Portland NORML News - Wednesday, January 21, 1998

For Someone Like Ralph (Cancer Patient And Medical-Marijuana Activist
Ralph Seeley Dying - 'Seattle Times' Editorial Endorses Washington
Senate Bill 6271 - Also, Tuesday's Senate Hearing On SB 6271 Now Online)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 13:47:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Ben 
Subject: HT: Seattle Times Editorial: SB 6271
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
Article: For someone like Ralph
Source: Seattle Times
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Pubdate: January 21, 1998
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com

Note: Tuesday's SB 6271 Senate hearing can be heard on the web at


Everyone knows someone like Ralph Seeley.

A father, son, brother, uncle, or best friend. A mother, sister, daughter,
cousin, or soul mate. A co-worker, supervisor, teacher, or coach. Living
with AIDS. Dying of cancer. Nauseous from chemotherapy or mind-numbing
narcotics. Rail-thin and unable to eat. Or swallow. Or breathe.

Like that special someone you know and have loved, Ralph Seeley is losing
his battle - to terminal bone cancer.

Over the weekend, he lapsed into a coma and was admitted to a Tacoma
hospital. He was scheduled to testify at a public hearing last night in
support of a narrowly-drawn bill to allow the use of marijuana for the
express purpose of alleviating the suffering of seriously ill patients
under a doctor's care.

Before the coma, Seeley was on the front lines of the fight to legalize
medical marijuana. The Tacoma lawyer argued his case before the state
Supreme Court earlier this year. He lost but continued to lobby stubbornly
for patients' rights and compassionate use of medical pot. In a letter he
sent just days before he lost consciousness, Seeley implored members of
the Senate Health Care Committee to pass Senate Bill 6271 out of
committee. "It amounts to no more than doing the right thing," he wrote.

The responsibly crafted legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl,
D-Seattle, would provide legal immunity to patients who use medical
marijuana and the licensed physicians who advise them on such use.

Unlike the failed Initiative 685, Kohl's bill does not decriminalize
non-violent drug offenses, does not involve other drugs, and creates a
statewide school program to stress that marijuana use is illegal except
when used as a medicine by seriously ill patients under controlled,
authorized, therapeutic use.

Several doctors publicly support the measure; respected University of
Washington professor Roger Roffman notes that the bill offers
"compassionate relief."

Opponents say the political winds are blowing the wrong way. Even Sen.
Alex Deccio, chairman of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee,
who has been sympathetic to the cause since his 24-year-old daughter died
of cancer two decades ago, is now wavering on whether to move the bill.
Deccio is in a powerful position to do better. Time is too precious - and
life too short - to dither while the state allows needless suffering to

We Don't Need To Wait On Medical Marijuana (Seattle 'Post-Intelligencer'
Endorses Medical Marijuana, Urges Washington State Senator Alex Deccio
To Allow Vote On SB 6271)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 21:50:50 -0800
From: "W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
To: -news (when@hemp.net)
Subject: ART: Seattle P-I supports Med mj

Seattle P-I Editorial - 2/21/98
We don't need to wait on medical marijuana

Sen. Alex Deccio's reluctance to bring a medical marijuana bill to a vote
this session is understandable, but unacceptable. The Yakima Republican,
who is chairman of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee, should
not, however, be mistaken for a heartless obstructionist. It was he who
stunned Senate colleagues in 1979 by calling for a study on the medicinal
use of marijuana. The cancer death of his 24-year-old daughter four years
earlier assured his compassionate stance on the issue.

But now Deccio says it is unlikely that a bill (SB 6271) from Sen. Jeanne
Kohl, D-Seattle, will come to a vote in his committee. Deccio's caution is
based on the resounding defeat in Nov-ember of Initiative 685, which would
have "medicalized" marijuana: ... on the heels of the failed initiative,
there's a lot of public education that needs to happen."

The senator is too cautious. We are convinced that the defeat of I-685 is
strong evidence that the public is quite well educated on the issue. I-685
was trounced not because it would have allowed medical use of marijuana,
but because it would have virtually decriminalized the "medical" use of all
Schedule I drugs, including heroin and cocaine.

We believe the vast majority of Washingtonians oppose the prosecution of
seriously and terminally ill patients for using marijuana to ease their
pain and the wretched side effects of chemotherapy.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen raises caution to an art form in saying he
would support a plan that allowed controlled scientific research to
determine if marijuana is effective in treating those suffering from
cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and acute and chronic pain.

Owen may be guilty of disingenuousness here. His question was asked and
answered at least as far back as 1988, when the federal Drug Enforcement
Agency commissioned Administrative Law Judge Francis Young to review the
medical efficacy of marijuana. Young ruled that m meet Schedule I criteria
not belong in the same category as heroin and cocaine. Judge Young wrote
that "the evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been
accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill
people and-doing so with safety under medical supervision. ... " and "it
would be arbitrary and capricious to stand between people who need this"
and access to marijuana.

The DEA hierarchy arbitrarily and capriciously refused to accept Young's
ruling, a refusal Owen apparently wants to perpetuate.

It need not be a complicated issue. We need not embrace the use of
notorious hard-core drugs or throw open prison cells, as I-685 would have
done. We simply need sensible, clearly written legislation on allowing
patients under legitimate, competent medical supervision, to use marijuana
to reduce their suffering or, as in the case of glaucoma, improve their

Continuing to make criminals out of citizens simply seeking surcease from
their pain - and suffering is unethical. Delaying the necessary
legislative change is unnecessary.

Marijuana Mercy Campaigner Lies In A Coma - New Bid For Medical Use Of Pot
Likely To Be Shelved (Seattle 'Post Intelligencer' Capitol Bureau Reports
Imminent Deaths Of Ralph Seeley And Washington State SB 6271 -
Dr. Rob Killian, Sponsor Of Last Fall's Initiative 685, Says He's Supporting
Kohl's Bill, But If It Fails He'll Be Back With A New Voter Initiative)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 21:54:22 -0800
From: "W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
To: -news (when@hemp.net)
Subject: ART: Seeley in coma

Marijuana mercy campaigner lies in a coma
New bid for medical use of pot likely to be shelved

P-I Capitol Bureau 1/21/98

OLYMPIA - Ralph Seeley, a Tacoma lawyer with terminal bone cancer, became
the literal poster child for medical marijuana last fall during a failed
initiative campaign.

In stark gut-wrenching television ads, Seeley implored voters to allow
people like him some meager relief by smoking pot to ease the pain and
nausea of slow death.

Two months after voters defeated the measure that would have allowed
marijuana, LSD, heroin and other drugs for medical use, Seeley is in a coma
in a Tacoma hospital.

A new, narrowly written version of the medical marijuana proposal is
scheduled for a legislative hearing tonight, but it won't likely survive,
according to the Republican lawmaker who is overseeing the hearing.

Sen. Alex Deccio of Yakima, who chairs the Senate Health and Long Term
Care Committee, said he'll allow testimony tonight on the bill, which would
permit severely ill people to use marijuana to alleviate pain and other

But Deccio said it's unlikely he'll bring the bill up for a vote this year.

"It's too complicated and too controversial to move a bill this session,"
he said. "I don't want to discard the idea entirely because it's still
needed. But on the heels of the failed initiative, there's a lot of public
education that needs to happen."

Deccio should know.

In 1979 on the Senate floor, he silenced the chamber when he urged
lawmakers to support a study on medicinal marijuana. Four years earlier,
Deccio's 24-year-old daughter died of cancer and he watched her suffer the
pain and nausea associated with intense chemotherapy.

"It's sad that nearly 20 years later we're still talking about the same
thing," Deccio said.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl, D-Seattle, the bill's sponsor, said she hopes Deccio will
be further moved after hearing from a slew of gravely ill patients tonight,
as well as doctors, lawyers civil libertarians who support the use of
medical marijuana.

Seeley, who suffered a heart attack Saturday night and was in intensive
care at Tacoma General Hospital last night, was planning to testify but is
now unable to, his wife said.

Despite the sound defeat of the initiative in November, Kohl said, there
are two compelling reasons to pass SB6271 now.

First, she said, another initiative is in the works. Second, there is no
reason that people like Seeley can't end their lives in relative serenity.

"It's a travesty to make criminals out of gravely ill patients," Kohl
said. "We need to find a way to provide access that is controlled."

Kohl's bill would provide legal immunity for patients suffering from a
range of serious illnesses, including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy and
multiple sclerosis. They would have to use the medical marijuana on the
documented advice of a licensed doctor.

The bill would not require insurance companies to pay for medical marijuana
and it would protect pharmacists from liability for providing pot for
medical use.

But selling, buying and growing marijuana remain federal crimes. And
Kohl's bill does not address the complicated issue of distribution.

Gov. Gary Locke, who met with Kohl yesterday to discuss the bill, also has
raised concerns about how the state can legally provide medicinal marijuana
to patients.

Kohl said she did not support the faded Initiative 685 because it allowed
the use of too many drugs and also would have revised prison sentences for
drug offenders. But she believes public support for medicinal marijuana
remains strong.

"I'd rather have this go through the legislative process where we can craft
and perfect it and not have a take-it-or-leave-it initiative," she said.

Rob Killian, a Tacoma physician and sponsor of the defeated initiative,
said he's supporting Kohl's proposal, but if it fails he'll be back
gathering signatures.

"If we don't win in the Legislature, we'll bring it to the people," Killian

If a bill does make it out of committee, it could emerge in a different

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a rabidly antidrug Democrat from Shelton, will offer
his own recommendations at tonight's hearing for disseminating medicinal
marijuana to the sick and dying.

Owen, the most visible opponent of I-685, said he would endorse a plan that
allowed controlled scientific research to determine if marijuana is
effective in treating people suffering from cancer, the final stages of
AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and acute and chronic pain.

"We'd be finding out if there's a legitimate medical purpose for
marijuana," Owen said. "This would not be helping the legalization

Owen said that to qualify for the study, patients would have to try other
medications first. The medical marijuana experiments would be a last
resort, he said.

Killian, the Tacoma doctor, said Owen's proposal is unrealistic and simply
a political opportunity to appear sympathetic.

Owen "knows the polls," Killian said, alluding to voter-approved medical
marijuana laws in California and Arizona. "He wants to appear

But treating the hundreds of Washingtonians who could qualify for the
medical testing, Killian said, would cost far more than lawmakers are
willing to spend.

P-1 reporter Rachel Zimmerman can be reached at 360-943-3990 or

Kohl Flies Solo In Push For Medical Marijuana Bill (University Of Washington
'Daily' Interviews Co-Sponsor Of Medical Marijuana Bill, SB 6271 - And Several
Of Its Opponents)

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 15:49:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Ben 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
cc: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: HT: ART: Kohl flies solo in push for medical marijuana bill
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
Article: Kohl flies solo in push for medical marijuana bill
Author: Ben Riley
Source: Queene Anna/Magnolia News
Pubdate January 28, 1998
Source: The Daily (University of Washington)
Pubdate: January 21, 1998

OLYMPIA -- Letting patients with serious medical conditions smoke
marijuana is an idea State Sen. Jeanne Kohl, D-Queen Anne, doesn't find
half-baked. Kohl, who also is a University of Washington lecturer in
sociology and women studies, is sponsoring a bill that would legalize
marijuana for medical purposes.

"I think it's a travesty that gravely ill patients are criminals if they
use marijuana," Kohl said. "A large proportion of people in society have a
friend, relative or acquaintance who has suffered a grave illness ... why
should [he] be classified as a criminal?"

Senate Bill 6271, the Washington State Medical Marijuana Act, would give
patients and doctors a legal defense for manufacturing, possessing or
delivering marijuana -- as long as the patient has a serious medical
condition. The bill would limit possession of marijuana to no more than
two ounces, and require patients to obtain written documentation from a
physician authorizing use.

The prospects of SB6271 in Olympia are, well, hazy. The chair of the
Health and Long-term Care Committee, Sen. Alex Deccio (R-Yakama), said he
"was not even thinking" about moving the bill this legislative session. "I
don't think it would ever get out of the Rules Committee," Deccio said.

Nonetheless, Deccio convened a hearing on the bill Jan. 20 to discuss the
medicinal effects of marijuana, and Kohl hopes that, by drafting and
revising the proposal through the legislative process, a politically
viable bill can be created that can either be passed in future sessions or
used as a model for a state initiative.

The political viability of using marijuana for medical purposes is
unclear. A 1996 poll of 400 state voters found that 78 percent favored
making marijuana legally available if prescribed by a doctor. But in
November 1997, voters overwhelmingly rejected initiative 685, a bill that
would have legalized marijuana, heroin and LSD for medical uses, as well
as decriminalize nonviolent drug offenses.

No legislators have signed on as co-sponsors for Kohl's bill, generally a
sign of limited support. And Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat like Kohl, is
firmly opposed to Kohl's legislation as it currently is written.

"The bill has a couple glaring problems," Owen said. "You can't have
self-growing of marijuana, just like you don't have people growing their
own cocaine. And anything [that is passed] should be based on legitimate
research efforts."

Owen says he is not opposed to continuing research efforts to determine a
method of providing marijuana to gravely ill patients, but that safeguards
are necessary.

"This is not Puritan, self-righteous Brad waving the flag for the
Christian Coalition." Owen said. "We are not shooting from the hip - we are
identifying the things that have potential [to help patients] but need
more research.

"The research efforts could be handled by the UW, Washington State
University or both." Owen said. "If we used the UW, to use an example, we
could grow and distribute there.

"Isn't that what we want -- to provide that opportunity for relief?"

Kohl, however, says research efforts aren't enough, and she questions
whether the UW or any other state institution could provide marijuana

"I support research," Kohl said, "but the federal government hasn't
allowed it to be done. It's a Catch-22 situation.

"If we did [distribute] through the Institute of Health or the UW, it's
very likely the state would be criminally liable," Kohl said.

Politicians aren't the only group divided over the issue of medical
marijuana. Scientists and doctors disagree over the medical effectiveness
and necessity of smoking marijuana, since the active ingredient, THC,
already is legally available in pill form (usually referred to as Marinol
or Roxane) And because of the federal government's reluctance to pay for
marijuana studies, there is a shortage of controlled studies providing
hard scientific data.

On the pro-smoke side is the American Public Health Association and the
editors of the New England Journal of Medicine. They cite the
effectiveness of marijuana in lowering internal eye pressure associated
with glaucoma, reducing the suffering of patients with AIDS and cancer,
and other effects relieving muscle spasms and chronic pain. The supporters
also note that, unlike a pill, smoking marijuana allows the patient to
control the dosage and the duration of the effects.

Additionally, patients suffering from extreme nausea find it difficult to
ingest the pill, limiting its application.

Dr. Sandra Counts of the UW testified Jan. 20 before the Health and
Long-term Care Committee in support of legalizing marijuana for medical

"We do a disservice when we say we can't distinguish between using drugs
for pain ... and using them to get high," Counts said. "We need to make
this drug available now to the people who need it."

The American Cancer Society, the American Glaucoma Association and the
National Sclerosis Society, however, all see little reason to "legalize
it." They are concerned with the effects marijuana smoking has on the
brain and, more importantly, the lungs: Studies have found marijuana to
contain 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogens than tobacco. Because of
these and possibly other unknown effects, and also because of social
concerns surrounding legalization, these groups endorse Marinol as an
alternative to toking up.

A study completed in 1997 at Washington State University, researching the
cost of supplying marijuana for medicinal purposes, supports the
anti-legalization position. The report found "no compelling reason" to
smoke marijuana when the synthetic form is readily available, and UW
researchers who reviewed the study agreed.

"There should be no major differences in effect between synthetic THC
versus the THC present in marijuana." said Sidney Nelson, dean of the UW
School of Pharmacy.

Kohl sponsored the bill appropriating money for the WSU study, and she
remains highly critical of its findings, describing it as methodologically
flawed. She pointed to her friend, a Bainbridge Island resident who is
unable to ingest the THC pill but can find relief through smoking

A 1990 survey of Washington State oncologists -- specialists in tumors --
found that 48 percent had suggested patients smoke marijuana to relieve
suffering induced by chemotherapy. An exhaustive survey of the medical
evidence conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency in 1988 concluded that
"it would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious" for the agency to
continue to prohibit medical use of marijuana, a conclusion that was
ignored by the agency. And numerous anecdotal stories attest to the
healing power of inhaled marijuana.

As one might expect, political questions surrounding medical marijuana
arrest as important as medical questions. Owen, who was zealous in his
opposition to initiative 685, is concerned that some organizations, such
as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, are using
medical marijuana as a stepping stone to complete legalization.

"Supporters of legalization are using the pain and suffering of others to
further their efforts," Owen said. "Marijuana is not a harmless drug."

But for now, both supporters and opponents of medical marijuana
legalization will have to wait for further research. The UW received
financing--through the same legislation that paid for the WSU study--to
conduct a controlled study of the medical effects of marijuana. That study
has been delayed because the UW is still waiting for federal approval.

Ben Riley is the Olympia correspondent for The Daily, the student
newspaper of the University of Washington, in which this article appeared
Jan. 21.


Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:29:03 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Lunday (robert@hemp.net)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Sent to QA News: Please verify your facts!
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

I just sent this in to the Queen Anne News. When Ben Livingston showed me
the article from the UW student paper (titled Legalize it?), I was
disappointed that the author didn't get his facts straight and claimed
Sen. Kohl was the only sponsor of the bill. But I chaulked that up to
student journalism. (My mistake!)

I was appalled to see QA News amplify Ben Riley's original error in their
page 3 headline, "Kohl files solo in push for medical marijuana bill".
Especially since Queen Anne and Magnolia are in Sen. Kohl's district! I
mean, why didn't their editor Jack Arends, just call up Senator Kohl and
get her input on the story. I expect he'll have an explanation in the
next edition (it's a weekly).


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:14:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Lunday (robert@hemp.net)
To: qanews@seanet.com
Subject: Please verify your facts!

QA News should have verified the facts before re-publishing Ben Riley's
article from the UW student paper on SB-6271, the pending medical
marijuana bill.

Senator Kohl is not "flying solo" on SB-6271. The bill is co-sponsored by
Senator Thibaudeau and has more support in the Senate and House than Mr.
Riley apparently realizes.

Obviously, with an issue as complicated and politically charged as medical
marijuana, politicians are not likely to take a strong public stand on the
issue. Especially in an election year. And yet, there is bi-partisan
public support in the legislature in favor of medical marijuana.

In addition to Kohl and Thibadeau, Senators Fairley and McCaslin supported
the 1996 medical marijuana bill that resulted in the WSU study and
pending UW research.

A 1996 poll of candidates, showed there is bi-partisan support in the
current legislature for ending criminal penalties for medical marijuana
users. Senators Haugen, Loveland and Spanel along with Representatives
Dunn, Mielke, Regala, Butler, Cole, Sommers, Dickerson, Linville and
Murray all indicated they would support "decriminalization of marijuana
for compassionate medical use". That is exactly what SB-6271 proposes to

Your readers who do not want to see this issue left up to the whims of an
initiative drive would benefit from encouraging legislators, to enact
sensible medical marijuana legislation with important safeguards such as

Robert Lunday

Senate Panel Hears Testimony On Measure To Legalize Medical Use Of Marijuana
('Associated Press' Report On The January 20 Hearing In Olympia On SB 6271
By Washington State Senate Health And Longterm Care Committee)

The Associated Press
01/21/98 12:19 AM Eastern

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Two months after voters rejected a
measure to permit the medicinal use of marijuana, a Senate panel
Tuesday night took up the issue despite the chairman's warning
that the bill was going nowhere.

"I don't intend to move the bill out of this committee," Senate
Health and Longterm Care Committee chairman Alex Deccio,
R-Yakima, said before opening testimony on SB6271.

Saying he was sympathetic to the bill's aim -- to make marijuana
legally available to sick people who benefit from it -- Deccio said
he nevertheless believed his colleagues "must be educated" about
the drug's value before trying to get a bill out of the Legislature.

"This is not the year to do it," he said.

The measure, which drew strong testimony for and against, is far
narrower than Initiative 685, which was defeated by voters last
November. The initiative also would have legalized medicinal use
of heroin and LSD.

The current proposal, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl, D-Seattle,
would provide legal immunity to patients who use marijuana,
physicians who recommend it and pharmacists who provide it.
The bill also would create a campaign to inform youth that
marijuana use is illegal, except in cases involving authorized use by
seriously ill people under a physician's care.

Deccio limited testimony only to marijuana's value as a
medication. He said law enforcement problems and other concerns
were irrelevant until lawmakers educated themselves on the drug's
efficacy as a medication.

Among other things, the drug is used to combat nausea caused by
chemotherapy, loss of appetite among gravely ill people such as
AIDS patients and intractable pain among people with disorders of
the nervous system.

Some physicians and patients swear by it, but others say its effects
are exaggerated or unproven.

Dr. Rob Killian, a Tacoma physician and sponsor of the failed
initiative to legalize medicinal use of marijuana and other drugs,
said his "first obligation is to relieve suffering," and marijuana does
that for some of his patients.

"I've seen it work in patients when other drugs didn't work," he

For AIDS patients who are wasting away because they have no
appetite or cannot eat, the drug "stimulates their appetite. They
eat, they perk up."

But Pat Aaby, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen's chief adviser, was skeptical.
He said his boss, who campaigned hard against the initiative,
wanted to see more proof that marijuana is beneficial for some
ailments. Owen supports more research, but not the bill, Aaby


Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.

Rogue Of The Week (Regular Feature In Portland's 'Willamette Week'
Focuses On Buckman Community Association
For Protesting Delta Methadone Clinic First And Asking Questions Later)

Willamette Week
Portland, Oregon
January 21, 1998
letters to editor:

Rogue Of The Week

This week's Rogue goes to the Buckman
Community Association for protesting first
and asking questions later. The neighborhood
group has led demonstrations this week in
front of the Delta Clinic, a methadone
dispensary that recently set up shop at 2600
SE Belmont St.

Neighbors are unhappy that 380 opiate addicts are now making
daily stops for a dose of the controversial synthetic narcotic to
curb their cravings for smack. We're not totally unsympathetic.
The neighborhood association was never told that Delta was
moving in. Given that neighbors must be notified before a bar
opens up, it seems odd that the folks selling one of the most
heavily regulated drugs in the nation can sneak in

If that were the extent of the group's complaints, we'd have no
quarrel. But in press releases and interviews with WW,
association members have made charges that just don't stand
up. They imply that the clinic will lead to a rise in property
crimes, loitering and parking problems. But in the five weeks
the clinic has been open, the only incident they can point to is
that someone waiting for a bus in front of the clinic "hooted" at
a kid going into a convenience store. The group also says that
Delta, which has another clinic in Tigard, is the "worst"
methadone clinic in the area. Our reporting over the past six
years has found just the opposite.

Association members concede that they haven't researched
Delta's track record in Tigard or the experience of other people
who live near existing methadone clinics. "Right now there's
just fear," says Jack Bogdanski, a member of the neighborhood
association. "There are no facts."

Fear may be enough to set up a picket line. But it doesn't help
foster constructive debate.

Let Government Respect The Law (Letter To Editor Of 'Oakland Tribune'
On Federal Lawsuits Against California Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 22:59:52 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Let Government Respect the Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: tribedit@mail.well.com
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998


I WISH to express my great concern over the recent federal indictments of
the six cannabis buyers' clubs in Northern California. My initial response
is this question: Why is the federal government wasting my tax dollars
prosecuting rich people? And further, why is the state attorney general
committing resources that could otherwise be used to combat the growing
number of hate crimes?

It would behoove these officials of law enforcement to remember that the
California Compassionate Use act of 1996 is now state law. It is the sworn
duty of the state and county officials to enforce these laws. If the state
has a dispute with the officials of the buyers' club, then they have not
yet offered specific alternatives to dispensing medical marihuana.

As a means of dispensing medical marijuana to legitimate medical patients,
the buyers' clubs offer an excellent means of implementing the act. They
are locally based, self-sufficient and very carefully check and monitor all
their members. Moreover, they buyer's club doesn't cost the tax payers

It makes no sense whatever for the officials of the state of California,
nor the federal government to make war on rich people. This is the fact --
availability of medical marijuana is now a legally passed state law, and
the officials are sworn to uphold its statutes.

John Davis

Mr. Gingrich Goes To Hollywood (Columnist Arianna Huffington
In 'San Diego Union Tribune' Hilariously Satirizes 'Sheer Banality'
Of The GOP Speaker Of The US House And 'Shallowness Of His Analysis
Of The Drug Problem')

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 23:04:12 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Mr. Gingrich Goes to Hollywood
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998
Author: Arianna Huffington; she can be reached via e-mail at ariannahuf@aol.com


Newt Gingrich came to Hollywood last week and gave the same speech he'd
just given to the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce in Marietta, Ga. Which
might have been OK if it were a good speech. But it wasn't. Not in Cobb
County. Not in Olympia, Wash. And not in Los Angeles.

It's not that he said anything offensive. In fact, so cautious was the
speech that there wasn't even a passing reference to any of the cultural
controversies along the contentious Hollywood/Washington axis. Indeed, the
most offensive thing about the speech was its sheer banality.

For those of us who arrived at 7:30 in the morning expecting a major
address billed as his first in Hollywood since he became speaker, the
conclusion was that there was less fiber in the speech than in the eggs
served at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We came for a blockbuster and instead
got a shopworn public service announcement.

The speaker began by inviting us to have "an adult conversation" -- by
which he did not mean a raunchy NC-17 conversation but a "serious" one. And
here was the extremely grown-up point he made: "We should decide," he said,
"to become a drug-free country." I had instant visions of practicing
positive thinking in front of my mirror: "I am deciding to live in a
drug-free country, I am deciding to live in a drug-free country. . . . "

But the speaker apparently wasn't so naive as to think that this alone
would do it. He had a plan -- the same recycled "just say no" plan thanks
to which, he asserted, "drug use declined by two-thirds between 1984 and
1992." His next assertion was that suddenly the decline stopped and it all
"turned around in six weeks." But neither the speaker's office, nor the
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, nor PRIDE (the National Parents'
Resource Institute for Drug Education) could provide any corroborating
evidence for these statements.

The shallowness of his analysis of the drug problem was matched by the
shallowness of the rest of the speech -- a combination of crowd-pleasing
cheerleading ("This is a great country!") and microscopic proposals in
response to major problems. "Every child in the country," he said, "should
spend one day a year studying the Declaration of Independence and the

And Gingrich -- you know, the guy who wants to get government off our backs
-- actually wants state legislatures to introduce such a bill. Maybe while
we're at it, we can pass a law that says kids can't have their dessert
until they finish their vegetables. And why stop at state legislatures? Why
not an amendment to the Constitution?

Now, I'm all in favor of reading these great documents, but isn't it a
higher priority to get kids reading in the first place?

The Declaration of Independence proposal was at least a window into
Gingrich's caveman logic. When, last month, he returned from having a good
time in London, courtesy of Arco -- he gushed that "every American should
make this trip" -- in the same way, presumably, that everyone should read
the Declaration of Independence or own a laptop computer.

In fact, no one would disagree that Claridge's, Gingrich's London hotel, is
much nicer than our urban ghettos. So why don't all the people in our
forgotten inner cities just "decide" to go to London? In fact, I'm going to
propose right now that we, as a country, all "decide" to take an enriching
trip across the Atlantic.

When Gingrich moved from this "adult conversation" to policy prescriptions,
things got even murkier. The speaker launched into a tirade against the
earned income tax credit, which he told us is costing the economy $5
billion in waste and fraud. Last July, however, the speaker welcomed as
"very useful" the Senate compromise that failed to rein in what he
described in his speech as a highly wasteful government program.

What's the point of fighting tooth and nail to remain speaker of the House
if there is no connection between your grandiose rhetoric and your
legislative practice?

The speaker waxed lyrical about tax reform while celebrating a balanced
budget that added 900 pages to the Internal Revenue Code. He talked about
the need to take "action this day" -- a Churchillian phrase -- to fix our
schools while failing to put on the legislative front burner even as modest
a bill as the one proposed by Reps. Jim Talent and J.C. Watts to provide
alternatives to children trapped in dysfunctional schools and to their
troubled communities.

And this rhetorical rice pudding was served up with a concluding reference
to the 1983 report on a nation at risk. "The nation is more at risk now
then it was then," the speaker opined ominously. Last week, Ralph Reed
called Gingrich a "towering intellect." Perhaps he meant it in the
Whitmanesque sense of containing many contradictions: bemoaning a nation at
risk while celebrating prosperity and doing nothing -- in fact saying
nothing -- to reconcile the two.

Oh well. Be sure to read the Declaration of Independence -- it's the law.

Democratic Hopeful Davis Calls For Student Drug Tests ('San Francisco
Chronicle' Notes Gubernatorial Candidate Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis's
Proposal Is For 'Voluntary Drug Tests For California High School Pupils -
If Both They And Their Parents Agree')

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 11:56:27 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Democratic Hopeful Davis Calls for Student Drug Tests
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org

Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Robert B. Gunnison, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau


Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis yesterday proposed voluntary drug tests for
California high school pupils -- if both they and their parents agree.

Davis, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, told a
luncheon audience that the tests would be ``more preventative than

``Faced with the very real prospect of getting caught, many kids will
simply choose not to try them -- or if they are using them, to quit,'' he

``To deal with the demand side of the scourge of drugs in our classrooms,''
he said, ``we must adopt a new program of random drug testing to catch the
kids using drugs, and deter the rest from starting.''

He made the proposal in a sparsely attended speech to the business-oriented
Comstock Club that managed to combine two of the year's hottest political
issues -- crime and schools.

Davis said he based his testing proposal on a new program in Dade County,
Fla., begun recently to test about 5,000 of the area's high school

The Florida policy has drawn national attention, and criticism from those
who contend it violates Fourth Amendment rights protecting citizens against
searches without probable cause.

Davis said parents and students would have to agree in advance to the
tests. Results would be given to parents, not school administrators. ``Drug
testing will provide parents with an unequivocal way to detect any
substance abuse by their child,'' he said.

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools could use random drug
tests on student athletes. Davis said such tests had proven valuable in

The candidate said he wanted to spend $1 million for an experimental
program at five high schools, with each school getting $200,000 for the

He said testing would lower the highest drug usage rates among high school
students in 10 years, he said.

``Fully 25 percent of high school students . . . report that they use
illicit drugs at least once a month. Among 12th-graders, 42 percent report
having used some sort of illegal drug in just the past 12 months,'' he

As he campaigns, Davis insists, ``I do not believe government can do
everything for everybody.'' Nonetheless, he has a lengthy agenda that would
impose government rules on education as never before in this state.

Davis has already proposed that students, from kindergarten through 12th
grade, be required to do a certain amount of homework each night.

Kindergartners would do 15 minutes, while 12th graders would spend 2 1/2
hours with the books. The idea has gotten a chilly reception from the
powerful California Teachers Association.

Davis also wants mandatory summer school for pupils who need remedial math
and reading, and contracts between parents and schools that detail

More recently, Davis has suggested that state set aside $3 billion during
the next five years to purchase textbooks, and that every school district
hire a chief financial officer to prevent fiscal mismanagement.

In his speech, Davis also said he would seek longer prison terms to anyone
convicted of selling drugs to children. For those who sold drugs to
children younger than 10, he would seek life in prison, without possibility
of parole.

Second offenses for selling to older children would bring a term of 20
years to life.

Lungren Tells Trading Card Manufacturer To Get Off The Pot ('Oakland Tribune'
Belatedly Reports California Attorney General's Attack On Free Speech
And Free Enterprise Rights Of InLine Classic Cards - One Card Reads,
'We Hope We Haven't Made Lungren Mad, That Could Be Dangerous
In California')

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 12:24:51 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Lungren Attacks Free Speech And Free Enterprise
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998
Author: Ben Charny, Staff Writer


Lungren Tells Trading Card Manufacturer to Get Off the Pot

California Attorney General Dan Lungren doesn't want Barry Bonds and Mark
McGwire on a shelf next to Cannabis Indica and Bowl 0' Buds.

In fact, the state's top cop and 20 other leading law enforcement officials
nationwide don't want any marijuana trading cards sold by a Bay Area
company on store shelves.

Last week, Lungren sent In-Line Classic Trading Cards, which has sold about
15 million marijuana trading cards since 1995, a letter demanding the
company "act responsibly."

"Cease production" because the cards cite "pro-marijuana dogma in a medium
directed at children," Lungren told card producer Kingsley Barnham. Lungren
accused the company of using a "slick, full color card to glamorize
marijuana" and called it an overtly cynical attempt to promote marijuana
use to children while turning a profit for yourself."

The company advertises on a Web site and lists 44 outlets across California
where the cards are available. It claims to have sold 15 million Inline
Hemp Cards since 1995, when the cards first were marketed.

Tuesday, several telephone numbers for the company's San Francisco and
Oakland offices either were busy all day or disconnected. Officials
couldn't be reached for comment.

The text on one of the trading cards reads: "We hope we haven't made
Lungren mad. That could be dangerous in California."

Inline Trading Cards manufactures trading cards celebrating everything from
motorcycles to tattoos. The hemp cards are similar to traditional trading
cards except for the photo of a marijuana plant on the front and text about
hemp history and pot politics on the back.

The Skunk Kush card reminds a reader that "we cannot tell a lie George
Washington) grew it." Along with a picture of gooey, black Ferrari Hashish
is a history of "Brownie Mary Rathbun," a San Francisco nurse who was one
of the first champions of medicinal marijuana.

Other cards list recipes for Hemp Butter or tell the reader that Jamaica
"is a land steeped in the practice and tradition of cannabis" where men
smoke the drug and women drink it in a tea.

One store that stocks the cards is Comic Relief in Berkeley, where employee
Maria Harrell said Tuesday that Lungren's action "is completely

"It is a constitutional right. This is considered free press," she said.
"If an adult wants to collect marijuana cards, let them."

Split Grows Inside Pot's Grass Roots ('Los Angeles Times' Emphasizes
Personalities In Opposing Medical-Marijuana Initiatives In Maine)

From: "D. Paul Stanford" 
To: "'Restore Hemp!'" 
Subject: LA Times story on national cannabis law reform
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 13:34:22 -0800

Wednesday, January 21, 1998


Split Grows Inside Pot's Grass Roots

After its success in California, the group pushing focused medicinal
marijuana initiatives in other states is drawing fire from locals seeking
broader legalization. It is also getting heat from drug foes.

By MARK FRITZ, Times Staff Writer

AUGUSTA, Maine--Don Christen passes out pot on the
steps of the county courthouse. He holds a rock festival
every year called Hempstock. He sows and smokes and sells with
such open defiance that, sometimes, he goes to jail.

He is, he says, an activist who answers to a particularly high
calling, a man unafraid to publicly pledge allegiance to the drag, to
openly exercise an inalienable right to inhale and light.

Now, a well-heeled organization of outsiders from California has
come to his icebound environs to liberate Maine's marijuana laws a
little bit. Their November ballot proposal would let people suffering
from a narrow range of ailments possess small amounts of pot for
therapeutic purposes.

But Christen--a Mainer who speaks in George Carlinesque
cadences and sells CDs with such toe-tappers as "Mr. Greenbud"
and "Turn On Your Mom"--says he won't vote for it. In fact, he's
campaigning to kill it.

"This thing coming in here from outta state is not what I would
call help. It's botanically unworkable," he said. "These outsiders
have just come in here with their own agenda."

Indeed they have. The people who bankrolled the successful
medicinal marijuana campaign in California have targeted a
half-dozen additional electorates this year. They have learned much
over the last two years and are pushing sanitized, highly specific
proposals aimed at winning the acceptance of Middle America--or
in this case, the outer limits of America--and sending a message to
the unyielding anti-drug warriors in Washington, D.C.

In the process, they not only have alienated and angered
grass-roots activists such as Christen--who's pushing his own
toke-it-or-leave-it ballot proposal--but also brought a more
marketable and well-financed pitch for mellower marijuana rules to
provinces used to raggedy and ultimately ill-fated campaigns by
uncompromising local pot reformers.

Critics of any sort of liberalization say the straighter image is
calculatingly deceptive.

"There's some common sense things they've adopted," said
Nelson Cooney, acting president of the Community Anti-Drug
Coalitions of America. "It makes them harder to fight. The
compassion argument is very compelling. Nobody wants to look
like they're denying help to cancer patients."

Using legislation that lets fewer people grow less pot than
allowed under California law, the Santa Monica-based Americans
for Medical Rights and its local allies last week turned in enough
signatures to get on the Alaska ballot this November and likely will
accomplish the same thing in Maine in the next two weeks,
spokesman David Fratello said.

The group is awaiting final approval in Colorado of petition
language aimed at changing the state constitution. It is in the process
of drafting petition language in Washington state, Oregon and
Nevada. And after forging an uneasy truce with AIDS activists in
Washington, D.C.--who had a petition drive of their own and
resented any intrusion--AMR expects to launch its effort there
soon. It also is weighing whether to pump some cash into a local
initiative in Florida.

White House Vows to Fight

The $2-million effort is being run by AMR and financed by
currency trader George Soros, Phoenix businessman John Sperling,
Ohio insurance company president Peter Lewis and others. They
were principal backers of the California initiative, a successful one
that followed in Arizona and the broad medicinal drug referendum
defeated in Washington state last November.

The Clinton administration has vowed to fight the medicinal
marijuana movement any way it can. The federal government
recently filed suit against the so-called buyers' clubs that sprang up
to sell marijuana to sick people after the California initiative was
approved. Despite that, the clubs are continuing to operate while
they await their day in court.

But AMR's proposals are geared toward making it tougher to
do that. Under the Maine proposal, people would be allowed to
grow and possess an 1 1/4 ounces of pot under a doctor's

The states that are being targeted this year were selected
because AMR polling showed they were eminently winnable,
Fratello said. The group was very interested in moving into
Arkansas, but Fratello said support for legalizing pot for medicinal
purposes there was 55%, a majority not high enough to withstand
the inevitable erosion that would be wrought by organized

Fratello admits that the group was shooting for the symbolism of
getting a marijuana law passed in President Clinton's home state.
The whole point of the state referendums is to achieve a sort of
critical mass that forces the federal government to stop treating
marijuana like a hard drug.

"We've been very open that this is part of a national strategy to
reclassify marijuana as a medicine," Fratello said. "If we can
demonstrate that medical marijuana is a popular idea, then we've
shown legislators and executive branch officials that they can do the
right thing."

After this year's campaigns, AMR expects to come back in the
2000 election year with a new batch of states. "We're relatively
patient," Fratello said. "We don't think it will happen overnight."

In the meantime, the hard-core opponents of any attempt to
liberalize marijuana use claim that AMR's efforts are insidious
attempts to incrementally legalize drugs.

And people like Christen say AMR has sold out the cause with
its narrow ballot initiatives.

California Law Helped Spawn Maine Proposal

Christen initially tried to lure AMR to Maine by writing a ballot
proposal based on the California law, then adding such things as a
distribution system run by marijuana advocates.

"We figured the people who backed the California initiative
would be happier than hell and come in and back us," he said. "Lo
and behold, they decided they can't back us, and come in with a
restrictive bill that's totally unworkable in Maine."

Christen and his group, Maine Vocals, went ahead with their
petition drive. Actually, they are promoting two petitions: One that
lets people possess unlimited quantities for any affliction that a
doctor believes marijuana would help alleviate, and another that
simply asks: "Do you want to legalize marijuana?"

Christen said his group has about half as many signatures as it
needs, but things do not look good. The deadline is Friday, and the
ice storm that paralyzed much of the Northeast has put a chill in

And he has hardly rattled the confident AMR side.

"To be attacked by Don Christen is an asset," Fratello said.

Christen, a 44-year-old unemployed carpenter and grandfather
of two, seems hurt by such darts. "The guy doesn't even know me,"
Christen said recently as he sipped coffee in an Augusta restaurant.

What Christen said bothers him is that savvy pols from
somewhere else have basically bought his cause and repackaged it
in such a way that most believers in marijuana decriminalization can't
benefit. The quantities it allows and the number of diseases it
designates make it clear that the law is more symbolic than
practical, he says.

"It's like growing a bunch of tomato plants to get two tomatoes.
It's impossible," he said. "Anyone who knows anything about
cultivation of marijuana knows it's botanically impossible to do what
they're saying."

In correspondence early in the petition drive, Christen said,
Fratello assured him that the AMR legislation was only a "baby
step" toward broader legalization.

"The AMR people believe it should be legal too, but they're
afraid to come out and tell anybody," Christen said.

"I think I was trying to get him to put aside his agenda," Fratello
said. "We're trying to win the election."

Fratello said he personally believes that pot should be legalized,
and that others affiliated with AMR do too. "Our constituency is
two different people: People who are for legalization and people
who are for medicinal use."

Such gradualism invariably draws fire from the anti-drug
absolutists, who say that AMR's narrowing of its target just proves
that it has a broad agenda.

"It's really interesting to see how this has trickled out of
California across the rest of the country," said Cooney, a former
assistant to William J. Bennett when he was director of the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The decision to
narrow the focus of the initiative and shut out the high-profile
potheads "is a pragmatic political decision, but what does it say
about their ultimate strategy that they were earlier offering these
far-reaching ballot issues?"

Past and potential Republican presidential contender Steve
Forbes, who has made opposition to medicinal marijuana a pet
project, has aired some selected radio spots denouncing such

"They're [AMR] using the ruse of medical marijuana to crack the
door open to legalize all drugs," said Forbes spokesman Bill Dal

Clinton's anti-drug czar, Barry R. McCaffrey, also opposes the
initiatives. His spokesman, Brian Morton, said whether marijuana
has medicinal properties "is not something that needs to be decided
at the ballot box."

The initiatives, he said, are fine-tuned to fit the particular political
climate of each state and "are all coming out of New York City . . .
and they're all being mostly bankrolled by one man: George Soros."

Maine Plan Draws Establishment Support

If AMR's goal was to lure establishment support, it's working in
Maine, where some state lawmakers have endorsed its initiative.
State Rep. Elizabeth Mitchell says she supports prescription
marijuana for sick people, but not laws allowing leisure-time toking.

Since coming out in favor of the initiative, she's been a bit
chagrined by the way her name has been bandied about by the
proponents. "I'm being tied to it more than I expected," she said.
"This is one of my low-priority issues. . . . I just think we have more
pressing problems, and this just seems like--hysteria."

Policy analysts say both sides in the medicinal marijuana debate
are guilty of ethical posturing and strategic fact-fudging as they stage
noisy skirmishes in the war between the war on drugs and the war
on the war on drugs.

Mark A.R. Kleiman, a public policy professor at UCLA, said
both sides are blowing smoke--the drug warriors for refusing to
acknowledge evidence that marijuana might have medicinal
legitimacy, and the decriminalizers for making a big deal about the
medicinal properties of the one illegal drug whose largest following
are recreational users.

"People are not fessing up to their real motives," he said.

Kleiman, who said he's given 10 interviews about medicinal
marijuana in the last two weeks, is annoyed that the issue gets
attention, particularly when what he called real developments in
drug abuse get little.

"This is an issue of unparalleled triviality," he said.

It matters to Christen, who wears a white sweatshirt emblazoned
with images of marijuana plants over his heart.

Christen said he herniated a disk when lifting a manhole cover
while working as a laborer in 1982, and hasn't really been able to
work since. Pot, he said, eases his discomfort.

In 1989, he said, his father told him to stop complaining about
the fact that marijuana was illegal and do something about it. So
Christen wrote a letter to the local paper advocating legalization,
and he hasn't looked back since.

He's been busted for trafficking--authorities seized his marijuana
and what he described as his gun collection--in 1993. He spent
seven months in jail. He spent another three months in jail for
passing out marijuana-laced brownies from the steps of the
Somerset County Courthouse to whoever said they needed medical

Marijuana Advocacy Takes a Toll

Christen figures that he still owes about $10,000 in back fines
and a thousand hours of court-ordered community service. "I'm
basically broke," he said.

He lives in a house in the town of Madison with his nonsmoking
(but extremely tolerant) wife, and said he gets by on the $10,000 he
makes for staging Hempstock, a rock-and-roll-your-own festival
held every summer.

Currently, he's selling Hempstock CDs and plastic $3 ink pens
decoratively filled with marijuana seeds. These pens come with a
printed statement attesting to the sterility of the seeds. This is so
people who spill legitimately potent marijuana seeds while rolling
joints inside their cars can claim: "But officer, those seeds must have
fallen from my totally legal sterilized-seed pen!"

But being a marijuana advocate has taken a toll. His sister and
brother no longer want anything to do with him. And now a major
marijuana movement doesn't even want him.

"To have our own people doing what they're doing," he said
sadly. "I've been working on this a long time. Where the hell was
everybody else back then?"

System At Its Worst ('Oakland Tribune' Editorial Notes Recent Study
By Joan Petersilia, Criminologist At University Of California-Irvine,
To Denounce California's 'Three Strikes' Law And How It
And State Prison System Are Especially Cruel And Unusual In Their Impact
On The Mentally Impaired)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 22:55:49 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: System at its Worst
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: tribedit@mail.well.com
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998


WITH the massive de-institutionalization of mentally impaired people across
the state growing numbers of befuddled Californians are showing up in Jai1s
and prisons. One of them is Duane Silva, who in 1994 earned the dubious
distinction of becoming one of the state's earliest "three strikes"

A 23-year-old from Tulare, with an IQ of 70 the mental capacity of a
10-year-old), Silva is serving a third strike, 28-years-to-life prison
sentence for stealing a VCR and some Jewelry in a residential burglary. His
previous strikes were for arson: the first when he set fire to a trash can
and the second after a fire began in a truck where it appeared he'd been
playing with matches.

In a recent study, Joan Petersilia, a professor of criminology at the
University of California. Irvine, uses the story of Silva to illustrate the
criminal Justice system's callous mistreatment and disregard of the
retarded. Because they're often illiterate, unemployed and unable to
understand their rights or to assist with their own defense, mentally
retarded suspects are less likely to make bail or probation and more likely
to confess or incriminate themselves. The formality and rapid legalistic
patter of the courtroom confuse and intimidate them.

Once convicted and imprisoned, they're easy prey for cruel exploitation by
more intelligent in-mates. They become disciplinary problems because they
don't understand and therefore don't know strict prison rules. Thus, they
spend more time in solitary confinement and seldom earn early release. The
same disabilities that make them poor defendants and inmates make them less
successful on parole.

Evervone who testified at last week's Senate Public Safety Committee
hearing on the subject cops, prosecutors, public defenders, advocates for
the mentally retarded acknowledged the problem and the need to address it.
They called for better training at every level, from judges to prosecutors,
defense attorneys to prison guards. But simply recognizing mental
retardation and how to handle an impaired suspect may not be sufficient.
Rules may have to be changed to ensure that the mentally incapacitated
receive the rights to which they are entitled.

The issue is not new. Retarded people, most of them never formally
diagnosed, have long made up a disproportionate share of our criminal and
prison populations. Their numbers are growing, fueled in part by the rapid
closure of state hospitals and the increased rates of mental retardation
caused by drug and alcohol abuse and poor nutrition among pregnant women.
In addition, there are growing numbers of low-birth-weight babies, and
increasing survival rates to adulthood for those born with birth defects.
One sobering statistic included in the Peters study noted that while the
general population of California in-creased 20 percent between 1985 and
1996, the number of people identified as developmentally disabled or
mentally retarded increased 52 per-cent and the number of people showing
signs of mild retardation doubled.

Criminal Justice systems in many other states do more to protect both the
public and retarded people. If basic humanity and concern for public safety
fail to motivate California lawmakers and to date, neither of those have,
economics should. Siva and an estimated 6,400 other mentally retarded
inmates incarcerated in California cost $21,000 per inmate per year to

Into The Tank, Cold Turkey (Three Letters To Editor Of 'Wall Street Journal'
- Including One From Steve Buckstein Of Portland's Cascade Policy Institute -
Respond To Sally Satel's Letter On Coerced Treatment, 'For Addicts, Force
Is The Best Medicine')

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
Subject: MN: LTEs: `For Addicts, Force is the Best Medicine'
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 21:23:48 -0800
Lines: 77
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Wall Street Journal
Contact: editors@interactive.wsj.com
Pubdate: Wed Jan 21, 1998
Section: Letters to the Editor
Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n022.a02.html

Into the Tank, Cold Turkey

Sally Satel's thoughtful piece on drug abuse treatment ("For Addicts, Force
is the Best Medicine," editorial page, Jan. 6) reflects the experience
that Phoenix House has had over the past 30 years helping "hardcore" drug

The myth she explodes -- that drug abusers can only be helped by treatment
they want -- has blocked meaningful expansion of drug abuse programming for
the most troubled and troublesome of drug abusers, particularly among the
criminal population.

This treatment gap was recently illustrated by the National Center on
Addiction and Substance (Abuse) at Columbia University's report on prisons
and substance abuse. the study revealed that while there are at least
750,000 federal and state prisoners who need drug and alcohol abuse
treatment, only 150,000 actually receive any.

President Clinton's call for the elimination of inmate drug use is
profoundly sensible, and treatment is the proven means to reach this end.
Moreover, if drug abusing prisoners are not treated while they are behind
bars, they are not likely to abandon their criminal ways when they return
to the street.

New York


Dr. Satel's call for coerced drug treatment confuses an important issue
regarding drug abuse. While I believe that she is correct in stating that
stopping drug use is a matter of personal responsibility, coercing
treatment does not, as she maintains, encourage drug users to take that
responsibility. Rather, coerced treatment and compliance means that society
has assumed that responsibility.

Leaving the responsibility with addicts would mean that society simply let
the natural consequences of drug abuse take their toll, much as they
tragically did with Mr. Farley, who alone is responsible for his demise.
Society can not have it both ways.

We cannot preach personal responsibility while simultaneously taking it

Director, Psychiatric Consulting Services
Omaha, Neb.


Dr. Satel is to be applauded for recognizing that drug addicts must take
personal responsibility for their lives. Unfortunately, she advocated the
one "medicine" that negates that very responsibility.

By forcing addicts into treatment, government is sending a clear statement
that they need not take responsibility: it will be taken for them by big

Shortly before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, a Wall Street Journal
editorial writer wrote about his encounter with a group of East German
school girls. When he asked the "clearest and wisest" what she wanted to be
when she grew up, she stated, "It doesn't make any difference what we
become when we grow up.. We will still always be treated like children."

Using force to "treat" addicts is treating them like children. Perhaps it's
time for our drug warriors to grow up. so addicts can try to do the same.

President, Cascade Policy Institute
Portland, Ore.

Surveillance Cameras Quietly Becoming A Fixture In NYC (Keeping An Eye
On Drug Dealing Inside Washington Square Park - Norman Siegel
Of New York ACLU Notes Parks And Other Public Spaces Also Serve
As Meeting Areas For Lawyers And Clients, Reporters And Sources,
Business People And Politicians Who Want To Talk Privately)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 16:38:48 EST
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: aal@inetarena.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: FW: spyNY01-Surveillance cameras quietly coming a fixture in NYC

In New York, police cameras are quietly accepted

They keep an eye on drug dealing inside Washington Square Park. Few
complain of ``Big Brother'' watching.

By Henry Goldman

NEW YORK -- As David Brand ambled into Washington Square Park the other day
to enjoy a midafternoon cigar, he was oblivious to the presence of two
small police surveillance cameras posted nearby, capable of following him
wherever he went.

"Are they really up?" he asked, trying to locate the cameras in the trees
and the light poles scattered throughout the Greenwich Village landmark. "I
don't know whether to feel good or bad about it."

Although Brand couldn't spot them, two cameras on light poles at the south
end of the park represent the latest innovation in a five-month police
drive against drug dealers, beer guzzlers and others involved in what city
officials call quality-of-life crimes.

Brand, 47, a psychologist with an office two blocks away, described himself
as someone who has always been tolerant toward drug users, a sensibility
going back to his student days in the 1960s at the University of Michigan.

Yet he said the Washington Square Park scene had for several years "had a
very different feeling from the Sixties."

"Here it has been big business, and it's hard to walk more than 10 steps in
the park without someone coming up to you and offering 'Smoke! Smoke!' It
becomes a little unnerving, especially for people with children," he said.

His ambivalence about the latest innovation of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani put
Brand squarely in the middle of a developing debate over the police use of
cameras trained on city residents in public places.

And, perhaps unexpectedly, the middle is where many in Greenwich Village
find themselves on the issue.

Arthur Strickler, who manages the local community board, said he has not
figured out where he stands. But the big surprise to him, he said, is that
in a neighborhood that has long sheltered artists, beatniks, hippies and
other civil libertarians, he has received only a few calls about the issue.

"I would have thought there would be a hue and cry," he said.

The cameras have been quietly accepted, he believes, because the drug
situation has gotten so bad, making a walk through the park like "running a

"They operated as if the park were their own private store. Those arrested
would be back on the street the next day."

In August, police responded by deploying several uniformed, plainclothes
and undercover officers. More than 70 people were arrested, and this has
all but shut down drug selling in the park, Strickler said. The improved
atmosphere has muted opposition to the cameras.

"Reaction has been mixed. It all boils down to this: 'How much civil
liberties do you want?' as opposed to 'How much police state do you want?' "

He said what angers him most is not the cameras but the fact that they were
installed without consulting the community. "I'm very strongly upset that
there was no public hearing on this," he said. "No inquiry with the
community board or anyone else."

That was not an accident: Police officials thought long and hard before
deciding to place cameras in the park without first consulting with civil
liberties or neighborhood groups.

"We felt that those who espouse a liberal ideology have never been
comfortable with any of our anticrime moves," said Leonard Alcivar, a
Police Department spokesman. "So rather than engaging in a public feud, we
figured we would install them and see if the people are benefiting, and not
have citizens' reality filtered through the reaction of any 'boutique
group' that might have a problem with it."

Norman Siegel has a problem with it.

"It's an undemocratic and Orwellian approach to governing," said Siegel,
head of the New York American Civil Liberties Union. "Our concern is that
we are witnessing an incremental repressive surveillance practice in the
name of fighting crime."

Siegel's wasn't the only allusion to George Orwell, whose novel 1984
depicted a future world in which citizens were observed by ubiquitous
cameras and subjected to television screens featuring the image of a
supreme leader named Big Brother. In the park last week, Kim Teresko, 31, a
Greenwich Village resident for six years, said the presence of cameras
installed by police scared her.

"I always thought Big Brother would order the cameras to watch over us. I
never thought people would become so frightened of each other that they
would actually ask for them. I don't like the idea that some cop is spying
on me," Teresko said.

But to the ACLU's Siegel, the most distressing thing is that very few seem
to share these concerns. Since the cameras were installed Christmas Eve,
accompanied by a short announcement by the Police Department, there has
been no public outcry and very little criticism.

In fact, some, such as Thomas Reppetto, are positively enthusiastic. The
cameras should be welcomed as another tool of effective police work, said
Reppetto, the director of the Citizens Crime Commission, a private
nonprofit watchdog group.

"I just don't see a problem," he said. "Go ask the citizenry if they want
more cops patrolling the park, and they'll say yes. In its simplest form,
the camera is a surrogate for a cop. When there's drug dealing going on, it
attracts a rough crowd and violent crime usually follows. This is designed
to worry the drug dealers."

Alcivar, of the Police Department, confirmed that, saying that the cameras
had not yet resulted in any arrests and were designed more to deter
criminals than to catch them. The closed-circuit images are viewed by
officers at the nearby Sixth Precinct, he said. Meanwhile, uniformed and
plainclothes patrols continue, coordinated by a mobile command post in a
van at the southwest end of the park.

The placement of cameras in a public park followed a similar move in a
public housing project in Harlem, the Grant Homes, where police installed
39 cameras and said crime had been reduced by 20.9 percent. Giuliani held a
news conference there in November, when he announced his intention to
expand the use of cameras into city streets, school and parks.

At that time, several project residents said they welcomed the move, which
city officials argued was no different from providing the kind of private
security available in many of Manhattan's luxury apartment buildings.

Since then, Siegel said, he has received reports from police that
surveillance vans have been cruising neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn.
Alcivar would neither confirm nor deny this, but he said antidrug teams
could be expected to use cameras in investigations. Cameras have also been
installed inside a 34th Street subway station and at the heavy-traffic
intersection of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, he said.

Surveillance of public spaces has been generally upheld as legal, with
judges declaring that such zones afford no expectation of privacy. Yet
parks and other public spaces can sometimes serve as meeting areas for
lawyers and clients, reporters and sources, business people and politicians
who want to talk privately, Siegel argues.

"I know there's no expectation of privacy, but residents of New York have
long held an expectation and desire for anonymity," Siegel said. "These
cameras interfere with that."

As long as no one interferes with his right to smoke a cigar, Brand said,
he'll keep an open mind on the cameras. He hopes they keep the drug dealers
out. Still, he doesn't want police interfering with what he says is the
park's greatest charm, its ability to draw all kinds of people.

"It's really a cross-section -- rich and poor, homeless and well-heeled,
hippies, dippies, artists and crazies," he said. "If the cameras chased
some of these characters away, then we would really be losing something."

Webber Arrested - Wizard Charged With Marijuana Possession
('San Jose Mercury News' Reports Pepper-Spraying And Arrest Of Washington
Wizards Basketball Pro Chris Webber - Also Charged With Assault
After Allegedly Resisting Prince George's County, Maryland Police
Trying To Take Him Into Custody And Impound His Car)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 23:10:33 -0800
Subject: MN: US: Webber Arrested: Wizard Charged With Marijuana Possession
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998


Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards star Chris Webber was arrested Tuesday and
charged with assault, marijuana possession and several traffic offenses
after he allegedly resisted Prince George's County, Md., police officers
who were trying to take him into custody and impound the 1998 Lincoln
Navigator he was driving.

Authorities said officers used pepper spray on Webber, who had neither
registration documents for the vehicle nor a driver's license, after he
refused to get out of the sports-utility vehicle and pushed away an

``The officer attempted to remove him,'' Prince George's police spokesman
Royce Holloway said. ``He resisted, an assault occurred. The (pepper) spray
was deployed to effect the arrest.''

Webber, 24, was stopped about 9:30 a.m. in Landover, Md., on the way to a
10 a.m. practice at the MCI Center in downtown Washington. He was charged
with three misdemeanor and six traffic offenses, including resisting
arrest, speeding and driving under the influence of a controlled, dangerous
substance, and was held in police custody for more than six hours before he
was released on his own recognizance about 4:15 p.m. after appearing before
a court commissioner. His trial has been scheduled for April 2.

Although classified as a misdemeanor under Maryland law, the second-degree
assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine
of $2,500.

Obscured from public view during the brief proceeding, Webber left
afterward by a rear exit and did not speak to reporters. His attorney,
Bruce Marcus, declined to comment on the incident, as did Wizards
officials. Webber could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Police sources said Tuesday night that a Breathalyzer test performed on
Webber at the police station showed he had no alcohol in his system.
However, a drug recognition expert who examined Webber at the station found
him to be under the influence of drugs, police sources said.

According to the charging documents, the butt of a marijuana cigarette was
found in the front center ashtray of the vehicle and marijuana residue was
found on the floor behind the driver's seat. Marijuana is not a banned
substance under the NBA's anti-drug policy.

``Unfortunately, at this time, we are not in a position to make any
statements,'' Marcus said after the hearing. Of Webber, Marcus said, ``He's
looking forward to his trial.''

Wizards Coach Bernie Bickerstaff said Tuesday night: ``I think what's
important is Chris Webber the person and not Chris Webber the basketball
player. I think what teams are about and families are about is taking care
of each other in times like these. And sometimes that means you have to
look something in the eye and deal with it.''

Webber is the latest Wizards player to have a brush with the law. In
November 1996, Juwan Howard was charged with drunken driving. The charges
were dropped after Howard agreed to enter an alcohol rehabilitation and
education program. Last September, Rod Strickland was charged with drunken
driving and disorderly conduct. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Webber left the University of Michigan in 1993 after his sophomore year and
was selected by Orlando with the first pick in the NBA draft, then was
traded to the Warriors. But after a highly publicized feud with
then-Warriors Coach Don Nelson, Webber was traded in November 1994 to

Webber scored 31 points Saturday in a victory over the Los Angeles
Clippers. He has scored 20 or more points in 12 straight games.

``I definitely want to do whatever I can do to support my boy. When I heard
about it at practice, I was scared for him,'' Howard said. ``Skip the
distraction. I'm worried about him. I want to know he's all right. We, as a
team, can deal with all that on another level.''

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Webber Faces Assault, Marijuana Charges ('USA Today' Version
Notes The Basketball Star Is Having An All-Star Year
As The Wizards' Leading Scorer And Rebounder)

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 18:13:50 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US DC: Webber faces assault, marijuana charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: USA Today
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Pubdate: Wednesday, January 21, 1998
Author: David DuPree
Page: 1C, Sports section
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/

Webber faces assault, marijuana charges

Washington Wizards forward Chris Webber, having an All-Star year, was
arrested Tuesday morning when a routine traffic stop turned into a
nightmare for one of the NBA's brightest young stars.

Webber, 24, the team's leading scorer (22 points) and rebounder (9.1), was
charged with assault, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, driving
under the influence of marijuana and five other traffic-related violations.
All are misdemeanors, and Webber was released on his own recognizance.

"We look forward to having the matter tried," said Webber's lawyer, Bruce
Marcus. The Wizards said they would have no comment until further
investigation. The team's next game is tonight against Portland.

Marijuana is not covered by the NBA's substance abuse policy. No action can
be taken unless Webber is convicted or pleads guilty.

Webber was headed to practice when he was stopped for speeding at 9:30 a.m.
in Landover, Md.

Allegedly driving without a license or registration, Webber allegedly
struck an officer's hand when the policeman tried to open the car door. The
marijuana was found when Webber's car was im- pounded and searched.

Juwan Howard and Rod Strickland, the team's two other stars, also have had
recent brushes with the law. Howard, in 1996, was charged with drunken
driving. He had the charges dropped when he entered a rehab program.
Strickland is set to go to trial next month on a '97 drunken driving and
disorderly conduct charge.

Florida Cabinet To Fight Medical Marijuana Proposal ('Reuters' Reports
Governor And Henchmen To Oppose Voter Initiative
From Floridians for Medical Rights To Amend Constitution)

Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 15:28:55 -0800
Subject: MN: US FL: WIRE: Florida Cabinet to Fight Medical Marijuana Proposal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave Fratello <104730.1000@compuserve.com>
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998


TALLAHASSEE. Fla. (Reuters) - Florida's governor and cabinet unanimously
vowed Wednesday to fight an attempt to amend the state's constitution to
legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The cabinet, made up of the governor, state attorney general and other
executive branch leaders, unanimously approved a resolution denouncing
efforts led by Floridians for Medical Rights, a Fort Lauderdale-based group
that wants to put the issue before Florida voters in November.

Proponents of the measure say that the drug is effective in treating a wide
variety of ailments and can ease the side effects of other medication.

Opponents have argued the call to allow medicinal use is simply a ploy
toward legalizing the drug across the board. "We are sending a convoluted
message to our children at a terrible time," Florida Department of Law
Enforcement Director Tim Moore told cabinet members. "We couldn't pick a
worse time to send this mixed message."

Betty Sembler, head of a group opposing legalized marijuana and based in
St. Petersburg, Florida, said her group would fight the petition before the
Florida Supreme Court. "We are forming grass roots organizations of
concerned citizens across the state to carry our message, the truth about
the so-called medical marijuana," Sembler said. Voters in California and
Arizona approved measures legalizing marijuana for medicinal use in their
states last fall.

Similar petition drives are in progress in Missouri, Colorado, and
Washington, D.C.

The Florida petition would allow individuals to obtain and use marijuana
for specific medical purposes when certified as medically appropriate by a
licensed physician.

Toni Leeman, chairman of Floridians for Medical Rights, said she was
surprised to learn the resolution was passed without hearing from any
medical authority. "Marijuana has been used as a medicine for thousands of
years, but it's only in the past 60 years that it has been made illegal,"
Leeman said.

Her group is trying to collect the 45,000 signatures needed to trigger a
state Supreme Court review. The group then needs at least 428,000
signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

Hemp Symposium Live On The Net (Anyone Online With RealAudio Who Obtains
An 'Internet Delegate Pass' Can Take Part In Canadian Non-Wood Fibre
Symposium January 29 In Montreal, As Well As Commercial & Industrial Hemp
Symposium II February 18-19 In Vancouver, British Columbia)

Date: 	Fri, 23 Jan 1998 15:07:57 -0400 (AST)
From: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Hemp Symposium Live on the Net (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:08:30 -0800
From: Wiseman Noble 
To: "Wiseman Noble:Vancouver" 
Subject: Hemp Symposium Live on the Net


Hemp Symposium Live on the Net
Vancouver - January 21st, 1998

Technology will bring The Commercial & Industrial Hemp Symposium II direct
and live to attendees all over the world via the Internet. Thanks to
RealAudio streaming, internet attendees will be able listen and pose
questions to the international roster of guest speakers participating at
this world class event.

"People in Berlin will be able to ask questions through our Internet
hook-up. Technology will increase the potential attendance for the Symposium
ten-fold," says Sotos Petrides, President of Wiseman Noble Sales and

In co-operation with PsiBear, an internet consulting company based in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wiseman Noble will be making Internet Delegate Passes
available again this year for The Commercial & Industrial Hemp Symposium II
as well as The Canadian Non-Wood Fibre Symposium.

"Since planning these conferences, we have made heavy use of the resources
available through the Internet for everything from research to communication
with groups working on hemp around the world. We are excited about
continuing to offer these on-line components to our shows," states Mike
Langtry, PSI Bear's founder.

Internet delegates will be able to ask questions of featured speakers via
Internet Phone (MS Net Meeting), by Email or an IRC chatline, all in real
time. The IRC channel will also serve as an ongoing discussion area for the
Internet Delegates to communicate with each other and delegates at the

System requirements for all internet delegates include an Internet capable
computer with speakers (28.8K connections or better recommended), an
Internet browser such as Netscape, or Internet Explorer, a RealAudio Player
(version 3 or better), an IRC program and MS NetMeeting version 2.1, as well
as a microphone for voice communication.

Wiseman Noble is producing three events this winter relating to hemp and
other non- wood fibres. The Canadian Non-Wood Fibre Symposium is being held
on January 29th, 1998 in Montreal, in conjunction with the Canadian Pulp &
Paper Association's Paper Week. Discovery '98, co-produced by the
Saskatchewan Agri-Food Equity Fund, is being held in Melfort, Saskatchewan
on February 6th, 1998. The Commercial & Industrial Hemp Symposium II will be
held on February 18th and 19th, 1998 at the Vancouver Trade and Convention

For more info on the Internet Delegate Pass, email mlangtry@pangea.ca

For more information about Wiseman Noble events, check out our webpage at
http://www.wisenoble.com or email us at events@wisenoble.com

HIV Epidemic Among Drug Users At 'Saturation' ('CNews Online' Notes
Canadian Health Officials Say HIV Outbreak Among Drug Addicts In Vancouver,
British Columbia, Appears To Have Peaked - Levels Of New Infection
Have Fallen 5 Percent Since Late Part Of 1997)

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 17:44:55 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: HIV Epidemic Among Drug Users at 'Saturation'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Kendra E. Wright" 
Source: CNews Online
Pubdate: 21 Jan 1998


Canadian health officials said Wednesday that while an HIV outbreak among
drug addicts in Vancouver appears to have peaked, it still holds a great
deal of potential danger. Research shows that the use of dirty, infected
needles throughout the poverty-ridden area near the center of the city has
led to a higher concentration of the virus--a situation which Martin
Schechter, who heads the study, called the "saturation effect." Schechter's
study, known as the Vancouver Injection Drug Use Study, found that levels
of new infection fell 5 percent toward the end of last year and the
beginning of this year, from an 18 percent infection rate recorded in
mid-1997. However, most health officials agree that the crisis is far from
over, as cheap housing and a surfeit of drugs continues to draw people to
the area.

Growing In Popularity ('Reuters' Version Of Story On Pair From Victoria,
British Columbia, Marketing 'Cultivation Game,' Which Pokes Fun
At Multimillion-Dollar Marijuana Industry In West Coast Canadian
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 15:25:54 -0800 Subject: MN: Canada: WIRE: Growing in Popularity Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield/Chuck Alton Source: Reuters Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 GROWING IN POPULARITY TORONTO (Reuters) - Marijuana cultivation is turning a legal profit for two Canadian developers of a board game about the illegal practice. The pair from Victoria, British Columbia, have created "The Cultivation Game," which pokes fun at the multimillion-dollar marijuana industry in the west coast Canadian province. "It represents a large part of the British Columbia economy," said Harreson Waymen, 45, a health care worker who designed the game. Wayman's partner, John Taylor, a retired carpenter, devised the idea after hearing about numerous problems with cultivating of the crop. It took the pair a year and about C$50,000 ($35,000) to get the product to market. Players start off with C$9,000 ($6,300) and six plant tokens, which they move around a board shaped like Vancouver Island off the British Columbia mainland. The object is to cultivate and sell the most marijuana. Police helicopters and nosy neighbors are some of the pitfalls players must avoid. Waymen and Taylor have been accused of promoting marijuana, a claim they deny. "It shows more of the real life than the glorified, idealistic side of it," Waymen said. "Growers have been held up at gun point. Biker gangs come and have their way." Almost 1,000 games have sold since it went on sale last November, prompting a second run of 2,500. Orders have come from across North America and the pair are negotiating distribution rights in Australia. Relatively warm temperatures make Vancouver Island highly suitable for marijuana cultivation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said. "It may be a billion dollar operation in B.C. alone. It's very, very prolific out here," said RCMP Sgt. Pat Convey. "In one month, we took down 41 operations and arrested 71 people."

DrugSense Weekly, Number 30 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists)

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 22:36:53 -0800
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly


DrugSense Weekly
January 21, 1998, Number 30

A DrugSense publication


We will experiment with changes in the format and content of the
Newsletter from time to time in an attempt to make it more readable and

We are including brief editorial comments on the significance of the
selected articles and also shortening the text so as to include more
articles. We will also attempt to cover the amount of exposure a
particular story gets by including references to more than one source.

Readers are encouraged to download those articles in which they have a
particular interest; it is hoped the comments will help you select which
articles to download.

Feedback welcome. Please send your comments to our editorial staff.
E-mail address are provided at the end of this newsletter.



* Feature Article
Top 10 Drug Policy Reform News Stories of 1997
by Kendra E. Wright

* Weekly News In Review
Domestic News -

* Adolescents
A Drug-testing Blunder VS. Why Not Test Students?

* Border War
Pentagon To Scrap Armed Patrols Along Border
Mexican Drugs: Don't Blame Free Trade For
Their Increase In Texas

* Cannabis Clubs
Garden Grove Targets Cannabis Clubs
State Senator Wants a Marijuana Summit

* Hemp News
Farmers Reject Hemp

* Heroin
A Way Out for Junkies?

* Trials & Sentencing
As Crime Rate Falls, Number of Inmates Rises
Man in Wheelchair Faces Third Strike
Senate Votes To Censure Abernathy
Making Crime Pay

* War On Drugs
Anti-German Sentiment Aided Prohibition's Approval
Commonsense Drug Policy
Search-and-Seizure Case Goes to Supreme Court
Clinton To Order States To Fight Prison Drug Use

* Hot Off The 'Net
Dennis Miller Show Speaks Out
Washington State Med MJ Hearings
US Drug Czar Has New Web Site
CNN Replaying "Weed Wars"



Top 10 Drug Policy Reform News Stories of 1997

With the daily struggles associated with cannabis club lawsuits, mass
arrests, the spread of AIDS and Hepatitis C, it is important to reflect
upon our successes. In 1997, the drug policy reform movement made great
strides toward opening the debate and moving the world toward a more
pragmatic drug policy. Reviewing the Top 10 news stories of the year
illustrates our progress.

by Kendra E. Wright

1. Physicians and medical institutions show growing support for reform.

 The two gold standards of American medicine support methadone reform.
The National Institutes of Health joins the Institute of Medicine in
support of widespread methadone availability.

 The American Medical Association endorses needle exchange and medical

 Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine Jerome Kassirer
challenges federal policy on medical marijuana.

 Leading doctors successfully sue the federal government over medical
marijuana policy.

 The Physicians Leadership Council on National Drug Policy, made up of
the elite in medicine, is created and urges public health approaches to
drug control.

2. The African American community's support for reform grows.

 Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus call for an end to the
needle exchange federal funding ban.

 Prominent African Americans including US Representative Maxine Waters,
Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University, Ronald Hampton of the National
Black Police Association and Ramona Edelin of the National Urban
Coalition draw attention to the disparity in the crack vs. powder
cocaine sentencing laws and call for a reduction in the penalties for
crack to be equal with those of cocaine.

3. Drug policy reform makes progress worldwide.

 In England, the campaign for cannabis decriminalization picks up speed
with support from the Sunday Independent. Leading businessman, doctors,
musicians and others join the effort.

 In France, Lionel Jospin is elected Prime Minister after saying he
supports decriminalization of marijuana. Three cabinet ministers come
out for reform and France moves toward making marijuana available as a

 In Switzerland, citizens vote for reform in a landslide. Research in
Switzerland shows heroin maintenance works. In particular, the study
showed dramatic declines in crime rates.

 Canada moves forward on marijuana with a court decision favoring
medical marijuana use and statements by leading police and other
officials supporting reform.

4. Hollywood gets behind medical marijuana.

 A special episode on Murphy Brown features the main character using
medical marijuana to relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments
for her breast cancer. After DEA Director Tom Constantine threatens the
television program's producers, they re-air the show one month later.

5. More judges come out for reform.

 Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Judge
Juan Torruella

 U.S. District Court Judge Kane in Colorado

 U.S. District Court Judge John Curtain in New York

 Superior Court Judge James Gray, a friend of reform, decides to take a
sabbatical from the bench to run for US Congress.

6. George Soros makes the cover of Time magazine.

 Due in large part to his high profile drug policy-related philanthropy
including $1 million to needle exchange, $25 million for reforms in
Baltimore, general support to drug policy reform organizations and
support of medical marijuana initiatives in California and Arizona,
George Soros is featured in Time.

7. Innocent US citizen's death prompts reevaluation of US drug policy
and border patrol.

 Widespread media attention of the Esequiel Hernandez shooting death by
US Marines on the Mexican border resulted in a withdrawal of military
troops from the border and a reevaluation of the use of military troops
in domestic law enforcement and border patrol.

8. US voters stand up to legislatures trying to reverse reforms.

 In Oregon, signatures are gathered to challenge recriminalization of

 In Arizona, signatures are gathered to challenge a legislative attempt
to undo the medical marijuana initiative passed in 1996.

9. Opponents of medical marijuana back down.

 Attorney General Lungren endorses Senator John Vasconcellos' medical
marijuana reform bill.

 Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey funds research on medical marijuana at the
Institute of Medicine.

 NIDA approves AIDS research on medical marijuana.

 NIH hosts scientific conference on medical marijuana which concludes
with broad support for medical use and further research on medical use.

10. Feel-good drug prevention programs did not go without criticism.

 Research showing DARE fails our nation's children was published and
reported on by major news media.

 For the first time, in response to the Monitoring the Future Study,
parents spoke out against the drug war in an organized way.

 ABC's March Against Drugs received widespread critical coverage which
resulted in ABC publicly admitting that they would think twice about
doing another such propaganda campaign (how will they handle Clinton's
1998 $175 million Partnership for a Drug Free America advertising



Domestic News




Subj: US: A Drug-testing Blunder VS. Why Not Test Students?
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n035.a04.html
Source: USA Today
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Pubdate: 12 Jan 1998
COMMENT: One question among several: Who's going to monitor the
students' excretory efforts - teachers, deputy sheriffs; or will parents
be asked to volunteer?
Would you want your twelve year old required to urinate in front of
witnesses just to remain in school?


When Miami schools decided to crack down on drug abuse, they instead
found a way to squander money. School districts around the country are
watching Miami this week as the nation's fourth largest school system
puts the finishing touches on an ill conceived program to randomly drug
test its high school students.

Miami school officials are pushing the $200,000 plan as a bold new way
to fight teen-age drug abuse.

Too bold, in fact. The drug testing plan presents a flagrant threat to
the personal liberties of 82,000 mostly law-abiding Miami high school
students. So to head off predictable legal challenges, school officials
are watering down their testing procedures to the point of uselessness.

They're asking parents to okay drug testing for all high school
students, not just those suspected of abusing drugs. And to prevent
charges that the program discriminates, children will be selected for
the urine tests randomly using a lottery.

[continues: 82 lines]


Border War


Subj: US: Wire: Pentagon To Scrap Armed Patrols Along Border
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n036.a02.html
Source: Scripps Howard News Service
Pubdate: 14 Jan 1998
COMMENT: The Pentagon wants to scrap this program, because it's bad
public relations and resulted in only "modest success" whatever that is.
There's no concern or remorse for the death of an innocent civilian.
Representative Smith is presumably upset that withdrawing troops from
the border sends the "wrong message" to Mexico. Whatever the right
message is, it's not that our drug policy is either humane or


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

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

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

The proposed end of the armed patrols drew outrage from Rep. Lamar
Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House immigration subcommittee.

"Reducing the already overburdened resources at the border opens the
door for drug smugglers who are now bringing 70 percent of their product
across the Southwest border," Smith said.

[continues: 62 lines]


Subj: US TX: Editorial: Mexican Drugs: Don't Blame Free Trade For Their
Increase In Texas
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n033.a13.html
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Monday, 12 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Discussion forum: http://forums.dallasnews.com/dallas (It's HOT - says
our newshawk.)
COMMENT: The increased volume of traffic which followed NAFTA made
smuggling a little easier, but our laws are the magnet luring "illegal"
drugs north of the border. That magnet was turned on long before NAFTA
was passed.


Is free trade with Mexico causing increased drug trafficking in Texas?

That's what some Texas and U.S. drug enforcement officials think. They
blame increased truck traffic from Mexico under the North American Free
Trade Agreement for the surge in cross-border flows of heroin, cocaine
and marijuana.

Assume for a moment that what the officials say is true. The natural
remedy would be to repeal the agreement. No free trade, no problem.

Wrong. Mexican drug trafficking is more complicated than that.

Everyone wants a panacea. But repealing North American free trade would
not be one.

Suppose that the United States and Mexico returned to the status quo
before the free-trade agreement took effect in 1994. Would that reduce
high U.S. demand for drugs? No.

[continues: 28 lines]


Cannabis Clubs


Subj: US CA: Garden Grove Targets Cannabis Clubs
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n033.a12.html
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Wednesday, January 14, 1998

Garden Grove - The city Tuesday was poised to revoke a business license
it issued nearly three months ago to a cannabis club.

City officials voted unanimously to amend a provision in the city code,
allowing the city to yank the license of any business engaging in
"illegal activity."

"I'm the mayor of Garden Grove. I have no intention of seeing headlines
saying that it's OK to open up a marijuana farm in Garden Grove," Bruce
Broadwater said. "It's not going to happen."

The Orange County Patient, Doctors and Nurses Support Group Co-op rents
a post office box in the city, but dos not have a permanent meeting

The group's founder, Marvin Chavez of Santa Ana, vowed after the vote to
"keep fighting."

Chavez said the organization's purpose is to help those who need
marijuana for medicinal purposes.

"It's for patients to all come together and support each other, come out
of the closet and educate each other about our conditions, and take
charge of our care," he said.

Chavez said his group does not sell marijuana but encourages members to
grow it and provides it to those who don't for a donation.

Proposition 215, which was passed by California voters in 1996, allows
patients suffering from a variety of illness to possess and grow
marijuana for medical use with a doctor's recommendation.

The amended city law also allows the city to rescind a license if an
application is filed with misleading or false information.


Subj: US CA: State Senator Wants a Marijuana Summit
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n033.a04.html
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998
COMMENT: This didn't get a lot of press attention, even in California,
but it's important to our cause and we've made it the subject of a focus
alert. It's precisely the type of issue which can be influenced by
writing focused letters to CA news media.


A state senator urged state and federal officials Monday to take part in
a summit on how to implement California's medical marijuana initiative.

Sen, John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clar, said he was "appalled and
outraged" by federal and state responses to voters' approval of
Proposition 215.

"It seems to me that fascism is rearing its ugly head," he said.

The 1996 ballot measure changed state law to allow patients suffering
from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and a variety of other illnesses to possess
and grow marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation.

But Friday, the Justice Department filed civil suits against six
marijuana buyers clubs, saying they violated federal laws against
possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana.


Hemp News


Subj: US: Farmers Reject Hemp
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n036.a06.html
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: 14 Jan 1997

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - U.S. farmers decided today to just say no to research
into industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana. On a 198-168 vote,
delegates to the American Farm Bureau convention went on record against
production of industrial hemp and eliminated language in favor of
research into it.

"Don't take the good name of Farm Bureau and associate it with these
people," said Missouri Farm Bureau president Charles Kruse, who
complained the AFB, the largest U.S. farm organization, was being linked
with groups like National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws. "If
we say we support research, we are going to continue to be used," he

Possibility of Profits Bill Sprague, president of the Kentucky Farm
Bureau, said hemp might be a profitable crop. Hemp has adherents in
Kentucky who see it as the successor to tobacco. The Kentucky Hemp
Growers Cooperative Association, which supports international research,
had a booth at the trade fair held as part of the AFB convention.

"We should at least continue to do some research work," Sprague said.

Industrial hemp, which contains virtually none of the mood-altering drug
produced by marijuana, has excited interest as a fabric for apparel and
furnishings, as well as its traditional use in rope and canvas. It has a
wider color range and a more durable fiber than other natural textiles,
proponents say.

Law Enforcement Police worry that hemp cultivation would confound
drug-law enforcement because hemp looks like marijuana, Kruse said.
While most delegates shared Kruse's distaste for hemp, one asked if
grain research should end because it can be converted into alcohol,
misused by some people.




Subj: US: A Way Out for Junkies?
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n031.a14.html
Source: Time Magazine
Contact: letters@time.com
Pubdate: January 19, 1998 VOL. 151 NO. 2
COMMENT: This is a good illustration of the popular myth that the "drug
problem" is about addiction and there is a magic bullet to be found to
cure it.
We fail to realize that we've expanded the original pharmacologic
problem of addiction into a thriving criminal business empire,
widespread corruption of civil servants, and a huge police and prison
bureaucracy, all the while rendering the plight of addicts much worse
than it was before.


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

"There was no struggle," he says. "There is no downside to the drug."

[continues: 65 lines]


Trials & Sentencing


Subj: US: NYT: As Crime Rate Falls, Number of Inmates Rises
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n044.a09.html
Source: New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Pubdate: Monday, January 19, 1998

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

[continues: 71 lines]


Subj: US CA: Man in Wheelchair Faces Third Strike
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n034.a02.html
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998
COMMENT: Most of the 3rd strikes in California have been marijuana
offenses. So much for a law allegedly to protect us from "violent"


He says his disability makes the possible punishment excessive. He
allegedly bought a macadamia nut he thought was rock cocaine.

A marshal's deputy pushed the suspect into the courtroom Monday
wheelchair to the defense table.

Fost Morris, 56, who lost both legs to diabetes, who suffered three
heart attacks in recent years, whose right arm is scarred from cancer
surgery, hardly struck an imposing courtroom presence as he launched
what he viewed as a fight for his life.

This time, the fight that had nothing to do with life-threatening

Morris could get 25 years to life under California's "three strikes,
you're out" law.

Santa Ana police say Morris tried to buy on cocaine rock during an
undercover sting in August. He actually bought a decoy - a macadamia

[continues: 68 lines]


Subj: US GA: Senate Votes To Censure Abernathy
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n036.a07.html
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Contact: gpph16a@prodigy.com
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/
COMMENT: It's not likely that a white state Senator would have been
busted for similar foolishness, and if he were; it's probable the vote
to censure wouldn't be so nearly unanimous. Abernathy's contratemps
gave his "colleagues" a rare opportunity to be racist *and* politically
correct at the same time.
From a broader perspective, how much respect can we have for a law which
is so openly flouted by so many? The Senator's behavior isn't all that
unusual, it's getting caught that is.


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

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

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

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

[continues: 45 lines]


Subj: US: Making Crime Pay
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n034.a10.html
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
Contact: nconner@pioneerplanet.infi.net
FAX: 612-228-5564
Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998
COMMENT: Through the magic of geography, "slavery" in China becomes
"rehabilitation and job training" in the US.

Private prisons exploit inmates and the penal system in the name of
turning a profit.

If it has a payroll, privatize it. So goes the reigning doctrine of the
day. The urge to privatize invades all sectors, all services, even when
common sense screams for us to pause and reconsider. One of the most
painfully thoughtless examples of this stampede is the privatization of
U.S. prisons.

The initial justification for privatizing prisons was that it would save
the taxpayers a ton of money. It hasn't. A 1996 study by the General
Accounting Office found "no credible evidence" of such savings.

But money isn't really the issue. Liberty and dignity are. Investors
in prison corporations expect to double their money every five years.
To meet that goal, costs per inmate must be minimized, the jail cells
must he fully occupied, and the inmates themselves must be exploited.
Private prisons are dangerous for prisoners and for our social fabric.

[continues: 57 lines]


War On Drugs


Subj: US WI: Anti-German Sentiment Aided Prohibition's Approval
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n036.a03.html
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Editors note: Our NewsHawk writes: This is part of a series on
Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial. There are some parallels here!

It was the day the high life - at least legally - left Wisconsin.

On Jan. 16, 1920, Prohibition signaled last call for 9,656 Wisconsin
saloons, and the $67,000 the state chapter of the Anti-Saloon League of
America had spent in pushing for a ban on beer and booze had paid off.

At $6.93 per shuttered saloon, the league said, the high price of living
couldn't touch "the low cost of dying for saloons. Let 'em die while the
dying is cheap!"

Of course, rumors of drinking's death were greatly exaggerated.

Wisconsin was dragged kicking and screaming into temperance. Milwaukee
breweries employed 6,000 workers and slaked a major share of the
nation's thirst for beer. For the many immigrants from beer-drinking
countries (78.3% of state residents "had an inherited wet predilection,"
dry forces calculated) beer-drinking was a cultural pleasure, not the
vice opponents saw.

[continues: 35 lines]


Subj: US: PUB: Commonsense Drug Policy
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n032.a04.html
Source: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 77 No.1.
Pubdate: January-February, 1998
Contact: http://www.foreignaffairs.org/
Note: "Commonsense Drug Policy" as published in Foreign Affairs
contained only one footnote. But over the next few weeks, they'll be
adding dozens of footnotes & links to this article at
COMMENT: This article is long and densely written, but for those with an
interest in policy issues, it's worth downloading and studying in its
Not only does Nadelmann point out the consistent denial by US officials
of drug war failures, he also contrasts the willingness of European and
Commonwealth governments to consider at least some elements of "harm
reduction" with the adamant refusal of US officials to soften their
punitive policies in any way.


In 1988 Congress passed a resolution proclaiming its goal of "a
drug-free America by 1995." U.S. drug policy has failed persistently
over the decades because it has preferred such rhetoric to reality, and
moralism to pragmatism.

Politicians confess their youthful indiscretions, then call for tougher
drug laws. Drug control officials make assertions with no basis in fact
or science. Police officers, generals, politicians, and guardians of
public morals qualify as drug czars-but not, to date, a single doctor or
public health figure.

Independent commissions are appointed to evaluate drug policies, only to
see their recommendations ignored as politically risky. And drug
policies are designed, implemented, and enforced with virtually no input
from the millions of Americans they affect most: drug users.

Drug abuse is a serious problem, both for individual citizens and
society at large, but the "war on drugs" has made matters worse, not

[continues: 350 lines]


Subj: US: Search-and-Seizure Case Goes To Supreme Court
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n033.a11.html
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Wednesday, January 14, 1998
COMMENT: I get it: It would have been OK to shoot him, but it wasn't OK
to break his window.

Washington-With memories still fresh of a deadly federal siege in Waco,
Texas, the Supreme Court considered Tuesday whether a SWAT team in
Oregon went too far when an officer with a search warrant broke into a
residence without knocking first.

Several justices said the search-and-seizure case from Boring, Ore.,
poses questions about how much force police can use and how much danger
must exist before they can use no knock entries.

Federal prosecutors want the Supreme Court to overturn lower-court
rulings that barred use of weapons seized in the 1994 Oregon search as
evidence in a gun possession case.

Police charged Herman Ramirez after searching his home for another man,a
prison escapee with a history of violence who was not found there.

With 45 law officers surrounding the Oregon residence at dawn, an
officer broke a window and waved a gun in a garage where an informant
had told police guns were stored.

Ramirez said he and his wife thought they were being burglarized. He
ran to a closet, got a gun and fired it toward the garage. Ramirez said
he then realized the window was broken by police and surrendered.

A federal judge ruled that the search violated the Constitution's Fourth
Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and said the weapons
could not be used as evidence.

The judge said that although the officers' knowledge of the escaped
inmate's violent past justified entering Ramirez's home without
knocking, they had to do so without damaging his property.


Subj: US: LAT: Clinton To Order States To Fight Prison Drug Use
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n031.a01.html
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: January 12, 1998
COMMENT: This directive is a tacit admission of failure which once again
raises the question: If we're unable to keep drugs out of our prisons,
how do we expect to keep them off our streets?

WASHINGTON - In an effort to break the link between drugs and crime,
President Clinton plans today to order the states to assess the
prevalence of drug use in their prisons and chart their success at
reducing it, according to a senior White House official and a draft of
the presidential directive.

Last year, as a condition of federal prison grants, Clinton and Congress
gave the states until March to spell out their plans for combating drug
use behind bars. Taking that a step further, the directive the president
is expected to sign today would require studies of the level of drug use
in prisons and annual progress reports so that the public and the
federal government can judge how well the states are doing.

The evidence is conclusive that criminals continue abusing drugs and
alcohol while in prison and, once released, "go back out and commit
crimes to feed their habits," said Rahm Emanuel, a top Clinton domestic
policy advisor. The president's goal, Emanuel added, is to "rip the
habit out of them" while they are in prison through a combination of
mandatory drug testing and treatment.

[continues: 78 lines]




Dennis Miller Show Speaks Out

The theme of the recent Dennis Miller show on HBO was the War on Drugs
and guest on the show was Bill Maher ('Politically Incorrect').

The show was great and one of the few occasions that the mainstream
media unilaterally condemned the War on Drugs on various grounds.

For those that missed the show it should be available at the Legalize
U.S.A. site.

Just follow the multimedia links at http://www.legalize-usa.org


Washington State Med MJ Hearings

Washington State's Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee held a
hearing Tuesday concerning Med MJ.

You can hear how it went using RealAudio at the following URL:


US Drug Czar Has New Web Site

Check out the ONDCP Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse at


CNN Replaying "Weed Wars"

CNN, as part of replaying Weed Wars, has a web site on marijuana issues.
The full story is at: http://cnn.com/HEALTH/9702/weed.wars/

They are taking a poll on medical marijuana and other reform issues. The
poll is at:

Visit today to participate in the poll and see the latest results.


DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers
our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can
do for you.

Editor: Tom Hawkins, thawkins@mapinc.org
News Review Comments: Tom O'Connell, Tjeffoc@sirius.com
Senior Editor: Mark Greer, mgreer@mapinc.org

We wish to thank each and every one of our contributors.

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
in receiving the included information for research and educational

Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense



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