Portland NORML News - Monday, March 16, 1998

Marijuana Task Force Protesters Attacked (Bulletin
From American Antiprohibition League In Portland Notes The Weekly Protest
Against The Task Force 4-6 PM Friday Was Disrupted By A Man
Who Left The Justice Center Building, Ripped Up Copies Of PDXS,
Then Tried To Assault A Photographer Who Was Documenting His Provocations)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 01:07:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (aal@inetarena.com)
To: Mayor Vera Katz (mayorkatz@ci.portland.or.us)
cc: Portland Police -- CW Jensen (OfficerJensen@kgw.com),
PPB (police@teleport.com)
Subject: MTF Protesters Attacked


Sponsors of the

Drug War, or Drug Peace?




As of Monday, March 16, 1998

Peaceful demonstrators attacked, PDX/s newspapers destroyed
Protesters pray for peace on steps of downtown "Justice" center
Local press & media blackout

Portland, Oregon -- An unknown assailant emerged from the Multnomah
County "Justice" center around 5 p.m. Friday, he crossed (jaywalked)
S.W. 3rd Ave. and walked directly up to a small table which had several
pieces of literature, including the Portland newspaper PDX/s, placed
upon it. The literature was being offered in conjunction with the
League's & Portland NORML's weekly "Protest and speak-out" against the
Marijuana Task Force.

The current issue of PDX/s (www.pdxs.com) which was on the table,
contains a hard-hitting article questioning several points related to
the recent MTF/Steven Dons fiasco. The article, written by PDX/s
Editor and Publisher Jim Redden, has the courage to ask what no other
paper or journalist in this town appears willing to ask: was
Steven Dons murdered by police to cover-up the MTF's blotched drug raid
on his Southeast Portland home on Jan. 27, and as revenge for the death
of police officer Colleen Waible who Dons allegedly shot and killed in
that raid? It's been reported that Dons committed suicide, while in
police custody, confined to a hospital bed and paralyzed from the waist

At any rate, this unknown person took one of the newspapers, looked
through it quickly, then proceeded to rip it into shreds as he walked
back across the street. He stopped halfway, turned around then walked
back to the table - shouting obscenities and acting in a physically
threatening manner towards several of the peaceful, yet by now angry,
protesters - quickly he grasped the remaining copies of PDX/s (about 15
or 20) and again tore the paper up throwing it on the street as he went
back towards the center entrance.

Again he stopped in the middle of the road. At that point League
volunteer photographer Paul MacAdams was able to snap several pictures
of the man (mid to late 30s, brow hair/eyes, 180 - 190lb., 5'9" - 6').
This further enraged him and he took after Mr. MacAdams. Several of
the protesters formed a human wall around MacAdams, the assailant then
backed off. Although it seemed pointless but certainly justified,
MacAdams wanted to call the police and have this hooligan arrested so
he went across the street (in the crosswalk with the light) into the
center and called 911. A few moments later police arrived (it should
be noted the police bureau is in the same building) and the assailant,
lingering in the shadows of the center's breezeway, was pointed out to
them. He made no attempt to elude the police and calmly walked over to
them when beckoned.

It did not appear this was the first time these officers had contact
with this individual. After a brief interview, out of hearing
distance, the police did nothing and just left. He remained in the
area, glaring at the protesters who by now were concluding their action
by joining hands, forming a prayer circle and observing a moment of
silence for ALL victims of this insane drug war. The man remained in
the breezeway and caused no further disruption.

Agent provocateur or just a wacko? We'll probably never know for

At any rate our supporters must remember the primary goal here is to
stop the MTF, then prove they are not needed. The mayor is the only
elected official who has the power to do that. At this point, as she
told the Pacific Party recently, she claims "no choice." But she does
have the choice and it's obvious she's made it and sticking to it. No
matter how much it cost, in lives, rights, or taxes. Despite an
"independent" investigation now under way, the MTF is back to
conducting 'knock & talk' visits. It's only a matter of time until the
next fatal MTF mistake. The only question is who will be the next


Petition text:

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

To inform the Mayor of your support for this petition please call her
at 503-823-4120.

To those supporters in and around Portland please come to the next
Friday protest and speak-out, bring some friends. We may not make the
news but we can still make some noise. In grass-roots politics we must
play the numbers game, numbers are our bottom-line. So now it's time
to put your bottom on that line with the rest of us.

Let's fill that park block this week!



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


Note: Portland area volunteers are needed to make phone calls. Please
email or call 235-4524 if interested.

Signature Count (Paul Loney, A Chief Petitioner
For The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative Campaign,
Notes OCTA Has Collected 20,135 Signatures So Far)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:36:18 -0800
To: octa99@crrh.org
From: blc@hevanet.com (Belmont Law Center)
Subject: Signature count

As of 16 March 1998, we have 20,135 signatures counted and stored. Thanks
and Praises. Please gather signatures and turn in the filled sheets that you

Paul L

Federal Threat To Proposition 215 To Draw Patients From Across California
To March and Rally In San Francisco March 24
(Bulletin From Communication Works In San Francisco Says A Broad Coalition
Of Patients, Religious Leaders And Political Officials
Will Protest The Federal Lawsuit Attempting To Close
Six Northern California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries)

From: "D. Paul Stanford" 
To: "'Restore Hemp!'" 
Subject: Broad coalition fights feds interference on Medical Marijuana
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 08:27:08 -0800
Organization: CRRH 
Sender: owner-hemp@efn.org

March 16, 1998

Federal Threat to 215 to Draw Patients From Across State to March and Rally
in San Francisco

By Michael Schelenberger
Communication Works
San Francisco CA

Patients, Religious Leaders and Political Officials to Pray, March and
Rally in Defense of Safe Access: Tuesday, March 24

SAN FRANCISCO - In a dramatic showdown between federal law and states
rights, medical marijuana patients, religious leaders, and political
officials from across California will converge in San Francisco on Tuesday,
March 24, to protest a federal lawsuit that threatens to close six major
dispensaries that provide marijuana to more than 11,000 sick and dying

"The federal government must realize the grave results of providing no
alternative source for legal marijuana: either patients will resort to
street dealing and use or will be deprived of a recognized and effective
medical treatment," said San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom, who will
speak at the rally. "I join the efforts of those opposed to this
ill-conceived backlash."

On March 24, medical marijuana advocates have planned a series of public
events to coincide with the first hearing in the U.S. suit filed against
six cannabis patient clubs in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and in
Marin and Mendocino counties. Medical marijuana supporters, including 65
patients bussed in from Los Angeles, will march from the heart of the
Castro District to the U.S. Federal Court House downtown. A press
conference featuring passionate testimony and speeches by a doctors,
patients, and local politicians will be held on the court house steps
urging safe access to medical marijuana.

Since California voters approved an initiative allowing marijuana for
medical use in 1996, local and state authorities - many of whom have worked
with community groups to implement safe medical marijuana distribution
systems for the seriously ill - have repeatedly locked horns with the
Clinton administration. The federal government has sought to permanently
squelch cannabis dispensaries on the grounds that their operations violate
federal drug laws, but has offered no alternative distribution system.
Caught in the crossfire are suffering and dying people who depend on
marijuana to treat deadly illnesses like AIDS and cancer.

"While much is uncertain about how marijuana will be legally supplied, one
thing is abundantly clear: Thousands of seriously ill and disabled
Californians will be put in grave peril if these non-profit community-based
programs are closed," said Scott Imler, Co-Chair of the California
Conference of Medical Cannabis Providers. Imler's group is organizing the
March 24 events, along with the Medical Marijuana Patients and Caregivers
Fund, and the D.C.-based Common Sense for Drug Policy, among others.

The full schedule of events is as follows:

Los Angeles: Monday, March 23
What: Midnight Ride for Medical Rights
When: 11:00 p.m.
Where: Depart from the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in West
Hollywood, 7494 Santa Monica Blvd, #215 at Gardner. Stop briefly at
Metropolitan Community Church Headquarters, 8714 Santa Monica
Blvd. at La Cienega Blvd., for additional riders.

San Francisco: Tuesday March 24

Prayer Breakfast for Medical Rights
When: 8:00 a.m.
Where: Metropolitan Community Church, 150 Eureka St. at 18th St.
Who: Speakers will include: (IN PROGRESS)

"Keep Faith with the Voters": A Patients March for Medical Rights
When: 11:00 a.m.
Where: Start at Harvey Milk Memorial Rainbow Flag Pole on the corner of
Market and Castro streets. March will proceed down Market St. to the
National AIDS Update Conference at the Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St. at

Press Conference and Rally, followed by Federal Courthouse Vigil
When: 12:00 p.m., Noon
Where: U.S. Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate St. at Larkin St.
Who: Speakers will include: SF Supervisor Gavin Newsom, SF Supervisor
Tom Ammiano, Dixie Ramagno, medical marijuana patient (IN

Statewide Unity Supper
When: 5:00 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Community Church, 150 Eureka St.
Who: This event is sponsored by the California Conference of Medical
Cannabis Providers and will be hosted by San Francisco's Medical Marijuana
Delivery Service.

Federal Judge To Rule On Todd McCormick's Medical Marijuana Use -
Legal Federal Medical Marijuana Patient Elvy Musika Flies In To Testify
(Press Release From The California Cancer Patient Himself,
Regarding His Appeal Of Pretrial Release Conditions Forbidding Him
From Using Cannabis, Despite Doctor's Orders)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:15:18 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Todd McCormick 
To: Multiple recipients of list 


Federal Judge to Rule on Todd McCormick's Medical Marijuana Use;
Legal Federal Medical Marijuana Patient Elvy Musika Flies in to Testify

On Tuesday, March 17, 1998, (St. Patrick's Day), federal magistrate
judge James McMahon will tell cancer patient Todd McCormick if McMahon
will allow McCormick to use medical marijuana while awaiting trial for
medical marijuana cultivation. Glaucoma patient Elvy Musikka, one of
eight people who receive medical marijuana directly from the federal
government, will testify that the federal government obviously does
acknowledge the medical use of marijuana-and she'll have the proof in
her hand.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM at the old federal
building courthouse at Spring and Main. Protesters are expected to show
their support outside the courthouse, and McCormick and Musikka are
expected to meet with them after the hearing to report the news. The
precise time for this is not certain, as it depends on the court's
calendar and the length of the hearing.

At 2:00 PM, Musikka and McCormick, along with McCormick's attorney,
David Michael, will hold a press conference to formally report to the
press on the precedent-setting hearing, testimony, and decision. It will
be held at the Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Avenue, Corinthian Room,
Mezzanine Level.

"The federal government sends me 300 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes
every month," said Musikka from her Florida home Monday. "I would have
gone blind by now without them. I want to tell Todd's judge this. He's a
federal judge, and the federal government supplies me with my medicine."
Musikka is one of eight surviving patients in the federal government's
short-lived compassionate marijuana use program. It was shut down in
1992 due to political pressure, and pleas for its reinstatement have not
been answered.

It is not clear if the federal judge will even let Musikka testify. He
is not required to hear testimony. "I'm coming to tell the judge the
federal government does consider marijuana a medicine, and I can show
him the federally grown marijuana to prove it," said Musikka. "If the
judge doesn't want to hear that fact, he doesn't have to, but I'll be
there to tell him just in case he does."

The four federal prosecutors handling the McCormick case-Nora Mandella,
David Scheper, Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, and Mary Fulginiti-claim the
federal government does not recognize medical marijuana and the motion
for McCormick use of his medicine should be refused.

"How can they say this when I hold in my hand a prescription bottle of
marijuana cigarettes provided by the federal government?" asks Musikka,
who hopes to ask the judge the same question. The bottle will be
available for photographing at the press conference.

McCormick, who had cancer nine times before he was ten, was told last
week by the same judge that he could not use the prescription medication
Marinol(c), a synthetic form of THC, one of the active ingredients in
marijuana. This unprecedented move of denying even prescription
medication does not bode well for the more daring move of permitting
medical marijuana use. An appeal of the Marinol(c) ruling has been filed
and will be discussed in detail at the press conference.

McCormick was arrested at his rented Bel Air home (which he has since
been forced to leave due to financial difficulties arising from his
arrest) and released on $500,000 bond (put up by actor Woody Harrelson).
McCormick faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence (possible life) and
a $4 million fine.

Both Todd McCormick and Elvy Musikka will be available for television,
radio, or telephone interviews Tuesday evening, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Please contact:

Todd McCormick 213-650-4906

David Michael 415-986-5591

Elvy Musikka (Monday, March 16, 1998)

Elvy Musikka (In LA Tuesday, March 14-16, 1998) 213-650-4906

DrugSense Focus Alert Number 57 - San Francisco May Distribute
Medical Marijuana (DrugSense Asks You To Write A Letter
And Help Change The World)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 10:54:37 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: FOCUS Alert #57 San Francisco may distribute MMJ

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #57

San Francisco city employees may distribute medical marijuana


A published letter can have a value of hundreds or thousands of dollars for
reform and can effect millions of readers. It is a great (perhaps the best)
way for a reform minded person to spend their time.

Send ideas or comments to MGreer@mapinc.org


I know that a huge number of you were just involved in writing to Rush
Limbaugh (Thanks for the amazing turnout) but we must ask your help once
again on a very important breaking news story.

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan revealed court papers
Saturday that could pave the way for City of San Francisco employees to
distribute medical marijuana to patients.

This is a key week in California. Kevin Zeese and others are out in San
Francisco helping to build towards the 24th hearing challenging the cannabis
clubs. We are trying to show that the feds are attempting to crush the will
of the people and the state and local officials. This is a federal officials
vs. state/local officials issue. This is not marijuana clubs vs. feds. The
message is: local and state officials say to implement the will of the
people, we must provide patients with safe access to their medicine. If
clubs aren't the way to do it, then an alternate system must be implemented
before the clubs are closed down.

It is important that we show public support for Hallinan's position as
expressed in the Examiner-- This is NOT clubs vs. feds; this is
state/local officials trying to uphold the will of the people vs. the
feds infringing on state rights.


Please send your letters to the Examiner as the primary paper. Should you
wish to BCC other California papers go for it.

San Francisco Examiner:
letters@examiner.com (letters)
sfexaminer@EXAMINER.com (OPEDS)

San Francisco Chronicle:

cctletrs@netcom.com (Contra Costa County Times, Calif.)
chronletters@sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle)
correspondence@livewire.com (saratoga news, los gatos weekly times and metro)
crutch@ptconnect.infi.net (Long Beach Press Telegram)
dtrojan@scf.usc.edu (Daily Trojan, USC)
editor@cyber-ace.com (San Diego Mission Times Courier)
editor@davis.com (Davis Enterprise)
editor@recordnet.com (The Stockton Record)
frcn@cncnet.com (Feather River Canyon News)
hmbreview@hmbreview.com (Half Moon Bay Review)
jmi@vvdailypress.com (Victorville Daily Press)
kirk@tahoe.com (Tahoe Daily Tribune)
ladtn@village.ios.com (Los Angeles Downtown News)
letters@blk.com (BLK, LTE's)
letters@examiner.com (San Francisco Examiner)
letters@latimes.com (Los Angeles Times)
letters@link.freedom.com (The Orange County Register)
letters@modbee.com (Modesto Bee)
letters@news.latimes.com (Los Angeles Times)
letters@sfbayguardian.com (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
letters@sjmercury.com (San Jose Mercury News)
letters@TheReporter.com (Vacaville Reporter)
letters@uniontrib.com (San Diego Union Tribune)
lgwt@livewire.com (Los Gatos Weekly-Times)
local@bakersfield.com (The Bakersfield Californian, Local Editor)
newsroom@blk.com (BLK, Editorial)
opinion@sacbee.com (LTE's. Sacramento Bee)
pactrib@hax.com (Pacifica Tribune)
paweekly@netcom.com (Palo Alto Weekly)
pdletters@aol.com (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
sfexaminer@aol.com (San Francisco Examiner)
sn@livewire.com (Saratoga News)
towncrier@losaltosonline.com (Los Altos Town Crier)
vcstar@aol.com (Ventura County Star)
weekly@pasadenaweekly.com (Pasadena Weekly)



This was a page 1 story in the Sunday 3/15 SF Examiner:

Hallinan: Let The City pass out pot if clubs close

By Zachary Coile


If the federal government shuts down California's marijuana clubs, city
health workers could be called On to distribute the drug to patients who
need it, San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan said Saturday.

The former city supervisor and outspoken backer of medical marijuana made
the suggestion in court papers he Plans to file Monday in U.S. District
Court in San Francisco in an effort to keep open The City's pot clubs-
under siege by the courts and the U.S. Justice Department.

Hallinan admits the idea is still in the working stages and needs more
thorough review by the health department and other city agencies.

Mitchell Katz, director of the San Francisco Health Department, said the
proposal remains "a hypothetical," but he expressed support for the concept.

"What you're hearing is that there is an absolute commitment to vigorously
make sure marijuana is available to those who need it to alleviate their
sickness," Katz said.

"If the pot clubs are forced to close, The City would look at a variety of
alternatives." he said. 'It's an energetic and courageous city. I think we
will find a way."

The proposal would be a last ditch way to preserve the intent of
Proposition 215, the initiative passed by state voters in 1996 that
legalized the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for seriously ill
patients, he said.

Municipal maverick

The proposal, which would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors,
could make San Francisco the first city in the world actively to provide
marijuana to its citizens and would continue The City's reputation as a
municipal maverick and testing ground for progressive ideas.

"I would prefer that these clubs do it, but we're throwing out alternatives
in light of what the courts appear to be saying and the lack of clarity in
the proposition itself," Hallinan said. 'We're struggling to make this
resource available to ill people."

Katz said the health department would wait for the courts to decide the
fate of the pot clubs before launching a study of the costs and logistics
of setting up a city-run marijuana operation.

Despite several recent court rulings, the status of the clubs remains up in
the air.

In December, the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled against buyers clubs,
saying a commercial outfit cannot furnish pot to the sick by claiming to be
a patient's "primary caregiver."

Prop. 215 allows patients or their primary caregivers to cultivate or
possess marijuana for medicinal use by the patient upon a doctor's

A state Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 25 let the appellate,court ruling stand.

Ignored court order

But the Cannabis Cultivators Club of San Francisco has largely ignored a
Superior Court order to block it from selling or giving away marijuana at
the club's offices.

Despite the Supreme Court's decision, founder Dennis Peron said his
position as caregiver to the club's 8,000 customers puts him within the
confines of the law. State and local law enforcement officials have not
challenged him.

Hallinan will file his friend-of-the-court brief to block a separate effort
by the Justice Department to shut down the Cannabis Cultivators Club and
five other clubs in Marin County, Oakland, Santa Cruz and Ukiah. U.S.
Attorney Michael Yamaguchi moved to close the collectives in January,
saying they violated the federal Controlled Substances Act.

A court hearing in the case is scheduled for March 24.

In the brief, Hallinan argues that closing pot clubs would force patients
with AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses to seek marijuana on the
street, at significantly higher prices.

'What is now a reasonably well controlled, safe distribution system and one
that has generally been characterized by cooperation with city officials -
will instead devolve into a completely unregulated, and unregulatable,
public nuisance," he wrote.

City might distribute pot

If the clubs were outlawed, The City might have to distribute marijuana
itself in light of the "ill effects of forcing patients to purchase medical
marijuana on the street," he wrote.

A spokesman in Attorney General Dan Lungren's office, which has steadfastly
opposed pot clubs said the courts would likely have to determine if city
health worker could distribute marijuana.

"I can't say for certain whether a health care worker (for The City) is a
primary caregiver or not," said spokesman Matt Ross.

John Hudson, co-director of the now-defunct Flower Therapy, San Francisco
pot club that was one of the targets of the federal case, said he backs the
move to, make medical marijuana a government responsibility.

"It's because it's a health issue that's why," Hudson said. "Let' take it
out of the hands of law enforcement and put it into the hands of health
officials, where people want it."

Board of Supervisors President Barbara Kaufinan said she had not heard
Hallinan's suggestion, but said the board would seriously consider it if
pot clubs in the area were closed down.

"The board is very supportive o the public being able to have access to the
medical use of marijuana, Kaufman said. "If the district attorney is
proposing something,there is some kind of legislation and if the health
department was willing to go along with it, I think would have the board's

Marianne Costantinou of The Examiner staff contributed to the report.



Dear editor:

Terence Hallinan is a hero. His proposal (SFX 3/15) to have San Francisco
city employees distribute medicinal marijuana to patients is a creative
method of countering the strong arm tactics of the federal government,
supported by would be governor Dan Lungren, to shut down the medical
marijuana buyers clubs.

The critical issue that should outrage every California citizen, and for
that matter every citizen in the country, is that the Fed is telling a state
that its voters don't know what they are doing, that Washington knows
better, and that the initiative process is nothing more than a minor
irritation to these goons.

The initiative process is one of the last bastions of protection against a
control mad federal government and now even that is being undermined and
disrespected by the looney tunes that refuse to read the scientific evidence
on medicinal marijuana and instead hide behind the "we're protecting the
kiddies" deception.

Enough is enough. The Washington elite have obviously got enough problems of
their own without this arrogant despicable attempt to play nanny to the
people of a state who have so obviously and overwhelmingly made the correct
choice on proposition 215.

Include your phone number)



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


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



Forward your rough draft to mapedit@mapinc.org for editorial review if you
wish some editorial help (Strongly suggested if you use MAP or any reform
org name in your letter).

If you would rather write to your local paper on this topic please do so
but still send us a copy.

Remember: Your name, address, city, and *phone number* are required by most
publications in order to publish your letter. Only your name and city will
be printed. Pen names may be used if you prefer.


A Father Deported, A Son Dead ('San Francisco Chronicle' Reports Suicide
Of 17-Year-Old Los Angeles Boy Whose Father Was Deported To Colombia
After 29 Years Of US Residency, For Selling A Police Informant
A $10 Bag Of Marijuana In 1989)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 20:53:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Colombia: A Father Deported, A Son Dead
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Note: This is a follow-up on a story carried in the LAT on 3/14. It
includes more details and an interview with the deported father.


Youth's suicide follows immigrant dad's return to Colombia

Los Angeles - (AP) Relatives think they know what killed Gerardo Anthony
Mosquera Jr., and it wasn't drugs, gangs or any of the other dangers that
can confront a 17-year-old.

It was, they contend, a government crackdown that deported his father to
Colombia - after 29 years of U.S. residency for selling a police informant
a $10 bag of marijuana in 1989.

Relatives said the younger Gerardo had been despondent since his father was
deported before Christmas. One evening about two weeks ago, Gerardo joined
a group of friends outside his Bell Gardens home, pulled out a gun and
announced, "I'm going to kill myself."

Then he pulled the trigger. He died two days later, on March 2, at a hospital.

"That damn little bag of marijuana," said the boy's mother, Maria Sanchez
Mosquera, a school bus driver. It turned everything around. It cost my
husband his papers. It cost my son his life."

His father, Gerardo Sr., was refused permission by U.S. embassy officials
in Bogota to temporarily re-enter the United States to attend Saturday's

"I cannot accept my son's death right now," Mosquera told the Los Angeles
Times in a recent telephone interview "I'm 4,000 miles away. How am I
supposed to act and think? ... I cannot sleep. I've lost 45 pounds. My life
is ruined."

The Mosquera family's saga highlights the darker side of the immigration
reforms passed by Congress in 1996.

Community workers contend that a crackdown on so-called criminal aliens has
torn apart some families and forced them onto welfare.

Acquaintances say it changed Gerardo Jr.

The father of an infant son, he was recalled as a diligent Bell Gardens
High School student who enjoyed sports, stayed drug-free and worked after
school to try to fatten the household's pocketbook.

But after his father's deportation, Gerardo began missing school, said
Joseph Petruzzi, a counselor at his high school.

"He became a different person," his mother said. I think he believed my
husband walked out on us!'

The deportation coincided with a breakup with Gerardo's girl friend, who
was the mother of his son, the family said.

I don't know what could be worse than this," his mother said. "To lose him
like this ... I just can't bear it."

The elder Gerardo, 38, has returned to his mother's home in Cali, Colombia.
He said he has had a difficult time adjusting; his Spanish is rusty,
infused with Mexican border slang.

I was raised in the U.S.," Mosquera said. "I'm a stranger here. I can't get
a job. I don't even know how to look for a job. How the hell am I supposed
to survive?"

In 1989, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to the
sale and transportation of 0.6 grams of marijuana. He later was imprisoned
for failing to report to his probation officer. Upon his release, he was
turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which led
to his deportation.

Under the new immigration laws, selling illegal drugs is an "aggravated
felony" that can result in a legal resident being deported and barred from
the United States for life.

Mosquera's deportation deprived the family of his $300 weekly pay as a
forklift operator.

The family

Mosquera's wife, three children and Gerardo Jr.'s son is struggling. Money
for funeral expenses came from car washes and donations.

Mosquera said he regrets falling to apply for U.S. citizenship in his many
years here, although he could have naturalized easily and averted the
danger of deportation.

Hemp Comes Home ('San Jose Mercury News'
Previews The Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo
At The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium This Weekend, March 21-22 -
URL Included)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 00:04:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Hemp Comes Home
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Author: Mary Gottschalk - Mercury News Staff Writer


Cannabis doesn't mean just marijuana. Try clothes, shoes, furniture, curtains

IT WILL be all things hemp next weekend at the Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp
Expo at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

At the show, you'll find rocking chairs with hemp fabric backs from Rio
Rockers of Santa Cruz; soaps from Bear Creek Soapworks of Branscomb; shoes
from Deep E Co. of Portland, Ore; paper from Greenfields Paper Co. in San
Diego; hammocks and curtains from Sol-a-Sol of Philo; and shower curtains
from Earth Runnings in Taos, N.M. Not to mention seat covers from RamsHead
of Sonoma; rope from Schermerhorn Bros. of Concord; lip balm from All
Around the World Hemp of Soquel; and all matter of clothing and shoes for
men, women and children from a variety of designers, including Chi Pants,
Solar Home Sewn Hemp, Tradewinds, Hempstead Company, Button Designs and
N.R.G. In Motion.

Hemp is somewhat controversial since it's made from cannabis sativa, more
commonly known as marijuana.

Prejudices against the drug carry over to the many useful products made
from the roots, stalk and stem of hemp plants. It's illegal to grow hemp in
the United States, but it's cultivated in many other countries, and the
products produced from it are imported. Just last Friday, Canada legalized
cannabis farming, under government license and controls.

The expo organizers say their aim is to make consumers more aware of hemp
and its many uses. Proponents say hemp cloth is stronger and longer lasting
than cotton, pointing out that the first Levi's blue jeans were made of
hemp. As a crop, they say it is preferable to cotton because cotton
requires a lot of pesticides and fertilizer, while hemp requires little of

Hemp is also used for food, oils, cosmetics and even ale. You'll find
plenty of experts on hemp at the expo, which will feature 73 vendors in 55
booths. Participation demand was so high that exhibit space was sold out
two months ago.

In addition to the many products for sale, the expo will also feature
fashion shows of hemp clothing at 2 p.m. each day, organized by Eco Goods
of Santa Cruz. There will also be educational and historical exhibits,
videos, speakers and a hemp house exhibit.

The expo is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Civic Auditorium,
307 Church St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $5 and good for both days. For
additional information call (408) 425-3003 or visit its Web site at

Send your shopping ideas, finds and favorite places to Shop Around, Mary
Gottschalk, the Mercury News, 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, Calif.
95190; fax (408) 271-3786; e-mail mgottschalk@sjmercury.com.

Moyers On Addiction, Close To Home (KCET-Los Angeles
Program Guide Notes Public Television Documentary
To Be Broadcast March 29-31)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 01:09:46 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jim Rosenfield 
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: MOYERS ON Addiction, Close to Home. on KCET

Announcement in the KCET (Los Angeles PBS Station) Program Guide

MOYERS ON Addiction, Close to Home.
Premieres Sunday March 29th at 9pm (pst) continuing the 30th and 31st.

ONE IN FIVE children in America live in a home with an addicted parent.
Brandeis University Institute for Health Policy

The recent jailing of actors Robert Downey, Jr., and Christian Slater for
behavior associated with substanee abuse may have achieved what some
sociologists aod medical experts have been trying to accomplish for years:
to start us thinking about drug addiction as a public health issue rather
than a criminal problem. As Bill Movers reveals in a new five-part series,
Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home, addiction can afflict absolutely anyone.
Prompted by the difficult expeerience of his opwn son, the veteran
journalist has embarked on an exploration of the science, treatment,
prevention and politics of addiction which, he believes is our country's No
1 health problem. Each episode addresses a different facet of the subject ,
from studies of brain pathology and genetic risk to various approaches to
treatment, and brings you face to face with medical experts and addicts
themselves. The result is a sometimes painful but also hopeful human
portrait of addiction and recovery in America.

In a statewide outreach effort involving sister stations in San Diego and
San Francisco, KCET is sponsoring a high school writing competition for the
best one-act play on the subject of addiction. The finalists plays will be
produced for braodcast and live performance in all three cities.

MOYERS ON Addiction, Close to Home. A probing examination of addiction and
recovery in America

Part 1: Portrait of Addiction provides testimonty that proves that nearly
anyone is vulnerable.

Part 2 "Hijacked brain" reveals what neurologists are learning about the
pathology of addiction.

Part 3: Changing Lives demonstrates why behavior change is the ultimate
goal of all successful treatment.

Part 4. "The Next Generation" looks at what can be done to hreak the cycle
of addiction in families

Part 5:"The Politics of Addiction" challenges us to view this painful issue
as a social rather than criminal problem.

Some Unanswered Questions Posed To AMR (Laura Kriho
Of The American Medical Marijuana Organization
Challenges Dave Fratello's Assertion That 'There Is Really No Other Side
To The Argument' About Why The Various State Initiative Petitions
Being Sponsored By Americans For Medical Rights Do Not Address
The Supply Question)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 23:12:48 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: AMMO (ammo@levellers.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: How about an "AMR amendment not as bad..." post?

To: Dave Fratello, Americans for Medial Rights
From: Laura Kriho, American Medical Marijuana Organization

March 16, 1998


It's good to see you back on DRCtalk. I read with curiosity your analysis
of the proposed federal legislation regarding communications and
censorship which you posted on March 16 under the title "Decency Act
amendment not as bad ..."

I was curious because you seem to have the time to address this issue, but
don't have the time to answer any of the questions posed to you by those
in Colorado and other states who are concerned about your proposed
initiatives. How about a post from AMR titled "AMR amendment not as

After weeks of silence, AMR finally made a public statement on DRCtalk
about one issue (under the title "The supply question") about why AMR
specifically had not allowed for any kind of distribution of cannabis to
patients in its initiatives. You made your argument and wrote, "there
is really no other side to the argument."

Several posters disagreed with you and showed you there was another
side to the argument, but you refused to respond.

We are raising serious issues about your initiative and strategy, yet you
refuse to defend your plan. Frankly, I think it is pathetic for a
national organization with millions of dollars in resources to refuse to
answer questions, especially from people who could be potential
supporters. Yet you are willing and have the time to analyze proposed
federal communications legislation that is only tangentially related (by
your own analysis) to drug policy reform.

It makes me wonder how you will answer the serious questions of our common
opponents: the prohibitionists. Will you ignore their questions as well
and refuse to debate them on the issues?

To refresh your memory on some of the most recent questions you have
refused to answer, I have attached some below. Judging by past
experience, I doubt you will reply. I doubt you can defend your
initiatives to the serious questions we have posed, even if you wanted to,
since your initiatives are "imperfect vehicle(s)", as you once called them

Laura Kriho

P.S. - While I'm writing, a recent question that occurred to me is "Is AMR
planning on setting up a national registry of medical marijuana users?"
Most of AMR's inits. include a stipulation that a patient must register
with the state to receive full protection of the law. If AMR passes these
initiatives in five states this year, then we will have 20% of the country
online to create the beginnings of a national registry of illegal drug
users. It will be "strictly confidential" of course.




Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 20:06:45 EST
From: rgivens@sirius.com
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Re: The supply question


I don't think you can provide any proof that people will not support a
legal distribution system if it is defended logically.


Without a source of supply these laws are a fraud on the public. After all
the implication to every single signer of these petitions is the notion
that patients needing MMJ WILL be able to get their medicine if these laws

Promoting medical marijuana laws without a source of supply is like
selling people cars without engines and warning them about the speeding
laws when they complain.

R Givens


Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 11:37:41, -0500
From: MS HILLARY D HUDSON (NQUN58A@prodigy.com)
To: 104730.1000@compuserve.com, cohip@levellers.org
Subject: The supply question (fwd)

Dear Dave,

Your statement regarding the distribution system makes no sense. You
said "to create one runs an unacceptably high risk of endangering and
losing the entire initiative." What is the point of proposing a
medical marijuana initiative if a patient can't legally obtain their
medicine? What about endangering and losing patients? Shouldn't the
real focus be on helping patients as opposed to just AMR's initiative

Hillary Hudson


Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 06:04:46 EST
From: Robert Goodman (Robert.Goodman@godi.adirondack.fidonet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: state-authorized distrib'n of controlled substances

Dave Fratello (104730.1000@compuserve.com) wrote in part:

>Federal law is likely to be held supreme on an issue of legal
>distribution. That is the best advice we have gotten, and there
>is really no other side to the argument.

Yes, there is. First, even if federal prohibition of
distribution were upheld, legalizing it under state law would
prevent the state from prosecuting, forcing every case into
federal court if anyone wanted to make a case. Federal resources
are limited, and it's said that alcohol prohibition -- though
still then required by federal statute and explicit
Constitutional authority -- practically disappeared in those
states that repealed it or ceased to enforce it. Second, federal
jursidiction is subject to federal Constitutional challenge,
particularly since Lopez. Third, as I've pointed out here,
federal law says those lawfully enforcing a state or local law re
a controlled substance (such as a med mj law) are exempt from
federal registration requirements for possession & distribution;
it could even be done by EXISTING LEOs, as I and others have also

(SNIP out a lot of other good arguments against the AMR position that
distribution cannot be allowed.)



Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 17:50:24 EST
From: AMMO (ammo@levellers.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Re: The supply question


Part of the answer to the question of what initiative will pass lies in
the support for the initiative. Can an initiative pass that doesn't have
grassroots support? Can an initiative pass if the the potential
grassroots supporters not only can't support it but actively
campaign against it?


So I think the real question is not which language will pass, but which
coalition of people will create an election win and a network of support
for the initiative that will have a continuous effect once the initiative
funders have left town.


What will happen if AMR enacts their init. in Colo., Maine, Alaska and
D.C. Who will help implement it? Is AMR planning on developing a
coalition of grassroots support separate from the potential grassroots
support that already exists? If that is true, we haven't seen any
indications of it.

AMR can do it without the grassroots, but wouldn't it be easier, less
expensive, more positive, and more productive in the long run not to
alienate and anger potential grassroots support?

I see this as the fatal flaw in the AMR campaign strategy.

Laura Kriho


Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 15:43:51 EST
From: AMMO (ammo@levellers.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Debate Point #1

To be posted on Dick Cowan's web page: www.marijuananews.com
Mr. Cowan has agreed to run a debate on the issues of the Colorado
initiatives and other AMR-sponsored initiatives (Oregon, D.C., Alaska,

NOTE: Mr. Cowan has since retracted his offer to run a debate on the AMR

From: Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis, sponsors of the
Colorado Compassionate Therapeutic Cannabis Act

To: Americans for Medical Rights, sponsors of Medical Use of Marijuana for
Patients with Debilitating Medical Conditions amendment

February 20, 1998

Debate Point # 1: AMR's Colorado initiative gives the government the
rationale and the power to create harsher penalties for marijuana
possession in Colorado.


1) Currently, possession of one to eight ounces is a misdemeanor in

2) The AMR initiative puts a two-ounce limit on possession of marijuana.

3) AMR defines no penalties or range of penalties possible for violations
of the provisions of their amendment.

4) The General Assembly can set whatever penalties they want, including
making possession of more than two ounces a felony for patients and

5) AMR has set a constitutional standard that only two ounces is a "safe"

6) AMR does nothing to prevent the General Assembly from making more than
two ounces a felony and in fact gives them a reason ("only two ounces is
safe") to do it.


This opens a new door to the General Assembly to get tough on marijuana.
The AMR initiative gives the government the REASON and the POWER to
increase penalties for possession of more than two ounces.

In our opinion, this makes Colorado law worse than it already is and
endangers patients by opening them up to harsher penalties than they
already face.

When we previously brought up these issues with AMR at a meeting in
November 1997, Dave Fratello suggested that we were "paranoid" and that
the government would "do the right thing" and not recriminalize mj., even
though he admitted his initiative creates a whole new class of crimes and
punishments to be determined by the General Assembly.

We are curious to see if AMR has any response to these concerns, from
concerned Colorado citizens and patients, today.


Debate Point # 2: The Colorado AMR initiative will endanger patients.


1) The AMR initiative limits patients to possession of 2 ounces of
cannabis and the cultivation of 3 plants.

2) Under the now-defunct compassionate Investigative New Drug (IND)
program, the eight remaining patients in the program each receive about 8
ounces a month from the federal government to treat their medical
condition. Eight ounces per month is deemed an adequate and "safe" amount
by the federal government.

3) It would be botanically impossible to cultivate an adequate supply of
cannabis for medicine with only three plants.

4) The AMR initiative does not provide for any distribution system for
cannabis, outside of the black market.


The AMR initiative does not allow patients to possess or cultivate an
adequate supply of medicine. This will force seriously-ill people to go
out on the streets more often to procure their medicine on the black
market. This will put patients' lives in danger.

When we asked AMR about this issue in November 1997, Dave Fratello
responded that they included the limits to try to appease law enforcement
and get them to support the initiative. This is why some call the AMR
initiative "the law enforcement model of medicine." We believe that law
enforcement will never publicly support a medical marijuana initiative in
Colorado and that it is more important to protect the lives of patients
than it is to try to appease the concerns of law enforcement.


Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
P.O. Box 729
Nederland, CO 80466
Phone: (303) 784-5632
Email: cohip@levellers.org
Web: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html

GOP Vote Immoral On Needle Exchange ('Rocky Mountain News'
Columnist Bill Johnson Faults Lethally Narrow-Minded Colorado Legislators
Who Last Week Killed Needle-Exchange Bill)
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: Olafur Brentmar Subject: MN: US CO: GOP Vote Immoral On Needle Exchange Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: PERSDEN Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 Source: Rocky Mountain News (CO) Page: 6A Author: Bill Johnson Contact: letters@denver-rmn.com Website: http://insidedenver.com/news/ Note: Bill Johnson's column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Rockybj@aol.com or 892-2763. GOP VOTE IMMORAL ON NEEDLE EXCHANGE It isn't enough to say simply that they messed up, got it desperately wrong. Not enough to twist and moan, to vilify, to shout and scream. So I'll just put it this way to the seven Republican legislators who last week killed the proposed needle-exchange bill. Your narrow-mindedness is killing people. Precisely what is it you didn't get? What didn't you see that the full state Senate, the mayor, the district attorney, physicians _and_ the dying saw so clearly? How was it possible to turn a blind eye to their pleas to adopt the bill, their insistence there was -- in the DA's own words, no less -- no downside to it, that it would only save lives? Instead you climbed atop a pale, moral high-horse, closed your eyes and wished for a world that will never be. People simply are going to stick intravenous needles into their veins. A sad and lamentable fact, but one that will never, ever change. *They will use* others' needles or share their own with others. And they will contract a deadly disease. They will spread it to their mates, to their children. All will die. What part of this do you not understand? You instead play politics with their lives, tout lame, unrealistic political rhetoric insisting passage of this bill will send a wrong message, promote immoral lifestyles and condone destructive and suicidal behaviors. All of it is a laudable and lofty message, one that plays well on the television and the stump, but one that simply doesn't cut it on the streets or in the obstetrics wards where three-fourths of HIV-infected children in Colorado get that way as a result of injection drug users. It is, to be certain, a difficult and unsavory task, delving into and soiling our hands with anything connected to the drug culture, which we know in a decent society would never exist. Ultimately the issue does come down to morality, but not the empty "virtuous lifestyles which foster the respect of life, liberty and property" morality that Mark Paschall, the Republican representative from Arvada, used so eloquently to kill the measure. Needle exchanges exist out of moral compassion. Please don't do this, their organizers say. If you must, allow us to exchange that dirty needle for a clean one to save your life, your spouse and children's lives. With the needle comes drug counseling and treatment information. *This is all* that you were asked to approve. Not, Mr. Paschall, "police-free zones" or the legalization of heroin or other drugs. Just a simple one-for-one exchange of needles. Clean for deadly. It has worked in Chicago, Baltimore, in--yes--Boulder. There are more than 100 needle-exchange programs in 20 states, and they have all shown a decrease in drug-related AIDS transmissions without any appreciable rise in IV drug use. And it will work in the Denver area as well. Of course, not legally now, but through acts of civil disobedience, which has a long history in this country of exposing and correcting social and political nonsense. Paul Simons, who runs a Denver HIV prevention group, last week explained it would be better to go to jail than to yet one more funeral for a friend. He's seen too many people die, he said, people who simply did not have to die. That is immoral, representatives. It is immoral to bury your head, pretend the problem doesn't exist and allow the dying to continue. *** For more information, call or write: People Engaged in Education and Reduction Strategies (PEERS) 2701 Alcott St. #263 Denver, CO 80211

Inmates Often Out Too Soon, Report Says ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Notes A Two-And-A-Half Year Study By The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute,
A Conservative Think Tank, Says The Most Punitive System Of Justice
In The History Of The World Needs More Punishment To Be Effective)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:17:53 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US WI: Inmates Often Out Too Soon, Report Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Author: David Doege of the Journal Sentinel staff
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/


Think Tank Says It's Tough For Public To Assess System

Plea bargaining, concurrent sentences and early parole, among other things,
are undermining the efficacy of the criminal justice system and leaving
felons serving "relatively lenient" prison terms, according to a report to
be released today.

Few felons are receiving maximum sentences, and an overcrowded prison
system is sending convicts home earlier than ever because of a shortage of
space, according to the report from a 2 1/2-year study by the Wisconsin
Policy Research Institute.

"The overall result, according to our study and other data, is a system of
sentencing in which most convicted offenders don't go to prison and those
who do serve relatively short sentences," the report says.

The study also concludes that sparse case file information makes
understanding the criminal justice system, its shortcomings and its judges'
practices extremely difficult for the average person.

Judicial terminology and "nomenclature in which words are disconnected from
their normal meaning" -- such as the use of "low-risk" to describe property
offenders such as burglars -- confuse the public, according to the report.

"Meaningful public access to information is limited," the report says.
"Much information we reviewed for this study is confidential and not even
available for public inspection."

Players in the criminal justice system who reviewed the report agreed that
it is hard for most people to evaluate what happens in the courts and said
the report does make some other good points.

However, they also questioned the authors' methodology, many of their
conclusions and the use of specific cases to serve as examples for their

The study and the report it generated were prepared by George Mitchell, a
public policy researcher from Milwaukee, and David Dodenhoff, a visiting
research fellow at the institute.

The institute, based in Thiensville, is a non-profit think tank usually
associated with conservative stances, and its study on felony sentencing in
Milwaukee County had some judges skeptical of the eventual conclusions even
before the report was prepared.

"Mr. Mitchell rightly points out that his charts cannot be used to assess
the sentencing practices of individual judges," said Circuit Judge Elsa C.
Lamelas, who is assigned to one of the county's 10 felony courts. "There
are so many significant variables at sentencing, such as the kinds of cases
before a particular judge, the availability and credibility of the
witnesses, the charging philosophies of prosecutors and the criminal
histories of defendants."

Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers, presiding felony judge, was particularly
troubled by the report.

"I can't argue that the public needs to be educated about what is going on
in the courts," Kremers said. "But with all due respect to Mr. Mitchell, I
get the feeling that after all his research, he doesn't understand the
courts any better than the average citizen."

District Attorney E. Michael McCann, too, agreed with some of the findings
but took sharp exception to others, particularly the conclusion that "plea
bargaining in Milwaukee County appears to cut substantially the exposure of
criminals to punishment."

The researchers found that in plea bargains where charges were reduced or
dismissed, the average actual sentence was 11.2 years, compared with an
initial maximum possible sentence averaging 43.7 years.

McCann said while the report emphasized the reduced prison exposure in
plea-bargained cases, it failed to point out that the vast majority of
cases studied did not involve plea bargains.

McCann also noted that charges are often dismissed because of evidence
uncovered after defendants are first charged.

McCann and judges, meanwhile, agreed that the report highlighted a problem
by noting of the growth in early paroles and decrease in the percentage of
prison sentences being served.

Early paroles climbed from 60% in 1990 to 84% in 1995, according to the
report. The average percentage of sentence served in prison declined 26% in
the same period, the report says.

"At sentencing, one of the uncertainties is the length of time a defendant
will actually serve in prison," Lamelas said. "Under truth in sentencing,
everyone -- the defendant, the lawyers, the judge and the community -- will
know just how much time a defendant will be imprisoned before release.

Said Circuit Judge Diane S. Sykes: "This study is important in showing the
need for truth in sentencing. I think truth in sentencing will go a long
way in correcting problems cited by this study."

The report also concludes:

The average new prison sentence grew 31% during the period when time served
dropped 26%.

Concurrent sentencing reduced maximum sentence exposure by 50%.

The discretion allowed to circuit court judges makes for disparate
sentencing that can vary widely at times between judges assigned similar

Nine of 16 drug dealers in the study received sentences of three years or less.

"If you look at the drug court sentences compared with the guidelines, I
think our sentences are longer than recommended," said Kremers, who is
assigned to one of the county's two drug courts. "There are also cases
where I think prison might be appropriate but where I don't think a lengthy
prison sentence is appropriate."

Lamelas said the report does not address an often-overlooked factor.

"Sooner or later, almost all offenders are returned to the community,"
she said. "We know little about what makes for effective supervision."

Girl Died Because Of Failed Drug War (Letter To Editor Of 'Miami Herald'
Takes Issue With Blind Ignorance Of Staff Editorial - 12-Year-Old Girl
Killed By Wild Shooting Is A Victim Of Drug Prohibition, Not Drugs)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: Girl Died Because Of Failed Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ginger Warbis 
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Contact: heralded@aol.com
Website: http://www.herald.com/


The March 10 Herald editorial Another young life taken eloquently expressed
grief over the tragic killing of a 12-year-old girl in a senseless, wild
shooting in Miami. The statements of the cause of the shooting is less than
complete. This girl was a victim of our failed drug war. So long as drugs
are illegal, the drug suppliers have only one way of settling disputes --
through violence.

Innocent people often are caught in the cross-fire. Contrast this way of
settling disputes with the relatively civilized manner used in the tobacco
and liquor industries.

Coral Gables

AIDS Controversy ('Associated Press' Says Clinton's
30-Member Presidential Advisory Council On HIV/AIDS
Today Demanded That The Administration Immediately Allow
Local Communities To Implement Needle Exchange Programs)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:56:31 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: AIDS Controversy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave Fratello <104730.1000@compuserve.com>
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: Associated Press
Author: Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton's AIDS advisers demanded Monday that
the administration immediately allow local communities to fight the deadly
virus by spending federal money on clean needles for drug addicts. Saying
33 people every day catch the AIDS virus directly from a dirty needle, the
Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS issued its harshest criticism yet
of the Clinton administration's refusal to federally fund needle-exchange
programs -- despite scientific consensus that they work.

"Lack of political will can no longer justify ignoring the science," the
council wrote Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala Monday.
"Every day that goes by means more needless new infections and more human

Ignoring these programs "would be an abdication of your responsibilities,"
they wrote Shalala.

On Tuesday, the 30-member council was to vote on a resolution expressing no
confidence in the administration's ability to stop HIV's spread -- and
members predicted a unanimous vote. They also were drafting a letter to
Clinton expressing their growing frustration.

"We're angry," said Dr. Scott Hitt, chairman of the influential council and
a Los Angeles physician.

Clinton officials ignored earlier warnings, said Robert Fogel, a Chicago
lawyer and Clinton fund-raiser. If they don't listen this time, "we all are
going to have to seriously consider calling for the secretary to resign, or
ourselves resigning" in protest, he said.

Shalala has said that needle exchanges can effectively fight HIV. But "we
have not yet concluded that needle-exchange programs do not encourage drug
use," said her spokeswoman, Melissa Skolfield.

Until Shalala proves that last issue, Congress has refused to let
communities use their federal AIDS prevention dollars to establish needle
exchanges. The AIDS advisers said Monday that Shalala could already answer
the drug-use question: "There is no credible evidence that needle-exchange
programs lead to increased drug abuse," they wrote.

"The absence of proof is not the same as proof," responded Skolfield, who
said Shalala is awaiting several federal studies of the issue. More than
half of all people newly infected with HIV got the deadly virus through
contaminated needles or sex with injecting drug users -- or are children
born to infected addicts.

The nation's leading scientific groups agree that letting addicts exchange
used needles for fresh ones significantly cuts the spread of HIV. The
National Institutes of Health has called needle exchange a powerful AIDS
weapon that has been blocked by political concerns about providing needles
to addicts.

More than 80 needle exchanges, paid for by private or other nonfederal
money, already operate in the United States, but AIDS activists say
expanding them will require federal funding.

Congress last fall decided that if Shalala did back needle exchanges,
communities could spend federal dollars on them only after March 31. Hitt
said the approach of that spending date added urgency to his panel's call
for action.

Newly Available GAO Reports And Testimonies (US Government Web Site
Features New Report, 'Drug Control - Counternarcotics Efforts In Colombia
Face Continuing Challenges')

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:13:48 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, March 16, 1998
- Begin Included Message -
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:02:03 -0500
Message-Id: <9803161302.AA17429@www.gao.gov>
From: documents@gao.gov
To: daybook@www.gao.gov
Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, March 16, 1998
Sender: owner-daybook@www.gao.gov
Reply-To: documents@gao.gov

March 16, 1998

The following items were added to GAO's World Wide Web site in
Portable Document (PDF) format.

- Drug Control: Counternarcotics Efforts in Colombia Face
Continuing Challenges. T-NSIAD-98-103. 9 pp. February 26, 1998.

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Legal Hemp Expected To Create Area Jobs ('London Free Press' In Ontario
Notes Hempline Plans To Set Up A Hemp Processing Plant Southwest Of London -
About 80 Per Cent Of The Company's First Commercial Crop Will Be Exported
To The United States)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 15:28:14 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: Legal Hemp Expected To Create Area Jobs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@hempbc.com
Pubdate: March 16, 1998
Source: London Free Press
Author: By John Hamilton -- Free Press Reporter
Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html


A fledgling London company jumping into the new commercial hemp market
expects to have at least six full-time workers this year, its president says.

Geof Kime, president of Hempline Inc., said the workers will be used in a
processing plant being established southwest of London. He said he hopes
the number of workers can be doubled by next year.

Kime said Hempline will also have contracts with about 25 farmers to grow
hemp on as much as 405 hectares of land "within a 40-mile radius of London.''

Kime, an advocate who helped push to end the 60-year ban on commercial hemp
by the federal government, said "we're pretty excited.''

Hemp was banned along with marijuana in 1938 because it contained a small
amount of the same psychoactive ingredient, THC.

Regulations released by federal Health Minister Allan Rock last week allow
farmers to grow hemp, but put tight controls on the varieties grown to
ensure it has no psychoactive effect.


Hempline has been experimenting with growing hemp on small sites in the
London and Tillsonburg areas since it was established and licensed in 1994.
"We've been testing a range of soil conditions and customized harvesting
and processing equipment,'' Kime said.

He expects the first commercial crops of hemp to be planted in early May
and harvested in August.

Kime said he expects about 80 per cent of the company's first commercial
crop will be exported to the United States.

He said officials are also trying to develop the Canadian market for hemp,
which can be used in everything from shirts to paper, rope and carpet.

Kime said there's "lots of potential'' for the hemp industry to grow but it
likely will "take years to expand and get the infrastructure in place.''

For farmers to grow hemp and businesses to process the crop, they must be
licensed by Health Canada.

The regulations also specify farmers cannot grow less than four hectares
and crops will be tested for THC levels.

Hemp will not be allowed to be cultivated within one kilometre of any
schoolyard or any other public place frequented by persons under 18.

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

Cannabis May Be Made Legal For Medical Use (Britain's 'Independent'
Says A Meeting Last Week Between The British Medical Association
And The Government's Chief Medical Officer For Health Has Resulted In
A Go-Ahead For Speeding Up The Research -
However, British Still Have Blinders On About Using Synthetic Cannabinoids,
And Expect Two-Year Wait While Pharmaceutical Companies Ready Them)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:39:03 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis May Be Made Legal For Medical Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998


Cannabis could be cleared for medical treatment within two years for
victims of multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and other chronic illnesses which
may be helped by the drug, after a "very positive meeting" between the BMA
and the Chief Medical Officer for health, Sir Kenneth Calman, WRITES COLIN
BROWN, Chief Political Correspondent.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, who met Sir Kenneth last week, told The Independent
last night the CMO had given the go-ahead for speeding up the research to
enable synthetic forms of the drug to be made available in about two years.

"The CMO indicated that the government is very much in favour of what we
are doing and the need for research to be developed for cabannoids for
different medical conditions."

Dr Nathanson said there were already available a number of forms of
cannabis in synthetic form and research protocols could now be designed
with a small number of people to move swiftly from the research stage to

Patients will not be allowed the drug in its raw form, but it could mark a
breakthrough in the Government's implacable opposition to the legalisation
of soft drugs.

Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, yesterday rejected calls for a Royal
Commission on the legalisation of cannabis by MPs including the Tory MP
David Prior, who admitting using the drug for some years in his 20s, in a
survey by LWT's Jonathan Dimbleby programme. It found one in five of the 81
new MPs had tried illegal drugs.

Labour Resists Call For Review Of Drugs Laws (Britain's 'Daily Telegraph'
Says Jack Straw, The British Home Secretary, Again Turned Down
Cross-Party Calls For A Royal Commission, Despite A Poll Of New Members
Of Parliament Showing That One In Five Respondents Had Sampled Illegal Drugs
And A Majority Thought That The Present Legal Restrictions On Their Use
Were Too Harsh)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Labour Resists Call For Review Of Drugs Laws
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Author: Jon Hibbs, Political Correspondent
Contact: et.letters@telegraph.co.uk


THE Government ruled out any moves towards decriminalising cannabis
yesterday despite pressure from new MPs for an official review of the
anti-drugs laws.

Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, turned down cross-party calls for a Royal
Commission and warned that slackening the existing legislation on soft
drugs would lead to a huge increase in consumption. His comments came after
a survey of the 1997 intake at Westminster disclosed that one in five
respondents had sampled illegal drugs and a majority thought that the
present legal restrictions on their use were too harsh.

However, only one of the MPs in the younger parliamentary generation broke
ranks to waive his anonymity and admit smoking cannabis in the past, and he
is a Conservative. David Prior, son of the former Cabinet minister Lord
Prior and MP for Norfolk North, said: "I honestly could not live with
myself and talk about drugs if I did not admit to people I have taken them."

The survey conducted anonymously for LWT's Dimbleby programme found that
two-thirds of those questioned believed that the issue should be
investigated by a Royal Commission.

But Mr Straw said evidence from countries that had decriminalised cannabis,
such as the Netherlands and Alaska, showed drug consumption increased while
crime worsened. He told Radio 4's World This Weekend: "Governments set up
Royal Commissions when they are uncertain what to do about something. We
are not uncertain about this."

In recent years the Liberal Democrats have called for a Royal Commission
into drug use to take the issue out of the political arena. An all-party
committee of the House of Lords has just started a scientific investigation
into the case for decriminalising cannabis and another independent inquiry
is being conducted by the Police Foundation.

Mr Prior, 43, who backs the idea of a Royal Commission, said he had an open
mind on the decriminalisation of cannabis and would like to know more about
the medical effects of using soft drugs. He accused fellow politicians of
adopting a hypocritical attitude towards drugs when huge numbers of
"completely conventional" people like himself were routinely exposed to

He wrote in the Independent on Sunday: "I associate my experience with
drugs (soft ones) not with Mick Jagger or Aldous Huxley but with passing my
law degree and working in a bank. You can wear a pinstripe suit and be
utterly conventional and still roll a joint. And yes, I did inhale. But
that was a long time ago. I stopped some time in my late 20s and took up
alcohol instead."

A questionnaire was sent to the 243 new MPs who entered Parliament at the
general election last May. Of the 81 who responded, 51 per cent said they
believed the current laws on cannabis were "too harsh", while 65 per cent
backed a Royal Commission. Some MPs highlighted the way the current law was
unevenly applied, and others called for the legalisation of soft drugs for
medicinal purposes.

New MPs Reveal Their Membership Of The Drug Generation
(Version In Britain's 'Times')

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: New MPs Reveal Their Membership Of The Drug Generation
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: Times The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/


Stewart Tendler on a challenge to Straw from the politicians who admit inhaling

JACK STRAW ruled out a royal commission into drug control yesterday in
spite of evidence that some new MPs would support a review of drugs
legislation. Eighteen admitted using drugs in the past.

The Home Secretary said a royal commission would be needed only if the
Government was uncertain about what to do. However, Mr Straw said the
Government would look at anything discovered by inquiries being carried out
by a Lords select committee and the Police Foundation.

Mr Straw, whose 17-year-old son was recently cautioned by London police for
selling cannabis, was commenting on a survey for London Weekend
Television's Jonathan Dimbleby programme yesterday. Questionnaires were
sent to all 243 of last May's new intake of MPs.

Out of 81 who responded, 22 per cent admitted they had used illegal drugs,
64 per cent said that friends or associates had used drugs, 65 per cent
said they would welcome a commission and 51 per cent said they believed
that the current laws on cannabis were "too harsh". David Prior, the new
Conservative MP for North Norfolk, disclosed yesterday that he had smoked
cannabis in his 20s and believed the law could no longer be consistently

Mr Prior, son of Lord Prior, the former Secretary of State for Northern
Ireland, said: "I did inhale. You can wear a pinstripe suit, be utterly
conventional, and still roll a joint." He emphasised that he had a
"completely open mind" on the issue of decriminalisation but said it should
be looked at by a royal commission.

Mr Straw, speaking on Radio 4's The World This Weekend, said that he did
not accept the argument that decriminalisation of cannabis would break the
progression of drug users from soft to hard drugs. He said that had not
happened in Holland, and drugs wars meant that Amsterdam's murder rate was
three times that of London.

The Home Secretary said it was right to have different penalties for soft
and hard drugs: "I've not seen any good reason for decriminilisation but
plenty against it. If you decriminalised these drugs there would be a
massive increase in consumption. The evidence is that we are stabilising

In a wide-ranging interview, the Home Secretary also rebuffed calls by the
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, to end mandatory life
sentences for murder. Lord Bingham had said that allowing politicians to
set release dates flew in the face of democracy and justice. Mr Straw said
that giving Home Secretaries the final decision in fact put the public at
less risk that leaving the decision to the Parole Board. Evidence showed
that if the Parole Board had the sole power, the risk of reoffending would
be tripled, he said.

In the case of discretionary life sentences for rape, manslaughter and
arson, the final decision lay with the Parole Board and 26 per cent of
offenders were recalled to prison. In cases where Home Secretaries had the
final decision, the reoffending rate was 8 per cent.

Straw Rejects Review Of Laws On Cannabis As New MPs Own Up ('The Scotsman'
Says British Home Secretary Jack Straw Has Again Ruled Out A Royal Commission
To Review Drug Laws, Believing There Could Be An Explosion In Drug Use
If The Laws Were Relaxed)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:54:57 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: Straw Rejects Review Of Laws On Cannabis As New MPs Own Up
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Author: Gavin Cordon
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998


The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, ruled out a Royal commission to review drug
laws after one in five new MPs who responded to a survey admitted they had
smoked cannabis.

Campaigners for decriminilisation of the drug were given a further boost
when a Tory MP, David Prior, said he had used it when he was in his 20s and
admitted: "Yes, I did inhale".

The survey, carried out anonymously by LWT's 'Jonathan Dimbleby' programme,
found that two-thirds of the 1997 intake who responded to a questionnaire
believed there should be an inquiry by a Royal commission.

But that was firmly rejected by Mr Straw, who warned there could be an
explosion in drug use if the laws were relaxed.

"Governments set up Royal commissions when they are uncertain what to do
about something. We are not uncertain about this," he told Radio 4's 'The
World this Weekend'.

However Mr Prior, who is believed to be the first Conservative MP to have
admitted publicly to smoking cannabis, said the law was "hypocritical and
dishonest" and should be reformed.

Writing in the 'Independent on Sunday', which has been campaigning for
reform, the MP for North Norfolk, who is the son of the former cabinet
minister Lord Prior, said the law was inconsistently enforced and widely

"I associate my experience with drugs [soft ones] not with Mick Jagger or
Aldous Huxley but with passing my law degree and working in a bank," he
said. "You can wear a pinstripe suit and be utterly conventional and still
roll a joint. And yes, I did inhale. But that was a long time ago. I
stopped some time in my late 20s and took up alcohol instead."

The survey was based on questionnaires sent to the 243 MPs who were elected
to parliament at last year's election. Of the 81 who responded, 51 per cent
said they believed the laws on cannabis were "too harsh".

Teenagers 'Smoke Cannabis More Than Tobacco' ('The Scotsman'
Says A New Survey Finds Teenagers Living In Rural Scotland
Are More Likely To Smoke Cannabis Than Tobacco - More Young People
Living In The Countryside Take Drugs Than In The Inner Cities)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Teenagers 'Smoke Cannabis More Than Tobacco'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Author: Jim Wilson
Source: The Scotsman
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


TEENAGERS living in rural Scotland are more likely to smoke cannabis than
tobacco, researchers have found.

The findings of a survey, conducted by a new drugs agency in Inverness,
have emerged days after another report suggested that young people living
in rural areas were taking more drugs than those in the inner cities.

Last night, anti-drugs campaigners claimed that increasing evidence that
illegal drugs are being widely used by young people in rural Scotland
should alert parents mistakenly believing that drugs have not reached the

The warning came as Blast, a drugs advice and information centre to be
opened in Inverness, prepares to publish the results of a survey designed
to establish the drugs history and attitudes of more than 300 teenagers who
attended a rave in the Highlands.

The project co-ordinator, Natalie Morel, confirmed that the research shows
that most young people questioned would be more likely to smoke cannabis
than tobacco. "Young people know about the health implications of smoking
cigarettes but have not received the same level of information about
cannabis and other drugs," she said.

The drugs centre will open next month when the research revealing that a
range of drugs, including cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamine, are common
throughout the Highlands will be published.

"The traditional image of drug users living only in the bigger cities and
towns no longer bears any resemblance to the reality, if it ever did," Ms
Morel said. "The only difference is that young people living in the country
find it harder to get reliable information about those drugs. In smaller
communities, where everyone knows everyone, young people fear that even
asking for information about drugs will gain them an unwanted reputation."

A string of remote homes across the region have been exposed as cannabis
farms in recent years and, according to Ms Morel, the amount of
high-quality amphetamine being produced in isolated makeshift laboratories
is the only reason cocaine has not yet gained a foothold in the Highlands.

She said that dealers were common in even the smallest villages and, if
necessary, young people would often send a representative to bigger towns
to buy drugs to be shared.

"They will commonly travel to Inverness, but even here there is a fear of
being recognised and some will go down to Dundee to get whatever the order
is," she said.

"People have to forget about this notion that young people living in the
country have straw behind their ears and have no idea about drugs."

The start of the drugs centre in Inverness, featuring a telephone helpline,
comes as Drugs Action, an Aberdeen information and support agency, prepares
to recruit an outreach worker to offer support, counselling and advice
exclusively to users in rural areas.

Increasing rural drug use has also been highlighted in a survey by the
Schools Health Education Unit suggesting that more young people living in
the countryside take drugs than in the inner cities.

Pupils at Scottish schools were questioned, along with teenagers in five
English health board regions before the report, Young People and Drugs
1998, concluded that almost a third of 14 and 15-year-olds living in rural
areas admitted taking one or more illegal drugs compared to less than 20
per cent in inner-cities.

Researcher David Regis, of the respected research unit based at Exeter
University, said the results of the survey were surprising.

"That particular finding should dispel any remaining belief that drugs are
solely an inner-city problem," he said.

Research has already suggested young Scots take more drugs than teenagers
anywhere else in Europe, while another report revealed they go out more
than counterparts in most other countries.

Some experts believe drug abuse among younger teenagers living in rural
areas is fuelled by the inability to buy alcohol in villages where
shop-owners know their identity.

Free Cigarettes (Letter To Editor Of 'The Scotsman'
Wishes Anti-Smoking Zealots Would Be A Little More Understanding
Of Those Whose Addiction Was Sponsored By The Same Government
That Is Now Sponsoring No Smoking Day)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: LTE: Free Cigarettes
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


Sir, - Now that No Smoking Day is over again - and I can have an extra puff
at my pipe to celebrate - I could wish that the anti-smoking zealots would
be a little more understanding, for example, of the ex-service community.

An old soldier, who fought in Burma with the KOSB, and works alongside my
allotment, wheezes away with most distressing emphysema. "It's the fags, ye
ken, Sir." Of course, its the fag's, but remember that his generation
received 50 free cigarettes a week on active service from a grateful
Government which didnae ken about lung cancer, or if it did, it kept very
quiet about it. And which Scot with an ounce of smeddum is going to refuse
that freebie?

I only tried a fag once - in the bottom of a slit-trench just this side of
the Rhine, scared stiff. It was utter bliss.

(Brig) Frank Coutts Oswald Rd, Edinburgh

Call For Tobacco Firms Windfall Tax ('The Scotsman'
Says The Scottish Anti-Smoking Group, Action On Smoking And Health,
Yesterday Called For A Windfall Tax To Be Levied On The Tobacco Industry
After It Was Claimed That A British Cigarette Company
Knew Of The Health Risks Posed By Smoking As Long Ago As 1970 -
Newspaper Fails To Point Out Such A Tax Would Penalize Current Smokers Only,
Not The Company)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Call For Tobacco Firms Windfall Tax
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


Anger over claim that UK cigarette company knew about health risks of
smoking in 1970 JOHN INNES

SCOTTISH anti-smoking campaigners called for a windfall tax to be levied on
the tobacco industry yesterday after it was claimed that a British
cigarette company knew of the health risks posed by smoking as long ago as

An internal memo by Gallaher showed that research on beagles had proved the
risk of lung cancer "beyond reasonable doubt", according to the group
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

The group said the document would form a major weapon in the legal fight by
lung cancer victims in a case brought against Gallaher and Imperial Tobacco.

The memo, the first one to be discovered regarding a British company, was
prepared in April 1970 for the managing director of Gallaher. The company,
the maker of the Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands, is being sued by 53
smokers, including four Scots.

In the document, the general manager of research analysed experiments on
the dogs for the managing director and concluded that the work "proves
beyond all reasonable doubt the causation of lung cancer by smoke".

He said "the results of the research would appear to us to remove the
controversy regarding the causation of human lung cancer although it does
not help us directly with the problem of how to modify our cigarettes".

The research featured two experiments. In one, dogs had smoke piped into
their lungs, and, in the other, the animals breathed smoke through a mask.
The analysis said a feature of the former was that "practically every dog
which smoked suffered significantly from the effect of the smoke".

Maureen Moore, the chief executive of ASH in Scotland, said yesterday the
memo revealed the same level of knowledge about the ill effects of smoking
as similar documents coming out of the United States, which had also been
suppressed for years.

She said that Gallaher's failure to act on the research was disgraceful,
especially as the documents showed it was known since 1970 that smoking
caused lung cancer.

Ms Moore said that this, along with recent evidence on the effects of
passive smoking, proved that tobacco companies should be made accountable.

She said: "I hope this means the Government is going to be doing something
about tobacco companies. It should be looking at a windfall tax or some way
of taxing tobacco companies, and there should be an immediate curb on
tobacco advertising aimed at young people.

"They are making around 60 profit from each smoker every year, while the
Government is only putting less than 2 back to help people stop. Action
needs to be taken for this to be changed."

A solicitor, Martyn Day, who represents 50 people who are suing Gallaher
and Imperial Tobacco, said the document would prove highly significant for
forthcoming litigation.

Last month, the plaintiffs' case received a boost when judges ruled that
lawyers fighting it on a conditional "no-win, no-fee" basis should not have
to foot the estimated 9 million legal bill, even if they lose.

"It is the first document we have seen which shows us what was going on
behind the scenes at British tobacco companies," Mr Day said.

"It is a revelation, but we believe there are a lot more like it to come
out. We will be in court on 3 April asking for the tobacco companies to
release any documents in their possession relating to the case.

"Even now the issue of tobacco companies admitting that smoking causes
cancer is a very important one and part of our case is that they knew the
link even in the 1950s and should have taken action then. This document,
although it was written in 1970, is an indication of what the companies

A spokesman for the BMA said the document proved the tobacco industry was
untrustworthy. "This follows a series of documents from America showing
that the industry has been aware for several decades that smoking is
addictive and is linked to cancer.

"The industry is untrustworthy and cannot be believed."

A Gallaher spokesman said nobody from the company was available to comment.

'When I Found I Had A Tumour, I Lost The Taste For Cigarettes'
('The Scotsman' Says One Of The 53 Smokers Suing Gallaher Tobacco Company,
A Retired Executive In The Chemical Industry, Said Yesterday He Was
Angry That The Tobacco Giant Did Not Disclose Medical Evidence
To The Public In The 1970s)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: 'When I Found I Had A Tumour, I Lost The Taste For Cigarettes'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


A SCOT who is among the 53 smokers suing Gallaher said yesterday he was
angry that the tobacco giant had not disclosed medical evidence to the
public in the 1970s.

Murdo McMillan, a smoker for more than 40 years, had a lung removed in 1990
after tests revealed a tumour. The retired executive in the chemical
industry said he had started smoking in the 1940s while at school and was a
heavy smoker by the time he was 16.

Speaking from his home in Prestwick yesterday, Mr McMillan, 66, said: "If
these people had the reports, you would think they would have advised their
customers if there was a danger to their health. Obviously they did not do

However, Mr McMillan was cautious about how the internal Gallaher memo
might affect the forthcoming legal battle. "There's a long way to go. It's
always difficult to predict how these things will turn out," he said. "One
of the encouraging things is that because this is a civil case we don't
have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Gallaher was responsible for
our cancers, but just a balance of probability."

After living in Nottinghamshire for most of his working life, Mr McMillan
returned to Prestwick in the late 1980s and shortly afterwards was
diagnosed as having lung cancer. Doctors said the tumour was operable and
he had a lung removed in 1990 at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow.

Mr McMillan's cancer is now in remission but he now suffers from
breathlessness and is unable to walk more than a short distance without
needing to stop and rest. Scotland's cold, damp climate affects him badly
and he is dependent on his car for going even short distances.

"I still have breathlessness and pain but I am very fortunate to be alive.
I cannot walk very far and carry a shooting stick to sit on when I go out."

Mr McMillan said he had no doubts that he would never have smoked if the
medical repercussions had been known. "When I started smoking there were no
health warnings on the cigarette packets, something that has obviously
changed now.

"It still amazes me when I see young people queuing up to buy cigarettes.
Smoking is a plague really.

"People ask me why I found it so easy to give up smoking after more than 40
years. I tell them that when I found out I had cancer, I lost the notion
for smoking immediately."


Smoking - The Rights And The Wrongs (Editorial In 'The Scotsman' Notes,
'We Are Now Entering A Phase In The Public Debate About Smoking
Where New And Much More Punitive Methods' Are Being Considered
To Try To Force People To Give Up Tobacco, And Warns Against Attempts
At Outright Prohibition, But Fails To Address More Likely Outcome
Of Prohibitionary Taxes)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: OPED: Smoking: The Rights And The Wrongs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


SMOKING brings with it a host of wholly avoidable illnesses. In spite of
the often conflicting views from the medical experts lined up on either
side of the argument, that is an inescapable, irrefutable fact. It is also
a fact that few people who smoke now dispute; they indulge their habit in
the full knowledge of the risks they run. That is their prerogative and
they must live with the consequences.

It has been the stated policy of this Government and of its predecessors to
discourage people - especially the young - from smoking. To this end they
have taken a number of measures, including the curtailment of tobacco
advertising and regular increases in price, to assist the process.

However, we are now entering a phase in the public debate about smoking
where new and much more punitive methods are being mooted to try to force
people to give up tobacco.

While the attempts may well be advocated from the best of intentions we
would, nevertheless, counsel caution.

The principal cause, currently, of the anti-smoking lobby is to bring in a
legal prohibition of smoking in public places, making lighting-up anywhere
in public - be it a pub, restaurant or even the street - a criminal
offence. This is already the case in parts of the United States,
particularly California, where, perversely, smoking cigarettes is outlawed
but owning lethal weaponry is not.

Smoking may be obnoxious to many people, but criminalising it is no way to
proceed. Smokers know the risks they run and must take the responsibility
for their action. It would be an intolerable infringement of their civil
liberties if they were to be prosecuted for continuing to indulge.

Of course, those who do not smoke and who have no wish to breathe other
people's smoke should be protected. The way forward, surely, is a voluntary
code of practice which enables non-smokers to be guaranteed that their
activities are not intruded upon by the habits of others. Similarly, in
places of public entertainment, special areas should be set aside for those
who wish to smoke. The voluntary way is by far the best option, but it
will take a deal of tolerance from both sides of the argument to enable it
to work. Sadly, it is that tolerance which appears to be the one commodity
that is lacking at present. It is time for mature reflection; this is a
debate that badly needs to lose some heat.

Malaysia To Drug Test In Schools ('Orange County Register'
Says All Schools In Malaysia Will Be Given Urine-Testing Equipment
And Permission To Conduct Random Drug Testing On Students)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:54:48 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Malaysia to Drug Test in Schools
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998

(No Title Given)

All schools in Malaysia will be given urine-testing equipment and
permission to conduct random drug testing on students, the Education
Ministry said Sunday. National leaders have lamented a rise in drug abuse
among young people.



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