Portland NORML News - Tuesday, March 17, 1998

Democrats Support Use Of Medicinal Marijuana ('The Oregonian' Says Delegates
Voted 72-69 In Favor Of Medicinal Marijuana At Party Convention
Last Weekend In Eugene - Biased Newspaper Account Tries To Suggest
Public Isn't Already Way Ahead Of Politicians On Issue)

The Oregonian
March 17, 1998
letters to editor:

Democrats support use of medicinal marijuana

Some state party officials worry that the
endorsement by platform convention delegates
might hurt candidates in the fall elections

By Jeff Mapes
of The Oregonian staff

The Oregon Democratic Party has gingerly
stepped into the growing political fight over
marijuana by endorsing the medicinal use of the
illegal drug.

Delegates to a party platform convention in
Eugene last weekend voted 72-69 in favor of
medicinal marijuana after Democratic officials
fretted about whether it would hurt or help their
candidates in the fall elections.

Republicans said Monday it was too soon to tell
whether they would make marijuana a big issue in
candidate races. But marijuana is destined to be a
prominent issue.

Voters will be asked Nov. 3 whether they want to
approve or reject the law passed by the 1997
Legislature recriminalizing the possession of small
amounts of marijuana. Currently, possession of
less than an ounce is a noncriminal violation
punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.

There also is a well-financed effort to put an
initiative on the ballot that would allow people to
use marijuana if they can show they have a
medical condition that might be helped by the
drug. Two other pro-marijuana initiatives also
have been filed.

In addition to a short platform of general goals,
the Democratic Party approved a legislative
agenda that says physicians should be able to
prescribe marijuana for medical uses.

"The general public is willing to allow marijuana
to be used as a medicine," said Rep. Floyd
Prozanski, D-Eugene, citing studies showing it
has helped treat glaucoma and helped reduce
nausea among cancer patients. "I just think this is
a no-brainer," he said, noting that medical
marijuana measures have been approved by
voters in California and Arizona.

But other Democratic officials said they worried
their candidates would be portrayed as soft on

"Several people expressed my view, which is that
this is going to be misinterpreted," said Marc
Abrams, state party chairman. Abrams said he
fears the party's stance will be sensationalized.

Rep. John Minnis, R-Wood Village, who led the
fight for the 1997 bill to recriminalize marijuana
possession, said the Democratic support for
medical marijuana might be "great cannon fodder"
for Republicans.

He said that smoking marijuana offers no proven
medical benefit and that federal authorities should
decide on the use of new medications. The
Democratic action is "like saying heroin is such a
good drug because a lot of people like it," he said.

Minnis acknowledged the popularity of
medical-marijuana initiatives in other states. He
said he doesn't know whether Republicans would
use the issue. Joel Cole, a spokesman for the
Oregon Republican Party, noted that party
platforms don't generally become big issues in

One exception was in 1990 when the Democratic
Party endorsed a ban on logging in old-growth
forests. That led some Democrats in timber
regions to change their registration and appeared
to contribute to Republican gains in rural
legislative districts.

Abrams said he would pounce on Republicans if
they try to attack Democrats on medical

"Let they who are without crazy planks cast the
first stone," said Abrams, criticizing the
Republican platform for provisions that called for
teaching "scientific creationism" in school and
defending parents' right to spank their children.

The Democratic policy agenda also supported
repeal of the law that returns
higher-than-expected income tax collections to
corporate and individual taxpayers. The money
should go into a "rainy day" fund to help tide the
state over in an economic downturn.

The party endorsed expanding the Oregon Health
Plan to cover all low-income people and
supported increased vehicle registration fees to
pay for transportation projects.

The agenda included strong stands in favor of
abortion and gay rights, and support for measures
aimed at spurring union drives.

Jeff Mapes covers politics for the Public Life
team. Contact him by phone at 221-8209, by
mail at 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore.
97201, or by e-mail at

Moose Misses Cut For Job In DC ('The Oregonian' Doesn't Say Whether
The Inability Of Portland Police To Secure A Conviction Against The Son
Of Portland Police Chief Charles Moose After The Teen-Ager Was Caught
With Crack Cocaine Was A Factor In Moose Not Being Hired
As DC Police Chief)

The Oregonian
March 17, 1998
letters to editor:

Moose misses cut for job in D.C.

The chief is eliminated as the finalists are pared,
and he will remain commander of the Portland
Police Bureau

By Maxine Bernstein and Michele Parente
of The Oregonian staff

Chief Charles A. Moose is out of the running for
the police chief's job in the nation's capital and
pledged Monday that he remains committed to
serving as commander of the Portland Police

"I learned several years ago you don't get
everything you want in life," Moose said. "But I
will continue to work hard here, and I'm very
satisfied here."

A private firm conducting the search for a new
chief in Washington, D.C., called Moose on
Saturday and told him that he was no longer being

Moose was selected last month as one of eight
semifinalists for the job from a field of more than
50 applicants. He was eliminated during the
weekend as Norman Roberts & Associates, a
search firm based in Los Angeles, and
Washington officials pared the pool to about five

In a three-sentence memo he circulated to his
command staff, Moose said he was not
interviewed and was given no explanation of why
he did not make the final cut.

"It was a 30-second call," he said Monday. "They
gave me no reason, no rationale."

Moose, 44, is in his fifth year as Portland's police
chief. He said he applied for the Washington,
D.C., job because he thought he could bring
change in a troubled law-enforcement agency.
With that job out of his grasp, Moose said he
would not look to move elsewhere or apply for
other jobs.

"I hope not. I don't anticipate making a routine of
that," Moose said. "This was something that was
very special, and now that's over."

Asked whether he was concerned that his interest
in a higher-profile job could jeopardize his
effectiveness in Portland, Moose said he felt
comfortable that he had the support of Mayor
Vera Katz.

"I'm not concerned about that. Throughout this
whole process, I've been in discussions with the
mayor. She understands what my interests were
in Washington. What the rest of the city thinks
and feels may not be the same, but I'm
comfortable that my boss supports me."

Mayor Vera Katz said she's relieved that she does
not have to look for a new chief.

"I'm pleased that he's staying. It would have been
a huge responsibility that I would have had, in the
weeks and months that I'm putting a budget
together, to start a national search," Katz said.

The mayor said that when Moose told her he had
applied for the job, she asked him not to "check
out" and stop running the Police Bureau.

"He said, `No, that's not who I am.' And he
proved that," Katz said. "He was engaged, with
me and with the work that we were doing. He
was always on top of the issues."

Katz called it an "intolerable thing" for the search
committee to have rejected Moose without giving
him a reason. But she said the chief reassured her
that he wasn't too let down to focus on his work.

Norman Roberts, president of the search firm,
declined to comment on Moose or other

But he said the firm has been directed to help find
a chief who has strong management and people
skills, has worked in a large department, can
handle the multi-jurisdictional aspects of the
district job, is politically savvy and shows
sensitivity to diversity.

People in and outside the Police Bureau were
surprised Moose did not make the cut. Some
were pleased that he will remain in Portland. The
police union president was less enthusiastic.

Leo F. Painton, who as president of the Portland
Police Association suggested last month it might
be time for change in the chief's office, said he
would try to work with Moose now that he is
staying put.

"We've got to work with what we've got,"
Painton said. "We'll keep plugging along."

Said M. Ray Mathis, executive director of the
Citizens Crime Commission: "I think the city is
lucky. I'm very glad to see him stay here. They
missed out on an excellent chief."

DA To Propose Pot Club Alternative For San Francisco
('Sacramento Bee' Version Of Sunday's News)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:55:17 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: DA To Propose Pot Club Alternative For S.F.
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Author: Claire Cooper Bee Legal Affairs Writer


SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's prosecutor is getting ready to tell a
judge that if federal authorities' efforts to close Bay Area medical
marijuana clubs are successful, city workers might distribute pot to those
who most desperately need it.

As a last resort, city health officials and police might have to run
marijuana distribution centers for seriously ill patients in order to
combat a rise in street-level drug dealing, District Attorney Terence
Hallinan said in a draft copy of a brief made available on Monday.

Dick Iglehart, Hallinan's chief assistant, said the brief will be filed
within a week with U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who was given formal
notice Friday that it is coming.

In the meantime, other cities and counties are being asked to sign the
document. It has been circulated to city councils in Oakland, Fairfax and
Santa Cruz, and to boards of supervisors in Marin and Mendocino counties.

All of those communities have marijuana clubs that the federal government
has moved to shut down for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Breyer has scheduled a hearing in the government's case for March 24.

Federal officials have been at odds with local officials in some Bay Area
communities since passage of the 1996 medical marijuana initiative, the
statewide measure legalizing pot-growing and distribution for seriously ill

Federal officials have asked Breyer to issue civil injunctions that would
bar the operation of six clubs, about one-third of those operating in the
state. The clubs have opposed those injunctions.

Hallinan's draft friend-of-the-court brief stakes out a compromise position
of sorts.

It argues that if Breyer enjoins the clubs, he should not enjoin everything
they do. It urges the judge to let the clubs continue distributing
marijuana to ease "the excruciating suffering of people whose bodies are
wasting away from AIDS or cancer therapy and of people in intractable
physical pain."

Those people may have a "necessity defense" -- the right to break a law to
avert an imminent and greater harm when no legal options are available.

The brief also suggests that an injunction might be fashioned to exempt
club activities that qualify as "joint purchases for shared use" of

But if the clubs are completely shut down, the brief says, "one way (San
Francisco) can envision responding to this law enforcement problem" -- a
significant increase in street-level drug dealing -- would be to call on
city employees to distribute marijuana to seriously ill patients.

The brief theorizes that if a local law were passed to authorize the
distribution, public workers could not be prosecuted for it. It concedes,
however, that there are "questions of whether such a plan would be lawful."

Duel Over Medical Pot Escalates ('Los Angeles Times'
Says San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan Promised Monday
That Patients Would Continue To Get Medical Marijuana Even If The City
Has To Distribute It - Attorney General Lungren Then Threatens To Prosecute
Officials If That Happens - And City Officials Respond By Raising Possibility
Of Simply Giving Up On 'Arresting Anyone Purchasing Marijuana')

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:02:53 -0400 (AST)
Sender: Chris Donald 
From: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: SF police threaten to stop ALL pot arrests over CBC controversy
Subj: US CA: Duel Over Medical Pot Escalates
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Author: Maria L. La Ganga, Times Staff Writer


San Francisco prosecutor vows that patients will continue to receive
marijuana, while Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren warns of reprisals.

SAN FRANCISCO--Dist. Atty. Terence Hallinan promised Monday that patients
will continue to get medical marijuana--even if the city has to distribute
it--prompting the state attorney general to threaten officials with
prosecution if that happens.

The dueling statements--Hallinan's in court documents and Dan Lungren's on
the gubernatorial campaign trail--escalated an already bristling
controversy eight days before Northern California cannabis club operators
head to federal court to defend their facilities.

Hallinan contended in court papers filed Monday that everyone from city
residents to San Francisco officials supports the use of medical marijuana
to alleviate the pain and suffering of patients with AIDS, cancer and other
ailments. If the current distribution of marijuana is disrupted, he said,
patients will die, and "what is now a reasonably well-controlled, safe
distribution system--one that has been characterized by cooperation with
city officials and one that is inspected by the Health Department--will
instead devolve into a completely unregulated, and unregulatable, public

To preserve the health and safety of San Francisco residents, Hallinan
wrote, San Francisco "may in the future authorize its officers to enforce a
law or municipal ordinance . . . by distributing marijuana to seriously ill

Lungren has long locked horns with Northern California cannabis club
operators and San Francisco officials over the issue of medical marijuana.
When asked Monday about such a city-run operation, Lungren retorted: "I'd
like to say I'm surprised, but I'm not." Speaking at a Sacramento campaign
appearance, Lungren noted that Proposition 215, which legalized the use of
medical marijuana in California, is strict about who may obtain and use the

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that Proposition 215 does not
provide protection for cannabis operations such as the Cannabis
Cultivator's Co-Op in San Francisco. The initiative does, however, protect
the rights of so-called primary caregivers to grow or obtain marijuana for
approved patients.

"I'd have to see under what basis" the city is acting before cracking down,
Lungren said, but "the city can't be a primary caregiver any more than a
cannabis buyers club can." Lungren's bottom line: "All I know is that I
took an oath to uphold the law . . . and I would hope San Francisco
officials do the same."

But the term "uphold the law" is open to considerable debate in a liberal
city such as San Francisco. And Hallinan, as the city's highest law
enforcement officer, made a kind of veiled threat in his legal filing about
his city's unique interpretation of the term. He noted that, if the medical
marijuana distribution centers were to close, police officers would be
forced into the arduous task of separating legitimate medical purchasers
from nonmedical purchasers.

Short of that, he said, they may "simply give up on arresting anyone
purchasing marijuana."

The federal government in January filed civil lawsuits against six cannabis
clubs and 10 of their operators in San Francisco and four other Northern
California counties in an effort to shut down the facilities. The club
operators are scheduled to appear in court on March 24. Hallinan made his
Monday comments in a friend of the court brief on their behalf in the
federal case. Times staff writer Dave Lesher in Sacramento contributed to
this story.

Copyright Los Angeles Times

Federal Judge Refuses To Hear Cancer Patient Todd McCormick's Plea
For Medical Marijuana - Judge Abruptly Denies Motion And Cancels
Long-Set Hearing (Press Release From Cancer Patient And Busted Cultivator
Todd McCormick Notes His Pretrial Motion To Be Allowed
To Use Medical Marijuana In Accordance With California Compassionate Use Act
Denied Without A Hearing - Motions Posted At Marijuanamagazine.com)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 15:37:43 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Todd McCormick 
To: Multiple recipients of list 


[The press conference with McCormick, Musikka, and McCormick's attorney,
David Michael, will take place as scheduled at 2:00 PM at the Biltmore
Hotel, 506 S. Grand Avenue, Corinthian Room, Mezzanine Level.

Protesters will be at the old federal building courthouse at Spring and
Main at 1:00 PM, march to the press conference to arrive by 2:00 PM, and
march back to the courthouse after the press conference for continued


Federal Judge Refuses to Hear Cancer Patient
Todd McCormick's Plea for Medical Marijuana

Judge Abruptly Denies Motion and Cancels Long-Set Hearing

March 17, 1998, Los Angeles. In an astonishing move late yesterday
afternoon, Federal Magistrate Judge James McMahon canceled a long-set
hearing on a motion from cancer patient Todd McCormick to use medical
marijuana while awaiting federal trial for medical marijuana

Later in the afternoon, Judge McMahon issued his ruling by fax: the
motion, in its entirety, was denied.

"Why won't he even let me speak?" asked McCormick, shocked by the news
when it reached him late yesterday afternoon. "I haven't been able to
use my medicine for eight months now. I have been in constant pain.
Tomorrow's hearing was my one hope. I thought maybe I could convince the
judge. But now, I don't even have the chance to speak. I'm just

Also not permitted a chance to testify is Elvy Musikka, a glaucoma
patient who receives medical marijuana directly from the federal
government. In opposition to McCormick's medical marijuana use, the
federal prosecutors in their opposition papers (at
www.marijuanamagazine.com) maintained the federal government does not
recognize medical marijuana-no matter what the voters of California have
to say about it-so McCormick's motion should be denied.

"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 in an interview from her Florida home on
Monday morning. "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."

Apparently, he does not.

The judge's sudden cancellation of the hearing has caused a greater stir
in the media than it probably would have if announced tomorrow as
planned. The news made at least one local television newscast by 6:00
PM, and McCormick spent the remainder of Monday evening talking with the
press, including an extensive interview with PBS.

On March 10, 1998, in an unprecedented move, Judge McMahon ordered
McCormick to no longer take the prescription medication Marinol(r),
although his physician legally prescribed it. This has outraged doctors,
who see it as improper federal intervention into the doctor-patient

"They take away the medication I have been successfully using for
thirteen years, then I try the official, legal, FDA-approved,
DEA-approved, doctor-prescribed, $15-a-pill medication, and just as I'm
starting to get some relief, and they take that away, too," said
McCormick who faces a mandatory ten-year sentence-which could be life
without possibility of parole at the judge's discretion. "Now, they
won't let me even ask for relief in person. They don't mind torturing
me; they just don't want to look at the result."

Without his medication, McCormick suffers from extreme weight-loss
caused by nausea, insomnia, and lack of appetite. These are the result
of intense physical pain. McCormick's body was left so deformed by
childhood cancer operations and radiation treatments that a physician,
seeing only his x-rays, was surprised to learn the adult McCormick was
not permanently confined to a wheelchair.

While federal judges can deny motions without a hearing, seldom is a
hearing scheduled (originally for March 9, 1998), then rescheduled for
today, March 17, 1998, and then cancelled less than 24 hours before the
hearing, followed only hours later with an abrupt denial of the motion.

Although the judge gave no reason for the sudden change, it is believed
the controversial nature of the medical marijuana decision and the
increasing interest by the press were the cause of the last-minute

"This is a political hot potato that no one wants to touch," said
McCormick's publisher Peter McWilliams. "The federal bureaucracy has
determined Todd McCormick must pay for his cultivation of medical
marijuana with his life, but I cannot believe one person in that entire
bureaucracy wants to be the one to say to Todd, face-to-face, 'We're
locking you up now, where you will be in pain for the rest of your life.
We're doing it for the children.'"

"I don't think Judge McMahon enjoyed being the federal messenger of bad
news any more than any other compassionate human being would. I can't
think that Judge McMahon is a happy Irishman this St. Patrick's Day for
what he had to do to McCormick," said McWilliams.

McWilliams is a cancer survivor living with AIDS who uses medical
marijuana. "Murderers, rapists, child abductors, these are people even I
would look in the eye and say, 'You're not going to live anywhere near
the rest of us for a long time.' But Todd? Anyone who knows Todd, who
knows his medical history, who knows his dedication to getting his
beloved healing plant to sick people, also knows that this entire
prosecution is a travesty."

In turning down the motion, Judge McMahon also refused to lower
McCormick's bail from the unusually high $500,000 set when he was first
arrested and accused of drug trafficking. The Federal Grand Jury
returned a single indictment against McCormick, for cultivation only,
specifically permitted under California's Proposition 215.

The Federal Prosecutors, nevertheless, claim McCormick is "a flight
risk" and a danger to the "safety" of "other persons and the community"
because he cultivated medical marijuana, after the passage of 215,
behind Bel Air walls.

The federal position on medical marijuana in this case, written by
Federal Prosecutors Nora Mandella, David Scheper, Fernando Aenlle-Rocha,
and Mary Fulginiti, will be posted today on the Medical Marijuana
Magazine Online (www.marijuanamagazine.com).

McCormick and Musikka are available for interviews. Please contact:

Todd McCormick 213-650-4906

David Michael 415-986-5591

Elvy Musikka (In LA Tuesday, March 17-19, 1998) 213-650-4906

Defendant Denied Request To Smoke Pot Pending Trial
('Orange County Register' Version)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:38:58 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Defendant Denied Request to Smoke Pot Pending Trial
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: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


A federal magistrate on Monday denied a defendant's request to smoke
marijuana for medicinal purposes while awaiting trial on a charge he had a
pot farm secreted in a five-story Bel-Air mansion.

"I am outraged," defendant Todd McCormick said after the ruling. "I am not
requesting to do anything that is not legal in the state of California."

U.S. District Judge James McMahon also refused to lower McCormick's
$500,000 bail, which already was posted by actor Woody Harrelson.

McCormick is the founder of a San Diego cannabis club and an active member
of California's successful Proposition 215 campaign to legalize medicinal
marijuana. A friend said McCormick was cultivating the 4,000 pot plants to
give to cancer sufferers like himself to ease their pain.

Keep Pot Private - Ordinance Needed To Ban Public Smoking
(Staff Editorial In 'Sacramento Bee' Says Medical Marijuana Patients
Protected By California Compassionate Use Act Of 1996 Should Be Fined $1,000
For Medicating In Public Places)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:55:07 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Keep Pot Private: Ordinance Needed to Ban Public Smoking
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


When California voters in 1996 approved Proposition 215 to improve access
to medicinal marijuana for the seriously ill, they did not envision
patients firing up joints in public places. Rather, the idea was to allow
marijuana to be used discreetly and privately, particularly given its
continued status as an illegal substance under federal law for any state
citizen, healthy or sick.

Yet like many parts of this flawed measure, Proposition 215 did not address
where the sick could and could not smoke. Its vagueness begs for
clarification. Local governments throughout the state are now busy writing
their own rules to restrict public marijuana smoking. When the Sacramento
County Board Supervisors holds a public hearing on the issue today, it
should follow the advice of District Attorney Jan Scully and pursue an
ordinance banning pot use in restaurants and other public places.

The need for a local ordinance was demonstrated last summer, when medicinal
marijuana activist Ryan Landers, who is battling AIDS, went with some
friends to the Thursday night market on the K Street Mall. After ordering a
chicken kabob sandwich at a restaurant, he walked outside and began smoking
a joint until he was arrested by police. Charges were later dropped because
Scully's office had the legal backing of neither Proposition 215 nor a
local ordinance.

Scully's idea is to make public smoking of medicinal marijuana subject to a
$1,000 fine. That is a way to send a strong public signal without turning
these patients into jail inmates.

The advocates of medicinal marijuana should realize that laws such as these
are ultimately to their advantage. Public smoking of marijuana threatens to
turn sympathizers into opponents. The measure was sold on the basis that
the terminally ill deserved medical relief that marijuana allegedly can
provide. Flaunting the drug in public wasn't what voters had in mind. For
patients desiring a dinner on the town, smoke the joint at home first.
That's not too much to ask.

City Officials Are Ruining Family's American Dream ('Seattle Times'
Columnist Michelle Malkin Shows How The City Of Seattle's Lawsuit
To Close Oscar's II With A 'Drug-Abatement Action' Victimizes The Owner,
Who Poured Everything Into Working With Police And The City,
Only To Have Them Abandon Him)
Link to follow up
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 17:25:02 -0800 (PST) From: Turmoil To: hemp-talk@hemp.net Subject: HT: NWR: Help save a small business (fwd) Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net City officials are ruining family's American Dream Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Michelle Malkin/Times staff columnist OSCAR'S II, a folksy tavern on the corner of East Madison Street and 22nd Avenue, once served up the best soul food in Seattle. Now, this soulless city is on the verge of shutting down the two-decades-old family business. Last November, the city attorney's office filed suit against Oscar and Barbara McCoy in what's known as a drug-abatement action. Under state law, local governments can go to court to condemn property in high-crime areas without providing just compensation. The measure was intended to make it easier for law enforcement to clear out crack houses and slum lords. But this powerful tool is being abused by the city to selectively target law-abiding businesses victimized by crime. Oscar McCoy is a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran who grew up in the South and cooked for soldiers all over the world. He served in Berlin, Germany (where he met wife Barbara), Panama and Hong Kong. He taught cooking at Seattle Central Community College before launching Oscar's I, which operated on 13th Avenue and Pine Street from 1976 to 1985. A year later, the McCoys opened Oscar's II. The tavern was built from scratch. Oscar McCoy poured the concrete foundation himself. Barbara McCoy designed the interior. Their children worked at the restaurant to help pay for college. A portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hung over the bustling kitchen where Oscar McCoy whipped up home-style gumbo, chitterlings and corn bread that attracted celebrities such as author Alex Haley and civil-rights leader Julian Bond. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, gang and drug activity in the neighborhood swelled. Oscar McCoy took time off work to testify for the police in numerous criminal drug prosecutions. For eight months, he opened the restaurant to federal Drug Enforcement Agency officials staking out narcotics activity across the street. And for four years, the McCoys worked closely with two police officers, Eric Zerr and Sam Derezes, assigned to foot patrol in the area to contain the problem. The McCoys diligently followed their suggestions. They hired security guards, purchased a $5,000 metal detector, banned violent rap music, and posted dozens of conspicuous signs around their building warning against loitering, firearms, and gang attire. Detective Zerr testified at a trial in January, "There just wasn't a question of them wanting to get the riffraff out of there." Inexplicably, the city began reallocating police resources to other areas in 1994. Officers Zerr and Derezes were removed from their beat and were never replaced. A city drug-abatement officer later told the McCoys, "The Police Department's not a private security firm and (there) just isn't enough resources to go around to baby-sit places." The withdrawal of police from the neighborhood resulted inevitably in increased crime. Sergeant Derezes testified that the business owners were not to blame: They "were literally being held hostage by the gang people that were coming into the area." But rather than help the McCoys prevent the crime, the city built an abatement case against them. Between 1995 and 1997, the police set up 18 controlled drug buys at Oscar's II using shady informants. Not a single arrest was made - but the operation produced a handy police file that demonstrated a pattern of narcotics activity. "They found the money to target us, but not to protect us," the McCoys note with disbelief. To make matters worse, the state Liquor Control Board revoked the tavern's liquor license last month, even though senior administrative law judge Ernest Heller determined in November that the McCoys "had an excellent history of compliance" (no violations in two decades). The state liquor license revocation is now on appeal with King County Superior Judge Joseph Wesley, who also handled the city of Seattle's drug-abatement action. Wesley ruled in the city's favor two weeks ago, despite his conclusion that the McCoys worked with police and "personally devoted their own resources and efforts" into fighting crime. Doing everything right was not enough. The McCoys are being punished for failing to control crime that is neither their fault nor their responsibility. Posing as tough drug warriors, the Seattle Police Department, the city attorney, and state Liquor Control Board have dumped government's basic law-enforcement duties onto overwhelmed business owners. The McCoys plan to appeal the abatement, but they are running out of time and money. They've released all their employees and refinanced their home mortgage. They struggle daily to keep Oscar's II afloat. The chitterlings are gone. So are the customers. Inside, Dr. King's portrait is one of the few valuable items left on display. Outside, the real criminals thrive unabated. And as Oscar McCoy - a veteran, a taxpayer, a grandfather, an entrepreneur - stands alone on the empty dance floor he helped build with his own hands, a desperate question stabs the heart: Why? (Donations to the McCoy Justice Fund can be mailed to 605 1st Ave., Suite 350, Seattle, WA 98104. Contact David Osgood at 325-1871. A benefit for the McCoy's will be held at Jersey's All-American Sports Bar in Seattle on April 4. Contact Chris or Colin Clifford at 343-9377. Michelle Malkin's column appears Tuesday on editorial pages of The Times. Her e-mail address is: malkin1@ix.netcom.com.

Alaska (List Subscriber Posts URLs Concerning The Ravin Case, Which Found
The State's Constitutional Right To Privacy Protected The Personal Possession
And Cultivation Of Marijuana - Some Judges, Police Reportedly Act On Principle
That The Statewide Vote To Recriminalize Marijuana In 1990 Cannot Abrogate
A Constitutional Right)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 13:13:23 -0800
From: Celly Nelson 
Reply-To: celly@kisw.com
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Alaska
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Some of Alaska's marijuana laws aren't available of the net yet. A
police officer in a law contract class with a friend of mine told her
about pot. She asked him what he would do if he found marijuana in
someone's house. He said that if he were in there form some other
reason & found it he would seize it, but not charge you. If he was
there for the purpose of marijuana then it would be illegal anyway. You
have a limit of possession. The reason why he would not charge you for
it in the first instance is because it would get thrown out of court,
according to him. He said that many cases end up that way. The reason
why he would seize it is because it is against federal law.

The attached Ravin case is the one that says it is legal in Alaska.
There is an initial proposition about marijuana being illegal to possess
in your home, but a proposition is not necessarily a binding law. So it
is still a little sketchy. All of my friend's law professors agree with
her that it seems as though it's still somewhat legal.


Drug-Test Law Yields Employers' Caution ('Des Moines Register'
Tells Employers How To Use Iowa's New Urine Testing Law)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:16:58 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US IA: Drug-Test Law Yields Employers' Caution
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Carl E. Olsen http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/
Source: The Des Moines Register
Author: Reporter Lynn Hicks hicksl@news.dmreg.com
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@news.dmreg.com
Webform: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html
Website: http://www.dmregister.com/


The new freedoms present a 'Pandora's box,' an analyst says.

Steps to drug or alcohol testing

The legislation requires employers who choose to test to follow these
procedures at a minimum. Random testing requires additional steps.

1. Decide what types of testing to perform: Pre-employ- ment, random,
reasonable suspicion or post-accidend.

2. Develop a policy that outlines testing, disciplinary, and rehab-
ilitation procedures.

3 Establish an awareness program about the danger of drug and alcohol use in
the workplace. Employers who offer an employee assistance program must
inform workers of the benefits and services available. If the employer does
not have an EAP, the employer must post a list of such providers and create
a file of substance abuse programs and other resources.

4. Provide two hours of initial training to supervisors, and one hour
annually thereafter. The training must cover information on recognizing
substance abuse, documenting such evidence and referring employees to
assistance programs.

5. Communicate written policy to employees subject to testing. Ensure that
all other prospective and current employees have access to the policy.

SOURCE: Holmes , Murphy & Associates. House File 299 ----

Some employers have waited for this day for years.

Gov. Terry Branstad is scheduled to sign a bill at 9 a.m. today giving Iowa
employers new freedom to test workers for alcohol and other drugs.

The law will go into effect 30 days after the signing, but that's not soon
enough for some employers, said Jon Shanahan, a vice president at Holmes,
Murphy & Associates, which consults companies on human-resources issues.

"People are all hyped up. Clients have been waiting for this forever," he
said. But before they begin celebrating, Shanahan advises that companies
thoroughly examine what they've won.

"I don't think they realize what it is," he said. "In some ways, it's a
Pandora's box."

No Requirement

Nothing in the bill requires employers to test. The costs - both to the
employer's bottom line and to employee morale - may persuade companies not
to, Shanahan said.

Employers have fought for the right to randomly test workers, arguing it is
needed to ensure workplace safety. But many ultimately will avoid the
random route and instead test after accidents and when they suspect an
employee is impaired by drugs, observers say.

Russ Samson, attorney for the Association of Business and Industry, agrees
that random testing won't be rampant in the state. But the bill's
requirements alone shouldn't frighten away employers, he said. "The
procedural safeguards work to the benefit of the employer as well as the
employee," Samson said.

The bill limits rehabilitation costs and frees employers from having to pay
for complete physicals when they require testing of job applicants. But
other costs are involved.

With tests running $25 to $50 each, randoin testing can be expensive,
especially for small employers. The bill requires employers to hire an
independent entity to select the employees to be tested at random. Tests
must be conducted on company time, and if the collection of samples is done
off-site, the employer must pay for transportation.

Policy Needed

No matter what type of testing is done, companies must write a policy, train
supervisors and take other steps.

Most employers won't find testing a good investment, said Craig Zwerling,
director of the University of Iowa's Injury Prevention Research Center.
Zwerling said his studies and others have found little evidence that drug
use in the workplace causes occupational injuries or that drug testing is
making the workplace safer.

"Employers need to take a long, hard look at this before paying out the
cash," he said.

Before beginning testing, employers should do a cost-benefit analysis,
factoring in the average cost of accidents in their industry, Zwerling
said. But the most important factor is the prevalence of drug use among
applicants, he said.

Generally, only if 10 percent or more of an employee's applicant pool is
using drugs, then an employer might save money by testing, he said. He
suspects that most Iowa employers will find much smaller rates.

Employers should have a better idea next year of the extent of drug use,
because the bill requires labs to report to the state the number of tests
and the results.

Lower Use Rate

One such lab, Iowa Methodist Medical Center Clinical Laboratory, is finding
that about 5 percent to 7 percent of pre-employment tests in Iowa are
positives, said clinical chemist Rich Snyder.

Many employers - forced by federal law to do random drug tests have lobbied
Congress to do them less, said Zwerling, who has testified on their behalf.

"Those forced to test have found it expensive and are asking questions about
its effectiveness," he said.

MidAmerican Energy Co., disagrees that drug testing is a waste of money.
About 2,000 of the company's workers - those who have commercial driver's
licenses or who work on the natural gas system - are subject to federal
testing requirements.

Last year, the company spent nearly $59,000 to test 830 employees, said
drug-test administrator Muriel Boggs. Five of those tested positive for
marijuana or cocaine. Four of those workers went to a rehabilitation
program, and one was fired after testing positive again.

While that may seem a poor return on the company's investment, Boggs said,
the safety benefits cannot be calculated as easily.

"We must really be sure that we're taking care of our customers and the
community," she said.

Save Money

The Weitz Co., a national contractor based in Des Moines, believes drug
testing can save money. The company started random testing in Arizona in
1993 and has since expanded it to Florida, Colorado and Nebraska.

Since 1992, Weitz has reduced its out-of-pocket costs for workers
compensation by 600 percent, said Gary Farman, risk compliance manager.
Drug testing has played a big part of that, he said.

Weitz hasn't decided what it will do in Iowa, but Farman said he expects the
company to do random testing.

Added Pressure

That may affect other construction companies' decisions on testing. "If
everyone is doing it and you're not, there will be pressure on you to do
so," Samson said. Companies will worry that they are getting applicants who
failed other employers' drug tests.

The construction industry has been one of the biggest backers of the bill.
It argues that mistakes can be deadly in the business, and it worries that
many employees work while under the influence.

"People work hard, and they play hard," Farman said. When Weitz started
testing in Phoenix, about 30 percent of workers were failing random tests,
Farman said. Since then, rates have fallen to 1 percent to 2 percent.

The bill could become law just as the construction industry begins its busy
season. But because of the steps the bill requires, companies won't likely
start testing immediately, said Scott Newhard, director of public affairs
for Associated General Contractors, which represents companies in heavy
highway and bridge construction and municipal and utility work.

Newhard expects larger companies, especially those who test truck drivers
under federal laws, to more readily adopt random testing for all workers.
But smaller companies may balk at the expense, he said.

Company Culture

Shanahan said that besides the financial costs, employers should consider
whether random testing fits a company's culture. He's heard clients worry
about being seen as "Big Brother."

Samson advises that employers explain to employees why they're testing, he
said. Workers need to be assured that employers are testing for drugs and
not looking for other health-related information.

The bill presents other tough choices. It lets employers fire workers who
test positive for drugs, which they had wanted. But the bill also requires
employers to treat everyone the same, regardless of rank or tenure. Will
employers risk losing a valued veteran by creating a strict discipline

"People are overwhelmed by the intricacies of this law," Shanahan said.
Small employees may find it too much work, he said. And if the policy is
complicated, the supervisor in the field won't want to deal with it.

Employers who want to test can get help, however. The Association of
Business and Industry and other groups plan to offer seminars to educate
employers on the law and help them develop a drug-testing policy.

A policy may be all a company needs, Samson said. "Employers may find that
the mere threat of random testing is enough," he said. "They could set up a
policy but never do it."

Violent, Sadistic, Racist Officers Of The Law (A Police Officer
Telephones 'New York Times' Columnist Bob Herbert And Explains Anonymously
Why Some Cops Get Away With Crimes Against Humanity)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 21:24:01 +0000
To: press@drugtext.nl, drctalk@drcnet.org, editor@mapinc.org,
maptalk@mapinc.org, Mattalk@Islandnet.com, ukcia-l@mimir.com,
From: Peter Webster 
Subject: ART: Violent, Sadistic, Racist Officers of the Law

International Herald Tribune
March 17 1998
contact: iht@iht.com
source: New York Times

Violent, Sadistic, Racist Officers of the Law

By Bob Herbert

NEW YORK---The police officer called late in the afternoon. He spoke
hesitantly, afraid that his identity would be revealed. I assured him that
it would not.

"I came on this job expecting to do the right thing," he said. "I like
people. I was gung ho. I wanted to help people."

But he said that his efforts and those of many thousands of dedicated men
and women in New York's police department are being undermined by officers
who are arrogant, racist and sadistic.

"A lot of these guys are immature and they don't have common sense," the
officer said. "They've been living with mommy and daddy their whole lives.
You give them a gun and a shield and they just get power crazy: Do you
understand? All of a sudden they're Jesus Christ. They can take people's

Instead of cracking down on these volatile young cops, the department
frequently goes out of its way to reward them.

"They're like rising stars," he said. "That behavior is absolutely a good
way to move up to detective. But in reality they're just bogus tough guys
with no sense of responsibility. There's a difference between being gung ho
and being a punk and a bully."

The officer said it was difficult to estimate the percentage of officers
who engaged in abusive behavior, but he said if he had to 'guess he'd say
about 10 percent.

Some cops, he said, just flat out like to be brutal.

"I used to work with a guy who loved to beat the [expletive] out of
people. He's a sergeant now and he's teaching young cops the same crap he
used to do."

The officer said he had been prompted to call by columns I had written
about two disastrous drug raids that occurred in the Bronx on Feb. 27.

In one of the raids, an innocent man was dragged handcuffed and naked from
his apartment and put through several hours of grotesque humiliation before
being released. It turned out the police had raided the wrong apartment.

In the second raid, a woman who was eight months pregnant and her
15-year-old sister were handcuffed and terrorized by a dozen cops who
turned the apartment upside down in a futile search for marijuana.

The pregnant woman, dressed only in panties and a top, became so
frightened that she urinated. Her plea to be allowed to put on dry clothes
was denied and she was forced to sit handcuffed in her soiled underwear on
her soaked bed for more than two hours.

That ordeal ended when a cop at the scene announced that the wrong
apartment had been hit. Later a police spokesman would insist that the raid
had not been a mistake, although no drugs were found and no arrests were made.

The officer who called me said he had been on a number of similar raids.

"They call it 'booming.' That's crashing the door down," he said.

"What happens is that the narcotics guys get these CIs [confidential
informants] who are trying to cut themselves sweet deals to get them out of
worse charges. They have to come up with something; so they give this
[expletive] information. They'll say this guy is selling pot or whatever.
But a lot of it's not true.

"The narcotics guys go and get a warrant from a judge. And then they boom
the door and totally trash the apartment, but a lot of times they'll come
up with nothing. One that I went on, there was this older black woman in
the apartment. They threw her down and cuffed her and dragged her outside.
It was freezing out and this woman was crying. I felt so bad for-her. I
said, 'What the [expletive] are they doing?' "

No drugs were found, he said. But the woman's apartment was wrecked.

I asked why cops who object to abusive behavior don't intervene and try to
stop it.

"You don't want to be branded a rat," he said. "If you were to challenge
somebody for something that was going on, they would say: 'Listen, if the
supervisor isn't saying anything, what the hell are you interjecting for?
What are you, a rat?' "

"You gotta work with a lot of these guys," he said. "You go on a gun job,
the next thing you know you got nobody following you up the stairs."

New York Times


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

School Drug Investigation Nets 23 Arrests In Plano ('Dallas Morning News'
Says A Seven-Month Undercover Drug Investigation At The Two High Schools
In Plano, Texas, Resulted In 14 Student Arrests For Small Amounts
Of Illicit Substances, And A Realization That 'The Availability Of Drugs
On School Campuses Was Extremely Limited')

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:06:05 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US TX: School Drug Investigation Nets 23 Arrests in Plano
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Author: Sandy Louey / The Dallas Morning News


14 students accused; more charges expected

PLANO - A seven-month undercover drug investigation in Plano's two senior
high schools resulted Monday in the arrests of almost two dozen people,
including 14 students.

Police said the investigation was conducted to identify narcotics problems
in the schools and target individuals trafficking illegal narcotics on and
off campus.

Undercover officers investigated cases involving heroin, cocaine, LSD,
prescription drugs and marijuana. Twenty-three people had been arrested as
of Monday evening; more arrests were expected.

"They are dealing at the street level," Plano Police Chief Bruce Glasscock
said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Officials said the undercover operation is not the first of its kind in the
Plano schools. But the last one was in the mid-1980s. Plano has been in the
spotlight recently because at least a dozen young people with ties to the
city have died of heroin overdoses since 1996.

The undercover investigation, called Rockfest, began last summer as part of
a cooperative effort between the Police Department and the Plano school

"We believe the success of Rockfest will have a lasting impact on the sale
and use of illegal narcotics in Plano," Chief Glasscock said.

Monday morning, Plano police officers, assisted by the Texas Department of
Public Safety's narcotics unit, arrested suspects at Plano Senior High
School, Plano East Senior High School, the district's Special Programs
Center and other locations in the city.

Charges against the individuals included felony counts of delivery of
specific illegal drugs with bail amounts ranging from $1,000 to $40,000.

Officials said the investigation confirmed that the most common way
students are introduced to drugs is at off-campus social events such as

The availability of drugs on school campuses was extremely limited, in part
because the school district has police liaison officers on campuses and
uses dogs to randomly search for narcotics, Chief Glasscock said.

The amounts of drugs seized during the arrests were not large, Chief
Glasscock said.

"Any drugs is too much," Superintendent Doug Otto said.

Dr. Otto said that the 14 students arrested Monday were called out of their
classes and that some students saw police leading them away.

He said he hoped the arrests will send the message to other students that
the district will take the necessary steps to ensure that the schools are
drug-free and safe.

"There are consequences that you can end up paying," Chief Glasscock said.

He said one of the most important things that the police saw during the
investigation was a lack of parental involvement in some families.

"Know where your kids are," he said.

Officials said the undercover investigation that began last summer has
resulted in charges against 33 adults 17 and older and four juveniles. A
Collin County grand jury indicted 26 of the adults last week, with arrest
warrants obtained for the remaining seven adult suspects.

Collin County District Attorney Tom O'Connell said the charges are state
felonies, but their punishments and fines will vary depending on the drug
and the amount seized. Punishment can range from five to 99 years or life
in prison plus a $10,000 fine for a first-degree felony to two to 10 years
in prison and a $5,000 fine for a third-degree felony.

On Friday, Martin Aguirre, 32, was charged with two counts of delivery of a
controlled substance, while Sylvia Gomez-Vasque, 17, was charged with two
counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Those arrested Monday were James Amster, 17, charged with two counts of
delivery of a controlled substance; Tomas Cruz, 29, charged with delivery
of a controlled substance; Kurt Gross, 17, charged with delivery of a
controlled substance; Mindi Gullickson, 18, charged with delivery of a
controlled substance; Jonathan Kollman, 17, charged with two counts of
delivery of a controlled substance; Peyton Lynn, 17, charged with delivery
of a controlled substance; Dustin Martinez, 18, charged with delivery of a
controlled substance.

Also arrested Monday were Santiago Mejia, 18, charged with delivery of a
controlled substance; Adam Noe, 17, charged with delivery of a controlled
substance; Harold Price, 27, charged with delivery of a controlled
substance; Natalie Price, 19, charged with three counts of delivery of a
controlled substance; John Pruett, 19, charged with delivery of a
controlled substance; Miles Ryan, 17, charged with delivery of a controlled
substance; Jessica Singer, 18, charged with delivery of a controlled
substance; Craig Turner, 17, charged with five counts of delivery of a
controlled substance; and Ian Ybarbo, 17, charged with delivery of a
controlled substance.

The charges for five others arrested Monday - Jason Hewett, 19; Brandon
King, 22; and Saharmaz Parsa, 17, and two 16-year-olds - were not

Plano residents affected by the city's heroin problem applauded the arrests.

"The kids . . . obviously haven't learned enough by hearing or reading
about all these heroin deaths," said Carol Lausch, whose church offered a
drug-awareness program last fall after a teenage boy overdosed. He survived
but remains in a coma.

"Maybe now that some of the kids have actually seen people they know
arrested for dealing drugs, they'll take it more seriously," Mrs. Lausch

Linda Sharp, whose 17-year-old daughter, Mary Catherine, died in April of a
heroin overdose, called the arrests a step in the right direction.

But she added, "I'm fearful parents will think that now it's all taken care
of, that it can go back to business as usual. . . . But for every dealer
they arrest, there'll be two more ready to take their place. We can't let
our guard down."

Chris Fischer, 18, a senior at Plano Senior High, also praised the drug
sweep but said teens who are already deeply into drugs probably won't be

"A lot of teenagers have this invincibility complex, and when people are
doing drugs, it's even worse," Mr. Fischer said. "The person right next to
them could be arrested for drugs, or someone they know overdoses, but they
still won't get it."

The high visibility of the arrests, though, may get the attention of those
just starting to experiment with drugs, he said.

"A lot of kids out here are completely beyond what real life is about," he
said. "They're used to being able to mess up and not suffer the
consequences like other people do.

"This might be a nice little jolt of reality. There's not a lot your
parents can do to get you out of trouble if you're dealing drugs."

Staff writer Joy Dickinson contributed to this report.

Seizure Law Goes Before Justices ('Star-Ledger' Says New Jersey Supreme Court
Is Weighing Whether A Jury Rather Than A Judge Should Have Decided
Whether A Woman Should Forfeit Her Car Because Her 46-Year-Old Son
Sold Drugs From It Without Her Permission)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 17:13:40 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US NJ: Seizure Law Goes Before Justices
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Paff
Pubdate: Tuesday, 17 Mar 1998
Source: Star-Ledger
Author: Kathy Barrett Carter, Staff Writer
Contact: eletters@starledger.com
Website: http://www.nj.com/news/


When the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office took 67-year-old Lois
McDermott's 1990 Honda after catching her son dealing drugs from the car in
Highlands, she thought something was terribly wrong.

She contested the seizure and asked for a jury trial. After all, she did not
give her son permission to take the car, much less know he would use the
Accord as a rolling drug dispensary, according to Elizabeth Macron, the
Howell lawyer representing McDermott.

But the trial judge turned down her request and ruled in favor of the
county, forcing McDermott to forfeit her car. A three-judge panel of the
Appellate Division, in a split decision, reversed the trial judge. That
decision landed the case before the state's highest court yesterday.

McDermott thinks a jury would be more sympathetic to her situation, but a
deputy attorney general says the decision should be left in the hands of a

The court was not grappling with the constitutionality of New Jersey's tough
forfeiture laws, which can be used to force someone suspected of criminal
activity to surrender anything from a luxury home to petty cash. The laws
allow the police to take anything used in an illegal drug activity or
anything that was bought with money from such activities.

The seven justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court were dealing with a
simpler question: Is McDermott entitled to a jury trial under the New Jersey

But to answer that straightforward question, the justices were taken back to
1776, when New Jersey's first constitution was adopted.

As it turns out, the fate of McDermott's car depends on whether the framers
of New Jersey's first constitution adopted English common law, which would
have provided for a jury trial in such cases. Answering that question is no
easy task.

The dialogue turned to historic legal theories that caused Justice Stewart
Pollock to say, "I feel like we should all be wearing wigs."

Richard W. Berg, deputy attorney general and confessed history buff, said
the right to a jury trial in a forfeiture case "did not survive the

After the Revolutionary War it was not part of New Jersey law, he said.
Consequently, he said McDermott's case should be decided by a judge. He said
the practice in New Jersey was not to allow jury trials in forfeiture cases.
Macron disputed that assertion, citing The Dolphin case of 1685, in which 12
jurors from Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth) were asked to determine whether
the state could seize a ship. Although the justices tossed around archaic
legal theories, the stakes are high for today's prosecutors and police
officers. Law enforcement rakes in significant sums annually by seizing
cars, cash, guns, jewelry, real estate and other assets. According to the
latest statistics from the Attorney General's Office, in 1996 close to $13
million was collected by seizing property and cash.

Berg said a survey of prosecutors' offices showed there were roughly 2,500
pending forfeiture cases. If even a faction of those had to be tried, it
would defeat the purpose of the law because some of the property would be
almost worthless by the time the case was resolved. He noted this case
involves a car that is already eight years old.

"The car is losing value," said Berg. "At a point it's not beneficial to
pursue it if you're going to get tied up in a jury trial. I think the
Legislature had this in mind when it said judges could decide these cases."

The law was designed to take the financial incentive out of drug

Law enforcement officials are quick to point out that the money saves
taxpayers millions. It is used to purchase equipment, provide training
classes, build new facilities and to support anti-drug community activities.

Opponents of the forfeiture laws say they are flawed because a person does
not have to be convicted of a crime to have property confiscated.

Others also point out that the law can sometimes harm innocent people and,
in the worst case, can be abused by overzealous prosecutors.

Just last week Attorney General Peter Verniero issued new guidelines
described as "a blueprint designed to protect and enhance public trust" in
how forfeiture programs are administered. Macron said McDermott's case is a
prime example of an innocent third person being caught in the middle. She
said McDermott has a heart condition and could not keep her 46-year-old son,
John "Jackie" McDermott, from taking the car.

The trial judge said McDermott should have done more to keep the car from
her son, but Macron said she thinks a jury would understand that is not
always easy.

"What was she supposed to do? Put her son out of the house?" asked Macron,
who said she thinks a jury of mothers would be more understanding than a

"Let this go to a jury," McDermott said.

But Berg said, "She knew he was a drug dealer."

Along with the Honda, Berg said $420 in cash was seized from the son, who
pleaded guilty on June 24, 1996, to possession of drugs and other charges.

Police Dig Up $2.8M At Tennessee Home (Cautionary Tale
From 'Associated Press' - Make Up Your Own Punchline)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 16:03:05 -0800 (PST)
From: pcehthns@scn.org (SCN User)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: gestapo treasure map
Reply-To: pcehthns@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Police Dig Up $2.8M at Tenn. Home

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Police used a ``treasure map'' to find $2.8 million
buried in plastic containers in the yard of a couple suspected of being major
marijuana dealers.

Charles Hicks, 46, and his wife, Donna, 44, were arrested on drug charges and
jailed on $500,000 bail each.

On Friday, after seeing people leave the Hickses' Nashville home with boxes of
marijuana, officers searched the place and found 120 pounds of the drug,
$100,000 in the attic, and, in a dresser, a piece of paper indicating where
money was buried at another Hicks home, in Lebanon.

``We came across a treasure map,'' police spokesman Don Aaron said. ``It told
us where to dig.''

Police used a backhoe to dig up the money over the weekend.

Investigators said they also found $1 million in a commercial storage center.

Police said Hicks and his wife were responsible for the delivery of thousands
of pounds of marijuana into the Nashville area.

Singer James Brown To Enter Drug Treatment Program ('Reuters'
Notes The Hardest Working Man In Show Business Is Coerced Into Treatment
By Threat Of Two-Year Sentence For Firearm Violation)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 19:06:08 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US SC: Singer James Brown to enter drug treatment program
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave Fratello <104730.1000@compuserve.com>
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


AIKEN, S.C., March 17 (Reuters) - Singer James Brown, the "Godfather of
Soul," agreed to enter a drug treatment program after pleading no contest
last week to firearms charges, a South Carolina prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Brown, 64, was arrested Jan. 27 on misdemeanor marijuana possession and
firearms charges after he allegedly fired off guns at his Beech Island,
South Carolina home outside Augusta, Georgia while under the influence of
drugs. He was sentenced March 13 in an Aiken, South Carolina court to two
years in prison, with the sentence suspended pending payment of a $500 fine
and completion of a 90-day treatment program at a private hospital, lawyer
Lawrence Brown said.

"If he fails to complete the drug program within six months, then the
two-year sentence can be imposed," he said.

Brown in January spent six days in a Columbia, S.C. hospital, where his
agent said he was treated for an addiction to painkillers he had been
taking since he was injured doing a split on stage in Florida. The singer
said he was not addicted to pain killers, but smoked small amounts of
marijuana for medicinal purposes and kept weapons in his home for

Brown served three years in prison for a 1988 conviction on weapons and
assault charges.

"We have no comment," a woman answering the phone at James Brown
Enterprises said before ringing off.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.

Help Oppose Anti-Medicinal Marijuana Resolution
(Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC, Asks You To Please
Take A Few Minutes And Write A Letter To Oppose House Resolution 372,
The US House Of Representatives' Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 18:02:56 -0500
From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG)
Organization: Marijuana Policy Project
Sender: owner-mppupdates@igc.apc.org
Subject: Help oppose anti-medicinal marijuana resolution
To: MPPupdates@igc.org

Since our March 13 legislative update on House Resolution 372 (please
see http://www.mpp.org/la031398.html), we have heard from many MPP
members and allies who have written to their U.S. representatives asking
them to oppose this anti-medicinal marijuana resolution. If you have not
already done so, please ask your U.S. representative to vote against
this resolution (http://www.mpp.org/HRes372.html). Remember to inform us
of any response you receive.

Because it will still be at least another week before the U.S. House of
Representatives votes on House Resolution 372, there is time to increase
the public opposition to this resolution by submitting a
letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper(s).

Please use the following sample letter as a guide.


March __, 1998

To the editor:

Congress will soon be voting on a heartless anti-medicinal
marijuana resolution. House Resolution 372 declares that marijuana
"should not be legalized for medicinal use." This extremist resolution
further urges "the defeat of state initiatives which would seek to
legalize marijuana for medicinal use."

If passed, this non-binding resolution would not create new law,
but it would send the wrong message -- that our federal legislators
support putting seriously ill people in prison for using medicinal

Indeed, medicinal marijuana is already illegal under federal law:
A patient convicted of possessing one joint faces up to one year in
prison; a patient growing even one marijuana plant for personal,
medical use faces up to five years in prison.

Patients should be allowed to use medicinal marijuana if their
doctors approve. Furthermore, doctors should not be penalized for
recommending such use.

Whether or not you support changing the medicinal marijuana
laws, what ever happened to states' rights? The U.S. House should
not go out of its way to dictate to the voters what their state laws
should be. This arrogant, Washington-knows-best attitude must be

I urge all readers to contact their U.S. representative and ask him
or her to vote "no" on House Resolution 372. Stop arresting patients!





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

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

202-232-0442 FAX

Text Of US House Resolution 372 (The Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 14:30:02 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Adam J. Smith" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: [Fwd: Sense of the House of Representatives]


In case anyone hasn't seen the text of the "Sense of the House" resolution
against med mj (scheduled to be voted on next week -- call your reps and
urge them to oppose) please check out the language.

Its... its... its... well, almost unbelievable (even considering that it
comes from the Congress.)

Link to dissenting statements
HRES 372 IH 105th CONGRESS 2d Session H. RES. 372 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 26, 1998 Mr. MCCOLLUM (for himself, Mr. HASTERT, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. COBLE, Mr. BUYER, Mr. CHABOT, Mr. BARR of Georgia, Mr. HUTCHINSON, and Mr. GEKAS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use. Whereas certain drugs are listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act if they have a high potential for abuse, lack any currently accepted medical use in treatment, and are unsafe, even under medical supervision; Whereas the consequences of addiction to Schedule I drugs are well documented, particularly with regard to physical health, highway safety, criminal activity, and domestic violence; Whereas marijuana--which along with crack cocaine, heroin, PCP, and more than 100 other drugs, has long been classified as a Schedule I drug--is both dangerous and addictive, with research clearly demonstrating that smoked marijuana impairs normal brain functions and damages the heart, lungs, reproductive, and immune systems; Whereas before any drug can be approved as a medication in the United States, it must meet extensive scientific and medical standards established by the Food and Drug Administration, and marijuana has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat any disease or condition; Whereas a review by the Annals of Internal Medicine of more than 6,000 articles from the medical literature evaluating the potential medicinal applications of marijuana concluded that marijuana is not a medicine, that its use causes significant toxicity, and that numerous safe and effective medicines are available, which means that the use of crude marijuana for medicinal purposes is unnecessary and inappropriate; Whereas on the basis of the scientific evidence and the testimony of the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Association, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the National Eye Institute, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana has not met the necessary standards to be approved as medicine; Whereas the States of Arizona and California, through State initiatives in 1996, legalized the sale and use of marijuana for `medicinal' use, while the State of Washington in 1997 rejected an initiative to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for `medicinal' use; Whereas after the initiative in Arizona, the legislature of the State of Arizona, with the support of a majority of the citizens of the State, passed legislation to prevent the dispensing of any substance as medicine which had not first been approved as medicine by the Food and Drug Administration, thereby preventing marijuana from being dispensed in the State; Whereas these States and a majority of States in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, have been targeted by out-of-State organizations which advocate drug legalization for `medical' marijuana initiatives in 1998 and 1999, and these organizations have provided the majority of the financial support for these State initiatives; Whereas some individuals and organizations who support `medical' marijuana initiatives do oppose drug legalization, prominent pro-legalization organizations have admitted their strategy is to promote drug legalization nationally through State `medical' marijuana initiatives, and, as such, are seeking to exploit the public's compassion for the terminally ill to advance their agenda; Whereas marijuana use by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders declined steadily from 1980 to 1992, but, from 1992 to 1996, such use dramatically increased--by 253 percent among 8th graders, 151 percent among 10th graders, and 84 percent among 12th graders--and the average age of first-time use of marijuana is now younger than it has ever been; Whereas according to the 1997 survey by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 500,000 8th graders began using marijuana in the 6th and 7th grades; Whereas according to that same 1997 survey, youths between the ages of 12 and 17 who use marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those who abstain from marijuana and 60 percent of adolescents who use marijuana before the age of 15 will later use cocaine; Whereas the rate of drug use among youth is linked to their perceptions of the risks which are related to drugs and, in that regard, the glamorization of marijuana and the ambiguous cultural messages about marijuana use are contributing to a growing acceptance of marijuana use among adolescents and teenagers; Whereas surveys taken in the wake of State `medical' marijuana initiatives indicate a more approving attitude toward marijuana use among teenagers than prior to the initiatives; and Whereas the evidence of the last 2 years indicates that the more the public learns about the facts behind the `medical' marijuana campaign, the more strongly opposed the public becomes to such initiatives: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That-- (1) the United States House of Representatives is unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and urges the defeat of State initiatives which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use; and (2) the Attorney General of the United States should submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives before the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the adoption of this resolution on-- (A) the total quantity of marijuana eradicated in the United States beginning with 1992 through 1997; and (B) the annual number of arrests and prosecutions for Federal marijuana offenses beginning with 1992 through 1997.

Give 'Em Enough Rope And They'll . . . (List Subscriber
Notes The House Resolution's Proposed Call For Statistical Information
On Federal Marijuana Offenders And Eradication Numbers
Is Something Reformers Have Been Seeking For Years - Plus Other Commentary)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 15:46:18 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Sense of the House of Representatives]

It seems to me item 2 (A) & (B) could backfire on them critters. The AG
must do a report on total pot eradication and total number of arrests and
convictions for pot...then a comparative analysis of just what percentage
of the total cultivation, the total number of users/sellers reveals the
obvious failure of adult cannabis prohibition. Doesn't it?

Floyd, give 'em enough (hemp) rope and they'll...


Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 16:08:22 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Maximillien Baudelaire 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Sense of the House of Representatives]

At 03:46 PM 3/19/98 EST, you wrote:
>It seems to me item 2 (A) & (B) could backfire on them critters. The AG
>must do a report on total pot eradication and total number of arrests and
>convictions for pot...then a comparative analysis of just what percentage
>of the total cultivation, the total number of users/sellers reveals the
>obvious failure of adult cannabis prohibition. Doesn't it?
>Floyd, give 'em enough (hemp) rope and they'll...

Assuming, of course, that the "reports" are objective and not tinkered with.

I met a woman at a party one night, who claimed to have known a person who
was the California district chief or such of the USDA. She went on at
length to say that he submitted (as required by law) his reports on
commercial agriculture and land use, and that he gave an honest accounting
of the actual $% values of marijuana relative to all other commercial
crops. Needless to say, marijuana is the NUMBER ONE crop of California.

Well, this woman went on to say that the higher-ups at USDA returned the
report to this individual, demanding it be revised, as in its original
form it conflicted with "policy objectives" and was therefore
"unacceptable". The woman went on to say that her principled friend
resubmitted it again, without modification, and some short time later he
found himself out of a job.

Well, I have no proof of anything... and this is just hearsay from someone
I met at a party. But then again, it seems to fit with the government's
well-trodden pattern of widely publicizing information/studies which
support their policies, while either seeking to undercutting science or
reports that contradict the official line. Obviously, this fact fudging is
the most opportune way to sway the public. They base their reports and
data on lies, so the only logical conclusions will support their BIG LIE.
Anytime the truth leaks out of course, then the study must have been
faulty... or, as in the case of the CA & AZ initiatives, "the people were
duped by evil drug legalizers who want your kids addicted to heroin,
therefore the results are null and void".

There is no end to their unlawful arrogance. They will only waken from
their stupor when we collectively give 'em a good hard thump on the noggin!

- Max

Study - Treatment Best For Addicts ('Associated Press' Says A Report
Released Tuesday By The Physician Leadership On National Drug Policy
Shows Medical Treatment For Drug Addiction Works As Well
As Treating Diabetes Or Other Chronic Diseases, Dramatically Reduces Crime
And Is A Lot Cheaper Than Jail - But A Separate Survey Indicates The Public
Believes Just The Opposite - That Jail Is Best, While Support For Drug Treatment
Is Dropping)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:39:38 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Study: Treatment Best for Addicts
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan 
Source: Associated Press
Author: Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer
Pubdate: 17 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Medical treatment for drug addiction works as well as
treating diabetes or other chronic diseases, dramatically reduces crime and
is a lot cheaper than jail, says a study released Tuesday by bipartisan
public health experts.

But a separate survey indicates that the public believes just the opposite
-- that jail is best, while support for drug treatment is dropping.

That perception prompts the federal government to spend only 20 percent of
the nation's $17 billion drug-control budget to treat addicts, a proportion
the doctors' group concluded should increase.

``We've been telling people to 'just say no' when addiction is a biological
event,'' said Dr. June Osborn of the new Physician Leadership on National
Drug Policy, prominent physicians and public health leaders from the
Clinton, Bush and Reagan administrations that commissioned the research from
half a dozen universities.

``There must be a bridge between what the public believes and the science,''
added Dr. Lonnie Bristow of the American Medical Association, who is helping
provide the data to Republican congressional leaders who control drug

That's not to say medically treating the 14 million American alcoholics and
6.7 million drug addicts is a cure -- many do relapse.

But the scientists concluded that:

--Jailing a drug addict costs $25,900 per year. A year of traditional
outpatient drug treatment costs $1,800, intensive outpatient care costs
$2,500, methadone treatment for heroin users costs $3,900 and residential
drug-treatment programs range from $4,400 to $6,800 a year.

--Drug treatment can cut crime by 80 percent, said Brown University
addiction director Norman Hoffman. Brown researcher Craig Love studied
female substance abusers who were in jail, and found that 25 percent who
underwent treatment were later re-arrested, vs. 62 percent released without
substance abuse treatment. A California study of 1,600 drug abusers found
their involvement in drug sales, drug-related prostitution and theft
decreased threefold after treatment.

--Every dollar invested in drug treatment can save $7 in societal and
medical costs, said former Assistant Health Secretary Philip Lee.

--Long-term drug treatment is as effective as long-term treatment for
chronic diseases, said Dr. Thomas McLellan of the University of
Pennsylvania. One-year relapse rates for the diseases and for addicts all
are about 50 percent, he said. Compliance with therapy is similar, too: Less
than half of diabetics comply with their therapy, less than 30 percent of
asthma and hypertension patients and less than 40 percent of alcohol or drug

--Drug treatment also helps society's health, McLellan said. Heroin users,
for example, are at huge risk of catching and spreading the AIDS virus or
hepatitis. A seven-year study of heroin addicts found 51 percent who never
entered drug treatment caught HIV during that period, vs. 21 percent of
treated addicts.

Yet, there is a severe shortage of drug-treatment programs, the doctors

About 15 percent of people who need treatment get it. About seven states
don't offer any methadone clinics for heroin addicts, and every U.S.
methadone clinic has a waiting list. Only between one in 20 and one in five
pregnant drug abusers can get drug treatment because of too few programs,
inability to pay or too few inpatient programs that will accept the woman's
other children, said Pennsylvania's Dr. Jeffrey Merrill.

The findings conflict with public opinion.

An analysis of national surveys being published Wednesday in the Journal of
the American Medical Association finds public support for increased spending
on drug treatment has dropped from 65 percent in 1990 to 53 percent in 1996.

In contrast, 84 percent of Americans say the solution is tougher criminal
penalties. Next on the list are anti-drug education, more police and
mandatory drug testing.

The physicians group has elicited early interest in the data from Republican
health and drug-policy leaders such as Sens. Jim Jeffords of Vermont and
Orrin Hatch of Utah. National drug policy chief Barry McCaffrey also
welcomed the data, and will discuss it next week at a conference on how to
improve drug treatment inside prisons.

Medical Leaders Support Treatment For Drug Users
('Knight Ridder News Service' Version Notes The Physician Leadership
On National Drug Policy Charge That The Nation's Emphasis On Punishment
Rather Than Treatment Is Fundamentally Flawed And A Costly Mistake
Is The First Time The Medical Establishment Has United To Challenge
Government Drug Policy)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:53:18 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: Medical Leaders Support Treatment for Drug Users
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Knight Ridder News Service
Pubdate: 17 March 1998


WASHINGTON -- With drug abuse again on the rise and the Clinton
administration proposing major new treatment initiatives, America's medical
establishment argued Tuesday addiction can be treated as effectively as
diabetes or asthma.

That means the nation's current emphasis on punishment rather than treatment
is fundamentally flawed and a costly mistake, the doctors said, in an
unusually strong critique of government drug policy.

``We're hoping we can rebalance the way we approach this enormous problem,''
said Dr. June Osborn, the chair of the Physician Leadership on National Drug
Policy, which issued the critique. ``This doesn't mean the criminal justice
system has no role here, but it shouldn't be left to deal with addiction on
its own.''

Though this idea has been around for some time, the critique is the first
time the medical establishment has united to challenge government drug
policy. The group included 37 prominent doctors, including former members of
the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations.

``These findings echo the administration's efforts to provide more effective
drug treatment to addicts and to break the cycle of drug crime and
imprisonment,'' said Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug czar, who
was briefed on the report last week.

McCaffrey said his office would study the report during a conference next

Treatment vs. punishment has long been the debate in drug policy, but
punishment has won out in recent history, as drug sentences have been
toughened and the number of drug-related sentences has ballooned. As of
1997, 60 percent of all federal prisoners were sentenced for drug

One of the difficulties facing the doctors is the public's views of the drug
problem are strikingly different than theirs. A new study showing the public
wants more jail time and less treatment for drug users was also released
Tuesday. The doctors said the public has been misled by media accounts, and
government should not be influenced by a misinformed public.

``Policy makers weigh public opinion more than they weigh the science,''
said Dr. Phillip Lee of the University of California at San Francisco
medical school and a former Clinton administration official. ``The
administration is cutting the money for treatment. This is a very wrong

McCaffrey has supported treatment in the past but opposition from Congress
has made it hard for him to significantly change the administration's focus.

In comparing drug addiction to asthma or diabetes, the physicians face
criticism from those who argue addicts make a choice, while asthmatics do
not. The doctors countered with evidence drug addiction is in part
genetically determined.

``It would be very hard for someone who doesn't have the genetic trait for
alcoholism to become addicted to alcohol,'' said Dr. Thomas McLellan, a
psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. ``Yes, there is a
choice involved, but so is there in insulin-dependent diabetes. You wouldn't
be insulin-dependent if you watched your diet and reduced salt intake.''

Another concern has been drug addicts often relapse, making treatment a
losing battle. The doctors said treating drug addicts is as effective as
treating asthma or diabetes. About 50 percent of diabetics fail to go
through with their treatments. About 40 percent of drug addicts similarly

``Would you consider a 50 to 60 percent success rate in diabetes treatment a
success? Most of the world does. The same can be said of drug treatment,'
said McLellan.

While most Americans consider the war on drugs a failure, they don't want to
give up on a tough law enforcement solution, according to a new study in the
Journal of the American Medical Association. They view drug abuse as a moral
problem, while doctors see it as a public health problem.

The study also found most Americans get their information on drugs from both
news and entertainment programs on television. The coalition doctors said
they are making their unprecedented public push mostly to counter what they
see as misinformation.

``Public opinion has to be better informed than it is,'' said Dr. Lonnie
Bristow, a former president of the American Medical Association.

The coalition of doctors consists of several medical heavyweights, including
former Food and Drug Administration head David Kessler; Dr. Antonia Novello,
the Surgeon General for the Bush administration; Dr. Frederick Robbins, a
Nobel laureate in medicine; the deans of several prestigious medical
schools; and the heads of several professional medical associations.

Sending addicts to jail costs society much more than treating them, they
argue. The annual cost of jailing each addict is $25,900, whereas the annual
cost of treating each addict ranges from $1,800 for outpatient treatment to
$6,800 for long-term hospitalization.

``Society is paying way too much to deal with drug addiction,' said Dr.
David Lewis, a professor of medicine at Brown University.

Lewis was the catalyst for the critique. He had been researching a book on
the history of narcotic prohibition when he noticed the medical profession
as a whole had not embraced the overwhelming research supporting the
effectiveness of drug treatment.

``The thing I noticed was the medical profession bought the dope fiend
image,'' he said. ``Those doctors who advocated treatment were shot down and
thought to be on the fringe.''

AIDS Advisers Express No Confidence In Administration ('Associated Press'
Notes Clinton's AIDS Advisors Have Unanimously Expressed No Confidence
In His Commitment To Reducing The Spread Of AIDS Because Of His Failure
To Fund Needle Exchange Programs)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 19:05:45 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WIRE: AIDS Advisers Express No-Confidence in Administration
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) and Marcus-Mermelstein
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- In their harshest criticism yet, President Clinton's
AIDS advisers unanimously expressed no confidence in the administration's
commitment to reducing the spread of AIDS because of its failure to fund
programs that give drug addicts clean needles.

They demanded that the administration immediately free federal money for
the needle-exchange programs, which have been proven to prevent the spread
of the deadly virus.

``The administration's current policy on needle exchange programs threatens
the public health, and directly contradicts current scientific evidence,''
said the resolution by the Presidential Council on HIV/AIDS.

It also called on Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to
immediately declare that these programs reduce the spread of HIV without
encouraging drug use.

``Tragically, we must conclude that it is a lack of political will, not
scientific evidence, that is creating this failure to act,'' the council
said in a letter to Clinton today. The council wrote a similar letter
Monday to Shalala.

``We're angry,'' said Dr. Scott Hitt, chairman of the influential council
and a Los Angeles physician, who said 33 people are infected each day
through contaminated needles.

More than half of all people newly infected with HIV catch 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. And Clinton's own advisers have repeatedly warned the
administration that they are growing frustrated over its refusal to back
federal funding of such programs.

``Every day that goes by means more needless new infections and more human
suffering,'' they wrote Shalala on Monday.

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

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 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.

AIDS Panel - Needle Program Needed (Different 'Associated Press' Version)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:49:22 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: AIDS Panel: Needle Program Needed
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/
Source: Associated Press
Author: Laura Meckler, Associated Press Writer
Pubdate: 17 March 1998

AIDS Panel: Needle Program Needed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton's AIDS advisers unanimously expressed
no confidence in the administration's commitment to reducing the spread of
AIDS, accusing officials of playing politics with people's lives.

``The administration's current policy on needle-exchange programs threatens
the public health, and directly contradicts current scientific evidence,''
said the resolution approved Tuesday by the Presidential Council on

It was the harshest criticism yet from the panel, whose members are furious
that the administration has not allowed federal funding for programs giving
drug addicts clean needles in exchange for dirty ones that may be
contaminated with the deadly HIV virus.

``Our patience is exhausted,'' said the panel's chairman, Dr. Scott Hitt,
who treats patients with HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles.

Hitt estimated that tens of thousands of new HIV infections could be
prevented through needle-exchange programs. More than half of all people who
become infected with HIV catch the deadly virus through contaminated needles
or sex with injecting drug users -- or are children born to infected

``Tragically, we must conclude that it is a lack of political will, not
scientific evidence, that is creating this failure to act,'' the council
said Tuesday in a letter to Clinton.

Using taxpayer money to buy needles for addicts has become a politically
touchy issue, with conservatives arguing that these programs send the wrong

One council member, Terje Anderson of Colorado Springs, Colo., spoke of his
past heroin use and argued that availability of needles is no more likely to
cause drug use than matches are to cause smoking.

``The question should be, `Do you care about the lives of people like me?'''
said Anderson, who no longer uses drugs but is HIV positive. ``Are you
willing to take steps -- perhaps politically risky or unpopular steps -- in
order to save lives?'''

Federal law allows funding of needle-exchange programs, but only if the
Department of Health and Human Services concludes that they are effective in
reducing the spread of HIV without increasing drug use.

HHS Secretary Donna Shalala has already agreed with leading scientists that
the programs are effective in fighting HIV. But she says she is still
reviewing drug use data, promising to make the decision on good science.

``We will operate on the best information available,'' agency spokeswoman
Laurie Boeder said Tuesday.

Council members say the proof is already there, citing six government-funded
reports, including an independent group of experts convened by the National
Institutes of Health.

``Does needle exchange promote drug use? A preponderance of evidence shows
either no change or decreased drug use,'' the NIH concluded more than a year
ago, saying the ban on funding for these programs will lead to ``many
thousands of unnecessary deaths.''

But Shalala is still waiting for studies by drug abuse experts and is still
reviewing the data already available, Boeder said. The results of studies
will not be available for several months, she said, adding, ``There is no
timetable'' for announcing a decision.

Council members accused Shalala of letting politics dictate policy, but they
stopped short of calling for her resignation, as some members have
suggested. They have also rejected suggestions that they resign in protest.

More than 80 needle exchanges, paid for by private, state or local money,
already operate in the United States, but AIDS activists say expanding them
will require federal funding. More importantly, Hitt said, more private
money would be generated if the government gave its endorsement.

``Many people in this country and the world are looking to the secretary to
say the science is there,'' he said. ``It's time for her to come out and say
where she stands.''

AIDS Advisers Urge Federal Funding For Clean Needles
('Orange County Register' Version)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:34:15 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: AIDS Advisers Urge Federal Funding for Clean Needles
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: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


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.

Pediatrician Benjamin Spock Dies (List Subscriber
Combines Excerpts From 'Washington Post' Obituary
With Excerpts From Spock's Popular Classic, 'Baby And Child Care,'
Offering Advice About Adolescent Marijuana Use)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 23:47:36 -0700
Subject: Dr. Spock
From: "Debbie Harper3" 
To: mattalk 

Hi all

I thought a little tribute to the colourful, controversial Dr. Spock would be
a nice idea. The excerpt I am using is from an older version of his book,
and am wondering if his views changed in the more recent editions.

Pediatrician Benjamin Spock Dies
By Bart Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 17, 1998; Page A01

Benjamin M. Spock, 94, the United States' most celebrated pediatrician, who
more than 50 years ago wrote the definitive child-rearing manual for
millions of parents throughout the world, died Sunday at his home in San
Diego. In recent months, he had suffered strokes, a heart attack and several
bouts of pneumonia.

Spock's book, "Baby and Child Care," has sold more than 50 million copies in
the United States and other English-speaking countries in six editions, the
most recent of which was published in 1992. It has been translated into 38
languages and distributed in 31 foreign countries. A seventh edition is
scheduled for publication May 2, the 95th anniversary of Spock's birth.


In a statement released by the White House yesterday, President Clinton
said: "For half a century, Dr. Spock guided parents across the country
and around the world in their most important job -- raising their children.

As a pediatrician, writer and teacher, Dr. Spock offered sage advice and
gentle support to generations of families, and he taught all of us the
importance of respecting children. He was a tireless advocate, devoting
himself to the cause of improving the lives of children."

Full article



excerpt from Baby and Child Care (1976 edition)

643. The use of marijuana is in a distinctly different category from that of
the more dangerous drugs. A large percentage of young people-even of high
school age - have tried it at least a few times. There is no element of

Most of the young people who have used marijuana have tried it only a few
times or use it much less often than daily. The uncommon individual who
regularly smokes several times a day and remains in a state of mild
intoxication should not be thought of as having been ruined by marijuana,
Iıd say, but as a person who has lost his or her sense of purpose and seeks
comfort in marijuana, just as other individuals have chronically abused
alcohol and other dangerous drugs.

Though marijuana has been accused of causing many kinds of physical and
psychological disability, and though no one can promise that the substance
will never be found harmful, the fact is that up to the time of writing
(1976) the only damage that has been proved is a lowering of sex hormone and
sperm count in males, who use it amply and regularly. Young people keep up
with the news about marijuana and only lose confidence in adults who make
exaggerated or discredited claims.

It certainly is true that marijuana is much less dangerous than tobacco and
alcohol which kill or incapacitate tens of thousands each year.

In speaking to a young teen-ager I would say, in effect: Tobacco causes many
deaths from cancer and heart disease. Most doctors have quit because of what
theyıve seen, though quitting is difficult and painful. Alcoholism causes
disease and deaths and and ruins millions of families. Even the mild drug
marijuana makes it easier for a few heavy users to get off the track.. The
stage of life you will be going through now is the most difficult of all,
with many changes and tension; some people lose their drive and their sense
of direction. I wish that you would wait until your are 18 or 20, when
things will have settled down and youıll know more about what you want out
of life before you decide whether or not to drink, smoke tobacco, smoke pot.
But of course it is you who will have to make the decision. This advice is a
lot more persuasive if the parents are not using alcohol, tobacco,
tranquilizers, or stimulants.

Then I would count on my childrenıs good sense. They might well use these
various drugs at times. ( most of us parents in our youth went against our
parentsı request on tobacco or alcohol, at least occasionally.)

But I would know that further lectures by me-or sharp questions or
snooping-not only would do no good but would provoke and tempt my children
to rebel.

Iım not advocating or justifying the use of any drug. If we had a happier
society with fewer tensions-which I believe we could have-people wouldnıt
need to soothe themselves with any drug. Iım only suggesting to parents that
there is no presently known reason to become panicky about the occasional
use of marijuana.

Heroin is of course extremely dangerous from every point of view. LSD
("acid") often causes serious emotional disturbances. The abuse of
amphetamine ("speed") leads to physical and emotional exhaustion.


Dr. Spock - Biography

--Went to Yale University and was a member of the crew team that won a gold
medal in the 1924 Olympics.

--Received his medical degree from Columbia University and studied at the
New York Psychoanalytic Institute

--Taught Pediatrics at Cornell University from 1933-1943 while maintaining a
private practice in New York City.

--Was a psychiatrist in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corps - received
discharged in 1946 as a Lieutenant Commander

--In 1951, after four years teaching psychiatry at the University of
Minnesota, joined the University of Pittsburgh as professor of child

--Joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University in 1955.

--Wrote a column for nearly 30 years, first for Ladies Home Journal and
later for Redbook

--Was a co-chairman of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy

--Lead a march on the Pentagon in 1967 in opposition of the Vietnam War

--Convicted in Boston and sentenced to two years in prison in 1968 for
conspiracy to aid, abet and counsel young men to avoid the draft. The
verdict was reversed on appeal

--Passed away Sunday, March 15, 1998 in San Diego, CA at the age of 94.


Some Cool Words On A Hot Topic - Tobacco
(Op-Ed In 'Orange County Register' Faults America's Drift
Toward Tobacco Prohibition By Praising A New Book By Jacob Sullum Of 'Reason'
Magazine, 'For Your Own Good - The Anti-Smoking Crusade
And Tyranny Of Public Health,' Which Notes The 'Roof Caved In On'
The Tobacco Industry In 1990 When EPA Released A Draft Of A Report
Classifying Second-Hand Smoke As A 'Known Human Carcinogen,'
And Followed That Up In December 1992 With An Estimate
That It Causes 3,000 Cases Of Lung Cancer Every Year - Sullum Found
That Meant A 'Nonsmoking Woman Living With A Smoker
Faces An Additional Lung Cancer Risk Of 6.5 In 10,000,
Raising Her Lifetime Risk From About 0.34 Percent To About 0.41 Percent -
There Is No Evidence That Casual Exposure To Second-Hand Smoke
Has Any Impact On Your Life Expectancy')

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 18:34:39 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Some Cool Words On a Hot Topic: Tobacco
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: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Author: William Rusher-Mr. Rusher is a distinguished fellow of the
Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political


Just as the national war on tobacco seems poised to win its most stunning
victories-forbidding smoking just about anywhere save in one's own home or
the great outdoors, and forcing the tobacco companies to pay hundreds of
billions of dollars to governmental agencies for the right to continue
selling a perfectly legal product a few calm voices of reason are being
raised to protest the mounting hysteria.

In mid-December, London's respected Economist magazine warned that "the
attack on tobacco has crossed the admittedly fuzzy line that distinguishes
moral enthusiasm from illiberal vindictiveness, and at such a time good fun
should yield to good thinking.

Because they are nursing their dudgeon and savoring their victories
rather than thinking with care, anti-smokers believe themselves to be
upholding liberal social principles when, in fact, they are traducing them."

Now there will be published, on April 8, a whole book on the controversy.
"For You Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and Tyranny of Public Health,"
by Jacob Sullum (Free Press), is a calm and comprehensive look at the long
history of attacks on tobacco, with special emphasis on developments in the
past three decades.

As the book's subtitle suggests, Sullum is broadly critical of those
developments, but he never raises his voice and is scrupulously fair to
tobacco's foes. A man who has never smoked a cigarette himself, his
preoccupation with the issue is easily explained by the fact that he is a
senior editor of Reason magazine, a libertarian journal of opinion. For the
convenience of low-minded detractors, however, he has appended an author's
note acknowledging that the R.J. Reynolds company once paid him for the
right to reprint an article he had written on secondhand smoke, and that
Philip Morris has contributed to the Reason Foundation (which publishes
Reason) and has also advertised in the magazine itself. The donations and
ad revenues combined have always totaled less that one percent of the
foundation's budget.

Opposition to tobacco goes much further back beyond former Surgeon General
C. Everett Koop than you may suppose. In 1604, King James I published "A
Counterblaste to Tobacco" ("Shall we abase ourselves so farre, as to
imitate these beastly Indians?"), and the battle has gone on, hot and
heavy, ever since.

For centuries, tobacco kept on winning; it was only in the middle of this
century, when smoking's causative relationship to lung cancer (which Sullum
readily concedes) became established, that the tide began to turn.

Even then tobacco's opponents faced a logical dilemma. Tobacco's harmful
effects were recognized almost universally, yet nearly a quarter of adult
Americans chose to smoke. By what right could they be ordered to stop?

The answer descended like manna from heaven in 1990, when the Environmental
Protection Administration released a draft of a report classifying
second-hand smoke as a "known human carcinogen," and followed that up in
December 1992 with an estimate that it causes 3,000 cases of lung cancer
every year. The roof promptly caved in on tobacco.

Sullum spends many pages evaluating these superheated allegations, and
concludes that "people who live with smokers for decades may face a
slightly higher risk of lung cancer. According to one estimate, a
nonsmoking woman who lives with a smoker faces an additional lung cancer
risk of 6.5 in 10,000, which would raise her lifetime risk from about 0.34
percent to about 0.41 percent. [But] there is no evidence that casual
exposure to second-hand smoke has any impact on your life expectancy."

Will a book as calmly and persuasively reasoned as this one have any
perceptible effect on the anti-smoking brigade? I doubt it. With California
already making it unlawful even to open a restaurant or bar exclusively for
smokers, and serviced by employees who smoke, we are past reasoned
argument. Do as you are told.

CIA Official Testifies On Drug Link ('San Jose Mercury News'
Quotes Frederick Hitz, Inspector General Of The CIA, Testifying Monday
Before The House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence,
'There Are Instances Where CIA Did Not, In An Expeditious
Or Consistent Fashion, Cut Off Relationships With Individuals
Supporting The Contra Program Who Were Alleged To Have Engaged
In Drug Trafficking Activity Or Take Action To Resolve The Allegations' -
And US Representative Maxine Waters Of Los Angeles, Who Says,
'In My Informed Opinion, The CIA Inspector General Report
And The Investigation Lacks Credibility And Its Conclusions
Should Be Dismissed,' In Part Because CIA Could Not Subpoena
Seven Former CIA And Drug Enforcement Administration Officials
Who Refused To Be Interviewed)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 19:46:40 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: CIA Official Testifies On Drug Link
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Author: John Stamper Mercury News Washington Bureau
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com


House panel: Agency sometimes slow to cut ties with Contra dealers,
inspector general says.

WASHINGTON -- A top CIA official acknowledged Monday that the intelligence
agency hasn't always cut ties to known Central American drug dealers as
quickly or consistently as it should have.

But he defended the agency's blanket denial of allegations made in a 1996
Mercury News series that alleged the Central Intelligence Agency was
connected to two Nicaraguan drug dealers in the 1980s and the explosion of
crack cocaine in the United States.

``There are instances where CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent
fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the Contra
program who were alleged to have engaged in drug trafficking activity or
take action to resolve the allegations,'' said Frederick Hitz, inspector
general of the CIA.

Hitz said he would present additional findings on what the CIA knew about
Nicaraguan Contra revolutionaries who were the subject of drug-trafficking
allegations in a 600-page classified report to the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence next month.

Hitz was testifying before the committee Monday. Members said the committee
would launch its own independent investigation of the Mercury News

The Mercury News has acknowledged shortcomings in the "Dark Alliance''
series, saying it failed to report conflicting evidence on some key
assertions of the stories.

Hitz testified that his internal investigation into the CIA's relationship
with the Contras found no evidence of any conspiracy by the CIA to bring
drugs into the United States.

But one congresswoman who asked to speak before the committee called the
report worthless.

``In my informed opinion, the CIA Inspector General report and the
investigation lacks credibility and its conclusions should be dismissed,''
said Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat whose district includes areas of
central Los Angeles that have been devastated by crack cocaine.

Waters said the investigation's findings could not be trusted, among other
reasons, because the CIA could not subpoena seven former CIA and Drug
Enforcement Agency officials who refused to be interviewed.

She also faulted the CIA's original report, which was based on 365
interviews for only summarizing statements of 12 people and not listing who
was interviewed.

Explaining the committee's decision to go forward with an independent
probe, chairman Porter Goss, R-Fla., said, ``Any suggestion of government
complicity in that terrible outcome is one that must be seriously
considered and answered.''

The internal CIA investigations began after the Mercury News ``Dark
Alliance'' series described the 1980s drug dealings of two Nicaraguans,
Juan Norwin Meneses and Oscar Danilo Blandon.

The stories alleged that the men, as civilian members of the CIA-backed,
anti-Communist guerrilla army called the Contras, had for the ``better part
of a decade'' sold tons of cocaine to a young Los Angeles street dealer
named Ricky Ross.

The drugs helped trigger the nation's crack epidemic, the series alleged,
while mysterious government entities appeared to have protected Blandon and
Meneses as they funneled ``millions'' of dollars in drug profits to the
``CIA's army,'' the Contras.

Gary Webb, who wrote the ``Dark Alliance'' series and resigned from the
newspaper in December, was present at Monday's hearings.

Cartel Tried Bank Takeover ('Associated Press' Says The Juarez Cartel,
Then Led By The Late Amado Carrillo Fuentes, Tried To Take Over
A Small Mexican Financial Organization, Grupo Finaniero Anahuac,
Two Years Ago, But Financial Regulators Confirmed Tuesday
That They Nipped It In The Bud, The First Time Mexican Authorities
Have Confirmed An Organization From The Illegal Drug Industry Had Tried
To Gain Control Of A Financial Institution)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:07:56 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Cartel Tried Bank Takeover
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


MEXICO CITY (AP) -- In a move apparently aimed at creating a major
money-laundering operation, a top drug cartel tried to take over a small
Mexican financial group two years ago, financial regulators confirmed

But the regulators said they intervened before the Juarez Cartel -- then
led by the late Amado Carrillo Fuentes -- could take control of Grupo
Finaniero Anahuac.

This is the first time that Mexican authorities have confirmed that a
drug-trafficking organization tried to assume control of a financial

The daily newspaper Reforma reported Monday that two men believed to be
linked to the Juarez Cartel tried to buy a controlling interest in the
financial group in 1995. The banking system was in turmoil following the
collapse of the peso.

The takeover wasn't completed because the National Banking and Securities
Commission took control of the bank in November 1996, citing low
capitalization levels and possible fraud against the state-run Social
Security Institute.

The links to the cartel were discovered then and authorities were notified,
said Veronica Suarez, spokeswoman for the regulatory agency.

No arrests have been made. The attorney general's office wouldn't say
whether it was investigating.

Criminal organizations have tried to take over financial institutions in
various parts of the world, said Charles Intriago, editor of the
Miami-based publication Money Laundering Alert.

``It's a convenient way to have your own built-in money-laundering
facility,'' he told The Associated Press.

But he said he was not aware of any such attempts in Mexico. He said Mexico
has tightened its laws in recent years to prevent money laundering and now
has regulations more stringent than those of the United States.

But tough laws often aren't enough. ``Of course, a lot comes in the
implementation and the enforcement,'' he said. ``That's where a lot of
countries fail.''

He said it is too early to tell whether Mexico's regulations are adequately
enforced and supervised.

Kicking Out Crime In New Westminster's Boot ('Vancouver Sun' Says Police
In New Westminster, British Columbia, Are Clearing The Streets
Of The Usual Suspects, Though They Admit Most Of The Riff-Raff
Will Just Go To Other Cities)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Kicking out crime in New Westminster's Boot
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:35:01 -0800
Source: Vancouver Sun
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca

Tue 17 Mar 1998 B1 / Front

Kicking out crime in New Westminster's Boot: Royal City attacks sex, drug
trades: The police blitz covers Columbia's business section and Twelfth
Avenue, the usual area for prostitutes.

By: Robert Sarti

Every available police officer in New Westminster is out on the beat
this week, as the city wages a spring crackdown on the street-level
sex and drug trade in the L-shaped swath of downtown called the Boot.

The police blitz covers the business section of Columbia Street past
the two SkyTrain stations and then north up the hill to Twelfth
Street, a traditional stroll area for prostitutes.

Merchants report most of the illicit activities have disappeared for
the time being, although residents on the back streets off Twelfth say
some of the trade has just moved into their lanes.

And city officials and police acknowledge many of the street people
are just relocating to other jurisdictions -- from Surrey to

Ten extra officers were detailed last week and this week to pound the
beat on foot virtually around-the-clock.

``Everybody we can spare is out of the office and onto the street in
the Boot, they're there, they're visible,'' said Mayor Helen Sparkes,
who is also head of the city's police board.

``The paperwork is piling up back in the office, so we can't keep it
up forever.''

Police have conducted crackdowns around the SkyTrain stations for
years to try to stem the tide of illegal substances and activities
arriving from elsewhere. The current blitz coincides with the start of
milder weather.

``When the weather gets good, this kind of [street] activity always
gets more evident,'' said Sparkes.

Corporal Al Fouquette of the city's neighbourhood policing office said
New Westminster police are encountering drug dealers near the SkyTrain
station who have been forced out of Vancouver by judges who bar them
from returning to their old haunts.

Asked where the New Westminster dealers being chased out would go, he
replied, ``They will move on to other places, Surrey, Burnaby,

While fully backing the crackdown, Sparkes said she was aware that
it's not a long-term solution, and that drug addicts need a full range
of social services to help them kick their habits.

``We need more detox centres and lots more support programs and
alternatives, otherwise the cycle will just go on forever,'' she said.

She said a city like New Westminster can't provide all these services
on its own, and that the province has to pour more money into dealing
with the problem.

Up on Twelfth Street, merchants and residents are reporting mixed
results from the crackdown.

Along the shopping strip, some shopkeepers say the street scene has
virtually disappeared in the past few week.

``The increase in police visibility makes a huge difference,'' said
antique dealer Rose Ternes, president of the Twelfth Street Merchants
and Property Owners Association.

``There were people [prostitutes] literally standing in front of my
window in February. Now they're gone.''

On the residential side streets, though, prostitutes and drug dealers
have moved into the lanes, out of sight of police cruisers, say

``We're finding condoms and needles on a daily basis,'' said West End
residents Association president Robert Nasato. ``The situation is
definitely getting worse.''

Re - Kicking Out Crime In New Westminster's Boot
(Letter Sent To Editor Of 'Vancouver Sun' Notes Canadian Government
Has Already Decriminalized And Regulated Gambling And Should Do The Same
With Prostitution And Recreational Drugs - As G. Norman Collie Once Put It,
"To Make Certain That Crime Does Not Pay, The Government Should Take It Over
And Try To Run It')

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Sent: Kicking out crime in New Westminster's Boot
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 13:20:49 -0800

To the editor,

Concerning your article of March 17, (Kicking out crime in New
Westminster's Boot), once again we have used a temporary bandaid solution
in place of the recommendations of every taxpayer-funded study on
victimless crimes. Once again we have cosmetically masked symptoms when we
should be curing the underlying cause of our societal ills.

Chasing prostitutes and drug addicts from one neighborhood to the next
accomplishes nothing. Even in the prison-state of Singapore, where they
execute drug addicts and have made it a criminal offense to engage in oral
sex without proceeding to intercourse, drug abuse, prostitution and the
communicable diseases and crime that go with them run rampant. While the
paperwork piles up at the police station, the bodies of overdose and AIDS
victims pile up at the morgue.

Our government has already decriminalized and regulated gambling. The
government should do the same with prostitution and recreational drugs.
Chase the prostitutes into licensed brothels and the recreational drugs
into liquor stores and pharmacies. As G. Norman Collie once put it, "To
make certain that crime does not pay, the government should take it over
and try to run it."

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

Canada Too Quick To Jail (Toronto's 'Globe And Mail' Quotes Ole Ingstrup,
Head Of The Canadian Penitentiary Service, Telling An International Symposium
In Kingston, Ontario, That The Excessive Use Of Imprisonment
Will Continue To Spiral Out Of Control Unless Prison Administrators
Find The Courage To Challenge It Publicly)

From: Carey Ker 
Subject: Canada: Canada too quick to jail
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 21:50:25 -0500
Source: The Globe and Mail, March 17, 1998, Page A2
contact: letters@GlobeAndMail.ca

Canada too quick to jail, prison head says

KINGSTON, Ont. - The excessive use of imprisonment will continue
to spiral out of control unless prison administrators find the courage
to challenge it publicly, the head of the Canadian penitentiary service
said yesterday.

Ole Ingstrup told an international correctional symposium that those
working within the prison system are obliged to step forward and tell
the world that prison is a costly and often destructive response to
social ills.

"It seems to me that we have to be content to play the under dog role rather than
standing up for what we know to be true," Mr. Instrup told correctional officials,
senior police and judges from 40 countries.

"We cannot keep silent," said Mr. Instrup, commissioner of Correctional Services
Canada. " We cannot keep on doing what we are doing . . . The need is urgent and

Other speakers said it is becoming difficult to find a country where incarceration
rates are not on a steady rise. Even countries such as the Netherlands -- where
prison has traditionally been used sparingly -- have seen their incarcerations
almost double in recent years.

Mr. Ingstrup said there is no getting around the fact that public
perception, no matter how out of touch with reality, acts as "a
mega-force" in determining the direction of correctional policy.

"I think many people would be surprised if they were confronted with the research
that harsher sentences do not lead to safer communities, " Mr. Instrup said.

He said what must be understood is that when people call for harsher
sentences, they are really saying they want safer communities.
However, the best way to ensure safety is often to divert offenders
into programs and punishments outside prison, he said.

Quite apart from the enormous cost and dubious results that come from using
prison as a panacea, Mr. Instrup said, it often unnecessarily tears apart families
and brutalizes offenders.

"The image of an inmate too long behind bars is not as compelling as the image of
a child, legless after encountering a land mine," Mr. Instrup said. "But this too, is a
human tragedy, and the numbers are large."

He warned the delegates there will always be those who continue to urge longer
sentences and less treatment for offenders.

"Will we have the courage to stand against those whose knowledge is less, whose
values are counterproductive to sustained public safety, who argue for more and
more incarceration and less and less programming?" he asked.

Julita Lemgruber, a veteran prison administrator from Brazil, told the symposium
that perhaps the only way to sway public opinion against imprisonment is to
expose the financial costs.

She said one of her favorite examples involves a women she discovered in a Sao
Paulo prison serving a two-year sentence for stealing two packages of disposable
diapers. The cost of her imprisonment worked out to $20,160.

Ms. Lemgruber said the money saved by releasing the 45,000 Brazilians now
behind bars for non-violent crimes would build 18,000 homes to house the poor or
391 schools.

Other speakers at the three-day conference, organized by the CSC, the Canadian
International Development Agency and Queen's University, said:

-- One in four black Americans will at some point serve a prison sentence.

-- About 80 per cent of prison inmates in Paraguay are merely awaiting trial.

-- Much of a recent jump in incarceration rates in England and Belgium can be
traced to public anger over a notorious child-murder in each country.

"We have to share the reality that whatever we do, we must deal with the public
perception, and fear, that crime is greater than it actually is, " Mr. Instrup noted.

Former Colombia Lawmakers Sentenced ('Associated Press'
Says 'Faceless Judges' In Cali Convicted Two Former Congressmen,
Jose Felix Turbay And Armando Holguin Sarria, Of Accepting Drug Cartel Money
And Sentenced Them To Five- And Six-Year Prison Terms)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:05:27 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Colombia: WIRE: Former Colombia Lawmakers Sentenced
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- A court in Cali convicted two former congressmen
of accepting drug cartel money and sentenced them to five- and six-year
prison terms, authorities said Tuesday.

Jose Felix Turbay and Armando Holguin Sarria were sentenced Monday by
so-called ``faceless judges,'' whose identity is protected for security
reasons, said the chief prosecutor's office in Bogota.

Turbay, sentenced to five years, had been held in a police station since
his arrest in December. Holguin, sentenced to six years, surrendered to
authorities in April 1996 and was incarcerated in a Bogota prison, a
spokesman at the prosecutor's office said on condition of anonymity.

Both are members of President Ernesto Samper's governing Liberal Party.
Turbay was convicted of receiving $14,700 from the Cali drug cartel and
Holguin of accepting $147,000.

Prosecutors said criminal charges were still pending against Turbay for
allegedly accepting an additional $36,800.

On Feb. 26, Turbay's brother, former Comptroller-General David Turbay, was
arrested on similar charges.

More than a dozen former congressmen, former attorney general Orlando
Vasquez and ex-Defense Minister Fernando Botero have been convicted of drug
corruption as part of the same investigation.

Samper was implicated but absolved in June 1996 by a highly partisan
Congress of soliciting $6 million from the Cali cartel in election
contributions in 1994.

US Beefs Up Military Presence In Colombia ('Dallas Morning News'
Says The Clinton Administration, Responding In Part
To A Mounting Rebel Threat, Has Doubled The Size
Of The US Military Advisory Group In Colombia
And Is Reviewing The Current Level Of Military Aid)

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 16:37:43 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: U.S. beefs up military presence in Colombia
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: The Dallas Morning News
Pubdate: 17 Mar 1998

U.S. beefs up military presence in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Responding in part to a mounting rebel threat, the
Clinton administration in recent weeks has doubled the size of the U.S.
military advisory group in Colombia and is reviewing the current level of
military aid, U.S. officials say.

A major defeat of the Colombian army this month by Marxist guerrillas has
sparked new debate in Washington about possible counterinsurgency actions
and other ways to address the rebels' growing involvement in the drug trade.

Top Colombian military officials, as well as Republican politicians on
Capitol Hill, say it is impossible to wage the war on drugs without directly
confronting Colombia's increasingly powerful 15,000-member insurgency. The
rebels constitute the primary military force protecting the airstrips,
cultivation fields and processing plants that supply most of the heroin and
cocaine sold in the United States.

Clinton administration officials acknowledge they are having difficulty
reconciling their current ``hands-off'' policy toward the insurgency with
their desire to aggressively prosecute a $215 million-a-year international
war on drugs.

``I'm positive there's some major intelligence reassessment going on out
there,'' one administration official said in reference to a brutal army
defeat two weeks ago by guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia, or FARC. The battle occurred in southern Caqueta province, one of
the country's chief cocaine-production areas.

Colombia, which supplies 80 percent of the world's cocaine and 60 percent of
the heroin seized in the United States, currently receives more than 40
percent of the administration's $215 million international counternarcotics
budget, according to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

As of this week, the United States had 223 military personnel stationed
around Colombia to provide training and technical assistance, including
counterinsurgency instruction, to the Colombian army and police, said Raul
Duany, spokesman of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami.

The normal U.S. military staffing level in Colombia is about 100 people and
rarely exceeds 130 personnel, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Byron Conover, another
Southern Command official.

Duany said that the level of military personnel can fluctuate from month to
month and that up to 50 of the current military staff in Colombia could be
rotated out over the next few weeks.

The United States also is studying ways to provide increased air support for
government forces, either through a multimillion-dollar upgrade of
Colombia's fleet of U.S.-supplied Huey UH-1H helicopters or through the
purchase of up to six newer and faster Blackhawk helicopters. Congress
already has approved funding for three Blackhawks.

The gradual escalation of U.S. military involvement in Colombia is drawing
statements of concern from across the political spectrum. At least two
congressional hearings are scheduled for later this month to address the

``This muddle (in administration policy) is getting to the point where we
have to give serious consideration to how far we are willing to go,'' a
senior Republican Senate staff member said, asking not to be identified.

``Right now, we're backing into (the Colombian civil conflict) by default,''
he said. ``One way or another, you're increasing your presence there. You're
increasing the level of equipment, you're increasing the level of personnel.
We're putting our people in harm's way, and you can't do that without having
a clear idea of your policy.''

As those warnings were being voiced on Capitol Hill, the rebel commander in
southern Colombia who led this month's attack warned that the FARC would
begin targeting U.S. military advisers, claiming they are conducting covert
counterinsurgency operations.

FARC regional commander Fabian Ramrez told the Reuters news agency: ``The
claim that the United States is combating drugs in Colombia is a sophism.
All the military and economic aid it is giving to the army is to fight the

He added, ``Most (Colombian army) battalions have U.S. advisers, so it is
clear that Colombian rage will explode at any moment, and the objective will
be to defeat the Americans.''

The Washington Office on Latin America, a liberal think-tank, agrees that
the current rebel buildup poses a complex problem for the Clinton

``We are deeply concerned about the gravity of the situation,'' said Coletta
Youngers, a Colombia expert for the organization. ``You can look at case
after case over history in which the United States gets involved and then
slides down this slippery slope, from Vietnam to Central America.''

A State Department official acknowledged that the guerrilla threat is
growing, although it remains a largely rural-based insurgency that has yet
to pose a significant challenge to central government control in heavily
populated areas.

``It's something to be watched. ... There is definitely a growing link
between the guerrillas and narcotics trafficking in Colombia,'' the official

He added that the army's defeat did not necessarily mean a setback in the
drug war because ``the vast bulk of counternarcotics activities in Colombia
is conducted by anti-narcotics units of the Colombian National Police.''

The army still is conducting a body count from the Caqueta fighting but
acknowledges that more than 80 soldiers are dead or remain missing -- the
highest single toll suffered by the military in more than three decades of

The defeat for the 120,000-strong army ``signals the military situation for
the fate of Latin America's oldest democracy may be lost,'' Rep. Ben Gilman,
R-N.Y., chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said in a
report last Thursday. ``The narco-guerrillas now have only one institution
standing between them and a full-blown `narco-state' -- the Colombian
National Police.''

The Colombian armed forces commander, Gen. Manuel Jos Bonett, and other army
leaders did not respond to requests for an interview. Last week, President
Ernesto Samper ordered 5,000 troops to the region in response to the
guerrilla rout.

In an interview last December, Gen. Bonett criticized the Clinton
administration's restrictions on military aid, saying he does not see a
distinction between guerrillas fighting out of ideological conviction and
those fighting on behalf of drug traffickers.

``For me, all of those in the FARC are narco-guerrillas because they live
off the drug trade,'' he said. ``We are split between the concept I have of
the guerrillas and the (restrictions) we have on where we can use the aid.''

Even White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey, a retired general, suggested
during a visit to Colombia last October that a significant gray area exists
in the U.S. aid policy.

He recited for reporters the administration's policy that U.S. military aid
can be used against insurgents only if they are deemed to be aiding drug
traffickers. Then he stated that there are ``15,000 narco-guerrillas'' in
Colombia, indicating that all of the rebels might legally be targeted with
U.S.-supplied military aid.

U.S. officials say the current policy of non-engagement is designed to avoid
another costly counterinsurgency adventure such as the one the United States
waged in El Salvador throughout the 1980s.

``Everyone knows the dangers involved. Everyone is aware of the linkages,''
said Bob Weiner, spokesman for McCaffrey. He reiterated the administration's
policy, however, that ``our funding is for fighting drugs. We are certainly
not going to intervene in the way the Colombian military handles their
affairs'' regarding the counterinsurgency effort.

This approach is proving increasingly problematic, according to various
analysts, because the guerrillas are undeniably tied to the drug trade and
are growing in strength because of the income they derive from it.

The drug war and Colombia's insurgency ``are inextricably linked,'' although
not all rebels are directly involved in the drug trade, said Riordan Roett,
director of Latin American studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of
Advanced International Studies in Washington.

He added, ``It's doubletalk to make this very Jesuitical statement that
you're fighting the good fight against the evil drug lords but at the same
time saying you won't become involved in a counterinsurgency campaign.''

Lt. Col. Conover said the income the guerrillas derive from the drug trade
has gone to finance the most well-equipped, well-paid leftist insurgency in
Latin American history, which is one reason why it is drawing so much U.S.

In some cases, according to rebel ledgers captured by the army and police, a
guerrilla fighter can make twice the monthly salary that his army
counterpart earns.

``Where else in the world does that kind of financing exist?'' Lt. Col.
Conover said, adding that it was becoming increasingly difficult for the
rebels to justify their struggle on ideological grounds.

``You can't accept that kind of dirty money'' and still claim to be fighting
a Marxist struggle, he said. ``Their ideological purity is going to be

PM Pledges Extra $100M For Drug War ('Sydney Morning Herald'
Says Australian Prime Minister Howard
Yesterday Committed An Extra $101.6 Million Over The Next Four Years,
Bringing The Funding For His 'Tough On Drugs' Campaign
To Almost $190 Million - Howard Told His Hand-Picked
Australian National Council On Drugs, Also Revealed Yesterday,
That It Must Adhere To His 'Zero Tolerance' Credo)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Australia: PM Pledges Extra $100M For Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Tom Allard


The Prime Minister yesterday committed an extra $101.6 million over the
next four years to alleviate the enormous personal and financial cost to
the community of drug abuse, bringing the funding for his "tough on drugs"
campaign to almost $190 million.

But any moves to decriminalise drug use remain firmly on the backburner,
with Mr Howard's hand-picked Australian National Council on Drugs - also
revealed yesterday - told it must adhere to his "zero tolerance" credo.

The Prime Minister said the $101.6 million - which comes on top of the
$87.5 million announced at the launch in November of the "tough on drugs"
campaign - builds on a "balanced and integrated approach" to drug abuse.

"This money targets each step in the drug chain from its importation and
distribution, to its consumption," he said.

Illicit drug turnover amounted to $7 billion each year, 40,000
"hospital-bed days" were devoted to drug users, and up to 80 per cent of
property crime was drug-related, Mr Howard said.

The latest funding would be split between law-enforcement measures to
reduce the supply of drugs entering Australia, and health and education
programs to stem the demand for drugs and provide treatment for addicts.

An extra $25 million would be spent on treatment services and studies to
ascertain the best techniques for rehabilitation. A further $17.25 million
would be devoted to community education and information.

The National Crime Authority would get $21 million over four years to
target South-East Asian organised crime. A further $11.8 million would fund
three "mobile strike force teams" in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne to
intercept imported drugs.

Sydney, where about 80 per cent of the nation's drug imports come in,
received much of the $43.8 million for drug interception announced in

Most community groups involved in drug rehabilitation hailed Mr Howard's
initiative as the first concrete sign that the Federal Government was
prepared to put hard money into combating the rise in drug abuse.

"We are used to public statements of concern about drug problems, but come
Budget time, few governments actually make any real commitments," said the
chief executive of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, Mr
David Crosbie.

"This Government has done something no Federal Government has done in the
last 10 years: back up their expressions of concern with significant

The National Council on Drugs will provide advice on strategies to combat
legal and illegal drug use but will not consider decriminalisation as an
option. Under the Prime Minister's "zero tolerance" policy, programs
designed to encourage people to use safely, or without the need to finance
their habits through crime, are unacceptable.

"We have to meet the Prime Minister's agenda and he has made it clear this
is what he wants," the council chairman, Major Brian Watters of the
Salvation Army Rehabilitation Services, said yesterday.

But the chairman of the Australian National Council of AIDS and Related
Diseases, Mr Chris Puplick, said a study by the Department of Health showed
that the only drug programs to have succeeded in the past 10 years were
those centred on "harm minimisation" such as needle exchanges.

When The Smoke Clears ('New Zealand Listener' Interviews Dr. David Hadorn,
Director Of The Drug Policy Forum Trust, A Group Of Scientists
And Professionals Who Want Rationality To Govern New Zealand's Drug Laws)

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:18:57 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: New Zealand: When The Smoke Clears
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Source: New Zealand Listener
Author: Noel O'Hare
Contact: editor@listener.co.nz


A group of prominent New Zealand scientists and professionals say that it's
high time cannabis was treated the same way as alcohol and tobacco.

David Hadorn keeps his stash in full view on the sideboard. "I've graduated
to the hard stuff," he admits. His preferred recreational drug is one you
wouldn't want your kids to get hold of. Used inappropriately, it's
addictive, causes liver and brain damage, is linked with violence. The
social and health costs associated with its use are horrendous. Even if it
can be proved that most people use the drug in moderation, the chances of
any modern government legalising it are fairly small. It's fortunate, then,
that the question of legalisation is not likely to arise. Hadorn's stash
of wine and brandy is strictly legit. Alcohol, after all, has been
around so long, and is so ubiquitous, that the only way to control it is to
regulate its sale.

The fact that he can have a cellar full of his favourite drug, while
others end up with a criminal record for possessing small quantities of
relatively harmless cannabis, is one of those social conundrums that
Hadorn finds impossible to leave alone. As director of the Drug Policy
Forum Trust, a group of scientists and professionals who want rationality
to govern our drug laws, he spends all his spare time trying to convince
politicians, the media, and community groups that drug users are not
criminals. "Drug use, drug abuse and drug related harms are health and
education issues," he says. "They're not legitimately law enforcement
issues. When you inject a policeman into what is fundamentally a health
issue, you inevitably make the problem worse."

Hadorn is not some ageing hippie who wants to turn on the world. He's a
medical doctor and highly experienced health researcher, who is currently
chief advisor to the Health Funding Authority. The trust includes some of
the most respected names in medical science in New Zealand. The first step
towards a sensible drugs policy, they argue in a soon-to-be-released
report, is to regulate the use of cannabis in the same way as alcohol and

Wee Robbie Burns' special on cannabis bullets may be a pipedream, but Hadorn
is convinced there is a mood for change in New Zealand. That optimism has
been shored up recently by the leaked 15-year WHO study on cannabis which
confirmed that cannabis is safer than alcohol and tobacco.

The findings of that report have also been echoed by a new book "Marijuana
Myths, Marijuana Facts," by two distinguished American scholars, Professors
Lynn Zimmer and John P Morgan. The book reviews all the scientific evidence
of the past 100 years and finds little to support anti-cannabis
campaigners' claims. You could say the jury has now returned and pronounced
its verdict: cannabis is not guilty as charged.

The issue, however, is not much about the harm to health as the effects
cannabis may have on teenagers. No one much cares, for instance, whether
politicians swap their single malt whiskies for joints in Bellamy's (it
might improve behaviour in the House). But many parents worry that their
kids will gain greater access to cannabis and lose all drive and ambition.

Hadorn believes that those fears are unfounded. The same arguments, he
points out, were trotted out when it became legal for wine to be sold in
supermarkets. The same scaremongering occurred over homosexual law reform.
"People said 'if you do this, society will fall apart. Kids will be
seduced.' Of course that hasn't happened."

So what would he say if his own teenagers started experimenting with
cannabis? "I'd tell them 'If you're going to use it, you have to be
careful. Use it after you've got your homework done or at weekends, and
only if your grades are staying up.'"

Hadorn says it's a myth that cannabis destroys the ability to do school
work, particularly in older teens. Although he eschews anecdotal evidence
as a basis for the campaign, "you can maintain a straight-A average and
still use cannabis for relaxation and social purposes or stress relief,
which it happens to be very good for." The belief that cannabis acts as a
gateway to other drugs is also incorrect, he says. In the Netherlands where
cannabis use has been liberalised, fewer teenagers have tried hard drugs
than is the case in countries, like the US, with harsh prohibition
policies. By making it easier for young people to obtain cannabis, the
Dutch argue, they are not exposed to a criminal subculture pushing harder
drugs; the connection between the two types of drugs is broken.

Regulating the use of cannabis may be a rational evidence-based alternative
to a policy of total prohibition which even anti-drug campaigners will
admit is not working, but how likely is to happen?

Hadorn points to New Zealand's heritage as a social laboratory; its
reputation for social pioneering. "If people were just given the facts
instead of the silly outdated myths propagated by people who speak out on
the issue" He has high hopes that PM Jenny Shipley, a hardliner on
cannabis reform, will be open to evidence-based policy as she was as
Minister of Health.

But even if the Government was prepared to risk the political fallout by
considering cannabis reform, it would face huge pressure from the US to
abort any liberalisation.. As Hadorn, an American, says of his home
country: "The US is the home of modern day cannabis hysteria and
prohibition and has twisted the arms of other countries to go along with
it." For example, he says, the Reuters story about the suppressed WHO
report on cannabis, which featured prominently in New Zealand newspapers,
was suppressed by US media. (A scan of major American newspapers on the
Internet seem to confirm this.)

Last year the Sydney Morning Herald reported how Australia was prevented
from undertaking drug reform by a veiled US threat to close down the highly
profitable and legal opium industry in Tasmania. As the newspaper
commented: "Australians talk most of the time as though this country can
decide the fate of their own narcotics law. This is a delusion. As a good
citizen of the world and a loyal supporter of the United States we have
signed international treaties which pledge Australians to stick to the
prohibition strategy." Those same treaties can be used by the US to try to
bully New Zealand into line over cannabis reform in the same way that
pressure was applied over the nuclear-free issue.

However, Hadorn believes that cannabis law reform is inevitable. Even if
cannabis had the negative effects on large numbers of people that
campaigners claim, "it makes it an even stronger case to see it as a health
and education problem. You don't do anything by driving it underground."
Except make it more attractive. "It's a dishonest, embarrassing, unhealthy
situation," says Hadorn. "What encourages people to experiment is when they
know they are not being told the truth and the only way they can find out
is to try it for themselves."

Judge Deports Two Spanish Drug Couriers (According To 'Irish Times,'
Judge Told Two Women Busted In Dublin Hotel Last January
With £200,000 Worth Of Cannabis Resin That 'Drugs Sometimes Killed People
Who Abused Them,' And Gave Each A Five-Year Sentence,
Then Suspended The Sentences After July 6, When They Will Be Released
Back To Spain - Both Defendants Had Children, Money Woes,
Were Promised £1,000)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:54:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Judge Deports Two Spanish Drug Couriers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Contact: lettersed@irish-times.ie
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998


Two Spanish women discovered with In £200,000 worth of cannabis resin in a
Dublin hotel last January have been jailed for five years. Judge Kieran
O'Connor, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, ordered that the sentences be
suspended from next July and that they be deported. He also banned them
from re-entering the Republic.

Susana Hylander Impagliazzo (41) and Yolanda Jimena Herrero (29), both of
Torremolinos, pleaded guilty to having 20 kilograms of cannabis resin for
sale or supply. The proceedings were translated into Spanish for the
defendants, both of whom are the mothers of three children.

Garda Denise Paul told prosecuting counsel Ms Isobel Kennedy the women were
arrested in a bedroom at the Travelodge, Navan Road, Dublin, when a
suitcase containing the cannabis was found between their beds.

Neither woman had previous convictions.

Defence counsel, Mr George Birmingham (for Hylander), said his client had
been recruited by an Irishman in Malaga to act as a courier. She was
promised £1,000 to deliver the suitcase and agreed to make the run because
she was in financial difficulties.

Counsel said she came from a comfortable background but fell into
straitened circumstances when her marriage failed.

Mr Birmingham said that, in view of her extreme difficulties, the court
might consider an early suspension with a deportation order.

Mr Tom O'Connell (for Jimena) said she had two sons aged seven and eight
years from a failed marriage, as well as a baby son who was two months when
she came on this run.

Judge O'Connor said drugs sometimes killed people who abused them. The
defendants were assisting drug dealers by acting as couriers and had
committed a serious offence, which had to be marked by a heavy sentence.
"But considering it costs the taxpayer abut £50,000 to keep a person in
prison per year and in view of all the circumstances outlined by counsel, I
will suspend the sentences from July 6th next, deport you, and ban you both
from ever returning to Ireland."

Prison Term Threat For Club Owners ('Belfast Telegraph'
Says Two Shareholders In The Former Circus Circus Nightclub In Banbridge,
Ireland, Where £40,000 Of 'Drugs' Were Seized, Have Each Been Given
A Two-Year Suspended Jail Term After Pleading Guilty At An Earlier Hearing
To Seven Charges Of Knowingly Permitting The Supply Of Ecstasy,
Cannabis Resin, LSD And Amphetamines While Being Concerned
In The Club Management)

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 19:46:40 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Prison Term Threat For Club Owners
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Source: Belfast Telegraph
Contact: editor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk


TWO shareholders in the former Circus Circus nightclub in Banbridge, where
£40,000 of drugs were seized, have each been given a two-year suspended
jail term.

In Armagh Crown Court yesterday Judge Randal McKay told the men that
parents trusted when their teenagers went to discos they would not be
exposed to drug dealers.

The accused were Graham Henry (41) of Killnire Park, Bangor and Leonard
McCreery (43) of Culcross Drive, Ballybeen, Dundonald.

They pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to seven charges of knowingly
permitting or suffering the supply of ecstasy, cannabis resin, LSD and
amphetamines while being concerned in the club management.

Club owner Richard Samuel Wainwright (48) of Bangor Road, Holywood walked
free when charges against him were dropped.

Judge McKay told the accused they failed to provide sufficient care to
prevent drugs being brought into the premises.

"I am satisfied neither of you benefitted financially or were directly
involved in drug dealing otherwise you would go to prison for a long time,"
he said.

Senior prosecutor, David Hunter, QC, said in May 1992 drugs with a street
value of £14,000 were seized by police in a raid and that a senior RUC
officer had spoken to Henry on a number of occasions. On November 4 and 11
police raided the premises again. In the first operation drugs worth
£16,000 were uncovered, and £10,000 the next time.

Circus Circus was controlled by Banbridge Inns which had four shareholders.
Henry, who was in charge of running entertainment had a 25% holding and
McCreery, who looked after security, 10%.

Rolling In The Green, Green Grass Of Home - More Young Highlanders Smoke Dope
Than Tobacco ('The Scotsman' Reflects On Yesterday's Headlines -
Natalie Morel, Associated With The Blast Survey, Says 'The Results
Of The Blast Survey Do Not Exceed The National Average But Equal Them -
There Has Not Been A Rise In Use In The Highlands
But Rather A Rise In Acknowledging Use')

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 19:46:40 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Rolling In The Green, Green Grass Of Home
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Authors: Tom Morton and Emma Brockes
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


More Young Highlanders Smoke Dope Than Tobacco.

ONCE upon a time you had to be a long-haired incomer with a beard or a
tie-dyed dress, or both, to be a fully qualified Highlands & Islands dope
smoker. Cannabis culture took root in the north of Scotland partly because
committed dope smokers from the towns and cities could indulge their habits
without too much risk of constabulary interference and partly because the
plants grew well in the long hours of summer daylight. The added
availability of magic mushrooms added narcotic spice to rural life without
blowing its image.

Things are different now. While some grizzled old hippies remain, puffing
on their neatly rolled joints, water pipes or chillums, others have
metamorphosed into leading community figures, smartly besuited yet prone to
take the odd puff at weekends while listening to Incredible String Band or
John Martyn re-releases, or thinking they are cool because they like Ocean
Colour Scene.

The key difference is among indigenous young people. Dope smoking is
endemic now among rural teenagers - compared to alcohol it is cheaper and
more easily available when you are under-age - but many have grown up in an
environment where soft drug use is commonplace. This week, the drugs agency
Blast revealed that it is not just aging hippies who are partial to the odd
joint; Highland teenagers are not as estranged from drugs as their elders
might like to suppose. The survey results showed that more teenagers smoke
cannabis than tobacco, and Blast now intends to blow open Highland drug
culture to greater scrutiny.

The Blast statistics, for those still won by the country bumpkin
stereotype, are therefore alarming. Invited to what Blast co-ordinator
Natalie Morel terms a "safer dancing event", (a rave with paramedics in
attendance) 300 young people were courted from the Inverness club scene and
polled for their experience with drugs. The results show that 76 per cent
admitted they had taken cannabis, against 63 per cent of tobacco smokers.

Amphetamine use was admitted to by 65 per cent, Ecstasy by 74 per cent and
LSD by 35 per cent of the 17 to 35-year-olds.

These statistics come in the wake of a national survey of 8,000 15 to
16-year-olds which revealed that over a third living in rural areas have
tried illegal drugs, compared to less than 20 per cent in the inner cities.

Is Morel surprised? "No, not when you consider that in terms of national
figures, 500,000 people go out every weekend and take drugs."

She emphasises that the results of the Blast survey do not exceed the
national average but equal them. "There has not been a rise in use in the
Highlands but rather a rise in acknowledging use. People are beginning to
come forward and talk about it for the first time," she says.

What they are talking about is a Highland drug culture as far removed from
its Seventies antecedents as the rest of today's sophisticated youth
pastimes such as surfing the Internet and staring at Sony Playstations. The
benefits of isolation remain for cultivators, as they did in generations
past for illegal distillers. Although now there is no need for open-air
allotments of cannabis plants in old sheep-pens. Hydroponic growth systems
and ultra-violet lights have changed everything, and the premium strains of
grass - Black Isle and Orkney were once both much sought after - have given
way to the Netherlands-sourced varieties of superstrong Skunk, popular
throughout Europe. Or there is plain old hash brought in by fishing boat to
the West Coast.

But what about the foundations of the problem, the social climate which
persuades the young people to use illegal substances in the first place?

Roger Hutchinson, a writer who has lived on Skye since 1977, has noticed a
change in the behaviour of young Highlanders. He says: "Highland kids do
not live in isolation. This romantic fantasy of Gaelic-speaking toddlers is
inaccurate. They have city cousins, they travel. Recreational use of soft
drugs is a big problem in rural England."

Drug usage in the Highlands is an inevitable extension of that. Morel
agrees: "Youngsters in the Highlands are much more likely to travel to
Inverness and some will go down to Dundee to get whatever the [drugs] order

Deprived young people, it seems, wherever they live, seek escape through
drugs. Remote communities can suffer from an excitement deficit which
experimentation with drugs may go some way towards sating.

But, says Ian McCormack, the editor of the Skye-based newspaper, the West
Highland Free Press, such motivations are hardly exclusive to rural areas.

The boredom factor in Highland drug-taking is, he says, "as relevant to
rural areas as it is to teenagers living in housing schemes in Glasgow who
don't want to spend their time going to church youth groups".

Keith Paterson, the co-ordinator of Aberdeen Drugs Action, has been
interested in the rural drug problem since 1994, when he helped set up a
branch in Banff Buchan. He says: "Four years on and there is a growing
demand for the service, particularly among 16 to 25-year-olds. The survey
results didn't come as a surprise to us at all."

"In my experience there has long been use of cannabis and, sometimes, speed
in the Highlands."

So why all the excitement?

McCormack says: "Drug-taking here attracts publicity because it defies the
'quaint' rural label. But in my experience there has long been use of
cannabis and, sometimes, speed in the Highlands."



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