------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Clears Way For Pot To Be Seized ('Los Angeles Times' Says Ventura County Superior Court Judge William Peck Has Signed Papers Allowing Police And Prosecutors To Decide How Many Medical Marijuana Plants Andrea Nagy And Robert Carson Can Grow For Their Own Personal Use - Same Judge Previously Made Nagy And Carson Shut Down Ventura County's Only Medical Marijuana Dispensary, In Thousand Oaks - Nagy Predicts Police Raid Within A Week) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 11:59:13 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Clears Way for Pot to be Seized 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: March 27, 1998 Author: Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer JUDGE CLEARS WAY FOR POT TO BE SEIZED Injunction is revised after owners of a medical marijuana outlet used court order to avoid law enforcement. Authorities will decide if they can keep plants. Angry that two owners of a Thousand Oaks medical marijuana outlet twice misused a civil court order to fend off law enforcement, a Ventura judge Thursday cleared the way for police to arrest them and seize their plants. Until Thursday, "there was a cloak of protection over the plants in the garage," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Mitch Disney, referring to marijuana growing at the home of pot activist and migraine sufferer Andrea Nagy. "Now that cloak is gone." Nagy and her boyfriend, Robert Carson, ran Ventura County's only medical marijuana outlet out of a Thousand Oaks strip mall, serving about 60 patients suffering from AIDS, cancer and other serious ailments. After the district attorney filed a civil suit claiming that the business was a threat to public health, Superior Court Judge William Peck issued a temporary restraining order in February shutting it down. On March 2, Peck expanded on that order with a preliminary injunction that forbade Nagy and Carson to sell or distribute pot until the issue is settled in trial later this year. The order did allow them to continue cultivating it for their own personal medicinal use. Thursday's hearing was meant to determine how many plants the two could grow for their own medical use. In the end, the judge left that decision up to police and prosecutors. Factored into the judge's decision were two instances where Nagy and Carson used his civil court order to fend off criminal charges. The first occurred in February when a CHP officer pulled Carson over for speeding near Tehachapi and found pot in his car. Unable to produce a driver's license, Carson instead offered Peck's court order to the officer, Disney said. The second incident occurred several weeks later when Nagy gave a copy of the order to officers responding to complaints that pot plants were visible in her garage. "I did not give anyone permission to possess marijuana," Peck said. The police "didn't confiscate the marijuana, but they could have. That is why I am so upset that my court order has been abused." He said he wanted to revise his March 2 order to make clear it "in no way encourages or discourages law enforcement officials." Peck left to police and prosecutors the question of whether Nagy and Carson have more marijuana plants than they need for their own medical use and whether they have the necessary prescriptions. "And if you think they have more than is sufficient for personal use you can go in and bust 'em," he told Disney. Before the judge adjourned to work out wording for a new preliminary injunction, attorneys for Nagy and Carson asked him to spell out what their clients could do. Peck said they could disseminate knowledge about pot growing, but not give out plants or seeds or create a communal pot garden. "Once you allow two or three people to get together and grow marijuana, then what is to stop 2,000 to 3,000 people from getting together?" he asked. Outside the courtroom, Nagy's and Carson's attorneys expressed frustration. "It is extremely objectionable to me that our clients have undergone considerable expense and quite a bit of disruption in their lives to be given a court order that will have no force on anyone or anything except to tell them that they must comply with the law," said Nagy's attorney, James Silva. Nagy herself decried a system that would deny medicine to sick and dying people and predicted that without further protection her pot plants would be confiscated within a week. "Mark my words, guys," she said to a group of reporters as she walked out of the courtroom. "I give them a week before they raid my house." Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reefer Madness - A Musical ('Seattle Weekly' Runs Advertisement For Theater Production It's Sponsoring Together With The Crocodile Cafe, Hempen Ale And KZOK Radio) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 13:07:47 -0800 (PST) From: Turmoil
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Reefer Madness - The Musical Sender: email@example.com I wonder if anyone knows much more about this. This is what I know, from an ad in the Weekly March 26th to May 2nd. Reefer madness A Musical Music Lyrics and Stage adaptation by Andrew Thomas Shields Sponsered by: The Seattle Weekly, The Crocodile Cafe, Hempen Ale and KZOK - Admission Price $12.50 - Market Theater
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Drugs - Time To Re-Think It (Letter To Editor Of Everett, Washington, 'Herald,' Cites Corruption, Cost) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 17:46:20 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: Richard Lake
Subject: Re: HT: PRINTED: WAR ON DRUGS time to re-think (3/27/98) herald Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Fri. 27 Mar. 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett, WA, USA Contact: email@example.com WebPage: http://www.heraldnet.com WAR ON DRUGS TIME TO RE-THINK IT Recently we have been exposed to two more very good reasons to re-think the war on drugs. A DEA budget analyst was caught with his hand in a $6 million cookie jar (taxpayers' money folks). And a King County deputy prosecutor was caught bringing a methamphetamine pipe and a scale to the courthouse! (But the King County prosecutor's spokesperson said that there was no indication he used the pipe or drugs during work!) Two reasons to re-think our current drug policy: 1. Because it is way too expensive! (Some estimates say the budget for the "war on some drugs" is larger than NASA's!) 2. Because it is not stopping very many people from using drugs. If it was up to me, I would change the way we regulate drugs -- legalize marijuana like alcohol and tobacco. Keep hard drugs under the supervision of a doctor -- as is done in England -- which would cut the prison population by half and would help people instead of hurting them. Darral Good, Lynnwood North Everett
------------------------------------------------------------------- BYU's Selleaze Charged In Dope Case ('Associated Press' Item From Provo, Utah, Says Ron Selleaze, Brigham Young University's Leading Scorer, Was Charged Friday With Possession Of Marijuana And Suspended From The Team Along With Michael Garrett, Who Was Expected To Be A Starting Guard Next Season) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 18:57:33 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US UT: Wire: BYU's Selleaze Charged in Dope Case Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: GDaurer Source: Associated Press Pubdate: 27 Mar 1998 BYU'S SELLEAZE CHARGED IN DOPE CASE PROVO, Utah (AP) - Ron Selleaze, Brigham Young's leading scorer in the just completed basketball season, was charged Friday with possession of marijuana. Selleaze, who was suspended from the team earlier this week, is to appear April 15 before 4th District Judge Gary Stott. The 21-year-old Selleaze faces one count of possession of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, a class A misdemeanor. Prosecutors said they won't file charges against Selleaze's friend Michael Garrett, a redshirt who was expected to be a starting guard at BYU next season. Garrett also was issued a citation for possession of marijuana March 16 by Provo police, and also has been suspended indefinitely by coach Steve Cleveland. Both players remain in school. ``We decided not to file charges on Mr. Garrett because the officers, I don't believe, saw him smoking marijuana,'' said Provo City prosecutor Steve Schreiner, who played basketball at BYU from 1989-1991. Two other men who were in an apartment with Selleaze and Garrett also were charged, but neither is a student. Police responded to a noise complaint at 1 a.m. March 16 and issued the citations, but no arrests were made. Schreiner said Selleaze wouldn't receive any special treatment because he is a star athlete. ``I don't look at the case differently,'' he said. ``It's unfortunate for the program, and I feel bad about that.'' Selleaze, who joined the team in December, averaged 17 points per game and was picked for the second-team All-Western Athletic Conference. He helped BYU improve from just one win two years ago to nine wins and an appearance in the WAC postseason tournament.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Substance Abuse Rises Among Bay Students ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says That A Survey Of 746 Students In Grades Six Through 12 In Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, By PRIDE, The Parents Resource Institute For Drug Education, Found That Among Seniors, 58.6 Percent Reported Using Cigarettes, An Increase From 46.3 Percent in 1993; 72.4 Percent Used Beer, 64.1 Percent Used Hard Liquor, 49.3 Percent Used Marijuana, 6.3 Percent Cocaine And 13.8 Percent Used Hallucinogens) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 11:06:58 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WI: Substance Abuse Rises Among Bay Students Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 Author: Marie Rohde of the Journal Sentinel staff SUBSTANCE ABUSE RISES AMONG BAY STUDENTS Whitefish Bay -- A survey of Whitefish Bay students shows "there is a growing substance abuse" problem among teens that high school principal Neil Codell termed a "continuing epidemic." The survey, part of a national project known as PRIDE (Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education), was voluntarily completed by 746 students in the sixth through 12th grades. The current enrollment of the high school is 833; the middle school's is 634. The survey asked whether students had used a substance one or more times during the past year, but did not attempt to determine frequency of use. Among the findings: For seniors, 58.6% reported they had used cigarettes, an increase from 46.3% in 1993, the last time the survey was conducted. Use of tobacco was higher in all grade levels, compared with the results of a previous survey. Alcohol continues to be the drug of choice among students, with 72.4% saying they had consumed beer, and 64.1% saying they consumed liquor. 49.3% said they had used marijuana, 6.3% cocaine and 13.8% reported using hallucinogens. The survey indicated the vast majority of drug and alcohol use does not occur during school hours but on weekends and holidays. Tom Dewing, the coordinator of the district's alcohol and drug program, said the results are generally below national averages. However, use by seniors of cigarettes, marijuana and beer was somewhat above the national average. "We don't stick out like a sore thumb," said Dewing. Although 92.4% of the students said their teachers talked to them about alcohol- and drug-related issues often, only 15.1% said the same was true of their parents. Police Chief Gary Mikulec, whose department runs a DARE program for middle school students, sees the lack of communication at home as a problem. "People must understand that DARE is not a project that is presented and is finished," Mikulec said. "It is part of a process of education. It might begin with DARE, but parents have to carry the load. If they don't, these kids won't remember anything by the time they get to 11th or 12th grade." School principal Codell listed a dozen steps the district has taken to fight drug and alcohol abuse. He noted that the district has applied for state funding for a part-time drug and alcohol coordinator who would serve as a liaison between the community and schools. The rising numbers do not mean the programs are not working, he said. "It's working better than doing nothing," Codell said. Some parents have complained that Cahill Square, a park where students congregate across the street from the school, may be where some of the substance-abuse activity is going on. Mikulec said officers patrol the park daily during the lunch hours and after school. Last year, the department cracked down on underage cigarette smoking in the park. Citations for possession of controlled substances were given to eight juveniles in the village last year. Three of those went to Milwaukeeans, who were driving through the village. Mikulec also noted there had not been a single bust for an underage drinking party in about a year. A teen drinking party last year generated publicity when a father initially refused to cooperate with police. At the time, Mikulec complained that a "network" went into action and students were advised by parents or lawyers not to cooperate with police. "That generated a lot of discussion," Mikulec said. "I think it raised public awareness."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sheriff Still Wants Barczak's Car ('Shepherd Express' In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Says The Milwaukee County Sheriff Wants To Forfeit The Car Of The Former Clerk Of County Courts, Gary Barczak, Who Pleaded Guilty To Misdemeanor Charges Of Possessing Crack And Paraphernalia, Though Felony Charges Were Dropped)Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 19:39:53 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US WI: Sheriff Still Wants Barczak's Car Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Pubdate: Thursday, 27 Mar 1998 Source: Shepherd Express (Milwaukee, WI) Author: John-David Morgan Website: http://www.shepherd-express.com/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org SHERIFF STILL WANTS BARCZAK'S CAR Milwaukee County sheriff's investigators are proceeding with their attempt to seize former County Clerk of Courts Gary Barczak's 1988 Mazda, which they say was used to "facilitate the transfer" of the 12.5 grams of crack cocaine sheriff's deputies found in Barczak's possession last November. Barczak was sentenced earlier this month to three years of probation and a $400 fine after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Barczak was initially charged with felony solicitation--the crime of asking another person to commit a felony--but the charge was dropped in late January. Before the charge was dropped, a sheriff's department spokesman said the department usually files forfeiture claims on a drug crime defendant's property when a felony has been charged. (See Jan. 22 Shepherd Express.) Why go ahead with the forfeiture of Barczak's car after the felony was dropped? "We think it's the right thing to do. We're going to proceed," said Deputy Inspector Peter Misko, head of the sheriff's criminal investigations department. Misko said the department was "trying to be fair" with Barczak, but also questioned Barczak's account of his plans the evening he was arrested. After sheriff's deputies saw the drug deal set up by informant Troy Cager (Barczak's cocaine supplier and former sex partner), Barczak was arrested in the driveway of his home as he was preparing to leave in the car. He had a small amount of the crack with him. "If he was going back to his office, why did he take his crack cocaine with him? ... He says he never took crack to the office," Misko said, recounting some of Barczak's claims. "Where was he going?" The car facilitated the transfer of the cocaine, Misko said, giving sheriff's deputies and County Corporation Counsel Bob Ott a legal claim on the car. Ott said in January that law enforcement often stops a forfeiture if a defendant is cooperating with authorities. But legal sources interviewed during the course of Barczak's case have said that seizing a car is uncommon when no drug-dealing crime is charged. Barczak, reached at his home Monday, was quick to agree. "Absolutely," he said when asked if he thought the refusal to return the car was excessive punishment. "I don't think they have any legal standing." The civil court fight over the car is pending before Winnebago County Judge Thomas Williams, the judge who presided over Barczak's criminal case. No court date has been set, and Barczak said his lawyers are preparing a motion for a summary judgment to dismiss the case. Barczak lawyers responded to the claim on the car by arguing that the county lacked jurisdiction to seize it, and that doing so would be an excessive and unconstitutional punishment. A Shepherd Express article last fall showed that the sentence Barczak received in criminal court was consistent with sentencing in drug possession cases involving first-time offenders. Barczak had no prior record. Since the sentence, county auditors found a shortfall of over $1,000 in Barczak's campaign fund, and Barczak and his wife Judy have filed for a divorce. Barczak's lawyer Tom Wilmouth refused to comment on the forfeiture case. Misko is confident that the car will become the property of Milwaukee County. "A court may disagree," he said. "But the majority of the time we prevail."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Still Crazy After All These Years ('Reuters' Notes The Virginia State Whiskey Still Task Force Is Scouring The Hills Of Southwest Virginia Looking For An Illegal Moonshine Distillery After Intercepting More Than 3,500 Gallons And Arresting One Man) From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: Moonshining article from VA Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 20:05:45 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Subject: Still crazy after all these years Date: Friday, March 27, 1998 1:53 AM Agents scour hills for moonshine still ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (Reuters) - State liquor agents searched the hills of rural southwest Virginia Thursday for an illegal still believed to be the source of the largest seizure of moonshine whiskey in more than 20 years, officials said. Agents with the state's Whiskey Still Task Force, based in tiny Rocky Mount -- the reputed moonshine capital of the world -- seized 3,524 gallons of homemade whiskey in a raid earlier this week. The moonshine was valued at $88,100, or $25 a gallon. "The moonshine business continues to operate and produce large volumes of product in Virginia, and that is not small stills for personal consumption," state Alcohol Beverage Control spokeswoman Jennifer Farinholt said. "This is basically a rural organized crime." Agents said Stewart Lynn Adkins, 42, was arrested Monday as he loaded 980 gallons of moonshine into a tobacco barn in Sago, about 30 miles southeast of Roanoke. The agents said they also found 2,544 gallons of hooch, some still warm from the still, on his farm in nearby Franklin. All but a few jugs kept for evidence were poured out. Adkins, who spent 45 days in jail in 1992 for transporting moonshine whiskey, had been under surveillance for weeks, Farinholt said. He was charged with possessing and transporting 980 gallons of untaxed whiskey after this week's raid. Since 1996, Alcohol Beverage Control agents have destroyed stills capable of producing an estimated 379,200 gallons a year of moonshine valued at about $9.5 million.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sheriff's Office To See If Deputy's Gun Used In Any Crimes ('Atlanta Journal-Constitution' Says A Sergeant With The Fulton County Sheriff's Department Was Fired March 17 After Testing Positive For Cocaine - The Drug Test Was Ordered After The Sergeant's Gun Was Found By Atlanta, Georgia, Police At A 'Crack' House) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 12:19:17 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US GA: Sheriff's Office To See If Deputy's Gun Used In Any Crimes Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/ Author: Sandra Eckstein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution SHERIFF'S OFFICE TO SEE IF DEPUTY'S GUN USED IN ANY CRIMES Ballistics tests are being run on a Fulton County Sheriff's Department gun that was found in a drug house earlier this month. Its owner, a sergeant in the department, was fired after testing positive for cocaine. Sgt. Angelo Willoughby, 36, was fired March 17 after his drug test came back positive. Sheriff Jacquelyn Barrett said she ordered the test after Willoughby's gun was discovered March 5 during a drug raid at a crack house on James P. Brawley Drive. Barrett said they are conducting ballistics tests to find out if the county-issued .40-caliber Beretta was used to commit any crimes. She said she first noticed Willoughby without a gun in February. When questioned about it, Willoughby told her he had misplaced his weapon during a move and was looking for it. She gave him a week to find it. Atlanta police found it first. Police were executing a search warrant on a known drug house when they came across the weapon, Barrett said. A police report of the incident shows that during the search of the apartment, police confiscated more than $5,600 in cash, a large amount of cocaine and heroin and several guns. A man and woman in the apartment were charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Barrett said the gun was easily identifiable. "All of our weapons are engraved with Fulton County Sheriff's Department on them," she said. "It's kind of a dead giveaway." Atlanta police notified the Sheriff's Department of the find, department officials traced the gun to Willoughby, and Barrett ordered him to take a drug test. At first he refused, but then relented. The test came back positive. Willoughby was about one month shy of his 18th year with the department, officials said. Barrett said he worked as a floor supervisor at the county jail. She said while he had some negative marks in his file, overall he was considered "a fairly stable employee." "He's had some personal problems we were aware of, but nothing that would lead us to believe he had a drug problem," Barrett said. Sheriff's spokesman Capt. David Chadd said the two people arrested at the drug house were shown a picture of Willoughby, and both denied knowing him or having seen him. Barrett said that still leaves the department with the troubling question of how the sergeant's gun ended up there and how it's been used. "We certainly hope the weapon wasn't traded for drugs, which would be very disturbing," Barrett said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Campaign To Kill House Resolution 372 (Update For Activists From The Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC, Notes A Vote On The Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution Has Been Delayed Until At Least April 21 While Lawmakers Return To Their Home Districts - Now Is The Time To Schedule A Personal Interview) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 14:23:56 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Marijuana Policy Project
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: The campaign to kill House Resolution 372 Organization: Marijuana Policy Project SCHEDULE AN IN-PERSON MEETING WITH YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO: Interested persons FROM: Robert D. Kampia, MPP director of government relations DATE: Friday, March 27, 1998 SUBJECT: The campaign to kill House Resolution 372 The U.S. House of Representatives has delayed its vote on House Resolution 372, the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution, until Tuesday, April 21, at the earliest. This would be the first ever congressional vote on medicinal marijuana. (Please note that the abbreviation for this resolution is "H.Res. 372," not "H.R. 372.") If you are a patient, doctor, or otherwise have a personal story to tell about medicinal marijuana, please call the office of your U.S. representative to schedule a meeting while he or she is visiting his or her office near your home town during the April 4 - 20 congressional recess. Since MPP's last legislative update one week ago, there has been a ground swell of citizen opposition to this resolution. The momentum is now moving in our direction: * Approximately 60 patients and other supporters of medicinal marijuana held a protest outside the office of U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) -- the sponsor of House Resolution 372 -- in Orlando on March 19. The protest received media coverage on the evening news, numerous radio stations across Florida, and in local newspapers. * On March 18, the _Glendale News Press_ ran a story on the hypocrisy of U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan (R-CA), who supported medicinal marijuana legislation in 1995 while serving in the California state legislature but voted in favor of House Resolution 372 in committee on March 4. * Also on March 18, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee issued a 15-page report on the resolution. While the Republicans' position was composed of typical anti-drug rhetoric, nine committee Democrats strongly opposed the resolution: Howard Berman (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), William Delahunt (D-MA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Robert Scott (D-VA), and Melvin Watt (D-NC). The Democrats' dissenting views included the following: "If a state, by referendum or legislative enactment, adopts the policy that marijuana can provide some relief to those of its citizens who are suffering from AIDS or cancer, it is the height of Washington-centered arrogance for the Congress to override that state's position." * U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), who is a medical doctor, wrote this in response to a Seattle constituent's letter: "If carefully supervised use of marijuana brings relief of suffering for certain patients in certain circumstances, prescription of the drug by the patient's treating physician is sensible and compassionate. I believe it possible to closely regulate marijuana's use for particular medical purposes in an arrangement that benefits seriously ill patients without worsening America's illicit drug problems." * James Brewster, a libertarian activist in Eugene, Oregon, wrote to his U.S. representative and received this response: "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. ... 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." -- U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) * In response to MPP's legislative updates, Dr. Arnold Sterne Leff, former Deputy Associate Director of the White House Drug Abuse Office (1972-1973), released a strong letter opposing House Resolution 372 on March 22. * Additionally, author Tom Robbins wrote the following to U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf: "To deny to the critically infirm the benefits of marijuana, a mild euphoric whose side effects are less dangerous than 95 per cent of prescription pharmaceuticals, is not just blindly asinine, it is inhuman. Therefore, I'm calling upon your humanity and good sense in urging you to vote against House Resolution 372, the anti- medicinal marijuana resolution that deprives seriously ill patients of relief from suffering and discomfort, and serves no one except the tyrannical and the hysterical." While MPP is lobbying against House Resolution 372 on Capitol Hill, we cannot stop it without your help. By expressing your strong opposition now, we can kill this resolution if and when it reaches the House floor. House Resolution 372 states, in part, the following: The U.S. House of Representatives is opposed to legalizing marijuana ... a dangerous and addictive drug ... for medicinal use, and urges the defeat of state initiatives which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Please call or write and say the following: "I am writing/ calling to urge [you/Representative _________] to vote against House Resolution 372, the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution. I believe patients should be allowed to use medicinal marijuana if their doctors approve of such use. At the very least, Congress should not take any action on this issue until the Institute of Medicine completes its review of medicinal marijuana this coming December." (Institute of Medicine's phone number is 202-334-1805.) *** To find out the name of your U.S. representative (on the Web): First, find out your ZIP+4 ... http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html Then, use it to get the name of your U.S. representative ... http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html TO CALL: To call your U.S. representative's office, please call the congressional switchboard operator at 202-225-3121. The operator will ask you for your zip code if you do not know who your U.S. representative is. TO FAX: To fax your U.S. representative, please call your U.S. representative's office or e-mail MPP@MPP.ORG for his or her fax number. If you choose to e-mail MPP, please be sure to include your U.S. representative's name. TO E-MAIL: Please DO NOT e-mail your U.S. representative unless you have already called or faxed. *** For up-to-date information on the status of House Resolution 372 and how to oppose it, please visit the MPP's World Wide Web site at http://www.mpp.org/la031398.html. *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: To support the MPP's work and receive the quarterly "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 202-232-0442 FAX
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno Appeals For More Aid For Drug Treatment Of Prisoners ('Minneapolis Star-Tribune' Says While The US Attorney General Was Announcing More Than $144 Million In Prison Construction And Drug Treatment Grants To States, She Asked Congress To Amend The Law To Let States Spend More Prison Aid On Drug Treatment And Follow-Up) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 13:40:39 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Reno Appeals For More Aid For Drug Treatment Of Prisoners Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 Website: http://www.startribune.com/ Author: Star Tribune Staff/wire services RENO APPEALS FOR MORE AID FOR DRUG TREATMENT OF PRISONERS More federal aid is needed for drug treatment of criminals before and after their release "if we're going to make real progress in fighting drugs," Attorney General Janet Reno said. Announcing more than $144 million in prison construction and drug treatment grants to states, Reno asked Congress to amend the law to let states spend more prison aid on drug treatment and follow-up. Research shows 75 percent of inmates and half of those in jails suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, but only 10 percent to 20 percent get treatment behind bars, Reno said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Use In Supportive Care For Cancer Patients (List Subscriber Posts Text From Web Site Of US National Cancer Institute, Which Doesn't Come Right Out And Endorse Smoked Cannabis As An Antiemetic, But Promises That Research Will Resume 'In The Near Future') Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 13:04:04 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: From the national cancer insitute's own web site Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Marijuana_Use_in_Supportive_Care_for_Cancer_Patients.html Cancer Facts [INLINE] Supportive Care Marijuana Use in Supportive Care for Cancer Patients Cancer and cancer treatment may cause a variety of problems for cancer patients. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and anorexia and cachexia are conditions that affect many individuals with cancer. Nausea and Vomiting Some anticancer drugs cause nausea and vomiting because they affect parts of the brain that control vomiting and/or irritate the stomach lining. The severity of these symptoms depends on several factors, including the chemotherapeutic agent(s) used, the dose, the schedule, and the patient's reaction to the drug(s). The management of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy is an important part of care for cancer patients whenever it occurs. Although patients usually receive antiemetics, drugs that help control nausea and vomiting, there is no single best approach to reducing these symptoms in all patients. Doctors must tailor antiemetic therapy to meet each individual's needs, taking into account the type of anticancer drugs being administered; the patient's general condition, age, and related factors; and, of course, the extent to which the antiemetic is helpful. There has been much interest in the use of marijuana to treat a number of medical problems, including chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. Two forms of marijuana have been used: compounds related to the active chemical constituent of marijuana taken by mouth and marijuana cigarettes. Dronabinol (Marinol), a synthetic form of the active marijuana constituent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is available by prescription for use as an antiemetic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its use for treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have not responded to the standard antiemetic drugs. NCI scientists feel that other antiemetic drugs or combinations of antiemetic drugs have been shown to be more useful than synthetic THC as "first-line therapy" for nausea and vomiting caused by anticancer drugs. Examples include drugs called serotonin antagonists, including ondansetron (Zofran) and granisetron (Kytril), used alone or combined with dexamethasone (a steroid hormone); metoclopramide (Reglan) combined with diphenhydramine and dexamethasone; high doses of methylprednisolone (a steroid hormone) combined with droperidol (Inapsine); and prochlorperazine (Compazine). Continued research with other agents and combinations of these agents is under way to determine their usefulness in controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. However, NCI scientists believe that synthetic THC may be useful for some cancer patients who have chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting that cannot be controlled by other antiemetic agents. The expected side effects of this compound must be weighed against the possible benefits. Dronabinol often causes a "high" (loss of control or sensation of unreality), which is associated with its effectiveness; however, this sensation may be unpleasant for some individuals. Marijuana cigarettes have been used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and research has shown that THC is more quickly absorbed from marijuana smoke than from an oral preparation. However, any antiemetic effects of smoking marijuana may not be consistent because of varying potency, depending on the source of the marijuana cigarette. To address issues surrounding the medical uses of marijuana, the National Institutes of Health convened a meeting in February 1997 to assess what is known about marijuana's therapeutic potential and to identify what future research avenues would be most productive. The group of experts concluded that more and better studies are needed to fully evaluate the potential use of marijuana as supportive care for cancer patients. One area that will be studied in the near future is a smoke-free delivery system of marijuana's active ingredient THC. Other areas to be studied are the risks associated with marijuana use, including the effects on the lungs and immune system, and the dangerous byproducts of smoked marijuana. Anorexia and Cachexia Anorexia, the loss of appetite or desire to eat, is the most common symptom in cancer patients that may occur early in the disease or later as the cancer grows and spreads. Cachexia is a wasting condition in which the patient has weakness and a marked and progressive loss of body weight, fat, and muscle. Anorexia and cachexia frequently occur together, but cachexia may occur in patients who are eating an adequate diet but have malabsorption of nutrients. Maintenance of body weight and adequate nutritional status can help patients feel and look better, and maintain or improve their performance status. It may also help them better tolerate cancer therapy. There are a variety of options for supportive nutritional care of cancer patients including changes in diet and consumption of foods, enteral or parenteral feeding (delivery of nutrients by tube), and the use of drugs. Currently, an NCI-supported study is under way to evaluate the effects of THC and megestrol acetate (a synthetic female hormone) when used alone and in combination for cancer-related anorexia and cachexia. The appetite, weight, and rate of weight change among patients treated with THC will be compared to patients treated with megestrol acetate or with both therapies. In addition, researchers will evaluate the effect of the drugs alone or in combination on nausea and vomiting and assess differences in the quality of life among those patients who are treated with THC. The toxic effects related to the use of the drugs will also be assessed. # # # Sources of National Cancer Institute Information Cancer Information Service Toll-free: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) TTY: 1-800-332-8615 NCI Online CancerNet-R Internet http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov and http://rex.nci.nih.gov CancerMail To obtain a contents list, send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "help" in the body of the message. CancerFax-R fax on demand service Dial 301-402-5874 and listen to recorded instructions. Date Last Modified: 09/97 *** References 1. http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov/clinpdq/rehab/Marijuana_Use_in_Supportive_Care_for_Cancer_Patients.html#1 2. http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov/icichome.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------- GOP Proposes House Drug Testing ('Los Angeles Times' Says US House Republicans Are Proposing A Rules Change Requiring That A Quarter Of Members And Staff Be Tested For Illegal Drug Use Four To Six Times Per Year) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 11:52:51 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: GOP Proposes House Drug Testing Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 GOP PROPOSES HOUSE DRUG TESTING WASHINGTON--Republicans want all House members and their staffs subject to random drug testing. The House's top Democratic believes the plan unnecessary. Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announced the proposal Thursday at a House subcommittee hearing where the Clinton administration's drug policy coordinator faced another day of sharp questioning from Republicans. The proposed rules change must go before the full House for a vote. It would tighten up the chamber's as-yet-unused current drug-testing policy, which specifies testing only with agreement of both Democratic and Republican leaders. GOP congressional aides said Democratic leader Richard Gephardt never has consented. An aide to Gephardt said the Missouri Democrat believes the rule is unnecessary. "Every office is free to test their own staff," Gephardt spokesman Erik Smith said. "We don't need any sweeping mandates placed on the House of Representatives." Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, are formulating the proposed plan, which would require that a quarter of members and staff be tested for illegal drug use four to six times per year. "We want to raise the level of awareness in the hearts and minds of the American people," said Hastert, chairman of House Speaker Newt Gingrich's week-old Task Force for a Drug-Free America. Search the archives of the Los Angeles Times for similar stories. You will not be charged to look for stories, only to retrieve one. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- More Schools Using Dogs To Sniff Out Drugs ('Washington Post' Quotes Ronald Stephens, Director Of The National School Safety Center In California, Who Says, 'We're Going To See The Use Of Drug Dogs Increasing Dramatically Over The Next Few Years' - Increasingly, School Systems Across The Country Rely On Private Companies For Dog-Sniffing Services - One Of The Largest Such Firms, Interquest Group Inc., Has Contracted With More Than 350 School Districts In Texas, Michigan And California) Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 20:15:21 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Subject: MN: US: More Schools Using Dogs to Sniff Out Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: 27 Mar 1998 Author: Patricia Davis and Debbi Wilgoren More Schools Using Dogs to Sniff Out Drugs A growing number of educators in the Washington area and across the nation are bringing drug-sniffing dogs into schools or are considering the idea as a tool to combat the recent rise in teenagers' use of illegal drugs. D.C. school officials launched an effort this month to search as many as two high schools a week. The drug sweeps, conducted sporadically in the past, were halted altogether a year ago when police canine teams were ordered to focus on street crime. In Montgomery County, police have sent a proposal to school officials offering them the use of the dogs. And in Fairfax County, where the number of drug sweeps at schools dropped after police began charging for the service, some school officials say the county should provide extra funding so that principals who want the random searches can afford them. In such searches, trained dogs check lockers, restrooms and other common areas of school buildings but do not sniff students. Supporters of the sweeps say that although they rarely turn up illegal substances, they are a powerful deterrent to drug use -- a dramatic statement to the student body that drugs at school won't be tolerated. "I see it as [sending] all kinds of positive messages," said Richard Doyle, the hearing officer who oversees drug cases for the Fairfax school system. "It says to students, 'I'm going to use all means to keep you safe.' " But school principals, who usually make the final decision on whether to invite the dogs, are divided on the tactic, according to police and school officials. Some principals fear that the seizure of drugs could reflect badly on them or their schools, school officials said. Other principals, as well as some civil liberties groups, object because they find the checks intrusive, although the use of dogs to search school property has been upheld by the courts. "We don't like it because it's snooping," said Arthur B. Spitzer, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington office. "It's a form of government intrusion, in a place where we think people have a reasonable expectation of privacy." The sweeps are among several measures that officials across the country have taken in response to the rise in the percentage of teenagers using illegal drugs. Although recent surveys suggest that the percentage may be leveling off, it remains substantially higher than it was at the beginning of the 1990s. Some districts have assigned uniformed officers to schools. Others have added drug education programs or toughened penalties for drug possession and sale on school property. In Miami, school officials recently approved one of the nation's first voluntary drug-testing programs for high school students. According to a recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 76 percent of high school students and 46 percent of middle school students said last year that drugs were kept, used or sold at their schools. Students reported having seen more drug deals at their schools than in their neighborhoods. "The question is not whether kids are doing drugs at school. We already know that," said Capt. Jim Charron, commander of the Fairfax police department's youth services division. "The question is, how are principals managing the problem? Some believe a hard-line stance is important. Others believe it is a social issue, not a criminal issue," and should be handled through other avenues, including drug counseling. In the District, schools security director Patrick V. Fiel said he and schools Chief Executive Julius W. Becton Jr. believed the dogs could be an effective deterrent and successfully lobbied Interim Police Chief Sonya T. Proctor to make the canine teams available again. One of the first sweeps under the initiative occurred last week at the former Hamilton school in Northeast Washington, which now houses several alternative programs for disruptive youths. A dog found a small bag of marijuana stashed in a radiator. At a search earlier this month at Anacostia High School in Southeast, a dog identified an odor at one site that suggested drugs had been stashed there within the previous 72 hours, Fiel said. Fiel said he expects some apprehension about the program from parents and community leaders, who might envision large German shepherds backing students up against a wall and sniffing at them. In reality, he said, police and security officials will be checking lockers, bathrooms and storage areas while students are in class. "Nowhere near the kids," he said. Most police departments avoid using their dogs to search people because the animals are trained to start scratching when they detect drugs, and also because such searches would be more vulnerable to a legal challenge. School and police officials acknowledge that many students keep their drugs on their person, not in their lockers. And they are doing so in increasingly creative places: under the tongues of tennis shoes, inside underwear and between jacket linings. Still, the random checks of lockers and bathrooms will make many youths think twice about bringing drugs to school and may encourage other students to report suspicious activity, several officials believe. Conducting a drug sweep at a school requires a team of canine officers, and many area police departments have to rely on other jurisdictions to help them out. Three months ago, police officers from four Northern Virginia jurisdictions conducted a drug sweep at Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School, a private school in Arlington. No drugs were confiscated, although the dogs twice found a lingering scent. "You run the risk of a lot of kids getting caught," said the school's principal, Alward V. Burch. "But I was willing to take that risk. At least it would send a very strong message." In Fairfax, most canine officers work the night shift, and county police, to cut down on their overtime costs, last year began charging the schools that ordered drug sweeps. The number of sweeps has plummeted since then, police say, although they do not have figures available. That trend has alarmed some school officials. "We need to send a message loud and clear that drugs are not going to be brought to school," said Fairfax School Board member Mychele B. Brickner (At Large), who has requested more money for the anti-drug operations. Michael J. Gough, director of the division of school security in Montgomery, said that only two principals in that county have requested drug sweeps in the last seven years. But the district is considering expanding the practice, he said. "There are ongoing discussions with the police department on all forms of drug detection, including drug sweeps," Gough said. "It's a real good deterrent if it's random, so it's a surprise to students or staff." Increasingly, school systems across the country are relying on private companies to provide the dog-sniffing service. One of the largest such firms, Interquest Group Inc., has contracted with more than 350 school districts in Texas, Michigan and California. Michael P. Ferdinand, vice president of the company, said the dog teams have found drugs as many as 2,000 times in a year. But the company also has tracked a "significant reduction" over time in the amount of drugs seized in schools that used the dogs regularly, he said. Ronald Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center in California, believes that more principals will decide to have drug sweeps conducted at their schools. "We're going to see the use of drug dogs increasing dramatically over the next few years," Stephens said. "If we're going to require kids to attend school, then we ought to be required to provide safe schools. I would want to know the extent of the drug problem in my school." (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Rejects Move To Decertify Mexico As Drug-Fight Ally ('Dallas Morning News' Says The US Senate On Thursday Voted 54 To 45 To Reject An Effort To Brand Mexico An Uncooperative US Ally In The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 11:17:11 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Senate Rejects Move to Decertify Mexico as Drug-Fight Ally Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 Author: David LaGesse / The Dallas Morning News SENATE REJECTS MOVE TO DECERTIFY MEXICO AS DRUG-FIGHT ALLY WASHINGTON - The Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to brand Mexico an uncooperative ally in the fight against drug trafficking. The 54-45 vote came after only 90 minutes of debate, reflecting Congress' lessened desire this year to challenge U.S. support of Mexico's anti-drug efforts. The House, which last year voted to decertify Mexico as a cooperating ally, this year is not expected to even debate the question. But critics said Thursday that Mexico has lost ground over the past year and has not progressed as the Clinton administration has said. "The situation, by virtually any measurement, is worse now than it was a year ago," said Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga. "We are losing this struggle, and it is not appropriate for us to say otherwise." Mexico has not arrested any of its top traffickers, failed to extradite any Mexican citizen to the United States on drug charges and failed to participate in bilateral task forces, Mr. Coverdell said. The Senate had until month's end to overturn President Clinton's decision last month to certify Mexico as fully cooperating in the drug fight. U.S. law requires the president to certify whether American allies are aiding in anti-drug efforts. Decertifying Mexico would have meant the loss of some U.S. benefits and a loss of international prestige. No senators offered glowing praise for Mexico, through which analysts say traffickers move a majority of the illicit drugs consumed in the United States. Most opponents of the decertification effort instead said they preferred encouraging Mexico instead of confronting the country. "The answer is not to make an enemy of Mexico," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. "I don't think harsh rhetoric against our neighbors is the way to do it." Ms. Hutchison, who played a key role in derailing last year's effort to decertify Mexico, again voted against the move. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, voted to give Mexico a failing grade. "We cannot continue a policy based solely on Mexico's good intentions and America's hopes," he said. Supporters of the administration's decision said Mexico has shown a new willingness to attack traffickers, including legislation that has strengthened its laws against organized crime and money laundering. Mexico also rebuilt its counter-drug agency after the arrest last year of its top official on corruption charges, said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. The arrest of the agency's chief, former Army Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, came just before the debate last year on certifying Mexico and spurred sharp rebukes in Congress. Mexico at least deserved credit for making the arrest "even though it was a major embarrassment," Mr. Dodd said. Mr. Dodd criticized a leak Thursday of U.S. intelligence that described deep corruption in Mexico's military, which is playing a larger role in that country's fight against the drug trade. The intelligence report was described Thursday by The New York Times, which said the information gave substance to allegations leveled by Mr. Rebollo in his trial last year. Mr. Dodd said the allegations were "self-serving" on the part of Mr. Rebollo. The administration has said it cannot verify Mr. Rebollo's allegations of widespread drug corruption in the senior ranks of Mexico's army. Other backers said Mexico has worked more closely with the United States, crafting a binational strategy for fighting the drug trade and extraditing more criminals to face trial in the United States. But drug prices in the United States are falling, a sign that traffickers enjoy growing success in moving their product through Mexico, critics said. And most of the year's binational cooperation amounted to political agreements worth little to the police waging the fight on the streets, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a sharp critic of Mexico's efforts. "Handshakes between men and women in suits do not stop drug trafficking," she said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pelosi Blasts Fed Policy Against Needle Exchange ('San Francisco Examiner' Notes US Representative Nancy Pelosi, A Democrat From San Francisco, Joined In An Appeal By A Coalition Of House Democrats And Health Experts To The Clinton Administration On Friday, Asking That The Ban On Federal Funding For Needle Exchange Programs Be Lifted When A Moratorium Ends Next Week) Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 09:22:04 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Pelosi Blasts Fed Policy Against Needle Exchange Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 PELOSI BLASTS FED POLICY AGAINST NEEDLE EXCHANGE Cites S.F. program in anti-AIDS appeal for HHS funds WASHINGTON - A coalition of House Democrats and health experts urged the Clinton administration Friday to lift a ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs when a moratorium ends next week. Last year's Health and Human Services appropriation bill gave HHS Secretary Donna Shalala authority to lift the moratorium on March 31, if the department determines the exchange programs are effective in reducing the spread of HIV and do not encourage the use of illegal drugs. "The administration now has the science, the support and the authority to move ahead with this life-saving intervention," said Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. "Secretary Shalala should exercise her authority and immediately lift the ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs." The representatives credited San Francisco's needle exchange program, among 100 programs in 40 states nationwide, with saving numerous lives by reducing the spread of HIV through shared needles. About one-third of reported AIDS cases were related to intravenous drug use as of June 1996, said Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma. "Congresswoman Pelosi and I are lucky to come from a place - the San Francisco Bay Area - where people truly understand that when we are talking about AIDS we are talking about an epidemic, not someone's narrow-minded cultural war." Support for needle exchange programs has grown in recent years. Last year the National Institutes of Health published a consensus statement on HIV intervention, throwing its support behind the programs. "There is no longer doubt that these programs work," said the statement, which also addressed whether they increase drug use. "A preponderance of evidence shows either no change or decreased drug use." Clinton drug czar Barry McCaffrey has opposed the program, saying the drug use effects need more study. However, a 32-member White House advisory panel on AIDS faulted the administration in December for failing to push for the removal of the federal fund ban on needle exchanges. Pelosi said needle-exchange programs not only save lives but are cost-effective. "One needle costs 10 cents versus $100,000 in care for a person with AIDS," said Pelosi.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Edmonton Going To Pot ('Edmonton Sun' Article Syndicated In 'Toronto Sun' Says Police In Edmonton, Alberta, Claim The Area Is Becoming A Major Exporter Of Marijuana To British Columbia, The United States And Even Mexico) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 12:19:17 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Edmonton Going To Pot Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/ Author: Ian McDougall, Edmonton Sun EDMONTON GOING TO POT Drug Exported To U.S. And Mexico EDMONTON -- Edmonton is becoming a marijuana exporter as local drug growers ship their illegal products to British Columbia, the U.S. and even Mexico, local police are warning after their latest bust. "The product that is being grown in this area is actually being exported out of the province and out of the country as well," Staff Sgt. Nick Bok, of the city drug control section, said yesterday. On Wednesday, city police drug cops seized more than 350 hydroponically grown marijuana plants, as well as oil and equipment totalling about $400,000, after raiding three separate homes. 'BIG PROBLEM' Five people face charges of producing a controlled drug, possession and trafficking. "It's a big problem in the city and it's a big problem in the province," Bok said. "And the Edmonton Police Service is not going to disregard this problem." Bok's seen reports that Alberta dope is getting shipped to other provinces and the U.S. as home-grown dope becomes more popular and potent. "I recall reading one report saying it's even going to Mexico, which is completely the opposite of what was happening 10 or 15 years ago," he said. 'FREELANCE THING' Wednesday's bust was made after three months of surveillance. Hydroponic operations can be set up almost anywhere and, when it comes to police uncovering the dope crops, smaller is safer for growers, Bok said. "The fewer plants, the harder it is to detect. The bigger operations are easier for us to detect," he said. Hydroponics has become increasingly popular over the past few years. The dope fetches up to about $3,000 a pound. "It's a freelance thing," Bok said. "People from all walks of society (sell it). Some of these people are unemployed, some of these people have legitimate jobs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lots Of Tokin' And Smokin' By Local Teens Above Provincial Average - Study ('Hamilton Spectator' Says A New Survey Of 1,810 Students In Grades 10 And Up By The Hamilton-Wentworth Public Health Department Found 41 Per Cent Smoked Cigarettes Compared To 34 Per Cent In The Rest Of Ontario, Canada, And 38 Per Cent Used Marijuana Compared To 33 Per Cent Provincially - Alcohol Was Used At Same Unspecified Rate As In The Rest Of The Province) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Lots of tokin' and smokin' by local teens Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 08:26:57 -0800 Source: Hamilton Spectator (Ontario) http://www.southam.com/hamiltonspectator/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Suzanne Morrison, The Spectator Friday 27 March 1998 Lots of tokin' and smokin' by local teens Above provincial average: study Tobacco and marijuana use among teenagers in Hamilton is significantly higher than the provincial average. A new survey of 1,810 students in grades 10 to OAC in six local schools -- the largest sample of Hamilton youth ever surveyed -- also revealed they are using these substances at an earlier age. It found 41 per cent of Hamilton students are smoking cigarettes compared to 34 per cent provincially. And they are heavy smokers. For example, twice as many Hamilton students (5.6 per cent) are smoking 20 cigarettes a day or more -- the equivalent of one or two packs a day -- as their provincial counterparts (2.1 per cent). The same pattern is true for overall marijuana use -- 38 per cent locally compared to 33 per cent provincially. When the statistics are broken down, the greatest concern is 14- and 15-year-old students. Thirty-eight per cent of Hamilton teenagers in this age group are smoking, compared to 26 per cent provincially. Their marijuana use is also significantly higher -- 32 per cent versus 24 per cent. Tracey Taylor, co-ordinator of the health department's tobacco and substance abuse prevention programs, calls it "a serious health issue in our community." "Youth are a particular concern because if they can get to 18 without smoking cigarettes, the chances are that they never will. (When they start young) they think they can stop, but, in reality, they become lifelong smokers." The study on student tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use released today by the Hamilton-Wentworth public health department also found higher cigarette and marijuana use among teenagers 18 and older. It showed cigarette use was 42 per cent locally versus 35 per cent provincially, and marijuana use was 38 per cent versus 34 per cent provincially. Alcohol use was similar to provincial averages. Jodi Thesenvitz, the health department's tobacco use prevention co-ordinator, said, "it appears that, for some reason, we don't know, the 14- (and) 15-year-old is definitely a high-risk category for all the substances." Anne Washington, the Lung Association's health education co-ordinator for tobacco control issues, can't understand why Hamilton statistics are so high. "Is it because there is insufficient work being done in schools? advertising? lack of role models, or is it because youth is experiencing different kinds of other lifestyle issues and maybe using cigarettes as a coping mechanism? We need to find out why this is happening." Jan Marlin, executive director of Alternatives for Youth, which counsels 13- to 25-year-olds, agrees the statistics on 14- and 15-year-olds are a concern. "When we see early initial use, that is something that we want to address." Dr. Marilyn James, Hamilton-Wentworth's medical officer of health, presented the study to the regional community services and public health committee yesterday. She said the health department will be using the information to plan health promotion programs for teens. James said 14- and 15-year-olds are a particularly important age group to target because they are still deciding whether or not to use tobacco or drugs. Research has shown they are unlikely to start at all if they don't start smoking before the age of 18.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Violate Supreme Court Ruling Again - Buffy's Hemp Store Raided, Police Cite 462.2 ('Cannabis Canada' Notes Ontario Police Have Raided Yet Another Hemp Store Under Cover Of A Voided Subsection Of Canada's Criminal Code) From: email@example.com (Cannabis Canada) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: Police Violate Supreme Court Ruling Again Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 21:17:07 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org POLICE VIOLATE SUPREME COURT RULING AGAIN "Buffy's" hemp store raided - police cite 462.2 By Dan Loehndorf Yet again, police have raided a hemp store in Ontario and seized literature with an invalid search warrant, citing a defunct subsection, 462.2, of Canada's Criminal Code. On the 20th of March, OPP and Stratford Police raided "Buffy's", a Stratford, Ontario hemp store. According to the search warrant, the store's owner was "... promoting illicit drug use by offering for sale instruments and literature for illicit use contrary to 462.2". Buffy Blue, the store's owner, recounts the raid: "They took everything. They took pipes and bongs, copies of High Times and Cannabis Canada [and] grow manuals on marijuana " In 1994, Judge Ellen MacDonald of the General Division of the Ontario Court of Justice (Ontario's Supreme Court) ruled that "The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of the press and other media of communication. Accordingly, an order shall go out severing the words 'or literature' from section 462.2 with the result that the words are inoperative and have no force and effect " Since Judge MacDonald's ruling, police have illegally raided and seized literature from several hemp stores in Ontario. Either the judges and JP s who approve such search warrants are incompetent and should be replaced, or hemp stores are being intentionally harassed with invalid laws. Also among the items seized were barbecued industrial hemp seeds and hemp for victory video tapes. Hemp products have been legal since an amendment to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in 1995. " They don t know that hemp is legal," said Buffy, "That's what astounded me." Police also seized government information about industrial hemp. Government information has never been subject to seizure by police. A common tactic of police who harass hemp stores with unconstitutional and invalid laws is to damage the stock they seize so that it is useless even if hemp store owners manage to get it back. Buffy recounts how police, " dropped the box with the bongs in it on the sidewalk." Buffy was held in a jail cell for 3 hours under the 462.2 charges. Invalid charges, vandalizism and false arrests are all par for the course, but even the local Stratford paper, "The Beacon Herald", got into the act. When police searched Buffy's store they found her pipe and an empty sandwich bag with a little green particulate in the bottom. They didn't charge her with possession of marijuana, as the amount was way too small to even test. Yet, after a police "tip", the Beacon Herald reported that "a quantity of narcotics and paraphernalia was seized from Buffy's." "In the first 3 days since they took my stuff," says Buffy, "I've lost at least 300 dollars. I've counted. People had the money in their hands, and we didn't have the inventory to sell them. "Before I opened the store I was living in complete poverty. I was unemployed for a long time. When I opened this store I got a real break. And I'm not on assistance anymore and I won't be as long as I have this store." "I've been trying to get donations to help from suppliers, but haven't gotten much. The Church of the Universe guys came and donated 50 posters..." Shakedown Street also fronted Buffy 220 dollars in stock. Buffy's court date is April 20th, and she needs donations to help her fight this injustice. Donations to help Buffy can be sent to her store at 76 Wellington Street, Stratford, ON, N5A 2L2. Buffy can be contacted at her home at (519) 275-2184 or, after May 15, at (519) 272-1998. *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA, "Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp" *** Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info. Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1 Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.cannabiscanada.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pill Pusher An Old Hand ('Canadian Press' Says Winnipeg Police Arrested A 74-Year-Old In A Senior Citizens' Home For Selling Ritalin And Talwin, 'Commonly Known As The Poor Man's Heroin When Mixed Together' - He Gets 18 Months' House Arrest While 60-Year-Old Co-Defendant Goes To Prison For Five Years) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: PILL PUSHER AN OLD HAND Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 08:30:55 -0800 Source: Toronto Sun Section: Top Stories Pubdate: March 27, 1998 PILL PUSHER AN OLD HAND CANADIAN PRESS WINNIPEG -- A 74-year-old man who trafficked prescription drugs from his senior citizens' home has been handed a conditional sentence. Valentine Nickart will be able to serve his 18-month sentence confined to his apartment, Justice Deborah McCawley ruled. The white-haired Korean War veteran, who suffers from a bad back, knee problems and respiratory complications was found guilty in November on six counts of trafficking Ritalin and Talwin, commonly known as the poor man's heroin when mixed together. His co-accused, Wilfred Hanchar, 60, got a five-year sentence. They sold drugs to an undercover cop.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'World Tunes In To Street Party Of The Year' - As Thousands Head For London Cannabis March (Britain's 'Independent' Publicises Tomorrow's March Through London Sponsored By 'The Independent On Sunday' In Support Of Cannabis Decriminalisation) Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 16:04:41 -0400 (AST) Sender: Chris Donald
From: Chris Donald To: email@example.com cc: AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia Subject: Canadian coverage: London(UK) decrim march All, A Canadian news camera crew is reported to be in town to follow the massive march in London for reforming the UK's mj laws: >from http://marijuananews.com reprinted from The Independent "World Tunes In To Street Party Of The Year" -- As Thousands Head For London Cannabis March March 27, 1998 See: London Police Expecting A Crowd "Between Five Sixteen Thousand" For IoS Cannabis March On Saturday The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL England firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm Thousands are heading for tomorrow's march to back the decriminalisation of cannabis. Graham Ball reports It is going to be the best street party London has enjoyed for years. Thousands of supporters of The Independent on Sunday's campaign to decriminalise cannabis are heading for tomorrow's march through the capital in carnival mood. And despite the underlying seriousness of the issue, campaigners plan to turn the march, from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, into more of a celebration than a demonstration. Sarah Russell, a mature student from Leeds, is one of hundreds who rang our special march information line: "We have organised our own coach and are hoping like mad that the weather is going to hold up because we are determined to have a great time. It will be just like one big party to be with so many like-minded campaigners ... saying it loud and proud." Yesterday columnist Charles Glass, writing in the Evening Standard, urged Londoners to support the march. "I call on everyone who came out for the countryside to return to the streets in the same cause: freedom. From Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square, thousands of men, women and children will parade to show the Government that those who smoke marijuana should not be sent to prison for it. Smokers are not a criminal minority, they are just ordinary people," he wrote. However, unlike the Countryside Rally supporters, some of the cannabis marchers might look more than a little bleary eyed. "A large number of flyers have been distributed around the London club scene and quite a number of enthusiasts have said they will go straight to Hyde Park from their all-night parties," said a volunteer worker for Release, the drugs charity. Labour MP Paul Flynn who is trying to get cross-party support for drug-law reform believes the march is already a success. "Notwithstanding an earthquake or flood this march has already achieved a great deal," said Mr Flynn who will speak at the Trafalgar Square rally. "The extraordinary level of media interest that has already been created by this march means that every household in Britain will have the opportunity of discussing the subject of cannabis and the law this weekend. As things stand, the three major parties are conspiring to stifle debate on this subject. There is one simple message to get across and that is decriminalisation works, prohibition does not work." Supporters are not just rallying in Britain. This week news of the Independent on Sunday march went international, creating a buzz of home and overseas media activity. Canadian television is in London to cover the march and an Italian radio station is going to transmit coverage of the whole of tomorrow's event live. There are even plans to broadcast the march on the Internet. Preliminary television interviews with some of the speakers have already been syndicated internationally, and Australian radio and the BBC World Service have also featured the march in their news coverage. "The message seems to have got out into the wider world this week. We have had dozens of calls from Europe. One group of individuals from Paris rang to ask which was the nearest tube for Hyde Park as they were coming over on Eurostar for the day," said Chris Brown who has been working on the march information phone line this week. Other groups are expected from Holland, Belgium and France. A strong delegation is expected from Rome to support Marco Pannella the founder of the Italian Radical Party and veteran campaigner for drug-law reform. After the march Mr Pannella is planning his own press conference. Others will be going to the special after-march party organised by Hempology at the Cloud Nine club in London SE1. Doors open at 10 pm and will feature a guest appearance of Trafalgar Square speaker Howard Marks who is to DJ into the early hours. CAMPAIGN WHO'S WHO The campaign to decriminalise cannabis has won backing from some of Britain's liveliest minds. Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop ethical cosmetics chain, spoke movingly at the seminar on decriminalisation organised by The Independent on Sunday last December. Recently, she announced her chain of shops would introduce a range of beauty products based on hemp-seed extracts - drawing the wrath of former Tory Home Office Minister Anne Widdecombe. Richard Branson, the entrepreneur businessman, has lent his name and backing to the campaign. Sir Paul McCartney, while supportive, has preferred to play a low-profile role in the campaign. The visual arts have been represented by film directors Mike Leigh and Peter Greenaway. Fay Weldon, A N Wilson and Nick Hornby are among a host of leading writers to back the campaign. Prominent medical supporters include Dr Philip Robson, consultant psychiatrist at the Warneford Hospital, and Professor Steven Rose, director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at the Open University. For march information ring: 0181-964 2692. from http://www. marijuananews.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gangs Sell Drugs In Clubs (Britain's 'Times' Says The Home Office Has Announced That Beginning In May, Authorities Will Have The Right To Order The Immediate Closure Of Nightclubs Where Police Have Found 'Evidence' Of 'Drugs' Or 'Dealing') Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 15:03:11 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Gangs Sell Drugs In Clubs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 Source: Times The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent GANGS SELL DRUGS IN CLUBS GANG members are working as door staff at dance clubs to make sure that they dominate the drug-dealing inside, a Office report says. Club owners and honest doormen face intimidation and violence if they get in the way. The report was issued as local authorities were being given greater powers to curb suspect clubs. The Home Office announced that a new right for authorities to order the immediate closure of clubs where police have found evidence of drugs or dealing would take effect from May. Some door staff are serving as drug wholesalers, suppling the substances sold by a network of people on the dancefloor. Others are intimidated or bribed to turn a blind eye. Only a minority of door staff are involved, says the study, Clubs, Drugs and Doormen, which highlights activities in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. In Liverpool, the police found that 49 door supervisors were of interest to them: nine had previous convictions for drugs; 28 had convictions for violence; 27 had charges pending, including three attempted murders and two murders. A registered security firm took control of a large section of door supervision through bribery, intimidation and attacks on those who refused to leave. Once in control, the criminals behind the firm moved to dominate drug dealing in premises they were supposed to be protecting. Any licensee who refused to accept their services was threatened with disturbances.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue Number 35 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's News Summary For Activists Features 12 Original Articles Including - URL For Moyers' Television Documentary On Addiction; Campus Club Advocating Marijuana Law Reform Denied Recognition By University President; Penn State Professor Appears At Hearing - Continues Protest; DRCNet Special Report - Colombian Situation Worsens - US Military Involvement Stepped Up - Backsliding Toward A Quagmire? Classified DEA Report Says Drug Corruption In Mexican Military More Serious Than Previously Believed) Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 16:55:43 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #35 A number of our subscribers have reported not receiving file 1 of Issue #35 of The Week Online. Please accept our apology for this inconvenience, which was purely due to technical reasons. Note that the entire issue is now online at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html -- let us know what you think of our new look. In the issue, we forgot to mention the PBS five-installment series, Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home. It begins tonight, 3/29, and runs through Tuesday. According to the series' web site, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/closetohome/, the schedule is as follows: PORTRAIT OF ADDICTION, 3/29, 9pm, THE HIJACKED BRAIN, 3/29, 10pm, CHANGING LIVES, 3/30, 9pm, THE NEXT GENERATION, 3/31, 9pm, and THE POLITICS OF ADDICTION, 3/31, 10pm. (These listings are Eastern Standard Time. Times may vary from location to location, so check your local listings.) The final installment is rumored to be a fairly positive look at the war on drugs and alternatives. THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE #35 -- MARCH 27, 1998 ----- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) NOTE: THIS ISSUE CONTAINS SOME OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING AND DISTURBING NEWS ABOUT THE DRUG WAR THAT WE HAVE EVER PRINTED. YOUR SUPPORT AND ACTIVISM IS NEEDED TO BRING THE TRAGEDY OF THE DRUG WAR TO AN END. PLEASE READ ON, THEN TAKE ACTION. *** Medical Marijuana Protest in Pasadena, CA, Monday, 3/30, 11:00-11:45am. Full announcement to go out to Cal. subscribers this weekend -- in the meantime, info online at http://www.insightweb.com/medmj.gif *** To our subscribers: A few of you reported last week that on trying to open Issue #34 of The Week Online, their e-mail programs froze up. This may have been due to the length of the issue, though it may have been due to other technical problems. That issue can be viewed in full on our web site archive at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-20.html. There was some important material there, so please take a few moments to at least browse the table of contents, if you didn't get to read it last week. We will make it a point to divide up the e-mail postings into two parts, when they are especially long. Please accept our apology for the inconvenience. Our appeal for funds and members has gone extremely well -- already netting over $3,500 in much needed operating funds. But we still need 30 more new paying members to reach our goal of 750 by the end of the month. (Our total number of e-mail subscribers is over 4,700.) If you haven't yet sent in your $25 annual membership (or $10 for virtual, e-mail- only membership), we need your help! If we can meet our stated goals, then our funders will feel encouraged that DRCNet is an organization that can make it in the big leagues. Hence, your small checks will turn into big money for the movement. Send them to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Washington, DC 20036, or use our secure form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html for credit card donations or call them in to (202) 293-8340 or fax to (202) 293-8344. Extra donations from new and current members are also needed and are greatly appreciated. Copies of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts are still available free to anyone who donates $30 or more to DRCNet. Please note that contributions to DRCNet are not tax- deductible. If you wish to make a tax deductible donation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us and we will tell you how to do so. (Information also available by link from the afore-mentioned secure form.) (If you are expecting a copy of MMMF, made your donation more than three weeks ago, but haven't received your copy yet, please let us know -- e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line "MMMF" or "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts".) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. LEAKED McCAFFREY LETTER INDICATES OPPOSITION TO LIFTING SYRINGE EXCHANGE FUNDING BAN http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#mccaffrey 2. HOUSE DELAYS VOTE ON ANTI-MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESOLUTION: Still time to contact your congressional representative http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#housevote 3. 17 YEAR-OLD POLICE INFORMANT KILLED, GIRLFRIEND RAPED AND SHOT IN CALIFORNIA http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#informant 4. PLANO, TEXAS UNDERCOVER POLICE BOUGHT HEROIN SIX TIMES FOR 16 YEAR-OLD RECOVERING ADDICT http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#plano 5. A STRONG DAY IN COURT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN CALIFORNIA - FURTHER ARGUMENTS TO BE HEARD APRIL 6 http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#calcourt 6. CAMPUS CLUB ADVOCATING MARIJUANA LAW REFORM DENIED RECOGNITION BY UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#rcc 7. PENN STATE PROFESOR APPEARS AT HEARING - CONTINUES PROTEST http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#heicklen 8. BASKETBALL LEGEND KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR BUSTED FOR POT AT CANADIAN BORDER - CLAIMS MEDICINAL USE http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#kareem 9. DRCNet SPECIAL REPORT: COLOMBIAN SITUATION WORSENS - U.S. MILITARY INVOLVEMENT STEPPED UP - BACKSLIDING TOWARD A QUAGMIRE? http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#colombia 10. CLASSIFIED DEA REPORT SAYS DRUG CORRUPTION IN MEXICAN MILITARY MORE SERIOUS THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#dea-report 11. SWISS GOV'T ANGERED BY WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S DELAY IN EVALUATING HEROIN MAINTENANCE TRIAL http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#who 12. EDITORIAL: War crimes and quagmires... how low can we go, and where are we headed? http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#editorial *** 1. LEAKED McCAFFREY LETTER INDICATES OPPOSITION TO LIFTING SYRINGE EXCHANGE FUNDING BAN On Tuesday 3/17, a meeting took place between National AIDS Policy Director Sandra Thurman and Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey over the issue of syringe exchange, and the ban on the use of federal anti-AIDS funds for their implementation. The meeting was held in the wake of the "no-confidence" resolution released earlier that day by the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV/AIDS (http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-20.html#aidscouncil). The result of that meeting was a letter, sent by McCaffrey to Thurman, indicating the Drug Czar's strong opposition to the lifting of the ban. While insiders had been aware for some time of McCaffrey's opposition, he had never directly made his feelings public. The letter, however, was leaked both to members of Congress and to the New York Times, which ran a story on it on Sunday (3/22). McCaffrey's now-public opposition to lifting the ban is seen by proponents as a serious blow to the chances that Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala will make the determination, a prerequisite for lifting the ban, that syringe exchange slows the spread of AIDS without a concomitant rise in drug use. This despite overwhelming scientific support for the programs. Robert Fogel, a member of the President's Advisory Commission told The Week Online: "The joint statement issued by AIDS Policy Director Sandra Thurman and Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey indicates that they will leave it in the hands of HHS Secretary Donna Shalala to decide whether or not to make the required determination. This is just as it has been. Secretary Shalala has assured the commission that her office is almost finished with their review, and that her determination would be based on the science, and not on the politics surrounding the issue. At this point, we have faith that those assurances were made honestly. We await the Secretary's determination." (In 1995, the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine released a landmark report, Preventing HIV Transmission: The Role of Sterile Needles and Bleach. Preventing HIV Transmission can be ordered from amazon.com, and DRCNet will earn 15% of the purchase price (on that book alone, if you follow the link directly from http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#nas.) *** 2. 17 YEAR-OLD POLICE INFORMANT KILLED, GIRLFRIEND RAPED AND SHOT IN CALIFORNIA - Barrington Daltrey for DRCNet The use of juveniles by law enforcement agencies pursuant to plea bargains has come under scrutiny in California this week. How extensive is the practice? No one knows, since the records of such agreements are subject to the privacy laws protecting juveniles. Earlier in the week, Southern California was shocked by the disclosure that the death of Chad McDonald, a 17 year old boy, and the brutal rape and attempted murder of his 15 year old girlfriend, might have resulted from the Brea police department's use of the boy as an informant. The Brea police department steadfastly denies any involvement, pointing out the incident took place in Norwalk, an area outside the Brea P.D.'s jurisdiction. But an attorney for the youth's mother claims that she allowed her son to act as an informant in return for having him released into her custody. The attorney also has stated that the mother tried to send the boy to relatives on the east coast in order to get him away from the streets of L.A., but that the Brea police wouldn't allow it. "They kept wanting more and more" from him, she said. Coverage of the incident began after the discovery early in the month of the boy's body in an alley in South Central L.A., and discovery of the girl, left for dead, in the nearby mountains. The most recent disclosures came after the girl recovered from her injuries sufficiently to discuss what had happened. Lloyd Charton, attorney for Cindy MacDonald, the boy's mother, was widely quoted as suggesting the two minors had entered a "drug den" in Norwalk in order to please Brea PD supervisors. It was reported that the boy, Chad MacDonald, had agreed to work as an informant in the course of a plea agreement in juvenile court. Brea P.D. Chief Bill Lentini has indicated his department was not involved in the Norwalk incident and expressed frustration at his inability to comment further due to the privacy laws concerning juvenile court proceedings. In fact, according to Lentini, his department filed a petition for review in the Orange County Superior Court, Juvenile Division on March 25, 1998. The petition seeks authorization to discuss the matter with the press. The unanswered question is what specific court orders were imposed upon Chad MacDonald in trade for his release from the system. It should be noted that under California law, juveniles are not "prosecuted", but made "wards of the court" in order to protect them. Release of the court documents might provide insight into just how the court intended to rehabilitate and protect MacDonald. Did it in fact approve a plea bargain whereby MacDonald would be involved in undercover narcotics investigations, as alleged? Unfortunately, the answer to this question remains shrouded by the secrecy laws designed to protect minors from disclosure of their wrongdoing. The documents remain in the court file, marked "confidential." (Jerome Miller, of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, made an interesting several page discussion of the unintended consequences of the use of information, in his book Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice System -- a book which contais a wealth of statistical and qualitative information on the impact of crime and the war on crime and drugs. Purchase Search and Destroy from amazon.com, and DRCNet will earn 15% of your purchase (only on this book, not on other books you may purchase in the same visit). Just follow the link from http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#miller, and DRCNet will automatically be credited for your purchase.) *** 3. PLANO, TEXAS UNDERCOVER POLICE BOUGHT HEROIN SIX TIMES FOR 16 YEAR-OLD RECOVERING ADDICT - Marc Brandl for DRCNet "Operation Rockfest", an undercover investigation by the Plano, Texas police to battle a growing heroin epidemic, netted 84 cases against 33 adults and four juveniles. The operation was considered a success, but some citizens have become outraged at how the police attained their results. One of the juveniles busted by "Rockfest" was Jonathan Kollman, now 17, who is a recovering heroin addict. Before Jonathan was arrested, undercover officers drove him six separate times to a heroin dealer, gave him cash for the drug, and then allowed him to consume the controlled substance. Before Jonathan succumbed to the undercover officer's offer, he had tested negative for drugs 12 times and was enrolled in drug treatment and family counseling. Plano, an affluent community of just under 200,000 people, has been the source of more than a dozen teen heroin overdoses in the last 18 months. The Plano Chief of Police, reacting to the story told the Dallas Morning News "We... are confident this investigation was handled in a professional manner." The Kollman family disagrees and has hired a lawyer who is requesting a grand jury investigation of possible criminal conduct by the undercover officer. The family is also considering a lawsuit. Jonathan's father, Victor Kollman, aware of the fatal overdose potential, told the Dallas Morning News, "I just can't understand how they would put him in danger of that." Notes from the undercover officer show she knew of Jonathan's heroin use. "I stopped, and Jonathan went into the building to use the one cap of chiva. Jonathan returned to my vehicle and said that this heroin was better than the last heroin we bought." Jonathan has now reentered a drug rehabilitation program. "This is a perfect illustration of the craziness of the war on drugs," Al Robinson, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, and a retired professor of pharmacology, told The Week Online. "Police officers should be protecting kids, not hooking them on drugs." (The Drug Policy Forum of Texas is online at http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/.) *** 4. A STRONG DAY IN COURT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN CALIFORNIA - FURTHER ARGUMENTS TO BE HEARD APRIL 6 Article reprinted with permission of Dale Gieringer, Cal. NORML, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.norml.org/canorml/ SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 1998: Medical marijuana advocates beat back the government's efforts to obtain an injunction against California's cannabis clubs today, as U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer called for further arguments to be submitted on April 16th. Breyer indicated that he would render some sort of decision thereafter. Earlier in the day, medical marijuana supporters were blessed by a break in the rainy weather, allowing patients, providers, and sympathizers from around the state to gather for a rally and protest march under sunny skies in San Francisco. Addressing the rally were S.F. District Attorney Terence Hallinan, West Hollywood Mayor Steve Martin, S.F. Supervisors Gavin Newsom and Tom Ammiano, and representatives of Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Oakland City Councilman Nate Miley. At the court hearing, Judge Breyer repeatedly expressed skepticism about the government's sweeping claims of supremacy in the face of opposition from 56% of California voters, the mayors of four cities, and amicus briefs from S.F. District Attorney Hallinan, the city of Oakland, and the town of Fairfax. Breyer posed a series of probing questions to the government: (1) What evidence is there that Congress considered medical use of marijuana in enacting the Controlled Substances Act? (2) How is interstate commerce affected by the clubs' activities? (3) Do the intrastate activities of the clubs have such a close relation to interstate commerce that they must fall under the CSA? 4) Has the government ever invoked this section of the CSA to enjoin action that was legal under state law? (5) Is there a case for controversy if all the facilities are closed? (6) The government alleges that the clubs' activities are not protected by 215. If they were totally within 215, would the government still ask for an injunction? (7) What efforts if any are being made to evaluate marijuana for reclassification to Schedule II? Federal attorney Mark Quinlivan insisted that Proposition 215 had no bearing on the case, since state law is superseded by federal authority. He said that courts have ruled that there is no substantive due process right to any particular form of medicine, citing a case involving the purported cancer cure Laetrile. Asked by Judge Breyer whether there might not exist a fundamental right to relief from extreme pain, Quinlivan replied that only individual patients, not clubs, would have standing to make this argument. He said that the defendants could seek redress by petitioning the government to re-schedule marijuana. Asked by Breyer whether it would be sufficient simply to enjoin the clubs from engaging in interstate commerce in marijuana, Quinlivan insisted that Congressional findings specifically mandate that all commerce and distribution be enjoined. Defense attorney William Panzer likened the government's argument to maintaining that the world is flat, accusing it of engaging in an "arbitrary and capricious" conspiracy to cover up the facts. Defense attorney Carl Shapiro argued that Section 903 of the CSA allows states to pass their own laws regarding controlled substances, so long as there is no "positive conflict" with federal law. In a forceful and elegant presentation, Santa Clara Univ. Professor Gerald Uelmen argued that Section 903 permits state and federal laws to be reconciled. In particular, he argued that the clubs' activities do not constitute distribution, as maintained by the government, but "joint purchase for consumption," which is equivalent to possession under the CSA. Insofar as the government is asking to enjoin distribution, not possession, Prof. Uelmen invited the court to issue an injunction against distribution with the understanding that cooperative purchase by medical marijuana patients not be included. In another impressive presentation, defense attorney Tony Serra argued that the government's case was irrevocably soiled by its own "dirty hands," that is, the unethical tactics used to enforce its laws. Appearing as an amicus of the court, San Franciso District Attorney Terence Hallinan argued that closure of the clubs would be harmful to public health and safety. (Hallinan's amicus brief was joined by the city of Oakland and a separate brief by the town of Fairfax). Hallinan declared that he favored keeping the clubs open or, failing that, that any injunction be tailored so as to permit distribution of medical marijuana by the city. Medical marijuana supporters were heartened by the day's proceedings, sensing that Judge Breyer was in no way predisposed to granting the government carte blanche to shut off distribution of medical marijuana. *** 5. ALERT: HOUSE DELAYS VOTE ON ANTI-MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESOLUTION House Resolution 372, a "sense of the house" resolution which would proclaim Congress' adamant opposition to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use, will not be voted on this week, as was originally scheduled. Instead, lawmakers have put off the vote until sometime after they return from spring recess on April 21. Many DRCNet subscribers wrote to their representatives in response to our Alert, which can be found at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-18-1.html. If you have not yet done so, you now have almost another month to voice opposition. The resolution itself is laden with misinformation and circular reasoning. You can read it online, on the web site of the Marijuana Policy Project at http://www.mpp.org/HRes372.html. You might also want to take this opportunity to pay a visit to your Congressional representative while he or she is at their home office during this recess. Personal visits are the most effective way to get your rep's attention. If you do, please drop us a note to let us know how it went at email@example.com and thanks for making a difference! *** 6. CAMPUS CLUB ADVOCATING MARIJUANA LAW REFORM DENIED RECOGNITION BY UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT - Troy Dayton for DRCNet The newly formed Rochester Cannabis Coalition (RCC), an organization dedicated to educating the public about the need for marijuana law reform, is being denied club recognition by the President of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) on the grounds that it would "send the wrong message". While the club's constitution explicitly states that it does not condone drug use, RIT President, Albert Simone, claimed in a letter to RCC President, Shea Gunther, that "the recognition of the Rochester Cannabis Coalition as an official RIT club will be interpreted by students and the general public as RIT officially condoning the use of drugs on this campus." "Simone is denying us because he does not agree with what we have to say. He does not want to send the wrong message, well, now he is sending the message that students cannot make decisions," stated Shea Gunther in a written response to the President's letter. Two weeks ago, Shea Gunther met with President Simone and his advisor to discuss the matter. Shea left the meeting when his advisor asked "what's to stop a club from advocating date rape?" "They couldn't understand the difference between advocating a change in public policy, and advocating drug use. We were just going in circles," said Gunther. Simone goes on to claim in the letter that recognizing the RCC will cause drug dealers who sell marijuana and other drugs to target RIT campus. The Week Online asked William McKee, the director of RIT University News Services if this assertion is backed up by experiences on any of the over twenty campuses that currently have recognized drug policy reform groups. He could not point to any evidence. Richard Cowan, editor of Marijuana News, said that Simone's letter uses the costs of marijuana prohibition to justify its position. "It explicitly recognizes that marijuana is sold in the same distribution channels with hard drugs by criminal elements. It is cited as a reason not to recognize a group that advocates the only way to end it." The complete text of the letter is available at the Marijuana News site, http://www.marijuananews.com. The RCC is currently collecting signatures for a petition to reverse Simone's decision. "Most students take extreme offense to Dr. Simone's blatant overruling of the will of the students, even if they disagree with our goals," said Gunther. They are also drafting a letter to the Board of Trustees that has the power to overrule President Simone. "The drug war depends upon stifling discussion of alternative policies. We are not going to give up. We will fight until we get recognition," said Gunther. DRCNet is currently in discussions with the RCC as well as other activist groups to determine the most effective way to impact the situation. Please expect a DRCNet Alert on the topic in the coming week. You can contact Shea Gunther at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students and other members of campus communities are invited to join our national campus-based drug policy discussion list. To do so, send a message to Uemail@example.com with the line "join U-net" in the body of the message. *** 7. PENN STATE PROFESSOR APPEARS AT HEARING - CONTINUES PROTEST On Thursday (3/25) Professor Julian Heicklen and three other anti-prohibition advocates were ordered to stand trial for offenses stemming from the Feb. 12 "Smoke Out" at the Pennsylvania State University. Prof. Heicklen, Andrew Burke, Jennifer Corbett and Ken Keltner had their Preliminary Hearings at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Heicklen and Burke each had separate hearings while Corbett's and Keltner's cases were heard together. Heicklen, who wants a jury trial to nullify the marijuana laws, is challenging not only the drug war but also the manner in which criminal defendants are treated by the courts, demanding that he be accorded "basic human courtesy". Heicklen walked out of the courthouse last week (3/18) when it became obvious that his scheduled 1:00pm hearing wouldn't take, place till much later. He was arrested a few hours later and although the "Failure to Appear" charge was dropped, he is planning to sue District Justice Alan Sinclair for false arrest for issuing the Bench Warrant. This week, however, Judge Sinclair called Heicklen's case at 1:27pm, just three minutes before Heicklen's self-imposed deadline. After the judge told the Commonwealth to proceed, Heicklen interrupted, introduced himself and asked the Judge and the prosecutor to introduce themselves. The judge complied with Heicklen's request and instructed the prosecutor to do likewise. The prosecutor reluctantly complied. Heicklen then asked Judge Sinclair to recuse himself because Sinclair had issued the Bench Warrant from the previous week and therefore would not give him a fair and impartial trial. Sinclair denied the motion that he recuse himself. After several other motions were denied, Heicklen, though representing himself, sat mute throughout the remainder of the hearing, ignoring Judge Sinclair's offer to cross examine the police officers and make a closing argument. Jennifer Corbett and Ken Keltner had their hearing next and were represented by State College attorney Joseph Devecka. They are charged with possession of paraphernalia. On Thursday (3/26,) the day after the hearing, Heicklen and co-defendant Alan Gordon once again smoked pot in front of a crowd of about 125 supporters and four pro-drug-war counter demonstrators. No one was arrested, but the Penn State Police were present, and they confiscated a joint from Heicklen. Penn State Police said that they will test Heicklen's joint as well as one they confiscated at last week's rally. If the tests come back positive for marijuana, police said they would cite Heicklen for two counts of possession. Prof. Heicklen told the crowd that "Magistrate Sinclair has trampled on the U.S. Constitution and denied us our basic legal rights. He has committed treason. We will continue our Smoke Outs and make our case in the streets..." Heicklen later told the Week On Line that if necessary he will take his demonstrations to the Bellefonte Courthouse, the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, and the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. The Professor also said that he has been contacted by anti-drug-war activists from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Oklahoma University, and the University of Texas at Austin. "I've been holding them back. I told them they should wait (until the next school year) and learn from our mistakes." *** 8. BASKETBALL LEGEND KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR BUSTED FOR POT AT CANADIAN BORDER - CLAIMS MEDICINAL USE Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's leading all-time scorer, known and feared for his patented and nearly indefensible sky-hook, was detained at the border as he tried to re-enter the US last week (3/20) while carrying 6 grams of marijuana in a glass vial. A drug-sniffing dog was credited with detecting the pot. The 7'1" ex-center, a California resident, claimed that the marijuana was for medicinal use, and that his doctor has recommended it for migraine headaches. Jabbar was detained for several hours while his name was entered into a customs database and was released. No charges were filed, although he was fined $500 by U.S. customs. It is unclear at this time whether or not he will be allowed to re-enter Canada in the future. *** 9. DRCNet SPECIAL REPORT: COLOMBIAN SITUATION WORSENS - U.S. MILITARY INVOLVEMENT STEPPED UP - BACKSLIDING TOWARD A QUAGMIRE? With the rout last week of an elite squad of the Colombian army by rebel forces who control much of the southern half of the country, both President Ernesto Samper and the Colombian military have conceded that they cannot win the three decades-old civil war by themselves. In response to recent developments, the Dallas Morning News (3/17) reports that the U.S. has recently doubled the number of military advisors stationed there. According to The DMN, the U.S. now has 223 military personnel in Colombia. This doesn't include the unknown numbers of DEA, CIA and other federal agents in the region. US military aid to Colombia, in the form of both hardware and manpower, is supposed to be used for anti-narcotics operations, rather than in the military's ongoing conflict with southern rebels. "I suppose everyone knows that U.S. assistance to Colombia is strictly for the fight against drug trafficking," James Rubin, a State Department spokesman told the Associated Press. But those distinctions are difficult, if not impossible to make and enforce. General Manuel Jos Bonett, Colombian armed forces commander stated last December: "For me, all of those in the FARC (the largest and most powerful rebel faction) are narco- guerrillas because they live off the drug trade." For his part, FARC commander Fabian Ramirez told Reuters' Television, "All the aid to the Colombian army, both economic and military, is being directed against the guerrillas. In most of the battalions, there are US army advisors helping to fight the guerrillas." And the U.S. military has been aware of the problem for some time. In a memo dated April 8, 1994, Staff Judge Advocate Warren D. Hall of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) told the Defense Department, "USSOUTHCOM is vulnerable to criticism because of the similarities inherent in the counterdrug and counter-insurgency efforts in Colombia... It is unrealistic to expect the military to limit use of the equipment to operations against narcotraffickers." Several issues complicate the picture. First, the Colombian military's record on human rights has drawn widespread criticism, forcing the US to withhold several shipments of military hardware until the army can find a unit with a clean record. But aid flows from numerous sources, including direct aid, regional aid and defense draw-downs, not all of which are subject to such restrictions. Carlos Salinas, Latin American program officer for Amnesty International, told the Christian Science Monitor (1/16/98) "I doubt anybody really knows how many different programs result in the transfer of military equipment and assistance to Colombia." According to a letter sent by Salinas to the Washington Post (12/29/97), "since 1989, Colombia has been the number one recipient of US security assistance in the Western hemisphere." The second complicating factor are the right wing paramilitaries, who often work with, and sometimes do the bidding of, the Colombian army. These are generally private groups, but they too are profiting off of the drug trade. Francisco Thoumi, one of the world's renowned experts and author of several books on the situation in Colombia, told The Week Online, "The guerrillas and the paramilitaries are essentially fighting each other for control of the trade." The paramilitary groups have also been blamed for numerous massacres of civilians, and in a number of cases it has been reported that the military was aware of or complicit in these actions, some of which went on over several days. Finally, it is in no way clear that the Colombian government or its military are themselves independent from the drug trade, which seems to overshadow Colombia's legitimate economy. According to the U.S. government, President Samper himself received over $6 million in campaign funds from traffickers. While he was acquitted of those charges by a loyal legislature, his hand-picked successor, a strong contender in this August's election, Horacio Serpa, is also believed by many U.S. officials to be corrupt. Francisco Thoumi likens Serpa to "a typical American local politician. To Serpa, all politics is local. He has a constituency and he knows how to get elected." The recent buildup of American forces in Colombia, and the worsening situation for the government and the military, has drawn concern about the possible implications of U.S. policy. According to the Dallas Morning News, at least two separate congressional hearings have been scheduled to address the issue. An unidentified Republican staffer told the DMN, "Right now we're backing into (the conflict) by default. One way or another, you're increasing your presence there. You're increasing the level of equipment, you're increasing the level of personnel. We're putting our people in harm's way, and you can't do that without having a clear idea of your policy." Coletta Youngers of the Washington Office on Latin America told DMN, "You can look at case after case over history where the U.S. gets involved and then slides down this slippery slope, from Vietnam to Central America." But some legislators seem eager to increase American involvement in Colombia. In a report issued last Thursday (3/19), Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY) said that the army's most recent defeat "signals the military situation for the fate of Latin America's oldest democracy may be lost. The narco- guerrillas now have only one institution standing between them and a full-blown 'narco-state' - the Colombian National Police." But getting involved militarily in Colombia might not be such a good idea. Joseph Miranda, author and former instructor at the American School for Special Warfare, told The Week Online, "People don't realize how difficult and how dangerous it would be to send American troops into the rain forests of Latin America. Colombia is far larger than Vietnam, and the guerrillas seem to be well-financed, with the ability to buy off a lot of people whom we would otherwise assume are our allies. Plus, since the Colombian military has shown over several decades that it can't control the region, there would seem to be no end-game. If we left and handed the region back to the Colombians there is little to assure us that the situation would not revert. Would we end up chasing people, following them into Peru, Ecuador, Brazil? I would also note that our military is not set up to operate in the high Andes. Ironically, it's likely that the only way that our troops could sustain themselves at the altitude would be to chew coca, like the locals do. We also would have to seriously consider the likely reaction throughout Latin America of an invasion by Americans." That reaction, the potential anti-American backlash, seems to be something that the rebels are counting on. FARC commander Ramirez told Reuters that the rebels will begin to target U.S. embassy personnel as "military objectives". He claimed that "it is clear that Colombian rage will explode at any moment, and the objective will be to defeat the Americans." Francisco Thoumi told The Week Online, "It's not clear that a simple increase in military aid will cause a great backlash. But if America decides to send fighting troops in, look out. The reaction will be strongly anti-American, and not only in Colombia, but across Latin America." Thoumi added, "The problem, it seems to me, is that America has an empire without an imperialistic mentality. By our sheer size and strength we must lead in the world, but instead, we only react. Our leaders seem to respond only to the demands of local constituents, which makes us very reactive on the global stage. It is a very dangerous situation for America, and for the world." *Additional information for this article was taken from The Weekly News Update on the Americas, published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012, 212-674-9499, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Washington Office on Latin America is online at http://www.wola.org. Joseph Miranda is the author of War on Drugs: Military Perspectives and Problems, written for DRCNet, http://www.drcnet.org/military/. *** 10. CLASSIFIED DEA REPORT SAYS DRUG CORRUPTION IN MEXICAN MILITARY MORE SERIOUS THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED According to the New York Times (3/26), a classified DEA report suggests that ties between the Mexican army and drug traffickers are more pervasive than had been believed. The Times quotes unnamed U.S. officials who said it is now believed that the arrest last year of Mexico's "Drug Czar" Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo followed secret meetings between traffickers and Mexican officers at which protection payments were discussed. One official told the Times, "The bottom line is that all this goes deeper than we thought." Another was quoted as saying "it points to much of our work in Mexico being an exercise in futility." The Mexican army has been counted on more and more in recent years for anti- narcotics work because US officials believed that the country's police force was too deeply corrupt to be trusted. *** 11. SWISS GOV'T ANGERED BY WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S DELAY IN EVALUATING HEROIN MAINTENANCE TRIAL The March 21 issue of the British medical journal Lancet reports that the Swiss government is "irritated" at the World Health Organization (WHO) for delays in evaluating the success of the Swiss heroin maintenance trials. The trials, which have been proclaimed a dramatic success by the Swiss government, began in 1994. A UNDCP report, released last month in Vienna, stated: "The board is not convinced that the limited positive results claimed can be attributed solely to distribution of heroin itself, as many factors, such as prescribing of other controlled drugs and intensive psycho-social counseling and support, were involved." The report also states that no other maintenance trials should be commenced, anywhere in the world, "until the Swiss project has undergone a full and independent evaluation." Trials are scheduled to begin shortly in both The Netherlands and Germany. Swiss officials have invited UNDCP officials to come to Switzerland to make their own determinations. The Swiss criticism of the WHO comes on the heels of charges, originally published in New Scientist magazine, that the organization had suppressed a portion of a cannabis report which found that the use of marijuana was less harmful to society that the use of alcohol or tobacco (http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/2-20.html#who-report). The UNDCP's actions come at a time when that body is preparing to present its international strategy to the first-ever UN Special Session on Narcotics in New York in June. (GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR, JUNE 6-8, PROTEST/SIGN-ON LETTER: http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ *** 12. EDITORIAL: War crimes and quagmires... how low can we go, and where are we headed? The news from the Drug War front this week is both illustrative of the depths to which we have fallen, and informative as to where we might be heading. The evidence of the former points to a malignancy of the soul typical of a nation at wrongheaded conflict with itself. The evidence of the latter points to a slippery slope toward armed conflict by a nation at war with forces that it has created and nurtured. >From California and Texas come the stories of two teenage boys, used by police with less regard for their lives than for the cops' next bust. In California, Chad McDonald was released into his mother's custody by the juvenile court on condition of his ongoing cooperation with the Brea police department. His mother claims that the Brea police assured her of Chad's safety. She also claims that even after helping to bring about arrests in several cases, the police continued to insist on Chad's services as a narc. In the end, however, word of Chad's cooperation apparently got out on the street, and upon entering a known drug den on March 1 with his fifteen year-old girlfriend, the two were kidnapped, held and tortured for two days before the girl was raped, shot and left for dead in a forest outside of Los Angeles by area drug dealers. Chad was strangled to death, his body dumped unceremoniously in an alley. Details of the boy's involvement in undercover operations were not revealed until the girl recovered sufficiently to begin telling her story. Until then, the police had been silent. Although the Brea police have refused comment on the case, they do acknowledge that minors are in fact used as informants. In Texas, an undercover agent building his case drove 16 year-old recovering heroin addict Jonathan Kollner to the home of a dealer, not once, but six times. Each time the officer waited as the boy used the heroin. Prior to becoming ensnared in the operation, Jonathan had tested clean for twelve months. It is an unholy war, this War on Drugs. It has led a nation -- not just any nation but the self-proclaimed "leader of the free world" -- to routinely commit acts which should be, by anyone's standard, abhorrent. We have police, across the country, who are so deeply enmeshed in unwinnable and never- ending day-to-day combat on the streets of our cities that they apparently think nothing of risking the life of a seventeen year-old boy, or re-addicting a sixteen year-old boy, sending both of them back into a world and an atmosphere that each had already proven was beyond their ability to resist, in service to their next small-time bust. How many busts have there been? How many more will there be? Has any of it, will any of it make the drugs disappear? Will it take the money out of the market? Will it put an end to the limitless supply of kids and criminals who are lured every day to take the place of the last one to be carted off? Is any of this worth the fact that we have become a society so poisoned by the effects of our own policies that the lives of our children are worth less than the next worthless arrest report? It would be nice to think that we have hit bottom, but the fact is that most likely, we have not. There are plenty of freedoms yet to be surrendered and plenty of kids left to be sacrificed to our tragic folly. In our country's last futile and ill-conceived war it was said that sometimes you have to burn a village to the ground in order to save it. In the current futile and ill-conceived war, it is becoming apparent that we have taken this approach to our entire society. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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