------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Judge Stays Federal Request To Shut Down California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries; Coalition Heads To Washington To Petition DEA To Lift Hemp Ban; Oklahoma Senate Committee To Decide Today Whether To Move On Bill Authorizing National Guard To Engage In State Marijuana Enforcement; Congress To Recess Without Voting On Resolution Opposing Medical Marijuana) From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 17:59:53 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: NORML WPR 3/26/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. March 26, 1998 *** Judge Stays Federal Request To Shut Down California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries March 26, 1998, San Francisco, CA: Medical marijuana proponents stalled the federal government's request to shut down six California medical marijuana dispensaries named in a civil lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer asked attorneys on both sides of the case to brief a number of issues -- including whether Congress properly considered marijuana's medical uses when it placed the drug in Schedule I -- and return to court on April 16. California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer said he felt optimistic after yesterday's proceedings. "Judge Breyer repeatedly expressed skepticism about the government's sweeping claims of supremacy in the face of opposition from 56 percent of California voters, the mayors of four cities, and amicus ("friend of the court") briefs from San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, the city of Oakland, and the town of Fairfax," Gieringer said. "Medical marijuana supporters ... sense[d] that Judge Breyer was in no way predisposed to granting the government carte blanche to shut down the distribution of medical marijuana." Breyer said he had hoped to find a middle ground between California's law allowing the possession and use of medical marijuana and the U.S. Justice Department's desire to enforce federal law outlawing the drug. He concluded, however, that he would have to choose sides because "the federal government is not going to change their position." "Congress has determined the world is flat," said attorney William Panzer, who represents two of the clubs named in the federal suit. "This court has the authority to declare the world is round." Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights -- the group that spearheaded the Proposition 215 campaign -- emphasized that the federal suit is not a direct attack on California's medical marijuana law, and said patients may still possess and use marijuana as a medicine regardless of how Judge Breyer rules. "Proposition 215 is now the law of California, and it will remain that way," he said. "Patients will [retain] the right to use marijuana under a doctor's order in this state, but how they obtain it could be complicated by this federal case." For more information, please contact William Panzer @ (510) 834-1892 or Attorney Tanya Kangas of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Coalition Heads To Washington To Petition DEA To Lift Hemp Ban March 26, 1998, Washington, D.C.: A coalition of business and agriculture organizations convened on Washington last week to kick off a campaign to encourage legislators to lift the government's 60+ year ban on hemp cultivation. "It simply makes no sense to outlaw a plant that has played a vital role in the history of our country," said environmental and consumer activist Ralph Nader. "Growing hemp will be a boon for our farmers; it's an easy-to-grow cash crop that is good for field rotations that can help sustain the soil and reduce harmful insects." The Resource Conservation Alliance -- a non-profit environmental project affiliated with Nader -- the North American Industrial Hemp Council, Hawaii state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, and others recently unveiled a plan to petition the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to legalize hemp as an agricultural crop. Reformers also demanded that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) establish a system of certifying hemp seeds and licensing farmers to grow the plant. "In Hawaii, this is economic development," said Thielen, who unsuccessfully introduced legislation permitting farmers to grow the plant for research purposes in 1997 and 1998. "And the stumbling block to this economic development is the lobbying effort of the DEA." Attorney Don Wirtshafter, President of the Ohio Hempery, said that petitioners may also consider filing a federal lawsuit if the agency refuses to respond to their request. "When an agency stands in the way of progress, the first step is to ask them to step aside," he said. "Only when they fail to do so is it time for court action." Jeffrey Gain, former chief of the National Corn Growers Association, said that domestic farmers are being shut out of a growing global economic market. "While the rest of the world is jumping on the hemp bandwagon, American agriculture is being held hostage to obsolete thinking," he said. It's a legitimate crop with enormous economic and environmental potential." Officials from the White House and the DEA, however, said they remained unmoved by the proponent's arguments. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) current white paper on hemp, domestic cultivation of the crop would send mixed messages to youth and "may mean the de facto legalization of marijuana." NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. called the government's position "absurd," noting that dozens of industrialized nations -- including Australia, England, France, Germany, and Canada -- cultivate hemp, and that it has not caused any difficulty for law enforcement. For more information, please call either NORML board member Don Wirtshafter @ (740) 662-4367 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Oklahoma Senate Committee To Decide Today Whether To Move On Bill Authorizing National Guard To Engage In State Marijuana Enforcement March 26, 1998, Oklahoma City, OK: The Senate Appropriations Committee must decide today whether to approve legislation allowing the National Guard to join forces with state law enforcement officers in anti-drug operations. The bill, introduced by Rep. Dale Wells (D-33 District), previously passed the House by a 95-0 vote. "It is against the spirit and the letter of the law for the military to be involved in domestic law enforcement," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said, referring to guidelines set forth in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1879. "Men and women who volunteer for the National Guard do so to protect their country, not to work arm and arm with state anti-drug operations." House Bill 2596 authorizes the Governor to "request volunteers of the National Guard to provide assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement officers, within or outside the boundaries of this state, in drug interdiction and counter-drug activities." Oklahoma presently ranks as one of the leading states in marijuana eradication activities; however, these efforts primarily target wild growing marijuana patches known as "ditchweed." This strain of marijuana will not get users "high" when smoked. "House Bill 2596 not only compromises long-standing principles of federal law, but is an utter waste of taxpayer dollars as well," Stroup added. The bill's sponsor declared that the passage of the legislation is "necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety." The bill further declares a "state of emergency" in Oklahoma. For more information, please call either Michael Pearson of Oklahoma NORML @ (405) 840-4366 or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. To ask the status of H.B. 2596, please call (405) 521-5642. Copies of the NORML position paper: National Guard Involvement in the Drug War are available upon request. *** Congress To Recess Without Voting On Resolution Opposing Medical Marijuana March 26, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The House of Representatives will not vote on a "sense of the House Resolution" stating that "marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug [that] should not be legalized for medical use" until after the Congressional Easter break. The House will likely debate the issue shortly after Congress reconvenes on April 21. For more information, please contact R. Keith Stroup, Esq. of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Representative Peter DeFazio Supports Medical Marijuana (The Democratic US Representative From Oregon Responds To A Eugene Constituent's Letter, Expressing His Opposition To House Resolution 372, Which Opposes State Medical Marijuana Initiatives) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 14:13:50 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Arthur Livermore) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Rep. Peter DeFazio supports medical marijuana [DeFazio's response to James M. Brewster:] Dear Mr. Brewster: Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for the medical use of marijuana. While I am a strong advocate of eradicating drug abuse in America, I believe that the voters in California, Oregon and elsewhere ought to be able to decide whether marijuana should be available for medical purposes. Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine endorsed the medical uses of marijuana. Many leading doctors and researchers have found that marijuana is effective in relieving painful symptoms associated with degenerative illnesses, such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy frequently use marijuana to reduce their severe nausea. AIDS patients also use it to generate their appetite and relieve them of the discomforting side effects of anti-viral drugs. With such strong testimony from patients and doctors supporting the therapeutic uses of marijuana, it seems ludicrous that the Clinton Administration is prepared to harass doctors who prescribe marijuana in accordance with state laws in California and Arizona. Peter DeFazio *** [James M. Brewster's letter:] >From: firstname.lastname@example.org[SMTP:email@example.com] >Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 1998 11:58 PM >To: Defazio, Peter >Subject: Medical Marijuana H.R. 372 > >Dear Rep. DeFazio, > >A bill titled H.R.372 will soon come up for a vote in the House of >Representatives. I strongly urge you to vote against it. > >The 25 year "War on the American People" more popularly known as the >"War on Drugs" is a dismal failure. It has served to create a black >market which causes, by some estimates, 50-80% of the property crime in >our communities and at least half of the violent crime. > >It is time for politicians to stop politicizing this medical issue >and let science and common sense prevail. At a minimum they should wait >until the Institute of Medicine completes its scientific review of >medical marijuana later this year. > >A growing number of Americans are becoming aware of the true reasons for >the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 and are increasingly disgusted by the >hypocrisy of our elected officials. Marijuana has been proven by >numerous double blind studies to cause far less damage to the human body >than either cigarettes or alcohol (Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts by >Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D. and John P. Morgan, M.D.) and in fact was used for >centuries as a non-toxic and non addictive medicine for a variety of >ailments. The industrial uses of this natural plant are many and >include fiber, pulp, oil and food in addition to medicine. > >It is the fear of competition from this resource by timber, oil, >pharmaceutical and petro-chemical companies that has kept marijuana >prohibition in effect rather than the supposed "gateway drug" theory so >popular with our politicians (who receive huge "soft money" >contributions from corporate lobbyists) and the mainstream media. > >Our government DOES NOT have a mandate in the U.S. Constitution (which >you have sworn or affirmed to uphold) to infringe upon the freedom of >American citizens with regard to our medical choices. As a country >founded upon the ideals of freedom and liberty, it is an abomination >that our elected officials have restricted those freedoms in exchange >for special interest campaign donations. In fact it is nothing less >than treason! > >Please do all that you can to STOP this "War on the American People" >which is draining our treasury year after year and making drugs more >available to our youth than a more rational form of decriminalization >ever could. > >Respectfully, >James M. Brewster >Libertarian Candidate >for U.S. Senator > >3426 Royal Ave. >Eugene, OR 97402 > >(541) 689-8377 > >firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Four, Stop The Marijuana Task Force, Pray For 'Drug Peace' (Bulletin From American Antiprohibition League In Portland Notes Weekly Protests Against Rogue Cops Continue 4-6 PM Friday Outside Justice Center - List Of Endorsements Calling For MTF Suspension And Review Grows) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 14:34:32 -0800 (PST) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) To: Portland OR City Council - Comish Charlie Hales (firstname.lastname@example.org), Comish Erik Sten (Esten@ci.portland.or.us), Comish Gretchen Kafoury (email@example.com), Commish Jim Francesconi (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mayor Vera Katz (email@example.com) cc: Portland Police -- CW Jensen (OfficerJensen@kgw.com), PPB (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CanPat - Week 4, STOP THE MTF/PRAY FOR "DRUG PEACE!" Sender: email@example.com The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com As of: Thursday, March 26, 1998 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Activists, supporters gather to STOP THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE and PRAY FOR "DRUG PEACE!" Portland, Oregon -- Now in its forth week of peaceful protest, antiprohibition advocates have renewed their commitment to building momentum and an irresistible force for peace, "Drug Peace!" "I don't care if I'm the only one out there, this is a question of principle," quipped League director Floyd Landrath when asked by a local radio talk show host if the Friday actions might hurt the upcoming medical marijuana effort in Oregon. Landrath went on to say, "I have a lot of respect for, and consider all those working on medical marijuana here in Oregon as my friends, but let's be honest about it. It's only the leading edge of a much deeper problem in our society. Decades of government propaganda promoting fear and the need to wage "war" (on the poor) in order to control drugs, it's all a big fat lie," he said. "Let the medical marijuana issue stand on its own, but remember it's just another of many symptoms of a much bigger disease, the drug war. As I see it," Landrath added, "a heroin addict gets as sick as an AIDS or cancer patient without his or her medicine. Both are being victimized by our screwed up drug laws and both are willing to commit crime to relieve their pain. It's a no-win situation, except for the illegal drug trade which now extends deep into our most important social, political and legal institutions." PROTEST & SPEAK OUT AGAINST MARIJUANA TASK FORCE AND PRAY FOR "DRUG PEACE!" EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 4:00P.M. - 6:00P.M. PARK BLOCK ACROSS FROM "JUSTICE" CENTER (1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon) *** Endorsers Lee Berger, local attorney Cannabis Liberation Society (Eugene) Lewis & Clark College Hemp Club N.O.R.M.L., Portland/Vancouver chapters Pacific Party, Portland chapter Jim Redden, PDX/s newspaper Paul Loney, local attorney Radical Women Gary L. Dye, candidate for Metro Dist. 7 Stuart Suggerman, local attorney Spencer M. Neal, local attorney James Brewster (Eugene) Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate *** Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 01:37:13 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon Libertarians Patriots To: Constitutional Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com) Subject: [cp] MTF PROTEST PHOTO 2 [Image] Content Type: image/jpeg Content-Disposition: inline; filename="C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\nsmailS8.jpeg" Attachment Converted: C:\INTERNET\CWINDOW2.jpg
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Die Using Suicide Law ('The Oregonian' Notes The First Two Deaths Under The State's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law Allowing Physicians To Prescribe Lethal Drugs) The Oregonian 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.oregonian.com/ March 26, 1998 Two die using suicide law Woman on tape says she looks forward to relief By Erin Hoover and Gail Kinsey Hill of The Oregonian staff Two terminally ill patients are known to have died under Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. The right-to-die organization Compassion in Dying announced Wednesday that a woman in her mid-80s with breast cancer died Tuesday night about 30 minutes after taking a lethal dose of barbiturates mixed with syrup and washed down with a glass of brandy. "I'm looking forward to it because being I was always active, I cannot comfortably see myself living out two more months like this," the Portland-area woman said in an audiotape played for the media. "That's all. It's just, I will be relieved of all the stress I have." Before this announced death, at least one other Oregonian died using the Death With Dignity Act. The family, committed to protecting its privacy, has not wished to discuss the death publicly. But on Wednesday, a close relative of the person who died was willing to confirm the death in a telephone interview. "We had a family member who was assisted in dying and died very peacefully with the family present," the woman said of the adult who was suffering from cancer. "We felt it went very nicely, very peacefully, and it was certainly satisfactory as far as helping someone who wanted to go." The woman was present when the person died, surrounded by family at the person's Portland metro-area home. The news that the Oregon Death With Dignity Act has been used brought intense reaction Wednesday. Dr. Gregory Hamilton, a psychiatrist and president of Physicians for Compassionate Care, which opposes assisted suicide, said he was "profoundly grieved for the woman who died, for her family, for my profession and for all of America." "This is a terrible thing because people's lives are no longer being equally valued," Hamilton said. "Suicide doesn't take place in a vacuum, and when a doctor writes a prescription for them to use to kill themselves, they are agreeing that that person's life is no longer as valuable as the lives of the rest of us." Supporters of the physician-assisted suicide option expressed satisfaction that the process appears to have worked in these cases. "One always regrets the death of anybody, but if this was the patient's wish and the patient's desire, and the patient had an easy death and was spared a lot of suffering and loss of dignity, then obviously it was a good thing," said Dr. Peter Goodwin, medical director for Compassion in Dying and a vocal advocate of the Death With Dignity Act. Goodwin was not aware of the first assisted suicide, the person who died before Tuesday. Regarding the Tuesday death, Judith Fleming, consulting director for Compassion in Dying's Oregon affiliate, said she received a call from the woman and a family member within the past 30 days. The woman was looking for advice and help to pursue aid in dying. Fleming said she referred the woman and her family member to Goodwin. Goodwin said the woman told him that she had been rebuffed by two other physicians. He listened to the woman's symptoms and cancer prognosis and her experience with the two doctors who did not support her as a candidate for assisted suicide. He talked with her loved ones and called the last doctor she had talked with. He said the doctor perceived that the woman was depressed and that her depression was affecting her desire to end her life, a conclusion Goodwin called questionable. "I thought she was frustrated and crying because she was feeling powerless," he said. Appropriate patient Goodwin said he felt confident that she was an appropriate candidate and so referred her to a doctor who would help. He said he was not the doctor who wrote the prescription or who gave a concurring second opinion, as required by law. Barbara Coombs Lee, who heads the Compassion in Dying Federation, said the woman did receive psychiatric counseling, a requirement of the law if any of the attending physicians think the patient's judgment might be impaired by depression or other mental illness. Lee decided to hold a news conference late Wednesday afternoon when a crush of media converged on Compassion in Dying offices in Northwest Portland. Initially, she had said she would wait until today to release details. Family members and the attending physician requested anonymity and were not present at the news conference. "There is just a small amount of information we can give you," Lee said. Lee said the woman was in her mid-80s and dying of breast cancer. Her condition had become intolerable, with deteriorating bodily functions and severe shortness of breath, Lee said. The woman took anti-nausea medication before ingesting a fatal concoction of barbiturates sweetened with syrup. She washed the mix down with a glass of brandy and within five minutes was in a deep sleep. She died within 30 minutes, Lee said. The audiotape, played to reporters Wednesday, was recorded two days before the woman's death by the woman and her attending physician. At least one family member was present. Shaky but resolved The voice on the tape was shaky, like that of an elderly woman. But she came across as resolved and determined. The woman talked on the tape of the things in life that gave her joy. "Every year I had a yard full of flowers, and I'd go out and just be with them and even took some in, so for the winter, for next year," she said. "And it was my hobby." Lee said: "She was clearly a very determined lady. ... She really did follow the spirit and the letter of the Death With Dignity Act." The woman had been in hospice care until her death. Those by her side when she died were her family, comprising several generations, and her doctor, Lee said. "They are grieving," Lee said. "They have lost a mother and a grandmother." Goodwin said the woman's husband called after she began the process to get a lethal prescription and told Goodwin, "This assurance has been like a load lifted from my spouse." Relief was a significant factor in the death that occurred before Tuesday, according to the family member who talked Wednesday to The Oregonian. "It was like the sun had come out when the person finally realized that there finally was a way to do it," the woman said. "It was a terrible feeling to have to go through every day with the amount of problems the person had. Every day was a torture to this person." She said the person, not certain whether one could even take advantage of the law, given its controversial nature, contacted the Hemlock Society for help after Oregon voters reaffirmed the law in November. Hemlock leader helped Myriam Coppens, a licenced marriage and family therapist and Hemlock leader, met with the family and helped them find a doctor. "I can't express the value" of Hemlock's role, the family member said. "It was something the person wanted so much. It was such a difficult time that we were so glad to have someone there who could help us. We felt we were at a time when the assisted suicide law that Oregon had finally passed was not yet really available to us. We were caught in between." The person who died had shared the decision to pursue physician-assisted dying with family members, and the family supported that decision throughout the process. The woman said that after the person obtained the lethal prescription, the family "could relax and say what a wonderful life we had. We could look back at all the lovely things because we knew we finally had an answer." The person waited quite a while before using the medication. When the person felt ready, the family gathered at the bedside. After the person ingested the lethal mixture of medications, death occurred within five minutes, the woman said. "There was a little sigh as the last breath," she said. "It was just as peaceful as anyone would want. I only wish that I could go as peacefully when it is my time." The family decided not to ask a doctor to be present when the person died. "There's just not enough of them out there yet who are willing to stake their reputation on it," the woman said. Coping with loss Now, she said, she and the family are coping with the loss of their loved one. "I don't think I will ever get over (the person's absence), but I feel very comfortable with how my loved one went," she said. Coppens said, "People need to know out there that (aid in dying) is safe, and it can happen, and people can request it, and the help is available." She said both Hemlock and Compassion in Dying want the same thing: "That people have all the options available to them, every one of them. And then it's up to the patient to decide what they want." Dr. Tony Marfin, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Division, refused to discuss the woman's reported suicide or say whether his office had been officially informed. "Our policy," Marfin said, "is not to release anything until there are at least 10 cases. We will be putting out a report in the fall after we have reviewed 10." Rob Eure, Romel Hernandez, Michael Ottey, Steve Woodward and R. Gregory Nokes of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Die Using Suicide Law - Reaction (According To 'The Oregonian,' Robert Castagna Of The Oregon Catholic Council Noted That The US Justice Department Still Is Reviewing A Drug Enforcement Administration Opinion That Using A Lethal Medication Violates Medical Practices) The Oregonian 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Letters to editor: email@example.com Web: http://www.oregonian.com/ March 26, 1998 Two die using suicide law - Reaction Intensity about the issue hasn't faded since the vote By Romel Hernandez and Rob Eure of The Oregonian staff The news that the Oregon Death With Dignity Act has finally been used brought intense reaction Wednesday, demonstrating the passions of activists on both sides of two bitter political campaigns to make doctor-assisted suicide legal. Voters first approved the measure in 1994, then overwhelmingly a second time last fall after a repeal referral from the Legislature. The act is the world's first law to make doctor-assisted suicide legal. Dr. Gregory Hamilton, a psychiatrist and president of Physicians for Compassionate Care, which opposes assisted suicide, said he "profoundly grieved for the woman who died, for her family, for my profession and for all of America." "This is a terrible thing because people's lives are no longer being equally valued," he said. "Suicide doesn't take place in a vacuum, and when a doctor writes a prescription for them to use to kill themselves, they are agreeing that that person's life is no longer as valuable as the lives of the rest of us." Dr. Peter Goodwin, a proponent of the law, expressed satisfaction that the assisted-suicide process appears to have worked for the two Oregonians. "One always regrets the death of anybody, but if this was the patient's wish and the patient's desire, and the patient had an easy death and was spared a lot of suffering and loss of dignity, then obviously it was a good thing," said Goodwin, medical director for Compassion in Dying. Roman Catholic Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, whose church spent millions attempting to stop the law, did not return phone calls Wednesday. Instead, his office issued a brief statement noting that the news saddened him. "The suicide of this elderly woman can only bring anguish to those who have resisted" the new law, Vlazny said. Robert Castagna of the Oregon Catholic Council said: "We can only regret her death and pray for her soul as well as our own. This is a tragic day for Oregon and our nation." Castagna said opponents of the law still hope to have it outlawed and noted that the U.S. Justice Department still is reviewing a Drug Enforcement Administration opinion that using a lethal medication violates medical practices. He said opponents think this is their hope of stopping the law now. Supporters of the law saw the Wednesday developments as a landmark. "Hooray for the people of Oregon," said Faye Girsh, executive director of the Hemlock Society, now based in Colorado. "I'm in awe. This is an historic moment." Many people are looking to Oregon to see how this is going to work. And it's going to work fine. . . . There will be many others now." Derek Humphry, a co-founder of the Hemlock Society but no longer a member, said the first public use of the law is "an important piece of social history for the nation." "I'm sorry for this woman's death," said Humphry, author of "Final Exit" the best-selling suicide guide, "but I am glad she was able to take advantage of this law and demonstrate to other people who might wish to use it that it works." Gov. John Kitzhaber had no comment, said his aide, Bob Applegate. "I don't know if he should or not," Applegate said. He said it's "a confidential issue" involving "a person exercising a right under the law." But the public's need for information is a key element, said Courtney Campbell, an Oregon State University philosophy professor specializing in ethics. Campbell said he was troubled by the lack of details about the death. "If we're trying to ensure that this is a procedure that can be regulated without abuse, we need to know what's working, what's not and who's involved," he said. "We need to make sure this law is being carried out in good faith."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Both Cases Followed Letter Of Suicide Law (Another 'Oregonian' Article About The First Two Deaths Under The State's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law Allowing Physicians To Prescribe Lethal Drugs) The Oregonian 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.oregonian.com/ March 26, 1998 Both cases followed letter of suicide law The process took months for the two terminally ill people who died using the Death With Dignity Act By Steve Woodward of The Oregonian staff The two known, terminally ill Oregonians who died this month from self-administered drug overdoses spent months crossing T's and dotting I's to conform with Oregon's Death With Dignity Act. "It's been appropriately difficult," Barbara Coombs Lee, a leading champion of the law, said Wednesday. "We didn't intend it to be easy." Both patients met the law's first criteria: Both were at least 18 years old, both were Oregon residents, and both had physicians who determined they had less than six months to live. To start the official Death With Dignity process, eligible patients must tell their doctor that they want the medication necessary to hasten their own deaths. Once the clock begins ticking, the patient can receive the medicine in as few as 15 days. The doctor, at that point, has three basic choices: refuse the request outright, try to find alternatives, or grant the request. The woman who died Tuesday went through variations of all three scenarios. Her first doctor was "not interested in participating," Lee said. Her second doctor was not opposed to aid-in-dying but was "not actually willing to meet her needs as she saw it." Her third doctor, a family practitioner, wrote the lethal prescription. After agreeing to work with a patient, the attending physician must refer him or her to a second physician. That physician must concur that the diagnosis is correct, that the patient has less than six months to live, that the patient is mentally competent to make the request and that the request is voluntary. If the patient is suspected of having a mental illness that impaired the decision, he or she will be referred to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The woman with breast cancer, for example, underwent a psychiatric evaluation, Lee said. Once the doctors agree the patient is acting voluntarily, the patient must make a written request for lethal medication. The state provides a standard form that asks for patient information such as name, disease and whether family members are informed. The written request must be signed and witnessed by two people. Neither of the witnesses can be the patient's doctor. One witness can't be a relative, an heir or someone connected with a health care facility in which the patient lives or is being treated. Both witnesses must testify that the individual appears to be making the decision voluntarily and rationally. The patient then must wait at least 48 hours after the written request and at least 15 days after the oral request before making the second, and final, oral request for a lethal prescription. The doctor then must offer the patient the chance to change his or her mind. According to a current emergency rule issued by the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, the physician must note on the written prescription that the medication is intended for use in accordance with the Death With Dignity Act. The pharmacist, under state law, must counsel the patient on the use and dangers of the medication. Once the patient accepts the medication, the patient is free to proceed however he or she wants. The patient can take the medicine or not, die surrounded by loved ones or alone, take the medicine immediately or wait. Once a year, the Oregon Health Division must issue a statistical report on physician-assisted suicides under the law. But division managers say they may issue a report earlier, once they have 10 cases or enough cases to disguise the specific identities of the patients.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Rejects Man's 'Prescription' For Medicinal Marijuana ('Monterey County Herald' Says Charles Palmer Of Las Lomas, California, Who Grew Medical Marijuana In His Front Yard To Ease His Hepatitis C Symptoms, Was Convicted Wednesday And Ordered To Serve 90 Days In Jail Beginning April 17 Because His Doctors Refused To Officially Recommend Cannabis, Fearing Reprisal From The Federal Government) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 18:41:59 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Rejects Man's 'Prescription' for Medicinal Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: The Monterey County Herald (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 408-655-2749 Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Author: Virgina Hennessey JUDGE REJECTS MAN'S 'PRESCRIPTION' FOR MEDICINAL MARIJUANA Must serve 90 days in jail. Charles Palmer says he grew marijuana in the front yard of his Las Lomas home to ease his hepatitis C symptoms. Doctors agree he has the liver disease. They also agree marijuana may offer relief from his nausea and chronic pain. They won't, however, write him a prescription. Palmer says the doctors have told him their hands are tied because federal authorities have threatened to prosecute and revoke the medical licenses of any doctor who prescribes medical marijuana. As a result, Palmer was ordered Wednesday to serve 90 days in jail, beginning April 17. Palmer, 45, pleaded guilty in December to a negotiated misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. He was sentenced in January to three years of probation and 90 days in jail, but Superior Court Judge Jonathan Price said he would review the case if Palmer returned to court with a doctor's prescription or recommendation. Passed by voters in 1996, Proposition 215 made it legal for people with a doctor's recommendation to possess and grow small amount of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The law has attracted the wrath of federal authorities and, in some cases, local law enforcement. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in San Francisco asked U.S. District Judge Charles Breyera to order the closure of all of California's medical marijuana clinics because they violate federal laws. Breyera indicated he will not rule until after April 16. That same day, the co-founder of San Jose's medical marijuana clinic, Peter Baez, was arrested for allegedly selling marijuana to a client who did not have a prescription. Baez and other employees of the clinic, which previously had been allowed to operate untouched by local authorities, maintain they had proper documentation from the client. Palmer went to court Wednesday hoping that he, too, had proper documentation. Appearing with his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Enrique Martinez, he presented to Price a letter from Dr. Arnold Leff, medical adviser to WAMM -- Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana -- in Santa Cruz. Leff wrote that he'd confirmed Palmer's condition and symptoms and said the "nausea he describes as well as his symptoms of chronic pain are very possibly relieved by marijuana." "It might also be relieved by a couple of quarts of scotch," retorted Deputy District Attorney Bob Hatton -- a remark that angered Palmer, who noted later that drinking scotch in his condition would likely kill him. Price said the letter did not qualify as a recommendation or prescription and said he had no option but to impose the previous 90-day sentence. He said he had already shown Palmer leniency by placing him on probation. Because of a long history, Palmer was statutorily ineligible for probation, but Price ruled his case was "unusual." Price gave Palmer three weeks to arrange to serve his term on home confinement. The Las Lomas man, who supports himself by painting addresses on curbs for $5 a shot, says that is a luxury he cannot afford. Prisoners on home confinement are charged about $10 day for the privilege. "We don't have $900," said Cynthia Tipton, Palmer's live-in girlfriend. "Do you know what three months in jail is going to do to him?" Tipton said Palmer, who has no medical insurance, has been controlling the disease with diet, keeping his appetite up by smoking pot to quell the nausea. In court Wednesday, Palmer said blood tests performed by his primary physician confirmed that the high-calorie diet was working in controlling the disease. Neither Palmer's diet nor the medicinal pot will be available to him in jail, Tipton said. "I expected to get some kind of justice," Palmer said after the proceedings, "and it really didn't happen."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill To End Ban On Smoking In Bars Killed ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes California State Senator Diane Watson, A Democrat From Los Angeles Who Chairs The California Senate Health And Human Services Committee, Yesterday Single-Handedly Killed A Bill To End California's Unique Prohibition On Smoking In Bars) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 10:42:31 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Bill to End Ban on Smoking in Bars Killed Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Author: Greg Lucas, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau BILL TO END BAN ON SMOKING IN BARS KILLED Veteran lawmaker decides proposal won't leave committee After a few angry digs at a fellow legislator and the tobacco industry, a veteran state senator yesterday used her power as a committee chair to single-handedly kill a bill to end California's ban on smoking in bars. Since it went into effect January 1, the ban on smoking in bars and card clubs has whipped up strong feelings on both sides. Anti-smoking advocates hail it as a national model for protecting nonsmokers from the dangers of inhaling second-hand smoke. Opponents of the smoking ban say it hurts their business. But Senator Diane Watson, D- Los Angeles, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, bought none of the arguments pitched by those favoring the bill to end the ban. After two-and-a-half hours of testimony during which the author of the bill never showed up, Watson unilaterally decided there would be no vote on the bill, it would just stay in limbo, trapped in her committee. ``The author has not come. The tobacco industry has not come,'' Watson said. ``The evidence is in. This bill will stay with the committee. I don't think we need to bring it up again. ``I think the author needs to get over it and get on with his life,'' she concluded. Assemblyman Ed Vincent, D- Inglewood, had asked Watson to postpone a hearing on his bill until July. Watson refused saying the issue was too important to postpone. Vincent declined to comment after the apparent death of the bill. Attorney General Dan Lungren, a GOP candidate for governor, also weighed in on the hot-button issue yesterday. Although he opposes the smoking bill heard yesterday because it restricts some of the powers of the attorney general, Lungren said if he were governor he would sign a bill to allow smoking to resume in the state's roughly 37,300 bars or bar-restaurants. ``I think there ought to be some leeway on bars,'' Lungren told reporters yesterday before the hearing. ``What are we going to do with some of these folks -- stamp big T's on their foreheads, the new scarlet letter? ``I would sign a bill that would allow some flexibility so that you could smoke in bars. That's controversial, what the hell. While they're drinking themselves to death, let them have a cigarette. With the death penalty you used to allow someone one last smoke.'' A spokesman for Lungren said opposition to the smoking bill was being ``re-evaluated'' because passage of legislation late last year might have ended Lungren's objections. Vincent's bill would allow smoking to resume in bars beginning January 1, 1999 and continue until January 1, 2001. If state or federal workplace safety agencies create ventilation standards to remove the dangers of nonsmokers inhaling secondhand smoke, smoking could continue after that date. No standards, no puffing. Backers of the bill included the California Commerce casino in Southern California, the largest card club in the state. ``Commerce Club has 200 fewer employees than we had in 1997,'' said Rod Blonien, the card club's lobbyist. ``We can't say the nine, 10 percent decline is due to smoking but we believe the bulk is due to smoking.'' Tom O'Rourke, owner of The Nutty Irishman in Santa Rosa, said he has laid off two of his employees because of the ban. ``Their tips are down,'' O'Rourke told the committee. ``All we ask is the right to put up a sign.'' On the opposing side, Tom Rankin of the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO said the ban should stay in place. ``Second hand smoke harms whoever happens to inhale it,'' Rankin said. ``Our job is to protect the health and safety of the workers of California. Vincent's bill is not the only measure aimed at restoring smoking in bars. Assemblyman Brett Granlund, R-Yucaipa, has a bill that would allow bars with five or fewer employees to permit smoking -- so long as employees who enter smoking areas voluntarily agree to do so. The bill would also allow smoking to resume in any workplace where all of the employees -- part time or full time -- say smoking is OK with them. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Washington State Prison Population (List Subscriber Posts URL Where Weekly Body Count Is Posted) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 13:50:23 -0800 (PST) From: Turmoil
To: SCN User Subject: Re: HT: [firstname.lastname@example.org: RE: HB 2772] Sender: email@example.com Washington State prison population is updated weekly at http://www.wa.gov/doc/pop.htm - Peace Turmoil
------------------------------------------------------------------- March To End Prohibition (Seattle Activists To Sponsor 'First Monday' Demonstrations Beginning 6 PM May 4, Continuing Monthly Through November) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 14:20:29 -0800 (PST) From: Turmoil
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: March To End prohibition Sender: email@example.com Several of us (Darral, Eve, Allison, Robert and myself) are in the advanced planning stages of a series of protest marches titled: March to End Prohibition. These Marches will happen the first Monday of every month at 6PM starting in May and continuing through and including November. This is a preliminary announcement and is intended to solicit comments and suggestions. Specifically we are looking for feedback on potential march locations, speakers for the marches, as well as interested volunteers to help coordinate. Each March has a theme, and we will want help with costumes, street theatre or speakers that match the March's theme. We plan to do these Marches without amplified music and attempting to not disrupt traffic. This should allow is to do these without getting any type of permit or permission. We want these marches to be fun, colorful, creative and educational. We are not planning any civil-disobedience. We do intend to have lot's of banners and signs and costumes and street theatre. We also plan to be armed with large amounts of educational materials, flyers and, of course, petitions for folks to sign. We have set April 13th as a date to have March locations finalized. And are looking to have the first press releases go out April 27th. Separate press releases will be delivered for each of the themes. The idea is to have a "story" for each March. We also should have flyers available my the middle of April. So, I am opening this up to discussion from anyone on the list that would like to contribute. Any ideas, suggestions or offers of help are very much appreciated. All of us involved so far have numerous other projects and duties, as well as being bound by the sad fact that days only have 24 hours. What I am trying to say that your imput and energy is welcome and needed. Below, you will find the first tentative schedule, with the Theme of each March, as well as the proposed route. March to End Prohibition - First Monday of the Month at 6PM May 4th - Meet at Westlake Mall and March to Space Needle THEME- History of Prohibition June 1st - Meet at ? March to Myrtle Edwards Park - THEME - Global Days against the Drug War (we are looking at ideas to co-ordinate this with the National action that will be taking place the same week.) July 6th - Meet at Hammering Man - March to Harbor Steps THEME - INDEPENDENCE from prohibition August 3rd - Meet at Alki Statue of Liberty - march along Alki THEME - Family's March to End Prohibition Sept 7th (labor day) Meet at Denny Park - march to ? THEME - POW - Prison Labor Days Bumbershoot is going on this day and we have discussed marching around the perimeter of Bumbershoot. Oct 5th - Meet at Harborview march to Swedish ? THEME Medical Marijuana Nov 2nd - Meet at King County Court House march to Pioneer Square - THEME November march to end Prohibition We will be working to co-ordinate this March with our friends, The November Coalition I hope I didn't forget anything we wanted to include in this. Thank you very much for any input and assistance you would like to provide. firstname.lastname@example.org Seattle Music Web email@example.com http://seattlemusicweb.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'American Dream' Ruined By Tavern Owner, Not Police (Op-Ed In 'Seattle Times' By Seattle's Police Chief And City Attorney Reiterates Their March 20 Letter Without Responding To Columnist Michelle Malkin's March 24 Rebuttal About Police Betraying The Owner Of Oscar's II Tavern With A 'Drug-Abatement Action') Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 06:59:21 -0800 (PST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Alan Randell) Subject: `American Dream' ruined by tavern owner, not police Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: March 26, 1998 Source: Seattle Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.seattletimes.com/news/editorial/html98/altstam_032698.html `American Dream' ruined by tavern owner, not police by Norm Stamper and Mark Sidran Special to The Times MICHELLE Malkin's recent column regarding the City's drug-abatement action to close Oscar's II Tavern ("City officials are ruining family's American Dream," March 17) presents a moving portrait of a business owner struggling against a plague of crime and drugs who, despite his best efforts, is nonetheless shut down by the City, leaving him wondering "Why?" Any fair-minded, thoughtful review of the evidence would provide a simple answer: After years of drug trafficking and related crime at Oscar's and many efforts by the police and the community to stop it and help the owner establish control, he did not do all he could and should have and the drug trafficking and violence continued. A fundamental premise of our laws is that property owners are responsible for the consequences of what they permit on their property. When a business breeds crime and the crime harms the neighbors and threatens public safety, it is not just the owner's efforts that count, it is results. And contrary to Malkin's view, there is overwhelming evidence that both the efforts by Oscar McCoy and the results fell far short of what the community has a right to expect from any business. In the past five years, Oscar's has generated 324 calls to 911 for everything from drugs to shootings. The police have repeatedly offered suggestions to the owner on prevention strategies, including a two-page, 15-step "drug elimination plan" (DEP) provided in 1994. Did the owner follow through on these suggestions? Listen to what the State Liquor Control Board had to say following a hearing to suspend Oscar's liquor license in 1997: "Mr. McCoy failed to make a serious effort to comply with the DEP. He did comply with some of the steps . . . but failed to follow through with many portions of the plan." The Board found he did not install a video surveillance camera (even an inexpensive "dummy" camera would have complied with the directive). He did not lock the restrooms and allow only one person in at a time. He did not remove the pay phone. He did not charge a re-admittance cover charge or prohibit "in-and-out" privileges if customers left. He did not install an alarmed "exit only" on the back door to control coming and going. All these steps help make drug trafficking more difficult, but as Mr. McCoy testified, he didn't follow through because he started to lose money when he did. Malkin states not a single arrest resulted from 18 "controlled drug buys" set up by police using "shady informants." The purpose of such buys is to gather intelligence, not to make arrests (which would "blow" the informant's cover). The Police Department also takes steps to assure the reliability of informants. More importantly, there were 11 felony drug arrests at Oscar's between 1995 and 1997. The drug dealing inside Oscar's was open and obvious, including evidence that the bartender made change for buyers and sellers. Responding to the owner's claim that he had no knowledge of the drug dealing, the Liquor Board found, "This denial is simply not credible." When the Liquor Board closed Oscar's because of the drug dealing and then allowed it to reopen 30 days later, the drug dealing immediately resumed even though Mr. McCoy had been told by both the police and liquor agents that his door person and bartender were suspected of being involved. The Board found that Mr. McCoy "did nothing to investigate the situation" and his liquor license was again suspended. Malkin suggests that McCoy "diligently" followed suggestions regarding improving security, including hiring guards and using metal detectors. But the "guards" were untrained, the "head of security" had a long string of felony convictions and the metal detectors went largely unused. The Liquor Board found, "(S)ecurity does not make a good faith effort to check customers for weapons," and generally did a "poor job." So poor, in fact, that on Aug. 9, 1997, three men were shot inside the bathroom at Oscar's, the bathroom McCoy declined to lock and limit to one person at a time. At least two guns were recovered. The Liquor Board found, "Based upon numerous observations of inadequate security procedure, it is more likely than not that the weapons gained entry due to the negligence of security staff." The Liquor Board concluded that, "All of the . . . facts led to the conclusion that Mr. McCoy was in fact `looking the other way' at criminal activity, and knowingly allowing narcotics activity at Oscar's II." This Liquor Board action was not initiated by the Seattle Police nor did the City Attorney's Office participate in it. But based very much on the same evidence and concerns that motivated the Liquor Board to suspend Oscar's liquor license, we began a drug abatement in court to close the business. We are committed to doing all that we can to help responsible, well-intentioned business people succeed in preventing crime in and around their premises. Abatement is a drastic measure that is considered as a last resort when sincere and concerted efforts to solve a problem are ignored or otherwise do not succeed. The police have an important role to play, but cannot do it alone. Certainly, our job should not be made harder by irresponsible business owners, nor should we allow limited police resources to be excessively consumed by those who are contributing to the problem instead of helping to solve it. Norm Stamper is Seattle police chief. Mark Sidran is Seattle city attorney.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Customs Blitzes Border In Drug Hunt ('Seattle Times' Says Crackdown On Illegal Cannabis Smuggling At Canadian Border Is Creating Long Lines And Delays - Customs Is Using More Drug-Sniffing Dogs, Pulling More Cars Over For Inspections, And Staging More Blitzes In Which Every Car Is Pulled Over, But Where Once Officials Could Spot A Suspicious Car Fairly Easily, They Say That's No Longer The Case - Even Now, Fewer Than 2 Percent Of The 10,000 Cars Crossing The Border Through The Peace Arch Each Day Are Pulled Over) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 12:19:17 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WA: Customs Blitzes Border In Drug Hunt Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Susan Gilmore Seattle Times staff reporter U.S. CUSTOMS BLITZES BORDER IN DRUG HUNT BLAINE, Whatcom County - There was little reason to notice an elderly Canadian couple crossing the border into Lynden last month. But when their car was pulled over by U.S. Customs workers as part of a drug-enforcement "block blitz," 20 pounds of high-grade Canadian-grown marijuana was found in their trunk. Officials weren't entirely surprised. Since U.S. Customs initiated its tough new border emphasis in December, they've made dozens of marijuana busts - many from unlikely suspects like the elderly couple. Along with the busts have come longer lines of cars at the border - waits that on weekends can stretch for two hours at the Peace Arch crossing in Blaine. Even on a weekday morning this week, the line was 45 minutes long, with only two of the station's seven lanes open. The new drug policy "contributes to slower traffic, absolutely," said Eugene Kerven, Customs port director, who also blamed the traffic slowdowns on a shortage of Customs workers. "We just don't have the bodies to open lanes; that's just the way it is," he said. He said the new drug emphasis, called the Customs' "brass ring" policy, stems from the fact that narcotics enforcement has become the federal agency's top priority. Since January, there have been 29 arrests at the border, said Sgt. Steve DeFries, with the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force, which is run through the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. DeFries said that when he took over the drug task force in 1994 he rarely got a referral from Customs. "Now it's not unusual to get three to five a week," he said. "Luckily for us most of the (marijuana) is destined for Southern California." What's triggering the increase, say police and U.S. Customs officials, is the popularity of B.C.-grown marijuana, which has a high level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. DeFries said a pound of the marijuana can be purchased in Canada for as little as $1,500 in U.S. funds, but can sell for $3,500 in Seattle and $6,000 by the time it gets to Southern California. "The money goes north, the marijuana goes south," DeFries said. "It used to be a half-pound was a lot of marijuana. Now 50 to 100 pounds is not unusual." To combat drug trafficking, Customs is using more drug-sniffing dogs, is pulling more cars over for inspections, and is staging the blitzes in which every car - for a short period of time - is pulled over. Where once officials could spot a suspicious car fairly easily, they say that's no longer the case. Among others arrested recently was a couple with young children in the back seat of their car, a duffel bag full of marijuana between them. "I started in the late 1970s," said Jay Brandt, a Customs official at the Blaine truck crossing. "We knew who we were looking for in narcotics enforcement. We can't do it any more." He also said people are not even trying to hide the contraband, assuming they'll pass through the border unchecked. Brandt said that's one reason why the lines are so slow - workers have to take time to inspect the cars they pull over. "We have to dedicate more resources to the secondary inspection process," he said, "but I hesitate to say we're catching it all." He said less than 2 percent of the 10,000 cars that pass through the Peace Arch each day are pulled over. Drivers who are apprehended risk having their cars seized. To get around that, they often drive rented or leased cars, DeFries said. "They're not stupid," DeFries said. "They know if they drive their fancy Porsche, they'll lose it, so they don't drive it. They drive a throw-away car. It's the price of doing business; they lose the junker." Those arrested are generally people hired to bring drugs across the border, he said. In the case of the elderly couple, he said, a police report showed they planned to park their car at a shopping center in Bellingham and that when they returned to it an hour later the marijuana would be gone. He said one problem in slowing the drug traffic is that the penalty is so small. "The organization that controls marijuana growing knows the law only allows 90 days for a marijuana possession case," DeFries said. "It's just the cost of doing business. Their couriers don't mean anything, they're expendible." Certainly it's not just the drug inspections that are slowing traffic. While the depressed Canadian dollar almost stopped southbound border traffic from Canadians, that's picked up in recent weeks, Customs officials say. With gas selling for 96 cents a gallon in Blaine, some cross just to fill their tanks. Lew Moore, aide to U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf, who represents the border community in Whatcom County, said he's been meeting with B.C. officials recently to discuss the border problems. In fact, at a meeting last week the B.C. official was late - held up at the border. Canadian officials say they aren't feeling the same border squeeze because they aren't finding marijuana being smuggled north. But officials say they are picking up significant seizures of cocaine heading north. In December, seven drug users died in the Vancouver area after ingesting unusually potent cocaine brought in from the U.S. As for the long lines on the southbound border, little relief is expected any time soon. But officials do offer tips: -- Take a different crossing from Canada, where lines invariably are shorter. They include the truck crossing at Blaine, the crossing at Lynden or the crossing at Sumas, all in Whatcom County. -- Timing is the key. Generally, the worst traffic is between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. This week was particularly bad because of spring vacations in B.C. -- Motorists who cross the border frequently can apply for a $25 PACE sticker, which allows them to use a special lane. But getting a sticker requires a background check and can take up to six months for processing. Bob Burden, a tourist from England, was waiting in a long line Tuesday, anxious about getting to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in time to catch his plane home. "I'd gladly pay $25 to get there now," he said. Susan Gilmore's phone message number is 206-464-2054. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Tests - Presumed Guilty (Letter To Editor Of 'Des Moines Register' Opposes Iowa's New Law Subjecting Individuals To Forced Drug Testing By Private Employers) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 11:21:07 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US IA: PUB LTE: Drug tests: Presumed guilty Cc: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen" http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/ Source: Des Moines Register Contact: email@example.com Contact: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Editor's note: Our published letter writer, Patrick, is a frequent visitor to the MAP discussion room on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Join us at: http://www.mapinc.org/chat/ OPINION - THE REGISTER'S READERS SAY DRUG TESTS: PRESUMED GUILTY Thanks very much for going directly to the Fourth Amendment in criticizing Iowa's new "law" subjecting individuals to forced drug testing by employers to keep their jobs (March 16 editorial). Your pointing out the double standard between private- and public-sector employees is well taken. However, it is not the worst thing about this bill. The worst thing is that, regardless of the details, it purports to legalize aggression and requires Iowans to prove their innocence in order to be left alone to live normal lives. It is greatly to be hoped that many, many employees in Iowa will summarily, and preemptively, inform their employers that they will under no circumstances submit to drug testing, will leave "en masse" in sympathy with the first employee who is fired either for testing "positive," or, better yet, for refusing to be tested, and that they will provide financial and strategic support to any lawsuits, federal if necessary, which such an employee might choose to pursue. -- Patrick L. Lilly, 9 Normandy Cir., Colorado Springs, Colo.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Supreme Court Says State Can Take Car Of Man Who Pleaded To Marijuana Charges ('Associated Press' Says New Hampshire Supreme Court Ruled Forfeiture Doesn't Constitute Double Jeopardy, Since It Is 'Mostly A Civil Penalty') Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 13:43:54 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (SCN User) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Forfeiture law appeals lost/ NH pot case Sender: email@example.com -- Begin forwarded message -- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Prison Connections) To: email@example.com (Multiple recipients of list) Subject: Forfeiture law appeals lost/ NH pot case Date: Thu, 26 Mar Supco says state can take car of man who pleaded to marijuana charges Associated Press, 03/26/98 CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Nothing in the state constitution prevents the state from taking the car of a man sentenced to prison on a marijuana charge, the state Supreme Court ruled today. Richard Falardeau was arrested in 1995 after police found about a pound of marijuana and less than a gram of hashish in his 1994 Chevrolet Caprice. Falardeau pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to sell and was sentenced to two to four years in state prison. His sentence was deferred on condition he complete the ``shock'' prison boot camp program. State prosecutors later filed a petition to seize Falardeau's car, saying he should forfeit the Caprice because it was used to conceal and transport illegal drugs. Falardeau argued that taking his car would be a second punishment for the same crime. Being punished twice is forbidden under the ``double jeopardy'' clauses of the state and federal constitutions. Superior Court Judge Douglas Gray ruled in Falardeau's favor. However, the state's highest court overturned that ruling today, saying the state's forfeiture law was mostly a civil penalty, not a criminal punishment, and therefore couldn't be counted as double jeopardy for a crime. ``While forfeiture may contain some punitive aspects ... the statute serves important nonpunitive goals by `encouraging property owners to take care in managing their property and ensuring that they will not permit that property to be used for illegal purposes,''' the unanimous decision said. The forfeiture petition was sent back to the lower court for a final ruling. Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company *** PRISON CONNECTIONS: Prison Activism in New England (USA) PO Box 3328, Amherst, MA 01004 firstname.lastname@example.org http://persephone.hampshire.edu/wmpig/prisoncon.html Prison-related Event Listings *Alerts* Links
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Children Clinton Neglects (Syndicated Columnist Steve Chapman In 'The Chicago Tribune' Laments The Children Who Will Die Of AIDS Because President Clinton Refuses To Act On Needle Exchange) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 18:52:59 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US IL: OPED: The Children Clinton Neglects Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: 1, page 21 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Author: Steve Chapman THE CHILDREN CLINTON NEGLECTS We know Bill Clinton cares deeply about children because he tells us so. Hardly a day goes by that he doesn't unveil some new program to improve the lot of the little ones. Just this week, he's been in Africa proclaiming his determination to help even kids living half a world away "because we want to see the light that is in these children's eyes forever, and in the eyes of all other children." Well, maybe not all other children. Back here in America, hundreds of kids are born every year infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The president has the power to take action that would prevent many of these infections and save the lives of a lot of children who have not yet been born. But year after year, he has refused to lift a finger on their behalf. Once known as a gay men's disease, AIDS is increasingly an affliction of drug users. Every day, 33 Americans are infected with the virus because they use a contaminated syringe to inject themselves with illicit drugs--or because they are the sexual partners or the offspring of someone who did. The most tragic cases are the infants. Between July 1996 and June 1997, 552 babies emerged from the womb already infected by their mothers. Most of the mothers either used drugs intravenously or had sex with a user. Hard-hearted types can say that gay men are to blame when they contract AIDS through unsafe sex or that heroin addicts are to blame when they use dirty needles to do something that is against the law. But they can't very well blame newborns for getting the disease. Infants are in no position to take preventive measures. If they're to be spared the virus, someone else has to take preventive measures for them. The simplest one is a blindingly obvious idea known as needle exchange. AIDS activists have found that if you give drug users access to sterile syringes, lo and behold, many decide they would really prefer not to risk their lives just to get high. Needle-exchange programs let them trade their old, dirty needles for new, sterile ones, thus preventing the virus from making the jump from one addict to another. These programs have been around for more than a decade, and a wealth of experience has proven their value. In 1995, a panel of experts commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that "well-implemented needle-exchange programs can be effective in preventing the spread of HIV and do not increase the use of illegal drugs." Last year, a report issued by the National Institutes of Health said, "There is no longer any doubt that these programs work." A 1997 study in Montreal is cited by critics because it found that one needle-exchange program appeared to raise the HIV transmission rate. But the scientists who conducted the study said it should not be interpreted as evidence that needle exchange doesn't help. And the American Journal of Epidemiology, which published their report, accompanied it with an editorial saying that what drug users in Montreal need "is not less needle exchange, but more." The issue has been settled beyond serious doubt. Yet this is how much the federal government spends on AIDS prevention every year: $634 million. And this is how much of the money goes to finance needle exchange: zero. The law says federal funds cannot be used in these programs--unless the president wants them to. As of April 1, all he has to do is direct his Health and Human Services secretary, Donna Shalala, to certify that needle exchanges slow HIV transmission and do not encourage drug use--to certify, in short, what everybody knows. The president's own advisory council on AIDS recently urged him to lift the ban. White House AIDS adviser Sandra Thurman agrees. But with each new call for him to show some courage, the president has remained in hiding. An HHS spokesman says Shalala is still reviewing the scientific evidence. That makes about as much sense as reviewing who won the 1998 Super Bowl: You can rerun the videotape as many times as you want, but the score always comes out the same. Apparently her review won't be done until Jan. 20, 2001, at which point it will become someone else's headache. Why is the administration stalling? Partly because the president doesn't want to give Republicans a chance to portray him as soft on drugs. And partly because he doesn't want to have to overrule White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey. Gen. McCaffrey thinks funding needle exchange would give kids the idea that we don't really object to drug use--which is like saying that allowing alcoholics to get treated for liver ailments under Medicaid amounts to an endorsement of drunkenness. Clinton clearly would like to be remembered as the president who did more than any other to help children. But when it comes to the kids whose lives could have been saved by needle-exchange programs, he will be remembered for doing nothing.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moyers Finds Hope In Fight Against Addiction ('New York Times' Uncritically Plugs Bill Moyers Television Documentary Series On His Son's Experiences With Polydrug Abuse, 'Close To Home,' To Begin Sunday) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 19:49:24 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US; NYT: Moyers Finds Hope in Fight Against Addiction Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: The New York Times Author: Walter Goodman Pubdate: Thursday, 26 March 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ 'CLOSE TO HOME': MOYERS FINDS HOPE IN FIGHT AGAINST ADDICTION IF there is such an anomaly as an Enlightenment televangelist, it is Bill Moyers, who brings to his documentaries a preacher's zeal for spreading the gospel of progress. Never has this spirit been more impassioned than in his new series, "Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home," which finds him bearing the good news that addiction can be beaten if society learns to treat it as a disease, not as a moral failing. Moyers comes to that conviction through painful experience. His oldest son, William Cope Moyers, fought the hard fight against alcohol and drugs and has apparently recovered, or is in recovery, as therapists take care to put it. The family's battle inspired this five-part series. The devil here takes the form not only of the drugs but of injunctions to "Just say no!" Moyers told a congressional committee this week that people of good character, like his son, are not immune to the disease of addiction and that beating it demands not only willpower but professional understanding and attention to addiction's physical and social causes. Viewers may feel they are tuned into one side of a clash between religious sects. To Moyers' credit, he offers reporting along with the exhortations. Sunday's dramatic opening hour, "Portrait of Addiction," is given entirely to nine recovered or recovering addicts who tell of falling in love with alcohol, cocaine or heroin. They describe the feelings of well-being, of euphoria that captured them and the resultant craving and dependence that held them in thrall. Moyers is not much heard from, but in the directness and vividness of the testimonies you can detect the skill of his interviewing, as well as the years of therapy in which the confessions have been honed. The explanations for what finally forced these people into therapy sound like religious conversions: They realized they were losing control of their lives and sought and happily found help, from a church, a friend, a group like Alcoholics Anonymous. The point is made repeatedly that few addicts can cure themselves, but no one can do it for them. A therapist tells a joke: "How many counselors does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change." Sunday's second hour calls attention to tantalizing research on the workings of the brain. Much is still cloudy about how addiction gets started and progresses, but the assumption behind laboratory studies, as behind this program, is that the body has its reasons. "This is the best of times," one researcher announces. "We know more than we ever knew." Monday's program moves into therapy and the common problem of relapses, and Tuesday's turns to the treatment of children. Both have their share of proselytizing as the camera gives glimpses of salvation through group sessions, and there is considerable repetition along with the insights into the struggle for recovery. Moyers, though a believer, is cautious: "I know from personal experience it is difficult. It is one of the hardest diseases of all to conquer. When the person I love and care about came out of 28-day treatment, I was scared. I wanted him to stay there because he was safe while he was there. And sure enough, over the next few years, he relapsed twice. It's hard." The final hour, on Tuesday, is given to advocates for more money for treatment, including an appearance by the younger Moyers, who, like many of the anti-drug professionals one meets on television, are recovering addicts. Their cause is likely to be advanced by the Public Television Outreach Alliance, which is joining Moyers' campaign to spread the message and draw in more converts.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Celebrities Urge Addicts' Treatment Expansion ('Reuters' Version Of Yesterday's News) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 19:11:16 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Wire: Celebrities Urge Addicts' Treatment Expansion Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: Reuters Author: Joanne Kenen Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 CELEBRITIES URGE ADDICTS' TREATMENT EXPANSION WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It took courage for Buzz Aldrin to become part of the first manned mission to the moon. But he said Tuesday it took more courage to undertake his mission to sobriety. "It was the most significant challenge of my life," said the former Apollo astronaut, one of several celebrities who have struggled with alcohol or drug abuse and who testified before a Senate panel, urging lawmakers to enact legislation that would expand treatment opportunities for addicts. At the same hearing, another set of witnesses urged the panel to increase by $100 million, to $440 million, spending on Alzheimer's disease research next year. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that as baby boomers age, up to 14 million people could develop the degenerative brain disease early in the next century, straining Medicare and Medicaid. The witnesses on drug and alcohol abuse backed legislation introduced by Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat, and Rep. Jim Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican and former alcoholic. Many health insurance plans do not cover substance abuse or offer few benefits. The Wellstone-Ramstad bill would require health plans to provide the same coverage for substance abuse as they do for other diseases. A similar law, requiring parity for severe mental diseases, was enacted in 1996 and went into effect this year. A study released Tuesday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that parity for mental health and substance abuse services would raise family premiums by less than 1 percent for plans that tightly manage care and typically by 3.6 percent for health plans overall. The hearing, before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee in charge of health research spending, chaired by Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, coincided with the March 29-31 airing of a three-part Public Broadcasting Service series called "Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home." Journalist Bill Moyers and his son, William Cope Moyers, were among the witnesses who told their family's story. The younger Moyers is a former addict who credits his recovery in part to his ability to get treatment many people cannot afford. "We must put an accurate face on addiction," William Cope Moyers said. He said he wanted to combat the idea that addiction was a moral weakness, not a disease. "I grew up in the middle-class suburbs, was raised by two parents who gave me all the emotional, financial and spiritual support I needed, graduated from college and held good jobs. And still my brain was hijacked by alcohol and drugs," he said. "America needs a new metaphor for the war on drugs," Bill Moyers said. He recalled that when his son developed an addiction, he did not declare war on him. Instead, the family sought help. Copyright (c) 1998 Reuters Limited.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Deal In Congress Deserves Quick Attention ('The Herald' In Everett, Washington, Wants Congress To Pass Tobacco Legislation With Prohibitionist Tax Increases 'For The Sake Of Children') Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 12:19:17 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US WA: Editorial: Tobacco Deal In Congress Deserves Quick Attention Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thu. 26 Mar. 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA Contact: email@example.com WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com TOBACCO DEAL IN CONGRESS DESERVES QUICK ATTENTION The tobacco deal in Congress isn't dead yet. Its lungs are choked with black carcinogens. It isn't breathing very well. But fortunately, political will has the power to revive this historic legislation. Congressional members have no choice but to put the life back into this tobacco deal for the sake of children. In a recent telephone conference, Secretary of Social and Health Services Donna Shalala said she is convinced this session will end with a successful, comprehensive package that reduces the power of Big Tobacco. This legislation is unique because it's easy for the common voter to understand, it's supported by people from all colors of the political spectrum, and it's good for the country's health. The only thing lawmakers against the proposals have going for them is the money lining their pockets from tobacco companies. That shouldn't be enough to stave off the will of the people. Attorneys general from across the country, including Washington's Christine Gregoire, achieved the landmark success of brokering a deal with all the major tobacco companies. The AGs' plan hinges upon congressional approval. In the early stages, many congressional members introduced bills that punish tobacco companies even more than the AG's original deal. President Clinton, not to be outdone, proposed his own package of comprehensive anti-tobacco laws. It looked like a deal stronger than the attorneys' plan was on the horizon. Then politics happened. Tobacco lobbyists are working overtime to protect their precious products. The tobacco punishing bills are waning. Now, it looks like a tobacco deal is far from passage. But Secretary Shalala has hope. She describes the legislative process as a poker game, not a game of hearts. Things fall apart and then they come back together again. Voters ought to make sure Shalala's words stand and Congress doesn't leave this session without historic tobacco legislation. President Clinton has announced five crucial elements that must be the framework for a comprehensive tobacco deal. The intent is to assure fewer children get addicted to tobacco; the FDA as full regulatory jurisdiction over the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco; tobacco companies will never repeat their secretive, despicable acts of denying the addictivness of tobacco and luring young smokers; anti-smoking efforts will be prevalent in the U.S. as well as foreign countries; tobacco farmers will receive job retraining and tobacco farming communities will benefit from economic development projects. Vice President Al Gore recently announced that an increase of $1.10 a cigarette pack over five years will cut teenage smoking by an average of 42 percent nationwide. The price increase would also be accompanied by stricter laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors and a ban on tobacco advertising geared toward young people. With those provisions in place, experts say Washington state will see a 33 to 36 percent reduction in youth smoking and premature deaths. That's a lot of kids Congress can save. It's time Congress steps out from the smoke and mirrors and passes a meaningful, strict package of tobacco legislation that ends this pitiful era where tobacco reigns.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feinstein Urges Decertification Of Mexico As Ally In War On Drugs ('Los Angeles Times' Says California's Senior Democratic Senator Is Continuing An Effort She Herself Admits Is Hopeless, Even Though It Further Strains Feinstein's Relations With The State's Growing And Powerful Hispanic Community, As Well As The White House) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 10:29:00 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Feinstein Urges Decertification of Mexico as Ally in War on Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Author: Faye Fiore, Times Staff Writer FEINSTEIN URGES DECERTIFICATION OF MEXICO AS ALLY IN WAR ON DRUGS Democratic senator is going against Clinton administration, conceding that she is likely to fail. She says move is necessary to keep pressure on southern neighbor. WASHINGTON--As the U.S. Senate prepares to pass judgment on Mexico's record in the war on drugs, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is waging a war of her own--one she fully expects to lose. California's senior Democratic senator is leading the crusade to strip Mexico of its recent designation by President Clinton as a comrade in the global fight against drug trafficking. It is an effort some experts say will not only fail but also could further strain Feinstein's relations with the state's growing and powerful Latino community, not to mention put her at odds with the White House. So why do it? Even a failed attempt to reverse Clinton's certification of Mexico as an effective partner in the drug war is necessary to keep pressure on Mexican officials to do their part, Feinstein insists. Without the decertification threat, Mexico's meager advances on the drug front will not improve, she said. "I have never expected to win this," Feinstein said in an interview preceding the Senate vote, expected as early as today. "What I expect to do is keep the pressure up. . . . Cartels are stronger than ever--we will show this--and there are zero arrests of cartel leaders [in Mexico]. And everybody knows who they are." The Clinton administration is required by law to recommend annually whether to certify Mexico and other countries as full partners in the fight against drugs, or find them liable for possible economic and diplomatic sanctions. Feinstein and Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.) failed in their bid to overturn last year's certification but won a special review by the administration of Mexico's drug-fighting efforts. Now they are trying again, arguing that Mexico has done little to earn the stamp of approval in a drug epidemic Feinstein calls "a greater threat to American safety than all of organized crime was in the 1960s." Armed with an arsenal of charts and statistics, Feinstein intends to spotlight in the Senate what she sees as Mexico's dismal commitment to stemming the gushing flow of drugs into this country--particularly methamphetamines. A surging problem in California, the rampant spread of methamphetamine labs helped convince Feinstein to stay at Mexico's heels, her aides said. California is now considered the main source of the drug for the rest of the nation, produced primarily with chemicals from across the border. There were 1,429 methamphetamine lab seizures in California in 1996--an increase of 61% over the previous year, Feinstein's staff said. Feinstein is also concerned that the Mexican government has not complied with U.S. requests for the extradition of 27 nationals wanted in this country on major drug charges. And she cites State Department statistics showing that in 1996-97, Mexico's heroin seizures dropped 68%, methamphetamine seizures fell 77% and seizures of ephedrine--a chemical used to make methamphetamine--declined 91%. Despite such numbers, many critics argue that disgracing a neighboring trade partner with decertification is not the way to solve an intractable drug problem. Further, critics say that Feinstein is blaming Mexico for a thriving narcotics market that the United States helped create: There can be, after all, no flourishing Mexican supply without enthusiastic U.S. demand. "It's hard for the United States to cast the first stone," said Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Los Angeles Democrat and chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus. And noting that decertification could carry with it trade sanctions, Becerra said: "The senator has to be aware that to succeed [in her fight] would have great economic consequences for California. And the last thing we need to do is to destroy not only diplomacy with one of our most important world partners but economic relations." In a vacuum, the decertification issue would be unlikely to dent Feinstein's image with Latino voters when she faces reelection in 2000. But with her tough stance on illegal immigration already having alienated some Latino leaders, her bid to overturn Clinton's certification of Mexico is not being viewed as the sort of attitude adjustment these Latino leaders were waiting for. "In those circles where she has lost support, this might be seen as an extension of a pattern. Her actions on this are not without a context or a history," said Isidro D. Ortiz, professor of Chicana and Chicano studies at San Diego State. Becerra added: "The message out there to anyone who values the relationship we have with Mexico is that she is turning a cold shoulder. And there is already a critical mass that believes the senator has been insensitive to some of the Latino community's concerns." Feinstein counters that Latinos want the drug flow stopped as much as anyone. And putting trade concerns before a narcotics epidemic would be a grave mistake, she warns. "When I make my remarks on the floor they are based on facts, not on any kind of bias or prejudice," she said. "I would send the highest kudos to Mexico if I saw some arrest of the cartels, but they are all flourishing abondanza." Feinstein's persistence on the Mexico issue also makes her appear less than a loyal Democrat to the Clinton administration. "We share a 2,000-mile border with Mexico, and it is in our best interest to work with Mexico," said Brian Morton, spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "With all due respect to Sen. Feinstein, Mexico has made great strides and we hope to continue with those great strides in the future." But behind the scenes, some administration officials applaud Feinstein's protestations. Sources close to the White House say that Feinstein's continuing criticism is believed to have helped push Mexico to be more cooperative. One congressional aide added: "She may be seen as an irritation, but that's all. Decertification won't haunt her." Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Fails To Reverse Mexico Drug Ruling ('New York Times' Says The US Senate Rejected, By A Vote Of 54 To 45, A Bipartisan Reversal Of The Clinton Administration's Decision To Certify Mexico) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 15:03:21 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Wire: Senate Fails To Reverse Mexico Drug Ruling Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: New York Times news service Author: Eric Schmitt Pubdate: Thursday, March 26, 1998 SENATE FAILS TO REVERSE MEXICO DRUG RULING WASHINGTON -- The Senate upheld on Thursday night the Clinton administration's decision last month to certify that the Mexican government is ``fully cooperating'' with the United States in the fight against drug trafficking. Senators rejected, by a vote of 54-45, a bipartisan effort to reverse the administration's decision. The Senate took the action despite confidential government assessments that anti-drug efforts by Mexico have not produced significant results, and that the Mexican military's ties to drug cartels may be much broader than Mexican authorities have acknowledged. Mexican officials said that they would not comment on the decision because they regard the whole process as a unilateral imposition by the United States. But they noted that the process came under considerable fire in the debate. ``As always, Mexico stands for cooperation in the drug war and against recrimination or certification,'' said Leonardo Ffrench, a Foreign Ministry spokesman. The Senate vote followed 90 minutes of often passionate debate on both sides. While closer than some officials thought it would be, the vote was never really in doubt. No Congress has overturned a White House certification since such evaluations became an annual ritual in 1986. The White House strongly opposed the effort to reverse its decision on Mexico, arguing that such an action would ``send a strong signal of U.S. loss of confidence in the Mexican government's efforts and lack of U.S. political will to cooperate meaningfully with Mexico.'' Several senators agreed, and cited efforts by Mexico to pass new laws and form law-enforcement units and programs to fight drug traffickers. ``If we are going to win the war on drugs, the only way is through cooperation,'' said Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison, R-Texas. ``Harsh rhetoric against our neighbor is not the way to do it.'' Sen. Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican, said: ``If we vote to decertify, are they going to get better? There's a good chance things will get worse, rather than better.'' Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said the process was outdated and a badly flawed instrument in gauging a country's progress in fighting drug trafficking. He said a vote to reverse the finding would be ``misguided anger, misguided frustration.'' But opponents of the ruling complained that Mexico's efforts were more show than substance. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., recited a litany of signs that Mexico had failed to rein in drug trafficking, from falling drug arrests to declining street prices of drugs. ``Supply overwhelms demand, and prices drop,'' she said. Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., said the administration was deluding the public with false confidence in Mexico. ``We are losing this war and losing this struggle, and it's not appropriate to say otherwise,'' he said. The administration has denied certification to Afghanistan, Burma, Nigeria and Iran. Under the law, the United States must now withhold some foreign aid and vote against loans these nations seek from development banks. The administration also decertified Colombia, Pakistan, Paraguay and Cambodia but waived the penalties.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Arrest Seen In New Light ('San Jose Mercury News,' Revising A Theory First Mentioned A Few Days Ago In 'The Orange County Register,' Says DEA Officials Now Suspect The Arrest Last Year Of Mexico's Drug-Enforcement Chief, General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, Points To Possible Corruption Of Mexican Military Officials Who Are Central To US Drug-Enforcement Efforts In Mexico) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 21:17:06 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Mexican Arrest Seen In New Light Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author: Tim Golden, New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 MEXICAN ARREST SEEN IN NEW LIGHT U.S. Drug Agency Officials Suspect Collusion Between Military, Traffickers WASHINGTON -- For a year, the Clinton administration has presented the arrest of Mexico's drug-enforcement chief as proof of that government's strong will to fight corruption, but now U.S. analysts have concluded that the case shows much wider military involvement with drug traffickers than the Mexican authorities have acknowledged. According to an extensive classified report by the Drug Enforcement Administration and other intelligence assessments, the arrest last year of Gen. Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo followed secret meetings between Mexican army officers and the country's biggest drug mafia, officials say. Exactly what transpired remains unclear. But the officials say there is growing evidence that military officers discussed a deal to let the drug gang operate in exchange for huge bribes, and that some such arrangement may have been in place before the gang's leader, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, died after extensive plastic surgery last year. The Gutiérrez Rebollo case initially raised fears that he might have passed sensitive intelligence to members of Carrillo Fuentes' gang. But U.S. officials say it now points to the possible collusion of military officials who are central to U.S. drug-enforcement efforts in Mexico. ``The bottom line is that all this goes a lot deeper than we thought,'' said one senior official who, like others, would discuss the report only on condition of anonymity. If the indications of wider military involvement with traffickers are borne out, another official said, ``it points to much of our work in Mexico being an exercise in futility.'' Some intelligence officials have questioned aspects of the report, officials said, describing them as speculative. But drug-enforcement officials still presented it to Attorney General Janet Reno and other senior officials Feb. 6, one year to the day after Gutiérrez Rebollo was arrested on the orders of the Mexican defense minister. Beyond that, officials say the report has been very closely held, because of the sensitivity of the intelligence and the volatility of the politics that surround it. With strong U.S. support, President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León brought the military into law enforcement in 1996 because it was seen as the only alternative to the country's deeply corrupt police. A month ago, as part of its annual evaluation of narcotics-control efforts abroad, the administration assured Congress that Mexico was ``fully cooperating.'' But a Senate discussion of two resolutions to overturn that endorsement could begin as early as today. U.S. officials have been reluctant to confront Mexican leaders with their new assessment. In part, they say, their unease has to do with still-significant gaps in the story. But they also fear that such a challenge could imperil largely secret anti-drug programs with which both the CIA and the Pentagon have been trying to build closer ties to a neighboring army that has long been deeply suspicious of the United States. The director of White House drug policy, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, said in an interview that he would not discuss the intelligence reports other than to confirm that they had been scrutinized very closely. ``It is my view that the Mexican military's actions, both internally and publicly, have been to resist attempts to penetrate them, intimidate them and corrupt them,'' he added.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Sees Deep Mexican Army Ties To Drugs (New York Times News Service Version In 'Chicago Times') Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 18:52:59 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: US Sees Deep Mexican Army Ties To Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: 1, page 18 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Author: New York Times News Service U.S. SEES DEEP MEXICAN ARMY TIES TO DRUGS For a year the Clinton administration has presented the stunning arrest of Mexico's drug-enforcement chief as proof of that government's strong will to fight corruption. But now U.S. analysts have concluded that the case shows much wider military involvement with drug traffickers than Mexican authorities have acknowledged. According to an extensive classified report by the Drug Enforcement Administration and other intelligence assessments, the arrest last year of the former official, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, came after secret meetings between Mexican army officers and Mexico's biggest drug mafia, officials say. Exactly what transpired remains unclear. But the officials say there is growing evidence that military officers discussed a deal to let the drug gang operate in exchange for huge bribes and that some such arrangement may have been in place before the gang's leader, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, died after extensive plastic surgery last year. The Gutierrez Rebollo case initially raised fears that he might have passed sensitive intelligence to members of Carrillo Fuentes' gang. But U.S. officials say it now points to the possible collusion of military officials who are central to U.S. drug-enforcement efforts in Mexico. "The bottom line is that all this goes a lot deeper than we thought," said one senior official. If the indications of wider military involvement with traffickers are borne out, another official said, "it points to much of our work in Mexico being an exercise in futility." Some intelligence officials have questioned aspects of the report, officials said, describing them as speculative. But drug-enforcement officials presented it to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno and other senior officials Feb. 6, one year to the day after Gutierrez Rebollo was arrested on the orders of the Mexican defense minister. Beyond that, officials say the report has been very closely held because of the sensitivity of the intelligence and the volatility of the politics that surround it. With strong U.S. support, President Ernesto Zedillo brought the military into law enforcement in 1996 because it was seen as the only alternative to the country's deeply corrupt police. A month ago, as part of its annual evaluation of narcotics control efforts abroad, the administration assured Congress that Mexico was "fully cooperating." But a Senate discussion of two resolutions to overturn that endorsement could begin as early as Thursday. U.S. officials have been reluctant to confront Mexican leaders with their new assessment. In part, they say, their unease has to do with still-significant gaps in the story. But they also fear that such a challenge could imperil largely secret anti-drug programs with which the CIA and the Pentagon have been trying to build closer ties to a neighboring army that has long been deeply suspicious of the U.S. The director of White House drug policy, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, said he would not discuss the intelligence reports other than to confirm that they had been scrutinized very closely. Mexican Defense Ministry officials have angrily denied the few sketchy reports that have surfaced so far about negotiations between generals and traffickers. After Gutierrez Rebollo testified at his trial last September that such meetings had taken place, military officials acknowledged that several generals did indeed meet with a top lieutenant of Carrillo Fuentes. But they insisted that the man had used an alias and that the officers did not know he was a trafficker. "The claim that there were any other meetings is false," said Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare, a top aide to the Mexican defense minister. He described the allegations as "lies, slander and infamy" generated by Gutierrez Rebollo in an attempt to save himself.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Military Helps Drug Traffickers, US Reports Say (Lengthier 'New York Times' Version) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 01:14:31 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Anti-Prohibition Lg
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: NYT,Mexican Military Helps Drug Traffickers, U.S. Reports The New York Times, March 26, 1998 Mexican Military Helps Drug Traffickers, U.S. Reports Say By TIM GOLDEN WASHINGTON -- For a year the Clinton administration has presented the stunning arrest of Mexico's drug-enforcement chief as proof of that government's strong will to fight corruption. But now U.S. analysts have concluded that the case shows much wider military involvement with drug traffickers than the Mexican authorities have acknowledged. According to an extensive classified report by the Drug Enforcement Administration and other intelligence assessments, the arrest last year of the former official, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, followed secret meetings between Mexican army officers and the country's biggest drug mafia, officials say. Exactly what transpired remains unclear. But the officials say there is growing evidence that military officers discussed a deal to let the drug gang operate in exchange for huge bribes, and that some such arrangement may have been in place before the gang's leader, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, died after extensive plastic surgery last year. The Gutierrez Rebollo case initially raised fears that he might have passed sensitive intelligence to members of Carrillo Fuentes' gang. But U.S. officials say it now points to the possible collusion of military officials who are central to U.S. drug-enforcement efforts in Mexico. "The bottom line is that all this goes a lot deeper than we thought," said one senior official who, like others, would discuss the report only on condition of anonymity. If the indications of wider military involvement with traffickers are borne out, another official said, "it points to much of our work in Mexico being an exercise in futility." Some intelligence officials have questioned aspects of the report, officials said, describing them as speculative. But drug-enforcement officials still presented it to Attorney General Janet Reno and other senior officials Feb. 6, one year to the day after Gutierrez Rebollo was arrested on the orders of the Mexican defense minister. Beyond that, officials say the report has been very closely held, because of the sensitivity of the intelligence and the volatility of the politics that surround it. With strong U.S. support, President Ernesto Zedillo brought the military into law enforcement in 1996 because it was seen as the only alternative to the country's deeply corrupt police. A month ago, as part of its annual evaluation of narcotics-control efforts abroad, the administration assured Congress that Mexico was "fully cooperating." But a Senate discussion of two resolutions to overturn that endorsement could begin as early as Thursday. U.S. officials have been reluctant to confront Mexican leaders with their new assessment. In part, they say, their unease has to do with still-significant gaps in the story. But they also fear that such a challenge could imperil largely secret anti-drug programs with which both the CIA and the Pentagon have been trying to build closer ties to a neighboring army that has long been deeply suspicious of the United States. The director of White House drug policy, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, said in an interview that he would not discuss the intelligence reports other than to confirm that they had been scrutinized very closely. "It is my view that the Mexican military's actions, both internally and publicly, have been to resist attempts to penetrate them, intimidate them and corrupt them," he added. Mexican Defense Ministry officials have angrily denied the few sketchy reports that have surfaced so far about negotiations between generals and traffickers. After Gutierrez Rebollo testified at his trial last September that such meetings had taken place, military officials acknowledged that several generals did indeed meet with a top lieutenant of Carrillo Fuentes, but they insisted that the man had used an alias and that the officers did not know he was a trafficker. "The claim that there were any other meetings is false," Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare, a top aide to the Mexican defense minister, said in an interview. He described the allegations as "lies, slander and infamy" generated by Gutierrez Rebollo in an attempt to save himself by implicating others. Until his arrest, Gutierrez Rebollo was one of the Mexican military's most prominent and respected commanders. A gruff, bald commander with a thick-set frame and a bulldog face, his presence suggested a take-no-prisoners style. After he was plucked from a regional military command and named by Zedillo to head the National Institute for the Combat of Drugs, he was described by McCaffrey as a soldier "of absolute, unquestioned integrity." But early last year, just two months after his appointment, an anonymous caller to the Defense Ministry -- later identified as Gutierrez Rebello's driver -- reported that the general was living in a luxurious Mexico City apartment that had been occupied by Carrillo Fuentes, the trafficker. Gutierrez Rebollo may have fought vigorously against some trafficking gangs, the driver and other officers testified later, but he carefully avoided Carrillo Fuentes. In return, they said, the traffickers gave the general armored cars and encrypted cellular telephones and paid off some of his subordinates. Confronted by the defense minister, Gen. Enrique Cervantes, and several of his aides, Gutierrez Rebollo angrily denied having done anything wrong. His daughter, Teresa de Jesus Gutierrez, said he was then forcibly sedated and bundled off to the Central Military Hospital. Twelve days later, Cervantes assembled his commanders for an extraordinary televised address. Denouncing the drug-enforcement chief as a turncoat, the minister said Gutierrez Rebollo had suffered a heart attack when confronted with evidence of his treason. In a separate statement, Zedillo said the arrest confirmed the government's "unshakable determination to pursue and punish drug trafficking and combat corruption." Initially, Mexican officials announced that more than 30 military officers and civilians had been detained. Over the past year, the armed forces cited the prosecution of more than half a dozen generals on drug-related charges as proof of their intolerance of corruption. Yet U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement officials have remained deeply troubled by the Mexican government's handling of the case. In several early assessments, they identified contradictions in the military's account of what was known about Gutierrez Rebollo's contacts with the traffickers and why he was arrested. Later, they collected a considerable body of intelligence indicating that despite Mexico's denials, several senior military officers met not once but three times with the traffickers. U.S. law-enforcement officials have found that a series of murders last year have a common characteristic: the victims were said to have acted as intermediaries between drug smugglers and the military. Some U.S. officials say that when Gutierrez Rebollo was arrested and hospitalized, the military intended to kill him and then announce that he had died of diabetes or heart trouble. Others, including some intelligence officials, discount that. Although the analysts still have only partial theories about the results of the reported negotiations between the traffickers and the military, two officials said the intelligence reports had turned up nothing to refute a chilling account they heard from an informant even before Gutierrez Rebollo's arrest: that the officers were negotiating for a bribe of $60 million or more, in return for the protection of Carrillo Fuentes' drug operations. According to these officials, the intelligence reports say Gutierrez Rebollo attended the first such meeting in the fall of 1996, shortly before he took charge of the nation's anti-drug effort. Others present reportedly included two senior generals and Carrillo Fuentes' lieutenant. A second meeting took place in Mexico City in early January 1997, the officials said, and the military representatives again included the two senior officers and the army's powerful chief of staff, Gen. Juan Humberto Salinas Altes. U.S. officials say a third meeting, on Jan. 12, was the one that Defense Ministry officials have acknowledged took place at their headquarters between Eduardo Gonzalez Quirarte, who is Carrillos Fuentes' lieutenant, and four generals and a colonel. Mexican military officials said the encounter was set up by two private lawyers; an attorney for Gutierrez Rebollo said the lawyers actually worked for Zedillo's military staff, an allegation the government denies. In his testimony at his trial last fall, Gutierrez Rebollo said the third of three meetings actually took place Jan. 14. And last summer the Mexico City news magazine Proceso published a military intelligence document with that date that appears to refer to Carrillo by his initials. "A.C. does not intend to surrender," the document reads. "A.C. wants to negotiate with the government, to make a pact." It goes on to list the conditions under which "A.C." will help the authorities wipe out "unorganized narcotics trafficking": he would sell his drugs exclusively in Europe and the United States, not in Mexico, and "act like a businessman, not like a criminal." Two officials cite recent evidence that they say corroborates another piece of the seemingly implausible original story -- that at the last meeting Gonzalez Quirarte made a down payment of $6 million or $10 million on a bribe that was intended to be 10 times more. Mexican government officials vehemently denied having taken any money from the traffickers and, like their military counterparts, attributed the claims to a wild effort by Gutierrez Rebollo to implicate others. How Gutierrez Rebollo ran afoul of his comrades also remains a subject of internal U.S. debate. Officials say there is some evidence for his claim -- and that of several of his former subordinates -- that Gutierrez Rebollo clashed with another powerful general because of the drug czar's aggressive pursuit of the Arellano Felix brothers, a drug cartel based in Tijuana and Carrillo Fuentes' most bitter rivals. That second officer, Gen. Guillermo Alvarez Nara, is now the head of Mexico's federal police force. U.S. officials say there are also hints of a deal between Carrillo Fuentes and suspicious killings that followed his death. One victim was a former congressman who had been an aide to Gen. Juan Arevalo Gardoqui, a former Defense Minister and current adviser to the ministry. The congressman was the partner of a Mexican money launderer in two foreign-exchange offices that moved military officers' money out of the country, U.S. officials said. Four days after the death of the former congressman, gunmen in Guadalajara killed a former local beauty queen who had been intimate with military officers and with major drug traffickers for years. But U.S. officials said the most disturbing victim was Tomas Colsa McGregor, whom they identified as an accountant for Carrillo Fuentes who paid the bribes to military officers. Shortly after Carrillo Fuentes' death in a Mexico City hospital, agents of Alvarez Nara's federal police force arrested Colsa and began to question him. At one point, they even allowed him to be interviewed by United States law-enforcement officials. When Colsa was next seen, however, he was dead. U.S. officials said he had been bound, gagged and brutally tortured. Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Fights Drug War On Its Own Terms ('Los Angeles Times' Examines Mexico's War On Some Drugs And Notes, Among Other Things, 'There Is Little Public Support In Mexico For A High-Profile Fight Against Traffickers') Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 10:37:44 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico Fights Drug War on Its Own Terms Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 MEXICO FIGHTS DRUG WAR ON ITS OWN TERMS MEXICO CITY--Fernando Gastelum, a top security official in the state of Baja California Sur, was invited to lunch recently at a local military base. Little did he know that he was to be the main course. As Gastelum sat down with other officials to discuss crime, an aide informed him that he had a phone call. Heading out of the dining room, he was seized by black-clad federal agents. Within hours, he was in detention in Mexico City. The Mexican attorney general's office charges that Gastelum organized a notorious 1995 shipment of cocaine--10 tons packed into a passenger jet that was met and unloaded by police in Baja California Sur. Gastelum says he is innocent. To Mexican authorities, his detention last month is a key example of the skirmishes they are waging and winning in the war on drugs. But if Mexico claims it is winning more and more battles, critics in the United States say the country is losing the war. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers are seeking to strip Mexico's annual certification as a full partner in fighting drug trafficking, a step that would chill relations between the neighbors. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the measure today, although it is not expected to pass. Who is right? To some extent, both sides are. Even skeptics praise the integrity of top Mexican anti-drug officials. But analysts say their victories pale before the size of the problem--a multibillion-dollar drug trade that supplies more than half the cocaine entering the United States. The Mexican officials face odds that are often more daunting than those confronting anti-drug authorities in Los Angeles or New York. They must contend with widespread corruption, fragile institutions and traffickers who have billions of dollars at their disposal--thanks to U.S. drug users. In addition, Mexican anti-drug officials must deal with a problem rarely acknowledged by authorities here or in the United States: There is little public support in Mexico for a high-profile fight against traffickers. "There is nothing driving the government to wage a war on drugs," political scientist Jorge Castaneda said, noting the low level of drug use in Mexico. Opinion polls routinely indicate that the trafficking problem is a low priority for Mexicans, far outweighed by such issues as common crime and unemployment. "There's no consensus in Mexico on this," Castaneda said. "You can't wage a war without consensus. It doesn't happen. It didn't happen in the U.S. [with] Vietnam. Why do countries lose wars? Because their people don't want to fight them." Seeing Progress, but Big Obstacles Remain Mexican officials say they have made progress despite the difficulties. In the past year, authorities have arrested several important members of the powerful Tijuana cartel. Its reputed leaders--the Arellano Felix brothers--are apparently lying low because of the pressure. The government also believes its pursuit of top trafficker Amado Carrillo Fuentes drove him to undergo extensive plastic surgery in July that cost him his life. Meanwhile, a new law has resulted in 19 criminal cases against alleged money launderers. And a program to thoroughly vet the national anti-drug police force is bearing fruit: Nearly 900 members have passed the battery of background checks and drug tests, and 1,000 officers suspected of corruption have been fired. "We're beginning to see the first results, and we'll consolidate them little by little," said Mariano Herran Salvatti, who became Mexico's anti-drug czar a year ago. "There is going to be a drop in the amount of drugs passing through [Mexico]." But authorities face huge obstacles. Drug corruption has turned police and officials into well-paid allies of the traffickers. One trafficker alone--Carrillo Fuentes--is believed to have spent more on bribes per year than the entire budget of the Mexican Justice Department, which this year is $425 million. Jesus Blancornelas would seem an unlikely fan of the government's performance against drug traffickers. In November, the editor of a muckraking news weekly was attacked by gunmen allegedly working for the Arellano Felix brothers, just days after the state government suddenly withdrew his bodyguards. His car was riddled with 100 bullets, and he was seriously wounded. Still, Blancornelas said federal authorities, in close cooperation with U.S. officials, are making progress against traffickers in Tijuana. The problem, he said, is that the federal police and army are sometimes frustrated by the very people who should be their allies--local authorities. "The [federal prosecutor's office] is working well in Tijuana," he said. "But there's corruption in the state prosecutor's office." How Deep Does the Corruption Run? Mexican officials say they are trying to expose corrupt local officials, and point to the Gastelum case as one example of progress. Gastelum is being held for questioning but has not been charged. But some analysts wonder whether the corruption goes so deep that uprooting it would destabilize the political system. Raymundo Riva Palacio, a well-informed columnist for the daily El Financiero, recently wrote that the government has linked several top officials to Carrillo Fuentes. But the government took no action, he wrote. "One explanation could be that the penetration of narcos in the government and society is so great, that the regime couldn't handle unveiling it," he wrote. Mexico also suffers from weak institutions. During seven decades of one-party rule, the police and courts were often used to carry out the bidding of political leaders. Only recently have authorities tried to build a more professional, independent justice system. Craig Chretien, who retired last fall from a senior post in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, praised the purge of the Mexican anti-drug force. But, he said, the selection of honest cops can't fully compensate for a lack of experience. "You're still talking about at least one or two generations of police officers before you effect any real institutional changes," he said. And that assumes that top anti-drug officials aren't changed every year or two, as they have been. Analysts here say the U.S. government must understand that Mexico's democratic institutions are in their infancy. "The Mexican state is under construction," said Jorge Chabat, a political scientist who studies narcotics issues. Little Political Pressure to Act Further complicating the anti-narcotics fight is the lack of a clamor here for a war on drugs. Unlike in Colombia, where drugs became a major issue after traffickers assassinated politicians, journalists and judges, Mexican traffickers have largely aimed their guns at one another. That means there is little political pressure to fight drug trafficking. No Mexican political party has made the issue a priority. Many Mexicans blame the United States, saying the drug trade is controlled not by their efforts here but by the great sniffing sound to the north. And close cooperation with the United States is not a popular policy. To the Mexican government, such steps as sending soldiers for anti-drug training in the United States, or extraditing Mexican citizens, must be undertaken gingerly or even secretly, to avoid inflaming nationalist passions. The drug issue has been largely overshadowed by issues such as Mexico's sweeping political transformation, the economic crisis and soaring common crime. Still, while many Mexicans might not view drugs as a priority, the traffickers could be a severe threat to the country's nascent democracy. Luis Astorga, a sociologist who studies drug trafficking, notes that in the past, the authoritarian political system was strong enough to contain any challenge from criminals. But that system is crumbling and hasn't yet been replaced by strong democratic institutions. "These mechanisms [of control] have collapsed because of the deterioration of the political class," he said. "The risks grow every day, because there are fewer and fewer controls." Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Leaders Urge Cooperation At Anti-Drug Conference ('Dallas Morning News Suggests A Call For Better Cooperation During A Meeting Of South America's Drug Czars At The International Drug Enforcement Conference In San Jose, Costa Rica, Will Have To Overcome Widespread Mutual Mistrust, Such As That Arising From The Conviction Of Mexico's Former Drug Czar On Corruption Charges) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 12:19:17 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Costa Rica: Leaders Urge Cooperation At Anti-Drug Conference Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Author: Tracey Eaton / The Dallas Morning News LEADERS URGE COOPERATION AT ANTI-DRUG CONFERENCE SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - When Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres this week urged Latin America's drug czars to reinvent the concept of sovereignty to better fight international organized crime, some people were shocked. "What's that mean?" asked an anti-drug official from a small South American nation. That they were supposed to let the gringos or somebody else take over our counternarcotics operations? Not at all, said U.S. officials attending the International Drug Enforcement Conference in San Jose. What Mr. Figueres was talking about, they say, is that better cooperation is crucial if law enforcement authorities are to defeat - or at least control - the world's major trafficking gangs. "We have to work with each other," said Brig. Gen. Carlos Alberto Ayala, head of Paraguay's National Anti-Drug Secretariat. "Crime is transnational. Crime has no borders. Well, we can't erase the borders, but we can join forces." But working together to catch globe-trotting crooks isn't always easy, drug agents say. Officials from some countries don't trust their counterparts from other nations. Indeed, some of those attending the heavily guarded conference at a San Jose hotel whispered to each other that some in their midst might be loyal to traffickers and not the law. "Sure, this place could be infiltrated," one participant said. "Look what happened in Mexico last year. Their No. 1 drug enforcement official was mixed up with the Amado Carrillo gang." Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, former head of Mexico's anti-drug agency, was arrested last year and accused of taking payoffs from Mr. Carrillo, a notorious trafficker who died after plastic surgery last summer. The general has denied the charges but was convicted nonetheless, and Mexican officials say his ties with the Carrillo gang likely compromised valuable drug intelligence information. Mexico's new anti-drug chief, Mariano Herran Salvatti, has vowed to clean up corruption in his country's counternarcotics forces. And he agreed that cooperation with other nations - the United States included - is essential. U.S. and Mexican agents, said to be working together more closely now than they have in years, traditionally have had a tense relationship. Many American agents remain bitter over the killing of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico in 1985. Some of the Mexicans ultimately arrested in the case had law enforcement ties. But law enforcement officials at the conference vowed to put aside any differences and work against the common enemy. "Now, more than ever, cooperation is needed," Thomas Constantine, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, told his colleagues from 30 countries. "This is a critical period for free society as we struggle to counter these vicious criminal syndicates," he said. "Every nation here today is being attacked by predators and their criminal mafias. "To me, there is really no choice but to win this struggle," he said. "If we do not win, if the problem continues or becomes progressively worse, if drug trafficking and abuse continues, even more of our children - our most precious asset - will become enslaved by drugs." The first International Drug Enforcement Conference was held in 1983. And agents say countries throughout the Americas have made steady progress in working more closely together. Take the case of Colombia, Peru and Brazil, which share borders. Two years ago, agents say, traffickers ran circles around the police, hopping from one country to the next, confusing and confounding their pursuers. Today, the three countries have united in a range of drug operations with such names as Friendship II and Porras II. And the traffickers are losing the upper hand, said Mauro Sposito, federal police superintendent in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. "We've seen results," he said. "Not only have we arrested traffickers, we think we've dealt a psychological blow to these criminals. They know that police from different countries are working together to put them in jail." DEA agents throughout the Americas are active in cooperative efforts. "We become true partners," said Pat Healy, the DEA attache in Brazil. "We've made great progress in Brazil over the past two years. It's been 110 percent positive." Many of the 200 or so drug trafficking suspects operating in the Amazon basin have been arrested or are under constant surveillance, Brazilian agents say. Sixty planes have been seized, 16 clandestine airstrips have been destroyed and drug stash sites have been discovered. In Peru, agents have stepped up their investigation of Colombian planes found to be picking up drug loads in Peru, then flying them to refining laboratories back home. Peruvian air force pilots forced down four Colombian planes in 1997 and shot down seven others, killing most of the occupants. "By law we're allowed to shoot down planes that don't obey orders to land," said Gen. Dennis del Castillo Valdivia, head of Peru's anti-drug agency. "It's a drastic measure, but there's no other way to fight organized crime. These traffickers are very powerful and very wealthy. "They're the kind of people who use hit men to kill people. And they do not understand persuasion."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Newly Available GAO Reports And Testimonies (US General Accounting Office Posts URL For New Report, 'Drug Control - Status Of Counternarcotics Efforts In Mexico') Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 09:26:53 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, March 26, 1998 -- Begin Included Message -- Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 07:46:46 -0500 Message-Id: (9803261246.AA04950@www.gao.gov) From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, March 26, 1998 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com March 26, 1998 The following items were added to GAO's World Wide Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format. - Drug Control: Status of Counternarcotics Efforts in Mexico. T-NSIAD-98-129. 15 pp. March 18, 1998. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns98129t.pdf These reports and testimonies will also be added to our WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours. This database can be searched from the World Wide Web from the search page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml If you are using speech synthesizer equipment or lack World Wide Web access you may search this database with GPO's public swais client by telnetting to: swais.access.gpo.gov Any individual report may be retrieved directly from that archive in text and PDF formats with the following URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1). To UNSUBSCRIBE from the GAO Daybook mailing list, send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org with: unsubscribe daybook (your_email_address) in the message body. Please do not reply to this message to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Thank you.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Randy Caine Arguments Online (List Subscriber Posts Legal Briefs From Randy Caine's Constitutional Challenge To Canadian Marijuana Prohibition - Decision Due April 15) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Subject: Randy Caine arguments online Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 12:47:33 -0800 I finally got around to putting the arguments presented and the case law cited in Randy Caine's constitutional challenge online. The document has been available for awhile in MS .doc format at the Canadian Activists Coalition web site ... http://www.elray.com/cac/enter.htm ... but you can now read it online at ... http://www.hempbc.com/library/memorand.htm The document is long but well worth the read. After 5 years of delays, a decision is expected on April 15. Sorry for taking so long Randy. More to follow. Matt
------------------------------------------------------------------- Time To Debate Marijuana (Letter To Editor Of 'London Free Press' In Ontario Thanks Olympic Snowboarder From British Columbia Who Won A Gold Medal And Almost Lost It After Supposedly Testing Positive For Marijuana, Noting His Triumph Has Re-Sparked A National Debate On The Issue Of Decriminalization - Except In Parliament) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 15:41:22 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Time To Debate Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Chad Michael Burkhart Pubdate: Thu, 26 March 1998 Source: London Free Press (Canada) Section: Letters to the Editor Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html Author: Chad Michael Burkhart TIME TO DEBATE MARIJUANA Kudos to Ross Rabagliati for bringing home the gold and for rehashing the drug debate in this country. About 600 000 Canadians have been convicted of simple marijuana possession and now have criminal records. This is unacceptable to most Canadians. A recent Angus Reid Poll found over 50 percent of Canadians support decriminalization of cannabis possession. Our politicians have been promising for decades they would open a debate on decriminalization. Over 25 years ago, a royal commission recommended decriminalization and education to replace the costly and ineffective legal prosecution. MPs have disregarded this recommendation ever since. Many Canadians have lost faith in Parliament and have turned to the courts to challenge the laws constitutionally. In a recent case in London, R vs. Clay, the Ontario Supreme Court justice said it should be up to the legislature to change the laws and many Canadians would not object to such changes. There has never been a death directly related to the use of marijuana. The propaganda that it is a "gateway drug" has been effectively shot down. People do not become insane from smoking cannabis. Marijuana use does not lead to criminal activity, nor is there any evidence it is addictive. It is time for politicians to debate this issue. Now is the time for the decriminalization of marijuana possession. CHAD MICHAEL BURKHART London
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sign Please (List Subscriber Invites You To Sign A Resolution From The Ninth International Harm Reduction Conference Last Week At Sao Paulo, Brazil) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 22:08:23 +0100 To: email@example.com From: mario lap (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Sign please Hello, Antiprohibitionists, legalizers and those that simply believe there are better ways dealing with substance use :-), Please join this effort for humane policies There is document which you can sign that was conceived at the 9th international harm reduction conference of last week in sao paulo brazil. It may seem conservative but please read and you will understand the importance... http://www.drugtext.nl/statement/ ciao, mario *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marco Pannella In London (Bulletin From Transnational Radical Party Notes The Anti-Prohibitionist Leader From Italy's Radical Party Will Take Part In The 'Decriminalise Cannabis March' This Saturday, March 28, In London, England) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 15:03:24 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: London "decriminalise cannabis march" Organization: Transnational radical Party MARCO PANNELLA IN LONDON The anti-prohibitionist leader and the Radical Party will take part to the London "decriminalise cannabis march" this Saturday 28th of March The Italian anti-prohibitionist leader Marco Pannella will take part to the demonstration organised by the "Independent on Sunday" for the decriminalisation of cannabis. Participants will meet at midday in Hyde Park and march to Trafalgar Square, where Marco Pannella and Olivier Dupuis (MEP, Secretary of the Radical Party) will hold a speech, together with Rosie Boycott and Paul Flynn (anti-prohibitionist Labour MP). Marco Pannella, the historical leader of the Radical Party - one of the few parties to support the legalisation of drugs -, former Italian MP and MEP , has been fighting in favour of the legalisation of cannabis for more than 20 years, starting with a public civil disobedience action when he smoked cannabis during a press conference in 1975 to be arrested and raise the debate. The Italian Parliament depenalised cannabis consumption on the same year. He then supported the foundation of CORA - Radical Anti-prohibitionist Co-ordination -, an organisation federated to the Radical Party that leads eurowide antiprohibitionist campaigns. He launched in 1995 another nonviolent campaign of civil disobedience for the legalisation of cannabis derivatives, and 8 public initiatives were undertaken with Italian, Belgian and French citizens handing out cannabis bags. In order to be prosecuted, Marco Pannella resigned from his European Parliament seat. Emma Bonino, European Commissioner and former Secretary of the Radical Party, supports the initiative, as a well as a group of anti-prohibitionist MEPs who will take part to the march, among others Gianfranco Dell'Alba, Olivier Dupuis, Ernesto Caccavale. Supporters from Italy, Belgium and France will also join the march. At the end of the demonstration (around 3.30 pm) Marco Pannella, together with the anti-prohibitionist MEPs, will meet the journalists during one hour for a press conference in the Charing Cross Hotel, Strand, London WC2N 5HX (just beside the Charing Cross train and tube station). A press kit is available at the EP office, 2 Queen's Anne's Gate, room 37. An operational meeting with the anti-prohibitionist supporters and members from the Italian community in London to plan the future actions to take on the legalisation campaign on a European level will follow. For more information, call +44 171 227 43 40 (Ottavio Marzocchi, Alexandre de Perlinghi - London), or +32 2 284 7198 (Paolo Atzori, Brussels).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Courtroom Bad Place For A Drug Deal (Cautionary Tale From 'Canadian Press' Says Two Men In London, Ontario, Were Busted For Hash Oil After One Seemed To Pass Something To The Other While Both Were Being Arraigned For Breaking And Entering) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Courtroom bad place for a drug deal Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 08:28:04 -0800 March 26, 1998 Courtroom bad place for a drug deal WOODSTOCK, Ont. (CP) No. 1 on the list of top 10 bad places to make a drug deal is one chosen earlier this week by two London men. The two, aged 20 and 22, were in court Wednesday to answer charges of breaking and entering. While they were being arraigned, a police officer noticed one of the men passing something to the other. The second man then put something in his pocket. The officer got suspicious and, after the arraignment, searched the man and found a vial of hashish oil. The two were charged on the spot with drug offences.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs War To Be Extended ('Belfast Telegraph' Says Britain's Newly Appointed Deputy Drugs Czar, Mike Trace, Yesterday Met With Delegates From Across Northern Ireland To Hammer Out The Latest Strategy In The On-Going War Against Some Drug Users) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 15:03:11 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Drugs War To Be Extended Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Source: Belfast Telegraph Contact: email@example.com Author: Jason Johnson DRUGS WAR TO BE EXTENDED ULSTER'S war against drugs is set to enter a new phase following a top level review session by those on the front line. The UK's newly appointed deputy Drugs Czar, Mike Trace, yesterday met with delegates from across the province to discuss the issues and begin hammering out the latest strategy in the on-going fight. He said the meeting, held in Coleraine, was the next step in trying to crush the comparatively small but nonetheless significant drugs problem in Ulster. Plans to be firmed up among voluntary and statutory sectors include building on prevention and education techniques, examining enforcement strategies and improving research methods. Latest statistics suggest that drug use among over 16-year-olds here has fallen in the last 12 months but is on the rise in specific parts of the province. It is also thought that the gap in male and female adolescent drug taking is narrowing. Sixty members from the four local drug co-ordination teams here heard Mr Trace tell of a "situation on a smaller scale" to that across the water, but he said there was no room for complacency. Speaking afterwards, he said he had come along primarily to hear about the drugs situation in Northern Ireland. "What we want to do first is write a national strategy for England and then pass that on to the profession here and see what they make of it," he said. The workshop conference was the second since Security Minister Adam Ingram set up the central co-ordinating group - which grew from the previous government's Northern Ireland Drugs Campaign - to bring together those who know the situation in the province. Said Mr Trace: "Overall, we are optimistic about the situation. "We are by no means in the scenario where our young people are being lost to drugs, so we shouldn't panic about it." Statistics compiled from various studies here show that: * The use of Ecstasy last year compared to 1996 levelled at 2% among those aged 16-59 and over, while the use of cannabis increased from 7% to 8%. * The use of LSD fell from 3% in the same age group to 1%. * The primary single reason people reported taking drugs was that they made them feel good. * Despite recent seizures of Crack, there is still no discernible usage of this drug, or of heroin and cocaine, in Northern Ireland. Said Mr Trace: "Heroin and cocaine are by and large of greater impact on communities than other drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Warrants Invalid As Man Cleared Of Drug Dealing (Ireland's 'Examiner' Notes A Cork City Man Was Cleared Yesterday Of Possessing And Selling Cannabis Resin After A Court Ruled Search Warrants Were Improperly Prepared - Cases Continue Against His Two Sons) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 09:18:40 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: Warrants Invalid as Man Cleared of Drug Dealing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Author: Diarmaid Mac Dermott WARRANTS INVALID AS MAN CLEARED OF DRUG DEALING A CORK city man was cleared of drugs dealing charges at the Special Criminal Court yesterday after the court ruled that search warrants obtained by gardai from a peace commissioner were invalid. James Stanton (53), of Kilkiernan Close, Knocknaheeney was discharged after the prosecution offered no further evidence against him after the court's ruling. The trial of two of Stanton's sons on drugs charges continued after the ruling. Kieran Stanton (20), of Kilkiernan Close, Knocknaheeney and Gerard Stanton (29), of Foyle Avenue, Knocknaheeney have denied possession of cannabis resin and having the drugs for sale or supply at Hollyhill, Cork on October 18, 19 and 21, 1995. Mr Justice Morris said the defence had challenged three search warrants issued by Mr Gerry Walsh, a peace commissioner, to gardai to search two houses in Knocknaheeney. He said the court was satisfied that peace commissioners had power to issue search warrants in the area for which they were appointed by the Minister for Justice. He said the court had heard that Mr Walsh was appointed a peace commissioner in 1988 but the court had no evidence of the area of his jurisdiction or if the relevant premises were within his jurisdiction. The judge said that the court therefore found that the warrants were invalid. Stanton was cleared of possession of cannabis resin and having the drugs for sale or supply at Hollyhill on October 18, 19 and 21, 1995. He was also acquitted of handling a stolen mobile phone worth #900 pounds between June 1 and October 21, 1995 and allowing his home to be used for the sale, supply or production of cannabis resin on October 21, 1995. The court was told that gardai mounted a surveillance operation on a soccer pitch and houses in the Knocknaheeney area as part of an anti-drugs operation. Mr Patrick Mac Entee SC had argued that the search warrants issued were invalid because they showed no jurisdiction on their face. He said that a peace commissioner could only issue search warrants for the area to which he was appointed by the Minister for Justice and this was not specified on the warrants in question.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jail Term Urged For Mailing Joints To French MPs ('Reuters' Says A State Prosecutor Asked For 18-Month Sentences For Jean-Pierre Galland And Other Members Of His Paris-Based Collective For Information And Research On Cannabis - CIRC - For Staging The Stunt In An Effort To Encourage Debate In Parliament About Decriminalising Marijuana Use) Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 21:26:39 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: France: Jail Term Urged For Mailing Joints To French MPs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: GDaurer Source: Reuters Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 JAIL TERM URGED FOR MAILING JOINTS TO FRENCH MPs PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - A state prosecutor urged a Paris court on Wednesday to jail the leader of a group that mailed a marijuana cigarette to every French MP along with a plea to ease France's tough drug laws. Prosecutor Bernard Pages said Jean-Pierre Galland and his Paris-based Collective for Information and Research on Cannabis (CIRC) had committed a serious crime. He urged the court to convict Galland of ``encouraging drug use'' and called for an 18-month jail sentence, one year of it to be suspended. CIRC officials, boasting that the hand-rolled joints were made exclusively from marijuana grown in France, had said they wanted only to encourage debate in parliament about decriminalising marijuana use. ``This was a symbolic and political act rather than a question of law,'' Galland told the court. One member of parliament, Charles Amedee of the centre-right Union for French Democracy, joined the proceeding as a civil plaintiff. A second MP, Socialist Yann Galut, told the court he favoured a public debate on decriminalisation. He stated however that he had not smoked the joint mailed to him. Some seven million of France's approximately 60 million inhabitants have tried marijuana at least once and about two million are regular users, according to official estimates. Hundreds of French residents are jailed each year and thousands are fined for use, possession or sale of marijuana, according to the organisation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antiprohibitionist Action Report, Year 4, Number 6 (Biweekly Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News, From CORA In Italy) From: email@example.com Comments: Authenticated sender is (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "CORA LIST EN" (email@example.com) Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 21:09:00 +0000 Subject: CORAFAX 6 (EN) Priority: normal Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#6 Antiprohibitionist action report March 26, 1998 - (Year 4) #6 *** CO.R.A. Radical | Association federated with Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational Coordination | Radical Party *** OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs *** PAA - PARLAMENTARIANS FOR ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTION European campaign for the revision of international conventions *** CORA-ITALY Via di Torre Argentina 76 00186 ROME Tel:+39-6-68.97.91 Fax:+39-6-126.96.36.199 E-mail: email@example.com *** CORA-BELGIUM Rue Belliard 97 c/o European Parliament Rem 5.08 1040 BRUSSELS Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31 Fax:+32-2-230.36.70 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** *CORAnet http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian) *** Director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** NEWS FROM CORA AN ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ZHIRINOVSKIJ The fight of March 11, at the State Duma between Liberal-Democrats and Communists should by no means make us forget that Vladimir Zhirinovskij is probably the only political personality in Russia that has expressed a favorable view on the legalization of 'soft drugs'. Mr. Zhirinovskij expressed his opinions during a TV program last March 8. ITALY A JUDGE FROM PISA INVESTIGATES ON SOME SERIOUS IRREGULARITIES OF THE PUBLIC SERVICES FOR DRUG-ADDICTS Following the denounces deposited by CORA in over 50 cities, Andrea Raggi of CORA-Pisa has been convoked by the Procurator of the Republic of Roma to confirm the terms of CORA denounces. The Procurator gathered information from SERT of Pisa and found that some of the irregularities mentioned by CORA, lack of personnel and office hours, were sounded. NEWS FROM THE WORLD GREAT BRITAIN According to a report of the General Director of the Jail System, British prisons are in the hands of drug lords. The mobsters sell cannabis and heroin. In order to fight this, authorities have prohibited to inmates physical contacts with their relatives during visits. (THE TIMES 11-12/3) FRANCE Demand reduction and supply reduction are the pillars on which the strategy of the UN Programme on narcotic control coordinated by Pino Arlacchi is built. The world needs the culture of tolerance instead. There is the need to live together with drugs rather than to fight them, says Bertrand Lebeau MD. (LIBERATION 12/3) GREAT BRITAIN 18 MPs has stated in a survey that in the past years they have used drugs. Secretary of State Jack Straw has proposed a 'royal' commission to control narcotics in the case in which the Government remains undecided on the matter. Mr. Straw opposes the decriminalization, because he thinks that will increase the consumption of substances. (THE TIMES 16/3) SWITZERLAND The experiment of the controlled distribution of heroin started three years ago in 18 public structures. According to the data collected and publicized so far, as of December 1996, only 83 addicts out of the 1,146 who joined the project have decided to join rehab programs. (IL GIORNALE 16/3) SPAIN During a recent interview in Bolivia, Prime Minister Jose' Aznar has expressed the EU position on Certification. It should be dealt by an international institution and not solely by the U.S. (EL PAIS 18/3) U.S. The helicopters, sips and military planes that have been sent to Mexico by the U.S. are largely ineffective and inadequate to fight drug trafficking. This is the opinion of the General Accounting Office, the investigative 'arm' of the Congress. The Senate will probably vote a resolution against Clinton's decision to 'certify' Mexico. (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE) AUSTRIA According to the '1997 Drug Report', drug consumption and drug addiction concern only a small part of the population, and the percentage is stable. The number of opiate addicts is 15,000 units. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the number of cases signaled to the judiciary; 1996 has set the record of 16,196 cases of small quantities. (DIE PRESSE 12/3) GERMANY The 1997 Official report on drugs has been issued. Deaths diminished, but there has been an increase in the consumption of 'hard drugs', while heroin and ecstasy did not grow. The Government is of the opinion that prevention should start at the kindergarten, and continues its opposition both to the controlled distribution of heroin and to the liberalization of soft drugs. SPD and Greens are asking a new orientation in drug-related policies, CDU does not agree. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, SUDDEUSCHE ZEITUNG 13/3) COLOMBIA The airport police of Barriquila have discovered eight Kilos of heroin hidden in the stomach of 10 boa serpents. The Minister of Environment Eduardo Verano de la Rosa has said that cases like this have become more frequent recently. (SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 12/3) AUSTRIA The Minister of Education Elisabeth Gehrer (VP) has launched a campaign called 'No Drugs'. 6,000 schools are invited to participate in the initiative. They will post signs in which 'Drug-Free Zone' will be written and stickers, leaflets, and murals will also be distributed. April will be the big month, with panel discussions and conferences with experts. The sponsors are three Olympic champions. (DIE PRESSE 19/3) ITALY The Government wants to modify the norms of the criminal treatment reserved to drug addicts. The draft bill proposes the abolition of incarceration for people with AIDS and the administrative sanctions for addicts. GREAT BRITAIN A local Court has acquitted a man that got a liver operation and therefore was using marihuana to alleviate the pain. The smoking was considered a mitigation. (THE TIMES 24/3) EUROPE Manchester - At a Conference for crime analysts, Interpol and White House expert on drugs Ramachandra Sundaralingam has stressed the fact that over the next few years, after the fall of economical barriers, Europe will be invaded by a huge quantity of drugs. Turks and Albanians are foreseen to become the most active. (THE TIMES 23/3) *** JOIN THE CORA Yes, I want to be member (send by Email, or fax, or Mail) Name and Surname ........................................ Address, Post code, City, State .......................................... Email ..................................... Occupation ............................................. Date of Birth .............................. Phone home .............. office ................. fax ...................... mobile ..................... and I am enclosing a membership fee of ..................... By means of /Postal Order to CORA /Crossed Cheque to CORA /ccp (only in Italy) /Bank Account (choose below) /Credit Card type ........................................... no .................................................................... ..Expiry Date ...................... MEMBERSHIP FEE OF CORA 1998 IN EUROPEAN UNION Austria 800 ATS, Belge 2000 Bfr, Denmark 500 DKK, Finland 400 FIM, France 330 FF, Germany 100 DEM, Great Britain 35 GBP, Greece 5000 GRD, Ireland 20 IEP, Italy 100.000 LIT, Luxembourg 2000 Lfr, The Netherlands 100 , LG, Portugal 5000 PTE, Spain 5000 ESB, Sweden 500 SEK BANK ACCOUNT - no. 010381 to CORA, Deutsche Bank (Abi 3002, Cab 03270), Italy - no.10067.00101.1032083440/4 to CORA, France - no. 310107591981 to CORA, Belge MAIL CCP: ONLY IN ITALY - c.c.p. 53362000 to CORA, Via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Roma *** * CORA -COORDINATION RADICALE ANTIPROHIBITIONNISTE -ANTIPROHIBITIONIST RADICAL COORDINATION -COORDINAMENTO RADICALE ANTIPROIBIZIONISTA Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO with category I consultative status at the UN Emailto:email@example.com URL - Http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet -------------------------------------------------------------------
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