Portland NORML News - Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Closing The Dons Case - Marijuana Task Force, Business As Usual -
Activists Advocate 'Suspension And Review' Of Task Force
(Bulletin From American Antiprohibition League In Portland
Cites Second Death In Wake Of Warrantless Break-In By Marijuana Task Force,
Notes Protests Continue Weekly 4-6 PM Fridays - Mayor Invited
To Community Forum Against The Task Force 7 PM Wednesday, April 8,
And Monthly Thereafter, To Be Shown On Cable Access, Web TV)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 14:49:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (aal@inetarena.com)
To: Mayor Vera Katz (mayorkatz@ci.portland.or.us)
cc: Portland OR City Council -- Comish Charlie Hales
(Chales@ci.portland.or.us), Comish Erik Sten
(Esten@ci.portland.or.us), Comish Gretchen Kafoury
(gkafoury@ci.portland.or.us), Commish Jim Francesconi
Subject: Closing the Dons' case...


Sponsors of the

Drug War, or Drug Peace?


As of Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Closing the Dons case
Marijuana Task Force, business as usual
Activists advocate "suspension and review" of task force

"We recognize that there will always be some people who will question
our findings, but we are satisfied that there is no reasonable doubt
that the death of Steven D. Dons was a suicide," wrote Paul D.
Driscoll, foreman of the Grand Jury panel who investigated the Feb. 25
death of Dons, a suspected cop killer.

And so the official close to a series of tragic events which started
with a blotched Marijuana Task Force raid on Dons' Southeast Portland
house which resulted in a shoot-out that left one police officer dead,
and another very seriously wounded. Then a month later, Dons' apparent
suicide while in custody and the subsequent investigation into it.

All this has left many Portlanders shaking their heads in dismay,
asking "is it [adult marijuana prohibition] really worth it?"

"No! Of course not," said League director Floyd Landrath, in reply
to the question during a recent telephone interview with the Oregonian.

"These folks in the MTF are rogues, a disgrace to law enforcement.
They are arrogant and disrespectful of innocent peoples' rights, and
they have the full support of the mayor and city council behind them
100 percent. It's a case of drug war politics and the really screwed-
up law enforcement priorities that come with that," Landrath accused.

The MTF is out of control. Anyone can initiate an investigation
against anyone else, and they often do. All it takes is an anonymous
phone call to your local Neighborhood Watch. Next thing you know the
MTF is at your door accusing you of growing pot. They'll yell at you,
create a scene on your front porch and demand that you better let them
in to search, or they'll get a warrant and trash your house. It's
happening as you read this, every day, it's called 'knock and talk.'
In 1996, in more than half of over 400 'knock and talks,' the MTF found

Dons was certainly no model citizen and in all likelihood associated
with people who would resort to violence. Given that and the evidence
we've seen so far, it seems entirely possible Dons did not know who was
breaking down his door. There should be no mistake about the obvious
lesson to be learned here: cops do not appear to be cops without their
uniforms, badges and patrol cars.

But has it been learned? Sorry to report, no. According to our
sources, the MTF cowboys are hard at work catching up on all those
neighbor's "complaints," driving around in a red pick-up truck, dressed
in civilian clothes.

In the light of day it becomes obvious the MTF serves no useful law
enforcement or drug control purpose. But no one in City Hall or the
District Attorney's office will admit it. And what's worse, the
mainstream press and media have not, on the record, asked any of them:
"Do we really need the MTF? And if so, why?"

At this time the Antiprohibition League is pursuing a 3 pronged
approach to help resolve this mess:

1) A very conservative, measured request to Mayor Katz to suspend
& review the MTF. We are building a list of endorsers to help
convince the Mayor and other city commissioners to act on this
MTF protest, spring 1998, credit below
2) Weekly protest and speak-out
against the MTF, 'knock and talk,'
and adult drug prohibition in
general. Every Friday, 4 p.m. in
the park block across from the
Justice Center, 1120 S.W. Third,
downtown Portland.

3) In April and every month
thereafter the League and other
drug law reform groups in our
coalition are organizing
community forums on the
negative impact the MTF and the
drug war are having on our kids,
our families, and our
neighborhoods. Mayor Katz will
be invited to come or send a representative. The first forum is
scheduled for Wed., April 8, 7 p.m., at It's a Beautiful Pizza,
3341 SE Belmont Street. We will also be broadcasting these forums
on local cable access and on web-TV in the near future.

Let's get rid of the MTF now. Before they tarnish the noble
profession of law enforcement anymore. Before things go terribly
wrong, again.


Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 01:35:33 -0800
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarians Patriots
To: Constitutional Cannabis Patriots (cp@telelists.com)
Subject: [cp] MTF PROTEST PHOTO 1-


California Medical Marijuana Clubs Head To Court ('Reuters' Notes The Hearing
Scheduled Today In San Francisco In The Case Of A Federal Lawsuit
Against Six Northern California Dispensaries Coincides With A Public Rally
And The Arrest By San Jose Police Of Peter Baez, Co-Founder
Of The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center,
Charged With Repeatedly Selling Marijuana To A Man
Who Had No Doctor's Prescription)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 19:00:43 -0500
From: Scott Dykstra 
To: rumba2@earthlink.net
Subject: CanPat> Calif. Medical Clubs head to court.
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

01:55 PM ET 03/24/98

Calif. medical marijuana clubs head to court

By Andrew Quinn

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Federal officials readied a fresh
legal bid to close California's medical marijuana clubs Tuesday
as supporters rallied for the right to dispense the drug to
critically ill people.

Police, meanwhile, reported the arrest of the co-founder of
one marijuana club, charging him with a felony count of
illegally selling drugs without a prescription.

The legal tussles mark a sharpening conflict over
California's Proposition 215, the state law voters approved in
1996 that legalized marijuana use for people suffering from
AIDS, cancer and other serious ailments.

The Justice Department, contending that the clubs regularly
violate federal drug laws, planned to file suit in a San
Francisco federal court Tuesday demanding that six clubs be
closed down.

Supporters of the marijuana clubs, including patients,
politicians and San Francisco's district attorney, gathered for
a march and rally in front of the U.S. Courthouse, demanding
that marijuana be treated like any other medicine. Dennis
Peron, the founder of San Francisco's Cannabis Cultivators Club
and the author of Proposition 215, vowed Tuesday that his
operation would continue to dispense marijuana to patients who
say it relieves pain, nausea and other symptoms of serious

``We contend it may be illegal to sell marijuana, but it is
not illegal to sell it to save a life,'' Peron said.

Peron and other club organizers have won strong support from
a number of local officials, who say the federal government
should respect the will of California's voters and allow local
governments time to develop an ``airtight'' system to monitor
club operations.

Four California mayors wrote a letter to President Clinton
last week asking him to drop the legal push against the clubs,
and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has pledged that if the
clubs are put out of business, the city will step in to
distribute marijuana to seriously ill patients.

``After all, even those drugs that are on the restricted
list can be administered with the proper federal supervision,''
Brown said.

But federal officials and state law enforcement leaders,
including California Attorney General Dan Lungren, say there
should be no exceptions made to federal laws prohibiting the
illegal distribution of drugs.

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

Whether or not the clubs are ``care givers,'' and whether or
not their members all carry bona fide doctors' prescriptions for
marijuana, are two key questions expected to be addressed in
federal court.

The second issue was highlighted Monday when police in San
Jose arrested Peter Baez, the co-founder of the Santa Clara
County Medical Cannabis Center, and charged him with repeatedly
selling marijuana to a man who had no doctor's prescription for
the drug.

Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe said the arrest was
ordered because of the method of sale and that county officials
''are mindful of the needs of legitimate patients.''

US Challenges California Medical Marijuana Law (Different 'Reuters' Version
Notes A Ruling Is Expected After April 15)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 05:57:33 -0500
From: Scott Dykstra 
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: CanPat> California in the News Again.....Feds trying to shut down....
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

10:52 PM ET 03/24/98

U.S. challenges California medical marijuana law

(Adds ruling expected after April 15, paragraph 4)

By Andrew Quinn

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice
Tuesday launched the strongest challenge yet to California's
medical marijuana clubs, asking a judge to shut them down for
violation of federal drug laws.

In a bid to quash the nation's first large-scale experiment
with medical marijuana use, government lawyers told a U.S.
District Court that California's 1996 state law allowing sick
people to use marijuana must take a back seat to national laws
forbidding the cultivation and distribution the drug.

``What this case is about, make no mistake about it, is
upholding federal law,'' government attorney Mark Quinlivan
said. ``A state initiative cannot supplant the will of the
people of the United States.''

After hearing impassioned arguments from both sides of the
medical marijuana debate, Judge Charles Breyer told attorneys to
file final legal briefs by April 15, after which he would make a

The federal case against six northern California marijuana
clubs is the toughest legal battle to emerge in the wake of
California's Proposition 215, the medical marijuana provision
approved by 56 percent of the state's voters in 1996.

The clubs, spearheaded by San Francisco's Cannabis
Cultivators Club, dispense the drug to thousands of victims of
AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and other serious diseases, many of whom
say it is the only treatment which works.

``Without marijuana, I cannot function,'' Dixie Romango, who
suffers from multiple sclerosis, told a rally of about 100
people outside the San Francisco courthouse. ``The doctors know
our needs, not the federal government.''

California's courts have already ruled that the 20-odd clubs
around the state are illegal because they are not ``primary
caregivers'' to their members -- a condition set by the state

Federal officials Tuesday broadened the attack, saying club
operations are an ``outright and flagrant'' violation of the
1970 Controlled Substances Act, under which Congress categorized
marijuana as a dangerous drug subject to the strictest possible

``We have requested these injunctions in order to send a
clear message regarding the illegality of marijuana cultivation
and distribution,'' U.S. District Attorney Michael Yamaguchi

The clubs have won strong support from a number of local
officials, who say the federal government should respect the
will of California's voters and allow local governments time to
develop an ``airtight'' system to monitor club operations.

Four California mayors wrote a letter to President Clinton
last week asking him to drop the fight against the clubs, and
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has pledged that if the clubs
close the city will step in to distribute marijuana to seriously
ill patients.

At the rally, as the sweet scent of marijuana smoke drifted
over the courthouse steps, local politicians, patients and
clergy vowed to fight for the drug.

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, one of the
clubs strongest official supporters, said he always supports the
right of a sick person to take ``a harmless puff on a marijuana

``I do feel that truth and justice will prevail and in the
end we will be able to continue supplying marijuana to people
who require it,'' Hallinan said to cheers from the crowd.

Lawyers for the clubs said they would approach the battle
from a number of angles, arguing that they fulfill a ``medical
necessity'' for patients and are beyond the scope of federal
drug laws designed primarily to stop trafficking.

``This is not a backdoor way to legalize marijuana. This is
a frontdoor way to deal with a real problem in our society,''
said lead attorney Bill Panzer.

Pot Club Hearing - Video (KRON-TV In San Francisco
Offers RealAudio Broadcast About San Francisco Rally
And Federal Lawsuit Hearing)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: KRON-TV (http://www.kron.com/)
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:13:56 -0800
--- Forwarded message ---
From: "G F Storck" (gstorck@execpc.com)

For those with Real Audio KRON San Francisco has this video report on the
med mj rally and events in SF today.


Pot Club Hearing - Video

Anthony Moore reports on the battle over medical marijuana, which pits the
White House against California voters who passed the act. 6:00pm - 3/24/98

One Jailed In San Jose Pot Club Raid ('San Jose Mercury News'
Says Santa Clara County Cannabis Club Co-Founder Peter Baez
Was Booked Into A Santa Clara County Jail On One Felony Count
Of Illegally Selling And Furnishing Marijuana - Police Say They Found
No Evidence Of A Doctor's Authorization For A Patient Named In The Case,
But Club Officials Say They Did Have Approval)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 10:26:17 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: One Jailed in S.J. Pot Club Raid
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: Tue, 24 Mar 1998
Author: Rodney Foo and Sandra Gonzales, Mercury News Staff Writer


Co-founder arrested: Police say Peter Baez sold marijuana to a customer who
didn't have a prescription.

For the first time since it opened last year, police raided San Jose's only
medicinal marijuana club on Monday, arresting its co-founder on an
allegation that he sold pot to a person without a prescription.

Santa Clara County Cannabis Club co-founder Peter Baez was booked into a
Santa Clara County jail on one felony count of illegally selling and
furnishing marijuana, a prosecutor said. His bail was set at $5,000.

A club official insisted Monday that Baez had done nothing wrong and that
he had a doctor's approval to sell marijuana to the customer named in the
case. But authorities said they had found no evidence of a doctor's
authorization for that patient.

The arrest was a surprising development for an operation that has generally
avoided the kind of conflict with law enforcement that other California
cannabis clubs have encountered since voters approved Proposition 215, the
1996 medical marijuana initiative.

In a separate action, the U.S. Department of Justice planned to ask a
federal judge today to shut down six other Northern California marijuana
clubs, on the grounds that the state ballot measure is superseded by a
federal prohibition on the sale of pot.

But federal authorities haven't targeted the Santa Clara County club, which
has operated with approval -- and under strict regulation -- by the
district attorney's office, police and the San Jose city attorney.

On Monday -- as officers with a search warrant went through the club's
Meridian Avenue office -- club officials said Baez had followed the law.

``We've done everything we can,'' said Jesse Garcia, club co-founder and
executive director. ``Our clients are legitimate users.''

Under Proposition 215, patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma or a
variety of other illnesses are allowed to possess and grow marijuana for
medical use, with a doctor's recommendation.

The raid came after authorities won a conviction against a local man,
Enrique Robles, on a misdemeanor charge of possessing marijuana, according
to Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe. She said Robles told authorities
that he had been getting marijuana from the center for medical purposes.

After investigating his claim, Raabe said, authorities concluded that
Robles had no medical prescription. They also found that Baez allegedly had
sold him marijuana nine times from Oct. 22, 1997, to Feb. 25.

No comment from Robles

Robles does have a medical condition, Raabe said, although details couldn't
be learned Monday. Robles could not be reached for comment.

While declining to name Robles, Garcia said the club had an oral OK from a
doctor to sell marijuana in the case that led to Baez's arrest. But Raabe
said authorities checked with three doctors whose names were obtained from
the center and all three denied authorizing a prescription for Robles.

The raid began just before 3 p.m. when about nine officers arrived to
execute a search warrant at the club's Meridian Avenue office, Garcia said.
Under the warrant, officers sought records, audio or video tapes that might
show the club was selling marijuana illegally.

Officers took the names of two clients and searched them before letting
them go, Garcia said.

``It scares me,'' said Darlene Lutz, a clerical employee of the club, who
was present during the search. ``They were grilling me -everything about
the business, about the client, how we in-take them and what kind of
(documentation) they have to have.''

``Our biggest concern is client-patient confidentiality,'' added Garcia.

Baez was taken away by officers. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in
Municipal Court on the felony charge that carries a maximum four-year
sentence in state prison.

The club will reopen on Wednesday, Garcia said.

``Our intent is not to close down the cannabis center,'' Raabe said.
``We're very much aware that there are people with legitimate requisite
medical recommendations that are receiving marijuana.''

Court order in June

Still, she added: ``We don't know what the investigation will turn up and
what will happen in the future.'

The club, which has 267 clients, is the only one of its type in Santa Clara
County. Last June, the city of San Jose obtained a court order to stop
another man, Robert Niswonger, from selling marijuana for medicinal use at
a location on Race Street.

Mercury News Staff Writer Howard Mintz contributed to this report.

San Jose Police Raid Cannabis Club ('San Francisco Examiner' Version)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 09:52:37 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: San Jose Police Raid Cannabis Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998


San Jose Police raided a San Jose cannabis club and arrested its owner on a
felony warrant that charged him with the illegal sale of marijuana,
officials said.

Peter Baez, proprietor of the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center,
was arrested at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, police said, during regular
business hours at the center, located at 265 Meridian Ave.

The San Jose police narcotics and covert investigations unit served Baez
with a search warrant and an arrest warrant as part of an ongoing
investigation, according to police.

Senate Hearing On Bar Smoking Ban ('San Francisco Examiner'
Says The Bill That Would Repeal California's Unique Prohibition
On Smoking In Bars, AB 297, Which Passed The State Assembly In January,
Is Slated To Get Its First Hearing In The Senate On Wednesday,
But Observers Say The Bill Lacks Support On The Committee
That Will Consider It)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 09:51:21 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Senate Hearing on Bar Smoking Ban
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998
Author: Tyche Hendricks of the Examiner Staff


DESPITE DISCONTENT among bar owners and a tobacco industry-funded lobbying
campaign, a bill that would repeal a controversial ban on smoking in bars
faces an uphill battle in the state Senate.

The measure, AB297, which passed the Assembly in January, is slated to get
its first hearing in the Senate on Wednesday, but observers say the bill
lacks support on the committee that will consider it.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Health Committee. But
Assemblyman Ed Vincent, D-Inglewood, said through a staff member that he
was not planning on presenting his bill to the committee.

Vincent could not be reached for comment. It was unclear Monday if or when
Vincent planned to present the bill to the committee.

John Miller, chief of staff for Sen. Diane Watson, D-Los Angeles,
chairwoman of the health committee, said even if Vincent does not present
the bill, the committee will hold an informational hearing on the issue.

Miller said Watson, a supporter of the smoking ban, is eager to see the
repeal bill get a prompt and full hearing.

"The possibility that the ban would be lifted has been exploited by its
opponents," he said. "They have argued you don't need to comply because
we're going to change the law. The existence of this bill has tended to
undermine the effectiveness of the law."

He said an informational hearing would give the anti-smoking lobby a chance
to make its case to the public.

"Much of the contest has been carried out in the media, and supporters (of
the repeal) have employed a very successful company to make their case," he
said. "The tobacco control people don't have that access or level of
sophistication to counter it. This will be their first chance to speak on
an equal footing."

Gary Auxier, senior vice president of the National Smokers' Alliance, a
tobacco lobbying group based in Virginia, said he hoped that "some sort of
relief measure" for smokers and bar owners would go to a floor vote in the

"We have a lot of people out there that need some relief, want some relief,
wherever they can get it," he said.

The alliance, in conjunction with Burson-Marsteller, the world's largest
public relations firm, has been organizing bar owners and patrons to voice
their opposition to the smoking ban.

The ban, which went into effect in January, is the final component of
California's smoke-free workplace law, which eliminated smoking in most
indoor workplaces beginning in 1995. Bars, taverns and gaming clubs --
which employ 850,000 people in the state -- were exempted until 1998.

The law is designed to protect employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Mert Mehmet, owner of Beck's Farmhouse in Newark, said business at his bar
dropped by 35 percent since the year started. He's been writing his state
senator and has been asking customers to sign repeal petitions.

"All the local bars around here, they're deader than doornails," he
complained. "Smoking in a bar goes hand in hand. People like to smoke and
they like to drink. What are you going to do, play with your thumbs?
Government control has got to stop somewhere."

What makes Mehmet especially angry is that just last year he installed an
expensive smoke filtration system that he says removes most of the smoke --
and its health hazards -- from the air. He believes that system is the real
solution to the problem of secondhand smoke, and he's frustrated that it's
not good enough for state legislators.

In San Francisco, Gary McGowan, proprietor of The Swallow on Polk Street,
said he, too, has joined the repeal campaign.

He hasn't seen a measurable drop-off in business, he said, but he said his
main complaint is one of principle.

"Our government keeps chopping away at our civil liberties," said McGowan.
"This is a legal product. I own the bar. I should be the one to be able to
say, "This is a no-smoking bar or a smoking bar.' "

The real issue is not civil liberties, but worker safety, insists Ann
Wright, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, which is
spearheading a coalition of repeal opponents that includes the American
Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the California Medical
Association, the California Nurses Association and the state Labor

Wright acknowledged that the law creates a big change for bars, but said
she didn't think it was a catastrophic one.

"When the (initial portion of the workplace smoking) law first went into
effect in 1995, the tobacco industry said the same thing: Everybody will go
out of business; nobody will go out to eat. That didn't happen."

In fact, she said, she believes almost 90 percent of bars and cardrooms are
complying with the law, including many in San Francisco.

Though it seems unlikely, she added that she hopes the matter will go to a
vote in the Senate Health Committee Wednesday, and meet its final defeat.
"There needs to be some resolution to this," she said. "The public and
people in business need to know this is a done deal."

1998 San Francisco Examiner

Initiative Number 692, Yes - On To Victory In November (Washington State
Secretary Of State Has Assigned A Number
To The Medical Use Of Marijuana Initiative -
Ballot Title And Ballot Summary Released)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:23:38 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Randy Chase 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Fwd: Re: HT: Initiative #692, yes - on to victory in Nov (fwd)

To all the folks out there who are tracking Medical Marijuana in

The Secretary of State's office has assigned a number to the Medical
Use of Marijuana Initiative - it is #692. Good news in that another
step in the process is under our belts.

Next is printing, ballot title, and summary. Ballot title and summary
are expected on Friday.

After the above steps will come the signature drive which must be
completed the first week in July.

Regards to all,

George Bakan
Medical Marijuana NOW PAC
(voice) 206-322-2333
(fax) 206-860-8279
(e-mail) Rgbakan@aol.com

Tim Killian added this information:

Hi Hemp-Talk:

As George as announced, the number is 692. And, actually, we now have the
Ballot Title and Summary as provided by the Attorney General's office.
They are as follows:

Ballot Title:

Shall the medical use of marijuana for certain terminal or debilitating
conditions be permitted, and physicians authorized to advise patients
about medical use of marijuana?

Ballot Summary:

This measure would permit the medical use of marijuana by patients with
certain terminal or debilitating conditions. Non-medical use of marijuana
would still be prohibited. Physicians would be authorized to advise
patients about the risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana.
Qualifying patients and their primary caregivers would be protected from
prosecution if they possess marijuana solely for medical use by the
patient. Certain additional restrictions and limitations are detailed in
the measure.

We are very pleased with both of these, and are progressing forward with
the initiative.

Timothy W. Killian

Campaign Coordinator
Washington Citizens for Medical Rights

em: cdpr@eventure.com
Postal Box 2346
Seattle, WA 98111
ph: 206.781-7716
fx: 206.324.3101

Initiative 692 Web Site (Campaign Coordinator For Washington State
Medical Marijuana Initiative Sponsored By Washington Citizens
For Medical Rights Posts URL For Web Site With Initiative Text, More)

Subject: HT: Init 692 Web Site
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 98 19:10:52 -0800
From: YES on 692 (cdpr@eventure.com)
To: "Hemp Talk" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Hi Hemp Talk:

I have just placed the Initiative 692 Web site online. I have had many
requests for the full text of the initiative, and it is on the site. This
is only a skeleton for now, but will grow quickly during the next few
months. So, it is a bit bare now...


You can get the full text, ballot title, and summary there...

Timothy W. Killian

Campaign Coordinator
Initiative 692

Washington Citizens for Medical Rights


em: cdpr@eventure.com
url: http://www.eventure.com/I692


Postal Box 2346
Seattle, WA 98111
ph: 206.781-7716
fx: 206.324.3101

Letter From Jim McDermott (List Subscriber Posts Endorsement
Of Medical Marijuana By District 7 US Representative
From Washington State, A Physician)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 16:40:58 EST
Originator: medmj@drcnet.org
From: Randy Chase 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: [Fwd: HT: letter from Jim McDermott]

To all,

This is a letter from US Congressperson in response to a letter from a
constituent about Medical Marijuana.

Rep. Jim McDermott is a medical Doctor which gives him great credibility
with his colleagues about medical issues.

Rep McDermott's' staff has given us permission to talk about his
position on the issue.

Please note the second paragraph and the argument that McDermott
uses to support the issue. It might be beneficial if we were to use the
same language when lobbying other congresspersons about HR 372 and other
related issues.

In Washington State we are trying to get the support of several of our
representatives for the Medical Marijuana initiative and having the
support of a Medical Doctor in Congress cannot hurt.

Randy Chase
Medical Marijuana NOW!
Seattle, Washington


Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 12:00:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Turmoil 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: letter from Jim McDermott
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

WOW! Look at the response I got from my US Congressman in the 7th


Thank you for contacting me regarding legislation which would allow
marijuana to be rescheduled under federal law so that physicians might
prescribe it to patients in limited, and very specific, circumstances.

I recognize, of course, that America continues to struggle against
widespread drug abuse and the criminal behavior that frequently
accompanies it, and I am aware that marijuana is among the illicit drugs
readily available to young people. I share the deep concerns of most
Americans about the destructive consequences drug abuse invites. Its
ravages are all too familiar because almost every American family has been
touched directly or indirectly by it. The costs associated with our War on
Drugs continue to rise, particulary as our drug trafficking interdiction
efforts have been expanded. I regulary have supported these initiatives
because I believe they are critical to the well-being of society. I also
consistently have encouraged substantial expansion of our drug treatment
programs and facilites so that those eager to overcome drug abuse might
receive the professional help they need to do so.

At the same time, it is important to note that over the last
several years, marijuana has been shown to be helpful in combating the
unpleasant symptoms and side effects of particular medical treatments or
conditions. Patients report significant relief in certain instances, and
consequently may be able to complete courses of treatment that otherwise
would be intolerable. As a physician, I am keenly aware that modern
medicine is far from perfect, and that advances often come from unexpected
sources. If carefully supervised use of marijuana brings relief of
suffering for certain patients in certain circumstances, prescription of
the drug by the patient's treating physician is sensible and
compassionate. I believe it possible to closely regulate marijuana's use
for particular medical purposes in an arrangement that benefits seiously
ill patients without worsening America's illicit drug problems.

I appreciate hearing from you and hope you continue to share your
views with me.

Jim McDermott

What Does Mark Sidran Have Against The McCoys? ('Seattle Times' Columnist
Michelle Malkin Continues Her Expose On How The City Of Seattle's Lawsuit
To Close Oscar's II With A 'Drug-Abatement Action' Victimizes The Owner,
Who Poured Everything Into Working With Police And The City,
Only To Have Them Abandon Him)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 06:50:18 -0800 (PST) To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell) Subject: What does Mark Sidran have against the McCoys? Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: March 24, 1998 Source: Seattle Times Contact: opinion@seatimes.com URL: http://www.seattletimes.com/news/editorial/html98/altmalk_032498.html What does Mark Sidran have against the McCoys? Michelle Malkin/Times staff columnist "UTTER nonsense." In a KOMO-TV interview aired last Friday, Seattle City Attorney Mark Sidran dismissed the concerns of beleaguered business owners Oscar and Barbara McCoy. Sidran's words were punctuated by an impatient smirk and the preening indignation of a tough- on-crime commissar. What does Sidran have against the McCoys, anyway? The McCoys are struggling to fend off a civil drug-abatement action that would effectively shut down their 22-year-old family tavern. They want other entrepreneurs to know that government agencies responsible for protecting law-abiding citizens sometimes work against them. Rather than protect the McCoys, the city removed police protection from their neighborhood and conducted a two-year undercover narcotics operations at their soul-food restaurant, Oscar's II, on 2051 E. Madison Ave. This cruelly cost-effective detective work became the foundation of the city's case for closure. The police department paid anonymous informants (with charming code names such as "Bright Eyes") for their service. But not a single drug dealer was arrested nor a single search warrant issued at Oscar's II as a result. Sidran told KOMO: "It's not acceptable to simply say `Well, yes, there's drug trafficking on my property but that's not my problem. That's for the police to deal with.' " The McCoys, however, never said any such thing. Indeed, even police witnesses who testified against the McCoys acknowledged that the McCoys worked hard to reduce crime on and around their property. And King County Superior Court Judge Joseph Wesley, who recently ruled in the city's favor, nonetheless determined that "the McCoys have responsibly if not successfully combated the ongoing problem for many years . . . The McCoys have not in any sense `permitted' the existence of a nuisance in the sense of having allowed it, furthered it, or condoned it." Sidran blamed the McCoys for not implementing all the components of the police department's supposedly non-binding "Drug Elimination Plan." But take a closer look at that "plan" - an informal, unsigned, makeshift list handed to the McCoys by drug-abatement officer Linda Diaz in 1994: -- Seattle Police Department record check of all employees. Employees required to have good identification. -- No violations of state liquor codes. -- Bathrooms locked with the bartender in control of the keys. Only one person in the bathroom at a time. -- Security on duty on weekends and evenings. The security should not only keep control of the inside but also the area directly outside the tavern and all parking areas. The security should wear clothing that clearly identified them. Security should check all customers for weapons . . . -- An `86' list should be maintained behind the counter and with security so that the bartender and security can keep track of unauthorized persons. The `86' list should be posted for Seattle Police Officers(') review. -- Inside and outside lighting should be such that the bartender and security can observe actions of customers. -- A video camera installed in the tavern with the police able to remove the tape and review it at any time. -- Post signs on the front door that state: "No loitering, No drug activity allowed - 911 will be called." -- Inside pay phone should be removed. No incoming calls accepted for customers. Any behind-the-counter phone should be for employee use only. -- All customers required to have and show I.D. -- A criminal trespass agreement should be initiated with the Community Police Team to stop non-customers from loitering on the property. -- An entry fee should be charge (sic) at the front door. Customers that leave should be charged again for re-admittance . . . -- The Precinct Anti-Crime Team, Community Police team or 911 should be contacted anytime anyone is suspected of selling narcotics on the property. -- The back door should be exit only, with an alarmed emergency exit bar installed. -- Install a dress code and do not allow any gang attire. The McCoys had already taken several of these common-sense steps - signs, security, no-trespass list, IDs - before the 15- point plan was concocted. They took several additional steps - more security, a metal detector, better lighting, modified pay phone - after receiving the list. But the McCoys could not afford a video camera. The bathroom policy was impractical. Nor could they impose a re-entry charge without deterring many of their customers. Now those minor failures are being used as a justification for closing Oscar's II down. How many other institutions and establishments where drug activity invariably occurs could meet such unforgiving standards? This city's high schools? The Kingdome? Key Arena? UW? The goal of the city's 15-point list is all-too-transparent: It is a selective business elimination plan, not a drug elimination plan. While Sidran and the city continue to vilify the McCoys, scores of individuals have sent notes of encouragement and donations to the McCoy Justice Fund totaling over $2,500. Supporters see in the McCoys' plight what Seattle's blinded city authorities cannot: Utter arrogance. Utter injustice. Utter nonsense indeed. Donations to the McCoy Justice Fund can be mailed to 605 First Ave., Suite 350, Seattle WA 98104. Michelle Malkin's column appears Tuesday on editorial pages of The Times. Her e-mail address is: malkin1@ix.netcom.com.

'Cocaine Mom' Hearing Closed ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Notes That,
Despite The Constitutional Prohibition On Secret Trials, A Wisconsin
Circuit Judge, J. Mac Davis, Closed Monday's Hearing And Later Declined
To Make Public Any Decision In The Case Of A Woman
Who Is Seven Months Pregnant Who Is Thought To Have Tested Positive
For 'Drugs')

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:10:06 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WI: 'Cocaine Mom' Hearing Closed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998
Author: Lisa Sink of the Journal Sentinel staff


Waukesha -- A judge Monday ordered all parties connected to the "cocaine
mom" case to remain mum about a closed-door hearing requested by the
district attorney, who wants to determine whether the woman, who is seven
months pregnant, tested positive for drugs.

Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis closed Monday's hearing to a Journal Sentinel
reporter and later declined to make public any decision on the release of
the records.

"It's a confidential case," Davis said. "There's nothing I can say."

District Attorney Paul Bucher said that he could not say whether his office
was granted access to the results of the drug test.

"Judge Davis has requested that we not discuss the matter outside of
court," Bucher said. "It wasn't a gag order per se. But he did indicate
that the parties should not discuss the matter."

But Bucher said that he still wants to review the results to determine
whether the Waukesha woman, 26, had violated her bail on a drug
paraphernalia charge by using drugs.

If she did, Bucher said, he would seek to have her bail revoked and would
likely charge her with bail jumping, a move that could land her in jail or
drug treatment for her final weeks of pregnancy.

"We're still in the same mode," Bucher said. "We want to obtain access to
those results" for a possible bail jumping charge, he said.

Craig Mastantuono, an assistant state public defender representing the
woman, also remained tight-lipped.

"I can't comment on the hearing today," he said. "It dealt with
confidential matters."

Asked about his reaction to Bucher's request for records, Mastantuono said:
"I don't think it's a criminal justice issue. I think it's a public health

The woman, known only as Angela to protect the identity of her children,
made national headlines in 1995 when county officials obtained a Juvenile
Court order to detain her to protect her unborn son from her cocaine abuse.

In that case, Angela was eight months pregnant when she was forced into a
local drug abuse treatment facility until she delivered her son, who is now
2 1/2, healthy and living in a foster home.

Angela and her attorneys appealed the detention, and last spring the state
Supreme Court ruled that the detention was illegal because the fetus was
not a child.

Two weeks ago, Angela acknowledged to a reporter that she had failed a drug
test during the first week of March. She has been ordered to undergo
biweekly drug tests as part of a Juvenile Court case involving one of her
two older children, who are living with their grandmother.

Mastantuono would not comment on whether his client was abusing drugs or
endangering the health of her viable fetus.

"She's very concerned about it," he said of her unborn son. "I don't know
if the baby is going to be harmed."

Angela declined to comment on the case as she left the Courthouse on Monday.

She was arrested and charged in December with misdemeanor possession of
drug paraphernalia.

At her initial court appearance on that charge, Court Commissioner Gerald
Janis released her from custody on a $250 signature bond with conditions
that she not possess or consume any illegal drugs, that she attend all
court appearances in the case and that she not commit any other crimes.

Plano Chief Defends Drug Stings ('Dallas Morning News' Says Plano, Texas,
Police Chief Bruce Glasscock On Monday Defended His Department's
Undercover Stings In Plano High Schools, But Attorney Phillip Wainscott
Said An Undercover Detective Knew A 16-Year-Old Boy Was Battling
A Two-Year Addiction To Drugs When She Lured Him Into Using Heroin Again,
Giving Him The Cash To Buy It, Driving Him In A Little Red Sports Car
To The Pushers Who Sold It And Then Allowing Him To Use It)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:11:22 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US TX: Plano Chief Defends Drug Stings
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998
Author: Linda Stewart Ball / The Dallas Morning News


But suspect questions tactics of investigation

Plano Police Chief Bruce Glasscock defended his department's undercover
stings in Plano high schools Monday against allegations of entrapment and
child endangerment by a student and his parents.

"We . . . are confident this investigation was handled in a professional
manner," the chief said during a news conference Monday afternoon. He said
the Collin County district attorney's office reviewed his department's
information before any warrants were issued, and that a Collin County grand
jury indicted those arrested.

But an attorney for Jonathan Kollman, 17, questioned the Police
Department's tactics. The teen was among 31 people arrested as part of
"Operation Rockfest," the undercover investigation that has led to 84 cases
against 33 adults and four juveniles.

Specifically, attorney Phillip Wainscott said the undercover detective knew
that Mr. Kollman, who was 16 at the time, was battling a two-year addiction
with drugs when she lured him into using heroin again. She gave him the
cash to buy it, drove him in a little red sports car to the pushers who
sold it and then, Mr. Wainscott said, she allowed him to use it.

"This is a lot of temptation for anyone, for any kid," he said. "But to
prey upon and to be a predator upon a kid who is trying to kick the drug
habit . . . is disgusting."

Angela Kollman, Mr. Kollman's mother, said, "We feel like the Plano Police
Department was our son's drug supplier."

Mr. Kollman, who is out on $40,000 bail, plans to enroll in a drug
treatment center in Hunt County on Tuesday. He said that he could have said
no to the undercover cop, but it wasn't that easy.

"I was trapped," he said. "The police officer always called me."

Chief Glasscock said Plano Police Department policies and practices prevent
him from elaborating on the allegations. Because of ongoing investigations,
he also declined to discuss the methods they use for undercover operations.

"The facts of this case will come out in trial," he said. "At that time you
will be able to draw a more accurate picture of this defendant and the
circumstances which led to his arrest.

"This is diverting our attention away from what the real issue is: dealing
with and responding to the drug problem that is in this community," the
chief said.

At least a dozen youths with Plano ties have died of heroin overdoses in
the last 18 months.

"We're proud to live in Plano," said Mrs. Kollman, a science teacher at a
Plano high school. "It's a great city. They've got a drug problem. They
need to clean it up - just not this way."

Last fall - prior to meeting the young woman who, unbeknownst to Mr.
Kollman, was a police officer - the youth tested negative for drugs 12
times, his parents said.

"Police should not be contributing to making him worse," said Jonathan's
father, Victor Kollman, a Lutheran minister.

Jonathan Kollman, an A and B student who takes honors classes, said he
wants to go to college and be successful. But first he must kick his
addiction to drugs that began out of a curiosity about marijuana, he said.

Mr. Kollman was arrested on two counts of delivery of a controlled
substance on March 16.

Mr. Wainscott said he wants a grand jury in either Collin or Dallas county
to investigate the Plano Police Department's methods to determine whether
there was any criminal conduct on the officer's behalf.

"I'm a former police officer of 21 years and I've never come across
anything like this," Mr. Wainscott said, adding that he is considering
filing suit against the department. "You don't put on the street what
you're attempting to take off."

But Bill Schultz, first assistant district attorney in the Collin County
district attorney's office, said different rules apply when police go
undercover, and they don't always agree with everyone's sense of propriety.

"It's the only area where police must lie to the people they're dealing
with to achieve results," he said. "If Kollman thinks he's been entrapped I
guess he can lay that on the jury and see what it thinks."

Instructor Charged With Cocaine Trafficking (Massachusetts' 'Standard-Times'
Says A New Bedford, Connecticut, Vocational School Substitute Teacher
Was Popped With Almost A Pound Of Cocaine At His Residence)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 10:01:18 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US MA: Instructor Charged With Cocaine Trafficking
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com
Pubdate: Tue., 24 Mar 1998
Author: Maureen Boyle, Standard-Times staff writer


Police and school officials said yesterday they do not believe a part-time
teacher at Greater New Bedford Regional Voc-Tech sold drugs to students --
or on school grounds -- but cannot rule it out until an investigation is

Eugene DeSouza, 43, an adult education instructor and substitute teacher at
the school, was arrested on drug trafficking charges with his wife, Linda,
39, a home health aide, at their Martelle Street home in Acushnet Saturday
night after police found more than $50,000 worth of cocaine in the house.

The arrests and raid followed a three-month probe by police from the two

The couple were arraigned in 3rd District Court yesterday and held on
$25,000 cash bail.

"There is nothing that we know of at this point that indicates he sold
drugs at the school or to students," said New Bedford Lt. Melvin Wotton,
head of the Police Department's narcotics unit. "We don't have any evidence
at this time that was going on."

But school officials said they are taking the charges seriously and are
conducting an internal investigation.

Mr. DeSouza was teaching at the night school, but that program ended a few
weeks ago, said Luis Lopes, program coordinator at the school.

Mr. DeSouza -- who had no contract with the school -- is no longer employed
at the school and no longer will be a substitute teacher, Mr. Lopes said.

Jeffrey E. Riley, school superintendent and director, said in a prepared
statement that Mr. DeSouza was hired as a substitute on an "as-needed

"During that time there has been no indication of any activities requiring
disciplinary actions. However, Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School
administration takes these charges very seriously. In addition to the New
Bedford and Acushnet police departments' investigations, the administration
has initiated its own internal investigation," Mr. Riley said, noting that
the probe is continuing.

Although there was no evidence that the suspects sold drugs at the school,
one investigator said Mr. DeSouza tried to blame students for drugs found
at the house.

"For him to try to put the blame on the kids, that was pretty low," said
New Bedford Detective Paul Oliveira, who investigated the case with
Acushnet Detective Thomas Carreau.

The couple's home -- bought 11 years ago -- is along a dirt road in a quiet
part of town, Acushnet Chief Michael Poitras said.

"If four cars come in at night, that's unusual," he said.

But the seizure of nearly a pound of cocaine from the house illustrates
that drug dealing can occur anywhere and is not just a city problem, Chief
Poitras said.

"They may live here and move the drugs elsewhere. That seems to be a
recurring theme," the chief said.

Drug Abuse Policy (Letter To Editor Of Spokane, Washington,
'Spokesman-Review' From Nora Callahan Of The November Coalition
Says Addiction Is A Medical Problem And It's Far Past Time
To Let The Medical Establishment Take The Reigns From Legislators
And Law Enforcement - Are We Going To Build Schools Or Prisons
For Our Children?)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:11:35 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WA: PUB LTE: Drug Abuse Policy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Nora Callahan 
Source: Spokesman-Review (WA)
Contact: editor@spokesman.com
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998


Misguided policy ever more costly

In Wednesday's paper we read in the headlines, "Physicians criticize U.S.
drug policy". Saturday we read that Gov. Locke signed three bills designed
to crack down on people who operate methanphetamine labs.

U.S. physicians urge our country's citizens to realize that drug addiction
can be treated as effectively as any chronic disease. Our legislators
ignore scientific studies and so we raise the risk that will raise the
price of an addictive drug. When the price goes up, so do the profits and
meth labs will operate in greater numbers than ever before. So will

The public has little understanding of drug issues because legislators fan
the flames of hysteria about drug use and abuse. Appearing tough on crime
wins votes - but isn't it time we get smart?

Addiction is a medical problem and it's far past time to let the medial
establishment take the reigns from legislators and law enforcement.

We have also read that in Montana the growing demand for prison cells is
taking their entire budget for schools this year. Will our new laws do the
same to our state? We are fast heading in that direction. Our own
Department of Corrections budget is expected to triple in the next two
years! The money will be siphoned from education, just as it has in every
state across America.

So what is it going to be? A medical problem or a criminal one? Are we
going to build schools or prisons for our children?

Nora Callahan, director of The November Coalition

Reno Wants Inmate Drug Treatment ('Associated Press'
Notes US Attorney General Janet Reno
And US Health And Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala On Tuesday
Urged Public Support For President Clinton's Proposal To Allow States
To Use Prison Construction Money For Drug Treatment)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 08:07:32 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Reno Wants Inmate Drug Treatment
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: G. A ROBISON
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: 24 Mar 1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring the nation cannot arrest its way out of the
drug problem, two Cabinet secretaries urged public support Tuesday for
President Clinton's proposal to allow states to use prison construction
money for drug treatment.

They said "zero tolerance" for drugs in prison, along with vigorous
testing, extensive treatment and consistent follow-through once prisoners
are released from jail will lower rates of both addiction and crime.

"We need to speak clearly to the American people and let them know that
treatment and testing does work," Attorney General Janet Reno told a
national conference on drug addiction and crime.

"We have a twofold policy: `Zero tolerance but maximum assistance,"' said
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. "Because frankly, when a
drug user actually lands in prison, we have a unique opportunity to get
them into treatment, to break their addiction and to break the cycle of
drugs, violence and criminality."

"It's almost a no-brainer," said Barry McCaffrey, who convened the
conference in his current role as the administration's director of
drug-control policy. "We need a tough love approach."

The three administration officials sought to rally support for a Clinton
initiative to earmark $200 million in the next federal budget to identify
prison drug users through testing and to make sure drug users get treatment.

Clinton also asked that all states report on the level of drug use in their
prisons and that they be allowed to use prison construction money for drug
testing and treatment.

Their calls for bipartisan approval of the proposals on Capitol Hill
followed by a day the release of a Justice Department survey of people on
probation from jail sentences. It found that nearly half of the
probationers had been drinking or taking drugs or both at the time of their

Another Justice Department study released in January showed that more than
60 percent of adult men arrested for an array of crimes tested positive for
at least one drug.

A study by the Federal Bureau of Prisons of recently released inmates who
had received drug treatment in prison indicated that they were less likely
to be rearrested or return to drugs.

"We know that drug users who undergo testing and treatment while in prison
are twice as likely to stay drug free -- and to stay crime free," Shalala

Reno said: "To do just incarceration is not going to work. To do just
prevention and treatment, that's not going to work either. We need a
balanced approach."

Drug Treatment Not Likely To Replace Jails (Version In 'Daily Arizona Star'
Would Seem To Ignore Arizona Voters Who Endorsed Proposition 200
By A Two-To-One Ratio)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 15:53:25 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: Drug Treatment Not Likely To Replace Jails
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998
Source: Daily Arizona Star (AZ)
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Author: Lawrence O'Rourke


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, Calif., 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.

"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.

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.

Lawrence M. O'Rourke writes in the McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau.

Kicking The Quick Fix - War On Drugs (Staff Editorial
In 'Saint Louis Post-Dispatch' Contrasts Two Studies Released This Month,
One Showing Addiction Treatment Works,
Another Showing The Public Prefers Punishment)

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 18:15:28 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US MO: Editorial: Kicking The Quick Fix - War On Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Mike Gogulski
Pubdate: 24 Mar 1998
Source: Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
Website: http://www.stlnet.com/
Section: Editorial
Contact: letters@pd.stlnet.com


When it comes to the so-called war on drugs, Americans are hooked on quick
fixes. We require the immediate gratification of harsher sentences, stiffer
fines and slick slogans - even if that means forfeiting real progress.

And while we're deluding ourselves with costly approaches, we shortchange
more proven ways of combating the national drug problem.

Two contrasting studies this month highlight the disparity between what
scientific evidence shows we should do to win the war on drugs, and what
public opinion dictates.

First, the science: Drug and alcohol addiction are medical problems. The
best way to beat them is to treat them - medically. That's the view of the
Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy, a bipartisan group of
prominent doctors and public health specialists.

Second, public opinion: Nearly everyone knows that the war on drugs is a
miserable failure. Nearly 80 percent of the people say so. But the popular
answer to drug abuse is longer and longer jail time.

It's easy to understand the appeal of longer jail terms to the public and
the politicians who come courting. To citizens whose communities are
besieged by junkies and dealers, the goal is to get these guys off the

Police busts appear to the public to do just that. At least for a while. Or
until the junkie serves his sentence, is released without treatment and
finds his way back to the street corner.

When forming a national strategy to deal with drug abuse, we should
consider these facts:

* Drug treatment curbs crime - by up to 80 percent, according to one study.
Jail sentences don't produce those results.

* Drug treatment is relatively cheap. Jail is expensive. Traditional
treatment costs an average of $1,800 per person per year. Jail costs $25,900.

* Every dollar invested in drug treatment saves $7 in societal and medical
costs, according to the physicians' report. Money spent on locking up users
does little more than provide human warehousing unless there is effective
treatment in prison.

One last gap between perception and truth: Most people think drug abusers
are primarily poor, uneducated and black. Yet most are whites, many from
well-educated families.

Despite the facts, we continue to spend just 20 percent of our
drug-fighting dollars on treatment. The rest is thrown at politically
popular, but fundamentally flawed, get-tough policies.

If we really want to beat the national drug problem, it's time we kick the
habit of the quick-fix, feel-good solutions, and pay attention to serious

Copyright (c) 1997 Post Dispatch

A Kinder, Gentler FDA - Firms Say New Policies Make It Easier To Handle
('San Francisco Chronicle' Article Notes The US Food And Drug Administration
Is Changing Its Procedures To Better Cater To Pharmaceutical Companies -
Preceding Comments By List Subscriber Contrast Agency's Mendaciousness
With Its Past Contortions Regarding Marijuana)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 09:34:15 -0800
From: rgivens@sirius.com
Subject: A Kinder, Gentler FDA-- Debating Points

[Sender's note:]

Throwing out old papers today, I found this article about the FDA rejivving
its procedures to better cater to the needs and profits of big
pharmaceutical companies. The FDA expresses its sell out with rules
minimizing study and research into new drugs, products and therapies. This
is exactly the opposite of the government's view of marijuana research which
if done to their satisfaction would be completed sometime around the year

Going by past behavior, no marijuana research is good enough to settle the
debate no matter how thoroughly, how well done or how big the study might
be. Pharmaceutical research for prescription drugs, on the other hand, is
often so sloppy that the dangers only appear when people start dropping dead
from an "FDA approved" medication. Bad drugs are found as much by their
deleterious effects and the trail of bodies they leave as by development

This article proves the hypocrisy of the establishment in dealing with
marijuana and other illicit drugs. Marijuana has been tested, checked,
surveyed, analyzed and studied a hundred times more than any other drug
submitted for approval. All of the science flatly contradicts the
prohibitionist accusations against marijuana. No ordinary drug would be
denied FDA approval for the petty "it causes hangnails" kind of aspersions
Reefer Maniacs use against cannabis. They tried to stop one study because
they claimed cannabis's appetite enhancing qualities would cause AIDS
patients using marijuana to boost their food intake might raise their
cholesterol levels, putting them at long-term risk of developing hardening
of the arteries. That's the lunacy we need to expose in our debates.

Debaters should cull this article for contradictions between the way
cannabis research is done and the way Tylenol (a lethally dangerous drug)
and other dangerous standard medications get approved. If I can, I'll try to
get some references to drugs which were hastily approved and then recalled
after a few dozen patients dropped dead. You can find this data in a
publication called "Side Effects" in medical libraries. "Side Effects" tells
you all of the things about drugs the manufacturers would like to bury at
the bottom of the Marianis Trench.

Aggressive debaters who don't mind holding the opposition up to ridicule,
condemnation and possible lynching will find enough contradictions in the
new FDA procedures to barbeque any narcomaniac who dares stand up for their
corrupt science.

The killer question is why a different scientific (?) standard is appied to
marijuana research than for potentially lethal medications.

R Givens


Tuesday, February 24, 1998
San Francisco Chronicle
Business Section C 1

A Kinder, Gentler FDA

Firms say new policies make it easier to handle
Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Staff Writer

A new era is dawning at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Key provisions of the 1997 FDA Modernization Act finally took effect last
week, capping a three-year battle [Image] on Capitol Hill to streamline
the U.S. system for approving new drugs and medical devices.

Biotech and medical devices companies say the changes, coming at a time of
rapid technology innovation, promise to help transform medical tools and
techniques. For patients, the new ``user friendly'' FDA law will mean
quicker access to cutting-edge drugs and devices.

Although it will take months for the FDA to translate the law into specific
new procedures, medical technology firms say the agency -- which began
making some changes while the law was being debated -- already is much
easier to work with.

``I'm very happy with the changes,'' said Stuart Edwards, chief executive at
Somnus Medical Technologies Inc., who recently showed off his Sunnyvale
plant to U.S. Representative Joseph Barton, R- Texas, a leading
congressional champion of FDA streamlining.

Somnus just won FDA approval, after a mere 90-day review, for its latest
``Somnoplasty System'' -- a sort of handheld microwave tool doctors can use
to treat chronic stuffy noses.

``We demonstrated that we have a product that does the job, and the FDA
worked with us in a way that's been very beneficial,'' Edwards said.

But some consumer advocates worry that the FDA is getting too cozy with
companies it should be policing.

Maura Kealey, legislative advocate for the Ralph Nader-founded group Public
Citizen in Washington, D.C., helped lead the opposition to ``FDA reform'' on
Capitol Hill. Now, Kealey warns that the FDA product-review system is being
systematically watered down.

One of her main concerns is that many product-makers will no longer have to
track how new products work in actual use. Another big controversy focuses
on a plan to let manufacturers hire private firms to test products.

``It's very scary,'' she said. ``The attitude now basically is, `Let's just
put stuff out quicker, with less review, and hope for the best.' ''

Defenders of the new system maintain that safety standards remain intact,
and that new timetables and disclosure rules merely eliminate unnecessary
delays in getting lifesaving products to patients.

Under the leadership of former FDA head Dr. David Kessler, the FDA was world
famous for its skeptical approach -- and notoriously difficult for product
makers, as well as many organized patient groups, to figure out.

``It was always a bit of a black box,'' recalled Ginger Howard, president of
the Silicon Valley-based vascular-products division of Guidant Corp. ``We
didn't know what they would require, because we couldn't talk with the agency.''

Her company received approval in October, following a 113-day review, for a
cardiovascular stent, a metal truss used to patch weak spots within a blood
vessel. It was only the second product of its kind to win regulatory
approval in the United States.

Because of the relative novelty of the product and the high risk of
fatalities should it fail, Howard said the company still had to conduct a
``very rigorous'' clinical study involving 1,040 patients.

``In today's environment (FDA reviewers) work with us collaboratively,''
Howard said, and try to reduce delays. ``They ask us a question today and we
answer it tomorrow and they keep on reviewing. So we don't lose a lot of time.''

Whereas the FDA used to give few signals in advance, productmakers now say
they can find out early on just what kind of data they need to gather to
support an application.

That has been the most profound change so far, said William Starling, CEO at
Cardiac Pathways Corp. in Sunnyvale.

His company submitted an application at the end of January for a new
electro-surgical device for treating a heartbeat abnormality called
ventricular tachycardia.

Although the review is only beginning, Starling was stunned to get a call
back within three days of filing: A senior reviewer just wanted to confirm
that the documents were received and that a timetable was being set for the
next steps.

``In the old days you would never have heard anything back from them,''
Starling said. ``Clearly they have a different attitude.''

In certain cases, manufacturers now can use previously published medical
literature as a benchmark for comparing how well their products work. That
eliminated the need to conduct a whole new set of expensive, time-consuming

Just because a product clears the FDA more quickly doesn't mean doctors will
necessarily adopt it, or more importantly, get it covered by insurance.

In the past few years, the bottleneck holding back medical innovation has
shifted from the Washington regulators to the more complex landscape of
insurance and managed care.

``The big problem now is not getting something through the FDA, it's getting
it covered,'' said Don Freeman, head of Freeman Healthcare Technology, a San
Francisco consulting firm. ``You can have the greatest product . . . and it
can still be nearly impossible to get it reimbursed by managed care and the
Medicare program. The regulatory issues by comparison are much easier to
deal with.''

Nor have the regulations gotten so simple that the lawyers have nothing to
do anymore. They just switched from fighting the FDA to explaining how the
new system works.

``We have more work than ever before,'' said David Hoffmeister, a specialist
in FDA affairs at the Palo Alto law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.

(c)1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page C1

Needle Exchanges Can Save Lives (Op-Ed In New York's 'Newsday'
Notes Federal Legislation Prohibiting Federal Support For Needle Exchange
Expires On March 31, And Gives Several Reasons
US Health And Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala On April 1
Should Authorize Needle Exchange Programs To Fight AIDS
And Reduce Drug Abuse)

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 17:29:49 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Needle Exchanges Can Save Lives
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Newsday (NY)
Pubdate: 24 Mar 1998
Contact: letters@newsday.com
Website: http://www.newsday.com
Author: Robert Dawidoff
Note: Robert Dawidoff is a professor of American history at Claremont
Graduate University.


IMAGINE IF YOU were the nation's top public health official and you could
save thousands of lives and curb the spread of AIDS with your signature.
That is the opportunity facing Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna

On April 1, she can authorize federal support for needle exchange programs
for intravenous drug users and thereby significantly reduce the
transmission of HIV. Intravenous drug users habitually share their
hypodermic needles, exposing each other as well as their sexual partners
and their offspring to the deadly disease. In an exchange program, addicts
turn in their used dirty needles for clean ones.

April 1 date is significant because federal legislation prohibiting federal
support of needle exchange expires on March 31. If these programs can be
shown to reduce the spread of AIDS without encouraging drug use, then HHS
may proceed with the exchange.

Needle exchange has been shown to meet these conditions. So what are public
health officials waiting for? They must seize this chance to save American

Needle exchange is nobody's ideal solution to the problems of AIDS
transmission or intravenous drug use. But there is no doubt that it works.

According to studies of five New York City needle exchange programs, the
HIV-infection rate was cut by two-thirds.

The urgency and effectiveness of needle exchange have been endorsed by the
president's own advisory council on AIDS, the American Medical Association,
the National Academy of Sciences, the American Public Health Association,
the National Commission on AIDS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the
American Bar Asssociation, to name a few.

Between 650,000 and 900,000 people in the United States are infected with
HIV, and more than a million Americans inject illegal drugs. New medical
therapies have reduced AIDS deaths significantly but have no impact on the
rate of infection. There is a scientific consensus that clean needles and
safer sex significantly reduce the rates.

But the focus of public response has been on treatment, not prevention, as
if these were competitive goals.

The habitual sharing of needles spreads AIDS among users, their sexual
partners and their babies. A large proportion of the estimated 6,000 cases
of pediatric AIDS can be traced to shared needles.

One third of all AIDS cases and more than half of those involving women
result from injections of drugs or having sex with people who do.

Fighting drug use is hard enough. When you add AIDS and its transmission,
however, the public health system is overwhelmed.

Needle exchange programs safely dispose of used needles. Most programs
refer clients to HIV testing and counseling and drug treatment programs.

A 1997 study, published in The Lancet (a British medical journal),
estimated that needle exchange programs might have prevented between 4,400
and 9,700 HIV infections, which would have saved as much as half a billion
dollars in health care expenditures. The same study estimated that needle
exchange might prevent 11,300 more cases among drug injectors, their sexual
partners and their children.

It isn't hard to figure out why the government is not preparing the public
to support needle exchange. Officials seem to have confused saving American
lives with saving their own skins. It may well be that the political
consequences of instituting needle exchange will be as contentious as the
administration apparently fears.

But politics as usual will not stop the AIDS plague. Courageous,
professional and mature decisions about public health will.

Surely we have learned something from the deadly results of government
inaction during the first decade of the AIDS epidemic.

An informed public must make it politically dangerous for the
administration not to act on April 1 to save lives.

Otherwise a missed opportunity will become a fatal April Fool's joke.

Copyright 1998, Newsday Inc.

What The Antismoking Zealots Really Crave (Is Prohibition,
According To 'Boston Globe' Columnist Jeff Jacoby In A Review
Of Jacob Sullum's Book, 'For Your Own Good,'
A Lucid And Superbly Researched Critique Of The Antitobacco Jihad)

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 06:50:07 -0800 (PST)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: What the antismoking zealots really crave
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: March 24, 1998
Source: Boston Globe
Contact: letter@globe.com


What the antismoking zealots really crave

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist, 03/24/98

A question for antitobacco militants: Why do you draw the line at
private homes?

To protect nonsmokers, especially young ones, you've made it illegal
to smoke in more and more places. You have banished smoking from tens
of millions of private workplaces; from airplanes and buses; from
most government buildings. You have gotten hundreds of cities -
Boston is your latest conquest - to ban smoking in restaurants
altogether. In California, you've even driven smokers from bars.

But smoking at home is OK.

Curious, no? You militants routinely justify your crusade by
claiming to act for "the kids," yet in the one place a kid is
likeliest to encounter cigarettes, smoking is wholly unregulated.
Why? It can't be because you respect the rights of private property
owners. After all, restaurants and bars are private property. And it
can't be because the state never interferes in the way parents raise
their children - the state interferes in everything from the
commercials children see on television to the paint that goes on
their walls. So why aren't you clamoring to take away parents'
freedom to smoke at home?

Granted, that would just about outlaw all smoking. But isn't that
what you want?

One of the nation's foremost antismoking activists, Stanton Glantz,
compares cigarette manufacturers to Timothy McVeigh, the mass
murderer of Oklahoma City. A New York Times reporter likens tobacco
employees to "the guards and doctors in the Nazi death camps." Over a
decade ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association was
calling for "a declaration of all-out war" against the perpetrators
of "the tobaccoism holocaust."

Such murderous rhetoric is typical. On taxpayer-funded billboards in
California, a man about to light up asks, "Mind if I smoke?" The
woman replies: "Care if I die?" Elizabeth Whelan of the American
Council on Science and Health says smoking kills more people than "if
every single day two filled-to-capacity jumbo jets crashed, killing
all on board." A former director of the Centers for Disease Control
has predicted that "the annual global death toll of tobacco will
equal the total death toll of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany."

Such hysteria is more than repugnant, it is false. In "For Your Own
Good" (Free Press), a lucid and superbly researched new book on the
antitobacco jihad, journalist Jacob Sullum pinpoints the deceit:

"The rhetoric of tobacco's opponents implies a rough equivalence
between a 65-year-old smoker who dies of lung cancer and a 40-year-
old businessman killed in a plane crash, a 19-year-old soldier shot
in the trenches of World War I, or a child murdered by the Nazis at
Auschwitz. But there is a big difference between someone who dies
suddenly at the hands of another person or in an accident and someone
who dies as a result of a long-term, voluntarily assumed risk."

Maybe so, you antismoking activists might say, but the harm caused
by smoking isn't limited to the smoker. His smoke poisons everyone he
comes into contact with. They shouldn't be made to suffer because of
his vile habit. Nonsmokers have a right to a smoke-free society.

In fact, the danger of secondhand smoke is more myth than science.
Most epidemiological studies have found no statistically significant
link between lung cancer and secondhand smoke. Exposure to cigarette
fumes may not be good for your health, but the medical fact is that
secondhand smoke is not likely to do lasting harm to anyone.

Still - what about those kids growing up in smokers' homes? How can
you sworn enemies of tobacco be so intent on criminalizing the smoke
in smoky jazz bars, yet do nothing about the millions of children
whose parents light up with abandon? Why don't you demand that
cigarettes be outlawed in any house with kids? In other words, why
don't you demand that cigarettes be outlawed - period?

Maybe the answer is that even zealots like you realize it wouldn't
work. Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s was a hideous failure,
drenching the country in corruption, crime, and oceans of impure
alcohol. In a nation with 45 million smokers, Tobacco Prohibition
would be no less a disaster, and most of you know it.

Or maybe the answer is that you couldn't afford to end smoking
entirely. Ban all tobacco, and there'd be no tobacco taxes or (legal)
tobacco profits. No profits or taxes, no hundreds of billions of
dollars to fund a settlement. No gusher of dollars for new "health
care" programs. No bonanza for plaintiffs' lawyers. No lavish budgets
for all your antitobacco outfits. No goose. No golden eggs.

But I think the real answer is that you don't think you can get away
with it - yet. Already some of you are targeting smokers' homes. At
least one law review article has claimed that parents who expose
their children to tobacco smoke "should be viewed as committing child
abuse." A Pennsylvania legislator has proposed a ban on smoking in
any vehicle carrying a minor. More intrusion is on its way.

Nicotine may be pleasurable, but it's nothing like the high of
forcing others to behave the way you want them to. Power over other
people's pleasures is very addicting, isn't it? "The true nature of
the crusade for a smoke-free society," Sullum writes, is "an attempt
by one group of people to impose their tastes and preferences on
another." It's illiberal, it's vindictive, it's intolerant. It's you.

Bloc Demands Marijuana Debate ('Ottawa Citizen'
Says Bloc Quebecois Wants A Full Debate In Canada's Parliament
On The Legalization Of Marijuana For Medicinal Purposes)

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 23:50:12 -0800
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: Chris Clay 
Subject: Bloc demands marijuana debate
SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen
DATE: March 24, 1998
AUTHOR: Stephen Bindman
CONTACT: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
WEBSITE: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/


The Bloc Quebecois wants a full parliamentary debate on the legalization of
marijuana for medicinal purposes.

MP Bernard Biras presented a motion yesterday in the Commons calling on the
Liberal government to take "all necessary measures" to decriminalize
marijuana for therapeutic reasons.

Mr. Bigras said it's time for the government to stop studying the issue and
come up with a clear position.

Doctors, criminologists, the terminally ill and the media -- but not the
elected representatives in the Commons -- have all begun to debate
legalization, he complained.

"It is unacceptable that terminally ill people are paying the price for the
lack of political courage of this government," the 29-year-old Rosemont MP
told a press conference. "Legislators have shown a total lack of
comprehension and compassion towards the chronically ill who aspire to
nothing but to live with dignity. The situation is urgent because every day
of suffering counts for these people."

A Reform MP has already introduced a similar private-member's motion asking
that MPs debate the issue.

Last year, an Ontario court ruled a Toronto man suffering from severe
epilepsy has a constitutional right to cultivate, possess and smoke pot to
alleviate his symptoms. The federal government is appealing that ruling but
similar constitutional challenges are under way in courts across Canada.

Justice Minister Anne McLellan said yesterday she has sympathy for people
who believe marijuana can alleviate their suffering, but she would not say
when a study by officials in her department and Health Canada will be
completed. Until it is, she said, Canada's drug laws will be enforced.

Advocates of the medicinal use of marijuana contend it promotes appetite
and suppresses nausea, making it a potential lifesaver for cancer or
battling the wasting syndrome caused by AIDS.

An Angus Reid poll last year found 83 per cent of respondents supported the
legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

"Buyers' clubs" have popped up across Canada for patients whose doctors
advise them to smoke marijuana.

The Bloc's motion was strongly endorsed by Ottawa physician Don Kilby, who
has applied to Health Canada for a special permit to supply a patient with
marijuana to help relieve some of his AIDS symptoms.

Police Get Corporate Sponsorship ('Vancouver Sun' Says Police
All Across Canada Are Accepting Everything From Cell Phones
To Vehicles)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Police get corporate sponsorship
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 10:06:30 -0800
Source: Vancouver Sun
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Tuesday 24 March 1998

Police get corporate sponsorship

Catherine Porter Vancouver Sun

Faced with the reality of tight budgets, community police stations
across the country are increasingly calling for backup from corporate
sponsors, accepting everything from cell phones to vehicles.

"It's happening right across the country," RCMP national headquarters
media relations officer Sergeant Andre Guertin said Monday in an
interview from Ottawa. "Policing is so expensive that we have been
more creative in forming new partnerships with the community,
including businesses."

Langley RCMP is leading the Lower Mainland in such efforts. Constable
Pierre Lemaitre is especially gifted at garnering corporate support.
Eight months after his arrival in the community from Prince George,
the community policing officer has solicited six cars from six
different local dealerships to outfit all of the region's community
policing offices. In exchange, each of the vehicles flash dealer
stickers on their tail ends.

And White Rock victim-assistance officers started riding in a
sponsored van five years ago, and today two of the six police bicycles
flash company decals.

Delta police spun a similar deal two years ago with the local rotary
club and a car dealer for a van. Surrey RCMP's media liaison officer
Constable Grant Learned just struck a partnership with a local
dealership for a 1998 Ford Venture van.

And it doesn't stop at that. Community policing offices across the
Vancouver area are stocked with donated fax machines, furniture and
supplies. All seven White Rock RCMP vehicles were recently equipped
with cell phones by a local company in return for a small sticker on
each bumper.

And Langley's new community policing office was renovated entirely by
local businesses, as well as outfitted with a new boardroom table and

Even vehicles based in the RCMP headquarters community policing unit
in Ottawa were sponsored by local companies, said headquarters media
relations officer Sergeant Andre Guertin.

Although the RCMP has guidelines governing such sponsorships, it is up
to the officers in each community to venture into the field and
solicit companies, Guertin said.

Although this strategy might please taxpayers, the prospect of a
privately funded police force raises questions of integrity. Will
donations to police by individuals and private companies threaten the
objectivity and independence of police offers?

As Simon Fraser University criminology professor Paul Brantingham
pointed out, even if community policing can't be bought off, the
possibility of this happening in the public perception is potentially

"There's the potential of cutting into policing credibility," he said.

RCMP community relations officer Sergeant Russ Grabb said: "To answer
that question, you have to understand the philosophy behind community
policing that was brought in a few years ago."

In contrast to the old "paramilitary" kind of policing, the concept of
community policing is based on forming partnerships with the public
and, together, generating more proactive attempts to curb crime, he

Funding for law enforcement in Canada has been especially tight in
recent years. Rank-and-file RCMP officers across the nation have not
had a pay increase for more than five years.

The wage freeze has had a real impact in the Lower Mainland, the area
with the nation's high cost of living.

Seven senior officers, including four homicide investigators, have
resigned from the Surrey RCMP in the last year to earn more money in
jobs with provincial agencies and the private sector.

The departure of so many veteran investigators comes as Surrey police
try to cope with a record seven homicides in the first two-and-a-half
months of 1998.

Community police offices, aimed at nipping crime in the bud before it
surfaces, are considered one of the most cost-effective law
enforcement tools.

They are typically located in the heart of the municipality and are
run largely by volunteers. Programs emerging from these offices, such
as Block Watch and safety education at schools, are aimed at nipping
crime in the bud before it surfaces.

Also, by soliciting local involvement, police hope to foster a sense
of community ownership, with neighbourhoods conducting their own

It is only natural, then, that many of the community policing programs
are funded by the community, Grabb said.

But We Still Love Our Men In Blue ('Ottawa Sun' Says An International Survey
By Statistics Canada Shows - Surprise! Canadians Rate Their Police
The Best In The World)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 10:03:04 -0800

OTTAWA SUN: Top Stories
March 24, 1998


Canadians rate their police officers the best in the world,
according to an international survey.

The big thumbs up comes despite one in four Canadians reporting that
they were victims of crime, and the fact that the country has one of
the smallest ratios of officers per capita, says Statistics Canada.

An international study of 11 western industrial nations found 80% of
Canadians thought their police were doing a good job -- compared to
77% in the second-ranked U.S.

Canucks love their police far more than the English love their famed
British Bobby, according to the survey -- the police approval rating
in England and Wales was only 68%.

The lowest approval rating of all was in The Netherlands -- only 45%
gave the Dutch police the thumbs up.

Pot Growing Transplant Man Is Freed (Britain's 'Times' Says A Judge
At Nottingham Crown Court Last Week Allowed A Liver Transplant Patient
And Father Of Six To Go Free After He Admitted Growing And Using Cannabis
To Ease His Pain - The Judge Said, 'It Does Seem From A Number Of Cases
That Appear Before Me That It Is Of Benefit To A Number Of Persons,'
But A Spokesman For Home Secretary Jack Straw Said, 'There Has Been
No Compelling Research')

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 09:54:26 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Pot Growing Transplant Man is Freed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Times The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998


A JUDGE has allowed a liver transplant patient to go free after he admitted
growing and using cannabis to ease his pain. Sympathising with him, Judge
John Hopkin said: "I accept that's why you were growing it; to relieve the
considerable pain you must suffer. That is against the law as it stands at
the present time, but there is very substantial mitigation in your case."

Richard Gifford, 49, a father of six, was given a two-year conditional
discharge at Nottingham Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to
producing and possessing cannabis. The judge said: "Whether this substance
should be obtained by prescription is a matter for Parliament. But it does
seem from a number of cases that appear before me that it is of benefit to
a number of persons."

Yesterday Gifford pledged to carry on smoking the drug: "While I am still
alive, I intend to carry on using it," he said. His family doctor also
backed his use of cannabis in a letter to the judge.

The court heard that police found cannabis plants, some 8ft tall, growing
in Gifford's back garden in Nottingham.

Gifford said after the case that he first smoked the drug in 1968 after
being medically discharged from the Royal Engineers because of a spinal
disorder. He then contracted hepatitis and, in 1996, he underwent a liver
transplant. His chances of surviving were put at less than 40 per cent. At
the height of his suffering, the former garage owner was smoking up to 20
cannabis "joints" a day, drinking marijuana tea and even eating freshly
picked leaves with his roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

"I couldn't begin to tell you the amount of pain and suffering I have had
to endure. But I was able, once I had the availability of cannabis, to stop
using prescribed drugs such as morphine and other strong painkillers which
are habitually addictive," he said.

Gifford's wife, Miriam, a clairvoyant, said she had never touched cannabis
but would not hesitate to use the drug if she fell ill. Her husband said he
had been buying it on the streets since the police cut down his 12 8ft
plants. He has asked for a licence to grow the drug legally or be able to
obtain it on prescription but he had been turned down.

Medical experts have claimed that cannabis also brings relief to people
with arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and stimulates appetites of Aids

Paddy Tipping, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jack Straw, the Home
Secretary, said that the Government had no plans to decriminalise cannabis:
"People like Judge Hopkin say they acknowlege there is a valuable medical
effect, but there has been no compelling research done to suggest that."

Protests Greet First Police Roadside Tests For Drug-Taking ('The Scotsman'
Says That While Scottish Motorists Were Tested For Illegal Drugs
For The First Time Yesterday, The Scottish Human Rights Centre
Protested The Use Of New 'Drug' Detection Swabs For Cannabis
As Having No Value In Determining Impairment)

Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 12:27:28 -0300 (ADT)
Sender: Chris Donald 
From: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Scottish Human Rights Group Criticizes Police Roadside Drug Tests

from: http://www.marijuananews.com

From: The Scotsman

Scottish Human Rights Group Protests New "Drug" Detection Swabs;
No Practical Use In Determining Impairment

[note: this is a little old, but apparently the Scottish police are doing
a second set of tests, announced yesterday. See the mjnews.com site]

contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com

March 24, 1998

By Karen McVeigh


Scottish motorists were tested for illegal drugs for the first time
yesterday, as part of a Government crackdown on drugs driving.

The roadside tests of motorists in Strathclyde, carried out in a pilot
scheme of field trials on new scientific equipment, was condemned by
civil rights groups.

The trials were carried out by four police forces, including
Strathclyde, which used the new device on motorists driving in
Glasgow's Broomielaw.

The Scottish Human Rights Centre said that use of the testing
equipment, which can detect the presence of cannabis a month after it
had been taken, was "premature". They fear that the equipment can
detect minute traces of drugs long after they have been ingested, but
cannot quantify the amount. The equipment is so sensitive that it
could pick up traces of cannabis at one part in 100 million.

Strathclyde Police stopped 150 drivers yesterday but none tested
positive. They will test about 5,000 motorists for cannabis, cocaine,
opiates and amphetamines over the next three weeks.

In Glasgow, where Chief Inspector Stewart Daniels tested the use of
Drugwipe on passing motorists, he said he fully expected drugs testing
to become as common as the breathalyser.

He said: "It looks like this is the road we have to go down. The
incidence of driving while under the influence of drugs has risen
fivefold in the last ten years, while drink driving has remained the
same. The gap between the number of people drink driving and driving
while illicit drugs are in their system is closing.

"We need to look at whether we require a change in the legislation to
ensure roadside testing, but that is a long way down the line."

Alan Miller, the chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, said:
"The pilot scheme is premature. We have not been able to correlate
between the level of drugs and the level of impairment.

"Neither can we distinguish in some cases between lawful and unlawful
drugs. This exercise is simply to prepare public opinion for police
powers for drug testing."

Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is an offence, but although
there is a limit for alcohol above which a person is legally
understood to be impaired, no level exists for drugs, whether legal or
illegal, leaving it up to the police to prove impairment.

Chief Insp. Daniels admitted that the device was unreliable as a
method of measuring whether a drug impairs driving or even whether a
substance was illegal or not. The medicine, codeine, which is an
opiate, turns to morphine in the body.

"There are a number of arguments still to be worked out - we don't
have limits set, for instance. Another argument is, if we do set a
level, would we be condoning drug taking below that limit?

"The main aim of today's tests are to guage the public's reaction to
the testing and to test out the practicality of the devices

Motoring organisations welcomed the tests, albeit with reservations. A
spokeswoman for the Automobile Association said she would like to see
more research done on the levels of drugs that would cause impairment.
A Royal Automobile Club spokeswoman said she doubted if the device
would be used in its present form.

The Drugwipes incorporate a cotton swab which is wiped on the forhead
of motorists, catching a beat of sweat. Any drug traces detected by
the device will result in a visible colour change on a strip of

A spokeman for the Department of Transport, Environment and the
Regions, which is co-ordinating the trials by Lancashire, Cleveland,
Sussex and Strathclyde police said: "This scheme is about road safety.
It will not be used to prove impairment, but will be used as a
screening device to help the police in making the law more



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