Portland NORML News - Monday, March 9, 1998

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (aal@inetarena.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: 60 Protest Marijuana "Thug" Force/Knock & Talk


Sponsors of the

Drug War, or Drug Peace?

Email: AAL@InetArena.com

As of: Monday, March 9, 1998


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,"

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

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.



(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 (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon State Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com),
CC: Gun Owners of America (goamail@gunowners.org>
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

In My Opinion
by Ralph S. Thomas



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

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--

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Paul "Freedom" Stone

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Mason 
Source: The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Author: Joe Vargo
Pubdate: Sun, 9 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@pe.net
Website: http://www.press-enterprise.com/news/


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

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."

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

* Tell your children you love them.

SOURCES: The Murrieta Valley Unified School District, Murrieta Police

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US WA: Employees Angry Over Proposed Ban On Smoking At Hospital
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998
Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA
Contact: letters@heraldnet.com
WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com
Author: Associated Press
Note: Comments can be sent to newmedia@heraldnet.com.


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

"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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: DWI Law Is Only Eyewash
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Pubdate: Mon, 09 Mar 1998
Page: 17A
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/


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
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: tuletters@timesunion.com
Website: http://www.timesunion.com/


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

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.

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: Policing for Profit: The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Pubdate: March 9, 1998
Source: The Nation
Author: Eric Blumens0N & Eva Nilsen
Contact: letters@thenation.com
Note: Eric Blumenson is a professor at Suffolk University Law School. Eva
Nilsen is an associate clinical professor at Boston University School of


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

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:

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: CIA Clears Self of Drug Charge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield 
Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998
Source: The Nation
Author: David Corn
Contact: www.thenation.com


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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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/


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

John Schwartz's e-mail address is schwartj@twp.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

(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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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/



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,

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

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

"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)
Link to 'The Swedish Experience'
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 22:17:09 -0700 Subject: More Ritalin From: "Debbie Harper3" To: mattalk Calgary Herald Mon. March 9, 1998 (A2) letters@theherald.southam.ca 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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Colombia: Colombians Vote for Congress as Rebels Rage
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Page: A 10
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Australia: The Trail Of Drugs That Affects Us All
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Mon, 9 Mar 1998
Source: The Age
Author: Lindsay Murdoch
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Australia: We've Lost Drug War: Comrie
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Contact: editorial@theage.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
Pubdate: Mon, 9th Mar 1998


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

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

"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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Times The (UK)
Author: John O'leary
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Pubdate: 9 Mar 1998


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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Monday, March 9, 1998
Source: Irish Times
Author: Catherine Cleary
Contact: Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407


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

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)
Link to info on how addictive heroin is
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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,
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407


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

"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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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,
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Monday, 9 March 1998
Author: Kevin Barry
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie


THE underworld market for illicit narcotics in Ireland remains buoyant,
despite many recent garda successes against major drug operators like John

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Mar 9, 1998
Author: Mark John


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: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.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: arbetaren@sac.se
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


(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

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

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

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

"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

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: press@drugtext.nl
From: mario lap 
Subject: UN experts
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


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