Portland NORML News - Sunday, January 18, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Underdog Battles Forces Of Darkness (Veteran Journalist's Op-Ed Column
Explains Need For Cannabis Clubs, Praises Two On City Council
In Thousand Oaks, California, Who Compassionately Changed Their Votes,
Keeping Open The Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 19:34:10 EST
Sender: medmj@drcnet.org
Subject: Underdog Battles Forces Of Darkness
Newshawk: Jeff Meyers (jmeyers@isle.net)
Source: Ventura County Star (CA)
Author: Jeff Meyers
Section: OPED page
Contact: letters@staronline.com
Pubdate: Sunday, 18 Jan 1998

UNDERDOG BATTLES FORCES OF DARKNESS

It's been several weeks since Thousand Oaks City Council drug warriors
couldn't swing enough votes to close the Ventura County Medical Cannabis
Center. As far as I can tell, Thousand Oaks is still one of the safest
cities in America, drug dealers aren't lurking on every corner, and
civilization as we know it hasn't come to a crashing end.

Not often in politics does the underdog win, but that's what happened at
the city council meeting last month. A diminutive fireball named Andrea
Nagy stood up to the city bureaucracy and pulled an astounding upset
against the forces of darkness. Barraging the city council with
illuminating expert testimony and gut-wrenching testimonials from sick
people, Nagy managed to convince council members Linda Parks and Elois
Zeanah that a tiny pot dispensary in a nondescript office complex wasn't a
threat to the health and safety of the community.

Before the meeting, I'm sure that Parks and Zeanah never would have
imagined themselves championing marijuana, but they had the decency and
diligence to actually pay attention to the overpowering evidence brought
before them. If only all politicians were as open-minded, honest and fair,
we could bring some semblance of reason and sanity to the War on Marijuana.

As a journalist, I've been following this story for 25 years. I know that
politicians and bureaucrats have no intention of changing their demon-weed
ideology. There are too many powerful interests who need to keep marijuana
illegal. The prison lobby. Law enforcement. DARE. Pharmaceutical companies.
DEA. Without marijuana's 11 million regular users, the entire Drug War
crumbles -- the feds could never justify spending $17 billion a year just
to hunt down and arrest this country's 2 million cocaine/heroin addicts.

That's why Janet Reno filed federal civil charges against Northern
California cannabis clubs last week. The forces of darkness will do
anything -- including denying medicine to sick and dying people -- to
maintain the status quo and keep their jobs. Irrationally sticking to
long-discredited "Reefer Madness" propaganda that has fueled the War on
Marijuana for six decades, these immoral drug warriors are deathly afraid
of us ordinary people learning the truth about pot. And the truth is, pot
is a relatively harmless substance compared with alcohol, cigarettes, most
prescription drugs and many over-the-counter remedies. It is not addictive,
nor does it lead to hard drugs or violence.

While the New England Journal of Medicine supports legalizing medical
marijuana, the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet went so far
as to call pot smoking, even long term, "not harmful to health." The DEA's
own administrative law judge, the late Francis L. Young, said marijuana
"was safer than most foods."

These facts are being acknowledged all over the world, with major efforts
underway in Canada, England, France, Germany and Australia to legalize pot
for medicinal and recreational use. But even though notable doctors,
scientists and public figures have endorsed pot's medical benefits,
political power structures in their countries continue to stonewall, which
is nothing new. Every major government examination of marijuana - from the
1894 British Raj study to the 1944 LaGuardia Commission report to Nixon's
1972 Shafer Commission investigation - came to the same conclusion:
arresting pot-smokers causes more harm to society than pot does to the
individual. But these studies were either ignored or suppressed, and so an
estimated 15 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges
since cannabis became illegal in 1937.

In Australia recently, a government council studying marijuana recommended
legalizing it for personal use by adults, but government leaders refused to
act on the recommendation and then did what countless other pols have done
over the years to forestall legalization: they commissioned another study
on marijuana.

That's what Thousand Oaks wanted to do. They wanted to close down the
cannabis center to "study the issue" for 45 days, hoping no doubt that Nagy
would go away and the streets would be safe from marijuana fiends.
Thankfully, Linda Parks and Elois Zeanah did the right thing in voting
against the moratorium.

A Ventura resident, longtime journalist Jeff Meyers is the producer of "The
M Files," a documentary short on the absurd origin of marijuana prohibition.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A Public Policy Preview - At Issue In '98 - The Dope On Buyers
(Senior Editorialist For 'The Orange County Register' Says Local Government
May Have To Pick Up The Ball, Since California And US Officials Have Ignored
Proposition 215's Mandate 'To Implement A Plan To Provide For The Safe
And Affordable Distribution Of Marijuana To All Patients In Medical Need')

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 12:50:29 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: The Dope on Buyers: A Public Policy Preview
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Section: Commentary, page 4
Author: Alan W. Bock, the Register's senior editorial writer

Newshawk Note: This editorial discussed many different issues, but only the
medical marijuana issue is provided. the complete story begins on page 1.

A PUBLIC POLICY PREVIEW - AT ISSUE IN '98: "THE DOPE ON BUYERS"

By passing prop.215 in 1996,Californians declared that they want marijuana
for medical patients under the supervision of a doctor to be removed from
the criminal arena. Last year saw the federal government first threaten to
arrest doctors, then by year-end back off the threat and sponsor new
studies on the medical efficacy of marijuana. Meanwhile, California
localities - seldom helped by inconsistent signals from Attorney General
Dan Lungren - struggled with little success to design policies to permit
ill people to use marijuana while keeping the substance illicit for
"recreational" use.

This year opened with new assaults by the federal government on
California's voter-endorsed preference. Federal officials announced that
they plan to close down several Northern California cannabis "buyers'
clubs" on grounds that they are illegally selling marijuana. Garden Grove,
among other cities, has also opened a legal assault on a buyers' club. The
result - probably unintended - will be to force medical patients to rely
even more heavily on the already large black market for the drug.

Officials - with a few honorable exceptions - seem to have forgotten that
one of the purposes of Prop. 215 was "to encourage the federal and state
governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable
distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need." That means
authorizing a "white market" with appropriate safeguards against its use by
people with no medical need. Since the state and federal governments seem
determined to create roadblocks instead, local government might have to
pick up the ball.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Lawmakers' Social-Issues Agenda Brimming ('Associated Press' Notes Washington
State Legislature Has Scheduled An Unusual Evening Hearing Tuesday
On SB 6271, The Medical-Marijuana Bill, By The Senate Health & Long Term Care
Committee)

From: "W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
Subject: HT: ART: Many issues at bat in Oly
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 17:28:44 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Lawmakers' social-issues agenda brimming
By DAVID AMMONS
The Associated Press
01/18/98 5:26 PM Eastern

OLYMPIA (AP) -- Turning from the pomp and speechmaking of opening week,
Washington lawmakers this week confront a potpourri of tough social issues,
ranging from abortion and medical use of marijuana to ending no-fault
divorce and rolling back affirmative action.

House and Senate members will spend long hours in committee rooms,
conducting public hearings and perfecting scores of bills on a dizzying
array of topics. Legislation must clear committee in the next three weeks.

While budget, tax and transportation legislation continues to simmer,
dozens of social issues are bubbling up.

A sampler of the measures being considered this week:

--MARRIAGE & DIVORCE. The Senate Law & Justice Committee on Tuesday will
consider bills to do away with no-fault divorce and to authorize "covenant"
marriages that would make divorce harder. Lawmakers have not yet scheduled
a hearing on measures to ban gay marriages and to forbid same-sex partners
to qualify for married student housing or other benefits.

--MEDICAL POT. A narrowly drawn bill to allow medical use of marijuana is
the subject of an unusual evening hearing by the Senate Health & Long Term
Care Committee on Tuesday.

--DRUNKEN DRIVING. A package of bills to crack down on drunken driving
continues through the Senate process. Most of the bills are in the Rules
Committee for scheduling of a full Senate vote. The House, meanwhile, is
moving more deliberatively, girding to look at the price tag and other
issues. Democratic Gov. Gary Locke's DUI package has been introduced in the
House.

--ABORTION. On the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade
decision, abortion will have high visibility this week. Locke and
abortion-rights advocates will take part in a series of events Thursday in
Olympia, Seattle, Spokane and Vancouver. Abortion foes will stage their
annual "March for Life" on Jan. 26.

Anti-abortion forces soon will have hearings on bills to ban the procedure
critics call "partial-birth" abortion and to require advance notification
of a girl's parents before she gets an abortion.

--AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. Secretary of State Ralph Munro is expected to certify
Initiative 200 late this week. The measure would forbid preferential
treatment of minorities and women in government hiring, contracting and
college admission. Lawmakers can approve the plan or let the voters decide
this November. Hearings will be scheduled, but Republican leaders say it's
too early to tell what will happen.

Monday is a state holiday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King
Jr., the slain civil rights leader whose words are invoked by both
proponents and opponents of I-200. As usual, the Legislature isn't taking
the holiday off, but will move into its regular work after approving
resolutions honoring King.

The week's committee hearings include a variety of other topics, including:

--EDUCATION. Committees will take testimony on new bills to authorize
charter schools, independent state-funded schools that operate largely
without state regulation. A Senate panel will consider a plan to require a
notation in schoolbooks that evolution is just a theory. The House
Education Committee will spend three days on legislation to improve reading
and will consider parents' rights legislation and full-day kindergarten
programs. The House Higher Education Committee is considering a bill to
allow a student regent or trustee on college boards.

--RESOURCES. Lawmakers will consider bills dealing with watershed
management, regulation of storage tanks and other issues.

--SOCIAL & HEALTH. The House will take testimony on creation of a
Department of Children & Family Services, removing those programs from the
Department of Social and Health Services. Other panels are discussing
services for the developmentally disabled, migrant housing, group homes for
juvenile offenders and treatment of mentally ill offenders.

--ET CETERA. Other committee sessions are considering legislation dealing
with changing state computers by the year 2000, allowing rural counties and
their cities to opt out of growth-management planning requirements, banning
phone solicitations after 5 p.m., and planning for freight mobility
improvements.
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Washington State Senator Kohl Discusses Medical Marijuana 11 AM Monday
On KIRO In Seattle (Call Toll-Free About SB 6271 Or Listen On RealAudio)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 16:06:46 EST
Sender: medmj@drcnet.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (medmj@drcnet.org)
Subject: Senator Kohl will be discussing medical marijuana - CALL

Forwarded from the Hemp Talk mailing list. The time is Pacific Standard -
Richard

>From: Robert Lunday (robert@hemp.net)
>Subject: HT: Dave Ross - Monday morning
>
>Tune in to KIRO-710 for the Dave Ross show on Monday morning at 11 am.
>
>Senator Kohl will be discussing medical marijuana and SB 6271.
>
>Call in and give your support. (Does someone have the KIRO call in
>number?)

Hi All,

The call in number is 206-421-KIRO or toll free 1-800-KIRO-710

If you can't get the show on your radio (like me) go to
http://www.kiro710.com/ and click on the microphone graphic that says,
"KIRO 710 live" to hear the show live via Real Audio.

Keep fighting peacefully,

Tom Hawkins
Grand Coulee
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Dear Abby (Syndicated US Advice Columnist Reassured 95 Percent Of Physicians
Agree With Dr. Gorback Of Houston's Center For Pain Relief -
Narcotics Restorative, Not Harmful, To Chronic-Pain Patients' Sleep -
Real Problem Is State And Federal Regulatory Agencies,
Overzealous Bureaucrats)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:37:48 -0500
Subject: MN: US: DEAR ABBY
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: The Herald
Contact: letters@heraldnet.com
Pubdate: Sun., 18 Jan 1998
NOTE: Dear Abby can be contacted at Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles,
CA 90068

Dear Abby
Abigail Van Buren

Dear Abby: The letter from Dr. Michael Gorback with the Center for Pain
Relief in Houston prompts this letter.

It is not as simple as he makes it sound. Narcotics are not dangerous
merely because they cause addictive behavior or dependence. Narcotics
progressively weaken the brain physically by destroying sleep quality.

Chronic pain patients are already sleep-deprived. That is why they require
such large doses of narcotics to soothe. We must find ways to protect
restorative healing sleep for our chronically ill.

Poor sleep habits and sleep impairment are major public health problems in
our nation. Sleep deprivation causes learning disorders, disease, substance
abuse, suicide. violence, and industrial and motor vehicle accidents. We
cannot casually use medications they continue to destroy sleep quality.

EDWARD S. FIEDRICHS.
M.D., BROWN DEER, WIS.

***

Dear Dr. Friedrichs: Most chronic pain patients suffer sleep deprivation
because of pain, and pain medication makes a positive impact on their lives
by allowing them to sleep more comfortably. The message in Dr. Gorback's
letter was that narcotic pain medication, when administered properly, is
restorative rather than addictive. Please read on for another letter from a
fellow physician.

***

Dear Abby: I enjoyed the letter you printed by Dr.,. Michael Gorback. You
responded that Dr. Gorback's philosophy may be viewed by some as audacious;
nonetheless you thought it was sensible and logical.

Abby, 95 percent of physicians agree with Dr. Gorback. His philosophy is
not audacious at all. It is simply common sense and love for one's fellow
human beings. The real albatross over the years has been state and federal
regulatory agencies and overzealous bureaucrats.

Any person who odes not endorse Dr. Gorback's philosophy (simple
humanitarianism and logic) is frankly ignorant.

You have done a great service by publishing that letter. I applaud and
admire you.

-A WISCONSIN PHYSICIAN

***

Dear Physician: Thank you for the supportive letter, and for the
reassurance that the majority of physicians feel as you and Dr. Gorback do.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Weed Wars' Is Back At CNN (Text Of Recent Broadcast Now Online)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 03:10:53 EST
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Eagle Net Support (support@eagle-access.net)
Subject: Weed Wars is back at CNN

The big expose on reef that CNN pulled after two hours a
couple of weeks
ago is back on the WEB... I don't know how long it will
last this time so I'm saving it now if you don't get to see
it. Rather well done for a national rag.

Weed Wars -
http://cnn.com/HEALTH/9702/weed.wars/

joe
-------------------------------------------------------------------

For Your Information - Alcohol Taxes ('Kane's Beverage Week' Says US Federal
Revenue From Alcohol Declined To $7.6 Billion In Fiscal 1997,
While 'Chain Drug Review' Notes Sales At 20,000 Drugstores Nationwide
Rose 8.7 Percent, To $89 Billion)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 23:07:52 EST
From: Bob Ramsey (rmz@flash.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: FYI - Alcohol Taxes
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 12:37:44 -0500
Sender: Drug Policy Forum of Texas 
From: Jimmy Green 
Subject: Alcohol Taxes

For your information:

According to Kane's Beverage Week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
firearms show $7,601,345,000 in federal alcohol taxes were collected in
fiscal 1997, ending Sept.31, down from $7,635,526,000. Both beer and wine
taxes fell to $3,368,073,000 from $3,383,950,000.

In the pharmaceutical industry, according to Chain Drug Review, sales at
nearly 440 drug chains that operate more than 20,000 units nationwide
reached a record 89.41 billion dollars in 1997 a 8.7% increase from last
year. The total amount represents all sales not just prescription drug sales
But prescription medication remains the primary factor behind last year's
sales increase.

I also read that Texas has 53 dry counties, of which 43 are in the Texas
Panhandle area.
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The Reach Of Roe, How The Court's Ruling Has Transformed Privacy Rights
('Washington Post' Essay Notes That, While The Roe-Wade Decision's
Establishment Of A Constitutional Right To Privacy Or 'Bodily Integrity'
Has Influenced Other Legal Issues, Its Impact On Marijuana Prohibition
Has Been Nil)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 07:57:21 -0500
Subject: MN: US: The Reach of Roe, How the Court's Ruling Has Transformed
Privacy Rights
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Washington Post
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998
Page: C01
Author: Joan Biskupic. Joan Biskupic covers the Supreme Court for The
Washington Post.

THE REACH OF ROE, HOW THE COURT'S RULING HAS TRANSFORMED PRIVACY RIGHTS

>From the moment the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, it was apparent
that the ruling's impact would be vast, that this landmark of landmarks
would change our politics, our culture and even our social relationships in
a way rivaled by only a handful of decisions in the court's history.

Twenty-five years later, the Roe decision looks even more influential. Its
underlying rationale of a constitutional right to privacy has been used to
establish a new right to "bodily integrity," as judges call it -- a concept
of physical freedom that is becoming increasingly important to some of the
pressing issues of our time.

In the years since its creation, Roe's right to privacy has been invoked by
the Supreme Court to forbid states from forcing terminally ill people to
stay on respirators or to endure other artificial life support. It has been
used to stop prison officials from compelling mentally ill inmates to take
anti-psychotic drugs. Its notion of physical liberty has given severely
retarded adults in institutions the grounds to claim "freedom of movement"
to protect them from bodily restraint.

In other cases simmering throughout the country, lawyers are arguing that
the right to bodily integrity derived from Roe should prohibit prosecution
of women when they give birth to babies who test positive for drugs, and
that this right allows the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Attempts to apply Roe principles to cases in the future -- involving
genetic testing, for example -- are sure to surface.

In an era of advanced technology and medical breakthroughs, where the
physical self can be invaded, monitored and altered in ways never thought
possible a quarter-century ago, Roe's privacy right and its offspring could
be used as a shield against government interference in a range of new acts
and experiences.

Only with time has it become clear how a rationale that justified the
legalizing of abortion has gained legitimacy in the courts, if not in the
minds of its many critics.

The expansion of Roe v. Wade also reveals the wonder (some would say evil)
of the U.S. constitutional system: a principle of questionable (some would
say illegitimate) constitutional parentage, contained in a discrete case
and involving a particular set of facts, bursts and grows to affect new
situations and new times.

With Americans believing so dearly in a right to be left alone, it may
surprise many people that the Constitution does not include the word
"privacy" and offers no explicit mention of any right to it. When Justice
Harry A. Blackmun, the author of Roe, invoked such a right to strike down
laws banning abortion, he was relying on no specific wording in the Bill of
Rights or in any previous court decision.

In varying contexts, he observed, the court or individual justices had
found at least the roots of a general right to privacy. It could be
discovered in the First Amendment's right of association; the Fourth
Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures; the
Fifth Amendment's guarantee against self-incrimination; and in the
open-ended notion of "rights" mentioned in the Ninth Amendment. ("The
enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed
to deny or disparage others retained by the people.")

He also drew on the "penumbras" and "emanations" of several guarantees in
the Bill of Rights, as Justice William O. Douglas famously wrote for the
court in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down a ban
on contraceptive devices.

Certainly Blackmun could refer to some past variations of the privacy
question, but the reality was that the court had never before articulated a
constitutional basis for a sweeping right to privacy or personal autonomy,
let alone to an abortion. Blackmun ultimately rested his case on the
Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty, saying it was "broad
enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her
pregnancy." Based on that rationale, states could no longer make abortion a
crime.

In 1992, when the Supreme Court reaffirmed abortion rights in Planned
Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the justices accepted
Blackmun's analysis and elaborated on how a constitutional right to privacy
protects the physical self. The court's main opinion, signed by Justices
Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy and David H. Souter, said it is
"settled now, as it was when the court heard arguments in Roe, that the
Constitution places limits on a state's right to interfere with a person's
most basic decisions about family and parenthood, as well as bodily
integrity." The justices went on to declare that "the right to define one's
own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery
of human life" is at the heart of one's liberty and freedom.

Of course, nothing was "settled" before 1973, as many legal experts have
observed. Some of the earlier cases invoking protection for bodily choices
arose in the criminal law context, as in 1952 when the court denounced
police for pumping the stomach of a suspect to recover capsules of drugs he
had swallowed at the time of his arrest.

While Roe necessarily focused on a woman's autonomy and choices about
procreation, says Columbia University law professor Michael C. Dorf, "the
case has been subsequently connected with a right to bodily integrity
possessed by all persons."

"What Roe v. Wade did was open the door for the Supreme Court to provide
protections for individuals in society to control their own bodies," says
University of Pennsylvania law professor Seth F. Kreimer. "As we move
toward the twenty-first century, with the technological possibilities for
government to control people, to involve itself in people's health care and
to infringe on physical liberty, it has become enormously important for the
Constitution to provide a check on this interference."

The justices plainly have been relying on Roe's privacy right in other
cases that involve threats of government intrusion. But, as Kreimer
observed, only recently would a majority say so explicitly. Referring to a
decision last year on physician-assisted suicide, Kreimer noted that Chief
Justice William H. Rehnquist (who dissented in both Roe and Casey)
specifically referred to a right of bodily integrity, citing the abortion
cases, to support the proposition that the Constitution protects the most
intimate choices a person makes in a lifetime.

Perhaps the greatest dilemmas involving individual rights since Roe have
been the "right-to-die" and assisted-suicide cases. The justices in 1990
took up the case of Nancy Cruzan, who was in a vegetative state as the
result of a 1983 car accident and required feeding and hydration tubes to
stay alive. Her parents wanted to remove the tubes, but the hospital
refused to do so. After the family sued, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled
that the state's interest in preserving life demanded that the parents'
request be met only if they showed by clear and convincing evidence that
their daughter would have wanted the tubes removed.

The Supreme Court agreed with this requirement, in an opinion by Rehnquist,
but not before finding a constitutional guarantee that permits people in
certain circumstances to refuse medical treatment. The justices thus
extended the bodily integrity principle to allow patients (or their
families) to reject lifesaving care. In a concurring opinion, O'Connor
wrote, "Because our notions of liberty are inextricably entwined with our
idea of physical freedom and self-determination, the court has often deemed
state incursions into the body repugnant" to the Constitution.

In another 1990 case, the justices heard the protests of Walter Harper, an
inmate in Washington state who was diagnosed as suffering from a
manic-depressive disorder. Corrections officials had wanted him to take
anti-psychotic drugs against his will. While the court said the state
could, in Harper's case, force an inmate to take the drugs, Kennedy wrote
for the majority that prisoners nevertheless have a "significant liberty
interest" in being free of unwanted medication.

By last year, the right of bodily integrity was so ingrained that it was a
starting point for the court in its approach to physician-assisted suicide
cases, reviewing whether states could outlaw the practice. In its rulings
last June, the court said there was a long tradition protecting personal
autonomy and defending people from unwanted medical treatment. But it
ultimately allowed the states of Washington and New York to criminalize
physician-assisted suicide, with Rehnquist observing that the country's
history and legal tradition justified a prohibition on doctors helping
people kill themselves. He said no general right to assisted suicide can be
drawn from the Constitution.

The court left unanswered the question of whether someone suffering
intensely may be able to claim an individual right to assisted suicide.
"Dying will be different for each of us," O'Connor wrote. "For many, the
last days will be spent in physical pain and perhaps the despair that
accompanies physical deterioration and a loss of control of basic bodily
and mental functions."

As last term's cases demonstrate, there is no absolute legal right to use
one's body as one pleases. Notably, the current court has rejected that
argument in the context of homosexual relationships. It is also likely to
be cautious in finding any more new "implicit" rights in the Constitution.

But few people are making predictions. "Roe created a privacy right in a
context that no one would have anticipated," said Jay Alan Sekulow, a
lawyer at the American Center for Law and Justice who has long fought
abortion rights and now opposes any expanded rights for assisted suicide or
same-sex marriage. And, he said, it has "led to a progeny no one could have
thought."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Prosecutor Goes After Pregnant Addicts For Abuse ('Houston Chronicle' Article
On Charles Condon, South Carolina's Attorney General - Using Crack Babies
As A Possible 'Wedge' To Reconsider Roe-Wade?)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 11:49:12 -0800
Subject: MN: US SC: Prosecutor Goes After Pregnant Addicts For Abuse
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/
Author: Rick Bragg, NYTimes

PROSECUTOR GOES AFTER PREGNANT ADDICTS FOR ABUSE

South Carolina attorney general is enjoying his latest controversy

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Pat Buchanan gazes approvingly from a framed photograph
on Charles M. Condon's office wall.

"To Charlie Condon," reads the inscription, "who is saving lives while
others prattle on about the rights of drug addicts."

Even without that endorsement of Condon's most disputed act as South
Carolina attorney general -- prosecuting pregnant crack cocaine addicts for
child neglect and even manslaughter -- the Republican prosecutor's
political ideals shine clear.

Instead of an electric chair, he once proposed an "electric sofa" to speed
executions. He pushed to preserve the State Capitol's Confederate flag -- a
symbol that even the conservative Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., reluctantly
said was too contentious. He is attacking video poker, refused to swear in
an atheist justice of the peace and firmly supported the Citadel's fight to
bar female cadets.

And if he has his way, this well-off, well-educated man from a respected
Charleston family could stand before the highest court in the land and
argue that a crack mother's fetus is "a fellow South Carolinian" and has
protections under the law.

In October, a majority of the state Supreme Court supported Condon in his
assertion that a viable fetus is a person under the state's child abuse
laws, and that a mother who uses illegal drugs during pregnancy can be
charged with neglect, manslaughter, even murder.

The court upheld the conviction, 3-2, of Cornelia Whitner, sentenced to
eight years for neglect in 1992 after she gave birth to a baby with traces
of cocaine in its blood.

The South Carolina court contradicted five other state supreme courts that
threw out similar convictions, and now lawyers for Whitner are expected to
appeal her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the court agrees to hear the
case, it will give South Carolina's attorney general more than a place to
defend his law.

"It is a wedge into reconsidering Roe vs. Wade," said Steven Bates, the
South Carolina director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's kind
of scary to open that door of opportunity to the Supreme Court."

By prosecuting pregnant addicts, Condon says, he is only trying to protect
the unborn, and if a woman chooses, she can get drug treatment and
generally avoid prosecution.

Some fear that the prosecutions could be expanded so that a woman who
aborted a fetus for a medical reason could be charged in the death of the
child. (Condon has said his office would review such cases, but, so far,
there have been no charges connected with abortion.)

Only 23 women have been prosecuted for charges ranging from neglect to
manslaughter.

What he has done, however, is revisit the question of when life begins. It
is a battle that he relishes.

"You don't have the right to have a drug-impaired child," said Condon, 44,
a tall, thin, sharp-faced man who graduated magna cum laude from Duke
University's School of Law. "The child comes from God. We think we're in
line with how most people feel in this country. We recognize the fetus as a
fellow South Carolinian. And the right to privacy does not overcome the
right to life."

It promises to be a well-lighted stage for a politician who, political
experts say, likes the glow.

He is just one of a flood of conservative politicians -- some, like him,
who used to be Democrats -- who have surged into state office in the South.
Yet Condon is more effective, say supporters, and more dangerous, say
enemies, than other populists.

"He doesn't just talk," said David Lublin, a professor of political science
at the University of South Carolina. "He makes a staunch use of the power
of his pulpit, but also the power of his office," to pound out changes in
South Carolina society.

"He is quite willing to wade into areas where one wonders if the attorney
general needs to," Lublin said. "He will enjoy the attention he will get
when he argues the state's position."

Dick Harpootlian, a lawyer and former prosecutor who lost to Condon for
attorney general, said the political payoff drives this crusade.

"He has the ability to disabuse himself of any beliefs he had, and to adopt
the beliefs that 51 percent of the people have at that moment," said
Harpootlian, referring to Condon's party switch in 1990.

Political experts say that Condon will seek higher office -- the
governorship or a U.S. Senate seat -- and has been criticized by people
within his own party for personally prosecuting big- headline cases. But
those who see him as a political opportunist see only half the picture,
political experts said.

"He seems to be willing to do anything to court the Republican right-wing
electorate, and he's very ambitious," Lublin said. "But he seems to have
genuine beliefs, and he seems to follow through on them. He's not a
hypocrite, which is a rare quality. He's very intelligent, he's good at
speaking, and even though he's stating his views from the very most
right-wing stance, he doesn't sound crazy."

That, Lublin said, is "the thing that makes him so acceptable, or so
dangerous, if you're a liberal."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hair Tests For Drug Usage Raising Concerns ('Orange County Register' Notes
That Although The FDA Says 'Hair Analysis For The Presence Of Drugs
Is Unproven, Unsupported By Scientific Literature Or Controlled Trials,'
It's Increasingly Popular, Thanks Largely To Sustained Lobbying And Marketing
Efforts By Florida Entrepreneur H. Wayne Huizenga, Founder Of Blockbuster
Entertainment, Whose Psychemedics Corp. Of Cambridge, Massachusetts,
Dominates The Hair-Testing Market)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 12:45:41 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Hair Tests for Drug Usage Raising Concerns
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Sunday, 18 Jan, 1998
Section: news, page 10
Author: Frank Greve-Knight-Ridder Newspapers

HAIR TESTS FOR DRUG USAGE RAISING CONCERNS

Despite the bias issue, the procedure is becoming more popular because it
turns up more drug users than urinalysis.

WASHINGTON-An increasingly popular test for drug abuse, based on hair
strands for traces of narcotics, identifies far more users than standard
urine tests, federal authorities agree.

But many worry that hair-based tests sometimes finger innocent subjects;
such as children of drug abusers or police assigned to narcotics details,
who can be exposed to drugs without taking them. There also is concern that
hair tests turn up disproportionate numbers of non-Caucasians. That's
because some researchers have found that traces of drugs last longer in
thick, dark hair than thin, light-colored hair.

"The scope of drug testing is expanding dramatically, and with expanding
hair testing, the likelihood of bias will increase, too. It's a major
problem" warned J. Michael Walsh, executive director of the President's
Drug Advisory Council under Presidents Reagan and Bush and now a consultant
to the urinalysis industry.

The potential effects are wide-ranging. About 20 million Americans undergo
drug tests each year, according to the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace,
a Washington-based alliance of drug-test proponents. The majority are job
applicants without rights of appeal.

About 80 percent of companies that test for drugs rely solely on urine, and
only 2 percent use hair. One reason is legality. Urine tests have universal
acceptance in courts, while skepticism about the science behind hair tests
persists. The other reason is politics. Employers, state regulators and
courts want a green light from federal public-health experts before they go
ahead with hair testing. And the regulators remain skeptical.

To date, "hair analysis for the presence of drugs is unproven, unsupported
by scientific literature or controlled trials," Food and Drug
Administration spokeswoman Sharon Snider said.

"Hair testing may turn out to have a complementary role in workplace
testing," said Robert Stevenson, deputy director of the Workplace Programs
Division of the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. "But we have
yet to resolve remaining questions about its fairness and the ability to
interpret results consistently."

Still, hair tests are becoming more popular. That's partly because the
tests turn up more drug users than urinalysis and counter some of urine
testing's shortcomings. Also important are sustained lobbying and marketing
efforts by Psychemedics Corp. of Cambridge, Mass, which dominates the
hair-testing market.

A decade ago, Psychemedics' biggest customers were Nevada casinos. Today,
they include Anheuser-Busch, the Federal Reserve System and General Motors.

Florida entrepreneur H. Wayne Huizenga, founder of Blockbuster
Entertainment, gets much of the credit. He led a group of investors that
bought Psychemedics out of debt in 1989. With Blockbuster as a mainstay
customer, the firm grew to more than 750 clients, according to its 1996
Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

In that year, Florida legislators, pushed by Huizenga's lobbyist, approved
hair testing in the state. The law grandfathered Psychemedics' patented
hair-testing process and set high hurdles for future competitors. By the
end of 1997, according to company general counsel William Thistle,
Psychemedics had 1,000 clients.

Thistle and other Psychemedics executives insist patented methods are
unbiased and produce no "false positives" from innocent drug exposure. If
hair testing were to supplant urine testing for drugs, Thistle ventured in
an interview, from three to 10 times more illicit drug users would be
caught.

The result could be a new epoch in the nation's drug-war history: "Drug
users wouldn't be employed," Thistle said flatly, "or they'd be in
rehabilitation programs."

Using scheduled urine tests, the New York City Police Department caught one
drug abuser in seven year, according to a published report. In the first 18
months of random hair test by Psychemedics, more than 30 NYPD employees
tested positive.

In another comparison, involving 774 job applicants to Steelcase Corp., a
Michigan furniture maker, urinalysis tests were 2.7 percent positive.
Psychemedics hair tests on the same applicants were 18 percent positive.

But hair testing also has its flaws. It can't catch recent drug use the way
urine tests can, because traces of ingested drugs take about five to seven
days to show up in hair. On the other hand, hair tests can detect drug use
within 90-day period.

"We can't see what's immediate," said Psychemedics general counsel Thistle,
"and they can't see what's not immediate." Hair and urine tests are
complementary in another way, researchers say: Urine tests catch marijuana
easily and cocaine and heroin with great difficulty. Hair tests do just the
opposite.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DARE-ing To Rethink Drug Classes (Two-Year Study By Educators
In Colorado Springs Finds That When Local Fifth-Graders - The Only Students
Who Take Part In DARE - Move On To Middle School, They Are Suspended
And Expelled For Drugs, Weapons, Fighting And Other Offenses At Higher Rates
Than Even High School Teens)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 09:28:29 -0500
Subject: MN: US CO: DARE-ing To Rethink Drug Classes
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: The Furnace Room 
Source: The Gazette, Colorado Springs
Author: Wendy Lawton - wendyl@gazette.com
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Contact: gtop@gazette.com

DARE-ING TO RETHINK DRUG CLASSES

Program May Move To Higher Grades

DARE, the most widespread and popular drug prevention program in the
country, isn't nearly as effective as it could be in Colorado Springs.

A task force of educators from the four city school districts - and the
police sergeant in charge of overseeing DARE in Springs elementary schools
- have come to this conclusion after two years of study.

Members point to national research that sharply questions the impact of the
lessons, delivered by police officers and aimed at teaching youngsters how
to resist peer pressure and exposing the dangers of violence, smoking,
drinking and drugs through lectures and role-playing. And there is evidence
that local fifth-graders - the only students who take part in DARE - aren't
getting the message. When these students move on to middle school, they are
suspended and expelled for drugs, weapons, fighting and other offenses at
higher rates than even high school teens. So school boards in Colorado
Springs School District 11, Harrison School District 2, Academy School
District 20 and Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 will decide soon
whether to make small - or big - changes to DARE, the Drug Abuse Resistance
Education program.

Right now, boards are being asked to tinker with the timing of the program
and extending the sessions.

But within a year, they could face very different questions: Should
students be taught DARE lessons at all?

Or could another prevention program, or perhaps an amalgam of programs,
better serve Springs students?

There is a lot at stake in the answers.

More than 64,000 students attend schools inside the city.

And schools offer DARE as the main line of defense against dangerous
behavior like getting high or bringing a gun to school.

Police Chief Lorne Kramer put it this way to the District 11 school board
last week: "This is a major policy decision."

Kramer and the task force agree that the program needs to change. The first
recommendation is to move DARE from elementary schools to middle schools
this fall.

Under the plan, presented last week to board members in Districts 11 and
Harrison, the 17-week DARE program would be taught to sixth-graders instead
of fifth-graders.

Because the number of schools targeted would shrink from 67 elementary to
16 middle schools, police officers would have time to teach "booster"
sessions at least twice a year to kids in grades 7 and 8.

Supporters hope these extra lessons will strengthen students' ability to
resist peer pressure, the not-so-subtle squeeze to experiment and misbehave
that skyrockets among young teens.

"What we are doing right now is saying to kids 'Stay away from drugs,
here's your T-shirt, and good luck in middle school,'" said Sgt. John
Taylor, who oversees DARE for the city.

"DARE is a good program - don't get me wrong - but we need to be in the
middle schools. That's where kids are getting pressure to use drugs. That's
when they're experimenting. That's where they're getting into trouble.

"So what we want to say is 'Here's your T-shirt. And if I see you with a
cigarette in your mouth, or I hear you're doing drugs, I'm going to be here
in your school next year to make sure you stop.'"

While this is the argument officials in District 11 and 2 will struggle
with during the next few weeks, the DARE discussion is different in Academy
School District 20 and Cheyenne Mountain School District 12.

The District 20 board won't decide whether to move the program to middle
schools until it decides whether to fund DARE at all.

This year, all non-academic programs in the district must be run through a
tough new budget process, which will be completed next month.

In District 12, the conversation about DARE has taken a different shape
altogether.

DARE is already taught to sixth-graders, who attend elementary schools.
There are no plans to move the program.

But there is a proposal to expand drug prevention efforts into the junior
high.

At their January 26 meeting, Cheyenne Mountain school board members will
decide whether to assign a police officer to the school to serve as a
mentor and teach DARE-like lessons, as well as patrol the high school, for
the rest of the school year.

Caryl Thomason, a task force member and the assistant superintendent for
Cheyenne Mountain, explained the citywide focus on extending the reach of
drug prevention this way:

Just like a diet, DARE requires reinforcement to truly work. If there's no
follow-up or feedback, kids will forget or ignore what they learned.

"It's just like anything else. If a program isn't constant, you're going to
drop it after three weeks," Thomason said.

"We need more specific, continuous drug prevention across the system."

Research seems to bear this out.

An Ohio State University study showed that students who had DARE lessons in
two or more grades were more likely to stay away from drugs.

A new national report and a December article in the education journal Phi
Delta Kappa also stress the importance of follow-up.

Even DARE officials agree. Most schools that teach DARE do it in grades 5
or 6. Now, DARE America, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that created the
program in 1983, will ask Congress for $50 million in grants so schools can
continue the program in the upper grades.

But the timing or intensity of DARE isn't the only issue.

Several reports have surfaced in the last five years showing that DARE is a
weak antidote against drugs. One such study was commissioned by the
National Institute of Justice, which found no differences in reported drug
use in 1994 between students who had, and those who didn't have, DARE classes.

Research in Illinois and Indiana has shown that the program had little or
no long-term effect on student drug or alcohol use. In fact, the 1991
Indiana report found that the only difference between high school seniors
who had or hadn't taken DARE classes in earlier grades was that teens
enrolled in the program used hallucinogens more than their program-free peers.

Local research, conducted by University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
professor Richard Dukes, is more promising.

On one hand, Dukes' 1995 study of DARE showed that the city's program
didn't have long-lasting effects. But Dukes also found that the program is
more effective here than in other places, especially for teen-age boys.

Given these somewhat mixed messages, the task force is just beginning to
research other drug prevention programs, which have mushroomed in the last
decade.

The group has three choices: Stay with DARE, go with another set of
lessons, or write its own.

Members say they could pull the best elements from several programs, fold
in Colorado's new academic standards, then add in a pinch of developmental
"assets," or positive influences on children, which are the subject of a
citywide campaign.

Whatever the task force recommends, school boards must agree on one
approach if they want police to lead the lessons.

Sgt. Taylor said it would be too difficult and too expensive to train
officers to deliver one program in District 11, another in District 12,
another in District 20 and yet another in District 2.

But this decision is months away.

All that's certain now is that some educators and police are no longer
wedded to the idea that DARE is the only drug prevention alternative.

"What we need," said District 20 student services director Pete Cicatelli,
"is a program that makes sense and really works for kids."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Popular 'Rave' Drug, Alcohol Deadly Mix (Although No Incidents Are Reported
And Police In Denver, Colorado, Have Seen Little Of The Drug, 'The Gazette'
Launches Advertising Campaign To Make Gamma-hydroxybutyric Acid, Or GHB,
Popular With Teens)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 09:33:58 -0500
Subject: MN: US CO: Popular 'Rave' Drug, Alcohol Deadly Mix
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: The Furnace Room 
Source: The Gazette, Colorado Springs
Author: Associated Press
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Contact: gtop@gazette.com

POPULAR 'RAVE' DRUG, ALCOHOL DEADLY MIX

Officials Issue Warning

DENVER - It gives a feeling of euphoria. It can also cause seizures or stop
a person from breathing.

It's a drug found at "raves," all-night parties attended by young people.
Authorities are concerned because mixing it with alcohol could be fatal.

Its medical name is gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. Its street name is GHB, for
Georgia Home Boy or grievous bodily harm, and it's also known as liquid
ecstasy, g-riffick or organic quaalude.

Partygoers mix the drug with water or other liquids and pass it around,
police said. But doctors at Rocky Mountain Poison Center said if taken with
alcohol, it can cause seizures or respiratory spasms. Large doses cause a
loss of inhibitions or impulse control.

At worst, the drug can put the user into a trance-like state, said Greg
Bogden, chief of research at the Rocky Mountain Poison Center.

The drug is popular in Europe, where it's used as a sleep aid or, in larger
doses, as an anesthetic for surgery. Body builders first brought it to the
United States a few years ago, thinking it would release growth hormones.

Lt. Sam McGhee, commander of the Aurora Police vice and narcotics division,
said his officers are finding GHB about once a month. But Denver police and
the Adams County North Metro Drug Task Force have seen little of the drug.

"We usually don't see it unless someone has gotten into trouble with it,"
McGhee said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Bishop Finds Ash Street Jail Conditions A 'Growing Concern' (Roman Catholic
Bishop Sean O'Malley Of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Takes Seriously
Jesus' Teaching To Help Prisoners)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:04:35 -0500
Subject: MN: US MA: Bishop finds Ash Street Jail Conditions a 'Growing
Concern'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Sun., 18 Jan 1998
Source: The Standard-Times, Serving the South Coast of Massachusetts
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
WebPage: http://www.s-t.com
Author: Ric Oliveira, Standard-Times staff writer
Note: You can contact Ric at roliveira@s-t.com

BISHOP FINDS ASH STREET JAIL CONDITIONS A 'GROWING CONCERN'

FALL RIVER -- The situation at the Ash Street jail in New Bedford is a
"growing concern," Bishop Sean P. O'Malley said in an interview.

"I think the whole approach to prison needs to be looked at," the head of
the Fall River Diocese told The Standard-Times editorial board last week.
The bishop said he doesn't want to second-guess Bristol County Sheriff
Thomas Hodgson and his new get-tough policies, but he said the current
Catholic chaplain at the jail is concerned about the tension there.

Bishop O'Malley said perhaps prisoners not considered security risks could
be afforded more time outside their cells. Sheriff Hodgson has said
prisoners are locked down 23 hours a day for their safety.

The bishop said it is important to treat prisoners with dignity, while at
the same time maintaining discipline at the jail. He said more can be done
to address prisoners' addiction and psychological problems and to raise
their education level and job skills.

He applauded work-release efforts and recalled that as a young priest and
prison chaplain he once started a painting business to help rehabilitate
inmates. Touching on other subjects, Bishop O'Malley said: Welfare reform,
though needed, has caused some "upsetting" problems for the state's poorer
families. The human impact should be weighed, along with seriousness of the
crime, before deporting an immigrant. The diocese has seen an increased
demand on its food pantries.

HERE ARE EXCERPTS FROM THE STANDARD-TIMES' CONVERSATION WITH BISHOP
O'MALLEY AT HIS OFFICE IN FALL RIVER:

Q. Have you been following the situation at the Ash Street jail with the
23-hour lockdowns in place?

A. Somewhat. I am not entirely apprised of what is going on. But it is a
growing concern. I understand more guards are being hired and I understand
that is a step in the right direction. I think the whole approach to prison
needs to be looked at. I don't know if a local county is in the best
position to do that. I worked as a prison chaplain for two years myself. I
have always been involved in prison ministry since then. In my former
diocese we only had 10 churches but I always considered the prison my 11th
parish. I had Mass there once a month. Most of the prisoners were Catholic
so they were my people ...

Q. Do you feel the prison systems are taking the right approach?

A. With addiction problems, unemployment, it is so costly to warehouse
people, there has to be a better way to deal with this. I had heard that
the sheriff's office is getting more and more people on work-release
programs. I applaud that. When I was a prison chaplain there was no
work-release program. No one was allowed out on parole until they were able
to secure a job. You know how hard it is to get a job when you can show up
in your best outfit, hair combed and everything. But when the return
address is the county lockout, you know ...

Q. So what happened there?

A. In my youthful enthusiasm I started a painting company to hire people so
I could take them out of prison. I, of course, knew nothing about painting.
We were moderately successful, though, and managed to get a lot of
prisoners jobs and get them rehabilitated. But I knew nothing about how to
run a painting company. I put a touch on my dad for the money to get us
started, bought brushes, paints and ladders. When it came time to buy a
vehicle, with the amount of money I had the only thing I could afford was
this red station wagon that would only go in reverse. So at the first job,
we actually showed up going backwards until we had money to repair the car.
Those are the kinds of issues I think somehow we have to come to grips
with. How to prepare them for a job. How to get people back into the
community to help them to deal with the drug problem which is often the
source of the crime. ... The more the prisoners are out working in these
work-release programs, the more opportunities they have to be in contact
with the people. I think a lot of fear about hiring prisoners is overcome
that way. If local communities can give some kind of tax incentives to
business who work with prisoners, that is also important.

Q. The sheriff is keeping people in Ash Street locked down 23 hours a day.
He also has stopped the Bible program and the Alcoholics Anonymous program
for people awaiting trial. It was done, he said, to avoid security
problems. How do you feel about this?

A. I do not want to try and second guess him. I think it is necessary to
try and determine who the security risks are and treat them accordingly.
The other people who are not a security risk should be afforded time
outside of the cells. It is a very tense situation. The chaplain there is
very concerned. Father Matt Sullivan is the chaplain and has been there for
years. He is certainly a seasoned prison chaplain and knows the ropes of
prison very well.

Q. Are you in touch with him on a regular basis?

A. I just said Mass last week for the Feast of Three Kings for the
Spanish-speaking prisoners. I was there before Christmas for the English
Mass at Dartmouth. The Mass before Christmas there were 1,400 people and
they had to bring extra guards. In the past they have brought prisoners
from the other facility to the Mass but I think this year it was certainly
not the case.

Q. You have been in Ash Street many times. Former Sheriff David Nelson
wanted to close that down. The current sheriff wants to keep it open to
deter people from going there. How do you feel about that?

A. I do not think prison should be luxurious or a place where people want
to get into because they are struggling on the outside. On the other hand,
I think there are certain amenities and standards set that are connected
with human dignity. Part of the way we reach the prisoners is to teach them
about themselves. Hopefully, if we treat them in a human way it is also an
object lesson for them on how to treat other people. Sometimes they come
out of very violent backgrounds. Sometimes they have a very low self-image
of themselves and that is why they have problems with drugs and alcohol. I
don't think it should be a country club. There should be discipline. I am
interested in learning more about these boot-camp-type prisons they have
started in some places for first-time offenders. I don't think it
necessarily wonderful to have prisoners sitting in a cell watching daytime
television as some sort of narcotic to keep them quiet. There are some
things we can be doing. I had a Mass there last week, and a number of
teachers came up to me who were teaching GED to the prisoners. They seemed
like wonderful people. The more we can do that the better. Certainly if the
government is not willing to underwrite the costs for something like that,
certainly I would lend the help of the church, organize volunteers.
Anything we can do to raise the educational level or job skills of people
in prison and help to deal with the addictions and psychological problems
they have, it is an important way to stop the sacrilege.

Q. What is the state of demand on your Catholic Social Services agency at
the present time?

A. Our cities are still hurting and we need more jobs. It is not only the
unemployment situation but the most recent developments from the government
response. Certainly we find more and more people coming into the pantries
for food. We cannot keep the food pantries filled.

Q. How many food pantries do you have?

A. There are at least five or six. Certainly the parishes use vouchers to
send people regularly to get groceries. The demands on the social services
have increased. I don't think it is because unemployment has increased. It
think it is more because of the government help decreased.

Q. How do you feel welfare reform is working? Is it having the desired
affect?

A. I think there was a lot which needed to be reformed in our system. I
think a lot has been done with consideration of the bottom line rather than
the welfare and safety of our families, particularly the children. The
bishops of the state of Massachusetts do have someone in the Massachusetts
Catholic Conference trying to study the results of changes in the laws.
This will be publicized eventually. It is a big source of concern.
Obviously, we would like to see a welfare system that encourages people to
enter the job market, encourages families to stay together and is able to
provide health insurance coverage for children. I think there has been a
lot of disincentives in the old system that needed to be corrected.
Obviously, just weaning people off welfare without helping people get off
is upsetting.

Q. Have you seen many changes in the immigrant population in the last
couple of years?

A. In the diocese certainly the Brazilians have been coming to the Cape and
more people from Central America -- not terribly large numbers, but we have
noticed them moving in with more frequency.

Q. Are these folks outside of publicly provided social services?

A. I would say most of them. It had been growing but I have the impression
it is tapering off compared to the last two years.

Q. To what degree are these folks being exploited because of the lack of
status leaving them at risk?

A. For any undocumented worker there is always a risk. I think that it is a
very serious problem when private agencies, churches, hospitals, police
stations are somewhat cooped into being agents of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. This is not our job. I am not suggesting the U.S.
should not have an immigration service. I think it is necessary. We need
always to try to have just laws and to enforce them. But I think the INS
should be the ones enforcing those laws. If a woman who is undocumented is
raped or mugged and she cannot afford to go to the police because they will
ask for a green card, or she has a child with a high fever and they can't
take it to the hospital because the social workers will ask for a green
card, I think it is wrong. Those kinds of situations often put undocumented
workers at a greater risk than being exploited by unscrupulous employers.

Q. Has the INS ever requested cooperation from the diocese?

A. I think they know better. However I understand that in the hospitals or
sometimes police forces are asked. I think it is counterproductive.

Q. How do you feel about criminal deportations?

A. I have mixed feelings about it. It is certainly a discretionary thing.
They do not have to deported. There can be exceptions made for families.
When someone has lived here almost their whole life, and we deport them to
a country where they cannot speak the language and almost all of their
family is here, I am just ... I am not against deporting criminals. But in
those cases you have to look hard and long and really weigh how serious was
the crime and the human impact it will have, not just on the individual but
the family. I know of a man from Bolivia who came here as a baby in the
arms of his parents. He was deported for exposing himself. It was a
compulsion. He was sick. But his wife was not Bolivian, his children, his
parents were all here. He had never been to Bolivia, he barely spoke
Spanish but he was deported. I think a lot of these things have to be taken
into account. If they are legal residents they do forfeit their rights to
be here for committing a crime but I think there are some things that need
to be weighed. I know this is becoming a problem in the Azores. You have
people going there who do not know the language, have no skills, no family.
Technically, they were not Americans but they were raised here.

Q. Will the weekly Sunday television Mass remain on the air?

A. The Mass will remain on the air, although I must say I ran a television
station in the West Indies for what it cost me for the half hour. It is not
free, but it will remain on the air.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Prohibition's Inroads In State Ran Into Heavy Resistance
('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Historical Piece On Era Of Alcohol Prohibition,
Part Of Series On Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial)
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 22:41:57 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US WI: Prohibition's Inroads In State Ran Into Heavy Resistance Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Author: Dennis McCann of the Journal Sentinel staff Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 Contact: jsedit@onwis.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Editor's note: Our newshawk writes: Another Sesquicentennial article from the J-S. My family had a brewery in Wisconsin that was raided during Prohibition, while operating under the guise of an ice cream factory! PROHIBITION'S INROADS IN STATE RAN INTO HEAVY RESISTANCE For 13 years, the grand experiment that was Prohibition staggered and teetered like the drunks it was supposed to have made extinct, forcing thirsty Americans to improvise but seldom to go without. Ultimately, it was the dry law that disappeared. The 1920s experience was not Wisconsin's first experience with controls on drink. In 1851, prohibitionists had forced a statewide referendum on the issue and won, 27,519 to 24,109. The Legislature declined to go along, however, and liquor remained legal until the nationwide ban 70 years later. But colorful as the era of bootleggers and "The Untouchables" seemed years later, Eliot Ness and all the G-men in America couldn't keep the spigots closed. By the early 1930s, beer was on its way back. Just as anti-German sentiment had added to the push for Prohibition, efforts to fight the ravages of the Great Depression helped bring it to an end. In Milwaukee, legal beer brewing would mean thousands of jobs, first for low-alcohol beer and later for the real stuff. Breweries geared up, even as politicians and wet and dry forces here and in Washington continued to haggle. When Milwaukeean Mary Eggert, still arguing for temperance, referred to "poisonous alcohol" at a 1931 hearing, Antigo Sen. James Barker objected. "Lady," he said, "I've been drinking alcohol for 55 years and I'm not poisoned." "You wouldn't act like that," Mary Eggert replied, "if you weren't poisoned mentally." Others sweated the details, whether the percentage of alcohol that would be set or the rate of tax. Some feared too high a tax would make the nickel glass of beer impossible. Hundreds attended hearings on beer regulation. But brewers, and many beer drinkers, kept their eye on the big picture and were more than ready when low-alcohol beer was legalized again on April 7, 1933. Lines formed early outside breweries, waiting for beer by the glass and by the barrel. Others stood outside their favorite former taverns, waiting for them to be transformed again. At 12:01, deliveries began, taps were opened, factory whistles blew and the party began. Trains and trucks began beer shipments within minutes, returning Milwaukee to its rightful status as brewer to America, and beer was even flown from Milwaukee that night to President Roosevelt in Washington. On April 17, when the city officially celebrated the end of this long, national nightmare, 20,000 people squeezed into the Auditorium to rejoice. As state Sen. H.W. Bolens had said during debate in Madison: "I am glad that the people of Wisconsin have returned to their senses. . . . "Happy days are here again."
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Illegal Drugs - What Should We Do Now? (Staff Editorial In Pennsylvania's
'Centre Daily Times' Invites Readers To Take Part
In A 'National Issues Forum' January 31 In College Township)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 15:46:19 -0500
Subject: MN: US PA: Editorial: Illegal Drugs: What Should We Do Now?
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Centre Daily Times (Serving Central Pennsylvania)
Author: Paul V. Carty, Editorial Page Editor
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998
Contact: pcarty@knightridder.geis.com
Note: Please indicate whether your comments may be considered for publication.
Website: http://www.centredaily.com/

ILLEGAL DRUGS: WHAT SHOULD WE DO NOW?

As special as Centre County is, it is not immune to the significant drug
problem that afflicts Americans nationwide. And calling it significant is
an understatement. Consider the following, based on research from Public
Agenda and the Kettering Foundation:

"One in two Americans has a drug problem or knows someone who does. And
now, after declining for years, teen-age drug use -- mostly of marijuana --
has doubled since 1992."

The statistics vary considerably from community to community, but illegal
drug use is widespread and the impact is pervasive. The use of illegal
drugs is linked to crime, AIDS, workplace injuries, failure in school,
unemployment, domestic violence and the disintegration of families and
communities. Such matters ultimately affect everyone, in taxes, in safety,
in quality of life.

And the problem permeates society. Contrary to criminal conviction rates,
according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, three-quarters of
Americans who admit using illegal drugs are white and employed.

That's the background for a National Issues Forum called "Illegal Drugs:
What Should We Do Now?" The forum, open to all Centre County residents,
will be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at Mount Nittany Middle School in College
Township.

Today, three citizens help to frame the discussion by introducing the
choices that will start deliberations at the forum:

Choice 1: Step up enforcement to finish the job.

Choice 2: Change attitudes about illegal drugs.

Choice 3: Treat substance abuse as an illness.

We encourage citizens to read the material, think about how this community
might improve drug-fighting strategies locally and nationwide, and offer
their suggestions at the forum.
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A Century Of Drug Use And Drug Policy ('Centre Daily Times' Publishes
Chronology Outlining US Drug Laws And Highlights Since 1900)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 15:54:02 -0500
Subject: MN: US PA: CDT series: A Century Of Drug Use And Drug Policy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Centre Daily Times
Author: From CDT staff reports
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998
Contact: pcarty@knightridder.geis.com
Note: Please indicate whether your comments may be considered for
publication.
Website: http://www.centredaily.com/

A CENTURY OF DRUG USE AND DRUG POLICY

1900: U.S. public health officials estimate that 300,000 Americans are
opiate addicts. Opium, cocaine and morphine are commonly used in health
remedies and legally sold even in grocery stores.

1914: The nation's first anti-drug law, the Harrison Act, requires doctors
and pharmacists to register prescriptions for cocaine and opiates. Other
use of narcotics becomes illegal.

1922: Congress enacts the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act to monitor
illicit traffic in narcotics.

1923: Congress outlaws heroin.

1930: Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the forerunner to the Drug Enforcement
Administration, is created.

1937: Congress outlaws marijuana.

1951: Congress passes the Boggs Law, which establishes uniform penalties
for violations of drug laws. A first conviction results in a mandatory
minimum sentence of two years; a second conviction, five to 10 years; a
third conviction, 10 to 20 years.

1973: President Richard Nixon declares an "all-out global war" on drugs.

1974: Cocaine makes a comeback as a popular euphoric. A New York Times
Magazine piece, "Cocaine: The Champagne of Drugs," states: "For its
devotees, cocaine epitomizes the best of the drug culture -- which is to
say, a good high achieved without the forbiddingly dangerous needle and
addiction of heroin."

1975: A presidential task force recommends shifting the emphasis of federal
drug policy from law enforcement to treatment and prevention, noting that
"total elimination of drug abuse is unlikely."

1977: Testifying before Congress, officials from four government agencies
recommend eliminating criminal penalties for the use of marijuana. The
federal government takes no action, but 10 states decriminalize the
possession of small amounts of marijuana.

1978: President Jimmy Carter asks Congress to abolish all federal criminal
penalties for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

1980: President Ronald Reagan increases funding for the war on drugs, and
first lady Nancy Reagan launches a "Just Say No" campaign.

1981: U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., now speaker of the House, proposes
legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. And, the military
begins random drug testing of enlisted personnel.

1986: Congress allows the use of the military for intelligence-gathering in
the war on drugs, imposes mandatory life sentences on adults who sell drugs
to a juvenile for the second time, and permits the introduction of
illegally seized evidence in drug offense trials.

1988: Congress creates a "drug czar" to coordinate drug-control strategies
as head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and
makes drug offenders ineligible for college loans and public housing.

1996: Voters in California and Arizona approve ballot initiatives that
legalize medical use of marijuana.

Source: Public Agenda
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To Win The Drug War, We Must Fight The Battles ('Centre Daily Times' Series
Features Pennsylvania Prosecutor Saying Step Up Enforcement
To Finish The Job)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 16:12:30 -0500
Subject: MN: US PA: OPED CDT series: To Win The Drug War, We Must Fight The
Battles
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Centre Daily Times
Author: Michael T. Madeira. Michael T. Madeira is a deputy attorney general
for Pennsylvania.
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998
Contact: pcarty@knightridder.geis.com
Note: Please indicate whether your comments may be considered for
publication.
Website: http://www.centredaily.com/

TO WIN THE DRUG WAR, WE MUST FIGHT THE BATTLES

Choice 1: Step up enforcement to do the job: The nation's war on drugs
already has reduced casual drug use by 53 percent since 1979. Now is not
the time to second-guess success, but rather to redouble our efforts to
keep drugs out of the country and out of our homes, schools, workplaces and
neighborhoods.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
When Edmund Burke said that in the mid-18th century, he was not talking
about drug policy, but he could have been. A serious effort to curb the
problematic use of drugs in our society cannot ignore the importance of the
law enforcement effort. Retreating from the "war on drugs" will only allow
the evil to succeed.

The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General has taken a three-pronged
approach to the drug problem in Pennsylvania. Attorney General Mike Fisher
has often said that we must fight the drug problem from both the supply and
demand sides. Enforcement efforts must be combined with treatment and
anti-drug education that involves the family, the community, schools,
church and government.

We must not, however, begin the new millennium by reducing the law
enforcement approach to fund these other applications. Those who say that
we can have only one or the other -- that is, enforcement or prevention
through education and treatment -- present us with a false dichotomy.

In the 1980s, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, overall drug use dropped by about 50 percent. This decrease was a
result of increased committed funding to law enforcement and a
zero-tolerance approach to drug trafficking and use. While we must deal
with the demand side of the equation, the suppliers and purveyors of the
poison infecting neighborhoods, schools and homes must be dealt with
severely. Current levels of enforcement and community anti-drug campaigns
need to be increased.

On the international level, the United States should increase efforts to
cooperate with other countries' anti-drug efforts. Additionally, the United
States should demand that other countries actively address their drug
problems and the exportation of illicit drugs. This means getting tough
with nations that tacitly allow the drug industry to flourish within their
borders.

We also need to continue our efforts at interdiction of the constant flow
of drugs into the United States. In Pennsylvania, interdiction at bus
depots, airports and train stations has resulted in significant seizures of
cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other illegal drugs. Law enforcement agents
have seized hundreds of thousands of dollars en route to source cities for
the purchase of more drugs. These interdiction efforts are largely
successful not only because they result in prosecution of dealers and
couriers of drugs, but because large quantities of drugs seized never make
it to our streets for resale. While this means spending for more police on
the streets and building more prisons, the costs are well worth the results
we have seen.

Other successful efforts undertaken in Pennsylvania include investigation
of drug dealers at all levels. The attorney general's Task Force Program
has provided incentive by offering funding to attack local drug problems.
Hundreds of street-level arrests in small towns, boroughs and cities have
taken on the drug dealers at their front door. Agents from the attorney
general's office continue to pursue arrests of mid- and upper-level
dealers. These investigations target organized crime and "kingpins" who
attempt to keep their hands clean from the taint of street-level dealing.
Although costly, the results, which place dealers in prison and provide
cleaner, safer streets and a reassured citizenry, support that cost.

Other effective approaches to fighting the war on drugs include lengthy
mandatory sentences for dealers and forfeiture of their profits. These
seizures and sentences deter the dealer by showing that crime does not pay.
Additionally, seized assets are returned to law enforcement to help fund
anti-drug efforts.

Communities and businesses also can get involved by taking action that
promotes a zero-tolerance approach to the use and sale of drugs.
Government's enforcement actions can remove the dealer, but it will be the
efforts of parents, employers, schools and community activists that will
reduce the demand.

We will be victorious in the war on drugs only if we are serious about
fighting it. The history of wars fought by Americans demonstrates that when
we commit the necessary resources to do the job, we will overcome any
enemy. The United States spends a minor portion of its budget on drug
control. This allotment includes treatment, education, law enforcement and
international anti-drug activities. Compared with the costs of other major
U.S. initiatives and the cost of drug abuse, this spending is minuscule.
Any effort to reduce the outlays for enforcement will only increase the
availability of drugs that need to be combated through more education and
treatment programs.

Experience has shown us that legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, have
related costs, including health, treatment and education, that are almost
overwhelming. Recent increases in drug abuse by younger members of society
would suggest that any reduction in law enforcement efforts dealing with
the supply of illegal drugs is irresponsible. Treatment and education alone
are insufficient to attack the problem.

Responsible policy-makers will recognize the significant impact
zero-tolerance efforts had in the '80s and will continue to get into the
fray to reduce the availability of drugs at all levels of our society.

We must be willing to provide funding and commit our resources to fight the
battles. Then, and only then, will we win the war.
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Send One Strong Message, And Share The Responsibility ('Centre Daily Times' Series
Features Pennsylvania Health Educator Saying Change Attitudes
About Illegal Drugs, Encourage Prevention)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 16:40:26 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US PA: OPED CDT Series: Send One Strong Message, And Share The
Responsibility
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Centre Daily Times
Author: Natalie Croll. Natalie Croll is the assistant director of the
Office of Health Promotion and Education at Penn State. Andrew Bills,
health promotion specialist, contributed.
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998
Contact: pcarty@knightridder.geis.com
Note: Please indicate whether your comments may be considered for
publication.
Website: http://www.centredaily.com/

SEND ONE STRONG MESSAGE, AND SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY

Choice 2: Change attitudes about illegal drugs: Since government cannot
significantly reduce the supply of illegal drugs, we must reduce the demand
for them -- by changing tolerant attitudes. Parents, schools and the
entertainment media must say, with one voice, that illegal drugs are
dangerous and socially unacceptable.

The link of substance abuse with negative consequences, such as the loss of
employee productivity, poor school performance, increasing health-care
costs, increasing acts of violence and death, has been the focus of media
attention throughout the past decade.

Prevention messages and programs such as "Just Say No" and others have
become prolific throughout the United States, and yet we see little change
in the cost to society caused by the abuse of alcohol, the use of tobacco
and the prevalence of illegal drugs.

To address this crisis, a shift is under way in the way we think about
alcohol and other drug-abuse prevention. No longer is prevention the job of
just the local health education teacher or prevention specialist hired by a
school district, county or college. The community as a whole is seen as a
catalyst for the prevention of alcohol and other drug problems. Prevention,
therefore, is a multidisciplined approach of multiple strategies that
affect the entire community and that strive for environmental change.

Dr. Richard Keeling, director of University Health Services at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, has noted the prevention messages we have
used for decades -- such as "Know when to say when," "Drink responsibly"
and "Know your limits" -- place all the responsibility on the individual,
and none on the community. This isolation of individual responsibility
supports the broader misperception that bad things happen to bad people;
that the individual didn't know enough or was irresponsible. And the
community's role in this is merely to mourn the individual's misfortune or
loss, and move on. There is rarely a community response that involves
identifying cultural norms, practices, principles, values, institutions and
beliefs that support continued consequences of use, misuse or abuse.

Current thinking in prevention asserts that alcohol and other drug abuse is
not the problem of a troubled few, but is a reflection of the nature of the
communities we create. We must identify where and how our communities
directly and indirectly support misuse and abuse, where behaviors and
messages are inconsistent with our desires for a safe, caring community.

This needed approach to prevention is no longer one of mere
information-sharing; it is a community public health approach. It will not
occur in a classroom or lecture, but rather in daily living. There will be
a shift in strategies from those which focus only on the individual to
those that address the environment. No longer will use be OK, laughed at,
glorified by the media or approved of within our stories. Mixed messages
and behaviors inconsistent with the values of the community will be
challenged. It is a process of changing the context in which we all make
our decisions for use.

Prevention does not compete with but relies upon and supports the continued
rigorous enforcement of current policies and laws. It supports ongoing
treatment for those who suffer from the effects of the disease of addiction
and builds upon intervention programs to identify those at risk for
dependency.

The National Issues Forum, which will provide an opportunity for public
talk on public politics, is an example of prevention in action and
practice. Through this forum individuals will be able to come together as a
community to engage in conversation and debate this critical issue.

This is a long-term, communitywide process of change requiring us to engage
in difficult conversations and to take action. It is time for us to change
our beliefs about prevention from "know your limits" to embracing our
collective responsibility, as Keeling says, to notice, care and act.
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Treat Complex Problem As A Public Health Issue ('Centre Daily Times' Series
Features Author Theodore Vallance Promoting Harm Reduction)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 16:46:38 -0500
Subject: MN: US PA: OPED CDT Series: Treat Complex Problem As A Public
Health Issue
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Centre Daily Times
Author: Theodore Vallance. Theodore "Ted" Vallance is a frequent
contributor to the Centre Daily Times. He lives in State College.
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998
Contact: pcarty@knightridder.geis.com
Note: Please indicate whether your comments may be considered for
publication.
Website: http://www.centredaily.com/

TREAT COMPLEX PROBLEM AS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE

Choice 3: Treat substance abuse as a health issue: Drug abuse is a
treatable illness, and illegal drugs are primarily a public health problem,
demanding medical, social and legal remedies. Government must jail drug
traffickers, but should treat drug users. Prevention programs should be
expanded to reach more families before they turn to drugs.

Nothing is as simple as it first appears. The extreme complexity of the
drug problem must be recognized in order to devise a workable plan to
reduce the harms that illicit drugs and their surrounding set of rules and
policies inflict on the public.

The drug problem is a crime problem. Millions of crimes occur daily, and
most are committed by the estimated 20 million users of illegal drugs who
generate more than a million arrests annually. More newsworthy are crimes
to obtain money for buying drugs. Competition for market share includes
gunfire to deter competitors from a seller's turf.

The drug problem is a major economic problem, coming to around $135 billion
annually. The largest part of this cost comes from the fact that many
recreational mood-altering drugs are illegal.

The drug problem is an international problem. The United States intercedes
in the affairs of other nations as we pressure them to stop lucrative
commerce in drugs headed our way and complain when they fail to relieve our
drug problem.

Finally, drugs -- legal and illegal -- comprise a health problem. People
get sick from taking drugs. Some die. A 1979 report cites 900 deaths
associated with 57 million Valium prescriptions to help people manage
stress. Annually we have nearly 35,000 alcohol-related deaths from injuries
and accidents, and 430,000 associated with smoking tobacco. And yes, lots
of people die annually from using illegal recreational drugs; a recent
estimate is 7,600, of which about half were from poisoning via impurities
and contaminated needles.

All told, the criminal orientation toward our drug problem, the predominant
emphasis in national policy, has failed. It is time to adopt a general
public health approach to the very complex problem.

What would a public health orientation look like? It would seek "to reduce
and control the use of all recreational mood-altering drugs in order to
provide for their safe, pleasurable use, consistent with centuries-old
human experience, while minimizing their harmful effects on individuals,
the family and society as a whole," according to Steven Jonas, a physician
and professor of preventive medicine. It is the broadest approach to this
complex problem because it encompasses all the features mentioned so far.
While opposing the use of drugs as unhealthful and socially damaging
behavior, the public health approach would emphasize the discovery and
alleviation of causal conditions, preventive efforts through education and
propaganda, and accessible treatment for the individual user.

What do advocates of the public health approach propose? One proposal is a
relaxation of controls on prescription pain relievers. Many physicians have
had needless trouble with the law for allegedly over-prescribing narcotics
for relief of the pains of organic illnesses.

Another proposal is the medicalization of illicit drugs that have
therapeutic value. The active ingredient in marijuana, for example, reduces
internal eye pressures that lead to glaucoma, reducing the nauseating
effects of several chemical treatments for cancer, and restores appetites
of AIDS patients. The 1996 referenda in California and Arizona legalizing
physician-ordered marijuana use for certain afflictions reflect the public
health orientation.

Non-enforcement of anti-marijuana laws can be expanded, emulating the
successful Dutch and German experiences. Ten American states have removed
criminal sanctions on possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal
use. One study shows that states without criminal sanctions on marijuana
experience fewer auto fatalities. Heavy restrictions on marijuana seem to
encourage substituting more dangerous drugs, including alcohol, especially
among teen-agers.

What about legalization of all currently illicit drugs? Eventually, total
and controlled legalization should come about, but only after extended
public debate and education on the risks and benefits of reform. The
experience with anti-nicotine education is instructive. Adult smoking and
its attendant hazards are way down. Increased treatment for addicted
people, while costly, is measurably less costly than repeatedly jailing
drug users.

In a public health orientation, gradual steps toward controlled
legalization could reduce many of the harms that now afflict us and would
more than offset the risks of increased drug use.

What form of legalization? There are many versions of legalization. I
propose that with a public health orientation we should work gradually
toward a regulated open drug market, starting with marijuana, and an
expanded educational program to inform the citizenry of the dangers of
drugs and the advantages of such a market.

Buyers and sellers of recreational drugs would be licensed, after passing
qualifying tests.

Records of sales would be used to substantiate license suspensions or
punishments based on violations of laws against reckless driving or other
offenses associated with overuse of drugs.

Protection against impurities would be provided by market competition and
governmental regulation. Packages would show contents and warnings about
overuse and health hazards.

Price regulation would be left to market processes.

Federal taxes would apply uniformly to each class of products, and states
and municipalities could tax at levels low enough to discourage black markets.

Tax proceeds and drug war cost savings would be dedicated to prevention and
treatment and to programs of human and social development -- child care,
education, job training, housing, recreation, parks -- all known to promote
a quality of life that breeds self-respect and reduces the need for
recreational mood-altering drugs.

Is such a changed policy attainable? Yes, with patience and steady effort.
Many members of Congress and state legislatures are open to gradual change,
but widespread misunderstanding and fear make sympathetic legislators
reluctant to speak out and possibly risk their jobs. At the state level,
further advocacy of medicalization of marijuana and decriminalization
through revising law enforcement priorities are reasonable goals. At the
national level, turning the authority back to the states would be simplest.
The 21st Amendment in 1933 didn't legalize alcohol; it just gave the issue
over to the states.

Yes, it is time to change our thinking about the drug problem and the
scourge of the drug wars. Treating the drug problem in a public health
context can liberate public and private resources for more constructive
use: prevention of drug abuse, treatment for addicts, and the development
of a society that has minimal demands for recreational drugs as the road to
happiness and mutual respect.
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We Can't Just Ignore The Devastation Of Drugs (Three Letters To The Editor
Of 'The New York Times' Responding To Milton Friedman)
Link to response
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 08:32:48 -0500 Subject: MN: US: NYT LTEs: We Can't Just Ignore the Devastation of Drugs Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org Source: New York Times Contact: letters@nytimes.com Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998 WE CAN'T JUST IGNORE THE DEVASTATION OF DRUGS To the Editor: While Milton Friedman's facts are excellent on the impact of the drug problem, his conclusion that it's up to addicts to decide whether to use drugs is absurd (Op-Ed, Jan. 11). Drugs -- especially hard-core drugs like heroin and cocaine -- have an enormous biological, psychological and social pull that defeats rational thinking about whether to use them. Mr. Friedman's solution, which is no solution at all, does not seem to be an improvement over the war on drugs that he laments. LISA M. NAJAVITS Belmont, Mass., Jan. 12, 1998 The writer is an assistant professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. *** A RACIAL EFFECT To the Editor: Milton Friedman asks how America's drug war policy can be moral if it has so "racist" an effect (Op-Ed, Jan. 11), but the effect is racial, not racist. "Racist" and "racism" are two of the most misused words in the English language. A disparate impact on a certain race is a racial effect, but it is not always the result of racism. For example, African-Americans dominate professional basketball, but that does not mean that the National Basketball Association is racist. It is impossible to have a meaningful dialogue on the subject of race if people carelessly interchange words and confuse cause with effect. America's drug policy has had a racial effect, but is racism the cause? Mr. Friedman never answers this important question. CRAIG J. CANTONI Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 14, 1998 *** NEEDLESS SUFFERING To the Editor: Milton Friedman's discussion of our failed drug war hits a painful truth regarding the undertreatment of chronic pain by physicians (Op-Ed, Jan. 11). As someone who recently suffered painful burns to his hands, I can testify to this sad fact. Physicians are indeed quite afraid to prescribe narcotics. They often substitute less effective medication or prescribe narcotics in minimal amounts. Patients are left rationing their pills in case greater pain presents itself in the future. This is clearly one of the hidden effects of our current drug policy. JOE FERRARI Astoria, Queens, Jan. 14, 1998
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Was Troubled Son Kidnapped Or Rescued? (Alameda County, California Judge
Will Rule On Parental And Children's Rights In Case Of Drug-Abstaining
Oakland High School Freshman With Attention Deficit Disorder Sent To
'Tough Love' Type Camp In Jamaica By Fundamentalist Parents)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:05:29 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Was Troubled Son Kidnapped or Rescued?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Author: Dan Reed and Sandy Kleffman, Mercury News Staff Writers

WAS TROUBLED SON KIDNAPPED OR RESCUED?

Judge to rule whether parents had right to force him to Jamaican `tough
love' camp

OAKLAND -- Two strangers stepped inside David Van Blarigan's bedroom at
midnight two months ago as the teenager's father shook him awake. ``He kind
of barked at me, `Leave me alone,' '' James Van Blarigan remembered of the
night he paid two burly men to take his son -- against his will -- to a
yearlong exile at a Jamaican reform school whose practices are outlawed in
California.

``I said, David, you're going to a new school.''

As prearranged, the 16-year-old boy's parents, who had signed papers giving
school officials the right to use pepper spray, Mace, restraints or stun
guns against their son if necessary, left the room. The strangers took
over, threatening to handcuff David if he didn't comply. They allowed him
to go to the bathroom before they packed him into a rented car, dressed in
the sweatsuit he slept in, for a 700-mile drive to a Utah mental hospital
and, two weeks later, a flight to the Caribbean school.

Was their choice an extreme, illegal punishment for a normal, rebellious
teenager? Or did his parents, frightened by their son's downward slide, do
the right thing in a last-ditch effort to put a wayward boy on the straight
and narrow?

Because David was left alone long enough at a Jamaican airport to call a
sympathetic neighbor, who alerted authorities, the matter is now in court.

An Alameda County Superior Court judge is expected to rule Tuesday whether
the Oakland high school freshman should be ordered back to California in a
potentially precedent-setting clash of parental and children's rights. The
courtroom drama is being watched across the nation by those in the
burgeoning field of specialty schools, the kind of strict, no-nonsense --
and some say loosely regulated and occasionally brutal -- camps designed to
exorcise the behavioral demons from defiant or drug-addicted boys and
girls.

``This industry is very lucrative, growing like wildfire, and nobody is
really watching what's going on,'' said Catherine Sutton, whose daughter,
15-year-old Michelle, died of dehydration in 1990 while enrolled in a
wilderness camp for troubled youths. ``They really need federal
regulation.''

Believing in `tough love'

But other parents, such as Tim Flood, who leads a support group of 125 Bay
Area families enrolled in similar programs, have become apostles of ``tough
love.'' ``We realize we only had a few months until he was 18, to basically
try to save his life,'' Flood says of his son Jacob, now drug-free and
living at the family's Peninsula home.

No one knows how many of these programs exist, but they are spreading as a
get-tough attitude sweeps the nation, parents worry about teen suicide and
violence, and entrepreneurs realize the money to be made.

Despairing parents -- at least those well-heeled enough to afford it --
learn about these schools of last resort through word of mouth, educational
consultants or advertisements in publications such as Sunset magazine.
``Attitudes adjusted here,'' reads one ad. ``Is your teen turning your life
upside down?'' asks another.

The programs are usually run by private, for-profit organizations, and they
vary widely in techniques used to tame a nightmare child. Tuition ranges
from $30,000 to $70,000, and most students stay six to 12 months. To foot
the bill, some parents must mortgage their homes, borrow from relatives or
deplete their child's college fund. Some swear it's worth every cent.

``This isn't Jonestown; this is Boys Town,'' said Daniel Koller, a San
Diego attorney defending the Van Blarigans, referring to a camp in Western
Samoa where he shipped his own son. The boy, who will turn 18 next month,
``became a crystal meth addict'' and was headed for jail or death had he
not gone to the camp. Now he thanks his father, Koller said.

The camp, Paradise Cove, gives teenagers ``the tools to work, self-esteem,
accountability for their conduct. And this is a safe place,'' Koller said.

To some, David Van Blarigan hardly seems the kind of hardened youth who
needs a dose of tough love. Hindered by attention deficit disorder, he had
a so-so academic record but never did drugs, drank alcohol or got into
trouble with the law. ``He was like a grandchild to me,'' said Neil
Aschemeyer, an administrative law judge and neighbor of the Van Blarigans
who has taken up the boy's cause. ``He is extremely bright, very
articulate. . . . He was a joyful kid, full of energy.''

His parents, devout, Bible-believing Christians and volunteer marriage
counselors in their San Leandro congregation, said he suffered from ``anger
turning to rage'' and believed the nighttime maneuvers were their only
answer. ``It was with very heavy hearts that we sent David away for a
year,'' Susan Van Blarigan said at her home Friday, in her first newspaper
interview. ``Although we deeply miss him, we know this program will give
him the skills that will allow him to succeed (in life).''

Confrontations

His mother said the Skyline High School student was suspended once for
threatening a teacher and once also ran away from home overnight but
returned on his own. Another time, not wanting to talk to his mother and
holed up in the elaborate three-story tree house he built, he threatened to
douse her with water if she climbed up. She did; and he soaked her.

But more than that, his parents say, was the rage that would fulminate at
home, although never with physical violence. ``We saw some deep, deep
problems,'' Susan Van Blarigan said. ``When he looked in my eyes and said
the things he said, I was scared for me and I was scared for him.''

He eventually resisted going to church, she said, in order to hurt them
because they loved it so. An ad in the back of Sunset magazine sent them on
a journey that led to Tranquility Bay. On the night of Nov. 10, after
committing themselves to expenses of about $38,000, they handed two men a
suitcase that Susan Van Blarigan had secretly packed and let them into
David's room.

He was dropped off at Brightway Adolescent Hospital in southern Utah, a
clearinghouse for boys and girls on their way to the discipline schools.
The hospital, according to two sources, is operating on a conditional
license for violations of state regulations. The director of Brightway did
not return several calls seeking comment.

On Nov. 23, he was flown to Jamaica's Montego Bay but slipped away to a pay
phone -- breaking a no-contact rule -- and called his neighbor, Aschemeyer.
``He said, `I want to get out of here,' '' the judge recounted. `` `This
place is like a prison.' ''

In his call to Aschemeyer, David said the attendants at Brightway would
knock down a teenager who talked back or would drug him with a hypodermic
needle. School officials would not allow David to talk to reporters.

Aschemeyer set about finding help and eventually contacted Robert Hutchins,
a former Air Force pilot nicknamed ``Swoop'' who is the expert on
child-abduction cases for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

At issue, both sides contend, is where parental rights end and a child's
begin and where the state must step in to protect a juvenile.

In a similar case in 1993, a Santa Clara prosecutor filed criminal charges
against a parent and the man and woman she hired to spirit her daughter
away from a Palo Alto high school to a New Mexico camp, where she claimed
abuse. But the case -- the only one in the state that ever sought criminal
sanctions against a parent for hiring so-called kidnappers -- was
dismissed.

Civil, not criminal, suit

Hutchins is taking a different legal tack. His action is a civil proceeding
-- which carries a lower burden of proof than criminal complaints -- that
accuses the Van Blarigans of aiding and abetting the kidnappers but only
demands that they return their son to California to ask him if he wants to
stay or return. At this point, Susan Van Blarigan says, she thinks she
knows the answer: ``I think he would feel he could work on these problems
at home.''

Judge Ken M. Kawaichi is being asked to decide whether, as Hutchins
contends, the Van Blarigans illegally delegated their right to custody to
``insensitive and uncaring corporations,'' as Hutchins argues in one
impassioned court pleading.

``David stands alone in a foreign land,'' Hutchins wrote, ``stripped of his
civil rights . . . immersed in a snake pit of very troubled and possibly
dangerous teenagers, and ignorant of whom he can go to for independent help
in the event he is being abused or mistreated.''

But Koller, the Van Blarigans' attorney, counters that the couple have ``in
no way relinquished their parental rights over (David). To the contrary,
the couple has spent, and continues to spend, large amounts of time, money
and emotional energy to educate, discipline, rehabilitate and care for
their son.''

Flood, a project manager at Stanford University's information systems,
found his son's redemption in a similar way, at a cost of about $40,000.
Flood's boy smoked pot, dabbled with harder drugs, stole from the family
and flouted house rules. Last year, he shipped the boy off to Paradise
Cove, which is affiliated with Tranquility Bay.

Like the Van Blarigans, he arranged for the escorts to come in the still of
night, when the teenager would be groggy, less likely to run or fight. ``I
said, `I love you with all my heart, but you're going to have to go with
these people.' He was very angry.''

Not all experiences have been so benign. Stan Goold, now 17 and living in
Fremont, says he was kidnapped from his mother's home in Lake County and
sent to Paradise Cove after a stopover in Brightway in Utah.

`I heard screams'

In Paradise Cove, Stan claimed, some kids were beaten. ``I saw kids after
it happened,'' he claims. ``I heard screams.'' He said a scant, poor diet
led him to malnutrition and an outbreak of boils, which he says have left
purple scars on his knees. His father was finally able to get him out of
the camp, against which they are planning to file a lawsuit alleging abuse.

Paradise Cove officials could not be reached, but Koller said his son had
not been abused.

Such institutions are often in rural outposts in places like Samoa, Utah
and Jamaica, where land and labor costs are cheap and oversight minimal.

Although the schools are not required to obtain accreditation, many do and
use it as a marketing device. Parents should be aware, however, that such
seals of approval refer only to the educational program and not the
techniques for treating unruly behavior, experts say.

Tranquility Bay in Jamaica has been accredited by the Northwest Association
of Schools and Colleges, one of six regional accrediting bodies in the
United States. But the team that visits each school looks only at classroom
activities such as curriculum, textbooks and teacher credentials. It does
not have jurisdiction over the behavior modification program.

``There's nobody to deal with the interaction between kids and adults as
far as treatment goes,'' said Dave Steadman, executive director of the
association. ``That's unfortunate.'' Many states, including California,
restrict what can occur in such programs. California bans corporal and
``humiliating'' punishment. Children cannot be placed in restraints or
locked in time-out rooms, and they have guaranteed personal rights,
including communicating with their family, said Larry Bolton, chief counsel
for the California Department of Social Services.

Little oversight

Utah, on the other hand, has few regulations, which accounts for the
proliferation of programs in that state, experts say. Connie Love,
education specialist for the Utah state office of education, worries about
the lack of oversight for such programs. ``Very few standards are placed on
the counseling component. It's quite alarming,'' she said.

Administrators who run such programs deny that they located in Jamaica,
Samoa or Utah to avoid regulation. They argue that putting a child in a
tranquil rural setting -- far from their peers and the fast-paced urban
lifestyle -- can be effective in changing behavior. It also reduces the
chance that a child will try to run away.

And they downplay the language in contracts, such as the one the Van
Blarigans had to sign, that acknowledges lower standards than in the United
States for ``water, electricity, food, health standards, building codes,
space requirements, etc.'' The contract also approves the use of pepper
spray, Mace, an ``electrical disabler,'' mechanical restraints or
handcuffs, if needed.

Jay Kay, director of Tranquility Bay, said the camp has no stun guns or
so-called electronic disablers but is allowed under its contracts ``to
leave our options open.'' He said workers at the camp, which has only been
open a year, last used pepper spray five months ago to subdue a student
attacking a school worker.

Kay and others say the full-day, six-days-a-week schedule of classes,
physical fitness, chores and group time -- along with discipline and
earning privileges such as calling their parents on the phone, something
often not allowed in the first couple of months -- often turns bad kids
into good ones. But others think there's another way.

Carl Thoresen, a professor of education, psychology and psychiatry at
Stanford University, said parents should consider sending their kids to
such camps only as a last resort.

``In our Silicon Valley, hurry-up culture, I worry that parents are being
too quick to jump the gun and seek an outside solution,'' said Thoresen,
who is not familiar with the Van Blarigan case. ``Shipping them off to
another country is a very dramatic move. It conveys to the child that the
parents no longer have confidence in them. That should not be taken
lightly.''

He argued that parents should first explore local help that is available,
including meeting with a child psychologist to assess changes parents could
make to help resolve the problem. After all other alternatives are
exhausted, Thoresen added, providing a change of venue for children and
removing them from their peer group can sometimes be effective.

Susan Van Blarigan said her family had exhausted other routes, and even
though uneasy about signing away some of her parental rights, she felt it
was for the best.

``If your child is going to go to the streets and get killed,'' she said,
``it's not such a big thing to sign away those rights.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pot Eased My Anxious Son's Mood Swings (Letter To Editor Of Britain's
'Independent On Sunday,' Contrasts The Case Of Jack Straw's Son With
That Of A Woman In Sussex Whose 17-Year-Old Uses Cannabis To Alleviate
A Mood Disorder - She Now Fears Her Conviction For Possessing 13 Plants
With Intent To Supply Will Devastate Their Lives)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 21:33:17 -0500
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: 'Pot Eased My Anxious Son's Mood Swings'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Sunday, 18 Jan 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
Mail: Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL
England

Editor's note: The Independent on Sunday's Cannabis Campaign has web pages at
http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm

'POT EASED MY ANXIOUS SON'S MOOD SWINGS'

IN THE week that saw Jack Straw's son let off with a caution for supplying
cannabis, a woman in Sussex is coming to terms with a less lenient ruling,
writes Tarquin Cooper.

She too has a 17-year-old son, only he uses cannabis to alleviate terrible
mood swings and anxiety, not for recreational purposes. She supplied him
with the drug and now fears her conviction for possessing 13 plants with
intent to supply will devastate their lives.

Jane Huckell explains: "Last Thursday I was sentenced to 18 months'
probation for supplying him the drug. I was told I needed guidance, not
punishment, and should be grateful for the light sentence. Now I worry
whether I will be able to do a legal executive course I had applied for.

"What has been really unfair on my son is that the court failed to keep his
name secret. I promised him all along that it would not be mentioned and my
barrister asked that he be protected.

"His name was plastered everywhere. He found out in the press that his
father had committed suicide when he was young. I'd never told him because
I feared for his condition. Last weekend he was depressed about going back
to college. He fears what the other students are going to make of him."

The case highlights the discrepancy in how charges relating to cannabis are
dealt with across the country. It also demonstrates how the law fails the
people who need the drug for medicinal purposes.

"Cannabis calms him down," Jane continues. "He suffers from mood swings
three to four times a week and has difficulty sleeping and eating. His
problems are so severe I can't work. At one point I was afraid to leave the
house to go to the shop. He has missed so much school.

"Within seconds of smoking cannabis, however, he'd calm down and, quite
simply, function. I couldn't afford to buy cannabis off the street so I
decided to grow it. This is also safer - I only give him grass which is
cannabis in its purest form.

"Since the case he's stopped using it and been put on nasty drugs, which
make him look like a junkie."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Labour 'Must Lead The Way On Law Reform' (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday'
Reports Actor And Labour Party Stalwart Michael Cashman Said On BBC TV's
'Question Time' That The Labour Government Is Treating The Subject
Of Cannabis Law Reform The Same Way The Previous Tory Administrations
Dealt With Gay Rights Issues)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 22:37:44 -0500
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Labour 'Must Lead The Way On Law Reform'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Sunday, 18 Jan 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
Mail: Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf,
London E14 5DL England

Editor's note: The Independent on Sunday Cannabis Campaign has web pages at:
http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm

LABOUR 'MUST LEAD THE WAY ON LAW REFORM'

ONE OF Britain's most prominent gay activists believes the Labour
government is treating the subject of cannabis law reform in the same way
that previous Tory administrations dealt with gay rights issues.

The actor Michael Cashman, who was chair of the gay pressure group
Stonewall for eight years, wants MPs to "come out of the closet" on their
personal experiences of cannabis.

On BBC TV's Question Time last week, Mr Cashman said: "I believe we need
decriminalisation of cannabis leading to legalisation, but this is a very
difficult subject because no politician will say in public what they say in
private."

Mr Cashman warned the Government that it faced mounting criticism if it did
not lead public opinion on the subject of cannabis and the law. "I believe
the Government has to lead public opinion. The greatest thing we have to
fear is that we do nothing because adults are terrified to say there is a
drug problem, that it's going on in most families, and that it's on most
high streets. To deny that is morally irresponsible."

Question Time chairman David Dimbleby tested his argument in an electronic
poll of the studio audience. He asked: "How many of you have ever taken and
used, if only once, an illegal drug?" As many as 46 per cent said they had
had some illegal drug experience, while 42 per cent said they had no
experience, and 12 per cent abstained.

"There is a parallel I have noticed in this issue with my own experiences
in Stonewall in negotiating with a hostile Tory government," said Mr
Cashman. "We had to deal with them in a language they understood, and could
only succeed by steady lobbying to overcome prejudice and blind hypocrisy."

Mr Cashman, who is also a prominent Labour Party supporter, acknowledged
that his pro-decriminalisation views were likely to be frowned on by the
upper echelons of the party. "It is unfortunate but I believe many of us in
the wider Labour movement have been looking for a radical change on a whole
range of social as well as economic issues. We have stood still in this
country for 18 years, I believe the Government should have the integrity to
go forward."

At the end of the debate David Dimbleby tested audience opinion once more
and asked them whether or not cannabis should be legalised now. Once more
the majority (50 per cent) agreed, while 44 per cent said no and 6 per cent
remained undecided.

"Most MPs went to university in the 1960s and 1970s, when they must have
come across the odd joint or two," said Mr Cashman. "But if they tell me
they somehow existed in a hermetically sealed world isolated from what was
going on around them, then I have to tell them that the public will simply
not believe them."

Meanwhile, the general prosecutor of Italy's highest court has created a
storm after advocating the decriminalisation of drugs. Speaking at the
inauguration of the judicial year last week, Ferdinando Zucconi
Gallifonseca said that while users were imprisoned, dealers invariably
escaped to enjoy a life on the beach.

The Italian government failed to respond to the debate last week, but the
media have taken up the issue seriously, and thousands of people have
written in support of his cause.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Addicts Face Jail Or Cure By Heroin Blocker ('The Independent On Sunday'
Says British Home Secretary Jack Straw Impressed By Singapore Claims,
Will Consider Practicing Medicine Without A License In Trial Treatment Programmes
Coercing Offenders To Use Naltrexone As Condition Of Probation)

Subj: Addicts face jail or cure by heroin blocker
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 16:49:47 -0800
Newshawk:Pat Dolan
Source: Ind on Sun
PubDate: Jan. 18, 1998
Subject: Addicts face jail or cure by heroin blocker
Author: Heather Mills, Home Affairs Editor
Contact: http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm

Addicts face jail or cure by heroin blocker (Heather Mills, Home Afrs Ed)

Offenders could be coerced into taking a powerful heroin-blocking drug to
help wean them off the twin evils of drugs and crime.

The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, is to consider trial treatment programmes
using naltrexone which would be linked to probation orders. Convicts could
be given the choice of taking the drug or remaining in prison. Home Office
officials will also consider whether the drug would be suitable for addicts
while they are still in jail.

Concerns were expressed yesterday about the 'state-ordered' administration
of strong drugs. Professor John Strang, director of the National Addiction
Centre at the Maudsley hospital in south-east London, said: "The worry is
that a powerful medicine would be administered not by a doctor but by a
court or prison. Even with a patient's consent, that consent becomes
questionable when there is any form of coercion."

Mr Straw is said to be impressed by research from Singapore and the United
States which has shown unprecedented success rates in keeping former addict
offenders off drugs - and off crime. In Singapore, 75 per cent of addict
offenders prescribed naltrexone as part of a probation programme were
opiate-free a year later. Only 25 per cent of those on a similar
rehabilitation programme, but denied naltrexone, remained drug-free a year on.

Dr Colin Brewer, medical director of the Stapleford drug addiction centre,
dismissed concerns about the coercive use of the drug.

"Addicts would be given a choice - maybe prison or probation," he said.
"Sometimes addicts need an element of pressure to help them off drugs.
These results are impressive. I believe they represent one of the most
hopeful areas in the management of addicted offenders."

Naltrexone is an opiate-blocker which pushes heroin out of the brain's
receptors, thus neutralising any effect should an addict succumb to
temptation. Taken in tablet form or as an implant, it is being used
increasingly in the UK in treatment programmes for paying patients.

Ministers are determined to tackle the link between drug addiction and
crime. Home Office research suggests there are 100,000 drugs-users in
England and Wales, each spending an average 200 a week on their habit -
and financing it largely through theft and burglary. They have to steal
about four times the value in goods, in order to realise that 200 in cash.
In inner-city areas, 2,500 addicts are passing through the courts each year.

The Crime and Disorder Bill provides courts with the power to order drug
testing and treatment for addicts. But the new orders have yet to be tried
and a Home Office spokeswoman said there were no plans to link naltrexone
treatment to any pilot schemes.

Drug workers and probation officers say there are already long waiting
lists for treatment. And Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the
National Association of Probation Officers, shared Professor Strang's
concerns: "Naltrexone seems ideal for those who genuinely want to come off
drugs. But it is unsuitable for those with drink problems, liver damage and
a chaotic lifestyle, with little family support - which probably covers
most addict offenders."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A Tale Of Two Drug-Dealing Children (Writer Of Letter To Editor
Of 'Sunday Times' Contrasts Treatment Her 16-Year-Old Daughter Received
For Selling Cannabis With That Received By The 17-Year-Old Son Of Jack Straw,
The British Home Secretary, For The Same Offense)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:32:23 -0500
Subject: MN: UK: LTE: A Tale Of Two Drug-dealing Children
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Sunday Times
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998

A TALE OF TWO DRUG-DEALING CHILDREN

My 16-year-old daughter and I allowed ourselves a sickly smile at Jack
Straw's reaction when his son was let off with a caution for selling
cannabis.

"I hope the media will continue to agree he should not suffer additionally
because he is my son," he said. Well, Mr Straw, it depends on your
definition of suffering.

The first I knew of impending trauma was a call from the headmaster of the
sixth-form college where my daughter had just started. After a glowing crop
of GCSEs, a bright future lay in prospect, until the day the head told me
she had been arrested for selling drugs.

A drug dealer? My daughter? It seemed unbelievable, until I saw the police
in the interview room produce a tiny plastic bag of cannabis and a notebook
detailing amounts sold and their value.

She was smoking, not selling, when the police arrested her and a friend
near the college. She had produced the cannabis, the notebook and 35 cash
proceeds when asked to by the police.

What emerged was not some pernicious drug-dealing enterprise, but a means
of paying for her own use of the drug. The names in the book were all her
friends and it was, she assured us, the first time she had done it.

The police acknowledged that the amount involved was "relatively minute".
Even so they, and the solicitor summoned to protect my daughter's
interests, made it clear: she was likely to escape a custodial sentence
only because of her clean record, good character, bright educational
prospects and helpfulness with the police.

So serious was the offence, I was told, that a simple caution was virtually
out of the question. Even the friend, who faced a potential charge simply
of possession, was unlikely to be so lucky.

And so the two were bailed to await their fate. Given the initial shock to
parents who always took a tough line on drugs, what followed was an awful
period. There was no apology from our daughter. Instead she went into her
shell and any attempts to break the ice ended in screaming. She did agree
to undergo counselling with a psychotherapist recommended by our GP. And
she also agreed that the best thing she could do was to put this behind her
and get on with her education.

But while William Straw's place at Oxford seems assured, my daughter was
instantly expelled, despite two appeals by me to her head teacher. The
expulsion was almost as shattering as the ordeal in the police station.

We tried other colleges and schools. Most were full, but she was accepted
by a secondary school. We decided reluctantly not to inform them of her
misdemeanour for obvious reasons. But we had not reckoned with the local
educational grapevine. Within days she was on the carpet for not declaring
the arrest. She left.

We tried the school she had attended before college and this time I
volunteered the information that she had been arrested on drugs-related
charges. They already knew it involved dealing. I received a ticking off
for not being more forthright, and we walked away again empty-handed.

By this time my daughter was in no mood for further rejection. It was
decided she would take a year out and work, which is what she is doing
quite diligently.

Relations at home have warmed to the point where she is able to admit that
she had been utterly stupid. She has not touched the stuff since.

But as we had feared, there was to be no caution. She appeared before the
youth court four months after the arrest, was put on probation for a year,
given 40 days' community service and ordered to pay 40 costs.

No, my daughter is not a minister's child and a natural target of tabloid
interest. And that is the one aspect where I do allow that the Straws have
suffered.

While I regret being anonymous, I would not write this were it to expose my
daughter to even a drop of the kind of publicity Straw and his son have
endured. On this I have always had the strongest sympathy with the
minister: the thing you most want is to keep it as quiet as possible so
that an act of teenage stupidity - which I deplore - does not become a
permanent blight.

But two facts are also clear: my daughter was expelled from school while
Jack Straw's son was not. She was prosecuted, sentenced and given a
criminal record while his son was not. I am therefore not entirely sure who
emerged better off.

- Anon
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Earlier Pub Closing 'No Cure For Violence' ('Scotland On Sunday' Reports
Study Of Alcohol Users By Doctors At Royal Infirmary Of Edinburgh
Also Confirmed Suspected Link Between Alcohol And Violence)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:17:50 -0500
Subject: MN: UK: Earlier Pub Closing 'No Cure For Violence'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug 
Source: Scotland On Sunday
Contact: letters_sos@scotsman.com
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Author: Sue Leonard, Health Correspondent

UK: EARLIER PUB CLOSING 'NO CURE FOR VIOLENCE'

Restricting licensing hours makes no difference to levels of
alcohol-related violence, a study has confirmed.

The research, which also confirmed the suspected link between alcohol and
violence, will disappoint police and local authorities who will now have to
find other ways of tackling the problem.

Restrictions on extensions to permittted licensing hours have been
introduced in some towns and cities to reduce street violence and demands
on emergency services.

"We found it did not make any difference," said Dr Colin Graham, a member
of the research team now working at Inverclyde Royal Hospital. "The hope
was that if people were coming out of these places at one time there would
be a peak of people. Associated alcohol problems would be minimised and
there would be a more predictable workload."

The study was carried out by doctors at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
who took breath samples from patients two weeks before the restrictions
were introduced, then two and five weeks after to monitor the immediate and
longer-term effects.

Almost 3,000 breath samples were taken during the period, nearly a third of
which tested positive for alcohol.

Assault cases accounted for one in five attendances between midnight and
4am, and nearly 70 per cent of those hurt in assaults had been drinking.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Scots Gangs Join Loyalist Drugs For Arms Network (England's 'Sunday Times'
Alleges Pro-British Paramilitary Groups In Northern Ireland Have Cut Deals
With Glasgow Drug Dealers To Import Large Quantities Of Cocaine And Heroin
Into The Territory To Finance Their Terrorist Activities
Against Pro-Irish Catholics)

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:22:00 -0500
Subject: MN: UK: Scots Gangs Join Loyalist Drugs For Arms Network
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Sunday Times
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 1998
Author: Vincent Kearney

IRELAND

SCOTS GANGS JOIN LOYALIST DRUGS FOR ARMS NETWORK

LOYALIST paramilitaries have established contacts with Scottish drug
dealers to bring large quantities of cocaine and heroin into Northern
Ireland to finance their terrorist activities.

The terrorists are using contacts with sympathisers in the Glasgow
underworld to develop a network to flood the province with powdered drugs.
The Ulster Defence Association and Ulster Volunteer Force both have
Scottish sections which have successfully supplied arms and explosives
during the Troubles.

Large consignments of the drugs are bought by criminal gangs in Glasgow
from dealers in Holland. The loyalists then buy what they need at highly
competitive prices. In return the loyalist groups will provide hitmen to
assassinate members of rival gangs.

There is evidence that cocaine and heroin are reaching Northern Ireland in
larger quantities than before. Police figures for 1996 showed that 136.5g
of opiates were seized, compared with just 8g in 1995.

The first seizure of crack cocaine in Northern Ireland was made in
Ballymena last July and it is also on sale in parts of Belfast,
Londonderry, Antrim and Lisburn. The price of cocaine has dropped sharply
from an initial 100 per gram to 60, indicating that dealers are making
savings by buying larger quantities and that the market is expanding.

In recent years senior figures within the UDA and UVF, the mainstream
loyalist organisations, have clashed in a series of local disputes over
drugs. They believe a sophisticated network could result in the
organisations becoming totally self-financing, rather like terrorist groups
in parts of South America.

That would enable them to purchase large consignments of arms if their
ceasefires end, or prepare them for a move into the more lucrative drugs
scene in Britain if they hold.

The profits available are huge. By joining a large cartel buying in bulk,
dealers can get a kilo of high quality cocaine for about 25,000. That can
then be mixed to make 5kg of reasonable quality that can be sold for
130,000, giving a profit of more than 400%.

"In theory, these organisations could become self-financing in the
foreseeable future. That would have serious implications because they would
be in a position to buy weapons in much larger quantities," said a security
source.

"They could not succeed on their own because they have no credibility with
international drug dealers, but by working with some of the big players in
Scotland they overcome that hurdle and avoid the risk of being ripped off
by being supplied with substandard drugs.

"It is a very dangerous alliance because the Scottish gangs share the
political views of the loyalist paramilitaries and are anxious to do as
much as they can to support what they see as the 'war effort'. The element
of political motivation will also reduce the likelihood of informants
coming forward."

Experts who work with young people taking drugs say there has been a
significant rise in the number who have used or been offered cocaine.

Crack cocaine, made by baking cocaine powder into small white chips, is
highly addictive and users can quickly develop psychological dependency.

Frank McGoldrick, director of the Belfast-based Research Group on Chemical
Dependency, said the attraction of powdered drugs is increasing because the
quality of ecstasy on offer is poor. While the availability of heroin is
increasing at a slower rate than cocaine, McGoldrick fears both drugs could
soon be in widespread demand.

"Commentators often say that Northern Ireland does not have the kind of
drugs culture needed to sustain cocaine and heroin, but that is a fallacy,"
he said.

"There is a real danger that the demand for both drugs will expand
dramatically if they become widely available."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cartels May Use Gold To Launder Profits ('New York Times' Reports
US Officials Believe The Rapid Increase In The Amount Of Gold Coming To America
From Guyana Is Attributable To Colombian And Bolivian Drug Syndicates)

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 08:36:54 -0500
Subject: MN: Guyana: NYT: Cartels May Use Gold to Launder Profits
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org
Source: New York Times
Author: Larry Rohter
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Sunday, January 18, 1998

CARTELS MAY USE GOLD TO LAUNDER PROFITS

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- An airline pilot was arrested after the suitcase he
was taking aboard a plane he was about to fly was found to contain 155
pounds of gold. Eight businessmen are facing charges that they smuggled
more than a ton of gold to the United States, and rumors abound that a list
of other offenders has been compiled.

In mid-1995, American officials told the authorities here of a sharp surge
in the amount of Guyanese gold being declared to U.S. Customs in Miami and
in New York, whose metropolitan area is home to some 100,000 Guyanese
immigrants. A result has been a still-unfolding scandal that suggests that
Colombian and Bolivian drug cartels have found yet another way to launder
their profits: through exports from this small, dirt-poor South American
country.

"If this were just about the smuggling of gold, the United States wouldn't
be interested," said Edward Shields, director general of the Guyana Gold
and Diamond Miners' Association. "The Guyanese government is being
pressured because of America's concerns that finances derived from these
operations are being used for other ends."

As Guyanese authorities and gold miners tell it, drug dealers buy gold from
local prospectors and assayers, who agree to smuggle it for them to the
United States. The bulk of the money from sales there and in Europe or
India is then deposited in cartel-controlled bank accounts, with the
Guyanese middleman keeping 15 or 20 percent.

Guyanese officials have estimated that at least a quarter of the country's
total gold production between 1990 and 1995, or some 100,000 ounces with a
market value of more than $35 million, may have been smuggled out.

It is not a violation of American law for Americans or foreigners to take
large amounts of gold into the United States so long as they declare the
market value to customs officials on entry. For the United States to have
alerted Guyana to the traffic, and since then to have cooperated in
additional, still unspecified, ways, is therefore unusual.

"Any time you have vast quantities of any product going from one country to
another, you have the possibility of money laundering," an American
official explained.

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners' Association, which represents
prospectors and dealers, challenges the laundering explanation, suggesting
that Guyanese businessmen may simply have bought the gold in Brazil or
Venezuela. It notes that American records indicate large amounts of gold
are also imported from nearby Trinidad, a country with no production of its
own.

Nevertheless, gold smuggling has a long history in this former British
colony. During the 1980s, in particular, Guyanese prospectors considered it
a point of honor to evade government controls, which required them to sell
their production to the Guyana Gold Board, the government agency that
regulates sales. The board set a price, calculated in the weak local
currency, that was half that of the international market and well below the
prospectors' production costs.

Nowadays, the board pays the going market rate to registered prospectors
and that has led declared production to quadruple. But smuggling continues,
officials and miners agree, in large part because some prospectors resent
having to pay a 7 percent royalty to the Gold Board as well as taxes on
whatever mining income they declare.

In recent months, the price of gold has dropped sharply, to less than $300
an ounce. But that decline is unlikely to deter any Guyanese prospectors
and gold dealers who are working with the drug cartels, said Joseph de
Agrella, a former gold smuggler who until recently was a member of the Gold
Board.

"The money launderers here are not looking for a profit from the sale of
gold," he said. "They're just looking to bring money into the United
States, and as long as they keep getting their 20 percent cut, they're
going to be satisfied."

Guyanese miners argue that the best way to fight the combination of low
prices and smuggling would be to remove, or at least temporarily suspend,
the royalty payment. "Otherwise, a lot of operators are not going to be
able to remain open during 1998," said Stanislaus Jardine, president of the
gold miners' association.

On the Essequibo River, where powerful dredges suck muck from the river
hoping to find bits of yellow nuggets and dust, the same complaint is
echoed. "This whole year, we have taken a lot of punches and suffered a
lot," said Lenny Parsram, a dredge operator who like most of his fellow
workers earns not a fixed salary but a percentage of whatever his boss makes.

But President Janet Jagan said she saw no need to change the current
policy. "How can you allow your natural resources to be extracted without
anything going to the Treasury?" she asked in an interview just before the
Dec. 15 election in which she won a five-year term. "That's nonsense."

"They have been doing well," she said of gold miners. "They'll get over it."

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

[End]

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