Portland NORML News - Friday, March 13, 1998

Get Real - The Steven Dons Case - Police State Assisted Suicide? ('PDXS'
Newsmagazine In Portland Asks Some Important Questions And Gives Some
Important Answers About The Warrantless Break-In By The Marijuana Task Force
That Led To One Cop's Shooting Death - Police Claim, Without Supporting
Evidence, There Were 'A Couple' Plants Found In Dons' Stove, But Dons'
Constitutional Rights Were Probably Grossly Violated Anyway And He May Well
Have Gone Free)

PO Box 10046
Portland, OR 97296
Tel. (503) 224-7316
Letters to editor:

Get Real - The Steven Dons Case - Police State Assisted Suicide?

March 13-26, 1998
Volume 7, Number 22
pp. 2 & 5

Everything about the Steven Dons case stinks.

Dons is the alleged marijuana grower involved in the controversial January
27 shootout with police. Portland Police Officer Colleen Waibel was killed
during the gun battle. Officer Kim Keist was seriously wounded, and Sergeant
Jim Hudson suffered a hand wound. Dons was shot by police and paralyzed from
the waist down. He committed suicide less than a month later in me medical
unit of the downtown Justice Center Jail.
A surprisingly large number of Portlanders are questioning the official
versions of both the initial raid and the alleged suicide. Even callers to
such mainstream radio stations as KOTK and KXL believe the police screwed up
the raid. On February 25, the day Dons was found dead, over 50 percent of
The callers to KXL accused the police of murdering him. As these callers saw
it, the police were afraid the courts were going to dismiss all charges
against Dons because the raid was illegal Killing him was the only way' to
escape this embarrassment and avenge Waibel's death.

The protests continued On Friday, March 6, when over 60 activists gathered
near Portland City Hall to voice their anger over the botched drug raid and
alleged suicide. "It sure was convenient for Mayor Vera Katz and Portland
Police Chief Charles Moose that Steven Dons didn't have his day In court,"
said one speaker. As another put it, "Marijuana has never killed anybody,
but prohibition has."

As this issue of 'PDXS' goes to press, the shootout Is being Investigated by
the Portland Police Bureau. Dons' death is being investigated by a variety
of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the Multnomah County District Attorney's
Office, the Oregon State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All
information related to the suicide will reportedly be presented to a
Multnomah County grand jury.

These investigations will probably not answer all of the questions raised by
these incidents, however. It is unrealistic to expect law enforcement
officials to criticize each other, especially when one of their own has been
killed. Even though Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle - who oversees the
jail where Dons died - has promised to release the investigative documents
after the grand jury rules on the alleged suicide, much of the potential
evidence was compromised before the "outside" agencies got involved. And it
would be a miracle if the Portland Police Bureau released everything it
learns about the initial shootout. Under the "leadership" of Mayor Vera
Katz. and Police Chief Charles Moose, the bureau has developed a history of
stonewalling the press and public on controversial issues.

The 'Oregonian' presented one version of the knock-and-talk visit on Sunday,
March 8. The paper reported Multnomah County Senior District Attorney Jim
McIntyre's "re-creation" of the events leading up to the shootout and Dons'
subsequent arrest. The article quoted Dons' former attorneys as denouncing
McIntyre's version, even though they declined to offer any alternative,
citing the Oregon State Bar Association's rules on attorney-client
privilege. Despite that, even McIntyre's version of events showed why the
police did not want this case to go to trial. Here are just a few of the
most obvious questions, gleaned from press coverage of the raid, shootout
and suicide, and from conversations with local defense attorneys.

* What was the evidence inside the house?

Critics claim that the police may have tampered with the evidence uncovered
from Dons' house to justify the initial raid. The Portland police had
complete control of the house, located at 2612 SE 122Avenue, for two days
after the shooting. No one was allowed in without police approval, and no
photographs have been released from inside the house. There are several
contradictions in the news accounts about the evidence, however.


MTF protesters (PDXS)

[PDXS photo caption:]

Local activists protested the Marijuana Task Force on Friday, March 6, at
the park block across from the Justice Service Center. Demonstrations are
scheduled every Friday from 4 pm to 6 pm until further notice.


The police claim they found 51 marijuana plants in the house, including a
couple in the stove. In an 'Oregonian' interview, however, wounded Officer
Keist expressed dismay that Dons was willing to shoot her over "a couple" of
marijuana plants. Dons' roommate, Jeffery Harlan Moore (who was not home at
the time of the raid), is on record as saying he saw no marijuana in the house.

Similar confusion exists over the gun that Dons allegedly used to shoot the
police. The March 8 issue of the 'Oregonian' describes it as an SKS
semi-automatic rifle with a 14-round banana clip. But, in an unchallenged
opinion piece in the next day's paper. Portlander Ralph Thomas said the gun
had a 7-round fixed magazine.

Even if the police release all records from their search of the house, how
will the public ever know the evidence wasn't altered?

* Did the Police know Dons lived in the house - and if not, why not?

It is not clear from published reports whether the police knew Dons lived in
the house. The March 8 story in the 'Oregonian' only says the police knew
Dons "might live there." The article also suggests the police thought the
house was empty when they determined that Moore was at work on the morning
of the raid.

At the same time, the police should have known that Dons lived there. For
starters, they had inside information - an unnamed informant had tipped them
off about the house. The 'Oregonian' also says that the police had the house
under surveillance. And the paper says the police "knew Dons associated with
marijuana growers.

The 'Oregonian' says the police "certainly knew nothing about [Dons']
potential for violence." Why not? He had a police record in Nevada that
included assaulting police officers. After the initial shootout, the
Portland press interviewed several of Dons' associates and neighbors who
knew he was heavily armed and hated the police. The police knew where Dons'
roommate worked - why didn't they know anything about him?

* Did the police allow Dons to grow marijuana?

The police will not say how the Marijuana Task Force - which apparently
conducted the investigation - first learned that Dons was growing marijuana.
But, according to DA McIntyre's statements in the 'Oregonian,' "police saw
people taking marijuana growing equipment into the house at 2612 SE 111th
Ave. before Jan.27." This suggests that the MTF may have allowed Dons to
grow marijuana before raiding the house. MTF members claimed they could
smell marijuana outside the house on January 27. It take six to eight weeks
for marijuana plants to reach the point where they put out a noticeable
odor. Does this mean the MTF waited up to two months to bust Dons? And if
so, why?

One reason could be money. Under this nation's draconian anti-drug laws, the
police can seize any property acquired with drug profits - including cash,
cars, boats and homes. According to the 'Oregonian,' in 1996, the last year
for which such figures are available, the MTF confiscated $2.1 million worth
of cash and property, including 42 houses. Did the police allow Dons to grow
marijuana so they could raid the house and seize it? Only a complete
disclosure of the events leading up to the raid can answer that question.

* Who was in charge?

In the 'Oregonian' story, DA McIntyre offered the first clear explanation of
which officers were at Dons' house at what time. Unfortunately, it suggests
that the officers who originally investigated the alleged marijuana grow
operation - the officers with the most information about the case - were not
present during the raid.

According to McIntyre, three MTF members stopped by Dons' house at
approximately 10:45 am on January 27 - Portland police officers Nathan
Shropshire and Brian Schmautz and Oregon State Police Detective Tom
McCartney. They knocked on the front door but no one answered. As they
started to drive away, however, Shropshire said he thought he smelled
marijuana. The three returned to the house and agreed they smelled
marijuana, and also saw mold and condensation on windows, which they took as
evidence of a grow operation.

They then called Portland General Electric and were told the house had used
an average of 2,622 kilowatt. hours of electricity in the past 13 months,
enough to sustain a grow operation. The three of them then drove away to get
a search warrant.

At approximately the same time, Portland Police Officer Kim Keist and
Portland Police Sergeant Jim Hudson drove up to the house in an unmarked
pickup. It is not clear why Keist and Hudson came to the house at this time,
or what, if anything, they learned from the three MTF members. But after
approximately 15 minutes of waiting, Keist reportedly saw smoke coming from
the chimney. Assuming someone was burning the evidence, the two called for
uniformed officers to back them up. After an unspecified period of time,
four officers arrived - Wayne Gwilliam, Jeffery Parker, Colleen Waibel and
Steve Morrow. It is not clear whether any of these officers had been
involved in the initial surveillance of the house - or what, if anything,
they knew about Dons. But these six officers decided to break down the door
before the search warrant was approved on that fateful day.

* Were Dons' Constitutional rights violated?

We're not bleeding heart liberals who put the rights of criminals above the
lives of police officers. But it is important to know whether Dons' rights
were violated to understand whether the charges against him might have been
thrown out of court on Constitutional grounds.

According to all published accounts, the police did not have enough evidence
for a search warrant when three MTF members visited Dons' home on January
27. No search warrant had been issued by the time the six other officers
decided to break in. Instead, they acted on their own, reportedly to prevent
Dons from burning marijuana plants.

Several defense attorneys have told 'PDXS' that this decision was not
legally justified. Although law enforcement officers can break into a house
under emergency circumstances, these lawyers insist that stopping a
suspected marijuana grower from burning his plants isn't one of them. Among
other things. it was unlikely Dons could completely destroy all of his
plants before the police could get a warrant. And even it he did, the house
would still have contained other evidence, such as grow lights and potting soil.

* Did Dons know the police were breaking into his house?

According to the official version of events, the police yelled "Portland
police" before breaking down the front door. According to one court
document, Sergeant Hudson also yelled they had a warrant, even though that
wasn't true. But did Dons know they were police? His roommate, Jeffery
Moore, says no, perhaps because he was partially deaf. "He didn't know who
they were," Moore said. Dons told him before he died, "He really regrets
what he's done."

DA McIntyre suggests Dons must have known the people breaking down his front
door were police. According to McIntyre, a video camera mounted in the front
hallway was connected to a television set in Dons' bedroom. But that assumes
Dons was in his bedroom at the time of the raid. If he was in another room,
he could not have seen the monitors.

As revealed in the March 8 issue of the 'Oregonian,' Dons could not see the
officers when he first opened fire. Dons was standing in a hallway and fired
through a wooden door between him and the officers. Since Dons was alone in
the house at the time of the raid, the police cannot disprove his reported
statement that he did not know who was breaking into his house. In this
case, he could have at least argued "self-defense" when the case went to trial.

A similar incident occurred almost 20 years ago when the Portland police
raided the headquarters of the Outsider motorcycle club. One officer was
killed in the shootout. The man who killed him successfully argued that he
did not know it was the police who were raiding the house. He escaped a
murder conviction.

* Was Dons denied proper medical treatment?

According to the official version of events, the police who broke into the
house immediately returned fire, striking Dons. CA McIntyre says Dons was
immediately paralyzed from the waist down. Despite that, the police waited
over two-and-a-half hours before entering the house to arrest him. In that
time, they subjected him to searing tear gas and reportedly hit him twice
with "non-lethal beanbag" rounds.

Even after the police entered the house and found Dons, they denied him
proper medical treatment. Instead of calling in emergency medical
technicians, they hauled him out, stripped off his clothes, and threw him on
the back of an armored personnel carrier. Many people were shocked by the
television images of Dons' naked body being driven down the street.
"Remember the photo?" one Portlander e-mailed 'PDXS.' "Nobody was kneeling
over him, caring for this wounded man. Why were they carting his naked body
around on the back of a tank. like some goddamned trophy?"

* Was there an initial cover-up?

By the time Dons was finally hauled away from his house, police commanders
had plenty of time to realize they had blown the raid. Is that why Mayor
Katz and Police Chief Moose tried to change the subject? Talking to
reporters at the hospital where the wounded officers had been taken, Katz
called for tougher gun control laws. Moose went even further, launching into
a tirade about how television news helicopters had endangered the officers
during the siege. Both claims were bogus. Officer Waibel was not killed by
"high-powered rounds that went through her bullet proof vest," as originally
reported. And Dons was reportedly out of commission by the time the
helicopters arrived. Nevertheless, Katz and Moose succeeded in shifting
press attention off the details of the raid.

* Did Dons kill himself?

Dons was originally taken to the Oregon Health Sciences University, where he
was arraigned on drug and murder charges. He was reportedly transferred to
the medical unit in the Justice Center Jail on February 10. Who made the
decision to transfer him to the Justice Center, which also houses much of
the Portland Police Bureau? Why did he have to be moved less than two weeks
after being paralyzed? It's not like he was going anywhere.

According to the official version of events, Dons committed suicide sometime
between 1:30 and 4:30 am on the morning of February 25. He reportedly tied a
sheet around his neck and the frame of his bed, then used the remote control
to raise the head of the bed enough to strangle himself Although
theoretically possible, it's hard to know whether such a novel method of
suicide would work in the real world, or whether the paralyzed Dons was
capable of doing it.

Although medical workers did not see Dons between 1:30 am and 4:30 am,
corrections officers reportedly checked him every half hour. According to
the official version of events, they only looked through a window in the
door to his room and did not realize he was dead, perhaps because they could
not see the sheet around his neck. At the same time, Dons' position in the
room did change at some point during those three hours - he allegedly raised
his bed to commit suicide. Was this change noticed? Of course, it's always
possible that the corrections officers realized Dons was killing himself,
and chose not to interfere.

There are many questions which need to be asked and answered about the
circumstances surrounding Dons' death. Who was on the floor that night? Does
everyone log in, or can corrections officers (and others) come and go at
will, if they have the keys? Do video cameras monitor the floor? If so, are
they hooked to tape machines or just video monitors? Who, if anyone, watches
the monitors?

Within 12 hours of Dons' death, the State Medical Examiner declared that he
committed suicide. This was well before all toxicology tests could have been
conducted. Dons was reportedly receiving a mix of antibiotics, pain killers,
and muscle relaxants at the time of his death. Did Dons have the mental and
physical ability to commit suicide with all these drugs in his system? Have
medical tests found any other drugs in his body?

No one seemed to think that Dons was suicidal before his death. One of his
lawyers, Andrew Bates, described him as "upbeat" over his defense. Multnomah
County Sheriff's Lt. Brian Martinek said Dons did not seem depressed and was
not on a suicide watch. "There was no reason to believe, and we had no
information that we should suspect that," he said. "There are usually very
apparent, very red-flag conditions. There was none of that information
available to us."


'Oregonian' photo of Dons on armored personnel carrier (PDXS)

[PDXS photo caption:]

Who can forget the shocking image of Steven Dons' naked, paralyzed body
being hauled off on the bumper of an armored personnel carrier from the
front page of the January 28 issue of the 'Oregonian.' Did the police
jeopardize their case against him by violating his constitutional rights?


* Was the investigation compromised?

Unfortunately, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office did not preserve the
scene of Dons' death before the investigative team was put together. Even
though the staff members who discovered Dons' body were reportedly certain
he was dead, they apparently untied the sheet and tried to revive him. This
means no photos were taken which show the exact details of the "suicide."

More than that, according to a March 3rd story by the Associated Press,
"Investigators said they did not check Dons' cell for finger-prints. No
fiber evidence was collected and, only hours after Dons' body was removed
from the room, reporters and camera crews were given a tour of the cell." In
other words, the room was contaminated before Sheriff Noelle asked the FBI
to get involved in the investigation to assure its "independence."

The day after Dons' death, the editorial board of the 'Oregonian' - of all
people - reported some disturbing news about the condition of the room where
Dons died. According to an editorial titled "Jail death inquest," there was
a glass-enclosed video camera in one corner of the ceiling. But it could not
have captured the scene in the room for two reasons. First, according to the
editorial, it was covered with toothpaste. And, second, law enforcement
officers say it was obsolete and not in use at the time. Why not? The camera
must have been installed for a reason. Why go to the trouble of creating a
system for monitoring inmates, and then allow it to be vandalized and fall
into disrepair? How many other cameras in the Justice Center aren't working,
and why?

* What is Steven Dons' version of events?

We've heard the official version of events from DA McIntyre. But what did
Dons say happened inside his house on January 27? Although his attorneys
refuse to reveal what Dons told them, his former roommate, Jeffery Moore,
has offered a partial explanation. According to Moore, Dons might have been
asleep when the police originally arrived at the house. Awakened by the
sound of the front door being smashed in, Dons might have thought he was
being attacked by as-yet-unnamed enemies, perhaps competing drug dealers.
Under this scenario, Dons could have fired at the officers without knowing
who they were.

Dons' attorneys - Gwenn Butkovsky and Andrew Bates - should reveal what he
told them before he died. Dons deserves to have his side aired, and the
public needs to know what else might have happened during the shootout.
Rumors are already flying that Dons was not shot and paralyzed during the
initial exchange of gunfire. Neighbors have allegedly said that he walked
out onto the front porch naked, where he was shot by police while trying to
surrender. We need to know all possibilities to put such charges to rest.

* Will there be a public review?

An editorial in the February 28 issue of the 'Oregonian' called for a public
inquest into Dons' death. This was a surprising and courageous stand for the
Portland daily, which hardly ever questions the actions of local law
enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, the 'Oregonian' immediately dropped its
demand. It hasn't called for a public inquest since.

Not everyone is convinced the current investigation into Dons' suicide will
be fair, however. "We're not saying that there has been foul play. We're
saying an investigation is needed to rule that out," the AP quoted defense
attorney Butkovsky as saying. "Our problem is that the sheriff's office is
still involved in it, so it's not completely independent."

It's always possible that Dons actually committed suicide. He was not only
paralyzed for life, but facing the death penalty. At the same time, it's
pretty clear that the local law enforcement community wasn't looking forward
to the trial. Sheriff Noelle promises the investigative reports will be
released after the grand jury rules on the suicide. But how will we know if
anything was intentionally left out of them?

Multnomah County Senior District Attorney Jim McIntyre made a bizarre
statement for a law enforcement official in the March 8 issue of the
'Oregonian.' Speaking about the fact that Dons' former lawyers disagree with
his version of events, Mclntrye said, "It's ridiculous in this day and age
that we can only judge his guilt in a courtroom trial."

We don't know what McIntyre means by "this day and age." Maybe he's talking
about the recent Anti-Terrorism Act which undermines freedoms of speech and
association. Perhaps he's referring to recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings
limiting Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Whatever the case, we at 'PDXS' think that courtroom trials are where this
society ultimately judges guilt - and the extent of guilt. Dons may well
have killed Portland Police Officer Colleen Waibel, and wounded Officer
Keist and Sergeant Jim Hudson. But he may not have known who he was shooting
at. Dons may have sincerely believed he was defending himself from a home

Even if McIntyre is only talking about the court of public opinion, it is
unreasonable for him to expect people to accept his version of events
without knowing all the facts. The Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah
County District Attorney's Office should immediately release all their
records on the Steven Dons case. Otherwise, this stinks.

- Jim Redden

Drug Smuggler Sentenced To 20-Year Term (Salem, Oregon, 'Statesman Journal'
Version Of Yesterday's News)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 02:22:44 -0800
From: Paul Freedom 
Organization: Oregon State Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots 
Subject: CanPat - Drug Smuggler Sentenced to 20-Year Term
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com


The Statesman Journal
Salem, Oregon

PORTLAND--- Thomas Sherrett smuggled about 200
tons of marijuana into the United States, and not even
rescuing a jail guard from a mob of angry inmates was
enough to spare him a long prison sentence.

Sherrett, 50, who pleaded guilty last November to 135
counts of drug trafficking and money laundering in
Oregon's largest marijuana case, wasn't a typical kingpin,
his lawyer told a federal judge at a sentencing hearing

After his arrest, Sherrett helped rescue a Multnomah
County corrections deputy as inmates punched, kicked
and possibly tried to kill the man during a 1995 breakout

Despite credit for those heroics and other factors,
Sherrett's sentence came to nearly 20 years in prison.
It capped a life of marijuana involvement that authorities
think they can trace to the late 1960's, when Sherrett was
a student at the University of Oregon.

The government had asked for more than 26 years in
prison for Sherrett, based on activities that covered less
than two years before 1988, when drug investigators
learned almost by accident he was an international
smuggler who moved easily between Portland and

DrugSense Focus Alert Number 57 - Limbaugh A 'Legalizer' (America's
Top Conservative Talk-Show Host Reverses Himself, Endorses Regulation
Instead Of Prohibition Three Times During March 12 Broadcast -
Will Rush's About-Face At Long Last Spark An Open And Honest Debate
In The United States? - DrugSense Urges Activists To Write Him A Letter)
Link to transcript
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:30:16 -0800 To: maptalk@mapinc.org, ARO@drugsense.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: FOCUS ALERT # 57 Rush Limbaugh - PRO REFORM! PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE WIDELY If you only write one letter this year please make this the one! NOTE: Due to the importance of this FOCUS Alert it is being distributed to all DrugSense members, lists, and organizations. Please take action on this today. Let's all chip in to insure that Rush has hundreds of pro reform Email massages waiting for him on Monday Morning. Opportunity knocks but once and it just let out a big booming knock. *** DrugSense FOCUS Alert #57 Limbaugh a "legalizer" WRITE A LETTER - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD A really incredible thing happened Thursday March 12 at 10:40 AM PST (1:40 PM EST). Rush Limbaugh came out *in favor* of legalization! Not once but three times. Many have long expressed the opinion that if and when "legalization" were ever proposed by either major party it would be from the conservative camp. Not only did he come out for legalization he said he believed that it was the only way we would ever control drugs in this country and that we should legitimize the cartels (somewhat tongue in cheek I believe) and capitalize on the profits and use the money for social good (a strategy some have long believed could resonate with the American public if properly presented) This was inevitable as Rush has been badgering "liberals" (his favorite target) about the fact that they were more interested in the money and power represented by tobacco "prohibition" (price raising to raise taxes vending machine prohibition, fining tobacco companies etc.) than the oft touted "save the kiddies" rhetoric. The dichotomy of his thinking vis a vis tobacco prohibition (which he opposes) and drugs was certainly obvious to most reformers that heard it. It was inevitable that he eventually come to terms with it. Now he apparently has. Regardless of how you view Rush this is one of the most poignant media opportunities of last few years for reform. Rush has 20 million regular dedicated listeners. Most listen 2-3 hours a day. He is the most listened to radio talk show on the planet and he holds sway among way more than a few powerful Republicans. In my opinion we need to put forth a concerted sustained encouragement to continue and broaden this discussion. Rush is on the leading edge of conservative politics and this could easily be a trial balloon to test the waters for the upcoming election and try testing a sea change opinion. I may be overstating this but I see it as a major *really* major opportunity. Let's get to brainstorming as to how we can encourage and expand the discussion he has started. I have already sent him a personal email. For starters I suggest every member of ARO do the same if at all possible. *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER TO RUSH Please post your letters to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to me at this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or emailing to MGreer@mapinc.org THREE REASONS WHY THIS IS *VERY* IMPORTANT 1) This is how we track and measure our success and impress potential funders. 2) Your letter will be posted - It will help motivate others to follow suit. 3) You efforts provide an example - giving others ideas on what to write about. *** CONTACT INFO Please email Rush at Rush@eibnet.com Friday is "open lines" in which he allow talk on any subject. We should try to get a concerted call in effort going both Friday 3/13 and Friday 3/20 as well as all next week. Rush H. Limbaugh ELI BALD 17th Floor 2 Penn Plaza New York NY 10121 800 282-2882 Call in line to go on air 800457-4141 subscriptions to newsletter B Snarly Screener AB 212 613-3800 212 955-9222 Fax? If you can't get the show locally you can listen to Rush via the Internet using RealAudio. The following stations apparently carry the Rush Limbaugh show on RealAudio: (NOTE: THE STATIONS BELOW ARE ALL LINKS ON THE FOLLOWING WEB PAGE WHERE THE SHOW CAN BE LISTENED TO ON REAL AUDIO) http://www.gvn.net/~creative/rush/rushadio.htm WTAW, College Station, Texas Winston-Salem, NC. KFI, Los Angeles KLVI, Beaumont, Texas . WSYR, U of Syracuse New York . WBAL, Baltimore . WPSL, Port St. Lucie, FL . WIBC, Indianapolis, Indiana . K GUM Agana, Guam (May be best for you WESTAR folks...) I know, they say they don't carry the show on RealAudio. Some of them do not allow new connections to be made while the Rush Limbaugh program is running. However, in many cases it has been possible to connect to the Real Audio server a few minutes BEFORE Rush goes on the air; then you can remain connected during the show itself. Please give it a try, and advise me how well it works! Remember also that each Real Audio server has a maximum capacity, and enough people have emailed me asking how to get Rush on Real Audio to max out those servers several times over. If one doesn't work, try another. Trust me on this; it DOES work. "Dan & Carol Ellis" report: Hi Ken, You can catch Rush on the Internet live at WTAW, College Station, Texas. the URL is: www.radio.audionet.com/radio/Sports/WTAW/. You can get them on Real Audio from the web site. Rush is on at Noon EST. I'm listening to him now. Hope this is some help. This station also carries G. Gordon Lid and some other conservative talk show hosts as well as sports. PLEASE FORWARD *** There is a live chat on-line ME 12-3PM EST where interested parties can engage in Email conversation with and about Rush and others http://www.townhall.com/rush/ I spent much of the morning dialing to try to get on the show monitoring his show and on-line chat room and Em ailing him. We must expand and encourage Rush's newly announced support for reform. Please listen, call, or visit the web page above (you need I chat for this it can be downloaded for free) page. Email rush at: Rush@eibnet.com This is the best way to get a message out to him. He notices big numbers of email on any subject Call in to get on his show at 800 282 2882 Getting through to his show is a *major* accomplishment If we can get Rush talking about this regularly we will have made a huge stride towards reform. *** SAMPLE LETTERS Dear Rush: Dittos! On Thursday March 24 10:40 AM PST you came to the most brilliant conclusion I have heard in many years of listening to you. You came to the realization that not only are our drug laws foolish and destructive but that the drug war is unwinable. The REAL show stopper, however, was when you realized the power potential of sensibly reforming our drug laws and capitalizing on the incredible financial resources that are open to the party with the guts to tackle this sticky issue first. I am awestruck. I always knew that conservatives would be the first to see the idiocy of our drug laws but I never hoped to hear it from your lips. Three years ago, you may remember, I sent you a copy of my book The Drug Solution with a couple of good cigars. You mentioned it on your show (expressing fear of what they might contain;). I'm not sure you ever read the book but say the word and I'll send you another dozen copies. The book was poorly written and poorly edited (my first try) but it presented what in my humble opinion are some very powerful ideas. You mirrored them today. Since then a group of us have formed a 501(c)3 non profit corp. dedicated to educating the public on drug policy issues. Should it need saying I am neither a whacko nor a drug user. I've given this topic a great deal of thought and research and would like to help you continue along the courageous path you began on Thursday in any way I can. Rush you are very close to some earth shattering changes and I wonder if you fully get where a man in your position could take this. There is no way I will take the time to fully get into the subject at this point but check out our web pages below. If they impress you, as I think they will, let's open a dialogue. You could easily create a legacy that would insure statues and freeways in your honor if you educate yourself fully on the subject and use your awesome power to bring the truth to the public. Your thoughts appreciated. Mark Greer *** Rush: I am proud of you for speaking out against Drug Prohibition. Prohibition is creating a hundred times more problems than the drugs themselves. And the system of classifying drugs is crazy with bourbon and Scotch acceptable under the law and marijuana Class #5, which means verbotum! Reclassify marijuana to #3 or even #4, treat use of it as a misdemeanor, and we do away with 70% to 75% of the Drug Civil War. Then let's concentrate our funding on realistic education (not the phony DARE program which tries to scare kids and therefore backfires when they become teenager) and treatment. Rush, you are going to take a lot of heat for our stand. But stand your ground and help educate the public. Robert E. Field *** Just DO It! Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org

Re - Rush Limbaugh Is A Pig! (List Subscribers Debate The Significance
Of Limbaugh's Alleged About-Face On Regulation Versus Prohibition)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 13:15:57 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: rgivens@sirius.com
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Rush Limbaugh Is A Pig!

Cara Williamson wrote:

>This movement already has too many wacko Libertarians and militia-type
>nuts. If you all think that the Big Fat Boy is an ally worth bragging
>about, it proves once and for all that we are hopelessly irrelevant.

Need I remind everyone that converting "pigs" like Limbaugh is exactly what
must be done to end the WoD. Unless we can convert these erstwhile drug
crusaders, repealing drug prohibition will be impossible.

Limbaugh appears to be in agreement with us on this one issue, so we should
encourage Rush's conversion to active repealer. The rest of Limbaugh's
baggage is irrelevant when it comes to ending drug prohibition. In fact,
Rush's other BS will help since he connects with many people we would find
it difficult to address. If Limbaugh is really serious about his opposition
to drug prohibition, he could convert millions.

Rush has an enormous audience composed of a wide spectrum of American
politics. A lot of his listeners tune in because they DISAGREE with him!
Others listen to see what outrageous nonsense will come out of his mouth
next. And, needless to say, there are also a lot of "Dittoheads" who think
Rush is the messiah. Converting people from these groups is essential to
ending Reefer Madness drug prohibition.

When somebody comes over to our side on the drug issue, we should receive
them warmly and do our best to ignore points of contention unrelated to our
mission. It most certainly won't encourage others to join us if we beat
the hell out of them because they don't agree with us on every point.

Winning repeal requires a broad base of support covering the entire
political spectrum. That means we are going to have to work with people we
fundamentally disagree with about other matters. This doesn't mean we have
to endorse their politics or change our minds about any of our views. If we
can agree that drug prohibition must end, that's plenty.

R Givens


Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:35:56 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jon Gettman 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Rush Limbaugh Supports Legalization(?)

I agree with Mike Clark . . . I'm not so sure Limbaugh was serious either.
I listen to Limbaugh's show regularly. I didn't hear the segment in
question when it was broadcast, but I heard part of it repeated on
Saturday's best of the week show.

I got the impression he was engaging in a 'reducto ad absurdum' argument,
that is, reducing a point to an absurb dimension. His primary point was
the hypocrisy of current tobacco legislation, and extending it to its
natural conclusion, legalized drugs, to show just how hypocritical it is.
Limbaugh argued that the interest in tobacco regulation was in the revenue
streams, not the morality. Since morality alone wasn't enough to stop
illegal drugs, only public interest in the revenue streams would be enough
to really engage liberal government, because liberal government doesn't
give a hoot about morality, just revenue streams.

I agree that Limbaugh's comments on this topic are intriguing and given the
context a little ambiguous. They are certainly worth comment, and they
present a good springboard to further discussion of these issues.

Jon Gettman

Urgent - First Ever Congressional Vote On Medicinal Marijuana
(Bulletin From Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC,
Urges You To Request Your Congressional Representative
To Oppose House Resolution 372, And Provides Information
On How To Do So)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 14:38:34 -0500
From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG)
Organization: Marijuana Policy Project
Sender: owner-mppupdates@igc.apc.org
Subject: URGENT: First ever congressional vote on medicinal marijuana
To: MPPupdates@igc.org


TO: Interested persons
FROM: Robert D. Kampia, MPP director of government relations
DATE: Friday, March 13, 1998
SUBJECT: First ever congressional vote on medicinal marijuana

Within the next two weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives is
likely to vote on H.Res. 372, the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution.
While the Marijuana Policy Project is lobbying against this legislation
on Capitol Hill, we will not be able to stop it without your help.

By expressing your strong opposition now, we can kill this legislation
if and when it reaches the House floor. H.Res. 372 states, in part, the

* "Marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and
should not be legalized for medicinal use."

* "The United States House of Representatives is
unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana for
medicinal use, and urges the defeat of state initiatives
which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use."

H.Res. 372 was introduced on February 26 by a coalition of nine
House Republicans, approved by the House Crime Subcommittee the same
day, and approved by the House Judiciary Committee on March 4. This
legislation can be brought to the House floor at any time, so please
call or fax your U.S. representative today!

Please say the following: "I am writing/calling to urge
you/Representative ____________ to vote against House Resolution 372,
the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution. I believe patients should be
allowed to use medicinal marijuana if their doctors approve of such use.
At the very least, Congress should not take any action on this issue
until the Institute of Medicine completes its review of medicinal
marijuana this coming December." (Institute of Medicine's phone number
is 202-334-1805.)


To find out the name of your U.S. representative (on the Web):

First, find out your ZIP+4 ...

Then, use it to get the name of your U.S. representative ...

TO CALL: To call your U.S. representative's office, please call the
congressional switchboard operator at 202-225-3121. The
operator will ask you for your zip code if you do not know
who your U.S. representative is.

TO FAX: To fax your U.S. representative, please call your U.S.
representative's office or e-mail MPP@MPP.ORG for his or her
fax number. If you choose to e-mail MPP, please be sure to
include your U.S. representative's name.

TO E-MAIL: Please DO NOT e-mail your U.S. representative unless you have
already called or faxed.



To support the MPP's work and receive the quarterly
"Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual
membership dues to:

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
P.O. Box 77492
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20013

202-232-0442 FAX

Alaska Update (List Subscriber Says Alaskan Medical Marijuana Initiative
Campaign Needs 1,068 Signatures In 30 Days To Get On Ballot)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 03:54:08 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: chuck@mosquitonet.com (Charles Rollins Jr)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: AMR Alaska update


The final number of the Alaska AMR petition has
come up short 1,068 signatures. Alaska state Division of Elections has
given AMR 30 days to get the rest of the signatures.

Also on a related topic the Alaska state library this month is medical

See Ya

Petition Filed To Allow Use Of Marijuana In Medical Cases
(Las Vegas 'Sun' Notes Ballot Initiative Filed Friday In Carson City
By Nevadans For Medical Rights - 46,764 Signatures Needed By June 16)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 22:23:54 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US NV: Petition Filed To Allow Use Of Marijuana In Medical
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Chris Clay http://www.hempnation.com/
Source: Las Vegas 'Sun'
Pubdate: March 13, 1998
Author: Cy Ryan, Sun Capital Bureau
Contact: letters@lasvegassun.com
Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/


CARSON CITY -- A petition was filed Friday to amend the Nevada Constitution
allowing the use of marijuana to relieve those who suffer from painful

"This is an issue of compassion," says Dan Hart, a spokesman for the
committee of Nevadans for Medical Rights. "Nevadans are fiercely protective
of individual rights. We believe the individual has a right to use this
medical substance."

But Carson City District Attorney Noel Waters said, "I don't think the
temperament of most of the DAs is in favor of legalizing it. It (marijuana)
is still viewed as a drug of abuse."

Waters, a past president of the Nevada District Attorney's Association,
added that many law enforcement officers believe the use of pot leads a
person to harder drugs.

The initiative petition says a patient could use, "upon the advice of his
physician" marijuana for "treatment or alleviation" of cancer, glaucoma,
AIDS, persistent nausea, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other medical

It would permit a minor to use the drug only with written authorization by
a doctor and parents. The petition would not require insurance companies to
pay for marijuana used in these treatments.

Under the initiative's proposal there would be a confidential registry of
patients authorized to use marijuana. Law enforcement officers would have
access to the registry to verify that a person has been authorized to use
the drug. Hart said the plant could be grown but not used for illegal

He added that the group which passed the marijuana petition in California
plans to throw a "good chunk" of money into the Nevada campaign. That
organization has already filed suit in federal court in Las Vegas to
invalidate a state attorney general's opinion that groups or individuals
would be limited to a $5,000 contribution towards passage of the Nevada

Hart said that after the story on the suit surfaced earlier this week,
there were 35 calls in one day by people volunteering to circulate the

The backers must gain 46,764 signatures of registered voters by June 16 to
qualify for the Nevada ballot. And there must be 10 percent of the
registered voters in 13 of the 17 counties who sign the petition.

Hart, of Las Vegas, said a signature gathering firm would be hired to
supplement volunteer efforts.

This organization is also seeking to place the issue on the ballots in
other states.

"This is an issue of allowing people who have particular symptoms to use
the medication that is most effective," Hart said. He added that marijuana
doesn't cure people but for those who experience nausea after undergoing
chemotherapy for cancer, it stimulates their appetite so "they are

Waters said the federal government is fighting the law in California. "The
feds are not willing to open the door," Water said and he agrees.

"I don't think this (marijuana use) is the world's worst crime or the worst
drug, but I'm not for legalizing it," he said. Waters said this Nevada
petition is "pretty loose" since it requires only the "authorization" of a
doctor and not a written prescription.

It was Waters who prosecuted a man who came from California to Carson City
and was found to be in possession of marijuana. The man said he had the
approval of his doctor but could never produce any documents.

Senate OKs Bill Targeting Drug-Using Motorists ('Des Moines Register'
Says The Iowa Senate Approved A Bill Thursday That Would Presume Impairment
In Any Driver Who Tests Positive For Any Detectable Level
Of A Schedule I Or Schedule II Controlled Substance)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 18:48:13 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US IA: Senate Oks Bill Targeting Drug-Using Motorists
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen" 
Source: The Des Moines Register
Author: Thomas A. Fogarty
Pubdate: Friday, March 13, 1998
Contact: letters@news.dmreg.com
Webform: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html
Website: http://www.dmregister.com/


Drug users who get behind the wheel of an automobile would face an
increased risk of criminal prosecution under a bill approved Thursday in
the Iowa Senate.

Lawmakers voted without dissent to extend provisions of Iowa's
drunken-driving law to users of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and other
heavy drugs. The effect, supporters say, is that prosecutors will have an
easier time charging drug-impaired drivers whose blood-alcohol content
measures below the 0.10 threshold for drunken driving in Iowa.

"We have drivers out there who are high on drugs and who are a danger to
the public," said Sen. Larry McKibben, R-Marshalltown, who managed the bill
in Senate debate. The bill, he said, would close a loophole that often
allows drugged drivers to escape punishment.

McKibben said it's possible but very difficult to prosecute a drug-impaired
driver under Iowa's current operating-while-intoxicated law. Because the
statute sets no legal threshold for non-alcohol drugs, prosecutors now face
the problem of proving impairment without an objective standard on which to

The Senate-approved bill would change that by outlawing any detectable
levels of what are known as Schedule I and Schedule II drugs - those that
state and federal laws already identify as the most likely candidates for

If approved by the House and signed by the governor, Iowa would become just
the seventh state to adopt the strategy for dealing with the death and
destruction caused by drug-impaired drivers.

Iowa Department of Public Safety statistics show 34 percent of blood tests
on fatally injured drivers found drugs other than alcohol.

Among other problems with current law, McKibben said, is that a
drug-irnpaired driver can refuse a sobriety test without fear of penalty.
That differs from alcohol-impaired drivers, for whom the act of driving
implies consent to a sobriety test.

The Senate bill would close that loophole, he said.

'Cocaine Mom' Says She Failed Drug Test ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Says Being Jailed Throughout Her Pregnancy Is The Likely Fate
Of The Same Woman Who, In The Fall Of 1995, Was Detained By Waukesha County,
Wisconsin Authorities In A Drug Treatment Center To Protect Her Fetus
From Her Cocaine Abuse Before State Supreme Court Ruled Such Detentions
Are Illegal - Fear-Mongering Newspaper Fails To Note Fact That Cigarettes,
Alcohol Are More Dangerous To Fetuses Than Cocaine, Or Ask Why
We Don't Lock Up Pregnant Women Who Use Those Substances)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 01:18:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US WI: 'Cocaine Mom' Says She Failed Drug Test
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Author: Lisa Sink of the Journal Sentinel staff
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/


'Cocaine mom' says she failed drug test Revelation could put her in
jail for rest of pregnancy for breaking bail condition

Waukesha -- Waukesha County's "cocaine mom" said Thursday that she
again has tested positive for drugs, a violation of bail conditions
that could result in her spending the rest of her pregnancy behind

Revocation of her bail could, in effect, protect her fetus through
most or all of the pregnancy because she could be held in jail until
her April 29 trial, which will come only days before her baby is due
to be born.

Thursday's revelations came one day before the woman was set to appear
in court in an attempt to regain custody of her 2 1/2-year-old son,
who was the focus of an earlier case in which she was detained by the

In the fall of 1995, Waukesha County authorities detained the woman in
a drug treatment center to protect her fetus from her cocaine abuse.
That case ignited a national firestorm and resulted in the state
Supreme Court ruling last year that such detentions are illegal,
because a fetus is not subject to the state's child protection laws.

District Attorney Paul Bucher said Thursday he is contemplating asking
a court commissioner to revoke the woman's bail after hearing that she
had failed a court-ordered drug test last week.

"We recently received anonymous information that she's tested positive
(for drugs)," Bucher said. "We already have been undertaking steps to
verify any test results.

"We'll look at those results, and if it violates the condition of her
bail, we'll be taking action. We will issue bail-jumping charges."

The woman, who previously has denied that she was using cocaine during
this pregnancy, acknowledged to a reporter Thursday that she failed a
drug test last week. The test was ordered in an unrelated Juvenile
Court case involving one of the woman's two older children, who are
living with their grandmother.

The woman was unable to comment further on the matter because her
attorneys quickly ushered her away from the reporter.

Bucher said that if the woman had used drugs, he would seek new bail
conditions, which could include incarceration or inpatient drug treatment.

Bucher said that it was also possible that the woman, identified only
as Angela to protect the identity of her children, could again be
released under a signature bond with stiffer conditions, such as
frequent drug screening and intense supervision.

Bucher said that if he files bail-jumping charges against the
26-year-old woman, it would be a routine response to a defendant who
violated bail and not a veiled attempt to protect her fetus.

"It's not a human being," Bucher said. "Whether you agree or disagree
with that, it doesn't matter. The law is pretty clear. We can't do
that (jail her to protect her fetus).

"Waukesha County tried to make new law in the (earlier case), and they
were shot down."

William Domina, an assistant county corporation counsel who sought to
detain the woman in 1995 when she was then eight months pregnant and
using cocaine, said that he could neither "confirm nor deny" whether
Angela had failed a drug test.

Told about Bucher's intentions to take action that could lead to
incarceration, Domina said: "If, as a byproduct of (criminal
prosecution), we have a healthier baby who is born into this world
drug-free and has a fair start in life, that's a great advantage."

For now, Domina said, he has no means to stop the woman from using
drugs during her pregnancy.

"Assuming that her comment to you (that she failed a drug screen) is
accurate, we have the same concerns that we had when went through this
in the old go-around," Domina said. "We have no remedy or tool."

Angela was arrested and charged in December with misdemeanor
possession of drug paraphernalia.

At her initial court appearance on the charge, Court Commissioner
Gerald Janis released her from custody on a $250 signature bond with
conditions that she not possess or consume any illegal drugs, that she
make all court appearances in the case, and that she not commit any
other crimes.

After Angela acknowledged Thursday that she had failed a drug test,
one of her attorneys, Craig Mastantuono, told a reporter: "I have
instructed her not to speak to the media."

Asked whether he thought this woman was being treated more
aggressively than other drug-abusing pregnant women because of her
past, Mastantuono said: "I don't think she's the only person in
Wisconsin who is pregnant and said to be using controlled substances.
If this wasn't (Angela), you wouldn't be writing this story."

Angela is scheduled to be in court today for a hearing on whether she
voluntarily agreed to have her parental rights terminated in the case
of the boy she delivered in 1995.

She is trying to regain custody of the boy, who is now healthy and in
foster care.

Pending in the state Senate is the so-called cocaine mom bill, which
would allow the detention of drug-abusing pregnant women under
Juvenile Court codes to protect their fetuses.

Forfeiture Law Abused - Overzealous Law Enforcement
Unfairly Confiscates Property (Staff Editorial In Waco, Texas,
'Tribune-Herald,' Says Congress, The Nation's Newspapers
And Civil Libertarians Were Asleep At The Wheel
When Forfeiture Laws Were Changed In 1980s)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 19:48:13 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Forfeiture Law Abused
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John F. Wilson 
Source: Waco Tribune-Herald
Contact: letters@mail.iamerica.net
Fax: 254.757.0302
Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998


Overzealous Law Enforcement Unfairly Confiscates Property

If Congress members were asleep at the wheel when they gave law enforcement
a new crime-fighting tool in the 1980s, then so were the nation's
newspapers, civil libertarians and others who attempt to guard the public
from government abuses.

Few complaints were heard when Congress met the request of law enforcement
officials for a new law to use against powerful mob bosses and drug lords.
Congress and the public understandably wanted to bring down super-rich
organized crime bosses who used their ill-gotten wealth to make a mockery
of the law.

It turns out that the warnings that the law could be easily abused by
overzealous law enforcement were right. Congress needs to correct the
mistake it made when it passed the asset-forfeiture law.

The forfeiture law gave all levels of law enforcement the right to
confiscate the property of suspected drug dealers and other criminals and
keep those seized assets for their own policing uses.

The law was an effective tool in helping police fight organized crime. That
part is good. But the law also gave law enforcement officials at all
levels -- from the FBI to small-town constables -- so much power that it
lured many officers, prosecutors and others in the law enforcement chain
of command into using the law far beyond its original intent.

Police have used the forfeiture law as a way to enrich their departments
with seized property. This has led to law-abiding citizens being victimized
by police.

The forfeiture law gives police the right to seize a person's property
without notice or hearing, based only on a police statement of probable
cause that the property has in some way been involved in a crime. The
ownwer of the property does not have to be charged. But the owner of the
property has the burden of proof to show that the seized property is innocent.

Police have abused the law during traffic stops by saying motorists fit an
unknown profile of a drug smuggler. Even when no drugs are found or
charges filed, citizens have had their cars, cash and assets confiscated.
Travelers have had their cash confiscated after police indicated the money
had been in contact with drugs. Experts say that 70 percent of all U.S.
currency has drug traces.

A Detroit woman's car was confiscated and never returned after police
arrested her husband for having sex with a prostitute in the car's front seat.

In Houston last month, the U.S. attorney's office seized an entire motel --
the Red Carpet Inn -- because it was used by drug dealers even though there
were no allegations that the owners of the business had any involvement in
the crimes.

Republican Rep. Henry Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was
right, when he said the forfeiture law "is wrong, and it must be changed."
The problem is he said that a year ago and the abused law remains

Even With 5,000 PR Flacks On The Payroll, Americans Still Distrust
The Government (News Release From The Libertarian Party In Washington, DC,
Notes A New Poll By The Pew Research Center Shows 66 Percent Of Americans
Who Responded Don't Trust The Government To 'Do The Right Thing
Most Of The Time' - An Improvement From 79 Percent In 1994)

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 22:05:53 -0500
From: vocal (vocal@mint.net)
To: "cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com" (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Release: trust in government
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037

For release: March 13, 1998

Even with 5,000 PR flacks on the payroll,
Americans still distrust the government

WASHINGTON, DC -- Trust in government is on the upswing. So why
are Libertarians cheering?

Because despite a jump in public confidence since 1994, only
34% of Americans trust the federal government, according to a new

"This means that two-thirds of Americans still don't trust the
federal government -- despite a booming economy and 5,000 full-time PR
flacks on the payroll in Washington, DC," said Steve Dasbach, the
Libertarian Party's national chairman.

"Politicians may be overjoyed that they aren't as distrusted as
they used to be. But only in Washington could a 66% disapproval rating
be hailed as good news," he said.

According to a study of 4,000 voters released this week by the
Pew Research Center, 66% of the country doesn't trust the government to
"do the right thing most of the time." That's an improvement over 1994,
when a whopping 79% distrusted the federal government.

"When two out of every three Americans distrust their
government, politicians ought to be hiding in shame, not running for
re-election," said Dasbach.

What accounts for the upturn in trust -- as modest as it may
be? Probably the booming economy, suggested Dasbach.

"People with cash in their pockets and a secure job tend to be
content," he noted. "But the economy is thriving despite the
politicians, not because of them. Let's not forget that this year's
massive $1.73 trillion federal budget has loaded Americans with the
largest tax burden in history."

Another contributing factor in the mini-surge in trust could be
the army of public relations bureaucrats whose job it is to "sell" the
virtues of the federal government, said Dasbach.

"Most people don't realize it, but the federal government runs
one of the largest, ongoing public relations campaigns in the world --
and we're paying for it," he said.

In fact, according to a study by the General Accounting Office,
there are almost 5,000 taxpayer-financed public relations employees on
the federal payroll.

Their job? "To spend our tax money to convince us that the
politicians are doing a good job spending our tax money, so they can
raise our taxes and spend more of our money," said Dasbach. "Obviously,
they're not doing a very good job, since two-thirds of Americans
distrust the product they're selling -- but what do you expect from
government workers?"

Other poll findings:

* 68% of Americans are "frustrated or angry" with government,
and only 29% said they were "basically content."

* 55% said most elected officials are not trustworthy.

* 74% rate government performance as fair or poor overall.

Although polls vary, Dasbach noted, one thing is constant: The
larger government gets, the less Americans trust it.

"Twenty-five years ago, 70% of Americans reported having a lot
of confidence in the federal government," he said. "That number is
nearly reversed today, and no wonder. Americans don't need polls to
realize that we're being forced to pay politicians who lie to us, IRS
agents who harass us, bureaucrats who regulate us -- and government PR
agents who tell us how much we should like it."

The Libertarian Party
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100
voice: 202-333-0008
Washington DC 20037
fax: 202-333-0072

For subscription changes, please mail to announce-request@lp.org with the
word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the subject line -- or use the WWW form.

Marijuana Safer Than Alcohol And Tobacco (Letter To Editor
Of 'Cape Cod Times' In Hyannis, Massachusetts, Describes Two New Studies
Showing That Marijuana Use Is Less Dangerous Than Either Alcohol Or Tobacco
And Doesn't Lead To Harder Drugs Such As Cocaine And Heroin)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 11:36:53 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US MA: PUB LTE: Marijuana Safer Than Alcohol And Tobacco
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Richard D. Elrick, Esq." 
Source: Cape Cod Times
Pubdate: 13 March 1998
Contact: letters@capecodonline.com
FAX: (508) 771-3292
Mail: Letters Editor, Cape Cod Times, 319 Main St., Hyannis MA 02601
Website: http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/


While Newt Gingrich says we should execute marijuana users and President
Clinton believes we should simply incarcerate them all, two new studies
have shown that marijuana use is less dangerous than either alcohol or
tobacco and doesn't lead to harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.

According to the 2/19 issue of the esteemed British magazine, New
Scientist, a recent study by the United Nations World Health Organization
(WHO), confirming findings from previous studies, concluded that marijuana
does less harm to public health than either alcohol or tobacco.
Unfortunately, the study, which was due to appear last December in the
WHO's first report on the effects of marijuana in 15 years, was withdrawn
at the last minute because of political pressure from American drug
officials and advisers for the UN Drug Control Program who were concerned
that the conclusions would support marijuana legalization efforts.

At the same time, a 10 year study by the Center for Drug Research at the
University of Amsterdam showed that in Holland (where marijuana use by
adults has been legal since 1976) there is a lower use by teenagers, not
only of marijuana, but also of heroin and cocaine, than in other European
countries and the U.S., where those drugs are illegal. When you add that to
the recently published results showing Dutch students achieving
substantially higher scores than Americans on math and science tests, one
can only wonder what the Dutch are doing right that we aren't.

The Dutch study makes clear that by decriminalizing marijuana and
separating it from the market place of hard drugs young people are diverted
away from using such drugs as heroin and cocaine.

No one is saying that the use of marijuana is entirely harmless-no drug use
is. But if the results of legalization were as dangerous as our government
and the drug warriors claim, then those dangers would be readily apparent
after 20 years of the Dutch experiment-and they simply are not.

Our drug policy should be designed to reduce the accessibility of drugs by
children and ameliorate the harm caused by drug abuse, not exacerbate it.
By turning our country into the world's largest incarcerator of drug users,
while at the same time having the effect of increasing the quantities,
accessibility and potency of drugs, our present policy only makes the drug
problem worse. Like Alcohol Prohibition before it, marijuana prohibition
has been a colossal failure. In 1996 alone, our state and federal
governments spent several billions of precious tax dollars to make 640,000
marijuana arrests. In light of the new studies, it only seems reasonable to
ask why?


Richard D. Elrick, Esq.
60 Park Street Hyannis, MA 02601

Ex-DEA Budget Analyst Accused Of Stealing $6 Million ('Washington Post'
Elaborates On Yesterday's News)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 13:16:57 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: DEA employee caught stealing 6 million dollars !
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

There is an article similar to this in the HERALD ( sno county)
( letters@heraldnet.com)
This article goes into much more DEAtail
I found this article using www.hotbot.com 's
TOP NEWS STORIES search engine. I found this to be a great engine!

Ex-DEA Budget Analyst Accused of Stealing $6 Million

By Brooke A. Masters
Washington Post Staff Writer ( EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE!)
Friday, March 13, 1998; Page B05

A former Drug Enforcement Administration budget analyst was indicted
yesterday on charges that he stole $6 million from the agency over
seven years, which apparently would be the largest theft ever by a
Justice Department employee.

According to the 74-count indictment, David S. Bowman, 57, of
Arlington, submitted and approved hundreds of fraudulent payment
vouchers to a sham company he created. He used the money to buy and
improve five houses and purchase eight vehicles, Rolex watches,
jewelry and other luxury goods, according to DEA officials.

He also paid medical expenses and sent his children on trips to
England and to spas in Arizona, law enforcement officials said.

"It's the largest inside theft from the Justice Department,"
department spokesman John Russell said. "It's a significant loss, and
it's going to be hard to get a recovery. It's all tied up in assets."

Bowman's attorney, Harvey Volzer, could not be reached for comment. At
Bowman's home on Nottingham Street in North Arlington, a woman
identifying herself as a relative said, "At this time, we are going to
have no comment."

Bowman, who retired in April, is scheduled to be arraigned March 23 in
U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

According to the indictment, Bowman arranged for 679 payments to the
"Finance Liaison Group" to be mailed to a post office box in Rosslyn.

DEA officials said Bowman socked away money by developing inflated
budgets for the administrative programs he managed. Then he told DEA
accounting personnel that the payments "related to a sensitive and
confidential foreign program that prevented him from supplying normal
supporting documentation," the indictment said.

The alleged theft occurred from 1990 to 1996, when it was discovered
during a routine audit by a new employee. She was suspicious that so
many payments, including several on the same day, were being sent to a
post office box, DEA Administrator Thomas A. Constantine said in a

Her concerns prompted a year-long internal investigation and
yesterday's grand jury indictment.

"We are deeply troubled by this whole alleged theft," Constantine's
statement read. "Had many of the managers and personnel responsible
for processing or supervising Bowman's accounts exercised proper care
. . . Bowman's scheme would not have been successful."

Those employees are facing disciplinary proceedings, officials said.

"The American public has a right to expect the highest levels of trust
from its public servants, and DEA is taking every step possible to
ensure there is no repeat of the mistakes uncovered by this
investigation," Constantine said.

The Alexandria grand jury charged Bowman with five counts of mail
fraud, one count of theft of government money, 15 counts of
concealment of money laundering and 53 counts of money laundering.

The money laundering charges stem from the fact that Bowman took the
money that had been paid to his sham company and deposited it in other
bank accounts, including the Department of Justice Credit Union.

If Bowman is convicted, the Justice Department wants him to forfeit
more than $1 million in cash, his two houses in Arlington and eight
cars, the indictment said.

Bowman, who worked at the DEA for 22 years, owns homes in Arlington
assessed at $355,000 and $207,000, tax records show. The indictment
says he bought four Ford Escorts, an Explorer, a Mustang, a Dodge
pickup and a Lincoln Mark VIII.

He also used the money for repaving his driveway and buying stereo
equipment, artwork and furniture, officials said.

"What David Bowman is alleged to have done is reprehensible," William
Simpkins, acting chief inspector of the DEA's Office of Professional
Responsibility, said in a statement.

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Don't Forget The Already Addicted Smokers (Op-Ed By Former US Surgeon General
C. Everett Koop In 'San Mateo County Times' Suggests Tobacco Smokers
Do Not Choose To Smoke And Should Be Treated Like Children)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 14:00:50 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Don't Forget The Already Addicted Smokers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Source: San Mateo County Times (CA)
Author: C. Everett Koop
Contact: feedback@smctimes.com
Pubdate: Friday, 13 Mar 1998


To date, most of the tobacco control efforts of this administration have
focused on preventing young people from taking up smoking. Everyone can
agree that teen-agers and younger children should not smoke. Even the
tobacco in dustry can safely join in that refrain, and frequently does,
with characteristic and clamorous hypocrisy as it turns its marketing
machines loose on the young. But at exactly what age does the plight of
American smokers lose its poignancy?

One-third of teen-agers who experiment casually with cigarettes will become
regular smokers, with one-half of these trying to quit, but failing by age
18. The vast majority of current smokers were hooked in their teens or
earlier. During the '80s, the tobacco industry mounted a public relations
campaign maintaining that smoking was an adult decision." It was a model of
reverse psychology, tempting teens at the same time it offered false
assurance to their elders. The vast majority of smokers are captive to
their addiction, so that most who "decide" to quit cannot - not without
help or years of repeated tries.

If we pretend that adult smoking is a consumer choice like any other, we
fall prey to the trap laid by Big Tobacco. Addiction makes the very notion
of choice moot. Who would freely choose sickness and suffering, lost
productivity or 50 percent chance of premature death? Yet cigarette smokers
of all ages continue to die prematurely at the rate of more than 400,000
per year. if not one single young person started smoking from this day
forward, these losses would still continue unabated for 30 years. Imagine
1,000 jumbo jets emblazoned with Marlboro and Winston and Camel insignia
crashing each year for the next three decades, Should we accept such
dramatic losses as par for the course?

We must not focus our efforts so narrowly on preventing tobacco use by
youth that we send smokers the message that we have abandoned them - that
their addiction is their own fault and that we don't care about them. This
is exactly what the tobacco industry wants them to hear. Forget quitting,
hedge the health bets instead.

Responding to founded fear tobacco companies unleashed so-called "low-tar"
brands in effort to hold on to their smokers and reduce the concerns of the
uninitiated. But in their attempt to avoid becoming yet another statistic,
smokers have only changed the form of their resultant lung cancers from the
squamous cell cancer of the upper lung to the adenocarcinomas of the lower
lung a they inhaled more deeply to extract the nicotine their bodies craved
from such cigarettes. There is an alternative. We can combine tobacco
prevention in tiatives with efforts to ensure that those who are hooked can
obtain effective treatments.

The facts are that quitting smoking at any age reduces the risk of
premature death; current treatments can substantially increase the odds of
quitting. It therefore seems logical that each decision to smoke should
present an equal opportunity not to smoke and an equal opportunity to get
help. The Food and Drug Administration's actions in 1996 to restrict
tobacco marketing to minors and to approve over-the-counter marketing of
nicotine gum and patches for adults were pioneering steps in the right
direction. So are several pieces of congressional legislation currently
under discussion that include provisions for tobacco addiction treatments.

NEVERTHELESS, much remains to be done if our nation is to make tobacco
dependence treatment as acceptable and as readily available as tobacco
itself. We must evaluate and approve potentially life-saving treatments for
tobacco dependence at the level of priority we assign to treatments for
diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Signaling such a course could help
empower the private sector to meet these challenges in a way that will
contribute to the health of our nation in the short and long run. Currently
the dustry is lobbying Congress for its own solution to the needs of
smokers. Under the guise of a newfound concern for the health of their
consumers, these companies want incentives to market products that they
claim will reduce the dangers of smoking. We do not want to stifle
development of such products. Indeed, we should require reduced toxicity of
tobacco products, as we now understand that they are unnecessarily
dangerous and addictive. But such a course should not enable tobacco
companies to undermine our efforts to reduce overall tobacco use by
allowing them to advertise their products with claims such as "low-tar." or
"reduced delivery."

LEGITIMATE concern for the health of tobacco users should balance efforts
to reduce the toxicity of tobacco products with the means to expedite the
development of new treatments for those who are addicted. Under its
existing authorities, including its designation of cigarettes and smokeless
tobacco products as combination drug and device products, the FDA has many
regulatory tools at its disposal to accomplish its goal of reducing the
risk of death and disease in tobacco-addicted Americans. Congressional
legislation that weakens the FDA's authority over tobacco reduces its
ability to serve the public health.

1 strongly encourage any forthcoming congressional legislation or executive
actions to strengthen, if not leave alone, the FDA's authority over
tobacco, and to support the FDA's ability to evaluate new treatments and
treatment approaches in a manner that is consistent with the devastation
wrought by unremitting tobacco use. Moreover, in our battle with Big
Tobacco, we should not hide behind our children. Instead, as we take every
action to save our children from the ravages of tobacco, we should
demonstrate that our commitment to those who are already addicted and to
those who will yet become addicted. will never expire.

C. Everett Koop was surgeon General from 1981 to 1989

Report - Salinas Had Drug Ties ('Associated Press' Cites Article In Today's
'Wall Street Journal' Saying Swiss Authorities Believe They Have Evidence
Proving That Raul Salinas De Gortari, The Jailed Brother
Of Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, Made Tens Of Millions Of Dollars
Working For Colombian Drug Traffickers)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 11:45:24 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Wire: Salinas Had Drug Ties
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998


NEW YORK (AP) -- Swiss authorities believe they have evidence showing the
jailed brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas made tens of
millions of dollars working for Colombian drug traffickers, The Wall Street
Journal reported today.

Raul Salinas de Gortari is imprisoned in Mexico on charges of murder
conspiracy and ``inexplicable enrichment.'' The Swiss began investigating
Salinas in 1995 after freezing $120 million in bank accounts he controlled.

The Journal said the potential evidence against Salinas includes
depositions given by U.S. drug agents, and by Colombian and Mexican
traffickers and financiers, some of whom are jailed in the United States or
participating in the federal witness protection programs.

The witnesses apparently describe Colombian cartels making payments,
scheduling flights and negotiating to recover drug shipments seized by
Mexican officials, the Journal said. Their depositions are being reviewed
by Salinas' lawyers, the paper said.

Sources familiar with the testimony told the Journal that a former
accountant for the Cali, Colombia, drug cartel, testified that $80 million
was paid by the cartel to Mexican politicians between 1990 and 1993, with
about half that money going straight to Raul Salinas.

The Journal's sources said the testimony does not implicate Salinas'
brother, but evidently some witnesses have testified that Colombian drug
lords thought they were buying Raul Salinas' influence on the president.

Raul Salinas has said he accumulated his fortune legally but has admitted
to capitalizing on ``huge opportunities'' available to him as a sibling of
Mexico's president.

Carlos Salinas de Gortari's presidential term ended in 1994 amid his
brother's scandals. He has said repeatedly that he was unfamiliar with his
brother's financial dealings and has not been charged with any crime in

If the Swiss can prove that the frozen money belonging to Raul Salinas is
drug money, they will be entitled to keep it.

Salinas also is being investigated in the United States, Mexico, France and
Britain, the Journal said, and the Swiss evidence could help revive the
American and Mexican probes, which appear stalled.

Commercial Cultivation Of Industrial Hemp Approved In Canada
('Hemp Magazine' Says Health Minister Allan Rock Confirmed Today
That The Regulations Are In Place To Permit The Commercial Cultivation
Of Industrial Hemp For The 1998 Growing Season)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 07:09:14 -0800
From: "John E. Dvorak" (boston.hemp@pobox.com)
To: octa99@crrh.org

jd's note:
Friday the 13th:
nightmare or nirvana?
consider the ramifications. ram the considerations.
visit http://www.marijuananews.com/hemp.htm for your hemp needs.


Commercial Cultivation of Industrial Hemp Approved in Canada

TILLSONBURG - Health Minister Allan Rock confirmed today that the
Regulations are in place to permit the commercial cultivation of
industrial hemp for the 1998 growing season.

The Minister said, "For the first time in 60 years, Canadian farmers who
meet the required provisions can now plan to grow hemp this spring. Because
of the efforts of the Liberal rural caucus and members of the agricultural
community, the development of regulations was given top priority by Health
Canada. This new crop has a tremendous potential for creating new jobs in
agriculture, industry, research and retail."

Industrial hemp can be used to make many products such as paper, textiles,
construction materials, food, rope, twine, plastics and fuel.

Industrial hemp had been banned in Canada since 1938 because, like
marijuana, it is a member of the Cannabis family and contains small
quantities of the same psychoactive ingredient, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol
or THC. Industrial hemp must have not more than 0.3 per cent THC, which
means the active ingredient will be below the level expected to have a
psychoactive effect.

Health Canada will use licences, permits and authorizations to control
activities under the Industrial Hemp Regulations. Importers, exporters,
distributors, growers and processors will be required to apply for and
maintain a licence or permit to carry out any of the activities authorized
under the Regulations. This level of control is necessary to prevent
diversion of Cannabis to the illicit drug market.

More information about the new regulations is available on the Therapeutic
Products Programme web site www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpb-dgps/therapeut.


Attached: Information Sheet on Regulations for the Cultivation of
Industrial Hemp

Également disponible en français
Media Inquiries:
Derek Kent
Minister's Office
(613) 957-0200
Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991



Effective March 12 , 1998, the commercial production (including cultivation)
of industrial hemp is now permitted in Canada, under licences and
authorizations, issued by Health Canada.

Industrial Hemp usually refers to varieties of the Cannabis plant that have
a low content of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and that are generally
cultivated for fibre. Industrial hemp should not be confused with varieties
of Cannabis with a high content of THC which are referred to as marijuana.

The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is THC.

Internationally, Cannabis is regulated by the United Nation's Single
Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Canada has signed and ratified this
Convention. The Controlled Drug and Substance Act (CDSA) came into force
effective May 14, 1997. The Industrial Hemp Regulations to the CDSA will
permit the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in Canada.

The Regulations control the activities relating to importation, exportation,
possession, production, sale, provision, transport, sending, delivering and
offering for sale of industrial hemp.

The Regulations define industrial hemp as the plants and plant parts of the
Cannabis plant, whose leaves and flowering heads do not contain more than
0.3 percent THC. It includes derivatives of the seeds such as oil and
seedcake. It does not include non-viable Cannabis seed, but it includes its

It also does not include the mature stalks or the fibres derived from those
stalks. This means that such fibres or the products made from the mature
cannabis stalk may be imported, treated and sold in Canada.

The Regulations consist of the following components:

* Importers and exporters of industrial hemp, in the form of seed or viable
grain, will be licensed. In addition to holding a licence they will also be
required to obtain a permit for each shipment.

* The importer must ensure that shipments of viable grain are accompanied by
foreign certification. A list will be published by Health Canada indicating
which countries are designated as having equivalent controls on the
production of viable grain. Viable grain may only be imported from listed
countries. This will ensure that viable grain imported will not produce a
plant containing more than 0.3% THC.

* Seed growers will be restricted to a 0.4 hectare minimum plot size and
will be required to demonstrate current membership in the Canadian Seed
Growers Association as part of their licence application. Seed growers will
be required to provide the number of hectares grown in the previous two
years as part of their licence application.

* Plant breeders will not be restricted to minimum plot sizes. Persons
applying for a licence as a plant breeder must be registered with the
Canadian Seed Growers Association and may only cultivate industrial hemp
under this regulatory framework. The pedigreed seed restriction which
applies to growers in the year 2000 does not apply to plant breeders nor
does the limitation to the List of Approved Cultivars.

* Growers for fibre or viable grain will require a licence before they can
purchase seeds from a distributor or cultivate industrial hemp. Growers will
be required to provide the number of hectares grown in the previous two
years as part of their licence application.

* Only approved varieties of industrial hemp seeds, as listed on Health
Canada's List of Approved Cultivars may be planted. Commencing January 1,
2000, only pedigreed seeds of approved varieties may be planted. Growers
will be required to identify their fields, and maintain records of
production and distribution.

* Licences and audit trails will also be required for processing activities
such as pressing seeds into oil. All parties licensed or authorized will be
required to identify a person resident in Canada who will be responsible for
the licensed activities.

* To obtain a licence for the importation, exportation, production or sale
of industrial hemp, applicants will be required to produce a police security

* Derivatives of seed or viable grain, such as oil and seed cake, will be
exempted from the Regulations if there is evidence that the derivatives
contain no more than 10 micrograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per gram
and carry appropriate labelling statements. Products made from derivatives
of seed or viable grain will be exempted if there is evidence that each lot
or batch contains no more than 10 micrograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
per gram.

* Importers and exporters of derivatives will be required to provide proof
with each shipment that the shipment contains no more than 10 micrograms of
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per gram for each lot to ensure that the
product is within the limit. Similarly products made from the derivatives of
seed or viable grain must be accompanied with evidence that each shipment
contains no more than 10 micrograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per gram.

* No person will be permitted to import or export a derivative or a product
produced from a derivative that contains more than 10 micrograms of
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per gram.

* No person will be permitted to import or sell whole plants, including
sprouts or the leaves, flowers or bracts of industrial hemp; or import,
sell, or produce any derivative or any product made from a derivative of
the above.

* Authorizations will be required for transportation, when products are
transported outside the direction or control of a licence holder, or for
possession for the purpose of testing for viability.

* No person shall advertise to imply that a derivative or product is

* Testing for the level of THC in leaves or in derivatives must be done by a
competent laboratory according to standards defined by Health Canada.
Health Canada will continue to issue licenses for approved research studies
related to the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes.

Application Forms and relevant Guidance Documents, aimed at expediting the
review of licences and authorizations for the commercial cultivation of
industrial hemp and also for research licences, are available.

The documents are available from:
Internet: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpb-dgps/therapeut
Section: Hemp
or Jean Peart, Manager, Hemp Project
Bureau of Drug Surveillance
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Address Locator 4103A, 122 Bank Street, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 1B9
Phone: (613) 954-6524 FAX: (613) 952-7738
Internet: jean_peart@hc-sc.gc.ca

Copies of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are available from:

Internet: canada.justice.gc.ca/FTP/EN/Laws/
or Canada Communications Group
Ottawa, Ontario
KlA 0S9
Telephone - (613) 956-4802

For more information about upcoming Wiseman Noble events and Commercial Hemp
magazine, check out our Webpage at http://www.wisenoble.com


Hemp Magazine


Advertising & subscription info:
Richard Tomcala, Publisher

Hemp news & writers wanted!
Contact John E. Dvorak, Managing Editor

Hemp Is Now Legal In Canada (Version From 'Cannabis Canada')

From: creator@hempbc.com (Cannabis Canada)
To: cclist@hempbc.com
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 20:26:18 -0800
Sender: creator@hempbc.com
Reply-To: creator@hempbc.com

By Dan Loehndorf.

Today, in Tillsonburg, Ontario, Health Minister Allan Rock announced new
regulations for hemp farmers. No longer will hemp farmers have to apply
for experimental licenses to grow the fibrous herb. It is now completely
legal ... if you have a permit.

"For the first time in 60 years," said the Health Minister, "Canadian
farmers who meet the required provisions can now plan to grow hemp this
spring. Because of the efforts of the Liberal rural caucus and members
of the agricultural community, the development of regulations was given
top priority by Health Canada. This new crop has a tremendous potential
for creating new jobs in agriculture, industry, research and retail."

As of today, licenses will be commercial, which means that Canadian hemp
can be sold on the open market. With new hemp fibre processing plants in
the works in Canada, buyers can look forward to a drop in the price of
hemp, which should mean an increase in market demand and investment in
all hemp-related industries.

Under the new regulations, hemp farming licenses will continue to be
issued by the Department of Health. The regulations include limited plot
sizes for farmers but not for plant breeders. Farming for seed, farming
for fibre, manufacturing, and importing of seed will all be covered by a
variety of different licensing schemes, making the process
bureaucratically burdened. In addition, farmers will be restricted to
certain strains, as approved by Health Canada, which means that new
strains will have to undergo an approval process.

Still, the legalization of hemp is a huge step forward for Canada.

For more information on regulations or licenses contact Jean Peart at
the Ministry of Health by phone at (613) 954-6524; by fax at (613)
952-7738; or by e-mail at jean_peart@inet.hwc.ca


CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA,
"Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp"


Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info.
Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1
Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.cannabiscanada.com/

Regional Hemp To Get Green Light (Version In Ontario's 'London Free Press')

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Regional hemp to get green light
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 09:15:00 -0800
Newshawk: creator@hempbc.com
Pubdate: March 13, 1998
Source: London Free Press
Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Author: John Hamilton, Free Press Reporter


Health Minister Allan Rock is in Tillsonburg today to announce
regulations that will allow hemp to be grown in Southwestern Ontario fields
this summer.

Rock's announcement marks hemp's return as a commercial crop 60 years
after it was outlawed by the federal government.

London-Fanshawe MP Pat O'Brien and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Rose-Marie Ur
welcomed the move Thursday.

O'Brien said "there's a lot of interest that it has long-term
possibilities and great growth potential as an industry.''

Ur, who helped lobby for the change, said "hemp was a major crop in
Lambton County. With profit margins similar to corn and soybeans, hemp is
environmentally friendly.''

O'Brien said he expects the regulations, to be in place for this year's
growing season, will be strict and "particularly vigilant because the move
was approached cautiously.''

Commercial hemp, a close relative of the marijuana plant which was banned
in 1938, can be used in everything from shirts to paper, rope, carpet,
automotive parts and even coffee.

Advocates of hemp have lauded it as a valuable crop that could produce
jobs and reduce the depletion of forests while opponents have argued it
could be a front for trafficking in marijuana.

At least two companies in the London region have said the move opens the
door to thousands of hectares of hemp being grown in Southwestern Ontario.

Kenex Ltd. of Pain Court in Kent County and Middlesex County-based
Hempline Inc. have said they plan to build processing plants and contract
farmers to grow hemp.

Jean LePrise of Kenex said Thursday the company has a plant near Pain
Court and hopes to contract with up to 50 farmers "using about two thousand

LePrise was among prospective company representatives who met federal
officials in January to review proposed rules for the hemp industry.

LePrise said he has no idea what the regulations may include but hopes
they're refined from those outlined in January.

"The market for hemp looks good in the long term,'' he said. An official
with Hempline couldn't be reached for comment. While Rock's announcement
at Tillsonburg's Annadale House at 4 p.m. today opens the door for
commercial hemp, it's expected there will be tough regulations including
terms to ensure people can't get high from it.

Other regulations are expected to require licences and control growth and

Lynn Harichy, a London woman campaigning for changing marijuana laws to
allow medicinal use, said she'll be in Tillsonburg to push her case to Rock.

"I'm going to try to give him a copy of a letter I already e-mailed to
him. The cause isn't going to go away,'' she said.

Copyright (c) 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media

Canada Lifts Ban On Commercial Hemp Cultivation ('Reuters' Version)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 00:52:48 -0800
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: Chris Clay 
Subject: Reuters: Canada lifts ban on commercial hemp cultivation

March 13, 1998

Canada lifts ban on commercial hemp cultivation

TORONTO, March 13 (Reuters) - A 60-year-old ban on commercial hemp
cultivation in Canada was lifted on Friday, paving the way for the tiny
domestic research industry to transform itself into an international
supplier of the raw material.

"For the first time in 60 years, Canadian farmers who meet the required
provisions can now plan to grow hemp this spring," said Canadian Health
Minister Allan Rock in a statement.

"This new crop has a tremendous potential for creating new jobs in
agriculture, industry, research and retail," Rock said.

Canadian farmers with special research licenses have been producing small
quantities of hemp, a non-potent form of its psychoactive cousin marijuana,
but not for commercial purposes.

Although T-shirts, wallets and other goods made from hemp fiber are
easily available in Canada, most are imported from Europe and from China,
the world's largest hemp producer.

Friday's announcement has the potential to transform Canada's research
industry into a profitable domestic and international supplier of the
versatile material, which can be used in products ranging from rope and
textiles to fuel. The Body Shop recently introduced a skin cream based on
the cannabis plant hemp.

"The government has thrown the challenge back to us to truly develop hemp
as a viable resource in Canada, said Geof Kime, the President of Ontario's
Hempline Inc., whose company broke the hemp growing prohibition in North
America in 1994 after being granted a special growing license.

"We will soon be moving forward into full commercial production and
exporting to the U.S. textile industry," Kime said. "The announcement will
pave the way to allow Canada to become a global leader in the hemp industry."

Kime's company currently farms a mere 10 acres of hemp, a far cry from
the estimated 100,000 acres being cultivated in the European Union in 1998-99.

But Chris Clay, a hemp activist whose court case to also legalize
marijuana is under review, said he believes Canadian production of hemp
will increase quickly.

"Within a few months there will be several hundred farmers growing hemp,
maybe more," said Clay.

Canada OKs Commercial Hemp-Growing ('Associated Press' Version)

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 16:38:33 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: Canada OKs Commercial Hemp-Growing
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: GDaurer
Source: The Associated Press
Pubdate: 13 March 1998


TILLSONBURG, Ontario (AP) - For the first time in 60 years, Canadian
farmers will be allowed to grow hemp this spring.

Health Minister Allan Rock confirmed Friday that commercial cultivation of
hemp will be allowed for the 1998 growing season.

``This new crop has a tremendous potential for creating new jobs in
agriculture, industry, research and retail,'' he said.

Industrial hemp can be used to make many products, including paper,
textiles, construction materials and rope.

It has been banned in Canada since 1938 because it is a member of the
cannabis family and contains the substance - THC - that gives marijuana
smokers their high. However, there is relatively little THC in industrial

Canada's health department will regulate the hemp industry, and those
involved will have to have a permit.

HempBC Owner Charged With Trafficking Because An American With A Gram Said,
'Marc Emery Gave It To Me!' (Cautionary Tale From 'Marijuananews.com')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 16:34:27 -0400 (AST)
Sender: Chris Donald 
From: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Marc Emery busted for trafficking


A Personal Newsletter on the Cannabis Controversies / Date: 03/13/98
[1] Richard Cowan, Editor and Publisher

Hempbc Owner Charged With Trafficking Because An American With A Gram Said,
'Marc Emery Gave It To Me!'

(Ed. note: Perhaps the moral to this story is that if you ever get
caught with anything say, "Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey gave it to me."
Actually, just say NOTHING.)

March 13, 1998

From HempBC
[17] http://www.hempbc.com


Marc Emery will likely be spending tonight (3/12/98) in jail. He is
being charged with trafficking in marijuana, as a result of rather
silly circumstances.

Apparently, an American was crossing the border from Canada into the
US and had a small quantity of hash on him, probably less than a gram.
For some reason he told the customs agents 'Marc Emery gave it to
me!' It seems that's all it takes for Vancouver Police to
lay a charge of trafficking in marijuana, at least against Marc Emery.

Even more frightening, the bail conditions offered to Marc
specifically include that he not be on the 300 block of West Hastings.
That is where Hemp BC, the Cannabis Cafe and the Hemp BC legal
Assistance Centre are all located. This means that Marc would not be
able to visit his former businesses, and would not be able to go to
his lawyer's office in the Hemp BC Legal Assistance Centre.

This is clearly a case of outright police harassment, coming from
pressure from US authorities. Vancouver Police routinely turn a blind
eye to marijuana (and other drugs) being sold openly on Vancouver
streets, so why are they laying a charge based on an insignificant
amount of marijuana, especially when it is from hearsay?

We'll post more information when we have it. In the meantime, we
encourage you to immediately contact the Vancouver Police Department
by phone or email to express your displeasure at this ludicrous charge
and waste of police resources. You can reach the Vancouver police by
email at [18] vp1@city.vancouver.bc.ca or telephone at 604-665-3081.

Gossip Lands Marc Emery In Jail (Version From 'Cannabis Canada')

From: creator@hempbc.com (Cannabis Canada)
To: cclist@hempbc.com
Subject: CC: Marc Emery Goes to Jail for Trafficking
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 20:25:46 -0800
Lines: 49
Sender: creator@hempbc.com
Reply-To: creator@hempbc.com


Unsubstantiated hearsay landed Marc Emery in jail last night. He has
been charged with two counts of trafficking. The only proof police have
is the word of two American tourists, caught at the border crossing with
only a half gram of hash.

The tourists had visited the Cannabis Café on January 17, 1998 when Marc
was there acting as host. He sat at their table and someone took a
picture of the group.

When the tourists were busted at the border, they produced the picture
and claimed that Marc Emery had given them the hash. Despite the tiny
amount involved, the American border guards forwarded the information to
the local Vancouver Police. The police here in Vancouver then somehow
inflated the charges into two counts, one for trafficking in hashish,
and the other for trafficking in marijuana.

Marc Emery voluntarily turned himself in after local police told him
about the warrant for his arrest. After a day in jail, he agreed to the
conditions of bail, which specified that he not visit the 300 Block of
West Hastings, where both his former businesses and his lawyer s office
are located. Apparently, the right to an attorney does not include the
right to visit your attorney s office for legal counselling.

With police rarely arresting people for possession of amounts much
greater than a half gram, it is highly unusual that Mr Emery should be
arrested for two counts of trafficking on an unsubstantiated claim for
such a small amount. With murders and rapes occurring daily in
Vancouver, it would seem that Canadian police have nothing better to do
than act as lackeys for American interests.

"It's about intimidation and trying to bankrupt me," said Marc, with
reference also to recent busts made on his former store, Hemp BC, during
which police seized and damaged stock not even covered on the search
warrant. "I can look forward to more trouble. If they can trump up
charges like this then they can do anything they want."

Charges against Marc Emery are exactly the kind of American-style
drug-war oppression that we in Canada should vehemently protest against.
If I called the police and told them that the mayor had sold me a half
gram of hash would they put him in jail for the night? What if I told
the police that my neighbour was a witch, and pulled out a black candle
as proof?

People should contact the Vancouver Police department at (604) 665-3535
to express their repugnance at the police harassment levelled against
Marc Emery.


CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA,
"Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp"

Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info.
Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1
Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.cannabiscanada.com/

Cans Contain More Than Spinach ('Canadian Press' Notes Customs Police
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Found Nearly 2,000 Kilograms Of Marijuana
Packed Inside Jamaican Spinach Cans Destined For The Toronto Area)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 14:13:28 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: Cans Contain More Than Spinach
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Starr" 
Source: Canadian Press
Pubdate: Friday, March 13, 1998


Popeye could win an Olympic medal in snowboarding after chowing down on
this spinach.

Canada Customs officers in Halifax found nearly 2,000 kilograms of
marijuana packed inside Jamaican spinich cans destined for the Toronto area.

"It's a pretty good method, it's not easy to detect,' said Alonzo MacNeil,
cheif of marine operations for Canada Customs.

The drugs, packed inside 160 cases labelled Calaloo spinich, were
discovered by customs inspectors who target suspect containers coming into
the Port of Halifax.

The cans contained plastic packets stuffed 1,748 kilograms of marijuana and
marijuana oil. They were among 1,275 cases of food and vegetables inside a
marine container from Kingston, Jamaica.

Pot's Not Only Thing That Affects Judgement (Letter To Editor
Of 'Toronto Star' Questions Logic Of WHO Narcotic Drugs Head Tokuo Yoshida,
Who Says That Cannabis 'Must Not Be Used Because It Changes Your Judgement
And Thinking')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:16:41 -0500
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Dave Haans 
Subject: PUB LtE: Pot's not only thing that affects judgement
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: Toronto Star
Pubdate: Friday, March 13, 1998
Page: A21
Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.ca

Pot's not only thing that affects judgement

Re Cannabis 'obvious' threat to health, agency says (Feb 20). The World
Health Organization is now backtracking after a leak of its own report
showed that marijuana is not the demon weed everyone has been fooled into
thinking it is.

Now WHO narcotic drugs head Tokuo Yoshida says that cannabis "must not be
used because it changes your judgement and thinking."

Alcohol changes your judgement and thinking, as does post-secondary
education, spirituality and, as Parliament has been making clear to us with
their silence on the marijuana issue, election to public office. Should we
ban those things as well?

Timothy J. Meehan

The War On Drugs - New Approaches Based On Education,
Especially Reaching Kids With The Facts On Marijuana Use
('Comox Valley Echo' In British Columbia Prints A Sample
Of The Junk Science About Marijuana Being Distributed
In The Name Of Education By Barry Schneider,
Recently Appointed Drug Awareness Coordinator
For Northern Vancouver Island - Newspaper Fails To Note
That People's Willingness To Believe This Sort Of Crap
Decreases With Age And Education)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 06:45:23 -0800 (PST)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: The war on drugs
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: March 10, 1998
Source: Comox Valley Echo (B.C.)
Contact: echo@mars.ark.com

The war on drugs

New approaches based on education, especially reaching kids with
the facts on marijuana use

By Ian Lidster, Echo Staff


Straight facts on marijuana

The following items were released in a paper entitled 'Straight
Facts about Marijuana that every Parent Should Know'.

- THC LEVELS in recent marijuana seizures have been analyzed as
high as 30 per cent, and averages around 15 per cent, compared to
1-2 per cent THC levels in the 1970s.

- The TAR in marijuana cigarettes is 50-100 percent greater than
that of tobacco.

- In marijuana smokers the depth of inhalation is 33 per cent
greater than tobacco smokers and the breath-holding time is four
times greater than tobacco smokers.

- Marijuana contains two powerful CARCINOGENS
(dimethylethylnitrosamine and methylethylnitrosamine): smoking
three to five marijuana cigarettes a week has the same amount
cancer-causing effect as smoking 16 tobacco cigarettes a day for
a week.

- Children exposed to marijuana prenatally have INCREASED
BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS along with decreased visual perception,
language comprehension, attention span and memory.

- Marijuana users are six times more likely to develop
schizophrenia or other MENTAL ILLNESSES than are non-users.

- Among students who use marijuana before age 18, 43 per cent do
on to use COCAINE; under one per cent of non-smokers ever use

- Epidemiological studies suggest marijuana is three to seven
times MORE ADDICTIVE than alcohol.

- The effects of marijuana PERSIST MUCH LONGER than the effects
of alcohol. Using a computerized flight simulator, an experiment
on 10 pilots showed that their ability to land a plane was still
impaired 24 hours after smoking one marijuana cigarette; not one
of them landed it correctly.

- In Canada in 1995, a study of blood samples taken from 1,141
dead or impaired drivers found that marijuana present in 38 per
cent of the persons studied.


"Right now, our focus is presenting kids and their parents and
teachers with the straight facts about marijuana."

So says Barry Schneider, recently appointed Drug Awareness
Coordinator for northern Vancouver Island.

>From his office in the Courtenay Courthouse, Schneider oversees a
territory that stretches from Parkesville to the northern tip of
the Island, and Powell River as well. In other words, the area
covered by E Division of the RCMP.

While Schneider is a 20 year veteran of the RCMP and has for 11
years worked in drug enforcement, he takes his new position very
seriously and confesses to have put a lot of heart into it.

"The problem is, if we took at drugs just from the point of
enforcement, then we fail," he says.

"When we were concentrating just on enforcement, the drug problem
got worse, rather than better. We're hoping that education will
be the way to make it better. Because it is such a scourge in

Schneider says he actively lobbied for the position, feeling he
could bring some positive attitudes and genuine care to the

In that, he said, all those involved in Drug Awareness endeavor
to thoroughly follow the mission statement which is as follows;

"The mission of the E Division Drug Awareness Unit is to prevent
substance abuse and related crime by developing police and
community partnerships to plan and implement proactive strategies
and effective initiatives in our schools, our communities and the

In following that mission statement, Schneider says, Drug
Awareness is working in conjunction with such groups as
Aboriginal Shield, Drugs & Sports, Drugs & the Workplace and PACE
(Police Assisting Community Education).

The concept of Drug Awareness Coordinators, Schneider says, grew
out of the 1987 federal National Drug Strategy. Phase II of the
strategy focuses on both demand and supply reduction as being
critical to success, and the role of the coordinators is to deal
with "demand reduction through education."

One of the biggest problems we face, Schneider says, "Especially
in dealing with young people, is who are they to believe? There
are so many mixed messages out there, and there is also a great
deal of irresponsibility by adults who should know better."

He cites the recent Rebagliati incident as a prime example of,
where a great many untruths were unleashed in the name of
marijuana legalization.

"Rebagliati lost his medal because of pot, it's as simple as
that," Schneider says. "But, then all the legalization advocates
who come forth tend to forget children, and what sort of
information they're leaving them with."

Most frustrating, Schneider says, is the "sheer ignorance" people
have about marijuana.

"People are woefully ignorant of the THC levels of today's
marijuana," he says. "Pot today is so strong it doesn't really
relate to the substance people were familiar with in the 1960s
and '70s. The comparison between new pot and the old stuff, is
like comparing the pain-killing properties of heroin and aspirin.
In essence, we are now dealing with a totally different drug."

Much street pot today, as opposed to the old home-grown stuff,
comes from "grow shows", the inside grown, so-called hydroponic
marijuana, he says.

Equally distressing, Schneider says, is the advocacy of marijuana
to relieve certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma.

"The truth is there is a gamut of medicines to relieve glaucoma
that are infinitely preferable to suggestive involvement with a
highly addictive substance," he says. "Advocating marijuana to
relieve glaucoma as akin to a doctor prescribing smoking as a
means to weight loss."

The most satisfying aspect of his job, Schneider says, is working
with kids in school; some as young as 10 or 11. There he feels
they can make the most effective inroads in changing attitudes.
He notes that most children are pretty antagonistic towards
tobacco smoking. Bearing that in mind, he brings out posters from
old magazine advertisements of the 1940s and '50s. One shows
Santa Claus with a cigarette in his mouth.

"Of course, the kids thank that's just a hoot, for Santa to be
smoking," Schneider says. "But I point out to them, that ad came
from before we knew what we now know about the health hazards of
smoking cigarettes, so it was perfectly acceptable for Santa to
smoke. Then I point out what we know about marijuana from what we
know before. Our main message to them about drugs, including
alcohol and tobacco, is if you don't start, you don't have to

In dealing with the young, Schneider says they give major concern
to up to the minute research on 'gateway drugs.'

"We consider alcohol and tobacco to be gateway drugs - that is,
substances that, by loosening the resolve of young people, point
the way towards more serious drugs. Marijuana is, of course, a
huge gateway drug. We no longer say that marijuana use
automatically leads to harder drugs, but what we do point out is
that if you smoke pot there is an 85 per cent chance you will try
cocaine. remember, no addict went directly from clean to heroin.
There were steps along the way, steps that involved using other

One argument mounted is that marijuana is a relatively safe drug,
especially considering the fact that it is impossible to OD on

That, says Schneider, is quite true. But, because nobody can OD
on pot, does not mean that people don't die from its abuse all
the time, either through accidents while impaired, being involved
in crime to pay for the habit, or moving on to harder drugs.

"That argument has about as validity as saying nobody dies from
tobacco," says Schneider. "True, nobody dies from tobacco, but
they die from cancer, heart disease and many other health
problems that relate directly to tobacco use."

Another area of concern, Schneider says, is the area of drugs in
the workplace; much more common than many might think.

"If you employ people, you employ drug users, Schneider says. "We
push for employee assistance programs and employers should have a
black and white drug policy."

Drugs and sports, including the use of steroids is also one of
great concern, and there education must be involved in pulling no
punches with the susceptible young about what steroids can do.

In the end, Schneider says, it comes down to the maxim: drugs
aren't dangerous because they are illegal. They're illegal
because they're dangerous.

War On Drugs (Staff Editorial In British Columbia's 'Comox Valley Echo'
Praises New Canadian Drug Education Project That Will 'Dispel Misinformation
By Providing Honest And Non-Judgmental Information' - But The Editors
Take This To Mean The Project Will Convince Young People Of The Maxim,
Drugs Aren't Dangerous Because They Are Illegal, They're Illegal
Because They're Dangerous)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 06:45:33 -0800 (PST)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: Editorial: War on drugs
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: March 13, 1998
Source: Comox Valley Echo (B.C.)
Contact: echo@mars.ark.com

Editorial - War on drugs

Probably no single issue has been as badly handled by our legal
system as illicit drugs. The so-called 'war on drugs' in recent
years has not only failed in attempting to stem the tide, it has
also opened the floodgates on misinformation.

Every hack advocate of legalization or decriminalization can ever
so easily trot nonsense to spew before the young and the gullible
because the system, in perpetuating its own information has left
itself wide open.

Hopefully the manner in which the legal arm of the state - police
courts, etc. - approaches the matter of drug use has finally
taken a positive turn. The North Island's new Drug Awareness
Coordinator, Barry Schneider, openly admits that when drugs were
approached from purely an enforcement point-of-view, the problem
got worse.

The key to any solution, in the philosophy of this federal
project, is education. Dispel misinformation by providing honest
and non-judgmental 'information'. In other words, convince the
young people of the maxim: drugs aren't dangerous because they
are illegal; they're illegal because they're dangerous.

And if drugs aren't dangerous and aren't addictive, and this
includes marijuana, why are there people out there having a very
difficult time quitting? Why is there such an organization as
Marijuana Anonymous?

Re - The War On Drugs (Letter Sent To Editor Of 'Comox Valley Echo'
Says It's An Irresponsible Parent Who Begins And Ends Their Drug Education
With A Police 'Fact' Sheet - Drugs Are Not Illegal Because They Are Dangerous -
The More Dangerous The Drug, The Less Sense It Makes To Hire Biker Gangs
To Distribute Them To Anyone Of Any Age Anywhere Anytime -
Drugs Are Illegal Because Our Political Leaders, Out Of Fear,
Lack The Political Will To Implement The Recommendations Of Every Major Study
On Drug Policy And Properly Regulate Them)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Sent: The war on drugs
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 10:53:42 -0800

To the editor,

I was infuriated by your article of March 10, (The war on drugs). Going to
the police for "facts" about drugs is worse than seeing a judge about a
heart condition because the judge's livelihood does not depend on the
perpetuation of heart disease. It is an irresponsible parent who begins and
ends their drug education with a police "fact" sheet. For starters, I
recommend Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts : A Review of the Scientific
Evidence by Lynn Zimmer, Associate Professor of Sociology, Queens College
and John P. Morgan, Professor of Pharmacology, City University of New York
Medical School. See http://www.marijuanafacts.org/

What I find most disturbing is the exploitation of parental fears and
protective instincts to perpetuate a failed policy which has put prison
construction and ineffective law enforcement policies ahead of shrinking
school budgets. A failed policy that encourages criminals to sell drugs on
commission in our schools. A failed policy that has overcrowded our prisons
and courthouses to the point where chronic drunk drivers and sexual
predators are being released back into society to make room for non-violent
drug law offenders.

When drug "awareness" programs over-emphasize the dangers of cannabis, a
"relatively harmless", non-addictive medicinal herb that has been safely
used for over 5000 years, it undermines my efforts to warn my children
about far more destructive drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

Slogans, maxims, fear and ignorance are parental cop-outs and no answer to
complex health and social problems. Drugs are not illegal because they are
dangerous. The more dangerous the drug, the less it makes sense to hire
biker gangs to distribute them to anyone of any age anywhere anytime. Drugs
are illegal because our political leaders, out of fear of loosing the votes
of well-meaning but hysterical parents, lack the political will to
implement the recommendations of every major study on drug policy and
properly regulate them.

Matthew M. Elrod
Phone: 250-[867-5309]
4493 [No Thru] Rd.
Email: creator@islandnet.com
Victoria, B.C.

I Smoked Pot And It Did Me No Harm Says Tory (Britain's 'Daily Mail'
Says David Prior, 43, A Tory Member Of Parliament Whose Father Served
As A Cabinet Minister, Came Out Publicly After A Survey Indicated
That One In Five Of The New Members Of Parliament Had Used Cannabis,
And 65 Percent Of New MPs Were In Favour Of A Royal Commission
To Look Into Legalising It)

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: Daily Mail ART: I smoked pot and it did me no harm says Tory
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 01:45:39 +0000
Source : UK Daily Mail
Author: Andrew Sparrow
Pub Date: 13 March 1998
Subject : ART: I smoked pot and it did me no harm says Tory
Contact : letters@dailymail.co.uk

I smoked pot and it did me no harm says Tory

A Tory MP admitted yesterday that he had smoked cannabis as a young man and
claimed it had done him no harm.

David Prior, 43, whose father James served as a Cabinet Minister came out
publicly after a survey indicated that one in five of the new intake of MPs
had used drugs.

The same poll for a TV program showed 65% of new MPs were in favour of a
Royal Commission to look into legalising cannabis.

Mr Prior said: "One of the problems about having a rational discussion about
drugs is that a lot of people have got so many preconceptions. Often they
are wrong. A huge number of people are exposed to drugs who are completely
conventional, like myself."

But his views contrasted sharpely with Jack Straw who has been opposed to
drugs since his student days.

Although many MPs in his own party privately believe that cannabis should be
decriminalised, The Home Secretary said he had not seen "any good reason"
for agreeing with them.

"If we decriminalise (soft) drugs, there would be a huge, massive increase
in consumption", he said.

Mr Straw added: "Governments set up Royal Commissions when they are
uncertain what to do about something."

"We are not uncertain about this."

Mr Prior, the MP for North Norfolk, admitted that he smoked cannabis for a
few years during his early twenties.

Asked why he had owned up, he told Radio 4's The World this Weekend: "I
could not honestly live with myself talking about drugs if I did not admit
to people that I had taken them myself."

Mr Prior said he did not know enough about the medical effects to say
whether cannabis should be legalised.

Should Drugs Be Legalised? (Three Letters To The Editor
Of Britain's 'Daily Mail' Weigh The Imagined Perils Of A Regulated Market
Versus The Real Peril Of The Current Black Market)

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: UK Daily Mail Friday 13 March :LTE : Should drugs be legalised?
Cc: editor@mapinc.org, mape@legalize.org, press@drugtext.nl
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 01:45:32 +0000
Source : UK Daily Mail
Pub Date: 13 March 1998
Subject : LTE Should drugs be legalised?
Contact : letters@dailymail.co.uk

Should drugs be legalised?



How would those who wish to legalise drugs prevent reputable companies from
pushing them to increase their markets and profits?

We've seen how tobacco companies upped nicotine. Dare we give any
profit-linked company like these a licence to print money?

E.A.Henry, Doncaster


I cannot understand ex-Scotland Yard head Edward Ellison saying drugs should
be legalised (Mail). People are at last beginning to realise how even mild
drug-taking can effect performances at work, driving, education and can have
long-term medical effects.

Allowing drugs virtually to be sold on our supermarket shelves at a fraction
of the cost they now are, would leave us with a drug-infested society... and
all its consequent dangers.

Surely education and persuasion would be better ways of solving the drugs
problem than passive permission or decriminalisation, which would be
tantamount to encouraging users.

A.E.Parry, Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire



Until two years ago, my son had been hooked on drugs for 20 years and the
misery we all went through is unimaginable to anyone who has never been in
this situation. My husband and I used to dread the phone ringing in case it
was the police to say he had been arrested yet again.

He stole from us, and lied and cheated to get money for his drugs. We
pleaded with him, to no avail because a drug users thinks only of his next fix.
He married and has two lovely sons but presents we bought for them were sold
by him. We sent money when asked to, knowing if we didn't there would be no
food on the table for our grandsons.

Thankfully the third prison sentence worked for our son; other inmates told
him he didn't know how lucky he was that his family had stood by him. If
drugs are legalised it may help reduce the misery and dispair families like
us have to endure. Drugs are highly addictive and it takes great strength
of character to wean yourself off them. Pushers and suppliers make money
out of users while everyone else has to pay.

Name and address supplied.


CLCIA On-Line Bookshop :
= safe and secure purchase through Amazon.com


Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA)
Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html
CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia/clcia.html
e-mail : webbooks@paston.co.uk Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780
"The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law."


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

Head Claims Pupils, 12, Are Hitting The Bottle ('The Scotsman'
Says The Headteacher Of Alva Academy In Clackmannanshire, Scotland,
Has Written To Parents Asking For Their Help In His Battle
Against Under-Age Drinking After Pupils As Young As 12
Turned Up For Class With Hangovers)

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 08:00:36 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Head Claims Pupils, 12, Are Hitting The Bottle
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Friday, 13 March 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Author: Ed Johnson
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


A HEADTEACHER has written to parents asking for their help in his battle
against under-age drinking after pupils as young as 12 turned up for class
with hangovers.

Ian Lamont, rector of Alva Academy in Clackmannanshire, claims youngsters
are buying large quantities of alcohol regularly.

He is urging parents to help the school to tackle the problem head-on,
before it wrecks the community.

Mr Lamont said yesterday the issue of under-age drinking was as worrying as
other forms of drug abuse. "I had discussions with the school board, who
shared my concern that there are a considerable number of youngsters,
possibly pupils at the school, drinking, particularly at the weekends.

"After the discussions, I was delegated to bring it to the attention of
parents and suggest that they be vigilant with regard to the matter."

He refused to discuss precise drink-related incidents involving pupils, but
suggested youngsters had missed school because of drinking at the weekend
or had turned up with hangovers.

"We have seen pupils the worse for wear and have seen them quite ill, and
not able to come to school," he explained.

Mr Lamont said the letter had already prompted a positive reaction from
parents and particularly senior pupils, who agreed with him that younger
and younger children were found to be drinking.

He said: "It seems to be moving down the age spiral quite significantly. I
have had a number of parents thanking me for raising the issue.

"The school is concerned. Youngsters have enough difficulty to contend
with, and it is important we are seen to be supporting them."

Keith Brown, a local councillor, said yesterday that there was a
significant problem in the area because of under age drinking and
drug-taking. Despite closed-circuit television cameras and an almost
blanket ban on the public consumption of alcohol in Clackmannanshire,
youths continued to flout the law.

r Brown said he had received numerous complaints from residents about the
behaviour of youths in the town.

He explained: "There is rowdiness in the streets at the weekend and it is
not tangibly changing despite the new bylaws banning public drinking. It is
a problem, and I would support the rector's action if he has done it in
conjunction with the police.

"The rector is very proactive and is very dedicated. It is largely due to
his efforts that the school is doing well."

The school - which has 1,200 pupils aged 12 to 18 - is one of three state
secondary schools in Clackmannanshire, and has a reputation for strong
academic results.

Clackmannanshire Council yesterday welcomed the rector's stance and said
both the school and the local authority had a social responsibility to face
up to the issue.

But the director of education, Keir Bloomer, insisted the problem was not
unique to Clackmannanshire. He said: "Under age drinking is a national

"The council does have a general social responsibility and we want to try
to help families with problems of this kind."

The Scottish Council for Alcohol also welcomed the initiative.

A spokeswoman said: "Many parents take the attitude that as long as their
children are not taking drugs it is OK. But alcohol is the major issue and
people have to wake up to that."

According to a national study entitled Young Teenagers and Alcohol in
Scotland 1996, 14 per cent of 12-15 year olds admitted drinking alcohol in

By 1996 that figure had risen to 23 per cent, with those taking alcohol
drinking significantly more than youngsters ten years earlier.

Shaping The Drug Policies Of A Country Known For Its Liberal Approach
(The American 'Chronicle Of Higher Education' Examines Dutch Drug Policies
And The Strategy Of Harm Reduction)

Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 11:54:46 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Shaping the Drug Policies
of a Country Known for Its Liberal Approach
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Website: http://www.chronicle.com/
Pubdate: 13 Mar 1998
Section: International
Author: Burton Bollag



At the Green House coffee shop, you can buy marijuana and hashish in little
plastic bags for $12 at the bar. Or you can get a joint from the
wall-mounted "Reefer" dispensing machine. Across the street, the Laughing
Pope shop sells "organic drugs" -- psychedelic mushrooms and two dozen
varieties of cannabis. It's all legal.

With his shoulder-length hair and baggy cotton pants, Peter Blanken looks
at home in this Haight-Ashbury-ish neighborhood in the Netherlands'
second-biggest city. In fact, he runs an unusual research project, which
gathers data on the city's hard-drug subculture in its native setting. He
works for the Addiction Research Institute of Rotterdam, a cooperative
effort of Erasmus University, the city health service, and two foundations.

A tall man with tousled black hair rides by on an old bicycle. His name is
Sjaak, pronounced like "Jacques." He sees Mr. Blanken and stops. Is there
any work for him?

"Not yet," Mr. Blanken answers.

Sjaak, who has been using heroin and amphetamines for years, performs paid
fieldwork for Mr. Blanken. "He's a really good fieldworker," the researcher
says. "He picks up on all the methodological things that are important to
us, like the random choice of subjects, and why we pose questions in a
certain way."

Through its research and advocacy, the Addiction Research Institute plays
an important role in shaping drug policies in a nation known -- and often
criticized -- for its liberal drug laws. In 1976, the parliament authorized
coffee shops like the Green House to sell marijuana as a way to separate
that market from the one for hard drugs, such as heroin and amphetamines,
which cannot be legally sold here. Dutch researchers say the policy has
worked: Hard-drug use in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in Europe;
marijuana use is average.

The Dutch are stubbornly proud of their unique, pragmatic approach. But for
researchers like Mr. Blanken, convincing other nations of the wisdom of
that approach is a constant battle. Other European countries are angry with
the Netherlands. France in particular has pressured Dutch officials to
conform to the more hard-line approach toward drugs that is common
elsewhere in Europe. Paris wants the Hague to close the drug-selling coffee
shops, as well as drop-in centers where addicts can bring their heroin and
shoot up with clean needles under the watchful eye of a doctor or nurse.

Dutch policy also stresses prevention and the reduction of harm.
Information on the dangers of drugs is provided at schools, discotheques,
and at "rave" dances, where the drug Ecstasy is part of the culture. After
several European rave-dancers took a fatal combination of drugs and
alcohol, some of the events here have included mini-laboratories, where
dancers can find out whether their drugs have been adulterated with
dangerous substances.

Rotterdam has been a leader among Dutch cities in experimenting with
unconventional remedies to drug abuse. The research project directed by Mr.
Blanken, which began in 1994, gathers data on drug use and addicts. It
tracks their health problems and determines whether they hold jobs or
support their habits by stealing. Among other things, information collected
by fieldworkers like Sjaak has helped to show that treatment programs
offering one-on-one counseling are the most successful.

Rotterdam also tolerates so-called "house dealers" -- heroin sellers who
operate out of their homes. In exchange, they must make sure their clients
use clean hypodermic needles to prevent the spread of AIDS, and don't cause
a nuisance in the neighborhood.

With a growing number of foreign addicts passing through, however, the
police in recent years have shut down some house dealers and drop-in
centers. One unintended side effect of the closures, Mr. Blanken says, has
been an increase in infections among addicts.

The Addiction Research Institute and its staff of 15 occupy a white-brick
townhouse across the street from a small canal bordered by birches and
weeping willows. Mr. Blanken joined the institute, as an alternative to
military service, more than a decade ago. He has also worked for the
University of Amsterdam's drug-abuse center, which emphasizes clinical
research. One of his current duties is lecturing medical students on drug
abuse. "They're not very interested," he concedes. "Most dream of becoming
famous heart surgeons or brain surgeons."

The institute's director, Henk F.L. Garretsen, is a professor of addiction
on the Erasmus medical faculty, as well as head of health promotion for the
city health service. He argues that the research shows that Dutch hard-drug
users face far fewer health problems and are less likely to become involved
in drug-related crime than are users elsewhere.

"Our prime minister put the research results on the table of the French
president," he says, barely concealing his outrage. "You can show all the
research you want. They don't want to listen."

What most worries France, says Paul Lafargue, a toxicologist who serves as
the French government's national drug expert, is "drug tourism" -- young
French people visit several Dutch coffee shops, buy a small quantity of
marijuana in each one, and then resell it in France. "We demand that
Holland follow a policy that doesn't cause problems in neighboring states,"
he says.

Yet he applauds the Netherlands for its extensive efforts to counsel users
and educate young people about the risks of drugs. "We haven't been very
good at that in France," where police interceptions have been the thrust of
national policy, he says. "But we're moving toward a middle way."

At the same time, the constant criticism from France and other European
countries is having some effect here. The Netherlands recently reduced the
quantity of marijuana and hashish that can be sold in coffee shops from 30
grams to 5 grams per customer. It is also considering reducing the number
of coffee shops allowed to sell marijuana.

The "drug tourism" that the French complain about irritates the Dutch, too.
In some drug-selling neighborhoods here, local residents have overturned
parked cars with foreign license plates.

Outside the Green House coffee shop, night has fallen, and it's getting
cold. At the nearby St. Paul's Church, drug addicts with time on their
hands congregate in a warm lounge, waiting for the evening's free meal.

A visitor who sees their drawn faces can't help but wonder whether Mr.
Blanken's opinions about drug policy would change if his own daughter, who
is 5 years old, one day wanted to use drugs.

He answers without hesitating. "I'd talk to her about the good and bad
effects of different drugs, about the risks of compulsive behavior, about
the importance of the circumstances in which you consume the drug."

And if she were underage? "I'd discourage her very strongly from using any
drugs. But if she insisted, I'd encourage her to do it in a relaxed, normal
setting -- at home, with friends, not at a bar.

"It's better finding a constructive way to cope," he says. "Simply
prohibiting often doesn't work."

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 33 (News Summary For Activists,
From The Drug Reform Coordination Network - Original Articles Include -
President's Advisory Commission On AIDS To Meet Next Week -
Action On Needle Exchange To Be Debated; A Conversation With Robert Fogel,
Member Of The President's Advisory Council On AIDS;
And Editorial By Adam J. Smith, 'Americans, The Drug War,
And The Concept Of Rights')

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 13:20:55 EST
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (manager@drcnet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drc-natl@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #33



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wake of last year's talk of resignations, the call goes
up for a strong stance by commissioners.

ADVISORY COMMISSION ON AIDS: What actions will the
commission take in the face of the administration's
inaction on the federal ban?

doing all they can to thwart the implementation of Prop.
215... On Tuesday, March 24, the opening day of the
federal lawsuit against the buyers' clubs, Californians
will march in protest.

MARIJUANA: The people send a message to the

MARIJUANA: A "Sense of the House" resolution opposing
medical mj, and efforts to legalize it, heads to the
floor -- here's a chance to tell them what you think!

further militarization of the Drug War.



"RIGHT" TO USE DRUGS: Also... see this week's editorial.

10. HOUSE OF LORDS TO STUDY CANNABIS: The debate is taken
up at the highest levels of the British government.

LONDON: Brits to take to the streets to call for reform.

12. EDITORIAL: Americans, the Drug War, and the concept of



A bill which would have changed Colorado state law to allow
legal syringe exchange has been killed in committee in the
House on Monday (3/9). SB 99, which passed the through the
Senate last week, was rejected by the House Education,
Welfare and Institutions committee 7-4 in a vote which went
straight party line with all 7 committee Republicans voting
against. More than 50 witnesses offered more than 4 hours
of testimony in what was described as a very emotional and
combative hearing.

Stu Van Maveren, Larimer County District Attorney testified
against the bill saying "One of the deterrents (to IV drug
use) is the fear of spread of disease. If you have clean
needles, that fear is gone." Those testifying in favor
included Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, who told the
committee that he had observed such programs elsewhere and
"there is no downside here... You have the opportunity to
save lives."

(Van Maveren's comment is revealing about the prohibitionist
mindset. He is in effect saying that drug users should gets
AIDS and die -- and that the government should facilitate
this by banning syringe exchange -- in order to discourage
the use of drugs. - DB)

The desire of Denver city officials to institute an exchange
program was a catalyst for the inception of the bill.
Several months ago, Denver's city council voted in favor of
needle exchange, with the caveat that they would not
institute a program until and unless the state law
prohibiting them was changed. The city of Boulder has had
needle exchange for ten years -- it is believed to have been
the third such program in the nation at the time of its
founding -- albeit the program still technically runs
illegally. Boulder county officials have long allowed the
program to operate.

Monday's hearing came in the wake of threats made by State
GOP Chairman Steve Curtis that any House Republican who
voted in favor of the "un-Republican" bill would face party-
funded opposition in their next primary. Curtis was roundly
criticized for those comments by some GOPers, including
State Senator Dave Wattenberg, a rancher, who called Curtis
a "silly son-of-a-bitch". Whether or not the threat had any
bearing on the vote is impossible to determine.

In the wake of the defeat of SB 99, AIDS-prevention
professionals in Denver have vowed to do whatever is
necessary to make clean syringes available to IV drug users
in that city. Paul Simons, Executive Director of People
Engaged in Education and Reduction Strategies (PEERS) told
The Week Online: "We have spoken with Bill Ritter (Denver's
DA) who testified in favor of the bill, and, while he
supports exchange, he has indicated that he will uphold the
law as it stands. We intend, in the very near future, to
sit down with the Mayor's staff to try and work out a
compromise similar to what they have done in Boulder. If
those talks are not fruitful, we'll have no choice but to
expand syringe exchange in Denver this spring in an act of
civil disobedience."

Simons continued: "We have a statute on the books in
Colorado which allows for a "lesser of evils" defense.
There are people in Denver -- thousands of people -- who
will be at serious risk of contracting AIDS, hepatitis and
other blood-borne diseases unless they have access to
sterile syringes. We're confident that with all of the
scientific evidence that is on our side, we would prevail in
such a situation. The problem in this state is that there
are a bunch of ideologues in the legislature who would be
quite content to pay the bills for those dying of AIDS,
whether that be for drug users, their partners, or their
children, and to watch them die, rather than acknowledge
that the facts don't jibe with their politics. It is
horrifying, it is pathetic, and we are not going to stand
for it."

Articles in Colorado's largest newspapers covering the
needle exchange defeat can be read online at
http://www.denverpost.com/news/leg173.htm and
Letters to the editors can be submitted to
letters@denverpost.com (Denver Post) and letters@denver-
rmn.com (Rocky Mountain News). Be sure to and include your
full name, home town and daytime phone number. Listings for
many other Colorado newspapers online can be found by doing
a Yahoo search on "Colorado media" and following the links.

Important stats on drug-related AIDS in Colorado can be
found online at http://www.drcnet.org/AIDS/co_ban.html.



For four days beginning on Sunday (3/15), the President's
Commission on AIDS will meet at the Madison Hotel in
ashington DC. The meeting is expected to focus heavily on
the continued federal ban on the use of AIDS-prevention
funding for syringe exchange. Last year it was revealed
that members of the commission had introduced -- and
subsequently withdrawn -- a resolution threatening the
resignation of commission members if no action was taken to
lift the ban. At their last meeting in December, the
council passed a resolution calling on Secretary of Health
and Human Services Donna Shalala to formulate a plan for the
lifting of the ban. That plan was to have been ready by
this past January 27, the date of the President's State of
the Union Address. As of this time, no such plan has been

The National Coalition to Save Lives Now (NCSLN) is pressing
the council to take strong action at their meeting this
week. Among their demands are that the Council either pass
a resolution stating that they will resign, or else publicly
call for Shalala's resignation. Chris Lanier, NCSLN's
national coordinator, told The week Online, "We are aware
that some members of the Council are angry with us for
publicly demanding that they act. But the reality is that
from our perspective they should have walked two years ago.
Even taking the step of calling for Secretary Shalala's
resignation deflects from the main issue. That is, the
Council is in essence part of the administration, and the
administration, by its inaction on this issue, has allowed
people to become infected with a deadly but preventable
virus. Hopefully, the Council will use the opportunity of
this meeting to take action which is both public and



The Week Online spoke with Robert Fogel, partner in the law
firm of Hilfman and Fogel, and a member of the President's
Advisory Council on AIDS, about the upcoming meeting in
Washington, and the possibility that the Council will take
action to put pressure on the administration to lift the ban
on the use of federal AIDS dollars for syringe exchange

WOL: In the wake of the Council's demand last year that
Secretary Shalala make the required determination that
Needle Exchange Programs (NEP's) prevent AIDS transmission
without increasing drug use, and that she produce a plan for
the funding of such programs -- neither of which she has
done -- there seems to be some pressure for the Council to
take action. What do you see as the potential outcome of
this upcoming meeting in Washington?

RF: Well, all of us who are fighting to have the federal
ban lifted have been frustrated. And while I understand and
feel the frustrations of those who are calling for us to
resign immediately, it is unlikely that that will happen at
this time. At our meeting last July, Ben Schatz (Executive
Director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and
member of the Council) brought up the fact that on the issue
of discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS in
certain areas, he was being stonewalled by the
administration. Now, this was an issue that the President
had told us that he would address. At that point, I
considered the position that we had been facing regarding
the needle exchange ban, and I said, "Well, if we're going
to come together and sit in Atlanta, or in Washington, and
do this work and make our recommendations, just to be
ignored, then I move that we resign en masse. And somebody
seconded it. And that was a watershed, I think, in the
Council's work. Ultimately someone else asked that we
withdraw the resolution, and we did. Ultimately, the story
got out and it was picked up by the AP, and it did become an
issue of concern within the administration. Since that
time, we have seen a lot of progress on the discrimination
issues, but none, of course, on needle exchange.

Once you resolve to resign over an issue, it is truly an
end-game strategy. There are steps, short of resigning
ourselves, that might better be taken at this time. This is
a life and death issue, and I, for one, am certainly aware
of that. But there is a question of how to convey to the
administration that this shouldn't be a political issue, and
when and how we can best get that across. We are pretty
determined, as a group, to see action taken by the
administration, but there is, I think, a logical and
strategic process to be followed.

WOL: And what would those intermediate steps entail?

RF: I think that it is quite possible, after meeting with
the Council and speaking to administration representatives,
that we would determine that it is time to call for the
resignation of Secretary Shalala. It would have to be a
resolution that was short and direct, to the effect that as
the Secretary has failed to follow through on the stated
intent of the President to do all that he can to reduce the
transmission of HIV down to zero, that it is our
recommendation that she step down. I'm not saying that this
will necessarily happen, mind you, but proposing such a
resolution is something that I'm sure will be brought up.

WOL: Do you feel that the President has played politics
with this issue?

RF: I do feel that the issue is politically charged, no
doubt, but I also see this President as someone who has not
been afraid to anger people who disagree with him. I have a
lot of respect for him in that to me, it seems as if he has
done what he feels is right for the country. Of course,
he's also a political creature, so that does have some
bearing on his actions. But I think that he simply needs to
be told that this is the right thing to do, why it is the
right thing to do, and how to make it politically palatable.
Allowing federal AIDS dollars to be used to fund NEP's does
not make one "soft on drugs". In the end, I have confidence
that he'll do the right thing.

WOL: So then what is your assessment of why it hasn't been
done to this point?

RF: There are certainly people within the administration
who have taken the position that it's politically
unnecessary to lift the ban... that it will be used as a
political issue and that if local governments want to do
this then they can find the funding to do it. There are
also those who are totally opposed to the idea
ideologically, regardless of the politics. The other side
is that there are people in the White House, including
Sandra Thurman, the national AIDS Director, who are pushing
very hard for the ban to be lifted. As I said, I think it's
going to be a matter of presenting the what's and why's to
this President.

WOL: So is there a line in the sand that the council will

RF: Certainly. I don't want to give the impression that
the Council is not committed to getting the ban lifted,
because we are. My sense is that this issue is very much on
the President's front burner right now. We will meet in
Washington this week, and if it sounds like things are
coming to a head, if we're satisfied that the question is
not if but only when, then I think that we'll look at that.
But that doesn't mean that we're willing to wait forever.
Even now there is the possibility that a decision will be
made to call for the secretary's resignation this week.
Look, what we want is an answer. If the President says "no"
than it's no longer the secretary's fault, right? So why
call for her resignation? But the President hasn't said
anything, so as of now it's still the Secretary's
responsibility. At this point, she could get up on a soap
box and support needle exchange, and then let the White
House say no if they choose. We could go from there. Right
now we are simply being put off and ignored, and that is not
going to be acceptable.

The Council is very serious about this issue. I think that
there was a window of opportunity to get this done right
after the '96 election, and that the opportunity was wasted.
And if we move forward strongly this week, and come June at
our next meeting nothing's been done, and we get the
response that "well the congressional races are coming up --
there are political concerns," that certainly won't be
acceptable. We've heard that too many times before. That
kind of response will only serve to temper our willingness
to accept rhetoric as fact, and I think that at that point
there would be a real possibility of resignations by Council

WOL: So you would, ultimately, resign over this issue?

RF: You know, several people on the Council have said that
they're not sure that needle exchange, or at least the
federal ban, is an issue that they are willing to resign
over. To them, I've said that it's not just a matter of
needle exchange, it's about the development of a strategy, a
cohesive plan on prevention. And at this point, at the
federal level, that plan still doesn't exist. Needle
exchange, we know, is an effective part of such a plan, and
one which reaches a very vulnerable and very hard to get at
population. So needle exchange has become a litmus test for
something much larger. It comes down to creating a
strategy, to heeding the advice of the experts you have
brought in.

At the White House Conference on AIDS, the president stood
there and pledged to do "whatever is necessary" to get HIV
transmissions to zero. We all walked out of that conference
extremely happy, he said he'd do whatever it took. Well,
this president has been criticized in the past for taking a
"one speech" approach to problems. In other words, he gives
one great speech but there's no follow through. This time,
there was terrific follow through. Shalala attended a bunch
of regional AIDS conferences, they seemed really engaged.
But now, looking back, the follow-up was just rhetorical.
Sure, there's more money now, but prevention got the
smallest increase. Well, if you're not going to spend on
prevention, of course your costs and spending will increase
for drugs and treatment. But that doesn't constitute a
substantive commitment to deal with a preventable,
contagious disease like AIDS.

WOL: Have you spoken, recently, to other Council members
about resigning?

RF: Absolutely. I think that the most persuasive
perspective that I've heard from a fellow Council member
about resigning at this time is that given the choice
between tendering our own resignations or calling for
Shalala's resignation, why should we be the ones? I mean,
we're actually doing our job. At the same time, I have
heard people say that it is better to remain on the inside,
almost at all costs. But to me, there comes a point where
having people on the inside, complaining but not acting,
gives an excuse to stick with the status quo, as if there's
some process that is taking place. And in the end, I'm not
willing to play that part for anybody.

(DRCNet's interview last October with AIDS Council member
Alexander Robinson can be read online at



(bulletin from California NORML)

Rally to Stop the Federal Veto of Prop 215!
Defend Safe Access to Medical Marijuana.

Tuesday March 24 -- 11 AM March from Harvey Milk Memorial
Rainbow Flag Pole (Castro and Market) to Federal Building.
12 Noon Rally at Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate (at Polk)


In November 1996, Californians elected to give seriously ill
patients the right to use marijuana as medicine by approving
Prop. 215. Now, the federal government -- and posturing
politicians -- are trying to take that right away.

On March 24th, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco will
hear a federal lawsuit aimed at closing six medical
marijuana cooperatives or "clubs" in San Francisco, Oakland,
Santa Cruz, Marin and Mendocino. Most patients have had to
rely on the growing network of medicinal cannabis
cooperatives, some of which predate passage of Prop. 215.
But this is just the latest step in the Federal war against
215. The time has come for the federal government to
declare a legal truce, halt its mindless war on California's
medical marijuana patients and providers, and attend to
building the safe and affordable distribution system called
for in Prop. 215.

The defense brief in the federal case to shut down
California's medical marijuana dispensaries is posted at the
California NORML web site: http://www.norml.org/canorml.

(See our current California legislative action alert at



Results of an online poll released this week (3/12) show
that of 25,000 respondents, over 96% favored the
legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Fewer
than 1,000 respondents voted no. Keith Stroup, Executive
Director of the National Organization for Reform of
Marijuana Laws said that "Every poll that has been taken on
this issue shows that a solid majority of Americans do not
want sick and dying people to risk arrest for choosing to
treat their symptoms or their pain with marijuana. Medical
marijuana is a primary example of an issue where the people
are way out in front of the politicians."



(Excerpted with permission of the National Organization for
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), http://www.norml.org)

March 10, 1998, Washington, DC: The House of
Representatives will likely vote Tuesday, March 17, on a
"Sense of the House Resolution" stating that "marijuana is a
dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for
medical use." House Resolution 372 -- spearheaded by Rep.
Bill McCollum (R-FL), chair of the Crime Subcommittee of the
House Judiciary Committee -- further declares that "the
United States House of Representatives is unequivocally
opposed to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and urges
the defeat of state initiatives which would seek to legalize
marijuana [as a medicine.]". The Crime Subcommittee and
full Judiciary Committee previously voted to adopt the
resolution on February 24 and March 2.


The full House will likely take this resolution up for
consideration next Tuesday, March 17. Please contact your
members of Congress today and urge them to oppose House
Resolution 372, and to support H.R. 1782, a bill introduced
by Rep. Frank to reschedule marijuana to under federal law
to allow the legal use of marijuana as a medicine. House
Bill 1782 is currently pending in the House Commerce
Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Environment.
For help in identifying the name of your member of Congress,
please visit the NORML web site at: http://www.norml.org/.
Interested parties may send a free fax to Congress from the
NORML site. To call the House of Representatives directly,
please contact the Congressional switchboard operator at:
(202) 224-3121 or address mail to: Rep. _______, House of
Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.

For more information, please contact either NORML Executive
Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. or Paul Armentano @ (202)



HB 2596 in Oklahoma would allow the governor to order the
Oklahoma National Guard to assist law enforcement officers
in drug matters. National guard members would have to
volunteer for the duty, which could take them beyond
Oklahoma's boundaries. Once assigned to duty under the
bill, National Guard members would be on federally funded
status and could be helping federal, state or local law
enforcement agencies. The bill has passed the House and is
awaiting committee assignment in the state Senate.


- Marc Brandl for DRCNet

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to sign legislation
into law that would allow unlimited and unannounced drug
testing of all employees and ease restrictions on pre-
employment testing. The bill introduced by state senator
Steve King (R-Kiron) passed Wednesday March 4th in a
partisan vote.

Opponents of the measure were organized labor and civil
libertarians, who fear unlimited and unannounced drug
testing is an invasion of privacy that is ripe for abuse.

Supporters say the bill, once it becomes law, will be a step
forward in creating a safer workplace. They also contend
existing laws will protect anyone who is legitimately being
harassed by drug tests. James Aipperspach, President of the
Iowa Association of Business and Industry, a vocal supporter
of new drug testing laws, told the Des Moines Register, "I
hope this bill will encourage people to step forward and ask
their employers, 'Would you help me with my problem?'"

Some language of the bill involving a reporting requirement
is causing concerns for local drug reform advocates. The
bill calls for the laboratory doing the drug testing for
firms to report annually to state authorities on the results
of the tests. Carl E. Olsen of Iowa NORML told The Week
Online, "Iowa NORML is still developing its position. The
reporting requirement needs to be looked at, it may be a
fourth amendment violation. If it were not for that factor,
we wouldn't have any grounds to oppose the bill."

Drug testing bills such as this one land in the gray area
for many drug reformers of the libertarian persuasion, who
believe that while such testing may be repulsive to some, as
long as the testing occurs between two private parties,
government has no right to get involved. Many then have to
look at the fine print to see what role government oversight
and law enforcement will have. (Most reformers would
consider drug testing a poor choice, apart from the legal

Other provisions of the bill allows for employers with under
fifty workers to not pay for drug rehabilitation. All
businesses may require workers who test positive for drugs
to enter a drug treatment program or fire them.



In a call-in poll conducted by BBC Radio 1, which caters to
a young listening audience, the question was asked, "should
people have the right to take drugs?" responses were taken
over 5 days (3/2 - 3/6), and over 20,000 people cast their
votes. Before each call-in prompt aired by the station, the
announcer advised, "If you think you should be allowed to do
whatever you like with your mind or body providing it hurts
no one else, you should vote Yes. If you believe we need to
keep the current laws in place in order to protect us, vote
No." In the end, 84% were in favor of the rights of
individuals to dictate what does and what does not enter
their bodies.



Last week (3/4) Britain's House of Lords announced that the
Lords Committee on Science will conduct a study on the risks
involved in the use of cannabis, both medically and
recreationally. Issues to be addressed will include the
physiological and psychological effects of cannabis use,
variance among these effects with different methods of
administration, whether or not cannabis is addictive, and
the extent of tolerance that develops among users.

Lord Perry, former Professor of pharmacology and founding
vice-chancellor of the Open University told the Independent
on Sunday "The recreational use of alcohol and tobacco are
attached by risks. There is no ban on either at the moment.
The question then arises, at what level of risk should
people be allowed to make their own judgment about whether
they're prepared to take that risk? It's a question of
whether the risks that are obtained in evidence are regarded
as sufficient to warrant a government ban, or whether they
are risks that individuals might be expected to take for
themselves -- like tobacco, like alcohol... like coffee,
like tea. They're all drugs that have risks."



The raging debate over cannabis policy in the UK will take
to the streets on March 28th when a crowd expected to be in
the hundreds of thousands -- at least -- marches through the
heart of London to protest the continued Prohibitionist
policies of the British government. The Campaign to
Legalize Cannabis, begun just six months ago by The
Independent on Sunday newspaper, has taken the UK by storm,
with prominent citizens and business leaders publicly
voicing support.

This week (3/8) the Independent called its growing
constituency to the streets in an editorial beginning:

"It is time to stand up and be counted. For the past six
months the Independent on Sunday has led the debate on
decriminalizing cannabis. Now it is time to turn words into
people power. We want the thousands who have already signed
our petition to join countless others who believe the
Government's war against cannabis is harming our society, to
join us in London."

Dr. John P. Morgan of the New York Medical School and co-
author of the new book, "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts"
told the Independent, "This is marvelous news. I cannot
conceive of a demonstration like this in America just now.
I wish you success. The eyes of the western democracies are
upon you."

Visit the Independent on Sunday's Cannabis Campaign web site
at: http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm.


12. EDITORIAL: Americans, the Drug War, and the concept of

Should people have the right to take drugs? This was the
question asked last week in a call-in poll conducted by
BBC-1 radio in England, a station which caters to young
people. In other words, does an individual have the right
to decide what does or does not enter his or her body, or
does the government have the right to institute laws which
prohibit the ingestion of certain substances? Certainly, a
call-in poll is something less than scientific. Despite
that, with over 20,000 respondents, the results were
astounding. In the end, 84% of mostly young Britons claimed
that the right to determine what they did or did not ingest
was their own and not the government's.

Flash back 200 years or so. Wasn't it Britain, and the
British conception of the reach and the role of government
which led to that little backlash called the Constitution?
Interesting how times have changed. Ask your average
American, young or old, if he or she has a "right" to ingest
drugs, and you will likely get a blank stare. The thought
would never have occurred to them. The Drug War, amidst all
of its other harms, has turned the concept of rights on its
head in America.

It wasn't always this way. In the early part of this
century, when the temperance movement was gaining political
ground, it was widely understood that the Constitution, as
written, would not support an exercise of governmental power
over the production or sale of alcoholic beverages. To
achieve a legal Prohibition of alcohol therefore required
the most drastic of legislative acts: the amendment of the
Constitution. Even at that, it was never imagined that the
government had the power to prohibit the consumption of
alcohol, or of anything else, by its citizens, and so such
consumption was never outlawed.

The Drug War does not rest on a constitutional amendment.
And yet over the years, little by little, the laws which
governed the production, importation and distribution of
certain substances grew to include their possession and even
ingestion. Until now, if you ask the average American
whether or not he or she has the "right" to take drugs, they
will likely think that you've taken a few too many yourself.

But is it so crazy? Is it unreasonable to think that there
exists such a right? The calculus changes if one begins to
look at rights as they were intended. Your rights as an
American -- as a human being -- are not limited to those
enumerated in the Constitution. No, the Constitution is a
document which was written for the purpose of spelling out
the rights, or more accurately the limits, of government.
So the question is really somewhat different.

The question that needs to be asked is: "Does the government
-- any government -- have the legitimate power to determine
for an individual what that person may consensually ingest?"
How far, exactly, does the power of government extend?
Alexander Shulgin, renowned chemist, author and researcher
into the nature and effects of psychedelic substances,
argued that it extends only so far as the tip of his nose
and no further when he said, "from the skin in, I am the
sovereign. I am the customs agent, the police and the
border patrol, and I will defend these borders with more
passion and more fury than I will the politically-drawn
borders of any nation-state."

Is that radical? Does the belief that one's own body -- and
that which would be knowingly put into it -- is the province
of the individual rather than the state mark one as some
kind of militant anti-societalist? Does such individualism
make one a danger, a renegade, a thought-criminal? Or is it
possible that the government, our government, the leadership
of the land of the free, has so encroached on our personal
sovereignty through the medium of the Drug War as to have
incrementally but significantly changed the boundaries of
the acceptable perception of freedom itself? Do I have a
right to do that which the state has determined is not in my
best interest? To smoke tobacco? To overeat? To skydive?
To handle poisonous snakes? To ingest psychotropic

In the eighteenth century, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander
Hamilton, John Adams, these were radical men. They believed
in the rights of individuals and the strictly limited powers
of legitimate government. Further, they knew that
maintaining those rights and those limits would be a never-
ending process, with government always seeking -- whether
beneficently or malevolently -- to increase its reach into
the lives of its citizens. But radical as they were, those
men were right.

Today, 84% of the young Brits who call in to a radio station
believe that they have the right to determine for themselves
what they will or will not ingest. Or, rather, that the
government has no legitimate power to dictate such personal
decisions by the use of force. They have taken the radical
view that from the skin in, they are the sovereign. And
they seem ready and determined to protect their borders.
200-and-some years after a group of revolutionaries
denounced the Crown and drew up a blueprint for the freedom
and liberty of a nation, the progeny of the colonialists
have found that their former subjects were right all along.
Ask almost any British teenager and you'll apparently find
that they have a very good conception of the self evident
rights of individuals. But ask an American, any American,
whether or not they are sovereign over themselves, and
you'll likely find that in the land of the free, the
citizens are subjects once again.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director












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