Portland NORML News - Thursday, January 15, 1998
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NORML Weekly News Release, January 15, 1998 (US Files Civil Suits To Shut Down
California Cannabis Buyers' Clubs; State Senator Calls For Summit
On 'Responsible Medical Marijuana Distribution'; HHS To Conduct
Binding Review Of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status)

From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com)
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 16:15:18 EST
Subject: NORML WPR 1/15/98 (II)
Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)

A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION

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1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW
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Internet http://www.norml.org

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

January 15, 1998

U.S. Files Civil Suits To Shut Down California Cannabis Buyers' Clubs

January 15, 1998, Washington, D.C.: Department of Justice attorneys
filed six civil lawsuits to shut down several of California's largest
medical marijuana clubs. The lawsuits, announced by Northern California
U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi this past Friday, target the San
Francisco Cannabis Cultivators' Club, the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club,
San Francisco Flower Therapy, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana,
the Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club, and the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club.

"California's medical marijuana statute ... has no effect on the
applicability of federal drug laws," Yamaguchi said. "The issue is not
the medical use of marijuana; it is the persistent violation of federal
law."

California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer denounced the U.S.
government's action and proclaimed that the organization will do
everything possible to support legal efforts to keep the clubs open. In
addition, an emergency legal defense fund to help support medical
marijuana patients, caregivers, and dispensaries against federal
litigation has been established at The NORML Foundation.

"These federal lawsuits present the greatest peril to medical marijuana
patients [in recent memory,] Gieringer said. "These six clubs serve over
10,000 patients. To close them down now would be an intolerable public
health and safety disaster."

Gieringer said that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the U.S.
Constitution limit federal powers and protect Californians' right to
medical marijuana under Proposition 215. "The federal government is
trying to turn the Constitution on its head," he argued. "Nowhere does
the Constitution give the federal government power to tell the states
what kind of medicine their citizens may use."

The clubs have 20 days to reply to the government's lawsuits in court.
Should the court grants the injunctions, the clubs will risk federal
criminal charges if they continue to operate.

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said that cannabis
buyers' clubs serve a vital role in the lives of many seriously ill
Californians and called efforts to shut them down unconscionable.

"Cannabis buyers' clubs remain the only viable source of medical
marijuana in California short of home cultivation or purchasing marijuana
on the street," Stroup said. "To close these clubs would force thousands
of seriously ill patients to suffer needlessly and force many patients to
enter the black market or go without the medicine they need to survive."

For more information, please contact either Tanya Kangas, Esq. of The
NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Dale Gieringer of California NORML @
(415) 563-5858. Those wishing to contribute to the Medical Marijuana
Patients' and Caregivers' Fund may send donations to the NORML Foundation.

***

State Senator Calls For Summit On "Responsible Medical Marijuana
Distribution"

January 15, 1998, Sacramento, CA: State Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa
Clara) denounced federal efforts to shut down California's medical
marijuana clubs, and called on state and federal officials to attend an
upcoming Public Safety Committee summit on the "safe, responsible
distribution of medical marijuana."

"I'm appalled," Vasconcellos announced at a January 12 press conference.
"[I'm] dismayed our state and federal governments have acted so
arrogantly in the face of California voters' decisive support of
Proposition 215. I'm particularly angry that a president who won this
state by a smaller margin than voters who approved Proposition 215 has
the temerity to send his federal law enforcement into our state to undo
the decision of our citizens."

Vasconcellos -- who introduced unsuccessful legislation in 1997 to
establish a Medical Marijuana Research Center at a campus of the
University of California -- announced a six-point program to uphold the
spirit of Proposition 215. In the first piece of the program,
Vasconcellos is inviting Gov. Pete Wilson, California Attorney General
Dan Lungren, and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to join the Public
Safety Committee in convening a statewide summit on medical marijuana
distribution.

"While local governments and law enforcement from Arcata to Los Angeles
have spent the last year working with providers of medical marijuana to
ensure responsible, compassionate implementation of 215, the state and
federal governments have shown no leadership on the essential if
complicated issue of distribution," he said. "We who are policy makers
and purport to be leaders have an obligation to swiftly, smartly
effectuate the will of the voters."

Vasconcellos also promised renewed efforts to move legislation
facilitating medical marijuana research and distribution through the
state Assembly. In addition, he promised to circulate a letter to
President Clinton urging him to reverse the U.S. Department of Justice's
position against California cannabis buyers' clubs.

For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California
NORML or Rand Martin of Sen. John Vasconcellos' office @ (916) 445-9740.

***

HHS To Conduct Binding Review Of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status

January 15, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) recently determined that sufficient grounds exist to justify
proceedings re-evaluating marijuana's prohibitive Schedule I status. As
a result, the agency has formally requested the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) to conduct "a scientific and medical evaluation of
the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana
and other cannabinoid drugs.

The DEA's action is in response to an administrative petition filed by
former NORML National Director Jon Gettman and Trans High Corporation --
publisher of High Times Magazine -- on July 10, 1995. The petition
argues that marijuana and cannabinoid drugs lack the "high potential for
abuse" required for Schedule I and Schedule II drugs under the provisions
of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Gettman notes that the DEA has
never before voluntarily referred a marijuana petition to HHS for binding
review.

"People are sent to jail every day because of mistaken assumptions about
the abuse potential of marijuana," Gettman said. "[This] petition
observes that HHS has never produced a finding that marijuana actually
has the high potential for abuse similar to heroin or cocaine required
for Schedule I or Schedule II status. Furthermore, the legislative
history of the CSA indicates that Congress only intended for marijuana to
remain in Schedule I or Schedule II if such a finding could be produced.
This petition challenges the government to produce such a finding or be
legally required to end marijuana prohibition by removing marijuana from
Schedule I."

Gettman initially asked the Department of Justice in 1994 to request
this evaluation from HHS. At that time, DEA Administrator Thomas
Constantine argued that the agency was "unaware of any new scientific
studies of marijuana that would lead [it] to re-evaluate [marijuana's]
classification at this time." Constantine then challenged Gettman to
provide documentation indicating that new research had taken place.
Gettman responded by filing his 1995 petition.

"The recent referral of the petition to HHS is an acknowledgment by DEA
of deficiencies in their familiarity with scientific studies of
marijuana, and of the validity of [my] argument and its documented
scientific basis," Gettman said.

Petitioners are represented by Michael Kennedy, Esq. of New York City, a
member of the NORML Legal Committee.

For more information, please contact either the law offices of Michael
Kennedy @ (212) 935-4500 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @
(202) 483-8751.

MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965 ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
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DEA Marijuana Decision - More Sober Assessments (By Kevin Zeese, Rick Doblin)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 10:35:21 -0800 (PST)
From: Uzondu Jibuike (ucj@vcn.bc.ca)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: MAPS: DEA marijuana decision: more sober assessments (fwd)

--- Forwarded message ---
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 09:50:50 -0500 (EST)
From: Rick Doblin (RickMAPS@aol.com)
To: maps-forum@maps.org
Subject: MAPS: DEA marijuana decision

To All:

Here is a more sober statement about the implications of the DEA decision
regarding marijuana's abuse potential. This is by Kevin Zeese, the co-founder
of the Drug Policy Foundation and former director of NORML.

***

This [The press release] is exaggeration and public relations. It is good
to keep the issue alive, but there is no change in policy.

In the late 70s we/NORML won an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the
DC Circuit when the DEA refused to send the NORML rescheduling petition to
HHS for comment. The court required this as a step in the review process.
All DEA is doing is what the court required -- sending Gettman's petition
to HHS for comment. It does not mean DEA agrees with anything in the
petition or that it finds anything in the petition at all convincing.

It is good that Jon Gettman is keeping the fires burning and stirring the
pot, but it does not mean a change on the horizon.

Political pressure will force change. The facts will provide cover.

Kevin

Here is my assessment of the implications:

The definition of abuse potential was at issue in the MDMA scheduling
hearings that were held in 1985 before DEA Administrative Judge Francis
Young. According to DEA's lawyers, abuse potential can be determined simply
by counting the number of people who are using the drug for non-medical
purposes or even for medical purposes outside of FDA-approved contexts. In
other words, MDMA had a high potential for abuse because lots of people used
it, even though there was virtually no evidence of abuse. The potential was
there, however, because lots of people used it. The key word was
"potential", not "abuse." While Judge Young did not accept this reasoning,
DEA overruled his recommendation that MDMA be placed in Schedule 3 and put
it in Schedule 1, where it remains.

As far as what this means for the HHS review of marijuana's potential for
abuse, my guess is that HHS will not even break a sweat to declare that
marijuana has a high potential for abuse. After all, what about the supposed
200,000 people a year who are in treatment for marijuana dependency?
Regardless of whether most were compelled to go to drug treatment and are not
harmed by their use of marijuana, this statistic alone will enable HHS to
justify keeping marijuana in Schedule 1.

Jon Gettman's efforts are important for keeping the pressure on the DEA and
HHS to justify the status quo. But it can be demoralizing to think that a
strategy will work on a more sweeping level and then be emotionally depressed
when that degree of change was blocked. Better to have a more realistic view
of the chances for success so that the long-term struggle can be less
emotionally draining and more endurable, perhaps even enjoyable somehow.

Rick
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Jon Gettman Responds To Zeese And Doblin's Negative Assessments
(Of His DEA Petition To Reschedule Marijuana)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 19:31:24 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Zeese and Doblin on the Gettman Petition

First of all, I have a lot of respect for both Rick Doblin and Kevin Zeese.
Second, to the extent my petition is successful at anything, a large part of
the credit belongs to Kevin and the other NORML lawyers for the legal
precedents they established in the first petition.

However, they are just flat out incorrect in their reserved comments about
my petition.

1) Zeese on the referral being just a part of the process. What Kevin does
not allow for is that not only have things changed since the 1970's
petition, things have changed because of the 1970's petition. The DEA
review process is not a pro forma handoff to HHS. Ask Carl Olsen, for
example. DEA has internal protocols for reviewing petitions according to
strict criteria, and DEA's own language indicates the meaning of the referral.

Kevin is correct that the referral doesn't mean DEA agrees, but is incorrect
re: whether DEA found the petition convincing. They found it convincing
enough that they couldn't reject it. The petition provides "sufficient
grounds", I agree that DEA's decision provides no more than that, BUT it
also provides no less than that.

2) Doblin is correct about the how abuse potential was determined for the
MDMA suit, and for that matter the same bogus reasoning was used for the
marijuana evaluation in the early 1980's, and for marinol, and for nabilone.
What Rick is apparently not aware of if that the protocols for assessing
abuse potential changed in the mid-1980's. The evaluation of abuse is no
longer a subjective process, it is now a scientifically objective process.
The key word is not potential, not abuse, the key words are consistent
scientific standards, standards now applied evenly to all drugs reviewed by HHS.

3) As far as the emotional roller coaster for placing too much hope into
any particular strategy, I agree that expectations should be kept on an even
keel. However my petition does not rely on a strategy, it relies on the
law. I do not think it is demoralizing to have faith in the rule of law, or
that the rule of law can produce sweeping change.

Finally, with all due respect to Rick and Kevin, the two prior actions they
have experience with have not exhausted the legal or scientific arguments
that can used to take advantage of the rule-making process. The fact is
that the rejection of Judge Young's decision by the DEA completely
demoralized the movement, and completely turned off anyone's interest in
this arcane but legally crucial process. The comments of Rick's and Kevin's
in some ways reflect conventional wisdom in the wake of Judge Young's decision.

So I want to emphasize two points. There is no tactful way to make the
first point. After the last petition was finally dead, no one wanted to try
again, and they felt any other attempt would be futile. I decided to take
another look at the question myself, unencumbered by organizational
politics, strategy, or other constraints. One of the things I did was
extensively research the NEW protocols and standards for evaluating abuse
potential. Another was to scrutinize the prior legal decisions. If the
standards had not changed, the context Rick describes would in fact kill
this or any other petition. BUT THE STANDARDS HAVE CHANGED, and for that
matter so has the meaning of a DEA referral to HHS. I vent a little more
about this in a PS at the end.

The second point is that THE only reason I'm getting anywhere with this new
petition is that I was trained by Kevin Zeese, Arnold Trebach, and many
others who were key players in the first petition, and unlike them I have
the benefit of studying the first proceeding.

Finally, while DEA has not changed their position, they have acknowledged
that I have presented a new and formidable argument. The abuse potential
argument is not yet the prevailing argument, but is now a relevant argument.
If it wasn't, DEA could have and would have denied the petition.

Kevin and Rick are absolutely right, though, about keeping this in
perspective. This does keep pressure on DEA and HHS, and it provides
activists with a new argument to keep applying that pressure. This
development adds legitimacy to those who have been trying to convince local
govt. officials that marijuana isn't as dangerous as they have believed.
This re-opens an issue that dates back to 1970 - that marijuana doesn't even
belong in schedule II, as the Nixon Administration admitted to Congress.
But it does not guarantee that marijuana arrests will end anytime soon. The
HHS review will take over a year, maybe two. Even if HHS AND DEA decide
they have to reschedule cannabis, anti-marijuana advocates will challenge
this in court. This process is the proverbial slow boat to China, and while
I think it is a valuable tool and a valuable contribution, it's a slow yield
over a long period of time.

So yes, the petition can work on a sweeping level, but NOT FOR A LONG TIME.
However I would hope that this latest development will add to the
accumulation of movement accomplishments that sustain us all for this long
and hard fight.

I will provide an example of these new abuse potential evaluations from the
Federal Register in a separate post, in a little while.

Jon Gettman

PS I welcome criticism, especially from within the movement. I take it
seriously, and I give it some thought. However, if anyone wants to
criticize the petition: PLEASE READ THE PETITION FIRST. For example, the
petition discusses the new standards for assessing abuse potential, and
anyone familiar with the 1st section of the petition would know that the
bogus statistic of 200,000 people a year seeking treatment will NOT alone
"enable HHS to justify keeping marijuana in Schedule I." Rick's guess that
"HHS will not even break a sweat to declare marijuana has a high potential
for abuse" is a nice knee-jerk opinion, but it reveals total unfamiliarity
with the HHS review process and the standards by which dependence liability
is determined. Rick Doblin is a smart guy; but I think we all need to be
reminded to always check out the things we assume to be true.

***

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 20:05:31 EST
From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: DEA Referral: Policy Change?

Kevin Zeese is right when he says that the referral "is no change in policy."

I think I know what has confused people on this point. Neither press
release was meant in any way to suggest that DEA had changed US policy on
marijuana. The longer press release has a section entitled "DEA Reversal of
Position." The reversal of position is the change from:

a) Thomas Constantine stating in a letter of 3/1/995 "Therefore, while a
reassessment of the abuse potential of marijuana might be of interest to
some, the outcome would not affect what can be done through administrative
proceedings" because "accepted medical use" is the only issue of importance.

to

b) DEA acknowledging in a letter of 12/19/97 that a petition based on the
abuse potential of marijuana has determined to provide "sufficient grounds"
to continue with administrative proceedings by way of a referral to HHS for
an official scientific and medical evaluation.

By the way, the evaluation is not an evaluation of marijuana as they see fit
to conduct, it is an evaluation of the PETITION as well as an accompanying
evaluation of marijuana in the context of the overall petition evaluation.
Knowing the HHS evaluation standards for abuse potential, the petition was
written to insure that the minimum scope was sufficiently wide as to prevent
the bogus reasoning used in the 1970's and early 1980's.

The petition contained enough scientific substance to render Constantine's
3/1/95 position inoperable and superceded by the act of the referral.

This was never meant to imply a DEA policy change, unless one considers
stonewalling any marijuana petition a DEA policy.

On the other hand, the feds may realize that the end of prohibition is near,
not because of the petition but because of what Kevin Zeese mentioned --
"political pressure will force change, the facts will provide the cover,"
because of the sum total of all the movement's work, especially the
Californians.

While I am prepared for a long legal fight, truth be told I'm just giving
the feds the factual cover to do what they know is inevitable, and the
excuse to double-cross the anti-marijuana advocates they have been inflaming
all these years. Can't you just see them wringing their hands and bemoaning
how they 'didn't want to take marijuana out of schedule I, but those damn
legalizers with their damn Park Avenue Lawyers figured out the law and there
was just no way to stop them . . we tried to put this off by using the NIH
and IOM reviews as delaying tactics, after which we could have taken five
years to finally get around to changing or not changing the rules . . . but
this Gettman guy had too much time on his hands one year and he managed to
force our hand'.

As much as I disagree with the anti-marijuana forces, it will be pathetic to
see the government abandon them and switch sides. Of course, we know how
self-serving the government can be, but it will be a shock for some others
to find this out the hard way.

Jon Gettman

***

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 20:43:48 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net)
Subject: Example of an Abuse Evaluation

Here is the context:

A petition is submitted to DEA with a proposed rule.

DEA determines if there are sufficient grounds to enact the proposed rule.

If there are sufficient grounds HHS does an evaluation and gives it to DEA.

DEA takes the evaluation, and does their own supplemental evaluation, and
then DEA prepares and publishes a proposed rule.

No matter what DEA's proposed rule is, it can be challenged in Court.

This recent proposed rule for a Schedule IV substance includes a summary of
scientific and medical evidence used to justify the scheduling of the
substance. Please note the standards used to establish the abuse potential
of this schedule IV substance. Imagine the same description changed to
include the relevant facts concerning marijuana, which by the way also
indirectly fires an opiod receptor system. Note also that prior proceedings
such as this one, and all the ones over the last ten years or so, provide a
sort of 'case law' that provides standards with which to challenge
evaluations based on bogus, unscientific or incomplete analysis.

The purpose of the petition was to trigger this kind of on-the-record
evaluation of marijuana under these more objective standards. And in this
respect, the petition is a total success, because the HHS evaluation has
been requested.

***

Federal Register: July 10, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 132)
Proposed Rules
[Page 37004-37007]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Drug Enforcement Administration
[DEA No. 166P]

21 CFR Part 1308

Schedules of Controlled Substances: Proposed Placement of
Butorphanol into Schedule IV

AGENCY: Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

***

SUMMARY: This proposed rule is issued by the Acting Deputy Administrator of
the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to istant Secretary was a
scientific and medical evaluation prepared by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). The document contained a review of the factors which
the CSA requires the Secretary to consider [21 U.S.C. 811(b)].
Correspondence from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health dated June 19,
1997, confirmed that the DHHS recommendation included the substance
butorphanol and its salts and isomers.

The factors considered by the Assistant Secretary for Health and the DEA
with respect to butorphanol were:

(1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse;
(2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect;
(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug ;
(4) Its history and current pattern of abuse;
(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse;
(6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health;
(7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability; and
(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already
controlled under this subchapter.

The following are summaries of the abuse potential and actual abuse of
butorphanol based on the information reviewed by the DEA, including the
scientific and medical evaluation of the DHHS.

Summary of Abuse Potential

Butorphanol's profile of effects resembles that of an opioid with either
mixed agonist-antagonist actions or partial agonist effects, rather than
full mu agonist effects, like morphine. Butorphanol's actions are mediated
via three different opioid receptor subtypes: mu, kappa, and delta opioid
receptors, showing a 12:1 mu:kappa and 34:1 mu:delta selectivity.
Butorphanol's selectivity for mu receptors is consistent with its mu agonist
discriminative stimulus, self-administration and antinociceptive profile of
effects which are similar to those of morphine, codeine and fentanyl, all
Schedule II controlled substances. Butorphanol's selectivity for kappa
receptors is consistent with its sedation and respiratory depression which
are similar to those of kappa agonists such as pentazocine, a Schedule IV
substance under the CSA.

Preclinical and clinical studies show that butorphanol produces reinforcing
effects that are less than those of morphine. Butorphanol administered
transnasally, intramuscularly, or intravenously in either normal volunteers
or former opioid abusers produces positive mood and reinforcing effects in
humans (i.e., high, drug -liking). In both opiate-abusing and normal
volunteer subjects, butorphanol's subjective effects differ from those of
full mu opiate agonists. Compared to an equivalent dose of morphine,
butorphanol produces equivalent positive subjective effects, but greater
aversive or dysphoric effects, including greater disruption of behavior,
sedation, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Butorphanol administered
transnasally or intramuscularly produces similar onsets of effects, rates of
elimination, and profiles of effects, however, the magnitudes of effects
were greater after intramuscularly administered butorphanol. These studies
show that the abuse potential of butorphanol does not differ depending upon
the route of administration or preparation, and that the abuse potential of
butorphanol is lower than that of morphine and similar to that of pentazocine.

Butorphanol can induce physical and psychological dependence in animals and
humans. There is evidence that use of butorphanol produces tolerance and
dependence, results in drug -seeking and craving, and its abrupt
discontinuation produces an opioid-like withdrawal syndrome. During clinical
trials, three percent of the 161 patients who used butorphanol for two
months or longer reported behavioral symptoms suggesting possible abuse, and
approximately one percent of these patients reported significant overuse.
Chronic use of butorphanol results in reports of abuse and self-reported
addiction and discontinuation results in a mild withdrawal syndrome.
Withdrawal such as anxiety, agitation, and diarrhea are observed. The
physical dependence and withdrawal syndrome produced by butorphanol are
similar to those observed after long term administration of pentazocine.
Consistent with its partial antagonist effects, butorphanol can precipitate
withdrawal in animals and humans maintained on mu agonists.

Summary of Actual Abuse and Diversion

For about a decade after butorphanol was first approved for marketing as an
injectable product in the United States, reports of abuse were received only
occasionally. This was likely due to its limited availability and
therapeutic indication. However, following the introduction of the nasal
spray product in the United States in 1992, abuse dramatically increased.
Many of the abuse reports came from state authorities. At their November
1996 annual meeting, the National Association of State Controlled Substances
Authorities (NASCA) recognized that the increasing abuse and diversion of
butorphanol warranted its scheduling. Furthermore at this meeting, NASCA
passed a resolution urging FDA and DEA to expeditiously place butorphanol
into Schedule III of the CSA.

Butorphanol has been a source of increasing incidents of abuse and diversion
since 1992. DEA has received reports from 44 states indicating that
butorphanol is being abused, diverted and trafficked. These reports have
been received from DEA Diversion Investigators, physicians, State Boards of
Pharmacies, the National Association of State Controlled Substances
Authorities, and State Drug Enforcement officials. They show that
butorphanol is stolen from retail and hospital pharmacies and is diverted
through forged and altered prescriptions, improper prescribing and
inappropriate dispensing, doctor shopping, and requests for early refills.
Additionally, butorphanol abuse is associated with escalating use and drug
seeking behavior.

In response to increasing reports of abuse and diversion, six U.S. states
and Canada have administratively scheduled butorphanol, and several other
states have proposals pending to schedule butorphanol. Some individual
hospital pharmacies handle butorphanol as a controlled substance requiring
the same recordkeeping, change of shift audits, and security as though the
products were already scheduled. In many cases, the initial use of
butorphanol is for pain relief, however, escalation of dose and drug seeking
of butorphanol have been reported.

In 1994 the FDA, in consultation with the DEA, conducted a survey of State
Drug Program Directors, Boards of Pharmacy, and Drug Enforcement officials
to provide information on the abuse, trafficking, and diversion of
butorphanol. The results of the FDA's survey of the states on the ``Abuse,
Misuse, Diversion of Stabol Injectable and Stadol Nasal Spray'' confirm the
reports of increasing abuse of butorphanol. State Boards of Pharmacy, State
Drug Program Directors, and State Drug Enforcement officials from 46 states
and Guam responded to the survey. In November 1995, the FDA issued a final
report on this survey. Eighty-three percent of the respondents stated that
they were aware of non-medical use, diversion or abuse of butorphonol in
their state. Fifteen percent of the states have attempted to regulate
butorphanol as a controlled substance, and 44 percent of the states reported
that non-regulatory entities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics
have found it necessary to institute special controls beyond those of normal
prescription drugs to limit access to the drug . Of the states that
responded, 74 percent reported that the nasal spray was abused and 52
percent reported that the injectable was abused. Approximately 60 percent of
the states cited that the drug 's source was from overprescribing, 55
percent from forged or altered prescriptions and six percent from ``the
street''. Twenty-five percent of the states were aware of excessive
prescription refill data from health insurance payment plans. Forty-eight
percent of the states were aware of thefts of butorphanol and 11 percent of
the states reported product tampering. The survey provided information that
butorphanol abusers crossed all socioeconomic levels.

Relying on the scientific and medical evaluation and the recommendation of
the Assistant Secretary for Health, received in accordance with section 201
(b) of the Act (21 U.S.C. 811 (b)), and the independent review of the DEA,
the Acting Deputy Administrator of the DEA, pursuant to sections 201(a) and
201(b) of the Act (21 U.S.C. 811(a) and 811(b)), finds that:

(1) Based on information now available, butorphanol has a low potential for
abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III;

(2) Butorphanol has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the
United States; and

(3) Abuse of butorphanol may lead to limited physical dependence and
psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in
Schedule III.

Based on these findings, the Acting Deputy Administrator of the DEA
concludes that butorphanol, including its salts and isomers, warrants
control in Schedule IV of the CSA.

Interested persons are invited to submit their comments, objections or
requests for a hearing, in writing, with regard to this proposal. Requests
for a hearing should state, with particularity, the issues concerning which
the person desires to be heard. All correspondence regarding this matter
should be submitted to the Acting Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement
Administration , Washington, D.C. 20537. Attention: DEA Federal Register
Representative/CCR. In the event that comments, objections, or requests for
a hearing raise one or more issues which the Acting Deputy Administrator
finds warrants a hearing, the Acting Deputy Administrator shall other a
public hearing by notice in the Federal Register, summarizing the issues to
be heard and setting the time for the hearing.

In accordance with the provisions of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811(a)), this action
is a formal rulemaking ``on the record after opportunity for a hearing.''
Such proceedings are conducted pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556
and 557 and, as such, are exempt from review by the Office of Management and
Budget pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, section 3(d)(1). The Acting
Deputy Administrator, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5
U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this proposed rule and by approving it
certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small-business entities. Butorphanol products are
prescription drugs used to treat moderate to severe pain. Handlers of
butorphanol also handle other opiate analgesics which are controlled
substances and are already subject to the regulatory requirements of the CSA.

This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or
more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small
governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under provisions of
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not
result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major
increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competitions,
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of the
United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in
domestic and export markets.

This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of
government. Therefore, in accordance with E.O. 12612, it is determined that
this rule, if finalized, will not have sufficient federalism implications to
warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

Administrative practice and procedure, drug traffic control, narcotics,
prescription drugs.

Under the authority vested in the Attorney General by section 210(a) of the
CSA [21 U.S.C. 811(a)], and delegated to the Administrator of the DEA by the
Department of Justice regulations (28 CFR 0.100) and redelegated to the
Acting Deputy Administrator pursuant to 28 CFR 0.104, the Acting Deputy
Administrator hereby proposes that 21 CFR part 1308 be amended as follows:

PART 1308--[AMENDED]

1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1308 continues to read as
follows:

Authority: 21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b) unless otherwise noted.

2. Section 1308.14 is proposed to be amended by adding a new
paragraph (f)(2) to read as follows:

[[Page 37007]]

Sec. 1308.14 Schedule IV.

* * * * *
(f) * * *
(2) Butorphanol (including its optical isomers).
* * * * *
Dated: July 2, 1997.

James S. Milford,
Acting Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration .
[FR Doc. 97-17961 Filed 7-9-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-09-M

***

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 20:52:26 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Petition on the Web

High Times has some important materials on the petition at their web site:
http://www.hightimes.com/ht/welcome.html

NORML has had the petition on-line for several years. The petition is at:
http://www.natlnorml.org/activist/gettman/

A Table of Contents for Related Exhibits and Articles, including the OTA
report that introduced me to the new standards is at:

http://www.norml.org/research/aa/aaMSPP_cont.html

And an article updating the scientific findings on the nuerobiological
effects of marijuana introduces the material above at:

http://www.norml.org/MSPP.shtml

***

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 12:02:49 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Carl Eric Olsen DEA Petition

I made a reference in another post that the DEA doesn't pass petitions along
to HHS as a knee-jerk exercise, and I used Carl Olsen's rejected petition as
a reference point.

Carl's petition was also a contributing factor in the referral of my
petition. Carl had a good argument. The DEA had to figure out a way to
deny his petition, and petitions like it, because they don't want it to be
easy to start an HHS review. To deny Carl's petition, the DEA had have a
basis for arguing that it was not sufficient grounds for rescheduling and
there was no reason to refer it to HHS for evaluation. Like the NORML
petition, Carl's petition helped soften them up for this assault.

Carl's individual efforts in the first petition were an inspiration to me in
filing this petition.

Jon Gettman

***

Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 23:03:46 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Medical vs. All Marijuana Use Under the Law

Neil Jensen and Rick Killian have brought up the issue of how medical
marijuana overlooks the issue of all marijuana use.

My successful petition for a HHS review and rescheduling recommendation for
marijuana and other cannabinoids concerns all marijuana laws, not just
instances of medical use. In fact, medical use is not argued in the
petition; it is based on the issue of whether or not marijuana has a high
potential for abuse.

This issue does have relevance to medical use in that it goes to the heart
of the credibility of patient anecdotal reports of therapeutic use.
However it also goes to the heart of the fundamental basis of marijuana laws.

Peter Webster has offered the opinion that prohibitions on hedonism are the
result of fundamentalists minorities and are ultimately inconsistent with a
free society. I believe the public in the US would agree with this if not
for the fundamental premise of prohibition - that marijuana has a high
potential for abuse. For this reason the public believes that hedonistic
intent should be subject to criminal sanctions; such hedonistic activity
leads to addiction that is harmful to public health.

A recognition that marijuana does not have the abuse potential required for
schedule I or II status provides a finding that contradicts this
fundamental excuse for accepting the treatment of marijuana use by the
criminal justice system as a whole, by what I referred to as law
enforcement culture earlier.

The medical marijuana issue is important for two reasons. Many people use
marijuana by choice, and these days that choice includes acceptance of the
risks that accompany violation of the laws. Medical patients use marijuana
by necessity, and are also less able to bear the burden than those who
adopt it by choice. Second, public understanding of the legitimacy of
therapeutic intent will contribute to a broader reconsideration of why
people use marijuana and just what the actual risks really are.

In practical terms, I don't think the government can justify a lot of their
present anti-marijuana positions and penalties if marijuana were anything
other than a schedule I drug. It is the flag of legitimacy for marijuana
prohibition; it is up for grabs.

Jon Gettman

***

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 08:36:50 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: need help w FDA project on tobacco & cannabis

At 12:45 AM 5/13/98 EDT, Robert Bennett wrote:

>Arthur Livermore wrote:
>
>> >If FDA takes no action to dispute the claim that marijuana and tobacco
>> >cigarettes are "medical devices", how will their position alter the
>> >thinking of the DEA administrator?
>
>I believe that the DEA has referred the issue of medical marijuana to the
>Department of Health and Human Services: See the Hightimes article at :
>
>http://www.hightimes.com/ht/new/index.html A quote from this article
>follows:
>
>"The DEA has affirmed that sufficient grounds exist to investigate whether
>marijuana should be made available for medical use, and the matter has been
>sent to the Department of Health and Human Services for a binding review. "
>
>Does anyone know if this is being acted on by HHS?

Yes, the petition is being acted on my HHS however I expect the review to
take quite some time.

I haven't had time to give Robert Goodman's interesting observations the
thought they deserve.

A few observations. There is a difference in the government's authority to
regulate a substance and a vendor's authority to sell and market it. The
US Court of Appeals ruled that a drug or substance does not require FDA
approval of a NDA (New Drug Application) as a pre-requisite to scheduling
considerations. We can, should, and will debate and speculate on the
intricacies of fedeal regulatory procedures and precedents. But let us not
confuse the issue of handicaping the conflict (by predicting what will
happen) with the process of making the system work the way it is supposed to.

All speculation aside, the blunt reality of the situation is that the
petition gives me legal standing to press a demand that the users of all
drugs be accorded equal treatment and protection under the law, a demand I
will vigorously pursue.

Under present law, alcohol and tobacco are exempt from CSA regulations, and
as such it may not matter much what decisions are made regarding tobacco
and delivery devices, etc. But it should matter, and I encourage further
discussion on this issue.

The real issue under present law is whether or not users of marijuana are
afforded the same regulatory protection as other drug users, rephrased - is
marijuana regulated according to the same standards as other scheduled
drugs? The petition documents that when it comes to the pre-eminent
finding of abuse potential, it is clear that marijuana is scheduled
according to a different standard.

Please continue to think about these matters, and I'm very interested in
discussion and speculation about these issues.

Jon Gettman

***

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 09:00:40 EDT
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: need help w FDA project on tobacco & cannabis
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0 -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Comment: DRCTalk is the planning forum for DRCNet.

>Arthur Livermore wrote:
>
>> >If FDA takes no action to dispute the claim that marijuana and tobacco
>> >cigarettes are "medical devices", how will their position alter the
>> >thinking of the DEA administrator?

Robert Bennett wrote:

>I believe that the DEA has referred the issue of medical marijuana to the
>Department of Health and Human Services: See the High Times article at :

I neglected to clarify something. After the HHS review, the issue goes
back to DEA and at that point the DEA Administrator has to make some
decisions. Art and others raise the question of how developments with
tobacco will affect that future decision. My other post on this subject is
meant to address that in general terms.

For those readers who, unlike Art, are unaware of the petition, here is a
quick synopsis:

I filed it in 1995.

The DEA reviewed it until late 1997, and referred it to HHS.

The HHS evaluation is binding on DEA as to scientific and medical issues.

When the HHS evaluation is done, DEA will propose new rules about
marijuana and all cannabinoids.

Anyone who doesn't like the proposed new rules can call for a hearing.

If a hearing takes place, an administrative law judge will make a
recommendation based on the hearing record.

DEA then issues a final rule, making a case to accept or reject the law
judge recommendation.

If anyone doesn't like the final rule, they can challenge it in the US
Court of Appeals.

A prior petition took 22 years to resolve, and it took ten years to have
the petition referred from DEA to HHS, apprx. 3 years for a HHS review, and
apprx. 3 years to organize hearings and get a recommendation from an administrative
law judge. This was then rejected by DEA and unsuccessfully challenged in
court for 4 years.

The current petition took 2.5 years to go from DEA to HHS.

The major areas of speculation are:

What will the HHS review contain?

Will DEA disregard the HHS review if it recommends reform, and if so on
what grounds?

How will supporters of marijuana's schedule I status react to a reform
recommendation from HHS? This is a fascinating question because many of
these people sincerely believe marijuana belongs in schedule I, and their
opposition to reform is based on sincere respect for the rule of law and the
findings of the scientific process. We'll see for real who are the
partisans and who are the patriots.

Who will be supporting and opposing the new rule in hearings before an
administrative law. judge?

What will the law judge recommend?

What basis will DEA have to disregard the adm. law judge recommendation?

How will the US Court of Appeals rule on this issue?

The possible outcomes all rest on the content of the HHS review, as well
as on the development of other precedents. In this respect, the tobacco
issue is very relevant because other precedents are emerging. That's
enough out of me in this area for now. I'm more interested at this time in
hearing discussion on these issues than I am in making my own assertions.

Jon Gettman
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - DEA Petition Story (Where To Find A One-Page Summary
About The Case To Give To Media While Seeking Coverage)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 14:10:25 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA)
Subject: Re: DEA Petition story

On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Jim Rosenfield wrote:

> I think we need a one page essay that summarizes what this means, where it
> comes from,
> and the possible implications. This should go out with a pointer to the
> detail, the petition itself, more history and a request that the story be
> run, also with a short letter to editor on the subject.

Most of that is already available on the NORML web site; see

http://www.norml.org/research/aa/aaMSPP_cont.html

KTC
-------------------------------------------------------------------

HHS To Conduct Binding Review Of Marijuana (Press Release From American
Medical Marijuana Organization)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 20:10:31 -0700
From: Steve Kubby (kubby@alpworld.com)
Subject: HHS To Conduct Binding Review Of Marijuana

AMERICAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORGANIZATION (AMMO)
Defending The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients

Thursday. Jan 15, 1998

HHS To Conduct Binding Review Of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status

January 15, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) recently determined that sufficient grounds exist to
justify proceedings re-evaluating marijuana's prohibitive Schedule I
status. As a result, the agency has formally requested the Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct "a scientific and medical
evaluation of the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation"
for marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs.

The DEA's action is in response to an administrative petition filed by
former NORML National Director Jon Gettman and Trans High Corporation --
publisher of High Times Magazine -- on July 10, 1995. The petition argues
that marijuana and cannabinoid drugs lack the "high potential for abuse"
required for Schedule I and Schedule II drugs under the provisions of the
Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Gettman notes that the DEA has never
before voluntarily referred a marijuana petition to HHS for binding review.

"People are sent to jail every day because of mistaken assumptions about
the abuse potential of marijuana," Gettman said. "[This] petition
observes that HHS has never produced a finding that marijuana actually has
the high potential for abuse similar to heroin or cocaine required for
Schedule I or Schedule II status. Furthermore, the legislative history of
the CSA indicates that Congress only intended for marijuana to remain in
Schedule I or Schedule II if such a finding could be produced. This
petition challenges the government to produce such a finding or be legally
required to end marijuana prohibition by removing marijuana from Schedule
I."

Gettman initially asked the Department of Justice in 1994 to request this
evaluation from HHS. At that time, DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine
argued that the agency was "unaware of any new scientific studies of
marijuana that would lead [it] to re-evaluate [marijuana's] classification
at this time." Constantine then challenged Gettman to provide
documentation indicating that new research had taken place. Gettman
responded by filing his 1995 petition.

"The recent referral of the petition to HHS is an acknowledgment by DEA of
deficiencies in their familiarity with scientific studies of marijuana, and
of the validity of [my] argument and its documented scientific basis,"
Gettman said.

Petitioners are represented by Michael Kennedy, Esq. of New York City, a
member of the NORML Legal Committee.

For more information, please contact either the law offices of Michael
Kennedy @ (212) 935-4500 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @
(202) 483-8751.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

New Medicinal Marijuana Bill Hits Senate (Washington State Senator
Jeanne Kohl, D-Seattle, Is Proposing Senate Bill 6271, To Give Patients
Who Use Medical Marijuana - And Physicians Who Recommend It - Immunity
From State Prosecution)

From: "W.H.E.N." 
Subject: HT: ART: Lt. Gov opposes new med mj bill
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 19:31:26 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

New medicinal marijuana bill hits Senate

* IMMUNITY: Senate Bill 6271 is designed to protect patients and doctors
from state prosecution.

By D. Eric Jones
The Olympian
Jan. 15, 1998

Only two months after a broad proposal to legalize several drugs for
medical use was trounced by Washington voters, a bill to allow
physician-advised marijuana has emerged in the state Senate.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl, D-Seattle, is proposing Senate Bill 6271, a measure that
would give marijuana users and doctors who advise its medical use immunity
from state prosecution.

"This will protect the physician and the patient in the state of
Washington," said Rob Killian, a Tacoma physician who supports the measure.

Killian had promoted Initiative 685, which included provisions to legalize
medicinal use of marijuana, heroin and other drugs, as well as to require
that some drug offenders ,were sent to treatment instead of prison.

Voters rejected I-685 by a 3-to-2 ratio. '

By contrast, the new bill focuses on medical issues, restricting marijuana
use to rare circumstances. Public use would be prohibited, and any use
would be at the patient's expense.

Patients who have the name and telephone number of a physician who advised
them to use marijuana would be immune to state prosecution under the bill.

And insurers would not have to reimburse users for the cost of the drug.

But medical users of marijuana still could be charged with possession of
marijuana under federal drug laws. However, Kohl said, federal prosecutors
have not pursued such charges in California or Arizona, which have much
broader marijuana-use laws than her bill proposes.

Killian said marijuana could help people suffering the effects of HIV/AIDS,
multiple sclerosis and glaucoma and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

Despite critics' claims of carcinogenic effects from smoking marijuana,
Kohl said, providing access to the drug still is vital.

"When we're talking about people who are in grave situations or who are
dying, long-term effects of smoking may not be relevant," Kohl said.

She said she did not support I-685, calling it "flawed."

An adamant opponent of I-685, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, said he also does not
support the new bill.

However, Owen said, he wants to show compassion to patients who are
terminally ill or in extreme pain. He said he might submit his proposed
changes to Kohl's office as early as next week.

"It's still way too broad and it has too much of a sense of legalization to
it," Owen said. "It would be a nightmare for law enforcement."

Owen also questioned whether residents truly support medical use of
marijuana, citing a long trend of misinformation by proponents.

Marijuana is not a miracle drug and can do more harm than good for many
patients, Owen said.

Patients might be unaware of health risks associated with smoking
marijuana, such as research indicating an increased risk of AIDS patients
contracting bacterial pneumonia, he said.

"The research says there's a lot more questions that need to be addressed
before it should be approved," Owen said. "(And) no research supports
using marijuana as a so-called medicine."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medical Marijuana Patient Ralph Seeley Writes To Washington State Senator
Deccio (Chair Of Health And Long Term Care Committee, On Senator Kohl's
Senate Bill 6271 And Gettman's DEA Petition To Reschedule Cannabis)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 16:36:53
To: HEMP-TALK@hemp.net
From: Ralph Seeley 
Subject: HT: ltr to Deccio
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

[here is the letter I sent to Sen. Deccio, the chairman of the Health and
Long Term Care Committee. -- Ralph Seeley]

Dear Sen. Deccio,

I am a cancer patient, now considered terminal after nearly 12 years of
fighting it. I am also a lawyer, still practicing law part-time. Being a
lawyer, it was not easy for me to "go public" by admitting to commission of
a crime - using marijuana.

But marijuana prohibition is such a corrupt, shameful blight on our
society, I came to believe that if I were to consider myself a moral,
deserving member of society, I could do no less.

I want to thank you for scheduling hearings on Sen. Kohl's bill, before the
committee you chair. I hope you and the other senators will be open to the
information we can provide, and that you will vote the bill out of
committee with a do-pass recommendation. (Have I got my sequence and
terminology straight?)

Here are a few paragraphs in summary:

First, understand that chemotherapy-induced nausea is not just an upset
tummy. For the first 11 years of my disease, without question the worst of
it was the endless hours of helpless gagging and retching, which would end
only with total exhaustion - until I discovered smoking marijuana. My doc
agreed that smoking it would bypass my non-functioning digestive system and
get the drug into my blood where it could help me - as opposed to taking
THC pills and vomiting them up whole. I got some marijuana on "the street"
before my next chemo session, and the results were absolutely amazing.
Where before I had wound up curled in the fetal position in my own vomit
and excrement, too exhausted to pull the "nurse call" cord dangling in
front of my face, now I felt slightly nauseated, a bit dreamy, and I
drifted off to sleep. The lifting of the psychological load - the dread
before and exhaustion after - was just indescribably wonderful.

This is real-life, genuine suffering, not something abstract or
theoretical. The abstractions and circular theories are all on the other
side of the scales - where the alleged benefits of continuing prohibition
are weighed. The rhetoric has all been disproven, detail by detail;
marijuana is not a "gateway" to hard drug abuse, doesn't cause major health
problems in its own right, etc., etc. The genuine reasons for concern -
shouldn't smoke it and drive, for example - are reasons it should be a
prescription - as opposed to over-the-counter - drug.

The federal DEA last month gave up the fight, and admitted that it can no
longer justify keeping marijuana in Schedule I. It has requested a
scientific analysis from HHS as to where it should be placed. (See press
release, below, for details, if you can wade through the length of it.)
Medical marijuana is the future, though the feds will no doubt take years
to end the suffering.

You and your fellow legislators have an opportunity to serve the citizens
of the state by ending a prohibition brought on by hysteria and supported
through the years by lies and distortions on the part of the very
government that should be protecting the weakest and most helpless among
us. I hope you all will have the courage to do the right thing.

If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Ralph Seeley
Attorney at Law
1134 North L St.
Tacoma WA 98403
253-572-6604
>A Press Release from the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy
[snip]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Another Letter By Ralph Seeley (To Washington State Senator Dan McDonald)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 16:41:30
To: HEMP-TALK@hemp.net
From: Ralph Seeley 
Subject: HT: ltr to mcdonald
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

[at the suggestion of Sen. Kohl, I sent the below to Sen. Dan McDonald, the
head R. He apparently said something on NPR about not thinking the bill
would make it through in the aftermath of I-685. -- Ralph Seeley]

Dear Sen. McDonald,

I write as a cancer patient and lawyer with a fund of knowledge concerning
medical marijuana, both from my personal use and from researching and
pursuing a lawsuit against the state. I understand that you commented in
the media that it was unlikely that the legislature could pass Sen. Kohl's
medical marijuana bill, given the citizens' rejection of I-685 last fall.

Numerous polls showed unambiguously that I-685 failed not because it dealt
with medical marijuana, but because it included other Schedule I drugs
(heroin and LSD were the ones drummed over and over by the opposition, or
"pro-suffering" side), and permitted "convicted felons" to be released from
prison early. And even with those shortcomings, a lot of people still voted
for it - 9,787 voters in your district, for example.

Numerous polls sponsored by several organizations show unambiguous majority
support for a law permitting the regulated use of marijuana as medicine.
The citizens are fed up with the distortions, hysteria and deceit that
permit people to suffer so profoundly when relief is so easily available.

The merits of marijuana as medicine are clearly established. Consider these
two points:

(1) The federal DEA has finally conceded that it cannot justify maintaining
marijuana in Schedule I, and has asked the HHS department for a scientific
analysis of where it should be put (see loooong press release, below, if
you want details).

(2) Even our state's most highly visible and politically connected
anti-drug crusader, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, stated during the I-685 campaign
that he would support a straight medical marijuana law.

Please don't let the suffering continue just because some citizen activists
made a wrong decision to model an initiative campaign after Arizona's
instead of California's. Sen. Kohl's bill is a good one. I ask - plead -
for your support.

If I can provide any assistance, please let me know.

Thank you.

Ralph Seeley
1134 North L St.
Tacoma WA 98403
253 572-6604

[press release, snip]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Ralph Seeley's Letter To Members Of Committee On Health And Long Term Care
(On Why Washington Voters' Rejection Of I-685 Didn't Mean A Rejection Of
Medical Marijuana)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 17:00:05
To: HEMP-TALK@hemp.net
From: Ralph Seeley 
Subject: HT: ltr to cmtee mbrs
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

[I sent the enclosed, at Sen. Kohl's suggestion, to each member of the
Health and Long Term Care Committee.

My thanks to whomever put together the web page at
www.hemp.net/news/legislature.html. Slick. Good piece of work. Made my life
ridiculously easy.

-- Ralph Seeley]

Dear Sen. [Wood, Franklin, etc.],

I write to plead for your support of the medical marijuana bill now with
the Health and Long Term Care Committee.

I am a lawyer, so it was not without some trepidation I admitted publicly
that I use marijuana during chemotherapy and other appropriate times during
my 11-year battle with cancer.

But it is time to speak the truth, loudly. Our citizens are entitled to an
end to marijuana prohibition. It is a blight on our society. Thousands of
people have suffered awful, horrible symptoms, gagging and retching
uncontrollably for hours on end, vomiting up pills when the route for the
drug into the bloodstream - the lungs - was so obviously the correct method
to achieve relief.

The prohibition is grinding to a halt, I am happy to say. I am attaching a
press release to the end of this letter. I know, too long. In summary: The
DEA has admitted that it cannot justify continuing to keep marijuana in
"Schedule I," and has asked the Health and Human Services Administration
for a scientific evaluation of where to put it.

It will probably take the Feds a year or two to figure everything out and
actually do something useful, but however long it takes, medical marijuana
is the future reality. Meanwhile, forward-thinking legislators here can
provide relief from horrible suffering for our citizens NOW.

Sen. Kohl's bill does not involve other drugs or releasing "convicted
felons" early (as the failed I-685 did, last fall), and it provides for a
program to inform students that it's MEDICINE, not a recreational drug.
During the I-685 campaign, even our most strident anti-drug warrior, Lt.
Gov. Brad Owen, said he would support such a bill.

Marijuana prohibition is a result of deceit, hypocrisy and misinformation -
it not only promotes suffering (which concerns me as a cancer patient), but
erodes respect for the rule of law (which distresses me as a lawyer).
Please vote to pass the bill out of committee. It amounts to no more than
doing the right thing.

Sincerely,

Ralph Seeley
Attorney at Law
1134 North L St.
Tacoma WA 98403
253-572-6604

A Press Release from the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy

[snip]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Meth Tools Found On Roads (It's Not Drugs, It's Prohibition
That Leads To Dumping Of Toxic Methamphetamine Byproducts
Along Rural Washington State Roadways)

From: "W.H.E.N." 
Subject: HT: ART: Prohibition related dumping
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 19:58:25 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Meth tools found on roads

* DUMPING: Seven tanks believed to be used to cook meth have been found
since November.

By Jennifer Olson
The Olympian
Jan. 15, 1998

Makers of methamphetamine have apparently found a new dumping ground for
some of their toxic equipment: Thurston County roadways.

Seven 5-gallon propane tanks believed to be used in the cooking of meth
have been discovered along south county roads since mid-November, said
Keith Eisner, a spokesman for the county's Roads and Transportation
Department.

Meth makers fill the tanks with rock salt, then add hydrochloric acid to
form a gas as part of the manufacturing process, said Ron Holcomb, a state
Department of Ecology spill responder.

The gas can damage the lungs ' skin and mucous membranes such as the eyes,
Holcomb said.

Officials are concerned that residents might find one of the tanks and
decide to use it.

"We don't want citizens to come along and think 'Great, I could use one,"'
he said.

The roadside disposal is the latest wrinkle in the methamphetamine trade
that has exploded in Thurston County. There were more than 25 raids on
suspected labs through the first seven months of 1997.

South Sound police say labs are on the rise in part because ingredients
used in new meth recipes can be bought off the shelf at supermarkets or
drug stores.

Two of the propane tanks were found along Rainier Road Southeast in
November. Last month, workers discovered tanks along Waldrick
Road Southeast, 113th Avenue Southeast and McCorkle Road Southeast.

On Jan. 5, a seventh tank was found on 93rd Avenue Southwest. Ephredine
containers, lab glassware and toxic liquid were dumped along with that
tank. All of those are common meth-making items, Holcomb said.

"I've been involved in litter control for the past eight years, and I've
seen nothing like this," said Steve Granger, community service and training
coordinator for the Roads and Transportation Department.

Inmate work crews discovered the first tank. Many in the crew considered
it another piece of trash until one inmate told supervisors it probably was
used in meth manufacturing.

The state DOE's spill section, depressurized all the tanks and disposed of
them and the acidic waste material found inside.

Inspector Nick Patterson of the Mason County Sheriff's Department said he
has not received reports of propane-tank dumping in Mason County.

Patterson believes the tanks might come from a single group of meth
manufacturers.

"There are so many different recipes for crank," Patterson said. "It's
probably somebody who's come up with a little different twist. That's my
guess."

Jennifer Olson covers Thurston County for The Olympian. She can be reached
at 754-5427.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Dying Need Compassion (AIDS Patient Caregiver Writes To Editor
Of 'Oakland Tribune' About Attorney General Lungren's Lack Of Compassion,
Praises Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:25:34 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Dying Need Compassion
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Author: Robin Bryant

DYING NEED COMPASSION

In the past six years, I have lost two of my dearest friends to AIDS, and
am now primary caregiver to a third. In the first two cases I was forced to
find marijuana on the street to alleviate the dreadful symptoms of the
final stages of this disease.

This year is the first time I have been able to go to a secure, clean,
well-lighted, professionally staffed and legal place to obtain medical
marijuana. And now Attorney General Dan Lungren is telling me that I should
have my dying friends grow their own when too often the effort of getting
out of bed Is more than they can manage. Where Is the humanity or the
compassion in such an alternative?

California voters clearly stated their desire to provide medical marijuana
to residents who are chronically ill and dying. As a sovereign state,
Californians must stand up to federal pressure to abandon what we know is
right in caring for our chronically ill and dying.

With all due respect to Dennis Peron for his tireless work in getting the
Marijuana Initiative on the ballot, his continued hippy-dippy style has a
major negative impact in our fight to care for the sick in a professional
and caring manner. Peron's mannerisms do not reflect the average
Californian who needs medical marijuana. And Lungren's seeming personal
vendetta against Peron discounts a large and meaningful population behind a
circumstantially selected "Banner Boy."

The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative is stringent in its processing of
potential candidates for medical marijuana. The building is in a business
district with security guards posted at the doors, and in the marijuana
room. All entrants are checked in and out of the building. No one but the
patients and their caregivers are allowed in the marijuana room and a photo
ID must be presented each time they enter. Unless and until someone comes
up with a viable, humane, compassionate and feasible alternative for
distributing medical marijuana in Oakland, or anywhere in California, these
cooperatives should not be allowed to go out of operation.

Dan Lungren must be either the luckiest man in the world or else he has no
friends or family. Anyone in California in the forty-something bracket who
has not lost a family member or friend to cancer or AIDS has to be either
incredibly blessed or so totally isolated as to be completely out of touch
with the real world.

Lungren has apparently never held the head of a loved one while he vomited
uncontrollably due to chemotherapy; cooked a special request meal, only to
have to throw it away because his loved one lost his appetite due to
wasting syndrome; or watched them sink into a vegetative depression which
was unresponsive to prescription drugs. I'm sure he never had to
catheterize a quadriplegic whose muscle spasms left him exhausted: or watch
his mother go blind from glaucoma. That such a fortunate man should be so
inhuman as to press his heartless agenda against the sick is beyond
comprehension. It isn't death that is hard, It's the process of dying.

Wake up, Dan Lungren, one of these days it will be your turn.

Robin Bryant lives in Oakland.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

San Francisco Pot Club Owner Starts Campaign - Peron's Gubernatorial Run
Begins In Santa Cruz ('San Francisco Chronicle' Quotes Dennis Peron
As He Bids For California GOP Nomination - 'Real Republicans Want Government
To Butt Out Of Issues Like Sexual Choices And Marijuana Use')

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:17:45 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Peron's Gubernatorial Run Begins in Santa Cruz
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Maria Alicia Gaura, Chronicle Staff Writer

S.F. Pot Club Owner Starts Campaign

PERON'S GUBERNATORIAL RUN BEGINS IN SANTA CRUZ

With his neat white hair, wire- rim glasses and casually loosened tie,
Dennis Peron looks everything like a ``candidate,'' and nothing like the
biggest marijuana booster in California.

But as he kicked off his campaign for governor of California yesterday in a
Santa Cruz community center, the irrepressible Peron peppered his political
rhetoric with jabs at the major parties, and made admissions probably never
made before by a Republican candidate.

``I want to make this clear right here, I did sell marijuana to kids,''
said Peron, who made the sales through his San Francisco cannabis club.
``They were 16 and 17, they had cancer, and to the shame of America, they
had AIDS.''

Peron went on to argue that real Republicans want the government to butt
out of issues like sexual choices and marijuana use.

``Republicans stand for individual responsibility, and small government is
good government,'' Peron said. ``The fundamentalist right . . . these guys
are fake Republicans, using the (party) banner to oppress us with their
moral agenda.

``I want to regain the soul of the Republican Party, the soul of America,''
Peron said, with a grin. ``And you know what else? It drives them crazy
that I'm a Republican.''

Peron has a long way to go if he wants to make a serious bid for the GOP
nomination. Attorney General Dan Lungren, a staunch opponent of any
marijuana use, is the odds-on favorite to win the party primary in June.

Peron said he chose to kick off his statewide campaign in Santa Cruz
because of the city's solid support for medical marijuana and its close
ties to San Francisco. Santa Cruz approved its own ordinance legalizing
medical marijuana in 1992, and well over 70 percent of local voters
approved the statewide medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 215, in
1996.

Santa Cruz is solidly Democratic, with fewer than one in six registered
voters a Republican -- and not a one of them was to be seen at yesterday's
campaign event.

But Peron urged voters of all persuasions to take advantage of California's
new open primary law to put him on the November ballot as the Republican
candidate. Peron volunteers are also working to gather the 10,000
signatures needed to waive the state's $6,000 election filing fee. Peron
said he hopes to get elected without having to raise money.

``I don't really want your money,'' he said. ``We're not going to win the
election by putting me on TV for 15 seconds. We're going to win (with
events) just like this.''

The crowd of about 100 that filled a meeting room at the Louden Nelson
Community Center applauded wildly as Peron lambasted the federal war on
drugs, intrusive government and political parties. If elected, Peron vowed
to open the border with Mexico and house all of the homeless, perhaps in
large communal ``long houses.''

``I feel compelled to run for office not just because of marijuana, but
because of what they're doing to this country, using their police powers to
intimidate the people who want social change,'' Peron said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Inmate Population Outpaces Prisons, Jails (California's State Prisons
And County Jails Have Not Kept Up With An Inmate Population
That Has Increased Sixfold Since 1980, Reports 137-Page Study
By 'Little Hoover Commission' - Despite A Boom In Construction
That Has Crippled Funding For Schools And Public Services)
.
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:18:47 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Inmate Population Outpaces Prisons, Jails
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998

INMATE P0PULATION OUTPACES PRISONS, JAILS

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Despite a construction boom, California's prisons have
failed to keep up with a skyrocketing inmate population that has increased
sixfold since 1980, a watchdog panel reported Wednesday.

The Little Hoover Commission said county jails are in the same fix.

``The dramatic expansion of the state's jails and prisons has not kept pace
with the growing inmate population,'' the commission said in a 137-page
report.

``The state has two options: to rethink how it houses and deals with
criminals, or to redouble its financial commitment to building and
operating more jails and prisons,'' the commission said.

In 1980, California had fewer than 25,000 inmates in a dozen prisons.
Today, the state has about 154,000 prisoners in 33 prisons. The population
is expected to reach 200,000 within five years.

The jails have about 72,000 prisoners at any given time, with sentences
averaging about three weeks.

Since the early 1980s, California has spent about $5.7 billion to modernize
the prison system, and about $3 billion on jails.

About half the money was approved by voters; the rest was covered by
lease-purchase bonds not requiring voter approval.

Part of the crowding problem is that politicians, responding to voters'
fears, are approving longer sentences for inmates. Also, an increasing
number of inmates admitted to prisons are repeaters -- people who violated
the conditions of parole or who are back in for a new crime, according to
the commission.

During 1996-97, the state prison system admitted nearly 133,000 inmates. Of
those, only 49,000 were new prisoners.

More than 82,000 prisoners -- two-thirds of the total number admitted to
prison during that period -- were parole violators or repeat offenders.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Watchdogs Say Prisons And Jails Too Crowded (Report On California Corrections
By The Little Hoover Commission)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:17:56 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Watchdogs Say Prisons and Jails Too Crowded
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate:1-15-98

WATCHDOGS SAY PRISONS AND JAILS TOO CROWDED

California's prisons have failed to keep up with an inmate population that
has increased sixfold since 1980, a watchdog panel reported Wednesday.

The Little Hoover Commission said county jails are in the same fix. It
recommended programs such as electronic home detention.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

What Does Charles Manson Know About Drugs In Prison
That Bill Clinton Doesn't? (News Release From US Libertarian Party
Denounces Proposed New $197 Million Federal Outlay And Failure
Of War On Some Drugs)

Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 04:09:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Charles Stewart (chuck@teleport.com)
To: cannabis-commonlaw-l@teleport.com, nwlibertarians@teleport.com,
commonlawnews-l@teleport.com
Subject: CnbsCL> LP National Release:Dugs in Prison (fwd)

NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037

For release: January 15, 1998

For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676@Compuserve.com

What does Charles Manson know about
drugs in prison that Bill Clinton doesn't?

WASHINGTON, DC -- How embarrassing: The government can't even
keep drugs out of prisons.

So President Bill Clinton proposed this week to spend another
$197 million to try to solve that problem -- but all he's done is
publicly confess that the War on Drugs isn't working, the Libertarian
Party said today.

"When even mass-murderer Charles Manson can buy drugs in
prison, then it's time to admit the War on Drugs has failed utterly,"
said Steve Dasbach, the party's national chairman.

"After all, if the government can't keep drugs away from
prisoners who are locked in steel cages 24 hours a day, surrounded by
barbed wire, watched by armed guards, drug-tested, strip-searched,
X-rayed and videotaped -- how can it possibly stop the flow of drugs to
260 million other Americans?" he asked.

That's a question the Clinton Administration didn't answer when
it unveiled the new program to "combat drugs behind bars."

The $197 million initiative includes stiffer sentences for
prison drug dealers, allows states to spend more money for prison
anti-drug programs, and requires states to measure drug use among
prisoners.

"With this new policy, Clinton has in effect admitted -- 197
million times -- that the War on Drugs has failed," said Dasbach. "And
if he claims that just a little more money and a little more security
will solve the problem, then we say in response: Charles Manson."

Manson, America's most notorious serial killer, was caught with
drugs last year -- despite the fact that he was locked down under tight
security 24 hours a day. The 63-year-old killer was then transferred to
another prison for treatment of his drug addiction.

How do prisoners like Manson get access to drugs? In a word:
Guards.

"Inside or outside of prison, the first casualty of the Drug
War is the honesty of the law enforcement system," said Dasbach.
"Illegal drug profits invariably corrupt police officers, judges...and
prison guards."

For example, over a six-year period at the maximum-security
Graterford State Prison near Philadelphia, 13 guards were charged with
drug violations, 11 inmates died of overdoses, and even the state's top
prison official was forced to admit that drug dealing had "spun out of
control."

"How can the government claim that prison rehabilitates drug
users -- or stops drug trafficking -- when even guards are dealing
drugs?" Dasbach asked.

"Instead of pretending that just one more government program
will solve the problem, it's time to admit that our nation's
revolving-prison-door drug policy turns addicts into prisoners,
prisoners into addicts, and guards into criminals," he said.

And one more program in the government's endless and expensive
War on Drugs won't make a difference, he said.

Libertarians aren't the only ones who have reached that
conclusion: A survey of 300 U.S. police chiefs in 1996 found that only
3% believed the government's drug war had been "very successful" at
reducing the drug problem.

"Throwing more Americans into jail is not a solution," said
Dasbach. "Spending more money on ineffective programs is not progress.
And the clang of a prison door slamming shut is not the sound of the
War on Drugs being won -- it's the sound of failure."

The Libertarian Party
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
http://www.lp.org/
voice: 202-333-0008
fax: 202-333-0072

For subscription changes, please mail to announce-request@lp.org with the
word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the subject line -- or use the WWW form.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Defense Department To Urge End To Border Patrol (Senior US Defense Official
Says 'It's Not Worth The Legal Liability For Our Soldiers, And The Actual
Amount Of Drugs Seized' By Marines Along Texas Border 'Proved To Be Modest')

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:18:07 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Defense Dept. to Urge End to Border Patrol
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Thursday, January 15, 1998

DEFENSE DEPT. TO URGE END TO BORDER PATROL

Defense Department officials will recommend permanently canceling armed
military patrols along the Mexico border in the wake of a fatal shooting of
a teen-age goatherd by a U.S. Marine last year, a senior defense
official said Wednesday.

"It's not worth the legal liability for our soldiers, and the actual amount
of drugs seized throughout the performance of those missions proved to be
modest," said senior defense official who spoke on the condition of
anonymity.

A study of the military's future role along the border has not yet been
presented to Defense Secretary William Cohen. But it will advocate that
support services including road building and intelligence gathering
continue, while ground reconnaissance missions in the front lines of the
drug war end, the official said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Senate Votes To Censure Abernathy (The Democrat From Atlanta, Georgia,
Son Of A Beloved Civil Rights Leader, May Still Face Impeachment Proceedings
For Attempting To Conceal Marijuana In His Underpants After Flight Home
From Jamaican Vacation)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 22:37:54 -0500
Subject: MN: US GA: Senate Votes To Censure Abernathy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org and rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Contact: gpph16a@prodigy.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/
Author: Charles Walston, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SENATE VOTES TO CENSURE ABERNATHY

The debate was short and the decision swift, but the Georgia Senate's move
to censure Sen. Ralph David Abernathy III on Wednesday could echo through
the legislative session.

The censure, which passed by a 51-2 vote, marked only the second time in
modern history that the Senate had issued such a strong reprimand against
one of its members.

Afterward, Abernathy (D-Atlanta) said he was "prepared to move on," but
that may be wishful thinking. A move in the House to impeach him shows no
signs of abating.

Abernathy, the son of a beloved civil rights leader, offered no resistance
to the censure, which resulted from his attempt to conceal a small amount
of marijuana in his underpants as he stepped off an airplane from Jamaica
to Atlanta on Dec. 1. He sat silently at his desk and abstained from voting
while his colleagues decided his fate.

Leaders of both parties had urged Senate members to forego political
grandstanding, and only three senators spoke on the matter.

"His actions of smuggling drugs into this country is an inexcusable act,"
said Ethics Committee Chairman Sen. Eddie Madden (D-Elberton). "We are held
to a higher standard, and he has betrayed that."

Sen. Charles Clay (R-Marietta), the Republican leader in the Senate, said
the censure brought no pleasure to anyone.

"We cannot allow our feelings of like or dislike to force us to disregard
our responsibility," said Clay. "It is the conduct we are judging."

Clay attempted unsuccessfully to amend the censure resolution by naming
Abernathy, rather than identifying him only by his district number -- a
standard Senate practice.

The censure was adopted quickly because Abernathy waived his right to
dispute the allegations. He also resigned his Senate committee
chairmanship, but retains all other Senate privileges.

The last time a senator was censured was in 1976, when Roscoe Dean was
reprimanded for misusing his state expense accounts. Unlike Abernathy, Dean
demanded an airing of the charges. Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard, who at the time
was a young senator, laid out the charges against Dean in a role similar to
that of a prosecutor.

Compared to that occasion, Howard said, Abernathy's censure was much less
difficult. "I think it was handled in an appropriate way, and I'm glad it's
behind us," said Howard.

A censure is the strongest action the Senate can take on its own.
Impeachment proceedings must begin in the House, which acts as a kind of
grand jury. If the House votes to impeach, the matter would move to a trial
in the Senate, with Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Benham presiding.

Clay said he would vote to impeach Abernathy if the matter returned to the
Senate, and Madden has said there is "a probability" the Senate would vote
for impeachment.

Abernathy, who apologized on the Senate floor Monday, said he would work to
regain the confidence of his colleagues and constituents. "I'm going to do
all I can," said Abernathy.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Miami Schools Water Down Drug Tests ('Associated Press' Says
Threat Of Lawsuit From Florida ACLU Persuades
Miami-Dade County School District To Make Urine Tests Voluntary)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 18:55:07 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US FL: Wire: Miami Schools Water Down Drug Tests
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: The Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998

MIAMI SCHOOLS WATER DOWN DRUG TESTS

MIAMI (AP) -- Under threat of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties
Union, the Miami-Dade County school district has watered down its drug
testing program to allow high school students to refuse random checks.

Even with the modifications made Wednesday night, the plan would be one of
the most extensive drug testing programs in the nation.

The Miami-Dade County School Board is expected to give it final approval in
February.

Tests would begin in March in grades nine through 12, but only on students
whose parents have signed consent forms. If a student refused after his
parents signed, the parents would be notified, but the student would face
no other punishment.

The ACLU's Florida chapter had threatened a lawsuit if students in the
nation's fourth-largest district were not given the right to refuse.

``At least they've recognized that students are human beings and have
constitutional rights,'' said Howard Simon, ACLU state executive director.

School drug testing gained constitutional footing from a 1995 U.S. Supreme
Court decision that public school athletes can be tested.

None of the nation's three biggest school districts -- New York City, Los
Angeles and Chicago -- has random drug testing.

Onelia Lage, a University of Miami clinical pediatrics professor and member
of the school board's health advisory committee, said administrators
shouldn't expect the testing to be very useful.

``A teen-ager who consents to this is not the one we're worried about,''
Lage said. ``The goal should be treatment and intervention.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Suspect Shot by Undercover Officer (Local News
From 'The Houston Chronicle')

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:18:28 -0800
Subject: MN: US TX: Drug Suspect Shot by Undercover Officer
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/

DRUG SUSPECT SHOT BY UNDERCOVER OFFICER

A suspected narcotics dealer was shot twice by an undercover Houston police
officer during a drug bust gone awry in north Houston Wednesday.

Two undercover officers had just bought some drugs about 8 p.m. when other
undercover officers moved in for the arrest in the parking lot of a
nightclub in the 100 block of East Crosstimbers, said HPD spokesman John
Leggio.

When the suspects realized they were about to be arrested, a scuffle broke
out. One pulled a pistol and began firing at the undercover officers.

Leggio said an officer drew his weapon and fired several times, hitting the
suspect in the arm and grazing his head. Neither wound appeared to be
life-threatening, Leggio said. No officer was injured.

The wounded man was taken to an area hospital. The other was arrested at
the scene. Leggio said nine ounces of cocaine were seized.

Their names were withheld pending a formal filing of charges.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drinkers Who Start At An Early Age More Likely To Become Alcoholics,
Study Says ('Associated Press' Reports On New Paper From US National
Institutes Of Health)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:18:19 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Drinkers Who Start At An Early Age
More Likely To Become Alcoholics, Study Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: Kalpana Srinivasan, Associated Press

DRINKERS WHO START AT AN EARLY AGE
MORE LIKELY TO BECOME ALCOHOLICS, STUDY SAYS

WASHINGTON -- Underage drinkers may have more to worry about than just
breaking the law.

A study by the National Institutes of Health shows that children who begin
drinking before they turn 15 are four times as likely to develop alcoholism
as those who start drinking at the legal age of 21.

They also are twice as likely to abuse alcohol than people who start
drinking later, says the study, conducted by the National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a component of the NIH.

Some medical experts say early exposure to drinking, family pressures and
alcohol advertisements have encouraged children to began drinking at
earlier ages and make breaking the habit more difficult as they grow up.

"It's hard to get away from the pervasiveness of alcohol in our culture,"
said Dr. Clarence Chen, medical director at New York's Gracie Square
Hospital, a facility for treating alcohol and drug abuse. "Kids start
drinking because they think it's the adult thing to do."

Chen said an increasing number of his patients with alcohol problems report
they started drinking by age 10. While older children often begin drinking
because of social influences, younger children tend to take their cues from
adults, he said.

"Parents have to be aware they are role models for kids," Chen added.

More freedom and access to alcohol may also contribute to the propensity of
childhood drinking, says Dr. Morris Chafetz, director of the Health
Education Foundation, who has worked on alcohol-related issues for more
than 40 years.

"Kids want to belong and at the same time want to be independent," Chafetz
said. "My guess is that these kids are given opportunities we didn't have
to test out these things."

The study also shows the risk of alcohol dependence decreased by 14 percent
for each year the start of drinking was delayed. The risk of lifetime
alcohol abuse fell by 8 percent with each additional year.

"It remains to be seen whether it is the delay in alcohol use or, possibly,
other associated factors that explain the inverse relationship between age
at drinking onset and lifetime risk for alcohol abuse and alcoholism," said
Dr. Enoch Gordis, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism.

Of the people surveyed for the study, more than 40 percent who began
drinking before they turned 15 eventually became addicted to alcohol. That
compares with the 24.5 percent who began drinking at 17 and the roughly 10
percent who started at the ages of 21 or 22.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Anti-German Sentiment Aided Prohibition's Approval ('Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel' Historical Piece On How Wisconsin Was 'Dragged
Kicking And Screaming Into Temperance,' Although 'The Ink On The New Law
Was All That Stayed Dry,' Part Of Series On Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial)
Link to related story
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com) Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Author: Dennis McCann of the Journal Sentinel Contact: jsedit@onwis.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Editor's note: Our newshawk writes: This is part of a series on Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial. There are some parallels here! ANTI-GERMAN SENTIMENT AIDED PROHIBITION'S APPROVAL It was the day the high life -- at least legally -- left Wisconsin. On Jan. 16, 1920, Prohibition signaled last call for 9,656 Wisconsin saloons, and the $67,000 the state chapter of the Anti-Saloon League of America had spent in pushing for a ban on beer and booze had paid off. At $6.93 per shuttered saloon, the league said, the high price of living couldn't touch "the low cost of dying for saloons. Let 'em die while the dying is cheap!" Of course, rumors of drinking's death were greatly exaggerated. Wisconsin was dragged kicking and screaming into temperance. Milwaukee breweries employed 6,000 workers and slaked a major share of the nation's thirst for beer. For the many immigrants from beer-drinking countries (78.3% of state residents "had an inherited wet predilection," dry forces calculated) beer-drinking was a cultural pleasure, not the vice opponents saw. But World War I tipped the balance by putting all Germans under suspicion, even those who cared only about hops, not the kaiser. True patriots argued grain should be made into bread for fighting men and not for liquor. Still, even as national laws made dry throats appear inevitable, the fight over ratification of the 18th amendment was biting. The brewing industry argued taxes on liquor were paying for more of the war effort than liberty bonds; the Anti-Saloon League called Milwaukee brewers "the worst of all our German enemies" and dubbed their beer "Kaiser brew." The Volstead Act banned intoxicating spirits in June 1919 and the amendment followed. Recognizing the noose had tightened around John Barleycorn's neck, Wisconsin gave its assent -- but only grudgingly. Ratification took the votes of 36 states; Wisconsin's was the 39th. Few expected Prohibition to last, but the last night of legal drinking was special nonetheless. Parties were also wakes; revelers, not yet dry, sang "How Dry I Am" and of course "Taps" was heard. But the ink on the new law was all that stayed dry. Low-alcohol beer was available, doctors wrote so many prescriptions for "medicinal" spirits it seemed an epidemic had broken out and home brew and bathtub gin were everywhere. Speakeasies sprang up, moonshine stills were built everywhere in rural areas, officials were paid to look the other way and the law was widely ignored. In 1925 Milwaukee state Sen. Bernard Gettelman, who vociferously defended home brewing as legal, dared Prohibition agents to arrest him. "Let them come in. Let them taste some of my wine," he said. "They can't prosecute me and they won't try. . . . The joke is on the Anti-Saloon League." "It must be terrible wine," a league official replied. "They tell me he makes it out of raisins and yeast and potatoes. I can't imagine how he can drink it. Such courage should be applied to legitimate ends."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

National Smokers Alliance (Drug Policy Reformers Should Learn
From Organization Promoting Rights Of Tobacco Consumers)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 15:16:28 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jim Rosenfield 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: National Smokers Alliance

I am just now in receipt of the latest monthly package from National
Smokers Alliance. They are slick, and they are effectively rousing
their large constituency to acts of civil disobedience, activism and
lobbying. If you can get your hands on any of their material, I urge
you to read it and help us distill lessons from it.

If any one wants to see copies, send me your address and a couple of bucks
and will send copies of a couple of back issues.

I wish we could afford a campaign exactly like theirs. Impressive,
inspiring and educational. These guys are propaganda pros and
their issue is not so different from ours.

Jim Rosenfield

tel: 310-836-0926
fax: 310-836-0592
http://insightweb.com
jnr@insightweb.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Lock Up Smokers (Sarcastic Letter To Editor Of California's
'San Luis Obispo New Times' Quotes Joe Califano Of CASA - Tobacco
Is The True 'Gateway' Drug - 'With More Than 642,000 Arrests For Marijuana
Last Year, Incarceration Is A Very Popular Program And Should Be Applied
To Tobacco Smokers As Well')

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 00:39:02 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lock Up Smokers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: San Luis Obispo New Times
Contact: mail@newtimes-slo.com
Pubdate: Thursday, January 15, 1998
Page: 6, Opinion section
Website: newtimes-slo.com

LOCK UP SMOKERS

If prohibition is good for marijuana users, then it ought to work for these
irresponsible tobacco smokers. Obviously, with more than 642,000 arrests
for marijuana last year(up from 300,000 arrests in 1991), incarceration is
a very popular program for dealing with the scourge of pot and should be
applied to the tobacco smokers as well in order to improve the nation's
health and cut costs.

In the recent study from Columbia University, publicized by no less a
scholar then Joe Califano, the findings showed that tobacco is the true
"gateway drug." The bast majority of heroin users reported starting their
illicit drug-use careers by smoking tobacco. Clearly tobacco is the root
cause of the heroin epidemic (the number of hard-drug addicts has remained
essentially unchanged and minuscule for decades).

Where busting pot-heads has made no difference in the number of heroin
users, putting tobacco users in prison, seizing their assets, and saddling
them with felony convictions is obviously appropriate for these scofflaws
who are still not going along with our national priorities. Clearly they
should be prevented from harming the rest of us with "side smoke".

We should put them in prison - for their own good and to promote our
national priorities.

Jim Rosenfield
Culver City
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cigarette Maker Targeted Teens, Records Suggest ('Los Angeles Times' Reports
RJ Reynolds Tobacco Targeted Smokers As Young As 13 For The Past 25 Years,
According To Internal Company Documents Released Yesterday)

From: "W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
Subject: HT: ART: Cig makers targeted teens
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 20:02:05 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
The Seattle Times
Thursday, January 15, 1998
Cigarette maker targeted teens, records suggest
by Henry Weinstein
Los Angeles Times

Despite repeated denials, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the second leading U.S.
cigarette manufacturer, targeted teenage smokers as young as 13 in an
attempt to regain market share during the past 25 years, according to
internal company documents released yesterday.

One memo from 1987, stamped "RJR secret," describes a plan to develop a new
wide Camel cigarette targeted at "younger adult male smokers," primarily
the 13-24 age group, then smoking Marlboro, Philip Morris' leading brand.
RJR subsequently brought Camel Wides to market.

Another memo from a 1974 presentation to the board of RJR Industries by
C.A. Tucker, the vice president of marketing, said: "This young adult
market, the 14-24 age group . . . represent(s) tomorrow's cigarette
business. As this 14-24 age group matures, they will account for a key
share of the total cigarette volume - for at least the next 25 years."

After the papers, spanning 1973 to 1992, were released, Reynolds continued
to deny it targeted underage smokers and said the documents were being
taken out of context.

The documents were released by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a longtime
industry critic. He got the papers from attorneys in California who
obtained them from RJR in a case - settled last September - that accused
the company of using deceptive marketing practices.

The papers' release also heighten the possibility that the proposed $368.5
billion national tobacco settlement will be stiffened in Congress, in
particular enhancing penalties on tobacco companies if they fail to reduce
youth smoking.

The documents also are likely to have an impact on the Justice Department's
criminal investigation of the industry and numerous lawsuits against the
cigarette companies, including Minnesota's massive suit against the
industry, which is scheduled to start next week.

Both Waxman and David Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug
Administration, said the new documents represented the strongest proof to
date that the cigarette industry targeted minors.

"If you're looking for a smoking gun on youth targeting, you need look no
further than these documents," said Kessler, now dean of the Yale
University Medical School.

"It's very hard to read these documents and then say that the industry
should get any special legal protections from Congress," Kessler said.

The industry's key legislative goal this year is to obtain congressional
ratification of the national litigation settlement, which would prohibit
all future class-action suits and punitive damages against the cigarette
companies.

The papers also may intensify the Justice Department's investigation of
whether cigarette officials misled the government about the nature of their
products and industry marketing practices.

Waxman said he would send the material to Attorney General Janet Reno and
ask her to broaden the current Justice Department probe. Among other
matters, Justice and FBI officials are investigating whether the industry
misled government officials by telling them that they never deliberately
marketed their products to children. Among the incidents being reviewed is
whether former RJR President James Johnston lied to Congress in testimony
to a House subcommittee on April 14, 1994.

On that day, Johnston testified that "we do not market to children and will
not." He also testified that "we do not survey anyone under the age of 18."

Johnston, who resigned as chief executive of RJR's worldwide tobacco
operations in June 1996, did not return calls seeking comment.

The memos clearly reflect deep concern at RJR about competitors Philip
Morris and Brown & Williamson showing "unusual strength among these younger
smokers," which "suggests continued growth for Philip Morris and B&W as
their smokers mature."

Additionally, a 1973 marketing memo states the company should use comic
strips to help entice "younger smokers" away from Philip Morris' Marlboro,
which had become the leading teenage brand. That document described
"younger smokers" as 14 to 24.

Several documents reveal the thought process that led up to RJR's 1988
launch of its highly successful and controversial Joe Camel campaign and
how the campaign operated. An August 1988 memo states that advertisements
should be placed wherever young people congregate, with the ideal locations
being sites near fast-food outlets, convenience stores, basketball courts,
arcades and record stores.

Reynolds issued a formal statement, saying the documents were being
misconstrued. For example, the company asserted that the 1987 document
contained a typographical error and that, in reality, the memo should have
said "18-24-year-old male Marlboro smokers."

The company reiterated its long-standing position that it does not target
teenagers.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Joe Camel Designed To Lure Teens ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version Says
City Attorney Louise Renne Released The Documents As Part Of A Settlement
Between San Francisco, Other Plaintiffs And RJ Reynolds, Which Will Pay
$10 Million To San Francisco, Other California Cities And Counties
To Finance Youth Anti-Smoking Campaigns)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:17:06 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Joe Camel Designed to Lure Teens
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

JOE CAMEL DESIGNED TO LURE TEENS

Internal papers reveal cigarette-maker's intent

Internal company documents made public yesterday show that the ``Joe
Camel'' advertising campaign by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was designed to
lure teenagers as young as 12, especially boys attracted to the competing
Marlboro brand.

San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne released the documents as part of
a settlement between San Francisco and other plaintiffs and R.J. Reynolds.

The company also agreed to pull the nine-year ad campaign for Camel
cigarettes and pay $10 million to San Francisco and several other
California cities and counties to finance youth anti-smoking campaigns.

The documents show that the Camel campaign was first tested in France,
where the company's advertising agency described the ad in 1974 as ``about
as young as you can get'' and suggested the use of comic strips to
``reverse the preference for Marlboros among younger smokers.'' RJR's
French subsidiary was later convicted of violating French laws prohibiting
such advertising.

R.J. Reynolds has repeatedly denied that the Joe Camel cartoon character,
used widely to promote Camel cigarettes in billboard and magazine
advertising, was intended to appeal to teenagers.

The company released a statement yesterday accusing plaintiff attorneys of
having ``cherry picked'' the documents for the media. The company said some
of the teenager studies were byproducts of adult surveys and were never
intended to be used for marketing strategies.

However, the company's marketing documents, some stamped ``RJR SECRET,''
demonstrate that it hoped to secure a new market of lifelong smokers whose
fierce brand loyalty is formed early.

Smokers tend to stick for years to one brand, usually their first one, so
companies find it difficult to increase sales by getting smokers to switch
brands. Establishing brand loyalty at the outset of a smoker's career,
which usually begins before age 18, is therefore crucial in cigarette
marketing.

In a 1974 presentation to the board of directors, RJR marketing vice
president C.A. Tucker pointed to ``the growing importance of the young
adult in the cigarette market,'' defined as the 14 to 24 age group, saying
they ``represent tomorrow's cigarette business.''

Tucker said competitors' Marlboro and Kool brands enjoyed ``strong young
adult franchises and high cigarette brand loyalties'' that ``suggests
continued growth for Philip Morris and (Brown & Williamson) as their
smokers mature . . . . Failure by RJR to attract young adult smokers,
Tucker said, would lead to ``slow market share erosion for us in the years
to come unless the situation is corrected.''

`YOUTHEN THE BRAND'

One RJR memo conceded that the effort was an attempt to `` `youthen' the
brand; the entire advertising and promotional campaign used at the time was
geared to this end, with the `funny' Camel playing a key role in the
advertising.''

Just before the Joe Camel campaign began in 1988, an RJR marketing study of
15- to 17-year-olds identified various social categories of teenagers,
trying to identify likely smokers and trendsetters. Teen smokers, for
example, were more likely to listen to hard rock music, the marketers said.

Plaintiffs' lawyers pointed out that the Joe Camel campaign increasingly
featured young characters in leather jackets riding motorcycles and hanging
out at ``Joe's Place'' listening to a rock band called ``Hard Pack.''

R.J. Reynolds countered yesterday that the documents ``reflect the social
attitudes of the times in which they were created'' and that the company
has only directed its advertising at adults.

The original suit against R.J. Reynolds was filed by Janet Mangini, a San
Francisco attorney represented by the San Diego law firm Milberg, Weiss,
Bershad, Hynes & Lerach, a major personal injury and class-action
litigation firm.

The city and county of San Francisco joined the suit, becoming the first
locality to sue a tobacco company on the grounds that its actions were a
burden on taxpayers. The suit pointed out that city hospitals treat smokers
for their smoking-related diseases.

San Francisco was later joined in the Joe Camel suit by the cities of San
Jose and Los Angeles and 14 California counties.

OTHER TOBACCO CASES

San Francisco has two other tobacco cases in litigation in federal and
state court. Those cases could be included in the unprecedented $368
billion proposed settlement between the tobacco companies and several
states over Medicaid costs. That settlement requires congressional
approval, which still remains uncertain.

Renne said she has ``major questions and concerns'' about the settlement
now before Congress because it could pre-empt local lawsuits such as San
Francisco's.

Attorney fees for the Joe Camel settlement have not yet been decided. Renne
said San Francisco will receive about $800,000 to cover legal costs; the
city Health Department will receive $1.5 million to run youth anti-tobacco
campaigns and enforce laws against underage smoking.

Mangini asked for no money settlement, but her attorneys at Milberg, Weiss
will pursue their contingency fee in arbitration proceedings, either as
part of the Joe Camel settlement or in the national settlement now before
Congress.

Legal fees in the tobacco cases have been highly controversial. Contingency
fees for the handful of trial attorneys who have assisted government
lawyers in the tobacco cases could run into the billions of dollars. If a
settlement is approved by Congress, lawyer fees would be determined by
court arbitration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

RJR Went After Teens ('San Jose Mercury News' Version)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:17:31 -0800
Subject: MN: US: RJR Went After Teens
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998

RJR WENT AFTER TEENS

On the record: Firm targeted ads, surveys at smokers as young as 14 over
25-year period, memos show.

Mercury News Wire Services - Despite repeated public denials, R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co., the second-leading U.S. cigarette manufacturer, targeted
teenage smokers as young as 14 in an attempt to regain market share during
the past 25 years, according to internal company documents released
Wednesday.

As recently as 1988, for example, R.J. Reynolds planned to saturate areas
where young people gathered, such as fast-food restaurants, video game
arcades, and outdoor basketball courts, with billboards and posters
promoting its products, one memorandum shows. Other documents among the
papers written from the 1950s to the '80s emphasized that the company
sought to expand sales of its products among underage smokers, including
those age 14, in order to sustain brand popularity and corporate earnings.

``To ensure increased and longer-term growth for Camel filter,'' one
internal 1975 company memorandum stated, ``the brand must increase its
share penetration among the 14-24 age group, which have a new set of more
liberal values and which represent tomorrow's cigarette business.''

These are not the first documents to suggest that Reynolds and other
tobacco companies sought to court youthful smokers. But the documents made
public Wednesday are among the most explicit to have been released.

Reynolds continued to deny that it has targeted underage smokers and said
the documents were being taken out of context.

The documents were released by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, a longtime
industry critic. He got the papers from attorneys in California who
obtained them from RJR in a case -- settled last September -- that accused
the company of using deceptive marketing practices, including youth
targeting, in its highly successful Joe Camel campaign.

Impact on Congress

The papers are certain to reverberate in Congress, which is considering
whether to adopt a $368.5 billion national tobacco litigation settlement
the industry reached with state attorneys general last June.

The documents also are likely to have an impact on the Justice Department's
criminal investigation of the industry and numerous lawsuits against the
cigarette companies, including Minnesota's massive suit against the
industry, which is scheduled to start next week.

Both Waxman and David A. Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and
Drug Administration, said the new documents represented the strongest proof
to date that the cigarette industry targeted minors after studying them in
depth.

``If you're looking for a smoking gun on youth targeting, you need look no
further than these documents,'' said Kessler, who is now dean of the Yale
University Medical School.

``It's very hard to read these documents and then say that the industry
should get any special legal protections from Congress,'' Kessler said. The
industry's key legislative goal this year is to obtain congressional
ratification of the national litigation settlement, which would prohibit
all future class-action suits and punitive damages against the cigarette
companies.

The papers also may intensify the Justice Department's investigation of
whether cigarette officials misled the government about the nature of their
products and industry marketing practices.

Waxman said he would send the material to Attorney General Janet Reno and
ask her to broaden the Justice Department probe, including whether former
RJR President James W. Johnston lied to Congress in testimony to a House
subcommittee on April 14, 1994.

On that day, Johnston testified that ``we do not market to children and
will not.'' He also testified that ``we do not survey anyone under the age
of 18.''

Johnston, who resigned as chief executive of RJR's worldwide tobacco
operations in June 1996, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The memos clearly reflect deep concern at RJR about competitors Philip
Morris and Brown & Williamson showing ``unusual strength among these
younger smokers,'' which ``suggests continued growth for Philip Morris and
B&W as their smokers mature.''

On the other hand, the memo notes that RJR's two major brands, Winston and
Salem, ``show comparative weakness . . . among these young smokers.''
Tucker goes on to say that the company's market share will erode ``unless
this situation is corrected.''

Additionally, a 1973 marketing memo states that the company should use
comic strips to help entice ``younger smokers'' away from Philip Morris'
Marlboro, which had become the leading teenage brand. That document
described ``younger smokers'' as 14 to 24.

In another instance, RJR commissioned a ``Smokers Screening Profile,''
which surveyed the smoking habits of more than 11,000 teenagers, age 14 to
17, including data on their brand of cigarette, cigarette purchasing
habits, age, sex, religion, residence, household income, education and
occupation of parents.

Reynolds issued a formal statement, saying the documents were being
misconstrued. For example, the company asserted that the 1987 document
contained a typographical error and that, in reality, the memo should have
said ``18-24-year-old male Marlboro smokers.''

The company reiterated its long-standing position that it does not target
teenagers.

``Not only is it unfair to the employees of Reynolds Tobacco to strip these
documents from the context and perspective of the broad company record as
well as the social standards of the times in which they were created, it is
unfair to the American people and serves only the agenda of some who seek
to benefit from a broad misperception of how this company has conducted
this business,'' the company said in a statement.

Joe Camel case

Additionally, Reynolds said a small number of documents had been
``cherry-picked'' from about 100,000 produced in the Joe Camel case in San
Francisco. The company also said it had turned over all these documents to
the Federal Trade Commission.

Last May, the FTC charged that Reynolds' highly successful Joe Camel
campaign illegally induced children and adolescents to smoke. By a 3-2
vote, the commission asked an administrative law judge to issue a cease and
desist order to prevent RJR from using the cartoon camel in ways that
``would have a substantial appeal to children and adolescents below the age
of 18.''

Reynolds said it would vigorously challenge the FTC's order.

However, less than a month later, RJR and the nation's other leading
cigarette manufacturers reached the litigation settlement with state
attorneys general that included a term barring the use of cartoon
characters such as Joe Camel in future industry marketing.

Even though that settlement is still pending in Congress, Reynolds
announced in July that it was retiring the hip dromedary. At the time,
company officials said they were looking for a new advertising strategy.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Memos Show Teens Targets For Tobacco ('Houston Chronicle' Rewrite
Of 'New York Times' Version)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:17:18 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Memos Show Teens Targets for Tobacco
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: Barry Meier of the NYTimes

MEMOS SHOW TEENS TARGETS FOR TOBACCO

Top officials involved, firm's records reveal

Internal records from one of the nation's largest cigarette companies, R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco, provide new evidence of the extent to which the company
for decades courted young smokers, including some as young as 14, regarding
them as the future of its business.

As recently as 1988, for example, R.J. Reynolds planned to saturate areas
where young people gathered, such as fast-food restaurants, video game
arcades and outdoor basketball courts, with billboards and posters
promoting its products, one memo shows. Other documents among the papers
written from the 1950s to the '80s emphasized that the company sought to
expand sales of its products among underage smokers to sustain brand
popularity and corporate earnings.

"To ensure increased and longer-term growth for Camel filter," one internal
1975 company memo stated, "the brand must increase its share penetration
among the 14-24 age group, which have a new set of more liberal values and
which represent tomorrow's cigarette business."

These are not the first documents to suggest that Reynolds and other
tobacco companies sought to court youthful smokers. But the documents made
public Wednesday are among the most explicit to have been released. And,
while company officials have attributed previous documents on youth
marketing to low-level or renegade employees, some of these documents show
the involvement of top company officials, including the board of directors
in the 1970s.

Officials of R.J. Reynolds, a unit of the RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., have
repeatedly denied in public statements and sworn testimony that they sought
to sell cigarettes to those under 18. And Wednesday, Peggy Carter, a
company spokeswoman, reiterated that position, saying that the documents at
issue had been selectively released by plaintiffs' lawyers to appear out of
context.

Carter said that R.J. Reynolds officials did not have time to fully address
specific documents. But the company said in a statement: "Our documents
reflect the social attitudes of the times in which they were created. And
while attitudes toward smoking have changed over the past several decades,
the Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s position and policy has remained constant: that
smoking is a choice for adults and that marketing programs are directed at
those above the age to smoke."

Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration, who
began that agency's inquiry into tobacco advertising practices, said the
newly released documents were the strongest evidence of a major company's
effort to focus on youth.

"These are as close to smoking guns when it comes to targeting kids" as
have ever appeared, said Kessler, now dean of Yale University Medical
School.

Viewed together, the R.J. Reynolds documents indicate that top tobacco
industry executives long believed that people under 18 were its most
crucial customers because, by that age, minors who smoked had chosen the
brand that they would stick with and smoke even more as adults.

A marketing plan prepared in late 1974 by R.J. Reynolds noted that company
brands like Winston, Salem, and Camel were increasingly losing ground,
among 14- to 24-year old smokers, to Marlboro brand cigarettes made by the
Philip Morris Companies.

"This suggests slow market share erosion for us in years to come unless the
situation is corrected," the document stated. One company strategy to
combat that trend would be to "direct advertising appeal" to those younger
smokers, the document stated.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Ottawa Assailed Over British Columbia Drug Deaths (BC Chief Coroner
Larry Campbell Urges Canadian Government To Identify Addiction
As A Health Problem)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Ottawa assailed over B.C. drug deaths
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 09:57:20 -0800
Source: Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Thursday, January 15, 1998
By Craig Mcinnes and Robert Matas
British Columbia Bureau

Ottawa assailed over B.C. drug deaths

The federal government refuses to do anything about the high number of
drug deaths in British Columbia, the province's chief coroner says.
Larry Campbell urged Ottawa to identify drug addiction as a health
problem, like cigarette and alcohol addiction. A6
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Launch Of Australian Illicit Drugs Report (Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone
Today In Canberra Releases A Joint Commonwealth And State
Law Enforcement Study)

Subj: FWD: UPDATE> Media Release - Launch Australian Illicit Drugs Report
From: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 11:29:34 -0600 (CST)

Here's yet another MAJOR study recommending decrim of cannabis.

<---- Begin Included Message ---->
From: Frank Quinlan (frankq@adca.org.au)
To: "'ADCA UPDATE'" (update@adca.org.au)
Subject: UPDATE> Media Release - Launch Australian Illicit Drugs Report
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 12:06:41 +1100
Sender: owner-update@wilma.netinfo.com.au
Reply-To: Frank Quinlan 
Released in Canberra Today, launched by Senator Amanda Vanstone

NATIONAL LAUNCH OF THE AUSTRALIAN
ILLICIT DRUG REPORT 1996-97, 15 JANUARY 1998

AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE

AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE
NEW SOUTH WALES POLICE
NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE
QUEENSLAND POLICE
SOUTH AUSTRALIA POLICE
TASMANIA POLICE
VICTORIA POLICE
WESTERN AUSTRALIA POLICE

PO BOX 1936 CANBERRA CITY 2601 PHONE +612 6243 5666 FAX +612 6247 5380

A joint Commonwealth and State law enforcement report on the Australian
illicit drug situation was released by Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone in
Canberra today.

Australian police reported that most illegal drugs continue to be widely
available with prices steady or declining from 1995-96 figures according to
the 1996-1997 Australian Illicit Drug Report.

Produced by the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, the report
represents the coordinated input of drug statistics and information from
State, Territory and Federal police services and the Australian Customs
Service, with assistance from the Commonwealth Department of Health and
Family Services and various drug laboratories and research institutions.

The report states that cannabis remains the most popular illicit drug type
with a third of all Australian adults having ever used it.

Some 81 per cent of all drug offences were attributed to cannabis
production, use and sale which involved "a significant amount of police and
legal resources," the report says.

The report suggests that relaxing laws relating to cannabis use would allow
police to redirect their attention to other crime issues or drug types.

"Any further moves to decriminalise personal use might result in a major
redirection of resources committed by law enforcement agencies," it says.

Some multi-tonne cannabis importations were detected during 1996-97,
increasing the total weight of Customs seizures considerably compared with
the previous year.

There is increasing demand for Australian-grown hydroponic cannabis. If
production of this form continues to expand, it may eventually reduce the
demand for imported herbal cannabis, although there will still be a limited
demand for imported cannabis resin (hashish).

With opium cultivation increasing in most source regions of the world,
there is little prospect of a significant decrease in heroin production and
export to countries such as Australia.

While arrests for heroin sale and use increased slightly in Australia, the
total weight of heroin seized at the Customs barrier doubled from 1995-96
detections. Both purity levels and the rate of heroin-related deaths have
increased in recent years.

"Increased heroin purity probably has been a contributing factor, making it
easier for heroin users to overdose when combining heroin with alcohol and
benzodiazepines," Professor Wayne Hall of the National Drug and Alcohol
Research Centre says in the report.

The ABCI reports that seizures of ecstasy, cocaine and hallucinogens such
as LSD at the Customs barrier increased during 1996-97 compared with the
previous year. Arrests for cocaine and LSD also rose.
Cocaine has become more available in some areas and there is potential for
its use to increase if the price were to fall sufficiently, the report
warns.

Isolated instances of crack cocaine manufacture and use have been detected
in Victoria and South Australia. Once the exclusive domain of middle-class
professionals, cocaine is increasingly being targeted towards
'street-level' users.

"It is the street level market that causes the most concern to law
enforcement agencies... this in turn could eventually lead to the emergence
of crack cocaine as a preferred method of use... On the basis of current
trends, however, a significant rise in crack abuse in this country is not
anticipated," the reports says.

The resurgent popularity of LSD among young users is attributed to its low
price (between $10 and $30 per tab) and may be linked to an increase in the
popularity of synthetic drugs in general.

Detections of imported ecstasy have increased as Customs continues to
intercept the drug in postal articles and from passengers and baggage
travelling mainly from the UK, the Netherlands and Indonesia. Domestic
production is evidenced but does not yet pose a substantial law enforcement
problem.

"A number of attempts to manufacture MDMA (ecstasy) in Australia have been
reported. Several laboratories were detected in New South Wales but these
were unsuccessful and importation remains the dominant source for the
Australian market, " the report says.

Increased enforcement to prevent amphetamine production with an emphasis on
limiting the availability of precursor chemicals used in its manufacture
has led to decreased purity levels. It was reported that this may lead to
users seeking other drugs and increases in importations of stronger
amphetamines and ecstasy.

"There are already reliable signs that some amphetamine users are turning
to heroin principally because it is currently relatively cheap and of high
quality whereas the quality of domestically produced amphetamines has
declined," the report says.

The illicit drug report says that police are seeking greater cooperation
with the community in tackling the drugs issue. The Sydney office of the
National Crime Authority has set up a phone line to the Asian community
and Victoria police are establishing 'drug action teams' using the 'National
Community-Based Approach to Drug Law Enforcement'. New South Wales
Police have already begun such a trial.

"In Fairfield, in Sydney's west, a new project known as the Drug Action
Team is being trialed. It involves police, ethnic community liaison
officers, staff from needle and syringe exchanges, community workers, youth
workers, Education Department personnel, health, drug and alcohol services,
and staff from the Drug Programs Coordination Unit," the report says.

The report says that advanced technology at the Customs barrier, in prisons
and at the roadside are supporting the law enforcement effort against
drugs.

For example, a roadside drug test unit, known as the Ecom Analyser, is
being trialed by the Western Australia Police Service to detect the
presence of heroin, cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines in drivers.

"The Australian Illicit Drug Report is considered to be the leading
authority on the national illicit drug situation from the law enforcement
perspective," said Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie, Chairman of the ABCI's
Board of Control.

The report contains statistical data on arrests and seizures, tables of
street level drug prices and details the numerous research studies
conducted into the illicit drugs field from July 1996 to June 1997. The
report is used extensively in the national law enforcement arena and is
distributed nationally and internationally to health authorities, research
institutions and law enforcement agencies.

"The report represents the commitment Australian law enforcement has in
tackling the drugs issue. By combining input from all Australian Police
Services and law enforcement agencies with health and social research, the
report gives a holistic view of Australia's drug problem to assist policy
makers, law enforcement officers and workers in the drugs field," said Gary
Manison, Acting Director of the ABCI.

The report is available from Bibliotech, ANUTECH Pty Ltd in Canberra for
$35.00. For information regarding purchase please call Bibliotech on
telephone (02) 6249 2479.

For Information regarding this media release please contact either
Tony Wright or Mark Bird
Acting Manager Intelligence Publications Officer
ABCI
Telephone: (02) 6243 5662
Telephone: (02) 6243 5674
Mobile: 017 970 891

Cheers

Frank Quinlan

Program Manager
Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia ADCA
PO Box 269 - Woden ACT 2606 - Australia - http://www.adca.org.au
e-mail frankq@adca.org.au -- PH +61 6 281 0686 -- FX +61 6 281 0995
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Words And The Corruption Of Justice (Comments From List Subscriber
About Australian Illicit Drugs Report, Excerpts From Which Ensue)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 07:09:54 EST
Reply-To: petrew@pcug.org.au
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Words and the corruption of justice

Confucius said:

"If language is not used rightly, then what is said is not what is meant.
If what is said is not what is meant, then that which ought to be done
is left undone;
if it remains undone, morals and art will be corrupted;
if morals and art are corrupted, justice will go awry, and
if justice goes awry, the people will stand about in helpless confusion."

And that sums up the history of prohibition in a nutshell.

If one really wants to achieve something, one first of all defines
what it is that one wishes to achieve.

One then formulates a plan which includes criteria by which each step
in the plan can be measured for success or failure.

One enables modifications so that failures can be reversed and
successes reinforced.

In the beginning and at each step along the way clarity and
correctness of language is the key, and unless one is planning for
justice to go awry, the same words must mean the same things to all.

The Harrison Tax Act was not about tax, and neither was it used to
ensure the medical control of heroin and cocaine that its words
implied.

The Marihuana Tax Act was not about tax, and the words used to secure
its passage through Congress did not mean what they said.

The Controlled Substances Act does not control the substances it
prohibits; prohibition is a negation of control; prohibition hands
over control to those prepared to break the law.

Lack of precision in language; lack of any statement of goals; lack of
any criteria by which success or failure could be judged have enabled
proponents of prohibition to interpret the aims and performance of the
Acts and Conventions by which prohibition has been secured in any way
convenient to them.

Lack of precision in language has enabled each proponent of
prohibition to interpret the Acts in ways convenient to their
independent selves and has made conspiracy unnecessary.

Lack of precision in language has frustrated the opponents of
prohibition at every turn and has enabled its proponents to render any
words or phrase that might enable serious questioning less useful or
pejorative. It has turned opponents of prohibition against one
another.

Examples abound. I confine myself to just two.

"Harm reduction": a general term intended to reduce any of the harms
resulting from prohibition policies.

Used constructively, one can single out HIV spread by common needle
use as a harm, and plan ways in which needle sharing can be reduced.

Proponents of prohibition can then say, "But the greatest harm is
illicit drug use, so the only logical way to reduce harm is through
zero tolerance. Needle exchange programs are not intended to eliminate
illicit drug use, therefore they do not reduce harm."

"Addict": a person taking a drug excessively and being unable to cease
doing so without adverse effects.

Proponents of prohibition can then say, "But any use of illicit drugs
is excessive, so any user of a drug is an addict." The description is
thus rendered pejorative. But the actual condition of an addict being
unable to cease using an addictive drug without adverse (even
excruciating) effects still exists, so we have to seek another term to
describe the person, and a useful single word now becomes two words:
'dependent user'.

This imprecision of language makes informed debate impossible.

What should we do about it?

We should start by having both sides of the debate specify the
benefits and the harms that are perceived as resulting from the
policy of prohibiting some drugs and suggest ways in which those
benefits and harms can be measured and tabulated.

It then becomes possible to suggest ways in which the benefits can be
reinforced and the harms reduced.

The tables should be both across time and across jurisdiction.

At every opportunity we should insist on clarity of language,
ridicule imprecision, and require statistical evidence of effect.

What has caused this philosophical outburst?

Reading the Australian Illicit Drug Report 1996-97 compiled and
published by the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, whose
Board of Control consists of the eight Commissioners of the seven
Australian States and Territories and of the Australian Federal
Police, I can find no evidence that present policies are working nor
any hope that they can be made more effective in future.

I quote key comments from the report in a separate message.

Peter Watney
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Key Quotes From Illicit Drug Report (List Subscriber Posts Excerpts
From Australian Illicit Drugs Report)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 07:10:05 EST
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: petrew@pcug.org.au
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Key quotes from Illicit Drug Report

Australian Illicit Drug Report 1996-97 by Australian Bureau of Criminal
Intelligence:

Drugs in perspective [p1]

[quote]

During the last five years the National Drug Strategy has devoted
considerable funding and effort toward combating the effects of the licit
drugs alcohol and tobacco while allocating a significant but lesser
proportion to the illicit drug problems in society. Understandably this
state of affairs is a consequence of the relative magnitude of the abuse
of tobacco and alcohol in Australian society.

Tobacco and alcohol remain the two most widely consumed drugs in Australia
and the mortality and morbidity attributable to them are significant. For
1995 it is estimated that 18,124 people died from tobacco-related causes
and 3,642 from alcohol-related causes; there were an estimated 778 deaths
attributable to illicit drugs (AIHW 1997). Figure 1 [a block graph not
reproduced here] illustrates this. [and very graphically too]
[unquote]

Cannabis

Key judgements [p14]

[quote]
* Cannabis remains the most popular illicit drug in Australia, with about
one third of the adult population having ever used it. There appears to
have been an increase in the last decade of people using the drug, and the
age of first use appears to be decreasing.

* A few multi-tonne cannabis importations were detected during 1996-97
compared with the previous year, increasing the total weight of Customs
seizures considerably. The number of detected importations increased
slightly in comparison with 1995-96.

* Increasing levels of production and difficulties facing under-resourced
law enforcement agencies in Papua New Guinea increase the potential for
cannabis importations from that country.

* In Australia there were further indications that large, outdoor
plantations were becoming less common than smaller, more easily concealed
crop sites. Indoor cultivation is becoming more common, and there is an
increasing demand for hydroponic cannabis in Australia.

* If the domestic production of hydroponic cannabis continues to expand,
it may eventually reduce the demand for imported herbal cannabis.

* The Northern Territory joined South Australia and the Australian Capital
Territory when it introduced a limited form of decriminalisation for minor
cannabis use and possession.

* In 1996-97 cannabis offences constituted 81 per cent of all illicit drug
offences in Australia and involved a significant amount of police and
legal resources. Any further moves to decriminalise personal use might
result in a major redirection of resources committed by law enforcement
agencies.

* The gradual shift in public opinion towards some reform of the laws on
cannabis use became more evident in 1996-97. Unless there is a reversal of
the trend among the general community towards greater acceptance of
cannabis use, further increases may occur in the production and use of
cannabis, and demands for legislative reform may become more widespread.
[unquote]

Heroin

Key judgements [p34]

[quote]
* Despite annual fluctuation, worldwide production of opium has increased
in recent years. Southeast Asia supplies about 80 per cent of the heroin
detected reaching Australia: in 1996-97 Thailand was the primary export
point for this heroin, but China and Hong Kong also figured prominently as
transit points. There is little prospect of a significant decrease in
heroin production and export to countries such as Australia.

* In the past five years, there has been an overall increase in the amount
of heroin detected at the Australian Customs barrier. In 1996-97 the total
weight of detections was more than double that in 1995-96.

* Most of these importations were detected in Sydney, which is the main
importation and distribution centre for the heroin trade in Australia. In
the country as a whole there has been a large increase in the rate of
detection of heroin trafficking in the past five years, although in
1996-97 there was only a slight increase in heroin-related arrests. In
1996-97 New South Wales and Victoria continued to be the most prominent
States in terms of arrests and seizures.

* Heroin was widely available during 1996-97. Only occasional shortages
were reported and prices fell in many areas.

* The overall prevalence of heroin use in Australia is unclear. Previous
national surveys - the last was in 1995 - suggested a generally stable
level of use, at between 1 and 2 per cent. Since then studies of some
small groups of regular users and anecdotal accounts could indicate an
increase in use and a decline in the average age of users, but more
surveys are needed before trends in the general population can be
determined.

* Since 1979 there has been a marked increase in overdose deaths involving
opioids such as heroin: there are now more than 500 annually. The causes
are yet to be elucidated: the increase in the purity of heroin reaching
users is probably a contributing factor, but not the only one. Lack of a
common reporting system precludes any useful estimate of non-fatal
overdoses.
[unquote]

Amphetamines and related substances

Key judgements [p50]

[quote]

* Amphetamines in Australia are primarily domestic in origin. Although
they are widely available, there has been an overall decrease in their
quality as a result of tighter legislation and effective targeting by law
enforcement agencies. There are some indications that amphetamine users
are beginning to seek other drugs in preference to Australian
amphetamines. If this becomes a marked trend, it could lead to more harm
to users and/or a big increase in the importation of high-quality
amphetamines produced overseas. In the absence of an early evaluation of
the effects of the precursor legislation, concern will grow that it may be
causing unintended harm.

* To assist any evaluation, improved methods of identifying developments
in the amphetamine market are needed, including more systematic profiling
of amphetamines; better discrimination in data collections between the
various forms of synthetic drugs; a national database of chemical
diversions, clandestine laboratories, methods of manufacture and
information about producers; and more frequent studies of amphetamine use.

* Health and law enforcement indicators of amphetamine use are not
consistent. Although it cannot be determined with any certainty whether
actual use is increasing, anecdotal and quantitative data suggest
increasing harm from the use of amphetamines.

* The majority of euphoric drugs such as MDMA and MBDB are imported, and
there has been a large increase in both the number and quantity of
seizures recorded as ecstacy at the Australian Customs barrier between
1992 and 1997. At present ecstacy seizures contribute only a small
proportion of total amphetamine seizures, but imports of both amphetamines
and euphoric drugs are likely to increase in the future.

* The significant increase in the level of amphetamine production and
availability in Asia will probably contribute to this region becoming a
source for the Australian market.

* There has been an increase in the variety of euphoric drugs and
amphetamine analogues in Australia (for example MBDB) and this trend will
probably continue.
[unquote]

Cocaine

Key judgements [p79]

[quote]
* There is no evidence to suggest that the Australian cocaine market is
being targeted by South American cartels.

* There does not appear to have been a 'flood' of cocaine into the
Australian market in recent years, although since 1994-95 the amount and
number of cocaine seizures at the Customs barrier have gradually
increased.

* Importation of cocaine into Australia is not necessarily carried out by
South American nationals. During 1996-97 an analysis of
significant-seizure data showed that importations were primarily carried
out by Australian, American and South American nationals.

* New South Wales (and in particular Sydney) is the preferred point of
entry for cocaine. This is because it is the preferred transshipment point
for distribution to Australian States and Territories and/or has the
largest domestic market for cocaine.

* Manufacture and use of 'crack' cocaine was reported in two jurisdictions
during 1996-97. Despite this, there does not appear to be a significant
(or rapidly developing) crack cocaine market in Australia at present.

* The availability of cocaine is reported to have risen in Victoria and
South Australia and in areas such as the Gold Coast and Sydney's Kings
Cross. Elsewhere the cocaine market has not been much in evidence.

* There is potential for the Australian cocaine market to be exploited by
cocaine importers. Among the signs to look for would be a big fall in
cocaine prices and an increase in cocaine availability.
[unquote]

Reading between the lines there is not much confidence that the war on
drugs has any prospect of success - a view that appears more than
supported by the statistics of the report.

Peter Watney
Internet : petrew@pcug.org.au
30A Kellermann Close
Fidonet : 3:620/243.71
Holt ACT 2615
Australia
Telephone: +61-2-6254-1914
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Charge Defendants Changed Plea To Guilty
(Ireland's 'Examiner' Reports Local Cannabis Conviction)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 09:38:31 -0500
Subject: MN: Ireland: Drug Charge Defendants Changed Plea To Guilty
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Thursday, 15 January 1998
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Author: Elaine Keogh

DRUG CHARGE DEFENDANTS CHANGED PLEA TO GUILTY

TWO men who pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis resin with intent to
supply had been used by others more heavily involved in the drug scene,
Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court was told.

Paul Quinn (42) and James Downey (27) with addresses at Ballsgrove Estate,
Drogheda, admitted possession of the drug at Cord Road, Drogheda on the
February 10, 1994.

Yesterday morning both had denied the charge as well as a charge of
possession of ecstasy with intent to supply on the same date. In the
afternoon, the court was told there had been a development. The men were
re-charged with just the cannabis offence to which they then pleaded guilty
and the State entered a nolle prosecute in relation to the ecstasy charge.

Garda Brian Morrissey, Drogheda Drugs Unit, told the court neither
defendant was known to the gardai before the offence. In detailed
statements to gardai the men had outlined how they got involved with men
referred to as Mr A and Mr B.

On February 10, 1994, Paul Quinn had driven with James Downey and Mr A from
Drogheda to Dublin. On the way they were told they were collecting drugs.
They drove to the quays in Dublin and followed a car from there to a hotel
in Dun Laoghaire. There another car arrived and they were given a green
holdall which was extremely heavy and big.

They drove back to Drogheda and brought the bag into Mr A's house. Later
the defendants put the holdall in a wardrobe in a house belonging to Corona
Sarsfield, Cord Road, who has already been dealt with by the courts.

Garda Morrissey said on February 19, 1997 he was in possession of a search
warrant and searched the house. He found the holdall and saw in it what
appeared to him to be two brown pieces of a substance he believed to be
cannabis. Analysis found it to be 27 kilos of cannabis, sufficient to make
9,357 hand rolled cigarettes.

Garda Morrissey agreed with barristers for both men that they had got
involved in a situation where they had been used.

Judge Smith remanded them in custody to Trim Circuit Court next Tuesday for
sentencing.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

English Drugs Mule Jailed For Three Years ('Irish Times' Says
19-Year-Old Woman From Manchester Smuggled 190,000 Of Hash Into Ireland
From Spain For 1,000 Fee From 'A Major Criminal Gang')

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 09:53:02 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: English Drugs 'Mule' Jailed For Three Years
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: The Irish Times
Pubdate: Thursday, January 15, 1998
Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2,
Ireland
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407

ENGLISH DRUGS 'MULE' JAILED FOR THREE YEARS

An English woman who imported cannabis resin valued at 190,000 into
Ireland for a major criminal gang has been jailed for three years.

Charlotte Loines (19) was offered 1,000 by a man she knew as "The Crow"
for each of two trips she did from Spain as a drugs "mule", Dublin Circuit
Criminal Court was told.

Loines, of Walton Street, Heywood, Manchester, pleaded guilty to importing
19kg of the drug at Dublin Airport on April 6th last.

Garda Marie Courtney told prosecuting counsel Mr Conor Devalley that when
airport Customs officers stopped Loines, who was wheeling a suitcase on a
trolley, she agreed she had packed the case herself.

Garda Courtney said similar types of packet were observed when her luggage
was X-rayed. The case had to be forced open.

Loines was arrested and made a statement in which she admitted making a
previous similar run for a man she knew as "The Crow". She said she was met
by two people at the airport then and was paid 1,000. She was to get
another 1,000 for the second run.

Garda Courtney agreed with Mr Patrick Marrinan, defending, that Loines
co-operated and brought gardai on a demonstration of the route taken by the
people who met her the first time.

She agreed that arrests had followed as a result of the co-operation
received from Loines and others. Loines admitted she knew she was carrying
drugs but did not know the amount or type.

Mr Marrinan said Loines was a foreign national who had been found sobbing
in her cell several times. She had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity
and had cooperated. As a foreign national she would not be able to receive
visits very often while in custody.

Judge Cyril Kelly said it seemed the Court of Criminal Appeal had laid down
a tariff for drugs cases. Two recent sentences imposed by him had been
reduced on appeal. An importer of crack cocaine - "the most lethal
substance" - had his sentence reduced from seven years to five.

Judge Kelly said it was clear Loines was immature and easily led. He had to
take the into consideration her emotional problems, her previous anorexia,
drug and drink problems, that she was "on the rebound" from an attachment
and had pleaded guilty.

The judge said: "She perfectly describes practically every drug courier who
has come before the courts in recent times." But he also had to think about
the well-being of society and jail her for three years.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 25 (News Summary For Activists
From The Drug Reform Coordination Network)

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 00:03:35 EST
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #25

Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
Rapid Response Team

Please copy and distribute.

THE WEEK ONLINE with DRCNet
ISSUE #25 -- January 15, 1998

This bulletin can be viewed in full on the web at
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html.

(To sign-off this list, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe, use
our signup form at http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html. To
donate, visit http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html, or mail
your check to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC
20036 -- don't forget that we've extended our special
membership offer, and that a donation of $30 or more will
get you a free copy of the exciting new book Marijuana
Myths, Marijuana Facts, normally priced at $12.95, in
addition to your annual membership worth $25.)

(State action is coming right up in Virginia, New Jersey,
Connecticut and California. If you haven't filled out your
registration form yet, please take a moment to do so --
http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html, whether you're
donating or not -- or if you don't want to share your
mailing address, at least send us your state, at
drcnet@drcnet.org. This information will helps us target
our bulletins to maximal impact.)

A MESSAGE FROM DRCNET:

Now that 1998 has begun in earnest, and everyone's gotten
through their post-vacation hangovers (when's the next
vacation again?) it's really time to get back to the
business of ending the Drug War. We have a very activist-
oriented issue this week. There's federal action against
the California buyers' clubs to oppose (and a defense fund
for the clubs which is seeking contributions), a Washington
state medical marijuana bill to support, a national news
story which just begs for letters to the editor of your
local paper, an editorial in the international medical
journal Lancet, to which we hope that all the MD's on this
list will respond, and a very important harm reduction
conference being planned in Boston whose organizers are
looking for some small donations to cover their expenses.

Yes, it's time to stand up and be counted. 1998 promises to
be a seminal year in the movement toward a more rational and
humane drug policy. You know that you can count on DRCNet
and The Week Online to keep you plugged in to the issue, and
to let you know how best to make your voice heard. There
are a lot of exciting things in the works, including a
global response to the United Nations' first-ever special
session on narcotics in June (more on that next week). So
get ready to get active. In the words of Margaret Meade,
"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can
change the world... in fact, it's the only thing which ever
has."

(And please don't forget to send us copies of your letters -
- it is crucial for our documenting and fundraising. E-mail
to drcnet@drcnet.org, fax to (202) 293-8344, or mail to
DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036.)

***

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. VASCONCELLOS CALLS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACCESS IN FACE
OF FEDERAL ACTION AGAINST CLUBS
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#vasconcellos

2. DEFENSE FUND ESTABLISHED FOR BUYERS' CLUB DEFENDANTS
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#defensefund

3. WASHINGTON STATE BILL AUTHORIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO
BE CONSIDERED: Your response needed!
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#washingtonstate

4. PENTAGON PROPOSES ENDING MILITARY BORDER PATROLS
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#pentagon

5. PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNS DIRECTIVE, AUTHORIZES $200
MILLION TO TRY TO REDUCE DRUG USE... IN PRISONS
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#drugsinprisons

6. EU PARLIAMENT DELAYS VOTE ON DRUG COMMISSION REPORT
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#eureport

7. COLOMBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: "IF US DOESN'T CERTIFY US,
THERE WILL BE A 'POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE'"
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#colombia

8. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, LANCET, CALLS ON US TO ACT ON
NEEDLE EXCHANGE
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#lancet

9. NEW AUSTRALIAN HARM REDUCTION-BASED DRUG-ED PROGRAM
SENDS KIDS TO TEACH KIDS
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#kidstokids

10. NUCLEAR CRUISER USS CALIFORNIA DEPLOYED IN DRUG WAR
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#nuclearcruiser

11. HARM REDUCTION WORKSHOP IN BOSTON
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#bostonworkshop

12. EDITORIAL
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/1-15.html#editorial

***

1. VASCONCELLOS CALLS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACCESS IN FACE OF
FEDERAL ACTION AGAINST CLUBS

DRCNet SUBSCRIBERS ARE URGED TO RESPOND!! (SEE INFORMATION
AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE)

California State Senator John Vasconcellos held a press
conference on January 12 to call for the full implementation
of Proposition 215, passed by the state's voters in 1996,
which allows for the use of medicinal marijuana by the sick
and dying. His call came just days after officials of the
Clinton Administration vowed to close all of California's
cannabis buyers' clubs, which are illegal under federal law.

Vasconcellos promised to push for the passage of a bill,
which he sponsored last year, which would establish a three-
year study by the University of California on marijuana's
medicinal value. He also said that he plans to appeal the
federal action against the clubs. In addition, the senator
will push for a state-wide summit aimed at devising a plan
for the distribution of medical marijuana to those who have
legitimate medical need. Vasconcellos' office told The Week
Online that they are hoping to convince the Department of
Justice to take part in the summit, and thus to become part
of the solution. "If Dan Lundgren (California's Attorney
General) co-sponsors this summit, we think that Justice will
participate. Lundgren, although he disagrees with us right
now on the issue, has been very open-minded. He truly wants
the evidence to be evaluated, and to do the right thing by
the people of California."

The federal threat (as reported in last week's Week Online)
comes despite efforts by a number of California city
governments to work with medical marijuana distributors to
ensure the availability of the medicine with the least
possible diversion to the black market. Vasconcellos said
that he would ask his colleagues in the California
legislature to sign a letter to President Clinton in protest
against the federal response, and is urging citizens to do
the same.

A spokesman for Vasconcellos told the Week Online, "We're in
the process of getting a letter circulated to California
legislators opposing the federal action. We're hopeful that
a majority will sign on, and that that will get the
attention of the administration. We can't believe that they
(the Clinton Administration) really intend to thumb their
nose at the will of the majority of California voters, and
we're counting on them to become part of a process of
problem-solving. Right now, this unilateral action on the
part of the federal government is being perceived by
Californians as an intrusion and an affront to the will of
the voters. We're sure that that's not what they (the
administration) want."

DRCNet IS URGING OUR SUBSCRIBERS TO RESPOND!!

Send a letter - or a fax - to President Clinton, Vice
President Gore, and, if you are a California resident,
Governor Pete Wilson and Attorney General Dan Lundgren. In
it, please ask (politely) that they come together, in
respect of the will of the voters of California, and the
needs of suffering Californians, to find a solution to the
issue of the distribution of medical marijuana. In your
communications to the White House, you may want to mention
that the administration's respect, or lack thereof, for the
will of the people will weigh heavily in your assessment of
Al Gore's candidacy for the Presidency.

President Bill Clinton, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20500. V: (202) 456-1414 F:
(202) 456-2461

Vice President Al Gore, Old Executive Office Building,
Washington, DC 20501. V: (202) 456-2326 F: (202) 456-2685

(You can e-mail them, although this has less impact than the
above modes of communication, at president@whitehouse.gov
and vice.president@whitehouse.gov)

Governor Pete Wilson, State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA
95814, V: (916) 445-2841, F: (916) 445-4633,
http://www.ca.gov/s/governor/mail.html

Attorney General Dan Lundgren, 1300 I Street, Sacramento, CA
95814, V: (916) 445-9555, F: (916) 324-5205

***

2. DEFENSE FUND ESTABLISHED FOR BUYERS' CLUB DEFENDANTS

Medical Marijuana Patients' and Caregivers' Fund Established
To Defend Prop. 215

Contact: Dale Gieringer, (415) 563-5858.

Californians have established an emergency legal defense
fund to help support medical marijuana patients, caregivers,
and dispensaries against the government's efforts to
suppress medical marijuana.

An immediate, urgent goal of the fund is to support
litigation in opposition to the federal government lawsuit
to close down six prominent Northern California medical
marijuana dispensaries. The fund also hopes to provide
legal defense, assistance, and education in other cases
involving medical marijuana patients and caregivers, and to
support efforts to achieve Prop. 215's goal of "safe and
affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in
medical need."

California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer, one of the
original organizers of Prop. 215, is calling on supporters
across the nation to contribute to the Medical Marijuana
Patients' and Caregivers' Fund, which is being administered
independently of NORML by a board of representatives
from several statewide organizations, including California
NORML.

"The federal lawsuit presents the greatest peril to medical
marijuana patients since before Prop. 215 was passed. The
six clubs serve over 10,000 patients, nearly 80% of the
total in California; to close them down now would be an
intolerable public health and safety disaster... Those of us
who supported Prop. 215 have the duty to help preserve
the victory. The federal lawsuit is an unprecedented threat
to medical marijuana patients everywhere. To fight it will
be costly. Contributions are urgently needed."

Donations may be sent to: NORML Foundation, Medical
Marijuana Patients' and Caregivers' Fund, 1001 Connecticut
Ave., NW, Suite 710, Washington DC 20036. (Checks should be
made out to NORML Foundation: MMPCF.)

***

3. WASHINGTON STATE BILL AUTHORIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO BE
CONSIDERED: Your response needed!

(This story was partially adapted from Hemp.Net News,
http://www.hemp.net.)

In The state of Washington, Senate Bill SB 6271, which would
authorize the possession and use, as well as the sale by
licensed pharmacists of medical marijuana, is on the
legislative agenda. The legislative session in Washington
runs for only 60 days, which means that people concerned
about the issue must move quickly to register their support.

SB 6271 was introduced and referred to the Senate Health and
Long-Term Care Committee. The bill must be reported out of
committee before the February 6th cutoff date in order for
it to stay alive. Sen. Alex Deccio (R-Yakima) chairs this
committee of seven. Deccio supported the Controlled
Substances Therapeutic Research Act in 1979 and has
scheduled a hearing on the bill for Tuesday, Jan 20, from
7:00 to 9:00 PM.

You can find the complete bill on the web by going to:
http://www.leg.wa.gov, clicking on "Bill Info" and typing
"6271" into the search engine.

IF YOU ARE A WASHINGTON STATE RESIDENT, OR IF YOU HAVE
FRIENDS OR FAMILY RESIDING IN THAT STATE, WE URGE YOU TO
TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT OF SB 6271.

Legislative hotline: (800) 562-6000
Legislature website: http://www.leg.wa.gov

It is especially important if your Senator is one of the
following, as they are on the Health and Long-Term Care
committee. At least four of these seven must support the
bill to pass it out of committee.

Senator Alex Deccio, Chair
Senator Jeannette Wood, Vice Chair
Senator Don Benton
Senator Darlene Fairley
Senator Rosa Franklin
Senator Gary Strannigan
Senator R. Lorraine Wojahn, Ranking Democrat Member

For a complete update of the medical marijuana bill and an
introduction to how it could become law, see the Hemp.Net
news story at http://www.hemp.net/news/legislature.html.

***

4. PENTAGON PROPOSES ENDING MILITARY BORDER PATROLS

In the wake of last year's shooting death of American high
school sophomore Esequiel Hernandez by camouflaged marines
on the Texas-Mexican border, the Pentagon has proposed
ending all such military patrols. "It's not worth the legal
liability for our soldiers, and the actual amount of drugs
seized throughout the performance of those missions proved
to be modest," a Pentagon official told reporters.

The Pentagon claims that the number of troops who were on
such patrols was never more than two dozen, and so this
proposal amounted to just a "minor adjustment" in strategy.
The Pentagon plans to continue programs under which the
military provides communications, intelligence, logistic and
air support for border patrol efforts.

Visit the Esequiel Hernandez memorial photographic gallery
at http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/hernandez/gallery/.

***

5. PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNS DIRECTIVE, AUTHORIZES $200 MILLION
TO TRY TO REDUCE DRUG USE... IN PRISONS

In what has to be considered a telling admission of the
impossibility of successfully keeping drugs out of a free
society, President Clinton this week signed a Presidential
Directive which he hopes will force states to address their
failure to keep drugs out of some of the most secure
facilities in the world, prisons. The directive orders
states to make an assessment of the drug problems within
their institutions. Those figures will be used as a
baseline from which to measure future success, upon which
federal prison monies will then depend.

It is widely known that virtually every prison in the
country, whether federal or state, houses an active drug
trade. The contraband is usually either smuggled in by
visitors or guards. The problem is so universal that some
countries in Europe have experimented with needle exchange
programs within their institutions, attempting to stem the
spread of AIDS after having come to the conclusion that they
could not keep the drugs out entirely at any price.

THIS STORY WAS CARRIED BY VIRTUALLY EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER IN
THE COUNTRY. DRCNet SUGGESTS YOU TAKE A MOMENT TO SEND A
LETTER TO YOUR FAVORITE PAPER (most take email submissions)
POINTING OUT THE ABSURDITY OF THE DRUG WAR IN LIGHT OF OUR
INABILITY TO KEEP EVEN PRISONS "DRUG FREE". And don't
forget to let us know if your letter gets published!

***

6. EU PARLIAMENT DELAYS VOTE ON DRUG COMMISSION REPORT

We reported last week that British Prime Minister Tony Blair
had ordered all 60 of his Labourite EP's to vote against the
report of the EU Drug Commission which recommended a harm
reduction approach, including the decriminalization of
cannabis, as official policy for the soon-to-be established
Union. Reports reaching us this week were that many of the
60 would abstain, rather than vote one way or the other. In
any case, it looked like it would be impossible to get the
Report passed without the British Labourites.

Now comes news that on Tuesday, the EU Parliament voted 252
to 223 in favor of postponing the vote. This was reported
as a victory for the report by Dutch radio, considering its
slim chance of passing at this time. What is certain is
that this issue will remain contentious in Europe as
governments and even populations within most of the
individual nations remain divided over the best way to
proceed with regard to drug policy. Unlike in the US, and
despite heavy US pressure in favor of strict Prohibitionism
and against rational debate, drug policy in Europe is being
widely discussed, and the momentum, if not the advantage, is
certainly on the side of those advocating a change in the
US-led status quo, as evidenced by ongoing events.

The Week Online will of course keep you up to date on
developments in Europe and elsewhere. Things will no doubt
heat up even further as the UN special session on narcotics,
scheduled for early June, approaches.

(ERRATA: Last week's article on the EU vote contained a
typo: The strict prohibitionist amendments were submitted
by Sweden, not Switzerland. Our apologies to the Swiss,
whose heroin maintenance programs are in the vanguard of
drug policy reform.)

***

7. COLOMBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: "IF US DOESN'T CERTIFY US, THERE
WILL BE A 'POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE'"

Colombian foreign minister Maria Emma Mejia said this week
that the United States had better certify her nation as an
ally in the Drug War, or else it will face an anti-American
backlash which would make itself felt during Colombia's
upcoming presidential elections. "Any certification
decision that isn't positive for Colombia is going to cause
an internal political earthquake... and cause more
opposition to the United States," she said.

The controversial certification process, under which the
United States declares that a nation is either sufficiently
or insufficiently cooperative in the international Drug War,
has far-reaching implications for source and transshipment
countries. Under US law, countries which are de-certified
face an end to US foreign aid and an automatic "no" vote by
the US on loans from the World Bank. The deadline for
President Clinton to make such decisions is March 1.

General Rosso Jose Serrano, commander of Colombia's National
Police, told Colombia's El Tiempo newspaper, "I hope that
the international community, particularly the united States,
the world's principal drug consuming country, recognizes the
efforts we have made." Those efforts include the passage of
a long-awaited bill allowing the extradition of Colombian
citizens to be tried in foreign courts. The US
administration expressed disappointment with the bill,
however, as it was not made retroactive, meaning that cartel
leaders currently jailed in that country will likely never
be brought to trial in the US, and that their enormous
assets will never be subject to forfeiture by the US
treasury.

***

8. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, LANCET, CALLS ON US TO ACT ON
NEEDLE EXCHANGE

Adding their voice to the growing chorus of well-respected
medical and scientific organizations and publications
advocating syringe exchange, the renowned British medical
journal Lancet called on the US government to "act now" to
allow the use of federal anti-AIDS funding to be used to
institute such programs. The stinging editorial, which
appeared in the journal's January 10 issue, notes that over
one half of new HIV infections in the US could be traced,
either directly or indirectly, to the sharing of an infected
syringe.

"Those affected are not only the drug misusers infected by
contaminated needles, but their sexual partners (most of
whom have been poor, black, and Hispanic women) and the
children of women infected by drug misuse or sexual contact
with infected drug misusers. Injection drug misuse is now
the leading primary cause of pediatric AIDS." The editorial
goes on to note that "despite this epidemic, the USA remains
one of the few industrialized countries that refuses to
provide easy access to sterile syringes" and that "given the
weight of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of
needle-exchange schemes, it is hard to attribute the
reluctance to support such programs to anything other than
political considerations."

A study conducted by Peter Laurie and Ernest Drucker, and
published last year in Lancet, estimates that between four
and ten thousand new infections would have been avoided in
the US if the ban had not been in effect in 1997. The
Lancet's editors call that estimate "conservative."

The Week Online spoke with Ernest Drucker about the
continued federal ban on the use of anti-AIDS funding for
Syringe Exchange programs.

"Once again, the administration and the US Congress are
playing God, refusing to accept the evidence of countless
studies showing that needle exchange saves lives... it
simply saves lives. Aside from the outright shamefulness,
their unwillingness to permit others to take simple steps to
protect people from this disease is vindictive. Such
behavior should lead their constituents to question the
message being sent here -- that some American lives aren't
worth saving."

"It has become quite clear that the majority of Americans
are prepared to support the availability of these programs.
And yet, the federal government continues not only to
obstruct the implementation of these lifesaving measures but
to spread blatant disinformation about them. The people in
Washington who are responsible for this should be called to
account for the lives they've cost. And I believe that some
day they will."

You can send letters to the Lancet via email at
lancet.editorial@elsevier.co.uk.

***

9. NEW AUSTRALIAN HARM REDUCTION-BASED DRUG-ED PROGRAM SENDS
KIDS TO TEACH KIDS

In Australia, an innovative program has been unveiled which
will train young people (16-22 yrs.) and pay them to attend
concerts and other cultural events to disseminate infor-
mation about drugs and alcohol. Australian Health Minister
Robert Knowles told The Australian News Network, "If they've
got people their own age, normal young kids who have been
specially recruited and trained to provide information, they
are much more likely to be receptive (to it)."

The youths will be paid, by the Centre for Adolescent Health
and the Australian Drug Foundation, and have been trained to
discuss both the risks associated with the use of alcohol
and illegal drugs, but also to discuss ways in which to use
the substances more safely. This approach, a linchpin of
the harm reduction philosophy, is based on the idea that
while it would be optimum to keep young people from using
these substances at all, some young people will use them
regardless. For them, the philosophy goes, it is far better
to try to keep them from making a tragic mistake due to lack
of information than to leave them to the vagaries of chance
simply because they are engaging in behavior which society
wishes they wouldn't.

***

10. NUCLEAR CRUISER USS CALIFORNIA DEPLOYED IN DRUG WAR

The USS California, one of only two nuclear-powered cruisers
remaining in service for the US Navy, will spend its last
year before being decommissioned patrolling the seas for
drug smugglers. The California is currently on its way to
Panama. It will spend time in both the Caribbean and in the
Pacific monitoring naval traffic and intercepting suspected
drug smugglers before returning to its base in Bramerton.
It will be decommissioned in early 1999.

***

11. HARM REDUCTION WORKSHOP IN BOSTON

On April 8, health care workers, harm reductionists, public
officials and concerned citizens from Boston and the
surrounding area will be invited to come together for a one
day conference on harm reduction methods, philosophy and
practice. The state of Massachusetts has recently started a
pilot syringe exchange program, and this will be an
opportunity for community leaders and others to learn more
about the benefits of a whole host of non-coercive drug
policy strategies.

"It's important that people become informed about harm
reduction" says George Kenney, long-time harm reduction
activist. "There's so much rhetoric and misinformation out
there, it's difficult for people to sort it out and learn
what harm reduction is really all about. Once people
understand that harm reduction is all about people, and the
reduction of the harms associated with drug use, both to the
user and the community, they feel a lot better about what
we're trying to do. Some of the biggest supporters of the
philosophy are people who came to it assuming that they
would be totally opposed, and that includes a lot of city
and state health officials around the country."

NOTE: The organizers are still trying to raise about $1,000
to cover the costs of the event. If you can help, even in a
small way, please contact George Kenney at the Community of
Color Outreach in Roxbury, Massachusetts at (617) 427-8192.
And don't forget to tell him DRCNet sent you.

***

12. EDITORIAL

1998 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the War on Drugs,
as declared by then-President Richard M. Nixon. It is
ironic, of course, that the proclamation of this war, a war
which has claimed innumerable casualties and which has cost
the nation countless billions of dollars, was made at the
same time that President Nixon was extricating America from
her last embarrassing and unsuccessful war: Vietnam.
Vietnam had been pointless. Bloody. Interminable. The
people had spoken. We had suffered enough.

In the late sixties, as the body bags were piling up, the
anti-war movement began to gain enough momentum to force the
Johnson Administration into a defensive posture. So, in an
effort to hold onto dwindling public support, and buoyed by
body counts which were in reality meaningless, answers to
the wrong questions, the administration escalated the
hostilities and issued its now-famous opinion that there was
"light at the end of the tunnel". It was, in fact, the
beginning of the end of the war. But not the end envisioned
by Johnson. Nor would Johnson be in power to see it.

Twenty-five years. For twenty-five years we have seen a
near-continuous escalation of the present, pointless war.
We have seen, as we saw in Vietnam, the expansion of the
conflict across formerly unthinkable borders. What began as
an effort to arrest away the problems of marijuana smoking,
and the small but persistent heroin problem in some urban
centers, is now a global enterprise. American troops, along
with the armed agents of numerous federal agencies, operate
in and around nearly all of Central and Latin America.
2,000 more will soon be stationed in Panama. They are on
the seas. And they are also, quietly, ironically, back in
Asia, on a mission to protect the free world from the "red
menace" of the poppy flower.

In Vietnam it quickly became apparent that the regime we
were supporting was itself brutal and corrupt. Today the
United Nations, born of a vision of world peace and human
rights, prepares to pay millions of dollars to the Taleban,
perhaps the most repressive and barbaric of all the world's
ruling parties, in return for worthless promises. How
happily we discard the lives and the futures of the women
and children of Afghanistan. We send more money and
military equipment into Colombia, even as that society
disintegrates into anarchy and violence under the weight of
our Prohibition, and peasants -- again, women and children -
- are massacred and displaced. In the scope of the present
war, these people, brown, indigenous, poor, do not even
merit the calculus of statistics.

Twenty-five years ago, our nation had been nearly torn apart
by the war in Vietnam. Generations set against each other,
riots in the cities, four young students shot down on a
campus in the heartland of America, and the nation stood in
fear and in awe. That war, entered into and fought in the
name of freedom and democracy, had very nearly destroyed
them both.

Think back twenty-five years to the beginning of the current
war. There were very few guns in our cities then, and
certainly almost none in the hands of children. Marijuana
abounded on college campuses, and even in many high schools.
But heroin? Cocaine? They were mere rumors outside of the
largest cities, and underground even there.
Methamphetamine? Unheard of. Today not a place exists
where these substances cannot be found. On the streets of
our cities, large and small, they can be had by anyone, of
any age, purer and cheaper with each passing year.

58,000 Americans were killed in the jungles of Southeast
Asia. Tens of thousands more were maimed or injured. We
could have lost 50,000 more, and we probably would have, had
the nation not cried 'enough', and the outcome would not
have changed. They were mostly young, many of them were
poor, and in the end there was no good reason for their
loss. Over the past twenty-five years tens of thousands of
Americans have died in the violence of Prohibition on our
streets, millions with no history of violence have been
arrested, their lives disrupted, their futures darkened
under the shadow of a criminal record. Some will spend the
majority of their lives in cages. And still we escalate.
We can jail a million more. And the drugs will not
disappear.

Today we hear of record seizures, and slight fluctuations in
the abhorrently high numbers of children using drugs, and
100,000 more cops, and billions more dollars spent in
combat. And a president declares, "there is light at the
end of the tunnel." And we look back... to another
president who was asking the wrong questions... and
escalating the conflict... and tearing the nation apart. It
is time to end the war. It is time to stand up. To make
them stop. It's been twenty five years. We have all
suffered enough.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

***

DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet DRCNet

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