Portland NORML News - Wednesday, March 11, 1998

Who Should Police East Palo Alto? ('Palo Alto Weekly' Update
On Struggle Between San Mateo County Sheriff's Office And City Police -
Each Has Independently Formed A Special Drug Enforcement Team)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 10:58:35 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US CA: Who should Police East Palo Alto?
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Palo Alto Weekly
Contact: paweekly@netcom.com
Pubdate: Wedbesday 11 Mar 1998
Website: http://www.service.com/PAW/


Both Sheriff Don Horsley and Police Chief Wes Bowling say they should be
responsible for police work in the community

San Mateo County sheriff's deputies and city police have shared
responsibilities for fighting crime in East Palo Alto since 1993, patrolling
different parts of the city in the late afternoons and nights. In the last
year, however, relations between the two departments have become notably
strained. Each has independently formed a special drug enforcement team to
combat a surge in open drug dealing in the city, instead of working together
to form one unified team.

The creation of two separate drug teams illustrates what is happening in
East Palo Alto, where two separate police forces are patrolling the streets
and arresting suspects, often without much communication with each other.

When incorporation was narrowly approved by East Palo Alto voters in 1983,
supporters cited the need for their own police department as a chief reason
for seeking self-rule.

Before incorporation, the city was patrolled by sheriff's deputies, but
there was strong sentiment in the community that the sheriff provided poor
service to the residents, which helped fuel the drive for incorporation and
local control of the police.

Almost 15 years later, city officials are still wrestling with how to get
and maintain effective police services in the community.

Just as the sheriff's department didn't inspire much confidence back in
1983, the city's police department is being criticized for shortcomings

A San Mateo County grand jury report released last December recommended that
the department be disbanded and the sheriff's department handle police
services in the city for up to five years.

The grand jury report came after the embattled department had had one
officer convicted of brutality and another charged with sexual harassment.
Other officers had gained a reputation--in the law enforcement
community--for being unprofessional.

Defenders of the department, including many residents, say the department
has had a few isolated incidents that have received widespread publicity,
unfairly painting a picture of an incompetent department.

The officers who created the problems--including four who are now in the
process of being fired--are gone, Police Chief Wes Bowling said, leaving
behind a core of dedicated, hard-working officers.

Others in the community, including members of the East Palo Alto Homeowners
Association, who have been at odds with the City Council for years, say that
enough is enough. They say the city should listen to the grand jury and let
Sheriff Don Horsley do the job.

Horsley was not sheriff in 1983, when the sheriff's department was held in
such low esteem by city residents.

The people who will decide the future of policing in East Palo Alto are all
elected officials, including the five members of the East Palo Alto City
Council, the five members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors--who
have voted to subsidize police services in the city since 1993--and Horsley
himself, who would very much like to add the city to his department's
policing responsibilities.

Now, Horsley is making another pitch to take over police services in the
city as he and the City Council negotiate a new police services contract to
replace the one that expires June 30.

Under the current contract, the sheriff provides about seven patrol officers
each night and most of the detectives in the investigation bureau.

Will the existing contract be continued as is?

Will the council adopt Horsley's plan?

Or will East Palo Alto end up with something different, something in

"The bottom line for us is we will make sure that crime doesn't get out of
control the way it did before," said Vice Mayor Sharifa Wilson. "If it means
contracting out (for police services), that's what it means. I supported
incorporation for local control of the police, but if local control can't
assure safety, then I have to move from that position."

To help the council decide, the city is preparing to commission an
assessment of police services in the community by hiring an outside
consultant to determine what kind of department the city really needs.

The consultant's report will presumably also tell the council whether its
current department can meet the city's public safety needs, or whether the
city should scrap the department and bring in someone else to provide police

In doing a needs assessment for police services, city officials hope to
learn what kind of staffing it will take to provide adequate safety and
protection for the city's residents. "A needs analysis will be crucial (to
determine) what can reasonably be expected, given the resources we have, so
there are no more unrealistic expectations," said City Manager Jerry

But when the idea of bringing in a consultant was first raised during a City
Council study session Dec. 13, Police Chief Bowling thought the results of
the study might be predictable.

"The first thing a consultant will tell you is you have to raise the
salaries," Bowling said. His officers are the lowest paid in San Mateo
County. "We do have a major resource problem. We can't afford to pay them
enough to stay here, so I am constantly short-handed."

Vice Mayor Wilson then replied, "What you are saying is we will never have a
stable department. I don't have any more money to give you."

"I've lost 17 people this year alone," Bowling said.

The council is banking on the Gateway 101 redevelopment project to bring a
measure of financial health to the city, with two other large redevelopment
projects in the planning stages. And police services, like other services,
hinge to a great degree on money.

The city's budget was temporarily helped by a parcel tax that voters
approved by simple majorities in 1989 and again in 1994. But a group of
property owners challenged the validity of the tax, winning in 1997, when a
state appellate court ruled the tax unconstitutional because it failed to
win the required two-thirds majority.

After the parcel tax expired last year, the council attempted to raise
almost $900,000 a year through passage of a new tax for police services.
Although it was one of the best-organized election campaigns in recent years
in the city, Measure I failed to win the necessary two-thirds voter
approval. The measure gained 59 percent of the vote, a vote of support for
the City Council, but little else.

Now, in addition to trying to find enough money for police and other city
services, the city is looking at the daunting task of paying back as much as
$4 million in refunds to property owners.

"The numbers just don't add up,' said Menlo Park Police Chief Bruce Cumming.
He noted that his department has a budget of $7 million for 49 sworn
officers in a city of about 28,000, with a much lower crime rate than East
Palo Alto's.

East Palo Alto, on the other hand, has an annual police budget of $3.5
million for 41 sworn officers in a city of about 24,000 people.

The pay difference is substantial. In East Palo Alto, beginning police
officers earn $31,632 a year, while the top pay for veterans is $38,436 a
year. In Menlo Park, beginning officers earn $45,924 a year and veterans at
the top grade earn $55,776 a year.

Because of the pay differential, the East Palo Alto Police Department has
had all but a revolving door, with 17 resignations last year alone. Seven of
the departing officers joined the sheriff's department. That means the
department is constantly hiring and training new officers, and is often

After incorporation, the city had 24 officers in 1985, the first year for
the police department. The city had 31 officers in 1991, and has generally
budgeted for 41 or 42 officers since then, but in reality it has always been
several officers down. The department is currently budgeted for 41 officers,
but it actually has 35.

"They need to pay competitive salaries and have a full services department,"
Cumming said. "The math doesn't work right now. Maybe it will in the

As a result, Cumming thinks the city should follow the advice of the grand
jury and contract for police services with the sheriff's department.

"I understand the emotional concerns of being self-governing and
self-policing," Cumming said. "I want to see them make it."

Cumming's sentiments were echoed by Palo Alto Police Chief Chris Durkin and
former East Palo Alto Police Chief Burny Matthews, whom Bowling replaced
three years ago, when Matthews took his current job as police chief in

"If the money is not there to pay the officers adequately, maybe a decision
needs to be made to take another approach," Matthews said. Like others, he
has faith that the city will eventually find firm financial footing and be
able to afford the police services it needs. He called the city a "rose
waiting to bloom."

Durkin also expressed faith that the city will eventually pull through.
"(But) there should be a financial plan for success," Durkin said. "When you
look at all the police needs of the city objectively, and look at the city's
resources, it becomes very difficult to provide the service levels that the
community needs. The business plan should include a point in time when the
police department will be fully funded."

Until that time comes, Durkin said that the sheriff's department may be the
option that makes the most financial sense. "As distasteful as it may be, I
think the option of disbanding the police department should be considered,"
Durkin said.

For some residents, the sheriff's department is the preferred option. "I've
basically lost trust in our police department," said Fred Kiani, a member of
the East Palo Alto Homeowners Association, which sued the city over the 1994
parcel tax and won.

Kiani is angry at the city for implementing a tax that was later found to be
unconstitutional. He's also angry at the police for how they have treated
him when he has tried to report crimes.

"I've called a number of times to report drug dealing and gang activity,"
Kiani said. "(They) came and basically used their power to harass me, not
only verbally. They pushed me against the wall and started interrogating me,
asking where I lived, what I did.

"The police department is not properly managed, and all the work is being
done by the sheriff's department, so it's a waste of money. The police
department is not doing its job."

Another critic of the police department, Samuel Rasheed, has been frustrated
with the loitering and disturbances late at night at two convenience stores
near his Weeks Street home.

"We've never had a real police department that's capable of running a city,"
Rasheed said.

Local control of the police department, long a priority for the City
Council, isn't as important to Rasheed. "I don't want local control," he
said. "I want public safety, no matter where it comes from."

Sally Nakai and her husband have owned a nursery in East Palo Alto for 50
years, She, too, would like the city to contract with the sheriff's
department for police services.

"In the long run, we have to have development, and people will feel more
safe and secure with the sheriff's department," Nakai said. "They have all
the resources and all the experience."

She added that "the police department's record speaks for itself. We have
too many problems that the local police can't handle. This is not political.
It's all about security and safety."

On the other side of the issue are some residents who have rallied around
the police department to demonstrate their support for continuing local
control. In January, a group of residents organized an appreciation dinner
for the police, which was attended by around 100 residents and several
council members. To the booming sounds of "Bad Boys," 23 uniformed police
officers climbed up onto a stage at Ronald McNair School to introduce
themselves to the cheering crowd.

"We want to assure you that you are the pride and joy of the civic
government that will be here tonight and evermore," Mayor R.B. Jones told
the officers to rousing applause. "The San Mateo County sheriff has to
understand that local control is a keystone to any contract we sign."

Chief Bowling called the appreciation dinner "a shot in the arm" for his
much-maligned police force.

"The job that my folks do is a tough job and oftentimes it's very
thankless," Bowling told the audience. "There's been a lot of lies and
innuendos about the East Palo Alto Police Department. . . . The labels that
have been placed on my folks are unfair. We've been understaffed. The loyal
few who have stayed have worked their hearts out."

Bowling said the police department received around 51,000 calls for service
in 1997, the equivalent of 140 calls per day. That means that each officer
is handling around 20 calls per day, he said.

Anti-drug activist Dennis Scherzer said that the city's police are doing a
good job, considering the lack of manpower and resources.

"They're running, they're tired, they're dealing with a lot of nuts," he
said. "The fact that they're not snarling and biting people's heads off
after 13-hour shifts is incredible."

Like Mayor Jones, some residents are adamant that East Palo Alto should not
give up local control of their police department.

"We risk too much if we lose control of this service," resident Belinda
Rosales recently told the City Council. "It has been a hard struggle. Police
department efforts have had a direct result in reducing the crime rate."

Longtime East Palo Alto resident William Webster said that he encountered
very little hostility toward the police when he canvassed many homes in the
city last summer to enlist support for Measure I, which would have helped
fund the city's police department. A handful of people complained about
lack of courtesy, he said, but very few people complained about response
times, which used to be a common complaint.

Webster said that, although the police could probably use some sensitivity
training, response times were less than two minutes whenever he had called
for help.

"Even though the tax measure failed, support for Measure I reflected a vote
of confidence in the police force," said Webster.

While Webster conceded that there had been problems in the police department
since incorporation in 1983, he said that things had vastly improved over
the last five years.

Webster does not welcome the sheriff's proposal to take over the city's
policing. He lived opposite the sheriff's substation in East Palo Alto for
15 years before incorporation, and he was not impressed by their service.

"My carport was a transit point for drug activity," said Webster, who said
he feared for his life when he came home from work at night during the
1970s. "I called repeatedly to the sheriff's substation across the street
with very inadequate response. It got to the point when I no longer bothered

Another longtime resident, Bob Hoover, remembers those days, when the
best-known drug-dealer hangout was across the street from the sheriff's
department substation. "I would want to return to that?" Hoover asked. "For
me, it's not even a discussion."

Hoover is helping organize his neighbors in the Gardens area, which is
patrolled by sheriff's deputies every night. He said it is more difficult
for the community effort to link up with the deputies than it is to
communicate with the city's officers.

"I'm strongly in favor of retaining our police department," Hoover said.

Webster is concerned that as soon as the city signs its police service over
to the sheriff, the sheriff's department has the city over a barrel

"Once the sheriff is the only game in town, they can charge more and say,
'We've been subsidizing you guys.'"

But Sheriff Don Horsley said that the amount of money the city of East Palo
Alto would pay toward the sheriff's services would remain stable from year
to year. "The city would get a subsidy, and the subsidy would remain the
same," he said.

Horsley's proposal would provide 37 police and administrative staff at an
annual cost of $4,994,674, including four sergeants, 20 patrol officers and
seven detectives. The proposal suggests a county subsidy of over $1 million,
which would leave the city with a bill of just under $4 million for its
policing services.

This year, the city is paying $3.5 million for its own police department of
41 officers, and $650,000 for services provided by the sheriff's department,
including patrol officers, detectives and dispatch services. This service is
subsidized to the tune of $1.25 million.

As part of his proposal, Horsley said that he would be prepared to guarantee
a crime rate in East Palo Alto that was equivalent to the rest of San Mateo
County within a time frame agreed with the city. He would also guarantee a
minimum number of six deputies on the streets at any one time. At the
moment, he said, there are sometimes as few as three East Palo Alto police
officers patrolling the city at any one time.

Horsley said that the city deserves better than a police department that
hires brand new officers and then loses them within one year. According to
Horsley, 21 East Palo Alto officers applied last year to work at the
sheriff's department, which pays officers a salary 35 percent higher than
East Palo Alto's, plus benefits. Of those 21, seven East Palo Alto officers
joined the sheriff's department last year, he said.

"Some didn't pass our test," said Horsley, adding that even if they had, he
did not want to strip the department of 21 officers at one time. "We'd
probably be able to hire most of them as long as they don't have lying and
brutality in their background. I'd be derelict in hiring those people."

One East Palo Alto officer who joined the sheriff's department last year,
Heiklti Fakava, said that he did so for financial reasons. He said that his
new job in the main jail was far less stressful than policing the streets of
East Palo Alto, and he received double the salary.

"If there were more officers on the street, the stress level would drop,"
said Fakava, who worked in East Palo Alto from December 1995 until September

Fakava said that morale was low in the department, particularly when
officers started leaving.

"People were just doing their time," he said. "It's a training ground for
new officers, and at the same time it's a rebound school for officers who
have failed somewhere else."

Fakava's comments are reflected in the grand jury report released last
December. (See sidebar on page XX.)

In recent months, city officials have been concerned that the sheriff's
proposal and efforts seemed to be undermining the city's police department.

"It appears that the sheriff is acting completely independently," said Vice
Mayor Wilson. "The sheriff is supposed to provide service based on what we
say our needs are. . . . When you're (out) to undermine the police
department, it raises the question of your commitment to reduce crime."

However, as the top law enforcement official in San Mateo County, Horsley
said he felt entitled to make suggestions for improving public safety in
East Palo Alto.

"I don't think they've been able to do the job," said Horsley, who said he
didn't seek out the press to make his views known. "If somebody calls me up,
I'll talk.

"I don't think I've been attacking them," he said of East Palo Alto
officials. "But I am the chief law enforcement official in the county, and I
think have a responsibility to say what the solution is."

For Horsley, turning East Palo Alto around would be a final feather in the
cap of his 30-year career in law enforcement.

"I got into law enforcement to help people," he said. "I only have four or
five years left. I think East Palo Alto is the last community (in San Mateo
County) that could benefit from development. We could make that community a
model of social change, and I want to be a part of that."

Horsley said that turning East Palo Alto around is an achievable goal.

"We shouldn't be competing," Horsley said. "I think we have to put aside our
differences. . . . The citizens don't care what the department does as long
as they're safe."

According to Horsley, the line officers on the streets of East Palo Alto
work well together. Horsley said he is committed to improving communication
between himself and East Palo Alto's police chief.

"Wes (Bowling) is basically good-hearted," Horsley said. "He's certainly
capable. He means the best for the community."

But having a good heart is not the issue. Combatting crime is. In 1992, when
the city was considered the murder capital of the United States, there were
42 murders in just one year. In 1996, there was only one homicide, but last
year the murder rate crept up again to 15, including nine people who died in
one arson attack on Fordham Street. This year, there have already been three

"I see violent crime creeping up," said Horsley, adding that some citizens
had warned him that the latest spate of violence was similar to pre-1992
levels. "I don't think it's a crisis now, but a priority needs to be putting
out the brush fire."

Bowling said that much of the drug activity was a result of a rise in gang
activity. Other activity could be traced to people arrested in 1992 through
1994 who are now back out in the streets, he said.

"We had crooks robbing crooks for their dope," he said. "Some of the
shootings were retaliatory."

Horsley said drug trafficking has become much more sophisticated in East
Palo Alto since 1992. Dealers are careful not to be caught with drugs in
their possession, he said. They keep drug supplies in empty apartments, and
keep a lookout system to warn dealers if the police are approaching.

"The first priority has got to be taking the drug dealers off the streets,"
said Horsley. "The only way to make an impact is to make arrests. That can't
be done by uniformed officers. It needs to be well thought out."

Both the East Palo Alto police department and the sheriff's department have
set up strike teams that sweep well-known drug-dealing locations a total of
four nights of the week. East Palo Alto's Operation Hotspot has been
targeting 18 hot spots throughout the city since November. Starting this
month, the sheriff's department set up a similar strike team that targets
both drug dealers and gang activity in the city, but works on alternate
nights to the East Palo Alto teams.

In addition, the county's Narcotics Task Force supplements the police
department, operating undercover in East Palo Alto to penetrate the drug
dealing that goes on behind closed doors.

Cooperation between the police department and the sheriff's deputies is
crucial in these operations in order to avoid any accidents.

"The worst possible thing that could happen is one strike team mistaking the
others for crooks," said Horsley. "That could put them in serious danger."

According to Horsley, policing strategies have changed from a paramilitary
model since the sheriff was last in charge of public safety in East Palo
Alto. Today, police are more sensitive to a community's needs, he said.

"I'm sorry if the sheriff didn't respect the community in the 1970s," he
said. "But we've changed."

To that end, Horsley, Bowling and the City Council are all advocating a
model of community policing in East Palo Alto.

"There are a lot of neighborhood groups willing to work with you as long as
you're a consistent presence," said Horsley.

According to former East Palo Alto police officer Fakava, one of the major
problems that the police encounter is the reluctance of citizens to speak up
and cooperate with the police.

"For the community to open up to them will be a little bit difficult," he
said. "You won't get anyone to assist you for fear of retaliation."

Fakava said that, with minimum staffing levels, it would be difficult to
address the minority communities of East Palo Alto who often don't speak

"The drug battle will not be won without the help of the people. I don't
care if you bring the National Guard in here," said Montel Yarborough,
chairman of the city's public safety commission.

Mayor Jones said that he had been in favor of community policing since he
ran for City Council in 1992.

"I'm enthusiastically campaigning to convince my people it's a sound
process," he said.

During January's police appreciation dinner, Bowling announced the formation
of a Citizen's Academy. The Academy would encourage citizens to find out
more about what the police department does, he said, and expose young people
to the public safety process. The first Academy begins the week of March 29.

Horsley said that the sheriff's department makes sure that each team of
deputies has at least one Spanish-speaking member to reach out to the Latino
community. He advocates mentoring programs for kids and anti-drug activities
in schools, such as DARE.

Anti-drug campaigner Scherzer, who runs his own citizen's group called
Turnaround East Palo Alto, said that East Palo Alto has been a tolerant city
for too long.

"East Palo Alto has become a haven for people who aren't tolerated
elsewhere," he said. "It used to be a good-time party place. Now, the party
is over."

With the Gateway 101 redevelopment project scheduled to be completed by the
end of 1998 or early 1999, city officials know that the clock is ticking for
establishing the perception in people's minds that East Palo Alto is a safe
place to come to shop. "We're under a lot of time pressure," concedes City
Council member Duane Bay.

The city has stumbled into one obstacle after another in its efforts to
create a tax base and financial stability for the city government.

Gateway has taken much longer to get off the ground than originally planned,
thanks to one of the former anchor stores reneging on its original deal and
pulling out.

The Gateway project, the office building and hotel complex planned for
Whiskey Gulch, and a likely redevelopment project in the Ravenswood
Industrial Area should provide a long-term financial solution, eventually.
But getting through the next few years may prove difficult.

And the public perception of safety is necessary for the redevelopment
projects to work.

The grand jury report in December added to the public perception that the
police department may not be up to the tasks it faces.

"It's an issue of perception," Mayor R.B. Jones said. "If people don't
believe we can ever handle it, we won't, no matter how many officers we

Others in the community wonder whether the sheriff's department and police
department can continue mutually sharing the job of providing police
services. "The sheriff and police department do not get along, period," said
resident William Branner.

"It's real clear that there needs to be some improved communication (between
the two departments)," said Vice Mayor Sharifa Wilson.

"There needs to be an integrated command of police services in the community
under our leadership," Jones said.

Bowling said that problems between his department and the sheriff's
department only started in 1997, when Horsley made another public pitch to
take over police services in the city. "The problems and finger-pointing
surfaced when we got closer to a new contract in 1997," Bowling said.

However, the logistics of two police forces working in the same city at the
same time can be awkward.

Most East Palo Alto patrol officers work a 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. shift,
when a smaller detachment comes on duty to cover part of the city. The
sheriff's deputies working patrol come in at 3 p.m. and work until 3 a.m.,
so there is overlap between the two, although they cover different parts of
the city.

But no one from the sheriff's department is part of the two daily patrol
briefings that the city police hold, and no city officers are at the daily
sheriff's department patrol briefing.

"If we're going to have another contract, I'd like to sit down and talk with
the sheriff's department about some things," Bowling said. "We share with
them what the problems are and what the issues are. But we do our thing and
they do their thing."

Horsley and Bowling say they don't have difficulty getting along.

"I have nothing personal against Don, and I don't think he is doing anything
personal against me," Bowling said. "But I believe he is doing what any
sheriff is doing, which is to expand his area for patrol services."

The pair even went out and had a game of golf together in January.

No word on who won.

SB 6136 - Including Drug Offenses In Background Checks
(Washington State List Subscriber Notes Governor Gary Locke
Has Signed A Bill Unanimously Passed By The House And Senate)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 16:54:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Ben 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: SB 6136: Including drug offenses in background checks.
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

This bill was signed by Governor Locke on March 11, 1998.


SSB 6136
C 10 L 98
Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Including drug offenses in background checks.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections (originally
sponsored by Senators Oke and Long).

Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections
House Committee on Children & Family Services

Background: Some people are concerned that the manufacture and distribution
of controlled substances greatly affects children, but these crimes are not
presently considered in the background check process.

Summary: The crimes of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance,
and possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or
deliver are added to the list of convictions that the Washington State Patrol
uses in preparation of background check information. Employers requesting
background checks under Title 43 are permitted to consider these convictions
in the employment process.

Votes on Final Passage:

Senate 46 0
House 95 0

Effective: June 11, 1998

AIDS Activist Vows Needle-Exchange Civil Disobedience ('Denver Post'
Says Paul Simons, Director Of An HIV Prevention Group In Denver,
Has Vowed To Expand Underground Needle Exchanges
As Acts Of Civil Disobedience In The Wake Of The Colorado Legislature's
Refusal To Revise State Law To Accommodate Such Exchanges Legally)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CO: AIDS Activist Vows Needle-Exchange Civil Disobedience
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: PERSDEN 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Author: Jim Kirksey Denver Post Staff Writer
Contact: letters@denverpost.com
Website: http://www.denverpost.com


A leading AIDS activist in Denver has raised the specter of expanding
underground needle exchanges as acts of civil disobedience in the wake
of the Legislature's refusal to revise state law to accommodate such
exchanges legally.

Underground needle exchanges for injection drug users are going on
now, and if the city can't, or won't, find a way to work around the
state law, those running the illegal programs will have no choice but
to expand them, said Paul Simons, director of an HIV prevention group.

"Where we're at right now is this, we want to conduct dialogue," said
Simons, head of People Engaged in Education and Reduction Strategies.
"We want to discuss things, as much as possible, with the mayor, with
the DA, with public health, environmental health, whatever. If those
talks do not come to fruition, if they don't produce a needle-exchange
program, then we, meaning...myself and other HIV/AIDS activists, have
no other choice than to go out and commit civil disobedience."

District Attorney Bill Ritter, who testified before a legislative
committee in favor of a needle-exchange law, repeated his earlier
position that it is against the law and that he would uphold the law.

"I've made it pretty clear to the people who want to run a
needle-exchange program in spite of the drug paraphernalia law that I
was not of a mind to turn a blind eye to the law," said Ritter. "I'm a
criminal prosecutor. I don't make the laws, but I do enforce them.

"I dont' think it's appropriate for me to choose to enforce some laws
and not others."

That stand was echoed by members of the city administration.

"I've been very clear, and the mayor has been very clear, that as long
as needle exchanges are illegal, they are illegal," said Teresa
Donahue, manager of environmental health for the city.

"We are as frustrated as Paul is, and others are, about the Legislature,"
she said. "We believe the answer is to go back and fight again next year."

Donahue suggested that in light of Mayor Wellington Webb's support of
needle exchanges if they were made legal, the civil disobedience
Simons talked of would be "a bit of an affront" to the mayor.

Simons' statements represent his frustrations, said mayoral aide
Andrew Hudson. The only sense of hope held out to Simons and other
activists is that the mayor hasn't given up on the issue, Hudson said.
The mayor expected it to be a tough battle and plans to regroup to try
again to change the law, Hudson said.

"We don't support anyone breaking the law," the aide said.

Given the attitude on the legislation, Simons feels that changing the law
might not be possible for years. "We're facing, in the city of Denver at
least, a potential catastrophe among our injection drug users, their sexual
partners and children. That's got to be stopped," he said.

Activist Vows Needle Exchange, Law Or No Law ('Rocky Mountain News' Version)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CO: Activist Vows Needle Exchange, Law Or No Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: PERSDEN 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Source: Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Author: Michael O'Keeffe Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
Contact: letters@denver-rmn.com
Website: http://insidedenver.com/news/


PEERS Director Asks Webb, Ritter To Defy State Ban On Paraphernalia

A health official threatened on Tuesday to engage in civil disobedience if
Denver leaders don't back an illegal needle-exchange program.

Paul Simons called on Mayor Wellington Webb and Denver District Attorney
Bill Ritter to defy state law a day after a House committee killed a bill
that would allow intravenous drug users to trade dirty needles for clean

"One way or another, we _will_ have a needle-exchange program by the end of
the year," said Simons, executive director of PEERS, a nonprofit group that
promotes HIV prevention.

"If we can't do it through quiet, rational dialogue, then we will do it
through civil disobedience."

Ritter testified in favor of the bill but said he could not support an
illegal program.

"The way I view my obligation as a prosecutor, I have to enforce the law,"
Ritter said. "I can't select only the ones that I like."

City Councilman Ed Thomas, an opponent of exchange programs, said he'll
fight Simons' proposal.

"We are not in the business of breaking the law," the councilman said.

Thomas and other opponents argue the bill would have condoned drug use and
undermined law enforcement

Supporters say the bill lawmakers killed Monday would have reduced the
spread of AIDS, hepatitis and other diseases.

It would have allowed communities to operate needle-exchange programs by
eliminating a state law that makes possession of needles illegal.

In 1989, Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter agreed to not prosecute
participants in a needle-exchange program. Simons will ask Webb and Ritter
to follow Boulder's lead.

"They're doing such a good job of law enforcement in Boulder," Thomas said
sarcastically. "No thanks."

Simons vowed there would be consequences, however, if a needle exchange is
not condoned.

"If we cannot come up with an agreement with the mayor and the DA, then we
will engage in civil disobedience," Simons said.

He said other participants would include PEERS employees and Colorado AIDS
activists, "although this would not be an official position of PEERS."

Webb supported the bill but would not back an illegal network without
Ritter's approval, mayoral spokesman Andrew Hudson said. "If the district
attorney were to take another position, we would consider our options."

Police-State Seizure Wrong (Letter To Editor Of 'Houston Chronicle'
About Seizure Of Houston Hotel Even Though Owners Never Broke Any Laws
Says 'It Is Time To Stop This Federally Controlled Government')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: Police-State Seizure Wrong
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Art Smart 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Source: Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/


Regarding, "Seizure of hotel sets precedent" (front-page Chronicle,
March 7): Good citizens of the United States of America, you had
better open your eyes and realize we are living in a police state. The
federal government assumes power and seizes private property.

The private citizen is faced with options such as: Fight federal
agents in a gun battle, battle in federal courts or throw up your
hands and give in to their demands.

Where is our Constitution? Where is the protection for private,
law-abiding citizens under this great piece of paper? It does not exist.

If you doubt this, realize that we say our school systems are
"independent" and "public." Yet, they are not independent, they are
not public: They are federally controlled by judges. The public has no
say at all about what is allowed within the halls and rooms.

This same authority used by the federal government to wield control of
"public" schools is now used to seize "public property." It is time to
stop this federally controlled government.

Grady Henley, Deer Park

McDougal Had Refused To Give Sample ('Associated Press' Notes James McDougal,
Former Bill Clinton Crony, Died Of An Apparent Heart Attack
At Federal Medical Prison In Fort Worth, Texas,
While Doing Seven Days In Solitary Confinement -
Failed Drug Test Because He Couldn't Urinate On Demand Within Two-Hour Limit)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 12:26:02 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: McDougal Had Refused To Give Sample
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- For six hours the day before he died, James McDougal told
his jailers he was unable to provide urine for a drug test, the U.S. Bureau
of Prisons said Wednesday.

Prison system spokesman Todd Craig said that under federal prison policy, an
inmate is presumed to be refusing to participate in a drug test if he fails
over a two-hour period to provide urine. In McDougal's case, ``staff worked
with him for about six hours to afford him every opportunity to comply with
the request, but he said he was unable to do so,'' said Craig.

Craig had said Monday night that McDougal ``refused to provide a urine

McDougal, who was serving his term at the Fort Worth, Texas, medical
facility, complained last November that he had been unable to provide urine
for a drug test because of all the medication he was taking for a variety of
ailments. His complaint was found not to be justified during an
administrative review and he was given seven days in solitary confinement.

After failing to give a sample for a random drug test Saturday night,
McDougal was removed from the general inmate population and placed in
solitary confinement, with guards making rounds of cells to check on inmates
every 30 minutes.

While in solitary, McDougal stood up for an inmate count at 10:30 a.m. CST
Sunday, but he was found stricken 25 minutes later. He died of an apparent
heart attack.

Four States Share New Border Agents ('Associated Press'
Notes 1,000 New Immigration And Naturalization Service Agents
In Texas, Arizona, California And New Mexico Will Help Push Total Up
To 7,000 By Year's End - Double The Number Five Years Ago)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:57:31 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Four States Share New Border Agents
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Texas and Arizona will get most of 1,000 new Border
Patrol agents this year, the Immigration and Naturalization Service

The INS said Tuesday that Texas will get 625 new agents, followed by Arizona
with 190 new agents, California with 140 and New Mexico, 46.

INS Commissioner Doris Meissner said California is getting fewer new agents
this year because a manpower buildup there the past four years has
diminished its border with Mexico as being the biggest corridor of illegal
immigrants. She said the number of illegal aliens arrested in southern
California hit a 17-year low last year.

``The Texas corridor is now the corridor that we're focusing on from the
standpoint of building that up to a level where we hope we see it and
Arizona equal in results what we've seen in the San Diego sector,'' she
said. ``It's a multi-year process.''

By year's end, the Border Patrol will have than 7,000 agents -- double the
number five years ago.

With the new reinforcements, Texas will have 2,957 Border Patrol agents and
California 2,688.

Study Tracks Hardcore Drug Use ('Associated Press' Reports US Drug Czar
McCaffrey On Wednesday Released Federal Research Using New Survey Methods
In Chicago And Surrounding Cook County, Illinois - Results Suggest
The Number Of People Using Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine,
May Be Three Times Previous Estimates, 330,000 Rather Than 117,000)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 12:21:03 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Study Tracks Hardcore Drug Use
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Using new ways of counting, federal researchers say the
number of hardcore drug users in Chicago and surrounding Cook County, Ill.
may be three times higher than previous estimates.

The study, released Wednesday by Barry McCaffrey, director of the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy, raises the possibility that
the conventional estimate of 13 million regular drug users in the country at
large is far too low.

The Cook County study estimates there are about 330,000 habitual users of
cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in the urbanized county. Previous studies
estimated the number of residents using drugs other than marijuana at

``This is a somewhat unsettling conclusion,'' McCaffrey said of the
Chicago-area findings, and said it raises questions about whether the
national estimate of 13 million hardcore drug users should be larger. ``I
would lean in the direction of saying yes.''

Hardcore use is defined as the use of heroin, powder cocaine or crack
cocaine on eight or more days during at least one of the preceding eight
months, the drug policy office said.

``Hardcore drug users maintain the illegal drug market,'' McCaffrey said, ''
... and they provide a spring from which new epidemics of drug use flow.''

A second survey, the 1997 ``Pulse Check'' tracking national drug abuse
trends based on findings from police and drug treatment sources, found:

--Heroin use has spread to all regions of the country, a situation McCaffrey
attributed to ``high use, low cost and easy availability.'' He said many
dealers who previously specialized in cocaine now sell heroin as well.

--The price of crack cocaine is dropping in most areas of the country,
possibly due to a decrease in new users but also because of a possible
increase in supply.

--Crack cocaine remains the dominant drug in most markets, with users
tending to be older than they were in the early 1990s, suggesting fewer new

The Chicago-area research will be followed up, if Congress approves, by
surveys in other areas of the country, McCaffrey said, emphasizing the need
for accurate estimates of drug users.

Researchers from Abt Associates, a research firm based in Cambridge, Mass.,
interviewed admitted hardcore drug users at jails, drug treatment programs
and homeless shelters, places where McCaffrey said drug abusers are most
likely to be found in substantial numbers. These interviews were combined
with figures on arrests, treatment admissions and shelter stays to estimate
the frequent users of hard drugs.

Abt Associates worked in cooperation with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and
his administration on the three-year survey.

Drugs Drive Repeat Offenders ('Standard-Times' In Southern Massachusetts
Says That, According To The Sentencing Project, 57 Percent Of Those Sentenced
To Jail In 1989 Said They Were Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Other Drugs
At The Time They Committed Their Offense, And According To The Bureau
Of Justice Statistics, A Study Of 108,580 Persons Released From Prisons In 1983
Found That 62 Percent Were Arrested For A Felony Or Serious Misdemeanor
Within Three Years, 46 Percent Were Reconvicted And 41 Percent Were Sent Back
To Jail Or Prison)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US MA: Drugs Drive Repeat Offenders
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Source: The Standard-Times, Serving the South Coast of Massachusetts
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
WebPage: http://www.s-t.com
Author: Maureen Boyle, Standard-Times staff writer


Substance Abuse Seen By Law Officials As Common Thread

NEW BEDFORD -- Robert Perch was led away in ankle chains and handcuffs
yesterday, to spend at least five years in state prison for stealing a
jacket, a gold chain and $10 at knifepoint.

The crime mirrored one the 29-year-old committed just three years ago.

Mr. Perch is one of thousands nationally and locally who, while on
probation for one crime, commit yet another.

"It's the same people over and over again, committing the same
crimes," Acushnet Police Chief Michael Poitras said.

And studies back up that thinking.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a study of 108,580
persons released from prisons in 1983 found that 62 percent were
arrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years, 46
percent were reconvicted and 41 percent were sent back to jail or prison.

"Some people keep making the same mistakes and it's hard to learn any
new modes of behavior when you are in jail in a social structure very
unlike anything you might find on the street," said Alan Zwirblis,
regional supervisor for the Committee for Public Counsel. "They find
themselves in the same predicament that they were in when they went in."

Bristol County District Attorney Paul F. Walsh said prosecutors see
the same faces over again -- sometimes for the same types of crimes.

"Particularly on the small-fry cases, the poorly planned crimes of
opportunities, they never seem to learn," Mr. Walsh said. "As prosecutors,
we shake our heads and say, 'I just sent him to jail two years ago.'"

Wareham Chief Probation Officer Thomas Cummings said substance abuse
appears to be a key factor in recidivism.

"What brings them back before the court very often is the substance that
they are using," Mr. Cummings said.

According to the Sentencing Project, an independent criminal justice policy
group, 57 percent of those sentenced to jail in 1989 said they were under
the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they committed their offense.

Gene Monteiro, Bristol County chief probation officer, said probation
officers try to "stem the tide, so to speak" of recidivism by intensifying

"We use various techniques to put people on the right track, address
certain minor violations, conduct administrative reviews, give the
probation a booster shot" he said.

But with some people that just doesn't work.

"I'm optimistic that a great deal of them will succeed but we don't have a
perfect system here," Mr. Monteiro said.

Mr. Walsh said probation departments in the past two years appear to be
taking tougher stands on those who violate probation. "Going back 18 months
to two years ago, probation was nowhere near as effective as it could have
been," he said.

But a proposal by the governor's office to move probation from the
judiciary to the executive branch shook things up, Mr. Walsh said. "They
are much more aggressive now."

And it may be getting even more aggressive.

Mr. Cummings said a committee of district court judges, clerks and
probation officers put together a 50-page draft for surrender procedures
recently and statewide officers are getting tougher.

"The goal is to give a person an opportunity to change their behavior, but
if they can't, to protect the community and have that person taken off the
street," he said.

In the case of Mr. Perch, substance abuse appears to have contributed to
his crimes, said Stewart Grimes, his attorney.

Mr. Perch was convicted in 1995 of robbery in connection with the theft of
hats and given a 4- to 6-year suspended state prison term.

But while on probation, he was arrested on two counts of armed robbery --
charges he pleaded guilty to yesterday.

In one case, he robbed a man at knifepoint of a gold chain, on the street
at midday; in the second case, a month later last year, he robbed a man at
knifepoint of a jacket and $10, said Assistant District Attorney Cynthia

"He knew the victims and the victims knew him," Mr. Grimes said. "What does
that tell you?"

He said offenders who commit street crimes must be identified at an earlier
age to prevent recidivism.

"We need to look at these types of crimes much earlier and have
intervention at an earlier age," Mr. Grimes said.

Mr. Perch -- in a plea bargain -- was sentenced yesterday by Judge Phillip
Rivard-Rapoza to a 5- to 7-year state prison term. His probation was also
revoked and is also serving -- concurrently -- the
4- to 6-year prison term imposed in 1995.

Judge Rivard-Rapoza stayed execution of the sentence until Monday,
keeping Mr. Perch at the Ash Street jail until then, at the request of
the defense attorney.

That will allow Mr. Perch -- who hadn't been allowed visits -- to see
his 12-year-old daughter for the first time in months, his attorney said.

Feds Expected To Take Case Against Westport Drug Lab ('Standard-Times,'
In Southern Massachusetts, Notes Bust In Westport, Rhode Island)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US RI: Feds Expected To Take Case Against Westport Drug Lab
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Source: The Standard-Times, Serving the South Coast of Massachusetts
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
WebPage: http://www.s-t.com
Author: Maureen Boyle, Standard-Times staff writer


WESTPORT -- A month after investigators cracked a date-rape drug
manufacturing operation, federal prosecutors still are weighing
exactly when they will take over the case.

Local authorities say they expect the U.S. attorney's office will wind
up with the case in as soon as a month.

"They move somewhat differently than a local district attorney,"
Westport Police Chief Michael Healy said. "I wouldn't be surprised if
within 30 days they have it."

Assistant District Attorney Ronald Moynahan said there will be no
objection from his office if the federal government takes over the
case. "Sometimes these cases are better off going federally. We very
seldom get into turf battles."

Mr. Moynahan said the involvement of different jurisdictions --
coupled with allegations that the drugs were sold across state lines
-- are factors in the U.S. attorney's interest in taking the case.

He said the Bristol County District Attorney's Office has been talking
with the U.S. Attorney's Office about the case since the raid, and
expects action to be taken on the federal level in about a month.

Teams of Westport, state and Rhode Island police, and Drug Enforcement
Administration agents raided a Mount Pleasant Street home last month where
an illegal drug lab investigators called one of the largest operated.

Police seized drums of chemicals, including acetone, dyclorine,
methanol and formaldehyde in the raid.

The suspect at the center of the investigation -- Christopher Serra,
who lists addresses of Fairhaven and the Mount Pleasant Street house
-- purchased $2,277 worth of laboratory equipment, such as heating
devices, glass flasks and filtering screens, from Kontes -- Solutions
through Science and Technology, a New Jersey laboratory equipment
company, according to court papers in support of a search warrant

Investigators also learned through an informant that Mr. Serra -- who
has a drug trafficking record -- "had bragged about being able to make
pills in his laboratory," according to the court papers.

Police staking out the house had watched as at least two people with
criminal records made brief stops at the house, then left -- activity
an informant told authorities occurred often.

On Jan. 15, police watched as a car registered to "a person who has an
extensive criminal history" pulled up to the house, stayed for 10
minutes, then left. On Jan. 21, four men pulled into the driveway,
then left about three minutes later. The vehicle, according to the
court papers, was registered to a person with an extensive criminal
history, including heroin dealing.

When teams of detectives finally raided the house last month, they
found drums filled with chemicals in the house and garage -- as well
as notebooks filled with information fueling the ongoing

Police seized a shoe box containing suspected steroids, a notebook
filled with recipes and pieces of foil; a notebook with a flier about
Ecstasy, the date-rape drug; a purple notebook with a black phone
book; a notebook with a chemical catalog; three black notebooks; a
.380-caliber gun with the serial numbers removed; $2,903 in cash;
photographs; a passport; and a plastic bag with white and blue pills.

Police say they walked into the house as two of the suspects were
working in the clandestine lab.

McCaffrey Blasts Any Commercial Use Of Hemp (Louisville, Kentucky,
'Courier-Journal' Quotes General Barry McCaffrey, US Drug Czar,
Saying 'The Cultivation Of Hemp Is Economically Not Feasible
In The United States,' After Appearing At A 'Drug Summit'
At Louisville's Commonwealth Convention Center)

Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 08:22:08 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US KY: McCaffrey Blasts Any Commercial Use of Hemp
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Joe Hickey 
Source: The Louisville Courier-journal
Author: Mark Schaver
Pubdate: 11 March 1998
Contact: http://www.courier-journal.com/cjconnect/edletter.htm
Website: http://www.courier-journal.com/


As a four-star general, Barry R. McCaffrey helped wage war on drugs as head
of the nation's military operations in Latin America.

As the nation's drug czar, McCaffrey now coordinates the fight to keep
drugs from invading the nation and to get treatment for the people addicted
to them.

Yesterday the nation's top drug fighter ridiculed contentions of "noted
agronomists like (actor) Woody Harrelson" that what Kentucky farmers need
to replace tobacco is the right to grow hemp, which more than a century ago
was one of the commonwealth's leading crops when it was used to make rope
cloth and other products.

"The cultivation of hemp is economically not feasible in the United State,"
McCaffrey said in an interview after appearing at a drug summit at
Louisville's Commonwealth Convention Center.

"What it would do is completely disarm all law enforcement. . . from
enforcing ant-marijuana production laws," he said. "The bottom line is a
thinly disguised attempt. . to legalize the production of pot."

McCaffrey is the director of the White House's Office of National Drug
Control Policy but is better known as the nation's drug czar.

He gave the keynote speech during the summit sponsored by Mayor Jerry
Abramson and the University of Louisville to discuss better ways to treat
alcohol and drug abusers. Abramson proposed the summit last year as part
of this strategies for a Safe City, which was a response to a sharp rise in
Louisville's homicide rate.

In his speech, McCaffrey said there is a clear link between substance abuse
and crime. He said there are about 1.7 million people in jails and prisons
in the United States - an "internal gulag" larger than the number of people
in the armed forces.

The majority suffer from alcohol and drug addictions but can't get
treatment, he said. McCaffrey contended that the most effective way to
fight such abuse is to combine "stiff, unreneging law enforcement" with
effective treatment programs.

He said there are many studies showing substance abuse leads to crime, and
that the desire to commit crimes goes away when the addiction is broken.
But he said the vast majority of addicts in prison don't have access to
treatment, and state and local lawmakers must be persuaded to provide more
by sound arguments laying out evidence that treatment works.

McCaffrey said that while the percentage of Americans who say they are
regular drug users has dropped to about 6 percent from 14 percent in 1979,
there has been an alarming increase in teen-age drug use. He said one
survey found there is more heroin use among eighth-graders than 12th-graders.

The best way to head off the addiction is to educate the nation's children
to reject drugs, he said. His office is now testing a $195 million
anti-drug campaign in 12 cities that will eventually be expanded nation-wide.

He said the most dangerous drug for the young is marijuana, because it
serves as a gateway to other drugs.

When interviewed, McCaffrey said efforts to legalize hemp undercut efforts
to fight marijuana use.

He said hemp and pot are indistinguishable, differing only in how they are
grown and in the level of a drug "high" they produce.

He said the argument that hemp could be an alternative to raisin tobacco
sounds "silly," but he said he's open to new evidence that proves otherwise.

During his two years as the drug czar, he said he has reviewed studies from
the University of Iowa, the University of Kentucky and the U.S. Department
of Agriculture showing that hemp is not a viable cash crop.

The use of hemp in the United States disappeared before World War II
because there was no market for it, and in the last decade, worldwide
production ahas declined 25 percent, he said.

McCaffrey contended hemp production is uneconomical unless workers are paid
very low wages, and there are better sources of fiber - such as flax and
cotton - that are more easily turned into textiles.

He said hemp doesn't even make good a cloth. "It doesn't even hold a
crease," he said.

He compared hemp advocates to those who advocate legalizing marijuana as a
pain-relieving medicine, as was done in California.

McCaffrey, who earned three Purple Hearts in combat in places such as the
Dominican Republic, Vietnam and Iraq, and spent years in the hospital
recovering from his wounds, said there are many other drugs that are more
effective pain relievers that marijuana.

He said if he was hospitalized with prostate cancer it would be "unlikely
my pain-management device will be a giant 'blunt' stuck in my lips."

Everyone Wants To Do Something About Tobacco, But Few Agree
On What ('New York Times' Update On Congressional Negotiations
Over Fate Of Tobacco Industry And Tobacco Consumers)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:45:29 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: NYT: Everyone Wants to Do Something About Tobacco,
but Few Agree on What
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: The New York Times
Author: David E. Rosenbaum
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/


WASHINGTON -- Normally, when Congress considers legislation that would bring
on big changes in society, there are two main sides: those who want the bill
to pass because they favor change, and those who hope to block the measure
to preserve the status quo.

Tobacco legislation is an exception. No one favors the status quo. Everyone
wants a bill passed this year. But few of the lawmakers and lobbyists
involved are confident that the goal can be reached.

In the Senate on Wednesday, the Commerce Committee will hear testimony from
senators representing various factions, and the Labor and Public Welfare
Committee plans to draft the section of the overall legislation involving
regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration.

The tobacco companies want the predictability that legislation would give
them about how much money they will have to spend to settle legal claims in
the years ahead. They favor a bill along the lines of the agreement they
signed last June with 40 state attorneys general.

The industry is beginning a nationwide advertising campaign this week on
television and radio and in newspapers and magazines touting the June

Public health advocates believe that a tough new law regulating tobacco is
the best way to reduce the number of teen-agers who get hooked on smoking.

President Clinton and nearly all of the Democrats in Congress see a
political bonanza in the issue. They think legislation to limit smoking
would be enormously popular, and they believe they will get credit if such a
measure is enacted.

The Republicans who control Congress also favor passage of a bill, in part
because they fear they will be faulted if legislation fails.

So this is one of the rare instances in Congress when inertia is not a
central force. But that does not mean the smart money is necessarily on a
bill being passed.

The differences in what the parties want in legislation are so vast and the
degree of trust between some of them is so slight that it is difficult to
fathom what the bridges are that can bring them together.

"If we get anywhere, and that's a huge 'if,"' said Sen. John McCain, the
chairman of the Commerce Committee, it's going to be because "we move
together with the White House and the Democrats and the attorneys general
and the public health community."

McCain, R-Ariz., was tapped last week by the Senate Republican leadership to
draft a bill that falls under the jurisdiction of his committee and several
others. He said he hoped to have finished writing a bill by the end of this
month that would command enough support in the Senate that its passage would
not be in doubt.

"There's no way we're going to put out a package that will be defeated on
the floor," he said in an interview.

Work in the House of Representatives is moving more slowly. The Republican
leadership may be waiting to see what happens in the Senate. If the Senate
cannot agree on a bill, there is little point in the House taking up an
explosive issue in an election year. But if the Senate does pass a bill, a
top Republican staff assistant said, "we will certainly move quickly and

Clinton has begun to speak out on the issue almost daily. In Connecticut on
Tuesday, he declared that there was an "urgent need for action" on tobacco
legislation and suggested that money raised from cigarette manufacturers
could be spent to improve child care.

The White House chief of staff, Erskine Bowles, and Democratic leaders in
the Senate and House plan to hold a news conference on Wednesday to
challenge the Republican leaders to move more quickly on a tobacco bill.

The issue is a difficult one for Republicans, who have received more
campaign money from tobacco interests in recent years than from any other
single source.

Shortly after Republicans won control of Congress in the 1994 elections, the
party's leaders in the House announced that they would end an investigation
of the tobacco industry that Democrats had begun. Speaker Newt Gingrich
called Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of food and drugs and one
of the nation's leading spokesmen against smoking, a "thug" and a "bully."

Things have changed this year. McCain said that many of his colleagues
learned when they were home during the three-month break between last year's
congressional session and this year's that their constituents had become
much more concerned about smoking than the lawmakers had realized.

Now, the tobacco industry has little more support in Congress than the
Mafia, and being on the wrong side of the smoking issue would be like being
on the wrong side of communism.

Republican leaders have begun to change their tune. On Monday, Gingrich and
the Senate leader, Trent Lott of Mississippi, indicated that they favored
some form of tobacco legislation. They spoke out against large legal fees
for lawyers in tobacco suits, and they challenged Clinton to be more
specific on his views on particular elements of the legislation.

But Republicans cannot shake their past quickly. "If a tobacco bill gets
passed," said a Republican congressman who insisted on not being identified,
"we won't get any credit. But if no bill is passed, you can bet we'll get

The disagreements among the politicians involve issues like how much and how
fast cigarette prices should be raised, how the money from higher prices
should be distributed and spent by the federal government and the states,
how the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission should
regulate tobacco products and what kind of assistance tobacco farmers and
their communities should receive to ease their financial burden.

But those matters, each of them delicate and divisive, can probably be
resolved if the lawmakers can settle the principal dispute over how much
protection the tobacco companies should be given against future lawsuits
seeking damages for illness caused by smoking.

Under the agreement between the industry and the state attorneys general,
the spark that ignited the current interest in tobacco legislation, the
companies would be given permanent immunity from class-action lawsuits and
considerable shelter from other legal liability.

In exchange, the companies agreed to severe restrictions on advertising. Ads
featuring cartoon characters and celebrities, for instance, would be
discontinued, outdoor advertising and sponsorship of sports events would be
ended and print ads would be restricted to publications read primarily by

The prevailing view in public health circles is that advertising restraints
are essential to dissuade young people from smoking. A study published last
month in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that
advertising was an even more important reason than peer pressure in
explaining why teen-agers started to smoke.

Lawyers for the tobacco companies insist that they have a constitutional
right of free speech and that Congress cannot impose broad restrictions on
their advertising. The only way cigarette advertising will be restrained,
the companies say, is if they do so voluntarily, and that will happen only
if Congress gives them the legal protections they want.

Some prominent lawmakers, including McCain and Sen. Orrin Hatch, the
chairman of the Judiciary Committee, believe that Congress has little
alternative but to accede. "Absent liability provisions," Hatch, R-Utah,
said last week, "we will be unable to change materially the way in which
these products are advertised and marketed."

The White House takes a similar stance. In an interview, Bruce Reed,
Clinton's chief adviser on domestic policy, suggested that the president was
not enthusiastic about giving the tobacco companies legal protection but
thought it was the only way to obtain adequate restrictions on advertising.

But this view has powerful opponents. The country's most prominent public
health authorities, Kessler and Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon
general, argue strenuously against giving the tobacco companies legal
protection. Their public standing is so high that after meeting with them
for more than an hour last week, McCain said that no tobacco legislation
could move forward without their stamp of approval.

Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota has offered a bill endorsed by Kessler and
Koop and sponsored by 29 other Democratic senators. It is much tougher on
the tobacco companies than any other measure under consideration. "We should
not give privileged protection to this industry, of all industries," Conrad

He suggested that Congress set annual goals for reductions in youth smoking
and impose stiff fines on the tobacco companies if the goals were not
reached. That way, he said, the companies could not afford to advertise.

The Conrad bill stands no chance of passage. No legislation drafted in the
Democratic caucus will be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

A bipartisan measure to be offered this week by Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and
Bob Graham of Florida, both Democrats, and John Chafee of Rhode Island, a
Republican, follows lines similar to the Conrad bill but would place an
annual ceiling on the total amount of damage claims the tobacco companies
could be required to pay.

Any measure passed by the Senate must be supported by Conrad and his allies
as well as those backing the bipartisan measure, McCain insisted. "We have
to move in lock-step," he said. "Otherwise, it flies apart. The whole thing
is too fragile."

Key Drug Launderer Arrested ('Associated Press' Says Mexican Police
Have Arrested A Businessman, Amado Cruz Anguiano, On Suspicions
Of Laundering Millions Of Dollars For The Arellano Felix Drug Cartel)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 08:55:49 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Key Drug Launderer Arrested
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998


MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican authorities have arrested a businessman
suspected of laundering millions of dollars for the Arellano Felix drug
cartel, officials said Wednesday.

Amado Cruz Anguiano was ordered held for trial Tuesday night by a Mexico
City judge, according to the attorney general's office.

Cruz was arrested Saturday night at a restaurant in the border city of
Tijuana, where he was watching a televised boxing match, according to the
Mexico City newspaper La Jornada.

Cruz is accused of working for the Arellano Felix brothers for more than 10
years. He allegedly was under the direct command of Manuel Aguirre, who is
in charge of buying and selling cocaine for the Arellano Felix cartel, La
Jornada said.

Cruz owns the restaurant Carlos Steak in Tijuana, a ranch in Tecate and used
to own the Tijuana newspaper Al Dia.

Decriminalization Of Marijuana (Canadian Minister Of Health Allan Rock
Says He And Department Of Justice Consider Medical Marijuana A Serious Issue,
Are Studying It, And Will Present A Policy 'In Coming Months'
For Consideration By All Members Of The House)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 09:41:28 -0500 (EST)
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" 
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Excerpt from Hansard Debates, March 10 1998


Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the
Minister of Health. Polls tell us that a majority of Canadians and
Quebeckers now support decriminalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Is the minister prepared to set up a parliamentary committee to conduct an
in-depth review of this issue, so that recommendations can be made
regarding the decriminalization of marijuana for medical purposes?

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the issue is
under consideration by my department and by the Department of Justice.
Along with my colleague, we are reviewing all the aspects of the issue,
particularly the use of marijuana for medical purposes. We hope to present
our policy in the coming months.

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ): Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is for
the Minister of Justice.

Will the minister recognize that, by refusing to take a stand and to
assume her responsibilities in this matter, she is leaving it up to the
courts to make the decision?


Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,
Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would not concede that I am shirking my
responsibility in this matter. In fact, as the Minister of Health has
indicated, he and I have put our officials to work to develop a position
that we will bring forward for consideration by all members of the House.

I think the Minister of Health and I concede that the possible
decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is an important
issue. It is one that we are studying. It is one that we are going to
continue to look at.


Contact information:

Name: Bernard Bigras
Political Party: Bloc Qubcois
Constituency: Rosemont
Province: Quebec
Telephone: (613) 992-0423
Fax: (613) 992-0878
Email: Bigras.B@parl.gc.ca

Hemp Should Be Legal This Friday ('Ontario Farmer Daily'
Says Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock Is Expected To Announce
New Hemp Regulations At A March 13th News Conference
At 4 PM At Tillsonburg's Annandale House)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 17:10:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Neev 
To: mattalk 
Subject: Agnet March 11/98 -- II


Ontario Farmer Daily

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Rose-Marie Ur today suggested that this Friday
the 13th will be a lucky day for the area's agriculture industry, with the
eagerly awaited official announcement of new hemp regulations by Health
Minister Allan Rock.

"During World War II and years after, hemp was a major crop in Lambton
County," said Ur. "And Kenex of Pain Court in Kent County is ready to
roll, too. A recent hemp information meeting there last week attracted
over 100 people."

"From clothing to seed production, the market potential is tremendous,"
said Ur, an early hemp supporter, who with her Liberal Rural Caucus
colleagues successfully convinced Rock to quickly finish the regulations
in time for the 1998 growing season. The regulatory review process had
been stalled for over a year until Rock took over as Health Minister in
June, 1997. The March 13th news conference is slated for 4:00 p.m. at
Tillsonburg's Annandale House.

"With similar profit margins to corn and soybeans, hemp is
environmentally-friendly, with no pesticides used during production," said
Ur. "It is great to see local people leading the charge for an early start
in a unique market."

The Record Crop A City Isn't High On - Nowhere East Of Vancouver
Has More Grass Growing Under Its Feet Than Winnipeg (Toronto 'Globe And Mail'
Says More Locally Grown Marijuana Was Seized In The Capital Of Manitoba
Last Year Than In Any Other Canadian City Outside Vancouver -
Sergeant Trakalo And His Colleagues In The Drug Squad Also Grow Their Own Pot
But Last Year Broke Up 106 Other Grow Operations And Carted Off
A Record $11-Million Worth Of Weed, Compared With Vancouver's $26 Million
And Edmonton's $2.5 Million - Police In Toronto,
With Five Times The Population, Came Up With Little More Than Half
Of The Winnipeg Figure)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 09:04:49 -0500
From: Carey Ker 
Subject: Canada: The record crop a city isn't high on
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Priority: Normal
Delivery-Receipt-To: Carey Ker 
Newshawk: carey.ker@utoronto.ca
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 11, 1998
Source: Globe and Mail, Page A2
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/


The record crop a city isn't high on

Nowhere east of Vancouver has more grass growing under its
feet than Winnipeg

Wednesday, March 11, 1998
By David Roberts
in Winnipeg

Winnipeg -- WINNIPEG gardeners suddenly have a reputation as
growers of great grass. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do
with their lawns.

Police here have discovered, somewhat to their surprise,
that more locally grown marijuana was seized in Winnipeg
last year than in any other Canadian city outside Vancouver.
They claim that so much cannabis is blossoming in the
Manitoba capital that they broke up 106 "grow operations"
and carted off a record $11-million worth of weed (compared
with Vancouver's $26-million) without really trying.

"I had no idea we'd be breaking records," said Detective
Sergeant Ron Trakalo of the drug squad. "It seemed pretty
much routine. It wasn't really a priority."

Others are impressed. "If they weren't trying and got four
times as much as we did . . . wow!" said Kelly Gordon,
spokesman for the Edmonton Police Service, which seized
$2.5-million worth last year.

And police in Toronto, with five times the population, came
up with little more than half of the Winnipeg figure.

The local drug squad, which estimates that it intercepts 10
per cent of the city's production, now assumes that Manitoba
is a net exporter of marijuana, giving the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency even more reason to declare Canada --
along with Columbia and Nigeria -- a "source country" for

Why the sudden upsurge? For six months of the year, cannabis
sativa simply can't be kept outdoors in Manitoba. "It's cold
so it has to be grown indoors," Sgt. Trakalo said. Thanks
to cheap electricity, he added, growers who can master
hydroponic cultivation wind up with plants that "aren't so
prone to disease" and are highly valuable. A single specimen
can fetch as much as $1,680, and small operations can
generate 20-plant harvests three or four times a year.

"People are making a lot of money growing pot around here,"
Sgt. Trakalo said. "All kinds of people are getting into it,
from the top echelons of society to the lowest." Even the
police have joined the crowd. Sgt. Trakalo and his
colleagues in the drug squad actually grow their own pot --
within the confines of the police station -- so they can
offer expert evidence when testifying in court.

It seems the Manitoba-grown variety has garnered a
reputation for being highly potent. Sgt. Trakalo said that,
on average, marijuana contains 5 to 10 per cent THC
(tetrahydrocannabinol, the plant's active ingredient) but
police have come across home-grown with double that level.

While the Winnipeg police are proud of their last haul, they
admit they're far from nipping the local pot trade in the
bud. If they really did shut down only 10 per cent of the
production, the home-grown crop was worth $110-million and,
they argue, far outstripped what's needed for domestic

So far this year they have busted about 20 hydroponic
operations, including one in a vacant corner store worth at
least $250,000. The neighbours had no idea what was going on
-- and that's unusual. A large residential hydro bill can
pique the interest of police, but Sgt. Trakalo says there's
no substitute for a good tip. The smell from growing
operations can be powerful, and sometimes neighbours get
suspicious and call the police.

"In the large scheme of things, Winnipeg doesn't really have
a drug problem compared with lots of other places," said
Sgt. Trakalo, adding that despite its record catch, the
force doesn't really focus on marijuana. The real effort
goes into halting distribution of crack cocaine and such
prescription drugs as Ritalin, a nervous-system stimulant,
and Talwin, a narcotic painkiller.

For example, one night last week, undercover officers tried
to make a deal for a half-pound of home-grown marijuana,
hoping their suspect might lead them to a bigger supplier or
even a grower. When the deal fell through, they quickly
decided to contact a local taxi driver suspected of dealing
in cocaine. They called him on his cellular telephone,
placed an order and then waited.

When the driver showed up at a local hotel, the drug squad
pounced. Six plainclothes police surrounded his cab, pulled
him and another man out, handcuffed them and impounded the
taxi (which could be sold under new laws that allow police
to auction off the proceeds of crime).

As it turned out, the driver was carrying cash and
drug-related paraphernalia -- a razor blade, a portable
torch for free-basing, and several vials of white substance
that tested negative for cocaine.

"He dumped it, he's smart," said Sgt. Trakalo with a hint of
frustration. He suspected that the suspect, perhaps
anticipating a sting, had stashed his drugs nearby. After
being questioned downtown, the driver and his companion were

In many cases, the police find themselves dealing with
people a lot younger, whether they be drug users, couriers
or suppliers. "We've had kids as young as 11 years old
selling drugs," Sgt. Trakalo said.

This is one reason that he and many other law-enforcement
officers disagree with the rising call for the
decriminalization of marijuana.

"I have no problem with its therapeutic use for cancer
patients," he said. "But the fact is, it slows your reaction
time and your focus and concentration. You start to lose
interest in things. You lose your motivation in life.

"I tell young kids that it can make a big difference in your
life as to whether you're going to be a success or not."

David Roberts is Manitoba and Saskatchewan bureau chief of
The Globe and Mail.


Crashing the party

One night last week, the Winnipeg drug squad executed a
search warrant at a rundown house in the city's north end.

Eight officers riding in a van and a four-by-four truck
slipped into an alley behind a forlorn little dwelling a
couple of doors from the Sisters of Charity mission. It took
them seven smacks with a battering ram to break down the
steel-reinforced rear door.

As the police banged away, two men and two young women
inside screamed and shouted in alarm. "The big thing is
speed and surprise," said Detective Sergeant Ron Trakalo.

Inside, the place smelled of urine and disinfectant, and was
unfurnished except for a pair of blood-stained mattresses in
the living room. In the bathroom, the dry, discoloured
bathtub contained feces. There were several used condoms on
the floor.

Throughout the house there were hundreds of syringes, some
used. One filled with blood fell from the jacket of one of
the women as she was taken away to be searched. "These girls
work the corner as hookers," said Sgt. Trakalo. "I'm
surprised we didn't find any 14- or 15-year-olds in here."

If there had been much cocaine, most went down the toilet
before the officers could gain entry. Wearing plastic
gloves, they searched the house from top to bottom and
finally uncovered a small bag containing perhaps $100 worth
of the drug.

The four suspects were recorded and released, although
charges may result if the police find fingerprints on the

As the squad left, having ensured the place was boarded up,
a familiar van cruised past. It was from a local volunteer
service that combats the spread of AIDS by allowing drug
users to turn in their used syringes for new ones.

Re - The Record Crop A City Isn't High On (Letter Sent To Editor
Of 'Globe And Mail' Faults Logic Of Detective Sergeant Ron Trakalo
Of The Winnipeg Drug Squad)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 09:37:44 -0500
From: Carey Ker 
Subject: Sent: The record crop a city isn't high on
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Delivery-Receipt-To: Carey Ker 

To the editors:

Re: The record crop a city isn't high on, Page A2, March 11,
1998, By David Roberts

Perhaps it's time for our police forces to include some
classes in logic as part of their training regime.

Detective Sergeant Ron Trakalo of the Winnipeg drug squad
concludes that the prohibition of cannabis is a necessary
constituent of Canada's criminal code because "We've had
kids as young as 11 years old selling drugs." Should we
then deduce that the prohibition of cannabis is a good thing
because it allows 11-year-old children to have unfettered
access to the drug? As a good friend of mine said, we have
more control over the distribution of corn flakes than over
illicit drugs. Isn't it time that we wise up?

Carey Ker

Police Wasting Resources On WoD (Letter To Editor Of 'Halifax Daily News'
Questions The Priorities Of A Police Force That Spent So Much Time And Money
On A One-Year Investigation That Turned Up $55,000 In Illegal Drugs)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Police Wasting Resources On WoD
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Chris Donald 
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Source: Halifax Daily News
Contact: letterstoeditor@hfxnews.southam.ca


Drug Bust Worth It?

To the editor: I am writing in response to a recent article, Drug
Bust Nets 24 (Feb. 27). Apparently Nova Scotia RCMP are pleased with
the recent seizure of $55,000 worth of drugs after a year-long
investigation. Though the arrest of 24 alleged drug dealers may sound
impressive, I question the priorities of a police force that spent so
much time and money trying to find such a small amount of drugs. How
much did it cost to mount such a "large investigation" that involved
two different undercover officers over a long period of time? In an
age when most Canadians are afraid to walk the streets at night and
justice resources are stretched thin, don't police have better things
to do? Digby RCMP Staff Sgt. Wendall Ackerson claimed that the "raids
will make a big difference." However, the busts have done nothing to
reduce demand; other dealers will now step in to supply the
community's desire for illicit drugs.

They will likely tell users there is a temporary shortage because of
the recent round of arrests, and will use that as an excuse to jack
the artificial black-market prices even higher. In the end, drug
users will continue to get their drugs (though at a higher cost) and
drug dealers will make more money. The 24 people charged will go
through the justice system as most of them probably have before, only
to sell drugs once again after the "heat" dies down. The United States
is spending $17 billion this year on their War on Drugs, yet they
still have one of the highest rates of drug use in the world; it's
time Canada learned from the mistakes of our southern neighbors. Drugs
are here to stay, so let's take the profits away from the black-market
profiteers while treating addicts with the compassion they won't find
inside a jail cell.

Chris Clay
Via the Internet

Harmless Dope (Letter To Editor Of Britain's 'Independent'
Says Daily Cannabis Smokers In Morocco
Showed No Demotivating Or Dispiriting Effects)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 09:17:33 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Harmless Dope
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: The Independent
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998


Antony Alexander (letter, 6 March) fears the demotivating and dispiriting
effect of cannabis on regular users. He couldn't be more wrong. A year ago I
had the pleasure of living for a time with a Moroccan farmer and his family.
He and his co-workers smoked dope from dawn till dusk and had done so for
years. They showed no lack of motivation and were great fun to get to know.

Rob Murphy, Newcastle upon Tyne

Ninth International Harm Reduction Conference March 15-19
In Sao Paulo, Brazil (URL Posted For Those Interested In Discussing Issues
With Participants Or Asking Questions)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 00:22:04 +0100
To: press@drugtext.nl
From: mario lap (mario@lap.nl)
Subject: 9th international harm reduction conference


The 9th international harm reduction conference (15-19 March) is about to
start in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

I have set up special pages for the conference at
http://home.ihra.org.uk/ including a web for discussion with and questions
to participants or any other useful means.

I am leaving for Brazil Friday evening (back next week Saturday) and you can
reach me and others present in Brazil via email through these e-mail
addresses: brazil@ihra.org.uk or 100415.412@compuserve.com

In the mean time when you have problems with the drugtext pages or services
when I am not here, please refer to arjan@sas.nl



The drugtext press list.
News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy

Brazil Battles Drugs On Borders, Streets ('Washington Post'
Notes Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso Has Ordered The Creation
Of A Special Government Body To Coordinate Drug Policy - Brazil's Congress
Already Has Passed Legislation Aimed At Curbing Traffickers' Activities
By Identifying 'Dirty' Money And Setting Prison Terms Of Three To 10 Years
For Money Laundering.- Cardoso Also Approved A Law Thursday
Authorizing Government Agencies To Shoot Down 'Hostile' Aircraft)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 09:36:14 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: Brazil: WP: Brazil Battles Drugs on Borders, Streets
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Washington Post
Author: Daniela Hart, Special to The Washington Post
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/


New Agency Will Coordinate Control Effort at National Level for First Time

SAO PAOLO, Brazil-Rapid increases in drug-related crime, especially drug
trafficking, have prompted President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to order the
creation of a special government body to coordinate drug policy.

The planned Special Secretariat on National Policies for the Control of
Drugs, which would be accountable to Cardoso, will coordinate the activities
of government agencies fighting drugs on three fronts: trafficking, use and
production. Final plans for the secretariat's operations are expected to be
presented to Cardoso this week, and the office may be operational before the
end of June, officials said.

The move to create the special secretariat signals a new urgency by the
government to address drug abuse, which has grown serious on the fringes of
society, and drug trafficking, which takes advantage of the country's long
and porous border.

Studies show that between 70 percent and 80 percent of all crimes are
related to drugs. Occasional drug use among public school students has
increased from 17 percent in 1987 to 24 percent in 1997 (a number that rises
to 90 percent among street children). And Brazil has become the main
corridor for cocaine export from Colombia to Europe and the United States.

Until now, however, Brazil's states have worked independently to combat the
problem. The secretariat will coordinate the activities of state and local
security agencies with 14 federal agencies that combat drugs. The
secretariat also will develop strategies and national policy on drug

"To fight organized crime, we need organized action," said Gen. Alberto
Mendes Cardoso, chief of the Military Office of the Presidency, who is
responsible for initial studies on the secretariat.

"Public security problems such as robberies, murders and kidnappings are
increasingly related to drug taking or drug smuggling," he said. "This will
increase the scope and efficiency of our actions."

Closer cooperation with the United States and other Latin American countries
is also planned.

Brazil's Congress already has passed legislation aimed at curbing
traffickers' activities. The law, which the president signed at the end of
February, created mechanisms to identify "dirty" money and set prison terms
of three to 10 years for money laundering.

In addition, Cardoso approved a law Thursday authorizing government agencies
to shoot down hostile aircraft. Drug traffickers frequently smuggle drugs
over Brazil's borders by plane, but until now only warning shots were
allowed, and then only when all other warnings had failed.

Drug trafficking has increased markedly in Brazil, particularly in the last
five years, though combating it remains somewhat easier than in neighboring
countries because "the evil has not yet taken root here," Cardoso said.

"But we must act now before it is too late, before what is a problem becomes
an emergency," he said.

Some think it is already an emergency. While serious drug use generally is
acknowledged to be largely limited to certain segments of society -- notably
the urban poor, prisoners and street children -- in a nation of 160 million
people even a fraction can represent a significant problem.

Journalist Claudio Julio Tognolli, author of a prize-winning book on the
drug trade, "The Century of Crime," says Brazil has become the main base for
the export of cocaine from other Latin American countries -- notably
Colombia -- to the rest of the world, and all major international mafias
have significant presences in the country.

The author, who traveled widely when doing research for his book, emphasized
the ease of crossing Brazil's border with Peru, Bolivia and Colombia.
Running mostly deep in the Amazon jungle, it is difficult to monitor.

"There isn't the slightest control. The frontiers are unguarded, the police
are easily corrupted -- it's great for the traffickers," Tognolli said.

Border surveillance and control will be a priority when the new secretariat
becomes operational in the next few months, officials said. The task still
will fall to the federal police and internal revenue service, with army
patrols in some areas, but the secretariat will help coordinate the
agencies' activities.

Further complicating the situation is the support drug traffickers sometimes
enjoy from Brazil's poor, who receive free medicines or even sports and
day-care facilities from the outlaws.

There are no reliable statistics on drug use among the general population;
the first household survey by the Brazilian Center for Information on
Psychotropic Drugs will take place later this year. But it is not thought to
be high.

"Only around 3 percent of schoolchildren are regular users of drugs," said
Elisaldo Carlini, director of the center, "but there is a steady growth in
the use of amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. The secretariat comes at a
good time; hopefully we can keep numbers low."

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

US Woman To Be Sentenced In Peru ('Associated Press'
Notes 20-Year-Old Aspiring Model From Danville, Illinois,
Who Agreed To Work As A 'Mule' For $5,000 Was Caught In September 1996
With About Eight Pounds Of Cocaine In Her Luggage
As She Tried To Board A Plane To Miami At Lima's Jorge Chavez Airport -
Mandatory Minimum Is Six Years But Prosecutor Wants 10)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 11:49:09 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: Peru: Wire: U.S. Woman To Be Sentenced in Peru
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998


LIMA, Peru (AP) -- It sounded like easy money to Jennifer Davis. All she had
to do was fly to Lima, pick up a few kilos of cocaine and return to Miami,
where drug traffickers would pay her $5,000.

But instead of enjoying easy riches, Davis, 20, of Danville Ill., has spent
1 1/2 years in a cockroach-infested cell in Lima's harsh Chorrillos women's
prison, taking baths with buckets of cold water.

Her sentencing is scheduled for today, and a six-year sentence is the best
she can hope for. The prosecution wants a 10-year jail term.

The tall aspiring model was caught in September 1996 with about eight pounds
of cocaine hidden in her luggage as she tried to board a plane to Miami at
Lima's Jorge Chavez airport.

She pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking charges and since then, has been
waiting for Peru's slow justice system to process her case.

Her parents, Claire and Denny Davis, have fought for a quicker trial. They
even filed a complaint with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission,
arguing the delay in bringing her case to trial and brutal prison conditions
violate their daughter's human rights.

Now, just before her sentencing, Davis is nervous. She dreams of a hot
shower and her family and admits to being ``scared. My life is in the
court's hands and I don't know what they'll do. I want to go home.''

As traffickers change their smuggling routes to outwit anti-drug efforts,
experts say they are using more ``mules'' like Davis -- individuals who
smuggle cocaine taped to their bodies, swallowed in plastic pouches or in
hidden in their luggage on commercial flights -- to get the cocaine abroad.
As a result, more foreigners are getting caught at Lima's airport.

For the traffickers, the risk is worthwhile -- a gram of cocaine that sells
for less than $10 in Lima costs $100 in New York.

Davis and her fellow prisoners say drug traffickers often ``sacrifice'' one
of their mules carrying a small amount of cocaine to distract police while a
larger quantity passes through customs. Davis is unsure if this happened in
her case.

Under a hot sun in the prison courtyard, Davis chats with a half-dozen other
young foreign women caught with drugs at Lima's airport. They come from the
United States, Russia, South Africa and Britain -- all lured to Peru by the
promise of a quick buck smuggling drugs.

Inside the prison yard, salsa booms from a transistor radio, and Peruvian
prisoners with tattoos and scars walk by under the eye of uniformed female

The women are enjoying a rare treat -- a box of doughnuts and soda brought
by a U.S. Embassy official. For Davis, a vegetarian who lives primarily on
fruit and vegetables brought by her lawyer, it is a form of a last meal
before sentencing.

``I want to tell kids who think they can come here and make a few easy
dollars smuggling drugs not to do it,'' Davis says. ``The drug traffickers
will say that it is easy and no one gets caught -- they lie.''

Along with another inmate, Davis occupies a cell only as wide as her arm
span and as long as her bed. She must provide her own food, water, bed
sheets, toilet paper and other essential items.

Ten days ago she was rushed to the hospital infirmary with a severe
intestinal infection from drinking prison tap water. She recovered, but the
quality of the water and food hasn't changed.

The time Davis has already served will count as part of the sentence. Under
the terms of a treaty between Peru and the United States, Davis could serve
part of her sentence in a U.S. prison.

Davis goes to wait in a long line at a row of pay phones in the courtyard to
call home. She calls it her ``lifeline.''

A Drug-Free World - We Can Do It (Description Of UN Special Session On Drugs
As The United Nations' Drug Control Program Describes It)

From: "sburbank" (sburbank@orednet.org)
To: "Phil Smith" (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org),
Subject: A drug free world
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 08:29:31 -0800

This is scary and so short sighted in the long term about all substance
misuse and abuse.



Date: Wednesday, March 11, 1998 6:35 AM


Below is a description of the UN Special Session on Drugs as the United
Nation's Drug Control Program describes it. As you can see it covers
everything from judicial cooperation, demand reduction, sharing
intelligence, increasing communication and cooperation among law
enforcement internationally and other issues. One issue that will be
getting special attention will be international money laundering
treaties -- emphasizing what we already know -- the drug war is in large
part about money. On the bottom of the web page where this was taken
(http://www.undcp.org/undcp/ga/bkground.htm) from is a rotating banner
which states:


Visit the UNDCP web site (http://www.undcp.org/undcp)
to get more information about their planning. I hope the specter of a
worldwide war on drugs gets everyone reading this ready for a major
action in NYC or in their hometown on June 8-10.

Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to the
Fight Against the Illicit Production, Sale, Demand, Traffic and
Distribution of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Related

In 1996, at its fifty-first session, the General Assembly, in resolution
51/64 welcomed the Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/17
proposing to convene a special session devoted to the fight against
drugs. In the same resolution, the General Assembly decided to convene a
special session in order to consider the fight against the illicit
production, sale, demand, traffic and distribution of narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances and related activities. The special session will
take place in New York from 8-10 June 1998, 10 years after the adoption
of the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances. It will be an opportunity for the international
community to assess the existing situation and to focus on a forward-looking
strategy for the 21st century in the framework of a comprehensive and
balanced approach that includes all aspects of the drug problem.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs acts as preparatory body for the
special session with open-ended deliberations allowing for the full
participation of all Member States of the United Nations and of
specialized agencies and observers. In view of the important role played
by non-governmental organizations in the drug control field, The General
Assembly also recognized the need for their active involvement during
the preparatory process and for their contributions during the special

Substantively, the General Assembly, acting upon recommendations
received form the Economic and Social Council, decided that the special
session would have the following objectives::

* to promote adherence to and full implementation by all States of
the three United Nations International Drug Control Conventions.

* to adopt measures to increase international cooperation in the
application of the law.

* to adopt measures to avoid the diversion of precursor chemicals
used in illicit drug production and to strengthen control of the
production of and traffic in stimulants and their precursors.

* to adopt and promote drug abuse control programmes to reduce the
illicit demand for drugs.

* to adopt measures to prevent and sanction money laundering.

* to encourage international cooperation to develop programmes of
eradication of illicit crops and promote alternative development

* to adopt measured to strengthen coordination within the United
Nations System in the fight against drug trafficking and related
organized crime.

The Preparatory Process

The first session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs acting as
preparatory body took place in Vienna on 26-27 March 1997, during which
it decided to hold informal intersessional meetings to consider the main
issues of the special session:

1. Control of Precursors: In recent years, the diversion of precursors
has become one the most serious phenomena in the field of illicit drug
manufacture. To prevent it, countries have agreed to monitor domestic
and international movements of certain chemicals. The improvement of
concerted global action will be pursued by the special session through
the adoption of measures to further strengthen control of chemical

2. Amphetamine-type stimulants: The Amphetamine-type stimulants are
the principal synthetic drugs manufactured clandestinely. Though relatively
new, they have quickly become a part of mainstream consumer culture.
A wave of synthetic stimulant abuse has been reported in recent years with
a 16% average annual increase of quantity seized from 1978 to 1993. Today,
some 30 million people (05% of global population), more than heroin and
probably more than cocaine, consume ATS worldwide. As global awareness
of the problem is still limited and responses to it are heterogeneous
and inconsistent, the special session will give higher priority to the
subject and adopt an " Action Plan against Manufacture, Trafficking and
Abuse of Amphetamine-type stimulants and their Precursors".

3. Judicial Cooperation:The strengthening of the legal framework to
contribute to the application of the law is essential for success in the
global fight against illicit drugs. Member States will enhance judicial
and law enforcement cooperation by adopting measures concerning
extradition, mutual legal assistance, transfer of proceedings, other
forms of cooperation and training controlled delivery, illicit traffic
by sea. Without some form of inter-State cooperation in these areas
virtually none of the international treaty provisions against drug
trafficking can be implemented.

4. Money Laundering: The laundering of money derived from illicit drug
trafficking and other serious crimes has expanded throughout the world
and affects all countries. The United Nations International Drug Control
Programme estimates that the global illicit drug industry is a $ 400
billions business annually, representing approximately 8% of total
international trade. Member States will reaffirm their commitment to the
1988 Convention provisions on proceeds of crime and set out principles
upon which further anti-money laundering measures should be based.

5. Drug demand reduction: To face the disturbing trend toward
increased consumption member states will adopt and promote innovative
drug abuse control programmes and policies. The international community
is currently working to produce the very first international agreement
whose sole objective is to examine the problems, both individual and
collective, that arise because a person might or does abuse drugs. The
Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction will be
adopted at the special session.

6. Elimination of illicit crops and alternative development:
Significant successes were achieved in the last decade as methodologies
were refined and centered on the elimination of illicit crops through
income-generating activities. However, the problem of illicit
cultivation continues at alarming levels. A Global Action Plan aiming to
eliminate illicit cultivation of the opium poppy and the coca bush
worldwide in the coming ten years has been proposed by UNDCP and is
currently under consideration. The plan provides the framework to
address the problem in a comprehensive manner. Innovative approaches to
alternative development are designed stressing the importance of
adapting programmes to the specific legal, social, economic and cultural
conditions prevalent in a given region. Alternative Development
programmes have to be complemented by strict application of efficient
law enforcement measures. The establishment by UNDCP of a global system
to monitor the extent of illicit cultivation combining field and aerial
surveys will enable an ongoing assessment on the progress in eradication
and the possible displacement of illicit cultivations. An issue which
was too often neglected in previous initiatives.

Future Activities

Most of the preparations for the special session should be finalized at
the last session of the preparatory body taking place from 16 to 20
March 1998. On this occasion participants will review the international
drug control regime and consider:

a) reports of the three intersessional meetings;

b) elements for possible inclusion in the Political Declaration to be
adopted at the special session;

c) the draft "Declaration on the Guiding principles of Drug Demand

d) any other proposals to be submitted to the special session;

e) the draft provisional agenda of the special session;

DrugSense Weekly, Number 37 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists,
Including Original Commentary And Articles Such As Feature Piece,
'Harm Reduction and Hepatitis C, Part 3 - What Must We Do,
To Change What We Do . . . ?' By Joey Tranchina and Dr. Tom O'Connell)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 19:52:38 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense Weekly March 11, 1998 #037




DrugSense Weekly	March 11, 1998	#037

A DrugSense publication




* Feature Article

Harm Reduction and Hepatitis C: (Part 3)

What must we do, to change what we do...?

Joey Tranchina, M.A. and Tom O'Connell, M.D.

* Weekly News In Review


UK: Lords To Study Cannabis Risks


Reinventing American Tobacco Policy: Sounding the Medical
Community's Voice

Law Enforcement-

No Charges In Candy Bar Shooting

Day of Humiliation

Drug Testing-

Oral Drug Test Screens For Use Of Marijuana

Court Clears Drug Tests To Protect PresidencyMarkG


Planned Intake Center Reshapes Prisons

State Prisons Spin Out Of Control


Seizure of hotel sets precedent

Brokers Put on Notice Over Laundering

International News -

Prisons Plan To Sterilise Needles For Drug Users

UK: Drugs Tsar Targets Jails And Schools

Colombian Army Suffers One Of Worst Defeats In Combat With

* Hot Off The 'Net
Suppressed World Health Organization Report Posted
Electronic Law Library

* DrugSense Tip Of The Week

Posting news articles to the DrugSense editor editor@mapinc.org

* Quote of the Week

William F. Buckley




Harm Reduction and Hepatitis C:

What must we do, to change what we do...?

Joey Tranchina, M.A. and Tom O'Connell, M.D.

Our collective first reaction to HCV, has been to do what we did for HIV,
only more. Just as in Sinclair's novel, "The Jungle," -- the more plant
management pushed the slaughterhouse assembly line, the more workers pushed
themselves, with the mantra "I will work harder." More work fails to
address the epidemic for the same reasons the meat packers failed -- an
inappropriate plan for a significantly different situation.

We must, of course, continue exchanging syringes, counseling and
referring our clients to ever more threadbare services, but we must also
realize that those activities alone won't halt progression of the HCV

How do we know that measures taken to contain HIV will fail to prevent the
spread of HCV? If what we've been doing for ten years, which has
demonstrably reduced spread of AIDS, did the same for HCV- 80 to 90% of NEP
clients wouldn't be infected. This is not to say that participation in a
syringe exchange doesn't reduce the chance of HCV infection- excellent
studies in Washington state demonstrate significant reductions in new HBV
& HCV. Yet, even with participation in exchange we are speaking about a
population that is overwhelmingly HCV positive and one that continues to
become infected at an alarming rate.

We know that syringe exchange offers access to a hard-to-reach and hidden
community of men and women living at great risk of blood borne disease
and other maladies. Most of them are isolated and stigmatized; well
beyond reach of conventional medical interventions. Targeted outreach
remains essential, and syringe exchange is the most efficient contact
point for the simple reason it offers something drug injectors want and

How can we use this access to slow the epidemic of HCV infections?

We must examine the reasons standard syringe exchange practice has failed
to have a similarly dramatic effect on spread of HCV:

1) Injection is inherently high risk behavior- there is no evolutionary
precedent for parental drug administration- and humans have limited
native defense against blood borne pathogens.

2) HCV is a different virus, more persistent in the environment and orders
of magnitude more abundant in the blood of infected individuals.

3) Most IDUs have already been infected with HCV before reaching a NEP.
This virus is routinely acquired early in an injector's career. A
Seattle study suggests that 30% people who inject become infected from their
first experience. What possible intervention would protect such young
people, who have never even heard of a syringe exchange?

One of us (JT) has discussed this issue, for over a year, with many
experienced outreach workers, most significantly Dave Burrows in
Australia. To the questions: "What could be done to enable uninfected
injectors to protect themselves from HCV infection? What can we do to
effectively prevent regular injectors from infecting novice partners who
begin injecting with them?" Our unfortunate answer is PROBABLY NOTHING.

Among people, who continue to inject, a significant percentage will
become HCV infected no matter what we say, teach, or do. HCV is
problematic even in hospitals where up to 30% of kidney dialysis patients
are HCV positive, along with an high percentage of dialysis nurses;
therefore, it's easy to understand why adequately sterile injection
conditions can't be achieved by needle exchange customers. As always,
social class and economic status will affect the conditions under which
one injects, but HCV will spread even given the relatively sanitary
injection practices of more privileged IDUs. The best answer seems to be
that there is no safe way to inject drugs. After many lengthy
discussions with many thoughtful and experienced workers, these are our

o Discourage injection, by encouraging any other means of drug use.
Anything that lowers the number of injectors or reduces frequency of
injection reduces opportunity for spread.

o Demand that all NEP clients have access to anonymous HCV testing , with
appropriate and competent pre & post test counseling. Ideally, this would
be accompanied with an offer of vaccination for Hepatitis A & B and
combined with referral to treatment, as indicated.

o Teach the truth: there is no safe use of alcohol by HCV positive

o Teach clients the risk they pose to their partners if they help them to
inject --- the risk from the overwhelmingly HCV positive cohort of
established IDUs to newbies, who have never injected is extreme.

o Begin outreach to snorters, to alert them to HCV risk in sharing straws.

o "Wash your hands." Cleanliness offers a significant --- and often
difficult to achieve --- barrier to infection, but the standard is VERY

o Advocate for inclusion of drug users, former users and substitute drug
users at all levels of HCV treatment, including liver transplants and
clinical trials. The standard for retention should not be drug status, but
compliance with protocol.

o Recognition of the intimate connection between HCV and autoimmune
disorders will provide better medical care for needle exchange clients.

o Recognize the critical impact of nutrition on the health of HCV positive

o Expand the mission of existing HIV Organizations to incorporate the
needs of Hepatitis C patients.

o Demand an adequate funding stream for HCV treatment, prevention,
research and care.

o Help develop an activist core of HCV positive patients, to become experts
in their disease. Our experience with HIV and AIDS demonstrates that
knowledgeable patients and advocates receive more appropriate treatment.
This unfunded epidemic requires informed advocates for their own health






UK: Lords To Study Cannabis Risks


This is far more hopeful than the studies proposed on this
side of the Atlantic. Given the history of such
commissions always recommending that cannabis laws be
softened, if not repealed, the probability that this one
will come to similar conclusions is high. The pressure
generated by such a report would be enormous in the
present political climate.


THE scientific risks of taking cannabis for medical and
recreational purposes are to be examined by a Lords
investigation, it was announced yesterday.


The inquiry by the Lords Committee on Science and
Technology, half of whose members are medically qualified,
will be advised by Leslie Iverson, visiting Professor of
Pharmacology at Oxford University, who specialises in the
effects of drugs on the brain. The two key questions to be
addressed are:"How strong is the scientific evidence in favour of
permitting medical use?" and "How strong is the scientific evidence
in favour of maintaining prohibition of recreational use?"


Source: The Independent
Pubdate: Friday, 6 March 1998
Author: Anthony Bevins, Political Editor
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/




Reinventing American Tobacco Policy: Sounding the Medical
Community's Voice


In this exercise in futility, three medical luminaries
attempt to discuss tobacco policy without any reference to
drug prohibition. The result is an unfocused vilification
of cigarette makers devoid of a single coherent policy
recommendation, despite the ambitious title.


1998 may be the most important moment in the history of
the tobacco wars, a moment when America chooses between a path toward
social repair or one toward irrevocable public loss.


The extent that the tobacco industry has gone to
secure special privilege and protect itself, individually
andcollectively, from liability from past and future health
effects from tobacco use has raised a red fag in the public health
community. With such a glaring difference between what is
right and wrong for the public, Congress should have little
difficulty in choosing a course that contains no deals and no trades. We
support tobacco legislation by Congress, but are opposed to
granting any concessions to the tobacco industry

Pubdate: Thu,18 Feb 1998
Source: JAMA Vol. 279, No 7
Koop EC, Kessler DC, Lundberg, GN.


Law Enforcement-


Day of Humiliation

No Charges In Candy Bar Shooting

Two more cases of trigger-happy cops on drug cases
shooting at innocent (black) citizens. As usual, the
shootings were given official OKs and both victims were
lucky to have escaped with their lives.


Ellis Elliott was awakened suddenly by an insane pounding
on the metal door of his Bronx apartment. It was clear that
someone was trying to break the door down.

Terrified, Mr. Elliott leaped naked from his bed and
grabbed the unlicensed .25-caliber pistol he kept in a night stand.


Panicked, Mr. Elliott fired a warning shot over the top of
the door. That shot was answered by a fearful barrage of gunfire.
Mr. Elliott dived behind a table and squatted there, trembling.


Somehow they invaded the wrong apartment. Mr. Elliott, 44,
had never been in trouble with the law and is due to serve
on a Bronx grand jury in the spring.

It was an honest mistake, the police would later say.


Source: New York Times
Pubdate: Sunday, 8 Mar 1998
Column: In America, Bob Herbert
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/



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

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says William Cannon
and his partner did nothing criminal when they mistook the candy
bar for a semi- automatic pistol and shot high school student Andre
Burgessin the leg on Nov. 6, 1997,


Source: United Press International
Pubdate: 4 Mar 1998


Drug Testing-


Oral Drug Test Screens For Use Of Marijuana


Greater emphasis on routine testing in prisons has been
touted by the prohibition establishment, notably Kleiman
and Califano. A compliant Supreme Court has allowed the door
of the schoolhouse to be widely opened. Now we have a method
which removes much of the embarrassment of urine testing. Look
for wider use of testing in the coming months.


Beaverton's Epitope and its partner have added to the sophisticated
methods available

Drug testing for marijuana just became as simple as sucking a

Thanks to a Beaverton biotech company and its Pennsylvania partner,
the nation's first high-tech marijuana test using oral fluid is
moving closer to reality. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
this month approved the new test, which uses a lollipop-like
collection device made by Epitope Inc.


Source: Oregonian, The
Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 1998
Author: Steve Woodward of The Oregonian staff
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/


Court Clears Drug Tests To Protect Presidency


The theory that routine drug testing of certain White
house employees would "protect" the Prez and Al Gore
proves that Reefer Madness is alive and well in Washington
sixty-one years after passage of the MTA. It wasn't
announced if the rules would be changed to include


WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court allowed random drug testing
yesterday of certain federal employees, to protect the
safety of the president and vice president.


The suit was brought by Arthur Stigile and Ellen Balis,
economists with the OMB..(who).... said that hundreds of interns and
visitors had access to the Old Executive Office Building
who were not required to go through the "humiliating"


The government responded that the search was justified as
a means of protecting the safety of the president and vice

Source: Boston Globe (Reuters)
Pubdate: Tue, 3 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/




Planned Intake Center Reshapes Prisons


From their famed "prison blues" (prisoner manufactured
denim fashions), to a shiny new intake center, Oregon-
also a major participant in Unicor, has become a veritable
laboratory for testing new ways to exploit
prisoner-generated revenue. Given projections on prison
growth in the near future, one can see why.


OREGON CITY - Two guards in gun-metal gray jump suits and
polished black boots get the word first.

The Blue Bird is on its way in.


A blue-and-white bus, with the manufacturer's "Blue Bird"
emblazoned in silver letters across the front, quickly
disgorges the two dozen newest initiates to the state's burgeoning
prison population.


Oregon prison administrators have hustled furiously for
four years to comply with ballot measures calling for longer prison
sentence sand requirements that inmates log the same 40-hour work
weeks that most voters do. Taken together, the initiatives have
swelled the state's inmate population to record numbers and created a
more diverse, and therefore more difficult to manage, mix of


The department forecasts that Oregon's prison population
will top15,000 within a decade. Accommodating those inmates will
mean building as many as seven new prisons by 2007.

Source:The Oregonian,
Pubdate: Mon, 2 Mar 1998
Author: Dana Tims of The Oregonian staff
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/


State Prisons Spin Out Of Control

Corcoran Prison Guards Have Advantage, Experts Say


The first piece, an Op-ed, written originally for the
Sacramento Bee, was republished in both the San Jose
Mercury News, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. It
documents growing dissatisfaction with conditions in
California's sprawling prison system.

The second, a more analytical piece in the Orange County
Register is probably more correct in suggesting that
federal convictions will be hard to come by.

Look for prison issues to loom large in the coming race
for governor.


THE eight Corcoran State Prison guards indicted last week
on federal cruelty charges must, of course, be held
personally responsible for their own actions, whatever they were.

But the semi-official line from the state Department of
Correction sand Gov. Pete Wilson's administration -- that if there was
wrongdoing, it was solely the misdeeds of rogue guards --
is notacceptable. There's something more fundamentally amiss
with the department.

As any business executive knows, one of the most perilous
circumstances is unbridled, unmanaged growth, and the
Department of Corrections has been, by a wide margin, the state
government's fastest-growing segment.


Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Author: (Dan Walters (Sacramento Bee)
Pubdate: Fri, 6 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com

Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com

Corcoran Prison Guards Have Advantage, Experts Say




Seizure of hotel sets precedent

Brokers Put on Notice Over Laundering


Two articles portend further extension of the legalized
extortion known as forfeiture. In the first instance, the
police seem to be penalizing hotel owners for failing to
do their (the cops) jobs.

In the second, although brokers themselves seem to be the target of
prosecution, can confiscation of shares be far behind?


'Tacit consent' for drug deals alleged

Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle

Keith English sells home theater systems, but most days he
can catch a real action show right next door.

"It's like watching the TV show Cops," he said, "but it's

English works next to the Red Carpet Inn, a hotel at 6868
Hornwood in southwest Houston seized by federal agents
Feb. 17. Houston police bust dealers there regularly and
there's no dispute the hotel has been used as a drug


Defense attorneys and legal experts say the seizure --
only the second of its kind in the country -- sets a bad
precedent, since there are no allegations the hotel owners
took part in any crimes.

Using a broad interpretation of drug forfeiture laws, the
U.S. attorney's office seized the hotel and is attempting
to obtain a forfeiture on the grounds that its owners gave
"tacit consent" to illegal activity by not stopping it
when notified by police and the city.


Source: Houston Chronicle, page 1
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com



WASHINGTON --- The U.S. Treasury Department will propose rules
requiring securities brokers to report evidence of possible money
laundering, as banks now must do Treasury and Securities and
Exchange Commission officials said.

The proposal, to be issued in the next three months, comes
as criminal prosecutors are stepping up their investigations
of securities fraud. At least two brokers were charged with
money laundering following an FBI sting in October 1996 that led
to the arrest of 45 stock promoters, company of ficers and


Source: International Herald-Tribune
Pubdate: Tue, 03 Mar 1998
Contact: iht@iht.com
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n153.a03.html


International News


Prisons Plan To Sterilise Needles For Drug Users


This is one headline we'll never see in the US. The
practical British, acknowledging that drug use in prison
occurs, are at least taking measures to reduce AIDS.
Our doctrinaire bureaucrats would fire any warden who
suggested such heresy.


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

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


Source: Times The (UK)
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Mar 1998
Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/


UK: Drugs Tsar Targets Jails And Schools


This seems meant to prove that despite some softness at
the margins, the drug war still survives in England. It also
shows that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton have come up with
very similar drug policies which are heavy on the testing of
vulnerable populations- schoolchildren and prisoners. Bob
DuPont must be ecstatic.


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

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


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

One of Hellawell's priorities is to target children before
they fall under the influence of youth drug culture.


Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Author: Nicholas Rufford - Home Affairs Editor
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Mar 1998


Colombian Army Suffers One Of Worst Defeats In Combat With


The badly overmatched Colombian Army suffered a major
defeat last week. This is sure to put pressure on McC &
Co. to "do something." Military options are limited by the
incompetence of Colombia's army and, hopefully, no one
wants a Viet Nam style operation involving GIs in South


FLORENCIA, Colombia -- Low on rations, their radios dead,
and pinned down by 400 guerrillas, members of an elite
Colombian army counterinsurgency battalion were picked off..


The guerrillas also earn millions of dollars annually by
taxing coca leaf farmers and providing protection for drug

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

Last month, concerns about the rebel threat prompted the
Clinton administration to lift U.S. economic sanctions against the
Colombian government.


Source: Houston Chronicle
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Mar 1998
Page: 24A
Author: John Otis
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/



Suppressed World Health Organization Report Posted

Suppression of a WHO document by US agencies created considerable fuss when
alleged in a recent issue of New Scientist. The document (WHO Project on
Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health
and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate
Use)can now be read in its entirety at Chris Clay's website:


You may also wish to review the evidence supporting Chris Clay's
Constitutional Challenge, which will eventually reach the Supreme Court of
Canada. It consists of affidavits and other documents by an impressive
group of Canadian and American experts: Senator Sharon Carstairs, P. James
Giffen, Marie Andree Bertrand, Eugene Oscapella, Hans-Jorg Albrecht,
Patricia Erickson, Diane M. Riley, Neil Boyd, Bruce Alexander, Eric Single,
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Robert Randall, Neev Tapiero, Heinz Lehmann, and John
P. Morgan.



Electronic Law Library

Check out the sight below It is an electronic law library--mainly labor law
but They have a lot of drug war information. They claim to provide both
sides of the trenches but as you wander throughout their site, they
certainly seem more on our side of the fence. Especially check out their
"Periodical Reading Room" which has an entire section dedicated to the war
on drugs. It is exciting to find others outside the immediate reform circle
talking war on drugs. Check it out.




Posting news articles to the DrugSense editor editor@mapinc.org.

It is important that everyone know about forwarding all drug related
news articles to the DrugSense editors. Please join over 100 NewsHawks
worldwide that are helping the entire movement to stay aware and informed
on breaking drug related new.

We request that all news or magazine articles and published Letters to the
editor on any drug related issue be posted to editor@mapinc.org (please do
NOT post press releases, newsletters, or non published material to this

It would be easiest if you post articles that you wish to discuss on
whatever other list you wish with a CC to editor@mapinc.org on that
article so that we know that it has been sent. This saves us from
forwarding them and cuts down on duplications received by our editor. It is
very helpful if you can post the text as opposed to a URL if possible. This
helps spread the work load among a lot of NewsHawks.

This is also important for a number of other reasons:

Your article will be synopsized and put in our daily DrugNews-Digest (DND),
a brief over view of all articles with links to the full article, to which
any interested reformer can subscribe see
for easy subscription info. You will be credited for posting it.

Your article will be put in DrugNews, our list of current (last 2 weeks)
articles for quick look up on timely news stories See

They will also be reviewed for inclusion in our widely distributed
DrugSense Weekly Newsletter and be permanently stored in our long term
searchable archive for future research and review.

Taking the time to scan, copy or transcribe an article is the first step
towards insuring that our movement is both informed and able to respond in
force to all breaking drug news.

Thanks for your help.


Quote of the Week

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ...
and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific
support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ...
The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law
enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed
help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless
frightened parents." -- William F. Buckley, 'Commentary' in The National
Review, p. 495, April 29, 1983.


DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services
DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn
more about what DrugSense can do for you.

Editor: Tom O'Connell (tjeffoc@drugsense.org)
Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org)

We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this
material is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for research and educational purposes.


Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you
find on any drug related issue to editor@mapinc.org


DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT

We incur many costs in creating our many and varied
services. If you are able to help by contributing to the
DrugSense effort please Make checks payable to MAP Inc.
send your contribution to:

The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc.
d/b/a DrugSense
PO Box 651
CA 93258
(800) 266 5759


Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense



The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

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