------------------------------------------------------------------- Legal Marijuana Use Aim Of Local Petition ('Island News' In Key West Says A Dozen Florida Medical Marijuana Groups Will Try To Place A Statewide Referendum On November's Ballot) News Hawk: Hans Ashbaucher Source: Island News (Key West) Author: Eric Larsen-Staff Writer Date:Feb.20-26 1998 Email: email@example.com Fax:(305)296-0458 Mailing Address: 1315 Whitehead St. P.O. Box 470 Key West, Florida 33041 LEGAL MARIJUANA USE AIM OF LOCAL PETITION If Key Westerns Joe Hart and Hans Ashbaucher have their way, Florida will join California and Arizona as states with legal medical marijuana. Hart and Ashbaucher, both HIV-positive, smoke marijuana to combat nausea - a side effect from the AIDS drugs they must take to stay alive. The two have collected almost 1,000 petitions in the Lower Keys. They are combining efforts with a dozen Florida medical-marijuana groups to place a referendum on November's ballot. This was the same approach used by California and Arizona. "This is an unofficial guesstimate," Hart said, "but we have about 12,000 names right now." Hart said the various groups need 45,000 names. The ballot states that patients have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes when a licensed physician has certified it, that doctors cannot be prosecuted for prescribing it, and people cannot be prosecuted for selling it to patients. Several Florida groups are supporting and working on the petition drive, including : The American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimum, the Florida Governor's Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS , the Florida Medical Association, and the Dade County Medical Association. "This ballot simply places medical decision making where it belongs," said Andy Cayton of the ACLU. "In the hands of physicians and their patients. This initiative will politely dictate that the generals and sheriff step outside the physicians' examining room and leave doctors and patients alone." Hart and Ashbaucher said pressure from the government has already started. "Dan Lungren is blocking the petition drive," Ashbaucher said. "He's the one that fought California's prop- 215 . He said 215 is causing a rise in marijuana use. It isn't." The Florida legislature doesn't want to see a " Florida- 215" either. They recently condemned the petition, and voted to do everything possible to stop the initiative. "They're worried Florida will vote for it," Ashbaucher said. ''In the latest USA Today poll, 80 percent said they were in favor of medical marijuana." I was spending $360 a month on Marinol, and it didn't work ," he said "I kept throwing the pills up." Like many HIV patients, Hart and Ashbaucher are in a catch-22 situation. The protease inhibitors they take to keep their immune systems working cause massive nausea , which untreated, can lead to death by starvation. Hart was arrested last year when he received almost four pounds of marijuana from Switzerland. The marijuana came from the Swiss Hemp Trading Company. Hart said he met the owners of Swihtco at a medical marijuana convention in Philadelphia. He said he had no idea they were going to send him anything. Because of the amount and method of delivery, Hart faces two felony counts and several misdemeanors. Hart goes to court April 6. He said several marijuana experts will testify at his trial, including a woman who is one of eight people legally allowed pot by the federal government. "I wouldn't take their plea bargain," Hart said. "We're not hiding anymore. We are not criminals, but we have to live a criminal way of life to survive."
------------------------------------------------------------------- DC-Based Drug Reform Groups Set Up Support Fund (Press Release From NORML In Washington, DC, Says Drug Policy Foundation, NORML Foundation, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation And Drug Reform Coordination Network Have Joined Forces To Establish Medical Marijuana Support Fund To Provide Technical And Monetary Assistance To Eligible State Organizations Sponsoring Medical Use Projects) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 20:03:48 EST Subject: Announcement: DC-Based Drug Reform Groups Set Up Support Fund For Immediate Release February 20, 1998 PRESS RELEASE Washington, DC based Drug Reform Groups Collaborate on Medical Marijuana Support Fund The Drug Policy Foundation, The NORML Foundation, The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and the Drug Reform Coordination Network have joined forces to establish the Medical Marijuana Support Fund (MMSF). The fund is designed to provide technical and monetary assistance to eligible state organizations sponsoring medical use projects. Ms. Sher Horosko, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Foundation, said, "State and local groups may need help in one of two ways: either in changing current laws banning medical marijuana, or in implementing a newly passed medical marijuana law. This Fund can provide modest assistance in both cases. As the Fund grows with donations from the public, we hope that it will help turn separate state and local reform efforts into a clear message to change the federal law." Resources will be provided to: - send doctors, patients and other experts to states where they are needed to speak at public forums or testify at legislative hearings; - develop, produce and distribute educational materials in support of the legal use of medical marijuana; - assist organizations with logistical or legal matters, and with program design in states where medical initiatives or legislation have passed and new projects are needed to implement the medical use law; - provide expert witnesses in appropriate criminal cases in which the defendant has raised the legal defense of medical necessity Allen F. St. Pierre, Executive Director of the NORML Foundation, said this latest collaboration between various reform organizations marks a positive development in the marijuana law reform movement. "By joining forces and pooling some resources, we can avoid duplication of efforts and better meet the needs of state level reform projects and organizations." Those who wish to apply for funding under this project should contact Ms. Whitney Taylor at the Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008 2328, (202) 537-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org, to request a copy of the MMSF application guidelines.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lungren Lies (Letter To Editor Of 'Santa Rosa Democrat' Explains Evidence Contradicting California Attorney General's Assertion That Proposition 215 Has Resulted In Higher Marijuana Use By Teens)From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 22:37:08 -0800 Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lungren Lies Lines: 31 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Gary Weston
Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 Dan Lungren was reported to have said recently that medical marijuana use in California, as a result of Prop 215, has spurred an increase in pot use by teens. This irresponsible, and unsupportable statement is a wonderful example of why so many people in general, and teens in particular, mistrust any statement made by public officials dealing with drugs and drug use. He based his claim on the latest National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, which was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which dates from 1986, before Prop 215 was in effect. Lungren also claimed that California and Arizona, the two states to have passed medical marijuana initiatives, are the only two states to have shown increased drug use. Although California showed a statistically insignificant increase in 1996, the study did not record breakdowns of data for other states, so, at best, his claim was speculative, and, at worst, it was a deliberate deception. According to SAMHSA researchers, there is no evidence whatsoever for his claims relating to teen drug use. When are people like Lungren going to learn that lying about drugs is ultimately a losing proposition? Or have those in authority grown so accustomed to using hyperbole and deception to fight the war on drugs that they are no longer interested in what is true and what is not? Gary Weston 905 Aspen Way Petaluma, CA 94954 763-2785
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Bill Asks State To Rethink Proposition 215 ('Contra Costa Times' Account Of Legislative Bill Introduced By Republican California State Senator Richard Rainey Of Walnut Creek Fails To Note California Compassionate Use Act Already Limits Medical Marijuana To 'Seriously Ill Californians' - Rainey's Bill, Which Would Have To Be Endorsed By Voters As Well As Legislature And Governor, Would Put Medical Cannabis Patients In Jail Even Against Their Doctors' Wishes, Unless They Suffer From HIV, Cancer, Glaucoma Or 'Muscle Spasms Associated With A Chronic Debilitating Condition') Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 20:00:19 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: New Bill Asks State To Rethink Prop. 215 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Alice O'Leary Source: Contra Costa Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 Author: Ethan Rarick, Times Capital Bureau NEW BILL ASKS STATE TO RETHINK PROP. 215 Rainey would limit medical marijuana SACRAMENTO -- California voters would be asked to sharply restrict the use of medical marijuana under a measure to be introduced in the state Legislature today. If approved by lawmakers and the voters, the new bill would restrict medicinal pot to people suffering from HIV, cancer, glaucoma and "muscle spasms associated with a chronic debilitating condition." Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot measure approved by voters legalizing medical marijuana, allows use of the drug for any condition "for which marijuana provides relief," so long as a doctor recommends the drug. Medical marijuana advocates have differed widely on the interpretation of the current law, with some saying that pot could be used for almost anything, and others saying it is limited only to extremely ill patients. Sen. Richard Rainey, R-Walnut Creek, said he is introducing his bill in order to "put some restrictions" on how medical marijuana is used. "I think what we're doing is asking the voters to clarify what they wanted to do," said Rainey, who opposed Prop. 215. "The voters were sympathetic to people who needed to use marijuana for medical purposes. I don't think they realized how wide open that initiative was." Rainey's measure would also limit the use of medical marijuana to people over 18 and would require a written, rather than an oral, recommendation by a doctor. Furthermore, only doctors licensed in California would be allowed to recommend marijuana, and the definition of a "primary caregiver" would be tightened. Under Prop. 215, caregivers are allowed to possess the drug. Because the voters approved Prop. 215, they must also approve any changes. If Rainey's measure were to clear the Legislature, it would then go to the ballot, perhaps as early as November. Officials at Americans for Medical Rights, the group that sponsored Prop. 215, could not be reached for comment. An aide to Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose, long an advocate of legalizing medical marijuana, said he had not yet seen the details of Rainey's bill and could not comment. In 1995, Vasconcellos pushed through the Legislature a bill containing some of the same provisions as the Rainey measure, only to have it vetoed by Gov. Pete Wilson. Aides to Wilson said the governor has not seen Rainey's bill and does not yet have a position on it. Vasconcellos has a bill pending in the Legislature that would create a Marijuana Research Center run by the University of California to study the medical effectiveness of the drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A New Attack On Drugs - Certification Doesn't Work; Proposed Treaty Might (Staff Editorial In 'Los Angeles Times' That Will Prompt A Response From US Drug Czar McCaffrey)Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 18:55:29 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: A New Attack On Drugs - Certification Doesn't Work; Proposed Treaty Might Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Pubdate: February 20, 1998 A NEW ATTACK ON DRUGS 'Certification' doesn't work; proposed treaty might The Clinton administration proposes to end the divisive practice of labeling its hemispheric neighbors as cooperative or obstructive in combating drug traffic and replace it with a treaty to raise a mutual effort against the menace. In more than a decade on the books, Washington's so-called certification process has done little but create unnecessary discord among countries fighting the same adversary. The proposed treaty would create an alliance to suppress the production and transportation of drugs and establish an independent body to ensure that member nations comply with the program. This is a productive approach, a united effort instead of a report card issued each year by Washington. The aim is to present the proposal in April when President Clinton meets with Latin American leaders in Santiago, Chile. Under the current system, every year since 1986 the State Department has been required to certify to Congress whether Latin American countries where drugs are produced or transported are cooperating with the United States to halt the trade. And ever since that date, the process has only served to sour hemispheric relations. Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, has described the process as "nuts," and he's right. Clinton's proposal calls for drug prevention, education and treatment of drug consumers. This is a battle that will have to be fought in the homes, schools, churches, workplaces and hospitals of the Americas. It will demand cooperation from U.S. agencies in the line of fire against narcotics traffickers: the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs Service, Coast Guard and Border Patrol. Abroad, the Latin American effort would focus on the points of origin. It would also emphasize participation in multilateral campaigns. Some critics of the White House plan call it naively ambitious. Others ask how the treaty nations would find the funds for such an undertaking. The White House will have to deal with these issues and sell its ideas to a divided Congress. Prospects for this year are nil, as the State Department is required to present its certification documents March 1. But proponents should maintain the pressure and do the groundwork. Certification is broke and needs fixing. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco Decorators Convicted ('Associated Press' Says Couple Arrested At San Francisco Home On New York Warrant Will Appeal Federal Conviction For Laundering Millions Of Dollars For Colombian Drug Lord By Buying Art, Furnishings For His Homes) Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 09:35:16 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US CA: San Francsico Decorators Convicted Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Kevin Zeese Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 SAN FRANCSICO DECORATORS CONVICTED NEW YORK (AP) -- Two interior decorators were convicted of laundering millions of dollars for a Colombian drug lord by buying art and furnishings for his homes, which included an $18 million replica of the White House. The defendants, Alexander Blarek and Frank V. Pellecchia, were found guilty Thursday of money laundering, racketeering conspiracy and transporting drug proceeds across state lines. They were acquitted of racketeering. Prosecutors said $30 million in drug money went through the hands of the two men while they worked for Jose Santacruz Londono, a kingpin of the Cali cocaine cartel, from 1978 until his death in 1996 in a gunfight with the Colombian army. They obtained art, antiques, furniture and appliances for Santacruz's offices and the homes he shared with his wife and two mistresses. One of the homes was the Casa Blanca, a replica of the White House that Santacruz built in Colombia. Among the purchases was $300,000 worth of tiles for the mansion's swimming pool, $5,000 for gilded doorknobs, a $100,000 dining room table, a $250,000 entertainment system and $400,000 worth of table settings. Blarek, 56, and Pellecchia, 49, were arrested in June at their fashionable San Francisco home on a New York warrant alleging that they picked up cash from Santacruz employees in New York. Blarek said he had considered quitting, but Santacruz wouldn't hear of it. ``There's just no way to quit with him. He terminates people, they don't terminate him,'' Blarek testified during the three-week trial. But an accountant testified that he wrote checks to the defendants in exchange for cash. He and Pellecchia face 11 years in prison each under federal sentencing guidelines. The government also seeks to seize their $3 million home in San Francisco and nearly $3 million more in other assets. Defense lawyer Jason L. Solotaroff said they would appeal. They remained free on bail but Judge Jack B. Weinstein ordered that they wear electronic monitors.
------------------------------------------------------------------- An Act Relating To Medical Marijuana (Draft Of Washington State Ballot Initiative From Medical Marijuana Now PAC - A Work In Progress) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 18:51:28 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Randy Chase
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Draft Initiative Washington State Cut and Paste Drafting Committee of Medical Marijuana NOW PAC George Bakan, Chairperson mmj NOW! PAC (voice) 206-323-1229 (Voice) 206-322-2333 (fax) 206-860-8279 e-mail via (firstname.lastname@example.org) Medical Marijuana Initiative 2.20.98 Draft - Committee 2.20.99 (A work-in-progress, very close to a unified filing, we hope) AN ACT Relating to medical marijuana; adding a new section to chapter 69.50 RCW. BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON: NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. SHORT TITLE. This act may be known and cited as the Washington State Medical Marijuana Act. NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. PURPOSE AND INTENT. The People of Washington state find that some patients with serious or terminal medical conditions benefit from the use of marijuana to relieve symptoms and suffering. Conditions for which marijuana may be beneficial include chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting as in cancer patients, AIDS wasting syndrome and other illnesses associated with HIV disease, glaucoma, muscle spasms as in epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, and some forms of intractable pain. The People find that humanitarian compassion necessitates that the decision to authorize marijuana use by seriously ill patients is a personal, individual decision, based upon the physician's professional medical judgment and discretion, and founded in the privileged physician-patient relationship. The advice given by a physician to his or her patients is constitutionally protected free speech, and as such is entitled to the protection of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of the state of Washington. Therefore, the People of Washington state intend that: Physicians be immune from civil, criminal, or administrative liability and prosecution for providing written documentation on the use of medical marijuana to patients for whom, in the physician's professionaljudgment, medical marijuana may prove beneficial; and Patients with serious medical conditions, who, in the judgment of their physicians would benefit from the use of medical marijuana, be exempt from civil, criminal, or administrative liability and prosecution for limited personal possession and use of medical marijuana. NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. NON-MEDICAL PURPOSES PROHIBITED. Nothing in this act shall be construed to supersede Washington state law prohibiting the possession, manufacture, sale, or use of marijuana for nonmedical purposes, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes. NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. PROTECTING PHYSICIANS DOCUMENTING THE USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA. A physician licensed under chapter 18.71 or 18.57 RCW shall not be subject to civil, criminal, or administrative liability and prosecution for: (1) Advising a patient about the risks and benefits of the use of medical marijuana or that he or she might benefit from the use of medical marijuana where such use is within a standard of care or in the individual physician's best medical judgment; or (2) Providing a patient with written documentation that the use of medical marijuana may prove beneficial, based upon the physician's assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship. (3) Nothing in this act shall require any physician to document the use of medical marijuana for a patient. NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. FORM OF DOCUMENTATION. Written documentation by a physician for the use of medical marijuana by a patient may be in any form that includes: (1) Physician's name, address, phone number, license number, signature; and (2) Patient's name, address, phone number; and NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. PROTECTING PATIENTS AND PRIMARY CAREGIVERS. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a patient or a patient's primary caregiver who possesses medical marijuana for limited use by a patient under this act shall be considered lawfully engaged and shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, provided; valid documentation bearing a date less than twelve months old or an authentic copy of such documentation; and (2) Patient or patient's primary caregiver presents proof of identity such as a Washington state driver's license or identicard, as defined in RCW 46.20.035; and (3) Primary caregiver provides no marijuana to anyone who is not in possession of valid documentation. (4) Patient or patient's primary caregiver possesses no more than a 60-day supply of medical marijuana based on the range of patient usage contained in the physician's written documentation. (5) Primary caregiver possesses no more than a 60 day supply of medical marijuana for each patient for whom he or she is a designated caregiver. NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. PRIMARY CAREGIVER DEFINED. For the purposes of this section, "primary caregiver" means an adult, 18 years of age or older, who has been designated by a patient under this act or who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or care of medications for that patient. An individual may be the primary caregiver for more than one patient. NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS. (1) The lawful possession or manufacture of medical marijuana by a patient or a patient's primary caregiver under this act shall not result in the forfeiture or seizure of any property. (2) No person shall be prosecuted for constructive possession or any other criminal offense solely for being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of marijuana under this act. NEW SECTION. Sec. 9. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 0.08 Drunk Limit May Be In Trouble ('Seattle Times' Says Attempt By Washington Legislature To Lower Legal Threshold From 0.10 May Face Opposition Due To Effectiveness, Cost - Story Notes In 1996, Drunken Drivers Were Involved In More Than 12,000 Collisions In Washington That Killed 331 People And Seriously Injured 1,333) Reply-To:
From: "W.H.E.N." To: "Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: WA 0.08 drunk limit may be in trouble Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 18:30:46 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 02:23 a.m. PST; Friday, February 20, 1998 0.08 drunk limit may be in trouble by Michael Ko Seattle Times Olympia bureau It is the major nonpartisan crusade of this legislative session. The Republican-controlled Senate and House and Democratic Gov. Gary Locke have all come out in support of increased penalties for drunken drivers. There are proposals - soon likely to become law - that would allow for on-the-spot seizures of vehicles and driver's licenses, mandate alcohol-ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders, and increase fines and jail time. However, questions are surfacing about the centerpiece of the drunken-driving legislation: a bill that would lower the legal blood alcohol limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent. Discussions have centered on the effectiveness of lowering the limit and finding enough money to enforce the tougher law. In 1996, drunken drivers were involved in more than 12,000 collisions in Washington that killed 331 people and seriously injured 1,333. The highly publicized case of Susan West, who had a blood alcohol level of 0.34 and had been arrested four times for driving under the influence before she ran over and killed Mary Johnsen of Issaquah, brought the issue of drunken-driving enforcement even more into the public eye. Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, chairwoman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, said that 0.08 is symbolic of the Legislature's desire to eliminate drunken driving. "By the end of this session, penalties for drunk driving will be more severe, more expensive and farther reaching than at any time in our history," she said. "We must be uncompromising with these criminals." But while the legislation has broad, bipartisan support, not everyone is convinced. The Washington Restaurant Association has taken the lead against the legislation to lower the legal blood alcohol level. "The statistics show that the mayhem is being caused by repeat offenders and those with extremely high blood alcohol content," said Kit Hawkins, restaurant association lobbyist. "We support any legislation that would get drunk drivers off the road, but we believe that 0.08 is not part of that solution. The 0.08 limit would penalize the responsible drinker." Hawkins cited a U.S. Department of Transportation report that estimates nearly two-thirds of all alcohol-related fatalities involve blood alcohol levels of 0.14 or more. Bill Hanson, president of the Washington State Troopers Association, said his experience reflects that statistic and that he often sees the same people over and over again. However, Hanson said lowering the legal blood alcohol level would be effective because it would increase the number of drinking drivers that could be prosecuted. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reported that 12 percent of all alcohol-involved crash deaths in 1996 involved drivers with blood alcohol levels under the current limit of 0.10. "You have to look at who's opposing this," Hanson said. "The only reason they are opposing this is that they think they're going to lose money. They do not care one iota about people's lives." Hawkins denied that restaurants were opposing this out of concern for business. "We do have a concern about making criminals of our responsible customers," he said. Statistics from California and Virginia, two states that in recent years have lowered their legal limit to 0.08, tell different tales. In 1990, the last year California had a legal level of 0.10, the California Highway Patrol reported 158,490 DUI arrests. After passing the 0.08 legislation that same year, the number of DUI arrests dropped to 121,848 in 1992. By 1994, the number was 97,626 and in 1996 it was 91,988. During that period, the number of alcohol-related fatalities dipped from 2,126 in 1990 to 1,113 in 1996. "Definitely, there are a lot of other factors involved, but the 0.08 limit was a major tool that we used to lower those numbers," said Sgt. Jose Vasquez of the California Highway Patrol, who said the change had made people extremely aware of driving while intoxicated. The numbers in Virginia tell a somewhat different story. Virginia State Police arrest about 30,000 people each year for drunken driving. Lt. Col. W.G. Massengill, director of field operations, said that number hasn't changed with the 0.08 limit, which has been in place for nearly four years. Massengill said the blood alcohol concentration of all those arrested for drunken driving has not changed, either. He said the average has been 0.14 every year since the law was changed. In addition, the percentage of automobile fatalities related to alcohol has remained the same, around 40 percent, Massengill said. Last year, it was 38.9 percent. "The 0.08 limit is an important part of the total program and it provides law enforcement with a tool that's needed to get the drinking driver off the road," Massengill said. "But as to whether or not it actually lowers drunk driving, it's hard to tell and even more difficult to measure." Massengill said the biggest reduction in drunken driving occurred in 1990, when the state sponsored what he called an "extraordinary awareness program that hit the televisions, the schools, everywhere." Washington state's legislation, if passed, would require additional money to pay for the expected increase in prosecutions and prison sentences, and for the county prosecutors who would be trying those cases. Some worry, however, that there might not be enough money to enforce the new law. Approximately 2,000 people with blood alcohol levels of 0.08 and 0.09 are pulled over every year in Washington, said Russell Hauge, Kitsap County prosecuting attorney. These cases, which fall below the current legal limit and might be dismissed now, would have to be tried under the new legislation. Hauge also said that as drunken drivers repeat, more people will receive longer sentences and on-the-edge 0.10 to 0.11 cases will become more solid. Hauge predicted it would cost the state "a significant amount" to try the additional cases. Michael Shaw, lobbyist for the Washington State Association of Counties, said funding must be given to counties for additional jail space. He cited three counties - Yakima, Pierce and Walla Walla - that already lack the money to expand or even fully operate their overcrowded jail facilities. "We want to get (drunken drivers) off the roads, but we have a lot of people in our jails already taking up the beds," Shaw said. "Unless the resources are there, these (bills) will not get much done. They will be empty promises." Michael Ko's phone message number is 360-943-9882. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Charge Dismissed Against Packers' Jervey ('Associated Press' Says Police In Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Dropped Marijuana Possession Charge Against Green Bay Packers Running Back Travis Jervey After Tests Showed Cannabis Was Not Among Evidence Seized From His Car) Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 10:55:27 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US SC: Wire: Marijuana Charge Dismissed Against Packers' Jervey Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Chris Clay Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 Source: Associated Press MARIJUANA CHARGE DISMISSED AGAINST PACKERS' JERVEY MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) -- Police dropped a marijuana possession charge against Green Bay Packers running back Travis Jervey after tests showed the drug was not among evidence seized from his car. Lab results showed the active ingredient in marijuana was not present among burnt ashes and pieces of rolling paper taken from an ashtray, police Chief Roddy Perry said Friday. "In the absence of laboratory evidence, we will not be moving forward," he said. Jervey, 25, was arrested Tuesday night after a routine traffic stop. The Isle of Palms native was pulled for driving 46 mph in a 35-mph zone, a police report said. An officer noticed a strong odor he suspected was marijuana coming from the car. Jervey twice denied having drugs, though a search turned up the ashes and rolling papers. He was released on bond. A March 10 court date was set on the speeding charge. Jervey, a fifth-round draft choice out of The Citadel in 1995, was a Pro Bowl selection this year as a special-teams player.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Painful Lesson On Peril Of Drugs ('Des Moines Register' Says 57-Year-Old Mother Of Ron Corbett, Speaker Of Iowa House Of Representatives, Has Been Treated For Addiction To Crack Cocaine, Has Recovered And Is Back At Work - What Has Corbett Learned? 'Most Of All, We Need To Punish Those That Prey On People And Entice Them Into Using Drugs' - Good Thing For His Career She Didn't Take Up Legal Alcohol Or Tobacco) Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 23:05:26 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US IA: A Painful Lesson on Peril of Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Carl E. Olsen
Source: Des Moines Register Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 Author: Jonathan Roos, Register Staff Writer "The allure of drugs is very tempting and anybody can fall, even someone that's older, supposedly educated, professional." -- Rep. Ron Corbett A PAINFUL LESSON ON PERIL OF DRUGS Crack cocaine can overpower anyone. Even a middle-age nurse. Even a grandmother. Even the mother of one of Iowa's top legislative leaders. Just ask Ron Corbett, speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives. "The allure of drugs is very tempting and anybody can fall, even someone that's older, supposedly educated, professional," Corbett said Thursday. "It just isn't a problem that faces the inner city." Corbett's mother, Mary, a hospital nurse, fell hard for the highly addictive drug. "After several months of heavy using, going to crack cocaine parties and running out of money, she finally hit rock bottom," Corbett, a Cedar Rapids Republican said in an interview Thursday. "Her boyfriend found her in a bathroom, lying on the floor and aspirin all over the place. I don't think she was trying to commit suicide. I think she was trying to relieve some of the pain that she was having." But this story, which Corbett shared this week with reporters, lawmakers and others, has a happy ending. His mother, now 57, was treated for her addiction and has recovered. She is again working as a nurse in the Washington, D.C., area. "She's back to her old self and the mother I've always known her to be, but there was that time that she wasn't. Drugs changed her," he said. Mary Corbett could not be reached for comment. Ron Corbett's House colleagues said it just goes to show that members of the Legislature are no different from the people they represent; they come face to face with the same family crises. "Everybody has problems, and that's reflected in this place," said Rep. Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City. "I think people's hearts go out to Ron and are supportive of him." Rep. Teresa Garman, R-Ames, said: "I know this can happen in any family. .. Ron has a great deal of strength." Corbett already had plenty on his mind five years ago as the new chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He was trying to get a grip on the state budget when his mother started calling him at the Statehouse, asking for money to buy food. "I had numerous phone calls from her begging me for money, and I gave into her once. When I refused to give into her (again), the phone calls turned vicious ... like, 'Why aren't you helping your mother out? I've helped you out all your life. Why don't you help me out in my time of need?'" Corbett, who learned his mother used the money to buy drugs, conferred with family members. "We felt the only way to help her was by not helping her, that she's got to get to the point that she's going to decide she's going to fight this addiction and seek help," said Corbett, who has two sisters. "We talked all the time: 'What can we do? What can we do?' We looked into ways to get her committed. All we could do was hope and pray that, she would eventually seek treatment before she completely destroyed her life and died from it." Mary Corbett was divorced from Ron Corbett's father nearly two decades ago. Ron Corbett, who has four children, said his mother had met a hospital patient, with a history of drug abuse and he later became her boyfriend. "She started using crack cocaine on the weekends, and then it turned to every evening, and then it turned into all the time," Corbett said. Mary Corbett finally got treatment and started back on the road to recovery. But, her son said, "it's not an easy journey for anyone. She was facing a lot of difficulty. She had to go through bankruptcy, she had maxed out her credit cards and put everything she had in hock. ... "She made it. She's one of the few that have been able to kick the habit, and she's back working as a nurse and she's got her life back in order." His mother's ordeal has taught Corbett as much about drug abuse as all the debates he's heard about the problem in six House terms. "We need to do everything we can to educate not just young people but all of our citizens. We need to help those that are addicted to seek treatment," he said. "But most of all, we need to punish those that prey on people and entice them into using drugs." Jonathan Roos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 284-8443.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug-Free Myth (Staff Editorial In 'Austin American-Statesman' Notes A 1996 Survey By The Texas Alcohol And Drug Abuse Commission And Texas A&M University Suggested Statewide, About 7 Percent Of Survey Participants Said They Had Tried Crack Or Cocaine, And That Drug Use In Rural Areas Is Comparable To That In Cities) Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 22:53:48 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Drug-Free Myth Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Austin American-Statesman Pubdate: Friday, February 20, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.Austin360.com/ Editorial - DRUG-FREE MYTH >From Taylor to Kilgore, small towns are experiencing drug problems that once were considered big-city concerns. The stabbing death of Donald L. Weast is a grisly reminder that crack, heroin and other drugs are wreaking havoc in rural as well as urban areas. A Fredericksburg woman's long battle with drug dependency apparently led her to kill the San Marcos man this week, according to police. Alexis Erin Eager is accused of stabbing Weast more than 40 times before she fled in his car to Austin where she was arrested. She sold Weast's car for three rocks of cocaine, police said. Taylor residents frequently march on drug houses and have forced Williamson County prosecutors to invoke public nuisance laws to vacate the houses. Chanting "up with hope, down with dope," members of Turn Around Elgin urged the Texas National Guard to bulldoze vacant houses that had become crack dens. There are similar stories of small-town crusades against drug trafficking throughout the state. A 1996 survey by the Texas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission and Texas A&M University destroys the myth of a drug-free countryside. The survey of public school students from 7th to 12th grade shows that substance use among adolescents in small school districts was similar to that in urban school districts. Statewide, about 7 percent of survey participants said they had tried crack or cocaine. It was about 8 percent among Austin participants compared to 6.4 percent in Fredericksburg. The slight response difference, less than 2 percent, indicates that drug use in rural areas is comparable to that in cities. Grass-roots efforts alone cannot curtail the spread of drugs, but residents must be willing to do more than teach children to say "no" to drugs. Marching on drug sites, while dangerous, brings unwanted attention to illegal activity and has spurred law enforcement officials to do a better job of protecting communities from drugs. While elected officials should use public nuisance laws to slow drug sales, they also should increase drug prevention services. Enforcement without prevention allows a vicious cycle of drug abuse to continue. Communities can't expect to stop drug use or sales. As long as there are those who will buy them, they'll be available. But communities can prevent drugs from taking over neighborhoods and limit the number of its victims -- whether they are users like Eager or victims like Weast.
------------------------------------------------------------------- In Today's News - After Tobacco, Is Alcohol Next? (Recap Of February 12 'Investor's Business Daily' Article About Success Of Lawsuits Against Tobacco Companies Based On Medicaid Reimbursements Spurring Attempts To Use Same Legal Tactics Against Manufacturers Of Alcohol, Guns, Pharmaceutical Drugs) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:40:56 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: After Tobacco is alcohol next? Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com IN TODAY'S NEWS AFTER TOBACCO, IS ALCOHOL NEXT? Some lawyers and lawmakers are reportedly eyeing the alcoholic beverage industry, as well as firearms manufacturers and drug makers, as targets of suits to obtain reimbursement for Medicaid expenses attributed to the ill effects of using their products. Some analysts are warning that business in general should be concerned about what's happening to the law. Industries with high revenues and profits are particularly tempting targets, they report. * As of 1995, annual sales of alcoholic beverages amounted to $102.3 billion -- well above the $45 billion in retail expenditures for cigarettes in 1996. * In 1992, weapons makers shipped $7 billion worth of firearms and accessories. A 1994 Florida law allowed that state to sue an industry as a class, relying solely on statistical evidence to determine the probability of a product causing an illness -- and collect damages from each company based on its market share. The state doesn't have to identify any particular Medicaid patient or the specific damage a particular product caused. Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles (D) signed an order the following year prohibiting state agencies from using the statute against any defendants except tobacco companies and illegal-drug dealers. But his general counsel says the order would not prevent the state's attorney general from bringing suit against another industry. Nor does it ban the legislature from directing him to do so. * The attorneys general of Missouri, Iowa and Vermont have suggested bills similar to the Florida law. * Philadelphia's mayor has proposed a lawsuit against gun makers for crime-related costs -- such as washing blood off the street. * A legislator in Alabama has proposed an assessment of $2 billion on the makers of fen-phen diet drugs. But an organization of conservative state legislators, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is warning members to look critically at legislation modeled on the Florida law. Source: John Berlau, "Will Other Vices Be Targeted?" Investor's Business Daily, February 12, 1998. For more on Legal Issues: http://www.ncpa.org/pd/law/law.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Official Accuses Rebagliati Of Lying About Pot Habit ('Ottawa Citizen' Quotes Olympic Official Prince Alexandre de Merode Saying He Has 'Confidential' Test Reports Indicating Snowboarding Gold Medal Winner Had High Levels Of Marijuana In Urine Samples Taken In December - Eight Months After Rabagliati Said He Stopped Smoking) Resent-Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 08:42:18 -0800 (PST) Old-Return-Path:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Official accuses Rebagliati of lying about pot habit Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 08:36:01 -0800 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Ottawa Citizen Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri 20 Feb 1998 Section: News A1 / Front Author: Mike Shahin OFFICIAL ACCUSES REBAGLIATI OF LYING ABOUT POT HABIT The smoke has thickened in the marijuana mystery surrounding snowboarder Ross Rebagliati after the head of the medical panel of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accused the gold medalist of lying about when he smoked his last joint. Prince Alexandre de Merode claimed yesterday in Nagano that Mr. Rebagliati had had ``unusually high'' levels of marijuana in his urine in December tests. ``I've concluded he (Mr. Rebagliati) didn't stop smoking (marijuana), like he has said, in April 1997,'' Mr. de Merode stated. He said the IOC medical commission received a confidential report from an IOC-accredited laboratory in Montreal, showing 90 to 120 nanograms of marijuana metabolites per millilitre in his urine. Mr. Rebagliati responded to the accusation in a press release issued last night: ``I stand by my earlier statement that I have not smoked marijuana since April of 1997 and was subjected to second-hand smoke at a party in January. I feel that the matter was handled properly by the authorities the first time around and I'm in total agreement with the International Olympic Committee that this is a closed case.'' Mr. de Merode's remarks -- essentially calling Mr. Rebagliati a liar -- set Olympic critics abuzz over what they describe as the cesspool of politics in sport's highest governing body. And questions are being raised about exactly how Mr. de Merode got his hands on what he says is proof that Mr. Rebagliati smoked cannabis more recently than he admitted. ``They (IOC officials) have egg on their face,'' Mark Rebagliati, Ross's father, said in an interview with the Citizen yesterday from Whistler, B.C. ``I find it quite incredible that, I guess in his (Mr. de Merode's) desperate attempt to salvage credibility that he has lost, he is now trying to discredit Ross -- or shall I say further discredit him.'' He criticized Mr. de Merode for making a confidential report public, and wondered how it came into his possession in the first place. ``Ask him where his ethics are.'' The IOC briefly stripped Mr. Rebagliati of his gold medal after he was found to have 17.8 nanograms per millilitre on race day, only slightly more than the 15-nanogram limit allowed by his sport's governing body. At that time, he said he hadn't smoked marijuana since April, and that the traces in his urine came from a going-away party in Whistler just before the Olympics. Mr. de Merode had said the Rebagliati case was closed. But his announcement again pried open the lid on the issue. ``There is no making sense of what's being said in Nagano,'' said Victor Lachance, chief executive of the Ottawa-based Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports. The IOC's handling of the entire case has been rife with misinformation, and some IOC officials voted when they were in conflict of interest, Mr. Lachance said. ``If ever there was proof of the need for completely independent doping systems at the Olympics, this is it. There is no accountability.'' It is possible, Mr. Lachance speculated, that Mr. de Merode is also attempting to do some damage control in Japan, which is strongly against drug use. The IOC ``has left the host country in a difficult situation'' by not punishing marijuana use among athletes, he said. So how did Mr. de Merode, who is crusading to ban marijuana from the Olympics, apparently obtain a ``confidential report'' on Mr. Rebagliati? It's a question the IOC official, from Belgium, has yet to answer. The report was produced by a Montreal drug-testing laboratory called l'Institut Nationale de Recherche Scientifique -- Sante (INRS). The independent Centre for Ethics in Sports asked INRS to test Canadian athletes, including Mr. Rebagliati, in November and December as part of routine drug checks, Mr. Lachance said. Soon after, the IOC asked labs around the world to screen their samples for marijuana use over the past few years. No one outside the IOC was told about this ``screening program,'' Mr. Lachance said. The Centre for Ethics only found out about it after the medal had been taken away. But the tests were scientifically ``blind,'' Mr. Lachance said, meaning the IOC should still not have known who tested positive and at what quantities. The screening only tested for a positive or negative presence of cannabis, and samples were only identified by numbers, he said. Once Mr. Rebagliati's medal was revoked, the Centre for Ethics asked INRS to look at the snowboarder's specific results from the screening. The lab confirmed that he did test for the ``presence'' of marijuana in November and December. But lab technicians couldn't say whether it was proof of actual use or of second-hand exposure because they had no specific quantities to look at, Mr. Lachance said. It is possible that a scientist looking at the screen results could have ``extrapolated'' to determine whether the test was over or under accepted limits of marijuana levels, Mr. Lachance said. If that was done, it would be unethical, he said, adding that extrapolating even further in order to get actual quantities would then weaken scientific validity.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rabagliati Denies He Lied ('Vancouver Sun' Says Rebagliati Stands By Initial Denial) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Rabagliati denies he lied Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 08:37:43 -0800 Lines: 127 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri 20 Feb 1998 Section: A1 / Front Author: Dianne Rinehart REBAGLIATI DENIES HE LIED Snowboarder is shocked by an Olympic official's claim that the gold medal winner smoked marijuana later than admitted. When he walked in to meet his new Toronto-based agent Thursday morning, Ross Rebagliati thought his Olympic nightmares were behind him. That's when he learned a top International Olympic Committee official was accusing him of lying about his marijuana consumption. ``It was like a kick to the stomach,'' Rebagliati, said in an interview with The Vancouver Sun the morning after Prince Alexandre de Merode said he had ``confidential'' test reports that indicated Rebagliati had high levels of marijuana in urine samples taken in December -- eight months after he said he stopped smoking. ``I've concluded he didn't stop smoking like he has said, in April 1997,'' de Merode told a press conference. Rebagliati said he is shocked that de Merode is raising the issue, after a court of arbitration ruled marijuana is not a banned substance under Olympic regulations and the IOC had no right to test for it. ``It's a shock to me he's saying that now. He was behind me 100 per cent of the way (in the court).'' For the record, Rebagliati said he stands by his initial statement -- that he stopped smoking marijuana last April and any positive tests for marijuana since then are the result of second hand smoke. But the allegations by de Merode, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee medical commission, raise many questions. Among them: Did Rebagliati lie? Does it matter, since marijuana is not a banned substance and the IOC should never have been testing for it? Why did de Merode raise the issue after the court ruling and why did he release supposedly confidential test results? How did the IOC obtain those results, which de Merode said came from a Montreal laboratory? Does the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, which is responsible for drug-testing in Canada, have its act together? Is Canada being targeted by IOC officials with a political agenda? Rebagliati couldn't explain the discrepancy between his statement and de Merode's. He blamed it on politics. ``I'm not a politician, I'm an athlete.'' Nor is he thinking of legal action, despite the possibility he stands to lose contracts for endorsements because the allegations question his credibility. ``I don't feel I need to clear my name,'' he said. ``There's more to life than making money. I had a good life before, I will continue to have a good life.'' The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, which is responsible for drug testing of athletes in Canada, refused to comment Thursday on whether the Prince's information was correct -- though it is aware of the December results. The centre said it is ``inappropriate for the IOC to be commenting on any findings from the Nagano tests, or any other source of information concerning the presence or absence of marijuana in Mr. Rebagliati's samples, past or present.'' Once the court ruled marijuana was not a banned substance and the IOC had no power to strip Rebagliati of his medal, the issue becomes one of a ``breach of privacy and could constitute an unethical use of both the IOC screening program or any information obtained from that program,'' the centre said. The director of the Canadian lab that conducts dope tests for the centre also refused to comment on the allegations, citing privacy legislation. And Christiane Ayotte of INRS Sante insisted Thursday the lab did not release any information regarding marijuana testing at any time to the IOC. The communications assistant for Sheila Copps, the federal minister for sports, said he had not been able to reach her in Japan to discuss the case. But Jacques Lefebvre questioned whether the ``confidential report'' that de Merode referred to actually existed. ``Apparently no one's seen it. Before people jump to conclusions, he should show that report.'' Ross Rebagliati's dad, Mark, refused to comment on the allegation, except to say he believes the attack on his son was personally motivated. ``I think the IOC has egg on their face and they're just trying to shift it. Where are his ethics if he is releasing the alleged results from a confidential report to the public?'' Rebagliati, who has dropped about nine kilograms since his Feb. 8 win, said it's of no interest to him whether the IOC ``is with me or against me.'' What is important is the continuing support of family, friends and Canadians, which he believes he still has, he said. But he indicated the controversy is affecting his chances of entering, never mind winning, the next three World Cup races in Europe, due to begin Feb. 26. ``I haven't ridden since the race, I haven't trained . . . I need food and sleep,'' he said. ``At this point in time I'm tired and I'm having a hard time thinking straight.'' But he insisted: ``I'll be back strong next year.'' He's not so convinced about the next Olympics. ``The spirit that I've grown up to know and wanted to be a part of, it's not there anymore. . . . This is not what the Olympics is about. It's about fair competition . . . I'm going to have to think about it.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pro-Pot Activist Sees Golden Opportunity ('Canadian Press' Notes Chris Clay Of Hemp Nation, Who Lost A Constitutional Challenge To Canada's Prohibitory Laws Against Cannabis Last Year, Announced Friday He Will Use The Support That Swept Across Nation For Olympic Gold Medallist Ross Rebagliati To Launch A Cross-Country Petition To Push For Decriminalization Of Marijuana) Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 12:04:53 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Chris Clay (email@example.com) Subject: WIRE: Pro-pot activist sees golden opportunity Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE: Canadian Press DATE: February 20, 19980 Pro-pot activist sees golden opportunity VANCOUVER (CP) Marijuana activists want to use the support that swept across Canada for Olympic gold medallist Ross Rebagliati to push them up onto their own pot podium. Chris Clay said Rebagliati's losing then regaining his gold medal in Nagano after he tested positive for marijuana has created a golden window of opportunity for his movement. So he launched a cross-country petition Friday to push for decriminalization of the drug. "It's the kind of opportunity we've been waiting for," said Clay, head of Hemp Nation. More than 200 petitions have been sent out to hemp retail stores across the country. Clay is also logging support from Hemp Nation's web site. He hopes to have at least 100,000 signatures to send to Ottawa by the end of the year. But he admits that even if he gets that many signatures, "it's a political hot potato" and Parliament likely won't respond. That's why the outpouring of support for Rebagliati from politicians was a bit surprising, Clay said. Prime Minister Jean Chretien called Rebagliati in Nagano to congratulate the Whistler, B.C., snowboarder after his gold medal was reinstated. This isn't Clay's first effort to decriminalize pot. Clay, 27, has launched a constitutional challenge to Canada's marijuana laws. An Ontario court rejected his argument that drug laws violate Charter rights last August. An appeal of the case will go ahead this summer and Clay said he will take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis 'Obvious' Threat To Health, Agency Says ('Reuters' Article In 'Toronto Star' Says World Health Organization Claims It Didn't Suppress Report On Cannabis That Was Leaked To 'New Scientist,' It 'Dropped The Analysis' Because It 'Contained Contradictions' And Its 'Conclusions Were Not Scientifically Sound' - Marijuana Causes 'Mind-Altering Activities In Users' And 'Changes Your Judgement And Thinking') Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 12:15:28 -0500 From: Carey Ker
Subject: Canada: Cannabis 'obvious' threat to health, agency says To: email@example.com Priority: Normal Delivery-Receipt-To: Carey Ker Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Toronto Star, Page A18 Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Pubdate: Febrary 20, 1998Cannabis 'obvious' threat to health, agency says GENEVA (Reuters) -- The World Health Organization insisted yesterday that cannabis is a public health threat. "It is obvious that the use of cannabis causes a number of health problems and that an increase in its use would make the situation worse," a WHO statement said. It was defending itself against accusations that it suppressed a report that found cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco. Britain's New Scientist magazine said Wednesday that WHO officials in Geneva suppressed a comparison study of cannabis and legal substances because they feared it would give ammunition to the "legalize marijuana" campaign. Instead, WHO said it dropped the analysis because it contained contradictions and "conclusions were not scientifically sound." Tokuo Yoshida, in charge of narcotic drugs at the WHO, said cannabis is dangerous because it causes mind-altering activities in users. "Cannabis is milder than LSD, of course," he said. "But it must not be used because it changes your judgement and thinking." According to New Scientist, which published a special report on marijuana Wednesday, a leaked document about the analysis concluded that the drug posed less of a public health threat than alcohol or cigarettes, even if people consumed it on the same scale. The magazine said researchers had found marijuana smoke did not lead to blocked airways or emphysema or impact on lung function and it was less addictive than alcohol or cigarettes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Cannabis 'Obvious' Threat To Health (Letter Sent To Editor Of 'Toronto Star' Lampoons Logic Of World Health Organization) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 10:33:40 -0500 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: SENT: Re: Cannabis 'obvious' threat to health, agency says To the Editor: Re: Cannabis 'obvious' threat to health, agency says (February 20, 1998) Tokuo Yoshida of the World Health Organization states that the 'threat' from cannabis is obvious, and later states that it "must not be used because it changes your judgement and thinking." Well, stop the presses! Using this logic, we should expect the World Health Organization to declare moderate drinking, many over-the-counter and prescription medications ("do not operate heavy machinery while taking this medication"), television, political debates and even sleep as dangerous activities, because they can also affect judgement and thinking! Perhaps the WHO should just come out and state the obvious -- the scientific literature on cannabis simply does not offer support for the prohibition of cannabis, and so again we are left with being fed half-truths, misrepresentations, and doom-and-gloom forecasts that have no basis in reality. One wonders what force of nature or politics is clouding the WHO's own thinking and judgement. Dave Haans Toronto, Ont. *** Dave Haans Graduate Student, University of Toronto WWW: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~haans/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Contact Information - World Health Organization (List Subscriber Posts URL, E-Mail Address So You Can Tell 'Em What You Think Yourself) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 09:49:41 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: GDaurer@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Contact info World Health Org. Want to let the WHO know how you feel? Email below. web site: http://www.who.org email: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Deaths Spark Cheap Heroin Fears ('The Scotsman' Quotes David Macauley, Director Of Scotland Against Drugs, Saying Streets Are Being Flooded With Cheap Heroin, While Cannabis Is Being Withdrawn, Leading To Greater Number Of People Injecting Drugs - Another Observer Says, 'A Lot Of Kids I Know Are Using Drugs Instead Of Alcohol Because It's Cheaper - They Can Buy A Wrap Of Heroin For Less Than 5' - But Detective Superintendent Barry Dougall Of Strathclyde Police Says 'Street Prices Have Remained Stable And We Are Continuing To Increase Our Seizures') Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 15:32:03 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Drug Deaths Spark Cheap Heroin Fears Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: shug Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 Author: Karen McVeigh Source: The Scotsman Website: http://www.scotsman.com Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com DRUG DEATHS SPARK CHEAP HEROIN FEARS Exclusive: Police admit seizures are doing little to stem the flow of imports Five people have died of drug overdoses in a single week in the west of Scotland as a flood of cheap heroin pours into the country. The death toll brings the number of heroin-related deaths since the beginning of this year to 16 and signals a rise in danger for drug users. The figures forecast that by the end of 1998 more than 120 deaths will occur in and around the Glasgow area, reversing the three-year trend that has seen drug fatalities fall from an all-time high of 105 in 1995. Last night, Detective Superintendent Barry Dougall, co-ordinator of Strathclyde Police, said more drugs may be coming into the west of Scotland and admitted that police seizures were having little impact. The director of Scotland Against Drugs, David Macauley, said the deaths were a simple indication that more drugs were available. Scotland was being flooded with heroin, while cannabis was being withdrawn. The latest drug victims, Andrew McAuley, 24, of High St, Glasgow, and Brian McEwan, 35, whose body was found in Robertson House hostel in Broad Street, died from suspected heroin overdoses on Wednesday morning. While their ages were typical of most overdose victims, who also tend to be poly drug users, The death of Allan Harper, 13, on the 3 January caused a backlash against drug dealers in the local community. He was much younger than most heroin users, but, as exclusively revealed by The Scotsman, he was not the only youngster to have abused hard drugs. Almost 30 underage heroin users have been treated by a local drugs agency in Greater Easterhouse in the last 18 months, a figure that is believed by campaigners to be the tip of the iceberg. Strathclyde Police, who are investigating the 16 deaths and attempting to trace the source of the heroin, have said there is nothing to suggest they are related to impurities in the heroin or the strength of the supply. Last year, 50 people died of drug overdoses, while in 1996, there were 84 fatalities. Mr Dougall said they were awaiting toxicology tests on some of this year's deaths, but they mainly involved heroin. He said: "We thought that in the past few years we were seeing a trend of fewer deaths, which perhaps were due to users accessing the services. We're very concerned that so many have died and we have carried out extensive inquiries as to the supply, as well as speaking to drug agencies." So far, police have no clues as to why so many young people have died. However, Mr Dougall said that there may be more drugs coming in. He said: "There is nothing to suggest that there is a bad batch of heroin or that there is an increase in purity. We have certainly seized more and had an increase in drug-related arrests reported to the fiscal, which may be an indication of drugs coming into the area." He admitted that the police were having little impact on the availability of drugs, saying: "Street prices are a good indication of availability. If street prices go up, you're either buying it from the wrong person or we are making an impact. Street prices have remained stable and we are continuing to increase our seizures." Mr Macauley said that the streets of Scotland were being flooded with cheap heroin, while cannabis was being withdrawn, leading to an increased market and a greater number of people injecting drugs. "Heroin is being pushed very heavily throughout Scotland, there's no doubt about that. A lot of kids I know are using drugs instead of alcohol because it's cheaper. They can buy a wrap of heroin for less than 5," he said. Since Allan's death, police activity in Greater Easterhouse has been high, with more than 80 drug related arrests and almost 750,000 worth of drugs seized. Hugh Michael Cavanagh, 24, of Glenboig, Airdrie; Hugh McMullen, 34, and Jackie Sinclair, 28, both of Kingsway Court, Scotstoun, and Stephen Rodger, 28, of Tresta Road, Maryhill, have died since 10 February, when The Scotsman first reported an increase in deaths from overdoses this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 30 (News Summary For Activists, From The Drug Reform Coordination Network - Original Articles Include - Needle Exchange Volunteer Arrested In New Jersey - Protesting Penn State Professor, Four Others To Be Charged, Also, 18-Year-Old High School Student Suspended For Three Days Without Hearing For Being Arrested With Heicklen - Interview With Canadian Medical Marijuana Activist Peter Young - Job Opportunity For Master's-Level Public Policy Director - And Editorial, 'Bill, Newt, And The Coming Battle Over The War,' By Adam J. Smith) Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 18:14:34 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: DRCNet
We here at DRCNet are pleased to announce the establishment of the Medical Marijuana Support Fund (MMSF). The MMSF is a collaborative project of the Drug Policy Foundation, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and Drug Reform Coordination Network. The fund has been established to offer patients, activists and organizations both financial and technical assistance in the following areas: * Assistance in developing and drafting legislative language. * Technical assistance in program design for projects implemented after medical marijuana initiatives/ legislation have been passed. * Experts to testify at public health hearings or forums. * Experts to testify at trial in relation to medical necessity defense. * Printing of promotional and educational materials directly related to a specific policy goal. *** If you or your organization is interested in applying for one or more of the above-mentioned types of assistance, contact Whitney Taylor at the Drug Policy Foundation at (202) 537-5005 to request an official application. If you are interested in making a donation to the Medical Marijuana Support Fund, Whitney can help you with that as well. (Be sure to mention you heard about it from DRCNet!) *** 2. GINGRICH CALLS CLINTON'S NEW DRUG STRATEGY "THE DEFINITION OF FAILURE", PLEDGES GOP LEGISLATIVE PACKAGELast Saturday (2/14) at noon, President Clinton used his weekly radio address to outline this year's "Drug Strategy." The strategy called for a 6.8% increase in federal spending on the Drug War, and called for greater accountability among the federal agencies charged with carrying out various aspects of the War. The plan also listed as its goal a 50% reduction in both the use and the supply of drugs in America over a period of ten years. Within the hour, however, Newt Gingrich, who delivered the GOP response to the plan, was calling for the plan's withdrawal and announcing his plans to introduce a "tougher" and more comprehensive GOP legislative initiative on the Drug War. "Once America got involved, it took our country just four years to win the Second World War -- the greatest military effort the world has ever seen. In the Civil War, it took just four years to save the Union and abolish slavery" Gingrich said in his address. "But this President would have us believe that with all the resources, ingenuity, dedication, and passion of the American people, we can't even get halfway to victory in the War on Drugs until the year 2007 - nine full years from now. That is not a success. That is the definition of failure." Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey called Gingrich's remarks 'irresponsible'. "I'm sympathetic to partisan wrangling and know that Newt Gingrich is looking for issues for the midterm election, but that's not what I signed up to do", McCaffrey told the Associated Press. "I'm afraid he's doing a disservice to a comprehensive plan." Gingrich went on to vow that he would sponsor a resolution to put the House on record as demanding that the administration withdraw its plan. He said that Republicans around the country (he specifically cited New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani) had "laid the groundwork to launch a World War II -- style victory campaign against illegal drugs." He added that "we in congress will pass legislation to implement the largest, most dynamic, most comprehensive anti-drug strategy ever designed." Arnold Trebach, the recently retired President of the Drug Policy Foundation, spoke with The Week Online regarding Gingrich's statements. "Speaker Gingrich's proposed massive new War on Drugs runs counter to the principles of his party and the best traditions of the nation. The Republican party, if it stands for anything, values enormous restraint of governmental power in the name of individual liberties and capitalist enterprise." Trebach continued, "The War on Drugs as presently constitutes has already destroyed many aspects of personal freedom and individual initiative that Americans formerly enjoyed. If anything characterizes the broad spectrum of human experience in America, it is that Americans support programs which work, and oppose those that don't. The War on Drugs doesn't work and never will. Given the current proposal's departure from Republican principles, other leaders of the GOP should take Speaker Gingrich out to the ideological woodshed and administer some sharp blows to appropriate part of his anatomy." *** 3. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SUPPRESSES REPORT FINDING MARIJUANA SAFER THAN ALCOHOL AND TOBACCOThe February 18 edition of Britain's NEW SCIENTIST Magazine reports that the Geneva-based World Health organization (WHO) suppressed, under political pressure, a report which confirmed that marijuana is safer than either alcohol or tobacco. The report, which was to be a part of the WHO's summary report on Cannabis (released in December), was reportedly axed under pressure from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drugs Control Program, who told the WHO that inclusion of the section would "play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalize marijuana." According to New Scientist (to which a copy of the suppressed report was leaked) the official explanation of the exclusion of the report was that "the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons are doubtful." But New Scientist also reports that insiders informed them that the report was scientifically sound. Kevin Zeese, President of Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation, told The Week Online, "Just business as usual for the drug war establishment. Once again they have shown themselves to be afraid of the truth, to the point of suppressing it. The suppression of information as a method of sustaining a policy which cannot stand up to the truth is a tactic of totalitarian, non-democratic regimes. For the citizens of the free nations of the world, even for those who have never given a thought to the rationale behind the Drug War, this kind of tactic should serve as a warning that something is terribly wrong." (We are attempting to obtain a copy of the report, for posting on the web. If you have one, please send a copy to us at 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036.) You can find the New Science article on the WHO report, which is part of a large special section on marijuana (2/21 edition) at http://marijuana.newscientist.com. *** 4. NEEDLE EXCHANGE VOLUNTEER ARRESTED IN NEW JERSEY Johanna Malaret, a volunteer for the CHAI Project, a needle exchange program in New Brunswick, NJ, was arrested this Wednesday (2/18) in Perth Amboy for possession and possession with intent to distribute syringes. Perth Amboy police stopped Malaret on Hall Street during a regularly- scheduled walking route. They confiscated 63 syringes. This is the second time in the past 22 months that a representative of the Chai Project has been arrested. Last April, project director Diana McCague was arrested in New Brunswick for possession and convicted. Her appeal is still pending. The Centers for Disease Control estimated last year that over 13,000 New Jersey residents either have injection-related AIDS or have died from it. New Jersey, where Governor Christine Whitman has steadfastly declined to change the law outlawing syringe exchange despite its endorsement by such groups as the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association, and the advice of her own AIDS Council, ranks third in the nation in the incidence of injection-related infection. Chai Project Director Diana McCague told The Week Online, "The arrest is an outrage. It leaves people in Perth Amboy with no choice but to re-use and share syringes. Why is it that the police and the government of this state feel that the best way to help addicted citizens is to sentence them to death? Dead addicts don't recover, and the law does not justify base immorality. What about the partners and children of New Jersey's injection drug users? It is under the current laws that tens of thousands of New Jersey residents have become injection drug users, and we slavishly enforce these same laws to keep good people from trying to limit the damage. They call this 'drug control'. Well, we are certainly not controlling drugs, but we are systematically destroying the lives of enormous numbers of our most vulnerable citizens, which leaves one to wonder exactly what this system is really set up to do." YOU CAN HELP! DRCNet asks that concerned readers send letters to the editors of the following papers (contact info provided) expressing your disapproval of both the arrest and the anti-syringe exchange laws of New Jersey. *** Please don't forget to include your name, address and phone number with your letter. Also, don't forget to sign the letter you are submitting. Address all mailed letters to: Letter to the Editor, followed by the address, to ensure it is received quickly. The Star-Ledger 1 Star-Ledger Plaza Newark, NJ 07102-1200 firstname.lastname@example.org (973) 877-4040 (fax) (Submit to "Speaking Up", 500 words or less) The Courier-News P.O. Box 6600 Bridgewater, NJ 08807 email@example.com (908) 707-3128 (phone) (908) 707-3252 (fax) (Don't exceed 250 words) The Trenton Times 500 Perry St. P.O. Box 847 Trenton, NJ 08605 letters@NJTimes.com (609) 989-5500 (phone) (609) 394-2819 (fax) (Don't exceed 300 words) Asbury Park Press Your Views 3601 Highway 66 P.O. Box 1550 Neptune, NJ 07754-1551 firstname.lastname@example.org (732) 922-6000 (phone) (732) 922-4818 (fax) (No word limit) City News P.O. Box 1774 Plainfield, NJ 07060 email@example.com (908) 754-3400 (phone) (908) 753-1036 (No word limit) The New York Times 229 West 43rd St. New York, NY 10036-3959 firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 556-1234 ext. 1873 (phone) (212) 556-3622 (fax) (No word limit) Jersey Journal Attn: Bob Larkins 30 Journal Square Jersey City, NJ 07306 (201) 653-1000 (phone) (201) 653-1414 (fax) (No word limit) *** 5. PROTESTING PENN STATE PROFESSOR, FOUR OTHERS TO BE CHARGEDProfessor Emeritus Julian Heicklen and about 100 supporters gathered at the main entrance of Penn State University at High Noon Thursday for their fifth consecutive weekly protest against Marijuana Prohibition. According to the State College Police, Heicklen and four others will be charged with possession for smoking at last week's rally. They will be notified by mail of the exact charges and the date of their hearing. Consequently Heicklen refrained from smoking at this weeks' protest and he asked his supporters to follow his example. Heicklen read from a prepared statement, "I will not be smoking today and I request that none of you do so. Our goal is to get into the courts and we have met that goal. Five of us will soon receive notices of arrest. Our aim is not to break the marijuana laws but to nullify them. ..If we receive fair, impartial, and speedy trials by a jury of our peers, we shall proceed by that route. If not we will consider other alternatives." Heicklen's weekly protests have attracted national media coverage as well as the support of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said, "I think its a very courageous act he's doing and it's in the best traditions of the Civil Rights Movement in this country. Civil disobedience has always played an important role in shaping public policy...until more people like the good professor are willing to stand up and say the truth, and take the heat we may never get rid of these laws." Stroup said that if the case goes to court, NORML's Legal Committee will likely file an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief in support of Heicklen. Stroup also said that NORML will be able to assist Heicklen in research, filing briefs and bringing expert witnesses to testify at trial. Heicklen said he will continue the Thursday, High Noon protests and he urged the crowd to continue attending, "Your presence is necessary. It demonstrates support for the arrestees and acts as protection for them." ALSO: 18 YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SUSPENDED FOR 3 DAYS WITHOUT HEARING FOR BEING ARRESTED WITH HEICKLEN (The following is an excerpt from the public statement of professor Julian Heicklen.) "There was one unfortunate occurrence as a result of last week's events. Ken Keltner, one of the arrestees, is a student in the State College Area High School. He is in the Delta Program, which has an open lunch hour. Students are permitted to leave the school property during their lunch hour, which is what Ken did to participate in the Smoke Out." "Kathleen Kelly, Director of the Delta Program, approached Ken at about 11:30 on Friday, February 13, 1998, and showed him a newspaper clipping that reported his arrest. She said that Ken was in violation of the school drug and alcohol policy, which forbids drug or alcohol use by students during school hours. She suspended him for 3 days on the spot without a hearing. She accompanied him to his locker. He got his books and went home. He was told not to return to school until Wednesday, February 18, 1998. Ken called the school at 1:00 PM on Friday, February 13, 1998, to ask for an appeal. Ms. Kelly denied him an appeal." "On Wednesday, February 18, 1998, after the suspension period was over, Ken received a letter in the mail notifying him of the suspension. In order to remain in the program, Ken was informed that within 10 days he must have an assessment by a licensed drug and alcohol facility and that he must comply with the recommendations of that facility." "The public schools have a right to make and enforce regulations on school property. They have an obligation to protect minors that are under their care. However, they do not have the right to regulate the behavior of adults that are not on school property. Ken Keltner is 18 years old and is an adult. He was not on school property and violated no school regulation by being off the school property during his lunch hour. He was suspended without a hearing based on a newspaper report. He was denied the right of appeal." "The public schools are not law enforcement agencies, nor are they instruments of social policy. Their job is education. What they did in this case was to deny Mr. Keltner three days of education, which it is their obligation to provide, so that they could act as a law enforcement agency, which is not their function. This is a classic example of a police state in operation. Not only is it oppressive, but it loses sight of the interests of those it was meant to serve." "This is the tyranny that our movement is trying to end. On Sunday, February 15, 1998, I made separate telephone calls to Connie Martin, Chair of the State College Area School District, and two other School Board members, Sue Werner and Donna Queeney. I discussed this matter with them and advised them that if they would rescind the suspension, I would let the matter die quietly. All three of them informed me that the School Board did not have the authority to rescind an administrative decision. Imagine that!" "Then I called School Superintendent Bill Opdenhoff and repeated my comments. He said that he would look into the matter. However the suspension was not rescinded." "We are in the midst of a national nightmare. The struggle to recover our moral compass will be long and difficult. With your help and support, we will succeed." *** 6. EX-MICHIGAN GOV: DRUG-LIFER LAW "INHUMANE"When he was the governor of Michigan, William Milliken signed that state's "drug-lifer law" which mandated life without parole for anyone caught in possession of over 650 grams of heroin or cocaine. Now, Milliken says that he made a mistake, and that the law, criticized for catching more low-level couriers than actual kingpins, "wastes precious public dollars to lock people up for life, people who pose no threat to society." There are currently two separate bills in the Michigan legislature which would reform the law, and both Milliken and the current governor support reform. According to the Grand rapids press, however, Sen. Van Regenmorter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says that neither bill is likely to pass in this, an election year, as legislators are worried about being labeled "soft on drugs." *** 7. MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVISTS TO OPEN MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES ACROSS EASTERN CANADA(Reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, a publication of the NORML Foundation, http://www.norml.org) 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 clubs presently operate in the United States. For further information, contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** 8. INTERVIEW WITH CANADIAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVIST PETER YOUNG - Marc Brandl for DRCNet On February 19, ten Canadian activists held a press conference announcing their plans to open Cannabis Buyers' Clubs (CBC's) across Canada, to dispense medicinal marijuana to patients in need. In an effort to openly challenge Canada's prohibition of the medicinal use of marijuana, the activists made a very public showing of explaining why the CBC's needed to be opened, where they were going to be opened, and how they will operate. Longtime Canadian marijuana activist Chris Clay http://www.hempnation.com told The Week Online, "A nation- wide survey recently found 83% of Canadians support medical marijuana, and politicians are suddenly jumping on the bandwagon. Any police intervention would make for a tremendous amount of bad press, and the clubs would continue to operate anyway." The Week Online interviewed one of the Ontario activists, Pete Young, of the Organic Traveler hemp store in London, Ontario, on his thoughts on medical marijuana and becoming an activist. WOL: How did you get involved in all this? How did you first become active? Pete Young: I was a cultivator/breeder in the states for a few years before I came to London for school (photography with a major in digital imaging). While I was there, I hooked up with Chris Clay, who was the proprietor of Great Canadian Hemporium/Hemp Nation, the first cannabis shop in Canada. WOL: What first sparked your interest in this area? Pete Young: I had a friend who was run over by a car when he was a teenager (crushed pelvis and lower spin damage). He was using Marijuana to help control the massive pain. He was eventually busted for growing 4-6 plants in his closet. At the time, he was a legal morphine junky for 8 to 11 years, and was using marijuana to wean off of narcotics. He got a doctor's note to show to the judge, but the charges were only reduced, NOT dropped, and he was put back on morphine. Last year he finally became immune to the morphine, and his doctor was forced to place him on LEGAL HEROIN. After I saw what the legal drugs were doing to him and he realized what he was turning into, he decided to leave town and move to place where he could grow his own medicine. Now this guy had to leave his family (mother, sisters and brothers) behind just so he could lead a respectable life and not have to look at a junky facing death every morning when he looked in the mirror. This pissed me off. And I decided to get into the fight. WOL: The group of ten of you are all pretty young. What makes a young individual decide to open up a single-medicine apothecary for sick people? Pete Young: As far as focusing on one medicine, it carries so many helpful, healing properties we need go no further. As far as being to young, you are never too young to care. You don't have to start up a Buyer's Club yourself, but you can help an existing one or help in other ways. For instance, Lynn Harichy, a medical marijuana patient who will be going to court in April to challenge medical marijuana prohibition on Constitutional grounds, needs to raise $5,000 Canadian dollars to fly in expert witnesses for her case. Obviously not everyone can become activists to the level that some of us have, but just about everyone can send a few dollars every now and then to help the fights that are already going on. See how easy it is? [To make a donation to Lynn Harichy's legal fight for medical marijuana, see details at end of article.) WOL: Has your age been an obstacle at all, what are the advantages? Do you think there are a lot more young people out there that are becoming active like you? Pete Young: There are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are I can relate to a wide spectrum of people of different ages. The disadvantage is not so much my age, though the older generation still sees anyone who believes in marijuana and is under 50 a drug smokin' hippy, but more my looks. Longer hair, tye-dyed shirt, facial hair. I'm seen as just another pot-head. WOL: How many clubs are being started by your group? Pete Young: For now 3-4 and within the next 2-3 months another 4-5. WOL: One of the toughest problems facing CBC's is the supply problem. How are you dealing with this? Pete Young: I will be hitting up all the local growers to donate or give discount medical prices. For this they will receive a receipt in case they get busted -- this should help them in court. Plus if they are growing solely for the clubs we will help with legal fees through a legal defense fund we will be putting together. WOL: How linked are the new CBC's going to be? Are you going to share resources, money, information etc.? Pete Young: Only information, all of the clubs will be privately owned, patients will be transferred so they will not have to travel with an illegal substance. WOL: When will medical marijuana become available legally in Canada, some say that these actions will bring about change very soon. What is your prediction? Pete Young: I'm hopeful that legal changes will come within the year. WOL: Will CBC's be kept in existence after medical marijuana is made legally available, or are they a temporary stopgap? Pete Young: I couldn't answer that one, I guess it will be up to the Government. If they are going to put it into the hospitals and pharmacies, where it belongs, then we may not be needed. But until then we'll be here. To make donations to Lynn Harichy's defense fund contact: Prof. Alan Young, York University, Osgoode Hall Law, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, CANADA, (416) 736-5595. *** 9. CLASSMATES OF UK HOME SECRETARY STRAW'S SON HAND HIM PETITION FOR LEGALIZATION OF CANNABISJack Straw, the British Home Secretary whose son was caught selling 10 pounds (sterling) worth of cannabis in a pub at a time when Straw was publicly and vociferously defending cannabis Prohibition, addressed his son's class at Pimlico School last week. While he might have expected his appearance to generate intense interest among the student body, he probably did not expect to be handed a petition, signed by nearly all of his son's classmates, urging the legalization of the substance. The petition, titled "Stop turning young people into criminals" was signed by over 100 students. Notably absent was the signature of Straw's son, William. Classmates had not asked him to sign it, according to the Independent on Sunday newspaper, figuring that he had been through enough on the issue already. The petition stated: "We believe that medical evidence suggests cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, which are legally available. Yet thousands of young people every year are turned into criminals by the pointless and unworkable ban on cannabis. Without in any way encouraging the use of cannabis, or indeed any drug, we call on the Home Secretary and the Government to bring the law into line with reality and legalize cannabis without delay." The students were members of the sixth form, which means they are approximately seventeen years-old. *** 10. JOB OPPORTUNITY Leading drug policy reform organization seeks highly skilled master's-level public policy director. Must understand major reform issues: medical marijuana, pain control, asset forfeiture, mandatory minimums. Will build coalitions, develop action strategies and coordinate advocacy efforts with new allies to advance shared agenda. Will prepare testimony and policy papers. Exceptional communication skills, familiarity with public health and criminal justice issues essential. Send resume and salary requirements to: Public Policy Search, Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008- 2328. *** 11. EDITORIAL: Bill, Newt, and the coming battle over the war.In dueling radio addresses this week, President Clinton outlined, and Newt Gingrich trashed, the administration's 1998 National Drug Strategy report. While bickering around the edges of the nation's plans for the prosecution of the Drug War has become a common occurrence, Gingrich's demand that the Strategy by withdrawn, and his promise of a legislative package constituting "the largest, most dynamic, most comprehensive anti-drug strategy ever designed," has taken the battle over the war to a new level. With mid-term elections coming, and the economy strong, the GOP is desperate to find wedge issues. Clinton's record on drugs, from "I didn't inhale" to a reported 70% increase in teen drug use on his administration's watch, make this a perceived Democratic weakness. Also, with popular Republican mayors around the country (Gingrich mentioned New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani in his address) talking and acting the part of near-obsessive drug warriors, there is evidence that the GOP feels that the issue is ripe for exploitation. The problem for the Democrats is, of course, that in a perverse way, Gingrich is right. The current carnage which has made the US the world's leading incarcerator, which has resulted in one out of three young African American men caught up in the criminal justice system, which has led to massive corruption, ineffective drug education and rising numbers of young drug users, has been a colossal failure. It will be difficult, if not impossible to argue in favor of more of the same, which is exactly what the administration is proposing. The fact that escalation is not the answer is nearly irrelevant, as voters, still largely uninformed as to the real nature of the problem, will be presented with an "alternative" to the failed status quo. The Democrats' other option would be radical indeed. That would be to argue reason and truth. Prohibition cannot work, its very premise is fatally flawed, and we need to reassess our entire thinking about what constitutes "drug control," which we have quite obviously failed to achieve under a state of war. But desperate though they may be, few Democrats will be so bold as to level with the American people in the face of the cumulative effects of the propaganda campaign which has been successfully waged on this issue over the past 25 years. No, the Democrats will be stuck with two choices. The first is to abandon the administration and jump on the escalation bandwagon. The second is to rely on calls for treatment in prisons and a host of other "half-measures," as Gingrich calls them. The fact that these half-measures constitute a position halfway toward a police state makes little difference. The GOP is apparently ready to open the throttle, full speed ahead, and bet that the American public is ready and willing to ignore the advice of Thomas Jefferson in trading freedom for security, illusory as that promised security may be. But despite the seemingly depressing prospect of a public debate between those lobbying for more prisons and less freedom and those lobbying for even more prisons and even less freedom, there is reason for optimism. Today, across the globe, from Europe to Australia and even in Canada, a backlash has arisen against American-style war as an antidote to substance abuse. The European Parliament recently delayed a vote, expected to be closely contested, over a report recommending that all EU members adopt harm- reduction strategies, including the decriminalization of cannabis and other "soft" drugs. England has been awash in debate over cannabis policy for months now, and the din has only intensified. Heroin maintenance trials are being discussed and even implemented across the continent, and Australia was days away from starting its own when it bowed to back-channel US pressure. Canada is also becoming a hot-spot of debate over drug policy, and let us not forget that we share a virtually indefensible border with our neighbor to the north. Interestingly, one of the strongest and most resonant arguments being made by international reformers is the excess of punitive control and government power that the war has brought to America. As the numbers of reformers across Europe and other nations come tantalizingly close to parity with those advocating war, what would be better illustrative of the philosophical endpoint of prohibition than American politicians calling in the media for even more massive incarceration and more executions (generally abhorred by other western democracies) in "the land of the free"? A campaign, legislative and electoral, featuring such wanton bloodlust in the name of "morality" could very well seal the fate of Prohibitionists around the world. A victorious Republican campaign, resulting in such an expansion of the punitive state, almost certainly would. Here at home, some of the media has begun to report approvingly of both harm reduction and the voices of reform. Discussion of alternatives is no longer taboo in polite company. The challenge for reformers, then, is to thrust ourselves into the coming debate, offering rational alternatives to both the failures of the current system and the murderous excesses of the extremist dissenters. We must edge our way onto the stage, in any way possible, and at every opportunity, with a clear and honest message which takes into account the very real fears to which escalation is designed to appeal. "Prohibition is not drug control, it is the abandonment of control." Further, we must build up our numbers by reaching out to those who understand, and educating those who do not. We must marshal our forces and grow our organizations. We must speak out, and we must demand that others stand up and be counted. We must make the warriors defend their chosen course. On Saturday, February 14, 1998, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced his intention to lead a full scale offensive in the longest-running war of the twentieth century. It is vital that we as reformers not waste our limited resources in trying to fight the Republicans around the edges of their plan. Let them go wild. Let them be extreme. It can only help our cause both here and abroad. Instead, let us stake out our ground in opposition to both "sides". Let us step into the fray with our message intact. The unreasonableness of our adversaries is our greatest advantage. We must use the spotlight which they themselves have asked for to illuminate our cause. They have called forth the battle. But in so doing, they have given us the war. Our time is upon us. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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