------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - State Fair - We Be Going (Portland NORML Director TD Miller Has Booked Exhibit Space At The Oregon State Fair This August To Educate And Promote Reform - $750 Due In April, $750 In June) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 12:18:50 -0800 (PST) From: Terry Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: State Fair (We be going) To all, I just placed a call to the folks down at Salem that coordinate the state fair booths. When Wayne Peterson first got on the line, he told me they weren't going to allow any pot smoking hippies in at the state fair. He then laughed and said he would be interested in joining PDX NORML. He was glad to see us back (apparently Oregon NORML, now defunct, was there in 1979) and told me we would be outside in the canopy area in a 10x20 space. I'll get the particulars by mail, but for sure, we are in. Cost of booths is $1500. $750 due in April, $750 due in June. We'll be looking for 15 people that could donate $100 each to finance the effort. Generally, we think that we can hand out over 10,000 newsletters and bring 800-1000 new members into our group. All of this helps us prepare for the upcoming elections in November. It's prime time (700,000 people go to the state fair) for us and gets us away from singing to the choir and out amongst those who may not have made decisions towards pot related issues yet. With computers, printers and videos set up plus a projection screen for attention, we believe that by displaying our state of the art web site (http://www.pdxnorml.org - that includes the posting of over 700 articles per month, thank you, Phil Smith) in our daily news releases, we will go a long way towards educating Oregon in general. Please, if you can help in any respect, call me, e-mail me, spread the word whatever, but let's make this year a year to remember for pot politics in Oregon. TD Arrested, Convicted, Serving my sentence and still working for PDX NORML
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Tragedy Of A Young Life Lost In The Drug War (Three Letters To Editor Of 'Orange County Register' Deploring Police In Brea, California, Who Coerced A 17-Year-Old Into Being Their Informant, Which Led To His Being Killed And His Girlfriend Being Raped And Shot) Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 13:19:16 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE'S: The Tragedy of a Young Life Lost in the Drug War Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 THE TRAGEDY OF A YOUNG LIFE LOST IN THE DRUG WAR The evidence is in. It is the war on drugs, not the methamphetamines, that is ultimately responsible for Chad's terrible torture and death. And it is that same "war" that is presently torturing and killing whatever freedoms we still retain. But have no fear. The horrible truth has not yet hit home to enough people, and America's second Prohibition, unlike her first, is still essentially in fine health and capable of doing still more damage. Gordon Wilson - Laguna Niguel *** I am saddened and sickened that the O.C. district attorney's office has no policy, written or otherwise, prohibiting the use of juvenile defendants in undercover drug deals. If they had, 17-year-old Chad MacDonald would be in a drug treatment program, not released on his own recognizance as the district attorney's office recommended. If they had, Chad MacDonald would still be alive today. Shouldn't we be trying to rehabilitate juveniles instead of sending them into the underworld? Jody Perkins - Fullerton *** A 17-year-old boy is dead at the hands of an out of control anti-narcotics system. If there is not resultant hue and cry from this community, this boy's blood is on its hands as plainly as it is on the hands of the self-serving adults who manipulated him and led him to be tortured and strangled and tossed like so much trash into that lonely alley. G. Fred Logan - Laguna Niguel
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Laws That Don't Work (Staff Editorial In Albany, New York, 'Times Union,' Praises New York State's Chief Judge, Judith Kaye, For Adding Her Voice To A Growing Chorus Seeking Reform Of The Rockefeller Mandatory Minimum Statutes For Illegal Drug Offenders) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 21:27:37 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US NY: Editorial: Drug Laws That Don't Work Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 Source: Times Union (Albany, NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 518-454-5628 Website: http://www.timesunion.com/ DRUG LAWS THAT DON'T WORK New York state's chief judge adds her voice to a growing chorus seeking reform of Rockefeller statutes By adding her prestige and wisdom to the drug law debate, Chief Judge Judith Kaye has given state legislators added reason to make reform a top priority this session. She deserves praise not only for that contribution to drug law sanity, but also for her leadership in urging that rehabilitation be as much a part of the war on drugs as incarceration. Judge Kaye isn't the first member of the state Court of Appeals to fault the draconian laws enacted during the Rockefeller era, when harsh punishment was seen as the only effective antidote to drug dealing and substance abuse. Readers of this page will recall that Judge Kaye's colleague, Judge Joseph W. Bellacosa, also has expressed serious reservations about the effectiveness of these statutes. But she is clearly in a position to make up minds on the matter. If the state's chief judge has little confidence in the rallying cry of being "tough on crime,'' and urges instead that New York be "very smart on crime,'' then politicians are bound to take notice. The Rockefeller drug laws were supposed to take big-time drug dealers off the streets for many years. But that isn't what has happened over the years. More often than not, it's the low-level users who winds up doing the most time behind bars. They don't have the funds to hire the best defense attorneys available, as drug pushers do. And even judges who are sympathetic to their plight have little leeway under the law to grant leniency. Ironically, no one knows this better than Governor Pataki. Not only did he suggest the need for reform in the past, but he also has granted clemency to drug offenders sentenced under the Rockefeller laws. Ironically, Mr. Pataki has come under fire recently over parole policy that allowed foreign drug king-pins to escape long years of hard time in U.S. prisons by being deported to their homelands. The outcry has caused the governor to review the program, but not before critics pointed out, correctly, that it is just one more example of a crazy patchwork of drug justice that desperately needs reform. Judge Kaye sensibly suggests rehabilitation as one of those reforms, based on the success of eight drug courts already established in the state. These courts steer nonviolent addicts toward court-monitored treatment, and have amassed an impressive record of success. For example, the Rochester drug court, which is the oldest in the state at three years, has handled 200 cases, with only 10 percent recidivism. That compares with the statewide rate of 70 percent. Then there's the escalating cost of the Rockefeller drug laws, in the form of more and more prison cells that have cost taxpayers $4 billion over the last 25 years. One group, the Correctional Association of New York, estimates that more than 20 percent of New York's prison population of 70,000 have been sentenced under the Rockefeller drug laws. But why spend so much for a 70 percent recidivism rate when rehabilitation can yield far better results for far less?
------------------------------------------------------------------- MS Patient Arrested For Using Medicinal Marijuana In Congressional Office (Press Release From Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC, About Cheryl Miller And Her Husband, Jim Miller, Being Arrested At The Congressional Office Of California Representative Jim Rogan For Eating Cannabis During A Protest Against House Resolution 372 - MPP Notes 'Patients Nationwide Are Angry And Beginning To Target Hypocritical Members Of Congress With Direct Action - Patients Are Ready For Civil Disobedience - Patients Will Target Not Only The Congressional Leadership, But Everyone Who Supports Laws That Criminalize Patients For Using Medicinal Marijuana') Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 15:07:55 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Marijuana Policy Project
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: M.S. Patient Arrested for Using Medicinal Marijuana in Congressional Office Organization: Marijuana Policy Project The event detailed in the following news release is garnering substantial media coverage -- dozens of television cameras and reporters were there, and many more reporters have already called the MPP office. Please be on the lookout for any television, newspaper, or other coverage of the arrest, and let us know the day, time, and page number (if applicable) as well as the name of the network, local station, or newspaper. (Fax or e-mail only, please -- we are unable to handle any more phone calls.) MPP fax 202-232-0442 e-mail MPP@MPP.ORG Thank you. *** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 30, 1998 MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS PATIENT ARRESTED for Using Medicinal Marijuana in U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan's Office Other Patients and Supporters Joined in Protest Against Anti-Medicinal Marijuana Legislation WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This morning, Cheryl Miller, severely disabled by multiple sclerosis, used medicinal marijuana in U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan's office (502 Cannon Bldg.) with the help of her husband and caregiver, Jim Miller. Both were arrested for marijuana possession in this act of nonviolent civil disobedience. Nearly a dozen demonstrators -- including another patient and a doctor -- joined the Millers' protest against House Resolution 372. The resolution, which the House is expected to vote on after the April recess, states that the U.S. House of Representatives is "unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use" and "urges the defeat of State initiatives which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use." "Eating marijuana relieves my pain and spasticity," said Cheryl Miller. "Thanks to marijuana, I don't need to visit Dr. Kevorkian." Multiple sclerosis is a very common ailment among those seeking physician-assisted suicide. WHY REP. ROGAN? U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan (R-California) voted in favor of H.Res. 372 when the House Judiciary Committee approved the resolution on March 4. "Rogan betrayed patients by voting for the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution," said Chuck Thomas, director of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Rogan voted for favorable medicinal marijuana legislation in the California legislature in 1995. During the debate in committee, Rogan even explained that his cousin had successfully used medicinal marijuana to combat nausea and vomiting while undergoing chemotherapy. "In a heartless turn-around, Rogan voted for H.Res. 372, proclaiming `unequivocal' opposition to medicinal marijuana," said the MPP's Chuck Thomas. "Tens of thousands of patients nationwide are using medicinal marijuana. The federal penalty is up to one year in prison for a joint -- and up to five years for a plant. Congress should remove criminal penalties for patients like Rogan's cousin and Cheryl Miller, instead of proclaiming its `unequivocal' opposition." "Patients nationwide are angry and beginning to target hypocritical members of Congress with direct action," said Thomas. "Patients are ready for civil disobedience. Patients will target not only the congressional leadership, but everyone who supports laws that criminalize patients for using medicinal marijuana." MPP helped organize protests outside of U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum's (R-Florida) district office in Orlando on March 19 and outside of Rep. Rogan's district office later today in Los Angeles. "We've only just begun to turn up the heat," said Thomas. ABOUT CHERYL AND JIM MILLER Cheryl Miller, age 51, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1971. She and her husband Jim live in Silverton, New Jersey. Cheryl has taken all of the standard prescription drugs for her condition. She had to stop taking both Dantrium, because of liver toxicity, and injectable steroid ACTH, because it is no longer available due to several harmful side effects. She still takes baclofen and other drugs -- all of which have harmful side effects. In 1992, Cheryl's neurologist prescribed Marinol, which consists of THC, marijuana's primary active ingredient, in a gelatin capsule. "The THC pill helps, but not as much as eating marijuana," said Cheryl Miller. "Like Bill Clinton, I don't inhale. My doctor told me that he would prescribe marijuana if it were legal, but he was afraid to put anything in writing. I need marijuana to treat my pain and spasticity." Because Cheryl cannot move her arms, her husband Jim fed her the marijuana in Rogan's office. Jim's wedding vows, made 14 years ago, included serving as Cheryl's arms and legs when necessary. Today he was arrested for helping Cheryl commit her heroic act of civil disobedience. "Every day, I live in fear that my husband and I will be arrested and imprisoned," Cheryl said. "But we can't let this awful resolution pass. I was arrested today so that some day, other patients will not have to be." Cheryl eats marijuana to avoid the harm that marijuana smoke may cause in the respiratory system. Unlike the THC pill, marijuana contains 60 other active chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, several of which have been shown to be quite effective at treating pain and spasticity. Cheryl has received extensive media coverage throughout New Jersey for traveling across the state in her wheelchair to protest the punitive laws against medicinal marijuana users. OTHER PROTESTERS Another patient, Michael Krawitz, participated in the protest. Mike is a 35-year-old father and a disabled veteran living in Elliston, Virginia. Fifteen years ago, he fell victim to a poorly constructed roadway and crashed his motorcycle. "I've had ten surgeries and two total artificial hips," Mike explained. "I use cannabis as an adjunct to my narcotic pain medicine in treating my sometimes extreme pain. Cannabis also treats the nausea caused by my internal injuries." "I have had a prescription for natural smoked cannabis from my doctor in The Netherlands since 1996. I find it particularly offensive that in the country where I was born and served in the military, my medical needs are not similarly respected." Denis Petro, M.D., was also on hand to discuss the scientific evidence of marijuana's efficacy for treating pain and spasticity. Dr. Petro has conducted marijuana research and has been published in peer-reviewed journals, verifying that marijuana is a useful medicine. The Marijuana Policy Project is a harm-reduction advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. MPP believes that the most harmful effects associated with marijuana are the criminal penalties that countless seriously ill patients must face. "Patients should not have to live in fear of being arrested and imprisoned for using medicinal marijuana," said the MPP's Chuck Thomas. *** 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- As Miranda Rights Erode, Police Get Confessions From Innocent People (Lengthy 'New York Times' Article Cites Cases In Which Police Used Long Interrogations, Death Penalty Threat - Other Suspects Are Mentally Retarded, Delusional Or Otherwise Highly Susceptible To Suggestion) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 15:44:43 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: NYT: As Miranda Rights Erode, Police Get Confessions From Innocent People Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Kevin Zeese Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 Source: The New York Times Author: Jan Hoffman Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ AS MIRANDA RIGHTS ERODE, POLICE GET CONFESSIONS FROM INNOCENT PEOPLE The victim was a taxi driver, a 45-year-old father of two. The Nassau County police proudly announced the arrest of Robert Moore, who had confessed to being with two acquaintances as they robbed and killed the cabby. Prosecutors said they might seek the death penalty. Three weeks later, the prosecutors sheepishly revealed they had caught the real killers, who produced the murder weapon and said they had never heard of a Robert Moore. His confession, it turned out, had been utterly false. During a November deposition for his federal civil rights lawsuit over the 1995 episode on Long Island, Moore said he had falsely confessed only because investigators grilled him for 22 hours, threatened him with the death penalty and even brought in a cousin to urge him to come clean. He had been tired, lonely and scared. "I wanted to go home," he said. In the U.S. Supreme Court's Miranda decision in 1966, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote about police interrogation techniques of such compelling power that they could produce untrustworthy confessions. To alert suspects that they had the right to stop the questioning, the court created the famous warnings. But after three decades of rulings that have undercut Miranda's reach, and the increasingly savvy tactics of investigators, the warnings have become an easily slipped latch to the interrogation room, with the vast majority of suspects waiving their rights. Once a suspect voluntarily enters that room, courts permit interrogators to use tricks, deceptions and lies -- anything short of threats of violence or promises of lenience -- to extract confessions. Thousands of guilty criminals have been caught in this fashion. But in a number of cases, the incredible occurs: the police extract a confession from an innocent person. Determining that a confession is false is a risky, arduous and often fruitless quest. But in recent years, more confessions have been successfully contested because of modern forensic tools like DNA testing, a burgeoning social science of analyzing confessions for their truthfulness, and the increased skepticism of juries about police conduct. Although the number of false confessions is in dispute, their prevalence is shaking the confidence of both prosecutors and juries in the reliability of confessions, which have long been the crown jewel of criminal prosecutions. In an attempt to restore the credibility of the confession -- and of the police themselves -- at least 2,400 sheriff's and police departments around the country are audiotaping and even videotaping not just confessions, but often interrogations as well, according to a federal Department of Justice study. And the practice is growing. William Geller, a police consultant who conducted that 1992 study, said that law enforcement officials were realizing that "one simple use of technology served the disparate interests of efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy." On the East Coast, particularly in the New York region, videotaping of interrogations is rare, because prosecutors fear it will make detectives as well as suspects self-conscious and give defense lawyers more targets to attack. But others have found it useful. "It will shore up our case at trial: if there is any doubt about an investigator's ethics, we can say, 'Hey, let's look at the videotape,' " said T. Brett Swab, a former prosecutor in Tulsa, Okla., where interrogations of suspects in violent crimes have been recorded since the mid-1980s. "It adds to our credibility." Some recent trials show that juries are less likely to be convinced by cases that rely heavily on confessions. In early 1997 on Long Island, Nassau County jurors acquitted a man who had confessed to two murders, after he testified that the police had physically and psychologically abused him. Detectives denied the allegations. And in September, Suffolk County jurors acquitted Gairy Chang of the first-degree murder of two drug dealers even though he had signed a six-page confession; he testified that the police had interrogated him, naked and handcuffed, and squeezed his testicles. James Catterson Jr., the Suffolk County district attorney, said Chang had lied on the stand. The Confession: He Said What They Wanted to Hear Arcadia, Fla., is so small that when police officers were looking for the killer of a local shop owner, a woman suggested they question that stranger riding a bicycle around town. And because the officers mistakenly assumed he was the same fellow she said she had seen outside the shop right after the murder, they swooped down on Jerry Lee Louis. It was about 4:30 on a July afternoon in 1992 when the police told Louis that witnesses had identified him. How could that be, he asked. Louis told the police he had been at his girlfriend's house, fixing his bicycle. Louis's girlfriend confirmed his story, but the skeptical sergeant did not tell interrogators, who assumed his alibi was false. Through the night, seven officers handled the questioning, according to interviews with lawyers in the case and a judge's written decision. Louis kept protesting his innocence. No way, they told him: They had also found his fingerprints and hair at the scene. They were lying, a common -- and legal -- tactic. Thousands of accurate confessions have been produced under such circumstances. But these same elements -- a high-profile crime, the absence of hard evidence, a long session of psychologically forceful questioning -- can also lead to a different outcome. Louis agreed to a polygraph test. The results were inconclusive, but the officers told him he had failed. Help us out, they said: Can you explain all this evidence? Using what training manuals refer to as "minimization strategy," they said the victim had died of a heart attack. You probably meant only to rob him, and not kill him, right? Louis had a criminal record, had served time in a juvenile prison, and now exhausted and frightened. What if he had gone to the store, he offered, according to court testimony, and found the owner tied up? OK, an officer would counter, then why were your fingerprints on the body? By 1:15 in the morning, after insisting on his innocence for nearly nine hours, Louis sat down for an audiotaped confession. As he would later tell his lawyer, Tobey Hockett, Louis had given up hope that telling the truth would earn him back his freedom. Broken in spirit, he thought that if he just told them what they wanted to hear, he could go home. He made two confessions, both wildly at odds with the crime scene and witness reports. That was not for lack of trying by the officers. Officer: "OK, think of him laying there on the floor. What -- what is underneath him? Is there tile, carpet or something else? Think about it. Close your eyes. I've got mine closed. There was something under him. I remember it." Louis: "Wasn't paying attention. I was scared." Officer: "Was it like a blanket underneath that you remember or a ... a tarpaulin or something like that?" Last March, after Louis had spent four and a half years in the DeSoto County Jail waiting trial on murder charges, a judge, ruling that the police might well have suggested details to Louis, threw out the state's only evidence -- the confession. Louis was conditionally released. "Suppressing a confession based on perceived procedural violations by law enforcement is outrageous," said the prosecutor, John Collins Jr., who maintains that Louis knew details only the killer could have known. But last month, an appellate court agreed that the confession had to be suppressed. The Psychology : Some Are Prone to Confess Falsely Psychologists have found that a few personality types are more likely to make false confessions. Some unstable people are drawn to the lurid glamour of notorious cases: When Charles Lindbergh's son was kidnapped, at least 200 people claimed responsibility. The police speculate that Glenville Smith, a Queens, N.Y. man who confessed to the rape and murder of his landlady's missing daughter in January, was fascinated by law enforcement. He claimed he was a security guard, and led New York officers to 13 locations where the body might be buried. Then the teen-ager showed up, very much alive. "The detectives were very anxious to find the body," said Gregory Lasak, the executive assistant to the Queens district attorney. "They had questions about his credibility, but he also had the opportunity and he was confessing, and it would have been foolhardy to let him go." On rare occasions, a suspect may incriminate himself to protect the real offender. Other suspects say they committed one crime, hoping to draw the investigators' attention away from another. In January, Manhattan prosecutors acknowledged that a four-year-old confession in a murder case was flawed. During questioning in 1993 for a Central Park robbery, Anthony Moore, a career criminal, wondered if he could avoid prison if he offered details about the recent shooting death of a retired police sergeant. He eventually incriminated himself and a second man. Moore was convicted of murder, and the man he named as the gunman was charged with murder. But last winter, prosecutors received an informant's letter saying that neither man was involved in the retired sergeant's death; the confession may have been false. They have dropped charges against the second man and have reopened Moore's case. Many suspects are mentally retarded, delusional or otherwise highly susceptible to suggestion. During an 8 1/2 hour interrogation in 1987, Robert Lee Miller Jr., a vagrant, told Oklahoma City detectives he had had a dream vision about the murders and rapes of two elderly women. His statement had 112 inconsistencies, his lawyers said; he had earlier told investigators that he was the Lone Ranger and an Indian warrior and that his family had visionary powers. Miller was convicted and sentenced to death. In 1995, DNA testing excluded him and identified a convicted rapist, who has been charged with the crimes. Miller was finally released in January. The case still rankles prosecutors. The DNA results "never changed our opinion; it just means he got away with it," insisted Ray Elliott, a senior Oklahoma City prosecutor, who believes that the men committed the crimes together. "But knowing and proving it are two different things." Even seemingly normal suspects are vulnerable. Welsh White, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, has written that an innocent suspect who believes that the police have incontrovertible evidence and that a confession will bring him lenience "could rationally conclude that confessing is in his best interest." The Tactics: Find a Weak Spot; Blame the Victim Many police departments use a manual called Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, which advises detectives to create an atmosphere in which the suspect will feel it is better to confess than to sustain the anxiety of lying. They learn a nine-step method to foster that anxiety. It offers tips, for example, on how to open questioning: "The interrogator, while still standing in front of the seated suspect and using the case folder as a prop, should state clearly and briefly something along the following lines: 'You're Joe Burns? I'm here to talk to you about the break-in at Jason's Jewelry Store last week.' As that comment is being made, the interrogator should finger through the case folder to create the impression that it contains material of an incriminating nature about the subject." The ability to read body language is critical. Marvin Miller, an Alexandria, Va., defense lawyer who studies interrogation techniques, says that detectives are sometimes taught to face a suspect with no furniture between them for a better view of tapping feet, to see whether a topic prompts a suspect's pupils to dilate abruptly, to distinguish between a suspect who gazes upward (remembering something) and one who looks away evasively. Richard Ofshe, a social psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley who is an authority on confessions, said that detectives seek the suspect's weak spot. In the case of Robert Moore, the man who confessed falsely to the murder of a Long Island cabdriver, the police not only brought in his cousin to induce him to confess, Moore later recounted in court papers, but a detective who had investigated the homicide of Moore's mother, years earlier. Another tactic singled out by Ofshe: blame the victim. A Pasco County, Fla., interrogator told a suspect: "I think you killed your wife. I think you got into an argument, I think she hit you. She's got a temper." Other examples reveal the detectives' creative flair. Recently, a former New York City sex crimes detective, who spoke on condition of anonymity, recalled: "We had a small fax machine and the suspect was told it was a new kind of lie detector that didn't have to be hooked up. And that whenever he told a lie it would beep. "So he would make a statement like, 'I was with my girlfriend,' and we would make the thing beep without him seeing. We got a pretty good admission from him." Detectives, writes Ofshe, have warned a gullible suspect that they use "laser technology," just like in "Star Wars" -- did you know it can lift fingerprints off corpses? And detectives in Richmond, Calif., told a suspect he had been identified by the department's very own Neutron Proton Negligence Intelligence Test. One trick finally spurred a court to suppress a confession. Florida police not only told a suspect that DNA had tied him to the crime, but they also showed him a fake test result on official-looking stationery. An appellate court said that lying was acceptable, but that the police could not create false documents that would taint legal proceedings. These tactics and others have produced thousands of confessions that proved accurate, but also those that turn out to be false. Joseph Buckley, a Chicago-based interrogation consultant and an author of the popular manual, stands by the nine-step method. "We have developed a procedure that is very effective at getting a guilty person to tell the truth," he said. "The courts have said it is fine. But if it's abused, it's like anything else -- it can lead to problems." The Videotapes: A Safeguard and a Backstop The number of false confessions is perpetually in contention, with prosecutors saying that many defendants recant confessions by claiming that the police had coerced them, and defense lawyers saying that false confessions happen more frequently than prosecutors acknowledge. But the confessions that do prove false usually occur in highly publicized, violent cases in which the police have few leads and are under pressure to make an arrest. To bolster the integrity of interrogations, legal scholars and even some prosecutors have urged that they be recorded. "Not just the confession," said Kevin Doyle, chief of New York State's Capital Defender Office, "because that's the opening night performance. You want to see those rehearsals." In New Mexico, for example, officers often carry tape recorders on the hip. Interrogation recording is the law in Alaska and Minnesota, and has been proposed for two years in Connecticut, at the urging of supporters of Richard Lapointe, whom they believe falsely confessed to murdering his wife's grandmother. In 1994, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered the police to record custodial interrogations whenever feasible. The penalty for failing to do so, the court said, could be the suppression of the suspect's statements at trial. The court was inspired by a murder case in which a suspect said officers read Miranda warnings late in the interrogation, did not ask whether he understood his rights and fabricated statements. The decision has had a powerful impact on law enforcement, said Mike Freeman, the county attorney in Minneapolis. Officers keep tape recorders in squad cars and most interrogation rooms have one-way mirrors and video recorders. Every month, prosecutors study 300 to 400 tapes. As a result, fewer defendants claim confessions were coerced, he said. "But it can be tougher on cops when they're convinced a suspect did it," Freeman said. "If they could do some special coercion he'd sing, but they can't because the tape is on." The rule has also produced some intriguing legal challenges. "It's not feasible for an officer to be holding a gun in one hand and a tape recorder in the other," Freeman said drily. In Tulsa, Okla., law enforcement officials decided almost 15 years ago to videotape interrogations so that juries could study suspects' reactions to a barrage of questions and see them dressed very differently from their cleaned-up court attire. Sgt. Mike Huff, a detective supervisor for the homicide squad, said that in a murder case that ended with a death penalty conviction in December, the suspect walked into the interrogation room, unaware the video camera was rolling, and made some incriminating statements. When he was given Miranda warnings, he stopped talking. But because the earlier statements had been made spontaneously, outside of interrogation, and were recorded electronically, they became potent evidence at trial. "So we're going to worry about spending $5 on tape for a major crime investigation?" Huff asked. Geller, who studied interrogation videotaping for the Department of Justice, found that although the police and prosecutors initially resisted the practice, their attitudes changed markedly. That is because recording led to a wealth of positive effects: Defense lawyers folded their cards more quickly and jurors' doubts about police testimony were dispelled. This is significant because jurors have become less accepting of cases built exclusively on confessions, said Fred Klein, a senior Nassau County prosecutor. "Jurors are watching a lot of Court TV and they're getting used to thinking that if you charge someone with a crime, you have to have six different ways to prove it." Videotaping is what probably saved Richard Bingham of Sitka, Alaska, from a first-degree murder conviction. Last summer, he went on trial, charged with raping and murdering a 17-year-old. No forensic evidence tied him to the crime. But prosecutors had Bingham's confession. Because of Alaska law, his interrogation had been recorded. Jurors could see how Bingham, who suffered from alcoholic blackouts and had no memory of the crime that interrogators said he had committed, kept missing all the cues being fed him. They acquitted him. In cases like Bingham's and Louis', the defendant became a victim who suffered from the rush to judgment. But crime victims and the victims' survivors, to say nothing of the public, also suffer from the false confession. "Even after an acquittal, the police usually refuse to reopen the investigation," said Ofshe, "because they refuse to admit they made a mistake."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tijuana Band Has Fans Hooked On Drug-War Ballads ('San Diego Union Tribune' Says Los Tucanes De Tijuana, Who Have Sold More Than Two Million CDs In The United States And Mexico, Join A Growing Number Of Norteqo Groups Using Traditional Mexican Ballads, Or Corridos, To Tell The Stories Of Mexico's Illegal Drug Industry In Songs Known As Narcocorridos) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 23:34:55 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico: Tijuana Band Has Fans Hooked On Drug-War Ballads Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 Author: Sandra Dibble - Staff Writer TIJUANA BAND HAS FANS HOOKED ON DRUG-WAR BALLADS TIJUANA -- Before roughly 35,000 fans, Los Tucanes de Tijuana stood shimmering in silver-spangled suits and black hats on a recent Saturday night, belting out one of their best-known numbers. It told of a piqata for adults, filled not with candy, but little bags of "something more expensive": in other words, drugs. As drug smuggling proliferates on the U.S.-Mexico border, Los Tucanes de Tijuana join a growing number of norteqo groups using the traditional Mexican ballads, or corridos, to tell the stories of today's drug traffickers. Bungled police raids on suspected safehouses, a drug-laden airplane buried in Baja California Sur, corrupt U.S. and Mexican anti-drug agents, a farmer who gets away with growing an illegal crop -- all are topics of recent songs, known as narcocorridos, by the Tijuana-based group. "We have an abundance of material," says Mario Quintero, the four-member group's 27-year-old songwriter and lead singer. "All you have to do is watch the news or buy a newspaper." Los Tucanes are certainly not the first to sing about drug smuggling. Los Tigres del Norte and other bands playing northern Mexican music have been incorporating the theme into their repertoire for decades. But the brash lyrics of Los Tucanes songs have taken the genre a step further, say critics worried about the effect on young audiences who flock to their concerts. The group hit the headlines last year when a suspect described by law enforcement authorities as a member of the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix drug cartel said that his bosses had subsidized Los Tucanes and other norteqo groups. Los Tucanes shrug off such accusations, conceding they might have unknowingly performed for members of the Arellano Felix cartel at a private party, but haven't met them personally. "We haven't had the pleasure," Quintero says. "Everybody criticizes them, but they don't take into account their generosity, their philanthropy," Quintero says of the powerful drug cartels, said to have built roads and schools in rural communities and known to have contributed sums to the Catholic Church. "We respect these people; we admire them." Simply attributing Los Tucanes' popularity to their narcocorridos would be missing the mark. The group's four latest compact discs have sold more than 2 million copies in the United States and Mexico, and many of their most-popular songs are not about drugs, but love and relations between the sexes. Their current song, number 20 on Billboard's list of Latin songs, is called "Hacemos Bonita Pareja," "We Make a Cute Couple." Still, the surging popularity of drug themes popularized by groups such as Los Tucanes speaks to their growing pervasiveness in Mexican culture, says Manuel Valenzuela, a researcher at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte outside Tijuana. "Clearly, the codes of narcoculture are becoming incorporated into everyday life." Success story In some ways, Los Tucanes tell a Tijuana success story. They are from the town of Guamuchil in the Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa, in an agricultural valley adjacent to a major marijuana and poppy-growing region. Band members are cousins who came to Tijuana like so many others do -in search of greater opportunity. Quintero, a junior high school graduate, worked for a while in a maquiladora. Sons and grandsons of musicians, Los Tucanes began playing together 11 years ago, performing at bars, weddings, baptisms, 15th birthday parties, or quinceaqeras. Back at the beginning, longtime associates say, the group dreamed of one day warming the crowds for better-known norteqo groups such as Banda El Recodo or Los Temerarios or Los Huracanes del Norte. Now they're packing their own crowds. Voices of concern Despite their growing renown, not everyone is applauding. Across from Texas, in Ciudad Juarez, the state government's human rights representative, Eustasio Gutiirrez Corona, two months ago called on authorities to ban narcocorridos by Los Tucanes and other groups from the airwaves, saying they encourage crime. But nobody listened, he concedes. "They're still playing them." Here on the Tijuana-San Diego border, two popular Spanish-language music stations under the same ownership, Radio Latina and X-99, refuse to play narcocorridos. "Just ask the children who listen to narcocorridos, just ask them what they want to be when they grow up," says Lorena Salas, programming director at X-99. Narcocorridos "represent a reaction against the norms and laws of society," says Monsignor Salvador Cisneros, who heads a Catholic parish in Playas de Tijuana. "There is a segment that looks with curiosity and admiration upon these men who have evaded justice." Laced with irony and doubles-entendres, the lyrics played by Los Tucanes are among the most brazen of the current waves of corridos. "They represent something that is culturally legitimate, although it's very frightening," says James Nicolopulos, a University of Texas professor who has studied the corrido. "They're expressing the viewpoint of a marginalized section of society on both sides of the border, the people who are going to see drug traffickers as heroes, figures who have escaped a system designed to keep them down," Nicolopulos says. A colorful history Corridos have been around since the 1800s, and outlaws have been a popular subject from the beginning: 19th-century textile smugglers, liquor smugglers of the 1920s, immigrant smugglers in the ensuing decades. Though earliest narcocorridos can be traced back to the 1940s, the current wave dates back to the 1970s, pioneered by Los Tigres del Norte, a norteqo group whose music continues to command a wide following on both sides of the border. But in the earlier songs, Nicolopulos says, "the trafficker was beating the system, getting out of poverty. The element that was celebrated was not drugs, but the dangerous situation in which these people found themselves." With Los Tucanes, "there seems to be much more focus on selling and using the drugs. There's more braggadocio, about 'See, I am getting away with it.' There's a whole throwing down the gauntlet at the ideology of the drug war." The band members shrink from such analysis, and insist they're just playing songs about what they see around them. "We're surrounded by narcoculture," says Quintero. "Our public wants to play narcocorridos, and we can't strip them of that pleasure, because we depend on them." Back in Tijuana this month, Los Tucanes drew a record crowd to the Terrenazo Caliente for an outdoor performance that lasted well over two hours. Against a lavish backdrop that included fake palm trees and a mechanical waterfall, Los Tucanes pounded out song after song, Quintero taking center stage with his plaintive twang and 12-string guitar, or bajo sexto, as Joel Higuera, the accordionist and second voice, acted the clown as he hopped to and fro. "Mario, Mario, Maaaaario," young girls from both sides of the border shouted, pushing against the barricades, pleading for a moment of the singer's attention. Farther back, clusters of youths strutted in elaborate silk shirts, snakeskin boots and ten-gallon hats. "Their songs make your blood rise," said Enrique Dmaz, a 21-year-old maquiladora worker, reciting the lyrics of his favorite Tucanes song, "Manos Verdes": "Me Dedico al Negocio Prohibido -- I engage in forbidden trade." Rosemary Quiroz, 16, listened with a cluster of her girlfriends from Castle Park High School in Chula Vista. "You get into the music, the beat makes you dance," she says, then adds: "What people really think about drugs, they say it in their songs." Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Ring Took Over US-Built Airstrip, Honduras Officials Say ('Reuters' Says Honduras' Chief Anti-Drug Agent, Fidel Borjas, Claims People In The Illegal Drug Industry Have 'Taken Over' An Airstrip Built By The United States In The 1980s To Support Nicaraguan Contra Rebels) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:16:07 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: WIRE: Drug Ring Took Over US-Built Airstrip, Honduras Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Source: Reuters Pubdate: 30 Mar 1998 DRUG RING TOOK OVER U.S.-BUILT AIRSTRIP, HONDURAS OFFICIALS SAY TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Honduran officials said Monday drug traffickers had taken over an airstrip built by the United States in the 1980s to support Nicaraguan Contra rebels. The disclosure came as police said a senior anti-drug official had escaped an assassination attempt. The target had handed a list of suspected traffickers and accomplices to the government just days before. "We had information that the El Aguacate airstrip was being used, we sent personnel to the zone (and) took soil samples, and we found cocaine residue," Honduras' chief anti-drug official, Fidel Borjas, told reporters. "This confirms to us that it is being used or was being used as a transit point for drugs," Borjas said. In the 1980s the United States trained and armed the Contra rebel army to fight the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, which was backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba. The Contras enjoyed a safe haven in Honduras, just across the border from Nicaragua. El Aguacate, about 80 miles east of Tegucigalpa, today belongs to the Honduran army, which pledged to investigate earlier reports of drug trafficking at the base but has yet to publish a report. A U.S. Embassy spokesman declined to comment. In another development, unidentified men in a car shot up the front of the house of Carlos Sosa, president of the Central American Commission in the Fight Against Drug Trafficking, early Sunday, police spokeswoman Liliana Santos said Monday. "Neither he nor anyone in his family was hurt," Santos said. Sosa said Thursday he had drawn up a list of people in Honduras connected with narcotics and money-laundering and had handed it to the Attorney-General's Office. In a radio interview, an unfazed Sosa said the assailants' gunfire destroyed a car parked in front of his house in the affluent district of La Florencia. "I don't know if this was so much an attack against me because in a way it seems more of an attack against my property," he said. "That's why I don't want to give it too much importance and have not reported it to the authorities." Honduras, like other Central American countries, is a key transit point for cocaine being taken from Colombia to the United States. Honduras has seized 3,771 pounds of cocaine so far this year. Asked if he thought the attack was related to his work against the drug trade or the list he prepared for prosecutors, Sosa said he preferred not to comment. "I consider this a professional hazard," he said. "Like working with dogs -- vets can be bitten. Equally, if you work in this field, you're never short of enemies."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Helicopters For Colombia Urged ('Associated Press' Article In 'Minneapolis Star-Tribune' Says The US House Of Representatives, Noting That Four American Military Advisers Had Been Captured In Combat By Colombian Rebels Last Week And Were Being Held At Altitudes Higher Than Huey Helicopters Can Operate At, Voted Monday To Press The Clinton Administration To Provide Three Sophisticated Black Hawk Helicopters To The Colombian Police In The War Against Some Drugs) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 21:30:19 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: Helicopters for Colombia Urged Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.startribune.com/ Pubdate: 30 Mar 1998 Author: Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer Helicopters for Colombia Urged WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House voted Monday to press the Clinton administration to provide three sophisticated Black Hawk helicopters to the Colombia police in the war against drugs. Sponsors of the resolution argued that Congress had voted last year to procure the three helicopters -- costing $36 million total -- for the Colombian National Police but that the administration has failed to do so. The advanced UH-60L helicopters would augment Colombia' s fleet of aging Vietnam-era Huey helicopters, which sponsors noted were being grounded in this country by the Army and National Guard. The measure passed by voice vote. Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y., chairman of the House International Relations Committee, told the House the Huey helicopters are no match for well-organized and well-armed Colombian drug traffickers, who operate in the Andes Mountains at altitudes up to 12, 000 feet. "We have to take this drug problem seriously," Gilman said, observing that 80 percent of the world' s supply of cocaine originates in Colombia. Congressional skeptics suggested the Hueys were adequate for the job - and that the Colombia National Police didn' t have the trained pilots to fly the newer helicopters. "This will be taking funds away from Peru and Bolivia," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii. But Gilman said that Colombia did have trained pilots able to fly the Black Hawks. He noted that four Americans had been kidnapped in Colombia by rebels just last week -- and were being held at altitudes at which the Huey helicopters cannot operate. He also noted reports that The U.S. Army and National Guard are grounding their fleets of more than 900 UH-1 Huey helicopters until mechanics find the cause of a common gearbox failure. The Army had already placed wide restrictions on the Vietnam-era helicopters -- including barring flights in clouds and over water -- but officials insisted until recently that the Hueys were safe to fly. Copyright 1998 Associated Press.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Politics In Colombia A Trap For US ('Toronto Star' Says The United States Is Risking Another Vietnam By Labelling Columbia Rebels As Narco-Guerillas) * By labelling rebels narco-guerrillas, America risks another Vietnam Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 11:19:46 -0500 From: Carey Ker
Subject: Canada: Drug politics in Colombia a trap for U.S. To: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Toronto Star Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Pubdate: March 30, 1998 Author: Linda Diebel Drug politics in Colombia a trap for U.S. * By labelling rebels narco-guerrillas, America risks another Vietnam By Linda Diebel Toronto Star Latin American Bureau MEXICO CITY - A chill warning came out of the Amazon jungles of southern Colombia: American soldiers are going to die. The threat came from rebel Comandante Fabien Ramirez this month after his Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) unit attacked one of the Colombian army's crack battalions. Eighty-three soldiers were killed, 43 more were captured and scores were left wounded and unable to be moved to safety for a week. Ramirez said U.S. military advisers (usually Special Forces soldiers) are heading covert counter-insurgency operations against the rebels, rather than fighting drugs as the United States is supposed to be doing. The guerrilla chief spoke to Reuters journalist Karl Penhaul in an extraordinary interview in a jungle hideout in Caqueta province. Colombian Air Force bombs pounded the surrounding hills the whole time. ``The claim that the United States is combatting drugs in Colombia is a sophism,'' Ramirez said. ``All the military and economic aid it is giving to the army is to fight the guerrillas. ``Most (Colombian) battalions have U.S. advisers, so it is clear that Colombian rage will explode at any moment - and the objective will be to defeat the Americans.'' The U.S. takes Ramirez seriously. He handed the Colombian army its worst defeat in 30 years of fighting. Two weeks ago, a top U.S. general rushed to Bogota for talks and, in a more and more belligerent mood on Capitol Hill, Congress is increasing spending to boost Colombia's armed forces. Colombia is torn apart by, essentially, a civil war between government troops and guerrilla groups, among them the powerful FARC. Right-wing death squads, shown to be allied to the Colombian army, have turned the country into a vast killing field in which hundreds of thousands - mostly innocent civilians - have perished over the last decade. The U.S. role in Colombia has been changing rapidly over the past year. Already, military aid has risen to an estimated $195 million annually. And in recent weeks the number of military advisers - from Green Berets to Navy Seals - has doubled to about 225, according to reports. (That's only what has been made public, mostly by human rights groups.) Analysts now warn of the ``Vietnamization'' of U.S. policy in Colombia. They see the same slow escalation - a bit more money, a few more advisers and trainers, maybe some regular troops - that led to the U.S. entanglement in Vietnam almost 40 years ago. ``What happens when American boys start coming home in body bags?'' asked Eduardo Gamarra, of Florida International University, in a telephone interview. ``The guerrillas are already saying the American military adviser is a legitimate target of war. What do you think the U.S. reaction will be when they start dying?'' Gamarra and others argue that Washington's involvement in Colombia no longer focuses on the highly touted war on drugs throughout the hemisphere. U.S. military aid in Colombia can be spent against rebels only if they are shown to be narco-traffickers. But that line has been blurred by a campaign to paint all rebels as narcos. ``In my view, there is already a (U.S.) covert war in Colombia,'' said Gamarra, ``and that's a very dangerous proposition.'' Lt.-Col. Byron Conover, from the U.S. Southern Command, shrugs off the Vietnam comparison. ``We haven't got that many folks down there,'' he told reporters recently. ``I don't consider it a Vietnam type of thing.'' At the Washington Office on Latin America, a non-governmental human rights watchdog, Coletta Youngers warns that the push to increase the U.S. role in Colombia is dangerous, for Colombians and Americans. ``By going into Colombia we're exacerbating political violence,'' she told The Star from Washington. ``We run the risk of being enmeshed in another civil war with no end in sight. . . . ``It's jungle warfare and you can look at case after case when the U.S. slides down this same slippery slope, from Vietnam to El Salvador.'' Youngers is especially concerned about the U.S. aiding a military linked to death squads. In its report, Colombia's Killer Networks, the group Human Rights Watch/Americas last year documented how the U.S. defence department and the CIA oversaw a revamping of military intelligence that created death squads throughout the country. The squads carry names like ``the Headcutters.'' In another report, Amnesty International showed that the United States provided weapons to 13 of 14 Colombian army units cited for human rights abuses, including the massacre of civilians. The Toronto-based InterChurch Committee on Human Rights in Latin America has criticized the Liberal government for selling Canadian helicopters to Colombia.
And, after an investigation into ``Colombia's Gringo Invasion,'' the U.S. magazine Covert Action Quarterly recently printed top-secret military documents in which U.S. army lawyers assessed the extent of any public relations damage over human rights abuses by the Colombian military. ``The U.S. army was more concerned with covering its brass than stopping abuses,'' concluded the report. The Colombian military, backed by allies in Congress, has succeeded in selling the perception that all Colombian guerrillas are narco-guerrillas. Any war on guerrillas, therefore, is a war on drugs, which merits the use of U.S. money and resources. A case in point: The U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey, a retired general, says there are 15,000 narco-guerrillas in Colombia. That happens to match estimates of the total number of rebels. ``That everybody-is-a-narco strategy is just wrong,'' said Gamarra, adding he's well aware that ``some rebels are narcos, just as some soldiers are narcos. ``But, to go in there with the wrong intelligence - a complete misreading of the real conditions in the country - can be pretty ridiculous and very dangerous.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Campaign 'Is A Red Herring' (Britain's 'Independent' Says Drug Tsar Keith Hellawell Was Not Impressed By Yesterday's March In London Supporting Decriminalisation, Claiming The Health And Social Effects Of Cannabis Consumption Rule Out Liberalisation) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (CLCIA) Subject: PUB: Cannabis campaign 'is a red herring' Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 14:17:04 +0100 Source : INDEPENDENT Pub Date: 30th March 1998 Contact: email@example.com Cannabis campaign 'is a red herring' Author: Clare Garner The Government's "drug tsar" Keith Hellawell yesterday insisted that cannabis should remain illegal and branded campaigns for its legalisation "a red herring." Speaking after 11,000 people marched through London for the Independent on Sunday's campaign to decriminalise cannabis, Mr Hellawell said the health and social effects of cannabis consumption ruled out liberalisation of Britain's drug laws. "Many people who are against it [cannabis law] sometimes feel, well, because there seems to be this weight of argument, or weight of numbers as I would put it, it must be all right - and of course it is not all right and it doesn't help," he said Mr Hellawell dismissed the Independent on Sunday's campaign as "a hindrance." "Campaigns tend to give one side of the story and of course they appear often to have weight of numbers because it is only people who are interested in doing what the campaign is pushing that respond to it. But what we get on the ground from workers, from addicts and from parents and lots of people who are saying 'we don't want it legalised,' - so I think it (the campaign) is less than helpful frankly." He said smoking cannabis had harmful side-effects. "We do not yet know how many people have driving abilities affected, what examination results are affected, how industry is affected by cannabis, therefore from my own point of view there is a risk factor which is as yet to be quantified." *** CANNABIS QUIZ - WIN A TRIP TO AMSTERDAM SEE : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/canquiz.html *** CLCIA On-Line Bookshop : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/webhome.html = safe and secure purchase through Amazon.com *** Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA) Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia/clcia.html e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780 "The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law." *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legalise Dope, Report Urges ('Evening Post' In Wellington, New Zealand, Notes The New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust Released A Report Today Which Recommends The Government Regulate And Tax Cannabis To Save Up To $50 Million A Year - URL With Text Of Report Included) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 15:04:49 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: New Zealand: Legalise Dope, Report Urges Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand) Author: Claire Guyan Page: 1, Front Page Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.evpost.co.nz/ Pubdate: Monday, 30 March 1998 Note: The report is online at: http://www.nzdf.org.nz LEGALISE DOPE, REPORT URGES Cannabis should be legalised and the Government should take control of its market to protect public health, a high-powered group of doctors and professionals says. The Drug Policy Forum Trust today released a report which recommends the Government regulate and tax cannabis. It says this would earn the country up to $50 million a year in taxes. The independent group says the health effects of cannabis are no worse than alcohol or cigarettes and wants them treated equally - with similar age restrictions and legal penalties. It says this would protect public health, allow for cannabis education and treatment programmes, minimise cannabis abuse and eliminate the black market. The trust, headed by health researcher and policy analyst David Hadorn, says it is dedicated to ensuring the drug policy debate is based on evidence and logic, not emotion and politics. It issued a discussion paper in July and invited public comments. Today's report is its final recommendation. Dr Hadorn said New Zealand was one of the only countries not to have reviewed its drug laws in recent years. The Government has not yet debated the issue. Dr Hadorn said that attitudes toward cannabis were shifting worldwide. In Australia, police had conceded laws were not working and the British House of Lords was launching an inquiry into the case for decriminalising cannabis. "These events, combined with further international moves to modernise cannabis policy . . . should encourage the New Zealand public and its politicians to accept that the time is right to revise our cannabis laws," the report says. The trust wants a Tobacco, Alcohol and Cannabis Authority set up to regulate the three substances. It would issue licenses for production and cultivation and would oversee packaging, distribution and quality control. It would also set age and point-of-sale restrictions. Home production of all three substances should be allowed for adult personal use. The report says the use of cannabis by adults in New Zealand is ingrained, with an estimated half of all people aged 15-50 having tried it. "Nothing short of scorched-earth defoliation will ever rid New Zealand of cannabis". The report says current laws have not reduced harmful drug use, whereas experience with tobacco use and drunk-driving rates show social sanctions can work. Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry was not available for comment today. The report is available on the internet: www.nzdf.org.nz or by sending a self-addressed A4 envelope to the trust at PO Box 12199, Wellington. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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