Portland NORML News - Sunday, March 8, 1998

Assembling A Drug Policy (Op-Ed In 'Orange County Register'
By Ethan A. Nadelmann Of The Lindesmith Center In New York City
Rebuts The Drug Warriors Who Often Point To The 1980s As A Time
When Punitive Polices And 'Just Say No' Messages Led To A 12-Year-Decline
In Illegal Drug Use By Teenagers - And Recommends Instead A Policy
That Focuses On Reducing Not Illicit Drug Use Per Se But The Crime And Misery
Caused By Both Drug Abuse And Prohibitionist Policies)

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 15:56:19 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: PUB OPED: Assembling a Drug Policy
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Section: Commentary
Pubdate: Sunday, 9 March 1998
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/


Mr. Nedelmann is director of the Lindesmith Center,a drug policy research
institute in New York, and the author of "Cops Across Borders: The
Internationalization of U.S. Criminal Law Enforcement." Supporting
documentation for this article is available on line at
(http://www.lindesmith.org). Reprinted with permission from Foreign Affairs

In 1988 Congress passed a resolution proclaiming its goal of "a drug free
America by 1995." U.S. drug policy has failed persistently over the decades
because it has preferred such rhetoric to reality, and moralism to
pragmatism. Politicians confess their youthful indiscretions, then call for
tougher drug laws. Drug-control officials make assertions with no basis in
fact or science. Police officers, generals, politicians and guardians of
public morals qualify as drug czars - but not, to date, a single doctor or
public health figure.

Independent commissions are appointed to evaluate drug policies, only to see
their recommendation ignored as politically risky. And drug policies are
designed, implemented and enforced with virtually no input from the millions
of Americans they affect most: drug users.

Drug abuse is a serious problem, both for individual citizens and society at
large, but the "war on drugs" has made matters worse, not better. Drug
warriors often point to the 1980s as a time use be teenagers peaked around
1980, then fell more than 50 percent over the next 12 years.

During the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican challenger Bob Dole made
much of the recent rise in teenagers' use of illicit drugs, contrasting it
with the sharp drop during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

President Clinton's response was tepid, in part because he accepted the
notion the teen drug use is the principal measure of drug policy's success
or failure. At best, he could point out that the level was still half what
it had been in 1980.

In 1980, however, no one had ever heard of the cheap, smokeable form of
cocaine called crack, or drug-related HIV infection or AIDS. By the 1990s,
both had reached epidemic proportions in American cities, largely driven by
prohibitionist economics and morals indifferent to the human consequences of
the drug war.

In 1980, the federal budget for drug control was about $1 billion, and state
and local budgets were perhaps two or three times that.

On any day in 1980, approximately 50,000 people were behind bars for
violating a drug law. By 1997, the number had increased eightfold, to about
400,000. These are the results of a drug policy overreliant on criminal
justice "solutions," ideologically wedded to abstinence-only treatment and
insulated from cost-benefit analysis.

Imagine instead a policy that focuses on reducing not illicit drug use per
se but the crime and misery caused by both drug abuse and prohibitionist

And imagine a drug policy based not on the fear, prejudice and ignorance
that drive America's current approach but rather on common sense, science,
public health concerns and human right, Such a policy is possible in the
United States, especially if Americans are willing to learn from the
experiences of other countries where such policies are emerging.

Americans are not averse to looking abroad for solutions to the nation's
drug problems. Unfortunately, they have been looking in the wrong places:
Asia and Latin America, where much of the world's heroin and cocaine

Decades of U.S. efforts to keep drugs from being produced abroad and
exported to American markets have failed. Illicit drug production is bigger
business than ever before. The opium poppy, source of morphine and heroin,
and cannabis sativa, from which marijuana and hashish are prepared, grow
readily around the world. The coca plant, from whose leaves cocaine is
extracted, can be cultivated far from its native environment in the Andes.

Crop-substitution programs designed to persuade Third World peasants to grow
legal crops cannot compete with the profits that drug prohibition makes
inevitable. Crop-eradication campaigns occasionally reduce production in one
country, but new suppliers pop up elsewhere.

International law-enforcement efforts can disrupt drug trafficking
organizations and routes, but they rarely have much impact on U.S. drug

Even if foreign supplies could be cut off, the drug-abuse problem in the
United States would scacely abate. Most of America's drug-related problems
are associated with domestically produced alcohol and tobacco. Much if not
most of the marijuana, amphetamine, hallucinogens and illicitly diverted
pharmaceutical drugs consumed in the country are made in the U.S.A.

The same is true of the glue, gasoline and other solvents used by kids too
young or too poor to obtain other psychoactive substances. No doubt such
drugs, as well as new products, would quickly substitute for heroin and
cocaine if the flow from abroad dried up.

While looking to Latin America and Asia for supply-reduction solutions to
America's drug problems is futile, the harm-reduction approaches spreading
throughout Europe and Australia and even into corners of North America show

These approaches start by acknowledging that supply-reduction initiatives
are inherently limited, that criminal justice responses can be costly and
counterproductive and that single-minded pursuit of a "drug-free society" is
dangerously quixotic.

Demand-reduction efforts to prevent abuse among children and adults are
important, but so are harm-reduction efforts to lessen the damage to those
unable or unwilling to stop using drugs immediately, and to those around

Most proponents of harm reduction do not favor legalization. They see
legalization as politically unwise and as risking increased drug use. The
challenge is thus making prohibition work better, but with a focus on
reducing the negative consequences of drug use and prohibitionist policies.

Countries that have turned to harm-reduction strategies for help in
alleviating their drug woes are not so different from the United States.
Drugs, crime and race problems, and other socioeconomic problems are
inextricably linked.

As in America, crinimal-justice authorities still prosecute and imprison
major drug traffickers as well as petty dealers who create public nuisances.
Parents worry that their children might get involved with drugs. Politicians
remain fond of drug-war rhetoric.

But by contrast with U.S. drug policy, public-health goals have priority,
and public-health authorities have substantial influence. Doctors have far
more latitude in treating addiction and associated problems.

Police view the sale and use of illicit drugs as similar to prostitution -
vice activities that cannot be stamped out but can be effectively regulated.
Moralists focus less on any inherent evils of drugs than on the need to deal
with drug use and addiction pragmatically and humanely. And more politicians
dare to speak out in favor of alter natives to punitive prohibitionist

Harm-reduction innovations include: Efforts to stem the spread of HIV by
making sterile syrings readily available and collecting used syringes;
Allowing doctors to prescribe oral methadone for heroin addiction treatment,
as well as heroin and other drugs for addicts who would otherwise buy them
on the black market; Establishing "safe injection rooms" so addicts do not
congregate in public places or "shooting galleries;" Employing drug analysis
units at the large dance parties called raves to test the quality and
potency of MDMA, known as Ectasy, and other drugs that patrons buy and
consume there; Decriminalizing (but not legalizing) possession and retail
sale of cannabis and, in some cases, possession of small amounts of "hard"
drugs; and integrating harm-reduction policies and principles into community
policies and principles into community policing strategies.

Some of these measures are under way or under consideration in parts of the
United States, but rarely to the extent found in growing numbers of foreign

Moral of the story: America, wise up!

Copyright 1998 The Orange County Register

Narcs Provide Raw Material For Meth Lab -
'Sting' By State Put Drugs On The Street - Undercover Work Raises Questions
('Sacramento Bee' Says Lawyers For Two California Men Arrested And Indicted
After A Raid On A Methamphetamine Lab In Rural Shasta County
Are Calling The Narcotics Agency's Conduct In The Case Illegal,
Immoral And An Illustration Of The Dark Side Of The War On Drugs)

Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 15:00:17 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Narcs provide raw material for meth lab (fwd)

Narcs Provide Raw Material For Meth Lab
'Sting' by state put drugs on the street: Undercover work raises questions

By Cynthia Hubert
[Sacramento] Bee Staff Writer
(Published March 8, 1998)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/

They were fresh out of prison, and looking to get back into the
methamphetamine business.

But brothers Erwin and Michael Spruth could not find a steady supply of
ephedrine, the raw material they used to manufacture the drug known on the
streets as "crank." They were so desperate for the chemical, tightly
controlled by federal authorities, that they resorted to extracting it from
allergy pills they bought from a Costco store in Redding, the men admit in
court records.

Then their friend John Rowley met Special Agent Joseph Diaz of the state
Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and suddenly things got much easier.

Diaz, with the approval of agency supervisors, posed as a supplier and
provided the men with enough ephedrine to produce 66 pounds of
methamphetamine between August and October of 1995. But most of the drugs
were never recovered. Rather, they ended up on the streets to be inhaled,
injected and consumed by addicts, according to court papers.

Lawyers for the men, who were arrested and indicted after a raid on a
methamphetamine lab in rural Shasta County on Oct. 13, 1995, are calling
the narcotics agency's conduct in the case illegal, immoral and an
illustration of the dark side of the "war on drugs."

"It sends the message that the government may commit crimes and deal dope
because its agents carry a badge," said Michael Kennedy, an assistant
federal defender formerly in Sacramento and now in Las Vegas.

Kennedy contends that bureau's tactics were so odious that a federal
indictment charging the three men with crimes that could lead to life
imprisonment should be dismissed.

Their lawyers are asking U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton for a
hearing to question state agents about their conduct.

If the judge grants the hearing and the "outrageous government conduct"
charge is upheld, the brothers, who have a long history of drug
manufacturing, and their accomplice could walk free.

"That would be a very bad thing," said Nancy Simpson, the federal
prosecutor handling the case.

Simpson wants Karlton to deny the request for a hearing. She said the
agents followed the law and the bureau's written protocol, and acted for
"the greater good" of society to take major drug manufacturers off the

"I maintain that this was a very well investigated case," said Simpson.

But Kennedy and others familiar with the case said it raises serious
questions about the use of "reverse sting" operations in narcotics

Narcotics agents and administrators said stings are a critical tool in the
war on drugs, but must be employed extremely judiciously to ensure that
drugs provided by the government do not end up on the streets.

In the Spruth case, the BNE provided more than 102 pounds of ephedrine in
exchange for $55,000 in cash, guns and a small amount of crank. Of the 66
pounds of methamphetamine produced with the chemicals provided by agents,
57 pounds and 13 ounces were "sold to the public," court documents indicate.

That translates into more than 100,000 doses or "hits" of crank.

"How many people were potentially damaged by these drugs?" asked Robert
Wilson, a Sacramento attorney representing Michael Spruth. "If this isn't
outrageous, I don't know what is."

At the time of the transactions, Michael Spruth told The Bee in a jailhouse
interview, high-grade methamphetamine was selling for $8,000 per pound.
Ephedrine, Rowley said in court documents, was "like gold."

Narcotics officers for other agencies said it is highly unusual for drug
agents to provide such large amounts of scarce raw material and then fail
to recover most of the chemical or end product.

A federal agent who requested anonymity said the federal Drug Enforcement
Agency, which works in concert with the BNE in many cases, would never
"sell ephedrine to a crook without a guarantee" that the chemical or
product would be recovered.

"No way," the agent said.

Joycelyn Barnes, spokeswoman for the DEA in San Francisco, said the agency
is extremely careful about sting operations, taking the approach only when
it offers "the only means of getting a significant violator."

Barnes said it is the DEA's general policy to provide suspects only with
enough chemicals to allow the person to "test" them for purity. Larger
amounts can be distributed only with special approval and assurance that it
will be recovered when suspects are arrested, she said.

The Spruth brothers, who both had two convictions for methamphetamine
manufacturing before their most recent arrest, were the main targets of the
BNE sting.

Each of the four transactions between their friend Rowley and Special Agent
Diaz received approval from top officials in the bureau's regional office
in Redding, records show.

Special Agent Supervisor Daniel Largent referred all questions about the
case to the agency's deputy chief, Jack Beecham in Sacramento. Neither
Beecham nor Diaz returned telephone messages from a reporter.

"In fairness, not every sting operation is going to work," said Peter
Reuter, a professor of public policy and expert on drug policy issues at
the University of Maryland's department of criminology and criminal
justice. "The question is, how often should they be allowed to go wrong
before we say they aren't worth the risk?

"It's hard to argue that catching a few felons while loosing 58 pounds of
methamphetamine on the public is a good trade. This is clearly a reverse
sting that went wrong."

It is unclear where the drugs ended up, but the scourge of methamphetamine
in California and Sacramento County is well documented. A powdered
stimulant that can be snorted, smoked or injected, methamphetamine has
become one of the most dangerous and abused illegal drugs in the state and
nation, according to police agencies.

Law enforcement agencies have stepped up efforts to bust methamphetamine
labs, and lawmakers have stiffened penalties for possessing certain
chemicals and lab equipment used in manufacturing the drug. Yet abuse of
the drug continues to be a huge problem.

Statewide, law enforcement groups reported busting 465 meth labs in 1995.
In 1996, the last year for which numbers are available, the total exceeded
1,200. Emergency room visits related to abuse of the drug have soared in
recent years in California and across the country.

California's BNE busts more methamphetamine laboratories each year than any
agency in the country, according to a recent study. Many of the cases are
tried in federal court, where penalties are much stiffer. California's
Eastern District leads the nation by a wide margin in methamphetamine
prosecutions, Simpson said. During the first 10 months of 1997, 72 such
cases were filed against 163 defendants.

Simpson said agents in the Spruth case followed the bureau's regulations,
which allow for "precursors" such as ephedrine to be furnished to criminal
suspects during clandestine laboratory investigations. The amount varies
depending on the case, but should be "sufficient to demonstrate that the
lab operator is a major violator," the regulations state.

Chemicals, including ephedrine, "should never be used in a manner in which
they may chemically expose the public," according to the policy. If they
are released, "every effort" should be made to track them to their
destination and identify a lab site.

Simpson said agents did everything possible to track the chemicals
furnished in the Spruth case using a combination of ground and aerial

"These were not people who would have been interested in purchasing just a
teeny tiny amount of ephedrine," she said. "The agents couldn't find the
lab site until the last delivery was completed, and as soon as that
happened they took it down. The lab was literally bubbling away when they
went in."

But lawyers for the Spruths and Rowley contend that the men never would
have been in business without Diaz and the bureau.

"There is no way it could have been done without the cop," said Michael
Spruth, 34, a burly man with reddish hair and a neatly trimmed beard.

At the time of the transactions, ephedrine was almost impossible to obtain
outside Mexico, said Kennedy. For Rowley and the Spruth brothers, the
government "was the only game in town," the lawyer said.

Before Diaz fronted Rowley an initial 10 pounds of ephedrine, the men could
not even come up with three ounces of crank requested by the agent, court
documents state.

"I don't think there is anything wrong with the BNE looking at the Spruths
as potential manufacturers," Kennedy said. "But why would BNE put out more
than 60 pounds of ephedrine to try to get them, especially when these guys
could not even come up with three ounces of methamphetamine?

"It's clear that it was never the state's intent to recover the
methamphetamine," he said. "And if you don't do that, how are you any
different from the people you are arresting?"

Simpson said the fact that methamphetamine was a huge problem in 1995, and
remains so in California, contradicts the allegation that the bureau was
the only supplier of raw materials for the drug, she said.

"We have high-intensity drug trafficking organizations set up to stop the
flow of methamphetamine, and we have more out there now than ever," she
said. "If government were the only source, we wouldn't have any meth out
there and things would be wonderful."

Copyright (c) 1998 The Sacramento Bee

The High Life On Drug Cash ('The Blade' In Ohio
Says The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Has Spent Large Amounts Of Assets
Seized From 'Drug Dealers' On Such Things As A $26,500 Sport Utility Vehicle
For The Director Of Toledo Express Airport, $20,000 In Exercise Equipment
To Outfit A Gym For Airport Police, And A $2,226 Desk For The Downtown Office
Of The President Of The Port Authority - And Then There's The $279 Bill
To Clean A Urine-Stained Carpet At An Airport Police Officer's Home
After Buster, The Airport's Drug-Sniffing Dog, Had An Accident)

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 18:48:20 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US OH: The High Life on Drug Cash
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Rocky
Source: The Blade
Author: Chris Osher, Blade Staff Writer
Pubdate: Sunday, 8 March 1998
Contact: letters@theblade.com
Website: http://www.toledoblade.com/


Port authority spends bust money on vehicles, gym gear, and a desk

It's been hailed as an effective weapon in the drug war: Seize the cash,
cars, and boats of drug dealers and give the proceeds to local police to
help stop drug trafficking.

But at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, it hasn't always worked out
that way.

Federal drug-fund money has been used by port officials to buy a $26,500
sport utility vehicle for the director of Toledo Express Airport, $20,000 in
exercise equipment to outfit a gym for airport police, and a $2,226 desk for
the downtown office of the president of the port authority.

And then there's the $279 bill to clean a urine-stained carpet at an airport
police officer's home after Buster, the airport's drug-sniffing dog, had an

Port officials approved these expenses even though U.S. Department of
Justice guidelines on the spending of such seized drug assets state:
``Priority should be given to supporting community police activities,
training, and law enforcement operations calculated to result in further
seizures and forfeitures.''

Just two of the 13 officers at Toledo Express are qualified to participate
in drug raids.

Mark Fisher, chief of the airport police, defends the spending, saying the
use of the drug-forfeiture money means drug dealers, not taxpayers, foot the

``We're not using taxpayers' money, and we have one of the best equipped
departments around - and that's a good thing,'' he said.

Airport officials do use drug-fund money to directly detect and fight drug
trafficking at Toledo Express Airport.

In 1996, the drug fund paid $10,600 to unspecified informants Mr. Fisher
says helped build cases against drug dealers.

That year, a local drug-fighting task force, which includes the two airport
officers, seized 16 pounds of marijuana and $60,970 in cash, and made one
arrest at the airport.

In 1997, the task force confiscated $34,203 in cash, 65 pounds of marijuana,
7.5 pounds of cocaine, and 3 pounds of heroin at the airport. Five arrests
were made at the airport.

But despite those results, Terry Parham, a spokesman for the Drug
Enforcement Administration in Washington, questioned some of the spending
from the port authority drug fund.

He expressed shock at the $2,226 cost to the drug fund to buy a desk for
James Hartung, the president of the port authority, which is responsible for
the airport's operations.

``A desk that costs that much? Wow!'' he exclaimed. ``I'm not familiar with
anything furniture-wise that would cost that much.''

Mr. Parham said the priority for drug-fund spending should be halting the
flow of drugs, not furnishing offices and supplying cars to those with
nothing to do with law enforcement.

Mr. Fisher said the desk the drug fund bought for Mr. Hartung was just a way
to pay the port authority back for handling legal issues and accounting
functions for the airport police.

Mr. Hartung, who is paid $120,000 a year, this week sought to deflect
questions about the purchase of the desk. He released a statement Thursday
stating that he had returned the desk and ``credited'' the $2,226 to the
drug fund.

But port authority financial records show the money was not returned to the
drug fund until Thursday, after a reporter began to raise questions about
the desk.

A police department can use drug-fund money to pay a parent agency for
handling such things as the payroll of officers, the department of justice
guidelines say. But in such cases, a strict accounting should be kept of the
costs for the police use of the payroll system.

The port has not kept track of such costs, Mr. Fisher said.

Federal regulations ban non-law-enforcement personnel from using cars and
trucks bought with drug forfeiture funds, but that didn't stop Mark VanLoh,
airport director, from regularly driving home a $26,500 Ford Explorer bought
with drug funds in 1995.

Mr. VanLoh at first defended his use of the vehicle, saying it is available
for airport police officers to use in drug raids, even when parked in his
driveway. But after being questioned by a reporter last week, he stopped
driving it.

He said that although he has been the primary user of the Explorer, he
thinks airport police used the vehicle several times a month. He said he
didn't document when police took the vehicle and could not cite a single
instance when it was used during a drug bust.

Nevertheless, he said, the purchase was a legitimate expense from the
airport's drug fund because police always had access to the auto.

``My airport committee approved my use of the vehicle,'' Mr. VanLoh said.
``The port authority's board approved this, and at that time it was great
because it saved tax money.''

Federal guidelines on the use of seized assets ban the ``use of a shared
vehicle or other forfeited tangible property by non-law-enforcement
personnel for non-law-enforcement business.''

The penalties for violating the rules governing the use of drug-forfeiture
money can be steep.

Violations can result in criminal prosecutions or in an agency's being
barred from continuing to receive drug-forfeiture funds. Agencies can be
required to pay back money used for impermissible purposes.

The appropriateness of the purchase of the Ford Explorer Mr. VanLoh has
driven would hinge on whether he is considered law-enforcement personnel,
said Diane Martin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration in Washington.

Each year, airport police receive a portion of the money confiscated locally
during drug busts. The money is divvied among local police agencies
according to their participation in drug-enforcement activity.

Last year, the airport's take of the drug-forfeiture money was $32,000 and
the year before that $118,000. The port's drug fund had a balance of $71,600
at the end of 1997.

The Explorer Mr. VanLoh drove was one of two bought in October, 1995, at a
cost of $26,500 each from a Dayton car dealer. Mr. Fisher, the chief of
airport police, said he uses the other vehicle for his personal commute and
law-enforcement purposes.

The agency bought the Explorers from a Dayton car dealer and not a Toledo
dealership because the purchases were made through a state-approved vehicle
supplier, said Holly Stacy, a spokeswoman for the port authority.

In 1996, the airport's drug fund also bought three new Crown Victorias at a
cost of $18,200 each. Mr. Fisher said those cars are used for
law-enforcement purposes, although one of his officers is allowed to use one
of the cars for his personal commute.

Drug-fund money also has been used to set up a weight-training room for use
by airport police officers at the airport's safety building.

Airport police spent $20,561 to purchase a treadmill, a stationary bicycle,
a step machine, a rowing machine, an abdominal fitness machine, and
weight-lifting equipment.

Mr. Fisher said the exercise equipment is needed to keep his officers in
shape. ``I'm not going to spend money on anything illegitimate,'' he said.

To Mr. Fisher, the $50,000 expansion of the airport's safety building, the
$11,150 rifle range, and the $20,000 in exercise equipment the drug fund
bought help his officers perform at peak levels.

Last year, drug money bought for the airport a video security system that
cost $8,082 and a card printer that cost $6,000 for an identification

Federal guidelines allow the purchase of ``law-enforcement equipment, such
as body armor, firearms, radios, cellular telephones, and computers,'' with
drug-forfeiture money.

Another beneficiary of airport drug-fund money has been Buster, the
airport's drug-sniffing Labrador retriever.

Besides paying the carpet-cleaning bill at the home of his handler, Dan
Stout, drug funds paid the $370 bill to make baseball-type trading cards
that feature Buster on the front. The cards are handed out to local

And the drug fund paid $547 for a device that automatically rolls down the
window of the car Buster rides in to prevent him from overheating on sunny

Also, when Buster got into a fight with another dog, the drug fund picked up
his veterinarian bills.

``Buster and Officer Daniel Stout, his handler, are a great asset in the
fight against drugs,'' Mr. Fisher said.

``Buster has been involved in various drug seizures which have resulted in
numerous arrests, taking over a million dollars worth of drugs off the

Mr. Parham, the DEA spokesman, still wonders about the priorities of the
airport police.

``I don't know if we have anything that would prohibit airport police from
redirecting their drug funds, but we try to get them not to do it,'' he

(c) Copyright 1998 The Blade.

Day Of Humiliation ('New York Times' Columnist: Bob Herbert
Recaps Recent 'Drug' Bust In Which Police Broke Down Bronx Man's Door,
Subjecting The Innocent Man Living There To One Degradation After Another
Such As Repeatedly Addressing Him As Nigger And Black Mother-So-And-So -
When He Begged To Be Allowed To Put On Some Clothes, The Officers Told Him,
'You're Nothing But An Animal, Nigger, You Don't Deserve Any Clothes')
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 08 Mar 1998 20:06:10 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: NYT: Column: Day of Humiliation Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Pubdate: Sunday, 8 Mar 1998 Source: New York Times Column: In America Columnist: Bob Herbert Contact: letters@nytimes.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ DAY OF HUMILIATION Ellis Elliott was awakened suddenly by an insane pounding on the metal door of his Bronx apartment. It was clear that someone was trying to break the door down. Terrified, Mr. Elliott leaped naked from his bed and grabbed the unlicensed .25-caliber pistol he kept in a night stand. He ran into the front room, still naked, and shouted: "Who is it? Who is it?" By this time the top half of the door was caving in and most of the door had been forced open a few inches. Whoever it was would be inside in a moment. Panicked, Mr. Elliott fired a warning shot over the top of the door. That shot was answered by a fearful barrage of gunfire. Mr. Elliott dived behind a table and squatted there, trembling. Bullets pierced a freezer, a reclining chair, a living room cabinet, the wall of a closet, the wall behind his sofa. A couple of dozen shots were fired before the barrage ceased. Only then, said Mr. Elliott, did he hear someone call out, "Police!" Oh Lord, thought Mr. Elliott. He didn't know whether to be relieved or even more frightened. The cops hollered for him to slide his gun toward the door. "Yessir," he remembered replying. "Please don't shoot no more. I didn't know you were the police. I've never done nothing wrong in my life." A contingent of plainclothes officers armed with a warrant and a battering ram had gone to Mr. Elliott's apartment on Sheridan Avenue about 7 or 8 A.M. on Feb. 27, presumably in search of a drug dealer. Somehow they invaded the wrong apartment. Mr. Elliott, 44, had never been in trouble with the law and is due to serve on a Bronx grand jury in the spring. It was an honest mistake, the police would later say. But this is what happened to Mr. Elliott before the mistake was realized: He was dragged naked into the fourth-floor hallway and his hands were cuffed behind his back. He was repeatedly addressed as nigger and black mother-so-and-so. He said that when he begged to be allowed to put on some clothes, the officers told him: "You're nothing but an animal, nigger. You don't deserve any clothes." He was walked naked down a stairwell to the third floor. "They made me sit on the cold, dirty floor with my back against the wall," he said. A woman who was about to leave her apartment for work spotted Mr. Elliott in the hallway, shrieked and ran back into her apartment. Meanwhile, police officers were inside Mr. Elliott's apartment, wrecking the joint. No drugs were found. Mr. Elliott continued to beg for some clothing. Finally, in a particularly sadistic gesture, the officers gave him some of his girlfriend's clothes to wear. That's the way he was dressed when he was taken out on the street in front of a crowd of onlookers. More humiliation awaited him at the 44th Precinct station house. "Everybody was looking at me and laughing," he said. "The police officers were saying, 'Look at Buckwheat' and 'See how funny they look when we make these early morning arrests.' " He was put in a cell and left there for some hours, still in women's clothes and, for at least part of that time, still with his wrists cuffed behind him. "This is not America to me," said Mr. Eliott's lawyer, Joseph Kelner. "This was an innocent man, but no one would listen to him." Mr. Kelner, a veteran attorney who once represented the families of the victims of the Kent State massacre, denounced the recklessness of the police break-in and charged that similar foul-ups occur more often than most people realize. He said, "Bullets fly, doors are smashed with police battering rams, lives are endangered and homes are wrecked by Keystone Kop mentalities that have never heard of the Fourth Amendment." Investigators eventually learned that they had made a terrible mistake with Mr. Elliott and he was released about 1 A.M. the following day. He walked home, still clad in women's clothes. When he got to his apartment (which no longer had a door), he found police officers relaxing in his living room, eating snacks and watching television. They seemed amused by the department's mistake. He remembered one of them saying: "You better get a good lawyer and sue the [expletive] out of them." Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

Release Ordered Of Many More Tobacco Papers ('Orange County Register'
Says A Ramsey County District Judge In St. Paul, Minnesota,
Ordered Cigarette Makers Saturday To Release
About 39,000 More Internal Documents, Including Some That The Plaintiffs
In Minnesota's Tobacco Trial Call The Most Significant To Emerge In The Case)

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 13:44:47 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: US MN: Release Ordered Of Many More Tobacco Papers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Pubdate: Sun, 8 Mar 1998
Source:Orange County Register
Section: news - page 30
Author:Karren Mills-The Associated Press


Courts: The ruling by a Minnesota judge will finally expose the industry's
'skeletons to the American public,' a state official says.

St. Paul, Minn.- A judge ordered cigarette makers Saturday to release about
39,000 more internal documents, including some that the plaintiffs in
Minnesota's tobacco trial call the most significant to emerge in the case.

Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick wrote that the industry,
which had already released 33 million pages in the case, falsely asserted
attorney-client privilege to keep the documents private.

"Upon review of randomly selected documents, it has been determined that
defendants have in numerous instances claimed privilege where none is due
and blatantly abused the categorization process," Fitzpatrick wrote.

The 39,000 documents were ordered released by Monday to the state and Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which are suing tobacco companies.

"These documents are the beginning of the tobacco industry's worst
nightmare," Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said. "We are finally
prying open the tobacco industry's closet door and exposing their skeletons
to the American public."

Michael York, an outside attorney for defendant Philip Morris, said of the
ruling: "It's wrong on the law and we're planning to mount a challenge."

Fitzpatrick wrote that Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. categorized one
document as relating to advertising even though it was a study prepared for
an unidentified Canadian affiliate of B&W's British parent company that
referred to research conducted among 16- and 17-year-olds.

The document said, "The studies reported on youngsters' motivation for
starting, their brand preferences, etc., as well as the starting behavior
of children as young as 5 years old.

The state and Blue Cross are suing the tobacco industry to recover the
$1.77 billion they say they have spent to treat smoking related illnesses.
It is the first of 40 state lawsuits against cigarette makers to go to
trial. Texas, Florida and Mississippi settled their cases.

Tobacco Vs. Marijuana (Letter To Editor Of 'Daily Herald'
In Arlington Heights, Illinois, Explains Why Popular Views
About Tobacco And Cannabis Defy Logic)

Subj: PUB LTE: Tobacco vs. marijuana
From: Steve Young 
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 16:27:12 +0000
Newshawk: Steve Young
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Pubdate: March 8, 1998
Page: 16, sec. 1
Contact: fencepost@dailyherald.com

Tobacco vs. marijuana

Daily Herald editorial writers articulated our national schizophrenia
regarding drug policy recently as they rallied for universal condemnation of
marijuana ("Marijuana use isn't harmless," Feb. 17) while days later they
favored concessions and continued leniency for the tobacco industry
("Without immunity, tobacco deal fails," Feb. 19). These views may be
popular, but when analyzed side by side they defy logic.
Tobacco addicts millions and it leads hundreds of thousands to early death
each year, including second-hand smokers who didn't even make the choice to
use it. No one suggests tobacco has medical value.
Marijuana, on the other hand, has been recommended by doctors to patients
suffering from AIDS, the side effects of chemotherapy and a variety of
spastic muscle disorders, among other maladies. It is not physically
addicting and human deaths related to marijuana use have not been credibly
There is no argument about the need to keep children away from both
substances, but the strategies are radically different. Somehow marijuana
will be kept away from kids by exaggerating its risks and enforcing
increasingly strict penalties for any use, even doctor-sanctioned medical
use. But when it comes to tobacco, the industry should be trusted to keep
kids away from their product, even though documents now show how
representatives lied for decades about active marketing to children.
Both strategies retreat from honesty and rationality as if they were the
plague. They have failed and will continue to fail.
To show how ludicrous these "solutions" are, think about reversing them.
Imagine a world where marijuana manufacturers are allowed the power to
negotiate regulation even as they receive subsidies from the federal
government, while pot is available at virtually every gas station and
grocery store. In that same world, imagine citizens who risk forfeiting
their liberty and property for possessing the smallest amount of tobacco,
while they are scolded by editorialists for not thinking negatively enough
about the demon drug.
Sound insane? Perhaps, but how much crazier is it than what we have now?

Stephen Young

Women's History Month - Pauline Morton Sabin (List Subscriber Forwards Story
From 'Dictionary Of American Biography' About Woman Who Founded
The Women's Organization For National Prohibition Reform
And Helped Lead The Fight To End Alcohol Prohibition)

Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 19:59:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Magic 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Women's History Month/Pauline Morton Sabin (fwd)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

I think we could use this WONPR approach to end hemp prohibition and
promote drug policy reform. What about it ladies?

---- Forwarded message ----
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 19:48:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Women's History Month/Pauline Morton Sabin


March is Women's History Month. As a tribute to some obscure but
influential women in American History, I present Pauline Morton Sabin, a
leader of the movement to repeal the eighteenth amendment.

She was the younger of two daughters of Paul and Charlotte (Goodridge)
Morton, and she was raised in a political family: her grandfather
J. Sterling Morton, was United States secretary of agriculture (1893-97),
as well as senator and governor of Nebraska; her father, a railroad
executive and later president of the Equitable Life Assurance Society,
served as secretary of the navy from 1904 to 1905. In addition her uncle
founded Morton Salt, and she inherited several million dollars from the
company fortune. Born in Chicago, Pauline Morton attended private schools
there and in Washington, D.C.; she also traveled abroad and developed a
lasting interest in the fine and decorative arts.

On Feb. 2, 1907, she married James Hopkins Smith, Jr., a wealthy New York
yachting and sports enthusiast. They had two sons, Paul Morton
(1908-1956) and James Hopkins (b. 1909), who became assistant secretary of
the navy for air (1952-56). At the beginning of World War I, after her
husband left to serve in the French ambulance corps, Pauline Smith
obtained a divorce and began an interior decorating business. She gave up
the business when on December 28, 1916, she married recently divorced
Charles H. Sabin, president of Guaranty Trust Company of New York.
Pauline and Charles Sabin maintained an estate at Southampton, Long
Island, as well as a house in New York City. and were active in New York's
social elite.

Soon after remarrying, she renewed her interest in politics, sharing her
father's allegiance in the Republican party despite her husband's active
support for the Democrats. In 1919 Pauline Sabin was elected to the
Suffolk County Republican Committee and the following year joined the
party's state executive committee. She helped establish the New
York-based Women's National Republican Club, serving as its president from
1921 to 1926. When women were added to the Republican National Committee,
as advisers in 1923 and full members a year later, Sabin became New York's
first women representative. She was a delegate to the Republican National
Conventions of 1924 and 1928, cochaired Sen. James Wardsworth's
unsuccessful 1926 reelection campaign, and directed women's activities for
the Coolidge and Hoover presidential campaigns in the east. A skillful
organizer and fund raiser, she favored a business-minded and isolationist
government. She also consistently encouraged women to participate more
actively in politics.

Pauline Sabin first began to criticize national prohibition in 1926 in
defending Wadsworth's opposition to the eighteenth amendment. Earlier she
had favored the law. In June 1928 she wrote in "The Outlook" that
prohibition was diverting and corrupting public officials; rather than
protecting children from temptation, the widely violated law was causing
them to grow up "with a total lack of respect for the Constitution and for
the law." Elsewhere, she expressed concern over growing federal
government power as represented by the liquor ban and the steps taken to
enforce it. In March 1929 she resigned from the Republican National
Committee and a month later denounced the Hoover administration for
supporting prohibition. She enlisted a group of other socially prominent
upper-class women and on May 28 in Chicago announced formation of the
Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR). The WONPR
cooperated closely with the all-male Association Against the Prohibition
Amendment, in which Charles Sabin had been active since the early 1920's,
but remained independent of that older society and eventually grew much
larger than its counterpart. By its first national convention in April
1930, the WONPR had 100,000 members, and by 1933 it claimed 1,500,000,
making it over three times the size of the Women's Christian Temperance

Small, slender, and attractive, Pauline Sabin was the WONPR's national
chairwoman, driving force and most visible representative-writing,
speaking, appearing on the cover of "Time", testifying before
congressional committees, lobbying both parties, building support for
repeal. The membership, publicity, and grassroots campaigning of the
WONPR destroyed the myth that all women favored prohibition and encouraged
the political revolt against the liquor ban. Sabin's group became the
first antiprohibition organization to endorse the 1932 Democratic repeal
platform and ticket. When the repeal amendment was ratified in December
1933, the WONPR disbanded.

Pauline Sabin cochaired Fiorello La Guardia's 1933 New York mayoral
campaign. After repeal, however, her political involvement waned,
although she served on the American Liberty League's executive committee
and campaigned for Alfred M. Landon in 1936. She was widowed October 10,
1933 and on May 8, 1936, married a widower, Dwight F. Davis, former
secretary of war (1925-29), governor general of the Phillipines (1929-32),
and donor of the international tennis trophy, the Davis Cup. In May 1940,
Pauline Davis was named director of volunteer special services of the
American Red Cross. Under her wartime leadership, the number of Red Cross
volunteers working in blood banks and canteens, making
bandages and garments, serving as nurse's aides and assisting families of
servicemen grew from 53,000 to over 4,000,000. She resigned in December
1943, after a dispute over policy issues.

After 1943 Pauline Davis remained active in Washington society, serving as
a consultant on White House redecoration during the Truman administration
She also cared for her elder son's three children. For three years before
her death she suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (Lou Gehrig's
Disease); she died of bronchopneumonia in Washington in 1955.

[Although no collection of Pauline Morton Sabin papers survives, much
information regarding her activities can be found in the WONPR files of
the Pierre S. Du Pont Papers at Eleutherian Mills Historical Library and
in the archives of the American Red Cross. The principal published
sources of information on her antiprohibition activities are Grace C.
Root, Women and Repeal: The Story of the Women's Organization for National
Prohibition Reform (1934), and David E. Kyvig, "Women Against
Prohibition," American Quarterly, Fall 1976. The Time cover story of July
18, 1932, is the most useful of numerous contemporary magazine or
newspaper accounts. For her resignation from the Red Cross, see Foster
Rhea Dulles, "The American Red Cross: A History" (1950). See also "Dict.
Am. Biog.", Supp. Five. Obituaries appeared in the "New York Times" and
"Washington Post", December 28, 1955. Her son, James Hopkins Smith III,
also provided useful information. Death record from D.C. Health Dept.]

Dict. Am. Biog., Supp. Five.
David E. Kyvig

A Few Pills From Death ('Ottawa Citizen' Says The Most Recent
And Potentially Most Serious Challenge To Canada's Drug Laws
Comes Not From A Long-Haired Hippie Bent On Bringing Down The Establishment,
But From A Dying Man Who Has Spent Most Of His Life Helping Kids
Stay Away From Alcohol And Drugs - On Thursday, Jim Wakeford,
A 53-Year-Old Toronto AIDS Patient Whose Doctor Says He Might Die
Without Marijuana, Filed A Civil Suit In The Ontario Court Of Justice
Against The Canadian Government Demanding That He Be Exempt From Laws
Against Cannabis, And More Audaciously, That The Government Be Required
To Supply The Drug To Patients Who Need It -
His Case Is Scheduled To Be Heard On May 4)

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 19:21:38 -0800
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: Chris Clay 
Subject: CANADA: A few pills from death
SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen
DATE: February 8, 1998
AUTHOR: By Luiza Chwialkowska
CONTACT: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
WEBSITE: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/


Jim Wakeford isn't a criminal - just a very sick man with a very big mission.

TORONTO -- The most recent - and potentially most serious - challenge
to Canada's drug laws comes not from a long-haired hippie bent on
bringing down the establishment, but from a dying man who has spent most
of his life helping kids stay away from alcohol and drugs.

When he was young and broke and couldn't afford a phone, Jim Wakeford
tied tin cans to a rope and dropped them out of his apartment window so
street kids could summon him down when they were in trouble. Now his
doctor says he might die without marijuana, and his lawyer says that not
on1y should he be allowed to smoke the drug, but the federal government
should supply it.

On Thursday, Mr. Wakeford, a 53- year-old Toronto AIDS patient, filed a
civil suit in the Ontario Court of Justice against the Canadian Government
demanding that he be exempt from laws against cannabis, and more
audaciously, that the government be required to supply the drug to patients
who need it. His case is scheduled to be heard on May 4.

Until then, Alan Young, the Osgoode Hall law professor who is fighting a
number of drug-rights cases, is scouring the world for experts who will tell
the court that cannabis is a legitimate medical treatment and that Mr.
Wakeford is not a criminal.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wakeford is reluctantly lighting up joint after joint at the
request of television news crews, and trying to use the skills he acquired
over a lifetime of charity fund-raising to raise the tens of thousands of
dollars he needs to fight what will likely be his last great cause. He has
raised $6,000 so far.

Mr. Wakeford doesn't look like a criminal. Nor does he look like a man
with enough strength to take his government to court.

Even if you didn't know that he has spent the past five years only a box of
pills away from death, you would notice the slightness of his frame, the
lightness of his step, and the translucence of the skin draped over his hollow

There is a fragility about him that makes you worry whether he'll slip away
when you're not looking, or whether he's really there to begin with. The
quiet calm of his voice makes you wonder, midsentence, if he's really
speaking. So ethereal is his presence and unremarkable his appearance,
that to meet him walking home in his plainer-than-plain blue jeans, jacket,
and white sneakers, it's easy to imagine him slinking by unnoticed to some
lonely bare-walled mom to wait for his illness to take its final toll.

Yet as Mr. Wakeford makes his way through the neighbourhood,
passersby recognize him. "You cheeky devil. I saw you smoking up on TV
last night!" calls out a young man. At the "local greasy spoon where he
takes his bacon and eggs in the morning, a sympathizer at another table
secretly pays for Mr. Wakeford's breakfast before he can ask the waitress
for the bill.

And when he finally makes it to his Church Street apartment - a going-away
gift he bought himself when doctors told him in 1993 that he had two years
left to live - the rooms are bursting with light, life, and colour. In this
determinedly cheerful place where he planned to die, even the powder-room
ceiling is sunflower yellow.

Five defiant years after receiving his death sentence, Mr. Wakeford sits in a
wine-coloured leather chair under a soaring three-metre ficus tree, his gaunt
face lit up by sunshine pouring in from a terrace overlooking streets that be
calls "the heart of Toronto's gay ghetto."

The brightly painted walls are crowded with paintings, posters, and
photographs of the friends and celebrities who love him. There are awards
for the good works he has done, like founding Oolagen House, a treatment
facility he started in 1967 out of his home to help Toronto's street kids in
trouble with drugs. Last year, Oolagen House celebrated its 30th
anniversary and reported an annual operating budget of more than $2

There are so many pictures of friends and admirers on the walls that it's
easy to overlook the eerie photo of a once-healthy and robust Mr.
Wakeford showing a once-lively Diana, Princess of Wales, around Casey
House, the reknowned AIDS hospice whose foundation he built.

And somewhere in this incongruity, in the gap between the smallness of his
voice and the bigness of his achievements, between the vulnerability of his
body and the immutability of the law, lies the reason this soft-spoken son of
a Saskatchewan miner is taking the Government of Canada to court.

"What has marijuana done for Jim Wakeford? It has allowed him to live,"
says John Goodhew, a Toronto AIDS specialist and Mr. Wakeford's

"I am offended by the way some media have been covering my case so
far," Mr. Wake ford says. "They make light of it, as though it is not a
significant and necessary part of my medical regime."

He doesn't smoke marijuana for fun, he maintains. He smokes three joints
a day, in the afternoon, to counteract his medication, which leaves him
nauseated and unable to eat.

"I don't think he would be taking his anti-HIV medications if he wasn't on
marijuana," says Dr. Goodhew, who prescribes the battery of 40 pills that
has raised Mr. Wakeford's life expectancy from a year to a level he now
says he "doesn't presume" to predict. "Thanks to the medications, his
immune system went from 10 to 15 per cent of normal strength to 40 or 50
per cent now. The virus in his blood dropped to undetectable levels," Dr.
Goodhew explains.

But as the medications began to give Mr. Wakeford back his life, Dr.
Goodhew says, they also gave him nausea and diarrhea, killed his appetite
and caused him to lose drastic amounts of weight.

"His chart was improving dramatically, but every time I saw him, he looked
sicker and sicker.

"His cheeks sunk in, he had no butt, his arms and legs were like sticks," Dr.
Goodhew says. "He knew that on these medications, he was wasting

Mr. Wakeford was wasting away be- cause of a peculiarity of the
new-generation AIDS drugs, called protease inhibitors, that only work if
taken according to a strict schedule. Four of Mr. Wakeford's medications
have to be taken on an empty stomach, which means he can't eat for three
hours before taking them.

"The thing about these drugs is that you have to comply 100 per cent with
the schedule to keep the virus from reproducing," Dr. Goodhew says.

"He takes four anti-stomachs a day, meaning that he can't eat for in hours
out of each day. He has four one-hour intervals when he can eat, but the
pills kill his appetite in that window."

Dr. Goodhew says Mr. Wakeford has tried the all available anti-nausea
medications, and none worked until he tried smoking marijuana. Dr.
Goodhew stops short of saying whether he suggested marijuana to Mr.
Wakeford, saying only that, "When Mr. Wakeford informed me that he
was using it, there was a dramatic improvement."

And Mr. Wakeford is not a unique case, says Dr. Goodhew, who treats
200 HIV-positive patients. He estimates that one-quarter to one-half of his
patients on anti-HIV medication use marijuana on a "semi-regular" basis.

"Patients who use it continue to use it with my knowledge and consent," he
says. "Medically, I think it is a worthwhile cause. It is absurd to
a product that is so useful, effective, inexpensive, and so non-toxic
compared to all the pharmaceutical alternatives."

If an AIDS patient were arrested for buying marijuana and had to spend
even 24 hours in prison without following his drug regime, Dr. Goodhew
argues, the virus could reproduce so quickly and drastically that there
would be no turning back.

"I just find the marijuana laws ludicrous," Dr. Goodhew says. "I can't take
them seriously. I can't believe that anyone, except a small group of police,
takes them seriously."

Dr. Goodhew is one of the expert witnesses to file an affidavit in the case,
and might be cross-examined by government lawyers. Mr. Young and his
law students are busy searching out others to make their case in the next
two months.

"It is our contention that it is a constitutional violation to criminalize
therapeutic activity," Mr. Young says.

High Time For Hemp ('Edmonton Sun' Columnist Kerry Diotte
Sees The Ross Rebagliati Affair And The Imminent Legalization
Of Industrial Hemp Giving New Impetus To The Argument
That Canada Should Look At Decriminalizing Marijuana)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 02:37:34 -0800
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: Chris Clay 
Subject: CANADA: High Time for Hemp


SOURCE: Edmonton Sun
DATE: March 8, 1998
AUTHOR: Kerry Diotte, Edmonton Sun
CONTACT: sun.letters@ccinet.ab.ca


* New life has been sparked into the ongoing battle to
legalize pot by the strong public support shown in cases
such as that of snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who
retained a gold medal after testing positive for

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein did it and didn't get caught. Former
prime minister Kim Campbell is also on record admitting she
performed the deed.

Had either one of them been nabbed by cops for their act, they
could have wound up with criminal records.

And just what was the thing they sheepishly admitted to doing that
might have made them out-and-out criminals?

They smoked pot - and that's been illegal since 1923 when many
Canadians believed the drug caused insanity.

They're two of the most high-profile Canucks to fess up to the fact
they've sparked up a joint - an activity the majority of Canadians
believe should not be a crime.

The latest impetus to the argument Canada should look at
decriminalizing marijuana comes from the overwhelming support
for snowboarder Ross Rebagliati.

The Whistler, B.C. man was temporarily stripped of a gold medal
in Nagano by the International Olympic Commission for testing
positive for marijuana, but got it back, essentially since the drug
isn't considered performance enhancing.

Opinion among Canadians ran strongly in favor of Rebagliati
keeping his medal. It didn't seem to bother many that Rebagliati
confessed he'd used marijuana months ago and still hangs out with
lots of pot smokers.

Criminal defence lawyer Robbie Davidson feels it's ludicrous we're
still making criminals of people "who've been caught with a few
joints or a bag of dope."

The Edmonton lawyer reckons his firm handles about 100 cases a
year of people charged with simple possession.

The latest federal government statistics show 19,672 Canadians
were charged in 1996 for possession of cannabis - up since 1992
when 17,422 people were charged. Such a charge means they
possessed an ounce or less of pot and a gram or less of hash.

"Why mar someone over a joint?" asks Davidson, who, as a law
student presented a brief to an early '70s-era government royal
commission in which he called for the decriminalization of
marijuana and proposed it should be legally sold like alcohol and

That commission, which became known as the LeDain
Commission (for its chairman Gerald LeDain), later recommended
cannabis be decriminalized, but its findings were ignored by the
federal government.

Davidson is particularly appalled Canadian prosecutors continue
to press for criminal convictions on first-time offenders caught with
small amounts of the drug.

"I'm working on a case now where police pulled over a guy in
Banff for making an illegal turn, smelled marijuana, took it on
themselves to search his vehicle and found half a joint in his
cigarette package.

"The Crown intends to go ahead with the possession charge. At
the very least in these cases people should get conditional or
absolute discharges, yet that rarely happens."

He fumes that it's "especially hypocritical" that politicians won't
decriminalize marijuana when some of them have admitted using it.

Davidson points out there's more hypocrisy in the fact that it's not
considered a criminal act to use substances which are indisputably
far more harmful than pot.

"For instance if you sniff solvents you're charged under a provincial
public health act. Yet solvents are known to actually destroy your
brain cells. And there's sure no medical use for sniffing lacquer."

Edmonton-based federal prosecutor Donna Tomljanovic says her
office commonly seeks a $150 fine for anyone guilty of a first-time
offence of possession of marijuana and usually gets it.

She wouldn't offer her personal views on that saying only, "I'm
obliged to follow the law." Conditional or absolute discharges are
still rare despite some minor changes made to Canada's drug laws
in May. With those changes, marijuana is prosecuted under its
own category and isn't lumped in with harder drugs but people are
still convicted of a Criminal Code offence.

That fact alone is what causes the most nightmares for people
unluckier than Klein or Campbell - those caught and charged for

Blues musician Albert knows it only too well.

More than a year ago, five cops burst into his cosy apartment and
trucked off the man's pot plants which he'd been lovingly growing
for personal smoking.

He barely managed to convince prosecutors he wasn't a big-time
dealer and was sentenced to a small fine and 200 hours of
community service.

"I'm 42 years old and I'd never had a conviction for anything
before," said Albert, who didn't want his last name used. "I
consider myself a law-abiding citizen. Something like this is
extremely frustrating."

After Albert's conviction, he got kicked out of his apartment, had
to put possessions in storage and faced hefty legal costs - all of
which he estimates set him back $4,000.

The worst part is it will impact directly on his chance to get musical
gigs in the U.S.

Davidson says several of his clients have complained they've been
routinely turned back from visiting the U.S. even after receiving
pardons from Canadian government officials for previous pot

Decades after the Pierre Trudeau government gave a figurative
finger to recommendations from the LeDain commission,
politicians are doing the same.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Anne McLellan says his boss is
content to keep marijuana smoking a criminal act, arguing the
public wants it that way.

"She supports looking at the possibility of legalizing marijuana for
medical purposes," said McLellan press secretary Pierre Gratton.

"But she has no intention of looking at the broader issue. In her
view ... there's no consensus at all of legalizing it, decriminalizing

A recent Angus Reid national poll however, suggests there is
indeed a consensus for lightening up on marijuana users.

A majority of Canadians (51%) now agree smoking marijuana
should not be a criminal offence, the October poll found. That's up
a whopping 12% since 1987 when 39% of Canadians felt that

Forty-five per cent of those surveyed in the fall poll feel it should
remain a criminal offence and eight in 10 Canadians think it should
be legal for medicinal purposes.

The feds surprised some people recently agreeing to allow
Canadian farmers to grow hemp for use in making clothing and
other products. The farmers will only be authorized to produce
hemp that has mere traces of the ingredient which causes smokers
to get high.

Troy Stewart, the Edmonton president of True North Hemp Co.,
which sells clothing and smoking paraphernalia, says he'll continue
supporting efforts to legalize or decriminalize pot.

"It should be treated like any other plant - like garlic," said
Stewart, who's been in numerous pot rallies.

The pro-pot proponent - who says he smokes openly but has
never been busted - figures things likely won't change until tokers
come out of the closet to demand the government change the laws
as its own commission recommend three decades ago.

Said Stewart: "Everyone who smokes has to take a stand."

LeDain Stands By '71 Report ('Edmonton Sun' Interviews Gerald LeDain,
Now Retired In Ottawa, The Former Head Of The Canadian Commission
That Recommended Decriminalization Of Marijuana In 1971,
Only To Be Ignored By The Government That Had Sought Its Findings)
Link to major studies of drug policy
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 02:37:37 -0800 To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com From: Chris Clay (chris.clay@hempnation.com) Subject: LeDain Stands by '71 Report SOURCE: Edmonton Sun DATE: March 8, 1998 AUTHOR: Kerry Diotte, Edmonton Sun CONTACT: sun.letters@ccinet.ab.ca LEDAIN STANDS BY '71 REPORT The LeDain Commission was set up by the federal government in 1969 as the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-medical Use of Drugs. It issued four reports including one in 1971 on cannabis, which recommended that simple possession of cannabis and cultivation for personal use be permitted, but importation and trafficking remain a crime. The man who headed a Canadian royal commission which recommended marijuana be decriminalized, is as proud of the study today as he was when it came out more than a quarter of a century ago. "We worked like hell," commission head Gerald LeDain tells the Edmonton Sun when reached at his Ottawa home. "We really did our homework." "The heart of the study was, why should cannabis be treated so harshly compared to tobacco and alcohol?" says LeDain, who was one of three on the five-person commission who wrote the majority opinion. Virtually none of the commission's recommendations were made into law, something LeDain blames on politicians. "It was a hot potato for all the parties and they didn't want to run any risks," says the man who was dean of law at University of Toronto's Osgoode Hall when he headed the commission. "The position adopted by the politicians was to do nothing." LeDain says the commissioners were just recommending what the public wanted concerning pot. "We saw at the hearings the public was worried about their kids. The public saw those current laws as a tremendous injustice." LeDain recalls the extensive media coverage his royal commission received. Not only was it front-page news in every major daily Canadian paper, many came out with special supplements detailing the cannabis study. Penguin books published the report dealing with cannabis and it became a top-selling title in several countries. LeDain is particularly proud the commissioners demanded there be no interference from the government while they compiled their studies. There wasn't, he says. "I knew Pierre (Trudeau) well at the time and I made it my business to be assured from him our independence would be respected." The commission's findings proved to be a political bombshell for the Grits. "It cost him and it caused the government embarrassment before the 1972 election. Our report had created a public demand for a change in the law." Today, LeDain's life is markedly quieter. He retired for health reasons from the Supreme Court 10 years ago and lives alone in Ottawa. His wife died two years ago and LeDain putters around making his own meals, paying bills and worrying about slipping on the ice in the winter. Breaking a hip at age 74 can be a big problem, he says. He also maintains a family cottage in the Laurentians for his four grown children and 10 grandchildren, and is busy writing his memoirs. "I live a simple, low-profile life now. I'm content." A filing cabinet in his basement is still filled with commission transcripts. "I'll leave them behind for someone. I can't bring myself to throw them out." One thing, however, hasn't changed with LeDain. He still believes in his commission's findings. "Those conclusions stand. I stand by them." *** Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 21:02:15 EST Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: "Clifford Schaffer" (schaffer@smartlink.net) To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: LeDain files from '71 Report --Original Message-- From: Dave Ford (drford@vom.com) >LeDain Commission documentation was the most honest and accurate report >I've ever read. > >I wish I could afford to send a copy to every member of Congress. You can. The full text of the LeDain report is on the web at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/studies.htm You can e-mail it to them.

Colombian Army Suffers One Of Worst Defeats In Combat With Rebels
('Houston Chronicle' Says Members Of An Elite Colombian Army
Counterinsurgency Battalion Were Picked Off, One By One, During Five Days
Of Jungle Combat Last Week - So Far, Just Nine Of The 153 Army Troops
Have Been Rescued)

Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 22:35:35 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Colombia: Colombian Army Suffers One Of Worst Defeats In Combat
With Rebels
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Mar 1998
Source: Houston Chronicle
Page: 24A
Author: John Otis
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Note: John Otis is a free-lance journalist based in Bogota, Colombia.


FLORENCIA, Colombia -- Low on rations, their radios dead, and pinned down
by 400 guerrillas, members of an elite Colombian army counterinsurgency
battalion were picked off, one by one, during five days of jungle combat
last week.

"There was rifle fire, grenades, mortars. ... The only thing (the
guerrillas) lacked were chemical weapons," a senior army officer said
Saturday, describing one of the Colombian military's worst battlefield
losses in recent years.

As frantic relatives gathered in front of the army base in the provincial
capital of Florencia, 295 miles southwest of Bogota, the search for the
dead and wounded was hampered Saturday by bad weather, clashes with the
rebels, and an army bombing campaign.

"I'm desperate. I have been here for three days and I still don't know if
he is alive or wounded," said a tearful Nidia Ordonez, 18, whose husband is
among the missing. "He always told me that this was a rebel zone and that I
should pray for him."

So far, just nine of the 153 army troops have been rescued, according to
the officer. The rest are thought to be either dead, wounded, missing or in
the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its
Spanish initials as FARC, which launched a fierce attack Monday near the
hamlet of El Billar in the southern state of Caqueta.

"There is a considerable number of dead on both sides," said Defense
Minister Gilberto Echeverri, at a news conference in Bogota. "We don't have
exact figures, but we will offer a summary once we have total control of
the area."

Noting that the fighting began a week ago, some relatives of missing
soldiers accused military officials of orchestrating a news blackout.
Besides suffering a humiliating defeat, the army is bombing the area to
drive out the FARC, and a number of civilian casualties have been reported.

"The military doesn't want much publicity because they have lost a lot of
credibility," said Albeiro Holguin, a former guerrilla who now runs a
bakery in Florencia.

Members of the International Red Cross were barred from entering the war
zone. However, a Colombian TV news crew that reached the area Friday
broadcast images of several dead soldiers lying face down in the dirt.

Ramiro Rincon, the brother of a missing army corporal, struggled to
maintain his composure as he stood across the street from the military base
in Florencia.

"They told me that, yes, he was in the fighting. They said that I'll just
have to wait and be patient," Rincon said.

In an interview with a group of U.S. reporters, a senior army officer --
who was in radio contact with the troops during the fighting -- said things
went wrong for Battalion 52 from the start.

Part of a highly trained mobile unit formed last year to hunt down the
guerrillas, the battalion had been in the field for days and was running
dangerously short of supplies when they were surrounded and attacked.

Wave after wave of FARC fighters came at them. As the soldiers sought
refuge in the jungle and returned fire, some of their radios went dead.
"Their batteries were dying and they began to lose contact with the
(support) aircraft," the officer said. "The guerrillas have better
communications and a lot of radios. We have just one radio for 10 or 15

Escape was nearly impossible because of the dense rain forest, he said.
"It's thick jungle. Think of Vietnam," he said.

Bad weather kept the army from mounting a rescue operation, and when
helicopters tried to land Tuesday, the FARC opened fire and killed one crew

About 500 reinforcements arrived Wednesday but failed to locate the
battalion. They finally made contact with battalion commander Maj. John
Jairo Aguilar, who was evacuated along with seven wounded soldiers. A ninth
soldier was rescued later.

The officer said Aguilar "was unhurt, but image how you feel when you have
just lost a battalion."

Such dismal performances have put the army under intense scrutiny. Recent
FARC attacks have pitted several hundred rebels against the smaller army
battalions. By the time support arrives, the rebels are usually gone and
army troops are licking their wounds, according to military analysts.

"The FARC has strengthened itself militarily, probably with the help of
former guerrillas from El Salvador," said Eduardo Pizarro, a political
science professor at the National University in Bogota. "It has allowed
them to switch from small military units that carry out ambushes to forming
units of 300 or 400 men. But the army continues to fight the same way it
did ten years ago."

Furthermore, the army is fighting on enemy turf. It suffered huge losses in
these same jungles in a 1981 battle against a now-defunct rebel group
called the M-19. Despite a bombing campaign, dozens of army troops were

Today, due to a lack of government presence in Caqueta, FARC troops provide
the only authority in some villages. The guerrillas also earn millions of
dollars annually by taxing coca leaf farmers and providing protection for
drug traffickers.

"The reason (for the attack) was obvious. That is the largest center for
the production of coca leaves and coca paste in the world," Echeverri, the
defense minister, said Saturday.

Last month, concerns about the rebel threat prompted the Clinton
administration to lift U.S. economic sanctions against the Colombian
government. The sanctions had been imposed two years ago after the United
States criticized Colombia for its lack of cooperation in the drug war.

Holguin, 34, the former guerrilla who fought with the M-19, said that since
the civil war began 34 years ago, the guerrillas have always outwitted the
army. "The guerrillas have a lot of civilian intelligence and have
infiltrated some of the (army) battalions," he said. "FARC territory is
very well defended."

Copyright 1998 Special to the Chronicle

Drugs Tsar Targets Jails And Schools (Britain's 'Sunday Times'
Says The Government Is Preparing Its Biggest Assault On Drugs
With A 50M Plan To Take The Anti-Drug Message To Children As Young As Six
And To Segregate Addicted Prisoners In Britain's Jails)

Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 22:35:35 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Drugs Tsar Targets Jails And Schools
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Author: Nicholas Rufford - Home Affairs Editor
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Mar 1998


THE government is preparing its biggest assault on drugs with a 50m plan
to take the anti-drug message to children as young as six and to segregate
addicted prisoners in Britain's jails.

The strategy will be unveiled in the spring by Keith Hellawell, the former
chief constable of West Yorkshire, who was appointed "drugs tsar" by Tony
Blair last October.

Key parts have already gone before ministers, including a nationwide
education programme in primary schools and the isolation of prisoners who
persistently offend from those who will go through "cold turkey" to kick
their habit.

Other measures include compulsory drug testing and treatment for burglars
and others who steal to feed their drug habit, and streamlining of
government initiatives to cut duplication of effort.

One of Hellawell's priorities is to target children before they fall under
the influence of youth drug culture. Research by the Home Office drug
prevention unit has found that young children given weekly classes in drug
dangers are far less likely to become drug users in their teens.

A study published tomorrow suggests that drug abuse is now as prevalent in
the countryside as in urban areas. Some 27% of 14 to 15-year-olds living in
the countryside said they had experimented with at least one drug, compared
with 21% of suburban youngsters and 18% of urban children, according to
research by Exeter University's school health education unit.

Hellawell also wants to tackle hardened drug-users, blamed for more than 1
billion of property crime a year in Britain. Under the government's plans,
expected to cost 7m, every jail in England and Wales will have a drug-free
wing where prisoners will be sent to wean them off drugs. Inmates will be
required to undergo regular testing in return for concessions.

Unpublished Prison Service figures reveal that one in five tested prisoners
shows traces of drugs despite efforts to halt the smuggling of narcotics
into jails. "We plan to have a voluntary testing unit in every prison,"
said George Howarth, the home office minister. "That is the key to a
drug-free environment."

The new strategy will also call for 40m funding for drug treatment and
testing schemes, which will coerce those who steal to pay for drugs to
undergo tests and treatment. Those who fail to follow the regime would face

Howarth will this week announce details of three pilot schemes to begin
this summer in Merseyside, Gloucestershire and south London.

Hellawell is expected to respond to ministers' concerns over
inconsistencies in the way that police deal with cannabis possession. A
report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, a statutory body,
found that some police forces dealt punitively with offenders whereas
others gave warnings. Hellawell favours cautions for first-time offenders,
but insists this does not represent a softening of the government's policy.

He will also recommend the streamlining of the government's 500m-a-year
effort to fight drugs. The work of more than 100 local drug action teams
and a dozen regional drug prevention initiatives is expected to be merged.

Other measures being considered include tougher action by councils to evict
tenants convicted of drug-related crime and heavier sentences for drug
dealers. After five months' consultation, Hellawell remains firmly opposed
to any legalisation of drugs.

He has already discussed his ideas with the cabinet sub-committee on drug
misuse, chaired by Ann Taylor, leader of the Commons. The committee is
expected to approve his draft strategy within weeks.

Roger Howard, head of the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse, praised the
proposals: "Britain needs a comprehensive strategy . . . and this addresses
all the main problems."

Thousands of people supporting decriminalisation of cannabis are expected
to take part on March 28 in what is claimed to be the first "pot rally" in
London for 30 years.

Cannabis Campaign - Young Want Change (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday'
Continues Its Weekly Push For Reform Of Marijuana Laws,
Noting The First Nationwide Poll Of BBC Radio 1 Listeners Has Found
They Are Overwhelmingly Against Legal Restrictions On Drug Taking)

Date: Sun, 08 Mar 1998 08:31:51 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Young Want Change
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: (Zosimos) Martin Cooke 
Newshawk: Zosimos 
Pubdate: Sun, 8 Mar 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk


BRITAIN'S youth have said no to drug laws. In the first nation-wide radio
poll on drugs, the listeners of BBC Radio 1 voted overwhelmingly against
legal restrictions on drug-taking.

Tonight Radio 1 is devoting an hour to the debate . To gauge its audience's
opinion in advance of this evening's phone-in, the BBC organised a five-day
telephone poll. Listeners were asked to vote on the question: "Should
people have the right to take drugs?"

More than 20,000 responded, with 84 per cent in favour and only 16 per cent

"I think that the huge majority in favour of the proposition indicates
people's enthusiasm for debate," said the DJ Steve Lamacq, who hosts
tonight's debate. "More people than ever before are talking about what used
to be a taboo topic for them; basically it is a question of rights."

The findings offer further evidence of how out of touch politicians are
with dance-floor reality. Reporters for the programme Sorted - The Drugs
Lottery, which precedes the debate, found some teenagers were so confused
about the law that they did not realise that it was an offence to be found
in possession of a couple of ecstasy tablets.

Throughout last week listeners to Radio 1 were encouraged to dial-in their
votes after an announcer said "If you think you should be allowed to do
whatever you like with your mind or body providing it hurts no one else,
you should vote Yes. If you believe we need to keep the current laws in
place in order to protect us vote No".

Tonight the Drugs Tsar, Keith Hellawell, will defend the status quo. Alan
McGee of Creation records argues for reform.

Mr Lamacq added: "To test public opinion further we are going to open the
poll lines again after the debate to see whether opinions have been shifted
by the arguments. It is going to be very interesting."

Cannabis Campaign - Heed Our Rallying Cry (Britain's
'Independent On Sunday' Provides More Details On Its Previously Announced
Public March Through The Heart Of London On Saturday, March 28,
To Rally Support For Decriminalising Cannabis)

Date: Sun, 08 Mar 1998 08:43:42 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: HEED OUR RALLYING CRY
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Sun, 8 Mar 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Author: Graham Ball
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
Mail: Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL
Editor's note: The IoS Cannabis Campaign has web pages at


IT IS TIME to stand up and be counted. For the past six months the
Independent on Sunday has led the debate on decriminalising cannabis. Now
it is time to turn words into people power. We want the thousands who have
already signed our petition to join countless others who believe the
Government's war against cannabis is harming our society, to join us in

We are planning a mass march through the heart of the capital on Saturday
28 March and it should prove to be the biggest pro-cannabis demonstration
for 30 years.

Caroline Coon, the artist and original founder of the drug charity Release,
who helped organise the last "pot rally" in London in 1968, is to support
our march.

"People should never believe that demonstrations are useless. People power
on the streets does change things," said Ms Coon who continues to campaign
actively for drug law reform.

"The drug issue is more important today than it was 30 years ago because
authoritarian governments are now using the war against drugs, which is
really a war against people, to undermine democracy and civil liberties.

"Thousands of people speaking with one voice could force the Government to
change the law. We know that prohibition is the worst way to reduce any
harm drugs may do. Prohibition wastes millions of pounds in tax revenue
which could be better spent on reducing poverty."

The deputy director of Release, Greg Poulter, is equally resolute in his
support for the march. "It is necessary to show the politicians the
strength of feeling in the country for reform of the cannabis laws.
Demonstrations of this sort can send a message to the Government that they
need to respond to public opinion and not remain entrenched in the
discredited doctrine of prohibition," he said.

Supporters wishing to take part in the march should assemble in Hyde Park
for a mid-day departure for Trafalgar Square where speakers including IoS
editor Rosie Boycott, Howard Marks and Paul Flynn MP will address the rally.

Groups from as far afield as Scotland, Wales and the North-west have
already indicated that they will be attending. And a delegation from the
European parliament is also expected.

"We shall be urging all our supporters to attend, " said Alun Buffry,
spokesman for the Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association
(CLCIA). "The time is right to support the IoS march. We have noticed a
distinct change in attitudes since the campaign began in the newspaper. The
fact that a lot of professional people were prepared to put their name to
the petition that has been running each week seems to have encouraged a lot
of people to announce in public what they may have previously only
whispered in private."

As yet no one can guess how many campaigners will support our march, but we
are urging individuals to start organising groups and let us know how many
to expect.

A 1996 survey revealed that 8.3 million adults between the ages of 16 and
59 had admitted to using cannabis, and it only requires a fraction of that
total to make a point on the streets.

But how the point is made is almost as important as the point itself. Rosie
Boycott has urged supporters to be streetwise. "It is important that
everyone remembers that we are out to change the law, not break it," said
Ms Boycott. "It would be naive not to recognise that we will be scrutinised
by hostile eyes. We must not provoke police reaction. We want to change the
law on cannabis by legal and democratic means," she said.

Danny Kushlick, of the drug law reform group Transform, says he is
impressed by the way the IoS has taken the argument forward. "Up until now
there has been no attempt to get people on the ground involved," he said.

And the campaign is having an effect, he thinks. "I've noticed a major
shift in the last three months, with the House of Lords committee and the
Police Foundation investigation. People are coming out of the woodwork and
everything seems to be happening with a rush. It is quite astonishing."


ROLL UP, roll up for the great cannabis march. On Saturday 28 March
supporters of the Independent on Sunday's decriminalise cannabis campaign
should gather at Reformer's Tree in Hyde Park for the biggest march in
support of cannabis for 30 years. (There is no tree there any more - a
lamp-post marks the spot.)

The procession will follow a police-approved route, out of the park and
into Park Lane. From here the marchers head down to Hyde Park Corner and
turn into Piccadilly. From Piccadilly Circus we will turn right into the
Haymarket and from the south end of the Haymarket turn left into Trafalgar

The Royal Parks agency insists that no stalls are erected in Hyde Park and
requests that banners be kept furled until marchers are on the road.
Collections are banned en route and the authorities request that litter in
Trafalgar Square be kept to a minimum.

Notwithstanding the limitations, the organisers are determined that the day
should be a celebration rather than a confrontation.

"In 1967 at the time of the first 'pot rally' in London the underground was
in its infancy," said Caroline Coon, who founded Release that year. "The
scene in San Francisco was far more advanced and Allen Ginsberg came over
and addressed the crowd in Trafalgar Square and was almost arrested."

Thirty years later the tables of tolerance are turned. Professor John P
Morgan of the City of New York Medical School and co-author of the book
Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, said: "This is marvellous news. I cannot
conceive of a demonstration like this in America just now. I wish you
success. The eyes of the western democracies are upon you."

Music Mogul Sounds Out Cannabis Campaign Album ('Scotland On Sunday'
Says Scots-Born Alan McGee, Founder Of Creation Records
And The Man Who 'Discovered' Oasis, Is Compiling A Band Aid-Type Album
As Part Of An On-Going Campaign For The Decriminilisation Of Cannabis
Inspired by Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' - McGee Has Already Approached
Top British Acts Such As Paul Weller, Cast, Super Furry Animals,
And Asian Dub Foundation)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 08:03:05 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: UK: Music Mogul Sounds Out Cannabis Campaign Album
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk http://www.shug.co.uk
Pubdate: 8 Mar 1998
Source: Scotland On Sunday
Author: Dani Garavelli
Contact: Letters_sos@scotsman.com


The record label boss who discovered Oasis is compiling a Band Aid-type
album as part of an on-going campaign for the decriminilisation of cannabis.

Scots-born Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records, has already approached
top British acts, including Paul Weller, Cast, Super Furry Animals and Asian
Dub Foundation, to take part.

All profits are to go to the Stapleford Trust, a London-based charity which
carries out research into addiction.

McGee, a former addict, was himself treated by Dr Colin Brewer, medical
director at the private Stapleford Addiction Unit.

The news of the new album emerged as a poll by Radio One, whose audience is
mostly under 25, found that 84% of its listeners believed that drug-taking
should be made legal.

McGee told Scotland on Sunday: "Dr Brewer guided me back from the brink of
addiction to the verge of sobriety. I wholeheartedly approve of his
addiction treatments. In retrospect, I probably owe him my life, although
the campaign for the decriminilisation of cannabis LP will probably have to

McGee, who sits on the government's creative industries task force, says he
has only smoked cannabis on four or five occasions.

Yet, despite almost dying as a result of his cocaine and alcohol habit, he
believes all drugs should be legalised in an attempt to control the

If the move was made, he argues, it would mean fewer deaths from
contamination and an end to the dangerous drugs underworld.

The inspiration for the compilation album came from Rosie Boycott, the
editor of the Independent and the Indpendent on Sunday, whose campaign for
the decriminilisation of cannabis has attracted the support of scores of
famous people, including Anita Roddick, Richard Branson and Sir Paul

Yesterday, Brewer, who is himself in favour of the decriminilisation of
cannabis, said the money raised by the album would be used for research
projects. "We are interested primarily in medical treatments for addiction.
For example, we would like to undertake a controlled study of a group of
patients at a NHS hospital using various methods to achieve withdrawal from
opiates. This can be done using sedation or under anaesthesia."

Brewer said he was also interested in the potential of Naltrexone, a drug
which is used to take addicts off heroin. The drug has the opposite effect
from methadone, in that it stops users gaining any effect from heroin.
Brewer would like to carry out a study in which the drug was made a
condition of probation orders.

"Similar projects have taken place in Singapore and the US with good
results, but we would like to see if it could prove successful in the
British context," he said.

A spokeswoman for Creation Records said the compilation album was still in
the early stages, but the company was hoping for a summer release.

Knock Knock - It's The Rave Squad (Translation Of An Article
From Sweden's 'Nojesguiden' About Special Police Squads
That Target Illegal Drug Users At Youth Events, Armed With The Power
To Search And Demand Urine Tests Of Anyone At Any Time)

Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 20:40:42 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Sweden: Knock Knock - It's the Rave Squad
Newshawk: John Yates (john.yates@pp.inet.fi)
Pubdate: 8 Mar 1998
Source: Nojesguiden (Sweden)
Contact: red@nojesguiden.se
Website: http://www.nojesguiden.se
Author: Thord Eriksson
Translation: John Yates
Note: Nojesguiden is an entertainment magazine in Sweden.


The police super commando against drug abuse by young people has received a
new mandate. But do young people have respect for the Rave Squad and are
they doing a good job?

The police station in Nacka, Sweden, at the beginning of January 1997: The
chief of the Rave Squad Rickard Johansson turns off his mobile phone, hangs
it in his belt and sits down behind his desk. He reads aloud from a paper:
"998 reports have been made of crimes against the narcotics laws. The Squad
has taken 658 urine and blood tests. A total of 1329 persons have been

That is the official result of the Rave Squads work from its inauguration
on November 20 1996 to December 31, 1997. Rickard Johansson leans back in
his chair, nods towards the paper and says that the figures speak a clear
language. He seems pleased and means that this proves that the Rave Squads
way of doing things is successful, that this is just this way the upward
trend in drug taking amongst young people can be broken.

County Police Chief Gunno Gunnmo is just as pleased. He has just extended
the Rave Squads mandate till February 1, 1999. For the heavily criticised
Swedish police, the Rave Squad is a bullseye, a successful group that can
show hard and clear results as well as being good at working with mass
media. The picture is positive - but starts to cloud if examined closely.

There are critics who say the Squad uses offensive methods that go beyond
the limits of what is permissible. Others point out that the Squad is
probably effective at apprehending youngsters who are high, but has not
lead to a decrease in drug trafficking. During the year covered by
statistics, the Squads activities have lead to only 15 prison sentences for
serious narcotics offences. So, what exactly is happening? An effective
fight against drugs, or a show for the peanut gallery?

"We are the first and so far the only ones who are doing something about
drug misuse amongst young people" says a female Ravecop one night at the
beginning of February while undercover at the techno club 'Industri 13' in
the town of Tyreso. She is 29 years old, has been in the police force for 8
years and is wrong when she says that the Rave Squad is the first of its
kind. At the beginning of the decade a 'bar-group' was formed whose job
was to do anti drugs work in the bars of Stockholm. The group was small and
consisted of only two policemen who could be re-enforced as needed. Besides
bars they also became interested in the new phenomenon of raves. Raves had
spread to Stockholm from Gothenburg, where the country's first rave was
held in 1989.

In retrospect the effort was considered successful. Police, social
authorities and Stockholm City carried out a dialogue with the rave
arrangers, who promised to apply for permission for raves and in return
received a promise that the City would help to find suitable rave sites.
The idea was to build up trust and good relations. For the police it meant
the possibility of tracking down dealers at raves. The social authorities
could be on hand to watch over the phenomenon and rescue those who were
heading for trouble.

Jan Quarfordt is one of those who were involved from the side of the
authorities. He is a field assistant and has followed the techno and rave
scene since the early 1990's. This is how he describes his work in an
article in the magazine 'Oberoende', published by the RHFL (National
Organisation for Helping Substance Abusers): " There was a kind of
understanding between the rave culture and society. The police always had a
few 'good guys' on hand. Even if the majority of the police on any night
were investigating and making arrests, there were always some who walked
around being pleasant. They acted as a buffer in a situation loaded with
conflict. This goodwill lasted about a year. It was not the kids who gave
it up. It was society who betrayed the youngsters."

What happened was police overtime was severely curtailed and priorities
were changed. At the same time the City's enthusiasm at helping with sites

During the next year the rave scene was a blank space on the map until
Docklands opened and took a monopoly over the Stockholm techno scene. It
also meant a permanent address for uneasy parents and the authorities.
"Even the very real drugs problem in the rave culture had a permanent
address" writes Jan Quarfordt. "Active social prevention work could have
taken place at the permanent address and contact made with the individuals
who developed a need for care."

But it was not to be. The big techno club at Finnboda Shipyards opened in
September 1995 and conflict with the police immediately became a fact. The
conflict was about whether the events in the old welding hall were to be
regarded as general assemblies (no permit required) or public events
(requiring a permit). The Docklands arrangers, with the soon to be
nationally recognised Mats Hinze, alias Ragnar Skjold at their head,
asserted the one, The police asserted the other, clearly provoked by Hinzes
drug liberal pronouncements.

After investigation it was determined that drugs were being sold on the
premises. On the night of February 9 1996 the first big raid was made. It
was followed by a series of confrontations, luridly described in the
national press.

That raves were synonymous with drugs was a recurrent theme in the press,
especially the evening papers. This was now repeated with ever increasing
frenzy. And as extra fuel to the heated reporting, official statistics
showed that drug use amongst the young people of Sweden had gone up
alarmingly since the beginning of the 1990's. The picture was quite clear:
young people were marching to a techno beat into Drug Hell. Something must
be done.

The then County Police Chief, Sven-Ake Hjalmroth, appointed Patrick
Ungsater, a ravecop, as co-ordinator of actions against the apparently
drug bedevilled young people in the late winter of 1996. He soon received
company in his mission with David Beukelmann.

At the same time police in the suburb of Nacka were gaining valuable
experience about raves, drugs and young people. When the war over Docklands
was finally won and the club closed, Rickhard Johansson, who was then chief
of Nackas investigation and drug squad, launched the idea of a special
force who could operate against drug use amongst young people across the
entire county.

The newly appointed County Police chief Gunno Gunnmo liked the idea and
made the final decision October 30 1996: "A squad with the goal of
reducing drug use amongst young people in Stockholm county will be formed.
The squad will pay special attention to the availability of drugs in
connection with so - called raves".

Police from all over the county of Stockholm applied voluntarily for posts
with the new squad. Two of them were Beukelmann and Ungsater. The Rave
Squad was split into 3 groups of six policemen each with an average age of
28. Two groups were in the field and one in the station on a rotating basis.

The operation was based in Nacka, despite there being those in the police
who thought it would be more logical to base operations with the county
Criminal Investigation Department who had closer contact with the County
Drugs Squad. The Squad moved to its headquarters in March at the same time
as it changed its chief. Rickard Johansson, who originally was in charge,
started his new job as police chief in Varmdo on the first of February.

His temporary replacement, Jan Magnusson, is actually with the county Drugs
Squad where he is in charge of "Secret Operations", that is telephone
tapping and similar measures. Who will eventually be permanent chief of the
Rave Squad is still unclear. It is also not clear how the Squads work will
change as a result of the move. In the City of Stockholm there is tougher
competition for resources than there is in the suburbs.

"If they formed a street violence squad things would be different out on
the streets, but as it is there is little money and no new policemen. It is
also a result of what society judges to be acute", comments Peter Agren,
criminal inspector with the Youth Squads street violence group in the City.

That group consists of 4 persons. The Rave Squad is six times larger - and
10 times larger than its predecessor at the beginning of the 1990's. There
is one other big difference between the rave police today and the rave
police of six or seven years ago. Today there is a new weapon that did not
exist then. And that isn't the new telescope club the Rave Squad got
permission from the National Police Authority to test, but something much
more effective.

This is the situation: At the beginning of the 1990's personal consumption
of narcotics was illegal as a result of a tightening of the drug laws in
1988. Consumption was, however, classed as a minor drugs offence and did
not carry a prison sentence, only a fine. This changed on July 1 1993.
Since then anyone who consumes narcotics can be sentenced to a minimum of a
fine and a maximum of six months in prison.

For the police this has meant a dramatic change, as they have the power to
search anyone suspected of a crime that carries a prison sentence. This is
the key to the operations of the Rave Squad, they can take a closer look at
people they suspect are under the influence of drugs.

The first step in a search is performed with a flashlight. They shine it in
the eyes of a suspect. The light shows how the pupils react. If they react
incorrectly, that is, not at all, too slowly or are already contracted, the
search continues at the nearest police station. The suspect must give a
urine sample and/or take a blood test and sometimes strip if it is
suspected they have taped forbidden substances to their bodies.

The Rave squad keeps accurate statistics of all it does. Facts about
arrests and number of occasions where people have been forced to give blood
or urine tests are willingly released, not least to the media.

There is , however, no clear statistics of how many people have been taken
to police stations, forced to give blood tests and then cleared some weeks
later when it was found that their blood did not contain any illegal

A person in this category is known internally as a "miss" and the
approximate figure that is given is that around 15% of tests are "misses".
That means about 100 persons to date.

One of the innocent arrestees is Ingemar Johansson, aged 22. Around 3am. on
December 14 he came out from the Oum bar. He had been there 3 hours along
with 4 friends and they had been dancing continually. When they came out
and walked round the corner to their car, they were approached by 3
persons. They flashed their badges. Two of them were from the rave
commission and the third was a policeman from Norrkoping, says Ingemar

He and the other 4 were lined up against a wall and a policeman approached
him. The policeman spoke with a soft voice, psychological and agreeably,
according to Ingemar.

"What have you taken this evening?"

"Nothing", said Ingemar, who is the chairman of a club called Clear Senses,
whose purpose is to arrange drug free techno parties. He told this to the
policeman, who searched through his clothes and wallet.

" Yeah, Yeah, they all say that, what have you taken this evening, have you
been sentenced for anything before?". "No" answered Ingemar as a searching
hand found something in his trouser pocket. The policeman beamed and said
"What have you here, then?" as he pulled out Ingemars chewing gum packet
and shone a flashlight in his eyes.

"Your pupils don't react as they should", said the policeman and turned to
his colleagues and the other four lined up against the wall. "Ingemar here
is coming to the station".

Ingemar asked him: "Just a minute, at least tell me why you think I have
taken drugs?"

The policeman said: "You have a cotton mouth and you have chewing gum in
your pocket". "But you get a dry mouth from dancing" said Ingemar. "You
have a cotton mouth" repeated the policeman, who meant that people who take
amphetamine get dry mouths.

Ingemar Johansson was driven to the police station at Torkel
Knutssonsgatan. On the way the policeman repeated his question: "What have
you taken? Its best you admit it now." The interrogation continued at the
station before Ingemar had to give a urine test before being released. "You
are judged in advance, you go in guilty and come out guilty. It is damned
unpleasant. It's like they do more than they need to, they are out to
harass" said Ingemar Johansson a few weeks later when he received a letter
from the Rave squad:

"On december 14 you were apprehended on suspicion of having consumed
narcotics and your urine was tested. The analysis results from the Criminal
Medicine Authority show no traces of narcotics in your urine and therefore
no action will be taken".

A couple of weeks later he was apprehended again. Ingemar Johansson was at
a rave at Mindescape. A few minutes after entering he made contact with a
woman of around 30 years old. He thought at first she was a social worker,
but she turned out to be a ravecop.

She took him aside and questioned him, but let him go after a while.

Ingemar Johanssons story is not unique. There are many people who tell of
being harassed and humiliated by the Rave squad. In an Ombudsman report
dated March 10 1997 of a complaint by a person who was apprehended and
searched 4 times in 3 weeks, the mass searches by the Rave squad were

Many experience these searches as an exercise in power carried out
arbitrarily by the police. Stefan Bergman, a prosecutor, explains that it
is up to every policeman to decide if there are sufficient grounds for a
search. It is not just a simple matter of how a person behaves.

Meeting someone in an environment where it is expected to find drug abusers
increases suspicion. In other words: If you go to a place where music is
being played that the Rave Squad classes as techno you are more or less
fair game and are treated roughly. "Junkie", "Damned Junkie", "Junkie
filth", "Druggie", "Damned Druggie" "Druggie rat", "Junkie Whore", "Pippi
Junkie" are all terms used by the Rave Squad when talking to suspects. The
last example "Pippi Junkie" seems strange, but it is what a young red
haired woman with pigtails and a parting in the middle says she was called.

At the beginning of January Bjorn Jansson, a DJ and rave arranger, posted a
message on an Internet mailing list: "We MUST start to meet hard with hard.
Report the police when they do things they are not allowed to (provoke,
police brutality, illegal methods etc.) We must be aware of our rights all
the time. We must be able to stand up for ourselves and make demands on the
police". But he says he has not much hope he will be heard. There are so
many who think that what the police and other authorities say is always
the law, especially when they use an interrogative tone.

The ravers and clubbers own stories build up a picture of a group of police
with a serious attitude problem and a conviction that the ends justify any

" The police methods from 1992-1993 could be understood. But the Rave
squads way of working nobody can bloody well understand" says Jan Quarfordt.

It is obvious that the Rave Squad takes lightly its duty to report all
searches and interrogations, including those in the field when they wield
their flashlights. This was admitted without reservation by David
Beukelmann when he was asked on a rave related mailing list how many were
picked up at the MIndscape rave in December, had their eyes shone into,
were searched and then released. "There are no statistics over how many we
apprehended during the evening" says Beukelmann. "I agree it would be good
if we had statistics for everything, but that is impossible. We would be
doing nothing but filling out forms" The Rave Squad take their
responsibilities lightly. That can be proven, but how do you prove a bad

Word stands against word and the Rave Squads own description of its
relations to people bears no resemblance to that of its critics. They
assert that their work consists mostly of talking to and having good
contacts with the young people they meet. "It happens sometimes that we
hear from youngsters we have picked up and they tell us "That was the best
thing that could have happened", says Rickard Johansson. Stefan Bergman
advises us not to listen to critics: "There are millions to be earned
getting youngsters to go to these places" he says, meaning techno clubs and
raves, "In those circles there is a clear interest in discrediting us. You
must be careful about who you get your information from."

But the Rave Squads detectives reveal themselves in their own shift
reports, informally kept reports written after every nights work.

Young women are called "rave rats" and a rave arranger has the word
"junkie" inserted in front of his real name. Young people are referred to
as "nigger kids" playing hide and seek.

The rave squad was formed to reduce drug abuse amongst young people.
According to the yearly report from the Ministry of Health and the Central
Office for Alcohol and Narcotics Information there has been a dramatic
increase in drug use amongst young people during the 90's. The same report
shows that young people in Stockholm use the most drugs.

The question is obvious: can the Rave Squad do something about this?. Those
who answer no put themselves in a direct collision course with the signals
society has been sending the last few years through the criminalisation of
drug use, increased punishment for minor narcotics offences and not least,
the formation of the Rave Squad. Narcotics are to be fought with an iron
fist. There are politicians who want to escalate even further. The previous
Minister of Justice, Gun Hellsvik, has presented a motion to give police
powers to drug test children below the age of legal responsibility (15
years and younger) if it is suspected they have taken narcotics.

Those who are against hard measures are not only against the Rave Squad and
Gun Hellsvik, but are questioning the very foundations of Swedish narcotics

This is not an easy position to take even though it is shared by a number
of researchers in Swedish Universities and High Schools. One of them is
Mats Hilte, researcher with the Social High School at Lund University. He
points out that the increase in drug use amongst young people coincides
with the tightening of the law and the increase in police offensives.

This doesn't mean that young people are influenced by hard measures. In an
article in the newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet 3.9.97 he wrote: "The
criminalisation of drug use is a simple but expensive solution to a problem
that is complex and composite. The politicians and their laws have replaced
social workers with policemen at the same time that councils have been
drastically cutting drug rehabilitation programmes."

The article gave rise to a long debate in which Mats Hilte was accused of
being a 'legalisation agitating drug romantisiser'. This is not an unusual
fate for those who do research in drug abuse. "It is a problem amongst drug
researchers that while it is accepted that problems are complex in other
areas, in this one the answers have to be simple. It does not help to run
around with truncheons when the problem lies in the social structure." says
Borje Olsson, drug abuse researcher with the Criminological Institute of
Stockholm University.

Monalisa Lundgren, field assistant with the Social Services Youth Group has
had a similar experience. " It is unpleasant when you try to have a nuanced
view of things instead of just jumping up and down shouting 'drugs must be
crushed whatever the cost' and then are accused of being a drug liberal."

Ted Goldberg, lecturer at the Social High School in Stockholm says that
because of his work he has been excluded from the media and silenced. In
his book 'Narcotics demystified, a social perspective' (Carlssons, 1993)
which is used as course literature at the High School he criticises the
heavy handed Swedish narcotics policy. He asserts that there is a risk that
the war on drugs is also a war against the fundamental values of a
democratic society. For the drug warriors the ends justify the means.

Ted Goldberg also raises criticism against society's noisy condemnation of
drugs. He says he has evidence it creates side effects - 'control damage'.
He says that persons with a negative self image are attracted rather than
repelled when drugs are demonised. Another negative effect is that hard
drug abusers are further marginalised and sink deeper into drug abuse.

There exists a kind of moral panic. The expression was coined at the
beginning of the 1970's by the British sociologist Stanley Cohen who
studied the reaction of British society to the fights between Mods and
Rockers in the middle of the sixties. His definition of a moral panic is
that something, a situation, a phenomenon, a person or group of people are
pointed out as a threat to the values of established society. Mass media,
which is the main instigator of every moral panic, presents the threat in a
simplified and exaggerated way and offers a channel for the moral guardians
of established society to recommend appropriate measures. The racy
journalism and the doomsday prophesies of the experts lead not only to the
moral panic being magnified, it also makes the object of the moral panic, a
youth sub culture for example , take on the properties it is already said
to have. The 'Truths' of the morally panic stricken become self fulfilling

We can be sure that the rave culture has caused a moral panic during the
1990's. But how much guilt must be borne by the frightened established
society for the drugs in that culture? We must ask the question again - has
the Rave Squad achieved the results intended?

"Yes!" says Rickard Johansson. "The critics have not understood the purpose
of our work, which is engagement and early detection. This we believe is
highly important. It is much easier for a parent to understand the
situation when they see in black and white that their son or daughter has
cannabis in their blood. The critics do not understand our goals. The
police have their role, then other authorities must take over. The police
have a repressive role and we have seen that the way we work has a very
good effect".

But the truth of the matter is that no one knows what the effect of the
Rave Squads work is. The police say they have a good effect. People in the
rave and techno scene say the effect is that illegal raves have become more
common. It is said that those who use drugs avoid going out as there is a
risk of being arrested. This is noticeable in the Rave Squads shift reports
which show that a lot of effort is put into spying on private houses and
hanging around in stairways listening for suspicious sounds coming from

During January 1998, the Rave Squads detectives spent more time working in
bars and watching private houses than they spent at raves. Stefan Bergman
still thinks that the name, a left over from the early raids on the
Dockland raves, is appropriate and reflects the work of the Squad. It is
ravers that are the targets of the squads attention: where there is techno
being played, there are junkies to be hunted down.

"The Rave Squad works exactly like the Vikings who headed their raids to
wherever they expected to find something. My opinion is that drugs go hand
in hand with the rave culture. The arrangers have drug liberal attitudes
and certain groups deliver a drug liberal message. They sing about
'ecstacy, 'fantasy, about taking a trip'. That is nonsense for most people,
but the initiated understand the message at once", says the prosecutor.

The Rave Squad also do their best to reduce the number of places where
raves can be held. A restaurant owner who arranged techno evenings once a
week has said he has now stopped because of "pressure from the Rave Squad".
They said it was not good for my restaurant to play techno, it drew the
wrong public. He won't, however, criticise the methods of the police
openly. "If I say anything about the Rave Squad in an article, they will
make a lot of trouble for me. If the authorities withdraw my alcohol
licence I will have to close down. What could I sell then? orange juice and
soft drinks?"

Raves and anything the police think resembles them are to be opposed. But
are problems solved by driving them underground? "I think they are", says
Stefan Bergman. "Using junk in a public place give an appearance that
society accepts it. Between the two evils, it is better if there is less

What do the users and sellers of illegal drugs think? Robert, who has been
in prison for drugs offences, is sceptical. "Nobody stops taking drugs
because of the Rave Squad. People learn to handle them, they keep on, but
are more careful. I don't carry drugs when I go to a club, I do things more

Robert recognises, like many others who move in the Rave Squads hunting
grounds, who the individual police are and avoids them the best he can.
"The thing to do is not talk to them. And if they pull you in for a blood
test and find traces of drugs, just say you have no idea where they come
from. The ones the Rave Squad catch are green kids who don't know the score
and are so stupid they confess".

David agrees. The first time he came in contact with the police was at
Docklands. He was, he says, as high as a kite from a combination of
amphetamine and magic mushrooms when someone grabbed him, forced him into
the toilet and asked what he had taken. " I said something about mushrooms
and they said that was it for me. they took me to the station for
interrogation and I had to give a urine sample".

Davids urine showed traces of amphetamine, but he appealed against the fine
the police imposed and his case went to court. David denied he had
deliberately drugged himself and was acquitted. Stefan Bergman admits that
there are problems with evidence, but he emphasises that in his experience,
many are convicted.

"The majority admit that they have taken drugs. Evidence that relies on
blood and urine tests is doubtful, but I remember reading of one case where
someone was convicted despite denial. They had traces of two or three
different drugs with different means of ingestion. The court thought it
unlikely that the accused could have got these drugs inside himself by

We ask the question one last time: is the Rave Squad effective or not? The
truth is, no one knows. The Crime Prevention Council are in the process of
evaluating the work of the Rave Squad during the first half of 1997 for the
National Police Authority. The council will assemble a profile of 200 young
people under 20 years old who were apprehended during this period. They
will follow up what happened after the Rave Squad arrested them and how the
social authorities came into the picture. It might then be possible to get
a clear picture of the Rave Squads work.

(c) Nojesguiden

In Their Own Words (Another Article About Sweden's Rave Squads,
Translated From 'Nojesguiden,' Makes One Wonder If Drug Warriors
Are The Same Racist, Insensitive Louts The World Over)

Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 23:14:13 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Sweden: In Their Own Words
Newshawk: John Yates 
Pubdate: 8 Mar 1998
Source: Nojesguiden
Contact: red@nojesguiden.se
Website: http://www.nojesguiden.se
Author: Thord Eriksson
Translation: John Yates
Note: We are pleased to note that John Yates is collaborating with us to
broaden the understanding of drug policies and its related news from Sweden
whose media do not report in English and thus their stories only reaches an
international audience through translations.
Olafur Brentmar, MAPInc./DrugSense Editor


When the Rave Squad write up their operations they speak of "rave rats" and
"nigger kids".

This is something their boss does not want the public to see.

After every shift the Rave Squads groups write their reports, intended for
internal use.

But the material is public property and Nojesguiden asked for the reports
of one month to get a clearer picture of the Squads work.

As expected, parts of the text had been deleted. The police have the right
to do this with material that can effect an ongoing investigation, though
even this material becomes public after prosecutions have been made.

The documents we received were full of deletions, ' X ' in the text
indicates passages that were stricken over with a black felt tipped pen.

" We visited two xxxxxxxx kids playing hide and seek" Our curiosity got the
better of us when we saw that the deletion was still readable. The words
stood out through the black ink and there it said clearly that the Rave
Squad reported they had seen "two nigger kids playing hide and seek".

Another example:

"The patrol started by visiting xxxxx who was at home having it cuddly with
his girlfriend. When we left we met a rave rat (deleted) with red hair who
went into the flat. As rave rats with red hair are interesting, we hung
around. After a while another rave rat (deleted) with light hair arrived.
She rang the doorbell and knocked, but was not let in. We felt party vibes
and stayed watching the address, but after an hour we found the group was
having a quiet evening watching the film Piano."

It was Jan Magnusson, the Rave Squads new chief who had made the deletions
before giving us the reports. The deletions had been done in haste, a lot
of names and addresses that should have been withheld had been left
visible, but the controversial expressions mentioned above had been deleted
with black ink.

What is meant by 'ongoing investigation'?

"It means the case has not yet resulted in prosecution." And when you
delete material it is to protect secrecy in these cases?

"Yes, and also information given by informants etc. There is all kinds of
information in the reports that I can delete. The reason for deleting is to
protect third parties."

But the deleted parts can still be read. What is your comment about young
women connected with the rave scene being called "rave rats".

"That I have no idea about, but I found the expression inappropriate, that
is why I struck it out."

In another deleted part a rave arranger is called "Druggie xxxx" (her first

"Yes, that is what she is called in her own circles, so it isn't an unusual
term, its her nickname, so to speak."

I can also read about coloured children being referred to as "nigger kids".

"Yes, that is also an expression I found inappropriate." Which ongoing
investigation were you protecting in this case?

"I found it a completely inappropriate expression, but I can't answer for
it because I hadn't seen it before I read the report. I find it a
deplorable expression."

Will you take this up with the police in the Rave Squad?

"Certainly I will do that, that is what is always done when inappropriate
language is used, it appears in other reports also. I don't mean just the
Rave Squad, but the police in general. It is not always understood that
these are public documents. They are normally used internally, to see what
the previous patrol has done. And perhaps they can use careless language."

Is this kind of language used normally by the police?

"Which words were you thinking of?"

For example calling coloured children "nigger kids."

"I can't say why they said 'nigger kids' in this case, but otherwise it is
not unusual for police to use rough language without meaning to be
insulting. I don't consider it insulting anyway. I'm sure other professions
have expressions for people who are not of Nordic or Swedish origin"

Jan Magnusson cleaned up the Rave Squads language. But he was not their
chief when the reports were written. It was Rickard Johansson, who is now
police chief in the town of Varmdo. We telephoned him and asked what "rave
rat" means.

Is that sort of language usual in the Rave Squad?

"No, it is not. Is that the shift report you are looking at?, no it is
definitely not, it isn't, no, all I can say is that it must be as well, I
don't know what. But anyway it is not usual to use such names in the Rave
Squad, I don't think I've heard them even once".

It is easy to get the impression that this attitude is widespread in the
Rave Squad.

"No, we have nothing against the rave culture. What we are against are the

As you were responsible for the Squad when this was written, you must have
seen it.

"I read the shift reports, but I have never heard the words actually
spoken. I don't remember reading the words, but I probably must have done
as I have read the reports."

We read the reports containing the words 'rave rats' for him.

"I can say this, I do not recognise this. I have certainly read it, that I
must have done, but I have not, we do not use this kind of language."

So this is a once only occurrence.

"Yes, absolutely".

I reacted to an arranger being called "Druggie xxxx", that sounds
insulting, just like rave rat. Shouldn't she have been called something

"This sort of language should not be used, but it must have been an
exception, because we do not speak like this in the Squad. I have never
heard these words used at all. But I must emphasise that what is written is
for internal use only, to look back and see what has happened on previous
dates. But even so, this kind of language should not be used."

If it is used in internal reports, it may give the impression that this is
the Rave Squads attitude and way of speaking.

"It is an exception and it is wrong."

I have another example here, it says: "two nigger kids played hide and seek."

"Where did it say that?"

In a shift report.

"I do not recognise that, as I have told you, that is definitely not our
normal language, it is not used in our meetings."

Here are some names people have said they have been called by the Rave
Squad: "Junkie", "damned junkie", "Junkie shit", "druggie", "damned
druggie", "druggie rat", "druggie whore", "junkie whore", "pippi junkie".

"Well, I think that, why hasn't this been reported? If this is true,
because it is only rumour as far as I understand. But this kind of language
shouldn't be used in the field either, it shouldn't be used anywhere. I
don't believe this kind of language has been used, it isn't allowed. That's
the way it is."

So you encourage anyone who has been offended by the Rave Squad to report it?

"This kind of thing should be exposed, definitely. This kind of thing
should not be allowed. It sounds improbable to me."

(c) Nojesguiden



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