Portland NORML News - Friday, January 16, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Felony Charges Are Filed Against Pot Group Leader ('Orange County Register'
Reports Bust Of Martin Chavez Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op)

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 10:10:41 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: PHONE POLL: Felony Charges Are Filed
Against Pot Group Leader
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Friday, Jan 16, 1998
Author: Stuart Pfeifer-The Orange County Register

Editor's Note: The Registers county line poll question: DO YOU AGREE WITH
THE DECISION TO CHARGE MARTIN CHAVEZ WITH SELLING MARIJUANA?

To respond to today's county line poll call

YES (714)565-3651

NO (714)565-3645
From 6A.M. to 6:30 P.M.

Have a question for the county line? call (714)664-5075 any time

FELONY CHARGES ARE FILED AGAINST POT GROUP LEADER

Martin Chavez,43, is the leader of the Orange County Cannabis Co-Op.

Authorities say the issue is 'donations' medical users make.

The outspoken leader of an Orange County medical marijuana group has been
charged with eight felony counts of conspiracy and marijuana sales.

District attorney's investigators raided the Santo Ana home of Martin
Chavez at about 7 p.m. Wednesday and arrested him on a warrant signed be a
Municipal Court judge.

Chavez, 43 has said his Orange County Cannabis Co-Op started providing pot
to seriously ill people shortly after state voters passed an initiative
legalizing the medical use of marijuana in November 1996.

Authorities, however, take issue with the "donations" Chavez says he
accepts from patients, who must have a doctor's note to receive the drug.

He was charged with conspiracy to sell marijuana and seven counts of
marijuana sales dating back to March. Chavez was trying Thursday night to
secure $15,000 bail to get out of jail.

The arrest comes a week after federal authorities filed suit seeking to
shut down six similar groups in Northern California. It also follows a
state appellate court ruling that Proposition 215 does not allow the sale
of marijuana, only its use.

"If they were complying with the law, we wouldn't be taking such a hard
stance," said Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust. "We don't prosecute
people who comply with the law."

The prosecutions may lead patients back to the streets to find marijuana,
said Deputy Public Defender Sharon Petrosino, who is defending co-op
volunteer David Herrick against similar charges.

"I don't know why they're being so hard-core on this," Petrosino said.
"Everyone they were distributing to was a person dying of an illness. It
seems to lack compassion."

Co-op user Nora Hyland of Huntington Beach said she does not know where
she'll find the marijuana she uses for glaucoma and other ailments.

"I'm just utterly horrified," Hyland said. "What do we do now? ... I guess
it's back to the alley."
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Authorities Crack Down On Two Pot Clubs ('Associated Press' Reports
Marvin Chavez Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Is Arrested,
While Thousand Oaks Mayor Mike Markey And City Councilman Andy Fox Ask
Federal Prosecutors To Investigate Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 21:07:08 -0500
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Authorities Crack Down On Two Pot Clubs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Friday, January 16, 1998

AUTHORITIES CRACK DOWN ON TWO POT CLUBS

In the latest battle over the medical marijuana initiative, authorities are
trying to snuff out two Southern California pot clubs they contend are
operating illegally.

The leader of an Orange County medical marijuana club was charged on
Thursday with eight felony counts of marijuana sales and conspiracy for
providing the drug to seriously ill patients.

Marvin Chavez, who runs the Orange County Cannabis Co-Op, said he accepts
donations in return for providing marijuana. The 43-year-old was arrested
on Wednesday night when county district attorney's investigators raided his
home.

Also on Thursday, Thousand Oaks Mayor Mike Markey and City Councilman Andy
Fox asked federal prosecutors to investigate the Ventura County Medical
Cannabis Center.

``Since our society has spent considerable time and effort to teach our
children to `Just Say No' to these drugs, we fear the impact these
unregulated facilities will have on our local children,'' the officials
said in a letter to Nora Manella, the U.S. attorney for Southern California.

Fox said the idea was sparked by action taken last week in Northern
California by the U.S. Justice Department, which sued six marijuana buyers
clubs. The department claimed that the clubs violated federal laws against
possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

Andrea Nagy, 28, owner of the Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center, said
she welcomes the legal challenge and the opportunity to argue the law in
court before a jury.

``I think this issue needs to be debated so it can be resolved. I think any
12 reasonable people would understand the facts instead of the myths and
fiction,'' said Nagy, a paralegal who suffers chronic migraines and has a
doctor's prescription for marijuana.

The 1996 ballot measure, called Proposition 215, changed state law to allow
patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and a variety of other
illnesses to possess and grow marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's
recommendation. But the Clinton administration has resisted the initiative.

Last month, the state's 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that marijuana
clubs are commercial enterprises and cannot sell the drug legally to
patients despite the initiative. The measure only allows for the use of the
drug, not its sale, the court ruled.

``I don't know why they're being so hard-core on this,'' said Deputy Public
Defender Sharon Petrosino, who is defending a colleague of Chavez's on
marijuana charges. ``Everyone they were distributing to was a person dying
of an illness. It seems to lack compassion.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US Seeks To Close Cannabis Clubs (Two Letters To The Editor
Of 'The Los Angeles Times' Fault State And Federal Attempts To Close
California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:13:48 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: LTE: U.S. Seeks to Close Cannabis Clubs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Pubdate: January 16, 1998

U.S. Seeks to Close Cannabis Clubs

Re "U.S. Launches Drive to Close Marijuana Clubs," Jan. 10, and the news
that Gov. Pete Wilson's budget would boost spending for prisons: Do I smell
a correlation here? Usual special interests at work? Drive pot back
underground and more kids will get caught and fill more cells in more
jails--prisons being the largest growth industry in the country. The U.S.
has the largest prison population per capita of civilized nations. Ipso
facto we can justifiably surmise that after 10 to 20 years of
incarceration, we will release into our tender midst the largest cadre of
hardened criminals in the world. Our doctors have approved the smoking of
marijuana as a panacea for cancer patients et al. The people of California
have voted to legalize the growth of pot for medicinal purposes for one's
own use. Let the federal government respect the "will of the people"!

GEORGE MARGO Malibu

***

I think it is time we California voters reminded the president that the
medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 215, got more votes than he did.
I never thought I'd be voting Libertarian, but I am now! The Republicans
never had me, and the Democrats lost me.

DAVID G. PORTER Anaheim
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East Palo Alto Police Debate Flares ('San Jose Mercury News' Says
City Council Meeting Thursday Where Police Chief Showed Off Cache
Of Seized Drugs Was Scene Of Debate Over Whether City Should Contract Out
Police Services To San Mateo County Sheriff's Department - Minority Community
Prefers Local Control)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:19:15 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: East P.A. Police Debate Flares
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Author: Jennifer Mena, Mercury News Staff Writer

EAST P.A. POLICE DEBATE FLARES

At meeting, chief and sheriff exchange views on crime

East Palo Alto Police Chief Wesley Bowling brought a cache of drugs seized
in recent arrests to display at a city council meeting Thursday to defend
his department's response to the city's rising crime rate.

But the session, designed to allow the council to collect information about
public safety as it prepares its budget, quickly became a veiled debate
about whether the city should retain its police department or contract all
public safety services to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

Bowling called it ``a `my-gun-is-better-than-your-gun' session.''

Bowling showed council members 2.6 pounds of cocaine, three pounds of
heroin, 1.5 pounds of crack cocaine and 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine. Then
he said his department had made 18 arrests over four nights during
Operation Hot Spot, which has targeted about 20 addresses and blocks in the
city where crime is rampant. The operation will continue two nights a week,
Bowling said.

His presentation was merely a paragraph in a long-running debate about
which agency should protect East Palo Alto residents. The topic has flared
again as the city's homicide rate has risen in past months.

In 1997, there were 16 homicides, compared with one in 1996. There have
been two homicides in 1998. Residents in the city of 22,000 people complain
they hear gunfire at night and see men loitering on corners. They fear that
crime will reach the 1992 level, when 42 murders branded the city as the
murder capital of the country because of the high per capita rate.

San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley told the council his officers, who do
some work in the city, had made 26 drug-related arrests recently. He told
council members that his department had brought crime down 38 percent in
Fair Oaks, another minority enclave in San Mateo County.

The county assists East Palo Alto, which pays $650,000 annually for patrol
and dispatch services. Earlier in the week, Horsley announced that a county
strike force would target four gangs and drug dealers allegedly responsible
for the bloody turf war that has punctuated crime. Mayor R.B. Jones
complained that Horsley should have contacted city officials before
establishing the initiative.

Bowling said he has 35 officers, 11 of whom are on the streets at any given
time. The department takes 141 calls daily, far too many to handle, he
said.

Horsley quickly said: ``If you just go from call to call you will never
solve the crime problem unless you engage the community.''

The underlying debate between the two agency heads was not lost on a
handful of residents at the meeting, all of whom seemed aware the city has
viewed local control of the police department as an important part of the
city's incorporation 14 years ago.

``Local control -- I hear you loud and clear,'' resident Fred Kianani said.
``Apparently local control is not in the hands of the police department. It
is in the hands of the drug dealers.''
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Two Held, One Sought After Agents Seize Narcotics ('San Jose Mercury News'
Roundup Of Police News Notes Monterey County Narcotics Enforcement Unit
Busts Cocaine, Marijuana - While A Monterey County Sheriff's Deputy
Is Injured By An Alleged Drunken Driver)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:22:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: 2 Held, 1 Sought After Agents Seize Narcotics
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998

2 HELD, 1 SOUGHT AFTER AGENTS SEIZE NARCOTICS

Two Marina residents are in custody and a third is being sought by
narcotics agents who burst into their motel room this week and seized crack
cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, sheriff's officials said
Thursday.

The county's Narcotics Enforcement Unit arrested Letha Michelle Williams
and Patrick Curry, both 33, Wednesday at the Motel 6 on Reservation Road on
suspicion of drug dealing out of motel rooms, Monterey County sheriff's
Sgt. Bruce Palmer said. Police issued a warrant for a third suspect, Bobby
Leon Johnson Jr., 38.

Police would not disclose the amount or value of the narcotics seized.

The narcotics unit includes officers from the Monterey County sheriff's and
probation departments, the district attorney, and police in Marina and
Pacific Grove.

Sheriff's deputy hurt in collision with van

A Monterey County sheriff's deputy was injured late Wednesday when an
alleged drunken driver collided with his patrol car in north Salinas, the
California Highway Patrol said Thursday.

Deputy Keith Wingo was driving west on Laurel Drive shortly before 11 p.m.
when he was struck by an eastbound van as the driver tried to turn left
onto Linwood Drive, CHP officer Derek Kawai said. The van caused severe
damage to the patrol car, he said.

Wingo was taken to Natividad Medical Center, where he was treated for neck
strain and released, sheriff's Sgt. Bruce Palmer said. The driver of the
van, Isaias Avila, 54, was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving,
authorities said.

12-mile chase ends in suspects' capture

A couple suspected of drug offenses led Santa Cruz police Thursday on a
12-mile highway pursuit from the city's beach district up the mountains to
Felton and back before they were captured in a foot chase, police said.

The driver, Summer Lea Simpson, 38, and Keith Armstrong, 30, were
approached at 10:51 a.m. by Santa Cruz police who suspected them of
narcotics violations, police said.

When an officer asked Simpson to get out of her truck, she started the
engine, police said. Armstrong jumped into the vehicle, and the two took
off, fleeing up Highway 9 at speeds ranging from 25 to 50 mph to Felton and
then back down Graham Hill Road to Santa Cruz's Beach Hill neighborhood,
where they were arrested, investigators said.

Simpson was booked into the county jail on suspicion of driving while
intoxicated, drug use and possession and evading arrest. Armstrong was
booked on suspicion of evading arrest and drug use.
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Legislature '98 ('Associated Press' Roundup On Bills Facing Washington State
Lawmakers Mentions That Prospects For Approval Of Jeanne Kohl's
Senate Bill 6271 'Appear Dim')

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 12:05:35 -0500
Subject: MN: US WA: Legislature '98
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA
Contact: letters@heraldnet.com
WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com

LEGISLATURE '98

Tobacco, evolution, marijuana use discussed by legislators

Associated Press

OLYMPIA -- If and when the tobacco industry coughs up billions of dollars
to settle damage claims from the states, Washington's share would help
finance health insurance for the working poor, under a measure pushed
Thursday by the House health care chairman.

"The premise for the claims is damage to health, so we don't want this
money going to the general fund" to be fought over by other interest
groups, Phil Dyer, R-Issaquah, said as his staff briefed the Health Care
Committee on HB2541.

The committee was reminded that Congress is considering a negotiated
settlement with 40 states, including Washington, for tobacco industry
payments over the next 25 years of more than $360 billion. Nobody knows for
sure, but Washington can expect somewhere around $100 million a year for
the next several years, staffers told the committee.

Meanwhile, Washington and other states are pursuing separate lawsuits
against the industry, claiming health-related damages from tobacco use.
Washington's lawsuit is scheduled for a September trial in King County
Superior Court.

Any damages collected from that action also would finance health care for
the working poor.

* Taking aim at Darwin's theory: Since no one was present when life first
appeared on Earth, a state senator says science textbooks in Washington
schools should be amended to indicate that human evolution is just a theory.

Sen. Harold Hochstatter, chairman of the Senate Education Committee,
introduced a bill this week that would insert "a message from the
Washington State Legislature" into science texts purchased with state money.

His proposed statement to clarify the issue begins:

"No one was present when life first appeared on Earth. Therefore, any
statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact."

Terry Bergeson, the Democratic state schools superintendent, said she
wishes lawmakers who keep trying to tinker with education curricula would
instead focus on helping teachers implement reforms approved in recent years.

* Medical marijuana: A bill that would legalize the medical use of marijuana
was offered by Sen. Jeanne Kohl as a narrower version of the ballot
initiative that was rejected by Washington voters last fall.

Senate Bill 6271 would provide legal immunity to patients who use
marijuana, physicians who recommend it and pharmacists who provide it. The
bill also would create a campaign to inform youth that marijuana use is
illegal, except in cases involving authorized use by seriously ill people
under a physician's care.

Although the measure is different from Initiative 685, prospects for
approval appear dim.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

An Act Relating To Medical Marijuana (Text Of Washington State Senate
Bill Report On SB 6271, Authorizing Use Of Medical Marijuana,
Co-Sponsored By Senators Kohl, Thibaudeau)

http://leginfo.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/senate/6250-6274/6271_sbr_011698

Senate Bill 6271

SENATE BILL REPORT
SB 6271
As of January 16, 1998

Title: An act relating to medical marijuana.

Brief Description: Authorizing the use of medical marijuana.

Sponsors: Senators Kohl and Thibaudeau.

Brief History:
Committee Activity: Health & Long-Term Care: 1/20/98.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH & LONG-TERM CARE

Staff: Joanne Conrad (786-7472)

Background: Marijuana is regulated by both the state and federal
government.
Because it is a Schedule I controlled substance, it is illegal for use under
all circumstances, except under narrow exceptions for research. It cannot be
legally prescribed, possessed or used.

Some physicians have recommended the therapeutic use of marijuana for
patients suffering from certain illnesses. Some research appears to show
that marijuana, although it cannot cure the underlying medical condition, is
useful in symptomatic treatment. Some patients report beneficial use of
marijuana to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, AIDS weight
loss, glaucoma, muscle spasms associated with epilepsy and multiple
sclerosis, and some forms of intractable pain.

There are mixed opinions among the medical community regarding the
effectiveness of marijuana for medical use. The federal Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) has recently (December 1997) requested the Department of
Health and Human Services to conduct a "scientific and medical evaluation of
the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation for marijuana. If
marijuana is rescheduled as a Schedule II controlled substance, based upon
the evaluation, it can then be prescribed by health care professionals with
DEA authorization.

Unless federal rescheduling occurs, regardless of Washington State law,
marijuana possession subjects the user to potential federal prosecution.

Summary of Bill: Immunity from state criminal liability is provided for bona
fide patients of licensed physicians who use marijuana based upon a
physician's advice, for symptomatic treatment of serious medical conditions,
such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, intractable pain or multiple
sclerosis.

Patients must possess valid documentation from their physicians, including a
24-hour number for law enforcement to confirm the physician's authorization.
It is a misdemeanor for patients to use or display medical marijuana in
public, or near schools or colleges. They must keep the marijuana secure,
and not provide it to others.

Licensed physicians may advise patients about the risks and benefits of
medical marijuana use, and provide them with written documentation of such
advice. Physicians who advise medicinal use are immune from state criminal
prosecution and from professional disciplinary action.

Licensed pharmacists who provide medical marijuana to qualified patients are
immune from criminal, civil and professional conduct sanctions.

The Department of Health performs a data study of patient use of medical
marijuana in Washington State. The data collection protects the
confidentiality of the patient, and provision of the data is voluntary on the
part of physicians.

The Department of Health and the Office of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction develop and make available a school media campaign, providing a
clear countermessage regarding the illegality of recreational, nonmedicinal
marijuana use.

Medical marijuana is excepted from Washington State Schedule I controlled
substances, and added to Schedule II. Nonmedical marijuana remains a
Schedule I controlled substance. This does not affect the federal controlled
substance schedule.

Lawful possession of medical marijuana cannot result in the forfeiture of
real property. Property, including marijuana, seized by law enforcement from
qualified patients using medical marijuana must be returned immediately.

Medical marijuana use authorized by state law is not an organized criminal
conspiracy.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is
passed.
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Update On Alan Carter-McLemore (Texas Medical-Marijuana Prisoner
Still Denied Legal Prescription For Marinol)

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 12:14:43 EST
Originator: medmj@drcnet.org
Sender: medmj@drcnet.org
From: Freemac (Freemac@aol.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list (medmj@drcnet.org)
Subject: Update on Alan Carter-McLemore - 1/16/98

Update on Alan Carter-McLemore - 1/16/98

Alan is still being denied his legal prescription of Marinol.

He was recently designated to the federal minimum-security prison facility in
Beaumont, Texas. Because of Alan's medical situation, the warden of that
facility rejected him and he was redesignated (across the street) to the low-
security facility which is more restrictive than his minimum status requires.

Alan is very weakened from the continuous mental and physical pain of his
untreated brain chemical disorder. The way he can eat is to take a medication
(Vistaril, a sedative) that makes him gorge without restraint; otherwise he
has no appetite. The intake of food throws him into a severe downward mood
swing that takes away his desire to even live. He is so exhausted from this
constant assault of starving, gorging, and the extreme mood swings, that he is
in despair much of the time now.

The food situation at the new prison is bad. Before Alan arrived, prisoners
had already been on a food strike but the food did not improve. The items
available to be purchased by inmates in the commissary are very limited by the
fact that the usual microwaves for cooking commissary food have never been
installed in the new facility. Before visitation, Alan can take a pill and
gorge during our visits, but the over-processed (and over-priced) food in the
vending machines has little food value and tends to make him sick with
diarrhea.

The beds are dorm-style, 200 or so to a big room, divided into small cubicles
by partitions. He has not been able to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time.
Even when people are trying to be quiet, 200 people in one room are loud. The
prison is all white bricks and steel, very bleak, cold and oppressive.

Being close to me is his only relief. But it is not enough.

He has asked me to concentrate fully on helping him get through this
nightmare. Thank goodness that phone calls are cheaper and we will be able to
communicate more by phone than in the last 2 1/2 years of long-distance rates.
Our visitation is limited by prison policy. He is allowed 12 visitation
points a month. Each weekday visit ( Mon, Tues, Fri 5-9 pm) "costs" one
point. Each weekend visit (Sat, Sun 8am - 3pm) "costs" two points.

It is apparent from the questions I am asked that most people do not grasp the
total control that a prison has over inmates (and visitors). Prisons are
infantile and degrading. They are all about control and humiliation of
inmates, and making money for a few. Many of the guards and staff fall into
"power-tripping" inmates because they can and because they seem to view the
inmates (and their loved-ones and visitors) as having less human value than
non-inmates. Compassion, understanding and humanity are traits the prison
systems do not have and therefore do not encourage. The current U.S. prison
industrial complex will in no way benefit this country.

My husband has lost his freedom because of laws based on Lies and has lost his
health to a system driven by ignorance and fear and designed to support those
official Lies. My stress and anger levels are way too high. This is all so
unnecessary and hypocritical.

Please just give Alan his medicine.

Thank you for your concern. There doesn't seem to be anything "to do" right
now. Please keep reading the updates because there probably will be something
in the future. Do write Alan letters of support if you feel moved. Although
he tries to answer his mail, please do not expect an answer. He has very
little energy and is weak. He would give anything to be out working for
sanity in this country if he could. Right now, he just suffers.

Maggi Carter-McLemore, Box 5073, Beaumont, TX 77726; Freemac@aol.com
Alan Carter-McLemore, 05204-078, P.O.Box 26020, Beaumont TX 77720
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Broken Arrow Man Gets Prison Term In Drug Case ('Tulsa World' Reports
Oklahoma Resident Carrying 55 Pounds Of Cannabis For $1,500 Gets Sentence
Of 21 Months In Prison, $4,000 Fine)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 13:44:06 -0500
Subject: MN: US OK: BA Man Gets Prison Term In Drug Case
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Tulsa World (Tulsa OK)
Pubdate: 16 Jan 1998
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com

Editor's note: Our newshawk writes: Let's see, Will Foster was caught with a
few plants for medical use and was sentenced to 93 years. This guy was
caught with 55 lbs and received 21 months....

BA MAN GETS PRISON TERM IN DRUG CASE

A Broken Arrow man was sentenced Thursday to 21 months in prison for
possessing about 55 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Richard B. Allen will also have to serve three years' supervised release
and pay a $4,000 fine, according to the punishment meted out by U.S. Chief
District Judge Terry C. Kern.

Allen was indicted Sept. 9 on a charge of possession of a controlled
dangerous substance with intent to distribute. At an Oct. 14 evidentiary
hearing, Kevin Ottwell of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous
Drugs said law enforcement officials were tipped off in late September 1996
that Allen was trafficking in marijuana between Texas and Oklahoma.

When he pleaded guilty Oct. 20, Allen said that in October 1996 he went to
Midland, Texas, and picked up 55 pounds of marijuana to bring back to Tulsa
for someone else. Allen said he probably would have received about $1,500
in cash for his courier work.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Plant Pots Filled With Planted Pot (The Husband Of A Woman In Porter County,
Indiana, Confined To Bed With A Back Injury Takes The Rap When Her Emergency
Call Results In Police Finding 10 Small Cannabis Plants)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 18:19:30 -0500
Subject: MN: US IN: Plant Pots Filled With Planted Pot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Post Tribune (Gary, Indiana)
Author: Frank Wiget, Staff Writer
Pubdate: 16 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.post-trib.com/
Contact: FAX: 1-219-881-3232

Editor's note: My search of the website did not find what I consider a valid
email address for the newspaper as opposed to the webmaster. Thus I have
listed a FAX contact.

PLANT POTS FILLED WITH PLANTED POT

Police called to assist paramedics find marijuana and plant-growing lights
in a Morgan Township home.

MORGAN TWP. - Porter County police say they were in the right place at the
right time to uncover a pot-growing operation in a home four miles south of
Valparaiso.

It started with a medical emergency call about 4:10 a.m. Wednesday to the
100 block of South County Road 150E from a woman with pain from a back
injury that left her confined to her bed.

When medics from Porter Memorial Hospital in Valparaiso arrived, they found
the home locked and the woman unable to let them inside. The 41-year-old
woman provided the security code to a 911 operator so her rescuers could
enter the garage door. But medics were leery about entering a secured home
without police there, said Patrolman Chris Eckert.

So county officers were dispatched.

Before she left for the hospital, the woman asked police to make sure the
interior lights were turned off and her cats were in the house, said county
Patrolman Chris Eckert. The woman's husband wasn't home.

As police went through the house, they saw a light on in the recreation
room of the basement and went to turn it off, Eckert said.

The brightness turned out to be a growing light with a timer for 10 potted
marijuana plants, each about 24 to 30 inches tall, police said. Eckert said
there also was a plastic tub containing marijuana and numerous bottles of
plant-growing products, along with two bags of potting soil.

The officers contacted Bob Taylor, coordinator of the Porter County
Narcotics Unit. Taylor said he collected the evidence and took pictures.
"The woman was in pain and kind of out of it, but she was real
cooperative," Taylor said.

Eckert reported that once the officers saw what appeared to be marijuana
plants and growing equipment, they received consent from the woman to
search the basement.

Taylor said officers would seek a charge of cultivating marijuana today in
Porter Superior Court against the 42-year-old husband. The felony charge
carries up to a three-year sentence, he said.

Taylor said the woman was cooperative and claimed the marijuana plants
belong to her husband.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Professor Takes Part In Smokeout (Julian Heicklen, A 65-Year-Old Penn State
Chemistry Professor, Attracts A Crowd Of About 50 As He Smokes
His First Marijuana Joint, Saying, 'We Have A Right To Make Free Choices'
- Not Arrested, He Vows To Return)
Link to later story
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 15:38:44 -0500 Subject: MN: US PA: Professor Takes Part In Smokeout Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net Source: Centre Daily Times (Serving Central Pennsylvania) Author: Julie M. Randall, Centre Daily Times Pubdate: 16 Jan 1998 Contact: pcarty@knightridder.geis.com Note: Please indicate whether your comments may be considered for publication. Website: http://www.centredaily.com/ Note: For anyone wishing to send email to Professor Heicklen, his address is: jph13@psu.edu PROFESSOR TAKES PART IN SMOKEOUT A 65-year-old Penn State professor said he smoked his first marijuana joint Thursday -- right on College Avenue and in front of Penn State police officers. Julian Heicklen, a chemistry professor, attracted a crowd of about 50 students and Centre County residents holding "Marijuana Smokeout" signs as he reclined in a lounge chair in front of the university gates at College Avenue and South Allen Street. "I'm not doing it for the marijuana, I'm doing it because we have a right to make free choices," said Heicklen, a member of Centre County's Libertarian Party. Although Heicklen was prepared to be arrested -- he said he had $1,500 with him just in case -- he was not. Police responded to an anonymous call at 12:17 p.m., but said they had no probable cause to arrest him. Stewart Neff, a campus police officer, said Heicklen was not arrested because police didn't believe he was really smoking marijuana. "There was no evidence that it was a marijuana cigarette," Neff said. "Marijuana gives off a distinct odor, and we did not detect that odor." Heicklen refused to answer any police questions about his hour-long protest. "The real cause I believe in is freedom. I think we're putting too many people in jail for using drugs," he said. "The dumbest thing in the world is to arrest people for using a vegetable." Heicklen said he would return to College Avenue at the same time in two weeks to demonstrate again.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cigarette Nicotine Levels Posted On Internet ('Reuters' Reports That, Thanks
To A New Massachusetts Law, The American Cancer Society Is Publicizing
Nicotine Levels Of 85 Brands, Showing Many 'Light' Brands Have High Levels
Of The Drug)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 12:25:47 -0500
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Cigarette Nicotine Levels Posted On Internet
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug 
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: 16 Jan 1998

CIGARETTE NICOTINE LEVELS POSTED ON INTERNET

BOSTON (Reuters) - The American Cancer Society Friday posted on the
Internet the nicotine levels of 85 cigarette brands, showing that many
``light'' brands were heavy on the drug.

``No longer will the true levels of addictive nicotine be veiled in secrecy
by the tobacco companies,'' said society president David Rosenthal.

Test results, posted on the society's site www.cancer.org, showed that 72
of the brands had more than 1.2 milligrams of nicotine per cigarette.

The remaining 13 had medium levels of 0.2 mg to 1.2 mg per cigarette,
according to tobacco company tests required by Massachusetts under a new
state law.

``No one should be tricked into thinking that there is any health benefit
from smoking so called 'low tar' and 'low nicotine' cigarettes,'' Rosenthal
said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hooked On Young Smokers ('New York Times' Editorial Calls On US Justice
Department To Determine Whether Perjury Charges Are Warranted Against
RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Officials Who Testified Under Oath To Congress
The Company Did Not Go After Underage Smokers)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 12:57:01 -0500
Subject: MN: US: NYT: Hooked on Young Smokers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998

HOOKED ON YOUNG SMOKERS

The latest trove of internal documents from the tobacco industry provides
the strongest evidence yet that the industry was not only targeting very
young smokers, it was doing so with the approval of high corporate
officials. Even in a business renowned for its lack of social conscience,
the cynicism is breathtaking. Congress will need to look skeptically at
proposals to grant immunity to the industry for its reckless behavior as
part of an overall tobacco settlement. The case may be getting stronger for
a straightforward crackdown, with or without a negotiated deal.

The documents, which were pried loose by a lawsuit settlement in
California, come from the files of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the
nation's second-largest cigarette maker. Realizing that most smokers get
the habit before they are 18 years old and tend to stick with their first
brand, the company tried through the 1970's and 1980's to woo smokers as
young as 14.

Although company officials have testified under oath that they did not go
after underage smokers, several documents suggest the opposite. A 1976
10-year planning forecast presented to the board of directors called for a
new brand for children as young as 14, and a 1980 memo to the company
chairman called for reversing the company's decline among youngsters from
14 to 17. Repeated surveys assessed the smoking habits of these young
teen-agers. Other memos describe the age group between 14 and 24 as
"tomorrow's cigarette business" and vital to the company's long-term
prosperity and survival.

The new documents increase the pressure to crack down harshly on this rogue
industry, either in the context of an overall tobacco settlement or through
separate legislation aimed at strengthening legal and regulatory tools to
combat youth smoking. The Justice Department will need to determine whether
perjury charges are warranted against high corporate officials, a legal
crowbar that could prove every bit as effective as liability suits in
prodding the industry toward more responsible behavior. If the long-stalled
tobacco deal is to move forward in Congress, it seems clear that the
penalties to be imposed on the industry should it fail to reduce youth
smoking will need to be much harsher.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Indict The Liars ('San Jose Mercury News' Recommends Same Action
Against Tobacco Executives Its Readers Might Recommend
Against Newspaper Executives)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:31:59 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Indict the Liars
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998

INDICT THE LIARS

FOR decades, tobacco executives fudged the facts, trimmed the truth,
pussy-footed and prevaricated. They pretended not to know about the health
consequences of smoking, or the addictive power of nicotine. And they
claimed, under oath before congressional committees, that they never ever
tried to sell underage kids on cigarettes. That suave party animal, Joe
Camel, was aimed at adults, they said.

Now R.J. Reynolds has been caught in a big fat lie. It's time to indict the
liars for perjury.

Company memos released Wednesday show the nation's number two cigarette
maker targeted teen-agers with advertising, including Joe Camel, and a new
brand, Camel Wides.

A 1973 memo suggested using ``comic strip type copy'' to lure ``younger
smokers'' -- defined as 14- to 24-years-old -- away from Philip Morris'
Marlboros, the most popular brand among teen-agers.

``The 14-24 age group . . . represent tomorrow's cigarette business,'' said
a 1975 memo. Ninety percent of smokers start before the age of 18.

Camel Wides was developed to attract ``13-24-year-old male Marlboro
smokers,'' a 1987 memo stated. (The company now claims ``13'' is a typo,
and should read ``18.'')

The Joe Camel cartoons ``will be directed toward using peer
acceptance/influence to provide the motivation for target smokers to select
Camel,'' a 1986 memo explained.

Before the Joe Camel campaign began in 1987, Camel was the choice of less
than 3 percent of teenage smokers, according to the Federal Trade
Commission. That tripled to 8.9 percent in the cartoon character's first
two years, and hit 13.2 percent by 1993. Joe Camel was dropped last year as
part of the settlement deal, which including a bar on the use of cartoon
characters in marketing cigarettes.

In 1994, RJR President James W. Johnston told a House subcommittee, under
oath, ``We do not market to children and will not,'' and said, ``We do not
survey anyone under the age of 18.''

The documents cite a survey of the smoking habits of 11,000 teenagers 14 to
17 years old.

RJR said the memos were taken out of context.

The company handed over the internal documents as part of a settlement of
California lawsuits accusing Joe Camel of trying to hook teenagers. They
were made public by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, who urged Attorney
General Janet Reno to consider perjury charges against Johnston.

The Justice Department already is looking into charges against tobacco
company executives who testified before Congress, and last week named Brown
& Williamson Tobacco Co. as co-conspirator in a criminal plan to grow
high-nicotine tobacco secretly in Brazil and smuggle it into U.S.
cigarettes.

To President Clinton, the documents ``show more than ever why it is
absolutely imperative that Congress take action now to get tobacco
companies out of the business of marketing cigarettes to children.''

The $368 billion settlement ending state lawsuits against the tobacco
industry requires a congressional vote. The deal restricts cigarette
marketing and protects the industry against most new lawsuits.

But the documents make it even more difficult to trust industry promises
that they'll stop doing what they still claim they're not doing.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Tobacco Ads Targeted Kids - Hardly A Shock (Op-Ed By Jim Trotter
In 'San Jose Mercury News' Says He Thinks His 21-Year-Old Son
Smokes In Part Because Tobacco Ads Told Him It's Cool)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:29:01 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Tobacco Ads Targeted Kids: Hardly A Shock
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Author: Jim Trotter. Write Jim Trotter at the San Jose Mercury News, 750
Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, Calif. 95190; phone (408) 920-5024; fax (408)
288-8060; or e-mail to jtrotter@sjmercury.com .

TOBACCO ADS TARGETED KIDS: HARDLY A SHOCK

ASIDE FROM the fact that the tobacco industry has adamantly and repeatedly
denied that it targets kids with its products -- and on occasion has made
those assertions under oath -- there should be no real surprise in the
newly released documents that affirm in explicit English that just the
opposite is true.

These are the same folks, after all, who have always insisted that nicotine
isn't addictive and who have long suggested that a good smoke does
everything from aid digestion to improve one's tennis stroke.

Only among consenting adults, that is. The tobacco brass has always denied
that the industry would attempt to profit off children. However, that would
now appear to be just another case of their lying through their teeth.

Internal memorandums released Wednesday from a court case involving R.J.
Reynolds Co., the nation's second-largest cigarette producer, state without
ambiguity that company officials worried about losing smokers as young as
14 to competing brands and deliberately set about a strategy to win them
back.

IN A REFERENCE to its Camel filter cigarette, a 1975 RJR memo stated that
``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.'' As recently as 1988, the company was designing entire
campaigns aimed at underage smokers, the documents show.

As early as 1973, a marketing memo suggested using cartoons -- much like
old Joe Camel himself, who came along in 1988 -- to help win young smokers
away from the Marlboro man.

As might be expected, RJR responded to the release of these documents by
claiming they were being taken out of their historical context, that they
had been ``cherry-picked'' to make the company look bad. Never, the company
again asserted, would it target kids.

Baloney, but what else is new?

There is, of course, a cultural and historical context to tobacco in the
United States. But much of that record has been shifting since 1964, when
the surgeon general issued the landmark report that smoking caused lung
cancer in men and was a probable cause of lung cancer in women. Since that
time, the news about tobacco has gotten much, much worse.

THAT ABOUT 48 million U.S. adults continue to smoke speaks to the
tremendous economic, political and social staying power of the tobacco
industry. As these new documents reflect, at least some of that ongoing
success can be attributed to the recruitment of children.

Personally, I find that vexing as hell.

I haven't always set the best example at things, but I have gone to great
lengths in attempting to dissuade my 21-year-old son from his tobacco
habit. That would include providing the crystal detail of the morning of
his grandfather's death, from a massive heart attack at 63, the first
cigarette of the day still smoking on the counter. I have talked to him
about people he might have known but didn't -- my uncle and two aunts, all
dead of lung cancer in their 40s.

We have discussed health consequences, the importance of allowing oneself
to stretch out to full potential. He says he will quit. He hasn't.

He smokes, in part, because that's what young people do where he lives.
It's cool. It's out there on the edge. Time is on their side.

The tobacco companies tell them so.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Settlement On Tobacco 'A Done Deal' (Texas May Get $15 Billion
From US Cigarette Smokers, Tobacco Companies Get To Continue Making Profits,
Keep Toxic Additives Secret)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:18:56 -0800
Subject: MN: US TX: Settlement on Tobacco 'A Done Deal'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: Clay Robinson

SETTLEMENT ON TOBACCO 'A DONE DEAL'

Texas may get $15 billion

AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Dan Morales has nailed down a
multibillion-dollar settlement of the state's anti-tobacco lawsuit, sources
said Thursday.

Morales scheduled a news conference for noon today in Austin to discuss the
details, despite a last-minute challenge from two prominent state
lawmakers, who want a voice in how settlement proceeds should be spent.

The agreement, which would pay the state about $15 billion over the next 25
years, is virtually "a done deal," according to one source familiar with
the private negotiations.

Tobacco lawyers reportedly were taking final copies of the settlement
documents to their clients late Thursday. U.S. District Judge David Folsom
of Texarkana, who presides over the case, also was to review the final
documents before Morales' public announcement.

State Sen. Bill Ratliff, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and
state Rep. Rob Junell, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had
asked Folsom late Thursday to let them belatedly intervene in the lawsuit,
which Morales filed two years ago to recover damages for public health care
costs associated with smoking.

Morales also accused tobacco companies of conspiring to defraud the public
by concealing the health risks posed by tobacco.

Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, and Junell, D-San Angelo, said they were
concerned about reports that Morales planned to commit as much as $1
billion in settlement proceeds to smoking prevention and other health care
programs.

They said such commitments would exceed the attorney general's authority
because state spending decisions must be made by the Legislature.

It was unknown what effect, if any, their motion would have on the pending
settlement.

Gov. George W. Bush and Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock said they shared the two
lawmakers' concerns, but they didn't join in the intervention motion, which
was filed by a private attorney.

The attorney general's office has refused to discuss any details of the
agreement. But various sources have said that the settlement will earmark
money to several health-related programs, including health insurance and
anti-cancer programs for children and an anti-smoking media campaign
conducted by the Texas Department of Health.

Anti-tobacco activists have urged that settlement money be spent for health
care needs.

There also was an unconfirmed report that $500 million would be set aside
to create a private foundation specializing in health- related issues.

Ratliff and Junell said they had tried to communicate their concerns about
spending decisions to Morales, but did not receive a response.

"Even today we are being kept totally in the dark about the terms of the
proposed settlement," they said in a joint statement. "It became apparent
that the only recourse left to us ... was to join the other parties at the
courthouse."

Ratliff added in an interview that he "might not even disagree" with the
spending priorities that the settlement may outline.

"But that's not his (Morales') authority," he said.

Morales spokesman Ron Dusek said the legislators' concerns were premature.
"Once the terms of the settlement are made known, we don't expect there
will be any controversy. Their concerns will not be an issue," Dusek said.

Bush and Bullock, in separate meetings with reporters on Thursday morning,
acknowledged Morales' authority to negotiate a settlement of the
anti-tobacco lawsuit, which the attorney general filed on his own
initiative. But they also indicated their disappointment at not being kept
informed on settlement negotiations.

"We have not been kept abreast of the details of the settlement. And so,
like many members of the Legislature, I have really no idea what the
details will be," Bush said.

"I do feel a sense of frustration."

The governor said he recently had sent word to the attorney general's
office, through Secretary of State Al Gonzales, that "we had hoped to be
brought up to date."

"We also sent the signal that we had hoped that there would be as few
strings attached as possible to the money that could be coming to the state
so that the appropriate people would be spending the money, and that's the
legislative branch," Bush added.

The Legislature won't convene in regular session again until next January,
and Bush said that would be soon enough to address concerns about spending
the settlement proceeds. He said he doesn't intend to call a special
session before then.

Despite his misgivings, Bush commended Morales on the reported size of the
pending agreement.

"It's hard to second-guess success. It sounds like he achieved a big
settlement. For that, I think that the state of Texas ought to congratulate
the attorney general," Bush said.

"I'm pleased, and I hope other members are pleased, that he has been
successful at achieving a settlement. The question is the details, how the
money is spent, how much money ends up in lawyers' pockets."

There has been speculation that several private trial lawyers Morales hired
to try the lawsuit will share as much as $2 billion in legal fees under the
settlement.

Bullock said he believes legislative approval for spending settlement money
may be necessary even if the agreement is approved by the federal judge.

Bullock also warned that it may be premature to plan on spending any of the
money until after the state learns whether the federal government will
demand part of the settlement funds.

Any federal share, which is being debated in Washington as part of a
proposed national tobacco settlement, would represent a refund of federal
Medicaid dollars spent on smoking-related illnesses. The federal government
provides more than 60 percent of Texas' Medicaid funds, which Morales sued
the tobacco industry to recover.

"I think before we count our chickens, we better make sure that they're
hatched," Bullock said.

Texas would become the third state to settle a lawsuit against tobacco
companies since a proposed $368 billion national settlement of 40 state
lawsuits got hung up in Congress last year.

Mississippi settled with cigarette makers for $3.6 billion last July, and
Florida settled for $11 billion in August.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Declare War On Cigars (Letter To Editor Of 'Arizona Daily Star' Over Increase
In 'Cuban Cigar-Related Crime' Sarcastically Urges Drug-War Approach
To Problem)

To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: Declare war on cigars
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: January 16, 1998
Source: Arizona Daily Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com

Declare war on cigars

Real Americans should be alarmed over a dramatic
increase in Cuban cigar-related crime. Here is a drug
more harmful than marijuana according to some, yet cigar
criminals only receive fines. What message does this
send to our children?

Let's apply the same tactics that have been so
successful in our war on (some) drugs. Let's go after
the growers, dealers and users with the same SWAT teams
and severe penalties. Let's institute mandatory
cigar-testing of school children, welfare recipients and
government employees before this addictive, cancerous
drug destroys their lives.

I am shocked and dismayed that Star editorialists have,
by their silence, proven to be soft on cigars.

Such non-action is tantamount to condoning drug
addiction, drug-related crime, communism, the breakdown
of the family and the shredding of the fabric of
society.

Don Berry
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Social Zealots Are Wrong (Letter To Editor Of 'The Herald' In Everett,
Washington, Faults Ideology Behind Anti-Smoker Manipulators
And California's New Ban On Smoking In Bars)

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 18:26:09 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US WA: LTE: Social Zealots Are Wrong
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA
Contact: letters@heraldnet.com
WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com

ANTI-SMOKING MOVEMENT

SOCIAL ZEALOTS ARE WRONG

Re: California's latest anti-smoking move.

I am a lifetime pipe smoker, not an alcoholic prude. I do not frequent
taverns or bars. I disagree with the most recent move by the social-zealot
behavioral changers, otherwise known as anti-smokers.

Theirs is a case for action precipitated by reason of legislative default.

Wherein, anticipated action by the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration would have required much better ventilation of shared oxygen
in public access areas.

If the self-proclaimed experts are really concerned, why have we not heard
about public transportation and public gathering places in general, with
regard to airspace?

Why is it perpetually OK to get on a bus, airplane, train, etc., and be
forced to share the air with others who may be packing the flu, TB, herpes,
bad breath, body odor, allergy-producing body-ointments, garlic, onions,
etc., let alone attitude-related deportment?

It seems to me, I am 70 years old, if the social-activity manipulators are
sincere, they may be well advised to take a long look at history, and
examine their motives relative to the generally orderly progression of
human development.

JIM CARDINAL Monroe
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Foes Of Smoking Ban Snuffed Again ('San Jose Mercury News' Says
Superior Court Judge 'Doesn't Find Anything In The Bar-Smoking Ban That Was In
Conflict With The Constitution' And Refuses Pretrial Request Of Bar Owners
To Block Enforcement Of New California Law)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:16:08 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Foes of Smoking Ban Snuffed Again
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998

FOES OF SMOKING BAN SNUFFED AGAIN

Undeterred, they vow to keep struggle going

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Opponents of California's new law prohibiting smoking in
bars lost another round in court Thursday, but said they will continue
their fight both in court and the Legislature.

Superior Court Judge Joe S. Gray refused the request of a coalition of bar
owners to issue an injunction to block the enforcement of the smoking ban
before a suit challenging its constitutionality goes to trial.

Attorney William Thomson, who represented the bar owners, described that as
a setback. But he said they would continue to fight the smoking ban, which
took effect Jan. 1.

`Certainly we're disappointed, but the battle will continue, both legally
and legislatively,'' Thomson said, adding that his options include
appealing the denial of his request for an injunction, seeking a speedy
trial on the suit, or seeking a new law repealing the smoking ban.

Attorney George Waters, representing the American Cancer Society and other
supporters of the smoking ban, also said he expected the legal battle to
continue.

Gray said in his ruling it was the responsibility of the Legislature, not
the courts, to make public policy, and that a court should overrule the
Legislature only if it finds a law in conflict with the state or U.S.
Constitution.

Gray added that he didn't find anything in the bar-smoking ban that was in
conflict with the constitution.

Thomson had argued that the smoking ban violated the equal protection
provisions of the constitution in that it exempts restaurants with five or
fewer employees which sell alcohol but does not exempt bars with five or
fewer employees which do not serve food.

But Gray ruled that ``there is a rational basis for the distinctions made
in the statute,'' and that it therefore doesn't violate the constitution.

In court, Waters and Senior Assistant Attorney General Allen Sumner argued
that the law was designed to protect bar employees who, unlike patrons, are
involuntarily exposed to second-hand smoke. Waters cited scientific studies
which found bar patrons are exposed to two to three times as much smoke as
restaurant employees.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Media Should Join With The Government To Push Anti-Drug Message (Drug Czar
McCaffrey Launches Government's $195 Ad Campaign Shilling For Freebies -
Doesn't Mention It Was Mass Media Who Began And Have Sustained US War
On Some Drugs By Promoting Fear, Sensationalism And Ignorance
Since Their Consolidation Of Power In Early 20th Century)

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 10:26:46 -0800 (PST)
X-Sender: arandell@mail.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: Media should join with the government to push anti-drug message
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: January 16, 1998
Source: Arizona Daily Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com

Media should join with the government to push anti-drug
message

By Barry R. McCaffrey

Corporations are willing to spend billions of dollars on
advertising because it works. The electronic media -
television, radio, film, videos, Internet, CD-ROM and
multi-media (including print journalism augmented by color
photography) - constitute the strongest educational tools
available in the modern world. Where earlier civilizations
drew on the walls of caves, we trace our culture on TV
screens.

Mass media can change attitudes and behavior among youth
in the fastest, most effective way. In addition to drug
prevention based in homes, schools and communities, an
aggressive media campaign is essential for reducing drug
abuse.

Today in Tucson - one of 12 target cities to test the
advertising campaign - the Office of National Drug Control
Policy will launch a pilot run of anti-drug ads focusing
on youngsters nine to 17 years of age. For approximately
four months, ads will also air in Atlanta, Baltimore,
Boise, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Milwaukee, Portland, San
Diego, Sioux City and Washington, D.C. The impact of these
paid spots will be tested and refined before the program
goes national later this year.

Congress appropriated an unprecedented $195 million for
the campaign. Through support from the media and others in
the private sector, this figure could double - allowing us
to increase paid advertising and public service efforts.

Such an initiative is necessary because even though
overall drug use dropped by half in the last 15 years,
teen-age drug use rose precipitously. Eighth grade use
nearly tripled in the last five years. During this period,
the number of anti-drug public service announcements fell
by 30 percent and many of those PSAs aired in time slots
that attract few children.

Here in Arizona, marijuana is the drug of choice, which
reflects national statistics among youth, yet crack and
Mexican black tar heroin are both readily available in
Tucson.

Juvenile drug arrests in Pima County increased 151
percent between 1984 and 1994. The largest cocaine seizure
in Arizona history (six tons) occurred in Tucson in 1997.
Methamphetamine production in clandestine laboratories is
increasing substantially, using chemicals procured in
Mexico.

The media initiative is only the beginning of a greater
educational campaign to reach youngsters. Documentaries
about the history of drug use, the impact of narco-
terrorism on American foreign policy and the link between
drugs, crime and the justice system can be supplemented by
factual, dramatic shows about the consequences of
substance abuse. Young viewers would be more likely to
shun addictive substances if they were better informed
about the violence associated with this criminal industry
and health risks posed by drugs.

Today's kids spend more time watching television than
attending academic classes. By high school graduation,
youth have seen approximately 15,000 hours of TV compared
to 12,000 hours in school. Whether we like it or not,
electronic media have revolutionized the way people learn
- much as Johann Gutenberg's printing press and movable
type changed Renaissance Europe from an oral to a written
culture.

In the 20th century, mass communication has brought us
back to word-of-mouth, conveying information through
electronically enhanced speech and pictures that magnify
impact.

Because mass media acts like a ``proxy-peer'' to our
youth, defining the culture by identifying what's ``cool''
and what's not, over a five-year period a broad-based
anti-drug campaign can counteract pro-drug messages from
many sources. Ad experts suggest that a minimum of four
exposures a week that reach 90 percent of the target
audience (mostly children but also parents, coaches, and
youth leaders) can change attitudes.

The University of Michigan's ``Monitoring the Future''
study indicates that attitudinal change precedes
behavioral change. A recent study by the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that media efforts
work best on the community level in conjunction with other
prevention programs. To maximize impact, the new campaign
will tailor ads to match the age, social and psychological
profile of audiences.

Dr. Alan Leshner, director of NIDA, points out that
scientific research has established that types of ads
achieve good results. For instance, messages that
encourage audiences to think about issues - as opposed to
celebrities delivering slogans - tend to produce enduring
change. Likewise, research-based material is more
effective than ``scare tactics.''

Creative minds in the arts and industries are helping
with these efforts. The Ad Council and the Partnership for
a Drug-Free America are providing ad copy as well as
experience and talent.

The idea is not to control young minds. Our purpose is to
offer accurate data that enables maturing individuals to
make rational choices. Drugs are wrong because they hurt
people. We cannot stand idly by while toxic, addictive
substances endanger children, family, friends and
neighborhoods. So look for the new ads and speak about the
message. American liberty entails freedom from substances
that poison young minds and kill youthful dreams.

Barry R. McCaffrey is director of the Office of National
Drug Control Policy.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

New National Anti-Drug Campaign Kicked Off At Local School
('Houston Chronicle' Article On Your Tax Dollars At Work)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:28:32 -0800
Subject: MN: US TX: New National Anti-Drug Campaign Kicked Off at Local School
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: Melanie Markley of the Houston Chronicle

NEW NATIONAL ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN KICKED OFF AT LOCAL SCHOOL

Everyone remembers the classic ad that compares a brain on drugs to a
frying egg.

Well, get ready for the sequel.

A sultry young woman standing in a kitchen places a raw egg on the counter
and explains that this is your brain on heroin. She swings a frying pan and
splatters the egg.

As broken egg drips from the pan, the woman explains that this is what your
body goes through. But that's not all. As she proceeds to demolish dishes
and kitchen appliances with the pan, she explains that this is what happens
to your family, your friends, your job, your self-respect and your future.

Abruptly the scene ends with her closing line: "Any questions?"

The new ad is part of a $195 million anti-drug media campaign that was
kicked off Thursday at Lanier Middle School by Barry McCaffrey, White House
drug policy director.

About 750 students, along with Mayor Lee Brown, Houston school
Superintendent Rod Paige, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D- Houston, and
others watched four videos that will be aired over the next three weeks in
Houston and 11 other cities.

The media campaign, which also includes radio and newspaper ads, will go
national in June.

"The heart and soul of what we are doing is talking to young people with
straight talk," McCaffrey said.

According to McCaffrey's office, about 30 percent of Houston's secondary
students report a lifetime use of marijuana while 14 percent reported use
in the past month.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Cocaine Mom' Bill Approved In Assembly, Sent To Senate
('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says If Law Passes, Wisconsin Would Become
First State To Allow Judges To Order Incarceration Of Pregnant Women
Addicted To Alcohol, Other Drugs)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 19:32:22 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US WI: 'Cocaine Mom' Bill Approved In Assembly, Sent To Senate
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Author: Amy Rinard of the Journal Sentinel
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/

'COCAINE MOM' BILL APPROVED IN ASSEMBLY, SENT TO SENATE

Supporters Say Change In Judiciary Committee Chief Makes Passage More Likely

Madison -- The state Assembly gave final approval Thursday to the "cocaine
mom" bill and sent it to the Senate, where supporters said its prospects
for passage are brightened by the recent appointment of a new Judiciary
Committee chairman.

If the bill becomes law, Wisconsin would become the first state in the
nation to allow judges to order drug- or alcohol-addicted pregnant women
detained to protect their fetuses.

Gov. Tommy Thompson has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Sen. Joanne Huelsman (R-Waukesha), the Senate author of the bill and a
member of the Judiciary Committee, said she thinks there is enough support
among senators to pass the measure.

"I would think it would have a pretty good chance," she said. "At this
point, I haven't heard any opposition to it."

Huelsman said she has asked Sen. Robert Wirch (D-Kenosha), the new chairman
of the Judiciary Committee to which the bill is likely to be referred, to
hold a hearing on it as soon as possible.

She said she was optimistic the committee, of which she is a member, would
take up the bill.

Wirch was named last week to succeed former Democratic senator Lynn Adelman
as head of the Judiciary Committee. As chairman, Adelman was known for
killing legislation that he opposed.

Wirch said Thursday that he is struggling to deal with the 130 bills
sitting in his committee, but he did not rule out holding a hearing on the
"cocaine mom" bill.

Although he was not familiar with every detail of the bill, Wirch said, in
general, he is not opposed to it.

"I don't have any opposition to it at this time, but I haven't had the time
to really look at it yet," he said.

The legislation was drafted after incidents in Waukesha and Racine in which
pregnant women refused to get treatment for their abuse of alcohol or drugs.

In the Waukesha case, the woman -- identified only as Angela -- was
detained under a court order, but her lawyer fought the order all the way
to the state Supreme Court, which ruled there was no law specifically
allowing judges to detain pregnant women with drug or alcohol addictions.

Last month, the woman, who is pregnant again, was charged with misdemeanor
possession of drug paraphernalia after being arrested for having cocaine
pipes hidden in her shoes.

Reporting Required

Under the legislation, physicians and other medical professionals would
have to report a pregnant woman who refuses to stop abusing alcohol or
drugs and has refused treatment.

After a hearing, a judge could order the woman to be held in a treatment
facility or other secure facility. If the judge ruled the fetus a "child in
need of protective services" under a law now commonly used to protect
children from abuse, the pregnant woman could be detained until she gave
birth.

The Assembly passed the bill Nov. 19 on a 69-27 vote. But Minority Leader
Walter Kunicki (D-Milwaukee), who voted in favor of the measure, delayed
final action on the bill by forcing a vote to reconsider it.

By a vote of 62-35 Thursday, the Assembly voted not to reconsider the bill,
and it immediately was sent to the Senate.

Advocates of the legislation argued it was needed to protect fetuses.

"I think it was really important that this bill pass because we're talking
about moms who want their babies but are damaging them," said Rep. Bonnie
Ladwig (R-Racine). "We're trying to address the moms who are absolutely
refusing treatment."

Ladwig also said she was confident Wirch would schedule a hearing on the bill.

Opponents of the bill argued that the provision requiring medical
professionals to report addicted pregnant women would backfire because it
could make pregnant women who need medical services afraid to seek help.

Rep. Barbara Notestein (D-Milwaukee) said not all people seeking treatment
for drug and alcohol abuse can even get into treatment programs because of
limited money for such programs.

She said the solution to the "cocaine mom" problem was to adequately
finance treatment programs.

"We're not solving the problem," she said of the bill. "We're taking two or
three cases and making public policy on those few situations."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Study Finds Link In Age, Alcoholism ('San Jose Mercury News' Article
On Report By Researchers Bridget F. Grant And Deborah A. Dawson
Of National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, In January Issue
Of 'Journal Of Substance Abuse' - The Younger A Person Starts Drinking,
The More Likely He Or She Will Abuse Alcohol Later)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 23:34:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Study FInds Link in Age, Alcoholism
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Author: Donna Kato, Mercury News Staff Writer

Early use, later problems

STUDY FINDS LINK IN AGE, ALCOHOLISM

A new study by federal researchers points to what Santa Clara County health
officials and children's advocates have suspected all along: The younger a
person starts drinking, the more likely that individual will abuse alcohol
later in life.

In a survey released Wednesday, researchers from the National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that more than 40 percent of people who
started drinking before age 15 became alcohol abusers, compared with 10
percent of those who waited until they were 21.

Medical experts have said early exposure to drinking, along with family
history of alcohol abuse, other family pressures and alcohol
advertisements, all can encourage children to begin drinking at earlier
ages and make breaking the habit more difficult as they grow up.

``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, institute director.

The national study underscores what local prevention specialists say they
believed all along from research and their own observations: Alcohol can be
at the core of problems for kids as young as 10.

``We've always known there's a correlation between age of onset and
problems later,'' said Robert Garner, director of the Santa Clara County
Department of Alcohol and Drug Services, which works with the county's
schools, health services and other organizations that serve youth.

``Our community reflects the nationwide norm,'' Garner said. ``Alcohol is
readily available and acceptable, and when a kid gets into trouble with
alcohol, parents say, `Thank God it wasn't drugs.'

`Pay attention'

``This study is telling them to pay attention to the drinking.''

Programs already in place in the county include a state-mandated school
curriculum that provides information about alcohol abuse, mentoring
programs, after-school activities and intervention services.

The county does not keep local numbers that correspond with the national
study. But an April 1997 survey of 507 adolescents and young adults in the
juvenile justice system, the Children's Shelter and continuation schools
found that 74 percent had a chemical dependency problem. The drug of choice
for 42 percent of them was marijuana, followed by 9 percent for
amphetamines and 8 percent for alcohol.

The survey of 414 males and 93 females ages 12 to 18 is a snapshot of a
particular group and not indicative of the population at large.

The results of that survey are being studied by local officials and others
to develop a comprehensive services system for adolescents in the county,
said Linda Kury, health services supervisor for the county.

Those new ``wraparound services,'' she said, could address transportation
for teens who can't or don't drive, privacy issues for minors who may need
parental consent, and developmental factors of substance abuse on growing
bodies.

Psychological health

``We need to step back from the concept of prevention because you can't
isolate drugs and alcohol from truancy, pregnancy, suicide and the whole
constellation of behaviors that drive kids today,'' Garner said. ``It's not
realistic. We need more strategies that help kids be healthy
psychologically first.''

The national study showed that 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.

The analysis, by researchers Bridget F. Grant and Deborah A. Dawson, is
published in the January issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drugs In Users' Systems Could Be Basis For Charges ('Ft. Worth Star Telegram'
Reports A Heroin 'Overdose' In Tarrant County, Texas, May Now Lead To
Possession Charges Against The Victim)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 18:35:27 -0500
Subject: MN: US TX: Drugs in users' systems could be basis for charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Ft. Worth Star Telegram
Author: Domingo Ramirez Jr., Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Pubdate: 16 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.startext.net/
Contact: letters@star-telegram.com

DRUGS IN USERS' SYSTEMS COULD BE BASIS FOR CHARGES

Needle marks on the Hurst teen-ager's arm were among the only pieces of
evidence police found when he overdosed on heroin at home in November. The
unconscious teen was taken to a hospital; several hours later, he recovered
and was sent home.

Weeks later, police found only hesitant witnesses who reported that the
same teen had bought heroin from someone in a car that pulled up to a house
in Hurst. The teen injected the heroin, suffering a second overdose -- and
survived again, police and witnesses say.

The young man will not be charged with a crime. In most cases, police say,
charges are not filed against those who overdose on heroin, because little
or none of the drug is found in their possession. In rare cases, a pregnant
woman can be charged because heroin or other drugs are found in her system
and have endangered her fetus.

But prosecutors and police say that the outbreak of reported heroin
overdoses in the Metroplex, particularly in suburban cities, could change
that. If the public demands that the legal system respond, they say, users
could face possession charges based on drugs found in their systems, as is
the case with people suspected of drunken driving.

"Quite frankly, who's going to pay for something like that?" Denton County
District Attorney Bruce Isaacks said. "But it's something that we could see
more often down the road if public opinion wants it."

The main obstacle in charging heroin users with possession or public
intoxication, police say, is lack of physical evidence. Heroin users
display few clear physical characteristics, police said.

Laboratory results from tests on heroin users can take weeks, prosecutors
say. And drug agents and police say that, in exchange for information about
drug dealers, they sometimes agree not to seek possession charges against
heroin users who have only a small amount of the drug.

"A possession charge means an officer has to seize a usable amount," said
police Cpl. Doug Blue, who investigated the Hurst teen's Jan. 4 overdose.

"There may be needles and syringes lying around, but that in itself is not
enough for a drug possession charge. And many times, users out here buy
just enough to use and there isn't much lying around."

Users can be charged with felony possession of a controlled
substance/heroin when less than a gram is seized. One capsule would be
enough to charge someone, a Tarrant County drug agent said.

Generally, it's easier to file charges against dealers because they have
sizable amounts in their possession. If convicted on a charge of possession
of a controlled substance under 1 gram, a dealer could be sentenced to a
maximum of two years in prison.

"Possession of drug paraphernalia is an option," Blue said. "But again,
officers must be able to prove what those items were used for." Heroin
users can be charged with public intoxication, but that charge is difficult
to prove.

In most cases, officers make arrests on suspicion of public intoxication
based on physical characteristics such as slurred speech,
bloodshot eyes and an unstable gait. Often, officers can smell alcohol on a
person and run a breath test and not wait weeks for "Charging users based
on what is in their system is a thorny issue," said Rick Curtis, an
associate professor of anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
in New York City.

"If you did that, there would be an increase of users not going to
treatment for fear of being arrested. It could also mean an increase of
overdoses," said Curtis, who has researched heroin for 20 years. Bob Noble
III of Fort Worth said he would prefer to see users charged based on drugs
found in their systems. His grandson, Heath Noble, 22, of Bedford, died
Nov. 18 of a heroin overdose.

"Everybody in the loop should be held accountable," Bob Noble said. "By
charging a user, that could be a tool used to find out the suppliers."

It appears no one has taken a comprehensive look at overdose cases in
Tarrant County. But 28 people were arrested in 1997 on heroin-related
charges, according to recently released figures from the Tarrant County
Narcotics Intelligence and Coordination Unit. Agents also seized less than
3 pounds of heroin.

In 1996, drug agents arrested 28 people and seized about 11 pounds of
heroin in Tarrant County.

In Northeast Tarrant County, agents seized slightly more than a
quarter-pound of heroin in 1997, according to Tarrant County drug
statistics. Three Northeast Tarrant residents died of heroin overdoses last
year, and detectives say that two other residents may have died from
overdoses. In 1996, agents confiscated less than three-quarters of a pound
of heroin in Northeast Tarrant.

But authorities point out that the number of heroin-related seizures in
1997 in Tarrant County ranked well below those of marijuana, cocaine,
methamphetamine and amphetamine.

"I would project more arrests in 1998," said Bill Koos, chief prosecutor
for the Tarrant County narcotics unit. "It's going to be more of a focus
for law enforcement."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pentagon Expected To End Border Troops ('Houston Chronicle' Version
Of News From Yesterday And The Day Before)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:20:33 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Pentagon Expected to End Border Troops
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/

PENTAGON EXPECTED TO END BORDER TROOPS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pentagon officials are finalizing recommendations on the
future use of armed military patrols for anti-drug operations along the
U.S.-Mexico border.

"Officially, no decision has been made by the secretary of defense whether
or not to resume the use of active-duty ground forces in the use of
counterdrug operations," Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said Thursday.
Unofficially, however, it appears that defense officials will recommend the
end of such patrols -- a practice that provoked controversy after a West
Texas teen-ager was killed last year by a U.S. Marine on patrol along the
border.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Draft Regulations Announced For Hemp ('Ontario Farmer Daily' Reports
Health Canada Has Announced Draft Legislation That Will Lead To Establishment
Of A Licensing System In Time For The 1998 Growing Season)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 20:21:01 -0500 (EST)
From: Neev (ntapiero@acs.ryerson.ca)
To: mattalk (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com)
Subject: AGnet January 18, 1997 (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:26:06 -0500 (EST)
To: ntapiero@acs.ryerson.ca
Subject: AGnet January 18, 1997 (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

DRAFT REGULATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR HEMP
Jan. 16 /98
Ontario Farmer Daily

Health Canada announced draft legislation last week that will see growing
regulations and a licensing system for hemp in place for the coming
growing season. The final Health Canada regulations should be ready by
next March. According to the report, a few dozen Essex county farmers
will be among the first to be chosen to plant hemp seed this spring. Kenex
Ltd. near Chatham has harvested millions in learning how to produce and
process hemp and they hoped to have their hemp processing facility
operational by this spring.

sender's note: I think the word "harvested" should be "invested"
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police 'Ready To Soften On Cannabis' ('Canberra Times' Article On The New
Illicit Drugs Report Issued By Australian Law Enforcement)

To: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: Article: Canberra Times 16th Jan
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 98 19:13:10 +1100
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)

Canberra Times
Friday, 16th January, 1998, page 1

Police 'ready to soften on cannabis'

By PETER CLACK

Decriminalising cannabis could free police to focus on harder drugs, a new
report on Australia's illicit drug problem said yesterday.

The hard-line approach to all illegal drugs was 'not viable', the chairman
of the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Victorian Police
Commissioner Neil Comrie, said yesterday.

He said police across Australia were ready for a trial of a more
flexible, harm-minimisation approach.

The 176-page Australian Illicit Drug Report, by the Australian Bureau of
Criminal Intelligence, reported more than 500 overdose deaths a year, a
rise of 700 per cent in just over a decade.

It suggests that law enforcement efforts were having 'a limited effect' on
the heroin available at street level.

The report noted also a growing tolerance for cannabis use in the
community, and said decriminalisation could greatly reduce police and
legal costs.

'Any moves to decriminalise personal cannabis use and production could
result in a big reduction in the resources committed to controlling the
drug,' it said.

Cannabis was Australia's most popular illicit drug - one third of the adult
population having used it - followed by amphetamines. Cannabis accounted
for 81 per cent of all drug arrests.

Cannabis arrests in Canberra rose 10 per cent last year, compared with a 12
per cent drop in the national average.

Mr Comrie said police had to change their tactics to counter a 'vicious
cycle of death and tragedy' by leaving users alone, and working up the
ladder to the dealers and distributors.

The national economic cost of all drug abuse in Australia was more than $18
billion in 1996, and $1.6 billion was directly due to illicit drugs.

Law enforcement for drugs cost $450.6 million: $156 million for state and
territory police, the National Crime Authority, Australian Federal Police,
and the Australian Customs Service, $230.5 million for prisons and $64.1
million for courts.

The report lists rises in heroin use, falls in price and higher purity,
which had doubled in Sydney between 1992 and 1995.

Heroin overdose deaths for the 15 to 44 age group had risen in Australia by
'700 per cent' from 1979 to 1995 - most coming after 1992.

The reasons given include purer heroin, lifestyle, polydrug use, criminal
behaviour, self abuse and neglect. (Canberra equalled Sydney in the highest
grade of heroin in Australia.)

A typical overdose victim was 30 and with a 12-year history as a drug user.

Sydney was the main importation and distribution centre for heroin and
other drugs into Australia. The weight of detections at the Customs
barriers had doubled last year, yet it was widely available and prices had
never been as low.

The mean age of dealers had fallen from 30 in 1995 to 25.

The Federal Government scrapped the heroin trial in Canberra last year, but
put $87.5 million into a three-year anti-drugs police campaign.

A quarter of drivers in a Western Australian study tested positive to drugs
other than alcohol, cannabis coming second after alcohol.

Police success in cracking down on domestic production of amphetamines now
meant some users were switching to cheaper and higher quality heroin.

Cocaine could also become a substitute for amphetamines, known as speed, if
its availability increased.

Most amphetamines were produced in Australia and they appeared to be just
as available as they were five years ago. But the quality had declined
because of the success of precursor legislation, which imposed tighter
controls over sale and distribution of the chemicals used in amphetamine
manufacture.

Mr Comrie said police would continue to take whatever action was needed to
combat the illicit drug trade in Australia. 'Just because we are successful
in one area and there is a move across to another doesn't mean we should
give up in the successful area,' he said.

He said the effects of amphetamine abuse were extensive, causing a great
deal of pain to the community. That law enforcement has been particularly
effective in dealing with that issue ought to be recognised rather than
criticised.

The Minister for Justice, Amanda Vanstone, said the illicit drugs trade was
an industry with profits rivalled by few industries. She said drugs were
not new, but the challenge was serious and criminals had access to the
latest technology. Police must ensure Australia did not become a dumping
ground for the growing supplies of drugs.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

It's Softly, Softly On Cannabis Law ('Sydney Morning Herald' Article
On The New Illicit Drugs Report From The Australian Bureau Of Criminal
Intelligence, Which Recommends Cannabis Decriminalisation)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 20:48:08 -0500
Subject: MN: Australia: It's Softly, Softly On Cannabis Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Contact: letters@smh.com.au
Pubdate: Friday, January 16, 1998
Author: Jodie Brough in Canberra

IT'S SOFTLY, SOFTLY ON CANNABIS LAW

The Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence has cautiously supported
moves to liberalise laws against cannabis use, saying a relaxation would
allow police to redirect their attention to harder drugs.

More than 81 per cent of all drug offences were related to cannabis,
involving significant police resources, while about 30 per cent of the
population had tried the drug, the bureau's report on illicit drugs said.

It said decriminalisation of the personal use of cannabis and cannabis
production "could result in a big reduction in the resources committed to
controlling the drug", noting that unlike other illicit drugs there was
little crime associated with cannabis use.

It rejected the view that cannabis was a "gateway" drug which would lead to
the use of harder drugs, suggesting that a less stringent approach to
cannabis could discourage users from progressing to harder drugs. It
suggested the link between cannabis and harder drugs was due to the
increased likelihood of cannabis users being exposed to the availability of
harder drugs either through other users or dealers.

"If this is correct, then preventing this exposure may reduce the number of
cannabis users that progress to the more harmful drugs," the report said.
In other key findings: Growing opium production throughout the world means
heroin imports are unlikely to decrease. Australian heroin seizures have
doubled in the past two years, with increased heroin purity and falling
costs leading to more overdose deaths. Cocaine has become more available
and prices have dropped by about $150 a gram, to about $200 a gram in
eastern Australia and to as little as $100 a gram in Canberra, increasing
the likelihood that its use will increase. A crackdown on locally produced
amphetamines has turned some users to heroin because it is cheaper and of
higher quality, causing police concern. LSD is enjoying a resurgence among
young people, due to its decreasing cost and the popularity of "party"
drugs such as ecstasy.

The report found cocaine was being imported by traffickers from South
America. In NSW, people of Colombian descent were reported to be working
with Australians to distribute the drug. Sydney continued to be the cocaine
capital of Australia, with 70 per cent of all seizures taking place there
since 1992. The most pure cocaine was also found in NSW (an average of 46
per cent pure) while Queensland had the least pure, at an average of 27 per
cent.

The report said there was no evidence that moves by the ACT, South
Australia and the Northern Territory to adopt "limited" cannabis
decriminalisation regimes had increased use of the drug. "Community
attitudes to the use of cannabis are undoubtedly changing, becoming more
tolerant and accepting," it said. However, it fell short of recommending
more comprehensive moves to decriminalise cannabis outright. Instead, it
suggested that a thorough study of the effects of existing drug law reform
be considered before decriminalisation of cannabis was expanded. Detection
of ecstasy imports was increasing, with drugs usually found in postal items
and baggage from Britain, The Netherlands and Indonesia, it said.

The bureau's chairman, the Victorian police commissioner Mr Neil Comrie,
said the effects of amphetamine abuse were "quite extensive".

"They have caused a great deal of pain to the community," he said. "The
fact that law enforcement has been particularly effective in dealing with
that issue ought to be recognised rather than criticised.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Youth Who Was Selling Drugs Given Five Years ('Irish Times' Article
About One Dubliner Who Wishes He Was Son Of British Home Secretary)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 09:53:55 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: Youth Who Was Selling Drugs Given Five Years
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: The Irish Times
Pubdate: Friday, January 16, 1998
Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2,
Ireland
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407

YOUTH WHO WAS SELLING DRUGS GIVEN FIVE YEARS

A youth caught selling drugs at the Point Depot and on the streets on
successive occasions has been jailed for five years. [Name Witheld on Request] (19) also
had drugs concealed in two flats and had large sums of cash which he
admitted came from selling illegal drugs.

[Name Witheld], with addresses at Brighton Avenue and Mount Tallant Avenue, Dublin,
pleaded guilty to having ecstasy, cannabis resin, amphetamines and LSD for
sale on dates in June, August and October, 1996.

Judge Cyril Kelly was told in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that [Name Witheld] was
on bail when he committed both the August and October offences. He jailed
[Name Witheld] for two years on the June offence and for three years on the August
and October charges, the sentences to run consecutively.

Garda Sean McLaughlin told Mr Desmond Zaiden, prosecuting, that he observed
[Name Witheld] selling ecstasy at a "rave" in the Point Depot on June 1st, 1996. He
had 30 other tablets on him as well as 1,000 in cash when searched. [Name Witheld] 
admitted having bought 50 ecstasy tablets earlier to sell them.

Cannabis was found in a search the next day of a flat in Ranelagh which he
shared with another youth.

Garda Ciaran Baker told Mr Zaiden that 1,058 worth of cannabis, ecstasy,
amphetamines and LSD was found in the same flat on August 23rd, 1996.
Witness said that he caught [Name Witheld] selling drugs on the street on October
15th, 1996. [Name Witheld] had 1,030 in cash and ephedrine valued at 300 in the
flat he then occupied at Mount Tallant Avenue.

[Name Witheld]'s mother told Judge Kelly that he dropped out of school after his
Junior Certificate and left home. However, he was now back at home and
studying for the Leaving Certificate. His behaviour had improved
considerably.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

European Parliament To Delay Cannabis Vote ('Reuters' Says Vote In Strasbourg On
Whether To Recommend Decriminalisation In The EU Could Be Postponed
As Anti-Prohibition Supporters Seek More Time To Win Round Reticent British
Labour Deputies)

Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 19:24:56 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: European Union: European Parliament To Delay Cannabis Vote
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug 
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 1998

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO DELAY CANNABIS VOTE

STRASBOURG, France, Jan 14 (Reuters) - A European Parliament vote on
whether to recommend decriminalising cannabis in the EU could be postponed
as anti-prohibition supporters seek more time to win round reticent British
Labour deputies.

The Socialist Euro-MP behind the plan, Hedy D'Ancona, a former Dutch Health
Minister, said British Labour support was pivotal to success of Thursday's
planned vote, which would make the EU assembly the first in Europe to take
an anti-prohibition stance.

``If you are missing them, then you can not get a majority,'' she told
reporters on Wednesday.

Decriminalisation of drugs is a sensitive issue with Britain's ruling
Labour Party, which takes a tough line on narcotics but has recently been
embarrassed by allegations that the son of Home Secretary Jack Straw sold
illegal cannabis to a newspaper reporter.

British police said this week they would not bring charges against him or
the reporter.

British Labour deputies in the Parliament, who planned to abstain in
Thursday's vote, have been subject to a massive lobbying effort from
deputies who have heartfelt beliefs that by banning the drugs, governments
are propping up the Mafia.

Disguised as Mafioso, Italian Radical deputies Olivier Dupuis and
Gianfranco Dell'Alba told a news conference on Wednesday only the Mafia
benefit from tough laws.

``I would like to invite the British Labour deputies...to reflect on the
seriousness of the consequences of the choice they are about to make,''
Dupuis said in a statement.

In the run-up to the vote, the issue has proved a divisive one which has
split political groups across national lines.

The Parliament's Christian Democrat deputies were holding out on Wednesday
against postponing the vote, seeing a majority against decriminalising soft
drugs as a victory for their law and order agenda.

British Conservative deputy Sir Jack Stewart-Clark disputed that a move to
decriminalise cannabis would help stop the Mafia, saying they would just
sell more dangerous hard drugs even harder.

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[End]

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