------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (House Republicans Declare - Damn The Science, Full Speed Ahead! Approve Resolution Opposing Any Use Of Marijuana As A Medicine; California State Senator Introduces Legislation To Limit Patients Protected By Proposition 215; Jury Reverses Court Martial After Hearing Evidence Of Legal Products Testing Positive For Marijuana) From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 18:38:21 EST Subject: NORML WPR 2/26/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. February 26, 1998 ***House Republicans Declare: Damn The Science, Full Speed Ahead! Approve Resolution Opposing Any Use Of Marijuana As A Medicine February 26, 1998, Washington, D.C.: A coalition of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, approved a "sense of the House of Representatives" resolution stating that "marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medical use." The resolution -- introduced by subcommittee chair Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) -- won the approval of all seven Republicans present, while being opposed by the two Democrats at the mark-up, Reps. John Conyers (Mich.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas). Ironically, the subcommittee's action came just one day after the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) held its third and final symposium on the merits of marijuana therapy. The IOM organized the conferences as part of a federally funded 18-month review of the scientific evidence demonstrating marijuana's therapeutic value. Before passing the resolution, the Republicans rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, stating that the "States have the primary responsibility for protecting the health and safety of their citizens, and the Federal Government should not interfere with any state's policy (as expressed in a legislative enactment or referendum) which authorizes persons with AIDS or cancer to pursue, upon the recommendation of a licensed physician, a course of treatment for such illness that includes the use of marijuana." Republicans argued that any lifting of the legal ban prohibiting marijuana, even for medical purposes, would send mixed and potentially dangerous messages to the American public about drug use. Conyers said that the federal government has no right to interfere in the relationship between a doctor and a patient. "We are talking about patients with the most serious illnesses a person can have -- people who may very well die," Conyers said. "And for these patients, there is substantial medical literature suggesting that marijuana can reduce their suffering." "The Republicans on the Judiciary Committee refuse to recognize that this is a public health question, not part of the war on drugs," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. "They are willing to ignore the science and deny an effective medication to the sick and dying in order to advance their political agenda. It is especially disappointing that Chairman McCollum, who twice sponsored legislation to permit the legal use of medical marijuana in the 1980s, would lead this misguided effort." The resolution now goes for consideration before the full Judiciary Committee. A separate federal bill to allow for the legal use and distribution of medical marijuana in states that approve such efforts is pending in the House Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Environment. House Bill 1782 -- introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) -- currently has ten co-sponsors. For more information or a copy of the February 23 House Resolution, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. Information on upcoming state medical marijuana initiatives and legislation is also available upon request. ***California State Senator Introduces Legislation To Limit Patients Protected By Proposition 215 February 26, 1998, Sacramento, CA: State Sen. Richard Rainey (R-Walnut Creek) introduced legislation on Friday to curb the use of medical marijuana in California. Senate Bill 2113 seeks to restrict the number of patients who qualify to use marijuana legally under state law to those suffering from only HIV, cancer, glaucoma, or spasticity disorders. The legislation omits several medical conditions for which marijuana often provides relief such as chronic pain, neuralgia, and some psychiatric disorders. "The passage of this legislation could make criminals overnight out of thousands of patients now legally using marijuana as a medicine," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. The Rainey bill further states that physicians who recommend marijuana to a patient must do so in writing. All written recommendations must be re-issued every six months. California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer said that many California physicians are wary of writing medical marijuana recommendations because they fear federal officials may suspend their license to prescribe scheduled drugs. Senate Bill 2113 also states that Proposition 215 may only provide an "affirmative defense" against prosecution rather than an exemption from state criminal marijuana charges. This new language would subject even bona fide medical marijuana patients to arrest and prosecution until they proved their cases at trial, Gieringer said. For S.B. 2113 to become law, it must gain the approval of the California Legislature and a majority of state voters because it would alter the purpose of Proposition 215. In response to this and other efforts to compromise the scope of Proposition 215, state Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) recently introduced legislation to form a "Medical Marijuana Distribution Task Force" to determine a "safe and affordable" distribution system for medical marijuana. Language in Proposition 215 encouraged "federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide ... marijuana to all patients in medical need;" however, no such efforts are yet under way. For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. ***Jury Reverses Court Martial After Hearing Evidence Of Legal Products Testing Positive For Marijuana February 26, 1998, Dover, DE: A jury overturned a U.S. Air Force court martial after hearing evidence that hemp oil may test positive for marijuana on a urine test. The decision acquits Master Sergeant Spencer Gaines, 41, of charges that he smoked marijuana. "[This ruling] has the military drug testing labs very concerned because it undermines the confidence in the effectiveness of the drug testing program, at least for marijuana," Gaines' attorney, Charles Gittens said. "The government now has to rule out, in every case, a legal source for [marijuana metabolites.] Here's a product that's legal, commercially available over the counter in health-food stores and grocery stores -- and it can pop you positive for [marijuana.]" Hemp seed oil is sold commercially in health food stores across the nation. Presently, health professionals like Dr. Andrew Weil tout the nutritional benefits of hemp oil, noting that it is second only to soy in protein and contains the highest concentration of essential amino and fatty acids found in any food. The oil may be applied to foods just prior to consumption or ingested in capsule form. A series of studies conducted this past summer both in the United States and abroad indicated that the regular users of the oil may test positive for THC regardless of how they consumed it. Gaines testified that he began using hemp oil in 1996 as a replacement for essential fatty acids. "Urinalysis is not a reliable indicator of workplace impairment and, in this instance, the court found that it is not even a true detector of past marijuana use," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. "As the use of hemp seed oil gains popularity, employers need to recognize that this legal product may test positive for marijuana." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Suspect In Police Shooting Found Dead ('The Oregonian' Notes Suspicious Jail Death Of Target In Warrantless Break-In By Portland Marijuana Task Force That Left One Cop Dead, Two Wounded - Dons' Attorney, Andrew Bates, Calls For Independent Investigation In Strangling Death Of Victim Who Was Paralyzed From Waist Down And Wounded In Chest During Shootout - Paper Still Refuses To Say Whether Fireplace Evidence Corroborates Police, Who Said Warrantless Break-In Was Based On Smell Of Suspect Trying To Destroy Evidence Of 51 Cannabis Plants By Burning Them, Or Whether It Backs Dons, Who Said He Didn't Even Know It Was Police At His Door, Implying He Was Not Destroying Evidence) The Oregonian oregonlive.com February 26, 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org Suspect in police shooting found dead The medical examiner rules that Steven Douglas Dons, accused of killing Officer Colleen Waibel, strangled himself with a bedsheet By David R. Anderson of The Oregonian staff The man accused of killing a police officer last month during a drug raid was found dead Wednesday morning in his jail medical room, the victim of an apparent suicide. Steven Douglas Dons, 37, twisted a bedsheet around his neck and tied it to the frame of his adjustable hospital bed to strangle himself, said Multnomah County Sheriff's Detective Gary Muncy. Dons, who was paralyzed from the waist down when wounded during the shootout, wedged his right arm through the rungs of the bed's side rail for leverage. He tightened the noose by raising the bed about one foot, pressing the controls with his left hand. Dons was not under suicide watch, and it was unclear whether he had talked of killing himself. At a news conference in front of the Justice Center jail, Dons' attorney, Andrew Bates, called for the state attorney general's office to conduct an independent investigation. "We don't suspect foul play, but we don't know," Bates said. "A lot of people out there didn't like Steven Dons." A member of the Justice Center jail medical staff found Dons dead about 4:45 a.m., Muncy said. The staff member entered Dons' room to give him regular medical treatment, said Lt. Brian Martinek, a Multnomah County sheriff's spokesman. Dons needed to be moved every three hours because of his injuries. Dons, who weighed about 250 pounds, was lying in bed. The staff tried to revive him but did not use "extraordinary" measures because he obviously was dead, Martinek said. Dons was not taken to a hospital. Officials do not know how long Dons had been dead. The last time jail staff know Dons was alive was about 1:30 a.m., when they did a medical check, Martinek said. Staff members gave him treatment and talked to him. Martinek would not say what Dons talked about. "There was nothing out of the ordinary," Martinek said. Dons was being held in a medical unit on the jail's fourth floor. He was in a room by himself. The bed in Dons' room was similar to a hospital bed with a T-bar above. During the three hours between medical treatments, corrections deputies made visual checks twice an hour through a window on Dons' locked door, where they could see him in bed. The room had a low-light "night light," which provides enough light to see everything but is dim enough to allow inmates to sleep, Martinek said. "He appeared to be sleeping," Martinek said. Muncy said a rolling table used to serve meals might have partially blocked deputies' view of Dons through the window. In addition, the lack of contrast of the sheet against Dons' neck might have made it difficult to see. Bates said he last saw his client Friday and he did not believe Dons was suicidal. "He was upbeat and engaged in his defense," Bates said. "We do have some information we will provide to investigators about his treatment in the facility that may be pertinent to his death," Bates said after the news conference. He would not elaborate. Dons did not leave a suicide note, Muncy said. "I am told he had been recently talking about" suicide, he said. Officials originally said Dons showed no signs of being depressed or suicidal, but backed off those statements later Wednesday. "There has been different information regarding that, and we're trying to clarify that," Martinek said. Inmates on suicide watch are held in special cells with constant supervision and are not allowed access to bedsheets and other items that they could use to commit suicide, said sheriff's Cmdr. Jeanie King. Psychiatric nurses determine whether inmates are placed on suicide watch. Since the Justice Center jail opened in 1983, 10 inmates have committed suicide, Martinek said. Dons died of asphyxia by strangulation, said Dr. Larry Lewman, state medical examiner. Lewman ruled Dons' death a suicide. Lewman confirmed that Dons' injuries were consistent with Muncy's account, including bruises on Dons' right arm where he braced himself on the bed rail. The attorney general does not typically investigate inmate suicides unless the district attorney or governor requests it, said spokeswoman Kristen Grainger. Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said he did not know of any reason the case should be investigated by an independent agency but would be willing to discuss it with Bates. Sheriff Dan Noelle asked the East County Major Crimes Team, consisting of members of the sheriff's office and Gresham and Troutdale police detectives, to conduct an investigation. Martinek said jail staff was not to blame for Dons' death, although commanders will review the case. "There was no conduct recorded outside the policies and procedures of this facility," he said. In fact, Muncy said, the jail staff was upset by Dons' death. "They were pretty well devastated," he said. "They put in a lot of work keeping his spirits up. "It's a shame. I know there are people who will say he got his comeuppance by his own hand, but it's a shame." James McIntyre, the Multnomah County senior deputy district attorney who was handling the case, said Dons' suicide prevented a long battle over a death penalty case. "My reaction is that I'm glad it's over now rather than dragging on 15 years," he said. Officer Kim Keist, who was wounded in the shooting, is relieved, said her husband, Noble Keist. "She doesn't have to lay there and worry about the upcoming court case in which she would have to relive it all." On the other hand, he said, there are "some wild theories" about what happened during the raid, and a trial would have brought out the facts. Keist said Dons killed himself "because he's a coward and didn't want to face the possibilities of what would happen to him in prison. He didn't want to lay there and wait for the lethal injection." Officer Colleen Waibel, 44, was killed in the shootout. Her husband, Portland police Sgt. Mark Fortner, did not think it was appropriate to comment on Dons' death, said East Precinct Cmdr. Mark Paresi. Police say Dons shot and killed Waibel and wounded Keist and Sgt. Jim Hudson when they forced their way into the house in which he was living at 2612 S.E. 111th Ave. The Jan. 27 drug raid started as a report that someone inside the house was growing marijuana. When police saw smoke that smelled like burning marijuana coming from a chimney, they broke down the front door, fearing that evidence was being destroyed. Inside the front door, they were met by gunfire. With Dons dead, McIntyre said he felt able to talk about the case. "He ambushed them," McIntyre said. Bates fired back. "What do you expect the (district attorney) to say?" he said. "Steven Dons is not the monster portrayed by the media. The truth is, he felt a great deal of remorse and sorrow for the death of Officer Colleen Waibel." Dons' roommate, Jeffery Harlan Moore, 44, told The Oregonian on Feb. 5 that Dons admitted to him that he shot the officers. Dons, who had trouble hearing, claimed that he didn't know police were at the door and thought they were others intending to harm him, Moore said. "He didn't know who they were," Moore said. "He really regrets what he's done." Moore, who was arrested Feb. 12 on drug and child endangerment charges, remains in the Justice Center jail. Peter Farrell of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Suspect In Slaying Of Officer Commits Suicide In Jail ('Associated Press' Account Of 250-Pound Portland Man Who Supposedly Strangled Himself To Death Quotes Multnomah County Jail Official Saying A Glass-Enclosed Video Camera Covered In Dried Toothpaste Was Obsolete And Not In Use At Time Of Homicide) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 21:27:47 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Suspect In Slaying Of Officer Commits Suicide In Jail Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Phil Smith Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Lauren Dodge, Associated Press Writer SUSPECT IN SLAYING OF OFFICER COMMITS SUICIDE IN JAIL 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Epitope Announces FDA Clearance Of Oral Fluid Assay For Cannabinoids (Press Release From Web Site Of Company In Suburban Portland, Oregon, Says Oral Drug Test For Marijuana Comes After Recent Approval Of Similar Tests For Cocaine And Methamphetamine - No Mention Tests Could Be Anything Other Than 100 Percent Accurate) Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 14:00:30 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Epitope drug testing firm owns the hepatitis strawberry co. Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >From the company's own web site I learned that they own the company that was involved with the hep-a outbreak from strawberries. Epitope Announces FDA Clearance of Oral Fluid Assay For Cannabanoids (Marijuana) Beaverton, Oregon, Feb. 26 -- Epitope, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPTO) today announced that its research partner, STC Technologies, Inc., located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has received FDA clearance for the STC Cannabanoids Micro-Plate EIA (enzyme immunoassay) for use in the qualitative determination of cannabanoids in oral fluid collected with the OraSure(r) Oral Specimen Collection Device manufactured by Epitope, Inc. This assay is intended to detect the use of marijuana. ``STC and Epitope continue to develop the full panel of products to allow drugs-of-abuse testing in oral fluids to become a near term reality that will benefit a variety of areas where remote collection and testing are needed,'' said Sam Niedballa, Ph.D., executive vice president, research and development of STC. This clearance related to cannabanoids is in addition to recently announced clearances for use of OraSure to test for cocaine and methamphetamine using other STC EIAs. Under an agreement with Epitope, STC Technologies, Inc., has developed OraSure based-tests for cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, and a group of drugs commonly called the NIDA-5. The NIDA-5 includes cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabanoids (THC), opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). ``With each clearance we are a step closer to providing those organizations who test for drugs a convenient, cost effective, and less embarrassing alternative to current practices while enhancing control over chain-of-custody,'' said John Morgan, president and chief executive officer of Epitope. The clearance of the oral fluid tests for cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabanoids are the first for the group of drugs that constitute the NIDA-5. As the final members of the NIDA-5 are cleared, Epitope intends to market combined drugs-of-abuse panels that will be tailored to specific market needs using a single OraSure specimen in both the United States and internationally. Epitope holds exclusive distribution rights for the STC OraSure-based assays outside of the United States. In 1996, the worldwide market for laboratory-based drugs of abuse screens was approximately $530 million, involving 35 million test panels. Over 60% of worldwide test volume and sales revenue comes from the United States. Use of the OraSure collection device for drug testing offers many advantages over urine collection. OraSure specimen collection offers an economic advantage since it can be performed in any setting, thus avoiding the need for specially prepared collection sites necessary to prevent the adulteration of urine. OraSure collection also provides for better chain-of-custody than urine because the collector, without embarrassment to the subject, can observe the collection. An additional benefit of OraSure testing is that the test result can be conclusively linked to the test subject using DNA testing performed on the same sample used for drug screening. This provides an accurate method for responding to legal challenges that positive drug tests are invalid due to sample mix-up at the laboratory. Epitope believes that drug testing performed on OraSure samples will be well received in all segments where drug testing is currently performed. Due to the advantages listed above, OraSure-based drug testing seems especially well suited for three testing segments 1) government mandated drug testing, such as testing of transportation workers (D.O.T.), defense contractors (D.O.D.), and other governmental contractors; 2) forensic testing, including applications in the criminal justice system, law enforcement, the courts, and probation/parole programs, and 3) industrial testing for employment and drug free workplace programs. STC Technologies, Inc. is a privately held company that develops and markets proprietary clinical diagnostic tests and medical devices for use in clinical labs, physicians' offices, and worksite testing. Since its founding in 1987, STC has twice been named to Inc. magazine's list of the 500 fastest growing, privately held companies in America. Epitope, Inc. is an Oregon based corporation that develops and markets medical diagnostic products. Its current focus is on products that use oral fluid in the detection of HIV infection, with emphasis in the life insurance and public health market. SOURCE: Epitope, Inc. CONTACT: Mary Hagen of Epitope, 503-641-6115
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Growers Misled Lawyer, Judge Rules - Everett Attorney's Role Described As 'Troubling' ('The Herald' In Everett, Washington, Continues Series About Ongoing Marijuana Cultivation Trial In Which Federal Prosecutors Turned Attorney Mark Mestel's Private Investigator Into A Confidential Informant Against Him And His Clients - Now A Federal Judge Has Ruled That Two Marijuana Growers Criminally Abused Their Relationship With The Everett Lawyer, And In So Doing, Gave Up The Usual Protections Of An Attorney-Client Relationship - Trial Resumes In June) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 19:26:29 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WA: Pot Growers Misled Lawyer, Judge Rules Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thu 26 Feb. 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Pot growers misled lawyer, judge rules Everett attorney's role described as 'troubling' By SCOTT NORTH Herald Writer SEATTLE -- Two admitted marijuana growers from Eastern Washington criminally abused their relationship with an Everett lawyer, and in so doing, gave up the usual protections of an attorney-client relationship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. Gregory Haynes and James Denton in 1994 took advantage of the attorney-client relationship with lawyer Mark Mestel to hide their involvement in marijuana growing operations in Stanwood and in the tiny community of Warden near Moses Lake, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly ruled. Along with other members of the pot growing ring, the pair conspired to have Mestel file fraudulent documents in an attempt to mislead the government about who bankrolled the Stanwood pot farm, which was discovered when it caught fire in May 1994, the judge ruled. Federal prosecutors last summer charged Haynes, Denton and others with conspiracy and money laundering after law officers unearthed another large pot farm, this time buried beneath a Grant County alfalfa field. Zilly said after listening to more than four days of testimony he found much that was "troubling," including Mestel's role. "I don't think they (the defendants) gave Mestel all the facts," Zilly said. "They certainly gave him a lot. I think more than Mr. Mestel was willing to admit." Attorneys for Haynes and Denton had asked Zilly to dismiss the case, arguing the government erred in 1996 when it recruited Dale Fairbanks, a former private investigator, to help investigate the pot growers. Most of the investigation's targets had previously been represented by Mestel, for whom Fairbanks had regularly worked as an investigator. Haynes attorney Allen Ressler said the government's use of Fairbanks had "undermined the appearance of fairness" and tainted the government's investigation so much that all evidence should be thrown out. He said Fairbanks' insider knowledge of the pot growing operation stemmed from the attorney-client relationship. To make their case, defense attorneys had Haynes and Denton testify about how they made thousands of dollars growing and selling marijuana and cleaning up the cash through legitimate business investments. The pair contended that Mestel was paid thousands of dollars to represent ring members, and that they were open with their lawyer about the illegal deals. Haynes also testified he supplied Mestel with small amounts of marijuana, including an alleged face-to-face delivery in Cle Elum in 1995, when Haynes said he put pot in a baseball hat for Mestel. Mestel testified last week that Haynes had, unbidden, sent him marijuana on a couple of occasions. He insisted he threw away, or turned away, the drugs and flatly denied receiving pot in a hat. Zilly noted that both Haynes and Fairbanks were present for the Cle Elum meeting, and offered substantially similar testimony about the incident. As for the other deliveries, "I'm satisfied that Mr. Mestel knew about it, or had some conversations with him (Haynes) about it," the judge said. Mestel has not been charged. When told of the judge's comments, Mestel said: "I stand by my testimony." The judge said he was troubled by the government's decision to use Fairbanks in the case, but he also was impressed by the steps investigators took to not undermine the confidential relationship Mestel had with other clients. "I am satisfied the government diligently and vigorously" maintained its focus on ongoing criminal activity, not protected by the attorney-client privilege, Zilly said. The judge said he may throw out some evidence Fairbanks supplied, but only if he clearly learned it before 1996. A June trial is scheduled.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Commentary On The Mestel Matter By Seattle Attorney Jeff Steinborn (List Subscriber Forwards Message Suggesting 'The Real Issue Is What Happens When A Lawyer's Investigator Becomes A Snitch?') Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 12:55:04 -0800 (PST) From: Robert Lunday
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: HT: pot growers lawyer screws them over (fwd) Sender: email@example.com Thanks Jeff for clarifying. --- Forwarded message -- Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 12:07:44 -0800 From: Jeff Steinborn (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Robert Lunday (email@example.com) Subject: Re: HT: pot growers lawyer screws them over Hello, Robert. Please post this around Here's a bit more on the Mestel matter. Maybe I can clear up a bit of the confusion. Mark is known as the most effective lawyer in Snohomish county, a reputation he has earned and deserves. He is very tough and very professional. The issue here is not whether you can trust your lawyer. Mestel has never given testimony against a client, and, I am sure, he never will. The real issue is what happens when a lawyer's investigator becomes a snitch? We work very closely with our investigators, and we do advise our clients that anything they tell our investigators is just as privileged as if they told it to us. None of us in the defense bar can understand how Judge Zilly could approve a relationship that left the protection of the attorney-client privilege essentially in the hands of a government informant. Does the fox get to watch the chicken coop? Not in a system that is supposed to be fair. The other issue is when are you no longer safe in relying on the lawyer client privilege? This privilege does not evaporate when the client "misleads" the lawyer. It does, however, evaporate when the client commits some criminal act and lets the lawyer know about it, or involves the lawyer in a crime. This is generally referred to as the "crime fraud" exception to the attorney client privilege. In the Mestel case, as I understand it, the defendants, without consulting with Mestel, decided to include Mestel's investigator among those who were allowed to know about their ongoing marijuana farm. The discussion of ongoing or future crime is not a privileged communication - whether made to an investigator or a lawyer. So to summarize: yes the Mestel matter is troubling. But not because of Mark's conduct or because the attorney client privilege is easily brushed aside. What is troubling is that the government financed an investigation which put a government agent directly in the middle of the attorney client relationship, and left the guarding of that relationship to the person whose interest it is to violate it. We are still safe to talk to our attorneys, just so we don't tell them about crimes we are committing or about to commit. Jeff Steinborn --Original Message-- From:+ Robert Lunday To: Darral Good Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Friday, February 27, 1998 11:01 AM Subject: Re: HT: pot growers lawyer screws them over >The case of Mark Mestel, has been a confusing one, but it seems a bit >troubling that if someone "misleads" their lawyer that all of a sudden the >attorney-client relationship is thrown out the door and the lawyer can >become a narc. In fact I think it sets a dangerous precedent. If a >laywer could say that his client "mislead" him, (perhaps he moved and >failed to notify his lawyer of his new address?), and then turn around and >testify using information he got based on the attorney-client priviledge, >than how can you trust your own laywer? > >One thing I would bet money on. If this case was not drug related ... say >it was a case of embezzling or some other white-collar crime ... than >that testimony probably would have denied. But since it's drugs, and >theirs a war on, than you either stretch the law, or simple change it. As >long as you get the bad guys. > >On Thu, 26 Feb 1998, Darral Good wrote: > >> Pot growers misled lawyer, judge rules >> >> Everett attorney's role described as 'troubling' >> >> By SCOTT NORTH Herald Writer >> >> SEATTLE -- Two admitted marijuana growers from Eastern Washington >> criminally abused their relationship with an Everett lawyer, and in so >> doing, gave up the usual protections of an attorney-client
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jail And Annex Are Overflowing With Inmates - With Many Sleeping On Floors, County Is Searching For Solutions (Tacoma 'News Tribune' Update On Failure Of Drug Policy In Thurston County, Washington, Where The Possibility Of Lawsuits For Overcrowding Has Jail Officials Studying An Early Release Program Imposed By A Federal Judge On Multnomah County, Oregon, In 1987, After Inmates Sued Over Inhumane Conditions) From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: Jail and annex are overflowing with inmates Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 20:18:06 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Jail and annex are overflowing with inmates With many sleeping on floors, county is searching for solutions Karen Hucks The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington) Less than a year after Thurston County opened an annex to relieve jail overcrowding, it is considering an early release program because it has more inmates than ever. "I've been here almost 20 years, and I've never seen anything like this," Sheriff's Capt. Ben Tarver said Wednesday. On Tuesday, the jail and its annex held 423 inmates, and 63 others were in alternative programs that did not require jail beds, said Mark Bolton, associate jail administrator. The jail and annex have 358 bunks. On at least one day last week, the total soared to nearly 500. Three inmates are packed in cells that have only two bunks. Some inmates sleep on mats on the floor next to urinals, while others sleep in the secure common area outside cells. There aren't enough places to sit and eat. County officials say they aren't certain why jail populations seem to peak at this time of year, but do say that this year it is higher than ever. The county is looking at "every solution in the world now," undersheriff Neil McClanahan said, including hiring more officers, renting space in the King or Yakima county jails and talking to arresting officers to make sure they don't unnecessarily book people into jail. And all the while, the American Civil Liberties Union is "breathing down my neck," McClanahan said. The ACLU is investigating dozens of inmate complaints about inhumane conditions, said Julya Hampton, director of the group's legal program in Seattle. "When you have so many people who are sleeping right next to the urinals and another prisoner wakes up and has to go to the bathroom, what does that mean?" Hampton said. "That means you're going to get sprayed with urine." Thurston isn't the first county to face a possible lawsuit over a crowded jail. Inmates sued Pierce County in 1995, and reached a settlement that limits the number of prisoners in the jail on any day. And it is the early release program in Multnomah County, Oregon - imposed by a federal judge in 1987 after inmates sued - that Thurston County is studying for its own jail, officials said. The county includes Portland. There, inmates are assigned points based on their danger to the community. When the jail reaches its maximum number of inmates, those with the lowest values are released. Within the next two weeks, Thurston County will run a computer simulation on its jail population based on Multnomah County's program, said Tom Ball, the county's director of probation. "We're going to look at one day of our jail population and assign points to all those people and just see what would happen," Ball said. "We're just trying to see who would come up with the lowest values and see how palatable this is." The county also is planning to send a team soon to Portland to visit with Multnomah County officials, Bolton said. Inmates have been sleeping on the floor for weeks, and some say they are forced to take cold showers because there's not enough hot water. "It's totally unsanitary," said Jon Schiebel, 21, who is serving a year for a probation violation on a theft charge. "When I was on the floor I'd wake up with lint balls in my mouth." Crowding creates tension among the inmates, too. "The decibel level is so high that you can't even hear yourself think," said inmate Russ Big Eagle, 33. "You've got people yelling, and then you've got people wanting to beat each other to death." Inmates also say that medical services are lacking at the jail. However, Marla Fredericks, a nurse and the health services administrator for the jail, said inmates get medical treatment immediately for emergencies and within a week for nonemergencies. The overcrowded jail also is a problem for corrections officers, because tensions are high and fearful inmates are crafting more weapons. "We're looking at the staff safety," McClanahan said. "We're sorry for these folks being in jail, but darn it, most of them are in there because they made a stupid decision. But the staff - they're down there to do a job." Officers are working mandatory 12-hour shifts, are being forced to delay vacations and are getting sick more often, jail officials said. In the past year, the county opened its annex for 92 low-risk offenders and started a day-reporting program in which inmates live at home and check in at the jail before going to their jobs. The county also increased electronic home monitoring, work-release and community service programs. Within two years, the county will open a 300-bed regional jail in Tumwater, said Linda Hoffman, the county's chief administrative officer. But that won't solve the current problem of massive overcrowding, she acknowledged. The ACLU's Hampton said the jail's housing situation is not the kind that most courts would consider humane or civilized. "When the state decides it has to lock people up, that's fine," she said. "But when you do that, you've got to provide basic minimum standards of decency. "And when you have a facility that's as crowded as the Thurston County Jail appears to be, it does have an effect on its ability to provide a minimum of services." *** Staff writer Karen Hucks covers Thurston County. Reach her at 1-800-388-8742, Ext. 8660, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- House Panel Against Medical Use Of Marijuana ('Arizona Daily Star' Says Yesterday A US House Crime Subcommittee Chaired By Republican Bill McCollum Of Florida Approved Non-Binding Resolution That Would Put Congress On Record Against Medical Marijuana, As If It Wasn't Already) To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Randell) Subject: House panel against medical use of marijuana Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: February 26, 1998 Source: Arizona Daily Star Contact: email@example.com URL: http://www.azstarnet.com/public/dnews/080- 0553.html Thursday, 26 February 1998 House panel against medical use of marijuana Congressional Quarterly WASHINGTON - A House Judiciary subcommittee yesterday approved a non-binding resolution that would put Congress on record against the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Crime subcommittee Chairman Bill McCollum, R-Fla., said Congress needed to act in the wake of recent state initiatives that allowed doctors to recommend marijuana to patients. California and Arizona voters decided in 1996 to permit physicians to prescribe or recommend marijuana to treat various maladies ranging from AIDS to nausea from cancer chemotherapy to painful pressure on the eyes caused by glaucoma. Supporters of legalization say that in many cases, marijuana is the only drug patients can tolerate to relieve their symptoms. But McCollum said that allowing marijuana use, even among terminally ill patients, sends a message to youngsters that marijuana is not dangerous. McCollum said marijuana has a high potential for abuse and can break down the immune system. Federal law bars the use and possession of marijuana, without exception. The federal government currently considers marijuana to have no scientific use, and federal and state studies are generally prohibited from using taxpayer funds to study the effects of the drug, medicinal or otherwise.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Supply Question (Dave Fratello Of Americans For Medical Rights, Sponsors Of Restrictive Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiatives In Several States, Gives AMR's Rationale For Not Including Legal Distribution Clauses In Initiative Texts) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 15:09:11 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: The supply question Admittedly, we have resisted commenting on this for some time, but it seems that with expiration of the 215/CBC case in state court, and the ongoing actions against California CBCs, by now, both sides fully understand the issues. It is worth explaining why AMR and its affiliates have chosen the course they have on the issue of legal supply systems. There is a good reason that no state initiative supported by AMR has a distribution system -- to create one runs an unacceptably high risk of endangering and losing the entire initiative. Federal law is likely to be held supreme on an issue of legal distribution. That is the best advice we have gotten, and there is really no other side to the argument. The same issue, now confronted by the lawyers defending the 6 California clubs against the feds' civil action, looks like a loser, though there are certainly interesting arguments to be made. The drafters of 215, including folks involved in distribution, fully understood this reality of state/federal conflict, and they kept 215 limited for that reason. Prop. 215 was challenged by the federal government only through indirect means, not through the court system, as were other initiatives passed by California voters in the same election. This was not because of any lack of animosity by the feds, but because they understood that there was no positive conflict with federal law embodied by 215's provisions. The fact is, distribution is a matter of local option, not something that can reasonably be done in state or even municipal law. If you try to create protections for supply in a state law, you not only risk losing the law in federal court but, in the real world, you will give false hope to people who set up shop thinking they're protected, and end up in federal prison. The best protections for distribution come from state and local officials knowing their constituents support medical marijuana, and from transparent, honest, non-profit operations coming forth and handling the dicey and difficult task of getting medicine to the people who need it. There is no question that the real heroes in this fight are those who put themselves on the line to handle distribution, and they deserve quality protection. But the sad conclusion here is that there is no true safe haven until federal law changes. I think we're all trying to get there, while we help protect patients in individual states as well. -- dave fratello
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Clears Way For Closure Of Marijuana Clubs ('Associated Press' Recaps Yesterday's News About California Supreme Court Letting Stand December Ruling To Shut Medical Cannabis Dispensaries As Ineligible Primary Caregivers) Subj: US CA: Wire FLASH: Court Clears Way For Closure Of Marijuana Clubs From: David Hadorn, Marcus-Mermelstein Family and Dave Fratello Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 23:18:08 -0500 Newshawk: David Hadorn, Marcus-Mermelstein Family and Dave Fratello Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Editor's note: Sad news, indeed, in this item provided by these three newshawks. Please be alert for the newspaper stories and editorials which are sure to follow, and send them to email@example.com - Thank you. Richard Lake, Sr. Editor COURT CLEARS WAY FOR CLOSURE OF MARIJUANA CLUBS SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The state Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for possible closure of all 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 an appellate decision, issued last December, 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 San Francisco enterprise now called the Cannabis Cultivators Club, insisted Wednesday that the club was no longer selling marijuana but was merely being reimbursed for cultivation costs, and was in compliance with the ruling. But if courts disagree and 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. Peron's club, then called the Cannabis Buyers' Club, had been raided three months earlier by Lungren's agents, who said marijuana was being sold to people without doctors' prescriptions. They got a judge to shut it down, but it was reopened in January 1997 by Superior Court Judge David Garcia, who said Proposition 215 allowed a nonprofit organization to sell marijuana to patients who had named the club as their ``primary caregiver.'' But the 1st District Court of Appeal overruled Garcia last December and said state law prohibits anyone, including a nonprofit organization, from selling marijuana or possessing it for sale. ``The intent of the initiative was to allow persons to cultivate and possess a sufficient amount of marijuana for their own approved medical purposes, and to allow `primary caregivers' the same authority to act on behalf of those patients too ill or bedridden to do so,'' said the opinion by Presiding Justice J. Clinton Peterson. He 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 -- defined by the initiative as an individual, designated by the patient, ``who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person'' -- cannot be a commercial enterprise like the Cannabis Buyers' Club, Peterson said. The vote was 3-0 to reinstate the closure order. But one appellate justice, J. Anthony Kline, said the ruling was written too broadly and might make it impossible for many seriously ill patients to obtain marijuana. Peron said Wednesday the club had changed its operations because of a statement in Peterson's ruling that a caregiver, while barred from selling marijuana, could be reimbursed for the cost of cultivation. ``We're being reimbursed for the marijuana we cultivate legally as caregivers for these people who have letters from their doctors,'' he 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 added. Gordnier, the state's lawyer, said the club is ineligible to be a primary caregiver and therefore cannot operate legally under the court's ruling. The case is People vs. Peron, S067387.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge's Order Closes Marijuana Club (Different 'Associated Press' Version) Subj: US CA: Wire: Judge's Order Closes Marijuana Club From: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 07:42:08 -0500 Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 JUDGE'S ORDER CLOSES MARIJUANA CLUB SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A judge ordered a San Francisco medical marijuana club to shut down Thursday, a day after a ruling against such clubs took effect statewide. But a lawyer for the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club say it is not breaking the law and does not plan to stop operation. `We are abiding by the law,'' said J. David Nick, lawyer for Dennis Peron - -- founder of the club and author medical marijuana initiative approved by voters in November 1996. Nick said the club's distribution of marijuana to patients complied with the state appeals court ruling and Thursday's injunction. But Attorney General Dan Lungren said the injunction requires the club to close its doors. On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court denied review of an appellate ruling in December that said the initiative did not allow marijuana clubs to sell the drug to patients. The ruling also said a commercial operation such as a club cannot be a ``primary caregiver'' authorized to furnish marijuana. But some of the state's 20 club operators, including Peron, say they are not violating the order because they don't sell marijuana, they simply give it to patients who reimburse them for the cost of cultivating it. San Francisco Superior Court Judge David Garcia issued a preliminary injunction Thursday drafted by Lungren's office. It prohibits Peron from selling, furnishing or giving away marijuana to anyone unless he qualifies as a ``primary caregiver.'' The initiative allows possession and cultivation of marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation to ease the pain and nausea of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other conditions. Patients can grow the drug themselves or obtain it from a primary caregiver, defined as one who has ``consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health or safety'' of the patient. Peron says the more than 8,000 patients who belong to his club have designated him as their primary caregiver. But the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that state law prohibits anyone from selling marijuana or possessing it for sale. The court also said Peron's club, a commercial enterprise open to anyone who came in with a doctor's recommendation, did not qualify as a primary caregiver. Nick said he would argue the issue at an April 3 hearing on a permanent injunction. Meanwhile, he said, the club ``will continue to serve the sick and dying at all costs.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Top Court Clears Way To Shut Medical Pot Clubs ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version Notes Attorney General Lungren Will Ask San Francisco Superior Court Judge David Garcia Today To Issue An Injunction To Close Down More Than 20 Cannabis Clubs Across State) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:00:18 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: State Top Court Clears Way to Shut Medical Pot Clubs 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: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Aurelio Rojas, Chronicle Staff Writer STATE TOP COURT CLEARS WAY TO SHUT MEDICAL POT CLUBS The California Supreme Court left intact a lower-court ruling yesterday that could allow the state to close down all medical marijuana clubs. The high court's action set the stage for Attorney General Dan Lungren to follow through on his promise to shutter the clubs. A spokesman for Lungren said the attorney general will ask San Francisco Superior Court Judge David Garcia today to issue an injunction to close down the more than 20 cannabis clubs across the state. By declining to review a ruling by the First District Court of Appeal, the high court let stand a decision that Proposition 215 allows only ``primary caregivers'' to furnish pot. ``We're pleased with the court's decision not to hear this case,'' said Matt Ross, a spokesman for the attorney general. ``This means the court has agreed with our office.'' Lungren, a Republican who is running for governor, contends that the clubs have been selling pot without doctors' prescriptions. The 1996 ballot initiative allows for possession and cultivation of marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation to ease the pain and nausea of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other conditions. In a brief order, the state Supreme Court declined to review the lower court's ruling against the Cannabis Cultivators Club in San Francisco. The club, founded by Dennis Peron, believed it was entitled under Proposition 215 to act as a ``primary caregiver'' and to furnish marijuana to customers. The appeals court defined a primary caregiver as one who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health or safety of a patient and said it cannot be an enterprise like the Cannabis Cultivators Club. Peron, who authored the landmark initiative, said he will continue to press his legal fight. The appellate court ruling, he said, allows cannabis clubs to act as ``caregivers for cultivation purposes.'' ``We've stopped selling marijuana,'' Peron said, noting that his club has changed its name from Cannabis Buyers' Club to the Cannabis Cultivators Club. ``Now, were being reimbursed for our costs. There's a semantical difference.'' The appeals court ruled that the only way a patient can obtain marijuana legally is to grow it or obtain it from a primary caregiver who has grown it. The court said primary caregivers may receive compensation for the cost of growing marijuana for authorized patients. ``Voters did not intend to allow commercial enterprises to sell narcotics, like Mr. Peron's doing,'' said John Gordnier, an assistant attorney general. Gordnier said Peron's club is ineligible under the law to be a primary caregiver. Peron, who is also seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination, said tampering with Proposition 215 is ``like rescinding civil rights legislation.'' ``People who are sick are not going to go back to sitting in the back of the bus,'' he said. ``They're not going to go out into the street to get their medicine just because the state wants to use technicalities.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ruling By Top Court May Shut Pot Clubs ('San Francisco Examiner' Version Notes San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan Has No Plans To Shut Down Peron's Club) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:57:09 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Ruling By Top Court May Shut Pot Clubs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Tyche Hendricks of the Examiner Staff RULING BY TOP COURT MAY SHUT POT CLUBS But patrons vow fight, and DA won't aid closure in S.F. Through a cloud of marijuana smoke, patrons at the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivator's Club voiced their outrage and dismay over a state Supreme Court decision that could lead to the closure of all medical marijuana clubs in California. "If this club closes, I will be out here protesting. I will go to jail," said Wayne Justmann, 53, a volunteer at the club who is HIV positive. "What kind of society would allow this to happen? There are a lot of sick people here, going through a lot of pain." Justmann was responding to news Wednesday that the state Supreme Court had unanimously let stand an appellate court decision, issued last December, that said Proposition 215, the 1996 medical marijuana initiative, did not allow anyone to sell marijuana and did not allow a commercial outfit to furnish marijuana as a "primary caregiver" to sick people. The appellate ruling is now binding on trial courts statewide. Dennis Peron, founder of the San Francisco club, and author of Prop. 215, insisted that his operation complied with the appellate decision. "We're not selling; we're cultivating for others" he said, explaining that the group merely accepted reimbursement for cultivation costs, and that it had changed its name from the Cannabis Buyers Club to conform with the appellate ruling. "This is not going to affect our operations one bit." "If they do try to arrest me," he went on, passionately, "I assure you eight or nine thousand people here will not let them, will not go to the back of the bus." A spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren said the state would ask a San Francisco judge on Thursday to order Peron's club closed. "We'd like to move forward with reinstating the full injunction" to shut the cannabis club, said spokesman Rob Stutzman. The ruling by the state Court of Appeal, and Wednesday's state Supreme Court decision not to review it, stem from a civil case brought by the attorney general against Peron's club. The state got a judge to shut the club, but it was reopened in January 1997 after the passage of Prop. 215 by Superior Court Judge David Garcia. The proposition, which was 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. Garcia said the measure allowed a nonprofit organization to sell marijuana to patients who had named the club as their "primary caregiver." However, the 1st District Court of Appeal overruled Garcia last December and said state law prohibited anyone, including a nonprofit organization, from selling marijuana or possessing it for sale. Presiding Justice J. Clinton Peterson wrote that the only way a patient could obtain marijuana legally was to grow it or obtain it from a primary caregiver who had grown it. A primary caregiver - defined by the initiative as an individual who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health of safety of the patient - cannot be a commercial enterprise like the cannabis club, Peterson said. An aid to relaxation Wednesday evening, patrons of the Cannabis Cultivators Club considered the club's future. "If this place didn't exist, it would be hard. I'd have to find another source," said Larry, 51, who lost both his legs to a blood disease that led to gangrene. "Marijuana helps me relax. It controls the spasms in my legs." He didn't want his last name used. The attorney general hopes the action by the court will pave the way for the closure of the dozens of cannabis clubs around California. "We think this means local law enforcement around the state should be advising clubs they should cease to operate," said Stutzman. "If they continue to operate, they should close them down." But San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan has no plans to shut down Peron's club. "It's still up in the air. We have to wait and see what Garcia's going to do," he said. "Lungren will try to shut down Peron's club, but we're trying to work out our own medical approach for San Francisco." Hallinan said he and Supervisor Tom Ammiano had requested that the Board of Supervisors develop rules to regulate cannabis clubs as medical centers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Order Is Aimed At Closing San Francisco Operation (Lengthy 'San Jose Mercury News' Version Says Most Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Across California Are Unlikely To Close Anytime Soon) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:56:48 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Order is Aimed At Closing San Fransisco Operation Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Howard Mintz - Mercury News Staff Writer ORDER IS AIMED AT CLOSING SAN FRANSISCO OPERATION Pot clubs may survive despite order by top court The California Supreme Court on Wednesday clouded the future of the state's medicinal marijuana clubs, upholding a lower court ruling that would shut down the San Francisco operation of Proposition 215 author Dennis Peron. But despite the high court's action and predictions by California Attorney General Dan Lungren, most marijuana clubs across the state are unlikely to close anytime soon. In fact, such clubs as the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center in San Jose and Oakland's Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative are expected to survive for now -- in large part by distancing themselves from the way Peron's Cannabis Cultivators Club does business. ``I don't think there is an easy, fast answer,'' said Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu, whose office has permitted the San Jose club to operate under strict regulations. ``But I don't think anything is going to be the death knell for medicinal marijuana.'' Added Jim McClelland, chief financial officer of the Oakland pot center: ``If I were a betting man, I'd say not much will come of this. Lungren will try to use it as leverage to close all the clubs, and I don't think he'll be successful in doing that.'' Lungren's office did vow to move quickly to close down Peron's operation, and a state lawyer said the Supreme Court decision warrants a ban on all such clubs throughout California. But as recently as last month, Lungren backed off on threats to use the Peron court case to seek the closing of other marijuana clubs. And it remains to be seen whether he is willing to force the issue in places such as San Jose, where law enforcement officials have backed the clubs. California voters in November 1996 approved Proposition 215, which allows the possession and cultivation of marijuana if its use is approved by a doctor. Since then, medicinal marijuana operations have opened in more than a dozen cities throughout the state, offering the drug to people suffering from the pain and nausea associated with such diseases as AIDS and cancer. Peron's club has been ground zero in the battle over medicinal marijuana from the start, with Lungren targeting the outspoken medicinal pot advocate for flouting the state's drug laws. Critics have alleged that Peron has not maintained the level of controls on the distribution of marijuana at his clubs that exists in other operations. Peron has defended his club and its role in helping the sick obtain medicinal pot. Order rekindles dispute The state's high court rekindled the furor over the clubs with Wednesday's brief order, which let stand a December ruling by the San Francisco-based 1st District Court of Appeal. In that ruling, a three-justice panel found that Proposition 215 did not permit commercial operations to sell marijuana. In language that has now been endorsed by the state Supreme Court, the 1st District said the intent of Proposition 215 ``was to allow persons to cultivate and possess a sufficient amount of marijuana for their own approved medical purposes, and to allow `primary caregivers' the same authority to act on behalf of those patients too ill or bedridden to do so.'' The appellate court concluded that clubs such as Peron's do not qualify as a ``primary caregiver.'' But other club operators around the Bay Area say they believe they can survive the legal test established under the ruling, an argument expected to be used to fight attempts to shut them. ``This case dealt with a specific situation and said this situation isn't allowed,'' said Oakland lawyer William Panzer, who represents clubs in Oakland, Marin and Ventura. ``No, it doesn't shut down the clubs.'' Official doesn't foresee problem Peter Baez, head of the Santa Clara County medicinal marijuana center on Meridian Avenue, agreed. ``I think (the Peron case) is going to have a big impact on Lungren's ability to selectively close down the cannabis centers,'' Baez said. ``But if you play by the rules, I think you are going to be OK.'' According to lawyers following the issue, the bigger legal challenges to the clubs' existence are pending federal court lawsuits filed last month by the U.S. Justice Department. Those cases seek to shut six Northern California clubs -- San Jose's is not among them -- arguing that federal drug laws foreclose the clubs' ability to sell marijuana under the ballot initiative, regardless of whether it is for medicinal purposes. San Francisco U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who is hearing all six cases, is expected to consider the federal government's case in March. Lawyers for the pot clubs predict that the Justice Department will try to use the state court ruling to its advantage. Peron, meanwhile, pledged Wednesday to keep his club open ``until the tanks come in.'' Peron maintains his club has operated differently since the passage of Proposition 215 and that the court case has dealt with how he distributed marijuana before the initiative went into effect. ``They defined the parameters of Prop. 215,'' Peron said of the appellate court ruling. ``We've been in accordance with the law for some time. That's what I envisioned when I wrote the law.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Local Schools See Rise In Use Of Drugs, Alcohol ('San Jose Mercury News' Says Second Annual California Safe Schools Assessment Report From California Department Of Education Notes Alcohol- And Other Drug-Related Offenses Declined 6 Percent Statewide Last Year - Increase Of 9 Percent In San Mateo County Partly Attributed To Zealously Enforced 'Zero Tolerance' Policy) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:04:02 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Local Schools See Rise In Use of Drugs, Alcohol Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Bryan Monroe - Mercury News Staff Writer LOCAL SCHOOLS SEE RISE IN USE OF DRUGS, ALCOHOL While schools around the state are reporting drop in many crimes on campus, drug and alcohol use is on the rise in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County schools, according to a report released today. ``We are actually seeing a sense of progress toward safer and better schools,'' said Delaine Eastin, state superintendent of public instruction. ``When crime goes down, student achievement goes up.'' In its second annual California Safe Schools Assessment report, the California Department of Education said that drug- and alcohol-related offense rate declined by 6 percent statewide last year. Fights and other batteries dropped by 7 percent while the cost of vandalism fell by 3 percent. In San Mateo County, drug and alcohol offenses are up 9 percent. But reports of battery were down 11 percent last year. During the 1996-97 school year, there were also 43 reported assaults with deadly weapons at county schools, down 18 percent from the year before. A San Mateo Union High School official said that the district's first look at the numbers showed a definite improvement over last year's baseline figures. But to do a straight-across comparison is not necessarily fair, said Sam Johnson, associate superintendent for human resources and administrative services. The district strictly enforces a ``zero tolerance'' policy and the study's numbers reflect that, he said. Other districts might not have such a policy or enforce it as toughly as does San Mateo Union, he said. The district has other indicators that reflect how the community feels about the job it's doing to make safe schools, Johnson said. ``There are anywhere from 200 to 300 families trying to come into this district via the interdistrict transfer process. That's a clear indication to us we're doing something right.'' In Santa Clara County, some districts bucked the statewide trend. Campbell Union High School District led the county in drug and alcohol offenses and reported more than three times the state average of batteries. ``We're obviously concerned about our rate, but you have to realize that we are simply reflecting society,'' said Bruce Hauger, superintendent. Drug, alcohol offenses San Jose Unified had the highest rates of drug and alcohol offenses among the county's unified districts. Officials said they have improved their reporting procedures in the district, but that the 81 percent increase in that area still has them concerned. ``This is not something we take lightly,'' said Maureen Munroe, spokeswoman for the district. Statewide, while some violent crimes against students and others appear to be dropping, others are on the rise. Assaults with a deadly weapon shot up 17 percent last year. Vandalism, graffiti, arson, and theft remain the largest sources of crime in California schools. But the numbers reported also declined by 8 percent during the 1996-97 school year. Still, those property crimes cost schools $22.6 million last year. In 1995, the state Legislature passed a law requiring all school districts and counties to compile uniform statistics on school crime. This is the second year the reports has been issued. The validity of the data came under criticism last year, as many districts struggled to find the most accurate way report to their crime rates. This year, the state set up special training sessions for districts and established a toll-free number that districts could call for technical support. ``We anticipated that there would be some growing pains,'' said Jerry Hardenburg of the state Department of Education, ``But we certainly have a feeling that it is improving.'' Better at reporting crimes But some Santa Clara County officials wonder if their crime has really gone up or if, after two years of reporting, districts have just gotten better at reporting it. ``If you were to say there is an 85 percent increase in people running red lights,'' said San Jose Unified's Munroe, ``would you say there is an increase in the incidents or really an increase in the fact that officers are catching them?'' Mercury News reporter S.L. Wykes contributed to this report. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED The complete California Safe Schools Assessment report is available online at www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/safety/safetyhome.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Turning The Tide On Juvenile Crime (Joanne Jacobs' Editorial Column In 'San Jose Mercury News' Examines Violent And Repeat Juvenile Offender Act Introduced To Congress By Republican US Senators Orrin Hatch Of Utah, Jeff Sessions Of Alabama, Which Would Allow 14-Year-Olds To Be Tried As Adults And Locked Up In Adult Prisons - Columnist Notes Crime Statistics For Young Offenders Are Down, And Prevention - Not Prison - Gets The Credit) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:00:46 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Turning the tide on juvenile crime 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: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Joanne Jacobs TURNING THE TIDE ON JUVENILE CRIME Crime statistics for young offenders are down, and prevention -- not prison -- gets the credit DON'T trust anyone over 12, baby boomers say. We are afraid of our children -- or, at least, of other people's children. We read about crazy kids shooting their schoolmates, gang kids murdering their rivals and anyone else who gets in the way. We know many kids are growing up in single-parent and too-busy-to-parent families, raised by Animaniacs rather than adults. But something happened to those young ``super-predators'' on their way to destroy our society. They stopped off at the after-school center to do their homework and play afternoon basketball. The Senate is considering a bill that would authorize trying 14-year-olds as adults, and sending them to adult prisons. It boosts funds for prosecution and punishment, cuts funds for prevention programs. But juvenile crime is declining -- in part because prevention programs are working. Violent crime by juveniles and by 18- to 24-year-olds rose dramatically from 1984 to 1993. The prime suspect is the crack epidemic, which fueled gang wars over drug turf and spread the use of guns; media violence and absent fathers are also blamed. As the crime wave was about to peak, the National Center for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh found arrests of juveniles for violent crimes had doubled from 1983-1992 and would double again by 2010 if the trends continued. But they didn't. Juvenile crime was down in 1996, the last year for which data is available. It was down the year before. Aggravated assault, the most common violent crime committed by juveniles, is down. Homicide, the most publicized, is down. The most alarming category -- murders by pre-teens -- peaked at 41 in 1994, and then fell to 20 in 1996. ``It's turned around,'' says Melissa Sickmund, a senior NCJJ analyst. Juvenile violence arrests have fallen to 1989 levels -- still high, but headed in the right direction. Sickmund suspects a combination of factors have helped: an expansion of after-school programs, mentoring and other prevention strategies; community policing; tougher sanctions; and more concern by parents about supervising children. The drug market stabilized, says James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist. And communities responded to the crime wave by creating anti-violence curricula in schools and after-school programs to keep kids off the streets in the high crime hours, afternoon and early evening. Trying teenagers as adults has little effect, Fox believes. ``For the most part, punishment does not deter kids. They live for today, die today.'' ``Things have gotten better from the worst point ever,'' he stresses. And the demographics are scary. While baby boomers have gotten too old for violent crime -- one reason adult crime rates are falling -there's a baby boomlet entering the high-risk adolescent years. Will they find adult mentors to point them in the right direction? Or adult felons in the next cell? A bill by Republican senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Sessions of Alabama throws teenagers to the wolves -- or, worse, to adult convicts. ``The Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act'' (S.10) would allow 14-year-olds to be tried as adults and locked up in adult prisons. In theory, they'd be protected from ``prohibited physical contact'' or ``sustained oral communications'' with adult felons, but the Children's Defense Fund calls it the `The Child Rape Opportunity and Criminal Mentoring Act.'' The bill repeals the federal ban on jailing kids who've done nothing that would be a crime for an adult: Unless state law forbids it, runaways or kids dumped on the system as ``unmanageable'' could be held temporarily in adult jails. States that want a share of $1.5 billion in federal grants would have to adopt federal rules for juvenile offenders, and spend most of the grant money on prosecutors and prisons. Funding for programs to prevent juvenile crime are cut -- except for Hatch's favorite, the Boys and Girls Clubs, which would get money to expand. The bill, which has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be heard this spring on the Senate floor, also contains a grab bag of provisions asserting federal control over local issues. For example, it forces public schools to expel students for bringing drugs, alcohol, weapons -- or cigarettes -- on campus. Smoke a Camel, take a walk. There are a few kids so vicious at 14, 15 or 16 that they can't be saved. There are a few who earn ``career criminal'' treatment before they turn 18. But not many. To deal with the rare cases, get-tough laws put not-so-bad adolescents at risk, Sickmund says. ``We've seen cases charged as aggravated assault that came down to throwing a cup at the mother, poking someone with a straw. For this, kids could be tried as adults.'' These are children, often struggling to become adults without much adult guidance. They can get it from a coach, a tutor, a Big Brother -- or the guys on the cellblock. Joanne Jacobs is a member of the Mercury News editorial board. Her column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. You may reach her at 750 Ridder Park Dr., San Jose, CA 95190, by fax at 408-271-3792, or e-mail to JJacobs@sjmercury.com .
------------------------------------------------------------------- Concord Students Sent Home From Europe Trip Suing School ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes Zero-Tolerance Policy At Mount Diablo Unified School District In California Lent Opportunity For Chaperones To Severely Punish Students Without Any Clear Evidence Of Violations) Subj: US CA: Concord Students Sent Home From Europe Trip Suing School From: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:02:31 -0800 Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer CONCORD STUDENTS SENT HOME FROM EUROPE TRIP SUING SCHOOL Two students sent home from Europe last year after allegedly imbibing on a band trip are suing Concord High School, the Mount Diablo Unified School District, chaperones and other officials. The lawsuit, filed late Tuesday on behalf of students Keke Kaste and Jordan Stock, claims negligence, infliction of emotional distress, slander and libel. The teenagers and their families are asking unspecified exemplary and punitive damages. Last March, the two teenagers, then 14 and 15, traveled with the Concord High band on a weeklong tour of Germany and Austria. While in the medieval town of Rothenburg, Germany, Keke, Jordan and two other students stopped at a cafe and ordered a nonalcoholic ``Irish Cream Coffee,'' according to the lawsuit. A chaperone traveling with the band observed the students drinking and asked a waitress what she had served them. The waitress, who could not speak English, indicated she had served the teens an alcoholic Irish Coffee. That same night, both Keke and Jordan were separately ``interrogated'' by chaperones. School officials falsely told both teenagers that other students had admitted drinking alcohol, court papers contend. Chaperones told the rest of the touring musicians that Keke and Jordan had been caught drinking. Two days later, the teens were awakened, told to pack and put on a plane home from the Munich airport without supervision despite concerns from airline officials and local police that the students should not fly alone, the suit states. Four weeks later, a ``slanderous and libelous'' article describing the incident appeared in the school newspaper written by the son of one of the trip chaperones, according to the lawsuit. Parents involved in the school's band booster group have conducted ``a campaign of character assassination'' against Keke and admitted doing so to the girl's parents, court papers allege. School officials, including Concord High Principal Bonnie Warner, declined to comment yesterday, saying they had not yet seen the lawsuit. The teens' attorney, Dan Ryan, said his clients to this day are not sure what they drank. ``What occurred over there, it was ridiculous,'' Ryan said. ``It's reprehensible. These kids were isolated, put into a Star Chamber type of proceeding and then sent home alone. They're not sure to this day they ever had alcohol. And no one will know for sure because no testing was ever done.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Admission Revealed In Officer's Death ('San Jose Mercury News' Article Says Second-Degree Murder Charges Filed Against Manic-Depressive Man Previously Busted For Marijuana Cultivation Who Ran Over And Killed San Jose California Highway Patrol Officer After Consuming Prescription Drugs, Two Shots Of Vodka, While Tired) Subj: US CA: Admission Revealed In Officer's Death From: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:49:18 -0800 Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Sandra Gonzales - Mercury News Staff Writer ADMISSION REVEALED IN OFFICER'S DEATH Suspect said he should not have been driving when patrolman was killed, investigators say After telling authorities he had not only consumed prescription drugs and two shots of Vodka but that he was so tired he thought he was on a different highway, Santa Cruz motorist Peter Wieland also admitted he should not have been driving when he killed a San Jose CHP officer with his careening car, according to court documents. Wieland's admission to authorities came shortly after the crash that claimed the life of Scott Greenly, 31, the first San Jose-area California Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty since 1975. On Wednesday, Santa Clara County prosecutors charged Wieland, 45, with second-degree murder in the death of Greenly, killed Jan. 7 on Highway 85 near Saratoga Avenue. If convicted of second-degree murder, Wieland could face a maximum penalty of 15 years to life in prison. Wieland is in custody at Santa Cruz County Jail for a probation violation unrelated to Greenly's death. He is expected to be arraigned on Friday on the new charge. During his interview with the CHP after the fatal crash, Wieland acknowledged that he had taken Vodka and prescription drugs and should not have been driving. Toxicology tests later showed that Wieland had a 0.02 percent blood alcohol level, well below the state's 0.08 percent legal limit. Those tests also showed that Wieland had 0.078 percent level of methamphetamine in his blood, as well as evidence of marijuana and such prescription drugs as lithium, authorities said. In addition to four prior arrests and convictions for driving under the influence, Wieland has an extensive history of substance abuse and mental health problems, investigative reports show. Wieland also had been arrested eight times for suspicion of public intoxication, and in 1996 for the cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, investigative reports indicate. Over the past several years, Wieland had completed at least one program aimed at rehabilitating drunken drivers and attended drug abuse counseling, they show. Attempts to reach Wieland's defense attorney Stephen La Berge on Wednesday were unsuccessful. On Tuesday, he said that he thought the second-degree murder charge against his client was unjustified. In the opinion of a forensic toxicologist, Wieland's behavior at the time of the crash was affected by his drug and alcohol use, and his driving pattern and statements would appear to indicate that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, those court papers show. The CHP report also contains several statements made by relatives and friends of Wieland, who had warned him against drinking and driving. In fact, the report says that his sisters told police that a few days after Christmas, Wieland's brother had called the police to report that he was drinking and driving. Others said that Wieland also had been warned by a psychiatrist against drinking while taking his medication, which was prescribed for manic depression. Katie Shallenberg -- a registered nurse at Stanford Hospital where Wieland's wife was hospitalized after being diagnosed with cancer - -recounted an incident to investigators in which she said Wieland's car cut her off on Christmas Day. According to the investigative report, Shallenberg told Wieland she knew things weren't going well with him, but that in his intoxicated condition he was going to kill someone if he continued to drive. Shallenberg alleges that Wieland told her he did not care if he killed anyone. On the day of the fatal injury, Greenly was attending to a routine traffic stop on Highway 85 south of the Saratoga Avenue exit when he was run over. Wieland drove off the road and down an embankment, striking Greenly as the officer was standing alongside a vehicle he had just pulled over.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Issa Would Support Ban On Cigarette Ads ('Sacramento Bee' Says Darrell Issa, Conservative Republican Candidate To Represent California In US Senate, Would Support Complete Ban On Advertising By Tobacco Companies) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:22:13 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Issa Would Support Ban on Cigarette Ads Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Mary Lynne Vellinga ISSA WOULD SUPPORT BAN ON CIGARETTE ADS Darrell Issa, the car alarm magnate running for the U.S. Senate as a conservative Republican, on Wednesday said he would support a complete ban on advertising by cigarette companies. In a wide-ranging breakfast interview with The Bee Capitol Bureau, Issa also said he had once unknowingly employed an illegal immigrant at his San Diego-area company. Asked about abortion, Issa said he was opposed to it in most cases but that he felt compassion for those on the other side of the issue because his grandmother died of infection after a self-induced abortion. Issa, 44, said he disagreed with imposing new tobacco taxes to pay for education or health programs, because such taxes give government a financial incentive to allow the tobacco industry to continue promoting its product. "It reminds me of trying to get someone off heroin by putting them on methadone," Issa said. Yet at the same time, Issa said he would back a ban on cigarette advertising. "I do support ending tobacco advertising; I think that's a fair step we can do," Issa said. ". . . I think that's what the tobacco industry fears the most, that they simply go out of business because there's no new audience, but it's what we in America should want the most; that is, that we break this (habit) generationally over time." Such a complete ban would go beyond the restrictions proposed by federal regulators and lawmakers, which have focused on advertising that could reach minors, such as billboards or cigarette company sponsorships of sporting events, said John Sims, a professor at McGeorge School of Law who specializes in First Amendment issues. Sims said attempts to impose a complete ban on tobacco advertising would likely be ruled unconstitutional, though restrictions aimed at shielding children may hold up in court. "Normally we don't deny people information just because we think they're going to misuse it," Sims said. " . . . Prohibiting advertising of a legal product just seems like big government gone wild." With regard to immigration, Issa said he favored better border controls and a crackdown on illegal immigrants who commit crimes on the border. He said he supports greater sanctions for companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, but added that the government should develop an easier way -- such as an identity document -- for companies to tell if someone is a legal resident of the United States. "Those who knowingly hire illegals need to be punished in huge amounts, and especially those who abuse illegals," Issa said. Issa said he had once employed a worker for several years at his company, Directed Electronics Inc., who turned out to be undocumented. "We found out that his valid Social Security number . . . also belonged to a man of a different name in Oregon," Issa said. "We had paid in all the taxes, withholding, Social Security, everything for years. The government never bothered to tell us that just maybe there was a problem." When Issa found out about the discrepancy, he said, "we called him in and told him about the discovery and asked him to explain it, and we never saw him again." Issa also was asked about his position on abortion. He said he opposes abortion with three exceptions: rape, incest or danger to the mother's life. Yet Issa recounted how his grandmother, a Lebanese immigrant, died in 1930 after a self-induced abortion. "My grandmother had had three children about a year and a half apart; she was 24 years old," said Issa, who was raised a Roman Catholic. "It was very poor times; things were getting worse. The death certificate says, self-induced abortion." "It gives you a view of compassion of the other side," Issa said of his family history. "You can't be so pro-life that that disaster becomes commonplace again." Issa, who has never held public office, is competing for the GOP Senate nomination with state Treasurer Matt Fong and U.S. Rep. Frank Riggs, who represents the North Coast. The winner will go on to challenge incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lead Us Not Into Temptation ('San Jose Mercury News' Account Of Research To Be Published In 'Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology,' By David Bersoff, Psychology Professor At University Of Pennsylvania, Which Examines Workings Of Individual Temptation Through Social Psychology Experiments) Subj: US CA: Lead Us Not Into Temptation From: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:42:37 -0800 Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Mary Otto - Mercury News Washington Bureau LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION Study of liars, cheats and wobbling willpower sheds light on a human dilemma In the recesses of your brain, there is a little courtroom where the temptation cases are argued. The judge and jury listen, weigh the evidence. Sometimes they decide to bend the law in your favor. "Go ahead. The apple looks tasty; besides, nobody will miss it." That's more or less the way David Bersoff, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, explains the workings of temptation. He studies stealing and lying, and he's fascinated by the subtle mental adjustments people use to preserve their self-esteem even as they reach for forbidden fruit. New research such as his may shed light on a human dilemma dating back to Adam and Eve. And while temptation has always commanded the attention of the clergy, science is now busy trying to measure the way moral failings work. In research to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Bersoff explores the kind of rationalizations used to justify such common trespasses as pilfering office supplies -- studies suggest one in three employees steal at work -- or quietly pocketing a cashier's overpayment. It's with good reason people pray "lead us not into temptation," said Bersoff. He has watched the moment of surrender closely and it's not an enviable place to be. In his research, he recruited university students to take part in what they were led to believe was a product test. The participants were then overpaid $2 for their efforts. The first group was told a big foreign company was sponsoring the test. The subjects were paid by an impersonal cashier. In that group, 80 percent kept the extra money. The next subjects were told the test was being run by a graduate student and being paid for out of his own funds. ``Now the victim has a face. It's harder to deny harm," said Bersoff. Half of that group accepted the undeserved money. In the next scenario, the cashier counted out the money on her desk then asked: "Is that right?" The question made it necessary to tell a lie to get the undeserved $2. Forty percent did so. Giving the victim a face In a final scenario, subjects were told a graduate student was paying for the test, and the cashier asked if the payment was right. So there was a victim to hurt and a lie required. Still, 20 percent took the extra $2. He concluded that people are more likely to give in to temptation when they can remain passive, and when they feel no one is being harmed. Each complicating factor made it harder and harder to "find in your mind a way to justify this," said Bersoff. "I don't believe people are bad," he said. "But certain situations play on their weakness and lead them to do bad things. I think that is the whole nature of temptation." Meanwhile, researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will soon publish the results of a study using a chocolate-chip fatigue test that they say helps prove willpower is like a muscle that gets tired under stress. The researchers asked subjects to skip a meal before they came in for testing. On a table in the testing room were a plate of cookies and a plate of radishes. "We told them it was a test of taste impressions and memory and that your assignment is going to be (only) radishes," said social psychologist Roy Baumeister, who headed the research. `"We left the person alone in the room to increase the temptation," said Baumeister. "We observed in secret to make sure they didn't cheat." Some people studied the cookies. Some went as far as to pick up a cookie and smell it, said researcher Ellen Bratslavsky, who ran the test. Others couldn't bear to even look at the cookies. They pushed the plate away. But none of them cheated. They ate radishes instead. Their forbearance, however, cost them. The radish-eaters were asked to work on a confounding mental puzzle as long as they could. They gave up on the puzzle much faster than both a group of subjects allowed to eat the cookies and a group of subjects who were asked to perform the puzzle without being offered any food at all. "The point is, resisting temptation is draining. It takes something out of you," said Baumeister. For Baumeister, self-control is "a muscle that gets stronger with exercise." It's also "something that gets used up. It needs time to get replenished before you use it again." Everyone has felt willpower tested and found its limits. Watching alcoholics Howard Rankin, a clinical psychologist at the University of South Carolina, has conducted extensive studies of those limits. He got his start years ago at the University of London, observing alcoholics do battle with the cravings that arose when they sat next to a bottle of booze. In the years since then, Rankin has developed a "temptation management" regime that teaches people to imagine themselves resisting temptation until they are actually able to do it. "They go through a crisis and come out the other side. They feel empowered because they've survived," he said. "The power of the temptation lies in your approach to it rather than any intrinsic energy it has on its own. The core principle is impulse control, learning to tolerate frustration."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Liggett Seeks Immunity ('Associated Press' Quotes Unnamed Source Who Says Tobacco Company Is Ready To Help US Justice Department's Three-Year-Old Criminal Investigation Of Tobacco Industry In Exchange For Immunity) Subj: US: Wire: Liggett Seeks Immunity From: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:52:27 -0800 Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 LIGGETT SEEKS IMMUNITY WASHINGTON (AP) -- Liggett Group Inc. is ready to help the Justice Department's criminal investigation of the tobacco industry in exchange for immunity, according to a source close to the investigation. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed today that Liggett has offered to provide the government with industry information on nicotine's addictive qualities and efforts to hide health risks. The company also has offered to make its scientists and other experts available to the government in its three-year-old investigation, said the source. Among the allegations the department is probing is whether industry officials lied to Congress in 1996 when they testified to having no knowledge of nicotine's addictive qualities or averse health affects from smoking. Liggett, which is owned by Brooke Group Ltd. and markets L&M, Chesterfield, Eve and Lark cigarettes in the United States, broke with bigger companies last year in reaching an earlier settlement with 22 states that sued the industry to recover Medicaid funds spent on treating smokers. While declining to comment on any possible negotiations, Bennett S. LeBow, chief executive officer of the Brooke Group, Liggett's parent company, told the Los Angeles Times that ``we're trying to do the right thing.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Liggett May Aid US In Tobacco Probe ('Orange County Register' Version) Subj: US: Liggett May Aid In Tobacco Probe From: John W.Black Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:47:28 -0800 Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Barry Meier LIGGETT MAY AID US IN TOBACCO PROBE Cooperation could make the company's scientists and other experts available to investigators. Representatives of Liggett Group,the maker of L&M and other brands, are exploring an agreement with Justice Department officials under which the cigarette producer would cooperate in the government's criminal investigation of the tobacco industry, said people familiar with talks. The cooperation of Liggett, which is owned by Brooke Group Ltd., could boost the Justice Department's four-year inquiry by making company scientists and other experts available to investigators, even though Liggett is the smallest of the nation's major cigarette producers and considered producers and considered to be far less technically sophisticated than giants like Philip Morris Cos. Last March, Liggett broke with its industry colleagues and separately settled 22 tobacco-related lawsuits filed against it by state attorneys general. And Brooke Group Chairman Bennett LeBow became the first tobacco industry executive to acknowledge publicly that nicotine is addictive and that smoking causes cancer. Paul Caminiti, a spokesman for Liggett, which also produces Chesterfield, Eve and Lark cigarettes, would not comment. A Justice Department spokesman said the agency, as a matter of policy, would not confirm or deny anything potentially related to an investigation. But people with knowledge of the talks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said representatives of Liggett, including LeBow and Stanley Arkin, a New York criminal lawyer retained by the company, have met several times with Justice Department officials to discuss the terms and conditions under which Liggett might cooperate with the government's inquiry. The Justice Department is looking into such issues as whether cigarette producers manipulated nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, or whether they defrauded the government by lying to regulators and elected officials. All manufacturers have denied any wrongdoing. The goal of Liggett representatives in trying to craft a deal would be to provide the company with immunity from prosecution or to reach a plea agreement that would minimize any criminal penalties that the company or its officials might face. Most of Liggett's cooperation with the government would probably have to come in terms of participation by its scientists, executives and lawyers, including some who participated in meetings with officials and lawyers of other cigarette producers. It is not clear whether the talks between the Justice Department and Liggett will result in an agreement. But Liggett's apparent efforts to set itself apart from other tobacco producers are in keeping with the company's actions over the past year. After Liggett settled the state suits last March, other producers quickly attacked LeBow and his company, branding him a traitor who was cutting a deal to help prevent a financially weak company from falling into bankruptcy. Since then, LeBow has remained a thorn in the industry's side by testifying on behalf of plaintiffs in smoking on behalf of plaintiffs in smoking-related lawsuits and publicly releasing information on cigarette ingredients and additives.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Price Of Cigarettes Depends On Who's Taxing ('San Jose Mercury News' Columnist Asks, 'What Is Actual Cost Of Pack Of Cigarettes If You Remove All State And Federal Taxes?' And Cites 1996 Tobacco Institute Data For California, Some Other Locales) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:35:42 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Column: The Price Of Cigarettes Depends on Who's Taxing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 THE PRICE OF CIGARETTES DEPENDS ON WHO'S TAXING Question: What is the actual cost of a pack of cigarettes if you remove all the state and federal taxes? Christopher Flowers, San Jose Answer: Since prices vary among brands and merchants, the answer depends on where you shop and what you buy. But whatever you pay for a 20-cigarette pack in California, the price includes 61 cents in special state and federal taxes on top of Santa Clara County's 8.25 percent sales tax. The federal cigarette tax is 24 cents per pack, while the state tax is 37 cents. That brings the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in California to $2, according to the Tobacco Institute's data for 1996, the most recent year for which the figures are available. In California, localities do not impose any additional city or county taxes on cigarettes sales, said the industry group. But in several other states, they do. New York City, for example, imposes an 8-cent tax per pack over the state's 56-cent tax. The average cost of a pack in New York state in 1996 was $2.20. For the best prices, move to Kentucky, where in 1996 a pack averaged $1.45. Revenue from federal cigarette taxes goes into the general fund, while a portion of California's revenue is earmarked for anti-smoking education and research into diseases such as breast cancer. New federal and state proposals would raise taxes up to $1.50 per pack to pay for social programs. Question? Call (408) 920-5003.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Suspect Shot Dead By San Francisco Cop ('San Francisco Chronicle' Account Suggests Treatment Slot At Victory Outreach Program Opened Up A Day Too Late For Armed Robber, Son Of One Of Founding Members Of Popular San Francisco-Based Latin Rock Band Malo) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:06:23 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Suspect Shot Dead by S.F. Cop Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer SUSPECT SHOT DEAD BY S.F. COP Mistake made in thinking he had gun, police say A man suspected of armed robbery was shot to death yesterday by a San Francisco police officer who mistakenly believed the man was about to open fire, authorities said. Arcelio Garcia Jr., 28, was shot by officer Adriano ``Andy'' Castro at 12:27 a.m. near Treat and 24th streets. Garcia was later pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital. The dead man, who was also known as Jimmy Romero, was the son of Arcelio Garcia Sr. of Daly City, one of the founding members of the popular San Francisco-based Latin rock band Malo. The shooting occurred minutes after a man called 911 to report that he had been terrorized in the area by an armed man matching the younger Garcia's description. Shortly afterward, Garcia and a woman apparently robbed a man at gunpoint of his wallet, containing $48 in cash. Officers Castro and Mario Molina, both in plainclothes and in an unmarked car, spotted an armed man matching the suspect's description running on 23rd and Treat streets and confronted him. The woman fled and was not arrested. ``They told him to halt and drop the weapon. They knew him by name because of prior contacts,'' said Lieutenant David Robinson. Garcia reportedly turned away from the officers and then began to walk away quickly, with the officers following him in the cruiser. ``They were following him, commanding him to stop,'' Robinson said. At 24th and Treat streets, the officers got out and once again ordered the man to stop and put his hands up. ``He spins on them, and the officer fired,'' said Captain Kevin Dillon. ``At the moment, it appears to us, everything was appropriate.'' Police later found out that Garcia had dumped the gun he was carrying in some bushes. A couple who saw the suspect dispose of the gun took it and left the scene. The man who took the gun was spotted later at 21st and Harrison streets, and the gun was recovered. Police reports do not indicate any eyewitnesses to the shooting, although police said they were still compiling information on the case. Dirk Ludigs, a neighbor, said he heard one shot and then heard screaming from the man. ``We heard the guy yelling, `What's your problem?' Then we heard a second shot. When we looked out the window, the guy was on the sidewalk, face down.'' The dead man's sister, Yvette, said that she was trying to contact her brother yesterday to tell him that he could enter the Victory Outreach program just before he was killed. Garcia had been arrested two weeks before his death on possession of crack cocaine. He had prior convictions for strong-arm robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft. ``He's been out of prison since December 1,'' said Garcia's sister. ``He did 5 1/2 years, and this is the longest time he has ever stayed out.'' She said he had been working at Goodwill Industries, soliciting donations. ``He was really determined not to go back ever again,'' she said. ``He really wanted to turn his life around, he wanted to take care of his 12-year-old daughter.'' ``I was hoping to see him today, but I didn't hear from him. Today I was going to look for him. I believe he really would have made it this time.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marine Exonerated In Border Killing ('San Francisco Examiner' Says Camouflaged Marine Who Shot Teen Herding Goats On Texas Border Ranch Expected To Be Exonerated By US Justice Department)Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 21:09:09 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Marine Exonerated In Border Killing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Source: San Fransisco Examiner Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ MARINE EXONERATED IN BORDER KILLING Washington A Marine who shot and killed an American teenager along the Texas-Mexico border will not face criminal civil-rights charges, a federal grand jury has decided. The U.S. Justice Department is expected to announce Friday that the civil-rights probe of the tragedy has cleared Marine Cpl. Clemente Banuelos of criminal wrongdoing. Banuelos and three other Marines were in camouflage on an anti-drug patrol near Redford, Texas, on May 20, 1997, when he shot and killed 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr., a Redford high-school sophomore who was herding goats. Banuelos has said he fired because Hernandez had fired twice at the patrol with a rifle and was preparing to shoot again. A state grand jury declined to indict Banuelos or the other Marines.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Won't Press Charges In Border Shooting ('Associated Press' Version In 'Houston Chronicle') Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:37:46 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Feds Won't Press Charges In Border Shooting Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Art Smart
Source: Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Michelle Mittelstadt, Associated Press Writer Our Newshawk writes: The following is NOT the story which appeared in the final (three-star) edition of the Houston Chronicle. The article which did appear in print is headlined "Panel clears Marine in border killing" and is by Jim O'Connell of Scripps Howard News Service. Probably the Scripps story replaced the following after the latter was posted to the web site. Either that, or the Chronicle's contract with Scripps prevents posting to their web site, so the AP story was used in lieu. FEDS WON'T PRESS CHARGES IN BORDER SHOOTING WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Marine who fatally shot a West Texas teen- ager during a drug patrol along the border won't face federal civil rights violation charges, the Justice Department informed a Texas congressman this week. A spokesman for Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, said Justice officials informed Smith that they wrapped up their civil-rights investigation against Marine Cpl. Clemente Banuelos last month after a federal grand jury in Pecos concluded its work in the shooting death of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr. of Redford. Banuelos fired the shot last May 20 that killed Hernandez as he was tending to his herd of goats near his home. "The shooting death of Esequiel Hernandez remains troubling," said Smith, who as chairman of the House immigration subcommittee has raised questions about the Border Patrol's role in the shooting. "The public has a right to know who is responsible for this death. But no one is being held accountable." Lee Douglass, a spokeswoman for Justice's Office of Civil Rights, today declined comment. Attorneys for Banuelos and the Hernandez family didn't return calls today. Rev. Melvin LaFollette, a priest who heads a Redford committee examining legal action in the matter, today expressed outrage at word of the Justice Department's decision, which hasn't been officially given the community. "It's outrageous that they should come to that conclusion," LaFollette said. "We've got to seek justice and if our own `Department of Injustice' refuses to do anything, we will have to go the civil route." Smith said he has initiated a new inquiry into the shooting now that Justice's investigation is completed. Last fall, at the request of Attorney General Janet Reno, Smith agreed to postpone hearings by his panel into the shooting pending completion of the civil-rights investigation. He has voiced irritation at what he terms a lack of Justice Department cooperation and was angered by the department's month-long delay in notifying him about the end of the civil-rights investigation. End of the civil-rights probe would mark the conclusion of a second investigation into the death of Hernandez, who was tending his goats when he encountered the four-man camouflaged Marine patrol watching for drug smuggling crossing the Rio Grande. A Presidio County grand jury also declined to indict anyone after a state criminal investigation into the shooting. The shooting highlighted the controversial role of using armed military personnel in anti-trafficking efforts along the U.S.- Mexico border. In the wake of the death, the Defense Department suspended the use of armed military personnel for missions along the border. Hernandez was killed after crossing paths with a four-man Marine unit assigned to watch a suspected drug smuggling route at the request of the Border Patrol. Military officials said Hernandez fired twice in the direction of the Marines, who were in camouflage, with a .22-caliber rifle and was aiming at one of the soldiers when Banuelos, the team leader, shot the teen once with an M-16. The Hernandez family believes the youth, who was tending his herd of goats and often carried a gun to protect the animals , had no idea the Marines were there. The Hernandez family is pursuing a civil claim against the government.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Civil-Rights Charges Likely In Border Shooting ('Orange County Register' Version) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:51:23 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: No Civil-Rights Charges Likely In Border Shooting Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Jim O'Connel-Scrips Howard News Service NO CIVIL-RIGHTS CHARGES LIKELY IN BORDER SHOOTING A Marine on an anti-drug patrol killed an American teen who was herding goats in Texas. WASHINGTON-A Marine on anti-drug patrol who fatally shot an American teen-ager along the Texas-Mexico border will not face criminal civil-rights charges, a federal grand jury has decided. The Justice Department is expected to announce as early as Friday that the civil-rights probe of the tragedy has cleared Cpl. Clemente Banuelos of criminal wrongdoing. Banuelos and three other Marines were in camouflage on an anti-drug patrol near Redford, Texas, on May 20, 1997, when he killed Esequiel Hernandez Jr., 18, a high school sophomore, who was herding goats. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said the federal grand jury that was considering the case-ended deliberations Jan. 8 without indicting Banuelos. Smith, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, said he is still seeking more information and might hold a congressional hearing on the matter. "The shooting is still troubling to me," Smith said. "Not all the questions have been answered, and no one has been held accountable." A Marine spokesman said the service has not been formally informed of the decision. "We understand the Department of Justice intends to close its civil rights investigation into the shooting incident," said Lt. Col. Scott Campbell. "If the Department of Justice does close the investigation, we are pleased that after a thorough review it found no violation of Mr. Hernandez's civil rights." Bill Weinacht,who represents the teen's family, is pursuing a negligence claim. The Defense Department temporarily ended armed military patrols along the border after the fatal shooting. Pentagon sources have said the department plans to announce soon that it will permanently end such patrols. A study soon to be released on the military's role along the 2,000-mile border will advocate that support services including road building and intelligence gathering continue, while ground reconnaissance missions should end, sources said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Family Battles To Free Man Whose Lawyer Bungled Case ('Detroit News' Recounts Case Of Innocent Man Sentenced To Life Term Under Michigan's Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Drug Violations - Can't Get New Trial Even Though Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission Has Confirmed His Lawyer Limited His Defense In Order To Steal $40,000 From Him) Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 01:14:23 -0800 (PST) From: Charles Stewart (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CnbsCL - crooked attorneys? (fwd) Sender: email@example.com -- Forwarded message -- From: "EAGLEFLIGHT" uNITED STATES Theatre Command (David E. Rydel)" Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 22:46:53 -0500 From: Terry L Fesler (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: crooked attorneys? Please consider posting a news article found in the Detroit News: http://detnews.com/1998/metro/9802/26/02260161.htm Thursday, February 26, 1998 Family battles to free man whose lawyer bungled case Son of Lion great needs money stolen from him to appeal Dale G. Young The Detroit News Richard Walker discusses the circumstances that landed him in jail. With him is Patricia and Murray Walker, who raised him. Richard, whose biological father is former Detroit Lion Dick Lane, says his attorney stole his money. By Fred Girard The Detroit News The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, prodded every slow step of the way by a feisty retiree in a wheelchair, finally confirmed what Richard Walker has said ever since his 1992 trial ended in a shocking sentence of life in prison: His lawyer, Howard Wittenberg, stole his money, then misdefended him at trial to conceal the theft. Even though one commission member called Wittenberg's actions "the worst of the worst," Walker won't be getting a new trial soon after his conviction under the drug lifer law. The Michigan Supreme Court has refused to grant him a hearing because his application deadline expired nine months ago. "I'm mad and I'm frustrated," Walker said in a prison interview. "My trial strategy was phenomenal," an unrepentant Wittenberg said from Bloomington, Ind., where he has gone into the bagel business. "I still have my faith. Richard is going to be free," said Walker's stepmother, Patricia Walker, who battled her own poor health and a massive bureaucracy in the fight for her stepson's freedom. Walker, 34, was convicted in 1992 of conspiring to possess more than 650 grams of cocaine, which, in Michigan, carries a mandatory sentence of life. In two raids on Walker's home, authorities found no drugs, drug records or drug paraphernalia. Three pushers who had been arrested previously testified against Walker, in exchange for lighter sentences: Two got probation, the third had a 20-year sentence reduced to nine years. Wittenberg filed no motions; waived a preliminary examination in which the charge could have been reduced or dismissed; waived a jury, opting to have Walker tried by a judge alone; and refused, despite Walker's pleas, to let Walker take the stand in his own defense. After an investigation and hearings stretching over more than three years, the Grievance Commission has ruled Wittenberg misappropriated $40,000 of Walker's money before the trial, altered his defense of Walker to hide that fact, then lied about it to investigators. The money trail Walker's path to prison began in 1990, when an arrested drug dealer, trying to win a lighter sentence, told police his source for cocaine was a man named Richard. Two other arrested dealers told much the same vague story, although a wiretap on one of their phones monitored 3,000 calls in two months without the name Richard ever being mentioned. Still, authorities were able to obtain a search warrant for Walker's modest home on Piedmont in Detroit. Agents found nothing related to drugs, but seized $120,000 in cash and five guns, and told Walker he soon would be indicted for drug conspiracy. Wittenberg, hired by Walker for a $20,000 flat fee paid in advance, convinced authorities that Walker kept large amounts of cash to buy and build race cars and engines. No indictment was issued. The $120,000 was returned in a check payable to Wittenberg, who returned only $80,000 to Walker, saying he was keeping $40,000 for himself as a contingency fee. Walker and his girlfriend argued bitterly that they already had paid him all he was due, but before the matter could be resolved, police struck with a second search warrant. Again nothing related to drugs was found, but agents confiscated $40,000 in cash -- part of the same money, it turned out, they had seized the first time. Based on the three arrested dealers' testimony, however, Walker was arrested. Months before his trial, records show, the government agreed Walker's $40,000 was not drug money, but part of the same money taken earlier. They returned the money -- but again in a check payable to Wittenberg. Wittenberg, Grievance Commission records show, kept the return secret from Walker. He put it in a bank account and wrote checks to himself until the balance was down to $500, all the while telling Walker the government still was holding the money. All through Walker's trial, before Washtenaw Circuit Judge Donald E. Shelton, no mention was made that the seized money had been returned, so obviously it could not have been drug proceeds, a strong point in Walker's favor. Five months after he was sent to prison, Walker wrote the prosecutor in the case asking if the money could be returned. He promptly received back a receipt showing the money had been paid to Wittenberg. Wittenberg's actions "jeopardized Mr. Walker's defense on his criminal charges," said Susan E. Gillooly, the Grievance Commission attorney who successfully prosecuted Wittenberg. Walker's appellate attorney, Kenneth A. Birch of Lansing, who has worked on the case the past two years covering expenses out of his own pocket, rushed to the Michigan Supreme Court two weeks ago to request a hearing, based on the Grievance Commission's findings. He was politely told to go away. Last April, long before the ponderous Grievance Commission machinery had ground out its decision on Wittenberg, the Supreme Court declined to hear Walker's appeal of his conviction, although two justices dissented. Under an inviolable court rule, a motion for reconsideration may be filed only within the next 21 days. Show up on the 22nd day, and, Clerk of the Supreme Court Corbin R. Davis said, "You're out of luck. I've heard some pretty compelling circumstances presented, but the court has not seen fit to change its mind" about the 21-day rule. "That's as far as I can go," Birch said the day after his rebuff. The only step left is to move to the federal courts and file a writ of habeas corpus, which would help him get before a judge to determine whether he had been imprisoned illegally. But, Birch said, Walker "hasn't retained me to do that. My job was to get through the state appellate levels, and the retainer I received for that ran out two years ago." "You get one step closer, then you move back two," Walker said at Cotton Correctional Center in Jackson. Walker spends his workday as a porter in the gym, and every other moment in the law library. Although the library has paralegals who could help him, Walker said, he has no hope of writing his own writ of habeas corpus. "I wouldn't have a chance without a lawyer's help," he said. "The courts look at inmates one way, and lawyers another way." There is one alternative: appealing to the trial judge, Shelton, for a hearing that could lead to a new trial. Walker said he fears such a request would be hopeless. Wittenberg told him from the start, Walker said, that Shelton was a political crony who would give them a good deal. When he learned what had happened to his $40,000, Walker filed a grievance against Shelton, holding him partly responsible for the information not coming out at trial. The grievance went nowhere, but Walker fears he has burned a bridge behind him. Shelton did not respond to a request for an interview. Family stands united Since the Grievance Commission ruled in his favor in December, Walker has been on an emotional rollercoaster. "It's been a rough ride," he said. "It's a good feeling to have so many people believe you, but it's a bad feeling to be here for something you never did, and now to have proof of that." To Patricia Walker, 53, this is one more obstacle on a path she knows will end in Richard's freedom. Her family's finances are a disaster, she said, but she has absolute faith some resource will turn up to allow the fight to go on. Walker came into her stepson's life late. Richard Walker was raised by Murray Walker, now a 60-year-old retired Ford Motor heavy equipment operator. After he graduated from Cooley High, Richard Walker learned his biological father was Dick "Night Train" Lane, the former Detroit Lion star and at that time executive director of Detroit's Police Athletic League. Walker went and introduced himself to his father, and the two became somewhat close. In the late 1980s, Walker made successful drag-racing tours in a pro-stock T-Bird named "Night Train." Murray Walker divorced, and in 1988 married Patricia Walker, who also had been a Ford employee until her legs and back were severely injured in an accident on the job. Soon, despite obvious differences -- among them that Patricia Walker is white, Richard Walker African American -- they became close as any natural mother and son. When he was arrested in 1992, his first brush with the law, Walker turned to his birth father, Lane, for advice about a lawyer. Lane recommended a friend, Wittenberg, a well-known lawyer who had been a campaign official for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and Jim Blanchard in '83, was once a candidate for U.S. Attorney, and sat on the Berkley school board. Private eye Walker After Richard's trial and stunning conviction, followed by learning that the $40,000 had been returned to Wittenberg months before his trial, Patricia Walker turned private eye. Using the call-waiting feature of her home telephone, she devised a way of hooking Richard, from prison, to Wittenberg's phone. She taped their conversations, catching Wittenberg in damning admissions. She gathered police and court records, and hounded friends and family members into giving formal affidavits contesting Wittenberg's account of the $40,000. Armed with her files, Patricia Walker tackled the Grievance Commission, an agency that investigates complaints against lawyers. Of 4,000 cases filed with the agency in a typical year, fewer than 300 result in a formal complaint, followed by an investigation and hearings. After more than a year of hectoring commission staff members, Patricia Walker and her evidence convinced the commission in June 1996 to bring a three-count formal complaint against Wittenberg. Patricia Walker "has been the driving force," said attorney Gillooly of the Grievance Commission. Wittenberg defends actions Gillooly has asked the commission to disbar Wittenberg for three years, and pay $10,000 restitution to Walker. Wittenberg previously had returned $30,000 to Walker's girlfriend. The commission's written report, including any penalties, is expected soon. If the restitution is ordered, Wittenberg said, he won't pay -- even though Walker sorely needs the money for legal help. "I don't owe him anything," Wittenberg said. "If truth be known, he owes me. I gave him money back that I shouldn't even have given back." Wittenberg, who has the right to appeal any Grievance Commission ruling against him, no longer practices law. He owns Howie's Bagel Bakery on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, his alma mater. "I'm doing phenomenally well, we have four locations now," he said. "What's the old adage? The best revenge is living well." Wittenberg said even if Walker gets a new trial, the result could be the same. "If truth be known, I tried the case as well as anyone in the world could have tried the case," he said. "The only reason that I would love to have him have a new trial is so if he goes to trial again and is convicted, he'll know that it isn't anything that I ever did. I tried a phenomenal case. My trial strategy was phenomenal." If he is disbarred, Wittenberg said, "It won't do anything to me. It's unfortunate. I was going to retire from the practice of law anyway, but I wanted to do it on my terms. It's a stigma. It bothers me greatly, because I took the practice of law seriously." Virtually the only piece of evidence presented by Wittenberg at his hearings before the Grievance Commission was a letter that Wittenberg swore under oath had been written by Dick Lane. Written in stilted, legalistic phrases, the letter stated plainly that Lane and Walker's family knew the $40,000 hadn't been stolen, but was money owed to Wittenberg as a legal fee. Dick Lane, now retired in Austin, Texas, said he authorized Wittenberg to write a letter, but did not sign it, never saw it and does not stand behind any of its contents. Lane said he hopes Walker can somehow win a new trial. "They just railroaded the kid," Lane said. "They had no case against him, at no time. It was fixed from the get-go -- they wanted to send him to jail."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Blended Into Auto Parts (Automotive Reporter For 'The Windsor Star' In Canada Visits The World's Largest Technology Trade Show, The Society Of Automotive Engineers International Congress And Exposition, In Detroit, And Notes Kenex Ltd., The Industrial Hemp Company Based Locally, Is Marketing Industrial Hemp Blended With Polyester To Make Products Like Door Panels, Headliners, Sound And Thermal Insulators, Composite Mouldings, Fibre Composites, Interior Panels, Matting, Floor Coverings, And Truck Liners) Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 16:54:26 -0500 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: Canada: Hemp Blended into Auto Parts To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Newshawk: Joe Hickey Source: The Windsor Star Section: Business Author: Alisa Priddle, Star Automotive Reporter Pubdate: 26 Feb 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.southam.com/windsorstar/ HEMP BLENDED INTO AUTO PARTS Detroit, Tucked away in the Canadian row of exhibitors at the world's largest technology trade show is a company determined to get some mileage out of acreage. Kenex Ltd. Of Pain Court, a village west of Chatham, is about to plant its first crop of commercial hemp for industrial use. A growers' meeting is scheduled for March 4 and president Jean Laprise is hoping 810 hectares will be seeded in May and harvested in August. It makes Kenex one of the more usual booths at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Congress and Exposition which wraps up today at Cobo Conference Center in Detroit. The show, with more than 2,000 exhibitors, is a tribute to the hi-tech future. It features, among other innovation, concept cars with televisions and video games, electric steering and the latest in airbag technology. And it has Kenex, which has spent the last three years growing research crops and lobbying the federal government to make industrial hemp legal so it can be blended with polyester to make products like door panels. Hemp, and its narcotic cousin, marijuana, were outlawed in Canada in 1938. Sixty years later, hemp is grown in southern Ontario and Health Canada has said it will have applications available as of March 1 for licenses to produce and process hemp. Only government-approved varieties from pedigree seeds can be grown. They will be imported from Europe until Canadian pedigrees are developed. Hemp is ecologically friendly, non-toxic, light weight for greater fuel efficiency, and offers a high tensile strength. It is bio-degradable, impact-resistant while meeting safety and quality standards, and is low abrasion, making it worker and equipment friendly. Hemp is versatile: capable of blending with other fibres, resins and plastics, it is a good alternative material to wood, glass and synthetic fibres. Among its potential automotive applications are: headliners, sound and thermal insulators, composite mouldings, fibre composites, interior panels, matting, floor coverings, and truck liners. Kenex has been experimenting with its use in door panels and headliners. Laprise said the company has been working with about six mouldmakers. The resultant products are half hemp, half polyester. There is a great demand for the product, which has been imported from Europe, said Gay Myers, who handles Kenex's administration and marketing. "We're going to bypass that and offer it in Canada." Laprise hopes to have contracts signed by spring and inventory from the experimental crops is a couple hundred tonnes, enough to run the processing plant for a few months. Construction of the Pain Court plant is finished and all the equipment should be in place within three month.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Decline In Prison Drug Use Heralded - 62 Percent Plummet Tied To Increased Testing ('Boston Globe' Says Massachusetts Department Of Corrections Reports Positive Urine-Test Results Have Declined From 2.3 Percent In 1995 To 0.3 Percent In 1997 Due To Massive Testing And Punishment, An Effort The US Department Of Justice Calls The Best In The Nation) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 15:13:24 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US MA: Decline In Prison Drug Use Heralded 62% Plummet Tied To Increased Testing Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: Boston Globe (MA) Page: B01 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: Zachary R. Dowdy, Globe Staff Note: Elizabeth J. Grillo of the Globe library staff contributed to this report. DECLINE IN PRISON DRUG USE HERALDED 62% PLUMMET TIED TO INCREASED TESTING In the past three years, drug use in state prisons has declined dramatically and while correction officials give some of the credit to treatment programs, they say the biggest factor is fear: Massive testing of inmates has put them at high risk of punishment if they use narcotics. In an effort that the US Department of Justice calls the best in the nation, the state Department of Correction reports that positive urine-test results have declined from 2.3 percent of those tested in 1995 to 0.3 percent in 1997. ''If you test them frequently enough you will force them to break the habit,'' said Timothy App, assistant deputy commissioner for community corrections. He said the department tests inmates both randomly and when they are suspected of using drugs. Inmates who test positive are handled on a case-by-case basis, App said. But he said sanctions may include loss of privileges, such as library access, canteen use, or visits, or transfer to higher security and, in extreme cases, referral for treatment and prosecution. But prisoner advocates say the DOC puts too much emphasis on sanctions and too little on treatment, especially since up to 80 percent of the state's 11,000 inmates are believed to abuse drugs. They say more can be done to stop drugs at prison doors. DOC officials, who have increased testing by nearly 200 percent - from 22,303 in 1995 to 62,417 in 1997 - say there is an inverse relationship between testing and drug detection. The number of people caught using drugs tends to drop as the number of tests goes up, officials say. The DOC detected drugs in 507 inmates in 1995, 261 in 1996 and 192 in 1997. So, in a three-year period, officials noted a 62 percent plummet. The program has pleased US Attorney General Janet Reno's office, which recently called the policy ''exemplary.'' Federal officials invited App to present the DOC's policies at a conference last fall to help other states frame their own. Steven Amos, deputy director of the correction program office in the Justice Department, said Massachusetts has complied with both mandatory and recommended policies outlined in President Clinton's prison drug policy guidelines. States are required to establish policies that conform to the guidelines by September in order to remain eligible for federal funding for capital improvements in prisons. The DOC received $8,693,941 in 1997, and a total of $9,942,394 since the grant program was implemented by Congress in 1996, Amos said. ''Massachusetts is far ahead of other agencies,'' Amos said, adding that North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Ohio prison systems were also commended. While DOC officials tout their success on the drug front, they admit they have more work to do to seal the facilities' perimeters, get addicts help, and keep inmates drug-free. And Jill Brotman, executive director of the Massachusetts Prison Society, a prisoner advocacy group, said the DOC's preoccupation with catching drug users may be misguided. She said placing more energy into lowering demand for drugs would be a better policy. ''They spend too much money on testing and not enough on programs,'' Brotman said. ''Counseling, mental health, and educational programs provide people with the wherewithal to lead drug-free lives, not drug testing and punitive policies.'' App said that corrections officials spent $150,000 on testing last year, and that they expect to spend $200,000 this year. And Anthony Carnevale, a DOC spokesman, said the DOC spends just shy of $3 million annually on drug treatment. App said that a special drug counseling program, Spectrum, which costs the DOC $2,166,000 each year, annually treats two sets of 600 inmates in six-month cycles in 11 facilities. Despite that, Brotman complained of a treatment backlog, saying far too many inmates are denied help for drug addictions. Carnevale said 346 inmates were awaiting slots in the program as of December. Fully 20 percent of prisoners are incarcerated for drug-related offenses, data show. The DOC credits rigorous surveillance, including its telephone monitoring system, with stemming the supply of drugs more effectively now than in years past. Nonetheless, drugs still penetrate prison walls. Last month, two prison guards, Patrick Hymel and Robert Kelly, were indicted for allegedly bringing heroin and marijuana into prisons, where drugs can sell for three times their street value. Both men were fired by the DOC after the charges surfaced. Sometimes, visitors try to deliver drugs. Last May, David Downey, 66, of Wakefield, was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle heroin to his son at MCI-Cedar Junction. (c) Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judgment Day For Drug Countries ('Los Angeles Times' Notes Today Is Day Clinton Administration Makes Formal Announcements On How Many Of 30 Foreign Countries Involved In International Drug Trafficking Will Be Certified As Partners In US Drug-War Effort) Subj: US: Judgement Day For Drug Countries From: Jim Rosenfield Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 00:30:48 -0800 Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Fax: 213-237-4712 Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Author: George Gedda, Associated Press Writer JUDGEMENT DAY FOR DRUG COUNTRIES WASHINGTON--Brazil recently approved legislation to facilitate the forcing down of suspected drug flights. Jamaica passed a law aimed at reducing the supply and demand for drugs and enhancing its ability to interdict drug flows. It may be a coincidence but U.S. officials believe these actions are at least partly related to an annual process by which the United States grades foreign countries on their counternarcotics performance. And judgment day for these countries has arrived. Formal announcements on the 30 foreign countries involved in international drug trafficking were expected today. Most were expected to be "certified" as fully cooperating with U.S. narcotics efforts. Those that are not could face economic penalties. The certification process, first required by Congress in 1986, enrages many countries, where it is seen as counterproductive. These nations say the root cause of the drug problem is insatiable U.S. demand, not lax enforcement by source countries. But Clinton administration officials say the threat of public humiliation the certification process entails has energized anti-narcotics activities in a number of countries. They cite the actions taken in Brazil and Jamaica as examples. However, a Jamaican Embassy official denied any such linkage, and Brazilian Embassy officials did not return a call seeking comment. As in previous years, much of the attention is on Colombia, the world's leading producer and distributor of cocaine and a major supplier of heroin and marijuana. Two years ago, the Clinton administration "decertified" Colombia as a drug war ally, making it ineligible for all U.S. assistance except for humanitarian and counternarcotics aid. An administration official said Wednesday a more lenient policy towards Colombia was expected, but he refused to be more specific. Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Esguerra said in a recent interview the decision demonstrated a lack of recognition of Colombia's anti-narcotics efforts. Esguerra, a former defense minister, hoped the designation would be overturned this year, asserting that no country in history eradicated more drug-producing crops than Colombia did in 1997. Colombian figures show about 126,000 acres sprayed, more than 50 tons of cocaine seized and 392 drug laboratories destroyed. Esguerra described how Colombian pilots flying planes on coca eradication missions often face automatic weapons fire from leftist guerrillas who are aligned with drug chieftains. The ambassador spoke while seated in his office in front of a picture of Colombian President Ernesto Samper. Samper is a major reason the Clinton administration has been unable to give Colombia a clean bill of health. He is seen here as beholden to narcotraffickers based on an alleged $6 million contribution received during the 1994 presidential campaign. U.S. officials acknowledge that Colombia's eradication campaign has been impressive but they say increased plantings by traffickers have more than compensated for the crops destroyed through spraying. They also describe as a step forward the reinstatement of an extradition law by the Colombian legislature in December. In the debate over whether to recertify Colombia, officials said one option was to continue decertification until Samper leaves office in August. This would enable the administration to get off to a fresh start with his successor -provided he gives a credible commitment beforehand to fight the drug war with no holds barred. Mexico has routinely been certified as fully cooperative with the United States but some in Congress believe the designation is undeserved, citing the continued high level of cross-border trafficking. In anticipation of the expected recertification of Mexico, the congressional skeptics were moving to decertify Mexico through legislation. Colombia has been lumped together with Afghanistan, Burma, Nigeria and Iran on the list of decertified countries ineligible for most U.S. assistance. Three other countries -Belize and Pakistan -also have been decertified but have been spared sanctions for national security reasons. Other countries subject to the certification process were Aruba, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. Syria and Lebanon were decertified last year but are no longer considered drug problem countries because of successful opium poppy eradication programs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Newly Available GAO Reports And Testimonies (US General Accounting Office Publicizes URL For New 41-Page Report, 'US Counternarcotics Efforts In Colombia Face Continuing Challenges') Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 08:34:08 -0500 Message-Id: (9802261334.AA05170@www.gao.gov) From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, February 26, 1998 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com February 26, 1998 The following items were added to GAO's World Wide Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format. - Drug Control: U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Colombia Face Continuing Challenges. NSIAD-98-60. 41 pp. plus 3 appendices (10 pp.) February 12, 1998. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns98060.pdf These reports and testimonies will also be added to our WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours. This database can be searched from the World Wide Web from the search page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml If you are using speech synthesizer equipment or lack World Wide Web access you may search this database with GPO's public swais client by telnetting to: swais.access.gpo.gov Any individual report may be retrieved directly from that archive in text and PDF formats with the following URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1). To UNSUBSCRIBE from the GAO Daybook mailing list, send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org with: unsubscribe daybook
in the message body. Please do not reply to this message to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Thank you.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Target - Boys - Young Males Get Far More Prescriptions For Controversial Drug ('Vancouver Province' Makes An Issue Of More Than 59,000 Prescriptions For Methylphenidate - Ritalin - Handed Out Last Year To British Columbians, Including More Than 40,000 Prescriptions For Boys Between Five And 14 - Kelowna Topped List With 347 Prescriptions For Every 1,000 Boys Aged Five To 14) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Young males get far more prescriptions for controversial drug Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 13:37:20 -0800 Source: Vancouver Province Contact: email@example.com Thu 26 Feb 1998 A1 / Front Prime target: Boys: Young males get far more prescriptions for controversial drug By: Ann Rees, Staff Reporter A shocking number of young B.C. boys are being treated with a stimulant medication for attention deficit disorders, a Province investigation shows. More than 59,000 prescriptions for methylphenidate were handed out between Feb. 15, 1997, and the same date this year, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Over 40,000 prescriptions were for boys between five and 14. The survey, the first of its kind in B.C., showed a wide variation between communities and a disturbing number of prescriptions. Kelowna topped the list with 347 prescriptions for every 1,000 boys aged five to 14. Provincial health officer Dr. John Millar said the variations were a concern to him and he vowed he'd look into the issue. ``I think you will find that your drawing attention to this means it will get a higher priority.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Role Nets Prison Term ('Calgary Herald' Says 49-Year-Old Alberta Woman Gets Two And A Half Years In Federal Prison, Forfeits $30,000 For First Offense In 'Mammoth' Cultivation Case) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 23:36:05 -0700 Subject: Alberta Sentencing From: "Debbie Harper3" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: mattalk (email@example.com) *** In Klein country (Alberta) where there is a private liquor store and bar with VLTıs on almost every corner; God forbid if you prefer cannabis. This is a typical sentence handed out to "serious" growers. Deb Harper *** Calgary Herald Feb. 26,1998 pg.B4 firstname.lastname@example.org www.calgaryherald.com The Courts Marijuana role nets prison term Daryl Slade A 49-year-old woman alleged to be a key figure in a mammoth marijuana growing operation in the city will go to a federal prison for 2 1/2 years. Provincial court judge Douglas McDonald also ordered Linda Rae Larson to forfeit $30,000 cash as part of an agreement he accepted in joint submission by Federal Crown prosecutor Stephanie Torske and defence lawyer Balfour Der. Larson had the cash in her possession when she was arrested by city police on June 19, 1995,during a raid dubbed Operation Weed Eater [snip] The major consideration in sentencing for a cultivation operation is general deterrents," Said Torske. [snip] The lawyer noted the fact Larson has no prior criminal record was also a key factor in determining a fit sentence. "For 49 years of her life she has had no trouble with the law," said Der. "Going to jail at her age is not an insignificant matter."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Community Comment - Marijuana - Keep It Illegal (Tom Yeoman, A Prohibitionist Columnist For 'Lethbridge Herald' In Alberta, Writes An Ignorant Piece Of Nonsense That Will Prompt A Blizzard Of E-Mail Rebuttals) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 10:36:46 To: Mattalk@islandnet.com From: Kathy galbraith
Subject: Leth Herald:Mj,keep it illegal... Pub:Feb.26,Thurs. The Lethbridge Herald Contact: email@example.com By Tom Yeoman, Community Comment writer.. Is marijuana use less harmful than alcohol or tobacco consumption? Such arguments throw back to the 1960s, when its long-term effects were unknown. Why is a belief, outdated for almost 30 years, now being assumed current and factual? We know - we know- that tetrahydrocannabinol, marijuana's psychoactive property, impairs brain functions. Loss of memory, loss of motivation and ambition, loss of present and future best efforts. And look what it does to critical thinking! The immediacy of an idea- "Let's get it legalized!" - translates into demands that are not being thought through, just buoyed on an emotive rush. Where is the second thought, the harder look? Some glaucoma patients smoke marijuana because they say it can reduce pressure in the eyes. For this effect to be consistent, they must be constantly smoking. But smoking up also constricts the blood supply to the optic nerve and reduces the blood's oxygen content, two of the last things a glaucoma patient needs. A once- a-day eyedrop called Xalatan produces relief without such complications. Then there's the case of Terry Parker, epilepsy sufferer. His claims drew the immediate scorn of both a Calgary specialist and her Lethbridge-area patient. It was explained to me that epilepsy is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. The patient has no memory of having had a seizure, and can best reconstruct it by deducing how much time appears to be missing. Marijuana, with its distortion of time perception and attention span, interferes. A person under its influence may have a seizure and not be aware of it at all. Neither accept Parker's medical claims. Forget not: he is a trafficker. So why does the misguided crusader come out in pro-legalization advocates? Ignorance or mendacity. Or the megalomanic mindstate the drug induces. The spiritual vacuum, temporarily masked with a giggler's euphoria. Established findings about the long-term harm of cannabis consumption are not being refuted. They're being ignored. Not one word about carcinogen intake or free-radical release throughout the body. No acknowledgment of cardiovascular erosion. Advocating narcotic use as health enhancement is exactly the sort of decay in meaning that George Orwell wrote so profusely against. By the way, there is a tax on marijuana: $150. for your possession of it. Why keep it illegal? Because everyone trying to kick the stuff needs help, which often comes in the transient nature of narcotic supply lines. Given time, drug connections dry up and blow away. The legalization movement has only a psycho-spiritual and intellectual desert that it calls peace. Its strength is emphatically not forensic. by Tom Yeoman Community Comment
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian Medical Marijuana Challenge Begins Soon! (Lynn Harichy, 37-Year-Old Multiple Sclerosis Patient In London, Ontario, Seeks Donations To Fund Her Constitutional Challenge To Canada's Cannabis Laws In April) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 14:56:39 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Chris Clay
Subject: Canadian medical marijuana challenge begins soon! CANADIAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA CHALLENGE STARTS APRIL 27 Donations Urgently Required for Expert Witnesses LONDON, Ontario - Lynn Harichy, a 37-year old victim of multiple sclerosis, begins her constitutional challenge to Canada's marijuana laws in April. She is being represented by Toronto law professor Alan Young, who will argue that the current laws violate Harichy's rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A similar challenge by epileptic Terry Parker last fall brought a historic court ruling; Judge Patrick Sheppard ruled that the law is unconstitutional and Parker is now free to use marijuana as a medicine. Since it was a lower court ruling it isn't binding on other courts, but another similar decision would be a significant victory and would place added pressure on Canada's Parliament to act; indeed, the Ministers of Health and Justice have recently called for a national debate on the issue. Parker and Harichy's cases (and perhaps some others) will move through the appeals process until one reaches the Supreme Court of Canada, and the decision will be binding on all courts in the country. It is important that such cases receive public support, and that they are properly funded. Unfortunately no new evidence can be admitted during the appeals process; lawyers must rely on the facts and testimony submitted during the original trial. Although about $5000 has been donated to Harichy's case so far, lawyer Alan Young estimates another $5000 is required to do a proper job. Young is donating his time; the money is being used to bring expert witnesses to testify. It's important that the rest is raised very soon, since the evidentiary record created during Harichy's trial will become the foundation for an appeal to the Supreme Court. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small. Time is running short, and this is an opportunity that must not be wasted. For full details on Harichy's challenge and information on how you can help, please see: http://www.hempnation.com/focus/focus-0111.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- UN Health Agency Fails To Suppress Pot Report - Weed Healthier Than Booze And Tobacco, Scientists Find (Canada's 'NOW' Magazine Recounts How A Leaked World Health Organization Report Revealing That Pot Is Less Harmful Than Alcohol Or Cigarettes Has Left Officials In Geneva Scrambling To Downplay Its Significance) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 12:40:39 -0500 From: Carey Ker
Subject: Canada: UN health agency fails to suppress pot report To: email@example.com Priority: Normal Delivery-Receipt-To: Carey Ker Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: NOW, February 26, 1998, Page 30 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.now.com/ Weed healthier than booze and tobacco, scientists find By Meg Murphy A leaked World Health Organization report revealing that pot is healthier than booze and cigarettes has left officials in Geneva scrambling to downplay its significance. After suppressing the politically loaded findings, the WHO was thrown into a tizzy when the London-based magazine New Scientist published the report last week. Officials in Geneva immediately went into damage-control mode, vehemently insisting that the scientific research compiled from 16 individual studies was inconclusive, and denying that the report was locked away for political reasons. "It was pure speculation. There was no science in it," claims Tokuo Yoshida, head of narcotic drugs at the WHO, in an interview with NOW. He warns that the public should not see the unofficial findings as a licence to start smoking up guilt-free. Free Use "If people start using cannabis as freely as alcohol of tobacco, there would be harmful effects," he warns, although he admits the study did find the effects of the legalized substances to be more severe. But with more widespread use, the risks associated with cannabis may become comparable, claims Yoshida. "Instead of smoking cannabis at home, people may start using it during tea time or coffee breaks and take time out at work to use it," he predicts, envisioning secondhand problems and a greater number of daily accidents caused by impaired judgement. Alleged unsound findings aside, Yoshida explains that releasing the report was not in the public interest because people would simply begin using cannabis rather than giving up other drugs, creating more of a health problem. Robin Room, chief scientist at he Addiction Research Foundation, which submitted one of the reports in the compilation, admits they found cannabis less risky but does not deliver the news enthusiastically. "We said it would be difficult to say cannabis could be more harmful than alcohol or tobacco, but fundamentally we don't know," he stresses, pointing out that a larger cannabis user pool might have altered the findings. No Overdoses "It is essentially impossible to die from an overdose of marijuana, but you can die from an overdose of alcohol. But then, alcohol does not irritate the lungs as marijuana smoke does, and tobacco, for that matter." But Room does believe that the WHO should have released the findings and allowed the public to weigh the comparative risks, likening the process to consumers comparing prescription drugs. "I would have made a different choice, but it is a matter of opinion," he said. However, David Concar, the New Scientist journalist who broke the story, says in an interview that the report's suppression was more a matter of cold feet than scientific caution. He says sources close to the WHO say the report was delayed for two years because of intense conflict over whether the conclusion should be included. Author's views He also points out that the censored report that was released states on its cover that it expresses the views of its authors alone and is not an official WHO report. "It's almost like the WHO has a problem with this report and wanted to distance itself from it but couldn't figure out the proper way to do it." Even the WHO's formal statement issued after Concar's article hit the stands does not deny that the organization was under heat to cover up its findings. It just claims that their decision had nothing to do with that pressure. Concar says it's difficult for the WHO wield a free hand since it is a UN organization. "Of course, they are going to deny bowing to political pressure. They always deny bowing to political pressure," he says. "But they have never said it was not applied, just that they don't bow to it. They are backing away from the analysis even though it was done by reputable scientists."
------------------------------------------------------------------- People In The News - British Press Has No Sympathy For Meg ('San Jose Mercury News' Says Stroke Victim Princess Margaret Got Little Sympathy Wednesday From British Tabloids, Which Blamed Her Illness On A Lifetime Of Heavy Smoking And Drinking) Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 01:57:23 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: People In The News: British Press Has No Sympathy For Meg Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 PEOPLE IN THE NEWS British Press Has No Sympathy For Meg Stroke victim Princess Margaret got little sympathy Wednesday from Brit tabs, which blamed her illness on a lifetime of heavy smoking and drinking. ``The Fags (cigarettes) Catch Up With Mags,'' headlined the Star. ``We Told Her to Give Up,'' screamed the Daily Mirror, adding that ``Princess Margaret is paying for decades of wild living'' and noting for good measure that she ``swears like a trooper.'' It quoted her saying once: ``My vices are cigarettes and drink. I don't see myself giving these up.'' But it noted: ``She has tried to make a few small concessions, though -- trying to stop drinking at lunchtime.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- High Tea, Scones And Morphine ('Irish Times' Interviews Richard Rudgely, An English Academic Whose Book, 'The Encyclopaedia Of Psychoactive Substances,' Will Be Published Next Month By LittleBrown - He Says, 'The Zealots Who Talk Of Drugs Being A Danger To The Very Fabric Of Society Are Wasting Their Breaths,' Since Drugs Have Always Been With Us) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 19:26:29 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Ireland: High Tea, Scones And Morphine Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (backlog) Mail: 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407 HIGH TEA, SCONES AND MORPHINE >From opium-smoking in ancient Egypt to the taking of morphine and tea at 18thcentury Paris parties, mood -enhancing drugs have always been a fact of life. The author of new research talks to Patricia Danaher The idea that recreational drug-taking is a 20th-century problem among society's misfits is a fallacy which will be highlighted when the research of a British academic is published next month. It is utterly meaningless to talk about a "war on drugs", according to Richard Rudgely. Criminal sanctions will not stop the consumption of mood-enhancing drugs and it makes even less sense, he says, to marginalise those who do take them. "Quite simply, man has always sought to reach an altered state of consciousness. It is something purely instinctive," he comments, tracing humankind's use of drugs for ritual or relaxation back to Stone Age man. Rudgely's The Encyclopaedia Of Psychoactive Substances is an astonishing A-Z (from Adam to Zombie) of the different kinds of drugs which have been consumed since man first stood up straight. Stone Age man, it seems, enjoyed being stoned; the ancient Egyptians used opium to unwind and to do business; smoking tobacco was compulsory among Etonian schoolboys in the 17th century and Hitler and JFK were both speed freaks. During the Suez Crisis, the British Prime Minister Anthony Eden took to the Benzedrine (Brendan Behan was also said to boast of taking the amphetamine). These are just some of the anecdotes which the author includes to illustrate the ubiquitous nature of drugs as well as the long history of consumption. In 18th-century Paris, bourgeois ladies' afternoon tea parties had morphine on the menu alongside the orange pekoe. "The fashion consists of the formation of what may be termed a morphine club. A number of ladies meet about four o'clock every afternoon, tea is served, servants are sent out, the guests bare their arms and the hostess produces a small hypodermic syringe with which she administers an injection to each person in turn." Cocaine has had a long history among royalty and clergy. Appearing in a number of diverse concoctions, the most famous was vin mariani, a wine laced with both coca and cocaine. This wine was enthusiastically quaffed by the likes of Queen Victoria and the Shah of Persia. Pope Pius X was a big fan of this vintage as was Pope Leo XII who gave a gold medal to its inventor in thanks. Even Freud was known to be fond of cocaine and denied it was addictive. And it's not just humans who are partial to suspending their reality through drug use. There are many cases of cows, deer and sheep seeking out fields containing magic mushrooms or berries and happily munching on these as a break from the cud. Not only do they consume psychoactive substances, animals are also a source of many, including toads, scorpions, newts, salamander and beetles (for making Spanish fly), which perhaps explains witches brew. Dreaming during sleep - without the help of drugs - is an example of altered states of consciousness par excellence, says Rudgley. "Dreaming itself is usually such a pleasant condition, that it's hardly surprising that people try to replicate it during their waking hours." Prayer and fasting are also routes to these altered states, which have frequently been taken in Islam and Christianity, but they can take considerably longer. "The ecstatic route is generally considered to be a pagan one." Some of the more unlikely seeming stories included in the encyclopaedia feature the likes of the Etonian schoolboys in the 17th century who were flogged if they didn't bring their pipes to class. "Tobacco was thought to have great curative powers at various early stages of its introduction to Europe. It was thought during these boys' time that tobacco helped ward off the plague." Opium use goes right back to Neolithic man and has not only inspired cave paintings, but was widely used in trade in Asia and the Middle East in particular. Morphine was often buried among the effects of a dying person, perhaps partly to alleviate pain, but also as an offering in the next world. Instead of fighting this phoney "war" on drugs, the consumption of which is as old as humanity, Rudgely feels we should be trying to learn more about what is there already. "The zealots who talk of drugs being a danger to the very fabric of society are wasting their breaths. They should consider instead the antiquity of man's relationship with these substances. This way we can hope to learn something about the undoubtedly more potent drugs which our descendants will be taking in the future." Richard Rudgely is no Aldous Huxley and despite having written two books on man's relationship with assorted chemical substances, he says his interest in the subject is in trying to unravel the distorted understanding of the subject which people have today. He says he also wants to correct the idea that people consumed alcohol long before cannabis and opium arrived from the east during the 18th and 19th centuries. Before coming to power last year, Labour in Britain had pledged to look at the legalisation of cannabis. But there has been no sign of it on the government's agenda since, although the In- dependent On Sunday newspaper has been campaigning to have the ban lifted. "The blanket ban on cannabis is plainly ridiculous," comments Rudgely. "It has many medical advantages which many sober people can vouch for and yet it is lumped in with all other drugs. While this remains the case, it isn't even possible to do research on it. I mean, despite the medical benefits, there is evidence that it may be carcinogenic, but this can't even be investigated." *** The Encyclopaedia Of Psychoactive Substances is published on March 5th 1998 by LittleBrown (£18.99 in UK).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Priest's Appeal To Decriminalise Heroin Likely To Fall On Deaf Ears ('The Examiner' In Ireland Says Gerry Raftery, A Franciscan Priest Who Works With Drug Users And Destitute People, Will Seek The Decriminalisation Of Heroin And Other Drugs And The Establishment Of Drug Distribution Centres For Addicts In A Submission To The National Crime Forum In Dublin Today) Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 19:26:29 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Ireland: Priest's Appeal To Decriminalise Heroin Likely To Fall On Deaf Ears Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Authour: Brian Carroll Security Correspondent Contact: email@example.com PRIEST'S APPEAL TO DECRIMINALISE HEROIN LIKELY TO FALL ON DEAF EARS A FRANCISCAN priest wants drugs, including heroin, decriminalised and drug distribution centres for addicts established. Fr Gerry Raftery, who works with drug users and destitute people, will seek the decriminalisation of heroin in a submission to the National Crime Forum, in Dublin, today. "It is time to consider decriminalisation and limited legalisation of drug use in order to take the supply of drugs out of the hands of criminals and to minimalise harm associated with drug use," Fr Raftery said. "Our main concern is with heroin. It should be decriminalised to take control out of the hands of drug dealers, reduce petty crime, and cut health risks," he said. He said the legalisation of heroin would make it easier to control a problem which successive governments have failed to resolve. "If it was available it would make it easier for drug addicts to stabilise their lifestyles. It would also cut down on drug users because addicts have to go out and find new customers to fund their own habits." "The whole thing could be more controlled and stabilised if it was decriminalised because like it or not drugs ... will remain a part of society," the Galway-born priest said. "Criminalising drugs just drives the whole thing underground and leads to more crime and more health dangers," Fr Raftery, who works with the Franciscan Justice Office said. The Francisan Justice Office will present its proposals to the National Crime Forum this morning. However, their radical approach is likely to fall on deaf ears within the Department of Justice. A spokesman said he would not comment on Fr Raftery's proposals until after they had been put to the National Crime Forum. However, he stressed that the Government was already taking strong measures to tackle heroin dealers through legislation. Measures providing for ten-year sentences for dealers found with more than £10,000 worth of drugs are before the D·il," the spokesman said. The Franciscan Justice Office said it was up to the Government to address the root cause of drug addiction instead of criminalising it. "Poverty has been shown again and again to be related to crime. Poverty itself can be seen as crime. If poverty is a crime then perhaps it is Government, the social and economic policy makers who should be called criminals," Fr Raftery said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- As Dangerous As LSD - But Legal (Translation Of Article From Sweden's 'Expressen' Notes A Swedish Circuit Court Has Ruled Mushroom Collector's Psilocybin Isn't Illegal, Since He Wasn't Selling Any) Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 00:54:15 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Sweden: As Dangerous As LSD - But Legal Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 Source: Expressen Translator: Olafur Brentmar Website: http://www.expressen.se Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: AB Kvallstidningen Expressen, Gjorwellsgatan 30, 105 16 Stockholm, Sweden Fax: 08-619 04 50 AS DANGEROUS AS LSD - BUT LEGAL Svea hovratt (Swedish circuit court) is giving green light for dried cubensis, a mushroom that compares with LSD, in a ruling. Overdose may cause life-threatening conditions. The mushroom contains narcotics. Even so the law allows for use and sales. Kevin, 27, mushroom user escapes indictment for narcotics crimes. He was apprehended during a police raid in December last year for narcotics violation. He had 15 bags of dried cubensis mushrooms, 162 pamphlets with directions and price list together with 850 Skr. ($100). Everything was confiscated by police. Stockholm tingsratt (district court) authorized the seizure. "Swedish law gives people the right to decide for them self about their life". Kevin thinks that is good. Sweden and most western countries classifies the properties contained in these mushrooms as narcotics. The substances are called psilocybin and psilocin and has a hallucinogenic effects like LSD and mescaline, which are prohibited substances in Sweden. The ruling by Svea hovratt exposes a loophole in the law. Mushrooms that contains narcotics are not prohibited in Sweden. Except for one, toppslatskivlingen*. Legislators decreed a prohibition for that species during last years mushroom season. In the drug liberal Netherland, dried cubensis is prohibited, The drug is considered dangerous. Were you going to sell the bags with mushrooms that you had when you were arrested? "No, I was going to keep them for my self", says Kevin. Svea hovratt is following the same line. The court is convinced that Kevin has an unusually extensive interest in mushrooms. "The mushrooms can not be suspected of leading to criminal activity", the circuit court writes in its ruling. "It is grotesque that the law allows mushroom-drugs that is as dangerous as LSD. If you possess two LSD doses you will go to jail. But cubensis mushrooms that gives you the same effect as LSD can be sold freely", said a drug task force police officer to Expressen. *** Translator's Note: * Toppslatskivling is a swedish common name for, Psilocybe semilanceata, a fairly common mushroom in rich soil birch meadows throughout Sweden.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antiprohibitionist Action Report, Year 4, Number 4 (Monthly Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News, From CORA In Italy) Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 22:21:46 +0100 To: email@example.com From: mario lap firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#4 ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#4 Antiprohibitionist action report February 26, 1998 - (Year 4) #4 *** CO.R.A. Radical | Association federated with Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational Coordination | Radical Party *** OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs *** PAA - PARLAMENTARIANS FOR ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTION European campaign for the revision of international conventions *** CORA-ITALY Via di Torre Argentina 76 00186 ROME Tel:+39-6-68.97.91 Fax:+39-6-220.127.116.11 E-mail: email@example.com *** CORA-BELGIUM Rue Belliard 97 c/o European Parliament Rem 5.08 1040 BRUSSELS Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31 Fax:+32-2-230.36.70 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** *CORAnet http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian) *** Director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** NEWS FROM CORA OLYMPIADS: THE VICTORY OF HYPOCRISY. The victory of Ross Rebagliati cannot be the consequence of the use of marihuana. Scientists say that cannabis effects cannot be ralted to a sportive performance, therefore, talking about doping in this case seems to be hazardous. The story becomes even more grotesque if we consider many other ambiguous cases of doping dealt with in different ways in the past. The sportive tribunal has finally forgiven the Canadian snowboarder. Only hypocrisy can allow the withdrawal of a medal from an athlete who smoked marijuana. It is a sign of an environment that tolerates every sort of compromise, but that officially must perpetuate the myth of prohibition. ITALY: PUBLIC SERVICES OUTLAW. MILIO SUBMITS A PARLIAMENTARY INTERROGATION Senator Pietro Milio of the Pannella's List has presented a parliamentary interrogation on the lack of implementation of parts of the law on drugs, namely the paragraphs on the Public Services for Drug Addiction (SERT). Mr. Milio asks the government if SERTs respond to the requisites of the law, if the Minister for Health intervened with the Local Sanitary Units (ASL) and the Regions in outlawed situations, and if measures will be undertaken for those cases in which the constitutional right to health has been violated for addicts. 48 DENUNCIATIONS HAVE BEEN PRESENTED - OR WILL BE - BY CORA ON THE MATTER. The initiative will continue until all major Italian cities will be covered. Letters on the issue have also been sent to Premier, Romano Prodi and the Minister of Health, Rosy Bindi. ITALY: PRELIMINARY HEARING FOR MARCO PANNELLA AND OTHER ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTIVISTS THAT DELIVERED HASHISH LAST OCTOBER 12, 1998. CORA COLLECTS SIGNATURES FOR THE LEGALIZATION OF DRUGS. Rome, Feb. 25 - A preliminary hearing for the responsible of the civil disobedience staged last Oct. 12 in Piazza Navona, during which many doses of hashish were delivered to passersby will be held today. The judge will decide if prosecuting Marco Pannella, Rita Bernardini, Alessandro Caforio, Piergiuseppe Camici, Cristina Pugliese and Mauro Zanella indicted of having distributed hashish for free and having incited its use (Art. 73 and 8 of the law on drugs). UN REPORT: OBTUSENESS REMAINS OF THE AYATOLLAH ARLACCHI INSPIRED TALIBANS OF ANTI-DRUGS. In its 1997 report, the International Narcotic Control Bureau (INCB) warns governments to end their proposals of legalization and contrasts the governmental tolerant and permissive attitude towards the use of drugs. INCB is preoccupied by the "offense of legalizers that are influencing legislators, as well as by the proliferation of experiments of controlled distribution of heroin". According to INCB "[...] efforts will be less effective if demand reduction programmes will have to face the increasing request of legalization". Evidently, the UN Antidrug Talibans, inspired by their ayatollah UNDCP chief Arlacchi, recently folgored on his way to Kabul, are using all means in order to hinder any possible alternatives to the war on drugs to be discussed at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Narcotic Drugs. INCB report, as well as UNDCP World Drug Report, cannot deny the fact that there has been an increase in the production, trafficking, use and abuse of illicit substances, with the inevitable environment of criminality, corruption, social problems, diseases and deaths. Against all these facts, UN officials are only capable of presenting their old obtuse approach. NEWS FROM THE WORLD U.S. By the end of February, President Clinton will certify - or not - all those countries that are good allies in the war on drugs. Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and other Caribbean islands are at risk. There should be a better way to fight drugs, starting from the "Certification" policy that should be handled by the Organization of American States, and not by the U.S., as many Latin American countries are asking. (THE ECONOMIST 21/2) WORLD According to the British "New Scientist", the World Health Organization (WHO) censored a scientific report that confirmed how marihuana is less harming than alcohol and tobacco. The study was abandoned at the last minute because it could have been used as an argument in favor of the legalization. (EL PAIS, LIBERATION 19/2) THE NETHERLANDS In order to regulate the buying of marihuana in coffee-shops without any medical control, the Minister of Health has decided, starting from March, to commercialize a new medicine with the active principle of marijuana. "Marinol" will be sold to people with AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and cancers only with medical prescription. (CORSERA, EL PAIS 19/2) FRANCE The French Observatory on Drugs and Addiction has published two researches on ecstasy consumers. In recent months, there has been an increase in the use of this drug no longer related to the disco environment. MDMA Consumers are healthy and socially well assimilated subjects, but they often take ecstasy with other substances encountering sanitary, physical and psychological problems. Pills rarely contains pure MDMA. (LE FIGARO 16/2, LE MONDE, LIBERATION 17/2) MEXICO Mexico, the principal drug route to the U.S., is at risk for its 'certification'. According to DEA, Mexican cartels have established a 'narcofederation' operating in the U.S. handling the trafficking and the political corruption. A former director of the Mexican anti-drug agency is said to have created his own cartel in the States. (EL PAIS 15-20/2) U.S. Before the end of 1998, experiments of the vaccine against cocaine on humans will start. The medicine will nullify the effects of the drug. According to tests carried on guinea pigs, after a three-month immunization period, cocaine does not penetrate the brain and is destroyed without provoking damages. It will take years for the Food and Drug Administration to approve the vaccine, while doubts on the possibility of its legal use are arising. (CORSERA, IL GIORNALE, LA REPUBBLICA, LA STAMPA 16/2) ITALY The Supreme Court of Appeal has recently ruled that being unemployed can lead authorities to reduce charges to drug dealers; also selling small amounts of heroin does not hinder possible mitigations of the case. The decision has open a debate. (CORSERA, IL GIORNALE, IL MESSAGGERO, LA REPUBBLICA, LA STAMPA 19/2) GREAT BRITAIN According to 'The Observer' the British American Tobacco (BAT) has decided to make cigarettes with tobacco and marijuana. The project took into account the numerous positions in favor of legalization - among politicians as well as physicians. Premier Blair firmly opposes this option and has blocked BAT's project. (LA REPUBBLICA, SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 23/2) SWITZERLAND Bern - The Canton will explore new strategies to prevent the consumption of ecstasy. A mobile device, capable of analyzing the quality of the pills, will be put in front of discos. Those who will agree to such procedure should agree to meet with some social assistants. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 11/2) GERMANY Turingia - In 1997, criminal activities were down 7.1%; those for drugs were 1729 - 492 more than the previous year - a relatively low figure if compared to the overall population of 2.5 million people. The police read these data as the proof of the taking root of drugs in society. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG 12/2) NORTH KOREA North Korea, always in need of money, is more and more involved in international drug trafficking. Thai officials have recently confiscated 2.5 tons of ephedrine directed to that country. Contrarily to what affirmed by the Korean Government the substance would have been used to prepare amphetamines rather than medicines. In the meantime, Russian intelligence agents have intercepted many times North Korean immigrates trying to smuggle opium and heroin to Europe via Siberia. (DER SPIEGEL 16/2) GERMANY Rhine-Palitinat - According to the Minister of Internal Affairs, the inhabitants of the region, 4 million people, live in one of the safest areas of Germany. Nevertheless, in 1997, there has been a general increase of 2.9%; drug-related offenses are up 9%. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG 17/2) SWITZERLAND Some 200 heroin addicts should wait another month or two, before they can be enrolled in programs of controlled distribution of heroin. The 'Ethical Committee', which opinion was due on Feb. 19, will render public its decision only in a couple of months. The delay is due to the importance of the enlargement of the project. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 18/2) SWITZERLAND The Federal Council has submitted to the Parliament an urgent resolution to improve the juridical basis of the heroin distribution project. This transitory norm should cease in 2004, when the new law on narcotics - if adopted by the legislative - will allow the medical prescription of heroin as a common praxis. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 19/2) IRAN Kerman - According to what the newspaper "kahyban" has recently published, some police officers recently killed some 35 presumed drug dealers. Iran is a very important crossroad for drug traffickers coming from Afghanistan and Pakistan. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 20/2) COLOMBIA President Samper is very happy: the incarceration of Jose Nelson Urrego is a lethal coup against the Cali cartel and a guarantee that the U.S. will certify Colombia. The U.S. police do not question the efficiency of their Colombian counterpart, the problem remains the President himself. Mr. Samper has not been able to discredit voices about the alleged illicit funding of his electoral campaign. (SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 21/2) GERMANY Green MP, Gila Altmann, has invited the members of the Transportation Committee of the Bundestag to experiment on themselves the effects of hashish and marihuana. The provocation served to highlight how in Germany the abuse of alcohol is underestimated while there is a holy war against soft drugs. In 1997, alcohol-related car accidents were 4,000, against only 16 caused by soft drugs abuse. (SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 23/2) WORLD According to the International Narcotic Control Bureau (INCB), Rock singers, models, as well as ad people, newspapers and the International Olympic Committee do not have any problem with the use of drugs, moreover, they also consider it fashionable. INCB President, Iranian Hamid Ghodse, says that too may songs incite the use of joints, and that the legalization, advocated by some Governments, follows the wrong path. (LE FIGARO, LIBERATION 24/2, FINANCIAL TIMES, FRANKFURTER ZEITUNG, IL MESSAGGERO, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, LE MONDE, SUDDEUTSCHE ZIETUNG 25/2) FRANCE In a preliminary report, the Accounts Court, denounces the bad administration of funds against drug addiction. There is no structure for the control and coordination of funding; some Ministries spend the money for completely different objectives. (LE MONDE 24/2) FRANCE The Mentor Foundation, a privately funded independent nonpolitical organization, has launched a drug prevention campaign. Programmed for free in movie theatres, it invites teenagers to solidarity. (LE FIGARO 24/2) JOIN THE CORA *** Yes, I want to be member (send by Email, or fax, or Mail) Name and Surname ........................................ Address, Post code, City, State .......................................... Email ..................................... Occupation ............................................. Date of Birth .............................. 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