Portland NORML News - Sunday, February 22, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DUI Provides Drama As Washington Legislature Ends ('Associated Press'
Notes Democratic Governor Locke And Legislators Are Trying To Persuade
Republican Controlled Legislature Not To Bust $19 Billion Two-Year Budget
By Boosting Drunken Driving Penalties)

From: "W.H.E.N." 
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: DUI provides drama as WA Legislature ends
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 19:00:59 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Transportation, drunken driving provide few bits of drama as Legislature
nears end

By HAL SPENCER
The Associated Press
02/22/98 3:16 PM Eastern

OLYMPIA (AP) -- The 1998 Legislature is strutting and fretting its few
weeks upon the stage with a bit of drama still to come.

The scene that promises the most sound and fury is the final struggle
between the Republican Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gary Locke over how
to finance expansion of the state's cramped and gridlocked highway system.

Another is the shape of a package to clamp down harder on drunken drivers
amid warnings new laws would be meaningless without money to enforce them.

But for the most part, as some lawmakers themselves have complained, the
60-day session could go down as one that signified little of great moment.

"It isn't like the dramatic sessions of the last few years when we really
moved some pieces of major legislation," such as welfare overhaul and
reform of the juvenile justice system, said Senate Majority Leader Dan
McDonald, R-Bellevue. But for transportation funding and a few other items,
"this is a year mostly to catch our breath" and make some minor
adjustments, he said.

A case in point is the coming work on the state budget.

Before quitting the capital on the night of March 12, Locke and the
Republicans are expected to split hairs over revisions to the $19.085
billion two-year budget passed last year.

Locke would like to boost the budget by a mere $25 million, but tightfisted
GOP leaders say they won't spend a penny over the current level. Thanks to
unexpected savings in the budget, they do have money to move around,
including about $70 million that showed up after public school enrollments
came in lower than expected, and $50 million made available with changes in
federal welfare law.

The money could be used for a number of items, among them programs for the
developmentally disabled, for salmon habitat restoration, for new reading
programs in public schools, for adult family homes, and to help local
governments pay for pending new laws to tighten the grip on drunken
drivers.

Senate Republicans plan to shepherd their budget plan through the upper
chamber on Wednesday. The House is preparing an alternative.

After three years of business tax cuts worth hundreds of millions of
dollars, the Legislature and governor are wrangling this year over a modest
package that would include a $30 to $40 reduction in the car-tab tax, and a
reduction in the tax imposed on soda pop syrup, to name two big ones. The
reductions would be financed from the state's $871 million revenue surplus
fund.

Following a new, slightly pessimistic revenue projection last week, Locke
cut his tax-cutting proposal by $100 million, and GOP leaders are expected
to cut theirs by at least $50 million. A compromise is highly likely.

Where there appears to be no compromise, however, is in the fight over how
to pay for an expanded highway system to meet the needs of the state's
growing population over the next two decades.

Locke wants to do it with an increase in the 23-cents-a-gallon gasoline
tax. He would raise the tax by 11-cents over the next five years to raise
$2.4 billion for roads.

A majority of Republicans in the Legislature say absolutely not -- not at a
time when the state has a revenue surplus of $870 million. The Republicans
are scratching for enough votes in the Senate to finance $2.4 billion in
highway improvements with bonds. The proposal would go to voters in
November under the plan already approved by the House. The package also
would include the Legislature's version of a reduction in the car-tab tax.

If the plan gets out of the Senate, Locke has no power to veto it because
it would be a referendum to the people.

Locke hopes to persuade a few Republican senators sympathetic to his gas
tax increase to block the legislative plan. The senators are Gene Prince of
Thornton, Shirley Winsley of Tacoma and Jim Horn of Mercer Island.

The governor contends that trying to finance highway construction with
current revenue, rather than new tax dollars, eventually would drain the
treasury of money needed for public education.

Another issue likely to be contentious in the session's final two and half
weeks is a package of bills intended to reduce the number of drunken
drivers on state highways.

Among other things, both houses are considering legislation to boost
drunken driving penalties, to allow impoundment and forfeiture of drivers'
vehicles even before conviction, to lower the allowable blood-alcohol level
to .08 percent from .10 percent, and limit loopholes that allow people to
escape drunken driving convictions.

But there's a hitch -- where is the money to pay for all the new costs to
local government?

The Senate tried to ignore the issue until a coalition of Republicans and
Democrats teamed up to attach amendments to the legislation requiring that
any new costs must be borne by the state.

The package is now in the House, where leaders have promised to take a hard
look at the expense before approving the legislation. Given that the GOP
wants to keep spending at current levels, some of the proposals will be
left on the table.

Among other issues to occupy the Legislature's time this week:

--ABORTION: A House proposal to ban a rarely used, late-term procedure
sometimes called "partial-birth abortion" will get an airing before a
Senate committee, as a House panel prepares to hear a Senate bill requiring
that parents must be notified before a minor can get an abortion. Locke has
promised to veto both measures, should they reach his desk. Legislative
leaders say they would then muster the votes to put to the two issues on
the ballot.

--EDUCATION: Each chamber is considering measures from the other to entice
schools to use phonics instruction in the teaching of reading skills to
elementary pupils. Backers of legislation authorizing charter schools are
expected to press a reluctant Senate Education Committee to move the
measure to the budget committee.
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Caucus Participation (List Subscriber Encourages Cannabis Activists
Who Are Eligible To Vote In Washington State To Get Involved
In Its Unusual Elections Process - Precinct Caucuses Coming Up March 3)

talk@hemp.net using -f
From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:21:15 -0500 (EST)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Caucus Participation.
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

To all Washington State Cannabis Activists:
Opportunity to bring Medical MJ issue into Mainstream Politics !!!!

Every Registered Voter of either Party has the
right/opportunity/obligation to participate in the mainstream political
process via the CAUCUS SYSTEM in Washington State.

This is an excellent opportunity (at no cost) to get a discussion of
Medicinal MJ going since we (hopefully) will have an initiative out there
which we can formally request the caucus to support.

In the process of debating that request we can/should do a lot of
educating/persuading.

At the Caucus one can run for election as a delegate or alternate to the
next Caucus level.

At the Precinct Caucus (3 Mar 98) one runs for election as
delegate/alternate to the County Convention (18 Apr 98); at the County, one
runs for Delegate/alternate to the Legislative District Convention (25 Apr
98); and at that one you run for delegate/alternate for the State Democratic
(or Republican) Convention in Yakima on 6 Jun 98 (check for date & site of
GOP convention).

I have made it as a delegate all the way to the Democratic State
Convention level in '92 & '96, and I don't consider myself as a particularly
gung-ho political operative. So it should be easy to do especially when one
has a tailor-made platform issue like Medical MJ.

It's worth it to go Republican if need be since they are in general less
well informed on the issue.

Every precinct, County or Legislative District that we can reach is
gravy!! One can, as a delegate, also submit a request to the Party's Platform
Committee to support a Med MJ initiative as part of the Party's Platform.
That would then be subject to consideration & debate.

I urge all activists to try it out. For any further info feel free to call
me at (360) 866-6523 or (360) 866-7165.
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Woman Arrested In Connection With Deadly Black Tar Heroin ('Associated Press'
Notes 30-Year-Old In Longview, Washington, Busted
For 'Controlled Substance Homicide')

From: "W.H.E.N." 
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: WA woman arrested in connection with deadly black tar heroin
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:58:18 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Woman arrested in connection with deadly black tar heroin
The Associated Press 02/22/98 5:39 PM Eastern

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) -- A Longview woman has been arrested in connection
with a batch of black tar heroin believed to be responsible for the death
of at least one experienced drug user.

Jolaine M. Story, 30, was arrested Friday on suspicion of "controlled
substance homicide." Story is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

She is the second person to be formally accused of being linked to this
batch of heroin.

On Wednesday, the Street Crimes Unit arrested Manuel Zepeda Delgado, 28, on
suspicion of felony drug trafficking in a school zone.

Police said they will try to make a case for prosecuting Delgado under the
controlled substance homicide statute as well. The statute allows for more
prison time if it can be proven that a victim died as a result of the drugs
he or she purchased.

Longview police believe the black tar heroin is also responsible for
several overdoses in recent months.

As part of an ongoing investigation into the overdoses, detectives went to
question Story about the death of 46-year-old Michael Goetz. Goetz died
Tuesday after apparently overdosing on heroin.

According to a news release, police found drug paraphernalia in her Story's
room, along with a small piece of black tar heroin, packaged similarly to
heroin recovered from Delgado.

Detectives believe Edward Bates, 40, of Longview, may also have been a
victim of the heroin batch. His death remains under investigation, police
said.
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Solving Drug Epidemic In Nation's Prisons (Staff Editorial
In 'San Francisco Chronicle' About Clinton's Proposed $17 Billion
Federal Budget For War On Some Drugs Contradicts Itself,
Endorsing Both More Prison Drug Testing - And Presumably Punishment -
And Reversal Of Trend Toward Ever Tougher Sentences)

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 20:00:44 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Solving Drug Epidemic In Nation's Prisons
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World"  and Tom O'Connell
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998

SOLVING DRUG EPIDEMIC IN NATION'S PRISONS

ONE COMPONENT of President Clinton's anti-drug proposal has so much merit
that it must not get lost in the details of the huge plan or in the sharp,
partisan rhetoric that already engulfs the proposal.

Among the many recommendations in the $17 billion drug-reduction strategy
is one that would expand drug testing and treatment in prisons.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, coming out of the shadows after a long, close-
mouthed hiatus, has pronounced Clinton's drug-reduction proposal ``dead on
arrival in this Congress'' because it's a ``hodgepodge of half-steps and
half-truths.'' It is important that the public knows that among those
recommendations Gingrich wants to obliterate is one that could both cut
nationwide drug use and crime and ease overcrowding at prisons.

A new Columbia University study called ``Behind Bars: Substance Abuse and
America's Prison Population'' reports that inmates who received
well-designed prison-based drug treatment in one program were about 70
percent less likely to be rearrested within six months than those who did
not receive the treatment.

That percentage -- which has been replicated to one degree or another at
other prisons throughout the country -- are even more significant when one
knows that for 80 percent of the men and women behind bars (some 1.4
million people) substance abuse has ``shaped their lives and criminal
histories.'' Also, inmates who are alcohol and drug abusers and addicts are
the most likely to be reincarcerated.

Considering the success of the treatment programs -- especially those that
last a minimum of a year -- and the in-and-out prison cycle for substance
abusers, the nation's lawmakers should now look beyond the trend toward
ever tougher sentences and seek alternative remedies that have power to
stop the cycle of drug abuse and crime.

And if the law-and-order types who have been running Congress for the past
few years could find it in their hearts to give those same inmates literacy
skills, a nation might find that prison could be a starting point for a
law-abiding life. According to one study, the typical 25- year-old male
prisoner functions two to three grade levels below the final grade actually
completed. Fifty percent of inmates in U.S. prisons do not have the skills
of a competent sixth grader. Another 25 percent cannot perform at a 12th
grade level.

Policymakers should focus more attention on reducing drug use and promoting
literacy in prisons. Despite three-strikes laws, not every inmate is going
to be locked up for life. Those who are released should be given a better
chance to stay off drugs and out of jail, both for their own sake and for
the sake of society.
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Lungren Takes On Education (With California's Self-Described 'Law And Order'
Candidate For Governor Trailing Democrats' Davis In Field Poll, As Well As
Businessman Al Checchi, 'San Francisco Examiner' Helps Try To Rehabilitate
Image Of Compassionate Use Act Nemesis, Whose Impact On California Education
As Part Of Wilson Administration Has Already Been Significant)

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 20:00:32 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Lungren Takes On Education
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998
Author: Zachary Coile
Editor Note: There is mention of the Dennis Peron Campaign at the end of
the article.

LUNGREN TAKES ON EDUCATION

Would-be governor shifts his focus to schools in address at GOP conference

BURLINGAME -- Attorney General Dan Lungren, a self-described law-and-order
Republican, pledged to make overhauling the state's education system the
top priority in his bid for governor.

"I will not accept that the No. 1 state's 4th-graders score nearly dead
last in reading and arithmetic," Lungren said in a speech Saturday at the
California Republican Party convention in Burlingame.

Sensing a hot-button topic that could become the year's top political
issue, the presumed GOP nominee pledged to make education reform chief
among his concerns, followed by crime and a broader spiritual crusade
against what he termed the country's "moral erosion."

The convention speech was Lungren's last stop on a three-day, 10-city tour
to launch his bid to replace Gov. Wilson. Republicans hope Lungren will
preserve the party's 15-year hold on the governor's office.

The party faithful greeted Lungren with a hero's welcome. They praised his
strong record on crime and his effort to inject religion into the campaign.

Political analysts said pushing moral issues could help the two-term
attorney general energize his conservative base, but may make it harder to
connect with moderate voters in the general election. Opponents have
already begun painting Lungren as "too conservative," citing his stand
against abortion and his opposition to gun control.

"Lungren may be the favorite of this convention, but he will not be the
favorite of California voters," said California Democratic Party campaign
advisor Bob Mulholland.

Republican strategists contend the majority of voters are to the right of
center, and in line with Lungren's views.

Lungren's speech came as candidates for the Democratic nomination for
governor have begun staking out ground in the education debate before the
June 2 primary. Lt. Gov. Gray Davis called for greater accountability in
California schools. He proposed that districts hire chief fiscal officers
to cut waste, and suggested making underachieving schools subject to state
takeover.

Lungren argued for an opposite approach. He proposed freeing teachers from
"strangling bureaucracy" and shifting more decision-making power to school
districts.

The 51-year-old former Long Beach congressman also touted a position
favored by conservatives nationwide: providing parents with the means to
choose schools, whether public, private or parochial.

Lungren credited tougher sentencing of criminals -- including the "three
strikes, and you're out" law he backed -- with the state's crime rate
having dropped to a 30-year low. He vowed to continue to push for stiffer
sentences and increased spending for new cops and prisons.

He told delegates about a recent song, "Smack My B---- Up," performed by
the British musical act Prodigy, and called it a sign of the deterioration
of the United States' moral standards. While he said he did not favor
censorship, he said he would like to "reintroduce the idea of shame" into
society.

After U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., decided not to join the race,
political watchers deemed Lungren a favorite to become governor. But a
recent Field Poll showed a much closer race, with Davis outpolling Lungren
41 to 37 percent in a head-to-head match-up. Al Checchi, the
multimillionaire businessman, beat Lungren 40 to 38 percent.

Though Lungren has built a sizable campaign war chest, he said he would run
a grass-roots campaign.

"Money alone does not win elections -- Michael Huffington is the example,"
said Gisele Stavert, Dominican College political philosophy professor and
Republican candidate for Rep. Lynn Woolsey's Marin congressional seat. "You
can buy a lot of name recognition, but you can't buy (voters') hearts."

In other convention news, state GOP Chairman Michael Schroeder said
California Supreme Court Justices Ron George and Ming Chin would most
likely keep their jobs this year, even if the party joined the campaign to
oust them.

George and Chin enraged abortion rights opponents and some conservatives
when they joined in a 4-3 vote to overturn a never-enforced state law that
would have required parental consent or a judge's approval for an unmarried
minor to get an abortion. The court ruled that the law violated the privacy
rights of young women and would not promote minors' health or family
harmony.

The lightest moment of the day came when Lungren's only Republican
challenger in the primary, Dennis Peron, showed up with a band of 30
supporters, many carrying signs bearing an image of a marijuana leaf.
Peron, the founder of the Cannabis Cultivators Club in San Francisco, gave
a brief speech while security officers moved in to escort him out. "I don't
know why they threw us out," Peron said, standing outside. "Maybe it's
because we're black people, brown people and gay people."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DrugSense Focus Alert - WHO Suppresses Important Report On Marijuana
(Activists Are Asked To Write To US Media About Lack Of Coverage)

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 09:15:52 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert WHO suppresses report

SPECIAL FOCUS Alert

WRITE A LETTER - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

A published letter can have a value of hundreds or thousands of dollars for
reform and can effect millions of readers. It is a great (perhaps the best)
way for a reform minded person to spend their time.

Send ideas or comments to MGreer@mapinc.org

***

Special Focus, World Health Organization suppresses important report on
marijuana.

This week we are doing something a bit different and asking you to write a
letter about the LACK of coverage on the suppression of the WHO report
detailed below. Few if any US newspapers printed the Reuters article and we
need to draw attention to this repression of important information.

Please either write a BCC'd letter to the list below and/or send a letter
of protest about the lack of coverage to your local paper(s).

This week's issue of New Scientist (21 Feb 1998) focuses on cannabis. It
concludes: 'Decriminalisation, Yes. Totally safe, No'.

The issue also discusses the December 1997 WHO report 'Cannabis: a health
perspective and research agenda', WHO Programme on Substance Abuse,
WHO/MSA/PSA97.4, discussing (among other things) how a section of the draft
report, comparing the harms related to the use of alcohol, cigarettes and
cannabis, was dropped owing to pressure from the Americans (NIDA) and
UNDCP. Find it on the web at: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html

BTW, such a comparison was made in the authorative 1994 publication 'The
health and psychological consequences of cannabis use', National Drug
Strategy Monograph Series No. 25, by Wayne Hall, Nadia Solowij and Jim
Lemon, prepared for the National Task Force on Cannabis. It is on the web
at: http://www.health.gov.au/pubs/drug/cannab2/home.htm Please do not ask
me for copies!

***

PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER

Please post your letters to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or
return a copy to me at this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS
Alert or emailing to MGreer@mapinc.org

THREE REASONS WHY THIS IS *VERY* IMPORTANT

1) This is how we track and measure our success and impress potential funders.

2) Your letter will be posted - It will help motivate others to follow suit.

3) You efforts provide an example - giving others ideas on what to write
about.

***

EDITORIAL HELP

Forward your rough draft to mapedit@mapinc.org for editorial review if you
wish some editorial help (Strongly suggested if you use MAP or any reform
org name in your letter).

If you would rather write to your local paper on this topic please do so
but still send us a copy.

Remember: Your name, address, city, and *phone number* are required by most
publications in order to publish your letter. Only your name and city will
be printed. Pen names may be used if you prefer.

"IT'S NOT WHAT OTHERS DO IT'S WHAT YOU DO."

***

CONTACT INFO

For those with Eudora & E-mail programs with a Bcc: feature...

Doing Bcc: lists is a good way to get your message out to dozens of
addresses without them seeing the other addressees. It will greatly improve
the chances of getting your letter printed, if they do not know it has mass
distribution. Since they aren't paying for this writing they have no right
to demand exclusives.

By doing a "Blind copy to (Bcc:)" the receiver ONLY sees YOUR address and
their own address on the e-mail. Here's how it works.

First, copy and paste the e-mail list below to the Bcc: entry.

Next address the To: entry - to YOURSELF. Do this AFTER putting the list in
the Bcc: entry.

When the addressee gets the e-mail ONLY your address will appear. Also,
it's a good idea to include your own address in the Bcc entry to make sure
the posting works the way you want it to.

If you add addresses, put a comma and a space between the entries.

Please send your letter regarding the article to this LARGE newspaper BCC
list,

usatoday@clark.net, chronletters@sfgate.com, tirbletter@aol.com,
ctc-news@tribune.com, tribletter@aol.com, editor@cor.dowjones.com,
editpg@det-freepress.com, letters@latimes.com, letters@suntimes.com,
natnews@nyt.com, newyorkpost@delphi.com, nynwsday@panix.com,
opinion@startribune.com, letters@nytimes.com,

***

THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Subj: UK: Cannabis 'safer Than Alcohol'
From: as684@lafn.org (John Humphrey)
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:47:23 -0800

Newshawk: as684@lafn.org (John Humphrey)
Source: Telegraph, The (UK)
Author: Sebastien Berger
Contact: et.letters@telegraph.co.uk
Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998

CANNABIS 'SAFER THAN ALCOHOL'

A STUDY showing that cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco has been
suppressed by United Nations health officials, it is reported today.

According to the New Scientist magazine, the analysis concluded that
cannabis does less harm to public health than alcohol or cigarettes and
would do so even if it were consumed in similar quantities to the legal
drugs.

The comparison, written by marijuana experts, was due to appear last
December in the World Health Organisation's first report on the effects of
cannabis for 15 years.

It was withdrawn at the last minute after a furious dispute involving WHO
officials, the report writers and external advisers. Sources quoted in the
magazine claim that the WHO gave way to political pressure, with American
drugs officials and advisers from the UN Drug Control Programme saying that
the document would be seized upon by organisations campaigning for the
legalisation of cannabis.

"In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for
marijuana legislation," said one of the report's authors.

Another said that WHO officials "went nuts" when they saw the draft
version. A leaked version of the report says the comparison was made "to
minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the
health effects of cannabis".

On most points, cannabis was considered less harmful to health than
alcohol, with the illegal drug playing little role in injuries caused by
violence, unlike alcohol.

Evidence that cannabis could harm the development of babies
in the womb was considered "far from conclusive", while the grounds for
alcohol doing so were "good".

A WHO official said that the comparison was excluded because "the
reliability and public health significance of such comparisons is doubtful".

4 January 1998: MPs to press for inquiry into cannabis
19 November 1997: BMA in cannabis prescription plea
19 September 1997: Straw attacks call to make cannabis legal
18 June 1997: Cannabis does no harm says Stoppard

***

WHO suppressed report on cannabis being safer than alcohol or tobacco

Copyright (c) 1998 Nando.net Copyright (c) 1998 Reuters News Service

LONDON (February 18, 1998 10:01 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Officials
at the World Health Organization in Geneva suppressed a report that
confirmed cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco, New Scientist magazine
said on Wednesday.

The WHO's summary report on cannabis, its first in 15 years, was published
in December but the magazine claims a comparison study of cannabis and
legal substances was dropped because the organization feared it would give
ammunition to the "legalize marijuana" campaign.

"It is understood that advisers from the U.S. National Institute on Drug
Abuse and the U.N. International Drug Control Program warned the WHO that
it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalize marijuana,"
the weekly science magazine said.

Dr Maristela Monteiro, a scientist with the WHO program on substance abuse,
confirmed that the analysis was dropped from the report but denied the
organization had been pressured into doing it.

"There were problems with that chapter," she told Reuters in a telephone
interview.

"It was not a fair comparison from our point of view and from a public
health perspective it was not very useful. We thought it was biased towards
showing less harm from cannabis."

Monteiro said the WHO was working with the Addiction Research Foundation
(ARF) in Canada and planned to publish a book on cannabis in June.

According to New Scientist, which published a special report on marijuana
on Wednesday, a leaked document about the analysis concluded that marijuana
posed less of a public health threat than alcohol or cigarettes, even if
people consumed the drug on the same scale as the other substances.

It also showed that while there was evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome,
proof that cannabis can harm fetal development was "far from conclusive."

The magazine said researchers had found that marijuana smoke did not lead
to blocked airways or emphysema or impact on lung function, and it was less
addictive than alcohol or cigarettes.

A survey conducted by the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where
marijuana has been legalized since 1976, found that there was no immediate
increase in use after it was decriminalized.

Although most people questioned in the survey had tried marijuana they did
not continue to use it. The number of hard drug addicts in the Netherlands
has not increased in a decade, the magazine added.

***

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Editor;

Failure of the press to cover the suppression of the World Health
Organizations findings that cannabis (marijuana) is much safer than tobacco
or alcohol could easily be construed as demonstrating a bias on behalf of
protecting a well funded liquor and tobacco industry.

A studious nationwide search failed to produce a single US newspaper that
carried the Reuters news service article that detailed the repression of
this report. Numerous Canadian and UK publications printed this
information. Why not this or any other U.S. paper?

New Scientist Magazine reported in it's February 21st edition and on-line at
http://marijuana.newscientist.com that the World Health Organization
attempted to hide the facts.

According to New Scientist, which published a special report on marijuana
on Wednesday 2/18, a leaked document about the analysis concluded that
marijuana posed less of a public health threat than alcohol or cigarettes,
even if people consumed the drug on the same scale as the other substances.

It certainly looks like the conspiratorial even if it isn't

Mark Greer
(Contact info)

***

Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense
MGreer@mapinc.org
http://www.DrugSense.org/
http://www.mapinc.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Is King In This Remote Mexican Corner ('Orange County Register'
Says About 450 Miles South Of US-Mexico Border, In Oak-Studded Mesas
Of Durango State, Lies The Independent Republic Of Dope, Where Marijuana
Is Main Pillar Of Local Economy - Told That US Congress Will Vote Soon
On Whether To Recertify Mexico As A Reliable Drug-Fighting Ally, One Resident
Hoots Derisively, 'It's A Good Thing We're Not Part Of Mexico,' He Says,
Sweeping An Arm Over A Vista Where Cannabis Fields Seem To Go On Forever)

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 23:05:59 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Cannabis Is King In This Remote Mexican Corner
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998
Author: Paul Salopek-Chiacgo Tribune

CANNABIS IS KING IN THIS REMOTE MEXICAN CORNER

'It's the best hidden sweatshop industry south of the border,' a social
worker says.

LA SIERRA DE DURANGO, Mexico - The three Indian men standing by the trail
were border guards of sorts.

Ordering passing strangers to a halt, they stepped forward to ask for
identity papers - anything with a photograph would do. They poked through
baggage with their rough farmers' hands. They inquired politely about the
purpose and duration of the visit. And, apparently satisfied, they ticked
off the single customs regulation.

"If you want to buy mota, the limit is four or five kilos," said the
leader, a man with a Aztec face and an AR-15 assault rile slung over his
shoulder. He nudged his chin at the lush marijuana plantations checkering
the nearby hillsides. "All the rest is reserved for a buyer in Durango
City."

Welcome to what could be called the Independent Republic of Dope, a remote
corner of Mexico's western cordillera where cannabis is king and where its
subjects - a couple hundred impoverished Tepehuan Indians - live and toil
among the fields of the cartels, virtually autonomous from the central
government.

The time-honored job of marijuana farming is nothing new in Mexico, of
course. For years, Mexican traffickers have supplied more than two-thirds
of all the drug smuggled into the United States.

But here, some 450 miles south of the border in the oak-studded mesas of
Durango state, the drug subculture has achieved a certain grim status more
often associated with the lawless poppy fields of Afghanistan or the
coca-growing hinterlands of Bolivia. No longer a clandestine sideline,
marijuana has become the main pillar of the local economy. The weedy
shrubs - chopped, dried and pressed into bricks - even serve as currency:
A good horse costs about 30 pounds.

"You take our marijuana away, and we'll either starve or move away to the
cities," said a Tepehuan elder who, like most people in the isolated
region, asked not to be identified. "We've been growing it for 20 years.
Eighty percent of the families live off it."

On a recent visit to the drug zone, that estimate seemed an understatement.

Marijuana grew everywhere - flourishing beside horse trails and sprouting
brazenly in household gardens. Mule trains loaded with colas, the "tails"
or seedstalks of the plats, threaded past picturesque adobe farmsteads, the
mule drivers waving jovially. Boys puffed on joints during breaks from
hoeing the fields. And sandaled Tepehuan women pickled marijuana leaves in
their kitchens to use as a homemade liniment.

"It's good for arthritis," one of them said.

That the marijuana industry could be so blatant is a testament to the power
of Durango's cartels. Indian growers told how their urban bosses tipped
them off long before the occasional army patrols skirted the mostly
roadless region. When overzealous soldiers cut trenches across a local drug
airstrip last year, the Tepehuans quietly began filling in the holes for
landings and digging them out again after takeoffs.

In colonial times, such shrewd tactics made the Tepehuans a feared foe
among the Spanish invaders. Yet today, even a few hardened dope growers are
unsettled by the current course of events.

"We used to be pretty good cowboys, but nobody raises cattle anymore - too
much work," lamented Javier, a 30-year-old marijuana grower who lives on a
canyon rim not for its spectacular scenery but because it commands a
strategic view of all the mountain passes within 20 miles. "We're spoiled.
It's just too hard for us to turn down a little plot of weeds that can
bring 300 pesos a kilo," about $17 a pound.

After helping pump millions into the pockets of urban traffickers, most of
the area's Indians still live in barren mud huts with dirt floors. Javier's
family, for example, subsists mainly on a diet of watery bowls of beans.

Two of his three children remain shoeless. His most expensive possession is
his gun, a new .45-caliber automatic.

"It's the best-hidden sweat-shop industry south of the border," said Edwin
Bustillos, a social worker whose organization, the Sierra Madre Advisory
Council, is struggling to keep the druglords out of Tepehuan territory in,
neighboring Chihuahua state. "They spend almost all their earnings on
buying the food they once grew themselves. What's left over goes for
tequila."

Bustillos complained that the toll that drugs have exacted on the
impoverished people who do the grunt work for traffickers has been a blind
spot for policy-makers on both sides of the border.

Yet for the denizens of Durango's lawless mountains, that ignorance - and
contempt - is mutual. Told that the U.S. Congress would be voting soon on
whether to recertify Mexico as a reliable drug-fighting ally, Javier hooted
derisively.

"It's a good thing we're not part of Mexico," he said, sweeping an arm over
a vista where the drug fields seemed to go on forever.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Eric Voth Is Very Upset At The IOC (List Subscriber Posts Release
From Notorious Anti-Cannabis Zealot At Drug Watch International
Protesting Return Of Olympic Gold Medal To Canadian Snowboarder
Whose Urine Supposedly Tested Positive For Pot)

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 12:53:54 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Eric Voth is very upset at the IOC

Comment: Voth and Company have been pushing the "marijuana makes you
stupid" for years. Now that the IOC agrees that marijuana does not enhance
performance, it is ironic that his rhetoric would be used against
him.

And, Voth can't even get his own facts straight; the IOC voted to strip
Ross of his medal. It was an independent panel that reversed the decision.

***

For Immediate Release:
>From Drug Watch International and
The International Drug Strategy Institute

CONTACT:
Eric A. Voth, M.D., FACP Chairman,
The International Drug Strategy Institute 785-354-9591

Janet Lapey, M.D., President
Drug Watch International 617-826-5598
IDSI 98-0212-42

Drug Watch International Opposes Decision to Reinstate Snowboarder

Representatives of Drug Watch International renounced the decision to
return the gold medal for snowboarding to Canadian Ross Rebagliati.
Rebagliati had been disqualified for a positive urine marijuana screen,
but the Olympic committee reinstated his gold medal stating that marijuana
was not a performance enhancing drug.

The Chairman of the International Drug Strategy Institute, Dr. Eric Voth
stated, This is an outrageous move on the part of the Olympic committee.
Marijuana does impair performance, and it risks trauma and injury. By
extension, the committee would allow positive drug screens for LSD,
heroin, morphine, or sedatives. Marijuana is a drug of abuse and
should be treated as such in all athletes.

Commenting as President of Drug Watch International, Dr. Janet Lapey
pointed out, This action sets a dangerous precedent for the Olympics and
other athletics. Furthermore, this sends the incorrect message to the
youth of the world that marijuana use is of little consequence and
suggests that its use should be tolerated. This is a serious mistake

Drug Watch International and The International Drug Strategy Institute are
non-profit organizations concerned with effective international policies
and strategies which discourage drug use, oppose legalization of illicit
drugs, and provide accurate scientific information on drug use.

KTC
-------------------------------------------------------------------

No Smoking Gun For Pot (First Of Two Letters To Editor Of 'Ottawa Sun'
Slams Earl McRae's 'Rebagliati Disgraces Medal' Column - Second Letter
Says Pot Should Remain Illegal Even If Less Harmful Than Alcohol)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: maptalk@mapinc.org
Subject: PUB LTE: REBAGLIATI disgraces medal
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 17:31:27 -0800
Source: Ottawa Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: February 22, 1998
Note: Comments in parentheses are 'Ottawa Sun' editor's.

LETTER OF THE DAY

No smoking gun for pot

Re "Rebagliati disgraces medal," by Earl McRae (Feb. 14): I could
spend this entire letter simply slamming Mr. Earl McRae's column about
Ross Rebagliati simply for the cruel manner in which he treated Mr.
Rebagliati's character, lifestyle, and friends. This was, in my honest
opinion, a completely unwarranted, distasteful, and uneducated attack
from an obviously grossly ignorant individual who, by some unknown
manner, seems to have gained access to a major newspaper's printing
presses. But, now on with the real letter to the editor.

Yes, marijuana is safe. How safe, you may ask? Well, Francis Young, a
DEA judge, said it was very safe. After reviewing the results of an
extensive study done on the effects of marijuana, Mr. Young concluded,
"...marijuana is the safest therapeutically active substance known to
man." Safest known to man. Hmmm, now that's a pretty powerful
statement. That means that cannabis is even safer than aspirin. People
have died from taking aspirin. In the history of mankind, nobody has
ever died from the use of cannabis.

Mr. McRae, your little parable of the "mother to eight-year-old
daughter" made me want to puke. I know plenty of people who smoke pot,
and none of them would do such a thing. This is simply ridiculous.
Marijuana stays in your system for weeks. There's a very good chance
that Mr. Rebagliati didn't even smoke pot any time near the Olympic
games. And even if he did, so what? An adult should be able to do what
he wants as long as he is not depriving any other person of his
rights.

Mr. McRae, I suggest that you brush up on your marijuana information
a bit. I also suggest that you brush up on your manners a lot. You owe
Mr. Rebagliati an apology.

Kevin Cornett
Cynthiana, KY, U.S.

(Don't expect Earl to change his mind)

***

LETTERS

IF I read one more letter to the editor written under the false
pretence that it is supporting Ross Rebagliati but is actually
advocating the legalization of marijuana on the grounds that alcohol
claims far more lives and causes far more accidents than pot I'm going
to puke.

I have no doubt that alcohol is a dangerous drug, but is this
a reason why marijuana should be legalized? No! This statistic argues
that alcohol should be criminalized. Marijuana smokers, your argument
for legalization is much like that of a young boy who justifies his
errant behavior by explaining to his mother that his older brother is
doing something else which is equally nefarious. Don't spoil someone
else's good fortune.

Paul William

(As we understand it, your last line is the pot smokers' argument in
a nutshell)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Campaign - Less Risk Than Booze And Fags (Britain's
'Independent On Sunday' Continues Its Weekly Push For Reform
Of Marijuana Prohibition With Account Of WHO Report Leaked To 'New Scientist'
After Being Suppressed By United States' NIDA)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 08:34:49 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Less Risk Than Booze And Fags Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 Source: Independent on Sunday Author: Graham Ball Contact: cannabis@independent.co.uk LESS RISK THAN BOOZE AND FAGS The decisive new evidence from the World Health Organisation, which effectively downgrades the health risk of cannabis, may not be the beginning of the end of the struggle to decriminalise, but it most certainly marks the end of the beginning. Last week the respected journal New Scientist reported on the findings of the first WHO investigation into cannabis for 15 years. They included the controversial chapter, omitted from the finished report but later leaked to the magazine, which clearly states that cannabis, compared to alcohol and tobacco, poses less of a threat to health. "The question now is what kind of decriminalisation there should be, not should there be decriminalisation", said New Scientist deputy editor, David Concar. "It is not even a question of whether or not there should be a debate on the subject any more. Everyone is debating and asking questions, except the politicians." The magazine quotes from the leaked section of the report, "in developed societies cannabis appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence, as does alcohol". It also says that while the evidence for foetal alcohol syndrome was "good", the evidence that cannabis can harm foetal development is "far from conclusive". Cannabis fared better in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage health. The report also noted that while heavy drinking leads to cirrhosis, severe brain injury and a much increased risk of accidents and suicide, it concludes that there is only "suggestive evidence that chronic cannabis use may produce subtle defects in cognitive functioning". But the magazine warns that cannabis is not necessarily as safe as some of its advocates have claimed. The report warns that heavy drinking and cannabis smoking can produce symptoms of psychosis in susceptible people. Greg Poulter, of the drugs charity Release, welcomed the findings. "It is impressive to see the WHO producing this type of report. It is clearly highlighting some of the problems that chronic use of cannabis can cause. it is equally clear, however, that moderate use of cannabis has no greater potential for harm than the moderate use of alcohol or tobacco. It's time that politicians took account the research outlined in this report," he said. The magazine claims that the controversial section of the report was withheld as a result of pressure from US drug agencies and external advisers who complained that the contents would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise cannabis. Leading cannabis campaigner Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport in Wales, commenting on the report, said: "There is a vast army of individuals with a vested interest in keeping the present prohibitionist policies. They include the criminal fraternity and those who make their living from the prosecution of otherwise lawful citizens. I hope this report means governments are going to stop the fibbing at last." Whilst no one is claiming that this report is the final straw to break the back of the Government's resistance, it does help to undermine the argument for keeping the current law in place. - In many parts of London the new word on the streets for a 2-gram bag of cannabis is a "Billy". The term is new rhyming slang for Billy Straw, ten pound draw. Information supplied by Terry Evans of London SW11.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Campaign - Sport Set To Accept Recreational Use (Britain's
'Independent On Sunday' Quotes Simon Easson, Director Of Centre For Applied
Sport Philosophy And Ethics Research At De Montfort University, Who Says,
'Sport's Governing Bodies Do Not Want To Be Seen To Be Swimming Against
The Tide Of Public Opinion')

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 08:22:49 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Sport Set To Accept Recreational Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
Mail: Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL
England
Editor's note: The IoS Cannabis Campaign has web pages at
http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm

SPORT SET TO ACCEPT RECREATIONAL USE

Governing Bodies Are Wising Up.

Graham Ball On New Realism Over Soft Drugs

THE decision to hand back the gold medal to the snowboarder who tested
positive for cannabis at the Winter Olympics in Japan last week may have
set a precedent for sport. Some analysts believe that, as cannabis use
becomes more widely accepted in society, so in turn more athletes will be
found to have used the substance and administrators will be forced to turn
a blind eye.

Indeed, Canadian Ross Rebagliati was not the only competitor caught out by
the cannabis test at Nagano. The authorities discovered a second offender
last week, but because the traces of cannabis found were so small they
decided not to punish or even name the individual.

Ten or even five years ago, Rebagliati and his unnamed colleague would have
been drummed out of all competition, to the approval of both fellow
competitors and spectators. This time it was different.

"Sport's governing bodies do not want to be seen to be swimming against the
tide of public opinion," said Simon Easson, director of the centre for
applied sport philosophy and ethics research, at De Montfort University.

"Neither do they wish to see successive scandals concerning banned
substances being associated with their medal winners. That makes for
extremely bad publicity, which in turn is bad for business."

He believes that administrators realise that the public would draw a
distinction between drugs taken for purely recreational use and those
intended to boost performance.

"In the case of snowboarding it would seem likely that cannabis would not
enhance performance so there can be said to be no intention to cheat
involved," he said.

"People should realise that athletes are no different from the rest of us
in society and only a minority take the 'my body is my temple' view of life.

"You only have to look at the number of soccer players who drink and smoke
for confirmation.

"Therefore, as cannabis use becomes more prevalent, so it will be that more
elite athletes will partake in the recreational use of the drug."

One of the difficulties confronting administrators at present is that
because certain drugs, such as cannabis, are illegal, no research has been
conducted to determine their precise performance effect on athletes. It has
been suggested that in some sports, where a relaxed approach is more
important than a fast reaction, cannabis could provide an unfair advantage.

"I believe that administrators would welcome more consistency from
governments on the question of cannabis and other allowed drugs such as
alcohol and tobacco," Mr Easson said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Campaign - Hunt On For The Stoned Civil Servant
(Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' Says They Are Smoking Pot
At The Treasury - Remains Of A Cannabis Cigarette Were Found
In An Ashtray In The First-Floor 'Sin Bin' Where Civil Servants Go
If They Want To Smoke - One Floor Below Office Of Keith Hellawell,
Government's New 'Drugs Tsar')

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 08:43:57 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Hunt On For The Stoned Civil Servant
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: cannabis@independent.co.uk

HUNT ON FOR THE STONED CIVIL SERVANT

NO WONDER the economy is on a high, WRITES PAUL ROUTLEDGE.

They are smoking pot at the Treasury.

The remains of a cannabis cigarette have been found in an ashtray in the
first-floor "sin bin" where civil servants go if they want to smoke.

The discovery was made 10 days ago after a woman official sniffed pot in
the air. She traced the smell to a recently-smoked joint, and informed told
her superiors.

Personnel chiefs at the ministry, which is known as "Goggs" - Government
Offices Great George Street - immediately launched a search, but have so
far failed to find the pothead.

The incident has caused hilarity among Treasury civil servants, who are
going round joking "We're only here for the crack." However, security staff
are not amused. The "sin bin" is only one floor below the office suite of
Keith Hellawell, the Government's new "drugs tsar". He has already
complained about lax security.

Civil servants are forbidden to take drugs on to government premises, and
if caught they would face certain disciplinary action and perhaps even
prosecution. The staff have closed ranks and inquiries have got nowhere.

The smokers' room is supposed to be used only by government employees, but
much of the routine work such as internal post has now gone out to agency
and an outsider could be responsible.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Smoker Under Drug Tsar's Nose (Version
From Britain's 'Sunday Times')

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 23:17:10 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Smoker Under Drug Tsar's Nose
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998

CANNABIS SMOKER UNDER DRUG TSAR'S NOSE

The Treasury has launched an inquiry after a cannabis joint was found in a
smoking room close to the offices of Gordon Brown and Keith Hellawell, the
government's drug tsar, writes Yvonne Ridley.

The remains of the joint were discovered 10 days ago in an ashtray, after a
female member of staff reported that she recognised the distinctive smell
of the drug.

The offender left no clue except for a stubbed out, hand-rolled cigarette,
apparently containing traces of cannabis resin.

The smokers' room, which is directly beneath Hellawell's offices, is only
for the use of government employees. Civil servants are forbidden to take
drugs onto government premises and face disciplinary action or prosecution
if caught.

Some Treasury staff believe a visitor to the offices in Great George
Street, close to parliament, was responsible.

Others suspect staff from external agencies who go to the offices to carry
out routine administrative work.

The discovery is being taken seriously by internal security staff at the
government offices. Hellawell promised to take a hard line against cannabis
when he took on the role of drugs tsar last year, and is understood to be
unamused. He has reportedly complained about lax security.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drugs Crisis Warning By Shotts Staff (Britain's 'Sunday Times' Says Figures
Showing Number Of Prisoners Testing Positive For Drugs At Shotts Prison,
One Of Scotland's Most Secure Jails, Have Been Manipulated
To Mask Growing Crisis - Random Tests Suggest 85 Percent To 90 Percent
Of Inmates Use Illegal Drugs, According To Staff Members)

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 23:17:16 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Drugs Crisis Warning By Shotts Staff
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Author: Marcello Mega
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998

DRUGS CRISIS WARNING BY SHOTTS STAFF

FIGURES showing the number of prisoners testing positive for drugs at
Shotts prison, one of Scotland's most secure jails, have been manipulated
to mask a growing crisis, staff members claim.

One prison officer said some prisoners were being selected for tests
supposedly conducted randomly. They included older prisoners who were known
not to be drug users.

Some had been tested half a dozen times in just a few months.

Shotts, with more than 500 prisoners, is believed to have one of the worst
drug abuse records of any Scots jail. Staff said random tests in A Hall
suggested up to 90% of prisoners there were abusing drugs. In B Hall, the
rate was 85%.

Prison officers said drug dealing was so widespread they had been told to
turn a blind eye for fear of provoking a riot. A routine cell search of the
two halls earlier this month uncovered 3,500 in cash.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman , who discussed the claims with Bill
McKinlay, prison governor, dismissed them as "impossible". The lists of
prisoners to be tested each month were computer-generated from the
service's headquarters in Edinburgh, he said.

A Shotts source said: "Nobody from headquarters comes to check that the
people on the list are actually the ones tested. There is no doubt some
people who don't use drugs have been tested almost every month."

Prison officers have told The Sunday Times that one of the prison's most
notorious inmates, the sectarian killer Jason Campbell, was involved in a
drug-related incident in the visiting room a few days ago. Campbell is
serving life for the murder of a young Celtic supporter in Glasgow.

Security cameras picked out Campbell's visitor trying to pass him a small
parcel. When two officers approached their table, the visitor swallowed the
package. Witnesses said Campbell launched a tirade of abuse and threats.
But the two were allowed to conclude their visit.

The visitor was arrested by police. A source said: "Normally, someone
behaving like that would be hauled away and the visit ended, but Campbell
is one of the prisoners we've not to upset too much."

Two weeks ago an officer was stabbed in the arm while intervening in a
fight between prisoners. The knife had just been used to stab a prisoner
who was HIV-positive and carrying hepatitis C. The officer now anxiously
awaits the results of tests for infection.

Another factor affecting staff morale is the privileged treatment of Robert
Mone, a multiple killer and possibly the most dangerous man in any Scottish
jail. Mone, in D Hall, has a close relationship with a man serving eight
years for the culpable homicide of his baby, and has a trusted job which
allows him more freedom than most of his fellow inmates.

One officer said: "It's appeasement. I've seen him go from docile to
hyperventilating fury in seconds and the management just want to keep him
sweet."

An SPS spokesman confirmed the incidents outlined by sources had occurred,
although he disputed the manipulation of drug tests.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's Test Driving On Pot ('Associated Press' Says A Member
Of The German Parliament's Transportation Committee
Has Suggested That Members Gauge Their Skill At Driving
While Stoned On Cannabis - The Greens Politician Notes Alcohol
Was Blamed For 4,000 Automobile Deaths In Germany Last Year,
Whereas Illegal Drugs Were Blamed For Only 16 Deaths)

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:07:37 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Germany: Wire: Let's Test Driving On Pot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: GDaurer@aol.com
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998

GERMANY: LET'S TEST DRIVING ON POT

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) - A member of parliament's Transportation Committee
is suggesting members gauge their skills in driving tests while stoned on
marijuana or hashish.

Gila Altmann, of the left-leaning, environmentalist Greens party, said in
an interview Sunday in the mass-circulation Bild daily that she simply
wanted to highlight what she considers a double standard regarding alcohol.

Alcohol, which is legal, was blamed for 4,000 automobile deaths in Germany
last year, whereas illegal drugs were blamed for only 16 deaths, Altmann
said.

Altmann has placed a formal request for the driving tests with the committee.

Panel Chairman Dionys Jobst rejected the idea, especially since the drugs
involved would be illegal.

Last year, committee members conducted driving tests after drinking
alcohol, and most found their abilities were impaired if their
blood-alcohol percent was 0.08 or higher.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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