Portland NORML News - Monday, January 19, 1998

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: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Testimony [Tuesday night] in the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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.


- 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org
Source: New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998
Author: Fox Butterfield


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

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,

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 1998
Section: news, page 15


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle
Author: Cassandra Burrell, AP


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: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: Firefighter's death, drugs shock friends
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: January 19, 1998
Source: Boston Globe, p. B1
Contact: letter@globe.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

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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Anti-Drug Film Speaks From Grave
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Source: Arizona Daily Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Author: Michael Collins - Scripps Howard News Service
Pubdate: January 19, 1998


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

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

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,

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org
Source: New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998
Author: Christopher S. Wren


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

"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

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

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

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

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 mabnama@worldnet.att.net
Source: Time Magazine
Author: John Cloud
Section: Health
Contact: letters@time.com
Pubdate: January 19, 1998 VOL. 151 NO. 2


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org
Source: New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998


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: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Russell, Ken KW" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Washington Post Archive


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 (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
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


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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Pot game's no bust
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 12:09:14 -0800
Lines: 42
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Toronto Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: January 19, 1998
Author: Canadian Press


VICTORIA -- Harreson Waymen and John Taylor have drawn up a smokin'

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

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
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.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. 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

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

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

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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