------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 oregonlive.com March 17, 1998 letters to editor: email@example.com 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 drugs. "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 campaigns. 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 marijuana. "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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 oregonlive.com March 17, 1998 letters to editor: email@example.com 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 Bureau. "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 considered. 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 finalists. 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 candidates. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: DA To Propose Pot Club Alternative For S.F. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Author: Claire Cooper Bee Legal Affairs Writer DA TO PROPOSE POT CLUB ALTERNATIVE FOR S.F. 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 patients. 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 marijuana. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Author: Maria L. La Ganga, Times Staff Writer DUEL OVER MEDICAL POT ESCALATES 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 nuisance." 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 patients." 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 drug. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Todd McCormick
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RE-RELEASE CONFIRMATION OF PRESS CONFERENCE [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 protest.] FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 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 cultivation. 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 devastated." 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 relationship. "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 cancellation. "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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Defendant Denied Request to Smoke Pot Pending Trial Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 DEFENDANT DENIED REQUEST TO SMOKE POT PENDING TRIAL 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Keep Pot Private: Ordinance Needed to Ban Public Smoking Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 KEEP POT PRIVATE: ORDINANCE NEEDED TO BAN PUBLIC SMOKING 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)Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 17:25:02 -0800 (PST) From: Turmoil
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: NWR: Help save a small business (fwd) Sender: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Alaska Sender: email@example.com 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. http://www.calyx.net/~olsen/DPF/ravinkn.html http://www.calyx.net/~olsen/DPF/ravin.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Carl E. Olsen http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/ Source: The Des Moines Register Author: Reporter Lynn Hicks email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Webform: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ TOPIC/WORKPLACE - DRUG-TEST LAW YEALDS EMPLOYERS' CAUTION 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 policy? "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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mattalk@Islandnet.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster
Subject: ART: Violent, Sadistic, Racist Officers of the Law International Herald Tribune March 17 1998 contact: email@example.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 LIVES." 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US TX: School Drug Investigation Nets 23 Arrests in Plano Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Author: Sandy Louey / The Dallas Morning News SCHOOL DRUG INVESTIGATION NETS 23 ARRESTS IN PLANO 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 district. "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 parties. 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 available. 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 said. 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 affected. "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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Paff Pubdate: Tuesday, 17 Mar 1998 Source: Star-Ledger Author: Kathy Barrett Carter, Staff Writer Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nj.com/news/ SEIZURE LAW GOES BEFORE JUSTICES 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 judge. 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 Constitution? 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 Revolution." 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 trafficking. 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 judge. "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: firstname.lastname@example.org (SCN User) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: gestapo treasure map Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US SC: Singer James Brown to enter drug treatment program Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Dave Fratello <email@example.com> Source: Reuters Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 SINGER JAMES BROWN TO ENTER DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAM 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 protection. 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: firstname.lastname@example.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 marijuana. 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 defeated. 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! Sincerely, YOUR NAME YOUR ADDRESS *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: To support the MPP's work and receive the quarterly "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 202-232-0442 FAX
------------------------------------------------------------------- Text Of US House Resolution 372 (The Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution) Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 14:30:02 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Adam J. Smith"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: [Fwd: Sense of the House of Representatives] Friends, 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.) http://thomas.loc.gov:8081/cgi-bin/query/D?c105:10:./temp/~c105ufwokU::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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com Newshawk: Nora Callahan Source: Associated Press Author: Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer Pubdate: 17 Mar 1998 STUDY: TREATMENT BEST FOR ADDICTS 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 spending. 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 abusers. --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 said. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Knight Ridder News Service Pubdate: 17 March 1998 MEDICAL LEADERS SUPPORT TREATMENT FOR DRUG USERS 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 week. 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 violations. 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 decision.'' 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 fail. ``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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WIRE: AIDS Advisers Express No-Confidence in Administration Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) and Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 AIDS ADVISERS EXPRESS NO-CONFIDENCE IN ADMINISTRATION 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 exchanges. The AIDS advisers said Monday that Shalala could already answer the drug-use question: ``There is no credible evidence that needle-exchange programs lead to increased drug abuse,'' they wrote. ``The absence of proof is not the same as proof,'' responded Skolfield, who said Shalala is awaiting several federal studies of the issue. More than 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: firstname.lastname@example.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 HIV/AIDS. 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 addicts. ``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 message. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: AIDS Advisers Urge Federal Funding for Clean Needles Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 AIDS ADVISERS URGE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR CLEAN NEEDLES 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. [snip] 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 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-03/17/071l-031798-idx.html *** 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 addiction. 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 development. --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. http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/9548/drspock.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Some Cool Words On a Hot Topic: Tobacco Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Philosophy. SOME COOL WORDS ON A HOT TOPIC: TOBACCO 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: CIA Official Testifies On Drug Link Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author: John Stamper Mercury News Washington Bureau Contact: email@example.com CIA OFFICIAL TESTIFIES ON DRUG LINK 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 allegations. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Cartel Tried Bank Takeover Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 MEXICO: CARTEL TRIED BANK TAKEOVER 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 Tuesday. 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 institution. 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Kicking out crime in New Westminster's Boot Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:35:01 -0800 Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: email@example.com 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 Vancouver. 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, Vancouver.'' 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 residents. ``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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.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. V9C-3Y1 Phone: 250-[867-5309] Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 21:50:25 -0500 Source: The Globe and Mail, March 17, 1998, Page A2 Newshawk:firstname.lastname@example.org 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 important." 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Colombia: WIRE: Former Colombia Lawmakers Sentenced Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 FORMER COLOMBIA LAWMAKERS SENTENCED 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: firstname.lastname@example.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 issue. ``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 guerrillas.'' 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 administration. ``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 said. 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 fighting. 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. attention. 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 tainted.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Australia: PM Pledges Extra $100M For Drug War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Source: Sydney Morning Herald Author: Tom Allard Contact:(email@example.com) Web:(http://www.smh.com.au) PM PLEDGES EXTRA $100M FOR DRUG WAR 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 November. 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 expenditure." 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: New Zealand: When The Smoke Clears Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Source: New Zealand Listener Author: Noel O'Hare Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS 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 tobacco. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: Judge Deports Two Spanish Drug Couriers Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 JUDGE DEPORTS TWO SPANISH DRUG COURIERS 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Prison Term Threat For Club Owners Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Source: Belfast Telegraph Contact: email@example.com PRISON TERM THREAT FOR CLUB OWNERS 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Rolling In The Green, Green Grass Of Home Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Source: The Scotsman Authors: Tom Morton and Emma Brockes Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com ROLLING IN THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME 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 is." 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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