------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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) email@example.com using -f From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:21:15 -0500 (EST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Caucus Participation. Sender: email@example.com 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Solving Drug Epidemic In Nation's Prisons Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
and Tom O'Connell Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Lungren Takes On Education Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, *** THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE Subj: UK: Cannabis 'safer Than Alcohol' From: email@example.com (John Humphrey) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:47:23 -0800 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Humphrey) Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Author: Sebastien Berger Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 CANNABIS 'SAFER THAN ALCOHOL' A STUDY showing that cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco has been suppressed by United Nations health officials, it is reported today. According to the New Scientist magazine, the analysis concluded that cannabis does less harm to public health than alcohol or cigarettes and would do so even if it were consumed in similar quantities to the legal drugs. The comparison, written by marijuana experts, was due to appear last December in the World Health Organisation's first report on the effects of cannabis for 15 years. It was withdrawn at the last minute after a furious dispute involving WHO officials, the report writers and external advisers. Sources quoted in the magazine claim that the WHO gave way to political pressure, with American drugs officials and advisers from the UN Drug Control Programme saying that the document would be seized upon by organisations campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis. "In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for marijuana legislation," said one of the report's authors. Another said that WHO officials "went nuts" when they saw the draft version. A leaked version of the report says the comparison was made "to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis". On most points, cannabis was considered less harmful to health than alcohol, with the illegal drug playing little role in injuries caused by violence, unlike alcohol. Evidence that cannabis could harm the development of babies in the womb was considered "far from conclusive", while the grounds for alcohol doing so were "good". A WHO official said that the comparison was excluded because "the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons is doubtful". 4 January 1998: MPs to press for inquiry into cannabis 19 November 1997: BMA in cannabis prescription plea 19 September 1997: Straw attacks call to make cannabis legal 18 June 1997: Cannabis does no harm says Stoppard *** 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico: Cannabis Is King In This Remote Mexican Corner Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: PUB LTE: REBAGLIATI disgraces medal Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 17:31:27 -0800 Source: Ottawa Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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)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: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 Source: Independent on Sunday Author: Graham Ball Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 Source: Independent on Sunday Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 Source: Independent on Sunday Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Smoker Under Drug Tsar's Nose Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Source: Sunday Times (UK) Contact: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Drugs Crisis Warning By Shotts Staff Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Zosimos Source: Sunday Times (UK) Author: Marcello Mega Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Germany: Wire: Let's Test Driving On Pot Sender: email@example.com 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. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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