Portland NORML News - Tuesday, March 31, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Oregon Ballot Initiative Would Amend Constitution To Guarantee
Medical Practitioners' Right To Prescribe Medicinal Plants
(Ballot Title, Summary, And Text Filed In Salem By Oregonians
For Personal Privacy)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 23:44:29 -0800 From: opp Organization: Oregonians for Personal Privacy To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com Subject: Re: CanPat - AMR medical in OR BALLOT TITLE AMENDS CONSTITUTION: CREATES RIGHT TO PRESCRIBE HERBS, PLANTS; BARS RESTRICTIONS ON COMMERCE RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote creates right to prescribe herbs and plants, including marijuana; bars restrictions on commerce. RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote rejects proposal: creating right to prescribe herbs, plants, including marijuana; banning commercial restrictions. SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Provides that it shall be legal for any medical practitioner to prescribe or provide any herb or seed bearing plant, including any of its elutants. Would allow medical practitioner, under state law, to prescribe or provide plants and herbs that now are illegal, including marijuana. Would not affect federal restrictions, regulations. Measure states that commerce in plants, herbs, and their elutants may not be hindered or restricted by any legislation, regulation, or licensing authority rule. Commerce can be prohibited only by constitutional amendment. Certified by Attorney General on March 18, 1998. s/s Janet A. Metcalf AMENDMENT "IT SHALL BE LEGAL FOR ANY MEDICAL PRACTITIONER TO PRESCRIBE OR PROVIDE ANY HERB OR SEED BEARING PLANT, INCLUDING ALL OF ITS ELUTANTS; COMMERCE IN SAID PRODUCTS SHALL NOT BE HINDERED NOR RESTRICTED BY ANY LEGISLATION, REGULATION, OR LICENSING AUTHORITY RULE; AND CAN ONLY BE PROHIBITED BY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT." OREGONIANS for PERSONAL PRIVACY MEDICAL HEALTH RIGHTS POST OFFICE BOX 24715 EUGENE, OREGON 97402 (541) 485-4526 oppmhr@efn.org
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Oregon Ballot Initiative Would Amend Constitution To Guarantee
Right Of All Adults To Possess, Consume, Manufacture Marijuana Privately
(Ballot Title, Summary, And Text Filed In Salem By Oregonians
For Personal Privacy)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 23:54:14 -0800
From: opp (opp@efn.org)
Organization: Oregonians for Personal Privacy
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: Re: CanPat - AMR medical in OR

BALLOT TITLE

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: PERMITS ADULTS TO MANUFACTURE,
POSSESS, CONSUME CANNABIS (MARIJUANA) IN PRIVATE

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote permits citizens 21 or older to
manufacture, possess, consume cannabis (marijuana) in private.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains existing statutory
prohibitions against manufacture, possession of certain types of
cannabis (marijuana).

SUMMARY: Amends constitution. Oregon state laws currently
prohibit the possession, manufacture, and delivery of certain types of
cannabis that are commonly known as marijuana. Measure would amend
Oregon Constitution to permit citizen 21 years old or older to possess,
manufacture, and consume, in private, all types of cannabis and its
byproducts, including marijuana. Measure would not affect current
Oregon statutes that prohibit the delivery of marijuana.	

[TEXT]

"THE MANUFACTURE, POSSESSION, AND
CONSUMPTION, IN PRIVATE, OF THE PLANT
CANNABIS AND ALL OF ITS FAMILIES AND BYPRODUCTS
SHALL BE LEGAL FOR ALL CITIZENS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER."

OREGONIANS for PERSONAL PRIVACY 420
POST OFFICE BOX 24715
EUGENE, OREGON 97402
(541) 485-4526
opp@efn.org

THE ONLY WAY TO AMNESTY
IS
THROUGH LEGALIZATION
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Man Shoots Self After Call To Police (Salem, Oregon, 'Statesman Journal'
Says The Bend, Oregon, Man Died A Short Time
After Deschutes County Deputies Arrived,
Leaving Behind 52 Marijuana Plants Worth $100,000)

Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 01:26:33 -0800
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
To: Cannabis Patriots (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Bizarre Pot Story!

MAN SHOOTS SELF AFTER CALL TO POLICE

Statesman Journal
Salem, Oregon
3-31-98

BEND - A man apparently shot himself minutes after
calling 911 to ask police to come retrieve his body at
his house east of Bend.

Kevin Wayne Gianino, 25, called Deschutes County's
911 dispatch center shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday.

When they got to the scene, sheriff's deputies found
the man barely alive. They also uncovered a large marijuana
growing operation. Gianino died a short time later.

There were 52 marijuana plants and growing equipment.

The potential harvest had an estimated street value of
$100,000, said sheriff's Capt. Pete Wanless.

***

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO CANNABIS PATRIOTS
Send e-mail to majordomo@teleport.com
with subscribe cannabis-patriots-l
in the body of the message.
Or e-mail me if you have trouble or
someone you want me to subscribe!
Paul "Freedom" Stone
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police Raid San Jose Pot Center, Files Seized ('Spartan Daily,'
The San Jose State University Newspaper, Quotes Peter Baez's Attorney,
BJ Fadem, Saying Baez Is Innocent And There Is A Clear Verification
From The Doctor In The Client's File - And That All 270
Of The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center's Clients
Are Going To Seek The ACLU's Help In Filing A Civil Action
Against The San Jose Police Department For Violating Patients' Right
To Confidentiality)

Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 17:11:45 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Police Raid SJ Pot Center, Files Seized
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (jwjohnson@netmagic.net)
Source: Spartan Daily (San Jose State University Newspaper - CA)
Contact: SDAILY@jmc.sjsu.edu
Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998
Author: Ed Oberweiser

POLICE RAID SJ POT CENTER, FILES SEIZED

The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center is under investigation after
a March 23 raid by the San Jose Police Department.

The police arrested Peter Baez, the center's co-founder and executive
director, for one count of illegal sales of marijuana during the raid,
according to Sgt. Chris Moore, San Jose Police spokesman.

During the raid, the police seized all the center's client files and made
copies, but returned them to the center so it could continue to operate,
Moore said.

Baez's attorney, BJ Fadem, a 1980 San Jose State University graduate, said
Baez is innocent and there is a clear verification from the doctor in the
client's file.

Fadem said the police confiscated every single one of the center's client
files with confidential medical information, but have not returned all the
records to the center.

Moore said a person who had no recommendations from any doctor for
medicinal marijuana use was sold marijuana by the center.

"We're really disappointed that this happened because the city has worked
very hard along with the police department and the DA's office to make this
happen (the medical cannabis center)," Moore said.

A set of regulations governing the dispensing of medical marijuana was
adopted by former San Jose Chief of Police Louis Cobarruviaz on May 14,
1997.

Under the regulations, the center must keep the records of each client's
illness, address, phone number and a dated record of a physician's
recommendation for the medical use of marijuana.

The doctor's recommendation for medicinal marijuana use must be renewed
every six months.

Moore said the raid was conducted after the investigation of a separate
municipal court marijuana possession case. In that case, the defendant
said in his defense that he had a doctor's recommendation for medical
marijuana use.

The defendant was a client of the county's medical cannabis center.

The district attorney's office referred the case back to the police to
investigate, according to Moore.

During the investigation, the doctor's referred to by the defendant said
they had never recommended marijuana use, Moore said.

All 270 of the center's clients are going to ask the help of the American
Civil Liberties Union in filing a civil action suit against the San Jose
Police Department for violation of patient confidentiality, according to
Fadem.

Baez said in a March 27 press release that State Sen. John Vasconcellos
called Mayor Susan Hammer, the San Jose Police Department and the District
Attorney's office to protest Baez's arrest.

"Our calls to each of those three entities were to gather information about
what happened to help us formulate a response," said Vasconcellos' chief of
staff, Rand Martin.

Baez said he was concerned that documents supporting his innocence against
the current charges and possible other charges the SJPD might bring against
him won't be available for his defense.

"The main thing here is the fact that they're claiming one thing and we
believe the evidence is going to show completely the opposite," Fadem said.
"They're not saying the center isn't in compliance with 215, they're just
saying in this one particular incident they deviated."

Proposition 215 is the initiative passed by California voters in November
1996 legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

San Jose Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe said there are no plans yet
to close the center. She said they are only prosecuting the one charge
against Baez.

"If they comply with the law of Prop. 215 and the ordinances that have been
enacted by the city of San Jose, then they are a lawful business and
there's no problem with them remaining in business," Raabe said.

On Feb. 27, California Attorney General Daniel Lungren's office issued a
press release saying none of the existing California cannabis clubs were
authorized to sell or distribute marijuana.

"We've alerted all the DA's offices that cannabis clubs are illegal," said
Matt Ross, a spokesman for Lungren's office. "We assume they will take the
proper action against them."

Ross refused to speculate what Lungren's office would do if the DA's don't
prosecute the cannabis clubs.

Raabe said there has been no contact from Lungren's office since the raid.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Juvenile Informants (Staff Editorial In 'Orange County Register'
About The Death Of A 17-Year-Old Boy Coerced
Into Being An Illegal Drug Informant By Police In Brea, California,
Says Assemblyman Scott Baugh Is Working On A Bill
To Outlaw Use Of Juvenile Informants)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 16:53:47 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Juvenile Informants
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998

JUVENILE INFORMANTS

Assemblyman Scott Baugh says he is "not interested in a draconian approach"
to the issue of using young people as informants in drug cases. "But I do
want to stop the use of juvenile informants in situations where they can be
harmed or killed." That's why he is working on a bill to outlaw the
practice in California.

The legislative effort comes in the wake of the murder of 17-year-old Chad
Macdonald of Yorba Linda after a trip to an alleged drug house in Norwalk.
Although the Brea police (who provide police services or Yorba Linda) say
Mr. MacDonald wasn't working for them that day, they do acknowledge that he
did do some undercover buys after being caught in January with
methamphetamine.

Since announcing last week that he planned such a bill, Mr. Baugh's office
has heard from numerous law enforcement agencies and juvenile justice
experts, talked with Democratic state Sen. John Burton of San Francisco,
who had also planned such a bill, and worked to refine the idea.

The main complicating issue, they have discovered, is that police agencies
do use juveniles in "sting" operations to catch people who sell cigarettes
or alcohol to underage juveniles, and the agencies don't want to give up
that capacity. The arguments have some validity.

Cigarettes and alcohol are sold legally and openly to adults. Young people
who decide to become involved in tobacco and alcohol "sting" operations
usually volunteer rarely comes as a result of a legal problem, such as a
drug possession arrest, which the police might use as leverage with the
offender, asking for help on police business in exchange for a lighter
penalty.

And, there's hardly ever any danger in a young person going into a
convenience or liquor store, asking for something reserved for adults, and
seeing if the clerk "cards" them or not.

We have doubts about using kids for cigarettes and alcohol, but there's
little question that it's less inherently dangerous than asking them to
immerse themselves in the criminal subculture of the drug world.

When juveniles caught with drugs face charges that could lead to
incarceration, they face a form of coercion that could cloud the judgment
of many mature adults, let alone most teen-agers. Undercover work can lead
to adrenaline flows and seem almost glamorous. However "streetwise" they
might be, teen-agers could find themselves pulled into ever more dangerous
activities.

Assemblyman Baugh is not ready to urge a full-scale revision of the laws
against drugs, as some of us are, in part because the nature of the laws
requires police to stretch rules about searches of private places and rely
on informers But he does say that "we shouldn't be asking teen-agers to
compensate for our failure to prosecute the war on drugs successfully."
Whether that means setting the minimum age for undercover informants
(except in cigarette or alcohol "sting") at 18 or 21 is something he would
be willing to see worked out through legislative give-and-take. His main
concern is that law enforcement agencies and district attorney's offices in
California not be in the business of putting juveniles into potentially
dangerous undercover situations.

There are arguments on the other side - some say using juveniles is the
only way to check drug selling in or near schools - but they fade when
measured against that priority. Scott Baugh's bill should be ready for
hearings and the legislative process by the end of this week. We'll reserve
some judgment until we've seen the final product, but unless it has some
unexpected fatal flaw, it deserves support and swift enactment.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Election Chief Rules Petitions Come Up Short ('Associated Press'
Notes Maine's Secretary Of State, Dan Gwadosky,
Says Mainers For Medical Rights' Medical Marijuana Initiative
Lacks Enough Signatures For The November 1998 Ballot -
November 1999 Still A Possibility)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 22:32:24 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US ME: Wire: Election Chief Rules Petitions Come Up Short
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "W.H.E.N." 
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: 31 March 1998

ELECTION CHIEF RULES PETITIONS COME UP SHORT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A petition drive aimed at forcing a statewide vote to
allow medical use of marijuana has come up short of valid signatures, and
some of them appear to be forged, Maine's top election official said Tuesday.

Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky said the attorney general's office is
investigating the apparent violations, which also included some petitions
being circulated by non-residents and non-registered voters.

``When the residence is the Scottish Inn in Bangor, you begin to wonder''
whether the petition circulator is a Maine resident, Gwadosky said during a
news conference in his office.

Gwadosky said the group Mainers for Medical Rights was well-financed with
$125,000, most of it donated by a California-based group called Americans
for Medical Rights.

``Not a penny here that we can detect so far is from the state of Maine,''
said Gwadosky.

Gwadosky said he expects the group to appeal his decision to keep the
question off the 1998 ballot. However, the organization still has time to
collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the November 1999 ballot.

Medical Rights leader Stephanie Hart of Sidney said she had not fully
reviewed Gwadosky's report and had 10 days to do it.

``Over 68,000 Mainers signed our petition and they will get to vote on the
medical marijuana issue, if not in 1998, then in 1999,'' said Hart. ``We
are going to look at our options.''

At least 51,131 certified voters' signatures were needed to get the
question on the November ballot. Of the 68,330 signatures submitted, 16,842
were invalidated by municipal officials because they were duplicates or
were given by people not registered to vote.

State officials invalidated another 5,665 signatures because of questions
about circulators' residences and voting status, alterations to petitions,
duplication of some names and other irregularities.

Five people whose names appear on petitions have signed affidavits stating
they had not signed the documents, Gwadosky said.

With only 45,823 potentially valid signatures, the campaign fell 5,308
short of the minimum needed to force a vote this year. Had it met the
minimum, the Legislature would have taken up the question first and
approved it or sent it directly to voters.

The question proposed by Hart's group asks, ``Should it be legal in Maine
for a person to possess or grow marijuana for their own or another person's
medical use?''

Supporters have until Jan. 21, 1999 to file enough valid signatures to
qualify for next year's ballot. The number needed will be equal to 10
percent of the turnout in this year's gubernatorial election. But no
signature older than a year can be counted.

The campaign led by Hart is separate from one led by Don Christen, a
marijuana-legalization activist from Madison. Christen has criticized the
other group as part of a national movement financed by wealthy backers from
outside of Maine.

Americans for Medical Rights, previously known as Californians for Medical
Rights, helped enact a law allowing medical use of marijuana in that state.

Christen's group has not succeeded in forcing a vote on his group's
proposal, which has fewer restrictions on who can use marijuana for medical
purposes than the AMR question.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Video Online Of MS Patient Arrest (URL Posted For 'Video Of The Day'
Captured From The 'Associated Press' Web Site Showing Cheryl Miller
And Her Husband, Jim Miller, Being Arrested At The Washington, DC,
Office Of California Representative Jim Rogan For Eating Cannabis
During A Protest Against House Resolution 372)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 16:08:25 EST Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: Dave Fratello To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Video online of MS patient arrest Video of the arrest of MS patient Cheryl Miller at the U.S. Capitol is on-line for the day today at AP's website -- it's the featured "Video of the day." My supposed 56k modem took a little over 5 minutes to fully download it. You can watch the first parts while the rest is coming through... http://wire.ap.org/APpackages/video/0331videoday.html Kudos for fine work to the MPP & other folks behind this event. . .
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Reagan-Appointed Judge Refuses To Enforce Drug Laws ('Salon' Magazine
Says Serious Acts Of Civil Disobedience Against The Nation's
Drug Sentencing Laws Are Being Staged - By Prosecutors And Senior Judges)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US DC: Reagan-appointed judge refuses to enforce drug laws
Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 15:42:24 -0700
Lines: 143
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Salon Magazine
Contact: salon@salonmagazine.com
Author: Bruce Shapiro
Pubdate: 03/31/98
Website: http://www.salon1999.com/
Fax: 415 882 8731

REAGAN-APPOINTED JUDGE REFUSES TO ENFORCE HARSH U.S. DRUG LAWS

Hell No, We won't throw away the key

SERIOUS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AGAINST THE NATION'S DRUG SENTENCING LAWS
ARE BEING STAGED -- BY PROSECUTORS AND SENIOR JUDGES.

Quick: What furious debate over the parameters of morality, legality and
personal behavior has the American political and judicial system been at
vehement war with itself over? No, not the ever-morphing
Clinton/Jones/Starr/Lewinsky/Willey scandal, but an issue likely to affect
vastly more people. Drugs. Drug use, drug policy, drug enforcement. While
the press has been consumed with Tailgate, slowly simmering discord over
the war on illegal drugs has suddenly reached a rolling boil.

Some skirmishes have filtered through to public consciousness. Last Monday
it was Drug Czar vs. AIDS Czar: White House drug policy advisor Barry
McCaffrey lambasted White House director of HIV policy Sandra Thurman's
advocacy of federally funded sterile needle-exchange programs for addicts.
Needle-exchange efforts, McCaffrey complained in a letter leaked to
Congress, undermine "an unambiguous 'no use' message."

The following day, it was California vs. the feds. The Justice Department
went to court seeking an injunction shutting down six Northern California
medical marijuana clubs, operating under the protective umbrella of
Proposition 215 passed by state voters last November. Last week, four
California mayors wrote to the White House demanding that the Justice
Department "respect local expertise" on medical marijuana and abandon the
crackdown. If Attorney General Janet Reno's shutdown of marijuana clubs
moves forward, San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan is
threatening to employ city workers to distribute the drug to those who
medically require it -- perhaps the most dramatic act of local
law-enforcement defiance of the Justice Department since the days of racial
segregation.

But one of the most incendiary and startling confrontations has been
conducted behind the scenes, in the normally staid chambers of the
Washington, D.C., federal courts. The cast of characters: a crack addict
and petty street-level dealer named Alvin Webb; U.S. District Judge Stanley
Sporkin, named to the bench by Ronald Reagan after serving as the CIA's top
lawyer; and Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
D.C. Circuit, best known as the jurist whose Supreme Court nomination in
1987 went down the tubes when Ginsburg admitted smoking pot in the 1970s.

Alvin Webb smoked and sold crack on the streets of the nation's capital for
three years. He was a junkie, never a high-powered dealer. "The suppliers
would just give me the stuff to give to the people ... I never received
any money," he testified. "All I received was just drugs for that." An
undercover DEA agent bought crack from Webb on two occasions in February
1994: five grams on the first occasion, then six -- small amounts that
would have meant little jail time. Then, according to court records, the
DEA agent deliberately decided to ratchet up his third purchase from Webb
-- 55 grams -- because under federal sentencing guidelines that meant a
mandatory prison sentence of nine years or more.

Webb obtained the court's permission to enroll in a drug rehab program,
which might have allowed him to qualify for a lower sentence, but he failed
at rehab after a month, ending up back on the streets smoking crack. He was
caught 18 months later and was finally brought before Judge Sporkin for
sentencing last year.

Thus far, a familiar story of a crack addict in the criminal justice
system. So imagine Webb's surprise -- and the federal prosecutor's -- when
Sporkin the Reaganite took one look at the case and decided, then and
there, that he simply could not reconcile the harsh prison sentence
required by federal drug laws with the shattered individual standing before
his bench. "If you were in a different economic bracket in this country,
you'd probably be out at the Betty Ford Clinic," Sporkin said to Webb,
according to court records. He blasted prosecutors who wanted Webb's
sentence extended even further to punish him for his 18 months on the
street.

"It's because he doesn't control his own body. That's the problem. He
doesn't control himself. He's out of control. He didn't do it to defy
anybody. He hasn't done it in a defiant act. He did it because it's
impossible for him."

It wasn't just Webb's pitiable state that roused Sporkin's conscience. It
was the DEA's routinely Kafkaesque practice of "sentencing entrapment" --
in this case, the DEA agent's deliberate instigation of a larger drug buy
in order to trigger a heavier sentence.

All this led Sporkin to commit a rare judicial version of civil
disobedience (much as Hallinan now threatens in San Francisco). He declined
to hand Webb the huge sentence required by law, which he describes as
"grossly disproportional to the crime." Instead of a decade behind bars,
Sporkin sentenced Webb to 41 months, worrying that "even 41 months is much
too long for you." What's more, Sporkin virtually dared the outraged U.S.
attorney's office to challenge his ruling: "I realize that you people hold
all the weapons in this war on drugs, and I'll give you an easy one to get
me reversed," he declared.

And appeal the Justice Department did: to a three-judge appeals court panel
headed by Judge Douglas Ginsburg, the former pot smoker. And it was
Ginsburg who four weeks ago wrote a blistering take-down of Sporkin,
thundering that the latter's attack of judicial conscience "wreaked havoc
with the administration of justice." Sporkin, Ginsburg charged, "abused his
discretion," and -- worse! -- "The United States Attorney and the Federal
Public Defender each had to write learned briefs and this court had to hear
argument and write an opinion -- all at considerable expense to the
public." Ginsburg, in a unanimous appeals court ruling, ordered Sporkin to
impose a sentence of 70-to-87 months (slightly lower than it otherwise
would have been because of recalculations under the complicated sentencing
guidelines).

But Sporkin had not walked so far out on a limb only to be blown back by
Ginsburg's tirade. Rather than impose the appeals court's longer sentence
on Webb, he decided to take himself off the case in protest. And in a
memorandum that has been circulating in Washington legal circles for
several weeks, he blasted both Ginsburg's "intemperate remarks" as well as
the whole system of drug prosecution. "A humane society does not
incarcerate its sick and feeble," Sporkin wrote. "Clearly a sentencing
system that considers only the amount of drugs involved and ignores
completely the reasons for the actors' conduct would be contrary to this
nation's values."

Surprisingly, this Reagan-appointed pillar of the Washington establishment
is not the only judge in town to protest such insane drug laws. In the D.C.
circuit alone, Senior Judge David Oberdorfer has called 10-to-20-year
mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug dealers cruel and unusual
punishment. A handful of judges in New York and elsewhere have taken
similar stands. Such cases of judicial civil disobedience, like this week's
needle-exchange controversy and California's confrontation with the feds
over medical marijuana, reveal deep and growing fissures in the official
consensus on drug policy.

It's notable that none of the figures involved are wild-eyed libertarians:
They are jurists, prosecutors, White House officials, mayors. When the
history of the war on drugs is written, early 1998 may come to be seen as a
defining moment, rather like the Tet offensive in a different war 30 years
ago, revealing fundamental rifts from which broader resistance and protest
may yet emerge. SALON | March 31, 1998

Bruce Shapiro writes the Law & Order column for the Nation, and is a
regular contributor to Salon.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US Study - Marijuana Is Addictive ('Reuters' Says A Report Published Tuesday
In The Journal 'Drug And Alcohol Dependence,'
Carried Out By The Addiction Research And Treatment Service
At The University Of Colorado, Paid For By The National Institute On Drug Abuse,
NIDA, Says More Than Two-Thirds Of Teens Referred For Treatment
By Social Service Or Criminal Justice Agencies
Complained Of Withdrawal Symptoms When They Stopped Using Marijuana)

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 08:21:22 +1200 (NZST)
To: drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com, update@adca.org.au
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: Study says cannabis addictive

Posted at 8:52 a.m. PST Tuesday, March 31, 1998

U.S. study: Marijuana is addictive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teen-agers who use
marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado
researchers reported Tuesday.

More than two-thirds of teens referred for treatment by social
service or criminal justice agencies complained of withdrawal
symptoms when they stopped using marijuana, Dr. Thomas
Crowley of the University of Colorado and colleagues reported.

``This study provides additional important data to better illustrate
that marijuana is a dangerous drug that can be addictive,'' Dr.
Alan Leshner, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA), which paid for the study, said in a statement.

``It also identifies the devastating impact marijuana dependence
can have on young people and highlights the fact that many both
need and want help dealing with their addiction,'' he added.

Crowley's team at the university's Addiction Research and
Treatment Service studied interviews, medical examinations and
social histories of 165 boys and 64 girls aged 13 to 19.

More than 80 percent of the boys and 60 percent of the girls
were clinically dependent on marijuana.

When asked, 97 percent of the teens said they still used
marijuana even after realizing it had become a problem for them.

Eighty-five percent admitted their habit interfered with driving,
school, work and home life, while 77 percent said they spent
``much time'' getting, using or recovering from the effects of
marijuana, according to the study, published in the journal Drug
and Alcohol Dependence.

Most also said their problems started before they started using
marijuana.

``About 825,000 youths were arrested and formally processed
by juvenile courts in 1994,'' Crowley said in a statement.

``About 50 percent of these youths tested positive for marijuana
at the time of arrest and many fit the profile of the teens in this
study, making them at high risk for marijuana dependence,'' he
added.

``The challenge now becomes to develop highly effective methods
to treat high-risk adolescents dependent on marijuana,'' Leshner
said.

President Clinton's anti-drug leader Barry McCaffrey said 50,000
young people seek treatment for marijuana dependence every
year.

``This important study underscores what drug treatment
professionals have long recognized: that marijuana is a dangerous
drug, and its use can lead to severe consequences for vulnerable
young people,'' McCaffrey said in a statement.

Drug abuse experts say the problem is a physical, not a moral one
and say drug addicts should be treated like anyone else with a
disease rather than jailed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Troubled Teens Risk Rapid Dependence On Marijuana (Press Release
From US National Institute On Drug Abuse, NIDA,
Notes The University Of Colorado Study Subjects Are A Subgroup
Of 'Teenagers Who Have Prior Serious Antisocial Problems' -
But Fails To Say Whether They Had Been Screened By Competent Psychiatrists
For Conditions Such As Attention Deficit Disorder, Depression,
Or Bipolar Disorder, For Which Cannabis Is Often A Useful Medicine,
If Not Necessarily Always The Best)

From: ttrippet@mail.sorosny.org
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 98 15:28:57 EST
To: #TLC-LARGE_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org
Subject: NIDA: Troubled Teens Risk Rapid Dependence on Marijuana
Sender: owner-tlc-cannabis@soros.org

Press Release from NIDA:
http://www.nida.nih.gov/MedAdv/98/MA-331.html

National Institutes of Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Tuesday, March 31, 1998, 9:00 a.m.

Mona Brown
Sheryl Massaro
301-443-6245

Troubled Teens Risk Rapid Dependence on Marijuana

Marijuana use by teenagers who have prior serious antisocial
problems can quickly lead to dependence on the drug, according
to a recent study by researchers at the Addiction Research and
Treatment Service, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The study also found that, for troubled teens using tobacco,
alcohol, and marijuana, the progression from first use of
marijuana to regular use was more rapid than the progression
to regular use for alcohol and about the same as that for
nicotine.

"This study provides additional important data to better
illustrate that marijuana is a dangerous drug that can be
addictive," notes Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes
of Health, which funded the research. "It also identifies
the devastating impact marijuana dependence can have on young
people and highlights the fact that many both need and want
help dealing with their addiction. The challenge now becomes
to develop highly effective methods to treat high risk
adolescents dependent on marijuana."

The study's conclusions are based on interviews, medical
examinations, social history, and psychological evaluations of
165 boys and 64 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 who had
been referred by social service or criminal justice agencies
to a university-based treatment program for delinquent,
substance-involved adolescents. More than 80 percent of the
males and 60 percent of the females in the survey met the
adult clinical criteria for dependence on marijuana. More
than two-thirds of the dependent teens complained of
withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using marijuana, and
over a quarter of them reported using more of the drug to
relieve these symptoms.

Of the marijuana dependent teens, the study found that:

97 percent said they still used after realizing marijuana
had become a problem for them;

85 percent noted that marijuana use interfered with driving
and other situations at school, work, and home;

77 percent spent much time getting, using, or recovering
from the effects of marijuana;

66 percent had given up important activities to use or
acquire marijuana;

53 percent felt they had lost control and were using
marijuana in larger amounts for longer periods than
intended; and

35 percent wanted to cut back on use and had been unable to
do so.

Most of the teens also reported that their behavioral
problems predated, and were not initially caused by, their
drug use.

Dr. Thomas Crowley, head of the research team conducting
the study, cautions that these findings cannot be
generalized to all adolescents. To be included in the
study, youths had to have at least one diagnosis of drug
dependence and three conduct disorder symptoms, including
such things as frequent stealing, lying, running away, and,
often, arrest. He points out, however, that, "About
825,000 youths were arrested and formally processed by
juvenile courts in 1994. About 50 percent of these youths
tested positive for marijuana at the time of arrest and
many fit the profile of the teens in this study, making
them at high risk for marijuana dependence."

This study is published in the spring issue of Drug and
Alcohol Dependence, (Vol. 50,
Issue 1).

NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research
on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The
Institute also carries out a large variety of programs to
ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and
its implementation in policy and practice. Further
information on NIDA research and other activities can be
found on the NIDA home page at http://www.nida.nih.gov.
Fact sheets on health effects of drugs of abuse and other
topics can be ordered free of charge in English and
Spanish, by calling NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA
(-644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (-889-6432) for the hearing
impaired.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse
is a component of the National Institutes of Health,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Marijuana May Be Addictive For Troubled Teens - Study
(Different Version Of 'Reuters' Article Explicitly Says In Second Paragraph,
'Instead Of Reinforcing The Image Of An Evil Weed Luring Carefree Adolescents
Into A Life Of Drug Abuse, Their Study Indicates That Teen-Agers
Get In Trouble First, Then Become Dependent On Marijuana')

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 17:14:51 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: James Hammett 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Marijuana may be addictive for troubled teens- study

This version of the story puts it (drug use) in a different light. (Of
course I bet you won't see this one in very many local papers).

later,
James

Newsgroups: clari.news.alcohol+drugs,clari.tw.health.misc
Subject: Marijuana may be addictive for troubled teens- study
Keywords: urgent
Organization: Copyright 1998 by Reuters (via ClariNet)
Date: Tue Mar 31 21:03:55 CST 1998
Threadword: health
Note: (Adds reaction)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teen-agers who use marijuana
can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado researchers
reported Tuesday.

But instead of reinforcing the image of an evil weed luring
carefree adolescents into a life of drug abuse, their study
indicates that teen-agers get in trouble first, then become
dependent on marijuana.

Dr. Thomas Crowley of the University of Colorado said more
than two-thirds of teens referred to his drug treatment and
study program by social or criminal justice agencies complained
of withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using marijuana.

``I want to emphasize that this is a group of kids in
treatment for substance problems. This is not your average kid
in a sophomore class,'' Crowley, a psychiatrist, said in a
telephone interview.

Nevertheless, he said, ``Cannabis makes big troubles in the
lives of some people who are very troubled.''

Crowley's team at the university's Addiction Research and
Treatment Service interviewed and examined 165 boys and 64 girls
aged 13 to 19. More than 80 percent of the boys and 60 percent
of the girls were clinically dependent on marijuana.

``These are official criteria from the American Psychiatric
Association,'' Crowley said. ``They include things like the
development of tolerance, development of withdrawal, the person
continues using after he realizes it causes a problem for him,''
he added.

When asked, 97 percent of the teens said they still used
marijuana even after realizing it had become a problem for them.
Eighty-five percent admitted their habit interfered with
driving, school, work and home life, according to Crowley's
report, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

``The withdrawal symptoms that these kids complained of were
tiredness, sleepiness, weakness, trouble concentrating, yawning,
changes in appetite and psychological depression,'' Crowley
said. ``In addition 25 percent of the kids said they used
cannabis to relieve withdrawal symptoms.''

Most said their problems started before they started using
marijuana.

``Also many come from very disrupted homes, from situations
where the parents were emotionally disturbed or were themselves
substance-involved or involved with the criminal justice system.
This is a very troubled group of kids we deal with.''

This could indicate a genetic factor, Crowley said.

``We have convinced the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA) to give us a large grant to study the genetics...in the
kids that we treat and their families,'' Crowley said.

He said alcoholism, which has a known genetic component, was
very common in the teen-agers' families. ``This is a population
that is very vulnerable to substance problems.''

But that did not mean the problem was rare. ``That is not a
smaller, trivial population in the United States. There are
about 825,000 juveniles arrested and sent to court each year. It
appears that about half those kids have cannabis in their urine
at the time of arrest.''

There could be a physical basis for marijuana dependence.
Scientists have identified a brain receptor -- a place where
chemicals hook onto brain cells -- that specifically responds to
THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

``This study is not about marijuana's dangers,'' Lynn
Zimmer, a sociologist who wrote a book, ``Marijuana Myths,
Marijuana Facts,'' said in a statement.

``Most teens who try marijuana are normal and healthy, and
never develop symptoms of drug dependence. Among troubled teens,
heavy marijuana use is more of a symptom than a cause. The
solution is to offer troubled teens more support and assistant,
whether they use marijuana or not.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - Study Says Cannabis Addictive (Commentary From List Subscribers,
Plus A Huge Media List Of E-Mail Addresses To Bcc In Protest)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 17:21:21 -0500 (EST)
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" 
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive

> U.S. study: Marijuana is addictive
>
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teen-agers who use
> marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado
> researchers reported Tuesday.
>
> More than two-thirds of teens referred for treatment by social
> service or criminal justice agencies complained of withdrawal
> symptoms when they stopped using marijuana, Dr. Thomas
> Crowley of the University of Colorado and colleagues reported.

Gosh, you don't say. And I bet that nearly all the members of AA will
tell you that alcohol is addictive.

KTC

***

To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: "Mark D. Walker" 
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 04:27:29 -0500

At 03:44 PM 3/31/98 -0800, you wrote:
>Kelly wrote:

>Gosh, you don't say. And I bet that nearly all the members of AA will
>tell you that alcohol is addictive.

Alcohol is addictive, pot isn't, big difference. Some people do become
dependent on pot like some do on TV.

>Imagine, mom, dad, a good cop, a bad cop, a counselor, all towering over
>a teenager who has been found with a few joints. Naturally the kid is going
>to say the Devil made him do it. They offer the kid a choice between
>treatment or a juvenile detention centre. Confession under duress.

This is what I see 90% of the problem to be, but there are some people that
will honestly have a problem with pot, addicted no, dependent yes. I have
seen kids that get moody when they can't watch their favorite TV show.

>I've only seen this story on wire services so far but be on the look out
>for every major paper to pick it up, just as they did the "rats on THC
>antagonists progress to heroin" story last year. Sigh.

Did you expect any less of NIDA? I didn't think they were going to roll over
and play dead with the fear of loosing most of their funding if 90% of the
drug "problem" went away, did you?

***

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 07:40:02 -0800

Mark wrote:

}Alcohol is addictive, pot isn't, big difference.. Some people do become
}dependent on pot like some do on TV.

Yep. A while back someone wrote an article on Internet Addiction
Syndrome and set up a support group as a joke. In no time at all
the support group was swamped with members.

}>treatment or a juvenile detention centre. Confession under duress.

}This is what I see 90% of the problem to be, but there are some people that
}will honestly have a problem with pot, addicted no, dependent yes.

Agreed.

}>for every major paper to pick it up, just as they did the "rats on THC
}>antagonists progress to heroin" story last year. Sigh.
}
}Did you expect any less of NIDA? I didn't think they were going to roll over
}and play dead with the fear of loosing most of thier funding if 90% of the
}drug "problem" went away, did you?

Yep. This sort of dovetails into the Moyer series. It turns out Moyer's son
is a director of Hazelden.

You gotta figure that if the American public is willing to spend 17 billion
fighting drugs, and have recently expressed a willingness to spend *more*,
treatment could eclipse incarceration as the new growth industry.

Something the Moyer's series didn't touch on at all is the difference
between use and abuse, between casual use and addiction/dependence. All
drug users are sick and need expensive treatment.

Matt

***

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 18:55:45 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Dave Ford" (drford@vom.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive

Every national and international non-partisan study has demonstrated that
marijuana is NOT physically addictive. It appears that our thoughtful
federal government is pulling every possible rabbit out of the hat to
prepare the public for the upcoming elections.

Needless to say these are troubled children, who would be addicted to
chocolate, TV, or whatever. Those are the type of youngsters who, if
marijuana weren't available, would be emptying a bottle of booze every day,
or "huffing" glue or whatever.

The following paragraph demonstrates that those youngsters are not typical
teenagers.

>"Most also said their problems started before they started using
>marijuana."

Dave Ford

***

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 15:44:56 -0800

Kelly wrote:

> U.S. study: Marijuana is addictive
>
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teen-agers who use
> marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado
> researchers reported Tuesday.
>
> More than two-thirds of teens referred for treatment by social
> service or criminal justice agencies complained of withdrawal
> symptoms when they stopped using marijuana, Dr. Thomas
> Crowley of the University of Colorado and colleagues reported.

>>Gosh, you don't say. And I bet that nearly all the members of AA will
>>tell you that alcohol is addictive.

That is exactly right Kelly. People in weight loss clinics will tell
you that food is addictive too. In addition, these kids were referred
to treatment centres by social services and the courts.

Imagine, mom, dad, a good cop, a bad cop, a counselor, all towering over
a teenager who has been found with a few joints. Naturally the kid is going
to say the Devil made him do it. They offer the kid a choice between
treatment or a juvenile detention centre. Confession under duress.

I've only seen this story on wire services so far but be on the look out
for every major paper to pick it up, just as they did the "rats on THC
antagonists progress to heroin" story last year. Sigh.

Matt

***

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 19:42:15 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Gary Metzendorf 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive

Hello David Hadorn, on 01-Apr-98 01:23:51, you said,
>Posted at 8:52 a.m. PST Tuesday, March 31, 1998

>U.S. study: Marijuana is addictive
>
>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teen-agers who use
>marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado
>researchers reported Tuesday.

--propaganda snipped here

Why is it when information like this, anecdotal, without double blind
studies, is presented that shows cannabis to be beneficial it's pooh-poohed
by the government health organizations, like NIDA or FDA. When it is however
showing deleterious or damaging effects, it's good science and reported as
though it came down the mountain with Moses. Can anyone doubt the media is
in bed with the government on this policy, when they won't even question these
obvious propaganda attempts?

***

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 10:07:19 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Jim Rosenfield 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: MJ Addictiveness

This article can be found at
http://turnpike.net/~jnr/addictvn.htm

Re "Marijuana is an addictive drug". According to "Relative Addictiveness
of Drugs" by Philip J. Hilts, New York Times, Aug. 2, 1994, marijuana is no
more addictive than caffeine. In the same article, when compared with
those of alcohol, cocaine, tobacco, heroin and caffeine, marijuana
"withdrawal symptoms" were the lowest of the six.

Jim Rosenfield

***

From: ccross@webtv.net (C Cross)
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 01:35:01 -0500
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Re: "50,000 young seek treatment for mj dependence each year"...

"50,000 young people seek treatment for marijuana dependence each
year"... Reuters, 3/31/98

Yeah, right! From personal experience I shall address this typical
twisted lie from those ugly men with guns who are so afraid of flowers
and herbs and mushrooms. (and well they should be, their karma is so
fvcked up they would definitely go on a major league bad trip, beyond
repair... too much secrecy, fear, suspicion and violence. keep these
people away from the Botanica Sagrada...)

The 50,000 innocent young who 'seek' treatment from these 'education'
programs are also euphemistically referred to as 'clients'. They go
through systematic 'processing'.

In other words they have no choice. The judge or the school or the
friendly community cop or even hysterical Mom and furious Dad. A teacher
at school ignores a thousand kids every day defiantly smoking
cigarettes; but calls the cops in a hurry if he/she sees you discreetly
sharing a joint.

Hello-o-o? You are now one of the 50,000 'seeking' 'treatment' from
your 'problem'! It also helps them build a paper case of documentation
to 'prove' that marijuana is a dangerous drug, "just look at all these
'clients' who came to us 'seeking treatment' for their problem!"

This is a wholesale brainwashing of our youth. This is mean-spirited
macho aggression and bullying pushed to the extreme. These actions are
designed to intimidate and coerce the young and into parroting the
authoritarian party line of 'zero tolerance' and 'only sick people use
drugs'. The poor kids are terriffied.

So am I

***

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 03:26:38 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Arthur Sobey 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: [Fwd: UPDATE - Study says cannabis addictive]

> Subject: UPDATE> Study says cannabis addictive
> Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 08:21:22 +1200 (NZST)
> From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
> To: drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com, update@adca.org.au
> CC: editor@mapinc.org
>
> Posted at 8:52 a.m. PST Tuesday, March 31, 1998
>
> U.S. study: Marijuana is
> addictive
>
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teen-agers who use
> marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado
> researchers reported Tuesday.

What? You mean only troubled kids with pre-existing problems completely
unrelated to marijuana are affected with dependency "problems?"

> ``This study provides additional important data to better illustrate
> that marijuana is a dangerous drug that can be addictive,'' Dr.
> Alan Leshner, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
> (NIDA), which paid for the study, said in a statement.

Notice the interesting use of the word "can" as in "can be addictive."
It once would have read "is addictive."

This study of troubled children was funded by the NIDA. How
objective.

> ``It also identifies the devastating impact marijuana dependence
> can have on young people and highlights the fact that many both
> need and want help dealing with their addiction,'' he added.

Who ever said kids should be doing drugs in the first place? Isn't the
reason teens are prohibited from doing drugs by law, because they can be
expected to have problems due to their immaturity? Dependence and
addiction are the same problem?

> Crowley's team at the university's Addiction Research and
> Treatment Service studied interviews, medical examinations and
> social histories of 165 boys and 64 girls aged 13 to 19.

Seems like a really small test group, but then they probably only wanted
the most seriously troubled teens for the "study."

> Most also said their problems started before they started using
> marijuana.

So, what is the point of the study? We should be studying the
pre-existing problems if we really want to help these kids.

> ``About 825,000 youths were arrested and formally processed
> by juvenile courts in 1994,'' Crowley said in a statement.

So, our troubled sample group is 229 out of about 800,000?

> ``About 50 percent of these youths tested positive for marijuana
> at the time of arrest and many fit the profile of the teens in this
> study, making them at high risk for marijuana dependence,'' he
> added.

> More than 80 percent of the boys and 60 percent of the girls
> were clinically dependent on marijuana.

So, out of 400,000 (half of 800,000), 170 (80% of 165 and 60% of 64)
kids who use pot (positive drug test) make a claim of dependency? Does
this mean that marijuana is 99.999425% non-addictive to teens (small
grin)?

> ``The challenge now becomes to develop highly effective methods
> to treat high-risk adolescents dependent on marijuana,'' Leshner
> said.
>
> President Clinton's anti-drug leader Barry McCaffrey said 50,000
> young people seek treatment for marijuana dependence every
> year.

Most of this is probably court-ordered rehab in lieu of jail? I read a
figure of 100,000 somewhere a few weeks ago.

> ``This important study underscores what drug treatment
> professionals have long recognized: that marijuana is a dangerous
> drug, and its use can lead to severe consequences for vulnerable
> young people,'' McCaffrey said in a statement.

All drug treatment professionals? When did Dr.'s Mikuriya and Grinspoon
jump ship? The number of "vulnerable" young people seems small overall.
What severe consequences are we talking about here; the results of
getting caught in the first place?

> Drug abuse experts say the problem is a physical, not a moral one
> and say drug addicts should be treated like anyone else with a
> disease rather than jailed.

What about the users (as opposed to abusers)? If you aren't addicted,
and aren't therefore diseased, do you go to jail?

Art Sobey

***

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 05:50:34 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Geoffery S. Thomas" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Study says cannabis addictive

>Eighty-five percent admitted their habit interfered with driving,
>school, work and home life, while 77 percent said they spent
>``much time'' getting, using or recovering from the effects of
>marijuana, according to the study, published in the jounral Drug
>and Alcohol Dependence.
>
>Most also said their problems started before they started using
>marijuana.

If their problems started before they started using marijuana,
then how can any of these problems be attributed to using marijuana.
I could say my life is a mess and I'm using chocolate.
That must be the problem! But no my life was a mess before I
ever used any chocolate. Doesn't make any sense.

***

From: tim.meehan@utoronto.ca (Tim Meehan)
To: tim.meehan@utoronto.ca
Subject: Re: Addictive properties of marijuana
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 12:48:12 -0500
Organization: University of Toronto

Dear Editor:

The U.S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependance, a medical trade
publication, recently reported that teen cannabis users could become
dependant on the naturally occurring herb. However, upon closer
examination, some overlooked points need to be addressed.

Reuters said that according to University of Colorado researchers, "More
than two-thirds of teens referred for treatment by social service or
criminal justice agencies complained of withdrawal symptoms when they
stopped using marijuana." Does this mean that the subjects in the study had
been under the care of social services or under court supervision, and
perhaps told researchers what they wanted to hear? One must ask if there
was a control group of successful teen marijuana users (yes, they do exist)
that the study results were compared to. The report also fails to address
the fact that these "troubled teens" likely got *into* trouble as a direct
result of the War on Drugs, the new McCarthyism (McCaffreyism?) which ruins
lives, families and the fabric of society far more than the substances it
was designed to eradicate.

For Dr. Alan Leshner, head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, to
point to this vague survey to support his platform that marijuana use is
somehow dangerous is not only intellectually dishonest, but borders on
scientific fraud. But really, can we expect any less from someone whose
bread and butter comes from spreading "reefer madness" scare tactics? It
was not long ago when NIDA was pointing to studies performed on rats that
supposedly showed that cannabis had certain effects on the brain that were
similar to harder drugs, but when scrutinized, it turns out that the
substance used in the experiment wasn't even present in marijuana!

Aside from the fact that most reputable medical journals around the world
-- for example, the British medical journal The Lancet, which went as far
as saying that "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to
health,"[1] or perhaps the Drug Enforcement Administration's own
administrative law judge Francis L. Young who said that "Marijuana, in its
natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically
active substances known to man"[2] -- disagree with Leshner, U.S. Office
of National Drug Control Policy Barry McCaffery and other drug warriors
when they state that cannabis is a "dangerous drug," the report itself
damages any supposed credibility by stating that when asked, most teens
said "their problems started before they started using marijuana."

The only addictive property of marijuana is the effect it has on
legislators (in America, and around the world) and those who make money off
of the human misery that the War on Drugs creates.


-Timothy J. Meehan
Toronto, ON

[1] Volume 346, Number 8985, November 11, 1995
[2] Docket No. 86-22, September 6, 1988

***

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 02:55:05 -0800
To: mattalk@islandnet.com, maptalk@mapinc.org, drctalk@drcnet.org
From: rgivens@sirius.com
Subject: Monster Bcc List

Here's a list of over 700 newspapers and media outlets around the world.
The "Marijuana Is Addictive" story would be an excellent target for all of
you repealers to aim this list at.

R Givens

For those with Eudora & other e-mail programs with a Bcc feature.

Doing Bcc: lists is a good way to get your message out to hundreds of
addresses without the receivers seeing the other addressees. It will greatly
improve the chances of getting your letter printed if they do not know it has
mass distribution. Since they aren't paying for your writing they have no
right to demand exclusives.

By doing a "Blind copy to (Bcc:)" the receiver ONLY sees YOUR address and
their own address on the e-mail. Here's how it works.

First, copy and paste the e-mail list below into the Bcc: entry.

Next address the To: entry -- to YOURSELF. Do this AFTER putting the
list in the Bcc: entry.

When the addressee gets the e-mail ONLY your address and their's will
appear. It's a good idea to include your own address in the Bcc
entry to see how posting this way works.

If you add addresses, put a comma and a space between the entries.

copy and paste list to Bcc: entry

YourView@S-T.com, fencepost@dailyherald.com, bulletin@bendbulletin.com,
letters@pd.stlnet.com, letters@nypost.com, pcarty@knightridder.geis.com,
letters@sptimes.com, thb@indol.com, jirby@indol.com,
letters@portland.com, msedit@biddeford.com, bdnmail@bangornews.infi.net,
kjedit@biddeford.com, letters@sunjournal.com, starhrld@bangornews.infi.net,
mcguire@couriepub.com, editor@cvw.maine.com, mevocals@somtel.com,
annlanders@creators.com, edpage@nr.infi.net, cbeam@wwisp.com,
citynews@local.net, jmi@vvdailypress.com, editor@hartselle-enquirer.com,
register@dibbs.net, jsellers@dibbs.net, mhaun@sa.ua.edu,
timesdly@timesdaily.com, times@cybrtyme.com, maf00509@ns1.maf.mobile.al.us,
silver@mathstat.usouthal.edu, dewartim@ojaivalleynews.com,
tbrennan@jaguar1.usouthal.edu, innerview@frontier.gulf.net,
bhproductions@webtv.net, wakanews@mindspring.com, wbrctv@traveller.com,
TV5@WKRG.COM, roadbusters@nbc13.com, lucyr@wsfa.com, wsfa@traveller.com,
alcarr@whnt19.com, wowl@shoalsnet.com, daveb@abc3340.com,
chandrac@abc3340.com, news@abc3340.com, 2020@abc.com, 5news@kocotv.com,
70550.143@compuserve.com, 72066.3452@compuserve.com,
73174.3344@compuserve.com, 73511.522@compuserve.com,
74431.1416@compuserve.com, 74774.2236@compuserve.com,
75542.120@compuserve.com, 76322.2016@compuserve.com,
76424.3356@compuserve.com, 7news@kmgh.com, ABCAUDR@ccabc.com,
ada_evening_news@okpress.tfnet.org, alan.bernstein@chron.com,
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-------------------------------------------------------------------

Peak Voices (Op-Ed By Physician In 'Colorado Springs Gazette'
Faults The United States' Hypocritical And Illogical Drug Policy -
'Politicians Seem To Believe That Kids Will Be Spared Marijuana's Harms
By Exaggerating Its Risks And Enforcing Strict Penalties - But When It Comes
To Tobacco, We Are Expected To Trust The Tobacco Industry To Keep Kids Away
From Their More Harmful Product')

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 16:03:43 EST
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: pllilly 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: ART: Tobacco a more dangerous drug than marijuana, but it's sti

March 31, 1998
Colorado Springs Gazette

LTEs: gtop@gazette.com

***

Peak Voices
by Matthew Hine, M.D.

I wonder if politicians are afraid of losing their jobs by appearing
soft on drugs (which would be risky), or if they're afflicted with a
thought disorder when it comes to drug policy.

While researchers at the World Health Organization reported that
cannabis (marijuana) is in many ways safer than tobacco or alcohol (New
Scientist Magazine, February 2, 1998), Vice President Al Gore addressed
a young audience in Boston about the dangers of tobacco. "Why don't you
close all the tobacco factories and farms?" one bright student asked.
The vice president replied that such an approach would be impossible,
akin to the government's failed prohibition on alcohol. "There are so
many (tobacco) addicted adults, that if you try to outlaw the industry
you'd have a horrible law enforcement problem," he said. (Massachusetts
Standard-Times, March 15, 1998.)

Really! Has Gore forgotten that he has admitted being one of more than
70 million Americans who have broken the law by smoking . . .
marijuana? More than 10 million have been arrested on marijuana charges
since 1972, the vast majority for simple possession of a small
quantity. In that same year, the National Commission on Marijuana and
Drug Abuse told Congress that possession of less than 1 ounce of
marijuana should be decriminalized.

Congress did not follow the Commission's advice. There were 640,000
marijuana arrests in 1997 alone. As a result, our prisons are bursting
at the seams.

Due in large part to our war on marijuana users, the United States has
the distinction of incarcerating a larger percentage of our population
than any other nation on earth. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws cause
longer jail terms for non-violent offenders than for murderers. The
housing and feeding of each prisoner bleeds off more than $20,000 per
year of taxpayer's money.

Politicians seem to believe that kids will be spared marijuana's harms
by exaggerating its risks and enforcing strict penalties. But when it
comes to tobacco, we are expected to trust the tobacco industry to keep
kids away from their more harmful product?

To show how ludicrous this is, imagine reversing the situation. Picture
a world where marijuana manufacturers are allowed the power to
negotiate regulation, even as they receive subsidies from the federal
government, and where pot is available at every gas station and grocery
store. Imagine citizens who risk forfeiting their liberty and property
for possessing the smallest amount of tobacco.

Tobacco addicts millions and causes hundred of thousands of premature
deaths each year. No one believes tobacco=A0has medicinal value.
Marijuana, on the other hand, has been recommended by doctors for
centuries.

Today, It helps patients suffering from AIDS, the side effects of
chemotherapy, and a variety of spastic muscle disorders. It is not
physically addicting, and unlike cigarettes or booze, not one case of
human death due to its use has been documented.

The myths that using marijuana causes a person to become an abuser of
"hard drugs," or that marijuana causes brain damage were disproven
years ago. (Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A review of the
scientific literature, by Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D. and John Morgan, M.D.
published by The Lindesmith Center, 1997.)

Marijuana has been used as a medicine in China, India, the Middle East
and South America. In the 19th century, it was respectable enough to be
used by Queen Victoria's doctor to alleviate her pain during
childbirth. The renouwned physician Sir William Osler recommended it as
a superior treatment for migraine headaches.

It was commonly prescribed by medical doctors in the United States
until the early 20th century. Today, American physicians who routinely
prescribe far more dangerous drugs are not allowed to prescribe
marijuana to people who are dying, going blind or being crippled.

This conflict between medical needs and federal policy has created a
situation in which desperately ill patients turn to the streets and
become criminals.

In 1988, after reviewing the evidence brought forth in a lawsuit
against the government's prohibition of medical marijuana, the Drug
Enforcement Administration's own judge wrote: "The evidence clearly
shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the
distress of great numbers of very ill people. It would be unreasonable,
arbitrary and capricious for the Drug Enforcement Administration to
continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this
substance in light of the evidence."

Since that time, many respected individuals and organizations have
recommended a regulatory rather than a prohibitionist approach to
marijuana.

There is absolutely no argument about the need to keep children away
from alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, but the strategies are quite
different. My preferred recreational drug is one you wouldn't want your
kids to get a hold of. Used irresponsibly, it's addictive, causes liver
and brain damage, and is linked to increased violence. The social and
health costs of its use are horrendous. Fortunately, the chances of any
government legalazing it ourright -- removing all regulations -- are
small. After all, alcohol has been around so long that the only way to
control it is through regulation, not prohibition.

MATTHEW HINE, M.D.

Background: Hine earned his medical degree at the University of Texas
at Galveston in 1987. He earned a masters degree of public health in
1990. He has been a resident of Colorado Springs since 1996.

Experience: He is a practicing physician specializing in preventative
medicine and is a member of the American Society of Bariatric
Physicians.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Paradise Lost? ('Dallas Morning News' Suggests The Peaceful,
Stereotypically Hippie-Friendly Mexican Beach Town Of Zipolite
Is Being Transformed By Government Disaster Loans After Hurricane Pauline -
But Similar Paradises Can Be Found With A Little Searching)

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 11:45:14 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Mexico: Paradise Lost?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Author: Tracey Eaton / The Dallas Morning News

PARADISE LOST?

Hurricanes, Development Changing Face Of Quirky Mexican Beach Town

ZIPOLITE, Mexico - Like something out of a Cheech and Chong movie, a
shaggy-haired hippie strolls along an ivory stretch of sand, peddling his
wares to naked sun worshipers.

"Want any suntan lotion?" he asks a woman wearing a nose ring and little
else. "No? Well, how 'bout some weed? I got good quality."

Such odd appeals are remarkably common in this little beach town, a
laid-back hideaway for nudists, pot smokers, turtle watchers and
gray-haired spiritualists from around the world.

Now though, some Zipolite loyalists fear for its future. First came
Hurricane Pauline, which swept away half of the town in October. Hurricane
Rick hit a month later. And just when it seemed things couldn't get worse,
they did: The builders arrived.

Armed with electric drills, claw hammers and government disaster loans,
these enterprising small-time developers are changing the face of Zipolite,
some say for the worse. Three- and four-story hotels are springing up where
breezy thatched-roof huts once stood. Restaurants made of concrete blocks
are replacing quaint taco stands with menus scribbled on blackboards. And
many longtime residents are angry.

"It's like we've been invaded," said Gloria Hope Johnson, who runs
Shambhala, a guest house and cafe for the New Age crowd. "Can't they just
leave a place natural and simple?"

Others disagree, saying the march of civilization can't - and shouldn't -
be stopped.

"Most of the locals here are poor. They need more than just hippies and
drugs," said Vit Sojka, 34, a Czech travel agent and Mexico City resident
who visits regularly. "They need to attract people with money."

Zipolite, with a population of several thousand people, lies along the
southern coast of Oaxaca, one of Mexico's poorest states. Backpackers,
adventurers and hippies discovered its then-deserted beach in 1970 after
hearing it would be a prime spot to see a solar eclipse that year.

The beach became a town, but remained unspoiled into the late '80s,
residents say. Americans and Europeans hiked in because the road from
nearby Puerto Angel didn't exist yet. The travelers slept in hammocks
rigged under open-air huts called palapas, paying no more than a few
dollars a night. Sea turtles laid their eggs in sandy coves, and
authorities left most people alone even when they stripped off their
clothes and smoked marijuana.

Residents say it was a great place to live cheap and do next to nothing.
One man arrived in a van that promptly broke down, so he decided to stay.
Ten years later, he's still there and so is his car, unrepaired along a
gravel road.

By the mid-1990s, locals had opened several dozen oceanfront restaurants,
with rickety tables, plastic lawn chairs and handwritten signs touting the
day's fresh catch.

Tour guides from nearby resorts in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido started
promoting Zipolite as "Mexico's last nude beach," and soon camera-toting
gawkers and curiosity-seekers began to outnumber those going au naturel.

Even so, the town has continued to attract new fans with the help of the
World Wide Web as veteran "Zipol-heads" share their adventures.

"I went to the Zip a couple years ago and had intended to stay for only a
few days but somehow ended up there for a few weeks," Chicagoan Kevin
McNeill said by e-mail. "You must understand that Zipolite isn't a place,
it's a state of mind.

"I remember late nights around campfires where we cooked rice and beans and
listened to stories that international vagabonds tell. This dude from Italy
would play bongos while the local Oaxacans played their guitars and shook
these long, fig-like things. I sometimes wonder what has become of my
friends from Zipolite."

Electronic chatter about the town reached new intensity after Hurricane
Pauline ripped through the region with 180 mph winds on Oct. 8. No one in
Zipolite died, but dozens of homes, restaurants, hotels and the Pina
Palmera orphanage were leveled.

Before the storm hit, one group of residents climbed onto a neighbor's roof
to guzzle beer and watch what they thought would be an ordinary gale.

"What was that?" one of them remembered asking.

"I think a roof just flew by," said his companion, and they quickly decided
to take cover.

Ms. Johnson, 57, rode out the hurricane with a friend, a baby and a German
shepherd named Shaman.

"Everything was blowing so fast around our little house," she recalled.
"Dishes, pots, chairs, even the tables went off the terrace. We were
dripping wet, and leaves stuck all over our skin. Our hair was blowing
straight up."

She and others tried to prevent the roof from blowing off, but eventually
gave up, hiding in a small concrete room until the storm ended.

"It's like we were in a cosmic blender and we came out liquified," she
said. "We were shocked. An iguana that had used a tree trunk as a life raft
was now being carried out to sea. Two-hundred-year-old cactus trees were
ripped apart. Every part of our bodies hurt. We were so happy to be alive."

As residents rebuilt, Hurricane Rick struck Nov. 9. And while it wasn't
nearly as powerful as Pauline, it swept away roofs, downed power lines and
scattered debris all over the pristine beach.

Those who are putting up concrete-block hotels say the new Zipolite will be
better protected against the next disaster.

Others, such as Luis Castellano, 33, said they'd rather not see concrete
and iron bars along the beach. "Wood's OK. Not concrete. Not any of that."

All 10 of the little huts he owns were destroyed by Pauline.

"What took me five or six years to build was wiped out in just a few
hours," said Mr. Castellano as he pounded a nail into a new palapa.

Even with its emerging new look, Zipolite is a spectacle not easily described.

On one recent afternoon, a French woman stepped gingerly around a skinny
crippled dog named Angel, stripped off her clothes and waded into the water.

A Canadian musician who said he came to Zipolite "to get healthy" smoked a
marijuana cigarette, then offered it to a Californian.

"Is this any good?" she asked, taking a toke. "I buy only the good stuff in
San Francisco. Four-hundred dollars an ounce. One puff and you're stoned
for three hours."

Another Californian, a health food store employee named Brett Fisher, said
there seem to be more drugs in Zipolite than ever before.

"I've been offered LSD, pot, coke and just about everything else," she said.

No matter, a red-headed friend of hers who goes by Revi Airborne said she
loved the place and planned to stay at least a week.

"It's totally paradise," said Ms. Airborne, a violin teacher. "In
California, the ocean water is so cold, if you're not swimming, you're
dying. But here it's like a big bathtub with lots of adventure thrown in.
It's gorgeous."

She sat on a blue and white tie-dyed cloth and drank a Squirt as other
travelers trudged by in the hot sand.

"It's an intense heterosexual pickup scene," she said. "There are a lot of
single, roving men. Mexicans, Europeans, Americans. It's definitely a
scene."

A group of locals walked by, saying they were going to Ramon's, the grocery
store, where they planned to sit on the steps and drink the cheapest beer
in town.

"A lot of people here can't make it anywhere else," said Joyce Ferman, an
English teacher and Zipolite regular. "You find everything, dropouts,
free-lance missionaries, drunks, druggies. You name it."

Just then, a nude couple ran into the water.

"Someone ought to do a calendar - The Boys of Zipolite. Or even The Girls
of Zipolite," Ms. Ferman said. "It would be a hit."

Behind her, workers labored on what will be a four-story hotel.

"Zipolite is definitely changing," said Ms. Ferman, glancing toward the
building. "I'd call it a paradise in transition."

An Italian who gave his name only as Billo agreed.

"With big restaurants selling hamburgers, hotels and fancy toilets
everywhere, Zipolite will be like any other beach," he said. "Already, the
atmosphere has changed. The hurricanes did it. They blew away not only the
palapas, but the energy, the magic.

"So someday we may have to say Zipolite is finished. But we'll find another
place. Another paradise."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Stirring The Pot With New Marijuana Club ('Canadian Press'
Notes The Opening Of Lynn Harichy's Civilly Disobedient
Medical Marijuana Dispensary In London, Ontario, And Says Buyers' Clubs
Are Already Up And Running In Toronto And Vancouver)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 20:40:03 -0500
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Canada: Stirring The Pot With New Marijuana Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Richard Lake rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Canadian Press
Pubdate: March 31, 1998

Editor's note: Our newsmaker (and my good friend), Lynn, has been on TV,
radio and in the press more than anyone in Canada on this issue. More on
her story is at http://www.hempnation.com/focus/focus-0111.html
Please help us document her efforts by sending any news items you see to
editor@mapinc.org. Both Lynn and I can usually be found in the MAP CHAT
room Saturday and Sunday evening if anyone should wish to chat with us. - Richard
http://www.mapinc.org/chat/

***

STIRRING THE POT WITH NEW MARIJUANA CLUB

TORONTO (CP)  She knows firsthand the devastating effects of having her
home raided by police searching for pot.

That's why Lynn Harichy is willing to risk going through it again. She's
started a medical marijuana club that begins distributing pot today,
providing a service she hopes will stop anyone enduring what she did.

"We don't want to be criminals but there is a necessity for it," Harichy,
who suffers from multiple sclerosis and smokes pot to ease her symptoms,
said in a telephone interview from her home in London, Ont.

Harichy is scheduled to appear in court later this month on a pot
possession charge but lawyers were headed to court today to postpone the
appearance until the fall.

Harichy, 37, is well aware she's breaking the law again by distributing
weed to members of her club but she says it's a price she's willing to pay.
Helping people reduce their pain is her reward.

"It's nice to see people not have to suffer so much," she said. "We're not
making any money off it ... this is just for compassion reasons.

"You have to be sympathetic to these people that are suffering. It's not
right to have people suffer especially if there's something out there that
can help them."

There are about 70 members of the London club. All clients must submit
letters from their doctors stating their medical condition and marijuana is
provided for them by the club. The drug is considered effective in
alleviating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer and AIDS.

Members are given a quarter ounce of organically grown marijuana a week or
one ounce a month, said Harichy.

She says she's met both Health Minister Allan Rock and Prime Minister Jean
Chretien and she believes medical marijuana will soon be available.

Derek Kent, a spokesman for Rock, declined comment on Harichy's club.

But he noted that Rock has already said the government is "examining the
issue of using marijuana for medicinal purposes."

Buyers' clubs are already up and running in Toronto and Vancouver. In
California and Arizona, state laws have been reformed to allow marijuana's
medical usage. More Ontario clubs are in the works.

"Nobody's had any problems to the best of my knowledge," said Alan Young,
the lawyer who sought government authorization for the Ontario clubs.

"Police are very noncommittal on the issue," he said. "They'll probably
wait until there are complaints or the buyers' clubs become a nuisance in
the community."

Harichy and other club owners are committing acts of "civil
disobedience" to push the government into making reforms, Young said.

"We can't wait. There's too many people who are suffering now. We have to
go ahead with it," said Harichy.

But Terry Parker, an epileptic who supports medicinal marijuana, says
buyers' clubs aren't the solution.

"These people would be much better off if they got more public support for
legalization," he said.

Parker uses pot  "it's the best drug in the world"  to control his
seizures. In December, cultivation and possession charges against him were
stayed by an Ontario court. The ruling is being appealed by the federal
government.

"It's not a great idea to (open the centres) and get busted. I've been
through this rigmarole and it's a pain in the ass," he said. "I'm not
trying to deter these people. Their heart's in the right place but their
brain's not."

Parker is critical of the federal government's decision to legalize hemp
production while it continues to oppose medical marijuana use.

"I find it kind of off the wall that we put material purposes over the
sanctity of human life," he said. "If you want to grow it for greed that's
OK but if you want to grow it for need ... you're going to jail."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Report Urges Legal Status For Cannabis ('The Dominion' In Wellington,
New Zealand, Notes The New Report 'New Zealand Should Regulate
And Tax Cannabis Commerce,' Issued By The Drug Policy Forum Trust,
Says Cannabis Law In New Zealand Is Currently Based On Emotion, Rhetoric
And Politics, Rather Than Science)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 21:08:11 +1200 (NZST) To: drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com, update@adca.org.au From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: NZ PUB: Legalise dope, report urges Source: The Dominion (Wellington), p.2 Author: Emily Simpson Pubdate: Tuesday, 31 March 1998 Contact: Fax 64 4 474 0350 (no e-mail) Report urges legal status for cannabis Cannabis law in New Zealand is based on emotion, rhetoric and politics, rather than science, according to a group of professionals who want the Government to legalise cannabis and take control of the market. Scientists and professionals have been excluded from the cannabis debate, the Drug Policy Forum Trust says in its report "New Zealand Should Regulate and Tax Cannabis Commerce." Headed by health researcher and policy analyst David Hadorn, the forum is made up of four physicians, two of whom are professors of medicine, a professor of law, a professor pharmacology, and educationalist, and a Maori culture expert. It describes itself as an independent group dedicated to ensuring the drug policy debate is based on evidence and logic, not emotion. The report recommends the Government accept that cannabis is part of New Zealand culture. "Its responsible use by adults should therefore be normalised," it says. "The adverse health effects of cannabis are no worse than those associated with alcohol and tobacco (indeed they are less severe)." The harms associated with cannabis are magnified by driving its use underground, the report says. Prohibition impedes public health and education measures. It creates a black market that preys on young people, burdens thousands of New Zealanders every year with criminal records, wastes police resources and creates disrespect for the law. About 250,000 police hours and $18 million a year is spent on dealing with about 20,000 cannabis offences, it says. Furthermore, prohibition glamourises drug use, encouraging early cannabis use by young people. "A 'democratic system' failure has occurred in that scientists and scientific evidence have been excluded from an important arena of public policy, and resulting harm to society and, especially, young people. It recommends that a Tobacco, Alcohol and Cannabis Authority be created to develop and enforce regulations concerning the production, distribution, sale and use of the three substances it calls "a natural triad of frequently used social drugs." The authority would be advised by a committee of non-governmental experts. Legal penalties would be for misbehaviour caused by the deliberate taking of a drug, and for importing, producing or selling alcohol, tobacco or cannabis outside the regulatory framework. Till such regulations are in place, the report says, police should place low priority on enforcement of cannabis laws. In particular, young people should not be burdened with criminal records for using or possessing cannabis.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A Major Blow To Prohibition - Get In On The Action!
(URL And Commentary On The New Zealand Report By A List Subscriber
Who Also Seeks Donations For Portland NORML)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 14:07:42 -0800
From: Darren (downinit@northwest.com)
Subject: A Major Blow To Prohibition - Get In On The Action!

3/31/98

Please consider forwarding (please remove original recipients from the
header) to anyone you know who is sympathetic to a resolution of the War
On Drugs and its attendant societal problems.

The most important report I've ever read on cannabis prohibition was
released yesterday by The Drug Policy Forum Trust of New Zealand, a
group of doctors and other non-governmental employee professionals.
Entitled "New Zealand Should Regulate and Tax Cannabis Commerce", the
report is especially important because it discusses and denounces 90
years of the US and UN aggressively pursuing a world-wide prohibition,
and the media's duplicity despite the irrefutable science that says this
strategy is doomed to fail. They go so far as to declare a "Democratic
System Failure" because of the negligence of the media. The report also
cites other recent studies and reports that have come to similar
conclusions (i.e. legalize, regulate and tax adult cannabis
consumption), as well as a world-wide shift in public consensus on
cannabis policy.

>From the report:

"The importance of the media in pursuing cannabis law reform can hardly
be overstated. A "democratic system failure" has occurred in that
scientists and scientific evidence have been excluded from an important
arena of public policy, with resulting harm to society and, especially,
young people. It is with respect to just such failures of democracy that
the Fourth Estate has its most important role, i.e., in relentlessly
exposing such failures to the public. In this regard, the Ottawa Citizen
and the UK's Independent on Sunday both launched campaigns last year for
cannabis law reform."

You can find the full text of the report at:
http://www.marijuananews.com/a_major_contribution_.htm or
http://www.nzdf.org.nz/1998.htm

It's an 11-page document that succinctly makes the case for the
regulation and taxation of cannabis in New Zealand, and in my opinion,
worldwide. Please read it. I consider this damning evidence, and a call
to, well, certainly NOT arms, but you know what I mean... voices?

The Washington DC based Drug Policy Foundation, The Drug Reform
Coordination Network and National NORML do much to bring this sort of
information to the media, the legislators and the public here in the US.
They should be rewarded for this important work, in fact all reform
groups need members and money now more than ever before. I don't have
much money this week, but I'm going to give DRCNet $20 and get the book
Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts in the bargain. Besides, I've been
getting their weekly email newsletter for free for a year or so, I owe
'em.

To my friends in Oregon and elsewhere, the Portland Chapter of the
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (PDX NORML) needs
to raise $750 in the next 3 weeks, and another $750 by the middle of
June, to secure an outside booth at this year's Oregon State Fair. We
will have a video and multimedia display, and related literature. We
think this will allow us to gain at least 800 new members at the fair,
as well as gather many signatures for the 5 cannabis related petitions
for State ballot measures! There are going to be other substantial costs
involved in this effort. Please help out if you can.

You can send a contribution, or a $15 yearly-membership fee to:

PDX NORML
4218 SE Glenwood
Portland, Oregon 97206

Thanks so much for your time and interest,


The Members of DRCNet, PDX NORML
downinit@northwest.com

National NORML:	http://www.norml.org
Portland NORML:	http://www.pdxnorml.org
Drug Policy Foundation:	http://www.dpf.org
DRCNet:	http://www.drcnet.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Young Scots A Generation Of Criminals ('The Scotsman'
Says Figures Released By The Scottish Office Yesterday
Show One In Ten Of All 18-Year-Old Scots Were Convicted
Of A Serious Crime In 1996, But Doesn't Mention The Proportion
Convicted Of Illegal Drug Offenses)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 20:09:43 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Young Scots a Generation of Criminals
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent

YOUNG SCOTS A GENERATION OF CRIMINALS

One In Ten 18-Year-Olds Convicted In Court

CRIME is a young man's game, with a staggering one in ten of all
18-year-old Scottish youths convicted in the courts of serious crime in
1996.

Figures released by the Scottish Office yesterday showed how conviction
rates among 18-year-old males are more than 11 times the rate among men
over 40.

Housebreaking, car theft and the more serious crimes of violence, such as
murder, serious assault and handling offensive weapons, were nearly twice
as prevalent among young men under 21 as among older criminals.

Young women are also at their most likely to have a charge proved against
them when aged 18 - but they are convicted at a rate ten times lower than
their male counterparts.

Despite increasing use of longer sentences in young offenders institutions,
the rate of re-offending among young men after release remains at an
estimated 80 to 90 per cent.

In 1996, offenders under 21 were the most likely to be reconvicted of any
age group, according to the statistics revealed in the Scottish Office
report Criminal Proceedings in Scottish Courts, 1996.

Rather than responding to the efforts of the state to reform them, young
men tend to drift out of offending as they get into their twenties, get
married and find steady jobs.

The shocking conviction rates released yesterday refer only to the courts -
they do not include the growing numbers of youngsters aged up to 18 who are
being referred to the children's hearings system because of crime. In
total, youth crime costs Scotland 730 million a year.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesman on crime and prisons, Sir Robert
Smith, said that the statistics proved that justice was failing in Scotland.

"I am particularly concerned at the levels of conviction among young
people. Liberal Democrats believe that this crisis demands a radical
overhaul of the entire criminal justice system in Scotland."

At their conference in Inverness last week, the Scottish Lib Dems agreed a
policy document for root-and-branch reform, including setting up a Ministry
for Justice in the Scottish Parliament, and outlawing prison as a
punishment for criminals under 18.

The report, Young People and Society, calls for earlier action to stop
children as young as eight or nine going off the rails, and wider use of
intervention schemes like Barnardo's Freagarrach project, which uses
intensive one-to-one working to help reform very serious young offenders.

"One thing is clear - hard action is what is needed from the government,
not the easy words they gave us when they were in opposition," said Sir
Robert.

Jan Murray, a spokeswoman for Barnardo's Scotland, said that prison was
clearly not working and that more help was needed for families at an
earlier age to prevent youngsters turning to crime.

The Freagarrach project has a 60 per cent success in seriously reducing
offending or stopping it altogether among the young people it works with.

"Youth crime is costing Scotland around 730 million a year," said Ms
Murray. "If we were to invest a fraction of that at a younger age there
would be less likelihood of these youngsters re-offending. Sending them to
secure accommodation doesn't seem to be tackling the issues and merely
sending them back out more hardened young criminals.

"Preventative work is very important. It is definitely possible to be
better at identifying young children who are displaying difficult
behaviour, and may go on to offend as they get older, and at working with
them and their families to prevent this happening."

Kathleen Marshall, a Glasgow University expert on young people and the law,
said it was a well-known phenomenon that there was a bulge in offending in
the mid-to-late teens. Scotland had pioneered the hearings system in order
that teenagers should not be needlessly criminalised - or turned into
heroes among their friends - by being tried in adult courts.

Yesterday's report follows criticism by the Chief Inspector of Prisons that
young offenders institutions are failing to rehabilitate young people, who
were found in prison surveys to be "more full of rage" than adult prisoners
in the maximum security Shotts unit where the minimum sentence being served
is 10 years.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Army Of Addicts Costs City 400M Each Year ('The Scotsman'
Says The Greater Glasgow Drug Action Team Yesterday Released
A Three-Year Strategy, 'Getting To Grips With Drugs In Greater Glasgow',
Which Says The City Has 10,000 Heroin Addicts Who Buy An Average
Of 300 A Week In Opiates)

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 20:12:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Army Of Addicts Costs City 400M [Pounds] Each Year
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998
Source: The Scotsman
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Author: Karen McVeigh

ARMY OF ADDICTS COSTS CITY 400M EACH YEAR

About 400 million worth of goods are stolen every year in Glasgow to buy
supplies for the city's 10,000 hard-drug users.

The cost of the city's ever-increasing drug problem was tallied yesterday
by the Greater Glasgow Drug Action Team.

The figure is based on the average 300-a-week spent by every addict to feed
a heroin habit. To pay for their drugs they have to steal goods worth up to
five times the street value, or deal in drugs themselves.

In an attempt to break the cycle of drug use and crime that traps users,
the team has called on businesses to help recovering addicts by giving them
jobs through the Government's welfare to work scheme.

The report follows revelations in The Scotsman that as many as 120 addicts
could die of an overdose this year, if the recent upward trend in
drug-related deaths continues.

At the publication of a consultation document which sets out ways of
reducing drugs use and minimising the harm caused by drugs, the team has
set a target of 50 training and work places in Greater Glasgow during
1998-99.

The chairman of Greater Glasgow Health Board, Chris Spry, the chief
executive of the team, said that drug misuse was one of the greatest health
and social problems facing the city.

Drug workers had to work with local people and companies to offer
"meaningful alternatives" to a life on drugs, he said, adding: "We need, as
part of the welfare to work scheme, the commitment of local businesses to
get ex-addicts stabilised and give them a second chance."

The three-year strategy, 'Getting to Grips with Drugs in Greater Glasgow',
showed that the problem of injecting drugs use, greater in Glasgow than in
any other European city, was linked to poor housing, high unemployment and
poor social amenities.

It states: "Of most immediate concern are the estimated 7,000-10,000 drug
injectors and poly-drug users in the area who include some of the most
damaged, and damaging, members of our community.

"Drug injectors spend an average of 300 a week on drugs, with most of the
money being raised from stealing and dealing. The annual cost to the area
is more than 400 million. Add to that the huge cost to the police, courts
and prison service, the health and social work service, and the size of the
burden... becomes clearer."

The action team, which aims to tackle drug problems until 2001, recommends
a raft of measures, including more drug education for 8- to 12-year-olds in
schools, prosecutors studying "constructive" options to jail, more needle
and syringe exchanges, and wider use of the heroin substitute, methadone.

The team, set up as a recommendation of the Ministerial Task Force on Drugs
in Scotland, comprises senior members of Greater Glasgow Health Board,
Strathclyde police, Glasgow City Council social work, education and housing
departments, the Scottish Prison Service and volunteers.

Anti-drug groups welcomed the strategy. Mothers Against Drugs, which was
formed after Allan Harper, 13, of Cranhill, Glasgow, died in January of a
heroin overdose, said that it would begin to address many of the problems.

The group's chairman, Sandra Gilchrist, said: "Addiction to drugs is an
illness and should be treated. Users are part of the community... and they
should be given the opportunity to get into rehabilitation.

"Part of the problem is boredom, lack of work and lack of opportunity.
So anything which encourages people into work is a good thing."

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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