------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Canadian AIDS Patient Files Civil Suit Demanding Federal Government Supply Medical Marijuana; Growing Number Of US College Students Say They Support Legalizing Marijuana; Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Agrees To Retry Seven Year Old Marijuana Seed Case - Selective Prosecution Motivated By Defendant's Activism; Arbitration Court Rules Snowboarder May Keep Gold Medal Despite Positive Drug Test) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 12:42:37 EST Subject: NORML WPR 2/12/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. February 12, 1998 Canadian AIDS Patient Files Civil Suit Demanding Federal Government Supply Medical Marijuana February 12, 1997, Toronto, Ontario: A 53 year old Toronto AIDS patient filed a civil suit against the Canadian government on February 5 asking the court to find an exemption for the medical use of marijuana. The suit also demands that the federal government begin distributing the drug to those seriously ill patients who need it. "It is our contention that it is a constitutional violation to criminalize therapeutic activity," said Toronto attorney Alan Young, who is assisting in the case. "We want the court to declare that [this patient] is exempt from the drug act, meaning that he'd be entitled to possess and cultivate marijuana. We also want a court [to order] the government to provide him with a safe and secure supply." Jim Wakeford, who was diagnosed with AIDS five years ago, credits marijuana for extending his life. His doctor, Toronto AIDS specialist John Goodhew, agrees. "What has marijuana done for Jim Wakeford? It has allowed him to live," he said. Goodhew estimated that one-quarter to one-half of his patients on anti-HIV medication use marijuana on a "semi-regular" basis. "Patients who use [marijuana] continue to use it with my knowledge and consent," he added. "Medically, I think it is a worthwhile cause. It is absurd to criminalize a product that is so useful, effective, inexpensive, and so non-toxic compared to all the pharmaceutical alternatives." Wakeford's federal challenge comes two months after a Canadian trial court judge ruled that bona fide medical marijuana users are exempt from criminal marijuana possession penalties. In that case, an Ontario judge declared, "It does not accord with fundamental justice to criminalize a person suffering [from] a serious chronic medical disability for possessing a vitally helpful substance not legally available in Canada." Meanwhile, some medical marijuana proponents are continuing negotiations with the Canadian Department of Health to approve the use of the drug in "emergency" situations. In December, a spokesman for Health Canada stated that the agency had "no problem" with the medicinal use of marijuana. He added that the agency would likely approve a medical marijuana distribution plan if a university agreed to grow the drug. Presently, a University of Toronto professor is lobbying for permission to begin growing marijuana at the school's year-round greenhouse. "There is increasing momentum toward changes that will allow legal access to medical marijuana in Canada," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. The Ontario Court of Justice is scheduled to hear Wakeford's challenge on May 4. Attorney Young said that he anticipates bringing several international physicians to testify that marijuana has medical utility. For more information, please contact attorney Tanya Kangas of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Growing Number Of College Students Say They Support Legalizing Marijuana February 12, 1998, Washington, D.C.: Thirty-five percent of college freshman support legalizing marijuana, more than double the number who endorsed it 1989, according to the results of a study by the University of California, Los Angeles for the Washington-based American Council on Education. "This is a growing trend among not only college students, but the American public at large," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. "As more Americans have first hand experience with marijuana, you have growing numbers of people rejecting the government's claims of 'reefer madness.' Federal statistics indicate that more than one third of Americans over age eighteen admit to having experimented with marijuana at some point in their lives. Pollsters commented that college students' growing support for marijuana comes at a time when many students are embracing more conservative positions on other cultural issues such as gay rights and abortion. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Circuit Court Judge Agrees To Retry Seven Year Old Marijuana Seed Case February 12, 1997, Hilo, HI: A Circuit Court Judge complied with prosecutors' request to retry marijuana activist Aaron Anderson on a felony charge stemming from the possession of legal hemp bird seeds. A jury voted 9-3 to acquit Anderson last October. "I can't think of a bigger waste of taxpayer dollars than the money spent prosecuting Aaron Anderson for purchasing a product recognized as legal under federal law," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. Prosecutors are charging Anderson, age 60, with second-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, a class B felony that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Charges were filed after Anderson ordered a 25-pound shipment of hemp seeds from the mainland in 1991. Although the importation and possession of hemp seeds is legal under federal law, prosecutors argue that the seeds fit the legal definition of marijuana under state law. Last year, Deputy Prosecutor Kay Iopa testified that her office would not prosecute a "little old lady" if she possessed hemp seeds, but would file charges against an individual like Anderson who "is very vocally, very outwardly, advocating the legalization of marijuana." Presently, Anderson and former co-defendant Roger Christie -- who had the same charges against him dismissed -- are awaiting trial in a federal countersuit against the county alleging that they were targeted for prosecution because of their outspoken beliefs. Anderson's criminal trial is scheduled for September 14. For more information, please contact either Aaron Anderson of the Hawaii Hemp Council @ (808) 965-0300 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Arbitration Court Rules Snowboarder May Keep Gold Medal Despite Positive Drug Test February 12, 1998, Nagano, Japan: The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) determined today that Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati may keep his gold medal, despite having tested positive for marijuana on a post-event drug screen. The CAS based it's ruling on the fact that they and the International Olympic Committee have no formal agreement governing the use of marijuana by Olympic skiers or snowboarders. "It's purely a legal issue," said Jean Phillipe Rochat, secretary general of the CAS. "It's not our role to examine the social issue at this stage." NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. praised the turn-around. "First, marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. Therefore, Mr. Rebagliati's marijuana use should be of no concern to the IOC. Second, there is ample evidence demonstrating that a non-smoker exposed to second-hand smoke may test positive on a urine test, as alleged by Mr. Rebagliati. Fortunately, in this instance the appeals panel reached a just result." For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Use In Prisons Fades After Random Tests ('Associated Press' Story In 'The Oregonian' Says Use Of Illegal Drugs In State Prisons Has Declined Since Drug Testing Of Inmates Began Almost A Decade Ago - But Fails To Note Drug Testing Of Everyone Else Has Had No Effect Either) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 18:45:40 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Todd Olson
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Oregon Prison Drug Use Printed in the Oregonian Metro Section 2/12/98: --The Associated Press -- DRUG USE IN PRISONS FADES AFTER RANDOM TESTS SALEM - Drug use in Oregon's prisons has plummeted since random testing began almost a decade ago. Oregon's success may set an example for the federal government in the wake of President Clinton's recent call for a crackdown on illegal drug use in state prisons across the country. Nationwide, 9 percent of prisoners tested positive for drug use in 1996. Fewer than 1 percent of Oregon inmates -- 0.9 percent -- tested positive for drugs during the same period. That's the lowest rate in the United States, according to a survey conducted by the Criminal Justice Institute, a nonprofit research organization in New York. The rate at Oregon's prisons has been about 1 percent to 1.5 percent for the past four or five years, said Randy Ireson, the state Corrections Department's research manager. In 1996, 4,100 Oregon prisoners underwent urinalysis. Only 38 tested positive for drugs. Drug test results for 1997 show that 1996 was no fluke. Positive tests ranged from a high of 1.78 percent in August to a low of 0.28 percent in October, according to monthly figures compiled by the Corrections Department. Corrections officials back up their zero-tolerance policy on drugs with random drug tests every month, surprise cell searches by drug-hunting corrections officers and stiff penalties for drug smugglers and users. "When we put the drug testing into effect, the rates were on the order of 10 percent or a little bit above that, "Ireson said. "Once we instituted the surveillance, it came down very quickly." Still, officials concede that eliminating prison drug use probably is an unrealistic goal. In Oregon and elsewhere, illegal drugs most often are smuggled into prison by people visiting inmates. Drugs typically are passed to inmates through visiting room kisses and hand-shakes. "Any drugs in prison is a bad thing, and certainly we have a zero tolerance and push toward it, but unless we took for more extreme measures, it would be difficult for us to drop below that 1 to 1.5 percent rate," said Gary Field, director of the Corrections Department's drug and alcohol treatment programs. "That probably would take elimination of contact visits." Clinton's nationwide call for eliminating prison drug use followed a recent report by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Researchers found that 1.4 million of the 1.7 million inmates in the nation's prisons were either high on drugs or alcohol when arrested, stole to buy drugs or have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. That pretty much describes Oregon's prison population, officials say. "What you'll find across the state is about 70 to 75 percent of all inmates have serious alcohol and drug problems directly related to their criminal lifestyles," Field said. "It's pretty heavy." Even so, officials say Oregon has largely achieved what Clinton is setting out to do: keep prisoners off drugs. Rates of drug use apparently are even lower among inmates enrolled in drug and alcohol treatment programs. "I think it's less than one-hundredth of 1 percent that come back positive," Field said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Portland, Oregon, Methadone Support Demonstration (Floyd Ferris Landrath Of American Antiprohibition League Announces Plans For Weekly Demonstrations Every Saturday To Protect Clinic From Ignorant, Illiberal Neighbors) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 04:00:39 -0800 (PST) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: AAL@inetarena.com Subject: Portland: Methadone Support Demo The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca "Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com Release Date: Thursday, Feb. 12, 1998 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ACTION NOTICE SECOND DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL METHADONE CLINIC/PATIENTS SATURDAY, FEB. 14, 9-11A.M. 2600 SE Belmont Street (bus #15) Portland As you know last week the League staged a demonstration of support for a new methadone clinic at SE 26th Ave. and Belmont Street. Our demo was in response to a small group of clinic neighbors unhappy about the facility's unexpected establishment in a community they claim "already has more than its fair share of social services." This small but angry group have been staging a very visible protest in front of the clinic for the last few weeks. This has resulted in increased tension around the clinic. Last week's demo was overseen by several uniformed police officers. There was no direct confrontation between "sides" and everything remained civil as the 2 hour demo peacefully yet sometimes noisily, unfolded. One League demonstrator (we had 6 total) held a sign asking passing motorist to honk their horns if they supported methadone. At times the horns were so loud it made normal conversation impossible. Even though we advocate a more direct approach, one which heroin maintenance would also be available. We also recognize the bleak reality faced by someone addicted to a drug like heroin and living in a drug war police state, like Oregon. So, bottom line, better methadone than nothing. Perhaps someday enough people will understand that to a junkie it's not about getting high, it's about not getting sick (from withdrawal). We support methadone patients, we want them to get clean and sober, healthy and happy. The benefits to both the individual and society are obvious. Instead of blocking their path to recovery, all of us should be cheering these people on. And that's just what we intend to keep on doing at these weekly demonstrations. We hope those who are offended by the clinic's proximity to their homes will take a fresh look and join us in support of those fighting to reclaim their lives. PLEASE JOIN US AND HELP YOUR ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE TO 1) Show community support for clinic/methadone maintenance 2) Encourage dialog between clinic operators and community 3) Educate community about benefits of Harm Reduction 4) Support recovering addicts 5) Reduce stigma of addiction through political empowerment
------------------------------------------------------------------- Narcotics Team Back At Work After Inquiry ('Statesman Journal' In Salem, Oregon, Says Allegations Against Linn-Benton Police Found To Be 'Substantially Lacking In Factual Basis' - By Other Police) Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 02:24:43 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon State Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots
Subject: NARCOTICS Team Back at Work After Inquiry! NARCOTICS TEAM BACK AT WORK AFTER INQUIRY One officer of the Linn-Benton unit remains suspended on sex allegations The Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) 2-12-98 by James Sinks The police drug investigation unit in Linn-Benton counties is back in business after a month of inaction, but one officer remains suspended in the wake of allegations that he had an improper sexual relationship with an informant. Oregon State Police Detective David Campbell was placed on administrative leave four weeks ago, along with three other officers from the Valley Interagency Narcotics Team, when reports surfaced about a possible relationship. The other officers were accused of knowing about the alleged sexual affair, and at least one was accused of stealing money during a drug bust. Those complaints, even though termed "vague" by police leaders, convinced the agency's board to halt the operations of the six-member team. "We called a timeout," said Linn County Sheriff Dave Burright, chairman of that committee. But Wednesday, after an investigation led by Lincoln County District Attorney Dan Globe and by each of the affected police departments, three officers were returned to duty, and the team was reactivated. "The charges were found to be substantially lacking in factual basis," said Chief Criminal Deputy Larry McCloskey of the Benton County Sheriff's Office. "They were unfounded." In fact, the woman who reported the stolen money actually signed a receipt for the cash and is now being prosecuted for filling a false claim in a separate case, he said. The investigation continues into Campbell and his alleged relationship, said Lt. Chuck Hayes of the Oregon State Police. Another detective has assumed his post on the drug team. Burright said this is the first time in memory that the Valley Interagency Narcotics team, dubbed "Valiant," has been shut down. However the nature of the allegations warranted an inquiry, he said. Although there is nothing explicitly illegal about a detective having a sexual relationship with an informant, it could be considered official misconduct because it might involve using a position of authority for personal gain, Burright said. The drug team includes members from the Benton and Linn county sheriff's offices and from police departments in Albany, Corvallis and Lebanon and the Oregon State Police. Chief Walt Richmond of the Lebanon Police Department said the allegations against the officers were so vague that it was difficult to conduct an investigation. "There were no names attached and no witnesses," he said. The chief also is glad the drug team is back in action. "For a month, there certainly hadn't been much of a deterrent" he said. Benton County's McCloskey said, "In light of the new information, we think it is an appropriate time to get back to work." *** transcribed as a service to the American Anti-Prohibition League by Paul Freedom HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO CANNABIS PATRIOTS Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe cannabis-patriots-l in the body of the message. Or e-mail me if you have trouble or someone you want me to subscribe! email@example.com Paul Freedom
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Advocates Accuse California AG Lungren Of Lying About Proposition 215, Then Lying To Cover Up The Lies ('Marijuananews.com' Recaps Two Cases In Which California Officials Contradict Statistics, Reporters - And Will Of People) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 11:42:48 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Nicholas Merrill
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Medical Marijuana advocates accuse California AG Lungren of Exclusive to Marijuananews.com Medical Marijuana Advocates Accuse California AG Lungren of Lying About Prop. 215 then Lying to Cover-up the Lies February 12, 1998 By Jeff Meyers Medical marijuana advocates are charging California Attorney General Dan Lungren and his associates with using false and misleading statements in a smear campaign against Proposition 215 -- and then lying about ever making the statements. Last month, Lungren sent California narcotics agent Christy McCampbell to Florida to speak to the Florida Cabinet, which was holding hearings on a ballot proposal that would legalize medical marijuana. Without citing any study, McCampbell said marijuana use in California was increasing since the passage of Proposition 215, and not only among sick people. In a story than ran in the Miami Herald, she went so far as to claim that "anyone of any age can virtually get marijuana in the state of California now -- it has been legalized." After the California agent's testimony, the Florida Cabinet unanimously adopted a resolution calling on Florida voters to reject the medical marijuana initiative. McCampbell's statements mirror Lungren's own. In a speech on the "State of the Public Safety" last week at the Comstock Club in Sacramento, Lungren linked the passage of Proposition 215 to the rise in marijuana use among California youth, saying Proposition 215 sent a "damaging signal" to both adults and children. "As a result, here in California our young people are using marijuana more than at any other time during the last 10 years," a story in the Sacramento Bee quoted Lungren as saying. Through spokesmen, both Lungren and Campbell denied ever making these statements. Lungren spokesperson Peggy Bengs said that the phrase in the story -- "as a result" -- was not said by Lungren and that the headline -- "Medical Pot Spurs Teen Drug Use" -- "did not reflect what the Attorney General said." Bengs also said that Lungren's remarks had been taken out of context by the Bee. "The attorney general's point was, it's the message of Proposition 215," she said. "He wasn't talking about the ballot measure passing and all of a sudden everything happened. He was talking about a message that went out to young people." The Bee reporter, Dan Bernstein, said his story is accurate. The Associated Press reporter, Bill Kaczor, who wrote the story on McCampbell for the Miami Herald, has her statements on tape. At best, Lungren's statements are pure conjecture, experts say. Youthful marijuana use has been rising not only in California but throughout the country for the last five or six years. The 1997 study by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research doesn't even break down usage by states, and the last California state study was done in 1996, months before the initiative passed in the November elections. Asked where Lungren got his information, Bengs said it was based on an article in the San Jose Mercury News that quoted a Department of Health and Human Services official who attended a focus group in which kids allegedly said that marijuana wasn't bad because it was medicine. But a spokesperson for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs refuted the purported link between Prop. 215 and teen marijuana use. "We can't make that link," said Maria Caudill. "There's no credible study or empirical data." Lungren apparently made another error in his speech by saying that the only other state to experience an increase in illegal drug use by minors was Arizona, which also approved a medical marijuana initiative in 1996. But Christy Dye, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, disputed Lungren's allegations. "He's tying two unrelated things together," she said. "Kids were smoking more dope over the last three or four years, predating" the initiative. Lungren is running for California's Republican gubernatorial nomination and is wooing the party's right wing. His opponent in the primary is Dennis Peron, founder of the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club and target of criminal charges filed by Lungren's office. Peron was asked about Lungren's recent remarks linking Proposition 215 to increased marijuana use among teens. "Lungren is trying to ride to the governor's office on the backs of sick and dying people," Peron said. " But I don't think people buy into his lies. He tried to influence people last time (when Proposition 215 got 56% of the vote) and what did it get him? Nothing." One medical marijuana advocate who preferred to remain anonymous asked, "Why is Lungren sending California narcs to Florida to lie and get them to arrest medical marijuana users. She should be here looking for crack dealers. Isn't this illegal?" *** Jeff Meyers will report soon in Marijuananews.com on the use of tax dollars by various narcotics law enforcement agencies to influence public opinion against medical marijuana, exploiting their credibility to deceive the public at public expense. Longtime journalist and a former Los Angeles Times staff writer, Jeff Meyers is a documentary filmmaker living in Ventura, Ca. He is the producer of "The M Files," a short dramatization of the absurd origin of marijuana prohibition. He is currently working on "The Emperor Wears No Clothes - the Film." His phone number is (805) 648-3952. Fax: (805) 641-3449. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional news and comment see http://www.marijuananews.com Copyright 1998 Marijuananews.com May be reproduced so long as marijuananews.com is given as source.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot-Smoking Advocate Seeks Judge's Okay ('Orange County Register' Notes 27-Year-Old Cancer And Medical Marijuana Patient Todd McCormick Asks Federal Judge In California To Be Allowed To Use Medicine Pending Trial For Bel-Air Bust With 4,116 Plants) Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 18:32:58 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Pot-Smoking Advocate Seeks Judge's Okay Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 98 POT-SMOKING ADVOCATE SEEKS JUDGE'S OKAY A medical marijuana advocate charged with growing more than 4,000 pot plants in a rented Bel-Air mansion asked a federal judge Wednesday to let him smoke marijuana pending his trial. Todd McCormick said he needs marijuana to ease pain related to a rare form of cancer that was diagnosed when he was a child but is now in remission. He claims a California law allows him to smoke pot for medicinal use. McCormick, 27, was among five people arrested July 29 when Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators raided the mansion he rented for $6,000 a month. They found 4,116 marijuana plants growing throughout the home and on a deck.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cancer Patient Seeks Judge's OK To Use Marijuana ('Los Angeles Times' Version Notes Hearing Scheduled March 9) Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 20:27:00 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US CA: Cancer Patient Seeks Judge's OK to Use Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: February 12, 1998 Author: Sue McAllister, Special to The Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 CANCER PATIENT SEEKS JUDGE'S OK TO USE MARIJUANA Courts: Man freed on bail as he awaits trial on charges of growing pot says he needs the drug for pain. Lawyers for medical marijuana proponent Todd McCormick, who was arrested last summer for allegedly growing thousands of marijuana plants in a home in Bel-Air, asked a federal judge Wednesday to allow him to smoke marijuana while he awaits trial. McCormick, 27, has said he used marijuana to treat pain from recurrent cancer, which he has suffered from since he was a child. His rented home on Stone Canyon Road was filled with more than 4,000 marijuana plants when he was arrested last July. Using marijuana for medical purposes became legal in California with the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996. But McCormick faces a federal charge of manufacturing marijuana, punishable by at least 10 years in prison. He is free on $500,000 bail, but the standard conditions of bail prohibit him from using illegal drugs. In addition, he is required to undergo random pretrial drug tests. McCormick's lawyer, David M. Michael, said, "Any judge that has a sense of compassion is going to realize that what Todd is asking for is . . . something that's bona fide, something that's been so extraordinarily documented. . . . I can't think of a reason why a judge would want to deny him his medical marijuana." McCormick said during a news conference outside the Roybal Federal Building that since being deprived of marijuana, he has suffered from chronic pain and fatigue, lack of appetite and depression. Other pain remedies have been less effective than marijuana, he said. "I never used to get depressed about cancer," he told a reporter after the news conference. "I used to smoke a joint and forget about it." McCormick said that if he is allowed to resume using marijuana he will probably procure it from a cannabis buyers' club. Such clubs have been under fire from federal authorities. Michael said the motion filed Wednesday also asks Judge George King to reduce the amount of McCormick's bail, which was posted by actor Woody Harrelson. A hearing will be held March 9.
------------------------------------------------------------------- City Sued For Alleged Mishandling Of Medicinal Marijuana Petitions ('Press-Herald' In Portland, Maine, Says Mainers For Medical Rights Are 2,433 Signatures Short Of Getting On Ballot, But Portland Officials Are Sitting On 3,239) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 04:03:53 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Dave Fratello <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Maine/Port'd paper on medmj petition lawsuit Portland (Maine) Press-Herald, Thursday, February 12, 1998 CITY SUED FOR ALLEGED MISHANDLING OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA PETITIONS By Joshua L. Weinstein Staff Writer A group that wants to legalize marijuana for limited medicinal purposes is suing the city of Portland and the secretary of state's office, saying the two mishandled petitions to get a question on the November ballot. The state's top elections official said Wednesday that Mainers for Medical Rights is correct to sue, and that Portland bungled the petitions. Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky called the city's behavior ''inexcusable.'' Gwadowsky said he hopes a judge will order him to accept the petitions. If that happens, Mainers could vote on medicinal marijuana this November. City officials acknowledge they handled the petitions badly. In fact, they say they are working with Mainers for Medical Rights - the group that is suing them. The city plans to ''do our best to fix what needs to be fixed so they can get on the ballot in November,'' said Gary Wood, Portland's city attorney. The problem stems from dates. In order to get a citizen referendum on the November ballot, organizations had to submit the signatures of at least 51,131 registered voters to the secretary of state's office by Feb. 1. Mainers for Medical Rights gave the state 48,688 -- 2,433 too few. Without enough signatures, Gwadowsky had no choice but to decline the group's request to put the question on the November ballot. But there's a catch: According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court, the organization submitted 3,239 additional signatures to the city of Portland for verification on Jan. 23. Those signatures are key. The state constitution requires municipalities to certify such petitions within five business days. Portland and several other municipalities did not. Consequently, Mainers for Medical Rights was not able to deliver the signatures to Gwadosky's office before the deadline. Robert Ganley, the city manager, said clerks were too busy preparing for Tuesday's election to get to the petitions. He said it is difficult to check signatures in five days, especially near an election. ''This thing wouldn't come up until November, and the election was immediate,'' Ganley said. ''We had 17,000 voters yesterday, which is a huge number for a special election, and almost 2,000 absentee ballots, so there was a lot of preparation work that went into that, and I think the priorities were correct in dealing with the election first.'' Still, he said, ''technically, we're wrong here.'' He said clerks will work through the weekend checking the signatures. Gwadosky, speaking from a meeting in Washington, said there is no excuse for the city's failure. ''We were very disappointed that the city of Portland did not process those petitions in a timely fashion, and can't think of any rationale or excuse that they didn't do it, because they were obviously aware of the constitutional and statutory deadlines,'' he said. ''Had we known earlier, I think we would have pressured them to turn those around.'' He said that because Mainers for Medical Rights got the petitions to the city on time, he would like to check the signatures and, if they are valid, put the question on the ballot. Craig Brown, a Mainers for Medical Rights spokesman, said the group would rather not sue, but has no choice. ''The legal route is really the only way to resolve this,'' he said. ''We played by the rules, and wish that Portland and the other municipalities had also played by the rules.'' In 1996, Portland and six other municipalities improperly disqualified valid signatures from voters wishing to join the Reform Party.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Hampshire Hemp Bill Killed (Local Activist Says HB 1576, Industrial Hemp Bill, Dies In 175-164 Legislative Floor Vote) Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 01:49:33 -0800 (PST) From: Robert Lunday (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: NH Hemp Bill Killed (fwd) Sender: email@example.com ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 18:36:20 -0700 (MST) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) Subject: NH Hemp Bill Killed Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:48:25 -0500 From: Karl Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HB 1576 is dead for this yearTo all Merry Hempsters, Today we had our day in the State House with HB 1576 ( a bill which would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp ). The vote came after a heated debate on the subject of Marijuana. The opposition endlessly argued that all we wanted was to grow Dope and that hemp was a " A wolf putting on a sheep's coat " . With the opposition speaking the Chair woman would constantly quiet down the house so that the speaker could be heard. When our pro-hemp people got up to speak they spoke the truth of hemp and applied great strength teaching hemp 101 in a short time. While our speakers where talking they had to practically shout into the audience for the chatter among the crowd was nearly drowning out their words. It was said that the vote would be by roll call and they voted, 175 no and 164 yes. The 1998 HB 1576 is dead for now. Now a quick question. Do you think that just maybe if the Chair Woman had done her job the way she did when the opposition spoke and applied the same silence in the House for the Pro Hemp speakers, how do you think the vote would have been? I would just like to express my many thanks to all the people involved this round with HB 1576, I could sit here and type out multiple pages of thank you entries if I were to list everyone, so this thank you goes to all of the most helpful people the hemp industry could want working hand in hand with. This venture is far from dead as the opposition may think. We will not give up, we will still proceed forward and teach the people the truth of hemp and correct all the mislead conceptions of hemp that our wonderful DEA and law enforcement has bestowed on Hemp. We look forward to working just as hard to achieve our goals. THE LEGALIZATION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP. Thank You Kindest Regards Karl D. Bond, President Fun Unique Natural Notions 443 Ridge Rd. NewDurham, NH 03855 Tel/Fax: 603-859-3866 email@example.com Member HIA, NH Hemp Council
------------------------------------------------------------------- Club Owner Acquitted Of Drug Charge ('Associated Press' Says Lawyer For New York Nightclub Owner Accused Prosecutors Of Using Fabricated Evidence And Uncorroborated Testimony By Several Convicted Criminals To Go After His Client For Sales Of Ecstasy, Cocaine, At The Limelight And The Tunnel) Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 13:09:02 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US NY: Club Owner Acquitted of Drug Charge Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: GDaurer@aol.com Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 Author: Larry Neumeister CLUB OWNER ACQUITTED OF DRUG CHARGE NEW YORK - A jury acquitted a New York nightclub owner Wednesday on charges that he approved drug sales as a way to attract patrons to his swanky Manhattan discos. Prosecutors had depicted Peter Gatien, 46, as a key player in a widespread conspiracy that funneled cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs to his clubs' mostly youthful clientele. The drug sales allegedly went on for more than five years beginning in 1991 at the Limelight and the Tunnel, two popular nightspots owned by Gatien. Both clubs were raided in 1996. The Limelight remains closed, but the Tunnel reopened. Gatien, 46, was charged with racketeering and drug conspiracy, which carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison. The jury deliberated for two days before finding Gatien innocent of sanctioning drug sales and arranging for drugs to be given out free at club parties. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Friedberg had argued that Gatien was part of a ``massive, massive drug operation, an integral part of the business and an important promotional tool for getting business to the clubs.'' But Gatien's lawyer accused prosecutors of using fabricated evidence and the uncorroborated testimony of several convicted criminals to go after his client. ``Being a Canadian, there were times he almost lost faith in our system of justice,'' Benjamin Brafman said. ``This has been a two-year, knock-down, drag-out slugfest where the government proceeded with a scorched earth mentality I could not fully understand and found very offensive at times.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Students Are Expelled For Having Legal Drugs ('St. Louis Post Dispatch' Says Two Of Four Girls At North Junior High School In Collinsville Had No-Doz, Aleve, And Prescription Drug For Acne)Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 19:49:45 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US MO: 2 Students Are Expelled For Having Legal Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Derek Rea (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Feb., 12 1998 Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ 2 STUDENTS ARE EXPELLED FOR HAVING LEGAL DRUGS Two students at North Junior High School in Collinsville have been expelled for having over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The two were among four girls at North who were caught in January carrying No-Doz and Aleve tablets and a prescription drug for acne. The parents of the other two have removed them from school. The expulsions were announced Monday night. Superintendent Thomas Fegley said school policy dictated that any student found in possession of any drugs legal or not, was automatically subject to discipline.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Satcher Sworn In As Surgeon General ('Los Angeles Times' Says First US Surgeon General Since Dr. Joycelyn Elders Was Forced Out Over Marijuana Statements Will Use His Bully Pulpit To Focus On Personal Responsibility For Improving Health, Including Prevention Of Teenage Pregnancy And Smoking - But Not Trauma Caused By Record 641,641 Marijuana Arrests In 1996) Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 20:27:00 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US DC: Satcher Sworn In as Surgeon General Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: February 14, 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 SATCHER SWORN IN AS SURGEON GENERAL, TALKS OF GRATITUDE WASHINGTON--Dr. David Satcher, who rose from poverty to national prominence, was sworn in as surgeon general Friday, and he promised to give back to the nation that helped him. "I know the American dream does not end when it comes true," he said during the Oval Office ceremony. President Clinton said he expects Satcher to help explain the nation's complex health system, along with the stunning but sometimes confusing medical breakthroughs. But he said Satcher could make the greatest impact by persuading Americans to stop smoking, eat right and exercise. "Dr. Satcher will give us plain talk and sound advice about what each of us can do to live healthier lives," Clinton said. The surgeon general's post has been a bully pulpit for public health issues, with past holders focusing on the dangers of AIDS, smoking and venereal disease. Satcher has not discussed his agenda in detail, but he said Friday that he will focus on personal responsibility for improving health, including prevention of teenage pregnancy and smoking. Appearing for the first time in the traditional surgeon general's uniform, Satcher fills an office that has been vacant for more than three years, since Dr. Joycelyn Elders was forced to resign. He was Clinton's second choice to replace Elders, after Dr. Henry Foster, who failed to win Senate confirmation. Satcher also faced opposition from conservatives, but he was approved Tuesday, 63-35. "I want to especially applaud the Senate for conducting such a lively and healthy debate," Satcher said to laughter after being sworn in.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Democrats On Track With Tobacco Bill ('San Francisco Chronicle' Staff Editorial Endorses Anti-Tobacco Bill Unveiled Yesterday By Vice President Al Gore And Several Democratic Senators Because It Would Impose Harsh Monetary Penalties On Tobacco Companies If They Fail To Reduce Teen Smoking By 67 Percent Over 10 Years) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 14:51:46 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Democrats On Track With Tobacco Bill Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 DEMOCRATS ON TRACK WITH TOBACCO BILL THE ANTI-TOBACCO bill unveiled yesterday by Vice President Al Gore and a number of Democratic senators carries with it real potential to finally reduce teenage smoking. The provision that makes the measure by Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota so strong would impose harsh monetary penalties on the tobacco companies for failing to meet a goal to reduce teenage smoking by 67 percent over 10 years. At 40 cents per pack on individual companies that fail to meet the goal, the penalties are five times what they were in the tentative settlement reached last June with cigarette manufacturers. Each day, 3,000 teenagers now light up their first cigarette, and a sharp reduction in that figure would go a long way toward saving lives. Much of the contentiousness surrounding the settlement debate has centered on the need to regulate advertising, promotion and marketing aimed at teenagers. Industry documents confirm that teenagers as young as 14 were targeted by cigarette makers and resulted in campaigns using appeal ing, cartoon characters such as Joe Camel. The Food and Drug Administration wants to regulate tobacco sales, marketing and advertising, and the Conrad bill would give the FDA that authority. However, there is division among legal scholars as to whether tobacco advertising and marketing enjoy full First Amendment protections that would prevent Congress or the FDA from intervening. A federal judge in North Carolina ruled against the FDA on just that issue. Because of the force of the financial penalties in Conrad's bill, the debate over who has authority to regulate tobacco advertising could be moot. Cigarette makers are going to have to substantially curb teenage-targeted promotions if they are to avoid the penalties, thus giving the penalties built-in restrictions on advertising and marketing. Conrad's bill is also much preferred over the settlement because it does not make the giant concession of giving the tobacco industry immunity from future class-action suits. The measure, which would raise $500 billion over 25 years, also would impose a $1.50 a pack tax on cigarettes, require full disclosure of tobacco company documents, set up smoke-free environments in most public places and help work against international promotion of tobacco. The bill is the best hope yet for lessening tobacco's deadly hold on Americans.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Derapage For Pain (List Subscriber Comments On FDA Recall Of Duract, A Patented Pain-Killer That Rots Your Liver) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 23:18:46 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: Phillizy@aol.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Phillizy@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Derapage For Pain Derapage is the French word used to describe the fateful journey taken by the Great French Revolution of 1789 from constitutionalism ... Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity ... into the rule of the Committee of Public Safety with its fanaticism, dogmatism, and well-oiled guillotine. And the Terror. "Terror is naught but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue." - Maximilien De Robespierre And, so it is with heroin, one of the safest, cheapest, most effective pain killers known to mankind ... used extensively throughout world, especially the undeveloped world. But not in the United States. Fanaticism and dogmatism have U.S. citizens enjoying alternative pain killers. Nonnarcotic pain killers like "Duract" mfg. by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. Aren't we lucky! Well, maybe not. Yesterday, the FDA issued a stern warning to doctors that patients taking "Duract" can suffer potentially fatal liver damage. At least seven patients taking this new wonder drug "had suffered jaundice, severe hepatitis or even liver failure that required transplants." And that, my friends, is what the drug wars are all about. The slippery slope called, "Derapage." Lizy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Raid Error Irks Senior Citizen (UPI Says 72-Year-Old Man In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Who Had Asked Police To Round Up Drug Dealers In His Neighborhood Was Watching 'Law And Order' When A SWAT Team Broke In, Mistaking Him For A Drug Dealer) Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 11:59:39 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: James Hammett (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Police Raid Leads to Lawsuit Apparently the police claim they are not liable because the acted on an informant giving them bad information. From: Cfirstname.lastname@example.org (UPI) Newsgroups: clari.local.michigan,clari.usa.law.misc,clari.news.law_enforce clari.usa.law,clari.news.issues.misc Subject: Drug raid error irks senior citizen Keywords: legal, civil proceedings, police, seniors Organization: Copyright 1998 by United Press International (via ClariNet) Lines: 41 Date: Thu Feb 12 16:55:09 CST 1998 Note: (UPI Focus) GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Frustrated because he can't get a simple apology, an elderly Grand Rapids man is suing city police for breaking into his house and wrestling him to the floor during a SWAT team raid. The man, 72-year-old Harold Overbeek, says he was watching the TV show ``Law and Order'' when police rammed the door and mistook him for a drug dealer. The raid apparently was sparked by a bad report from a police informant. Overbeek says he's been asking and waiting for a police apology since the raid occurred last year. Now the retiree, who lives alone with a cat and a cockatiel, has filed suit, claiming the raid violated his rights. Overbeek tells today's Grand Rapids Press, ``They never said they were sorry. That's what got me. They put the paper (search warrant) on the table and walked out.'' In a letter to Overbeek's lawyers, Assistant City Attorney G. Douglas Walton wrote that the city is not liable because the police informant had said a drug dealer was inside the home. Before the raid, Overbeek had asked police to round up drug dealers in his neighborhood.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Panel Meeting To Decide Fate Of Rebagliati ('Oakland Tribune' Notes Arbitration Panel Met Wednesday To Decide Whether To Return Gold Medal To Canadian Snowboarder Or To Uphold International Olympic Committee's Decision To Take Away Medal Because Athlete Tested Positive For Marijuana) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 14:39:08 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Oakland Tribune: Panel Meeting To Decide Fate of Rebagliati Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 PANEL MEETING TO DECIDE FATE OF REBAGLIATI NAGANO, Japan An arbitration panel met Wednesday to decide whether to return a gold medal to a Canadian snowboarder or to uphold the International Olympic Committee's decision to take the medal away because the athlete tested positive for marijuana. No decision had been reached by Wednesday night. Ross Rebagliati had his gold-medal-winning performance nullified after the IOC's medical commission voted 13-12 and the IOC's executive board voted 3-2 against him. The Canadian Olympic Association appealed, noting that the rules of the International ski federation say that a penalty may be imposed for a positive marijuana test but do not stipulate a penalty is mandatory. "Is, or should, the IOC be a social police force?" said Carol Ann Letheren, an IOC member from Canada. "That is the question around this drug." There has long been a debate in the IOC about whether marijuana should be on the banned substances list, because It is not generally considered a performance-enhancing drug, as are anabolic steroids. "If it's not performance enhancing, and it's a social drug, you wonder why it is included," said an IOC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "But it's a question of do you follow the rules or don't you? How do you tell your children not to use drugs and then say it's OK if it's a gold medalist." The case has spawned both wicked humor and serious interest by the Japanese police. Kyodo, the Japanese news service, said that the Japanese police would question Rebagliati and would ask the IOC to turn over the results of his drug test. Possession of marijuana can carry a Sentence of up to five years in jail, Kyodo reported
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Highest High And Lowest Low ('Toronto Sun' Columnist Hopes Debate Over Olympic Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati Testing Positive For Cannabis Will Provide Some Answers 'For Those Of Us Who Aren't Really Opposed To Marijuana, Just Reticent About The Prospect Of Its Widespread Use' - Though Use Is Less Than 5 Percent Even Where It's Decriminalized) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: The highest high and lowest low Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:06:59 -0800 Lines: 104 Source: Toronto Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: February 12, 1998 The highest high and lowest low How many Canadians woke up wondering: 'Could I have passed that drug test?' By LINDA WILLIAMSON, Toronto Sun Explain this one to me, or better yet, to your kids: A talented young Canadian who has worked diligently to achieve global success has his Olympic glory tarnished forever because he liked to relax in smoky rooms in Whistler, but ... An appointed Canadian senator who likes to relax in Mexico defies an order that he show up for work for the first time in years, and he gets another chance. What kind of screwed-up world is this, anyway? That's apples and oranges, you say. Okay, let's not compare Ross Rebagliati and Sen. Andy Thompson. How about Ross Rebagliati and Ben Johnson? Everyone agrees Rebagliati's offence - somehow ingesting a trace of marijuana vs. willingly ingesting a truckload of steroids - is nowhere close to equal. So why should the punishment be the same? That's politics, you say. That's Olympic sport. That's the world of old rules vs. the world of young rebels. Then let me ask you this: who among us didn't wake up yesterday wondering, "Could I have passed that drug test?" How long does marijuana stay in your system? How potent is second-hand smoke? Did that guy I passed on Yonge St. last night sully me with his illegal fumes? Most important, if so many of us think Rebagliati has done nothing wrong, isn't it time to question why, in Canada, marijuana is still an illegal substance? Long after the bizarre, Byzantine politics of the international Olympic bureaucracy are forgotten for another four years, long after the Rebagliati medal fiasco is settled for better or worse, these are the questions that should concern us. So, is marijuana a dangerous drug? Is it time to decriminalize it? Canadians have long been politely split on this issue. Cops are split, too - in Toronto, there were nearly 2,000 busts for simple possession last year, but in Ottawa, where the police chief publicly favors decriminalization, such arrests are rare. And of course, if you believe Rebagliati's associates, in Whistler, just about everybody uses the demon weed. Two months ago, when Torontonian Terry Parker got a local court to agree he could use pot for "medicinal purposes," the public response was cautiously favorable. Some ambitious advocates demanded governments take over (and tax) the production and distribution of pot, much like alcohol. It's a progressive proposal - especially if you buy the argument that booze is more socially destructive than pot - but unlikely to become reality. After all, look at how badly the feds have bungled their tobacco policy. There's no way they could handle pot. That's one popular reservation, but there are many others. We can only hope the debate over Rebagliati, medal or no medal, will provide some answers for those of us who aren't really opposed to marijuana, just reticent about the prospect of its widespread use. Is pot hallucinogenic? Carcinogenic? Addictive? Already, we're seeing a parade of pundits and so-called experts declaring that pot isn't performance-enhancing, but quite the opposite. Most agree, though, that it's a bad choice for athletes because: a) smoking it releases tars and other harmful stuff; and b) it's a relaxant that adversely affects judgment and reaction time. (And then there's c): it makes you want to eat junk food.) But the jury is still out. Personally, I've heard too many people insist that marijuana did enhance their performance at the wheel ("I drive better when I'm stoned!") to be comfortable with decriminalization just yet. Maybe what we need is a good, quick impairment test for pot to keep users, like drunks, off the roads. The Parker verdict, which prompted Justice Minister Anne McLellan to say Parliament would study the medicinal benefits and other aspects of marijuana, should have pushed this debate forward. But that was two months ago, and nothing's happened. Now, Ross Rebagliati has given us a new reason to confront our ignorance and hypocrisy about marijuana. Most Canadians have come a long way from fearing "reefer madness" (although I heard one talk-show caller yesterday refer to Rebagliati as a "drug addict"), but we need more facts before we can all agree pot is "relatively harmless," as Parker's judge put it. As for Rebagliati, whose athletic ability is truly impressive, he may have been careless or stupid or just unlucky. One thing's sure, though - he will now become the poster kid for slacker stoners and pro-pot activists everywhere, the drug issue forever overshadowing his achievement. That's the real crime here. Linda Williamson is the Toronto Sun senior associate editor. Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canada, What Else Can Happen? ('Orange County Register' Columnist Jokes That, When Canadians Claimed They Were Going To Win More Winter Olympic Medals Than The US, They Weren't Just Blowing Smoke - Well, Maybe One Of Them Was) Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 Author: Mike Whicker-a Register staff columnist CANADA,WHAT ELSE CAN HAPPEN? NAGANO,JAPAN - When the Canadians claimed they were going to win more Winter Olympic medals than the U.S. they weren't just blowing smoke. Well, maybe one of them was. When Canada's Ross Rebagliati had to return his snow-boarding gold medal because he tested positive for marijuana (pending an appeal), you remembered your last Olympic trip to Asia. You remember Ben Johnson fleeing town after his sample turned aquamarine. You again saw Canadian Olympic Association chief Carol Anne Letheren, this time claiming that Rebagliati was in fact the victim of second-hand toke. "The positive finding was due to the time he spends around marijuana users," Letheran said. Funny, no one has seen him around Pauley Pavilion lately. Anyway, the Canadians' medal edge over the U.S. shrunk alarmingly from 4-0 to 3-2 Wednesday, and Picabo Street has only just begun to ski. Our neighbors to the north are not taking this well. Dave Perkins, of the Toronto Star, suggested his nation should change the national anthem to "O Cannabis." And apparently somebody forgot to tell Rebagliati that you're supposed to ride the halfpipe, not smoke it. "I think snowboarders already have a bad image," Canadian women's hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reefer Madness Clouds Issue ('Toronto Sun' Columnist Ponders Stripping Of Olympic Gold Medal From Canadian Snowboarder And Concludes, 'I Guess We Better Change Those Marijuana Laws') From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Reefer madness clouds issue Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:04:21 -0800 Lines: 125 Source: Toronto Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: February 12, 1998 Reefer madness clouds issue By MICHAEL HARRIS, Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA -- So here we are again; one toke over the finish-line. Of course, the way Ross Rebagliati tells it, those 17.8 nanograms of weed in his pee came from someone else's joint. Feeble as it is, that explanation apparently cut it with the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Olympic Association. But while Carol Ann Letheren might be buying the second-hand smoke alibis, the IOC really doesn't care how dope got into Rebagliati's body. What matters is that it showed up in two tests whose results are not disputed and that marijuana is on the list of banned substances for athletes participating in the Winter Olympics -- along with alcohol, caffeine, steroids, and certain anesthetics. Ergo, Ross' disqualification and exclusion from the Games and our renewed Seoul-searching. (By the time you read this, Ross may indeed be golden again. The Independent Court of Arbitration may commute his sentence from banishment and disgrace to a few hours in the glare of international media red wrists and his gold medal. But even if that should happen, what follows still follows.) Strange defence Was it T.S. Eliot who said April was the coolest month? Ross says that he hasn't had a personal dalliance with Mary Jane since last April. A strange defence, but one that the Winterlude Crowd in Ottawa is buying into hook, line, and skate-guards. With news of this latest Olympic Gold Robbery, I laced up my skates and conducted the Canal Poll. What I found was that my fellow Canadians don't take kindly to seeing the accomplishments of their super-jocks go up in smoke. Take Mary, a government secretary out for a skate on her lunch hour. "They have no right to take away his medal. He didn't even smoke the stuff, he just happened to be in a place where someone else was smoking it. Anyway, it isn't as if it got him down the hill any faster." Not so fast, Proud Mary. For the record, here's what the Director General of the I.O.C., Francois Carrard, had to say on that score: "There is quite a discussion about marijuana. I am told in some situations it could be performance-enhancing. It could effect the behavior of some athletes." And then there was Robert, an employee of Health Canada who says that when he takes a break from his exertions on the blades, he often lights up on one of the green park benches that line the country's longest skating rink. "Marijuana is a recreational drug and it's a lot better for you than booze. Even if the guy did have a toke, so what? It's not like this is another Ben Johnson." Bingo. The collective whine coming out of Canadians over Doperboard is really about the lingering psychic scar of a fallen hero of a decade ago. For three glorious days back in the summer of 1988, the whole country basked in the fact that one of its citizen's was officially the World's Fastest Man. I have never quite understood such euphoria. But then I am the World's Slowest Man when it comes to grasping the strange sway athletics exercises over the national imagination. Then came Ben's fatal pee-stop. Even at that, a lot of people were all sympathy and still somehow felt that Our Ben, and by implication, the Beaver, had been cheated. Only in 1993, when Johnson was caught a second time for using performance-enhancing drugs, did people start wondering about what kind of person we had been cheering for all those years. Which brings me back to Ross Rebagliati. In their zeal to justify the success of a gifted Canadian athlete, a lot of people are saying that Ross' gold medal should be reinstated because there was no intentional or negligent use of a banned substance -- just as there wasn't in Silken Laumann's case in 1995 when she took Benadryl D and then tested positive for pseudoephedrine in her doping test. Ross' supporters also insist that this is not another Ben Johnson case, because it is generally admitted that marijuana does not make you run faster, jump further, or shoot down the mountain like a bullet. Illegal But there is this small difference that has so far played little part in the current debate. The only place cough medicine is banned is in an athlete's bloodstream during the Olympics. In the case of anabolic steroids, they are banned at the Games, illegal, but not criminal. But the last time I looked, it was a criminal offence to buy and use marijuana, both here in Canada and in Japan. So does the Ross Rebagliati story come down to this: The I.O.C. should restore his medal because his apparent breach of the criminal law didn't get him down the mountain that fraction of a second faster than Thomas Prugger of Italy? Professional sports has certainly made its accommodation to the recreational, and criminal, drugs routinely used by its multimillionaire athletes. In the old days of baseball and football, the use of illegal drugs by a player was grounds for being banned for life from his sport. Today, cocaine-use gets pro athletes a year in treatment, like throttling the coach or the wife. What really counts is that percentage from three-point land and the number of sacks. As skater after skater told me that Ross had done nothing wrong and ought to get his medal back, I pictured him on the milk cartons and TV spots, dazzling the ankle-biters with his prowess on the snowboard and legitimizing pot. "We either have to change our marijuana laws or our values, one or the other," I thought. At Dow's Lake, an epiphany of sorts awaited me. There, amongst the dazzling ice-sculptures of Mother Teresa, Brian Mulroney, and bowling polar bears taking aim at penguins was the exhibit that stole the show; a Formula One racing car with its driver giving the thumbs up for victory. It even looked like Jacques Villeneuve. Carved in the ice beside it was the a single word; champion. Brute accomplishment is in the driver's seat these days. I guess we better change those marijuana laws. Michael Harris can be e-mailed at email@example.com or visit his home page. He is The Sun's national affairs columnist. Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gold Medal Restored To Canadian Snowboarder ('Associated Press' Says Court For Arbitration Of Sport Ruled On One Point Only - That International Olympic Committee, Lacking Agreement With International Ski Federation On Marijuana Use, Could Not Sanction Ross Rebagliati For Positive Urine Test - Though Japanese Police Question Him For Hours) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 03:31:45 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Steve Kubby (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CNN: Gold Medal Restored To Canadian Snowboarder *** Note: Olympic officials decided to give back the gold medal on a technicality, since no formal agreement exists between the IOC and Olympic Snowboarders. Everyone is avoiding the real issues. --sk http://cnnsi.com/olympics/events/1998/nagano/snowboarding/ news/1998/02/12/reversal_second/ CNN Interactive Posted: Thu February 12, 1998 at 5:42 AM ET *** Gold Medal Restored To Canadian Snowboarder NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati got his gold medal back on a technicality Thursday, one day after it was taken away because he tested positive for marijuana. Avoiding the thorny question of recreational drug use, the Court for Arbitration of Sport said it ruled on one point and one point only: That the International Olympic Committee, lacking an agreement with the international ski federation on marijuana use, could not strip Rebagliati of his medal. "It's purely the legal issue. It's not our role to examine the social issues at this stage," Jean Philippe Rochat, secretary general of the CAS, said Thursday in upholding Rebagliati's appeal. "It's a clear message that if the international sports body wants such rules, it has to specify clearly that marijuana is a forbidden substance," Rochat said. The panel's decision was unanimous, didn't require a vote and cannot be appealed, Rochat said. Both the IOC and Rebagliati were notified, he said. The IOC said it would comply with the ruling. Rebagliati, 26, of Whistler, British Columbia, won the men's giant slalom on Sunday in the first Winter Games at which snowboarding has been a medal sport. As a winner, he submitted a urine sample. On Wednesday, the IOC said it was taking away Rebagliati's medal because the test came back positive for marijuana -- 17.8 nanograms per milliliter. Rebagliati maintains he hasn't smoked marijuana since April 1997 and must have inhaled second-hand smoke during a going-away party in Canada late last month. The appeals panel's decision hinged on the legal intricacies of agreements between the IOC and the ski federation. Both the IOC and the ski federation include marijuana on their lists of banned substances. But the two bodies have no formal agreement governing the use of marijuana by Olympic skiers or snowboarders. As a result, the IOC had no power to strip Rebagliati's medal because of the positive marijuana test, the panel ruled. Though nothing indicates Rebagliati came into contact with marijuana in Japan, he also faces a criminal investigation here. He appeared this afternoon at the Nakano Police Station near the Shiga Kogen ski area, the snowboarding venue, for questioning, and left after several hours. Beyond the procedural ruling, Rebagliati's explanation appears medically plausible. Ronald L. Alkana, professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, said the active ingredient in marijuana, called THC, is stored in fat and can be stored in the body for "relatively long periods of time." "It's reasonable to assume that second-hand smoke could be absorbed," Alkana said Wednesday. "It's certainly a possibility. How much would have been absorbed through second-hand smoke, I don't know." However it got into Rebagliati's urine, his friends and fellow Canadians seem most upset with the IOC. At the snowboarding halfpipe competition, fellow Canadian snowboarder Michael Michalchuck today unfurled a small banner that read: "Ross is the champion. Give the gold back." Even Preston Manning, the Canadian Parliament's conservative opposition leader whose Reform Party has a tough anti-drug stance, said the country "shouldn't give up that medal without a fight." Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, whose portfolio includes the Olympic program, said Canadians were rooting for Rebagliati. "I think the young man was the best in the world, and he did not engage in any activity that would illegally enhance that," she said. John Dizikes, a professor of American studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, has researched attitudes toward sports and athletic conduct in the 20th century. He sees the Rebagliati case as "one of the weirdest," not an example of a cheating athlete but a bellwether for conflicting attitudes about drug use. "This is very much part of the almost hysterical anxiety about drugs. It didn't help him win," Dizikes said. "We say, `Don't be dumb,' and we know what that means. It means the worst thing is getting caught."
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Boarder Gets Medal Back ('Toronto Star' Version) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: 'Boarder gets medal back Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:01:20 -0800 Source: Toronto Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: February 12, 1998 'Boarder gets medal back By CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD Toronto Sun NAGANO -- The kid from Whistler finally caught a break. Beleaguered Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who won his sport's first-ever Olympic gold medal and then lost it within a matter of days after testing positive for marijuana, got a last-minute reprieve early this morning from the Court of Adjudication for Sport (CAS). But his ordeal may not be over yet. Rebagliati was still being questioned by Japanese police when word of the CAS decision came through. Accompanied by Canadian team officials and a representative from the Canadian embassy to Japan, Rebagliati was at the station outside Nagano for more than two hours. After a special hearing convened last night at the Kokusai Hotel in downtown Nagano, a three-referee panel today decided the 26-year-old Rebagliati should be reprimanded for the positive test, but allowed to keep the medal he won last Sunday. Rebagliati had, in the words of a fellow skateboarder, been "put through the emotional meat grinder" because that group of elderly freeloaders known as the International Olympic Committee, whose doddering members wouldn't grasp any of the colloquial meanings of the word "joint," decided to use an elephant gun to kill a flea. Rebagliati didn't use anabolic steroids. He didn't use human growth hormone. He didn't try blood doping or EPO, which boosts the ability of your blood to carry more oxygen. He wasn't using stimulants. The poor benighted innocent, like many other refugees from the snowboarding world new to the mainstream, arrived here with a minute quantity of the active ingredient of marijuana in his urine. A former self-admitted weed smoker himself, who quit last spring as the Olympics drew close and he had to choose between his two favorite pastimes (it was, you might say, a moment of truth, literally when he had to s--- or get off the pot), Rebagliati, probably as a function of merely breathing the air in Whistler, where he lives and where the marijuana is the most potent in the world, still had enough of the drug in his system that it showed up in the test barely. That doesn't mean he was lying about having quit; his presence at a going-away party held in his honor earlier this month might well account for it. The jury is still out on the effects of passive pot smoking, but given the kind of marijuana sold in Vancouver and area (according to Canadian expert Dr. Andrew Pipe, the stuff sold in the 1980s and on which the little research there is was carried out had an active ingredient of 2.5%; the weed now being sold has a concentration of between 22 and 30%) and the fact the air at Rebagliati's goodbye party was thick with it, it's a possibility. And so what? Marijuana, as Dick Pound, Canada's member on the IOC and one of the few who is young enough that he might actually have some visceral understanding of all this says, is not on the banned list, is not a prohibited substance. The IOC doesn't routinely test for it, though it may, if requested by the particular sport and as the skiing federation demanded in Nagano. That's the vague language of the rule in question. As Rob Stevens, a friend of Rebagliati and member of the 1992 Canadian snowboard team, says, "You don't put someone through an emotional meat grinder on a 'may' and a 'maybe'." Good Lord, as anyone who has ever smoked the stuff, or had a hash brownie or two, knows, the notion of weed as an aid to performance of any sort (athletic, sexual, intellectual, conversational) is pretty much ludicrous; marijuana's most common effects, in my own not insubstantial experience, are to induce a mellow languor and/or a raging craving for junk food. As Pound said with an impatient shrug when someone asked if the Rebagliati case was akin to the Ben Johnson steroid scandal almost a decade ago, "Ben Johnson used anabolic steroids as a performance-enhancing drug. "This is pot." He didn't add, "for God's sake," but he might as well have. Pound, as one of the eight-member IOC executive board which made this anachronistic decision, made his own sensible view known, but withdrew from the actual voting because of the potential for an apparent conflict of interest. Some seasoned IOC observers say Pound should have swallowed his principles and "saved the kid" by doing what countless other IOC executives have done before him when their country's athletes found themselves in trouble. "My opinion is what we are fighting against is doping in sport," Pound concluded. "I don't think this (marijuana) is doping...I don't think you take away an athlete's medal unless he or she has doped." There's another school of thought on this one, that if Rebagliati was so stupid as to have used the drug himself recently or exposed himself to secondhand smoke, he deserves his fate and/or that the IOC must be seen to be sending out a message to the young people of the world that drugs are bad. But even if you subscribe to this view, no less an august person than Prince Alexandre de Merode, the head of the IOC medical commission and the man whose recommendation that Rebagliati be issued a warning was overturned, put that in perpective. "For me," he said, "marijuana is not doping, it's a problem of education." If the IOC, in other words, wanted to send out an anti-drug message to the kids, there are better ways to do it than by whacking Ross Rebagliati. The law and morality of marijuana-smoking are in flux all over the world. What's legal in Holland is illegal-but-seriously punished in Japan and illegal-but-tolerated (and in epileptic Terry Parker's case, court-condoned) in Canada. A 26-year-old snowboarder should never have been made to carry the can for the shifting mores of a confused planet. Christie can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her home page. Listen to Christie Blatchford on CFRB 1010 Monday to Friday after the 8.30 a.m. news. Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Final Victory For Rebagliati - 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 Returned) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Richard Lake Source: CBC-TV, The National Website: ? Note: Transcripts from the 11th, 12th and 17th of February are below. Date: 12 Feb 1998 Title: Final victory for Rebagliati. Guest: IAN HANOMANSING, CBC Reporter ROSS REBAGLIATI,Olympic Medalist LORI GLAZIER, Cdn. Snowboarder MARKFAWCETT, Canadian Snowboarder COLIN BLAKE, SnowboardingCouncil MICHELLE VERDIER, IOC CAROLE ANNE LETHEREN,Canadian Olympic Association PETER MANSBRIDGE: Good evening. It's been the kind of journey even a wild ride on an Olympic snowboard can't match: an emotional journey that's taken Ross Rebagliati up, down, and now up again. The Canadian snowboarder will hold on to his gold medal, and his run into the record books as the sport's first Olympic champion will stand. An appeals panel today overturned an IOC decision to penalize Rebagliati after testing positive for marijuana. With more on the ruling and the reaction, here's Ian Hanomansing in Nagano. IAN HANOMANSING: (Final Victory) Victory then disqualification, then victory again; it still seems a bit unreal to Ross Rebagliati. ROSS REBAGLIATI / OLYMPIC MEDALIST: I won the medal. It was the best moment of my life. I got the news that I tested positive, that was the worst moment of my life. It all happened in a short amount of time. It was an amazing feeling. I'll never really be able to tell exactly how it was, but it was quite a ride. UNIDENTIFIED: It's overturned. UNIDENTIFIED: Overturned! UNIDENTIFIED: Yes! HANOMANSING: As the news got out Thursday night in Nagano, there was jubilation in the Canadian camp. And nowhere has there been more support than from his snowboard teammates. (Cheering) LORI GLAZIER / CDN. SNOWBOARDER: He deserves the gold and that's how it's going to stand. And I think that's awesome for Ross, because he totally deserves it. MARK FAWCETT / CANADIAN SNOWBOARDER: It's incredible. It's been the biggest emotional roller coaster for all of us here and we're ecstatic. HANOMANSING: But there is also resentment. COLIN BLAKE / SNOWBOARDING COUNCIL: Ross has been treated like a cheater. He's not a cheater. There is no cheating going on; why they decided to pounce on him and use him as an example is beyond me. Maybe there are some forces at work that are not too stoked at having snowboarding in the Olympics, and it was a good way of blowing things up. HANOMANSING: The arbitration panel concluded the International Olympic Committee didn't have the authority to strip the medal because it hadn't reached an agreement with the federation which governs snowboarding to make marijuana a banned substance. Why wasn't all this sorted out before the Games? Not surprisingly, the International Olympic Committee had little comment. MICHELLE VERDIER / IOC: The IOC has taken note of the award rendered by court of arbitration for sport, and we'll be abiding by this decision. That's all we can say. CAROLE ANNE LETHEREN / CANADIAN OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION: There's absolutely a requirement here for this to receive real clarification. It's very confusing for the athletes, there's a lot of mixed messages in it, and there's no question it does need clarification. HANOMANSING: Rebagliati has said he hasn't smoked marijuana in almost a year, but is often at parties where there is a lot of second-hand smoke. How will he deal with that in the future? REBAGLIATI: Unfortunately, I'm not going to change my friends for you. I don't know, I don't care what you think about that. I think my friends are real, and I'm going to stand behind them. I support them; I'll never deviate from that. I may have to wear a gas mask from now on, but whatever. HANOMANSING: Rebagliati's return home may be delayed again. He was planning to leave later today, but the men's hockey team has asked him to stay for their first game -- for good luck. Ian Hanomansing, CBC News, Nagano.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian Vows To Don Gas Mask Near Dope-Smoking Friends ('Reuters' Misses Use Of Word 'Might' In Ross Rebagliati's First Appearance Before Media Since He Won-Lost-Won His Gold Medal Over Positive Marijuana Test) Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 13:09:02 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Olympics: Canadian Vows To Don Gas Mask Near Dope-Smoking Friends Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Reuters Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 Copyright: Reuters Comments: email@example.com CANADIAN VOWS TO DON GAS MASK NEAR DOPE-SMOKING FRIENDS NAGANO, - Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, a wiser athlete after regaining his gold medal, vowed on Friday to wear a gas mask in future around any dope-smoking friends. In his first full appearance before the media since he won-lost-won his medal over a positive marijuana test after the snowboarding giant slalom last Sunday. Rebagliati, disqualified on Wednesday and reinstated the next day under a sports arbitration panel ruling, said his experience provided the best and worst moments of his life. ``I'm definitely going to change my lifestyle. I'm not going to change my friends,'' said Rebagliati, who argued in his appeal against disqualification that second-hand smoke at a party last December was the reason his body showed marijuana use. ``I might have to wear a gas mask around them (friends) from now own,'' Rebagliati said to laughter. Rebagliati parried questions about whether he would now become an anti-drugs crusader, saying people made their own choices in life and lived with the consequences. But he said the incident in which he was involved sent a strong anti-drugs message. ``I'm ready to stand behind that 100 percent,'' he said. Rebagliati said that until he last smoked a marijuana joint last April he ``occasionally used marijuana.'' ``It didn't rule my life. It was a source of activity,'' he said. Asked if he was bitter and wanted an apology from the Olympic movement, Rebagliati said he felt he had won his precious medal twice -- once in competition and again when he won his appeal. ``It was the best moment of my life. It was the worst moment of my life,'' Rebagliati said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- What Rebagliati Really Said (List Subscriber Quotes Directly From Press Conference) Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 09:16:04 -0500 (EST) From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Rebagliati on "Just say No" Here is a direct quote from a press conference given by Ross Rebagliati: "I'm not sending out a message for anybody to do anything that they don't want to do and I'm not trying to rule anybody's life. All I'm saying is that you have to understand the consequences that might happen. . "Up until April, I occasionally used marijuana. It didn't rule any part of my life whatsoever. It was a social activity." *** KTC
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canada Backs Rebagliati - Support Strong In Medal Battle ('Calgary Herald' Says Many Of Canada's Political And Sports Leaders Came To Defence Wednesday Of Ross Rebagliati, Gold-Medal Winning Olympic Snowboarder Who Tested Positive For Marijuana) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada backs Rebagliati: Support strong in medal battle Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:07:18 -0800 Lines: 106 Source: Calgary Herald Contact: email@example.com Thu 12 Feb 1998 News A1 / FRONT Canada backs Rebagliati: Support strong in medal battle By: Eric Duhatschek and Mark Kennedy, Calgary Herald Many of Canada's political and sports leaders came to the defence Wednesday of Ross Rebagliati, the gold-medal winning Olympic snowboarder who tested positive for marijuana. Rower Silken Laumann, herself the centre of a doping scandal in the 1995 Pan-American Games for taking the wrong cold medicine, said she was backing the 26-year-old with the electric smile. ``This is the same suspension given to Ben Johnson 10 years ago; what kind of message are we sending with that?'' said Laumann. ``I, for one, am very proud of him (Rebagliati).'' Unlike the anabolic steroid stanozolol used by Johnson at the Olympics in Seoul, marijuana is not seen as a performance-enhancing substance -- especially when you're slashing through 30 to 50 gates on a course with a vertical drop of 290 metres. Rebagliati spent an anxious night Wednesday, awaiting a ruling on his appeal from an independent sports tribunal. Dressed in jeans and a wool sweater, Rebagliati testified on his own behalf in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), a three-member panel that operates independently of the International Olympic Committee. The appeal, filed on behalf of Rebagliati by the Canadian Olympic Association, was heard just before 5 a.m. MST. Following the 2 1/2 hours, Rebagliati was whisked out the back door of a hotel, avoiding the crush of reporters awaiting him outside. The IOC stripped Rebagliati of the gold medal he won in giant slalom last Sunday, the first medal awarded in the 1998 Winter Olympics. Rebagliati's punishment provoked debates across the country. On Parliament Hill -- with few exceptions -- ministers and MPs said they don't think smoking marijuana warrants losing a gold medal. NDP Leader Alexa McDonough even suggested the case should force Ottawa to address the question of whether marijuana should be decriminalized. Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, whose portfolio includes sport, said she hoped Rebagliati wins his appeal. ``Based on the facts that have been communicated, I think the young man was the best in the world, and he did not engage in any activity that would illegally enhance that.'' Asked what sort of image a marijuana-smoking, Olympic gold-medal winner projects to the public, Copps walked away from reporters but eventually said: ``Would I want my daughter to see that as a plus? No.'' Reform Leader Preston Manning, whose party has adopted a tough line on law and order, had no qualms about supporting Rebagliati, even though the Whistler B.C. athlete admitted smoking marijuana in April of last year. ``We shouldn't give up that medal without a fight,'' said Manning. Conservative Leader Jean Charest, who was federal sports minister when sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal at the 1988 Olympics for steroid use, said Rebagliati should get a simple rebuke. ``I don't think the penalty fits the infraction . . . A rebuke is sufficient. The public revelation of this is going to have deep consequences on this man's life. The message is sent.'' Solicitor General Andy Scott said ``every Canadian'' would like to see the gold medal returned to Rebagliati. However, he said there's no sense in using the controversy to reopen the debate over decriminalizing marijuana. Calgary Reform MP Art Hanger expressed sympathy for Rebagliati, but said he can't excuse his actions. ``There's no doubt the young fellow tried very hard, but there's also rules. There are regulations that I'm sure he was very aware of when he walked in there. It's unfortunate but there's consequences to violating the rules.'' Making an exception to those rules, he said, would set a bad example to ``young sports enthusiasts.'' Rebagliati looked dazed and confused heading into the hearing. Asked if he had any comment, Rebagliati said: ``Not at the moment.'' He was later questioned by police in Nagano whether he used drugs while on Japanese soil. Rebagliati told team leader Mike Wood that he was exposed to second-hand smoke at a Jan. 31 going-away party at Whistler, B.C., prior to a Olympic staging event in Calgary. Ottawa Citizen and files from Canadian Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebagliati Still A Hero - Many Factors Determine How Long Marijuana Stays In Bodies (Interesting Details About Urine Testing In 'Hamilton Spectator' Story) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Rebagliati still a hero Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:16:11 -0800 Lines: 76 Source: Hamilton Spectator Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Thu 12 Feb 1998 Local News A1 / Front Rebagliati still a hero: Many factors determine how long marijuana stays in bodies By: Jon Wells Canadians guessing how and when Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati got marijuana in his system are engaging in just that -- guess work. The fact is, depending on the individual and potency of the drug inhaled, marijuana can be detected more than 25 days after inhaling -- or it can vanish the next day. Rebagliati, 26, says trace elements of marijuana found in a urine test by the International Olympic Committee are from passive (second-hand) smoke he inhaled at a going-away party Jan. 31 in his home town of Whistler, B.C. But the science on determining whether this claim makes sense is murky. ``You can't correlate urine-testing levels to quantitative measures, there are too many variables,'' said Dr. Bhushan Kapur, director of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In other words, even though IOC tests found a concentration of 17.8 nanograms per millilitre -- 17.8 parts per billion -- in Rebagliati's urine after he raced last Sunday in Nagano (the accepted limit is 15), no one can accurately say -- apart from Rebagliati, perhaps -- when it entered his system. The active drug in marijuana --delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC -- is absorbed in fatty tissue in various organs. The degree of THC storage depends on the potency of the marijuana inhaled, the frequency with which you smoke it, and your body's biology. Moreover, the pace at the chemical leaches out through the bloodstream depends on body fat percentage and metabolism. And the measuring unit is incredibly minuscule -- one nanogram represents one one-millionth of a milligram. ``There is the amount of fluids you take in that influences your urine, and your physical structure,'' said Kapur. ``There's a tremendous amount of genetic gobbledegook involved.'' One U.S. study says a heavy marijuana smoker who ``has in fact stopped, may show positive samples for three or more weeks after.'' But if Rebagliati's explanation is true -- that his urine showed a 17.8 reading from passive smoke inhaled eight days prior to testing -- then he must have been in an extremely smoky room, considering that he is a world-class athlete with presumably low body fat. A 1991 study, published in the Journal of Substance Abuse, showed that individuals shut in a large crate and exposed to four burning marijuana cigarettes for 30 minutes, an ``unrealistically high-smoke environment,'' showed a marijuana reading of 20 ng/ml shortly afterward. Individuals shut in a regular room and exposed to four burning joints over one hour, showed a reading of just six ng/ml 24 hours later. One thing seems clear, despite opinions expressed by the IOC to the contrary: marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. Dave Murray, from McMaster University's athletic therapy clinic, said, ``If anything, it retards your system, rather than stimulates it . . . as opposed to steroids.'' There might be one potential performance advantage, according to Dr. Ian Cohen, a University of Toronto team physician. It comes if an athlete inhales marijuana to calm nerves. ``But at the same time, it might take away from your drive and focus,'' he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebagliati Now Worth Even More, Agent Says ('Vancouver Sun' Quotes Barry Frank Of New York's International Management Group Saying, 'I Can't Think Of A Single Sponsor Who Would Take Him, Aside From The Hemp Growers Of America,' But Marc Emery Of Hemp BC Says Rebagliati Is Now Poster Boy For BC's Billion Dollar Marijuana Industry, And There Is Already Talk Of Naming A Strain Of BC's World-Renowned Pot Golden Boy, In Rebagliati's Honour) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Rebagliati now worth even more, agent says Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:17:01 -0800 Lines: 87 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu 12 Feb 1998 Section: News A1 / Front Author: John MacKie REBAGLIATI NOW WORTH EVEN MORE, AGENT SAYS Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's gold medal victory in Nagano has been tarnished by a drug scandal. But he could still be on the road to becoming a cultural icon. Before the furor over his Olympic suspension, Rebagliati was just one of dozens of athletes who would have come home with a gold medal from Nagano. As a Canadian, Rebagliati might have made up to $500,000 per year in endorsements and sponsorships. But the traces of marijuana in his dope test have thrust the 26-year-old Whistler resident on to the front page around the globe. And some people think his marketing value could go sky-high, particularly in snowboarding circles, which revel in their alternative image. ``He could make millions of dollars,'' said sports agent Ron Perrick, who represents such National Hockey League players as Rod Brind'Amour and Cliff Ronning. ``In this case, he's won a gold medal. Maybe it's taken away, maybe it's not. There's a TV movie, a book, there's all kinds of stuff there now that wasn't there before. Before, it was a gold medal in snowboarding. Now the story is much, much bigger and therefore might be much, much more lucrative for him. You can see this guy on Letterman, he's going to be everywhere.'' Places you probably won't seem him are on a kids' cereal box, or in commercials for big, conservative corporations such as car companies. ``I can't think of a single sponsor who would take him, aside from the Hemp Growers of America,'' said Barry Frank, vice-president of New York's International Management Group, one of the world's largest representatives of athletes. But North Vancouver's Perrick thinks Rebagliati's new-found fame could be dynamite for the right advertiser. ``He's like a cult hero,'' Perrick said. ``There are things that people react to. I remember when Willie Nelson wore a Moosehead Beer T-shirt to one of his Farm Aid concerts. Well, Moosehead Beer became the most popular beer for a while in the United States and Canada -- they couldn't make the stuff fast enough.'' One of Rebagliati's current sponsors is Kokanee Beer, a division of Labatt. The company plans to stick with Rebagliati's elite snowboarding team, the JW4. ``This incident is obviously an unfortunate blip,'' said Paul Smith, Labatt's director of public affairs. ``We're fully committed to promoting and supporting the sport of snowboarding, and will continue to do that.'' Snowboarder Moe Arsenault said Rebagliati's name is now golden in snowboarding circles. ``This guy kicks ass. If he's going to put his name on a product, I would look at it,'' said Arsenault, a 20-year-old who hits the slopes five times a week. Marijuana advocate Marc Emery of Hemp B.C. said Rebagliati is now the poster boy for B.C.'s billion dollar marijuana industry. In fact, there is already talk of naming a strain of B.C.'s world-renowned pot Golden Boy, in Rebagliati's honour. ``We love that guy,'' Emery said. ``He's the Canadian cannabis hero.'' One factor that may work in Rebagliati's favour is snowboarding's outlaw image. In a way, it's only fitting that the sport's first Olympic gold medal winner should stir up such controversy. Snowboarding was invented in the late 1970s, but was virtually banned from ski hills until the late 1980s. Snowboarders were seen to be the bad boys and girls of the hills, anarchistic daredevils with a major attitude problem. In any event, snowboarding boomed in the late '80s, when it was embraced as a possible financial saviour of the struggling ski industry.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Forget You're Still King Of The Hill (The Dinger, A Columnist For 'The Calgary Sun,' Sympathizes With Canadian Snowboarder At Olympics Who Tested Positive For Cannabis) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Don't forget you're still king of the hill Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 09:47:08 -0800 Lines: 70 Source: Calgary Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: February 12, 1998 Don't forget you're still king of the hill By RICK BELL Calgary Sun Dear Ross, King of the Snowboarders: I'm on your side, dude. I don't bother with the nervous Nellies, the naysayers, the moralizers, the mean-spirited who would look better in a lynch mob. Let them rot. I know you've gone though a lot these past hours with your gold forever tarnished, but I can't help seeing this whole thing as a bad joke. Yes, you tested positive for pot. Your athlete's body held a small amount, just a smidgen above the limit for weed set by the snowboarding poobahs. Big deal. Ross, when all is said and done, I really don't care if you toked, or when, or why. What traces you had in your system did not pump you up. If anything, it slowed you down. You weren't a steroid monkey, a juice junkie searching for drugstore legs and arms of steel in a vain attempt to cheat. You didn't cheat. Ross, some say you're a disgrace to your country. They say we're now vilified on the world stage. Some say you never did deserve the gold medal you worked so hard to get since age 15, when you told your dad you'd snowboard and then got kicked out of the house for a week. They say you give snowboarders a bad name, as if toking puts you next to Charlie Manson in the pantheon of evil-doers. They speak of you as another Ben Johnson and mouth the words in angry indignation. I don't agree, but they do not hear me, Ross. You or me. I've got to say you should have steered clear of the scene to make sure you were totally clean, Ross. If anything, you used bad judgment. But I know you didn't violate the spirit of the Olympics. In fact, you were very much a part of these Games. I still can see your run for gold. I still feel proud seeing the smile when you won and your fellow-shredders cheered and hugged and called your performance by one wonderful name. Killer. Twice as good as wicked. Nobody can take that away. They can't take away the race you dedicated to Lumpy, your great friend who died this past year in an avalanche in Kootenay National Park. They can't take away the mob scene after you, the underdog, won the medal and the gold was placed around your neck. Fan after fan broke through security to touch you, to share in your gold medal win. In a snowy instant, you were snowboarding's Paul McCartney. And no one can take away the crystal-clear moment at race's end, in the fog at the base of Mount Takebitai, when dad and your pals and a nation waited. Darren Chalmers, your teammate, shouted to you. "Ross, you are an animal. This is so killer." Remember Ross? Killer. Twice as good as wicked. The Dinger can be reached at (403) 250-4323 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- There Was A Lot Of Pot Smoking Going On (Three-Part Article In 'Ottawa Citizen' Provides Background On Olympic Gold Medal Winner's Milieu In British Columbia, Prevalence Of Cannabis Use, Asks Did He Or Didn't He, Outlines Leagues' Testing Policies) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: `There was a lot of pot smoking going on' Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:12:08 -0800 Lines: 291 Source: Ottawa Citizen Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu 12 Feb 1998 Section: News A1 / Front `There was a lot of pot smoking going on' By: Jeremy Mercer and Randy Boswell Did he or didn't he? The experts speak Experts are divided on whether to believe snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's claim that he inhaled -- but didn't smoke -- marijuana. The amount of marijuana metabolites found in Mr. Rebagliati's bloodstream was so insignificant, says Simon Fraser psychology professor Barry Beyerstein, that the only thing it proves is that the athlete didn't smoke a large amount of marijuana recently. ``It's a tiny, tiny amount,'' argues Mr. Beyerstein, one of Canada's leading authorities on drug testing. And the Canadian Olympic Association's key adviser on drugs in sport, Dr. Andrew Pipe of Ottawa, says the appeal to restore Mr. Rebagliati's gold medal was partly based on his ``plausible'' explanation for where the marijuana traces came from. But two other drug experts say the level of marijuana found in Mr. Rebagliati's urine could not have gotten there from second-hand smoke. A drug test less than one hour after Mr. Rebagliati's gold-medal-winning performance showed 17.8 nanograms of marijuana metabolites per millilitre of urine. The rules of the International Ski Federation permit a level of 15 nanograms per millilitre. Mr. Rebagliati says he hasn't smoked any marijuana since April 1997, but he did say he spends a lot of time in the company of marijuana smokers in Whistler, B.C. He says he was exposed to marijuana at a going-away party on Jan. 31 before he left for Japan. Dr. Siu Chan, director of the Calgary Regional Health Authority Centre for Toxicology, said if that's his claim, ``then the answer (as to whether this explains the test result) is definitively, `No.' '' Mr. Chan, a PhD toxicologist who ran the Calgary drug-testing lab during the 1988 Winter Olympics and is now a consultant for the National Football League and the College of American Pathologists, said Mr. Rebagliati must have smoked marijuana sometime before the testing. But because the level is very low it would probably have been a week or two before. The active drug that can be detected in marijuana (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is absorbed in fatty tissue in various organs. Mr. Chan, who's lab tests about 1,200 samples a year for drugs, said the scientific literature shows that the byproducts of second-hand marijuana smoke do not show up in significant quantities in the urine. Dr. Bill Campbell, a Calgary specialist in treating addictions, agreed. He said he hears the second-hand smoke claim all the time. It might get in the urine, but not at measurable levels, he says. ``These tests are highly standardized. When they get a positive it means the person has used marijuana in the last three to four weeks,'' said Dr. Campbell, a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Those views echo those of Dr. Benno Nigg, a member of the IOC medical commission and head of the University of Calgary's Human Performance Lab. He said ``it's very unlikely'' the positive test for marijuana would have come from second-hand smoke. Mr. Chan said he doesn't think Mr. Rebagliati should lose the gold medal, because the reading of 17.8 nanograms per millilitre is too close to the permitted level of 15 nanograms. ``To give him the benefit of the doubt I would disregard anything below 18,'' he said. But Dr. Nigg disagreed: ``If you go into a race with one of those drugs, it's like having an unfair advantage that other people don't have. You are cheating,'' he said. ``You may go a different way into a race -- more aggressively or more relaxed ... All drugs give an advantage. In general those drugs change the way you approach something. It's not a fair game anymore.'' But Mr. Regliati's defenders argue the small amount of marijuana detected in his system would not have affected his performance -- in a good or bad way. ``It's miniscule and the technology is there to pick it up now, but it won't tell you how he took it into his system,'' says Mr. Beyerstein. ``It won't tell you when he took it, and it won't tell you whether he was intoxicated by it. All it says it that at some undetermined time in the past this person was exposed to this product, whether through second-hand smoke or personal use.'' Mr. Rebagliati has been tested twice for drugs, in mid-September and mid-December 1997, prior to coming to the Games. On both of those occasions there were small traces of marijuana, but below the level set out by the international ski federation. Dr. Pipe says, ``I don't know if it's possible, but I'd say it's plausible,'' that the traces of marijuana found in Mr. Rebagliati's system could have come second-hand. ``When we looked at the scientific literature on people exposed to high concentrations of marijuana smoke -- say, 16 people in a room -- we found it will produce marijuana metabolites in urine,'' says Dr. Pipe. ``The question is, how long will those concentrations persist?'' Dr. Pipe says one of the difficulties in judging the Rebagliati case is that most scientific research is based on testing of individuals exposed to smoke from low-potency marijuana cigarettes -- in which pot makes up about 2.5 per cent of the substance smoked. Dr. Pipe says the typical joint in British Columbia, according to experts who contacted him after news of the IOC decision, has up to 30 per cent marijuana. ``We're dealing with very, very potent marijuana,'' says Dr. Pipe, adding that ``repeated exposure'' to such potent concentrations of the drug hasn't been studied and that in these cases there's a strong chance of heavy accumulation in the body. ``Nobody has done any studies on such high-potency marijuana,'' says Dr. Pipe. ``That's an issue in the appeal developed by Canada.'' Mr. Beyerstein says marijuana metabolites can stay in the blood stream up to six weeks, much longer than the traces of alcohol, heroin or other drugs. ``Marijuana metabolites hang around a lot longer because they are highly fat soluble and hang around in all kinds of nooks and crannies in the body and are released over a period of weeks, and on certain occasions and for certain people, months.'' The whole marijuana scandal is indicative of new testing practices that detect the most minute amount of drugs, says Mr. Beyerstein. ``I've studied cases in the United States where bank tellers test positive for cocaine use during company testing ... Now these are bank tellers who are of impeccable character and are anti-drugs. The reason? There is cocaine on the one hundred dollar bills coming out of the underground economy. These people handling large numbers of those bills absorb enough cocaine to test positive. It gets that crazy.'' *** `There was a lot of pot smoking going on': Marijuana use `part of life here' By: Dianne Rinehart WHISTLER, B.C. -- When Ross Rebagliati entered a popular Blackcomb bar Jan. 13 for the wake of a good friend who died in an avalanche, the air was thick with smoke. ``There was a lot of pot smoking going on,'' said Ptor Spricenieks, a friend of Mr. Rebagliati's. ``He was exposed to pot the way people are exposed to cigarette smoke. It's just a part of life here.'' Mr. Spricenieks said he doesn't know if Mr. Rebagliati smoked marijuana in the weeks leading to the Olympics. But Mr. Spricenieks does know Mr. Rebagliati couldn't avoid being exposed to it. ``Being that all his friends smoke, he's not going to run away.'' Mr. Spricenieks thinks pot smoking should be legal. But even among those who abhor it, there was the belief that exposure to it is unavoidable among the young in Whistler, a snowboarding haven. Bob Allison, coach of the Blackcomb Snowboard Club, who sometimes coached Rebagliati, opposes the use of marijuana and alcohol. But he wonders whether even he would test positive for trace exposures. ``Recently I was on the Whistler gondola and some skiers got on and lit a joint. I told them I didn't want to inhale their second-hand smoke but they didn't put it out. It happens.'' Graham Turner, manager of Showcase Snowboards, a retail outlet that sponsored Rebagliati and supplied him with his uniforms, agrees. ``I've seen (Rebagliati) in a cloud of smoke before. You just have to go up the Whistler gondola.'' Rebagliati contends he was exposed to marijuana as recently as Jan. 31 -- the night before he left for Nagano. Turner and Allison don't doubt that. ``If you go to any party with people that age there's a good chance someone will be smoking pot,'' said Allison. But don't expect anyone to come forward to back up Rebagliati's story. ``Everyone who was at the parties is lying low,'' said Turner. All of them refused to be interviewed -- even anonymously he said. They're worried about legal repercussions. But they needn't be. An RCMP corporal said there are no plans to investigate. ``Why would we expend resources to find out what we already know -- that he was at a party where people smoke dope . . . Chances are, no one is going to come forward and say, ``Yes it was me that blew the second hand smoke.' ``What can we do. Unfortunately dope is commonplace in our society.'' Allison said he believes Rebagliati -- as does Whistler mayor Hugh O'Reilly -- that he had quit using marijuana and his positive test was a result of exposure to second hand smoke. But others weren't so sure. Most snowboarders interviewed on Whistler's Blackcomb mountain Tuesday believed he had probably used it recently, though they didn't believe it should be an issue. *** `There was a lot of pot smoking going on' : Different tests for different sports By: Lisa Burke If Ross Rebagliati had won gold as an Olympic curler, there wouldn't have been any question of him losing his medal. Curling, bobsleigh, figure skating, luge and speed skating are Winter Games sports whose athletes are not routinely tested for marijuana. That's because the umbrella federations for those sports do not require the tests, and the International Olympic Committee follows their lead when it comes to drugs that fall into a discretionary category. Athletes competing in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding, all events governed under the International Ski Federation, are tested for marijuana as a matter of course. If Canada's hockey players win a medal, they will not face testing for marijuana use. Here's how the system works: Drugs in five categories are tested for all sports. These include performance-enhancing substances such as steroids and amphetamines. But other drugs, including marijuana, fall into a discretionary category. Sometimes athletes are tested for these drugs, sometimes they are not. The penalties can range from disqualification to suspensions from competition to a verbal reprimand. Rebagliati, winner of the gold medal in the men's snowboarding event, was disqualified after he tested positive for marijuana. Urine samples taken after Rebagliati's winning performance indicated a level of marijuana measured at 17.8 nanograms per millilitre, above the legal limit of 15 nanograms. The IOC does not consider marijuana a prohibited substance, but the International Ski Federation, which governs snowboarding, lists a threshold of concentration of 15 nanograms per millilitre. All medal winners are immediately tested after their event, or as quickly as they can supply a urine sample. Winners cannot leave the competition area until they have been tested. ``The tests are taken as quickly as possible to avoid problems,'' said Tom McIllfaterick, executive director of the Canadian Ski Association. ``They will wait as long as it takes for you to produce a (urine) sample.'' In the case of team events, such as hockey, the International Ice Hockey Federation follows a selection criteria that tests at least two of the winning team members, but the International Olympic Committee reserves the right to do random testing. ``Each federation follows its own guidelines,'' said Rob Koehler, doping control co-ordinator for the Canadian Centre of Ethics in Sports. ``Most follow the IOC's medical code.'' Canadian athletes are randomly tested by the Canadian centre 365 days a year, Koehler said. ``Some can go through (testing) two to five times,'' Koehler admitted. ``The emphasis on testing is carried out throughout the year.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Whistler Wake Thick With Smoke ('Calgary Herald' Article, Also In Previous Three-Part 'Ottawa Citizen' Item, Portrays Olympic Snowboarder's Background In British Columbia - Says He Was Exposed To Second-Hand Smoke January 13 During Wake For Friend At Shredder Bar) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Whistler wake `thick with smoke' Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:06:26 -0800 Lines: 78 Source: Calgary Herald Contact: email@example.com Thu 12 Feb 1998 News A1 / FRONT Whistler wake `thick with smoke' By: Dianne Rinehart, Vancouver Sun When Ross Rebagliati entered Merlins, a popular Blackcomb mountain ski bar, on Jan. 13 to attend a wake for his good friend, avalanche victim Lumpy Leidal, the air was thick with smoke. But it wasn't from Camels. ``There was a lot of pot-smoking going on,'' Ptor Spricenieks, a friend of Rebagliati's who was at the wake, said Wednesday. ``He was exposed to pot the way people are exposed to cigarette smoke. It's just a part of life here,'' said Spricenieks. Spricenieks said he doesn't know if Rebagliati smoked pot during the weeks leading up to the Olympics. The Olympic gold meal winner contends he hasn't smoked it since last April. But he does know Rebagliati couldn't avoid being exposed to it, as he told Olympic officials after traces of the drug showed up in tests. ``Being that all his friends smoke, he's not going to run away.'' Spricenieks thinks pot-smoking should be legal. But even among those who abhor it, there was the belief that exposure to it is unavoidable among the young. Bob Allison, coach of the Blackcomb Snowboard Club, who sometimes coached Rebagliati, opposes the consumption of marijuana and alcohol. But he wonders whether even he would test positive for trace exposures if he were an Olympic athlete. ``Recently I was on the Whistler gondola and some skiers got on and lit a joint. I told them I didn't want to inhale their second-hand smoke but they didn't put it out. It happens.'' Graham Turner, manager of Showcase Snowboards, a retail outlet that sponsored Rebagliati and supplied him with his uniforms agrees. ``I've seen (Rebagliati) in a cloud of smoke before. You just have to go up the Whistler gondola. What do you think people do (on it)?'' Rebagliati contends he was exposed to marijuana as recently as Jan. 31 -- the night before he left for Nagano. And Turner and Allison don't doubt that. ``If you go to any party with people that age there's a good chance someone will be smoking pot,'' said Allison. But don't expect anyone to come forward. They're worried about legal repercussions. But they needen't be. A local RCMP corporal said there are no plans to investigate. ``Why would we expend resources to find out what we already know -- that he was at a party where people smoke dope . . . Chances are, no one is going to come forward and say: `Yes it was me that blew the second-hand smoke.' '' ``What can we do. Unfortunately dope is commonplace.'' Allison said he absolutely believes Rebagliati -- as does Whistler Mayor Hugh O'Reilly -- that he had quit using marijuana and his positive test was a result of exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking pot is considered practically a way of life for many snowboarders. But that's because they're predominantly young, experts insist. Not because they're snowboarders. ``In that age group if you go anywhere, on campus or to a ski resort, you're going to find it,'' said O'Reilly.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Rule Shameless - Rebagliati Deserves Gold Medal Honor (Exasperated Op-Ed By 'Ottawa Sun' Reporter Against Cannabis Prohibition, Reminiscent Of Speech In US Congress That Turned Tide Against McCarthyism) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Marijuana rule shameless Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 09:54:37 -0800 Lines: 102 Source: Ottawa Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pubdate: February 12, 1998 Marijuana rule shameless Rebagliati deserves gold medal honor By RON CORBETT Ottawa Sun Let's see if I have this straight. Ross Rebagliati snowboards down a mountain, a giant slalom no less, does it in two minutes, 3.96 seconds, a time so superlative he is rewarded with a gold medal at the Olympics, and after the race, trace elements of marijuana are found in his blood. So, tell me again what's wrong with this drug? I'm trying to figure it out people. I'm not being cheeky. I'm truly trying to figure it out. Marijuana is saner than Scotch (go to a bar. Look at the research), has a myriad of medicinal purposes, the possession of it is legal in many countries, and yet, for 17.8 nanograms of marijuana in his blood (in case you're wondering what a nanogram of marijuana is, it's what people used to sell at the Chez Henri for $10) for this, Rebagliati has been stripped of his gold medal. He's gone from hero to goat in 24 hours. Shameful. I think it's absolutely shameful. Now, before I go any further I should tell you that some people have cautioned me against writing this column. I have been told that rules are rules, that Rebagliati was an idiot for even -- if you buy the second-hand smoke argument -- for being in the same room as a lit joint. Focus on the International Olympic Committee, I have been told. Focus on the inane rules that it devises. Work in the Sudafed angle. Avoid marijuana. And yet how can you separate it? Inane rules -- the IOC's, the FIC's, those found in the Canadian Criminal Code -- are exactly why we have this story today. How plainly can I state it? Let's try this: I am at a loss to come up with a single item that, in the course of civilization, we have wasted more time, energy and money on than our irrational fight against marijuana. Our "rules" have marginalized, penalized and destroyed countless thousands of lives. For no defensible reason. We did it again this week to Ross Rebagliati. Even if you disagree with me, I ask that you remember how you felt about this young man just four short days ago. This is a 26-year-old man who won a gold medal in his sport. The best in the world at his sport. How many people reading this column can claim such a thing? But did he inflate with ego after his accomplishment? Did he boast? Did he become arrogant? No. After winning his gold medal Rebagliati dedicated it to his best friend, Geoff Leidal, who died in an avalanche while snowboarding in Kootenay National Park 41 days ago. The gold medal that the IOC stripped him of, and stripped Geoff Leidal of, for 17.8 nanograms of THC. If there is such a thing as karma in this world then I fully believe every person who voted for stripping Rebagliati of his medal is in serious trouble today. And family? Always one of my favorite subjects. How does family play out in this story? Rebagliati's father was standing on the slopes when his son won a gold medal. His father stood at attention when our national anthem was played. His father later told reporters: "This is the greatest day of my life." We destroyed all that. Because of our stupid rules, because of our defence and acceptance of stupid rules, we destroyed all that. A golden moment. As this column is being written we still don't know whether Rebagliati's gold medal will be reinstated by the IOC. Maybe by the time you read this common sense will have prevailed and the original decision will have been overturned. But if it hasn't, I hope all of us in Canada have the grace and wisdom to treat Rebagliati the way he deserves to be treated when he returns to this country. Not as a loser or a fallen hero or a criminal. There has been far too much of that already. Rebagliati has proven himself to be a superb athlete. In interviews after his win he has shown himself to be a thoughtful and compassionate young man. He is a gold medal winner. A young man this country can be proud of. It will take more than an IOC subsection and 17.8 nanograms to make me feel any differently. Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Let International Olympic Committee Disgrace A True Hero ('Calgary Sun' Sports Columnist Protests Possible Loss Of Snowboarder's Gold Medal Over Urine Test - Notes, 'Isn't It Ironic The People At Canada Centre For Drug-Free Sport Have Been Working Around The Clock In An Effort To Help Rebagliati Beat A Drug Rap?') From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Don't let IOC disgrace a true hero Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 09:51:25 -0800 Lines: 77 Source: Calgary Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: February 12, 1998 Don't let IOC disgrace a true hero By ERIC FRANCIS Ross Rebagliati is a Canadian hero. A real Canadian hero. Remember that. Whether or not the IOC allows him to return home with the gold medal matters not. He is clearly the world's best. Period. He's not Ben Johnson. Yet the IOC has chosen to send the same message they sent Ben. Johnson deserved to be shamed -- he used performance enhancing drugs. This is as different as the skin color of the two athletes. This is like giving a speeder a four-year jail sentence. It's wrong, it's inappropriate and it should be overturned (at press time, the appeal committee had not rendered a decision). Marijuana is not a performance-enhancer. Anyone who has tried to open a bag of Twinkies or walk to the refrigerator while under the influence knows that. As a matter of fact, if it could be proven he boarded while stoned, I say we award him another gold medal and a year's supply of munchies. That's talent. The bottom line is that dope smoking is a social issue. And who in their right mind wants the tightwads at the IOC dictating what is and what isn't acceptable? Besides, cannabis is listed in the same category as alcohol in the International Ski Federation's list of banned substances. Is that to say if traces of a wayward Molson were found in Ross' belly, he'd be facing the same sentence? I shudder to think of how many Olympic hockey players would be on the next flight home if that were the case. Either way, Rebagliati has emerged from a culture of "free spirits" to be the best. I don't care if he toked up or if this truly is a case of inhaling "second-hand toke." To me, it's irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the Olympics. If he isn't allowed to keep the medal, this country should be outraged. So should the boarders. Yes, Olympic officials are trying to disgrace our hero. Don't let them. BUMPER STUMPER I say "no" to drugs, but they just won't listen. DOPE RECOUNT It's been several weeks since Tyler won gold in Page Six's Most Obnoxious media type contest. In light of recent developments, I was forced to hold a press conference yesterday announcing McLeod has been stripped of his title pending a ruling from an arbitrator. The Dinger has received an influx of votes since the contest and, in my eyes, is the most deserving recipient of the Golden Nitz Award. The committee wants it to be known this had nothing to do with illegal substances. QUESTION PERIOD Isn't it ironic the people at Canada Centre for Drug-free Sport have been working around the clock in an effort to help Rebagliati beat a drug rap? GLOBE PLOTTERS Eric Francis' column appears in the Calgary Sun Tuesday through Friday and Sunday.. He can be reached at 250-4144 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ross Robbed Of Reputation (Licia Corbella, Editor Of 'Calgary Sun,' Says, 'Under The Same Circumstances, You Can Bet The IOC Wouldn't Pull Such A Stunt On An American Or A German' - And Quotes One Of World's Top Urine-Testing Experts, Dr. Siu Chan, Director Of Calgary's Centre For Toxicology And Head Of Drug Testing At Calgary's 1988 Winter Olympics, Who Says, 'We Have Been Doing The Legal Analysis Of Marijuana In Urine And My Policy Is If It's Under 18 Nanograms, We Won't Report It Because There's A Statistical Chance That It's Actually Under 15' - So There You Go - There Is A Chance That The Reading Of 17.8 Could Actually Be 14.9 Or Less - That's The Science) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Ross robbed of reputation Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 09:49:24 -0800 Lines: 87 Source: Calgary Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: February 12, 1998 Ross robbed of reputation By LICIA CORBELLA -- Calgary Sun Medal or no medal, Ross Rebagliati has been robbed by the International Olympic Committee. Had the IOC done the right and proper thing, Rebagliati would still be Canada's unsullied golden boy. Had the IOC done the right thing, the world never would have found out there were trace elements of marijuana in Rebagliati's urine at all. We would all be writing about sporting events instead of scandal. This wouldn't be an issue and we all wouldn't be worried about this tempting our country's youngsters into taking up dope smoking. Rebagliati, he of the bright face and blond hair, would still be hailed a hero instead of slammed by scandal. Now, no matter what great feats Rebagliati performs in the future, he will always be remembered as the pothead who managed to win an Olympic gold medal, only to see the benefit of such a feat go up in smoke. Gone are inevitable lucrative endorsements and parades. Indeed, when one looks at the cold, hard facts, one has to wonder if members of the IOC have been smoking the wacky tabacky themselves. Clearly, their vision and judgment has been clouded. Perhaps their minds were also made lazy by virtue of the fact they were dealing with a Canadian athlete and not, say, an American athlete. After all, sporting officials find it easy to push Canadians around and the reason for that is because we let them. Under the same circumstances, you can bet the IOC wouldn't pull such a stunt on an American or a German. But that's another issue. Let's look at the facts. Skiers and snowboarders are the only Olympic athletes being tested for marijuana use. Ostensibly, for safety reasons. The maximum allowable by skiing federation rules (and it's important to note, not IOC rules) is 15 nanograms, or 15 parts per million in a millilitre of urine. Testers in Nagano found 17.8 nanograms in his urine. Simple, right? He had too much. Nope. According to one of the world's top experts in this area, Dr. Siu Chan, the director of Calgary's Centre for Toxicology and head of drug testing at Calgary's 1988 Winter Olympics, there's a built in imprecision in any lab test. "Statistically speaking, we cannot take a number from a lab at face value," said Chan yesterday from his office at the U of C's Heritage Medical Research Centre. "We have been doing the legal analysis of marijuana in urine and my policy is if it's under 18 nanograms, we won't report it because there's a statistical chance that it's actually under 15." So there you go. There is a chance that the reading of 17.8 could actually be 14.9 or less. That's the science. "With that reading, they should have given the athlete the benefit of the doubt." Let's look at some other facts. Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. It's a performance-inhibiting drug. Dope testing is performed on athletes to prevent cheating. Not to prevent recreational drug use. But most damning of all is how close the votes were initially. The Olympic medical commission voted 13-12 in favor of stripping the 26-year-old giant slalom winner of his gold medal. That's 13 to 12. It was too close to call. So they took it to the IOC's executive committee and the vote there was 3-2 with two abstentions, including one from a Canadian. Again, too close to call. So the drug amounts were too close to call. The votes were too close to call. The fact that the marijuana rule is a skiing rule and not an Olympic rule made it too close to call. So what did they do? They not only made a call, they decapitated a young man's dream on iffy evidence and questionable motivation. So who are the real dopeheads? Granted, Rebagliati was stupid. The IOC folk are thieves. Licia Corbella, editor of the Calgary Sun, can be reached at 403-250-4129. Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebagliati Bitter Against Canadian Testers (Or At Least, According To 'Canadian Press' Item Quoting Him On CBC-TV Thursday Evening, He Wants To Know Why He Wasn't Told He Had Traces Of Cannabis In His System Before He Went To Nagano, Japan, For Winter Olympics) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 18:05:10 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: how the champion snowboarder feels about TESTING Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Rebagliati bitter against Canadian testers By JUSTIN KINGLSEY -- Canadian Press NAGANO, Japan -- Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati says he wants to know why Canadian authorities didn't tell him he had traces of marijuana in his system before he went to Nagano for the Winter Olympics. "I had been tested twice and I only found out after I tested positive in the Olympics that in both of those tests it (marijuana) had shown on the tests," Rebagliati told CBC-TV on Thursday evening. "I felt a little betrayed by the people who were making the tests that I wasn't made available the results of those tests." Canadian officials said he was not told because the amount shown were allowable under international ski federation rules. But Rebagliati said had he known of the test results, he could have adjusted his routine to avoid further exposure to the drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Olympic Snowboarder Gets His Gold Back (Drug Policy Reform Activist Adam J. Smith Recounts Interview With Australian Radio - Relevant Question Is Whether Or Not Marijuana Enhances Athletes' Performance - Plus Other Commentary From List Subscribers) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:45:40 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: "Adam J. Smith"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Olympic Snowboarder gets his gold back Hello all, Yesterday I was interviewed by Australia's ABC radio network about the snowboarder issue... Prior to going on, I spoke with Keith Stroup of NORML as well as several other reformers for their input. The consensus seemed to be that the relevant question was whether or not mj enhanced performance (based upon anecdotal evidence from numerous tokin' athletes, as David Hadorn alluded to, there seems to be an argument that it does, at least in some cases.) I think that we ought to push the IOC to make a determination on this one way of the other. If it IS, in fact, performance-enhancing, we use that ammo to confront the "mj is evil and amotivational and slows you down and makes you a loser" propaganda. If the IOC determines that it's NOT performance-enhancing, we push the issue of why they would be testing for it. Is it because it is "immoral" to smoke? Do we disqualify athletes with criminal records? Those who beat their children? If not, and mj has no effect on performance, than what difference does it make to the IOC whether someone has smoked it in the month or so prior to the Olympics? As the kicker, I would think we would all take great pleasure in rubbing the warriors faces in the fact that if they didn't test for it, millions upon millions of kids around the world would have never found out that you can smoke and still be the best in the world at something. What a lousy message their witch-hunt has wrought! PS I'm doing my editorial for The Week Online on just this topic... - adam *** Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 12:40:38 -0400 (AST) Sender: Chris Donald (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Chris Donald To: email@example.com Subject: Whistler hero keeps medal! Guys, I saw the Canadian Olympic committee press conference announcing that Ross would keep his gold. The only penalty, so far, seems to be his having to listen to a hypocritical speech from the Japanese police about the dangers of drugs. HA. Key development seems to be the statements by the Skiing federation that the only reason mj is on the list for their sport is in case it is used to decrease fear in such events as ski jumping: EDDIE THE EAGLE (uk) FROM THE CALGARY OLYMPICS WAS MENTIONED BY NAME BY THE CANADIAN OFFICIAL;) According to the Ski people, any amount of THC in someone's system for freestyle events is apparently not a problem. HA HA HA. Still, an awful lot of silly misinformation surfaced in the last few days (12X potency etc.), and this still is an opportune time to drive home our points. So GO FOR IT: Canada's Olympic committee deserves praise for backing Ross, and should be politely chastised (if at all) about the 12X thing IMHO. Chris
------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Opinion (Excellent Staff Editorial In Alberta's 'Lethbridge Herald' About Near-Loss Of Canadian Snowboarder's Gold Medal Observes, 'By Appearing To Take A Stand On A Social Issue, The IOC Has Wandered Off The Sporting Track - If Social Issues Were Important To It In The First Place, It Would Have Upheld Its Ban Against Professionals, The Moscow Summer Olympics Never Would Have Been Held, And The Nations Known To Be Experimenting With Performance Drugs Would Have Been Kicked Out Years Ago') Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 09:00:26 To: Mattalk@islandnet.com From: Kathy galbraith
Subject: OpEd Lethbridge Herald:IOC meddling in wrong situation Feb.12, 1998. The Lethbridge Herald Our Opinion Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org When the week began, Ross Rebagliati was far from a household name in Canada. In the space of four days, he's achieved notoriety on two fronts: for getting us high on snowboarding and for just getting high. And the trace of marijuana found in the young British Columbian athlete by a Japanese laboratory has introduced us to a new measurement in a drug lexicon which once gave us "nickel bags".: nanograms. It took just 17 nanograms, a spectacularly small amount of the drug, to leave a scar on the Olympics, on Canada, on Rebagliati, on snowboarding. The debate which now swirls is unsettling and unsettled. Rebagliati has admitted he does smoke marijuana, although not for many months. It's a drug many Canadians have inhaled. Yes, it's an illegal drug. Had Rebagliati been caught smoking during the Games, the resulting furor surrounding his punishment would be far more subdued. He might even be in jail in a country which frowns on its use and has a zero tolerance for alcohol and driving. Still, if there was ever a poster boy for a sport struggling to gain international acceptance, the clean-cut, chiseled young man from Whistler would be it. And the fact marijuana is not a banned substance by the sport's governing body shows even it can't be decisive about a drug which has gone from the high moral tone of Reefer Madness to the zonked craziness of Up In Smoke. And the Olympics continues to drag its hypocrisy around, this time up a Japanese mountain. For years, it turned a blind eye to obvious steroid use by athletes from, among other nations, East Germany. Asking for medals back from that particularly duplicitous nation would create a crash on the world's gold markets. Adding to the double standard is the IOC rule which allows the various sport governing bodies to set their own regulations. Skiers- and the snowboarders who labor under their policies - run the risk of being caught with trace amounts of dope in their blood; athletes in other sports may not. And does the punishment fit the crime? Ben Johnson lost a gold medal for using steroids, known to enhance performance and cause grotesque after-effects. Anyone who thinks marijuana enhances anything other than Iron Butterfly should stand stoned at the top of a ski hill on a chunk of laminated wood. Whether you believe Rebagliati's claims he merely attended a party at which dope was present doesn't alter the overall fact the lad is being pilloried for a relatively harmless act. Yes, we place the Olympians above the general pack and expect them to act like the sport gods we make of them. And yes, even a trace of an illegal drug tends to tarnish what was otherwise a Canuck-style devil-may-care second run to grab the gold. Even if the medal is returned, Rebagliati's future is tainted. The sanctions taken by the IOC against him will mean far more than a disc of metal and an Olympic legacy. By appearing to take a stand on a social issue, the IOC has wandered off the sporting track. And if social issues were important to it in the first place, it would have upheld its ban against professionals, the Moscow Summer Olympics never would have been held, the nations known to be experimenting with performance drugs would have been kicked out years ago.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Snowboarders On The Loose - Olympics Asked For It (In Aftermath Of Gold Medal Being Stripped Due To Supposedly Positive Urine Test For Cannabis, 'San Francisco Chronicle' Sports Columnist Pokes Fun At Stereotypes Of Snowboarders, But Notes, 'Television Loves The Board-Guys - They Fit The Demographic Perfectly - Let's Be Honest, Do You Think The Olympics Are Adding Sports To Give Committed Young Athletes A Chance To Compete Against The Best In The World? Or Is It To Get Killer Ratings On TV? Exactly) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:00:46 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: OPED : Snowboarders On The Loose -- Olympics Asked For It Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 Author: C.W. Nevius SNOWBOARDERS ON THE LOOSE -- OLYMPICS ASKED FOR IT OLYMPIC OFFICIALS were shocked, shocked to learn yesterday that another of those happy-go-lucky snowboarders has gotten himself into trouble. First it was Ross Rebagliati, from Canada, who won the men's giant slalom but then tested positive for marijuana and has been asked to return the medal -- if he can just remember where he put the darn thing. Now it is Austrian Martin Freinademetz, another giant slalom competitor, who has been kicked out of his hotel for holding, like, a major party, and, like, trashing the place. This was apparently a complete shock to everyone. Freinademetz had never given any indication that he might be some kind of party animal. Except, I guess, for the fact that his bio says his nickname is ``The Terminator'' and that he describes himself as ``an aggressive person, both mentally and physically.'' Certainly this is no laughing matter. Out-and-out snickering is more like it. Olympic officials invite Bill and Ted to the Olympics for an excellent adventure and are stunned to hear that they are not attending the Olympic Village-sponsored floral-arranging classes. This is more than a case of a couple of kids going off the wall --so to speak. The minute the shredders were added to the Olympic roster they've been treated -- let's go ahead and say it, encouraged -- to be the wackiest jocks in the village. The official precompetition press conference by the American athletes was a complete yuk-fest. Everyone, from the media to Olympic officials, were fawning over those zany board guys. At one point, Ross Powers, an 18-year-old American boarder, lost his train of thought while attempting to say the word ``rivalry.'' He made two attempts at it, then pushed the microphone away with the snappy one liner, ``Oh, f--.'' Remember, this is not only in front of international media, but being broadcast live on the Olympic television network to every venue in the complex, not to mention sending feeds to international television networks. The reaction? The place broke up. It was minutes before people stopped wiping their eyes and screeching with laughter. One USOC official called it the most entertaining press conference he'd ever been to. So what's the message there? That the more outrageous you are, the better we like. In the dull days before actual competition started, the boarders, with their Gen-X jargon, were the life of the party. The more they said, the better we liked it. The wilder the better. Asked what he thought of the Opening Ceremony, one boarder said, ``It was sick (meaning great) man. Those people were applauding and it sounded like macaroni crackling in a pan.'' Thank you, Edward R. Murrow. There will probably be much hue and cry about the way the snowboarders have trashed the Olympic ideal after this. Hopefully, no one gets caught lighting up a reefer on the Olympic flame. But c'mon. Olympic officials knew what they wanted when they invited these guys in, and they got it -- good and proper. Worse, once snowboarding was put on the fast track and jammed into the Olympic schedule, we squealed at them like rock stars and hung on their every insipid phrase. The Olympics didn't create the snowboard problem, the Olympics just stood aside and cheered while it was growing. And now that the hotel furniture has hit the fan, well it is a little late to do a ``fakey'' and say that you want to see a little more decorum from these stoner dudes. ``I am not going to kid you,'' said American Todd Richards before the Games began. ``A lot of these guys are party animals. And the Europeans are worse.'' By the way, it is not going to hurt any of the boarders' feelings if Olympic officials wag a finger in their faces. A lot of them think competitions are very uncool anyhow. The greatest boarder in the world, Tjehe Haakonen of Norway, couldn't even be convinced to show up for the Olympics. He didn't like the way they were treating him, he said. Over at someplace like curling, they can't believe the attitude. Curling -- for good reason -- couldn't make it into the Olympics for years. They begged and pleaded and served as a ``demonstration'' sport five times. It has taken them 30 years to get into the Games. It didn't take snowboarding 30 minutes. And for good reason. Television loves the board-guys. They fit the demographic perfectly. Let's be honest, do you think the Olympics are adding sports to give committed young athletes a chance to compete against the best in the world? Or is it to get killer ratings on TV? Exactly. What is going to happen? Nothing. The Olympic Committee created this monster and now all it can hope is that none of the boarders are staying at their hotels. Let the Games continue. And hey, how about that hashpipe -- I mean halfpipe -- competition?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Riders Line Up To Support Rebagliati ('The Oregonian' Says 'Blow To Snowboarding Came At A Time When The Sport Was Gaining New Legitimacy') The Oregonian oregonlive.com February 12, 1998 email@example.com Riders line up to support Rebagliati The Canadian snowboarder who tested positive for marijuana after his victory is still the gold-medal winner to his fellow competitors by Abby Haight of The Oregonian staff YAMANOUCHI, Japan -- Snowboarders lashed back at the Olympic establishment Wednesday after their sport's first Olympic hero was stripped of his gold medal for testing positive for trace amounts of marijuana. "He still won the gold medal to me," U.S. rider Cara-Beth Burnside said of Canadian Ross Rebagliati, who lost his gold three days after winning the giant slalom. "He wasn't doing anything that was affecting his performance. I mean, come on. They're kicking people out for cough medicine." Also late Tuesday, U.S. bobsledder Michael Dionne lost his appeal to a doping suspension and was removed from the Olympic team. He tested positive for ephedrine, a stimulant found in over-the-counter cough medicines. The blow to snowboarding came at a time when the sport was gaining new legitimacy -- from its debut in the Winter Olympics to new sponsors and growing popularity on the slopes and among fans. The slope below the Kanbayashi Snowboard Park's halfpipe was jammed by fans who ignored a steady rain to cheer the high altitude stunts of their favorites. Rebagliati had gloried in fans' cheering when he won the giant slalom. A veteran rider, the native of Whistler, British Columbia, dedicated his medal to a friend killed in an avalanche. "Kids will start growing up with Olympic dreams now," Rebagliati said after his victory. In a statement read by a teammate, Rebagliati maintained his innocence: "I've been training for 11 years to be the best snowboarder in the world. I've worked too hard to let this slip through my fingers." Canadian officials said Rebagliati assured them he hadn't smoked marijuana since April, but had been around people smoking the drug -- including at a going-away party before he arrived at the Olympics. The Canadian Olympic Association is fighting to decrease the penalty to a severe reprimand, saying the drug is handled inconsistently from sport to sport. Some governing organizations, such as the International Ski Federation, which governs snowboarding, test for marijuana while many others do not. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is expected to rule on the appeal later today. Rebagliati was cited by the narrowest of votes. The International Olympic Committee governing board voted 3-2 to take action against him; the IOC medical commission voted 13-12 in favor of punishment. The IOC could have censored Rebagliati while allowing him to keep his medal. "It was an unusually close decision," said Francois Carrard, the IOC general director. The fact that it was International Ski Federation rules used against Rebagliati also opened old wounds. Most of the riders supported the International Snowboard Federation. But when the IOC added snowboarding to the Olympics, it put it under the ski federation. For Canadian officials, the disclosure carried a sharp sting. Toronto sprinter Ben Johnson lost his gold medal and world record after testing positive for anabolic steroids in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Only four positive drug tests have been recorded at the Winter Olympics -- two in Innsbruck in 1976, one in Sarajevo in 1984 and one in Calgary in 1988. No gold medalist has been disqualified for drugs since Johnson. Riders in Wednesday's halfpipe competition sided with Rebagliati, saying he was a victim of second-hand smoke. Many of the women riders talked about boycotting the competition but decided they would make a stronger statement by showing their sport to the world. "I thought it wasn't fair," Canadian Tara Teigen said. "Come on, do you think we want to ruin our chances? Do you think we would come here on purpose to test positive?" Another teammate, Michael Michalchuck, finished his pipe ride then lifted a small banner that read: "Ross is the champion. Give the gold medal back." "He wasn't smoking marijuana," Michalchuck said. "He was in an atmosphere where it was present. That's how it was ingested into his system. He didn't choose to smoke it. He didn't smoke it." Some riders bristled at the hard line taken by the IOC. "It's not the riders who wanted to be here," Switzerland's Anita Schwaller said. "They wanted us to be here." Riders acknowledged that drug use occurs in their sport -- but that it is not as ever-present as critics might charge. "I wouldn't say that every other snowboarder is out there puffing a joint," said Michael Wood, the Canadian team's leader. "I don't think it's more prevalent in snowboarding than it is in any other sport." Rob Roy, a coach for the U.S. team, told reporters the sport was striving for legitimacy and could be hurt by what happened. "I think the public sort of looks at this and thinks, 'Ah -- snowboarders are all wild and crazy,' " he said. "That's not good."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Workplace Drug-Testing Ruled Illegal (Canadian Press Item In 'Halifax Daily News' Says Ontario Court Has Thrown Out Imperial Oil's Tough Alcohol- And Other Drugs-Testing Policy As Discriminatory - Court Also Affirms Dependence On Alcohol, Other Drugs Are Handicaps Under Human-Rights Legislation) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:12:38 -0400 (AST) Sender: Chris Donald
From: Chris Donald To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CP: Workplace drug-testing ruled illegal Halifax Daily News email@example.com NATIONAL BRIEFS Thursday, February 12, 1998 Drug policy nixed TORONTO (CP) - In a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for the workplace, an Ontario court has thrown out Imperial Oil's tough drug- and alcohol-testing policy as discriminatory. The court unanimously agreed with an earlier ruling that the policy relied on stereotypes about people with disabilities or perceived disabilities, the Ontario Human Rights Commission said yesterday. It also affirmed that drug and alcohol dependence and abuse are handicaps under human-rights legislation. "It's a small victory in the legal process," said Marty Entrop, a former alcoholic and the employee who brought the initial complaint against the policy. In 1992, Entrop was forced to disclose his past problems with alcohol. As a result, he was demoted from his job.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Addiction Policy Slammed - Imperial Oil Relied On Stereotypes ('Calgary Sun' Version) Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 20:32:44 -0700 Subject: Addiction policy slammed From: "Debbie Harper3"
To: mattalk* Calgary Sun Pg. 8 Thursday February 12, 1998 Addiction Policy slammed Imperial Oil relied on 'stereotypes' TORONTO (CP) - In a ground breaking decision that could have far-reaching consequences for the workplace, an Ontario court has thrown out Imperial Oil's tough drug-and alcohol-testing policy as discriminatory. The court unanimously agreed with an earlier ruling that the policy relied on stereotypes about people with disabilities or perceived disabilities, the Ontario Human Rights Commission said yesterday. It also affirmed drug and alcohol dependence and abuse are handicaps under humans rights legislation. "We recognize the necessity of testing in high-risk situations," commission head Keith Norton said in a news release. "In those circumstances, being drug-or alcohol-free is a legitimate job requirement." The case heard last September involved Martin Entrop, an 18-year senior employee at Toronto-based Imperial Oilıs refinery in Sarnia, Ont. Entrop was an alcoholic who overcame his abuse problems with the help of a company addiction counsellor. In 1992 - seven years after his last drink - he was forced to disclose his past problems. He was demoted from his job overseeing the refining process and given a technicianıs position. He was reinstated a year later. Entropıs demotion was the result of Imperialıs tough new policy implemented a year earlier. It required all employees to reveal any drug and alcohol problems, no matter how old. Failure to do so was punishable by firing. The company argued the policy was necessary to keep drinkers out of sensitive jobs, but Entrop complained to the human rights commission that heıd been treated like a criminal. Entrop said heıd been forced to answer more than 600 questions to compile a report on his sexual history, religious beliefs, childhood and even how he dressed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pregnant Women Are Warned Not To Panic Over Tap Water Scare ('Vancouver Sun' Reports New Study In Journal 'Epidemiology,' Based On Research In California, Shows Pregnant Women In First Trimester Who Drink Plenty Of Chlorinated Tap Water May Be At Higher Risk Of Miscarriage) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Pregnant women are warned not to panic over tap water scare Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:20:12 -0800 Lines: 86 Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Thu 12 Feb 1998 News B1 / Front Pregnant women are warned not to panic over tap water scare: Health experts are playing down fears prompted by a study linking ingestion of chlorinated tap water to an increase in miscarriages. By: Pamela Fayerman, Sun Health Issues Reporter Health and water experts are advising against panic on the heels of a new study that shows pregnant women in their first trimester who drink plenty of chlorinated tap water may be at higher risk of miscarriage. The study, to be published next week in the journal Epidemiology, is based on data and research in California. But local authorities acknowledge the link between chlorinated water and miscarriages could theoretically apply here. That's especially so because, this week, the Greater Vancouver regional district started up two new re-chlorination plants serving residents of Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Coquitlam and Port Moody to add protection against contaminants. ``I'm not going to go out and tell pregnant women they should boil or filter their drinking water until we see from our constant monitoring whether there is a reason to give such advice,'' said Dr. John Blatherwick, medical health officer for the Vancouver/Richmond health board. The heightened risk to pregnant women is linked to exposure to a contaminant found in chlorinated water. The chemical -- trihalomethane (TTHM) -- forms when chlorine reacts with acids from organic plant material. Secondary ozonation and filtration systems can reduce the levels of TTHM in chlorinated water, but in a cost-cutting move recently, the GVRD acted against the advice of public health officials and delayed installation of such systems. They won't be in place now for two to eight years. Chlorine helps purify water and prevents contamination from parasites that cause bacterial infections. In addition to the findings in the current study, other research has linked TTHM with neural tube defects such as spina bifida and with increased cancer risk. Health Canada posts guidelines, not regulations, on the maximum level of TTHM in tap water -- 100 micrograms per litre. The study, led by California health department investigators, examined the records of 5,144 pregnant women. It found women who drank five or more glasses of tap water per day with at least 75 micrograms per litre of TTHMs had an increased risk of miscarriage. Their risk was calculated at 15.7 per cent, compared with 9.5 per cent among women who drank far less. All the women drank water that met state and federal drinking standards. ``You do run a risk if drinking unboiled water,'' said David Freeman, general manager of the Los Angeles department of water and power, the U.S.' largest municipal utility. ``Nobody knows how high,'' he said. ``The most practical thing that we've come up with is to tell women in that category to boil some water and put it in the refrigerator.'' Like Health Canada, the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. allows up to 100 micrograms of TTHMs per litre. But the agency plans to reduce that standard to 80 micrograms in November. Bob Jones, GVRD administrator of water quality control, said the average levels of TTHM around the Lower Mainland are often well below those that triggered concern in the study. But he said the rechlorination changes will likely result in higher levels of TTHM. How much higher is not yet known. Jones said water treatment involves a balancing act between the need to protect against microbes that cause intestinal illnesses and the need to keep the dangers from disinfection to a minimum. Jones said water industry experts will be reviewing the new study and he expects Health Canada will also follow the U.S. lead by lowering the allowable level of TTHM. Blatherwick said people who are concerned can carbon-filter tap water or boil drinking water for a minute before leaving it to cool.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Finish Off Arthrology (Canadian Hempster Says Police In Vancouver, British Columbia, Have Shut Down Cannabis Speakeasy Once And For All, This Time Busting Proprietor Wayne 'Bubba' Lubkey - Who Says Arthrology Will Reopen Elsewhere) From: email@example.com (Cannabis Canada) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: Police Finish Off Arthrology Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 14:32:56 -0800 Lines: 31 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Cannabis Canada http://www.hempbc.com/ Police Finish off Arthrology By Dan Loehndorf Only ten days after busting Arthrology, a marijuana buyers' club, the Vancouver police returned to Arthrology to finish it off. This time Wayne "Bubba" Lubkey, who operates the club, piled couches in front of the doors while police smashed them in with a battering ram. Although the police hadn't identified themselves before smashing in the doors, they still took Bubba's actions as enough provocation to throw him on the ground and kick him repeatedly in the ribs. While one officer assaulted Bubba, the others tore the club to pieces. Police broke in the windows, destroyed both doors and smashed anything they had missed in the last raid, when they left a framed copy of the Charter of Rights crushed on the floor. Once again police took the opportunity to hold honest citizens at gunpoint for the contents of their wallets. They took a thousand dollars from Bubba and eighty from someone else. Unlike last time, however, this time they actually charged Bubba with a crime. Bubba will appear at the Main St Provincial Court for his first appearance on February 17. Now boards cover the broken doorways and windows of the club. Like dogs marking their territory with urine, the police have left behind a sign to the club's customers which reads, "drughouse closed". Sympathizers of Arthrology have also left behind their own sign, "VPD Sucks!" Bubba is still determined to provide Arthrology to the public. "We will be reopening in a new location to be announced later," he affirms. *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA, "Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp" *** Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info. Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1 Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.hempbc.com/ *** To unsubscribe from this list send an email to email@example.com with the words "unsubscribe cclist" in the body of the message.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp BC Update (Despite What You May Have Heard About Events In Vancouver, British Columbia, Hemp BC, Cannabis Canada, Cannabis Cafe And HempBC Web Site Are Still Very Much In Business - But There Have Been Some Big Changes) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: hemp bc update for mattalk (fwd) Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 17:38:44 -0800 -------- Forwarded message -------- Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 17:22:02 -0800 From: Dana Larsen
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: hemp bc update for mattalk Despite what you may have heard, Hemp BC, Cannabis Canada and the Cannabis Cafe are still very much in business. But there have been some very big changes. Background Hemp BC, the Hemp BC Grow Shop and the Cannabis Cafe were all raided by police on December 16. About a quarter million dollars in merchandise was seized by police, although in typical fashion no charges were laid. This raid was financially devastating. For 2 months afterwards all employees (including those at Cannabis Canada) took 25% pay cuts to help us all survive. The Hemp BC business license was up for renewal soon after that, and City Hall refused to renew it. They have also consistently denied the Cannabis Cafe a business license since it opened. The city claimed that Hemp BC was in violation of city bylaws which stipulate that there should be no paraphernalia in store windows. When asked why the city had issued business licenses to Marc Emery in the past, Vancouver community services director Ted Droettboom responded, "I don't know..." Without a business license, Hemp BC was very vulnerable to further police action. Another raid at this time would be extremely damaging and would have resulted in layoffs and possible shut-down of the entire business. Restructuring To avoid further raids and destruction of the Hemp BC "family", Marc Emery decided to remove himself from ownership of Hemp BC, the Cannabis Cafe, and the Hemp BC Legal Assistance Centre. Marc has sold Hemp BC to manager Sister Ice. He has sold the Cannabis Cafe to managers Jana Razga and Adam. He has sold the Legal Assistance Centre to lawyer Andrea Turton, who was already running it. The Little Grow Store has been shut down. Marc retains ownership of Cannabis Canada Magazine, and will continue to sell marijuana seeds through mail-order only. These changes will not be noticable to the average customer who enters the Cannabis Cafe or Hemp BC. Both businesses will be "toning down" some of their more strident aspects, now that Marc does not own them, but they will continue to sell everything they used to, and will still support the "cannabis movement" through retail activism. The intent is to allow these businesses to obtain their business licenses and continue on without fear of being raided. Since the controversial seed sales will no longer be taking place on the premises, and the new managers are not on record as encouraging "law-breaking", they should be safer from any threat of police action. Website news Our webpage at www.hempbc.com has been out of service for a day or so. This is completely unrelated to the business changes and is because we have a new server and the changeover has produced some chaos. If you can't find our webpage at www.hempbc.com, try just hempbc.com. However, the website will be changing quite a bit over the coming weeks as we separate the Hemp BC from the Cannabis Canada. The www.hempbc.com website will continue, but Cannabis Canada Magazine will be moving to www.cannabiscanada.com sometime in the next while. Further changes, news and updates will be available at either webpage address. Commitment Our commitment to marijuana freedom has not changed one whit. This restructuring is simply a way for the various aspects of the Hemp BC business to survive police and municipal harassment. Hemp BC, Cannabis Canada, the Cannabis Cafe, and the Hemp BC Legal Assistance Centre will all continue to play their roles in serving the cannabis community and promoting cannabis culture. We're not going anywhere, and we will continue our efforts to bring freedom and tolerance to Canada, and around the world. Long Live Marijuana!
------------------------------------------------------------------- West Vancouver, British Columbia Students To Be Asked About Sex, Drugs ('Vancouver Sun' Says School Trustees Allow Survey On Adolescent Health With Questions About Sex, Alcohol, Other Drugs)From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: West Van students to be asked about sex, drugs Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:21:03 -0800 Lines: 47 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu 12 Feb 1998 Section: News B1 / Front Author: Janet Steffenhagen West Van students to be asked about sex, drugs : School board votes to include local schools in a province-wide survey of adolescent health. West Vancouver students will have a chance to participate in a survey of adolescent health that has stirred controversy because it includes questions about sex, drugs and alcohol. With little debate, school trustees voted this week to include West Vancouver schools in a province-wide survey by the non-profit McCreary Centre Society of Burnaby. Last month, North Vancouver trustees said their schools wouldn't participate, partly because of concerns that the questions might give students ideas. But Lara Percy, a member of the West Vancouver student advisory committee, noted the survey looks at overall mental and physical health and she said students want to participate. Saying teenagers are already bombarded with messages about sex, drugs and alcohol, Percy added: ``That survey couldn't possibly place any new ideas into our minds.'' Trustee Erica Bell-Lowther said gathering data about attitudes and behaviors will help the district assess needs. But Kathleen Glynn-Morris, chairwoman of the parents' advisory council, told trustees to expect a flood of messages on their voicemail because parents are divided on the issue. Aileen Murphy, McCreary's project coordinator, said 23 of 59 school districts support the survey and 26 are still considering it. In 1992, when a similar survey was conducted, 48 of 75 districts participated. The survey asks a broad range of questions, such as: How close do you feel to your mother/father? What do you think of your body? How often do you vomit on purpose after eating? Have you attempted suicide? Have you carried a weapon? How many times have you gambled? Students can elect not to participate in the survey.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Boxer Punches Home Anti-Drug Message ('The Guardian' Portrays 60-Year-Old Canadian Boxing Legend George Chuvalo - After Illegal Heroin Claimed Lives Of Three Sons, In Past Six Months He's Talked To 200,000 Schoolchildren) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Boxer punches home anti-drug message Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:08:12 -0800 Lines: 97 The Guardian (Charlottetown) Thu 12 Feb 1998 A A1 / Front Boxer punches home anti-drug message: Chuvalo tells students the horror of losing his sons to drugs By: Jim Day For years, George Chuvalo delivered frightening blows to his opponents, 68 of whom remained cemented to the canvas until the savage puncher was awarded the match. Now the 60-year-old Canadian boxing legend, who was never once knocked off his feet in a fight, is set to spend a long time firing graphic shots at students. ``I think I can do this the rest of my life,'' Chuvalo said of his personal anti-drug speaking circuit. The soft-spoken, brutally frank and shockingly descriptive Chuvalo has already talked to some 200,000 youths over the past six months, trying to set them straight on drugs, like heroin, which claimed the lives of three sons, leaving him with a son and a daughter. The accumulative weight of the first two deaths led Chuvalo's wife, Lynne, to kill herself in 1993, just two days after drugs delivered a knockout blow to the couple's boy George Lee. The former heavyweight fighter started his tour of Canadian schools just one month after the loss of his third son, Steven, on Aug. 17, 1996 - a death he recounts for students in haunting detail, including the unsettling image of the addict's sister finding the dead body heaped in a chair with a syringe plunged into the left bicep. ``Young people don't know enough about the horrors of drugs. That's why I'm here, to talk about that,'' Chuvalo told the Guardian following his moving presentation to hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in the gymnasium of Stonepark junior high school in Charlottetown. The massive man with fingers fatter than German sausages pulls no punches on stage. Rocking nervously from side to side in a chair, he almost seems preoccupied with pounding out every ounce of all the brutal, festering ugliness that he saw drug abuse deliver at the feet of his five children. ``I talk about my sons defecating in their drawers, crapping in their pants at the very sight of heroin,'' he said. ``And I ask young people: can you imagine anything so horrible that it would make you crap your pants at the very sight of something? Can you imagine something that has such control over you?'' Chuvalo wants students leaving gymnasiums across the country with powerful images pounding in their heads. ``I hope to raise their awareness about just how God-awful drugs can be . . . I hope that I can make young people think. I hope that I can raise their antennas and get their radar working when it comes to drugs: to have them realize just how deadly serious the business of taking drugs can be.'' Chuvalo, who repeatedly referred to his own lost children and the students before him as `beautiful', preached love and respect from his modest podium in the large gymnasium. ``Love makes you feel strong. Love makes you feel appreciated. Love makes you feel important. We have to care about each other. We have to care about ourselves. We have to care about our futures.'' Chuvalo says his own future will continue to see him talking from the heart to Canada's youth in hopes of preventing tragedies like those that struck Jesse, George Lee and Steven. ``It's always tough for me to speak to young people about this,'' he said. ``I always . . . keep my wounds open. But by the same token, it's also very gratifying for me to know that even though my loved ones are gone, that somehow they still have a voice through me.'' Mitchell Chuvalo, a teacher in Toronto, says each presentation is a draining affair for his father. ``After he walks out of there, he's numb for a substantial while,'' he said. ``I worry about him but I know he gathers a lot of strength from it.'' Chuvalo leaves the gymnasium while a documentary of his tragedy is played on video for the students. He can't bear to watch the interviews with Steven, who appears in the sombre piece done by the fifth estate. ``I hear my son's voice and the pain is still so, so raw,'' he said, looking out at the sea of students who he hopes will never experience the unforgiving sting of drugs he has witnessed far too many times.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fantasy Ordered Over The Internet By Mistake (Australian Broadcasting Corporation Says 26-Year-Old Who Ordered Designer Drug Fantasy, Or GBH, From United States Distributor, Avoids Conviction, Saying He Thought It Was Health Food, Not Illegal) Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 06:44:42 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Australia: Fantasy Ordered Over The Internet 'By Mistake' Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Frank S. World and Ken Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 Website: http://www.abc.net.au/ Contact: email@example.com FANTASY ORDERED OVER THE INTERNET 'BY MISTAKE' A Canberra Magistrate has found that a 26-year-old man who imported the designer drug 'Fantasy' into Australia via the Internet did not know he was committing a crime. However, Magistrate Karen Fryar says ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. Information technology contractor Kevin Russell ordered the drug GBH from the United States over the Internet from his computer terminal in the Commonwealth Dept of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs. He told the court he had not realised the drug was also known as Fantasy and was illegal in Australia. He says he thought GBH was a health food, an aphrodisiac which countered depression and improved muscle development. Today Magistrate Karen Fryar found the offence against Mr Russell proved but entered no conviction, ordering him instead to be of good behaviour for a year. Magistrate Fryar issued a warning to the community, saying people who imported substances over the Internet must take care to comply with the law.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Growing Heroin Problem Outside Dublin (Despite Ireland's Punitive Anti-Drug Policies, Increasingly Like Those In US, 'Republican News' Says Youth In Counties Monaghan, Cavan And Meath Are Now 'Chasing The Dragon' - Smoking Heroin - In A Serious Extension Of A Crisis That Was Long Confined To The Capital) Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 18:57:21 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Ireland: Growing Heroin Problem Outside Dublin Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thursday 12 February 1998 Source: An Phoblacht/Republican News Contact: email@example.com GROWING HEROIN PROBLEM OUTSIDE DUBLIN Young people in some areas of Counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath are now "chasing the dragon" - smoking heroin - in a serious extension of a crisis that was for long confined to the capital. This spread of heroin abuse outside Dublin was highlighted last week in County Monaghan where the community in Carrickmacross organised a public meeting in response to local concern at the growth of the problem. One of those who addressed the meeting on 5 February was Johnny McCullagh of Kingscourt, County Cavan, father of the late Tony McCullagh who died as a result of drug abuse. Johnny McCullagh told the meeting that there were drug dealers operating in the area and that he had been threatened by them. The well-attended meeting, which was chaired by Tom Hughes of Carrickmacross, was addressed by two recovering heroin addicts from Dublin, Paul and Dave, who impressed all those present with their graphic description of the reality of heroin abuse. Sinn Fein Councillor Owen Smyth, chair of County Monaghan VEC Drugs Awareness Sub-Committee, said vigilance was needed to halt the spread of the drugs scourge and urged the community to organise to combat the problem. Other elected representatives from both Sinn Fein and Fine Gael were present. Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain told the meeting: "The profits being generated for a handful of individuals from this deadly drugs trade rival those of the biggest commercial enterprises in the land. As they are further restricted in their activities by tighter legislation and more vigilant policing, they will widen their field of activities and target young people outside the areas hitherto worst affected. "But we have the opportunity to prevent it. Comprehensive action on education and prevention is absolutely essential and I stress this in particular in areas outside Dublin where the drugs problem is growing. There must first be an urgent and concerted effort by the Department of Health, in co-operation with other relevant bodies, to measure the extent of the problem outside Dublin, the areas of the country most at risk and the measures needed for effective prevention and control." He called for a "united, community-led response" involving all the agencies. A committee was established at the meeting to address the problem.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antiprohibitionist Action Report, Year 4, Number 3 (Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News, From CORA In Italy) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments: Authenticated sender is (email@example.com) To: "CORA LIST EN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 13:59:03 +0000 Subject: CORAFAX 3 Priority: normal Sender: email@example.com ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#3 Antiprohibitionist action report February 12, 1998 - (Year 4) #3 *** CO.R.A. Radical | Association federated with Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational Coordination | Radical Party *** OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs *** PAA - PARLAMENTARIANS FOR ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTION European campaign for the revision of international conventions *** CORA-ITALY Via di Torre Argentina 76 00186 ROME Tel:+39-6-68.97.91 Fax:+39-6-126.96.36.199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** CORA-BELGIUM Rue Belliard 97 c/o European Parliament Rem 5.08 1040 BRUSSELS Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31 Fax:+32-2-230.36.70 E-mail: email@example.com *** CORAnet http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian) *** Director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** NEWS FROM CORA ITALY - NEW TRIAL FOR MARCO PANNELLA FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF HASHISH DURING A TV PROGRAM On Feb. 3, there has been the first hearing of the Pannella trial for handing 250 grams of hashish to the TV host, Alda D'Eusanio during a program broadcast by RAI, on December 1996. The Court of Rome (the same that in other cases always wanted to condemn Mr. Pannella) initially proposed the dismissal of the case; now the Judge for the preliminary investigations - also thanks to the opposition of Mr. Pannella - has ordered to proceed with a coactive indictment also for other besides the simple distribution, like the instigation to consumption and to delinquency. Mr. Pannella risks from 6 months to 6 years imprisonment. *** ITALY - CORA ON THE MINISTER OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY: DECRIMINALIZING, DECARCERIZING, AND REDUCING HARMS ARE OK, BUT WHAT ABOUT TRAFFICKING? Bologna - At the 3rd European Conference on Drug Addiction, the Minister of Social Solidarity, Livia Turco has expressed her negative position on administrative sanctions for drugs consumers. CORA has always favored this approach and is for the total abolition of those sanctions. On the controlled distribution of heroin, the Minister has declared that the Government will not take positions, but that is necessary to study and experiment. CORA asks the Government if it is ready to authorize pilot-projects in some Italian towns following the Swiss example. CORA fears that the argument of studying and experimenting may be and excuse for delaying the whole process without making any decision. All possible measures intended for reducing the rigors of prohibitionist laws are positive and urgent, but alone and in themselves they do not face the real problem: the total and general failure of prohibition. Decriminalizing, decarcerizing and reducing harms are all good choices, but what is equally urgent is to take the market of illegal drugs from the hands of organized crime. A market that equals 8% of the worldly trade and that gives to narco-mafias a power worth $400B a year. *** ITALY - DRUG-ADDICTS SERVICES OUTLAW! CORA FILES COMPLAINTS IN OVER 20 CITIES On February 6, CORA has formally filed complaints against the Minister for Health in over 20 cities for the non implementation of a significant part of the law on drugs. Art. 118 of the Law on Narcotics (DPR 309/90) and Art. 4 and 5 of the relative implementing law (DM 444/90). According to the law, starting from May 1991, at the latest, every local sanitary unit (USL) should have established a service for drug addicts (SERT), "open 24 hours a day seven days a week in areas in which there is a significant population of addicts" and "for at least 12 hour on weekdays and 6 hours on weekends" for the rest of the country. FOR SEVEN YEARS THE LAW HAS NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED. The whole story is even more scandalous, if we consider the enormous amount of words that have been spent on the necessity and urgency to "face the drug tragedy"; not to mention the two Naples Conferences, all the promises and the ultimatum of the champions of "anti-drugs" (good only to collect votes against the 'cynic antiprohibitionists', but not to enforce the laws that they consider the best solution to the problem). CORA calls upon magistrates to verify if there are possible aspects of this negligence that could lead to an aggravated and continued violation of fundamental and constitutional rights: the equality of citizens before the law and the right to health. In particular CORA asks to verify the violation of Art. 328 of the Criminal Code 'the refusal of official acts'. Moreover, CORA will present a parliamentary interrogation to know the Government's position on the enforcement of the law; to this end CORA has sent a letter to Premier Prodi and held a demonstration in front of the seat of the Government in Rome. ITALY - OUT OF THE GHETTO! From the page of the newspaper l'Opinione, CORA has launched an appeal to citizens drug addicts and to their families asking them to come out of the ghetto of fear and shame, in which they have been relegated by prohibition. CORA asks them to be active filing complaints against the non application of the law and in requesting that the public service works according to addicts requests and not vice-versa. CORA also believes that it is in the interest of addicts that the Government should allow the experimentation of medical heroin, rather than forcing them to continue living on sidewalk stuff. NEWS FROM THE WORLD FRANCE In 1997, there has been a 2% drop in crime, while according to recent police statistics, juvenile and drug-related crimes are up 9.22%. (LE FIGARO 28/1, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 29/1) SWITZERLAND The legalizing proposal, "DroLeg", has not had much fortune at the Parliament. From many parts people have asked the proponents to withdraw the request in order not to block the debate at the very beginning. The proponents have declared that they are ready to dialogue with anybody, but that at the same time they want to know the opinion of the government coalition before deciding an eventual change in their plans. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 29/1) GERMANY From February the selling of cannabis seeds will be restricted. The "10th Directive on Narcotic Substances" also sets the prohibition of cultivation in order to discourage hashish and marijuana consumption, which are considered unhealthy. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG 31/1) PANAMA The negotiations between the Government and the U.S. to establish a multilateral center for the fight against drug-trafficking have not reached a final agreement. The project, which should allow U.S. troops to remain in the channel after the 1999 hand-over, has to overcome many obstacles and is not collecting an enthusiastic support. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, 02/02) GERMANY The new edition of the 'Driving Code', that will be implemented this Summer, sets clear penalties for those who are caught driving on drugs. There are however more problems in detecting a drug user than a drunkard. The only possible way would be a blood or a urine test, which is not a quick way of testing someone's condition. German authorities are now implementing a "Drugwipe" a device capable of detecting the presence of drugs through sweat and saliva. FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG 03/02) WORLD Bern - At the recent press conference, UNDCP Chief, Pino Arlacchi said that the UN has nothing to object to the Swiss distribution of heroin. But, that at the same time it does not consider it an experiment that can be exported to other countries. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 4/2) WORLD According to a Canadian report based on researches made in the US, UK, Japan, Australia, Germany and Canada, lawyers, managers, medics and policemen are among the bigger consumers of alcoholic beverages while working. Drug consumption is frequent among physicians, nurses, CEOs, pilots and workers in big factories. (SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 04/02) AUSTRIA Vienna - A survey shows that Austrians approve the drug-related policies of the local administration based on "curing rather than repressing". As a matter of fact, the majority of drug addicts enjoys some form of social assistance and there are no dangerous neighborhoods. Social cohesion helps in circumscribe the phenomenon. According to another survey commissioned by "Die Presse", 39% of youngsters know at least someone who has tried drugs. 73% of the people interviewed is against any possible consumption of narcotics. 15% is attracted by hashish and marihuana. (DIE PRESSE, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 5/2) U.S. February is the month of drugs "certification". President Clinton must decide which countries can be considered good allies for the war on drugs, and which cannot. The certification program risks to make enemies even among "clean" countries that do not want the US intrusion into their internal affairs and its role as the 'Supreme Judge' of the Americas. Colombia, which was decertified last year, is still at risk, because some satellite pictures showed that the some fields that were supposed to have been eradicated by the government are still there and seem even bigger. Moreover, Colombia has also amended the constitution to allow extradition to the U.S. the Americans would like the norm to be retroactive. Colombian authorities have rejected the US request. (THE ECONOMIST 7/2) MEXICO U.S. and Mexico have adopted a common strategy against drug trafficking. The agreement establishes a cooperation between both intelligences, the control of borders and other measures. Even if the US anti-drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, has said that the new program will start late this month, this new cooperation could lead to a US certification of Mexico for 1998. The certification of Mexico will continue US economic and financial help to the government. (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE 9/2) BOLIVIA During his visit to Spain, the Vice-President Jorge F. Quiroga, has stated that the objective of the Bolivian Government is to defeat drug trafficking within the next five years. The means will be: repression, eradication of crop - between 40,000 hectares and 60,000 - in cooperation with other Governments of the region. (EL PAIS 30/1) THE NETHERLANDS Amsterdam - In a few weeks some "Narco Rooms" operated by the Government will be opened. In these places some 15 addicts, chosen by the police, will be allowed to inject heroin in a safe and clean environment. After three months, the administration will decide if the experiment is working, if so, other 10-15 "Rooms" for some 400 addicts will be opened also to host those that are homeless. (EL PAIS 30/1) COLOMBIA "There is no Government in the whole world that has done so much to fight drug-trafficking" has declared President Samper. Mr. Samper was recently accused of receiving over $6M by some narco-dealers, a "loyal" congress saved him from the scandal. (LA REPUBBLICA, 5/2, IL MESSAGGERO, IL SOLE 24 ORE 7/2) ITALY The Supreme Court of Appeal has sent a message to all prefects reminding them that the consumption of 'soft drugs' can be faced also with 'mild' penalties. A decision of the Supreme Court rules that the use of 'soft drugs' does not allow tough measures like the suspension of driving license, especially for those who are caught with few grams of hashish, in this case a formal admonition can be sufficient. (CORSERA, IL GIORNALE, LA STAMPA 5/2) ITALY A year after the Naples Conference, the Government is still undecided and waits the decisions taken by other European partners. This uncertain position was presented at a conference held in Bologna organized by ERIT, the European Federation of Associations against Drugs. At the conference, the Minister of Social Affairs, Livia Turco, also rejected the possible distribution of heroin, because she thinks that Italy is not ready. The Emilia Romagna Region does not agree with the Minister and has recently adopted a resolution in favor of the legalization of 'soft drugs' and medical heroin. (CORSERA, 6-7/2, IL MESSAGGERO, IL GIORNALE, LA REPUBBLICA, LA STAMPA 7-8/2) *** JOIN THE CORA *** Yes, I want to be member (send by Email, or fax, or Mail) Name and Surname ........................................ Address, Post code, City, State .......................................... Email ..................................... Occupation ............................................. Date of Birth .............................. Phone home .............. office ................. fax ...................... mobile ..................... and I am enclosing a membership fee of ..................... By means of /Postal Order to CORA /Crossed Cheque to CORA /ccp (only in Italy) /Bank Account (choose below) /Credit Card type ........................................... no .................................................................... ..Expiry Date ...................... MEMBERSHIP FEE OF CORA 1997 IN EUROPEAN UNION Austria 800 ATS, Belge 2000 Bfr, Denmark 500 DKK, Finland 400 FIM, France 330 FF, Germany 100 DEM, Great Britain 35 GBP, Greece 5000 GRD, Ireland 20 IEP, Italy 100.000 LIT, Luxembourg 2000 Lfr, The Netherlands 100 , LG, Portugal 5000 PTE, Spain 5000 ESB, Sweden 500 SEK BANK ACCOUNT - no. 010381 to CORA, Deutsche Bank (Abi 3002, Cab 03270), Italy - no.10067.00101.1032083440/4 to CORA, France - no. 310107591981 to CORA, Belge MAIL CCP: ONLY IN ITALY - c.c.p. 53362000 to CORA, Via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Roma -------------------------------------------------------------------
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