Portland NORML News - Tuesday, January 13, 1998

DEA Admits 'Sufficient Grounds' To Re-Schedule Marijuana (US Drug Enforcement
Administration Acknowledges Evidence Cannabis Is Not Addictive Or A Drug Of Abuse -
Then Hands Case To US Health And Human Services Department - Press Release
From Lawyer For 'High Times' Says Legally Binding Results Will Likely Mean
An End To Marijuana Prohibition)

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 18:54:25 EST
Reply-To: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: DEA Finds Sufficient Grounds (2)

January 13, 1998

For Immediate Release




Recent scientific evidence has forced the US Government through its Justice
Department agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to commence
legally binding procedures that will likely result in the end of marijuana

On December 19th, DEA formally asked the Department of Health and Human
Services to conduct "a scientific and medical evaluation of the available
data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana and other
cannabinoid drugs. This DEA request of HHS means that the DEA has for
the first time made its own determination that sufficient grounds exist to
remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Schedule I is supposed to be limited to hard drugs with addictive
propensities and with no legitimate medical usage.

The DEA request was made in response to an administrative petition filed
July 10, 1995 by Petitioners Jon Gettman and Trans High Corporation,
publisher of High Times Magazine.

The Petition presents evidence and argument that marijuana and cannabinoids
lack the "high potential for abuse" required for Schedule I and Schedule II
drugs under the (CSA).

Trans-High Corporation, the publishers of High Times, joined with Mr.
Gettman in mid-1995 to provide support for the petition during the
administrative rule-making process. Petitioners are represented by the Law
Offices of Michael Kennedy, which today released a copy of a letter from
DEA notifying petitioners of the HHS referral.

Petitioners are represented by the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy in New
York City, which today released a copy of the letter from DEA notifying
Petitioners of the HHS referral.


According to a July 27, 1995, letter from DEA Deputy Administrator Stephen
Greene, accepting the Petition for filing:

"The DEA shall determine within a reasonable period of time whether there
are sufficient grounds to justify removing marijuana . . . from Schedule I
. . .(S)hould DEA determine that there are sufficient grounds, then it must
request a medical and scientific recommendation from the Secretary of the
Department of Health and Human Services."

Thus DEA can request the advice of HHS only after DEA's investigation
confirms that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule I.
According to the CSA the findings and recommendations of HHS with regard
to scientific and medical matters are binding on DEA. DEA has never before
voluntarily referred a marijuana rescheduling petition to HHS for binding

The Gettman/High times Petition demonstrates that HHS has never produced a
finding that marijuana actually has the high potential for abuse similar to
heroin or cocaine. A high potential for abuse is required for Schedule I
treatment. Further, the legislative history of the CSA indicates that
Congress only intended for marijuana to remain in Schedule I or II if such
a finding could be produced. This Petition challenges the government to
produce such a finding (where none exists) or be legally required to end
marijuana prohibition by removing marijuana from Schedule I.

Removal of marijuana from Schedule I will require the federal government to
sanction legal distribution of marijuana for medical uses, research and
prescriptions and adopt a regulatory rather than a prohibitory model for
marijuana. The end of prohibition and the advent of regulation will
represent a radical change in the legal status of marijuana in the United

The Petition argues that the discovery of the Cannabinoid Receptor System,
which has enabled scientists to explain the cause of marijuana's
characteristic effects, and provides a basis for making detailed
distinctions among the biological effects of marijuana and other drugs.
These distinctions provide the scientific basis for demonstrating that
marijuana does not have the same high potential for abuse as other Schedule
I or II drugs.

DEA reversal of position.

The DEA to HHS referral represents a historic turn-around for DEA.

Gettman first asked DEA to refer marijuana to HHS for the appropriate
scientific and medical evaluation back in October of 1994. In March 1995,
in a letter to Gettman's congressman, DEA claimed that "unless a substance
has an accepted medical use in the United States, in can only be placed in
Schedule I." By letter dated April 21, 1995, DEA Administrator Thomas
Constantine stated that DEA was:

"unaware of any new scientific studies of marijuana that would lead us to
re-evaluate its classification at this time . . . If Mr. Gettman has access
to scientific data concerning marijuana which he wishes to bring to our
attention, we will be pleased to consider it, should he care to share the
documentation with us."

The Gettman/High Times Petition provided the specific scientific
documentation that caused the DEA to reverse itself and to acknowledge for
the first time ever that a sufficient scientific basis exists for
reclassification of marijuana out of Schedule I


Jon Gettman served as National Director of the National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) from 1986 to 1989, and has provided
articles and columns for High Times since 1985. Gettman is currently
working on his doctorate in public policy and regional economic development
at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Mr. Gettman issued the following statement:

"People are sent to jail every day because of mistaken assumptions about
the abuse potential of marijuana, assumptions that have never been
scientifically proved. DEA's recognition of this is a welcome and
important step, and in many respects recognition of the importance of the
scientific work of individuals such as Allyn Howlett, William Devane, Miles
Herkenham, Leo Hollister, Denise Kandel, Norman Zinberg, Lester Grinspoon
and other scientists on whose work my petition rests. But this is also
recognition that in many respects marijuana prohibition has been a cruel
hoax on the American people. People think marijuana is in Schedule I for
scientific reasons, and that these reasons legitimize prohibition, arrests
and prison terms. DEA has just acknowledged that there is a lot of
scientific knowledge they haven't considered when they justify marijuana's
Schedule I status. In other words, DEA has presented a distorted picture
of marijuana to government officials and to the public. I hope our
petition will contribute to resolving some of the confusion created by
these distortions."

High Times Magazine, by its Editor in Chief, Peter Gorman, issued the
following statement:

"High Times is thrilled that the DEA has acknowledged that there was never
sufficient reason to place cannabis in Schedule I of the CSA, and proud
that the petition originated with Jon Gettman's two part series on
"Marijuana and the Brain" which appeared in our pages in March and July
1995. We hope that journalists from all media who have covered the War on
Drugs will recognize the importance of the DEA's admission regarding the
scheduling of cannabis -- which could potentially result in the end of
prohibition of this benign and medically helpful herb -- and will report it
with the same vigor with which they have reported other DEA findings. High
Times looks forward to the results of the Department of Health and human
Services' investigation of the scientific and medical data regarding
cannabis with great anticipation."


Contact information:
Law Offices of Michael Kennedy
425 Park Ave. - 26th Floor
New York City, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 935-4500
Fax: (212) 980-6881

Jon Gettman
Email: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net


Portland NORML notes - Portland NORML was the first to post the 'High Times'
articles, on both Usenet and the World Wide Web. The articles and this site debuted
at about the same time in 1995.


Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 21:56:33 EST
Reply-To: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: DEA documentation of petition significance

Here is important source material that defines the significance of the
petition referral in DEA's own words.

The three letters from DEA are valuable documentation that the HHS referral
of the petition means that "sufficient grounds" exist for the removal of
marijuana from schedules I and II.

March 1, 1995
Thomas Constantine (DEA) to Rep. Frank Wolf

In this March 1, 1995 letter DEA argues that "accepted medical use" is the
only issue that matters under the CSA, and that a reconsideration of
marijuana's abuse potential may be interesting but of no legal consequence.

March 14, 1995
Jon Gettman to Sen. John Warner

In this March 14, 1995 letter I ask my U.S. Senator to remind DEA that the
argument they advanced in their letter of March 1, 1995 was explicitly
rejected by the US Court of Appeals in 1977.

April 21, 1995
Thomas Constantine (DEA) to Sen. John Warner

In this April 21, 1995 letter DEA changes their argument. They monitor
scientific research, and know of no findings that would provide grounds for
a review of marijuana's schedule I status. However I was invited to submit
such information if I could provide documentation.

July 27, 1995
Stgephen Greene (DEA) to Jon Gettman

In this July 27, 1995 letter DEA acknowledges recepit of the petition and
explains that a referral to HHS means that "sufficient grounds" exist for
removal. If sufficient grounds do not exist, they will deny the petition.

The December 19, 1997 letter notifying my attorneys of the referall to HHS
is not yet available on-line. However the significance of the referral is
established in the letters above from DEA.

Accepted medical use is not the only issue - established by the change in
Constantine's reply from 3/1/95 to 4/21/95.

DEA was not aware of all the relevant scientific research in early 1995 -
established by the referral to HHS 12/19/97 based on 1988 - 1994 research,
reconciled with DEA statements in the 4/21/95 letter.

"Sufficient grounds" exist for the removal of all cannabinoids from
schedules I and II - defined by the DEA's letter of 6/27/95 and established
by their referral of the petition to HHS after a 29 month review.

Jon Gettman


Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 00:31:06 -0800
To: octa99@crrh.org
From: TerraCore Communications (webmaster@terracore.com)
Subject: More News about the possible end of cannabis prohibition

When I read the latest octa99 email about the possible end to cannabis
prohibition I thought it so hard to believe I had to check and verify it
wasn't a prank, like the one about 2 years ago that Cuba had legalized the

More information about this late-breaking story is available on the High
Times website at http://www.hightimes.com/ht/welcome.html


Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 03:22:31 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: DEA Petition story

I am distressed that the news media, other than CNN, have apparently not
picked up on the DEA petition story despite the press release. Surely in
the context of the federal action to close down the CBCs the development is
highly newsworthy. What's going on? Should we send copies of the press
release to papers asking indignantly why this story was not picked up? Or


Making Crime Pay ('St. Paul Pioneer Press' Report On Prisons For Profit Notes
1996 Study By GAO Found 'No Credible Evidence' Of Savings, Yet Correction
Corporation Of America In Less Than 20 Years Has Taken Over Almost Half
The 140 Private Prisons In The US - Profit Taking By Investors Leads To
High Turnover Among Guards, High Rate Of Violence, Exploitation Of Inmates)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:01:38 -0800
Subject: US MN: Making Crime Pay
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave West (davewest@pressenter.com)
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
Contact: Reader Advocate: Nancy Conner nconner@pioneerplanet.infi.net
FAX: 612-228-5564
Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998
Author: David Morris


Private prisons exploit inmates and the penal system in the name of turning
a profit.

If it has a payroll, privatize it. So goes the reigning doctrine of the
day. The urge to privatize invades all sectors, all services, even when
common sense screams for us to pause and reconsider. One of the most
painfully thoughtless examples of this stampede is the privatization of
U.S. prisons.

The initial justification for privatizing prisons was that it would save
the taxpayers a ton of money. It hasn't. A 1996 study by the General
Accounting Office found "no credible evidence" of such savings.

But money isn't really the issue. Liberty and dignity are. Investors in
prison corporations expect to double their money every five years. To
meet that goal, costs per inmate must be minimized, the jail cells must he
fully occupied, and the inmates themselves must be exploited. Private
prisons are dangerous for prisoners and for our social fabric.

In 1992, Tennessee turned over operation of one state prison, South
Central, to the Correction Corporation of America, a company less than 20
years old that runs almost half the private prisons in the country. In
1996, state investigators compared the operations of South Central with
those of a comparable state-run prison.

The investigators found the costs to the taxpayer of the private prison
were about the same as those of a public facility. Since a portion of the
private plant's revenue goes to investors, less is available for prison
care and guard training. As a result, as Eric Bates reports in The Nation,
the CCA prison has become a dangerous place. The employee turnover rate
was double that at state prisons. Violent incidents have been 50 percent
more common than in state facilities.

The best way to maximize the revenue generated by each prisoner is to
maximize the cell time of that prisoner. A 1992 study by the New Mexico
Corrections Department showed that women at prisons run by CCA lost "good
time" -- which leads to weekend leaves or early release, both of which
reduce corporate revenues -- nearly eight times as often as men at a
state-run lockup.

There is another way prison corporations make money from their wards:
having their slave labor compete with free labor. Sales of prison goods
soared from $392 million in 1980 to $1.31 billion in 1994. Prison laborers
now make clothes, car parts, computer components, shoes, furniture and many
other items. Although state prisons pay minimum wage to inmates,
Counterpunch magazine notes that private prisons pay as little as 17 cents
an hour. The maximum pay scale at a CCA prison in Tennessee is 50 cents an
hour for "highly skilled positions." One Texas state representative even
suggested touting "competitive" prison labor in order to lure Nike into
shifting production from Indonesia to Texas.

Since the profits of private prison corporations largely depend on
expansion, the industry uses its increasing clout to lobby for more severe
sentencing laws, like the three-strikes-and-you're-out law in California.
Indeed, CCA has become one of the most generous campaign contributors in
California. The California corrections officers association is the second
most generous lobby in Sacramento.

Ten years ago just five private prisons existed, housing about 2,000
inmates. Today some 140 prisons, housing almost 70,000 inmates, are owned
or administered by private companies. The private prison population may
increase by 500 percent over the next decade. Meanwhile, the number of
prisoners in this country has more than doubled since 1980, Today we have
the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. In 1995, for the
first time, more money was spent building new prisons than new

We have created an incentive structure dangerous to those in jails, and
that same incentive structure endangers those of us outside of jails as
well. The new ownership structure of prisons rewards investors for
imprisoning us and keeping us in prison and exploiting us while there.
This is a bad idea run amok. It's time to blow the whistle and declare a
moratorium on all further privatization of prisons.

Morris is a Twin Cities author, lecturer and consultant. Readers can write
to him at 1313 Fifth St. S.E.. Suite 306, Minneapolis, Minn. 55414.

Clinton Plan To Fight Drug Use In Prisons ('San Francisco Examiner'
Quotes McCaffrey Saying Last Year, 9 Percent Of Those Checked Tested Positive
For Drugs Behind Bars, And The Rate Was 'Much' Worse
In State And Local Jails Than In Federal Prisons)

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:25:38 -0800
Subject: MN: US: SFX: Clinton Plan to Fight Drug Use in Prisons
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.examiner.com


$200 million slated for cleaning up jails

WASHINGTON - President Clinton says he will push states to toughen
penalties for drug trafficking in prisons and will earmark $200 million to
promote drug abstinence and treatment in the criminal justice system.

"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 Monday.

"Somehow, jail time has to be cold turkey for those who are addicted and
must represent unemployment for those who are drug dealers," said retired
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control

Across the nation, 1.6 million men and women are in federal, state and
local prisons. Last year, 9 percent of those checked tested positive for
drugs behind bars, McCaffrey said. The problem was much worse in state and
local jails than in federal prisons, he said.

Controlling drugs in prison is important because between to 80 percent of
prison population is incarcerated because of drug- or alcohol-related
crimes, McCaffrey said.

The initiative was the latest in a series of anti-crime issues by the
president. Once the domain of Republicans, law-and-order measures have
become a mainstay of Clinton's presidency, including tougher handgun
controls and a plan to put 100,000 more police on the streets.

Clinton directed Attorney General Janet Reno to draft legislation, in
consultation with states, that would require them to toughen penalties for
drug trafficking into and within correctional facilities. States that did
not comply could lose prison construction funds from the federal

Clinton also instructed Reno to take steps requiring states to determine
the level of drug use in their prisons and report annually.

Clinton Orders Steps To Combat Prison Drug Use (More From 'Reuters'
On The Prohibitionists' Latest Utopian Pipe Dream)

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:59:46 -0800
Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Clinton Orders Steps to Combat Prison Drug Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Tuesday, 13 January 1998


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

"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.

Lawmaker Seeks Summit On Medicinal Marijuana ('San Jose Mercury News' Reports
John Vasconcellos, Chairman Of The California Senate Public Safety Committee,
Will Invite Governor Pete Wilson, Attorney General Dan Lungren
And US Attorney General Janet Reno To Join The Committee
At A Summit Within The Next Month)

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:25:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Lawmaker Seeks Summit on Medicinal Marijuana
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998


SACRAMENTO (AP) -- With sharp criticism of President Clinton, a state
senator urged state and federal officials Monday to take part in a summit
on how to implement California's medicinal marijuana initiative.

Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose, said he was ``appalled and outraged''
by federal and state responses to voters' approval of Proposition 215.

``It seems to me that fascism is rearing its ugly head,'' he said.

The November 1996 ballot measure changed state law to allow patients
suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and certain other illnesses to
possess and grow marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation.

But the Clinton administration has resisted the initiative. On Friday, the
Justice Department filed civil suits against six marijuana buyers' clubs in
Northern California, saying they violated federal laws against marijuana
possession, cultivation and distribution.

Vasconcellos, chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, said he would
invite Gov. Pete Wilson, state Attorney General Dan Lungren and U.S.
Attorney General Janet Reno to join members of the committee at a summit in
the next month to discuss implementing the proposition.

``I keep hoping that the president I voted for has some common sense, some
compassion,'' Vasconcellos said. ``It might have been better if he had

State Senator Wants A Marijuana Summit ('Orange County Register' Makes
California Senator John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, Seem A Bit Extreme)

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:25:31 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: State Senator Wants a Marijuana Summit
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998


A state senator urged state and federal officials Monday to take part in a
summit on how to implement California's medical marijuana initiative.

Sen, John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, said he was "appalled and outraged"
by federal and state responses to voters' approval of Proposition 215. "It
seems to me that fascism is rearing its ugly head," he said.

The 1996 ballot measure changed state law to allow patients suffering from
cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and a variety of other illnesses to possess and grow
marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation.

But Friday, the Justice Department filed civil suits against six marijuana
buyers clubs, saying they violated federal laws against possession,
cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

Man In Wheelchair Faces Third Strike (California's 'Three Strikes'
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Law Continues To Inflict
Disproportionate Punishment On Victimless Offenders)

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:26:01 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Man in Wheelchair Faces Third Strike
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998
Author: Stuart Pfeifer-The Orange County Register


He says his disability makes the possible punishment excessive. He
allegedly bought a macadamia nut he thought was rock cocaine.

A marshal's deputy pushed the suspect into the courtroom Monday wheelchair
to the defense table.

Fost Morris, 56, who lost both legs to diabetes, who suffered three heart
attacks in recent years, whose right arm is scarred from cancer surgery,
hardly struck an imposing courtroom presence as he launched what he viewed
as a fight for his life.

This time, the fight that had nothing to do with life-threatening disease.

Morris could get 25 years to life under California's "three strikes, you're
out" law.

Santa Ana police say Morris tried to buy on cocaine rock during an
undercover sting in August. He actually bought a decoy - a macadamia nut.

Robbery and burglary convictions between 1959 and 1981 make him eligible
for the "three strikes" punishment.

Central Orange County Municipal Court Judge Steven L. Perk refused Monday -
for the second time in the case - to offer Morris anything less than the
maximum punishment.

Rulings by the California Supreme Court allow judges to ignore defendants'
previous convictions if they feel 25 years to life in prison would be
excessive. But Perk said Morris' record is too serious to offer him
anything less.

Morris, in an interview at Orange County Jail, said he is baffled that the
judge and the District Attorney's Office want to give him the maximum

No longer, Morris said, is he the gun-toting thug who struck fear in people
he robbed in Texas, Los Angeles and San Diego more than 20 years ago.

Today, in the medical ward of Orange Count Jail, Morris needs other inmates
to help him take a shower. County nurses offer him medical attention around
the clock. Keeping him in custody, he said, is a wast of money.

"What can I do? I'm dying in a wheelchair," Morris said at the jail
visiting booth. "I'm not doing crime. I'm paralyzed."

Deputy District Attorney Steve Bickel said that while the attempted
purchase of a single chunk of rock cocaine is not a serious offense, Morris
is a serious felon.

Morris admits that he has spent 28 of his 56 years behind bars. He has 11
felony convictions, eight of them serious enough to be considered strikes
under California law, Bickel said.

"Looking at him, I do feel sorry for him. The guy's a double-amputee. He's
got no legs," Bickel said. "(But) At some point, you have to say, enough is
enough." You have to put a stop to it. The guy has a 40-year felony

The prosecutor does not buy Morris' insistence that he should be spared a
lengthy sentence because of the disabilities. In 1995, Morris received his
last previous felony conviction - petty theft with a prior theft conviction
- for placing a fifth of whiskey in his wheelchair and pushing himself out
of a south Orange County supermarket.

"Who's to say he can't get a gun and shoot somebody from a wheelchair?"
Bickel said. "He can go in and steal in his wheelchair. What if he rolled
into a jewelry store and stole a diamond?"

Deputy Public Defender Maria Hernandez said voters who passed the "three
strikes" law in 1994 did not have in mind sick, disabled drug addicts such
as Morris, caught buying a roasted nut.

It was a Santa Ana police drug operation on West Camile Street that landed
Morris in trouble again. He was sitting in the passenger seat of his
friend's Geosedan when he gave $20 to undercover officer Ernesto Conde in
exchange for what he thought would be a piece of rock cocaine, police said.

Officers swarmed in for the arrest, then had to carry Morris out of the
car. His folded-up wheelchair was in the back seat.

He has been in jail ever since, held on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to
return to court Jan.27 for arraignment in Superior Court.

Morris told a reporter he hopes a new judge will consider showing leniency.

"They're sentencing me to death for a macadamia nut," he said. "They might
as well give me the death penalty. This is a death sentence for me."

Fairfax Board Plans New War On Drug Use By County's Youth Police
('Washington Post' Covers Drug War On Youth In Fairfax County, Virginia)

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 21:31:16 -0500
Subject: MN: US VA: WP: Fairfax Board Plans New War
On Drug Use by County's Youth Police
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Washington Post
Section: Metro, page B01
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998
Author: Eric Lipton, Washington Post Staff Writer


Fairfax County supervisors instructed the police chief, county executive
and school superintendent yesterday to immediately prepare a new battle
plan to combat the growing problem of drug abuse by county youths.

Stationing police officers in middle schools and creating a new detective
squad specializing in arresting juvenile drug dealers and users are among
the options under consideration, supervisors said.

"It is shocking how prevalent drugs are among our youths and how easy it is
for them to buy them," said Supervisor Elaine N. McConnell (R-Springfield).
"And the public is just not aware how severe this problem is."

The board's actions came in response to a Washington Post report last month
detailing the dramatic growth in arrests of juveniles on drug charges and
the role of county youths as both consumers and dealers of drugs.

An estimated 12,000 county youths have received drug treatment in the last
four years. In the last year alone, 560 juveniles were arrested in Fairfax
and its independent towns for drug crimes, nearly 12 times as many as a
decade ago.

McConnell initiated yesterday's debate by suggesting that the county
immediately allocate $300,000 to hire five detectives to strengthen the
narcotics squad. But supervisors instead agreed to give the police chief,
in consultation with the county executive and school superintendent, a
chance to come up with his own plan.

"We have got to try to reach out to these kids before they become
entrenched in the drug culture," said Police Chief M. Douglas Scott. "Once
they are in it, it is like being in a gang; it is much harder to get them

So far, Scott said, the police department has had a hard time combating the
problem. Placing an undercover officer in a school in 1995 produced limited
results, he said, in part because it is difficult to infiltrate the drug
network among county teenagers. And using a teenager as an undercover
informant is risky, Scott said.

Also, he said, the department has a policy of making arrests immediately
when officers find juveniles involved with drugs, instead of spending time
working up the chain in an attempt to arrest the dealers.

"It is a complex problem," Scott said. "If we had the answer, we could
bottle it and sell it across the nation."

Fairfax already has police officers stationed at each of its 23 high
schools and secondary schools, but supervisors and Scott agreed yesterday
that the county needs to consider putting officers in its 20 middle
schools, to reach students at the age when drug use often begins.

Scott also said he wants to find the money needed to maintain a gang task
force created in the last year, noting that gangs are often involved in
drugs. And he said he will consider proposing a new division of the
department's narcotics squad to investigate drug activity by young people,
a plan praised by the county board.

"We need a specialized team of trained professionals to focus on this
challenge," said Supervisor Robert B. Dix Jr. (R-Hunter Mill). "There is
clear evidence that the need is significant enough to justify the investment."

A $1.9 million federal grant will help finance expansion of the county's
anti-drug effort, officials said. The money will be used to help hire 25
police officers, adding to the current force of 1,077 and making it easier
to shift experienced patrol officers to specialized squads.

Supervisors yesterday also addressed two other threats to young people in
the county.

Dix announced that two alcohol wholesalers -- Guiffre Distributing Co., of
Springfield, and King Wholesale Inc., of Chantilly -- had donated $5,600 to
buy 28 pairs of goggles that simulate the effect of being drunk.

The goggles, one pair of which will go to each county high school, distort
the wearer's vision, making it all but impossible to walk a straight line,
as was demonstrated yesterday morning by Chairman Katherine K. Hanley (D),
who tried them out.

"You can't do this," Hanley said, nearly falling over as she tried to take
a step along a line that had been taped to the floor in the board chambers.
"It is unbelievable."

Also, the board voted to ask the General Assembly to pass legislation
allowing Fairfax to ban guns from its teen and recreation centers, as well
as the grounds that surround them.

A judge last month overturned a county regulation banning weapons in
Fairfax government buildings, ruling that Fairfax needed specific
legislative authority to adopt such a regulation. Five Democrats on the
county board said yesterday that they wanted to ask the legislature for the
power to ban weapons in all buildings, but Republicans successfully argued
that the request was too broad and would never win support in Richmond.

The Republicans -- joined by Democrat Gerald W. Hyland (Mount Vernon) --
also moved to amend the proposal to ensure that residents with permits for
concealed weapons would be exempt from a ban.

"That is probably the most that is going to get through the General
Assembly," said Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville).

Church's Leader Faces Drug Charges (Wisconsin's 'Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Reports Bishop Of Holy Angels Old Catholic Church Busted For Pot Possession,

Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Pubdate: 13 Jan 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Author: David Doege of the Journal Sentinel staff
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/


The bishop of a small church who was arrested with his deacon last month on
drug charges was formally charged Monday with two misdemeanor counts
stemming from the sweep.

Loyd Crumpton, bishop of Holy Angels Old Catholic Church, 1510 N. 70th
St., was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug
paraphernalia, misdemeanors that carry jail terms totaling up to seven months
and fines of up to $1,500.

The prosecutor who issued the charges said they are the only charges Crumpton
is expected to face, but authorities' review of the case is continuing.

"There are some other people that are ordered back in about a month," Assistant
District Attorney Patrick J. Kenney said.

Crumpton, 58, was arrested with the deacon, Gerald Glock, 47, and 14 other

The raid was conducted by an interdepartmental task force seeking to break up
what it said was a marijuana and cocaine distribution network.

Glock later acknowledged to a reporter that he was a "drug addict" who was
caught with a small amount of cocaine. He denied, however, that he was
involved in drug dealing.

During the Dec. 2 raid of the duplex where Crumpton lived, police seized a
total of 7 1/2 grams of marijuana from three locations, several pipes and other
paraphernalia, according to the complaint issued Monday.

Crumpton told police, according to the complaint, that the marijuana was for
his personal use and that the pipes were his as well.

"The defendant further stated that he uses the marijuana to help him relax and
that the most that he has ever purchased at any one time is a quarter-ounce of
marijuana for $25," the complaint says.

No drugs were found during a search of the church itself, according to police.

Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Seminar Series (Winter 1998 Programs
Open To Public In New York, San Francisco)

From: pcoffin@sorosny.org
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 98 14:10:17 EST
Subject: Drug Policy Seminar Series, Winter 1998
Sender: owner-tlc-cannabis@soros.org


Winter 1998


Thursday, January 22, 4 pm

Psychedelics and Psychotherapy

Myron Stolaroff and Richard Yensen, Ph.D., examine applications of
psychedelics to psychotherapy and substance abuse treatment.
Stolaroff, founder of The International Center for Advanced Study in
Menlo Park, California, and author of The Secret Chief: Conversations
with a Pioneer of the Underground Psychedeic Therapy Movement and
Thanatos to Eros, analyzes uses of psychedelics in therapy based on
his past research and experience as an elder in the field of
psychedelic exploration. Yensen, director of the Orenda Institute
where he is the co-holder of a research protocol for the use of LSD
in psychotherapy, discusses ongoing scientific investigations.


Monday, February 9th, 4 pm

Harm Reduction Case Management for Drug Users *Co-sponsored with the
Harm Reduction Coalition

Stuart Fisk, RN, Stacey Rubin, and Kelly McGowan sketch a model for
harm reduction case management. Fisk, based at the Pittsburgh AIDS
Education and Training Center and a member of the Harm Reduction
Working Group, provides strategies for engaging HIV+ drug users in
medical services. Rubin, Director of Harm Reduction at Streetwork
Project, Victim Services, and a member of the Harm Reduction Working
Group, describes case management with street-based drug-using youth
and the utilization of holistic health services. McGowan, Director of
Harm Reduction and Transgender Services at the Positive Health
Project, examines networking and co-supervision possibilities among
harm reduction-oriented case managers serving active drug users. This
seminar is moderated by Sara Kershnar, Director of Education and
Training at the Harm Reduction Coalition.


Tuesday, February 24th, 4pm

Pregnant and Parenting Women Who Use Drugs

Stephen Kandall, MD, Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D., and Carol E. Tracy, Esq.,
examine the complex medical, social, and political issues of pregnant
and parenting women who use drugs. Kandall, Chief of Neonatology at
Beth Israel Medical Center, Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein
College of Medicine, and author of Substance and Shadow: Women and
Addiction in the United States (Harvard University Press), describes
his clinical experience with drug-exposed babies and implications for
medical and public policies. Rosenbaum, Director of the San Francisco
office of the Lindesmith Center and co-author, with Dr. Sheigla B.
Murphy, of Wayward Wombs: Pregnancy and Drug Use (working title,
Rutgers University Press), analyzes problems and solutions in the lives
of pregnant and parenting women who use drugs. Carol E. Tracy, Esq.,
Executive Director of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia, assess
opportunities for community and legal activism on these issues.


Monday, March 2nd, 4 pm

Ibogaine Treatment

Ken Alper, MD, Ph.D., Geerte Frencken, and Howard Lotsof examine the
feasibility and effectiveness of ibogaine in treating chemical
dependence. Alper, assistant professor of psychology and neurology at
New York University Medical Center, offers a possible model of
ibogaine's action based on evidence of its effectiveness in treating
cocaine dependence. Frencken, founder and director of International
Addicts Self-Help and a researcher with National Development Research
Institute, stresses the importance of a comprehensive approach to
ibogaine treatment. Lotsof, president of NDA International and the
first to discover ibogaine's utility in treating chemical dependence,
examines the history and politics of ibogaine.

Seminars are held at the Open Society Institute, New York, NY
400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), 3rd Floor.
All are welcome, but seating is limited.
Please call The Lindesmith Center at (212) 548-0695
or email lbeniquez@sorosny.org to reserve a place.


Thursday, February 5, 5-7pm
Hepatitis C: The New Epidemic
Joanne Imperial, MD, Stanford University
Joey Tranchina, Director of Harm Reduction Projects for HCV Global
Reda Sobky, MD, Medical Director of HAART, Fort Help, and Castro
Valley Methadone Clinics
John Irwin, Ph.D., patient

Seminar is held at the San Francisco Medical Society,
1409 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA
Open to the public; please RSVP to (415) 921-4987

Marijuana Should Be Legalized For Medical, Healing Purposes
(Letter To Editor Of 'Lethbridge Herald,' Canada)

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 10:11:40
To: Mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Kathy galbraith (galbraith@upanet.cc.uleth.ca)
Subject: PUB LTE:Lethbridge Herald:Mj should be legalized..

Lethbridge Herald
Tuesday, Jan.13

Marijuana should be legalized for medical, healing purposes


In response to your article of Dec.11, "Portions of marijuana law
unconstitutional, judge rules", of course this herbal medicine should
be available for proper and responsible use.

As a long-time student and practitioner of herbal medicine and
natural healing methods, I wondered why most herbal texts do not
even mention marijuana/cannabis/hemp.

The best and most comprehensive text in my library, School of
Natural Healing, by Dr. John R. Christopher, lists it as a sleep aid,
relaxant, pain killer, antispasmodic, and female corrective. Latest
evidence shows it is effective for relieving the pain and spasms of
MS, seizures of epilepsy, migraines, ghost-pain of amputees, chronic pain
of some sorts, some depressions, premenstrual disorder, glaucoma,
AIDS wasting and nausea, and cancer nausea. Queen Victoria used it,
as prescribed by her physician, for PMS and migraines.

The British Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine
have both asked that it be made available to those who need it immediately,
and patients who have been denied it have been desperate enough to get
themselves arrested just to protest the status quo. (Lynn Harichy,
mother, grandmother, medical student, MS sufferer in London, Ont.)
No one has ever died from a pot overdose, it does not kill or harm
the cells of the body. There are many ways to use it besides smoking;
a chronic pain patient from Halifax says one mj brownie lasts longer
and works better than several Tylenol 3's.

Surely it is time to adopt a rational, compassionate approach instead
of allowing pot sales to line the pockets of biker-gangs who don't care
whether they sell to a cancer patient or a child in the schoolyard.
Recent polls show the majority of Canadians favor changing the law to
allow responsible use.

Regulation would put cannabis where it belongs, in the drugstore,
health food store and herb garden, alongside the other herbs God
gave us to use, like parsley, sage, garlic and mint.

Kathy Galbraith
Midwife, teacher, student of natural healing

Hemp Processing Plant (KittyHawk Securities In Victoria, British Columbia,
To Finance $1.5 Million Of $4 Million Kenex Industrial Hemp Plant
In Southwestern Ontario, Canada)

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 15:21:44 -0400 (AST)
From: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: New hemp processing factory for Ontario gets funding
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 12:50:52 -0500
From: John E. Dvorak (jdvorak@bidmc.harvard.edu)
From: "C. Penn" (hempstrs@wco.com)
Subject: Hemp Processing Plant

From: Hemptech
Web site: Hemptech.com
January 13, 1998

Jean M. Laprise, President of Kenex Ltd. is pleased to announce the signing
of an agreement with KittyHawk Securities Ltd. in Victoria, B.C. to provide
equity financing for Kenex of up to one and a half million dollars.

Kenex is investing in excess of four million dollars in a plant for the
processing of industrial hemp being grown in south-western Ontario. Hemp
stalk and hemp seed grown in 1997 is in storage awaiting completion of the
new facility which exceeds 20,000 square feet. The hemp stalks will be
processed into numerous fibre and core products. The seeds will be pressed
for high quality hemp oil and hemp meal which is rich in protein.

B.C. residents interested in industrial hemp as an investment should
contact Fraser Smith at KittyHawk Securities Ltd. (250)652-0825 to request
an Offering Memorandum, or by email or by fax (250) 652-0835.

KENEX, Ltd has a great website: kenex.org

Grower information meetings

We have not yet confirmed dates and locations for grower information
meetings in February or March for Essex, Kent and Lambton county growers.
Our schedule is extremely tight in January and we will have more
information on licencing for these meetings if we postpone them slightly.
For growers and interested parties further east, there will be an
interesting program on hemp. It is sponsored by the Brant Agri-Business
Opportunities Association. The program will take place at the Paris
Fairgrounds in Paris, Ontario, near Brantford. The date is March 11, 1998.
For further information call (519) 442-4054. Kenex will be making a
presentation at this event along with Bill Baxter from the Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture and Food as well as Ruth Shamai of the Natural Order and Dr.
Ann Cook of the University of Tennessee.


R&D on molded hemp panels is going well and is quite encouraging. A
significant amount of work is in progress with various players in the
automotive industry. More containers of processing equipment are scheduled
to arrive from overseas next week as we move forward with the assembly of
the processing plant.

Hemp seed

Kenex plans to have the following seed varieties available for growers or
processors that wish to buy seed for 1998.


All of these varieties are on the approved O.E.C.D. list. We also plan to
have small amounts of Yugoslavian, Polish and Ukrainian seed available for
research purposes. As you may already know all Kenex sales must be made in
accordance with the Health Canada seed distribution regulations. Some
varieties are in very short supply and will be sold on a first come first
serve basis.


Candi Penn, Board of Directors
Secretary HIA - Hemp Industries Assoc.
PO Box 1080, Occidental, CA 95465
1-500-HIA-HEMP & 707 874-3648
FAX: 707 874-1104
Email: info@thehia.org
Websites: http://thehia.org
& http://hempstores.com


Kingston Stores Busted (More On The Police Raid Of Ontario Hemp Stores
Last Week)

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 15:03:03 -0500 (EST)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Michael Foster 
Subject: Kingston Stores busted

Hi folks!

I've been offline for a week. Bill Stevenson from 'Erehwon' in Kingston
sent me the following info following the Jan 7 bust of his store and 'Off
The Wall'. Both these stores share the same block. 'Erehwon' is much like
'Crosstown Traffic' in that it carries offbeat literature and music in
addition to serving the cannabis community. 'Off The Wall' specializes in
skater-type clothing with a small selection of bongs contained to a small
showcase which faces the back wall of the store. A third store 'Western
Rock' was apparently hit at the same time. 'Kingston Hemporium' operated by
Dylan Maxwell of 'New Earth' in Montreal was untouched but he pulled all
pipes from the retail store he shares with another business called 'The
Jungle' upon hearing of the raids. I can find no evidence that this raid was
covered by the 'Kingston Whig Standard'. Dylan tells me that he faxed info
on this to 'The Ottawa Citizen' but I have seen no mention of it there.

What Bill sez:

"Police confiscated pipes, patches, screens, baggies, scales, keychains,
books, hats, magazines, trading cards, hemp wallets and hemp handbags. We
were made to remove from sale all pot or hemp related t-shirts (THC,
Skunkwear) and posters and even Bob Marley pins and leather chain wallets
with leaf pictures were removed. With no definition of what the definition
of 'pipes' is according to 462.2, they charged us with selling a 'hash' pipe
and paraphernalia for illicit drug use. This was despite signs stating these
products were recommended for tobacco or herbal use and not available to
persons under the age of nineteen years of age due to Ontario tobacco rules."

Apparently grow guides and copies of Cannabis Canada were seized even though
Bill pointed out that these had been ruled legal a couple of years ago by
Ontario Court Justice Ellen MacDonald. This is a major violation of these
peoples' rights and I can't believe the lack of publicity on this event so
far. It appears that Alan Young will be adding this case to his roster. I
wish there were more lawyers with that degree of integrity. The first day in
court is Feb 24.

Bill Stevenson can be contacted c/o
Erehwon Trading
225 Princess St
Kingston Ontario
K7C 1B3
phone/fax (613) 542-0803

Mexico Holds Two US Students For Gun-Running ('New York Times' Says
The Investigation Involves More Than 1,000 Automatic Rifles
And Other Firearms Transferred To 'Drug Traffickers')

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:00:49 -0800
Subject: MN: Mexico Holds Two U.S. Students for Gun-Running
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998
Author: Sam Dillon


MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican authorities said Tuesday that they are holding
two American college students for questioning in connection with the
transfer of more than 1,000 automatic rifles and other firearms to drug

Hugo Ambriz Duarte, 26, a business student at El Paso Community College,
and his brother Rene, 24, a business administration student at the
University of Texas at El Paso, were detained by an elite federal police
unit Saturday in Ciudad Juarez, which forms a single metropolitan area with
El Paso. They were then flown to Mexico City.

Officials familiar with the investigation said the apparent involvement of
the American students in gun-running appeared to exemplify the increasing
tendency by Mexican traffickers to recruit collaborators among youths
living north of the border. In another case, a San Diego man who had been
recruited as a teenager by Mexican traffickers died in Tijuana as he
attempted to assassinate a newspaper publisher in November.

Under police questioning, the brothers acknowledged having sold arms to the
Juarez drug cartel, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the federal
attorney general's office. Relatives of the brothers who spoke to
reporters in El Paso, however, said the two were innocent.

The statement said the men were detained after a complaint presented by the
U.S. authorities, who have asserted that the ``the Ambriz Duarte brothers
introduced into Mexico more than 1,000 firearms, including hundreds of
AK-47 rifles.'' The report said some of the weapons were later confiscated
from members of the cartel.

The brothers' detention initially caused a furor in Juarez because they
were reported kidnapped. A senior Mexican official, however, said the
detention was carried out in a strictly legal fashion.

The brothers were seized by eight federal agents traveling in two unmarked
vehicles, who blocked their Dodge Ram Charger on a Juarez street, dragged
the two out and drove them away, along with their Dodge, which was later
found abandoned. A young woman who had been with them was temporarily

The brothers were among nine people detained by armed men in several
incidents in Juarez on Saturday. Four businessmen who were seized have
reappeared, saying they were robbed by the armed men who detained them.
Three men are still missing, although police are trying to determine
whether a body found Sunday, bound and bearing signs of torture, is one of
the missing.

Nearly 100 persons have disappeared in Juarez in recent years, most of them
after having been detained by state or federal agents.

In some cases, a special prosecutor who is investigating the
disappearances, says, the agents carrying out the detentions appear to have
been working for narcotics traffickers. In other cases, the victims appear
to have been detained for interrogation by drug agents as part of official
investigations before they vanished.

Against this backdrop, the Ambrizes' detention was initially reported in
newspapers as part of a new wave of drug-related kidnappings. But a U.S.
Embassy officer was allowed to visit the Ambriz brothers in Mexico City, an
official said Tuesday.

Details first became public when, under questioning by reporters Monday,
Arturo Chavez Chavez, the attorney general of the state of Chihuahua, where
Juarez is located, expressed displeasure that officials based in Juarez had
not been advised of the brothers' detention.

He said he would protest the detention because the commando unit of federal
agents had not notified state or local police that they were traveling to
Juarez to seize the suspects, an action that risked provoking a battle with
the other law enforcement organizations.

Several times in recent years, blood has been shed during armed clashes
between federal and state police in Juarez.

``We have a serious problem again because the federal agents didn't notify
us, and if there had been a unit of the state judicial police or another
force, probably there would have been a battle,'' he said.

Straw's Son Gets Police Caution (Britain's 'Guardian' Claims
Home Secretary 'Politically Undamaged')

Newshawk: Petur Thorsteinsson
Source: The Guardian
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
Pubdate: 13 Jan 1998
Author: Luke Harding


The long-running media saga enveloping the Home Secretary Jack Straw was
brought to a predictable conclusion last night when his son William was
cautioned by police. Scotland Yard said William, aged 17, received the caution
following allegations he had supplied cannabis to a Mirror reporter. He earlier
attended Kennington police station, in south London, with his father.

A police spokesman said no further action would be taken against Mirror
reporter Dawn Alford, who was arrested by police after she bought 1.92
grammes of cannabis resin from the teenager.

Mr Straw, who appears to have emerged politically undamaged, last night
appealed to the media to show continued restraint in covering the case.
"William is learning the lessons of this episode and he of course has my
support in doing so," he said.

"I am grateful for the restraint shown towards him by most of the media. I hope
they will continue to agree he should not suffer additionally simply because he
is my son, nor should my family. "I have no plans to make any further public
comment about William."

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was "delighted" that Ms Alford had been
"exonerated of any wrong-doing". He said: "It was a scandal that she was
arrested simply for doing her job. " William Straw had been "rightly

The Mirror was last night preparing to publish tape-recordings of the encounter
between Ms Alford and the teenager at a south London pub before Christmas in
an effort to prove he had not been "coerced into selling drugs against his will",
Mr Morgan said.

Mr Straw was identified 12 days ago as the minister involved after a High
Court judge lifted the ban on naming his son. The ban had degenerated into a
political and legal fiasco.

Straw's Son Cautioned In Drug Case ('The Scotsman' Says A Tape Recording
Of A 'Mirror' Reporter Purchasing Hash From The 17-Year-Old Son
Of The British Home Secretary ' Clearly Disproved Any Claims
That The Teenager Had Been Entrapped By The Paper')

Newshawk: shug (shug@shuggie.demon.co.uk)
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Author: John Penman, Political Editor
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


Teenager Escapes Charges After Visit To Police Station With Home Secretary

THE teenage son of the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, was last night cautioned
by police for selling cannabis to an investigative reporter.

William Straw, 17, was told that he had escaped criminal charges when he
attended Kennington police station in London with his father.

Scotland Yard also disclosed that no further action would be taken against the
newspaper reporter Dawn Alford, who was arrested and bailed when she
attended a police interview last month.

A second youth, believed to be a 17-year-old friend of William Straw, who was
with him in the pub where the incident happened, has been told he will also be
cautioned by police.

Mr Straw will hope that last night's decision will draw a line under the affair
which has dragged on for three weeks, sometimes taking on farcical

When the Mirror newspaper broke the story on Christmas Eve, it did not name
Mr Straw or his son, citing legal reasons for not doing so. As the affair dragged
on, the name of the Cabinet minister involved began to leak out and Mr Straw,
anonymously, said that he had wanted to speak about the incident.

But he was identified only after The Scotsman and the Scottish Daily Mail,
which were not restricted by English law, named Mr Straw and the Attorney
General followed by dropping an injunction barring English newspapers from
doing the same.

Mr Straw last night appealed to the media to exercise continued restraint in its
coverage of the case. "William is now learning the lessons of this episode and
he of course has my support in doing so," he said.

"I am grateful for the restraint shown towards him by most of the media. I hope
that they will continue to agree that he should not suffer additionally simply
because he is my son, nor should my family."

William Straw is now 'learning the lessons of this episode', his father said last

Piers Morgan, the editor of the Mirror, said Ms Alford had been "completely
exonerated" by the police decision to take no further action against her. "It was
a scandal that she was arrested for simply doing her job as an experienced
investigative reporter," he said.

"The fact that police have now decided not to proceed with the ludicrous action
against her indicates that they, belatedly, have realised how wrong the arrest
was in the first place."

He said transcripts of a tape of her meeting with William recorded by Ms
Alford clearly disproved any claims that the teenager had been entrapped by the
paper. "As we have maintained all along, any suggestion that he was coerced
into selling drugs against his natural will is unsustainable."

Mr Straw, who admitted he had been embarrassed by what had happened,
appears to have emerged from the affair unscathed politically, despite his
entrenched opposition to the legalisation of cannabis and his hardline on the
parents of unruly children.

William has been told by Oxford University that his place to study at New
College next year is safe.

The decision to caution him means that he will not acquire a criminal record
although details will be kept by Kennington police station.

Harry Fletcher, the assistant general secretary of the National Association of
Probation Officers, said it would not be unusual to caution someone in
William's situation.

"A young person, first time offender from a stable home supplying a small
amount of cannabis would almost certainly be cautioned," he said. "But the
extraordinary circumstances of this case where it is a law minister's son, and the
involvement of journalists, make it difficult to call.

"I was expecting them not to proceed with it so I would say this was towards
the top end of the spectrum."

Mark Stephens, a senior partner in a London law firm, said he was not surprised
by the outcome. "It seems to me there would be no possibility of a successful
prosecution in this case," he said. "The chain of custody of the drugs was

The difficulty, he said, was proving that the substance which was handed over
to the journalist outside the pub was the same that was later sent to the
laboratory for analysis.

In a police station, any suspected drugs would be immediately put in a sealed
bag and labelled in front of a witness before being sent off. He added: "William
Straw has admitted what the prosecution could not have proved. A caution is an
admission of guilt and what happens now is that he will be given an even bigger
dressing down than his father probably gave him by a senior officer."

A Scottish law expert said yesterday that a 17-year old charged with the same
offence as William Straw would face similar treatment in the Scottish courts.

Professor Peter Young, of Edinburgh University, said: "Although there is no
formal system of police cautioning in Scotland, I believe that the
procurator-fiscal would take a lenient view if it was a first offence. The fiscal
could offer a fixed penalty of around 50UKP as an alternative or simply issue a
warning to the person concerned."

Pressure For Drugs U-Turn ('Evening News' Reports British Home Secretary
Jack Straw Urged To 'Go Dutch' And Legalise Cannabis, Just Hours After
His Son Is Cautioned By Police For Selling Drugs)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:00:56 -0800
Subject: MN: UK: Pressure for Drugs U-Turn
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source : Evening News, Norwich, UK
Contact : EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998


Home Secretary Jack Straw was today urged by one of his own backbenchers to
'Go Dutch' and legalise cannabis just hours after his son William was
cautioned by police for selling drugs.

Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West and vice-chairman of the Commons
Drugs Misuse group, applauded the police's decision not to prosecute the
17-year-old after he admitted supplying cannabis to an undercover reporter.

He said the teenager had had a 'lucky escape' and urged his father to adopt
an 'intelligent' drugs policy like Holland's, where cannabis has been

Mr Flynn told the Home Secretary: "It was right not tom prosecute Jack
Straw's son, although the lives of other youngstesr have been wrecked for
similar and lesser offences.

"Many have lost jobs, been expelled from schools and jailed for possession
or dealing."

The backbencher said: "The Home Secretary should celebrate his lucky escape
by visiting Holland and learning from a successful anti-drugs policy.

"Twenty years of cannabis decriminalisation there has cut all drugs use.
No police, courts or prison time is wasted chasing cannabis users."

Heroin abuse in Holland, Mr Flynn argued, had declined every year to a
third of Britain's use and claimed: "Young people are not moving from
cannabis to hard drugs."

He said there had been no Dutch ecstasy or glue sniffing deaths.

The MP visited the Amsterdam last week and advised Mr Straw to follow suit.

'Respectable' Pair Jailed For Cocaine Smuggling (Britain's 'Guardian'
Reports Traces Of Cocaine On Bank Notes Were Enough To Convict The Couple
In Rochdale, Greater Manchester)

Newshawk: Petur Thorsteinsson (petur@ismennt.is)
Source: The Guardian
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
Pubdate: 13 Jan 1998
Author: David Ward


A "respectable suburban" husband and wife were jailed for smuggling cocaine
yesterday despite never having been caught in possession of significant
quantities of the drug.

Convictions in such cases are extremely rare and Customs and Excise
investigators likened the case to a killer convicted of murder where no body is

Ronald and Sylvia Benn, both aged 40, were said to have bought expensive
cars, hired a butler and turned their home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, into
a palace with profits from their part in a £500,000 international narcotics

Investigators using a procedure known as Condor found traces of cocaine in
their vacuum cleaner and on bank notes retrieved from a hoard of cash
uncovered in their BMW as they prepared to board a ferry for Holland.

The banknote evidence was enough to convict them at a week-long trial at
Manchester crown court last year and yesterday Benn was sentenced to nine
years and his wife to six.

Investigators used a "shake and vac" method in which banknotes are shaken
over a foil sheet, with drug traces then swept up with a miniature vacuum

The Benns were stopped by Customs as they set off on their 17th trip to
Holland in less than 18 months. More than £63,000 in cash was found in the
boot of their car.

Judge Anthony Hammond was told that in a few months the couple had settled
debts of £30,000, paid off part of their mortgage, begun taking holidays in
expensive foreign hotels and bought shares in two Blackpool hotels.

Mr Benn bought his wife a red Mercedes convertible sports car as a birthday
present and they built an underground garage. A local man was employed as

The Benns often took their two teenage daughters with them on their trips to
Holland to allay suspicion but their regular journeys and extravagant lifestyle
attracted Customs officers' attention.

The judge said the smuggling operation had been designed to net profits of
more than £500,000 and it was estimated more than £160,000 could have
passed through the couple's hands.

He said: "I will not read each of you a lecture about the evil of drugs. It is well
known and well documented. Serious sentences are called for these offences."

Stephen Riorden QC, for Ronald Benn, who has a previous conviction for
drugs possession, said he had become involved in something that was not in his
nature. David Fish QC, representing Mrs Benn, said the case was a tragedy for

Neighbours said the Benns had appeared to be like any other family. One said:
"There was nothing out of the ordinary about them. But we did notice new cars
and that Mrs Benn started doing her shopping in a taxi."

Legalising Dope Will Create More Addicts (And Six More
Brief But Varied Letters To The Editor Of Britain's 'Sun')

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:01:04 -0800
Subject: MN: UK: LTE's: Legalising Dope Will Create More Addicts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source : The Sun (UK)
Contact : letters@the-sun.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998


1 : A cannabis wrecked family: Cannabis has ruined my family. My daughter
was introduced to it at 15 by her boyfriend. They got my son addicted at
12. My wife has been addicted for 8 years and my youngest daughter at 14.
Ecastcy, cocaine and speed -- you name it, my daughter has tried it.
Should it be legalised? Ask my two granddaughters. They say 'no'. Name
and address supplied

2. A friend and I started smoking cannabis at 13 and after three years I
tried other drugs. They nearly wrecked my life and I gave them up before
it was too late - unlike my friend who died from a heroin overdose aged 22.
Imagine how many more tragedies there would be if buying cannabis was as
easy as ordering a pint of lager. Ray Cottington, Hornchurch, Essex.

3. We should not legalise cannabis because it is the first step to hard
drug addiction. I speak with experience - it happened to one of my
relatives. P.P Lambeth, SE London

4. I'm a 40-year-old ex soldier who started smoking cannabis at the age of
11 at boarding school, even though both my parents were police officers.
I've never progressed to harder drugs so it need not be the stepping stone
to ruination. In the army most of my friends smoked it and I often smelt
it in the officers' quarters. It has proved more effective than legal
medicines - and it is probably a lot cheaper. PO, Bishop Aukland, Co.

5. I do not think cannabis should be legalised but it should definitely be
made available on prescription. This would possibly end up reducing NHS
drug bills. J. Fletcher, Derby

6. I am a city broker and have smoked cannabis fives times a week for more
than 10 years. I find it relaxing after a hard day and so do many of my
colleagues. I think it should be legalised, but from specialist outlets
with information readily available. D. Williams, Epping, Essex

7. My husband has multiple sclerosis and finds smoking cannabis greatly
relieves his suffering. I wish the Government would reconsider legalising
cannabis as a prescribed drug for people like my husband. Name and address

Dunphy Apology For Irresponsible Drugs Comments (Ireland's 'Examiner'
Recaps 'Today FM' Anchorman's Statements On Cocaine To 'Ireland On Sunday' -
'Fucking Yes. I Take It If I Am Offered. I Would Be A Regular User
Of Marijuana')

Newshawk: Zosimos (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998
Author: Dan Collins
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie


ONE of this country's most effusive journalists has said his views on illegal
drugs, quoted in a newspaper, were irresponsible and should not have been
uttered in the public domain.

Last night, Eamon Dunphy, anchorman with Today FM and presenter of the
popular The Last Word programme, withdrew the comments which appeared in
Ireland On Sunday.

"There is no one else to blame, not the newspaper and not the journalist who
interviewed me. I am the one to blame, the buck stops here," he said.

When asked in the newspaper interview if offered would he take cocaine, Mr
Dunphy responded - "F***ing yes. I take it if I am offered. I would be a
regular user of marijuana, but I am not a regular user of coke. You can't get
good coke in this town."

He also told Ireland On Sunday that he desired to try crack but said it was
impossible to buy on the streets.

Last night, a regretful Mr Dunphy said he had made those comments in a jocose
and tongue-in-cheek fashion and regretted if they had offended people,
including the gardaí, who are "seriously engaged in dealing with the
consequences of drugs."

He was withdrawing his comments "out of respect for those people. This was
no fault of anybody's, except mine."

Mr Dunphy stressed he was not being flippant about the "dreadful
contemporary reality of drugs. I am fully cognisant of the havoc and destruction
which drug abuse has caused to far too many families in Ireland and I certainly
do not wish to undermine the work of many groups and individuals in their
efforts to discourage abuse."

And he issued an unreserved apology for his remarks "to the very many people
to whom they have caused offence."

Yesterday, a spokesman for the National Drugs Unit said he was surprised by
Mr Dunphy's remarks in relation to crack cocaine, one of the most addictive
substances on the black market.

Lobby Grows For Medicinal Marijuana ('Le Monde' Reports Jurists
With The Movement For Controlled Legalisation - MLC - Ask French
Health Minister Bernard Kouchner To Authorise The Import Of Cannabis
For Therapeutic Uses - Doctors Recommending It For Epilepsy, Glaucoma,
Tinnitus, Headaches, HIV Infection And 'Psychological Support')

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Lobby grows for 'medicinal marijuana' - Le Monde (fwd)
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:20:51 -0800
-------- Forwarded message --------
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:10:32 -0800 (PST)
From: "Dave Cull" (dcull@mail.island.net)

Lobby grows for 'medicinal marijuana'

Le Monde/International
Lobby grows for 'medicinal marijuana'
January 13
Laurence Follea

THE Movement for Controlled Legalisation (MLC), which advocates the sale of
narcotics under state control, has just asked the French health minister,
Bernard Kouchner, to authorise the import of 10kg of cannabis for
therapeutic use.

The jurists of the MLC base their arguments on articles of the public
health code that give the health authorities the right to authorise the
import and use of narcotics for medical or scientific research. The Swiss
company Valchanvre has offered to supply, free, 10kg of its Walliser Queen
variety of cannabis for the MLC's experiment.

The use of cannabis as a medicine was recently legalised in California.
Germany is considering prescribing drugs containing the active ingredient
of cannabis for AIDS sufferers, and the Netherlands is looking into the
possibility of "medical marijuana" being paid for by social security.

Ten patients who are MLC members and have medical certificates showing that
they suffer from such ailments as epilepsy, glaucoma, tinnitus, headaches
or HIV infection, have written to Kouchner describing the relief they
derive from cannabis. Some of them have been in trouble with the law
because of their practice.

Eugène Gaudet, a doctor in the southern town of Millau, has certified that
when one of his patients, a 20-year-old epileptic, smoked cannabis he was
able to relax: "The fact that he has smoked such products has created no
incident likely to jeopardise the harmonious family environment or his
ability to work normally."

Janine Cervoni, who has been treating a young HIV-positive patient at the
Lariboisière Hospital in Paris, stresses the role that cannabis plays as a
"psychological support" for her patient. Pierre Lembeye, a Paris
psychiatrist, has noted a genuine therapeutic affect on one of his
patients, who suffers from hearing disorders. "The patient has tried
cannabis since 1977. He has an immediate feeling of relaxation and an
appreciable reduction in his hearing disorders.

"These isolated medical observations do not constitute scientific proof,
and the virtues of cannabis have yet to be confirmed. In a recent
editorial, however, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine came
out in favour of the "compassionate" use of such products by terminal
patients. Kouchner himself is in favour of such an approach. But it
remains to be seen what action he will take in response to the MLC's



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