Portland NORML News - Thursday, March 12, 1998

NORML Weekly News ('War On Drugs' Can't Succeed,
Australian Drug Policy Head Admits - Okays Chief Police Commissioner's Plan
To 'Caution' Rather Than Arrest Marijuana Users; CNN Internet Poll
Shows 96 Percent Of Respondents Support Use Of Marijuana
For Medicinal Purposes; Judge Dismisses Felony Charge
Over Possession Of Legal Hemp Seeds; Empower America Conference
Attacks Medical Marijuana)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 20:06:51 EST
Subject: NORML WPR 3/12/98 (II)


T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057
Internet http://www.norml.org

. . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana

March 12, 1998

"War On Drugs" Can't Succeed, Australian Drug Policy Head Admits Okays
Chief Police Commissioner's Plan To "Caution" Rather Than Arrest
Marijuana Users

March 12, 1998, Victoria, Australia: The chief police commissioner for
the Australian state of Victoria, Neil Comrie, announced that he is
likely to order police to "caution" rather than criminally charge people
found in possession of small amounts of marijuana. The plan drew
immediate praise from Professor David Penington -- director of the State
Government's Drug Task Force -- who said that many young people find
marijuana prohibition "hypocritical."

"We know that alcohol abuse causes far more deaths [than marijuana],"
Penington said.

Under the new system, individuals will receive a warning from police for
possessing marijuana. Individuals may receive no more than two cautions,
must have no prior criminal convictions for drug offenses, and agree to
being cautioned, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Presently, three Australian states have implemented policies
decriminalizing the personal use of marijuana. Federal statistics
indicate that one-third of the population have tried the drug.

"A 'War on Drugs,' which is in effect a war on drug users, can never
succeed, as the traffickers just have too many ways in which they can
brings drugs into the country or manufacture them," Penington said.
Penington himself recommended that the government decriminalize marijuana
in 1996 as head of Premiere Jeff Kennett's advisory council on drug
reform, but the state failed to endorse the measure.

State Opposition leader John Brumby, said that Comrie's administrative
decision demonstrates Kennett's failure to provide leadership on the drug

"It is an abject failure of leadership on Premiere Kennett's behalf that
we have to have the chief commissioner of police in this state making
that decision because the Premiere lacked the courage to do it," he said.

Comrie said that he will issue a final decision in two months. He said
that he will also consider whether to implement such a policy concerning
the possession of other drugs.

"My position is that I have a totally open mind to it," he said.

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul
Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.


CNN Internet Poll Shows 96 Percent Of Respondents Support Use Of
Marijuana For Medicinal Purposes

March 12, 1998, Atlanta, GA: Nearly 25,000 respondents to an ongoing
CNN Internet poll said they "support the use of marijuana for medical
purposes." Only four percent of respondents, less than 1,000 voters
overall, said they opposed the drug's use by seriously ill patients.

"Medical marijuana is clearly an issue where the American public is far
ahead of the federal politicians," NORML Executive Director R. Keith
Stroup, Esq. said. "Legislators need to realize that legal access to
medical marijuana is a politically safe issue that is supported among a
majority of mainstream Americans across all political boundaries."

Separate surveys conducted in 1997 by ABC News, The Luntz Research
Company, CBS News, Lake Research, and a statewide Florida polling firm
all showed that a clear majority of the public favored legalizing medical
marijuana, Stroup added.

"The CNN poll is simply the latest," he said.

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul
Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. A breakdown of
medical marijuana opinion polls conducted between 1995 and 1997 appears
on NORML's website at: www.norml.org.


Judge Dismisses Felony Charge Over Possession Of Legal Hemp Seeds

March 12, 1998, Hilo, HI: A Circuit Court Judge dismissed a seven-year
old indictment charging marijuana activist Aaron Anderson with commercial
promotion of marijuana after he was found in possession of legal hemp
bird seeds. A jury voted 9-3 to acquit Anderson last October, but a
judge later granted the prosecutor's request to retry the case.

"I can't think of a bigger waste of taxpayer dollars than the money
spent prosecuting Aaron Anderson for purchasing a product recognized as
legal under federal law," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of
The NORML Foundation. "After seven years, it finally appears this issue
has been put to rest."

"We believe the judge did the right thing based on the law and the facts
of this case," said attorney Brian DeLime, who represented Anderson.

Prosecutors charged Anderson, age 60, with second-degree commercial
promotion of marijuana, a class B felony that carries a sentence of up to
10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Charges were filed after Anderson
ordered a 25-pound shipment of hemp seeds from the mainland in 1991.

Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura cited the outcome of Anderson's trial
last year, the age of the indictment, and budgetary constraints as
reasons for dismissing the charges against the defendant.

Although the importation and possession of hemp seeds is legal under
federal law, prosecutors argued that the seeds fit the legal definition
of marijuana under state law. Police also alleged that a small
percentage of the seeds sprouted. Last year, Deputy Prosecutor Kay Iopa
testified that her office would not prosecute a "little old lady" if she
possessed hemp seeds, but would file charges against an individual like
Anderson who "is very vocally, very outwardly, advocating the
legalization of marijuana."

Presently, Anderson and former co-defendant Roger Christie -- who had
similar charges against him dismissed last year -- are awaiting trial in
a federal countersuit against the county alleging that they were targeted
for prosecution because of their outspoken beliefs.

For more information, please contact either Aaron Anderson of the Hawaii
Hemp Council @ (808) 965-0300 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation
@ (202) 483-8751. Roger Christie may be contacted @ (808) 325-0702.


Empower America Conference Attacks Medical Marijuana

March 12, 1998, Washington, D.C.: A sparsely attended afternoon
conference organized by Empower America repeated prohibitionist warnings
about the dangers of relaxing federal drug policies and urged voters to
reject initiatives legalizing marijuana for medical use.

"For physicians to prescribe burning leaves is hypocrisy," explained Dr.
Robert Dupont, former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA). Dupont was joined by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Administrator Thomas Constantine, Swiss doctor Ernst Aeschbach, and
California Bureau of Narcotics Officer Christy McCampbell. Empower
America co-director William Bennett moderated the symposium. Only about
40 people attended the event.

"The media and the public are paying less attention to these type of
rhetoric-ladened prohibitionist events than ever before," said Allen St.
Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. "They understand
that the issue of medical access to marijuana is a public health issue,
and that it has no place in a forum emphasizing the 'War on Drugs.'"

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML
Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.



Marijuana Smuggler Gets 20-Year Sentence (Account In 'The Oregonian'
About State's Largest Known Cannabis Importer,
A Nonviolent First-Time Offender Who Got A Sentence
Almost Seven Times As Long As That Received By One Rural Oregon Cop
A Few Years Ago For Killing His Own Child, Notes That, Because Drug Crimes
Involving More Than $10 Million Carry A Longer Sentence, The US Attorney
Listed More Than $11 Million Involved In Thomas G. Sherrett's
Various Conspiracies, Although Not All The Money Was His)

The Oregonian
March 12, 1998
letters to editor:

Marijuana smuggler gets 20-year sentence

Jail heroics and other factors don't significantly
help Thomas G. Sherrett, convicted in Oregon's
largest such marijuana case

By Peter Farrell
of The Oregonian staff

Thomas G. Sherrett made millions of dollars
smuggling about 400,000 pounds of marijuana
into the United States, but he wasn't anyone's
stereotypical drug kingpin, his lawyer told a
federal judge at a sentencing hearing Wednesday.

A key point in Sherrett's favor is that after his
arrest he helped rescue a Multnomah County
Justice Center corrections deputy as inmates
punched, kicked and possibly tried to hang the
man in a 1995 outbreak.

Even after receiving credit for those heroics and
other factors, Sherrett's sentence came to nearly
20 years in prison. The sentencing ends Oregon's
largest marijuana smuggling case and caps a life
of marijuana involvement that authorities think
they can trace to the late 1960s, when Sherrett
was a student at the University of Oregon.

The government had asked for more than 26
years in prison for Sherrett, basing the proposed
sentence on activities that covered less than two
years before 1988. That was when drug
investigators learned almost by accident that the
Oregon man was an international marijuana
smuggler who moved easily between Portland and

Sherrett pleaded guilty in November to 135
counts of drug trafficking and money laundering.
Although he had no criminal history, the
government urged U.S. District Judge James A.
Redden to regard Sherrett, 50, not as a first
offender but as a career criminal who wasn't
caught until he went to a Portland hotel and
handed over millions of dollars - an estimated 900
pounds of small bills - to undercover agents he
thought were money launderers. Redden
sentenced him to 19 years, 7 months.

"By any measure, Thomas Sherrett ranks among
the most prolific, financially successful drug
dealers ever investigated" in Oregon, Michael W.
Mosman, a deputy U.S. attorney, said in a
sentencing memorandum. "Fueled by his
experience, acumen and ambition, tons upon tons
of marijuana made their clandestine entry on the
West Coast of this country from the growing
fields of Southeast Asia."

In answer to defense attorney John S. Ransom's
argument that Sherrett was nonviolent, Mosman
argued that so much marijuana did harm as a
gateway drug.

There must be thousands of parents, he said,
"who wish Thomas Sherrett had got a real job
and not have imported tons and tons of marijuana
into this country."

The sentencing hearing, which began Tuesday,
did little to clarify the complex picture of the man

* Masterminded marijuana smuggling by
the 13-ton shipload.

* Lived in a $115,000 Eastmoreland home
even though his first delivery of money to be
laundered consisted of $5,999,999 that he carried
into the former Lloyd Center Red Lion hotel.

* Worked for $900 a month at a Portland
refugee center, where he was regarded as an
excellent employee.

* Maintained a series of false identities and
passports while he went from country to country,
knowing he was under investigation.

The jail incident was an odd twist in Sherrett's
history. Two inmates who apparently were trying
to escape had grabbed the keys of Deputy Jim
Sawyer, who was supervising their module,
Deputy Don Bailey testified Wednesday.

Bailey testified that as he ran to help, the besieged
deputy said the two inmates were trying to kill
him and they had handcuffed one of Sawyer's
hands. Sherrett held one of the attackers in a head
lock, and Bailey was able to carry the injured
officer to safety. Bailey said corrections deputies
later found sheets tied together, leading officers to
speculate that inmates either planned to escape
after taking a deputy hostage or to hang the

Redden sentenced two of Sherrett's
co-conspirators March 3. Sherrett's companion,
Thanh Hai Vominh, must serve five months in
prison and five months' house arrest for
structuring an illegal financial transaction. Redden
sentenced Vominh's brother, Dr. Hiep Voquy, to
probation for violating financial transaction laws.

A third co-conspirator, Tan Vominh - Thanh
Hai's husband - was sentenced Feb. 23 to five
years' probation, a $2,500 fine and four months
of home detention and work release, also for

The indictment to which Sherrett pleaded guilty
names the Vominhs and Voquy, and outlines
foreign trips, multiple bank transactions and other
events from November 1986 through July 1988
as 13 tons of marijuana were smuggled into
California. Some was trucked to Oregon, from
which it went to New York and Missouri.

The conspiracy began, the indictment says, when
Sherrett and others met in Oceanside, Calif., and
Portland to plan their drug smuggling.

In May 1987, Thanh Hai Vominh went to Hong
Kong and Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the
scheme, the indictment says, and in June 1987
the plotters outfitted two vessels - Free and Easy,
and Rae Ann - with navigation and electronic
communication equipment at a ranch in Goleta,

The Free and Easy sailed from Catalina, Calif., to
Hawaii in August or September 1987, and the
Rae Ann was in Hawaii. The two vessels
rendezvoused with a larger vessel off Hawaii,
where marijuana was transferred to the smaller
boats. What didn't fit was thrown overboard.

About Oct. 15, Sherrett leased storage space at
2147 S.E. 10th St. in Portland and made trips to
California, where the marijuana was unloaded
near Santa Barbara and taken to a ranch and a

The indictment includes details of how the
marijuana was moved and how the money was
hidden. It tells how Sherrett used a rental truck to
take his share of the marijuana. It gives details of
how, in November 1987, more marijuana was
delivered to a Santa Barbara address.

The indictment goes through a series of foreign
travels - Sherrett rented an apartment in Bangkok
on March 10, 1988 - and says that on March 16
Sherrett brought about $6 million to Portland.
Tan Vominh made a series of Portland bank
deposits in amounts of as much as $41,000.
Sherrett bought a loose diamond for $18,000 in
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on July 11, 1988.

On July 21, 1988, Sherrett closed bank accounts
in Hong Kong and transferred $2,150,000 in
various currencies to the Union Bank of

Federal agents knew nothing of Sherrett until
early 1988, when Brian Peter Daniels, a
marijuana supplier in Thailand, mentioned his
name to undercover agents as a major West
Coast smuggler. An informant helped the agents
set up a meeting for the money laundering at the
Red Lion, and Sherrett was on the verge of being

But he disappeared.

As agents searched for Sherrett and further
investigated his background, they came to think
he had been buying and selling marijuana as early
as the late 1960s, when he was a student in

Sherrett was arrested in December 1993 in
Switzerland when he mistakenly handed the
wrong set of false papers to immigration officials.
Because drug crimes that involve more than $10
million carry a longer sentence, the U.S. attorney
listed more than $11 million involved in Sherrett's
various conspiracies, although not all the money
was his.

More than $6 million was handed over to the
undercover agents, which the government later
seized. And $2.3 million was seized from a Swiss
account. Stock and jewelry taken from Sherrett's
home totaled almost $1 million, not counting the
$18,000 diamond, which also was confiscated.

Ashbel S. Green of The Oregonian staff
contributed to this story.

Stop The Marijuana Task Force, Please! (American Antiprohibition League
In Portland Urges People To Petition Mayor To Call Off Marijuana Task Force -
Public Rallies To Protest Marijuana Task Force Continue 4-6 PM Fridays

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 23:14:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (aal@inetarena.com)
To: Mayor Vera Katz (mayorkatz@ci.portland.or.us)
cc: Portland Police -- CW Jensen (OfficerJensen@kgw.com),
PPB (police@teleport.com)


Sponsors of the

Drug War, or Drug Peace?


As of Thursday, March 12, 1998


Petititon text:

"We, the undersigned respectfully request Portland Mayor Vera Katz
immediately suspend operation of the Marijuana Task Force (MTF) for a
period of not less than 3 months. During which time testimony from
citizens effected by the MTF will be heard. Also during such time
objective (independent) analysis concerning the MTF will be sought and
reviewed in conjunction with the aforementioned testimonies. After
that, a determination made as to the risk vs. benefit of the MTF in the
context of overall policing priorities."


MAYOR KATZ'S PHONE # IS 503-823-4120


We feel this petition echoes widespread, yet largely un-reported,
concern about the operating procedures now employed by the MTF, e.g.
'knock & talk.' We are concerned about both citizen and law
enforcement safety and seek to avoid any further violence resulting
from the MTF's actions. While we understand the Mayor's obvious
obedience to the law (adult marijuana prohibition), we suggest there
may be more effective, cheaper and most important, safer means to an
end. We also understand it's not always possible to avoid violent
confrontations with desperate criminals. But it's clear the majority
of those the MTF concentrate on hardly fit that description.

What kind of priority do the citizens put on adult marijuana
prohibition? Is it worth the life of a police officer? Are the Mayor,
City Council, press and media willing to allow the MTF off the hook
this easily? If so, then it's clear both Officer Colleen Waible and
suspect Steven Dons died in vain. We have learned nothing.

Lastly we feel it vital to both the Mayor's and the Police Bureau's
credibility that some verifiable measure of the MTF's actual impact on
the cultivation and supply of cannabis be forthcoming. Otherwise it's
true, as recently noted by the Editor of PDXs newspaper, Jim Redden,
"money is the main reason why such [MTF] raids have become so popular."
We tend to agree, especially considering the $2.1 million worth of
property (42 houses) the MTF seized in 1996.



(1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon)

Deputy Prosecutor Resigns After Methamphetamine Pipe Found In Briefcase
('Associated Press' Item From Seattle Says King County Security Officers
Also Found Traces Of Methamphetamine In A Plastic Bag -
Washington State Attorney General Will Decide Whether To Bring Charges
Against Unnamed Lawyer)

From: "W.H.E.N." 
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: King Co Dep prosecutor resigns after meth pipe found in briefcase
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 17:51:25 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Deputy prosecutor resigns after methamphetamine pipe found in briefcase

The Associated Press
03/12/98 7:11 PM Eastern

SEATTLE (AP) -- A King County deputy prosecutor resigned earlier this month
after security devices in the county courthouse revealed a methamphetamine
pipe in his briefcase as he entered the building.

The 35-year-old lawyer, who has worked in the prosecutor's office for more
than two years, quit his job three days later on March 5, said Dan Donohoe,
a spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

He has not been charged with a crime and his name was not released.

Neither the prosecutor's office nor the King County sheriff's office
disclosed the incident. Authorities acknowledged it Wednesday after the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer received a tip and asked them about it.

Donohoe said the deputy declined to be interviewed by the media. King
County Prosecutor Norm Maleng declined to discuss the allegations.

Donohoe said the prosecutor's office has no indication that the deputy used
drugs on the job. There also was no indication the pipe was evidence in a
criminal case, he said.

Metal detectors and an X-ray machine at a courthouse entrance revealed the
pipe in the briefcase, said spokeswoman Joanne Elledge in the King County
sheriff's office, which follows up on items turned up by those devices.

Security officers also found what they believed was drug residue in a
plastic bag, and a laboratory later confirmed it to be methamphetamine,
Elledge said. Officers also took a scale found in the briefcase into
evidence, she said.

"He was not arrested, but he was questioned and released," Donohoe said.
"We were notified a short period of time after it happened."

Elledge said officers saw no need to arrest the deputy prosecutor since
they did not consider him a flight risk.

King County officers are completing an investigation of the incident. They
will refer possible criminal charges to office of state Attorney General
Christine Gregoire to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest with
the prosecutor's office, Elledge said.

Drug Use Estimate May Be Low ('Associated Press' Notes A Study
Released Wednesday By US Drug Czar McCaffrey's Office
Suggests Rate Of Illegal Drug Use In Cook County, Illinois,
Is More Than Twice That Estimated By National Household Survey
On Drug Abuse - By Implication, Official Figures For Rest Of Country
May Also Be More Than Half Too Low)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 06:52:03 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Study: Drug Use Estimate May Be Low
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: The Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A study of drug use in Cook County, Ill., suggests that
the conventional estimate of 13 million hardcore drug users nationwide is
far too low.

In the study, released Wednesday by Barry McCaffrey, director of the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy, researchers tracked drug
users through jails, treatment centers and homeless shelters.

The survey estimates there are about 330,000 habitual users of cocaine,
crack cocaine and heroin in Chicago and surrounding Cook County. Previous
estimates placed the number of residents using drugs other than marijuana
at about 117,000.

``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

--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
by policy makers for accurate estimates of drug users.

The research in Illinois was done by Abt Associates, a research firm based
in Cambridge, Mass., which worked with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and
his administration.

Hard-Core Drug Users Undercounted ('San Jose Mercury News' Version)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: Hard-Core Drug Users Undercounted
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA)
Author: John Stamper Mercury News Washington Bureau
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com


WASHINGTON -- The number of hard-core drug users in America is being
vastly underestimated by faulty surveys, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the
White House drug czar, said Wednesday. He announced a new method of
monitoring the worst addicts.

A pilot test of the new system, conducted in the Chicago area, tripled
the number of hard-core addicts counted. The system focuses on
interviewing drug abusers in places like jails and homeless shelters
where they haven't previously been counted. Previous surveys counted
only those living in homes.

``The number of drug addicts didn't change; the picture of the problem
just got more accurate,'' McCaffrey said.

He said hard-core users are the backbone of the illegal drug market --
a major source of crime and diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis
and AIDS.

A hard-core drug user was defined as someone who has used heroin or
cocaine (crack or powder) on eight or more days during one of the two
preceding months.

New estimates will help the Office of National Drug Control Policy,
which McCaffrey heads, make better strategic decisions on how best to
spend the nation's $17 billion anti-drug budget.

The test survey in Chicago found that 73 percent of hard-core users
were male, 74 percent were black, 64 percent had been using drugs for
more than five years and about 80 percent used cocaine or crack

13 Million Drug Users

McCaffrey's office estimates there are about 13 million drug users in
the United States, down from a high of 25 million people in 1979. The
users cost society $70 billion a year in medical expenses, crime and
lost income. About 16,000 addicts die each year.

McCaffrey said results of the Chicago survey could not be extrapolated
to produce a revised estimate of the number of hard-core drug users
nationally because the test study reflected the patterns in a single

But he said it was clear that when the new survey method is applied
nationally, the results will show that a significantly larger
hard-core drug problem exists.

His office plans to use the new survey method in an entire region of
the country, and then expand nationwide. He did not say which region
might be first.

Even with the new survey methods, McCaffrey said some populations of
drug users are still not being counted.

``If I was a Yale graduate with a crack addiction and I went into
private treatment, I wouldn't show up in this study,'' he said.

McCaffrey said overall drug use is down 50 percent and cocaine use is
down 75 percent since 1985, while drug use by teens has been climbing
since 1991.

McCaffrey released results of a separate national survey conducted
late last year that showed a rapid spread of heroin addiction and
rising use of inhalants among young people.

That survey of police, doctors and local officials indicated the
prices of crack cocaine and heroin are falling, feeding a national
boom in heroin use. The crack cocaine market has remained stable and
it is still the dominant drug in most areas.

But with the price of heroin low, sources in Miami, Atlanta and
Bridgeport, Conn., say crack users are starting to use heroin along
with crack or are switching altogether, according to the survey.

Inhaling woes grow

The survey showed that inhaling of glue, paint, aerosols and cleaning
fluids is gaining popularity in areas like Washington, Columbia, Md.,
and San Antonio, Texas.

Another emerging drug is methamphetamine, which is being used more in
the West, Southwest and Hawaii.

DEA Supervisor Charged With Stealing $6 Million ('Reuters'
Says 22-Year Veteran Of Drug Enforcement Administration
Broke The Record In Ripping Off Money From US Justice Department)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 08:49:13 -0500
From: Cheryl & Scott Dykstra (rumba2@earthlink.net)
Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net
To: asobey@ncfcomm.com
Subject: CanPat - DEA Agent Charged in Stealing 6 million dollars...
Another example of Prohibiton Greed!
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

07:21 PM ET 03/12/98

DEA supervisor charged with stealing $6 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A supervisory budget analyst at the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was charged Thursday with
stealing a record $6 million in government funds over the past
eight years.

In a 74-count indictment returned by an Alexandria, Va.,
grand jury, David Bowman was charged with stealing the money in
the form of 679 government checks he allegedly obtained by
submitting hundreds of false and fraudulent payment vouchers in
the name of a sham company.

Bowman, 57, a 22-year veteran of the DEA, spent the money on
home renovations for his children, cars, medical and personal
expenses, travel, jewelry, coins, art, furniture, clothes,
stereo equipment and furniture, the indictment said.

The thefts, which were alleged to have occurred between 1990
and Bowman's departure from the DEA in 1997, were the largest
internal theft ever from the Justice Department, a spokesman
said. The DEA is an agency of the department.

The indictment charges Bowman with creating a sham company,
Finance Liaison Group, to which he had the DEA make out checks
for services never rendered.

The government is seeking the forfeiture of two pieces of
property and two parking spaces in Arlington, nine cars and more
than $1.3 million in cash if Bowman is convicted.

Bowman, who is wheelchair-bound, is expected to be summoned
for an arraignment on March 23, a Justice Department spokesman
said. Charges against him include mail fraud, theft and money

Ex-DEA Official Eyed In Missing $6M ('Associated Press' Version)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Ex-DEA Official Eyed in Missing $6M
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former Drug Enforcement Administration budget
analyst was accused Thursday of stealing $6 million from the agency,
said to be the largest theft ever from the Justice Department by an

David S. Bowman, 57, is accused in a 74-count indictment of carrying
out the scam from 1990 to 1997. He allegedly submitted hundreds of
false payment vouchers in the name of a sham company that led to
checks being sent to a post office box he controlled.

He laundered the proceeds through local banks to use them to buy a
Lincoln and six other vehicles, jewelry, artwork and other items for
himself and his family, and tried to divert questions about the checks
by saying they were for a ``sensitive and confidential foreign
program,'' according to the indictment.

``It's the largest internal theft in Justice Department history,''
said Justice Department spokesman John Russell.

Bowman, of Arlington, Va., worked for the DEA for 22 years and was
earning about $85,900 a year at the time of his retirement in April
1997. He was not in custody but a summons was going to be issued to
have him appear in court for arraignment, Russell said.

``There's no reason to arrest him; he's absolutely no flight risk,''
said his attorney, Harvey Volzer. He said Bowman is bedridden with
multiple sclerosis.

Volzer would not comment on the charges.

The alleged theft came to light through the work of a DEA accounting
employee auditing bills to ensure the agency was complying with the
Prompt Payment Act, said a law enforcement official who spoke on
condition of anonymity.

``One woman working on that, picking random documents to make sure we
were paying our bills on time, noticed what she thought were unusual
documents, billings,'' the official said. ``They lacked control
numbers and in the block where there was supposed to be a signature
there were just initials.''

``She requested supporting documents ... and the more she looked into
this, the more questions were being raised,'' so she went to her
supervisor who brought it to DEA investigators, he said.

The DEA's Office of Professional Office of Professional Responsibility
opened an investigation last March. William Simpkins, the office's
acting chief inspector, called the alleged theft ``reprehensible.''

``The $6 million of taxpayer money that Bowman allegedly diverted
could have been used to help fund critical anti-drug programs
throughout the United States,'' Simpkins said. ``The callous and
calculated actions described in the indictment are a terrible insult
to all of the men and women of DEA.''

Bowman is charged with 53 counts of money laundering, 15 counts of
concealment of that money laundering, five counts of mail fraud and
one count of theft and conversion of government property and monies.

The arraignment was scheduled for March 23 in U.S. District Court in
Alexandria, Va.

The indictment seeks the return of all property and monies involved in
the alleged money-laundering violations.

Among the expenditures listed in the indictment are seven vehicles,
travel, jewelry, collector coins, art work, furniture, computers and
stereo equipment.

The vehicles included a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII, a 1996 Ford Mustang,
three 1997 Ford Escorts, a 1997 Dodge Pickup and a 1997 Ford Expedition.

The indictment says that to cover up the alleged scheme, ``Bowman made
false and misleading statements'' to DEA personnel that the ``payment
vouchers related to a sensitive and confidential foreign program that
prevented him from supply normal supporting documentation.''

``We're deeply troubled by this alleged theft,'' said DEA Administrator
Thomas Constantine. ``If it hadn't been for the actions of an alert
employee, the theft of taxpayers' money might still be occurring.''

DEA Theft (Different 'Associated Press' Version)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 09:06:22 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: DEA Theft
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave Fratello <104730.1000@compuserve.com>
Source: Associated Press:
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former budget analyst for the Drug Enforcement
Administration was accused Thursday of stealing $6 million from the agency,
said to be the largest ever theft from the Justice Department by an
employee. The 74-count indictment accuses David S. Bowman, 57, of
submitting hundreds of false payment vouchers in the name of a sham company
that led to checks being sent to a post office box he controlled. He then
laundered the proceeds through local banks and used them on a variety of
expenditures, largely luxury items, for himself and his family, the
indictment said.

"It's the largest internal theft in Justice Department history," said
Justice Department spokesman John Russell.

Bowman, of Arlington, Va., worked for the DEA for 22 years before retiring
in April 1997.

His attorney, Harvey Volzer, did not immediately return a call seeking
comment. Bowman is charged with 53 counts of money laundering, 15 of
concealment of money laundering, five of mail fraud and one count of theft
and conversion of government property and money.

The indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of all property and money involved
in the money-laundering violations.

Among expenditures listed in the indictment are numerous automobiles,
travel, jewelry, collector coins, art work, furniture, computers and stereo

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.

Transcript Of Rush Limbaugh On Legalizing Drugs
(Is America's Top Conservative Radio Talk Show Host Just Playing
Devil's Advocate Or Does He Talk Himself Into The Realization
That You Can't Regulate A Black Market?)
Link to follow up
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:03:42 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Transcript Of Rush Limbaugh On Legalizing Drugs Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Mark Greer Source: The Rush Limbaugh Radio Show Contact: Rush@eibnet.com Pubdate: Thursday, 12 Mar 98 Editor's note: What follows is a part of the show as transcribed by our newshawk. DrugSense also put out a FOCUS alert on this show which has resulted in over a hundred messages being sent to Rush, many of which have been posted to the DrugSense discussion mailing list, MAPTALK. If you are not receiving the FOCUS alerts, you may sign up quickly at: http://www.DrugSense.org/hurry.htm and the discussion mailing list, where we discuss our efforts to impact on the media, at: http://www.MAPinc.org/lists/ Besides messages to Rush supporting his position, readers may be interested in posting messages to the two major usenet discussion groups for Rush supporters. Of over three thousand messages in the two groups since last Wednesday, only one focused on this topic. The groups, which you should be able to access thru the 'news' feature of major web browsers, are: alt.fan.rush-limbaugh alt.rush-limbaugh Richard Lake, Sr. Editor, DrugSense News Service - rlake@mapinc.org *** Mark writes: (to set up the following transcript) SUCCESS! After spending the entire week end monitoring radio stations that broadcast Rush Limbaugh replays I found the much discussed Thursday show. I have taped it and transcribed some of it below. For the sake of brevity only the pertinent drug reform quotes are included. An asterisk (*) indicates quite pertinent statements Multiple asterisks indicate most crucial statements. _underscored_ words = emphasized by Rush ...................... Hour one: Rush played a tape of Bill Clinton disparaging tobacco companies for a range of things like providing T-shirts free cigarettes, Joe Camel and now that some stores were selling cigarettes at a quarter a piece on an individual Basis. RUSH: Hmm I wonder where that was I've not seen any such thing. I've not heard about that. I know that's how drugs are sold and we're not doing anything about that but I think we gotta jump real hard on this cigarettes for a quarter. Unless there's something else in those cigarettes that those kids are buying and the president just doesn't know it. This is getting stranger and stranger (Goes to a phone call) CALLER ( voices a rambling opinion that adults should be able to choose tobacco but parents should not because it effects their kids who don't know any better) RUSH: OK Glenn thanks for the phone call. I have an E-mail note here folks E-MAIL from a listener. the pertinent part reads: This smoking thing has just gotten way out of control. In our country today we have become totally and irrationally obsessed with fault and even more obsessed with blame. _Personal responsibility is at an all time low_. The thing that's happening with the tobacco industry is happening in other areas as well. People and companies are less and less willing to accept fault and rectify their wrong. I use to smoke it was my choice. It was also my choice to quit. I choose RJR has nothing to do with it. Smokers out there who see it any differently are _weak_ they lack _will_ say it's Joe Camels fault. Were now living in the blame era. RUSH: That is an interesting take on this CALLER (irrelevant Clinton discussion) **** 2nd hour * RUSH: The views expressed on this program are right and that's why so many people are upset at the views of the host expressed on this program because these views challenge the cocoon like world view of those who live sheltered lives, sheltered from the truth. We don't shelter the truth we blast it at you ladies and gentlemen. You must have courage to believe the truth and face it as heard on this program otherwise you go nuts and make a fool of yourself in any number of ways. (Call) Rush Limbaugh 800 282 2882 (Ginsberg comedy routine.) RUSH (explains that a company that wants to market a snoring medicine wasn't allowed to run ads on national TV because it took a shot at Clinton. Funny but irrelevant) CALLER: (Wife of a youth pastor wonders about underage drinking and why that hasn't been addressed. Alludes to violence and alcoholism at early ages, the presidents family history of alcohol problems father and brother) RUSH Why do you think it hasn't been? CALLER: maybe because the president drinks. RUSH: I don't know and I've never heard anyone say whether the president drinks a lot of a little or at all. * Lisa let me give the answer. The answer is; be patient. If you want them to go after the alcohol companies I suspect that they will take what they have learned in the tobacco companies and modify however necessary in order to next target the alcohol companies. * One of the things that you have to realize is that this push against the tobacco companies is largely about money. Largely, largely, largely, 90% about money. The federal Gov't is out of money. They don't have any more. They can't raise taxes any more but here's a huge amount of money out there. Here's an entire industry willing to part with $368 Billion and they consider it a win to do that and what they want in exchange is limits on how many more times they can be sued. * The people that really hell bent on this want to take the $368 billion and then keep going back for more and more. One of the things that gives them impetus is that executives of the tobacco companies are really a bunch of lying skunks. They lied about lied about the addictive qualities of nicotine they lied about how much they stoked cigarettes with nicotine. They lied about their efforts to market to kids etc. So they've made themselves easy targets. * The alcohol companies have never really done that but everybody knows that (they are marketing to youth) whether it's fogs, alligators, dogs and so forth. It's gonna be tougher but the alcohol companies know they're next. You can see some of their spots (trying to increase the appearance of legitimacy) They know what's coming. The tobacco companies are just easier. But if this works and it will, maybe not nationally, but you'll see some bright eyed state attorney general who wants to make a name for himself go after alcohol next. It's not because they are inconsistent about it it's just that they see a pile of potential money. (These people are puritans in the attack on vices but it's not for moral reasons it's for huge amounts of money) * Don't assume they are ignoring teenage drinking they just haven't gotten to it yet . And there will be more after that. We've already seen the first signs that they are going to go after fatty foods. We've already got this madcap group of loco weeds called the Center for Science and the Public Interest. This group is trying to make everything that tastes good not outlawed but undesirable. * There's all kinds of parental types of people out there...Nanny's who don't think that you have the intelligence or guts to make up your own mind and don't think that you ought to be able to make up your own mind and live with the consequences. And they see big targets of money in every one of these industries and as they figure out ways to go about it I assure you that they'll make their moves. NEW CALLER irrelevant on the dues we owe to the UN NEW CALLER: I wanted to make a contrast between the Clinton administration position on cigarettes and drugs. When it comes to cigarettes what they are is supply siders. They're trying to stop the sale of cigarettes to minors (something I am for) and they're trying to raise the price but nevertheless both of those are supply side. When it comes to drugs what they're concerned with is treatment and education. * RUSH (interrupts) I think you are correct but that you miss spoke. What you mean to say is they're dealing on the demand side of the cigarette side. They're trying to effect demand. They're trying to convince people not to smoke and at the same time your supply side obviously is that they're trying to convince people not to sell it to minors. Is that what you mean? CALLER Yeah essentially the cigarette policy is that they're trying to control the supply they want to raise the price which is essentially a prohibition to make it more expensive for anyone especially children they focus in on for buying cigarettes. Whereas with drugs they are more available and cheaper than ever and there's less interdiction. So the supply of drugs is up. For drugs they want to convince you that via treatment and education that if they just talk to you enough that they will convince you not to use them. I think the difference between the tow positions is completely irrational. ** RUSH: The interdiction efforts (tape ends few seconds loss) (don't work. They basically address the) demand side. That being educate those who want it and get them not to want it and when nobody wants it then you won't have to worry about interdiction. So what your saying is... and that hasn't worked by the way. In the first place interdiction doesn't work and the effort to convince people not to do it really doesn't work in fact with young people it may even entice them more. Uh are you saying that the same practices are being used on cigarette smoking and that that will fail as well? CALLER Well first I would make the point that the Clinton administration has reversed it's policy as compared to all previous administrations. The first thing Clinton did of course was to get rid of the drug czar post and the white house bureau of drug interdiction. I mean he is not interested in stopping the flow of drugs or police efforts. Yeah I wouldn't argue that hey work. They never worked real well but it's still a fact that since 1992 six short years that teen drug use has doubled. and this is something that strikes home with me Rush. We stand to lose an entire generation to drug use. RUSH: Do you like the effort that are being made to reduce the numbers of people that reduce cigarettes CALLER: I'm a Mormon (I don't smoke) but I consider it offensive that this administration uses cigarettes a as a smokescreen. I, Yes I'm concerned about smoking I'm concerned about teen smoking. I'm concerned about my own children smoking but I want to handle that as a parent. It's a legal substance and I'll take that thank you kindly. * What upsets me is the plethora of drugs that are available at a low price. I can't do anything about that. It's much harder for a parent to attack a drug problem. * RUSH: OK let me ask you a question because this came up yesterday and I gave an answer that many would call a flippant answer. I will give you the same answer you tell me if it's flippant. ** Based on the reality of how we're going after cigarette smokers, The thing that we cannot do in the drug fight right now is regulate because it's illegal. Drugs are against the law and so the manufacturers are illegal. They're not even on shore they're down there in Columbia and the Calli Cartel and they're working to poison the brains and minds of the future of America. And so what we do is to try to keep those drugs from getting in. And I agree with you that it's a half baked effort. ** But what are we doing with cigarettes. Well we are punishing the manufacturers We're suing them left and right we're going to cause them to settle out of court for $368 billion. We're gonna let them keep making them but then we're going to have the price go way way up so that we ostensibly say by virtue of that we don't want anybody to smoke cigarettes anymore and we're going to try to price it out of most peoples existence but we're going to raise those prices and most of that money will be taxes and we're going to use that money for health care programs for our kids and so forth. *** It seems to me that what is missing in the drug fight is legalization. If we want to go after drugs with the same fervor and intensity with which we go after cigarettes let's legalize drugs. Legalize the manufacture of drugs. Licence the Calli Cartel make them tax payers and then sue them. Sue them left and right and then get control of the price and generate tax revenue from it. Raise the price sky high and fund all sorts of other wonderful social programs. **** Because it seems to me, flippant as though it may sound to you, that what gives us the power to do what we're doing, what gives the government the _power_ to do what it is doing, state and federal, in cigarettes is that it's a legal substance regulated by uh the federal government. And they don't have any such power and control over drugs because it's illegal. **** So let's legalize them and then go after them the same way. CALLER Well could I make the point the road to hell is paved with good intentions and I don't get how good of a deed you can do with blood money it's still blood money and there's a great rift in our moral fibre. Cigarettes cause lung cancer and if they cause harm in our society why would you want to make money off that. We've become a society of pimps (gambling) RUSH: What is this _we_ ? You are talking about governments. CALLER: Well I mean as a people. I mean these policies have broad support throughout America. (People see raising taxes of cigarettes as a good thing if the money is going to be used for a good purpose) RUSH Most people don't smoke so they think the other guy is going to get saddled with it and that's fine with them. *** I agree with you. Don't misunderstand me now. I think your point is well made and I'm not arguing with you I'm continuing to sort of uh you know devil's advocate. CALLER: I don't want to make be money on a bad issue RUSH: Then you should be in favor of outlawing cigarettes and making it illegal to even grow tobacco refine it manufacture it and sell it. Because you talk about making money off of illness and that sort of stuff. Look at what the tobacco companies have done. ** CALLER: Personally I believe that cigarettes aren't as bad for you as most people believe OK? (Talks about his religion and keeping his kids from smoking) It's just offensive to me that (cigarettes) are being made out to be this great social ill. When what is really destroying this country is being ignored. As a matter of fact drug use is well documented Clinton admits that use is up drastically in the last six years. Let's go after that leviathan **** RUSH We _can't_ We can't (excited) well we (sighs and says under his breath "patients") When I say we can't what I mean to say is we won't. There's no way to score big money on it. You have to understand that there's not a big morality play going on here with cigarettes. All there is... in the minds of the citizens they think it's all about morality and our kids... but it's about money. Look at the lawyers down in Florida they had a contract 25% of whatever they could collect. Well that would mean that some lawyers are going to make $200 million. The purpose of all this was to help our kids and so forth (the lawyers just want money) Everybody wants their cut Clinton congress the states all want their cut. It's all about money *** That's why I'm telling you. You may think my statement here flippant but you asked why aren't we going after drugs as fervently as we're going after cigarettes. I agree with cocaine marijuana uh well cocaine, crack, LSD, heroin, all those you can...I don't know of anybody whose overdosed on cigarettes. I do know that people have burned their houses down but I don' know anybody whose said I'm going to smoke cigarettes until I die and then pulled it off inside of 12 hours. I do know people who've overdosed on drugs and know of them. You talk about death and the ruined lives...heroin addiction is far more debilitating that tobacco addiction let's be honest about it. Tobacco addiction is a 30 year death. Heroin addiction is instant death and yet we're not going after this stuff with the same moral fervor that we are. Why? Because we're not going after cigarettes with a moral fervor either we're going after cigarettes because of money. **** Now if you want to go after drugs on the same basis you've _got_ to make it a target for money and the only way that I can think of to do that is either the government become the pimp and sell the stuff make it prescription with the government as the pharmacist or you legalize drugs let them come into the country get a whole bunch of generations of people using these things and then decide some years later that "This is terrible. We must stop this. This is horrible. Those drug manufacturers have lied to us about the safety of the product. They said they were going to control the amounts and they haven't. We're suing them." And then go and get some money from the Calli drug cartel legally. I'm not being flippant. I'm trying to illustrate a point. (end of segment)

Judge Skillman - It's Marijuana Not Medicine ('The Mountain Messenger'
In Downieville, California, Notes A Sierra County Judge
Has Ignored Proposition 215 By Disregarding A Doctor's Recommendation
For Cannabis And Sentencing A Man With Seven Plants To 16 Months In Prison -
Judge Also Slanders Frank Kortangian's Physician, Dr. Tod H. Mikuriya,
Formerly In Charge Of Marijuana Research
For The National Institute Of Mental Health)

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 22:01:42 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Skillman: It's Marijuana Not Medicine.
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Arthur Sobey http://www.alpworld.com/kubby98
Source: The Mountain Messenger
Page: Front Page
Contact: Mail: Main St., Downieville, Ca. 95936
Pubdate: 12 March 1998
Note: California's oldest weekly newspaper. Dedicated to the interests of
the northern Sierra. Available throughout Sierra and Nevada Counties.


"It is judges and prosecutors like this that are abusing the law. The judge
clearly said the law doesn't apply and then slandered Dr. Mikuriya, one of
the foremost research scientists in the country."

Judge Bill Skillman had just sentenced Frank Kortangian to 16 months in
prison, with most of it suspended for growing marijuana.

The speaker was Steve Kubby, Libertarian Party candidate for Governor who
attended the sentencing as a potential expert witness.

"The law is very simply written. The law doesn't say judges may practice
medicine; it says if you have a letter from a doctor recommending or
approving the use of marijuana for a medical condition, it is legal to use

Kortangian pleaded no contest to growing seven marijuana plants near the
Plumas/Sierra County line. Refusing to weigh the actual plants, District
Attorney Sue Jackson relied on a police "expert" and concluded the plants
would have yielded seven pounds.

Other witnesses, more familiar with marijuana cultivation and use of
marijuana, believe four ounces of smokable marijuana were harvested.

"I remember that one," scoffed one local peace Officer. "That's one where
there were more cops than plants."

At the time Kortangian was growing the weed, state medical doctors were
under a threat by the federal government to pull the license of any
actually prescribing marijuana. When a federal court lifted that ban,
Kortangian obtained a letter from a doctor approving the use.

Judge Skillman refused to believe the plants were for medicinal purposes.

"As a finder of fact in this case, I don't believe he was growing for
medical purposes. The (medical marijuana) law was not written to cover
these facts," Skillman said.

Skillman went on to describe the manner of examination he believed a
physician must give before being justified in prescribing marijuana.

"I have heard that Dr. Mikuriya has been fairly liberal in passing out
these letters," Skillman said.

"I believe there will be some question about the man's license," agreed
D.A. Jackson.

When the dust settled, Kortangian, a 61 year old disabled veteran of the
Korean War with an otherwise spotless record, found himself a felon for
growing a plant the people of California have decided has beneficial
medicinal qualities.

He will pay a fine of over $800, spend between 30 and 75 days as a guest in
the county jug, spend 30 days with a monitoring bracelet under house
arrest, and remain under formal probation for three years.

"I'll guarantee you one thing," Kubby said. "one of my first acts as
Governor will be to pardon Frank Kortangian."

Union Officials Defend Corcoran Prison Guards ('Orange County Register'
Quotes Mike Jimenez, The California Prison Guards' Union Vice President,
Saying On Fresno Radio Station KMJ That Federal Indictments
Of Eight Fresno Prison Guards For Abusing Inmates At Corcoran State Prison
Are 'A Grandstand Play By The US Attorney's Office')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: Union Officials Defend Corcoran Prison Guards
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Section: news / page 6
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/


A union official calls indictments against eight Corcoran Prison
guards "a grandstand play" by federal prosecutors.

The Fresno guards indicted on federal charges of inmate abuse are good
people handling an extremely difficult assignment, union
representatives said in a radio interview.

The accusations of the officers staging inmate fights are absurd, Mike
Jimenez, the union vice president, said on Fresno station KMJ. He
called the indictments "a grandstand play by the U.S. Attorney's Office."

Eight Corcoran State Prison guards were indicted last month on charges
of violating civil rights. The officers also are accused of conspiring
to set up a fight in 1994 that ended in the death of inmate Preston Tate.

Reefer Madness (Letter To Editor Of 'Orange County Register'
Agrees With Ethan A. Nadelmann's Recent Commentary,
Highlights Difference Between 'Legalizing' And 'Decriminalizing')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Reefer Madness
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Section: metro / page 9
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/


On the cover of March 8's Commentary ["Assembling a drug policy"].
Ethan A. Nadelmann made the essential distinction between legalizing
and decriminalizing drugs, which has not been made in many articles on
the subject and which is essential to changing the direction in our
country of our attack on this evil.

Legalizing implies approval where decriminalization dos not; and the
latter permits societal control. Both alcohol and tobacco, debatably
equally evil drugs, are controlled this way. Both Judge Grey (Orange
County Superior Court of California) and Volney V. Brown (former U.S.
magistrate in Los Angeles, 1982-1995), on the firing line of the drug
problem, have stated that we are not losing the war on drugs; we have
already lost it. We can learn from other countries who are
successfully implementing programs for "harm reduction" of an evil we
will never eliminate.

I find it morally reprehensible that due to our U.S. consumption
(follow the money), we are creating so much misery in other countries
as well as our own. There are few current issues more important than
the one Nadelmann is trying to fix.

People In The News (Two Items In 'San Jose Mercury News' Gossip Column
Note Talk Show Host Morton Downey Jr. Released From Hospital Short One Lung
After 50 Years Of Heavy Smoking; And The New Miss America
Is A 'Fitness Nut Who Promises To Use Her Reign To Douse Drug Use')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: People in the News
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com


Morton Downey Still Talking

Morton Downey Jr. was released from the hospital a week after losing the
rest of his right lung to cancer.

``He's doing great. He'll be back at work Monday,'' publicist Les Schecter
said after Downey left a hospital in L.A.

The 64-year-old talk show host underwent surgery a week ago, and Dr. Robert
McKenna said Downey has an excellent prognosis for a full recovery.

Doctors removed a cancerous tumor from Downey's lung in July 1996.

Downey has blamed the cancer on 50 years of heavy smoking and has made a
series of public-service announcements advising young people to stay away
from cigarettes. His new syndicated program, ``The Morton Downey Jr. Show:
Where Enemies Meet,'' is to begin in June.

A Beauty Queen For The Poor

Green-eyed, 5-foot-8 brunette Shawnae Jebbia, 26, a fitness nut who
promises to use her reign to douse drug use and violence plus champion
housing for the poor, was named the 47th Miss USA on Tuesday night.

The Mansfield, Mass., beauty gets a $40,000 personal-appearance contract, a
red Pontiac convertible, jewelry and other goodies. Says she wants to get a
master's in health promotion and wellness.

Cosby Witness Arrested (Police Won't Say What Her Role Is,
But 'San Jose Mercury News' Notes A Witness For The Prosecution
In The Killing Of Bill Cosby's Son In California Has Been Indicted
On A Cocaine Charge In New Jersey)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US NJ: Cosby Witness Arrested
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com


A prosecution witness in the killing of Ennis Cosby has been indicted
in New Jersey on drug charges that could send her to state prison for
up to 10 years, authorities said Wednesday. Tracy West, 35, was
charged with possession of cocaine as well as possessing cocaine with
intent to distribute. West, who remains free on $35,000 bond, was
identified as a witness for the Los Angeles district attorney's office
in its prosecution of Mikail Markhasev, 18, for the January 1997
shooting death of Cosby, 27, the son of entertainer Bill Cosby.
Officials have not disclosed West's role in the case.

Drugs And Booze (Columnist For "Indianapolis Star' Says An Indianapolis Woman
Noticed That The Community Anti-Drug Meeting
Didn't Have Anyone From The Community There - She Also Had The Temerity
To Wonder What Young People Are Supposed To Think About Anti-Drug Programs
When The City Sells Alcoholic Beverages At City-Owned Stadiums
And Golf Courses)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:50:20 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US IN: Column: Drugs and Booze
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marla Stevens (PointsRUs)
Source: The Indianapolis Star
Columnist: Dick Cady
Contact: stareditor@starnews.com
Website: http://www.starnews.com/
Pubdate: Thursday, March 12, 1998
Editors note: This is only the part of the column of interest to readers of
this service.


Bev Hopkins of Indianapolis says she's just a citizen who wants to help the
city and neighborhoods solve problems such as the proliferation of illegal

So last week, she went to a Southside news conference where Mayor Stephen
Goldsmith and Police Chief Michael Zunk announced an infusion of $1.2
million to fight neighborhood problems such as crack houses and open-air
drug markets.

"There was no one from the community," Hopkins says. She was the only
private citizen there until right before the news conference, when someone
was brought over from a nearby Northeastside community organization office.

"I think something's strange in this whole setup," Hopkins says. "The
community just doesn't seem to be involved." Hopkins also says she's
concerned because the administration sends out "mixed messages."

What are young people supposed to think about anti-drug programs, she
wonders, when the city sells alcoholic beverages at city-owned stadiums and
golf courses amid talk of selling beer in public parks?

Forbes Rails Against Tobacco Deal ('Associated Press' Says Publisher
And Former Presidential Candidate Steve Forbes Told An Audience
In Des Moines, Iowa, On Thursday That Tobacco Settlement Proposals
Are 'A Huge Payoff' To The Legal Profession)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 13:47:34 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Forbes Rails Against Tobacco Deal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Publisher and former presidential candidate Steve
Forbes on Thursday blasted tobacco settlement proposals as ``a huge
payoff'' to the legal profession.

Forbes was referring to arrangements between states and law firms working
on lawsuits against the industry.

``That was simply a political payoff of the most appalling order,'' Forbes

Forbes, who pulled out of the 1996 presidential race but is considering
another run, addressed the issue as yet another proposed settlement of the
tobacco dispute was introduced in Congress. It would boost cigarette prices
by $1.50 a pack, extracting $25 billion a year from the industry, including
some for anti-smoking educational efforts.

The tobacco industry would see its annual liability capped at $8 billion
under the measure.

``It rings false,'' Forbes said. ``If they want to put dollars in for more
educational efforts for young people, public service ads or something that
might work persuading young people not to take up the habit, all to the

Forbes said proposals being discussed in Congress include sweeping new
spending programs, all based on the cynical assumption that a significant
number of people will continue to smoke and collect damages.

``I can guarantee you that's a fraction of the boodle they are talking
about now,'' Forbes said. ``It is a typical Washington shuffle.''

Forbes acknowledged that those damaged by tobacco have a right to sue the

``If somebody has done something wrong, then they should pay damages,'' he
said. ``What you have here, part of it, is really a huge payoff to the
trial bar.''

Forbes said he was backing legislation in Congress which would limit
lawyers involved in tobacco cases to collecting an hourly fee of $150
``which is still not a bad wage.''

One judge in Florida has calculated that lawyers involved in that state's
lawsuit against the industry could earn $7,000 to $8,000 an hour, Forbes

Officers To Appeal Firings ('The Oklahoman' Says The Police Chief
And Two Officers In Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, Were Fired Monday
In Part Because Of An Investigation Into Illegal Distribution
Of The Drug Rohypnol)

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 10:25:39 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US OK: Officers to Appeal Firings
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: OK NORML 
Source: Oklahoman, The (OK)
Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus
Website: http://www.oklahoman.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Author: Mark A. Hutchison - Staff Writer


FORT GIBSON -- The police chief and at least one of two officers question
their firing by trustees Monday and say they'll appeal.

Trustees voted unanimously to fire Raymond Pease, chief for almost 18
years. They also voted 3-2 to fire Tom Benge, an officer of 14 years, and
Juston Hutchinson, who has been with the department about three years.

''Even though we feel we're an employer at will, we're affording them all
the due process that's appropriate,'' Fort Gibson city attorney James
Carnagey said.

The three were fired for several reasons after trustees met in executive
session. Among the grounds were insubordination, failure to follow policies
and procedures, and conduct unbecoming an officer, attorneys for the men

Town Clerk Deborah Daniels said Wednesday she hadn't had time to transcribe
a tape of the meeting and didn't know all of the grounds on which the men
were fired.

Pease's attorney, Mark Thetford, said, ''We think there's adequate defenses
to all of these accusations.''

Trustees have met several times in executive session about the police
department since Jan. 28. Some of the executive sessions have included
interviews with police officers.

Town officials have refused to publicly discuss the police inquiry. On Feb.
23, trustees suspended Pease, Benge and Hutchinson with pay.

Attorneys for Pease and Benge said the firings are due in part because of a
drug investigation that resulted in the Jan. 23 arrest of Nancy Lloyd
Whyles, 39, at her Pawnee County home.

Whyles is charged in Pawnee County District Court with possessing the drug
Rohypnol, commonly known as the ''date rape'' drug.

The drug makes users drowsy and can cause memory lapses when given in
significant amounts, prosecutors said.

Whyles also is charged with using a 16-year-old girl to distribute the
drug, which is a controlled dangerous substance in Oklahoma.

According to information filed in the case, the girl is the daughter of a
Fort Gibson city government employee. She has not been charged.

Hutchinson was investigating a Rohypnol problem at the local high school,
and the investigation led to the girl. Hutchinson alleged that the girl had
200 Rohypnol pills in her possession when he confronted her.

Hutchinson, the girl and her father met with a Pawnee County sheriff's
deputy Jan. 23. The girl told Hutchinson she had met Whyles at Whyles' home
and in Muskogee and had taken bags of Rohypnol and methamphetamine to
another friend to be sold.

With Whyles' consent, lawmen searched her home later that night and found
an estimated 600 pills that lab tests showed were Rohypnol.

Pease has said he didn't think the drug investigation could have been
handled differently. Thetford said trustees have other allegations against
his client.

''There were 14 grounds against the chief. I think two of them involved the
improper investigation of these date rape pills, but we don't know exactly
what he did or didn't do,'' Thetford said.

Benge's attorney, Gene Primomo, said his client was fired ''basically for
failing to communicate within the department.'' He said that Benge was
given information about Rohypnol being sold by one high school student to
another, so Benge called a county drug task force agent.

When Benge called the school the next day, he was told by the principal
that Hutchinson already was investigating. Trustees then started their
inquiry and are accusing Benge of lying to them about the drug
investigation, Primomo said.

''I think Tom Benge was roped into this deal when he really didn't have
anything to do with it,'' Primomo said.

A due-process hearing for Benge is scheduled April 2. Pease also is asking
for a hearing. Hutchinson and his attorney couldn't be reached Wednesday
for comment.

Meanwhile, Fort Gibson on Tuesday hired Richard Slater, a retired Muskogee
police captain, as interim police chief. He will be paid $2,300 a month,
Carnagey said.

Book Review - 'Cocaine Addiction - Theory, Research, And Treatment'
('New England Journal Of Medicine' Mostly Praises A New Compendium
Of The Research Literature On Cocaine By Jerome J. Platt, But Notes
The Study Of Cocaine Abuse Is A Nascent Field Lacking Clear Consensus
In Many Areas)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 10:36:15 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Book Review: Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Andrew Byrne 
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Reviewer: Edward Nunes, M.D.
Pubdate: March 12, 1998
Volume: 338, Number 11
Contact: comments@massmed.org
Website: http://www.nejm.org/

Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment

By Jerome J. Platt. 458 pp. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1997.
ISBN 0-674-13632-2

Over a century ago, the active ingredient in the coca leaf was purified,
and the first cases of cocaine dependence were described in North America
and Western Europe. Overlooked for many years, cocaine resurfaced as a
public health problem in the 1980s. Today, among the major addictions,
cocaine dependence remains the most elusive. Alcohol, opiates, and nicotine
all produce characteristic withdrawal syndromes, which respond to treatment
with pharmacologic agonists or sympatholytic agents. For cocaine, the
withdrawal syndrome is more evanescent, and its treatment implications
remain unclear. For alcohol, opiate, and nicotine dependence, a growing
list of medications is available to help induce remission or prevent
relapse, including the aversive agent disulfiram, the long-acting opiate
agonist methadone, the long-acting opiate antagonist naltrexone, and
nicotine-replacement therapies with patch and gum delivery systems. Recent
advances include naltrexone for alcoholism, the long-acting agonist
levomethadyl acetate hydrochloride for opiate dependence, and the
antidepressant bupropion for smoking cessation. Cocaine has yet to yield to
agonist, antagonist, or antidepressant strategies, although intensive work
is ongoing, and there have been hints. Several psychotherapeutic and
behavioral strategies have shown promise. This progress and the development
of effective medications for the other addictions reinforce the importance
of the research effort in this area and inspire confidence that it will
continue to bear fruit.

Cocaine Addiction, by Jerome Platt, is a compendium of research on cocaine
to date. The author has admirably tackled the task of organizing and
summarizing over a thousand references from the scientific and clinical
literature. This is not a book primarily about the basic neurobiology and
pharmacology of cocaine. Rather, the focus is predominantly clinical.
Within that broad limit all essential aspects are covered, including
history, pharmacology, clinical features, epidemiology, associated
psychopathology, medical complications, and nonpharmacologic and
pharmacologic treatment approaches. An entire chapter is devoted to cocaine
and sexual behavior, unusual for a book of this type, but important given
the role of drug abuse in the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic.
Throughout, the emphasis is on detailed description of research studies and
review papers. This enhances the usefulness of this book as a reference,
although in the midst of some sections it is hard to keep track of the
gist. Most chapters end with conclusion sections that provide succinct
summaries and criticisms, and I recommend reviewing the conclusions first
before embarking on each chapter.

The single-authored format has the advantage of a consistent style and the
absence of either duplication or large gaps in coverage. However, it would
be difficult for any one author to be intimately familiar with all the
literatures reviewed in a book of this scope, and indeed some sections are
not sufficiently critical of the studies reviewed. For example, the chapter
on pharmacotherapy conveys an overly optimistic impression of the efficacy
of several medications based on the results of small, preliminary studies.
In several cases these results have not been confirmed in larger,
well-controlled clinical trials published recently. It is a general
limitation of this book that there are few references beyond 1994.
Nevertheless, Cocaine Addiction provides a solid guide to the literature
that will be useful to newcomers and as a reference for experienced hands.
The study of cocaine abuse is a nascent field lacking clear consensus in
many areas. Serious students may, at points, wish to visit the primary
references identified in this book and reach their own conclusions.

Edward Nunes, M.D.
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York, NY 10032

Copyright (c) 1998 by the Massachusetts Medical Society

Reprise Of Terror ('New York Times' Columnist Bob Herbert
Publicizes A Home Invasion By Bronx Drug Warriors Who Terrorize,
Curse And Brutalize An Innocent Woman Who Is Eight Months' Pregnant -
Raid Occurred Same Day As Another, Similar Raid In The Bronx
Noted Previously)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 09:18:29 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: NYT Column: Reprise of Terror
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: New York Times (NY)
Column: In America
Columnist: Bob Herbert
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998


The police invaded Shaunsia Patterson's apartment about 4:30 P.M. on
Friday, Feb. 27. Ms. Patterson, who is eight months pregnant, and her two
children, a boy, 3, and a girl, 2, were napping in the bedroom at the rear
of the small second-floor apartment on Hull Avenue in the Bronx.

Also in the apartment was Ms. Patterson's 15-year-old sister, Misty
Patterson, who had just come in from school.

"First we heard a boom," said Shaunsia Patterson. "Then there was a louder
boom and the whole door was coming down."

The cops seemed to come in waves, some in plainclothes, some in uniform.
There were about a dozen in all. They came in with their guns drawn and
they grabbed Misty first.

"They threw me face down on the floor and handcuffed me behind my back,"
she said. "Then one of the cops stepped on the side of my face and pressed
my face into the floor."

Crying and nearly overwhelmed with fear, she tried to ask the cops what was
going on. The reply: "Shut the [expletive] up!"

"I thought my life was going to end," Misty said.

Shaunsia was sitting on the side of the bed by the time the cops reached
her. One of the officers pushed her onto her back and dove on top of her.

"I'm screaming, 'I'm eight months pregnant. Please!' " she said.

The cop rolled her over and cuffed her hands behind her. She was wearing
only panties and a top. She was so terrified she urinated.

"I couldn't help it," she sobbed as she recalled the scene during an
interview. "I was so scared. I kept saying, 'What is going on?' "

With both of the women handcuffed, the cops, screaming obscenities and
other forms of verbal abuse, began searching the apartment for drugs.

"They were tearing up the house," Shaunsia said. "They broke my furniture,
broke the refrigerator, ripped up part of the floor, and I'm saying,
'There's nothing in this house.' "

The women were kept handcuffed for more than two hours. Shaunsia spent the
entire time sitting or lying in her soiled underwear on her soaked bed. She
asked to see a warrant but the request was ignored. She asked if she could
put on dry clothing and was told no. She wept as she listened to her
possessions being smashed in the next room.

"How can you do this?" she asked.

It turns out the raid was a mistake. And the mistake happened on the same
day that another contingent of cops, also looking for drugs, mistakenly
raided the Bronx apartment of an innocent man named Ellis Elliott. Mr.
Elliott was dragged handcuffed and naked from his apartment and was later
forced to wear his girlfriend's clothes. He was arrested and taken to jail
before the mistake was discovered.

Neither Shaunsia nor Misty Patterson was arrested. Some two hours after the
police smashed down their door, an officer announced: "We got the wrong

Shaunsia, still handcuffed, said: "That's what we've been trying to tell
you from the beginning."

It is not clear how the foul-up occurred. The cops who raided the apartment
had a valid no-knock warrant. When no drugs were found in the Patterson
apartment, a warrant was obtained for a third-floor apartment in an
adjacent building. A Police Department spokesman said a raid on that
apartment yielded several arrests and 83 pounds of marijuana.

Police sources who would speak only if they were guaranteed confidentiality
said they did not believe such mistakes occurred frequently. "This is
bad," said a high-ranking department official. "Two in one day -- that's
bad. But I'll tell you what I honestly believe -- I don't think this
happens that often. When you tell this story, try not to smear the 38,000
people in the department."

Joseph Kelner, a lawyer who is representing the Pattersons and Mr. Elliott,
said none of them had previously been in trouble with the law. He said,
"The close proximity in time of the two incidents seems to indicate a
pattern of misconduct by a tiny minority of police officers who have a
'don't care' attitude about the rights of individuals."

It is difficult to overstate the terror that is provoked by these
inherently dangerous commando-like raids on the premises of innocent
people. It is the sort of thing you would expect from a totalitarian state,
not the municipal government of a city like New York.

Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

The Global Coalition For Alternatives To The Drug War (Bulletin On Rally
In New York June 6-8 At Start Of UN General Assembly Special Session
On Drugs - More Than Twenty Events Planned So Far - More Than Forty
Sponsoring Organisations - Call For Participation)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 16:09:48 +0100 (CET)
To: press@drugtext.nl
From: Harry Bego 
Subject: The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War

News Update of the
Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War

March 12, 1998

Dear drug policy reformer!

This is the next in a series of updates to keep you informed about
the planning of the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War, which will
be held on Saturday June 6th, Sunday June 7th, and Monday June 8th,
at the start of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs
(UNGASS), which takes place in New York, June 8th, 9th and 10th.
For more information see http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

On behalf of the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War,

Kevin Zeese, president, Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation,
Adam Smith, associate director, Drug Reform Coordination Network.
Harry Bego, coordinator, Global Days against the Drug War


Some information about the coming June events.

Many organisations have recently joined!

Organisations can join the coalition by signing it.

Send it out to promote the Global Days!



In the previous news update (issued Feb 11th) we reported about
events in New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Dallas,
Stockholm, Brussels, Colville (Wa), Tallinn (Estonia), Eugene (Or)
and Texoma (Okla). In the mean time, we have received information
about events being planned in several other places, a.o. Bonn, Berlin,
London, Paris, Madrid, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch (NZ),
Ilmenau (Germany), Sidney (Australia), Dunedin, Muenchen and Houston.

For information about these events, see our web pages. Of course
we encourage you to consider planning similar events. Events do not
necessarly have to be big - a rally, an anti-prohibition party,
a forum discussion, a petition, a concert, a press conference - it
is up to you what form and size your participation will take ...
Contact fellow anti-prohibitionists, local drug reform organisations,
clubs, etc., get together and see what you can do.
And inform us, of course!


As you know, we are setting up a coalition of reform organisations,
which will issue declarations, and the members of which will support
the Global Days against the Drug War. The coalition currently
consists of over 40 organisations:

American Antiprohibition League, American Society for Action on Pain
(ASAP), Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP), Association for
Emancipatory Drug Policy (DEBED), Auto Support des Usagers de Drogues
(ASUD), Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice (CERJ), Campaign for
the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), Campaign to Legalise
Cannabis International Association (CLCIA), Common Sense for Drug
Policy (CSDP), Compassionate Care Alliance, Coordinamento Radicale
Antiproibizionista (CORA), Drug Policy Forum of Texas (DPFT), Drug
Policy Reform Group of St. Paul, Drug Reform Coordination Network
(DRCNet), Drug Users Rights Forum (DURF), Dutch Drug Policy Foundation,
El Cogollo, Revista Cannábica, Green Prisoners Release, HANF! Magazine,
HempWorld, HighLife, Instituto de Documentación e Investigación del
Cannabis (IDIC), Kansas State Lobbyists for Cannabis Law Reform,
"Kne Bossem" - The NPO for Changing Israeli Drug Laws, Legalise
Cannabis!, The Legalize! Initiative, Media Awareness Project (MAP),
National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA), National Organisation
for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), New South Wales Users & AIDS
Association, November Coalition, Orange County Hemp Council (OCHC),
Oregonians for Personal Privacy (OPP), Recreational Drugs Committee,
Swedish Cannabis Association (SCA), Swedish National Association for
the Rights of Drug Users, Transform, Transnational Radical Party (TRP),
and other organisations.

See http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ for information about
these organisations.


Organisations can join the coalition by signing the declaration below.
Please write to: drcnet@drcnet.org



We, the undersigned, having recognized the
extraordinary damage being caused by the Drug War,
join together in a call for wide-ranging and honest
international and intranational discussion about the
effectiveness and consequences of current, force-based
drug policies. Furthermore, we call upon our
governments and fellow citizens to begin the process of
the exploration of alternative solutions to the issues that
these policies are claimed to address. This process
should include, but not be limited to, a revision of the
United Nations conventions and other international
treaties which inhibit nations from adopting such

We believe that in an atmosphere of honest and rational
examination, effective policies can be found which are
based not upon force, repression, prohibition, coercive
government action and the use of violence, but upon the
universal principles of human rights, freedom, justice,
equality under the law, the dignity of the individual,
the health of people and communities, and the sovereignty
of nations.

It should be noted that this coalition represents a
very broad range of political and social viewpoints,
and a wide variety of issue-interests. The heterogeneity
of the signatories to this coalition is evidence of
both the intellectual strength of our position and
the breadth of the destruction being wrought by
current policies. For despite our differences, we stand
together in the knowledge that a policy which mandates
a continuous state of war, in the absence of a true
acknowledgement and assessment of the consequences
and excesses of that war, is objectively flawed. And
that such a policy is in direct contradiction to the
mission and the ideals of the United Nations, and of the
peoples of the earth.

No society, whether local or global, can long endure
under a perpetual state of war. Nor do we choose to
leave as a legacy to our children, and to future
generations, the disastrous results of such a policy.
It is time to find alternatives.

The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War.


Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days!




The 1998 Global Days against the Drug War!

June 6, 7, 8

Events in
New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Dallas, Stockholm,
Brussels, Colville, Tallinn, Berlin, Eugene, Texoma, London, Bonn, Sidney,
Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Madrid, Paris, Ilmenau, Houston, ...

Join the Coalition!

As you probably know, the United Nations will hold the first-ever
Special Session of the General Assembly on Drugs, from June 8th
to June 10th 1998 in New York.

This session was originally conceived as a critical examination
of worldwide anti-drug policy. The focus of this session has
now been narrowed. According to the new guidelines, only the
expansion of existing policies will be open for discussion. The
United Nations aims to escalate current drug repression tactics
in a catastrophic quest towards a 'drug free' society. In terms
of crime, economic and financial damage, and social and personal
harm, this policy is turning into a worldwide crisis!

It is of great importance that alternative proposals are heard
at the onset of this UN session. A clear statement must be made
that what is needed is not escalated repression, but reform
policies aimed at reducing the damage currently done.

To this aim, a number of organisations have recently united to
form the "Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War".
They have written a declaration that will be published widely.
You can join the coalition by co-signing the declaration; see
the contact info below.

Members of this coalition are also invited to participate in the
"1998 Global Days against the Drug War", which are held Saturday
June 6th, Sunday June 7th, and Monday June 8th. This international
event will feature discussion forums, seminars, publications,
press conferences, demonstrations, street parties, concerts, and
other types of events, in many places at the same time. At this
moment (March 5th), over 20 events are being planned! A 'grand
finale' is planned to take place in New York on Monday 8th.

You can help make the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War
a success! Make sure your city is part of this event. If you
are a member of a group or organisation that can help, contact
us. Otherwise, you can join one or more of the participating
groups and organisations, or set up your own group. See
the contact info below.

Early spring of 1998 we will issue press releases with the names
of all the groups and organisations that have joined the coalition.
Groups and organisations are invited to plan their own version
of the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War, under their own
identity and name. Note however that participation in the coali-
tion does not itself imply endorsement of the individual events
taking place.

Organisations wishing to join the coalition can send mail to
alliance@legalize.org. Individual activists please visit the
web site at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War
currently consists of:

The Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), the National Organi-
sation for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Coordinamento Radicale
Antiprohibizionista (CORA), the November Coalition, the Campaign for
Equity-Restorative Justice (CERJ), the Transnational Radical Party
(TRP), Common Sense for Drug Policy, the Legalize! Initiative, the
Media Awareness Project (MAP), American Society for Action on Pain
(ASAP), Compassionate Care Alliance, the Campaign for the Restora-
tion and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), HANF! Magazine, National Alliance
of Methadone Advocates (NAMA), and more than 25 other organisations.

Participate in the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War !

June 6, 7, 8

e-mail: drcnet@drcnet.org




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

Five Pennsylvania Defendants, Gordon's Latest Felony (News Release
From Dr. Avram Leib Does A Nice Job Showing The Connections
Between Alan Gordon, The Month's 'High Times' Freedom Fighter,
Retired Penn State Professor And Pot-Law Protester Julian Heicklen,
The Firing Of 'Buzz' Weekly Pot Columnist Diane Fornbacher,
And The Resulting Resignation Of The Entire Staff, Who Have Formed
The Much Hipper 'Spite' Weekly)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 23:45:41 -0800 (PST)
From: Charles Stewart (chuck@teleport.com)
To: cannabis-commonlaw-l@teleport.com
cc: Alan Gordon (alangordon23@hotmail.com)
Subject: CnbsCL - 5 PA Defendants, Gordon's latest felony
Sender: owner-cannabis-commonlaw-l@teleport.com
------ Forwarded message -----
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 15:42:54 -0800 (PST)
From: owner-cannabis-commonlaw-l@teleport.com
Subject: BOUNCE cannabis-commonlaw-l@lists.teleport.com: Non-member
submission from ["Alan Gordon" (alangordon23@hotmail.com)]
From: "Alan Gordon" (alangordon23@hotmail.com)
To: jph13@psu.edu, drf140@psu.edu, pgtuite@snet.net, jec202@psu.edu,
Subject: 5 PA Defendants, Gordon's latest felony

News release:

State College, PA, 3/12/98


Two Distribution Charges Bound Over for Trial in Medicinal Marijuana
/Constitutionality Case, Others Await Preliminaries

by Dr. Avram Leib

Some say it started this January when retired Penn State chemistry
professor Julian Heicklen, 65, started hosting weekly marijuana rallies
at the main gates of the University, seeking his own arrest and jury
trial by smoking every Thursday at High Noon.

Others say it started last July when activist Alan Gordon, then 27,
walked into a District Justice's office here carrying 160 marijuana
plants, enough for a five year minimum, announcing that he'd discovered
genetic evidence that marijuana is an ancient evolved defense against a
whole host of mammalian diseases including the types caused by UV
radiation, the type of radiation which causes marijuana to produce
UV-colored pigments called THCs.

The Knight-Ridder affiliated BUZZ Magazine fired weekly pot-columnist
Diane Fornbacher for writing an article about it, even after she'd been
writing about LSD and peyote in her weekly column for months before
being fired, without a word of warning ever uttered to her. All the
editors and writers quit in disgust, forming the much-hipper SPITE

Of course, Dr. Heicklen did bail Gordon out of jail for the plants, on
the scene from the get-go, and the professor happens to be one of the
world's top experts in the field of UV photochemistry, and the effects
of oxidative stress caused by UV and other environmental insults.

But scientist extraordinairre Heicklen, internationally recognized for
groundbreaking studies in the fields which Gordon would use in his court
defense, is using for his own court defense a Libertarian ideal of only
issues of freedom and constitutionality, and chooses not to address
scientific knowledge about marijuana, while Gordon, the long-haired
radical-looking young activist, is ignoring the seeming
unconstitutionality of the drug laws and court procedures, and is
instead focusing on a justification defense, intending to introduce
evidence from Dr. Heicklen's field of expertise.

Gordon says the dispute started when, in the course of helping Gordon
with his defense on the 160 plants, Heicklen began encouraging legal
tactics other than Gordon's scientific discovery about marijuana. "He's
right about the Constitution, and he was at first very helpful in
researching this medical stuff--he taught me a lot that I used to
strengthen my theory about the evolution of mammalian use of
cannabinoids as a medicament."

When the D.A. dropped all the charges in the first case last November,
Gordon said: "Heicklen was too helpful with all that constitution crap,
and when the court realized I was going to stand up for all my rights,
they dropped the charges without taking a good look at my scientific
claim, denying my opportunity to demonstrate medical necessity." Gordon
grudgingly admits that it was probably for the best, because "without
Heicklen's criticism of mistakes in my scientific work, I wouldn't have
been ready to present the information in a credible fashion to the
courts, and I would have lost anyway--I admit, Heicklen saved my butt
from near-certain conviction at trial."

Gordon thinks Heicklen is a "pesky know-it-all," but acknowledges
Heicklen's multi-decade career of successful human rights activism, and
his broad range of knowledge of science, law and other disciplines.
"How do you argue with someone like that?" says Gordon, "he's always
right." Gordon said he wished he could handle his defense over again,
without so much help from Heicklen.

Last month, Gordon got his wish when he, Heicklen, and three other
individuals were charged with various marijuana offenses in connection
with two of Heicklen's rallies. All charges are misdemeanors except one
felony distribution charge against Gordon.

"I hope my trial is first, because if the professor goes first, the pot
laws might be dismantled as a result and no one will ever pay attention
to the scientific discovery I made about why mammals use marijuana, and
it's pretty important," says Gordon.

All 5 defendants are expected to request separate trials. Dr. Heicklen
has obtained representation for the two youngest defendants, and helped
launch a federal civil suit against the State College PA school board
for inappropriately suspending from school one of those defendants, an
18 year-old student arrested off school property at the rally on his own

Dr. Heicklen plans to represent himself, and Alan Gordon has already
represented himself in the earlier case and in yesterday's
cross-examination of the police in preliminary hearings for the new
charges, which include felony intent to deliver, possession and
paraphernalia for 8 packages of marijuana, price lists, and buyers' club
screening passes seized after one rally. Gordon is also charged with
misdemeanor intent to deliver but not sell marijuana for giving it away
to an alleged asthma patient in front of police at a rally the week
before, after the recipient, an ex- University Policeman, requested from
the crowd a joint to replace the one police had just seized from him and
charged him with.

In yesterday's preliminary hearing, Gordon tore into the investigating
officers in cross-examination, revealing through police testimony that
officers were targeting certain individuals for smaller crimes while
larger crimes occurred in plain view, and establishing that their memory
of events was often self-contradictory and politically biased.

Gordon says he established a few good lines of defense for the other
defendants, who may introduce transcripts of these cross examinations
from his preliminary hearing as evidence in their own cases. Gordon's
lack of courtroom know-how resulted in the loss of most objection
arguments made by Centre County Assistant D.A. wunderkid Tony DiBoef,
who has only lost one jury trial in his career. All participants
maintained a friendly and respectful demeanor except for Detective Bill
Wagner, who expressed displeasure at the indigent Gordon's attire for
the procedure.

Looking sharp while assisting Gordon at the defense table was SPITE
Magazine's Ganja-journalist Diane Fornbacher, who drew some rather
unusual flattering comments from Visiting District Justice Al Sinclair.
Also at the defense table was busily-note-taking Assistant Public
Defender Wayne Bradburn, acting as stand-by counsel at Gordon's request.
"I don't let him do much, but he's got a fantastic legal mind and is
extremely helpful when I ask for anything; Wayne's an unusual Public
Defender because he really works on his cases instead of ram-rodding bad
plea bargains."

The preliminary hearings of the other defendants will occur on the 18th
and the 25th of March 1998, respectively. Gordon's jury selection
(which Heicklen correctly points out is illegally stacked against
defendants in this county) is set for the 8th of June 1998, suggesting a
July trial. Gordon says he hopes he can have the case fast-tracked,
especially since he had already turned himself in for manufacture and
distribution last July 3, claiming that he and others had illnesses of
the immune and nervous systems for which marijuana was immediately
necessary, seeking to have a jury rule on the matter, and the D.A.
declined to prosecute.

"I think I and all other medical marijuana users have an excellent case
for entrapment and selective prosecution defenses if nothing else,"
says Gordon, who insists that over 90% of marijuana use is medical,
"whether or not the user has the academic background to understand the
molecular biology of it."

Gordon says he doesn't mind going to jail again and again on the
Commonwealth's tab as he is unable to post bail for his various arrests.
"Any chance for me to have a productive life during marijuana
prohibition is non-existent, because I need marijuana for my immune
system, so jail is not a problem for me."

At yesterday's preliminary hearing Gordon told that District Justice
that he was incorrigible and asked to have his nominal bail revoked so
he could go back to jail where said "I'll even have marijuana, and I'll
know where my next meal is coming from and where I'll sleep at night."

Gordon surprised court officials and supporters when, 2 weeks ago, a day
after he was released from jail on nominal bail after a week-long hunger
strike over racist selectivity in drug cases, he could have had all his
charges dropped but chose instead to proceed - in PA, jailed defendants
must have a preliminary hearing within three-ten days of arrest, and the
Commonwealth was unable to produce their witness against him in time.
Says Gordon "I don't want to win on a technicality again, I want a jury
trial so I can forevermore have the right to medicate my immune system
as science and nature see fit."

Gordon says he doesn't want the constitutional protections that Heicklen
is fighting for, like fair procedure, impartial juries, etc., because
he'll "win anyway," but that he plans to subpoena Heicklen as an expert
witness to testify about what he knows about topics relating to UV and

MTV is planning to air a brief special on all the hub-bub sometime in
late April--keep your eyes peeled to sift this from the brain-rot of
cable TV.

To order guaranteed marijuana licenses, see scientific references, court
doc.'s and press clips from earlier cases, etc, please see Alan Gordon's
internet web site at:


Please copy and distribute
help stomp out the momentum of karmic entropy!

Like Prohibition, The Drug War Is Doomed To Fail (Virginia
Libertarian's Letter To Editor Of 'Washington Times' Responds To
US Representative Bill McCollum's Assertion That 'We Could Have
A Virtually Drug-Free America In Three Or Four Years')

Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 20:36:56 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service (mapnews@mapinc.org)
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US VA: PUB LTE: Like Prohibition, The Drug War Is Doomed To
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: (schroer@mail.utexas.edu) (Craig Schroer)
Source: Washington Times
Contact: letter@twtmail.com
Website: http://www.washtimes.com/
Pubdate: March 12, 1998, Thursday


"We could have a virtually drug-free America in three or four years,"
according to Rep. Bill McCollum in his March 10 commentary, "Waving the
white flag in drug war?" Mr. McCollum believes we should develop a
strategy and apply whatever resources are necessary to win the drug war.
Unfortunately, he offers nothing new.

Since the 1920s, the U.S. government has prohibited an array of ingestible
substances, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD and many
others. Though the government eventually saw the error of its ways and
re-legalized alcohol, it can't seem to make the same connection with other
illegal substances. All drugs were legal for most of our history and never
were much of a public concern.

Only when the government took upon itself to decide what individuals may or
may not put into their own bodies did we have mass arrests of otherwise
law-abiding citizens, corruption and graft running rampant through all
sectors of the government, overcrowded prisons and courts, an enormous
number of rich and powerful criminal gangs and much more.

Government officials such as Mr. McCollum will never force America to be
drug free - only less free. I am tired of hearing the same old plans I
have heard for 30 years and statements about how we are winning the war
when one party is in charge and losing the war when the other party is
running the show. Please negotiate a surrender so we can live in peace, as
this futile war is being fought in my neighborhood.

"Prohibition . . . goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to
control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things
that are not crimes. . . . A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very
principles upon which our government was founded," Abraham Lincoln said. I
challenge Mr. McCollum to act more like an American congressman and less
like a central-planning Soviet-style poli-bureaucrat.

Vice chairman
Virginia Libertarian Party

Re - The Editor's Note On A Recent Letter, 'Drug Laws Aren't Oppressive'
(Letter To Editor Of 'Calgary Sun' Says Marijuana Laws Are Indeed Oppressive)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Calgary Sun
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Debbie Harper3" 
Source: Calgary Sun (Canada)
Contact: callet@sunpub.com
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/CalgarySun/
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Note: The Calgary Sun editor's comments in brackets.

RE: THE EDITOR'S note on a recent letter: "Drug laws aren't oppressive".

Any law that restricts an adult's control over his or her own body is
oppressive if that law is not founded in any scientific reason and doesn't
prevent the physical or pecuniary harm of another person.

Marijuana laws cannot be justified with science, because all the research
on the effects of marijuana has returned results which contradict the
current prohibition. The prohibition of marijuana does not prevent the
physical harm of anyone other than the user, and the prohibition of
marijuana does not prevent the financial harm of anyone, unless you
consider the drop in profits for organized crime and loss of political
payoffs, which would occur with legalization.

The government must stop trying to protect us from ourselves. Marijuana
laws are oppressive. They take away the rights of adults to make free
choices, and they protect no one except criminals.

Greg Handevidt

(So what's next, legalize heroin?)

Cops Seize Pot Plants ('Calgary Sun' Article Excerpts
Say Calgary's Hydroponics Investigation Team, Or HIT Team,
Took Out A $500,000 Marijuana Grow Yesterday)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 12:03:48 -0700
Subject: HIT Team
From: "Debbie Harper3" (cozmi@shaw.wave.ca)
To: mattalk 

Calgary Sun
March 12, 1998

Cops seize pot plants

Calgary¹s HIT drug team took $500,000 worth of marijuana off the streets
yesterday when it raided a sophisticated hydroponics operation.

Officers from the Calgary police and RCMP HIT (hydroponics investigation
team) unit raided a house....


The city police and RCMP anti-marijuana HIT team has been running for more
than a year, targeting hydroponics operations.

Cocaine Traffickers Reroute Into US Via Bahamas ('Reuters'
Says According To US Law Enforcement Officials,
Drug Smugglers Are Also Shipping Colombian Cocaine Into The United States
Through The Turks And Caicos Islands
In Quantities Not Seen Since The Trafficking Boom Of The 1980s)

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 17:06:58 -0500
From: Cheryl & Scott Dykstra 
Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: CanPat - This is WHY the drug war CANNOT be won!!
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

10:30 AM ET 03/12/98

It's like I said in my past comments some time ago. Sqeeze here, push
there......push there, squeeze here.


Cocaine traffickers reroute into US via Bahamas

By Angus MacSwan

NASSAU, Bahamas (Reuters) - Drug smugglers are shipping
Colombian cocaine into the United States through the Bahamas and
Turks and Caicos Islands in quantities not seen since the
trafficking boom of the 1980s, according to U.S. law enforcement

Trafficking through the Caribbean has soared since narcotics
agents cracked down on smuggling over the Mexican border, in
recent years the preferred route for cocaine from the Colombian
jungles to American addicts.

``Over the last six months we've been swamped,'' said Lt.
Robert Waldman, a U.S. Coast Guard officer based in Nassau under
an anti-drugs operation mounted by the United States, the
Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, a British territory.

``These people are like cockroaches. Stamp your feet and
they run off somewhere else.''

Two big recent seizures have highlighted the swing back to
Caribbean smuggling routes.

Last Feb. 28, agents boarded a Honduran-registered
freighter, the Nicole, bound for south Florida which was docked
in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

On board they found about 5,000 pounds of cocaine stashed in
a hidden compartment. The crew of 10 was arrested.

A few days later the Panamanian-registered Sea Star II was
searched in Freeport, the Bahamas. The catch -- 2.5 tons of

The seizures pushed the haul for this year alone to more
than the 9,900 pounds of cocaine seized in the area for the
whole of last year, a figure which itself was a leap from the
2,200 pounds found in 1996 and 4,400 pounds
in 1995.

``The Bahamas is on the most direct route from Colombia to
the United States,'' Toni Teresi, the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration's top agent in the region, told Reuters in
Nassau. ``Now as we put pressure on the Mexican border we're
seeing a shift back to the Bahamas.''

The DEA oversees OPBAT -- Operation Bahamas and Turks and
Caicos -- which involves the agency, the U.S. Coast Guard and
army and other federal agencies along with local police forces.

The myriad island and sea lanes in an area the size of
California make the region a smuggler's paradise, the officials
said. The Bahamas alone comprises more than 700 islands and
2,000 keys -- the closest just 50 miles from the south Florida

Its population is about 275,000, the majority living in New
Providence Island and most of the others on Grand Bahama.

``The scarcity of the population makes it very attractive
for traffickers,'' Teresi said.

Coastal freighters steaming out of Colombian and Venezuelan
ports are shipping much of the cocaine, she said. Other loads
are dropped into the sea by light aircraft for pick-up by small
boats. Often the goods are brought in by what anti-drug officers
call ``Jamaican canoes'' -- long, low, fast-moving boats that
are difficult to detect and can carry 3,300 pounds
of cocaine at a time.

The smuggling is controlled by Bahamian gangs, with close
links to Jamaican criminals, Teresi said.

``It's their responsibility to get it to the United States.
It may go direct, it may get stashed on an island, or put on a
pleasure craft or a fishing vessel.

``What percentage we are catching, who knows,'' she added.
''The good thing is we are in a better position to handle it
(than in the 1980s).''

OPBAT units, which include eight helicopters, patrol the
area 24 hours a day. About 120 U.S. personnel are stationed on
the islands as well as British officials.

``It's sort of like a chess game,'' said Coast Guard Lt.
Waldman, speaking in the OPBAT communications center behind
heavy steel doors in the U.S. Embassy. ``They move their pieces
and we move ours.''

Shallow waters often made pursuit by Coast Guard cutters
impossible and the smugglers had the advantage of knowing the
thousands of inlets and waterways, he said.

``It's their land. We try to match their knowledge but its
tough,'' he said.

Dealing With Offenders Smacks Of Defeatism (Editorial Columnist
For 'The Daily Telegraph' Objects To Victoria, Australia,
Police Commissioner's Plan To 'Caution' Rather Than Arrest
People For Illegal Drug Possession Offenses)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 09:00:38 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Australia: Column: Dealing with offenders smacks of defeatism
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: The Daily Telegraph
Author: Piers Akerman
Contact: dtmletr@matp.newsltd.com.au


Victorian Police Commissioner Neil Comrie should hand in his badge. He has
apparently joined the ranks of those who think the best way to deal with
the drug problem is to surrender.

He believes that the hardline approach to drug law has not worked and that
a system of cautions should be introduced to deal with drug law offenders.

Mr Comrie's view of the drug laws was affected by a recent personal
experience he told Melbourne's alternate newspaper, The Age.

He said that a few weeks ago he learned that a friend's 22-year-old son had
become yet another drug overdose victim while visiting Melbourne.

The young man was apparently offered some high-purity and cheap heroin,
which he injected, and died.

"I don't think that society can abandon anyone who tries drugs," he says.
"There is an obligation on society to try to minimise the damage that they
do but also they need to minimise the damage they do to themselves."

Surely, Mr Comrie, society's obligation to try and minimise the damage drug
addicts do is best exercised by telling young people that illicit drug
usage is just not on.

No half measures, no harm minimisation nonsense about safe usage of illegal
drugs, just a plain and simple bumper-sticker message that cannot possiblly
be misunderstood.

Something like Drug Use Will Not Be Tolerated.

While the death of any young person is a tragedy which the entire community
can understand and sympathise with, what exactly would Mr Comrie have
advised his friend's young son to do?

Water down his smack before injecting it? Is this really the sort of thing
the Victorian Police Commissioner might have advocated?

It is no surprise that Mr Comrie's position has been hailed by the pro-drug
legalisation support group The Australian Drug Foundation.

ADF chief Bill Stronach predictably immediately backed extending the
caution plan to harder drugs such as heroin.

"I think it's very sound because it's just a choice of drugs," Mr Stronach

"Why would you do it for people using marijuana, which is also illegal, and
not for heroin and cocaine?"

Well, why not throw away speed limits, let people purchase fully automatic
weapons, tear up the very notion that laws should regulate behaviour.

In NSW, our police officers are undergoing one of the most difficult
periods in the history of the service.

Not only are they enduring gruelling and constant change in the wake of the
Wood royal commission but they are also being vilified by the civil
liberties lobby for their response to life-threatening situations.

Nevertheless, under Police Commissioner Peter Ryan, they have recently
conducted one of the largest operations against the illegal drug market
ever seen in our State. Real charges have been laid.

Mr Comrie is clearly depressed about the appalling situation he faces and
seems to be of the view that he has been beaten.

Perhaps he should read the story which graced the front page of most
editions of this newspaper yesterday. The story about a junkie couple who
have straightened out their lives after being caught trying to rob a milk
bar run by the woman's parents.

Would they have been given this chance to straighten out and a wonderful
new lease of life in Mr Comrie's Victoria, or would they have been
cautioned and advised to use clean needles in future?

Support Grows For Legalising Cannabis As A Medicine (New Zealand's
'Evening Post' Says Despite Overwhelming Support
From Health And Education Groups, Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry
Has No Intention Of Changing The Law To Allow Cannabis To Be Used
Therapeutically - New Zealand Drug Laws Allow The Health Ministry
To Grant An Exemption For Doctors To Prescribe Cannabis,
But No Application Has Been Successful)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: New Zealand: Support Grows For Legalising Cannabis As A Medicine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Pubdate: Thu, 12 March 1998
Source: Evening Post (New Zealand)
Author: Claire Guyan Health reporter
Contact: editor@evpost.co.nz


Pressure is growing for the Government to legalise cannabis as a medicine
after overwhelming support from health and education groups in a recent
Drug Foundation survey.

However, Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry said there was no intention
of changing the law to allow cannabis to be used therapeutically.

He said there was not enough evidence from overseas research to persuade
him that a change was needed.

But Drug Foundation director Chris Spence said the growing support among
members was something the country's decision makers should take notice of.
He planned to discuss it with Mr Sowry when they next met. "They [members]
are a well-informed group and their opinions are important. If they feel
strongly about an issue, the people who make the decisions should be

Two-thirds of the 102 groups which responded to the survey supported the
controlled use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. When surveyed last year,
just under half were in favour.

Mr Spence said overseas studies suggested that cannabis could help in the
treatment of some medical conditions, including glaucoma, multiple
sclerosis and nausea.

In England two cannabis drugs are licensed for the control of nausea after

New Zealand drug laws allow the Health Ministry to grant an exemption for
doctors to prescribe cannabis. However, no application has been successful.

In a statement the Ministry said it would only consider granting approval
to prescribe cannabis if it took place as part of a clinical trial. No such
application had been received.

However, researchers connected with Otago University are preparing to study
the effect of cannabis as an appetite stimulant, particularly for cancer

Senior lecturer Paul Fawcett said they had not yet applied for approval and
the work was in the early stages. If given the go-ahead, the cannabis would
be in a liquid form and taken orally.

Dr Fawcett said if cannabis had medical value it should be researched. He
could not say if that should then lead to its being legalised.

Researchers at the university are also studying whether an active
ingredient in cannabis can help treat glaucoma when administered in

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party leader and Wellington lawyer Michael
Appleby said about half the people facing drugs charges who he represented
were taking cannabis for medicinal purposes.

He was keen to see an exemption, but said that so far all efforts had been

"I think it's just in the too hard basket. They see it as the thin edge of
the wedge."

Garda Chief Warns Against Legalising Cannabis ('Irish Times'
Says Police Commissioner Pat Byrne Made His Comments Yesterday
At An American Chamber Of Commerce Ireland Lunch In Cork)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 12:06:35 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: Garda Chief Warns Against Legalising Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Author: Catherine Cleary
Contact: lettersed@irish-times.ie
FAX: ++ 353 1 671 9407
Pubdate: Thursday, March 12, 1998
Editors Note: Martin has indicated that this newspaper has not responded to
LTEs sent to the email address in the past, but you are welcome to try.


Decriminalising cannabis would lead to a drop in price and increased
consumption, the Garda Commissioner, Mr Pat Byrne, said yesterday. He
attacked "commentators who criticise the use of Garda resources seizing
cannabis worth millions of pounds as being wasteful".

Mr Byrne told an American Chamber of Commerce Ireland lunch in Cork that
such commentators "seem clear in their objectives". "They promote a
supposed soft drug as being harmless and advise the gardai to concentrate
on heroin or drugs perceived as being more dangerous."

He said the decriminalisation of drugs, as opposed to legalised use of
specific drugs under medical supervision, "is not something which society
should embrace as a core value".

He cited Garda research that 90 per cent of drug abusers who have come to
the attention of gardai use heroin as their principal drug. Two-thirds left
school with no qualifications, and cannabis was the initial drug for just
over half of drug users.

Decriminalisation would raise questions of who would supply cannabis,
whether it would be restricted to those over 18 and "who would pay the
compensation for the ill-effects".

"As the abuse of drugs applies more in the poorer sections of society is it
acceptable to simply offer them more convenient drugs as a solution to
their problems?"

On the question of fraud Mr Byrne said it was up to individual companies to
ensure the security of their accounting systems in consultation with the
Garda. He said both the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the
Criminal Assets Bureau recognised the sensitivity of a business being
involved in a criminal investigation.

They were careful to maintain the confidentiality of investigations, he
said. "Our press office will only disclose the name of a suspect after
he/she has been charged with an offence in open court."

Gardai In Drugs War Opposed To Legalising Cannabis
(Version In Ireland's 'Examiner')

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 19:34:34 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: Gardai In Drugs War Opposed To Legalising Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Author: Gardai in drugs war opposed to legalising cannabis
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie


GARDA Commissioner, Pat Byrne, has pledged to continue the fight against
Munster's drug dealers after over £6m was seized by members of the National
Drugs Unit in Operation Blackwater in the past two months.

Commissioner Byrne commended the Munster-based members of the National
Drugs Unit for their recent success and said the resources of the Criminal
Assets Bureau and the NDU would be used to root out remaining drug dealers
in the Munster area.

"Drugs are a national problem and we don't approach it in isolation;
looking at just one area. We have to make sure that all the different
branches are working together in the one direction. We didn't just look at
Dublin, it just happens that the majority of them are in Dublin. We have
sharpened our focus and we are working together on the problem,"
Commissioner Byrne said.

Speaking in Cork, the Garda Commissioner also hit out at media commentators
calling for the legalisation of cannabis.

"Commentators who criticise the use of Garda resources seizing cannabis
worth millions of pounds as being wasteful seem clear in their objectives.
They promote a supposed soft drug as being harmless and advise the Gardai
to concentrate on heroin or drugs that are perceived as being more dangerous.

"However Garda research shows that cannabis is used as a gateway drug and
that there is a very strong connection between drug taking and crime,"
Commissioner Byrne said.

Garda research showed that among addicts, cannabis was the initial drug for
just over 50%.

"If a habit-forming drug is decriminalised, a consequent drop in price and
convenient availability will lead to increased consumption. Who would
supply cannabis? Would sale be permitted to those over 18 or over 14 or on
prescription under a legalised option?"

"Who would pay the compensation for the ill effects? Which parents would
volunteer or be happy to have their children participate in a voluntary

If any restrictions applied would the black market continue as it has with

"As the abuse of drugs applies more in the poorer sections of society, is
it acceptable to simply offer them more convenient drugs as a solution to
their problems. If this is the goal of our society all of us should be
concerned," Commissioner Byrne said.

In a speech to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland,
Commissioner Byrne detailed Gardai efforts to clamp down on money
laundering and warned businesses to be wary of involvement in such
activities, deliberately or otherwise.

"It would not be difficult to predict the rapid decline of a reputable
financial centre or other business if it were to become involved even
unwittingly in such laundering of criminal proceeds," he said.

A Vigilant Community Tries To Keep The Kingdom Clean ('Irish Times'
Recounts Efforts To Abrogate Laws Of Supply And Demand
By Some Of The People Of Killarney, The Heart Of The Kingdom Of Kerry
200 Miles From Dublin And, Until Three Years Ago,
Even Farther From Its Drug Scene)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 13:31:17 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: A Vigilant Community Tries To Keep The Kingdom Clean
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Author: Catherine Cleary
Contact: lettersed@irish-times.ie
FAX: ++ 353 1 671 9407
Pubdate: Thursday, March 12, 1998

A vigilant community tries to keep the Kingdom clean

Drugs are a feature of every Irish town, and picture-postcard Killarney is
no different, reports CATHERINE CLEARY, Drugs and Crime Correspondent

With the jaded nonchalance of a teenager, the 15-year-old leaned against
the wall of the youth centre and grinned. "Hash is easy to get." Ecstasy,
too, although the supply can be patchy, he said.

There is a "smoking section" in one of the school toilets. If they don't
have it, there are people who will get cannabis for you.

He does not use it. Neither do his friends who are there to play table
tennis and basketball on a Friday night. But they know people who do.

Earlier that day a 14-year-old girl saw her first lump of cannabis resin. A
boy was bragging he had "Mexican grass" and unwrapped the small brown lump
on the street.

Just another tale about inner city youth culture. Only it's not. This is
Killarney, the heart of the Kingdom of Kerry 200 miles from Dublin and,
until three years ago, even farther from its drug scene.

The town is probably the same as any other town in Ireland, where ecstasy,
cannabis and to a growing extent speed are available. In Killarney some
people believe it started in the hot summer of 1995. Groups of up to 400
teenagers would gather to take ecstasy at beaches. Those who saw the
parties described people "jumping round like lunatics, completely off their

It seemed ecstasy parties replaced beach cider parties almost overnight.
Gardai, more used to small-town problems such as fist-fights after closing
time, were caught off guard. Parents panicked.

A Cork man, described as the area's first real drug dealer, arrived in
Kerry, complete with a big car and gold rings. Then one night he got a
visit from the local IRA unit. He was beaten up and a gun was shoved in his
mouth. Someone set fire to a caravan belonging to his right-hand man.

In the following year there were 13 vigilante attacks in north Kerry. In
one attack before Christmas 1996 a man was tarred and feathered in his home
while a gang smashed everything in the house. Most attacks were against
"outsiders" suspected of supplying the growing drug market.

Until summer 1995 most people associated the Kerry drug scene with
"hippies" and "new age travellers". Smoking pot, like brewing poitin, was
something done by the hairy few in the hills.

On another level, the Kerry and west Cork coastline was used to land large
hauls of drugs, mainly cannabis, for shipment to Britain and Europe. One
man, believed to have organised most of the trafficking, limited his
operation after a gang tried to abduct him.

Killarney had the unhappy honour of having the first recorded ecstasy death
in Ireland. In the early 1990s a teenager who had been living in England
arrived home. Shortly after his return he collapsed in the middle of the
day in his parents' home and died.

Dr Denis O'Donovan remembers the case. In his 44 years as town coroner it
was the first death related to illegal drugs. "He just died suddenly, and
the postmortem showed he had consumed ecstasy." Dr O'Donovan has issued
warnings about drug use. "But a coroner saying something like that is just
wasting his sweetness on the desert air."

Killarney's Juvenile Liaison Officer, Garda Cathal Walshe, gives drug talks
in town and rural schools. In 1995 he started giving talks to primary
schools. In one classroom of 12-year-olds he asked them to name the drugs
they knew. Their street slang filled the blackboard. Television has a lot
to do with it.

"I was showing a cycle safety video to a class yesterday. I asked what the
cyclist had done wrong. One boy said, he ran a red light. Now that's not
Kerry lingo." Money is available to teenagers; the tourist industry makes
it difficult not to get a summer job or part-time work.

Gardai responded to the problem by setting up a divisional drugs unit. Its
chief, Insp Barry O'Rourke, attended public meetings of up to 800 people in
Killarney hotels when the concern was at its height. Sgt Declan Liddane and
four other gardai run the unit from Tralee, targeting dealers and depending
on local information.

Gangs in Cork and Limerick supply most of the drugs. Smaller dealers pick
up their regular amounts: a 9oz block of cannabis resin would be a
weekend's supply plus a batch of ecstasy tablets.

Gardai recently arrested an 18year-old Cork girl at a nightclub in
Killarney. She was carrying 50 ecstasy tablets and a large amount of cash
in her bra. In a separate case, a 22-year-old Killarney hairdresser was
convicted of selling ecstasy in Tralee's pubs.

One in three dealers in the area are middle-class young people, according
to local sources. Ecstasy users tend to take half-tablets, perhaps more
mindful of the cost than minimising any adverse reaction. Those making
serious money from drugs in the area are few, local sources say. And the
only violence associated with the trade has been the vigilante attacks,
which have subsided.

About two miles outside Killarney a community has complained bitterly about
one man who moved in some years ago. Locals describe a stream of traffic to
the remote location, intimidation and "anti-social behaviour".

Public meetings have been held, including one attended by the Minister for
Justice, Mr O'Donoghue. At one, the local priest reported a dead dog had
been dumped in the church confession box.

When the ecstasy scene started up the drug was sold openly in pubs in
smaller towns in south Kerry. There have been 150 arrests for possession in
the last 18 months. Gardai were dealing with a new sort of crime.

"If there had been an upsurge in burglary people were going to report it,"
Insp O'Rourke said. "But there isn't an injured party with drugs. We don't
get people reporting to us as victims of crime, saying they have been sold

According to local reports, there were 16 prosecutions for dealing offences
in Kerry in 1997. Concern has subsided as parents educate themselves and
their children. Locals believe the reorganisation of the Garda and the
introduction of a special drugs unit have produced results.

Killarney is a great place to live, Insp O'Rourke said. "The town is
appalled at crime. It is a relatively crime-free town."

There have been few seizures of cocaine and none of heroin. For some
inner-city Dublin communities this still makes small-town Ireland a
comparative haven.

North's 'Heroin Blackspot' Faces Rise In Drugs Crime ('Irish Times'
Notes The Consequences Of Heroin Prohibition Have Spread To Ballymena,
In Northern Ireland, A Prosperous And Predominantly Protestant Country Town
About 30 Miles North Of Belfast)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 12:20:02 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: North's 'Heroin Blackspot' Faces Rise In Drugs Crime
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Author: Nuala Haughey
Contact: lettersed@irish-times.ie
FAX: ++ 353 1 671 9407
Pubdate: Thursday, March 12, 1998
Editors Note: Martin has indicated that this newspaper has not responded to
LTEs sent to the email address in the past, but you are welcome to try.


Ballymena is the North's heroin blackspot, and use of the drug has led to
an increase in local crime, according to the RUC drugs squad. Eighty-five
per cent of the £25,440 worth of heroin seized by the RUC in the North last
year and most of the £6,200 worth of crack cocaine was in the Co Antrim
town, said Det Sgt O.J. Hamilton.

Ballymena is a prosperous and predominantly Protestant country town about
30 miles north of Belfast. The population of the district council area is
58,000, about a fifth of the size of greater Belfast.

Heroin was brought to the town by a core of about 10 drug dealers who
became addicted to it themselves after being introduced to the drug by
dealers in England, said Sgt Hamilton.

The situation has worsened over the past two years, with evidence of a
trend towards injecting rather than smoking the drug.

A three-year-old child from the town was admitted to Antrim Area Hospital
last year suffering from heroin- and crack cocaine-induced seizures, a
recent council meeting was told by a member of the local RUC crime team. It
is believed the child, whose parents are addicts, may have picked up the
drugs from the floor.

The heroin problem, centred in some of the North's most deprived estates,
is still "embryonic", said Sgt Hamilton. The RUC drug squad and crime team
are targeting local dealers. The heroin on sale in Ballymena is brown and
30 per cent pure, according to Sgt Hamilton. It costs £35 for a third of a
gram, but is frequently sold underweight, he said.

Most is dealt from houses and on the streets of estates. "The people who
are now starting to exhibit problems with it are those who have been on it
a while. The ones we are noticing on it through drug crime tend to be from
deprived housing estates. There has been a bit of a correlation between
crime to fund the habit, but having said that, there is no raging crime
wave," said Sgt Hamilton.

Testing 'Encourages Hard Drug Use' ('The Scotsman' Says Kay Springham
Of The Scottish Human Rights Centre Will Speak At A Conference Today
That Will Debate The Growing Trend Towards Workplace Drug-Testing -
Her Message Is That Random Drug-Testing At Work Will Drive Some Employees
To Switch From Cannabis To Heroin, Which Lingers In The System Only One Day,
A Switch She Says Has Already Happened In Prisons With Drug Testing)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 20:51:45 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Testing 'Encourages Hard Drug Use'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


Exclusive: Employers told that prison experience shows
checks drive up use of heroin, which is harder to trace

Random drug-testing at work will drive employees to swap cannabis for
hard drugs that do not linger in the system, as it is already said to
have done in prison, a human rights spokeswoman will warn today.

Kay Springham, of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, will speak out at
a conference in Stirling debating the growing trend towards workplace

The main dissenting voice at the Scottish Drugs Forum conference will
be chief constable of Grampian, Dr Ian Oliver, who controversially
introduced drug-testing for his police officers.

In a speech titled 'Why Drug Testing is Necessary', Dr Oliver will
argue that employers have a social duty to uncover drug-takers and
stop them. He has declined to speak to the press about his views.

But Ms Springham said yesterday: "I don't think employers have either
the right or the responsibility to drug-test their employees. All they
are really entitled to know about them is whether the person is able
to do their job.

"There has to be a worry that people will switch from cannabis to
heroin if they knew they were likely to be tested.

"If you were a moderate user of cannabis, which you knew would stay in
your system for five weeks while heroin would only stay in your system
for one day, and you were worried you were going to be caught, there
is a concern you would switch to something less inoffensive.

"It is a concern that what has happened in prisons might happen if
there was to be random testing of employees." Random drug-testing
would also poison the relationship between employers and their
workers, said Ms Springham.

The information given by the test would merely be that the person had
taken a narcotic substance - not how much, nor when, nor whether they
were an occassional user or a drug abuser, nor whether they had ever
been incapable of performing their job.

"It is not like breathalysing for alcohol, where there is an agreed
limit beyond which impairment is assumed. The only judgement it would
enable the employer to make is moral..." Ms Springham said.

"Employers do have a legitimate concern in finding out if their
employee is a drug abuser, but they can do that by observation and
performance appraisal. There are plenty of signs, like absenteeism,
poor time-keeping, mood swings and irritablility, to identify whether
someone has a drug problem."

Drug-testing could become an expensive way of lulling employers into a
false sense of security, she added, as determined drug-takers would
find a way round the tests, as has allegedly happened in prison.

Prisoners subjected to mandatory drug testing (MDT) admit to having
carried in urine samples from drug-free prisoners to substitute for
their own urine. If they test positive for drugs they have extra days
added to their prison sentence and lose privileges.

Prison MDT results show no major switches from one type of drug to
another in the months since testing was introduced.

But both prisoners and the prison officers who administer the tests
have warned of a swing towards taking heroin in prison, which unlike
cannabis is quickly purged from the body and is thus difficult to detect.

Graham MacArthur, who has organised the Stirling conference for the
Scottish Drugs Forum, said the aim was to stimulate a thorough debate
before Scotland drifted much further down the path of accepting
drug-testing at work.

"Testing is creeping in all over the place," Mr MacArthur

"In terms of people like airline pilots and drivers, who have to make
crucial decisions and look after people's safety, there is little
dispute. It is clear we have to ensure these people are screened and
have neither drug nor alcohol problems.

"It is the grey areas we need to look at. Why test, why find out if
your employees have taken a drug if it doesn't affect their work?

"Drugs are illegal, which makes it easy - yet random alcohol testing
would cause an outcry, though drinking is just as incapacitating and
is far more widespread. Do employers have responsibility? It's a moral

Antiprohibitionist Action Report, Year 4, Number 5
(Monthly Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News,
>From CORA In Italy)

From: cora.belgique@agora.stm.it
Comments: Authenticated sender is (cora.belgique@agora.stm.it)
To: "CORA LIST EN" (cora.belgique@agora.stm.it)
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:30:01 +0000
Subject: CORAFAX 5 (EN)
Sender: owner-hemp@efn.org


Antiprohibitionist action report

March 12, 1998 - (Year 4) #5



Radical | Association federated with
Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational
Coordination | Radical Party


OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs


European campaign for the revision
of international conventions


Via di Torre Argentina 76
00186 ROME
E-mail: cora.italia@agora.stm.it


Rue Belliard 97
c/o European Parliament
Rem 5.08
Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31
E-mail: cora.belgique@agora.stm.it


http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian)


Director: Vincenzo Donvito
All rights reserved





A very important antiprohibitionist event will take place next 28th March in
London. The English newspaper "Independent on Sunday" - that has been
leading for 6 months a cannabis depenalization campaign - has organized a
march starting in Hyde Park at midday and arriving in Trafalgar Square at 2
pm, where some speakers will address the participants. Among the speakers,
Rosie Boycott (editor of the Independent on Sunday), Howard Marks (English
antiprohibitionist leader), Paul Flynn (English antiprohibitionist MP),
Marco Pannella (antiprohibitionist leader) and Olivier Dupuis (MEP,
Secretary of the Transnational Radical Party).

The CORA and the Transnational Radical Party have adhered to the march. The
TRP will lead a "radical antiprohibitionist European delegation",
constituted of MEPs, MPs, and antiprohibitionist supporters from Italy,
Belgium, France, and more European States.

To take part to the march with particular economic conditions from Rome or
Brussels, call immediately the Transnational Radical Party, in Rome (tel:
+39 6 689 791; fax: +39 6 68 80 53 96) or Brussels (tel: +32 2 284 2827 or
7198 or 230 41 21; fax: +32 2
230 3670 or 284 9198).




Mr. Violante recently replied to CORA's wishes for 1998.

"[...] the problems raised (by CORA) are of relevant importance not only at
a social or sanitary level but also for the connections existing between
production and commerce of illicit substances and organized crimes. The
Parliament and the Government are
thoroughly involved in these matters. My institutional role does not allow
me to take into consideration the various proposals submitted by citizens,
parliamentarians and the government that are now before the parliamentary
committees. It is up to the p
olitical groups to evaluate and/or endorse the legislative proposals at stake."




Moscow - Mar. 2. Russian radicals demonstrated outside the State Duma during
a debate on drugs. Militants distributed an antiprohibition petition to the
Parliament titled 'for the rule of law: legalize to control and fight drugs'.




CORA fully supports Ms. Bonino's appeal and considers unacceptable that
UNDCP is funding the Taliban regime that systematically violates women's rights.



Vienna - March 16-20. Treasurer of CORA Marco Cappato, will represent the
Transnational Radical Party to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs acting as
the final preparatory meeting for the UN General Assembly special session on
Narcotics of June 8-10, 1998.

TRP, the only NGO overtly favoring the legalization of all drugs, has
recently circulated a briefing paper on the event, and will present its
position paper on human rights and drugs during the CND.





The UN, through education campaigns, will ask Governments to take action in
support of demand reduction of illicit drugs for the next 10 years. The
initiative, proposed by UNDCP Chief Pino Arlacchi, will be finalized at the
March meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. (FINANCIAL
TIMES 9/3)


The Government will spend 50M sterling to publicize an anti-drug message
targeting kids around 6 years of age, as well as prisons to create
'drug-free' zones. The strategy will be presented this Spring by the
'anti-drug czar' Keith Hallawell. (THE TIMES


Pino Arlacchi is convinced that South America can eradicate coca, and
therefore has offered a deal to the campesinos proposing them alternative
crops. (CORSERA 27/2-1/3, IL MESSAGGERO 5/3, THE ECONOMIST 7/3)


The list of the countries that meet the criteria for the 'war on drugs' -
the so-called 'certification' - has been presented to the public. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright has stated that "we need to change way of
fighting, enforcing international
institutions." Mexico, considered fully cooperative, has been certified, but
for many politicians and experts, this can endanger the credibility of the
whole operation. Colombia, not certified, has nevertheless obtained the
suspension of sanctions. (EL PAIS, FINANCIAL TIMES, IL SOLE 24 ORE, NEUE


Moscow - the first official multidisciplinary study on drugs has been
presented. Politicians, physicians, sociologists, and police estimate that
addicts are around a million people (10 million if people who inhale glue
are included), this can triple in a year. Since 1992, there has been an
increase in consumption of 350%. (EL PAIS 4/3)


Some 250 personalities of the cultural scene have signed a petition in which
they declare to have used illegal drugs, and ask for a change in the current
drug law. The initiative has been promoted by Act-Up Paris. (LE FIGARO
LE MONDE 26-7/2, 1-5/3)


Marco Pannella and other militants of the Reformers movement, have been
remanded to trial for having distributed for free some narcotics during an
antiprohibition demonstration. The most important allegation, incitement of
drug use, has been dropped. The
trial will start in a year. (CORSERA, IL GIORNALE 26/2)


Shanghai - a new anti-cough medicine made of codeine is very trendy in these
days. Produced in Guandong, it is circulating in discos of the city, and
recently was also found in Beijing. The 'narcotic' effect of the substance
is given by 120 milligrams of
codeine, twice as much as fixed by the law. (SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 3/3)


The guild of physicians asks for a correction of direction in the policy on
drugs. Member of the presidency Ingo Fengler thinks that one should
experiment the controlled distribution of heroin to serious addicts. The
decision, far from being a capitulati
on to drugs, is aimed at improving the socio-sanitary conditions of heroin
4/3, 7/3, DER SPIEGEL 9/3)


A crossroad for drugs, Argentina is not an important producer of illicit
substances, nor has a high number of addicts (around 1% of the population).
Buenos Aires, a big financial city, is becoming a very important center for
money laundering activities. The most worrying aspect of the Argentine
situation is that Argentina does not have any radar control, allowing in
this way drug dealers to operate without problems in the northern part of
the country. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 4/3)


Contrarily to what thought so far, crack consumers, are not unreachable or
aggressive against those who want to help them. In Frankfurt, the experience
of the "Crack-Street-Project" has revealed that 76 out of the 400 consumers
have accepted a bed for a
night, sanitary counsel, and drug-rehabilitation treatments. These promising
figures encourage the continuation of the project. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE 11/3)


Madrid - European and American scientists defended medical marihuana at an
International Symposium on Cannabis and the Brain held at the Fundacion
Ramon Areces. According to them, the plant is effective in treating people
with cancer and multiple sclerosis, but is not addictive.

The National Plan on Drugs, established by the ad hoc Governmental
committee, will destine this year the majority of its funds - 3,300M pesetas
- to the prevention of addiction and to help the rehabilitation of drugs
victims. (EL PAIS 9-10/3, FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE 11/3)


Milan - As an antiprohibition initiative, activists of the Social Center
'Leoncavallo' have sown a field of kompolti, a Hungarian version of cannabis
with a thc percentage around 3%, a legal production that also implies some
EU contributions. (IL GIORNALE 10/3)




Yes, I want to be member
(send by Email, or fax, or Mail)

Name and Surname ........................................

Address, Post code, City, State ..........................................

Email .....................................

Occupation .............................................

Date of Birth ..............................

Phone	home ..............
	office .................
	fax ......................
	mobile .....................

and I am enclosing a membership fee of .....................
By means of
		/Postal Order to CORA
		/Crossed Cheque	to CORA
		/ccp (only in Italy)
		/Bank Account (choose below)
		/Credit Card type ...........................................
Date ......................


Austria 800 ATS, Belge 2000 Bfr, Denmark 500 DKK, Finland 400 FIM, France
330 FF, Germany 100 DEM, Great Britain 35 GBP, Greece 5000 GRD, Ireland 20
IEP, Italy 100.000 LIT, Luxembourg 2000 Lfr, The Netherlands 100 , LG,
Portugal 5000 PTE, Spain 5000 ESB, Sweden 500 SEK


- no. 010381 to CORA, Deutsche Bank (Abi 3002, Cab 03270), Italy
- no.10067.00101.1032083440/4 to CORA, France
- no. 310107591981 to CORA, Belge

- c.c.p. 53362000 to CORA, Via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Roma




Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO with category I
consultative status at the UN

Url - http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet



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