------------------------------------------------------------------- How To Testify At Washington State Legislature's Tuesday Night Hearing In Olympia (On Senator Kohl's Proposed Medical-Marijuana Bill, SB 6271) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 00:22:26 -0800 (PST) From: Robert Lunday
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Testimony [Tuesday night] in the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee Sender: email@example.com Hi Hemp-Talkers, I've been asked numerous questions about the upcoming testimony [Tuesday night] and must say I'm excited to hear that many of you have contacted your representatives and are now interested in attending the public hearing on Senator Kohl's medical marijuana bill. This hearing is open to the public and all concerned individuals are encouraged to attend. When & Where John A. Cherberg Building - located just southeast of the legislative building (That's the one with the dome). 7 PM - 9 PM Tuesday, Jan. 20 Senate Hearing Room #4 on the first floor Wheelchair access through southeast entrance. Parking - The closest parking is probably in the Visitor Information Center Parking. Located at the Visitor Information Center at 14th and Capitol Way. According to the legislature Web site, there is a $.50 per hour charge, but I don't know if it applies in the evening. The phone number is (360) 586-3460. - Disabled parking is available southeast of the building. We are fortunate that Senator Deccio has scheduled a special evening hearing just for this bill. Because there is a great deal of interest in this hearing, testimony will likely be limited to 3 minutes per individual. There is an impressive lineup of doctors, lawyers, patients and other expert witnesses that will testify in favor of the proposed bill, and there will undoubtedly be experts to testify against it. If you are interested in testifying, below are some tips from various sources. Even if you don't get to testify or can't make it to Olympia, please follow through with your Sen/Reps after the hearing. They have until February 6th to get the bill out of committee. If you would like to testify: Be punctual, (6:45?) since there will likely by only one public hearing where testimony is taken. When you enter the hearing room, locate the sign-up sheet near the entrance and write your name, address, and whether you favor or oppose the bill. Also check to see if copies of proposed amendments or substitute bills are available. Organize your comments and avoid duplicating what others have already said. Time is limited, often to only 3 minutes, so be as brief and as clear as you can. Summarize your testimony, rather than read it, when you address the committee. If you have written testimony or documentation to be distributed to the committee, bring a copy for each of the 7 members. Follow the custom of beginning your remarks by addressing the chair and committee members, introducing yourself and your purpose. For example, "Mr. or Madam Chair and members of the committee, I am John Doe from Spokane. I am here representing myself. I support this bill because . . ." Be personal with the committee members and be prepared to answer questions they might have for you. Be polite, "especially if it is an emotionally charged issue." Restrict yourself to your testimony. Abstain from other overt demonstrations such as clapping, cheering, booing, etc. There are more complete details on testifying before the State Legislature at http://leginfo.leg.wa.gov/www/admin/legis/testify.htm. This information compiled from information in the Olympian's guide to the Washington State Legislature, Sen. Kohl's district mailing, and the state legislative website. P.S. If you are not a conservative Republican, consider wearing conservative camouflage as they will be more likely to hear what you have to say.
------------------------------------------------------------------- As Crime Rate Falls, Number Of Inmates Rises ('New York Times' On New US Justice Department Study - Crime Declined For Last Five Years But Number Of Inmates In Jails And Prisons Rose To 1,725,842 As Of June 1997 - Incarceration Rate For Drug Arrests Up 1,000 Percent Since 1980 - National Incarceration Rate Now 645 Per 100,000, More Than Double 1985's Rate Of 313 Per 100,000) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 08:51:43 -0500 Subject: MN: US: NYT: As Crime Rate Falls, Number of Inmates Rises Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Richard Lake email@example.com Source: New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998 Author: Fox Butterfield AS CRIME RATE FALLS, NUMBER OF INMATES RISES BOSTON -- Despite a decline in the crime rate over the past five years, the number of inmates in the nation's jails and prisons rose again in 1997, led by a sharp increase of more than 9 percent in the number of people confined in city and county jails, according to a study released Sunday by the Justice Department. The total number of Americans locked up in jails and prisons reached 1,725,842 last June, the Justice Department said, meaning that the national incarceration rate was 645 per 100,000 persons, more than double the 1985 rate of 313 per 100,000. The continued divergence between the shrinking crime rate and the rising rate of incarceration raises a series of troublesome questions, said criminologists and law enforcement experts, including whether the United States is relying too heavily on prison sentences to combat drugs and whether the prison boom has become self-perpetuating. "In the stock market, the smart money is always with the law of gravity: What goes up must come down," said Franklin Zimring, director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California-Berkeley. "The astonishing thing with the rates of incarceration in the United States is that they've been going up for 20 straight years, defying gravity." Particularly worrisome, Zimring said, is that the biggest increase last year was in the jail population, which had been growing more slowly than the prison population. The number of jail inmates jumped 9.4 percent, almost double its average annual increase since 1990 of 4.9 percent, while the number of state and federal prisoners rose only 4.7 percent, less than its annual average since 1990 of 7.7 percent. Jails generally house those awaiting trial or serving terms of less than a year, while prisons hold convicts serving longer sentences. Decisions about who is going to jail, compared to who is going to prison, are made much earlier in the criminal justice process, Zimring pointed out, often right after arrest by a judge in considering bail requests, and "therefore, jail numbers are a kind of leading indicator." "I hope I am wrong," Zimring said, because "today's jail folk are tomorrow's prisoners." Experts point to several factors to try to explain why the number of inmates has continued to climb, while crime has fallen since 1992. One of the most important is that the crimes that led to the largest increase in incarceration, the sale and possession of drugs, is not counted in the FBI's crime index, which includes violent crimes like murder and robbery and property crimes like burglary and auto theft. Since the early 1970s, said Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University, drug offenses have accounted for more than a third of the growth in the incarcerated population, and since 1980 the incarceration rate for drug arrests has increased 1,000 percent. In fact, Blumstein said, the incarceration rate for drug offenders alone today is about 145 per 100,000, which is higher than the average incarceration rate for all offenses from the 1920s to the early 1970s: 110 per 100,000. In another indication of the problem, John DiIulio Jr., a professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University, said he has found that 25 percent of the new inmates entering prison in New York state are "drug-only" offenders, with no record of other types of crimes. If that estimate is borne out by further research, he said, the criminal justice system is doing "a worse and worse job of diverting drug-only offenders" into alternative programs that would be less expensive and where drug users might be more likely to get treatment. Another important factor is that the prison boom has created its own growth dynamic. The larger the number of prisoners, the bigger the number of people who will someday be released and then be likely to be rearrested, either because of their own propensities or because of their experience behind bars. There is also evidence that an increasing number of inmates who have been paroled are being picked up for parole violations such as failing a urine test. Indeed, the proportion of criminals being sent to prison for the second or more time has increased steadily since 1980, said Allen Beck, chief of corrections statistics at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a branch of the Justice Department, and a co-author of the new report. Longer prison sentences, more mandatory minimum sentencing laws and a greater reluctance by state officials to grant parole have also contributed to the increase in inmates even as crime has fallen. More than half of the growth in prisoners was accounted for by just four states and the federal prison system. The states were California, with an increase of 11,475 inmates, Texas, 6,662, Missouri, 3,146, and Illinois, 2,052. Massachusetts, Virginia and the District of Columbia had decreases in their prison systems, though all under one percent. The largest jail population was in Los Angeles County, with 21,962 inmates, followed by New York City, with 17,528.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Population Up Nearly 100,000 Nationally In 1997 ('Orange County Register' Version Notes Inmate Count Increased Nearly 5 Percent Overall And 9.4 Percent In Local Jails - One Of Every 155 US Residents Behind Bars In Mid-1997) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:22:35 -0800 Subject: MN: US: Prison Population Up Nearly 100,000 Nationally in 1997 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 Section: news, page 15 PRISON POPULATION UP NEARLY 100,000 NATIONALLY IN 1997 The U.S. prison population increased by nearly 100,000 inmates, to more than 1.7 million, in the 12 months that ended June 30, the Justice Department reported Sunday. The department's annual report said the number of prisoners increased by more than 96,000, or nearly 5 percent, from July 1, 1996, to June 30, 1997. On June 30,there were nearly 1.1 million state prisoners, more than 560,000 local-jail inmates and more than 99,000 federal prisoners. The report said the steepest increase took place in local jails, which held about 9,100 juveniles. The number of jail inmates jumped 9.4 percent, almost double its average annual increase since 1990 of 4.9 percent, while the number of state and federal prisoners rose only 4.7 percent, less than its annual average since 1990 of 7.7 percent. The largest jail population was in Los Angeles County, with 21,900 inmates. New York City had 17,500 inmates. Since 1990, the number of people in custody has risen by more than 577,000 inmates. The report found that one of every 155 U.S. residents was behind bars in mid-1997 The trend of more incarcerated criminals dates back to 1980. The report gave no reason for the increase in the prison population, but experts have cited a number of factors, including tough new sentencing laws and more drug arrests.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Prison, Jail Populations Up 6 Percent In '97 ('Houston Chronicle' Version Notes Hawaii Recorded The Biggest Increase - 21.6 Percent) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:18:57 -0800 Subject: MN: US: Prison, Jail Populations Up 6% In '97 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Art Smart
Source: Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle Author: Cassandra Burrell, AP PRISON, JAIL POPULATIONS UP 6% IN '97 WASHINGTON -- The nation's prison and jail population increased nearly 6 percent last year, from an estimated 1.6 million to more than 1.7 million by June 30, the Justice Department said Sunday. That puts one in every 155 U.S. residents in jail as of midyear 1997, according to a new report by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, the jump was slightly smaller than those recorded in earlier years. From 1990 to 1997, the number increased an average of 6.5 percent annually. The number of prisoners behind bars in state and federal institutions grew in 1997 by 55,198, or 4.7 percent. That was also less than the annual average increase, which has stood 7.7 percent since 1990. Despite smaller than usual increases at the state and federal levels, figures for prisoners in local jails rose by more than the average. >From July 1 to June 30, inmates in local jails grew by 48,587, or 9.4 percent, "considerably more than the 4.9 percent average annual growth since 1990," the bureau said. The Sentencing Project, a private group that advocates less imprisonment and more use of creative alternatives, noted that the total U.S. prison population has risen, even though crime rates have declined since 1992. During the last 25 years, the federal and state inmate population has increased sixfold from 200,000 in 1972. The growth in inmates may account for declining crime rates. But the Sentencing Project noted "any relationship can be vastly overstated" and cited contradictory figures. For example, crime increased between 1984 and 1991 while the prison population increased 77 percent. From 1970 to 1995, crime rates twice increased and twice decreased even though incarceration steadily rose. Other details of the report: * Hawaii recorded the biggest prisoner increase, with 21.6 percent. * The only declines were in Massachusetts, down .7 percent; Virginia, down .5 percent; and District of Columbia, down .2 percent.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Firefighter's Death, Drugs Shock Friends ('Boston Globe' Reports The 'Knock-Out' Brand Of Heroin Found On The Dead Man Is Potentially Lethal And Behind A Rash Of So-Called 'Overdose' Incidents The Same Afternoon) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 10:26:36 -0800 (PST) To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Randell) Subject: Firefighter's death, drugs shock friends Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: January 19, 1998 Source: Boston Globe, p. B1 Contact: email@example.com Firefighter's death, drugs shock friends Woburn inquiry centers on potent powdered heroin By Francie Latour, Globe Staff and Thomas Grillo Globe Correspondent, 01/19/98 WOBURN - From emergency medical workers with whom he helped save lives, to local Vietnam veterans who stood with him in war, those who knew Woburn firefighter Patrick V. Pappas found it painful to speak his name and ''heroin'' in the same sentence yesterday. Yet even as family and friends reeled from Pappas's death Friday, a potent, white-powder form of the drug became the focus of an investigation into the death of the 47-year- old husband and father of three. ''It doesn't make sense that Pat would have had a heroin problem,'' said Joseph Simas, 49, one of many longtime Woburn residents who knew Pappas over the years. ''This doesn't sound like the Pat that I knew.'' However, Winchester police said Saturday that on Friday they had discovered small, clear packets containing a powder form of heroin, stamped with the word ''Knock- Out,'' in Pappas's pockets. Pappas, a Woburn native and firefighter for more than 20 years, had gone to the Parkview Apartments in Winchester to visit a friend, who called 911 after he noticed Pappas having problems breathing. He was rushed to Winchester Hospital, where he died at 1:20 p.m. Friday. The medical examiner's office in Boston yesterday said an autopsy had been performed. But officials could not confirm what caused his death without pending toxicology reports, which would reveal the presence of any drugs or other chemicals. Police are warning that the ''Knock-Out'' brand of heroin found on Pappas is a potentially lethal form of the drug hitting the streets. Officials believe it is behind a rash of overdoses on the afternoon of Pappas's death. Paul Lucero, a Woburn Police Department spokesman, said similar packets with traces of the drug were found on Fulton Street on Friday, where a woman apparently overdosed on heroin at a friend's house. Police discovered the same packets five hours later at a boardinghouse on Main Street, where a man and a woman were found after apparent overdoses. All three remain hospitalized in critical condition, according to Lucero, who would not give their identities. Lucero said investigators are analyzing the ''bad batch'' of heroin, which either could be contaminated by chemicals or simply an unusually pure form of the drug. Last month, a lethal batch of heroin caused a two-week surge of overdoses in Boston, killing one and sending dozens to the hospital over 18 hours. Those who knew Pappas, who as an emergency medical trainer intimately understood the body's response to drugs, could not understand how he could be linked to the high-purity heroin officials are now warning against. The Woburn fire chief, Paul Tortolano, 50, grew up with Pappas in Woburn's South End neighborhood. The pair did a tour of duty in Vietnam together during the late 1960s, when Pappas served as an Army medic. In 1976, Tortolano and Pappas were appointed to the Woburn Fire Department on the same November day. Tortolano said he never saw any evidence of drug abuse by Pappas. ''To my knowledge, he didn't have a drug problem,'' he said. During Pappas's more than 21 years on the job, he performed his duties with excellence, Tortolano said. The firefighter handled the department's EMS and defibrillator training - an electronic device that applies an electric shock to restore a heart's rhythum. ''He will be tremendously missed by the 70-member force and me in particular,'' Tortolano said. ''It will be very difficult to find someone who will do a better job than Pat.'' State Representative Carol Donovan, a Woburn Democrat, who has known Pappas since the late 1980s, said she was shocked by the news. ''I knew Patrick very well,'' she said. ''Aside from his work in the Fire Department, he was very active in the community.'' Most recently, Donovan said, Pappas helped build the new Clapp School playground. ''He was filled with energy and was always looking for ways to help people.'' She said that Pappas asked her to introduce legislation to require children to be trained in CPR before high school graduation. The bill is pending, she said. ''Patrick may have been small in stature, standing only 5 feet, 6 inches tall,'' she said. ''But he stood above the crowd.'' The possibility of his death by an overdose left fellow veterans unwilling or unable to speak about Pappas. At the VFW Post in Winchester, a close friend who grew up with Pappas shrugged off a reporter, saying ''I can't talk about this right now.'' A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. today at the McLaughlin Funeral Home in Woburn. Burial will follow at Woodbrook Cemetery. Pappas leaves his wife, Jill, and three children, Raychel, Kerry, and Jesse. The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Pappas Children College Fund, c/o Woburn National Bank, 355 Main St., Woburn, Mass. 01801.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Anti-Drug Film Speaks From Grave ('Arizona Daily Star' Story About Late Death-Row Inmates' 'Anti-Drug' Video - Protagonist Of 'It Could Happen To You' Started Drinking At Age 10, By High School, He Was Drinking Heavily) Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 18:19:24 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Anti-Drug Film Speaks From Grave Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Alan Randell Source: Arizona Daily Star Contact: email@example.com Author: Michael Collins - Scripps Howard News Service Pubdate: January 19, 1998 ANTI-DRUG FILM SPEAKS FROM THE GRAVE FRANKFORT, Ky. - From his prison cell on death row, Harold McQueen Jr. stares calmly into the camera and begs children for one last time to stay away from alcohol and drugs. "Drugs destroyed everything I ever had. And it destroyed everything I ever wanted," he says bluntly. "You don't have no future with drugs. I mean you don't have anything. You don't care about your mother, your brother, whoever. You know you just gotta get that high. And if you don't get it, you'll get it the best way you can. If you don't have money, you'll steal, rob." It's a powerful message that McQueen has repeated many times during his 16 years on death row. It's one that he would not repeat again. Three days after the videotape was made, the convicted murderer was put to death in the Kentucky electric chair. His was the first execution in Kentucky in 35 years. The videotape, made under the supervision of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, is being distributed to churches, youth organizations and other groups in hopes that McQueen's anti-drug message will resonate with teen-agers and keep them from heading down the same tragic path. "Clearly, the message is that when one begins to abuse substances - alcohol and other forms of drugs - you no longer have control over your behavior," said Jane Chiles, the Catholic conference's executive director. The 19-minute video, titled "It Could Happen To You," was made public just last week, but the response already has been overwhelming. A circuit judge plans to show the tape to alcohol abusers who appear in his courtroom. Parents have asked for copies to show to their children. The video, now in its second printing, was filmed at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, just a few feet from the execution chamber where McQueen was put to death last July. McQueen, who became a devout Catholic while on death row, agreed to make the tape after it became obvious that he would not be granted a pardon and his life would not be spared, Chiles said. Crusading after death McQueen had spoken frequently to youths about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. He saw the videotape as a way to continue spreading his anti-drug message long after he was gone. John Mallery, substance abuse treatment supervisor for Catholic Social Services of Northern Kentucky, said McQueen's message remains powerful even on videotape. "I think he's very clear in saying you need to start looking at what you're doing as a teen-ager, before it gets worse," said Mallery, who served as a consultant during the production and editing of the video. On the tape, McQueen sits calmly in a chair, hands folded in his lap, his bushy hair pulled back in a ponytail. He's dressed in his red prison uniform. The bars of his prison cell are clearly visible in the background. McQueen talks candidly about how his life began to fall apart after he took his first drink of alcohol at age 10. By high school, he was drinking heavily. Things turn sour "My grades started going down," he said. ``I started not even wanting to go to school. I just wanted to lay around and drink and hang out with the older kids, the ones that were already out of school. "They all wanted me to go with them. We just partied all together. Alcohol cut my school all the way out." At 19, he joined the Army, where he got hooked on heroin. His wife eventually left him. One cold winter night, he sank into deep despair. "My stomach was burning, felt like every muscle in me was straining and ripping apart. . . . You know, it was just I didn't think I was wanting to go through that anymore." He put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. The gun snapped, but misfired. McQueen's life had been spared. But he was unable to shake his deep, gnawing hunger for drugs. McQueen had taken more than 150 milligrams of Valium and had been drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana the night he and his half-brother, William Keith Burnell, pulled into a Mini Mart store in Richmond, Ky. on Jan. 17, 1980. Brother accused Rebecca O'Hearn, a 22-year-old clerk, was filling in for a co-worker. Though he would later claim that his brother was the triggerman, McQueen was convicted of shooting O'Hearn once in the cheek and then putting the gun to the back of her head and pulling the trigger. McQueen, who already had an extensive record that included breaking and entering, shoplifting, burglary, disorderly conduct, hit and run, and desertion from the Army, was sentenced to death for the murder of O'Hearn in April 1981. McQueen doesn't talk directly about the murder on the videotape and makes only a passing reference to his upcoming execution. He does mention that he regrets the things he did wrong. And he talks at length about the anguish and the hopelessness of life on death row. McQueen makes it clear that anybody on drugs could end up like him. Load up, lose out "All you gotta do is just, uh, load your blood system up with drugs, alcohol, and you don't know what you're doing. You could easily be talked into doing anything." He urges teens to find a substitute for drugs and alcohol. "If you're not into church, find something else," he said. "There's a better high out there than drugs and alcohol. Life is a high. And when you come in here, you've lost that."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Critics Attack New York's Tough Drug Laws ('New York Times' Marks 25th Anniversary Of Mandatory Minimum Laws Sponsored By Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Observing That Drug Dealers, Prosecutors And Defense Lawyers Have Increasingly Found Ways Of Working Around Them) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 08:46:39 -0500 Subject: MN: US NY: NYT: Critics Attack New York's Tough Drug Laws Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Richard Lake email@example.com Source: New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998 Author: Christopher S. Wren CRITICS ATTACK NEW YORK'S TOUGH DRUG LAWS NEW YORK -- In the 25 years since New York enacted some of the toughest drug laws in the country, drug dealers, prosecutors and defense lawyers have increasingly found ways of working around the laws or using them in a manner never intended, softening the goal of putting away hardened drug traffickers, say many people involved in drug cases. The laws, pushed through the Legislature in 1973 by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, have come under periodic attack by critics who say they have clogged the state's prisons without making a dent in the problem of illegal drugs. The echoes of that debate surfaced again last month, when Gov. George Pataki commuted the prison sentences of three people serving long mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. Pataki granted similar clemencies in the past, and in 1995 he called for changing the Rockefeller drug laws to allow more nonviolent offenders to avoid long jail terms. But such proposals have gone nowhere, in part because politicians are so wary of being labeled as soft on crime. The Rockefeller laws, which require sentences as high as 15 years to life, have packed the state's prisons with tens of thousands of drug felons and added hundreds of millions of dollars to annual prison expenses. But rather than imprison major drug dealers for long periods, some prosecutors and defense lawyers say, the laws have instead hit more low-level couriers and addicts selling to support their habits, because more of them are arrested. Over the years, most dealers have learned how to avoid a long stretch in prison by having an addict or even a child carry the drugs for them. As a result, the mandatory minimums have often hit amateurs like Angela Thompson, who was convicted at age 17 of selling two ounces of cocaine to an undercover police officer at the behest of her drug-dealing uncle. She served more than eight years of a 15-year minimum sentence before being granted clemency by Pataki last month. But prosecutors have also found that they can wield the laws as a powerful weapon to force low-level or middle-level dealers who are arrested to trade information implicating accomplices or higher-ups, in exchange for lesser sentences. "There is no question they've made prosecution easier," said Robert Silbering, who retired last month after working since 1991 as New York City's special narcotics prosecutor. "If you didn't have the Rockefeller drug laws, you'd probably have a greater number of drug cases going to trial, and you might have gridlock in the courts." As a result, however, those with no useful information to trade or with little savvy about manipulating the system seem to absorb the full brunt of the law. "The serf has often ended up with a far worse sentence than the boss, because the serf didn't know anybody to give up," said Charles Adler, a Manhattan defense lawyer who has pressed for alternative sentencing. He recalled defending a client caught carrying narcotics for her boyfriend, who was a professional drug dealer. The boyfriend cooperated and got lifetime probation. She got 15 years in prison. Defense lawyers have sometimes tried to avoid the laws' tough penalties by steering clients into federal court, whenever a claim can be made for federal jurisdiction, because the sentences there are relatively less draconian. Lloyd Epstein, a lawyer who practices in both federal and state courts, gave a stark example of the discrepancy between sentences in the two systems. He represented a Venezuelan courier who swallowed some cocaine-filled condoms before flying to New York. The courier became ill after leaving the airport and required emergency surgery to remove the cocaine. After recovering, the smuggler faced a minimum of 15 years in a New York prison, which Epstein plea-bargained down to six years under a less punitive category of the law covering a smaller quantity of drugs. "If he'd gotten sick inside the airport," Epstein said, "he could have gotten only 18 months under federal law." All 50 states have some form of mandatory sentences. New York's basic Rockefeller drug law compels state judges to mete out a sentence ranging from 15 years to life to anyone convicted of selling 2 ounces, or possessing 4 ounces, of an illegal drug like heroin or cocaine. The law sets shorter mandatory sentences for possession or sale of smaller amounts. In fact, statistics suggest that few defendants receive the maximum sentence because so many plead guilty to a lesser offense. During the first nine months of 1997, only 585 of the 10,062 indictments returned in drug felony cases were for felonies requiring a sentence of 15 years to life. But that number includes minor figures who insist on going to trial and are then convicted, leaving the judge with no alternative but to impose the mandatory sentence. In one such earlier case, Anthony Papa, a radio repairman, got 15 years to life for carrying 4.5 ounces of cocaine. He served more than 11 years in Sing Sing before he was granted clemency by Pataki and released last January. A second law requires long prison terms for former inmates who served a drug felony sentence and then commit another felony within 10 years. This law has locked up more people than the first law, Adler said, because a defendant who pleads guilty to a lesser crime in return for a lighter sentence becomes a convicted felon and faces mandatory prison time for the next offense. As of a year ago, almost a third of New York state's nearly 70,000 inmates were locked up for nonviolent drug crimes at an annual cost of more than $600 million. They included 8,760 drug felons incarcerated at an annual cost of more than $260 million under the first law, according to the Correctional Association of New York, an advocacy group trying to improve prison conditions. In addition, 13,075 drug offenders were incarcerated under the second-felony offender law, at an annual cost of more than $390 million. (There is some overlap between the categories.) Yet some police investigators and street researchers report that hard drugs are more widely available in New York now than 25 years ago. One reason is that a new pusher is always ready to take over the sales of an arrested pusher. "What the Rockefeller laws set out to do has simply not been accomplished," said Stephanie Herman, a drug researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. State Sen. Catherine Abate, D-Manhattan, said the Rockefeller law's greatest weakness is that it "does not distinguish between a kingpin and a drug mule." Last January, she joined state Sen. Dale Volker, a Republican, in sponsoring legislation giving judges discretion to impose a lesser sentence if the offense was confined to a single incident and unconnected to broader drug trafficking. The bill has languished since. Because locking up each inmate costs the state about $30,000 a year, critics say it would be cheaper to put nonviolent addicts into treatment programs. Efforts to change the laws have fallen victim to state politics, say some legislators and officials close to Pataki. Because Democrats who control the Assembly are more interested in modifying the law, Republicans who dominate the Senate would like to squeeze Democratic concessions on other legislation. Some upstate Republicans also do not want the laws changed because they have brought new prisons, and new jobs, to their economically depressed constituencies. But while politicians continue to debate the laws, almost everyone else has learned to live with them. Epstein, who has represented hundreds of drug defendants, said, "Dealers work around New York's laws by having a low-level employee, often an addict, hold the drugs, so the dealer can walk free." Marc Mauer, director of the Sentencing Project, a prison reform group based in Washington, said some dealers have children carry the drugs because they are not subject to mandatory minimums. One addict who is now in a drug treatment program said that when he could no longer afford to buy crack cocaine, he jumped at the chance to get his drugs for free. He took on the risky job of holding the stash of crack for a Bronx street dealer, so if the police swooped in, the dealer could avoid a long stretch in prison. "I ended up selling for them," he said. "I held it." District Attorney Richard Brown of Queens has viewed the Rockefeller drug laws from several perspectives. As a lobbyist for New York City in Albany when the laws were enacted, he warned that they would overwhelm the prisons. Later as a judge, he bridled at restrictions on his ability to impose sentences. Now as Queens district attorney, he said, the same laws make it easier to combat drug trafficking. Despite his frustration as a judge, he said, "I wonder where we'd be today if we didn't have the Rockefeller drug laws. Perhaps we'd be worse off." Even so, Brown said, "I think in the long run we would have been better off if we took the money and used it for prevention, treatment and education."
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Way Out For Junkies? ('Time' Magazine Reports Government, Scientists From Drugmaker Reckitt & Colman Recently Began Costly Clinical Trials Needed For Government Approval Of Buprenorphine, Which Blocks Heroin-Withdrawal Cravings - Results So Positive Clinicians Stopped Giving Placebos To Control Groups) Newshawk: Mark Beresky email@example.com Source: Time Magazine Author: John Cloud Section: Health Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: January 19, 1998 VOL. 151 NO. 2 A WAY OUT FOR JUNKIES? In trials going on nationwide, buprenorphine seems to block the cravings of heroin withdrawal When Ted C., a heroin junkie and former baseball umpire, heard about an experimental new treatment for his addiction, he was skeptical. Doctors told him that a simple pill called buprenorphine could eradicate his enormous craving for the narcotic, which he had been snorting daily for several years. It sounded too good to be true--junkies live in fear of the agony that arrives when a hit wears off--so Ted bought an extra bag of heroin the night before he took buprenorphine for the first time. Just in case. But this time there was no pain. "I went to the clinic, took the pill and went home. I used the last of the bag and haven't touched heroin since," he says. That was April, and today he still takes the tablets--one a day keeps the craving away--but he expects to stop using the drug in a few months. "There was no struggle," he says. "There is no downside to the drug." Testimonials such as Ted's have researchers across the U.S. claiming a breakthrough in the treatment of heroin addiction. Today most addicts who want to kick the drug are sent to clinics that administer methadone. But that cure is nearly as troublesome as the disease it treats. Methadone produces its own high and is so addictive that it has its own black market. To receive it legally, addicts must report every day to authorized clinics, something many are loath to do. Before buprenorphine, Ted tried methadone and found the experience a lot like taking heroin--only he had to get his fix in front of a mangy group of drug pushers and criminals. The scene made him feel closer to drugs, not free of them. Buprenorphine is an opiate too, but it creates only a passing flicker of a high, if that--and it is not addictive. Consequently, the FDA is expected to approve the drug by spring, which would allow physicians to dispense it from the privacy of their offices. For many, that will be not a moment too soon. During the 1990s, heroin addiction has spread to groups ill-served by existing treatment networks: professionals like Ted and middle-class, often suburban, teens. The majority of addicts are still poor, city-dwelling adults, but teens account for more than a fifth of those who say they have taken heroin in the past year, double the proportion in the early '90s. Researchers believe more kids are using it because it is now sold in purer form--pure enough to snort or smoke. Like Ted, most teens will not inject, but they don't mind taking a puff or a sniff. (Injecting heroin is the quickest way to experience its rush, but the drug still packs a punch when snorted or smoked.) For suburban kids, treatment options are sparse. Federally funded methadone clinics are off limits to those younger than 21. Even at private clinics, doctors are reluctant to prescribe methadone for all but the most hard-core addicts. "Methadone itself is a terribly shackling drug, and putting young or short-time users ... on methadone is criminal," says Paul Earley, an addiction specialist at the Ridgeview Institute, outside Atlanta. In the fight against addiction, breakthrough promises have been made and broken many times; methadone was once considered a miracle drug, and heroin itself was developed to cure addictions. But researchers say buprenorphine could be the answer. Like heroin and methadone, it bonds to certain receptors in the brain, blocking the pain they transmit and convincing the brain that the cravings have been satisfied. Yet somehow it does that without creating cravings for itself. Even long-term junkies who try buprenorphine simply do not want heroin anymore. So why has buprenorphine not replaced methadone? Although the drug has been rumored since the 1970s to work well for addicts--and has been used in France for more than a year--scientists only recently began the costly clinical trials needed for government approval. Conducted at 12 hospitals around the U.S. and coordinated jointly by the government and drugmaker Reckitt & Colman, the trials have gone extremely well - so well that clinicians stopped giving placebos to control groups. "We could not morally go on giving placebos to people who needed the drug," says Dr. John Rotrosen, one of the study's administrators. The inevitable catch? No one is sure how long patients will have to take buprenorphine before they can be free of it. Doctors say most heroin addicts are addicted for life, even if they stop using it--a warning Ted C. might well heed. What's more, buprenorphine will probably cost more than methadone, ruling it out for poor junkies without government aid. Still, it could be a lifeline for many of the estimated half-million American addicts. Predicts Rotrosen: "It will fundamentally change the way heroin is treated in the U.S."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug House In Gary Razed With Federal Money ('New York Times' Fails To Mention That US Policy Of Destroying The Village In Order To Save It Probably Won't Work In Indiana Any Better Than It Did In Vietnam) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 08:57:20 -0500 Subject: MN: US IN: NYT: Drug House in Gary Razed With Federal Money Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Richard Lake firstname.lastname@example.org Source: New York Times Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998 DRUG HOUSE IN GARY RAZED WITH FEDERAL MONEY GARY, Ind. -- For three years, a two-story brick house flanked by two shuttered churches had trouble written all over it. The graffiti on the side identified the house as a place run by gang members, and the address under a broken porch light was familiar to narcotics officers, who raided the house twice last summer, seizing crack cocaine, five handguns and a shotgun, and arresting seven people. The house, owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary, was bulldozed on Tuesday with the diocese's permission by Indiana National Guard engineering units. Forty-two other crack houses in and around Gary have been selected for bulldozing in a federally financed anti-narcotics program. Rep, Peter Visclosky, D-Ind., who shepherded the $2.3 million program through Congress last year, said it was intended to complement a $3 million federally financed anti-drug effort by Lake County. Charles Blanchard, the director of legal counsel for the Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, said in Gary last week that it had not been easy to coordinate city, county, state and federal officials to surmount the bureaucratic obstacles to starting the program. Each building was identified through police records as a site of drug raids and arrests or as an abandoned building where police officers had videotaped drug use. The house owned by the diocese was bequeathed to the Holy Trinity Catholic Church by its owner, who died in 1994. The Rev. Charles Mosley, the former pastor of the church, said that he never collected rent from the tenants and that, after his first attempt to do so, he was told that he would be killed if he went to the house again. "They said they were going to smoke me," Mosley said. "And I had every belief they were quite capable of doing just that." Except for the house owned by the diocese, all other properties have been transferred to the county because of defaults on property taxes. The exception for the diocese was not a favor to the church, Visclosky said. He and other officials said that the site was the most notorious drug house in the city. In the cases of houses not owned through tax defaults, searches have to be conducted to ensure that the buildings are not on historic registers. City building inspectors have to ensure that the sites are fit for destruction, and each demolition is subject to the approval of Gov. Frank Bannon.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Washington Post' Archive (11 Years Of News Goes Online - Free For Brief Period) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 17:00:23 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Russell, Ken KW"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Washington Post Archive ARCHIVES GO ONLINE The Washington Post will put 11 years of its newspaper archives onto its site at http://www.washingtonpost.com in a bid to make money from yesterday's news. The service will be free for a short period before it moves to user-pays. It will be one of the bigger newspaper archives on the Web. [Portland NORML notes - Any reader who has the time to search the 'Washington Post' archive for everything there on cannabis and drug policy could get such historically important material posted at Portland NORML's site, where it could be accessed immediately by Web researchers. If you can help, please contact the webmaster.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Raids Prelude Press Over Pot Book - 'From Publishers Weekly' (More About Assault By Federal Thugs Of Cancer/AIDS/Medical Marijuana Patient And Best-Selling Author Peter McWilliams And His Publisher) Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 14:59:44 -0400 (AST) From: Chris Donald (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DND: US CA: DEA Raids Prelude Press Over Pot Book - from Publishers Weekly (fwd) Here is an article about the event that best illustrates the possibility that my guesses about the LEO plans for this year are correct. ] Subj: US CA: DEA Raids Prelude Press Over Pot Book - from Publishers Weekly Source: Publishers Weekly Pubdate: 19 Jan 1998 Author: Roxane Farmanfarmaian Website: http://www.bookwire.com/pw/pw.html DEA RAIDS PRELUDE PRESS OVER POT BOOK At 6:30 a.m. on December 17, nine armed DEA agents raided the home of Prelude Press publisher Peter McWilliams, on apparent suspicion that he was cultivating or dealing drugs. Serving him a warrant without affidavit, agents placed him in handcuffs, and for three hours searched his house. Finding no drugs, they left the premises with his computer and two hard drives, as well as eight bags of personal papers. According to McWilliams, the DEA was interested in material he was compiling for a book entitled An AIDs-Cancer Patient Explores Medical Marijuana. >From McWilliams' home, the DEA agents went to the Santa Monica offices of Prelude Press, publisher of the 1996 bestseller Hypericum (St. John's Wort) & Depression, where they spent two hours searching, coming away, finally, with only three credit-card statements. Prelude marketing and publicity manager Ed Haisha said, "It was a complete violation of human rights. They had no idea what they were looking for, and were just snooping." Prelude Press, which publishes books primarily on self-improvement, has been in operation since 1981, and has a total of 15 titles on its list. Hypericum (St. John's Wort) & Depression (1996) sold more than 200,000 copies. Until now, the press has published no books on marijuana; the closest it has come is a book by McWilliams called Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes, a libertarian treatise that mentions McWilliams's belief that medical marijuana should be legalized. The confrontation with the DEA began last July when the Bel Air mansion of Todd McCormick, a Prelude author working on a book on medical marijuana, was raided and he was arrested. So far, the DEA has returned McWilliams's computer, after the ACLU complained. The hard drives, which contain the data for McWilliams's book, have yet to be returned. Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Game's No Bust (After Hearing A Ream Of Vancouver Island Pot-Growing Stories, Two Canadian Men Have Come Up With 'The Cultivation Game,' A Board Game Satirizing Sooke-Area Marijuana-Growing Operations - Players Cope With Police Helicopters, Hungry Animals And Hikers) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Pot game's no bust Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 12:09:14 -0800 Lines: 42 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: January 19, 1998 Author: Canadian Press POT GAME'S NO BUST VICTORIA -- Harreson Waymen and John Taylor have drawn up a smokin' game. After hearing a ream of Vancouver Island pot-growing stories, the men came up with a board game satirizing the operations. "It's the Monopoly of the '90s," said Waymen, who got the idea after listening to the funny foibles of pot growers in Sooke, a quirky little town 40 km west of Victoria. For example, did you hear the one about how the deer ate all the pot plants and passed out in the yard? "Not even a 2x4 prodding Bambi got her to move," said Waymen with a chuckle. Players start out with some plants, cash and a little plastic car to make their way around the island to set up grow operations, dodging police helicopters, bunnies and hikers along the way. Whoever ends up with the most marijuana wins The Cultivation Game. Despite the laughs, Waymen says he and his partner are not promoting or glamorizing marijuana. "We just want to present the reality of that side of life," he said. "This is not something where you just drop the seeds hither and yon and make lots of money." As for the legality of a game based in an illegal product, Taylor says, "the only thing we're guilty of is making fun of marijuana." They've sold 1,000 copies of the game in hydroponic and hemp stores in B.C., Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Hawaii and Seattle.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Data Show Cultivation Of Cocaine's Raw Material Rose In Colombia ('Washington Post' Says Figures From CIA Overflights And Satellites 'Virtually Guarantee Colombia Will Not Be Certified' As Cooperating In Counter-Drug Efforts, Imperiling Aid From US) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 08:41:05 -0500 Subject: MN: U.S. Data Show Cultivation of Cocaine's Raw Material Rose in Colombia Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998 Author: Douglas Farah, Washington Post Foreign Service Andean Coca Farming Declined in '97 U.S. DATA SHOW CULTIVATION OF COCAINE'S RAW MATERIAL ROSE IN COLOMBIA U.S. government figures show that the cultivation in Andean countries of coca, the raw material used to make cocaine, dropped dramatically in 1997. But cultivation in Colombia increased sharply, virtually ensuring that the nation will continue to be treated as a pariah state. This is the second year that coca production has fallen overall, and it is the largest overall decline ever. While production fell dramatically in Peru and modestly in Bolivia, it increased in Colombia, according to the recently compiled figures. U.S. officials said they find the net reduction encouraging and hope it will reduce the supply of cocaine on U.S. streets. The news was tempered by indications that Colombian drug cartels are already adjusting their strategy to supplement any shortfall in raw material by sharply increasing coca production. And, law enforcement officials cautioned, the drug cartels have tons of cocaine stashed in Colombia, Mexico and across the Caribbean, meaning cocaine supplies on the streets would not immediately diminish. Colombia, where 80 percent of the world's cocaine is produced, increased coca production by an estimated 10 percent, according to sources familiar with the data. That would make Colombia, which has seen coca production grow dramatically in each of the past three years, the world's largest producer of the coca leaf. According to the estimates, Colombian coca production increased from about 170,700 acres in 1996 to 188,000 acres in 1997. In 1995, production was estimated at 127,000 acres. Barry R. McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug policy director, confirmed the figures, but declined to address the Colombian data. However, he said that Peru had achieved "remarkable success in its coca reduction program." He said he found "the progress in Bolivia encouraging," and said the new government of President Hugo Banzer had made a "promising start" toward the goal of eradicating illegal coca production within five years. Crop figures, obtained from Central Intelligence Agency overflights and satellite images of the coca-growing regions of Peru, Bolivia and Colombia, are given to law enforcement officials and the State Department every January. The Washington Post obtained the figures, compiled last week, from three agencies involved in analyzing the content of the CIA's information. The data play a key role in determining which countries are certified annually by the United States as fully cooperating in the counter-drug efforts. Countries that are not certified lose U.S. aid and commercial benefits. While the certification decisions are usually announced on March 1, this year's announcement, at least for Latin American nations, is expected about Feb. 15. U.S. officials said the earlier announcement is planned so the process, widely detested in Latin America, does not become the focus of an April summit in Santiago, Chile, which President Clinton is scheduled to attend. Colombia has been decertified the past two years, and the government of President Ernesto Samper has been treated as a virtual pariah, being lumped with states such as Nigeria, Syria and Afghanistan. There is evidence that suggests Samper received $6 million from drug traffickers for his 1994 presidential campaign. He has denied the charge. A senior administration official said the data "virtually guarantees Colombia will not be certified. It takes Peru and Bolivia out of the spotlight, but really hurts Colombia." The figures show Peru, the leading coca producer for the past 20 years, made the most dramatic progress, reducing coca plantations by 27 percent, from about 240,000 acres to 175,000 acres. The reduction comes on top of a 18 percent drop in 1996. Not all of the reduction was due to eradication efforts. In recent years a rare fungus has appeared in several coca-growing areas, attacking and killing the coca plant. In Bolivia, historically the second-largest coca producer, cultivation dropped about 5 percent, from about 122,000 acres in 1996 to 116,500 acres in 1997, the figures show. According to the State Department, the coca grown in Peru could produce up to 325 metric tons of cocaine, while the coca grown in Bolivia could produce up to 215 metric tons of the drug. Most of the coca, a shrub that is about three feet tall that yields up to three harvests a year, is grown by farmers in impoverished, semi-tropical regions of Peru and Bolivia, where coca growing and processing have been far more lucrative enterprises than growing traditional crops. The coca leaf is processed into raw cocaine base, which is then shipped to Colombia, where it is refined into cocaine hydrochloride, the product sold on the streets. Fidel Cano, a spokesman for the Colombian Embassy in Washington, said he fears the United States is underreporting the 1997 figures as, he said, it did in 1996. Cano said Colombian police figures showed that 109,000 acres of coca had been subjected to aerial spraying for eradication in 1997 and that the spraying was effective in killing about 73 percent of the plants. "In 1996 the evaluation did not take into account eradication efforts in the last part of the year," Cano said. "We are afraid the same thing is happening this year. Our evaluation is that the eradication efforts this year in Colombia have been excellent." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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