Portland NORML News - Wednesday, March 4, 1998

Medical Marijuana Supporters Learn From California - The Measure's Authors
Don't Want Oregon To Endure Legal Battles (Salem 'Statesman Journal' Article
About Oregon Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative
Filed By Oregonians For Medical Rights)

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 10:31:59 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: alive@pacifier.com (Arthur Livermore)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Medical Marijuana Supporters Learn From California


The measures author's don't want Oregon to endure legal battles

The Statesman Journal
Salem, Oregon
by David Kravets
Statesman Journal

Backers of an effort to legalize marijuana for medicinal uses
are hoping to create an Oregon law that would avoid the kind
of havoc produced by the nation's only medicinal-use law in

Their goal: to write a November ballot measure that is palatable
to both voters and law enforcement. Backers think they have
that ironed out and submitted the proposal Tuesday to Oregon's
secretary of state.

Americans for Medical Rights is backing medical marijuana
ballot proposals in a number of states, including the District of
Columbia, Maine, Alaska, Nevada, Florida, and Oregon.

The group has learned to include such provisions as outlawing
public use and limiting the amount a patient can cultivate and possess.

But there's one question they purposefully don't answer: How do
you allow the legal use of marijuana without also making it legal to
sell the drug?

"The California law is short and to the point and a statement of
principle and left a lot of questions unanswered," Said Dave Fratello,
spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights. The group based in
Santa Monica, Calif., pushed for passage of California's Proposition
215 in 1996.

The problems came about when cannabis clubs began to flourish
in California. How patients get marijuana is at the forefront of legal
disputes threatening the nationwide drive toward legalized medicinal
us of it.

San Francisco District Attorney Terrance Hallinan promised voters
in 1996 that Proposition 215 would not legalize the sale of. Yet as
many as 25 so-called cannabis clubs have flourished in the Golden
State, and the government is beginning to crack down on them.

"We want to send a clear message that distribution is a violation,"
said Gregory King, a justice department spokesman.

A hearing is set next month in federal court on whether six northern
California clubs can operate, and the California Supreme Court ruled
against the clubs last week.

Another point of confusion is whether doctors can recommend
marijuana to patients.

After Proposition 215 passed, federal regulators threatened to
revoke the prescription-writing authority of any doctor who recommended
marijuana. Doctors filed a class action suit and last April won a preliminary
injunction against the federal sanctions, but the case is pending.

"The argument that is being made by the cannabis clubs is that they are
serving a legitimate need created by the passage of the new law," said
Mitchell Disney, Ventura County Calif., prosecutor suing in state court
to close a club. "Unfortunately for them, the case law that is developing
around Proposition 215 says sales of marijuana remains illegal and that
Proposition 215 is strictly a grow-your-own statute."

And the federal government is "investigating" whether to move against
the growing of marijuana for medicinal uses, King said.

Sponsors of Oregon's measure meanwhile, assure voters that the
proposal does not endorse marijuana selling. The proposal, which they
say is certain to qualify for the November ballot after 73,000 signatures
are collected, leaves it to the patient to grow or to somehow acquire
marijuana through other means such as receiving it as a gift from a friend
who is legally growing it.

"The questions is where they get the seeds or where they get the
cuttings or the marijuana is still up to the patient," said Rick Bayer,
a Lake Oswego doctor who helped draft the initiative.

If passed, Oregon's law would allow qualified patients to grow
no more than seven plants at a time, and if they are growing marijuana,
they can possess no more than 3 ounces of smokable marijuana. Patients
not growing can possess one ounce.

Fratello said the group purposely omitted language about how patients
acquire the seeds to harvest marijuana or how noncultivating patients
acquire the marijuana. He said it was left out because voters might not
approve of the legalized sale of marijuana. Neither would the government,
he said.

"Marijuana is available anyway. The one thing you can do with this law
is protect people no matter how they get it. We did contemplate supply.
If we did put it in, the whole thing could be thrown out," Fratello said.

While marijuana clubs emerged in the 1980's to provide reliable,
nonstreet sources of marijuana to the sick, they operated underground
or with tacit approval from authorities. Since California's Proposition 215
made no mention of them, their legal status is now in dispute.

"Is this law going to create cannabis clubs in Oregon?" Fratello said.
"No. The law doesn't create them. But there's nothing in it to stop them
from forming."

While Oregon's police chiefs dispute the benefits of marijuana on the
sick, they said the measure paves the way toward the legalization of
Link to earlier story
"Legalizing marijuana for medical reasons is the first step toward the legalization of marijuana," said Darin Campbell, spokesman for the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police. Campbell added that the local authorities would not allow cannabis clubs like those in California to operate in Oregon. But sick people are smoking marijuana, regardless of litigation and drive toward medicinal marijuana. Stormy Ray, an eastern Oregon woman suffering from multiple sclerosis, is backing the effort to legalize medicinal use of marijuana in Oregon. "Medical marijuana may be the only medicine that can give me a fighting chance," the grandmother of four said. Gov. John Kitzhaber, an emergency room physician, said he supports medicinal use of marijuana. But Kitzhaber is unsure whether he supports the proposed legislation. Other doctors are not so sure of its benefits and the Oregon Medical Association has not yet taken a position. And for now, the Oregon Department of Justice is not offering an opinion on the proposal.
An Imperfect Poster Boy ('Willamette Week' Suggests Portland NORML
Is Uncomfortable About Standing Up For Target Of Warrantless Break-In
By Marijuana Task Force Who Killed One Cop, Wounded Two Others Before Dying
In Police Custody - With Clarification)
Link to follow up
NewsBuzz Willamette Week Portland, Oregon March 4, 1998 http://www.wweek.com/ letters to editor: mzusman@wweek.com AN IMPERFECT POSTER BOY Shortly after the news broke that alleged cop-killer Steven Dons had committed suicide last week, the e-mails were launched. Link to WW version The first, a "YELLOW ALERT," arrived at Willamette Week at 11:21 am on Feb. 25, saying "FREEDOM FIGHTERS SHOULD PREPARE FOR ACTION NOW." The second, which showed up two hours later, demanded an independent investigation into Dons' death, adding ominously, "Dead men tell no lies, or truth." Both e-mails were from Floyd Landrath, secretary of the Portland chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. From the start, Dons' Jan. 27 shootout with police created a dilemma for local marijuana advocates and cop critics (two groups with considerable overlap). On the one hand, the shooting highlighted controversial police tactics used against suspected marijuana growers ("Sniff and Grab," WW, Feb. 11, 1998). On the other hand, as the only suspect in a police officer's death, Dons wasn't exactly a sympathetic figure. When Dons, who was partially paralyzed, wound up dead in the jail hospital, it added another twist. He had become a victim of the War on Drugs, and Landrath was ready to mobilize like-minded dissidents in a time of crisis. The gathering, however, had more the tone of a klatch of PTA moms than a covey of freedom fighters. The meeting started with a disclosure that there was only one copy of the agenda and that a recent fund-raising event netted about $100 and registered four new voters. The topic of Dons' death was broached. "Is it suicide, or is it homicide?" Landrath asked the group. "I remember on Jan. 27th, 28th, a lot of people said, just in conversation, he won't make it to trial. I had that feeling too." "Everyone is a suspect," someone else intoned. Shasta Hatter wondered how "someone who's paralyzed can commit suicide." That sentiment, however, faded as group members stuffed envelopes for a mass mailing that would go out later that week. "We don't want to be perceived as being in the corner of Dons," said Landrath. Hatter was even more blunt. "Let's be honest," she said. "How many people care that he's dead?" Landrath got the group to agree to a candlelight vigil Friday for jailed marijuana activist Terry Miller. New signs, reflecting the recent events, could be made. One sign already asked, "Suicide?" Group members' reaction to that sign, however, was tepid at best. The vigil was canceled. On Monday, another e-mail arrived. Its subject: "DUMP THE MARIJUANA THUG FORCE (MTF)." It promised a speakout on Friday, March 6, across from the downtown Justice Center. - Paul Albert *** [Portland NORML webmaster Phil Smith comments from San Francisco - ] The link from the article above to Portland NORML's home page is verbatim, at least as far as the online version of 'Willamette Week' goes. A couple of the other links added here show that Floyd Landrath issued the bulletins referred to by 'Willamette Week' under the name of his American Antiprohibition League rather than as Secretary of Portland NORML. Since 'Willamette Week' has linked to this site while misrepresenting its contents, a clarification seems appropriate. As anyone knows who has followed the Dons case via the Portland NORML daily news archive, the issue isn't Dons at all. The issue is whether members of the Marijuana Task Force lied when they said they smelled marijuana being burned in Dons' fireplace in an attempt to destroy evidence. That was their legal justification for breaking down Dons' door without a warrant. Does the factual evidence support the police or did they lie? If there was indeed burned marijuana found in Dons' fireplace, it is probably no longer of consequence to him or anyone else. But if there was not any burned marijuana found in Dons' fireplace, the ramifications may be quite serious for more than a few people who survive him. Let 'Willamette Week' report the facts, if it can remember the primary function of a real newspaper. Only when the facts are made known can Portlanders know what to make of the Dons case. With "An Imperfect Poster Boy," 'Willamette Week' is at best trying to make fun of the confusion its own incompetence has helped sow. Even if the facts support the testimony of police to a judge that marijuana was being burned in Dons' fireplace, there remains a real scandal in the inability of mass media in Portland, including 'Willamette Week,' to answer an obvious question that has probably occurred to every sentient adult who has followed the Dons case so far. Only the facts will ever allow anyone to view the case in its proper perspective - as has always been true with other facets of America's tragically absurd war on some drug users. Finally, it should be noted the Terry Miller referred to in "An Imperfect Poster Boy' is the director of Portland NORML and a medical marijuana patient whose physician endorses his use of cannabis. Terry is not just a "marijuana activist," he is a medical marijuana activist fighting for his and others' right to the best health he can achieve. He is also in jail because police lied about smelling growing marijuana while standing at his front door. The people of Portland and Oregon have put this decorated Vietnam Vet and husband with a little girl and pregnant wife in work release for four months for doing what his doctor says is good for him, without even giving him his day in court to try to persuade a jury of his peers that his cultivation of cannabis was justified under Oregon's "Choice of Evils" statute. Possibly these facts were omitted from "An Imperfect Poster Boy" because Judge Ellen F. Rosenblum, the wife of the publisher of 'Willamette Week,' is the same judge who ruled that medical marijuana patients such as Terry Miller are not entitled to invoke Oregon's "Choice of Evils" statute. Willamette Week' may not want its readers to know how literally it is in bed with the law enforcement community, but its readers may not otherwise be able to understand why the once alternative weekly has been completely muzzled as a potential critic of police misconduct and the war on some drug users.

Police Get Broader Leeway In Searches ('Associated Press' Notes
US Supreme Court Uses 1994 Case Of Search For Escaped Prisoner
That Led To Warrant And No-Knock Entry Of Another Man's Home
In Boring, Oregon)

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 14:52:40 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Police Get Broader Leeway In Searches
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 4, 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Police with search warrants do not need extra
justification to enter a home without knocking first even if the entry
results in property damage, the Supreme Court ruled today.

The unanimous ruling allows prosecutors to use as evidence weapons seized
from an Oregon man's home after police broke a window while making a
no-knock entry.

The high court previously has ruled that police with search warrants can
enter someone's home without knocking if they have a ``reasonable
suspicion'' that knocking and announcing themselves would be dangerous or
harm the investigation.

``Whether such a reasonable suspicion exists depends in no way on whether
police must destroy property in order to enter,'' Chief Justice William H.
Rehnquist wrote for the court.

However, Rehnquist said such entries still are governed by the
Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

``Excessive or unnecessary destruction of property in the course of a
search may violate the Fourth Amendment, even though the entry itself is
lawful,'' the chief justice wrote.

But the court upheld the 1994 search of Hernan Ramirez's home in Boring, Ore.

Police came to his home on a tip that an escaped inmate may have been
there. Officials said the inmate struck a guard, stole a vehicle and
threatened to kill police officers and others.

The 45 officers arrived early in the morning and announced over a
loudspeaker that they had a search warrant. Without waiting for a response,
one officer broke a garage window and began waving a gun through the window.

Ramirez said he and his wife thought they were being burglarized. He got a
gun and fired it into the ceiling, but surrendered when he realized the
window was broken by police.

The escaped inmate was not found, but police got a new search warrant and
seized two guns. Ramirez was charged with possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon.

A federal judge ruled the search unlawful, saying officers' knowledge of
the escaped inmate's violent past justified entering Ramirez's home without
knocking, but only if they could do it without damaging his property.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, but the Supreme
Court disagreed.

The police officers' conduct in breaking into Ramirez's home was ``clearly
reasonable,'' the chief justice said.

``The police here broke a single window in (Ramirez's) garage'' because
they wanted to keep the house's occupants from grabbing weapons that an
informant had said were inside, Rehnquist wrote.

The case is U.S. vs. Ramirez, 96-1469.

Protest And Letter Writing Alert (Bulletin From Rapid Response Team
At Drug Reform Coordination Network About Protest Rally
Opposing Federal Lawsuit Against Six Northern California
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Noon Tuesday, March 24, At Federal Building
In San Francisco, Plus All The Information You Need
To Ask California Legislators To Support SB 1887 And SB 535
And To Oppose SB 2113)

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 20:41:27 -0500
To: drcnet@drcnet.org
From: David Borden borden@intr.net
Subject: CALIFORNIA: Protest and Letter Writing Alert (3/4/98)


Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
Rapid Response Team


Please copy and distribute


(To be removed from this list, mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org with
your request. Please specify whether you are asking to be
removed from DRCNet entirely, or only from the California


Republican Drug warrior Richard Rainey, state Senator from
Walnut Creek, has introduced a bill, SB 2113, which would
sharply restrict the medical use of marijuana. Because it
would modify Prop. 215, it would have to go to the voters as
a ballot measure if passed, requiring major investments in
time and money to ensure its defeat.

Meanwhile, on the positive side, Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-
Santa Clara) has introduced SB 1887, establishing a Medical
Marijuana Distribution Task Force to research and make
recommendations for a medical marijuana distribution system,
and SB 535, creating a medical marijuana research program.
Vasconcellos has also called for a statewide summit on safe,
responsible distribution of medical marijuana, and has
invited Gov. Pete Wilson, Cal. Attorney General Dan Lungren
and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to participate.

Please contact your state legislators and ask them to oppose
SB 2113, to support SB 1887 and SB 535, and to support Sen.
Vasconcellos' call for a statewide medical marijuana
distribution summit. Remind them that more Californians
voted for Prop. 215 than Bill Clinton.

Please write to your state Senator and Assemblymember. You
can find out your Senator's phone number by calling (916)
445-4251, and your Assemblymember's phone number, by calling
(916) 445-3614. You can look up your Senators' number
directly at http://www.sen.ca.gov/www/leginfo/finger.html or
view a list at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/sen-addresses.html
on the California Senate web site. For the assembly, visit
http://ais3.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset9.htm to get
their phone numbers or send them e-mail through
http://ais3.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset7.htm on the
California Assembly web site. Or, you can write to any
legislator at the following addresses:

[Your Assemblymember] [Your Senator]
State Capitol State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 95814
Sacramento, CA 94249-0001

In addition to contacting your own legislators, please also
contact the members of the State Senate Public Safety
Committee: Sen. John Vasconcellos, chair, Sen. Richard
Rainey, Sen. Diane Watson (LA), Sen. Quentin Kopp (SF), Sen.
John Burton (SF), Sen. Bruce MacPherson (Santa Cruz), Sen.
Richard Polanco (LA), and Sen. Adam Schiff (Burbank).

donations to provide legal defense, education and assistance
for medical marijuana patients and caregivers can be made to
NORML Foundation -- MMPCF, c/o California NORML, 2215-R
Market St. #278, San Francisco, CA 94114.

For further information on all the above topics, contact
Dale Gieringer, (415) 563-5858, canorml@igc.apc.org,

(Please send copies of your letters to DRCNet at the address
below, via fax at (202) 293-8344, or via e-mail at


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Teen Survives First Brush With 'Zero Tolerance' Policy
('Orange County Register' Notes Orange County Superior Court Judge
Has Allowed An 18-Year-Old Student To Stay At Corona Del Mar High School
Until A March 17 Court Hearing On Whether His Due Process Rights
Were Violated After He Was Suspended When Cannabis Traces
May Or May Not Have Been Found In His Glove Box In Transit From School)

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 17:13:13 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: Teen Survives First Brush With 'zero-Tolerance' Policy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Mar 1998
Source:Orange County Register
Section:News,page, 1
Author:Dennis Love and Stuart Pfeifer-Orange County Register



A judge allows the 18-year-old to remain in school until his March 17 hearing.

A Corona del Mar High School senior has won the latest round in a fight
against his school's "zero tolerance" drug policy, but educators say the
hard-nosed, increasingly popular philosophy probably is here to stay.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert E. Thomas ordered the
Newport-Mesa Unified School District on Tuesday to allow Ryan Huntsman to
stay enrolled at Corona del Mar until a March 17 court hearing to determine
whether the district acted properly when the student was suspended and
ordered transferred to another school.

Huntsman was an aspiring college student, a three-year golf team letterman
and a member of the school's yearbook staff when a Newport Beach police
officer caught him off campus last month with trace amounts of a substance
purported to be marijuana.

Huntsman was only cited for playing his car stereo too loudly, but police
sent a copy of the report to school officials. The Newport-Mesa Unified
School District decided without a hearing to suspend the 18-year-old for
five days and forcibly transfer him to a different school in accordance
with its zero-tolerance drug policy.

Huntsman took the district to court after he was prevented from
presenting evidence of a blood screen showing he had not ingested marijuana.

David Shores, an Irvine lawyer representing Huntsman, said the district
acted irresponsibly when it relied on the police report. No test have been
conducted to confirm whether the substance found was marijuana residue.

The issue is not the zero-tolerance policy, but whether the district
provided Huntsman due process before acting, Shores said.

Zero-tolerance school policies regarding weapons and drugs seem to be
prospering in these times, despite such instances where parents argue their
children are unduly victimized by the rules.

School officials say the philosophy - which calls for automatic expulsion,
suspension or transfer when students commit specified offenses - has
sharply reduced campus crime as well as incidents of drug and alcohol abuse
at events such as school proms.

"Most people are happy with the system except those parents whose kids get
caught doing something wrong," said Ron Wenkart, general counsel for the
Orange County Department of Education, which hears about 10 appeals each
year from students penalized under zero-tolerance policies.

The Huntsman controversy started at about 1:10 p.m. Feb. 18, when a Newport
Beach police officer stopped Huntsman's car on Vista del Oro and found a
marijuana pipe and a plastic bag allegedly containing trace amounts of the
drug in his glove box.

Huntsman had completed his classes for the day and stopped by his mother's
office and the office of a college counselor at the time he was stopped.
The bag and suspected marijuana, he said, belonged to a friend.

Huntsman gave school officials conflicting reports of his destination at
the time he was stopped. He provided a written statement that he was
driving home and a verbal statement that he was going to school to work on
the yearbook.

In either case, the district contends, Huntsman violated a strict policy
against possessing drugs while traveling to or from school or a school
function. He was ordered transferred to Newport Harbor High School, three
months short of his graduation.

Zero-tolerance policies are not a perfect solution, Newport-Mesa Interim
Superintendent Bob Francy said Tuesday. "But I think most high school
principals will tell you that student activities in this district no longer
are plagued with drug and alcohol problems."

Francy said that in contrast to earlier eras, "Kids come sober to the
dances. Alcohol and drugs tend not to be an issue, and most of us feel that
is attributable to zero tolerance."

Some administrators pointed to a recent national study that showed a drop
in crime on school campuses as further evidence that zero-tolerance
policies are effective.

State law stipulates that certain offenses by students carry a punishment
of mandatory expulsion: Brandishing a gun or knife, the sale of controlled
substances, and sexual assault or sexual battery.

The state "recommends' expulsion for another list of offenses: Causing
serious physical injury to another person except in self-defense,
possession of any knife, explosive or other dangerous object, unlawful
possession of any controlled substance, robbery, extortion, and assault on
a school employee.

Most other offenses fall under individual school district zero-tolerance
policies. As in Huntsman's case, most school district in Orange County
require that students be suspended and then transferred to another school
within the district when violations occur.

Wenkart said most Orange County districts have an appeals process that
begins with a three-member panel at the school level. A student then can
take his case to the assistant superintendent, then to the superintendent,
and then to the county level. At that stage, Wenkart said, the arbitrators
do not revisit the merits of the case but simply ensure that proper
procedures were followed. He said that lower-level decisions rarely are

But on Tuesday, Huntsman nodded his head and grinned after Thomas announced
his decision. He plans to attend classes this morning.

"It would have been really awkward, just things like prom, grad night,
classes," Huntsman said of the prospect of suddenly transferring to another
high school.

"I didn't like the way they handled everything," he said. "I'm happy with
the decision. I'm going to be happy attending Corona again."

John Hayashida, an attorney for the district, argued that Huntsman would
not be harmed by attending Newport Harbor High School while the decision on
his transfer was pending in court.

In a motion opposing the proposed order reinstating Huntsman, Hayashida
enclosed a copy of the district's drug policy, which is posted in each
classroom. It states that any student possessing, using, buying or selling
drugs or alcohol on campus, to and from school, or any school function will
be transferred on a first offense. The second offense mandates expulsion
from the district.

"I'm disappointed in the decision," Hayashida said after the judge's
temporary order. "I think it's important the board policies be adhered to."

Huntsman told police and school officials that the bag and pipe belonged to
a friend. He declined to answer questions about the marijuana pipe, the bag
or his drug use after the court hearing Tuesday.

Operation Hotspot ('Palo Alto Weekly' Sends A Reporter Out
On Saturday Night Patrol With The Police Of East Palo Alto, California)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 10:53:04 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US CA: Operation Hotspot
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Palo Alto Weekly (California)
Author: Vicky Anning
Contact: paweekly@netcom.com
Pubdate: 4 Mar 1998
Website: http://www.service.com/PAW/


A Saturday Night on Patrol with the East Palo Alto Police

Next to the seven shotguns in Sgt. Tom Alipio's office hangs a large Harley
Davidson calendar inscribed with the words "Busy Night, Big City." As Sgt.
Alipio huddles with his officers in the East Palo Alto Police Department one
Saturday night in January, his tattooed arms broader than most people's
thighs, he rattles off the names of drug hot spots that his officers should
patrol that night: Sacramento Street, Buchanan Court, the 2000 block of
Clarke Avenue, East O'Keefe Street and East Bayshore Road.

It's going to be a busy night.

Up to six East Palo Alto police officers have been working overtime two
nights each week since December in the city's most troublesome drug-dealing

In a city of just 2.5 square miles, police have identified 18 so-called hot

Police Chief Wes Bowling unveiled the plan--dubbed Operation Hotspot--at a
City Council study session Jan. 15, and told council members that in its six
weeks of operation the team had made 15 felony arrests, seized several guns,
and confiscated a large supply of street drugs, including 2.6 pounds of
heroin with a street value of about $500,000, which police displayed at a
press conference the following day.

The special operation plan was put together at the end of October, Bowling
told reporters. Originally, it was slated to continue for just 60 days, but
Bowling said this Monday that the operation will now run at least through

Operation Hotspot was launched in response to an alarming increase in open
drug dealing in East Palo Alto in the fall of 1997, and an increasing level
of drug-related violence. The violence culminated in 15 murders last year,
including nine people who died in a suspected arson fire at one house on
Fordham Street in April. That tally is the city's highest since it was
labeled "the murder capital of the United States" in 1992. That year there
were 42 murders in a city of just under 24,000 residents.

In 1998, there have already been three murders in the city, two of them
apparently drug-related.

Sgt. Alipio, who heads the operation, explained that his goal is to put
pressure on known drug-dealing areas by stopping the dealers and buyers from
loitering on the streets. Issuing search warrants for specific houses and
going after the big fish come further down the line, he said.

"The target is to keep the streets clear," he said. "We don't want anybody
hanging out. We want to put pressure on the hot spots."

On March 1, the San Mateo County Sheriff's office launched an antinarcotics
sweep in East Palo Alto, according to spokesman Lt. Larry Boss. This will
target street activity, while the county's Narcotics Task Force carries out
undercover work to infiltrate organized crime, he said.

Bowling said Monday that the sheriff's team and Operation Hotspot will
operate on alternating nights, so that the city's drug locations will be
patrolled three or four nights a week.

A Palo Alto Weekly reporter and photographer rode along with one of East
Palo Alto's police officers, John Norden, one Saturday night in
January--just before the floods hit the city--to witness Operation Hotspot
for ourselves.

That night, the six-man patrol team made eight arrests for violations
ranging from possession of rock cocaine to parole violations. The night
before, the same team netted four felony arrests and two misdemeanors and
identified several gang members, Sgt. Alipio said.

This is a chronicle of Saturday night's events:

6 p.m.

Sgt. Alipio gathers the team--himself and three other officers--to discuss
tactics and locations for the night's patrol. Each officer is to patrol the
five or six hot spots identified that night by Sgt. Alipio based on
citizens' complaints and his own observations. The officers will only meet
if they radio one another for help. Two more officers will join the team as
the night wears on.

7 p.m.

Sgt. Alipio and his team don combat gear and bulletproof vests, black
baseball caps and matching black jackets with POLICE printed in bright
yellow on the arms and back so that they can identify one another.

As we climb into Officer Norden's patrol car, he tells us that he was shot
at as he drove along the 500 block of Sacramento Street just a few days
earlier. I ask nervously whether there are any bulletproof vests left over
for photographer Joe Melena and me. Norden says no. There is only one vest
assigned for each officer. The best thing we can do if we're shot at, he
explains, is duck down so that the metal of the car protects us from flying

Before we leave the relative safety of the police department parking lot,
Norden explains to us matter-of-factly that there is no shotgun in this
particular patrol car.

"If I get out of the car and get my head blown away," he says, "the best
thing you can do is hit reverse and get out of there."

I wonder to myself what I would do if there WAS a shotgun in the car and
Norden was blown away. I've never used a gun in my life.

I let Joe sit in the front seat, next to Norden.

Usually, Norden has a different companion in the car: an 85-pound Alsatian
dog named Niko, who can sniff out drugs and apprehend fleeing suspects.

As we drive off, Norden tells us that he has already worked 47 hours
overtime in the past two weeks.

"That's voluntary," he says. "I wasn't ordered."

Norden is committed to ridding the streets of East Palo Alto of crack

"It's gonna be nice again," he says. "I've been working these streets for
eight years. It's the only place I've ever worked. . . . There's a lot of
good folks out there. There's just a few people screwing things up. And
we're going to clean them up, I guarantee it."

Pedestrians blink as Norden shines his spotlight into their faces as they
walk along the street ahead of him.

We drive west along University Avenue and cross Highway 101. As we drive
along East O'Keefe Street, Norden describes to us the gang friction that
plagues East Palo Alto.

The two main gangs, he says, are two Mexican gangs called the Nortenos (from
the north of Mexico) and the Surenos (from the south of Mexico). The
Nortenos wear red, he said, and the Surenos wear blue. He points out a
teenager in a baggy red jacket walking along the street. Just wearing those
clothes can be enough to get him shot, Norden said.

Another sign of gang members, he says, is tattoos on the hand showing three
dots or four dots. Three is the Nortenos' number, and four is used by the
Surenos. Some gang members have tattoos all over their body, Norden says.

He pulls up at 355 E. O'Keefe St. to show us gang graffiti scrawled all over
the walls of the apartment block.

There is a no-loitering policy at these apartments because they became a
known gathering place for gangs, Norden says. He and Sgt. Alipio stop and
search several men on the stairs. One of the men speaks little English, but
he repeatedly pulls out a large, framed photograph of his smiling sweetheart
from his jacket, as an indication of his innocence, I suppose.

"Most of the folks here are poor Hispanics working two jobs and waiting for
citizenship," says Norden. "They're scared. They're afraid to say anything
because they're afraid of getting killed. . . . They don't call us often
enough because they don't trust us. They don't even trust banks."

Norden says that there used to be as many as 50 people hanging out on the
steps of the apartment complex, but it's a lot better now.

"It was bad six to eight months ago," he says. "It was like a cat-and-mouse
game. We were chasing them but not getting anywhere. That's when we got the
extra overtime.

"Now they're afraid to be out here," he says. "We've been nailing these
areas real good."

According to Norden, the majority of gang members are from out of town,
mainly from Redwood City or Mountain View.

7:30 p.m.

Three teenagers walking along Clarke Avenue are our next stop. The street is
around the corner from Buchanan Court, a known drug hot spot where residents
allegedly hear gunfire regularly.

The three suspects smile amiably as Norden checks their driver's licenses
and another officer takes Polaroid pictures of each one of them for police

"We're ID'ing everyone we find loitering," says Norden.

"We're getting so many complaints off Buchanan Court," says Sgt. Jeff
Justus, one of the four officers at the scene. "One lady called us eight
times last night. Now we can use the photos (to identify people.) It's just
another tool we can use."

Norden says the teenagers know him because he's stopped them several times
already. He even got a card from one of their families, he says. This time
he sends them on their way with a pep talk.

"The bottom line is it's gotta stop," he says of the gunfire.

"I know, man," says one of the teenagers. "I don't like it either."

8 p.m.

Two patrol cars are already pulled over with lights flashing as we draw up
outside East Side Market and Liquor Store on the corner of Clarke Avenue and
Bay Road, a notorious drug-dealing spot. A car has been pulled over for a
traffic violation. As police officers question the driver, they smell
marijuana. They find a joint on the dashboard.

On searching the car, officers find a tool for removing tags from clothes
inside a backpack and a handful of tags ripped from clothing. The driver of
the car--Dia Kareem Baily of Jasmine Way in East Palo Alto--is arrested for
possession of marijuana and burglary tools. The passenger of the car becomes
hysterical as her friend is handcuffed. "Leave him alone," she wails. Baily,
who told police he is unemployed, is taken to the police department for
further questioning. His car is towed.

8:30 p.m.

At the corner of Euclid Avenue and East Bayshore Road, a man and a woman are
swigging vodka outside One-Stop Market. An ID check on the man shows that he
is on active probation. In his pockets, Norden finds a crack pipe and other

Anthony William Scott, 38, of Hibiscus Court in East Palo Alto is arrested
for possession of narcotics paraphernalia and for an outstanding felony
arrest warrant. He is taken to the police department for booking. His
companion, known to police as "Gangster Pam" is released.

9 p.m.

Back at the station, suspects are being questioned and booked. Sgt. Alipio
tests several suspects to find out whether they are under the influence of
drugs by shining light into their eyes and testing their pulses.

He is pleased with the night's activities so far.

"I love it when the plan comes together," he says.

So far the night has netted two felony arrests and one misdemeanor arrest,
he says. "We'll have more than that by night's end," he promises.

While we are at the station, another arrest is made outside the One-Stop
Market where Scott was picked up. In the security of police headquarters,
news of each arrest elicits a thumbs-up and smiles from the officers

10 p.m.

There are reports of gunshots at Jack Farrell Park on Fordham Street. As we
drive past the park, Joe says wistfully that he used to photograph Little
League in that park years ago. Norden shines his spotlights into the park so
that it is floodlit like a ballpark for a night game. There is no sign of

10:25 p.m.

Sgt. Alipio radios for help. He has just chased a group of six suspected
drug dealers from the corner of Laurel Avenue and Alberni Street into some
back yards, he says. He heard them hopping over fences, he tells us as we
drive up.

Five patrol cars, including sheriff's deputies, seal off the area and wait
to flush the suspects out. Norden, Joe and I wait on Laurel Avenue.

Suddenly, a man emerges from the bushes 20 feet away and runs down Laurel
Avenue.As police give chase, a second suspect emerges from the bushes and
runs for it too. Before Joe and I can catch up with them, the two suspects
are laid down on the street and handcuffed. Four of the six suspects are
caught. One of the suspects was only 16, Norden says.

"I'm really glad you guys are here," says one Laurel Avenue resident, who
tells Norden that the suspects have been hiding out in his yard in the past.
"They even tried to shoot at my dogs," he says.

11 p.m.

A fight outside Bell Street recreation center is reported; it's possibly
gang-related. We sail down University Avenue with lights flashing and sirens
blaring, sending cars scurrying in our wake.

Within two minutes of the call, seven patrol cars screech to a halt outside
the recreation center, much to the bemusement of the startled party-goers.
It turns out the report was a hoax.

Sgt. Alipio tells officers that things are starting to heat up. They meet in
the parking lot of McDonald's to discuss tactics without using radio space.

11:20 p.m.

As Norden turns from University Avenue onto Weeks Street, the spotlight on
the front of his car falls on a man urinating against a telephone pole by
the side of Hi and Bye liquor store. In a brief moment of light relief,
Norden tells the man that he won't write him a ticket because the punishment
for his offense is the loud laughter of the man's friends, who have watched
the whole scene unfold from the other side of the street. Norden leaves the
scene chuckling as the friends crack jokes about "assaulting a telephone
pole" and "concealed weapons."

11:35 p.m.

Three teenage occupants of a white car illegally parked at the corner of
Laurel Avenue and Alberni Street are searched. They are waiting for a
friend, they tell police.

Sgt. Bob Cole looks around nervously as we stand in the street.

"Right here, we often get bottles on the head," he tells me.

Norden tells us that in 1992, Alberni Street was "like Main Street USA" at 3
a.m. "It's nothing now," he says.

11:55 p.m.

Norden pulls over a smart white Neon Dodge on University Avenue, after he
sees the car pulling out of Sacramento Street, a well-known drug-dealing
location. He stops and searches the two passengers, a man from Sunnyvale and
a woman from San Jose.

"Did you buy drugs from Sacramento Street?" he asks the man. The man tells
Norden that he was looking for a friend who lives in East Palo Alto.

"Don't play me for an idiot," says Norden. "Why did you pick Sacramento
Street of all the streets in our city to look for your friend?"

Norden asks for permission to search the car, then sifts through the fibers
of the front seat with his flashlight. He finds tiny crystals of what
appears to be crack cocaine and a plastic wrapper on the front seats of the
car. Most of it is on the woman's seat.

12:05 p.m.

Norden reads the Miranda rights to Debbie Stokes of San Jose, who denies
that the cocaine is hers, but she admits that she and her companion bought
$60 worth of rock cocaine from two dealers in Sacramento Street.

She is arrested for possession of crack cocaine.

"It's his car and his stuff," she tells Norden. "He gave it to me. We was
just riding around looking for some more."

12:10 p.m.

The male suspect, Phillip Palacio of Sunnyvale, who is sweating profusely by
now, is read his Miranda rights and arrested for possession of crack
cocaine. He insists that the cocaine belongs to his passenger. He is later
found to be under the influence of a controlled substance, Norden says.

12:45 p.m.

As Norden wraps up the interview with the suspects and waits for a tow truck
to arrive on the corner of University Avenue outside the Drew Health Center
Pharmacy, it starts to rain.

Shots are reportedly heard from the Bell Street party that we visited
earlier. Alipio orders his officers to move in and close the party down.

Suddenly, we see two men running west along University Avenue toward us.
They disappear into a restaurant. Then, three police cars scream to a halt
outside an auto supply store close by.

Moments later, the two suspects are down on the ground with handcuffs on.
Two police officers stand over them with guns pointed.

Joe and I catch up with the officers just as they are bundling the suspects
into the car. We decide we've had enough activity for one night. But the
police keep on going. Weekend nights are their busiest time.

1 a.m.

Back at the station, Sgt. Alipio gives us the latest tally of arrests: six
felonies and one misdemeanor. It's been a busy night. "We've been hooking
and booking all night," says Sgt. Alipio with a proud smile.

The Trial Of Frank Turney (List Subscriber Forwards Update
On Prosecution Of Alaskan Jury Rights Activist Charged With Jury Tampering)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 09:36:35 -0700 (MST) From: Jury Rights Project To: Jury Rights Project Subject: The trial of Frank Turney (Alaska) -- Forwarded message -- Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 22:00:34 -0900 From: Charles Rollins Jr (chuck@mosquitonet.com) To: 104413.3573@compuserve.com Subject: The trial of Frank Turney (Alaska) An update: I attended Frank Turney's Trail, and I am confused as ever. Today they (the state) brought in two of the jurors to testify, and I can't see where the state has a case. One juror I am guessing the main one witness's said yes he did call the 1-800-tel-jury number But Frank had nothing to do with him calling. he had heard about nullification years prior to his time he served on a jury. The second heard Frank say, for more information call 1-800-tel-jury. This comment wasn't really something said directly to the jurors. I thought jury tampering was when someone tries to influence the outcome of a trail, and far as I can tell they have no proof Frank tried to do that. Well I plan on being back in the court I will give you further updates when I can. See ya Charles Rollins Jr *** Re-distributed by the: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org) Web page: (http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm) To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.

Judge Shelters Jury In Tampering Trial ('The Fairbanks Daily NewsMiner'
Covers The Second Day Of Testimony In The Trial Of Alaskan
Jury-Rights Activist Frank Turney)
Link to follow-up
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 13:09:47 -0600 (MDT) From: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org) To: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org) Subject: Jury Activist Turney Faces 15 Years Fairbanks Daily NewsMiner http://www.newsminer.com/news/news.html Wednesday, March 4, 1998 Judge shelters jury in tampering trial It turns out that the jury sitting in judgment of juror rights advocate Frank Turney may not be so fully informed after all. The judge in Turney's jury-tampering case will not let the prosecution question jurors about the deliberation process from a 1994 trial that ended with a hung jury. Kodiak Superior Court Judge Donald Hopwood, temporarily assigned to Fairbanks, said he feared that Turney's current trial would evolve into a mini-retrial of an old case involving another defendant. Turney's trial on jury tampering charges concluded its second day of testimony Wednesday in Fairbanks Superior Court. Turney is accused of distributing the number of a juror rights hot line, 1-800-TEL-JURY, to jurors assigned to a criminal trial. *** Letters to the editor about Frank's case can be sent to: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner P.O. Box 70710 Fairbanks, AK 99707-0710 Email: letters@newsminer.com Fax: (907) 452-7917 Limit: 350 words Anchorage Daily News P.O. Box 149001 Anchorage, Alaska 99514-9001 Email: letters@pop.adn.com Fax:(907)258-2157 Juneau Empire 3100 Channel Dr Juneau AK 99801 Email: editor1@alaska.net Fax: (907)586-3028 Limit: 250 words *** Re-distributed by the: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org) Web page: (http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm) To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.

Bad Idea (Staff Editorial In 'The Houston Chronicle'
Opposes The Clinton Administration's Endorsement This Week
Of A National Standard On Blood-Alcohol Levels For Drunk Drivers
As A Federalized Solution To A State Problem)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 15:04:05 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Bad Idea
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Page: 22A
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Mar 1998


Let states, not power-drunk Clinton, handle DWI

Is there no end to the problems this president is going to solve?

Not to hear him tell it, with an almost daily stream of pronouncements
emanating from the White House for months now.

It may be interesting as a political exercise in attempting to set policy
by focus group and broad public appeal. But as good government it falls
somewhat short.

The latest Bill Clinton-to-the-rescue scheme is his endorsement this week
of a national standard on blood-alcohol levels for drunk drivers.

The cause may be a good one, but the solution -- a federalized one -- to
what is essentially a state problem is yet another proposed expansion for a
government that is already too big for its sizable britches.

Let the states hang onto their jurisdiction in this matter, and let the
president use his bully pulpit all he wants to encourage them. However,
using the threat of withholding federal highway funds, which come from the
states and their citizens to begin with, is just bad and intrusive policy
that goes against the grain of constitutional authority and is an intrusion
on states' rights and citizens' taxes.

Perhaps the president was a little intoxicated when he declared not so long
ago that the era of big government is over. Or perhaps he's drunk with
big-government power now.

But federalizing yet another problem is a costly and misguided effort that
should not be. Put a cork in it, Mr. President.

Court Doesn't Buy Couple's Defense ('Topeka Capital-Journal'
Says The Kansas Court Of Appeals Has Ruled That A Rastafarian Couple
Who Sought To Defend Their Cultivation Of Marijuana
Under The Religious Freedom Act Don't Have The Same Legal Standing
As Native Americans Who Legally Use Peyote)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 16:23:33 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US KS: Court Doesn't Buy Couple's Defense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 4, 1998
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal
Author: Steve Fry, The Capital-journal
Contact: letters@cjnetworks.com
Website: http://cjonline.com/


A Topeka couple convicted of felony cultivation of marijuana despite their
claim the drug was part of their Rastafarian faith don't have the same
legal standing as an Indian church whose members legally use peyote, the
Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled.

The court Friday upheld the 1996 convictions in Shawnee County District
Court of Joe McBride and Connie McBride.

The ruling was the first in which the question of whether one religious
group can be exempted from a drug law while another can't has surfaced on
appeal in Kansas.

The McBrides were charged with growing 86 marijuana plants, which would
have yielded 6.5 pounds of the drug, in a garden at their home, 2921 S.E.
10th, a Topeka Housing Authority apartment at Pine Ridge.

The Drug Enforcement Administration adopted a regulation in 1971 allowing
the Native American Church to use peyote in its ceremonies. But the
McBrides don't have the legal standing the NAC has for three reasons, the
court of appeals ruled:

- Peyote is consumed by NAC members only at specific and infrequent
religious ceremonies while Rastafarians may consume marijuana "in any
quantity at any time." Joe McBride testified his religion has no limits on
how much marijuana he smokes or when he smokes it. That makes regulating
marijuana for religious use "nearly impossible because of widespread and
uncontrolled usage," the court of appeals wrote.

- Rastafarian use of marijuana contrasts starkly to practices of NAC use of
peyote, in which ceremonies are elaborate and lengthy. NAC congregants are
issued membership cards, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration
has established and administers a licensing system for peyote dealers in

- Peyote isn't used at the same rate as marijuana. According to DEA
statistics cited in the court of appeals opinion, the amount of peyote
seized and analyzed by the DEA between 1980 and 1987 was 19.4 pounds vs.
more than 15.3 million pounds of marijuana during the same time frame.

"While these statistics are somewhat dated, they do support the fact that
marijuana abuse is a far greater social and economic problem than peyote,"
the court of appeals opinion said.

Kansas law grants a peyote exemption to NAC members to bring Kansas law
into line with federal law, the court of appeals said, noting "federal
Native American law is different."

Since the early 19th century, the U.S. Supreme Court precedent has treated
Native Americans as having a unique and dependent setting in the federal

"Modern courts have interpreted the unique obligations owed to Native
Americans as exempting laws passed pursuant to the trust responsibility
from the strictures of traditional equal protection analysis," the court of
appeals wrote.

During the Shawnee County District Court case, Judge Eric Rosen had granted
a prosecution motion to block the McBrides from presenting testimony saying
the Rastafarian religion was a defense to the marijuana cultivation charge.

When the case was submitted to Rosen on Sept. 9, 1996, based on a set of
facts agreed to by defense and prosecution lawyers, Rosen convicted the
pair of one count each of cultivation of marijuana and failure to pay the
Kansas drug dealer tax.

Rosen placed the couple on probation, but warned them that smoking
marijuana as a religious sacrament of the Rastafarian faith could get them
in trouble because a probation condition prohibits consumption of drugs.

Copyright 1998 The Topeka Capital-Journal

Mom Turns In Video Showing Teen-Agers Buying, Smoking Marijuana
('Associated Press' Item Suggests Some Parents Do Indeed Support Prohibition -
New Hampshire Mom Sets Police On Her Own Daughter, Other Teens,
After Her Prescription Drugs Get Swiped)

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 23:14:05 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US NH: Wire: Mom Turns In Video Showing Teen-agers Buying,
Smoking Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: W.H.E.N. http://www.mapinc.org/lists/hempnet.htm
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wednesday, 4 March 1998


MILFORD, N.H. (AP) - A mother gave police a videotape she found in her home
that shows her own daughter and other teen-agers buying, selling and
smoking marijuana. One teen was charged, and more arrests are expected.

The tape was turned in by Diane Hohen, who said she returned from a trip
out of town and found that cash and prescription drugs had been stolen from
her home while her daughter, Kelly, was entertaining friends.

``This is Jimmy with drugs,'' a narrator says at one point as the tape
shows 17-year-old James Ramsey with bags of marijuana and a scale,
according to police.

Ramsey was charged with possessing and selling marijuana, criminal
threatening and witness tampering. Police said Ramsey threatened to kill
the Hohens after Kelly told him the video had gone to police.

Wrong-Door Raid Victim Threatens Suit ('United Press International'
Notes New York City Police Wouldn't Announce Themselves
Before Firing 24 Rounds, Breaking Down Man's Door,
Inflicting Customary Violence And Indignities Reserved For
Suspected Drug Offenders)

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 13:48:56 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US NY: Wrong-Door Raid Victim Threatens Suit
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: James Hammett 
Source: United Press International
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Mar 1998


NEW YORK, March 3 (UPI) -- A New York City man who had his apartment shot
up and his door broken down by police who got the wrong address for a drug
raid is threatening a lawsuit.

Ellis Elliott told reporters today that he was with his girlfriend in his
Bronx apartment last Friday when someone outside started trying to knock
down the door. Elliott said he grabbed his gun and demanded to know who it
was before he even had a chance to put on some clothes. He said: ``I
thought it was a robbery. I'm saying 'Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?' and
no one is answering.'' He said his reaction was to fire one shot into the
top of the door frame, to scare off whoever it was.

The officers shot back, firing 24 rounds at the apartment. No one was hurt.
When police came piling in, he said he did not resist and tried to explain
his innocence.

He said police hauled him naked out of the apartment, insulted him, and
handcuffed him on the floor. Eventually someone gave him some women's
clothing before police took him to central booking. He said, ``They threw
me down like a piece of toilet paper.'' The police department has offered
to pay for the damage done by the shooting and subsequent ransacking of the
apartment by police. Elliott says that's not enough. His lawyer is
promising to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit in a few weeks.

Police initially charged Elliott with attempted murder, but the charge was
lowered to misdemeanor possession of a weapon. A spokesman said such
incidents are rare, and police would take proper steps if officers
mistreated Elliott.

Lt. Stephen Biegel said: ``The department is vigorously investigating this
matter, and will comment upon the conclusion of our investigation. In over
45,000 warrants executed last year, we went to the wrong apartment 10 times.''

Bronx Man Recounts Abuse By Police In Mistaken Raid
('New York Times' Version)

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 19:59:00 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Bronx Man Recounts Abuse By Police In Mistaken Raid
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Dick Evans" 
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Kit R. Roane
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Mar 1998


NEW YORK -- Sitting amid shards of glass in his bullet-ridden apartment, a
Bronx man whose home was mistakenly raided by the police accused officers
Tuesday of kicking and beating him and using a racial epithet as they
shouted, "Where are the drugs?"

The police said they could not comment on the allegations because the man,
Ellis Elliott, was preparing to sue the city over Friday's raid, in which
officers mistakenly burst into the apartment looking for a drug dealer.
Deputy Inspector Michael Collins, a spokesman for the Police Department,
would say only, "There is a vigorous investigation ongoing relative to this
matter." Elliott made the accusations at a news conference at his apartment
Tuesday in which his lawyer, Joseph Kelner, produced a picture that he said
was taken after the incident and showed Elliott with a cut on his forehead.
Kelner offered no other evidence of the alleged beating, saying his client
had only just been examined by doctors.

A police investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity said there was no
evidence of injury to Elliott in the police report that was filed in the
case. Elliott, 44, gave his account of the raid Tuesday pointing out the
bullet holes -- 26 in one count -- that lined the front hall of his
ransacked apartment. "I was afraid for my life," Elliott said Tuesday,
intermittently smoking and hyperventilating into a crushed paper bag. "You
could just hear the bullets tearing through stuff. They wanted to make sure
that whatever was here was going to get it."

As Elliott tells it, several men went to his home at 8 a.m. Friday and
began to bang on the metal front door of his fourth-floor apartment as he
slept. Fearful that the men might be robbers, he jumped out of bed naked,
pulled an unlicensed .25-caliber revolver from his night stand and yelled
at the men to move away from the door. When they did not and the door began
to open a crack, Elliot said he fired a single shot from his gun into the
top of it. The police then returned fire. Only after they strafed both
sides of his vestibule, nicked a bureau in the dining room and shot a hole
through a little earring box resting on the living room table did they
stop, he said. Elliott added that the men identified themselves as officers
only at that point and ordered him to approach the door.

After one of his hands was cuffed, he said, the officers used it to drag
him out into the hallway. "They kicked me and beat me and kept asking me,
'Where are the drugs, where are the drugs?' The only way they would address
me was 'nigger,' " he said. "Then they dragged me through there like a
piece of toilet tissue."

The police investigator said one of the nine arresting officers was black,
three were Hispanic and the rest were white.

Elliott, who now faces charges that he illegally possessed a firearm, was
then finally clothed, though only in a woman's blouse and slacks that
officers took from the apartment. They belonged to his girlfriend, Mary
Barnes, who had left earlier in the morning for her job at the post office.
It was unclear why they had not given him his own clothing. Saying they
were the same clothes he wore in jail until his release on Sunday, Elliott
added: "I was lucky I wasn't raped on the way home." According to the
police, narcotics officers receiving information from an undercover
informant misidentified Elliott's apartment at 930 Sheridan Avenue as one
holding drugs and guns.

The police said on Monday that Elliott would be reimbursed for any damages.
The Police Department conducted more than 45,000 such raids last year with
only 10 resulting in the wrong apartment's being stormed, according to
Marilyn Mode, a police spokeswoman. She said the department did not keep
records on how many of those raids actually produced the drugs being sought
or how many resulted in suits against the city, like the one promised by

No Charges In Candy Bar Shooting ('United Press International'
Notes New York City Grand Jury Has Ruled It's Now OK For US Marshals
On Drug Stakeouts To Shoot Innocent Black Teenagers
Carrying Three Musketeers Candy Bars In Aluminized Silver Wrappers)

Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 18:00:34 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: James Hammett 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: No charges in candy bar shooting
Organization: Copyright 1998 by United Press International (via ClariNet)
Date: Wed Mar 04 16:13:51 CST 1998
Location: New York City, New York, New Jersey
Note: (UPI Focus)

NEW YORK, March 4 (UPI) -- A grand jury has decided not to file
charges against a white U.S marshal on a drug stakeout who shot a black
New York City teenager who was carrying a silver-wrapped Three
Musketeers candy bar.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says William Cannon and his
partner did nothing criminal when they mistook the candy bar for a semi-
automatic pistol and shot high school student Andre Burgess in the leg.

On Nov. 6, 1997, Cannon, a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
Service agent, and his partner were staking out a fugitive on 138th
Street in the Laurelton section of Queens.

Seventeen-year-old Burgess was on his way to a friend's house after
stopping at a convenience store to buy two candy bars when he approached
Cannon's unmarked car shortly after 7 p.m.

The federal marshals thought the foil-wrapped food was a weapon, so
the partners jumped out of the car, identified themselves as police
officers and yelled to the Springfield Gardens teenager to put up his

According to Brown, Burgess turned to agents with the candy bar in
his hand and Cannon shot him in the left thigh.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital and released several days

The local prosecutor calls Cannon's conduct ``a terrible mistake that
could have had even more tragic consequences.''

Real Drug Statistics (According To Government Statistics
Cited By Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Nationwide, Alcohol Is Involved
In 50 Percent Of All Traffic Fatalities, 50 Percent Of All Spousal Abuse,
49 Percent Of All Murders, 68 Percent Of All Manslaughter Charges,
20 Percent To 35 Percent Of All Suicides, 62 Percent Of All Assaults,
52 Percent Of All Rapes, And 38 Percent Of All Child Abuse Fatalities)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 01:06:17 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Phillizy (Phillizy@aol.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Real Drug Statistics

* FACT: Nation-wide, alcohol is involved in 50% of all traffic fatalities, 50%
of all spousal abuse, 49% of all murders, 68% of all manslaughter charges,
20%-35% of all suicides, 62% of all assaults, 52% of all rapes, and 38% of all
child abuse fatalities.

Source: (Fatal Accident Reporting System, FBI Crime Report, National Center
for Health Statistics, Pennsylvania Department of Health, U.S. Surgeon
General's Workshop on Drunk Driving).



Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 23:37:39 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Phillizy (Phillizy@aol.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Real Drug Statistics

In a message dated 98-03-05 18:09:18 EST, drford wrote:

>Lizy's alcohol statistics on traffic fatalities, spousal abuse,
>manslaughter charges, suicides, etc. is EXCELLENT rebuttal material for
>those people who say "We don't need ANOTHER drug legalized."

Actually, a logical interpretation of these statistics indicates a gross error
in our prohibition priorities. If we legalized every drug known to man,
except alcohol and nicotine, we'd end up several hundred thousand fatalities
ahead of the game. But, body counts aren't prioritized in the drug wars, are

>Does anyone have the source dates?

These data were taken from the web site of the PA Liquor Control Board with no
date noted; nevertheless, as the web site is updated on a regular basis, the
statistics should be considered a contemporaneity.


[Go to http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/index.htm - ed.]


Ex-Drug Czar Of Mexico Gets 13-Year Prison Term ('Orange County Register'
Notes Mexico's Former Top Drug Warrior, General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo,
Has Been Convicted Of Weapons Crimes But Still Faces Charges
For Drug Trafficking, Abuse Of Power And Other Violations)

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 17:13:13 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Mexico: Ex-Drug Czar Of Mexico Gets 13-Year Prison Term
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Section:news,page 3
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Mar 1998


Mexico's former top drug fighter was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in
prison on federal weapons charges.

Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo also was fined more than $35,000. He is
still being tried on drug trafficking, abuse of power and other charges.

Judge Armando Baez Espinoza found Gutierrez Rebollo guilty of
illegally transporting more than 40 firearms from the state of
Guadalajara to Mexico City when he took over as the nation's top drug
enforcer, the Attorney General's Office said. An aide was sentenced to
13 years for helping him.

Mexico's Ex-Drug Czar Sentenced To Jail (Longer 'Orange County Register'
Version Says Gutierrez Rebollo Was Indeed Sentenced For Abuse Of Authority -
Still Charged With Being On Payroll Of Mexico's Alleged Top Cocaine Smuggler)

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 17:13:13 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Mexico's Ex-Drug Czar Sentenced To Jail
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Pubdate: Wed, 4 Mar 1998
Source:Orange County Register
Section: news,page, 14
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com


MEXICO CITY-Mexico's former drug czar was sentenced Tuesday to more than 13
years in prison for abuse of authority and weapons violations.

It was the first sentence handed down against Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo,
who was arrested in February 1997 and charged with being on the payroll of
Mexico's top cocaine smuggler. Those charges are still pending.

Judge Armando Baez Espinoza sentenced Gutierrez Rebollo to 13 years, nine
months and three days in prison, according to Jose Manuel Alvarez, personal
secretary to Deputy Attorney secretary to Deputy Attorney General Alfonso
Navarrete Prida. Navarrete Prida is over-seeing the prosecution of
Gutierrez Rebollo.

The general is being held at the maximum-security Almoloya prison in
Toluca, 35 miles west of Mexico City.

The army became suspicious when he moved from a modest house to a luxurious
apartment in the posh Bosque de las Lomas area of Mexico City. Prosecutors
say the apartment was provided by Amado Carillo Fuentes, then Mexico's top
drug smuggler.

Gutierrez Rebollo's arrest endangered Mexico's certification by the United
States as an ally in the fight against drug smuggling in 1996, but the
United States ended up certifying Mexico.

Mexico was certified again last week with relatively little controversy.

Mexico's Ex-Drug Czar Sentenced ('Houston Chronicle' Version)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 15:04:05 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexico's Ex-Drug Czar Sentenced
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Mar 1998


U.S. senators, meanwhile, criticize nation's fight against narcotics

MEXICO CITY -- A Mexican court sentenced the former head of the country's
anti-drug program to 13 years and nine months in jail Tuesday, even as U.S.
senators moved to punish Mexico for its performance in fighting narcotics

The separate actions in Mexico and Washington, D.C., raised the specter of
last year's ugly fight between the neighbors, which nearly resulted in the
United States' No. 3 trading partner being stripped of its status as a U.S.
ally in the fight against drugs.

That dispute broke out after Mexico's anti-drug czar, Gen. Jose de Jesus
Gutierrez Rebollo, was arrested on charges of aiding a drug cartel.

On Tuesday, a district judge in Mexico announced that the general had been
convicted of illegal possession and transportation of arms, as well as
abuse of authority. Gutierrez Rebollo promptly appealed. The general still
faces trial on drug-trafficking allegations, which could result in a longer

Gutierrez Rebollo, a well-regarded military commander of the Guadalajara
area, had been in the military for 42 years when he was appointed drug czar.

Mexican authorities have called the criminal proceedings against Gutierrez
Rebollo evidence of their commitment to weed out drug corruption. He is the
highest-ranking Mexican official to be tried on narcotics-corruption
charges, and one of the few senior members of the military -- a near
sacrosanct institution here -- to face a criminal trial.

But the U.S. Senate on Tuesday challenged anew Mexico's commitment to
fighting drugs.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., introduced
a resolution that would withdraw President Clinton's recent certification
of Mexico as a full partner in fighting drugs. The move seemed sure to
reignite last year's showdown between the U.S. Congress and the
administration over the annual report card on various countries'
cooperation with American anti-narcotics actions. Feinstein complained that
"gaping holes" in Mexico's anti-drug efforts "badly undermine the effort to
keep the scourge of drugs off our streets."

The senators called for waiving the economic sanctions that accompany the
so-called decertification of a country. But they did say they would be
willing to impose the sanctions if that's what it takes to remove what they
called an undeserved stamp of approval.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., plans to introduce similar legislation in the House

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Feinstein said: "There has been no
demonstrable action on any -- I repeat, any -- of the benchmarks outlined
by Congress" last year to judge Mexico's performance.

Among the key areas she named: dismantling the drug cartels; strengthening
the relationship between the two countries' law enforcement officials;
extraditing Mexican criminals for prosecution in the United States;
implementing money-laundering laws; ousting corrupt Mexican officials; and
eradicating illegal drug crops.

But a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity disagreed
with Feinstein's conclusions. He said Mexico "set a record" for eradicating
drug crops last year, increased seizures of cocaine heading for the United
States by 47 percent, and doubled the number of extraditions of criminals
to 27.

In addition, the country "tore down and began to completely rebuild" its
anti-drug police force, the source said.

Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle News Services

Arrest Prompts Call For Snowboarding Rules (Toronto's 'Globe and Mail'
Quotes Canada's Top Snowboarding Official, Michael Wood,
Administrative Director Of The Canadian Snowboarding Federation,
Saying He Is 'Shocked' To Learn A Danish Olympian
And A Former Canadian National Team Member Had Been Arrested
With Two Grams Of Marijuana While Driving Through Nevada)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 21:29:04 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: Arrest Prompts Call For Snowboarding Rules
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Carey Ker
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 04, 1998
Source: Globe and Mail
Page: S1 (Sports)
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Author: James Christie, Sports Reporter
Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/


Regulations Against Marijuana Demanded After Danish And Canadian Riders
Charged With Possession

Canada's top snowboarding official is calling for strong regulations and
sanctions regarding marijuana use in the sport following a drug bust of two
athletes as they drove away from a World Cup event in Nevada on the weekend.

Michael Wood, administrative director of the Canadian Snowboarding
Federation, said he was "shocked and frustrated" to learn two riders -- a
Danish Olympian and a former Canadian national team member -- had been
arrested on marijuana-related charges.

Michael Kildevaeld, 31, who was 15th for Denmark in giant slalom at the
Nagano Olympics, faces charges of marijuana possession and driving under
the influence and Brett Tippie, 29, of Kamloops, B.C., was charged with
being under the influence. They were traveling from a snowboarding event at
Lake Tahoe to Big Bear Ski Resort in Southern California when a sheriff's
deputy stopped their car for speeding near Topaz Lake, Nev.

The deputy smelled marijuana smoke and a drug sniffing dog found about two
grams of what is believed to be marijuana and a pipe inside the car.
Sheriff's Sergeant Lance Modispacher said Kildevaeld admitted the substance
belonged to him. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Douglas County
Justice Court today.

"No matter what we do as a federation, it ultimately has to come down to
the individuals because all we can do is lead the horse to water. We can't
force it to drink," said Wood.

"We definitely have to have sanctions and policies in place to deal with this."

He was particularly troubled that a Canadian should be involved in a
marijuana charge so soon after an Olympic doping test for cannabis almost
cost Ross Rebagliati of Whistler, B.C., an Olympic gold medal.

Tippie finished 31st at the snowboarding world championships in Italy a
year ago. "Tippie hasn't worked with us in a year and a half. He was at the
Olympic trials but wasn't on the national team. But it's not a good thing
for the sport of snowboarding to be associated with drugs," Wood said.

"It's frustrating when the majority of athletes are trying hard, doing it
on their own accord and staying away from drugs and alcohol . . . but then
they get associated with this."

Snowboarders have been stereotyped as the pot-powered, non-conformists of
ski sport."

"It's a hybrid event that imports the skills of skateboarding and surfing
onto a snowy mountainside. It also imports the respective
anti-establishment counter-cultures. Board riders call themselves by the
punkish term "shredders" and some feel they are targeted by various
authorities on and off the slopes. When news of the drug bust hit the
airwaves yesterday, a young man phoned Toronto's FAN radio identifying
himself as a Canadian national snowboarding team member who also had been
at Lake Tahoe.

He said he'd been pulled over for driving 10 miles per hour over the speed
limit in Iowa by police, "but when I told them I was a snowboarder, they
tore the car apart. They found nothing, but you have to be careful out

Currently, Canadian snowboarding has no policy to discipline or suspend
athletes for marijuana use. The use of the substance as a recreational drug
by athletes is apparently acknowledged by the International Ski Federation,
which has established a threshold level for doping infractions. Rebagliati
admitted using marijuana, but not since April, 1997. He blamed the traces
of drug found in his test on inhaling second-hand smoke at a party.

Kildevaeld was the snowboarder who told Danish reporters at the Olympics
that marijuana was part of the snowboarding scene. While he said he used
the drug himself, he labelled some Canadian riders as pot users who "go
down the hill stoned."

Kildevaeld's bail was set at $7,000, Tippie's at $5,000.

"It's frustrating, because I felt what happened with Ross had opened
everyone's eyes that this is a problem," Wood said. "It definitely hurts
snowboarding again."

The sport of snowboarding, while a full medal event at Nagano, had
provisional status. Olympic officials aren't obliged to make it a core
sport in Salt Lake City in 2002.

"But I believe the whole snowboarding experience was positive at Nagano,"
Wood said, not believing the sport to be in danger. "Even with the Ross
issue, it was positive because it opened our eyes to a problem we didn't
realize was there. Now we know what we're up against and can make changes
to prevent it from happening in the future."

Re - Arrest Prompts Call For Snowboarding Rules (Letter Sent To Editor
Of Toronto's 'Globe and Mail' Finds Hypocrisy
In Snowboarding Official's Comments)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 15:10:44 -0500
From: Carey Ker (carey.ker@utoronto.ca)
Subject: Sent: Arrest prompts call for snowboarding rules
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Priority: Normal
Delivery-Receipt-To: Carey Ker (carey.ker@utoronto.ca)

To the editors:

Re: Arrest prompts call for snowboarding rules, James
Christie, March 04, 1998, Page S1

Michael Wood, the administrative director of the Canadian
Snowboarding Federation, sanctimoniously intones that it is
not "a good thing for the sport of snowboarding to be
associated with drugs." Let us hope then that a certain
brewery that goes to great lengths to associate itself with
snowboarding will be the first to incur the wrath of Michael
Woods. While sanctions against cannabis usage are certainly
debatable, hypocrisy should not be an option.

Carey Ker

Re - Arrest Prompts Call For Snowboarding Rules (Another Letter Sent
To Editor Of 'Globe And Mail')

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 20:29:41 -0800
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Pat Dolan 
Subject: Re: Arrest prompts call for snowboarding rules
Source: Globe and Mail, Page S1 (Sports)
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 04, 1998
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Author: James Christie
Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/
Dear Editor,

Thank you for the excellent report on the above by James Christie.
I couldn't help wondering what on earth Mr. Wood is so exercised about. If it
turned out that the two snowboarders had drunk a few beers but were under
the permissible limits when tested, would he have given the incident a
second thought?

And yet every single scientific study that I have seen - including the one
scandalously suppressed recently by the INCB, agrees that, as Judge John
McCart put it, marihuana is "comparatively harmless when compared with the
hard drugs, including alcohol and tobacco; is not to be regarded as addictive
or a "gateway" drug and, (as Ross Rebagliati so brilliantly demonstrated),
does not cause the "amotivational syndrome."

So why the tizzy? Is it just because it is "illegal"? Dr. John P. Morgan said
in the 1994 Report on Marihuana Use and Abuse that it is "the most benign
substance in medical or non-medical use today."

Isn't it time the law was changed? How much longer are countless thousands
of Canadians to be condemned to suffer because self-righteous moralists like
Mr. Wood are determined to defend the war on (some) drugs? How much
longer are we to be condemned, like our Afro-American brethren of
yesteryear, to sit "in the back of the bus"?

Pat Dolan

Re - 'Comical' Pot Grower Fined (Letter To Editor Of Ontario's
'Bracebridge Examiner' Whole Judicial System Is 'Comical'
When People Are Fined $300 For Growing 91 Cannabis Plants
Or Catching One Too Many Fish, But The Fine For Assaulting A Police Officer
While Drunk Is $200)

From: "laurie gibson" 
To: "Matt Elrod" 
Subject: LTE: 'Comical' pot grower fined
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 23:43:01 -0500
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 4, 1998
Source: Bracebridge Examiner, page A4
Contact: Edward Britton, Publisher
Phone: 1-705-645-8771
Fax: 1-705-645-1718

Letters to Editor:

Dear Sir:

In response to your court news this past week in the paper, I think
the whole judicial system is "comical."

To fine a man $300.00, the same amount for having one fish over the
required limit caught, as they did another man for growing 91 marijuana
plants for "personal use" is a joke.

The only deterrent the court has issued to "Joe Public" is that its
better to be a bad marijuana gardener than to catch one extra fish for

And for that matter, why not throw in an assault on a peace officer
when you're drunk --that will only cost you $200.00 in fines.

Name withheld upon request
Bracebridge Ont.

Re - 'Comical' Pot Grower Fined (Another Letter To Editor
Of 'Bracebridge Examiner' Says The Unsuccessfulness Of An Illegal Act
Should Not Be The Issue - If The Next Marijuana Farmer Who Is Caught
Is Not An Amateur, But Has Only 50 Plants, How Will The Court Balance Out
91 Unsuccessful Plants Against 50 Successful Ones?)

From: "laurie gibson" 
To: "Matt Elrod" 
Subject: LTE 'Comical' pot grower fined
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 00:43:55 -0500
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 4, 1998
Source: Bracebridge Examiner, page A4
Contact: Edward Britton, Publisher
Phone: 1-705-645-8771
Fax: 1-705-645-1718

Letters to Editor:

Dear Editor:

Peter Heath is a respected lawyer and a man that I respectfully
disagree with his attitude regarding the botched attempt of an individual
growing a controlled substance as reported in the article, "Comical pot
grower fined," which appeared in the February 25, 1998, page A3, edition
of your newspaper.

In the article the tone of the court sounded like one of light-hearted
banter regarding the illegal act of growing a controlled substance. I was
concerned by what I perceived as a cavalier attitude toward the law.

Let us say that the next marijuana farmer who is caught is not an
amateur, but has only 50 plants. How will the court balance out 91
unsuccessful plants against 50 successful ones?

We have laws that our police force work very hard to uphold, laws which
we all try to abide by. There are people who believe that marijuana should
be legalized, but until the law is changed then the growing of just one
plant should be enough to prosecute an individual. Intent is intent.

The unsuccessfulness of an illegal act should not be the issue.

Diana McAnsh
Bracebridge, Ont.
District of Muskoka

Prisons Plan To Sterilise Needles For Drug Users (Britain's 'Times'
Says Joyce Quin, Prisons Minister, Is Considering A Pilot Scheme
In Which Sterilising Equipment Would Be Used On Prison Wings To Cut The Risk
Of Spreading Disease - Need For Cleaning Equipment To Be Made Available
In Jails Is Highlighted Today In A Report By Sir David Ramsbotham,
Chief Inspector Of Prisons, Who Found Up To 30 Prisoners
Sharing One Syringe And Needle At Erlestoke House Prison,
Near Devizes, Wiltshire)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 21:29:04 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Prisons Plan To Sterilise Needles For Drug Users
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Source: Times The (UK)
Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Mar 1998


PRISONS are planning to introduce a "clean needle" scheme to prevent the
spread of hepatitis and HIV among drug-taking inmates.

Joyce Quin, the Prisons Minister, is considering a pilot scheme in which
sterilising equipment would be used on prison wings to cut the risk of
spreading disease. Doctors are already permitted to prescribe condoms to
inmates, to reduce the danger of infection among them.

The need for cleaning equipment to be made available in jails is
highlighted today in a report by Sir David Ramsbotham, the Chief Inspector
of Prisons. He found that up to 30 prisoners were sharing one syringe and
needle at Erlestoke House prison, near Devizes, Wiltshire.

Sir David calls for urgent action by the Prison Service to address the
problem. "There is a clear need for the Prison Service to reconsider the
availability of cleaning equipment for needles to encourage harm
reduction," he writes.

The Chief Inspector says that clear guidance is needed about the issue of
sterilising equipment to those at high risk from sharing needles.

The proposal put to ministers would involve issuing a tablet containing
disinfectant which prisoners could use to clean equipment. About 18 months
ago tablets were withdrawn when it was discovered that there was a safety
danger when inmates collected large numbers and burnt them to produce
chlorine gas.

In his report on Erlestoke House, Sir David says that substance abuse at
the jail was a major problem. Evidence indicated that the use of injectable
drugs was increasing.

"Received intelligence showed very considerable sharing of injecting
equipment, with up to 30 people sharing one syringe and needle," he says.
"This was substantiated by the sizeable numbers of patients found to be
infected with hepatitis C."

Sir David outlines the difficulties facing prison officers who attempt to
curb heroin abuse in the jail. "Unless prisoners are discovered in the act,
this is an extremely difficult issue to tackle. Needles are almost always
very carefully hidden, and destroyed when no longer required."

He says that prisoners told his inspection team that drugs were brought
into the jail by inmates working outside the prison or were thrown over the
fence and collected in the grounds. Prisoners told Sir David that it was
only the desperate who had drugs smuggled into them during visits from
friends and family.

In 1996, Ann Widdecombe, then Prisons Minister, became the first minister
to admit publicly that medical officers in the Prison Service were
permitted to dispense condoms.

DrugSense Weekly, Number 36 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists,
Including Original Commentary And Articles Such As What History Teaches Us
About Drug Prohibition, By Jerry Epstein)

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 14:53:45 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly March 4, 1998	#036




DrugSense Weekly
March 4, 1998

A DrugSense publication




* Feature Article

What History Teaches Us About Drug Prohibition
By Jerry Epstein

* Weekly News In Review

Heroin -

	Cops Seize 11 Pounds of Heroin

Marijuana -

	Court Clears Way For Closure Of Marijuana Clubs

	San Francisco Judge Orders Co-Op to Stop Selling Pot

	California Marijuana Club Stands Firm Against Court Rulings

U.S. National Drug Control Strategy -

	Gingrich: Ban Drug-Using Athletes

	Crime, Punishment and Treatment

	Prison Guards Indicted

	Inquiry Into Goatherd's Slaying Ends

Tobacco War-

	Time to Grow Up About Tobacco

International News -

	Mexican Soldiers Given U.S. Army Training as Narcotics-Busters

Certification -

	Despite Objections, Clinton Administration Certifies Mexico as
	Drug-Fighting Partner

	Certifiably Wrong on Mexico

	Colombia Sees Victory in U.S. Backing for Anti-Drug Effort

	Canada: Hemp to Become Legal Crop

* Hot Off The 'Net
	New York Times Comment Opportunity

* Tip of the Week

	How YOU can Help DrugSense End the "War On Drugs"

* DrugSense Quote Of The Week




What History Teaches Us About Drug Prohibition

Jerry Epstein

In 1936, August Vollmer, highly respected Berkeley, California police chief
addressed the International Association of Chiefs of Police: "Drug
addiction ... is not a police problem; it never has been and never can be
solved by policemen. It is first and last a medical problem."

Vollmer's own experience was different from ours- he'd lived during a
period when drugs which are now illegal were popular tonics and important
medicines, freely available from drug and grocery store shelves. Cocaine
was in Coca-Cola and some 40 other soft drinks as well. Morphine and heroin
were two of the three most popular medicines; more widely used than
today. When addiction occurred, it was dealt with as a medical problem.

The addiction level had stabilized at about 1.5% of the population (the
same as 1979 and 1997)- despite recurrent media alarms over "epidemic"
drug use. The impact of non-alcohol addiction on society before Prohibition
was so small that few historians bother to mention it. As Edward Brecher
noted in 1972, addicts weren't treated as much of a problem because in fact
they weren't much of a problem. However, no historian fails to note the
devastation wrought by Prohibition. starting in 1920.

Prohibition was our first utopian quest for a "drug free" America, and the
arch villain was alcohol. Then as now, alcoholics outnumbered heroin and
cocaine addicts combined, by more than 5 to 1. Voters were told that one
drink led to certain addiction and that alcohol was responsible for nearly
all of the crime and most of the insanity in America. Doctors even suggested
to alcoholics that they become addicted to morphine or heroin to stop their
crazed and violent behavior.

After passage of the 18th Amendment, reformers promised: "we will soon live
in a world that knows not alcohol." America became swept up in Prohibition
fervor- some people also wanted to prohibit the dreaded and ever dangerous
hesitation waltz. Two 5 to 4 Supreme Court decisions in 1919 reinterpreted
a 1914 tax act so that, in effect, heroin,[AND] cocaine were also

Prohibition allowed Vollmer and many others to see that the unintended
consequences of a prohibition law were far worse than those of the
prohibited substance. Repeal of the 18th Amendment followed when
concerned mothers - initially led by Republican women in 1928- realized
that children had easier access to alcohol and were using it at a shocking
rate even as adult use was decreasing. Respect for the had law plummeted;
the criminal justice system became swamped; violent crime and corruption
exploded; petty thugs received a bonanza which spawned today's powerful
criminal organizations. Prohibition was repealed, but heroin and cocaine
prohibition remained as a criminal enterprise which also provided
employment for the bureaucracy set up to enforce Prohibition. Over time,
and with a hiatus for the Second World War, the son of Prohibition grew
larger than the father - history has been allowed to repeat itself with a

This brief history suggests there are many lessons to be learned from
careful analysis of the past. A commonly expressed fear is that change in
drug policy will produce a "nation of zombies." History tells us that there
is a real difference between drug use and addiction, and that a natural human
abhorrence of addiction insulates most of us from that danger. There is
also strong evidence that those who, for whatever reasons, are prone to
addiction are not deterred by force any more than a potential suicide might

It's clear that our current division of drugs into legal and illegal is
arbitrary and no more contributes to solving drug problems than making all
Fords illegal would solve traffic problems (in that analogy, marijuana
might be a tricycle). Through the insight of observers like Vollmer along
with the experience of Prohibition, and models ranging from heroin
maintenance in Shreveport in the 1920s to modern experience in Switzerland
and Holland, we have strong indications that much less damage might be
done to a society willing to reach an accommodation with marijuana and to
allow "hard" drug addicts to get their drugs from doctors instead of






Cops Seize 11 Pounds of Heroin


While McCaffrey's claim of drug war "success" is based on questionable
polls showing reduced numbers of users, the market grows bigger. Remember
when 5 Kilos of heroin would have made the front page? This story also ran
in the in the SF Chronicle where it was buried on page 25. Purity wasn't
mentioned, but chances are it was 3 or 4 times that of an average mid
Seventies seizure.


A San Jose man was arrested Thursday after officers found more than 11
pounds of heroin, worth an estimated $2 million on the street, hidden in
his car, Monterey County authorities said.

The discovery was made after Alejandro Torres Lara, 19, was stopped by the
California Highway Patrol at Airport Boulevard and Highway 101 in Salinas
for an alleged traffic violation. Lara gave officers permission to search
his car, and packages were found hidden in the driver's door, authorities


Source: San Jose Mercury News
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n140.a05.html




Court Clears Way For Closure Of Marijuana Clubs

San Francisco Judge Orders Co-Op to Stop Selling Pot

California Marijuana Club Stands Firm Against Court Rulings


Late last year, Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial front-runner
Dan Lungren, with the complicity of the appellate court, contrived to shut
down buyers' clubs without actually overturning 215. On February 26, the
California Supreme Court, exhibiting a passivity which has come to
characterize their approach in recent years, declined to hear the case.

As the week progressed, it quickly became apparent that the battle would
focus on the intensely rancorous confrontation between Dan Lungren and
Dennis Peron, founder and operator of the San Francisco CBC. The New York
Times piece of March 1 provides an accurate update.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The state Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for
possible closure of all medical marijuana clubs in California, leaving
intact a lower-court ruling that the clubs can't sell the drug despite a
1996 voter initiative.


The appellate ruling is now binding on trial courts statewide.

Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 1998


Attorney general says medical marijuana club should be shut down. Founder
vows to keep operating.

SAN FRANCISCO--A Superior Court judge late Thursday ordered the Cannabis
Cultivator's Co-op to stop selling, storing or giving away medical
marijuana, but the defiant founder of the organization said he intends to
stay in business.

The brief decision by San Francisco Superior Court Judge David Garcia set
up another showdown between Dennis Peron, the club's founder, and state
Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren.


Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: February 27, 1998
Author: Maria L. La Ganga, Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writers URL:


SAN FRANCISCO -- The advertised price was $30 for an eighth of an ounce of
"Five Star Mexican Gold," and dollar bills were exchanged at a brisk clip
Friday for plastic bags of marijuana. But, in deference to a new court
ruling barring the sale of the drug by clubs, a hastily erected sign over
the marijuana bar read: "Remuneration Station."

"We are not selling marijuana anymore," Cannabis Cultivators Club founder
Dennis Peron said Friday,...


Not so, retorts California Attorney General Dan Lungren, a Republican
candidate for governor....


The animus between the two men reflects how little was solved by the
referendum in November 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved the medical
use of marijuana.


Source: New York Times
Pubdate: Sun, 1 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n143.a06.html


Tobacco Wars


Time To Grow Up About Tobacco


One of the things I love about the tobacco debate is that it provokes drug
prohibitionists into saying revealing things that can be turned on their
doctrine with a vengeance. Does any one have a formula for shocking them
into realizing that these statements apply equally to "drugs?"

FEBRUARY 25 1998

Time to Grow Up About Tobacco

Business World

By Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

It has come to be accepted across the land that tobacco executives are evil
and kept us in the dark about cigarettes.


We've been here before. Our basic dilemma has been an unwillingness to
decide between banning tobacco or saying that smokers smoke at their own
risk. If Congress intends to do more than just raise taxes on smokers, it
will have to wrestle with this dilemma. In legislating for the industry, it
would also be legislating for the 45 million people who use its products.


It is time for Congress to get serious.

It is not going to outlaw tobacco. That would be a boon to organized crime.


Source: Wall Street Journal
Pubdate: Wednesday, 25 Feb 1998Author: Holman W. Jenkins Jr.
Section: Business World
Contact: editors@interactive.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n138.a10.html


U.S. National Drug Control Strategy


Gingrich: Ban Drug-Using Athletes

Crime, Punishment and Treatment

Prison Guards Indicted


This melange has a common thread: all the articles are deviously linked. An
increased emphasis on drug testing is tied to prisons, then a seque is made
from prisons into a consideration of what my become a significant Dan
Lungren vulnerability - a subject of interest to all concerned with medical
marijuana or worried about who might soon inhabit the governor's mansion in

The first is more of Newt's shoot from the lip. Of all possible venues,
professional sports is the least likely arena where routine testing will
take place, although the public is well aware that recreational drug use is
fairly common among athletes. Forcing them to rat out their connection is
typically Newtonian.

Califano's Op-ed is a follow-up to strategy foreshadowed by the recent CASA
"study." The intent seems to be to modernize traditional moralistic
prohibition doctrine with a social responsibility/public health twist.The
underlying premise; coerced treatment of prisoners is "efficient," is a
perversion of Caulkins' original Rand analysis on which it relies. The goal
in that study was to analyze treatment as an alternative to traditional law
enforcement and mandatory minimums, not the coerced treatment of
prohibition's expensive failures.

Lungren's vulnerability is summed up in the Chronicle editorial: his office
"investigated" (whitewashed) the shocking allegations at Corcoran. He seems
to have antagonized the Chronicle as well. Bad move, Dan.



WASHINGTON--All sports leagues and associations should give a one-year
suspension to any athlete testing positive for drugs and ban any athlete
who does not disclose the source of his drugs, House Speaker Newt Gingrich
is recommending.

"It seems to me you have to bear a certain responsibility as a star," the
Georgia Republican said at a news conference. He said he was asking for
players to turn in drug dealers because "we have to make life very
frightening for dealers."


Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 1998
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n138.a04.html




IT'S time to open-in the nation's prisons-a second front in the war on
crime. For two decades we have been filling prisons with drug and alcohol
abusers and addicts and, without treatment or training, returning them to
society to resume the criminal activity spawned by their substance abuse.
This is public policy crafted in the theater of the absurd.


The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
estimates that for an additional $6,500 a year, an inmate could be given
intensive treatment, education and job training. Upon release, each one who
worked at the average wage of a high school graduate for a year would
provide a return on investment of $68,800 in reduced criminal activity,


After three years studying the relationship between prison inmates and
substance abuse, l am convinced that the present system of prison and
punishment only is insane public policy.


Source: San Mateo County Times (CA)
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 1998
Contact: feedback@smctimes.com
Website: http://www.smctimes.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n140.a09.html


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.


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.....


Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n141.a01.html


Inquiry Into Goatherd's Slaying Ends


This was is the predictable "finding" in this tragedy. The only benefit
seems to be that public outcry, generated by the killing itself, has, at
least temporarily, cooled enthusiasm for an expanded domestic role in the
drug war for US armed forces. Use of the military in this role hasn't been
repudiated, nor has enthusiasm for their hemispheric use, or the training
of foreign soldiers as drug warriors


WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department has closed its civil rights
investigation into the death of a Redford, Texas, teenager shot by a Marine
during a Southwest border drug patrol, a congressman said Thursday.

But Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Texas), who chairs the House immigration
subcommittee, said he will open an inquiry of his own into the May 1997
death of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr.

Hernandez's family is pursuing a civil claim against the government. Smith
said Justice Department officials told him earlier this week that they had
wrapped up their civil rights investigation against Marine Cpl. Clemente
Banuelos and would take no further action.


Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Friday, February 27, 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n140.a08.html


International News


Mexican Soldiers Given U.S. Army Training as Narcotics-Busters


In counterpoint to the death of an American citizen at the hands of a US
Marine "drug patrol," this news is hardly surprising. Beyond that, the need
to use the military in an anti-drug role because civilian police have
become too corrupt is farcical. Sadly, it's not at all funny, particularly
in light of an intensifying civil war in Chiapas.

By Douglas Farah
and Dana Priest
Washington Post

Fort Bragg, N.C.

The U.S. Army is providing training to Mexican soldiers for the first time,
creating an elite counter-narcotics unit that U.S. officials say has become
the leading force in Mexico's fight against international drug trafficking.

The program, started 18 months ago, includes training 1,067 Mexican
officers a year at more than a dozen bases across the United States,
according to U.S. officials. In addition, the CIA is giving extensive
intelligence courses to a group of about 90 Mexican officers who will
become part of the new counter-drug force,...


Source: San Francisco Chronicle
PubDate: 2/27/98
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com


Certification -


Despite Objections, Clinton Administration Certifies Mexico as
Drug-Fighting Partner

NYT Editorial: Certifiably Wrong on Mexico

Colombia Sees Victory in U.S. Backing for Anti-Drug Effort


It's difficult to understand how anyone familiar with this story can keep
a straight face when reading the latest official pronouncement. The New
York Times had an interesting take on Mexico; they said, in essence,
everyone knows it's a farce, but at least tell the truth. They also took a
deserved swipe at McC for his relentless gushing praise of the Mexicans.

The case for Colombia is no better than the one for Mexico, nevertheless
their rating was upgraded to the point where they can now receive US aid-
after all, what else counts?



By Douglas Farah
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, February 27, 1998; Page A33

The Clinton administration decided yesterday to certify Mexico as a partner
in combating international drug trafficking, over the objections of the
Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement agencies that
argued that narcotics trafficking from Mexico is increasing and official
corruption remains rampant.

The decision came after a debate within the administration that peaked
yesterday when officials advocating certification succeeded in removing
strong criticism of Mexico from planned testimony before a Senate
subcommittee by Thomas A. Constantine, director of the DEA, who opposed
commending Mexico's anti-drug efforts.

Opponents of certification within the administration cited a secret law
enforcement intelligence memorandum on the situation in Mexico, prepared
last month and obtained by The Washington Post, that paints a relentlessly
pessimistic assessment of the country's counter-narcotics effort and
dismisses many reported gains as superficial steps.


Source: Washington Post
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 1998
Author: Douglas Farah, Washington Post Foreign Service Contact:
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website:
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n142.a07.html



The Clinton Administration does no favor to Mexico or its own credibility
by certifying that Mexico is "fully cooperating" in the fight against drug

Compounding the damage, the White House Drug Policy Director, Barry
McCaffrey, fatuously claims that Mexican cooperation is "absolutely


Source: New York Times
Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/



BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian officials on Thursday greeted Washington's
conditional certification of their efforts to combat the flow of drugs into
the United States as a victory for their beleaguered president, Ernesto

Samper, blamed by many Colombians who saw decertification over the last two
years as a personal rebuke to their president, used the waiver of drug
sanctions on national security grounds to vindicate his longstanding
criticism of the U.S. ratings, which are highly unpopular throughout Latin


Source: New York Times
Pubdate: Friday, 27 Feb 1998
Author: Diana Jean Schemo
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n139.a03.html




A significant development for the American hemp industry. Canada's
relaxation of industrial hemp laws and its potential for a hemispheric hemp
monopoly will put a lot of pressure on her American trading partners to
follow suit. In the meantime, Canada will get a head start and will, once
again, profit from American prohibition.

'I'm not on marijuana -- I'm just excited,' MP says

Canadian farmers can plan to grow hemp this spring, thanks to a decision
that comes a year earlier than expected -- but, as some see it, 60 years

Federal Health Minister Allan Rock told the annual meeting of the Canadian
Federation of Agriculture that, for the first time since the Second World
War, cultivation of industrial hemp will be legal nationwide early next


According to the Health Canada regulations still to be formally approved by
Mr. Rock, industrial hemp must have less than 0.3 per cent THC, which means
smoking a field of the stuff would give the users more of a headache than a

"There will be minor adjustments (to the regulations) and those minor
adjustments will be reflected in the final regulations," said Derek Kent,
spokesman for the minister.


"I am delighted that the matter is going ahead," said Senator Lorna Milne,
the Liberal member who pushed the federal government to move more quickly
with the regulations.

"This is an opportunity for Canadian farmers, unmatched in this century. It
is also proof of the effectiveness and worth of the Senate of Canada."

The value of a Canadian hemp industry is difficult to quantify, but every
year the United States imports $100 million (U.S.) of the crop annually.
It's not legal to grow hemp in the U.S. but there also is pressure there
for legalization.

"There's been a lot of interest from Americans who right now are purchasing
their hemp products from abroad -- mostly China -- and they'd love to be
able to drive it down from Canada," said Ron Schnider, of West Hemp
Enterprises Inc., a Vancouver-based firm that is helping B.C. and Alberta
farmers get licences and obtain seeds.


Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 27 February 1998
Author: Dawn Walton, The Ottawa Citizen
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n138.a11.html



New York Times Comment Opportunity

The New York Times, with over a million circulation, is now featuring its
third forum on drug policy. They write:

"Here we go again. Surprisingly, the last two forums devoted to this topic
leaned heavily towards legalization. But this attitude isn't reflected in
the media or in public policy. Washington is beating the drums to step up
the war on drugs. Our borders are militarized. Constitutional guarantees
are eroding in favor of prosecutorial shortcuts. Violent crime, while
decreasing in most large cities, is on the upswing in medium-sized cities
as a result of warring drug gangs. Should we endeavor to imprison more of
the population, or is there an alternative?"

You can join the debate! If you have not registered with the NYT first go to:
http://www.nytimes.com/subscribe/help/reghelp.html and register. It is free.

Once you are registered you may join the forum by selecting Drug Policy
under National Issues on this page: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/



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