwide, 44 percent of workers say their bosses require some form of drug testing, according to a federal survey. It's no different in Chicago. Of the area's 10 largest private employers surveyed by the Sun-Times, the nine firms that responded all require some kind of drug testing. UAL Corp., the Elk Grove Township parent of United Airlines, and Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. appear to have the most extensive testing programs among top Chicago area employers. The air carrier, which has about 90,000 employees worldwide, is subject to federal mandates on drug testing. Motorola was a leader in testing among major companies nationwide, establishing its "universal" program in the late 1980s. UAL employs almost every type of testing, said Joe Hopkins, a spokesman. All job candidates are subject ot pre-employment screening. Workers in safety-sensitive areas, right down to the mechanics who work on buses that transport passengers, are suject to random testing, he said. At Motorola, which has about 140,000 employees worldwide, the focus is on detecting potential problems and getting employees into treatment programs, said Margot Brown, a Motorola spokeswoman. "It's not a one-strike-and-you're-out approach," Brown said. "We really have been able to uncover problems early and keep employees in the work force." The smaller your employer is, the less likely you are to be tested. Only 23 percent of workers at small companies (fewer than 25 employees) say their bosses require some kind of testing, according to a survey published by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "Everybody forgets that most people work for small companies," The number of employees who say their bosses have drug-testing program almost triples (to 68 percent) for workers at big companies, the government's study showed. Despite the nationwide testing boom, civil liberties groups remain staunchly opposed to any form of testing - even for cops. "You might as well crumple up a copy of the Bill of Rights and put it in the cup before you [urinate] into it," said William Spain, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. An employer's sole concer, Spain said, should be whether a worker is impaired. And drug testing, he said, won't measure impairment on the job. "We don't approve of airline pilots flying stoned or drunk - or even depressed, for that matter," Spain said. "But simple dexterity tests for transportation workers, which would simply tell employers whether you were capable of working that shift, are much more effective." Workers of the world are not uniting behind that argument, however. Unlike the Chicago police recruits who walked out on the cit's hair test, most workers seem to be accepting drug testing as a fact of life. Even among workers who describe themselves as "current illicit drug users," only about 30 percent say they are "less likely" to work for a company that requires drug testing as a condition of employment, according to the government study. An of workers who don't currently use drugs, only about 6 percent said they were "less likely" to work for a company that requires drug testing as a condition of employment, the study showed. All that drug testing - and acceptance of drug testing - has created a boon for the testing industry, which backs groups such as the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace. SmithKline Beecham, one of the nation's largest testing firms, has done 24 million drug tests in the last 10 years. Boston-based Psychemedics Corp. holds the patent for the hair-drug analysis process and has been using the technology since 1987. Though urinalysis remains the most common method of testing, Psychemedics' sales have boomed in the last few years. In 1992, Psychemecis had $3.9 in sales. By 1996, sales had tripled to $12.2 million, according to company reports. The company says it has more than 1,000 corporate clients nation-wide, including big names such as General Motors Corp. and Chicago-based WMX Technologies, parent company of Waste Management. Casino companies also rely heavily on hair testing, ever worried that drug users and large sums of cash don't mix. More than 30 police departments, including New York City and Chicago, use Psychemedics to test police recruits, said Raoymond Kubacki Jr., president and chief executive officer of Psychemedics. The hair test can detect drugs that were taken 90 days before a sample was gathered. Most drugs can escape detection through urinalysis within a few days. The test requires a swath of hair that is roughly the width of a pencil and about 1.5 inches long. If someone is bald, body hair samples are taken. For the Chicago Police Department, the results are encouraging. The department is using hair and urinalysis side-by-side. A source close to the department said 80 potential Chicago police officers who have passed the urine test have failed the hair analysis. Morison, the police spokesman, would not confirm an exact number, but said, "There has been a significant increase in the number of people who have been rejected because of positive drug screens since we began using hair testing."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scan Shows Effects Of Cocaine On Brain (The Ways In Which Addicts' Brains May Be Different Is A Question Beyond The Scope Of Boston Boys With MRI Toys Funded By Alan Leshner's NIDA) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 02:57:21 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Scan Shows Effects of Cocaine on Brain Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sunday, January 11, 1998 Author:Daniel Q.Haney-The Associated Press Editor note: This same article also appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Wisconsin State Journal SCAN SHOWS EFFECTS OF COCAINE ON BRAIN Pictures the researchers receive are described as 'way beyond fried eggs.' BOSTON-All that could be seen of the drug addict were his gray wool socks sticking out of an MRI machine the size of a walk-in closet. He'd been in there about an hour when a technician pushed a big white button and infused 40 milligrams of cocaine into his bloodstream. Two psychiatrists watched intently, along with a heart specialist, a drug counselor and a nurse. If all went well, they would capture amazingly clear pictures of the drug's effects on this man's brain, a step toward mapping addiction's grip and, ultimately, perhaps even curing it. But at this moment, the team focused on just getting through the next half-hour without a mistake. For a minute and a half, nothing happened. Then the man's heart picked up speed 90 beats per minute. Then 130. 135. His blood pressure zoomed to an off-the-charts 194 over 116. A number came up on a computer screen: Rush 4. "He's getting maximal rush," said Dr. Hans Breiter. The man inside the MRI machine had just signaled how much he liked it. His head immobilized, his ears plugged against the pulsing racket of the super magnets, he rated his euphoria on a scale of one to four. Four meant really good. It was a rush in the interest of science. In this unusual experiment at Massachusetts General Hospital, scientists were literally looking inside a man's head to see what cocaine does. Their souped-up MRI machine, programmed to run far faster than the kind used to take pictures of strokes or bad knees, rattled off an image a second of the man's brain. It was quickly over. Within a couple of minutes, the rush fell to 2, then 1. Then came less pleasant feelings. Low 2, the man reported. Low 3. It meant he felt jittery, out of sorts. Finally the numbers began to rise on another scale, his inevitable hunger for more. Craving 3. Breiter looked relieved. There had been no need to yank the man out of the machine and jolt him with defibrillator paddles - something they had practiced doing in 30 seconds flat in case the cocaine triggered cardiac arrest. Nothing had gone wrong. Around 10 p.m., after promising he wouldn't go looking for more cocaine that night, the addict was sent home with a lecture about the dangers of drugs, an offer of drug rehab and his payment, a $260 credit at a supermarket. Volunteer No. 34 received what for him was a moderate amount of cocaine and left behind 200 images of what it did to his brain. "This is, like, way beyond fried eggs," said Dr. Alan Leshner, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, referring to the memorable ad campaign a few years ago about brains on drugs. Leshner's institute is paying for this and similar experiments around the country. Scientists hope that by knowing exactly how cocaine gets people high and keeps them coming back for more, they will see clues to making medicines that can blunt these effects. "That state of feeling good, high, euphoria, buzz, whatever you call it, that's what we're after, and that's what users are after," said Dr. Scott Lucas, who is doing some of the research at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. For instance, the researchers would like to know the precise circuitry of chemicals and nerves that come to life when people feel high or are seized with the uncontrollable urge for more drugs. How does cocaine change the brain? What's out of whack 10 minutes after snorting it? A month after? A year? Until recently, the answers could only be surmised from experiments on animals. Cocaine is perhaps the most addictive substance known. A rat will ignore food, water and sex and take cocaine until it dies. But a rat cannot say how it feels. Now, the fast magnetic resonance imaging machines, called functional MRI, along with a slower technology called PET, offer a kind of window inside the human head during drug use. "For the first time, using these tools, we are able to see the living, thinking, feeling human brain at work," said Dr. Steven Hyman, head of the National Institute of Mental Health. Before going to the federal institute, Hyman set up the cocaine experiments at Massachusetts General. Now they are being carried on by Breiter, a 35-year-old psychiatrist. A couple of weeks after the experiment on volunteer No. 34, Breiter called up his brain scans on a computer in a reclaimed torpedo factory on Boston Harbor. Four images appeared, each a cross-sectional slice across the man's head in a different spot. "Tons of areas are lit," Breiter said, pointing to a scattering of purple and yellow blotches. "But it's not at all a global response. It's very specific." The Massachusetts General research reveals, as expected, that cocaine activates something called the mesolimbic dopamine system a strip of nerve cells that runs from deep in the center of the brain to its outer fringes. This is the chemical pipeline linking up the body's pleasure center, the part of the brain that makes you feel good when you bite into a perfectly cooked steak or find a $10 bill on the street. It's a complex piece of machinery. The Massachusetts General doctors have counted 90 different parts of the brain that are turned on during cocaine's rush. But as the euphoria ebbs and the craving sets in, almost all of these fade out, leaving just a few distinct structures - especially the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens - still working hard. This was a surprise. The amygdala and the nucleus accumbens are part of the system that gives pleasure. So why is the system involved in craving, which is the motivation to get more pleasure? Like most interesting research, this complicates theories as much as it clarifies them. Cocaine's particular trick is to block dopamine recycling. Instead of being flushed out of the system, as ordinarily happens, dopamine spikes to astronomical levels. Overladen with dopamine, the brain cuts production. The addict makes up the dopamine shortfall by snorting more cocaine. Even recovered addicts remain at risk. Years later, the mere sight of an old drug pal can trigger an overwhelming craving. The theory is that the memory makes the brain release a dollop of dopamine in anticipation of a reward.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New UK Drug Tsar Has An E-mail Address (Keith Hellawell Wants To Know Your Views At CDCU@gtnet.gov.uk) Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 12:13:00 -0500 (EST) From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA) To: email@example.com Subject: New UK Drug Czar has an email address >From the Independent on Sunday: "Keith Hellawell, the so-called drugs tsar, has opened an e-mail address to receive your views. It is CDCU@gtnet.gov.uk KTC
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gotcha! 'Sun' Splatters Egg On Its Face With Telephone Poll (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' Pubicizes Backfire Ensuing After Attempt By Its Rival, 'The Sun,' To Turn The Tide Against The Popular Mood To Decriminalise Cannabis) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 02:25:24 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: Gotcha! Sun Splatters Egg On Its Face With Telephone Poll Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos
Source: Independent on Sunday Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 Note: The Independent has set up an e-mail for comments on their cannabis campaign firstname.lastname@example.org GOTCHA! SUN SPLATTERS EGG ON ITS FACE WITH TELEPHONE POLL Tarquin Cooper on how the latest attempt to rubbish our campaign backfired THE Sun's attempt to turn back the tide against the popular mood to decriminalise cannabis ended with a large portion of egg on its face last week. The results of its "You the Jury" debate on Tuesday on whether to legalise cannabis backfired when readers overwhelmingly supported a change in the law when the paper has continually attacked attempts to do so. Ironically the results were more decisive than any other newspaper's poll in support of our campaign. Last October, Mirror readers supported the decriminalisation of cannabis by just under two to one. The results of the Sun's debate is therefore particularly damaging to them as two to one of Sun readers were in favour of legalising cannabis. This is after it referred to the Independent on Sunday as "having gone to pot", when the campaign to decriminalise the drug began last September. Not afraid to insult their readers, a Sun leader claimed that those who supported relaxing the laws on cannabis were "misguided". "Straw knows that soft drugs can be the first step on the road to heroin and cocaine. Those who treat drugs as recreational toys are dicing with death," it claimed. The Sun's embarrassment at the result was clearly demonstrated by relegating the verdict to near obscurity in the bottom left-hand corner on page 8 of Wednesday's edition. It is the second attempt by a national newspaper to commission a poll to rubbish this paper's campaign. In October last year the Daily Mail claimed it had dealt the Independent on Sunday "a body blow" by showing "a decisive majority of people against legalising cannabis". Their findings, as discovered by an ICM poll, revealed that an overwhelming 71 per cent were in favour of legalising cannabis for medicinal puposes and another 33 per cent were in favour of full legalisation. These results went further than those conducted by this paper the week before by MORI, which found that only 45 per cent of people were in favour of relaxing the laws for medicinal reasons. In the under-45 age group a similar figure - 45 per cent again - believe that the drug should be decriminalised. Another survey, conducted by another Conservative paper, could not halt the realisation that the majority of people back our campaign. In Friday's Daily Telegraph, a Gallup survey revealed that 56 per cent of young people were in favour of decriminalising cannabis. Half of the 18-to-34 age group also ridiculed the notion that cannabis leads to hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. The Sun wasn't alone in being embarrassed this week. William Hague, the Conservative Party leader, claimed that cannabis wrecks lives. He believes that cannabis ruined the lives of people he knew at Oxford university. Writing in the Times last week, the assistant editor, Mary Ann Sieghart - a signed supporter of this paper's campaign - rubbished that claim. The contemporary of Hague revealed that of those she knew who smoked at university: "one or two are Tory MPs". * Keith Hellawell, the so-called drugs tsar, has opened an e-mail address to receive your views. It is CDCU@gtnet.gov.uk * A vote takes place this Thursday in the European Parliament to harmonise drug laws and decriminalise cannabis. Although it is only a recommendation, campaigners say it represents a symbolic step forward.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Charged Over £32M Cocaine Haul (British Customs Nabs Cargo In Wheels Of Land Rover About To Cross The Chunnel) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 03:03:36 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: Two Charged Over £32m Cocaine Haul Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos
Source: BBC Online News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/) Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 TWO CHARGED OVER £32M COCAINE HAUL Two men have been charged in connection with the importation of drugs after Customs men smashed a plot to bring cocaine with an estimated value of £32m into Britain through the Channel Tunnel. Customs and Excise believe the haul is one of the largest destined for the Tunnel to be intercepted. The men were stopped at Coquelles near Calais as they passed through Customs checks before they were due to board Le Shuttle car train on Friday. Their Land Rover was searched and a haul of 160 kilos (342 lbs) of cocaine was found in the car's wheels. The men, one from Cleckheaton and the other from Dewsbury, both West Yorkshire, were taken to Leeds for further questioning. Frank Ferguson, Senior Investigation Officer with the Customs and Excise National Investigation Service, said 40 kilos of cocaine were concealed in each of the four wheels of the vehicle. Incisions had been made in the hubs, and the vehicle was robust enough still to look normal and drive properly. Mr Ferguson said this was an extremely unusual method for concealing drugs. "Drugs have been hidden in wheels before, but they are usually in the spare wheels," he said. "It was a very professional method of concealment." Customs officers say the most popular method of smuggling drugs is by swallowing packages or hiding them inside their bodies. The Channel Tunnel is said to be becoming the fastest-growing route for drug trafficking. Seizures of drugs under the Channel have doubled in the last year. Mr Ferguson said this was one of the largest seizures ever made. The largest British seizure on record had a street value of £250m. It was found in drums of bitumen in a steamer calling at Birkenhead, Merseyside, in February 1994.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Football Team Blows Final Whistle (Britain's 'Sunday Times' Reports Calton Athletic, The Football Team Of Former Drug Addicts In Glasgow Which Advised The Makers Of 'Trainspotting,' Is Disbanding) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 02:30:07 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: Drugs Football Team Blows Final Whistle Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos
Source: Sunday Times UK Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 Author: Lucy Adamson DRUGS FOOTBALL TEAM BLOWS FINAL WHISTLE CALTON Athletic, the football team of former drug addicts which advised the makers of Trainspotting and was immortalised in a television drama starring Robbie Coltrane and Lenny Henry, is to be disbanded. David Bryce, director of Calton Athletic recovery group, said its drugs prevention and schools work would continue but its Glasgow drop-in centre would close with the loss of six full-time workers, including Bryce and his deputy, David Main. Both plan to continue as volunteers. All work on recovering addicts will stop, including the day programme which last year saw more than 100 "graduates" from the rehabilitation programme. Prison outreach work will also be discontinued as Calton concentrates solely on prevention and schools. Greater Glasgow health board provides £250,000 for Calton, but Bryce, with the backing of his staff, decided last week to withdraw from funding after criticising the board and the council's social work department. Bryce recently claimed that Calton had fared better under a Conservative government and criticised Labour's lack of support for abstinence-based projects. The group's recently opened drugs awareness academy will continue. Scotland Against Drugs, the cross-party campaign, has contributed £50,000 to the academy which will train drug workers and devise prevention schemes. Additional funds have come from Figment Films, Polygram Video and the Celebrities Guild of Great Britain because of the group's contribution to Trainspotting. Bryce has recently suffered ill-health and says he owes it to his family to reduce the pressure. "It was extremely difficult making these choices but I have a responsibility to the other group workers and the schools action team and this restructuring is for the good of the club," he said. Calton Athletic began 12 years ago as a football team for recovering addicts, as depicted in the television drama Alive and Kicking starring Coltrane and Henry. The group acted as advisers to the makers of Trainspotting and recently received a cheque for £20,000 from video sales of the film. Calton at present works with 1,000 addicts in central Scotland, through the drop-in centre, prison outreach work, and work and education programmes with addicts' families. Bryce said he would "honour present commitments" before restructuring in April. He said Calton hoped to expand its influence south of the border with several projects based on its work in Glasgow. Next month advisers would visit London to meet the Stone Foundation, a charity concerned with drug and alcohol addiction. Thaddeus Birschard, clerk to the Stone trustees, said: "The trustees were immensely impressed and saw Calton as real people doing real work." Bryce said it would be easier to expand in London. "We get more support there than we do in Scotland. We will not stand for anything less than full co-operation now," he said. In May, Calton will visit the Tower Hamlets Drug Challenge Fund in London and work with third division Leyton Orient FC. Dr Tim Crabbe, of Goldsmiths University, is organising a Government-backed conference that will hear the experiences of Calton and its work with sport and drugs. "There's a lot of interest in their ability to use sport as a way to get a message across and their success is reflected in the number of people who come to them," he said. Bryce was optimistic about the future in London. "I feel this is the direction we must head in because of the rejection and mistrust we put up with here," he said. Dr Laurence Gruer, consultant in health and public medicine for Greater Glasgow health board, said he was optimistic that an agreement could be reached but agreed that Calton might have found its working relationship restrictive. David Macauley, campaign director of Scotland Against Drugs, described the decision as "a dreadful loss to the city of Glasgow" and said he was extremely distressed by the news. -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to 1998 Daily News index for January 8-14
to Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980111.html