------------------------------------------------------------------- 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) PDXS PO Box 10046 Portland, OR 97296 Tel. (503) 224-7316 http://www.pdxs.com/ Letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. *** [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." *** [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 invasion. 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 [publisher]
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com DRUG SMUGGLER SENTENCED TO 20-YEAR TERM The Statesman Journal Salem, Oregon 3-13-98 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 Wednesday. 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 attempt. 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 Asia.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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)Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:30:16 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: URGENT: First ever congressional vote on medicinal marijuana To: MPPupdates@igc.org *** URGENT: PLEASE ACT NOW *** 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 following: * "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 ... http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html Then, use it to get the name of your U.S. representative ... http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html 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. *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: 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 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Charles Rollins Jr) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: AMR Alaska update Hello, 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 Marijuana. See Ya Chuck
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Cases,_mapnews Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Chris Clay http://www.hempnation.com/ Source: Las Vegas 'Sun' Pubdate: March 13, 1998 Author: Cy Ryan, Sun Capital Bureau Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/ PETITION FILED TO ALLOW USE OF MARIJUANA IN MEDICAL CASES CARSON CITY -- A petition was filed Friday to amend the Nevada Constitution allowing the use of marijuana to relieve those who suffer from painful diseases. "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 problems. 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 purposes. 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 initiative. 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 petition. 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 healthier." 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen" Source: The Des Moines Register Author: Thomas A. Fogarty Pubdate: Friday, March 13, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Webform: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ SENATE OKS BILL TARGETING DRUG-USING MOTORISTS 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 rely. 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 abuse. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WI: 'Cocaine Mom' Says She Failed Drug Test Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Author: Lisa Sink of the Journal Sentinel staff Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ 'COCAINE MOM' SAYS SHE FAILED DRUG TEST '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 bars. 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 county. 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: email@example.com Newshawk: John F. Wilson Source: Waco Tribune-Herald Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 254.757.0302 Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 FORFEITURE LAW ABUSED 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 unchanged.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 (email@example.com) To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - Release: trust in government Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY 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 survey. "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 http://www.lp.org/ 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100 voice: 202-333-0008 Washington DC 20037 fax: 202-333-0072 For subscription changes, please mail to email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Richard D. Elrick, Esq." Source: Cape Cod Times Pubdate: 13 March 1998 Contact: email@example.com FAX: (508) 771-3292 Mail: Letters Editor, Cape Cod Times, 319 Main St., Hyannis MA 02601 Website: http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/ "MARIJUANA SAFER THAN ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO" 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? Sincerely, Richard D. Elrick, Esq. 60 Park Street Hyannis, MA 02601 1.508.775.4984
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: DEA employee caught stealing 6 million dollars ! Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org There is an article similar to this in the HERALD ( sno county) ( email@example.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 statement. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Author: C. Everett Koop Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Friday, 13 Mar 1998 DON'T FORGET THE ALREADY ADDICTED SMOKERS 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Kevin Zeese Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 REPORT: SALINAS HAD DRUG TIES 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 Mexico. 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" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CANNABIS CANADA jd's note: Friday the 13th: CANNABIS CULTIVATION IN CANADA IS KOSHER! 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 INFORMATION March 1998 COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP 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 derivatives. 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 check. * 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 psychoactive. * 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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 713-523-3199 Hemp news & writers wanted! Contact John E. Dvorak, Managing Editor email@example.com http://www.marijuananews.com/hemp.htm 617-254-HEMP
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Is Now Legal In Canada (Version From 'Cannabis Canada') From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Canada) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: HEMP NOW LEGAL IN CANADA Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 20:26:18 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com HEMP IS NOW LEGAL IN CANADA 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 firstname.lastname@example.org *** 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Regional hemp to get green light Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 09:15:00 -0800 Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: March 13, 1998 Source: London Free Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: John Hamilton, Free Press Reporter REGIONAL HEMP CROP TO GET GREEN LIGHT 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 acres." 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 storage. 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 Corporation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canada Lifts Ban On Commercial Hemp Cultivation ('Reuters' Version) Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 00:52:48 -0800 To: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: GDaurer Source: The Associated Press Pubdate: 13 March 1998 CANADA OKS COMMERCIAL HEMP-GROWING 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 hemp. 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: email@example.com Subject: Marc Emery busted for trafficking http://www.marijuananews.com A Personal Newsletter on the Cannabis Controversies / Date: 03/13/98  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  http://www.hempbc.com MARC EMERY CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING 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  firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 604-665-3081.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gossip Lands Marc Emery In Jail (Version From 'Cannabis Canada') From: email@example.com (Cannabis Canada) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: Marc Emery Goes to Jail for Trafficking Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 20:25:46 -0800 Lines: 49 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org GOSSIP LANDS MARC EMERY IN JAIL 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: email@example.com Newshawk: "Starr" Source: Canadian Press Pubdate: Friday, March 13, 1998 HALIFAX - CANS CONTAIN MORE THAN SPINACH 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Toronto
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Randell) Subject: The war on drugs Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: March 10, 1998 Source: Comox Valley Echo (B.C.) Contact: email@example.com The war on drugs New approaches based on education, especially reaching kids with the facts on marijuana use By Ian Lidster, Echo Staff (BOX) 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 cocaine. - 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. (END OF BOX) "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 society." Schneider says he actively lobbied for the position, feeling he could bring some positive attitudes and genuine care to the problem. 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 workplace." 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 quit." 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 drugs." One argument mounted is that marijuana is a relatively safe drug, especially considering the fact that it is impossible to OD on pot. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Alan Randell) Subject: Editorial: War on drugs Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: March 13, 1998 Source: Comox Valley Echo (B.C.) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Victoria, B.C. V9C-3Y1
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (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 : firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CLCIA) Subject: UK Daily Mail Friday 13 March :LTE : Should drugs be legalised? Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org Should drugs be legalised? *** AGAINST 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 *** FOR 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 : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/webhome.html = 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 : email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Friday, 13 March 1998 Source: The Scotsman Author: Ed Johnson Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com HEAD CLAIMS PUPILS, 12, ARE HITTING THE BOTTLE 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 problem." "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 1990. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Shaping the Drug Policies of a Country Known for Its Liberal Approach Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Website: http://www.chronicle.com/ Pubdate: 13 Mar 1998 Section: International Author: Burton Bollag SHAPING THE DRUG POLICIES OF A COUNTRY KNOWN FOR ITS LIBERAL APPROACH ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS 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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: DRCNet (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #33 THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE #33 -- MARCH 13, 1998 --- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -- (To sign off this list, mailto:email@example.com with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) To our subscribers: DRCNet is still trying to meet our goals for paid membership by the end of March. While new subscriptions are pouring in at a record pace, the service is free, and we depend upon those of you who are reading and enjoying The Week Online, and receiving Alerts, to support this important work. We are looking for 90 new paying members by the end of the month, to reach our goal. If you have not yet sent in your $25 annual membership, please do so this week. You can send checks to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. You can also make a credit card donation via our secure membership form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html, or call your it in to (202) 293-8340 or fax to (202) 293-8344. Copies of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts are still available free to anyone who donates $30 or more to DRCNet. Please note that contributions to DRCNet are not tax- deductible. If you wish to make a tax deductible donation, please contact us at email@example.com, or call us and we will tell you how to do so. *** TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. COLORADO: NEEDLE EXCHANGE KILLED IN COMMITTEE -- ACTIVISTS VOW CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IF NECESSARY http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#coloradonep 2. PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COMMISSION ON AIDS TO MEET NEXT WEEK -- ACTION ON NEEDLE EXCHANGE TO BE DEBATED: In the wake of last year's talk of resignations, the call goes up for a strong stance by commissioners. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#aidscommission 3. A CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT FOGEL, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COMMISSION ON AIDS: What actions will the commission take in the face of the administration's inaction on the federal ban? http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#robertfogel 4. MEDICAL MARIJUANA RALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO: The Feds are 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. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#medmjrally 5. CNN ONLINE POLL -- 96% FAVOR LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The people send a message to the politicians. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#cnnpoll 6. SPECIAL LEGISATIVE ALERT -- CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY! HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO DEBATE THE MEDICAL USE OF 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! http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#housebill 7. BILL IN OKLAHOMA WOULD ALLOW THE GOVERNOR TO CALL OUT THE NATIONAL GUARD IN DRUG CASES: A step toward the further militarization of the Drug War. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#oklahomaguard 8. NEW DRUG TESTING BILL APPROVED IN IOWA LEGISLATURE http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#iowadrugtest SPECIAL: CANNABIS LEGALIZATION DEBATE IN BRITAIN COMES TO A BOIL -- THREE STORIES 9. IN RADIO CALL-IN POLL, 84% OF YOUNG BRITS CLAIM A "RIGHT" TO USE DRUGS: Also... see this week's editorial. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#ukpoll 10. HOUSE OF LORDS TO STUDY CANNABIS: The debate is taken up at the highest levels of the British government. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#houseoflords 11. MASSIVE CANNABIS LEGALIZATION MARCH TO BE HELD IN LONDON: Brits to take to the streets to call for reform. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#ukmarch 12. EDITORIAL: Americans, the Drug War, and the concept of rights. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#editorial *** 1. COLORADO: NEEDLE EXCHANGE KILLED IN COMMITTEE -- ACTIVISTS VOW CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IF NECESSARY 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 http://InsideDenver.com/extra/legislature/0310need2.html. Letters to the editors can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org (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. *** 2. PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COMMISSION ON AIDS TO MEET NEXT WEEK -- ACTION ON NEEDLE EXCHANGE TO BE DEBATED 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 presented. 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 severe." *** 3. A CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT FOGEL, MEMBER OF THE PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COUNCIL ON AIDS 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 programs. 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 draw? 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 members. 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 http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/10-11-1.html#interview.) *** 4. MEDICAL MARIJUANA RALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO (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) Background: 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 http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-4-2.html.) *** 5. CNN ONLINE POLL -- 96% FAVOR LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA 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." *** 6. SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE ALERT -- CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY! HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO DEBATE THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA (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. VOTE ON THE HOUSE FLOOR 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) 483-5500. *** 7. BILL IN OKLAHOMA WOULD ALLOW THE GOVERNOR TO CALL OUT THE GUARD IN DRUG CASES 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. *** 8. NEW DRUG TESTING BILL APPROVED IN IOWA LEGISLATURE - 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 issues.) 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. *** 9. POLL: 84% OF YOUNG BRITS CLAIM A "RIGHT" TO USE DRUGS 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. *** 10. BRITISH HOUSE OF LORDS TO STUDY CANNABIS 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." *** 11. MASSIVE CANNABIS LEGALIZATION MARCH TO BE HELD IN LONDON 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 rights. 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 substances? 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. 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