Portland NORML News - Monday, February 2, 1998

Knock And Talk (Staff Editorial In 'The Oregonian' Says Death
Of Portland Marijuana Task Force Office After Warrantless Break-In
'Ought To Cause A Thorough Rethinking Of The Warrantless-Search Policy')

From: "sburbank" (sburbank@orednet.org)
To: "Phil Smith" (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
Subject: 'knock and talk"
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 07:33:12 -0800

Some of you may have heard last week about the Portland police officer, a
woman, who was shot and killed as she worked for the Marijuana Task Force
on a "knock and talk". This is a tactic that has been used to get in houses
when there is not enough evidence to get a search warrant.

Two other police officers were shot as well, as they tried to break into
the house when the occupant wouldn't answer the door and they said they
smelled marijuana burning.

They found a grow operation of 51 plants and an small arsenal of shotguns,
rifles and handguns. The house also contained a grenade launcher and at
least five grenades.

It is certainly causing people to question the tactic. Following is an
editorial that was printed on Monday.


The Oregonian
Portland, OR
Monday, 2-2-98 page E-6

"Knock and talk"

Warrantless-search tactic effective but risky -police don't know a lot
about what they're getting into

Portland police will review their performance, as they should, in the
"knock and talk" search last week where Policewoman Colleen Waibel was
killed and two other officers were wounded. The tragedy also ought to cause
a thorough rethinking of the warrantless-search policy itself.

Foremost, is it worth the risk to police officers?

Police, responding to suspicions of illegal drug activity -- more often
than not, marijuana growing -- walk up to a door, knock, talk and ask for
entry. The alternative is to spend time and money getting warrants.

"Knock and talk" is quicker and cheaper. It doesn't involve the
district attorney and courts, as getting warrants does. Most of the time,
the occupants let the police come in and look around. Much of the time,
police find no signs of criminal activity.

That wasn't the case last Tuesday in Southeast Portland. Gunfire greeted
Officer Waibel and the two officers with her.

It was the first fatality of "knock and talk" since police implemented
it here a few years back. But the death certainly raises questions about
it. Defense lawyers raise questions in virtually every trial about
intrusion, intimidation and coercion. They question officer testimony about
smelling or seeing drug activity. And they suggest the police activity is
driven more by the potential for forfeiture revenue than probable cause or
even reasonable suspicion.

The tactic is constitutionally sound, however. And usually safe.

It's founded on reasonable suspicion though, unlike warrants are based
on probable cause. Police usually have a better idea about what they're
getting into when they knock on a door with warrant in hand than with
"knock and talk."

Last year, Portland police made more than 400 such visits, about half of
them leading to arrests. We're talking business here, not personal use. As
often as not, 30 to 50 plants, not one or two.

In the aftermath of last week's tragedy, police surely will review
"knock and talk" training. Last week's shooting suggests greater caution is
necessary, particularly where neighbors report the presence of weapons.

Stop The Violence, End Prohibition, Again! (A Second Statement
From Floyd Ferris Landrath Of American Anti-Prohibitionist League
Regarding Shooting Death Of Portland Marijuana Task Force Officer
During Warrantless Break-In)

Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 03:54:21 EST
Reply-To: aal@inetarena.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Stop the violence, end Prohibition, AGAIN!


Sponsors of the

"Drug War or Drug Peace?"

Monday, Feb. 2, 1998

Portland, Oregon -- Imagine you're an alien just landed on our
beautiful little blue/green sphere and come to find the country side
crawling with armed goons searching for people who grow a particular
plant. A plant that is, for no good reason, out of favor with the
powers that be. Imagine how crazy that space critter would think we
are when it found out we actually put people in prison for growing that
forbidden fruit and even sometimes engage in fatal combat over it. Of
course aliens are much smarter and thus having observed our folly,
would no doubt hasten a departure.

Last Tuesday's tragic death of Portland Police Officer Colleen Waibel
was 100 percent preventable. Waibel died defending a prohibition
agenda. Was it her agenda also? We do not know, nor do we care. She
was doing her duty following orders from her grossly incompetent
superiors like Mayor and Police Commissioner Vera Katz and her next in
command Police Chief Charles Moose. Both egged on by Multnomah County
District Attorney Michael Schrunk.

If these and other political leaders do not quickly reconsider our
drug laws Waibel will not be the last brave police officer to die, for
no good reason. The prohibitionists can lie and exaggerate the dangers
of marijuana all they want, but even if one drag on a joint caused
instant addiction and a life of depravity, which of course it does not,
no amount of pot is worth a life, anyone's life. Period.

As long as marijuana is prohibited from adults there will be un-
regulated (sometimes crazy) growers and dealers to provide it. Massive
profit drives the entire illegal drug market. A market controlled by
thugs, guns and violence.

Yes of course we are all sad Waibel is dead, but we are not
surprised. As many of you know we have been denouncing the Marijuana
Task Force for years, particularly for their inappropriate use of the
now infamous "knock and talk." To us and many others, including
Portland NORML, OCTA, Copwatch, etc., it was never a question of if, it
was when.

Now that we are here, sans any intergalactic means of escape, where
do we go next? There are alternatives to current drug laws, aka
prohibition. Alternatives that might work better and actually reduce
the level of drug abuse and violence in our society. Alternatives that
would make everyone a little safer, especially the police who fight and
die defending what's clearly a failed POLITICAL agenda.

If Officer Waibel's death means anything to you, Mayor Katz, Chief
Moose, DA Schrunk, Gov. Kitzhaber, etc., then the time to act is now.
Immediately dismantle the Marijuana Task Force and join us in our
struggle for "Drug Peace!"

Floyd Ferris Landrath - Director

A Heartfelt Thanks ('The Oregonian' Conveys Gratitude To Community
Of Families Of Officers Shot During Portland Marijuana Task Force
Warrantless Break-In)

The Oregonian
February 2, 1998

A heartfelt thanks

In the aftermath of the shooting death of Portland
Police Officer Colleen Waibel, her family and that
of her husband, police Sgt. Mark Fortner, offer
this thanks:

"The Fortner and Waibel families wish to express
our profound gratitude to all the people of
Portland and beyond who have given such an
outpouring of support, love and remembrance for
Colleen Waibel.

"To see you all from the
bridges and overpasses, and
lining the streets along the
way of the cortege in the
bitter cold and wind, meant
so much to our families; it
showed how much you cared, your own
participation in our shared grief, and a promise to
heal the divisions and violence in our city. From a
tragedy such as this, our only hope is to honor her
memory by striving to be better people, and to
actively build a better city and world where the
things Colleen valued most can flourish.

"Our families wish to thank Chief Charles Moose
and the men and women of the entire Portland
Police Bureau for being so conscientious in
helping our families during this most trying time;
being always so professional in protecting Colleen
in her line of duty and retrieving her as soon as
possible from the scene. Special thanks needs to
be extended to the men and women who make up
East Precinct for the overwhelming attention
given our families, spending time with us and
bringing food and flowers of remembrance. The
honor guard, who watched over Colleen's body
from the time she died until she was laid to rest,
was truly a moving tribute received by Colleen
and her families which we will never forget.

"Legacy Emanuel Hospital, especially the trauma
team there, did so much to help Colleen and her
husband and families. So much kindness and
sensitivity were extended, and the assistance in
avoiding intrusions into one of the saddest times
our families have ever experienced helped us all
feel safe even as we grieved.

"We wish to thank Archbishop John Vlazny, the
Archdiocese of Portland, Father Joseph
Jacobberger, and all the staff and parishoners at
St. Mary's Cathedral for opening their doors in
our need to make the liturgical celebration, with
music provided by Oregon Catholic Press, and
the Cathedral choir under the direction of
Angela-Westhoff Johnson, so beautiful and
prayerful. Priests of the archdiocese, priests and
monks of Mount Angel Abbey, Sisters of St.
Mary of Oregon, and many friends and relatives
made the suffering bearable these past days.

"The men and women of the Portland Fire
Bureau, with fire boats spouting, with ladders
raised with flags, and offering every medical
assistance at the time of the tragedy and right up
to the end, was so beautiful and unexpected and

"To the pastors and staff of New Hope
Community Church in Clackamas, we owe
another debt of gratitude for opening your hearts
and doors to make possible a further service for
the community at large. To be able to come
together - literally thousands and more - and
make our prayers and tributes, was a civic and
ecumenical act that will not be forgotten. The
presence of Mayor Vera Katz at Emanuel
Hospital, and later both she and Gov. John
Kitzhaber at the memorial, showed us, Colleen's
family, that this tragedy went beyond a small
portion of the city; it affected all of Portland, all
of the state of Oregon, and all who care and work
for a better world.

"At this time it is hard to remember each and
every person by name who gave their time and
talents to honor Colleen. If we have failed to
mention you by name or group, please let us
know so we can do so properly. And while there
are omissions, no doubt, our appreciation goes
out to you in the name of Colleen.

"One of Portland's finest has been taken from us.
May we remember all that Colleen did and lived
and died for. Please pray for us during this time
of grieving.

"Thank you so much for everything,

"The Fortner and Waibel families."

PGE Pinpoints Power Thieves - Police And Power Company
Sometimes Work Together (Newscast By KOIN, Portland's CBS Affiliate,
In Wake Of Fatal Shooting Of Marijuana Task Force Cop,
Notes The Electric Company Has Voluntarily Enlisted
In The War On Some Drug Users)

KOIN Channel 6
Portland, Oregon
letters to editor:

PGE Pinpoints Power Thieves

Police and Power Company Sometimes Work Together

PORTLAND, Posted 8:11 p.m. February 02, 1998 -- Could the power company
be checking up on you? The answer might be yes, in some cases.

Police "knock and talk" investigations often follow reports from the power

KOIN-TV reports Portland General Electric may just be protecting their own

"Yes there are times police come to us and there are times when they have
subpoenaed PGE for information also," PGE spokesperson Vickie Rocker told

She says the company doesn't release information about you to just anyone.

"We cooperate with the police department when they ask for information. You
know there is certain information that we do share with them, and it's on a
case-by-case basis," said Rocker.

Portland police spokesman Cliff Madison told KOIN when investigators suspect
someone's using lights to grow marijuana in the basement, they sometimes
subpoena PGE for records that might show usage of the kind of power it takes to
run the grow-lights.

He said the biggest issue for the power company is stolen electricity. PGE often
initiates contacts with police because a customer has altered the meter to
conceal the amount of electricity actually used.

KOIN learned from PGE it doesn't have time to check everyone's power bill for
illegal activity. When the meter-reader suspects that someone is stealing power,
they investigate. Often the stolen power is being used for marijuana grow

Compiled by Channel 6000 Staff

Bookseller Sentenced For Marijuana ('The Oregonian' Says Hungarian Refugee
From Communism Living In Odell, Oregon, Gets 21 Months In Sate Prison
For 'Supplying' Pot To Teens Who Left Him In Pool Of Blood For It -
Plus 20 Days For Contempt Of Contemptible Court)

Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 04:02:29 -0800
From: Paul Freedom 
Organization: Oregon State Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots ,
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com


----transcribed by Paul Freedom------

The Oregonian
by Jeanie Senior
Oregonian corespondent


HOOD RIVER,OREGON-- A Hood River County
bookstore owner who was brutally beaten in July 1996
by two teen-agers attempting to steal marijuana from him
has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for delivery
of a controlled substance to a minor.

Evan Paeteur had been on probation after a conviction
for growing marijuana, but Circuit Judge Donald Hull revoked
that probation and sentenced Paeteur to an additional 20
more days for contempt of court.

Timothy McAlexander and Karl Gutzler, both 17, were
sentenced in July to six years in prison for the brutal beating.
Paeteur spent more than a month in the hospital after friends
found him lying in a pool of blood in his bookstore.

Paeteur was convicted last week of the delivery
charge. Hood River District Attorney John Sewell said
evidence for the charge was uncovered during the investigation
of the beating. A subsequent search uncovered Paeteur's growing

Paeteur, 56, who came to the United States after the
Hungarian Revolution, is something of a personality in the
Hood River Valley. He frequently has voiced his personal
beliefs in letters to the editor in the Hood River News,
Including his view that marijuana should be legalized.
He owns the Old Trunk bookstore near the central
Hood River Valley community of Odell.

Paeteur's probation was revoked because he
had failed to undergo drug and alcohol evaluation
as Hull ordered, did not submit to random searches
and urinalysis, and associated with people under 18.

Sewell said Paeteur , while in the Hood River
County Jail, had contacted at least one girl by calling
her collect; he also wrote letters and attempted to
have them smuggled out.

During a recent visit to Paeteur's residence,
according to Sewell, Paeteur's probation officer
found a 17 year old girl who had spent the night

The district attorney said Paeteur will get
credit for an estimated three months served in
the county jail. After his prison term is completed
he will serve three years of post-prison supervision.

At this week's sentencing, as at one a couple
month's ago, Paeteur's supporters argued that he
should not be sent to prison.

Police Strip-Search Teen Girls At Oregon Middle School
(Article About Lack Of Rights In McMinnville, Oregon,
From The March 'American Family Association Journal'
Reprinted From The 'Daily Journal' In Tupelo, Mississippi)

Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 14:20:58 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Rick Adams 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: News article

Here's an article pointing out the violation of rights our youths are
subjected to that could be VERY easily linked to the expansion of
searches by police resulting from the war on drugs. And it comes from a
*very* unlikely ally--the American Family Association!


Police strip-search teen girls at Oregon middle school

Daily Journal
Tupelo, MS
February 2, 1998
Reprinted in the AFA Journal, March 1998.

When some items were reported missing from a locker room at Duniway
Middle School in McMinnville, Oregon, teachers called police. But the
real crime took place after the girls in the gym class were assembled.

Several students had complained that they were missing some jewelry,
makeup, CDs and about $30 in cash. After the gym teacher failed to
discover who had committed the theft, the police were summoned.

As many as 30 teenaged girls were brought into the locker room in pairs
and told to strip to enable police to search for missing items. According
to Associated Press, girls were told to remove their clothing and even
drop their panties to their ankles.

When 13-year-old Kayla Plumeau asked to call home first, her request was
refused. "I was told if I didn't take [my clothes] off, they would do a
full body search, " she said. "If I didn't pull them off, they said
they'd do it for me."

The Police Chief has already personally delivered letters of apology to
the parents of the teens, admitting that the tactics were "rash" and

At least one parent was said to be considering legal action against the
gym teacher, school principal, school district and the police department.

Cannabinoid Investigations Entering The Mainstream (Article
In 'The Scientist' Recounts Research Developments In 1980s-1990s
That Revealed New Promise Of Cannabis As Medicine, Particularly Progress
Arising From Discovery Of Cannabinoid Receptor Sites In Brain)

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:20:19 EST
Originator: medmj@drcnet.org
Sender: medmj@drcnet.org
From: "Carl E. Olsen" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: News: Cannabinoid Investigations Entering The Mainstream


Cannabinoid Investigations Entering The Mainstream

Author: Robert Finn
Date: February 2, 1998

With the passage last year of Proposition 215 in California and similar
measures in Arizona and other states, voters have indicated their belief
that marijuana should be made available for medicinal purposes. In response,
the Office of National Drug Control Policy requested that the Institute of
Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences undertake an 18-month study to
assess the science base, the therapeutic use, and the economics of medical
marijuana. The study will not be completed until the end of this year, but
it is certain to highlight the extent to which research on medical marijuana
has entered the mainstream of science.

But it's not just the impetus of political events that is        [Image]
driving the renewed interest in studying marijuana and its       NEW TOOLS:
active compounds, the cannabinoids. Interest in cannabinoid      Wake
research started to snowball after some key discoveries in       Forest's
the mid-1980s. As Steven R. Childers, a professor of             Steven
physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest University School     Childers
of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., puts it, "During the         notes that
late '70s and early '80s, when there was a tremendous            researchers
explosion of information from other areas of drug abuse-like     only
opiate receptors and enkephalins and endorphins, and the         recently
concept that cocaine acts on dopamine transporters-the           became able
cannabinoid field was strangely silent."                         to study the
"Before 1990 we really didn't have much of an understanding      of
of how cannabinoids worked," agrees Norbert E. Kaminski, an      cannabinoid
associate professor of pharmacology, toxicology, and             compounds
pathology at Michigan State University. "Many, if not most,      with their
people in this area of research thought the compounds worked     receptors.
nonspecifically by perturbing cell membranes, because            -------------
they're very lipophilic compounds."

Because of this lipophilicity, delta9-tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC)-the main
active ingredient in marijuana-and its derivatives are poorly soluble in
water, which makes them difficult to study. According to Childers, it wasn't
until the mid-1980s that researchers developed the tools that allow them to
study cannabinoid pharmacology-the interaction of the compounds with their
specific, membrane-bound receptors-in detail.

With the development of these tools came increased funding from the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which funds the bulk of basic cannabinoid
research. "Until we had the proper pharmacological tools to examine the
system from the basic science point of view, it was really very difficult to
propose projects," notes Childers, who has been reviewing grants for NIDA
for about a dozen years. "There's no question that cannabinoid research
funding has increased."

Receptor Pharmacology

With the discovery and cloning of two key cannabinoid receptors, the
receptor story has become fairly clear and straightforward, and the field
has blossomed. The CB1 receptor, which is found mainly in the brain, was
discovered in 1988 (W.A. Devane et al., Molecular Pharmacology, 34:605-13,
1988) and cloned in 1990 (L.A. Matsuda et al., Nature, 346:561-4, 1990). The
CB2 receptor, which is found mainly outside the brain, was discovered and
cloned in 1993 (S. Munro et al., Nature, 365:61-5, 1993).

Both receptors belong to the G-protein-coupled family of receptors. "That
very basic finding catapulted this field into the mainstream of
neuroscience," notes Childers. When either cannabinoid receptor is
activated, there's an intracellular decrease in cyclic AMP production, a
decrease in calcium-channel conductance, and an increase in
potassium-channel conductance. These actions indicate that cannabinoids have
an inhibitory effect on neurotransmission.

"CB1 and CB2 are highly homologous to one another, which is very typical for
members within the same family of receptors, but there are a number of
important differences," Childers points out. "The homologies within CB1 and
CB2 are not nearly as great as the homologies within other types of receptor
families [the opioid receptors, for example]. The implication [is] that it's
quite likely that pharmacological agents can be produced which are highly
selective and distinguish between the receptor types."

"One of the nice things about these receptors is that they've stimulated
chemists around the world to synthesize new and exciting derivatives,"
observes Childers. Among the plethora of new compounds that interact with
cannabinoid receptors, three in particular have emerged as standard research
tools. Researchers are using compounds called WIN 55,212-2 and CP 55,940 as
standard agonists, and one called SR141716A as the standard receptor
antagonist. All three have a higher affinity for cannabinoid receptors than
delta9-THC, which turns out to be a weak partial agonist.

The field was further energized with the 1992 discovery by a team led by
Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University in Jerusalem of the first cannabinoid
neurotransmitter that is "endogenous"-normally present in the brain (W.A.
Devane et al., Science, 258:1946-9, 1992). It's an arachidonic acid
derivative, called anandamide. Recently Danieli Piomelli of the
Neurosciences Institute in San Diego discovered another endogenous
cannabinoid called sn-2 arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). Interestingly, "the
endogenous compounds are not particularly potent," Childers points out.
"They have about the same affinity for the CB1 receptor as delta9-THC. And
they're extremely unstable."

Cannabinoid Neuroanatomy

The CB1 receptor is exceedingly abundant in the brain. According to
Childers, it's by far the brain's most common G-protein-coupled receptor,
and it even approaches some of the receptors for excitatory amino acid
transmitters, such as glutamate, in quantity.

"Certainly no one would ever have predicted that a receptor for marijuana
would exist in such high quantities in brain," Childers contends. "We
believe there are significant functional consequences to the large amount of
receptors that are there." For example, he explains, "if it weren't for the
fact that there are so many of these receptors in brain, it's probably
likely that cannabis itself would not be an effective drug," since D9-THC is
such a weak partial agonist.

In terms of the distribution of CB1 receptors, "when you look at an
autoradiogram, the thing that really jumps out at you are motor systems,"
Childers observes. "Motor systems throughout the brain are activated by the
agonist." This may provide a partial explanation for the reported ability of
marijuana to ease muscle spasticity in disorders like multiple sclerosis.

Additionally, he notes, "We know by a variety of animal tests that
cannabinoids produce significant effects on short-term memory tasks, and
that really makes sense from the very, very high distribution of cannabinoid
receptors in the hippocampus," an integral part of the memory system.

Researchers are as interested in the areas where cannabinoid receptors
cannot be found as in the areas where they exist in high concentration. In
contrast to the opioids, for example, there are few cannabinoid receptors in
the brainstem nuclei that mediate respiratory depression. Since respiratory
depression is one of the main toxic effects of opioid overdose, this
suggests that cannabinoids are relatively safe.

  [Image]          Glaucoma
  POSSIBILITIES:   It's not easy, however, to move from cannabinoid receptor
  Wisconsin's      pharmacology to the medical usage of marijuana. Some of
  Paul Kaufman     marijuana's clearest potential medical effects are seen
  hopes to study   in glaucoma, a condition in which elevated intraocular
  cannabinoids to  pressure (IOP) is associated with damage to the optic
  learn about the  nerve and progressive loss of vision. Although smoked
  hydrodynamic     marijuana reduces IOP to the same degree as approved
  mechanisms of    medications, the enthusiasm for using marijuana as a
  the eye          front-line treatment has waned since the 1970s, explains
  ---------------- Paul L. Kaufman, director of glaucoma services at the
                   University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison.

The main stumbling block is duration of action. Marijuana reduces IOP for
only three or four hours, requiring frequent dosing, while some of the newer
medications need to be taken only once or twice a day. Another problem,
notes Kaufman, is that marijuana's mechanism of action in reducing IOP
remains unknown. "People say, 'Let's just legalize marijuana, and it will be
the cure for glaucoma.' Well, that's not the way to develop a drug. The way
you develop a drug is to understand the mechanism-which we don't for the
cannabinoids-and then to take the good points about that mechanism, change
the molecule around to give you more of what you want, less of what you
don't want, put it through basic studies, put it through clinical trials,
and hopefully if you're lucky you wind up with a therapeutically useful
compound. And that's the way this should be handled."

Nevertheless, Kaufman remains
tantalized by the promise of                  FOR MORE INFORMATION
the cannabinoids. "With the
new compounds and the new           International Cannabinoid Research
knowledge of cannabinoid            Society (ICRS)
receptor pharmacology, maybe        98 Brookes Ave.
we can use [these agents] as        Burlington, Vt. 05401
probes to learn something           Phone and Fax: (802) 865-0970
about the hydrodynamic              ICRS@together.net
mechanisms of the eye. Whether
that would lead to                  * Roger Pertwee, President
cannabinoids as drugs, or           * Diane Mahadeen, Director
whether that would give us          * 190 members
some insight into what other
types of noncannabinoid             The Institute of Medicine is conducting
compounds that we might             an 18-month study to assess the
develop to attack those same        therapeutic potential of marijuana and
mechanisms, I think that's          its components. For more information,
exciting."                          contact:
                                    Janet E. Joy, Study Director
But at least one glaucoma           Institute of Medicine
patient, interviewed on             2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.
condition of anonymity,             Washington, D.C. 20418
believes that there's no            (202) 334-1805
reason to wait for new              Fax: (202) 334-1317
compounds, clinical trials, or      med-mj@nas.edu
a refined understanding of          http://www2.nas.edu/medical-mj/
marijuana's mechanism of
action. He had tried five or        Review articles are available on
six of the standard                 several aspects of cannabinoid
medications-and experienced         research. For an article on cannabinoid
unpleasant side effects with        receptor pharmacology, see R.G.
each-before trying marijuana.       Pertwee, Pharmacology and Therapeutics,
"The marijuana gives me             74(2):129-80, 1997. For an article on
absolutely no side effects,"        the cannabinoids in immune function see
he maintains. Without               N.E. Kaminski, Journal of
marijuana, "the pressure            Neuroimmunology, 1998 (in press).
builds up in my eye to such a
point that . . . it feels like someone has their finger back behind my eye.
Marijuana relieves this within seconds." Kaufman acknowledges that marijuana
might be useful for people who cannot get relief from the standard

Pain And Immunology

Another area of great clinical interest is the cannabinoids' reported
ability to alleviate pain. According to Howard L. Fields, a professor of
neurology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, "I
think the recent explosion of knowledge about cannabinoids, in particular
the cloning of the receptors and the development of antagonists, is going to
allow us to determine a new mechanism for analgesia."

Fields's studies have zeroed in on a brainstem nucleus called the
rostroventral medulla (RVM). "It's the part of the brainstem that directly
controls the pain transmission system at the level of the spinal cord,"
Fields explains. "And it's a major site of action of endogenous opioids and

In a series of animal experiments Fields injects combinations of cannabinoid
and opioid agonists and antagonists into the RVM while simultaneously
recording the physiological responses of RVM neurons and monitoring the
animal's pain responses. (These experiments have not yet been published,
except in abstract form: I. Meng et al., Society for Neuroscience Annual
Meeting Abstracts, 1997.)

Opioid agonists produce analgesia, and this response is blocked by the
opioid antagonist naloxone. Likewise, WIN 55,212-2 produces analgesia that
is blocked by SR141716A. But naloxone doesn't block cannabinoid analgesia,
and SR141716A doesn't block opioid analgesia.

The cellular neurophysiology mirrors the behavioral responses. "In every
way, from an electrical standpoint, cannabinoids and opioids are the same,"
explains Fields. "However, they're acting at different molecular sites, and
they're acting on the cell by different mechanisms."

Moreover Fields can prove that the RVM is essential for cannabinoid
analgesia even when the compounds are administered systemically.
Inactivating the RVM with the local anesthetic lidocaine blocks the
cannabinoids' analgesic effects.

"We clearly have a new bullet for treating pain," Fields        [Image]
rhapsodizes. But how will this weapon be used? Sandra P.        WINNING
Welch, an associate professor of pharmacology and               COMBINATION?
toxicology at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond,      Sandra Welch
thinks that cannabinoids might be used in combination with      of the
opioids.                                                        Medical
                                                                College of
"Our goal is to determine whether one can lower the dose of     Virginia
cannabinoids down to such a low level that you would not        hopes to use
see any other side effects," she elaborates, "nor would you     cannabinoids
get tolerance to that cannabinoid, and combine it with an       and opioid
opioid at very, very low therapeutic levels where you would     for analgesia
not get tolerance to the opioid. By the combination of          without
these two [perhaps the researchers would] get an enhanced       development
effect such that you'd see an analgesic effect for the two      of tolerance.
in combination and not see tolerance development."              --------------

Cannabinoids clearly affect tissues outside the brain as well. In the immune
system, for example, cannabinoids-at much higher doses than recreational
marijuana users normally experience-inhibit many different immune functions,
including lymphokine production by T cells and nitric oxide production by
macrophages. But paradoxically, notes Kaminski, "there is some evidence that
at lower doses these cannabinoids can enhance immune responses."

"The problem in trying to correlate that to people actually smoking
marijuana is that there are over 60 cannabinoid compounds in the smoked
material," Kaminski points out. "We really don't know what concentration of
cannabinoids these people are getting."

Kaminski thinks cannabinoid effects on the immune system may well turn out
to be of more than academic interest. "I think there's some indication that
these might be useful as relatively weak immune modulators, perhaps to be
used as anti-inflammatory agents or even maybe for asthma," which is thought
to be an autoimmune disease.

In addition to its effects on glaucoma, pain, motor systems, and the immune
system, researchers are examining marijuana's potential as an antinausea
drug for use with chemotherapy and as an appetite stimulant, for use in AIDS
wasting and other such conditions.

Childers summarizes cannabinoid research by saying, "I think that what we've
seen here is a dramatic transformation of this field. Twenty years ago
cannabinoid research was dealing with a fairly innocuous drug of abuse,
looking into . . . how it produces its psychological effects. We now see the
research in this area has been transformed into mainstream neuroscience,
where now we're not just looking at a drug of abuse but we're looking at a
major neurotransmitter system in the brain."

Robert Finn, a freelance science writer based in Long Beach, Calif., can be
reached online at finn@nasw.org.


(The Scientist, Vol:12, #3, p. 1,8, February 2, 1998)
(Copyright (c) The Scientist, Inc.)




The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A.

Therapeutic Cannabis Initiative Proposed For Colorado Ballot (Colorado
Citizens For Compassionate Cannabis File Ballot Initiative - Text Online -
Not Associated With Americans For Medical Rights)

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 11:07:25 -0700 (MST)
From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (cohip@levellers.org)
X-Sender: cohip@saturn.eagle-access.net
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (cohip@levellers.org)
Subject: Therapeutic Cannabis Initiative Proposed for Colorado Ballot

For immediate release: February 2, 1998

Contact: Joseph Vigorito	(303) 258-3990	support@eagle-access.net	
Laura Kriho		(303) 784-5632	cohip@levellers.org

Therapeutic Cannabis Initiative Proposed for Colorado Ballot

Text of the initiative:
or send email to cohip@levellers.org for a text version (long)

Information on other campaigns to allow therapeutic cannabis use:

[Denver] -- On Friday, January 30, Colorado Citizens for Compassionate
Cannabis filed a ballot initiative, the Compassionate Therapeutic Cannabis
Act, that would allow the therapeutic use of cannabis by medical patients
under the advice of their physicians. CCCC is a group of Colorado patients
and family members, medical professionals, caregivers, and others who
support the compassionate use of cannabis in the treatment of symptoms of a
variety of illnesses.

The Compassionate Therapeutic Cannabis Act (CTCA) would allow patients,
under the care of a physician, to obtain and cultivate cannabis for the
purpose of alleviating the symptoms of adverse medical conditions or of the
side-effects caused by other treatments. Cannabis is beneficial in the
treatment of symptoms caused by many illnesses, including cancer, AIDS,
glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic pain, wasting syndrome, and
nausea caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The initiative also
allows patients to appoint primary caregivers to help them obtain their

In order to clarify the intent of the amendment, the CTCA eliminates the
term "marihuana" from all Colorado statutes and mandates the use of
accurate terminology based on the historic uses and varieties of Cannabis
sativa. The initiative redefines marihuana in three distinct classes:
cannabis (formerly marihuana), cannabis concentrate (formerly marihuana
concentrate), and hemp (non-psychoactive industrial hemp.) The
clarification of the former definition of marihuana necessitates the
treatment of industrial hemp as an agricultural product.

"The time for redefinition of cannabis, to include two of the most
historically significant uses, is upon us," says Joeseph Vigorito,
co-author of the amendment. "In the face of overwhelming evidence to this
effect, our federal government is intransigent. The people, in the states,
must now take this lead."

The CTCA creates the Therapeutic Cannabis Commission, composed of seven
members appointed by the Governor, to aid in the implementation of the
article. The Commission will enact licensing requirements for therapeutic
cannabis dispensaries to ensure a safe supply of medicine to patients who
cannot cultivate their own. The Commission will also enact requirements
for therapeutic cannabis use by minor patients under 18 years of age,
including provisions for adequate parental control and notification of
therapeutic cannabis use.

The initiative does not provide for the recreational or personal use of
cannabis nor does it allow the use of cannabis by minor patients unless
they meet the requirements to be set forth by the Therapeutic Cannabis

"Our initiative is about compassion. There are thousands of people in
Colorado that would benefit from cannabis as medicine if they were allowed
to use it," says Kathleen Chippi, CCCC spokesperson.

The CTCA has been proposed in opposition to a medical marijuana initiative
sponsored by California-based Americans for Medical Rights. CCCC believes
the AMR initiative would endanger patients and encourage a black market in
cannabis. The AMR initiative sets limits on cultivation and possession
that would prohibit a patient from maintaining an adequate supply of
medicine. In addition, the AMR initiative fails to set up a legitimate
distribution system. This will put seriously-ill patients into danger by
forcing them into the black market frequently to re-supply their medicine.

The AMR initiative would also allow children under the age of 18 to use
marijuana as medicine. "We didn't feel comfortable with a group from
California deciding how to best regulate the use of cannabis as medicine by
sick children. These decisions should be made by the Colorado parents and
physicians, not by Californians," says Laura Kriho, co-author of the CTCA.

AMR has stated that their initiative was written to appease the concerns of
the law enforcement community. The AMR initiative has therefore received
the label "the law enforcement model of medicine."

"The CTCA is based on the therapeutic model of medicine. We value the
needs of the patient foremost and trust licensed physicians to determine
the medical needs of their patients. To address the concerns of law
enforcement, the CTCA allows law enforcement to participate in the
Therapeutic Cannabis Commission. But we feel it is best to leave medical
decisions to physicians, not police," says Kriho.

The authors of the CTCA hope it will be used as the therapeutic model for
cannabis reform in the country. But they will fight a tough battle with
AMR's law enforcement model. AMR is funded primarily by billionaire George
Soros, and thus AMR is confident that they can buy election wins in
Colorado, Washington, D.C., Maine, Alaska, Washington state, Oregon, and
Nevada. As in Colorado, many of the local patients and advocates question
AMR's motives.

"The American people are strongly in favor of therapeutic cannabis. But if
AMR's model is allowed to succeed, patients may actually be put in further
danger. We proposed the CTCA to help prevent AMR's model from becoming
constitutional law in Colorado and to help patients and advocates in other
states see that there is an alternative to the law enforcement approach,"
Kriho says. "The American people are ready for some honesty and compassion
in their laws."


CTCA Signature Deadline: August 3, 1998
Needed: 55,000 valid signatures


Donations are essential:

Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
P.O. Box 729
Nederland, CO 80466
Phone: (303) 784-5632
Email: cohip@levellers.org
Web: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html

Re-distributed as a public service by the:
Colorado Hemp Initiative Project
P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466
Hotline: (303) 784-5632
Email: (cohip@levellers.org)
Web: http://www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html
"Fighting over 60 years of lies and dis-information
with 10,000 years of history and fact."

To be added to or removed from our mailing list,
send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.

Smoke Screen - Decriminalizing Marijuana Makes Sense
(University Of Washington 'Daily' Editorial Says It's Not A Hoax After All -
'High Times' Really Has Co-Sponsored Petition DEA Used To Order Re-Evaluation
Of Marijuana's Legal Status)

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 12:01:11 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US WA: Editorial: Decriminalizing Marijuana Makes Sense
To: news 
Reply-to: rlake@mapinc.org
Organization: http://www.mapinc.org
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ben 
Source: The Daily (University of Washington)
Author: The Daily Editorial Board
Contact: daily@u.washington.edu
Website: http://www.thedaily.washington.edu
Pubdate: February 2, 1998


Decriminalizing Marijuana Makes Sense

We heard this great hoax over Internet e-mail last week: The U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA), intrigued by a petition co-sponsored by the
pro-drug magazine High Times, had suddenly ordered that legal status of
marijuana be re-evaluated. Uh-huh. Right. Wacky cyber-geeks!

The message was forwarded to the Daily Editor, who promptly deleted it after
laughing at what seemed a well-written prank. What fool would believe this

Believe it. On Dec. 19, the DEA formally requested the Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) conduct a legally binding "scientific and medical
evaluation of the available data" to determine whether marijuana should
continue to be classified as a so-called "Schedule I" drug.

According to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule I drugs have a
high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical usage. The Drug
Enforcement Agency requested the HHS review of marijuana after evaluating a
petition co-authored by High Times and Jon Gettimen, former president of
NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). The DEA
concluded that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from the list of
Schedule I drugs, and quietly requested that HHS examine the issue.

If marijuana is removed from Schedule I status, the federal government will
be legally required to take a regulatory, rather than a prohibitory position
on the drug.

This is an astonishing reversal of long-standing DEA policy. Until now, the
DEA has stigmatized marijuana at every opportunity, equating it with other
Schedule I drugs like PCP and heroin since the "War on Drugs" began in the
early '80s.

The legal status of marijuana is being reconsidered in statehouses around
the nation, including Washington state. California and Arizona have passed
initiatives decriminalizing pot in cases of medical need. The DEA's decision
is the latest indication that sane heads are finally taking charge of the
war on drugs.

It's about time. The "war on drugs" has made mess of our courts, our prisons
and our laws. More than half of the federal prison space is populated by
non-violent "drug offenders" serving congressionally dictated "mandatory
minimum" sentences for possession. Hundreds of billions have been spent by
the DEA on extravagant interdiction efforts. The leafy weed hasn't stopped

Let it grow. The drug war won't be won through intimidation or force.
Society weans itself from vice when they collectively figure out it isn't in
their best interest--when they make a rational choice. Let's hope the DEA
can do the same.

The Ralph Seeley Memorial Site (Washington State Hemp.Net Web Site
Announces Cyber Shrine For Late Tacoma Lawyer, Medical Marijuana Activist)

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 16:33:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Ben (ben@hemp.net)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: The Ralph Seeley Memorial Site
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

We are currently in the process of collecting information for The
Ralph Seeley Memorial Site, currently residing at
www.hemp.net/seeley/memorial.html. If you have any information, articles,
email, pictures, videos, etc. please let us know. It is possible that this
project ill turn into something bigger than just a web page, so we want to
gather every bit of data we can and make sure we credit everybody who
should be credited.

You can fill out the web form if you have anything to contribute,
just mark the boxes telling us what it is. You can also use the form to
send us a letter with your Ralph memories so we can put them up for others
to read and enjoy. If you would rather send email or your browser doesn't
support forms, please send mail to ben@hemp.net with your memories or
information on what you have to contribute to this effort. Please include
all of your contact information (name, title/affiliations, address, phone,
email), again, so we can make sure we give credit where due. None of the
information you give us will be given out to third parties.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help get this project going.
If you would like to be more heavily involved in this, email ben@hemp.net.
I'm sure this will become much larger.

Citizen Lobby Day On Wednesday, 4 February 1998 (Hempsters And Activists
Can Lobby At Event In Olympia, Washington,
Sponsored By People For Puget Sound)

From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 13:52:39 -0500 (EST)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Lobby Day - Wed. 4 Feb 98 - Olympia
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

To Hempsters/Hemp Activists: a gentle reminder that there will be a
Citizen Lobby Day on Wed. 4 Feb 98 starting at 9 AM at the United Church of
Olympia, 110 E. 11th Street, Olympia.

It is put on free of charge (but they do accept donations if available) by
the People For Puget Sound, an environmentally oriented group, which
naturally will be pushing that kind of agenda.

I feel that we have a place at the table in that industrial hemp has
many environmental benefits. Perhaps we should focus on that aspect in any
actual lobbying activities we do as a part of this exercise.

We certainly can, and should, use this opportunity to gain and perfect
lobbying skills for use in pursuing our other agendas, and for learning how
to set up our own lobby day function at a later date.

In order to get the most out of it we should play by their rules in the
matter of conforming as much as possible in manner & appearance to the image
that works in getting good results out of contacts with legislators.

San Jose Pot Center Avoids Shutdown (Student Paper
At San Jose State University Notes Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center
Wasn't Among Those Targeted By Federal Lawsuits Filed January 9
Against Northern California Cannabis Clubs, But Ax May Fall Soon)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 19:36:04 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: San Jose Pot Center Avoids Shutdown
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (jwjohnson@netmagic.net)
Source: Spartan Daily (Student paper for San Jose State University)
Contact: SDAILY@jmc.sjsu.edu
Fax: 408-924-3237
Pubdate: Mon, 2 Feb 1998
Author: Lois Jenkins, Opinion Editor


Proposition 215 no longer a safe haven

The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center avoided the boot in the six
federal lawsuits filed against Northern California cannabis clubs on Jan.
9, but it may not be long before the shoe drops.

"They bypassed us this time, but it doesn't mean we can't get shut down,"
said Peter Baez, the center's executive director and co-founder.

Despite the fact that California voters approved Proposition 215, the
initiative that allows the possession and cultivation of marijuana for
medical purposes with a doctor's recommendation, the U.S. Justice
Department appears determined to shut down the clubs that now exist.

San Jose City Attorney Joan Gallo said she's not really sure why the center
on Meridian Avenue, which opened on April, 1997 and serves nearly 250
members, was not included in the lawsuits.

"Our approach in San Jose is not a club (atmosphere), and that may or may
not be the reason they weren't included in the federal lawsuit," Gallo
said, referring to Baez and Jesse Garcia, who is the center's director and

Baez said the center dispenses marijuana, but does not allow consumption of
the drug on the premises, unlike many other clubs such as the San Francisco
Cannabis Buyers' Club and the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative.

"We don't allow smoking on the premises, including the parking lot," Baez
said. "If someone is caught doing that, we void their membership."

It's quite all right for the members of the San Francisco club to light up,
according to Lynne Barnes, a nurse volunteer who has worked there for three

"People can come here and smoke and socialize, as opposed to the pharmacy
like atmosphere of other clubs," Barnes said. "Some people think this is a
negative thing, but we see it as very positive."

Barnes said people who come to the club can buy their marijuana and meet
others who suffer from the same illness. She said socializing helps them
get through some of the bad times.

"Some clubs try to distance themselves from Dennis Peron and his co-op
idea, thinking it will keep them safe from the lawsuits," Barnes said.
Peron is the founder of San Francisco's club and the author of Proposition

"If the case makes it to the Supreme Court," Barnes said, "we think it will
be a 10th Amendment defense. States rights should be reserved for the
states, not the feds."

Baez said that the agreement between the center and the city of San Jose is
in violation of federal laws regarding the possession and transportation of
controlled substances.

"The city's actually telling us to break federal law by saying that we must
grow our own," Baez said. "Right now it's just a nod and a blink and keep
your nose clean."

Director Garcia said the center's present location precludes growing
marijuana on the property because there is no arable land, so they are
negotiating that part of the agreement with the city.

"We're in the process of working on a cultivation agreement with the Santa
Cruz center to grow it for us in Santa Cruz County," Garcia said. "We're
working with them and the Santa Cruz P.D. and our P.D."

In the meantime, the center buys its marijuana from several unnamed sources
in the Bay Area, and, so far, there have been no complaints about its

James Cook, a member who has AIDS and has been buying his marijuana there
since the center opened, is glad he doesn't have to buy it off the streets
any more.

"I was having to go to Oakland to buy it because I couldn't get it locally
very easily," Cook said. "The center being there eliminates a lot of
unnecessary effort and crime that people have to go through to get what
they need."

Wendee West, from the operations department at the Better Business Bureau
of Santa Clara County, said the bureau had no file on the center.

"That means either it's too new to have established a performance record or
no complaints have been brought to our attention," West said.

The center's next door neighbors don't seem to have serious complaints,
either. Paul Liccardo, owner of Option Realty, said he's never met the
people at the center and doesn't have a strong opinion about it except for
the general principle of the thing.

"I think it's ridiculous that they don't dispense (marijuana) in pharmacies
like they should," Liccardo said.

Corey Ebadat, one of the owners of E.G.S. Insurance, said the employees of
the center were nice people, but it's a little disconcerting for his
clients in business suits.

"We're willing to risk doing this because we think it's right," Baez said.

Baez said the federal government's position on the issue is hypocritical at

"For the last 22 years the federal government has been running a program
called Uncle Sam's Pot Farm," Baez said, referring to an experimental
program for people with various illnesses such as AIDS and glaucoma in
which patients were given marijuana free of charge in an effort to study
the benefits of the drug.

"As soon as the AIDS epidemic hit, they shut the program down, except for a
few remaining patients who still get their marijuana shipped to them," Baez
said. "I think once a lot of the old, white, Bible-thumping guys in the
Senate die off, things will change for the better."

Where Have The Criminals Gone? ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Looks At Declining Rate Of Violent Crime Across United States
And Ponders Possible Causes)

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 14:40:37 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Where Have the Criminals Gone?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Mon, 02 Feb 1998
Author: Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer


No single explanation stands out for drop in crime rates

It is a mystery that police, prosecutors and criminologists can't seem to
solve: Why have crime rates been going down?

The recent improvement in the economy, shifts in population, more
aggressive law enforcement strategies and tougher sentencing laws -- all
have been advanced as reasons for the decline, but none seems to completely
explain the downward trend.

``Each of the explanations that pundits and social scientists put forth
these days are partially on point, but nobody can definitively argue for
one over the other,'' said Gregg Barak, chairman of the critical
criminology division of the American Society of Criminology and a professor
at the University of Michigan.

Jeremy Travers, the director of the U.S. Justice Department's National
Institute of Justice, echoed Barak's assessment.

``There is a tendency for a lot of people to claim credit for this,'' he
said, ``and there is a need on the part of the public to find a simple,
single answer for what has been happening. But that's a tendency that has
to be resisted.''

The one thing that is certain is that the types of traditional crimes
reflected by statistical data have been declining since 1993.

Violent crime nationwide declined by 5 percent during the first six months
of 1997, according to FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics, and property
crimes declined by 4 percent.

Victimization surveys by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice
Statistics show violent crime down nationwide by 10 percent and property
crime down by 8 percent.

In releasing last year's annual victimization survey in November, Jan
M.Chaiken, the director of the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice
Statistics, noted that some types of criminal activity had dropped by as
much as 44 percent in the past four years.

``The victimization rates in 1996 are the lowest recorded by the National
Crime Victimization Survey since its inception in 1973,'' Chaiken said.


Yet explanations of why crime seems to be on the wane depend on who is
doing the explaining.

Many academics and law enforcement sources point to recent growth in the
U.S. economy as a factor, noting that crime always seems to drop when
employment rates are high.

A study of declining homicide rates in seven U.S. cities over the past
decade released in November by the National Institute of Justice seems to
support this argument. The report noted that certain increases in
unemployment in New Orleans, Richmond, Va., Washington, D.C., Atlanta and
Tampa, Fla., were accompanied by rising homicide rates in those cities,
indicating a potential connection.

However, there are also weaknesses in the improving economy hypothesis for
falling crime rates: Although national unemployment figures have been
falling since 1992, some categories of crime actually increased temporarily
since then -- and crime has climbed steeply in some cities where economic
conditions have improved.

For example, the national murder and assault rates both went up between
1992 and 1993, even though unemployment dropped nearly a whole percentage
point during the same period.

One Justice Department source noted that the U.S. employment rate
fluctuated drastically during the 1970s, while violent crime rates remained
relatively stable.

``I'm not so sure you can draw a relationship between the two,'' he said.


Another common explanation for falling crime rates is the country's aging
population. The vast majority of all criminal suspects arrested in the
United States are between the ages of 18 and 40. According to the aging
population hypothesis, the number of people in this age category has
declined by more than 7 percent since 1990, and the drop in crime has been
a result of this demographic change.

Again, some evidence seems to support the argument. Since 1970, the median
age of the U.S. population has climbed from 28 years to 34.6 years, while
crime has tapered off. But the surprisingly high decreases in crime in
recent years seem out of proportion to the relatively modest decrease in
the size of the age group in which most potential offenders are to be

Another possible cause for the falling crime rate is the decline in the
nation's crack cocaine problem, which is associated with large increases in
violent crime among young people in the 1980s.

Noting that homicide rates for most other segments of the population
remained fairly stable during that decade, Travers said murders involving
young people doubled over a seven-year period, and much of the increase
appears to have been associated with the crack epidemic.

He said that crack use has declined and the market for the drug has
stabilized, with established older dealers controlling the market. ``The
introduction of crack into our large cities brought with it an increase in
violence among kids, and sucked guns into the hands of young people, who
then used them in connection with non-crack-related activities,'' he said.

As police shifted enforcement strategies to crack-dealing hot spots where
many of these crimes were occurring, the rates fell off, he said, noting
that the upsurge of crack trafficking was an anomaly that appears to have
been directly related to historically high crime rates in metropolitan

``We're really just starting to offset the increases that occurred in the
1980s,'' he said. ``We have not suddenly become a much safer society. We
have just gone through a very traumatic decade.''


Similar to the crack epidemic hypothesis is the theory that crime has
fallen because of a nationwide get-tough approach to law and order: more
aggressive policing strategies by law enforcement agencies coupled with
tough new sentencing laws such as California's ``three strikes.''

Law enforcement advocates tend to credit the recent apparent decline in
crime to these tougher police and prosecution policies.

In reporting a continuing drop in California crime rates for the first six
months of 1997, state Attorney General Dan Lungren pointed to community
policing and tougher sentences as the primary factors.

``I have heard naysayers state that crime is only dropping because of
demographics,'' Lungren said. ``When are these so-called experts on crime
going to admit that what we have done in California is dramatically driving
down crime?''

U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno struck a similar tone last fall on the
third anniversary of the signing of the federal Crime Act, noting that
crime had decreased steadily since 1994, and the federal statute, with its
provisions for tougher sentences and hiring more local police officers,
``is one of the most important reasons.''

Similar arguments have been offered by a host of analysts on the political
right. In a report for the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis
earlier this fall, Morgan O. Reynolds, a law professor from Texas A&M
University, wrote that crime rates rose between 1950 and 1980 as the amount
of jail time served for criminal convictions declined.

``Between 1980 and 1995, expected punishment for serious crimes increased
from 9.7 to 22.1 prison days, a 128 percent increase, and serious crime
declined,'' Reynolds wrote.

Like the other explanations for decreasing rates of crime, the get-tough
argument appears to be partially supported by fact. But even law
enforcement-oriented sources like the National Institute of Justice note
that increases in police staffing levels and hard-line enforcement and
prosecution policies fail to totally account for falling crime rates.

``However, in most of the cities, all these programs were started too
recently to judge their impact on homicide trends during the 10- year
period that ended in 1994,'' analysts from the institute said.


And a study of the national ``three strikes'' movement released by the
institute in September says that it is still too early to tell whether
California's tougher sentencing law is having any substantial impact on
crime rates -- although it is already clear that it has had a major effect
on the state's prison capacity and criminal court caseloads.

In fact, some analysts note that a number of states -- including California
-- began increasing sentences for convicted offenders through the
imposition of determinate sentences and tougher penalties for certain
categories of crime in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Despite the longer
sentences that resulted, there was no substantial decrease in crime rates
until 1993.

Critics of the get-tough approach have argued that innovations such as
determinate sentences and ``three strikes'' have had a minimal impact on
crime rates, but have tied up public resources on prison expansion and
construction that could have been used on other governmental programs.

``The tripling in the number of violent offenders in prison during the
1980s resulted in only an estimated additional 9 percent decrease in
violent crimes above the decrease that would have occurred had imprisonment
not grown,'' William J. Sabol and James P. Lynch wrote in an August 1997
review of the get-tough strategy for the Urban Institute, a liberal
Washington, D.C., think tank.

Many experts on crime believe some of the explanations offered for
declining crime rates may be partially correct, but that none completely
explain the phenomenon or help predict what directions the trend may go in
the future.

``Each situation (in which a crime occurs) is different,'' said one Justice
Department official. ``There are so many elements involved that you can't
simply ascribe weights to them. It's scientifically impossible.

``Every year we get reports of 35 million crimes. There are different
reasons for 35 million of them. . . . You can't just point to one thing and
say, `This is what is causing this.' There is no way to accurately measure

CHART 1: CALIFORNIA VIOLENT CRIME Total violent crime statistics and
percent change from 1992 to 1996 -- Adult arrests

Offense		1992	1996	% change

Murder		2,724	2,090	-23.3%
Forcible rape	3,389	2,630	-22.4%
Robbery	       22,284  16,671	-25.2%

Source: FBI Chronicle Graphic


                   1993		 1994              1995

Murder	         24,530         23,330            21,600
Forcible rape   106,010        102,220            97,460
Robbery (a)     659,870        618,950           580,550

(a) - Robbery total consists of: Street/highway, gas or service station,
convenience store, residence, bank, other businesses and miscellaneous

Source: FBI Chronicle Graphic

Night Cabbie (Third Item In Taxi Driver's Regular Column
For 'San Francisco Examiner' Mentions Picking Up CBS Reporter,
Who Admits War On Drugs Is Failing)

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 14:51:53 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Night Cabbie
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Pubdate: Mon, 02 Feb 1998
Editor Note: "Night Cabbie" is sort of a gossip column. There is one
customer who mentions the War on Drugs. Other than that, there isn't much
here other than interesting reading.


ELLIS AND TAYLOR. I've just dropped an old woman off and a young man comes
running up the street toward me. Where to? I ask when he gets in. "I don't
know, my car's been towed." I tell him he better have lots of cash because
Golden Gate Tow's moved to Bayshore. It'll cost him $150 including cab
fare. We get on the freeway and he starts talking. "I'm from San Jose," he
says. "I came to San Francisco for a good massage." Then he smiles. "In San
Jose, it's against the law to be touched, so they put a towel over you." I
ask what kind of massage he's talking about. "Well, I was getting the full
treatment when they towed my car." He mentions the name of the massage.
It's supposed to be pretty good. On the Bayshore exit he tells me, "I don't
have a girlfriend right now, so I come here once or twice a month to get
the full boat. Nothing wrong with that, right?" I tell him no, that's what
they're there for. But next time, pick a better spot to park.

POWELL AND BROADWAY. It's 2 a.m. and raining. All the bars are closing and
I'm roaring through the tunnel. Suddenly I see two or three couples
frantically waving for a cab. I pull up and signal to one couple to get in.
Three guys run up and cut in front of them. One of them says, with an
accent, "I know how America works. I'll give you $30 to take us to
Maxwell's hotel." I do a quick compute. It's a $4 fare. I tell the couple,
sorry, I'm taken. They start to call me names while the three men get in.
We're off and one of them says to me, "Your country's symbol is the dollar
bill. Didn't they know that?" I tell him they probably did, but they didn't
realize they were at an auction.

SFO. When nothing is happening in The City, the airport is a good place to
read a newspaper. I do it at least once a week. I drive out without a
passenger and sit. Tonight, after hanging in the holding lot for 40
minutes, I head for the United terminal. A man in a dark suit with two
small bags gets in, going to the Park Hyatt. I ask if he's here on
business. "I'm in town to do an interview," he says. For? "I work for CBS.
We're doing a story on the war on drugs, which is failing." I ask about
Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No' campaign. "That never worked," he says. I ask
who he's going to interview. "Just a few people under your mayor," he says.
So I tell him if he needs a good story on drugs and city officials, I have
one for him. I give him a phone number. He thanks me and gets out at the

POWELL. I'm humming up from the wharf and a woman with brown hair and tight
black pants flags me. She looks like she works out. "Larkin and O'Farrell
please," she whispers as she gets in. I ask if she's going to work. "Yes,
and it should be a good night, too." I wait a few minutes, then ask her:
Are you one of the stars, or do you work with them? She says, "Suzy Suzuki
is the star tonight, and we work around her." I tell her I should come see
the show some night. She looks at me and doesn't say a word. We pull up to
the New Century Theatre and, sure enough, the big sign says, "Starring
Tonight, Wet and Wild Suzy Suzuki!" She pays me and gets out. I drive away
quickly, before I get distracted.

GOLD AND MONTGOMERY. This is a part of town that used to be reserved for
women of the evening. That was in 1849. Tonight I get flagged by a man,
about 60 in a suit and overcoat, a block from the old Belli building. He's
going to Third and Folsom. That's a great complex, I tell him. A close
friend lives there and I always drop her at the back door. He says he wants
the front door. No problem, I tell him. By the way, I ask him. Did you live
there when the big murder took place? "What murder?" he wants to know. It
was in the papers, I say, and it was pretty gruesome. "They didn't tell me
about any murder when I moved in," he says. "What happened?" I tell him I
don't know if I should say, being as how he lives there and all that. "I
really want to know." We're already there, and as he pays me I tell him:
When they opened the place a few years ago, they found some guy chopped up
and stuffed in trash bags all over the complex. He doesn't say anything
else, just looks at me, then walks up the steps and into the building.

FAIRMONT HOTEL. A young woman, about 30, taps on my window. Her hair's in a
bun and she has blue jeans on. She wants to go to Washington, between
Spruce and Maple. I look at her in the rearview and ask if she works in
advertising and marketing. "No," she says, "I'm a writer." I ask her name.
"Lisa Flood," she says. I ask if she's the great-granddaughter of James
Flood. "He was my great-great-great-grandfather," she says. I tell her I
know all about him and the Comstock Silver Lode and the history of James
Flood and his partners. The Bill Gates of 1900, I say. I ask what she's
written. "Cowboy High Style," she says. "And another book called "Rocky
Mountain Home.' " So, you're a real cowgirl, I say. "I like it out on the
range in the mountains," she tells me. I ask what she knows about all those
secret tunnels between James Flood's mansions in Pacific Heights. "There's
never been a full explanation for them," she says. I ask about his
illegitimate daughter, and she tells me the woman was paid and no one knows
what happened after that. I tell her I'm going to buy some of her books,
get an autograph and give one to my youngest daughter. She also spends time
with horses and prefers them to people. After I drop her off, I go get a
burger on Lombard. I didn't tell her that two of my daughters went to
school in one of the Flood mansions. Maybe next time.

The Night Cabbie appears every other Monday in The Examiner. You can leave
him a message at (415) 777-8738; write him c/o The Examiner, P.O. Box 7260,
San Francisco, CA 94120; or e-mail him at cabbie@examiner.com.

Wilson Signals Support For Smokers' Bar `Sanctuaries' ('Sacramento Bee'
Says Cigar-Smoking California Governor May - Or May Not - Support Repeal
Of New Ban On Tobacco Use In Bars)

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 12:19:11 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wilson Signals Support For Smokers' Bar `Sanctuaries'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Sacramento Bee
Contact: sacbedit@netcom.com
Pubdate: Mon, 2 Feb 1998


SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Smokers and bar owners eager to overturn a new state ban
on smoking in bars and gambling halls may get support from Gov. Pete

In an interview with The Sacramento Bee on Friday, Wilson said smokers
should have ``some sort of sanctuary'' for puffing away, and that bar
owners ought to have the option to allow smoking.

The governor made no firm commitment to sign a bill repealing the law. He
hasn't taken a formal position on a bill by Assemblyman Edward
Vincent,D-Inglewood, that would repeal the ban for at least two years
starting next January.

But he told the newspaper that bars should be considered differently than
restaurants and ``almost any other public facility,'' which he said should
remain smoke-free.

``It seems to me that if you have a cigar bar or a smokers' bar, people
ought to have the option of choosing,'' Wilson said. ``I think that smokers
ought to have some sort of a sanctuary.''

Vincent's measure cleared the Assembly this week but likely faces a more
hostile reception in the Senate. The upper house killed a similar measure
last year after the Assembly had passed it.

Senate leaders have said Vincent's measure will be considered in the coming
months, but expressed doubts about its chances.

Wilson, who smokes cigars, said smoking and nonsmoking bars -- or even
designated smoking sections within bars -- would give both smokers and
nonsmokers options.

``If they don't want (a bar that allows smoking), then I think they can
stay away and find a no-smoking bar,'' he said. ``If you had that kind of
situation, I'm sure market forces would provide the solution.''

Bar employees -- whom the smoking ban was written to protect -- would have
to put up with smoke under such a ``smoking optional'' plan, just as they
did before the ban went into effect Jan. 1.

``If you're going to have a smokers-only bar, you're going to have to deal
with (employees),'' Wilson acknowledged, ``and I'm not sure how you do

Anti-smoking advocates said they were disappointed by Wilson's remarks, but
not convinced they signal the ban will be lifted.

``I'd like to see him (Wilson) unequivocal,'' said Paul Knepprath, a
lobbyist for the American Lung Association of California. But he added, ``I
don't see this as any definite sign that he will sign a bill and repeal the

Wilson signed the labor-backed law that banned smoking in most indoor
workplaces in 1994. At that time, bars and the bar areas of restaurants
were given a two-year reprieve to allow the U.S. Occupational Safety and
Health Administration time to develop ventilation standards that bars could
use to clear the air of tobacco smoke.

When the standards still had not been adopted by 1996, Wilson signed a bill
to extend the bar exemption until Jan. 1 of this year. With ventilation
standards still undeveloped and the Senate unwilling to approve another
extension, the ban kicked in on Jan. 1. Health advocates say the standards
probably never will be finished.

Protesters Assail Rising Use Of Police Cameras ('New York Times' Says
More Than 200 New York City Residents Rallied In Washington Square Park
Sunday Against Giuliani Administration's Increasing Use
Of Surveillance Cameras To Fight Crime)

US NY: Protesters Assail Rising Use of Police Cameras
Newshawk: Richard Lake
Source: New York Times
Contact: [2]letters@nytimes.com
Author: David M. Halbfinger
Website: [3]http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 2 Feb 1998


With dozens of uniformed police officers looking on -- not to mention
those who might have been watching on a video monitor in a precinct
house -- more than 200 New York City residents rallied in Washington
Square Park yesterday against the Giuliani administration's increasing
use of surveillance cameras to fight crime.

The hourlong protest came a month after the police installed two
cameras on light poles along the southern edge of the park to
discourage the small-scale drug dealing that had become as common
there as dog-walking and hand-holding.

Under a plan announced a year ago by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and
Police Commissioner Howard Safir, surveillance cameras have already
been installed in some housing projects, and the Mayor and the
Commissioner, reporting sharp drops in crime as a result, have pledged
that more cameras are coming soon to other public spaces.

"We're at a point where we now have many more requests for cameras
than we have cameras, or than we're ready yet to do, because we want
to make sure we're doing this in a careful way," the Mayor said

The protesters argued that surveillance cameras in public places
smacked of a police state. They said the cameras would destroy the
kind of privacy in public places that New Yorkers have come to expect,
eroding the quality of life for law-abiding city residents far more
than they would help catch and prosecute criminals.

Several speakers warned that the cameras in Washington Square Park had
already set a dangerous precedent.

"Once you give them the O.K. to do this, they will take it and run
with it," warned Tonya D. McClary, director of research at the NAACP
Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. "We've pretty much allowed
them a green light to put these cameras in parks, in public schools,
in the subway system and in city buses. Soon, none of us will have a
place where we can sit back and be ourselves."

In the last month, several speakers said, the neighborhood drug
peddlers have simply moved out of range of the cameras, to West Third
Street. Safir, contemplating that kind of shift, promised last month
that the police would "be there when the traffickers go to adjacent

To some, that heightened concerns about the limits of the new policy.
"Are we going to put surveillance cameras on every pole in this city?"
asked Michael Rosano of the New York City Gay and Lesbian
Anti-Violence Project. "Remove the cameras. We live in a democracy. We
do not live under Giuliani's police state."

Rosano worried aloud that the police might next decide to install
cameras along the Greenwich Village piers, long a cruising area for
gay men. But he said that even in Washington Square, the cameras could
inhibit many closeted homosexuals from expressing themselves freely,
even by merely holding hands, for fear "that the tapes would get into
the wrong hands."

Norman Siegel, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties
Union, which organized the rally, said that left unchecked, a citywide
network of police cameras raised the specter of government's "creating
a video database of the free movement of lawful New Yorkers."

He said that at a minimum, the city should require that videotapes
made with the surveillance cameras be destroyed after 72 hours if they
do not reveal criminal activity.

Deputy Inspector Michael Collins, a police spokesman, said the
videotapes from Washington Square Park are held for seven days before
being erased, because crimes are often reported a few days after they
occur. He said the police had already used the cameras in the park
successfully at least twice - -- once "live," when an officer watching
the monitor saw a crime occurring and radioed the police to make an
arrest, and once on tape, as evidence against a suspect already under

At the rally's end, a few Greenwich Village residents showed up to
support the surveillance cameras. Among them was Diane Whelton, who
said she and members of several neighborhood groups had been pleading
for the cameras for years.

The Rev. Peter Laarman, senior minister of Judson Memorial Church, on
Washington Square South, told her that he had been asked to allow a
camera to be installed on the church's spire, overlooking the park.
But he told Mrs. Whelton, "We didn't want to be a party to that level
of ---- "

"Of the safety of people on the street," she said, interrupting him,
"who might not know that there's somebody coming up behind them?"

Satchmo! (List Subscriber Offers Cannabis Quotes From Biography
Of Louis Armstrong, America's 'Ambassador Of Good Will')

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 17:50:19 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: SATCHMO!
Reply-To: bc616@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

they can't say SATCHMO had "amotivational syndrome"

It's not only JAMES BROWN, the hardest working man in showbiz who admits
smoking the herb it's the man who was our nation's "Ambassador of Good Will"


"Louis Armstrong - An Extravagant Life"
by Laurence Bergreen

Here are my favorite quotes of the great LOUIS ARMSTRONG found
in this excellent book:

"it's a thousand times better than whiskey. It's an
assistant, a friend, a nice cheap drunk, if you want to call
it that, very good for asthma, relaxes your nerves"

"the first time I smoked marijuana or 'GAGE' as they
beautifully call it sometimes, was a couple of years after I
left Fletcher Henderson's orchestra,"

"I was actually in Chicago when I picked up my first stick of GAGE and I'm
telling you I had myself a ball. That's why it really puzzles me to see
marijuana connected with narcotics, dope and all that kind of crap."

This is an example of LOUIS ARMSTRONG's outlook on life, I wish it was we
could all fell this way. For if we did it would be a much better world.

"My whole life has been happiness. Through all my misfortunes, I did not
plan anything. Life was there for me, and I accepted it. And Life,
whatever came out, has been beautiful to me, and I love everybody"

This book is fantastic. I have a new hero. I'm checking out all the tapes
at the library I can find of this wonderful American angel and going to
smoke tuff in his honor!

P.S. there are some great excerpts in thsi book from MEZZ MEZZROW's
autobiography "REALLY THE BLUES" which is as LOUIS once said "DA SHIZZIT!"

'90s Moonshiners Add Drugs And Guns To Recipe ('New York Times' Says
Making Illicit Whiskey Still Endures In Much Of South - Markets Established
As Far North As New York - One Agent Estimates 500,000 Gallons Distilled
In Virginia, Much Of It In Franklin County, Widely Considered
Moonshine Capital Of The South - Street Value $25 Or More A Gallon)

Date: Mon, 02 Feb 1998 16:06:26 -0500
From: "R. Lake" (rlake@utoledo.edu)
Subject: MN: US VA: NYT: 90s Moonshiners Add Drugs and Guns to Recipe
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-to: rlake@mapinc.org
Organization: http://www.mapinc.org
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake
Source: New York Times
Author: Tom Verde
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Monday, 2 Feb 1998


ROCKY MOUNT, Va. -- At the first sound of baying watchdogs, Jay Calhoun, a
special agent of the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Commission Liquor
Task Force, crouched in a thicket of mountain laurel and waited. In
camouflage, Calhoun and two other agents remained motionless, their eyes
focused on a corrugated-steel building less than 50 yards away through the
trees, where they believed moonshine was being manufactured.

As soon as the dogs lost interest, Calhoun said, "Let's go, the gig's up."
The agents were on their feet, moving toward the building, a still house, as
it is called. They arrived just in time to capture one suspect who was
trying to escape through the woods and another who was trying to flee in a

With their hands in their pockets, the suspects watched as the agents used
axes to break up the stills, four 800-gallon fermenting tanks, or black
pots, that resemble home heating-oil tanks.

Moonshining, which endures in numerous Southern rural towns, is not as
widespread as it was during Prohibition. But law-enforcement officials say
the illegal manufacture and sale of whisky remains a multimillion-dollar
business, with ties to gun trafficking and drugs and established markets as
far north as New York.

"I would say that 60 percent of the moonshine being produced here is headed
for Philadelphia, D.C. and other cities up north," said Jimmy Beheler,
assistant special agent in charge of the state's five-member liquor task
force, the lone squad in the country dedicated solely to combating

Beheler estimated that each year 500,000 gallons of moonshine are distilled
in Virginia, much of it here in Franklin County, widely considered the
moonshine capital of the South, about an hour south of Roanoke, in the
foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With a street value of $25 or more a
gallon, the moonshine industry in Virginia is a $12.5 million enterprise.

"There's still a big demand out there for it, or else moonshiners wouldn't
be making hundreds of gallons a week," said Randy Knight, deputy director
for operations at the Alcohol Law Enforcement division of the North Carolina
Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Last year, North Carolina
officials seized almost 7,000 gallons of moonshine and destroyed almost
60,000 gallons of mash, a syrupy fermented concoction of sugar or corn,
water, yeast and grain that moonshiners distill into whisky.

Some modern moonshiners have built air-conditioned stills outfitted with
electric pumps and other gadgets. But the process is not so different from
the distilling that Scotch-Irish immigrants introduced to this region in the
early 1700s.

Steam from a near-boiling vat of mash is drawn off and condensed into a
liquid through a coil of 3-inch copper tubing called a worm or sometimes
through an old car radiator submerged in cold water. An 800-gallon tank of
mash produces around 100 gallons of moonshine.

The harsh 80- to 90-proof clear liquor, also called white lightning, is
similar in flavor to low-grade tequila. Because moonshining is unregulated,
rust from radiators or lead from soldered pipes can contaminate the liquor.

Stills are usually run by hired help called still hands, who are paid $100 a
run, or batch, which takes six to eight hours to produce. "For a lot of
these people, this is all they've ever done," said Chet Bryant, director of
the Alcohol and Tobacco Division of Georgia. "It's a way of life and a way
of making money."

Agents in Georgia said they seize about 15 stills a year.

The stills are often owned by investors who cover the costs of the
operation, which including ingredients and distilling, run about $1,200 a
pot. The pots are typically sheet metal wrapped around a wood frame. Added
to those expenses are transportation costs.

According to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, moonshine
makes its way to metropolitan markets in Southern and Northern cities hidden
in trucks or campers. Bootleggers pay moonshiners $35 to $100 for a 6-gallon
case. The bootleggers, in turn, sell the whisky to the operators of "shot
houses," unlicensed after-hours bars where customers can also buy drugs and
firearms, law officials say.

"As far as we've determined, these kinds of establishments are probably the
main consumer of illicit alcohol," said Charles Thomson, special agent in
charge of the Washington Field Division of the ATF.

The possession of illegal spirits is a misdemeanor here, and possession of
or operating a still is a felony. The crime of moonshining is basically one
of tax evasion, and moonshiners and government agents have been at odds
since the days of Washington and Jefferson, both of whom owned stills.

To help pay Revolutionary War debts, the new federal government imposed the
first tax on whisky in March 1791, leading to the Whisky Rebellion. In 1862,
the government established the Office of Internal Revenue to collect taxes
on spirits and empowered agents, known to moonshiners as revenuers, to
arrest those who tried to evade the 20-cent-a-gallon tax.

Today the federal tax is about $20, and state taxes are usually less than
$5. "It can all add up to a fairly large tax loss," said David Wilson, chief
of enforcement in the Mississippi Division of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Wilson calculated that the federal and Mississippi governments had lost
almost $1 billion in revenue over 30 years just from illegal operations in

Today's operators are a far cry from the old-time moonshiner who kept a
20-gallon copper still behind the henhouse and a jug on the shelf. "The
majority of the moonshiners we deal with today are felons who've been
convicted of everything from drug selling to murder and manslaughter,"
Beheler said.

Yet, in other ways, moonshiners, who still hide in remote mountain hollows,
are every bit as crafty as they were during the days of Prohibition.

"They know all the tricks," said Bev Whitmer, an alcohol agent here who is a
former police officer, "such as doubling back or having other cars as
lookouts. In terms of surveillance, they're definitely more skilled at
eluding capture than any drug dealers I ever dealt with."

NIDA Boss Touts Addiction Studies ('The Scientist' Interviews Alan Leshner,
Director Of US National Institute On Drug Abuse,
Who Insists Marijuana Is Addictive 'Because It Causes Compulsive Use')

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:22:29 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Carl E. Olsen" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: NIDA Boss Touts Addiction Studies


NIDA Boss Touts Addiction Studies

Date: February 2, 1998

Editor's Note: Scientists looking for a crash course in effective
communication of their research findings should catch Alan Leshner in
action. During recent months, the personable director of the Rockville,
Md.-based National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has been moderating a
series of "Town Meetings" in such metropolises as Philadelphia, Dallas,
Chicago, and Atlanta. In the keynote talk he gives on the myths and
realities of drug abuse and addiction, he juxtaposes graphs and cartoons
with anecdotes, jokes, and research findings (NIDA funds more than 85
percent of the world's research on health aspects of drug abuse and
addiction), keeping large audiences rapt.

Leshner supports his central message-that drug addiction is a chronic,
relapsing brain disease-with such ear-catching sound bites as, "We know more
about drugs in the brain that we know about anything else in the brain."
Listeners tend to nod in agreement when he declares, "Drugs hijack the
brain." He explains many research projects that have helped to establish
structural and functional differences between drug-addicted and normal
brains at the molecular and cellular levels. He advocates a "whole-person
treatment," encompassing biology, behavior, and social context, an approach
he says recognizes addiction as a bio-behavioral disorder. And he lambastes
what he calls "The Great Disconnect" between ideology and science that he
believes is impeding the formulation of more effective national policies in
prevention and treatment of drug abuse and addiction. In the following
edited transcript of an interview with Senior Editor Steve Bunk, Leshner
elaborates on some of these points.


Q Which group has been the hardest for you to convince        DRUGS AND
that addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease-the      DISORDER:
general public, the medical science community, or             Addiction is a
politicians?                                                  bio-behavioral
A I would say each of them carry very different baggage.      declares NIDA's
Politicians seem to be among the easiest. The general         Alan Leshner.
public carries strong beliefs. The medical profession         ----------------
seems to be tied to their ideologies about the efficacy
of treatment. They think treatment is not quite possible, and therefore it's
not real. But, of course, treatment is possible and it is real. The easiest
group to impact are criminal justice people. They get it immediately. They
deal with addicts in nontherapeutic situations, and they know there's
something wrong with them.


Q How much progress has been made in understanding the intracellular
processes after an addicting drug binds to receptors?

A A lot. I just saw the other day we spend about $45 million a year on
molecular and cellular neurobiology. We know what's happening in the
biochemical cascade after the receptor is activated, in excruciating detail,
for heroin, cocaine, alcohol, less for marijuana, less for nicotine. And we
know, in a good amount of detail, the difference between the addictive brain
and the nonaddictive brain at the cellular level. We've made a lot of
progress. That's where some of the targets are coming for medication
development. Some are gross, at the level of a receptor-you know, pick the
receptor, activate it or deactivate it. But we also are now seeing some of
the changes in transcription factors, and maybe we should be intervening


Q Does NIDA have drugs in the pipeline that will have chemical activities
similar to some of these addictive drugs but will exert therapeutic effects?

A I'm trying to avoid substitute medication. I think the ideology around
substitute medications is so bad that no one will ever accept them. And so,
I keep saying we're not going to develop any substitute medications. We are
looking at molecules that are similar in some ways to, say, cocaine, but I
don't acknowledge that they're substitutes. I call them analogs.


Q You recently announced that NIDA would fund a study on medicinal use of
marijuana [no such study had been funded for 10 years, until a team led by
professor of medicine Donald I. Abrams at the University of California, San
Francisco, was awarded a grant in October]. Tell us about the new project.

A It's a study of smoked marijuana vs. Marinol [a tablet containing
marijuana's active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol] and the variety of
metabolic factors in HIV-infected patients taking indinavir [a protease
inhibitor]. It's an inpatient study with controlled dosing, beautifully
designed to answer the questions. They're going to give people three joints
a day, one before each meal. It's over two years. I love this study, because
it shows that you can do research on difficult topics, and I think it also
says that by sticking to our scientific standard, we get better science.
There was a lot of pressure to either do or not do earlier iterations. I
think what the data show is that you can design a good study and [the
National Institutes of Health] will deliver. It's about $900,000 total cost,
provided by four [NIH] institutes.


Q In 1995, you said your goal was for science to replace ideology as the
foundation of the nation's anti-drug abuse strategies by the year 2000 (K.Y.
Kreeger, The Scientist, Aug. 21, 1995, page 12). Is that still the goal?

A That's still the goal. And I think we're making what I would call very
good progress. There has been a lot more coverage in the last couple of
years, more and more, as there are people feeding back to me things about
drug abuse and addiction, and I think the climate is changing itself.


Q If science ultimately is to underpin policy-setting for drug abuse
prevention and treatment, does it follow that science should underpin all
social policy?

A Sure. But policy has two pieces to it. There's a fact part of policy, and
that should always be based on science, and then there's a value part of
policy, and that's separate. So when people ask me what my view is on this
or that policy, I only have a view on the fact end of it. I don't really
think it's my place to have an opinion about the value part.


Q But how can you expect science to replace ideology, when ideology is based
on values that sometimes run contrary to perceived facts?

A I want science to be the foundation for the decisions, but it's not
reasonable to expect it will be the only factor.


Q Would you agree that religion is the primary            'THE GREAT
underpinning of Western society's concepts of justice     DISCONNECT':NIDA's
and values, which have to do with sin and                 Alan Leshner
retribution?                                              decries the gap
                                                          between ideology
A Sure, that's the foundation of how we do it now.        and science in
It's not working.                                         formulating
             ---------------------------                  addiction treatment
Q What I'm suggesting is, it's such a sea change for      --------------------
people to think differently. You're not worried about
that? I am worried about it, but it does not stop me from [keeping] my
conviction that it is this disconnection between the moral view and a
pragmatic view that's giving us all the trouble. So, my job is to generate
the knowledge, and then make sure it gets to the right people, and then pray
like hell that they use it.

A What do you say to people who suggest that there's a difference between
addiction and other sorts of brain disorders, like Alzheimer's disease or
schizophrenia, because the latter conditions don't arise from a voluntary
act of will? But lung cancer does occur from a voluntary act of will, and we
still pay to treat people for it. The question is whether you want to fix it
or not. Whether you think the person is evil and you hate them is not
relevant. It's only relevant whether you want them to not do it anymore, and
stop robbing your mother [for drug money]. And if you want them to not rob
your mother, you need to treat them. You need to deal with it as a health
issue, even if you hate them while you're doing it.


Q If addicts are told that relapse is a statistical norm of their disease,
does this create a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy for them to relapse?

A Yes and no. But we don't lie to people in health settings, or we won't be
effective. And even if relapse is the norm, that doesn't mean we like it
when it happens, and it doesn't mean we don't have to do something about it.
We're not saying that controlled use is okay, which I object to, by the way.
And we're not saying that a relapse is okay. Just like it's not okay to have
a diabetic coma. All we're saying is a relapse is going to happen. When it
happens, we need to do an intervention.


Q You mentioned that you're against controlled use of drugs. How do you
define drugs in that context? For example, would they include sugar or

A It depends on how bad they are for you and how bad they are for me if you
use them. I have a very pragmatic view of it. I don't want people using
marijuana and driving. If they want to smoke it in their bedroom, that's
foolish, but I certainly don't want them smoking marijuana and driving the
car, flying an airplane, or in any of a number of settings where it could
endanger other people.


Q You reported during the town meeting that there now is some evidence of
withdrawal symptoms from marijuana. But earlier, you said that whether or
not an illicit drug causes physical withdrawal is irrelevant to its

A There's an interesting paradox in our business. People seem to think that
the only drugs that are dangerous are drugs that cause physical withdrawal,
because they don't know about cocaine and amphetamines not causing it. And
everybody thinks cocaine and amphetamines are dangerous. My predecessors and
people in the health community have been saying for years that marijuana is
bad for you, marijuana is addicting. People kept saying, no it isn't,
because it doesn't cause great physical withdrawal symptoms. Well, we now
have rat studies that show that if you precipitate withdrawal with an
antagonist, you do get physical withdrawal symptoms, and everybody's all
excited. To me, it doesn't matter. I thought it was addicting before and I
think it's addicting now. It's just that other people now agree it's
addicting, because it causes this physical withdrawal. But the truth is,
it's addicting because it causes compulsive use. The thing that matters and
causes problems in families, society, for individuals, for anybody, is the
fact that compulsive use means that you do terrible things to get the drug.


Q Your message seems a simple one, although obviously the research behind it
is complex.

A My message is, "Add the health perspective." It's not, "Substitute a
health perspective." I believe drugs should be illegal, and I believe that
we should seize them at the border. But I also believe we need to treat drug
abuse or addiction as a health issue, as well. And the problem is, we've
missed that part in most of our strategies. Now we have to increase its


The Scientist, Vol:12, #3, p. 1,7, February 2, 1998




The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A.

Just Say 'Research' - Antidrug Program Stresses Science ('The Scientist'
Looks At 'Mind Over Matter,' A New Program From US National Institute
On Drug Abuse Purporting To Use Neuroscience Research Results To Teach,
Rather Than Preach To, Students About Dangers Of Addictive Drugs)

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:22:38 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Carl E. Olsen" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: News: Just Say 'Research': Antidrug Program Stresses Science


Just Say 'Research': Antidrug Program Stresses Science

Author: Ricki Lewis
Date: February 2, 1998

A new program from the National Institute on Drug Abuse         [brochures]
(NIDA), "Mind Over Matter," is using neuroscience research      SPREADING THE
results to teach, rather than preach to, students about the     WORD:
dangers of addictive drugs. "People have historically seen      Materials
drug abuse as purely a social problem that results from         developed by
voluntary behavior and remains voluntary. But science has       NIDA use a
taught us that addiction is expressed in a behavioral way       neuroscience
[and] comes about from the result that drugs have on the        approach to
brain," says NIDA director Alan Leshner. The program will       teach
help fulfill the December 1997 recommendation of the            students
Institute of Medicine's Committee to Identify Strategies to     about the
Raise the Profile of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism             dangers of
Research that the science of addiction be more prominent in     drug abuse.
curricula, from elementary school to medical school.            --------------

Neuroscience-based teaching about drug addiction uses imaging technologies
such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) to show what happens when addictive drugs flood the brain. The
approach can work, according to Cathrine Sasek, science education
coordinator at NIDA, the project officer who developed the program. She
frequently talks to middle- and high-school classes. "If you even so much as
hint at giving an antidrug talk, you lose them," she reports. "You can,
however, talk about the brain-they pay attention to the neurobiology of drug

The program's developers also hope it may spark interest in science. "Young
people are intrigued by their bodies, particularly at the middle-school
level. We know that science is interesting to them, and it is a vehicle to
teach about science and drugs," says Leshner.

But there's no guarantee that Mind Over Matter will either prevent drug
abuse or propel students onto a science career track. "Showing pictures of a
brain on drugs will interest those kids already interested in science, but
for the others, it won't mean much," predicts Godfrey Pearlson, a professor
of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He uses PET scans to
study cocaine-induced binding of dopamine to receptors on brain neurons (see
accompanying story). Still, he adds, the approach is worth a try.

Funding for Mind Over Matter came
from NIDA, with about $50,000 used         The Neuroanatomy of Addiction
to develop the written materials.
These include six glossy magazines      A good program to combat drug
that open out into posters and a        addiction begins with a definition.
long booklet for teachers on "The       "Addiction is not withdrawal, it is
Biological Effects of Drugs" that       drug craving and seeking behavior
is packed with facts and figures.       in the face of knowing the negative
Ten NIDA staffers with scientific       consequences of such actions," says
expertise provided the information      Alan Leshner, director of the
and reviewed the content of the         National Institute on Drug Abuse
program, and several outside            (NIDA). He hypothesizes a
artists and writers contributed.        "metaphorical switch" as the start
Feedback for the program, which         of addiction. "Drugs produce
was field-tested in classrooms,         long-lasting effects and dramatic
has been overwhelmingly positive,       changes in the brain, as if a
according to Sasek. "We have taken      switch goes on that changes
the materials to several teachers'      voluntary drug use to
meetings [National Association of       uncontrollable, compulsive
Biology Teachers and National           behavior." Probably biochemical,
Science Teachers Association], and      the switch clicks at different
the teachers have loved the             levels of usage for different
materials," she says. "In               individuals, he adds.
addition, the prevention community
is also very enthusiastic about         The seat of addiction is a
the materials." Materials are free      pea-sized cluster of brain neurons
at these conferences or available       called the nucleus accumbens (NA).
from the National Clearinghouse         Neurons from a nearby region
for Alcohol and Drug Information.       synapse with those of the NA,
                                        triggering release of the
Many drug-education efforts differ      neurotransmitter dopamine and
markedly from the science-based         branching to the frontal cerebral
approach. A fried egg sizzles on a      cortex, disturbing thought
television screen, with the             processes. The entire neural
message "this is your brain on          network is called the mesolimbic
drugs." Celebrities and                 reward system.
law-enforcement officers tell
classes that drugs kill, while          Positron emission tomography (PET)
teachers and parents urge students      scanning can highlight any part of
to "just say no." But statistics        the addiction process, including
indicate that these efforts are         the drug, the neurotransmitter it
not effective in reaching many          affects, the molecule that
young people.                           transports the neurotransmitter, or
                                        the cell surface receptor that
Statistics On Teen Drug Use             binds it. For example, Godfrey
                                        Pearlson, a professor of psychiatry
Facts and figures on drug use are       at Johns Hopkins Medical
abundant. The National                  Institutions, and his colleagues
Longitudinal Study on Adolescent        recently reported evidence that
Health, sponsored by the                brains of long-time cocaine users
Department of Education's Safe and      "burn out" compared to the brains
Drug-Free Schools Program, queried      of people just starting to use the
12,118 seventh- to 12th-graders in      drug (T.E. Schlaepfer et al.,
1997. The study found that 25.7         American Journal of Psychiatry,
percent of respondents smoked           154:9, September 1997). They gave
cigarettes, 17.9 percent drank          11 volunteers a chemical that binds
alcohol, and 25.2 percent smoked        weakly to dopamine receptors, which
marijuana. These figures, however,      are labeled. When the participants
varied considerably among school        were given cocaine, the resulting
districts.                              rush of dopamine literally knocked
                                        off the weak chemical from the
Data on trends, while useful,           receptors. "In the younger people
sometimes send mixed messages. For      who have used cocaine for a shorter
example, a survey by Atlanta-based      time, we saw a marked increase in
Parents Resource Institute for          the amount of available dopamine.
Drug Education (PRIDE) conducted        But the individuals who are older
in 1996 and 1997 of 141,077 junior      and have used cocaine longer show
and senior high schoolers found a       an apparent decrease in available
statistically significant increase      dopamine and an attenuated response
in monthly drug use among sixth-        to cocaine. This correlation
to eighth-graders but unchanged         suggests that chronic cocaine use
monthly use among high-school           can decrease the number of dopamine
students. And a United States           receptors," Pearlson says.
Department of Education survey of
10,000 fifth- and sixth-graders as      But drug addiction is more than a
they progressed in school from          dopamine rush in the mesolimbic
1991 to 1995 found a similar            reward system, some researchers
increase in drug use by eighth          say. Effects on other brain regions
grade. Yet the 23rd annual              produce the complex behaviors that
Monitoring the Future Survey,           go with the condition or help to
released Dec. 20, 1997, by the          trigger it. "Addiction and dopamine
Department of Health and Human          binding are two different levels of
Services (HHS), showed increased        analysis. Downstream changes in
drug use among 10th- and                neuronal systems mediate the
12th-graders, but a leveling off        development and persistence of
among eighth-graders. Leshner and       addiction," explains Martin F.
HHS Secretary Donna Shalala             Sarter, a professor of psychology
interpret the findings to reflect       and psychiatry at Ohio State
a glimmer of success in drug abuse      University. Sarter suggests that
education programs, but all the         science-based drug addiction
studies conclude that the absolute      education programs also teach kids
numbers on drug use remain              to recognize the feelings and
alarming.                               behaviors that lead to use of
                                        addictive drugs.
The National Center on Addiction
and Substance Abuse, based at                                         -R.L.
Columbia University, found that
from 1995 to 1996, the proportion               FOR MORE INFORMATION
of teens who said that they would
never try illegal drugs fell from       American Council for Drug Education
86 percent to 51 percent. Several               http://www.ACDE.org
of the center's studies identified
school as the most common place to          College on Problems of Drug
procure drugs-suggesting that this                   Dependence
might also be the best place to              http://views.vcu.edu/cpdd
introduce drug abuse education
programs such as Mind Over Matter.       National Clearinghouse for Alcohol
                                                and Drug Information
Enter NIDA                                     http://www.health.org

Mind Over Matter targets grades           National Center on Addiction and
five to nine, which includes                Substance Abuse at Columbia
youngsters typically not yet                         University
tempted to try drugs as well as             http://www.casacolumbia.org
those in the highest-risk age
group. Program materials include          National Institute on Drug Abuse
six oversized brochures in which a            http://www.nida.nih.gov
cartoon character, Sara Bellum,
takes students on a guided tour of      U.S. Department of Education's Safe
the brain on drugs. (The original          and Drug-Free Schools Program
name, Nerve Anna, was rejected          http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SDFS
because students would associate
her with Kurt Cobain, guitarist and singer of the band Nirvana who had a
well-known drug abuse problem and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in
1994.) The idea is that packaging science information attractively will hold
students' attention.

The Mind Over Matter magazines discuss marijuana, inhalants, opiates,
hallucinogens, steroids, and stimulants. A seventh magazine on nicotine will
be available soon. Each magazine opens into a poster that is a real image of
a neuron. The writing is vibrant. The narrative on opiates, for example,
describes the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy succumbing to the effect of poppies
in The Wizard of Oz. The neurobiology is presented in easy-to-understand
language, such as: "These cells grow so used to having the opiate around
that they actually need it to work normally." A cartoon story introduces
neurons, synapses, neurotransmitters, and receptors, and a teacher's guide
provides background. Success will be determined by how quickly the initial
2,000-copy print run is depleted and from teacher feedback.

  [Image]     Scientific Approach Not New
  FACTS:      Using science to teach about drug abuse is not a new idea. The
  Martha      American Council for Drug Education, based in New York City,
  Gagné of    has used information on the nervous system in its publications
  the         since its inception in 1977, says director Martha Gagné. Plus,
  American    the council's Web site features exercises to demonstrate the
  Council     effects of particular drugs on the brain and other organs.
  for Drug    "The Web site offers scientifically accurate data on
  Education   substances and their abuse to counteract the often-misleading
  says        material that now clogs up traffic on the information
  children    highway," she adds. The site has been active since June 1997.
  respond     According to Gagné, several hundred teachers access it
  better to   monthly, mostly to retrieve lesson plans and curriculum tips.
  than to     The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) is a
  scare       Philadelphia-based professional organization of about 400
  tactics.    scientists who research drug abuse and addiction. According to
  ----------- the group's mission statement, CPDD "serves as an interface
              among academic, governmental, and corporate communities,
interacting with regulatory and research agencies as well as with
educational, treatment, and prevention facilities in the drug abuse field."
The organization has a journal and an annual meeting; its members provide
consulting services and expert witness testimony and sponsor programs to
attract young investigators to drug abuse research, says president Linda
Dykstra, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of Psychology and Pharmacology at
the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Television also is embracing a scientific approach to drug      [Image]
abuse education. On March 29, PBS stations will present the     ON THE TUBE:
first installment of "Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home,"      Penn's Anna
a five-part documentary exploring social, political, and        Rose
scientific aspects of drug addiction. The second part, "The     Childress
Hijacked Brain," will feature the work of Anna Rose             will be
Childress, a clinical associate professor in the department     featured on a
of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of       PBS
Medicine and a clinical psychologist with the drug              documentary,
dependence treatment unit of the Philadelphia Department of     reporting her
Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In their research, she and     findings on
her coworkers show participants videos of cocaine-related       signals
scenes while their brains are being PET scanned. "We have       triggering
confirmed that limbic structures indeed activate in             cocaine
response to signals which trigger cocaine craving in            craving.
humans; this does not happen in response to viewing nature      --------------
videos or in control subjects who have no cocaine history,"
Childress says. Such signals include people, locations, objects, sounds,
sights, and smells that are associated with the drug, she adds.

The Neuroscience Approach

Some drug-education programs may backfire because inquisitive students do
not believe the information given. Threats that marijuana use inexorably
leads to heroin use do not ring true to students who know this is not always
the case. "We learned in the '70s and '80s that hyperbole and exaggeration
do not work," says Leshner.

Lynn E. Zimmer, a professor of sociology at Queens College in New York and
coauthor with John Morgan of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of
the Scientific Evidence (New York, The Lindesmith Center, 1997), agrees with
Leshner. "It is hard to scare kids away from anything. I am concerned that
massive exposure to antidrug messages is counterproductive. How could they
possibly believe all the bad things about drugs?" she asks.

Zimmer does not believe that any current drug education programs work. The
Partnership for a Drug Free America, she maintains, overloads kids from
preschool age with antidrug messages. The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance
Education) program, in which police officers teach fifth- and sixth-graders
drug-resistance skills, has also had mixed results. "Kids exposed to the
program have a stronger antidrug attitude during that time, when they are
not really thinking about drugs, and you can get them to respond. But there
is no benefit once kids pass that age," Zimmer says.

The Mind Over Matter approach may penetrate typical adolescent arrogance
because it is not judgmental. But some researchers think this might not be
enough to overcome human nature. "We have known for years that cigarettes
are bad, and that has had no effect," Pearlson points out.

The best way to cut drug use among youth, suggest Zimmer and Pearlson, is to
take a variety of approaches. But the key to any program, Zimmer maintains,
is to provide information, not a guilt trip or fear. "Many places in Europe
have a more harm-reduction form of drug education. Young people are given
more information about how at one point, drugs go from potentially dangerous
to quite risky. This is not done in the U.S.," she contends. If a student in
the U.S. asks a teacher what a dangerous dose of a particular drug is,
Zimmer says, the teacher must refer the student to a drug counselor.

A science-based view of drug abuse education is most effective, according to
Gagné, when it follows other programs that begin in preschool. "The best
approach to preventing drug use is to start as early as possible and instill
life skills in children that allow them to accept drug prevention education
as they get older," she says. Children need to learn ways to build
self-esteem, coping strategies, and decision-making abilities. "Then, if
scientific facts are presented-unlike media dramatization and scare
tactics-children and youths get a sense of truthfulness and reality, and
they are more likely to believe what they hear," she concludes.

Ricki Lewis, a freelance science writer based in Scotia, N.Y., is the author
of several biology textbooks. She can be reached online at


The Scientist, Vol:12, #3, p. 1,6, February 2, 1998





The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A.

Ming The Merciless Will Keep Going ('Irish Times' Feature
About Luke Flanagan, Marathon Runner And Galway Campaigner
For Cannabis-Law Reform)

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 09:59:41 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: Ireland: Ming the Merciless will keep going
To: news 
Reply-to: rlake@mapinc.org
Organization: http://www.mapinc.org
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Irish Times
Author: Ciaran Tierney
Pubdate: Mon, 02 Feb 1998
Contact: Mail: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin
2, Ireland
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407


Is cannabis a "gateway" to harder drugs - as both the Garda Siochana and RTE
stated this weekend when commenting on the latest haul of the drug?

No, says Luke Flanagan, the Galway campaigner for legalisation of the
substance. There is no evidence of an automatic link, he says, as he pledges
to continue his work.

Flanagan, a.k.a. Ming the Merciless, missed an opportunity to go to jail for
the cause when his father paid the fine imposed on him for possession last
year. It is not often that a person turns up voluntarily at a Garda station
in the hope that he will be arrested and sent to prison.

But such was the case at Mill Street in Galway last Friday morning, when the
fourmonth deadline for fine payment expired, and Ming chose to serve the 15
days in prison as a matter of principle.

The campaigner has become a hugely vocal advocate for the legalisation of
cannabis since polling 548 votes in Galway West in the general election last
June. Proof that he practised what he preached was provided in August, when
members of the Garda Drugs Unit in Galway caught him in possession of small
quantities of the drug.

He began a publicity blitz of the city over a month ago, informing the
public of his intention to go to jail rather than pay the fine. He denied
that he was polluting the environment by pasting up hundreds of pro-cannabis
posters. "I am environmentally friendly, I take the posters down myself
every 10 days or so and I don't drive a car."

Ming claims that there is not enough room in Irish prisons for the thousands
of people who continue to use cannabis on a regular basis. A native of
Castlerea, Co Roscommon, he claims to have been given special treatment by
gardai because of his outspoken views. In one instance, he says he was
stripsearched after smoking herbal cigarettes in a pub in his home town.
Surprised and disappointed at last week's events, he aims to continue to
educate the people of Galway, and says it will not stop him from smoking
cannabis. "I am continuing to urge a change in the law," he says.

Ming's Choice Party also campaigns on other issues, such as persecution by
private landlords and victimisation of those who are on Social Welfare. He
has taken a year off college and he intends to run in several marathons, and
in the European and local elections next year. The prospect of taking on
Dana in Connacht/Ulster really appeals to him.



The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to 1998 Daily News index for January 29-February 4

Back to Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980202.html