------------------------------------------------------------------- Update From The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Campaign (http://www.crrh.org/) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 04:10:35 -0600 (CST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (William A.B. House) Subject: OCTA Update 1/12/98 To: email@example.com Hello All, We're still at it. I'm still doing my best to work at the OCTA office Monday thru Friday, 10am till 3pm. Less writing on the Internet means more progress on the ground. We're still getting about 20 calls per week, basically from the Cannabis Common Sense show that airs on cable channel 11 at 9 pm on Mondays now. We put a classified ad for three weeks in The Willamette Weekly (circulation of 75,000) that reads like this: *** Legalize Marijuana Signatures and donations needed for ballot Initiative. Please call for a petition package: (503) 235-4606 *** It is supposed to be in this Wednesday's issue. If you would like to donate an ad in the paper advertising to mail out OCTA petition packages PLEASE DO! We need classified or other ads in every paper in Oregon! You can use our phone number, or if you are placing an ad outside the Portland calling area, you can use our phone number or use yours and e-mail use the addresses you receive so we can mail out petition packages. *** We still have a 10,000 name database - we need to mail out to all of those people! It will cost $3,500 if we get the printing done volunteer. *** We are working hard on the ability to increase our weekly requests and mailouts and the ability to produce bulk mail. For me, this week has been consumed with working on the printing garage getting it insulated, heated and cleaned. It has been quite a job, but our printing problems demand it. Working on the foundation can seem slow at times, but once it is ready things can happen. In fact, a lady is supposed to come by Wednesday and show Paul and I how to use a printer ourselves. We still have another 1,300 piece mailout waiting on printing - for a month and a half! The OCTA New Year's Eve Party grossed about $100. It cost $200 to rent the building. OCTA is still $1,300 in debt - but we are down from a $2,400 debt. In our mailout a month and a half ago, we placed the debt at $1,500 but two phone bills adding up to $700, and a couple of people we owed for paid petitioning this summer, were not counted at the time due to misplaced records. We are doing our best to pay down the debt while working on making progress, but paying off the debt is a big priority. I wish I would have moved to Portland to help in the office last year, but I'm here now and God willing I'll be here to help OCTA LEGALIZE IT in 1999! It can happen. Persistence is the key. Progressive got the referendum on the ballot in 5 weeks, we have 6 months - but - we've got to get the signature count up some-how. I'll keep knocking on the door, how about you? I now want to mail again to the last 1,000 piece we did a month and a half ago. I'd like to include return postage paid envelopes with S. O. S. written on it! Send OCTA Signatures! We've only gotten 388 signatures in the mail over the last month and a half - and that sux. But, I will be persistent if it takes another two and one half years - what we are doing now is all good! Even still, if there is a way to get OCTA on the ballot, THIS JULY 2nd; I pray it be so. It is taking longer than I thought, or hoped, to get things on a roll - and then I went home two weeks for the holidays - but Persistance is the key - and a good foundation. I better get some sleep now, I want to finish the insulation in the printing garage tomorrow - we've got about 50 letters backed up now to mail out (it will be done this week). And, the add in the paper comes out Wednesday. If you have any questions or would like to get more involved in helping get the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act on the Ballot, please e-mail me and let's get it ON! With Peace, Bruce House firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cops Hurt Coke Trade (A Two-Year Vancouver RCMP Undercover Investigation Leads To The Arrest Of Three Men, But 'North Shore News' Offers No Evidence Of Any Impact On Cocaine Market) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Cops hurt coke trade Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 12:05:06 -0800 Lines: 81 Source: North Shore News (Vancouver) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Jan. 12, 1998 Cops hurt coke trade - THREE NORTH VAN MEN CHARGED IN BUST Anna Marie D'Angelo News Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A two-year Vancouver RCMP undercover investigation has resulted in charges against a North Vancouver man for allegedly attempting to import cocaine through Colombia and Mexico. Noel Sale, 50, who lived in the 700-block of Edgewood Road in Upper Capilano, is charged with conspiracy to traffic and import cocaine, according to the Vancouver RCMP Drug Section. Two other North Vancouver residents, Robert Windatt, 44, who lived in the 1800-block of Belle Isle and Paul Searle, 40, of the 1200-block of Premier Street, are also charged with conspiracy to traffic and import cocaine. According to the Vancouver RCMP Drug Section, Sale was the "facilitator" who allegedly tried to establish, through his Colombian and Mexican contacts, ways to bring cocaine into the Lower Mainland by land, sea and air. Vancouver RCMP's Drug Section seized 24 kilograms of cocaine in the province in connection with the investigation. The cocaine is estimated by police to be worth $480,000. "We try to de-emphasize looking at the value and look at the degree to which these type of enforcement efforts destabilizes drug operations," said Sgt. Russ Grabb, spokesman for the Vancouver RCMP, which is the headquarters for the national police force in B.C. Grabb said a Whistler resident, Milo Rusimovic, was arrested in California and charged in connection with the cocaine importation investigation. The undercover investigation was called "Project Esquire" and involved police in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration , the Los Angles Impact Team, the Mexican Federal Police, the Colombian Federal Police, Milton Ontario Drug Section and the Integrated Proceeds of Crime Section of Vancouver RCMP. United States Immigration and Naturalization Services and Canada Customs staff were also involved. The three charged North Vancouver men were slated for appearances in North Vancouver provincial court on Friday, according to Vancouver RCMP drug section. Police say more charges may be laid. Another two-year Vancouver RCMP drug undercover investigation also wrapped up last week. The investigation called "Project Exigent" resulted in cocaine conspiracy, trafficking and importation charges against eight people. Vancouver RCMP say 462 kilograms of high-grade cocaine valued at $36 million on the street was seized in Fresno California, Los Angeles and Richmond. Police also seized 159,000 units of the depressant drug, diazepan, valued at $1.2 million, $300,000 of American money and vehicles allegedly used in the drug trade. Charged with various counts of conspiracy, trafficking and importation of cocaine are: Todd Kernan Robinson, 39, of Vancouver; Lindsay William "Lee" Moffat, 39, of Vancouver, Charles Edward Nance, 43, of Richmond, Richard Grant, 38, of Renton Washington, Patrick Alexander LeBlanc, 55, of Vancouver, Jimmy Rodriguez, 28, of Los Angeles, California and Cali, Columbia, Dennis Leong, 47, of Vancouver and Brent Robinson, 42, of Ladner. Project Esquire and Project Exigent were offshoots of Project EYESPY, a 42-month money laundering investigation set up by Vancouver RCMP at a Burrard Street currency exchange office.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Neither Side In Pot Debate Has Proven Case (First Of Several Letters To Editor Of 'Toronto Star' Notes Logical Flaws In Previous Columns) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:33:54 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Canada: LTE: Neither Side in Pot Debate Has Proven Case Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Kelly T. Conlon"
Source: Toronto Star Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 12 Jan. 1998 Editors note: There were no LTEs on the NO side of the question. Over half of these letters are by participants in MATTALK, the discussion list of the Canadian Media Awareness Project: http://www.islandnet.com/~creator/cmap/ NEITHER SIDE IN POT DEBATE HAS PROVEN CASE Dana Larsen and Neil and Phillip Seeman are talking at crossed purposes. Larsen believes marijuana laws cause more damage than benefits to society, which is a basis for decriminalization rather than legalization. He also believes that smoking marijuana has been shown to be effective and safe for treating many medical conditions. The Seemans do not address the societal harm that arises as a result of the criminalization of marijuana and point out that marijuana is of unproved safety but this alone does not prove that possession should be a criminal offence. There is no shortage of evidence suggesting that cigarettes are associated with many diseases but they are legal. Nor is it convincing that there is no role for marijuana in medical practice. In palliative care, where long term adverse effects are less important, their argument is difficult to support. Larsen has argued that marijuana should be decriminalized but he failed to show that it should be legalized, while the Seemens have argued that smoking marijuana has not been proven to be safe but have failed to show that possession should be a criminal offence. Stephen Workman, M.D. Mississauga, ON. *** I have to chuckle whenever learned men like Neil Seeman and Philip Seeman (who oppose legalizing marijuana) prattle on about the need to prove the medical efficacy and safety of cannabis. Cannabis has been safely used by humans for over 5,000 years without one directly attributable fatality. The same can't be said for common pain relievers such as ASA and acetaminophen. Whose interests are Seeman and Seeman trying to defend? Carey Ker Toronto *** Do the misinformed authors, Seeman and Seeman, believe that we should criminalize people for engaging in less than healthy activities such as watching TV and eating snack foods? Is it their opinion that cannabis should be distributed by biker gangs? I agree with Dana Larsen who wrote the Yes column. Cannabis should be legalized. Matthew M. Elrod *** Common sense seems to elude the Seeman brothers. The use of marijuana as a drug delivery system to combat nausea and the AIDS has two distinct advantages over synthetic, oral medications. First, it is cheap to grow. Second, people experiencing severe nausea cannot easily swallow pills. Common Sense suggests that all available forms of cannabis should be available to the sick. The fact that THC has accepted theraputic benefits is evidence enough to end the criminal prohibition on cannabis, and the sooner the better. Kelly T. Conlon *** I certainly must agree with the Yes side on this issue. The fact that marijuana is not perfectly safe for human consumption does not hold water. If the health issue is the primary consideration against the decriminalization of pot, then why in the name of all things sensible are cigarettes not criminal? John Monaghan South Porcupine, Ont. *** The Seemans' argument against legalizing marijuana fails on many points, but space allows me only to address the following two. Their focus on the alleged dangers of smokable marijuana completely ignores modern, safer, methods of cannabis consumption, such as vaporization, which produces no cancerous smoke. Advocating synthetic replacements for cannabis fails to take into account that the benefits of marijuana therapy occur due to the combination of substance in the plant, not just the active ingredient delta-9 THC. The bulk of scientific evidence does not support their assertion that marijuana is unsafe. Timothy Meeghan Toronto, Ont. *** When will enough Canadians realize that pot/marijuana/ cannabis is a greatly beneficial herbal medicine, just like garlic, St.Johns Wort, and Evening Primrose Oil? Do they know that it can be taken orally, in tea, tincture, or rubbed on? It should be available to responsible adults at health-food stores and pharmacies, or in their own back yards, without fear of being labelled criminals. Please help to spread the truth so this terrible war against people can end. Kathy Galbraith Raymond, Alberta *** I find it hard to believe that people are still propagating the same old myths about marijuana. A real look at the facts shows the source of the "public health hazards" mentioned in the Jan. 5 No column to be either dated studies or reefer madness-like propaganda. I challenge the authors of the No column to provide valid sources for the "hazards" they cite. Adam Schiffman North York *** Alcohol prohibition does not work. Drug prohibition does not work. Illegal drugs are a trillion dollar-plus industry, most of which flows into the coffers of organized crime, the only beneficiary of the drug laws. Who is the government trying to benefit by refusing to end this travesty? Ian MacMillan Toronto, Ont. *** I certainly must agree with the Yes side on this issue. The fact that marijuana is not perfectly safe for human consumption does not hold water. If the health issue is the primary consideration against the decriminalization of pot, then why in the name of all things sensible are cigarettes not criminal? John Monaghan South Porcupine, Ont. *** To our shame, "caring and compassionate" Canada imprisons thousands of innocent citizens who happen to prefer drugs not approved by the sanctimonious and uncaring majority. Incredibly, even sick Canadians, who find relief from these substances, are made to feel the sting of the majority's disapproval. Alan and Eleanor Randell Victoria, B.C.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California Petition Drive Begins To Make Hemp Use Legal (Petitioners Must Collect Verified Signatures Of 433,269 Registered Voters By May 18) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 22:34:15 -0500 Subject: MN: US CA: California Petition Drive Begins to Make Hemp Use Legal Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Hemp News Service http://hemptech.com/ Pubdate: Monday, 12 January 1998 Source: (1) San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (2) The Sacramento Bee (3) San Jose Mercury News Contact: (1) firstname.lastname@example.org (2) email@example.com (3) firstname.lastname@example.org CALIFORNIA PETITION DRIVE BEGINS TO MAKE HEMP USE LEGAL A proposal to legalize the growing of hemp for industrial purposes is the 38th initiative certified to collect voter signatures for a place on California's 1998 general election ballot The petition drive, which started Friday, must collect verified signatures of 433,269 registered voters by May 18. The proposal by Sam H. Clauder II of Garden Grove would legalize the growing, harvesting, storage and use of hemp for use as a building material or in the production of cloth, paper, fuels and various building materials and industrial chemicals. It contends that California's current ban on hemp, a member of the same plant family as marijuana, prohibits the state from participating in a thriving global market for industrial hemp. It raises the number of initiatives in circulation for the November ballot to 38. Five initiatives are expected to be certified for the June ballot.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club Puts New Members On Hold (Records Audit And Protocol Review Announced After Feds Launch Effort To Close California CBCs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 18:30:28 EST Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Imler) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Announcemt: Santa Cruz CBC Cannabis Club Closes Doors To New Members Announces Records Audit And Protocol Review Today, the Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club announced, effective immediately, that it will no longer accept new applications for membership in its medical marijuana distribution program. The action is being taken in response to the federal government lawsuit, filed last Friday, to close six of Northern California's cannabis clubs by civil injunction. "The US Attorney has agents posing as patients and presenting forged documentation," said 74 year-old center director Fred Seike. "Couple that with the local medical community's ongoing reluctance to even take our phone calls, and we can no longer insure the integrity of our verification process." Founded in March of 1993, as the Santa Cruz Medical Cannabis Cooperative, it was the first such organization in the state and initially only provided material and technical support for patients to grow their own marijuana at home. Two years later, with demand far outstripping home cultivated supplies, the group switched to a "buyers' club" model and began bulk-purchasing and non-profit retail distribution. "Our program isn't perfect," said Seike , "but we're a family and we're just trying to take care of ourselves under very difficult circumstances." "We're sorry we sold marijuana to a DEA agent, but he tricked us." Seike, who uses medical marijuana for stroke-related paralysis and spasticity, also announced a comprehensive audit of the buyers' club membership files and is requesting the cooperation of local physicians in re-verifying the authenticity of the many doctors letter currently on file. While Seike said the center has no current plans to end its buyers club program altogether, and promised a spirited defense against the injunction in federal court, new patients in need will be referred to the areas two other community-based medical marijuana programs which were not named in the lawsuits: the Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Davenport and the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center in San Jose. For information about how you can help, please contact Gilbert Baker @ 408-429-8819. END
------------------------------------------------------------------- Help Sought For Medical Pot Users (UPI Reports California State Senator John Vasconcellos Held A Sacramento News Conference Monday To Announce Six New Measures To Implement 11362.5, The Medical Marijuana Law Approved By 6 Million California Voters In November 1996) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:02:56 -0500 Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Help Sought For Medical Pot Users Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Dave Fratello <firstname.lastname@example.org> Source: United Press International Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 HELP SOUGHT FOR MEDICAL POT USERS SACRAMENTO, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- State Sen. John Vasconcellos has stepped up his effort to get help for users of medical marijuana. The Santa Clara Democrat held a Capitol news conference today to announce a half-dozen measures to implement Proposition 215, the medical marijuana law approved by 6 million California voters in November 1996. Vasconcellos says he's outraged by state and federal efforts to thwart distribution of marijuana to patients of AIDS, cancer and other diseases who want the drug to ease their pain. He cited the recent U.S. Justice Department closure of northern California cannibis clubs under a federal law that conflicts with Proposition 215 -- an action he promises to appeal. The lawmaker also announced plans for a Public Safety Committee "summit" on the distribution issue in hopes of reconciling diverse viewpoints, and new implementing legislation based on the meeting. Vasconcellos promised renewed efforts to move a bill off the Assembly floor that would authorize a three-year University of California study on medical use of the drug. The Senate passed it last year, but it fell short in the Assembly despite support from state Attorney General Dan Lungren. Vasconellos is also asking colleagues to sign a protest letter to President Clinton, and appealing to citizens to do the same.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Begin Civil War In California (News Release From American Medical Marijuana Organization Includes Details For Activists On Who To Write To About The Federal Attack On CBCs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 18:30:13 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: AMMO
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: ACTION ALERT: Feds Begin Civil War in California ACTION ALERT: Feds Begin Civil War in California Feds try to cut-off supply of cannabis to thousands of patients. American Medical Marijuana Organization (AMM0) January 12, 1998 Please re-distribute this announcement. On January 9, 1998, six federal civil lawsuits were filed against cannabis buyers' clubs in the Northern District of California. In November 1996, voters passed the California Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215) which ended the state prohibition on medical uses of marijuana in California. Prop. 215 allows patients and their primary care-givers to possess and cultivate medicinal cannabis upon recommendation from a physician. Cannabis "buyers' clubs" have since supplied the needs of thousands of medical patients. Since there are no statewide guidelines for cannabis distribution, these herbal dispensaries operate under the auspices of their local governments. The cannabis is either cultivated on site or supplied by local horticulturalists. The federal lawsuits filed on Friday are aimed at shutting down the cannabis buyers' clubs in California by enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act, which lists marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, along with heroin and LSD. The Feds are thwarting the will of the voters in California by attacking the supplies of medicine for thousands of seriously-ill people who rely on cannabis to alleviate suffering caused by cancer and AIDS treatment and to alleviate symptoms of other illnesses like glaucoma and chronic pain. The Feds have started a CIVIL WAR against the sick people and voters of California. The People must win this war or be governed by federal tyranny. Is the U.S. a republic or a totalitarian dictatorship? It's up to the People to decide. *** WHAT YOU CAN DO: Donations to fight these federal lawsuits are urgently needed. At this point, no central defense fund has been set up to fight this federal harassment. Make checks payable to the name of the individual buyers' clubs. Note: Pending potential asset forfeiture against the clubs, your check may not be cashed immediately or it may be signed over directly to the attorneys who are representing the clubs. Please send any amount you can, even if it's just a few postage stamps. The six clubs and ten individuals are named in the federal lawsuits are: 1) Cannabis Cultivators Cooperative Dennis Peron (named defendant) 1444 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102 Phone: (415) 621-3986 Fax: (415) 621-0604 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.marijuana.org 2) Flower Therapy John Hudson, Mary Palmer, Barbara Sweeney, Gerard M. Buhrz (named defendants) 3180 17th Street San Francisco, CA 94110 Phone: (415) 255-6305 Email: email@example.com 3) Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative Jeff Jones (named defendant) P.O. Box 70401 Oakland, CA 94612-0401 Phone: (510) 832-5346 Fax: (510) 986-0534 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.rxcbc.org 4) Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club 201 Maple Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Phone: (408) 429-8819 5) Ukiah Cannabis Buyer's Club Cherrie Lovett, Marvin & Mildred Lehrman (named defendants) 40A Pallini Lane Ukiah, CA 95482 Phone: (707) 462-0691 Fax: (707) 468-4336 Email: email@example.com 6) Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana Lynette Shaw (named defendant) School Street Plaza Building 6 - Suite 210 Fairfax, CA 94930 Phone: (415) 256-9328 *** WHAT ELSE CAN I DO??? 1) Write LETTERS TO THE EDITOR of these California newspapers. Express outrage at the persecution patients in California. Tell them to STOP THE WAR ON SICK PEOPLE!! For help on letter-writing, see the Media Awareness Project at http://www.mapinc.org. California Newspapers (compiled by Jim Rosenfield: firstname.lastname@example.org) email@example.com(Contra Costa County Times Calif.) firstname.lastname@example.org(San Francisco Chronicle) email@example.com(San Mateo Times) firstname.lastname@example.org(BLK, LTE's) email@example.com(San Francisco Examiner) firstname.lastname@example.org(Los Angeles Times) email@example.com(The Orange County Register) firstname.lastname@example.org(Modesto Bee) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org(San Francisco Bay Guardian) email@example.com(San Jose Mercury News) letters@TheReporter.com(Vacaville Reporter) firstname.lastname@example.org(San Diego Union Tribune) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org(Santa Rosa Press Democrat) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com(Daily Bruin UCLA Viewpoint) firstname.lastname@example.org *** 2) SEND POSTCARDS to and CALL federal and state elected officials. SEND EMAIL to the few who have email. Tell them to END THE WAR ON SICK PEOPLE!!!! Use this short email list to cut and paste into the Bcc: field of your email program. Save the list and periodically remind these officials that you won't remain silent in this civil war on your family and friends. STATE GOVERNMENT Governor Pete Wilson State Capitol, 1st Floor Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-2841 Fax: (916) 445-4633 Email: email@example.com Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis State Capitol, Room 1114 Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-8994 Fax: (916) 323-4998 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren 1300 I Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-9555 Fax: (916) 324-5205 Attorney General's Office Public Inquiry Unit Web: http://caag.state.ca.us/piu/mailform.htm Email: email@example.com *** CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY AND SENATE: Email list: http://www.sonnet.com/CriminalJusticeReform/legislators.html Other lists: http://www.state.ca.us/s/govt/legisca.html http://clerkweb.house.gov/mbrcmtee/members/mbrsstate/uolmfram.htm *** U.S. CONGRESS U.S. Senators of California: Boxer, Barbara (D) firstname.lastname@example.org Feinstein, Dianne (D) email@example.com For U.S. Senators in other states, see: http://www.senate.gov/senator/membmail.html http://www.earthlaw.org/Activist/senatadd.htm U.S. Representatives: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ *** EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org *** U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICENorthern District of California Michael Yamaguchi, U.S. Attorney 11th Floor - Federal Building 450 Golden Gate Avenue - Box 36055 San Francisco, CA 94102 Central District of California Criminal Division 312 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 Email: email@example.com Executive Office for United States Attorneys United States Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 1619 Washington, D.C. 20530-0001 Phone: (202) 514-1020 Fax: (202) 514-0323 U.S. Attorneys Home Page http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/usaos.html *** DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION a) San Francisco Division 450 Golden Gate Avenue P.O. Box 36035 San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 436-7900 Subdivisions: (Fresno, Monterey, Sacramento, San Francisco Airport TF, San Jose) b) Los Angeles Division 255 East Temple Street - 20th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 894-2650 Subdivisions: (Riverside, CA; Santa Ana, CA; Ventura, CA; Honolulu, HI; Guam; Las Vegas, NV; Reno, NV; N. Lake Tahoe TF; S. Lake Tahoe TF) *** For information on medical uses of cannabis, see: Medical Marijuana Master Reference - Cliff Schaffer's Online Drug Library http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/medical_mj.htm The Medical Marijuana Magazine http://www.marijuanamagazine.com American Medical Marijuana Organization http://www.alpworld.com/AMMO (Read the Department of Justice Press Release on the filing of the lawsuits at: http://www.alpworld.com/AMMO/Clubs.html) Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative http://www.rxcbc.org Cannabis Cultivators Cooperative (San Francisco) http://www.marijuana.org Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies http://www.maps.org/mmj Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org Drug Text http://www.drugtext.nl The Lindesmith Center http://www.lindesmith.org/library/subject.html *** AMERICAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORGANIZATION (AMMO) Defending The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients Board of Directors: --Steve Kubby , --Ed Rosenthal --Laura Kriho For subscription changes, please mail to with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Attack On California Pot Clubs ('Philadelphia Inquirer' Contrasts Dennis Peron's Club In San Francisco With Scott Imler's In Los Angeles) Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 22:39:47 -0500 Subject: MN: US CA: Inquirer: New Attack On Calif. Pot Clubs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Richard Lake Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Author: Nita Lelyveld, Inquirer Staff Writer Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 12 January 1998 Website: http://www.phillynews.com/ NEW ATTACK ON CALIF. POT CLUBS State Voters Approved Medicinal Use Of Marijuana. They Didn't Approve Buyers Clubs, Say Law Enforcers. 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 vet 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 today, 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 have always 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 that sick people would be forced to approach dealers on the street if the clubs were forced to close. 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 total disclosure. In October, he organized a conference of organizations involved in the distribution of medical marijuana. Meeting in Santa Cruz, 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."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Many Implications Of Friday's Surprise (Tom O'Connell And Others Ponder The Federal Lawsuits Against Six California CBCs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 00:33:54 EST From: "Tom O'Connell"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: The Many Implications of Friday's surprise The late Friday lateral of responsibility from Dan Lungren to the feds, raises a long list of questions with many layers of nuance; DrCtalkers have already spotted a number of them: 1)This move sets the stage for a possible test case in the US Supreme Court, something the feds seemed intent on avoiding right after the passage of 215. It would first go to the Ninth Circuit in SF, a fairly liberal panel, as these groups are measured. Alan Bryan posted an old (July 96) John Mathews post predicting that mj "legalization." could ensue from a court test of mj prohibition. > What do you think the half-life of the "legalization" >movement would be if pot (but not other drugs) were decriminalized >tomorrow? My guess is, not long. How about THAT for a clever policy >option? ;-) >> > >We'll probably get the chance to find out in my lifetime, though not in '96 >as some might be hoping. My guess is that the "domino effect" from pot >to other drugs won't exist. My prediction (an educated guess, actually) >is that the resolution of the drug policy problem will eventually come >in some courtroom - probably the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, >maybe one of the California courts. Probably in a marijuana case, and >this will be the "wedge" the reformers need to open the door. I believe >this will take place before 2000. ================================== Kelly Conlon very astutely noted that the Constitutional playing field has changed since the CSA, which was based on the ubiquitous "Interstate Commerce" justification when rewriting "taxation-baed" drug prohibition in 1970: Lisa Krieger had written in the SFX: >> 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. > Kelly observed: >Yeah, and I bet they thought that way about the Gun Free Schools Act prior >to the Lopez decision. ================================== Peter Webster, In conversation with Chris Donald asked: >Are you then saying that the narcs have done this of their own accord with no >input from the top of the heap? That seems dubious, or otherwise the action has >intended consequences beyond the obvious. They seem to be upping the ante in a >very perilous way, and a way quite likely to >discredit the whole drugwar >shebang, especially in the eyes of the rest >of the world who are now watching >closely, and on the verge of >significant changes. It seems a desperate >move...but then the way in >which the govt backed out of Vietnam was also rather >underhanded. It also raises several local and national political questions in addition to the Federal Judicial can of worms. Lungren is the leading candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He will probably be opposed by Diane Feinstein. Both must be worried that they were on the wrong side of a measure which commanded 54% of the state vote in'96. Did Lungren ask the feds to take some heat off him, or did the feds pre-empt him against his will? Whose idea was this? At what federal level was this approved? Was McCaffrey consulted? Reno? The Prez? They all stand to lose a lot if a fiasco ensues. The present Supreme Court has been inclined to give the drug war a blank check, but they would have some trouble writing an opinion upholding drug prohibition in the light of their Lopez (Texas gun) decision. As Peter notes, this raises the medmj ante considerably. Even if a pusillanimous Court should uphold the warriors, we know that medical marijuana commands a lot of public support nationally. A decision directly contrary to public opinion could act just like the Dred Scott case, in which a politically inept court attempted to uphold folly with an unpopular judicial "solution." This could also dramatize the (administrative/legal) issue at the core of Jon Gettmann's petition: marijuana simply does not qualify as a "Schedule 1" agent, under the feds *own rules.* Surely an argument could be made that the Supremes (or some lower court) should instruct the Dept. of Justice to follow the law, even though that law might be found constitutional. My, how things can change in a flash. Tom O'Connell *** From: Phillizy (Phillizy@aol.com) Subject: Re: The Many Implications of Friday's surprise In a message dated 98-01-12 00:38:47 EST, tjeffoc wrote: << Lungren is the leading candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He will probably be opposed by Diane Feinstein. Both must be worried that they were on the wrong side of a measure which commanded 54% of the state vote in'96. Did Lungren ask the feds to take some heat off him >> I doubt this administration is moved to pull Lungren's chestnuts out of the fire. What's more, Lungren's chances of winning the California State House are a tossup between nil and none. Lundgren is on the wrong side of voters on every major issue from a woman's right to choose (favored by 69% of CA voters) to medical marijuana (an issue garnering more CA votes than Clinton in the last election). In addition, Republicans have managed to further alienate not only the black and latino communities with Prop 187, but conservative Asian-Americans, as well, with their strident Congressional Election Finance Hearings. Lungren can't win the next election without a lot of democratic help. If the democratic nominee, DiFi or Leon Panetta (Leon could split Lungren's Catholic base, 28% of CA voters), will not veto legislated medical marijuana, then Lungren is DOA. Lizy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Is The Government's War Against Marijuana Justified As Public Policy? (Debate In 'Washington Post' Between Mark Souder, Vice Chairman Of US House Government Reform And Oversight Subcommittee On National Security, And Lynn Zimmer, Associate Professor Of Sociology At Queens College In New York, Coauthor Of 'Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts - A Review Of The Scientific Evidence') Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 17:46:23 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: ART: lynn zimmer Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >From Mailer-Daemon@epub.med.iacnet.com Mon Feb 2 17:09:45 1998 Full content for this article includes photograph and illustration. Source: Insight on the News, Jan 12, 1998 v13 n2 p24(4). Title: Q: Is the government's war against marijuana justified as public policy?(Symposium)(Panel Discussion) Author: Mark Souder and Lynn Zimmer Abstract: Critics of the war on drugs say it is ineffective, despite penalties for marijuana possession that are far too harsh. Supporters of the drug war say comparing it to Prohibition is unfair, and that tough law enforcement is a key to neighborhood revitalization. Subjects: Legalization of narcotics - Political aspects Narcotics, Control of - Political aspects Crime prevention - Political aspects Marijuana - Laws, regulations, etc. Electronic Collection: A20121867 RN: A20121867 Full Text COPYRIGHT 1998 Washington Times Corporation Yes: Protect the public from the practitioners of `Cheech-and-Chona'medicine. Rolling Stone magazine noted in its May 5, 1994. issue that currency speculator and billionaire philanthropist George Soros gave the Drug Policy Foundation, one of many recipients of his "charitable" largesse, suggestions to follow if they wanted his assistance: "[H]ire someone with the political savvy to sit down and negotiate with government officials and target a few winnable issues, like medical marijuana and the repeal of mandatory minimums." Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, told an Emory University audience in 1979 that medicinal marijuana would be used as a red herring to give marijuana a good name. Richard Cowan, writing for the pro-drug High Times magazine, described the "medical model as spearheading a strategy for the legalization of marijuana by 1997." According to public-opinion polls, legalization of marijuana is not supported by the American people. This explains why the drug lobby carefully steers away from using the term "legalization," preferring cryptic terms such as harm reduction, decriminalization and medicalization. The goal of the drug lobby has not changed; it only is camouflaged. The public sensibly and resolutely remains opposed to recreational marijuana use, but drug legalizers shamefully are trying to con voters through deceptive ballot referenda exploiting the ill and dying. Marijuana legalizers commonly claim America's prisons teem with young people whose only come was simple possession of marijuana, and that drug arrests disproportionately affect minorities. The recent debate about crack-cocaine sentencing disparities sparked similar claims of racism by the criminal justice system. The drug lobby ignores the obvious fact that a war on drugs hits inner-city traffickers foremost and helps law-abiding residents of neighborhoods who have the least resources with which to fight back. Despite the inescapable conclusion that placing drug dealers behind bars protects neighborhoods against criminals, violent crime and social ills attendant with drug use, drug legalizers such as University of California at Los Angeles' Mark Kleiman absurdly claim: "Locking up a burglar does not materially change the opportunities for other burglars, while locking up a drug dealer leaves potential customers for new dealers." The drug lobby frequently compares the drug war to Prohibition. But as a publication at the turn of the century (when the United States had a raging drug problem) observed, "a drunkard may retain his moral equilibrium between debauches . . . but the `dope fiend,' once thoroughly addicted, inevitably drops into utter debasement." Unlike illegal drugs, alcohol and drinking were embedded in Anglo-Saxon and European social customs. While the temperance movement prevailed after heated debate, drug restrictions passed during the same period widely were regarded as uncontroversial and needed. Western states passed marijuana-prohibition laws in response to a rash of crimes and violence linked to cannabis use among Mexican immigrants. A medical exemption existed then to the import of marijuana, but soon states and politicians appealed to the federal government for help in confronting -- the "loco weed." Legendary New York journalist Meyer Berger in 1938 summed up expert medical opinion at the time: "Marijuana, while no more habit-forming than ordinary cigarette smoking, offers a shorter cut to complete madness than any other drug." Drug legalizers recently lost a ballot initiative in Washington state on Nov. 4, a setback from victories to legalize illegal drugs last year in California and Arizona. The Washington-state referendum -- I-685, which failed by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent --combined the worst aspects of the legalization initiatives in California and Arizona by not only seeking to legalize marijuana but also cocaine, heroin, LSD and other narcotics on Schedule T of the federal Controlled Substances Act, drugs judged to have no medicinal benefit and high potential for abuse. I-685 also would have released drug offenders from prison. I-685 was bolstered by millions of dollars in contributions from a handful of out-of-state millionaires, including Soros -- dubbed the "Daddy Warbucks" of drug legalization by former health, education and welfare secretary Joe Califano -- and Arizona millionaire John Sperling. The measure failed even though drug legalizers outspent antidrug advocates by a ratio of nearly 15-to-1. Washington state antidrug activists warned against complacency in fighting the legalizers. They acknowledged the battle against I-685 was significantly buoyed by the zealotry of the legalizers to delist Schedule I substances and by the National Rifle Association's successful multimillion-dollar campaign against a gun-control referendum also on the ballot. The District of Columbia is threatened with a marijuana "medicalization" initiative next November, sponsored by a homosexual advocacy organization, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. AIDS activists should take note of pioneering research by Dr. Thomas Klein at the University of South Florida who showed marijuana alters the immune system and may accelerate HIV-infection into full-blown AIDS cases. D.C.'s Measure 57 would permit up to 20 people to cultivate and sell unlimited quantities of marijuana for an individual suffering from an amorphous range of conditions-essentially shielding drug dealers from prosecution. As drug czar Barry McCaffrey argues, the ballot box is the wrong place for decisions about efficacy and safety of medicines. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, was created to protect the public against snake-oil salesmen, and consumer-safety laws require proper labeling of ingredients and dosages. The sale of crude marijuana circumvents those protections. The pro-drug lobby successfully described Proposition 215 in California as "medical" marijuana for the sick and dying, preying on the compassionate nature of the American people, but Prop. 215 legalized marijuana with no age limitation for "any illness for which marijuana provides relief," including ailments of dubious nature and severity such as memory recall, writers cramp and corn callouses. The FDA has approved the only psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, THC, found useful for pain relief as Marinol, in pill form through prescription. Marinol, a Schedule IT drug with limited medical use and high potential for abuse, is an antinausea drug for cancer patients who fail to respond to other drugs, and an appetite stimulant for people suffering from AIDS wasting syndrome. THC has not, however, been shown to be safe and effective for any other condition ether than nausea and wasting due to AIDS. In a double-blind study, patients preferred Marinol over smoking marijuana 2-to-1. A marijuana study by the Institute of Medicine concluded risks of marijuana on the immune system were such that it favored development of a smoke-free inhaled delivery system to provide purer forms of THC, or its related compound, cannabinoids. The drug lobby, however, rejects legal use of THC in Marinol and continues to promote use of crude marijuana cigarettes as medicine. One doctor, explaining why marijuana is not medicine, gave the analog of eating moldy bread in an attempt to get penicillin. A prominent oncologist professed he could manage pain with legal drugs in 99 percent of his patients, and that there are newer and better medications for chemotherapy patients than Marinol, describing one, Zofran, as a "miracle" drug. Crude marijuana consists of more than 400 chemicals which, when smoked, become thousands of chemicals. Drugs from a pharmacy are of a single ingredient and of a known dosage. Pot advocates often cite the fact that morphine, available under a doctor's care, is a heroin derivative. What they neglect to mention is that morphine received FDA approval and underwent rigorous clinical testing, a public-safety standard approved drugs must meet. Drug legalizers often cite Americans participating in an ongoing federal experiment at the University of Mississippi to evaluate any benefit from medicinal marijuana, implying that the federal government believes marijuana could be medicinal. But to date, despite 12,000 studies of the medical utility of marijuana, an overwhelming consensus exists in the scientific community that smoked marijuana never can be a medicine. The federal experimental program, consisting of eight people, has declined new admissions since 1992. Congress, in its reauthorization of the drug-czar's office, banned further studies of marijuana as medicine, a provision which I sponsored. While the Clinton administration campaigns vigorously against cigarettes and chides the tobacco industry for its marketing techniques, marijuana cigarettes rarely are targets of condemnation. Ironically, the tobacco industry, like the drug lobby today, once promoted cigarettes as medicine until the Federal Trade Commission halted this practice in 1955. Marijuana is addictive, leading to the use of other drugs such as cocaine and heroin, and is a major cause of accidents and injuries. It can cause respiratory disease and mental disorders including depression, paranoia, decreased cognitive performance and impaired memory. Babies born to women who smoked marijuana during pregnancy have an increased incidence of leukemia, low birth weight and other newborn abnormalities. The National Institute of Drug Abuse's director frequently mentions brain scans showing that lower cerebral activity seems to account for some of the reported learning disturbances found in chronic marijuana users. As a New York Times editorial recently put it, parents need to realize today's marijuana is more potent than the version they may have smoked in their youth, and "research has shown the drug to be far more dangerous to young people than was known in the 1960s and 1970s, with a higher THC content. It can be particularly harmful to the growth and development of teenagers." There is a solid reason for scientific studies and FDA approval -- to avoid medical catastrophes such as thalidomide. Good medicine is not conceived at the polls, but through routine clinical trials. Since marijuana is far more carcinogenic than tobacco cigarettes, it's not compassionate to recommend it to sick people -- it's cruel. Souder is vice chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee on National Security, which has focused on the U.S. narcotics problem. *** No: This costly battle is a waste of government money and human capital. A friend of mine allows his teenage son to smoke marijuana. The boy gets intense nausea from the chemotherapy for his cancer, and marijuana works better than the medications prescribed by his physician. My accountant, a 35-year-old man with AIDS, smokes marijuana before dinner to stimulate his appetite and help him gain weight. A 77-year-old woman who lives near my mother smokes marijuana to treat her glaucoma. A multiple-sclerosis patient, whom I met last week at a conference, told me he uses marijuana to reduce muscle spasticity. Under federal law and the laws of most states, these people are committing criminal offenses. In 1996, voters in California and Arizona passed referendums to prevent state law-enforcement officials from arresting people who use marijuana as a medicine. Washington-state voters recently defeated a drug-policy referendum which, among its provisions, allowed patients access to medical marijuana. In exit polls, however, more than half of those voting "no" said they would have voted "yes" if the initiative had been for medical marijuana alone. Next year, voters in several other states will get to approve or reject proposals to decriminalize marijuana's use as a medicine. Public-opinion poll data available today suggests they overwhelmingly will approve. Still, unless federal law is changed, medical marijuana will remain illegal throughout the United States. Federal officials, including drug czar Barry McCaffrey, oppose leniency on the question of medical marijuana claiming it "sends the wrong message" and undermines government efforts to suppress marijuana's recreational use. By all objective measures, these efforts already are a dismal failure. In 1995, federal agents seized I million pounds of marijuana along the U.S. border and spent millions of dollars to find and destroy marijuana grown domestically. Nonetheless, the following year McCaffrey's Office of National Drug Control Policy reported that "high-quality marijuana is widely available in all parts of the United States." On government surveys, about 85 percent of high-school seniors say it is "very easy" or "fairly easy" to obtain marijuana -- the same as it has been every year since the early seventies. During the last 20 years, state and local police have arrested nearly 10 million people for marijuana offenses, about 85 percent for possession. Supporters of this approach claim that criminal sanctions keep some people from using marijuana. However, the data show no relationship between the number of arrests for marijuana possession or the severity of sanctions imposed and the number of people who use marijuana. Following legal changes since the seventies, researchers have compared the rates of marijuana use in states which have decriminalized marijuana with the rates in states which still had criminal sanctions for simple possession. They found no difference. Marijuana use increased throughout the United States during the seventies, irrespective of the policy in individual states. After 1979, marijuana use started declining. This downward trend, like the upward trend that preceded it, occurred in states both with and without criminal penalties for possessing marijuana. In the mid-eighties, while marijuana use continued to decline, President Reagan launched a new war on marijuana. Congress recriminalized marijuana possession, setting a penalty of one year in federal prison for possessing a single joint (or less) of marijuana the same penalty as for possessing small amounts of cocaine or heroin. Two of the states that decriminalized marijuana in the seventies-Oregon and Alaska reinstated criminal penalties for marijuana possession. In addition, Congress and state legislatures created a variety of new civil sanctions which could be applied to persons arrested for marijuana offenses. Today marijuana offenders, including those charged with simple possession, can be denied college and or small business loans, farm subsidies, occupational licenses and government grants, contracts and fellowships. More than half the states have enacted "possess a joint loose your license" laws, which automatically revoke the driver's license of anyone convicted of any marijuana offense, even if it was not driving-related. People on probation or parole for any criminal offense can be returned to prison on the basis of a urine test showing them to be marijuana users. Following a marijuana arrest, government officials can seize people's property, including cash, cars, boats, land and houses. And, they can keep the property even if there never is a criminal conviction. After remaining fairly stable throughout the eighties, arrests for marijuana offenses increased dramatically during the nineties. In 1992, state and local police arrested about 269,000 people for marijuana possession. In 1996, marijuana-possession arrests exceeded 545,000 nearly a doubling in a five-year period. Arrests for marijuana distribution and sale also increased during these years. But about 85 percent of marijuana arrests, the same as always, were for marijuana possession. In New York City, marijuana arrests doubled between 1990 and 1996, reaching 18,000. Most New York City arrests, such as those across the country, are misdemeanor arrests, for either possessing marijuana or smoking marijuana in public. This war on marijuana has had no apparent impact on marijuana's popularity. >From 1992 to 1996, while arrests were doubling, the number of adult marijuana users remained stable. During the same five-year period, adolescent marijuana use increased, after declining for more than a decade. In 1992, 8 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds said they had used marijuana during the last year. By 1996, the rate of past-year marijuana use among adolescents had risen to 13 percent. Rather than admitting defeat, drug warriors argue that more enforcement and tougher penalties for marijuana offenses are needed. Most marijuana users, they say, never get arrested. And those arrested seldom get sent to prison. Instead, judges give marijuana users suspended sentences, put them on probation or sentence them to community service. A real war on marijuana, drug warriors claim, will produce the deterrence that currently is lacking. The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse in 1972 decided that whatever marijuana's harms to users, they paled in comparison to-the harm of being arrested. In addition, commission members understood that "marginalizing" even a small minority of marijuana users did not serve the best interests of society. Consider, for example, how many of today's political leaders smoked marijuana in their youth. President Clinton, Vice President Gore and House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among them. If, rather than escaping detection, they had been arrested for marijuana possession, what they now refer to as a "youthful mistake" might have ruined their career opportunities. Even if marijuana were a highly dangerous drug, criminalizing its use would do more harm than good. Fortunately, marijuana is far less dangerous than prohibitionists insist. In Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. A Review of the Scientific Evidence, coauthor John P. Morgan and I conclude, based on the evidence, that although marijuana it not completely harmless it has an extremely wide margin of safety. Marijuana's only clear health risk is respiratory damage from smoking, and this risk is confined to long-term, heavy marijuana smokers. Claims of other biological harms -- for example, brain damage, infertility and immune-system impairment -- are based on animal and cellular studies using doses of marijuana up to 1,000 times the psychoactive dose in humans. None of these harmful effects have ever been found in studies of people who use marijuana. Unlike most other drugs that humans consume, no dose of marijuana is fatal. All psychoactive drugs are used in an addictive fashion by some people. Marijuana is no exception. However, compared to other drugs, marijuana has a low addictive potential. Using a synthetic cannabinoid drug which resembles marijuana, researchers recently have reported physical withdrawal in animals. However, to achieve this effect, researchers also administered a blocker drug which immediately strips cannabinoids from receptors. When people stop using marijuana, the drug leaves receptors gradually and they do not experience physical withdrawal. Even without being addicted, some marijuana users use too much --meaning their use interferes with other life events and activities. Such people, overwhelmingly, had troubled lives before they began using marijuana. There is nothing about marijuana, per se, that causes people to become bad students, poor workers or dysfunctional members of society. Nor is there a pharmacological basis for marijuana's long-alleged "gateway effect." People who have used the least-popular drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, tend also to have used more popular drugs, such alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and marijuana. However, most marijuana users never use another illegal drug. According to government surveys, for every 100 people who have tried marijuana, only one currently is a regular user of cocaine. The only clear social risk of marijuana is that people will have accidents during the period of intoxication. Marijuana is not as debilitating as alcohol or many prescription medications. Still, during the few hours after using marijuana, most people show some psychomotor impairment. The data indicate that marijuana is not a major contributor to highway accidents. Nonetheless, criminalizing marijuana-impaired driving makes good social sense. A public-service campaign of the sort now used to deter alcohol-impaired driving might also prove useful. A disadvantage of strict prohibition, which defines all marijuana use as equally wrong and equally illegal, is that it makes such a campaign practically impossible. An advantage of decriminalizing marijuana is that it would allow the dissemination of rules for safer marijuana use. In the current political climate, government officials won't even discuss marijuana decriminalization as an option. But outside government circles, the country is buzzing with decriminalization conversations. Recent public-opinion polls show that half of adults favor eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana possession and use. Nearly three-quarters support immediate removal of the federal ban on marijuana's medical use. They understand, even if government officials don't, that the war on marijuana is unjust, ineffective, unnecessary and far too costly. Zimmer is an associate professor of sociology at Queens College in New York, and coauthor of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals Expands Drug Testing Of Students (A School Board Is Allowed To Randomly Test Not Just High School Athletes, But Now Also All Students Involved With Extracurricular Activities And Those Who Drive To And From School - Text Online) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:53:41 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Kelly T. Conlon"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: 7th Circut Court of Appeal expands drug testing of students On January 12th, the 7th Circuit upheld a school board's policy to randomly drug test all students involved with extracurricular activities and students who drive to and from school. This expands the doctrine of the Supreme Court decision Vernonia School District vs. Acton to include students not involved in athletics. The case name is Todd vs. Rush County School District. See http://www.kentlaw.edu/7circuit/1998/jan/97-2548 for the full decision. KTC *** Sender: email@example.com From: Phillizy (Phillizy@aol.com) Subject: Re: 7th Circuit Court of Appeal expands drug testing of students In a message dated 98-01-19 14:53:52 EST, conlonkt wrote: >On January 12th, the 7th Circuit upheld a school board's policy to randomly >drug test all students involved with extracurricular activities and >students who drive to and from school. Miami schools just instituted a less expansive drug testing program. Parents are given a form to sign, which only allows their child to be tested. Their child can refuse to be tested, in which case parents are simply notified. If parents don't sign the form, their child may not be tested. This policy was a compromise between the ACLU and the school district. The ACLU threatened to sue if drug testing was made mandatory. Lizy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Testing Of Workers Keeps Rising ('ACLU News' Comments On Yesterday's 'Chicago Sun-Times' Article, Citing Federal Survey Reporting 44 Percent Of Workers Around The US Say Their Employers Require Drug Testing - Profits For SmithKline Beecham, Psychemedics Booming) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 22:02:22 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "MICHAEL C. CLARK"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Drug Testing of workers Keeps Rising ACLU News Wire 01-12-98 -- Drug Testing of W... CHICAGO -- Though it was virtually unheard of 15 years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times says that 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. 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, the newspaper says. It's in the recruitment ranks. Job applicants are now screened through hair samples, a cutting-edge technology that can extend the reach of a drug test almost 90 times for most substances. No profession, it seems is immune. Virtually all of the Fortune 200 companies -- the nation's largest firms --require their employees or job candidates to submit to some kind of drug testing, the Sun-Times said. Pre-employment screening -- requiring a job applicant 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. 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 concern, Spain told the Sun-Times, 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." All the drug testing -- and acceptance of drug testing --has created a boon for the testing industry. 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, Psychemedics had $3.9 million 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 nationwide, including big names such as General Motors Corp. and Chicago-based WMX Technologies, parent of Waste Management. More than 30 police departments, including New York City and Chicago, use Psychemedics to test police recruits, said Raymond 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. Source - Chicago Sun-Times, January 11, 1998 *** Mr. Spain has given me an idea. I come in contact with many commercial drivers at my part-time job. I've printed up some handouts with the Fourth Amendment on one side and "Flush your sample......not your rights! RESIST RANDOM DRUG TESTING" on the other. Easier to crumple up and put in the cup if they feel they must piss away their rights and mine. I doubt if many will risk their job as I did, but at least it may put a bee in their bonnet. Mike Clark
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Drug-Testing Blunder Versus Why Not Test Students? ('USA Today' Contrasts Its Position Opposing Random Testing Of High-School Students In Miami, Florida, With That Of Renier Diaz de la Protilla, A 26-Year-Old Miami-Dade County School Board Member) Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: USA Today Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 12 Jan 1998 A DRUG-TESTING BLUNDER VS. WHY NOT TEST STUDENTS? USA TODAY'S EDITORIAL POSITION When Miami schools decided to crack down on drug abuse, they instead found a way to squander money. School districts around the country are watching Miami this week as the nation's fourth largest school system puts the finishing touches on an ill conceived program to randomly drug test its high school students. Miami school officials are pushing the $200,000 plan as a bold new way to fight teen-age drug abuse. Too bold, in fact. The drug testing plan presents a flagrant threat to the personal liberties of 82,000 mostly law-abiding Miami high school students. So to head off predictable legal challenges, school officials are watering down their testing procedures to the point of uselessness. They're asking parents to okay drug testing for all high school students, not just those suspected of abusing drugs. And to prevent charges that the program discriminates, children will be selected for the urine tests randomly using a lottery. The absurdity of the program doesn't stop there. To ensure that students provide their own urine samples, parents must accompany their kids to drug testing sites. And in the cruelest irony, students who test positive for drug abuse won't be offered follow-up treatment. Officials say the school district can't afford to get into the drug rehab business. In fact, only parents will know if the student failed. School officials will be given cumulative results. In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled it's legal for high schools to require student athletes to undergo random drug testing. Until now, though, school districts have wisely avoided testing overall student populations because the programs are ineffective and hugely expensive. Instead, most school districts are fighting the drug problem using established anti-drug educational programs. Districts administering drug tests, have found programs most cost-effective when offered voluntarily to students suspected of abusing drugs who can be helped through school-based programs. Like other urban districts, Miami schools have plenty of problems. An Education Week study released last week found; 10% of Miami high schoolers drop out every year, students score below the national average on standardized tests, and the area's inadequate schools are the major reason businesses refuse to locate in Miami. None of these flaws will le corrected by the school system's expensive entry into the drug testing field. And until the school system can come up with a cost effective way to help students with drug problems, there are better ways it can spend its money. **** OPPOSING VIEW by Renier Diaz de la Protilla ( a 26 year-old Miami-Dade County School Broad member) Why not test students? OUR PROGRAM WILL GIVE PARENTS, SCHOOLS INFORMATION WHILE HELPING STUDENTS HELP THEMSELVES. In sports, business, industry and government, drug testing is an increasingly common weapon in America's fight against drugs. That is why it is perplexing and disturbing that our children, who are the most vulnerable to drug use and its attendant evils, are largely left out. The pilot drug and alcohol testing pro-gram I proposed to the Miami-Dade County School Board targets abuse among high school students. No student will be tested without parental consent. None will be punished for opting out. Only parents will get results of the random tests, along with information on where to get help. Research shows testing will deter students from using, as well as leading those who test positive to help. The program will cost less than current anti-drug programs. Last year, for example, Miami-Dade America's fourth targest school district spent $4.5 million in anti-drug education and peer counseling programs whose effectiveness is hard to evaluate. The numbers gathered confidentially through the drug-testing program will be invaluable in guiding future anti-substance abuse programs. Although parents can test their children without school involvement, it is erroneous to assume that parents have the time or the resources to do so. Critics may challenge this flexible policy with privacy or constitutional arguments. But what about a parent's right to information? I seriously doubt there are court rulings which deny a parent's right to know if his or her child's life is in danger. Consider the 15-year-old Miami girl, pregnant and already a longtime drug abuser, who drowned in her bathtub after smelling glue. And a Miami boy, age 17, who shot himself in the head after years of alcohol, marijuana and LSD abuse. Both since 1995. Both could have been saved if their families had detected drug use earlier. "Just Say No" and other 'rah-rah" campaigns no will longer cut it. More aggressive and pro-active measures are needed if we are to save more of our children.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Israelis Skip Out On Drug Trial ('Associated Press' Reports Three Men Expected To Link Israeli Mob To Colombian Cocaine Cartel Abscond From Florida Trial Involving $44 Million In Money Laundering) Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 ISRAELIS SKIP OUT ON DRUG TRIAL MIAMI (AP) -- Three Israeli citizens hopped an El Al flight to Jerusalem over the holidays, skipping out on a $44 million money-laundering trial Monday that promised to link the Israeli mob to a Colombian cocaine cartel. With just one defendant left and a busy trial calendar, U.S. District Judge Lenore Nesbitt postponed the trial until June 8. But since Israeli law bars extradition of that country's citizens, the future of the Miami money-laundering case remained uncertain. The stalled extradition from Israel -- in an unrelated case -- of a Maryland murder suspect also fed concerns over the ability of U.S. prosecutors to bring back the Miami case suspects: an Israeli couple and a man with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Gregorie, prosecutor in the laundering case, said Monday he fears that criminals with Israeli citizenship would use their own country as ``a safe haven, and abuse that protection in Israel.'' Yehuda and Kineret Kashti and Danny Fisher all faced trial on charges that cash was laundered through Kashti family jewelry businesses in Miami. Gym bags filled with bundles of $20s were dumped up to three times week with bank tellers who were told that the cash came from jewelry sales. Prosecutors said the laundering was masterminded in the United States by Mrs. Kashti's father, Eli Tisona. Federal officials believe Tisona is a high-profile figure in Israeli organized crime. Investigators tracked some of the tainted cash to a fish company owned by Tisona and Phanor Arizabaleta, a reputed leader of Colombia's Cali drug cartel. Smugglers allegedly tried to ship frozen liquid cocaine inside gel packs that were used to chill seafood shipments. Tisona was detained in Colombia after he was indicted in October 1996, sent to Miami and has been jailed pending trial. He's now the only defendant now available for trial in the case. The judge agreed Monday to issue bench warrants for the three fugitives, and Gregorie said he was filing for Interpol arrest warrants, too. At the time they fled to Israel, the Kashtis were free on $150,000 bond each. Fisher was free on $35,000 bond. All three had complied with bond conditions requiring them to report to U.S. authorities in person twice a week, and once by phone until Christmas week. ``It appears that they traveled on the 22nd or the 23rd,'' of December, Gregorie said. A pretrial agency that tracks defendants out on bond told prosecutors on Christmas Eve that their three defendants were missing. Fisher and the Kashtis had surrendered their passports, as required, Gregorie. But, he added: ``El Al will allow Israelis to fly back to Israel with nothing more than a citizenship paper.'' Dan Haezrachy, the deputy Israeli consul in Miami, said he was not familiar with the case. But, he said, U.S. prosecutors wanting extraditions will have to ``approach the Israeli police, and then a decision shall be made in Israel.'' Still, Gregorie said he remained hopeful. ``The Israeli consulate has been very helpful thus far, so we're hoping we'll be able to do something,'' the prosecutor said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Orders Steps To Combat Prison Drug Use ('Reuters' Says Clinton Will Propose $197 Million In New Spending In His 1999 Budget Request To Promote 'Coerced Abstinence,' Also, Reno Will Write Legislation Requiring States To Increase Penalties For Drug Trafficking In Prison) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:55:08 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Clinton's goes after prison drug use Another missile on the CASA/Satel coerced-abstinence prison-drug-treatment front has been fired by Bill Craven, er, Clinton. And it didn't take long, did it? David *** Monday January 12 8:50 PM EST Clinton Orders Steps to Combat Prison Drug Use By Randall Mikkelsen WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton Monday ordered new steps to crack down on drug use by prison inmates and the White House said he would propose nearly $200 million in additional measures to fight drugs in prisons. "Fighting drugs in our prisons and among prisoners is absolutely critical ultimately to keeping drugs off the streets and away from our children," Clinton said at an Oval Office ceremony. Clinton ordered Attorney General Janet Reno to require states to report annually on their progress in fighting drugs in prisons. He also asked Reno to develop legislation requiring states to boost penalties for drug trafficking in prison, and to make it easier for states to use federal prison-construction aid for anti-drug programs. The White House said Clinton would propose $197 million in new spending in his fiscal 1999 budget request to promote "coerced abstinence" and drug treatment for prisoners. Some of that money would go toward measures announced Monday, but most is for plans to be announced later, White House aides said. "Jail time has to be cold turkey for those who are addicted, and must represent unemployment for those who are drug dealers," Barry McCaffrey, head of the White House anti-drug effort, told reporters before Clinton signed the order.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton To Order States To Fight Prison Drug Use ('Los Angeles Times' Reports The White House Credits UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman For Inspiring The President's Anti-Drug Efforts In Prisons) Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 00:16:15 -0800 Subject: MN: US: LAT: Clinton to Order States to Fight Prison Drug Use Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Pubdate: January 12, 1998 Author: Elizabeth Shogren, Times Staff Writer CLINTON TO ORDER STATES TO FIGHT PRISON DRUG USE Directive will reportedly require studies of problem, plans to correct it. Cutting rate of abuse will reduce recidivism, expert says. WASHINGTON--In an effort to break the link between drugs and crime, President Clinton plans today to order the states to assess the prevalence of drug use in their prisons and chart their success at reducing it, according to a senior White House official and a draft of the presidential directive. Last year, as a condition of federal prison grants, Clinton and Congress gave the states until March to spell out their plans for combating drug use behind bars. Taking that a step further, the directive the president is expected to sign today would require studies of the level of drug use in prisons and annual progress reports so that the public and the federal government can judge how well the states are doing. The evidence is conclusive that criminals continue abusing drugs and alcohol while in prison and, once released, "go back out and commit crimes to feed their habits,' said Rahm Emanuel, a top Clinton domestic policy advisor. The president's goal, Emanuel added, is to "rip the habit out of them" while they are in prison through a combination of mandatory drug testing and treatment. "Convicted offenders who undergo drug testing and treatment while incarcerated and after release are approximately twice as likely to stay drug- and crime-free as those offenders who do not receive drug treatment," Clinton said in a draft memorandum to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno dated Jan. 12. The presidential action follows by a few days the release of a national report driving home the connection between heavy drug and alcohol use and crime. The study by Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse shows that alcohol abuse and addiction played a part in the crimes committed by 80% of the 1.7 million men and women now behind bars in the United States. The White House had been working on the directive, but the president decided to announce it now because of the Columbia report, which is expected to increase pressure for mandatory substance abuse treatment for inmates while they are behind bars and on parole, Emanuel said. In his state budget released Friday, California Gov. Pete Wilson proposed several new programs for combating drug use in the prison system, including new random drug testing for inmates and the use of dogs to intercept drugs. State prison officials said the annual reports would not tax them. "We have no problem reporting whatever we determine on prevalence," said Thomas Maddock, acting secretary of the California youth and adult correctional agency. The White House also plans to renew its effort to press Congress to let states use their prison funds for drug testing and treatment. In his draft memo to Reno, Clinton asked for legislation to be submitted to Congress that would enable states to use their "federal prison construction and substance abuse treatment funds to provide a full range of drug testing, drug treatment and sanctions for offenders under criminal justice supervision." Although Congress and the president agreed to require the states to come up with plans, the GOP-controlled Congress balked at allowing states to use prison funds for this purpose. California officials, too, opposed this idea. "That's mixing apples and oranges," Maddock said. "There's a dramatic need for prison construction money too. [Clinton] should step up to the plate and fund both separately." The president's memo also directed the attorney general to work with states on legislation to create "stiffer penalties for drug trafficking into and within correctional facilities." Clinton is also expected to announce that he will ask Congress for $192 million in his fiscal 1999 budget for a series of initiatives to promote what the White House calls its "coerced abstinence" programs and treatment in the criminal justice system. The White House credits UCLA professor Mark Kleiman for inspiring the president's anti-drug efforts in prisons. Kleiman argues that rooting out drug use among inmates and parolees is the most effective way to decrease demand for drugs in the United States. Eighty percent of the cocaine and heroin is consumed by a relatively small number of chronic users, about 3 million, who spend an average of $15,000 per year on their addictions, Kleiman said. "Since few of them can generate that much after-tax disposable income legitimately, about three-quarters of the hard-core users get arrested in the course of a year," Kleiman, professor of policy studies at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research, wrote in a commentary in the Los Angeles Times. "When not in prison or jail, they are usually on bail, probation or parole. Therefore, about 60% of the cocaine and heroin sold in this country is sold to people who are nominally under the supervision of the criminal justice system." This makes the prison system an ideal place to try to root out the kind of drug abuse that leads to crime. However, Kleiman argued, "many hard-core users don't want treatment if they can get cocaine or heroin instead. "They have to be pushed into abstinence; talking and offering treatment aren't enough." Kleiman said probation and parole departments should make abstinence a condition of continued liberty. He noted that few had set up consistent systems of screening and punishment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- President To Order States To Assess Prison Drug Use, Chart Battle Plan ('Houston Chronicle' Version Of 'Los Angeles Times' Report Notes Last Year, As A Condition Of Federal Prison Grants, Clinton And Congress Gave States Until March To Announce Plans For Combating Prison Drug Use) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:29:24 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: President to order states to assess prison drug use, chart battle plan Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Art Smart Source: Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 Author: Elizabeth Shogren, Los Angeles Times President to order states to assess prison drug use, chart battle plan WASHINGTON -- In an effort to break the link between drugs and crime, President Clinton plans today to order the states to assess the prevalence of drug use in their prisons and chart their success at reducing it, according to a senior White House official and a draft of the presidential directive. Last year, as a condition of federal prison grants, Clinton and Congress gave the states until March to spell out their plans for combating drug use behind bars. Taking that a step further, the directive the president is expected to sign today would require the plans to include a study of the current level of drug use in prisons and annual progress reports so that the public -- and the federal government -- can judge how well the states are doing. The evidence is conclusive that criminals continue abusing drugs and alcohol while in prison and, once released, "go back out and commit crimes to feed their habits," said Rahm Emanuel, a top Clinton domestic policy adviser. The president's goal, Emanuel added, is to "rip the habit out of them" while they are in prison through a combination of mandatory drug testing and treatment. "Convicted offenders who undergo drug testing and treatment while incarcerated and after release are approximately twice as likely to stay drug- and crime-free as those offenders who do not receive drug treatment," Clinton said in a draft memorandum to Attorney General Janet Reno. The presidential action follows by a few days the release of a national report driving home the connection between heavy drug and alcohol use and crime. The study by Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse shows that alcohol abuse and addiction played a part in the crimes committed by 80 percent of the 1.7 million men and women now behind bars in the United States. The White House had been working on the directive, but the president decided to announce it now because of the Columbia report, which is expected to increase pressure for mandatory substance-abuse treatment for inmates while they are behind bars and on parole, Emanuel said. The White House also plans to renew its effort to press Congress to let states use their prison funds for drug testing and treatment. In his draft memo to Reno, Clinton asked for legislation to be submitted to Congress that would enable states to use their "federal prison construction and substance-abuse treatment funds to provide a full range of drug testing, drug treatment and sanctions for offenders under criminal justice supervision." Although Congress and the president agreed to require the states to come up with plans, the GOP-controlled Congress balked at allowing states to use prison funds for this purpose. The president's memo also directed the attorney general to work with states on legislation to create "stiffer penalties for drug trafficking into and within correctional facilities." Clinton is also expected to announce that he will ask Congress for $192 million in his fiscal 1999 budget for a series of initiatives to promote what the White House calls its "coerced abstinence" programs and treatment in the criminal justice system.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Use - Prisons ('Associated Press' Rewrite Of 'New York Times' Article Notes Clinton Also Asked Attorney General Janet Reno To Draft Legislation Allowing States To Use Federal Money Earmarked For Prison Construction To Test And Treat Prisoners And Parolees For Drugs) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:23:38 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Drug Use-Prisons Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Dave Fratello <email@example.com> Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 DRUG USE-PRISONS NEW YORK (AP) -- Seeking to break "the cycle of crime and drugs" in prisons, the Clinton administration may withhold federal funds from state prisons that fail to report the extent of illegal drug use among inmates, The New York Times reported today. The information the prisons provide is to be used as a barometer of their efforts to reduce inmate drug use, the newspaper said. President Clinton was scheduled today to sign the directive, a copy of which was obtained by the Times. The document reflects the administration's belief that reducing inmates' drug use might also reduce their demand for drugs once they are released. "With more than half the individuals in our criminal justice system estimated to have a substance abuse problem, promoting coerced abstinence within the criminal justice system offers us a unique opportunity to break the cycle of crime and drugs," the document says. A report last week by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University estimated that alcohol and illegal drugs contributed to the incarceration of 80 percent of the 1.7 million inmates in the nation's prisons. The report also said that most of them were not being treated for addiction before being released. The administration has increased to 42 from 32 the number of drug treatment centers in federal prisons and more than tripled the number of federal inmates undergoing substance abuse treatment -- from 5,450 in 1993 to 19,943 in the last fiscal year. The Clinton plan also proposes that Attorney General Janet Reno draft legislation allowing states to use federal money earmarked for prison construction to test and treat prisoners and parolees for drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Targets Inmate Drug Use ('Orange County Register' Version Of 'New York Times' Article) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:28:28 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Clinton Targets Inmate Drug Use Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Pubdate:1-12-98 Author: Christopher S.Wren - The New York Times Section: news, page 11 CLINTON TARGETS INMATE DRUG USE The president plans to link federal funding to states' reporting of substance abuse data. 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 states provide will be used to create a baseline to measure progress in reducing drugs inside prisons, which in turn will qualify them for more federal money. President Clinton is scheduled to sign the directive in the Oval Office today. A draft copy addressed to Attorney General Janet Reno was provided by a senior administration official who said it had been circulating in the White House, the Justice Department and other interested agencies for the past month or two. The document reflects a belief within the administration that crimping the supply of drugs in prisons 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 offer us a unique opportunity to break this cycle of crime and drugs." The directive builds on legislation 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 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."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Clinton Goes After Prison Drug Use (Commentary From List Subscribers) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 22:05:56 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: "Ken Russell" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Clinton's goes after prison drug use I found the Clinton report to be quite distressing. A very large portion of the proposed $200 million is for increased drug testing. $10 million will be used for "treatment". None of the programmes appear to say anything about attacking alcohol use and abuse. Of course, Clinton's simply responding as one might have expected. The report on CNN gives some different information to that provided by Reuters...it has a break down of some of the areas the money will be used. Ken *** Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:39:02 EST From: "Charles P. Conrad" (email@example.com) Subject: Drugs in Prison Clinton just paved the way for us! Let's take out a full page ad somewhere announcing that if they can't keep drugs out of maximum security prisons, THE WAR IS OVER! If we put everyone in prison, we still couldn't stop drugs. Time to quit! Peace, love, and solidarity Chuck *** From: "Ken Russell" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Drugs in Prison >If we put everyone in prison, we still couldn't stop drugs. Time to quit! Pah, 'course we can, we've just thrown $200 million at it. Another point worth keeping in mind of course. Spending on the war on drugs has just risen again. Ken *** From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: Clinton's goes after prison drug use Another missile on the CASA/Satel coerced-abstinence prison-drug-treatment front has been fired by Bill Craven, er, Clinton. And it didn't take long, did it? David *** From: "R. William Davis" (email@example.com) It seems ironic that at the same time our government is undermining the freedoms of the general population to "combat" drug use, they have such a problem to prevent that same drug use in the totalitarian environment of prisons. Are the Drug Warriors expecting to recreate the prison environment throughout America, and achieve a different result? *** From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA) > He also asked Reno to develop legislation requiring states to boost > penalties for drug trafficking in prison, and to make it easier for states > to use federal prison-construction aid for anti-drug programs. Gee, I hate to ask rhetorical questions; Why would convicted drug felons be deterred from selling drugs in prison by the use of "boosted penalties" in the first place? KTC *** From: "Tom O'Connell" (firstname.lastname@example.org) It's clear that the CASA "study," the Satel WP op-ed, and the appearance of Califano on the News Hour were all carefully orchestrated to introduce Clinton's directive. Who's pulling the strings on all these marionettes? He/she is a great coordinator, I'll say that for them. The written justification for all this can be found in DuPont's book.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Better Sense On Drugs (Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Examiner' Questions Why Abstinence Needs To Be Coerced) Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 00:06:43 -0800 Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Better Sense on Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 BETTER SENSE ON DRUGS Regarding the article "Nonabstinence programs seem to work for many" (by Christopher D. Ringwald, Opinion Page, Jan. 2), I wonder why we insist on enforcing drug abstinence by law and order rather than simply encouraging it through education and treatment. "Harm-reduction" models seem much more humane and effective. We know prison is unlikely to solve drug abuse but, rather, has a tendency to make matters worse. I don't really know why we choose the "zero-tolerance" approach. Perhaps we do not want to feel humanity toward those who have drug problems. We may only see them as a menace that needs to be eliminated. We know our current approach, the war on drugs, does not work. It creates many more problems than it is intended to solve. Not only are we fighting drug abuse, but we've created a worldwide black market flooded with guns, violence, corruption and conspiracy. Is our heavy-handedly enforced abstinence policy so necessary that we are willing to take on an army of criminals looking to profit from it? Wouldn't a humane public health approach be much easier and sensible? Joel W. Johnson San Jose
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chris Farley Remembered As A Loyal Friend Who Helped Many Kick Drug Habit ('Associated Press' Report On Comedian's Funeral In Santa Monica, California, Notes He Died From Mixing Morphine And Cocaine, With A Narrowing Of Heart Arteries Also A Significant Contributing Factor) Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 CHRIS FARLEY REMEMBERED AS A LOYAL FRIEND WHO HELPED MANY KICK DRUG HABIT SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- Comic Chris Farley, who died from an accidental drug overdose after helping others kick their drug habits, was remembered during a memorial Monday as a rambunctious performer who is ``starting a new comedy club in heaven.'' ``You can hear the angels laughing right now because of him,'' said the Rev. Michael Rocha, speaking before hundreds at Saint Monica Catholic Church. Among those attending the public memorial were Gary Busey, Jay Leno, Ben Stiller and Jim Belushi, whose brother John Belushi was Farley's idol. John Belushi also died of an overdose at age 33. Farley, a cast member on ``Saturday Night Live'' from 1990-95, was found dead Dec. 18 in his Chicago apartment. The 296-pound, 5-foot-8 actor comedian died from an accidental overdose of morphine and cocaine, with a narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart muscle also a significant contributing factor, according to the medical examiner's findings. Farley's big appetite, wild lifestyle and over-the-top comedy prompted inevitable comparisons to John Belushi. ``He was every bit as brave as his idols, John Belushi and Jackie Gleason,'' said actor Tom Arnold, who delivered the eulogy. Farley was a loyal friend who helped countless others struggling with drug dependencies, including his brother Kevin Farley, Arnold said. ``He helped a lot of people during his sobriety, including me and hundreds of strangers who he shared his experience, strength and hope with,'' Arnold said. ``His brother, Kevin, who just celebrated four years of (being) clean and sober, knows and told me he couldn't have done it without Chris.'' The crowd erupted in laughter when Arnold recalled the time Farley showed up at his son's black-tie bar mitzvah in a powder-blue tuxedo and flirted with all the women, including the rabbi's wife. ``So long, Chris, we will miss your laugh and your beautiful blue eyes,'' said Arnold, his voice shaking with emotion. ``But most of all, we will miss your humanity.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Galbraith Asks Judges OK Pot As 'Natural Remedy' (The Kentucky Lawyer, Former Gubernatorial Candidate And Self-Proclaimed Lover Of The Weed Files Motions In Five Counties, Asking Judges To Recognize Cannabis As A Medicine And 'The Safest Therapeutic Substance Known To Man') Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:53:00 -0800 Subject: MN: US KY: Galbraith Asks Judges OK Pot as 'Natural Remedy' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Monday, January 12, 1998 Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Author: John Cheves GALBRAITH ASKS JUDGES OK POT AS 'NATURAL REMEDY' Prosecutors in five counties want to put Gatewood Galbraith's marijuana-smoking clients on trial. So, in his inimitably colorful and passionate way, Galbraith plans to seize the initiative and put Kentucky's marijuana laws on trial instead. Galbraith -- a Lexington lawyer, occasional gubernatorial candidate and self-proclaimed lover of the weed -- has filed a flurry of motions in the criminal cases in Allen, Butler, Clark, Rowan and Trimble counties. He's asking the judges to recognize marijuana as a medicine and "the safest therapeutic substance known to man." Each of Galbraith's clients claims to have cultivated and used marijuana for personal medical use, not for sale to the public. It's illogical to deny people access to a plant that grows naturally in the ground if it can improve their conditions, Galbraith said this week. "If Jack Kevorkian can walk around and dispense his particular brand of medical cure, I don't see why my clients can't use this God-given, all-natural remedy," said Galbraith. The challenge to the state's marijuana laws comes one year after California and Arizona voters opted to permit the medical use of marijuana in those states. Marijuana is widely recognized to assist people suffering from chronic pain; ease the suffering of AIDS victims and cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy; and sometimes nullify the symptoms of ailments such as glaucoma, arthritis and migraine headaches. But area lawmakers on the state Senate Judiciary Committee said the Bluegrass State is a far cry from California, and citizens here are not prepared for legalized marijuana. Cultivation of four or fewer marijuana plants is a misdemeanor in Kentucky and can bring up to a year in jail; cultivation of five or more plants is a felony. "I do not want to legalize controlled substances. I would not be inclined to do so," said state Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, D-Lexington. Added state Sen. Tim Philpot, R-Lexington: "I don't think the people of Kentucky are ready to follow Gatewood anywhere." However, Galbraith's crusade to change the law may not be all that far-fetched. Just last summer, in a case prompted by actor Woody Harrelson, Lee Circuit Judge William Trude ruled that part of a state law lumping industrial hemp with marijuana is unconstitutional. That decision is pending before the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The next logical step, Galbraith's clients argue, is to realize that marijuana itself isn't the evil substance its critics claim. Randell Carter, 39, is a self-employed handyman in Allen County. He suffered for years from stress and extreme nervousness, to the point that his hands shook uncontrollably when he tried to work. Since he started smoking marijuana in 1994, Carter said he's found relief that drugs like Valium couldn't deliver. "I'm not so stressed out anymore," Carter said. "The nervousness wears off for about three or four hours after I smoke -- longer than the actual high lasts." The prosecutors said they're skeptical about some claims to medical use of marijuana. If the need truly was legitimate, though, authorities might show some tolerance, said Rowan Commonwealth's Attorney George Moore. "I'm not interested in cookie-cutter justice," Moore said. "If I had some guy who was 45 years old and into the last stages of cancer with three months to live, and he was using it to offset the chemotherapy, would I prosecute? I don't know," he said. But allowing broad marijuana use is likely to lead to an increase in addiction to more serious drugs, said Butler Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Seelig. "It's a gradual progression," Seelig said. "That's why legalization is a bad idea. I've seen what drugs do to our society. Probably one-third of my cases are drug-related, and another third of the cases are burglaries and thefts related to people who need money for drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Drugs - Don't Blame Free Trade For Their Increase In Texas ('Dallas Morning News' Editorial Suggests Interdiction Is Still Feasible - 'Take Aggressive Yet Reasonable Steps To Ensure Mexican Trucks Carry No Drugs') Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:24:51 -0800 Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Mexican Drugs: Don't Blame Free Trade for Their Increase in Texas Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Monday, 12 Jan 1998 Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Discussion forum: http://forums.dallasnews.com/dallas (It's HOT - says our newshawk) MEXICAN DRUGS: DON'T BLAME FREE TRADE FOR THEIR INCREASE IN TEXAS Is free trade with Mexico causing increased drug trafficking in Texas? That's what some Texas and U.S. drug enforcement officials think. They blame increased truck traffic from Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement for the surge in cross-border flows of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Assume for a moment that what the officials say is true. The natural remedy would be to repeal the agreement. No free trade, no problem. Right? Wrong. Mexican drug trafficking is more complicated than that. Everyone wants a panacea. But repealing North American free trade would not be one. Suppose that the United States and Mexico returned to the status quo before the free-trade agreement took effect in 1994. Would that reduce high U.S. demand for drugs? No. Would it significantly reduce imports of legal Mexican goods, which were rising even before the advent of free trade and which traffickers use to piggyback their illicit wares into the United States? No. Would it stop Mexican trucks from crossing the border. Again, no. Mexican traffickers would still apply their ingenuity to getting drugs in. U.S. customs agents would still have their hands full trying to keep drugs out. The officials are right about one thing: Mexican drug trafficking is up in Texas. But free trade is only one factor. U.S. demand is another. So is the crackdown on drug trafficking in Florida, which has forced Colombian traffickers to seek new infiltration routes. The solution to the problem of Mexican drug trafficking has never been to seal the border or to hamper legitimate trade. It is to take aggressive yet reasonable steps to ensure that Mexican trucks carry no drugs. In this, the United States is still not doing its best. It only recently began to use X-rays to peer into Mexican trucks. And it has not created "inland ports of preclearance," where customs agents from both countries could inspect cargoes, seal containers and demand detailed travel itineraries. Trucks that arrived at their destinations late or with broken container seals would be reinspected. Mexican drugs were a problem before free trade; they would remain so even if the United States were so foolish as to scuttle it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Philadelphia Marching To The Beat Of Hope ('New York Times' Feature On The North Philadelphia Foot Stompers, A Neighborhood Drill Team Hoping To Promote Urban Revitalization) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:44:14 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US PA: Philadelphia: Marching to the Beat of Hope Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: New York Times Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Monday, January 12, 1998 Author: Sara Rimer PHILADELPHIA: MARCHING TO THE BEAT OF HOPE PHILADELPHIA -- The sound of drums echoed through the streets, signifying the hope and renewal of one north-central Philadelphia neighborhood devastated by lost work, poverty and drugs. Inside the rowhouse on 23rd Street where she has lived for 63 years, Alice Barry, 81, put down her sewing and pulled back her curtains. "There goes my children," said Mrs. Barry, who had stitched their first uniforms four years ago. Vicki Thompson, 40, heard the familiar drumbeat in her office in the community center that used to be a Roman Catholic rectory, just up the block from Mrs. Barry. "It's a different noise," Ms. Thompson said. "Years ago it was gunshots." She hollered out the window: "Go, Foot Stompers! Go, Foot Stompers!" On the street, Audra Holbrook, 11 and all legs, was leading the girls, high stepping in her red and white pleated skirt and white boots with red plumes. LaMark Shorts, 17, the captain of the boys, brought up the rear, the drummers marching tall, pounding out their message: The North Philadelphia Foot Stompers have arrived. Up and down the block one recent morning, people went to their windows and doorways to soak up the energy of their own drill team, 16 girls and seven boys, more welcome than any fancy parade. They were practicing, marching through the neighborhood's past and its unfolding future, past abandoned buildings and newly renovated brick rowhouses, past vegetable and flower gardens that will bloom come spring in what used to be vacant lots prowled by drug dealers and prostitutes. "The neighborhood is rising," said Helen Brown, 56, who kept house for a rich family on Society Hill for years, and went home at night to fight to hold her battered block of 23rd Street together so it could rise again. Nothing symbolizes the rebirth more vividly than the Foot Stompers, not just a drill team, but the heartbeat of the emerging 33-block north-central Philadelphia neighborhood known as St. Elizabeth's-Diamond Street. The story of the Foot Stompers reflects the rebuilding that has required, in addition to money and political muscle, all the organization, creativity, drive and discipline that makes a drill team. It is a rebuilding amid an urban battlefield. A man was fatally shot the day after Christmas only a block from where the Foot Stompers were marching. The unemployment rate is 29 percent. The median family income is less than $9,000 a year. In this setting, a drill team, with its military roots and rigor, is more fitting than any string band. "Get those legs up! Get in line!" Mrs. Brown, who lost her only son, Earl, to AIDS and poured her grief and love into the drill team, was commanding the troops from a wheelchair. The cast on her left leg, which she injured while marching, has not held her back, any more than all the other obstacles. When Mrs. Brown and a neighbor, George Maginault, started the drill team four years ago, the young people had nowhere but the streets to play. "The girls used to jump rope," Mrs. Brown said. "They were arguing among themselves -- 'Who's next?' They were hollering and hooting. All that energy. I said, 'Why don't you get a drill team?"' Mrs. Brown being Mrs. Brown, the girls knew it was not a question. "We said, 'All right,"' recalled Sharnae Johnson, 12. "After the jobs left, the drugs moved in," said Mrs. Brown, who went to work as a housekeeper after the electronics factory where she had worked for 26 years shut down, one more statistic in the neighborhood's downward economic spiral. Thousands of residents had fled. In 1994, over bitter protests, the Diocese of Philadelphia closed St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church and school, long an anchor on 23rd Street. "People had gotten so discouraged," said Sharnae Johnson's grandmother, Evelyn Johnson, 69, whose 24-year-old grandson was shot to death in 1989. "They had lost hope. When a person is without hope, they don't do anything." There were no after-school programs for the children. There was certainly no money for a drill team. Without drums, the boys practiced by beating sticks against the Philadelphia phone book. "The phone book is a very good drum," Maginault said. The drill team was only one idea Maginault, Mrs. Brown and others had for the neighborhood. "We had all this vision," Mrs. Brown said, "but we didn't have resources." Sister Mary Scullion had both. A Catholic nun and community organizer, she moved into what had been the convent of St. Elizabeth's around the time the drill team got started. Project Home, the community development corporation she founded with an accountant, Joan Dawson-McConnon, to help homeless men and women, was transforming the abandoned convent into a residence for 24 recovering drug addicts. At 44, Sister Scullion has crawled down manholes and into the darkest alleys to invite the homeless to Project Home's shelters. "Sister Mary, she doesn't come in and say, 'We're going to do this,"' Mrs. Brown said. "She comes in block by block and asks you, 'What can Project Home do to help you?"' Three years ago, Sister Scullion had her first meeting with the residents of Mrs. Brown's block at Mrs. Brown's home. "Mrs. Barry, she said she wanted ceramics classes," Mrs. Brown recalled. "We said we didn't want any more houses to be torn down on our block. We said we would like to see our houses rehabbed." Everyone wanted a place for the youth. As meetings were repeated on every block, neighbors who had grown wary and withdrawn through the bad times began to reconnect. "The energy just multiplied," Sister Scullion said. She knew that the Philadelphia Plan, established by Mayor Ed Rendell and Gov. William Casey in 1994, represented a huge opportunity for St. Elizabeth's-Diamond Street. The plan has linked corporations -- the city gives them tax breaks -- with nine community development corporations working to redevelop devastated neighborhoods. The Crown Cork and Seal Co., an international can company in northeast Philadelphia, made a 10-year, $2.5 million commitment to the St. Elizabeth's-Diamond Street neighborhood through Project Home. The money has helped pay for the opening of the community center in the former rectory on 23rd Street, along with another community center on Diamond Street. Alice Barry got her ceramics classes. There are also aerobics and adult learning classes, computers and health care provided by a part-time nurse. A youth center has opened in the former Catholic school. A $1 million donation from the Sisters of St. Francis has helped finance the renovation of four houses in the last year, with plans to renovate 10 a year for the next 10 years. Sister Scullion made Mrs. Brown a professional community organizer. "She said I was doing it anyway, why not get paid," Mrs. Brown said. Mrs. Brown hired Ms. Thompson, who went to school to learn mortgage counseling so she could help working poor families buy the renovated three-story houses that sell for $25,000. The first family, a formerly homeless woman and her son, who works two jobs, at an auto-parts store and driving a food service truck, will move in soon. "I've been here through the bad," Ms. Thompson said. "I want to be here through the good." The drill team has new uniforms, and money to travel to competitions. The Foot Stompers have become ambassadors for the neighborhood -- a drill team with a roomful of trophies, instead of the drug dealers many outsiders have come to associate with north Philadelphia. "They call us the City of Brotherly Blood, North Filthy," said one of the drummers, Ron Young, 15, known as D.J. "The first thing they see is the graffiti, and it's dirty, and they think people don't care about themselves." The Foot Stompers came marching down Ron's block two summers ago. "The noise, the marching, the drums," he said. "It was like something I'd never seen before. It was a good noise. I just looked and said, 'Dag, I wish it was me."' LaMark Shorts taught him how to play the drums, and soon Ron Young was a drummer, too. The Foot Stompers say people look at them differently when they march. "They see you as a smart and active kid," Sharnae said. "When I'm marching, people are like, 'Ooh, you play the drums,"' Ron said. It is not how everyone sees him when he is in his usual baggy jeans and parka. "They think I'm going to rob them," said Ron, who talks of becoming a lawyer or a doctor. Nate Robinson, 40, a recovering drug addict in Sister Scullion's residence, was answering the phones at the community center when he heard the drums. "It wakes me up," said Robinson, a forklift operator and gospel singer who is marking seven months without drugs. The neighborhood is awakening too, but the struggle is only beginning. Drugs are still sold openly. The sound of gunshots has faded, but not disappeared. There are still no supermarkets, dry cleaners or banks, though Mrs. Brown and her neighbors hope businesses will begin to return as the improvements continue. Mrs. Brown, whose son was 32 when he died, knows that the young members of her drill team will have to fight to survive. "We might can't save them all," she said. "But we might can save half of them."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Farmers To Debate Hemp (The American Farm Bureau Federation, Which Has 4.6 Million Members, Is Reconsidering Its Endorsement Of Research Into Hemp At Its Annual Convention In Charlotte, North Carolina) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:48:55 -0800 Subject: MN: US NC: Farmers to Debate Hemp Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: The News and Observer Raleigh, North Carolina Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: January 12, 1998 Website: http://www.news-observer.com/daily/ Author: Emery P. Dalesio, The Associated Press FARMERS TO DEBATE HEMP The Farm Bureau will reconsider its endorsement of research into the outlawed plant's potential as a crop. CHARLOTTE -- The nation's largest farmers' group is buzzing about hemp production as it meets to hash out stands on pocketbook issues such as property rights, taxes and foreign imports. Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention, which began Sunday in Charlotte, will revisit a policy statement supporting research into the economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States. The group has 4.6 million members. Farmers supporting the current policy say they just want to explore a hardy crop that shows promise for use in fibers, fuel and foods. Opponents of hemp production and research are citing the concern of law-enforcement agencies, which say it would be difficult for agents to distinguish between hemp and its cousin, marijuana. "I would believe there would be a lively discussion on this issue," said Dennis Stolte, the federation's senior director of governmental relations. "This has been pretty much a state issue up until now." Hemp is a term applied to a number of different fiber-bearing plants. The species at issue, cannabis sativa, contains an ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which produces the high when the plant is used as a drug. Breeding for marijuana boosts the THC content to as high as 15 percent, while in commercial hemp it can be less than 1 percent. Farm groups in Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Virginia in recent years have proposed exploring whether a crop grown for hundreds of years and still harvested from France to China could be a domestic moneymaker. Vermont has given researchers a blessing to study the plant's profit potential. In California, a petition drive aims to let voters decide in November whether to legalize hemp production for industrial purposes. Federal law makes no distinction between hemp and marijuana; neither can be grown legally. Even research requires approval by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which demands intense security. President Clinton's chief drug policy adviser, Barry McCaffrey, told Congress in July that advocates of industrial hemp were aiding efforts to relax marijuana laws. "Drug-legalizers seek to revoke this prohibition against the cultivation of hemp in order to camouflage drug crops," McCaffrey said. "Lifting the ban on hemp cultivation in the United States would promote increased availability of marijuana, not legitimate commerce." Valerie Vantreese, an agricultural economist at the University of Kentucky, said that even if it were legal, industrial hemp would not be a guaranteed moneymaker for American farmers. Growers would face uncertain prices, global competition, a limited market and the lack of a domestic industry to process the product, she said last year. Hemp's boosters respond that it is not a viable crop now because of the prohibitions and the lack of investment since it was outlawed in 1937. It is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that grows rapidly, has high resistance to diseases and pests, and can return nutrients to the soil if crops are rotated appropriately, they say. Because hemp may be legally imported into the United States, its fibers, oils and other byproducts are already being used to make carpets, beer and auto parts. Supporters also point to potential markets including construction materials, cosmetics and paper. Imports totaled about $1.2 million in 1996, McCaffrey said. A vote on the Farm Bureau's hemp policy is expected Wednesday or Thursday. It will be decided by a majority vote of 376 farmer delegates.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Second International Industrial Hemp Conference Happens February 18-19, 1998, In Vancouver, BC From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 19:24:13 -0500 (EST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: 2nd International Industrial Hemp Conf. Sender: email@example.com Just got notice of the upcoming 2-day INDUSTRIAL HEMP SYMPOSIUM which will take place18-19 FEB. 1998 at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre, Vancouver B.C. Canada. Day One: 18 Feb.98 - Agricuture/Primary processing/Canadian research JOHN HOBSON, Hemcore Ltd. (U.K.) - The British Experience: growing, processing & marketing. NICOLE CHAREST, Agriculture Canada (Ontario) -Hemp: Markets, The next challenge. CANADIAN RESEARCH PANEL (Stan Blade, - Alberta; Jack Moes - Manitoba; Gordon Schiefele - Ontario) - Experimental plots. PROF. PAUL G. MAHLBERG, (Indiana) - Genetics JACE CALLAWAY (Finland) - Health and oil seeds. CANADIAN RESEARCH PANEL (Dr.Kenneth W. Domier - Alberta; Jean M. Laprise - Ontario; Ruth Shamai - Ontario; Jerzy Prytyk - Quebec) - Experimental Applications. *** Day Two: 19 Feb 98 - Trade, Technology transfer, Issues & possible solutions. PROF. DR. RYSZARD KOZLOWSKI, (Poland) - Fibre plants & their diversified applications: Present & future prospects. KIETH McKELLAR, Industry Canada (B.C.) - Canadian pulp markets: a domestic & international review & outlook GERO LESON, Consolidated Growers & Processors (Germany) - Hemp in Europe - Acreage, processing & emerging markets. ERWIN LLOYD, BioComposite Solutions (B.C.) - Manufacturing Industrial materials from Hemp GEOF KIME, P. Eng, Hempline, Inc. (Ontario) - " How to apply for a hemp license" DON WIRTSHAFTER, Ohio Hempery,Ltd. (Ohio) - The Hemp Charter: Reaching broad-based consensus. *** This an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in Industrial Hemp to get up to speed on this fast changing issue. I got a lot of info and background and contacts out of it last year and would encourage interested folks to attend. For information and application forms and info about reservations etc., Contact: Wiseman Noble Sales & Marketing 909 Windermere St. Vancouver, B.C. CANADA, V5K 4J6 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone (toll-free): 1 (888) 718-5577 Spread the word. mjdocdles
------------------------------------------------------------------- US To Fund Crack Honduran Police Drugs Unit ('Reuters' Says US Ambassador James Creagon Makes Announcement - Interdiction Funding To Honduras Doubles To $195,000 This Year) Newshawk: David Isenberg (email@example.com) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 12 Jan 1998 U.S. TO FUND CRACK HONDURAN POLICE DRUGS UNIT TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Reuters) - The United States will fund and support the training of a crack unit of Honduran police to combat drugs trafficking, the U.S. ambassador to Honduras said on Monday. ``We are going to support the creation of this unit, training its members in techniques of tracking and detecting drugs trafficking,'' ambassador James Creagon told reporters. Honduras wants a special police task force to clamp down on drugs smuggling along its Caribbean coast, especially around the Bay Islands tourist area. Washington has doubled its anti-narcotics funding to Honduras to $195,000 this year to stem the flow of drugs such as cocaine shipped through Honduras to the United States. Officials have said that the Caribbean coast of Honduras is a key route used by Colombian drug cartels. Tawhakas Indians living in coastal regions have claimed the region is full of clandestine landing strips that traffickers use to move drugs. In another development, about 100 Lenca Indians protested in front of the U.S. Embassy against the continuing U.S. military presence and troop maneuvers in Honduras. They shouted anti-U.S. slogans and held up banners. The Indians have long condemned the presence of around 500 U.S. troops at Palmerola, north of the capital, a base in operation since 1983 and close to the Lencas' ancestral lands.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Minister's Son Admits Sale Of Hash ('Associated Press' Notes The Warning To British Home Secretary Jack Straw's Son Will Be Deleted From His Record If He Commits No Further Offenses For Three Years) Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 MINISTER'S SON ADMITS SALE OF HASH LONDON (AP) -- A Cabinet minister's son admitted to police Monday that he sold hashish to a newspaper reporter. William Straw, 17, made the formal admission at Kennington police station in south London. He was accompanied to the station by his father, Home Secretary Jack Straw, who has sharply criticized any liberalization of Britain's drug laws. Scotland Yard said the younger Straw signed a form admitting the offense and agreeing to an official warning. The warning will be deleted from his record if he commits no further offenses for three years, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said, speaking with customary anonymity. On Dec. 24, The Mirror, a mass-circulation tabloid, reported that a journalist bought .07 ounces of hashish for $16.50 from the young Straw, although he wasn't identified at the time. Mirror reporter Dawn Alford said she posed as a real estate agent in training looking for drugs, and struck up a conversation with the youth in a London pub. Alford, 30, was charged with possession of hashish. But Scotland Yard said Monday that she had been notified that no further action would be taken. When the paper informed the minister of the story, he took his son to the police station where he was arrested and released without bail. As a juvenile, William should not have been identified under English law. But his identity became the worst-kept political secret in Britain and after his name was published in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe, a High Court judge on Jan. 2 lifted a ban on naming him. The elder Straw issued a statement Monday expressing hope that William will not suffer additionally ``simply because he is my son.'' ``William is now learning the lessons of this episode and he, of course, has my support in doing so,'' the minister said. Oxford University has informed William that he will still be able to enter New College later this year. Straw has opposed any move to relax laws on marijuana, and has often said that parents need to take greater responsibility for their children's behavior. While he admitted being embarrassed, he said his son's behavior did not change his attitude about drug laws. Straw said he had no intention of resigning, and Prime Minister Tony Blair has given him his full support.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nine Letters To The Editor Of Britain's 'Daily Mail' (Special Section Responds To The Arrest Of Jack Straw's Son For Selling Cannabis) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 22:11:20 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: UK: 9 PUB LTEs in Daily Mail special section Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (CLCIA) Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 Souce : Daily Mail (UK) Section : Letters special Contact : email@example.com TIME AND MONEY I am once again appalled at the amount of time and public money being spent deciding whether or not to prosecute a person for an offence involving a harmless plant - cannabis. By now it should be quite clear that cannabis is remarkably safe. This has been confirmed by every major Government and scientific investigation including our own 1968 Royal Commission Report. Our laws are meant to protect people and society, not simply impose the will of the Government on its citizens. Recently they have banned beef on the bone - that, like cannabis, has been declared dangerous. Yet known poisons and dangers, not only the likes of alcohol and tobacco but also mercury fillings, clingfilm, pesticides, pollutants and food additives, are allowed. Let's get the matter straight. The act of the Minister's son in supplying cannabis, had no victim, nobody was hurt (except possibly the pride of his farther). The only victims will be the lad himself - a victim of a nonsense law - and the public who will foot the bill. Ann Clarke, Norwich *** CANNABIS IS NOT LEADING ME TO TRY OTHER DRUGS William Straw's case has reopened the tedious debate on the legalisation of cannabis. I have smoked almost every evening since I was introduced to it at the age of 17. It has not led me to use other drugs, nor smoke cigarettes, nor break the law, nor to be unable to hold a job (I run my own successful video company and have never claimed the dole), nor fail my family duties. I do not, however, wishe to see it legalised and after several broken New Year's resolutions, this year I am again trying to stop? Why? Because I am worried about the effect of the tobacco and cannabis smoke on my lungs. I carve the relaxant effect and the tobacco rush, but I am helped by the fcat that I cannot smoke in public, cannot buy it in shops and I am not bombarded with advertising. A packet of cigarettes carries tax, yet we still have no cure for lung cancer. I urge the Government not to legalise a drug which is as dangerous to the nation's health as tobacco but to invest its resources in reducing the use and effects of one damaging drug already on the market. Inhaling smoke causes cancer. Name and address supplied *** LAW IS THE HEIGHT OF HYPOCRISY The arrest of William Straw, Daily Mirror journalist and another man, for alleged small cannabis offences, illustrates the injustice of the law which bans the plant. In a public house where alcohol - a dangerous, addictive, legal drug - is 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. The fact that the journalist asked the youth to get some cannabis as a basis for a story makes the reporter the only one of the three so far arrested upon whom any allegation of harm could possibly be laid. The annoying thing is the cost - both economic and to police time - will 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 and bring in the right tofreedom of choice, Tina Smith, Norwich *** TEENAGE USE I disagree with the two points Ann Leslie made in favour of decriminalisation of cannabis. The law criminalising it may have been passed in some hysteria at the time, but it is much more relevant now. Until the contraceptive Pill came onto the market, families were larger and everyone, including teenagers, had very little money to spend. Since then, one or sometimes two children is the norm and parents indulge their children very much more. Market research groups have proved that a substantial part of the money in circulation today is in the hands of teenagers, with cannabis being such an ideal drug for seduction. Hard drug dealers would be delighted if cannabis were decriminalised: they could then expect an expanding market for hard drugs. Ann equates Prohibition in America - where more than 50 pc of the adult population broke the drink laws - with slightly over 4 pc who break the cannabis law in this country, most of them vulnerable teenagers or in their 20s. I don't see that it proves her point that the cannabis law is in disrepute in this country. L.P Woods, Loanhead, Midlothian *** THE REAL ISSUE Ann Leslie's view on cannabis (Mail) is flawed as she is an ex-cannabis users (by her own admission). I can visualise the spot in her brain. Burned out by weed, it is a gap, a void, a broken pathway that causes the hiccup. The main issue as regards state legalisation of any 'soft' drugs is one of control. Live on the top floor of a tower block? No job? Feeling bad about things? Worked hard all your life for what little you have and find that society outside your front door is so uncaring, you must close the door on it? No problem. The state will provide you with an arsenal of mind-altering drugs to make you feel better. Just go away in a corner and use them. That's the issue. Tony Schubmehl, Dinbych *** SERIOUS DANGER What the pro-cannabis lobby seem to forget is while alcohol and tobacco in reasonable amounts do no harm to the user and absolutely none to anyone else, one smoke of cannabis, because it is mind-altering, makes the user incapable of rational thought or action. This presents a serious danger to both the user and those with whom he or she associates and, unlike alcohol, is virtually undetectable. Legalising it would be madness. Furthermore, as a lawyer, I fail to understand the oft-made distinction between decriminalisation and legalisation. Can someone please elucidate? William C. Hogg Killin, Perthshire *** DOPEY AND DOCILE When I was an RAF cook on Maserah Island from 1959 to 1960, I had Arab kitchen hands working with me. They regularly smoked cannabis, which put them constantly in a dopey and docile frame of mind. To get them to move themselves and do their jobs was a job in itself. They were useless when they were using the stuff. I was 21, which was the average age of the camp. We did 12 months there, with no resident doctor or dentist and nowhere to go, but we never resorted to drugs. Joe Watson Staunton, Glos. *** UNFAIR CHARGES The arrest and treatment William Straw, for supplying cannabis demonstrate the unfairness of the present law. It seems that there may well be one law for the rich Londoners and another for the rest of the country. I know a man who was arrested for having less than half a gram (worth about £1.50). He had his house thoroughly searched by police with dogs and was locked up and interviewed. He had to wait many months before getting to court. To what aim? The cost of taking a man to Magistrates Court is £200 to £300, and then to Crown Court was £2000 - £3000. Was Mr Straw's house searched to confirm that there were no other drugs there? Is the pub landlord to be prosecuted for allowing his premises to be used for illegal drugs. Was the pub searched? What is behind these senseless prosecutions? Could it simply be that many in the criminal justice system profit from the fees they charge? There seems to be no other justification for keeping a remarkably harmless and beneficial plant illegal. Levi McCarthy, Norwich *** NO HARM DONE Jack Straw is on record as saying that cannabis is a 'dangerous drug' and that drugs 'lead to the break-up of family life'. Perhaps he could tell us what damage cannabis has done to William and the people whom his son supplied? The answer, as he well knows, is no damage. The Lancet has stated that 'the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health'. And the 1968 Royal Commission into cannabis stated: 'The long-asserted dangers of cannabis are exaggerated and the realted law is socially damaging, if not unworkable.' The only way in which cannabis can lead to the break-up of family life is if you are an MP who is trying to justify the drug laws, and whose son is smoking a harmless substance enjoyed by thousands. Gary Stimson, Sheffield
------------------------------------------------------------------- Editorial In 'Wellington Evening Post' (New Zealand Paper Warns Youth About Pot By Noting International Travel Restrictions For Those With Criminal Records, Response From David Hadorn) Subj: Editorial in Wellington Evening Post From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:45:37 +1300 (NZDT) The feature editorial in tonight's (Jan 12) Evening Post, entitled "The consequences of drug conviction", describes how Ralph Opetaia was recently denied permission by Australian authorities to travel from NZ to Aussie for his mother's funeral because of prior criminal offences, namely assault, burglary, and drugs possession in 1984 and drunk driving and giving a false name in 1996. (For some reason, the editorial only mentions the drug offence!) The editorial cites two other examples of people whose prior drug convictions caused travel difficulties, including a New Zealander who wanted to travel to the US and was able to get his second NZ cannabis charge revoked because "the US Immigration and Nationality Act allows authorities to waive one minor cannabis charge but not two." The editorial states: "Like it or not, that's what happens to anyone caught using or dealing in drugs. New Zealand does the same in reverse: it doesn't want people it regards as criminals crossing its borders either, just in case they bring their nasty habits with them . . . [I]nternational travel is not a right, but a privilege. Most countries carefully screen those who want to visit, and take a dim view of those with drug convictions. . . Governments worldwide are under pressure from lobby groups to legalise at least marijuana. Some proponents argue it on medical grounds - cannabis is said to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis sufferers - and others say simply it's no worse than alcohol. But drugs are seen by Customs and police agencies everywhere as a scourge of the earth. . . That may be wholly ludicrous from some people's point of view. But if there's anything to be learned from the Opetaia case it is surely this: even youthful folly has its consequences. And when it comes to being caught using or selling drugs, that consequence may well be that travel plans must go on hold. Indefinitely. [end]" I'll try to get the whole thing scanned and submit it to Richard for the DND. In the meantime, if anyone feels like dashing off a letter, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org I've attached my own effort. David ************************************************************ To the editor: Your editorial "The consequences of a drug conviction" (12.1.98) was long on finger-wagging but short on reasoned analysis and psychology. Do you really expect New Zealand's young people to say "Gee, if I smoke cannabis I might get caught and if I get caught I might get convicted and if I'm convicted I might have difficulty traveling in the future -- therefore I better not smoke cannabis."? Surely you jest. You would have done better to ask whether it makes sense for nations entering the twenty-first century to adhere to archaic laws that discriminate against people caught smoking the flowers of a natural herb that has been used for medicinal and social reasons for thousands of years in hundreds of cultures. By deferring to the biased viewpoint of Customs and the police you failed to answer the fundamental question: Is it reasonable, based on what we know today, that people should be kept from traveling because of previous cannabis "offences"? Surely when over half of our young people are using cannabis at least occasionally (as documented in a recent University of Otago study) and similar use rates are found in most other countries, the answer to this question must be "no". Is it so difficult to acknowledge that times have changed and that policies must change with the times? David Hadorn [contact info] -------------------------------------------------------------------
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