Portland NORML News - Saturday, March 21, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Incredible Donations (Paul Stanford, A Chief Petitioner
For The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, Opens The Bidding
On Three Cars And A Bunch Of Parts Donated To The Campaign)

From: "D. Paul Stanford" stanford@crrh.org)
To: octa99@crrh.org
Subject: incredible donations
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 19:42:06 -0800
Organization: CRRH (PAC)

These were donated to our group. We are selling them to pay petitioners for
signatures. Please make an offer.

1978 Datsun 280-Z ; IMSA GT 2 Category, with like-new body and engine
$2500 whole new extra unattached fiberglass race body
extra new motor: 365 Horsepower engine with 3 Solex 50 mm carbs-dual
30 Gallon fuel cell
Halon fire extinguisher with four nozzles, two on engine, two on driver,
with emergency button
Built-in NASCAR style roll cage system
New sets of gauges, uninstalled
Tilton pedals and starter
Remote adjustable brake system with Lockheed 4 piston brake calibers
Accusump oil system

Lots of spare parts. More details upon request. Contact me if you're
interested.

This same donor has also donated two other cars and titles: 1980 Ford
Fiesta and a 1970 Toyoto Corolla, both of which we have started and driven.
Offers are welcome on these too.

OCTA to the ballot,

D. Paul Stanford
email stanford@crrh.org
office phone: 503-235-4606
fax: 503-235-0120

Campaign For The Restoration And Re-Legalization Of Hemp
P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Web: http://www.crrh.org/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Terry Miller - 'I'm Out' (Portland NORML Director Busted For Cultivation
Whose Doctor Has Recommended His Use Of Cannabis Notes He's Gotten
Out Of A Four-Months' Work-Release Sentence Into An Eight-Month
House Arrest Sentence)

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 12:00:34 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: alive@pacifier.com (Arthur Livermore)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Terry Miller: "I'm out"
--forwarded message--

To all,

I'm now back at my home after a "Modification of Probation" that places
me on an electronic bracelet for the next eight months but allows me to
be with my family and work on my computer when I'm not banging nails as
a contractor.

This is an important year for pot politics in Oregon and I am glad to be
able to be a part of it.

>From home exile,

TD
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Abdul-Jabbar Caught Carrying Marijuana At Toronto Airport
('Los Angeles Times' Version Of Jabbar Yesterday's News)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 10:29:16 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Abdul-Jabbar Caught Carrying Marijuana at Toronto Airport
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: March 21, 1998

ABDUL-JABBAR CAUGHT CARRYING MARIJUANA AT TORONTO AIRPORT

Former UCLA and Laker center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar surrendered a small amount
of marijuana to U.S. Customs officials at

Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Sunday and paid a $500 civil
fine, a Customs Service spokesman said Friday. Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's
career scoring leader, told customs officers that he has migraines and
"doctors recommended him using this," said Pat Jones, a customs spokesman
in Washington.

The customs spokesman said the seizure was handled as an administrative
rather than a criminal matter and that there was no arrest. Canadian
police, however, said Abdul-Jabbar had been arrested.

Regional Police Inspector David Price, contacted Friday by The Canadian
Press, confirmed a Toronto Sun report that Abdul-Jabbar was arrested but
not charged.

The Sun said the marijuana amounted to six grams. It was found as
Abdul-Jabbar was about to fly from Toronto to Los Angeles. The U.S. Customs
Service has a "pre-clearance" operation at some Canadian airports.

"We have these drug-sniffing dogs and one of them smelled something on
Kareem," Jones said. "He talked to one of our inspectors and was very
cooperative and he volunteered that he had a minuscule amount of marijuana
on him."

Copyright Los Angeles Times
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DA Hopeful Arrested On Drug Charge ('Dallas Morning News'
Says The Challenger In The Race For Denton County, Texas, District Attorney
Was Arrested Friday And Charged With Delivery Of Marijuana -
No Drugs Were Found In His Possession And Stephen Hale Says, 'I Don't Know
What It Was About - I Wasn't Shown An Arrest Warrant')

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 10:16:03 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US TX: DA Hopeful Arrested On Drug Charge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998
Author: Brenda Rodriguez and Kendall Anderson / The Dallas Morning News

DA HOPEFUL ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGE

Denton candidate denies wrongdoing

The challenger in the race for Denton County district attorney was arrested
Friday and charged with delivery of marijuana, authorities said.

Stephen Hale, 45, who is to face District Attorney Bruce Isaacks in
November, is charged with delivery of marijuana over 4 ounces and under 5
pounds, authorities said. The offense is a state jail felony. Bail was set
at $5,000, and Mr. Hale posted bond Friday afternoon at the Denton County
Jail, officials there said.

"I don't know what it was about. I wasn't shown an arrest warrant," Mr.
Hale said Friday night. "I haven't done anything wrong."

Mr. Hale, an attorney, was arrested about 3:30 p.m. Friday in Denton County
as part of an undercover investigation by the Texas Department of Public
Safety, said Tela Mage, an agency spokeswoman.

Drugs were not found in Mr. Hale's possession at the time of his arrest,
she said.

The arrest was based on a probable-cause warrant, she said. A judge
typically issues such a warrant based on a peace officer's sworn affidavit
outlining the reasons for believing a crime has been committed.

Ms. Mage said the Denton Police Department assisted DPS narcotics officers
in the arrest. She did not disclose where Mr. Hale was arrested.

Mr. Isaacks said state District Judge David White granted a motion Friday
to remove the district attorney's office from the case. Collin County
District Attorney Tom O'Connell was appointed as special prosecutor to
oversee the case, he said.

Mr. Hale's arrest was unexpected, Mr. Isaacks said, but not a shock.

"I can't say I was real surprised," he said.

Mr. Hale served a three-year felony probation in the mid-1970s for
possessing what he has called "a good-sized Baggie" of marijuana.

Later, during his tenure as the Wise County Attorney, Mr. Hale's handling
of marijuana cases and first-time drunken drivers drew criticism.

Police groups in the county just northwest of Tarrant County calledfor his
resignation in 1994 because they said he was too soft on such offenders. He
served in the office for four years, beginning in January 1993.

He defended his dismissal of marijuana and drunk-driving cases by saying
his primary duty was "to seek justice, not just to seek convictions."

More than 60 percent of DWI cases handled by Mr. Hale led to dismissals or
reduction to less-serious charges of reckless conduct, according to court
records.

Mr. Hale said at the time, "It might be popular in other counties to make
political stands and be tough on DWIs, but if I did that, my docket would
come to a screeching halt."

An additional 118 cases involving misdemeanor marijuana possession of less
than 4 ounces were dismissed completely, most "in the interest of justice,"
according to notations on dockets.

Mr. Hale has said his stance on marijuana cases was formed by his arrest on
marijuana possession charges, which occurred while he was serving in the
military in Florida.

"Almost every G.I. I knew smoked marijuana, but I got caught," he said in
1994. "I came home from serving my country on felony probation for not
hurting anybody, and that really hurt my feelings."

After the service, Mr. Hale attended North Texas State University, now the
University of North Texas, and South Texas College of Law in Houston. He
learned before law school graduation that he could not receive his Texas
Bar card while on probation.

Recently, Mr. Isaacks tried unsuccessfully to have Mr. Hale disqualified
from the Democratic primary ballot on the grounds that he has lived in the
county less than three consecutive years. A state appeals court ruling in
January allowed Mr. Hale to stay on the ballot.

Mr. Isaacks, who will be seeking a third term in November, said it was bad
enough that there was low voter turnout in the primary this month, but now
Mr. Hale's arrest may disillusion some voters.

"It's unfortunate for the political process," he said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Marijuana Book Sparks Debate (Biased 'MSNBC News' Article
About 'Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts -
A Review Of The Scientific Evidence,' By Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D.,
And John Morgan, M.D., Notes Zimmer Worked On The Book
While Employed By The City University Of New York,
Which Is Obliged By Law To Force-Feed Its Students
Information Contradicted By Her Research)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 21:32:30 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: MSNBC: Marijuana Book Sparks Debate
Cc: maptalk@mapinc.org
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Chris Clay 
Source: MSNBC
Pubdate: 21 Mar 1998
Contact: World@MSNBC.com
Website: http://www.msnbc.com/

MARIJUANA BOOK SPARKS DEBATE

New York, March 21 - It's the exact opposite advice one would expect from a
parent, doctor or teacher about smoking marijuana. However, a new book by
two city university professors concludes that smoking marijuana is not
harmful, and doesn't make users, including college-aged students, unmotivated.

Columbia University Medical School Professor John P. Morgan, M.D. said,
"Marijuana has some dangers but the dangers that young people have been
told for a decade are not true."

Claiming the book, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, is scientifically
sound, Prof. Morgan and co-author Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D., a sociology professor
at Queens College, write, "Even long-term high-dose marijuana use is not
harmful to the brain. Marijuana use during pregnancy does not damage the
fetus. There is nothing about marijuana that causes people to lose drive
and ambition. Marijuana does not cause crime."

The American Medical Association criticizes the book, saying it minimizes
the real or potential dangers of marijuana.

"The drug comes to the brain, binds itself to the brain, exerts its affect
and leaves and probably causes no long-term damage," Prof. Zimmer said.
"There's no evidence that occasional use impairs people ability to be good
people, good parents, good citizens, productive workers."

But on that, and the issue of marijuana and crime, the book was denounced
by long time narcotics officer turned New York City Police Commissioner
Howard Safir.

"There's no doubt marijuana leads to trouble and I can show you 10 books
that prove that for every one like the one you just showed me," he said.
"The fact that these two professors are teachers leads me to wonder if they
are fit to be leading a classroom."

However, Prof. Zimmer maintained, "I think most people use marijuana in a
responsible way."

The authors said the book would not have been possible without city
university's help. It was researched at taxpayers' expense. Prof. Zimmer
was granted a year's sabbatical with pay and given an award from the
president's office, an additional six months to work on the book.

Required by law, all CUNY students are told in writing about the health
risks of illicit drugs and sanctions for using them. However, some of that
information directly contradicts data in this new book, which could
potentially lead to confusion on the campus about marijuana and its true
effects.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Petition To Make Hemp Legal Prepared (Lexington, Kentucky,
'Herald-Leader' Elaborates On Yesterday's News About The North American
Industrial Hemp Council And Other Groups In The United States
Preparing To Petition The Drug Enforcement Administration To Remove Hemp
From The Controlled Substance List)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 15:42:53 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US KY: Petition To Make Hemp Legal Prepared
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Joe Hickey 
Source: The Lexington Herald-Leader
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998
Section: Business Section (Page C1)
Author: Staff, Wire Reports

PETITION TO MAKE HEMP LEGAL PREPARED

PLAN INCLUDES LICENSING FARMERS, TRACKING SEEDS

WASHINGTON -- Industrial hemp has 25,000 uses ranging from construction
material to paper to clothing, but smoking it to get stoned is not among
them. Yet proponents of hemp say it could give farmers a financial high.

"There's an incredible opportunity," said Jeffrey Gain, a hemp proponent
and former chief of the National Corn Growers Association. "There is too
much emphasis on too few crops. We need to start adding crops."

But right now, the federal government bans cultivation of industrial hemp
and considers it a controlled substance, no different from its
hallucinogenic cousin marijuana. Several groups, including the North
American Industrial Hemp Council and the Resource Conservation Alliance,
want to change that.

They are preparing to petition the Drug Enforcement Administration to drop
hemp from the controlled-substance list. They also want the Agriculture
Department to set up a system of certifying hemp seeds and licensing farmers.

"We're asking them to refine the definition of marijuana," said Ned Daly,
director of the Resource Conservation Alliance, yesterday. "Hemp is not a
drug and cannot be used as a drug."

Hemp has a long history in the United States. George Washington and Thomas
Jefferson grew it. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp
paper. During World War II, the federal government mounted a "Hemp for
Victory" growing campaign for many military uses, including ropes, tents
and parachute cords.

Some agricultural economists say farmers today could gross up to $500 an
acre for hemp. Canada legalized it earlier this month after a 60-year ban,
in part because of the income potential for farmers. Several U.S. states
are also promoting hemp research.

In Kentucky, hemp supporters said the petition was the beginning of a
campaign to make hemp as commonplace as flax.

"We want to force the DEA to come to grips with the fact that hemp is not
marijuana," said Andy Graves, a tobacco grower who is president of the
Fayette County Farm Bureau and a member of the board of the North American
Industrial Hemp Council.

Graves said the council expects a decision from the DEA within six months.
If the agency refuses to declassify hemp as an illegal product, the council
will take the issue to court.

Canada's decision last year to legalize the crop is a major new advantage,
hemp advocates said.

Gale Glenn, a Clark County farmer who formerly sat on the industrial hemp
council's board, predicted that U.S. officials' opposition to hemp will
wilt under pressure from farm groups once Canadian growers begin shipping
it to U.S. manufacturers.

England finally legalized hemp after the European Union lowered trade
barriers and English companies began importing hemp from France, Glenn said.

"I can't imagine that American farmers will sit by and watch U.S. companies
importing this crop from Canada," she said. "That's what it is going to
take because I think the DEA will dig in their heels until farmers get up
in arms."

Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. But
hemp typically contains less than 1 percent of the active ingredient, THC,
that makes pot smokers high. Marijuana plants contain 10 percent to 20
percent THC.

"It's not psychoactive," said Paul Gordon Mahlberg, a biology professor at
Indiana University.

Still, the DEA and President Clinton's drug control policy director, Barry
McCaffrey, say hemp's legalization could hinder efforts to stamp out
marijuana.

"A serious law-enforcement concern is that a potential byproduct of
legalizing hemp production would be de facto legalization of marijuana
cultivation," McCaffrey's office said in a statement. "The seedlings are
the same and in many instances the mature plants look the same."

Those who want to end the ban say that is just blowing smoke. They say hemp
plants are far taller than marijuana, are grown much closer together and
typically are not allowed to flower. The flowering produces the buds most
sought after by marijuana growers.

"The dope argument lacks any merit," said Hawaii state Rep. Cynthia
Thielen, a Republican who says farmers in her state want hemp as an
alternative to sugar and pineapples. "You can tell the difference. You're
licensing farmers so you know where the crop is. If someone's growing that
isn't licensed, bust them."

Graves and Glenn pointed out that all of the seven major democracies in the
world except the U.S. already allow hemp to be grown.

"In England and Western Europe they have no problem distinguishing
industrial hemp from marijuana," Glenn said. "Their drug enforcement people
are no brighter than ours. Yet they seem to be able to see the difference."

The Agriculture Department, however, questions how profitable hemp might
actually be: It is labor intensive and cheaper alternatives already exist
for many of its uses. For instance, hemp linen costs $15 a square yard,
compared with only $7.50 for flax linen.

"Hemp production in the United States has no demonstrated economic value
potential as a cash crop," the McCaffrey statement said.

But proponents are undeterred, noting that Canadian farmers plan to plant
5,000 acres of hemp this spring and farmers in England and Germany have
turned solid profits from it for years.

Graves said hemp is more expensive than current alternatives because it has
to be imported. Once an infrastructure is in place, the cost of hemp
products will be competitive, he said.

Some of the more unusual uses for hemp include reinforcement in concrete,
as a replacement for fiberglass in cars, in shoes and even as a cosmetic oil.

Proponents also say hemp is good for field rotations that help sustain soil
and reduce insects.

CANADIAN GROWER TO SPEAK

Jean Laprise, a Canadian who plans to grow 2,000 acres of hemp this year on
his farm in Ontario, will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of
the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association. The meeting is scheduled
April 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fayette County extension service
offices at 1145 Red Mile Place.

(c) Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hemp Backers Seek To End Ban On Growing Controversial Plant
('New York Times' Version)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 17:32:46 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Hemp Backers Seek to End Ban On Growing Controversial Plant
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Source: San Fransisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998
Author: Steven S. Woo - New York Times

HEMP BACKERS SEEK TO END BAN ON GROWING CONTROVERSIAL PLANT

WASHINGTON - Backers of industrial hemp say the fibrous stalk of the
marijuana plant could be a major boost for U.S. agriculture - if the
federal government would deregulate it.

Proponents say hemp can be used to make durable clothing, carpet, tents and
other items. It is legal to grow for those uses in Canada and many European
countries, and hemp products are widely available there.

But because the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant are marijuana, the
Drug Enf orcement Agency says growing hemp in the United States would send
the wrong message to youth about drug use.

The North American Industrial Hemp Council - a coalition of farmers,
retailers, politicians, manufacturers and environmental groups - is
petitioning the federal government to lift its ban on growing the plant.

On Monday, the Resource Conservation Alliance, which is part of the Hemp
Council, is filing two petitions aimed at that goal.

One will ask the DEA to end its classification of industrial hemp - bred to
have such a low level of the psychoactive substance THC that users cannot
get high - as an illegal drug. The other will ask the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to create a licensing system to permit the growing of hemp by
U.S. farmers.

The DEA provided a statement saying that anyone seeking to grow hemp for
industrial use can apply for registration as a manufacturer. However, the
DEA said it has never granted such a clearance because of concern over "the
threat of diversion" of marijuana as an illegal drug.

'1ndustrial hemp is not marijuana," said Jeffrey Gain, a director of the
Hemp Council who previously served as the chief executive officer of the
National Corn Growers Association. "It's a legitimate crop with enormous
economic and environmental potential. While the rest of the world is
jumping on the hemp bandwagon, American agriculture is being held hostage
to obsolete thinking."

We do not endorse the recreational use of marijuana," said. Raymond
Bernard, senior vice president of technology for Interface Corp. in
Atlanta, said the company would like to use hemp in its carpeting because
of the fabric's durability.

"The disadvantages of importing the hemp from foreign countries include the
costs and not knowing if the material was woven in an environmentally
friendly manner," he said.Bernard said hemp also is biodegradable, while
carpet made, with nylon and other synthetic materials is not.

The council says hemp also has extensive applications as a fabric. It is
widely seen as an alternative to cotton, which is maybe the most
environmentally damaging of all crops because of its intensive need for
pesticides, its members claim.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Syndicate's Shadow Falls Across Mexican Elite ('Los Angeles Times'
Says A Series Of Accusations This Week Linked Mexico's Most
Notorious Drug Cartel To Money-Laundering Scams That Touch The Highest
Levels Of The Nation's Political, Financial And Labor Elite)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 18:04:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Drug Syndicate's Shadow Falls Across Mexican Elite
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: Sat, 21 Mar 1998
Author: James F. Smith - Los Angeles Times

DRUG SYNDICATE'S SHADOW FALLS ACROSS MEXICAN ELITE

MEXICO CITY -- A series of accusations this week linked Mexico's most
notorious drug cartel to money-laundering scams that touch the highest
levels of the nation's political, financial and labor elite.

First, it emerged that the laundrymen of the Juarez cartel tried to buy a
controlling share of a struggling bank. Then it was reported that they
tried to go into business with President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Lesn's
brother. And on Friday, a newspaper said the head of the largest national
labor federation and a union-linked bank were being probed for suspected
money-laundering ties.

Prosecutors confirmed that the cartel attempted to purchase the Anahuac
financial group but said they halted the sale in 1996 when they became
suspicious of the funding source. And Rodolfo Zedillo, the president's
brother, said his attorneys warned him in time to back off a proposed
partnership with entrepreneurs who turned out to be alleged money
launderers.

Labor's denial

The chief press officer for the labor movement said Friday's allegations
against federation chief Leonardo Rodr(acu)guez Alcaine and Banco Obrero
(Workers Bank) were malicious and false.

Yet even jaded Mexicans have been shocked by the apparent attempts by the
drug bosses to infiltrate the top tiers of business and politics.

At the same time, some analysts say the reports show the system is now
working against a scourge that long went undetected. They say more-vigilant
Mexican investigators are armed with powerful new money-laundering laws and
investigative tools, allowing them to achieve real breakthroughs.

A chastened Rodolfo Zedillo said in an interview: ``It is obvious that the
cartels have no respect for rank or hierarchy; they are definitely
increasing their areas of influence. But our institutions are responding
well.''

The national attorney general's office said Thursday night that it had
identified several suspects involved in the attempted purchase of the
struggling Anahuac financial group on behalf of the Juarez cartel, which
was led by Amado Carrillo Fuentes until he died during plastic surgery last
July.

The prosecutor's office said one suspect -- Juan Alberto Zepeda Novelo, a
top executive in Mexico's second-largest construction company -- was
arrested Wednesday in the case.

Biggest probe yet

The investigation appears to be the largest since Mexico adopted stricter
money-laundering laws last year. Mexico has long been suspected not only as
a major transit route for drugs headed to the American market but also as a
primary laundering channel for profits filtering back to the drug cartels.

In this week's allegations, a common suspect is Jorge Fernando Bastida
Gallardo, identified as the main money launderer for the Juarez cartel.

Newspapers in Mexico City and Guadalajara said Bastida led the negotiations
to invest at least $12 million in Anahuac on behalf of the cartel in 1995
and 1996. However, national banking authorities said they froze that
transaction before it took effect because they were suspicious of the
origin of the money.

But federal prosecutors are investigating charges that Bastida laundered
more than $80 million of the Juarez cartel's money through Anahuac in 1995
and 1996, El Universal newspaper in Mexico City reported Friday.

Later in 1996, regulatory authorities seized control of the Anahuac group
in connection with a separate fraud allegation.

El Universal also said prosecutors were investigating whether Rodr(acu)guez
Alcaine, the labor federation leader, and the union-linked Banco Obrero had
been involved in money laundering along with Bastida.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

President's Brother Denies Making Cartel Deal ('Washington Post'
Says Rodolfo Zedillo, The Younger Brother Of Mexican President
Ernesto Zedillo, Said In A Letter Released Thursday Night
That Alleged Money Launderers For Mexico's Largest Drug Mafia
Offered To Finance A Hotel Construction Project With Him Two Years Ago -
The First Concrete Evidence That A Cartel Had Tried To Buy A Bank
And That Its Reach Had Touched President Zedillo's Family)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 18:43:22 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Mexico: WP: President's Brother Denies Making Cartel Deal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Washington Post
Author: Molly Moore and John Ward Anderson, Washington Post Foreign Service
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Saturday, 21 Mar 1998

PRESIDENT'S BROTHER DENIES MAKING CARTEL DEAL

Powerful Drug Gang Offered to Fund Zedillo Project, Allegedly Tried to Buy
Bank to Launder Cash

MEXICO CITY, March 20-Alleged money launderers for Mexico's largest drug
mafia offered to finance a hotel construction project two years ago for the
brother of President Ernesto Zedillo, according to Rodolfo Zedillo.

The president's younger brother, who is an architect and heads a Mexico
City construction company, said in a letter released late last night that
he never entered into business arrangements with the two men, who since
have been named in a federal investigation that is revealing how deeply the
Cuidad Juarez cartel penetrated Mexico's business sector.

The attorney general's investigation has provided the first concrete
evidence that a cartel had tried to buy a bank and that its reach had
touched President Zedillo's family.

The probe has found that the Juarez cartel, headed by Amado Carrillo
Fuentes until his death last year, attempted to buy a stake in a struggling
Mexico bank to launder proceeds from their drug-trafficking operations.

Law enforcement officials have estimated that as much as $30 billion in
drug proceeds are laundered annually through Mexican businesses, banks and
money-exchange houses. Mexico only enacted strict money-laundering laws
last year and has yet to prosecute a major money-laundering case.

On Thursday, authorities arrested Juan Alberto Zepeda Novelo, a senior
executive for one of Mexico's largest construction companies, on
allegations that he funneled the drug money through his accounts on the
cartel's behalf to make the bank-shares purchase appear legitimate.
Zepeda's company, Bufete Industrial, has denied any wrongdoing.

Documents published Thursday by Publico, a Guadalajara newspaper, revealed
that the construction company executive's son, Juan Zepeda Mendez, and an
associate, Jorge Bastida, approached Rodolfo Zedillo and offered to finance
his hotel construction project in downtown Mexico City.

Neither Zepeda nor Bastida, whose whereabouts are unknown, could be reached
for comment.

The newspaper published a copy of an agreement to build the hotel which had
been signed by Bastida and Juan Carlos Fernandez Garcia, who had power of
attorney to negotiate business deals on Rodolfo Zedillo's behalf.

In a letter written in response to the newspaper's article, Rodolfo Zedillo
said, "I want to make perfectly clear that neither I nor the company that I
represent, ever carried out any type of financial operation with these
people [Bastida or Zepeda]."

Zedillo said that after being approached by the two men, he asked his
lawyers to investigate their financial records. He said his attorneys
recommended against the deal. A Zedillo administration official said
Rodolfo Zedillo obtained other financing for the project.

The Zedillo administration official said, "The president has told his
relatives to watch what they do and to obey the law."

Zedillo's predecessor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, has become one of the
most reviled figures in Mexico, based in large part on his brother Raul's
use of his proximity to the president to make millions of dollars in
business deals, many of which are now under investigation by U.S., Mexican
and Swiss officials. Carlos Salinas is living in exile in Ireland and his
brother is in prison in Mexico.

Insofar as the Juarez cartel's efforts to purchase Banco Anahuac, a small
Mexico City bank, prosecutors are investigating allegations that Zepeda and
Bastida bought controlling shares of about $10 million in the bank in two
transactions in 1995 and 1996.

Three weeks after the traffickers bought the controlling interest, Mexican
banking authorities refused to let the deal go through.

"A portion of the capital of the Anahuac Financial Group was found to
belong to Amado Carrillo Fuentes' organization," the attorney general's
office said in a statement this week. It is unclear whether the banking
commission knew of the drug-trafficking connection when they stopped the
deal.

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
-------------------------------------------------------------------

BC Pot Boom Forces US Customs To Crack Down At Border Crossings
('Vancouver Sun' Says British Columbia's Multi-Million-Dollar
Marijuana Industry Is Forcing US Customs To Crack Down
At Border Crossings, Leading To Increasingly Long Delays -
Pot Smugglers Busted Recently Have Included People With Young Children
And Even A Couple In Their 70s)

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 14:43:15 -0800
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: Chris Clay 
Subject: B.C. pot boom forces U.S. Customs to crack down at border
crossings
NEWSHAWK: Chris Clay - http://www.hempnation.com/
SOURCE: Vancouver Sun
DATE: March 21, 1998
AUTHOR: Petti Fong Vancouver Sun
CONTACT: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
WEBSITE: http://www.vancouversun.com/

B.C. POT BOOM FORCES U.S. CUSTOMS TO CRACK DOWN AT BORDER CROSSINGS
	
Marijuana smuggling increase means more checks, longer delays on way to the
States.

PHOTO, CAPTION: VAL MEREDITH AT DOUGLAS CROSSING: "Customs is being
careful as they have the right to be," South Surrey Reform MP says. Ian
Smith, Vancouver Sun

B.C.'s multi-million-dollar marijuana industry is forcing U.S. Customs to
crack down at border crossings, leading to a rise in complaints from
America-bound Lower Mainland residents.

Even users of the PACE lanes, normally an expressway for frequent
cross-border travellers, are being made to stop as U.S. Customs agents
tighten their nets in an effort to stop the flow of U.S.-bound marijuana.

And a senior U.S. Customs official says his agents are forced to be
suspicious of everyone - pot smugglers busted recently have included people
with young children and even a couple in their 70s.

"Are we seeing an increase in narcotics? Yes," said Gene Kerven, the area
director for U.S. Customs from Blaine.

"Are we looking more than we used to? Yes we are. Are we doing more
enforcement? Yes."

Reform MP Val Meredith (South Surrey-White Rock) and Washington state
Congressman Jack Metcalfe have been meeting to discuss increased complaints
about aggressive border questioning.

Meredith's constituency assistant Donna Lucas said the MP's office has been
seeing more than the usual number of complaints lately from B.C. residents
about their treatment at the American border.

"For a couple of years, it seemed to slack off, but recently, people have
been saying they've noticed the customs officers have been more protective
and maybe a bit overzealous."

Lucas, who was in Blaine, this week applying for a PACE sticker for
Meredith, said about one in three PACE drivers were getting stopped and
questioned.

The high demand for B.C.-grown marijuana and the lure of quick profits from
selling the product south of the border is drawing a wide range of
smugglers, Kerven said.

"What's really changed is the people doing it and that's been a dramatic
impact. You can't tell any longer who's doing it. We had a 73-year-old man
and a 71-year-old woman with 24 pounds [about 10 kilograms] of marijuana in
their truck the other day."

On that same day, Kerven said a man and woman with two young children in
the car were stopped at the border and eight kilograms of marijuana were
found in their car.

At the Peace Arch crossing Friday afternoon, U.S.-bound Argun Tekant said
he's getting questioned more than he used to a year ago.

"I first noticed it last September. I go down frequently and I rarely got
stopped until last fall, but they checked my trunk and everything," said
the computer programmer.

Meredith said many B.C. residents living so close to the Washington state
forget sometimes they're entering a different country, with its own laws
for entry.

"There's a zero tolerance at the border and customs is being careful as
they have the right to be," Meredith said.

"Canada is being used as a gateway. There's high-quality marijuana being
grown here and it has, unfortunately, become one of our more popular exports."

In December, Metcalfe asked the U.S. Attorney-General Janet Reno to
investigate allegations that American inspectors are harassing people at
the Washington-B.C. border.

American customs officers began noticing about a year ago the increased
number of people caught smuggling marijuana, Kerven said.

"The demand for B.C. marijuana is just outrageous. With the drop in the
Canadian dollar, you can trade that for U.S. funds and make a large profit.
What you buy for $3,500 a pound, you can sell for $6,000 once you go south."

Earlier this week U.S. Ambassador Gordon Giffin accused the media of
blowing out proportion stories of harassment.

In the past month, newspapers have reported incidents in which Canadian
travellers have been bullied, threatened and banned from the U.S. by
aggressive immigration and customs officers.

Giffin said there is no pervasive policy or a pervasive experience of
hassling at the border.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cost Of Cleaning Up Site Said Coming Next Week ('The Record' In Ontario,
Canada, Notes The City Of Cambridge, Ontario, Is Trying To Figure Out
What To Do With A Former Foundry Unloaded For $1 Several Years Ago -
Extent Of Toxic Contamination Will Be Known Next Week, The Owner
Owes $900,000 In Back Taxes And Hydro Bills, And Shares The Property
With The Church Of The Universe And Its Pot-Smoking Members -
URL For Church Included)

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 17:33:22 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: Cost Of Cleaning Up Site Said Coming Next Week
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Starr" 
Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario)
Pubdate: March 21, 1998
Contact: recordletters@southam.ca
Author: Bob Burtt
Editors note: The Church of the Universe maintains a website at:
http://www.iamm.com/

COST OF CLEANING UP SITE SAID COMING NEXT WEEK

Site pollution and marijuana-smoking members of the Church of the Universe.

Those are the difficult issues faced by Cambridge city officials as they
try to decide what to do with the Kanmet site in Preston.

Officials expect to know next week the extent of contamination and the cost
of cleanup at the site which was once used as a foundry.

The city also wants to get the Church of the Universe and its pot-smoking
members off the site, but that's no quick or easy task.

John Long bought the Kanmet property for a dollar several years ago from
foundry operators anxious to dump the property and expensive environmental
problems associated with the site.

Now, Long owes the city $900,000 in back taxes and hydro bills.

He shares the property with the Church of the Universe, a group known for
using pot as a sacrament.

Last month council rejected a recommendation from staff that the city pay
Long $12,500 to vacate the site and turn the deed over to Cambridge.

In turn, the city would have sold the property to the Preston Branch of the
Royal Canadian Legion.

Both deals were subject to findings in an environment consultant's report.

Buying Long out would have been the quickest way to get rid of him and the
church members who have rankled residents.

But the plan failed to get the support of the councillors who vowed not to
put any money in Long's pocket.

Instead, the city decided to go ahead with a process that could eventually
see the city take over the property for back taxes.

But that process could take a year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Plans For Pot Club Go Ahead ('London Free Press'
Says A Civilly Disobedient Group Planning To Open
A Medical Marijuana Buyers Club In London, Ontario,
Will Start Distributing Applications On Monday)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 10:29:24 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Canada: Plans For Pot Club Go Ahead
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Chris Clay 
Source: London Free Press (Canada)
Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Website: http://www.lfpress.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

PLANS FOR POT CLUB GO AHEAD

A group planning to open a medical marijuana buyers club in London will
start distributing applications on Monday, a spokesperson says.

Pete Young said supporters will be delivering some applications while
others can be picked up at his Organic Traveller store at 343 Richmond St.

He said club membership will be restricted to people with doctors' letters
confirming they have diseases alleviated by pot intake.

Young said supporters have gathered up to 36 names of potential members
since an announcement Feb. 13 that the club was planned.

A club location is expected to open by May 1 and home deliveries could
start as early as April, he said.

Lynn Harichy, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, and her husband, Mike, were to
organize the London outlet. They couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Zero Tolerance' At Imperial Oil - Drug-Testing Policy Riles Refinery Workers
('Canadian Press' Says Imperial Oil Is Still Forcing
A Tough Drug-Testing Policy On Employees Across Canada
Despite A Court Ruling That The Program Is Discriminatory)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 16:21:33 -0700 Subject: Drug Policy- Imperial Oil From: "Debbie Harper3" To: mattalk SOURCE: Calgary Herald PUB DATE: March 21, 1998 (A13) letters@theherald.southam.ca 'ZERO-TOLERANCE' AT IMPERIAL OIL Drug-testing policy riles refinery workers Paula Arad The Canadian Press TORONTO Imperial Oil is still forcing a tough drug-testing policy on employees across Canada despite a court ruling that the program is discriminatory. "It's disgusting that a company of this magnitude and class is doing this." said Scott James, an operator at Imperial's refinery in Sarnia, Ont. "The policy is a crock of beans." Imperial says it can enforce the policy because the provincial court decision it's appealing was unclear in it's order to the company. The January ruling upheld a 1993 landmark decision by the Ontario Human Rights Commission that found Imperial's policy relied on stereotypes about people with drug or alcohol problems. The policy, implemented in 1991, requires its 7,000 employees to reveal any drug and alcohol problems, no matter how old. Failure to do so could lead to firing. While the zero-tolerance policy applies to all workers, those in less supervised "safety-sensitive" jobs - about 700 people - are subject to even harsher rules such as random testing for drug and alcohol use, said Barbara Hejduk, an Imperial spokeswoman. "People are upset", said David Dennis, an operator at Imperial's refinery in Sarnia, Ont., where the initial human rights complaint originated in 1992. Some 350 employees there are subject to random testing. "I find it embarrassing to urinate in a bottle. It's demeaning," said Dennis, who has been tested twice in seven weeks. "There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the number of times you can e tested. I don't drink alcohol of any kind and I certainly don't do drugs. I never have. This is why I find it personally offensive," said Dennis. A computer program determines how often employees are tested but it's at lest once a year, said Hejduk. It's not likely, but workers could be tested every time they work a shift, she said. Hejduk was aware employees are unhappy with the company's position, but said, it's a stand Imperial must take to ensure safety. "That is a big farce." said James. "We have more safety features built in than you could imagine. I could not blow up this place if I wanted to." Both he and Dennis agreed there's a need for a strict policy to maintain standards, but objected to being tested without reason. "As soon as you walk in the gates you have to prove you're innocent," said James, who complained the testing area in not very private. Marty Entrop, the employee who brought the initial complaint against the company in 1992, said the battle ahead is less painful than what he and his family have been through. "We're not opening up old wounds any more," said the reformed alcoholic who was forced to disclose his problem when the policy went into effect in 1991- seven years after his last drink.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis - MP Wants Research Into Medicinal Use (Britain's 'Eastern Daily Press'
Notes Dr. Ian Gibson, A Labour Party Member
Representing North Norfolk In Parliament, Has Questioned The Evidence
On Which Home Secretary Jack Straw Continues To Rule Out Legalising Cannabis,
And Has Called On The Government To Commission A Study Of The Evidence)

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: ART: CANNABIS : MP wants research into medicinal use
Cc: press@drugtext.nl, editor@mapinc.org, mape@legalize.org
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 13:49:53 +0000
Source; Eastern Daily Press, Norwich, UK
Pub Date : March 21 1998-03-22 Author: David Woodthorpe
Contact : EDPLetters@ecn.co.uk
Comment : Dr Gibson is Labour MP for Norwich North and on the House of Lords
committee.

CANNABIS : MP wants research into medicinal use

Gibson calls for study on drugs.

A Norfolk MP has called on the Government to commission a road-based study
of drugs while questioning the evidence on which Home Secretary Jack Straw
continues to rule out legalising cannabis.

Dr. Ian Gibson says it is important that the Home Office does not 'stick its
head in the sand' but listens and responds to the debate.

In calling for a fresh look at the scientific evidence, the backbench Labour
MP for Norwich North is adding his voice to that of Conservative
David Prior.

The 43-year-old MP for North Norfolk recently called for more openness when
considering the drugs question after he admitted smoking cannabis until his
late 20's.

But the gulf between the two camps was highlighted last night when former
Home Office minister Ann Widdicome spoke to
Tory Party members in the Cromer heart of Mr Prior's constituency.

Miss Widdicombe accused Body Shop boss Anita Roddick of making a joke out of
drug-taking when the cosmetics guru handed out cannabis seeds at the launch
of a new beauty range called Hemp.

She said: "The law is that cannabis is illegal and it is illegal for
perfectly good reasons. It is not responsible to laugh at that in a major
marketing enterprise which is aimed at young people."

Mr Straw takes a firm view on illegal drugs, refusing to countenance
legalising cannabis even for medicinal use, though his department has
granted licences for researchers to experiment.

But writing in today's EDP, Dr Gibson says: "An in-depth look at the
scientific evidence demonstrates that the certainties on which Mr Straw
bases his argument, and the Government's position, are difficult to support."

The drugs debate, he points out, has become "polarised" and requires the
rigour of a commission established by the Government to review the
scientific evidence - especially in connection with cannabis's alleged
health-promoting properties.

Dr Gibson compares the taking of cannabis with the consumption of alcohol.

And he writes: "Most people in society have learned to use a
potentially-dangerous substance, which shares certain negative effects with
cannabis, in measures which are both tolerable and in some ways efficacious."

"There is a strong case for treating the smoking of cannabis in much the
same way as we treat the consumption of alcohol."

Dr Gibson says he remains four-square behind current drug laws: "I believe
that the current Government's position in regard of drug is the correct one
but as we learn more then our views should evolve. If, for example,
evidence came out that cannabis would be clearly advantageous as a medicine
then it would seem to be illogical to ignore such evidence."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Time To Unlock The Secrets Of Cannabis (Companion Piece
In Britain's 'Eastern Daily Press' Does A Good Job Of Briefly Summarizing
The Home Secretary's Statements Replete With Junk Science References,
And Contrasting Them With What The Peer-Reviewed Science Suggests)

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: ART: Time to unlock the secrets of cannabis : March 21
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 13:49:46 +0000
Source, Eastern Daily Press, Norwich, UK
Pub Date : March 21 1998
ART: Time to unlock the secrets of cannabis
Contact : EDPLetters@ecn.co.uk
Comment : Dr. Ian Gibson is former Dean of Biology at the University of East
Anglia and now Labour MP for Norwich North.
Ian Gibson MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Time to unlock the secrets of cannabis

Cannabis has for years been branded an illegal and harmful substance but
Labour MP Ian Gibson says the Government should take a fresh look at the
drug and its uses.

In a recent interview on the Breakfast with Frost programme, Home Secretary
Jack Straw said: "The evidence is strong about cannabis. If you look at the
journals, it's all there, about the long-term (detrimental) effect of cannabis."

Mr Straw's remarks demonstrate how the whole cannabis debate has become
highly polarised with the public being presented with totally-opposite
arguments on the health effects of cannabis.

Some advocates of the decriminalisation of cannabis claim that the drug is
"safer than aspirin" while others adopt Mr Straw's line and argue that the
drug is a deceptively-dangerous substance. It may seem obvious that policy
on the use of cannabis should be based on scientific evidence, factual
information and common sense.

However, an in-depth look at the scientific evidence demonstrates that the
certainties on which Mr Straw bases his argument, and the Government's
position, are difficult to support.

The tragic death of a young Norfolk girl was linked to the drug Dianette,
which is a contraceptive drug also prescribed for the treatment of acne. Up
until January this year, six deaths were attributed to adverse reactions to
this substance.

Yet hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from taking Dianette.

This is a stark illustration that there is no such thing as a totally safe
drug, be it for medical or recreational use. Dianette, like so many
prescribed drugs, presents a small risk of side effects and highlights the
need for ongoing research and risk / benefit analysis.

So what does science tell us about cannabis? A technical report, which was
conducted for the United States Toxicology programme, looked at the toxic
effect of 1-transdelta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which is the major
psychoactive component of cannabis).

The study revealed no evidence of carcinogenic activity in rats and only
equivocal evidence in mice. Furthermore, the report found no human
epidemiological or case reports linking THC with cancer.

There is little doubt that cannabis is significantly less likely to cause
cancer than tobacco, a drug sold over the counter in the House of Commons.
However, this and many other studies demonstrate a less favourable picture
of the neuro-behavioural effects of THC, which reveal problems with mood
swings, impairment of short-term memory and altered perception of visual and
auditory stimuli.

Other detrimental findings recorded in several different studies on chronic
cannabis users included problems with reduced sperm count and a decrease in
T cells and interferon levels which effect the ability of the body's immune
system to ward off infection.

Conversely, other studies have reported that cannabis smoking has no effect
on the immunity system, or that cannabis is in fact a slight stimulant to
the immune system.

Cannabis has been used successfully for a number of applications. Theses
include reducing pain and inflammation; lowering the intraocular pressure in
glaucoma; relieving the nausea associated with chemotherapy; stimulating
appetite; calming diarrhoea; and relief from muscle spasm.

It is, however, debatable as to whether the medical benefits of cannabis
have been replaced by more sophisticated drugs which have been developed in
recent years.

For example, the use of beta-adrenoceptor blockers or pilocarpine to treat
glaucoma has reduced interest in the use of THC for this application.

Cannabis still ahs a lot of pharmaceutical secrets for scientists to unlock
and it is crucial that the stigma surrounding this substance is not allowed
to prejudice further research.

Given what we know about the toxicity of tobacco, I have some sympathy with
Mr Straw when he said: "If we were to start from scratch we would certainly
say that tobacco is a bad idea... we would, I think, have banned it."

HOWEVER, it was his remarks about alcohol which I believe inadvertently
point us in the direction of a sane and workable drugs policy.

Mr Straw said: "Alcohol, it's a drug, yes, it is a drug but it is one we are
used to dealing with."

Of course the misuse of alcohol is a problem that deserves our attention,
indeed the lethal cocktail of alcohol and the motor car has lead to the
deaths of many thousands in road accidents, and one could argue that factor
alone makes it more dangerous than cannabis.

However, it is true to say that the vast majority of people who take alcohol
do so without causing medical or social harm. Most people in society have
learned to use a potentially-dangerous substance, which shares certain
negative effects with cannabis, in measures which are both tolerable and in
some ways efficacious.

There is a strong case for treating the smoking of cannabis in much the same
way as we treat the consumption of alcohol.

The commonly-articulated goal of a "drug-free Britain" is a highly desirable
one - however, it is no more achievable than a crime-free Britain" or indeed
a "risk-free" drug.

Of course the Government should design policies aimed at reducing the use of
drugs, but these policies must be flexible, allowing all the agencies to
tailor their approach to suit individual drug cases.

Heavy-handed methods could lead to users avoiding seeking help through fear
of Draconian penalties.

President Jimmy Carter said: "Penalties against a drug should not be more
dangerous to the individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they
are they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws
against the possession of marijuana."

President Carter's words were in response to the Shafer Commission which in
the early 70s conducted a massive survey of drug use in the USA.

I believe our Government should commission a similar, but broader-based
study of drugs and drug use. The conflicting scientific information on
cannabis suggests that the commission should include an extensive review of
the science in its remit.

I hope that the House of Lord's inquiry, which is to reopen the whole
question of continuing to outlaw cannabis, acts as the catalyst needed to
bring about this wider debate.

When Mr Straw next trawls through the journals he will find as many
different research papers as there are opinions, but through the fog of
debate he will find one fact stands out: pumping more and more money into
law enforcement has not made the drug problem go away, and it probably never
will.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

MP's Public Admission On Cannabis Is Welcome (Letter To Editor
Of Britain's 'Evening News' In Norwich Commends North Norfolk's Conservative
Member Of Parliament, David Prior, For Publicly Admitting He Smoked Cannabis
In His Youth)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 10:34:44 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: MP's Public Admission on Cannabis is Welcome
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

MP'S PUBLIC ADMISSION ON CANNABIS IS WELCOME

I would like to congratulate North Norfolk Conservative MP, David Prior,
for publicly admitting that he smoked cannabis in his youth.

This comes at a time when a poll of new MPs revealed that 20 per cent of
them have tried an illegal drug.

Yet so far the number that have announced it publicly can be counted on one
hand.

To the rest I say come out, have no fear of an adverse public reaction, we
are behind you and support honesty.

The truth is that almost every adult in the UK has either taken an illegal
drug or known someone who has and not reported them.

We're all guilty of that. And those who have not are usually busy smoking
cigarettes and drinking alcohol, probably with the occasional Valium thrown
in.

For a Government to ban a remarkably safe plant like cannabis, whilst
profitting from the trade in dangerous legal drugs like alcohol, is
hypocritical, to say the least.

To publicly support prohibition whilst concealing their own 'law-breaking'
past, is downright dishonest.

So let's have some more of the spirit of honesty shown by David Prior.

Let's hear from our MPs - have you taken an illegal drug and do you think
that taking such substances should be punished.

It is punishment that is the real issue of the question: Should drugs be
legalised?

sincerely

Alun Buffry Winter Road Norwich
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Ethical Debate - Sex, Drugs, And The Invasion Of Privacy ('British Medical Journal'
Discussion About The Efficacy Of Cannabis In Helping Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Focuses On Whether Nurses Should Inspect A Hospitalized Patient's
Baked Goods - And Concludes 'Silence May Be The Best Advocacy')

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 21:24:37 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: BMJ: ETHICAL DEBATE: Sex, Drugs, And The Invasion Of Privacy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: British Medical Journal - No 7135 Volume 316
Pubdate: Saturday 21 March 1998
Contact: bmj@bmj.com
Website: http://194.216.217.166/bmj/

ETHICAL DEBATE

SEX, DRUGS, AND THE INVASION OF PRIVACY

Patients who are in hospital for long periods may want the same level of
privacy they have in their own homes. A clinical team from John Radcliffe
Hospital Oxford describes the case of a young man with multiple sclerosis
who was suspected of taking cannabis while in hospital for respite care. An
ethicist, nurse, doctor, and manager from the Multiple Sclerosis Society
give their views on the issue.

RESPECT FOR PRIVACY AND THE CASE OF MR K

Julian Savulescu, Rachel Marsden, Tony Hope

In Britain, the patient's charter specifies standards of rights and dignity
for patients. Little guidance is given about what this means in practice,
other than the desirability of providing separate washing and toilet
facilities for men and women in hospital. Respect for privacy, however,
goes far beyond this. Here we consider the case of Mr K (box).

Mr K And The Cannabis Cake

Mr K, a former carpenter and artist, is 35 years old. He has multiple
sclerosis, which was diagnosed 10 years ago. Mr K has lived with his mother
since his wife left him seven years ago. He needs full assistance with
activities of daily living, and this is provided by his mother. Respite
care is arranged at a rehabilitation hospital.

Mr K's mother asked if her son could smoke cannabis in the rehabilitation
hospital. "He has smoked since he was a teenager. I was against it for a
long time, but it's one of the few things he can enjoy now. He gets very
agitated if he doesn't get his dope, and his spasms are much worse." After
consultation with colleagues, the ward sister told Mr K's mother that staff
could not knowingly allow him to consume illegal substances on hospital
premises.

Mr K was admitted to hospital. Every day his mother brought him a cake,
which he ate with relish. One nurse suggested that the cake might contain
cannabis. The staff were in a quandary; should they investigate further?

Hospitals And Privacy

Privacy is often at risk in hospital. Patients may feel threatened if staff
ask them unnecessarily personal questions or if parts of their bodies are
exposed unnecessarily during physical examinations. Confidentiality, one
aspect of privacy, can be breached when there is unwarranted access to
facts about patients. Yet another side of privacy is the freedom to engage
- in private - in activities that are important to us.

In this paper, we wish to highlight the importance of privacy in two groups
of patients - those admitted to hospital with terminal diseases and
chronically ill patients who spend long periods in hospital. For these
people the hospital may be home, and they may need enough privacy to engage
in important personal relationships and other activities that they value
highly.

If hospital is home, attempts should be made to allow patients the same
privacy they would enjoy at home. This includes providing space and time
that are their own, so that they can do what they want, free from
interference. Sexual relations between consenting adults would not
necessarily be precluded. Important limitations to privacy exist, however,
and special constraints apply in a hospital (box).

Limitations On Patients' Privacy In Hospital

Patients should not be free to pursue interests that harm or interfere with
others. Private behaviour should not become public in a way that seriously
offends others or incites others to break the law.

Patients generally should not be free to pursue interests that cause
serious harm to themselves.

Provision of private space and time must be consistent with the proper
delivery of health care and must not put an excessive burden on the
available resources.

Privacy And The Use Of Illicit Drugs

Illegal behaviour raises further issues. Under section 8 of the Misuse of
Drugs Act 1971, it is illegal for the occupier of a premises knowingly to
permit the consumption of illicit drugs. The "occupier" refers to someone
with the power to exclude people from the premises, and in a hospital this
probably includes doctors and senior nurses. Health professionals may be in
breach of the law if they knowingly allow the consumption of illegal drugs.
However, an important difference exists between shutting one's eyes to an
obvious breach of the law and respecting privacy.

Privacy is vitally important. The possibility that a patient may be
consuming illegal drugs in hospital should not, by itself, justify invading
their privacy, just as the possibility that patients might be using illicit
drugs at home does not warrant unlimited access to their private lives.

In the case of Mr K, it would be morally right to ensure that he and his
mother are aware of the risks and benefits of using cannabis. But
investigating whether the cake contains cannabis would be wrong unless
staff believe that there is evidence of sufficient risk of harm to Mr K or
to others that would justify intrusion into what is a private matter.

Conclusion

We expect privacy in our own homes and the right to behave in ways that
others might disapprove of without interference. Healthcare professionals
should provide such a level of privacy for patients who spend a long time
or the end of their lives in hospital. For these patients privacy may be
one of the few freedoms they can enjoy, and it is relevant to ask them how
much privacy they would have in their own home. Good reasons are needed for
accepting a lower level of privacy in hospital.

Oxford Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU
Julian Savulescu, clinical ethicist

Churchill Hospital, Oxford OX3 7LJ
Rachael Marsden, unit support nurse

University of Oxford Medical School, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford 0X3 9DU
Tony Hope, reader in medicine, honorary consultant psychiatrist

Correspondence to: Dr Hope

***

COMMENTARY: SILENCE MAY BE THE BEST ADVOCACY

Ruth Carlyle

Healthcare professionals and voluntary organisations supporting people with
medical conditions act as advocates upholding the rights of their clients.
In the case of Mr K, Savulescu et al suggest that the best advocacy can
sometimes be to remain silent.

Cannabis And Multiple Sclerosis

The Multiple Sclerosis Society is often contacted by people who openly
admit that they are breaking the law - people who are otherwise law abiding
and would never have considered taking an illegal substance if they had not
believed it might help them to cope with their symptoms, such as spasms,
bladder control, or fatigue. Some people indicate that they have benefited
from cannabis; some say that taking cannabis has had no impact on their
lives with multiple sclerosis; and others report that it has made some of
their symptoms, such as balance, worse. When we are contacted by people who
volunteer the information that they are breaking the law, we respect their
privacy as adults who have chosen to take cannabis for therapeutic benefit
in their own homes.

Privacy In Hospital ... And At Home

Choices in life can be restricted severely by multiple sclerosis, and any
additional curtailment of independence is therefore important. The greater
the threat to privacy, the more it is prized. How far then should privacy
extend? In a hospital, the ethical dilemma outlined by Savulescu et al is
more complex. The authors suggest that the rule of thumb which we should be
using is the degree of privacy that a person would experience in their own
home. While Mr K was living with his mother, it is unlikely that any
outsider would have noticed that Mr K was eating or smoking cannabis if he
chose to hide the fact. Nevertheless, Mr K's privacy at home would be
compromised by the closeness of his relationship with his mother and his
need to be cared for by her. Privacy is not absolute at home or in
hospital, but relationships operate at different levels according to
context. Professional carers should not assume that they have the right to
be as intimate as a family carer; the level of relationship should be more
like that of a guest or colleague sharing a part of a person's life.

Caring for people has to involve concern for them as individuals with the
right to make choices; it means not asking questions which breach their
privacy. In this situation, ignorance may not be bliss, and it is certainly
not an easy option, but it respects the privacy of the individual as a
person rather than a patient.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, London
SW6 1EE

Ruth Carlyle, manager, information and education

email: RCarlyle@mssociety.org.uk

***

COMMENTARY: PATIENTS SHOULD HAVE PRIVACY AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT HARM
THEMSELVES OR OTHERS

George J Annas

Medical care requires the invasion of privacy. Patients must expose their
innermost thoughts, their bodies, and their sickrooms to strangers. But to
protect human dignity, health providers should limit invasions to those
necessary to accomplish the goals of their patients.

Privacy Of Personal Space

The case of Mr K centres on the privacy of personal space. The critical
sentence in the case study of Savulescu et al begins "If hospital is home."
The hospital is literally home if, as happens in many nursing homes in the
United States, the patient is expected to live there until death. In these
cases we should ensure that patients live their lives as they see fit,
provided their actions do not seriously harm others. For example, sex with
a consenting adult (with the door closed), reasonable amounts of alcohol,
choices in food, ability to keep a locked drawer, freedom to take walks
outside, guests of their own choice, telephone services, and the like
remain important for many hospital patients.

Yet the hospital is not usually home, and very few people would like it to
be. Moreover, the contemporary trend is to transform homes into hospitals,
rather than hospitals into homes.

Should ethical questions be treated as legal problems?

Mr K is in an intermediate position. He has a home, but is admitted
periodically to hospital for respite care. Should he be deprived of the
cannabis that his mother supplies him with at home? The reasoning in this
case illustrates a pervasive and fundamental problem in modern medical
ethics - the tendency to treat all ethical questions as legal problems.(1)
Thus, the nursing staff and the case presenters rely almost exclusively in
their analysis on their personal (I take it, non-legal) interpretation of
English law. We are told, for example, that it is against the law if the
staff "knowingly allow the consumption of illegal substances on hospital
premises," and that section 8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 forbids the
"occupier of a premises knowingly to permit the consumption of illicit
drugs."

A Pragmatic Approach To Privacy

Whether the law actually applies here requires an extensive legal analysis.
While there is no explicit exception for medicinal use of "illicit
substances," I would be very surprised if a prosecution has ever been
attempted of a doctor or nurse who made a reasonable judgment that use of
cannabis in circumstances such as these should be allowed. (And the
"premises" in section 8 probably apply to the venues of parties and other
social gatherings, not hospitals.) As in all decisions concerning medical
ethics, the focus should be on the patient and his or her wellbeing. If
allowing his mother to supply cannabis in cake helps medically, does not
harm any other patient or staff member, and is what Mr K wants, it should
be permitted.(2,3)

Finally, I would revise the three proposed limitations on patients' privacy
by deleting the third altogether (resource allocation is really a separate
issue) and combining the first and second. Thus, patients should be free to
pursue their own interests and activities so long as this pursuit does not
harm others or cause serious harm to themselves.

Health Law Department, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston,
MA 02118-2394, USA

George J Annas, professor of health law

email: annasgj@bu.edu

References

1 Annas G J. Standard of law: the law of American bioethics. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1993.

2 Kassirer J P. Federal foolishness and marijuana. N Engl J Med
1997;336:366-7.

3 Annas G J. Reefer madness: the federal response to California's medical
marijuana law. N Engl J Med 1997;337:435-9.

***

COMMENTARY: NURSES SHOULD RECOGNISE PATIENTS' RIGHTS TO AUTONOMY

Pippa Gough

When people become dependent on others for care, their choices and actions
may be affected and channelled by their carers' moral judgments and values
about what is good and right. Although this extends across daily living, it
is brought into sharp focus in relation to two key areas - the choice to
break the law and the freedom to have sex as one wishes.

Although the case of Mr K highlights the former, in this instance the
desire to use illegal drugs, the issues raised are equally applicable to
the second area concerning sex and sexuality. Ultimately, we are discussing
the principles underpinning the patient's right to autonomy and the nurse's
obligation to maintain and promote this.

Patients' Autonomy Underpins Professional Practice

Nursing has struggled as much as any of the professions to shake off the
practices of paternalism, the creation of dependency, and coercion, however
subtly or benignly these are presented. We have probably been successful in
raising the debate even if we have not influenced completely the way we
deliver care.

The nurses' code of professional conduct, which provides the fundamental
framework for professional practice, has strongly influenced these
changes.(1) Recognition of a patient's autonomy underpins the code. At its
most fundamental, this means respecting individuals' choices concerning
their lives and, where necessary, providing an environment of privacy and
confidentiality so that these choices can be pursued.

Personal Privacy And Public Peril

The limitations to a nurse's duty of care in this respect are tempered only
by the balance between the protection of personal privacy and the threat of
public peril. In other words, this duty of care extends beyond the
individual to society, and nurses are accountable for their actions in
terms of each. The dividing line between the two, however, is rarely clear
and dilemmas abound. Moreover, the nurse's own values may colour his or her
interpretation of what might infringe the public interest, especially if
this involves unlawful activity.

In the case of Mr K, the possible consumption of cannabis within the ward,
which is after all his home during the respite period, does not seem to
threaten the public interest in the slightest. Protection of Mr K's privacy
therefore remains paramount. The nurses involved are not sure that cannabis
is being consumed, and as this knowledge might affect their legal position,
they should investigate no further unless this may present problems in
respect of potentially harmful drug interactions. They should respect Mr
K's right to consume cannabis if he wishes, and to do so on the ward,
without further questions being asked. Promotion of autonomous action in
relation to pursuing sexual relationships should be dealt with similarly.

Royal College of Nursing, London W1M 0AB
Pippa Gough, assistant director nursing policy

email: pippa.gough@rcn.org.uk

Reference

1 United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Visiting. Code of professional conduct. London: UKCC, 1992.

***

COMMENTARY: HOSPITAL CAN NEVER BE HOME

Michael Saunders

The problem is that hospitals are not home, and never can be. The
development of units for young disabled people in the 1960s and 70s raised
hopes that homely environments could be created within the NHS. These
aspirations were not realised; nor were they realistic. This has led to
moves to create small family units in community settings and the provision
of adequate facilities to maintain people in their own homes. Regrettably,
facilities and resources remain limited and people are still admitted to
hospital for respite care. Unless respite care involves assessment or
treatment, hospitals of any sort are an inappropriate environment for most
people with chronic neurological disease.

Underlying the question of the nature and use of hospitals is the wider
issue of the purpose of the NHS. The NHS is probably not there to provide a
"home," however much we may want to transport home life into an NHS hospital.

Mr K's Habit Might Distress Others

Cannabis is still illegal, although many people do smoke it. Whether it is
a useful drug in multiple sclerosis is a matter for debate, but it is not
prescribed officially. Although the ward staff may be sympathetic to Mr K's
predicament, they cannot allow him to smoke cannabis. Public servants are
obliged to stay within the law and making exceptions could lead them down
the "slippery slope" of acquiescing to all sorts of illegal practices.
Apart from this, the environment of many rehabilitation units would mean
that Mr K's smoking of cannabis would impinge on the privacy of others, who
might find his habit distressing.

Eating cake, however, seems harmless enough. The staff are certainly not
detectives and if Mr K eats cannabis cake they should have no means of
finding out. The relationship between Mr K and staff should be one of
mutual trust, however, which places an obligation on Mr K and his mother
not to deceive the unit once the matter has been discussed and permission
refused.

Sexual Relationships Are Important To Disabled People

Sexual relationships in hospital are a problem because of lack of privacy.
There is no reason why sexual relations should be barred in hospitals,
providing the privacy and feelings of others are protected. This can be a
very important part of the life of someone with a chronic disability. The
failure to provide facilities for sexual relationships may be a reflection
of the attitudes and perceptions of able bodied staff to people with
disabilities.

Anandgiri, Thorpe Underwood, York YO5 9ST
Michael Saunders, consultant neurologist

email: Michael.Saunders@btinternet.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Policemen Who Sold Ecstasy Are Spared Jail (Britain's 'Times'
Says The Judge In The Case Condemned A Third Officer
Who Set The Other Two Up And Sold The Story
To 'News Of The World' Newspaper)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 17:45:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Policemen Who Sold Ecstasy are Spared Jail
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Times The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998
Author: Michael Horsnell

POLICEMEN WHO SOLD ECSTASY ARE SPARED JAIL

TWO policemen escaped with community service orders yesterday for supplying
Ecstasy tablets. A judge said they did not deserve to go to prison and he
condemned another officer who set them up and sold the story to a
newspaper.

A senior lawyer in the Crown Prosecution Service criticised the sentences.
"This is unthinkable," he said. "The usual sentence for supplying one or
two tablets of Ecstasy on a social basis is 12 to 15 months. These two men
were policemen ... They knew more than most the criminality of what they
were doing."

PC John Capello, 36, based at Paddington Green police station in West
London, and his friend, PC Keith Roberts, 27, were each sentenced to 200
hours' community service.

Judge George Bathurst Norman, who branded the drug a "killer", told them he
would have considered imprisonment if they had not pleaded guilty to a
crime that was engineered by PC Sean Hallewell.

Tudor Owen, for the prosecution, told Southwark Crown Court that Roberts
had extolled the virtues of taking Ecstasy to PC Hallewell. PC Hallewell,
who declined to try it, had already known that Capello was an Ecstasy user.

"PC Hallewell suspected that the officers would not only take Ecstasy but,
because of their apparent knowledge of the drugs culture, would supply it
if asked to do so." He added: "What Hallewell did next was totally wrong.
Instead of using proper channels, he contacted the News of the World."

PC Hallewell was paid an undisclosed sum for revealing the story and giving
his assistance. On August 25, 1996, the News of the World published an
article naming the two officers.

Capello later admitted to police selling PC Hallewell four tablets for #40
while Roberts sold him two for #20.

The judge told them: "You were effectively set up because there is not one
shred of evidence that either of you supplied drugs to anyone before you
supplied them to Hallewell." He added that the News of the World had
distorted the true picture and made the officers out to be major drug
dealers, which they were not.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

600 Million Needed To Fight Drug Scourge ('Irish Independent'
Says Fergus McCabe Of The Inner City Community
Told The Irish National Crime Forum Yesterday That Resources On The Order
Of Those Allocated To Prisons Must Also Be Made Available To Communities
Fighting The Ravages Of 'Drugs')

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 17:37:14 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: 600 Million Pounds Needed To Fight Drug Scourge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: Irish Independent
Contact: independent.letters@independent.ie
Website: http://www.independent.ie/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

'600M NEEDED' TO FIGHT DRUG SCOURGE

RESOURCES of the order of 600m similar to that allocated to provide
prisons must also be made available to communities fighting the ravages of
drugs, the National Crime Forum was told yesterday.

Fergus McCabe from the Inner City Organisation's network stressed that
resources of 20m to 30m were completely inadequate.

On top of financial resources, there also had to be a change of culture in
the management of government departments coupled with an intellectual
openness in addressing the problems.

Mr McCabe told the forum that despite its many faults, the Combined Parents
Against Drugs movement of the 80s represented a lost opportunity for the
authorities to win a place in the communities.

At the same time, prisons which had a huge scope to address the problem,
had failed to do so. The reality for now was that methadone would have to
continue to be part of the answer to the problem.

He revealed that in conjunction with the authorities, the smaller drug
pushers in the city centre are to be targeted in the coming weeks.

Mr McCabe said that while recognising the issue of civil liberties, the
authorities could move against them in the same way as they moved against
city street traders.

The Inner City Community leader pointed out that many of those in his area
in the flats complexes had been disconnected" from the State.

"Young people are divorced from the democratic system and there is ongoing
disconnection from the State in many blocks of flats."

Ann Quigley of the Dublin Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign said that drug
users who come before courts should be referred directly to treatment
services.

Their sentence would depend on the progress which would be monitored and
residential places should be made available for those whose crimes were not
considered suitable for community work sentences.

She urged that money confiscated by the Criminal Assets Bureau from major
drug dealers be immediately handed over for use by treatment centres. It
could be recouped by the State when the CAB is finally given the court
order to take out the money from a frozen account.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pros And Cons For Legalising Cannabis ('Irish Times' Says A Law Professor
At University College Cork Believes The War On Some Drug Users
Is 'In The Final Stages Of A Failed Social Experiment - I Have Children Myself -
I Would Prefer My Son To Take Cannabis Rather Than Alcohol - It Is Unethical
For Us To Continue With This Policy And The Use Of The Criminal Law
In This Way')

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 10:32:35 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Pros and Cons for Legalising Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Contact: lettersed@irish-times.ie
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

PROS AND CONS FOR LEGALISING CANNABIS

A man who has argued for the legalisation of cannabis said yesterday he
would rather his son used cannabis than alcohol. Mr Tim Murphy of the
department of law at University College Cork said the war against drugs was
"in the final stages of a failed social experiment". The supply and demand
for drugs had risen despite spending on anti-drug laws, he said.

"I have children myself. I would prefer my son to take cannabis rather than
alcohol, he said. "I find it a much more beneficial substance." It was
"unethical for us to continue with this policy and the use of the criminal
law in this way", he said.

Anti-legalisation campaigner Dr Michael ffrench-O'Carroll said he could not
accept that young people took drugs "just because it is illegal". Most
patients he treated who used cannabis were regular users, he said.
"Cannabis is the breadand-butter of drug abuse as far as drug users are
concerned," he said.

Vincent Doherty, of the South Inner City Drugs Task Force, said communities
were "outraged" with suggestions that drugs like heroin should be
legalised.

"The dangerous subtext with decriminalisation is to say that perhaps these
communities can't be saved, and perhaps they're not worth saving," he
added.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Academic Calls For Moves To Legalise Cannabis
(Version In 'The Irish Independent')

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 16:56:39 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Ireland: Academic Calls For Moves To Legalise Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: The Irish Independent
Contact: independent.letters@independent.ie
Website: http://www.independent.ie/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

ACADEMIC CALLS FOR MOVES TO LEGALISE CANNABIS

CONFLICTING views on the decriminalisation and legalisation of cannabis and
other drugs were voiced yesterday at the [National Crime] forum.

Tim Murphy of the Department of Law at UCC advocated decriminalising drugs
and told the forum he would prefer his young son to take cannabis than
alcohol.

His argument was that the criminalisation of drugs over the past 70 to 80
years had not worked. The policy of trying to move to a drug free society
was an unrealistic aim, as the trend was going in the opposite direction
throughout Ireland, Europe and the world.

In society supply and demand had increased.

Mr Murphy pointed out that all drugs could be used or abused and the policy
should be one of harm reduction rather than criminalisation.

He asked what purpose it served to criminalise people with drug problems.
They were stigmatised and driven into a criminal realm. The reality was
that people were taking drugs but they were adulterated and came from
underground sources.

"Society should move away from this demonisation of drugs," he said.
Instead, society should take over from the criminal gangs and, in a humane
way, decriminalise drugs.

It was through a treatment system rather than through the judicial or
prison system that society should react. It should move away from the
punitive approach because "addiction is a clinical condition and
criminalising addiction is not the way".

He denied he was defending the trendy liberal thinking from the ivory tower
of a university. The reality is that drugs are available everywhere.

Dr French insisted that cannabis caused loss of memory and loss of
concentration. For 14 to 16 year olds cannabis was not "the bread and
butter" of drug abuse in the community.

Mr Murphy's problem, he said, was that he did not accept the reality of
addiction. Those addicted were getting younger and younger and anything
which would legalise or decriminalise drugs was most irresponsible.

It would lead to much greater problems than those which affected society in
legalising alcohol, tranquilisers and tobacco.

Ms Anne Quigley of the Citywide Drug Group said the legalisation of drugs
were something which was hugely insensitive to bring up with families
devastated by drug addiction.

"Legalisation can be seen as a distraction or a search for another easy
answer to a complex problem," she said.

One speaker who said she was "the mother of a cannabis addict" said the
drug had destroyed their home. She said he was expelled from school because
he could not concentrate and had no interest in a job. She said 95pc of
young people in her area had progressed into other drugs from cannabis.

The issue of special courts to deal with drugs cases was given a mixed
reception by community workers.

Ms Quigley said there was no point in dealing with drug addicts through the
courts without dealing with their habit.

If they had committed a crime in order to feed a drug habit then there
should be a treatment option rather than prison.

She agreed with Fergus McCabe of Icon that more research was needed. He
said the big difference with special drug courts in the USA was that they
had extra resources and facilities linked to treatment which the ordinary
courts did not.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Revamped Drugs Group Attacked ('The Scotsman'
Notes The New And Improved Version Of Scotland Against Drugs
Still Doesn't Have Any Steering Committee Members Who Know Anything
About Drugs)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 17:11:30 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Revamped Drugs Group Attacked
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998
Author: Jenny Booth - Home Affairs Correspondent

REVAMPED DRUGS GROUP ATTACKED

Past controversies revived as campaign comes under fire for excluding
experts from steering committee

THE new look Scotland Against Drugs campaign was attacked last night for
failing to include anyone with detailed knowledge of drugs work in its new
steering committee.

Major drugs organisations expressed "surprise" that they have not been
included in the new, slimmed down group.

Marilyne MacLaren, the convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said
that SAD, whose Scottish Office funding was slashed after its director
clashed with frontline drugs agencies last summer on how to present the
anti-drugs message, was in danger of reviving past controversies.

Critics claimed that SAD was being deprived of up-to-date knowledge of the
drugs field vital to its new job of drumming up private sector funding for
drugs work.

The row threatens to reopen the damaging splits between SAD and frontline
anti-drugs agencies.

David Liddell, the director of the Scottish Drugs Forum, said the lack of
drugs agencies on the new committee was a setback after SDF had made
efforts to re-establish good relations with SAD. He added: "We were
surprised that we weren't included, as we are the umbrella body for drugs
agencies.

"We believe it is crucial for SAD to have direct links with those working
in the field. We are keen to avoid a repetition of the damaging public rows
about the direction of drug policy in Scotland."

Ms MacLaren said: "SAD is in danger of perpetuating the same problems that
bust the campaign last summer. It has been reformed on a smaller scale and
with a smaller budget but is in danger of making the same mistakes."

When SAD was founded by the former Tory Scottish secretary, Michael
Forsyth, its committee of 40 included representatives from Scotland's
community drug problem services, and from SDF.

Drugs agencies ranging from Calton Athletic, which advocates total
abstinence, to Crew 2000, which offer a harm reduction service to
recreational drug users, were also represented.

Last summer, Mr Macauley polarised the drugs debate and alienated half of
the committee by condemning harm reduction groups for "peddling death".

Drugs agencies retaliated by accusing SAD of wasting millions of pounds on
glossy media awareness campaigns, at a time when grassroots projects
helping drugs users were being starved of cash.

Following the row, Labour announced it was reforming SAD's steering
committee and cutting its budget and ordered SAD to concentrate on raising
private sector funding. Mr Macauley was to remain in post.

But drugs agencies said the only member of the new steering committee,
announced by the Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar three days ago, who is
connected with drugs work is the Runrig musician Peter Wishart, a director
of the drugs agency Fast Forward.

They conceded that SAD's deputy chairman, Sandy Cameron, is a member of the
Drug Action Team Association, but added that by profession he is a director
of social work, not a drugs specialist.

Liz Skelton, of Crew 2000, said: "For SAD to raise money is probably the
best way forward for them, but it still requires there should be an
official representative from the drugs field. Fast Forward isn't really
representative. Scottish Drugs Forum is the umbrella body and could have
fed in what is happening on a whole range of levels.

"All we are seeing at new SAD is a scaled-down version of the old SAD. That
is very concerning, as it is very clear that - bearing in mind what
happened last year - any strategy for SAD should include practitioners on
the ground.

"To raise funds they should know what is going on on the ground and have
some method of consultation, and that doesn't seem to be happening."

Ms MacLaren condemned SAD for hijacking the direction of anti-drugs work in
Scotland, saying: "The really sad thing, if you will forgive the pun, is
that SAD is such a waste of money.

"There are individual groups in the communities struggling to keep going
because they are not properly financed. They are doing good work with
addicts and young people but they can't find a few thousand pounds to keep
going.

"Yet we have had slick advertising posters and television ads, whose worth
one seriously questions, and hundreds of thousands of pounds have been
spent on that."

Mr Macauley said last night: "I didn't appoint the committee. I would
direct you to the Scottish Office, who appointed them. I have no comment to
make."

The row erupted as SAD launched its new initiative to raise cash from the
private sector for drugs education.

The Scottish Office has pledged 1 million a year to SAD for three years,
starting in April. The lobby group's task is to persuade private business
to double the money, to train teachers to persuade children not to start
taking drugs. Surveys conducted by SAD in Scotland show that more than 55
per cent of schoolchildren have tried an illegal drug by the time they are
16.

Several companies including Kwik-Fit, Marks & Spencer and ScottishPower
have already agreed to help and the Scottish education minister, Brian
Wilson, met representatives of other companies at a business breakfast in
Glasgow yesterday.

He told them: "Business flourishes in thriving communities and relies on a
steady workforce free of drugs.

"It reaps the benefit in a drug-free community and this is an opportunity
for companies to invest in the future of children. The evidence shows that
those children are increasingly in danger."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pharmrunoff - Studying Environmental Effects Of Drugs In Human Waste
(Scripps Howard News Service Article In 'Minneapolis Star Tribune'
Cites Weekly Magazine 'Science News' Which Reports Today That Scientists
Are Looking For And Finding Leftover Pharmaceutical Drugs In Rivers,
Lakes And Ground Water Supplies In Europe - A Chemist
At The Municipal Water Lab In Wiesbaden, Germany, Screened Waste
And Treated Water, Plus Samples From Lakes And Streams,
For 60 Common Pharmaceuticals And Found 30 Of Them,
Including Several Antibiotics)

Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 10:11:35 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: GDaurer 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Pharmrunoff
Minneapolis StarTribune
Published Saturday, March 21, 1998
Scripps Howard News Service

Studying environmental effects of drugs in human waste

The Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of a major new
campaign to curb the runoff of animal waste from farms into the nation's
streams and lakes. But another type of chemical contaminant in water is
starting to be noted by scientists in Europe and the U.S, if not
environmental regulators.

Call it pharmrunoff.

It stems from a confluence of biological facts.

Humans have been taking billions of doses of increasingly complex
biochemical compounds over the past several decades. Eighty percent of all
office visits to doctors in the United States end in at least one
prescription being written, or more than 2.5 billion a year. Add to that
number billions more bottles of the more than 300,000 over-the-counter
remedies available in stores.

Drugs are designed to dissolve quickly in water, but aren't intended to be
retained in the body too long, lest the compounds accumulate and damage
tissue. So, perhaps 50 to percent of every pill or capful a person takes
passes through the body.

Scientists are starting to find leftover pharmaceuticals in rivers, lakes
and ground water supplies in Europe.

The weekly magazine Science News reports today on recent research efforts
in Europe that have turned up measurable quantities of drugs that are
thought to have come from human waste:

Swiss researchers have found clofibric acid, a widely used
cholesterol-lowering drug, throughout the country's waters, from rural
mountain lakes to rivers flowing through cities.

Scientists in Berlin found levels of the same drug at up to 4 parts per
billion in ground water, and 0.2 ppb in the city's tap water. Other
researchers found other anticholesterol drugs in the city's water supply,
along with ibuprofen and the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac.

A chemist at the municipal water lab in Wiesbaden, Germany, screened waste
and treated water, plus samples from lakes and streams, for 60 common
pharmaceuticals and found 30 of them, including several antibiotics.

So far, none of the research indicates that the drugs are doing harm.
Writing in the recent issue of the journal Chemosphere, researchers at the
Royal Danish School of Pharmacy in Copenhagen said after reviewing more
than 100 published reports on environmental drug residues that they had
found "practically zero" data for gauging toxicity.

But their presence is troubling to some scientists. Antibiotics, for
instance, "may be present at levels of consequence to bacteria -- levels
that could not only alter the ecology of the environment, but also give
rise to antibiotic resistance," said Stuart Levy, director of the Center
for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance at Tufts University in Boston.

And several U.S. researchers investigating mutations in fish and frogs in
the Upper Midwest and elsewhere have questioned whether hormones from
drugs such as birth control pills and estrogen replacement, as well as
hormone-mimicking compounds, might be responsible.

So far, aside from estrogen studies, almost no water sampling for drug
residues has been conducted in the United States, Science News notes,
although the issue is not completely off regulatory radar, either.

Copyright 1998 Scripps Howard News Service. All rights reserved.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

WHO Accused Of Slowness In Evaluating Swiss Heroin-Addiction Treatment
(British Medical Journal, 'Lancet,' Says The Swiss Federal Office
Of Public Health Is Irritated By WHO's Slowness In Evaluating
Switzerland's Policy Of Distributing Heroin To Addicts
Under Medical Supervision - Begun In 1994, The System Is Officially Acclaimed
As Successful)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 14:33:38 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: The Lancet: WHO Accused Of Slowness In Evaluating Swiss
Heroin-addiction Treatment
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: The Lancet - Volume 351, Number 9106
Author: Alan McGregor
Contact: lancet.editorial@elsevier.co.uk
Website: http://www.thelancet.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

WHO ACCUSED OF SLOWNESS IN EVALUATING SWISS HEROIN-ADDICTION TREATMENT

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health is irritated by WHO's slowness in
evaluating Switzerland's policy of distributing heroin to addicts under
medical supervision. The system started in 1994 and is officially acclaimed
as successful.

However, the annual report last month of the United Nations International
Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in Vienna, Austria said: "The Board is not
convinced that the limited positive results claimed can be attributed
solely to distribution of heroin itself, as many factors, such as
prescribing of other controlled drugs and intensive psychosocial
counselling and support, were involved."

UNDCP had, in fact, proposed in 1994 that the results of the Swiss
experiment be evaluated by WHO; this was accepted shortly afterwards by
both WHO and the Swiss government. WHO thereafter convened sundry meetings
of experts. But a final report is not expected before the end of this year.

In the meantime, the Swiss government has invited UNDCP to visit in the
autumn and see for themselves the results of the drugs programme. Similar
programmes are proposed in the Netherlands and Germany. The UNDCP report
underlines the board's "firm belief that no further experiments should be
undertaken until the Swiss project has undergone full and independent
evaluation". Whenever that may be.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Tobacco Corporations Step Up Invasion Of Developing Countries
(Britain's Medical Journal, 'The Lancet,' Notes
Transnational Tobacco Companies Are Increasingly Marketing
Their Products In Developing Countries)

Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 14:43:08 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: The Lancet: Tobacco Corporations Step Up Invasion Of
Developing Countries
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: The Lancet - Volume 351, Number 9106
Author: Cesar Chelala
Contact: lancet.editorial@elsevier.co.uk
Website: http://www.thelancet.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 21 Mar 1998

NEW YORK: TOBACCO CORPORATIONS STEP UP INVASION OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Facing increasing restriction in the USA and other industrialised
countries, transnational tobacco companies are increasingly marketed their
products in developing countries, particularly among women and adolescents.
While smoking rates in some industrialised countries are decreasing at
about 1% a year, those in developing countries are increasing at around 3%
per year. It is estimated that, if current trends persist for the next 30
years, 7 million people from developing countries will die every year from
smoking-related diseases.

Judith Mackay, director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control (Hong
Kong, China) says that while smoking is decreasing in the West,
transnational tobacco companies are turning to softer markets, particularly
in Asia, where health information is less well known.

For the past several years, corporations such as Philip Morris, RJ
Reynolds, and British-American Tobacco have been expanding rapidly in
Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In the USA, Blacks,
Latinos, and other minority groups are special targets of
tobacco-promotional campaigns. In many Black and Latino neighbourhoods,
80-90% of billboard advertising is for tobacco and alcohol.

Tobacco-provoked deaths can only add to the inequities in health of ethnic
and minority populations. As Jeanette Noltenius, executive director of the
Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco (Washington, DC, USA) remarks, "In
the US, minorities such as Hispanics have been specifically targeted by the
tobacco companies since the early 1960s, and have received a double dose of
advertising [in Spanish and English]".

A study of Hispanic eighth graders in the USA revealed that 183% had
smoked within the past 30 days, compared with 66% of Blacks and 178% of
Whites. According to data from the Bureau of Census, US Department of
Commerce, Latino youth will triple in size in 2020, increasing from 9% of
the national youth population to 19%.

Under a deal reached last June, five major tobacco companies have reached a
US$3685 billion agreement to settle existing lawsuits by states and
smokers. That deal, which is now under consideration by Congress,
practically ignores the cigarette makers' overseas operations, a critical
area of concern.

Since the early 1980s, US trade officials, with help from the Office of the
US Trade Representative (USTR) have led a sustained campaign to open
markets in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand among the Asian
nations. In 1995, for example, the US Embassy in Thailand intervened on
behalf of US tobacco companies when the government of Thailand proposed
regulations that required the disclosure of ingredients of all brand-name
cigarettes sold in Thailand.

Senator Jesse Helms and other supporters of the tobacco industry's
interests in Washington have used section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to
threaten retaliatory tariffs on those countries' exports unless they open
their markets to US companies. Helms successfully used these prerogatives
to pressure the Japanese government to open its markets to US tobacco
products.

In Taiwan, US officials' efforts to force Taiwan to open its markets to US
tobacco products have resulted in increased smoking, particularly among
women and children. Talking about US government support for American
tobacco companies, a corporation executive remarked, "We expect such
support. That's why we vote them in".

These actions have prompted the Asia-Pacific Association for the Control of
Tobacco to protest strongly at what they consider an invasion of their
countries by US companies targeting Asian women and children. The
Association has complained about the strong-arm tactics used by US
government officials in their countries. A 1990 report from the US General
Accounting Office established that, "US policy and programs for assisting
the export of tobacco and tobacco products work at cross purposes to US
health policy initiatives, both domestically and internationally".

A prime target for those promoting increased tobacco use is China, where
tobacco companies have been moving steadily inland, with intense
promotional campaigns. It is estimated that of the world's 11 billion
smokers, 300 million are in China. Smokers in the US consume 450 billion
cigarettes a year, while those in China consume approximately 17 trillion
during the same period. Lung cancer in China has been increasing at a rate
of 45% a year.

Lured by financial gains from growing tobacco, 18 million hectares in
China are presently under cultivation. Gains from the sale of tobacco ,
however, may be just short-term, since the cost of treating lung cancer and
other related diseases amply exceed the tobacco profits. According to
Mackay, those excess costs are $200 billion annually on a global scale,
one-third of which is incurred by developing countries.

While anti-smoking efforts gather momentum in the USA, those efforts are
far less effective in developing countries. Such countries' policies will
not be as effective unless transnational tobacco firms are made to limit
their aggressive advertisements.

Countries in Asia and Latin America are conducting health-education
campaigns and have passed legislation to control smoking. Up to now, 91
countries worldwide have enacted legislation to control tobacco
consumption. Although in general this legislation has been passed at the
national level, in the USA, Canada, and in several countries in Latin
America and the Caribbean these laws are being enacted by state or local
bodies.

While the USA blames Colombia and other South American countries for their
cocaine exports, the USA continues its indiscriminate promotional tobacco
efforts in those countries, at a much higher human cost. As things stand
now, only a multidisciplinary strategy including education, taxation,
legislation, and regulation of trade practices of transnational
corporations will be able to control this pandemic.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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