Portland NORML News - Monday, January 26, 1998

Salem Educator Faces Drug Charges ('The Oregonian' Says A Warrant Was Served
At The Home Of The Fourth-Grade Teacher - 'One Of The Kindest Teachers
And An Active Supporter Of School Activities' - After The Salem Area
Interagency Narcotics Team And The Salem Community Action Team
Received Tips - 73 Marijuana Plants Uprooted)

From: "sburbank" 
Subject: Respected teacher
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 21:30:19 -0800


Title: Salem educator faces drug charges

Sub-title: Ginger McKenzie, a respected fourth-grade teacher, is accused
of growing and distributing marijuana with a partner

of The Oregonian staff


A fourth-grade teacher who was suspended Friday after being arrested on
drug charges was described by school officials as one of their kindest
teachers and an active supporter of school activities.

Ginger Lee McKenzie, 46, was arrested Thursday on charges of possessing,
distributing and manufacturing a controlled substance after police found
marijuana and growing equipment at her home.

McKenzie, a teacher at Liberty Elementary since 1979, was suspended with
pay. Terry Hillman Williams, 40, who lives at the home, was arrested on the
same charges. Both were released on their own recognizance.

"This is the first thing I have ever heard that would call any attention to
Ginger," said Ed Dodson, the area director for Liberty Elementary. Dodson
was the principal at Liberty who hired McKenzie in 1979.

"We don't have a lot of money to spend on elementary athletics," he said.
"She's been involved in volunteering to raise money, sometimes staying all
day or however long it takes. She's a real team player."

On Thursday, police confiscated 73 rooted marijuana plants, more than 4
ounces of harvested marijuana buds, $900 in cash, a .357-caliber handgun
and miscellaneous growing equipment from the mobile home that Williams and
McKenzie share. The Salem Area Interagency Narcotics Team, with assistance
from the Salem Community Action Team, obtained a search warrant after
receiving tips.

Police found the harvested marijuana in the mobile home that the couple
used as their living quarters. The plants were found in a separate mobile
home on the property.

The news came as a surprise to Salem-Keizer School District officials
because of McKenzie's reputation. "To my knowledge, she has been a
respected and valued teacher, that's what I've been hearing," said Kathryn
Dysart, a district spokeswoman. Principal Marilyn Campbell sent letters
home to parents Friday stating that the charges were not related to
McKenzie's employment.

It was the second time in two weeks that the district has suspended an
employee as a result of a police investigation. Jan. 16, a 12-year-old
child-care worker was suspended without pay while police looked into
complaints that he fondled boys ages 9 to 11 at Wright Elementary School.

DC Register - Error In AMR Filing In DC (Steve Michael Of Initiative 59
Medical-Marijuana Campaign In Washington, DC, Documents
His January 23 Assertion That Americans For Medical Rights'
Competing Initiative Will Have Only Five Weeks To Gather Signatures
For September Ballot)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 12:36:34 EST
Reply-To: VOTEYES57@aol.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: VOTEYES57@aol.com
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: DC Register: Error in AMR filing in DC

In their mad dash to file an Initiative to compete with the ACT UP Washington
Initiative 59, lawyers for AMR failed to file to consolidate their hearings
before DC's Board of Elections. That failure guarantees that AMR will not be
able to begin signature gathering before April 9th. That puts them
dangerously close to the May 15th deadline for the September ballot.

DC Register
Friday, January 23, 1998 states the following on page 409


The Board of Elections and Ethics shall consider in a public hearing whether
the proposed "Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative of 1998" as proposed by
Eduardo Ramirez is a proper subject matter for initiative at the regular
Board meeting on Wednesday, February 4, 1998 at 10:30 a.m., One Judiciary
Square, 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 280, Washington, D.C."

Simply put, that means that AMR failed to apply for a hearing for the Summary
and Short Title. That hearing will now be in March. On April they will then
have a hearing that is the official exchange of the master petition sheet.

On the same date, February 4th--I will be given my master sheets. That gives
us two more months to gather than AMR. We are already gearing up for our
effort and expect to qualify in record time.

We urge AMR to withdraw their initiative and put their money where their
mouths are. If AMR is serious about the issue of medical marijuana they have
only one choice---and that is to support the Initiative that is set to go on
February 4th. Had AMR supported our early Initiative their support would have
been enough to put us over the top. Let us hope that they do not stand in
the way of moving medical marijuana forward by continuing in their pipe dream
of a 100% Soros run operation.

Steve Michael
Sponsor of Initiative 59
DC's only qualified medical marijuana measure!

US V. Gaines ('Federal Times,' An Independent Newspaper For Employees
Of The US Government, Publicizes A New Way To Beat Urine Tests -
Use Legal Hemp Seed Oil As A Health-Food Supplement And Your Body
Will Convert The Cannabinoids To THC Metabolites, Getting You Off The Hook,
Assuming You Save Receipts And Cite As Evidence These Abstracts
Of Two Research Reports In 'The Journal Of Analytical Toxicology'
Titled 'Hemp Oil Ingestion Causes Positive Urine Tests
For Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid' And 'Marijuana-Positive
Urine Test Results From Consumption Of Hemp Seeds In Food Products')
Link to similar case
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 11:10:54 +1300 (NZDT) To: drctalk@drcnet.org, maptalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: US vs Gaines: More GOLD for the good guys *** Just received this over MapNews. It is dynamite. How could we (I?) not have heard of this before? Now watch for the warriors to try to ban hemp oil products. Then the shit will really hit the fan. This story reveals another major defect in the drug warriors' armor. Let's start aiming some arrows (rhetorically speaking, need I add?). Anyone have the number of a broker who can sell me some Hemp Liquid Gold stock? David *** Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 15:57:28 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Federal Times: US v. Gaines Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Patrick Henry Source: Federal Times Pubdate: 26 Jan. 1998. Author: Lisa Daniel Federal Times Staff Writer. Staff Writer Leigh Rivenbark contributed to this report. Contact: http://www.federaltimes.com/feedform.html Website: http://www.federaltimes.com/ *** Editor's note: The independent newspaper for federal employees (the government being the largest single employer in the U.S.) has a nice discussion forum on which I have started a thread. News posting team member Olafur has kindly dug out the abstracts of the references mentioned in this article, which are added at the end. - Richard *** US v. GAINES Officials involved in workplace drug testing got a chilling reminder recently of the hazards of false readings. Clinton administration officials are reviewing tests for marijuana after the acquittal of an Air Force master sergeant court-martialed for allegedly using the drug. A military jury acquitted Master Sgt. Spencer Gaines in December after finding that an over-the-counter health product may have caused him to fail drug tests. Gaines, a weight lifter stationed at Dover AFB, Del., testified that he began using Hemp Liquid Gold in 1996 as a replacement for essential fatty acids. He bought the product at a Washington, D.C. grocery store. Gaines' attorney, Charles Gittins, showed that hemp oil can cause positive marijuana readings. A federal law passed in 1937 that made marijuana illegal excludes hemp oil and seeds from the definition of marijuana, effectively making such byproducts legal. Regulations by the Drug Enforcement Agency, however, make tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a chemical ingredient of marijuana, illegal. Federal drug tests consider THC levels above 15 nanograms to be indicative of marijuana use. Gaines' THC level during a drug urinalysis last year was 28 nanograms, DoD tests showed. A test five months later put Gaines' THC level at 35 nanograms, which led to the court-martial. But after two government toxicologists testified that they did not know THC was in the Hemp Liquid Gold, Gittins argued that Gaines should not be held responsible. The military jury agreed, but some civilians involved in drug testing do not. An official with the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy and another with the Health and Human Services Department, both of whom asked not to be named, advocated a hard line on workplace drug testing. "I know I can be randomly drug-tested at any time," the drug policy official said. "I watch very carefully what I use." Those individual opinions reflect the mood of the federal government on marijuana issues. After voters in California passed the so called "medical marijuana" law last year allowing prescription use of marijuana, the drug-control policy office and the Transportation Department responded that any use of an illicit drug, even with a prescription, violates federal drug-testing policy, the HHS official said. An interagency group that meets regularly to discuss drug policy issues decided at a Jan. 15 meeting to do more scientific testing of hemp and its effects on marijuana readings, the official said. Although the action is being taken because of the Gaines case, those who track drug policy have been looking into the problems for years, she said. This did not catch us by surprise at all," she said. We've been looking at hemp issues for a long time." Some at the Jan. 15 meeting said they had done lab tests of hemp in which they got positive readings, then retested and got negative readings, the official said. Agencies will use their scientific expertise to determine if changes need to be made to drug tests or policy, she said. "We have issue an here, but we don't know that we have a problem," she said. "The system may not be broken." If there is a problem, the official acknowledged, "there could be huge implications" for agencies that do drug tests. Of 111 agencies that reported drug-testing results between April and September 1995-the last calculation by the government - 49 agencies conducted 44,193 tests. Of those, 342, about eight-tenths of 1 percent, had positive use readings, HHS documents say. Of those who tested positive, 199, or 58 percent, were for marijuana; 96, or 28 percent, were for cocaine; 37, or 11 percent, were for amphetamines. Opiates and PCP showed up eight times each. Some federal unions have long complained that the costs of conducting drug tests are not worth the few people who test positive. The six-month reporting period in 1995 cost $4.9 million, or about $56 per person tested, HHS documents say. *** Title: Hemp oil ingestion causes positive urine tests for delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid. Source: Journal of Analytical Toxicology 1997 Oct;21(6):482-485 Authors: Costantino A, Schwartz RH, Kaplan P American Medical Laboratory, Chantilly, Virginia 20151, USA. Abstract: A hemp oil product (Hemp Liquid Gold) was purchased from a specialty food store. Fifteen milliliters was consumed by seven adult volunteers. Urine samples were taken from the subjects before ingestion and at 8, 24, and 48 h after the dose was taken. All specimens were screened by enzyme immunoassay with SYVA EMIT II THC 20, THC 50, and THC 100 kits. The tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THCA) concentration was determined on all samples by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) (5). A total of 18 postingestion samples were submitted. Fourteen of the samples screened above the 20-ng cutoff, seven were above the 50-ng cutoff, and two screened greater than the 100-ng cutoff. All of the postingestion samples showed the presence of THCA by GC-MS. PMID: 9323529, UI: 97464816 *** Title: Marijuana-Positive Urine Test Results From Consumption Of Hemp Seeds In Food Products. Source: Journal of Analytical Toxicology 1997 Oct; 21(6):476-481 Authors: Fortner N, Fogerson R, Lindman D, Iversen T, Armbruster D PharmChem Laboratories, Inc., Menlo Park, California 94025, USA. Abstract: Commercially available snack bars and other foodstuffs prepared from pressed hemp seeds were ingested by volunteers. Urine specimens were collected for 24 h after ingestion of the foodstuffs containing hemp seeds and tested for marijuana using an EMIT immunoassay and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Specimens from individuals who ate one hemp seed bar demonstrated little marijuana immunoreactivity, and only one specimen screened positive at a 20-ng/mL cutoff. Specimens from individuals who ate two hemp seed bars showed increased immunoreactivity, and five specimens screened positive at a 20-ng/mL cutoff. A single specimen yielded a quantitative GC-MS value (0.6 ng/mL), but it failed to meet reporting criteria. Several specimens from individuals who ate three cookies made from hemp seed flour and butter screened positive at both 50- and 20-ng/mL cutoffs. Two specimens produced quantitative GC-MS values (0.7 and 3.1 ng/mL), but they failed to meet reporting criteria. Several specimens also tested positive with an FDA-approved on-site marijuana-screening device. Hemp seeds similar to those used in the foodstuffs did not demonstrate the presence of marijuana when tested by GC-MS. In this study, ingestion of hemp seed food products resulted in urine specimens that screened positive for marijuana. No specimens gave a GC-MS quantitative value above the limit of detection for marijuana. PMID: 9323528, UI: 97464815

'Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts - A Review Of The Scientific Evidence'
Censored In Upstate New York (Schools In Albany, Buffalo, Rochester
And Syracuse Won't Accept Zimmer & Morgan Book For Libraries,
Calling The Copiously Footnoted Reference Work Biased And One-Sided)

From: ttrippet@mail.sorosny.org
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 98 18:35:56 EST
To: #TLC-LARGE_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org, dna1@ix.netcom.com,
drucker@aecom.yu.edu, gbackes@compuserve.com,
73664.2524@compuserve.com, jayirwin@ix.netcom.com,
drjpm@scisun.sci.ccny.cuny.edu, lynnzimm@aol.com, marsharose@aol.com,
eldredge10@aol.com, #TLC__CANNABIS_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org,
tlc-cannabis@soros.org, #TLC__CRIM__JUST_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org,
tlc-criminal-just@soros.org, #TLC__LEGAL_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org,
tlc-legal@soros.org, jshenk@usnews.com, jcbaran@aol.com
Subject: AP: Marijuana Myths Censored In Upstate NY
Sender: owner-tlc-cannabis@soros.org

Group upset over libraries' rejection of marijuana research book

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A recently published book that debunks
what it calls the "myths" about marijuana is earning praise as one of
the most comprehensive reviews ever assembled about research on the

But in upstate New York, it will be difficult for high school
students to find the book on their library shelves, says a
Syracuse-based group that is accusing school districts of censoring
the book.

"The issue for them was, was this information or propaganda. We
don't see it as an advocacy book. It's a comprehensive review of the
existing literature," said Nicholas Eyle, executive director of

The Syracuse-based group, which includes doctors, judges and
law enforcement officials and advocates a rethinking of what it calls
the nation's failed drug policy, offered the book "Marijuana Myths,

"Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence" to high
school libraries in five upstate cities: Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo,
Rochester and Syracuse.

Only Binghamton accepted it. Albany and Rochester rejected the
book. In Buffalo and Syracuse, the school districts' health
committees are reviewing the book but are expected to turn thumbs down
to it, too, said Eyle.

Dave Albert, a spokesman for the Albany School District, said a
veteran librarian reviewed the book and decided it was "biased and
one-sided" and was contrary to school curriculum.

Additionally, the high school library already has a number of
books on marijuana in its collection, including one that deals
directly with the legalization of marijuana, Albert said.

"It's a tough situation. We certainly don't want to censor
anything. But on the other hand we want to make sure that the
information is presented accurately in a non-biased way and that both
sides are presented," he said.

The Rochester school district rejected it on the same grounds,
an official said.

But Eyle scoffs at that reasoning. Nearly a third of the
233-page book is devoted to reference citations - 744 footnotes in all
covering more than three decades of studies.

It has earned praise from a wide spectrum of reviewers ranging
from conservative William F. Buckley Jr., who called it a "miracle of
intelligent concision," to Rolling Stone editor-in-chief Jann Wenner,
who proclaimed it as a "welcome document that will be useful in a
policy debate that has often been colored by hysteria."

Even legal and medical experts intimately involved in
development of the nation's drug policies have lauded the book. It has
been commended by both University of Virginia law professor John S.
Battle, who was associate director of the National Commission on
Marihuana and Drug Abuse appointed by President Nixon, and Dr. Louis
Lasagna of Tufts University, who authored the National Academy of
Sciences 1982 report on marijuana.

The book presents 20 assertions about marijuana, which the
authors term "myths." After citing the "myth," each chapter cites
sources for it and gives the authors' conclusion in one hundred words.
An essay follows expounding on their reasons.

"We don't present marijuana as completely harmless but the
information does dispel many of the myths and exaggerations that have
been promoted over the years," said Lynn Zimmer, an associate
professor of sociology at Queens College in New York City and one of
the books coauthors, along with John P. Morgan, a pharmacologist from
the City University of New York Medical School.

Zimmer said she and Morgan read over 800 articles on marijuana
and filtered through more than 30 years of studies.

The authors said they found that many claims regarding
marijuana, while based on a kernel of truth, have been exaggerated,
distorted or politicized to demonize a substance that an estimated 70
million Americans have tried.

Among the "myths" refuted:

-Marijuana's harms have been proved scientifically.

-Marijuana is highly addictive.

-Marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs.

-Marijuana kills brain cells.

-Marijuana impairs memory and cognition.

-Marijuana impairs the immune system.

-Marijuana interferes with male and female sex hormones.

-Marijuana today is more potent than in the past.

Cheryl Weeks, a Binghamton high school librarian, reviewed
the book and accepted ReconsiDer's gift.

"It definitely has a point of view and message but we felt a
library should represent all points of views and messages," said
Weeks, who said the book's reference section alone made it valuable as
a research tool.

"On most issues, such as abortion, birth control, we try to
represent all sides. This was just one side of another issue," she

AP-ES-01-26-98 1550EST
Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts is available in most bookstores,
including Barnes & Noble, Tower Books and Borders. It is also
available by calling Bookworld Companies at 1-800-444-2524. Cost is
$12.95 plus shipping and handling.

Woman's Medicinal Clinic Fires Controversy In Thousand Oaks
('Los Angeles Times' Update On California Medical Marijuana Club's Status
Focuses On Andrea Nagy, Who Has Waged A Determined Campaign
To Make The Police, District Attorney And Elected Officials
In Law-And-Order Ventura County Comply With 11362.5)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:00:19 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Woman's Medicinal Clinic Fires Controversy in Thousand Oaks
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Author: KATE FOLMAR, Times Staff Writer
Pubdate: January 26, 1998

Marijuana Missionary


THOUSAND OAKS--In an anonymous office park in this conservative city, a
self-styled revolutionary is hard at work. The sleeves of her brocade
blazer pushed up, long auburn hair piled in a messy twist, Andrea Nagy is
dispensing marijuana to a patient.

While the patient, who has undergone 13 intestinal surgeries in two years,
waits in a nearby chair, Nagy drops buds of the illicit weed onto a digital
scale. One-eighth of an ounce, $40.

"She's an angel," sighs Katie DiSilva, a 37-year-old mother, who says her
ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease rage mercilessly without marijuana.
"God's on her side."

If an angel, Nagy's a controversial one. It has taken all of four months
for this slight 28-year-old spitfire to become one of Ventura County's most
infamous business owners--or primary caregivers, as Nagy prefers to be
considered. It was in September that the legal secretary turned pot
crusader opened the Rainbow Country Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center
with half a dozen clients. Nagy's Thousand Oaks dispensary now serves 46.

With a single-minded ferocity, Nagy has forced the issue of medical
marijuana use on the police, district attorney and elected officials in
law-and-order Ventura County. So far, they have treated her gingerly. At
every City Council hearing and in every newspaper possible, Nagy testifies
that her patients need marijuana for their multiple sclerosis, cancer and
AIDS. Personally, Nagy uses marijuana to treat chronic migraines.

Come narcs or personal bankruptcy, she is hellbent on distributing the drug
she grows at her center. She has taken a leave from her secretary's job to
run the center, and says she has sunk thousands of dollars into the

"I might be a freedom fighter because my parents fled communism," said
Nagy, whose family left Hungary when she was 11. "I think everyone owes it
to themselves to claim their inalienable rights."

But the county in which Nagy (pronounced Nadj) is staking her claim just
happens to be a bastion of DARE classes and conservative politics. Small
wonder, then: Not everyone here cottons to Nagy's cannabis crusade. Some of
Nagy's critics grudgingly admit respect for her political savvy and freely
express empathy for her patients. But they worry about the message her
dispensary is sending. Even many of those who oppose her cannabis center
are reluctant to criticize Nagy publicly.

Privately, some critics cite a criminal conviction and a string of motor
vehicle violations that, they claim, suggest a pattern of lawlessness. In
1991, Nagy was arrested, charged and convicted of cultivating marijuana in
her Newbury Park home. She was sentenced to 250 hours community service and
five years probation--later reduced to four.

An avowed lead foot, Nagy estimates that she has had a dozen speeding
tickets in as many years. Her court records show 11 motor vehicle citations
since 1990. Just last month, a jury convicted her of reckless driving in
connection with an incident where Nagy was zipping along the Ventura
Freeway at speeds of 85 mph or greater, according to court records. She was
sentenced to 36 months probation and 10 days in a work-release program.

Saying that she should have been charged with speeding, not reckless
driving, Nagy has appealed. "The big thing that occurred to me when I
looked at the case was that she has a problem with authority figures and
the law," said prosecutor Ryan Wright. "I think even her lawyer
acknowledged that. She is more than assertive."

Critics stress that federal law clearly outlaws growing, possessing or
distributing pot, although California voters approved a medical marijuana
initiative, Proposition 215, in 1996.

"I mean, we're teaching our kids to 'just say no' to drugs," said Thousand
Oaks Mayor Mike Markey, a retired police officer who wants Nagy's shop
shuttered. "And she's here selling marijuana?"

But, he added, Nagy is canny in her tactics. She obtained a business
license for her dispensary, has met with law enforcement and brings a crowd
of patients to public hearings. "She's working the system," he said. "In my
mind, I don't know if she's smart or what, but she knows how to work the

"She certainly seems to be a professional person," said Thousand Oaks City
Councilwoman Elois Zeanah, who refused in December to shut down Nagy's
business. "And she's certainly being hounded right now. We'll see how
strong she is. It takes a strong person to receive the hounding she is
receiving now and not buckle."

Nagy says her interest in medical cannabis--and marijuana legalization,
period--comes from personal experience. Her searing migraines first started
in puberty. A joint offered by a friend when Nagy was 13 loosened the
muscles and eased the pain, almost immediately. Nagy was convinced.

At the same time that Nagy--the daughter of a baker and a physical
therapist--was using marijuana to treat herself, she also became a budding
activist. During high school, Nagy served on Thousand Oaks' youth council,
which advises city leaders on teenagers' concerns. She moved briefly to
Indiana with her mother and missed enough school to face this decision:
repeat a year at Thousand Oaks High School or finish out classes at the
continuation high school. She chose the latter, and became senior class
president at Conejo Valley High School.

Viewing legal prohibitions against marijuana as ridiculous, Nagy took to
growing her own headache remedy--as her criminal record attests.

Now working on her associate's degree at Moorpark College, the Thousand
Oaks resident hopes to become an environmental lawyer. Those who know her
best say Nagy can accomplish almost anything she sets her mind to. In this
case, she sits in the middle of a legal thicket.

While no one has moved to shut Nagy down, law enforcement is keeping tabs
on her business. Sheriff's deputies have dropped by twice to check on her
club--which so far has generated one unsubstantiated citizen complaint. The
second time, they came with video cameras.

"Nobody wants to take medicine from someone who is seriously ill or dying,"
said sheriff's Capt. Chris Godfrey. "The state law allowing them to use
marijuana they grow themselves has to be respected. But that has to be
balanced against the public health and safety concerns that her marijuana
storefront is opening a Pandora's Box."

Although her cannabis center has a "pharmaceutical-related" business
license, Nagy lacks a certificate of occupancy from the city. That means
she can't apply for further permits that would allow her to make any
renovations to help grow her flourishing crop.

A judge recently refused to order the city to grant the certificate.
Although the City Council has failed to muster enough votes to impose a
moratorium on medical marijuana outlets, Nagy isn't exactly welcomed with
open arms either. City leaders will examine the medical marijuana issue at
a Feb. 3 meeting.

Two city officials--Markey and Councilman Andy Fox--have asked the U.S.
attorney's office to look closely at Nagy's shop and crops. The federal
prosecutors have been in contact with local officials, said U.S. attorney's
spokesman Thom Mrozek. "We have not taken, as of this time, any enforcement
activity against the marijuana club," he said.

Meantime, federal officials are trying to shut down six cannabis centers in
Northern California.

And there is the small matter of suspicious-looking men in dark suits
hanging around Nagy's house and office, she says. Nagy reports being
watched at least three days in the last week. "It was the same people in
the same suits in the same car just sitting around and walking by," Nagy
said. "They said they were investors looking at the [office] building.

Drugs And Alcohol Linked Overwhelmingly To US Prisoners ('Jet' Magazine
Item On CASA Report)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 12:55:35 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: ART: *DRUGS* and alcohol linked overwhelmingly to U.S. prisoners
Reply-To: bc616@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

[sender's note:]


I would like to remind the authors who wrote the article
"DRUGS and Alcohol Linked Overwhelmingly To U.S. Prisoners", ( jet 1/26/98)
that ALCOHOL is a drug! I think America is taking too many "surveys" of
people's personal lives. I rarely believe them. This "study" based on a
voluntary survey, is just another bit of propaganda from the war on SOME
drugs. Too many Black-Americans are having their civil rights taken away
due to this war on PEOPLE!

I'd like you to check out the Washington Hemp Education Network's web
pages and compare legal drugs with illegal drugs:
URL: http://www.olywa.net/when/main.html



Drugs and alcohol linked overwhelmingly to U.S. prisoners.

Source: Jet, Jan 26, 1998 v93 n9 p9(1).

Full Text COPYRIGHT 1998 Johnson Publishing Company Inc.

Out of all the prisoners in the United States, 80 percent were involved with
alcohol or other drugs at the times of the crimes, a report found.

The study found that 1.4 million of the 1.7 million people in jails and
prisons committed crimes while they were high, stole to support their drug
habits, had a history of drug and alcohol abuse or are in jail for violating
drug or alcohol laws.

Alcohol played a role in more violent crimes than crack or powder cocaine,
said the report, conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse at Columbia University in New York. More than any other drug, alcohol
was found to be more closely associated with violent crimes such as murder,
rape, assault and child and spousal abuse.

The report said that criminal activity because of drugs and alcohol is the
main reason the prison population has grown nearly 239 percent since 1980,
when 501,886 people were imprisoned.

The report also found that while 840,000 federal and state inmates needed drug
treatment in 1996, fewer than 150,000 inmates received any care before they
were released.

"The most troublesome aspect of these grim statistics is that the nation is
doing so little to change them," said Joseph Califano Jr., the chairman of the
center that conducted the study, in a foreword.

He said that releasing the inmates without treatment was "tantamount to
visiting criminals on society."

Get Tough On Prisoners (Letter To Editor Of 'Whittier Daily News'
In California By 20-Year Military Veteran And Former Fresno County
Juvenile Hall Counselor Urges Sure Punishment For 'Anti-Social' -
But He Probably Means About Half The Population And Doesn't Explain
Where The Tax Revenue Would Come From)

Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 17:21:14 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: LTE: Get Tough On Prisoners
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W. Black
Source: Whittier Daily News
Contact: wdailynews@earthlink.net
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 98
Section: Letters to the Editor - Opinion - page A-12


In California, no matter how fast we build new prisons and add to
existingones, we will never have enough space until we change the system.

Most people bent on doing what they want to do, regardless of what various
laws allow, know that their chances of being given a seriously long
sentence and having to serve the whole sentence are extremely unlikely.

As long as judges are allowed to give concurrent sentences and "sob-sister"
sentences with time off for good behavior, we will never convince
anti-social people that we are serious.

All people should know for sure, before they ever appear before a judge,
that we expect all detainees to be on their best behavior for 24 hours
every day of their confinement.

They should be impressed with the knowledge that any type of behavior that
is less than their best will automatically get their sentence extended. And
not only no time off for good behavior, but no TVs in their rooms, no
conjugal visits with wives or girlfriends. They should know that they will
be kept too busy to read, play games or anything else that might be
enjoyable. They should be given work to help pay for their existence.

All who are prisoners as a result of a court decision should know that they
will be treated fairly but strictly on a bare-bones existence. They should
be treated as strictly as military basic trainees - no early outs, no
parole of any kind.

At first, this type of treatment will require more space, but after it
sinks in that this is the treatment all prisoners will get, we will have
fewer and fewer people detained in or by our judicial system.

Eventually we can cut down, not only on prison space, but we can spend more
improving our police departments and courts. Ultimately, with this type of
system in place, we can start on a gradual reduction on the number of law
enforcement people we need while paying those who we do need more money
with a better retirement system.

When there is absolute knowledge that if you do the crime, you will do the
time, we will start having fewer cases that even need to be tried. "Justice
delayed is justice denied." That includes justice for the average citizen
who has committed no crime, the citizen who has been wronged, the citizen
who has to pay taxes to support this costly system.

I spent over 20 years in the military and some time as a counselor in the
Fresno County Juvenile Hall. I don't claim to be an expert at anything, but
I have gained some knowledge.

William B. Pinkerton
Pico Rivera

Addiction Research (Letter To Editor Of 'Los Angeles Times' Urges Spending
Prison Money On Search For Medical Cure For Addiction - Voters In US
'Now Imprison A Number Of People Larger Than The Population Of 15 States')

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 13:21:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: LTE: Addiction Research
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: January 26, 1998


Re "Booze, Drugs and Prisons," editorial, Jan. 18:

In 1936 the American Medical Assn. declared addiction to be a disease.
Since then we have defeated infantile paralysis, created the Atomic Age,
walked on the moon and now imprison a number of people larger than the
population of 15 states.

The enzyme that causes addiction was identified in 1975. Since then we have
created the Internet, cloned the perfect lamb chop and transformed an
affliction into our penitentiary-industrial complex.

In-custody treatment? Good idea. A better idea would be to harness the
horse before it leaves the barn. Whether it shall be realized
intentionally or by accident, recent science makes a cure imminent. Sadly,
our hysterical preoccupation with prohibition places such a cure beyond our
intentional grasp.

Why not beat drug-war swords into the peaceful plowshares of addiction
research that will ultimately defeat all addictions?


Does Gift Of Wine Merit Suspension? (Staff Editorial In 'San Luis Obispo
Telegram-Tribune' About School Zero-Tolerance Policies Mentions
Plainview High School Students In Ardmore, Oklahoma, Who Have To Pass
Sobriety Test To Dance, And Straight-A Atlanta Student Suspended For Giving
His French Teacher A Bottle Of Wine For Christmas)

Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 17:20:37 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Does Gift of Wine Merit Suspension?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune
Contact: slott@slnt01.sanluisobispo.com
Pubdate: Monday, January 26, 1998
Author: Robert Wallace, Staff
Page: B-3, Tween 12 & 20 section


If you want to attend the holiday dance at Plainview High School in
Ardmore, Okla., you first had to pass a sobriety test.

Some civil rights activists frowned on the practice, but student leaders
and school officials felt the mandatory breath tests were a good way to
combat teen drinking. Stephen Matthews, principal of the 375-student
school, had threatened to cancel all school-sponsored dances for the year
after a drunken student couple disrupted homecoming festivities last fall.
He agreed to the testing in a compromise with the student council.

Alcohol possession on school campuses is a growing problem and
administrators are doing everything they can to fight it, but are they
sometimes going too far?

Take the case of straight-A student John Cahani of Atlanta, who decided to
give his French teacher a Christmas gift. He lovingly wrapped the gift in
an appropriate box, topped with a red bow. The only problem was that the
gift was a bottle of French wine.

When the teacher opened the gift, she notified the principal, who suspended
John for 10 days, in accordance with school policy, which stipulates a
10-day suspension for anyone bringing alcohol to school. John's parents
were upset at their son's long suspension for merely giving his teacher a
present. To register their displeasure, they announced, when the school
board refused to overturn the punishment, that they would take John on a
two-week vacation -- to Paris -- during the time he would not be allowed to
attend school.

John's gift to his teacher of a bottle of wine was inappropriate and
unwise. But school officials' response -- treating his action the same way
they would a student's bringing alcohol to school for his own use --
strikes me as an injustice and a stupid interpretation of the rule. Teen,
I'd appreciate your comments on this issue.

Hemp In The Hollow ('Orange County Register' Business Article
About Two-Year-Old Store In Laguna Beach, California, That Sells Hemp
Clothing, Bags, Jewelry, Body Products And Edibles)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 13:13:38 -0800
Subject: MN: US CA: Business Spotlight: Hemp in the Hollow
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Section: Business Monday, page 15
Author: Melodie Nyman Posada-Orange County
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 1998



Proprietor: Steven Farmer

Business Address: 640 S.Coast Highway, Suite 2A, Laguna Beach, 92651


Type of business: Retail specialty store. The store carries industrial
hemp products ranging from clothing to bags and backpacks, hats, jewelry,
body products, and edibles.

When opened: November 1995

Why you started the business: While in Hawaii, about 2 1/2 years ago, I
came across some hemp clothing. Until than I had no idea this was being used
as a material for clothing. I researched what I could find and discovered
that this was a recently renewed and growing industry, still in its
infancy. I especially liked that it is environmentally friends and that so
many useful products can be made from hemp.

Where did you get the idea? The initial idea came from the hemp clothing I
purchased while on vacation. After further reading, I became quite
enthused about the potential for hemp products. I also discovered that it
was still illegal to grow hemp in the United States, even though it is
distinctly different from marijuana. My partner, Cindy Biggers, and I had
several intense discussions about how we might get involved in the hemp

What was the biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it? My limited
experience in the retail business. It was Cindy and a few friends involved
in the retail industry who helped me and gave me a lot of advice.

How much did it take to get this business from idea to open doors? Four
months. During this time I recruited friends and family to help me, and
studied up on hemp and how to run a retail store.

How much did it cost to get started? It took about $25,000 to prepare the
store and by inventory.

Where did you get the money? Savings, two bank loans and credit cards.

What is your expected revenue for the year? $175,000.

Is this your first business? No. I have had a few businesses in the past.
My primary trade is as a psychotherapist in private practice.

To whom did you go for advice? Cindy was instrumental in supporting this
enterprise. Together, both of us did a lot of reading and spoke with others
in retail sales.

Did you right a business plan? No.

What's the biggest thing you didn't think of before you started? Probably
a business plan. It is necessary in order to expand.

Judge Denies Bail To Six Accused In FBI Sting (46 Other Cleveland Police
Released On Bond After Being Arrested For Conspiracy To Distribute Cocaine,
'Associated Press' Says)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 16:14:38 EST Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: Anti-Prohibition Lg Subject: Bail denied to cops, jailers in fed drug sting (fwd) Judge denies bail to six accused in FBI sting By JOHN AFFLECK The Associated Press 01/26/98 11:08 PM Eastern CLEVELAND (AP) -- One videotape showed a uniformed jail guard holding a bale of marijuana and putting it on a plane. Another depicted what prosecutors said was a payoff to two police officers sitting in a squad car. Others showed officers talking about how best to protect drug deals. After seeing the tapes, a federal magistrate judge on Monday denied bail for six men charged in a scheme to get law enforcement officers to provide security for a man they thought was a drug dealer. The "drug dealer" was really an FBI undercover agent who staged transactions with other agents between November 1996 and this month. The agent paid officers as much as $3,700 to watch over the deals, the FBI said. Five of the men at the hearing -- including alleged ringleaders Michael Joye and John Evanish -- successfully recruited officers and other men to join in the racket, prosecutors said. A sixth, Thomas Gravette, was willing to recruit other people but was unsuccessful, FBI agents said. "These people were on the track to doing something very positive with their lives," Magistrate Judge Patricia Hemann said. "I'm not about to use that as a special standing" for granting bail. Fifty-two men were arrested last Wednesday. The protection ring included 44 police officers and jail guards, along with eight civilians who also are accused of working as security for the undercover agent. All the suspects are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison. Ms. Hemann denied bail for Joye, 29, a former Cuyahoga County corrections officer, current corrections officer Evanish, 25, and Gravette, 27, a bar bouncer. She also ordered Shaun Woods, a civilian; Fred Cody, an East Cleveland police officer, and Stephen Salerno, a Cleveland Heights police officer, held without bail after a five-hour hearing. The other 46 men charged in the case were released on bond last week. They are not accused of trying to recruit for the security ring. FBI Special Agent John Kane played a series of surveillance videotapes in court. In one taken last Feb. 27, several men, including Joye, Evanish and Gravette are seen helping load 14 bales of marijuana -- about 600 pounds -- onto a plane in exchange for what they think is 4 kilograms of cocaine. Gravette is wearing his correction guard uniform as he holds the drugs. Another tape shows Cody and a second East Cleveland officer sitting in their marked squad car taking envelopes from the undercover agent, which Kane said contained their payoff money. Kane and Special Agent Stephen Vogt said Joye did most of the recruiting at first, but Evanish later became heavily involved. "I can get guys from the Cleveland Police Department every day ... all day .. for the next two months. Different guys, no problem," Evanish says on one videotape. Seven Cleveland police officers were arrested in the sting. Under cross-examination, Vogt admitted the undercover agent portrayed himself as a "mafia type" to the officers. He also told Joye early in their relationship he was a "regional manager" for a topless bar, Kane said. Defense attorneys suggested Cody and Woods feared they might be harmed by the agent if they didn't go along with the deals, but the argument was rejected. "You make your own decisions," Ms. Hemann said. "You have free choice."

Heroin's Death Toll (Biased Op-Ed In 'Dallas Morning News' By Terry Bleier,
Director Of Texas Commission On Alcohol And Drug Abuse In Austin - Purity
Is Up And 'Price Is Being Dropped As A Strategy To Win New Customers' -
Wants Texans Hysterical Over 16 Heroin Deaths In First Nine Months Of 1997
But Doesn't Mention Toll From Alcohol, Tobacco Is 100 Times That)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 13:24:31 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US TX: LTE: Heroin's Death Toll
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 1998


We need your help. A total of 16 people have died over heroin overdoses in
the Dallas-Fort Worth area the first nine months of 1997. The youngest
victim was 13 years old. Many of the victims from Plano, a prosperous
suburb north of Dallas, were under age 20.

While many parents feel like "it can't happen in my community," we fear
this trend is going to spread to other areas of Texas. We have two enemies:
the international drug market and public ignorance.

These are the facts. The quantity of heroin being shipped to the United
States is increasing. The purity of the drug is up and the price is being
dropped as a strategy to win new customers. And that means overdoses and
fatalities among misinformed, young users are going up as well.

Federal and state law enforcement agencies tell us drug dealers are
deliberately targeting teens and young adults from the suburbs, telling
them heroin is not addictive when it is snorted or smoked.

We need your help to get this message out to young people and their
families: Heroin is back. Heroin is addictive. Heroin kills.

It doesn't matter how you take it, heroin is dangerous and it can be fatal.

TERRY BLEIER, Executive director, Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug
Abuse, Austin

Drug Ed - Get 'Em Before They're Gone (US NIDA Offers Six Free
Glossy Magazines That Unfold Into Posters 'And Explore The Effects Of Drugs
On The Brain' - For Students In Grades Five Through Nine)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 17:48:41 EST
Reply-To: cpconrad@thegrid.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Charles P. Conrad" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: "Drug Ed"

Get 'em before they're gone


through nine is available free from the National Institute on
Drug Abuse. NIDA's "Mind Over Matter" campaign offers six
glossy magazines that unfold into posters and explore the
effects of drugs on the brain. The campaign aims to encourage
interest in the neuroscience profession and includes a
teacher's guide. For copies, call NIDA at 1-800-729-6686.


Forwarded by

Chuck Conrad
(818) 985-3259

Prohibition Serves Only To Support Crime (Letter To Editor
Of 'Canberra Times' Responds To 'Cannabis Certainly No Soft Drug,'
Citing Australian Illicit Drugs Report)

Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 07:06:02 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Series of published LTEs
Organization: P.I.C.

---- The following is the original message ----

To: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: LTEs publishe The Canberra Times
Date: Sat, 07 Feb 98 22:40:01 +1100
Message-Id: <98020781601@pcug.org.au>
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)

26th January, 1998
Prohibition serves only to support crime

COLLIS PARRETT should spare us his tired 1950s anti-drug fixation
(Letters, January 20) His all too frequent correspondence consists of
hearsay and half truths supported with alarmist, generalist and often
dubious statistics.

The claim that "...cannabis is 1-15 times stronger than ... in the
1960s and 1970s is insupportable using any objective scientific
criteria, or just another dodgy statistic with which to push his
prohibitionist barrow.

What has irrefutably increased well over 10-fold in 20 years, is the
price of cannabis. Yet the price of heroin has diminished
substantially, if one takes into account the recent high-grade heroin

Does the simplicity of this dichotomy mean nothing to Mr Parrett?
Perhaps that prohibition never worked and never will? Prohibition
serves only to support and exacerbate crime and corruption.

Mr Parrett's generation of policy-makers has failed dismally with
regard to drug policies, yet he and many like him squealed the loudest
against the heroin trial.

In conclusion, I suggest Mr Parrett take note of the recent Bureau of
Criminal Intelligence report that recommended decriminalisation of
cannabis Australia-wide.


Drug Is Found To Improve Memory Of Rats ('Irish Times'
Says Researchers At NUI Dublin Testing An Unspecified 'Smart Drug'
Produced By A Japanese Pharmaceutical Company Have Found The Substance
Remarkably Improves Rats' Memory And Problem-Solving Abilities)

Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 14:09:56 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Drug Is Found To Improve Memory Of Rats
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Irish Times
Contact: lettersed@irish-times.ie
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407
Author: Dick Ahlstrom
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 1998


Researchers testing a so-called "smart drug" in animal trials at NUI Dublin
have noted a remarkable improvement in both memory and problem-solving in
rats receiving the substance.

If approved for human use, the drug could have an impact on a number of
human illnesses, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, and in
improving memory generally, according to Prof Ciaran Regan of the
department of pharmacology at NUI Dublin.

How the drug actually improved memory and learning ability remained a
mystery, however, he said. "While [the drugs] are very clean, with no
apparent side-effects, their action is not known."

The drug was produced by a Japanese pharmaceutical company but has not yet
been put forward for consideration in human trials, he explained. There was
a great deal of international research aimed at finding smart drugs and
memory-enhancing pharmaceuticals, in particular for the treatment of
Alzheimer's disease. One, tacrine, is already approved for human use.

The work at NUI Dublin is part of a comprehensive study of how environment
can affect the mental capacity of rats. It has already been established
that rats kept in an "enriched" environment have improved memory and
learning skills compared with those kept in a less stimulating
"impoverished" environment.

The enriched enclosure is built on several levels which can be changed to
offer variety. Toys are available to these rats and they can acquire hidden
food if they overcome challenges. The impoverished enclosure does not offer
this level of stimulation.

The NUI Dublin study found that the enriched conditions encouraged the
growth of specific brain cells associated with the hippocampus, a small
area in the temporal lobe.

"This is known to be an area critical for memory. It is involved in storing
information transiently," Prof Regan said. "You get very dramatic
differences in the structures of the brain comparing the enriched with the
impoverished environments."

The drug under study, however, brings about the same kind of changes in the
rat's brain even without the enriched conditions. The study has also shown
that the brain changes - and improved performance - remain after the drug
is withdrawn.

Such a drug, if it worked, would have significant implications in a human
context, Prof Regan believes. The part of the brain affected by the drug is
known to be underdeveloped in schizophrenics. The drug could be
administered to children known to have this condition as a way to enhance
brain-cell growth.

It could also have an impact on treatment of Alzheimer's patients. The
neural pathways leading to and from the hippocampus are severely damaged in
Alzheimer's patients.

Because the hippocampus is necessary for making and storing memories, this
damage is thought to be the major cause of memory impairment in these
patients. Any drug that could repair this damage would be valuable indeed.

To Blow Or Not To Blow? The Arguments For And Against The Legalisation
Of Cannabis (Opposing Op-Ed Pieces In 'Irish Times')

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 18:21:19 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: OPED: To Blow or Not to Blow?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Irish Times
Author: Katie Donovan
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 1998
Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2,
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407


>From Jospin's government in France, the Independent on Sunday in England,
and the Dutch-led EU Civil Liberties Committee in Strasbourg - everyone is
blowing on about how cannabis should be decriminalised.

Arguments range from the apparently positive effects of cannabis when it is
prescribed for certain medical problems; to claims that cannabis is the
least physically addictive of the psychoactive drugs; to concern that the
illegal status of cannabis means that its widespread use cannot be regulated.

On the con side, there is much mention of "a motivational syndrome", a
state of apathy and withdrawal that excessive use of cannabis apparently
brings about. Cases are cited of young people losing concentration at
school and dropping out. There is also the fear that cannabis is "the
gateway drug" to other, more serious drugs such as heroin; that once young
people who are buying cannabis get exposed to the "drug culture", they are
at risk of becoming hopelessly immersed.

We know from the recent highly publicised drug hauls and heavy prison
sentences for dealers there is plenty of cannabis around. According to the
Garda Siochana Annual Report (1996), 63 per cent of drugs proceedings taken
in 1996 involved cannabis (only 15 per cent involved heroin).

The reason there is so much of it around shows that the demand is there.
Many of those who buy cannabis in its different forms are teenagers. 16
year old Irish students rank high on the European scale (second only to
students in the UK) when it comes to taking cannabis, according to the
recent European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD),
which covered 26 European countries. Most were introduced to the drug by

Meanwhile, although there are those (quoted below) who have fixed views on
the matter of decriminalising cannabis, there are others who work with the
effects of drug abuse every day who believe the debate is too complex for
simplistic answers.

Mick Rafferty, chair of the Dublin Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign, notes
that the Campaign has not taken a stand one way or another on the
legalisation of cannabis: "I personally believe that the distinction must
be made between hard and soft drugs. But our areas have been through such
havoc that people aren't ready to make that distinction."

Context is a word favoured by Vincent Doherty, co-ordinator of the South
Inner City Drugs Task Force: "You have to look at the context of cannabis
use, which is different everywhere. The use of heroin and cannabis in
Dublin is co-terminus.

It is not a straightforward 'gateway' situation, but there is a very close

He adds: "We are not talking about California in the late sixties here. We
are talking about families in inner city Dublin who have been ravaged by
heroin. To them, taking drugs is not about freedom of choice."



"There is certainly an epidemic of cannabis use in Ireland at the moment,"
says John Lundberg, a project worker at the Merchant's Quay Project in
Dublin, where every day 150 heroin addicts are given "crisis intervention"
treatment in a non-judgemental fashion. In his opinion other, legal drugs
such as alcohol and barbiturates, could be considered more significant
"gateway" drugs than cannabis: "and peer pressure is a gateway factor too."

The effects of cannabis are relatively harmless, he says: "Other drugs like
heroin and alcohol create agitation and violence, but cannabis has a
relaxing effect. And it is not physically addictive." One fear is that
legalising cannabis might lead to a rise in the number who use it.

Lundberg disagrees, pointing out that if it was legalised, a lot of the
people who don't admit to using it now, because of its illegal status,
would probably use it much more openly, and then it might look as if there
was in increase in its use, but only because people would be less
secretive. Currently, "people have to buy cannabis on the black market,"
says Ivana Bacik, Reid Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at TCD,
who is also a practising criminal barrister. "They then come into contact
with other, more dangerous drugs. This is where the myth comes in that
cannabis is a gateway drug. The use of nicotine doesn't necessarily lead to
the use of alcohol, but you can get both in the pub."

She believes that cannabis must be properly distinguished from other drugs:
"People don't go out and rob to fund a cannabis habit, which is what they
do with heroin. People don't break up families because of a cannabis habit,
but they might because of alcohol."

Decriminalising cannabis would mean a better opportunity for regulation,
she believes: "We're not talking a free-for-all. It would be regulated like
alcohol and cigarettes, and there would be tax benefits for the government."

It would be an opportunity to provide young people with some information on
the drug, which is currently not available to "the thousands who use it,"
notes Tim Murphy, a law lecturer in UCC and author of Rethinking the War on
Drugs (1996): "We know how many units of alcohol it is safe to drink per
week, but we have no guidelines for the use of cannabis."

As for the argument that cannabis is psychologically addictive, he
responds: "Food, power, sex, money - most things in life are addictive. It
is not the thing in itself that brings about this obsession, it is a
person's interaction with it."

Paul O'Mahoney, author of Criminal Chaos (1996), argues that
decriminalising cannabis would have the advantage of depriving the criminal
drug barons of a major slice of their profits.

In the Netherlands, cannabis is available through coffee shops, "48 per
cent of which supply their own home grown cannabis, thereby taking it out
of the hands of the underworld."

He rubbishes the gateway theory: "In the US, about 60 million people smoke
cannabis, but only one million use opiates. 59 million haven't moved on."
He says the relaxed policy towards cannabis use in Holland has paid off,
because the number of young people there who misuse opiates is declining,
"as is drug associated crime and AIDS."

Tim Murphy agrees that the Dutch experience of "decriminalising cannabis
use in practise, but not on the law books", has been successful, and adds
that the French are talking about doing the same: "In Ireland, we are
creating a disrespect for the entire legal system, especially among the
young, when a cannabis smoker is defined as a criminal.

The greatest danger from using cannabis is that it is a criminal offence
and can lead to people getting trapped in the criminal system."

Ivana Bacik notes that, in practice, law enforcement in relation to
cannabis is already more relaxed here than in the case of hard drugs: "The
gardai don't always enforce the law with someone who is in possession of a
small amount of cannabis for personal use. You can't be sent to prison for
a first offence. You usually get probation or a small fine. It's
discretionary. If you have a larger amount you can be convicted for intent
to supply."

Tim Murphy is encouraged by the fact that the State Forensic Science
Laboratory is so overloaded that gardai may be asked to stop sending small
amounts of suspected cannabis for analysis. Nevertheless, "I've heard of
people being prosecuted recently, even over small amounts."

Much has been made of the medical advantages of cannabis in the treatment
of a variety of ailments, including MS, glaucoma, and the nausea associated
with chemotherapy. It is already available on prescription in California
and Arizona. Paddy Doyle, best known for his autobiography, The God Squad,
suffers from a rare disease called Idiopathic Torsion Distonia. "It's like
a combination of cerebral palsy, MS and Parkinson's," he explains.

"Basically it means I'm a gymnasium all to myself. I have constant spasms."
Paddy takes a cocktail of about 10 different tablets every day, and for
fifteen years was on valium. The only real relief he has experienced from
his symptoms is when he tried smoking cannabis, which he was given at
parties. He told his consultant, who wrote to the then Minister for Health
asking for special permission to prescribe cannabis for Paddy. Michael
Noonan responded in the negative.

Although there is a synthetic version of cannabis, Marinol, which is
available on prescription in the US, it is not available here. In their
book, Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine, authors Lester Grinspoon,
associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and James B.
Bakalar, a Harvard law lecturer, note that Marinol has not been found to be
as effective as smoking cannabis in many cases. Patients who need the drug
to suppress nausea find it difficult to get the pill down. The effects of
inhaled cannabis seem much faster, and easier for the patient to
self-regulate: "Smoking allowed him [a doctor with AIDS] to titrate the
dose for a constant blood level, and illegal marihuana relieved his
symptoms better than legal Marinol - a fact that is common knowledge among
patients who have tried both."

Meanwhile the British Medical Association, which recently published a
report entitled Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis, wants legal permission to
research this area: "Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabinoids could be
useful for treating certain medical conditions, such as mood disorders and
muscle spasticity," says a BMA spokesperson. "We think the law should
permit the research which would establish that this is really the case."



Many of the people I spoke to who oppose the legalisation of cannabis are
concerned to protect young people from what they see to be its damaging
effects. "It's all very well for trendy oldies but children have a right to
a clean environment," says Jim Comberton, chief executive of Coolmine
House, a drug free prevention and recovery programme.

"Using cannabis turns young people off, so they lose energy and are not
interested in what's going on at school," he continues. "Teachers start
assuming the kid is stupid, not realising he's smoking cannabis. This leads
to insecurity. I see a lot of young guys whose expectations have been
limited because they've been told they are stupid."

"There is a loss of concentration and short term memory, and a slowing of
the learning process" adds Dr Michael ffrench O'Carroll, author of a
recently published book entitled The Irish Drugs Epidemic. "I see
youngsters who take massive amounts of cannabis every day. They are all
drop outs from education and training programmes." Dr ffrench O'Carroll is
the founder of Arbour House in Cork, the Southern Health Board's addiction
treatment centre, and is currently addiction consultant at Sister
Consilio's Cun Mhuire Centres.

Smoking cannabis is highly carcinogenic, he warns, it can lead to impaired
sexual development, and can even trigger latent schizophrenia.

Both he and Jim Comberton are concerned about cannabis as it is taken in
combination with other drugs, particularly alcohol: "If you get into a
cannabis-smoking crowd, you're almost certain to be using it with booze,
and the two, taken together, are much more potent," says Comberton.

The "psychological addiction" of cannabis is another worry: "There has been
a lot of research in Sweden about this," says Grainne Kenny, International
Chair of EURAD (Europe Against Drugs). "Unlike heroin, cannabis is fat
soluble so it takes weeks to leave your body. That makes you think you can
go off it for a few days without feeling any ill-effects." Grainne has just
been in Strasbourg to lobby Irish MEPS to vote no to a recent proposal by
the EU Civil Liberties Committee to legalise cannabis and to make hard
drugs available on prescription. The proposal was rejected last week.

She cites the case of Alaska, where possessing a certain amount of cannabis
was legal up until 1992. At that time the law was changed because of fears
that cannabis use was increasing among the young. (This is confirmed by
Mary Collins, an alcohol and drug abuse research analyst at the Alaskan
Department of Health and Social Studies, who notes there is now a lobby to
legalise cannabis in Alaska for medical purposes).

Kenny says that the relaxed attitude to cannabis use in the Netherlands has
led to "a huge rate of absenteeism from work." She is not convinced by the
arguments put forward by those who say cannabis can help certain medical
problems: "It's like people smoke a cigarette because they think it will
calm their nerves. They get stoned so they think they're getting better."

She believes that cannabis is a gateway drug: "I'm a counsellor with young
people, many of whom are addicted to heroin and who started out smoking
cannabis. And these are from every social class." She concludes: "Alcohol
and cigarettes are our most abused drugs because they are socially
acceptable and legally available. If cannabis is legalised it will be
abused even more."

She does not think the Irish legal system is unfairly harsh on young people
who are caught with small amounts of cannabis for personal use: "We have
good laws here; nobody wants to give a person a criminal record.
Imprisonment will only happen if you've done something very serious."

Marie Murray, head of the Psychology Department in St Joseph's Adolescent
Service, notes that the question which most urgently needs to be asked is
why young people are seeking cannabis in the first place: "I don't think
the answer is to legalise cannabis when there are still queries about its
safety. What we need to find out is why they are seeking something that is
mind-altering and what are we doing to provide an alternative?"

Glasgow Set To Show Dealers The Door (Although Public Housing Residents
Can Already Be Evicted If Convicted Of Selling Illegal Drugs, 'The Scotsman'
Says Heroin Death Of Allan Harper, 13, Is Prompting Police, Tenants,
Council Officials To Consider Changing Rules To Allow Eviction
For Any Drugs-Related Conviction - As If Homelessness Discouraged Use
Or Sale Of Drugs)

Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 19:44:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Glasgow Set to Show Dealers the Door
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Scotsman
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Author: Jim Wilson
Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 1998


THE death of Scotland's youngest heroin victim could prompt attempts to
speed up the eviction of drug dealers in Glasgow.

Pushers can already be forced out of their council homes if convicted of
dealing drugs but, under changes being discussed after the death of Allan
Harper, 13, tenants found guilty of any drugs-related offence could face

Police, tenants and council officials will today hold talks called to
discuss ways of combating drugs in Cranhill where Allan died of an overdose
three weeks ago. His death has prompted a stream of anonymous tip-offs to
the police and 39 drugs suspects, including 25 alleged dealers, have been

The city councillor for Cranhill, Gaille McCann, who used to live near the
dead boy's family in Bellrock Court, said many people living on the estate
felt his death was a watershed.

"It has made a lot of people, myself included, stop and think about exactly
what is happening to our communities. We can't just stand back as our
children die," she said. "We have to be honest enough to say that whatever
we have been doing about drugs has not worked and look at everything again.
We do not have a lot of time to find answers."

Mrs McCann, who called today's meeting, confirmed that housing officials
would attend the talks in Easterhouse and that "fast-track" procedures
already in place to deal with tenants convicted of drugs-related offences
would be reviewed.

"We will look at what kind of convictions can trigger eviction. For
whatever reason, some well-known dealers are never convicted and perhaps
there is another way of taking action against them. Perhaps conviction for
a lesser charge, like possession, could be enough to start the process,"
she said.

The council, working with the police and the procurator-fiscal, has started
pilot schemes in two areas intended to ensure that convicted dealers and
other tenants convicted of anti-social behaviour are taken to court as
quickly as possible to help speed up their subsequent eviction.

The council housing convener, James McCarron, conceded that the process of
criminal prosecution and subsequent appeals against eviction could still
take too long, particularly for neighbours of suspected dealers, but warned
that a courtroom conviction had to remain the foundation for any action by
the council.

"There is no greater priority than trying to tackle the scourge of drugs in
our communities but, as a council, we cannot act on hearsay no matter how
compelling," he said. "There has to be evidence leading to a conviction in
court before we can evict. What we have to do is ensure that the whole
process takes as little time as possible."

Allan, who was buried on Friday, died of an overdose in the flat of his
mother's boyfriend, Stephen Young, near his home in the east of the city.

Nobody has been arrested in connection with his death.

* A teenager has been found dead in a flat in Fraserburgh in what police
believe is a drug-related death. The body of Stephen Buchan, 17, was found
on Saturday morning.



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