Portland NORML News - Wednesday, February 4, 1998

Body Count Goes Up (Letter To Editor Of 'The Oregonian' Regarding Death
Of Portland Marijuana Task Force Officer In Warrantless Break-In Observes,
'If We Know Anything About Human Nature, We Should Expect
That When Such Force Is Brought To Bear In Such Circumstances,
Uncivil And Irrational Behavior, Inexcusable In Itself, Is Likely To Result')

From: "sburbank" 
To: "Phil Smith" ,
Subject: Body count goes up
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 07:44:04 -0800

The following was the lead article in the READER FORUM in Thursday's
"Oregonian". It was accompanied by 4 other letters regarding the incident.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1998 page B9

Body count goes up

Officer Colleen Waibel is latest victim of what has become truly a war on

The untimely death of Officer Colleen Waibel is tragic-- particularly
tragic, I am old-fashioned enough to believe, because she was a woman. Her
killer deserves the most severe punishment our judicial system is capable
of dispensing, and perhaps a good deal worse.

But it is obscene and ludicrous that the burning of some marijuana leaves
figured prominently in the chain of causation that led to this tragedy. It
is simply wrong that the police are required to routinely resort to extreme
force to combat essentially private acts, such as growing, smoking or
burning marijuana. If we know anything about human nature, we should expect
that when such force is brought to bear in such circumstances, uncivil and
irrational behavior, inexcusable in itself, is likely to result.

Besides the burning of marijuana leaves, the posturing of politicians
and the negligence of the electorate -- and perhaps also the commercially
motivated interference of the news media - also figure prominently in the
chain of causation that led to this tragedy.

Government should encourage civil behavior and deter uncivil behavior,
and should not be concerned with strictly private behavior, such as the use
of drugs or sexual acts between consenting adults. To make all forms of
unwholesome behavior illegal - as government is increasingly being employed
to do - is to create the kind of legal and social catastrophe we find
ourselves trying to cope with today. To use commercial, scientific
or religious rationalizations to support the progressive curtailment of
private behavior, as we are doing today, is to engage in the gradual
imposition of a totalitarianism of unprecedented scope.

Such pillars of the establishment as George Shultz and Milton Friedman
publicly acknowledge the failure of the war on drugs and advocate the
decriminalization of drug use.

Because of our government's inflexible drug policies - principally
determined, I believe, by defunct traditionalism, irrelevant moralism,
economic interests and inertia - the United States is losing a border war
with Mexico, and communities throughout the United States are contaminated
by a law enforcement regime that has begun to rival the paranoid excesses
of Stalin and the surrealism of Franz Kafka. Because of these policies
Colleen Waibel lost her life.

I do not use illegal drugs, although I did many years ago and understand
their effect. If marijuana were legal, I might use it occasionally, or I
might not. Surely breathing a little marijuana smoke is no more unwholesome
than breathing the diesel fumes that pollute the Portland Transit Mall; no
more dangerous than driving a car through the Terwilliger curves or living
next door to Steven Dens. I do not use illegal drugs, primarily because to
do so would involve de facto support of the corrupt commerce in illegal
drugs -- that is, I would be an accessory to the bribery, murder, evasion
of tax laws and so on that this commerce entails.

There is an important distinction between private behavior and civil
behavior, and I believe we should be vigilant to maintain that distinction.
Fundamentally, civil behavior involves the formal relationship between the
individual and society. Civil virtues include tolerance, cooperation,
courtesy, protection of the weak by the strong, participation in democratic
institutions and conscientious obedience of the law, or conscientious
resistance to bad laws.

A civil society is one in which we fundamentally trust one another,
understanding and fulfilling the responsibilities of civil behavior,
without fear that our private behavior will be made the object of public
censure. Today the basis of such trust is being attacked on all sides, but
the most pernicious attacks are perpetrated by institutions such as the
news media and government itself.

These questions remain: Shall we clothe our police in more impenetrable
armor, equip them with more powerful weapons, provide them with ever more
pervasive means of spying on citizens, authorize further curtailment of
civil rights and waste more resources and more lives on a misconceived
conflict that cannot be won?

Common sense whispers "no."

Lee R. Martin lives in Northeast Portland

Shootout Coverage Turns Lens On TV Tactics ('The Oregonian' And Portland
City Officials Try To Refocus Public Emotion On Alleged Errors
Of Broadcast Media, Away From Policies That Led To Shooting Death
Of Marijuana Task Force Officer, Before Coverage Began)

Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 03:20:12 -0800
From: Paul Freedom 
Organization: Oregon State Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots ,
Subject: CanPat> Shootout coverage turns lens on TV tactics
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

February 4, 1998

Shootout Coverage Turns Lens On TV Tactics

City leaders will meet with broadcasters to discuss what's
appropriate to show during situations like last week's
standoff in Southeast Portland

By Pete Schulberg
of The Oregonian staff

Once again, the media were the news.

Seething with anger after the death of Officer Colleen
Waibel, Portland Police Chief Charles Moose tore into
Portland's television stations last week. He blasted
Portland's four largest stations for ignoring police requests
to stop showing helicopter shots as police attempted to take
Steven Douglas Dons into custody the afternoon of Jan. 27.

The question is: Was Dons one of the viewers? If so, what
did he see?

Although the camera shots that disturbed Moose (and
hundreds of viewers who called stations after hearing
Moose's tongue-lashing) represented a tiny percentage of
the total coverage, they showed officers in tactical
situations, trying to stay hidden from the suspect and taking

"We need the element of
surprise," said Lt. Cliff Madison,
Portland Police Bureau public
information officer. "Shooting
down the street and continuously
showing SERT (Special
Emergency Reaction Team) guys is putting our guys in

Leo F. Painton, president of the Portland Police
Association, agreed.

"It puts us in jeopardy," Painton said. "Showing all those live
pictures from the helicopters was ridiculous. It was show
biz. Show time."

That evening and the next two days, one could hardly tune
in to a Portland newscast and not see a story about how
stations paid attention to police requests and followed rules
imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

A week later, with emotions cooled, police and station
representatives are willing to sit down and talk about news
coverage, responsibilities and decision-making.

At noon today, Mayor Vera Katz, along with city and
police officials, will meet with general managers at
Portland's network affiliates to discuss what constitutes
responsible live news coverage.

Katz has asked City Attorney Jeffrey Rogers what the city
government can do to restrict live broadcasts of police
tactical operations during a police-declared emergency.
Among the alternatives, barring any voluntary agreement
among the parties, are tougher "no flight" restrictions.

As a result of what they saw last week, city officials are
convinced that Portland's new era of live news coverage
from helicopters will mean additional scrutiny.

"The mayor intends to ask (the stations) what voluntary
restrictions on live coverage they'd be willing to commit to
during police-declared emergencies," said Sam Adams, the
mayor's chief of staff.

Moose has suggested establishing a pool situation during
police emergencies, with a single helicopter providing aerial

"I know that's a real stretch," Moose said, adding that he
realizes journalists have a right to pursue their jobs and that
the public has a need for a certain amount of information.

Moose said having only one helicopter for police to
communicate with, rather than several, could make a tense
crime situation easier.

What the copters showed

Indeed, a review of video from the shootout coverage
indicates that all four stations took actions questioned by
police officials.

KPTV (12): Live video from its helicopter showed several
police officers moving into position from behind the house
where the shooting had taken place.

"You can see the officers approach," Teresa Luce reported
live from Air 12. "They appear to be armed ... creeping
alongside there. We'll keep an eye on that." The station
provided the most specific descriptions of police activity.

KOIN (6): Video from its chopper, which arrived five
minutes after KATU's, showed an officer moving alongside
an adjacent house. KOIN also showed ground-level shots
of SERT officers.

Sandy James, a veteran crime reporter, was clearly
concerned about giving out too much information. "I don't
want to elaborate on what I'm seeing," she told viewers. "I
have a problem with being specific."

KATU (2): Channel 2 had pictures of police crouching
behind squad cars and general video of the surrounding
area. But the station whose chopper was first on the scene
focused on the intersection of Southeast 112th Avenue and
Division Street, not the house.

"Lives were in danger," cameraman Doug Brazil said later.
"And we pulled back big time."

KGW (8): There were few pictures of the house Dons was
in and hardly any distinguishing video from its helicopter,
which was last on the scene because it was on the ground in
Troutdale, out of fuel, while its infrared camera was being

"When they brought the suspect out on the SWAT truck,
we were live on that," news director Mike Rausch said.
"But when we received a call from the police, we took that
shot off the air and didn't return to it."

While all four stations spent much of the first hour trying to
determine which house was the focus of officers' interest,
police officials were busy dealing with the stations.

At 12:16 p.m., when KATU's chopper first arrived,
Madison, police public information officer, began calling the
assignment desks at all four stations, saying that noise from
the helicopters was hampering officers on the scene from
hearing their police radios.

"I couldn't make out which station's helicopter it was,"
Madison said. "So I called all the stations."

Similar to earlier situation

Madison had made the same round of calls last September
from a Southeast Portland trailer park, where under the
buzzing of news helicopters, William Utton kept police at
bay for 71/2 hours before he fired on police and was killed
by officers.

Soon after Madison's initial round of calls from the scene,
the stations received frantic calls from 9-1-1 dispatchers to
get their helicopters out of the area.

"They called me, screaming to stop broadcasting those
pictures," said Kerry Oslund, KOIN's news director. "They
weren't specific. We were showing so many things. I just
wish there had been a police adviser on the scene that could
have told us what was tactical and what wasn't."

Within a half-hour, police had notified the FAA air traffic
office in Seattle, requesting a temporary flight restriction and
a clearing of the air space of "non-participating personnel."
By 1 p.m., about an hour after the shooting ocurred, the
FAA's Terminal Radar Approach Control in Portland
relayed the order to helicopter pilots to stay outside the
area, ordering them to maintain an altitude of 2,000 feet and
remain outside a three-nautical-mile radius of the block.

Jim Reed, an FAA aviation safety inspector in Hillsboro,
said all four helicopters promptly left the restricted area. But
Reed added that the FAA, although having authority to
clear the area of aircraft, "has no authority to restrict
broadcasts from the aircraft while departing the scene," nor
can it restrict close-up lenses.

Even with the restriction in effect, the cameras aboard the
helicopters could focus on the immediate area, and viewers
could make out people in front of the house.

By 1 p.m, four helicopters were relaying live pictures. At 3
p.m., the FAA lifted the minimum altitude to 6,000 feet as a
result of decreasing cloud cover.

"We want to work with the police," Oslund said. "But
they've got to be better communicators -- and they were
very poor communicators with the media last week."

If the police were poor communicators, police are adamant
that the stations need to exercise better judgment about the
pictures they put on the air.

About two years ago, the requests to pull back on coverage
were coming from a different direction. During a hostage
situation at the KOIN Center in downtown Portland,
KOIN general manager Peter Maroney dialed up
competing stations.

Police had sealed off the building where gunman James
Henry Rincker was holded up in the lobby, yards from
KOIN-TV. Maroney pleaded with stations to stop airing
live coverage, which he thought was putting his employees
at risk.

Ever since the KOIN Center siege, Portland police have
been concerned about live news coverage by the city's TV
stations. At the time of the KOIN Center incident, only one
station, KGW, had the services of a helicopter with a
state-of-the-art stablized camera lens, which can zoom in on
a person from thousands of feet away.

Now, two years later, KGW's Sky 8 has been joined by
KOIN's News Chopper 6, KATU's Jet Rangers I and II,
and KPTV's Air 12. Each time a station obtained a
helicopter, the ratings for its news programs showed a clear,
marked increase.

Ironically, stations such as KGW and KOIN have
employed their helicopters to aid police agencies in
apprehending suspects and conducting searches. Although
disputes have ocurred between stations and police agencies
on access and coverage, stations go to great lengths to
convince viewers that as members of the community, they're
on the side of the good guys.

"We're hoping that some voluntary agreement can be
worked out," said Rogers, the city attorney. "Our
assumption is that everybody is concerned about safety, and
we want the stations to participate with us about what the
appropriate lines are."

A nationwide dilemma

Live coverage of police activity during crises is something
that has raised ethical and logistical issues in cities all over
the country.

In 1990, a gunman took 30 people hostage in a Berkeley,
Calif., bar as San Francisco TV stations covered the story
live. Watching TV, the gunman saw SWAT team
movements, which police say set back negotiations. He also
became agitated when he heard a reporter describe him as
"irrational." The gunman, later killed by police, had killed
one of his hostages.

That incident led to discussions between the TV stations
and police. According to Kevin Keeshan, then KGO-TV's
managing editor, station personnel left the meeting "thinking
we had to be more careful and police calling it a healthy

Jim Upshaw, a University of Oregon journalism professor
and former NBC News correspondent, said: "If the only
good shot is from above, an aggressive news person is
going to try for it. It's up to police to lay down clear
guidelines for their interest and public safety. There's plenty
of precedent for law enforcement to set the rules when they
have a defensible case for public safety."

Michelle Parente, Erin Hoover and Foster Church of
The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.

Knock And Walk (Editorial In Portland's 'Willamette Week'
About Fatal Cop Shooting During Marijuana Task Force Warrantless Break-In
Says, 'It's The Public - Not The Police - That Is Most Likely To Be Harmed
By Warrantless Searches')
Link to responses
Willamette Week Portland, Oregon February 4, 1998 http://www.wweek.com/ *** "Knock and Walk" Publisher's Weekly Editorial, '500 Words' Context: The Portland Police conducted some 400 "knock and talk" searches last year. In a number of cases, suspects let the police in and were caught red-handed. *** No law shall violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search, or seizure; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath, or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized. --Article I, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution KNOCK AND WALK It's the public--not the police--that is most likely to be harmed by warrantless searches. Last week's fatal shooting of an on-duty Portland police officer was a tragedy--not only for the officer, her family and the rest of the police force, but for every Portlander whose sense of security was violated by Steven Douglas Dons' bullets. Officer Colleen Waibel's death and the injuries to officers Kim Keist and Jim Hudson also heightened public awareness of a police tactic in the War on Drugs: searches in which police knock on the doors of houses and ask occupants if they can look around. The police frequently resort to this type of search when they suspect illegal drug activity but lack sufficient evidence to obtain a search warrant. Such "knock and talks," as they are called, clearly push the envelope of constitutional protection. If, during a knock and talk, the occupant withholds consent, police may enter a house without a warrant if "exigent circumstances" are present. There may be commotion inside, possibly indicating destruction of evidence. Toilets may be heard flushing. The smell of marijuana may be in the air. Officers Waibel, Keist and Hudson apparently were relying on such justification last week when they picked up a paving stone and smashed down Dons' door after he failed to respond to repeated knocks. In light of what's been learned about Dons in the past week, it's hard to feel much concern for his constitutional rights. At the same time, it's clear that, while knock-and-talk searches may be appropriate law-enforcement tools, they also result in improper invasions of people's homes. If Portland learns anything from last week's police shootings, it should be this: Unless they perceive that someone inside the house is in imminent danger, police should back off when an attempt at a knock-and-talk search fails. In such instances, they should be instructed not to rely on exigent circumstances, but to obtain search warrants instead. Such "knock-and-walk" procedures might protect police from the sorts of deadly surprises that occurred last week. They would also ensure protection of our basic rights. If the cost of protecting our constitutional rights is that a couple of marijuana growers are allowed to incinerate their plants, so be it.

NewsBuzz - On The Web ('Willamette Week' Says Portland NORML Daily News
Is One Source Of Information About Cop Killed During Warrantless Break-In
By Portland Marijuana Task Force - But Prints Incorrect URL - Other Sites
Listed With More Information On Knock And Talks, Helicopter News Coverage)

Willamette Week
Portland, Oregon
February 4, 1998
letters to editor:


NewsBuzz (weekly roundup column)

...On the Web

Last week's fatal shooting of Officer Colleen Waibel turned
public attention to the conduct of both the media and police.

In the days that followed the drug-bust-gone-bad, two
questions were heard repeatedly around town. First, why were
the cops smashing in a door without a search warrant? Second,
did the news helicopters endanger police officers by disclosing
their locations during the live drama?

As usual, a glut of information on these topics--both good and
bad--is as close as your laptop. Here's a short list of interesting
Web sites dealing with these two issues.

Police Tactics

www.pantless.com/~pdxnorml/index.html: A new feature on
the Portland chapter of the National Organization for Reform
of Marijuana Laws Web site compiles drug-related news stories
from around the country (/news98.html). NORML's site
includes several stories on the Waibel shooting as well as
opinions and links related to the War on Drugs.

[Correction - As indicated on every page at this site, the correct domain is
http://www.pdxnorml.org/, not pantless.com/~pdxnorml - Portland NORML]

www.powernet.net/~eich1/noknock.html: More info on
"knock-and-talk" police tactics can be found at this site, which
presents an overview of six incidents from around the nation.

www.ndsn.org/MAYJUN97/NOKNOCK.html: This site
outlines a 1997 Supreme Court ruling on warrantless police


www.Channel6000.com: All the local television stations have
Web sites, and all, to some degree, cover the 'copter debate.
KOIN-TV Channel 6's site offers the best discussion of the
conflict between helicopter reporting and police activity (you'll
need to search for the articles). Channel 6 also has an online
forum, where you can weigh in on these and other topics in the
news. --RR

NewsBuzz - In The Air - Cops And Choppers ('Willamette Week'
Says Portland Television News Stations May Be Getting Bad Rap
For Their Helicopters' Coverage After Last Week's Cop Killing
Occasioned By Marijuana Task Force's Warrantless Break-In -
FAA Records Show Helicopters Complied Promptly
With Four Separate Requests)

Willamette Week
Portland, Oregon
February 4, 1998
letters to editor:


NewsBuzz (weekly roundup column)

In the Air...COPS & CHOPPERS

Although the four local news choppers have increasingly come
to resemble a swarm of locusts, they may be getting a bad rap
for their coverage of last week's police shootout with Steven
Dons. In the aftermath of the incident, everyone from Police
Chief Charles Moose to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio blasted
irresponsible aerial coverage for endangering the lives of

What none of the critics acknowledged is that the helicopters
complied promptly with the four--count 'em, four--separate
bureau requests and FAA directives issued during the siege.

Local FAA records show that at about 12:50 pm
Tuesday--about an hour after three officers were shot--the
Police Bureau requested a Temporary Flight Restriction A-2
over Dons' house, establishing a no-fly zone with a radius of
three nautical miles and a ceiling of 2,000 feet. The choppers
immediately moved outside the restricted area, and retreated as
directed twice more in the following two hours. At 2:54
pm--half an hour after Dons was taken into custody--the
bureau asked that the ceiling be raised to 6,000 feet and the
TFR upgraded to category A-1, the most stringent possible
restriction. Again, the copters complied immediately.

Local aviation officials are hesitant to point fingers, but some
suggest that the cops erred in not requesting the tougher
restriction from the start.

Police spokesman Cliff Madison did not return WW's calls. City
officials are meeting with station managers Wednesday to talk it
over. --NJ

Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Update (Petitions, Printing Press Stuff)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 21:34:19 -0600 (CST)
From: wbruceh@ix.netcom.com ()
Subject: OCTA update, Wednesday 2/4/98
To: octa99@crrh.org


I got 18 more request for petition packages ready for the mail today.

And, I've got 16 more pages to read of the Operator's manual, and I've
read 250 pages of technical manuals on how to run a Multilith Press.

We've got to pay the phone bill, due 1/8/98 of $158, but after that the
next $200 in donations and we'll get the Press prepared by a
professional technician who'll also train me to use the Multilith
Printing Press. Then, OCTA can go from 1,000 copies per hour
capability with the electronic copier to 5,000 to 10,000 copies per
hour with the Multilith. That's really changing gears, with better
quality and lower ink-costs too.

We also want to put a card-board display in businesses with tri-fold
petitions for people to pick up and mail to us. (with an OCTA
petition, fact sheet, example sheet, CRRH letter, and eye-catching
cover). Local organizers around the state can supply stores with these

We could even place postage-paid return envelopes in them if it
produces results. We'll need to spend another $200 to get a lower rate
for return paid postage.

For those businesses who can take time to oversee signature gathering,
we also want to have clip-boards for them - and an alphabetical file
folder to separate different counties would help.

We're looking for a cost on the card-board displays now, any ideas let
us know.

We also need to decide at some point how much priority is paying
petitioners with our incoming donations, vs mailouts and other

We also still owe $1,300, and can buy 700 sigs for $230.

It is my main goal to keep trying to see what we can do to get OCTA on
the ballot by THIS JULY.

Building and maintaining the organizational ability as soon as possible
will help us until OCTA passes.

The capability to print with that press must be utilized so we can move
on with other logistics well supplied with printing.

We have also ordered the updated address correction list, so we can get
the lowest possible bulk-mail rate.

Message just in:

Yea! One of the volunteer printers may come over tomorrow at noon to
print the rest of the 1,300 piece mailout (the postage paid return
envelopes), he said he'd come over tonight, but changed it to tomorrow.
(let's keep hope alive!)

We've made a negative already, and the metal plate is made for the
printing of the envelopes then the 1,300 piece mailout will finally be
all ready to finish.

Then, the next bulk-mail expenditure (we have postage for another 700
of it after the 1,300 piece I believe) will be to mail out to the 1,000
people we mailed to already last November, with the postage-paid return
envelope included, and a little note:




Hey, we'll see what happens!



Marijuana Eased Dad's Last Days (Letter To Editor Of 'Tacoma News Tribune'
In Response To Its 'Leave Medical Pot Issue To Science' Editorial )

From: WWonders@aol.com
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 05:09:59 EST
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Cc: pcehthns@scn.org
Subject: HT: PUB: Tacoma News Tribune - LTE VIVIAN McPEAK
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Art: Tacoma New Tribune "Opinion" Feb. 4 1998

Marijuana eased dad's last days

I am disturbed by your Jan. 26 editorial, "Leave medical pot to
science." Last year my father, a 40-year tobacco smoker, died in my home
of brain/lung cancer.

When my father arrived in my home after completing chemotherapy, he
weighed a mere 85 pounds and couldn't hold down a single egg because of
the nausea and wasting syndrome associated with his treatment.

I was told my father would die within weeks. At the suggestion of a
family member we decided we would try offering my dad a small amount of
marijuana orally in the form of baked goods. The result was short of
miraculous. The first day he was able to enjoy and keep down an entire

He went on to defy the predictions of his doctors and stun the hospice
nurses by living a full four months after I was told to just keep him
hydrated. Those four months were invaluable to him, as he remained
alert, engaged and active until the last few days.

I'm appalled and infuriated that my father, a veteran and a lifelong
law-abiding citizen, had to die a criminal to steal a few precious
months of quality life. Those months will remain sacred to me and my
family forever.

I've done my studies, and I know the true danger lies in hysteria and
the monetary stranglehold the pharmaceutical companies hold on public
policy makers in Olympia.

DC Activists Renew Rx Marijuana Effort - Billionaires Forbes And Soros
Continue Opposition From Outside The District (ACT UP In Washington, DC,
Announces Start Of Initiative 59 Campaign - Web Site Online -
17,000 Signatures Needed To Get On September 1998 Ballot)

Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 09:59:09 EST
Reply-To: VOTEYES57@aol.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: VOTEYES57@aol.com
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Update/DC/Rx Marijuana: billionaires-vs-people

ACT UP Washington
*Media Alert*
contact Steve Michael at 202-547-9404

DC activists renew Rx Marijuana effort
Billionaires Forbes and Soros continue Opposition from outside the District

(February 4, 1998--Washington, D.C.) The AIDS advocacy group ACT UP (AIDS
Coalition to Unleash Power) in Washington, DC, sponsors of the medical
marijuana ballot Initiative 57, will begin gathering signatures for its
successor, Initiative 59, in mid-February. The AIDS activists narrowly
missed the signature requirement for Initiative 57. The measure, written by
local patients, public health experts, and attorneys with the National
Capitol Area ACLU, provides legal protection for persons with serious
illnesses like AIDS and cancer, if they use small amounts of marijuana to
ease their suffering.

Organizers will have to submit approximately 17,000 signatures of DC
registered voters, 5% of the total number registered, in order to place
Initiative 59 on the September 15, 1998 election ballot. Last month, the DC
Board of Elections and Ethics ruled that on their first attempt, activists
fell short by a minimum of 819 signatures. With a team of experienced,
dedicated volunteers already mobilized, ACT UP's organizers are confident of


Soros funded group joins Steve Forbes in funding efforts
to oppose DC's local medical marijuana initiative


The Washington Post reported last November that a California-based public
relations firm that calls itself Americans for Medical Rights, bank-rolled by
billionaire financier George Soros, was launching an opposing effort. More
than a month before the December 8 deadline for DC Initiative 57, records at
the Office of Campaign Finance indicate that AMR channeled at least $10,000
to its own operation.

While ACT UP's all volunteer force braved freezing temperatures gathering
signatures for Initiative 57, the Californians hired consultants and a DC
voter as their initiative sponsor. The Californians also actively solicited
supporters in an effort aimed at undermining local activists.

"AMR has been doing their best to sabotage our efforts," comments Initiative
57 sponsor Steve Michael, a long time AIDS activist. "Its challenging enough
to raise money, and find volunteers willing to give up their weekends
gathering signatures in the cold."

"We came so close," Michael adds, "in spite of the efforts of Steve Forbes,
Barry McCaffery, and AMR."

Top elected officials in DC signed petitions for ACT UP's medical marijuana
initiative, including the Mayor Marion Barry (a cancer survivor), former
mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, DC's (shadow) Congressional delegation, and a
majority of the DC Council. ACT UP mobilized support across the city,
publishing op-ed pieces in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, and
debating representatives from the Family Research Council, and Empower
America on live television.

The California group filed their own initiative, which was scheduled for a
hearing in January before the Board of Elections and Ethics. DC activists
objected, contending that local laws, especially citizens' initiatives,
should be written and sponsored locally. Stand Up for Democracy, a coalition
of more than 80 organizations, (including the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the
NAACP, and Imani Temple) advocating for DC home rule, unanimously passed a
resolution in December, demanding that AMR withdraw in favor of local


Local activists block
"names reporting" scheme, cite police organized "Fairy Shaking"


AIDS activists objected to provisions of the Soros funded measure, including
a names registery of patients and social security numbers, with complete
access for law enforcement personnel. (In Washington DC scandal forced
police Chief Soulsby to resign amid revelations that his roommate, Lt.
Jeffery Stowe, in charge of the Special Investigations Unit, had operated a
blackmail/extortion scheme targeting Gay men, a practice commonly referred to
in the Metropolitan Police Department as 'fairyshaking.' Stowe recently
entered a guilty plea in US District Court) AIDS activists have long opposed
names reporting, given ongoing discrimination and persecution facing many
persons with AIDS.

The AMR proposal was so unworkable that it even lacked a 'severability
clause,' a standard to all legislation. 'Severability' allows that if a
section of legislation is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining
sections will be upheld.


DC activists committed to Democracy, refuse to be bought


In a release issued from its Santa Monica, California offices, AMR falsely
indicated that it had successfully bought off the coalition of DC activists
who have been working for the past year to qualify a medical marijuana
initiative for the DC election ballot.

Local DC medical marijuana organizers publicly called upon the California
group to withdraw their competing initiative. After working exhaustively for
many months, interacting with literally tens of thousands of residents
discussing medical marijuana, AIDS activists refused to surrender their work
to out of town promoters seeking to capitalize on their efforts.

The Washingtonians characterized the California promoters as "AIDS
profiteers," expoiting the suffering of people living with, and dying from
AIDS and other diseases while riding the gravy train of Geore Soros'

AMR's Bill Zimmerman and Dave Fratello flew to DC, requesting a meeting with
ACT UP organizers, on Thursday, January 8. Representatives of the local
coalition include Steve Michael, proposer of Initiative 57, ACT UP's Wayne
Turner, Karen Szulgit from the DC Green Party, prisoners rights activist Lin
Hagood, Bob Atkins a member of the Log Cabin Republicans, Stand Up for
Democracy facilitator Anise Jenkins, Marijuana Policy activist Paul Wolf, and
Eric Sterling, from the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.

AMR's Fratello and Zimmerman were represented by their attorney Michael
Michaelson from the firm Covington and Burling, with consultant Andrew
Kennedy, and Eduardo Ramirez, the DC voter hired by AMR as the 'official
sponsor' of the AMR initiative, in attendance.

Acknowledging that their measure was unworkable, given its legal and
political flaws, AMR's attorney, Michael Michaelson, announced that AMR would
be withdrawing its proposal, as written, at the hearing scheduled the next
day before the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. Presenting this as a
'concession' to the local activists, AMR then warned the local organizers
that the California group would re-file its own proposal no matter what. The
Californians predicted that AMR paid signature gatherers would overwhelm the
ACT UP coalition of committed volunteers." Given the Soros funded
Californians' recent failures in Washington State and Maine, the DC activists
sponsoring Initiative 59 were not fazed.

Michaelson then presented to the local coalition a draft version of the
revised AMR proposal, requesting input. He suggested that a collaboration
might be possible, without making any specific proposals.

Both sides agreed to continue discussions the next week, once the larger
coalition of ACT UP's medical marijuana supporters had a chance to meet.
Local activists made it clear that they would proceed with Initiative 57's
successor, Initiative 59, which had two hearings scheduled before the DC
Board of Elections and Ethics on Friday, January 9.

The following day, the Board approved the language and summary text of
Initiative 59, leaving one final step, the approval of petition forms, which
will be considered at the next meeting of the Board in February.

AMR's attorney submitted a letter to the Board withdrawing the California
proposal. AMR then notified the local medical marijuana coalition that the
revised AMR text would have to be submitted that day, by 5 pm, in order to be
considered at the February meeting of the Board. The activists were alarmed
and skeptical at the strong arm, 'buy it now' tactics, but agreed to send
representatives to a hastily arranged meeting.

States local ACT UP organizer Wayne Turner, "My feeling was that Fratello
and Zimmerman were anxious to get back to California, and so they pushed this
emergency meeting to find out from us the most objectionable elements of
their bill."

Turner asked that the structure of an AMR-ACT UP coalition collaboration be
established before any discussion of the legislative text could continue.
Fratello related that only Mr. Zimmerman, who was talking on his cell phone
in another room, could negotiate the structure of a collaboration.

Because time was limited, local activists offered their suggestions on
weaknesses in the legislative text of AMR's revised proposal. AMR agreed to
remove several provisions, and incorporate sections of ACT UP's Initiative 59
into a 'compromise' proposal.


Californian demands to control DC campaign effort


Zimmerman then joined the meeting while Michaelson returned to his office.
Local coalition representatives insisted on discussing the structure of a
possible 'collaboration' with the Californians. ACT UP already had its own
medical marijuana initiative with broad based political support, a mobilized
team of signature gatherers, long established media contacts in Washington,
DC, and its own campaign that had already won the support of literally tens
of thousands of local residents.

Zimmerman scoffed at the idea of an equal partnership, and finally revealed
his bottom-line proposal for an AMR-ACT UP collaboration. AMR would hire
suitable members of ACT UP's team as paid signature gatherers, who would
circulate AMR petitions for fifty cents a signature. "The way its done,"
Zimerman explained, "is that AMR will bring in our own people from
California, who will work as your foreman, or supervisors." Zimmerman
assured the local activists that they would "learn a lot."

The Californians would control entirely the direction of the DC campaign,
and that only "AMR spokesmen" would be permitted. Zimmerman derided the
local activists' campaign, claiming that the Californians knew what was best
for DC.


Washingtonians "insulted" by Soros funded California "offer"


The local activists left the meeting realizing that they had been set up.
Far from cooperation and collaboration, AMR was prepared to exploit the work
of local medical marijuana initiative organizers. Segments of the ACT UP
legislative text were incorporated into a so-called consensus document, yet
local activists would have no say in the planning and direction of the DC

"They were trying to steal our work." comments Paul Wolf, who put in 10-14
hour days helping with the signature gathering effort for 57. "We sat there
doing the work of lawyers and consultants, pointing out obvious problems in
their bill. We'd spoken to tens of thousands of people, and we knew what the
public's concerns were. AMR based their ideas on polls, which they never
showed us, that were conducted in California."

"Getting paid to gather signatures for a medical marijuana initiative would
really cheapen the experience for me. I'm not doing this to make money,"
objected Karen Szulgit of the DC Green Party. "You can't buy a good

Watching the California group hijack their efforts, several activists headed
down to the offices of the Board of Elections and Ethics and filed the
'consensus' initiative themselves. At 4:35 pm on Friday, January 9, Paul
Wolf became the official sponsor of the medical marijuana bill 'compromise

"It's mine. I filed first." states Wolf, adding, "We are moving forward
with Initiative 59, and aren't about to be steamrolled. If AMR really cared
about medical marijuana, they'd be supporting our efforts."

A hearing before the Board of Elections and Ethics is scheduled for February
11. ACT UP activists will give their final approval on blank petition sheets
for Initiative 59, and can immediately start gathering signatures for the

There are over twenty states, plus the District of Columbia, that have an
initiative process. Thus far, AMR has targeted only those states where local
activists have already been hard at work on the issue - DC, Colorado, Maine,
Oregon, and Alaska.

"There is no greater threat to a big money California PR firm than the
success of a locally organized, patient-driven campaign. It seems to me that
AMR executives are fighting the ACT UP initiative because, with our success,
they can no longer justify the millions of dollars they spend on their own
salaries and consulting fees. We've done very well on our own, going up
against McCaffery and Forbes, mobilizing support from thousands of DC
residents and our top elected officials. We have the ideas, the energy, and
the connections to make this work." comments Wayne Turner.

"Our medical marijuana coalition is changing the political landscape of DC,
putting government officials on notice that the movement actively working in
DC for progressive policies is here to stay. That would be destroyed with an
AMR takeover." adds Steve Donkin, with the DC Green Party, who gathered
approximately 1000 signatures for Initiative 57.

Local activists will begin circulating petitions for Initiative 59 in early
February, in order to place the measure on the September, 1998 election
ballot. "We're ready to roll" states Initiative 59 sponsor Steve Michael.

Those wishing to Join the Team for DC's Medical Marijuana Initiative 59 can
call ACT UP at (202) 547-9404, or e-mail us at Sign59@aol.com.

Web address is www.erols.com/paulwolf/

Marijuana Petitions Short On Signatures (Maine Secretary Of State
Says Mainers For Medical Rights Short Of Signatures - MMR Says
Petitions Yet To Be Certified May Push Them Over Top)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 18:13:21 EST
Reply-To: mevocals@somtel.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Donald Christen 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: MAINE -- AMR Fails to Buy initiative for 98
Organization: Maine Vocals

Wednesday, February 4, 1998

Marijuana petitions short on signatures

By Joshua L. Weinstein
Staff Writer

(c)Copyright 1998 Guy Gannett Communications

A group that wants to legalize marijuana for limited medical purposes
submitted too few signatures to put the question before voters next
November. In order to get a citizen referendum on the November ballot,
organizations had to submit the signatures of at least 51,131 registered
voters to the secretary of state' office by Monday.

Mainers for Medical Rights gave state officials 48,688 signatures -
2,433 too few.

There's still a chance, however, that voters will decide the question in

Craig Brown, Mainers for Medical Rights' political consultant, said his
organization gave the city of Portland a final batch of signatures on
Jan. 23, but that the city still has not certified those petitions.

Those signatures are important. The state constitution requires
municipalities to certify such petitions within five business days as
the filing deadline approaches.

Mainers for Medical Rights claims Portland and several other
municipalities did not.

Laurie Savona, Portland's assistant city clerk, did not return two
telephone calls Tuesday, and thus could not answer whether her office
failed to certify the signatures on time. City Clerk Nadeen Daniels was
not in the office Tuesday afternoon.

Julie Flynn, director of corporations and elections for the secretary of
state's office, said she does not know what will happen. ''Maybe they
would take some action . . in court,'' she said. ''If they were to get those
additional signatures, they would come back to us and ask us to accept
them, which probably - just based on a quick reading - we would not be
able to do, but we would have to get a ruling at that time from the
Attorney General's Office.''

Brown pointed out that the group gathered tens of thousands of signatures
over just a few months. The numbers were high considering that there was
no general election while the organization was getting signatures. Usually,
groups that want to put questions on the ballot ask people who are leaving
polling places to sign petitions. Polling places are good places to get
signatures because they're filled with registered voters.

''The bottom line is that there are at least 48,000 signatures,'' Brown
said. Mainers for Medical Rights, he said, expects to get the rest of
the signatures soon. ''In which case it would have to be for '99 rather
than '98, but the signatures collected so far can be counted toward

Maine Citizens For Medical Marijuana Initiative Fails For '98 Ballot
(Press Release From Don Christen Of Maine Vocals Blames Lack Of Signatures,
MMR's Competing Initiative)

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 13:15:19 -0800
From: Donald Christen 
Reply-To: mevocals@somtel.com
Organization: Maine Vocals
To: msedit@biddeford.com
CC: drctalk@drcnet.org, maptalk@mapinc.org, medmj@drcnet.org
Subject: CnbsCL - MAINE -- MCMM initiative fails for 98 ballot
Sender: owner-cannabis-commonlaw-l@teleport.com

Madison, Maine Feb. 4, 1998

PROP. 1014 Medical Marijuana Initiative Fails For 98'

Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana are sorry to announce
that our initiative will not be on the ballot in 98 as we anticipated.
This is no surprise though now, after all the turmoil and confusion.
We will continue to collect our signatures for 99, and are in hopes
to be done before July. The actual signature gathering didn't get
started till late June-July, and the SIGs are good for a year, so what
we do have for signatures at this time will remain active till then.
We will make this happen.

We are truly sorry to all reformers that we have failed to make it
for 98, but we never anticipated what would happened with
our "allies," Americans for Medical Rights. Instead of supporting us,
as many know by now, Americans for Medical Rights are working against
state activists with a competing initiative, that is unworkable and
unacceptable. AMRs efforts are undermining years education and work
of statewide efforts, to bring this issue to the public. Their effort is a ploy
(chicanery) to stop good workable legislation that will benefit the citizens
of Maine, for a "baby step" approach as AMRs Dave Fratello puts it. Many have
been volunteering their time and efforts to make Maine Citizens for Medical
Marijuana's Initiative a reality. We will resist any attempt to undermine real
change, which AMR would dictate to us, and will actively work to defeat such
a proposal, while promoting MCMM prop.1014, a compassionate, workable

We invite the opposition at any time, any place (in Maine) to debate the
two initiatives and defend the accusations that their plan is unworkable.
We also invite the media to investigate this issue and report the facts,
while helping to educate the public about medicinal marijuana.

Anyone interested in helping or donating can contact us at the
address or Tel. / Fax # below.

Sincerely Vocal,

Don Christen / Maine Vocals
Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana
PO Box 189
Anson, Maine 04911
Tel./Fax 207-696-8167

New Hampshire Hemp Bill Moves Forward (Press Release From Hemp Company
Of America Notes Industrial Hemp Cultivation Bill, HB 1576, Co-Sponsored
By Representatives Tim Robertson, Derek Owen, Will Be Considered
By Full House After Being Passed Today By Committee On Environment
And Agriculture In 10-8 Vote - Plus, Addendum Suggests 'New Hampshire'
Means 'New Hemp State')

Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 22:44:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Lunday 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: New Hampshire Hemp Bill Moves Forward (fwd)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:48:59 -0700 (MST)
From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 
Subject: New Hampshire Hemp Bill Moves Forward

Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 10:23:51 -0500
From: Joe Hickey 
Subject: New Hampshire's Industrial Hemp Bill Debate

February 4, 1998
Concord, New Hampshire


For Immediate Release

A bill to re-introduce the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state
of New Hampshire passed the Committee on the Environment and Agriculture
today. By a vote of 10-8, the committee recommended passage of HB 1576,
co-sponsored by Rep. Tim Robertson and Rep. Derek Owen, which would
allow New Hampshire farmers to grow industrial hemp. The vote followed
spirited discussion, and overrode a recommendation of its own
Subcommittee on Agriculture to kill the bill, a recommendation passed
the previous day by a vote of 5-2. The bill will now go to the floor of
the full House for debate.

Industrial hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa generally defined as
containing 1% or less of THC, a psychoactive chemical. Hemp was
cultivated in America until the late 50s; in the 1970s, it was classed
as a Schedule I drug, along with other varieties of cannabis termed
"marijuana." Today, over two dozen countries, including all European
Union countries, China, Russia, and parts of Australia have redefined
industrial hemp as an agricultural and economic issue, not a drug policy
question. This year, Canada moves into full commercial production of
industrial hemp after four years of government sponsored
experimentation. Thirteen other states have pending legislation,
research bills, resolutions, and initiatives regarding the
reintroduction of industrial hemp.

The Subcommittee's working session (not a hearing) on Tuesday, February
3 was attended by many members of the full committee, who, to gauge by
the swing of the full committee's vote, clearly rejected arguments by
the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Attorney General's office, and
the Department of Public Safety. Those arguments were that hemp was
marijuana, or looked enough like it to confuse law enforcement; that
legalizing industrial hemp would create crime; that testing to make sure
industrial hemp was not marijuana would be difficult and prohibitively
expensive; and that passing a state law in favor of industrial hemp
would put the state into conflict with the federal government.

Supporters of the bill, principally Rep. Owen and Babson, argues that
there was an obvious difference between the varieties; that there have
been no reported crime issues in other countries that are cultivating
hemp; that testing could be controlled by licensing seed; and that the
federal government could listen to the wishes of the citizens of New
Hampshire on the this issue.

Testimony was also given by several citizens and interested parties who
represented businesses already actively buying and selling hemp goods
both made in and imported into the state, and who testified that their
already profitable businesses would put more investment dollars into New
Hampshire agriculture if the state were to permit the growing of a
domestic supply of industrial hemp.

The full committee also heard from the office of attorney Paul Munzione,
who argued that a close reading of the laws regarding industrial hemp
did allow for the distinction between that variety of cannabis to be
made, and who also argued that cultivation could be legally permitted
under state statute.

For more information, call John Howell, at the Hemp Company of America,
(212) 260-0200.


Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 23:19:39 -0500
From: "ERIC E. SKIDMORE" <104413.3573@compuserve.com>
Subject: New Hemp State?

To whom it may concern:

How many people are are aware that the word New Hampshire
means..."New Hemp State?"

Hamp is the Swedish word for hemp. The Vikings raided eastern and
southern England in the 800's. They left many of their names in that
country. We brought those names with us to the new world.

Isn't it ironic that New Hampshire can't grow the crop that gave it
its name? Pass it on.



Re-distributed as a public service by the:
Colorado Hemp Initiative Project
P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466
Hotline: (303) 784-5632
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.

Ventura Sues To Stop Cannabis Club ('Orange County Register' Says Lawsuit
Filed By County Charges Ventura County Cannabis Center In Thousand Oaks
With Violating Federal, State Law - Allowing It To Remain Open
Would Cause 'Great Or Irreparable Injury' To Public)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 17:53:44 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Ventura Sues To Stop Cannabis Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Feb 1998


Ventura County is suing to shut down a local medical-marijuana business it
claims doesn't enjoy the protection of the state's Proposition 215.

The suit, filed Monday, contends the Ventura County Cannabis Center in
Thousand Oaks violates both federal and state law and allowing it to remain
open would cause "great or irreparable injury" to the public.

It is the latest attack on marijuana clubs around the state in the wake of
legal challenges to the ballot measure that legalized some use of the drug.

Prosecutors Claim Marijuana Store Is Unlawful ('Associated Press' Version
In Sacramento Bee' Says Andrea Nagy Of Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center
Will Fight Lawsuit Against 11362.5 At Wednesday Hearing)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 17:56:14 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Prosecutors Claim Marijuana Store is Unlawful
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Sacramento Bee
Contact: sacbedit@netcom.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Feb 1998


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) -- A local medical marijuana business is not
protected by Proposition 215, according to Ventura County authorities who
are suing to shut down the Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center.

The suit, filed Monday, contends the business violates both federal and
state law and allowing it to remain open would cause "great or irreparable
injury" to the public.

It is the latest attack on marijuana clubs around the state in the wake of
legal challenges to the ballot measure that legalized some use of the drug.

Deputy District Attorney Mitchell Disney wants a judge to order the
cannabis center closed and the Sheriff's Department to seize its assets.
The suit also asks that the operators pay $100,000 in fines, legal and
investigative fees.

Named as defendants are center owner Andrea Nagy and her boyfriend, Robert
Carson, both of Thousand Oaks. A hearing in the case was scheduled for

In a related action, the Thousand Oaks City Council was scheduled to vote
Tuesday night on whether to outlaw medical cannabis sales in the city.

Disney said the county decided against seeking criminal charges against Nagy.

"She's trying to do what she thinks is right," Disney said. "For that
reason, we're not going to try to make a criminal of her if she's willing
to comply with the law."

Nagy has vowed to continue operating the center, which opened in September
at a business park.

"The only comment I have right now is we are going to fight this
vigorously," Nagy said.

Nagy, 28, says she keeps a small amount of marijuana in a desk drawer to
sell to about 60 clients, but the most of the supply is locked in a safe.

Patients also must go through a screening process before she will sell
marijuana to them, Nagy said.

Proposition 215, passed in 1996, changed state law to allow patients
suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and a variety of other illnesses to
possess and grow marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation.

But federal officials and some local lawmakers have resisted the initiative.

Last month, the state's 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that marijuana
clubs are commercial enterprises and cannot sell the drug legally to
patients despite the initiative.

The measure only allows for the use of the drug, not its sale, the court ruled.

The case has been appealed to the State Supreme Court.

"Proposition 215 is essentially a grow-your-own statute to allow people
with a doctor's approval to grow their own marijuana to treat their
symptoms. It wasn't intended to allow marijuana emporiums," Disney argued.

Thousand Oaks Council Votes To Bar Pot Clubs ('Ventura County Star' Version)

Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:40:50 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Thousand Oaks Council Votes To Bar Pot Clubs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Ventura County Star (CA)
Contact: letters@staronline.com
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Feb 1998
Author: Billie Owens, Staff Writer


Law would make it impossible to buy medical marijuana.

The Thousand Oaks City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to write a city ordinance
to regulate medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The vote -- Councilwoman Elois Zeanah voted no -- came a day after a civil
lawsuit was filed by Ventura County prosecutors. The lawsuit alleges the
operators of the Rainbow Country Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center are
engaged in "unlawful, unfair and fraudulent" acts that violate state and
federal law. The center's operators, Thousand Oaks residents Andrea Nagy
and Robert Carson, are the defendants. The action alleges the center is a
public nuisance and that "great or irreparable injury would result to the
public" if the business remains open.

With about 75 people in the audience, the council voted to:

Establish an ordinance regulating medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

Declare that medicinal marijuana dispensary is not a permitted use in any zone.

"This ordinance makes it impossible to obtain medical marijuana," Zeanah
said. "It will force people to go to the criminal element."

Earlier, Zeanah and Linda Parks sought to table the zoning recommendations
until the case filed by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office is

Mayor Michael Markey and Councilman Andy Fox disagreed with that plan. They
said the council needs to safeguard the health and safety of residents
regardless of what a judge or court elsewhere decides.

"We're looking at (the possibility) of operators coming into Thousand Oaks,
and my concern is that we send a very clear message that these types of
business won't be allowed," Fox said before the meeting.

City Attorney Mark Sellers said the city's actions deal with zoning and the
prosecutor's case is about possible state health and safety code
violations, which he called "two entirely different things."

District Attorney Michael D. Bradbury said Monday the state Legislature
must approve guidelines to implement 1996's Proposition 215, an initiative
that allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Along with asking the court to shut down Nagy's operation, prosecutors want
Nagy and Carson to pay a combined $100,000 in fines and legal and
investigative fees.

The suit also asks that the Ventura County Sheriff's Department be allowed
to seize the business and its contents and sell the furniture, fixtures and
movable property seized from the business.

The center, at 3617 Thousand Oaks Blvd., has been open since September.
Nagy, a 28-year-old legal secretary, has vigorously fought efforts to close
her center.

Also voting in favor of the measure was Councilwoman Judy Lazar.

Drug Seizure Drop Worries US Customs ('Los Angeles Times' Says
84 Percent Decline In Cocaine Interdicted At Mexican Border In 1997
May Bring Backlash From Congress)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 18:08:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Drug Seizure Drop Worries U.S. Customs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org

Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: February 4, 1998
Author: H.G. REZA, Times Staff Writer


Agency says 84% dip in 1997 may bring backlash from Congress.
Officials hope that a new interdiction strategy will improve performance.

SAN DIEGO--The amount of cocaine seized at the commercial ports of entry
along the U.S.-Mexico border plummeted 84% in 1997, forcing U.S. Customs
Service officials to develop a new drug-fighting strategy and leaving them
concerned about a backlash in Congress.

Bill Heffelsinger, assistant to acting customs Commissioner Samuel H.
Banks, said Tuesday that inspectors working at the high-risk commercial
ports on the Southwest border confiscated 2,383 pounds of cocaine last
year, compared to 15,114 pounds in 1996.

Nationwide, the quantity of cocaine seized by the agency dropped 15% last
year to 159,475 pounds, compared to 187,947 pounds in 1996, Heffelsinger
added. The total number of seizures by customs agents and inspectors of all
kinds of drugs was a record 26,240 nationwide last year, authorities said.

Acting Commissioner Banks, in an interview Tuesday, said the drop in
cocaine seizures is worrisome.

"You look at those numbers and you want to be your own worst critic," Banks
said. "You're going to be asked questions on [Capitol] Hill, and we have to
provide answers [for how to stop the flow of drugs]."

Rep. Ron Packard (R-Oceanside) said Tuesday he was disappointed by customs'
failure to seize more cocaine at the commercial ports.

"Congress has directed almost every possible resource toward drug
interdiction efforts, including more agents, better technology and several
hundred million dollars in additional funding," said Packard. "These are
not the results we expected. If interdiction is down, the American people
deserve some answers."

Customs officials hope to find answers through Operation Brass Ring, a new
nationwide drug interdiction strategy launched by the agency this week.
Officials said the operation is part of a broader five-year program by the
Office of National Drug Control Policy to reduce by 50% the amount of
illegal drugs entering the country.

Memos obtained by The Times show that the new strategy comes at a time of
concern among customs union officials over possible political repercussions
resulting from the drop in the amount of cocaine caught at the commercial
ports. A Nov. 28, 1997, National Treasury Employees Union memo noted that
Congress had authorized $64 million in funding in 1997 for 657 new
enforcement positions along the Southwest border as part of Operation Hard
Line, the drug interdiction plan in effect at the time.

Hard Line was launched in 1995 after The Times reported that there had been
virtually no cocaine seizures at the biggest commercial ports on the
U.S.-Mexico border, where thousands of trucks cross daily. The union memo
predicted that "no doubt Congress will be highly upset with these [1997]
figures . . . border drug interdiction is becoming a major political issue
in Washington."

Another union memo on Dec. 22 said new "enforcement operations" were needed
and urged inspectors to be flexible and imaginative in their approach to
drug interdiction. "The objective being to increase our seizures so customs
and [the union] don't get their heads handed to them by the politicians in
Washington when the budget meetings start in March," the memo said.

Robert Tobias, president of the employees union, said he would not
apologize for the blunt talk in the memos. "This was me doing my job as
president to inform [members] what the stakes are," said Tobias. "There's
nothing wrong with telling people that if you don't get off your duff
you're in danger of losing your job. Brass Ring is a wake-up call to all of
us involved in fighting drugs."

On Tuesday, Banks said he was pleased that the president's proposed customs
operating budget for 1999, publicly announced Tuesday, was $1.8 billion, up
from $1.7 billion in 1998. That budget must still be approved by Congress.

Banks said he was willing to publicly admit some of the agency's
enforcement problems "so we can get the issue out there, even if it's
critical to us."

"I'm willing to take it on the chin if necessary to get the message out, so
we can focus on the drug problem," Banks said. Banks said Brass Ring will
"dramatically increase drug seizures" at the 24 ports of entry on the
U.S.-Mexico border.

A Nov. 28, 1997, report by the union said that "intelligence sources are
reporting that 5 to 7 tons of illegal drugs are being smuggled from Mexico
to the U.S. every day." In the interview Tuesday, Banks said he does not
dispute the union's figures.

Concern over the declining cocaine interdiction figures arose in September,
when Banks reported in a memo to customs employees that he had met with
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The Sept. 18, 1997, memo said that "we were asked some tough questions
about the effectiveness of our various operations, and we did not always
have convincing answers."

Heffelsinger said the biggest problem in customs' interdiction plan had
been its predictability. In 1997, 3.5 million trucks and rail cars crossed
into the United States from Mexico at the commercial ports along the border
from Texas to California and about 30% were inspected for narcotics,
customs officials said.

An equal number of trucks and rail cars crossed in 1996, and 25% were
inspected for drugs that year, they added. However, "we aren't as
unpredictable as we would like to be. The goal of Brass Ring is to get back
to being unpredictable," Heffelsinger said.

Customs officials received a warning in June 1997 that portions of the
agency's enforcement strategy at the ports had been compromised. A June 20,
1997, memo from Assistant Commissioner Robert S. Trotter to all Southwest
border port directors warned that "traffickers have developed detailed
knowledge and profiles of our port operations."

Trotter said that spotters, commonly used by drug rings to warn of
enforcement activity at the ports, "have determined what cargo, conveyance
or passengers we inspect, how many of those conveyances are checked on an
average day, what lanes we work harder and what lanes are more accessible
for smuggling."

Banks acknowledged that customs has still not learned how to defeat the
spotters, who work in the open on the U.S. side at the gates to the
commercial ports.

Update On Kriho Appeal (Appeal Of Colorado Juror Convicted
Of Contempt Of Court Delayed Third Time By Attorney General)

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 17:31:57 -0700 (MST)
From: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
To: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
Subject: Update on Kriho Apeal (2/4/98)

Update on Kriho Appeal
February 4, 1998

AG delays on reply brief -- says issues are "unique"

Fomer Colorado juror Laura Kriho was convicted in February 1997 for
contempt of court for failing to volunteer information about her political
beliefs and knowledge during jury selection, even though she wasn't asked
about them. Specifically, the judge ruled that Kriho should have
volunteered that she knew about the power of juries to nullify laws, even
though she wasn't asked about her knowledge of jury rights.

Kriho, represented by attorney Paul Grant, filed an appeal of her
conviction on September 15 with the Colorado Court of Appeals. The
Colorado ACLU and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar filed friend of the
court briefs in support of overturning Kriho's conviction.

However, the state Attorney General's office has yet to issue their reply
brief to the appeal. The AG has asked for three extensions on writing the
reply. In their last request for an extension, the AG wrote that the
issues involved are "relatively unique to this state, and have required
more research than other appeals."

The AG's new deadline for filing their brief is January 30. We will keep
you posted.

For background on the Kriho case and copies of the appeals filed, see:


Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 08:38:04 EST
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: rmz@flash.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Bob Ramsey (rmz@flash.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: *New* update on Kriho appeal (2/5/98)


Some people complained they couldn't get the web address on the prior message.
This one looks different to me. Maybe it will work.


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 23:02:18 -0700 (MST)
From: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
To: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
Subject: New update on Kriho appeal (2/5/98)

Update on Kriho Appeal (2/5/98)

The update we sent out earlier was a little confusing. The Colorado
Attorney General did in fact file their Answer Brief to the Kriho appeal on
January 30, 1998. The appellant (Laura Kriho through her attorney Paul
Grant) has about two weeks to respond. Then the appeal will be decided by
the Colorado Court of Appeals (a three-judge panel.)

The Answer Brief was written by Roger Billote, Assistant Attorney General,
Criminal Enforcement Division. We'll try to get the brief on our web site
soon. Here are some quotes from the brief to give you a general idea of
the gist of the state's argument. (Kriho was convicted of contempt for
failing to volunteer information about her political beliefs and knowledge
during jury selection even though she wasn't asked about them.)

"The rights of both defendants and the prosecution to a fair hearing would
be seriously endangered if persons, with whatever motivations, could
purposefully conceal information during voir dire to get on a jury for the
purpose of obstructing justice without the consequence of a subsequent
prosecution for contempt. Prosecutions of the type exhibited here do not
undermine respect for the jury system or make citizens fearful of serving
on juries. Rather, these prosecutions instill faith in the jury system and
reinforce the concept that both sides in a criminal prosecution are
entitled to a fair hearing and that all members of the court must act
within certain limits." - Answer Brief, page 16.

Answering the argument that a special prosecutor should have been appointed
to prosecute Kriho (she was prosecuted by the same assistant D.A. who
picked her as a juror in the drug case and who Kriho had wanted to call as
a witness), the state argues:

"Under 20-1-107, C.R.S. (1997), the district court has discretion to
disqualify the district attorney from a case and appoint a special
prosecutor if the district attorney is "interested" in the outcome of the
case . . . Section 20-1-107 does not require the district court to
disqualify the district attorney simply because the district attorney has
some interest in the case." Answer Brief, page 25.

"The contempt citation and the defendant's conviction were the result of
her own conduct, not of an allegedly angry prosecutor whose case ended in
mistrial." Answer Brief, page 27.

For background on the Kriho case and copies of the appeals filed, see:


Re-distributed by the:
Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
Web page: (http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm)
To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list,
send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.

New York City Replaces Democrat With Democrat ('Associated Press'
Says Former 'Narcotics' Prosecutor Gregory Meeks Wins Special Election
To Fill US House Seat Of Floyd Flake, Who Resigned Last Year)

Date: Sat, 07 Feb 1998 21:02:36 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US NY: NYC Replaces Democrat With Democrat
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Feb 1998

NYC Replaces Democrat With Democrat

NEW YORK (AP) -- Democrat Gregory Meeks, a lawyer and former narcotics
prosecutor who had been in the New York Assembly since 1992, is the newest
member of Congress.

Meeks won a special election Tuesday to fill the seat vacated by the Rev.
Floyd Flake, a fellow Democrat who had represented the 6th Congressional
seat in the borough of Queens since 1986. Flake, who resigned last year to
devote more time to church work, had endorsed Meeks.

Meeks received 14,565 votes, or 57 percent. State Sen. Alton Waldon Jr.,
who briefly held the seat before Flake, was second with 21 percent, or
5,200 votes. He ran on Conservative and Independence party lines.

Less than 10 percent of the middle-class district's 265,000 registered
voters cast ballots in Tuesday's special election.

Meeks, 44, said going to Washington was ``an awesome thought for a young
guy who grew up in public housing.''

``I believe the torch has been passed for a younger generation to make a
difference and lead this congressional district into the next millennium,''
he said.

Home-Grown Pot Discovered ('London Free Press' Says Police In Ontario City
Find About 70 Plants And One Cultivator)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 08:53:13 -0800
Lines: 47

Source: London Free Press (Ontario)
Contact: editor@lfpress.com

February 4, 1998


CREDIT: By Roxanne Beaubien -- Free Press Crime Reporter

London police stumbled upon a marijuana- growing operation while
responding to what they believed was a call to a break-in Monday.

One of two men chased from the home was charged Tuesday in connection
with the operation.

"There's probably a thousand-plus of these in the city," Det. Chris
McCoy of the street drug unit said Tuesday at the scene of the growing

"In the good times, we'll be knocking off two to three of these a
week," McCoy said.

Two second-floor rooms that police found bolted shut contained about
70 marijuana plants in various stages of growth. High-intensity lights
hung under reflectors to illuminate the plants that measured up to a
metre high.

This type of growing operation can bring in thousands of dollars a
month for the operators, police said.


A main-floor room in the house was scattered with pieces of wallpaper
that police said could have caught fire from the heat of the
marijuana-growing process. Boxes with an air vent, humidifier and
other supplies littered the dining room.

Richard Kowalczyk, 51, of Southwood Crescent in London, is charged
with producing a controlled substance and possession for the purposes
of trafficking.

In another large seizure Monday, Ontario Provincial Police in Elgin
County found seven "bricks" of pot with a street value of about
$110,000 in the trunk of a car on Talbot Road, west of Shedden.

Pedro "Peter" Heide, 28, and Sonia Sawatsky, 24, both of Aylmer are
charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking.

Take Drugs Out Of The Hands Of Criminals (Letter To Editor
Of 'Canberra Times' Corrects Earlier Letter Writer's Confusion
About Harm Minimalisation And Australian Drug Policy)

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

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

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

Published in the Canberra Times

4th February, 1998

Take drugs out of the hands of criminals

COLLIS PARRETT (Letters, February 1) is confused about what "harm
minimisation" is.

For legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, he trumpets the praises
of his accomplishments in prohibiting cigarette ads on TV, prohibiting
smoking in enslosed public places and aircraft, increasing taxes and
introducing low-alcohol beer. Mr Parrett should know that these are
all harm minimisation strategies.

And yet he also says that the "13-year-old harm-minimisation strategy
has failed miserably and is resulting in hundreds of deaths annually".

These deaths are largely from heroin, not cannabis, as the reader
might think, but the increase in deaths commenced from 1954 when
prohibition was introduced, not 1986 when the policy of harm
minimisation on drugs was introduced.

Successful harm-minimisation strategies such as those for alcohol and
tobacco have not been implemented for cannabis because of the
complications of prohibition.

Cannabis may well have become stronger over the past 40 years. But
where are the strength warnings for the 31 per cent of Australians who
use cannabis? Just as the strength of alcohol in beer is identified,
wouldn't it be better if strengths of cannabis were also identified?
But this is difficult while the market is regulated by organised

The best harm-minimisation strategy would be to have drugs regulated
by democratically elected governments, not organised crime.


Huge Implications Of Tests For Drugs (Letter To Editor Of 'Scotsman'
From Physician Expresses Surprise Motorists Can Be Tested For Anything
Other Than Alcohol - 'There Are No Blood Level Values For Any Drug
Other Than Alcohol At Which An Individual Commits A Crime When He Drives,'
And 20 Percent Of Population Is On 'Drugs' That May Impair Them At Any Time)

Date: Sat, 07 Feb 1998 21:56:33 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: LTE: Huge Implications Of Tests For Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug 
Source: Scotsman
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Feb 1998


Sir, - I read with some disquiet your report (30 January) referring to a
conviction at Perth Sheriff Court. It said the man concerned had been
convicted on blood tests which showed the presence of four "drugs" in his
circulation. I was under the impression that the only drug the police could
at present test for is alcohol. If they have the right to test for other
drugs, the implications are immense.

So far as I am aware, there are no blood level values for any drug other
than alcohol at which an individual commits a crime when he drives. If he
is sufficiently impaired he could be charged under the old Road Traffic
Act, which would require a doctor to examine him and say whether or not he
thought him fit to drive.

If drugs which may impair driving are found in an individual, and this is
an offence, at least 20 per cent of the population would be guilty in any
one year. Drugs which may impair driving include anti-depressants (Prozac,
etc), tranquilisers (Valium, etc), anti-histamines (cold remedies),
painkillers (co-proxamol, etc); lesser groups could also pose problems.

As a rural GP, should I advise my patients that if they take the treatment
I am prescribing, which may or may not impair their driving, and then they
drive, they are breaking the law? Legally, it would appear I am obliged to.
Am I then supposed to advise the police if I see them driving? Will they
take treatment which precludes them from driving even though it is
essential to their health?

If my patient needs treatment, is fit to work, but can't drive because of
his medication, do I give him a medical certificate, as he can't drive to
work? The economic and social consequences, especially for the rural areas
are gigantic.

(Dr) Donald Fraser, Laggan, Newtonmore Inverness-Shire

EU Concerned Over Hemp Aid And Marijuana Link ('Reuters' Quotes Spokesman
For European Union Farm Commissioner Saying Industrial Hemp Production
Has Grown From Around 22,200 Acres In 1995-96 To As Much As 100,000 Acres
In 1998-99 - So Either Subsidies Aren't Needed, Or More Controls Are
To Prevent Production Of Drug Varieties Of Cannabis)

Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 18:27:39 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: Europe: Wire: EU concerned over hemp aid and marijuana link
To: DrugSense News Service 
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug 
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Feb 1998


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union may cut aid to hemp growers amid
concern that public money is being used to legitimize the cultivation of
marijuana, EU sources said Tuesday.

The European Union has become concerned that controls over industrial hemp
farming, the responsibility of national authorities, are insufficient and
have allowed EU subsidies to go to illegal marijuana plantations.

``We are looking at the question of controls, and whether member states are
carrying out sufficient checks,'' said Gerry Kiely, spokesman for European
Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler.

Industrial hemp, the similar-looking but less potent cousin of marijuana, is
used to make paper, rope and canvas. It is grown mostly in France, Spain,
Britain and the Netherlands.

Kiely said the area devoted to hemp production in the EU had mushroomed in
recent years -- from around 22,200 acres in 1995-96 to some 86,500 to almost
100,000 acres in the 1998-99 season.

``With such an expansion in the area, we have to look at whether we need to
be subsidising this at all,'' one source said.

Others said there was concern the hefty rise in the area may not always have
been translated into a corresponding rise in the production of legal goods.

``So far there's no proof, but there is a suspicion that not all the
increase has been used for paper and rope,'' one said.

It is not so much the level of aid that has attracted the marijuana growers,
but in registering for EU hemp subsidies, they could legitimise their
business, sources said.

DrugSense Weekly, Number 32 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists -
Includes Original Article, 'The Value Of Letters To Editors,' By Mark Greer)

Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 08:14:02 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly February 4, 1998 No. 32




DrugSense Weekly February 4, 1998 No. 32

A DrugSense publication



NOTE: We have changed the format somewhat again in an attempt to improve
flow of ideas for the reader. The COMMENT comes right after the title with
contact and NewsHawk info moved to the end. Please let us know what you


* Feature Article

	The Value of LTEs by Mark Greer

* Weekly News In Review

Domestic News -

Medical Marijuana

	Leave Medical Pot Issue To Science

The Drug War

	Group Upset over Libraries' Rejection of Marijuana Research Book

Marijuana Shootout

	'War on Drugs' Seems More Than Metaphor in Border Towns

Tobacco Wars

	Tobacco Assembly Votes to Lift Smoking Ban

	Behind Fuming Bar Owners is Savvy Well-Heeled Group

	Don't Let the Packs Back

International News-

	Colombia Fails in Try to Impress Drug Czar

	CIA Report Concludes Agency Knew Nothing of Drug Dealers' Ties to

* Hot Off The 'Net

New DrugNews Search engine Announced

* DrugSense Tip Of The Week
	 Subscribing and Unsubscribing from various lists and services



Letters to the Editor (LTEs), are among the more cost effective ways of
getting our message to the public. Not only are they read by large numbers
of people, but, according to Reuters, they're among the most popular items
in many newspapers. They are viewed by many as having even more credibility
than news items or feature articles, thus they clearly are more valuable
than equivalent commercial advertising space.

The cumulative effect of these "ads" is to encourage much needed discourse
on reform issues, promote the reform perspective and educate the public.
Their frequent presence helps reverse the heretofore pervasive notion that
discussion of drug topics was somehow taboo. The assistance we provide in
furnishing DrugSense Focus Alerts and Email addresses along with the text
of published articles to respond to is our attempt to make LTE writing as
easy as possible. An extra bonus letter writers receive is a more accurate
and informed position on drug policy, simply because of the research
necessary to write an effective LTE.

In thinking about writing LTEs as a way of advertising, we have tried to
place a dollar value on the effort. The benefit of your published letter,
as advertising, can be calculated by the following formula: $60.00/column
inch for each 100,000 of circulation

For example: Los Angeles Times has a circulation of 1.2 million. A
published letter in the Times of 6 column inches (a column inch is
usually 1.5 inches across by 1 inch down the page) would be calculated: $60
X 6 column inches X 12 (for 1.2 million). That gives the LTE an equivalent ad
value of approximately $4,320. As noted above, the additional premium of
having the statement in a respected place, one frequently read by people
who think, can't be accurately measured.


Quite apart from the dollar value we arbitrarily assign to the relatively
small number of letters which are published, there is the more elusive
value of unpublished letters. When an editor gets 5 or 10 letters
responding to an editorial or article which has just appeared in his paper,
he knows that this subject is extremely important to the general public and
tends to make decisions that will encourage additional coverage. He also
will nearly always publish one or more of the letters thus making the
number of letters submitted nearly as important as quality in influencing
the decision to publish (this observation also seems to hold true for
letters to large newspapers, magazines, and on air media sources as well).

Unpublished LTEs can also be profoundly important. When they voice a
consistent point of view and appear in reasonable numbers, they can be a
powerful tool in modifying the views of even the most intransigent editor.
Finally all these letters must be read, by at least by one junior person on
the editorial staff. The best ones are circulated and read by several. A
well reasoned point in an unpublished LTE could be just the thing which
influences a reporter's or editorial writer's point of view months or years

The Media Awareness Project (MAP) has posted hundreds of its published
letters at: http://www.mapinc.org/lte/

This collection represents only a fraction of the thousands of LTEs that
have been sent by MAP volunteers and published in newspapers nationwide.
The cumulative effect of these efforts cannot be effectively quantified but
we believe that it is beginning to have a profound impact on the attitude
of the media towards drug policy and that effect can only increase as our
numbers grow.

If you wrote a letter to at least one publication this week in response to
the hundreds of articles we have provided via the DrugNews-Digest and
DrugSense Weekly then give yourself a pat on the back. It may be the most
effective thing you could do to help bring about reform.



Domestic News


Medical Marijuana


US WA: Editorial: Leave Medical Pot Issue To Science
Source: The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA.)

COMMENT: This clever bit of dissembling on medical marijuana echoes Barry
McCaffrey's insincere plea that we "ask science," for a judgment without
mentioning the disgraceful record of government "science" on marijuana
research in general.

Amazingly, they picked up on the unpublicized DEA referral of the
Scheduling issue to HHS without either crediting Jon Gettman's petition or
acknowledging that the question at issue is potential for abuse and not
medical benefit. Are they confused or just being far too clever?


TACOMA WA. The overwhelming defeat of Initiative 685 last November should
have settled the question of whether Washington State ought to circumvent
the U.S. government's drug-review process by legalizing "medicinal"

But some cannabis proponents are still trying to fight this battle in the
political arena rather than deferring to the scientific deliberations of
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the National Institutes of Health.
State Sens. Jeanne Kohl and Pat Thibaudeau, both Seattle Democrats, have
introduced a bill that would let "seriously ill patients" smoke marijuana
with permission of a doctor. Backers of the failed I-685 are talking about
putting yet another initiative on the ballot if the Legislature rejects the
Kohl-Thibaudeau bill, as it would be wise to do.

The push for summary approval of therapeutic marijuana serves as a good
reminder of why this country long ago opted to let hard research and
cautious reviews - not anecdotes and emotional testimonials - govern the
legalization of potent drugs.


Initiative campaigns and legislative votes are no substitute for sober
scientific review that ought to take place before dope-smoking is dignified
with the status of legitimate therapy. Such a review appears to be on its
way. In December, the Drug Enforcement Administration asked the Department
of Health and Human Services to conduct a "scientific and medical
evaluation" of marijuana as a potential medicine. There will be a
scientific verdict on medicinal marijuana. Those who want to rush
legalization through the political process give the distinct impression
they are afraid of what that verdict will be.

Pubdate: Sunday, Jan. 25, 1998
Contact: Email: leted@p.tribnet.com
Mail: The News Tribune
P.O. Box 11000
1950 S. State St.
Tacoma, WA 98411



The Drug War


SOURCE: Boston Globe

COMMENT: One of the most glaring examples of censorship in American
government at all levels is in the area of drug policy. The censors are at
least as avid as religious censors in a theocracy. That the Globe would
even report this story is a plus for our side. One wonders at the criteria
used by Spokesman Albert's librarian for deciding "bias."

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Cheryl Weeks recognized instantly that some
people would take exception to a book that discredits what it calls
the ``myths'' about marijuana.

In a library, though, a diversity of viewpoints is a treasured

So Weeks, a Binghamton high school librarian, said yes to the book
when some of her other peers said no.

``On most issues, such as abortion, birth control, we try to
represent all sides. This was just one side of another issue,''
Weeks said Monday.

``Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific
Evidence'' is earning praise as one of the most comprehensive
reviews ever assembled about research on the drug.

But Binghamton was the only one of five school districts in upstate
New York to accept the book when it was offered as a donation by a
Syracuse-based group that advocates a rethinking of what it calls
the nation's failed drug policy.


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

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


Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Author: Associated Press
Contact: letters@globe.com
Pubdate: Tue, 27 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.boston.com/


US OR: The Oregonian: Marijuana Shootout

COMMENT: In one sense, this is an anomaly because the criminal market in
which marijuana is sold is typically far less violent than other illegal
drug markets. In another sense, intrusive police techniques are intrinsic
to drug law enforcement. They have led to fatalities in the past and will
do so in the future. Is a "successful" pot bust worth the carnage?


The Oregonian, January 29, 1998


The Smell Of Burning Marijuana Led Officers To Take Action,
Triggering Portland Shootout

By J. Todd Foster and David R. Anderson of The Oregonian staff

Portland police officers caught in a fatal fire fight Tuesday were
waiting on a search warrant when a drug suspect forced their hand
by burning marijuana plants, a court record states.

The officers had every right to break down the door with a concrete
stepping stone and confront suspect Steven Douglas Dons, legal
authorities said Wednesday.


...... officers' knocks on the door went unanswered, the affidavit states.
Then they smelled marijuana smoke at the house, a source said, and
immediately sought a search warrant.

The search warrant was on the desk of Multnomah County Circuit Judge
Michael Marcus and waiting to be signed,..


"The officers both saw and smelled the odor of burning marijuana


The officers then attempted entry into the residence to halt the
destruction of evidence."

Just inside the door, Dons allegedly fired at least 10 shots,


Officer Colleen Waibel, 44, was struck above and below her
protective vest and died quickly. Officer Kim Keist, 39, remained
in serious condition after she was hit by two rounds, both possibly
penetrating her vest.


Mark McDonnell, a Multnomah County senior deputy district attorney
who heads the drug unit, said knock and talks are valuable
enforcement tools in the war on drugs.


Newshawk: Phil Smith (troy@grin.net)
Source: The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Pubdate: Thurs, 29 Jan 1998
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/


'War on Drugs' Seems More Than Metaphor in Border Towns
Christian Science Monitor

COMMENT: This is a rare occasion when our side gets to state the contrarian
view unopposed. Kevin Zeese adroitly used a recent news release to comment
on the extent to which the domestic drug war has become militarized. This
article appeared in both the Monitor and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

By Kevin Zeese

The Pentagon's recent recommendation to permanently cancel armed
military patrols along the Mexico border is a good first step toward a drug
policy not based on military force. Armed soldiers on the border, however,
are only the tip of the iceberg in our militarized drug war.

The incident that led to the proposed policy shift - the shooting
death of young goat herder last year by a United States Marine on an
anti drug surveillance mission- should never have happened.

When I visited the Texas border town where Esequiel Hernandez was
killed, residents said they could not understand why they were treated like
criminals simply because they lived on the border. Military helicopters
droned overhead. Children were afraid to go outside.

Many in the community felt the military had taken from them one of
their best and brightest. Yet, the Department of Defense has yet to
acknowledge any wrongdoing. Instead, it hides behind last year's
questionable grand jury decision not to indict the marine who fired the
fatal bullet.


* Kevin Zeese is president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, a clearinghouse
for drug policy alternatives.

Pubdate: Friday, 30 Jan 1998
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese (kevzeese@laser.net)

Source: (1) Christian Science Monitor and (2) San Diego Union
Contact: (1) oped@rachel.csps.com

Source (2) Tribune
Contact: (2) letters@uniontrib.com



Tobacco Wars


Source: Los Angeles Times

COMMENT: The is the first area of serious non-compliance with laws limiting
smoking. Several California newspapers have reported that the ban isn't
being enforced. Hardly surprising, since a high percentage of any bar's
best customers have dual legal addictions to alcohol and tobacco.

This is another area where we can expect to gain insight into popular
conceptions and misconceptions involving addiction and the law.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--California's first-in-the-nation ban on smoking
in taverns could go the way of Prohibition if a legislative measure
to overturn the new law keeps moving forward.

The bill passed the Assembly with a 42/24 vote Wednesday night, and
now goes to the Senate where its fate is uncertain. The bill
requires Senate approval and the governor's signature to take

The measure would suspend the smoking ban starting next January for
two years or until federal authorities set national ventilation
standards to reduce smoke to safe levels.


Enforcement of the law is left up to local agencies, with potential
fines for bar owners and customers.

But many Californians have kept right on puffing, despite the ban
intended to improve the health of customers and employees. The
bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Edward Vincent, said it would protect
jobs and give people the freedom to smoke and drink without
suffering criminal penalties.


Copyright Los Angeles Times

Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Author: John Howard, Associated Press Writer
Pubdate: January 29, 1998


Source: Los Angeles Times

COMMENT: This long article is interesting for two reasons; one is the battle
shaping up over smokers' rights, alluded to elsewhere. The other is because
it details the deep pockets of the "smokers' rights" lobby (read Big
Tobacco). Imagine what the drug policy reform movement could do with that
kind of funding!


Tax-exempt alliance backed by tobacco firms helps run effort to
kill smoking ban. So far, it's working.

SACRAMENTO--From all appearances, the reaction against California's
month-old bar smoking ban has been widespread, strong and spontaneous. From
Eureka to El Centro, tavern owners complain of lost business. Patrons fume
about the law and defy it. Demonstrations spring up across the state.
Local news outlets dutifully report on the flouting of the first state ban
on smoking in bars, nightclubs and casinos.

But although the owners' complaints are real, behind them is a highly
sophisticated public relations campaign, much of it orchestrated by a
nonprofit, tax-exempt, tobacco industry-backed group based in Virginia and
called the National Smokers' Alliance.

Assisting that group is one of the world's largest public relations firms,


Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Copyright Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: January 30, 1998



Source: San Francisco Examiner

COMMENT: More evidence that the Tobacco Lobby is will finance a major
effort to roll back the smoking ban in bars.

Smoking in California bars has been banned less than a month; state
lawmakers shouldn't backtrack on a matter of health WHATEVER mitigation
eventually might be taken against the statewide ban on smoking in bars that
went into effect at the beginning of this month, it would be foolish for
the Legislature to repeal the law.

That, however, was a live possibility after the Assembly backed the repeal
Wednesday by a 42-24 margin. The Assembly passed an attempt last year to
keep the ban from going into effect, but the Senate failed to take up the
measure and it died.

First, question how furiously Big Tobacco is pushing this repeal and how
much money it will pour into legislators' campaign piggy banks.


Bars have been one of the last refuges of smokers. Curling cigarette smoke
is part of the imagery of traditional bar scenes. But in sufficient doses,
that same smoke has been shown to kill. Customers and employees were
subjected to carcinogenic second-hand smoke whether they liked it or not.

Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jan 1998


International News


Source: San Jose Mercury News

Note: The Dallas Morning News is the original source, and published it
under the title: "Colombia Struggling To Counter Drug Image"

COMMENT: A similar raid was part of an unconvincing TV documentary,
"Cocaine Cops," which aired in January on either Discovery or A & E. The
same Col. Gallegos led the TV raid, which resembled a Viet Nam era
helicopter assault, although without seeming opposition.

The documentary featured the General heading Colombia's military-style
narcotic police. McCaffrey, in mufti, appeared briefly. The film's soothing
and unctuous voice-over couldn't convince this skeptical viewer that the
General & the Colonel are courageous and efficient drug warriors because
they come across as such clowns. As a propaganda effort, it rates an F.
This article helps explain why the film is so unbelievable and suggests
that its filming may actually have produced the fiasco described below.


BOGOTA, Colombia -- It was envisioned as a chance to convey a vivid
image to the American public: White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey
standing amid the smoldering ruins of two captured
cocaine-processing laboratories.

Colombian officials wanted to use a two-day jungle raid last October as
tangible proof of Colombia's cooperation in the war on drugs.

But when the raid ended, a Colombian police major and another
anti-narcotics police agent lay dead inside one of five shot-up
helicopters. Police had to abandon the cocaine labs amid an onslaught by up
to 400 Colombian guerrillas. Subsequent anti-narcotics raids were sharply


The raid, largely overlooked amid the media commotion surrounding
McCaffrey's Oct. 18-21 visit, underscores the lengths to which Colombian
officials have gone to win the Clinton administration's favor ahead of its
annual certification review of nations linked to drug trafficking.


Gallego said in an interview last week that he had hoped to take the
American drug czar on a tour of a captured drug-production facility.


Pubdate:Sun, 25 Jan 1998
Author: Tod Robberson of the Dallas Morning News

Note:Also published in the Dallas Morning News under the title "Colombia
Struggling To Counter Drug Image"




COMMENT: This concession to Political Correctness is frightening because it
demonstrates the lengths to which respected institutions will go to distort
history and preserve myth. Certainly not all "conspiracy theories" are
true, but enough clumsy cover-ups such as this one exist to lend some
credibility to far more implausible stories.

Has the CIA had close ties to drug traffickers throughout its entire
history, stretching from the Mediterranean in Forties through Burma, Viet
Nam, Central America and Afghanistan? Does our President like women? Be

Also, compare the actual denial in the last paragraph to the original
allegation, which was that the Agency knew about and condoned drug
dealers' participation in financing the Contras, not that they "dealt in
drugs to support the contras."


WASHINGTON -- The CIA on Thursday released the first volume of an internal
investigation concluding that the agency knew nothing about California
cocaine dealers who claimed connections with CIA-backed rebels in Nicaragua.

The CIA inspector general's report was an effort to answer accusations made
in newspaper articles published in August 1996 that drug-dealing Nicaraguan
rebels and their supporters were responsible for introducing crack cocaine
to black neighborhoods in California in the 1980s.

The series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News suggested that the CIA
condoned the drug trafficking because the cocaine dealers kicked back
millions of dollars to rebels fighting the Marxist Sandinista Government of


The CIA's inspector general, Fred Hitz, said Thursday that he had found no
evidence that the agency, or any of its employees, had dealt in drugs to
support the contras.

Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: New York Times
Author: Tim Weiner
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Friday, 30 Jan 1998



WOW! Check out the new search engine for drug news articles at

It is quite improved and cool. Congratulations and thanks to Matt Elrod for
this terrific enhancement. It's just getting fine tuned but it is an
unbelievable resource for all reformers. It includes an easily searchable
archive of thousands of news articles on drug issues nationwide since
2/97. It even *Highlights* the word(s) you search for. Quite amazing. The
next time you need some facts or cites on virtually any drug related topic,
give this new tool a try.



MAPTalk - There is an email list called MAPTalk where letter writers and
readers of the DrugSense Weekly share ideas. We hope that you will either
join MAPTalk or forward a copy of your letters to MGreer@mapinc.org so that
they can be shared with other interested reformers.

We get occasional requests from people who want to subscribe or unsubscribe
from MAP or other reform lists. Here are step by step "canned"
instructions. Please save them.

Two ways to unsubscribe and subscribe to or from MAP, DRC, and other
reform mailing lists:

WAY ONE http://www.mapinc.org/

The easiest way, by far, to subscribe or unsubscribe to a whole pile of
reform mailing lists is the MAP web page. If you are able to get on the
Internet go to http://www.mapinc.org/ and click (with your mouse) on
"Mailing Lists" (at the bottom of the home page) select MAP Mailing lists,
DRC, or whatever. Next click on "Subscribe/Unsubscribe." Now click on the
little arrow on subscribe and then click on subscribe or unsubscribe.
Click on the little down arrow next to the various list names and select
which list you want to get on or off. Fill in your name and email address,
send and you're done. This is a wonderful way for busy people like you to
quickly and easily log on or off lists and occasionally "look in." It takes
just a minute or two and eliminates having to remember all the various
commands and addresses.

While you're on the MAP web page look around at the wonderful enhancements
such as our activist database sign up form (under "Sign me up") and the
incredible list of LTEs we've had published in the last few months (under
"MAP gets Published")

If you don't know how to "surf the net" Here are the instructions:


To subscribe to MAPTalk send a message to majordomo@mapinc.org For DRC
lists send to listproc@drcnet.org put _subscribe MAPTalk (or DRCTalk etc.)
firstname lastname_ (The name is optional for MAP but mandatory for DRC)
in the body of the message (insert your first name and last name - no
dashes). You will receive a confirmation that you are subscribed.

Example: subscribe MAPTalk Barry McCaffrey

To unsubscribe from DRC lists send a message to listproc@drcnet.org with
unsubscribe (list name) in the body of the message. You will receive a
confirmation that you are unsubscribed.

Example unsubscribe DRCTalk

To un subscribe from MAP lists send a message to majordomo@mapinc.org with
un subscribe (list name) in the body of the message. You will receive a
confirmation that you are unsubscribed.

Example unsubscribe MAPTalk

This works for DRCTalk, other DRC lists (like the MMJ list WWW list) and
many other lists as well.

Again make your life easier and use the web page above. It is a gift from
the gods. Hope this helps.

WAY THREE the MAP database

To be added to the MAP *database* (IE to receive or stop receiving FOCUS
alerts or the newsletter) do the following:

To be added go to http://www.mapinc.org/join.htm and fill out the form.
Alternately, if you are in a hurry, you can go to
http://www.drugsense.org/hurry.htm and fill out the "short form" in a few
seconds. This will give us only minimal info on you and at some point you
should fill out the "long form" so that we can serve your needs better.

Visit http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm to be removed from our database
and/or unsubscribe from the Drugnews-Digest, DrugSense Weekly Newsletter
and weekly Focus Alerts.


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

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

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

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



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.

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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/

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