------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Policy On Suicide Law In Doubt ('The Oregonian' Quotes Senator Ron Wyden Saying US Department Of Justice Has Concluded Federal Law Does Not Prohibit Doctors From Writing Prescriptions Under Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law - But Clinton Administration Hasn't Made Final Decision) The Oregonian, January 24, 1998 oregonlive.com email@example.com A preliminary review by the Justice Department would clear doctors to participate By Jim Barnett, Dave Hogan, and Ashbel S. Green of The Oregonian staff An internal review team from the U.S. Department of Justice has concluded that federal law does not prohibit doctors from carrying out Oregon's assisted suicide law, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Friday. The Oregon law has been under a legal cloud since November, when U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno called for the review. Reno has not made a final decision, but Wyden said he's hopeful she will accept the team's conclusion. "I think the key thing is that the attorney general told me personally this call was going to be based on legal grounds," Wyden said. "The reason this development is important is that it goes right to the heart of how she said the decision was going to be made." Dispute about the intent and reach of federal law was sparked by Thomas A. Constantine, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Constantine thinks the Controlled Substances Act prohibits doctors from writing lethal prescriptions. In a Nov. 5 letter to Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Constantine outlined his interpretation that doctors who assist the suicide of a terminally ill patient should lose their prescribing privileges -- a threat that would render the Oregon law useless. But Constantine sent the letter without telling Reno. Embarrassed, Reno referred the issue to an internal review team to determine whether Constantine's interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act was accurate. The Justice Department confirmed this week that a preliminary decision had been made by the internal team, headed by Jonathan D. Schwartz, counsel to Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. A spokesman declined to say what the decision was. A final decision will not be made until other members of the Justice Department -- including the Civil Division, the Solicitor General's office and the DEA -- are given a chance to comment. "Some components (of the Justice Department) have provided their comments, but other components have not had an opportunity to provide their views," spokesman Gregory King said. "All I can say is, the review has not been completed, and it's premature to speculate on what the results will be." However, state officials, including Gov. John Kitzhaber, are proceeding under the assumption that Oregon's assisted suicide law will go forward. Neither the attorney general's office, which is responsible for defending the law, nor the governor has been contacted officially about any decision on doctor-assisted suicide, said Kristen Grainger, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Hardy Myers. But "if that's the finding," Grainger said, "then that's great. It means the arguments of the state prevailed." Kitzhaber called the preliminary conclusion "a victory for the 60 percent of Oregonians who wanted this law." "It's what we were hoping to hear, that Oregon would be able to go ahead and implement its own laws," Kitzhaber said Friday before touring a Eugene agency serving homeless youth. The preliminary decision will be a relief to doctors wishing to take part, he said. The conclusion, if confirmed by Reno, will allow Oregon to proceed with handling the complexities of physician-assisted suicide, including working through a dispute between the Oregon Medical Association and the state Board of Pharmacy, he said. The president of the Oregon Medical Association, whose members are divided about the issue of assisted suicide, echoed that sentiment. Although applauding the Justice Department's initial conclusion as a victory for Oregon doctors, Dr. Charles E. Hofmann, a Baker City internist, said it would not have an immediate effect on physicians' behavior. First, the panel's findings are not final. Second, physicians are grappling with many more issues than the DEA. "It's one step down a long road," Hofmann said. The big issue for the medical association, at present, is whether physicians would have to comply with a state Board of Pharmacy emergency rule that requires doctors to divulge when they have written a prescription under the Death With Dignity Act. Arguing that the rule violates patient confidentiality, the medical association has appealed the pharmacy board's action to the Oregon Court of Appeals. The court action is pending. Dr. Patrick M. Dunn, chairman of the Task Force to Improve Care of the Terminally Ill and a HealthFirst Medical Group internist, called the Justice Department review team's conclusion "an important piece of the puzzle." "It will free at least one of the barriers hanging over the law," he said. Barbara Coombs Lee, co-author of the assisted suicide law and head of the Compassion in Dying Federation, concurred. "It's not the DEA's business to steamroll ... the people of Oregon and replace the voters' judgment with their own," she said. She called the review team's conclusion "the last in a long line of victories for the Oregon people and the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. ... Every dying Oregonian and every doctor who treats dying Oregonians should know that the (act) is a reality. It is an option to be counted among all the others at the end of life." But Dr. William M. Petty, vice president of Physicians for Compassionate Care, which opposes the act, said, "Allowing it is not ethical and never will be." Petty said his organization plans to be more active in advocating that patients get good end-of-life care, palliative care and second opinions that emphasize alternatives to assisted suicide. In Washington, opponents of assisted suicide, including President Clinton and leading congressional Republicans, said little about what strategy they would pursue if Reno agrees with the review team. "I cannot speculate on what we may do in the event of a hypothetical situation," said Jon Murchinson, a White House spokesman. Likewise, assisted suicide opponents on Capitol Hill refused to say whether they would try to pass new legislation to thwart the Oregon law -- an arduous and potentially perilous task. "We will wait until the administration's formal position is announced before commenting," said Jeanne Lopatto, an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Senate Judiciary chairman. Wyden, however, said he would not be surprised if legislation is proposed. Earlier this month, he noted, a bipartisan group of eight senators sent a letter to Reno urging her to accept Constantine's interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act. Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the U.S. Catholic Conference, said Friday that if the DEA does not have the authority to discipline doctors, then Congress should give it that authorization. Proposing a new law could carry political risk, Wyden said. Some of the loudest opponents of assisted suicide also are outspoken proponents of states' rights. "It'll be an interesting philosophical challenge for them." Wyden personally opposes Oregon's assisted suicide law but has emerged as its chief defender against federal intervention. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who also opposes the Oregon law, backed Constantine's interpretation. It's unclear when Reno will render a final decision, said Josh Kardon, Wyden's chief of staff. He expects Reno to wait for comments from the White House, which has been distracted by preparations for the president's State of the Union speech on Tuesday and charges of sexual misconduct. Although Kardon said he did not have a draft of the Justice Department review team's findings, he said he had been told by administration sources that such a document had been circulated within the department. The review team's opinion may reflect the position taken by the Oregon attorney general. On Nov. 20, David Schuman, Oregon deputy attorney general, met with Justice Department officials to argue that Congress intended the Controlled Substances Act to deal with the abuse and trafficking of controlled substances, not with medical practices deemed legal under state law. The Death With Dignity Act still faces a court challenge. A federal judge in Eugene will hear arguments Feb. 18 about whether he should reinstate a lawsuit challenging the act's constitutionality. U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan in 1995 ruled that the act violated the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause, but the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year reversed Hogan, saying the chronically ill plaintiff did not have standing to sue. The U.S. Supreme Court last fall refused to consider the case. Steve Woodward and Gail Kinsey Hill of The Oregonian staff and correspondent Janet Filips contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Club Wins Reprieve As Judge Hints At Delay ('Associated Press' Item In 'San Jose Mercury News' Says California Attorney General Lungren's Attempt To Shut Dennis Peron's Cannabis Cultivators' Club In San Francisco Has Been Blocked Temporarily By Superior Court Judge David Garcia, Who Also Let The Club Reopen After Lungren Shut It Down Last Time, Saying It Was A 'Primary Caregiver' For Thousands Of Patients) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 17:22:23 -0800 Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Club Wins Reprieve as Judge Hints At Delay Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 POT CLUB WINS REPRIEVE AS JUDGE HINTS AT DELAY SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Attorney General Dan Lungren's attempt to shut down a medicinal marijuana club hit a snag Friday when a judge suggested he would delay action while the state Supreme Court considers the issue. Lungren sought to halt operations of the Cannabis Cultivators Club, based on a state appeals court ruling last month that said the club could not legally sell marijuana to patients under Proposition 215, the 1996 medicinal marijuana initiative. That ruling, which said Superior Court Judge David Garcia should order the club closed, technically became final last week. But Garcia asked the state's lawyer at a hearing Friday why he shouldn't wait until after the state Supreme Court decides whether to hear the club's appeal, filed Wednesday. The court has 60 days to decide whether to take the case and can extend that another 30 days. If it grants review, a ruling could take a year or more. If review is denied, the appellate ruling will become binding on trial courts statewide and could be used to close all medicinal marijuana clubs. The San Francisco club, formerly known as the Cannabis Buyers Club, sold marijuana illegally to cancer and AIDS patients and others for years without interference from local police. Lungren's office raided it in the summer of 1996, got a shutdown order and also obtained a criminal indictment against club founder Dennis Peron and others. After Proposition 215 passed in November 1996, Garcia let the club reopen, saying it was a ``primary caregiver'' for thousands of patients who were allowed to use marijuana at their doctors' recommendation. But the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Dec. 12 that the club, as a commercial enterprise open to the public, could not be a primary caregiver, and that Proposition 215 did not legalize marijuana sales. Two weeks ago, federal prosecutors filed separate lawsuits to shut down the club and five others in California, noting that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. No action has been taken on those suits. At Friday's hearing, Senior Assistant Attorney General John Gordnier argued that Garcia was bound by last month's appellate ruling and should order the club closed immediately. The club's lawyer, J. David Nick, contended the ruling has no binding effect while it is being appealed to the Supreme Court. Garcia deferred a decision. After the hearing, Nick told reporters the club ``will continue to operate until the Supreme Court says otherwise.'' Even if the appellate ruling is upheld, Nick said, the case will eventually go to trial, and ``we would ask any jury to nullify any laws that would prohibit this type of activity, which is providing medicine to people who are ill.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Effort To Shut Marijuana Club Runs Into Snag ('Orange County Register' Version Of 'Associated Press' Article) Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 13:04:29 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Effort To Shut Marijuana Club Runs Into Snag Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Section: News, page 4 Author: Bob Egelko-The Associated Press Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 EFFORT TO SHUT MARIJUANA CLUB RUNS INTO SNAG A San Francisco judge indicates that he'll wait for the state Supreme Court to review the matter. SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney General Dan Lungren's attempt to shut down a medical-marijuana club hit a snag Friday when a judge suggested he would delay action while the state Supreme Court considers the issue. Lungren sought to halt operations of the Cannabis Cultivators Club, based on a state appeals court ruling last month that said the club could not legally sell marijuana to patients under Proposition 215, the 1996 medical-marijuana initiative. That ruling, which said Superior Court Judge David Garcia should order the club closed, technically became final last week. But Garcia took no action at a hearing Friday and asked the state's lawyer why he shouldn't wait until after the state Supreme Court decides whether to hear the club's appeal, filed Wednesday. That is standard practice among California judges, said San Francisco attorney Paul Fogel, an appellate specialist not involved in the case. Because the state Supreme Court can nullify an appellate ruling by granting review, he said, judges seldom rely on those rulings until after the high court denies review. The court has 60 days to decide whether to take the case and can extend that period by another 30 days. If it grants review, a ruling could take a year or more. If review is denied, the appellate ruling will become binding on trial courts statewide and could be used to close all medical marijuana clubs. The San Francisco club, formerly known as the Cannabis Buyers Club, sold marijuana illegally to cancer and AIDS patients and others for years without interference from local police. Lungren's office raided it in the summer of 1996, got a shut-down order and also obtained a criminal indictment against club founder Dennis Peron and others. After Prop.215 passed in November 1996, Garcia let the club reopen, saying it was a "primary caregiver" for thousands of patients who were allowed to use marijuana at their doctors' recommendation. But the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Dec. 12 that the club, as a commercial enterprise open to the public, could not be a primary care-giver, and that Prop.215 did not legalize marijuana sales. Two weeks ago, federal prosecutors filed separate lawsuits to shut down the club and five others in California, noting that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. No action has been taken on those suits. At Friday's hearing, Senior Assistant Attorney General John Gordnier argued that Garcia was bound by last month's appellate ruling and should order the club closed immediately. The club's lawyer, J. David Nick, contended the ruling has no binding effect while it is being appealed to the Supreme Court. Garcia deferred a decision. After the hearing, Nick told reporters the club "will continue to operate until the Supreme Court says otherwise." If a shutdown is ordered, Peron said earlier this month, "we are going to go perfectly limp and be carried away" rather than cooperate. Even if the appellate ruling is upheld, Nick said, the case will eventually go to trial, and "we would ask any jury to nullify any laws that would prohibit this type of activity, which is providing medicine to people who are ill."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana The Medicine (Letter To Editor Of 'San Jose Mercury News' Backhandedly Urges Government To Quit Blocking Proposition 215's Implementation) Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 01:20:09 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Marijuana the Medicine Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 98 MARIJUANA THE MEDICINE Proposition 215's recent passage may have positive consequences for San Francisco's AIDS community This marijuana plant, normally abused as an illegal narcotic, is now harvested to relieve the symptoms of AIDS and it medications, eliminating nausea and appetite loss. In deep dark laboratories mystic scientists puzzle over Buckeyball and enzymatic activation substrates, but wait. There's a more simple solution lying around home: marijuana, the ethereal drug that supposedly makes you fly and relieves the stresses of AIDS with one stone. When other AIDS combatants such as AZT trigger dreadful intonations, why can't we turn to an illegal drug to save AIDS patients? It's that one word the government is having trouble with, illegal. The public wants it; the patients want it; the patients' lawyers really want it, but the governor will preside. Isn't it high time Pete didn't pick up his pen to veto another issue? Of course the governor cannot negate a ratified initiative, the next step that San Francisco patrons took with Proposition 215. I firmly believe that if the drug is only distributed to doctor-approved AIDS patients and is only used in proportion to the amount needed to smooth the virus, there is no harm done by saying yes to the AIDS initiative. No doubt. The initiative insists that the California laws against the growing and intake of marijuana shall not pertain to patients. The initiative states, "When the marijuana is for the personal medical use of a patient under a physician's recommendation, the traditional anti-drug laws shall not apply." It gives the American people a chance to buttress an initiative that will benefit those patients who need help, nothing more. It's not as if we're legalizing drugs nationwide; instead we're offering a remedy to an impending dilemma. Myriad doctors advocate the medical access to marijuana for soothing AIDS, cancer, and even glaucoma. AZT, the existing, uncomfortable prescription for AIDS, instigates numbness, diarrhea, nausea, and appetite loss. Marijuana, on the other hand, depletes the nausea, the appetite loss, the restroom tie-ups. These people are on the verge of death; there is no legitimate excuse for the retention of a drug that could alleviate their lives. What lives here is a terrible sorrow that weeping cannot symbolize. Since when has the man who carried a gun for public defense been forced to give it up because of what others might do with it? If marijuana is carefully confined, no one else can fiddle with it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Laura Kriho's Medical Marijuana Web Page (Paul Wolf Of The Initiative 59 Campaign In Washington, DC, Promotes New Site Focusing On Schism Developing Between Voter Initiative Campaigns Sponsored By AMR And Others) Subj: Laura Kriho's medical marijuana webpage From: Paul Wolf
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 10:24:31 -0500 http://www.levellers.org/medmj.html This is the place to read the emerging story of the medical marijuana revolution, which is happening all across the country. Local activists in half a dozen states are struggling against Americans for Medical Rights, a California PR firm hired by billionaire philan- thropist George Soros, and others, to mount a national campaign to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The AMR bills are not popular with local activists, who disagree with provisions like names reporting, the three plant / 1 oz limit, drug free school zones, civil asset forfeiture, and other drug war references unrelated to the compassionate treatment of the sick and dying. These things appear to have been included to appease any would-be opponents of their bills, such as law enforcement agencies. As spokesperson for the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project, Laura was the first one to question the language in AMR's bills. In the past, AMR had been able to steamroll activists in Washington State, Oregon, and in California. But now, people in Colorado, Washington DC, Maine and Alaska are using the internet to organize a united front against AMR. This is going to hit the media soon ... please help us advertise this webpage to whatever contacts you have. - - Paul Wolf
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lungren Hit For Speech At Men-Only Club (California Attorney General Bidding For GOP Gubernatorial Nomination Says Crime Talk At All-Male San Marino City Club 'Not A Campaign Event') Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 12:53:43 -0800 Subject: MN: US CA: Lungren Hit For Speech At Men-Only Club Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 Section: news, page 4 LUNGREN HIT FOR SPEECH AT MEN-ONLY CLUB An appearance by gubernatorial candidate is more than he bargained for. SAN MARINO-State Attorney General Dan Lungren, appearing to make a speech about crime, instead found himself confronting questions about clubs that deny entry to women. The state's top law enforcement official has no immediate plans to speak before any other meetings organized by exclusively male organizations, spokesman Rob Stutzman said Friday. Stutzman added that Thursday's speech was before a "mixed audience of civic-minded people" who turned out to hear a speech about California justice. "It was not a campaign event," he said in a telephone interview from Sacramento. Lungren, considered the Republican front-runner for governor, spoke at the gathering sponsored by the San Marino City Club. He was confronted by a female vice president of a financial firm who asked Lungren if he was aware of allegations the group discriminates against women. June Cowgill was admitted to the speech at San Marino High School because women are allowed at public events sponsored by the private San Marino City Club. "I was informed there is a comparable women's club in this community," Lungren said at the Thursday event. "I don't think I belong to any group that is all male - right now." City Club members include business leaders and attorneys, among others. Lungren replied he understood the club allows women at certain meetings. City Manager Deborah Bell cannot join, although her male predecessor was a member. Members said bylaws prohibit women from joining, and they maintain the 73-year-old club is legal. Membership is open to all men who live within the San Marino Unified School District who are sponsored by a current member. "Women can come to the events, but they can't be members," President William P. Barry said. "I haven't seen any men trying to get into the Women's Club or the Junior League."
------------------------------------------------------------------- FIJA - A Different California Initiative (Voters In November 1998 May Get Chance To Restore Nullification Option To Juries) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 01:19:54 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Bob Ramsey
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: FIJA - A Different California Initiative ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "ERIC E. SKIDMORE" (email@example.com) To: Ed Saukkooja , FIJA , Fred James , "Karpinski, Len" , Steve Kubby Subject: FIJA Initiative? ))) Wow. Is this really going to happen? JURY EDUCATION INITIATIVE (California Ballot '98)** Can you veto bad laws? Yes, if you've been informed. In the state of California, U.S.A., there is a new ballot initiative to make it a law that a jury must be informed by a judge in every trial of its inherent right to judge the law as well as the facts of the case before them. Justice depends on informed, educated juries, hence the Jury Education Initiative (JEI). *** JURY EDUCATION COMMITTEE Board of Directors: Pastor Wiley Drake, Hon. George Hansen, Larry Dodge, Ph.D., Peymon Mottahedeh. MISSION STATEMENT The Jury Education Committee is a political action committee whose mission is to enact policies and laws which bring added justice to our judicial system through educated and informed jurors. The Committee plans to promote laws which: 1. Inform trial jurors of their inherent right and power as trial jurors to veto unjust laws or unjustly applied laws and thereby stop imprisonment of the innocent; 2. Educate the grand jurors of their important duty in maintaining public trust in the integrity and uprightness of our public servants by presenting or indicting corrupt or criminal public servants; 3. Provide for adequate compensation of jurors to ensure all citizens a meaningful opportunity to become involved in their own governance as jurors. 1998 GENERAL PLAN The Committee is currently sponsoring a statewide California initiative called the Jury Education Initiative. This initiative assures that all trial jurors will be informed by the trial judge that they may vote to acquit or find the defendant not guilty, if the law is unjust or its application would produce an unjust verdict. In addition, this initiative guarantees that all parties in a trial will have the opportunity to present arguments to the jury which may pertain to issues of law and justice, including: a) The merit, intent, constitutionality or applicability of the law to the defendant's case; b) The motive, moral perspective or circumstances of the defendant; c) The degree and direction of guilt or actual harm done; d) The sanctions which may be applied to the losing party. This initiative will significantly reduce the number of innocent people who are imprisoned in California due to unjust laws or unjust application of laws. *** For more information you can contact the Jury Education Committee (sponsor of the JEI) at: 13211 Myford Road #332, Tustin, CA 92782--- or call 714-838-2896/voice or fax: 714-838-2849 website: www.jurypower.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marinovich Jailed On Marijuana Conviction ('Orange County Register' Says Former Los Angeles Raiders Quarterback Begins Six-Month Sentence Friday In Orange County Jail For Cultivating One Marijuana Plant) Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 12:56:09 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Marinovich Jailed on Marijuana Conviction Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Section: metro, page 1 Author: Stuart Pfiefer - The Orange County Register Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 MARINOVICH JAILED ON MARIJUANA CONVICTION No more delays-the ex-raiders quarterback begins his six month sentence. Former Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich will have a different view of Sunday's Super Bowl than his onetime counterparts Brett Favre and John Elway. He'll be inside Orange County Jail, serving a sentence for felony marijuana cultivation. South Orange County Municipal Court Judge Ronald P. Kreber ordered marshal's deputies to lead Marinovich away Friday to begin a six-month sentence. Marinovich, 28, had postponed his sentencing several times since his September conviction, asking for time to find a private jail near his new home in Sonoma County in which to do his time. On Friday, Marinovich said he had not found a private jail or drug program. So Kreber ordered him taken into custody. As for the Super Bowl? "I think he'll be watching it from the tank or the day room," Deputy District Attorney Lori Silverman said after the hearing in Laguna Niguel. "I don't think he's going to have beer and chips, though." The former University of Southern California and Capistrano Valley High School star was arrested March 24 after deputies found a marijuana plant at his Dana Point home. It was only the latest legal trouble for Marinovich, a once-promising quarterback who was released by the Raiders in 1993. In 1991, while at USC, Marinovich was arrested in Newport Beach for cocaine possession. The next year, he was cited by Manhattan Beach police for disturbing the peace.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DARE's Straight Talk Can Be Effective (Op-Ed In 'Orange County Register' By Garden Grove Police Officer And DARE Instructor In Deep Denial Uses Rhetoric Instead Of Evidence To Maintain Program Is Effective) Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 13:07:27 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA; Editorial: Dare's 'Straight Talk' Can Be Effective Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Section: Commentary, page 3 Author: Frank Caruso- A police officer and member of the Garden Grove police department's DARE unit. Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 DARE'S 'STRAIGHT TALK' CAN BE EFFECTIVE For the past year, I have read countless articles on the ineffectiveness of the DARE program. It appears that some of our nation's educators, school district administrators and law enforcement officials feel that our top juvenile anti-drug program, DARE, is not bringing in numbers to justify their budget expenditures or to satisfy their local government bean counters. For the last two years, I have been teaching the DARE program to sixth-grade students in Garden Grove and have taught over 3,500 students. I know I am making a difference in their lives because I am building bonds that will last a lifetime. In the 17-week curriculum I do not teach kids to say "no." I teach them why and how to say "no" and the consequences of their choices to use or not use drugs. My students also learn about self-esteem, stress, violence and other issues that can interfere with their ability to make good decisions. My "straight talk" about drugs and gangs is open, honest, informative and fun. I can see my students comprehending the importance of strong values and good decision-making skills. DARE was never designed to be a "cure all" for society's juvenile problems. DARE is about prevention, not about taking responsibility away from parents and the community. DARE also understands the importance of continued education and therefore offers a follow-up curriculum for middle and high school students, which includes a program for parents. The overall effectiveness of DARE depends greatly on the support of the community, the DARE officer's ability to teach and most importantly the reinforcement by parents. It has been my experience that the parents are not holding up their end of the deal. It is not unique for me to know children whose parents or close relatives are addicted to drugs, in street gangs or in prison. It is not easy for me to tell these kids that they cannot afford to follow in their parents' footsteps. They must make better choices that their parents because their futures depend on it. In some instances, I am the only positive adult male role model in their lives. What makes DARE effective is the fact that it is taught by a person who has experienced first hand (not just read in a book) the devastating effects of drugs and gangs on the human spirit. DARE's worth simply cannot be evaluated based solely on written statistical documentation. Rather, it must be viewed as an additional layer of psychological protection for our children. My students will remember DARE for the rest of their lives. The value of the bond between the officer and the child is not something that can be measured by traditional surveys or statistics. We can either pay now for our children's education or pay later when we have to institutionalize them. Believe me, it is far more inexpensive (and rewarding, I might add) to educate them now.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Liberty School Instructor Faces Marijuana Charges (Salem, Oregon, Elementary Teacher Popped On Marijuana Cultivation Charges) Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 01:40:01 -0800 From: Paul Freedom
Organization: Oregon State Patriots To: Cannabis Common Law , Subject: TEACHER IS SUSPENDED AFTER ARREST! THE LIBERTY SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR FACES MARIJUANA CHARGES. by Alma D. Velazquez Statesman Journal Salem, Oregon 1-24-98 A Liberty Elementary School teacher was suspended from work Friday, the morning after Salem police officers arrested her on drug charges. Ginger Lee McKenzie, 46, of Salem was charged with distribution and manufacture of marijuana after Salem police officers found marijuana growing at her home. Also arrested was Terry Hillman Williams, 40, of Salem, who lives in the same residence. Police confiscated 73 rooted marijuana plants, $900 in cash, a .357-caliber Magnum handgun, grow lights and miscellaneous growing equipment. The harvested marijuana was found in a mobile home at 4676 32nd Ave. SE, which was the main living quarters for McKenzie and Williams. The growing area was in a separate mobile home, 4666 32nd Ave. SE on the same property. Both were booked into Marion County jail late Thursday and released soon after on their own recognizance. Liberty School Principle Marilyn Campbell issued a letter to the parents of McKenzie's fourth-grade students Friday notifying them of the arrest and saying the incident had nothing to do with McKenzie's employment at the school. " The charges are not related to her teaching, and there and there is no allegation that Liberty School is involved," the statement read. School officials said they had arranged for a substitute teacher and would provide students and parents with additional support to help them deal with concerns. Susan Gourley, the district's personnel director, said the school will decide on her future employment once police complete their investigation. " We will rely on them to do their work and then we figure out what we need to do, " she said. McKenzie, a teacher with the district since 1979, was suspended with pay. Police said they served McKenzie and Williams with a search warrant after receiving a tip that marijuana was being grown at the residence. The Salem Area Interagency Narcotics Team conducted the investigation that resulted in the arrests.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Impounds Car, Destroys Credit Of AIDS-Cancer Patient Peter McWilliams - Without Bringing Charges ('Marijuananews.com' With More On DEA Harassment Of The Best-Selling Author Whose Computer With His Latest Book - About Cannabis - They Seized In December, An Act Already Denounced By Free-Speech And Free-Press Advocates From The ACLU To William Buckley) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 16:01:12 -0400 (AST) Sender: Chris Donald
From: Chris Donald To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Narc war on activists: McWilliams: dea destroys credit marijuananews.com - A Personal Newsletter on the Cannabis Controversies Date: 01/24/98  Richard Cowan, Editor and Publisher DEA Impounds Car Destroys Credit Of Aids-Cancer Patient Peter McWilliams --Without Bringing Charges January 22, 1998 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DEA CRITIC AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE LOSES HIS CAR In an apparently orchestrated effort to suppress medical marijuana advocate and vocal DEA critic Peter McWilliams, the DEA momentarily impounded his car. This triggered a clause in the lease agreement stating that if a car is impounded by law enforcement, the lease is cancelled. The leasing company demanded full payment of the lease amountalmost $50,000that McWilliams did not have. Unpaid, this is reported as a lease default, effectively destroying McWilliams' credit. "I leased the carwhich is really a small truckto transport me to and from medical treatments should my condition worsen," said McWilliams, who was diagnosed with AIDS and cancer in March 1996. He uses medical marijuana to control nausea, a side effect of his medical treatment. "Now I don't have the car, and no credit to get another." McWilliams worries his credit card will be canceled, and perhaps even the mortgage on his home. The DEA impounded the car, which was on loan to a friend, on December 14, 1997, just three days before nine DEA agents searched McWilliams' home and publishing company, seizing the computer containing McWilliams' soon-to-be-published book, A Question of Compassion: And AIDS-Cancer Patient Explores Medical Marijuana. The book contains passages critical of the DEA. No drugs were found in the car. The DEA is apparently investigating McWilliams for cultivating medical marijuana, or "conspiring" to cultivate marijuana, both of which are specifically permitted medical marijuana patients under California's Proposition 215, now The Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The DEA never informed McWilliams of the impounding. The DEA released the car to the leaseholder, Lexus Financial Services, which would not return the car to McWilliams unless he paid $47,802.25. Further, if the amount were not paid immediately, the car would be auctioned and reported to credit bureaus as McWilliams breaking the lease. "I still wanted the car. I was still prepared to pay for it," said McWilliams. Now, because of the DEA, Lexus takes it back and is telling creditors that I broke the lease." Disbelieving this Kafakaesque turn of events, McWilliams wrote a letter to the president of Lexus America, James Press, explaining the situation. Nancy Tippett, Customer Service Manager of Lexus Financial Services, responded for Mr. Press: Lexus Financial Services has had an opportunity to carefully review your concerns regarding the seizure of you vehicle by the Drug Enforcement Administration. While LFS empathizes with your situation, LFS cannot agree to reinstate your lease account. Pursuant to paragraph 20 of your lease, subjecting the vehicle to seizure or impound for any reason is a default under your contract. On further investigation, McWilliams discovered that this is a routine harassment technique of the DEA. "Although few consumers know it, almost every car or truck lease has a clause saying that if the DEA impounds your car for any reason, even for an hour, the lease is canceled, and it all goes on your credit report." said McWilliams. "This can begin a domino effect in people's livesloss of transportation, loss of credit, loss of housingthat leaves some people destitute. All this without a search warrant, without a charge, without even an explanation. It's frightening the power the DEA has to be judge, jury, and executioner of anyone it finds inconvenient." McWilliams has been "inconvenient" to the DEA since the 1993 publication of his Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country (www.mcwilliams.com/books/aint/toc.htm), a book sharply critical of the War on Drugs and praised by Milton Freidman, Hugh Downs, Archbishop Tutu, and Sting. McWilliams founded the Medical Marijuana Magazine Online (www.marijuanamagazine.com) in March 1997. McWilliams also recently learned the DEA has called in an IRS Special Agent to investigate McWilliams and his publishing company, Prelude Press, Inc. "First the DEA, then the IRS, now LEXUS," said McWilliams. "What's next?" The DEA December 1997 seizure of the computer containing McWilliams' latest book has been widely denounced by freedom-of-speech and freedom-of-the-press advocates, from the ACLU to William F. Buckley, Jr. Mr. Buckley, who remarked the seizure was "the equivalent of entering the New York Times and walking away with the printing machinery, " wrote in his January 6, 1998, syndicated column: [T]here is the federal war on drugs, with General Barry McCaffrey up there like George S. Patton defying all obstacles to pressing his war. The difference is that Patton succeeded and McCaffrey is not succeeding and never will. Anthony Lewis of the New York Times reminds us that in 1980 the Feds spent $4 billion on the drug war, now $32 billion and the number of people in jail on drug charges went up by the same multiple of eight: from 50,000 to 400,000. How to proceed? Not, one hopes, with more dawn break-ins and removal of computers. Peter McWilliams reports an ironic turn. For his illness he smokes every day. But after you do that for a few weeks you cease to get a high. Marijuana becomes just something that stops nausea, eases pain, reduces intraocular pressure, relaxes muscles, and takes the "bottom" out of a depression. So where do we go from here? To jail? CONTACTS: To interview Peter McWilliams, please contact Ed Hashia, 213-650-9571 x125 Lexus Financial Services, Nancy Tippett, 1-310-787-1310 More on this story online:  www.marijuanamagazine.com (Ed. Note: I was the founding editor of that site. The opening graphics created by Peter and his new "webmistress" is spectacular.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Watts Confirms Call From Fleeing Sister (US Representative JC Watts, Republican From Oklahoma, Confirms He Received Call From Sister Fleeing Meth Charges - 'Tulsa World' Says He 'May Not Have Contacted Authorities' Afterwards, A Legal Violation)Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 20:45:26 -0500 Subject: MN: US OK: Watts Confirms Call From Fleeing Sister Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell"
Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Author: Jim Myers, World Washington Bureau Contact: email@example.com WATTS CONFIRMS CALL FROM FLEEING SISTER WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., confirmed through an aide that he received a call from his sister while she was fleeing drug charges in Oklahoma County. ``He advises that she was in Maryland,'' Watts' Chief of Staff Michael Hunter said Friday. ``There was discussion of her problem, and his recommendation to her was to get with the authorities and get the problem worked out.'' Watts also may not have contacted authorities after receiving the call from his sister, it was learned. She had skipped bail by failing to appear for a Nov. 10 hearing in Oklahoma City. State law makes it is illegal for Oklahomans to give any kind of assistance to a fugitive. It also prohibits them from concealing a fugitive's location. The head of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association said that under the ``letter of the law,'' Watts may have been obligated to inform authorities about the contact with his sister. ``She was a fugitive,'' association President Dudley Goolsby said. But Goolsby said that may be a ``gray area'' of the law and conceded that it would have been difficult for Watts to do that to his sister. ``Put yourself in his shoes,'' he said. Along with several others, Darlene Watts of Oklahoma City was charged with possession of methamphetamines and with trafficking in the drug. A bail bondsman said his firm searched for her ``all over the country'' and eventually apprehended her in Oklahoma City. She was returned to jail in Oklahoma County on New Year's Eve. After she resolves the problems with the drug charges, officials said, she will be held over to face municipal charges on public indecency. Those 1996 charges stem from her performance at an Oklahoma City club where she was a dancer. Watts has declined to be interviewed about the legal situation involving his 34-year-old sister. He earlier had told an aide that he had not seen his sister in a year. Hunter said the congressman was in Norman when he received the call, the exact date of which Watts could not recall. ``I don't have any indication from him regarding that, either way,'' Hunter said when asked whether Watts then contacted authorities about the call from his sister. He went on to say that Watts had only a ``sketchy understanding'' of his sister's situation, and they had not seen each other for more than a year. Hunter said the congressman also said his sister did not tell him exactly where she was in Maryland. Their contact apparently was limited to the one phone call, Hunter said. ``If he didn't know where she was, it would be kind of hard for him to tell somebody where she was,'' Goolsby said. Although he has declined to speak about his sister's situation, Watts has expressed concern for her through Hunter. ``The congressman is . . . trying to balance his responsibilities as a public official to comment on this situation with his responsibility to his family,'' Hunter said. ``His view is that this is an appropriate balancing of those interests.'' Only in his second term in Congress, Watts is a star on the Republican speaking circuit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man Pleads Guilty Of Possessing Cigarettes ('St. Louis Post Dispatch' Indicates Iowa Man Who Showed Up For 45-Day Probation Violation At Nodaway County Jail In Maryville, Missouri, Didn't Know About Its No-Smoking Policy) Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 15:56:50 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US MO: Man Pleads Guilty Of Possessing Cigarettes Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: derek rea Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch Pubdate: 24 Jan 1998 Page: 8 - AP wire Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ MAN PLEADS GUILTY OF POSSESSING CIGARETTES Maryville, Mo. - Donald Heming didn't want to risk a long prison term, so he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: possession of cigarettes. When Heming, of Hamburg Iowa, surrendered at the Nodaway County Jail in Maryville, he admitted having cigarettes - an alkaloid substance described under Missouri laws. The episode began when Heming reported to served a 45 day sentence for violation of probation in Aug. 1996. That fall, he was charged with possession of an alkaloid (cigarettes) and possession of a weapon (matches), both felonies, after jailers removed them from his personal effects. The Noaway County Jail has a no-smoking policy. A defining term in the law, "alkaloid", means an organic substance found in narcotics, but it's also present in caffeine and nicotine. The Missouri Court of Appeals and Supreme Court declined to stop prosecution. Heming's trial was to have begun this week. Conviction as a persistent offender would have meant five to 40 years in prison. There will be no incarceration with his negotiated plea, which admits guilt only to possession of an alkaloid.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Taking First Steps Of Freedom As An Inflexible Law Is Overruled ('New York Times' Reports On A Mother Reuniting With The 8-Year-Old Son She Bore In Prison Serving 15-Year Term, One Of 11 Nonviolent Drug Offenders Sentenced Under The Rockefeller Laws' Mandatory Minimums Granted Clemency By New York Governor George Pataki) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 08:48:50 -0500 Subject: MN: US NY: NYT: Taking First Steps of Freedom as an Inflexible Law Is Overruled Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: New York Times Author: By Jane Gross Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Saturday, 24 Jan 1998 Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ TAKING FIRST STEPS OF FREEDOM AS AN INFLEXIBLE LAW IS OVERRULED BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. -- Angela Thompson's son, Shamel, was born nearly eight years ago in a prison nursery here, behind the cinder block walls and razor wire fences of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, and raised by his aunts. Friday, Ms. Thompson practically skipped out the gates of the maximum security prison, celebrating her freedom by smothering the boy with kisses and promising him an expedition to Toys "R" Us and Chuck E. Cheese. A month ago, Gov. George Pataki commuted Ms. Thompson's sentence of 15 years to life for selling drugs, one of 11 clemencies he has granted to nonviolent drug offenders sentenced under the 1973 Rockefeller laws. And now, after more than eight years, prison was behind her, the rest of her life ahead. "Thank the Lord I am free," Ms. Thompson said, as two sisters and a cousin snapped pictures and their children, eight in all, scampered underfoot. It was a bleak day to re-enter the world, with sleet lashing the northern suburbs and the sky low and gray. But Ms. Thompson was bareheaded and gloveless when she left the prison shortly after 9 Friday morning. She was escorted by Sister Elaine Roulet, director of the nursery and children's center where Ms. Thompson, now 26, had worked as an inmate supervisor. Later she said she would have run out the door had the nun not held her arm. Ms. Thompson carried a small suitcase and a bouquet of alstroemeria, a gift from a volunteer at the children's center, where imprisoned mothers have regular visits with their sons and daughters. She wore a new, sleek black pants suit. Her hair was freshly primped, by inmate beauticians. Her son nuzzled at her side. The reunion of mother and son, so long in coming and so hard won, was the result of a determined effort by a retired State Supreme Court justice, Jerome W. Marks. Marks had read a law journal's account of the sentence handed the teen-ager, who had no previous record when she was arrested for selling 2 ounces of cocaine to an undercover officer. Ms. Thompson, 17 at the time, was taking orders from her uncle and legal guardian, a repeat felon and drug dealer. Marks, who prepared the clemency petition and greeted her as she walked out of the prison Friday, had the support of the trial judge, Juanita Bing Newton. Justice Newton had sentenced the pregnant teen-ager to eight years to life, but that sentence was overturned on appeal because of the mandatory minimums specified under the Rockefeller drug laws. Ms. Thompson was one of three first-time, nonviolent drug offenders granted clemency on Christmas Eve. Her uncle, who was sentenced to 15 years to life for drug dealing, remains imprisoned. On Thursday, her final night in prison, Ms. Thompson and four friends ate dinner together, beef and rice cooked on a hot plate. There was a cake, with vanilla icing and coconut flakes, "baked" in a tin can atop the coils. The women talked of old times, wept and prayed until lockdown at 10:30 p.m. Ms. Thompson was awake before dawn, packing and pacing. Her relatives, in a motel in nearby Mount Kisco, were too excited for much sleep, as well. The children, ranging in age from 4 to 10, were crammed into two rooms. Way past normal bedtime, they were jumping on the beds and playing Nintendo. Even Justice Marks, 82, and his wife, also spending the night at the Holiday Inn, tossed and turned in anticipation. Marks, who has been harping for years about the injustice of Ms. Thompson's sentence, called Friday "the best day I've ever had as a judge." He added that sentencing defendants was always difficult; helping one gain her freedom was another story. "There's nothing quite like seeing a new life for somebody, especially somebody who suffered as she did," he said. Morning broke stormy, but the little girls wore black velvet party dresses, the boys freshly pressed flannel shirts. Together with Ms. Thompson they ate a celebratory breakfast at the Crabtree Kittle House, an 18th century inn and restaurant in Chappaqua. Then Ms. Thompson paid her first visit to her parole officer in Manhattan and went to Brooklyn, where she will live for six months at a halfway house run by Sister Elaine's order, the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Her family lives in Camden, N.J., but Ms. Thompson chose Providence House so she would be closer to her parole officer and to job counseling. Her goal is to work with girls like she once was, who are liable to get pregnant or involved with drugs. She has some experience as a result of the many innovative programs at Bedford Hills for inmates' children, including one for teens who attend monthly rap sessions at the prison. Ms. Thompson said she plans to complete college. She was six credits short of an associate degree in psychology and sociology when the prison lost funding for higher education programs a few years back. But first on her agenda are thank you letters to Pataki and a visit to Justice Newton's courtroom. She has poise and job skills learned in the prison's children's center, where she was permitted to live with and care for her son for the first year of his life and where she later worked. She also has the support of a large family that includes her sisters Sophia Thompson, a 28-year-old nurse's aide, 29-year-old Sharon Pryce, soon to have another child, and a cousin, Andrea Barnett, 27, also a nurse's aide, who was here Friday, too, with her children. All the youngsters took turns joining Shamel for visits at the correctional facility -- periodic weekends when model prisoners can stay with family members in trailers on the grounds. The boy, a second-grader, was here for such a visit on Christmas Eve, along with his Aunt Sophia and her two boys, 8-year-old Dimitri and 7-year-old Renice. That is the day when governors traditionally announce clemency decisions. Ms. Thompson, in the visitors' room with her family, could hardly bear the suspense. She rested her head in her older sister's lap and Sophia stroked her hair. At just that moment, the superintendent came into the large hall, ringed with vending machines and noisy with children. "Angela, you got it," she said. Until that happy day, Ms. Thompson's sisters would fend off the children's questions about when she was coming home. "Soon," they would say. "When is soon?" the dogged youngsters would counter. "You know kids -- all the why questions," Sophia Thompson said as Angela kneeled on the restaurant floor, all eight children climbing on her as if she were a jungle gym. "Well, now we know the answer."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tip Leads To Four Men, 376 Pounds Of Pot (Local News From 'Chicago Tribune' - Another Informant, Another Bust, Another Day In The War On Drugs) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 18:47:18 -0500 Subject: MN: US IL: Tip Leads To 4 Men, 376 Pounds Of Pot Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Chris Clay http://www.hempnation.com/ Source: Chicago Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: January 24, 1998 TIP LEADS TO 4 MEN, 376 POUNDS OF POT CARPENTERSVILLE -- A tip to the North Central Narcotics Task Force has resulted in the arrests of four men in Carpentersville with more than 300 pounds of marijuana. Jose Perez Guzman, 24, of Chicago, and Podilla Reyes, 32, of 7004 N. Paulina St., Chicago, each were charged with unlawful possession of cannabis and unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, said Master Sgt. Michael Callahan. Two other men also were arrested at a residence at 1423 Kings Road Circle, Carpentersville, when the marijuana was delivered, but their names were being withheld pending the arrest of a fifth man, believed to be the leader of the drug ring, Callahan said. The unnamed men were charged with unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. The task force was tipped off on Tuesday by the Nebraska State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration that the marijuana was being taken to Carpentersvile, Callahan said. The 376 pounds of marijuana was in 67 blocks kept in luggage and duffel bags in the vehicle and has a street value of about $225,000, Callahan said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Agents Seize $86,000 From Woman ('Associated Press' Doesn't Say Why US Customs Searched The Passenger At La Guardia Airport In New York) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 00:27:17 -0800 Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Agents Seize $86,000 From Woman Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 AGENTS SEIZE $86,000 FROM WOMAN NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. Customs agents said they seized $86,000 in suspected drug money from a woman they arrested at La Guardia Airport who said she swallowed thousands more in cash. Liliana Giraldo was headed to Miami with a connecting flight to Colombia on Thursday when a Customs inspector examined her luggage, authorities said Friday. The luggage was full of cash stuffed into battery-sized capsules, Customs spokeswoman Janet Rapaport said. The capsules, each containing about six $100 bills, were glued to the insides of a toy cash register, a remote-controlled toy car and other items. Giraldo admitted having swallowed 37 capsules containing $22,000, Rapaport said. Authorities were trying to determine if she had indeed swallowed the money. Her boyfriend, Santiago Rueda, was arrested later, and another stash of $55,000 was found at a relative's home in Flushing, Rapaport said. Rapaport said she did not know the exact charges against either suspect.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Spare Us Your Battle Plan (Fairfax County, Virginia Mother Naive About 'Washington Post' Bias On Drug News Writes Letter To Editor Expressing Dismay Her Cooperation With Paper Resulted In A Story Endorsing Drug-War Tactics And Priorities Rather Than Drug Treatment And Need For More Funding) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 09:13:19 -0500 Subject: MN: US VA; WP LTE: Spare Us Your 'Battle Plan' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com - temporary only, I hope. Source: Washington Post Section: Letters to the Editor Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Saturday, 24 Jan 1998 SPARE US YOUR 'BATTLE PLAN' Last month, The Post did a two-part investigative report on juvenile drug and alcohol use in Fairfax County [news story, Dec. 14, front page, Dec. 15]. A profile of my family, and our arduous but ultimately successful attempt to get effective treatment and recovery for our son was included in the first part of the series. The reason we agreed to be interviewed for the article, despite the stigma we knew such publicity would bring, was that we wanted people to understand that addiction is terrible but that with effective treatment people get better, families are restored, communities are spared many ills and taxpayers save money. We thought that this was a message that parents and policy-makers alike needed to hear. Imagine our disappointment to learn that the first response of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to the Post articles was to gear up for a "new battle plan" that would station police officers in middle schools and create a new detective squad specializing in arresting juvenile drug dealers and users [Metro, Jan. 13]. We did not read one word about getting treatment to the children targeted by this dragnet. As an intervention tool, juvenile detention is terrific. You can ask my son. But juvenile detention did not bring him recovery or put his life back on track or restore sanity to our family -- treatment did. Parents alone cannot fix a kid with a serious drug problem. My husband and I know because we tried very hard. Jails can't do it either -- corrections officials don't even claim that they can. It takes treatment, tailored to the degree of the adolescent's addiction and delivered by competent professionals, supported by families and backed where needed by the coercive power of the juvenile justice system. If Fairfax County -- and our state legislature and our Congress and our health insurance plans -- cannot put new dollars on the table for effective, accessible and accountable addiction treatment, then all we are talking about here is a knee-jerk political reaction to the embarrassment of The Post's articles. Parents who are where my husband and I were three years ago will be left to swing in the breeze, and taxpayers will be left to pick up the tab. JUNE GERTIG Herndon
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno Orders Inspector General To Withhold Report On CIA-Crack Probe ('Washington Post' Says US Attorney General Is Quashing The 400-Page Report, Ready A Month Ago, Due To Unspecified 'Law Enforcement Concerns' - CIA Version, Held Up In December By Justice Department, Now Expected To Be Made Public Next Week)Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 09:06:22 -0500 Subject: MN: US: WP: Reno Orders IG to Withhold Report on CIA-Crack Probe Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Please - we need a WP newshawk - email@example.com Source: Washington Post Author: Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Saturday, 24 Jan 1998 RENO ORDERS IG TO WITHHOLD REPORT ON CIA-CRACK PROBE Attorney General Janet Reno yesterday ordered the Justice Department inspector general to continue to withhold his 400-page report on the CIA-crack cocaine controversy. The report had been set for release more than a month ago. Citing "law enforcement concerns" that are not related to the report's conclusions, Reno said the report should continue to be withheld until those concerns have ended. Under the law cited by Reno, among the information the attorney general can order withheld includes undercover operations and the identity of confidential sources such as protected witnesses. Sources within the law enforcement community said last month that the concern was for ongoing drug enforcement operations and witnesses who some officials believed could be jeopardized by information in the report. Inspector General Michael Bromwich said yesterday he disagreed with Reno's decision but that he would abide by it. "I hope that we will be able to release the report in its entirety in the not-too-distant future," he said. Bromwich also said the CIA played no role in the delay and that nothing in the report is classified. The report is the outgrowth of a year-long investigation by Bromwich's staff into articles published in August 1996 by the San Jose Mercury News that alleged that the CIA helped introduce crack cocaine into South Central Los Angeles through Nicaraguan drug dealers who sent their profits to help finance contra rebels seeking to overthrow the Sandinista government in that country. The series of articles created a major uproar within the Los Angeles community, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus demanded they be investigated by the government. A subsequent inquiry by other newspapers, including The Washington Post, raised questions about some of the basic charges carried in the articles. Last month, CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz released a summary of his findings from his inquiry, which concluded there was no evidence to support the allegation of CIA involvement in the California crack cocaine trade. Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News investigated its own report after then-CIA Director John M. Deutch questioned its conclusions, and Jerry Ceppos, executive editor, said last May the series "oversimplified" a supposed link between the CIA and cocaine trafficking and omitted important facts that contradicted that conclusion. The complete CIA inspector general report, whose release was delayed in December by the Justice Department, is now expected to be made public late next week, according to sources. Although Reno did not say yesterday when the law enforcement concerns she mentioned would be abated, other sources indicated the report would be released this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno Orders Delay In Release Of CIA Cocaine Report ('Reuters' Version) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 23:53:15 -0800 Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Reno Orders Delay In Release Of CIA Cocaine Report Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: GDaurer
Source: Reuters Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 RENO ORDERS DELAY IN RELEASE OF CIA COCAINE REPORT WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Attorney General Janet Reno on Friday ordered the Justice Department's inspector general to delay the release of a report into allegations involving the CIA, crack cocaine and a Nicaraguan rebel group. Inspector General Michael Bromwich immediately issued a statement disagreeing with Reno's decision, but saying that under the law he had no choice but to go along with it. ``I hope that we will be able to release the report in its entirety in the not-too-distant future,'' he said. ``At that time, I look forward to a full and open discussion of the findings contained in our report.'' The report stemmed from reports in 1996 by the San Jose Mercury News that the CIA helped introduce crack cocaine into California in an effort to funnel drug profits to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s. A report by the CIA inspector general found no support for the allegations, but its release also has been delayed by the Justice Department. U.S. officials have said Bromwich uncovered no evidence that the CIA or any other U.S. intelligence agency had sought to interfere with a specific investigation or drug-case prosecution. Reno in a letter to Bromwich cited ``unspecified law enforcement concerns'' unrelated to his ultimate conclusions as the reason for delaying the release of the report, which was completed a month ago. ``This prohibition on public disclosure of your report shall remain in effect until I determine that the law enforcement concerns that have caused me to make this decision no longer warrant deferral of its public release,'' she said. Until its public release, the report will not be changed, Reno said. Bromwich said he had been working with Justice Department officials over the past month ``to resolve the issues that have blocked public release of the report,'' and he expressed regret the effort had yet to be successful. ``Although I disagree with her decision, it is her decision to make under the law. I respect that decision and must abide by it,'' he said of Reno's action.
------------------------------------------------------------------- CIA-Crack Study Is Blocked By Reno ('San Jose Mercury News' Version, With Links To The Paper's Web Site Offering More Details) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 00:24:33 -0800 Subject: MN: SJMercury: CIA-Crack Study Is Blocked By Reno Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 NOTE: This is from the San Jose Mercury News, the paper that broke the original story on Reno's decision to delay the CIA-crack study. In the article they have provided many links to into the background of the story. The links that were provided within the text of the story have remained in place [within brackets]. On May 11, 1997, the Mercury News published a column that is important to an understanding of this document or story located at: http://spyglass1.sjmercury.com/drugs/column051197.htm Other links: The following article is posted at: http://spyglass1.sjmercury.com/drugs/continued/followup012398.htm Continued coverage: http://spyglass1.sjmercury.com/drugs/continued.htm Forum: http://cgi.sjmercury.com/cgi-bin/WebX?13@@.ee6ba67 (closed on June 11, 1997) History: http://spyglass1.sjmercury.com/drugs/start.htm CIA-CRACK STUDY IS BLOCKED BY RENO BY PETE CAREY Mercury News Staff Writer Using a provision of law that had never been invoked, Attorney General Janet Reno has blocked the release of a report on the actions of the Department of Justice in an alleged CIA-Contra-crack cocaine conspiracy. The report will not be made public until unspecified ''law enforcement concerns'' are resolved, Reno's order says. The attorney general said the report will eventually be released unchanged. Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich, [http://spyglass1.sjmercury.com/drugs/library/51.htm] who directed the investigation, said he disagrees with and regrets the decision but will abide by it and has no complaints about the way it was made. Both the inspector general and the Justice Department said the CIA was not involved in the decision. The law enforcement concerns are ''unrelated to the ultimate conclusions'' reached in the report, Reno said in ordering Bromwich to delay its release. [http://spyglass1.sjmercury.com/drugs/library/50.htm] The 400-page Department of Justice report, the product of a 15-month investigation by 13 people, including five lawyers, examines actions of the Department of Justice concerning two Nicaraguan cocaine dealers who were supporters of the anti-Sandinista Nicaraguan guerrilla force called the Contras. It also explores ''some additional related matters,'' according to Bromwich. In a series published in the Mercury News in August 1996, the two Nicaraguans -- Juan Norwin Meneses Cantarero and Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes -- were alleged to have financed the Contras with millions of dollars in cocaine profits from drug deals in South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s. The series strongly suggested CIA knowledge of the operation and also suggested the two men were protected from prosecution by unnamed government agencies. Then-CIA director John Deutch denied the allegations but ordered an investigation by his agency's inspector general. A second investigation of Justice Department actions concerning the alleged operation was opened by the department's Inspector General Bromwich, leading to the report that Reno blocked Friday. The investigation presumably looked at interference with the prosecution of the two Nicaraguans and with their relationships with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Both men eventually became informants for the DEA, which is under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. Bromwich stressed that his investigation was ''wholly separate'' from the CIA's. Reno's order marks the first time a section of the Inspector General Act of 1978 [http://www.doc.gov/oig/info/igact78.htm] has been used to block an inspector general's report. The section allows the attorney general to intervene if a report would affect ongoing civil or criminal investigations or proceedings; disclose undercover operations; reveal the identity of confidential sources and protected witnesses; expose intelligence or counter-intelligence operations; or pose a serious threat to national security. Neither Bromwich nor the attorney general would discuss which law enforcement ''concerns'' are involved. But since the report has been declassified by the CIA and Department of Justice agencies involved, it appears unlikely that national security, intelligence, undercover operations or source information is involved. That leaves ongoing civil or criminal proceedings as the most likely factor. ''It's not that the report was invalid, or will have to be changed, or will never see the light of day,'' said justice department spokesman Bert Brandenburg. ''It's simply a decision to delay it until the law enforcement concerns abate.'' He said the decision ''is not made lightly and comes from an attorney general who has a very strong record of openness.'' The order puts in writing a last-minute decision by the attorney general's office that blocked the report's release in December. That decision caused the CIA to delay the release of its own inspector general's report on the allegations. Although the CIA report has not been released, its conclusion --that there was no merit to the allegations -- was leaked to the news media by sources familiar with the investigation. The Department of Justice report has remained a mystery. Bromwich said he is confident the report will be released. ''It will be released eventually, certainly,'' he said. ''I hope and believe it will be released this year.'' Members of Congress who have been following the issue closely were unavailable for comment on the order to withhold the report. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said it would have no comment before Congress reconvenes Monday. The Mercury News series and its suggestion that the CIA could have helped cause the nation's crack epidemic drew widespread public reaction. Some news organizations attacked the series as unsubstantiated, while some legislators and citizen groups demanded a thorough investigation of the charges. In a May 11 column examining the series, Mercury News Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos aknowledged shortcomings in the articles after an extensive internal re-examination. ''There is evidence to support the specific assertions and conclusions of our series -- as well as conflicting evidence on many points,'' he wrote. He concluded that the series did not sufficiently include that conflicting evidence and did not meet the newspaper's standards.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno Seals Report on CIA-Crack Claims ('Associated Press' Version In 'Los Angeles Times' Adds 'It Was Learned Officials Feared Release Might Compromise Undercover Operation Expected To Last Extended Period') Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 17:29:14 -0800 Subject: MN: US: Reno Seals Report on CIA-Crack Claims Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Pubdate: January 24, 1998 RENO SEALS REPORT ON CIA-CRACK CLAIMS WASHINGTON (AP)--Over the Justice Department inspector general's objections, Atty. Gen. Janet Reno ordered him Friday to keep secret a report on how the department dealt with people and allegations described in a newspaper series on the CIA, Nicaraguan rebels and crack cocaine dealers. It was the first time an attorney general had ever invoked provisions of the Inspector General Act that allow a report to be withheld from the public if its release would reveal sensitive information. The 400-page report is the product of a 15-month investigation triggered by August 1996 articles in the San Jose Mercury News, Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich said. In a letter to Bromwich, Reno said her decision was prompted by "law enforcement concerns unrelated to the ultimate conclusions reached in your report." She did not elaborate, but it was learned that department officials feared release might compromise an undercover operation that is expected to last an extended period.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno Makes Official Withhold Report On The CIA And Drugs ('Associated Press' Version In 'Orange County Register' Notes 400-Page Report That Took 15 Months To Investigate Is Titled, 'A CIA-Contra Crack Cocaine Controversy - A Review Of The Justice Department's Investigations And Prosecutions') Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 13:01:23 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Reno Makes Official Withhold Report On The CIA and Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Section: News, page 10 Author: Michael J.Sniffen-The Associated Press Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 RENO MAKES OFFICIAL WITHHOLD REPORT ON THE CIA AND DRUGS Inspector General Michael Bromwich objects to order for secrecy from the attorney general. WASHINGTON - Over the Justice Department inspector general's objection, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered him Friday to keep secret indefinitely a report on how the department dealt with people and allegations described in a newspaper series on the CIA, Nicaraguan rebels and crack cocaine dealers. It was the first time an attorney general had ever invoked provisions of an act dealing with inspectors general that allow a report to be withheld from the public if its release would reveal sensitive information. The 400-page report, "A CIA-Contra Crack Cocaine Controversy: A Review of the Justice Department's Investigations and Prosecutions," is the product of a 15-month investigation triggered by August 1996 articles in the San Jose Mercury News, Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich said in a statement. In a letter to Bromwich, Reno said her decision was prompted by "law enforcement concerns unrelated to the ultimate conclusions reached in your report." She did not elaborate on the reasons, but it was learned that department officials feared release might compromise an undercover operation that is expected to last an extended period. "I disagree with her decision," Bromwich said in a statement. But he added, "It is her decision to make under the law. I ... must abide by it." The law allows her to restrict any inspector-general activity involving sensitive information about civil or criminal investigations, undercover operations, the identity of confidential sources or protected witnesses, intelligence matters, or data damaging to national security. Reno said the report will remain secret "until I determine that the law enforcement concerns ... no longer warrant deferral of its public release." She did not estimate when that would be. Both Reno and Bromwich said the report would not be altered. Bromwich evaluated the potential risk of damage from public release of his document as less harmful than Reno believed and objected because the open-ended secrecy "could last many months," said one Justice official, who requested anonymity. The Mercury News series concluded that a San Francisco Bay area drug ring sold cocaine in south-central Los Angeles and funneled profits to the Nicaraguan contra rebels for the better part of a decade. It traced the drugs to dealers who were also leaders of a CIA-run guerrilla army in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Several newspapers disputed the Mercury News report. In an open letter to readers in May, the Mercury News" executive editor, Jerry Ceppos, said the series had shortcomings. The series prompted a separate investigation by the CIA inspector general. Although the CIA inspector general report also is still secret, a senior official said last month that it found no evidence CIA employees or agents colluded with allies of the Nicaraguan Contra rebels involved in crack cocaine sales in the United States. A senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the CIA inspector general report found no link between the CIA and two Nicaraguan cocaine dealers, Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses. The newspaper series had said the two were civilian leaders of an anti-communist commando group formed and run by the CIA during the 1980s. The newspaper articles traced the origin of the crack cocaine explosion in the United States to a crack dealer named Ricky Donnell Ross, saying he got his supply through Blandon and Meneses. The CIA inspector general found "nothing to indicate that CIA people or people working for the CIA or on CIA's behalf had any dealings directly or indirectly with those people, Ross, Blandon or Meneses," the senior official said. The newspaper series generated anger in the black community toward the CIA, as well as federal investigations into whether the CIA took part in or countenanced the selling of crack to raise money for the contras.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Biotech Firm Grew High-Nicotine Tobacco ('Associated Press' Says DNA Plant Technology Of Oakland, California, Pleaded Guilty To One Misdemeanor Count Of Conspiracy, Giving The US Justice Department Its First Conviction In Its Investigation Of The Tobacco Industry)Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 00:30:31 -0800 Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Biotech Firm Grew High-Nicotine Tobacco Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 BIOTECH FIRM GREW HIGH-NICOTINE TOBACCO WASHINGTON (AP) -- A California biotechnology company pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to growing high-nicotine tobacco secretly in foreign countries for a U.S. tobacco company. DNA Plant Technology Corp. of Oakland pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of conspiracy, giving the Justice Department its first conviction in its investigation of the tobacco industry. No sentencing date was set. Arthur Finnel, the company's vice president and chief executive officer, and his lawyers declined to comment further after Friday's court hearing, saying the government had asked them to remain silent while the investigation continues. ``Under the terms of the plea agreement between DNA Plant Technology and the government, DNA Plant Technology Corp. has agreed to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation of the tobacco industry,'' said a written statement released by defense attorney Raymond C. Marshall. In court papers filed Jan. 7, federal prosecutors cited the unnamed tobacco company as an unindicted co-conspirator and refused to name it. But individuals familiar with the investigation said it was Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., the third-largest U.S. cigarette company and manufacturer of the Kool, Viceroy and Raleigh brands. The biotechnology firm, also known as DNAP, agreed to plead guilty after negotiations with prosecutors, who have recommended that U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson impose a $100,000 fine as punishment. Johnson, however, still is free to impose the maximum penalty of either $200,000 or twice the amount of money DNAP gained while under contract for the tobacco company. Late last year, 18 Brazilian farmers openly acknowledged to The Associated Press that they are growing high-nicotine leaf by the ton, and many said they have been growing it for more than five years. The AP reported that the high-nicotine tobacco -- called crazy tobacco or fumo louco by the growers -- was the offspring of a genetically altered plant created in U.S. laboratories for Brown & Williamson. DNAP was accused of violating a federal law that banned the export of tobacco seeds without a permit. That law was repealed in 1991. From 1983 to 1994, the tobacco company and DNAP operated a scheme to secretly have said. Commercial growing of such tobacco is banned in this country by federal regulations. DNAP smuggled shipments of seeds to farms in foreign countries -- including Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Argentina and Canada -- to find the best place to grow the tobacco, Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Eliason said. The tobacco company's goal was to develop a reliable source of high-nicotine tobacco that it could use to control and manipulate the nicotine levels of its cigarettes, the government said. Higher levels of nicotine are thought to help hook smokers on cigarettes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Illusions Of A War Against Cocaine ('New York Times' Editorial On Multinational Counternarcotics Center In Panama Allowing US Military To Stay After 1999 Says The Proposal Returns To 'A Strategy That Has Failed And Could Harm Latin Democracies')Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 08:27:05 -0500 Subject: MN: US: NYT Editorial: Illusions of a War Against Cocaine Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: New York Times Section: Editorial Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Saturday, 24 Jan 1998 Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ ILLUSIONS OF A WAR AGAINST COCAINE Panama is debating whether to let Washington keep American soldiers there to combat drug trafficking after the 1999 pullout date set by the canal treaties. The proposal, called the Multinational Counternarcotics Center, is one of several efforts to broaden the role of Latin American militaries in fighting drugs. It is dismaying to see Congress and the Clinton Administration return to a strategy that has failed and could harm Latin democracies. Washington is seeking to keep more than 2,000 soldiers in Panama for 12 years to continue coordinating radar searches for suspicious aircraft, a job that could be done from American soil. The troops would also train Latin American military and police forces in drug-fighting. The project needs the approval of Panama's Congress and its voters in a referendum. Some American officials say the proposal is a way for Washington to maintain ties and coordination with Latin militaries now that cold-war rationales have evaporated. Military aid and sales to Colombia have also been resumed, and this year Congress approved a five-year project costing up to $100 million to train and equip Colombian and Peruvian militaries to interdict drugs transported by river. Washington has periodically pushed the Mexican military to take on an anti-drug role, and since 1996 has provided training, intelligence and equipment. Some cooperation with Latin American law enforcement is useful. Crop substitution programs, which give coca-growing peasants economic incentives to switch crops, deserve expansion. But no one should put too much store in efforts to stop the production of cocaine in Latin America. Past efforts have not reduced the flow of drugs to the United States. A Rand Corporation study showed that source-country control was by far the least cost-effective way of reducing cocaine use. Treatment for addicts, it found, could have the same impact at a 20th of the price. Even effective military operations show this strategy's limits. The Peruvian Air Force has stopped many planes carrying coca paste to Colombia for processing. But that success, along with a fungus that has attacked Peru's coca plants, has simply pushed coca-growing into Colombia. Military strategies are not only ineffective, they can be harmful. The virus of corruption contaminates everyone who comes near the drug war, as the wave of recent arrests of Mexican officers shows. There is evidence from several countries that militaries have used their American equipment and training to fight guerrillas or to abuse human rights. The counternarcotics relationship has also led some Clinton Administration officials to praise officers and strengthen militaries that threaten civilian rule. These are echoes of cold-war abuses that the Administration should heed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two CNN Shows Sunday - McCaffrey & 'Canada Cannabis' (Program Your VCR) From: Richard Lake [SMTP:email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, January 24, 1998 6:38 AM Subject: MAP: Two CNN Shows Sunday - McCaffrey & Canada Cannabis As they say, 'Check your local listings....' From the Washington Post: Both Sides With Jesse Jackson. With Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, on new strategies for fighting illegal drugs (CNN, 5:30 p.m. Eastern). Coming Sunday, January 25 on Impact: Canada Cannabis Correspondent: Larry LaMotte/ CNN Two months after our segment originally aired the high profile pot-smoking entrepreneur Marc Emery was raided for a second time. IMPACT updates you on North America's new and unlikely source for high-potency marijuana: Vancouver, Canada, where indoor pot production is a spectacular growth industry.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pro-Pot Folks Find Splendour In Grass (Rambling Essay By Carey Ker In 'Toronto Star' Mentions Support Of 83 Percent Of Canadians For Medical Marijuana, DEA's Referral To HHS Of Jon Gettman's Petition, Background On 'High Times' - With An Endorsement Of Cannabis Decriminalization) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Pro-pot folks find splendour in grass Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 14:12:31 -0800 Lines: 99 Newshawk: Carey Ker
Source: Toronto Star Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Section: Page M6 Author: Antonia Zerbisias Pubdate: January 24, 1998 PRO-POT FOLKS FIND SLENDOUR IN GRASS Better living through chemistry, redux. Last week, we talked anti-depressants. This week, we turn to another mind-altering matter - marijuana - and the recent debate about its legalization. Of course, for some there is no debate. A recent spate of letters to The Star was overwhelmingly pro-pot, with writers fuming about how booze and cigarettes are legal, while grass, which helps AIDS and chemotherapy patients fight nausea and other ills, remains illegal. According to a recent poll, 83 per cent of Canadians believe that marijuana should be legal when used for ``health purposes'' - although, I suppose, ``health purposes'' can mean anything. And just a couple of months ago, Murphy Brown viewers watched staid old Jim Dial score - ``I've even got cash,'' he confided to the dealer - to help his stricken pal battle her breast cancer. Even the February Shape magazine is onside, with writer Sharon Cohen detailing how THC, marijuana's primary active ingredient, works for those suffering from glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Only a token amount of ink is devoted to the downside of dope, the usual stuff about how smoking causes lung damage. But, for the straight dope on dope, there's no better source than High Times, which, for 24 years, has been fighting the U.S. feds and, along with sister publication Hemp Times, lobbying hard for the legalization of the wonder weed. Now, according to news on its Web site, http://www.hightimes.com/ it looks like its efforts are not going up in smoke. What's happened is that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) has ``quietly affirmed that, based on evidence that has been published in High Times magazine, sufficient grounds exist to investigate whether marijuana should be made available for medicinal use.'' Well, praise the Lord and pass the . . . oh, never mind. You have to hand it to a bunch of folks who, since 1974, have risked the slammer for their single-mindedness. And make no mistake: High Times takes chances, starting with its centrefold, always a photo of a lasciviously lush green field or a hugely hunky chunk of hash. Where do the pictures come from? Who takes them? Don't the narcs want to know? There's also ``Trans-High Market Quotes,'' which, in recent years, has become a hotline readers call to learn if they're paying too much cash for their stash. In fact, this nod to modern technology is just about the only change High Times has made since its early days. Seemingly stuck in a time warp, the monthly celebrates '60s stoner culture as if the coked-up '80s and the cracked '90s never happened. From pot profiles to parties to politics, High Times offers hints for home growers, tips for tourists and advice on beating drug tests - advice that operators of heavy machinery and 747 pilots better not be taking. (If you're already flying, that's high enough.) Mind you, High Times is not the greatest read on the stands. Its single-mindedness is tiresome, its design boring and its writing not very interesting. That said, there's clearly a mighty market for the long-lived High Times (circulation: 300,000), which, like Hemp Times (circulation: 60,000), is tightly packed with ads for hempwear and pot paraphernalia. What you won't find within, however, is a single trendy ad for vodka, which, although legal, probably has harmed more people, families and communities than any amount of grass. But still, according to High Times, U.S. pot busts climbed to more than 600,000 in 1996, the third successive record high. In Canada, police made 29,562 arrests for marijuana offences in the same year. Not only is this an expensive way to tie up the justice machinery - aren't there more heinous crimes being committed? - it's also indicative of, for better or worse, marijuana's growing availability. Millions of people think governments should wake up and smell the winds of change. Maybe we should roll with the High Times, as it were.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombians Choking On Contraband - Drug Traffickers' Money Laundering Ruins Businesses ('San Francisco Chronicle' Report Suggests US Interdiction Programs Aren't Quite Effective Yet - Colombia's $3 Billion Contraband Trade Makes Up One Third Of Imports, But Destabilizes Some Parts Of Its Economy) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 13:45:17 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Tom O'Connell" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: SF Chronicle, 1/24 Over the past 2 years that I have been following "drug news," John Otis of the SF Chronicle has sent a number of perceptive articles from Mexico and Colombia describing how the drug war impacts society in those countries. Unfortunately, those stories are seldom picked up by other American newspapers and thus remain under reported. This is a typical example. The Chronicle doesn't even carry them in their online edition, so they have to be scanned and OCR'd. It's a pity, because they are unique, well written, and deserve a wider audience. Tom O'Connell Colombians Choking on Contraband Drug traffickers' money laundering ruins businesses Bg John Otis San Francisco Chronicle January 24, p. A10 Chronicle Foreign Service BOGOTA - From the outside, the building looked like a Coca-Cola warehouse, but it wasn't the real thing. When customs agents cut the padlocks and burst through the doors, they found French champagne stacked to the rafters. They discovered TVs, cameras and stereos, plus 82,000 bottles of whiskey and cognac. All told, they filled seven trucks with nearly $1 million in contraband. Although the recent midnight raid in Bogota's warehouse district made the local newspapers, it barely made a dent in Colombia's $3 billion-a-year contraband trade. Economists estimate that contraband goods-which retail for less because smugglers evade import tariffs-account for one third of the nation's imports and have driven hundreds of legitimate merchants out of business. "These (smugglers) should be shot.... They make my life so miserable," said a Colombian woman who imports Italian wines. "If contraband didn't exist, I would probably double or triple my sales." Even more alarming is that the contraband business has become the preferred way for Colombian drug lords to launder billions of dollars in illicit profits. "In the last few years, (contraband) has become a very important tool for the drug traffickers," said Gustavo Cote, who heads Colombia's Tax and Customs Directorate. Colombia has always been something of a smuggler's den because of high import duties, corrupt and understaffed government enforcement agencies and a lawless atmosphere in the countryside. In 1962, "gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson hitched a ride on a riverboat full of contraband whiskey in the northern state of La Guajira. "There is no law in Guajira," he wrote. "No customs, no immigration, no white men, no nothing but Indians and whiskey." All Kinds of Shoppers Consumed by a 33 year-old civil war, drug trafficking and political scandals, the government has long tolerated smugglers. It even allowed the construction of sprawling contraband shopping malls known as "San Andresitos," after Colombia's free port island of San Andres in the Caribbean. The discounts are substantial. A bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey costs $15 in Colombian supermarkets compared to $9 at the San Andresitos, which attract buyers ranging from working class families to diplomats. "It is socially acceptable. People go to the San Andresitos for the prices. They don't think they are doing anything bad," said Guillermo Leon Gomez, a state tax official in Bogota. Like most Latin American nations, Colombia opened its economy to free trade in the early 1990s and slashed import tariffs from an average of 40 percent to 10 percent. Officials predicted that the reforms would lower retail prices and reduce smuggling, but instead the flow of contraband increased. The reason: money laundering. As banks impose tighter restrictions on cash deposits, drug lords have switched to business schemes to launder their profits. They often spend their dollars on computers, textiles, clothes and liquor in the United States or duty-free ports like the Colon Free Zone in Panama, then smuggle the goods into Colombia. Roberto Steiner, an economist at Fedesarollo, a private think tank in Bogota, estimates that $2.5 billion in drug money enters the Colombian economy annually and that two-thirds arrives in the form of contraband. Fueling Businesses. Because traffickers are more interested in obtaining untraceable Colombian pesos than in making profits on the contraband, they often sell their wares to middlemen at below-cost prices. That has devasted legitimate Colombian businesses. Textile makers, for example, have lost 25 percent of the national market to contraband, said Ivan Amaya, president of the Colombian Association of Textile Producers. About half of the cigarettes sold in Colombia are smuggled, and as a result, the Coltobaco cigarette firm has closed four of its five plants. "It is raising hell with the economy down there," said an officer who investigates money launder ing for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a branch a the U.S. Treasury Department. "We have got to take a hard look a the contraband market." The government, meanwhile loses about $1 billion annually in unpaid customs duties and taxes. Prodded by the U.S. govern meet, Colombia finally took action in July by passing a law that makes selling more than $170,000 in contraband a criminal offense. Customs agents have set up highway roadblocks to catch smugglers an' are conducting lightning raids on warehouses. "How many of you have taker away job opportunities from fellow countrymen by purchasing i; legal goods, only to save two or three thousand pesos (a few do lars)?" President Ernesto Samper said in a speech announcing the new measures. Some analysts say the demand for contraband goods will dwindle with the recent opening of a number of Wal-Mart type warehouse stores that offer credit and price that are only slightly higher than at the San Andresitos. But for now, the Samper ad ministration is reluctant to close down the contraband malls because they employ about 20,000 people and are a political force in their own right. During a recent raid on a San Andresitos outlet, custom agents were met by sniper fire and had to call in a police SWAT team "They were surrounded by merchants and could do absolutely nothing," Gomez said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legalisation - The Answer For Lost War On Drugs (Op-Ed In 'Canberra Times' By Its Police Reporter Details Conclusions Of Just-Released Australian Illicit Drug Report - After Decades Of Pursuing Drug Criminals And Packing Them Into Jails, Things Are Worse Instead Of Better - Time For New Approach - Legalise) Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 16:08:53 -0500 Subject: MN: Australia: OPED: Legalisation The Answer For Lost War On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Peter Watney) Source: Canberra Times Author: Peter Clack. Peter Clack is the 'Police Reporter' of the Canberra Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 98 LEGALISATION THE ANSWER FOR LOST WAR ON DRUGS AFTER decades of pursuing drug criminals and packing them into the jails, things are worse instead of better. There is more of everything - more heroin, more cocaine, more cannabis, more amphetamines and more prescribed drugs. It is all cheaper than it used to be. Heroin is purer, thus more perilous, for unsuspecting users. These messages are contained in what many see as the most comprehensive study of illicit drugs, the Australian Illicit Drug Report 1996-97, produced by the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence. Its underlying theme is chilling - the war against drugs cannot be won. It is clearly time for a new approach. That, in my opinion, is to legalise the arsenal of illicit drugs before the situation gets worse. It would enable governments to control the use and distribution of these substances instead of drug lords. It might save our children. Police and politicians have consistently taken the "hard line" against drugs, yet this continued approach is not the solution in the light of this report. The drugs report says the number of dependent heroin users in 1995 ranged from 36,000 to 150,000. There were 778 deaths attributable to illicit drugs in 1995, 3642 from alcohol-related causes and a massive 18,124 from the effects of tobacco. Deaths from illicit drugs are minimal compared with alcohol, yet we do not dare try prohibition after the experience in the United States, where it was taken over by the Mafia. That is roughly what has happened with the illicit drugs phenomenon. The report shows that police everywhere put more users before the courts than suppliers, so the wrong people are going to jail. The cost of law enforcement is enormous, at $450 million a year for illicit drugs alone. The economic cost of drug abuse to the community is $18 billion, but illicit drugs just $1.6 billion. World-wide production of opium is increasing. Seizures have risen over five years and it is readily available. Sydney is the biggest disembarkation place in the country, unfortunately it is just three hours drive away. The report says "law enforcement efforts are having only a limited effect". Dealers can always match demand. Massive police operations aimed at detecting drugs and catching traffickers and distributors are costly too, absorbing millions of dollars each year, a crippling burden for all communities and governments. The strength of police forces has ballooned in response to the drugs- crime phenomenon, as drugs of all types dominate headlines and police operations. A ratio of eight in 10 inmates is rotting in jail for drug-related crime. Property crime has become a vast enterprise, touch almost every household. Mortality and morbidity associated with illicit drugs involve three factors: the administering method (such as dirty needles), overdoses and the lifestyle element, including the criminal activities, low living standards, prostitution, and poor health. The report shows cannabis to be Australia's most popular illicit drug. One-third of the population has used it, as have 140 million users world-wide. It is a large-scale domestic industry in Australia. Growers use the latest hydroponic techniques, which the report says has increased in the past decade. Narcotics and cannabis are the lucrative mediums of exchange for the generals of the underworld. Cannabis is also a widely used social drug. Amphetamines, or speed, the party drug, are a revenue raiser for illegal bikie gangs, who manufacture in back-street chemical labs, mixing dangerous chemicals without any medical controls. The drug lords are getting richer and fatter. Reports of deaths from drug overdoses now appear to outnumber road deaths. Ambulance paramedics go out to more overdoses than they can count. When patients are given a dose of the life-saving Narcan, which reverses in moments the effects of heroin, some wake up and shake their heads. They ask why they were given the shot. "I was feeling great," one dazed drug user said resentfully. "But you were dying," was the reply. Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone gave her blessing this week to another injection of money to take a hard line against drugs. It is a ritualised response that has been tried for 40 years and it is not working. THE ONLY retreat by police in the report is to concede that decriminalising cannabis would free police resources allowing them to tackle hard drugs. Hard drugs? Heroin is nowhere near as devastating to health as methadone, the government-approved syrup which serves as a heroin substitute. You can recognise a long-term methadone user by the holes in their teeth. They are more highly addicted to methadone than to heroin. One user told me, :It makes your bones rot." Police in the United States prefer heroin to crack cocaine, which is the drug of choice, because crack users go berserk. Heroin induces a milder disposition. Synthetic drugs, or amphetamines, have 30 million users world-wide and it is increasing too. It is time to put a stop to the costly law-enforcement debacle. Governments must decriminalise the whole stable of illicit drugs. They no longer have the resources or the ability to stamp them out. The costly efforts may have held the line to some degree, but that is all. The report clearly shows this. Controlled production means fewer impurities. It means safer amounts. It puts a stop to the dreaded slavery of methadone. License and legalise them and use the taxes to promote education and safe use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Palace Guard Jailed Over Drug Death (Britain's 'Independent' Says The Friend Of A Buckingham Palace Guardsman Has Been Jailed For Two Years For Giving His Friend Drugs - Guardsman Mixed Ecstasy With Unspecified Amount Of Amphetamines, Killing Himself - Another Man Gets Longer Term) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 18:55:24 -0500 Subject: MN: UK: Palace Guard Jailed Over Drug Death Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos
Pubdate: Saturday, 24 January 1998 Source: The Independent (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org PALACE GUARD JAILED OVER DRUG DEATH The friend of a Buckingham Palace guardsman was yesterday jailed for his part in supplying drugs which killed him. Gareth Holland, 20, collapsed and died last year within five hours of taking ecstasy tablets at a nightclub while on weekend leave. His colleague Matthew Diggle, 22, admitted his involvement in getting the drugs. Cardiff Crown Court heard that Ptes Holland and Diggle travelled from their homes in South Wales to enjoy a night out in Swansea. Pte Holland swallowed two ecstasy pills and amphetamines at a club. He was taken to the club's "chill out" room to recover after overheating but later died before he reached hospital. Earlier this week Diggle, of Rhymney, Mid Glamorgan, appeared with Russell Thomas, 30, of Clos Llws Pen, Penpedairheol, Mid Glamorgan, who admitted supplying drugs to both soldiers. Yesterday, Diggle was jailed for two years. Thomas was sentenced for three-and-a-half years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Home Counties Connection (Britain's 'Independent' Observes Violent Prohibition-Related Murders - And Murderers - Are Migrating From London To Its Suburbs) Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 19:00:01 -0500 Subject: MN: UK: The Home Counties Connection Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos
Pubdate: Saturday, 24 January 1998 Source: The Independent (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org "THE HOME COUNTIES CONNECTION" The Old Bailey trial this week of the men who murdered three drug dealers in Essex gave a rare glimpse into a violent and vengeful underworld on the edges of the capital - "The Home Counties connection". By Kim Sengupta In the leafy commuter towns of Essex and Kent, men step out of the front doors in the Acacia Avenues to go to work. But the briefcases they carry can contain, instead of office papers and a packed lunch, a pistol and a stash of cocaine. The underworld is no longer confined to the urban squalor of the inner cities. Successful gangsters have gentrified and become upwardly mobile, leaving their council flats for the Home Counties, and their working-class lifestyles for the trappings of success - des res, Rolls Royces and Range Rovers, a boat in the local marina, ponies for the children. The patterns of the migration have been to counties adjacent to various parts of London: East End villains moved out to Essex, those south of the river to Kent, the gangs around Islington to Herts and Bucks, and the ones from Shepherd Bush and Kilburn to Middlesex. The sons of these villains carry on the "family business". South Londoner Kenny Noye, Brinks Mat money launderer and killer of a policeman, lived in some splendour at his mansion in West Kingsdowne in Kent until he disappeared following a fatal roadside stabbing; Roy Garner, police supergrass from the Tottenham area ended up with luxury houses and stud farms in Hertfordshire before being convicted of cocaine trafficking. And Charlie Kray had long left behind Vallance Road in east London, where he grew up with the twins Ronnie and Reggie, when he was arrested last year for a £39m cocaine trafficking plot. Unusually for one of the East End criminal aristocracy, he had moved to Sanderstead, Surrey, where he lived with the daughter of a headmaster. Criminologists maintain the arrival of such "quality villains" in the Home Counties brought with it a culture of crime and corruption which embraced local gangs. At the same time came the explosion in the importation of drugs and the money that came with it. Essex and Kent, in particular, became vitally important as routes for narcotics from the Continent to London and other major cities. The murder of the three men at Rettendon, in Essex was over drugs. The victims, Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe were dealers who supplied drugs through nightclubs and pubs in Essex and east London. It is one of their gang, it is believed, who supplied the ecstasy tablet which led to the death of policeman's daughter Leah Betts. The victims had been been in dispute with the men who killed them, Micky Steele and Jack Whomes, over a cannabis shipment. The court, which passed three life sentences on the men, with a recommended minimum of 15 years, had heard that a consignment of cannabis which Steele had supplied to Tate and his accomplices had been of poor qualtity and Steele agreed to take back the cannabis and return a deposit of £70,000. The money was paid, but Tate denied receiving it and failed to return one third of the drugs haul. Tate, an extremely violent mainline drug user, had threatened to shoot Steele after making him beg on his knees. His intended victim got to him and his two companions first. After the shooting Steele said "they won't fuck with us again". He added he felt like "the angel of death". As Steele and fellow killer Whomes walked off after the shooting to be picked up by an accomplice, Darren Nicholls, they passed a sign saying: "The use of guns or any activity which disturbs people or wildlife are not allowed on this land. Enjoy your visit". The violence of the triple execution and its apparent professionalism appeared shocking, especially in the context of the village setting. But police say extreme violence had become endemic in parts of the county over the years. Tucker and Rolfe were themselves suspected of a particularly brutal murder. Kevin Whitaker, a 28-year-old drug courier died of an apparent drugs overdose in November l994. But, Tate told his mother, Whitaker had been murdered by Tucker and Rolfe. They had injected him in the groin with a paralysing drug, often used on horses, known as Special K, then, powerless but conscious and pleading for mercy, Whitaker was killed with an injection of lignocaine. The night before his death Tate himself had badly beaten up the manager of a pizza shop over an imaginary slight. He had phoned the shop and demanded a specially made pizza with four different toppings on each quarter. The manager, 21-year-old Roger Ryall had said this was not possible. Within minutes Tate had arrived at the shop, battered Ryall and then smashed his head into a glass plate on the sink. Like others crossed by Tate and his friends, Mr Ryall thought it would be wise not to press charges. Drug dealer Reggie Nunn too has painful memories of the extreme violence of the Essex underworld. His face was mutilated with a narrow-bladed fencing sword, an epee, over another drugs dispute, the selling of a thousand tabs of ecstasy. He owed £7,000 to trafficker Jason Lee Vella and had failed to pay. Nunn managed to escape from Vella's flat during the attack by throwing himself out of a window. Vella and his accomplices were convicted at their trial, and in July l995 Vella was sentenced to 17 years in jail. Vella, who bought ecstasy from Dutch dealers, was suspected of the torture of other victims who had been too scared to make complaints. One man had his head shaved, and the back of his arms burnt by a hot iron, another was given a "Glasgow smile" on both sides of his face with a Stanley knife, and another was anally raped with a broom handle. He was also suspected of being behind the shooting of a man, who spent hours on a life-support machine and refused to give any information to the police. In Kent, bootlegging of alcohol and cigarettes has been added to drugs as a source of underworld violence. In just one month, September last year, Dover had four shootings, a series of acid and machete attacks, and dozens of beatings. The reason behind this, say police and customs officials, is quite simple, organised gangs are fighting for control of a trade which is now estimated to be worth £1bn a year. Smaller gangs are having to pay rents to bigger ones for the privilege of smuggling the contraband. The gangs are not averse to taking on the authorities by force to protect their merchandise. Towards the end of last year police and customs officers raided a hotel and discovered £70,000 worth of alcohol and cigarettes. The smugglers fled, only to come back with accomplices to try and storm the building and seize back the haul. They were only beaten off when the police themselves received reinforcement. One CID officer said: "Crime in Dover and surrounding areas has gone up by 18 per cent, and even this is an underestimate as of course a lot of these attacks are simply not reported to the police. "There are also links with drugs, because the heavies muscling in on bootlegging are also involved in drug trafficking. This is a problem which is not going to go away, we are facing a situation which was unheard of in Kent in the past". His counterparts in Surrey would sympathise. A few years ago a pub described as the "most dangerous in Britain" was not in Brixton or the Glasgow Gorbals, but Carshalton. The St Helier Tavern had seen many fights and a man was shot in the face with a sawn-off shotgun. A better class of villain has taken up residence further out in expensive areas like Weybridge where they rub shoulders in the golf club with actors and stockbrokers. A detective said: "They may think [that] away from the centre of London they would be away from prying eyes if the law, but we make sure we keep a watch on them. They may feel they are blending in with their neighbours, but we know who they are". Criminologist Robert Emerson believes the expansion of crime into the Home Counties cannot be reversed. He said: "Social and logistical factors are such that this is bound to continue. However, it is unlikely the ordinary Home Counties residents would be directly affected by violence. After all, the criminals tend to only kill each other." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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