------------------------------------------------------------------- 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) From: NORMLFNDTN
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 20:06:51 EST Subject: NORML WPR 3/12/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. 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 issue. "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. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 oregonlive.com March 12, 1998 letters to editor: email@example.com 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 Asia. 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 who: * 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 deputy. 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 structuring. 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, Calif. 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 house. 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 Switzerland. 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 arrested. 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 Eugene. 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 Downtown) Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 23:14:59 -0800 (PST) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Mayor Vera Katz (email@example.com) cc: Portland Police -- CW Jensen (OfficerJensen@kgw.com), PPB (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: STOP MARIJUANA TASK FORCE, PLEASE! The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com As of Thursday, March 12, 1998 PETITION TO PORTLAND MAYOR VERA KATZ TO SUSPEND & REVIEW THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE 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. *** PROTEST & SPEAK OUT AGAINST MARIJUANA TASK FORCE AND 'KNOCK & TALK' EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 4:00P.M. - 6:00P.M. PARK BLOCK ACROSS FROM "JUSTICE" CENTER (1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon)
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Kevin Zeese Source: The Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 STUDY: DRUG USE ESTIMATE MAY BE LOW 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 well. --The price of crack cocaine is dropping in most areas of the country, possibly due to a decrease in new users but also because of a possible increase in supply. --Crack cocaine remains the dominant drug in most markets, with users tending to be older than they were in the early 1990s, suggesting fewer new users. 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Hard-Core Drug Users Undercounted Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA) Author: John Stamper Mercury News Washington Bureau Contact: email@example.com HARD-CORE DRUG USERS UNDERCOUNTED 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 exclusively. 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 community. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CanPat - DEA Agent Charged in Stealing 6 million dollars... Another example of Prohibiton Greed! Sender: email@example.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 laundering.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-DEA Official Eyed In Missing $6M ('Associated Press' Version) Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Ex-DEA Official Eyed in Missing $6M Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 EX-DEA OFFICIAL EYED IN MISSING $6M 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 employee. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Dave Fratello <email@example.com> Source: Associated Press: Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 DEA THEFT 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 equipment. 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?)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: firstname.lastname@example.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 - email@example.com *** 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: firstname.lastname@example.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. JUDGE SKILLMAN: IT'S MARIJUANA NOT MEDICINE. "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 it." 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US CA: Union Officials Defend Corcoran Prison Guards Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Section: news / page 6 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ UNION OFFICIALS DEFEND CORCORAN PRISON GUARDS 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Reefer Madness Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Section: metro / page 9 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ REEFER MADNESS 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US CA: People in the News Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA) Contact: email@example.com PEOPLE IN THE NEWS 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US NJ: Cosby Witness Arrested Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury New (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org COSBY WITNESS ARRESTED 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: email@example.com Newshawk: Marla Stevens (PointsRUs) Source: The Indianapolis Star Columnist: Dick Cady Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. DRUGS AND BOOZE 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 drugs. 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: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 FORBES RAILS AGAINST TOBACCO DEAL 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 said. 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 good.'' 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 industry. ``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 said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US OK: Officers to Appeal Firings Sender: firstname.lastname@example.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 OFFICERS TO APPEAL FIRINGS 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 said. 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: email@example.com Newshawk: Andrew Byrne Source: The New England Journal of Medicine Reviewer: Edward Nunes, M.D. Pubdate: March 12, 1998 Volume: 338, Number 11 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nejm.org/ Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment By Jerome J. Platt. 458 pp. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1997. $49.95. 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: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: New York Times (NY) Column: In America Columnist: Bob Herbert Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 REPRISE OF TERROR 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 apartment." 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: email@example.com 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 CONTENTS 1. MORE THAN 20 EVENTS PLANNED SO FAR! Some information about the coming June events. 2. THE COALITION: OVER 40 MEMBER ORGANISATIONS Many organisations have recently joined! 3. THE DECLARATION Organisations can join the coalition by signing it. 4. AGAIN: THE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION Send it out to promote the Global Days! *** 1. MORE THAN 20 EVENTS PLANNED SO FAR! 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! 2. THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO THE DRUG WAR! 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. 3. THE DECLARATION Organisations can join the coalition by signing the declaration below. Please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org *** Declaration 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 alternatives. 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. *** 4. AGAIN: THE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days! *** ** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE BY EMAIL AND FAX ** *** 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 email@example.com. 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 http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** ** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE BY EMAIL AND FAX ** *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com cc: Alan Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CnbsCL - 5 PA Defendants, Gordon's latest felony Sender: email@example.com ------ Forwarded message ----- Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 15:42:54 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: BOUNCE email@example.com: Non-member submission from ["Alan Gordon" (firstname.lastname@example.org)] From: "Alan Gordon" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Subject: 5 PA Defendants, Gordon's latest felony News release: State College, PA, 3/12/98 5 ACTIVISTS ARRESTED, 9 CHARGES FILED: WHO'S BEHIND IT ALL? 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 weekly. 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 time. 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 marijuana. 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: www.groovyweb.com/adhi 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Subject: MN: US VA: PUB LTE: Like Prohibition, The Drug War Is Doomed To Fail Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: (email@example.com) (Craig Schroer) Source: Washington Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.washtimes.com/ Pubdate: March 12, 1998, Thursday LIKE PROHIBITION, THE DRUG WAR IS DOOMED TO FAIL "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. TOMAS R. ESTRADA-PALMA Vice chairman Virginia Libertarian Party Woodbridge
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Calgary Sun Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Debbie Harper3" Source: Calgary Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.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" (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.... [snip] 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: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CanPat - This is WHY the drug war CANNOT be won!! Sender: email@example.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 officials. 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 cocaine. 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 coast. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: The Daily Telegraph Author: Piers Akerman Contact: email@example.com DEALING WITH OFFENDERS SMACKS OF DEFEATISM 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 said. "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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: New Zealand: Support Grows For Legalising Cannabis As A Medicine Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Thu, 12 March 1998 Source: Evening Post (New Zealand) Author: Claire Guyan Health reporter Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org SUPPORT GROWS FOR LEGALISING CANNABIS AS A MEDICINE 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 listening." 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 chemotherapy. 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 patients. 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 eyedrops. 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 frustrated. "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: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Author: Catherine Cleary Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. GARDA CHIEF WARNS AGAINST LEGALISING CANNABIS 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: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: The Examiner (Ireland) Author: Gardai in drugs war opposed to legalising cannabis Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org GARDAI IN DRUGS WAR OPPOSED TO LEGALISING CANNABIS 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 scheme. If any restrictions applied would the black market continue as it has with Methadone. "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: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Author: Catherine Cleary Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 heads". 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 drugs." 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: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Author: Nuala Haughey Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. NORTH'S 'HEROIN BLACKSPOT' FACES RISE IN DRUGS CRIME 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Testing 'Encourages Hard Drug Use' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 Source: The Scotsman Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com TESTING 'ENCOURAGES HARD DRUG USE' 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 drug-testing. 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 said. "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 minefield."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antiprohibitionist Action Report, Year 4, Number 5 (Monthly Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News, >From CORA In Italy) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments: Authenticated sender is (email@example.com) To: "CORA LIST EN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:30:01 +0000 Subject: CORAFAX 5 (EN) Sender: email@example.com ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#5 Antiprohibitionist action report March 12, 1998 - (Year 4) #5 *** CO.R.A. Radical | Association federated with Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational Coordination | Radical Party *** OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs *** PAA - PARLAMENTARIANS FOR ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTION European campaign for the revision of international conventions *** CORA-ITALY Via di Torre Argentina 76 00186 ROME Tel:+39-6-68.97.91 Fax:+39-6-220.127.116.11 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** CORA-BELGIUM Rue Belliard 97 c/o European Parliament Rem 5.08 1040 BRUSSELS Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31 Fax:+32-2-230.36.70 E-mail: email@example.com *** CORAnet http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian) *** Director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** NEWS FROM CORA *** LONDON MARCH FOR CANNABIS DEPENALIZATION 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). *** ITALY THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES LUCIANO VIOLANTE ANSWERS TO CORA. 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." *** RUSSIA VICE-MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS ASKS CRIMINAL SANCTIONS AGAINST ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS, WHILE A LIBERAL-DEMOCRAT TAKES THEIR PROPOSALS INTO CONSIDERATION. 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'. *** ITALY 'A FLOWER FOR THE WOMEN OF KABUL' CORA ENDORSES EMMA BONINO'S APPEAL. CORA fully supports Ms. Bonino's appeal and considers unacceptable that UNDCP is funding the Taliban regime that systematically violates women's rights. *** UN 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. *** NEWS FROM THE WORLD *** WORLD 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) GREAT BRITAIN 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 18/3) SOUTH AMERICAN 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) U.S. 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 ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 27/2, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE 27/2-3/3, FRANKFURTER ZEITUNG, LE MONDE, SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 28/2, IL GIORNALE 1/3, THE ECONOMIST 7/3) RUSSIA 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) FRANCE 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 26-7/2, LIBERATION 26/2, FRANKFURTER ZEITUNG, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, 27/2, LE MONDE 26-7/2, 1-5/3) ITALY 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) CHINA 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) GERMANY 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 addicts. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 4/3, 7/3, DER SPIEGEL 9/3) ARGENTINA 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) GERMANY 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) SPAIN 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) ITALY 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) *** JOIN THE CORA *** 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 ........................................... no ......................................................................Expiry Date ...................... MEMBERSHIP FEE OF CORA 1998 IN EUROPEAN UNION 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 BANK ACCOUNT - no. 010381 to CORA, Deutsche Bank (Abi 3002, Cab 03270), Italy - no.10067.00101.1032083440/4 to CORA, France - no. 310107591981 to CORA, Belge MAIL CCP: ONLY IN ITALY - c.c.p. 53362000 to CORA, Via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Roma *** CORA -COORDINATION RADICALE ANTIPROHIBITIONNISTE -ANTIPROHIBITIONIST RADICAL COORDINATION -COORDINAMENTO RADICALE ANTIPROIBIZIONISTA Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO with category I consultative status at the UN Emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Url - http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet -------------------------------------------------------------------
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