Portland NORML News - Wednesday, February 11, 1998

Hemp Web TV Videos Added, ABC's 'Pot Of Gold' And More
(Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Posts Real-Time Movies At World Wide Web Site,
Including US Government's 'Hemp For Victory')

From: "D. Paul Stanford" 
To: "'DRCtalk list'" 
Subject: hemp web tv video's added, ABC's "Pot of Gold" & more
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 01:24:32 -0800
Organization: CRRH (PAC)
Encoding: 41 TEXT

Many new streaming video's have just been added to our web site at
http://www.crrh.org/video.html . These are ABC's "Pot of Gold," the 1943
US Govt. WW II film, "Hemp for Victory," an early 1996 video about "San
Francisco's Cannabis Buyer's Club," Portland, Oregon's KATU-TV show on
medical marijuana, "Town Hall," and 2 of our political committee's weekly
TV series, "Cannabis Common Sense." These streaming videos are viewable in
real-time, on demand, for free by anyone with a 28.8 modem or faster.

The first two of our 30 minute weekly TV shows, "Cannabis Common Sense,"
that we have put on our web page are our 38th and 39th shows. CCS-38
feature's Diane Densmore, the director of the busted 'Alternative Health
Center,' Portland's cannabis buyers club, and her attorney, Lee Berger.
They talk about the situation surrounding the Portland Police persecution
of these patients, their organization and this courageous lady. CCS-39
feature's Dave Olson, producer of the film "The Hempen Road," with an
extensive clip from the film. All of our 44 and growing list of "Cannabis
Common Sense" shows will be digitized and available for free on demand on
our web site soon.

We will be adding many more videos soon, including CNN's special report
"Higher Times," the entire film "Reefer Madness" (we have a neat clip of it
up on our web site now,) a 1991 PBS series "The 90's" episode, "A Look At
Hemp," and much more.

Turn on (your computer,) tune in (frequently,) don't drop out (take over.)

http://www.crrh.org/video.html - Hemp Web TV, from CRRH

Sincerely yours,

D. Paul Stanford

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp

P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Phone:(503) 235-4606
Fax:(503) 235-0120
Web: http://www.crrh.org/


From: "D. Paul Stanford" 
Reply-To: "stanford@crrh.org" 
To: "'Restore Hemp!'" 
Subject: Hemp Web TV
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 15:27:16 -0800
Organization: CRRH 

Following are 28 videos concerning cannabis and the drug war that are free
for downloading on demand on CRRH's Hemp Web TV. Most of these videos
stream in real time, meaning you can watch them like television, with hours
of factual documentation and fascinating cannabis-related content.

In the past day we have improved our video-streaming capability so the Real
Player and Microsoft's Netshow will support up to 60 viewers at a time, and
the first 19 videos listed below are encoded in "Real Video" suitable for a
28.8 K or faster modem. Free video plug-in players for your web browser are
linked from Hemp Web TV, at http://www.crrh.org/video.html .

More videos will be placed on Hemp Web TV on a continuing basis, so the
following line-up of video programs will grow and evolve.

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp's home page is

These videos are all available at http://www.crrh.org/video.html

1. 60 Minutes' report on Cannabis in the Netherlands & the USA, with
Morley Safer, 13 minutes

2. CNN's "Higher Times" with Bernard Shaw, 50 minutes.

3. ABC's "Pot of Gold" show with Peter Jennings, 48 minutes.

4. Dr. Andrew Weil on drug policy at Harvard's Zinberg Awards in Oct.'96,
55 minutes.

5. Oregon legislature almost recriminalizes cannabis & Woody Harrelson
wins industrial hemp court case.

6. The US Govt.'s 1943 film, "Hemp for Victory," 14 minutes.

7. PBS series "The 90's" with "A Look at Hemp" from 1991, 1 hour

8. YIPPIE! "Smoke-In: The Movement to Legalize Marijuana" compiled in
1977, 20 minutes.

9. ABC's Nightline, with Forest Sawyer and NEJM editor on 2/3/97, 26

10. US Judiciary Comm. testimony of Marvin Cohen of Arizona on medical

11. Portland KATU-TV's "Town Hall" on medical cannabis, 1/12/97, 1 hour.

12. Portland KATU's "Town Hall" on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, 12/28/97, 5

13. "San Francisco's Cannabis Buyer's Club" in early 1996, 30 minutes.

14. "Dennis Miller Live," from HBO, Jan. 1998, with Bill Maher on
legalization of drugs, 30 minutes.

15. Portland's KGW-TV, police say marijuana growers provide "job security"
for law enforcement, 3 minutes.

16. Portland, KGW-TV's 2 part report on medical marijuana and Portland
Alternative Health Center, Feb.24 & 25, 1997, 10 minutes.

17. Portland, KATU-TV' News examines the Alternative Health Center and say
police raid pending, July, 1997, 2 minutes.

18. CRRH's own series, "Cannabis Common Sense" show 38, Jan. 1998, with
Paul Loney and Paul Stanford as hosts. This episode features Diane Densmore
of Portland, Oregon's busted Alternative Heath Center, and her attorney,
Lee Berger. 30 minutes.

19. CRRH's own series, "Cannabis Common Sense" show 39, Jan. 1998, with
Paul Loney and Paul Stanford as hosts. This episode features, Dave Olsen,
the producer, writer of the new documentary, "The Hempen Road." We play a 7
minute clips from "The Hempen Road." 30 minutes.

20. CNN's October 12. 1997 feature on Hemp BC and Vancouver, Canada, 12

21. Portland KATU-TV's Telepoll Showing OCTA Can Pass, OCTA poll wins with
54+%, 1 minute.

22. Portland's KGW-TV, Dr. George Robins, Oregon Medical Association past
president, supports OCTA, 1 minute.

23. 1937 Movie Clip, Reefer Madness, showing the lies used to prohibit, 30

24. Portland KATU-TV's News clip explaining OCTA, 1 minute.

25. CNBC's Market Wrap, D. Paul Stanford, CRRH Director, on NBC about
Industrial Hemp and Paper in China, 30 seconds

26. CNBC's Market Wrap, Industrial hemp prohibition in USA , 30 seconds.

27. CNBC's Market Wrap, D. Paul Stanford's company featured on CNBC, 30

28. Portland KGW-TV's News clip of 10 seconds where a
marijuana-plant-toting deputy tells us, "I'd like to thank the marijuana
growers for my job security. I really appreciate that."

Turn on (your computer,) tune in (frequently,) don't drop out (take over.)

More coming soon. Thanks!

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp
P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Phone:(503) 235-4606
Fax:(503) 235-0120
Web: http://www.crrh.org/

Sniff And Grab ('Willamette Week' Article About 'Knock And Talk' Tactics
Used By Portland Marijuana Task Force That Resulted In Shooting Death
Of Officer During Warrantless Break-In)

Willamette Week
Portland, Oregon
February 11, 1998
letters to editor:

Crime & Justice column - "Sniff and Grab"


The Washington Supreme Court
recently ruled that it's illegal for police to
gather information on an individual's electric
usage without a warrant.

Knock and talk is used mostly for marijuana
investigations, but similar techniques are
used in other cases. For example, officers
routinely stop people on the street and, if
they look suspicious, sometimes ask for
consent to search them.

According to the Drugs and Vice
Division's 1996 Annual Report, "That
marijuana production is being conducted by
such a cross section of supposedly
respectable citizens is an indication that
marijuana enforcement has been too long


Tactics used by the police bureau's
Marijuana Task Force frustrate local
defense lawyers.


For a six-person team that is responsible for more drug
investigations than any other unit in the Portland Police
Bureau, the Marijuana Task Force hasn't received much
public attention. Until now. Since Steven Dons allegedly
shot two members of the task force and killed another officer
during a marijuana investigation late last month,
the tiny unit has come under increased scrutiny.

Defense lawyers say it's about time.

"I've been on the case of the Marijuana Task Force for three
years now," says Jenny Cooke, a Portland defense lawyer. "I
feel like I've been howling in the wilderness."

Cooke and others acknowledge that by criticizing the task
force, they're putting themselves in a tough spot. They don't
want to appear callous to the death of a Portland cop, but
they're also eager to publicize what they see as real problems
with the bureau's efforts to target marijuana growers.

Their argument isn't that the cops are unprofessional cowboys
who routinely break the law to make busts. Quite the contrary:
Many members of the defense bar say the pot squad's officers
are among the most professional on the entire force. Instead,
the loudest complaint is that, thanks to ingenious police tactics
and the peculiarities of the pot-growing business, the task force
has it too easy--something the Drugs and Vice Division's annual
report confirms.

"Growers in this region present a target rich environment and
are there for the taking as fast as the task force can get to
them," the most recent report reads. In 1996, the most recent
year for which statistics are available, the Drugs and Vice
Division seized a whopping 14,425 marijuana plants.

The task force is able to seize so much pot because each
investigation is relatively simple. First, the cops develop a
suspicion someone is growing marijuana. Sometimes they get
the information from a neighbor or from a drug suspect who
wants to turn over evidence to reduce his own charges. Other
times, they're more clever. According to defense lawyers who
have questioned task force members, the police have staked
out American Agriculture, a store that sells high-tech growing
equipment that police suspect is not intended for raising
broccoli in your basement. The task force then gets the address
of the buyer either by following him home or tracking his
license plate number.

Next, the cops check with PGE to see if the home has unusual
electric bills. Defense lawyers claim that their clients lose no
matter what the police find.

"If you have high power usage, they use that as evidence of a
marijuana grow," Cooke says. "If you have low power usage, it
means you're stealing electricity, and that's evidence of a
marijuana grow."

Armed with little more than a suspicion, task force members
then stop by the house. If the person isn't home, they
sometimes look around for evidence. Courts have ruled that in
some circumstances, the police can walk into a backyard as
long as it's not fenced in and may also peer in windows. If the
person is home, they conduct a "knock and talk." In this
technique, officers simply knock on the door and ask if they
can come in and look around.

That was the plan in the Dons case. The only problem was, he
allegedly began destroying the evidence, which gave police
enough cause to break down the door and enter the home
without a warrant.

Don's actions, however, were highly unusual. Typically the
suspect allows officers to enter his home--even if he has pot
plants growing in his basement.

Judges nationwide have upheld the knock-and-talk technique;
its defenders say cops have as much right to ring your doorbell
as cookie-toting Girls Scouts. Defense lawyers say it's
inherently coercive, noting that Girl Scouts aren't usually
wearing a badge or carrying a gun.

Police visits "can be very intimidating without being illegal,"
says defense lawyer Lisa Maxfield, noting that most people
don't know that they can slam the door in the cops' faces.
Some of Maxfield's clients describe a procedure which more
accurately could be described as a "walk and talk."

"They'll be walking through the door at the same time as
they're saying, 'May we come in?'" she says. "They come in
with their badges flashing. It's not really consent."

When the suspect doesn't give consent to enter the home, the
police try to sway them by explaining that they'll simply apply
for a warrant instead, implying that this will make things more
difficult for both the police and the suspect. Their language can
be very nuanced, according to Deputy District Attorney Mark
McDonnell. For example, the difference between a cop saying
"I'm going to get a search warrant" and "I'm going to apply for
a search warrant" can make or break a case, because the
former is considered unlawful coercion.

"The police are very specific in what they say and are very
careful," says McDonnell, who heads the drug unit. "If it's
coercive, it's illegal. But there are times when people interpret
what police are saying as a threat."

Even if task force members aren't able to persuade suspects to
let them in, they can use the knock and talk to their benefit--by
using their nose. Unlike most other drugs, marijuana has a
strong smell. Oftentimes, officers say they get a whiff of
growing marijuana when the suspect opens the door--a claim
many defense lawyers question. "Any defense attorney in this
town will tell you these guys can smell dope in places no other
man can smell dope," says defense lawyer Michelle Burrows.

That smell is important. First, the odor gives officers enough
evidence to make an arrest without a warrant--as long as the
person is outside his or her house.

According to defense lawyer Bruce Howlett, the cops have
developed tricky tactics to get suspects out the door, like
offering business cards. When the suspect reaches out to take
the card, the officer can grab his arm, yank him out the door
and place him under arrest. "That's what I call the 'sniff and
grab' technique," says Howlett.

Even if the suspect doesn't leave his house, the odor of
growing marijuana helps officers make their bust anyway. In
most cases, the smell alone is enough for a judge to issue a
search warrant, which allows police to enter a home without
consent. This is particularly galling to defense lawyers.

"Most of the time, there's no way to contest this sniff stuff,"
says defense lawyer Maxfield. "Unless you can prove this
officer is a big fat liar, there's not a court in the state that's
going to say this officer is lying. We get frustrated that there's
not a way to test someone's factual assertion."

In some cases, however, defense lawyers have persuaded
judges to rule in their favor. Once, for example, Maxfield was
able to prove that the marijuana that police smelled didn't come
from her clients' house but from the clothes of officers who
dismantled another grow earlier that day. The charges were

But most of the time, the marijuana defendant winds up losing.
In some ways, the police end up losing some public support, as

Defense lawyers frequently argue that police tactics are unfair.
When those tactics are applied in investigating child molesters,
gun runners and robbers, the claims don't get much sympathy.
With the Marijuana Task Force, they have a bit more
resonance because the cops are going after pot growers, whom
most people perceive as harmless.

"The controversy here is that a large segment of the population
is very ambivalent about marijuana in general," says
McDonnell. "The problem is: It's illegal to grow pot. That's a
legislative decision. Critics are asking us to ignore the decision
of the legislature, but it's our responsibility to carry out the

Follow-Up - Costly Intentions ('Willamette Week' Says Portland Lawyer
Michael S. Morey Has Filed Notice Of Intent To Sue
Oregon State Department Of Corrections On Behalf Of Four Of 78 Women
Transferred To Private Arizona Prison Who Say They Were Sexually Assaulted
By Guards Employed By Corrections Corporation Of America)
Link to earlier story
Willamette Week Portland, Oregon Feb. 11, 1998 http://www.wweek.com/ letters to editor: mzusman@wweek.com Follow-up - Costly Intentions The state Department of Corrections' decision to transfer 78 female inmates to a privately run Arizona prison may end up costing more than expected. Late last month, Portland lawyer Michael S. Morey filed a notice of intent to sue the department on behalf of four of those women, who say they were sexually assaulted while incarcerated at the Corrections Corporation of America facility. Morey's notice says the department could be liable if it failed to properly monitor the Arizona prison or quickly respond to the inmates' claims. But he hopes he doesn't have to go after the state coffers. "My focus is not the state of Oregon. It is the Corrections Corporation of America people," he told WW, saying he also plans to sue the Tennessee-based company. The clients--Barrilee Bannister, Victoria Simms, Christine Foos and Stephanie Russell--say that several CCA guards began sexual relationships with them last spring. Although only one woman claims she was forcibly raped, the rest say they felt coerced after guards slipped them marijuana and then threatened to search their cells ("Private Affairs," WW, Oct. 22, 1997). Morey agrees that the atmosphere at the Arizona prison was coercive. "I think prisoners should be treated like prisoners," he told WW. "These people were treated like sexual pieces of meat." After an investigation, the state Department of Corrections determined that the women's claims were legitimate and transferred them back home to Oregon. -MO [Maureen O'Hagan]

Confront Youth Drug Problem ('Bulletin' In Bend, Oregon,
Doesn't Have Any New Ideas About What To Do
About Scourge Of Illegal Drugs It Finds, But Says We Should Do More Anyway)

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 19:36:15 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OR: Confront Youth Drug Problem
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Curt Wagoner 
Pubdate: 11 Feb 1998
Source: The Bulletin
Page: # A-6
Contact: bulletin@bendbulletin.com
Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com


Let's face up to it: Central Oregon is losing the war on youth drug

"Wasted," a recent two part series by Bulletin reporters Greg Bolt and Jeff
Nielson, should serve as a wakeup call that drugs and alcohol are too
casually accepted, widely available and frequently used among our young

Combating these trends will require a stronger community effort in
prevention, enforcement and treatment. But first it will require all the
involved people- educators, law enforcement and health professionals, and
parents- to fully confront the drug problem.

The grim statistics and anecdotes presented in the articles that appeared
Sunday and Monday are especially disturbing in a region that prides itself
as a great place to raise kids.

In Deschutes County, a 1996 survey among eighth and 11th graders, showed
use of marijuana and alcohol were higher than the state average. Almost one
out of five of the middle schoolers surveyed and one out of four of the
juniors reported having smoked pot in the previous month.

While the same survey wasn't done in Crook and Jefferson counties, few
would dispute that there is a real problem in more rural communities.

It would also be unfair to say that Central Oregon is in total denial about
the youth drug problem. There are more treatment education programs in
place today than a decade ago and better cooperation between schools and
law enforcement. But with the overwhelming evidence staring us in the face,
we must admit we maybe underestimating the problem and what needs to be
done to stop it.

The front line has to be enforcement and a strict no-tolerance policy
toward drugs. It's telling that while reports of widespread drug
availability in schools abound, there are few drug-related disciplinary
cases at local high schools and middle schools. Does that mean drug sales
aren't happening in the parking lot or that kids aren't coming to school
stoned? Any ninth-grader will tell you a different story.

Local schools and law enforcement agencies need to take a hard look at what
they are doing to actively seek out and expose drug users and dealers. It's
time to look at putting police officers in all our schools, as done in La
Pine and Jefferson and Crook counties, as both a deterrent and a resource.
It's also time to consider enforcement measures like sweep searches of
lockers and school grounds.

We know by know that a " get tough " policy alone won't solve the problem.
There are a variety of education and treatment programs already in place.
We need to evaluate whether these are working or not, scrap the ones that
don't and expand those that do.

Of course, the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of our children
rests not with school and law enforcement authorities or peers, but with
the parents and families. The words and actions of parents can from a very
early age make all the difference about whether kids can resist outside
pressure. Active involment in teen-agers lives can make sure they stay out
of trouble.

There are no easy answers or single approaches that will make this problem
go away overnight. But we can do a better and we must do better.

Call Yamaguchi (Group Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Bay Guardian'
Urges Readers To Call US Attorney Michael Yamaguchi At 415-436-7200
To Protest Lawsuit Against Northern California Medical Marijuana
Dispensaries - 'A Clear Danger To Those In Need')

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 01:22:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Call Yamaguchi
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian
Website: http://www.sfbg.com
Contact: letters@sfbg.com.


We believe that the action of the U.S. government in seeking an injunction
to halt the sale of medical marijuana to approved patients is a travesty.
It blindly places strict adherence to the letter of the federal law above
the need for compassion and understanding.

U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi has filed suit against six cannabis buyers'
clubs, declaring that the will of California voters in enacting the
Compassionate Use Act of 1996 is pre-empted by federal law that bars the
use of marijuana for anything other than research. It is absurd to continue
to categorize marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, limited only
to research use (along with cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines), and to
ignore its therapeutic value.

But beyond that, Yamaguchi's actions show a callous disregard for the
plight of those who seek relief from pain and suffering through the
purchase of marijuana from supervised facilities. Before he pursues these
actions, we urge him to visit some of the cannabis buyers' clubs and talk
to their patients so that he may witness firsthand the many beneficial
effects that the medically approved use of cannabis offers to those in

Yamaguchi's pursuit of an injunction presents a clear danger to those in
need, as does California Attorney General Dan Lungren's continual
harassment of medical caregivers. These caregivers provide a service to the
sick and disabled that a majority of Californians have said that they want;
a service that is unavailable through other legal means. The mere fact that
the law defines "primary caregivers" as individuals does not, in our
opinion, preclude the use of clubs or groups from dispensing medical

We also are outraged that Lungren has scorned the will of Californians by
failing to work with the legislature and the clubs to pursue methods by
which cannabis can be distributed under controlled conditions to those
obtaining a doctor's approval. Rather than seeking the closure of the
clubs, Lungren would better serve the public by working with the clubs to
ensure that their aid would be limited only to those in medical need.

We urge those who are opposed to these actions to make their voices heard
by writing Michael Yamaguchi at the U.S. Attorney's Office, 450 Golden
Gate, San Francisco 94102, or telephoning his office at (415) 436-7200, or
by contacting their federal and state representatives.


Pot Club Trial To Remain In Oakland ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Version Of Yesterday's News About Dennis Peron's Trial)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 13:05:58 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Club Trial To Remain In Oakland
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998


A federal appeals court has struck down a request by Cannabis Cultivators
Club owner Dennis Peron to move a marijuana sales and possession trial from
Alameda County to San Francisco.

The trial -- now pending -- resulted from indictments issued against Peron
and several other medical marijuana advocates following an Aug. 24, 1996,
raid on the San Francisco club by state agents.

California Attorney General Dan Lungren chose to prosecute Peron in
Oakland, stating some of the crimes occurred in Alameda County. Peron said
Lungren's move was designed to find jurors sympathetic to prosecutors.

Attorney general's office spokesman Matt Ross said the decision by the
First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco to keep the trial in
Oakland is appropriate ``because some of the overt acts occurred in Alameda

Peron said he is unconcerned about the denial of the change of venue
request because he expects to be acquitted of all charges.

``The people of Alameda County are not going to convict someone for selling
medicine to sick and dying people,'' he said.

Pot Advocate Peron Faces Trial In Oakland (Three-Paragraph Version
In 'San Francisco Examiner')

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 13:58:30 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Advocate Peron Faces Trial in Oakland
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998


San Francisco Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Peron, the state's most
prominent medical marijuana advocate, will have to fight criminal charges
on drug sales in Oakland.

In a ruling made public Tuesday, the 1st District Court of Appeal
overturned an Alameda County judge's decision to transfer the trial to San
Francisco, where Peron's marijuana club operates.

Peron, founder of the organization now called the Cannabis Cultivators
Club, criticized the ruling but said he would accept it.

Street Ministry ('San Francisco Examiner' Portrays River Sims, Anglican Priest
And 'Temenos Catholic Worker' Who Tends To San Francisco's Homeless,
Junkies, And Sex Workers)

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 14:03:23 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Street Ministry
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Author: Craig Marine of the Examiner Staff



The way River Sims tells his horror stories, calmly, barely raising his
voice, poised like the Anglican priest he is, makes them seem all the more
ugly by contrast. For instance there's this kid - a teenager - who ventures
back and forth between Haight Street and the Polk, living on the streets.
No one can get him to even try staying in a shelter.

"He's third-generation homeless," says Sims, speaking in tones members of
Old San Francisco might use to speak of their lineage. "His mother shot him
up with heroin for the first time when he was 8 years old."

Then there was another boy - young man, whatever - who came back to his
Polk Street buddies bragging that he had just made $200 from a john and
hadn't even had to perform a sex act.

"All he had to do was let the guy carve up his back with a knife," recalls
Sims. "He thought he had really gotten over."

Sims - Father Christian River Sims, born Michael Smith in Missouri 41 years
ago - has been working with San Francisco's homeless, junkies and sex
workers, primarily in the Polk, Haight and Civic Center areas, for the past
three years. He moved to The City after visiting a year earlier. He thought
it would be the perfect place to establish his ministry, which he calls
Temenos Catholic Worker (temenos is Greek for that which is abandoned, cut
off or separated). The ministry is really just Sims, working out of a
sparsely furnished one-bedroom apartment that is crammed with the things
that he needs for his work.

And watching Sims work is an eye-popping experience, day or night. It's
high noon on Polk Street and Sims, dressed in his usual baggy jeans,
sweatshirt with a cross on the breast and backward baseball cap, makes a
left into Fern Alley. Immediately, a very buzzed, effeminate male pushing a
shopping cart stops him in the middle of the street, barely three feet from
bustling Polk.

"Need points?" Sims asks simply, and there follows an endless speed riff
response as the person pores through the cart, pulling hypodermic needles
from nearly every conceivable spot and loading them into a plastic watering

"How many do you have?" asks Sims, as though this is the most common sight
in the world. To him, it obviously is.

"One hundred and fifty," is the answer and Sims calmly reaches into one of
the overloaded canvas bags he carries around and counts out 150 syringes,
"longs and shorts" in the parlance of the streets.

The exchange made, Sims offers one of the dozens of sandwiches he spends
two and a half hours a day making. The offer is rejected - not enough
mayonnaise. Others will later be passed by for having too much mayo. There
is not a whole lot of "thank you" going on here, though later people will
exchange hugs with the priest and ask for nothing in return.

Sims wanders off and explains that that may have been only two days worth
of needles for the shopping cart person. He exchanges 2,000 needles a week,
which he gets from the Prevention Point needle exchange program. He also
distributes condoms, clothing - socks are a big draw with the rainy weather
- and as much advice as people ask him for, about drug rehab or shelters or
where the free showers are or anything else a street survivor might want to

He never gives them money, so they don't ask. He won't let them crash in
his apartment, but if he knows they are sleeping on the step in front, he
might sneak down and cover them with a blanket. He'll buy them a soda or a
slice of pizza. "I must have spent $8,000 on pizza the first year I was out
here, trying to gain their trust," Sims laughs. He's serious, however. He
survives on donations, gets food from the Food Bank, lives on less than
$800 per month himself. It's his life, usually five or six nights a week,
from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. The boundaries he has set keep him sane.

Night time on Polk is surreal. The neon from the fancy restaurants, bars,
ice cream shops and liquor stores glows off the rain slick streets,
reflecting into the faces of the boys trying to look languid perched
against the walls, studying the cars that go by studying them.

Everyone knows Sims. He knows all their stories. The faces of some of the
young women who come over to grab needles or a sandwich - peanut butter and
jelly this time - reveal some of what they have seen, minus the details.
They are the same women whose pictures adorn the walls of Sims' tiny
apartment, holding their babies like little angels just before the Child
Protective Services takes the kids away. Babies having babies.

One boy comes over and shows Sims a walking stick he's made. He's taken a
cane and used leather strips from an abandoned easy chair to weave a
pattern on the top, which he has adorned with a silver skull and a horned
bull's head. The bottom three-quarters of the cane is covered with small
pornographic photographs of every imaginable type. It may not be suitable
for family viewing, but it is art. Naturally, it's stolen the next day.

"He got his first job in San Jose when he was 13," Sims says of the cane
boy as Sims walks on. "A woman paid him to take pornographic pictures of
teenage girls. He's been obsessed with pornography ever since."

The cops know what Sims is doing, but look the other way - it's one of
those San Francisco things largely influenced by Mayor Brown, who said of
needle exchange, "I wrote the law. I think it is a way in which to avoid
the spread of AIDS - the best way. It has proven to be an accurate
assumption through studies. The National Medical Association, C. Everett
Koop, a whole bunch of people believe as I do."

"I know I'm controversial," Sims shrugs. "A lot of people, mostly
fundamentalists, view me as the devil himself. But that doesn't mean I'm
going to stop doing this. This is the happiest I've ever been in my life.
This is my calling."

He says he's known of just five kids that have successfully left the
streets since he's been out here. But as to why he would put so much effort
into a seemingly endless and hopeless task.

"I see God in their eyes." He smiles. "I see Jesus in every one of the
people I see on the street."

Board Of Elections To Give Go Ahead For ACT UP's
Medical Marijuana Initiative 59 - Competing Proposal From California
Will Be Rejected (News Release From ACT UP Announces Start
Of Signature Gathering Today In Washington, DC)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:25:45 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: VOTEYES57@aol.com
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: ACT UP Signature Drive begins/Californians to be rejected

Board of Elections to give go ahead for ACT UP's medical marijuana
Initiative 59

Competing proposal from California will be rejected

for more information contact Steve Michael at 202-547-9404

Washington, DC -(February 11, 1998)- AIDS activists with the group ACT UP
Washington will begin gathering signatures today for Initiative 59, "The
Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Act of 1998". Initiative 59
is almost identical to activists' earlier effort, Initiative 57, which fell
short by a minimum of 800 signatures last year. The measure protects
seriously ill patients like persons with cancer and AIDS, if they use small
amounts of marijuana to ease their suffering.

At today's hearing of the Board of Elections and Ethics, the local activists
complete their final procedure, and will be issued petition forms for
Initiative 59. In order to place their proposal on the September, 1998
ballot, organizers will have to collect the signatures of 5% of the total
number DC registered voters, approximately 17,000, by May 15.

"We came so close last time," states Initiative 59 sponsor, ACT UP's Steve
Michael, who is HIV+, "Our team of volunteers is ready to roll."

The DC Board of Elections is expected to reject an opposing initiative filed
by a public relations firm based in Santa Monica, California called Americans
for Medical Rights. The California group, which is bank-rolled by
billionaire financier George Soros, failed to file disclosure forms with the
DC Office of Campaign Finance. Under DC Law, Initiative sponsors must submit
within ten days of filing: a Statement of Organization, a disclosure report
of Receipts and Expenditures, and a copy of the initiative text to the Office
of Campaign Finance.

If the Californians intend to compete with the local AIDS activists with a
rival initiative, they will have to start all over again, with several months
of proceedings before petition forms can be issued.

"We will have Initiative 59 qualified for the ballot before the Californians
can even begin." comments Michael. "It's clear that local efforts are the
best chance to pass medical marijuana here in the District of Columbia.
We're in this to win."

DC organizers have already mobilized broad-based community support for the
local medical marijuana proposal, including the support of DC top elected

"This ends the confusion of having two medical marijuana proposal
circulating. We've already put in countless hours talking to tens of
thousands of DC voters, and aren't about to have a group of high paid
California consultants come and jeopardize our work." adds local AIDS
activist Wayne Turner.

Those wishing to volunteer, or make a contribution should contact ACT UP
Washington at (202) 547-9404.

Group Shoots At Undercover Police Officers In West Side Neighborhood
('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says Two Flee, Two Busted After Group Of People
Fired At Fleeing Unmarked Squad Car Carrying Two Undercover Officers
In Milwaukee Neighborhood Near Marquette University
Where Drugs, Crime And Chaos Are Rife)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:32:06 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US WI: Group Shoots At Undercover Police Officers In West Side
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Author: Jim Stingl and Jessica McBride
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/


Authorities fled after men approached car while they were on surveillance

A group of people fired at a fleeing unmarked squad car carrying two
undercover police officers Tuesday afternoon near N. 19th and W. State
streets, shocking no one in this west side neighborhood near Marquette
University where residents say drugs, crime and chaos are a fact of life.

One of the bullets penetrated the vehicle but missed the officers.

Police arrested two men. The tactical enforcement unit then converged on
the home in which other suspects were believed to be hiding in the 900
block of N. 19th St. An hour later, SWAT officers left the three-story
rooming house and announced that several people had been taken in for

However, two men fled the scene. Police were looking for a Dodge Caravan
painted three shades of blue.

A police sniper stood on the roof of a building on the west campus of Sinai
Samaritan Medical Center, 2000 W. Kilbourn Ave., almost directly behind the
home from which the men fled.

Police Lt. David Kane said the two officers had gone to the house to
conduct surveillance as the result of a complaint. He declined to say
whether it was a known drug house.

A group of at least four people standing outside the house "converged" on
the officers, Kane said. The officers identified themselves as police and
started to drive away. That is when the shots were fired at their car.

Bullets hit the car and an unoccupied car parked on the street, Kane said.
Police recovered numerous shell casings from the street.

No one was injured in the incident, which began about 2 p.m. The officers
did not fire their weapons. Kane said no weapons or drugs were recovered
from inside the house.

The excitement drew a crowd, and police detoured traffic.

Scott Tomter, who owns Badger Properties, 1824 W. State St., and rents to
Marquette students, said he tells the students to avoid renting on 19th St.
or even walking down that block.

"Maybe this will wake somebody up, and they'll clean up this neighborhood.
It's ridiculous. It's a college neighborhood and they allow this to go on,"
he said.

Tomter stood on the street with a friend, Neal Berliant, and looked past
the yellow police tape.

"They ruined this neighborhood, the drug dealers. They took over," said
Berliant, who for 21 years has owned Badger Beer Distributors, 1812 W.
State St.

Patrick Schill said he has delivered mail in this neighborhood for 17 years.

"It's all crack cocaine, the whole block. If one ain't got it, they go next
door. We've got to get that crap out of here," Schill said.

A 41-year-old man who didn't want to give his name said he has lived in the
area 25 years. He said that the house where the shooting happened is "a
24-hour place," where menacing people congregate outside.

"They wanted to roll me for my money," he said. "You never let them get
close to you."

Twenty Percent Of Adults Drink Heavily, Study Says
('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says Researchers
From University Of Wisconsin's Center For Addiction Research And Education
Discovered Nearly 20 Percent Of Adults Living Within 100 Miles Of Madison -
Including Milwaukee - Are Knocking Back So Many Drinks,
Or Are Binge Drinking, They Are Considered At Risk
For A Host Of Medical Problems)

The findings surprised researchers from the University of Wisconsin's
Center for Addiction Research and Education

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 13:52:10 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US WI: 20% Of Adults Drink Heavily, Study Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Author: Neil D. Rosenberg of the Journal Sentinel
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/


UW researches surprised at high concentration of at-risk drinkers within 100
miles of Madison

Nearly 20% of adults living within 100 miles of Madison -- including
Milwaukee -- are knocking back so many drinks, or are binge drinking, they
are considered "at-risk" for a host of medical problems.

The findings surprised researchers from the University of Wisconsin's
Center for Addiction Research and Education and prompted them to urge
physicians nationwide to take extra steps to ferret out such at-risk
drinkers and work with them to curtail their drinking.

The study was based on surveys voluntarily filled out by more than 19,000
patients of 89 physicians practicing in 22 clinics in the defined area. The
study represents one of the few large-scale efforts to examine the drinking
habits of patients belonging to community-based primary care clinics.

The study, published in this month's American Journal of Public Health,
found that 19.7% of adult patients ages 18 to 60 were "at-risk" drinkers,
according to standards set by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and

For men that meant 14 or more drinks in a week or a history of occasional
binge drinking; for women that meant seven or more drinks a week or a
binge-drinking history. The study defined binge drinking as six or more
drinks at a single sitting.

"I think that is pretty impressive," said Mary Dufour, deputy director of
the institute, about the high number of at-risk drinkers. "We suspected it
was that high, but people hadn't collected the data."

Drinking at that level puts a person at higher risk for a wide variety of
ailments and disorders including cirrhosis of the liver, stroke, high blood
pressure, accidental injuries, domestic violence, sleeping disorders,
depression, chronic headaches and more.

The article points out that men who consume more than two ounces of liquor
a day -- equivalent to approximately two beers or eight ounces of wine --
have 2.2 times the risk of liver cirrhosis than those who drink less. Women
have an even higher risk.

For daily drinkers of both sexes, for approximately every ounce of liquor,
single beer or five ounces of wine consumed, there is a perceptible rise of
roughly 1% to 2% in blood pressure.

Michael F. Fleming, of the UW addiction center and principal investigator
for the study, said that he was not only surprised by the high numbers, but
"that (respondents) were so honest about their drinking habits."

"There is a notion that most people do not want to tell their physician
about how much they drink," he said in an interview. "But most people are
willing to tell their level of use."

Dufour said that although physicians are trained as students to ask
questions about drinking history, as physicians "they are notoriously bad"
in doing so.

"This emphasizes again that alcohol is American's No. 1 drug of abuse and
you have to ask every patient about it," she said.

Fleming said the findings support tighter screening of patients for their
drinking patterns. "You should ask 'how many days do you drink, what is the
average number of drinks per drinking occasion and do you have four or more
at a single time?' " he said. "Quantity, frequency and binge drinking,
that's what you need to know."

If an at-risk drinker is identified, the physician needs to devote at least
some time to a serious discussion of the topic. Previous work by Fleming
and his colleagues has shown that a 15-minute discussion -- a so-called
brief intervention -- could reduce drinking by 30% or more in problem

Advice on how to cut down on drinking, booklets and other related resources
can be used as well, he said.

The article concludes that "since the majority of alcohol-related problems
occur in at-risk non-dependent drinkers, public health policy must shift
toward . . . focusing on the identification of this population."

Students Say Yes To Pot ('Associated Press' Says Use Of Cannabis
And Support For Legalization Grows Among US College Students,
Though No Real Evidence Is Cited)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 13:36:57 EST Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: Phillizy@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Students Say "Yes" To Pot Newshawk Report: Students say "yes" to pot Washington (AP) February 11, 1998 Much like their parents a generation ago, today's college students are just saying yes to marijuana and are increasingly supportive of its legalization. "It's out there, but it isn't a big deal. If you don't smoke, you just disregard it." said Amy Kim, a freshman at the University of Arizona. "I'm not surprised students think it should be legalized because it's the most accessible thing out there next to liquor." The student comments underscore a growing trend among American youth. Call it a shift from reefer madness to reefer gladness, as use of marijuana rises along with support for its legalization, according to recent surveys of student attitudes. The affinity for marijuana flies in the face of growing conservatism in other areas, according to surveys.

FDA Clears New Drug For Migraine (Although US Government
Won't Allow Testing Of One Proven Remedy For Debilitating Headaches,
'Reuters' Says Pharmaceutical Giant Glaxo-Wellcome
Obtained Marketing Clearance From FDA For Amerge -
$1.1 Billion Global Migraine Market Includes More Than 26 Million People
In US And 585 Million People Worldwide - One In 10)

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 13:09:02 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: FDA Clears New Drug For Migraine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998


WASHINGTON - Pharmaceutical giant Glaxo-Wellcome said Wednesday it had won
marketing clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Amerge,
a new, longer-acting migraine medicine.

Amerge, known generically as naratriptan, is one of a newer class of
migraine drugs called triptans that act on a brain chemical known as

Scientists are not sure just how they work, but they can reduce the pain of
migraines and symptoms such as the auras that many sufferers see around

In clinical trials, between 60 and 66 percent of volunteers with moderate
to severe headache said Amerge helped their pain within four hours, and the
pain stayed away for a day in between 72 and 81 percent of the volunteers.

More than 26 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraine. It affects
585 million people worldwide or one in 10 of the world's population.

Besides causing severe headache, migraines can also cause nausea, vomiting, and
sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Attacks can last from four to 72 hours.

Amerge is meant to have longer-lasting effects than Imitrex (sumatriptan),
Glaxo's other triptan.

``While Imitrex offers fast relief and efficacy, there are many migraine
sufferers for whom the long duration of their headaches is of greatest
concern,'' Dr Ninan Mathew of the Houston Headache Clinic in Texas, who
helped in trials of the drug, said in a statement.

``The introduction of Amerge provides another option for these sufferers to
be treated for this debilitating disease. This medication is effective,
long-lasting and well-tolerated in most patients.''

People who have symptoms or signs of ischemic heart disease, including
chest pain or heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure or other vascular
problems, should not take Amerge or any other triptan because it can
constrict the arteries leading from the heart.

It also should not be taken with other migraine medications.

Many companies are racing to get new migraine drugs onto the market.

In December the FDA approved a new nose-spray formulation of Novartis
Pharmaceuticals' Migranal, just after Glaxo won approval for a nose-spray
formulation of Imitrex.

There are also over-the-counter remedies. Last month the FDA said
Bristol-Myers Squibb could package its Excedrin Extra Strength as a
migraine medicine.

Analysts have estimated that Imitrex, sold as Imigran in Europe, holds as
much as 70 percent of the $1.1 billion global migraine market. Naratriptan
is already sold as Naramig in Europe.

Canada To Appeal Stripping Of Snowboarder's Gold Over Drug ('Vancouver Sun'
Says Canadian Olympic Officials Object To 3-2 Vote In Nagano, Japan,
To Deprive Ross Rebagliati Of His Gold Medal Because He Tested Positive
For Cannabis)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada to appeal stripping of snowboarder's gold over drug
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 08:35:05 -0800
Lines: 90
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Sun
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Wed 11 Feb 1998
Section: A1 / Front
Author: Justin Kingsley


The Olympic Committee splits its vote over positive tests for marijuana,
that is not usually considered to enhance performance.

NAGANO, Japan -- Canadian Olympic officials have appealed the decision
to strip Canadian Ross Rebagliati of his gold medal after the Whistler
snowboarder tested positive for marijuana.

The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday night that
Rebagliati, 26, had failed both parts of the drug tests medallists go
through at the Olympic Games.

The vote to disqualify Rebagliati and strip him of his medal was a 3-2
decision by the IOC executive board. There were two abstentions.

But unlike Toronto sprinter Ben Johnson, stripped of his Olympic gold
medal and world record in 1988 in Seoul for using the anabolic steroid
stanozolol, Rebagliati's positive test did not involve what is
generally considered a performance-enhancing substance.

Asked if the IOC considered the Rebagliati case an equal crime to that
of Johnson's, IOC director-general Francois Carrard replied with one
word -- ``No.''

Carrard, who announced the IOC ruling, admitted opinions were ``quite
split'' about whether to apply a sanction.

``There is quite a lot of discussion about marijuana,'' he said. ``In
some situations it could have an enhancing effect. Opinions were quite
split about whether it [the sanction] was appropriate or not.''

``It was not as easy decision to take I can tell you very frankly,''
he added.

Asked what his thoughts were about stripping an athlete of a gold
medal for marijuana, Carrard said: ``I cannot express any personal
opinion on this matter.''

The Canadian Olympic Association, which scheduled a news conference
for midnight EST, says it plans to mount an appeal to an independent
court of arbitration. That body would have to make a ruling within 24
hours of the appeal.

The IOC medical code calls for a punishment ranging from a serious
warning to a sanction, Carrard said.

``The decision was to apply sanction,'' he said.

He said there was no evidence the marijuana use happened in Japan.

Much of the news conference focused on why marijuana use could lead to
such a serious penalty.

``Marijuana is a drug with certain restrictions,'' Carrard said.
``It's not proven it's a performance-enhancing drug. There's a debate
with that drug. And this debate is reflected here.''

The IOC confirmation capped hours of rumours concerning a positive
drug test and it comes just days after Canada celebrated Rebagliati's
win in the giant slalom on Saturday night.

It was the first ever snowboarding medal awarded at the Games and the
sport -- famous for its unique style and zest -- seemed to be an
instant Olympic hit.

But on Tuesday night -- early Wednesday in Nagano, the rumor mill was
running in high gear about a positive drug test.

The Canadian Olympic Association scheduled a news conference and then
cancelled. Attempts to reach officials on their cellular phones
failed. The snowboarders were unreachable.

``All I've heard is like you is the rumours,'' said David Bedford,
assistant press chief for the Canadian Olympic team, prior to the
Pound confirmation.

Rebagliati is a professional snowboarder who was received like a rock
star when he received his gold medal. He dedicated his Olympic win to
a friend who died in an avalanche

The gold medal appeared to be Rebagliati's ticket to fame and fortune.


Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:08:26 EST
Originator: medmj@drcnet.org
Sender: medmj@drcnet.org
From: Lynn {Grr8ful} 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Snowboard Winner Stripped of Gold

You can send him a card from



Golden Snowboarder Stripped Of His Medal ('Toronto Star' Version)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Golden snowboarder stripped of his medal
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 08:33:22 -0800
Lines: 187
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Toronto Star
Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com
Pubdate: February 11, 1998
Author: Doug Smith, Toronto Star Sports Reporter


Canadian hero Rebagliati tests positive for drugs; appeal launched

NAGANO - Canada's golden snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati, has been
stripped of his gold medal after failing a drug test.

Rebagliati, a hero last weekend when he won the first gold medal in
the sport's Olympic history, tested positive for marijuana, the
International Olympic Committee said today.

Canadian Olympic officials said they are appealing the decision.

Rebagliati, 26, says he hasn't smoked marijuana since last April and
claims that he tested positive because of exposure to second-hand
smoke, according to Carol Ann Letheren, chief executive officer of the
Canadian Olympic Association.

``He claims the small amount is due to the significant amount of time
he spends in an environment with marijuana users,'' Letheren said

The IOC's decision was announced by director-general Francois Carrard.

``The athlete is disqualified and excluded with immediate effect for
the presence of marijuana metabolites,'' Carrard said.

The Canadian Olympic Association ``is hereby requested to withdraw the
medal awarded to Rebagliati,'' he added.

``The COA has declared its intention to appeal the decision to the
Court of Arbitration of Sport. The decision of that appeal must be
rendered within 24 hours.''

Both urine samples provided by Rebagliati tested positive for traces
of marijuana. The IOC medical commission, by a 13-12 vote, determined
the test was actually positive.

The committee's executive board, by a 3-2 vote with two abstentions,
then decided to strip Rebagliati of his medal.

``I know there was a very lengthy debate; they were fairly split on
the issue,'' Carrard said.

Italy's Thomas Prugger won the silver medal behind Rebagliati with
Ueli Kestenholz of Switzerland taking bronze and Austrian Dieter
Krassnig finishing fourth. They would move up if the ruling were

The Rebagliati case recalls the controversy that erupted when sprinter
Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic gold medal and world record in
1988 in Seoul for using the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

There is a key difference this time: Rebagliati's positive test did
not involve what is generally considered a performance-enhancing

Asked whether the IOC considered the Rebagliati case an equal crime to
Johnson's, Carrard replied with one word - ``No.''

Japanese police said they would question Rebagliati about marijuana
use following his disqualification from the Winter Olympics.

``We are going to question the athlete about marijuana because
possession of the drug is illegal in Japan,'' said a Nagano police

The COA agrees with the test findings but wants the punishment changed
to a reprimand.

Letheren told a news conference that while the COA does not condone
the use of marijuana, it believes the drug does nothing to make a
snowboarder better.

``There is no question the minute traces present would not have an
effect on the outcome of the competition,'' she said. ``We clearly
believe the appropriate penalty in this instance would be a severe

Rebagliati, a resident of Whistler, B.C., was not at the news
conference. He issued a statement through snowboard team leader
Michael Wood.

``I have been trying for 11 years to become the best snowboarder in
the world,'' the statement said. ``I have worked too hard to let this
slip through my fingers.''


The arbitration board that will hear the appeal is independent of the


Dick Pound, an IOC vice-president from Montreal, said the COA would
appeal the results to the Independent Court of Arbitration. He did not
say on what grounds the appeal will be lodged.

Other COA officials were not immediately available for comment.

The arbitration board that will hear the appeal is independent of the

``They have very ample powers to review this decision,'' Carrard said.

Rebagliati was the toast of the Canadian team last weekend after
winning the first Olympic snowboarding gold medal in history.

He was expected to garner untold riches from his victory and,
ironically, said dope testing made him realize just how big his sport
had grown.

``It was drug testing that really drove home to me the importance of
the Olympics,'' he said. ``I've never been exposed to that kind of
thing before.''

But he sounded nonplussed when asked whether he was worried about
providing urine samples.

``No, no,'' he said. ``Those tests were for steriods and I've never
gone near them.''

Rebagliati has been a member of the national team since 1996 and lists
his occupation as pro snowboarder in the Olympic team guide. His
hobbies: surfing, golfing and mountain biking among others.

``I'm still going to be the same person, maybe I won't have to worry
about getting all the movie channels on my TV now, things like that,''
the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder said. ``But I'm not going to change.

``I'm still the same guy.''

Snowboarding made its Olympic debut at these Games. One of the
fastest-growing winter sports in the world, it enjoys immense
popularity among young adults. Seen as the renegades of the Olympic
movement, the competitors did not fit the mainstream Olympic profile.

``Kids will start growing up with Olympic dreams now,'' Rebagliati
said after his win.

Sylvia Rebagliati, Ross' grandmother, dismissed the controversy.


`He's gone from the height of ecstacy to the depths of turmoil'


``Ridiculous,'' she said from Vancouver. ``I have every confidence in
Ross and nothing will deter me from defending him.

``I don't think he's guilty, but it sounds like they're going to put
that trip on him. I know him too well. He's not the party type. He
doesn't even drink alcohol - except, I guess, for the champagne when
he won.''

Rebagliati had finished eighth in the first of two timed runs down the
40-gate, 936-metre snowboard course, including a 290-metre vertical
drop, that arrows down Mount Yakebitai northeast of Nagano.

But he is known for his strong, let-it-all-out second runs, and he
came through again this time to win gold for Canada.

Peter Judge, coach of the Canadian freestyle ski team, said he felt
bad about the turn of events.

``It's got to be really rough for him,'' Judge said.

``He's gone from the height of ecstasy to the depths of turmoil and
despair. I have to say I'm very impressed with how well he spoke and
handled himself after he won.

``It's a tough thing to see that young man now put on the stretch rack
like that and hung out to dry.''

Bob Clarke, general manager of the Canadian Olympic hockey team, said
the news is disappointing.

With files from Randy Starkman, Alan Adams, Allan Ryan, Norman Da
Costa, Canadian Press and Reuters news agency.

Up In Smoke - Canadian Snowboarder Loses Gold Medal
After Positive Marijuana Test (Updated Version
Of Yesterday's 'Associated Press' Account)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 05:14:26 -0700
To: maptalk@mapinc.org
From: Steve Kubby 
Subject: CNN: Canadian loses gold medal for marijuana test

Up in smoke

Canadian snowboarder loses gold medal after positive marijuana test

CNN Posted: Wed February 11, 1998 at 5:18 AM ET

NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- The first Olympic gold medal in the youngest,
hippest, most rebellious sport in the games -- snowboarding -- was stripped
because of marijuana use.

Ross Rebagliati, 26, of Canada tested positive for the drug after his
winning run in the men's giant slalom Monday, the International Olympic
Committee said.

It was the first positive drug test reported at the Nagano Games, and
officials said they could not recall another Olympic case involving

It also was the first time a gold medalist had been stripped since another
Canadian, Ben Johnson, was disqualified in 1988 as 100-meter champion for
using steroids, IOC officials said.

IOC director general Francois Carrard said Wednesday (Tuesday night ET)
that Rebagliati had been asked to return his gold medal. The Canadian
Olympic Association said it would appeal the case.

The Canadian association's chief, Carol Anne Letheren, said Rebagliati told
officials he had not used marijuana since April 1997, and that the positive
test was due to "the significant amount of time that Ross spends in an
environment where he is exposed to marijuana." She called for a severe
reprimand rather than suspension.

"There's always great sadness and great embarrassment," Letheren said.
"This will undoubtedly be tough for the sport."

Rebagliati, in a statement read at a news conference, said he had worked
"for 11 years to be the best snowboarder in the world. ... I've worked too
hard to let this slip through my fingers."

Carrard said the first part of the two-part drug test found traces of
metabolized marijuana in Rebagliati's urine. The second part of the test
turned up more signs of marijuana use, 17.8 nanograms per milliliter,
Carrard said. That meant Rebagliati, a British Columbian whose triumph was
celebrated throughout Canada, was out in the narrowest of votes.

"It is always sad to be facing such a situation," Carrard said. "It was not
an easy decision to take."

He refused to go into detail about the decision-making process, citing
Canada's appeal. But he did say the IOC board vote was 3-2, with two
members abstaining. The medical commission vote was 13-12 in favor of
recommending action to the IOC governing body.

The IOC also could have reprimanded Rebagliati but allowed him to keep his

"Opinions were quite split," Carrard said. "It was an unusually close

International ski federation rules allow 15 nanograms per milliliter; the
IOC allows none. The fact that Rebagliati's levels tested above 15 "did
have a certain influence on the debate," Carrard said.

The Committee for the Arbitration of Sport will now review the case and
must rule within 24 hours. It has overturned drug cases before.

Carrard said he had no indication that Rebagliati used the drug in Japan.
"There is no evidence at all that marijuana was consumed here," he said.

But Kyodo News reported that police from Nagano prefecture, or province,
will ask the IOC to submit results of Rebagliati's test on suspicion he
violated Japan's drug laws. Under the law, a marijuana possession
conviction carries up to 7 years in prison.

Marijuana long has been on the IOC list of banned drugs, but Carrard said
he had no memory of the drug ever appearing before at the Olympics. "There
are no cases which are similar," Carrard said.

Carrard said emphatically that the Johnson and Rebagliati cases were not

"Canada can say that there goes a gold medal, but you can't compare the two
cases," Carrard said.

Rebagliati, who dedicated his Olympic win to a friend who died in an
avalanche, said at his post-victory news conference that he first realized
his Generation-X sport had reached Olympic status when drug testers started
to appear at meets.

But though snowboarders acknowledge their sport's freewheeling reputation,
they say illegal drug use is hardly the rule.

"I wouldn't say that every other snowboarder is out there puffing a joint,"
said Michael Wood, the Canadian snowboarding team's leader. "I don't think
it's more prevalent in snowboarding than it is in any other sport."

Other substances banned by the IOC include alcohol, caffeine, local
anesthetics and performance-enhancing steroids. Though marijuana is not
traditionally considered performance-enhancing, Carrard said he had been
"told that in some situations, it could be."

In another drug case, U.S. bobsledder Michael Dionne was removed from the
Olympic team after his drug suspension was upheld, but he was urged to stay
in Nagano because he was guilty only of "carelessness." Dionne said he took
the banned stimulant ephedrine accidentally in cold medicine.

Snowboard Winner Stripped Of Gold (New 'Associated Press'
Article In 'Los Angeles Times' Is Of The Opinion
That The 'Rebagliati Revelation Threatens To Undermine Snowboarding')

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 13:14:39 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: LATimes: Snowboard Winner Stripped of Gold
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Pubdate: February 11, 1998
Author: Ted Anthony, Associated Press Writer


NAGANO, Japan--Dealing a body blow to the Olympics' newest and most
rebellious sport, the governing board of the Winter Games stripped a
Canadian snowboarding champion of his 3-day-old gold medal today after
drug tests turned up trace amounts of marijuana in his system. Canada's
Olympic association immediately appealed the International Olympic
Committee's decision, blaming secondhand smoke and saying snowboarder Ross
Rebagliati pledged he hadn't used marijuana since April 1997.

Rebagliati, 26, who won the first-ever Olympic gold medal for snowboarding
in the men's giant slalom Sunday, became the first athlete to test positive
for drugs at the Nagano Games. Officials said they could not recall another
Olympic case involving marijuana. In a statement read by a teammate at a
news conference this afternoon, he maintained his innocence. "I've been
training for 11 years to be the best snowboarder in the world," he said.
"I've worked too hard to let this slip through my fingers."

The Rebagliati revelation threatens to undermine snowboarding just as its
Olympic medal debut and Visa's recent sponsorship lend the Gen-X sport
legitimacy beyond the world of Mountain Dew commercials, ESPN/2 features
and "dude"-laden speech, where it has existed for the past decade.

"This will undoubtedly be tough for the sport," said Carol Anne Letheren,
the Canadian association's chief. "There's always great sadness and

Only four positive drug tests have ever been recorded at the Winter
Olympics -two at Innsbruck in 1976, one in Sarajevo in 1984 and one in
Calgary in 1988. For Canada, this is also sadly reminiscent of Seoul in
Summer 1988, when Toronto sprinter Ben Johnson lost his gold medal and
world record for using the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

IOC officials said no gold medalist since Johnson has been disqualified for
drug use. And no gold medalist was ever disqualified for drugs before 1988,
when several weightlifting champions were banned for steroid use just days
before Johnson's disqualification.

Letheren said Rebagliati told officials the positive test was due to "the
significant amount of time that Ross spends in an environment where he is
exposed to marijuana." She said a severe reprimand would have been more
appropriate than taking back his medal.

IOC Director General Francois Carrard said the first part of the two-part
drug test found traces of metabolized marijuana in Rebagliati's urine. The
second part turned up more signs of marijuana use -17.8 nanograms per
milliliter, Carrard said. That meant Rebagliati, a British Columbian whose
triumph was celebrated throughout Canada, was out in the narrowest of

"It is always sad to be facing such a situation," Carrard said. "It was not
an easy decision to take."

He refused to go into detail about the decision-making process, citing
Canada's appeal. But he did say the IOC board vote was 3/2, with two
members abstaining. The medical commission vote was 13 -12 in favor of
recommending action to the IOC governing body. The IOC also could have
reprimanded Rebagliati but allowed him to keep his medal.

"It was an unusually close decision," Carrard said. International ski
federation rules allow 15 nanograms per milliliter; the IOC allows none.
The fact that Rebagliati's levels tested above 15 "did have a certain
influence on the debate," Carrard said. The Committee for the Arbitration
of Sport, which must rule within 24 hours, has overturned drug cases

Rebagliati declined comment tonight as he arrived at the Nagano hotel where
the committee was meeting.

Carrard said he had no indication Rebagliati used the drug in Japan. But
Kyodo News reported that police from Nagano prefecture, or province, will
ask the IOC for Rebagliati's test results. A marijuana possession
conviction in Japan carries up to seven years in prison.

Rebagliati, who dedicated his Olympic medal to a friend killed in an
avalanche, said after winning the gold that he realized his sport had
reached Olympic status when drug testers began appearing at meets. He said
performance-enhancing drugs "were not part of our sport." But though
snowboarders acknowledge their sport's freewheeling reputation, they say
illegal drug use is hardly the rule.

"I wouldn't say that every other snowboarder is out there puffing a joint,"
said Michael Wood, the Canadian snowboarding team's leader. "I don't think
it's more prevalent in snowboarding than it is in any other sport."

And Rob Roy, a coach for the U.S. snowboarding team, said the sport was
"striving for legitimacy" and could be hurt by what happened today. "I
think the public sort of looks at this and thinks, `Ah -snowboarders are
all wild and crazy," he said. "That's not good."

Marijuana has long been on the IOC list of banned drugs, but Carrard said
he had no memory of the drug ever appearing before at the Olympics. "There
are no cases which are similar," Carrard said.

Other substances banned by the IOC include alcohol, caffeine, local
anesthetics and performance-enhancing steroids. Though marijuana is not
traditionally considered performance-enhancing, Carrard said he had been
"told that in some situations, it could be."

In another drug case, U.S. bobsledder Michael Dionne was pulled from the
Olympic team after his drug suspension was upheld but was urged to stay in
Nagano because he was guilty only of "carelessness." Dionne said he took
the banned stimulant ephedrine accidentally in cold medicine.

Snowboarder Loses Medal After Drug Test ('USA Today' Version -
Plus URLs For Online Public Opinion Polls)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 22:19:55 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: USA TODAY: Snowboarder Loses Medal After Drug Test
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Author: Tom Weir, USA TODAY
Contact: editor@usatoday.com


Editor's note: We have already posted versions of this story from other
newspapers, and here is the same story as published by the largest
circulation newspaper in the United States. Is there a daily newspaper out
there that has not covered this story? Thank you to the newshawks that
posted wire service versions, but we are going to skip them this time.
Already there is an indication that folks are responding with letters to
the editor as indicated on our MAPTALK discussion list. For a couple more
versions of the story check out the following sites which are also asking
folks to vote on what should be done.

Thanks to Chris Clay for these URLs:





NAGANO - Snowboarding was supposed to bring Generation X into the Winter
Olympics, but instead it quickly has joined the long list of sports with
drug violations.

After testing positive for marijuana, Canada's Ross Rebagliati apparently
will have to give back the first gold medal awarded in snowboarding. He won
the giant slalom Sunday on the Mount Yakebital course.

IOC Director General Francois Carrad announced the failed test Wednesday
(Tuesday night ET) and also that the Canadian delegation had filed an
immediate appeal. The appeal will be ruled on within 24 hours, Carrard said.

"It is always sad to be facing such a situation," Carrard said. "It was not
an easy decision to take."

Carrard said a second urine test taken from Rebagliati showed more signs of
marijuana use, 17.8 nanograms per milliliter.

Carrard wouldn't reveal details of the decision to disqualify Rebagliati,
but he did say the IOC board vote was 3-2, with two members abstaining.

The failed test adds a chapter to Canada's history of drug-related
embarrassment at the Games. Probably the most infamous drug violation
involved a Canadian, when sprinter Ben Johnson lost the 100-meter gold he
won in track in world-record time at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.

Unlike anabolic steroids and most other substances on the International
Olympic Committee's banned list, marijuana is not a performance-enhancing
drug. The test for marijuana is considered relatively simple. Unlike some
other drugs, evidence of marijuana use stays in the system for weeks or
even months.

All medalists are tested immediately after competition. A first urine
sample is tested, and if there is a positive result a second sample that
was sealed at the same time as the first is opened and tested.

Snowboarding had received an immediate and enthusiastic reception in
Nagano. A crowd estimated at 10,000 had stood three-deep along both sides
of the lower portion of the giant slalom course.

After his gold-medal performance, the 26-year-old Rebagliati of Vancouver
naturally was ecstatic.

"It was electric," Rebagliati said after has victory. "The vibes going
through all the people were pretty wild. The amount of support was
overwhelming. The amount of media attention was unbelievable. The spirit of
the Olympics certainly shined here today."

Snowboarder Loses His Gold To Pot ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 20:49:46 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: SFChron: Snowboarder Loses His Gold To Pot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998



The first Olympic gold medal winner in the youngest, hippest sport in the
games -- snowboarding -- was stripped of his prize today because of
marijuana use.

Ross Rebagliati of Canada tested positive for the drug after his winning
run in the men's giant slalom Monday, the International Olympic Committee

It was the first positive drug test rported at the Nagano Games, and
officials said they could not recall another Olympic case involving

IOC Director General Francois Carrard said today that Rebagliati had been
asked to return his gold medal. The Canadian Olympic Association said it
would appeal the case.

Carrard said the IOC has not yet decided how to reallocate the snowboarding
medals if the takeback holds up through appeal. At the competition Sunday,
Italy's Thomas Prugger placed second, Ueli Kestenholz of Switzerland was
third and Diter Krassnig of Austria fourth.

Carrard said the first part of the two-part drug test found traces of
metabolized marijuana in Rebagliati's urine. The second part of the test
turned up more signs of marijuana use, 17.8 nanograms per milliliter,
Carrard said.

The IOC has no specific threshold for marijuana use, although it is a
banned substance. It is not listed as a performance-enhancing substance,
however. International federation rules allow 15 nanograms per milliliter,
the IOC allows none. The fact that Rebagliati's levels tested above 15 "did
have a certain influence on the debate," Carrard said.

"It is always sad to be facing such a situation," Carrard said. "It was not
an easy decision to take."

He refused to go into detail about the decision-making process because of
Canada's appeal. But he did say the IOC board vote was 3 to 2, with two
members abstaining. The medical commission vote was 13 to 12 in favor of
recommending action to the IOC governing body.

The IOC also could have reprimanded Rebagliati but allowed him to keep his

Carrard said he had no indication either that Rebagliati used the drug in
Japan or that Japanese authorities were investigating.

The Committee for the Arbitration of Sport will now review the case and
must rule within 24 hours. It has overturned drug cases before.

Rebagliati said at his post-victory news conference that he first realized
his sport had reached Olympic status when drug testers started to appear at

Olympics (Commentary From List Subscribers On New Prohibition
Against Pot Smokers Winning Olympic Gold Medals)

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 22:59:36 EST
Reply-To: adamsr@dmci.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Rick Adams 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Olympics

According to the news, the Canadian who took the Gold Medal for snow
boarding just tested positive for marijuana and may lose his medal.

An immediate response to the letters column pointing out that at least
SOME of the athletes come from nations where private consumption of
marijuana is NOT illegal, and thus have the same right to use the substance
that the other athletes have to drink alcohol (which is NOT tested for)
might be a positive step for us.

Between the concept of basketball players who smoke pot and now an olympic
athlete who does so--and was still able to win an olympic gold--can't help
but to help us dispell the false image pot has in our society, but we need
to get to the letters columns BEFORE the drug warriors begin posting their
"keep the druggies out of competition with decent people" rhetoric.

It's too bad it wasn't a Netherlands citizen--I would LOVE to see the
result of those hearings--given that personal possession is legal in
Holland, a very good case could be made that if pot is banned for olympic
athletes, alcohol and nicotine should be as well.



Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 06:28:05 -0700
From: Steve Kubby (kubby@alpworld.com)
Subject: Alpine World Refused to Cover Olympics

Wed. Feb 11, 1998


Olympic Disgrace!

Alpine World Refused to Cover Olympics
Until Rebagliati is awarded Gold Medal

Suppose the Olympics were held in Nazi Germany and much to the horror of
the Nazi Officials, they discovered their national winner of a gold medal
was secretly a Jew. Suppose the Nazi government deprived the winner of his
medal because of his chosen religion. Suppose the persecution was against
a Jew!! How would the world react?

Well, it has happened. A charming Canadian by the name of Ross Rebagliati
won the first Olympic Gold for snowboarding. Now Olympic officials have
taken his well-earned gold medal because Ross tested positive for pot.

Is there any claim that using marijuana constitutes cheating? Has anyone
said marijuana makes a snowboarder better and gives him an unfair
advantage? Or, is it just religious persecution because he prefers to
enjoy hemp, rather than caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or some other "moral"
drug when he wants to relax? The Olympics is about sports, not

Until Ross Rebagliati is given back his gold medal, Alpine World will
refuse to cover any Olympic events


A l p i n e W o r l d O n l i n e

Highly Rated by NEWSWEEK and WEBSIGHT magazines.
Awarded TOP 5% by Point and WebScout Way-cool site

P.O. Box 2025, Olympic Valley, CA 96146
E-mail: kubby@alpworld.com
URL: http://www.alpworld.com

Waiting For A Decision - CBC - The National Transcripts On Ross Rebagliati
(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Television Newscast From Winter Olympics
In Nagano, Japan, Notes Snowboarder's Gold Medal
Has Been Lost Due To Positive Urine Test For Marijuana)

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 14:34:23 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: CBC The National transcripts on Ross Rebagliati
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake
Source: CBC-TV, The National Website:
Note: Transcripts from the 11th, 12th and 17th of February are below.

Title: Headlines.
Date: 980211


PETER MANSBRIDGE: Tonight: waiting for a decision.

UNIDENTIFIED: How are you doing Ross?

MANSBRIDGE: Ross Rebagliati fights to keep Olympic gold. The frustration at

UNIDENTIFIED: Canada loses its medal. This puts a dark light on snowboarding.

MANSBRIDGE: How Whistler BC is reacting. The inside dope.

UNIDENTIFIED: If you weren't warned about this and you go to a party and
somebody's smoking, you could test positive.

MANSBRIDGE: The straight facts about marijuana.

HANA GARTNER: And on the Magazine: Board Games; it's the wild child of

UNIDENTIFIED: Just going to cut down through these trees here. Try and keep
up your speed.

GARTNER: Thrills, chills and plenty of skills. And now, an Olympic scandal.

ANNOUNCER: The National, with Hana Gartner and Peter Mansbridge.

Marijuana Legalization Bill Dies In Legislature - Lack Of Support -
Senate Bill 6271 Is Allowed To Expire In Committee - Plus Sidebar -
Medical Pot Backers Wrangle Over New Plans ('The Olympian'
Gives An Update On Developments In Washington State)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 15:33:30 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Randy Chase 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: mmj, now!:Washington State News

The Olympian
February 11, 1998
page A10
Note: The Olympian is the daily newspaper in the capital of
Washington state

'Marijuana legalization bill dies in Legislature'
*Lack of support: Senate Bill 6271 is allowed to expire in committee

By D. Eric Jones
The Olympian

A push to legalize marijuana for limited use has died in the
Legislature, and a leading proponent is unsure when of if she'll pick up
the fight again.

Advocates of medical use of marijuana are working on two possible
initiatives that could go before voters in the fall.

But sounding weary Tuesday, Sen Jeanne Kohl, D-Seattle. said she
won't decide whether to support those efforts until after the session,
expected to end March 12.

Kohl's proposal, Senate Bill 6271, was harshly criticized by
everyone from the Lt. Gov. to law enforcement.

Adding to the strain, a close friend of Kohl's diagnosed with
uterine cancer in 1995 died in Bainbridge Island last week. "She died
essentially a criminal, Sen Kohl said.

That's because her friend occasionally smoked marijuana to offset
the effects of her chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Kohl said.

But Kohl's cause went nowhere with other lawmakers.

Sen Alex Deccio, R-Yakima, himself a champion of reformed
marijuana laws, let the bill expire Friday in a Senate committee, saying
it lacked legislative support.

However, Rob Killian, a Tacoma physician who headed last year's
failed Initiative 685 campaign, said he will file an initiative next week
that could provide marijuana to patients in extreme circumstances, but
would address many of the concerns of I-685's opponents.

"It will narrowly define who is eligible for the treatmentS based
on what is scientifically proven, Killian said. It would also mandate
government supervision and regulation of marijuana distribution, he said.

One other initiative is being drafted.

Yelm Police Chief Glenn Dunnam, who testified against Kohl's bill,
said he is pleased with Killian's willingness to address law enforcement

However, because marijuana is federally classified as a Schedule 1
controlled substance, Dunnam said, police and prosecutors might still not
endorse Killian's proposal for fear of being caught in legal limbo,
fearing conflict with federal law enforcement agencies.

Side-bar story same page:

Medical pot backers wrangle over new plans

by D. Eric Jones

With a proposal to allow the medical use of marijuana stalled in
the state Legislature, proponents are shifting their attack to a public
campaign and the November ballot.

However, even some supporters don't see eye to eye.

Joanna McKee, director of the Seattle-based Green Cross marijuana
distribution network, filed a one-page initiative proposal with the
Secretary of State's Office last week, which she called a "work in

McKee's proposal would give legal immunity for patients using
marijuana for cronic pain or terminal ailments as well as doctors who
advise its use.
However, McKee's proposal has drawn criticism from even medical marijuana

Tacoma physician Rob Killian said McKee's draft initiative
language is too broad and won't pass in November.

"It opens it up for everyone to grow and sell and distribute
marijuana," said Killian, who is planning his own initiative.

Yelm Police Chief Glenn Dunnam was more critical, calling it
"about as radical as you can get."

McKee, however, said she wasn't giving up on her proposal. She
simply hoped to the (sic) get revisions back from the Secretary of State's

Proponents of either measure would need 179,248 valid voter
signatures by July 2 to qualify for the November 3 ballot.

Alerts - Growing Industrial Hemp ('San Francisco Bay Guardian' Publicizes
California Industrial Hemp Act Of 1998 Ballot Initiative
Sponsored By Californians For Industrial Renewal, CAIR)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 20:14:19 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: Alerts: Growing Industrial Hemp
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian
Author: Mandy Weltman
Website: http://www.sfbg.com
Contact: letters@sfbg.com.


Californians for Industrial Renewal (CAIR) is now circulating petitions to
get the Industrial Hemp Act of 1998 on the November ballot. The act would
allow the state's farmers to grow industrial-grade hemp with a THC content
of less than one percent. If you are interested in circulating petitions,
pick them up at Frankel Bros. Hemp Outfitters, 3817 24th St., S.F. (415)

Mail Alerts to the Bay Guardian, 520 Hampshire, S.F., CA 94110; fax to (415)
255-8762; or E-mail mandy@sfbg.com. Please include a contact telephone
number. Items must be received at least one week prior to publication date.
Call (415) 255-3100, ext. 552, for more information.

Overdose Victim - Shared Responsibility In Latest Tragedy
('Dallas Morning News' Staff Editorial Endorses Prosecution
Of Those With 17-Year-Old In Plano, Texas,
On Evening Of Heroin-Related Death)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 09:09:29 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: EDITORIAL: Overdose Victim



I'm having a real difficult time believing that the editorial staff
of the Dallas Morning News used the following line:

"Pursuit of those who were with Natacha when she took a fatal dose might
provide the warning that ultimately will save lives."

What a bunch of crap. This type of pursuit will ensure that more dead
overdose victims will be found dumped in church parking lots (that is
where one of the early Plano OD victims was found). Natacha's parents
also feel this way and want police to file charges on anyone who was
with Natacha that fatal night.

Also, heroin did not vanish during the 70's. It was readily available.


Dallas Morning News
February 11, 1998
discussion forum: http://forums.dallasnews.com/dallas
Link to earlier story
Overdose Victim - Shared responsibility in latest tragedy Life quietly came to an end Monday for 17-year-old Natacha Marie Campbell. After waiting two days to see some ray of hope that the Plano teenager might survive an overdose of cocaine and heroin, family members agreed to take her off life support. At least a dozen young people from the Plano area have died from heroin-related overdoses since 1996. Natacha even attended the funerals of two of the victims, a family spokeswoman said. The mounting number of youthful drug overdoses has sent residents in search of answers. A crackdown on drug dealers and an increase in awareness programs have been the most immediate responses. But relatives of Natacha Campbell also want Richardson police to press charges against those who were with Natacha when she overdosed. The request may be an emotional one, based on the failure of the people to call help in time to save the teenager. Yet there are shared responsibilities in tragedies such as this that should not be ignored. Texas has a wide variety of laws, ranging from negligent homicide to reckless endangerment, that address the criminal issue of death caused by irresponsible actions. By now, the risk of taking heroin should be apparent to young people. If teenagers are going to share drugs, they should be prepared to face the shared responsibility if death or permanent damage follows. That may appear harsh. But society is in a war. This isn't a rebellious phase of life that will fade with time. Texas teens are becoming hooked on a drug that almost vanished in the 1970s because of its devastating effects. Along with tough prosecution of dealers and better education of students, there should be a strong warning message about the consequences for those who participate. Pursuit of those who were with Natacha when she took a fatal dose might provide the warning that ultimately will save lives.

Sacred Herb's Business Licence Threatened (Police In Victoria,
British Columbia, Direct City To Hold Business Licence Of Hemp Shop
After Proprietor Ian Hunter Becomes First Person In Canada
Convicted Of Marijuana Seed Trafficking)

Subject: Sacred Herb's business licence threatened
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 23:43:11 -0800 (PST)
From: "Ian Hunter" (ifhunter@islandnet.com)

Victoria B.C. Canada: The Victoria City Police, most likely under pressure
from American drug enforcement officials, have directed the city to hold
Sacred Herb-The Hemp Shop's business licence because Ian Hunter, the
Proprietor of the Sacred Herb, was found guilty of "marijuana seed

Hunter is the first person in Canada ever convicted of that "crime" (it is
under appeal). The Sacred Herb hasn't been denied its business licence
yet as the recommendation has to go to the Mayor and Council sitting as
Committee as a Whole for a hearing. This week's meeting was to have the
licence pulling on the agenda (without Hunter knowing a bout it), but the
item was pulled at some point after Hunter found out Tuesday. "The Sacred
Herb is the bench mark for freedom and liberty in Victoria," says
Proprietor Ian Hunter. "We have worked hard at decriminalising Victoria
and, now that we are close, U.S. based prohibition industry forces are
trying to shut us down." The police action follows closely after Hemp B.C.
Proprietor Marc Emery was denied a business licence, forcing him to sell
his store and cafe on February 9 as well as lay off up to 30 employees.
Parallel to that, the pulling of the Olympic Gold Medal from Ross
Regagliati, has a lot of people talking about this issue. Next week
Hunter will be presenting a proposed Provincial Industrial Hemp Strategy
at the 2nd Annual Hemp Symposium (held in Vancouver February 18 and 19) on
behalf of the B.C. Hemp Council, of which he is head. "I don't think
this controversy over my licence could come at a better time to raise the
debate over a Made-In-Victoria approach to the hemp, drug and harm
reduction issue" he says. Hunter's Green Zone plan for such an
ecological decriminalisation for downtown Victoria has been backed by the
Victoria Downtown Nieghborhood Association, which Ian Hunter is on the
board of. Hunter is also on the board of the Victoria Arts Council and
the City's Crunch Committee working at implementing harm reduction in the
region. In response to this challenge Hunter is starting a
petition and letter writing campaign to save the Sacred Herb and further
Victoria towards an end to prohibition. "I think it's hard to have a
revolution without oppression," says Hunter. "Victoria is a very free and
tolerant city so it is hard to feel oppressed. But this trend towards
yanking business licences looks like another wave of American drug war
oppression is going to hit, and if we don't save the Sacred Herb, we can
expect to see a lot more uniformed home invasions and black helicopters.
If we do get the city counsellors to come on the side of the citizens then
we can be proud of a tolerant city and expect more freedom, more tourists
and more jobs," says Hunter.


Lords Cannabis Inquiry (Britain's 'Independent' Says House Of Lords
Will Launch Major Investigation Into Medical, Recreational Use Of Cannabis,
With Report Expected By End Of Year - Newspaper Calls It 'Biggest Step Yet
In The Drive To Relax The Laws On The Drug's Use')

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 21:59:21 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Lords cannabis inquiry
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: The Independent (UK)
Author: Anthony Bevins
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk


A high-powered investigation into the medical and recreational use of
cannabis is to be launched by the House of Lords, with a report expected by
the end of the year.

The breakthrough Westminster inquiry comes five months after the
Independent on Sunday launched its decriminalise cannabis campaign. It
marks the biggest step yet in the drive to relax the laws on the drug's
use. To date, the Government has refused to allow a debate on the matter in
the Commons, despite calls from backbench Labour MPs.

One factor in the Lords' decision was a report in November from the British
Medical Association, urging Ministers to consider "changing the Misuse of
Drugs Act to allow the prescription of cannabinoids [active chemical
compounds in cannabis]to patients with certain conditions causing distress
that are not adequately controlled by existing treatments."

The BMA plea came after the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, called for a
debate on the issue, saying: "It is a subject that deserves, in my
judgement, detached, objective, independent consideration."

Lord Bingham's urging will be met by the Lords Select Committee
investigation, to be chaired by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Perry of Walton,
a former Professor of Pharmacology. The all-party investigation's terms of
reference are thought to cover "the scientific case for and against relaxing
the prohibition on the medical and recreational use of cannabis".

The inquiry is expected to start holding public hearings, with evidence
from expert witnesses, after Easter, with a report that could be delivered
in the Autumn.

Lords Defy Straw Over Cannabis (Britain's 'Guardian' Says Inquiry On Cannabis
By House Of Lords Will Accept Evidence From March Until July
And Publish Report In October - Home Secretary Jack Straw's Opposition
To Inquiry Shows Willingness Of Lords To Examine Issues
Considered Too Politically Sensitive By Commons)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 14:11:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Lords Defy Straw Over Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: Guardian (UK)
Author: Lucy Ward, Political Correspondent
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk


The House of Lords is to launch an inquiry into the case for
decriminalising cannabis, reigniting debate on the issue in the face of
pledges by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to retain the ban.

In a move underlining the continuing capacity of peers to embarrass the
Government, the respected Lords science and technology select committee
unveiled plans to examine the case for continuing to outlaw cannabis for
medical and recreational use.

Peers will take evidence from March until July and publish a report on
their findings in October. Lord Perry of Walton, chairman of the
sub-committee holding the inquiry, last night said he and fellow members
had an open mind on the issue. The committee would call for factual
scientific evidence and reject 'sociological prejudice'.

The decision to hold the inquiry, emerging the day after peers inflicted a
defeat on the Government over newspaper price wars, underlines the
willingness of the Lords to examine issues considered too politically
sensitive to be handled in the Commons. Committees of peers are seen to
have greater freedom to confront controversial topics with less pressure to
avoid embarrassing the Government than their colleagues in the Commons.

Peers were influenced by a combination of increasing public debate on the
matter and by the findings of a report by the British Medical Association
which last autumn recommended the legalisation of cannabis-based drugs for
medicinal use.

The timing of the inquiry is particularly awkward for the Government as it
comes less than two months after Mr Straw's son William was accused in a
tabloid newspaper of selling cannabis to two undercover reporters. Mr Straw
stood by his son over the claims, but reiterated his firm belief that the
drug should remain illegal.

Pressure for a liberalisation of the law has been gathering momentum.
Labour campaigners led by the MP for Newport West, Paul Flynn, have called
for the setting up of a royal commission to look into the question.

Last week, national figures published by the Home Office suggested police
in England and Wales are increasingly cautioning rather than prosecuting
those arrested for possessing cannabis.

Mr Flynn last night claimed the Lords inquiry reflected a shift in public
opinion in favour of decriminalisation. He said: "The Lords will examine
this issue objectively and with scientific expertise. They will hear
evidence sensibly, free from the prejudice and ignorance that informs the
national debate."

The decision to examine the case for decriminalising cannabis was taken by
the full science and technology select committee, which has the power to
decide its own areas of inquiry.

Lord Perry, a former professor of pharmacology and a fellow of the Open
University, last night said the committee would seek to examine only the
scientific arguments.

"Of course it is going to be tricky, but when you are talking about
scientific evidence you are talking about real evidence, not sociological

"I don't think there is any preconceived notion that we will come out one
way or the other. This was simply a thing that was thought to be worthy of
scientific study."

The Government has no obligation to take note of reports published by House
of Lords select committees, but in practice it will have to acknowledge the
findings of an independent and respected group of peers.

A Home Office spokesman last night reinforced Mr Straw's tough line.

"It has been the Government's repeated stance that they have no intention
of changing the law on cannabis, which is in line with the United Nations
convention on drug control. While the Government is always interested in
informal debate on these sort of subjects, it has made clear its position."

Crackdown Fails To Curb Morocco's Drugs Trade - Many Depend On Hashish
For A Living (Britain's 'Guardian' Says Moroccan Authorities, Under Pressure
From Europe, Where Three-Quarters Of Crop Ends Up - Started Crackdown
On Hashish Market Six Years Ago, When 10,000 Troops Were Stationed
On Northern Coast To Patrol Trafficking Routes - But Results Mixed
And Government's Grip On Rebellious Berbers Is Slipping Even While
There's 'A New Generation Making Themselves Rich')

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 14:11:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Crackdown Fails To Curb Morocco's Drugs Trade
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 1998
Source: The Guardian, UK
Author: David Sharrock
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk


Many depend on hashish for a living.

Ask any teenage northern Moroccan male what his future will be and he will
tell you he has three options: to escape across the sea to Europe; become a
contraband dealer; or get into the hashish trade and end up either rich or
in prison.

Mohamed, who has tried all three, is the perfect guide to Morocco's "green
gold" hashish economy.

We drive north out of Tangier along the coast before turning inland into
the foothills of the Rif mountains. At Oued Alian 50 fishermen are crowded
around a small catch. "This is one of the most important places for sending
the hashish across Spain," says Mohamed, gesturing towards the windsurfers'
paradise-town of Tarifa across the straits.

"It's like a river - very easy to cross. Of course, it's easy to get caught
too, if you don't pay the baksheesh or if the government's wanting to clean
up. Most of the big dealers are in prison now but there's a new generation
making themselves rich."

Under pressure from the European Union, in particular Spain, the Moroccan
authorities have cracked down on the 'kif' (hashish) market, but with mixed
results. The offensive began six years ago, when 10,000 troops were
stationed on the northern coast to patrol trafficking routes.

Tangier became the focus of police work and a number of drug barons were
jailed. The people of Tangier say the crackdown was too harsh.

"They have squeezed the life out of Tangier, there's no trickle-down effect
any more from the hashish trade and every sector has suffered," laments one
ex-pat. Cynics note that not all the Mister Bigs were rounded up; some
suggest that politicians' names were linked to the investigations.

The authorities admit that about 173,000 acres of land in the Rif region
are under cannabis cultivation; unofficial statistics put the figure even

"Five years ago you had to drive right into the Rif to see the
plantations," says Mohamed. "Now it's coming closer to Tangier all the
time. It was within 40km [25 miles] last year."

The October harvest was a bumper crop, yielding about 30 tonnes of
cannabis. It is a tricky problem to solve, because the government's grip on
the rebellious Berber people of the north has never been absolute.

Attempts to produce alternative cash crops have produced few results.
Cannabis fetches 10 times the price of wheat. "Without kif we would
starve," says Mohamed.

Production is therefore quietly tolerated while the authorities go after
the dealers. Three-quarters of the cannabis grown in the Rif is destined
for Europe. The Moroccans claim to have broken about 30 drugs networks in
1996-97, arresting 34 Britons, 126 Spaniards, 59 French and 25 Dutch. Those
captured were mostly couriers rather than the drug chiefs.

In a sinister development last year, six tonnes of cocaine washed up on
Morocco's shores. A Spanish-registered vessel sailing out of Southampton
had dumped its cargo after engine failure forced the Colombian crew to
shelter in Moroccan waters.

The Moroccans used the incident to support their contention that the drugs
trade is international and that Europe should not blame Morocco for all its
drug problems. "We are left to police Europe's southern shores alone," a
government official said. "European aid to combat drugs in north Morocco is
feeble, if not non-existent."

DrugSense Weekly, Number 33 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists -
Includes Original Commentary And Articles, 'Hepatitis C - HCV -
And Harm Reduction,' Part One, And, DrugSense To Sponsor E-Mail Forum
For Students)

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 07:51:58 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly February 11, 1998 No. 33,



DrugSense Weekly February 11, 1998 No. 33
A DrugSense publication



Feature Article - The Hepatitis C Epidemic-Implications
for Drug Policy by Tom O'Connell & Joey Tranchina


Weekly News In Review

Domestic News -

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana: Doing the Science


The Drug War-

Drug Seizure Drop Worries U.S. Customs

Just Say No to Prison Drug Testing



UK: Deaths from Heroin Overdose are Preventable



Fetal 'Crack' Exposure: Effects Questioned


International News-

Mexico: CIA Links Mexico's Interior Minister To Drug Lords

Mexico: US, Mexico Reach Agreement On Drug Fight (in two papers)

UK: The Drugs World War #2- What went wrong?

UK: OPED: The Drugs World War #3- What Do We Do Now?


Hot Off The 'Net

DrugSense to Sponsor e-mail Forum for Students


DrugSense Tip Of The Week

Subscribing and Unsubscribing from various lists and services



The Hepatitis C Epidemic- Implications for Drug Policy: Part I
By: Tom O'Connell, M.D. and Joey Tranchina, M.A.

Hepatitis, literally "inflammation of the liver," is a term now reserved
for viral infections as opposed to inflammation caused by other agents,
such as bacteria, parasites, or chemicals. As with any illness, knowledge
of hepatitis has accumulated incrementally. After long suspecting a virus,
research initially identified two diseases caused by different viruses;
Hepatitis A (HVA) usually acquired through the intestinal tract and
Hepatitis B (HVB) usually acquired parenterally (by injection or
inoculation directly into tissues).Immunity to both viruses is usually
complete and both can be transmitted by sexual activity during the active
phase. The clinical course is similar, except that HCA is usually much
milder. Because some patients seemed to have a third form of hepatitis, a
third virus, referred to for years as "non A-non B," was suspected. That
suspicion was confirmed In 1989 by discovery of the Hepatitis C virus
(HCV). A number of variants or sub-types have since been identified.
Further research has characterized the disease complex caused by HCV more
completely; the accumulated information has great significance for not only
for injecting drug users, but all concerned with either public health or
drug policy.

HCV, the Illness

Most of the estimated 4,000,000 Americans with HCV face a far more
insidious illness than that produced by either A or B. While the initial
infection may be mild and without jaundice, recovery for 85% of patients is
incomplete and the virus establishes long-term residence in their blood,
liver, and other organs. The symptoms produced by this chronic infection
range from none at all to debilitating. There also seems to be increased
susceptibility to many other illnesses, particularly auto-immune diseases.
Finally, a significant percentage develop chronic active hepatitis, which
may lead eventually to cirrhosis (dense scarring) of the liver decades
later, particularly in heavy users of alcohol. Hepatitis C induced
cirrhosis is now the most frequent indication for liver transplantation in
the United States. A significant percentage also develop liver cancer

Spread of HCV

HCV is can be spread to susceptible patients by inoculation of contaminated
blood or tissue fluid. A collateral benefit of identifying HCV is that we
can now screen donor blood and have thus nearly eliminated spread via
transfusion or blood products. Spread to and from health workers is
possible, but is minimized when standard procedures (including gloves) are
used. Injecting drug users (IDUs), who now constitute the largest reservoir
of HCV in the general population, also represent the most important mode of
spread, although sexual and placental transmission occur rarely. Far
hardier than HIV and more abundant in host blood, HCV is much more easily
transmitted via contaminated needles and syringes. Most importantly, it can
be transmitted by seemingly trivial blood contamination occurring when
infected and non-infected drug users "shoot up" together, even though they
may not directly share either needles or syringes.

The implications of this latter observation are critical when it is
realized that the prevalence of HCV infection among injection drug users
(IDUs) in the United States has been tested at 100% in at least one group
(Anchorage, AK) and is estimated to be over 80%, nationally. A Seattle
study estimates that novice drug injectors face a 30% risk of HCV the first
time they use, if assisted in any way by an established IDU.

Beyond injection, there is evidence that communal snorting of cocaine or
heroin, when sharing the device used for snorting, allows enough
blood-to-blood contact to transmit the disease. The risks of communal
snorting are not as great as communal injecting and haven't been
quantitatively assessed, but are significant.

Thus, the challenge is to educate two populations: established users and
potential users. All who have engaged in "risky behavior" at any time
should be tested and adapt their behavior accordingly, The degree to which
paraphernalia laws and non-availability of sterile equipment favor
transmission of HCV is obvious. The problem with HCV, as opposed to HIV is
more nearly one of quarantine, i.e. of confining the disease to those
already infected.

The mode of transmission of HCV should be a powerful argument against
novice experimentation with drug injection, but it's an argument which can
only be made in a setting of knowledge endorsed my recognized public health
authorities. So far, there has been no evidence of any such focused
campaign even being considered by the federal government, despite recent
allocation of $195 million for standard drug war propaganda. The price we
are paying for doctrinaire paraphernalia laws is an opportunity to offer an
intelligent reason to "just say no," as well as knowledge that would allow
those who refuse to say "no" to at least change their behavior.

Readers are invited to apply the principles of harm reduction in an
epidemic of this nature. We will explore the changing roles for and
increased demands upon harm reduction/NEP in Part II.




Domestic News


Medical Marijuana


COMMENT: Thanks to Carl Olsen, we have this informative interview,
originally published in Synapse in Nov. '97. It covers, in comprehensible
language, important insights underlying current research in the mechanisms
of cannabis modulation of pain. The entire interview should be downloaded
and archived. Hopefully, the last exchange between the interviewer and the
researcher (IM) may stimulate you to do this:

Synapse: Has your life changed since your paper was published?

IM: (laughs) A little bit. One part is people calling up wanting to
know how they can get this drug to help them, because there are a
lot of people with really severe chronic pain for whom nothing to
this point has worked. So we've gotten some calls like that. Then
you've got reporters calling, wanting to know how it affects the
whole political debate.

Synapse: And what's your line on that?

IM: My line is that it should be legal. It definitely should be
legal for people who need it to help with an illness or a disease
like chronic pain or epilepsy. And cannabis can really help.
Basically the science is just showing that there are very specific
mechanisms by which the cannabis can help. People are taking this
as a medicine, and for very specific reasons. It's hard to get that
point through.

Synapse: We've all had a lifetime of prejudice and propaganda.

IM: Absolutely... It's satisfying to really do the science.

Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@commonlink.net)
Pubdate: November 20, 1997
Source: Synapse
Contact: webmaster@synapse.ucsf.edu
Fax: 415-555-FISH
Website: http://itsa.ucsf.edu/~synapse/
Note: Synapse is a weekly student-written publication with an
estimated readership of 9,000 at The University of California, San Francisco.


The Drug War



COMMENT: This very interesting admission points up the intrinsic
irresponsibility of classic US drug policy and the shallow nature of its
doctrinal underpinnings. Even while acknowledging for years that
interdiction is ineffective as a strategy in preventing foreign drugs from
reaching US markets, we have continued to finance a major annual
interdiction effort.

Since no one is prepared to argue that the dramatic fall-off in the amount
of drugs seized represents a drug war "victory," one is forced to conclude
that these figures, combined with the startling increase in purity of drugs
sold on the street represent both a new phase in the maturation of the
criminal drug market and a new low in drug warrior efficiency.


Agency says 84% dip in 1997 may bring backlash from Congress.

Officials hope that a new interdiction strategy will improve

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.


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


Source: SF Chronicle (Op-ed)

COMMENT: Sheriff Hennessey's earnest confusion leads him to endorse the
right idea - reject routine testing of prisoners - but for the wrong reason.
Instead of ineffective coerced "treatment" of inmates, Hennessey favors
equally ineffective coerced "treatment" of different segments of the
population more transiently under the control of the criminal justice
system. This is a classic example focusing on the deck chairs while the
iceberg looms. What else is new?

The "unbearable taxpayer costs" the Sheriff refers to could be avoided
altogether by not incarcerating drug users.


By Michael Hennessey

A couple of weeks ago, front page headlines said,"President Clinton to
Reduce Drug Use in Prison." The president's policy calls for states to drug
test inmates and to report annually on drug use in prisons. This policy
might sound good, but it is misguided and it doesn't enhance public safety.
It may even hurt crime prevention by diverting funds from more effective
programs, such as drug treatment. Getting people to stop using drugs in
prison is not nearly as important as stopping them from using drugs outside
of prison.

The White House contends that "coerced abstinence" while in prison will
reduce the addicts' demand for drugs after release. Ridiculous! Does the
absence of heterosexual relationships in prison lessen a prisoner's interest
in sex after release from prison? I don't think so.


The National District Attorney's Association, commenting on the Califano
Report, stated: "Simply warehousing prisoners, without regard to addressing
and dealing with the underlying problem of substance abuse, produces
unbearable taxpayer costs."


Michael Hennessey is the sheriff of the City and County of San Francisco.
His pioneering efforts to rehabilitate prisoners include education and
substance abuse recovery programs.

Pub Date: 2/6/98
Newshawk: Tom O'Connell tjeffoc@sirius.com
Subj: US CA: OPED: Just Say No to Prison Drug Testing
From: Tom O'Connell
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 21:53:36 -0800
Size: 75 lines 3878 bytes
File: v98.n089.a11





COMMENT: The harm reduction implications of this study are inescapable: Not
only would relaxed paraphernalia laws reduce the spread of AIDS from
injection drug use, easier access to Narcan would save many people who
currently die of heroin overdose.

A thousand deaths from heroin overdose each year could be prevented
in Britain if emergency resuscitation drugs were supplied to
addicts and their close contacts, according to a report presented
to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' winter meeting last week.

Professor John Strang, director of the National Addiction Centre at
the Maudsley Hospital in London, suggested that premature deaths
from drug overdoses account for the increased mortality among
opiate addicts. A survey of heroin addicts in south London showed
that over half of those undergoing treatment had overdosed in the
past. These overdoses, however, were rarely suicide attempts.


Newshawk: Andrew Byrne (ajbyrne@ozemail.com.au)thru ADCA
Source: British Medical Journal (No 7128 Volume 316)
Author: Kamran Abbasi BMJ
Pubdate: Saturday, 31 Jan 1998
Contact: The Editor, BMJ, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H
Fax: +44 (0)171 383 6418/6299
Email: bmj@bmj.com




COMMENT: This news article concludes that the original "crack baby" scare
stories were greatly exaggerated, but holds out the possibility that
intrauterine exposure might have subtle detrimental effects which haven't
yet become clear. By implication, these effects would have to be less that
those of alcohol and tobacco which have already been well documented. As
usual. there is reluctance to emphasize the relatively good news about a
demonized drug along with the need to emphasize potential bad news.


NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Initial reports of permanently damaged "crack
babies" may have been greatly exaggerated, according to pediatric
researchers. However, they caution that the long-term impact of
fetal cocaine exposure upon child development still remains largely

Research involving over 300 newborns led experts at the University
of Florida in Gainesville, to conclude that "we have few data to
warrant the alarm that grew out of earlier reports, often fueled by
the media, of the possible devastating effects of prenatal


Standard psychological testing revealed no significant differences
in overall intellectual performance among the two groups of
newborns. However, according to Eyler, more subtle behavioral
differences emerged during subsequent testing.


Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Tue, 3 Feb 1998
Author: E.J. Mundell
Reuters source: Pediatrics (1998;101(2):229-237, 237-241)


International News





COMMENT: Given the profound depths of the corruption already (grudgingly)
revealed to affect the Mexican bureaucracy, it's doubtful that anyone who
has risen to a responsible level in the Mexican government remains above
suspicion. Still, McCaffrey, in his role as chief spokesman for the drug
war, can be counted upon to rush down to the border on cue and heap lavish
praise on the next stooge they come up with.

It's ironic that the CIA should be the source of these charges. Is the
kettle getting a chance to play the role of pot for a change?

Mexico's new interior minister, the second-most-powerful official
in the country and a likely candidate for the presidency, has been
linked by the CIA to international narcotics traffickers.
Francisco Labastida Ochoa has "long-standing ties" to drug dealers
since serving as governor of the state of Sinaloa for six years,
according to a report labeled "top secret" that was obtained by The
Washington Times from agency sources.


Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Pubdate: Thu, 05 Feb 1998
Source: The Washington Times
Author: Bill Gertz, The Washington Times
Contact: letter@twtmail.com
Website: http://www.washtimes.com/



Author: David Lagesse of the Dallas Morning News

Also appeared in the San Jose Mercury-News under the headline:

COMMENT: Whoops! As noted in the comment on the other article,
no sooner is a Mexican official appointed to a sensitive "anti-drug"
position, and McC endorses him, than the charges start to fly. Poor Mac,
maybe he can be persuaded to wait a few weeks before endorsing the next high
ranking appointment.


WASHINGTON -- The United States and Mexico announced an agreement
Friday that administration officials and outside analysts said
would help to ensure continued U.S. certification of the Mexican
anti-drug effort.

Coming after nearly a year of negotiation, the pact outlines broad
areas of cooperation between the governments. But it lacks specific
commitments and is unlikely to silence the sharp congressional
criticism of Mexico's commitment, one skeptic said Friday.


Colombia ranks as the largest producer of cocaine that makes its
way to the United States, while Mexico serves as the leading
transportation pipeline, according to U.S. analysts. The Clinton
administration has given Colombia a failing grade the past two
years, which cost the country some U.S. financial aid.

The administration, however, approved Mexico's efforts despite
widespread reports of corruption among top-ranking Mexican


McCaffrey on Friday endorsed another Mexican official who was
accused of associating with traffickers. ``The Washington Times''
this week said a CIA report fingered Mexico's new interior
minister, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, with ``long-standing ties'' to
drug dealers when he was governor of the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

``I personally have no evidence of allegations of this nature that
I would find compelling, and we have no intention of going to the
Mexican government about allegations of this nature on this
gentleman,'' McCaffrey said. ``We intend to work with him.''


Contact: (1) letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: (1) http://www.dallasnews.com
Contact: (2) letters@sjmercury.com
Website: (2) http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 7 Feb 1998
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn), Zosimos
(mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie), Marcus-Mermelstein Family


U. K.



In this second of a three part series, Knightley provides a valuable
international overview and analysis of US drug war policy. His citingof
the action of State Department Undersecretary Gelbard in scuttling the
recently attempted heroin trial in Australia is far more accurate and
perceptive than anything I have seen in the mainstream American media.

This whole series should be archived on everyone's hard drive. It should
also be circulated by fax, or by printing and mailing it to your most
resistantly Luddite friends and acquaintaces.


Part Two

The fight against drugs has been lost. Yet the US right continues
to squander vital resources on a worldwide, irrational crusade to
rein in the 'evil perpetrators' By Phillip Knightley

THE 25-year-old war against drugs has been lost but there are still
bitter-enders on both sides of the Atlantic who want to fight on.
Like American generals in Vietnam, they believe they see a light at
the end of the tunnel. Realists know that, rightly or wrongly, the
campaign is over.

Imagine a courtroom scene in Oklahoma. The prosecutor is suggesting
to the jury the sentence it should recommend for a man who has been
found guilty of possession of cannabis. "Two hundred years, two
thousand years . Just pick a number and see how many zeros you can
add on," he says. "Put this druggie away and God will bless you

They did, and Will Foster, a computer software consultant, married
with two children, is now serving 93 years for growing marijuana
plants for cigarettes to relieve his chronic rheumatoid arthritis.


What is behind the irrational passion that the United States brings
to the war on drugs? What is it that motivates one American
anti-drugs campaigner, William Bennett, to call for the beheading
of drug dealers, and the former police chief of Los Angeles to
suggest that even casual users should be taken out of the courtroom
after conviction and immediately shot?


Ethan A Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center, a New York
drug-policy research institute, says: "The only reason for the
failure to prescribe adequate doses of pain-relieving opiates is
the "opiaphobia" that causes doctors to ignore the medical
evidence, nurses to turn away from their patients' cries of pain,
and some patients themselves elect to suffer debilitating and
demoralizing pain rather than submit to a proper dose of drugs."

Such is the moral conviction of the drugs war warriors that it is
difficult to engage them in rational debate. Dr Thomas Szasz of the
department of Psychiatry at Syracuse University suggests that it is
a waste of time presenting facts to the anti-drug lobby to convince
them that the war is lost.

He says that the war on drugs is a mass movement characterized by
the demonising of certain objects and persons - "drugs", "addicts",
"traffickers" - as the incarnations of evil. Hence it is foolish to
dwell on the drug prohibitionist's failure to attain his avowed
aims. "Since he wages war on evil, his very effort is synonymous
with success."

Newshawk: Zosimos (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: 1 February 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: sundayletters@independent.co.uk
Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n062.a01.html
Mail: Independent on Sunday 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London
E14 5DL England



COMMENT: This is the third and last article in an extraordinary series
printed by the Independent. Again, DrugSense readers are urged to download
and archive all three (the URLs are listed below).

This segment looks at the drug war as an economic phenomenon and examines
some little-appreciated ways in which illegal drug money is folded back
into the legal economy. It then cites several examples of modern youth
ignoring false drug war doctrine and explodes, one after the other, the
conventional justifications for retaining an illegal market.

The series ends on a weak note: although concluding that the drug war is
irretrievably lost, no coherent post prohibition model is suggested, nor is
there any mechanism suggested for forcing the ruling power structure to
acknowledge the failure of its policy or any scenario as to how this might
come about.

Part 3

While governments wage unwinnable war against drugs, ordinary
people are facing the truth: the 'enemy' is already among us and,
accepted if not yet acceptable, is here to stay.

THE world war on drugs has been lost because everyone
under-estimated the power of the profit motive on the supply side,
and the attractions of drugs on the demand side. We have seen how
all the law enforcement agencies in the world cannot impede a
business where the mark-up can be as high as 22,000 per cent.

At any given time some $5bn made from drugs is sloshing around the
international monetary system. Inevitably, some of it filters into
the world of legitimate finance.


But elsewhere in Europe, experts say that City institutions
actually relish the flood of dirty money pouring in from places
such as Russia. They say, further, that it may be safer in the
long-term that drugs money is laundered and goes into legitimate
financing, rather than moving unaccountably through the black


And then there are others with an interest in the war continuing -
the prison builders, the drug-testing companies, the professional
anti-drugs education programmes, the extra police and parole
officers called up for the battle. Not to mention those who have
been corrupted,


SINCE THE WAR on drugs has been lost, it is logical that we should
be planning what to do next. There is no chance in the immediate
future of such a discussion taking place in the United States.


But both agree that the war on drugs has failed, and that there
should be a movement towards legalisation.


The war against drugs is part of the last great authoritarian
campaign of this century - the attempt to tell us what one can and
cannot do to one's own body. The debate is raging over abortion and
euthanasia, but not drugs. It cannot be too early to discuss what
we should do when the crusaders against drugs finally admit defeat.

Newshawk: Zosimos (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Feb 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Author: Phillip Knightley
Contact: sundayletters@independent.co.uk
Mail: IoS, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, England
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n062.a01.html (1)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n076.a06.html/all (2)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n092.a10.html (3)





DrugSense will sponsor an e-mail discussion group to provide university
students and faculty with a national forum in which to discuss drug policy
and related issues.
Josh Sinoway, a second year political science student at the University of
California at Santa Cruz, will be the host. Josh comes by his interest in
drug policy in 2 ways: first, as son of Ron Sinoway, long time reform
activist and second as a survivor of the quasi-military helicopter
interdiction campaign waged for years against all residents of California's
"Emerald Triangle," whether they are pot growers or not.

Josh will bring an unabashedly reformist attitude to the forum, and has the
ultimate goal of organizing nationwide reform projects involving students.
His e-mail address is: (jsinoway@drugsense.org)

Check here next week for details.




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

We wish to thank 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.

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



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

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

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

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