------------------------------------------------------------------- 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:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, March 23, 1998 9:19 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.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" (email@example.com) Reply-To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" (email@example.com) To: "firstname.lastname@example.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 CRRH 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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CanPat - No-Knock Victory From: email@example.com (Terry Smith) Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 14:28:55 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 right. 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 currently. Terry
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Clubs Face Tough Legal Challenge Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 Author: Howard Mintz - Mercury News Staff Writer POT CLUBS FACE TOUGH LEGAL CHALLENGE >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 challenge. ``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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Hailing S.F. Pot Policy Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
and "Tom O'Connell" Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 HAILING S.F. POT POLICY 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Medicinal Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 MEDICINAL MARIJUANA 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. MARK GREER Media Awareness Project Inc. Porterville
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com Subject: HT: Do you suppose that Mayor Schell just might... Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 conditions. For more information about Mayor Steve Martin's participation in the San Francisco rally, call Mayor Martin at 310/551-2811. CONTACT: 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE'S: S.F.'s Plan on Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 LETTERS RE: S.F.'S PLAN ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA 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." STEVE KNIGHT Rosemead * * * 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. J. THOMAS UNGERLEIDER MD 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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: GDaurer
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Lawyer: Teen Slain While Undercover 3/23/98 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 said. ``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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Teen Died Working for Cops, Mom Says Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Nora Callahan
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 Author: Denise Levin - Associated Press TEEN DIED WORKING FOR COPS, MOM SAYS 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US TX: Plano Undercover Officer Took Teen to Buy Heroin Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 PLANO UNDERCOVER OFFICER TOOK TEEN TO BUY HEROIN 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 188,000. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (SCN User) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Mormon Anti-Drug Pamphlet Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org > SALT LAKE CITY ANTI-MARIJUANA LEAFLET DRAWS WRATH OF EDUCATION FOUNDATION > > 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 email@example.com "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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Dallas MN Editorial: California's Ban on Pot Selling is a Plus Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 CALIFORNIA'S BAN ON POT SELLING IS A PLUS 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: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE SEARCH LAWS 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 violation. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: CanPat> Hemp to be grown in US? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 marijuana. 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 said. 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 Nader. ``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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US HI: Rep. Thielen Argues in D.C. for Legal Hemp Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "John McClain"
Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.starbulletin.com Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 REP. THIELEN ARGUES IN D.C. FOR LEGAL HEMP 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: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: Boston Globe Author: Associated Press Page: A12 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 ALCOHOL, DRUGS TIED TO CRIMES, US REPORT SAYS 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Probationers Surveyed on Drug Use Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: March 23, 1998 PROBATIONERS SURVEYED ON DRUG USE 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 percentage. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Why Send Drug Addicts to Prison? Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Nora Callahan
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 Author: Laurence M. O'Rourke of the Sacramento Bee WHY SEND DRUG ADDICTS TO PRISON? 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 full-time. "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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US NY: Editorial: Treat, Don't Jail, Drug Abusers Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk Source: Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 TREAT, DON'T JAIL, DRUG ABUSERS 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 abusers. 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 hepatitis. 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 Exchange Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Dick Evans and Peter Webster Source: New York Times Author: Christopher S. Wren Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 WHITE HOUSE DRUG AND AIDS ADVISERS DIFFER ON NEEDLE EXCHANGE 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico: Brazen Traffickers Want the Run of the Border Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Nora Callahan
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 Author: Gregory Gross - Staff Writer BRAZEN TRAFFICKERS WANT THE RUN OF THE BORDER 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 Diego. "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 drugs. 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 shipped. "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 gap. "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 places. "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 believe. "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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Canada: Coastal Watch Big Responsibility for RCMP Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) Source: The Guardian (Charlottetown) Fax: (902) 566-3808 Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 Author: Doug Gallant COASTAL WATCH BIG RESPONSIBILITY FOR RCMP 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 map. 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 enterprise. ``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 suggests. 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 involved. ``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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Australia: OPED: Waging a War on Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Watney) Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 98 Author: Ian Mathews WAGING A WAR ON DRUGS [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 view. 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 valuable. 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 prostitution. 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 self-worth. 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 enforcement. 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. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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