------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Dons: Innocent Until Proven Guilty (FBI To Investigate Suspicious Jail Death Of Man Arrested After Killing Cop During Warrantless Break-In By Portland Marijuana Task Force, According To List Subscriber Quoting 'Northwest News') Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 01:25:21 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Dan Koozer (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Dons: Innocent until proven guilty I just heard on NW News that the FBI is going to investigate the "suicide". Dan
------------------------------------------------------------------- Standoff At The 'Methadone Juice Bar' Continues (Press Release From American Antiprohibition League Says Demonstrations Continue Weekly In Support Of Portland Health Clinic Beset By Ignorant Clutch Of Neighbors) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 04:20:27 -0800 (PST) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg
To: AAL@inetarena.com Subject: CanPat - GOOD MORNING: The "Methadone Juice Bar" Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com Standoff at the "methadone juice bar" continues Portland, Oregon -- Now in it's forth week protesters and counter- demonstrators will once again make a spectacle of themselves at SE 26th Avenue and Belmont Street, starting about 9:00a.m. The subject of controversy is a methadone clinic which opened, unannounced, last December and has been serving about 300 patients per day since then. (With no major problems that we know of.) Methadone is a heroin substitute which helps some addicts kick the street drug for an addiction to it instead. Because of current federal and state laws, only clinics like the one on Belmont may dispense the drug and then only under very close supervision. Usually in conjunction with individual and group counseling, and regular drug tests. The protesters are local residents upset the clinic set up shop without talking to them first. That was unfortunate, and badly miscalculated by the clinic operators, General Health Inc., a private corporation based in Tigard. "These protesters are hard as nails," commented League director Floyd Landrath recently. "They are adamant and have shown no indication of even budging. Some of them really feel invaded, outraged and have convinced themselves this clinic will destroy the community." One of the protest signs callously reads: "No Methadone Juice Bar Here!" The counter-demonstrators (us) repeat our pledge of support for all those who are struggling with their addiction disease and find methadone helpful in that regard. We sympathize with the protesters having to suddenly accept this clinic and agree it was wrong to have it dumped on them the way it was. Someone should be held accountable for that. A good neighbor plan should be drafted and implemented as soon as practical. But the protesters should come to grips with the situation, they should understand there's no way to get rid of the clinic. Perhaps if these misguided neighbors looked a little closer, got to know some of the patients they would come to understand that methadone maintenance programs, though far from optimum, do help some people move off the street, away from crime and drug dealing. We believe, generally speaking methadone helps reduce the overall "drug" problem. Methadone also saves tax dollars, reduces the need for new jail cells and weakens the illegal drugs black-market. Frankly we'd like to see more clinics, expanded maintenance programs (including heroin) and less "war." Especially between neighbors who, if they would simply sit down and listen to each other for a minute might find they have much more in common than not.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oral Drug Test Screens For Use Of Marijuana ('The Oregonian' Says US Food And Drug Administration Has Approved New Test That Uses Lollipop-Like Collection Device Made By Epitope In Suburban Portland) Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 05:26:47 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OR: Oral Drug Test Screens For Use Of Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Phil Smith Source: Oregonian, The Author: Steve Woodward of The Oregonian staff Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 ORAL DRUG TEST SCREENS FOR USE OF MARIJUANA Beaverton's Epitope and its partner have added to the sophisticated methods available Drug testing for marijuana just became as simple as sucking a lollipop. Thanks to a Beaverton biotech company and its Pennsylvania partner, the nation's first high-tech marijuana test using oral fluid is moving closer to reality. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month approved the new test, which uses a lollipop-like collection device made by Epitope Inc. The test is riding a wave of experimental drug-testing technologies that use saliva, sweat, hair and Epitope's specialty, oral mucosal transudate, to find illegal drugs where they shouldn't be - in the bodies of employees, job applicants, probationers, Olympic athletes and children. Lynn Gray, author of an industry study for Business Communications Company Inc. of Norwalk, Conn., writes that drug testing is bustling with sophisticated technologies such as hair analysis, skin patches and the use of hand-held devices to detect chemical substances on objects rather than in people. Technology is even turning parents into gumshoes, as they use over-the-counter kits to analyze residue from their children's clothing and furniture. The quarry of the new technology is the traditional urine test. Epitope and STC say their test is less invasive and less embarrassing. In Epitope's case, the company is working with STC Technologies of Bethlehem, Pa., on a test that will use a single oral fluid sample to detect the presence of the so-called NIDA-5 drugs of abuse: cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabinoids (marijuana), opiates and phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP or angel dust. The test requires the subject to place a specially treated OraSure absorbent pad between his or her cheek and gum. The pad singles out mucosal transudate, which is a fluid that migrates into the mouth from blood vessels. The tester then seals the pad in a case filled with buffered solution and sends it for analysis in a testing laboratory. So far, STC Technologies has FDA approval to use its test, called an enzyme immunoassay, in combination with Epitope's collection device, for cocaine, methamphetamines and cannabinoids. Once the partnership receives approval later this year for opiate and PCP testing, it will begin marketing the test kit to three primary markets: government-mandated drug testing, such as testing of federal transportation workers; forensic testing, including police work and parole programs; and workplace testing. Epitope already is selling a similar test for the detection of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine. Insurance companies use it to ensure that applicants who claim to be nonsmokers aren't sneaking a few drags. John Morgan, Epitope's president and chief executive officer, said the drug test proves the versatility of the OraSure technology, which developed as the nation's first HIV test using oral fluid. STC Technologies, in partnership with PharmChem Laboratories Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., developed the nation's first drug test based on sweat samples. The tamper-proof PharmChek skin patch absorbs NIDA-5 drug molecules in sweat. For parents who favor old-fashioned urinalysis, there is Dr. Brown's Home Drug Testing System, approved last year by the FDA as the nation's first nonprescription drug test. The test detects marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, codeine and morphine.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prop 215 Doesn't Protect The Sale Of Pot, Judge Rules ('Orange County Register' Says Orange County Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg Ruled Friday That David Herrick Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-op, Arrested By Santa Ana Police In May 1997, Will Not Be Able To Invoke The California Compassionate Use Act At His March 9 Trial, Accepting The Prosecutor's Argument That Proposition 215 Does Not Protect The Sale Of Pot) Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:22:23 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Prop 215 Doesn't Protect the Sale of Pot, Judge Rules Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 Author: Stuart Pfeifer - Orange County Register PROP 215 DOESN'T PROTECT THE SALE OF POT, JUDGE RULES David Herrick's lawyer says the decision will not cripple the defense. The first Orange County test of the medical marijuana initiative may not be a test at all. Accused pot peddler David Herrick will not be able to use the controversial Prop. 215 as a defense when he stands trial March 9 in Orange County Superior Court, Judge William R. Froeberg ruled Friday. That's because the evidence shows Herrick sold Marijuana-and Prop. 215 does not protect the sale of pot, said Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust. "It only covers them for possession of marijuana and cultivation of marijuana," Armbrust said. "As far as sales, transportation, possession for sales ... it doesn't cover them at all." Defense attorney Sharon Petrosino said she will ask the judge to reconsider his decision after she presents evidence at the trial. The ruling does not affect a key element of the defense - that Herrick did not sell the marijuana, but only accepted voluntary donations to the Orange County Cannabis Co-op. Santa Ana police arrested Herrick, 47, in May 1997 after they found seven bags of marijuana in his motel room. The marijuana was marked "Not for sale. For medical purposes only." Witnesses will testify that they wanted the marijuana to deal with illness and thought they were protected by Prop. 215, Petrosino said. "He may have won a battle, I don't think he won the war," Petrosino said. Prop.215, approved by voters in November 1996, allows patients with a doctor's note and "caregivers" to cultivate and possess small amounts of marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Guards Indicted (Staff Editorial In 'San Francisco Chronicle' Says The Indictment Of Eight Prison Guards At Corcoran State Prison For Staging Gladiator Fights Among Inmates Should Be Just The Beginning Of A Thorough Investigation Of The California Department Of Corrections - Attorney General Lungren Faulted For 10-Month Investigation That Produced No Charges) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 14:59:52 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Prison Guards Indicted Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 Editor's note: Some may consider this editorial and related news slightly off topic. But another group of our readers has a personal interest in how the prison industry conducts itself as they have loved ones jailed as part of the War. Folks involved with The November Coalition, for example, frequently newshawk items for this service. They have a superb website at: http://www.november.org/ Check it out! - Joel W Johnson, DrugSense News Service Editor *** EDITORIAL -- PRISON GUARDS INDICTED FEDERAL INDICTMENTS against eight Corcoran State Prison guards for staging gladiator fights among inmates should be just the beginning of a thorough investigation of the California Department of Corrections. The guards were indicted on Thursday ``despite intentional efforts on the part of correctional and other officials to stymie, delay and obstruct our inquiry,'' said the FBI, raising serious questions about official misconduct that must be answered. According to federal investigators, the Corcoran guards entertained themselves by instigating ``blood sport'' fights among rival inmates. On April 2, 1994, inmate Preston Tate was shot to death by a guard when he failed to stop fighting on command. But Tate was only one of seven convicts shot to death by guards at Corcoran since the prison opened in Kings County in 1988. More than 40 other inmates have suffered gunshot wounds under similar circumstances. Clearly, other correctional officers knew of or were involved in the staged gladiator fights and killings besides the eight indicted guards. And who are the officials who tried to obstruct the investigation? Attorney General Dan Lungren, a law- and-order candidate for governor, conducted a 10-month investigation of violence at Corcoran and filed no criminal charges. The Department of Corrections also investigated and found no wrongdoing. Both Lungren and Governor Pete Wilson were all too quick to downplay the reports of brutality. One top Wilson aide called us last year to smugly predict that The Chronicle would look foolish for giving prominent play to the prison scandal. Since California's leaders don't seem to want to know what's going on in the state's 33 prisons, the federal government should continue to root out the shameful barbarism among guards and punish the officials who allowed it and covered it up for so long. (c) 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A18
------------------------------------------------------------------- FIJA/Medical Marijuana Activist Goes On Trial Monday In Fairbanks, Alaska (List Subscriber Says Defendant Charged With Jury Tampering For Conveying Toll-Free Phone Number Of Fully Informed Jury Association, 1-800-Tel-Jury) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 00:25:23 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charles Rollins Jr) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: release Brief note: FIJA/medicinal marijuana activist Frank Turney is scheduled to go to trial Monday at 10:00 am. This trial is related to Franks FIJA activities in Fairbanks. Frank is charged with Jury tampering. What Frank really did was baah like a sheep into a megaphone toward a group of jurors the phone number 1-800-tel-jury. Frank can be contacted at 907-457-2333. Thanks Charles Rollins Jr
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer Fired For Marijuana Use Admits 'Mistake' ('Saint Paul Pioneer Press' Says St. Paul, Minnesota, Police Officer Will Appeal Dismissal After Tipster And Garbage Search Out His Cannabis Use) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 19:17:21 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "MICHAEL C. CLARK"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Officer fired for marijuana use admits 'mistake' Saint Paul Pioneer Press Saturday, February 28, 1998 Officer fired for marijuana use admits 'mistake' *But St. Paul sergeant says penalty too harsh, will appeal termination David Hanners - staff writer It was perhaps an incongruous scene: Dakota County sheriff's deputies secretly picking up - and then carefully sorting through - the garbage tossed by a decorated St. Paul police detective. But the deputies claimed they found enough evidence in two searches of St. Paul Police Sgt. Cregg Brackman's garbage to corroborate an informant's story that Brackman had smoked marijuana. On Friday, Brackman, of St. Paul, admitted he had made "a mistake" but complained that his firing Tuesday by Police Chief William Finney was too harsh and that he and his union planned to appeal to get his job back. "Everybody's human, and people make mistakes," said Brackman, 47, a 21-year veteran of the department. "I'm not mini- mizing mine by any means, but when you do make a mistake, it's important that you stand up and are honest about them and deal with those consequences." Finney has said that state privacy laws prevent him from discussing the case until the officer's appeals are exhausted. But others were talking. "Taking someone's job for an error in judgment seems to be quite a harsh punish- ment," said Patrick Finnegan, president of the St. Paul Police Federation, the union that represents the city's police force. "It obviously didn't affect his job performance, not that we can see." Brackman's fellow officers across the state named him Minnesota's sex crimes investigator of the year last year. He had played a key role in piecing together the case against suspected serial rapist Tony Dejuan Jackson, who is on trial in Washington County on the first of four rape charges. Brackman was fired after he allegedly failed a urinalysis that tested for marijuana. The testing was not random; rather, two police supervisors (as required by depart- ment procedures) requested the test after learning that Brackman may have smoked marijuana. That information came from a woman who had been arrested in Dakota County on drug charges. In an apparent attempt to get a reduced charge, she told authorities that she had seen Brackman smoking marijuana. Dakota County Sheriff Don Gudmundson said that after his department questioned the woman, deputies decided to do a "garbage pull" at Brackman's St. Paul home. "We did a garbage pull. We take your garbage," said Gudmundson. "We did it twice. What the issue is there is that people who use narcotics put different things in the garbage. You don't have a right to privacy for your garbage, according to the U.S. Supreme Court." Officers searched the garbage and allegedly found enough evidence to confirm the informant's story, but not enough for probable cause for a felony search warrant to search Brackman's home, Gudmundson said. "You need more than a couple of stems and seeds or a dope pipe to get a search warrant," the sheriff said. "You're not going to get a search warrant on that. There was not enough." There was enough to turn the information over to the St. Paul Police Department's internal affairs unit, however. Following their inquiry, Finney fired Brackman. Brackman said Friday that while he had made a mistake, he believed he should get another chance. He said he believes he has a good appeal. "I would say that dealing with what I was dealing with as a cop, I've had a lot of high-profile cases, and I do not want one isolated mistake to cause problems with putting away people that need to be put away," he said. "I'm very good at what I do because I care a lot about my victims," he said. "For that matter, I've got suspects who still call me and thank me for being fair and honest. The biggest thing in my life has been my truth and integrity. And if that means being honest and getting slammed for it, then that's what it means. But I think that's important for the kids out there to know that when you make a mistake, you've got to admit it and stand up for it." John Laux, executive director of the state's Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training, said administrators' responses to police officers accused of drug law violations vary with the circumstance. "If you're caught in a criminal situation, there's not a lot I can do for you," said Laux, a former Minneapolis chief of police. "But if you've got a drug problem, we'll offer you treatment. We'll take you to a chemical dependency program and treat whatever it is. Whether you're a cop or an automobile assembly line person or a doctor or whatever else, you've usually got to hit rock bottom first before you get any help. "Obviously, the red flag didn't go up on this guy," said Laux. "He was the sex crimes investigator of the year last year." Laux said he didn't believe there was a big problem with peace officers using drugs or smoking marijuana in Minnesota. "I don't know if it's the big undetected problem that's going on out there and we're unaware of it. We don't have mandatory random drug screening." Police unions have resisted such screening, but have permitted testing if there is a reasonable suspicion that the officer is using or has used drugs. But there are also financial issues for police administrators, Laux said. "When you do a drug screen, what do you screen for?" he said. "The more you screen for, the more expensive the lab analysis is. Some of these screens can be $250, $350. They're not going to run a $300 drug screen on all of their people. They can't afford it." Phil Willkie, formerly of the executive board of the Grassroots Party, an organization advocating legalization of marijuana, said more people smoke marijuana than most know. "It's outrageous that this man's career was ruined because of his personal life," said Willkie. "It didn't seem to affect his good work. It's really a tragedy. And meanwhile, someone on the force who might be an alcoholic can stay on the force because alcohol is legal." Brackman said he will wait for the appeal to run its course, but in the interim, he's not sure what he'll do other than look for work. What does a sex crimes investigator do? Good question," he said. "It's a pretty specialized field. I don't know right now."
------------------------------------------------------------------- More Turmoil In St. Paul Police Department (Minneapolis 'Star Tribune' Notes The Fired Police Officer, Sergeant Cregg Brackman, Was Honored Just Last Year As The Top Sex-Crimes Investigator In Minnesota) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 10:39:44 -0800 From: Jim Mork (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Minnesota WaveTech To: email@example.com Subject: More turmoil in St. Paul Police Department More turmoil in St. Paul Police Department Saturday, February 28, 1998 Minneapolis 'Star Tribune' http://www.startribune.com/ By Heron Marquez Estrada Turmoil continued to roil the St. Paul Police Department on Friday as officers learned that a highly respected sergeant in the sex crimes unit had been fired after testing positive for marijuana. Sgt. Cregg Brackman, honored last year as the top sex-crimes investigator in the state, doesn't deny smoking marijuana. He said, however, that the drug use was limited to smoking a joint in January and another in December. "It was bad judgment on my part," said Brackman, a 21-year veteran of the force whose dismissal was ordered Tuesday. "I was under personal stress at the time." He said that prior to December, the last time he had smoked marijuana was in 1985 when cancer was diagnosed in his son. Finney, who had himself admitted bad judgment Wednesday when he apologized for a letter he wrote on behalf of a convicted arsonist, was in his office Friday, but refused to answer questions about Brackman or the department's policies on drugs. Department spokeswoman Sylvia Burgos said Finney had no time to talk Friday. Burgos said Finney wants to make it clear to his officers that they are expected to be drug free at all times. "You are a cop 24 hours," she said. "Drug abuse is very serious." Brackman, 47, most recently gained notoriety for helping to apprehend serial-rape suspect Tony Dejuan Jackson, who is on trial in Washington County for allegedly raping two women in May 1997. Jackson is also a suspect in the rape of a 31-year-old woman in St. Paul on May 4 and the rape of a 21-year-old woman in Inver Grove Heights on May 17. He also is under investigation by Iowa authorities working on the 1995 disappearance of TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit in Mason City, where Jackson lived about two blocks from the TV station at which Huisentruit worked. Brackman was the key investigator in the St. Paul case and helped link the other cases involving Jackson. Authorities don't think that Brackman's firing will have much affect on those cases. Police informant The investigation into Brackman's alleged marijuana use began in December when an investigator with the Dakota County Sheriff's Department got a call from an informant. Sgt. Mike Scott, who works with the East Metro Drug Task Force, said the informant told him that since 1996 she had seen Brackman openly smoke marijuana on several occasions, including at least once while she was a guest in Brackman's home. Contrary to published reports, Scott said, the informant didn't offer the information as part of a deal to get leniency. "There were no charges pending against this informant and the informant got nothing for this information," Scott said. "It's hard to believe, but the informant was simply upset that a police officer was using drugs. The informant said, 'I can't be doing this, but that officer is using drugs.'" Once in December and again in January investigators searched the garbage at Brackman's St. Paul home. Several baggies with marijuana residue were found in the December search and empty baggies were found in January, Scott said. The small amounts of drugs found, however, were not enough to obtain a search warrant or support a criminal prosecution, Scott said. The matter was turned over to the St. Paul police. Brackman, however, said no one has told him about the garbage searches or that that someone saw him smoking as long ago as 1996. "I think I would check into the background of that informant because that's not true," Brackman said. Scott said he has used the informant in the past and the information provided has been reliable. So reliable, in fact, that her report was enough to persuade his superiors to proceed. He said the case was not treated differently because the suspect was a police officer. "I asked him, what would you do normally and he said pull the garbage," Dakota County Sheriff Don Gudmundson said Friday. "So that's what we did, we pulled the garbage." Brackman, who is expected to appeal his firing within the next 21 days, said he found it curious that he was fired even though there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him or seek a search warrant. Police Federation President Pat Finnigan said the union's board decided to take a position on the matter during a meeting Thursday. Finnigan, however, wouldn't confirm a report that the board voted to contest Brackman's firing. He said that decision would be made public later. Finney has been quoted as saying that no other officer in department history has been fired for drug abuse. But Finnigan disputed that, although he wouldn't elaborate. Burgos said no other officer has been fired for drugs since Finney became chief in 1992. "Any option besides termination," Brackman said when asked what should have been done. "When you get up to that, it's pretty harsh. My being charged with nothing speaks for itself."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Suspect Killed In New York Drug Shootout ('New York Times' Says Police Sergeant Leading Undercover Buy-And-Bust Operation Was Wounded And A Drug Suspect Was Killed In A Burst Of Gunfire Early Friday As They Wrestled In A Notorious Crack House In Brooklyn) Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 10:11:03 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US NY: Suspect Killed in New York Drug Shootout Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Robert D. McFadden Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 SUSPECT KILLED IN NEW YORK DRUG SHOOTOUT NEW YORK -- A police sergeant leading an undercover buy-and-bust operation was wounded and a drug suspect was killed in a burst of gunfire early Friday as they wrestled in a notorious crack house in Brooklyn. The police said the sergeant, who was saved by his bulletproof vest, may have been shot by backup officers. Investigators said 11 shots were fired by the sergeant and two backup officers in scenes of wild and bloody confusion as the sergeant grappled with two suspects in the narrow hallway of a tenement abandoned by all but the drug trade at 325 Franklin Ave., in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The struggle, moments after an undercover officer had bought $20 of crack in the hallway and emerged safely, ended with Sgt. Dexter Brown, 35, a highly decorated 13-year police veteran, shot in the lower back, and a suspect, Steven Service, 20, dead with bullets in the head, torso and leg. Three other suspects were seized but a fourth escaped. No nonpolice weapons were found at the scene, and the police said that, pending ballistic tests and further investigation, it was unclear if the sergeant was shot by his partners with his own gun in the struggle, or perhaps by the suspect who got away. But a narcotics supervisor said the sergeant had most likely been hit by the gunfire of backup officers who rushed in to save him from what they saw as a life-and-death struggle. It was not a case of mistaken identity, he said, as has happened in several other police undercover shootings by officers. "It looks like an accident," said the supervisor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said three shots were fired from the sergeant's gun and eight from the backup officers' weapons. One potentially fatal shot hit the sergeant in the back, but did not penetrate his vest, while another entered his lower back and came out his side. One of 5,000 buy-and-bust operations every year, Friday's operation by a four-member team of the Brooklyn North Narcotics unit began at 1:40 a.m. The target was a dilapidated two-story red-brick building that had been the subject of many complaints from the neighborhood. It had been raided before. One undercover officer, steered in by an accomplice working in the street, entered the hallway to buy drugs, the police said. He wore no bulletproof vest, because buyers are often searched and a vest would have given him away. After he bought crack and emerged safely to report that there were three or four suspects inside, Brown, the recipient of many citations for his 200 career arrests, including 130 felonies, led the charge to make the arrests. Crashing through a red metal door, the sergeant was met by two Brooklyn men with criminal pasts: Service, of 445 Schenck Ave., and Nathan Stone, 21, of 42 Pulaski St., both with records for robbery, drugs and other offenses. As Service wrestled with the sergeant, grappling for his weapon, Stone yoked the sergeant from behind. As the three men struggled on the floor, three shots were fired from the sergeant's gun. At that point, two of the three backup officers rushed in and opened fire, the police said. Service rolled away, fatally wounded, and Stone was seized and handcuffed. Also seized were Carman Catala, 46, the accomplice who had steered the officers in from the street, and Juan Herrera, about 19; their addresses were unknown. A fourth suspect in the building escaped and was at large Friday night, the police said. Brown was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was in stable condition Friday night. The police said he was expected to recover fully. At the hospital, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani spoke of "an excellent job" by officers exposed to "tremendous danger."
------------------------------------------------------------------- News Of The Weird (Two Items In 'San Jose Mercury News' Feature Note US Pharmaceutical Companies Dumped Useless Drugs On Bosnia And Herzegovina At Taxpayer Expense; And Crime Fighters Got Ripped Off) Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:23:50 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Column: News of the Weird 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: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 NEWS OF THE WEIRD * The New England Journal of Medicine reported in December that at least half the drugs donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina druing the war (perhaps many of them from U.S. companies, though no company or country was identified in the article) were useless and even dangerous, apparently donated largely for the bennefit of the company and not the recipients. Not only were 17,000 tons of drugs out of date (or spoiled, or with untranslated instructions), and not only did most or all of the companies get charitable tax deductions in their own countries, but disposal costs of about $2,000 a ton also fell to the World Health Organization. * Hours before the Dec. 5 inaugural address of Mexico City's new mayor, who was expected to announce stern measures to deal with rampant crime and police corruption, the mayor's top assistant was mugged in a taxicab, giving up his wallet and briefcase, which contained the mayor's speech. And in June, an armed robber took the purse of the executive director of Crimestoppers of New Orleans outside her office. Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird appear in Silicon Valley Life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Deaths From Medication Errors More Than Double In Decade ('Associated Press' Article In 'Orange County Register' Summarizes Report In Britain's 'Lancet' Saying Deaths From Medication Mistakes More Than Doubled In The United States From 1983 To 1993) Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:22:45 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Deaths From Medication Errors More Than Double in Decade Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 Author: Emma Ross - The Associated Press DEATHS FROM MEDICATION ERRORS MORE THAN DOUBLE IN DECADE Fatalities among outpatients account for more than half the total from 1983 to 1993. LONDON-Deaths from medication mistakes in the United States more than doubled between 1983 and 1993, with the sharpest increase coming in deaths among outpatients, according to research published Friday. During that period, the number of deaths from accidental poisoning by drugs and other medicines climbed from 851 to 2,098, said the report published in today's issue of the British medical journal The Lancet. Included in those figures is the number of deaths among outpatients, which increased from 172 to 1,459. In 1983, outpatients were three times more likely than inpatients to die of medication errors, but by 1993 the risk was 6.5 times greater. "Something scary is going on and we should be worried," said David Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego, who headed the research team. The group analyzed all U.S. death certificates that listed cause of death as a medication mistake. The certificates did not make clear whether the deaths were caused by a medical professional's error or patient error, the report said. The study did not include deaths caused by natural adverse reactions to medicine, the researchers said. The researchers found that the increase in death rate attributable to medication mistakes is sharper than the increase for any cause of death other than AIDS, Philips added. He said the data show the problem is not the medicines themselves, because the same medicines so not cause such increased death rates when used on patients in the hospital. "It has to do with the quality control of the way in which it is given or taken or the way in which the patient is monitored," Phillips said. "They were either given the wrong dose, the wrong medicine, or the patient could overdose or mix it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Please Help! (DrugSense News Service For Drug Policy Reform Activists Needs Money) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 18:06:23 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: PLEASE HELP! Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: DrugSense Source: DrugSense PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please Make checks payable to: MAP Inc. Send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org http://www.drugsense.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Certifiably Wrong On Mexico (Staff Editorial In 'New York Times' Says Certification Process Is A Farce But Clinton Administration Should Play Along With It) Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 09:54:18 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: NYT Editorial: Certifiably Wrong on Mexico Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: New York Times (NY) Section: Editorial Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 CERTIFIABLY WRONG ON MEXICO The Clinton Administration does no favor to Mexico or its own credibility by certifying that Mexico is "fully cooperating" in the fight against drug trafficking. Compounding the damage, the White House Drug Policy Director, Barry McCaffrey, fatuously claims that Mexican cooperation is "absolutely superlative." A more truthful assessment can be found in the Drug Enforcement Administration's confidential evaluation, described by Tim Golden in yesterday's Times. The D.E.A. concludes that "the Government of Mexico has not accomplished its counter-narcotics goals or succeeded in cooperation with the United States Government." Mexican trafficking has increased, the D.E.A. notes, and the corruption of its enforcement agencies "continues unabated." Though Washington finds it diplomatically inconvenient to acknowledge, Mexico has a chronic problem with drug traffickers who always seem able to secure the political influence they need to avoid arrest and prosecution. This drug corruption greases the flow of narcotics into the United States. Mexico's drug networks span the border, supplying cocaine, heroin and marijuana to American users. Mexico must face up honestly to its drug corruption problem as it tries to create a more democratic and accountable political system. The most flagrant abuses come from corrupt military and police officials who take payoffs to protect one set of traffickers at the expense of their rivals. President Ernesto Zedillo's Government has made efforts to reform drug enforcement, but with little visible result. He has not moved aggressively enough to clean up civilian police agencies and has relied too heavily on military officials, exposing them to the same temptations that led the civilians astray. A more vigorous cleanup might force a showdown with corrupt elements of Mr. Zedillo's Institutional Revolutionary Party, which would benefit Mexican democracy. Meanwhile, it is misleading for Washington to assert that Mexico is fully cooperating. The law mandates penalties, including reductions in foreign aid and limits on international lending, for countries found to be insufficiently cooperative. But these penalties can be waived in the interest of national security. That should have been done with Mexico. Certification is a clumsy tool for encouraging better narcotics enforcement abroad. The annual review process, now required by law, forces Washington into difficult choices between papering over problems or offending otherwise friendly countries. It should be eliminated. But as long as certification remains on the books, the Administration has a duty to report truthfully to Congress and the American people. It has failed to do so in the case of Mexico.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombia Welcomes US `Certification' As Drug-Fighting Ally ('Chicago Tribune' Notes Clinton Administration Thursday Lifted Two-Year-Old Economic Sanctions Against Colombia Regarding Cooperation With US Drug War) Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 06:22:11 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Colombia Welcomes U.S. `Certification' As Drug-Fighting Ally Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: 1, page 6 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 Author: Paul de la Garza, Tribune Staff Writer. AP contributed to this report. COLOMBIA WELCOMES U.S. `CERTIFICATION' AS DRUG-FIGHTING ALLY Colombia breathed a sigh of relief Thursday after the Clinton administration said it would lift 2-year-old economic sanctions because the country has made gains in the war on drugs in the last year. The decision, part of the annual "certification" of nations the U.S. considers allies in the drug war, came as a surprise, considering that relations between the two countries have been on ice since Colombian President Ernesto Samper was linked to drug money. But the U.S. did not certify Colombia as fully cooperating because officials believe its anti-narcotics effort has serious shortcomings. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in making the announcement in Washington on behalf of President Clinton, praised the Colombian police and counter-narcotics forces for an "effective eradication and interdiction effort." While Colombia rejoiced, other nations, including Mexico, took the opportunity to once again criticize the process. Although Clinton certified Mexico, against the wishes of many in Congress, the Foreign Ministry said it rejected "the so-called `certification process' due to the fact that it is a unilateral process and is contrary to the spirit of international cooperation." Critics also charge that the certification process is hypocritical, because Americans are among the world's biggest consumers of illegal drugs, spending an estimated $50 billion a year. Of 30 countries formally evaluated by the U.S., most were expected to be "certified" as fully cooperating with U.S. anti-narcotics efforts. Colombia had joined Afghanistan, Burma, Nigeria and Iran on the list of decertified countries ineligible for most U.S. assistance. The primary effect of decertification has been the humiliation of appearing on Washington's list of pariah narco-states. Decertification also means the U.S. may deny requests for loans and other financial aid. Waiver of the sanctions on Colombia means there will be fewer impediments to U.S. assistance to the country's anti-drug efforts. Colombia, the world's top cocaine producer and a big supplier of heroin and marijuana, also will be spared economic penalties. Clinton administration officials believe that Samper took $6.2 million from the Cali drug cartel to finance his 1994 presidential campaign. Samper recently offered to step down six months ahead of schedule to improve relations with the U.S., but it was not clear if he was serious or if it was a ploy to gain certification. In any case, Samper's term in office expires in August and that made the U.S. decision to waive sanctions easier. Presidential elections are set for May. Foreign Minister Maria Emma Mejia called the U.S. decision a triumph "for the country, which has suffered greatly, which has lost a lot of lives (in the war on drugs) and for the president, of course, who has helped us emerge from this predicament we've had for two years that did not serve us well." Despite claims of successes in the drug war, U.S. law enforcement officials say the flow of drugs reaching the U.S. from Colombia and Mexico continues unabated, about $30 billion worth of traffic a year. Officials say the smuggling of drugs from Mexico is becoming increasingly difficult to detect because narco-traffickers are using sea routes and avoiding closely watched border crossings. For Mexico, the certification process has reached the point of predictability: Weeks before the March 1 deadline, reports surface in the American press alleging weak government efforts to fight drugs the previous year. Mexican officials object, the Clinton administration certifies Mexico, and all is forgotten for a year. Earlier this month, a report surfaced in a Washington newspaper tying Mexico's newly appointed interior minister, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, to narco-traffickers, charges the Mexicans vehemently denied. Some Mexican officials think the negative press reports come from opponents of Mexico in the U.S. who think the country should be decertified. "I think people exist who are not moral," said Mexico's drug czar, Mariano Herran Salvatti. "I can't say whom, but people always exist who try to damage relations between our two countries." Last year, Clinton came under intense pressure to decertify Mexico, with opponents in Congress pointing to rampant corruption at the highest levels of the Mexican government. It didn't help that just weeks before the deadline, Mexico's drug czar, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was arrested on charges of protecting one of the nation's most powerful drug lords in exchange for money, cars and an apartment. The spin from Mexican and Clinton administration officials was that the arrest marked a new era in Mexico, with the authorities cracking down on corruption. Before, they argued, the general would have been allowed to retire. This year, Clinton administration officials praised the nation's drug-eradication efforts, as well as a newly announced bilateral strategy aimed at fighting the drug war. "Mexico destroyed more drugs than any other country in the world last year," a U.S. official familiar with the certification process said. "They're cooperating." Under the joint drug strategy, the U.S. and Mexico plan to strengthen cooperation among law enforcement, intelligence agencies and prosecutors. The idea is to crack down not only on narco-traffickers, but also on money-laundering and gun-running, which help prop up the drug trade between the two countries.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombian Coca Crops Increase Despite US Efforts ('New York Times' Version Gives More Extensive Historical Background) Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 13:51:00 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Colombia: NYT: Colombian Coca Crops Increase Despite U.S. Efforts Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Diana Jean Schemo Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 COLOMBIAN COCA CROPS INCREASE DESPITE U.S. EFFORTS POPAYAN, Colombia -- At first, nothing could have been easier for these struggling rural hamlets than getting into the drug business. Up and down the Valle del Cauca these scattered villages climbed on the coca bandwagon early, enjoying a five-year joyride that is still referred to here to as La Bonanza. But as more and more farmers grew coca instead of food, prices for coca leaf dropped, and the cost of the food they had to buy soared. Crop-dusters financed by American anti-drug efforts poisoned the harvest. And gradually, the problems that cocaine has fueled in urban ghettos -- violence, shattered families and an addiction to easy money reached back to the valley like a curse returning to its roots. As life unraveled, the coca growers learned that although Colombia was spending $1.1 billion a year fighting drug trafficking, and Washington was pouring more than $100 million a year into Colombia's anti-narcotics police, hardly any of that money was available to help communities stop growing illegal crops. Washington's strategy in Colombia, where some 80 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States originates, never included the kind of highly effective programs in Bolivia and Peru that have helped peasants raise alternative crops. Indeed, while drug crops in Bolivia and Peru -- where fumigation is banned -- have continued to fall, the world's leading producer of coca last year was Colombia, where fumigation is Washington's weapon of choice. "It's ironic and disturbing that the one country where you have massive aerial eradication is the one where you've got an increase in coca production," said Coletta Youngers, a senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America, a nonprofit policy research organization. "There's something fundamentally wrong there." (After two years of imposing sanctions on Colombia for failing to enforce drug laws, the Clinton administration announced on Thursday that it would grant a waiver to Colombia this year as an acknowledgment that it is making progress in destroying crops. But the results have not been encouraging. Last year, Colombian pilots poisoned 40,000 hectares of coca crops in the most intense program ever, and yet the total area under coca cultivation rose nearly 20 percent.) Far from the hardscrabble roads where peasants live all but forgotten by their government, Washington formulates policies to reduce drug trafficking by attacking bridges, blowing up labs and poisoning crops. The strategy's limited successes are trumpeted widely. But less well known is the way the policy affects the peasants who took up illegal crops in a Faustian bargain to join the middle class. "They confuse us with the Cali or Medellin cartel," said Eider Gironza Mamian, a coca grower whose community is weighing the prospects of ending coca cultivation. "Maybe they think we're rich, too, but in reality, we're poor. And our children go hungry." Under President Ernesto Samper, whose relations with Washington have been plagued with accusations that Cali drug dealers bankrolled his election, the Colombian government has tried to promote crop substitution with aid from the European Community and the United Nations. But the dearth of help from the United States has sown deep bitterness among Colombians. Indeed, U.S. officials at the Bank for Inter-American Development recently voted against a $90 million loan to boost crop substitution in Colombia, an automatic consequence of Washington's decertification of Colombia over the past two years as a partner in the fight against drug trafficking. At the same time, the U.S. anti-narcotics funding for Latin America's military and police more than tripled between 1996 and 1997, according to a report by the Washington Office on Latin America. Most of the money goes for shooting down planes transporting coca leaves or paste to Mexico and Colombia from Bolivia and Peru, destroying crops and seizing drugs bound for the United States. Still, the seizure of tens of thousands of tons of heroin and cocaine between 1988 and 1995, and the destruction of about 135,000 acres of coca had "made little impact on the availability of illegal drugs in the United States and on the amount needed to satisfy U.S. demand," according to a 1997 report by the General Accounting Office. One State Department official said that in the 1980s the Bush administration offered the Andean nations crop-substitution programs along with military and police aid to battle drug smuggling. While Peru and Bolivia were interested in the alternative-crop idea, the Colombian military and police traded agricultural aid for increased military assistance, the official said. Officially, the U.S. government has no plans to switch tactics in Colombia. In a statement, Randall Beers, acting assistant secretary for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, defended fumigation as "the most cost-effective way to reduce narcotics substances, particularly in areas not under control of the central government." One State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the emphasis on fumigating crops was likely to intensify. "The feeling is very strong to push on in Colombia, regardless of what the results are," the official said. The rationale was that fumigation could succeed if applied more thoroughly, and neither the Colombian nor the U.S. government wanted to shower agricultural programs on regions believed to be under guerrilla influence. For the Colombian military, the resumption of U.S. anti-drug aid is being eagerly awaited as a boost in the undeclared war against leftist guerrillas, the chief of the combined armed forces, Gen. Manuel Jose Bonnet, said in an interview. In recent years, the political breakdown in Colombia has weakened the traditional ties of peasants to the land. Civil strife pitting the army and landowner-financed paramilitary groups against leftist guerrillas, and the purchase of vast tracts of farmland by drug barons, has displaced an estimated 1.2 million Colombians from rural areas, according to human-rights organizations here. Since the country's economic opening in the early 1990s, promoted by the United States, thousands of small farmers in Colombia have gone out of business, unable to compete with the world prices for corn, rice, and other grains, said Juan Manuel Ospina, president of the Colombian Farmers' Society. Many families displaced by the upheaval have drifted to remote frontiers and grow coca where the lack of roads is not a problem. For coca and poppy, traffickers fly into clandestine airstrips. Abigail Velazco, a 41-year-old Guambiare Indian who grew poppy in the mountains outside Popayan, said drug dealers first appeared after a disease had destroyed the tribe's potato and onion harvest. If the importance of an agriculture extension service in the remote mountains of the Guambiare had not occurred to the government, the same could not be said of the drug dealers. Velazco said the first trafficker, a North American who went by a name that sounded like Don Ever, supplied seeds, fertilizer, four months of groceries and a pledge to buy the harvest for a set price. "It started out with only a few people growing wild poppies," said Francisco Muelas, the tribal chief's agricultural adviser. "After that, flowers started appearing everywhere." Before long, 70 percent of the 13,500 Guambiare had given up raising food crops to grow poppy for the traffickers, cutting down forest to do so. Like the lowland Colombians growing coca, the Guambiare saw the fabric of their culture -- respect for nature, families and the head of the tribe -- fray amid the influx of money, strangers and violence. "The community said: 'Look, we're destroying ourselves. Why don't we pick up our traditions, recover our way of life?' " Muelas said. Pushed by their leader, the community presented the government with a "Plan of Life" to help the Guambiare give up drugs. It was not easy, admitted Muelas. Some tribesmen threatened the leader's life, and a letter purporting to be from the local commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Latin America's oldest Marxist guerrilla group, warned the tribe not to stop growing poppy. But the tribe's reaction was an unusual demonstration of its conviction and courage: It selected a group to trek up the mountain and explain the "Plan of Life." After talking, the guerrillas denied having made any threat, and pledged not to interfere in the tribe's switch to legal crops. Though officials in Washington said guerrillas in Colombia are an impediment to government crop-substitution efforts, Juan Carlos Palou, the director of Plante, Colombia's crop-substitution program, said no farmer has ever been killed for giving up illicit crops. Now the Guambiares' program, backed by some financing from the Colombian government, is a showcase for crop substitution. Fields where poppy had been growing are planted with corn, onions and beans. The tribe is raising 500 chickens. The Guambiares built an aqueduct to divert water from a nearby river to a fish hatchery, where they are raising trout from eggs imported from California. They have cleared the forest around a highland lake where they plan to build a fishing resort. A rudimentary factory makes concrete blocks to build houses. Measuring the success is tricky, because crops abandoned in the Valle may pop up under the Amazon canopy where they are harder to eradicate. It is slow work turning around a community's decay against a continuing increase in both coca production and fumigation. "Nobody ever calls the hard line into question on the basis of results," Palou said. "But people are always asking for results when you take a mild line." Success comes slowly, measured in a region's permanent switch to legal crops as the government builds credibility among its citizens.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Not Turning Other Cheek To Dope - Popularity Of British Columbian Snowboard Hero Not Altering Approach By Drug Unit ('Calgary Herald' Says Locals Can Still Expect $100 To $200 Fine For Possessing Cannabis, But Experience Of Olympic Gold Medal Winner Has Stoked Debate On Parliament Hill About Decriminalizing The Drug) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 14:16:16 -0700 Subject: Calgary Herald Article From: "Debbie Harper3"
To: mattalk Newshawk: Debbie Harper firstname.lastname@example.org Calgary Herald February 28, 1998 Pg. B4 email@example.com Police not turning other cheek to dope Popularity of B.C. snowboard hero not altering approach by drug unit Tony Seskus and Sheldon Alberts Calgary Herald Although snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's Olympic success won the hearts of many Calgarians, it won't earn pot smokers any favors from the city police drug unit. They'll continue to reward dope smokers with charges that could result in fines of between $100 and $200. "The guys had their own personal views as to whether he should keep his medal or not," said Staff Sgt. Gord Banack. "But we're obligated to enforce the law whenever we come across it. It's not a matter of choice." Rebagliati, the 26 year-old snowboarding hero from Whistler, B.C. had his gold medal reinstated after appealing a decision to disqualify him for testing positive for marijuana. Banack said the marijuana grown in western Canada is world-class, but warned against inhaling. People need to weigh the risks, he said, adding that getting caught could keep them from getting student loans or government jobs. "It's a bit like unsafe sex," he said, "You shouldn't just look at the immediate 15 minutes." Rebagliati's experience with the highs and lows of marijuana use has stoked debate on Parliament Hill about decriminalizing the drug. Several MP's, including Justice Minister Anne McLellan, say they'd support the issue coming before the Commons for clear-headed discussion. "My colleague, the minister of health, and I have indicated we are willing to look at the question of decriminalization for medicinal purposes, and that in fact our officials have begun that discussion," McLellan said. Grant Hill, Reform MP for Macleod, applauded the decision to have Rebagliati's medal reinstated and said he took the snowboarder at his word when he claimed not to have smoked the drug since April. Hill, who practiced medicine in Okotoks and is a skier, said he might be "OK" with decriminalizing marijuana only if it was allowed for medical purposes. But Rebagliati's vindication at the Olympics shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of smoking pot, he said. "I've seen the problems. I've seen the lack of motivation that comes with regular marijuana use. It's not so much a physical addiction but a psychic addiction to marijuana." Hill said. He said marijuana and alcohol cause similar impairment, but cannabis stays longer in a person's system. "I would never want my (airplane) pilot to have half a dozen beer in him. I would never want my pilot to have toked," he said. "The difference is that marijuana is very slow to leave the body. It's stored by our fat cells. Alcohol is absorbed in hours. Marijuana, as Rebagliati's case proves, is absorbed in months." NDP Leader Alexa McDonough suggested the snowboarder "will go down in history" as having brought some sanity to the issue. She said it's "madness that the simple possession and use of marijuana, for young people, especially," leads to a criminal record. "I think it's time for the government to get its head out of the sand and deal with this issue." she said. "Law enforcement officers have been recommending that we should decriminalize marijuana. That's not legalization. It's decriminalization." Solicitor General Andy Scott said he would welcome debate on decriminalization. Reform Leader Preston Manning backed Rebagliati's appeal but said he is firmly against marijuana use. B.C. Reform MP John Reynolds, who represents the Whistler ski and snowboard haven, called on Prime Minister Jean Chretien to demand "an apology from the International Olympics Committee for this unfortunate event and what amounts to an insult to all Canadians.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Supplements Still One Of Safest Bets ('Victoria Times Colonist' Staff Editorial Notes Industry Representatives For Canadian Herbal Supplement Industry, After 12 Years Of Wrestling With Federal Government Over Regulation Of Vitamins And Supplements, Last Week Seemed To Reach Agreement On Creating Separate Category In Drug Schedule For Their Products - Paper Says Agreement Should Go Forward, Considering Small Number Of Problems Caused By Supplements, Especially When Compared To Those Caused By Prescription Drugs) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Alan Randell) Subject: Supplements still one of safest bets Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: February 28, 1998 Source: Victoria Times Colonist (B.C.) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Our View Supplements still one of safest bets Here's hoping Sleeping Buddha doesn't spark calls for control It's unfortunate that Deep Cove dance therapist Renata Herberger briefly became addicted to a drug she hadn't even known she was taking. But what's equally unfortunate is that the latest revelation about the secret ingredient in Sleeping Buddha comes just as the health food industry is poised to find its place in Canada. After 12 years of wrestling with the federal government over the level of regulation for vitamins and supplements, industry representatives on an advisory committee came out of a hearing this week feeling like an agreement was in the works. The industry wants a separate category created for their products, and Ottawa's standing committee on health seemed supportive. And then the Herberger story broke, more than two months after Sleeping Buddha had been recalled by the federal Health Protection Branch. Local Vitamin Store owner Bruce Reid says he's no "grassy knollist" but the timing couldn't have been worse. Finding a prescription-level drug in an herbal remedy is just the kind of hammer some regulators have been looking for to drive home laws limiting easy access to health supplements. While the health-food industry has argued against supplements being classified as drugs, opponents have argued that consumers are at risk if they can buy the products off the shelf that haven't been through the rigors of full testing. Indeed, there have been some problems. Herbal remedies containing ephedra caused a handful of deaths in the U.S., and supplements such as melatonin and the amino acid L- tryptophan - now available only with a prescription - have been associated with health risks. But considering the millions of dollars worth of herbs, vitamins and supplements bought by regular folks across the country, there have been almost no problems of note. The typical consumer is well-informed and health-savvy, so much so that tales of misadventure, such as the Herberger incident are rare enough to create a flurry of media interest. Compare that to the damage done daily by prescription drugs, highly regulated and available only through medical doctors. In the U.S., it's estimated that 140,000 people a year die from the side-effects of prescription drugs. That's 14 times the combined number of deaths from street drugs such as cocaine and heroin. If consumers have reason to worry about what they're swallowing, it's far more prudent to worry about what they're getting from their doctor than from a health-food store. Reid says the irony of the Sleeping Buddha incident is that if health-food industry had the quality assurance program it has long wanted, the product likely would never made it on to store shelves. The health-food industry has had to operate on the fringes long enough. We need a category that is somewhere between "food" and "drug," something that ensures wary consumers can continue to take the lead in their health care rather than depending on their doctor to know best.
------------------------------------------------------------------- LSD Tested On Female Prisoners - Scientists Experimented On Inmates At Kingston's Prison For Women In 1960s ('Ottawa Citizen' Says Report Completed In January Recommends That All 23 Women Involved Receive Full Apology And Settlement Package From Canadian Government) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: LSD tested on female prisoners Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 08:50:55 -0800 Source: Ottawa Citizen Contact: email@example.com Saturday 28 February 1998 LSD tested on female prisoners Scientists experimented on inmates at Kingston's Prison for Women in 1960s Mike Blanchfield Twenty-three inmates at Kingston's Prison for Women were given LSD as part of a psychology experiment in the early 1960s, the Citizen has learned. The study involving the powerful hallucinogenic drug was conducted with the full knowledge of the prison's superintendent and federal corrections officials. The subjects included a 17-year-old girl who was unable to give informed consent to the experiment and who still suffers from periodic acid flashbacks. "This use of LSD with inmates in the Prison for Women was a risky undertaking," says a report into the LSD use completed in January by Correctional Services. "We conclude that the administration of LSD at the Prison for Women, particularly when it was administered at the prison rather than the Institute of Psychotherapy, could lead to substantial, debilitating long term negative effects." The report recommends that all the women involved receive a full apology and a "settlement package" from the federal government. But locating the women who were part of the study may prove difficult. The investigators who wrote the report discovered that many inmate files were either missing or had been destroyed. "The access to administrative and inmate files has been unsatisfactory," the report states. "The inability to obtain relevant administrative files and most inmate files made it impossible to provide a full account of the use of LSD or ECT (electroshock therapy) at the Prison for Women." Investigators interviewed two of the women and uncovered documents that referred to an additional 21 who were part of the pilot study by a psychologist and psychiatrist. Both women complained of long-term effects that continue to plague them decades after their first exposure to LSD. The report says the women suffer from a recognized psychiatric syndrome called Post-Hallucinogen Perceptual Disorder. "It's a very sad indictment of our commitment to human rights and social justice, and a number of principles I think Canadians hold dear," said Kim Pate, the executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. "We're happy to parade around the globe maintaining this is one of the best countries to live. The reality is: not when you go into the bowels of some of our institutions. You certainly don't see the short fingers of the rule of law creeping in there to protect prisoners." As the head of the Canada's leading female prisoner's rights group, Ms. Pate has researched the history of Kingston's Prison for Women. She has yet to uncover documents that back up the inmates' claims of "weird stuff happening in segregation" that dates back decades. "It's outrageous," Claire Price, the executive director of the Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario, said yesterday when told of the report. "I didn't think things of this sort went on in Canada. You always hear these conspiracy theories about various studies they do on prisoners in the (United) States." These experiments at the Prison for Women add another chapter to a dubious era in Canadian medical research history. The study was conducted at the same time as the LSD brainwashing experiments by Dr. Ewen Cameron at the Allen Memorial Institute at McGill University in Montreal in the 1950s and early 1960s. That scandal has cost the federal government at least $7.7 million because it compensated Dr. Cameron's victims to the tune of $100,000 each. Dr. Cameron's research was initially funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. It was also the subject of a two-part CBC television drama called The Sleep Room, which aired in January. So far no one, including the report's authors, have been able to link the CIA with the experiments that were conducted in Kingston. Between 1952 and 1962, 500 people were given LSD at Saskatoon's University Hospital, Regina General Hospital and Weyburn Union Hospital. Businessmen, students, artists, inmates and hospital staff volunteered for the research project, which was funded by the federal and provincial governments. The Kingston investigation was sparked when a former inmate, Dorothy Proctor, complained in October 1995 to then-solicitor general Herb Gray. Last year, Correctional Services struck a board of inquiry to investigate the complaint. The report concluded researchers tried to exercise care in the selection of subjects but that they did not obtain proper consent from Ms. Proctor when they gave her her first dose of LSD in 1961. She was in solitary confinement at the time. That first exposure caused Ms. Proctor to have traumatic hallucinations -- what is commonly known as a "bad trip." In an interview, Ms. Proctor said she doesn't expect "a compassionate response from the Canadian public at large" because prison inmates are not generally held in high regard and "I know how complacent Canadians are." "Hopefully the day will come when taxpayers realize it is their money being spent by past mistakes of government," she said. "Maybe then, they'll be more vigilant." The Commissioner of Corrections, Ole Ingstrup, declined to be interviewed. Department spokesman John Vandoremalen said yesterday he could not answer specific questions about the report. He said the department needed to "study" the findings. Some of the issues to be studied, said Mr. Vandoremalen, would include the issues of compensation and the missing documents. "The issues are rather complicated," he said. He would not say what, if anything, the department is doing to track down the missing study subjects. In testimony before the board of inquiry last year, Ms. Proctor said she believed she was was targeted by researchers because she was viewed as a "throwaway" who had no family connections beyond prison walls. "I had no friends. If I had died in Kingston Penitentiary, the report would have said I just died," Ms. Proctor testified. "I think I was targeted because I was 16, I was black, and I didn't have anybody on the outside who cared." The board of inquiry conducted interviews throughout 1997 with Ms. Proctor, retired prison staff and the two men who conducted the study. The two researchers provided investigators with written records of their study. In the early 60s, LSD was legal and was viewed in the psychiatric community as potential wonder drug that could break down the brain's defences and be an effective therapeutic tool. That promise was never realized. As the report states: "this promise was considered more of a hypothesis than a proven fact." The drug was banned in Canada in 1969. By the end of the decade, the drug had penetrated the flower child subculture. The complaint was one of two filed by Ms. Proctor with the federal Solicitor General. She also complained the RCMP mistreated her during her tenure as a paid crown agent in the 1970s and 1980s. Her role was to infiltrate the drug underworld on behalf of police. She alleged that the Mounties took advantage of the fact she was a drug addict who came from an abusive background. They plied her with drugs and took advantage of her sexually, she alleged. An investigation has cleared at least one Mountie of any criminal wrongdoing. However, and internal disciplinary probe is still under way. The Corrections Canada investigation into Ms. Proctor's LSD complaint has concluded. Her complaint was corroborated by one other former inmate and through written records about the experiments uncovered during the investigation. Ms. Proctor said she is pleased with the report's findings, and was well treated by Corrections Canada officials during the course of the investigation. She hopes she will receive a suitable financial settlement that will allow her to go to university. Ms. Proctor kicked her drug habit several years ago. Ms. Proctor and her lawyer are to meet in March with Corrections Canada officials to discuss a financial settlement. No lawsuit has been filed, however her lawyer, James Newland, said he won't hesitate to take the matter to court if a "substantial" settlement can't be negotiated. "I found the report disturbing," said Mr. Newland. "Put yourself in the place of a 17-year-old young woman in solitary confinement. To be in that vulnerable of a position and have the last vestiges of your identity swept away with this kind of drug is a scary proposition." In 1960, Dorothy Proctor was a troubled 17-year-old who was sentenced to three years in prison along with three accomplices for her role in an armed robbery and break-in at a private home in southern Ontario. It was Ms. Proctor's first run-in with the adult court system, although she had been in and out of juvenile detention facilities. She was born and grew up in the Maritimes, where she was sexually abused as a child. Ms. Proctor complained that her exposure to LSD in prison, which she said was her first experience with drugs, was the first step in becoming a drug addict. In the next three decades, she experimented with soft drugs, heroin and cocaine. By the time she was recruited by the RCMP in the early 1970s, she had bottomed out and was living on skid row. "Arguably, the administration of LSD in prison was a major aspect of her going down a road in life which was not a very happy experience for her," said Mr. Newland. "She's managed to pull herself out of that life. She deserves credit for doing that." While the LSD experiments were going on at the Prison for Women, a researcher at Queen's University was also studying the drug. Dr. George Laverty, a psychiatrist and professor was studying "perceptual heightening" of subjects while under the influence of LSD. However, as Corrections Canada investigators found, Dr. Laverty's experiments were conducted under much different circumstances than those carried out on inmates across the city. "While Dr. Laverty's work was neither on the use of LSD for treatment purposes, nor carried out in a prison setting, it does speak to other views on what was appropriate at the time," the report states. The experiments were conducted at Kingston Psychiatric Hospital using volunteers. Emotionally unstable people were screened out because they were known to be prone to adverse effects. The subjects were also supervised until the effects of the drug wore off; family members or a researcher would remain with the subjects overnight. In Ms. Proctor's case, she was abandoned in her cell in solitary confinement in the basement of the penitentiary. During her bad trip, the walls melted, the bars of her cell turned into snakes. "I remember dry screaming, screaming but nothing coming out," she testified at the board of inquiry. "No one (was) there to help me... things all over my body." The report concluded that giving Ms. Proctor LSD while in solitary confinement "fell far short of what was considered suitable in the field at that time" and could be "conducive to negative effects during the session and possibly long term as well." Another female inmate, whose name was withheld in the report, told investigators about being locked in her cell after she was given her LSD dosage. She slashed her left arm. When it bled she imagined spiders crawling out of the wound. She could not sleep because she hallucinated that "spider semen crawled up my legs and into my vagina and some crawled up my body and entered through both ears. That night I waded up toilet paper and plugged my vagina, anus and ears. I never slept." The long-term affects on both women were severe. Ms. Proctor avoids opening cans because she imagines the lid growing large and moving towards her to slice her. She can only sleep if she holds her arms across herself or clasps her hands together. She avoids looking into mirrors to avoid being drawn into them. She also avoids her reflection in store windows or pools of water. She has difficulty with depth perception and walking down stairs. If she looks at her body too long, she imagines her skin starting to bubble and ooze. The unnamed woman said she continues to hear voices in her head. She can only sleep three hours at a time, and only if she can feel the stability of a wall. She has panic attacks on escalators and elevators. She avoids mirrors for fear of being drawn into them. "We are struck by the similarity of some of the long-term affects reported by these two subjects of LSD treatment at the Prison for Women," the report states. "We are certain they have had no contact with one another." The report says the women likely suffer from a condition called Post Hallucinogen Perceptual Disorder (PHPD), which was first recognized in 1958. It is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the recognized handbook of mental illnesses. The manual says flashbacks are a feature of the disorder, which "causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning...the perceptual disturbances may include geometric forms, peripheral-field images, flashes of color, intensified color, trailing images (images left suspended in the path of a moving object remaining after removal of the object)..." The flashbacks can be triggered by entering a dark environment, drugs, fatigue, anxiety or other stressors, the manual says. The Prison for Women remains open despite plans to close it and transfer female inmates to five smaller regional facilities across Canada. As of late last year, it was home to 24 female prisoners.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Case For Prison's LSD Tests (In A Science Journal Essay, The Man Who Experimented On Several Inmates At Kingston's Prison For Women Defended The Importance Of His Research, As Described By Mike Blanchfield Of 'The Ottawa Citizen') From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: The case for prison's LSD tests Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 09:52:40 -0800 Lines: 190 Source: Ottawa Citizen Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday 1 March 1998 The case for prison's LSD tests Mike Blanchfield The Ottawa Citizen In a science journal essay, the man who experimented on several inmates at Kingston's Prison for Women defended the importance of his research. Mike Blanchfield reports. He saw it as his role as a researcher to cure jailed drug addicts who were an "enormous wastage of manpower in our own and other countries." And in the early 1960s, in the basement of the Kingston Prison for Women, he decided to administer the powerful hallucinogenic drug LSD to at least 30 women who were locked behind bars there. "We must know more," psychologist Mark Eveson wrote in 1964. "It is the fundamental responsibility for every professionally trained worker in this field to carry out such research -- to try to answer in an objective manner the questions posted by our own inability to effectively and consistently deal with the offender." Mr. Eveson was writing in the January 1964 edition of the Canadian Journal of Corrections. The article details the psychologist's approach to administering LSD to inmates during research there. As revealed yesterday in the Citizen, the LSD experiment by Mr. Eveson and a Kingston psychiatrist caused long-term damage that still plagues at least two of his study subjects three decades later. A report by a board of inquiry by the Correctional Services of Canada recommends that women involved in the study receive an apology and a settlement package for being included in the study. Back in the early 1960s, LSD was legal in Canada. It was touted as a possible wonder drug in treating mental illness. That hypothesis has since been discredited. LSD was banned in the late '60s. During an investigation last year, Mr. Eveson said he did his best under the ethical framework that existed in the early 1960s to conduct his research with the best of intentions. In their report, investigators said Mr. Eveson and his colleagues did their best to meet the standards of the day, but fell short on at least one significant occasion -- when they used LSD on a teenage girl locked in solitary confinement. She was in no position to give informed consent, the report concluded. "It was unethical today and it was unethical 35 years ago," says Arthur Schafer, the director of the University of Manitoba Ethics Centre. "Our rules are very much more highly developed now than they were in the 1960s, and it's because of a lot of the abuses that took place then," says Margaret Somerville of the McGill Centre of Medicine, Ethics and the Law. Both ethicists agree that it can be a tricky proposition to impose the moral values of one generation on another when it comes to the use of human beings as research subjects. And while the climate was much different a generation ago when the concept of a written consent form did not exist, both ethicists say researchers such as Mr. Eveson should have known better. At the end of the Second World War, the international community drafted a set of guidelines on the boundaries of human experimentation. They were the result of the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals, at which the world learned the horrifying human experiments by doctors in the Third Reich. In 1948, the Nuremberg Code was drafted. It said that that consent of all human subjects was essential. "This means that the person involved should have the legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other form of constraint or coercion," says the code. Unfortunately in the decades following the war, says Mr. Schafer, the Nuremberg Code was not widely followed. Mr. Eveson's LSD study was done with full knowledge of the prison's superintendent and senior corrections officials in Ottawa. "Profoundly unethical research was going on, was funded by prestigious government agencies, the results were published in respected medical journals for decades after the war." Mr. Eveson's 1964 article was titled "Research with Female Drug Addicts at the Prison for Women." He was a staff psychologist at the prison back then. In the article, he describes choosing 30 addicts and 30 non-addicts at random from among the prison's 110 inmates. The recent report done by Corrections says only 23 women received LSD as part of the experiment. At the time, LSD was the subject of hundreds of academic papers, many of which claimed it had potential to break down a patient's defences and speed the pace of psychotherapy. "Despite much controversy in the literature," Mr. Eveson wrote, "it was thought that there existed some hope that a single optimal dose of this drug could effect penetration of appropriate defence mechanisms and give insight into depressed problems." Mr. Eveson wrote that the drug could be "a very effective instrument in this modification of criminal behavior." Mr. Eveson said he had a problem "establishing a generally acceptable method of treatment management and dosage." He said further study would be required. He also said he had a larger scale study in the works "pending the approval of the Ministry of Health." Initially, Mr. Eveson found that a single dose of LSD brought "marked improvement in a minority of inmates." "Improvement was marked in subjects whose institutional life had been marked by violence and opposition to custody," he wrote. One of the women who took part in the study disagrees. Former inmate Dorothy Proctor was 17 when she was given her first dose of LSD while in solitary confinement in 1961. A year earlier, she had become the first woman to successfully escape from the Prison for Women. She spent several stints in solitary confinements for fighting with other inmates. The first time she was given LSD she had a traumatic series of hallucinations in which walls melted and the bars of her cell turned into snakes. Mr. Eveson noted his LSD subjects experienced a "significant shift towards introversion." He said this might help "create an atmosphere of treatment receptiveness not previously possible." He reported that 90 per cent of his subjects felt cut off from friends "and expressed a desire for isolation." Ms. Proctor disagrees. She says she felt cut off -- but not because of the drug. She had no family or friends outside the prison who kept in touch with her. If anything, she says, her isolation made her an attractive study subject -- because if something happened to her, no one on the outside was likely to raise a fuss. "Anxiety was also heightened in a high proportion of the group," Mr. Eveson wrote. "These trends offer powerful possibilities for the minimization of the role of the delinquent subculture ..." Mr. Eveson did note that some of his subjects suffered from hallucinations, or what is called a "bad trip." Ms. Proctor and another former inmate interviewed for the recent Corrections report complained of such hallucinations and said they are plagued to this day by flashbacks. "The hallucinatory effects of the drug detracted from therapeutic value and dosages were calculated to avoid any gross sensory changes," Mr. Eveson wrote. "The results of this preliminary investigation appear most promising." Three decades later, Corrections would find that Mr. Eveson was not completely successful at avoiding "gross sensory changes." One former inmate said in the recent Corrections report she imagined spiders crawling out of wounds in her body and hallucinated that "spider semen crawled up my legs and into my vagina and some crawled up my body and entered through both ears." In his paper, Mr. Eveson said he hoped to do more research, using up to 90 inmates. In conclusion, he wrote: "The work described in this paper has, I hope, given some indication of the research interests of the unit at the Prison for Women, both in carrying out small scale investigations, and for proposing experimental hypotheses for more exact study." Dr. Somerville, of McGill University, says that a prison is too coercive a setting in which to obtain legitimate consent from a potential research subject. Prisoners forfeit some rights, but not all of them. "You don't lose your right not to be used as an experimental animal," she says. "It is sometimes said that you can best test the ethical tone of a society by how it treats its most vulnerable weakest and its most in-need members," she says. "It's not how you treat the people you like that tests your ethics; it's how you treat the people you really despise." Copyright 1997 The Ottawa Citizen
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dirty Needle Woes Prick Man's Worries (Although A Construction Worker's Doctor Told Him The Chance Of Contracting HIV From An Intravenous Drug User's Discarded Syringe Was One In Two Million, 'Ottawa Sun' Helps Him Alert People To The Hazard) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DIRTY NEEDLE WOES PRICK MAN'S WORRIES Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 08:51:45 -0800 Source: Ottawa Sun Contact: email@example.com February 28, 1998 DIRTY NEEDLE WOES PRICK MAN'S WORRIES CREDIT: By BRAD HUNTER -- Ottawa Sun Local junkies' used syringes have become the latest springtime menace, and the consequences can be deadly. A construction worker who was pricked by a dirty syringe says winter's ugly residue is everywhere. Marc Labelle was stabbed last week by a used syringe as he worked at a construction site on the Cummings Bridge linking Rideau St. and Montreal Rd. "The junkies and prostitutes just toss their needles away. The workers come across them all the time," Labelle told the Sun. The 34-year-old Lac Ste. Marie man's ordeal began when he accidentally pricked himself with one of the discarded needles. Labelle quickly administered disinfectant and attended the hospital. "The doctor told me the chance of me contracting HIV was one in two million," he said. And while the doctor gave him shots to fight the risk of Hepatitis C and HIV, Labelle will have to be tested again in three months. He is also concerned his co-workers and area children may get poked by one of the needles carrying a death sentence in its tip. But Labelle doesn't blame his contractor or co-workers for the incident. His main concern is alerting people to the hazards of used syringes. He said the company is vigilant about cleaning up the needles, but there are so many of them it's hard to keep up. "Sometimes there's three or four a day, freshly used and some with the liquid still in them," Labelle said. "And you don't even see them in the snow. I just want to let people know that the danger is there."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marketing Of Antipsychotic Drugs Attacked (''British Medical Journal' Faults Latest Trend In United States Of Pharmaceutical Companies Advertising Antidepressants And Other Psychiatric Prescription Drugs Directly To General Public) Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 21:42:52 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Marketing Of Antipsychotic Drugs Attacked Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Zosimos Source: British Medical Journal (UK) , No 7132 Volume 316 Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 MARKETING OF ANTIPSYCHOTIC DRUGS ATTACKED Drug companies in the United States are facing criticism for advertising psychotrophic drugs directly to the general public and to patients. One drug company is even offering university scholarships to schizophrenic patients who switch to their new antipsychotic drug. Last August the Food and Drug Administration changed the rules to allow advertisers to market drugs directly to the public, as long as they provided adequate information about a drug's indications and side effects, or the advertisement directed the consumer to where this information could be found. Consumers in the United States are now deluged with glossy pharmaceutical advertisements in magazines, on television, and on the internet. Eli Lilly has been inviting schizophrenic patients to switch over to its new antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa (danzapine), and offering university scholarships for those who do. The campaign was criticised for pressurising doctors to prescribe Zyprexa and for unduly raising the hopes of people with schizophrenia, as most of them cannot cope with the stresses of higher education. Interestingly, a similar scholarship offer by Eli Lilly for students with insulin dependent diabetes did not require the patient to be taking a Lilly product. Aggressive marketing of Zyprexa seems to have paid off as the new drug grossed $550m (£343m) in its first year of sales. Eli Lilly also sponsors a "psychoeducational" campaign for schizophrenic patients, which provides educational material and a social structure for patients and their families. Visitors to the Janssen pharmaceutical internet website are invited to register for drug updates, and people with schizophrenia who take Janssen's drug Risperdal (risperidone) can register for a person to person telephone call to remind them to take their medicine. While many of these initiatives may be laudable, Dr Sidney Wolfe of the consumer group Public Citizen warned that mentally ill people often have poor judgment and are therefore particularly vulnerable to advertisements. Manufacturers defend their direct advertisements as educational. Alan Holmer, the president of the pharmaceutical manufacturers association, said: "This is the information age, and more information empowers patients to have more meaningful conversations with their doctors about cures and treatments." The increase in direct public marketing has also resulted in higher treatment costs to deflect the price of advertising. Dr Sam Ho, the vice president for Pacificare Health Systems, a California based health maintenance organisation estimates that Prozac, the most widely promoted antidepressant drug, costs 50% more than similar, but less advertised drugs in its class. Prescriptions for antidepressant drugs have also reached record breaking rates in recent years. According to a recent study led by Dr Harold Pincus and reported in JAMA,the journal of the American Medical Association, the number of prescriptions for mental health problems rose from 32.7 million to 45.6 million from 1984 to 1994, with the greatest increase occurring for antidepressant drugs. Although it is unclear how much of this increase is due to direct drug marketing, many psychiatrists believe that up to 80% of the antidepressant prescriptions are unwarranted and are prescribed for people who are not clinically depressed. Others have attributed the increase to a greater acceptance of depression as an illness warranting medical attention, with a consequent reduction in stigma. Deborah Josefson San Francisco
------------------------------------------------------------------- UN Report Assails Pop Culture (UN International Narcotics Control Board's Annual Report Released Tuesday Says Pop Stars And Popular Culture Glamorize Use Of Illegal Drugs, And International Olympic Committee For Giving Back Gold Medal To Snowboarder Who Supposedly Tested Positive For Cannabis) Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 06:22:11 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UN Report Assails Pop Culture Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Kevin Zeese Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 UN REPORT ASSAILS POP CULTURE VIENNA---The United Nations' antinarcotics organization said Tuesday that pop stars and popular culture were threatening young people by glamorizing the use of illegal drugs. In its annual report on global drug abuse the organization, the International Narcotics Control Board, also criticized a decision to award a gold medal at the Winter Olympics to a Canadian snowboarder who tested positive for marijuana. The board's chief, Hamid Ghodse, complained at a news conference to introduce the report about how drug use was portrayed in popular culture. "The fashion industry coined the term 'heroin chic,' and certain pop stars have made statements to the effect that the recreational use of drugs is a normal and acceptable part of a person's lifestyle," Mr. Ghodse said. While declining to identify specific stars, he referred to a band leader who made positive comments about the manufactured drug Ecstasyj and to "a middle-aged member of a rock band who said many of their greatest hits were inspired by cannabis.'' Paul McCartney said last month that marijuana was the creative force behind the Beatles' album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Mr. Ghodse urged governments i'to abide by their legal and moral obligation and to counteract the pro-drug messages of the youth culture to which young people are increasingly exposed." The 75-page annual report lists drug problems worldwide, and makes recommendations on strategies for fighting abuse around the world. Mr. Ghodse said the decision not to strip the Olympic snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati, of his medal would serve only to make marijuana more attractive to young people. "The decision signifies that the use of cannabis is acceptable and normal even for a gold medalist and that is sad," said Mr. Ghodse. The snowboarder was allowed to keep his medal after he argued before the Court of Arbitration for Sport that a positive test for marijuana in his blood resulted from his inhaling secondhand smoke. The court reinstated the medal because of a legal technicality. The UN anti-drug chief also criticized the news media, saying they should be more responsible about reporting on efforts to legalize drugs, and assailed companies that he said promoted drugs "subliminally" in their advertising campaigns. He also warned that the Internet had made information about drugs more available. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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