------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News Release (Leading Research Magazine Claims WHO Suppressed Report Showing Marijuana To Be Safer Than Legal Intoxicants; Medical Marijuana Activists To Open Dispensaries Across Eastern Canada; Criminalization Of Marijuana Coincides With Explosion In Use, Federal Data, American Journal Of Public Health Indicates) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:48:30 EST Subject: NORML WPR 2/19/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C.20036 T 202-483-8751oF 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internethttp://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. February 19, 1998 Leading Research Magazine Claims WHO Suppressed Report Showing Marijuana To Be Safer Than Legal Intoxicants February 19, 1998, London, England:Health officials at the United Nations suppressed a report confirming that marijuana poses less of a public health threat than alcohol or tobacco, according to an article in the current issue of a leading English research journal, New Scientist. "The analysis concludes not only that the amount of [marijuana] smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed [marijuana] on the same scale as these legal substances," states the article, entitled: What the WHO doesn't want you to know about cannabis. The World Health Organization's summary report on marijuana -- its first in 15 years -- was published in December, but the magazine alleges that a comparison study of marijuana and legal substances was dropped because the findings might call into question federal policies criminalizing the drug.Sources leaked a draft version of the report to the magazine shortly after WHO officials decided to kill the story. "It is understood that advisers from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.N. International Drug Control Programme [sic] warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise [sic] marijuana," the article stated."Insiders say the comparison was scientifically sound and that WHO caved in to political pressure." Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, called the WHO comparison study the latest in a long line of favorable marijuana findings suppressed by political officials."Let's hope that this report doesn't fall into history's scrap pile like it's numerous predecessors: the British Indian Hemp Drug Commission of 1894; the Panama Canal Zone Report of 1925; the LaGuardia Commission Report of 1944; the Canadian LeDain Commission Report of 1970; the 1972 National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse; or the 1982 National Academy of Science Report: Marijuana and Health.When the scientific communities continuously recognize marijuana as a substance that presents little harm to public health or safety, citizens must ask the question: 'Why do governments like the United States so vehemently oppose the consistent recommendations of the very commissions they appoint?'" According to New Scientist -- whose special report on marijuana appears today -- the WHO report found that marijuana "fared better in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to health."For example, the report stated that "in developed societies, [marijuana] appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence as does alcohol." The magazine said WHO researchers also found that marijuana smoke did not lead to blocked airways or emphysema or impact on lung function, and that it was less addictive than alcohol or cigarettes.New Scientist further stated that the use of marijuana did not appear to lead to the use of harder drugs. NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said that the suppressed report appears to corroborate many of the organization's own arguments. "NORML does not suggest that marijuana is totally harmless or that it cannot be abused.That is true for all drugs, including those which are legal," he said."We do believe that moderate marijuana use is relatively harmless -- far less harmful to the user than either tobacco or alcohol, for example -- and that any risk presented by marijuana smoking falls well within the ambit of choice we permit the individual in a free society." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Medical Marijuana Activists To Open Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Across Eastern Canada February 19, 1998, Toronto, Ontario:As part of an ongoing campaign to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in Canada, activists in Ontario announced the launch of at least eight medical marijuana dispensaries in the region.Proponents announced that the clubs -- commonly known as Cannabis Buyers' Clubs (CBCs) -- will be "wheelchair accessible," and in "commercial areas, not private residences."Medical marijuana distributed at the clubs will be sold at cost. "We're not going to be hiding," Peter Young -- one of the organizers for the clubs -- told the Ottawa Citizen.He added that any police officer posing as a patient could "easily" track down a sales venue, but said that "if they're going to bust us, fine.But the next day we'll be open again." Presently, buyers' clubs exist in Toronto and Vancouver, the Toronto Star reported.Additional clubs are expected to open shortly in Toronto, London, Peterborough, Kitchener, and Guelph.Club organizers in Mississauga, Oakville, and Etobicoke are currently accepting applications, the paper said. Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Canada have increased in recent months.On February 5, a 53 year old Toronto AIDS patient filed a civil suit against the Canadian government asking the court to find an exemption for the medical use of marijuana.The federal challenge came two months after a Canadian trial court judge ruled that bona fide medical marijuana users are exempt from criminal marijuana possession penalties.In addition, recent statements from a spokesman at the Canadian Department of Health indicate that the agency may begin approving use of the drug in "emergency" situations. Buyers' clubs -- though illegal under U.S. federal law -- first began to appear in California in the early 1990s.Medical marijuana advocates estimate that 40 such clubspresently operate in the United States. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. ***Criminalization Of Marijuana Coincides With Explosion In Use, Federal Data, American Journal of Public Health Indicates February 19, 1998, Washington, D.C.:The American Journal of Public Health reported that more than 50 percent of adolescents born between 1956 and 1965 admit to having experimented with marijuana.This figure compares with just over two percent of teens born between 1930 and 1940. "Although only a small minority of American adolescentsused marijuana in the years leading up to the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937, literally half of the 'baby boomer' population tried the drug as teenagers after its use had been prohibited for decades," Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, observed. The authors propose that the steady decline in two-parent families may have contributed to the rise in marijuana use after World war II. Researchers based their findings on data from the government-sponsored National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. For more information, please contact Richard Cowan @ MarijuanaNews.com or see the American Journal of Public Health, 1998; 88 (1): 27-33. FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON PENDING STATE MARIJUANA REFORM LEGISLATION, PLEASE VISIT NORML'S NEW WEBSITE AT: WWW.NORML.ORG. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ballot Proposal Would Allow Pot For Medical Use ('The Oregonian' Says Portland Internist Rick Bayer And Stormy Ray, An Ontario Resident Crippled By Multiple Sclerosis, To Be Chief Petitioners Of Initiative Limiting Patients To One Ounce, Three Plants - Oregon Chiefs Of Police Spokesman's Lies Again Go Unchallenged By Paper, Which Notes Cops Have Established Political Action Committee, Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs, So They Can Keep Arresting Sick People Even Against Wishes Of Their Doctors - Plus Commentary From List Subscribers)Found at: oregonlive.com The Oregonian Portland, OR February 19, 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org *** Ballot proposal would allow pot for medical use A Portland doctor plans to file an initiative petition to legalize marijuana for pain control By Gail Kinsey Hill of The Oregonian staff SALEM -- An Oregon doctor, backed by the deep pockets of Americans for Medical Rights, on Wednesday announced plans for an initiative campaign to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Portland internist Rick Bayer said he would file an initiative petition this week that would allow patients suffering from illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and glaucoma to use marijuana to try to relieve their pain. Bayer said he expects success because "I'd like to think Oregonians are deeply concerned about dying and suffering patients."The Oregon Chiefs of Police is among the groups that will put up a fight, spokesman Darin Campbell said. "No medical association or the Federal Drug Administration or anyone has said there is any medical value whatsoever to the use of marijuana," Campbell said. "We look at this (initiative) as the first step toward the total legalization of drugs." Bayer filed with the state Elections Division to form a political action committee, Oregonians for Medical Rights, that will be the campaign's fund-raising arm. He is aiming for the November ballot. Stormy Ray, an Ontario resident crippled by multiple sclerosis, joined Bayer at a news conference at the Capitol. They will be the initiative's chief petitioners. "Medical marijuana may be the only medicine that can give me a fighting chance," said Ray, who uses a wheelchair. Ray would not say whether she uses marijuana, but she said a synthetic version of the drug, Marinol, significantly eased her pain until her body built up a tolerance. Marijuana is effective in controlling the muscle spasms symptomatic of multiple sclerosis, Bayer said. Marijuana also works well for patients suffering from breast, lung and prostate cancer, he said. Takes cue from California Bayer said he began drafting the initiative after he was contacted by Americans for Medical Rights, a Santa Monica, Calif., group behind Proposition 215, approved by California voters in 1996. Proposition 215 permits the medical use of marijuana. It's the only law of its kind in the nation. Americans for Medical Rights has gone national -- during the California effort, supporters were known as Californians for Medical Rights -- and is aiding initiative drives in Colorado, Maine and Alaska as well as Oregon. The organization targeted states where election laws allow people to use initiatives and where residents might be responsive to such a request. "Oregon is a natural place to look," said Dave Fratello, communications director for Americans for Medical Rights. "We guessed inherently there might be support there." Hundreds of thousands of dollars are expected to accompany that guess, primarily from three men: international financier George Soros, Ohio insurance executive Peter Lewis and University of Phoenix founder John Sperling. Soros and Lewis contributed heavily to the California campaign, and Sperling backed a similar effort in Arizona. Voters approved the Arizona initiative in 1996, then legislators gutted it in 1997. The three men have teamed up to support Americans for Medical Rights and the organization's nationwide efforts, Fratello said. Fratello said he isn't sure how much money will be channeled into Oregon, but he expects about $100,000 will go toward a signature-gathering campaign. As much as $500,000 might go into the general-election campaign, he said. To qualify for the ballot, petitioners must gather 73,261 valid signatures by July 2. The money won't come without strings. Fratello said Oregon and other states would have to come up with some level of matching money, probably a 50-50 split. Opponents face being outspent.If California offers any lessons, opposition could come from established medical associations and law enforcement organizations. The California Medical Association opposed Proposition 215, for example. The Oregon Medical Association hasn't taken a position on the issue but probably will oppose it, said James Kronenberg, associate executive director. Whatever the opposition, it can expect to be outspent by a wide margin. In California, initiative supporters spent $1.9 million, Fratello said. The opposition spent $40,000. Campbell and the police association recently established a political action committee, Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs, to raise election cash. Much of the money will go to support a referendum asking voters whether the state should recriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The 1997 Legislature approved a recriminalization bill, but a referendum financed partly by Soros, Sperling and Lewis, sent the issue to the November ballot. House Bill 3643 would have raised the penalty for possession of less than 1 ounce from a violation to a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and maximum jail time of 30 days. Washington measure different If the medical-use marijuana proposal qualifies for the ballot, Campbell said the police chiefs' committee would be used to raise money to oppose it. Campbell said the November 1997 defeat of a similar medical-use initiative in Washington gives him hope that he can bring down the Oregon proposal. The Washington proposal differed significantly from the Oregon initiative, however. In addition to marijuana, it would have legalized the medical use of heroin, LSD, peyote and other drugs prohibited by federal law. The Oregon initiative would deal exclusively with marijuana. It would allow patients, with written permission from their doctors, to obtain registry cards from the state Health Division. The cards would allow them to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana and to grow for medical purposes as many as three mature marijuana plants. The Oregon initiative would be a tightened version of the California measure, Fratello said. It also borrows from a measure sponsored in the 1997 Oregon Legislature by Rep. George Eighmey, D-Portland. Eighmey's bill never received a hearing, but "it got our attention," Fratello said. *** Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 22:59:56 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dan Koozer (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Here We Go Again >Found at: oregonlive.com > >The Oregonian, February 19, 1998 >email@example.com > >Ballot proposal would allow pot for medical use (snip) >The money won't come without strings. Fratello >said Oregon and other states would have to come >up with some level of matching money, probably >a 50-50 split. (snip) >The Oregon initiative would deal exclusively with >marijuana. It would allow patients, with written >permission from their doctors, to obtain registry >cards from the state Health Division. The cards >would allow them to possess as much as an ounce >of marijuana and to grow for medical purposes as >many as three mature marijuana plants. Let me get this straight, we're supposed to match funds for an initiative that requires patients to sign a "registry." Registry? Since when do people sign a "registry" to get their medications? Sounds like the usual AMR spoon fed "reform." How many states is this happening in again?? Dan *** [See http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html - Ed.] *** Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 11:20:07 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Arthur Livermore) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Here We Go Again Charles Rollins Jr wrote: >I am unsure of why the registry or ID card are so bloody important. >The registry will not act as a preventive to keep cannabis being >misdirected. It's just another useless reg in the War On Drugs. I agree, Charles. The mmj ID card isn't worth much to patients. The real issue is being able to defend yourself in court. Right now, growing marijuana is prohibited by federal law. Most states have the same prohibition. The ID card would be one piece of evidence to present in court to prove that your plants are your medicine. A letter from your doctor would work the same way. So the ID card makes very little difference in practice. I think we would be making a positive step if we pass these mmj initiatives. At least we will be able to present the medical use defense in court. Sincerely, Arthur Livermore LIVERMORE CONSULTANTS email@example.com P.O. Box 36 http://www.pacifier.com/~alive/ Arch Cape, OR 97102 USA 503-436-1882 *** Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 17:20:31 -0600 (CST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bruce House) Subject: CanPat - AMR has the bucks, OCTA (grass-roots) needs your help! To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Why should unity be only for the grass-roots, we should accept what good AMR does also. Help AMR get on the ballot in record speed if you want, go gather massive signatures. This is GREAT EXCELLENT NEWS! WE SHOULD BE CELEBRATING SOME ONE IS DOING A MEDICAL INITIATIVE IN OREGON! FINALLY! FINALLY! FINALLY! Dear Paul Freedom, it seems AMR is the Initiative with the most Initiative, TO BE HONEST! The Grass-Roots has not exerted enough focused energy yet, we don't even have 100 PEOPLE TO PLEDGE $25 A WEEK TO PAY FOR SIGNATURES TO PUT OCTA ON THE BALLOT BY THIS JULY! here is still a chance, and I am working on things, but AMR's got it hands down - with our without our bickering. But, that other guy suggested we vote against AMR, and I think that's UTTER BULLSHIT!) WE MUST VOTE ANTI-PROHIBITION AT ALL LEVELS TO STOP THE PRISONS! IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE INITIATIVE - GET YOUR OWN... ..OR PITCH IN AND HELP THE BEST THING HAPPENING! THAT'S UNITY - I'LL WORK TOGETHER WITH ANYONE WHO'S GOING THE SAME WAY, VOTE ANTI-PROHIBITION ALWAYS! VOTE LIBERTARIAN! Why do you have the audacity to think AMR needs your advice? If the GRASS-ROOTS organizations would have been DOING THEIR JOB, getting initiatives ballot-qualified, then AMR would be moot. Your challenge is to MATCH AMR PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO _NOT_ TELL ME TO VOTE AGAINST AMR'S INITIATIVE! I WILL VOTE FOR A BAD LAW OVER A WORSE PROHIBITION ANY FUCKING DAY, GOT THAT? NOW, IF YOU DON'T LIKE AMR'S (SUCESSFUL) JOB, DO IT YOURSELF! WE SHOULD BE THANKING AMR FOR TAKING CARE OF OUR SLACK ASS! C.R.R.H. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp! Sponsors of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) P.O. BOX 86741 Portland, OR 97286 or visit our Web page: http://www.crrh.org/ For Peace, Bruce House (503) 235-4606 OCTA Office *** Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 04:35:50 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Charles Rollins Jr) To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Here We Go Again [Dan wrote"] >Let me get this straight, we're supposed to match funds for an >initiative that requires patients to sign a "registry". Registry? >Since when do people sign a "registry" to get there medications? >Sounds like the usual AMR spoon fed "reform". I am unsure of why the registry or ID card are so bloody important. The registry will not act as a preventive to keep cannabis being misdirected. It's just another useless regulation in the War On Drugs. I have been told the registry is so the cops will know who is supposed to have legal access to cannabis. The ID card is suppose to do the same thing (ID medical users). A few points... Wouldn't a sworn letter from a doctor along with a drivers license do the same thing? If you can get a doctor to falsify a document (a sworn letter), than AMR protections also fall by the wayside. If we just consider the "list" (registry) proposal, how many "police" will take the time after a raid to trot down to Health and social services to see if the person arrested appears on a government list. Local police have a mountain of paper work associated with a drug bust, and AMR wants to add more hoops to jump through. The more hoops the more chances for SNAFUs and mistakes. If AMR wants a true view into the mind's eye of mainstream politicians, and "community leaders": Many (if not most) know that cannabis has medical uses, they know it's relatively safe. But they wish the whole issue would just go away. Even if Cannabis cured AIDS, Cancer, and a million other maladies they don't want to address the issue. The reasons why are numerous, a few are: A. Many have made their political careers blasting drugs and drug users. they know their stands are morally and ethically wrong. But the need to win over rode any sense of ethics. B. Pot smokers don't vote (in general), so there will be very little repercussions if they take a "get tough" stand. C. It's easy to scapegoat a minority, and stir up the public outrage with lies and half truths. Its happen a million times in the past Blacks, Indians, Japanese, etc. When people see a threat they tend to give up independent thought, and give into sheep like group think. Does anyone really believe our leaders want us to think? Nowadays, to demonize anyone by race, or ethnicity is taboo. So our elected officials must go to lifestyles because it's still a safe haven for prejudice. See ya Charles Rollins Jr
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregonians For Personal Privacy (Eugene-Based Group Is Circulating Initiative Petition To Legalize Personal Consumption, Cultivation, Manufacture Of Cannabis) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 23:38:48 -0800 From: opp (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: What's going on. Here's some propaganda and check out http://www.efn.org/~opp We are circulating a petition to legalize personal private use - on web site check intent and purpose. Thanks Stephen OREGONIANS for PERSONAL PRIVACY 420 (OPP 420) is a grassroots organization with no financial backing. If you want this petition to succeed, you must support it. We need volunteers to circulate petitions, as well as contributions of money and help getting the word out. Oregonians for Personal Privacy 420 P.O. Box 24715 Eugene, OR 97402 (541) 485-4526 email@example.com Self-addressed stamped envelope helpful. A REGISTERED POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTER TO VOTE NOW CIRCUTATE PETITIONS THE ONLY WAY TO AMNESTY IS THROUGH LEGALIZATION "THE MANUFACTURE, POSSESSION, AND CONSUMPTION, IN PRIVATE, OF THE PLANT CANNABIS AND ALL ITS FAMILIES AND BYPRODUCTS SHALL BE LEGAL FOR ALL CITIZENS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER." HELP STOP THE TEMPERANCE MARCH TO TOTALITARIANISM
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer Keist Upped To Fair Condition ('Associated Press' Update Broadcast By KOIN, Portland's CBS Affiliate, On Portland Cop Shot During Warrantless Break-In By Marijuana Task Force) KOIN Channel 6 Portland, Oregon http://www.koin.com/ letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Officer Keist Upped To Fair Condition Will Leave Intensive Care Unit For Regular Hospital Room PORTLAND, Posted 8:27 p.m. February 19, 1998 -- The condition of an officer who was shot during a marijuana raid has improved from serious to fair at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. Emanuel spokeswoman Claudia Brown says officer Kim Keist will be leaving the intensive care unit and going to a regular hospital room. She was critically injured and another officer was shot and killed as they tried to break into a Portland home on January 27th during a marijuana raid. Officers returned fire and the resident of the home, Steven Dons, was wounded and taken into custody. He faces aggravated murder charges. Previous Stories: Feb. 06, 1998: Dons Arraigned In Hospital Room Jan. 29: Shooting Suspect's Condition Downgraded Jan. 28: 'Knock and Talk' Method Raises Concerns Jan. 28: Shooting Sparks Gun Control Issue Jan. 28: City Mourns Officer's Death Jan. 27: Katz and Moose Respond to Tragedy Jan. 27: Police Officer Fatally Shot Copyright 1998 by The Associated Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Private Detective Gives Emotional Testimony ('The Herald' Says Former Private Investigator Dale Fairbanks Broke Down In Tears Wednesday As He Testified About Watching Everett, Washington, Lawyer Mark Mestel Receive Marijuana From A Defendant - Mestel Not Charged, But Defendants Seek Dismissal Of Charges At Hearing To Determine Whether Federal Prosecutors Erred In 1996 When They Recruited Fairbanks To Help Investigate His Boss's Former Clients) Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 15:00:57 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WA: Private Detective Gives Emotional Testimony Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb. 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA Contact: email@example.com WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com Author: Scott North, Herald Writer Note: You can contact Scott North by phone at 425-339-3431 or you can send e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org PRIVATE DETECTIVE GIVES EMOTIONAL TESTIMONY Informant Tells Court Of Pot, Friendship, Betrayal SEATTLE -- A former private investigator at the center of the federal government's case against an alleged drug ring broke down in tears Wednesday as he testified about watching an Everett lawyer receive marijuana from one of the men charged in the case. Dale Fairbanks wept openly in U.S. District Court as he told Judge Thomas Zilly about the alleged drug delivery to Mark Mestel in October 1995. The testimony came on the second day of a hearing to determine whether federal prosecutors erred in 1996 when they recruited Fairbanks to help investigate former Mestel clients for an alleged conspiracy to grow marijuana and hide drug money behind legitimate businesses. Mestel is not charged with any crime. Attorneys for defendants Gregory Haynes and James Denton have asked Zilly to dismiss the case. In court papers, they've portrayed Fairbanks as a mercenary liar, who after being promised $150,000, helped the government run roughshod over the confidential relationship between lawyers and clients. Fairbanks and other witnesses who testified Wednesday presented a different picture. The former Sultan police officer, who now runs a pawn shop, said he enjoyed working as a private investigator on Mestel cases for most of this decade. Fairbanks said he became concerned in 1994 when Mestel befriended Haynes and allegedly took legal steps to hide the Eastern Washington man's involvement in a large marijuana farm near Stanwood. Fairbanks said concern turned to sadness in October 1995, when he drove Mestel to Cle Elum and watched Haynes give the lawyer a baseball cap brimming with marijuana. The pot allegedly came from hidden farms Haynes ran in Eastern Washington, including a large underground operation near Moses Lake. Fairbanks testified that Mestel said nothing when Haynes placed the pot in Fairbanks' car. Mestel later took the marijuana home, he alleged. "It hurt my feelings," Fairbanks testified through tears. "... I was surprised. I was surprised Mark would put me in that position." Mestel was not in the courtroom Wednesday. Judge Zilly on Tuesday questioned Mestel about alleged drug deliveries, and the lawyer said Haynes did send him small amounts of marijuana on at least two occasions, but that he'd thrown away the drugs and taken steps to stop further deliveries. The respected Everett attorney denied ever having received a hatful of marijuana from anyone. Prosecutors on Wednesday questioned Fairbanks about the drug delivery allegations in part to explain his motives for approaching drug detectives in late 1995 and early 1996 and agreeing to work as a confidential informant. Fairbanks said the government didn't offer him payment until he was already deeply involved in the case. The former investigator also acknowledged that he wasn't easily supervised, and at one point violated federal law by deciding on his own to help Haynes illegally acquire two fully automatic machine guns. Fairbanks was later granted immunity for the gun deal. Duane Stickels, an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, testified Fairbanks did not relish the idea of becoming an informant. "I don't think he wanted to be a confidential informant," Stickles testified. "He was involved in a situation that was criminal and he didn't like it and he wanted to come forward."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Orange County Gangs - New Recruits For Mexican Druglords? ('Orange County Register' Says US Authorities Have Indicted 10 Members Of San Diego Gang They Allege Were Hired As Contract Assassins In Brutal, Gangland-Style Ambush That Targeted Drug Dealer But Instead Took Lives Of Highest-Ranking Roman Catholic Prelate In Mexico And Six Others In May 1993) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 19:12:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: O.C. Gangs: New Recruits For Mexican Druglords? Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Author: Guillermo X. Garcia O.C. GANGS: NEW RECRUITS FOR MEXICAN DRUGLORDS? Authorities are worried about that prospect since last week's indictments of 10 San Diego men in an ambush that killed 7. It was a crime that shocked Mexico and reverberated into Southern California: A brutal, gangland-style ambush that targeted a drug dealer but instead took the lives of the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate in Mexico and six others. U.S. authorities last week said they believe that the contract assassins were members of a San Diego gang. They fear that gangs in Orange County and Los Angeles also might be recruited by the drug cartel that controls the border. Almost five years after the May 1993 slaying of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo at the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport, U.S. officials unsealed an indictment Tuesday charging 10 gang members, all with prior convictions, as the hit men. Border law-enforcement officials said it was the first time they could recall that the Tijuana cartel headed by the notorious Arellano brothers had hired U.S. street thugs. The American gang members allegedly acted as bodyguards, as security on drug shipments, as collectors of overdue debts - and as killers of Mexican lawmen and drug rivals. Officials on both sides of the border say the powerful Tijuana cartel that recruited the San Diego gang members now might try to entice Orange County and Los Angeles gangs to do their contract work. U.S. officials say the cardinal died in a fusillade of AK-47 rifle fire intended for Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, a rival drug dealer who was fighting the Arellano Felix drug cartel for control of the lucrative Pacific Coast drug smuggling corridors. The indicted gang members, facing 10 years to life if convicted, are charged with drug smuggling and dealing, attempted murder of several U.S. citizens - and of being the hit men who apparently mistook the elderly cardinal dressed in clerical garb for Guzman. They can't be charged in the United States with the cardinal's death. "Since the U.S. authorities have hit the (San Diego) gang with such a heavy blow, I believe it is logical and a very real possibility that the cartel will approach other gangs, and Orange County could be strategic for them," said Victor Clark Alfaro, head of the Tijuana-based Binationall Center for Human Rights and an unofficial historian of Tijuana's illicit drug industry. For at least the past decade, the Arellano Felix brothers have ruthlessly controlled the flow of illegal drugs over the Mexican border into California, officials say. Since 1996, the cartel has been accused of or linked to the deaths of eight high-ranking police commanders and prosecutors assigned to Tijuana anti-drug operations. U.S. law-enforcement officials say that 70 percent of the multi-billion dollar drug traffic enters the United States from Mexico. Tijuana is the leading port of entry to the so-called "O.C. corridor," linking the border to distribution points in Southern California and the rest of the country. The Mexican government has raised a $5 million bounty for the abrothers' arrest, and the U.S. State Department is offering $2 million for their capture. The FBI lists Ramon Arellano Felix, 33, the brother who allegedly led the San Diego hit team to Guadalajara, on its list of 10 most wanted fugitives. "Orange County is ideal because it is linked by proximity to the border, it has had an established and organized gang population for years, and lies at the heart of the corridor used to distribute the drugs that are smuggled into your country" by the Arellanos, said Clark Alfaro. Orange County law-enforcement officials say they have no concrete evidence that a connection has been established. "We don't know that that is a fact, because we have not been contacted by any law-enforcemnet agency about possible connections' between Orange County gangs and the cartel, said Orange County sheriff's Lt. Hector Rivera. "Are Orange County gangs sophisticated enough to establish connections like that with Mexican gangs? We are just not now in a position to say." Federal agents who specialize in violent border gangs are reluctant to comment because of ongoing operations, but they acknowledge Clark Alfaro's scenario is credible. "It is hard to say where the cartle will turn for replacements, but (hiring U.S. gang members) worked for them for years," says San Diego FBI supervisor Ed Walker, who coordinates the Bureau's violent-crime task force gang group. Contracting the San Diego members of the "30th St." Logan Heights gang for bodyguard and enforcement was a smart move by the cartel, says Clark Alfaro. "When you look at it, (the Arellano organization) is a transnational corporation working in a very competitive market and an unforgiving business," he said. "I believe (the Arellanos) assumed that by using U.S. gang members for their nefarious activities on this side of the border, they could evade authorities. "To apprehend groups operating on both sides of the border would require that authorities on both sides work together in a co-operative venture. That would have been unheard of" because of U.S. authorities' distrust of their Mexican counterparts, he said. "The cartel was counting on that to allow them to transact their business." Beginning in the early 90s, the cartel increasingly turned to the Logan gang after on of the gang's senior members abegan associating with the Arellanos. Federal prosecutors say the powerful drug barons became indebted to David Barron-Corona, a mostly small-time marijuana, PCP and cocaine dealer in Logan Heights, a hardscrabble neighborhood framed by florid freeway murals, warehouses and docks south of downtown. The FBI's Walker said Barron got into the cartel's good graces in October 1992, when he saved them from an ambush in a Puerto Vallarta discoteque set up by Joaquin Guzman. Guzman first became a problem for the Arellanos because of his refusal to pay the brothers a "tax" on the drugs he moved through their territory. Mexocan police say that a sophisticated, nearly mile-long, air-conditioned and lighted tunnel from Tijuana to a warehouse in Otay Mesa was constructed by Guzman in the early 1990s to sneak his drug loads under the noses of the Arellanos and police. The tunnel was uncovered by U.S. anti-drug authorities with help from informants that Mexican police say were provided by the Arellanos. Within days of the disco shoot out, the Arellanos began planning their revenge. Seven months later, they got their chance. Guzman was to fly out of Guadalajara on the afternoon of May 24, 1993. Ramon Arellano-Felix, Barron and seven other Logan gang members, armed with AK-47s, were to ambush Guzman's entourage as it pulled into the airport's VIP parking lot. "The kill zone was set up. Unfortunately, the cardinal's white Ford Grand Marquis pulled up just as the assassins were about to open fire," Walker said, citing accounts of witnesses and gunmen interviewed by the FBI. At the scene, authorities described a well-planned attack in which at least five carloads of weapons, including machine guns, were placed in strategic areas of the parking lot. Shortly after the airport shoot out, the brothers went to Mexico City and in a secret meeting with the Vatican's ambassador to Mexico declared their innocence. In the aftermath, Mexican military and elite law enforcement teams raided Arellano facilities, mostly in Tijuana. Official reports say they confiscated a chain of drugstores, 118 houses, five real estate firms, a half dozen other businesses, heavy weapons, cell telephones and other electronic devices, about a dozen vehicles and nearly $4 million in cash. "The lure of illicit enrichment, drugs, discos and fast women is very difficult to combat," Clark Alfaro said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Druglords Easily Enter The US From Mexico? (Brief Item In 'Orange County Register' Says Mariano Herran Salvatti, Mexico's Special Prosecutor For Crimes Against Health, Charged Wednesday That Mexico's Most-Wanted Druglords Travel Regularly To United States, Moving Across Border Into California With Ease) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 19:16:48 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Druglords Easily Enter The U.S. From Mexico? Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 DRUGLORDS EASILY ENTER THE U.S. FROM MEXICO? Mexico's most-wanted druglords travel regularly to the United States, moving across the border into California with ease, a top Mexican anti-drug official charged Wednesday. Mariano Herran Salvatti, the special prosecutor for crimes against health, said law-enforcement officers had found video footage showing one of the brothers crossing the frontier and it "was clear he was going from the United States to Mexico." U.S. officials last week charged 10 members of a San Diego gang with assisting in the Tujuana cartel's 1993 attempted hit against a rival druglord at Mexico's Guadalajara airport.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California Prison Industry Homepage . . . Sickening . . . Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 11:48:05 -0500 From: Cheryl Dykstra & Scott Dykstra
Organization: Dykstra Computer Repair Service To: email@example.com Subject: California Prison Industry Homepage......Sickening... Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pia.ca.gov/
------------------------------------------------------------------- People In The News (Separate Items In 'San Jose Mercury News' Roundup Note Bidding War For Seattle Author's Novel, 'Easy Money,' About A Cross-Country Chase Involving Female Dope Mule; And Actor Robert Downey Jr. Gets Out Of Jail Briefly) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 10:42:18 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Column: People in the News Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Editor Note: There is a tidbit about Robert Downey Jr.'s life in prison at the end of this article. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Publisher's report Jenny Siler, 26, a Seattle bartender, will have her first novel published by Henry Holt after a publisher's bidding battle drove the price ``well over six figures,'' according to her agent, Nat Sobel, who also reps James Ellroy (``L.A. Confidential''). Siler's book, ``Easy Money,'' is about a cross-country chase involving a female dope mule who must deliver a computer disk that could get her killed. Another first-timer hitting the novel jackpot is freelance journalist John Connolly, who got a $575,000 advance, one of the biggest ever for an Irish writer. ``Every Dead Thing'' features ex-detective Charlie (Bird) Parker and takes place entirely in the United States. Said Connolly, 29: ``My first priority is to fix the heater in the car, then to pay the tax man and the Visa bill I ran up researching the book in America.'' Famous prisoner takes a trip Robert Downey Jr. was escorted from jail to Paramount Studios for a recording session -- at his own expense, the L.A. Sheriff's Department said. The trip was court-ordered, said Deputy Steve Sciacca, who offered no further explanation. After a series of drug arrests and second chances, the actor was led off to jail Dec. 8 for six months for violating probation by failing to stay clean and sober. On Friday, Downey's nose was cut in a fight with another inmate in a common area and he was placed in a cell away from the general population. Also, deputies found drug paraphernalia in another area where Downey ate and watched television with about 100 other inmates. Officials were trying to determine the source of the contraband.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Group Seeks Anti-Drug Themes On TV ('Associated Press' Item In 'Los Angeles Times' Says The Caucus Of Producers, Writers And Directors, Group Of 200 Television Industry Members, Gives An Audience In Beverly Hills To US Drug Czar General McCaffrey - Jerry Isenberg, Chair Of Caucus, Says It Would Be Wise To Avoid 'The Simplistic Drugs Are Bad' Message Because It Is Old And Ineffective') Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:09:28 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Group Seeks Anti-Drug Themes On TV Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: February 19, 1998 Fax: 213-237-4712 Author: Robert Jabloin, Associated Press Writer GROUP SEEKS ANTI-DRUG THEMES ON TV BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.-- Anti-drug themes should be made part of popular TV and music programming to keep children off drugs, an industry group said Wednesday. The Caucus of Producers, Writers and Directors made its suggestion to White House drug policy chief Barry R. McCaffrey, who was seeking input on reaching children as young as age 9. "I came here to listen to those who help shape America's values," McCaffrey said after a closed meeting with the caucus steering committee. "How do you communicate with adolescents? If anyone understands that, it's some of the people in this room today," said McCaffrey, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The caucus, a group of 200 TV industry members, suggested using music and TV shows as anti-drug forums. But Jerry Isenberg, chair of the caucus, said it would be wise to avoid "the simplistic drugs are bad" message because it is old and ineffective. "The answer may be in characters and themes ... embedded in shows," Isenberg said. Bonny Dore, a TV producer and secretary of the caucus, gave several examples. "If you were doing a 'Simpsons' episode and Bart goes, 'You're using drugs -attitude check!"' she said. McCaffrey has been seeking a partnership with Hollywood in spreading the message, which is also going out in a $195 million-a-year ad campaign beginning this summer. He said childhood was the crucial time to prevent drug abuse. "Almost nobody in his right mind starts using cocaine at 25, starts a heroin habit in his mid-30s," McCaffrey said. Isenberg said members of the caucus had no problem with the idea of including an anti-drug message in programming. "(There is) no party line. Everybody hates drugs," Isenberg said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- National Public Radio - Marijuana Report Suppressed (List Subscriber Says At Least One Major US Broadcaster Is Publicizing News About WHO Report On Cannabis Being Leaked To 'New Scientist' After NIDA Helped Quash It, But Says WHO Is Claiming No Pressure Occurred, Report Is Speculative) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 19:44:27 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Charles P. Conrad" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: NPR: MJ Report Supressed Just heard on NPR that the UN and US had pressured WHO not to release a report saying that MJ is much less harmful than booze and cigs. WHO claims no pressure, the report was "speculative."Chuck Conrad (818) 985-3259 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com http://www.freecannabis.org http://www.hempmuseum.org/ http://www.druglibrary.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-Governor Admits Mistake ('Grand Rapids Press' Quotes Former Michigan Governor William G. Milliken Admitting He Made Mistake Signing 'Drug Lifer Law' 20 Years Ago - Current Governor Would Also Like Reform, But Chair Of Senate Judiciary Committee Says It's Unlikely This Year Because Legislators Reluctant To Appear Soft On Crime) Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 22:08:45 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lee T. Neidow) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Ex-Governor Admits Mistake >From Grand Rapids Press Feb. 19, 1998, page B-4: Former Michigan Gov. William G. Milliken admitted today that he made a mistake when he signed the drug lifer law in to effect 20 years ago. Milliken called the lifer law "inhumane", saying it "wastes precious public dollars to lock up people for life, people who pose no threat to society". Michigan's lifer law is one of the toughest in the nation. It requires that anyone convicted of possession of more than 650 grams of cocaine or heroin - nearly 1 1/2 pounds - be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. The law has been criticized for catching low level drug dealers rather than the king-pins it was designed to snag. Currently, Milliken said, 220 inmates are serving life sentences under the law - the majority of whom would benefit more from drug treatment than incarceration. There are Bills in both the Senate and House to reform the law, and the current Governor has stated he is in favor of such reform. However Sen. Van Regenmorter, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says passage of the legislation is unlikely this election year, because legislators are reluctant to appear soft on crime.
------------------------------------------------------------------- There's No Pleasing Tavern League (Staff Editorial In 'Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' About Attempts To Modify Bill Passed Last Legislative Session By Tavern League Of Wisconsin, Requiring Municipalities To Charge $10,000 Fee For New Tavern Licenses, Up From $500) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:46:25 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WI: Editorial: There's No Pleasing Tavern League Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Contact: email@example.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ THERE'S NO PLEASING TAVERN LEAGUE Three state legislators and some other well-meaning folks learned a valuable lesson from Wisconsin's barkeepers this week -- namely, you need to know when you've had enough. That limit should have been reached Tuesday when the influential Tavern League of Wisconsin arrogantly rejected a compromise offered by three Waukesha County legislators to resolve a bitter controversy over the new tavern licensing law. This terrible law - for which the Tavern League lobbied mightily - requires municipalities to charge a $10,000 fee for a new tavern license, compared to a $500 fee for an existing license. The point of the law is to increase the value of existing bars by making their purchase more attractive to would-be tavern owners than the purchase of a new license. One effect of the law, of course, is to discourage new competition. The compromise - drafted by Assembly Majority Leader Steven Foti (R-Oconomowoc), Rep. Frank Urban (R-Brookfield) and Sen. Margaret Farrow (R-Elm Grove) - was certainly reasonable. Communities would have been allowed to use their own discretion to set fees for liquor licenses anywhere from $500 to $10,000. The Alliance of Cities and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, both of which strongly oppose the new law, backed the compromise. But that wasn't good enough for officials of the Tavern League, who made it clear by their actions that they're really not interested in a compromise at all, despite earlier comments to that effect. By discouraging competition, the new statute is classic fence-me-in legislation. If the state is going to take drastic steps to protect one type of small business, why not do the same for others -- small groceries or drugstores, for instance? Where would the line be drawn? Obviously, the state should not be traveling down that perilous road. Pete Madland, president of the Tavern League, wants the new law left in place for one year before legislators consider changing it. That's fine for him and his members, but what about municipal officials throughout the state who complain about the law's impediment to new business development? Should they live with a bad law for another year just because it suits the Tavern League? The answer for lawmakers should be obvious: It's high time to just say no.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Many Protest Expulsions Of Students Caught With Caffeine Pills ('St. Louis Post-Dispatch' Article About Zero Tolerance Policy At Junior High School In Collinsville Quotes One Parent - 'If School Board Believes Caffeine Is Harmful, Then Board Must Remove All Caffeine Including Soda Vending Machines, Chocolate Milk, Candy Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies And Coffee From Teachers' Lounge' - And Another Who Figures Out War On Some Drugs In A Nutshell - 'I'm A Taxpayer, And My Taxes Are Paying For Prisoners In Jail To Get More Education . . . And Drug Counseling And Rehabilitation, And Our School Kids Get The Street')Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 11:07:06 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US MO: Many Protest Expulsions Of Students Caught With Caffeine Pills Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Chris Clay Pubdate: 19 Feb 1998 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Author: Ellen O. Drenkhahn, Special To The Post-dispatch Contact: Letters@Pd.stlnet.com Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ MANY PROTEST EXPULSIONS OF STUDENTS CAUGHT WITH CAFFEINE PILLS Complex Situation Made Decision Hard COLLINSVILLE - Several parents, teachers, and friends crowded into the Unit 10 School Board meeting room Monday night to protest against the expulsion of two junior high school girls last week. Four girls at North Junior High School were found with varying amounts of three drugs - NoDoz caffeine pills, Aleve pain reliever and a prescription drug for acne. Two students were pulled from the school by their parents, and two were expelled by the board. Dan Burton, a Collinsville parent of two, told the board that if children can be expelled for having caffeine pills at school, then all forms of caffeine should be banned. "If the school board believes that caffeine is harmful, then the board must remove all caffeine from the schools including the soda vending machines, chocolate milk, candy bars, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and coffee from the teachers' lounge," Burton said. Burton also stated that the form in which caffeine is found is irrelevant, whether it be pills or candy. "People I've talked to thought the expulsions were ridiculous," he said. "The crime just didn't fit the punishment. These kids have been kicked out of school and the lesson they have learned is that the substance of chemical compounds is more important than the substance of their education." Board member Mike Foley disagreed, saying that the decision had been gut-wrenching. "There is so much more to this story than we as Board members have been allowed to say," Foley said. "At first I was leaning towards more leniency towards the students, but as we learned more information, that decision became more difficult. "Anytime you have to possibly expel a student, that is a gut-wrenching dilemma. We are there to give them (students) the greatest education we possibly can with the means at our disposal, and we don't make those decisions without a lot of soul-searching and thought." Foley was one of four board members to vote in favor of the expulsions on Feb. 8. The others included Board Members Jeanne Piesbergen, Bill Ellis and Gary Kusmierczak. Scott Penny cast the lone no vote. Don Davinroy was absent and Board President Virgil Kassing did not vote on the issue. Money, Pills Exchanged The case began on Jan. 28 when officials reported seeing what appeared to be an exchange of money and pills in the band room. An adult hall monitor reported the incident, which lead to the search of the four girls. Unit 10 has had a zero-tolerance drug policy for several years. Under that policy, legal, over-the-counter drugs, including NoDoz and Aleve and other pain relievers, are treated the same a controlled substances - like marijuana and other drugs. The policy states that any student found to possess, be under the influence of, or buy or sell any drug is automatically suspended for up to 10 days. The student is then entitled to a hearing with the school board. Four separate hearings were scheduled between Feb. 4 and 8, between school administrators, parents, and witnesses in connection to the incident to determine further disciplinary action. The board gave the two girls who had not been pulled from school the maximum allowable sentence - expulsion for the remainder of the school year. A Mother Comments The two students who were removed from the school before the expulsion hearings, Katie Thiel and Roxane Reeves, attended the meeting. Christine Reeves, mother of Roxane Reeves, told the Board that her daughter should be in school and not out running the streets or at home watching television. She is unsure how she will educate her daughter for the remainder of the school year. "I am a single mother on a fixed income," Reeves said. "My husband was killed six years ago while on active duty in the Air Force, and our life has been in turmoil ever since. I have no family in this area. I just didn't need this right now." She was upset that one of the four girls had been allowed to go to the restroom before she was searched on the morning of Jan. 28. "The person responsible for all of this was allowed to go to the bathroom and dump whatever pills she had on her before she was searched. Isn't that some kind of crazy justice?" questioned Reeves. "I'm a taxpayer, and my taxes are paying for prisoners in jail to get more education than my daughter is getting," she said. "We're paying for prisoners to get their GEDs and college degrees and drug counseling and rehabilitation, and our school kids get the street."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Koop Says Smokers Will Shun Cigarettes But Not Nicotine ('Orange County Register' Says Former US Surgeon General Predicts Next Few Years May See Increase In People Who Quit Smoking But Continue To Satisfy Their Nicotine Addiction - But Fails To Explain Why It Hasn't Happened Yet) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 19:08:18 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Koop Says Smokers Will Shun Cigarettes But Not Nicotine Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Author: Jon Van - Chicago Tribune KOOP SAYS SMOKERS WILL SHUN CIGARETTES BUT NOT NICOTINE The former surgeon general predicts gum will replace puffing for many who want to cut risks but need their fix. PHILADELPHIA-The next few years may see a marked increase in people who quit smoking but continue to satisfy their nicotine addiction in different ways, Dr. C. Everett Koop, former U.S. surgeon general, predicted Sunday. "I think you'll find among the 45 million Americans now addicted to nicotine that several will decide they just can't shake their addiction, but they'll quit smoking anyway to avoid the many health risks it brings," Koop told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "People will use inhalers, patches and chewing gum to get their nicotine fix without smoking," he predicted. Nicotine does pose a health risk for pregnant women and anyone with coronary problems, but that risk is significantly less than the overall threat posed by smoking, which is associated with one in five deaths, Koop said. The former surgeon general has been working to get American public health organizations to form a consensus so they can speak with one voice on the smoking issue as Congress considers how to handle the settlement worked out between the tobacco industry and several state attorneys general. "The settlement has practically unraveled as it comes before Congress," Koop said. "The climate has changed in Congress, and things that were once unthinkable have become quite possible." Revelations about the tobacco industry's efforts to sell cigarettes to children and to hide their addictive nature have aroused disgust in Congress even among many longtime friends of the industry, Koop said. But he expressed caution about declaring a victory. "I think the industry is so smart, it can devise ways of getting around almost anything," he said. One obvious step by tobacco companies would be to boost foreign sales to make up for any reductions in the United States, Koop said. "In the world market for tobacco, the United States accounts for only about 8 to 10 percent," he said. "The U.S. tobacco companies could make up for losing their entire domestic market with just two years of promotion in Asia, and I'm sure they count on doing that."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Delusions About Mexico (Staff Editorial In 'Boston Globe' Links The Certification Process To The 'Arrogance Of Power' The Late Senator William Fulbright Regarded As The True Source Of The Vietnam War) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 23:52:57 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Drug Delusions About Mexico Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/ Pubdate: 19 Feb 1998 A BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL DRUG DELUSIONS ABOUT MEXICO During the Vietnam War, Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas lamented an ''arrogance of power'' that he regarded as the true source of that war. The stakes today are different, but when a foreign leader such as Mexico's President Ernesto Zedillo complains about the annual humiliation of having to be certified by the United States as a properly zealous partner in the war on drugs, Fulbright's lament can be heard between the lines. If Clinton does not certify Mexico, then by law US aid to Mexico must be suspended. Washington is certainly entitled to ask its neighbors and major trading partners to cooperate in combatting the scourge of narcotics. Moreover, the inevitable corruption that accompanies the drug trade does more harm to Mexico, the transit country, than it does to the United States. But the insulting sham of certification serves only to engender resentment against the United States as a nation of sanctimonious hypocrites who blame foreigners for their own frailties. As a practical matter, certification accomplishes little. The laws of supply and demand that govern the narcotics trade are hardly affected by the exercise. When President Clinton is obliged to certify Mexico, as he did last year, despite flagrant narco-corruption at the highest levels of Mexican law enforcement, Mexicans and Americans alike may conclude that the entire certification process can be inverted for reasons of state. In the words of Zedillo: ''The balance of this process in terms of its contribution to the fight against drug trafficking after so many years is not only negligible but probably negative.'' Because of geography and the enhanced US-Mexican trade induced by NAFTA, Washington has a considerable interest in Mexico's struggles to establish a multiparty democracy, achieve social justice for marginalized groups such as the Indians of Chiapas, reduce crime, and cauterize the corruption that infects Mexico's political system. The certification process, with its arrogant assumption of US superiority, can only cast doubt on the possibility of Yanqui solidarity with Mexico's struggles.
------------------------------------------------------------------- National Marijuana Decriminalization Petition Launched In Wake Of Olympic Controversy (Chris Clay Of Hemp Nation, Whose Unsuccessful Constitutional Challenge To Canada's Prohibitory Laws Against Cannabis Is Under Appeal, Will Organize Campaign To Deliver 100,000 Signatures To Parliament By Year's End To Encourage Government To Act. - Public Polls, LeDain Commission Support Decriminalization, But Chretien And Other Leaders Summarily Dismiss Pleas) From: email@example.com (Cannabis Canada) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: National decriminalization petition launched Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:47:01 -0800 Lines: 115 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Cannabis Canada http://www.hempbc.com/ MEDIA RELEASE February 19, 1998 - For immediate release NATIONAL MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION PETITION LAUNCHED IN WAKE OF OLYMPIC CONTROVERSY Chretien ignores calls for change SUNSHINE COAST, BC -- In the wake of last week's brouhaha surrounding Olympic gold medalist Ross Rebagliati, it's no surprise that the issue of marijuana decriminalization has surfaced once again. Legalization advocates have found the controversy a golden opportunity to place the issue back on the legislative agenda, and the media frenzy has made it a hot topic across the country. However, despite recent polls suggesting overwhelming public support for legal reforms, Prime Minister Jean Chretien has continued to ignore pleas for change. As a result, BC activist Chris Clay has launched a nationwide petition that will be sent to Parliament at year's end. "We hope to raise 100,000 signatures over the next ten months," he said. "It's time the public sent a strong message to Ottawa that cannabis prohibition is no longer acceptable. This is a health issue that doesn't belong in the realm of the criminal justice system." Clay, 27, received national press coverage last year when an Ontario court heard his constitutional challenge to the marijuana laws. Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young and Toronto lawyer Paul Burstein represented Clay, arguing that sections of the Narcotics Control Act and its new incarnation, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, violate basic rights that are guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A number of high-profile witnesses took part, including a Harvard psychiatrist, a senior scientist at the Addiction Research Foundation and two members of the LeDain Commission, a blue ribbon panel that recommended decriminalization over 25 years ago. Even Senator Sharon Carstairs filed an affidavit in support. Last August, Ontario Superior Court Justice John McCart rejected the constitutional arguments, but in his lengthy ruling he said that "the national governments of Canada and the United States appear to be somewhat out of step with most of the rest of the western world. [T]hey may adopt some of the [decriminalization] measures which exist, for example, in Australia and which I do not believe would meet with much objection from an informed public." The verdict makes a strong case for decriminalization, but Justice McCart concluded that change should come from Parliament, not the courts. While the case is being appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, both Clay and Professor Young have renewed their efforts to raise the issue in the House of Commons. Clay has launched his petition, which he plans to distribute to activists and hemp stores across the country. It is also available on his "Hemp Nation" website at www.hempnation.com. "We have over 1,000 visitors daily now," he said. "Supporters donated over $30,000 to the constitutional challenge through the website, and I expect similar support for the petition." Young is taking a more direct approach, beginning with an open letter he published in the Ottawa Citizen in October. The letter called on Minister of Justice Anne McLellan and Minister of Health Allan Rock to either initiate legislative reforms or justify the current prohibition. "At the risk of losing faith in the concept of responsible and responsive government," he wrote, "I invite you to explain to Canadians why their wishes are being summarily dismissed." So far, neither has replied though after an Angus Reid poll both called for a national debate on medical marijuana. The survey, conducted last October, found that 83% of Canadians support the medical use of marijuana and 51% back its full legalization. It didn't ask about the more conservative approach of decriminalization, but a 1994 Health Canada poll revealed that 69.1% of those surveyed hoped for some easing of the laws. "Canadians have expressed the desire for law reform and the government has never adequately explained why it has ignored the will of the electorate in such a cavalier fashion," Young wrote in his open letter. "Even if you believe that consumption of marijuana is a trivial recreational habit which is not deserving of much legislative scrutiny, it is simply a disgrace that the wishes of Canadians can be ignored by their elected representatives." So far the statistics haven't influenced Prime Minister Jean Chretien. In one of the few public remarks on the issue since being elected, he defended snowboarder Rebagliati last week while refusing to relax the laws. "I don't like any smoking," he told a Winnipeg radio show. "We have passed laws to reduce the smoking of cigarettes because it is not good for health and it is the same thing for marijuana." In contrast, Chretien was prepared to take a different approach in the early 1980s, when he was Minister of Justice in Pierre Trudeau's cabinet. After Trudeau promised decriminalization in his 1980 Speech from the Throne, Chretien said, "We do think that once in a while we have to modernize laws which have been on the books for so long and do not cope with realities as they exist." According to Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby, the Liberals came close to decriminalizing marijuana possession several times but "lost heart. They just didn't have the courage to do it." Ruby, himself a legalization activist during the 1970s, said that "most people realize it's logical to do it, but nobody's willing to take the political risk involved." As for Clay, he's hoping the recent attention will finally encourage the government to act. "These laws should have been changed around the time I was born, when the LeDain Commission delivered its recommendations," he said. "I don't want to be debating this issue in another twenty-five years." *** A documentary on Clay's efforts will air on CBC Newsworld this Saturday at 1pm & 9pm EST. "Stoned: Hemp Nation on Trial," is being featured on the Rough Cuts program. For more information, please contact: Chris Clay email@example.com HEMP NATION http://www.hempnation.com/ *** 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "unsubscribe cclist" in the body of the message.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Television Documentary On Cannabis February 21 ('Stoned - Hemp Nation On Trial,' Documentary On Last Summer's Constitutional Challenge Mounted By Chris Clay, To Air Saturday Night) From: email@example.com (Cannabis Canada) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: CBC Television documentary on cannabis -- Feb 21 Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:42:20 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Cannabis Canada http://www.hempbc.com/ STONED: Hemp Nation on Trial Are Canadians ready for a change in the marijuana laws? With the recent controversy involving Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati testing positive for marijuana, CBC Newsworld (television) ROUGH CUTS presents the timely documentary STONED: Hemp Nation on Trial, Saturday, February 21 at I p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET. STONED: Hemp Nation on Trial follows the story of 27 year-old Chris Clay, owner of the Hemp Nation store in London, Ontario, who was arrested in May, 1995 for selling a cannabis plant cutting to an undercover police officer. Facing three life sentences for charges including trafficking in narcotics, Clay and his lawyer, professor Alan Young, launch a constitutional challenge to Canada's cannabis laws. Produced and directed by lawyer/filmmaker Russell Bennett, the documentary tackles the arguments for decriminalizing marijuana, while Clay fights to stay out of jail. Marshalling an impressive array of defence witnesses, Clay argues there is no hard evidence to link marijuana to dependency or other hard drugs. Although trial judge John McCart agrees with the extensive expert testimony concerning the minimal harm of marijuana, he concludes, "It is a matter for Parliament, not for the courts." Health Minister Allan Rock, also interviewed, refuses to be pinned down on whether he personally has used marijuana, but insists Canadians are not prepared to see a change in the law. "I don't think that social attitudes have shifted enough to move the yardstick on something like the decriminalization of marijuana." Bennett, who spent a year making the documentary, says he wanted to chronicle a potential landmark court case, which may overturn the longest prohibition of a substance in Canadian history. "lt is the classic story of a man risking his freedom to challenge the system", Bennett says. Stoned: Hemp Nation on Trial also features several marijuana users, who smoke it for health purposes, but must face both the black market and the law to obtain the herb. Stoned: Hemp Nation on Trial is produced by Russell Bennett, and co-directed and co-written by Bennett and Sarah Jane Flynn. Jerry McIntosh is senior producer for CBC Newsworld's Canadian documentary series ROUGH CUTS. *** 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Unofficial Club Growing Like A Weed ('Ottawa Sun' Says Ron Whalen Of Ottawa, Who Has Unofficially Been Supplying Marijuana To A Widening Circle Of Users For More Than A Year, Has Organized His Efforts With The Compassionate Use Of Medicinal Marijuana, A Club With 25 Members Suffering From AIDS, Cancer, Chronic Pain And Depression)Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:11:49 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Canada: Unofficial Club Growing Like A Weed Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Author: Kathleen Harris, Ottawa Sun UNOFFICIAL CLUB GROWING LIKE A WEED He's a man with compassion, but don't dare call him a healing dealer. Ron Whalen of Ottawa has "unofficially" been supplying marijuana to a widening circle of users for about a year and a half. Now, he has organized his efforts with the Compassionate Use of Medicinal Marijuana, a club with 25 members suffering from AIDS cancer, chronic pain and depression. But Whalen doesn't "deal" -- he "distributes." He doesn't have "clients" or "buyers" -- he has "friends." The careful selection of language and deliberate distancing from the drug subculture reflects his delicate dance around the law. So far, he hasn't had any brushes -- a feat achieved by a predictable balancing act of accessibility with security. "If we were ever busted, it would be because of ignorance or misunderstanding," he said. Whalen doesn't usually give out his phone number -- even though it's listed -- and he makes it known he frequently visits the Crosstown Traffic store at 593 Bank St. Marijuana club members come from Ottawa and surrounding rural areas. They smoke the weed -- or munch on his dark-green chocolate chip cookies -- to improve appetite, reduce nausea or cope with the emotional stress of illness. "When you've been dealt a death blow, you need something to help," he said. Whalen also provides haircuts, massages and counselling -- and so far he hasn't needed to charge a dime. All the smoke, which is now in low supply and high demand, has come from compassionate donors or drug dealers willing to share a little profit. Whalen, 38, has been a recreational smoker for years, and now takes one toke every half hour to deal with depression pain from fibromyalgia. A professional hairdresser for 20 years, Whalen now lives on government disability and devotes his time to helping club members. Some hear through word of mouth, others are referred by doctors, palliative care staff and social workers. While the wrangling over legalization of medicinal marijuana swirls across the country, Whalen isn't willing to take his fight to Parliament Hill. Dr. Don Kilby is. The Ottawa physician is bringing those benefits to the attention of Health Canada. He has applied for permission to supply patient Jean Charles Pariseau with marijuana to relieve symptoms of AIDS. "There's an attitude of it being a counter-culture, but in fact, there's quite a science to growing marijuana," Kilby said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis And Performance Enhancement (New Zealand Physician Posts Five Studies Indicating Marijuana Enhances Performance - Four Involving Driving Skills) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 23:16:55 +1300 (NZDT) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: Cannabis and performance enhancement Just sent this off to the APA div28 list, responding to earlier posts by people (including one a NIDA scientist) saying they were unaware of any research evidence for a performance-enhancing effect of cannabis.Not too surprisingly, this thread was spurred by the Rebagliati affair. David *** Research evidence suggesting that cannabis can enhance performance is found in (at least) five studies, four of which concern driving. A study performed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers.Final report, October 1992) concluded: "In the absence of alcohol, no drug or drug group evidenced a driver responsibility rate significantly different from the drugfree control group. When drugs were combined with alcohol, no drug or drug group exhibited a responsibility rate significantly different from alcohol itself. . . .The THC-only drivers had a responsibility rate below that of the drugfree drivers, as was found previously by Williams and colleagues [Williams AF, Peat MA, Crouch DJ, et al. Drugs in fatally injured young male drivers. Public Health Reports 1985; 100: 19-25 (1985)]While the difference was not statistically significant, there was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes." (pp. 99-100).Importantly, this was one of the few studies to make a substantial effort to determine whether fatally injured drivers were *responsible* for the accident. The possibility of enhancement of driving ability was also suggested by two Australian studies, Drummer O., Drugs in Drivers Killed in Australian Road Accidents: The Use of Responsibility Analysis to Investigate the Contribution of Drugs to Fatal Accidents,Victorian Inst. Of Forensic Pathology, Monash Univ., Melbourne, 1994 and a 1996 government "VicRoads" study.As reported by the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council in its internet "news of the day" feature (I don't have the actual study at hand): "The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May 1996, p3 'Marijuana: it doesn't make a hash of driving' The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 10 May 1996, p19 'Safe driving, with cannabis' Herald Sun (Melbourne), 10 May 1996, p21 'Dope link to road deaths' "The first two of the above articles both report that forensic scientist, Prof Olaf Drummer, claimed that the combination of drugs and alcohol provided the greatest risk to drivers, but cannabis alone could even be good for driving because, where alcohol tends to make people take more risks on the road, cannabis tends to make people slow down and drive more carefully. "The second and third articles each focused on one of two recent studies examining the issue: a VicRoads study which revealed that cannabis users tended to be aware of the problems the drug caused and to compensate for them and a study of 1000 drivers involved in major road traumas which revealed that drugs could be linked to about 13% of fatal road accidents but that drugs, including marijuana and amphetamines , directly caused only 5% of road deaths and that 9% of drivers were affected by a cocktail of drugs and alcohol. Both these articles also quote suggestions (from AMA federal vice-president, Dr Keith Woollard and from Prof. Drummer) that to be safe it would be better not to use drugs and drive." The fifth study suggesting the possibility of performance-enhancing effects of cannabis is Weil AT, Zinberg NF, Nelsen JM. Clinical and psychological effects of marihuana in man. Science 1968; 162; 1234-1242.Lester Grinspoon describes this study in his book Marihuana Reconsidered, together with the important caveat that subjects' prior experience with cannabis is of vital importance in determining what studies of performance under cannabis will find: "One element which is apt to cause confusion on this general point [effects of cannabis on performance/functioning] is the question of how long the individual has been using cannabis regularly; when Weil et al. tested a group of non-users and a group of regular users, they found that the regular users actually improved their scores on two out of three tests (improvement on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test - 'a simple test of cognitive function often used on I.Q. tests'; improvement on the Pursuit Rotor Test - to measure coordination and attention), and showed no change on the third (the Continuous Performance Test, one which 'measures a subject's capacity for sustained attention'), whereas the marihuana-naive subjects showed impairment on both of the two tests for which the regular users showed improvement, and no change on the same test for which the regular users' scores were not affected.Accordingly, it is possible, say the authors of the report, for a habitual user to ignore any adverse effects on mental functioning, focus on a specific task, and actually improve performance." (p.152) David Hadorn, M.D. *** APA division of psychopharmacology and substance abuse email@example.com://www.apa.org/divisions/div28 enough? send: " SIGNOFF DIV28 "firstname.lastname@example.org 1 summary/day? "SET DIV28 DIGEST" .. Vacation?"... NOMAIL"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cocaine Production In Peru Drops 27 Percent In 1997 ('Chicago Tribune' Article In 'Orange County Register' Seems To Cite US State Department Statistics Indicating Colombia Now Produces More Cocaine Than Peru - And US Embassy In Lima For Explanation That 'The Dramatic Decrease In Peru Is Largely The Result Of A Government Get-Tough Policy On Drugs, Combined With A Timely Infusion Of US Aid To Coca Farmers Looking For Alternative Crops') Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 19:15:15 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Brazil: Cocaine Production In Peru Drops 27% In 1997 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Author: Laurie Goering - Chicago Tribune COCAINE PRODUCTION IN PERU DROPS 27% IN 1997 The decrease places the South American nation behind Colombia for the first time. RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - In a war on drugs that often seems a lost cause, there is some unprecedented good news from South America. Peru, long the world's top producer of coca leaf, saw a 27 percent fall in production last year, dropping it for the first time behind Colombia in total acres under cultivation. Over two years, Peru's coca acreage has dropped an impressive 40 percent, and government officials are now talking seriously about eliminating illegal coca - the active ingredient in cocaine - in five years. The news comes as Washington prepares later this month to make its annual decisions on certifying the anti-narcotics efforts of the world's drug-producing and drug-transit nations. Colombia last year was decertified for noncooperation, and both Colombia and Mexico face a threat of decertification this year. South America's other coca-producing nations, however, are a different story. The hefty drop in coca production in Peru last year comes on top of a 5 percent decrease in Bolivia, another major coca producer. Colombia, bucking the regional trend, saw its acreage grow by 18 percent in 1997. Still, the combined effect is that the total acres of illegal coca grown in South America dropped 7 percent last year, and the combined weight of coca leaves produced dropped 14 percent, according to State Department figures. "When this came out it was like a Christmas present," said Heather Hodges, deputy chief of the U.S. Embassy in Lima. "For once we're proud Peru is not No. 1." The dramatic decrease in Peru is largely the result of a government get-tough policy on drugs, combined with a timely infusion of U.S. aid to coca farmers looking for alternative crops.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis - UN Report Leaked (Britain's 'Guardian' Says Finding That Cannabis Is Safer Than Either Alcohol Or Tobacco, Leaked To 'New Scientist,' Was Suppressed By US National Institute On Drug Abuse, UN International Drug Control Programme) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 00:03:59 -0700 (MST) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project"
X-Sender: email@example.com To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" Subject: U.N. Report on Cannabis Leaked For background, see: http://marijuana.newscientist.com Cannabis: UN report leaked By Tim Radford, Science Editor The Guardian Thursday February 19, 1998 United Nations health chiefs suppressed a finding that cannabis is safer than either alcohol or tobacco, according to a report today. A World Health Organisation report published in December was to have concluded that even if cannabis was consumed on the same scale as cigarettes and whisky, it would probably still be safer than either, but the passage was scrapped at the last moment, says the magazine New Scientist. The comparison with alcohol and tobacco, the suppressed passage said, was made "not to promote one drug over another but rather to minimise double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis". The disputed passage was leaked to New Scientist after it was withdrawn, reportedly in response to pressure from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme. It says: "In developed societies cannabis appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence, as does alcohol." It also says there is good evidence that alcohol can harm foetal development, while the evidence that cannabis can harm foetal development is "far from conclusive". The WHO report does admit that, like heavy drinking, marijuana smoking can produce psychosis in susceptible people. It also says chronic cannabis smoking may contribute to cancers of the aerodigestive tract. But one lung disease researcher, Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, found that volunteers who smoked three joints a day had much the same lung capacity and function as those who smoked none. However, dope smokers must inhale deeply and hold the smoke in the lungs, so they got a large dose of potentially damaging tar. The leaked UN report comes at a time of renewed pressure to think again about drug policies.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis 'Safer Than Alcohol' (British 'Telegraph' Account Of WHO Report Quashed By US Officials) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:47:23 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis 'safer Than Alcohol' Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Humphrey) Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Author: Sebastien Berger Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 CANNABIS 'SAFER THAN ALCOHOL' A STUDY showing that cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco has been suppressed by United Nations health officials, it is reported today. According to the New Scientist magazine, the analysis concluded that cannabis does less harm to public health than alcohol or cigarettes and would do so even if it were consumed in similar quantities to the legal drugs. The comparison, written by marijuana experts, was due to appear last December in the World Health Organisation's first report on the effects of cannabis for 15 years. It was withdrawn at the last minute after a furious dispute involving WHO officials, the report writers and external advisers. Sources quoted in the magazine claim that the WHO gave way to political pressure, with American drugs officials and advisers from the UN Drug Control Programme saying that the document would be seized upon by organisations campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis. "In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for marijuana legislation," said one of the report's authors. Another said that WHO officials "went nuts" when they saw the draft version. A leaked version of the report says the comparison was made "to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis". On most points, cannabis was considered less harmful to health than alcohol, with the illegal drug playing little role in injuries caused by violence, unlike alcohol. Evidence that cannabis could harm the development of babies in the womb was considered "far from conclusive", while the grounds for alcohol doing so were "good". A WHO official said that the comparison was excluded because "the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons is doubtful". 4 January 1998: MPs to press for inquiry into cannabis 19 November 1997: BMA in cannabis prescription plea 19 September 1997: Straw attacks call to make cannabis legal 18 June 1997: Cannabis does no harm says Stoppard
------------------------------------------------------------------- Blocked Report Says Cannabis Safer Than Tobacco And Drink (Version In 'The Scotsman' About UN Report Leaked To 'New Scientist' - Analysis Withdrawn Because Of Fears It Would Give Ammunition To The 'Legalise Marijuana' Campaign - Church Of Scotland Repeats Call For Cannabis To Be Decriminalised) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:47:45 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Blocked Report Says Cannabis Safer Than Tobacco And Drink Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: shug Pubdate: Th, 19 Feb 1998 Source: The Scotsman Author: Jennifer Trueland, Health Correspondent Website: http://www.scotsman.com Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com BLOCKED REPORT SAYS CANNABIS SAFER THAN TOBACCO AND DRINK THE illegal drug cannabis is safer than tobacco and alcohol, according to a report which was suppressed by the World Health Organisation. The analysis, which was due to be part of a report published last December on the harmful effects of cannabis, was withdrawn at the last minute after a dispute between WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted it and external advisers. According to New Scientist magazine, the suppressed report concluded that not only did the amount of cannabis smoked worldwide do less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same was likely to hold true even if people consumed it on the same scale as the legal substances. In most of the comparisons made in the analysis, cannabis came out better or at least equal to the other drugs. In an editorial, New Scientist said that decriminalisation of cannabis was inevitable. "Politicians will have to bite the bullet - dope will be decriminalised," it said. Last night a Home Office spokesman said that the Government did not intend to review the position of cannabis, which is a controlled drug. The House of Lords has started its own inquiry, however, and a two-year investigation into the drug is being carried out by the Police Foundation. But the evidence led to renewed calls for cannabis to be decriminalised. Linda Hendry, Scottish spokeswoman for the Legalise Cannabis Campaign, said: "The New Scientist is saying what we already knew - that cannabis is not as harmful as other drugs like tobacco and alcohol. We welcome their findings and hope it adds to the debate." The New Scientist also publishes data from the Netherlands, where possession of small amounts of cannabis was legalised in 1976. According to results, although more people tried cannabis after it was legalised, the move did not increase the likelihood of people becoming long-term users. Holland also had a lower percentage of cannabis and hard drug users than many other European countries, including Britain. The study also showed the number of hard drug addicts in Holland had not increased for a decade while their average age was rising. The New Scientist said the controversial analysis was withdrawn because there were fears that it would give ammunition to the "legalise marijuana" campaign. It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana, said the report. Dr Maristela Monteiro, a scientist with the WHO programme on substance abuse, confirmed that the analysis was dropped from the report but denied the organisation had been pressured into doing it. She said: "There were problems with that chapter. It was not a fair comparison from our point of view and from a public health perspective it was not very useful. We thought it was biased towards showing less harm from cannabis." She said the WHO was working with the Addiction Research Foundation in Canada and planned to publish a book on cannabis in June. The report also sparked repeated calls for further research into the potential effects of decriminalising cannabis. The British Medical Association, last year called for more research into the use of certain derivatives of cannabis for medicinal use., following some anecdotal evidence that the drug can help people with conditions including glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. The Church of Scotland yesterday repeated its call for cannabis to be decriminalised. Ann Allen, convener of the board of social responsibility, said: "We do not want cannabis to be legalised but we wish to see those who have been caught taking it to be diverted from the criminal justice system and into rehabilitation programmes." A spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: "We welcome the study and would call on people to look calmly at it and make a reasoned judgment." "We feel there should be a Royal Commission on drugs. We are the only party who has considered the issue seriously at all, and not just gone for the emotional line of instantly dismissing any idea that it should even be discussed. "That, of course, stops short of any idea that it should definitely be decriminalised." Peter Wishart, the Scottish National Party spokesman on drugs, said: "The SNP believe there's a case to be made for the decriminalisation of cannabis, but it is not an argument we are convinced by at this stage.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Let's Be Adult About This ('New Scientist' Says Politicians Will Just Have To Bite The Bullet - Dope Will Be Decriminalised - After Thirty Years Of Research Into Harmful Effects Of Cannabis, There Can Be No Hidden Dangers Left To Discover) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Let's be adult about this Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Author: David Concard Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html LET'S BE ADULT ABOUT THIS Politicians will just have to bite on the bullet--dope will be decriminalised When Olympic officials decided last week to give errant snowboarder Ross Rebagliati his gold medal back, the cheers drowned out the boos. It was a minor scandal involving a minor sport, but it spoke volumes about the world's shifting relationship with its favourite illicit drug. A decade ago, Rebagliati would have been ostracised regardless of whether cannabis was on the list of his sport's banned substances. What's changed today is that our attitudes towards illegal drugs are becoming more sophisticated and discriminating. After thirty years of research into the harmful effects of cannabis, there can be no hidden dangers left to discover. We know that it is plain nonsense to regard cannabis as a performance-enhancing drug, just as it is a myth to think the substance rots the brain or leads inexorably to harder substances. And despite the anti-dope propaganda that circulates in the US, most people are thankfully well aware that no great social disaster has befallen the Netherlands, where cannabis has been sold openly in coffee shops for years. It would take a perverse mind to twist the data from Amsterdam into a argument for continued prohibition (see The Dutch experiment). While no sensible person believes cannabis is totally safe, even police chiefs back moves to decriminalise the drug. Only the politicians still seem irrationally terrified by the idea of any relaxation in the law: they think they can continue in the old way, lumping all drugs together. Before anyone decides what decriminalisation should mean in practice, however, we must take a hard look at every aspect of cannabis, from its long-term effects on the brain to the social effects of legal reform. If there is to be change, how far should we go? At one extreme, we could go Dutch, at the other, we might decide to do little more than rationalise the existing legal penalties and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to people with serious illnesses. And if reefers are to be doled out on the NHS, for example, what information should go on the side of the packet? Or should we wait until researchers have figured out how to put cannabis into aerosol devices? Such complexities are why Britain's House of Lords was right to defy Home Secretary Jack Straw recently and launch its own inquiry--and why US drugs supremo Barry McCaffrey was right to commission the US National Academy of Sciences to report later this year on the harmful as well as the medicinal effects of cannabis. Conversely, the pressing need for an open debate about cannabis is precisely why the WHO was so wrong to bow to political pressure and expunge from a recent report an informative if controversial comparison of the harms caused by different drugs including alcohol (see our news section). Of course, ever since the splendidly named Indian Hemp Drugs Commission of 1894, independent panels have been politely saying that the evils of cannabis have been exaggerated--and politicians have been politely ignoring them. Change is looking more possible now because the forces pressing for legal reform come with unprecedented levels of popular support. In Britain, Tony Blair and his Cabinet can always discard the opinions of the House of Lords, but they are fools to ignore opinion polls in tabloid newspapers which suggest a majority of the nation is now in favour of legal change. And the US government may have already met its Waterloo on the dope issue. In recent months, it has been locked in a bitter and futile dispute with the states of California and Arizona which have independently ruled that doctors should be allowed to prescribe marijuana with impunity. Even in America, threatening vulnerable patients and their doctors with legal action is no vote winner. Something will have to give, and the best bet is that California and Arizona will triumph in the end. If they do, it will be the beginning of the end for outlawing marijuana because where the US government goes, the rest of the world will quietly follow. None of this, of course, means cannabis is as safe as some of its advocates claim. But neither, as our special report shows (see A safe high?), are the opposing claims of the world's biggest funder of research into marijuana to be taken at face value. Campaigners and pressure groups can be forgiven for trading propaganda, but we should expect world famous scientific organisations like the US National Institute on Drug Abuse to evaluate honestly the research that has been done.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Drop In With Dr. Dave (In Keeping With Its Series On How Drug War Corrupts US Science And Health Professionals, 'New Scientist' Interviews David Smith, Founder And President Of Haight Ashbury Free Clinics In San Francisco, Whose Funding Would Dry Up Immediately If He Said Anything Other Than That Marijuana Should Remain Illegal) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Drop In With Dr Dave Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Th, 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html DROP IN WITH DR DAVE To find out what is happening on the front lines of marijuana addiction and treatment, Jonathan Knight spoke with David Smith, founder and president of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics in San Francisco. When Smith opened his first clinic in 1967, the Haight Ashbury district was at the epicentre of American hippie counterculture and drug experimentation. Today the Clinics treat 50,000 people a year at 22 sites in the Bay Area. David Smith also holds a professorship in toxicology at the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center and consults to the White House office on drug abuse policy. How do you know when someone is addicted to a drug, and is cannabis truly addictive? "Addiction used to be defined in terms of the severity of the withdrawal. Then we started seeing people who used amphetamines compulsively. But their withdrawal was just a mild crash. They'd fall asleep or perhaps get a little depressed. That's when I coined the idea of the three Cs: Compulsion, loss of Control, and Continued use despite adverse consequences, as a definition of addiction. Similarly for cannabis, withdrawal was characterised by anxiety and insomnia. It wasn't significant physical withdrawal, but that didn't mean it wasn't addicting. We would see people use compulsively every day, stop going to school, and spend all their money on marijuana. So the toxicity was lower than for heroine, but it still fit in to our definition of addiction. Has the pot that's available on the streets become stronger? The tobacco industry used DNA technology to increase the amount of nicotine in tobacco plants, and the cannabis growers do the same thing. They market it on the street as more potent and charge more for it. The legalisation people say that's not happening. But then are the dealers fraudulent? That seems illogical, cause the consumer thinks the stuff is more potent and is willing to pay more money for it. And is it more addictive? Of course it's more addictive, it's pharmacological logic. If you increase the power, it's going to be more addicting. But there's no way to know if a higher percentage of users are becoming addicted, or if only those who are addicted use stronger stuff. The people we see are smoking potent forms of marijuana, they are spending a significant amount of their income on it, they are suffering psychotic reactions, anxiety and depression. But if you smoke a joint at the Filmore auditorium on a Friday night and have a wonderful time, you don't go see the Haight Ashbury clinic. And we don't know how many people like that are out there. Should cannabis be made legal? I'm an opponent of marijuana legalisation. I don't want people to go to jail, I want them diverted to treatment, but I also don't want more marijuana available in the street. If marijuana were legalised I believe the tobacco companies would be the main distributors of it. And they would target youth as they did for tobacco. You would have the equivalent of Joe Camel for marijuana. I prefer medicalisation: demand reduction through education and treatment. For example, 80 per cent of the people in the criminal justice system have drug abuse problems but only 5 per cent get any treatment now. Medicalisation puts much greater emphasis on treatment. If you get busted for smoking while driving, you get diverted to treatment, not jail. We've gone about as far as we can go with the criminal justice approach.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Opening Comments ('New Scientist' Begins Four-Part Analysis Of Four Anti-Pot Claims Frequently Made By US National Institute On Drug Abuse, Whose Simple Statements Are Never Quite As Simple As They Seem) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Opening Comments Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html OPENING COMMENTS Only one thing is certain about the great marijuana debate: whether you are Britain's prohibition-mad Home Secretary, or a stoned ex-hippy who would like to dish out the drug for free, you are likely to have a lot more opinions than facts. Past commissions and reports have tried to clear the clouds of unreason but have been universally ignored. This week we make our own attempt to tackle the key issues, including the latest findings from the Netherlands where possession of small amounts of marijuana has been legal for a decade. Our report homes in on four key claims frequently made by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. As its name implies, this government institute researches (and spends) hard in pursuit of the harmful effects of drugs. Its data also have a vast influence on UN policy. But as the pages that follow reveal, simple statements are never quite as simple as they seem . .
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - A Safe High? Claim One ('New Scientist' Examines Research Behind US National Institute On Drug Abuse's Claim That Marijuana Impairs Memory And Cognitive Functions And Finds Its Methodology Fundamentally Flawed, Allowing NIDA To Make 'Subtle And Subclinical' Impairments Sound Worse Than Those Attributable To Alcohol Use) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: A Safe High?: Claim One Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html A SAFE HIGH? Claim ONE: "Critical skills related to attention, memory and learning are impaired among heavy users of marijuana . . ." Most people think of marijuana users as dreamers with the attention span of a gnat and no memory worth the name. Wrong. The picture emerging from psychology labs is that there is at most a kernel of truth in this stereotype, while some studies find no evidence of even subtle mental impairment in heavy users. And even those that do are open to a range of interpretations -- not necessarily worrying to marijuana users. Take the latest findings on which the above claim is based. Harrison Pope and his team at Harvard University compared 65 college students who smoked marijuana daily with a control group of students who smoked it most every other month. After a drug-free day, the subjects completed a range of standard mental tests. Mostly, differences between the two groups were slight. When it came to remembering lists of words, for example, the heavy users recalled about 1 in 10 fewer words than the light users. But in one test the heavy users underperformed more noticeably. The test involved watching and mimicking the simple rules used by an experimenter to match cards with coloured shapes on them, and then adapting whenever the rule changed. Students who rarely smoked marijuana mistakenly carried on with the old sorting rule on about 5 out of 100 occasions, while heavy users made about 8 mistakes. Pope takes this seriously. "In the real world," he says, "people have to deal all the time with situations in which rules are changing..." Fine. But over the years, much stronger claims have surfaced: heavy marijuana users do badly at work or school, are more likely to be delinquent and develop psychiatric problems, or have abnormal brain waves. Time and again, however, such studies encounter the same objection: are the problems caused by smoking marijuana, or is it just that people with problems are more likely to end up using marijuana heavily? In the case of delinquency, schizophrenia and mental illnesses, the balance of the evidence points to the second explanation. Marijuana doesn't cause the problems, although it may make them worse. Some schizophrenics, for example, are drawn to the drug because it eases their sense of alienation. And most researchers now accept that the evidence linking marijuana to abnormal brain waves vanishes when people with psychiatric problems, illnesses or a history of general drug abuse are excluded from studies. But what about subtler problems like the card sorting deficiencies? After all, it might just be that smart college students tend to smoke lightly while others smoke heavily. In which case the card sorting results may have little to do with marijuana. Here opinions diverge. Pope believes the deficiency does have something to do with marijuana because his team controlled for such obvious things as IQ differences, psychiatric histories and heavy use of other drugs. But others are not convinced. What worries some critics is that in this study, as in others, the women drug users did so much better than the men in most tests. Deviant males "I know of no reason why there should be a gender difference in cognitive response to cannabis," says John Morgan, a pharmacologist at the City University of New York Medical School and co-author of a controversial new book advocating decriminalisation, Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts. Morgan believes the reason the males underperform in such studies is that they are "deviant" in subtle ways that escape the researchers' notice. And what if the poor test results do turn out to be linked to marijuana? It doesn't automatically follow that heavy marijuana use is causing long-lasting brain damage. One possibility is that, deprived of their favourite drug for a day, heavy users suffer withdrawal symptoms or become so grumpy and distracted that they do badly in tests. Another is that a single drug-free day is not long enough for the effect of their last smoke to have disappeared. The Harvard team's follow-on experiments, in which marijuana users are being tested over a 28-day "dry" period, should provide answers. Other research suggests that evidence of dramatic mental decline is unlikely to be found, even as a result of long-term heavy use. Over the past 25 years, Jack Fletcher at the University of Texas in Houston and his colleagues have been visiting Costa Rica to test the mental skills of very heavy users. Although some of them have smoked 10 joints a day for more than 30 years, their ability to learn and remember lists of words is only mildly impaired (see diagram below). And even when struggling with more demanding tasks, such as recalling information while pressing a tapper as fast as possible, their scores fall well within the normal range. (image) Spot the difference: What cannabis does to memory skills "The effects are subtle and subclinical," says Brian Page, an anthropologist from the University of Miami, who was involved in the study. "Although they could be bad for somebody who's trying to be an arbitrage trader or Wall Street lawyer." And, Page adds: "People who sell bicycles had better not ride while under the influence." Or at any rate common sense suggests they should not. The verdict from research into the impact of marijuana on road safety skills is less clear. In Britain as many as 1 in 10 motorists involved in serious accidents test positive for cannabis. And figures as high as 37 per cent have emerged from studies in urban areas of the US. However, many of these drivers also test positive for alcohol, and even the cases involving just cannabis cannot be equated with people driving under the influence because the drug lingers so long in the body. In driving simulators, marijuana does impair visual skills and mental dexterity. But studies of actual driving show that even high doses of marijuana have less impact than alcohol, perhaps because smoking it doesn't usually make people so reckless. In one study, low doses of marijuana made drivers more cautious. The same broad message is likely to be true for the subtler, longer-lasting effects of marijuana on the brain. Researchers like Pope and Morgan may look at the data very differently, but they agree about one thing: heavy boozing is worse for your neurons than dope.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Claim Two ('New Scientist' Examines Research Behind NIDA's Claim 'More Than 120 000 People In The US Seek Treatment Each Year For Their Marijuana Addiction' And Says It 'Cannot Be Taken Seriously' Since It Includes People Forced To Go Into Treatment As An Alternative To Prosecution, As Well As Workers Who Test Positive For Cannabis In Random Urine Tests And Opt For Rehabilitation Rather Than Unemployment - Age Group Usage Rates And Comparisons With Tobacco Addicts Also Show Very Different Pattern, Little Dependency) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Claim Two Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html MARIJUANA SPECIAL REPORT: CLAIM TWO: "More than 120 000 people in the US seek treatment each year for their marijuana addiction . . ." After years of decline, marijuana use among teenagers is now climbing rapidly in almost every industrialised nation. Will this create a generation of cannabis addicts? The middle classes who enjoy a smoke once or twice a week may laugh at the idea. But doctors who treat the minority of users who have lost control take it more seriously. The pragmatic question is how big is this minority and would it expand if the drug was decriminalised or even legalised? The experience of the Netherlands (see Vraag een Politeagent) suggests the answer to the second question is "no". The first question is tougher. At the very least, NIDA's figure of 120 000 cannot be taken seriously. It includes people who are arrested for cannabis offences and then given the chance of going into treatment as an alternative to prosecution, as well as workers who test positive for cannabis in random urine tests and opt for rehabilitation rather than being fired. The figures don't tell us how many people really get hooked. At Columbia University in New York, addiction epidemiologist Denise Kandel has been taking a different tack. She has been analysing data collected every year in the US National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. And she concludes that subtle symptoms of dependence are more widespread among teenage users than previously thought. Shocking statistic About 15 per cent of teenagers who smoke marijuana report three or more "symptoms" of dependence from a list of six possible symptoms. They range from "feeling dependent" or being unable to cut down on consumption to using ever larger amounts of cannabis to get the same effect. Applying these same measures to alcohol, it turns out that marijuana is just as addictive as alcohol for adults and even more so for teenagers (see below). That shocks most marijuana users, but not Kandel, who believes kids may be unusually "sensitive" to marijuana for biological as well as social reasons. The way she sees it, the reason we have so many alcoholics is simply that there are so many people drinking. (image) Days of depence: marijuana's addictive powers wane with age The problem with this kind of research is that it all depends on what is meant by addiction. A drug addict is usually seen as a person liable to both withdrawal symptoms and long-term damage to their health. But Kandel's self-report criteria are based on a broader definition. If we applied them to coffee, vast numbers of us would qualify as addicts. Similarly, many people might describe themselves as "addicted" to shopping or television or chocolate. Kandel's analysis suggests young marijuana smokers are more likely to show symptoms of dependence than their beer-swilling contemporaries, but it doesn't tell us which substance is the more dangerously addictive. What is clear is that as users enter their 20s, they report this dependence far less frequently. And of the people who are still smoking the drug in their 50s, fewer than one in 30 qualify in her analysis as being dependent. Addiction rates for nicotine follow the opposite trend. This leads to what is perhaps the most telling statistic about the addictive powers of cannabis: more than 90 per cent of people who have ever used the drug have long since quit. While most people continue drinking and cigarette smoking long after the first flush of youth, people drop the weed in droves after the age of 30.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Claim Three ('New Scientist' Examines Research Behind NIDA's Claim 'Smoking Marijuana Can Lead To Abnormal Functioning Of Lung Tissue' And Discovers 'Epidemiologists Have So Far Failed To Find A Link Between Marijuana And Serious Lung Diseases' And 'No Impact On Any Physical Measure Of Lung Function,' Though Dr. Taskhin At UCLA Is Hard At Work Coming Up With Theoretical Long-Term Dangers From America's 'Marijuana Epidemic' That Will No Doubt Continue To Yield Him Research Funding From US Government For Years To Come) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Claim Three Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html MARIJUANA SPECIAL REPORT: CLAIM THREE: "Smoking marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue . . ." Smoking a couple of joints is as bad for your lungs as consuming a whole packet of cigarettes, say the anti-dope brigade. Their opponents say smoking marijuana has never caused anyone to die from lung cancer. So, is marijuana smoke more -- or less -- dangerous than tobacco smoke? The person to ask is Donald Tashkin, a lung expert at the University of California at Los Angeles. For the past 15 years, Tashkin's team has been keeping a close eye on the respiratory systems of more than 130 regular marijuana smokers, comparing them with groups of people who smoke either just tobacco, tobacco and marijuana, or nothing at all. It's the biggest study of its kind in the world. And the results so far suggest that in some respects, yes, marijuana is more dangerous than cigarettes. But in one important respect, joints may actually be better for you -- especially if you're an athlete. First, the bad news. While the cigarette smokers in the study were ploughing through 20 or more a day, the marijuana smokers seldom consumed more than three or four joints. Despite this, the marijuana smokers coughed and wheezed as much as the cigarette smokers. In both groups, about one in five people complained of coughing up phlegm and suffering bouts of bronchitis. And when it came to cellular damage to the lungs, there was also little to choose between them. Both groups had too many mucus-secreting cells lining their airways and too few hair cells, and both groups showed evidence of abnormalities in cell nuclei and changes in genes known to have an early role in the development of cancers. The similarity may seem puzzling given that the marijuana smokers were consuming so much less plant material. But there are good reasons for it, says Tashkin. The first is that joints yield up to three times the tar of cigarettes because they are more loosely packed and don't have filters. The second reason is that marijuana smokers inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer. "We actually quantified this and found that the breath-holding time was increased about fourfold," says Tashkin. "That resulted in about a 40 per cent greater deposition of tar." Tashkin's final factor -- contested by some researchers -- is that marijuana smoke is richer in benzopyrene and other polycyclic aromatics known to trigger cancerous changes in cells. So smoking marijuana can cause lung cancer, after all? Well, maybe. Despite the gloomy cell biology, epidemiologists have so far failed to find a link between marijuana and serious lung diseases. That might be because there isn't one. Or it might be because "the marijuana epidemic" (as Tashkin calls it) is still young and the people who started smoking in the 1960s haven't reached an age when cancers become common. Meanwhile, some researchers are worried about another aspect of marijuana smoke -- its ability to interfere with immune cells that help to fight off lung infections. Tashkin's team has just discovered that immune cells isolated from the lungs of marijuana users are unusually bad at killing bacteria, 35 per cent worse, in fact, than similar cells taken from cigarette smokers. The marijuana-exposed cells were also below par at producing molecules needed to mount inflammatory responses. In normal marijuana smokers, the effects may be too slight to make much difference. Tashkin fears, however, that the same might not be true in people with AIDS, many of whom use cannabis to stimulate their appetites. Footballer's fancy There's some good news, though, for dope-smoking cricketers and footballers: marijuana smoke won't lead to blocked airways or emphysema. Despite all the cellular changes noted by Tashkin's team, the researchers found that even heavy smoking of marijuana had no impact on any physical measure of lung function. In fact, among their subjects, smoking three joints per day caused no greater rate of decline in lung capacity and the ability to breathe than smoking no marijuana per day. And the reason for this silver lining? It could well be back to those sluggish immune cells, speculates Tashkin: "If cannabis impairs the ability of immune cells to produce inflammatory cytokines, you might be spared mucosal damage in peripheral airways."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Claim Four ('New Scientist' Examines Research Behind NIDA's Claim That 'Marijuana Causes Long-Term Changes In The Brain Similar To Those Seen With Other Drugs Of Abuse' And Recaps Dr. John Morgan's Rebuttal In March 1's 'Reason' Magazine) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Claim Four Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html MARIJUANA SPECIAL REPORT: CLAIM FOUR: "Marijuana causes long-term changes in the brain similar to those seen with other drugs of abuse . . ." Back in the 1970s, animal experiments led to groundless fears that marijuana blew holes in brain tissue. The experiments organisations like NIDA now fund are more sophisticated but the controversy still rages. George Koob, an addiction researcher from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, claims the new message from the animals is simple: "The more we discover about the neurobiology of addiction the more common elements we're seeing between THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in cannabis) and other drugs of abuse." And for Koob, one of these newly discovered "common elements" is marijuana's ability to trigger chemical changes in the brain that lead to strong withdrawal symptoms. In humans, some researchers claim to see clear evidence of insomnia, anxiety and even flu-like symptoms in heavy cannabis users who abstain. But if there's a consensus, it's that symptoms are mild and variable. By contrast, Koob's rats are shivering wrecks. Does this mean marijuana is more addictive than we think? Not a bit of it, says Roger Pertwee, a university pharmacologist and president of the Cannabinoid Research Society. That's because those symptoms aren't so much observed as manufactured. The animals are injected with high doses of THC, then injected with a second chemical to block cannabis receptors in the brain. Without the block, the sharp withdrawal symptoms can't be seen because cannabis clears so slowly that even heavily doped rats are likely to experience a gentle wind down. Another debate rages over animal studies into the short-term effects of marijuana on brain chemistry. Heroin, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine all trigger a surge in the chemical dopamine in a small midbrain structure called the nucleus accumbens. Many researchers regard this as a hallmark of an addictive substance. Last year, experiments showed that cannabis presses the same dopamine button in rats, leading to claims that the drug must be more addictive than previously thought. To critics, it is just another example of those old exaggerated fears. What nobody tells you, says John Morgan, a pharmacologist at City University of New York Medical School, is that rats don't like cannabis. It's easy for them to get hooked on heroin or cocaine -- but not marijuana. Nor, Morgan claims, are researchers exactly open about awkward observations, such as the fact that there are plenty of nonaddictive drugs that stimulate dopamine in the brain. It's easy to understand why biologists want to find simple chemical traits that are shared by all addictive drugs. Unfortunately, the differences are as important as the similarities when it comes to weighing the relative risks and pleasures involved in taking drugs. And subjectively at least, the intense rush of cocaine and orgasm-like high of heroin have little in common with dope's subtler effects.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Vraag Een Politieagent . . . ('New Scientist' Examines Cannabis Usage Rates In The Netherlands, US And Other Countries After Holland Ended Penalties For Use In 1976 - Let The Drug Warriors Respond To These Numbers) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Vraag Een Politieagent . . . Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Author: Debora Mackenzie Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html VRAAG EEN POLITIEAGENT . . . Go ahead, ask a cop for dope. The Dutch don't mind It is a weird experience. You walk up to a Dutch policeman, and ask where to get some marijuana. You are smilingly directed to the nearest "coffee shop", where the menu offers everything cannabinoid from something called Space Cake to Northern Lights, a local weed. In much of the world, this could never happen: the penalties for using cannabis are severe. But in 1976, the Dutch legalised the possession of small amounts. What has happened since? Some say that crime has soared, schoolchildren drop out, and heroin addiction is rife. Others insist the Netherlands is a stoned paradise of peace and love. "I've visited their parks. Their children walk around like zombies," says Lee Brown, head of the US Office for National Drug Control Policy. "Hard drug use -- heroin and cocaine -- has declined substantially," says Paul Hager of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. Most comments seems to seem to depend on the speaker's politics. So what is the truth about the great Dutch cannabis experiment? Hard addicts "There was no immediate increase in cannabis use after 1976," says Arjan Sas of the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam. "Trends in use have generally been the same as in other countries." The percentage who regularly use either cannabis or hard drugs is lower in the Netherlands than in many European countries, including Britain. And the number of hard drug addicts in the Netherlands has not increased for a decade, while their average age is rising. Dutch statistics, however, are far from conclusive. The first national survey of drug use in the Netherlands is only just being done. There have been smaller-scale studies of particular towns or age groups but comparing them is fraught with statistical problems. Nonetheless, Dirk Korf of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Amsterdam has used the smaller studies to estimate that 3 per cent of Dutch people had used cannabis at least once in 1970, rising to 12 per cent in 1991. The best guess for 1998 is 14 per cent. Most of that increase, says Korf, is because "lifetime use" figures are cumulative: people who had used it in 1970 are still around, and are joined by younger users over time. More to the point, he says, is to compare the number of teenagers who start using cannabis. In 1970, he estimates that 20 per cent of all Dutch 18-year-olds surveyed had used it at least once; in 1980, that had fallen to 15 per cent. By 1987, it was 18 per cent, an increase, Korf says, that mirrors the increase in the number of coffee shops in the mid-1980s. Now, about 30 per cent of Dutch 18-year-olds are said to have tried cannabis, though some researchers think that is an overestimate based on studies of Amsterdam where coffee shops abound. But did more people try cannabis after it was legalised? It seems so. At the Centre for Drug Research, Sas and Peter Cohen divided Amsterdamers surveyed in 1987, 1990 and 1994 into two groups -- those that were born before 1958, who were 18 or older in 1976, and those that were born after 1976, for whom cannabis has always been legal. Only 19 per cent of the oldies had tried cannabis, compared with 38 per cent of the younger group. That difference could be partly misleading. Dutch surveys show that the vast majority of people who use cannabis do so almost exclusively in their 20s. The drug became common in the Netherlands in the mid-1960s, so for the older group members who were already more than 30, it was too late. Nonetheless, the data suggest that more people did try cannabis after decriminalisation. But what counts, though, says Sas, is how many continue to use it. In Amsterdam, 55 per cent of people who say they have tried cannabis only end up using it a couple of dozen times or less. The rest may have used it more often, but more than half have not used it in the past month. The data show, says Sas, that legalising cannabis may make you more likely to try it, but it does not make it more likely that you will continue to use it. But it is by no means certain that the first half of that conclusion is correct. Korf finds that surveys of the number of Germans who use cannabis "virtually parallels" the peaks and troughs in Dutch surveys between 1970 and 1990, even though Germany has prohibited cannabis throughout the period. Surveys of young Americans in the 1970s and 1980s found "substantially higher prevalence rates" than in Holland, peaking at 50 per cent of high-school seniors in 1980, although the US was strongly prohibitionist. Legal immunity Since then, says Korf, there have been no discernible differences in use between US states that have decriminalised, and those that have not, while cannabis use has increased in the US and Western Europe since 1990, regardless of the legal framework. "There is no appreciable causal connection between the Dutch decriminalisation of cannabis and the rate at which cannabis use has evolved," Korf concludes. Last year, Robert MacCoun of the University of California at Berkeley and Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland, compared trends in cannabis use in the US, Norway (which bans it) and the Netherlands. They also concluded that "reductions in criminal penalties have little effect on drug use, at least for marijuana". While the 1976 legislation may have had little effect on cannabis use, how effective has it been in its main goal of keeping people off harder drugs? The Netherlands has fewer addicts per capita than Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France or Britain, and far fewer than the US. Frits Knaak of the Trimbos Institute in Utrecht, the Dutch national institute for mental health and addiction, says the number of hard drug addicts in the country has been the same for a decade because fewer young people are joining their ranks. The average Dutch junkie is now 44 years old and only 0.3 per cent of Dutch teenagers had tried cocaine in 1994, compared with 1.7 per cent in the US. In the Netherlands, virtually everyone who uses drugs tries cannabis first, and many seem content to go no further. Cannabis addiction and other problems are uncommon. "The number of cannabis users treated in drugs outpatient facilities is low," says Knaak. "In 1996, there were only 2000 [patients] in the whole country -- just 0.3 per cent of all Dutch cannabis users." Of those, 42 per cent "are also having trouble with alcohol or other drugs -- the rest usually just need counselling to help change their lifestyle", says Sas. Most people who find cannabis causing trouble with concentration or memory at work or school, he says, apply rules, like no smoking on week nights, or they limit their intake. This self-policing seems to work. Dutch teenagers get among the highest scores in the world on international science and mathematics tests. If there are serious problems caused by legalising marijuana, then twenty-plus years of the Dutch experiment has not revealed what they are.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Special Report - Some References ('New Scientist' Sources For Its Special Report) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 18:58:37 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Marijuana Special Report: Some References Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Source: New Scientist Author: Debora Mackenzie Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html SOME REFERENCES Marijuana Use in College Students, H. G. Pope & D. Yurgelun-Todd, JAMA February 21 1996-Vol 275 No.7 [Analyzed In Portland NORML's Weekly News Releases of February 22, 1996, and February 29, 1996, four consecutive items. - Portland NORML] Effects of Chronic marijuana use on human cognition, R. I. Block and M. M. Ghoneim, Psychopharmacology (1993) 110:219-228 Comparative Effects of Alcohol and Marijuana on Mood, Memory and Performance, S. J. Heishman, K. Arasteh and M.L. Stitzer Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Vol 58, No.1 pp 93-101, 1997 Marijuana Intoxication and Brain Activation in Marijuana Smokers, R. J. Mathew, W. J. Wilson, R. E. Coleman. T. G. Turkington, T. R. DeGrado, Life Sciences, Vol 60 No.23 pp 2075-2089, 1997 Relationships between frequency and quantity of marijuana use and last year proxy dependence among adolescents and adults in the United States, K. Chen, D. B. Kandel, M. Davies, Drug and Alcohol Dependence 46 (1997) 53-67 Cognitive Correlates of Long-term Cannabis Use in Costa Rican Men, J. M. Fletcher, J. Bryan Page, D. J. Francis, K. Copeland, M. J. Naus, C. M. Davis, R. Morris, D. Krauskopf, P. Satz, Arch Gen Psychiatry Vol 53, Nov 1996, 1051 Heavy Habitual Marijuana Smoking Does Not Cause an Accelerated Decline in FEV1 With Age, D. P. Tashkin, M. S. Simmons, D. L. Sherrill, and A. H. Coulson, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol 155, pp 141-148, 1997 Marijuana and Cocaine Impair Alveolar Macrophage Function and Cytokine Production, G. C. Baldwin, D. P. Tashkin, D. M. Buckley, A. N. Park, S. M. Dubinett and M. D. Roth, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol 156, pp 1606-1613, 1997 Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts a review of the scientific evidence, Lynn Zimmer and John P. Morgan, published by The Lindesmith Center, New York 1997 Cannabis: a health perspective and research agenda WHO Programme on Substance Abuse, WHO/MSA/PSA97.4
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fortress Schools ('Herald Sun' Says Hundreds Of Schools All Over Australia Are Resorting To Surveillance Cameras, Armed Security Guards To Combat Vandalism, Theft, Drug Dealing - Growth Industry Got Push Last Year After Controversial Drug Bust At Glen Eira Secondary College, Where Students Were Charged With Drug Offences After Being Filmed By Surveillance Camera In Male Toilets) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 19:00:09 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Australia: Fortress Schools Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Herald Sun (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Author: Wendy Busfield FORTRESS SCHOOLS HUNDREDS of schools are resorting to surveillance cameras and armed security guards to combat vandalism, theft and drug dealing. Individual schools are spending thousands of dollars on video equipment and random patrols to stamp out a rising wave of property damage and crime. And the tough new line appears to be working, with some schools saving up to $30,000 a year on damage bills. The push to boost school security follows a controversial drug bust at Glen Eira Secondary College last year. Students were charged with drug offences after being filmed by a surveillance camera in the male toilets. Security companies are cashing in, selling hundreds of camera packages priced between $4000 and $30,000 in the past year. Schools have told the Herald Sun that cameras and patrols bring instant success. Other schools employ guards - often armed - to patrol school grounds day and night. This follows the success of a project in East Gippsland, where Bairnsdale Secondary College employs a full-time policeman. Each school reported strong support from parents, teachers and students. Wantirna, Frankston and Viewbank secondary colleges were among the schools praising their new security systems yesterday. Frankston High's principal Ken Rowe installed cameras to create a secure environment for the school's lap-top computer program. He said cameras also stopped vandalism. "And the cameras have well and truly paid for themselves," he said. Another school in Melbourne's east spent $5500 on two cameras to point towards the toilet entrance. This school, which insisted on anonymity, has had a stranger lurking around the toilets in recent months. "We will put up signs on the toilet entrance and hope to scare them off," a school spokesman said. Schools often want cameras in bathrooms to stop students from ripping toilet doors off hinges, punching holes in walls and snapping off tap fittings. But most security companies refuse to install bathroom cameras because of privacy laws. Education Department spokeswoman Lisa Walters said security was a school council issue. But she urged schools to follow government guidelines and consult parents and staff before taking action. Privacy invasion was a major concern for Victorian Council of School Organisations president Richard Williams. "The presence of cameras in schools also creates an ethic of mistrust in schools," he said. "I'm against it." But Victoria's Secondary Principals Association president Ted Brierley said school security was a fact of life. He said several hundred schools had already taken up the camera option. "And it will keep growing because schools will be forced to become smarter at spending and saving money," he said. Several security companies told the Herald Sun school surveillance was a growth industry. National Guardian Security manager Adam Szylvester has received dozens of calls from schools trying to catch criminals in the act. He has set up cameras in 20 schools and supplies armed security guards at 12. Many schools were concerned about strangers on the grounds. Another security firm, Caught in the Act, has set up cameras in more than 60 schools. "It's getting to the stage where schools have to put in cameras to stop losing money," director John Perry said. Private Eye Security boss Warwick Bennett connected video surveillance to Banksia Secondary College in Heidelberg last year, setting up five cameras to operate all day, every day for about $6000. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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