Portland NORML News - Monday, March 23, 1998

Signature Count (Paul Loney, A Chief Petitioner
For The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, Notes The Ballot Initiative Campaign
Has 21,364 Registered Voters' Signatures - Follow-Up From Paul Stanford
Says Assets Are In Hand To Get 40,000 More Of 73,261 To 105,000
Necessary By July)

From: Belmont Law Center [SMTP:blc@hevanet.com]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 1998 9:19 AM
To: octa99@crrh.org
Subject: Signature count

As of 23 March 1998, we have 21,364 signatures counted and stored. Thanks
and Praises. Please gather signatures and turn in the filled sheets that
you have.

Paul L


From: "D. Paul Stanford" (stanford@crrh.org)
Reply-To: "stanford@crrh.org" (stanford@crrh.org)
To: "octa99@crrh.org
Subject: Re: Signature count
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 10:42:43 -0800

We need 73,261 registered Oregon voter's signatures, or about 105,000 total
to cover the invalid signatures. So we are exactly 20 percent of the way to
the ballot currently. With recent donations, and the eventual sale of the
race car (via the internet, I have 5 interested people now & lots of other
leads,) we should be able to buy at least 40,000 with currently available
assets. That means we need to collect 40,000 more signatures, over and
above what we should be able to currently pay for after the sale of the
race car, to put OCTA on the ballot. (I should have a video of the race car
and extras on the web by tomorrow.) If we can put over $20,000 in the bank
at once, we will start to raise the price we pay petitioners from its
current rate of 25 cents per signature. Most of our current paid
petitioners circulate other initiatives to make more money too, which we
encourage. We are working hard to raise money and signatures. If you can
help, please do. Thanks!

Sincerely yours,
D. Paul Stanford


We need your help to put this important issue on the ballot in Oregon!
November 3, 1998 ballot question on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, certified
by the Oregon Supreme Court: " 'Yes' vote permits state-licensed
cultivation, sale of marijuana for medical purposes and to adults."

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp

P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Phone:(503) 235-4606
Fax:(503) 235-0120
Web: http://www.crrh.org/

No-Knock Victory (List Subscriber Comments On The Stephen Dons Case
In Portland, Which Began January 27 When Marijuana Task Force Members
Broke Into A House Without A Warrant, Only To Be Met By A Hail Of Bullets
That Killed One Officer And Wounded Two - Suspect Died Suspiciously
In Police Custody - Case Law May Suggest Warrantless Break-In Was Illegal)

To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com, roy.j.tellason%tanstaaf@frackit.com
Subject: CanPat - No-Knock Victory
From: terry.s@juno.com (Terry Smith)
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 14:28:55 EST
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

Police special raiding parties need Ninja costumes, battering rams,
military task force weaponry, and policies that call for outdoing the
most dramatic Hollywood movie depictions of flying into homes and
businesses from the air, ground, swinging ropes into windows, and every
other point of entry to overwhelm the drug suspects. Or, so they argue
when seeking funding to convert retired weekend warriors into what we now
call civilian "law enforcement".

What about the 4th Amendment? On March 28, 1995 Arkansas attorney John
Wesley Hall presented oral arguments to the Supreme Court in the case
Sharlene Wilson v. Arkansas. After twice selling small amounts of pot to
a police informant, Ms. Wilson's home was searched under a warrant,
revealing pot, speed, Valium, a gun, and some "narcotics paraphernalia".
She was sentenced to 32 years and fined.

The court turned into a comedic comparison of modern plumbing and civil
rights. Attorney Hall argued that common law standards required the 4th
Am. to be interpreted to add a knock and announce condition to the
service of search warrants. The fact that when police have broken down
the wrong door in a country where half our households are armed, and
citizens are inclined to defend against surprise intruders, makes it both
stupid and a cause of wrongful deaths when no-knock searches are used. A
Justice Dept. attorney argued that criminals might flush stashes down the
toilet, to which Hall countered that fails to justify eroding a basic

Justice's man argued that if drugs were in indestructible containers, or
in amounts bigger than a TV set, no-knock might not be justified.
Antonin Scalia asked, "Why stop at drugs?" "What if it's stolen jewelry
that could be chucked down the toilet?"

Hall challenged the issue of safety. The state argued that surprise
prevented criminals from reaching for their guns. Hall cited a case
written up in a 1994 Playboy Forum article, "Oops -- You're Dead". He
attached a copy to his brief. It described how innocent citizens don't
reach for guns nearly 50% have at home when police identify themselves,
but many do when they suspect criminals breaking in, while most drug
dealers won't risk the death penalty by knowingly entering a gun battle
with police.

On May 22, 1995 our top court unanimously voted to make knock and
announce rules part of the "reasonable" standard of the 4th Amendment
search warrant execution. Clarence Thomas noted that it was not an
absolute requirement for a police officer to announce his presence, such
as past cases of hot pursuit of a felon. The decision leaves it to local
courts and law enforcement to determine whether dynamic entry is
reasonable in individual cases.

31 states and Federal guidelines mandate knock and announce. The 1995
ruling in Sharlene Wilson v. Arkansas reminds the remaining states that
officers are responsible for details. Any procedural maneuvering to
evade prosecution over Waco or Ruby Ridge aside, Ms. Wilson's conviction
was found to be based upon an illegal search by LEO's exceeding their
reasonable authority.

John Wesley Hall, the Arkansas attorney arguing this case, is the author
of a two volume treatise on the 4th Amendment. Does Mr. Dons, victim of
the recent Portland, OR police assault upon his home without so much as
the benefit of a warrant, have any family or a legal estate which could
contact Atty. Hall for help reviewing the possible illegality of police
tactics? Perhaps Dons' former roommate also has standing for action
against hyper aggressive police criminals, and a need for basic
Constitutional arguments to counter evidence being used against him


Pot Clubs Face Tough Legal Challenge ('San Jose Mercury News'
Says The Federal Lawsuit Being Heard Tomorrow Against Northern California
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Will Be Tough To Overcome,
But Ignores The Consequent Likelihood That A California Jury
Will Ultimately Decide The Issue)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 10:15:58 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Clubs Face Tough Legal Challenge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998
Author: Howard Mintz - Mercury News Staff Writer


>From a purely legal standpoint, California's medicinal marijuana clubs may
be facing their Waterloo this week when the U.S. Justice Department takes
its case against voter-approved Proposition 215 before a federal judge in
San Francisco.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday
in the Justice Department's bid to shut six Northern California clubs,
including the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, owned by Proposition 215
co-author Dennis Peron.

In a lawsuit filed last month that threatens to eviscerate the state's
medicinal cannabis law, the Clinton administration takes the position that
the initiative is in direct conflict with the federal ban on pot.

San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and other local officials may be placing
some political heat on the administration for its tough stance on the
medicinal pot issue, but the law does not appear to be on their side. In
fact, there is little in the way of legal precedent or in the opinions of
law professors and attorneys to suggest that the federal government's legal
position is wrong.

Despite some novel attempts to carve out an exception to the federal
government's power to enforce drug laws, legal experts say there is only a
slim chance that the courts will side with the clubs' argument that the
state's 1 1/2-year-old medicinal marijuana law can survive the federal

``If the feds want to enforce a federal statute, the California initiative
is pre-empted,'' said Jesse Choper, a constitutional law scholar and former
dean of Boalt Hall School of Law. ``It's a very basic point.''

Added Hastings College of the Law Professor Rory Little, a former federal
prosecutor and appellate specialist: ``(The clubs) don't have an Achilles'
heel. They have an Achilles' body.''

For the state's pot clubs, the stakes in the federal case are do-or-die. A
finding by the federal courts that Proposition 215 is barred by federal
drug laws could spell a quick end to California's medicinal pot experiment.

The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center in San Jose, which has been
supported by local authorities, is not a target of the Justice Department's
suit, but a half-dozen other Northern California clubs are named in it.
Those include two clubs in San Francisco and four in Santa Cruz, Marin,
Oakland and Ukiah.

Unlike recent state appellate court decisions restricting the clubs'
ability to sell medicinal marijuana -- which have left some wriggle room
for further court battles -- a loss in the federal case could abort the
medicinal pot movement in California and other states.

Officials familiar with the Justice Department's position say that if the
government prevails in the case against the six Northern California clubs,
it will quickly send warning letters to the other roughly dozen clubs
operating in the state, asking them to close voluntarily.

However, that day may be a year or more down the road because whatever
Breyer decides, it is certain to be appealed, perhaps eventually to the
U.S. Supreme Court.

The six clubs in the case have joined forces to fight off the federal challenge.

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, an outspoken critic of
efforts by the Justice Department and state Attorney General Dan Lungren to
close the clubs, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the judge to
allow the clubs to remain open.

Hailing San Francisco Pot Policy (Physician's Letter To Editor
Of 'San Francisco Examiner' Applauds Hallinan's Notice That City
May Distribute Medical Marijuana If Feds Shut Down CBCs -
'The Bold Entrance Of Municipal Government On The Side Of Reason
And Decency Is Eagerly Awaited')

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 10:08:43 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Hailing S.F. Pot Policy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World"  and "Tom O'Connell"

Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


I have a mixed response to the remarkable report that The City may
distribute cannabis to patients ("Hallinan: Pot will be available," Metro
section, March 15).

Part of me is grateful to live in proximity to a city with San Francisco's
maverick tradition, which so often in the past has placed it in the
vanguard of humane social change.

Part of me is saddened that our national government seems irrevocably
committed to an anti-marijuana witch hunt so lacking in intellectual and
scientific rationale as to be utterly contemptible. It's also saddening
that the ferocity of that witch hunt has frightened the majority of my
colleagues into being accomplices in silence, and prevents the Legislature
from enacting laws that could enable Proposition 215 [for medical use of
marijuana] to work as California voters intended.

Finally, it's disgusting that demagogues like the state attorney general
[Dan Lungren] feel empowered to subvert the will of the people by appealing
to an equivocating and irrelevant state Supreme Court.

The bold entrance of municipal government on the side of reason and decency
is eagerly awaited.

Thomas J. O'Connell, M.D. San Mateo

Medicinal Marijuana (Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Chronicle'
Says The County's District Attorney, Terence Hallinan, Is A Hero
For Defending Patients' Right To Access)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 10:10:09 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Medicinal Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


Editor -- San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan is a hero. His
recently announced proposal to have city employees distribute medicinal
marijuana to patients is a creative method of countering the strong-arm
tactics of the federal government, supported by would-be governor Dan
Lungren, to shut down the medical marijuana buyers' clubs. The critical
issue that should outrage every California citizen, and for that matter
every citizen in the country, is that the Feds are telling a state that its
voters don't know what they are doing, that Washington knows better, and
that the initiative process is nothing more than a minor irritation to
these goons.

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

Enough is enough.

Media Awareness Project Inc.

West Hollywood Mayor Steve Martin To Participate
In Pro-Medical Marijuana Rally In San Francisco On March 24
('Business Wire' Press Release)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 00:14:05 -0800
From: Randy Chase 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Do you suppose that Mayor Schell just might...
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

West Hollywood Mayor Steve Martin to Participate in Pro-Medical
Marijuana Rally in San Francisco on March 24

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 23, 1998--West Hollywood
Mayor Steve Martin will participate in a rally to oppose the federal
government's efforts to ban the use of medical marijuana that will be
held in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 24.

Earlier this week, the West Hollywood City Council united with elected
officials in San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Cruz by passing a
resolution urging President Clinton and the federal government to drop
federal lawsuits against six California cannabis distributors and their
10 operators. The lawsuits impact medical marijuana programs, such as
the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center based in West Hollywood.

The West Hollywood City Council's unanimous passage of the resolution
opposing the federal government's efforts to terminate community-based
medical marijuana programs reflects its long-standing support of the
efforts of these programs to provide safe and affordable access to
marijuana to people with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other medical

For more information about Mayor Steve Martin's participation in the
San Francisco rally, call Mayor Martin at 310/551-2811.


City of West Hollywood

Helen J. Goss, 213/848-6461

213/848-6561 (fax)

San Francisco's Plan On Medical Marijuana (Two Letters To The Editor
Of 'The Los Angeles Times' Support San Francisco's Struggle
To Protect Medical Marijuana Dispensaries)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 11:57:15 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE'S: S.F.'s Plan on Medical Marijuana
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: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


Letters re: S.F.'s Plan on Medical Marijuana

Re "Duel Over Medical Pot Escalates," March 17: I applaud San Francisco
Dist. Atty. Terence Hallinan's generous and compassionate position on the
medical marijuana question. This is particularly impressive considering his
position as the city's figurehead of law enforcement. Hallinan demonstrates
an admirable understanding of what Shakespeare meant when he wrote,
"Earthly power doth then show likest God's, when mercy seasons justice."


* * *

In your article on San Francisco's propensity to oppose the state and
federal governments in health matters, you note its support for needle
exchange programs, beginning in 1992, long before they were legally
accepted. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health issued a consensus
statement on "Interventions to Prevent HIV Risk Behaviors." It stated that
needle exchange programs cause powerful beneficial effects, reducing both
HIV and drug abuse, and that "there can be no opposition to these programs
on scientific grounds." Perhaps our northern neighbors know a lot more than
we give them credit for when it comes to protecting their citizens.

Los Angeles

Lawyer - Teen Slain While Undercover ('Associated Press'
Says Narcotics Officers In Brea, California Pressured A 17-Year-Old Boy
Into Undercover Work During Which He Was Tortured And Strangled
And His Girlfriend Raped, Shot And Left For Dead - He Agreed To Narc
To Get Charges Against Himself Dropped)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 00:39:46 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: GDaurer 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Lawyer: Teen Slain While Undercover


Lawyer: Teen Slain While Undercover

BREA, Calif. (AP) - Narcotics officers pressured a 17-year-old boy into
undercover work during which he was tortured and strangled and his girlfriend
raped, shot and left for dead, a lawyer charged.

Chad MacDonald had agreed to take on the work in exchange for getting a drug
charge dropped that could have carried a lengthy prison term, said Lloyd
Charton, an attorney for the boy's mother, Cindy MacDonald.

``Chad made a couple of busts for them, but they kept saying, `This isn't big
enough. This isn't enough,''' Charton said Sunday. ``(His mother) wanted to
send him back East to get away from the drug community, but they said no.''

Police Chief William Lentini denied the charge.

``We are confident of the facts of the case and fully intend to release
complete and detailed information responding to the allegations made by
Charton as soon as we are legally able to do so,'' he said Monday.

MacDonald was working as an informant for the police department in Brea, a
city about 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, when he and his 15-year-old
girlfriend went to a drug hangout in Norwalk on March 1, Charton said.

The girl, who survived the attack, told police they were held there for two
days, then driven to Angeles National Forest where she was raped and shot.
MacDonald's body was found in a Los Angeles alley the same day, leading to the
arrest of two suspects.

Lentini confirmed that minors are used to make narcotics deals under the
supervision of his detectives. But police did not send MacDonald to the
hangout, he said.

Charton said MacDonald's mother gave written permission to police for her son
to become an informant, but that police assured her he would be watched and
kept safe.

Although she agreed to the deal, Ms. MacDonald was not informed that her son
might have had the option of enrolling in a drug rehabilitation program had he
been convicted of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell, Charton

``She wants very much for the police to be accountable,'' Charton said.

Teen Died Working For Cops, Mom Says ('San Diego Union Tribune' Version)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 12:23:06 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Teen Died Working for Cops, Mom Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998
Author: Denise Levin - Associated Press


Boy allegedly acted as undercover informant

SANTA ANA -- A 17-year-old boy who was tortured and strangled in an alleged
drug den was working undercover for police who had promised he would be
safe, his mother said yesterday.

"The tragic death of Chad MacDonald occurred because he was working as a
police informant," said Lloyd Charton, an attorney for Cindy MacDonald of
Yorba Linda.

"The police didn't keep their word. They wanted more and more and more,"
the attorney said. "They led Cindy to believe he would never be in danger."

The mother was speaking through her attorney because she was too distraught
to appear, Charton said.

Chad MacDonald was working as an informant for the Brea Police Department
when he and his 15-year-old girlfriend went to a known drug hangout in
Norwalk on March 1, Charton contended.

The girl told authorities they were held there for two days, then driven to
Angeles National Forest where the girl was raped, shot and left for dead,
authorities said.

Her boyfriend's body was found March 3 in a South-Central Los Angeles
alley. He was strangled, according to the Orange County Coroner's Office.

Two people have been arrested in the case.

"Chad's desire to please the Police Department led him to the people who
eventually tortured and killed him," Charton said.

Brea police Lt. Mike Messina said yesterday the department would not
comment on Chad's alleged role as an informant and directed all questions
to Police Chief Bill Lentini's office.

Lentini told The Orange County Register that he would neither confirm nor
deny that Chad was an informant. He did confirm that minors are used to
make deals under the supervision of detectives.

But police did not send the boy to the house, he said.

"Regardless what Chad MacDonald was doing, 17 years old is much too young
to pay this kind of price for a string of foolish mistakes," Lentini said.
"But those mistakes weren't ours. They were Chad's."

Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

Plano Undercover Officer Took Teen To Buy Heroin
(According To The 'Dallas Morning News,' A Female Undercover Police Officer
In Plano, Texas, Took A 16-Year-Old Boy With Her Six Times To Buy Heroin,
Then Allowed Him To Use It)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 11:43:58 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US TX: Plano Undercover Officer Took Teen to Buy Heroin
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


Police chief declines to comment on complaints

PLANO - The parents of a Plano teenager expressed anger Sunday that an
undercover police officer took their son to buy heroin, then allowed him to
use it.

Victor and Angela Kollman said at a news conference Sunday that a female
undercover officer drove their son Jonathan, then 16, to buy heroin six
times last fall.

The buys helped rekindle a heroin addiction he had been fighting for two
years, they said in broadcast reports.

Plano Police Chief Bruce Glasscock declined to comment on the Kollmans'
complaints, citing the possibility of a lawsuit.

"We're going to have to talk to our attorneys first," he said.

Jonathan Kollman, now 17, was arrested as part of "Operation Rockfest," an
undercover investigation that has led to 84 cases against 33 adults and
four juveniles. Fourteen of the suspects are students at Plano Senior High
School, Plano East Senior High School or Plano Special Programs School.

"How can a kid get off drugs if someone is offering?" Mrs. Kollman said
Sunday. "We're trying to work with him to get him off of drugs, and we felt
like the people that should have been helping us were not helping."

Victor Kollman declined to say Sunday night whether the family planned to
file a lawsuit. He referred questions about a possible suit to his
attorney, Phillip Wainscott, who couldn't be reached.

The Kollmans said they already had taken their son out of Plano schools,
placed him in rehab and gone through family therapy to help him fight his
two-year addiction.

"The point he was getting better was the time the police contributed to him
getting worse," Mr. Kollman said.

On Oct. 15, the undercover officer picked Jonathan up from home and took
him to a Plano gas station to meet a 21-year-old drug dealer, broadcast
reports said.

The officer then gave Jonathan $98 and watched him buy 10 capsules of
heroin, in a form called chiva, according to notes the officer made during
the investigation.

"I stopped, and Jonathan went into the building to use the one cap of
chiva," the officer wrote. "Jonathan returned to my vehicle and said that
this heroin was better than the last heroin we bought."

Mr. Kollman said getting his son involved in drug purchases wasn't necessary.

"They could have caught the drug dealers in a different way," he said.

Given heroin's potential for a fatal overdose, the Kollmans said they were
surprised an officer would allow their son to endanger his life.

"I just can't understand how they would put him in danger of that," Victor
Kollman said.

At least a dozen teens with ties to Plano have died from heroin overdoses
in the last 18 months, drawing national attention to the affluent city of

The Associated Press and staff writer Mike Jackson contributed to this report.

Salt Lake City Anti-Marijuana Leaflet Draws Wrath Of Education Foundation
(Salt Lake Education Foundation Wants Its Name Removed From Pamphlet
Alleging That 'Excessive Preoccupation With Social Causes, Race Relations,
Environmental Issues' Indicates Someone Smokes Pot)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 23:50:11 -0800 (PST)
From: pcehthns@scn.org (SCN User)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net, november-l@november.org
Subject: HT: Mormon Anti-Drug Pamphlet
Reply-To: pcehthns@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

> The Salt Lake Education Foundation asked one of its members, attorney
> Walter Plumb, to remove its name from an anti-marijuana brochure being
> circulated to parents. The pamphlet, which states that "excessive
> preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues,
> etc." indicates someone smokes pot, has angered some recipients. So have
> entries indicating that certain drug culture slang is exclusive to blacks
> or Hispanics.


Vivian Mc Peak
Seattle Peace Heathens

"They that can give up essential liberty to
obtain a little temporary safety deserve
neither" - Ben Franklin

California's Ban On Pot Selling Is A Plus (Ignorant Staff Editorial
In 'Dallas Morning News' Seems To Say Cancer Patients Who Think
Cannabis Quells Their Nausea Could Be Mistaken, Let Them Gag
Until The Science Meets The Newspaper's Unspecified Standards)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 11:50:18 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Dallas MN Editorial: California's Ban on Pot Selling is a Plus
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998

Our Newshawk writes: I would recommend sending informative info to the DMN.
Length does not matter. Mark letters to the attention of Rena Pederson. She
is the editor of the editorial page.

Medical Marijuana


Walk down the seediest blocks in the country's worst inner cities, and it's
hard not to find a bar open early in the day. Enter one, and it's likely
that a patron will explain the drink in his hand by saying he feels "sick"
if he doesn't start the day with a shot of rye or vodka.

The supporters of California's medical marijuana movement say the sickness
they wish to alleviate goes way beyond satisfying a craving for cannabis.
In the wake of a recent state judicial ruling banning the sale of pot by
so-called cannabis clubs, the mayors of West Hollywood, San Francisco,
Oakland and Santa Cruz wrote President Clinton to see if there is any way
to allow marijuana sales for medical purposes only. Mayor Willie Brown of
San Francisco is especially adamant about opposing recreational drug use
but argues there is a compelling medical need.

The problem arose when the state Supreme Court agreed with an appellate
court that cannabis buyers' clubs are not primary caregivers. That means
they cannot legally sell or dispense marijuana, even under the medical
marijuana initiative approved by state voters in 1996. According to
California Attorney General Dan Lungren, the clubs have been under an
injunction requiring them to close down as of two weeks ago.

Some cancer patients believe, for example, that smoking marijuana helps
them overcome the nausea associated with chemotherapy. Other patients
insist that smoking the weed relieves the pain associated with cataracts.
But science is still divided, and large studies about the effectiveness of
marijuana for medicinal purposes are still under way. It also bears noting
that the main chemical in marijuana can be ingested in pill form with
similar medical results, but without adverse effects on a patient's lungs.

The strict regulation of marijuana as recognized by the California Supreme
Court is imperative. Even if medical science validates the claims of those
who desire to smoke the drug for medicinal purposes, that should not be
allowed to serve as a pretext for outright legalization.

Supreme Court To Decide Search Laws ('Associated Press' Says US Supreme Court
Will Review Case Of Iowa Man Whose Car Yielded Marijuana
During A Police Search To Decide Whether Police Can Be Given
Blanket Permission To Search People's Cars Without Consent
After Stopping Them For Routine Traffic Violations)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 21:58:29 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Supreme Court To Decide Search Laws
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court today agreed to use an Iowa case to
decide whether police can be given blanket permission to search people's
cars without consent after stopping them for routine traffic violations.

The court said it will hear an Iowa man's argument that a police search of
his car that turned up marijuana violated the Constitution's Fourth
Amendment protection against unreasonable searches.

Patrick Knowles was stopped for speeding on March 6, 1996, in Newton, Iowa.
A police officer gave him a speeding ticket and then searched Knowles and
the passenger compartment of his car.

The officer found marijuana and a pipe in the car, and Knowles was
arrested. He was charged with possession of marijuana and keeping marijuana
in his car.

During Knowles' trial, the policeman testified that he did not suspect
Knowles was involved in criminal activity and that Knowles did not consent
to the search.

But a state trial judge ruled against Knowles' argument that the marijuana
should not be used as evidence.

Knowles was convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail. The Iowa Supreme
Court upheld his convictions last October, saying the search was justified
by Iowa law and allowed by the Constitution.

Under Iowa law, police can either make an arrest or issue a citation for a
traffic violation. If they issue a citation the law allows them to make an
``otherwise lawful search.''

The Iowa Supreme Court has interpreted this to allow police to conduct a
search whenever they could have arrested someone, including for a traffic

The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that police can search people upon arrest,
citing a need to disarm suspects and preserve evidence.

Knowles' appeal to the nation's highest court said Iowa was the only state
to authorize a search whenever a traffic citation is issued.

Such blanket authority is arbitrary and ``almost certainly invites police
to utilize the power in a discriminatory manner,'' the appeal said.

Prosecutors said stopping motorists and detaining them to issue a citation
is similar enough to an arrest to justify a search for purpose of
protecting officers' safety. States have broad discretion over such safety
concerns, they said.

The case is Knowles vs. Iowa, 97-7597.

Groups Ask US To Allow Hemp Farming, Now Illegal ('Reuters'
Says The North American Industrial Hemp Council
And The Resource Conservation Alliance, An Environmental Group
Affiliated With Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader, Filed Petitions Monday
With The Drug Enforcement Administration And The Agriculture Department
Seeking To Allow Farmers To Grow Hemp)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 12:00:44 -0500
From: Scott Dykstra 
Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net
To: rumba2@earthlink.net
Subject: CanPat> Hemp to be grown in US?
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

05:31 PM ET 03/23/98

Groups ask U.S. to allow hemp farming, now illegal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Clinton administration was asked
Monday to allow farmers to grow hemp, a relative of banned

Petitions were filed with the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration and the Agriculture Department for a change in
policy, a coalition of farm, business and environmental groups

The DEA was asked to remove industrial hemp from its list of
illegal drugs. The Agriculture Department was asked to create a
licensing system for cultivating the crop.

Hemp, which has been bred to eliminate virtually all the
mind-affecting chemicals in botanically identical marijuana, has
excited interest as a fabric for apparel and furnishings, as
well as as for its traditional use in rope and canvas. It has a
wider color range and a more durable fiber than other natural
textiles, proponents say.

Some Tobacco Belt farmers also have become interested in
hemp as a potentially high-profit alternative to tobacco in view
of attempts to curtail smoking.

Filing the petitions were the North American Industrial Hemp
Council, a trade group for farm and business organizations
interested in the crop, and the Resource Conservation Alliance,
an environmental group affiliated with consumer advocate Ralph

``It's time for America to get its head out of the sand.
Hemp is not a drug,'' NAIHC head Bud Sholts said in a statement.

Law enforcement officials have been reluctant to change
regulations for hemp out of fear it would interfere with
drug-law enforcement, since hemp looks like marijuana.

In January the American Farm Bureau, the largest U.S. farm
group, withdrew its support for research into hemp. Delegates
cited law-enforcement concerns and said they didn't want to be
linked with groups like the National Organization for Reform of
Marijuana Laws Now.

Representative Thielen Argues In DC For Legal Hemp ('Honolulu Star Bulletin'
Notes Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen Joined A National Effort
In Washington, DC, To Persuade The DEA To Allow Industrial Hemp Cultivation)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 16:19:47 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US HI: Rep. Thielen Argues in D.C. for Legal Hemp
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "John McClain" 
Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin
Contact: letters@starbulletin.com
Website: http://www.starbulletin.com
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON -- Hawaii Rep. Cynthia Thielen brought her campaign to make
industrial hemp a cash crop in Hawaii here today, joining a national effort
to persuade the Drug Enforcement Administration to drop hemp from its list
of controlled substances.

"In Hawaii this is economic development," said Thielen, arguing that hemp
would be an ideal replacement for such declining crops as sugar and
pineapple. "And the stumbling block to this economic development is the
lobbying effort by the DEA."

Although it has been grown for thousands of years and used for a wide range
of products from shirts to particle board, industrial hemp has fallen out
of favor in recent decades because of its link to marijuana.

Both plants are from the same "cannabis" species, although experts say
hemp, unlike its cousin, has so little of the hallucinogenic substance THC
that it cannot be used to get high.

Hemp advocates like Thielen say that rather than condemned as a dangerous
drug, hemp should be prized as a versatile, environmentally friendly crop.

Today they unveiled a plan to formally petition the DEA to stop classifying
industrial hemp as an illegal drug, and to ask the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to create a licensing system to permit the cultivation of hemp.

"The U.S. needs a new fiber crop. It needs new crops, period," said Jeff W.
Gain, a director of the North American Industrial Hemp Council.

But the effort faces strong opposition. Both the DEA and President
Clinton's drug control policy director, Barry McCaffrey, contend that
legalizing hemp would damage the government's anti-drug campaign.

Alcohol, Drugs Tied To Crimes, US Report Says ('Associated Press' Item
In 'Boston Globe' Says The First National Survey Of Probationers,
Conducted For The US Bureau Of Justice Statistics, Found That 46.8 Percent
Of Probationers Had Used Alcohol Or Other Drugs At The Time
Of Their Offense - Article Doesn't Mention That's A Figure Considerably Lower
Than That Cited Recently By Califano, CASA And McCaffrey; And Fails To Dispel
An Implied Causal Relationship By Omitting The Exponentially Greater Proportion
Of People Who Used Alcohol Or Other Drugs Who Committed No Crimes)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 20:31:09 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Alcohol, Drugs Tied To Crimes, Us Report Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Dick Evans" 
Source: Boston Globe
Author: Associated Press
Page: A12
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON - Almost half the men and women on probation in the United
States were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they committed the
crimes, the Justice Department said yesterday.

The first national survey of probationers, conducted for the Bureau of
Justice Statistics, found that 46.8 percent of probationers had used either
alcohol, drugs, or both at the time of their offense. This was lower than
use among incarcerated criminals at the time of their offenses. Among jail
inmates, 60 percent had used alcohol, drugs, or both when they committed
their crimes; among state prison inmates, the figure was 49 percent.

Alcohol consumption was more prevalent than drug use. Among probationers,
40 percent had consumed alcohol when they committed their crimes and 14
percent used drugs. Probationers who used alcohol and drugs are counted in
the separate alcohol and drug percentages, which accounts for those figures
totaling more than the combined percentage. The number of probationers
consuming alcohol at the time of their offense was comparable to that of
inmates, 41 percent, but higher than that of state prisoners, 32 percent.

Drug use by probationers during their crime was far below the figures for
jail inmates, 32 percent, or state prisoners, 36 percent. The most common
drug was marijuana. Among all probationers, 67 percent said they had used
marijuana or hashish at least once; 31 percent had used crack or other
forms of cocaine.

Probationers Surveyed On Drug Use ('Los Angeles Times' Version)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 12:08:28 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Probationers Surveyed on Drug Use
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 23, 1998


WASHINGTON--The first national survey of Americans on probation found that
almost half were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they
committed their crimes.

The research showed that 46.8 percent of probationers had used either
alcohol, drugs or both at the time of their offense, the Justice Department
reported Sunday. This was lower than use among incarcerated criminals at
the time of their offenses, according to the survey, conducted for the
Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Among jail inmates, 60 percent had used alcohol, drugs or both when they
committed their crimes; among state prison inmates, the figure was 49
percent. Alcohol consumption was more prevalent than use of illegal drugs.

Among probationers, 40 percent had consumed alcohol when they committed
their crimes and 14 percent used drugs. Probationers who used alcohol along
with drugs are counted in both the separate alcohol and drug percentages,
which accounts for those two figures totaling more than the combined

The number of probationers consuming alcohol at the time of their offense
was comparable to that of jail inmates, 41 percent, but higher than that of
state prisoners, 32 percent. But drug use by probationers during their
crime was far below the figures for jail inmates, 32 percent, or state
prisoners, 36 percent.

The most commonly used drug was marijuana. Among all probationers, 67
percent said they had used marijuana or hashish at least once in their
lives, 31 percent had used crack or other forms of cocaine, 25 percent had
taken stimulants, 20 percent hallucinogens, 15 percent barbiturates and 8
percent heroin or other opiates.

Among all probationers, 35 percent admitted they had at least once consumed
as much as a fifth of a gallon of alcohol in one day. That is the
equivalent of 20 drinks of liquor, three six-packs of beer or three bottles
of wine.

Slightly more than half of all probationers said they had been involved in
a domestic dispute while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both at
some time in their lives.

Sixty-four percent admitted driving a vehicle under the influence of either
or both.

According to the most recent data, there were nearly 3.2 million adults on
probation as of Dec. 31, 1996 -double the 1.6 million adults incarcerated.
Probation is used as a lesser penalty than imprisonment, for less serious
crimes or criminals with no or few prior convictions. Very rarely does a
sentence in such cases include prison time, followed by probation. Although
36.8 percent of the probationers were sentenced to some time behind bars,
this was usually a very short period, said the bureau's policy analyst
Christopher J. Mumola.

The 31.2 percent of probationers also sentenced to jail served an average
of three months. The 5.6 percent of probationers sentenced to prison served
an average of 20 months.

The overwhelming majority of criminals who receive prison sentences are
released on parole, not on probation. Parolees were not included in the
study, which was based on interviews in 1995 with a representative national
sample of 2,000 active probationers.

Copyright Los Angeles Times

Why Send Drug Addicts To Prison? ('San Diego Union Tribune'
Editorial Columnist Laurence M. O'Rourke Says The Recent Calls
By Physicians For Medical Treatment Rather Than Jail For Addicts
Goes Against Prevailing Attitudes On Capitol Hill To Imprison Addicts)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 18:37:51 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Why Send Drug Addicts to Prison?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998
Author: Laurence M. O'Rourke of the Sacramento Bee


A new conflict between politics and science has emerged from a recent
recommendation that the nation treat drug addicts as sick people rather
than jail them as criminals.

More emphasis on medical treatment rather than jail for addicts was
endorsed by a group of doctors, including top officials from the
administrations of Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton.

But there was an immediate negative reaction from Capitol Hill, where a
lock-them-up-and throw-away-the-key attitude to drug addicts dominates.
Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., chairman of the subcommittee on crime, says the
country needs to spend more money, not less, on catching drug pushers.

The Clinton administration, aware that the public prefers a get-tough
approach to drug addicts, has no plans to move big amounts of money from
law enforcement to medical treatment.

Public support for drug treatment is diminishing, says Robert Blendon of
the Harvard School of Public Health. Four in five Americans believe that
the war on drugs has failed.

So the tide of public opinion and political instinct is running against any
change in emphasis from prison and aggressive law enforcement to prevention
and treatment.

The recommendation by the group called Physician Leadership on National
Drug Policy declares that "enhanced medical and public health approaches
are the most effective method of reducing harmful use of illegal drugs.
The current emphasis -- on use of the criminal justice system and
interdiction to reduce drug use and the harmful effects of illegal drugs --
is not adequate to address these problems."

The physicians contend that medical care for addicts either on an
out-patient or residential basis is cheaper than the $25,900 it costs
annually to imprison a drug addict. It prices regular outpatient care at
$1,800 to $2,500 a year, methadone maintenance at $3,900, and residential
treatment at $4,400 to $6,800.

"We recognize that sometimes treatment does not work," says Dr. Lonnie
Bristow, an internist in San Pablo and past president of the American
Medical Association. But studies show that drug addicts are as likely to
meet treatment requirements as people with other chronic diseases, such as
diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, stroke, and heart disease.

"Drug abuse is very treatable," says Bristow.

Jeffrey Merrill of the University of Pennsylvania says that Americans might
be more sympathetic to treatment for drug addicts if they realized that
most addicts are not minority group members in big cities. Studies show
that among young people who use cocaine, whites outnumber African-Americans
nearly 10 to one, and Hispanics more than two to one.

And young cocaine users come from what the nation regards as the best
families. Some 53 percent of cocaine users have fathers who are college
graduates. About two-thirds of monthly cocaine users are employed

"The major, false stereotype is that drug addicts are social misfits and
outcasts even though drug use is common throughout all segments of
society," says Merrill. He wishes Americans would see drug addiction as a
chronic disease rather than a crime.

"Stigma is a barrier to those who would otherwise seek treatment, to
doctors who would otherwise do more in treating addiction, and to
legislators and public health officials who would otherwise do more to make
treatment available," says Merrill.

For every $1 invested in treatment, $7 is saved in medical and societal
costs, says Dr. Philip Lee, former assistant secretary for health in the
Clinton administration and faculty member at the University of California
School of Medicine in San Francisco.

Addicts in treatment are much less likely than other addicts to catch and
spread AIDS and hepatitis, says Dr. Thomas McLellan of the University of
Pennsylvania. About 90 percent of the cost of treating addicts goes for
medical problems that are triggered by addiction, such as AIDS, accidents,
pancreatis and certain forms of cancer.

In sum, the physicians see treatment as an investment that will save money
and cut down on crime, two goals that are found on Capitol Hill.

But Congress doesn't want to be seen as soft on drug addicts by sending
addicts to hospitals rather than behind bars. It will continue to put
federal drug control money into law enforcement and new prisons.

Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

Treat, Don't Jail, Drug Abusers (Staff Editorial In Schenectady, New York,
'Daily Gazette,' Doesn't Want To Suggest That Everyone Who Commits
A Drug-Related Crime Be Spared Jail Time, Or Let Out Early,
Only That A Lot More Money Needs To Be Spent On Treatment,
Both In And Out Of The Penal System)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 15:39:33 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US NY: Editorial: Treat, Don't Jail, Drug Abusers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk
Source: Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY)
Contact: gazette@dailygazette.com
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


We appear to have been doing the war on drugs wrong all along.

According to a new study, anyway, treating drug addicts is lots cheaper and
far more effective than incarcerating them. Unfortunately, this country has
for decades been emphasizing the latter, spending roughly four out of every
five dollars on interdiction and incarceration rather than treatment. It's
time to start reversing the ratio.

The study was conducted by a bipartisan panel of public health experts -
doctors and scientists from the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations.
It found, among other things, that the cost of treating a drug addict
ranges from only $1,800 to $6,800 per year, as opposed to $25,900 for a
year in jail. (And that's not even counting the cost of cell construction.)

Treatment was also found to be a far more effective way to reduce
recidivism than simple incarceration. A study of 1,600 drug abusers found
that only 25 percent of those undergoing treatment were rearrested for
drug-related crimes, compared with 62 percent among a group of untreated

Considering that drugs or alcohol are a factor in upward of 80 percent of
the crimes committed in this country, it goes without saying that reducing
abuse of these substances would have an extremely positive effect on the
crime rate.

It would also be an invaluable public health tool, since drug addicts are
at considerable risk of catching and transmitting the AIDS virus and

This isn't to suggest that everyone who commits a drug-related crime be
spared jail time, or let out early, only that a lot more money needs to be
spent on treatment, both in and out of the penal system. That, by itself,
will help reduce crime, and the need for - and costs associated with -
building more jails and keeping people in them.

According to Philip Lee, a former assistant Health secretary, a dollar
invested in drug treatment can save $7 worth of societal and medical costs.
Even if that claim is grossly exaggerated, there's undoubtedly some money
to be saved by treating, rather than incarcerating, substance abusers. It's
also a lot more humane - and productive - an approach to the problem.

White House Drug And AIDS Advisers Differ On Needle Exchange
('New York Times' Says Sandra Thurman, The White House Director
Of National AIDS Policy, Advocates Funding Needle Exchange Programs,
But Is Opposed By General McCaffrey, Director Of The Office
Of National Drug Control Policy - Both Have Agreed To Let Final Decision
Be Made By Donna Shalala, Secretary Of US Department Of Health
And Human Services, Who Has Sided With McCaffrey
On Other Drug Policy Questions)

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 20:41:07 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: White House Drug and AIDS Advisers Differ on Needle
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dick Evans and Peter Webster
Source: New York Times
Author: Christopher S. Wren
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998


The debate over the propriety of handing out sterile syringes to people who
inject illegal drugs, to reduce the spread of AIDS, has reached the White
House, where President Clinton's two main policy advisers on the issue have
staked out opposing positions.

Their disagreement makes prospects for government financing of
needle-exchange programs more unlikely when a ban on such spending, imposed
by Congress in 1992, expires at the end of March.

One adviser, Sandra Thurman, the White House director of national AIDS
policy, advocates spending on the programs as a way of saving lives by
reducing the incidence of AIDS contracted from shared needles. But at a
spirited meeting on Tuesday, the other adviser, Barry McCaffrey, the
retired Army general who is the administration's director of national drug
policy, ferociously opposed any government subsidy.

In a subsequent letter to Ms. Thurman, he reiterated his belief that buying
clean needles for drug users would send the wrong message to young
Americans who are being told that illegal drug use is wrong. The money, he
said, would be better used expanding drug treatment programs.

"As public servants, citizens and parents we owe our children an
unambiguous 'no use' message," McCaffrey wrote. "And if they should become
ensnared by drugs, we must offer them a way out, not a means to continue
addictive behavior." His letter was leaked to some members of Congress. A
copy was provided to The New York Times by someone opposed to needle
exchanges. McCaffrey's fervent opposition to paying for needle exchanges,
and the esteem with which he is regarded on Capitol Hill, will probably
undercut whatever support exists for exchange programs. Many members of
Congress already oppose the concept or do not want to look as if they are
soft on drug use in a congressional election year.

In a joint statement released on Saturday, Ms. Thurman and McCaffrey sought
to play down their increasingly public differences over needle exchange.
They said they agreed on other issues, like the need to make drug treatment
programs more widely available.

They said they would leave it to Donna Shalala, the secretary of health and
human services, to settle the needle exchange issue. Ms. Shalala, who has
sided with McCaffrey on other drug policy questions, has yet to decide
whether the needle exchange programs deserve government money. Congress
asked her to determine whether the programs prevent the spread of HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS, and do not encourage the use of illegal drugs. In
February 1997, a report released by the National Institutes of Health said
"there is no longer any doubt that these programs work" to prevent the
spread of HIV and said that "needle exchange programs should be implemented
at once." Ms. Shalala said that she wanted to study the matter. In his
letter to Ms. Thurman, McCaffrey pointed out that the government does not
ban needle exchanges, and that approximately 100 communities have set up
programs. The public health consequences of sharing dirty needles is not
insignificant. Approximately 280,000 to 300,000 Americans suffer from AIDS
and as many as 600,000 others are infected with HIV, according to Ms.
Thurman's office. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate
that one-third to one-half of new HIV cases involve people who injected
drugs or had sex with people who did. The cost of caring for an adult with
AIDS can exceed $100,000.

"You have to understand that every day, 33 Americans become infected as a
result of drugs," Ms. Thurman said on Saturday in a telephone interview.
While not all cases of HIV transmission can be prevented, she said, "I
think we have a moral obligation to stop as many as we can." Public
tolerance for needle programs has increased. A Harris poll reported in
October that 71 percent of the Americans surveyed supported needle
exchanges. The poll was commissioned by the Lindesmith Center, a group that
advocates needle exchange programs.

Other groups that have endorsed the programs, in principle, include the
American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, the American
Public Health Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In August,
George Soros, the international financier and philanthropist, donated $1
million to finance needle-exchange programs in the San Francisco area. Both
supporters and critics of the programs have cited studies to support their
arguments. Dr. Peter Beilenson, the city health commissioner in Baltimore,
reported to a House subcommittee in September that his city's
needle-exchange program had reduced significantly the sharing of used
needles and provided a point of access to medical treatment for hard-core
addicts. Ms. Thurman agreed that needle-exchange programs have become
conduits to health care. "This is an opportunity often for people to pull
their lives together," she said. "If using a needle-exchange program
facilitates it in some way, we need to look at it very seriously."

But critics have cited another study, which reports that intravenous drug
users who joined Montreal's needle-exchange program became infected with
HIV at a higher rate than nonparticipants. The study was published last
year in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

If the ban on government money is lifted, McCaffrey wrote, "There is the
troubling question of how such a message would be received by our young
people." Ms. Thurman replied. "I know he has concerns about that and I do
too, but the overwhelming evidence is that people coming into
needle-exchange programs are older."

"Nobody's going to stick a needle in their arm because someone hands them a
needle," she said.

Brazen Traffickers Want The Run Of The Border ('San Diego Union Tribune'
Says US Customs Agents And Other Law Enforcement Officials
Are Examining A Sharp Upsurge In Illegal Drug Trafficking In The Past Month
Or Two Along The Mexican Border, Trying To Figure Out What It All Means -
'We Don't Know If We're Dealing With A Short-Term Phenomenon
Or A Longer-Term, Cyclical Increase')

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 13:36:23 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Brazen Traffickers Want the Run of the Border
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998
Author: Gregory Gross - Staff Writer


Drug flow from Mexico now more frequent, deadly

TIJUANA -- Mexican police at a checkpoint outside Mexicali stop a truck
loaded with rustic furniture bound for Tijuana. Under the tables and chairs
are more than 800 pounds of marijuana.

Just across the border in Calexico, U.S. Customs agents at the port of
entry are near the point of collapse after seizing 13 loads of marijuana in
one day.

A few miles inland, Border Patrol agents staffing a highway checkpoint nab
one of the few loads the customs agents let slip past them, more than 3,500
pounds of the illegal herb the Mexicans call mota, hidden in the bed of a
pickup truck.

Meanwhile, about a half-mile east of San Ysidro, a vehicle rips out panels
of the steel border fence in broad daylight, enabling another pickup to
plow across the border, roaring past startled Border Patrol agents.

Sheriff's deputies eventually find the truck abandoned in Chula Vista,
along with 1,500 pounds of marijuana.

All of the above occurred in a single day last week.

"We're getting inundated by volumes (of smuggled narcotics), both in San
Diego and Calexico," Ed Logan, customs special agent in charge, said in San

"We're getting killed here."

Logan was speaking figuratively. In Tijuana, however, the killing is
literal, the number of victims is growing, and authorities are convinced
that eight homicide cases out of 10 are drug-related.

According to statistics kept by the Baja California Attorney General's
office, Tijuana alone has recorded 84 homicides between December and this
month, most of them thought to be gangland-style executions related to

The area of La Presa, whose Rodriguez Dam reservoir was once popular with
picnickers, has in recent months taken on a different kind of popularity as
a dumping ground for the bodies of slaying victims.

According to Errol Chavez, chief San Diego agent for the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration, the large flow of marijuana may be a
combination of seasonal harvest cycles and an effort to move tons of pot
that had been stored just across the border in Mexico, waiting to be

"We have traffickers who have been warehousing the marijuana until they
were properly equipped to smuggle it," Chavez said. "It's not just a matter
of harvesting. You've got to get your people in place, get your equipment
in place."

Someone had everything in place Wednesday morning in Tijuana, when a Ford
F-250 4-wheel-drive pickup came barreling through a hole in the border
fence about 8:30 a.m.

Border Patrol agents believe smugglers attached chains from a second
vehicle, possibly a sport-utility vehicle, to the fence and pulled out
several of the heavy steel panels, enabling the truck to crash through the

"It got onto the mesa at a high rate of speed and came through before we
noticed it," said Border Patrol spokesman Sal Zamora. "This isn't the kind
of thing you usually see happening around 8 or 8:30 in the morning. It was
pretty bold action, and it really caught us off guard."

The smugglers chose their spot with great care, Zamora said. That section
of fence had been cut with blowtorches before and patched with individual
steel mats. It was those mats to which they were able to attach chains to
pull them out, Zamora said.

Logan said the sudden spurt of major loads indicated both a successful
harvest of marijuana and increased desperation on the part of the
smugglers, who not only have to contend with steel fences but a growing
presence of the Border Patrol, which seizes more drugs than any other
agency in law enforcement.

"They're attacking any weak spots they think they can find," Logan said.
"They're going around the ports, between the ports. If they think they can,
they're trying to go through the ports.

"We've been deluged like this (with marijuana) for the past month, the past
two months. We're even seeing more cocaine than we have in the last few
years, albeit in 50-pound or 75-pound loads, not the 8-ton loads like the
old days."

As well as trying to intercept these increased flows, law enforcement
agents are pouring time and money into analyzing the arrests and seizures,
trying to figure out what it all means.

"We don't know if we're dealing with a short-term phenomenon or a
longer-term, cyclical increase," said Logan. "We're trying to get some
perspective on this."

The increased effort to smuggle pot from Mexico into the United States may
be having a deadly side effect in Tijuana, as various smuggling rings
compete for territory and the best routes.

The competition often takes the form of gangland-style slayings, with the
victims usually executed by gunshot and their bodies left in out-of-the-way

"It's a statistic that a great majority of the homicides committed in
Tijuana are related to questions of drug trafficking," said Juan Manuel
Nieves Reta, Tijuana's municipal police chief.

Others, such as Gen. Josi Luis Chavez Garcma, chief representative of the
federal Attorney General's Office in Baja California, think the actual
number of drug-related homicides, while high, may not be as high as many

"There will be some that are the product of drug trafficking, vengeance,
vendettas among drug traffickers," he said. "But others will not be. We
need to make a full analysis of this."

Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

Coastal Watch Big Responsibility For RCMP ('The Guardian'
Says Illegal Drug Smuggling Is Increasing At Prince Edward Island
And Elsewhere Along The East Coast Of Canada, So The RCMP
Is Stepping Up The Promotion Of Its Coastal Watch Program,
Which Tries To Enlist The Eyes And Ears Of Fishermen, Pleasure Boaters
And Cottage Dwellers To Join Police In The War On Some Drug Users)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 18:33:50 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Canada: Coastal Watch Big Responsibility for RCMP
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
Source: The Guardian (Charlottetown)
Fax: (902) 566-3808
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998
Author: Doug Gallant


With some 500 miles of coastline, much of it isolated, Prince Edward Island
is made to order for drug importers looking for remote locations to offload
large quantities of narcotics.

Driven to the East Coast of Canada by the combined efforts of the Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA), the U.S. Coast Guard and other police agencies in
the U.S., well-financed and well-organized drug smugglers have been sailing
their mother ships into Maritime coves, inlets and sheltered bays.

>From there, they ferry their goods to shore on smaller, faster craft like
Zodiacs and load them into waiting vehicles for distribution all over the

Canadian drug enforcement agencies know that scenario all too well.

They also know that with that much coastline and their relatively limited
resources, it's highly unlikely they're going to stop this highly lucrative

``I would say we get one vessel in 10,'' says Const. Tony Halvorson of the
RCMP's `L' Division Drug Section in Charlottetown. ``The rest, sadly, are
getting through.''

Sometimes they catch the big ones, like the Nic-Nac, boarded near Cape
Tryon a couple of years ago with four tons of baled marijuana on board, a
cargo worth millions of dollars.

But the RCMP concedes that much of the time they miss the boat, so to speak.

``We just don't have the resources. Too much coast, not enough manpower.''

It's because of that the RCMP is stepping up the promotion of its Coastal
Watch Program, a program which enlists the eyes and ears of fishermen,
pleasure boaters, cottage dwellers and others who live and work in coastal
communities to join police in the war on drugs.

``If you are a recreational or professional boater, fuel dock attendant or
vessel broker, or if you live or work near the water, you can play a vital
role in the Coastal Watch Program,'' an RCMP pamphlet on Coastal Watch

People can help by watching for suspicious or illegal activities and
reporting same to police, Halvorson said.

``Who better than fishermen knows what's going on on the water? They know
the coastline better than anyone. They're out there on the water all the
time. If there's been a strange vessel in their area for any amount, they
know it.''

Citing another example, Halvorson noted that those in the business of
selling marine fuel would notice if unusually large quantities of fuel were
being purchased by someone unfamiliar.

``Or if someone is offering to pay you what seems like a huge amount of
cash to rent your boat for just a few hours, you could be witnessing part
of an illegal drug operation.''

He said large-scale drug operations usually involve many people and many
different kinds of equipment so there are a number of indicators people can
look for.

``Drugs are big business. The industry is worth billions of dollars and
they're prepared to pay top dollar for things they want. And they don't
want to leave a paper trail so they pay cash for everything, whether it's
land, buildings, a fast boat or a four-wheel-drive vehicle.''

Halvorson said those who conspire to import drugs often follow similar patterns.

A Coastal Watch guide notes, for example, that when bringing in drugs by
sea, smugglers usually operate outside normal fishing or shipping lanes;
operate outside normal fishing times; load or unload cargo in unusual
places; and usually run at night, without benefit of lights.

Some may try to disguise their vessels to look like fishing boats but a
search would likely fail to yield any fishing gear.

Another indicator, Halvorson notes, is people travelling in vessels that
appear to be beyond the means of the owner.

A good deal of information about the seaborne drug trade and how the public
can help police crack down on it is contained in a new video produced by
the RCMP with the assistance of the audio-visual department at UPEI,
specifically Jay MacPhail and Henry Dunsmore, whom Halvorson says have
provided a valuable community service.

The video, which is unique to P.E.I., uses the waters off the Island and
many familiar settings to explain what the Coastal Watch Program is, how
important it is for people to get involved and how they can get involved.

Halvorson and his superiors are extremely proud of the professional-looking
video and are hopeful many people will see it and choose to become

``It's in everyone's best interest to stop the flow of drugs coming into
P.E.I. and reduce their availability, particularly to our young people.''

And he noted that because the program is connected to Crime Stoppers in
P.E.I. people can assist the police without having to worry about their
identity becoming public.

Anyone wishing further information on the Coastal Watch program should
contact the nearest detachment of the RCMP. Each Island detachment has a
Coastal Watch coordinator.

Waging A War On Drugs (Op-Ed In Australia's 'Canberra Times'
By Ian Mathews, Co-Author Of 'Drugs Policy - Fact, Fiction And The Future,'
Says That Harm Minimisation Is A Far More Effective Approach
To Substance Abuse Than The Government's 'Get Tough' Measures)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:09:39 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Australia: OPED: Waging a War on Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Contact: letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au
Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/
Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 98
Author: Ian Mathews


[Ian Mathews says that harm minimisation is a far more effective approach
to substance abuse than the Government's 'get tough' measures to achieve
its zero-tolerance target.]

IT IS unlikely that the Prime Minister has had an opportunity to read Drug
Use in Australia, but even if he had it is doubtful he would change his
rigid views on how to tackle Australia's illicit and legal drug issue.

This latest compilation of research and comment on drugs has, as its
sub-title, A Harm Minimisation Approach, and, thus, is probably damned in
Howard's eyes on two grounds. The first is that Howard's view of harm
minimisation, despite allocating funds to its practitioners, is one of
zero-tolerance of illicit drugs. The second is that Howard has demonstrated
a marked reluctance to back research that might question his established

Whatever our individual views on illicit drugs, we are all firm believers
in 'harm minimisation'. We teach our children to be careful with the hot
barbecue, to cross the road with caution, to swim where it is safe or with
a responsible adult - all exercises in harm minimisation.

Even when we suspect that our children may indulge in illegal or unwise
behaviour - riding bicycles in the dark without lights, mixing drinks at a
party, or being promiscuous - wise parents find ways of dropping cautionary
hints that might fall on fertile ground.

Harm minimisation, in the context of illicit and legal drugs, is the solid
foundation on which drug-abuse victims can build their future lives.
According to contributors to Drug Use in Australia harm minimisation
involves demand reduction, supply reduction, and, probably most
importantly, 'environmental responses that aim to assist people using drugs
to do so in the safest possible way'.

Demand reduction persuades people not to take drugs; supply reduction
simply aims at stopping the trafficking of drugs through regulation and law
enforcement - both of which the 'Get Tough of Drugs' policy seeks to
achieve. The third element, safety while using, is not an option in the
Government's new regime.

The authors of Drug Use in Australia: A Harm Minimisation Approach,
recognise that the 'Just say no' approach achieves nothing if the person is
unable to just say no. What the 24 contributors to this book have done in
their individual ways is to say, 'Well, if you are going to take drugs at
least take these precautions'.

Most of the authors and editors work at the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug
Centre, Fitzroy, which is affiliated with the University of Melbourne and
St Vincent's Hospital. For purist prohibitionists harm minimisation is
regarded as a cop-out at best and as an encouragement at worst.
Prohibitionists, however, refuse to recognise that their 'solution' of
harsher sentences, increased surveillance and law enforcement - the 'get
tough' approach - has not worked and cannot work. The elementary fact is
that prohibition makes the commodity being illegally traded increasingly

Harsher prison terms, more police on the beat, more Customs on the wharves
and at airports merely increase the overheads. The price goes up, the
dependent user pays more and to do so, steals more or increases the rate of

Harm minimisation accepts, as Ernie Lang notes in the opening chapter, that
man has been taking drugs in one form or another for the past 9500 years,
according to archeological evidence. As a species, humans are hooked
whether it be on mushrooms, coffee or heroin, alcohol or tranquillisers.

We are, however, the only species to set (and change) behavioural rules.
Thus alcohol can be illegal in the US for years and then return to
legality. Similarly, opium, once legal in Australia has become outlawed.
Illicit drugs themselves flow in and out of fashion in much the same ways
as legal drugs. Fashion is dictated by availability, peer pressure, price.
While cannabis remains the most popular illicit drug, heroin, cocaine and
amphetamines move up and down the scale of popularity in much the same way
as riesling, chardonnay or light beer.

Harm minimisation has to be a constantly changing approach, unlike the
prohibitionist's 'thou shalt not'. For instance, patterns of alcohol abuse
have changed to make binge drinking and mixing alcohol with other drugs
greater problems than overall or chronic alcohol consumption. Thus harm
minimisation has to respond to such new patterns. Abuse of prescription
drugs tends to be concentrated among women and older people and so demands
a concentration of harm minimisation among those groups.

In monitoring harm, as opposed to criminal activity, contributors
Anne-Marie Laslett and Greg Rumbold note that the use of cannabis is no
greater in South Australia and the ACT where personal consumption has been
decriminalised, than in those states where use is still a criminal offence.

Bearing in mind that most drug-related deaths are caused by tobacco and
alcohol, the writers attempt also to define 'harm' caused by drugs in the
widest possible sense, including associated disease, the impact on
families, work, criminal activity and loss to the economy. Plainly 'harm'
has a much wider focus than the narrow law-and-order approach.

They conclude, 'tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals are in fact associated
with greater mortality and morbidity, and more violence, accidents and
crime, than that which occurs with illicit drugs.'

The book examines how some drugs have social acceptance while others have
been demonised, the dividing line being their legality, not their intrinsic
properties or even the harm they do when abused. Illegal drug users are
categorised as sinners, sick or social victims with attendant theories of
why people turn to drugs. Few accept that most do so because they enjoy
their effect - just as smokers and social drinkers enjoy their drugs.

Michelle Keenan contributes the unexceptional idea that controlled use of a
drug changes with social environment. And if such control works for the
smoker and drinker (both of whom may abuse their drug use occasionally) why
shouldn't controlled use of currently illicit drugs also work?

A zero-tolerance regime, however, offers no hope for the user of any drug
and probably encourages abuse.

A new emphasis is to be placed on education under the Prime Minister's
policy. Keenan argues for peer-based education because it has been far more
effective than education programs that talk down, preach or theorise. In
her chapter on adolescents, Peta Odgers argues that peer-pressure
'reputation' militates against education programs extolling abstinence or

She notes that, far from the stereotype 'drug pusher', most young people
are introduced to drugs by friends of the same age. Their reasons are
direct pressure, modelling, social rewards or social approval,
opportunities for use and that drug taking is 'normal'.

The book has a valuable chapter on alcohol and Aboriginal society by Jenny
Davis. Nadine Ezard contributes a chapter on women's drug use and the need
to recognise gender in harm minimisation.

SADLY Trevor King's chapter on drug policy has been over-shadowed by the
Government's increased emphasis on law and order. King writes, 'Current
debate about illicit drug policy is also addressing the feasibility of
alternative strategies such as the decriminalisation or legalisation of
some, or all, illicit drugs.' Not in Howard's vision splendid.

In his chapter on limitations and possibilities, Nik Lintzeris makes the
point that harm minimisation is cost-effective. 'Some of the most telling
criticisms of the law-enforcement oriented 'war on drugs' approach are that
it is incredibly expensive, that it is not particularly effective with
regards to reducing the health costs or the social and economic costs of
drug use and, indeed, that it escalates overall expenditure through the
spiraling costs of an ever-growing criminal-justice system.'

Drug Use in Australia has been published at a time when its messages are
all the more necessary, given that harm minimisation - whatever financial
boost the policy has just been given - is now running a poor second to law

Prohibition, increased emphasis on zero tolerance, and added discriminatory
drug-law enforcement all ensure that the illicit market for drugs will
flourish. As long as it does, harm minimisation is probably the only way
many young drug users and abusers will stay alive.

Drug Use in Australia: A Harm Minimisation Approach, edited by Margaret
Hamilton, Allan Kellehear and Greg Rumbold, is published by Oxford
University Press. 330pp. paperback. rrp $34.95.

Ian Mathews is co-author with Russell Fox, of Drugs Policy: Fact, Fiction
and the Future, The Federation Press, 1992.



The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to 1998 Daily News index for March 19-25

Back to Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980323.html