------------------------------------------------------------------- Suspect In Slaying Of Officer Commits Suicide In Jail ('Associated Press' Article About Target Of Warrantless Break-In By Portland Marijuana Task Force That Resulted In One Cop Killed, Two Wounded, Fails To Address Essential Factual Issue - Was Cannabis Found In Dons' Fireplace, Corroborating Basis For Break-In, Or Was There No Cannabis In Fireplace, Meaning Police Lied, Break-In Was Illegal, And Dons Was Innocent And May Have Been Killed By Cops To Prevent Lawsuits And Appeals In Hundreds Of Cases Where Cops Said They Smelled Pot Burning Or Growing?) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:24:10 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon State Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org), "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CanPat - MURDERED! Suspect in slaying of officer commits suicide in jail Sender: email@example.com Suspect in slaying of officer commits suicide in jail By LAUREN DODGE The Associated Press 02/25/98 1:06 PM Eastern PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A man accused of fatally shooting a police officer during a marijuana raid apparently used his bedsheets to strangle himself in jail this morning, police said. Steven Dons, who was paralyzed from the waist down in last month's shootout with officers, was found dead at about 4:30 a.m. during a routine check on his medical room at the Multnomah County Jail. "It appears he used some parts of the bedding in the room to strangle himself," sheriff's Lt. Brian Martinek said at a news conference. "It appears he committed suicide." "He was not under a suicide watch, no. We had no reason to believe ... that he was going to kill himself." The 37-year-old Dons was being held on aggravated murder charges in the Jan. 27 death of Officer Colleen Waibel, the city's first female officer killed in the line of duty. Martinek said Dons' room had been given a visual check twice an hour during the night. Officers said they last spoke to Dons about 1:30 a.m. and he said nothing unusual. It was only when a nurse came in to shift Dons in his bed that officials realized he was dead. He was not found hanging, but was lying in his bed and appeared at first glance to be sleeping. Martinek said Dons was found hooked to part of the apparatus on the bed, attached by either clothing or bedding. When asked how a 250-pound in his condition could strangle himself, Martinek said: "That's what we're looking into." After a morning news conference, jail officials gave reporters and camera crews a tour of the fourth floor room where Don's had killed himself hours earlier. The 12-by-12-foot cell was equipped with only a wheelchair, a chair piled with blankets and an adjustable medical bed with a metal T-bar over the top. Scratched on the inside of the door was some graffiti that read: "Death to all men." There also was a glass-enclosed video camera in the corner of the ceiling, which was covered in dried toothpaste. Police said the camera was obsolete and was not in use at the time of the suicide. It was not clear how long the toothpaste had been there. Lt. Ron Bishop said there have been about 10 suicides since the ward opened in 1983 and there is very little anyone can do to stop someone intent on killing themselves. "If someone has the will, they are going to do it," Bishop said, adding that one inmate killed himself several years ago by picking up a bed and dropping it on his throat. Dons also was charged with attempted aggravated murder and assault in the shooting and wounding of Officer Kim Keist, and a male officer who was shot in the hand. Five officers visited Dons rented home after they smelled marijuana smoke and had reason to believe he was destroying evidence from a pot growing operation. While in the process of obtaining a search warrant, they bashed in his front door with a rock from his front yard and were shot as they came down a hallway. Dons held police at bay for 2 1/2 hours before officers used bean bag bullets and tear gas to apprehend him. He was carried away, nude and bleeding, on the back of a state police van. Court documents said that the house where Dons lived contained an arsenal that included a grenade launcher, shotguns, rifles and handguns including an M-14 assault-style rifle, a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle and two Russian SKS semiautomatic rifles. Dons allegedly fired at least 10 rounds at officers from an SKS rifle. The house and a shed on the property contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition, including a 100-round-capacity magazine with 80 rounds inside. Police also seized a laser sight, a gas mask canister, at least one bayonet, a crossbow and a pair of nunchuks -- a martial arts weapon. They also found "firearms propaganda" and a book titled "Confirmed Kill." Dons had an extensive arrest record in Las Vegas between 1979 and 1993: Two counts of obstructing a police officer and single counts of resisting arrest, resisting a police officer, battery with a deadly weapon, using a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime, and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Accused Cop-Killer Kills Self - Man Accused Of Shooting Police Apparently Committed Suicide (Version Broadcast By KOIN, Portland's CBS Affiliate) Found at http://www.koin.com Accused Cop-Killer Kills Self Man Accused Of Shooting Police Apparently Committed Suicide PORTLAND, Updated 12:19 p.m. February 25, 1998 - The man accused of shooting and killing one Portland police officer, and injuring two others, now has taken his own life. Stephen Douglas Dons was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m. by Multnomah County Sheriff's Correction's Medical Staff. A Portland police spokesman told a news conference Dons committed suicide, apparently with bedsheets, in his medical ward room at the Multnomah County Detention Center. "It appears he hanged himself," said Brian Martinek, Public Information Officer, at the hastily-called news conference. Martinek said Dons was in an isolated room in the medical ward because of injuries suffered during last month's police shootout in southeast Portland. He added Dons was checked twice an hour, 24 hours a day, by corrections officials. According to the police, Dons had been on suicide watch when he was recovering in the hospital. But, police say Dons was not on a suicide watch in his medical room at the jail because experts' observations showed there was no reason to believe he was planning to end his life. Further details are not immediately available. Detectives from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the Medical Examiners Office are conducting an investigation. Dons had been in custody since Jan. 27. He was facing numerous charges stemming from a drug raid last month. He allegedly opened fire on Portland police officers as they entered his house in southeast Portland. Officer Colleen Waibel was killed and two others were injured. Officer Kim Keist, still recovering from her injuries, is listed in fair condition at Legacy Emanual Hospital. KOIN-TV reported Dons' death marked the tenth suicide at the Multnomah County Jail since it opened in 1983. Previous Stories: Feb. 18: Dons Arraigned On Additional Charges Feb. 06: Dons Arraigned In Hospital Room Jan. 29: Shooting Suspect's Condition Downgraded Jan. 28: 'Knock and Talk' Method Raises Concerns Jan. 28: Shooting Sparks Gun Control Issue Jan. 28: City Mourns Officer's Death Jan. 27: Katz and Moose Respond to Tragedy Jan. 27: Police Officer Fatally Shot Margot Savell and Lisa Morrison, Channel 6000 Staff Writers
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Task Force Suspect Dies In Custody (Press Release From Portland's American Antiprohibition League Calls For Independent Investigation Of Hanging Suicide By Prone, Partly Paralyzed Man With Bullet Hole In His Chest Who May Have Thought His Innocence Would Protect Him) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:14:07 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: MTF SUSPECT DIES IN CUSTODY The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com * FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * Wed. Feb. 25, 1998 1p.m. PST Dons WAS a suspect - innocent until proven guilty. Dons was a suspect in a very controversial police operation (knock & talk/Marijuana Task Force) in which one officer was killed and 2 were wounded. Dons was also critically injured. Regardless how anyone "feels" about Dons death, he was the only non- police witness at the scene on Jan. 27. Now we'll never hear his side of the story. Dons IS dead, under suspicious circumstances WHILE IN CUSTODY. Dead men tell no lies, or truth. WE CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO THIS WHOLE SORTED MESS! QUESTION AUTHORITY - A PROUD AMERICAN TRADITION! The public has a right to know. The question is WHO can the public believe NOW? Thank you. Floyd Ferris Landrath - Director *** NOTE: THE PORTLAND N.O.R.M.L. MEETING TONIGHT WILL BE DEVOTED TO ORGANIZING A CONCERTED RESPONSE TO THIS LATEST DEVELOPMENT AND TO CONTINUE PLANNING A PUBLIC PROTEST AGAINST 'KNOCK & TALK' AND THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE. 7:30P.M. AT 3125 SE BELMONT STREET (bus #15)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Do As I Say ('Willamette Week' In Portland, Oregon, Says Frank Caywood, Who Spent More Than Two Years Supervising Felons As A Multnomah County Parole Officer, Will Spend Year In Prison After Pleading No Contest To 12 Counts Of Theft, Official Misconduct, Possession Of Heroin) Willamette Week Portland, Oregon 'NewsBuzz' Column http://www.wweek.com/ letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Feb. 25, 1998 DO AS I SAY... You'd think a guy who watched convicts for a living would know how to act once he became one. Not so. Frank Caywood, who spent more than two years supervising crooks as a Multnomah County parole officer, will spend the next year sitting in jail among them. Last week Caywood plead no contest to 12 counts of theft, official misconduct and possession of heroin. Caywood apparently was hoping for some leniency from Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Dorothy Baker. He didn't get it. Deputy District Attorney Mark McDonnell says that when Baker sentenced Caywood to 12 months in jail, Caywood called the judge "cold-hearted." Baker promptly tacked another 10 days on to his sentence and ordered that he not receive credit for good behavior. Under normal circumstances, Caywood could have whittled his sentence down to less than seven months. "He just dug himself a hole. He blamed everybody else," McDonnell says. "He showed no remorse whatsoever. People expect more of their public employees." Caywood's defense attorney, Edward P. Bernardi, refused to comment on the case. The Department of Adult and Juvenile Community Justice began investigating Caywood last summer after officials there began to suspect that he was stealing the fees he was supposed to be collecting from clients. Authorities later discovered that he had relapsed into heroin addiction and was using the money to feed his habit ("Broken Trust," WW, Oct. 15, 1997). Despite having two misdemeanor convictions on his record, Caywood was hired by the department in 1995. He was indicted in October and fired in September. - Maureen O'Hagan
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jackson County Offers Pregnant Women Drug Test ('Associated Press' Story In 'The Oregonian' Says Tests Are 'Voluntary' But Beginning In January, Gynecologists And Other Doctors Told Pregnant Patients A Drug Test Would Be Included In Prenatal Screenings) From: "sburbank" (email@example.com) To: "Phil Smith" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: testing of pregnant women Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 08:26:58 -0800 As I read this article I couldn't help wondering how many of these women will realize that they don't have to agree to take the drug test. Sandee *** The Oregonian Portland, OR 2-25-98 page E-2 Respond to: email@example.comJackson County offers pregnant women drug test Expectant mothers can opt to have a drug screening along with other prenatal services to assess risk to their babies The Associated Press MEDFORD -- Jackson County doctors are launching what may be the first widespread, voluntary drug-screening test for pregnant women in Oregon. "I actually think that Medford is ahead of the game on this one, at least in the state," said Sandy Maynard, a planner with the Department of Human Resources. Other communities have tried to launch similar programs but none are currently using them. "The whole point of this is to improve the chance of that baby to be as healthy as possible," said Dr. Jonathan Gell, joint medical director of Rogue Valley Medical Center and Providence Medford Medical Center. Gell also is a member of the Family Addiction Community Team, or FACT, a community group that worked with doctors to set up the voluntary drug-screening program. Beginning in January, gynecologists and other doctors told their pregnant patients that a drug test would be included in the prenatal screenings to assess any heath risk to them or their babies. Women can refuse the drug screening, but it is considered by many doctors as important as prenatal tests for syphilis, gestational diabetes and the HIV virus. Doctors previously asked pregnant patients to take a drug test only if they suspected the women were at high risk for drug use. Dr. Richard Lowensohn, who has criticized previous proposals to require testing, said he thought voluntary universal screening can work as long as doctors have good relationships with their patients and it's clear the screening is a potential benefit for mothers and their unborn children. Lowensohn, an associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health Sciences University, spoke against mandatory universal drug testing and state reporting when it was rejected by the 1990 Legislature. Lowensohn said it would scare mothers away from getting prenatal care. The new testing already has turned up a number of surprise drug users -- many of them marijuana users -- among the expectant mothers. "The goal is to treat and not to mandate or force a woman to do anything," said Robin Turgeson, a nurse with the county health department.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ruling Barring CBCs Left Standing By Supreme Court ('Associated Press' Says California Supreme Court Leaves Intact December Appellate Decision Closing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 22:37:09 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Dave Fratello <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: CA: Sup. Ct. Won't Hear CBC Case Associated Press, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1998 RULING BARRING CBCs LEFT STANDING BY SUP. CT. By BOB EGELKO Associated Press Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The state Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for closure of medical marijuana clubs in California, leaving intact a lower-court ruling that the clubs can't sell the drug despite a 1996 voter initiative. The court unanimously denied review of a December appellate decision that said Proposition 215 did not allow anyone to sell marijuana and did not allow a commercial enterprise to furnish marijuana as a "primary caregiver." The appellate ruling is now binding on trial courts statewide. Dennis Peron, author of Proposition 215 and founder of the Cannabis Cultivators Club in San Francisco, said the club is in compliance with the ruling because it no longer sells marijuana. He said the club is merely being reimbursed for cultivation costs. But if courts order a shutdown, "we're going to stay here until the tanks come," he said. The state's lawyer in the case said he would ask a San Francisco judge on Thursday to order Peron's club closed, and expected closure of all such operations in California as a result of the ruling. "Voters did not intend to allow commercial enterprises to sell narcotics, like Mr. Peron's doing," said John Gordnier, a senior assistant attorney general. Federal prosecutors have also asked a federal judge to shut down Peron's club and five others, saying they are violating federal law against the possession and sale of marijuana, regardless of Proposition 215. Proposition 215, passed in November 1996, allows possession and cultivation of marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation to ease the pain and nausea of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other conditions. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled in December that state law prohibits anyone, including a nonprofit organization, from selling marijuana or possessing it for sale. Presiding Justice J. Clinton Peterson said the only way a patient can obtain marijuana legally is to grow it or obtain it from a primary caregiver who has grown it. A primary caregiver cannot be a commercial enterprise like a club, Peterson said. "It may be against the law to sell marijuana but it's morally wrong to let someone die, and we are saving lives here," Peron said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ruling May Close California Pot Clubs (Slightly Different Version Of 'Associated Press' Story) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 23:10:19 -0700 (MST) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project"
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" Subject: CA Sup. Ct. Rules Against Buyer's Clubs (2/25/98) 02/25/1998 21:47 EST Ruling May Close Calif. Pot Clubs By BOB EGELKO Associated Press Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- California's medical marijuana clubs could be closed by authorities despite a 1996 voter initiative. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously left intact a December appellate decision that said Proposition 215 did not allow anyone to sell marijuana and did not allow a commercial enterprise to furnish marijuana as a ``primary caregiver.'' The appellate ruling is now binding on trial courts statewide. Dennis Peron, author of Proposition 215 and founder of the Cannabis Cultivators Club in San Francisco, said the club is in compliance with the ruling because it no longer sells marijuana. He said the club is merely being reimbursed for cultivation costs. But if courts order a shutdown, ``we're going to stay here until the tanks come,'' he said. The state's lawyer in the case said he would ask a San Francisco judge on Thursday to order Peron's club closed, and expected closure of all such operations in California as a result of the ruling. ``Voters did not intend to allow commercial enterprises to sell narcotics, like Mr. Peron's doing,'' said John Gordnier, a senior assistant attorney general. Federal prosecutors have also asked a federal judge to shut down Peron's club and five others, saying they are violating federal law against the possession and sale of marijuana, regardless of Proposition 215. Proposition 215, passed in November 1996, allows possession and cultivation of marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation to ease the pain and nausea of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other conditions. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled in December that state law prohibits anyone, including a nonprofit organization, from selling marijuana or possessing it for sale. Presiding Justice J. Clinton Peterson said the only way a patient can obtain marijuana legally is to grow it or obtain it from a primary caregiver who has grown it. A primary caregiver cannot be a commercial enterprise like a club, Peterson said. ``It may be against the law to sell marijuana but it's morally wrong to let someone die, and we are saving lives here,'' Peron said. *** Help protect the patients!!! Send email to California officials and others asking them to protect the patients' access to their medicine. Use this short email list to cut and paste into the Bcc: field of your email program. 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 STATE GOVERNMENT Governor Pete Wilson State Capitol, 1st Floor Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-2841 Fax: (916) 445-4633 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis State Capitol, Room 1114 Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-8994 Fax: (916) 323-4998 Email: email@example.com Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren 1300 I Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-9555 Fax: (916) 324-5205 Attorney General's Office Public Inquiry Unit Web: http://caag.state.ca.us/piu/mailform.htm Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Plea Deal Cuts Pot Grower's Jail Term To 10 Months ('Sacramento Bee' Notes First Successful Federal Intimidation Of A Marijuana Cultivator Who Claimed Protection Under Proposition 215 - Roni L. Aurelio Cops Plea, Gets 10-Month Jail Sentence Rather Than Demand A Jury Trial - Federal Judge In Sacramento Grants Leniency Due To Conflicting State Law, Coerced Attempt By Defendant At Media Coverage - Defendant Likely To Have Been Convicted As Non-Qualified Primary Caregiver?)Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 18:24:04 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Plea Deal Cuts Pot Grower's Jail Term To 10 Months Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 PLEA DEAL CUTS POT GROWER'S JAIL TERM TO 10 MONTHS A federal judge in Sacramento issued a shortened sentence Tuesday to a convicted pot grower who agreed to peddle a message from the U.S. government: Possession of marijuana is illegal, despite a California law that legalized the plant for medicinal use. The sentencing marks the first time the U.S. government has successfully prosecuted a California resident who claimed to be growing the plant under Proposition 215, the state law that legalizes marijuana possession for the seriously ill and their caregivers. Judge Lawrence K. Karlton gave the grower, Roni L. Aurelio, a 10-month jail sentence, shaving as many as four months off the maximum penalty. In her unusual plea agreement, prosecutors promised to recommend leniency if Aurelio publicly warned would-be pot growers against the belief that Proposition 215 shields them from stricter federal laws that make marijuana possession illegal. During the case, both the judge and prosecutor Nancy L. Simpson appeared to tacitly recognize that the split between state and federal marijuana law had created an element of confusion in some sectors. Before the sentencing, Karlton issued a statement saying the legal split could be grounds for granting a lower sentence. Scott Tedmon, Aurelio's lawyer, said defense attorneys in future federal pot cases may seize upon Karlton's statement in a bid to secure similar considerations for their clients. "The issues (the judge) raised open the door for other defense attorneys to argue their facts and see if they fit," Tedmon said. Aurelio, her boyfriend, Richard Maughs, and three other defendants had been arrested after drug agents found nearly 1,600 marijuana plants under their care at two separate grow sites. The group had posted signs claiming the pot was meant for medical use and had contracted with a 24-year-old paraplegic marijuana advocate in Redding to distribute the drug. As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors charged Aurelio in connection with a single grow site of roughly 340 plants. Federal guidelines mandate a 10-year minimum sentence for defendants caught with more than 1,000 plants. The other defendants have not entered pleas in their cases. Simpson, who is prosecuting at least two similar cases in Karlton's court, said she would not offer similar deals to other defendants. "I think we've sent the message," Simpson said. Aurelio completed her part of the deal after being featured in a 16-paragraph story published Monday in the Siskiyou Daily News, a 5,000 circulation newspaper in Yreka. "My goal now is to warn the public," Aurelio told the paper during a pre-sentencing interview in Sacramento County jail. Local law enforcement agents who investigated Aurelio and her co-defendants were extremely disappointed with the sentencing, saying the group had used the new law as a cover for its criminal operation. "I don't think they made a real strong argument against people growing pot by letting her off easy," said Siskiyou County Sheriff's Detective John Glines. "Sending her away for a long time would have sent a message." Glines said a search of Aurelio's home found a videotape of Maughs standing in a large outdoor marijuana garden before Proposition 215 passed. Glines also cited the large size of the operation as evidence that the group was planning to distribute pot to more than just the seriously ill in Siskiyou County. Copyright ) 1998 The Sacramento Bee
------------------------------------------------------------------- LA Unified Police Will Carry Shotguns ('Orange County Register' Says Los Angeles Unified School District Board Of Education Approves Controversial Plan To Buy 75 Remington Shotguns For School Police) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:34:30 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: L.A. Unified Police Will Carry Shotguns Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 LA UNIFIED POLICE WILL CARRY SHOTGUNS The Los Angeles Unified School District will arm its police with shotguns under a controversial plan approved by the Board of Education. The board voted 5-2 to buy the shotguns after police said they are in increasing danger because their patrols often take them into gang- and crime-ridden neighborhoods around campuses. The district will buy 75 of the 12-gauge Remington shotguns, which will be installed in about 60 days. The shotguns will be locked in patrol cars while officers, who will continue to carry pistols, make their foot patrols. Officers assigned to handle the weapons will receive 16 hours of training.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woman Wins Court Battle Against US Customs ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes Drug War Just Got $451,000 More Expensive - 'No Other Person Should Go Through This Hell' Says Woman Whose Trip Around The World Turned Into A Nightmare When She Was Strip-Searched For Drugs And Detained Almost 24 Hours By Federal Agents In San Francisco) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:22:21 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Woman Wins Court Battle Against U.S. Customs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 Author: Manny Fernandez, Chronicle Staff Writer WOMAN WINS COURT BATTLE AGAINST U.S. CUSTOMS Agents at SFO suspected traveler carried drugs A woman whose trip around the world turned into a nightmare when she was strip-searched for drugs and detained for almost 24 hours by federal agents in San Francisco was awarded $451,000 in damages yesterday. ``No other person should go through this hell,'' said Amanda Buritica outside of the federal courthouse in San Francisco. Buritica, a Colombia-born school-crossing guard from Port Chester, N.Y., took a trip around the world in 1994 that ended traumatically, she said, when she arrived at San Francisco International Airport on September 22. U.S. Customs Service agents suspected Buritica of swallowing and transporting drugs because she was born in Columbia and was a woman traveling alone, said her attorney, Gregory Fox. After searching her luggage, agents conducted a strip-search and, finding no sign of drugs, had her X-rayed and transported to San Mateo County hospital, Fox said. At the hospital, she was given more than a gallon of a powerful laxative to drink. She defecated repeatedly for 16 hours, Fox said. ``I was very confused and wondering, `Why are these people doing this to me?'' Buritica recalled. No drugs were ever found. At the end of the 22-hour ordeal, agents dropped Buritica off at the airport and released her without an apology or explanation, Fox said. Buritica filed a lawsuit in 1995 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charging five customs inspectors with violating her Fourth Amendment constitutional rights. After a two-week trial and two days of deliberation, a seven-person jury awarded Buritica $450,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000 in punitive damages. Fox said the case is far from over, however. He wants the search techniques at SFO to be declared unconstitutional by a federal judge and litigation is still pending against San Mateo County and several doctors involved in the case. Customs officials declined to comment on the case. Buritica said she can't imagine returning to SFO anytime soon. Her around-the-world trip -- visiting India, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong -- had been enjoyable until she stepped into the airport's terminal, she said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woman Wins $450,000 For Airport Strip-Search ('Associated Press' Version In 'Orange County Register') Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 00:32:36 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: OCR: Woman Wins $450,000 For Airport Strip-Search Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 Author: Bob Egelko-The Associated Press Editor note: Longer versions of this article appeared as "Woman Wins $450,000 in Customs-Search Suit" in the San Jose Mercury News and as "Woman Wins $450,000 in SFO Drug Search Suit" in the San Mateo County Times on Wed, 25 Feb 1998. WOMAN WINS $450,000 FOR AIRPORT STRIP-SEARCH SAN FRANCISCO-A woman who was stopped by customs agents at San Francisco International Airport, held for 22 hours, strip-searched and forced to take repeated doses of a laxative in a fruitless search for drugs was awarded $450,000 by a federal jury Tuesday. Lawyers for Amanda Buritica of Port Chester, N.Y., argued that agents had no reason to suspect her of being a drug courier, intensified their search when they found no evidence and ignored the fact she was already suffering from diarrhea. Agents found anti-diarrhea medicine in their initial search. A government lawyer countered that agents had several reasons for suspicion: Buritica was a woman in her 50s, traveling alone, on a Singapore Airlines flight from Hong Kong - a "high risk flight" from a city that is a common source of drugs - wore loose clothing, carried no mementos from her trip and was unresponsive to questions. But the U.S. District Court jury found the search unreasonable and awarded $225,000 in damages against each of two customs agents involved in the search. The government usually pays such damages against its employees, although Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Killefer said no decision has been made yet. Jurors also ordered punitive damages of $1,000 for malicious conduct against John Petrin, chief customs inspector at the airport, who was also involved in a 1989 case before the same judge in which a body-cavity search of a passenger was ruled illegal.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woman Wins $450,000 In Customs-Search Suit ('San Jose Mercury News' Version Of 'Associated Press' Article Has Two More Paragraphs) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 18:33:09 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Woman Wins $450,000 in Customs-Search Suit Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 WOMAN WINS $450,000 IN CUSTOMS-SEARCH SUIT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A woman who was stopped by Customs agents at San Francisco International Airport, held for 22 hours, strip-searched and forced to take repeated doses of a laxative in a fruitless search for drugs was awarded $450,000 by a federal court jury Tuesday. Lawyers for Amanda Buritica of Port Chester, N.Y., argued agents had no reason to suspect her of being a drug courier, intensified their search when they found no evidence and ignored the fact she was already suffering from diarrhea. Agents found anti-diarrhea medicine in their initial search. A government lawyer countered that agents had several reasons for suspicion: Buritica was a woman in her 50s, traveling alone, on a Singapore Airlines flight from Hong Kong -- a ``high-risk flight'' from a city that is a common source of drugs -- wore loose clothing, carried no mementos from her trip and was unresponsive to questions. But the U.S. District Court jury found the search unreasonable and awarded $225,000 in damages against each of two Customs agents involved in the search. The government usually pays such damages against its employees, although Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Killefer said no decision has been made yet. Jurors also ordered punitive damages of $1,000 for malicious conduct against John Petrin, airport chief Customs inspector, who was also involved in a 1989 case before the same judge in which a body-cavity search of a passenger was ruled illegal. U.S. District Judge Walker will decide at a later date whether to order changes in Customs' local search policies and training procedures. Buritica, who said she lost her job because of stress from the incident, told reporters the damages did not make up for her ordeal.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woman Wins $450,000 In SFO Drug Search Suit ('San Mateo County Times' Version Of 'Associated Press' Account Is Lengthier Still) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 18:35:55 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Woman Wins $450,000 in SFO Drug Search Suit Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell"
Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 WOMAN WINS $450,000 IN SFO DRUG SEARCH SUIT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A woman held for 22 hours at San Francisco International Airport, strip-searched and forced to take laxatives by Customs agents during a futile search for drugs has been awarded $450,000 by a federal court jury. Lawyers for Amanda Buritica of Port Chester, N.Y., argued the agents at SFO had no reason to suspect her of being a drug courier, intensified their search when they found no evidence and ignored the fact she was already suffering from diarrhea. Agents found : anti- diarrhea medicine in their initial search. "The more they searched, the less they found, and the less they found, the more suspicious they became," her lawyer, Gregory M. Fox, said. A government lawyer countered that agents had several reasons for suspicion: Buritica was a woman in her 50s, traveling alone, on a Singapore Airlines flight from Hong Kong-a "high-risk flight" from a city that iS a common source of drugs- wore loose clothing, carried no mementos from her trip and was unresponsive to questions. But the U.S. District Court jury on Tuesday found the search unreasonable and awarded $225,000 in damages against each of two Customs agents involved in the search. The government usually pays such damages against its employees, although Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Killefer said no decision to do so has been made yet. Jurors also ordered punitive damages of $1,000 for malicious conduct against John Petrin, chief Customs inspector at the airport, who was also involved in a 1989 case before the same judge in which a bodycavity search of a passenger was ruled illegal. U.S. District Judge Vaughm Walker will decide at a later date whether to order changes in Customs' local search policies and training procedures. He could also order additional damages against the government. Buritica, who said she lost her job because of stress from the incident, told reporters the damages did not make up for her ordeal, "but I am glad that the jury realized that they did something very awful to me." Killefer declined comment. She has asked Walker to overturn the verdict and dismiss the suit on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of an unreasonable, search or inadequate training. Buritica, then 50, a Colombian-born U.S. citizen, was returning from a round-the-world trip when she was detained at San Francisco International Airport in September 1994. After a luggage search, she was patted down, then strip-searched, Xrayed, and sent to a hospital for administration of a strong purgative. She testified she was told she would be forcibly fed the purgative if she refused to drink it. Two agents watched her continuously while she used a portable toilet repeatedly during an eight-hour period, she said. After finally concluding she had no drugs in her system, the agents left the room, but no one told her she was free to leave for six to eight hours, she said. Fox said local U.S. Customs agents randomly select passengers for scrutiny as possible drug couriers, without any grounds for suspicion. Even after reasonable suspicion justifies an initial search, he said, an intensified search should be prohibited unless agents find some evidence of smuggling and consider the passenger's innocent explanations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill Proposes Stiffer Penalties For Drug Abuse ('Los Angeles Times' Says California State Senator Pete Knight, A Republican From Palmdale, Has Introduced A Bill Directed At Athletes At State Universities That Would Ban Any Player Who Fails Two Drug Tests And Would Require Drug Testing And Attendance At Drug-Prevention Seminars) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:14:22 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Bill Proposes Stiffer Penalties For Drug Abuse Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 Author: Tim Kawakami, Times Staff Writer BILL PROPOSES STIFFER PENALTIES FOR DRUG ABUSE Measure triggered by McCoy case. Senator's aide calls UCLA testing program 'a joke.' A state senator, lashing out at UCLA's athletic drug-testing policies, has introduced a bill that would mandate a ban for any player at a state-funded public university who fails two drug tests. The bill, introduced last week by State Sen. Pete Knight (R-Palmdale), also would require drug testing and attendance at drug-prevention seminars for student-athletes in all University of California and California State University schools. According to Rod Olsen, an aide for Knight, the introduction of the bill was, for the most part, in reaction to the recent alleged failing of repeated drug tests by UCLA center Jelani McCoy, who recently resigned from the team. The bill, if passed, would mean that all student-athletes would be tested twice each school year. Upon a player's first failed drug test, he or she would be immediately suspended for three months. "It's about time universities take this issue seriously," Knight said in a statement. "We cannot allow these athletes to continually test positive, three to five times in some cases, without some ramifications." According to sources, UCLA was limited in what action it could take against McCoy by loopholes in its newly revised policy. Only after a month of negotiations were UCLA lawyers able to force McCoy to resign from the team, sources said. "UCLA's drug-testing program is a joke," said Olsen, who added that all California campuses currently test their student-athletes. "It's the most lenient in the state, by our research. Even Fresno State's is tougher. Sacramento State's is tougher. "It seems like it's a program in place so the players can remain on the team--not to treat any addictions." UCLA's former policy wiped away any positive tests at the end of each school year. A revision, instituted last summer, made all positive tests cumulative throughout a student-athlete's career, but was not clear whether positives incurred before the revision counted under the new policy. Under the new policy, upon the first and second positive tests of a player's career, the UCLA student-athlete must go to counseling, without suspension. Only upon a third positive is the player suspended from the next scheduled contest. A fourth positive results in an immediate suspension and the non-renewal of his or her scholarship for the next academic year. Marc Dellins, UCLA sports information director, said the school had not seen a copy of Knight's bill. "It would be premature for UCLA to comment until we have seen the legislation," Dellins said. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Grower Tells All In Fight Over Legal Rights (Everett, Washington, 'Herald,' Continues Series About Ongoing Marijuana Cultivation Trial In Which Federal Prosecutors Turned Lawyer's Private Investigator Into Confidential Informant Against Him And His Clients)Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 03:21:01 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WA: Pot Grower Tells All In Fight Over Legal Rights Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA Contact: email@example.com WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com Author: Scott North, Herald Writer Note: You can contact Scott North by phone at 425-339-3431 or you can send e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org POT GROWER TELLS ALL IN FIGHT OVER LEGAL RIGHTS SEATTLE -- In 1996, Gregory Haynes was named Man of the Year in the tiny Eastern Washington hamlet of Warden. On Tuesday, he sat in a federal courtroom in Seattle and explained in detail how he grew large amounts of marijuana in a Stanwood barn and in five shipping containers buried beneath his uncle's Grant County alfalfa field. Haynes made the admissions as part of a bid to convince U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly to throw out federal drug conspiracy and money laundering charges against him. His pitch was based largely on the federal government's decision to use former Everett private investigator Dale Fairbanks as a key informant in the case. Some of the investigation's targets had previously been represented by Mark Mestel, an Everett defense attorney for whom Fairbanks had regularly worked as an investigator. Haynes and his co-defendant, uncle James Denton, contend Fairbanks' involvement in the case helped the government trample on their rights to a confidential relationship between lawyers and clients. Federal prosecutors, however, have argued that no attorney-client confidences were breached, partly because the alleged pot growers criminally abused their relationship with Mestel in earlier legal proceedings. Zilly on Tuesday heard his fourth full day of testimony in the case, which has probed allegations of fraudulent documents being filed in court and the delivery of small amounts of marijuana to Mestel. Closing arguments, and the judge's decision, are expected today. Haynes testified Tuesday with the understanding that prosecutors would legally be unable to rely on his testimony as their chief evidence against him at trial. Haynes testified that from 1994 to 1997, he paid Mestel several thousand dollars for legal representation, and believed the attorney-client relationship extended to Fairbanks as well. The Warden man said that when his Stanwood pot farm caught fire in 1994, one of the first things he did was make sure that Mestel represented him and potential codefendants. He also dismantled his underground marijuana farm in Warden. But Haynes testified he resumed growing marijuana underground there in 1997. He said he felt safe because Fairbanks told him law officers had ceased investigating the 1994 Stanwood case. "Dale told me everything was fine," Haynes said. "It was a done deal. ... That he was my 'in,' and could protect me." By that time, Fairbanks had already been working as a government informant for about a year. Under questioning from assistant U.S. attorney Doug Whalley, Haynes acknowledged that he felt Fairbanks shared some of the blame for the Warden marijuana farm being reactivated. Fairbanks testified tearfully last week that he decided to assist the government in its investigation after Haynes attempted to recruit him into criminal activity and used him as a conduit for sending Mestel small amounts of marijuana. Haynes also testified about the drug deliveries Tuesday, but said Mestel didn't ask him to send the pot, and never acknowledged receiving any. Mestel last week testified that Haynes sent him marijuana, but said he threw away, and turned away, the drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Good Drugs Bad Drugs ('Seattle Weekly' Highlights Two Seattle 'Post-Intelligencer' Items Suggesting Hypocrisy Is Alive And Well At Both The P-I And Winter Olympics In Japan) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:51:20 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com (Darral Good) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: ART: seattle weekly GOOD DRUGS BAD DRUGS Sender: email@example.com The Seattle Weekly (firstname.lastname@example.org) pointed out these two gems from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a gray box with the headline GOOD DRUG BAD DRUGS: " HABUKA Japan- We should have known by now what Picabo Street is made of.... She is the perfect poster child for Ritalin, all perpeyual motion in the form of a human cannonball. That's why you can never count her out" by LAURA VECSEY seattle P-I sports columnist 2/11/98 "NAGANO Japan- The first Olympic gold medal in the youngest, hippest, most rebelious sport in the game - Snowboarding - was stripped because of marijuana use" by ASSOCIATED PRESS same P-I issue same page
------------------------------------------------------------------- Spokane County Considering Expanding Drug Court Program ('Associated Press' Notes Eastern Washington State County Wants Drug Courts For Juveniles) From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: Spokane County considering expanding Drug Court program Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 20:59:56 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Spokane County considering expanding Drug Court program The Associated Press 02/25/98 5:47 PM Eastern SPOKANE (AP) -- Spokane County is considering expanding its two-year-old Drug Court so juveniles can take part in the alternative program as well as adults. Supporters expect it will take about a year to find money to design and begin a juvenile version of Drug Court. "If this program is designed the right way, it could take a significant chunk out of juvenile crime," said Tari Eitzen, a Spokane County Superior Court judge who spent last year as the county's Juvenile Court judge. Eitzen said as many as 90 percent of the juvenile cases she handled had some connection to drug or alcohol abuse. Backers say they expect to find federal money to start the juvenile Drug Court. Government grants cover most of the cost of the county's existing Drug Court. Drug courts, launched several years ago in Miami, Oakland and other cities, are becoming common alternatives to fines or jail time for drug users. Spokane County's program removes some drug offenders from standard criminal procedures and forces them into treatment, counseling and weekly visits with a judge. The program has been restricted to adult, nonviolent offenders who merely possessed drugs, rather than those convicted of selling or producing drugs. More than 100 people have entered the program since it began two years ago. Twenty-four have completed the program and a similar number have failed. Fifty-five are currently enrolled. James Murphy, the Superior Court judge who presides over Drug Court, said the juvenile version should not necessarily mirror the existing program. Adults who end up in Drug Court often have had repeated run-ins with the law and are ready to turn their lives around, Murphy said. "But juvenile offenders think they're immortal," he said. "These are the people who are hardest to motivate. They're not making the same kinds of decisions at 15 or 16 as people do who are 30 or 40." Drug offenders sentenced in the county's Juvenile Court usually must meet periodically with treatment counselors. Urine testing can be haphazard. "It's nowhere near as rigorous and as intensive as Drug Court would be," Eitzen said. In Drug Court, the emphasis is on frequent testing to prevent relapses. The juvenile program also would likely put the court in regular contact with school counselors.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hysteria About Marijuana (Pharmacist's Letter To Editor Of 'Oklahoma Gazette' Faults Prohibition Hysteria That Has Stifled Virtually All Therapeutic Research Into Cannabis In United States - Cites Will Foster And Jimmy Montgomery Cases As Examples Of Oklahoma's War On Sick People) Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 00:29:34 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: LTE: Hysteria About Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: OK NORML (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Oklahoma Gazette, The (OK) Page: 10 Contact: Oklahoma Gazette, PO Box 54649 Oklahoma City, OK 73154 Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 HYSTERIA ABOUT MARIJUANA Editor - In July, 1997, the British Medical Association called for the rescheduling of marijuana so doctors could prescribe it and research it. Though there is argument that modern medicine should not resort to smoked leaves, Health Canada's director recently stated that "Marijuana as a medicine is not an outlandish proposition." The hysteria of prohibition in the U.S. has stifled virtually all therapeutic research. Only after Proposition 215 passed in California did the government reluctantly lift the ban. Last month, published research proved a marijuana metabolite is remarkably effective in reducing inflammation and swelling in acute and chronic arthritic conditions. Last November, research was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience documenting specifically how marijuana stimulates the same area in the brain that morphine uses to kill pain but uses a completely different biochemical mechanism without the side effects of tolerance, dependence, withdrawal and nausea. One example of Oklahoma's war on sick people is William Foster, 38, of Tulsa, a husband and father of three children, who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis. For growing 60 plants in a locked bomb shelter in his basement, he received a 93-year sentence on a first offense. After one year of prison medical care, Will's left leg has ulcerated, and his handwriting has become almost unreadable. His children suffer nightmares of the bust and their high grades have plummeted. Another example is Jimmy Montgomery, 44, of Sayre, a paraplegic who testified last month before investigative hearings at the Institute of Medicine. He was sentenced to life plus 16 years first time offense for possessing two ounces of marijuana with intent to distribute. A lack of medical attention led to his medical parole and to the amputation of his leg. In both cases, a medical defense was not allowed by law. The Drug Policy Foundation is supported in its advocacy of harm reduction techniques (including needle exchange) by a consensus of the board of the American Medical Association as editorialized in JAMA, ["Winds of Change in American Drug Policy," Sept. 17, 1997]. The DPF membership was quite large and active long before Soros helped fund our efforts two years ago and consists of judicial, law enforcement, health, education and other professionals and individuals who believe that the harm reduction methods of control through regulation is preferable to harm maximization (zero-tolerance). Harm reduction removes marijuana from the black marketplace (the only documentable gateway to hard drugs) and licenses adults to sell only to adults in regulated package stores as is hard alcohol. By providing certified addiction clinics and specialists who could prescribe clean known potency drugs at non-hyperinflated prices, addicts making up 80 percent of black market customers would be stolen. According to Milton Friedman, a Republican Nobel Laureate in economics and member of the DPF, this would drastically reduce robbery, prostitution and sales to minors, break the back of the black market and its associated violence, and relieve our justice system and prisons. If an addict committed a violent act, he would be incarcerated. The message sent to children, as it is now for morphine and other drugs, is that sick people get treated, embracing humane and Christian principles. Recently, the Swiss voted by 71 percent to continue a three-year heroin medicalization program. Ueli Minder, a policy coordinator for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Helath, is firm that this policy has drastically reduced not only property and other petty crimes, but also violent crimes and is a huge success. Under current policy, children can obtain marijuana much easier than beer. The same is rapidly becoming true of heroin. Our justice system is broken, drug use is increasing, drug trafficking is booming. Our policies are putting money into the pockets of greedy men while placing our children in the path of the jaws of justice. The only way to kill the market that uses our children to sell to children is to take control through regulation. Michael Pearson, Registered Pharmacist Oklahoma City
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Stupida Billboards (List Subscriber Notes The Hoosier Cannabis Relegalization Coalition Recently Paid For An Indiana Highway Billboard Advocating Re-Legalization Of Marijuana) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 01:59:43 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Bill D'Amico"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Cannabis stupida billboards FWIW, The Hoosier Cannabis Relegalization Coalition recently put up another billboard. It says: Prohibition is Un-American Image and causes crime here Re-legalize Marijuana To the right of the Prohibition slogan is the head of the statue of liberty, with a tear running down her cheek. "Re-Legalize Marijuana" runs across the entire width of the board and is in a larger font. We have board members attending county prevention coalition meetings and have stopped egregiously false propaganda from going up. We didn't manage to get as good a rate as the prevention boards; ours cost $350 per month while they are getting them for $180. We've stolen a match on them though, their's won't be showing up for months yet. The price difference is somewhat irksome; we're a local not for profit, with almost no outside funding. The prevention boards are paid for with your and my taxes. I'm working on getting this inequity resolved. Paid radio spots are still in the works. Anybody wishing to help with copy writing or a donation, please contact me via private email. *** Bill D'Amico email@example.com The highest that a man can attain is to be able to do - Georg Gurdjieff
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts - A Review Of The Scientific Evidence' Reviewed In 'Journal Of The American Medical Association' (Writer Can't Cite Anything To Contradict Zimmer And Morgan's Science But He Calls The Book Title 'Pugnacious' And Authors' 'Extraordinarily Well-Researched And Passionately Argued' Approach 'Inflammatory') Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 03:56:25 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: MMMF reviewed in JAMA Not the greatest review, but not terrible . . . Books, Journals, New Media - February 25, 1998 Marijuana Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence, by Lynn Zimmer and John P. Morgan, 241 pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-9641568-4-9, New York, NY, The Lindesmith Center, 1997. Most of us reading about marijuana use and effects usually seek the answer to two questions. One is "How good is marijuana?"-this is generally referred to as the "medical marijuana" debate. The other is "How bad is marijuana?"-the answer relates to the enormous toll, in both human and economic costs, of prosecuting and imprisoning hundreds of thousands of people for marijuana-related offenses. In reviewing the state of the art, Zimmer and Morgan provide an extraordinarily well-researched and passionately argued book on the biomedical and sociological issues raised in today's debate about marijuana. In their desire to "set the record straight," however, they sometimes sacrifice even-handedness for impact. My dictionary defines myth as either a story, presented as historical, dealing with supernatural traditions of a people, or a popular fable or folk tale. A fact, on the other hand, is defined as any statement strictly true, truth, reality. By using the words myth and fact, Zimmer and Morgan imply that moral, religious, and social factors contaminate "scientific" arguments against marijuana use. While there are cases in which this undoubtedly is true, the topic is not developed in depth. Rather, the authors almost challenge the reader to take sides. Their title begins this process by immediately forcing the reader into wondering, "Who's telling the truth?" or, less helpfully, "Who's lying?" Either side in a polarized context-the "drug warriors" or the "legalizers"-could have chosen the title. While Zimmer and Morgan do not explicitly recommend legalization of marijuana use, they clearly articulate an argument that the effects of marijuana are not as bad as political, scientific, and regulatory agents would have us believe. They also make an extremely strong case that the health consequences of marijuana use have been exaggerated and are less than those of alcohol and tobacco. Zimmer and Morgan present "20 myths about marijuana." These include "marijuana has no medicinal value"; "marijuana policy in the Netherlands has been a failure"; "marijuana causes crime"; and "marijuana is more potent today than in the past." Each "myth" is followed by several quotations from social service, regulatory, research, or enforcement personnel who promote it. A brief "fact" summarizes the "truth" on the issue in question. The remaining five to 10 pages of each chapter review the literature on the topic. This critique reinterprets the data upon which the myths are built, or presents data from additional studies contradicting those supporting the myth. The 20 topics effectively capture the salient issues in the current policy debate about how to regulate and understand the effects of marijuana use. The debate is not trivial, and much is at stake. The George Soros-funded Lindesmith Center, a drug policy research institute, published this book. Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center, reminds us in his introduction that more than 70 million Americans have tried marijuana, and more than 20 million have smoked it in the last year. Zimmer and Morgan convincingly demonstrate examples of exaggeration, contradiction, and misinformation in statements by those with a political, moral, or institutional need to portray marijuana as all bad. While the authors refute arguments that they believe maximize adverse effects of marijuana, at times I think they minimize real or potential dangers. For example, they downplay upper respiratory effects of chronic marijuana smoking, and their review of the literature on fetal effects of maternal marijuana smoking seems a little cavalier. When warnings about marijuana are given, the tone is almost apologetic. My somewhat muted reaction to this book is based on my feeling that a slight modification of the authors' style would have appealed to, and perhaps affected, a larger number of readers undecided on the relative merits of the complex arguments raised by marijuana. A literature review and critique of this magnitude (68 pages of references), with a less inflammatory title, using a less pugnacious approach, might be easier to buy, read, and digest. Nevertheless, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts raises issues and reviews the literature comprehensively and in a highly accessible manner. As such, it is an important contribution to the marijuana and drug policy literature and deserves a wide audience. I hope future editions can maintain the same thoroughness in a more even-handed manner. Rick J. Strassman, MD University of British Columbia Victoria (JAMA. 1998;279:632-633)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Time To Grow Up About Tobacco (Op-Ed In 'Wall Street Journal' Suggests, 'In A Collective Act Of Memory Repression, We Have Convinced Ourselves That We Didn't Know Smoking Was Dangerous - Our Basic Dilemma Has Been An Unwillingness To Decide Between Banning Tobacco Or Saying That Smokers Smoke At Their Own Risk - Antismoking Crusade Demonstrates Autonomy Of The Political Process, For Only After Smoking Fell By Half Was It Decreed A Crisis') Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 23:32:09 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: WSJ OPED: Time to Grow Up About Tobacco Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" Pubdate: Wednesday, 25 Feb 1998 Source: Wall Street Journal Author: Holman W. Jenkins Jr. Section: Business World Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.wsj.com/ TIME TO GROW UP ABOUT TOBACCO It has come to be accepted across the land that tobacco executives are evil and kept us in the dark about cigarettes. In a collective act of memory repression, we have convinced ourselves that we didn't know smoking was dangerous. Mother said it was dangerous. Doctor said it was dangerous. The surgeon general said it was dangerous. After 1966, the pack even said it was dangerous. But we were waiting for the tobacco industry to say it was dangerous. Way back in 1897, the Tennessee Supreme Court decreed that the state legislature didn't have to prove that smoking was dangerous to ban cigarettes, because everybody knew it was "wholly noxious and deleterious to health." We've been here before. Our basic dilemma has been an unwillingness to decide between banning tobacco or saying that smokers smoke at their own risk. If Congress intends to do more than just raise taxes on smokers, it will have to wrestle with this dilemma. In legislating for the industry, it would also be legislating for the 45 million people who use its products. It is time for Congress to get serious. It is not going to outlaw tobacco. That would be a boon to organized crime. It's not going to authorize the FDA to put the country on cold turkey by ratcheting down the nicotine level, for that would have the same effect. It won't impose a tax hike large enough to discourage smoking in a serious way President Clinton has suggested phasing in a $1.50-a-pack hike over five years. He couldn't have come up with a better plan if his real goal was to desensitize smokers to higher prices in order to keep government revenues up. For anybody truly interested in doing something novel and creative about smoking, that leaves the issues of liability and advertising. It used to be that the tobacco companies, while selling a perfectly legal product, ran a gauntlet of legal jeopardy if they ever admitted to its inherent dangers. One of the many wonders is that the industry and its critics have changed places. Now the tobacco industry can tell the truth. Now the critics dissemble. This ought to be accounted progress, and perhaps it is all the progress we really need. Until the early 1960s, cigarette companies covertly acknowledged the medical evidence and competed in terms of "mildness" and other coded expressions. Filters were invented. Nicotine and tar content came down. Cigarettes were becoming safer. Then Washington granted the fig Leaf of the surgeon general's warning just as the tort system was developing expansive notions of "strict liability." The industry hunkered down in the stonewall position and made a pact with itself never to acknowledge the cancer risk within earshot of the public. This is the real significance of all those tobacco research documents stamped "attorney client-privilege," and of Jeffrey Wigand's odyssey. Mr. Wigand was the tobacco scientist who turned "whistle blower" because his employer, Brown & Williamson, was conflicted in its corporate soul about pursuing a safer cigarette. It turns out B&W did pursue one, in a muted way, and now finds itself under suspicion by the Justice Department in a case involving the unlicensed export of tobacco seeds. The experimental strain was designed to yield a larger amount of nicotine in proportion to other, more noxious ingredients-i.e., a safer tobacco. All this poses a dilemma for honest public health advocates, of which there are a few sprinkled among the hypocrites. People smoke because they enjoy nicotine and become addicted to it. Call it a "drug"; nicotine long ago escaped regulation because it does not impair judgment or behavior, and the risks of smoking are cumulative over time. Nothing has really changed. Are the public health advocates prepared to leave people the freedom to become nicotine addicts, a freedom that humans are long used to? In theory liberals have learned their lesson about social engineering, and in theory conservatives didn't need to. One of the most admired figures in corporate life, Coke's Roberto Goizueta, died last year of complications from lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking. He was not a man lacking in willpower or intelligence. Not everyone ranks smoke-free lungs at the same place in the hierarchy of values. Nor is "addiction theory" a trump. Jean O'Connor, one of the antismoking lobby's star plaintiffs, smoked three packs a day and never tried to quit, though she well understood the risks. Then her doctor refused to perform a tummy tuck until she stopped, and she quit on the first try. In truth, the antismoking crusade demonstrates the autonomy of the political process, for only after smoking fell by half was it decreed a "crisis." On one side are the trial lawyers: Having built up their bankroll on breast implants and as asbestos, a handful of firms began laying down seed money to go after tobacco. Their victories have not come in court but in the halls of state government, where legally dubious but politically potent theories of Medicaid liability brought the industry to the table. We could elaborate, but one example will suffice: Ann Richards, former Democratic governor of Texas. In office she collected $400,000 in campaign contributions from trial lawyer Walter Umphrey. As a lobbyist she has pushed his agenda in meetings at the White House and Congress. Mr. Umphrey is one of five lawyers slated to split a $2.3 billion fee pot in the Texas settlement. He also played venture capitalist to the Florida case. He did no work, and will collect a $20 million return on his investment. Yet money grubbing also happens to coincide with a cultural moment, and it's no accident that the lawyers are all Southerners and exude a strong populist dudgeon. The single biggest indicator of state laws against gambling is a high proportion of Baptists in the population. Both liquor. and cigarette prohibition early in this century were driven by anti-immigrant, antiurban sentiments of the Protestant middle class. Today's antismoking fervor may partake more of the moral revivalism of the heartland than the self-perfection obsessions of the cultural elite. That's why both Republicans and Democrats think there are votes in "punishing" the cigarette companies. But there is also a saying that the most damaging lie is a problem poorly stated. Ninety years ago, Congress enacted Prohibition knowing the folly of it but unable to resist a cause of invidious political correctness. Now that the cigarette industry has admitted the deficiencies of its product, the legislature could do worse than to sit back and let nature take its course.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Giants Won't Scale Back Ads Without Lawsuit Protections ('San Francisco Examiner' Says Five Major Tobacco Companies Have Told The US Senate That They Will Not Agree To Curtail Advertising Unless Congress Grants Them Some Protection Against Lawsuits) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:22:03 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Giants Won't Scale Back Ads Without Lawsuit Protections Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Source: San Fransisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 Author: Judy Holland, Examiner Washington Bureau TOBACCO GIANTS WON'T SCALE BACK ADS WITHOUT LAWSUIT PROTECTIONS Execs want a shield in exchange for curbs WASHINGTON - Executives of five major tobacco companies, adopting a confrontational tone, have told the Senate that their companies would not agree to curtail advertising unless Congress grants them some protection against lawsuits. Steven Goldstone, chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco Inc., parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., told senators Tuesday that communicating to customers through advertising was critical and invaluable and that he would have to "assert my First Amendment right" to advertise unless Congress agreed to shield the industry from legal liability. Legal experts say Congress cannot force the tobacco industry to limit its advertising because such restrictions would violate free speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. To overcome that constitutional bar, Congress is weighing whether to offer liability protection as a sweetener to induce the tobacco firms to waive those rights. The tobacco companies want Congress to protect them from past punitive damages and future class action lawsuits filed by sick smokers. Geoffrey Bible, chief executive officer of Philip Morris Companies Inc., the nation's largest tobacco company, testified that he would be "obliged out of responsibility to stockholders" to continue cigarette advertising unless Congress granted liability protection. The tobacco company CEOs were testifying before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The major tobacco companies agreed in a June settlement with 40 state attorneys general, public health organizations and plaintiffs' lawyers to restrict cigarette advertising attractive to teens if Congress settled existing lawsuits and shielded them from future class-action lawsuits. Under the settlement, which must be approved by Congress, tobacco companies would also pay $368.5 billion to reimburse states' costs of treating sick smokers and fund anti-smoking programs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Uncertain Drug Strategy ('Wall Street Journal' Editorial Says There Is Increasing Understanding In Washington That Decertification Process Simply Isn't Meeting Goal Of Diminishing Supply Of Drugs In US - Ultimate Goal Cannot Be Met By Placing Major Responsibility On Shoulders Of Poor Countries, Even If Their Leaders Are Ethically Suspect - Supply Will Find Demand And We Should Start To Wonder Why Demand Is So High In This Country) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 23:20:27 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: WSJ: Uncertain Drug Strategy Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" Pubdate: Wednesday, 25 Feb 1998 Source: Wall Street Journal Section: Page A22, Review & Outlook Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ UNCERTAIN DRUG STRATEGY For the countries that have been designated by the U.S. as major producers or shippers of narcotics, it's that time of year again-time to be officially judged by the U.S. on their cooperation in the war on drugs. President Clinton must provide his "certification" report to Congress before March 1. One has to ask: Who is the U.S. to press judgment on another country's drug habits? The Clinton Administration, under whose watch the drug problem has soared, has used the certification process more broadly than its predecessors. Not only has it decertified couldn't-care-less dictatorships like Burma and Nigeria, but for the past two years it has come down hard on Colombia and last year only narrowly spared Mexico. Countries that fail to be certified can lose foreign aid or trade privileges. Colombian decertification has done little to change the popular use of drugs in the U.S., but it has outraged the Colombian people, who see America's addictions to recreational drugs as fueling criminal elements that are destroying their country. Certainly Colombia has responded to the process with vigorous anti-drug efforts. More than 4,000 Colombian police officers have died at the hands of narco-traffickers; aggressive crop eradication continues, though it turns peasants into anti-government militants who worsen the guerrilla problem tearing up the countryside; judges and politicians who speak out against the cartels are constantly at risk; car bombings and assassinations are part of daily life. Somehow, threatening to shut off the trading access of Colombian flower growers to U.S. markets seems misplaced vengeance. Not least there is the painful irony for Colombians of having to endure a lecture on proper political conduct from William Jefferson Clinton. Consider: Colombia's decertification was prompted largely because Ernesto Samper's presidential campaign was found to be tainted with money from the cartels. Decertification was another way of saying that if Colombians were really trying, buckets of narco-funds dumped into their country somehow wouldn't be used to corrupt their institutions. Perhaps when the Clinton Administration decertifies Colombia this year, it will include a tutorial on how to keep tainted money out of politics or convicted drug dealers out of photo-ops at the White House. There's no question that democracies loathe being decertified. The label brings stigma and economic uncertainty. Since its back-to-back decertifications Colombia has increased efforts to quash its drug trade. But this year Colombian coca cultivation is actually up and the steady flow of drugs into the U.S. continues. Decertification hasn't pushed Mr. Samper out of office. Instead, he has become popular as a Colombian who suffers U.S. bullying. There is increasing understanding in Washington that the decertification process simply isn't meeting its goal of diminishing the supply of drugs in the U.S. As for the ultimate goal-reducing drug use in this country-that cannot be met by placing the major responsibility on the shoulders of poor countries, even if their leaders are ethically suspect. Supply will find demand and we should start to wonder why demand is so high in this country. Ultimately, drug abuse and institutional corruption are both moral issues. The "Just Say No" campaign implicitly recognized that. All the decertifications in the world won't change a single user's attitude here so long as scrambling your brain while Latins die is thought to be morally cool.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Crooked Cops ('Orange County Register' Quotes Mexico's Attorney General, Jorge Madrazo Cuellar, Saying Mexico's Police Are 'Living With The Enemy,' Urging Constitutional Changes, Tougher Laws To Eliminate Corruption) Subj: Mexico: Crooked Cops From: John W.Black Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:36:46 -0800 Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 CROOKED COPS Saying Mexico's police are "living with the enemy," federal Attorney General Jorge Madrazo Cuellar is urging tougher laws to eliminate corruption from police forces, Mexican newspapers reported Tuesday. Madrazo's agency prosecutes federal crimes and also operates Mexico's main anti-narcotics force, the Federal Judicial Police, which has been plagued for years by corruption. He said Mexico's constitution should be changed to make reforms easier.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno Praises Mexico's Anti-Drug Cooperation ('Orange County Register' Quotes US Attorney General Telling US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, 'I Never Dreamed Three Years Ago I Would Be Seeing Extradition At The Rate That We're Seeing It') Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 00:30:58 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Reno Praises Mexico's Anti-Drug Cooperation Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 RENO PRAISES MEXICO'S ANTI-DRUG COOPERATION The often strained relationship between the United States and Mexico in the war on drugs is improving, Attorney General Janet Reno said Tuesday. Reno praised Mexican law enforcement officials for sending more fugitives back to the United States for prosecution. "I never dreamed three years ago I would be seeing extradition at the rate that we're seeing it," Reno told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Justice Department's $20.9 billion budget request for the 1999 fiscal year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Comical' Pot Grower Fined ('Bracebridge Examiner' Suggests Ontario Marijuana Cultivator Got Off Lightly Because Of His Poor Cultivation Skills) From: "laurie gibson"
To: "Matt Elrod" Subject: News clip 'Comical' pot grower fined Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 22:47:41 -0500 Pubdate: Wednnesday, February 25, 1998 Source: Bracebridge Examiner, page A3 (Bracebridge, Ontario) Contact: Edward Britton,Publisher 1-705-645-8771 Fax: 1-705-645-1718 By John E. Longhurst A hapless Muskoka marijuana farmer has been fined and handed a probationary sentence for attempting to grow the controlled substance in his Bracebridge home. Terry Fetterely,36, pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivation of mj. On Jan. 29, police obtained a search warrant for Fetterly's Beaumont Drive residence and seized 91 marijuana plants. Also removed from the residence were 2 - 80 watt fluorescent systems, 1-1/3 ounces of the drug, and 11-5 gram vials of marijuana oil. Crown Attorney Peter Heath told the court that it "Sounds bad at first blush, but is almost comical." Heath said that Fetterly was polite and very co-operative with police, an admitted to "growing mj for personal use." It did not appear that the accused was growing the drug for the purpose of trafficking. Heath characterized Fetterly's operation as an "exceedingly primitive growing system," and described to court the errors the accused made in achieving such poor results, saying, "No disrespect to Mr. Fetterly, but he is not much of a farmer." Heath asked the court for a $1000.00 fine. Judge John Evans sentenced Fetterly to a $300.00 fine and 24 months probation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Cure May Have Killed Six (Britain's 'Independent' Says Vietnamese Promoter Of Heantos, A Herbal Remedy For Opiate Addiction, May Have Covered Up Deaths Of Patients In His Care) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 20:23:13 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Vietnam: Heroin Cure May Have Killed Six Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: February 25, 1998 Source: The Independent (UK) Author: Steve Boggan Contact: email@example.com HEROIN CURE MAY HAVE KILLED SIX A VIETNAMESE herbalist who gained worldwide acclaim for inventing a "miracle" cure for heroin addiction may have covered up the deaths of up to six patients in his care. Health officials in Hanoi have evidence that a clinic run by Tran Khuong Dan bribed at least one family to bury their son's body without informing the authorities. United Nations sources in New York - who have launched costly trials on the "cure" - told The Independent yesterday that they believe more cases are being investigated, yet testing on the drug is likely to continue. Mr Dan sprang to worldwide prominence last November when his secret formula, called Heantos, attracted the attention of the world's media. A former construction worker and herbalist, Mr Dan claimed he deliberately became an opium addict to see whether he could find a natural way to detoxify himself. After travelling from village to village in the highlands of Vietnam, he put together a secret concoction made up of 13 plants which appeared to help some addicts kick their habit. Although no formal evaluation had been undertaken, visiting American politicians brought the treatment to Bill Clinton's attention. Pressure was brought to bear upon specialists in addiction to investigate and the UN Development Programme reportedly allocated £240,000 to the project, with a possible £2.4m to follow. Now, however, Mr Dan's activities have been branded illegal in Vietnam - because Heantos is untested and unlicensed - and there is a split within the UN on whether to proceed with trials. In an interview with The Youth newspaper in Vietnam, Nguyen Hun Lam, vice-chairman of the Vietnamese ministry of health's drug control committee, said stocks of Heantos "illegally" produced by Mr Dan and several partners had been seized. More disturbingly, he added: "This illegal operation led to a serious consequence causing death to a patient on 30 July 1997 during treatment at the Heantos Detoxification Centre. The centre management negotiated with the victim's family and offered to provide 15 million Vietnamese dong approximately £1,500 for the family to bring the body to the village for burial without reporting the case to the local administration and relevant authorities." There is a row between officials at the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which wants to proceed with tests on Heantos, and the UN Drug Control Programme, which is sceptical. It is understood the UNDP is refusing to pass on details of the Heantos formula to the Drug Control Programme. "We can't say whether this thing works or not because there have been no formal tests and no follow-up work to see whether the addicts are still off their drugs," a UN source said. "We are hearing from Vietnam that there might have been as many as six deaths that had gone unreported." Some experts suspect Heantos may contain kratom, a plant from Thailand and Vietnam which, when chewed, acts on the same brain receptors as heroin. "If that is the case, then this isn't a cure, it's a substitute and it would be no better than the methadone we give people now," said the source.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Use Rates Highly ('Sydney Morning Herald' Says The United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board Report For 1997, Released Yesterday, Alleges That The Rate Of Cannabis Use In Australia Is Among The Highest In The World) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Cannabis use rates highly Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 08:07:33 -0800 Lines: 27 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Wed 25 Feb 1998 Source: Sydney Morning Herald Contact: letters@smh/com.au Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: AAP CANNABIS USE RATES HIGHLY Cannabis use in Australia is among the highest in the world, a United Nations drugs agency report says. The use of amphetamine derivatives, such as ecstasy, was also spreading among young people in Australia, the International Narcotics Control Board report for 1997, released yesterday, said. "In Australia, cannabis abuse is among the highest in the world, while the abuse of amphetamine derivatives, such as ecstasy, is spreading fast among young people," it said. "Substantial amounts of ecstasy and other hallucinogens, including LSD, are being smuggled into Australia, mainly from European countries." It was concerned about the continuing discussion about the legalisation of cannabis and the amount of heroin being smuggled into Australia from South-East Asia and called for improved monitoring of chemicals from lawful sources being used to make illicit amphetamines.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Heroin Chic' Threatens Young - UN Report Assails Pop Culture As Making Drugs Seem Alluring ('Agence France Presse' Article In 'International Herald Tribune' About The United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 18:27:54 +0000 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: Peter Webster
Subject: ART: UN Report Assails Pop Culture International Herald Tribune Feb 25 1998 contact: firstname.lastname@example.org source: Agence France Presse 'Heroin Chic' Threatens Young UN Report Assails Pop Culture as Making Drugs Seem Alluring Agence France Presse VIENNA---The United Nations' antinarcotics organization said Tuesday that pop stars and popular culture were threatening young people by glamorizing the use of illegal drugs. In its annual report on global drug abuse the organization, the International Narcotics Control Board, also criticized a decision to award a gold medal at the Winter Olympics to a Canadian snowboarder who tested positive for marijuana. The board's chief, Hamid Ghodse, complained at a news conference to introduce the report about how drug use was portrayed in popular culture. "The fashion industry coined the term 'heroin chic,' and certain pop stars have made statements to the effect that the recreational use of drugs is a normal and acceptable part of a person's lifestyle," Mr. Ghodse said. While declining to identify specific stars, he referred to a band leader who made positive comments about the manufactured drug Ecstasyj and to "a middle-aged member of a rock band who said many of their greatest hits were inspired by cannabis.'' Paul McCartney said last month that marijuana was the creative force behind the Beatles' album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Mr. Ghodse urged governments i'to abide by their legal and moral obligation and to counteract the pro-drug messages of the youth culture to which young people are increasingly exposed." The 75-page annual report lists drug problems worldwide, and makes recommendations on strategies for fighting abuse around the world. Mr. Ghodse said the decision not to strip the Olympic snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati, of his medal would serve only to make marijuana more attractive to young people. "The decision signifies that the use of cannabis is acceptable and normal even for a gold medalist and that is sad," said Mr. Ghodse. The snowboarder was allowed to keep his medal after he argued before the Court of Arbitration for Sport that a positive test for marijuana in his blood resulted from his inhaling secondhand smoke. The court reinstated the medal because of a legal technicality. The UN anti-drug chief also criticized the news media, saying they should be more responsible about reporting on efforts to legalize drugs, and assailed companies that he said promoted drugs "subliminally" in their advertising campaigns. He also warned that the Internet had made information about drugs more available. *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- UN General Assembly Special Session On Narcotic Drugs In New York June 8-10, 1998 (Lengthy Briefing Paper By Transnational Radical Party, New York, Documents Some Recent UN Reports And Statements On Drugs And Drug Policy) Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 20:43:46 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: mario lap
Subject: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS What follows is a briefing paper on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on narcotic drugs. An updated version will be issued following the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, March, 16-20. If you don't want to receive any further information about this issue, please send a message to email@example.com. UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS NEW YORK, JUNE 8-10, 1998 Briefing paper by the Transnational Radical Party, New York, February 25, 1998 "The General Assembly's Special Session on international drug control, scheduled for June, would start the real war against drugs and convince nations and people that there could be a drug free world". Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention I. SUMMARY The United Nations General Assembly will held, from 8 to 10 June, a special session devoted to the fight against the illicit production, sale, demand, traffic and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and related activities. The session will adopt a solemn political declaration with which Member States will renew their commitment on the fight against drugs, especially through the implementation of the UN conventions and other UN policies. A declaration on demand reduction will also be approved, generically backing programs of prevention, education, treatment and rehabilitation. Some specific measures will be proposed in order to strengthen the international cooperation system for the fight against drugs, mainly in the fields of judicial cooperation, money laundering, chemical precursors and stimulants, and crop eradication. No evaluation, revision of or amendment to the UN Conventions on drugs is on the UNGASS agenda. Heads of State, Prime Ministers and top level Governments representatives are expected to participate in order to confirm their commitment to the prohibitionist War on Drugs. No controversial issue like harm reduction, decriminalization or legalization of any possible type of treatment or drug, is on the agenda. In fact, the UN is not supposed to tackle aspects that are under the competence of national governments, but just to facilitate international cooperation and to control the trade of authorized quantities (for medical and scientific purpose) of illicit substances. However, UN bodies play a major role in promoting prohibitionist laws all over the world, and the international cooperation encouraged by the UN is mainly about the repression of illicit drug production and trafficking. UN conventions, as well as UN programmes and bodies are therefore exercising a strong political pressure against the possibility of exploring other policies which could be alternative to the current War on Drugs. If some Member States should decide to authorize an important licit market for substances that today are illegal, the whole UN system of narcotic drugs control should be re-discussed. These are the reasons why it is extremely important that the UNGASS be reached by the voice of those who propose alternative solutions to the drug question. 0. WHO'S WHO UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (UNGA): is the principal body through which the United Nations adopts resolutions, conventions and protocols, and approve funds. It also serves as the forum through which individual governments express their views. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (ECOSOC): the Council is made of 54 Member States, and among other issues, it is responsible for formulating overall UN policies in the field of drug abuse control, coordinating drug control activities with the full range of economic and social programmes of the UN, and making relevant recommendations to Governments. COMMISSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS (CND): it is made of 53 Member States, and is one of ECOSOC's six functional commissions. It assists the Council in supervising the application of international conventions and agreements dealing with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It also considers any changes that may be required in the existing machinery, and may prepare new conventions and international instruments. It is the central policy-making body within the UN for all questions related to drug abuse control. UN DRUG CONTROL PROGRAMME (UNDCP): advises and assists Governments and specialized agencies on the implementation of the international drug control treaty system. II. HISTORY AND AGENDA On 28 October 1993, the UNGA, with resolution A/48/12, requested ECOSOC to examine the status of the international cooperation within the UN system against the illicit production, sale, demand, traffic and distribution of narcotics and psychotropic substances in order to recommend ways and means to improve such cooperation. On 27 July 1995, ECOSOC, with resolution 1995/40, after having taken into account the recommendations of the Executive Director of the UNDCP and the resolution of the CND, recommended that the UNGA and the CND should give priority consideration to the proposal to convene an international conference for the purpose of evaluating the international situation and the status of international cooperation on drugs. On 21 December 1995, UNGA resolution A/50/631 requested CND to discuss fully, as a matter of priority, this issue of holding an international conference, focusing inter alia on the assessment of existing strategies, as well as on the consideration of new strategies, methods, practical measures and concrete actions to strengthen international cooperation on drugs. On 23 July 1996, ECOSOC resolution 1996/17 expressed the Council's support for the proposal. On 12 December 1996, UNGA resolution A/RES/51/64 decided "to convene a special session in order to consider the fight against the illicit production, sale, demand, traffic and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and related activities, and to propose new strategies, methods, practical activities and special measures to strengthen international cooperation in addressing the problem of illicit drugs". In the same section of the resolution, it is also stressed that the special session should "be devoted to assessing the existing situation within the framework of a comprehensive and balanced approach that includes all aspects of the problem, with a view to strengthening international cooperation [...], and within the framework of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 and other relevant conventions and international instruments". CND was appointed to act as the preparatory body for the special session, to identify more precisely the issues to be considered at the special session. The first session of the Commission, held in Vienna March 26-27 1997, was dedicated to preparing the process of the Special Session of the UNGA (UNGASS). The Commission also agreed that the following issues would be considered during the preparatory process: 1. Reaffirmation of the political commitment of governments for international drug control. 2. Demand reduction: adoption of the guiding principles on demand reduction and proposals for implementation. 3. Strategic measures: a) measures to counter illicit manufacture of, traffic in and abuse of stimulants; b) measures to enhance the control/monitoring of precursors frequently used in the manufacture of illicit drugs; c) measures to promote judicial cooperation; d) measures to counter money laundering; e) eradication of illicit crops and alternative development. The Commission on narcotic drugs convened 3 informal open-ended meetings in July, October and December 1997, to discuss those items. On March 16-20, 1998, there will be the second session of CND that will act as a preparatory body for the UNGASS. This session of the Commission will be the last formal meeting before the June event, and will be therefore charged of finalizing all the texts that will be submitted to the General Assembly. The following points are included in the provisional agenda of the Commission: a) draft provisional agenda for the special session of the General Assembly; b) reports of the informal inter-sessional meetings; c) elements for inclusion in the draft political declaration; d) draft declaration on the guiding principles of demand reduction; e) other proposals submitted to the special session; f) review of international drug control regime: strengthening United Nations machinery drugs control. III. CONTENTS AND COMMENTARIES UNGASS has never been conceived to be an occasion to reconsider UN drug-related policies. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that any reference to an "evaluation of the international situation and the status of international co-operation" has soon disappeared from the UN language, and substituted with necessity of strengthening the international co-operation and assessing the existing situation. An evaluation should have implied taking into consideration the disastrous results of prohibitionist drug policies all over the world. Data that can easily be found in official reports, including the UNDCP 1997 World Drug Report. According to which: - illicit production of opium poppy has more than tripled since 1985; - illicit production of coca has doubled over the 1985-1994 period; - since the mid 1980s the world has faced a wave of synthetic stimulants abuse with an increase of approximately nine times in the quantity seized; - the total revenue accruing to the illicit drug industry lies somewhere around $ 400B (8% of the total international trade.) None of these figures will be taken into consideration by the UNGASS. Moreover, no alternative policy will be discussed, and no revision of the international conventions will be proposed. The only goal of the Session is to find a way of strengthening current policies, which means giving more resources to the implementation bodies of the international control on narcotic drugs. What follows is a brief overview of the different items. POLITICAL DECLARATION The purpose of the political declaration is to contribute to mustering the political will to increase the number of States parties to the treaties, and to advance their full implementation of the conventions. As mentioned above, the final proposal for the political declaration will be discussed in March, in Vienna. The two documents available up to now are both non-papers of the European Union and of U.S. The U.S. text, which has been used as the basis for the discussion during the last working group, focuses its attention on the following points: - the fight against drugs should be guided by the implementation of the UN conventions through national legislation that must provide authorities to attack all aspects of illicit drug trafficking; - illicit cultivation of opium and coca should end by the year 2008, using all available means including alternative development policies. The EU draft declaration, after having noted that "the international situation has not improved" sets the following: - reaffirms the political commitment of all Member States to combating the drug phenomenon and recalls the urgent need for the international community to rally its effort in the fight against drugs; - appeals for universal ratification; - calls upon the need to strengthen and improve the existing United Nations drug-control mechanism, including funding mechanism; With theses premises the political declaration will not be anything different from a commitment of all UN Member States to continue the 'War on Drugs'. Such tough and unrealistic commitment would be in reality a sign of deep weakness of the UN machinery, and, if critically read, it can constitute a sort of solemn war declaration at the climax of a global defeat. DECLARATION ON THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF DEMAND REDUCTION The term "demand reduction" is used by the UN to describe policies or 'programmes' directed at reducing the consumers demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances covered by the international drug conventions. The distribution of these drugs is forbidden by the law or, in certain cases, limited to medical or pharmaceutical channels. The draft declaration prepared by CND pledges a "sustained political, social, health and educational commitment to investing in demand reduction programmes that will contribute towards reducing public health problems, improving individual health and well-being, promoting social and economic integration, reinforcing family system and making communities safer." The demand reduction programmes should cover all areas of prevention, from discouraging initial use to reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse. The demand reduction declaration could be in a way the only "non-belligerent" text coming out from the UNGASS. However, the language of the draft declaration is very elusive about any possible reform of existing national policies and, it is not clear, which kind of practical measures will be undertaken. The reasons for this declaration seem to be just to counter-balance the focus on traffic repression and on the international drug control co-operation; it seems that the UN is trying to "humanize" the 'War on Drugs' and its side effects. Unfortunately, this has been done without facing any controversial or political aspects that are related to the question. STRATEGIC MEASURES The so-called strategic measures are conceived to strengthen the adherence and the implementation of international drug control treaties in drug-related issues such as judicial co-operation, chemicals and stimulants production, money-laundering, and also to reshape the crop eradication policies. The UN prohibitionist approach is to broaden more and more its scope, which would of course imply, more power and more resources to the repression bodies. A- JUDICIAL COOPERATION Measures are envisaged to further extradition of drug traffickers, to protect judges, prosecutors and witnesses, to intercept communications, to monitor bank accounts and to simplify confiscation proceedings. A new international 'emergency law' is being built inside the anti-drug legislative framework, with major threats to individual freedom and liberty. B- CHEMICAL DRUGS AND STIMULANTS Priority actions has been identified, at an international as well as at a national level, to strengthen controls over precursors in order to prevent their diversion to illicit channels and to apprehend international traffickers through controlled delivery. The measures would imply systems of import-export authorizations, as well as the improvement of the collection and the sharing of information on the licit uses of these substances. The monitoring of new substances, in order to prohibit them as fast as possible, is the UN strategy also for amphetamine type stimulants and chemical drugs. Further restrictions to the market of chemical drugs seem to be unrealistic, and they are already propelling the criminal research for newer and more powerful substances. C- MONEY-LAUNDERING The draft proposal urges all the States to implement the anti-money-laundering provisions of the UN conventions of 1988, with the establishment of a legislative framework to criminalize money-laundering resulting from serious crimes, especially through the confiscation of the proceeds of crime and the international co-operation. It is also proposed the establishment of an effective financial/regulatory regime to deny access to national and international financial systems by criminals, and the implementation of enforcement measures to provide tools for detection, investigation, prosecution and conviction of criminals. If the aim of depriving criminals of the fruits of their crimes is worth of interest, no evaluation is made about the huge costs of the fight against money-laundering, also in terms of restriction to the free circulation of capitals, and the meager results obtained up to now. It is evident that no consideration has been given to the possibility of solving the problem at the very roots through the eventual legalization of drugs. D- CROP ERADICATION AND ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT The UN focus on producer countries regards complementing crop eradication projects with the so-called alternative development policies. The latter aim at strengthening self-sustaining production systems as well as economic, social and environmental processes for the benefit of communities and population groups affected by illicit cultivation. Recently the Chief of UNDCP has proposed to the UN to finance a crop eradication programme in Afghanistan under the supervision of the Taliban guerrilla, the project has been approved by CND. It is interesting to note how the UN will be giving money to a group of religious fighters that found their activity on the constant violation of human rights, mainly of those of women. The draft proposal for the UNGASS appeals to international donors to assist producer countries in their task of alternative development. This assistance should be linked to national commitment and strong political will of producer countries to implement the provision of the 1988 Conventions, which require State Parties to adopt measures to consider illicit cultivation of opium poppy, coca bush, or cannabis plant for the production of narcotic drugs, as a criminal offence the. This is a briefing paper by the Transnational Radical Party. It can be reproduced entirely or in parts, please mention the source. Transnational Radical Party 866 UN PLAZA, #408 New York, NY, 10017 Trans.firstname.lastname@example.org www.agora.stm.it/pr Tel:+1-212-980.1031 Fax:+1-212-980.1072 The Transnational Radical Party (TRP) is an international Gandhian nonviolent organization. In 1995, TRP was awarded Category 1 (General) Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. TRP is a transdivisional cross-party that does not endorse political candidates, nor run for national or international elections. TRP promotes international political campaigns on: - the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court and the support of the activity of the International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; - antiprohibitionist policies on drugs, for the revision of international conventions on illicit drugs, against the black market and the narco-Mafia's illicit trafficking; - the universal abolition of the death penalty; - the right to language, supporting the use of an international auxiliary language (e.g. Esperanto) in international institutions and organizations; - the respect of human and civil rights; - a democratic reform of the United Nations. *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, Number 35 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists, Including Such Original And Excellent Commentary As The Feature Article, 'Policing For Profit - The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda,' By Eric Blumenson And Eva Nilsen) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:57:46 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer
Subject: DrugSense Weekly February 25, 1997 #35 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly February 25, 1998 #035 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: Feature Article Policing for Profit: The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda By Eric Blumenson and Eva Nilsen Weekly News In Review Heroin UK: Drug Deaths Spark Cheap Heroin Fears Australia: Killer Heroin Batch Marijuana New Scientist- Marijuana Special Report: High Anxieties Let's Be Adult About This. Drop in With Dr Dave U.S. National Drug Control Strategy Drug Czar: Gingrich 'Irresponsible' Solving Drug Epidemic In Nation's Prisons International News - Certification- Wants New Way To Get Countries To Fight Drugs Editorial: Drug Delusions About Mexico Mexico- Gangs: New Recruits For Mexican Druglords? Druglords Easily Enter The U.S. From Mexico? Hot Off The 'Net DrugSense Tip Of The Week *** FEATURE ARTICLE *** Policing for Profit: The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda By Eric Blumenson and Eva Nilsen This article summarizes articles by the authors appearing this week in The Nation (March 4,issue) and the University of Chicago Law Review (Winter, 1998). In 1984, the forfeiture laws were rewritten to funnel 'drug related assets' into law enforcement agencies that seize them. This amendment offered law enforcement a new source of income, limited only by the energy police and prosecutors were willing to put into seizing assets. The number of forfeitures mushroomed; by 1987 the Drug Enforcement Administration was earning its keep, with seizures exceeding its annual budget. Local law enforcement benefited from an 'equitable sharing' provision: henceforth if a municipal police officer discovered marijuana growing in a teenager's room, for example, he could request the federal government to forfeit the family's house and return the lion's share of the sale proceeds to his local police force. In subsequent years, some small town police forces have enhanced their annual budget by a factor of five or more through such drug enforcement activities. This forfeiture incentive has had two dangerous results. First, these programs have corrupted governmental policy-making and law enforcement. At the Department of Justice, which has deposited $2.7 billion in its Asset Forfeiture Fund over the last five years, a steady stream of memos exhorts its attorneys to redirect their efforts toward "forfeiture production" so as to avoid budget shortfalls. One warns that 'funding of initiatives important to your components will be in jeopardy if we fail to reach the projected level of forfeiture deposits.' Another directs U.S. Attorneys, 'if inadequate forfeiture resources are available . . . divert personnel from other activities.' A report prepared for the Justice Department suggests that multi- jurisdictional drug task forces select their targets in part according to the funding they can produce, noting that as asset seizures become important "it will be useful for task force members to know the major sources of these assets and whether it is more efficient to target major dealers or numerous smaller ones." Local law enforcement agencies have also turned to asset seizures to compensate for budgetary shortfalls, at the expense of other criminal justice goals. In the Nation article, we demonstrate that the strange shape of the criminal justice system today -- the law enforcement agenda that targets assets rather than crime, the 80% of seizures that are unaccompanied by any criminal prosecution, the plea bargains which favor drug "kingpins" and penalize the "mules" without assets to trade, the "reverse stings" which target drug buyers rather than drug sellers, the overkill in agencies involved in even minor arrests, the massive shift toward federal jurisdiction over local law enforcement -- is largely the unplanned byproduct of this economic incentive structure. Second, the forfeiture laws in particular are producing self-financing, unaccountable law enforcement agencies divorced from any meaningful legislative oversight. The prospect of this kind of self-financing law enforcement branch, largely able to set its own agenda and accountable to no one, might sound promising to Colonel North or General Pinochet, but it should not be mistaken for a legitimate organ in a democracy. It was an anathema to the framers, who in typically far-sighted fashion warned that "the purse and the sword ought never to get into the same hands, whether legislative or executive," and sought to constitutionalize the principle by establishing a government of separate branches which serve to check and balance each other. There are by now numerous examples of such semi-independent agencies targeting assets with no regard for the rights, safety, or even lives of the suspects. In one federal civil rights judgment against an Oakland, California drug task force, we read an officer's admission that his unit operated more or less "like a wolfpack," driving up in police vehicles and taking "anything and everything we saw on the street corner." Recent investigations in Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Boston, and Washington State have exposed other police agencies similarly deformed by their dependence on drug war financing. Such dire results should prompt reform, particularly because a single measure -- mandating that forfeited assets be deposited in the Treasury's general fund rather than retained by the seizing agency would cure the forfeiture law of its most corrupting effects. The issuance of drug war dividends to law enforcement is but one part of an anti-drug mobilization that has continued, at escalating levels, for almost 30 years. Despite a succession of failures to "win" the war on drugs, the government's response has always been simply more of the same -- more money thrown into this war (now $50 billion per year), more arrests (now about 500,000 per year for marijuana possession alone), and more prisoners (60% of federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses). This heavy law enforcement emphasis has never flagged, and the forfeiture laws help explain why: police and prosecutorial agencies that make drug law enforcement their highest priority are extravagantly rewarded for doing so by the forfeiture laws. For law enforcement officials, however irrational the drug war may be as public policy, it remains superbly rational as a bureaucratic strategy. *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Heroin *** UK: Drug Deaths Spark Cheap Heroin Fears Australia: Killer Heroin Batch COMMENT: McCaffrey's party line is that drug use in the United States is down, therefore the drug war is succeeding. This claim is based entirely on questionable estimates of the number of casual users. More reliable data- purity and street price of heroin point to a glut, which may have quite different implications. As noted last week, the number of overdose deaths is skyrocketing in port cities around the world Just for confirmation: DRUG DEATHS SPARK CHEAP HEROIN FEARS Exclusive: Police admit seizures are doing little to stem the flow of imports FIVE people have died of drug overdoses in a single week in the west of Scotland as a flood of cheap heroin pours into the country. The death toll brings the number of heroin-related deaths since the beginning of this year to 16 and signals a rise in danger for drug users. The figures forecast that by the end of 1998 more than 120 deaths will occur in and around the Glasgow area, reversing the three-year trend that has seen drug fatalities fall from an all-time high of 105 in 1995. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 Author: Karen McVeigh Source: The Scotsman Website: http://www.scotsman.com Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n119.a07.html *** KILLER HEROIN BATCH TWO people have died and 27 have collapsed in one of Melbourne's worst heroin overdose outbreaks. A new super-potent batch of the drug stretched the city's ambulance service to the limit in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday [snip] Source: Herald Sun (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 Author: Mark Buttler URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n121.a02.html *** Marijuana *** New Scientist- Special issue on Marijuana Marijuana Special Report: High Anxieties Let's Be Adult About This. Drop in With Dr Dave COMMENT: This special issue of New Scientist is a major plus for our side. There isn't room to consider all the articles in this newsletter. A trip to the New Scientist website is strongly advised. It's still too early to tell, but if a good investigative reporter goes to work, the news that pressure was put on the WHO to suppress a report favorable to cannabis may turn out to be as big a news item as the report itself. It should not surprise anyone familiar with the tactics of the US prohibition establishment that they twisted the arm of WHO, just as it doesn't surprise those familiar with marijuana that it's miles safer than either alcohol or tobacco. HIGH ANXIETIES What the WHO doesn't want you to know about cannabis Health officials in Geneva have suppressed the publication of a politically sensitive analysis that confirms what ageing hippies have known for decades: cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco. According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances. The comparison was due to appear in a report on the harmful effects of cannabis published last December by the WHO. But it was ditched at the last minute following a long and intense dispute between WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted the report and a group of external advisers. [snip] insiders say the comparison was scientifically sound and that the WHO caved in to political pressure. It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalize marijuana. [snip] Source: New Scientist Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n116.a02.html *** COMMENT: This editorial in New Scientist, perhaps because of a European bias in interpreting recent news, considers cannabis decriminalization almost a done deal. Their expectations of NIDA, expressed in the last paragraph, suggest that they don't have a clue about the ferocity with which all branches of the US government will fight to keep marijuana illegal. LET'S BE ADULT ABOUT THIS Politicians will just have to bite on the bullet--dope will be decriminalised When Olympic officials decided last week to give errant snowboarder Ross Rebagliati his gold medal back, the cheers drowned out the boos. It was a minor scandal involving a minor sport, but it spoke volumes about the world's shifting relationship with its favourite illicit drug. [snip] What's changed today is that our attitudes towards illegal drugs are becoming more sophisticated and discriminating. After thirty years of research into the harmful effects of cannabis, there can be no hidden dangers left to discover. [snip] Campaigners and pressure groups can be forgiven for trading propaganda, but we should expect world famous scientific organisations like the US National Institute on Drug Abuse to evaluate honestly the research that has been done. Source: New Scientist Pubdate: Thu 19 Feb 1998 Author: David Concard Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n116.a10.html *** DROP IN WITH DR DAVE COMMENT: I've included part of the revealing interview with David Smith, MD because he tells us so succinctly in his own words how the founder of the Haight- Ashbury Free Clinic sold out to drug prohibition. He apparently wants users arrested and sentenced to treatment. To find out what is happening on the front lines of marijuana addiction and treatment, Jonathan Knight spoke with David Smith, founder and president of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics in San Francisco. [snip] NS: Should cannabis be made legal? DS: I'm an opponent of marijuana legalisation. I don't want people to go to jail, I want them diverted to treatment, but I also don't want more marijuana available in the street. If marijuana were legalised I believe the tobacco companies would be the main distributors of it. And they would target youth as they did for tobacco. You would have the equivalent of Joe Camel for marijuana. I prefer medicalisation: demand reduction through education and treatment. For example, 80 per cent of the people in the criminal justice system have drug abuse problems but only 5 per cent get any treatment now. Medicalisation puts much greater emphasis on treatment. If you get busted for smoking while driving, you get diverted to treatment, not jail. We've gone about as far as we can go with the criminal justice approach. [snip] Source: New Scientist Pubdate: Th, 19 Feb 199 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newscientist.com/home.html URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n116.a06.html *** U.S. National Drug Control Strategy *** Drug Czar: Gingrich 'Irresponsible' Solving Drug Epidemic In Nation's Prisons COMMENT: In a surprisingly political rebuttal of Newt's opportunistic posturing, McC defended the administration's proposed ten year plan. This plan leans heavily on recent writings by Califano, Kleiman, and DuPont. The interpretation of history on which it's based can be found in Jonnes' execrable "Narcs & Hep-Cats." DRUG CZAR: GINGRICH 'IRRESPONSIBLE' WASHINGTON--The White House drug policy chief says House Speaker Newt Gingrich is playing party politics in the war on drugs. [snip] Barry R. McCaffrey, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, reproached Gingrich as "irresponsible" for declaring that the administration's long-term plan to reduce illegal drug use was dead on arrival in Congress. [snip] The jousting over drug policy began Saturday when President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, outlined his plan to reduce the number of Americans using drugs by half over the next decade. The administration has budgeted $17.1 billion for next year to expand prevention programs, hire more border patrol agents, drug agents and police, and treat more prisoners [snip] *** COMMENT: This SF Chronicle editorial swallows Kleiman's thesis advanced in the Washington Post last year along with CASA's latest claims. What makes them think a prison system that has been corrupted enough to allow the drugs inside prisons can't also be corrupted to nullify testing? This is yet another bonanza for prison spending and a source of graft for prison officials. 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. [snip] Source: San Francisco Chronicle Pubdate: Sunday, February 22, 1998 *** International News *** Certification- US Wants New Way To Get Countries To Fight Drugs Editorial: Drug Delusions About Mexico COMMENT: The upcoming need to certify Mexico focuses attention on policy failure South of the Border. McCaffrey is pushing for a multi-national treaty to ultimately replace the embarrassing certification process. This harmonizes with Clinton Administration's plan institutionalize the drug war over a ten year period. A related editorial in the Boston Globe touched on the hypocrisy of certification while failing to draw the obvious conclusion that drug prohibition in the US aggravates many of the problems they listed. U.S. WANTS NEW WAY TO GET COUNTRIES TO FIGHT DRUGS WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration, weary of the bruising annual debate with Congress over whether to certify that Mexico and other nations are cooperating in the war on illicit drugs, wants to drop that process altogether and replace it with an international treaty. [snip] The proposed anti-drug treaty would create a Western Hemisphere alliance to fight the production and transportation of drugs and set up a secretariat to make sure that alliance members comply with its provisions. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 Author: Stanley Meisler - LA Times URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n113.a01.html This article also appeared in the LA Times as "U.S. Wants Drug Treaty to Replace Certification" on Mon, 16 Feb 1998 *** DRUG DELUSIONS ABOUT MEXICO During the Vietnam War, Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas lamented an ''arrogance of power'' that he regarded as the true source of that war. The stakes today are different, but when a foreign leader such as Mexico's President Ernesto Zedillo complains about the annual humiliation of having to be certified.. [snip] ..... Washington has a considerable interest in Mexico's struggles to establish a multiparty democracy, achieve social justice for marginalized groups such as the Indians of Chiapas, reduce crime, and cauterize the corruption that infects Mexico's political system. The certification process, with its arrogant assumption of US superiority, can only cast doubt on the possibility of Yanqui solidarity with Mexico's struggles. Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/ Pubdate: 19 Feb 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n120.a12.html *** Mexico- Gangs: New Recruits For Mexican Druglords? Druglords Easily Enter The U.S. From Mexico? COMMENT: Two articles from the Orange County Register indicate that cross-border cooperation in the drug war is not limited to government agencies, but extends to criminal organizations as well: O.C. GANGS: NEW RECRUITS FOR MEXICAN DRUGLORDS? Authorities are worried about that prospect since last week's indictments of 10 San Diego men in an ambush that killed 7. It was a crime that shocked Mexico and reverberated into Southern California: A brutal, gangland-style ambush that targeted a drug dealer but instead took the lives of the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate in Mexico and six others. U.S. authorities last week said they believe that the contract assassins were members of a San Diego gang. [snip] Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 Author: Guillermo X. Garcia URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n120.a03.html *** DRUGLORDS EASILY ENTER THE U.S. FROM MEXICO? Mexico's most-wanted druglords travel regularly to the United States, moving across the border into California with ease, a top Mexican anti-drug official charged Wednesday. Mariano Herran Salvatti,the special prosecutor for crimes against health, said law-enforcement officers had found video footage showing one of the brothers crossing the frontier and it "was clear he was going from the United States to Mexico." [snip] Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n120.a05.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** NORML has updated and revised their web page at: http://www.norml.org/ Of particular interest is the legal archive of attorneys that specialize in drug law at: http://www.norml.org/legal/nlc.html A handy URL that we hope is never needed. It offers searches by state, name etc. *** TIP OF THE WEEK *** HOW TO WRITE A LTE THAT GETS PUBLISHED as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. OK so we have you in action and writing an occasional letter to the editor (LTE) but you would like to see more of your dynamite prose published? Here are the "secrets" to dramatically increasing your publication rate. 1) visit the following web sites and read through letter writing tips and style guide: http://www.mapinc.org/style.htm http://www.mapinc.org/3tips.htm 2) Visit our archive of hundreds of published Letters to get a feel for what works and what a successful LTE looks like. http://www.mapinc.org/lte/ 3) Write a letter. It's extremely hard to get published without taking this all important and often overlooked step. It's also surprisingly easy if you "Just DO it." Plagiarism from the above archive is not only encouraged it is considered a very highly regarded art form. 4) Send it to the newspaper(s) you choose. Need an Email address? See http://www.mapinc.org/resource/email.htm Do these 4 simple steps and send out at least one letter a week and we guarantee that you will soon see your name in lights (or at least in ink). *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. Editor: Tom O'Connell (email@example.com) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (firstname.lastname@example.org) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to email@example.com PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. 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