Portland NORML News - Wednesday, March 18, 1998

Student Deferral ('Willamette Week' Article About A Portland Man
Sentenced To The Federal Prison In Sheridan, Oregon, After Being Arrested
Last November During A Protest Against The School Of The Americas
At Fort Benning In Columbus, Georgia, Fails To Mention The Primary Mission
Of The 'School Of Assassins' Is Providing Counter-Drug Operations Training)

Willamette Week
822 SW 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tel. (503) 243-2122
Fax (503) 243-1115
Letters to the Editor:
Mark Zusman - mzusman@wweek.com
Web: http://www.wweek.com/

Student Deferral



The Web site for the School of the Americas Watch (www.soaw.org) offers a
critical look at the institution, including history, report summaries and
National Public Radio reports.

The Army's take on the school can be found at: http://home.fia.net/~soa/ Be
warned: The home page plays "The Star-Spangled Banner" over and over and
over. There is no way to turn it off.

For an online forum about the School of the Americas, check out the home
page of the Columbus Ledger Enquirer at www.l-e-o.com/news/soaindex.htm


Student Deferral

* A local activist's grad school plans are put on hold after his protesting
of the "School of Assassins."


Christopher Jones is going to be late for school. The Portland native has
been accepted to the PhD program in anthropology at Tulane University. But
come September, Jones won't be in New Orleans. Instead, the 23-year-old
peace activist is going to be doing time at Sheridan Federal Correctional

Last November, Jones was one of 2,000 people who gathered at Fort Benning in
Columbus, Georgia, to protest the relatively unknown School of the Americas.

Link to follow up

[photo caption:]

Peace activist Christopher Jones says the SOA symbolizes the
United States' callousness and greed.

Started in Panama in 1946 to teach jungle-fighting tactics to
American GIs, the school now trains officers from Latin America.
In 1984 it moved to Fort Benning. Although all the students are
foreign, the school is funded by the Pentagon and costs American
taxpayers $4 million a year.

Critics say the school has earned the nickname "School of the
Assassins" in Central America because its graduates have been
linked to the torture and execution of countless victims of
military rule.

In 1989 the United Nations reported that six Jesuit priests killed in El
Salvador were murdered by SOA alums. More recently, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy
has charged that SOA graduates are leading the Mexican government's
human-rights violations against the Chiapas Indians.

Since 1990, Father Roy Borgeouis has led protests against the school. After
last year's demonstration, 25 people, including Jones and Borgeouis, were
convicted of misdemeanor trespassing. They were sentenced to six months in
prison and given a $3,000 fine.

The sentences, which began last Monday, surprised protesters. "At the most
we thought we'd get one to two months," Jones says. "Two people even pled no
contest. But we all got the same sentence. The way the judge was responding
to the prosecutor, it made me feel as if something was worked out ahead of

Presiding over Jones' trial was Georgia justice J. Robert Elliot, a
legendary civil-rights foe. In 1962, he banned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from his district. Twelve years later, he set aside the court-martial of Lt.
William Calley, convicted of premeditated murder in the infamous My Lai
Massacre. That decision was later overturned.

Jones says he was compelled to protest in Georgia because of his experiences
as an undergraduate in Belize, where he worked with refugees from Guatemala
and El Salvador.

"Everyone there has heard of the School of the Americas, and they know what
it stands for. In these countries, the security forces get totally out of
control." In Belize, Jones met a woman who had fled Guatemala after her
brother had been murdered by such soldiers. "It wasn't even a political
issue," Jones says. "They just basically robbed and killed him."

Jones' father, Dr. Stephen Jones, is chief of medicine for Good Samaritan
and Emanuel hospitals and a longtime member of Physicians for Social
Responsibility. Last Friday, the younger Jones spent one of his last free
evenings with the group and the Women's International League for Peace &
Freedom, telling them about the protest. "One out of 100 graduates of the
School of the Americas is linked to human-rights abuse," he said. "I want it

He isn't alone. Last year, Kennedy's bill to close the school narrowly
failed passage. Similar legislation is pending this year. U.S. Rep.
Elizabeth Furse, like the other Democrats in Oregon's congressional
delegation, supports Kennedy's measure. "The type of people being trained
there are the people who go back to countries that are dictatorships," she
says. Graduates of the school include Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and
Roberto D'Abuisson, leader of the El Salvador death squad. Training manuals
recently released from the school describe torture and interrogation
techniques that fly in the face of the Geneva Convention.

Furse, founder of the Oregon Peace Institute, says last year's protests
could make the difference this session. "We came very close to shutting it
down last year," she says. "Civil disobedience is always so impressive. This
is the sort of thing that tweaks the attention [of Congress]."

If not, protesters plan to be back later this year. Jones will be released
in time to be there. He's going, he says, but he won't break any laws that
could land him back in jail.

"I'm committed to the program at Tulane," he says. "I want to get into a
position of influence so I can do something to really help, possibly in the
United Nations."

Some of Jones' local supporters are seeking a presidential pardon, but Jones
is prepared to do his time. His stepmother, Beth Jones, says, "We're very
proud of him. There aren't many people who have the courage of convictions
Christopher has."

Originally published: Willamette Week - March 18, 1998

California Mayors Ask Clinton - Spare Marijuana Clubs
('Reuters' Notes The Mayors Of San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz
And West Hollywood Have Asked The President To Call Off Enforcement
Of Federal Drug Laws That Interfere With The Clubs' Daily Operations)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 21:40:06 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Calif. Mayors Ask Clinton: Spare Marijuana Clubs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Frank S. World and Dave Fratello and Kendra E. Wright
Source: Reuters
Author: Andrew Quinn
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A group of California mayors asked President
Clinton Wednesday to block a federal suit against the state's marijuana
clubs, sharply escalating the political and legal battle over medical
marijuana use.

"At stake is the well-being of 11,000 California residents," the mayors of
San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz and West Hollywood said in letters to
Clinton. They also asked him to suspend enforcement of federal drug laws
that interfere with the clubs' daily operations.

"If the centers are shut down, many of these individuals will be compelled
to search back alleys and street corners for their medicine," the mayors
wrote. "This will not only endanger their lives, but place an unnecessary
burden on our local police departments."

The mayors' plea comes ahead of a March 24 hearing in San Francisco on a
Justice Department bid to shut down six California marijuana distribution
clubs on the grounds they violate federal drug laws.

The suit, one of two filed in federal courts in San Francisco and San Jose,
marks a major legal skirmish over California's Proposition 215, the state
law voters approved in 1996 which legalized marijuana use for people
suffering from AIDS, cancer and other serious ailments.

California politicians are squaring off over the clubs, which have been the
major source of marijuana for people who say it helps relieve a variety of
symptoms ranging from pain and nausea to "nerves".

California's Attorney General Dan Lungren has personally vowed to see the
clubs shut down, while local leaders such as San Francisco Mayor Willie
Brown and city District Attorney Terence (eds: one "r" is correct) Hallinan
have promised to keep them open.

Lungren's legal efforts were boosted last month when the state supreme
court sided with a lower court ruling which said the clubs were illegal
because they were not "primary care givers" for the patients they supply --
which is a condition set by the California measure.

Although the supreme court ruling set the legal groundwork for closure of
the clubs, most are still operating and their leaders say they can fight
the semantics in court.

Medical marijuana advocates are casting the battle as an issue of states'
rights versus the federal government, saying federal officials should not
be allowed to override a compassionate law approved by popular vote in

Federal officials say, however, they are not targeting "medical use" of
marijuana -- simply the persistent violation of federal laws making it
illegal to cultivate, possess or distribute the drug.

The mayors' letter urged Clinton to side with the clubs and said the
federal government should allow local authorities to "formalize dispensary
systems that live up to the spirit of the law, and most importantly, make
marijuana available, safe and accessible to suffering patients."

They promised to abide by federal law, but asked for time to develop
"airtight" regulation and supervision of the dispensaries.

"We ask that the federal government respect local government's experience
and expertise in potentially developing legal community-based solutions
that benefit the public health of our residents," the mayors wrote.

San Francisco's Hallinan Monday indicated he was willing to defend the
city's right to set its own policies.

In court papers, Hallinan said that if the current distribution system were
disrupted by federal interference, San Francisco may ask its police to step
in "to distribute marijuana to seriously ill people."

California Mayors Push For Marijuana Clubs ('Associated Press' Version)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 05:35:26 EST
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: ltneidow@voyager.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: ltneidow@voyager.net (Lee T. Neidow)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: ART: Calif. Mayors Support Buyer's Clubs

California mayors push for marijuana clubs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Mayors from four California cities have
urged President Clinton to make their streets safer by abandoning federal
efforts to shutter clubs that dispense medical marijuana.

In letters to the White House dated March 12 to March 17, the mayors
of San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz and West Hollywood claimed
that closing the clubs would hurt those suffering from AIDS and cancer
who use the drug to ease their pain and nausea.

``If the centers are shut down, many of these individuals will be compelled
to search back alleys and street corners for their medicine,'' the mayors

The mayors also asked the president to ``implement a moratorium on
enforcement of federal drug laws that interfere with the daily operation of
the dispensaries.''

Federal prosecutors have challenged the state's marijuana buyers clubs,
saying they are violating federal law against the possession and sale of
drugs, regardless of a 1996 state initiative.

That law allows possession and cultivation of marijuana upon a doctor's
recommendation to ease the pain and nausea of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma
and other conditions.

Outside San Francisco's Cannabis Cultivators' Club, Joel Whalen
smoked a joint Wednesday while waiting for the marijuana club to open.

``With the mayors backing us, I think it's a lot better,'' said Whalen, who
uses marijuana to boost his appetite. ``I quit all intravenous drugs, and
now that I've been smoking marijuana I feel healthier.''

Ban On Medical Pot In Public - Violators Could Face Jail, County Decides
('Sacramento Bee' Notes Sacramento County Board Of Supervisors
Has Voted To Nullify Proposition 215
And Recriminalize Possession Of Marijuana In One Fell Swoop)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 15:08:43 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Ban on Medical Pot in Public:
Violaters Could Face Jail, County Decides
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: Pamela Martineau Bee Staff Writer


Anyone with a doctor's permission to smoke marijuana could face up to a
$1,000 in fines or six months in jail if they light up in public, under an
ordinance approved Tuesday by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

Saying the public smoking of marijuana, even for health reasons, sends a
confusing message to youths and exposes people to secondhand marijuana
smoke, the supervisors criminalized the public consumption of the herb,
which was legalized for medicinal purposes by California voters in November

"It's not an anti-compassion issue," Sacramento Police Chief Arturo Venegas
Jr. said in support of the proposal. "I don't believe (public consumption)
was the intent of those who passed the proposition."

"Permitting smoking of marijuana in public places does send a mixed message
to our young people," said Supervisor Dave Cox.

The local ordinance passed 3-2, with Supervisors Roger Dickinson and Illa
Collin voting against the measure, saying its fines and jail term were too

"Making a person a criminal -- potentially assessing a $1,000 fine or a
six-month jail term -- is enormously out of proportion," said Dickinson.

"It opens the possibility of harassment of people who legitimately use
medicinal marijuana," Collin added.

Ryan Landers, a local AIDS patient who said he regularly smokes marijuana
in the outdoor seating sections of restaurants to quell his severe nausea,
said after Tuesday's vote that he intends to continue to smoke it even if
he might be arrested.

"I will get arrested and file a discrimination suit against the county,"
said Landers, adding that he then would go to jail and sue to be allowed to
smoke marijuana in jail.

"I'm not trying to hurt anybody by doing this," Landers earlier told
supervisors of his reason for smoking marijuana in public. "I'm just trying
to stay alive and be an active human being."

District Attorney Jan Scully, who introduced the ordinance, said the
measure is needed to address ambiguities in Proposition 215, which is
silent on whether smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes is allowed in

The issue came to a head in Sacramento County when Landers smoked a joint
on the K Street Mall during the Thursday night market last summer. Landers
was arrested, but prosecutors dropped the charges, saying he would prevail
at trial since he legally was allowed to smoke marijuana under Proposition

Neither Scully or Venegas could estimate how many people smoke medicinal
marijuana in public in Sacramento County, but Scully asserted that "there
aren't large numbers of people engaging in this sort of conduct."

The new ban, Scully continued, is aimed at the "flaunting and flagrant use"
of medicinal marijuana.

"This is a health issue. This isn't a criminal issue," Landers said.

The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect in about a month. Venegas said
he will ask city officials to consider a similar ordinance.

Jailed Rapper Has 90 Days Added To Term ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Says Sacramento, California, Rap Musician C-BO Is Being Kept In Jail
Not Because He Tested Positive For Cannabis,
But Because 'Lyrics On His New Album . . .
Violated An Unusual Parole Condition')

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 15:03:45 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Jailed Rapper Has 90 Days Added to Term
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


Sacramento rapper C-BO, who was to be released from jail today, had 90 days
added to his sentence after testing positive for marijuana while serving
two weeks for parole violations.

Shawn Thomas, 26, the ``gangsta'' rapper who records under the name C-BO,
was ordered back to jail 2 1/2 weeks ago because of lyrics on his new
album, ``. . . Til My Casket Drops,'' which violated an unusual parole

State parole authorities contended that the record promoted the gang
lifestyle and therefore violated the special condition imposed in June when
C-BO was released from Soledad State Prison after serving his second
stretch behind bars.

He originally went to prison on a 1994 conviction for willful discharge of
a firearm in a negligent manner. He was paroled in late 1995.

In April 1996 he was arrested in Cincinnati on parole violations that
involved marijuana and firearms.

After serving more than 14 months at Soledad, he was released last June
under the special parole agreement that restricted the content of his

Thomas will serve the 90 days at Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle

Three Months Added To Rapper's Jail Term ('Orange County Register' Version
Says It Was The Drug Test, Not The Lyrics)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:40:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Three Months Added to Rappers Jail Term
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


Rapper and convicted felon Shawn Thomas will have to serve an additional
three months in prison because he failed a drug test, the Board of Prison
Terms said Tuesday in Sacramento.

Thomas, who performs under the name C-Bo, was at the center of a
free-speech controversy this month when authorities considered jailing him
because the lyrics of his latest album violated his parole terms.

The board eventually decided not to pursue charges against Thomas on those
grounds. But he was given a one-month term - levied after Thomas tested
positive for marijuana use - will be served consecutive to the earlier
sentence, officials said. Thomas, 26, was paroled from Soledad Prison in
June after serving 15 months for illegal firearms use.

Guards' Union Impeding Prison Probe, Critics Say - Strong Political Presence
In Sacramento ('San Francisco Chronicle' Looks At How The Most Powerful
Prison Guard Lobby In The World Is Fighting The Federal Indictment Of Guards
At California's Corcoran Prison - Includes List Of Politicians
Who Get The Most Contributions)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:12:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Guards' Union Impeding Prison Probe, Critics Say
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: Robert B. Gunnison, Greg Lucas, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau


Strong political presence in Sacramento

Hours after a federal grand jury indicted eight Corcoran State Prison
guards on civil rights charges, Don Novey was on the phone to help find
them defense lawyers.

It's just part of Novey's job as president of the California Correctional
Peace Officers Association -- one of the most potent political forces in
the Capitol.

But these days, the association finds itself -- and its relationship with
the Wilson administration -- in an uncomfortable spotlight with the
indictment of the Corcoran officers, who were charged with staging fights
among rival gang members in 1994.

Federal sources said the U.S. Department of Justice entered the case only
after it became clear that the Wilson administration would not mount a
thorough investigation.

Peace Officers Association members even tried to interfere with the FBI
investigation, the federal sources say.

Critics contend that the inability of the Wilson administration to correct
problems among prison guards lies in the political influence the union
wields in Sacramento.

``They are so strong -- no one has the guts to stand up to them,'' said
John Irwin, a retired sociology professor at San Francisco State University
who has written four books on prisons.

Irwin said some prison guards enjoy ``an unrestrained police culture.''

``They develop a peculiar kind of sickness where they separate themselves
from the people they are guarding.''

The association has grown from a kind of social club at Folsom to a
27,000-member movement that Novey is taking to other states. His mission is
to bring respect to the job he calls ``the toughest beat in the state.''

With members contributing $49 a month, the association has given $4.8
million to candidates and propositions during the past decade.

One of its most dramatic contributions was $425,000 in October 1992 that
paid for the last week of Governor Wilson's television advertising in his
campaign against Dianne Feinstein.

The association has also contributed $143,891 to Attorney General Dan
Lungren, who investigated the alleged abuses at Corcoran at the governor's
request and found no wrongdoing.

The close relationship between Wilson and the association leads to the
perception that it is a Republican union -- an assertion that Novey denies.

``It's funny that we are pegged as a Republican union,'' he says.
``Proportionately, over the years, the Legislature has been 59 percent to
60 percent Democrat and our money has gone in that direction.''

Lawyers for the Corcoran officers will be paid for by the state, not the
union, the Department of Corrections announced late last week. ``I believe
these officers have acted appropriately,'' said C.C. Terhune, director of
corrections, in a statement.

The state's decision stunned Novey, who had been working to find lawyers
for the defendants.

``I was trying to do that. The administration said they were going to step
up the plate,'' said Novey after the announcement. ``I nearly fell on my

The Corcoran probe involves allegations that guards staged ``blood sport''
fights in which one convict was shot to death by a guard. The defendants
are scheduled to make their first appearance in U.S. District Court in
Fresno today.

One of those indicted last month, Lieutenant John Vaughn, was appointed by
the Department of Corrections in June to the Office of Internal Affairs,
which investigates wrongdoing within the department.

The indictment charges that Vaughn permitted officers to release inmates
from rival gangs into a small exercise yard, where the inmates fought for
the entertainment of the staff. It states that he also prepared false
reports about the fights.

The problems are not limited to Corcoran. At Pelican Bay, Del Norte County,
prosecutors have proposed in court that a federal grand jury may be needed
to investigate the prison, where eight convicts have been killed in their
cells since 1996.

The FBI confirms that it also is investigating whether Department of
Corrections personnel selected inmates for ``some form of retribution
outside the criminal justice system.''

Both the Department of Corrections and Lungren investigated violence at

The Department of Corrections said it was instructed by the FBI not to look
at the shooting death because the federal agency would open its own probe.

The Department of Justice said it, too, did not want to duplicate the
federal investigations.

But for critics like Catherine Campbell, a Fresno lawyer who represents the
family of Preston Tate, the slain inmate at Corcoran, the Department of
Correction's behavior showed that it had no intention of finding anything.

``They were fighting a media battle,'' she said. ``The entire thrust of
their investigation was at the media.''

And for her, the motivation is clear -- the political clout of Novey's
association. ``They don't want to jeopardize their campaign financing,''
said Campbell. ``I can't see it any other way.''

As union president, Novey must defend his members, even when they are
accused of the worst kinds of crimes. Nevertheless, he has called for the
state to provide psychological testing and better training for the
high-stress job.

In the nearly two decades since state employees won collective bargaining
rights, Novey has negotiated contracts that now provide officers -- who
control more than 160,000 inmates in the state's 33 prisons -- with an
average salary of $39,501.

``Our members' salaries are up there and commensurate with their peers in
law enforcement. That's all we wanted to achieve,'' Novey said in an

Asked to describe how the Department of Corrections gets along with the
union, corrections spokeswoman Christine May said it is a ``typical
management-labor relationship.''

``At times, we may have differences of opinion as to how to achieve a
goal,'' May said, ``but for the most part we have a good management-labor

Although the union has sought longer prison terms and more prison
construction -- generally backed by Republicans -- it has also backed more
job protections for organized labor, usually supported by Democrats.

The association has often given generously to crime victims groups, such as
the Doris Tate Crime Bureau, an important ally in seeking longer prison

One Democrat to tangle with Novey -- and to come out in a good position --
is Senator John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose. Vasconcellos was a union target
in 1992, when he was running for re-election to the Assembly.

``They were going to put $200,000 against me,'' recalls Vasconcellos. He
said Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco, then a member
of the Assembly, talked Novey into reducing the amount to $75,000.

``We won handily,'' Vasconcellos said. ``Afterwards, I spent time with Don
Novey and made peace. Since then, we've gotten along. In my Senate race (in
1996), they stayed neutral. I've been working with them on prison and
parole reform.

``Their endorsement, for people who think being tough on law and order is
the way to get elected, is valuable. (But) it is possible to win without



Since 1987, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association has
given $4.8 million to candidates and propositions. Here is a look at some
of those contributions: .

Former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown            $189,000
Lieutenant Govenor Gray Davis                     37,500
Former Governor George Deukmejian                494,437
Former Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer      37,750
Attorney General Dan Lungren                     143,891
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush          45,631
Governor Pete Wilson                             614,550

Figures are cumulative and in some cases cover contributions to candidates
for offices other than the ones indicated.

Source: Legitech

1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A1

San Francisco DEA Chief - From Tough Streets To Top Agent ('Associated Press'
Profiles Michele Leonhart, The Highest-Ranking Woman
In The US Drug Enforcement Administration,
Chief Of 130 Agents In Northern California)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:39:48 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: WIRE: SF DEA Chief -- From Tough Streets to Top Agent
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: Richard Cole, Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO -- When Jorge Roca Suarez, the king of Bolivian cocaine
paste, closed his deals with the Colombian drug cartels, little did he know
that one day he would sit in a U.S. prison because someone stole a young
girl's blue bicycle in White Bear Lake, Minn.

Fourth-grader Michele Leonhart owned that bike, with its white basket and
pink streamers.

She refused to shrug it off. She asked questions. Checked around. And a few
weeks later, tracked it down in an alley a few blocks from her house.

``I started thinking I was a bit of an investigator trying to locate my
blue Huffy,'' she says three decades later.

That fourth grader set her eyes on a career in law enforcement -- and a
``bit of an investigator'' is what she turned out to be.

Leonhart is the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration and, as chief of 130 agents in Northern California, the only
woman to head a regional DEA office.

She's no token. First in her class at the Baltimore police academy in 1978.
First again in the DEA academy in 1980. Intelligence and enforcement group
supervisor in San Diego, No. 2 agent in Los Angeles. A string of
high-profile cases stretching from Canada to Bolivia.

But she almost had no law enforcement career. When Leonhart graduated from
college in 1978, police department after police department turned her down.
Los Angeles said she was too short. Chicago and Miami had residency
requirements. Every department seemed to have an excuse.

``One by one, I was being slapped with, `No, you don't qualify,''' she says.

But Baltimore -- a city she had to look up on a map because she had never
before left the Twin Cities area -- invited her to take their test. She
worked out to meet the strength requirements. And then aced the academy.

Woman officers were rare in Baltimore. The male officers turned Michele
into ``Mikey'' her first day on the job.

As a rookie, she found herself patrolling alone at night on the streets of
Baltimore's worst neighborhoods. She earned the grudging admiration of
street kids, who called the fearless 5-foot-4-inch officer ``Mighty Mike,''
and tipped her to who committed neighborhood burglaries.

She began to see the damage done by drugs. She battled with a PCP-loaded
suspect who had just thrown a traffic barrier through a store window. She
helped DEA agents serve warrants on drug suspects. She caught the bug.

``It would take me years to become a detective and get to the point where I
could investigate cases, and these DEA agents were doing it every day,''
she recalls thinking.

So she signed up with the DEA. As the top student in the academy, she had
her pick of cities, and decided to return to her native Minnesota. Other
agents criticized her for not picking a higher profile city like Miami or
New York. But Leonhart had an idea that she could be a bigger fish in a
smaller school.

She was right.

The day she walked in the door as the first female agent to work in
Minneapolis, she was handed what turned out to be one of her biggest cases.

A mysterious Puerto Rican millionaire was wowing the people of Princeton
near the Canadian border. He bought football uniforms for the high school.
He took seniors to lunch. And he put a lot of money into the local airport.
The newspapers called him ``Princeton's mysterious benefactor.''

The DEA had its suspicions. In went their newest agent, and within a day
the rookie ingratiated herself with the mystery man. He conveniently
pointed out the planes and property he owned, allowing the DEA to track his
cross-border flights. Their suspicions were right. Off he went to prison.

Leonhart had landed running and never stopped. She bought LSD from an
American Indian Movement leader in his home, trading supposedly stolen

She worked a Marielito Cuban bar in Minneapolis so tough the owner had
installed a metal detector that seemed to beep every time a customer walked

``I was buying dope in the men's room and they were putting shotguns on the
pool table,'' she recalls.

Sitting in a conference room of the office she now heads, her eyes sparkle
when she talks about her undercover work.

``One day I would go in as the head of my own organization -- I'm in
charge, I want to buy drugs,'' she says. ``The next day I could be some
flunky, dumb girlfriend who would just sit there and make phone calls. It
was fun.''

The DEA had plans for the bright young agent that didn't include undercover
work. She found herself being kicked upstairs to higher posts.

The DEA, she acknowledges, has always had more of a cowboy reputation than
the more sedate FBI. It was made up, especially initially, of upwardly
mobile street cops who were facing heavily armed and equally macho drug
dealers. A woman moving up through the ranks was suspect, she found.

``There is always that doubt. `A woman on the job? I'm not quite sure,'''
she says. ``Each time I moved to a new post I would have to re-prove

But her fellow agents, she discovered, cared more about making cases than
gender politics. Some of her early critics are now her biggest fans, she

She also found the DEA more egalitarian when it came to assignments. During
one San Diego raid with another agency known for having women agents, she
and a fellow female DEA investigator stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their
colleagues as they entered the property.

``The other agency's women agents handed out sodas to the men -- that was
their job!'' she marvels. ``We have female agents who have died on the job
doing the same thing that men do. We jump out of helicopters. We were down
in Bolivia and Peru doing everything that the men do.''

It was the Bolivian connection that led to one of the DEA's biggest cases
and put a feather in Leonhart's cap. The San Diego group she supervised
patiently made a case against Jorge Roca Suarez, head of powerful drug
family in Bolivia. He supplied the cocaine paste, the base for all powdered
cocaine, to the Medellin and Cali cartels in Colombia.

Her agents nabbed Roca Suarez in Los Angeles, and he is now serving 40
years in prison. The DEA confiscated $14 million in property.

When she took over the San Francisco office in June of last year, she found
trends she had first spotted in Southern California had accelerated. The
enemy has become methamphetamine, responsible for 60-70 percent of DEA
cases in the region. Organized Mexican traffickers are taking over from the
bikers who once dominated the meth trade. And the San Francisco office also
has to watch Asian heroin -- and fret over pot clubs.

It keeps her too busy to spend much time thinking about breaking barriers.

``I don't see anything strange about it,'' she says. ``But when we look at
it, especially for law enforcement, it is a landmark. I do have to realize
that this is a good way to be a role model for women going into law

'Black Tar' Heroin Addicts Prone To Botulism ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Reports A Study In Today's 'Journal Of The American Medical Association'
Says California Health Specialists Have Found That People Who Inject The Black,
Resinous Form Of Heroin Beneath Their Skin Or Into Their Muscles
Run A Major Risk Of Contracting Severe Botulism - Of 35 Victims Studied
By Doctors With The California Department Of Health Services, All But Two
Required Long Hospital Stays)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:19:09 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: `Black Tar' Heroin Addicts Prone to Botulism
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World"  and "Kendra E.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor


Worst risk from injecting directly under the skin

Botulism, the deadly disease widely feared as an agent in biological
warfare, is striking drug addicts who inject a crude drug known on the
street as ``black tar'' heroin.

The drug has become widely used throughout the West Coast in recent years,
and California health specialists have found that addicts who inject the
black, resinous form of heroin beneath their skin or into their muscles run
a major risk of contracting severe cases of wound botulism.

Of 35 addicts studied by doctors with the California Department of Health
Services, all but two required long hospital stays before recovering and
all but five had to be placed on respirators when paralysis of their lungs
threatened to halt their breathing.

The study of the problem is being reported today in the Journal of the
American Medical Association by a team that included Dr. Douglas Passaro,
now an infectious disease specialist at the Stanford University Medical
Center and Dr. Duc Vugia of the state health department in Berkeley.

The doctors followed 26 of the botulism patients and compared them with a
control group of 110 addicts who were recently enrolled in methadone
clinics in four California counties but did not develop the disease.

According to Vugia, the most serious danger of contracting the paralyzing
disease comes from a practice known as ``skin popping,'' where instead of
injecting a drug into a vein an addict thrusts it directly beneath the skin
or into a muscle.

In their study, the physicians found that nearly all the addicts who
developed wound botulism had been ``skin popping'' the drug, while only 44
percent of the men and women in the control group used the crude heroin
that way.

The botulism germ, called Clostridium botulinum, is closely related to the
bacterium known as Clostridium tetani, which causes tetanus, a disease also
known to be common among users of black tar heroin -- especially those who
``skin pop'' the drug.

Both the bacteria are earth-dwelling microbes that thrive best without
oxygen, and because blood is rich in oxygen, wound botulism rarely strikes
addicts who inject the drug into their veins, Vugia said. All the addicts
in the study were careful to use clean syringes in order to prevent AIDS,
he said, so the most likely source of the dangerous bacteria must be the
crude black tar heroin, which is sold cheaply and is often contaminated
with plant material and dirt.

According to Greg Hayner, the pharmacist at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic
in San Francisco, the use of black tar heroin is increasing sharply as its
price drops. A quantity that used to sell for $100 now goes on the street
for $20, Hayner said, and addicts who ``run out of veins to shoot'' are
turning more and more to the dangerous types of injections.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A2

Wound Botulism Associated With Black Tar Heroin
Among Injecting Drug Users (Text Of Report
In 'The Journal Of The American Medical Association')

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 19:07:18 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: JAMA: Wound Botulism Associated With Black Tar Heroin
Among Injecting Drug Users
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 1998;279:859-863)
Section: Abstracts
Pubdate: 18 March 1998
Contact: JAMA-letters@ama-assn.org
Editors note: Before writing to JAMA please review the requirements at:

Wound Botulism Associated With Black Tar Heroin Among Injecting Drug Users

Douglas J. Passaro, MD, MPH; S. Benson Werner, MD, MPH; Jim McGee, MSPH;
William R. Mac Kenzie, MD; Duc J. Vugia, MD, MPH

Context.-Wound botulism (WB) is a potentially lethal, descending, flaccid,
paralysis that results when spores of Clostridium botulinum germinate in a
wound and elaborate neurotoxin. Since 1988, California has experienced a
dramatic increase in WB associated with injecting "black tar" heroin (BTH),
a dark, tarry form of the drug.

Objective.-To identify risk factors for WB among injecting drug users (IDUs).

Design.-Case-control study based on data from in-person and telephone

Participants.-Case patients (n=26) were IDUs who developed WB from January
1994 through February 1996. Controls (n=110) were IDUs newly enrolled in
methadone detoxification programs in 4 counties.

Main Outcome Measures.-Factors associated with the development of WB.

Results.-Among the 26 patients, the median age was 41.5 years, 15 (58%)
were women, 14 (54%) were non-Hispanic white, 11 (42%) were Hispanic, and
none were positive for the human immunodeficiency virus. Nearly all
participants (96% of patients and 97% of controls) injected BTH, and the
mean cumulative dose of BTH used per month was similar for patients and
controls (27 g and 31 g, respectively; P=.6). Patients were more likely
than controls to inject drugs subcutaneously or intramuscularly (92% vs
44%, P<.001) and used this route of drug administration more times per
month (mean, 67 vs 24, P<.001), with a greater cumulative monthly dose of
BTH (22.3 g vs 6.3 g, P<.001). A dose-response relationship was observed
between the monthly cumulative dose of BTH injected subcutaneously or
intramuscularly and the development of WB (2 for linear trend, 26.5;
P<.001). In the final regression model, subcutaneous or intramuscular
injection of BTH was the only behavior associated with WB among IDUs (odds
ratio, 13.7; 95% confidence interval, 3.0-63.0). The risk for development
of WB was not affected by cleaning the skin, cleaning injection
paraphernalia, or sharing needles.

Conclusions.-Injection of BTH intramuscularly or subcutaneously is the
primary risk factor for the development of WB. Physicians in the western
United States, where BTH is widely used, should be aware of the potential
for WB to occur among IDUs.

JAMA. 1998;279:859-863

>From the Division of Communicable Disease Control, California Department of
Health Services, Berkeley (Drs Passaro, Werner, and Vugia and Mr McGee),
and the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford
University Medical School, Stanford, Calif (Dr Passaro), and the Division
of Field Epidemiology, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga (Drs Passaro and Mac Kenzie). Dr
Passaro is now with the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic
Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center. Dr Mac Kenzie is now with the
Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


[JAMA] EDITOR'S NOTE.-Despite the well-known hazards of injection drug use,
such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, endocarditis, and fatal
overdose, some substance abusers continue to inject heroin and other
illicit drugs. This case-control study evaluated injection drug users who
developed another dangerous complication, wound botulism, and examined risk
factors for this potentially fatal paralytic disorder. Injection of black
tar heroin (a dark, tarry form of the drug) subcutaneously or
intramuscularly (a practice known as skin-popping) was associated with an
increased risk for wound botulism, with a "dose-response" relationship
between the cumulative amount of black tar heroin injected via this route
and development of disease. Clinicians should add wound botulism to the
list of dangerous complications they may encounter in patients who inject
black tar heroin and other illicit drugs.

Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Senior Editor

(c) 1995-1998 American Medical Association.

Son Of Zoo Official Faces Drug Charges ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Says The 18-Year-Old Man From Racine, Wisconsin,
Has Been Charged With Selling A Half-Ounce Of Cocaine For $725
To An Undercover Cop)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:01:45 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WI: Son of Zoo Official Faces Drug Charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel staff


A Racine zoo official's son, who was accused of taking $3,000 from the zoo
last year, has been charged in Jefferson County with selling cocaine to an
undercover officer, officials said Tuesday.

Patrick Torhorst, 18, of Racine, was in the Jefferson County Jail on
Tuesday in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Torhorst was charged Monday in Jefferson County with one count of delivery
of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a park and two counts of possession of
narcotics with the intent to deliver. A preliminary hearing is scheduled
for Tuesday.

Torhorst was arrested Sunday in Palmyra after he allegedly sold a
half-ounce of cocaine for $725 in a restaurant parking lot, Palmyra Police
Chief Scott Neubauer said Tuesday.

When officers searched Torhorst's vehicle, they discovered 500 Vicodin and
100 Percodan painkiller pills, which Torhorst admitted stealing from a
Waterford pharmacy where he works, according to the criminal complaint.
Neubauer said the pharmacy is owned by Torhorst's uncle.

When police asked Torhorst about the painkillers, he said he intended "to
eat 'em and also to give them to friends," according to the complaint.

Torhorst was cited last year for municipal ordinances of trespass and
theft, and ordered to pay a $250 fine in connection with a burglary at the
Racine zoo, where his father, Thomas Torhorst, is the executive director.

He could have faced a felony charge of burglary, but Racine County District
Attorney Robert Flancher decided to charge Torhorst with the lesser

As part of the agreement, a felony burglary charge could be filed if
Torhorst commits a crime. Neubauer said Tuesday the district attorney was
considering filing burglary charges against Torhorst in light of his arrest

Flancher did not return a phone message Tuesday.

Police were called to the Racine zoo in September after $3,000 was stolen
during a burglary. Two days after the break-in, Patrick Torhorst's attorney
told police that the teen had admitted his involvement and that his father
would repay the money.

Truth In Sentencing Examined ('Tulsa World'
Says An Oklahoma Legislative Committee Has Been Meeting Twice A Week
To Examine Revisions To Last Year's Truth-In-Sentencing Law
And Whether They Are Keeping Violent And Habitual Offenders
Behind Bars Longer - Critics Say Opposite Has Happened -
House Of Representatives Passed A Bill Last Week That Would Greatly Increase
Many Sentences)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 16:36:02 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: Truth in Sentencing Examined
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: OK NORML 
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Source: Tulsa World (OK)
Author: Brian Ford World Capitol Bureau 3/18/98
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com
Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com


OKLAHOMA CITY -- A joint legislative committee is examining whether the
truth-in-sentencing law really would give the ``bad guys more time'' in

The committee has been meeting twice a week to examine revisions to the
truth-in-sentencing law, which was passed last year.

The Thursday meetings have been open to the public, but the Tuesday
meetings have been closed at least twice to reporters in past weeks.
Tuesday was the first time the Tuesday meeting was opened to reporters.

The truth-in-sentencing law was aimed at making violent and habitual
offenders serve 75 percent to 85 percent of their sentences under a brand
new sentencing guideline system. Less serious offenders would be placed in
local community sentencing programs that could range from incarceration to
drug and alcohol treatment to education.

Prosecutors, sheriffs and some crime victim groups have roundly criticized
the law, saying they believe many offenders would actually do less time
than what the old sentencing system allowed. Proponents of the law disagree.

The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would greatly
increase many sentences and move back the implementation date of the new
law from July 1 to Jan. 1.

House Bill 2927, authored by House Speaker Loyd Benson, D-Frederick, and
Senate President Pro Tem Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, would still require
violent offenders to serve 85 percent of their sentences, but it gives
judges and prosecutors more leeway in the length of sentences that can be
sought. The bill also would lengthen the potential sentences of many
offenses but would still do away with jury sentencing in all but
first-degree murder cases. Judges could impose longer sentences for
criminals who had been incarcerated by the Department of Corrections twice

On Tuesday, Sen. Cal Hobson, D-Lexington, the Senate chairman of the joint
committee, said, ``We've got to settle the question: Did we or did we not
give the bad guys more time (with the law passed last year)?''

Bill Chown, an official with the Department of Corrections, gave the
committee several statistics. Chown examined the actual time served by 66
Department of Corrections inmates who were convicted of rape and released
from prison over an 18-month period ending Dec. 31. He then examined what
they probably would have served if they had been convicted under the
truth-in-sentencing law.

He found that the average time served in the Department of Corrections was
nearly 47 months under the old law.

He said those inmates probably would have served an average of 134 months
under truth in sentencing. He said 56 of the 66 inmates probably would have
served longer terms under truth in sentencing.

Chown compared inmates convicted of other serious and violent crimes and
had the same results -- most would have served more time in prison under
truth in sentencing.

The committee plans to examine the cost next week of the House
truth-in-sentencing revision bill.

Plano Arrests - Drug Roundup Provides A Strong Warning
('Dallas Morning News' Staff Editorial Endorses Arrest Of 14 Students
At Two High Schools In Plano, Texas, Resulting From Seven-Month
Undercover Investigation)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:08:16 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Plano Arrests - Drug Roundup Provides a Strong Warning Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 PLANO ARRESTS - DRUG ROUNDUP PROVIDES A STRONG WARNING With youth comes a false measure of invincibility, the dangerous belief that dying and getting caught only happen to someone else. Nearly two dozen people, including 14 high school students, now face drug charges in Plano's crackdown on teen drug abuse. They simply didn't get the message. Let's hope that others do. In an operation dubbed Rockfest, an MTV-generation moniker, Plano police turned up heroin, cocaine, LSD, prescription drugs and marijuana. More arrests are likely. In the aftermath of a series of tragic heroin deaths in Plano, parents, police, city officials, churches, schools and other organizations have stressed intervention and education to steer students away from drugs. The police crackdown delivers the message dramatically and personally. If the death of a classmate didn't register with some, then perhaps the prospect of a drug charge will. Punishment could be as stiff as two years to life in prison plus a hefty fine depending on the drug and the amount seized. Plano police aren't pretending that they alone can stem drug flow. The lack of parental involvement in the lives of some arrested was a recurring theme police found during the investigation. It's time for those parents to do some soul-searching. Highlighting the consequences can discourage some teens from using drugs. For some, a classroom lecture is enough. For others, it takes a friend's death, or a pair of handcuffs and a court date. Still, others may never quite get it. Plano police are underscoring the no-tolerance message. And if just one drug experimenter decides to abstain, the effort will be worth it.

Branstad Signs Bill On Drug Testing ('Associated Press' Notes Iowa Governor
Terry Branstad On Tuesday Signed A Bill Allowing Private Businesses
To Test Workers' Urine Randomly Or With 'Reasonable Suspicion')

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 22:00:51 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US IA: Branstad Signs Bill On Drug Testing
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen" 
Source: Des Moines Register
Author: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@news.dmreg.com
Webform: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html
Website: http://www.dmregister.com/


Workers could be subject to random tests for use of alcohol or other drugs
under legislation signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad on Tuesday.

The governor labeled the bill "the right prescription at the right time"
and said it would reduce industrial accidents and cut the use of drugs in
the workplace.

"If you want to work and prosper in Iowa, you better stay away from illegal
drugs," Branstad said at a formal signing ceremony attended by dozens of
supporters of the bill.

Businesses currently can test workers for drug use, but there are
restrictions that employers argue are so tight they make the law meaningless.

The new law, which takes effect in 30 days, allows random and unannounced
tests of workers. It also allows pre-employment screening tests without
including a physical examination and allows testing if companies have a
"reasonable suspicion" of drug use.

Alert - Medical Marijuana Vote In Congress Next Week
(Drug Reform Coordination Network Asks You To Write A Letter
And Make A Phone Call To Your US Representative Asking Him Or Her
To Oppose The House's Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution, 372)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 16:30:39 EST
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (manager@drcnet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drc-natl@drcnet.org)
Subject: ALERT: Medical Marijuana Vote in Congress Next Week

ALERT: Medical Marijuana Vote in Congress Next Week


(To sign off this list, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

Dear DRCNet reader:

Your help is needed this week to defeat a "sense of the
house" resolution opposing the medical use of marijuana.
H.Res. 372 states "Marijuana is a dangerous and addictive
drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use," and
"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." While the resolution is not
binding, its passage would create another political
roadblock in the way of freedom from prison for medical
marijuana patients. Ironically, the resolution's sponsor,
Bill McCollum, was a co-sponsor of pro-medical marijuana
legislation in the early 1980's.

Please call or fax your U.S. representatives and tell
them that the people supporting this resolution should stop
playing doctor, and that you want the government to get out
of the way and let patients and doctors make medical
decisions without threat of criminal punishment. Urge them
to instead sponsor H.R. 1782, making medical marijuana legal
under federal law, or at least to wait until the Institute
of Medicine completes its scientific review of the issue
this December.

You can reach your Representative (or find out who your
rep is) via the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
You can leave your opinion by phone, or ask your rep's
office for their fax number.

If you are from a state that has or has had an
initiative legalizing medical use of marijuana, and if you
have seen recent press coverage of the issue, consider
writing a letter to the editor. Such states include
California and Arizona (last year), and Maine, Alaska,
Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the
District of Columbia. Points for your letters:

* The federal government should respect states' rights and
the will of the voters (our will, if you are from one of
these states).

* Politicians should stop politicizing this medical issue
and let science and common sense prevail. At a minimum they
should wait until the Institute of Medicine completes its
scientific review of medical marijuana later this year.

* Other addictive drugs like morphine, cocaine and
methamphetamine are legally prescribable medicines.

* It irrational and cruel to incarcerate sick people who
happen to choose marijuana as their treatment, or to
threaten their physicians.

As usual, please send us copies of your correspondence
or let us know what actions you have taken. And please act
now, before H. Res. 372 reaches the floor! Further
information on marijuana legislation is available online at
http://www.norml.org and http://www.mpp.org.

| PROTEST IN SAN FRANCISCO, MARCH 24 11:00AM -- info at |
| http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html#medmjrally |


Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St. NW Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202)
293-8344 (fax), drcnet@drcnet.org, http://www.drcnet.org


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Rogan Now Backs Resolution Against Medical Marijuana
(According To 'The Glendale News-Press Leader,'
US Representative James Rogan, A First-Term Republican,
Says He Will Vote In Favor Of The House's Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution,
372, Despite Having Supported Medical Cannabis In The California Assembly -
He Says His Position Is Unchanged)

Newshawk: From Richard Lake, Sr. Editor, DrugSense News Service
Source: Glendale News-Press Leader
Contact: FAX: 818-241-1975
Mail: Dan Bolton, Executive Editor, 425 W Broadway #30, Glendale, CA 91204
Pubdate: March 18, 1998
Author: Kevin Smith
Subject: MN: US CA: Rogan Now Backs Resolution Against Medical Marijuana
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: March 18, 1998


Congressman says his position is no different than when he was an
assemblyman and favored limited use.

GLENDALE ~ Congressman James Rogan says he will back a resolution that
opposes the use of marijuana for medical purposes, despite having supported
the idea as a state assemblyman. The first-term Republican, whose 27th
Congressional District includes Glendale, nonetheless said he is taking the
same position he took in the Assembly.

House Resolution 372 expresses the sense of the House of Representatives
that marijuana "is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be
legalized for medicinal use."

Resolutions carry no legal weight, but are often crafted to gauge support
for legislation on issues.

The resolution has already been approved by the House Subcommittee on Crime
and is expected to be brought to the floor for a full House vote, possibly
next week. Rogan, elected to the 43rd Assembly District eat in 1994, served
through 1996.

"I supported (medical use of marijuana) in the Assembly, but only in
limited circumstances of a physician being able to prescribe marijuana for
terminal patients," he said.

He does not support Proposition 215, approved by California voters in 1996,
because it is too broad in scope, Rogan said.

"It allows any medical practitioner to use it," he said. "And that could
mean an acupuncturist or ... a witch doctor. And not all of the patients
are terminal cases."

In September 1995, Rogan supported Assembly Bill 1529. The measure, which
ultimately failed, was intended to provide a criminal defense for personal
possession of marijuana for medical purposes, but only when approved in
writing by a licensed physician for patients with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma
and multiple sclerosis. Rogan's support for limited use of marijuana was
fueled by personal experience.

In 1980, Rogan's cousin was diagnosed with cancer and given just six months
to live.

Under his doctor's advice, he began using marijuana to gain weight and
combat the nausea brought on by chemotherapy treatments. Rogan believes his
cousin's use of marijuana helped him live for another 10 years.

"It had everything to do with him being able to get out of bed, eat, go to
work and be productive for another decade," Rogan said, according to a
transcript of his remarks in front of the Committee on the Judiciary.

Pasadena Democrat Barry Gordon, who is running for Rogan's seat, agreed
with Rogan that Proposition 215 was too broad. But, he said, the House
resolution Rogan plans to support is every bit as vague as Proposition 215.

"That seems to close the door pretty solidly to me" on using marijuana for
medicinal use, he said. "And it's contrary to what the voters expressed in

Since its passage, the controversial initiative has faced numerous legal
challenges. Many establishments that have tried to sell marijuana for
medical purposes have been shut down.

The California Nurses Association supports Proposition 215. "As nurses, we
have seen that marijuana helps patients with nausea, vomiting and muscle
spasms where other medications are not effective," said Jill Furillo, a
legislative advocate for the group.

"Fifty-six percent of the voters approved it as an effective healing
methodology. The CNA believes the voters' desire to implement Proposition
215 must be respected."

Sgt. Rick Young, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, said some
who have been arrested in Glendale for possession of marijuana have claimed
they needed the drug for medical reasons. But none has been able to prove
it and no legal challenges have arisen in Glendale, he said.

"This proposition (215) fooled a lot of people," he said. "It played on the
sympathy of the terminally ill."

Young said people who really need the drug can take Marinol, a marijuana
derivative that comes in the form of a pill and is available through a

Dissenting Views On US House Resolution 372 (Text Of Congressional Record
Shows Some People Are Reasonable About The Medical Marijuana Issue)

From: cwagoner@bendnet.com
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 16:18:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: CanPat - Text of Dissent to H. Res. 372
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

Link to earlier story
*** 105TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION -- REPORT 105-451, PART 1 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPORT [To accompany H. Res. 372] Sense of the House of Representatives with Respect to Marijuana for Medical Use MARCH 18, 1998 -- Ordered to be printed *** Page 12 DISSENTING VIEWS ON H. RES. 372 We believe that H. Res. 372 is mistaken in its factual premises, an affront to fundamental principles of federalism, and needlessly cruel. Let us first make it clear that we are not advocating the legalization of marijuana. We agree that one of the greatest challenges we faces as a nation is to keep our citizens -- especially our children -- away from the debilitating scourge of drugs. We feel every bit as strongly as the majority on this point. But this resolution is not about legalization of marijuana, or about sanctioning its recreational use in any way at all. This resolution is about the use of marijuana by desperately sick people for whom marijuana may offer some relief from suffering. For these and the following reasons, we dissent. I. There Exists Substantial Evidence that Marijuana Has Legitimate Medical Uses The resolution is based on the premise that scientific evidence clearly shows that inhaled marijuana has no medical use. That premise is incorrect. There is little doubt that inhaled marijuana does have a physiological effect on the human body. (Indeed, it is precisely because marijuana does affect the body that it is proscribed under the Controlled Substances Act.) There is also widespread agreement that, as the majority observes, the effects of marijuana on the body are generally harmful. But that does not end the inquiry. Many substances used as medicines have harmful side effects. The question is whether the substance also has benefits when used as a part of a course of treatment for a particular disease, and if so, whether those benefits outweigh the risk of harm. There is credible evidence that marijuana can benefit patients suffering from certain diseases. The most well-substantiated medical uses of marijuana are to counter nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy(1), and to treat glaucoma(2). The benefits of marijuana for cancer patients are so well established that a 1991 survey of clinical oncologists found that 44% of the respondent doctors said they had, on at least one occasion, recommended that a patient procure and inhale marijuana -- despite the fact that such conduct is illegal (3). In fact, during the Judiciary Committee meeting at which H. Res. 372 was considered, one Member of the Committee related the poignant experience of a cancer patient he knew personally who had used marijuana to ease the agonies of chemotherapy (4). Considerable research also attests to the use of marijuana in stimulating the appetites of AIDS sufferers afflicted with "wasting syndrome" (5). The clinical research on this use is less definitive than in the case of cancer patients, primarily because U.S. researchers have had difficulty gaining approval for their studies in recent years (6). However, as with chemotherapy, it is clear that many physicians who deal with AIDS patients every day believe that for some of these patients marijuana can be useful as part of a course of treatment, and that many patients are in fact illicitly seeking relief through the use of marijuana (7). The majority argues that, to the extent inhaled marijuana does have medical benefits in certain cases, there are alternative medications (such as synthetic THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana) which do not have the harmful side effects that marijuana has. For two reasons, this argument is unpersuasive. First, not all patients respond to the alternatives. As doctors know, almost all ailments can be treated with more than one medication, and no medication is effective in 100% of the patients to whom it is administered. It is standard medical practice to pick the most appropriate treatment for a particular patient, and if the patient does not respond, to try another treatment. The studies cited above establish that for some patients, inhaled marijuana will be effective where other treatments fail. Second, in the cases of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases such as cancer and AIDS, the harmful side-effects of marijuana -- which are quite long term -- pale beside the benefit of making a life-saving course of treatment tolerable. To a 65-year-old brain cancer victim whom chemotherapy would, without marijuana countertreatment, render an invalid, the majority's concerns about marijuana's long-term harm to lungs, reproductive and immune systems must seem laughably absurd. To be sure, we are not suggesting that there is a consensus in the medical community that marijuana is an effective medicine. We concede the majority's point that many physicians, and a number of the most highly respected physician organizations, do not support the use of marijuana for medical purposes. We do insist, however, that this is an issue for doctors, their patients and public health officials to resolve, not the Congress. There are too many desperately sick people whose physicians believe marijuana might be helpful, and too much solid research in support of that view, for Congress to state an unequivocal opposition to the medicinal use of marijuana. II. H. Res. 372 Offends Basic Principles of Federalism In November 1996, voters in California and Arizona adopted referenda purporting to authorize seriously ill patients to take marijuana upon the recommendation of a licensed physician. The Arizona referendum was subsequently nullified by the Arizona legislature, but the California referendum remains nominally in effect (although Federal agencies have countered the referendum by threatening federal penalties against any physician who makes such a recommendation). H. Res. 372 appears to be intended largely as a denunciation of these referenda, and as an attempt to intimidate other States from following suit. As such, we believe it is an inappropriate incursion by the Congress into territory that properly belongs to the States. Under our constitutional system, the States have the primary responsibility for protecting the health and safety of their citizens. If a State, by referendum or legislative enactment, adopts the policy that marijuana can provide some relief to those of its citizens who are suffering from AIDS or cancer, it is the height of Washington-centered arrogance for the Congress to override that State's position. III. The Sweep of H. Res. 372 is Needlessly Cruel The majority seems to believe that efforts to make marijuana available to sick people for medicinal use is tantamount to legalization. That is simply not true. Let us be clear again: We absolutely do not support those who would take advantage of "medicinal use" programs to make marijuana available to the general public. To the extent that this resolution is a condemnation of such subterfuges, or a statement that marijuana should not be available for minor ailments, it is appropriate. But the resolution goes way beyond that. The resolution expresses an "unequivocal" and unqualified opposition to medicinal use of marijuana. Thus the resolution brings within its ambit cases in which marijuana may enable a terminally ill AIDS patient suffering from wasting syndrome, or a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy treatment, to ingest sufficient nutrition to regain some semblance of normal activity. The majority cannot claim that it was unaware of the scope of its resolution. There was ample discussion of this point in the Judiciary Committee. Indeed, Rep. Conyers offered an amendment that would have moderated the resolution as it applies to AIDS and cancer patients -- but this effort was rejected. There is no reason the majority could not have tailored the resolution to direct its opprobrium squarely at the excesses associated with the medical marijuana movement. To condemn terribly ill patients who are trying to relieve their suffering -- patients who, it should go without saying, would give anything not to be forced to look to marijuana for such relief -- is needlessly cruel. JOHN CONYERS, JR. ROBERT C. SCOTT ZOE LOFGREN WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT BARNEY FRANK HOWARD L. BERMAN JERROLD NADLER MELVIN L. WATT SHEILA JACKSON LEE *** 1. See, e.g., Vinciguerra, Inhalation Marijuana as an Antiemetic for Cancer Chemotherapy, New York State Journal of Medicine, 525-527 (October 1988) (among chemotherapy patients showing no improvement with standard antiemetics, 78% responded positively to marijuana); Change, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol as an Antiemetic in Cancer Patients Receiving High Dose Methotrexate, 91 Annals of Internal Medicine, 819-24 (December 1979) (smoked marijuana more reliably reduces vomiting than oral THC); Sallan, Zinberg & Frei, Antiemetic Effect of Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol in Patients Receiving Cancer Chemotherapy, 293 New England Journal of Medicine, 795-97 (1975) (natural marijuana more successful than synthetic THC for some patients). 2. See, e.g., Hepler and Frank, Marijuana Smoking and Intraocular Pressure, 217 Journal of the American Medical Association, 1932 (1971); Hepler, Frank and Ungerleider, Pupillary Constriction After Marijuana Smoking, 74 American Journal of Opthamology, 1185-90, (1972). 3. Doblin, Marijuana as Antiemetic Medicine: A Survey of Oncologists' Experiences and Attitudes, 9 Journal of Clinical Oncology (1991). 4. See transcript of meeting of the Committee on the Judiciary, March 4, 1998, statement of Hon. James Rogan. 5. See Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar, Marijuana, The Forbidden Medicine, 100-09 (1997), Ed Rosenthal, Tod Mikuriya and Dale Gieringer, Medical Marijuana Handbook, 35-38 (1997); see also Roltin, Fischman and Byrne, Effects of Smoked Marijuana on Food Intake and Body Weight of Humans Living in a Residential Laboratory, 11 Appetite 1 (1998). 6. See "Government Blocks UCSF Marijuana Study by Bay Area Reporter, September 14, 1995; "U.S. Drug Agencies Resist AIDS Medicinal Pot Plan: S.F. Doctor's Study in Treating Wasting Syndrome Hits Stone Wall," in San Francisco Examiner, January 8, 1995, at A-1. 7. See generally R.C. Randall, Marijuana & AIDS: Pot, Politics & PWAs in America (1991).

DRCNet Needs Your Help (Drug Reform Coordination Network
Has More Than 4,500 E-Mail Subscribers,
But More Of Them Need To Contribute Money)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:20:40 EST
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: DRCNet Needs Your Help

NEWSFLASH: Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy on
Nightline TONIGHT (3/18/98)

Dear DRCNet reader:

Once a week we write you with the week's news and
announcements on drug policy and the reform effort (latest
at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-13.html). Sometimes,
like in our medical marijuana action alert earlier today
(http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-18-1.html), we alert you
to important votes taking place in Congress, state
legislatures, or other urgent matters. We need your help,
writing letters, making phone calls, being part of the

Today I am writing to ask for your help in another way.
DRCNet needs not only your participation but your financial
support as well, to secure the organization's health and
stability and enable us to continue fighting for change in
our disastrous global drug policy. We need your help to be
able to meet three very important goals:

1) Our budget projection calls for raising $6,850 in member
contributions this quarter. We need to raise another $1,500
over the next two weeks to meet this goal.

2) We need 77 more non-paying subscribers to become paying
members, in order to reach our 1st quarter goal of 750
paying members. (Our total number of e-mail subscribers is
well over 4,500.)

Our major donors will be paying attention to both of these
goals, and success in meeting them will be sure to give them
confidence in DRCNet's ability to make the grade.

3) While our fundraising this quarter has gone very well,
and we are likely to exceed our projected income, we are
still recovering from the latter part of 1997, when our
fundraising didn't go as well, and when we had to spend
several thousand dollars renting and equipping our new
office and on other organizational needs. We have had to
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our cash flow is so tight. We need an influx of donations,
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DRCNet needs your help this month. If you value our
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And don't forget, we'll send a free copy of Marijuana Myths,
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Please visit our secure registration form at
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to appear in the iron wall of prohibition; together we will
make the world a better place.


David Borden
Executive Director

Orlando Protest March 19 (Florida Medical Marijuana Reformers
Are Asked To Show Up At Noon Thursday Outside The Office
Of Florida Representative Bill McCollum To Protest
His Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution, 372)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 15:57:59 EST
Originator: medmj@drcnet.org
Sender: medmj@drcnet.org
From: "Charles P. Conrad" (cpconrad@att.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (medmj@drcnet.org)

Noon, Thursday 3/19, Rep. McCollum's (R-FL) Office -- 605 E. Robinson
in downtown Orlando.

Demonstration to protest his HR372.


Chuck Conrad
(310) 542-6013

Americans Say Drug War Should Continue, Polls Show ('Reuters'
Account Of Summary In 'The Journal Of The American Medical Association'
Of 47 National Surveys Conducted Over The Past 20 Years, Reports
60 Percent Of Public Supports Physicians' Right To Prescribe Medical Cannabis -
Americans Also Hold Some Nonsensical Views Ripe For Political Exploitation -
For Example, 78 Percent Believe Anti-Drug Efforts Have Failed,
But 66 Percent Would Pay More Taxes To Expand Failed Policies)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 18:08:48 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Americans Say Drug War Should Continue, Polls Show
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


CHICAGO (Reuters) - Surveys over the last two decades show most Americans
believe the government's ``war on drugs'' has failed but that more money
should be spent on it, researchers said Tuesday.

In a study summarizing 47 national surveys conducted over the past 20 years,
researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that 78 percent of
the public believes anti-drug efforts have failed and that 66 percent were
willing to pay more taxes to fight drug use.

More than half those surveyed thought the drug problem had grown worse.

``Despite this assessment, they continue to support greater resources being
expended in generally the same policy direction as has been followed in the
past,'' researchers Robert Blendon and John Young wrote in the Journal of
the American Medical Association.

Roughly 60 percent of those polled supported allowing physicians to
prescribe medical marijuana for seriously ill patients.

About two-thirds thought illegal drug use was morally wrong, while 82
percent rated illegal drug use as a big problem for society.

Just 27 percent thought it was a major problem in their communities and 81
percent said drug abuse never caused problems in their own families.

Among 19 options designed to reduce the use and effect of illegal drugs, the
largest share of public support was for more severe penalties for dealing
and possession, followed by more anti-drug education and increased funding
for police.

Only 14 percent of the public supported drug legalization, and slightly more
than half said they believe drug-related crime would rise if drugs were

The report estimated that illicit drugs led to about 11,000 deaths annually
in the United States. The U.S. government annually spends about $27 billion
directly on fighting the war on drugs, it said.

Despite Little Success, Public Still Supports War On Drugs -
Surveys Find Opposition To Drug Legalization, Support For Medical Use
Of Marijuana (AMA Web Site Synopsis Of Report In Today's
'Journal Of The American Medical Association,' Summarizing 47 National Polls
Conducted Over The Past 20 Years, Notes 'Illicit Drugs Lead To
Approximately 11,000 Deaths Each Year' In The United States)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 14:04:07 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 

When reading this, keep in mind that only 1/3 of the colonists
wanted to seperate from Great Britain.

>From the 3-18-98 Journal of the American Medical Association




Robert J. Blendon, ScD; John T. Young, MPhil

This article presents what Americans think about the policies subsumed under
the label of the "War on Drugs." It is based on an analysis of 47 national
surveys conducted between 1978 and 1997. The major results are that most
Americans rely on the mass media for information about the scope of the drug
abuse problem; Americans do not think that the Wars on Drugs have
succeeded, but they do not want to quit on these efforts; weak support exists
for increasing funding for drug treatment; support for preventive education has
increased during the 1990s; criminal justice responses remain very popular; for
many, illicit drug use is a moral rather than a public health issue; the public
supports allowing physicians to prescribe marijuana for severe illness, but
opposes the general legalization of marijuana and other illicit drugs; and needle
exchange programs are supported by a bare majority, but only when they are
told that the American Medical Association supports these programs.

JAMA. 1998;279:827-832



Surveys find opposition to drug legalization, support for medical use of

CHICAGO-Even though the majority of Americans do not feel the "War on
Drugs" has succeeded, they are not willing to give up on drug-fighting
efforts, according to an article in the March 18 issue of The Journal of
the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., and John T. Young, M.Phil., of the Harvard
School of Public Health, in Boston, Mass., reviewed 47 national surveys
conducted between 1978 and 1997. They looked at four areas important to
health professionals interested in America's drug policy:

• Where do Americans get their information about the extent of the
nation's illegal drug problem, and what are their experiences with it?

• What worries Americans most about the country's illicit drug problems?

• Why do Americans think individuals use illegal drugs?

• What are the public's views on various policy proposals to respond to
the nation's drug problems, and what are their implications for the

On the final question, the researchers found a paradox: " Most Americans
(58 percent) do not see the nation's illegal drug problem getting better
after years of increases in national spending, and they see the War on
Drugs as having failed thus far (78 percent). Yet, despite this
assessment, they continue to support greater resources being expended in
generally the same policy direction as has been followed in the past."

They go on to write: "Not only do Americans say that more money should
be spent dealing with addiction, they report that they are willing to
pay more in taxes (66 percent) to support increased antidrug-related

When choosing among 19 options for reducing the use and effects of
illegal drugs, the largest share of strong support is found for more
severe penalties for drug sale and possession. The second choice is
antidrug education in schools. The third choice is increased funding for

A majority of Americans believe drugs are one of the most important
causes of crime. Only 14 percent of the public supports legalization of
illicit drugs. The researchers write: "The majority of the public (52
percent) believes that drug-related crime would actually increase if
drugs were legalized."

But a majority of Americans support legalized use of marijuana for
medical purposes: "In early 1997, separate surveys reported that 62
percent and 60 percent of the American public supported a policy where
physicians should be able to prescribe marijuana to their seriously and
terminally ill patients."

Among other findings of the study:

• Most people rely on mass media for information about the scope of drug
abuse in America.

• Although 82 percent of the public thinks illegal drug use is a big
problem for society, only 27 percent see it as a major problem in their
local communities. Eighty-one percent say drug abuse has never caused
problems in their own families.

• Seventy-two percent see drug use as changing the national character; 64
percent of adults describe it as morally wrong.

• Seventy-three percent of adults are very concerned about the
possibility of themselves or a family member being the victim of a crime
committed by a drug user.

• The majority of Americans believe individuals might begin using illegal
drugs because of peer pressure, poor parenting, or because drug dealers
are trying to expand their markets.

Illicit drugs lead to approximately 11,000 deaths each year, according
to information in the article. Over half a million drug-related episodes
are reported in hospital emergency departments. Direct government
expenditures linked to illicit drugs total $27 billion annually.
(JAMA. 1998;279:827-832)

Note: This work was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Book Review - 'Crack In America - Demon Drugs And Social Justice'
('The Journal Of The American Medical Association' Says
The Well-Coordinated Collection Of 17 Essays By An Expert Panel
Of Social Scientists Notes The Media In 1986 First Exaggerated
The Health Risks Of Crack Cocaine And Then Created A Public Perception
That Illicit Drugs Were The Nation's Preeminent Problem
At A Time When The Government Was Defunding Social Programs)

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 19:39:50 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US; JAMA Book Review: Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 1998;279:885-886)
Section: Books, Journals, New Media
Pubdate: 18 March 1998
Contact: JAMA-letters@ama-assn.org
Website: http://www.ama-assn.org/public/journals/jama/


Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice, edited by Craig Reinarman
and Harry G. Levine, 388 pp, with illus, $48, ISBN 0-520-20241-4, paper,
$17.95, ISBN 0-520-20242-2, Berkeley, Calif, University of California
Press, 1997.

The introduction and spread of smokable cocaine, or crack, has inflicted
tremendous harm to individuals and to society. Not the least, the authors
of this provocative book argue, is the inappropriate punitive reaction to a
largely mythical crack "epidemic." The much publicized war on drugs of the
1980s, which failed to stem the supply of crack or other illegal drugs, had
its origins in a misleading, medicalized view of drug abuse and in a
conservative ideology. As the editors assert, "Unemployment, poverty, urban
decay, school crises, crime, and all their attendant forms of human
troubles were spoken of and acted upon as if they were the result of
individual deviance, immorality, or weakness." In such a context, an
offensive was launched with the advent of crack in 1986 that did little to
help drug users and had numerous ill effects.

The authors of Crack in America may not convert any drug prohibitionists to
their view that "individual choices are influenced by social
circumstances." Nevertheless, they provide ample ammunition for those of us
who argue against drug wars and for new responses that focus foremost on
reduction of harm to society at large and to the marginalized populations
most at risk from drugs and the crossfire of drug wars.

We cannot radically reduce drug abuse until we begin to eliminate the
social conditions that foster it. An understanding of the complex social
factors involved is needed, not only to accurately describe the problem,
but also to formulate effective intervention strategies. To that end, this
book is very useful for policymakers, health care providers, and students
of medicine, social work, and public health. While it does not contain a
chapter on prevention or treatment for the minority of users who develop
serious addictions, its statements on the social and political contexts of
drugs in American society provide necessary background for all of us
working in the field.

Crack in America is a well-coordinated collection of 17 essays by an expert
panel of social scientists who believe that the dominant
psychopharmacological analysis of drug use has rationalized an approach
that deliberately ignores social factors. Two introductory essays by the
editors convincingly show how the media (including the televised appearance
of President Bush with a vial of the drug) exaggerated crack's dangers. The
media also created a public perception of illicit drugs as the nation's
preeminent problem at a time when the government was defunding social
programs addressing more prevalent issues. The editors argue that while
media attention, which included as many as 37 network news segments on
crack in July 1986 alone, may have had a perverse "advertising effect" on
use of the drug, still "lifetime prevalence of crack use began low and
declined thereafter." Citing figures from the National Institute of Drug
Abuse's National Household Survey, they show that by 1992 only about 3% of
18- to 34-year-olds had ever used crack, about 1% had used it in the year
preceding the survey, and less than 0.5% had used it in the prior month.

The book's central section assesses crack's "myths and realities" from a
variety of perspectives. One chapter reviews the scientific literature to
argue that powder cocaine and smoked crack do not have very different
effects on their users and that neither produces instant addiction as
claimed by numerous politicians, journalists, and even scientific
researchers. The more substantial differences are in the social profiles of
the users of cheap, mass-marketed crack vs the much more expensive powder
cocaine. Nevertheless, the demonizing of crack led to offensives against
its most vulnerable users, causing, through differential sentencing laws,
disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, who make up 15% of
American drug users but are half to two thirds of those imprisoned on drug

Three chapters are based on fieldwork. One stems from participant
observation in the underground economy of the crack business in New York
City. Another profiles the attempts of two cocaine users to free themselves
from dependence. Most useful, a chapter on "bingeing and addiction among
heavy cocaine smokers" provides insight drawn from interviews with the
users on the patterns of their use and implies that harm reduction
treatment approaches could extend the periods between binges among many
crack users. None of these empirically based studies, however, involves
large samples, nor do they include many women. More research needs to be
done using longitudinal and qualitative approaches that can penetrate more
deeply into the nature of crack use and other drugs. Qualitative research,
especially, will allow us to derive the meanings of the stories and
experiences of drug users. Such research, ultimately, will make it possible
to design better drug and other health and mental health treatment programs
that address sex and cultural issues and incorporate more fully
contextualized treatment approaches. Additionally, the differences in
psychology and social setting for female drug users make it critical that
treatment strategies for women be based on research that focuses on women
specifically, rather than extrapolating from existing data on male drug users.

A separate section examines why crack did not reach epidemic levels in
three comparable societies: Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. The
Canadian experience may be most relevant, as Canada's proximity made supply
easiest and the heavy influence of the US media led the Canadian public to
expect a similar "plague." The authors suggest that the relative lack of
ghettoes in Canadian cities may be the determining factor in crack's
inability to find a market there. The negligible use of crack in the other
two societies makes them less enlightening models for understanding the
situation in the United States. However, the Netherlands has long had a
less punitive response to drug use, based on earlier alcohol use policies.
Decriminalization and an emphasis on harm reduction have had positive
results in the Netherlands in addressing problems related to other drugs.
For example, use of marijuana in the Netherlands is less prevalent than in
the United States, and needle exchange programs have largely prevented the
spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among Dutch heroin users.
Furthermore, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands have national health
programs and more extensive social services than the United States, which
makes it possible to treat people with drug problems in a context of health
care rather than law enforcement.

A third section of the book discusses the harmful impact of the American
drug war on civil liberties, and in the final section, the editors discuss
alternatives to the prohibition model for drug policy. They do not endorse
calls for a blanket legalization of drugs or expect changes of policy or
public opinion overnight. Instead, they seek to influence debate on drug
policy over the long run so that society can move toward gradual,
controlled decriminalization. In their view, there are now "signs of
significant undercurrents of opposition to U.S. drug policy at major
institutions of influence and power," including the media and the medical,
law enforcement, and public health professions. They note several African
American mayors, including Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore, Md, who espouse the
value of harm-reduction strategies, such as needle exchange programs, in
addressing problems caused by illegal drugs.

In 1995, $8.2 billion was spent on the federal drug war, yet resources for
treatment and prevention remain extremely limited. The authors describe a
mother who was prosecuted after giving birth for distributing cocaine to
her baby in the moments just after birth, but who was denied entry into
several day treatment programs while she was pregnant. In my own research
on drug use among poor, primarily African American and Latina women in New
York City, I interviewed a woman who was upset over testing negative for
HIV because, while drug treatment is often accessible for HIV-positive
individuals, none would be available for her.

Some recent figures indicate a waning in use of crack cocaine. While drug
prohibitionists may claim credit, the decline is far more likely the result
of a normal, cyclical pattern and the attendant buildups of publicity and
law enforcement. One author in this book argues that "preliminary evidence
suggests that initiation into crack use began to decline at precisely the
time-late 1989-when crack was cheapest and most abundant."

No one can deny the extensive damage to society caused by the effects of
drug abuse. My recent research, for instance, has found that 60% to 70% of
drug-using women are victims of spousal abuse, vs 21% to 34% in the general
population. What is clear is that the long-standing approach in the United
States of responding to illicit drugs by increasing law enforcement has
been wasteful of resources, ineffective, and even cruel. Creative,
innovative approaches are needed in applying harm reduction to the
recurrent problem of drugs in our society. What we need are drug treatment
programs in which the cornerstone is realistic education about drugs and
their outcomes. These programs must focus on the full context of drug use,
including economic, social, and sex-specific factors, and not just on use
of drugs per se. The public has supported the use of methadone in treatment
of heroin addiction and can be persuaded of the value of other
harm-reduction approaches. Schools, churches, and the media all need to
enlist in spreading knowledge-based information and awareness of the value
of socially constructed knowledge in understanding drugs in our society.

A shortcoming of Crack in America is its lack of reference to how the
movement toward managed care and cutbacks in social programs through
welfare reform will affect those in need of drug treatment. Current
research has shown that large proportions of drug users are found in the
criminal justice, primary health, and welfare systems. With more people
being dropped from welfare rolls and losing associated health insurance
benefits, we need to devise means of intervention before they are
encountered in the criminal justice system. Additionally, research is
needed into the particular difficulties current and former drug users may
face finding the jobs required by new welfare policies.

Access to treatment and the maintenance of an array of services is
critical. Family, medical, economic, and social problems all need to be
addressed together if inroads are to be made into the damage caused to
individuals and to society by illegal drugs. To have more such effective
programs, we need extensive changes in our public policy and our politics.
For those changes to begin to seem possible, we need research and social
and political analysis like that presented in this book.

Nabila El-Bassel, DSW Columbia University School of Social Work New York, NY

(c) 1995-1998 American Medical Association.

DARE Doesn't Work, Study Finds - Students In Program Used Same Amount
Of Drugs As Others (Actually, This NBC News Broadcast Says
Suburban DARE Students Used More 'Drugs' Than Their Non-DARE Peers,
According To New Study By Dennis Rosenbaum,
Head Of The Criminal Justice Department At The University Of Illinois)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 12:14:51 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jim Rosenfield 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: D.A.R.E. doesn't work, study finds

Source: MSNBC
Pubdate: March 18, 1998
Url: http://www.msnbc.com/news/151739.asp

D.A.R.E. doesn't work, study finds
Students in program used same amount of drugs as others

By Jim Avila

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 18 - The D.A.R.E.
anti-drug program may be a good idea
gone bad. A new study concludes that the
program is not working and, in fact, may
actually be hurting drug-abuse prevention
efforts in some communities. The six-year
study followed 1,800 Illinois kids from
fifth grade through high school.

FOR MORE THAN 23 million children -
80 percent of America's schools - the nation's
antidrug mantra is "I pledge to lead a drug-free
life." That pledge comes from a program called
D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse
Resistance Education.

At McDougle Elementary School, in the
Carrboro School district of Chapel Hill, N.C.,
D.A.R.E. is one of the favorite subjects among

Though popular, Chapel Hill is thinking
about dropping the class. "The body of research
about D.A.R.E. says that it has no long-term
effect for drug-abuse prevention," said Susan
Spalt, the health director for the Carrboro School


'It hurts me to
sit here and tell
you that
D.A.R.E. does
not work.'
author of new study


In the most comprehensive study yet on
D.A.R.E., researchers followed 1,800 students
using techniques endorsed by D.A.R.E. itself. Its
author concluded that D.A.R.E. is a a waste of
money - $220 million in tax money and
donations last year alone with no beneficial effect
on drug use.

"It hurts me to sit here and tell you that
D.A.R.E. does not work," said Dennis
Rosenbaum, the author and head of the Criminal
Justice Department at the University of Illinois.
"But it's time for us to go back to the drawing
board and figure out how it can be improved or
what better ways we can spend our money on
drug education in this country."

Rosenbaum's six-year study finds that kids
in the D.A.R.E. program used the same amount
of drugs as others. Perhaps the researchers most
surprising conclusion: D.A.R.E. actually appears
to have an "adverse" effect on drug activity in
suburban communities.

"Kids in the suburbs who were exposed to
the D.A.R.E. program, who participated in
D.A.R.E., actually had significantly higher levels
of drug use than suburban kids who did not get
the D.A.R.E. program," said Rosenbaum. "This
was very disturbing to us."

It's a mystery the researchers say requires
further study.

Bill Alden, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement
agent and spokesman for D.A.R.E., calls the
study "outrageous." NBC News provided him
with a copy and asked him about its findings.

"I don't have an answer," he said.

For its part, D.A.R.E. embraces one study
from Ohio State University that says the program
does work, if students are given additional
anti-drug classes through high school. But an
overwhelming majority of students do not take
such classes and a dozen other studies have flatly
concluded that D.A.R.E. does not deliver on its
promise to "teach kids to resist drugs."


'Millions of
parents say
DARE made a
difference in my
child's life.'
deputy director of
D.A.R.E. America


D.A.R.E. officials are pushing to add more
programs in junior high and high schools.

"It's not that D.A.R.E. doesn't work," said
Bill Alden, deputy director of D.A.R.E. America.
"D.A.R.E. does work. But it dissipates. It erodes.
What has to happen ... there has to be more, not

Alden said D.A.R.E. is a popular program.
"We've got thousands and thousands of
principals," he said. "Millions of parents say,
'D.A.R.E. made a difference in my child's life.'"

But the two key federal agencies evaluating
drug abuse programs do not recommend
D.A.R.E. on their lists of acceptable programs,
leaving school districts like Chapel Hill with a
difficult choice.

Health Experts - Treat, Don't Jail, Drug Abusers ('Dallas Morning News'
Says New Research From The Physician Leadership On National Drug Policy,
A Bipartisan Group Of Prominent Physicians And Public Health Leaders
From The Clinton, Bush And Reagan Administrations,
Shows That Abuse Of Alcohol And Other Drugs Is A Medical Problem
That Respond Much Better To Medical Treatment Than To Jail -
Long-Term Drug Treatment Is As Effective As Long-Term Treatment
For Some Chronic Diseases Such As Diabetes, Asthma And Hypertension)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:10:12 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Health Experts: Treat, Don't Jail, Drug Abusers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Drug and alcohol abuse are medical problems that respond
to medical treatment just as well as diabetes and other chronic diseases do
-- and treatment is cheaper and more effective than jail, says new

Yet the nation spends only 20 percent of its $17 billion drug-control
budget to treat addicts, and the public believes that jailing addicts is
best, a bipartisan group of public health experts said Tuesday.

"We've been telling people to 'just say no' when addiction is a biological
event," said Dr. June Osborn, who chairs the new Physician Leadership on
National Drug Policy. "There must be a bridge between what the public
believes and the science," added Dr. Lonnie Bristow of the American Medical

The group of prominent physicians and public health leaders from the
Clinton, Bush and Reagan administrations commissioned the research. They
are using it to urge doctors to play a greater role in diagnosing and
treating addiction - - and are providing it to politicians who control
drug-treatment money.

Many of the 14 million American alcoholics and 6.7 million drug addicts
relapse after drug treatment, 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, versus 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: Fewer than half
of diabetics comply with their therapy, as do fewer than 30 percent of
asthma and hypertension patients and fewer 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, versus. 21 percent of
treated addicts.

Severe shortage of treatment programs

Yet, there is a severe shortage of drug-treatment programs, the doctors
said About 15 percent of people who need treatment get it. Seven states
don't offer any methadone clinics for heroin addicts, and every U.S.
methadone clinic has a waiting list. Only 5 percent to 20 percent of
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 surveys being
published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association
finds 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 survey also found Americans believe drug abusers are predominantly
poor, uneducated and minorities. In fact, the majority are like Dr. Richard
Corlin's son, once a cocaine addict: white, from well-educated families and
initially employed.

Dispelling those myths is vital to public commitment for drug treatment,
said Corlin, a Los Angeles medical professor. "People think it is someone
else's problem. It is not."

Drug Treatment Pays, Study Finds ('San Jose Mercury News' Version)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 15:11:24 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Drug Treatment Pays, Study Finds
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press


But public favors costly prison time for addicts instead

WASHINGTON -- 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.

Big names

Included in the coalition were 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.

Among their findings:

Sending addicts to jail costs society much more than treating them, the
coalition said. 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.

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.

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: Fewer than half
of diabetics comply with their therapy, fewer than 30 percent of asthma and
hypertension patients, and fewer than 40 percent of alcohol or drug

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

Public support lacking

An analysis of national surveys published today 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.

National drug-policy chief Barry McCaffrey welcomed the data, and will
discuss it next week at a conference on how to improve drug treatment
inside prisons.

Study - Treatment, Not Jail, Best Response To Drug Addiction
('Associated Press' Version In Massachusetts' 'Standard-Times')

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:54:52 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Study: Treatment, Not Jail, Best Response to Drug Addiction
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Wed., 18 Mar. 1998
Source: The Standard-Times, Serving the South Coast of Massachusetts
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
WebPage: http://www.s-t.com
Author: Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press writer


WASHINGTON -- 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 yesterday by bipartisan public
health experts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drug treatment can cut crime by 80 percent, said Brown University addiction
director Norman Hoffman. Brown researcher Craig Love studied female
substance abusers who were in jail, and found that 25 percent who underwent
treatment were later re-arrested, vs. 62 percent released without substance
abuse treatment.

A California study of 1,600 drug abusers found their involvement in drug
sales, drug-related prostitution and theft decreased threefold after

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 today 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

Next on the list are anti-drug education, more police and mandatory drug

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

Drug Treatment Programs Save Money, Study Finds ('Associated Press' Version
As Edited By 'The Oregonian')

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 20:06:51 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Drug Treatment Programs Save Money, Study Finds
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Rachel Rose
Source: Oregonian, The
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: :Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press


Doctors say treating addicts is cheaper than jailing them, but another
survey finds the public opposed to paying for treatment

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

But a separate survey indicates that the public thinks 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 117 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. The group of prominent physicians and public health leaders
from the Clinton, Bush and Reagan administrations 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 relapse.

But the scientists concluded that:

Jailing a drug addict costs $25,900 per year. A year of traditional
outpatient 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 Norman Hoffman, Brown University
addiction director. A Brown researcher, Craig Love, studied women substance
abusers who were in jail and found that 25 percent of those who underwent
treatment were re-arrested, compared to 62 percent of those who did not
receive 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 are about 50 percent, he said.
Compliance with therapy is similar, too: Less than half of diabetics comply
with their therapy, compared to 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 high risk of contracting and spreading the AIDS virus
or hepatitis.

But 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 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 to be published today 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.

Doctors Want Addicts Cured, Not Jailed ('USA Today' Version)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 09:16:04 -0800
From: Allison Bigelow 
Reply-To: whc@CNW.COM
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: USA today: Doctors want addicts cured, not jailed
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Doctors want addicts cured, not jailed

WASHINGTON - Research sponsored by a group of the nation's leading doctors
concludes that drug addiction is a chronic illness that can be treated as
readily as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.

The research also shows that treatment is a better and cheaper anti-crime
measure than prison. Yet a separate study in Wednesday's Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that the public prefers jailing
drug offenders to treating them.

The doctors' research, based on an analysis of more than 600 studies, was
commissioned by Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy, a new group
that wants to tip public opinion toward treatment and away from prisons.

"Incarceration reduces drug use only temporarily and at great expense," the
University of Pennsylvania's Thomas McLellan, lead author of one of the
studies, said Tuesday.

For instance, he said, spending $2,800 to $9,000 on drug treatment can save
$19,000 in crime-related costs. Imprisoning one drug abuser costs about
$25,900 a year.

The White House office of drug policy on Tuesday endorsed the doctors'

Heading the 37-member doctors group is June Osborn, former chair of the
National Commission on AIDS. It includes David Kessler, former commissioner
of the Food and Drug Administration; Louis Sullivan, President Bush's
secretary of Health and Human Services; and the editors of leading medical

Osborn said the evidence is unequivocal that drug abuse is an illness.
Although addicts bear responsibility for their plight, she said, so do
people with heart disease who smoke and diabetics who eat poorly. "We were
telling people to 'just say no,' when addiction is a biological event."

McLellan cited evidence from studies of twins, the best source of
information on inheritance, that shows the risk of inheriting a
vulnerability to addiction is roughly the same as the risk of inheriting
asthma or diabetes.

Other studies show that addictive drugs alter the wiring of the brain,
making it harder for some people to stop taking them once they've started.
Ninety-five percent of youths try drugs or alcohol at some point,
McLellan noted.

The studies show that drug abusers comply with abstinence-oriented treatment
about as well as people with recognized chronic illnesses stick with their

Sue Rusche of the anti-drug parents group National Families in Action in
Atlanta endorses the notion that drug abusers should be treated. She says,
however, that lawbreakers should be punished.

The study in JAMA shows that her opinion is widely held. The analysis of
opinion surveys by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found
that 78% of Americans view the nation's "war on drugs" as a failure, yet
they favor "more severe penalties for the possession and sale of drugs."

By Steve Sternberg, USA TOD Gannett Co. Inc.

It's Not A War Against Drugs (Transcript Of ABC 'Nightline' Program
On Treatment Versus Prisons)

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 22:26:32 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Transcript: ABC Nightline: It's Not a War Against Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: ABC Nightline
Transcript: Produced by Federal Document Clearing House
Pubdate: Wednesday, 18 Mar 1998
Contact: http://www.abcnews.com/onair/email.html
Website: http://www.abcnews.com/


TED KOPPEL We are, in many respects, a nation of addicts. We eat too much,
we smoke too much, we drink too much coffee, we consume too much alcohol,
we take too much prescription medicine. Even in relatively benign areas
like diet and exercise, many of us are inclined toward wretched excess. But
in all of those areas, assuming, of course, that we're talking about
adults, we are acting within the law. Drug addiction, on the other hand,
falls into a unique category. Most of the time, the purchase, possession or
consumption of marijuana is illegal. That is true almost all the time of
powdered cocaine, crack or heroin. The laws differ from state to state, but
if you are a drug addict, you're very likely to end up in prison. That is
essentially a political judgment. American society as a whole has decided
that we should focus our manpower and money on trying to keep drugs out of
the country, that we should punish those who sell those drugs but also
those who buy and consume them. Our focus tonight is primarily on that last
group and most particularly on those consumers who are addicted to illegal
drugs. What if you were told that drug addiction is a chronic disease
comparable to heart disease or cancer? That, as Nightline correspondent
Dave Marash now reports, is precisely what some of the nation's leading
doctors and scientists are contending.

DAVE MARASH, ABC NEWS (VO) According to a survey of public opinion polls
going back almost 50 years, scenes like this define what most Americans
know about drug addiction. TV, these polls show, is where most Americans
learn what they know or think they know about drugs. This review of a half
century of polling published today by JAMA, the Journal of the American
Medical Association, reveals some interesting patterns. Most Americans
agree drug use has reached dangerous levels but, they say, not in their own
backyards. Eighty-two percent call drug abuse a serious problem nationally,
but just 27 percent see it locally. And while 43 percent of parents see a
national crisis of kids abusing drugs, just eight percent found the crisis
in their own children's schools. And with government statistics showing
drug abuse dropping significantly over the decade of the '90s, only 15
percent of Americans polled see the situation improving while 58 percent
think America's drug problems have never been worse. (on camera) And what
about drug treatment? Well, few Americans seem to believe that it works.
Just 19 percent of those polled gave drug treatment strong support.
Skepticism about drug treatment programs is epidemic in America.

1ST CITIZEN I can't imagine how addicts would benefit from treatment. I
think the old-fashioned way of going cold turkey would be the best way to
do it.

3RD CITIZEN I think they should be put in jail. I think they should be
treated for the crime that they commit like everybody else.

4TH CITIZEN I think a first-time offender, I would definitely opt for
treatment. Second time, third time, jail. (Clip of doctors-scientists meeting)

DOCTOR Around the turn of the century, narcotics were very widely used.

DAVE MARASH (VO) This week in Washington, some three dozen top doctors and
scientists gathered to tell the country most of what it knows about drugs
is flat wrong. Their message-drug addiction is like many other chronic
diseases, no more mysterious, no less serious than heart disease, asthma,
diabetes or hypertension, and no more likely to select as its victims poor
people or racial minorities.

addict of today is a white, middle-class, educated individual or the
children of those white, middle-class, educated individuals. It is the
neighbor next door or maybe it's somebody in your own house but it's not
somebody who is located in another community of another race or of another
ethnic group.

DAVE MARASH (VO) Even more revealing, the doctors' report says many, if not
most addicts are no more responsible for their sickness than sufferers from
heart attacks or strokes.

lung cancer. People gave themselves lung cancer if they got lung cancer
from smoking, but once they have it, we treat it as lung cancer. The same
is true with addiction. Prolonged drug use changes the brain in fundamental
and long-lasting ways and we know that those brain changes actually are the
core, the essence of the compulsion that characterizes all addictions, you
know, the compulsion to use drugs. And that makes it, at its essence, a
brain disease.

DAVE MARASH (VO) Treating drug addiction, the doctors say, means not
counting cures, but measuring slow, subtle recoveries that add up to useful

DR DAVID LEWIS, BROWN UNIVERSITY It's a chronic disease with its ups and
its downs and abstinence may not occur easily or ever, but there's
functional improvement, there's decrease in crime, there's better health.

DAVE MARASH (VO) Modest goals, modest results. But Dr Lewis insists
realistic expectations for drug treatment will be repaid well over time in
functioning lives.

DR DAVID LEWIS So I'd say the percentage is better than 50-50 or 50 percent
when someone comes to treatment that treatment will help, and as repeated
treatments take place it goes up and up and up and starts to get in 70, 80,
90 percent.

CAROL SHAPIRO (PH) A lot of times people go through detoxification many
times and I think one of the things we're learning with the disease is
relapse is very common.

DAVE MARASH (VO) Carol Shapiro runs La Bodega, a New York City drug
treatment center based on healing addicts through their families. The
overwhelming majority of American drug addicts have health insurance, not
that this means their insurance offers much coverage for drug treatment.
Just two percent of today's full-time employees are covered for inpatient
rehabilitation and just one percent have full coverage for outpatient

CAROL SHAPIRO I think it's a travesty that insurance would not pay for drug
treatment like we would pay for any other illness.

DAVE MARASH (VO) Senator Paul Wellstone wants insurance companies to start
thinking of alcohol and drug addiction as a chronic illness and remove the
limitations on their coverage that have become a part of the managed care
era of the 1990s.

SEN PAUL WELLSTONE, (D), MINNESOTA And we're saying that if in a health
insurance plan you have substance abuse coverage, treat that, pay for that
the same way you would anything else. Treat it the same way you would any
other kind of illness. Don't discriminate against people.

DAVE MARASH (VO) Wellstone says this would cost an additional $1.35 a year
per subscriber, an increase the insurance industry says could force some
customers to drop their health insurance policies entirely. Still, Dr David
Lewis, director of the physicians' campaign, insists whoever pays for it,
full coverage for drug treatment is a bargain.

DR DAVID LEWIS It decreases health costs and complications of addiction. It
decreases injury markedly. It increases productivity and it's a great
anti-crime measure.

DAVE MARASH (on camera) Getting drug addicts into treatment can, the
doctors claim, preempt their criminal careers and do so for a fraction of
the annual $25,900 per person cost of incarceration. Getting the American
public to recognize this, the doctors say, is their biggest challenge in
helping America deal effectively with its national drug abuse problem.

I'm Dave Marash for Nightline in Washington.

TED KOPPEL When we come back, a congressman who became a believer in drug
treatment after he was forced to confront his own alcoholism and the chief
judge of New York State, who spearheaded efforts to bring drug treatment
courts to New York.

(Commercial Break)

TED KOPPEL It was 1981 when then Minnesota state senator Jim Ramstad had
his last alcohol blackout. His arrest for disorderly conduct was front page
news. Seventeen years later, Representative Jim Ramstad is cosponsor of a
bill in the US Congress to oblige private insurers to cover treatment for
drug and alcohol addiction. He joins us here in our Washington bureau. And
joining us from our New York bureau, the chief judge of the state of New
York, Judith Kaye, who oversees the state's seven drug treatment courts.

And you'd better start by telling us, Judge Kaye, what a drug treatment
court does.

treatment court does is to try to break the recycling, the cycling and
recycling of non-violent substance abusers through the criminal courts of
the state of New York.

TED KOPPEL By doing what?

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE By offering an intensive judicial supervision, drug
treatment, case counseling, a very, very rigorous program for those willing
to go into it with the cooperation of the district attorney, defense
counsel, numerous others and at the end of a year or two years, the person,
we believe and we see, will no longer be recycled through the system but
will go on, hopefully, to be a productive member of society.

TED KOPPEL Now, in some states, is it not true, and obviously it is not in
New York, but in some states is it not true that there is no option here
for a judge? In other words, some state laws are so rigorous that if
someone has used certain drugs, they are obliged to be sent to prison,
aren't they?

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE Well, true, but this is a nationwide movement now.
Indeed, 48 of the 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam all are involved in this
drug treatment court movement. We're finding very, very promising success
with this experiment.

TED KOPPEL Congressman Ramstad, I can understand and I think most Americans
have become, over the years, sympathetic to the notion that alcoholism is a
disease. I'm not sure they're quite ready to believe that drug addiction is
a disease.

REP JIM RAMSTAD, (R), MINNESOTA (Washington) Well, unfortunately there's a
greater stigma in some quarters attached to drug addiction. The fact is
that whether your drug of choice is alcohol, as mine was, or marijuana or
cocaine or whatever, it's all the same, it's all about chemical abuse and
chemical dependency. If a person is totally chemically dependent then he or
she does suffer from a disease that's long been recognized by the American
Medical Association as such and we as policymakers have to start treating
substance abuse, chemical dependency as a disease.

TED KOPPEL That's going to be a problem, Judge Kaye, isn't it because it's
a very slippery slope and very easy to get to the point where then the
logical extension of all of that is to decriminalize drug use?

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE Oh, I don't think so at all and there are many offenders,
violent offenders in particular who should be punished with incarceration.

TED KOPPEL No, no, no. That's too easy, judge. I'm not talking about
violent offenders. I'm talking about simply someone who is a user of drugs.
If there's another crime involved, obviously that's no problem. But let's
say the only crime is the use of crack or the use of cocaine or the use of
heroin. If you were to say that in each of those instances we are going to
treat those people as though they had heart disease or emphysema or cancer,
then is it not logical at some point that you would say if, indeed, this is
a chronic disease we shouldn't be sending people like that to jail.

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE Fair enough, but we're not going to treat every single
non-violent offender, substance abuser who comes through the criminal
courts as diseased. Many of them are and it's just not right to incarcerate
diseased people who will simply come out the other end as substance abusers
again and be recycled through the system again. The real problem is to
identify those who are suffering from the disease of substance abuse and
help them help themselves to cure the disease.

TED KOPPEL Congressman Ramstad, let's move to an area that I know is very
near and dear to your heart and that is the notion of legalizing or making
mandatory that insurance companies would have to pay for the treatment of,
and are you talking about both drug and alcohol addicts?

REP JIM RAMSTAD That's right. We're talking about substance abusers who are
covered by insurance policies. We do not believe they should be
discriminated against vis-a-vis people with other diseases or surgical
services. And all our legislation, the Substance Abuse Treatment Parity Act
does is provide for parity, saying you cannot erect barriers for treatment
for chemical dependency that you don't have for physical diseases. You have
to treat them the same. Right now there are higher co-payments, higher
deductibles, limited treatment stays. It's alarming, Ted, that over the
last decade because of this phenomenon, these barriers that have been
created by the insurance companies, 50 percent of the treatment centers in
America have closed. Sixty percent of adolescent treatment centers have
closed. People don't have access to treatment. Right now there are 26
million Americans suffering the ravages of chemical addiction, 10 percent
of our population and 16 million of them are covered by insurance policies
which have these barriers. We need to knock down those barriers and we need
to provide access to treatment for those addicts/alcoholics.

TED KOPPEL Judge Kaye, you were giving me the impression before that some
sort of a distinction has to be made, though, in your courts even, that you
will not simply accept the claim of every drug addict who comes through
your court that he or she is sick, addicted.


TED KOPPEL All right. Now how do you make that distinction and if you care
to address it, having made that distinction, does that mean that those
people who don't qualify in your court also wouldn't qualify for insurance

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE Well I don't know the answer about insurance coverage,
but in the court system of course we make judgments all the time. That's
what judges do. We make the very fine judgment as to which of these people
would benefit from the program, which of these people, in effect, suffer
the disease of substance abuse and will merely, well, they'll be marching
to a drumbeat-drugs, crime, jail, drugs, crime, jail. And those are the
people we're looking for, the people who we can help to break this terrible
recycling, terrible for the courts, terrible for the defendants, terrible
for all of society.

TED KOPPEL Congressman Ramstad, I know you want to get in here. We're going
to take a short break and

I've got a question I want to ask you when we come back. More, in a moment.

(Commercial Break)

TED KOPPEL And we're back once again with the chief judge of New York
State, Judith Kaye, and with Minnesota Representative Jim Ramstad.

Congressman Ramstad, you heard the judge say before the break that she and
other judges and district attorneys make sort of ad hoc decisions as to who
should or should not qualify for treatment rather than jail, but you can't
make laws that way. I mean when you're making legislation, you can't sort
of leave it up to the insurance company to decide well this person ought to
go to jail but this person deserves treatment.

REP JIM RAMSTAD Well, first of all, let me say as chairman of the House Law
Enforcement Caucus and as one who has certainly followed a tough law and
order stance, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, that is,
incarceration and treatment. We have to deal with both, Ted, and I do not
support decriminalization of drugs. I think that sends exactly the wrong
message to our young people, makes the jobs of parenting, it would be a
disaster, I believe. But having said that, I think what we need to do is
to, if you look at the population in the American prisons, 1.2 million
people incarcerated tonight in America, 80 percent of them are there
because of drugs and/or alcohol. Now, we've got to very, at the very outset
concentrated on people already in prison because most of those prisoners at
some point are going to get out and if we don't deal with the underlying
drug and alcohol problem when they're in prison, we're just going to have
more hardened criminals when they're released.

TED KOPPEL But you understand, Congressman, better than most that society
doesn't really want to hear that. Society does not want to spend money on
rehabilitation. Society wants to spend money on warehousing. Get those
people off the street, get them off my block.

REP JIM RAMSTAD Well, that's part of our job as policymakers, we have to
educate and I agree with you, Ted, that America right now is numbed to the
pervasiveness of this drug and alcohol problem. We need to do a better job
of educating them and we need to also, I must say the level of
understanding of this problem and of treatment is much higher in the
Minnesota legislature than it is in the Congress of the United States a few
blocks from here.

TED KOPPEL Let me come after you for a moment because I think you're, the
beginning of your answer was a little bit facile. In other words, I
understand it's politically advisable to say that you are not in favor of
the decriminalization of drugs or the legalization of drugs and I
understand why you say that. But if, indeed, we are taking the position, if
these doctors and scientists take the position that what you are dealing
with is not criminals but people who have a disease, then on what basis are
we sending those people to jail, assuming, of course, that they haven't
held somebody up, that they haven't killed somebody, that they haven't
injured somebody? In other words, if another crime has been committed while
they were under the influence of drugs, different story. But simply the
drug user.

REP JIM RAMSTAD I committed disorderly conduct during my last alcoholic
blackout, as you mentioned at the top of this program. I went into
treatment. I didn't go to jail. Judge Kaye deals with first offenders,
non-violent property offenders for the most part, who are addicts, and
sends them to treatment. We have to deal, I think as Judge Kay pointed out,
on a case by case basis at the judicial level with non-violent first time
offenders who happen to be addicts or alcoholics. We need to deal with
their underlying problem of their addiction or they're going to come back
as more hardened offenders later on.

TED KOPPEL And yet, Judge Kaye, in every other respect, discretion is being
taken out of the hands of judges. It's three strikes and you're out, it's
mandatory sentencing. Why is this going to be the exception across the nation?

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE Well, not everything is mandatory. As you point out, some
things are, but by and large, what judges do is tailor made and depends
very much on the exercise, the individual exercise of discretion by judges
and ...

TED KOPPEL And so if I get a good judge, I'm lucky. If I get a bad judge or
an intemperate judge, I'm unlucky, right?


TED KOPPEL That doesn't sound like a very good system.

JUDGE JUDITH KAYE No, it is a good system. We do depend enormously on the
discretion of judges and at the same time the enforcement of the law and
here we are finding an effective way to enforce the law and at the same
time to help people who are sick and not criminals but ill people.

TED KOPPEL Again, I just want to come back one more time, Congressman, to
the notion of this legislation that you and Senator Wellstone want to pass
here because you can leave certain things up to the discretion of judges,
but the insurance companies are going to want something definite. They're,
you know, you're not going to be able to leave this up to the discretion of
insurance companies as to whether someone is or is not sick. How are you
going to define that?

REP JIM RAMSTAD Just like any other disease. Medical doctors at treatment
centers make a diagnosis just like they do for heart disease or diabetes or
kidney disease. They diagnose people either chemically dependent, that is
sick with the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction or not. So that's up
to the local physicians, the chemical dependency professionals who make
these diagnoses every day.

TED KOPPEL Congressman Ramstad, Judge Kaye, thanks very much indeed.

Copyright ABCNews

Clinton's AIDS Team Rips Needles Policy ('Associated Press' Article
In 'San Diego Union Tribune' Notes Yesterday's Unanimous Vote
Of No Confidence By President Clinton's AIDS Advisers
In The Administration's Commitment To Reducing The Spread Of AIDS
Due To Its Inaction On Needle Exchange)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 07:48:37 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: US: Clinton's AIDS Team Rips Needles Policy
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan 
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
Author: Associated Press
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/


WASHINGTON -- 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 yesterday by the Presidential Council on

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

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

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

"Tragically, we must conclude that it is a lack of political will, not
scientific evidence, that is creating this failure to act," the council said
yesterday 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

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 already has agreed with leading scientists that
the programs are effective in fighting HIV. But she says she is still
reviewing drug-use data.

Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

Prisoner Adoption ('San Francisco Examiner' Notes Lawmakers
For The Nation With The Highest Incarceration Rate
In The History Of The World Are Expressing Solidarity
With Chinese Prisoners Of Conscience)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:21:41 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Prisoner Adoption
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Editor Note: While off the topic, this article is an interesting display
of how legislators pick and choose which religious freedoms they defend.


Members of Congress are "adopting" prisoners jailed for their faith to
press for religious freedom in foreign lands.

They will plead for the release of captives such as China's Peter Xu
Yongze, leader of the independent Christian evangelical New Birth church
with followers numbering in the millions; and Bishop Su Zhimin, arrested
after accusing government officials of using torture to force people out of
the underground church.

"As I speak to you today thousands are sitting in cramped and dirty cells
for no other reason than peacefully expressing their religious beliefs in a
hostile country," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

Brownback joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have formed the
Religious Prisoners Congressional Task Force, which is urging every member
to adopt a prisoner and press heads of state for the prisoner's release.

Smoking Is An Informed, Pleasurable Choice (Excellent Op-Ed
In 'San Jose Mercury News' Says Congress's Settlement With Tobacco Industry
Isn't A Public Health Issue, It's A Private Behavior Modification Regimen -
The Settlement Is Founded On The Idea That Individuals Aren't Responsible
For Their Own Actions - In Fact, As Kip Viscusi Of Harvard Meticulously Shows
In His Book, 'Smoking - Making The Risky Decision,' Americans,
Including Smokers, Have Been Brainwashed Into Thinking It's Worse
Than It Really Is - It's Easier To Quit Smoking Than To Lose Weight -
'Smokers Save Society 32 Cents A Pack,' Mainly Through Reduced Nursing Home
And Social Security Costs, Plus Another 53 Cents In Taxes - Lifetime Risks
Of Getting Lung Cancer From Smoking Are Roughly One In 10, But Smokers
See Them As 3.7 In 10 - The Risk Of Dying Prematurely From Smoking
Is Between 18 Percent And 36 Percent, But Survey Respondents Put It
At 54 Percent)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:14:04 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Smoking Is An Informed, Pleasurable Choice
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: James K. Glassman


HAVING just about completed its No. 1 legislative task of the year
-providing nearly $200 billion to the states in a pork-greased
transportation bill -- Congress is now ready to tackle task No. 2: the
tobacco settlement.

Watch out. Politicians see the $368.5 billion deal as a huge pile of cash
for new spending projects. But far worse is the idea on which the
settlement is founded: that individuals aren't responsible for their own
actions. They are too stupid or crazed or manipulated to realize that
smoking is dangerous.

This view, so satisfying to elitists of all political stripes, is flat-out
wrong. Americans know that smoking kills, as Kip Viscusi of Harvard
meticulously shows in his book, ``Smoking: Making the Risky Decision.'' In
fact, they think that smoking is worse than it really is.

Lifetime risks of getting lung cancer through smoking are roughly 1 in 10,
but smokers see them as 3.7 in 10, Viscusi found. The risk of dying
prematurely from smoking is between 18 percent and 36 percent, but survey
respondents put it at 54 percent. Also, he writes, ``There is certainly no
evidence of greater neglect of smoking risks by the very young. Indeed, the
opposite is the case.''

Viscusi has also found that, far from costing the rest of us money,
``smokers save society 32 cents a pack,'' mainly through reduced nursing
home and Social Security costs (since they die earlier), plus another 53
cents in taxes.

But for anti-smoking zealots, it's not enough. President Clinton put the
case perfectly and chillingly last September: ``This is about changing the
behavior of the United States the behavior of the American people.''

Fully informed for many years that smoking can kill, about one-fourth of
Americans smoke, anyway. Are they nuts? No, they are making what they
believe is a reasonable decision -- the pleasures of smoking outweigh its

We make decisions all the time that seek to balance pleasure with the risk
of harm -- having another piece of pecan pie even though it will raise
cholesterol and perhaps kill us quicker, skipping exercise to watch a TV
show, drinking more coffee or alcohol than we should.

Speaking of drink, the Centers for Disease Control calculates that alcohol,
since it kills people in their prime, deprives Americans of 1.5 million
years of life before age 65, compared with 1.2 million years for smoking.
Worse, drinking kills and injures other people.

Smoking, like drinking, can be addictive, and some people have a hard time
quitting. But people do it. There are now as many ex-smokers as active
smokers. It seems to be easier to stop smoking than to lose weight and keep
it off.

There is not the slightest doubt that, after they have finished with
smokers, the health police will proceed to drinkers, chubbies,
sport-utility drivers and on and on.

Sure, there's a role for government in protecting the public health, but as
the Economist said Dec. 20, ``Smoking is not like tuberculosis or air
pollution or drunken driving; it is not, strictly speaking, a public-health
or public-safety problem at all. Rather, like motorcycling or overeating or
skiing, it is a private health problem.''

In his superb new book ``For Your Own Good,'' Jacob Sullum writes: ``The
true nature of the crusade for a smoke-free society is an attempt by one
group of people to impose their tastes and preferences on another.'' No
matter what Congress decides, he writes, the crusade will continue
``because it is aimed at the behavior of individuals, not the behavior of

Exactly. I have no sympathy for the companies. First they lied; now they're
acting in a cowardly fashion. Rather than standing up for the principle of
individual choice and responsibility, they are leaping to pay a finite
penalty, however huge, so they can boost their languishing stock prices.

Meanwhile, the anti-smoking hysteria is laying waste to basic protections
and principles. For example, juries for decades denied claims against
tobacco companies, since smokers knew what they were doing was risky. So
the states, led by Florida, simply changed the rules.

``In a stroke,'' writes Sullum, ``the (Florida) law eliminated the
industry's most effective defenses. The state did not have to prove that a
single case of illness was actually caused by a defendant's product, and
the tobacco companies could not point out that people voluntarily choose to
smoke.'' Maryland is pushing similar changes.

But where's the outrage? Every business in America is threatened by the
precedent of the tobacco settlement. Every individual is threatened, too,
as the liberal ideals on which this country was founded -- freedom of
choice, personal accountability, limited government -- are trampled in a
stampede by some to get others to behave the way they want.

Let's kill the settlement and end the hysteria now.

James K. Glassman is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He
wrote this article for the Washington Post.

Perspective On Justice - What's A Fair Price For A Fair Trial?
(Law Professor's Letter To Editor Of 'Los Angeles Times'
Notes That, 35 Years After The US Supreme Court Ruled In Gideon
That Defendants Are Entitled To A Legal Defense At Public Expense,
Defendants Are Often No Better Off Because Lawmakers Have Cut Funding
To The Point That A Vigorous, Competent Defense Is Often Impossible)

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 18:38:50 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Perspective on Justice:What's a Fair Price for a Fair Trial?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998
Author: Gerald F.Uelman-A professor of law at Santa Clara University
School of Law and a member of the board of the California Habeas Corpus
Resource Center, recently established by the Legislature to provide
representation to indigents seeking habeas corpus relief in death penalty
cases.He served on the Simpson defense team.


The guarantee of legal counsel for indigents is honored to the letter but
not the spirit of the 1963 Gideon ruling.

Thirty-five years ago today,Justice Hugo Black of the U.S. Supreme Court
declared "an obvious truth": that "any person haled into court who is too
poor to hire a lawyer cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is
provided for him." The court's decision in Gideon vs. Wainwright reversed
the conviction of a down-and-out drifter for burglarizing a Florida pool
hall and remanded the case for a new trial with an appointed lawyer to
represent the defendant. At that retrial, after the prosecution witnesses
were vigorously cross-examined by a competent lawyer, Clarence Earle Gideon
was acquitted.

As we observe the anniversary of the Gideon decision, we may want to pat
ourselves on the back. Today, every state is required to provide counsel
for any indigent defendant who faces a potential jail sentence.
Unfortunately, however, another "obvious truth" is being ignored: that the
quality of representation will be directly proportional to the amount of
money we are willing to pay for it.

Some will dispute this obvious truth by sanctimoniously citing the Code of
Ethics, which requires lawyers to give every client vigorous
representation. "Vigor" is a relative term, however. A public defender
overloaded with 200 clients will try to give them all the same level of
vigor, but that may not approach the level of what paying clients will
enjoy from private counsel. The quality of representation is also affected
by the affordability of other defense resources, such s investigators,
consultants and expert witnesses.

The Code of Ethics is often used as an excuse to reduce the level of
financial support for indigent legal services to the minimum necessary to
attract any lawyer to accept a case. In Virginia, lawyers receive a maximum
of $265 for representing indigents facing up to 20 years in prison. If the
maximum sentence exceeds 20 years, the lawyer can get up to $575. In
Alabama, the maximum compensation for a death penalty case is $2.000. Not
surprisingly, some of the lawyers attracted by these rates are incompetents
who can't do any better in the markerplace.

In state after state during the past decade, officials seeking to cut
budgets for indigent defense have contracted with the lowest bidder,
regardless of the quality of representation offered. In McDuffie County,
Ga., the low bid was $25,000 per year. Over three years, the lawyer who won
the contract represented every indigent accused of a felony in the county:
214 of them. He pleaded 213 of them guilty. In three years, he filed three

There are many heroic lawyers in underfunded states who accept appointments
and deliver competent representation at great personal cost. One Alabama
lawyer pup in 500 hours preparing and trying a death penalty case, netting
$4 per hour. Delivery on the promise of Gideon should not depend on the
generosity of individual attorneys, however. The obligation imposed by
Gideon is a public obligation.

The widespread public reaction to the O.J. Simpson trial confirms that
Americans are more upset by the occasional possibility that one they judge
guilty might escape because he can afford good lawyers than they are by the
general reality that innocent persons are regularly convicted because we
won't pay a good lawyer to defend them. Our indignation that more money can
make a difference in the outcome should carry with it the recognition of
the obvious truth that less money can make a difference in the outcome,

Some have suggested that economic disparity should be eliminated by
requiring that all defendants be represented by public defender; let the
quality of representation in all cases sink to the lowest common
denominator. It's interesting that no one suggests we eliminate economic
disparity in housing by requiring everyone to live in public housing
projects, or that we eliminate economic disparity in medical services by
treating everyone at the county hospital.

The challenge of Gideon is not to achieve absolute equality in the level of
legal representation. It is to elevate the level of competence in the
representation of every accused person to a threshold of fairness, a level
at which we can have confidence in the outcome.

The promise of Gideon is not fulfilled by simply providing every indigent
accused person with lawyer, but to ensure that every such person has the
resources to receive the Constitution's guarantee of a fair trial.

Study Faults Aid Sent To Mexico's Anti-Drug Effort ('New York Times'
Says That After Years Of US Officials Bitterly Criticizing
Mexico's Cooperation In The War On Some Drug Users, The GAO
Suggested Wednesday That The United States May Bear A Greater Share
Of The Blame)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 18:32:47 -0500
From: "R. Lake" (rlake@utoledo.edu)
Subject: MN: Study Faults Aid Sent to Mexico's Anti-Drug Effort
To: DrugSense News Service (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: New York Times
Pubdate: Wednesday, March 18, 1998
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/


WASHINGTON -- After years in which U.S. officials have bitterly criticized
Mexico's cooperation in the battle against drug trafficking, government
inspectors suggested Wednesday that the United States may bear a greater
share of the blame.

According to an assessment by the General Accounting Office, the
investigative arm of Congress, planes, helicopters and ships sent to Mexico
by the United States have largely been inoperable, inadequate or ineffective
in the drug fight.

The inspectors were vague about precisely who was to blame. But they
suggested that poor planning and coordination, particularly by the Pentagon,
was the source of the problem.

``You would think that we would at least provide equipment that is fully
operational at the time that it is provided,'' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
D-Calif., adding that she was ``somewhat shocked'' by the GAO's findings.

The GAO disclosures, based on a report that is to be released in the coming
weeks, came in congressional testimony that was intended to examine the
Clinton administration's formal ruling late last month that Mexico was fully
cooperating to fight the drug trade. A Senate vote on a resolution to
overturn the administration's ``certification'' of Mexico is expected next

Echoing the Clinton administration, GAO officials noted that during the last
year, Mexico has established a series of new laws, law-enforcement units and
programs to fight drug traffickers, whose power has risen sharply as they
have gained a greater share of the business of moving cocaine from South
America to the United States.

But the inspectors were for the most part less than impressed with the
effects those changes have had.

They said a new law that was to modernize the Mexican government's fight
against organized crime with innovations like legal wiretapping, plea
bargaining for informers and a witness-protection program had scarcely been
put into effect. They found flaws in a new Mexican law against money

And they said new Mexican police units directed at the traffickers had
either not yet been fully staffed or were hampered by a lack of funds for
things like gasoline and equipment.

The senior Justice Department official in charge of law-enforcement
cooperation with Mexico, Mary Lee Warren, called the money-laundering
statute ``quite sufficient'' and the early efforts of the 300-agent
Organized Crime Unit ``remarkable.''

She also cited ``enormous progress'' in persuading the Mexican government to
extradite criminals wanted for prosecution in the United States, even though
several legislators noted that the Mexican government has still not
extradited one of its citizens to face U.S. drug charges.

Administration officials had no response , though, to findings about the
utility of U.S. counter-drug aid.

While the Pentagon provided Mexico with 73 used UH-1H (Huey) helicopters
over the last two years, as many as 65 percent of them were grounded by a
lack of spare parts and other problems, the inspectors noted. The Mexican
army has sought to use the aircraft to help ferry troops on missions to
eradicate heroin poppies, but the helicopters generally cannot fly up to the
high altitudes where the poppies are grown.

Although the National Security Council arranged to send the Mexican military
four C-26 turboprop planes to fly on surveillance missions, none of the
planes can be used for such purposes until they undergo at least $3 million
in modifications.

After U.S. intelligence saw that more cocaine was being moved up Mexico's
coasts by ship, the U.S. Navy sold Mexico two Knox-class frigates last year
for about $7 million. But the ships lacked basic safety equipment that will
cost about $400,000 more and take at least two years to install before they
can be used.

A spokeswoman for the Defense Department, Gerri Taylor, said tonight that
she could not comment on the findings of the General Accounting Office
because the Pentagon had not yet received its report.

Mexican Government Violates Rights Of Its Indigenous Citizens
(A Group Of Seven Huichol Indians Returning From Their Peyote Pilgrimage
To The Sacred Land Of Wirikuta In The Mexican State Of San Luis Potosi
Have Been Arrested By The Military And May Soon Be Sentenced In Guadalajara,
Despite Legal And Constitutional Protections)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:18:02 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: alive@pacifier.com (Arthur Livermore)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Mexican government violates rights of their indigenous citizens
From: maps-forum@maps.org
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 22:59:41 -0700
To: RickMAPS@aol.com
From: rtcarey@cu.campus.mci.net (Richard T. Carey)
--forwarded message--
To: rtcarey@cu.campus.mci.net
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 21:37:14
Subject: press release FWD
From: leo@peyote.win.net (Leonard Mercado)


REPLY-TO: schaefer@cencar.udg.mx

Hi Leo: Greetings from Guadalajara. Could you please disseminate this
information as quickly as possible. Feel free to edit the info, I have
rapidly translated it from Spanish to English.


On Monday, March 16, 1998, a group of Huichols returning from their
pilgrimage to the sacred land of Wirikuta in the Mexican State of San
Luis Potosi were detained by the Mexican military. The peyoteros consist
of 2 women, 4 men and a child. They were detained when they arrived at a
military check point in the sierra monitored by the 51st paramilitary
battalion under the command of Subteniente Jesus Ugel de Campos.

The Huichol pilgrims were arbitrarily stopped, searched and arrested for
carrying peyote with them. Other pilgrims from their temple group had
gone off on the ritual deer hunt, putting these Huichols in charge of
taking the peyote back to their native temple in San Andres Cohamiata.
At the moment they are incarcerated in the Huehuquilla el alto, Jalisco
and may be transported to Guadalajara for sentencing.

The detention and arrest of these Huichols, who were practicing their
ancient religious beliefs, is illegal. According to the Vienna Agreement
signed and ratified by Mexico on June 24, 1975, and Mexico's Agreement
regarding Psychotropic Substances stated in the 4th paragraph of article
32, that indigenous communities that traditionally use wild plants
containing psychotropic substances are exempt from this drug law. In
addition, Article 5 of the Mexico's Agreement 169 recognizes and protects
the social, cultural, religious and spiritual values and practices of
Indian communities.

This situation is not only a violation of legal rights but a violation
of the cultural rights of Huichols. Having gone to Wirikuta, they remain
in a sacred state, both spiritually and physically until they return
home. The Mexican government, via their military and legal actions, have
sacriligeously violated the rights of their indigenous citizens and
ruptured their sacred space.


If this can get into the international press it would help the Huichols.
The more eyes watching, the better. There is another temple group that
needs to go to Wirikuta, they fear that the same may happen to them.

Thank Leo.
My e-mail address here in Guadalajara is: schaefer@irisp.dsp.udg.mx

Grass Is Greener In Wide-Open Ridge Meadows ('Vancouver Sun'
In British Columbia Says The Larger Building Lots And Spaces Between Houses
In Suburban Vancouver Lure Marijuana Growers There)

From: webmaster@mapinc.org (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Grass is greener in wide-open Ridge Meadows
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 10:17:56 -0800
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/
Lines: 71
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Sun
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Wed 18 Mar 1998
Section: B1 / Front
Author: David Hogben

Grass is greener in wide-open Ridge Meadows: Police say larger building
lots and spaces between houses have lured marijuana growers.

The wide open spaces that lure urban dwellers to the Ridge Meadows
area are also an advantage for illegal marijuana growing operations,
according to RCMP Inspector Gary House.

The larger lots and spaces between homes are one reason why some
persons connected with organized crime have chosen to operate in rural
areas on the outskirts of Greater Vancouver, House said in a recent

``You have a large area of land around you where you can monitor who
is coming on your property,'' House said.

Besides, one of the greatest risks to an illegal marijuana growing
operation is the possibility that odour could alert passersby, so
large rural properties are an advantage.

House has named substance abuse as one of the priority crimes his
Ridge Meadows police force will combat this year.

``The manufacturing, cultivation and trafficking of illegal substances
and the role of organized crime in these activities is having an
impact on our community,'' House said in a recent letter to the mayors
of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in which he outlined his law
enforcement priorities for 1998.

The emphasis on fighting illegal marijuana production and distribution
complements another police department priority: combatting property
crime offences.

House said many criminals who commit property offences ``commit break
and enters to fence goods, so they can have money to buy drugs.''

Law enforcement officials in Vancouver have recently linked many raids
of marijuana growing operations to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang
members, but House would not make a similar connection with the Ridge
Meadows operations.

``We have some indication that some of the grow operations we have
dismantled have been part of organized crime,'' he said. But House
said he is not able to link the operations to any specific organized
crime group.

In September 1997, Ridge Meadows RCMP created a so-called Green Team
to combat growing operations. That step was taken after the RCMP
identified about 100 growing operations in their jurisdiction.

The Green Team, comprised of six officers, took down 16 grow
operations, involving about $1.6 million worth of marijuana, in three

Because of the large number of operations in rented homes, the RCMP
decided to warn owners of suspect residences. Many landlords ignore
what is going on in their rental property as long as the rent cheque
comes in every month without problems.

They do that at their own peril, House said, if the renters are
growing marijuana.

``We have seen them where they chop out walls, where they chop holes
in the ceiling to vent the smell. It definitely decreases the property
value,'' he said.

Arrested Near Court ('London Free Press' In Ontario
Notes Two Nervy 17-Year-Olds Killing Time Outside A London Court
Before One Was To Face A Drug Charge Were Busted
With 3.6 Kilograms Of Cannabis)

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 02:24:08 -0800
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: Chris Clay 
Subject: Re: Courtroom bad place for a drug deal

Here's the story of  another London courthouse bust...


SOURCE: London Free Press
DATE: February 18, 1995


Two youths, killing time before one was to face a drug charge in London
court Thursday, were charged with possession of a narcotic after being
arrested outside the court building. A London police undercover drug
officer was on his way into court Thursday when he observed two youths, 17,
smoking a marijuana joint in front of the court at 80 Dundas St. They asked
him for a light, and then tried to sell him marijuana, police said. The
officer then identified himself and arrested the pair. A 3.6-kg
(eight-pound) bag of marijuana was found in the possession of one youth.
Both were charged with possession of a narcotic. Neither can be identified
under the Young Offenders Act.

Narcan The Panacea Only To Heroin Junkies (Column By Police Officer
In 'Vancouver Province' Suggests Police And Paramedics In Vancouver,
British Columbia, Have Recently Begun Using Naloxone Hydrochloride,
Or Narcan, An Opiate Blocker That Can Revive Overdose Victims In Seconds)

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 21:07:39 -0800 (PST)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: Narcan the panacea only to heroin junkies
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: March 18, 1998
Source: Vancouver Province (B.C.)
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca

Narcan the panacea only to heroin junkies

Mark Tonner - Out of the Blue

(Const. Mark Tonner is a Vancouver police officer. The opinions
and statements contained in this column are those of the writer,
not necessarily those of the Vancouver police department or the
police board. Tonner may be contacted at The Province, or by e-
mail at marcuspt@vcn.bc.ca)

Narcan is part of the larger marvel that our medical community
refuses to give up on addicts.

It's hard to know what to say to someone freshly back from the
dead. Welcome to heaven? To purgatory? "Welcome back to the hell
you've made of your life" may be more fitting for heroin addicts
rescued by the lifesaving drug Narcan.

Ask anyone working the downtown eastside - resurrected addicts
are rarely thankful. Heroin highs are so intensely satisfying
that interrupting one, even a lethal overdose, tends to earn

Naloxone hydrochloride, or Narcan, attacks the narcotic,
scavenging heroin from brain receptors in the brain so quickly
that recipients progress in seconds from not breathing to
uttering profanity.

The transition is so sudden that paramedics recently had to
change procedure. Subcutaneous, under-the-skin injections now
bring subjects up more gradually (three to four minutes) than
when Narcan was given intravenously. Less time is wasted
searching for unravaged veins, less blood (possible bearing
contagion) is spilled, subjects are less likely to lash out.

Typically they're eager to depart in search of new lows, which is
problematic: Narcan works for about 20 minutes, while heroin
lingers for hours. For a while, the user will be so clear-headed
that withdrawal symptoms may be felt, but the heroin won't be
gone, and respiratory collapse often returns once the Narcan
wears off.

What to do when an addict refuses to believe this? Police are
allowed to take charge of those mentally ill enough to cause
themselves harm, but calling addictive urges a form of insanity
is risky in skid-row environments. Addicts and their advocates
have enough time on their hands for handbill campaigns as well as
placard-waving protests and they're not shy about attacking

Heroin has become so cheap it's increasingly substituted for
cocaine, which can be fatal to addicts with no heroin tolerance.
That affordability makes a dose of Narcan (about $28) worth three
times the price of the drug it counteracts. St. Paul's hospital
administered Narcan over 450 times last year alone, bringing the
total to more than $13,000 for one facility.

Addicts arrive in need of Narcan continually; many have been
fished out of next life 30 times and more than one paramedic
recalls beginning a recent evening shift saving a life with the
drug, then closing the shift by saving the same life again.

Local prostitutes have been innovative, injecting their clients
with heroin overdoses, robbing them, then dialing 911 to bring on
the Narcan. Johns, anticipating cocaine-heightened sexual
extremes, are instead receiving heroin and glimpses into

Though the drug is essentially harmless, only doctors and
paramedics are qualified to inject it. Distinguishing heroin
overdose from other ills in an area where unconsciousness can
mean anything requires more than simple willingness to push a

It has been said that Narcan generates crime, by ending highs and
leaving users with fresh cravings. In truth,, Narcan is a marvel,
and part a larger marvel - the fact that our medical community
refuses to give up on addicts.

It's time the rest of society fought for these people to help
them become drug-free, rather than patting them on the head and
crying out for legalizing narcotics.

'Prison System Working' - Canadians Will Get Chance To Voice Concerns
Says Solicitor General ('Kingston-Whig Standard' Says Andy Scott,
Canada's Solicitor General, Last Night Told Delegates At The 'Beyond Prisons'
International Symposium The Country Incarcerates 133 Of Every 100,000
Citizens, More Than Most Other Western Democratic Countries -
The Average Cost Of Keeping An Offender In Federal Jail Is $50,000 A Year,
$32,000 At A Community Correctional Centre And $9,000 To Supervise An Inmate
On Parole - 'A Lot Of Money, When There Is No Clear Evidence
That Putting More People In Prison Results In Safer Communities' -
Voice Your Opinion Electronically At The Ministry's Web Site)

From: webmaster@mapinc.org (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: `Prison system working'
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 10:16:33 -0800
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/
Lines: 88
Source: Kingston-Whig Standard
Wed 18 Mar 1998 1 / Front

`Prison system working': Canadians will get chance to voice concerns says
solicitor general

By: Christine Brousseau, Whig-Standard Staff Writer

Andy Scott would like nothing better than to be out of a job.

As Canada's solicitor general, his ministry includes the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service,
Correctional Service of Canada and the National Parole Board.

Ultimately, he is in the business of protecting Canadians and his job
is not likely to be deemed redundant any time soon.

With that in mind, he told delegates at the Beyond Prisons
International Symposium at the Donald Gordon Centre last night part of
his mandate is to create an effective, efficient corrections program
that will benefit all Canadians.

Canada's incarceration rate, at 133 per 100,000 of population, is
higher than in most western democratic countries.

About $2 billion is spent annually on the adult federal and provincial
correction system and the average cost of keeping an offender in a
federal jail is $50,000 a year. This compares to $32,000 a year in a
community correctional centre and $9,000 to supervise an inmate on

``That's a lot of money, when there is no clear evidence that putting
more people in prison results in safer communities,'' he said.

Parliament is poised to review the Corrections and Conditional Release
Act, the legislative foundation of the country's corrections system
and Scott has solicited Canadians' opinions to help direct that

``I recognize that corrections is not the easiest subject to discuss
with people,'' he told delegates. ``Tragic failures in the system
overshadow its successes and have eroded public confidence. But this
is also an opportunity to demonstrate to Canadians that the system is,
by and large, working.''

Scott said he believes every Canadian can participate in the dialogue
because it is a public-policy issue and he trusts that Canadians will
see that common sense dictates that offenders should be reintegrated
into society.

``If you take someone directly from a cell and drop them in the middle
of a community, they're going to be less able to cope than if it's
done in a more gradual manner,'' he said. ``I think most Canadians can
see the common sense in that.

``There are people in the system who cannot be rehabilitated ... but
they are in the minority and we cannot design a system driven by the

``The reality is people are getting out. It's our job to minimize the
likelihood they will reoffend.''

Among the alternatives he discusses was restorative justice, an
approach where victims, offenders and the community are brought
together to repair the damage caused by crime.

``We need to be open to new ideas and new approaches as we continue to
look for more creative ways to deal with victims and offenders and,
ultimately, to reduce crime and promote safety,'' he said.

He said it is time to bring the debate out of the academic ivory
towers and engage all Canadians in the quest for a better system.

``I'm very hopeful,'' he said of the ability of every Canadian to
participate. ``I've held over 30 TV public policy forums in my riding.
People have come loaded for bear with their views of what the facts
are, but the more informed will inform the less informed and the less
informed can help people understand the frustration - what it's like
to be afraid.''

People can voice their opinions electronically through the ministry's
website at www. sgc.gcs.ca. The ministry is also soliciting the input
of various stakeholders across the country, the criminal justice
experts from the National Reference Group and delegates at the
Kingston symposium. The legislation and research will be reviewed by
the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the late spring.

Is It Time To Legalise Cannabis? (Britain's 'Evening News'
Lets The Drug Warriors' Specious Claims About The Dangers Of Cannabis
Go Unchallenged)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:07:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Is It Time to Legalise Cannabis?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


The debate surrounding cannabis rages on. In may it was a key election
issue and convicted drug smuggler Howard Marks stood as a legalise cannabis
candidate in Norwich. Now more research into the drug has been published
and a national newspaper is spearheading a campaign to see cannabis
legalised. But as parents increasingly fear for the safety of their
children in a society where recreational drugs are becoming more popular,
which way should the law swing? Abigail Saltmarsh sets the case for and
against the legalisation of cannabis.


Leah Betts died after taking an ecstasy tablet. Now her dad, Paul Betts is
waging war against all recreational drugs, including cannabis.

He believes many children begin smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol,
then move on to cannabis before possibly hitting harder drugs.

"When people think of cannabis they think of the 60's, but it is much, much
stronger now" he said.

"It is a highly dangerous drug"

He said cannabis could not be described as simply "a plant" any more than
heroin, which comes from the poppy or cocaine, from a coca plant.

Mr Betts claimed cannabis was a serious health risk.

He said research showed it was carcinogenic - and was related to oral and
lung cancer, sterility, memory loss, brain shrinkage and premature birth.

And he added "we are getting calls all the time from youngsters who cannot
sleep or get up without having a joint and many of them are dropping out of

Norfolk police are also firmly opposed to the legalisation of the drug.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Grant said "Cannabis is part of the whole
sub-culture of drugs"

"It is an entry level drug which can lead to people experimenting with
potentially more dangerous drugs"

There is an obvious health connotation as well - the message from us is
Drugs destroy lives"

Mr Betts said youngsters failed to understand why their parents are so

"It is not until young people start to get older that they realise people
are not out to spoil their fun but are giving them advice" he said. "By the
time the young people find out it could be too late"


The pro-cannabis lobby is keen to highlight the plant's other uses

+ Hemp is the same plant as cannabis

+ It used to be a valuable crop in Britain - One place it was farmed was

+ Hemp can be used to make paper and cloth

+ The seeds of the cannabis plant can be eaten and are high in protein

+ Some patients with conditions like MS believe cannabis has strong
medicinal properties.

PRESSURE groups campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis say:

+ According to the 1996 British crime survey, cannabis is taken by about
12% of 16 - 29 year olds

+ Cannabis could be sold and controlled in much the same way as alcohol

+ Cannabis is widley used anyway, a new drug is not being introduced.

+ Cannabis does not lead on to other drugs - Holland has the lowest hard
drug abuse in the world.

+ There are no known proven health risks through smoking cannabis

+ Cannabis is not addictive.


The Evening News has asked the two local MPs where they stand on the debate.

Ian Gibson, MP for Norwich North, is involved with the Lords committee
looking into the medicinal uses of cannabis.

He said "I believe the current government policy in relation to drugs is
the correct one". But he said he thought we were going to learn a lot more
about the science of cannabis. ]

"At the moment there is no clear cut view about the potential damage to
people's health."

"If, for example, that came out and there was no danger, that would make it
more likely that there ought to be a more general investigation"

He continued: "I do find evidence that it might lead to hard drugs still

And he did not always agree with home secretary Jack Straw's strong
anti-cannabis stance.

He added "I doubt if we are ever going to get a clear cut resolution of all
these issues and certainly it doesn't appear that the use of cannabis is
going to go away".

Asked whether he had ever used cannabis himself, he replied: "I'm not
commenting on that. It's not relevent to the larger debate" But he added "I
was a child of the '60s".

Charles Clarke MP for Norwich South, said he was against the legalisation
of cannabis: "I remain convinced that it would be quite wrong for
parliament to send the signal that increasing use of drugs is acceptable in
our (end of item)


Today's street names for cannabis include

dope draw gear stash ganja hash (solid cannabis) grass, weed, bush (dried
cannabis plant) + cannabis can be smoked in resin, plant or oil form +it
can also be eaten.


Jack Girling wants to see cannabis sold in youth clubs, tea houses and
coffee shops.

Jack, who is chairman of the Norwich branch of the Campaign to Legalise
Cannabis Internationally, believe cannabis is not a drug.

And he believe it should be freely available to anyone - of any age.

"Cannabis should never have been criminalised - its just a plant" he said.
"It should be treated just as we treat cabbage. All its properties are

Jack, whos group has 350 members in Norwich, refutes the argument that
smoking cannabis leads to harder drugs.

He said it was the individual personality which dictated whether they went
on to try other substances.

But if youngsters did not have to buy cannabis illegallythey would not be
exposed to dealers selling hard drugs.

Derek Williams, a Norwich member of campaigning Internet group Cannabis
Internet Activists (CIA), also claims cannabis does not lead on to other

"Holland, where you can buy cannabis in the famous "coffee shops" has the
lowest hard drug abuse in the world" he said.

But he does not agree that cannabis should be sold freely without
government control.

He would like to see it taxed, sold legally over the counter - and only to
those over the age of 18.

Derek believes the product should be quality controlled and labelled or
graded as to strength.

"Very, very few people react badly to cannabis but if it had a strength
control people would know what they were taking" said Derek.

"They wouldn't then be worried"

Legalising cannabis would free up police manpower and resources.

"I think one day cannabis will have to be legalised" said Derek.


The Campaign to Legalise Cannabis is holding a public meeting in
Chapelfield Gardens on April 1st from 10am to 2pm.


A march is being held in London on March 28th in a bid to put pressure on
the government to legalise cannabis.


The BMA is not in favour of legalising cannabis as a recreational drug. But
it would like to see how effective it is for medicinal purposes

A spokesman for the association said "because of the law surrounding
cannabis it is very, very difficult to carry out research on cannabis"

"If it were possible to do the tests and it proved, as we strongly suspect
it would, that it could be effective as a medicine, we would like to see it
legalised on prescription only.

But she added "It would be the cannabinoids in the drug that would be
extracted and used for treatment"

"It wouldn't mean we would be walking down hospital wards handing out joints"


Groups firmly against the legalisation of cannabis say:

+ Legalising cannabis would encourage far more youngsters to take it

+ Cannabis is a gateway drug to harder drugs

+ Cannabis today is much stronger than the cannabis smoked in the 1960's -
people have an unrealistic perception of its strength.

+ Smoking cannabis can cause cancer

+ Smoking cannabis can cause short - and long - term memory loss, paranoia,
depression and a reduction in brain size.

Top Schools Expel Three Over Drugs (Britain's 'Independent'
Notes The Most Serious Danger Of Cannabis - Three Boys Expelled
From Eton, Charterhouse, Their Prospects Likely Damaged)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 07:16:56 -0500
From: "R. Lake" 
Subject: MN: UK: Top Schools Expel Three Over Drugs
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: The Independent
Author: Steve Boggan
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 1998


Three boys have been expelled from two of the country's top schools after
being found in possession of drugs.

Two sixth-formers, aged 17 and 18, were excluded from Eton (fees £12,000 pa)
when a policeman caught them smoking cannabis in Windsor, less than a mile
from the school. They escaped with a caution, but were automatically
expelled because of the school's strict anti-drugs policy.

A third boy, named as Tom Wilson, the sixth-form son of a housemaster, was
withdrawn from Charterhouse (fees £13,500 pa), in Godalming, Surrey, after
an investigation by staff uncovered a "suspicious" substance in his room.
Two other boys, both aged 15, have been suspended.

The headmaster of Charterhouse, the Reverend John Witheridge, said: "Due to
the school's vigilance and the discovery of suspicious material in a boy's
room an internal investigation was carried out. As a result of the
investigation two boys in the second year have been suspended and a boy in
the first-year sixth has been withdrawn from the school." The two
15-year-olds would be allowed to return in the second week of next term but
Mr Witheridge said they would face random drug tests for the rest of their
time as pupils.

At Eton, one member of staff said: "It is a source of dismay to us all -
anything of this nature would be. But drug-taking is regarded extremely
seriously here." Tests are carried out on boys suspected of taking drugs,
with those who test positive being either expelled or suspended. A
spokeswoman for Windsor police said: "[The boys] were interviewed by
officers and offered a caution because of the small amount of drugs and the
fact it was a first offence. They were given a stiff talking to and
hopefully they will be discouraged."

Medien Bewusstseins Projekt (The Media Awareness Project
Now Has A European Counterpart - German Spoken Here,
Italian, French Participation Sought For Multilingual News Service
Monitoring European Drug Policy Developments)

From: webmaster@mapinc.org (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Medien Bewusstseins Projekt (fwd)
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 18:28:04 -0800
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/

This is pretty neat. German MAP. They even borrowed one of my backgrounds.
Are there any francophones on the list that can help them out?


---- Forwarded message --
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 01:48:59 +0100
From: "Jörg Jenetzky" (jj@hanf.org)
To: Matt Elrod 
Subject: Re: Medien Bewusstseins Projekt

Dear Matt,

congretulations for your Rush Limbaugh coup.

Meanwhile we are online (see url in footer).

The system is rather simple so far, hand sorted.
As long as it doesn't start to run we may do it that way.

There is the option of an SQL-System, as I mentioned and if we stay
stuck with possible exchange of parameters we will choose this option,
as far as I can see now.

First articles from Austria and Switzerland are with it, in German. But
it makes us aware again of the fact that we can only make it with a
multilingual site. To only cover Switzerland, we lack French and

So at least our archive has to offer this feature.

If you were too busy to make up your minds about this - allright, no
prob. Would just have been a nice idea to me.

Will you announce us online?

Best regrass



ceterum censeo cannabis legalisandum esse.

J=F6rg Jenetzky
Postfach 101589 - 33515 Bielefeld
Fon +49-521-26765
Fax +49-521-237971
eMail jj@hanf.org

DrugSense Weekly, Number 38 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists,
Including Original Commentary)

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 12:08:00 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly March 18, 1998 #038




DrugSense Weekly
March 18, 1998

A DrugSense publication




Feature Article

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


Weekly News In Review

Medical Marijuana-

	Hallinan: Let The City pass out pot if clubs close

	Nevada Ballot Proposal Would Allow Medical Marijuana Use


	Don't forget the already addicted smokers

Law Enforcement-

	Deportation Shatters Family


	Editorial: Forfeiture Law Abused

International News -

	Canada: LeDain Stands by '71 Report

	Canada Lifts Ban On Commercial Hemp Cultivation

	UK: Straw Rejects Review Of Laws On Cannabis As New MPs Own Up

	Ireland: Gardai In Drugs War Opposed To Legalising Cannabis

	Australia: PM Pledges Extra $100M For Drug War

	New Zealand: When The Smoke Clears

Hot Off The 'Net

	DrugSense Goes International

DrugSense Tip Of The Week

	An Easy way of Searching for Letter Writing Material

Quote Of The Week




March 16, 1998

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

By Michael Schelenberger
Communication Works
San Francisco CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full schedule of events is as follows:

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

San Francisco: Tuesday March 24

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

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

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

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




Medical Marijuana


Hallinan: Let The City Pass Out Pot If Clubs Close


Possibly a very important development; should this come to pass, it would
be the first-ever direct confrontation between two governments over the
issue. As such, it could certainly prove interesting, and, if nothing else,
would show the depth of the federal government's commitment to keeping
marijuana illegal.

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

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


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


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


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


Source: San Francisco Examiner
Pub Date: March 15, 1998
Byline: Zachary Coile


Nevada Ballot Proposal Would Allow Medical Marijuana Use


Another AMR initiative, this one a two-step process in Nevada. Reading the
full article reveals the AMR fingerprint: detailed concessions to potential
critics written into the language of the initiative. He who pays, calls the


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- A ballot proposal to allow marijuana use
by Nevadans with serious health problems was filed here Friday --
following a lawsuit to ensure a lot of money can be spent on the
ballot campaign.


The AMR is the same group that launched a successful 1996 medical
marijuana petition in California. But a big legal battle developed
over distribution through ``cannabis clubs.''

Dan Hart of Las Vegas, who is heading the signature-gathering for
the Nevada initiative, said the problems that occurred in
California shouldn't happen here.


Hart must collect 46,764 signatures by Aug. 5 to get the proposal
on the ballot. Voters would have to approve the plan this November
and again in November 1990 before the Nevada Constitution could be

Source: The Associated Press
Pubdate: Sat, 14 Mar 1998




Don't forget the already addicted smokers


This op-ed, part of the Clinton Administration's "plan" for the tobacco
settlement, will appear in other papers next week. Unfortunately, to avoid
indirectly casting aspersions on the drug war, the "plan" has no substance
as coherent policy. It calls for a weakened, vilified tobacco industry
selling ever less of its demonized product, and yet paying enough taxes to
give the nation a positive cash flow. Yeah, sure.

On a more human level, Koop doesn't explain why nicotine addicts rate more
human concern than heroin addicts- must be because they're "legally"



To date, most of the tobacco control efforts of this administration have
focused on preventing young people from taking up smoking. Everyone can
agree that teen-agers and younger children should not smoke. Even the
tobacco industry can safely join in that refrain, and frequently does, with
characteristic and clamorous hypocrisy.


If we pretend that adult smoking is a consumer choice like any other, we
fall prey to the trap laid by Big Tobacco. Addiction makes the very notion
of choice moot. Who would freely choose sickness and suffering, lost
productivity or 50 percent chance of premature death?


Source: San Mateo County Times
Date: March 13, 1998
Page A 9


Law Enforcement-


Deportation Shatters Family


This story poignantly reveals the self-righteous malevolence and inhumanity
of current federal law enforcement.


Gerardo Anthony Mosquera Jr. was a good boy in a tough
neighborhood, his parents say. He took his studies seriously,
enjoyed sports, stayed away from drugs and worked after school to
help support his struggling family, which included three younger
siblings and an infant son.

That the 17-year-old junior at Bell Gardens High School would put a
bullet through his brain still seems inconceivable, says his
distraught family, except for one painful fact: Gerardo had been
despondent since his father--Gerardo Antonio Mosquera Sr., a legal
resident of the United States for 29 years--was deported in
December back to his native Colombia, part of a rising nationwide
tide of such expulsions. The father was removed because of a 1989
conviction for selling a $10 bag of marijuana--enough for one pot
cigarette--to a paid police informant.


Authorities say he has no one but himself to blame. Officials at
the U.S. Embassy in Bogota denied him permission to return
temporarily for his son's funeral today.


Source: Los Angeles Times
Pubdate: Saturday, March 14, 1998
Author: Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Times Staff Writer
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/




Editorial: Forfeiture Law Abused


This article from Waco indicates that there is belated recognition, even
in the heartland, that law enforcement can't be entrusted with a license
to extort property in the name of the drug war. Their admission that the
press was asleep at the wheel" when the law was passed is refreshing.


Overzealous Law Enforcement Unfairly Confiscates Property

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


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


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


Source: Waco Tribune-Herald
Contact: letters@mail.iamerica.net
Fax: 254.757.0302
Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 1998


International News


In the world beyond America, drugs and drug policy remain very much in the
news. There is a growing ferment at the grass roots level for either
legalization or decriminalization. This is being resisted by government
with similar rhetoric, but varying intensity, in every English speaking
country. I've tried to include representative articles from Britain and its
former colonies, as counterpoint to the weekly potpourri of American


Canada: LeDain Stands by '71 Report


Any one who has struggled through the LeDain report knows the Commission
set great store on differentiating between users and traffickers,
indicating they hadn't a clue about the role of prohibition law in creating
a criminal market to begin with. Nevertheless, their heart was in the right
place, and LeDain hasn't changed his mind.


The LeDain Commission was set up by the federal government in 1969
as the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-medical Use of Drugs. It
issued four reports including one in 1971 on cannabis, which
recommended that simple possession of cannabis and cultivation for
personal use be permitted, but importation and trafficking remain a


"The heart of the study was, why should cannabis be treated so
harshly compared to tobacco and alcohol?" says LeDain, who was one
of three on the five-person commission who wrote the majority

Virtually none of the commission's recommendations were made into
law, something LeDain blames on politicians.


Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada)
Pubdate: Sun, 8 Mar 1998
Author: Kerry Diotte
Contact: sun.letters@ccinet.ab.ca .
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/


Canada Lifts Ban On Commercial Hemp Cultivation


What's significant here is that the commentary is by the Minister of
Health, not Agriculture.


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

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


Source: Reuters
Pubdate: March 13, 1998


UK: Straw Rejects Review Of Laws On Cannabis As New MPs Own Up


The improbably named Jack Straw had his troubles added to by a poll of new
members of Parliament. The Independent is showing how one committed media
source can make a difference.


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

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


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

"I associate my experience with drugs [soft ones] not with Mick
Jagger or Aldous Huxley but with passing my law degree and working
in a bank," he said.


Source: Scotsman (UK)
Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 1998
Author: Gavin Cordon
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com


Ireland: Gardai In Drugs War Opposed To Legalising Cannabis


The quotes from this law enforcement worthy are straight from mid-fifties
America; they might have been uttered by the late HJA himself.


GARDAI Commissioner, Pat Byrne, has pledged to continue the fight
against Munster's drug dealers after over £6m was seized by members
of the National Drugs Unit in Operation Blackwater in the past two


Speaking in Cork, the Garda Commissioner also hit out at media
commentators calling for the legalisation of cannabis.

"Commentators who criticise the use of Garda resources seizing
cannabis worth millions of pounds as being wasteful seem clear in
their objectives. They promote a supposed soft drug as being
harmless and advise the Gardai to concentrate on heroin or drugs
that are perceived as being more dangerous.

"However Garda research shows that cannabis is used as a gateway
drug and that there is a very strong connection between drug taking
and crime," Commissioner Byrne said.

Garda research showed that among addicts, cannabis was the initial
drug for just over 50%.


Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1998
Author: Gardai in drugs war opposed to legalising cannabis
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie


Australia: PM Pledges Extra $100M For Drug War


In Australia, prohibitionist premier Howard has struggled manfully, and
thus far successfully, to keep the lid on pressure for liberalization. He
shot down the heroin trial last summer; this is more of the same.


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.


Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 1998
Author: Tom Allard


When The Smoke Clears


A dream interview with a reformer. David Hadorn was able to deliver an
unopposed indictment of current US policy along with a plea for local


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.


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.


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..


Source: New Zealand Listener
Pubdate: March 21-27, 1998
Author: Noel O'Hare
Contact: editor@listener.co.nz




DrugSense goes international

The ideas and concepts developed by the DrugSense organization are
spreading rapidly. The first known European effort has been launched at:
This exciting page is an attempt to not only gather and further distribute
drug related news but to translate it into numerous languages and to
coordinate multi-national and multi-lingual letter writing efforts.

It is the first serious attempt to create a European version of DrugSense
and MAP efforts. This is a very challenging undertaking and we encourage
and support the efforts of Jörg Jenetzky (jj@hanf.org) in getting the
project going.




An Easy way of Searching for Letter Writing Material


The above URL is a collection of over 700 published letters and articles written
by DrugSense volunteers as part of The Media Awareness Project. This
searchable archive is an extremely valuable research tool for new letter
writers, those wanting to research a letter writing effort, and for those
wishing to help recruit and point out the significant accomplishments that
the reform movement is achieving.




"...First, is the dangers of futility; the belief there is nothing one man
or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills--
against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the
world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work
of a single man. -Robert F. Kennedy, "Day of Affirmation," address
delivered at the University of Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966,
'Congressional Record,' June 6, 1966, vol. 112, p. 12430.


DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services
DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn
more about what DrugSense can do for you.

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Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org)

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