------------------------------------------------------------------- Sixty Protesters Speak Out Against Marijuana 'Thug' Force - Mayor Katz, 'Oregonian' TV News Ignore Event (Bulletin From Portland's American Antiprohibition Action League Says Protests To Continue Every Friday From 4 PM To 6 PM In The Park Between The Multnomah County Courthouse And The Justice Center At 1120 SW Third Avenue) Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 04:24:54 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: 60 Protest Marijuana "Thug" Force/Knock & Talk The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email: AAL@InetArena.com As of: Monday, March 9, 1998 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 60 PROTESTERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST MARIJUANA "THUG" FORCE MAYOR KATZ, OREGONIAN, TV NEWS IGNORE EVENT Portland, Oregon -- We are pleased to report about 60 individuals and members of various groups with such diverse agendas as: family & child welfare, adult marijuana/drug prohibition, police accountability, social justice, Education & Prevention, legal defense, medical marijuana & pain control all came together in unity to denounce the excesses of the Portland Police Bureau's Marijuana Task Force. A dozen or so speakers stepped forward. A few gave very disturbing testimony about their first hand experiences with the MTF and the counterproductive prosecutorial priorities of District Attorney Michael Schrunk who makes it all possible. Nay, even encourages it and makes the MTF an even bigger insult to not only the citizens, but law enforcement itself. Most compelling was the account of one Mrs. "X" who with her 2 small children, were held hostage in their kitchen for over 6 hours and subjected to verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the Marijuana "Thug" Force, as she called them. "The kids still get scared at the sight of any uniformed police officer," the young mom told the crowd with much visible emotion. Several mothers, children in tow, were seen carrying signs such as: "Another Family for Drug Peace!," "MTF is Anti- Family," "Mothers Against Prohibition," "MTF Made My Family Homeless," etc. A couple of speakers began their presentations with moments of silence out of respect for 2 recent "war" casualties. Portland Police Officer Colleen Waible, and Steven Dons who died while in police custody about a month after he allegedly shot Waible in a blotched MTF raid on his house Jan. 27. Much controversy sounds the whole, sordid affair. Unfortunately the Mayor's office failed to respond in any way and alas, so did TV news and the Oregonian newspaper. Can it be 60 protesters chanting "We want Drug Peace!", right across the street from the police department, are not really important or "newsworthy?" But the MTF is still out there 'knocking & talking,' and putting themselves and all the rest of us at risk for no compelling reason. So we're going to repeat next Friday, same place and time, in peace and with respect, of course. And those in attendance at this week's gathering pledged to come back and bring at least one additional supporter next week. We're looking for at least 100 people, hope you'll be one of them. *** PROTEST & SPEAK OUT AGAINST MARIJUANA TASK FORCE AND 'KNOCK & TALK' EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 4:00P.M. - 6:00P.M. PARK BLOCK ACROSS FROM "JUSTICE" CENTER (1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Get Gun Facts Right - Deplorable Situation Made Worse By Errors Describing Problem And Proposed Solution (Letter To Editor Of 'The Oregonian' Criticizes Paper's Coverage Of Warrantless Break-In By Portland Marijuana Task Force That Left One Cop Dead, Two Wounded, Before Suspect Died In Police Custody) Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 05:26:40 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon State Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com), CC: Gun Owners of America (firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: CanPat - GUNS & DRUGS-PROHIBITION ALL THE SAME GAME! Sender: email@example.com THE OREGONIAN READER FORUM 3-9-98 READERS OPINION In My Opinion by Ralph S. Thomas GET GUN FACTS RIGHT DEPLORABLE SITUATION MADE WORSE BY ERRORS DESCRIBING PROBLEM AND PROPOSED SOLUTION. First, let me say I am as sorry about the death of Portland Police Officer Colleen Waible as anyone. But I think we need to pause and reflect upon some of the things that have been said and written in the media as a result of this incident. There are serious concerns about the police procedures that were used. Just because the police think they smelled marijuana should not be grounds for forced entry, guns drawn. Entering the house without a search warrant, and lack of probable cause could also jeopardize legal proceedings. We need to safeguard our civil liberties. The weapon used by Steven Dons was a 7.62mm rifle with a 7-round magazine --- a hunting rifle by any reasonable definition, equivalent to some of the less powerful rifles used for deer hunting. It was not an automatic assault weapon with a removable 30 round clip. The Oregonian used the killing of a police officer as an opportunity to further its political anti-gun campaign by running a full page series of articles against " assault rifles." From my perspective, by misrepresenting the type of weapon that was used, The Oregonian has put aside traditional journalistic ethics, substituted political goals and in the process has sacrificed accuracy of reporting, objectivity and truth. We need to rethink using police to enforce laws against the small-time drug user and especially using the SWAT team approach. It is not a very good use of police resources and doesn't benefit society. The Portland Police have now asked for, and The Oregonian and Mayor Katz have endorsed, equipping patrol cars with fully automatic assault weapons, AR-15's specifically, to counteract what they say is an arms race between criminals and the police. Using Dons' hunting rifle as evidence is not compelling, and in fact, clouds the issue. In its Feb. 17 editorial, The Oregonian called AR-15's safer than shotguns. This is not true. A rifle bullet is a high energy projectile that can travel for miles and penetrate homes. This is not the kind of weapon that should be used routinely by police. Assault weapons should only be possessed by special SERT teams in response to a worst case event. The "cure" is worse than the disease. In my view, there is criminal violence because certain factions of our society have insisted in keeping criminals on the street instead of in jail. These are the policy-makers and media types who have argued against increasing jail space and against incarcerating career criminals. By doing so, they have become part of the problem. As part of its political push, The Oregonian is now calling for more gun laws. Where this is leading ultimately is the prohibition of all guns, and in the process making criminals out of many good citizens simply because they own a gun. If passed, further gun legislation will fail because it targets the wrong group --- the lawabiding citizen. More laws will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals like Dons, who was a convicted felon already illegally in possession of firearms. Right now, the No. 1 industry in the United States of America is drugs. The war on drugs hasn't worked. Laws prohibiting guns would simply create a secondary market using the drug structure and expand the futile war on drugs into a futile and oppressive war on drugs and guns. Ralph Thomas lives in Northwest Portland *** --transcribed as a service of Paul Freedom-- HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO CANNABIS PATRIOTS Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe cannabis-patriots-l in the body of the message. Or e-mail me if you have trouble or someone you want me to subscribe! Paul "Freedom" Stone email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- They Say If You Used Drugs As A Teen, Lie ('Press-Enterprise' In Riverside, California, Describes Parenting Lessons Taught By Three Cops In Murrieta, California, Sponsored By The Murrieta Valley Unified School District) Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 14:42:34 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US CA: They Say: If You Used Drugs As A Teen, Lie. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Alan Mason Source: The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author: Joe Vargo Pubdate: Sun, 9 Mar 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.press-enterprise.com/news/ THEY SAY: IF YOU USED DRUGS AS A TEEN, LIE. Sometimes, to be a good parent, you have to be tough and unrelenting. Even a little coldblooded. Sort of like a cop. In Murrieta, cops are teaching parents of defiant teens and pre-teens how to do a better job raising their children. "An awful lot of parents struggle to maintain discipline," said Sgt. Scott Attebery, one of three Murrieta officers who teach parenting classes sponsored by the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. "I don't think you 'can ever let down your guard. Kids will challenge you, but as a parent you've got to he strong. We want to let parents know that they are not alone." Parenting classes are common throughout the Inland Empire. But Kate van Horn, who manages the school district's parent center, said just a handful of districts Indio, Pomona and Santa Monica among them use police officers in addition to educators to drive home the point that parents must take charge of their children's lives. "Most of what we teach parents is stuff they already know," van Horn said. 'But we're telling them it's OK to do it. The police officers have been very dynamic. They bring their own expertise to the classroom. And they're the ones who are picking up the kids." Attebery joins officers Chuck Swearingen and Steve Jarvis in telling parents that all's fair in keeping their kids on the straight narrow. If that means rifling through a rebellious teen-ager's room to check for dope or confiscating prized possessions like the tele phone or video games, so be it. The same goes for showing up unannounced at school, just to make sure the kid isn't ditching classes. Or dropping by a party to check the guest list. Or getting the name, addresses and phone numbers - pagers included of all the child's friends and keeping them in a date book. And it also means is OK to deny to your children that you experimented with drugs as a teen-ager. "If your child asked if you used drugs when you were in high school, say no"' said Attebery, a father of three sons and a member of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District board of trustees. "Do not admit that you smoked marijuana as a kid. If you do, you will get that thrown back at you at 90 miles an hour." Temecula child and family counselor Mitchell Rosen said he agrees with many aspects of the toughatallcosts approach. Running a house doesn't require democracy, Rosen said, and "emergency measures require drastic action," up to and including testing for drug use. But Rosen said that if parents search their children's rooms, the youngsters should come along to maintain some sense of dignity. And he disagrees with the advice that parents should deny that they used drugs. Lying to kids, no matter how noble the cause, is never a good idea, he said. If parents have experimented with drugs when they were young, they should admit it, Rosen said, and say how stupid they feel about such behavior now. Tell the kids no good came from even minor experimentation with dope. "Tell them that anybody who escaped completely unscathed is in the minority," Rosen said. "Parents who used drugs and were B students should tell their children they could have been A students without using." Experimenting with drugs is just one of the issues parents enrolled in a recent class deal with daily. They have collided with. their strongwilled kids over ditching school, shoplifting, getting drunk, running away or mouthing off to school authorities or the law. About half the parents attend because they were told to do so by courts, state welfare officials and Murrieta's Youth Accountability Board, which works to keep first time offenders out of the juvenile justice system. The others just want to know how to be better at raising their kids. What they learn includes videos and class discussions about the sorts of lures that wait to snare vulnerable kids some as young as 9 or 10. The parents handled marijuana, LSD, heroin and methamphetamine, courtesy of Attebery and the police department's evidence locker. They listened to rock 'n' roll purported to extol suicide and violence, and comments from musicians who said how much they loved to get high. They learned about gangs and cults and hate groups that recruit in high school, and studied the symbols that might indicate such' involvement. Tammy Merriam came to class after her 16-yearold son was constantly truant. Getting him to go the science lab is a battle, she because her son has a learning disability and high school kids aren't shy about picking on him. "He's got lots of little stories he tells, and I'm going to start checking them out. It's hard, but I almost feel rejuvenated after coming here," said Merriam, 39. Some strongwilled youngsters react to. tough love by running away. If that happens, parents are told to never cave in to the demands of their kids, because that will only lead to more. Kevin Doran, 42, said his 16yearold son ran away with a buddy for a week to Texas. When the son returned, Doran said, he told him that he would not relax the house rules. Laundry, vacuuming and mowing the lawn would still be completed. The posters of Marilyn Manson and Jenny McCarthy would not go back on the bedroom wall. "I told him he could take off any time he wanted but that the rules were the rules," Doran said. "He's better. But he still doesn't go to school unless I drive him." ..................... SIDEBAR: A parent guide Strong-willed adolescents and teen-agers often end up in trouble because they don't listen to parents and other adults. When confronting rebellious and out-of-control youngsters, experts recommend the following tips: * Never confront a child hen parents are angry or emotionally distraught. Children tend to react emotionally to situations while adults should use reason and experience and logic. * Never be goaded into arguing with an out-of-control adolescent. * When confronting a troubled youth, pick a "neutral location" at the house, like the living room or kitchen where both sides feel comfortable and where a frank and reasoned discussion is most likely to take place. * Set rules and stick to them. Experts recommend short-term punishments for violating rules - usually three to five days. Don't forget, if you ground a kid for a month, you're grounded for a month. * Explain the reasons for the rules and make it plain that violations will have negative consequences. * Be prepared for the worst. If your child admits to involvement in drug, gang or sexual activity, remain calm. * If you find proof of drug use (like drugs or paraphernalia), don't hesitate to report it to police or other professionals used to working with youngsters. * Tell your children you love them. SOURCES: The Murrieta Valley Unified School District, Murrieta Police Department Copyright 1998 The Press-Enterprise Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Employees Angry Over Proposed Ban On Smoking At Hospital ('Associated Press' Article In Everett, Washington, 'Herald' Says Employees Of The Naval Hospital In Bremerton Are Upset Officials Are Planning To Close The Only Designated Smoking Area July 4 As Part Of A Larger Plan To Ban Smoking Everywhere On The 49-Acre Property) Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 23:58:15 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WA: Employees Angry Over Proposed Ban On Smoking At Hospital Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com Author: Associated Press Note: Comments can be sent to email@example.com. EMPLOYEES ANGRY OVER PROPOSED BAN ON SMOKING AT HOSPITAL BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) -- A proposed smoking ban at Naval Hospital Bremerton has many employees puffing mad. Hospital officials are planning to close the only designated smoking area July 4 as a part of a larger plan to ban smoking everywhere on the 49-acre property. "It's taking away our civil rights. It's the military telling us what we can and can't do," said Maureen Melton, a federal employee of the hospital. "Why can't we smoke? It's our right as an American. Otherwise, we can all move to Russia and become a dictatorship," said another employee, Cathy Madison. But the hospital's commanding officer, Capt. Gregg S. Parker, vigorously defends the plan as a long-overdue move toward a tobacco-free workplace. "If we're going to be leaders in the health field, we should act that way," said Parker, who once ran a tobacco cessation program in Virginia. "It's time for us to lead." Clouds of smoke from the designated area also blow through the hospital's second- and third-floor wards when the wind is right because the shelter is so close to the building, said hospital spokeswoman Judith Robertson. "There are 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, and 43 of them are carcinogenic. When you light that baby up, you're getting it and everybody around you is getting it, too," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James McNeil, the tobacco cessation coordinator. The smoking ban is only part of an overall policy that includes free smoking cessation classes during the work day, nicotine patches and other therapies. So far, 15 of the hospital's 150 smoking employees have signed up for the tobacco cessation program since the new policy was announced last week. The majority, however, remain unmoved. "Why are they singling out this one unhealthy behavior?" asked Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jeff Williams. "Why not go all the way and tell the hospital galley they can't serve red meat?" Other smokers say getting through an eight-hour day without a cigarette would be too hard to manage. "A lot of us have high-stress jobs to begin with," said Sandra Silbert. "If you succeed in banning smoking, then what's next?" said Carl Owen, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 48. "Do you ban obesity? Do you ban coffee?" "I call it D.G.S. -- do-gooders syndrome," said Owen, whose organization represents civil service workers at the hospital.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DWI Law Is Only Eyewash (Letter To Editor Of 'Houston Chronicle' Agrees With Staff Editorial Opposing Bill Clinton's Extortion Plan To Get States To Pass Lower DWI Blood-Alcohol Limit Laws Under The Threat Of Withholding Highway Tax Funds) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: DWI Law Is Only Eyewash Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Art Smart Pubdate: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 Page: 17A Source: Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ DWI LAW IS ONLY EYEWASH I applaud the Chronicle's March 4 editorial stand against Bill Clinton's extortion plan to get the states to pass lower DWI blood-alcohol limit laws under the threat of withholding highway tax funds. The proposed change is eyewash, at best, designed to appear that something significant and meaningful will result, but it won't. The current law is adequate. Lowering the level, as proposed, won't stop an irresponsible drunk driver whose blood- alcohol level is probably well in excess of legal limits to begin with, but it undoubtedly will get many responsible drinkers arrested. Frank Hazel, Houston
------------------------------------------------------------------- Let's Look Again At The Cost Of Jailing Drug Offenders (Letter From New York State Senator Alton Waldron, Jr., To 'Times Union' Notes New York's Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Drug Offenders Were Meant To Address Two Problems, But Have Not Achieved The Anticipated Results - Suggests Coerced Treatment Without Incarceration Would Be Cheaper) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:06:27 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US NY: PUB LTE: Let's Look Again At The Cost Of Jailing Drug Offenders Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Michael R. Roona" Source: Times Union Author: Sen. Alton Waldron Jr. Note: The writer is ranking minority member of the New York state Senate Codes Committee Pubdate: Monday March 9, 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.timesunion.com/ LET'S LOOK AGAIN AT THE COST OF JAILING DRUG OFFENDERS I am writing in response to a recent letter by my good friend and distinguished counterpart on the Senate Codes Committee, Sen. Dale M. Volker. On Feb. 5, Senator Volker responded to a Dec. 27 editorial, "Repeal Rocky's drug laws,'' which called for an end to New York's tough mandatory sentencing statutes for drug offenders. My colleague argued that opponents of the drug laws are not looking at the whole picture when they calculate the social cost of illegal drugs. While I have the greatest respect for Senator Volker, I find the data he has used to support his argument irrelevant and his logic inconsistent. The original rationale behind the laws was twofold: tough sentencing would 1) put drug kingpins behind bars and 2) serve as a deterrent to casual users and small dealers. As your original editorial points out, one needs no more than to glance at the composition of the state's rising prison population to see that these two goals have not been served. Senator Volker further asserts that the real "point in question'' about Rocky's drug laws is cost-effectiveness; that it is a better deal for taxpayers to imprison low-level dealers and casual users than it is to rehabilitate them. As evidence, he cites U.S. Department of Justice data that calculates the cost of crime in our society at $450 billion annually. How the senator makes this leap from low-level drug offenses in New York state to aggregate national crime is baffling. The study he cites, "Victim Costs and Consequences: A New Look,'' includes only violent crimes and property crimes. And violent crime, which in the study includes everything from rape and murder to drunken driving, comprises $426 billion of the $450 billion (94.6 percent) that the senator uses in his argument. Since low-level drug offenses are nonviolent, the calculations that the senator uses to conclude that drug offenders cost society $1,800 per capita are seriously flawed, to say the least. In fact, the Justice Department study specifically excludes "most 'victimless' crimes such as drug offenses, gambling, loan sharking and prostitution.'' It costs $30,000 per year to house each inmate in the state prison system; drug-free outpatient care costs from $2,700 to $3,600 per year and residential drug treatment ranges from $17,000 to $20,000. Imprisoning a low-level nonviolent drug offender costs society far more and does nothing to address the problem of drug abuse. SEN. ALTON WALDRON JR. St. Albans Copyright 1998, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.
------------------------------------------------------------------- More Teen Girls Use Marijuana ('Reuters' Says A Report Presented At A Meeting Of The Society For Adolescent Medicine In Atlanta, Georgia, Suggests Pot Use Is Declining Among Urban African-American Teenage Males, But Is Increasing Among Adolescent African-American Girls - Washington Researchers Concluded That Having Multiple Sexual Partners Had The Strongest Association With Recent Marijuana Use) Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 13:33:58 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Anti-Prohibition Lg
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Teen Girls Smoke More Pot (fwd) Monday March 9 6:37 PM EST More Teen Girls Use Marijuana NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Marijuana use is declining among urban teenage boys, but is actually on the rise among adolescent girls, according to a report presented at a meeting of the Society For Adolescent Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. That finding was from a survey of 4,925 urban African-American adolescents, ages 12 to 21, who completed an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire on health risk behaviors, according to Cynthia Brasseux and colleagues at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. The investigators also collected and tested urine samples from a sub-sample of the same group of adolescents. About 19% of girls and 22% of boys said they used marijuana in 1994-1995, while the researchers were able to confirm a use rate of 10.6% for females and 14.5% for males. Current data from the study, now entering its fourth year, shows the confirmed use in girls rose to 15.5%, while the confirmed rate in boys dropped to 13.4%. The self-reported use rate for girls increased to 25%, while the self-reported use rate for boys dropped to 14%. In the past five years, adolescent use of marijuana has increased while cocaine use has decreased, making marijuana the drug of choice for American adolescents, according to Brasseux. This data shows a "dramatic rise" in marijuana use among urban African-American adolescent girls. It highlights the "need to target interventions to females," Brasseux told Reuters. According to another study presented at the meeting, adolescents who recently used marijuana are more likely to be sexually active, and may therefore be increasing their risk of contracting HIV. Dr. Zhihuan Huang of the Children's National Medical Center presented his group's analysis of African-American adolescents attending an urban adolescent health clinic. Marijuana use in this group was determined from blinded urine drug screenings or through self-reported anonymous questionnaires. Of the 3,277 adolescents (33.4% boys and 66.6% girls) studied, approximately 66% were sexually active. Of these, 33% reported recent marijuana use, 52% reported inconsistent condom use, 66% had more than two sexual partners, 6.3% had experience with anal sex, and 3% traded sex for goods. The Washington researchers conclude that having multiple sexual partners has the strongest association with recent marijuana use. This indicates that adolescent prevention programs should recognize marijuana use as an important indicator of HIV risk behaviors, they said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Policing For Profit - The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda (Article In 'The Nation' Magazine By Eric Blumenson, A Professor At Suffolk University Law School, And Eva Nilsen, An Associate Clinical Professor At Boston University School Of Law, Provides A Devastating Assessment Of Congress's 1984 Decision To Rewrite The Civil Forfeiture Law To Funnel 'Drug' Money And 'Drug Related' Assets Into The Police Agencies That Seize Them) Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 03:02:21 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Policing for Profit: The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: March 9, 1998 Source: The Nation Author: Eric Blumens0N & Eva Nilsen Contact: email@example.com Note: Eric Blumenson is a professor at Suffolk University Law School. Eva Nilsen is an associate clinical professor at Boston University School of Law. POLICING FOR PROFIT: THE DRUG WAR'S HIDDEN ECONOMIC AGENDA A number of aggrieved and hapless citizens converged on Washington during the summer of 1996, invited by House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde to recite their misfortunes at the hands of the government's drug police. All had had their property taken by police, then were let go and never prosecuted. All were innocent of wrongdoing. Remarkably, the hearing was not about corrupt cops shaking down helpless individuals but about the law authorizing the police to do what they did--the civil forfeiture law, which transfers ownership to the government of any property that "facilitated" a drug crime. Last fall, the Judiciary Committee completed its work, proposing a series of partial and controversial reforms now pending before Congress. The stories were sad survivors' tales, each recounting a moment of unexpected financial ruin followed by years of mostly fruitless attempts to undo it. A pilot told of how the government destroyed his air charter business: The Drug Enforcement Administration seized his airplane when a drug dealer chartered it; $85,000 in legal fees later, the pilot filed for bankruptcy and became a truck driver. A landscaper testified that while on a purchasing trip, he had been stripped of $9,000 by an airport drug interdiction unit, then sent home without a receipt, on grounds that only drug dealers carry so much cash. Legislators also heard the tale of Mary Miller (a pseudonym), a 75-year-old grandmother dispossessed of her home for the sins of her fugitive, drug-dealing son. When accounts like these appear in the newspapers, they seem to be aberrations --mishaps by some unskilled police officers or the handiwork of a few rogue cops. Few people believe that police routinely await the chance to harass and impoverish elderly women like Mrs. Miller. Yet the twenty police who confronted her were not keystone cops; they included not only local police officers but also agents from the sheriff's office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the F.B.I. and the I.R.S. These officers were probably much less concerned with harassing Mrs. Miller than with her property. By their presence at the seizure, the local agencies and the Justice Department each acquired a claim to a share of the house. Miller was on the wrong side of a police funding raid, and since 1984 many thousands of other Americans have been as well. Nineteen eighty-four was the year that Congress rewrote the civil forfeiture law to funnel drug money and "drug related" assets into the police agencies that seize them. This amendment offered law enforcement a new source of income, limited only by the energy police and prosecutors were willing to put into seizing assets. The number of forfeitures mushroomed: Between 1985 and 1991 the Justice Department collected more than $1.5 billion in illegal assets; in the next five years, it almost doubled this intake. By 1987 the Drug Enforcement Administration was more than earning its keep, with over $500 million worth of seizures exceeding its budget. Local law enforcement benefited from a separate "equitable sharing" provision, which allows local police to federalize a forfeiture. This law gives police a way to circumvent their own state forfeiture laws, which often require police to share forfeited assets with school boards, libraries, drug education programs or the general fund. Instead, local police can conspire with the U.S. Justice Department to evade these requirements through paperwork: If a U.S. Attorney "adopts" the forfeiture, 80 percent of the assets are returned to the local police agency and 20 percent are deposited in the Justice Department's forfeiture fund. As of 1994 the Justice Department had transferred almost $1.4 billion in forfeited assets to state and local law-enforcement agencies. Some small-town police forces have enhanced their annual budgets by a factor of five or more through such drug-enforcement activities. These financial benefits are essentially there for the taking, thanks to expansive laws from Congress and a green light from the Supreme Court. Since the forfeiture law extends to any property that "facilitated" a drug crime, it covers a potentially enormous class. Cars, bars, homes and restaurants have all been forfeited on grounds that they served as sites for drug deals, marijuana cultivation or other drug crimes. Are the bills in your wallet forfeitable? Probably, because an estimated 80 percent of U.S. paper currency has been contaminated by cocaine residue, which has been held sufficient by some courts to warrant forfeiture. Meanwhile, according to the Supreme Court, few constitutional safeguards apply to forfeiture cases, in which the seized property is deemed the defendant (as in United States v. One 1974 Cadillac Eldorado Sedan) and the defendant is presumed guilty. Owners who want to contest seizures must put up a bond, hire a lawyer and rebut the presumption of guilt with proof that the property is untainted by criminal activity. There is no constitutional requirement that the owner knew of any illegal activities, and forfeiture may occur even if the owner is charged and acquitted. In other words, if you are either related to a drug dealer or mistaken for one, you may find yourself legally dispossessed of your property without effective recourse. There is, of course, a clever symmetry in the forfeiture law. It makes for some appealing soundbites, like former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh's boast that "it's now possible for a drug dealer to serve time in a forfeiture-financed prison after being arrested by agents driving a forfeiture-provided automobile while working in a forfeiture-funded sting operation." According to a 1993 report on drug task forces prepared for the Justice Department, we can expect entire police agencies to be funded in this way. Heralding the prospect of "free" drug-law enforcement, the report noted that "one 'big bust' can provide a [drug] task force with the resources to become financially independent. Once financially independent, a task force can choose to operate without Federal or state assistance." But agencies that can finance themselves through asset seizures need not justify their activities through any regular budgetary process. The consequence is an extraordinary degree of police secrecy and freedom from legislative oversight. The prospect of a self-financing law-enforcement branch, largely able to set its own agenda and accountable to no one, might sound promising to Colonel North or General Pinochet, but it should not be mistaken for a legitimate organ in a democracy. It was anathema to the Framers, who warned that "the purse and the sword ought never to get into the same hands, whether legislative or executive," and sought to constitutionalize the principle by establishing a government of separate branches that serve to check and balance one another. Whether forfeiture's financial rewards will prove large enough to spawn a permanent, fully independent sector of unaccountable law-enforcement agencies is not yet clear. What is clear is that these rewards have already corrupted the law-enforcement agenda of agencies that have grown dependent on them. At the Justice Department, a steady stream of memos exhort its attorneys to redirect their efforts toward "forfeiture production" so as to avoid budget shortfalls. One warns that "funding of initiatives important to your components will be in jeopardy if we fail to reach the projected level of forfeiture deposits." Several urge increasing forfeitures "between now and the end of the fiscal year." The department's task force study bluntly suggests that multi-jurisdictional drug task forces select their targets in part according to the funding they can produce. What happens when law-enforcement agencies rewrite their agendas to target assets rather than crime? Contemporary police, prosecution and court records furnish the answer. As expected, they disclose massive numbers of seizures, a large majority of which are unaccompanied by criminal prosecution. They also show a criminal justice system held hostage to the exigencies of law enforcement's self-financing efforts, endangering the public welfare in at least three ways: Distorted Law-Enforcement Policies. The forfeiture reward scheme has heightened police interest in drug-law enforcement, but with badly skewed priorities. Economic temptation now hovers over all drug-enforcement decisions: Methamphetamine distribution may demand more enforcement, for example, but targeting marijuana deals is usually far more profitable because methamphetamine transactions tend to occur on condemned or valueless property. The Justice Department's study suggests precisely this focus in noting that as asset seizures become important "it will be useful for task force members to know the major sources of these assets and whether it is more efficient to target major dealers or numerous smaller ones." One example of skewed priorities is the "reverse sting" that targets drug buyers rather than sellers, a now common tactic that was rarely used before the law allowed police departments to retain seized assets. The reverse sting is an apparently lawful version of police drug dealing in which police pose as dealers and sell drugs to unwitting buyers. Buyers may be less dangerous and less culpable, but operations against them are easier and safer, and reliably result in seizure of the buyer's cash. According to one participant in these operations, in his police force reverse stings "occurred so regularly that the term reverse became synonymous with the word deal." A similar motivation may underlie the otherwise baffling policy adopted by both the New York City and Washington, D.C., police shortly after the forfeiture retention amendments were passed, directing police to seize the cash and cars of people coming into the city to buy drugs. Of course, arresting buyers before the sale means that the drugs that would have been purchased will continue to circulate freely. But as former New York City Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy explained to Congress, forfeiture laws give police "a financial incentive to impose [spot-check] roadblocks on the southbound lanes of I-95 which carry the cash to make drug buys, rather than the northbound lanes, which carry the drugs. After all, seized cash will end up forfeited to the police department, while seized drugs can only be destroyed." Worse, by linking police budgets to drug-law enforcement, forfeiture laws induce police and prosecutors to neglect other, often more pressing crime problems. These officials make business judgments that can only compete with, if not wholly supplant, their broader law-enforcement goals. The Justice Department has periodically made this practice official policy, as in 1989, when all U.S. Attorneys were directed to "divert personnel from other activities" if necessary to meet their commitment to "increase forfeiture production." Unjust Treatment. For law-enforcement agencies dependent on forfeiture income, fairness, too, may be a luxury they can ill afford. This is most obvious at the sentencing of drug offenders, where forfeiture laws provide an avenue for affluent defendants to buy their freedom. Plea bargains are struck that commonly favor kingpins willing to forfeit their assets and penalize "mules" with nothing to trade. In eastern Massachusetts, Boston Globe reporters found that agreements to forfeit $10,000 or more bought elimination or reduction of trafficking charges in almost three-quarters of such cases. The prosecutors involved had a compelling financial reason to recalibrate the scales of justice in this way because 12 percent of their budgets was financed through forfeiture income. At the federal level, Federal Circuit Court Judge Juan Torruella has noted that in his experience, penalties for drug trafficking are imposed on the less culpable, while "the 'big fish' are able to work out deals with the government which may leave them with light sentences or even without any prosecution." It is not a good omen that Attorney General Janet Reno recently requested that all U.S. Attorneys consult forfeiture specialists before settling criminal cases. Police Lawlessness. Finally, growing numbers of law-enforcement agencies have been morally and sometimes criminally deformed by their dependence on drug war financing. In Paducah, Kentucky, the lawless operations of one agency--the Western Area Narcotics Task Force, or WANT--came to light when the discovery of almost $66,000 secreted in its headquarters provoked an official inquiry and major scandal. Among other things, reporters discovered that WANT had promised federal funders that it would produce a 20 percent rise in asset seizures. According to the Paducah police chief's estimate, 60 percent of the money found in WANT headquarters had been improperly seized. Often the seizures had no connection to any drug transaction. One seizure was as small as 93 cents, showing, according to the Paducah Sun, "once again that the officers were taking whatever the suspects were carrying, even though by no stretch could pocket change...be construed to be drug money." Unfortunately, there are numerous other examples of police agencies targeting assets with no regard for the rights, safety or even lives of the suspects. In one federal civil rights judgment against an Oakland, California, drug task force, we read an officer's admission that his unit operated "more or less like a wolfpack," driving up in police vehicles and taking "anything and everything we saw on the street corner." In Louisiana, police illegally stopped and searched massive numbers of drivers, seizing money that was then diverted to police department ski trips and other unauthorized uses. In Los Angeles, a Sheriff's Department employee revealed that deputies routinely planted drugs and falsified police reports to establish probable cause for cash seizures. Recent investigations in Florida, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington State have exposed similar lawlessness by police in search of forfeitable cash. Then there is the appalling case of Donald Scott, a 61-year-old wealthy California recluse. Scott lived on a $5 million, 200-acre ranch in Malibu adjacent to a large recreational area maintained by the National Park Service. Tragically for him, in 1992 the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received a false report that Scott was growing several thousand marijuana plants on his land. It assembled a team--including agents from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Park Service, the D.E.A., the Forest Service, the California National Guard and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement--to investigate the tip, largely through the use of air and ground surveillance missions. Despite several unsuccessful efforts to corroborate the informant's claim, and despite advice that Scott posed little threat of violence, the L.A. Sheriff's Department dispatched a multi-jurisdictional team to conduct a military-style raid. On October 2, 1992, at 8:30 a.m., thirty officers descended upon the Scott ranch with high-powered weapons, flak jackets, dogs, a battering ram and what purported to be a lawful search warrant. After knocking and announcing their presence, they kicked in the door and rushed through the house. There they saw Scott, armed with a gun in response to his wife's screams. With Scott's wife watching in horror, agents fired two bullets into Scott's chest and killed him. They found no marijuana plants, other drugs or paraphernalia anywhere. Following Scott's death, the Ventura County District Attorney's office conducted a five-month investigation of the raid. The seventy-page report found that there was no credible evidence of present or past marijuana cultivation on Donald Scott's property. It found that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department knowingly sought the search on legally insufficient information, and that much of the information supporting the warrant was false while exculpatory evidence was withheld from the judge. The report concluded that the search warrant "became Donald Scott's death warrant," and that Scott was needlessly killed. The targeting of Donald Scott, and the massive multi-jurisdictional police presence, cannot be explained as any kind of crime control strategy. Rather, as the District Attorney's report concluded, one purpose of this operation was to garner the proceeds expected from forfeiture of the $5 million ranch. The investigation found that as they invaded the property, the officers -- with two asset forfeiture specialists in tow -- were armed with a property appraisal of Scott's ranch, a parcel map of the ranch marked with the sale price of a nearby property and instructions to seize the ranch if at least fourteen marijuana plants were found. Scott's case and the others should prompt reform, and indeed major reforms are called for by a broad-based coalition including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute. But thus far the forfeiture industry has enjoyed an astonishing immunity to scrutiny by lawmakers. Even the Hyde forfeiture reform bill, which would institute some significant procedural reforms, would not redirect the stream of assets flowing into the police agencies that seize them. Representative Hyde did not seek to curtail forfeiture's financial rewards, he says, largely because of the continued, vigorous opposition of law-enforcement agencies. But unless Congress wants to abandon any hope of regaining control over the drug war bureaucracy it has created, it had better try to do so sooner rather than later. The solution is not hard to envision: A law mandating that forfeited assets be deposited in the Treasury's general fund, rather than retained by the seizing agency, would cure the forfeiture law of its most corrupting effects. This single measure would restore budgetary oversight to law enforcement and remove the incentive that leads police agencies to distort their agendas for budgetary reasons. A less sweeping reform, but important nonetheless, would repeal the law that permits local police forces to evade their state laws by "federalizing" their forfeitures. Reformers might also challenge forfeiture rewards in the courts. Although the Supreme Court has not placed many meaningful limits on the government's forfeiture powers, the logic of some past decisions unrelated to forfeiture supports a strong argument that self-financing law-enforcement agencies are constitutionally objectionable on both conflict-of-interest and separation-of-powers grounds. A more fundamental fact is that the Constitution was born in part to eliminate such institutions. Financial incentives promoting police lawlessness and selective enforcement, in the form of writs of assistance authorizing customs officers to seize suspected contraband and retain a share of proceeds, were high on the list of grievances that triggered the American Revolution. For the colonists, the writs were an outrage that brought with them corrupt officials, lawless seizures, selective enforcement and fabricated evidence. From these complaints, John Adams later said, "The child Independence was born." The same fundamental grievances are now lodged against our present forfeiture law. When they reach the Supreme Court, the Justices will be forced to choose between redressing them and reading the Framers' concerns out of the Constitution. The distribution of drug war dividends to law enforcement is but one part of an antidrug mobilization that has continued, at escalating levels, for almost thirty years. Despite a succession of failures to "win" the war on drugs, the government's response has always been simply more of the same--more money thrown into this war (now $50 billion per year in federal and state budgets), more arrests (now about 500,000 per year for marijuana possession alone) and more prisoners (60 percent of federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses). This heavy law-enforcement emphasis has never flagged, and cases like Mary Miller's and Donald Scott's help explain why: Police and prosecutorial agencies that make drug-law enforcement their highest priority are extravagantly rewarded for doing so by the forfeiture laws. For law-enforcement officials, however irrational the drug war may be as public policy, it remains superbly rational as a bureaucratic strategy. *** The authors' research was supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute's Individual Project Fellowships Program, and is reported in full in the University of Chicago Law Review (Vol. 65, Winter 1998). Further assistance was provided by the Abe and Flora Shafer Fund of The Nation Institute. Join a discussion in the Digital Edition Forums: http://forums.nmpinc.com/nation
------------------------------------------------------------------- CIA Clears Self Of Drug Charge ('The Nation' Magazine Suggests The Most Damaging Part Of The CIA's Self-Exoneration Concerns The 'Frogman' Case, A Contra-Drug Story Broken In 1986 By 'The San Francisco Examiner' And Reprised By Gary Webb For 'The San Jose Mercury News' - The CIA Intervened In A Law Enforcement Matter To Smother An Embarrassing Exposure Of A Contra-Drug Link - And Almost As An Aside The CIA's Report Notes That When Senator John Kerry's Subcommittee Requested Information On The Frogman Case In 1986, The CIA Refused To Provide It And Succeeded In Obstructing A Major Congressional Investigation) Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 15:14:08 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: CIA Clears Self of Drug Charge Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 Source: The Nation Author: David Corn Contact: www.thenation.com C.I.A. CLEARS SELF OF DRUG CHARGE For the covert gang, the headlines were refreshing: "C.l A. Report Concludes Agency Knew Nothing of Drug Dealers' Ties to Rebels," The New York Times announced. "C.l.A. Finds No Significant Drug-Contra Tie" the Los Angeles Times proclaimed. These and similar media declarations were prompted by the January release of the agency's internal review of allegations, published in a 1996 San Jose Mercury News series, that a California narcotics ring had funneled millions of dollars in drug profits to the Nicaraguan Contras. The series, written by Gary Webb, suggested that this one drug outfit was instrumental to the birth of the crack cocaine epidemic. The allegations ignited an uproar Members of Congress and black talk-radio hosts demanded investigations. Now the inquiring is done, or nearly so. Headlines aside, while this 149-page C.l.A. report dismisses the most explosive portions of Webb's problematic series, it also provides material showing that contras and drug dealers did hobnob together. And that the Contras' patrons in the U.S. government knew that and did little about it. It is hardly shocking that the C.l.A.'s inspector General found no evidence that the agency was connected to Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, the Nicaraguan drug dealers featured in the Mercury News "Dark Alliance-' series. (The articles had implied such a connection without offering proof, which the paper later admitted in a mea culpa.) The C.l.A. reports that it located no information to support the charge that Blandon and Meneses peddled drugs to raise money for the Contras; nor that the C.l.A. had interfered with the prosecution of drug-related cases against them. Then, too, the agency states that "Freeway" Ricky Ross, a Los Angeles drug chieftain who figured prominently in the newspaper series, told its investigators that he'd been a crack peddler years before hooking up with Blandon, and Blandon confirmed it. So, case closed? Not at all. The C.l.A. promises a second report, on other allegations of contra drug-trafficking and there are contra-drug links more substantial than those described in the Mercury News series. (Remember Manuel Noriega's offer to bump off Sandinista if the White House would clean up his coke-tainted reputation? Or drug runners winning U.S. contracts to haul supplies to the Contras?) But even this first self-absolving volume offers evidence that there was a symbiotic relationship between drug dealers and the Contras, that the C.I.A. ignored reports of contra-drug involvement and that the agency and the Justice Department colluded in limiting a prosecution that threatened to expose one Contra-drug link. The report quotes Blandon as claiming he had no tie to the C.I.A. and that he never sold cocaine on direct behalf of the contras. But he did make other interesting statements: for example, that he supplied roughly $40,000 to the Contras and that his partner Meneses gave a similar amount. In 1982, Blandon notes. He met with contra leaders in Honduras. Afterward when he was detained at the Tegucigalpa airport by Honduran officials who discovered that he was carrying $100,000, his contra friends interceded winning his release and the return of the cash (which was drug money). That is, the Contras helped wittingly or not a drug dealer escape the authorities because he was a supporter That same year, according to Blandon, the Contras' military chief, Enrique Bermudez, asked him and Meneses to raise money for them, saying, "The ends justify the means." Blandon maintains that Bermudez did not know that he and Meneses were cocaine smugglers. But, as the C.l.A.'s own cables noted Meneses had been the narcotics kingpin of Nicaragua when Bermudez was a high-level government official, so Bermudez could be expected to know of Meneses' "means." Blandon also says he attended a summit of contra leaders in Florida in 1983 and financially assisted contra leader Eden Pastora (who, by the way, acknowledges having received significant help from another narcotics dealer). All this is not proof of a contra-cocaine grand conspiracy. But it provides further reason to conclude that the contra war and the drug trade existed in all-too-close proximity to each other. The C.l.A. report shows that the agency was hardly vigilant in probing reports of contra-drug links. One 1986 C.l.A. cable revealed that contra leader Fernando Chamorro was asked by Meneses to "move drugs to the US." How did Chamorro deal with this request? Did the C.I.A. pursue this lead? The report says nothing further about it. In a similar instance, a 1982 C.l.A. cable reported that "there are indications of links between [a US. religious organization] and two Nicaraguan counter-revolutionary groups.... These links involve an exchange in [the United States] of narcotics for arms." The cable noted that representatives of the major contra groups might have been participating in the scheme. In response, C.I.A. headquarters, as reported in the review, initially decided not to dig into the matter because US citizens might be involved. Then it decided to ask one of its foreign stations to find out if such a plot was under way. The station replied that contra leaders had recently traveled to the United States for meetings, but that it had no further information. By all appearances, the agency did little to ascertain the truth of the arms-for-drugs charge. And there is no evidence that in these instances the C.LA. turned over reformation to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. The most damning portion of the CIA report concerns the "Frogman" case, a contra-drug story broken in 1986 by the San Francisco Examiner and reprised by Gary Webb. In 1983 the Feds in San Francisco arrested fifty people and seized 430 pounds of cocaine. Two of the principals, Julio Zavala and Carlos Cabezas, were Nicaraguans who claimed their drug trafficking was linked to the contras. The inspector General's review found no evidence of this. But the most intriguing aspect of this episode involved about $37,000 seized at Zavala's safehouse by the F.B.I. Zavala said the cash belonged to the Contras, and he produced letters written by two contra leaders to support his claim. The U.S. Attorney's office was left with the problem of what to do about the money. In 1984 US. Attorney Joseph Russoniello decided that federal officers would travel to Costa Rica and take depositions from the two contra leaders. But the C.l.A., according to an agency cable, worried that the relationship between Zavala and one of the contra leaders "could prove most damaging' and that a "case could be made that [C.I.A.] hands are being diverted by [C.I.A.] assets into the drug trade.'- So the agency made a "discreet approach" to the Justice Department, the cable reported. Subsequently, the depositions were canceled and "at [the C.l.A.'s] request the US. Attorney. agreed to return the money to Zavala" To recap: The C.I A. intervened m a law enforcement matter to smother embarrassing exposure of a contra-drug link. Suspiciously, the C.l.A. says it had a hard time determining precisely who in the agency orchestrated the "discreet approach." And almost as an aside the report notes that when Senator John Kerry's subcommittee requested information on the Frogman case in 1986, the C.I.A. refused to provide it and succeeded in obstructing a major Congressional investigation. The C.l.A. study is troubling. Obvious questions go unanswered. In a matter-of-fact tone, it notes that several former senior C.l.A. officers responsible for the contra operation declined to cooperate with the inspector General's review. The report takes comfort in the finding that Blandon's and Meneses' drug transactions were not "motivated by any commitment to support the Contra cause.' But motivation is not the key issue. It appears that the Mercury News did go too far, and that Blandon and Meneses did not sell millions in drugs specifically for the contras. The implication of the series that the C.l.A. and the Contras bore responsibility for the crack epidemic was over the top. But the real story, as confirmed by the C.l.A. report, is that the cocaine business and the secret war in Nicaragua intersected repeatedly. Not in as cinematic a fashion as Webb portrayed it, but in more subdued and routine ways. The question for the C.l.A. is, What was done about that? The next C.l.A. volume is supposed to consider this wider topic. But it too will have to be read carefully. Unfortunately, the C.l.A. has the review field to itself. The Justice Department was scheduled to release a report of its own on this subject in mid-December Then it suddenly pulled the study, claiming that the entire report could somehow compromise an ongoing criminal matter The Justice review was expected to look beyond the Mercury News allegations and examine the possibility that prosecution of drug cases in the eighties had been compromised because of the Reagan Administration's support of the Contras. On a new Web site, the C.l.A. proclaims that "an informed citizenry [is] vital to a democratic society." Indeed. There are enough substantiations of a contra-drug overlap to support public suspicion that the US. government perverted priorities in pursuit of the contra war. The agency and Justice owe the citizenry a full explanation. Thus, they should accede to a request from the National Security Archive, a private nonprofit research group, that they release the tens of thousands of documents gathered for their reviews. The C.l.A. may judge itself innocent, but the public should be able to examine the evidence.
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Drugs Hero - James McDougal Dies Refusing Drug Test ('Associated Press' Notes Passing In Solitary Confinement At Federal Medical Center In Fort Worth, Texas, Of Savings-And-Loan Operator Tied To Clinton Administration Scandals) Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 15:18:27 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: "Doug Keenan"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: WoD hero: James McDougal dies refusing drug test McDougal was in solitary confinement when he collapsed 03/09/98 08:12:27 PM By PETE YOST Associated Press Writer McDougal had been placed in "administrative detention" Saturday night because he had refused to give a urine sample as part of random drug testing for inmates, said Todd Craig, chief spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. McDougal has a long history of medical problems, the most serious being hardening of the arteries. Prison guards monitor inmates in solitary confinement every 30 minutes and McDougal was in good health at the 10:30a.m. check Sunday, Craig said. He was found in his cell "in distress" 25 minutes later and emergency medical personnel were summoned, said Craig. Although he was being held in the Federal Medical Center at Fort Worth, Texas, McDougal was part of the general inmate population and held a job of taking out the garbage. Asked whether it was wise to place McDougal in solitary confinement in view of his medical problems, Craig said, "Inmates in that unit are seen much more intensely than those in the general population, not only by medical services staff but by the unit officer." The institution where McDougal was imprisoned issued a news release Sunday about his death that made no mention of the fact that he was in administrative detention in a cell by himself when he was stricken. Meanwhile, Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr spoke out on behalf of McDougal's credibility amid indications a new book on the flamboyant former S&L operator will outline his business dealings with the Clintons.
------------------------------------------------------------------- How Tobacco Firms And The Web Created A New Day In Disclosure ('Washington Post' Says Last Week The First Installment Of More Than 30 Million Pages Of Internal Tobacco Industry Documents Hit The World Wide Web On An Industry-Created Web Site - Documents Were Collected By The State Of Minnesota And That State's Blue Cross And Blue Shield In Their Landmark Lawsuit Against The Tobacco Industry) Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 17:24:54 -0500 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: US: WP: How Tobacco Firms and the Web Created a New Day in Disclosure To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Source: The Washington Post Author: John Schwartz, Washington Post Staff Writer Page: F26 Pubdate: Monday, 9 Mar 1998 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ HOW TOBACCO FIRMS AND THE WEB CREATED A NEW DAY IN DISCLOSURE A little over a week ago, an amazing thing happened online. A "first installment" of millions of pages of internal tobacco industry documents hit the World Wide Web on an industry-created Web site. More than 30 million pages of industry documents have been collected by the state of Minnesota and that state's Blue Cross and Blue Shield in their landmark lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The companies agreed to make the documents public, in the biggest way. These days, that means online. Anyone with a computer, a modem and the right software could peek into 60 years of history behind what must be America's most controversial industry -- a capability no other mass medium can practicably offer. It's not the first time that tobacco documents have made their way out of the industry's vaults. Decades of lawsuits produced occasional paper leaks from the secretive industry, and now and then whistleblowers would slip damaging memos to reporters. But for pioneering tobacco reporters such as Morton Mintz of The Post, getting good stories meant a great deal of scrambling and digging; it was probably more than a little lonely. And now I can simply call stuff up on my screen that I would have killed for just five years ago. How did everything change so much, and so fast? Things began to break open in 1994, when the Food and Drug Administration started looking into regulating tobacco products and journalists began to dig with new vigor. Boxes of documents spirited away from the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. made their way into print, with blunt memos from high corporate officials saying things like "We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug." A series of dramatic hearings in the House of Representatives put the industry and its practices on display, and FDA investigators turned up evidence that the industry precisely adjusts the levels of nicotine in products and might have even altered the nicotine to make it more readily absorbable by the body, increasing its kick. Specially bred, high-nicotine tobacco plants were revealed and youth marketing strategies discussed. States and private lawyers began filing suits against the industry based on novel theories of addiction and fraud; more whistleblowers came forward, and more industry papers emerged in court discovery and out of retired executives' basements. Through it all, the industry denied any wrongdoing -- but its world had clearly changed, and the old game plan no longer worked. By 1997, the industry was looking to settle the new wave of suits against it and pronounced itself willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and make a number of public health concessions in exchange for protection against some kinds of lawsuits. Bills based on that settlement proposal are being taken up by Congress. Increasingly, the newly revealed documents made their way onto the burgeoning World Wide Web, which was coming into its own just as they were really beginning to tumble out. The University of California at San Francisco library put the Brown & Williamson documents online as part of its tobacco control archives. "I wish we could say we were brilliant," jokes UCSF professor Stanton Glantz, the anti-tobacco activist who led a review of the documents and coauthored a book, "The Cigarette Papers," on them. In fact, said UCSF archivist Robin Chandler, they originally decided to put the B&W papers on the Web so that more scholars could study them at the same time. It kicked off a trend. When Rep. Thomas J. Bliley (R-Va.) received several thousand documents from industry turncoat Liggett Group, his office put them on the Web as well. Now it seems only natural that this latest industry cache of millions of pages would be similarly open to the wired public. The implications of this are much, much broader than making life easier for journalists. The materials that once might have come exclusively to a single reporter are now available to all Web surfers, all of whom could potentially have the same worldwide audience. It's like being Matt Drudge -- but with facts, not rumors. Clifford Douglas, an anti-tobacco activist who brought evidence of industry nicotine manipulation to the attention of the FDA and the press, told me that the changes are equally stark for activists. In the past, he would carefully court whistleblowers over coffee in the bowels of Union Station; now many of them contact him by e-mail and ship digitally scanned documents. "That personal contact was very rewarding, but it isn't necessarily the most efficient or effective process for getting that information and getting it out to the public," Douglas said. Going to the new mega-tobacco site can be frustrating, however. The search systems for finding companies' papers vary, and the documents require free viewing software that can translate the .tif format. Also, only a fraction of the promised documents are online so far. But once you get past the initial problems, it's an exhilarating experience -- a little like being given the keys to a sanctum sanctorum. Why have the companies aired their documents? In no small part because they had to: Many of them were already coming out in the Minnesota case, and members of Congress had demanded to look at what was in the companies' files before they would sign on to any legislation that they might regret later. The companies see disclosure as a way of breaking with the past. "This is a clear demonstration of the companies' commitment to a new day," said Scott Williams, a spokesman for the industry on settlement matters who planned the Web site. "This is, ultimately, going to be an incredible research tool" for scholars and historians, Williams added. The central site also sports detailed descriptions of the June 1997 agreement, discussion of criticism of the agreement and more. In an odd twist, the individual company Web sites state that the documents concern the production of cigarettes and note that some parents may "wish to restrict access by their children to these materials." So each cigarette maker registered its site with the Internet screening companies whose products are more commonly used to block porn. So go. Explore. You might find something that no one has noticed before. As Williams said, it's a new day. A postscript to my Feb. 16 column on hunting through libraries for information about Colonial dances: When readers wrote in last week with phone numbers for online access to local library catalogues, one mentioned that using Arlington County's online catalogue was difficult enough to require calling the library for guidance. Andrea McGlinchey of the Arlington Central Library brings us up to date: Its catalogue has been on the World Wide Web since last summer, at http://www.co.arlington.va.us/lib/ John Schwartz's e-mail address is email@example.com Places to Go Web sites on the tobacco controversy are too numerous to list all of them here. But many sites link extensively to others, so it won't take long for you to find everything you need. The new industry trove can be found at http://www.tobaccoresolution.com. Find the original Brown & Williamson documents at http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/bw.html. The Liggett papers: http://www.house.gov/commerce/TobaccoDocs/alternate.html. There are also volunteer efforts to assemble press reports and information on tobacco issues: visit Tobacco BBS at http://www.tobacco.org; activist Gene Borio spends about eight hours a day searching for news articles and creating a library of tobacco resources. For anti-tobacco activists, http://www.smokescreen.org is a clearinghouse. Pro-tobacco sites include http://www.forces.org and http://www.speakup.org. Follow the Minnesota trial at http://www.mnbluecrosstobacco.com/home.html, and other state suits at http://www.stic.neu.edu. (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- 2,000 Miles Of Disarray In Drug War ('Washington Post' Says An Effort Initiated In 1996 To Coordinate Mexican And United States Illegal Drug Interdiction Efforts Is In A Shambles, According To US Law Enforcement And Congressional Sources) Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 17:21:15 -0500 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: US: WP: 2,000 Miles Of Disarray In Drug War To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Source: The Washington Post Authors: Douglas Farah and Molly Moore, Washington Post Foreign Service Page: A01 - FRONT PAGE Pubdate: Monday, 9 Mar 1998 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ 2,000 MILES OF DISARRAY IN DRUG WAR U.S.-MEXICO BORDER EFFORT 'A SHAMBLES' In 1996, as Mexican drug cartels were expanding their power and reach, officials in Washington and Mexico City decided to fight the growing threat by setting aside their long-standing distrust and building combined law enforcement units to gather intelligence and attack the cartels. Today the program -- which the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration last year called the "primary program for cooperative law enforcement efforts" -- is a shambles, according to U.S. law enforcement and congressional sources. For the past 14 months, agents from the DEA, FBI and U.S. Customs Service who were to form the backbone of the U.S. portion of the force have refused to cross the border because they are not allowed to carry weapons in Mexico. And at least five senior Mexican officers involved in the program have been arrested on suspicion of taking money from drug traffickers, kidnapping key witnesses or stealing confiscated cocaine. The units, called Bilateral Border Task Forces, initially were established in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez -- seats of the largest Mexican drug trafficking organizations -- and the northern industrial city of Monterrey. The task forces, with offices in four other north Mexican towns, were seen as vital to increasing the flow of information between the nations' counter-drug forces along the 2,000-mile border. U.S. and Mexican officials agreed that the performance of the task forces would be a yardstick by which to measure cooperation between the two nations, and monitoring their success was included formally in the White House's National Drug Control Strategy report issued last month. "Regretfully, [the task forces] were never really implemented," DEA chief Thomas Constantine told Congress last week, blaming the failure on corruption and lack of security. U.S. officials said the Mexican government failed to finance the task forces and that U.S. agencies had borne the full cost of Mexican operations until last September. At that point, U.S. officials said, Mexico said it no longer wanted U.S. funding and that the task force would be paid for with money confiscated from drug traffickers. The analysis of the effort's failure comes as some members of Congress gear up to try to overturn the Clinton administration's decision last week to certify Mexico as fully cooperating in the anti-drug war. These opponents argue that Mexico has not taken significant steps to fight drug trafficking or related corruption. Every attempt to organize binational law enforcement units along the border has failed since DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was tortured and murdered in Mexico in 1985, dramatically changing the relationship between the two nations' law enforcement agencies. The failure of the task forces points to the deep distrust and differences in perception on both sides of the border, despite official rhetoric in Mexico City and Washington praising binational cooperation. The task forces' Mexican component was dismantled after Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, head of Mexico's anti-drug agency, was arrested in February 1997 for alleged ties to one of the country's most powerful drug cartels. To rebuild a credible force, Mexican task force participants are supposed to be screened, first by the Mexican attorney general's office and then "super vetted" by U.S. agencies. U.S. officials said about 800 people had passed the Mexican process, but of those, only 206 had passed the U.S. vetting. Officials agree that the screening is vital to try to avoid the myriad cases of corruption that have plagued the units. Because of the lack of vetted officers, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who closely monitors the issue, the task force intelligence facilities "are manned by non-vetted, non-law enforcement civilians and military staff and have only produced leads from telephone intercepts on low-level traffickers." U.S. critics of the task forces point to troubling cases of corruption involving Mexican members of the units: Ignacio Weber Rodriquez, commander of the Tijuana task force, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of a DEA informant on March 5, 1997. Alejandro Hodoyan Palacios, a U.S. citizen who reportedly had worked for the major drug cartel run by the Arellano Felix brothers in Tijuana, was giving information to DEA agents in San Diego at the time of his kidnapping. Hodoyan has not been seen since he was nabbed in a downtown Tijuana parking lot by armed men, allegedly including Weber. Weber later was identified by Hodoyan's mother, who tried to stop the kidnappers from dragging her son out of their vehicle. Weber remains under house arrest in Tijuana. In May, 21 police and army officers -- including the Mexican commander and four members of a combined border task force -- were arrested for allegedly stealing a half-ton of cocaine from the evidence room at the Mexican attorney general's office in San Luis Rio Colorado, which straddles the Arizona border. Only two remain in custody. Some packages of the stolen cocaine, marked with the attorney general's evidence stamps, later were confiscated during a drug bust in San Diego, according to senior Mexican law enforcement officials. Horacio Brunt Acosta, a Mexican federal police commander in charge of intelligence operations for the border task forces, was fired last year for allegedly taking bribes from drug traffickers. U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials recently identified Brunt as a suspected drug trafficker in Arizona. U.S. officials said they have asked the Mexicans for information on Brunt's activities but so far have received nothing. Another senior task force member based in Monterrey last year invited drug traffickers to the agency's "safe house," not only giving away the location but allowing the traffickers to identify all the agents, U.S. officials said. Because of the lack of funds, U.S. officials said, the task forces' safe houses, which were to be changed every few months to avoid raising suspicions, were left unchanged for two or three years. Only in the past month, as funds have become available, have some of the houses been changed, said U.S. and Mexican officials. Perceptional problems also have hindered the task forces. While Mexican officials said the task forces were seen as intelligence-gathering units, U.S. officials said they envisioned the integration of intelligence gathering and operational capabilities for a comprehensive attack on the drug cartels. In a measure of just how different perceptions are, at the same time that U.S. officials outline the failure of the task forces, Mexican officials are saying the units are functioning as planned. "The task forces are fully equipped and fully operational," said Eduardo Ibarola, deputy attorney general for international affairs, in a meeting with journalists in Washington. Mexican officials said the task forces have been in effect since May, when 70 young officers passed background checks by the Mexican attorney general's office and the FBI, and underwent FBI training at Quantico. They also said 150 troops from elite, U.S.-trained Mexican military units are being sent to the border as reinforcements. But a senior U.S. law enforcement official said no cross-border intelligence is being shared and that there would be no such cooperation until the security issue and corruption were addressed. U.S. officials also remain furious that U.S. agents cannot carry weapons into Mexico. U.S. agents stopped crossing the border on Jan. 1, 1997. "The issue of personal security for U.S. agents working with the task forces in Mexico has not been resolved and as a result, the task forces are not operational and will not be until the security issue is resolved," Feinstein said Wednesday in a Senate speech. "This critical joint working relationship is made impossible by Mexican policies that do not allow for adequate immunities or physical security for U.S. special agents while working in Mexico," Feinstein said. A Mexican official disputed the charge, saying it is an issue of national sovereignty. "Mexico cannot permit foreign agents to carry weapons in Mexico as we do not ask that Mexicans be allowed to carry weapons elsewhere," the official said. "It is a very sensitive issue; it may be one of those differences that may not be resolvable." Farah reported from Washington, Moore from Mexico City. (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ritalin Puts Some Kids Into Zombie-Like State (Despite The Characteristic Mass Media Sensationalism, Article In 'Calgary Herald' Contains Some Interesting Details, Such As The Assertion That Novartis, The Manufacturer Of Ritalin, Or Methylphenidate, Admits There Are No Studies That Have Followed A Group Of Specific Individuals For Even Two Years While They Were Taking The Drug)Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 22:17:09 -0700 Subject: More Ritalin From: "Debbie Harper3"
To: mattalk Calgary Herald Mon. March 9, 1998 (A2) email@example.com Ritalin puts some kids into zombie-like state Ann Rees Southam newspapers Vancouver Ritalin is the most-studied drug used on children in the world. But views are poles apart when it comes to the safety and potency of the stimulant used to treat millions of North American children with attention-deficit disorders. Canadian and American drug-control agencies place Ritalin and other forms of methylphenidate in the same controlled drug category as its cousins, cocaine and amphetamine. "Methylphenidate is a central-nervous-system stimulant and shares many of the pharmacological effects of amphetamine and cocaine," said a report by the American Drug Enforcement Administration. Other doctors say it¹s no more dangerous than Aspirin. Most medical professionals believe 40 years of Ritalin use proves it is a safe drug. "Ritalin is the first drug of choice because, compared to others, it is more effective and has less side-effects." said Dr. Jean-Marie Ruel, special medical advisor with the bureau of drug surveillance for Health Canada. It¹s believed Ritalin increases the dopamine in the brain, which helps nerve cells to communicate more quickly. Common side-effects include appetite suppression, sleep disturbance, anxiety, periodic, depression and, often in the initial introduction of the drug, stomach aches and headaches. Growth suppression is still a subject of debate. Less common are tics, tongue thrusts, jaw-clenching, picking at skin, or biting nails. In very rare cases, children experience hallucinations or temporary psychosis. An American National Institute of Mental Health study found 24 per cent of parents reported "dullness" in their children at the high range of safe dosing levels. The illegal use of the drug has become a serious concern for drug enforcement agencies, primarily in the U.S. Ritalin is illegally used by drug addicts in combination with other drugs. Meanwhile, the stimulants long-term track record has not been tested. Novartis, the manufacturer of Ritalin, admits there are no studies that have followed a group of specific individuals for even two years while they were taking the drug. U.S. President Bill Clinton has placed Ritalin on a list of drugs that need more testing to determine dose levels. Anyone can identify the symptoms of attention-deficit disorders. But it takes an expert to make an accurate diagnosis. Key symptoms include inattention, disorganization, fidgeting and restlessness and, in some cases, impulsive behaviour such as blurting out answers to questions before they are asked or failing to wait turns in groups. But complicating the diagnosis is the fact that up to 50 per cent of children with ADHD also have learning disabilities. In addition, about 30 per cent of the children with the disorder will have poor physical co-ordination and motor control. Gifted children may also show signs of hyperactivity. Children who are depressed, anxious or suffering from abuse may also show the symptoms.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombians Vote For Congress As Rebels Rage ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes Colombians Yesterday Chose New Representatives To Congress, The Institution Widely Considered The Country's Most Corrupt - President Ernesto Samper's Liberal Party Was Expected To Maintain Its Majority In Both Houses) Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 13:44:47 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Colombia: Colombians Vote for Congress as Rebels Rage Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Page: A 10 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/ COLOMBIANS VOTE FOR CONGRESS AS REBELS RAGE BOGOTA -- In low spirits because of a mounting guerrilla threat and allegations of vote buying, Colombians yesterday chose new representatives to Congress - the institution widely considered the country's most corrupt. President Ernesto Samper's scandal rocked Liberal Party, whose entrenched political machinery gave it a significant edge, was expected to maintain its majority in both houses of the national legislature, where the party now controls nearly 60 percent of the seats in each chamber. However, opposition candidates were among the top finishers in the nationwide races for the 102-seat Senate, according to early returns. One of them appeared to be Ingrid Betancourt, a Liberal dissident and among the most vocal critics of drug corruption and the president. She was followed by incumbent Fabio Valencia, a fierce opponent of Samper from the main opposition Conservatives, and newcomer Carlos Moreno, an independent populist who reached into his own pockets to pave Bogota's streets. The top finisher among 180 candidates to represent Bogota in the House of Representatives was Antonio Navarro Wolff, a former guerrilla who was voted mayor of the year for 1997 by business leaders for ridding the southern city of Pasto of municipal corruption. "This was a vote of protest against corruption and cronyism," an elated Navarro said, laughing with joy. A highly partisan Congress absolved Samper in 1996 of charges he knowingly accepted $6 million from drug lords in winning office. The president's detractors say he bought absolution by raiding the treasury and doling out hundreds of millions of dollars among supporters. The country's leftist rebels, newly invigorated by a major victory over the army last week, used attacks, threats and transport bans to try to impede yesterday's vote. Although 200,000 security troops were mobilized nationwide, Interior Minister Alfonso Lopez reported rebel disturbances in 27 mostly remote municipalities that included the burning of ballots and kidnappings of mayors and election officials. Rebel interference forced cancellation of the vote in at least 46 municipalities, and at least three candidates and 10 mayors were kidnapped as the election approached. Authorities said eight guerrillas and seven soldiers were killed in combat and 30 vehicles destroyed by rebels. A skirmish also occurred in the same southern jungle zone where the military last week suffered its worst defeat in 35 years fighting leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In Mesetas, 100 miles south of Bogota, rebels killed six soldiers. The FARC updated their casualty report from last week's battle in a communique yesterday, stating that they killed 83 elite anti-guerrilla troops, wounded 32 and took 43 prisoner. The army has recovered 40 survivors and 35 uniformed bodies without dog tags. Reporters have been banned from from military hospitals where survivors are being treated, and, as of last night, no information had been made available about their conditions. The campaign preceding yesterday's vote was marred by reports of widespread vote-buying and an apparent infusion of millions in drug money. About 240 of the 7,000 candidates are under criminal investigation, including Senate President Amylkar Acosta. "We're in an unequal battle," said Senator Claudia Blum. an anti-corruption crusader who appeared headed for re-election. She contends that just 20 candidates for the House and 15 for the Senate are proven, honest reformers. First-time candidates dubbing themselves anti-politicians included newspaper columnists, indigenous leaders and movie director Sergio Cabrera, a former guerrilla who was expected to win a house seat in Bogota after spending just $13,000 on his campaign. "It's difficult to get elected when you face people who spent millions of dollars on their campaigns," he said. I really like that people reacted with their hearts and not in response to campaign ads." Colombians will choose a new president May 31, and Samper is constitutionally barred from re-election. The new Congress takes office July 20, the new president on August 7.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Trail Of Drugs That Affects Us All ('The Age' In Australia Interviews Chief Commissioner Of Victoria Police, Who Says That During Two Decades Working As A Police Officer, He Has Been Locked Into A Hard-Line Approach To Drug Users, But He Now Admits The Approach Has Not Worked And 'I Have In Recent Years Changed My Mind Quite Considerably') Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 23:58:15 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Australia: The Trail Of Drugs That Affects Us All Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 Source: The Age Author: Lindsay Murdoch Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.theage.com.au THE TRAIL OF DRUGS THAT AFFECTS US ALL When Neil Comrie took an interstate telephone call a few weeks ago he was expecting a friendly chat with a long-time friend. Instead, the chief commissioner of the Victoria Police was devastated. The friend's 22-year-old son had come to Melbourne with his girlfriend for the weekend. The young man wasn't a regular drug user and according to Mr Comrie was brought up in a decent family. But during that weekend the man was offered some of the high-purity and cheap heroin that is easily available on the streets of Melbourne. He injected and died. "We were given the job of conveying the message to his father that he wouldn't be coming home," Mr Comrie says. The chief commissioner says that during two decades working as a police officer he has been locked into a hard-line approach to drug users. But he now admits the approach has not worked and "I have in recent years changed my mind quite considerably". I ask Mr Comrie about people's anger towards drug addicts who steal to feed their habits and how hard it would be to convince the public that offenders should get warnings. "The real problem with that attitude is that it is families like them which are losing their children to drug abuse," he says. "I know, for example, a number of very decent families who have done everything they can to provide a balanced and good upbringing for their children only to find that because of idiosyncrasies in that individual's make-up they get involved in the drug scene and the next thing they are found dead somewhere," Mr Comrie says. "I don't really think that society can abandon anyone who tries drugs," he says. "There is an obligation on society to try to minimise the damage that they do but also the need to minimise the damage they do to themselves." Mr Comrie says that with the benefit of hindsight "we would probably do everything differently" from the time the drugs problem started to escalate in Australia in the early 1970s. "Previously we all looked in amazement at what was happening in the United States and the United Kingdom," Mr Comrie says. "Well it is now upon us and we really haven't used our time wisely in dealing with this problem." Mr Comrie says he personally regards drug traffickers as the "lowest of the criminal element because they really are peddling a very dangerous product which we know takes many lives".
------------------------------------------------------------------- We've Lost Drug War - Comrie ('The Age' Gives More Details About The 'Radical Statewide Plan' Victoria's Police Commissioner Is Set To Introduce, And What Led To It) Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 13:44:47 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Australia: We've Lost Drug War: Comrie Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Age, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Pubdate: Mon, 9th Mar 1998 WE'VE LOST DRUG WAR: COMRIE Victoria's police commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, has admitted the fight against drugs has failed and is set to introduce a radical statewide plan to keep drug users out of courts. Mr Comrie said the usual hard-line police approach to drug users had not worked and "we have got to look at new ways" to tackle the problem. These included a coordinated national effort to curb trafficking in high-purity heroin that was killing scores of people nationally each week. He said it was "highly likely" he would soon order that people caught with small amounts of marijuana be given a caution. He also revealed he had an open mind about applying the plan to hard drugs, including heroin. Mr Comrie said his force's focus on illicit drug importers, manufacturers and distributors rather than users was working, with a 30 per cent jump in charges for these offences since the middle of last year. "We are trying to target our resources into areas of most concern where they will have the most impact," he said. Mr Comrie said he had been encouraged by initial reports on a trial in Broadmeadows where marijuana users caught for the first time were given a warning. A decision on whether to introduce the plan statewide would probably be made within two months. "We will then start turning our minds to whether or not we ought to include other drugs in that program," he said. "My position on that is that I have a totally open mind on it. I don't reject that as a possibility, but I would want to see some further evidence about the management of this first trial before I commit myself to it." The State Opposition and Professor David Penington, who headed the Premier's drug inquiry, support a warning scheme for drug users, including heroin users. Mr Comrie said that under the discretionary powers available to him he did not need State Government approval to introduce the plan, which would be a first in Australia. He revealed big changes were planned in the way police dealt with the drugs problem, which he blamed for 70 per cent of all crime in Victoria and for costing Australia $1.6 billion a year. He said Australia's police commissioners had agreed on a strategy for police forces and state and territory governments to work closely on a "standardised approach" to reduce heroin importation and distribution. Mr Comrie also: Warned that the probability of death was "quite high" for people in Melbourne using the current batch of very pure heroin that was being mixed with dangerous cutting agents. Called on the United Nations to throw greater resources into encouraging peasants in Asia's Golden Triangle to grow crops other than opium, from which heroin is produced. Warned lawyers and accountants on the payroll of drug traffickers that they were being targeted by police. Urged professional bodies representing lawyers and accountants to take action against their members who protected assets obtained by drug trafficking. Said he doubted whether federal agencies had sufficient resources to stop the flood of illicit drugs. Mr Comrie said there was no overnight cure to the drug problem, but he was confident about the future because of the new ways it was being tackled instead of the "single-agenda approach of hard-line law enforcement that was really all that was open to us in the past". He said long-term coordinated approaches were needed in law enforcement, education and health to stop young people wanting to experiment with drugs. Under the Broadmeadows trial, more than 90 people have received cautions for possessing not more than 50 grams of marijuana. People can receive a maximum of two cautions. They must not have been convicted of drug offences before and must admit the offence and consent to being cautioned. Mr Comrie said it was better to divert users from the criminal justice system into assessment and treatment programs to get them out of the drug scene. "That diversionary program has a great deal going for it," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drop In Drug Use Among Young (Britain's 'Times' Says A New Survey From Exeter University Released Today Reports Only One-Quarter Of 14- And 15-Year-Olds In Britain Used Illegal Drugs, Compared To One-Third In 1996, The First Decline In Use Rate In Five Years) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 06:45:12 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: UK: Drop In Drug Use Among Young Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: Times The (UK) Author: John O'leary Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: 9 Mar 1998 DROP IN DRUG USE AMONG YOUNG DRUG use among young teenagers is falling for the first time in five years, according to a report published today. The survey, by academics at Exeter University, shows that a quarter of 14 to 15-year-olds tried drugs last year against a third in 1996. Research among 23,317 pupils in 122 schools also shows that 27 per cent of teenagers in rural areas had experience last year of one or more drug, compared to 18 per cent of those in towns and cities. The Exeter Schools Health Education Unit said that despite the drop from a third of the age group experimenting in 1996, the long-term trend was up. "The percentage of youngsters of 12 to 13 in 1996 that recorded experience of illegal drugs was greater than that of 15 to 16-year-olds in 1987."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cabinet To Get US-Style Drug Court Proposals ('Irish Times' Notes Ireland Is Continuing Its Policy Of Importing America's Drug Policies, And Problems - At Least Two Drug Courts, In Texas And Oregon, Receive Funding For Coerced Treatment Programmes From Assets Seized By The State From Offenders) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 07:38:29 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Ireland: Cabinet To Get US-style Drug Court Proposals Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Monday, March 9, 1998 Source: Irish Times Author: Catherine Cleary Contact: Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407 CABINET TO GET US-STYLE DRUG COURT PROPOSALS Proposals for US-style drug courts are due to go to Government before the end of the month. An expert group has recommended setting up a planning committee to look at establishing a drug courts system within the District Court. The report by Mrs Justice Denham, chairwoman of the Courts Commission, is expected to go before Cabinet after Ministers return from St Patrick's Day visits abroad. Drug courts provide an alternative to the criminal courts, sentencing addict offenders to court-monitored treatment. If offenders fail urine analysis tests a prison sentence can be imposed. The Denham report, currently 150 pages in draft form, is believed to recommend a planning period of three years for setting up such courts. It recommends integrating drug courts into the existing District Court system, where most addict offenders are prosecuted. A planning committee would look at the type of offender who would come before the drug courts. Violent offenders or those charged with drug-trafficking would not go through the drug courts system. The report takes the view that issues must be examined in detail before any system is set up. One of those issues would be limiting the system to first-time offenders. The system originated in the United States where there are about 250 drug courts. Many US drug courts deal only with first offenders and are restricted to dealing with addicts, not dealers. Alcoholic offenders are also dealt with by the drug courts system in some states. Some US drug courts will accept addicts who were dealing to feed their habit. More than 65,000 people have been processed through the US system. Mrs Justice Denham recommends the setting up of a planning committee to include representatives of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Probation and Welfare Service, the Eastern Health Board, the Bar Council and the Law Society. The system could be implemented without new legislation. The report also recommends that the effects on agencies outside the criminal justice system be examined. Increased resources would be needed to provide treatment places for addicts. There are approximately 400 addicts on the waiting list for treatment. Senior health board officials estimate that 25 more treatment centres are needed to cope with current demand. The US system was set up in the late 1980s in response to the crack cocaine epidemic, when offenders flooded the criminal justice system. American drug courts also deal with alcoholics, and some stipulate that offenders must appear before them on a weekly basis for assessment. At least two drug courts, in Texas and Oregon, receive funding for treatment programmes from assets seized by the state from criminals. The Courts Commission was appointed to report on drug courts by the Minister for Justice, Mr O'Donoghue, last autumn. The members looked at drug courts in the US, Sweden and Germany and held a seminar of Irish and American specialists in Dublin at the end of January. The last official study of drug-related crime by the Garda Research Unit found that the youngest drug-abuser known to gardai in the Dublin area is 12 and the oldest 61. The research found that in 1996 almost 70 per cent of detected crimes were committed by drug-users. On average drug-users were responsible for 2 1/2 times as much crime as non-drug-users.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Remains Hardest Habit To Break ('Irish Times' Says That Despite Operation Dochas With Its Increased Garda Street Presence, Community Drug Watches And The Efforts Of The Health Board And Dublin Corporation, Heroin Is Still Sold Openly In Parts Of Dublin - And Is 50 Percent To 75 Percent Cheaper Now Than It Was Five Years Ago)Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 12:25:24 -0500 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: Ireland: Heroin Remains Hardest Habit to Break To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: (Zosimos) Martin Cooke Pubdate: Monday, March 9, 1998 Source: Irish Times Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland FAX: ++ 353 1 671 9407 HEROIN REMAINS HARDEST HABIT TO BREAK The authorities and local communities are starting to get a grip on heroin. But there is a long way to go. Catherine Cleary reports A young woman stands talking to two other women. She holds something white in her hand and then proceeds to tear it open with her teeth. She hands a tiny plastic pack, the size of a fingernail, to one of the women and puts another into her mouth. Then she reties the package, lifts her jacket and sticks her hand down the front of her loose jeans, smiling and talking as she does so. One of the two women hands her money and she slips it into her pocket. The transaction takes less than two minutes. The dealer crosses the road into a supermarket and meets another woman, wheeling a baby in a buggy. She has one £20 deal in her mouth and the remainder of the batch inside her. If she is stopped she can swallow the deal and refuse an internal examination. Despite Operation Dochas with its increased Garda street presence, community drug watches and the efforts of the health board and Dublin Corporation, heroin is still sold openly in parts of Dublin. The deal described above was caught on camera shortly after 10 p.m. in an area on the north side of the city late last year. Over the next four days we will look at where the last two years of concerted action against drugs by gardai, politicians and communities has brought us. Heroin is cheaper now than it was five years ago. A deal that once cost £40 can now be bought for £20, and some for as little as £10. The drug is cheap enough to smoke, making it more appealing to first-time users. According to one drug addict, injecting was the more cost-effective way of getting every grain into your system when heroin was expensive. The ecstasy scene has led to more people being introduced to heroin-smoking, with dealers selling "party packs" of ecstasy and heroin, one to bring you up and the other to bring you down. The latest figures on heroin use from the Health Research Board show that the percentage of those presenting for heroin abuse doubled between 1990 and 1996. Intravenous drug use is becoming less common, while smoking it is on the increase. Independent TD Tony Gregory has a theory about the heroin epidemic. It was ignored for years, he says, because drug-dealing was the lesser of two evils. Criminals like the Dunne family started their careers with armed robberies. In the early 1980s, political pressure was applied by the banks, the Garda responded and the shutters were pulled down. The criminals moved into the easier option of drug-dealing, and a generation that might have been marching on the Dail demanding better housing, education and jobs became junkies, fixated on their next turn-on. Senior gardai agree privately that the approach to drugs in the past was under-resourced and incompetent. Things changed with the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996. International co-operation, unprecedented powers of assets seizure and a more sophisticated approach to tackling the problem have all had an effect. But the heroin problem is one that will take more than policing measures. The latest catch-phrase is "multi-agency approach". The Minister for Justice, Mr O'Donoghue, is promising "zero tolerance on crime and on the causes of crime". The latest idea of drug courts, another US import into Government policy, is a dramatic rethink of the criminal justice system. In parts of the US the system of community courts has introduced domestic violence courts, driving-under-the-influence courts and even "deadbeat dad" courts. The resources needed to channel non-violent drug offenders into treatment rather than prison require more than just a tinkering with the courts list and a new title for a District Court judge. Unless real training and rehabilitation centres are built into the system, drug courts could become just another roundabout, ridden by an addict until he or she falls off into the prison system. The success rate of detoxification is poor when the addicts return to the same environment after coming off heroin. There are already 400 users waiting for treatment by the Eastern Health Board, and the real waiting list is probably much higher. The health board needs to open 25 more centres, in addition to the existing 28, to deal with the current waiting list. These will probably involve 25 more disputes with residents who do not want a "junkie centre" in their back yard. Meanwhile, the dealing goes on.
------------------------------------------------------------------- My Mother Flew Home To Arrange The Funeral ('Irish Times' Interviews One Heroin Addict, Ravaged By Prohibition, Who Says Ecstasy Was The Gateway Drug To His Addiction) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 06:40:42 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Ireland: My Mother Flew Home To Arrange The Funeral Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Monday, March 9, 1998 Source: Irish Times Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407 MY MOTHER FLEW HOME TO ARRANGE THE FUNERAL Ecstasy led to heroin, and heroin to a close brush with death. One user who is killing time to try to save his life tells his story in an interview with CATHERINE CLEARY "I was 20 when I started taking heroin to come down off ecstasy. Without E there was no rave. I got into it with a girl. We'd be going home after a rave at half two or three in the morning. We started smoking heroin to come down. I didn't want to go home marble-eyed to my parents. I'd buy ecstasy in clubs and then we'd go back to where we knew we could get heroin. The heroin cost about £40 a deal then. You'd go out in daylight and go home in daylight. The whole night you would have been out of it, in space or on cloud nine. Then you'd sleep all day Sunday. We got into smoking heroin two or three times a week. By Thursday you'd be bored because there was nothing to do and you'd go back on E. There was no drugs education but we knew how to buy it and take it. It wasn't difficult to buy. You had blokes coming up to you offering stuff. After a while smoking heroin I started injecting. In November 1994 I overdosed. I don't remember what happened. Someone found me in Grangegorman Salvation Army hostel and I was taken to the Mater Hospital. The doctors told my father I had half an hour to live. My mother was flown home to arrange the funeral. I have photographs of me hooked up to the life-support machine. In one of them I'm all bloated with the poison. There's another where I'm down to five stone. I was clean for 15 months after that, then I had a simple smoke. They say one's too many and a thousand's never enough. I worried about my liver so I kept smoking for about three months before I started injecting again. It gives a feeling of overwhelming warmth. Then you go into zombie land. One shoot can last a whole day when you start. But after six months it will only last 20 minutes and then you'd have to have a syringe full of stuff by the bed just to be able to get up. Food doesn't have values. Nothing has values. Nothing, except heroin. Friendships and family don't matter. When addicts say they're sick, they're really sick. It feels like your whole nervous system is completely open. You're always freezing. You can see the goosepimps and the hairs standing up on your forearms, even if you're wrapped in loads of duvets. . Even your own breath feels deadly cold. Once when I was in prison I felt withdrawal coming on. Another prisoner gave me a [cigarette] filter and said there should be enough heroin in it to take away the pains. He told me to use orange juice to cook it up. I squeezed an orange on to a spoon and filled a whole syringe, and injected myself with it. Everything froze down one side. I couldn't breathe. It just made me worse. I've been on detox for three weeks now. It's my third detox. I'm the one with the problem. I'm the one that has to sort my problem out. But it's very difficult. Using methadone is like an alcoholic giving up whiskey and picking up a vodka bottle. Either there is some kind of after-care, some way of training people, then addicts, including myself, go round in circles until I croak it. The reason - no offence meant - that I stayed here talking is that I'm avoiding going out. I know someone who has heroin and I know he'll offer it to me. Hopefully, by the time I get there it'll be gone."
------------------------------------------------------------------- 15 Years Of Heroin Addiction Captured In Photo Albums ('Irish Times' Captures A Despairing Portrait Of A Dublin Woman And Her Family, One Of Many Ravaged By Heroin Prohibition, AIDS) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 06:58:17 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Ireland: 15 Years Of Heroin Addiction Captured In Photo Albums Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Monday, March 9, 1998 Source: Irish Times Contact: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407 15 YEARS OF HEROIN ADDICTION CAPTURED IN PHOTO ALBUMS The children whose parents died as a result of heroin are in danger of becoming the new lost generation. CATHERINE CLEARY reports on how heroin has destroyed one Dublin family It is difficult to understand how Marie Dempsey opens her eyes, pulls back the covers and gets out of bed every morning. In her two-bedroom corporation house there are five children under 12 to care for. Her 35-year-old son has full-blown AIDS and an 18-year-old son with a heroin habit is on a methadone programme. Eight of her 11 children are on drugs. One of them died. Marie will be 60 this year. Her daughter has third-stage AIDS. Two of the five children in the house belong to this daughter. The other three girls were orphaned when Marie's other daughter, Queenie, died in 1992. If there is one thing that captures the legacy of more than 15 years of heroin in Dublin it is Marie Dempsey's photo albums. There is her daughter Catherine - everyone called her Queenie - at Portmarnock beach, tanned and smiling. There are photos of Queenie in a hospital bed, her shiny dark hair cropped and matted. Then as she lay in bed at home, huge eyes staring out of a caved-in face, two days before she died, aged 27. There is also a snapshot of her coffin being pulled in an ornate horse-drawn carriage around the south Dublin corporation estate, Rutland Grove. Most harrowing are the Polaroids of her grand-daughter Lorna, Queenie's third baby. They show the three-year-old, eyes closed, with her head on a pillow, wearing a white satin dress. She could be sleeping, except for the waxy grey skin. She is laid out in the dress given to her by staff at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children. The nurses were "mad about her". Marie believes Lorna was born with HIV. She died a year before Queenie. Marie had just got her walking, having looked after the sick baby when her mother couldn't cope. Both mother and daughter are buried in the same plot in Mount Jerome, with Marie's father-in-law. We sit in the kitchen beside an open fire, the only source of heat and hot water in house. The grandchildren - who call her Mammy "when they're sick or when they're fighting" - are glued to The Simpsons. The ashes of the dead baby's father, who died a month before her, are in the front room. Upstairs, Marie's son Thomas is in bed after being released the day before from St James's Hospital where he was treated for pneumonia. Thomas started taking heroin in 1982. "I didn't even know he was on drugs until he was 18 or 19. He was acting very strange." Marie grew up around the corner from the infamous Dunne family. Larry Dunne is blamed for flooding Dublin with heroin around the time her first child started using. She is not angry with them. "The money was handy and they got into that. I wouldn't blame them. It's up to the people themselves to take drugs." Thomas had been a good son who looked after his younger brothers and sisters each time she went into hospital to have another baby. He left school at 13 and got into heroin some time later. He tested HIV positive almost 10 years ago. "My fella started telling me I was encouraging them. I was kinda coping with it. He was afraid - of the drugs and the sickness." Her husband left and she kept coping. On a Tuesday night in April 1992, after Marie had been caring for Queenie for three years, she had just finished washing her and changing her bed when her daughter said to her: "Ma, do you know I'm going to die!" I answered: 'Yes, love.' Then she said: 'When I go you're not to worry'." Queenie had picked out the Holy Communion dress for her eldest daughter, but Marie knew she was not going to live long enough to see it. So they put the dress on the child and sent her into the room, telling her to pretend it was the Communion day. Marie remembers making the child stand close to the wall so her mother wouldn't lift the skirt of the dress to check for the frilly knickers she had ordered specially. They had not arrived, and came three days later, the morning Queenie died. A nun and a social worker call to Marie's house. She spares the nun the worst of her problems. "When I started telling her things she started crying. She's real soft. So now I don't say anything to her at all." The women who work at a community centre, Addiction Response Crumlin, call every day. Both Thomas and Queenie were good at sports. "I'd more trophies," Marie says. Thomas was "grand until he was about 17. Then I'd the police at my door. And they've been at my door ever since." After Queenie's death, Marie featured in a TV documentary. She has many friends who are bringing up children of their own, dying children. The documentary won awards and she was paid £250 for her time and the use of her home. Someone dropped in a box of chocolate biscuits and a plant. Nothing has improved since then. "An awful lot of people here know members of their families died of AIDS. If they would open their hearts and talk about it then it would help. A lot know their families are on drugs. They just don't want to admit it." Last weekend, Queenie's eldest daughter made her Confirmation. She came home with presents. "She hands me a box and says, 'It's for Mother's Day, but I'm giving it to you today'." Inside was a chain with a small gold heart, with "Mam" inscribed on it. Some years they buy two Mother's Day cards, one for the grave and the other for their granny. "They're just not getting what they should be getting in life." Last summer they had a week's holiday in the country. "I want the kids to get a break from us and for them to see something different." Sometimes she feels like giving up. Last week she went into casualty after she had a panic attack while she was in St James's Hospital with Thomas. The rest of her children are living in Inchicore, a house she describes as a hell-hole. Every day brings a new crisis. Sometimes it is "running up to Inchicore to bring one of them to hospital." She is grateful that none them has overdosed. When she lived in Rutland Grove the gardai would raid her house regularly, she says, looking for stolen property. They would stop her twin-tub washing machine and tell her she was hiding jewellery in it. But everything her children stole went on heroin, she says. One night the vigilantes called, armed with bats and a gun, looking for a boy that had been seen in a stolen car that had almost killed a child in a flats complex. She has bought methadone on the black market for her children. She knows second-generation addicts who are on heroin after seeing their parents die. "One woman has seven on drugs. Another has buried three sons and has two daughters on drugs. She's rearing grandchildren as well." Marie worries about the future for her own grandchildren. No one has come up with a total number of heroin-related suicides, overdoses and AIDS deaths in Dublin in the years since the early 1980s. Some families are reluctant to admit a drug death. In the north inner city they put the number at 104 at the end of 1997. In Crumlin, the ARC project wants to put up a permanent memorial to their dead. Signs in supermarkets ask parents who have lost a child to drugs to come forward. But they have already had objections from residents to the idea of planting a tree. Her view of the "war against drugs" is bleak. "They'll never stop drugs coming in here because there's too much money being made. They've left it too late - the Government - to do anything about anything."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Seizures Could Be Tip Of Iceberg (Ireland's 'Examiner' Notes Fears That The Many High Profile Drug Seizures In The Country Over The Past 18 Months May Not Have Had A Significant Impact On Street Supply Lines - Recent Figures Released In America Claim The International Drugs Trade Is Now Bigger Than The International Car Trade) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 06:34:04 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Ireland: Drugs Seizures Could Be Tip Of Iceberg Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Monday, 9 March 1998 Author: Kevin Barry Source: The Examiner (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org DRUGS SEIZURES COULD BE TIP OF ICEBERG THE underworld market for illicit narcotics in Ireland remains buoyant, despite many recent garda successes against major drug operators like John Gilligan. And seizures over the past 18 months may not have had a significant impact on street supply lines. "A great demand exists for these drugs and where there's a demand, there'll be an attempt made to supply," said Detective Superintendent Tim O'Callaghan of Cork drug squad. He agreed generally that the drug market remains strong. A network of criminal gangs, with close links built up since the late 1970s, has been operating between Dublin and Cork and is largely controlling the illicit drug trade in Ireland. Links between the gangs have apparently been fortified as the criminals battle back against the increased pressure, and resources, of the gardai. The gangs are reported to regularly co-finance multi-million pound drug deals. This would involve importing cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin into the country through well-established channels and they then split the risks and profits between them. "The way they enter into these deals is basically like that of a normal business consortium," said Det Supt O'Callaghan. One report yesterday named five Cork men as being among the country's leading drug dealers. Four of the men are still based in the country while one is thought to be in hiding in Holland or Spain. One of the men is an ex-priest, in his late 50s, who is reported to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in County Cork. There are now fears that the high profile drug seizures over the past 18 months may not have had a significant impact on street supply lines. The Cork and Dublin drug squads and the National Drug Unit had a banner year in 1997, seizing narcotics with a total estimated value in the region of £30 million last year. But in the first two months of this year, yet another £15 million worth of drugs have been seized. This is giving rise to the suggestion that garda operations may have merely rippled the surface of an enormous drug pool. International reports, which were prepared by Interpol and other agencies, would support this thinking. It is generally estimated that drugs seized globally amount to less than 10 per cent of the overall trade. And recent figures released in America claim the international drugs trade is now bigger than the international car trade.
------------------------------------------------------------------- German SPD On The Run Over Greens' Petrol Tax ('Reuters' Notes The German Green Party Agreed At A Weekend Congress, Held To Prepare For September's General Election, To Triple Gasoline Taxes, Wind Down NATO, Slash The Size Of The German Army And Legalize Marijuana) Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 15:05:13 -0500 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: Germany: Wire: German SPD on the run over Greens' petrol tax To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Reuters Pubdate: Mar 9, 1998 Author: Mark John GERMANY SPD ON THE RUN OVER GREENS' PETROL TAX BONN (Reuters) - Germany's opposition SPD ran for cover Monday after the Greens, their likeliest ally in any future government, demanded a threefold rise in gasoline tax, the end of NATO and the legalization of marijuana. Chancellor Helmut Kohl seized on the Green proposals for attack in an attempt to revive his flagging poll ratings and scare voters away from any ``red-green'' coalition. The Greens agreed at a weekend congress, held to prepare for September's general election, to triple gasoline taxes, wind down NATO, slash the size of the German army and legalize marijuana. The gas tax increase would more than triple the cost of gasoline over 10 years to five marks ($2.72) a liter or about $10.30 a gallon. Social Democrat (SPD) politicians sought to distance their center-left party from the manifesto, which they see as a sure vote-loser given Germany's huge car industry. ``This demand is absolute nonsense. You won't get gasoline at five marks a liter with us,'' SPD parliamentary business manager Peter Struck told Deutschlandradio Berlin. Kohl and his center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said the Greens would be a disaster in government. ``It would be a huge setback for Germany economically and socially if a red-green coalition put in place even some of the things the Greens have said they want,'' he said. Kohl attacked the Greens' vote against German troops taking part in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia as ``putting at risk the great trust Germany has built in the international community over the past decades.'' Gerhard Schroeder, the SPD's challenger to Kohl, said no SPD-led government would scrap the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Schroeder told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper he would ensure continuity in German foreign policy if elected in September. Political analysts called the petrol tax a godsend for the CDU. ``It scares the living daylights out of people,'' Dietrich Thraenhardt, a political scientist at the University of Muenster, told Reuters. Schroeder, who trounced the CDU in an election in his home state of Lower Saxony last week, once sat on the board of Volkswagen and cultivates a pro-business image. The Greens want to use revenue from a progressive raising of gas taxes over 10 years to cut high social security contributions, a move they say would create thousands of jobs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Rave Commission - The Only Culture Police In The Western World (Translation Of Article From Sweden's 'Arbetaren' About The Most Drug-Crazed Country In The World, Where Young Narco-Nazis Can Oblige Anyone To Take A Urine Test On Demand - Or Force Their Way Into Your House On 'Reasonable Suspicion') Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 14:54:23 -0400 (AST) Sender: Chris Donald
From: Chris Donald To: email@example.com Subject: CULTURE POLICE! Sweden: The Rave Commission - The Only Culture Police In The Western World (fwd) Newshawk: Jonas Thorell Author: Magnus Linton Pubdate: nr 9 March 1998 Source: Arbetaren (Sweden) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: 46 08 673 03 45 Website: http://home3.swipnet.se/~w-31871/Arb2.htm Original Title: Ravekommissionen - Vastvarldens enda kulturpolis Text (Swedish): http://www.psykedelbok.se/ravekommissionen_sv.html Translator: Olafur Brentmar Translator's note: This is a "raw" translation from Swedish to, since it's not very proper English, let's call it, Swenglish. If the translation is understandable maybe the plight, of Jan, Oscar and others on the "wrong" side in Sweden, is better understood outside of its borders than at home. I will continue to translate Swedish articles if there is an interest out there. If there is anybody with professional skills in the art of translation, that wants to help with this effort, please let me know. - Olafur Brentmar, Editor, DrugSense/MAP News Service THE RAVE COMMISSION - THE ONLY CULTURE POLICE IN THE WESTERN WORLD (There is one strange country on our planet. A country whose government likes to exercise control. Since 1993 the legislature has given its police force the right to control its citizens even under the skin, to check if everything is OK with their internal fluids. A country where the government does not only have the right to do so, but is actually doing it. That country is Sweden.) Sweden has a very special police force, there is nothing quite like it in the rest of the world: The Rave Commission. A group of 18 young motivated police officers whose duty is not to fight crime but a culture - the rave culture - a youth movement that is ever more marginalized. This story is about the only culture police in the western world. An unique phenomena. The mission of the Rave Commission is to reduce the wide spread use of drugs among youth in the Stockholm area. The commission began its work in November of 1996, however, there is nothing that indicates that use the of drugs has dropped. On the contrary, young people continue to consume more of everything, both alcohol and narcotics. At a drug treatment center for youth, Maria Ungdom, in Stockholm 1500 youths were admitted during 1997, which is 300 more than 1996. Critics of the commission are saying that the young police force does some good but much damage, that the integrity transgressing controls and systematic supervision of every rave happening has a devastating effect on the positive values within the rave culture and in effect is a sharp oppression of young people that have chosen an alternative life style. Social workers are now warning that if the rave commission is not scrapped or does not change its methods of operation we will soon see masses of youth filled with hatred walking in the foot steps of the 1996 Olympic bomber. "It's boiling hot among the youth," says social worker Jan Quarfordt who has worked with the rave youth more than six years. "Now it has gone too far. Before the Rave Commission existed youth used to talk about music, dance, girls, guys, clothes, and to some degree about drugs, but since the rave commission got started the only topic of conversation is cops and the Commission. The Commission is killing a culture that has many very positive traits which would be in the interest of society to adopt instead of choking." Broke Up Parties The Rave Commission was created as a direct result of the problem police had in handling the well covered parties at the dance palace Docklands in Stockholm during the middle of the 90's, where at several occasions they raided, broke up the parties and found that "narcotics were in wide spread use in rave and youth circles to a degree that is alarming". The Commission had earlier gotten its mandate extended six months at a time, but recently this mandate was granted through the 1st of February 1999 and after that the Rave Commission is probably a permanent feature of the police force in Stockholm. The fundamental idea is to "discover abuse early", in order to quickly make parents and the social department aware of the problems. This means that the application of a rare method to focus on users as well as dealers, and many of the youth that are apprehended are those who tried drugs for the first time and never before has had any contact with the police. The Commission is mapping out all the rave concerts in Stockholm, the undercover agents are present at all larger dances, and the methods are to pick up youth and bring them to a police station to check their blood and urine. The operations of the Commission, according to Arbetaren's research, has nothing corresponding to it in the western world and is made possible through the repressive Swedish drug policy. The method - that a police, without the suspect having caused anyone else harm, allowing penetration of the skin on a person to check up on the condition of the internal substances - was made possible after a legislative maneuver by the conservative government in 1993. No other comparable democratic countries are practicing anything similar. In some other western countries the use of narcotics is criminalized, but no other democratic country is actively checking up on its citizens in this fashion During 1997 the Rave Commission apprehended 1214 youths, and of those 837 was taken to a police station for checkup. In order for the Rave Commission to arrest people there needs to be "reasonable grounds to suspect narcotics violations". But many youths are now criticizing the Commission for arbitrary selections of victims. The 27th of December Tomas Lilius was arrested at the large rave party Mindscape in Stockholm when he was on the toilet to take his asthma medication. "Two police officers from the Rave Commission came in and asked what I was doing. 'I am taking my medication'" I answered. "'What kind of medicines and what do you need them for', they said. Then they took me outside for a body search and brought me to Vastberga police station for drug testing. They then confiscated my medicines and I was held on 'reasonable suspicion of narcotics violations.'" Later during the night Lilius got an asthma attack, but he did get medical help by the police doctor. He claims that he has been arrested four times by the Rave Commission on suspicions of being under the influence of narcotics. Each time he was tested and never was anything found in his possession or in his body fluids. After the raid at Mindscape - where police arrested 66 persons - he was released after a few hours and was left to find his way back to the party. When the test results were forthcoming they indicated that he was not under the influence. "In their report they wrote that I was 'obviously under the influence of narcotics'. So one wonders naturally: How in hell can I be under the influence of narcotics when there's nothing in my body?" Not To Be Said In Sweden Jan Quartfordt is detested by the Rave Commission. He has at several occasions sharply criticized the Commission in the media and points out that their operations are totally counter-productive, that the Commission is destroying a generally very good - although different - youth culture while the abuse of drugs continues just as before, but at home in peoples apartments. The Rave Commission is killing the parties and instead generates "drug bins" says Jan Quarfordt. The police accuse Quarfordt of being "unclear", which according to police and Swedish political consensus is the same as being a drug liberal, a point of view that is unacceptable in Swedish bureaucracy. Something that Jan Quarfordt is well aware of and therefore points out repeatedly that he is not speaking for anybody but himself. "I am not an extreme drug liberal. These drugs they are experimenting with sometimes are extremely strong and can make serious problems in peoples lives. So certainly we have a problem. But I don't believe the best way to deal with it is to grab people in the ear and scream as loud as possible: 'Quit doing this!' I just do not believe it's the best method. "I think that many legislators are aware that it is not a very good way of dealing with the problem. On the other hand it's politically rather effective, since it demonstrates power of action. There is a rather urgent problem, and to be able to show that something is done seems good enough for some people. It doesn't matter then what the results are." In order for the Rave Commission to pick someone up and bring them to a police station for urine analysis they must first have - as the police call it - "built a suspicion" that a person is under the influence, which in it self is a crime in Sweden. This is determined by several "signs" of which the most common is the size of the pupils, another is to see if the dancers are "shaking their fingers". Exactly what is meant by that is unclear but the Rave Commission's observers considers it the most significant sign of being under the influence of drugs. A third sign is dry mouth. A fourth is, as the Rave Commissions newly appointed director Janne Magnusson expresses it in unmistakable police lingo: "tense jaws grinding sideways". Jan Quarfordt thinks that the Commission's intense controlling has taken a rather bizarre twist. If you dance like a mad man for hours, he says, it is not so strange to get a slightly dry mouth. "It is obvious that the kids get paranoid about their behavior. They come to a place where they have spent ten or twenty dollars in admission; if you are all dressed up for the evening, in a good mood and full of expectations; to then have to constantly think about not getting cotton mouth, not to shake your fingers too rapidly, not to move in certain ways, so that it isn't interpreted as a 'sign' and then maybe have the evening interrupted to go down to a police station for a few hours and then make it back to the party if you can. It is obvious that this creates a very uncomfortable atmosphere. What adult would accept this treatment in a bar?" Jan Quarfordt contends that the grown-ups reacted spontaneously when the rave culture arrived in Sweden and grew strong in the beginning of the 90's. It was not just the drugs that was scary but the whole concept. Grown-ups were astonished about the peculiar behavior: the youth were not drinking alcohol, not fighting, even the men were dancing, sometimes even with each other, on top of that the dancing continued into the early morning, sometimes throughout the night and way in to the following day. The latter seemed impossible without the use of drugs and all of a sudden it became legitimate to launch large police resources to destroy the culture. Now the Rave Commission has forced the culture under ground, says Jan Quarfordt. "That several hundred young people between the age of 15 - 25 can gather and be together a whole night without fighting and trouble, doesn't happen anywhere else. I have been present at maybe up to 300 parties and have not seen a fight, never. Compare that with going to a bar and two duds happen to bump into each other in a stair case! I think that is something to build upon in our violent society, such possibilities one should care for and further cultivate." He contends that the adults fear of the wide spread drug use within the rave culture is exaggerated and that the police should spend their resources in other areas, inner city bars like, Café Opera and SpyBar. "The Commission is probably there also. But I don't think the methods are as aggressive there. It is a very different crowd there and one can expect more resistance if one goes too far intimidating folks. The ravers are usually very young and nice people, it is easy for the police to assault them. The police get away with a lot before anybody reacts." Of the almost one thousand persons that the Rave Commission has arrested and taken urine samples from, according to their own numbers, has 90% tested positive for narcotics. Many, among them the police, thinks that the numbers indicate that the Commission is right most of the time, and the fact that an innocent 10% are arrested is acceptable. Jan Quarfordt disagrees. "I think it is too much to be mistaken in one out of ten cases. It means that during one year they have apprehended about one hundred innocent persons, that were arrested, had to submit to urine test and been suspected for more than a week before the test results are in. What is sick is that the police reports to the social department immediately without waiting for the test results. Parents thus get a report totally unnecessary that their child is suspected of being a druggie, such things can create quite a scene at home." Prohibition of Feeling Good Oscar is 21 and a druggie. At least according to the society that he feels increasingly alienated from. He has a hard time to identify himself in that role. Presently he is taking a desktop publishing course and a few years ago he was in collage studying Sociology with a 4.1 average. Since then he has studied literature at the university. "I'm no more a druggie than someone that drinks booze, says Oscar. The Swedish classification of drugs is stupid. Everything is illegal if you call it narcotics, and if you use anything that isn't legal then you're an abuser, even if you check it out just once. You can be an user of alcohol and tobacco, anything illegal and you are an abuser. Totally sick!" He is a typical raver. Coming from the high middle class, no previous criminal record, has always been sharp in school, neither smoked nor drank, because he "doesn't like drugs that are addictive". "However, I do take other drugs sometimes - ecstasy, LSD or mushrooms, because they, together with dance and techno music, gives me an unbelievable experience. It improves my quality of life. Besides, says Oscar, LSD for an example is much cheaper than alcohol." "LSD is very inexpensive. You can buy a hefty trip for $12. It can be divided in four, that means $3 for a really good trip that lasts for a whole night." Last summer he was arrested, at a rave concert on a small island in Lake Malaren, with twelve hits of acid in his pocket. That gave him two months in prison. Today he seems almost indifferent about the incident, and says that he doesn't take more or less drugs now than he used to. After some experiments with drugs, Oscar concludes that all he learned in school was either large or small lies, and since then he has a problem to take either police or politicians seriously. Since the Internet became a reality for Oscar and other youth it has become much easier to find the discussions of a more liberal view about narcotics as is the case in other parts of Europe. In September of last year the British newspaper "Independence on Sunday" began its campaign for legalization of Cannabis. The drive is supported by many famous faces - both artists and members of parliament - and every Sunday they publish articles and reports with facts about cannabis use and the paper is filled with a lively debate pros and cons of legalization. The information is spread at the speed of light over mail servers and discussion groups on the Net, there Oscar and other like-minded scorn and make fun of "the official Swedish narcotics policy". One example of this is the latest suggestion from the social department - to establish an "euphoria law". It is an attempt to get to all the new hallucinogenic mushrooms and other substances that are not yet classified as narcotics which are now being imported in large scale or can be collected around in the Swedish forests. The problem that the politicians now have is that all substances that they think ought to be illegal are not "highly addictive", which today is a necessary criterion for a substance to be classified as a narcotic. In May the parliament will put forth a proposition to expand the definition of narcotics to include everything that contains any "euphoric substances" as a classified narcotic and thereby prohibited. Since the government seems uninterested in whether the substance is dangerous or not but rather concentrates on whether it causes "euphoria" - a word whose synonyms according to the dictionary is "well-being" or "happiness" - it is not only Oscar and his friends but also several serious narcotics experts that find it hard not to laugh. But when you are body searched by the Rave Commission and have to stand with your pants down it is easy to hold back laughter. The Commission has the whole violence machinery in their hands. That is a fact. Oscar has been apprehended several times without having been under the influence, and he sees the Commission as the most primitive expression of what he experiences as the politicians total drug paranoia. "Their work has only one effect, he says. Youth are feeling growing hatred for government authority. They are acting like fascists. People don't use less drugs, but take them at home. They are destructive for the people that want to have fun in a new way, in a form they are not familiar with." The Raves Are Lying Wednesday, February 18th at 11 AM, I am calling up the office of the Rave Commission at Nacka police station in Stockholm to talk to David Beukelmann or Patrik Ungsater, two guys that have been a part of it since the start in November 1996. "I'm sorry," says a woman. "They are out on a house search. I'm sorry I cannot tell when they'll be back." House searches, I am informed, is currently a routine mission for the Rave Commission. During 1997 the Commission has conducted more than a thousand house searches in the Stockholm area. That is about three every day seven days a week. Any warrant from a prosecutor to enter and search a house is not necessary, a verbal OK by phone is enough. Or, if the Rave Commissions young police officers - average age is 28 years - doesn't think they have enough time to contact the prosecutor, they can make the decision themselves to brake in. All that is needed is that the officers consider that they have "reasonable suspicion of a narcotics violation". When I the following day get hold of David Beukelmann he explains his views on narcotics. He hates narcotics, and does not want to see druggies in his life. He sees narcotics as the society's number one problem. If we can eliminate drugs all other problems will solve themselves, he says, and several times during our conversation he repeats that he is "fired up" about his work. "I have seen so many druggie shacks and so much misery," says David Beukelmann. "For me this is a pathos. Narcotics is the real fight in our society." His opinion is that all narcotics is life threatening. Recent reports about the relatively modest danger of cannabis smoking in comparison to alcohol he can see no reason to take seriously. Alcohol is alcohol and narcotics is narcotics. For David Beukelmann there is an enormous difference. He has never tried any drugs, it's not necessary, since he already knows what happens. And that is true for everything, cannabis as well as heroin. "I don't need to jump from the Eiffel tower to understand that it hurts to hit the ground," he says. "If I have basic knowledge of the laws of physics then I know that it will hurt when I come down. It is the same thing with narcotics, since I know how the chemistry works I also know it is dangerous." David Beukelmann is, unlike his boss district police chief Gunno Gunnmo, not so sure that the total consumption of drugs among youth has been reduced as a consequence of the Rave Commissions work. "It is hard to determine," he says. "But the open handling of narcotics in clubs and bars in Stockholm has become much less obvious since we started our work. I guess one can say that people are using drugs in private instead, and that might be true. But our results are positive anyway since youth that do not use drugs will not be exposed to narcotics, that in itself is positive, since one is less likely to slip in to it. We know about people who have been arrested by us and now have a straighter view of life. There is no statistical evidence of that. But we do know of cases like that, and even if it is only one or two that is better than none." He contends that the youth's accusations, that he and his colleges have changed the mandate they got by society to a personal crusade against narcotics and that they are unnecessarily tough and make random body searches which are not really legally sanctioned, are totally absurd. He gets upset when he is accused of being brutal. "What's brutal? What the hell does brutal mean? As if we would mistreat people or what is the question?" David Beukelmann says that the raves are fabricating a lot of stories about assaults which they contend that the Commission has done and that there are fake interviews about them spread on the Internet. "To control people is our job, and if we could know beforehand and on a distance that people are high then we would never have to approach them. However, that is not how it is. To determine if someone is high one has to talk to them. We always try to make that encounter with as little discomfort as possible. But sometimes it doesn't get as pleasant as one would like, and it doesn't always depend on our behavior. In other police units there is much more violence than in ours, not saying that there is much violence elsewhere." Dave Beukelmann repeats over and over that he has no problem seeing the positive values within the rave culture. Fighting and drinking, he says, is something the Rave Commission almost never run into. He likes techno music and agrees that a rave concert is an enormous sound and light experience. "We are not out to destroy the rave culture. I have to strongly deny that. We are not fighting the rave culture, what is putting sticks in the wheel for that culture is the narcotics. The Rave Culture can not sanitize themselves from it, that's why our society has to do something, and that's where the police come in. It is not the police that is destructive, it is those who use narcotics that makes us have to shut down the parties." The name - the Rave Commission - is however a fact that nobody can deny. That it implies that a whole youth culture is criminal, David Beukelmann has some sympathy for. But, he says, now the name is so accepted and effective that it will be kept. "But that is insignificant. The name of a police unit doesn't mean anything. But if we had to do it all over again we would probably choose another name, that I agree with." Changing Trends Or Endangered Culture That Sweden chose this unique model to criminalize not only possession but also use of narcotics in 1988 and then tightened that law in 1993 making it possible for police officers to control what is happening under the skin of its citizens has undeniably had consequences regarding their personal integrity. The worst consequences of this decision is for the youth that love to dance and are unfortunate enough to like techno music. Ullix - she does not want to use her full name in the paper - is operating a newly opened rave facility, Industry, in southern Stockholm. She speaks of outright stalking, and if the police really mean that it's not a culture police then it would be suitable as a first step to change the name, she says. "How can parents dare to let their children go to a rave concert when they can read in the news paper that our society has put a whole police commando to fight rave? The name of the Rave Commission is branding the whole movement. Rave becomes a synonym for illegal drugs." The rave culture is no doubt threatened. There are different opinions on whether it depends on hyper active controls of the Rave Commission, narcotics or just simply a trend that is on its way out. David Beukelmann believes in prohibition, tough control and has no problem justifying his work methods. He contends that all this talk about personal integrity and individual freedom are drug myths. Most of all he wants to expand the powers of the state, and suggests that a total prohibition of alcohol is the next step. "Yes," he says. "If it was up to me then I think it would be best." Jan Quarfordt is seriously concerned about the future. He contends that the Rave Commission's officers are inexperienced people, and tend to behave like indoctrinated soldiers. "I think one ought to make them think a bit further. They talk like parrots: 'early discovery, broken abuse, denounce abuse, prohibition, arrest, save people, etc., etc.'" That is a rather narrow perspective. One does not save people like this. The rave culture must be met with respect and dialog. Instead they are driven underground into a permanent subculture. And it is not really good if we get groups of young people that feel more loyalty with the Hells Angels than with our Swedish police. That is when it gets really awful.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Secretary-General Kofi Annan Appoints High-Level Experts To Review Progress Of United Nations Efforts Against Illicit Drugs (UN Information Service Says The Experts Will Undertake A Comprehensive Review Of How The Efforts Against Illicit Drugs Have Evolved Within The United Nations System Since The General Assembly Established The United Nations International Drug Control Programme, UNDCP, In 1991 - Primary Aim Of Their Work Will Be To Recommend How To Strengthen Future International Cooperation) Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 13:44:30 +0100 To: email@example.com From: mario lap
Subject: UN experts UNIS/NAR/627 9 March 1998 Secretary-General Kofi Annan Appoints High-level Experts To Review Progress of United Nations Efforts against Illicit Drugs VIENNA, 9 March (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has appointed a group of thirteen high-level experts to undertake a comprehensive review of how the efforts against illicit drugs have evolved within the United Nations System since the General Assembly established the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in 1991. The thirteen experts are : Gustavo Albín Santos, México Philip O. Emafo, Nigeria Nobuaki Ito, Japan Hans Lundborg, Sweden Alvaro José da Costa Mendonça e Moura, Portugal Nozipho Joice Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa Daniela Rozgonova, Slovakia Missouri Sherman-Peters, Bahamas N. K. Singh, India Joseph C. Snyder III, United States Kalman Szendrei, Hungary Peter Thompson, United Kingdom Belisario Velazco Baranoa, Chile The main aim of their work will be to recommend how to strengthen future international cooperation against illicit drugs, and to identify measures aimed at reinforcing UNDCP's activities in the field of drug control, including increased financial resources. The experts group, which will hold its first meeting in Vienna 22-24 April, will be requested to prepare a progress report to be submitted to the Special Session of the General Assembly on international drug control, which will be held in New York 8-10 June 1998. A final report will be submitted by the experts to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its forty-second session. The Secretary-General had been requested by the Economic and Social Council to convene the group of experts through resolution 1997/37. *** For further information, contact: Sandro Tucci, Spokesperson for the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention Ph: (43-1) 21345 5629 Fax: (43-1) 21345 5931 Mobile: (43-664) 210 50 29 *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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