------------------------------------------------------------------- A Drug Trade Primer For The Late 1990s (An Article In 'Current History' Adapted From The 1997 Report Of The Paris-Based Geopolitical Drug Watch Gives An Overview Of The World Trade In Prohibited Drugs, Which Continues To Expand In Response To Increasing Demand Even As Trafficking Organizations Downsize) Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 15:52:54 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: A Drug Trade Primer for the Late 1990's Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Current History Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: April 1998 Author: Geopolitical Drug Watch Editor's note: A note in this articles states: This article is adapted with permission from the 1997 report of the Paris-based Geopolitical Drug Watch. The full report may be found at www.ogd.org/rapport/gb/RPO3_TENDANCES.html A DRUG TRADE PRIMER FOR THE LATE 1990S Since the late 1980s, drugs have become public enemy number one in the West, embodying the "new lack of order" that characterizes the post-cold war world. By advancing the theory of "the scourge of drugs," Western nations have above all sought to re-employ the geopolitical tools that had been rusting under the influence of what was perhaps hastily described as the "new world order." The drug system operates on a global scale that recognizes neither nationality nor borders. It is governed by the rules of supply and demand, dumping, and even bartering. As with the effective marketing of any product at the end of the twentieth century; the drug system involves strategies and tactics that bring radically different civilizations, attitudes, and principles into contact, affecting them in various ways depending on the drugs involved. Although an integral part of local and regional history; the system of producing and marketing drugs is nonetheless very different from that of any other product, whether legal or not. Everything connected with drugs is at the same time "modern" and "traditional," "international" and "local." In short, drugs are the barely distorted reflection of the problems involved in managing the world at the dawn of the third millennium. THE HYDRA EFFECT The past two years have been a turning point in several respects, first and foremost because of the changes observed in crime related to drug trafficking. During the 1980s the manufacture, export, and, to a lesser extent, distribution of drugs were mainly carried out by major criminal organizations, some of which had become involved in trafficking on a large scale in the course of the previous decade. These were the Italian criminal organizations, the Colombian cartels, the Turkish mafia, and the Chinese triads. Although the centralized and strictly hierarchical structure of such organizations has often been mythicized, it is true that they monopolized a substantial share of the market and maintained business relations with one another. In the past two or three years the drug trade has taken on a noticeably different appearance. Admittedly, some large criminal organizations still exist (in Mexico and Burma, for example), as well as midsized outfits (in Colombia, Brazil, and Pakistan), but a massive number of small businesses have sprung up alongside them. In addition to the multi-ton drug shipments occasionally seized by the police - often amid a blaze of publicity - considerable quantities of drugs are transported in tiny batches. Placed end to end, they would stretch much farther than the large shipments, as the monthly reports issued by the World Customs Organization demonstrate. There are several reasons for this change. The first and most obvious is that international anti-drug organizations and national police forces have focused on the most visible forms of crime, which have thus become vulnerable. This is especially true in Colombia and Italy, where major criminal organizations have overestimated their own strength and openly attacked the state itself. This has resulted either in the dismantling of the criminal organizations, as happened with the Medellin car-tel after the death of drug lord Pablo Escobar in December 1993, or in a withdrawal or tactical change, as in the case of the Cosa Nostra and the Camorra (early 1990s), the Cali cartel (1995-1996), and the organization in Burma led by warlord Khun Sa (1995-1996). The immediate effect of repression was to disorganize the networks. But by making a virtue of necessity, these large organizations quickly realized that decentralized structures are much less vulnerable and began the process of transforming themselves accordingly. In some cases they even anticipated events. Thus Khun Sa, Burma's "Opium King," gave himself up to the army without a fight in January 1996 in exchange for sharing the market with the military and the possibility of investing in other, licit economic sectors. Similarly, it is likely that some of the so-called arrests of Cali cartel leaders by the Colombian government were in fact merely disguised surrenders fulfilling agreements with the cartels. Their leaders adopted a strategy of moving into legal business activities after negotiating with Mexican organizations to hand over parts of their export networks to the United States. The Colombian criminal organizations have not disappeared, but they are much more discreet today They have given rise - if one adds other regional groups, such as the Bogota and Pereira cartels, to the heirs of the two major car-tels-to 40 midsized organizations. Meanwhile, the withdrawal of the major cartels has enabled small businesses to find their place in the sun without taking too many risks. There might be from 2,000 to 3,000 of these small groups in Colombia, often families or groups of friends who have a relative or other contact in the United States or Europe. The Peruvian and Bolivian organizations, which used to be heavily dependent on their Colombian counterparts, have also taken advantage of the reshuffle to acquire greater independence and, in the case of the Bolivians, to work more closely with Brazilian criminal organizations. Little is known about the restructuring process involving Cosa Nostra-although researcher Pino Arlachi speculates that the cupola, its governing body has not met for several years, but more information is available about the restructuring of the Camorra. Naples police say that the success of the struggle against the mafia, which can be attributed to the use of "turncoats" that has led to the arrest of the main "godfathers," has caused a breakup of the organization and an increase in the number of smaller groups. In 1983, about a dozen Camorra groups were counted in Naples; there are now believed to be about 100, with a total of some 6,000 members. They are also better equipped, thanks to weapons obtained from the former Yugoslavia. Other chance factors have contributed to this trend. One example is the emergence of African network - notably Nigerian - which are usually based on family or clan structures. Clearly these new types of organizations make the work of the police much more difficult, and in any case the dismantling of a network only affects a tiny part of the quantity of drugs in circulation. But it is not just police efforts that have triggered the traffickers' reshuffle; other factors have caused or allowed organizations connected with the drug trade to undergo major changes. BOOMING PRODUCTION In the past 10 years the supply of drugs has seen uninterrupted growth. Most of the older production zones for coca, opium poppies, and cannabis have remained stable or have been extended, while new production zones (poppies in Colombia, coca in Georgia) have been opened and areas previously cultivated for traditional use have been converted to supply the international market (Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans, and Ukraine for poppies and sub-Saharan Africa for cannabis). One of the reasons for this is the internationalization of trade, the effect of which is often augmented by the introduction of structural adjustment programs that have downplayed the role of agriculture in many economies, especially in Latin America and Africa. To the increase in drug plant cultivation must be added the booming market in synthetic drugs. This growth allows organizations of any size, and even individuals, to obtain drug supplies of all kinds. However, since demand for drugs has at the same time grown and diversified, this profusion on the supply side has not yet resulted in fighting over control of markets. It was estimated at the end of the 1980s that cocaine hydrochloride production in Latin America ranged between 500 and 700 tons annually; by 1996 this figure was thought to have risen to between 800 and 1,200 tons. In 1988, Burma and Afghanistan were each producing between 800 and 1,000 tons of opium; in 1996 the figure reached about 4,500 tons between the two. Drug production continues to expand in all the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Balkans, as well as in China and Vietnam. Marijuana production is also booming. The amount of land under cannabis cultivation in Morocco rose from 30,000 hectares in 1988 to more than 70,000 in 1996, allowing over 2,000 tons of hashish to be produced. Cultivation in Afghanistan and Pakistan combined yields a similar total weight. Colombia is once more becoming the major marijuana producer it was in the 1970s. Since the United States market is saturated with local crops and imports from Mexico and Jamaica, the Colombians are increasingly turning toward Europe. Seizures of marijuana from Asia, especially Cambodia, are becoming more frequent worldwide. South Africa produces tens of thousands of tons for its own market and is starting to export to Europe. Production is increasing rapidly throughout sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, the two Congos, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal. There are many signs that attempts to grow coca and opium poppies are also being made in several of these countries. Growing global drug production comes in response to booming demand. The large traditional markets, Western Europe and the United States, are relatively stable. But new markets are emerging and expanding rapidly. In the case of cocaine these are Japan and Asia generally South Africa, and especially Russia and other Eastern European countries. The heroin market is also expanding in the former communist states. In addition, there has been a boom in consumption of all kinds of drugs in the producer countries themselves and, more generally, in the third world. This is especially true with heroin in Asia (especially Pakistan, India, Thailand, and China) and cocaine in Latin America (especially Argentina, Brazil, and Chile). Synthetic drugs are also making major breakthroughs in third world markets in Asia and Africa. This diversification of both user markets and production zones provides an initial explanation for the growing number of small and midsized businesses - especially given the increasing num-ber of victims of the recession in both the third world and the major urban centers of developed countries, where narcotics production and traffick-ing and even "utilitarian" drug use can be means of survival. THE INCREASE IN LOCAL CONFLICTS The growing number of local conflicts, a side effect of the end of the cold war and the convulsions caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, have also contributed to the changed nature of the drug system. The major powers, prevented from engaging in direct clashes by nuclear deterrence, previously came into conflict through their allies in the third world. The end of the cold war, far from bringing these local conflicts to a halt, merely high-lighted the lack of any true ideological reasons behind them and unleashed forces based on ethnic, religious, and national factors. The warring factions, no longer able to count on their powerful protectors to finance their causes, have been forced to seek alternative sources of income in trafficking, including drug trafficking. Some of these conflicts, such as those in Colombia, Afghanistan, and Angola, were in progress before the end of the cold war, but the withdrawal of the superpowers means they have acquired a new character, gradually drifting into predatory behavior in the case of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colom-bia (FARC), or ethnic and religious antagonism manipulated by regional forces in the case of the Afghan civil war. In most instances the end of the superpower struggle revealed dissension that the leaden weight of communist regimes had helped to mask; this is what happened in the Yugoslav, Chechen, and Azerbaijani-Armenian conflicts, and in the civil wars in Georgia and Albania. The protagonists in these clashes were thorough in their search for financial support, trafficking in a host of commodities that included oil, drugs, and strategic metals. Typically they used their diaspora communities and migrants in West-ern Europe as bridgeheads, with the players setting up networks to earn cash for the cause or sometimes acting autonomously Secret agents in many countries (Russia, Pakistan, and South Africa, for example) who in earlier times had used the drug trade to finance unofficial operations have often switched to activities with purely criminal ends. These developments, coupled with the factors mentioned above, have led to an increase in what Geopolitical Drug Watch describes as "short" or "fragmented" networks. The people involved are not trafficking "professionals" and do not specialize in a single product. They work only sporadically and drop their criminal activities once they have achieved their political or economic goals. EASTERN EUROPE AND SYNTHETIC DRUGS In another striking development, the mid-1990s saw the countries of the former Soviet bloc enter the drug trade. The main target for these new producers is Western Europe, but there are many signs that they are also taking an interest in more distant markets such as North America, South Africa, and Australia. To enter the drug trade, local criminal organizations can usually choose to cultivate drug plants or use a deserted chemical factory to make synthetic drugs. In Eastern Europe the latter choice is favored since the basic chemical ingredients are not subjected to close scrutiny; highly qualified and under-paid chemists are in plentiful supply; and drug users in the region (at least in urban areas) have little experience with natural drugs and therefore have no objection to replacements. In the past few years it appears that synthetic drug production has begun on a large scale in Eastern Europe. German police estimate that between 20 and 25 percent of the amphetamines seized in the country in 1994 came from Poland, while Warsaw authorities estimate that Polish production sup-plies roughly 10 percent of the European market. University laboratories are suspected of producing drugs and huge numbers of couriers have been arrested at the German and Swedish borders. The Czech Republic vies with Poland for the title of second-largest European producer of psychotropic drugs (after the Netherlands), especially ephedrine, the main precursor chemical in the manufacture of methamphetamines. In 1994, the UN condemned an incident in which 50 tons of Czech ephedrine was sent to clandestine Mexican laboratories by way of Switzerland. The finished product was apparently intended for the United States market. Various scandals since 1992 have shown that Latvia and Hungary are favored by notably Dutch and Scandinavian investors, who finance the production of Ecstasy for European Union countries, as well as the manufacture of amphetamine derivatives in liquid, injectable form. In 1993 the International Narcotics Control Board expressed concern about the existence in Bulgaria of state enterprises manu-facturing phenethylamines under the brand name Captagon for export without permission to Nigeria and the Arabian peninsula, by way of Turkey. Among the former Soviet republics, Azerbaijan has specialized in manufacturing synthetic opiates (methadone, normorphine, 3-methylfentanyl) and methamphetamines in the cities of Gyandzha and Baku. In other parts of the former Soviet Union syn-thetic ephedrine is extracted from pharmaceutical ingredients and converted into ephedrone (an amphetamine derivative known in the United States as methcathinone). Ephedra vulgaris, which is cultivated in Azerbaijan, grows wild in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan's Almaty region. China also makes the most of its Ephedra resources. Clandestine methamphetamine labora-tories, supplied with ephedrine appropriated from the pharmaceutical industry have sprung up in Guangdong and Fujian provinces, for the moment almost exclusively for the Southeast Asian and former Soviet republic markets. In many cases it is the Taiwanese triads, whose members come from southern China, that are behind this production. A NEW GLOBAL DIVIDE At the start of the third millennium, synthetic drugs will probably have the dubious merit of standardizing the various divides in drug use: between the better-off and the disadvantaged in rich countries; and between developed countries and the developing world. As with other drugs, the only difference will lie in the quality of the product. But it is also likely that this large-scale drug abuse affecting tens of millions of individuals will merely coexist alongside the "classic" use of drugs derived from plants.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Drugs, New Responses - Lessons From Europe ('Current History' Says That In The Past, Europe Has Often Looked To The United States For Advice On Drug Control, But Drug Experts In The United States Can Now Look To Europe For Clues About New Drugs Making Their Way To American Consumers, New Producers Aiming At United States Markets, And Fresh Ways Of Thinking About Drug Control) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: OPED: New Drugs, New Responses: Lessons from Europe Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 22:48:53 -0700 Lines: 444 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: April 1998 Source: Current History Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: ELIZABETH JOYCE is a visiting researcher in the department of government at Georgetown University Her most recent book, coedited with Carlos MaLamud, is "Latin America and the Multinational Drug Trade" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998). NEW DRUGS, NEW RESPONSES: LESSONS FROM EUROPE Europe has often looked to the United States for advice on drug control. The United States puts more resources into gathering intelligence on global trends, collects better data on domestic consumption patterns, and believes its methods of policing drug consumption and trafficking should serve as models for the rest of the world. But the new drugs and trafficking trends emerging in Europe might soon make the United States war on cocaine producers in Latin America seem as antiquated as a battle fought with muskets. Drug experts in the United States can now look to Europe for clues about new drugs making their way to American consumers, new producers aiming at United States markets, and fresh ways of thinking about drug control. Europe does not have a drug war like the one the United States is engaged in because Europeans would find it hard to agree on an enemy, let alone a response. Europe, for example, is itself a major producer of synthetic drugs. Synthetics represent a new way to produce and traffic drugs. One of these, MDMA (3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as Ecstasy), has the effect of a hallucinogen with an amphetamine-like stimulant. In 1995 police in Europe seized 396 mil-lion Ecstasy tablets. A cheap and readily available drug (an evening's supply costs between $10 and $25), Ecstasy has been an integral part of younger Europeans' nightlife for more than 10 years. It is also easy to produce; recipes are available on the Internet. European traffickers in synthetic drugs do not have to deal with unwieldy opium, coca, and marijuana crops in remote rural areas, nor with truculent farmers and producers; they can make the drugs themselves and control the entire process. Synthetic drug production is as appealing to small criminal groups as to large organizations. Small producers can develop their business discreetly without confronting larger traffickers, which is not the case with cocaine and heroin, where new businesses frequently have to compete with established traffickers for control of raw materials and routes. Laboratories can produce as many as 12 million Ecstasy tablets daily and are even portable. In 1992 Dutch police seized a fully operational Ecstasy lab-oratory housed inside a shipping container that had been mounted on a flatbed truck and hauled throughout the Netherlands to avoid detection. Synthetic variants that are not yet illegal are also easy to develop; such is the concern in Europe about these variants that the European Union (EU) has introduced Union-wide measures to improve reporting on and accelerate the banning of new synthetic drugs to circumvent the two years it takes to get a narcotic banned by the UN. The Netherlands is the world's largest producer of Ecstasy, although police have also uncovered laboratories in other European countries, including Poland and the Czech Republic. Until recently it had not been produced in any quantity in the United States, where supplies still tend to be imported from Europe. But the new popularity of Ecstasy and amphetamines in Europe is echoed in the resurgence in the popularity of methamphetamines in the United States, especially the southwest. The United States Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that 4.7 million Americans have used methamphetamines recently Ecstasy and its variants could easily be produced in vast quantities in the United States, as they are in Europe; no one has ever accused American entrepreneurs of being slow to recognize an attractive new product. THE EUROPEAN MARKET CONTRASTED Proportionally fewer Europeans than Americans use drugs. Yet, because both are Western and industrialized, the United States and European markets for illicit drugs are often assumed to be about equal, with regional variations in preferences for particular types of drugs. But Americans appear to be far more likely than Europeans to try illicit drugs, and this willingness makes them open to new products. According to a 1993 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 37.2 percent of Americans have tried illicit drugs. The proportion of Europeans who have tried illicit drugs, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), is only 5 to 16 percent, depending on the country surveyed. The United States also has more hard drug users proportionally Americans use more heroin than Europeans, although traditionally it was believed that European hard drug users preferred heroin and their American counterparts cocaine. While it is true that heroin has long been and remains the hard drug of choice in Europe, prevalence of use is no higher than in the United States. Indeed, the EMCDDA claims that the European prevalence of heroin use might be as low as half that of the United States. Nor has cocaine has become as popular in Europe as it is in the United States: official estimates put the percentage of Americans who have tried cocaine at 11.3 percent, compared with a European range from 1 percent (Germany France, and Belgium) to 4 percent (Spain). Cocaine costs more in Europe than in the United States, and there are other, cheaper local drugs from more reliable sources that compete with it, including European-produced methamphetamines. Lacking a serious cocaine demand problem, European governments do not focus special atten-tion on Latin America when they consider external illicit drug sources. In contrast, stopping the flow of cocaine is the main United States international drug control priority United States drugs have always been imported from other parts of the world, but Latin America has supplied almost all the cocaine, much of the marijuana, and a rising proportion of the heroin that United States drug users have consumed. Foreign drug policy has therefore been intensively focused on a small number of Andean countries, the Caribbean islands that serves as transit and money-laundering centers (Jamaica, Aruba, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico), and Mexico. Europe has not had such a sharply defined front on which to wage a war on drugs. Drugs pour in overland through the Balkans and North Africa; by sea to isolated coves on the coasts of Italy Spain, Scotland, Ireland, and Greece, and the major ports of Rotterdam and London; and by air through every major airport on the continent. Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Britain, France, Germany Italy Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium are all major transit countries. The drug traffickers' map of Europe also reflects every major political change that has taken place over the last decade, from the war in Bosnia to the cease-fire in Northern Ireland. When war raged in the Balkans, traffickers opened up Hungary and Czechoslovakia as routes to Western Europe. After conditions improved and the old Balkan trails were reopened, the new routes remained in place. Simi-larly the withdrawal of hundreds of British troops from Belfast in the mid-1990s allowed drugs to enter what had been one of the few relatively drug-free urban centers in Europe. THE NEW MENACE FROM THE EAST The most important political change in Europe - the collapse of communism - has also been the greatest boost to the global drug trade in the last decade. Communism's end has given both trafficking and consumption a stimulus comparable only to that created by the Vietnam War. Eastern Europe has become the main source of drugs entering Western Europe, and drugs produced in the east are also finding their way to North America. The triangular trade involving traffickers in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Western European countries like Italy is no longer a nascent threat but an established reality. Every shipment of cocaine to Europe locks Latin American traffickers more tightly into this burgeoning market, which in turn protects them against the vicissitudes of their battle with United States law enforcement. The speed with which the drug trade in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states has developed is astonishing. According to the research group Oxford Analytica, the Russian narcotics business alone is worth an estimated $6 billion annually and proceeds from drugs are believed to have allowed organized crime to gain control of at least a quarter of Russia's banks, more than half the country's capital, and some 80 percent of all shares sold on the Russian stock exchange. Russia is also now a producer of synthetic drugs; St. Petersburg is the production center and acts as a magnet for unemployed chemists and pharmacists from the rest of Russia and other former Soviet republics, especially Latvia. The former Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan produce both opium poppy and marijuana, and Central Asia itself is a transit route for heroin being smuggled to Europe from Afghanistan and Pakistan. A 1997 report from the London-based International Insti-tute for Strategic Studies said that Kyrgyzstan alone was exporting more drugs than Burma or Thailand. Poland has become Europe's largest producer of amphetamines. The country's law enforcement agencies lack the capacity to control Poland's thriving band of illicit entrepreneurs. Polish drug producers also manufacture a domestic opiate called "kompot", derived from poppies grown in the "Polish Triangle" between Miechow, Proszowice, and Krakow. Poland, like the Czech Republic and Russia, also produces a variety of other illicit synthetic drugs, and its central location on the European mainland makes it an important transit country: Warsaw, Gdynia, and Gdansk are key transshipment points. In addition, Poland has a burgeoning consumption problem not entirely unrelated to its dual status as a producer and transit country: from 1990 to 1996, the number of registered Polish drug addicts rose by almost 50 percent to more than 20,000. Policies to respond to this increased drug activity are not in place. When European law enforcement officials began cooperating with Poland in the early 1990s, they found a yawning chasm between drug control there and in Western Europe. In all of 1996, police and customs officials detected only 97 cases of border trafficking. And not until 1997 did Polish police set up a narcotics unit to coordinate law enforcement operations. Police powers were curbed after the end of communism in Poland, but this process of liberalization, which did so much to enhance civil liberties, prohibited some of the stan-dard weapons that the police could use against the drug trade. Until recently undercover and sting operations were not allowed, nor were "controlled deliveries," police operations in which officers follow a drug courier on a trail to what they hope will be a trafficker of greater importance. Countries such as Poland pose a particular problem for Western Europe because they will soon become part of the EU; the Western European countries must race to ensure that drug control is at least marginally effective before their borders are opened even further to new members in the east. EUROPEAN RESPONSES The drug war as a moral call to arms has always lacked resonance in Europe. Expectations about what drug policy can do are lower than in the United States; the possibility of victory over drugs - the elimination of drug abuse - is seldom raised, even rhetorically. Nor is drug policy conflated with military goals and security In the United States, the drug war has been both a metaphor and a literal description of policy since the Department of Defense overcame its reluctance in the 1980s to play an ever greater role in drug control. In Europe, drug control remains a civilian affair. There is, nevertheless, a high degree of concern about drugs in Europe. Most European countries are signatories to the three UN conventions on drugs. Many European governments have emulated aspects of the United States drug strategy because they believe it produces a clearer, more direct approach to the problem; the British appointment of a United States-style drug czar in 1997 is a case in point. That the famously liberal Dutch policy on drugs disturbs rather than outrages its neighbors is largely thanks to the fact that the Netherlands has never actually legalized drugs but, as a matter of policy opts not to prosecute most drug users. Yet even within individual countries there is often little consensus on drug control. This range of opinion has produced vigorous debate about the allocation of resources for demand reduction programs, the policing of drug trafficking, and legalization and decriminalization. Strong opposition to drugs is always tempered or hampered, depending on one's point of view, by dissent. France takes a strong anti-drug stance and for years has been the most vocal European critic of the more permissive drug laws of neighboring Netherlands. French President Jacques Chirac has ruled out any drug liberalization, and has insisted that France retain border checks on its northeastern frontiers to protect itself from Dutch drug trafficking and from "drug tourism" (French and German drug users taking advantage of more liberal Dutch policies by crossing the border to buy drugs). France's insistence on the dangers of the Dutch drug trade blocked full implementation of the EU's Schengen "Open Borders" agreement, which, in the interest of greater European integration, seeks to eliminate passport controls and customs checks among some EU member states. Yet members of the French government voice dissent from the status quo even while their government commits itself to maintaining it. In the campaign preceding France's June 1997 parliamentary elections, now Prime Minister Lionel Jospin admitted to smoking marijuana and hinted that he favored decriminalization. Such an admission at election time suggests that he calculated that it might win him votes, or at least not lose him support. Environment Minister Dominique Voynet has said that she favors the legalization of cannabis, and readily admits to hav-ing smoked it herself. Those who openly support decriminalization are backed by a vocal minority A vigorous decriminalization campaign emerged after the 1997 British parliamentary elections to oppose the new Labour government's hard line on drug control; several hundred campaigners openly smoked cannabis in front of police in Hyde Park to protest drug laws. Earnest British students have made a folk hero of Howard Marks, a recently released British drug trafficker. Known in the drug trade as "Mr. Nice" (the title of his autobiography), Oxford-educated Marks was one of the most successful European drug traffickers of the 1970s and 1980s, responsible for importing millions of dollars worth of cannabis. Now, with a cottage industry of books, public appearances, television interviews, and web pages, he has popularized himself as a peculiarly British type of trafficker: a decent iconoclast with impeccable manners. While attitudes toward the principle of illicit drug use vary, attitudes toward drug users also differ. Many approaches that might be considered radical elsewhere in the world have been in use for decades. The so-called British system, whereby doctors can supply drugs to registered addicts, has been in existence since 1934. Europeans are generally amenable to the treatment of addiction with the reg-ulated prescription of otherwise illicit drugs by the medical profession. In a September 1997 national referendum, 70 percent of Swiss voters approved a government plan to give regular doses of heroin to addicts after it was shown that Swiss addicts par-ticipating in an existing scheme committed 60 percent less crime. Many of the more innovative approaches to drug abuse have been introduced at the substate level. City governments have often produced alternative and experimental approaches to drug control. A transnational movement of European cities including Frankfurt, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Zurich produced the Frankfurt Resolution, which supports the principles of "harm reduction." The resolution amounts to the decrim-inalization of drugs: under certain regulated conditions, users will not be prosecuted for drug consumption. In the Netherlands, where the national approach is more liberal than in most countries, city governments' alternative policies have often been toward greater strictness. In the northern Dutch town of Kampen, the mayor threatened to resign last year if the council passed a motion approving the opening of a coffee shop within municipal boundaries, and in the town of Groningen, tougher regulations have reduced the number of coffee shops from 35 to 14 (the Dutch government has a famously liberal policy on drugs that permits the sale of cannabis in coffee shops). The Frankfurt approach also has opposition among city governments: the April 1994 Stockholm Resolution, entitled European Cities against Drugs and signed by the mayors of 21 European capitals, is an anti-drug response to the decriminalization that the Frankfurt Resolution proposes. THE DUTCH "SOLUTION" The Dutch policy allowing the sale of cannabis in coffee shops, which has been in place for more than 20 years, attempts to separate the markets for hard drugs (heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines) and soft drugs (cannabis products). The intention is to prevent users from progressing from soft drug use to hard drug use when exposed to a criminal underground marketing both. Coffee shops in the Netherlands are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis openly without fear of prosecution. Until recently users could possess up to 0.5 grams of hard drugs or 30 grams of cannabis and not face arrest, unless the offender was also suspected of trafficking or another drug-related crime. In the context of varying responses to illicit drugs throughout Europe, particularly in cities like Frankfurt and Zurich, the Netherlands does not regard its drug policy as especially radical. The Dutch government has said that its drug policy is little more than an attempt to formalize and regulate a type of decriminalization that is already de facto in force in Britain, France, Germany and even the United States, where users possessing small quantities of soft drugs are rarely prosecuted. Implicit in this view is the sense that the Dutch government considers its neighbors to be hypocritical in their condemnation of its approach to drugs. Other European countries have ruled that possession of soft drugs need not be an indictable offense. The German federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled in March 1994 that an individ-ual should no longer be prosecuted if found in posession of cannabis deemed to be for personal use. The Netherlands argues that Dutch policy takes this approach one step further by reasoning that if drug use cannot be eliminated, it is prudent to regulate its use. In claiming success for the policy, the Dutch point out that the Netherlands has far fewer hard drug addicts (approximately 180 per 100,000 of the population) than neighboring France (280 per 100,000), and that in the last 20 years the number of Dutch cannabis users has remained stable, at around 600,000. They note that most Dutch heroin addicts are over 30, and that fewer younger people are taking up the habit. The Netherlands also claims success in certain public health matters: the government estimates that the number of deaths resulting from overdose, for example, is less than half that of most European countries. Yet the Netherlands has, under duress, changed its liberal policy on illicit drugs. In 1995 a policy review recommended reducing the availability of soft drugs by limiting the number of retail outlets (some 1,200 coffee shops and an estimated 900 other unregulated points of sale). Serious drug users were required to undergo compulsory rehabilitation. Most dramatic of all, the amount of cannabis individuals could buy in coffee shops was reduced from 30 grams to 5. The pressure for change came not from within the Netherlands but from its disgruntled neighbors, France and Germany which objected to their own citizens crossing the Dutch border to buy drugs. The Netherlands had agreed to ensure that its neighbors were not inconvenienced by its drug policy which was interpreted to mean surveillance of points of sale, especially in border regions. Coop-eration with neighbors also meant large-scale police deployment to apprehend drug runners at borders and ports. In 1994 the Dutch police arrested more than 800 people at the frontiers for drug offenses. Greatly increased policing at the borders, however, did not satisfy French and German concerns, and their dissatisfaction led directly to the change in Dutch policy BEYOND RHETORIC: EUROPE AND MULTILATERAL COOPERATION Some European countries are dearly disturbed by their neighbors' drug policies. However, the paradox of European drug policy is that, although European countries differ widely in their policies, they engage in far more multilateral drug cooperation than any other region in the world. In comparison with the Europeans, not a single country in the Western Hemisphere has displayed more than a rhetorical commitment to multilateral cooperation. The Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission has at times almost withered away for lack of attention and funding. When the commission wanted to set up a hemispheric network of drug information centers in the late 1980s, it turned to the EU for initial funding because it could not raise sufficient interest among its own member states. The United States spends little more than $5 million a year for multilateral cooperation, which is loose change in a federal drug budget of $16 billion in 1997. Although the United States has spent millions on drug control in Latin America, the funding is bilateral. The nations of Latin America might have supported United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDGP) projects in their own countries, but otherwise have seldom looked beyond their own borders except to complain, albeit with some justification, about the catalyzing effects of the voracious American demand for drugs. For more than a decade, the UNDCP has been mainly a conduit for European antinarcotics funding. Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and, in particular, Italy have all financed major UNDCP projects in alternative development (such as crop replacement, where farmers of coca and opium poppy crops are given assistance to allow them to produce licit crops instead), judicial assistance, and treatment, education, and rehabilitation programs. Without Italian support in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the UNDCP would not have been able to initiate projects in Latin America or even sustain them. European countries have undertaken these tasks without sacrificing the integrity of their own foreign interests and responsibilities. The EU is far from being a unitary actor on the world stage, and in their external relations on drugs the countries of Western Europe do not necessarily have the same priorities. Britain, France, and the Netherlands have dependent territories and former colonies in the Caribbean that make drug trafficking and money laundering there a special responsibility Spain is concerned about cannabis trafficking from North Africa and complains that Gibraltar, an adjacent British territory is a transshipment point for drugs. Germany is less concerned about Gibraltar than about amphetamine trafficking from Poland and the Netherlands, and marijuana and heroin production in Central Asia. Multilateral cooperation only enhances their commitment to these individual priorities. Inside the EU, countries are also risking the surrender of considerable sovereignty over law enforcement to facilitate multilateral cooperation on transnational crime. When EU member states committed themselves in the late 1980s to a Single European Market, they were voting for the free movement of goods, capital, and people throughout Western Europe. Most countries - only Britain, Denmark, and Ireland firmly refused - wanted to see open borders between EU members. Open borders, however, facilitate transnational crime as well as transnational trade, and a complex network of law enforcement measures to deal with the consequences of open borders, such as hot pursuit, cross-border surveillance, and refugee status, has gradually been put in place. The Europeans have also set up Europol. Formally proposed in June 1991, Europol was a German initiative originally envisaged as a European police force, but its inter-governmental status makes it far from a European version of the FBI. Instead, it remains an intelligence-sharing agency with no executive or investigative powers, a focal point for multilateral cooperation on drugs. No one believes multilateral cooperation is easy. There are many difficulties in exchanging intelligence quickly and effectively among 15 (and soon to be more) countries with different languages and legal institutions. After several years of wrangling the Europol convention has still not been fully ratified. There is resistance to the agency based on profound misgivings about the ceding of sovereignty on law enforcement to the EU, and on the potential threat to civil liberties involved in the widening of police powers at the supranational level. The new drugs and traffickers emerging from Europe are reason enough for the United States to analyze the drug situation in Europe closely. But the fact that the challenges of multilateral drug cooperation are being so directly and urgently addressed in Europe just as the Western Hemisphere countries are considering multilateral cooperation themselves means that they should also be looking toward Europe for an intimation of how truly regional drug cooperation might function. The three are the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, also known as the Vienna Convention; the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances; and the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Club Ready To Roll Even Without Outlet ('London Free Press' Quotes Multiple Sclerosis Patient Lynn Harichy Saying The Civilly Disobedient Medical Marijuana Dispensary In London, Ontario, Could Be 'Fully Operational' By Friday, But Will Not Have An Official Location) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 11:45:14 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Club Ready To Roll Even Without Outlet Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: April 1, 1998 Source: London Free Press (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html Author: John Hamilton -- Free Press Reporter POT CLUB READY TO ROLL EVEN WITHOUT AN OUTLET Lynn Harichy says her medicinal marijuana buyer's club in London could start swinging into action as early as today. "It could well be we'll be making our first pot delivery,'' she said Tuesday. Harichy said plans to start the proposed club have been delayed and plans to open an outlet put on hold but she and supporters are still proceeding. "We've decided to scratch the planned outlet because we don't want buyers scared by police,'' she said. Harichy, who has multiple sclerosis, said she hopes the club will be "fully operational'' by Friday without an official outlet. Earlier, supporters said the likely location for the outlet would have been in the same building as the Organic Traveller, a downtown hemp shop on Richmond Street. Harichy said part of the delay in getting the club off the ground is that applications for membership won't start to be delivered until today. "It was an organizational problem,'' she said. DOCTORS' LETTERS Club membership will be restricted to people with doctors' letters confirming they have diseases alleviated by pot intake. "If we get a correctly completed application returned tomorrow we can deliver,'' Harichy said. She said supporters are still organizing their supplies of marijuana. "I just want to help people who have problems like mine,'' said the pot-smoking Harichy. She said supporters have gathered about 70 names of potential club members since an announcement Feb. 13 that the club was planned. Harichy said she's tired of waiting for federal authorities, including Health Minister Allan Rock, to make medical marijuana available. "We intend to supply the medical need,'' she said. "If the police want to act they can come and bust me.'' Police have said they will keep an eye on the club's activities. Copyright (c) 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- London Marijuana Club Starts Distribution Amid Controversy (Version In The Kitchener-Waterloo 'Record') From: "Starr"
To: "maptalk" (email@example.com) Subject: London marijuana club starts.... Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 16:43:56 -0500 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) firstname.lastname@example.org Date: April 1, 1998 By: Jean Goddu LONDON MARIJUANA CLUB STARTS DISTRIBUTION AMID CONTROVERSY 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, to provide 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 charge of pot possession, 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 submit letters from their doctors stating their medical condition before 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 quater 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 spokesperson 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 medical purposes." Buyers' clubs are already up and running in Toronto and Vancouver. In California and Arizona, state laws have been reformed to allow the medical use of marijuana. 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 commiting 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 medical 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 theworld"-- 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 pain," 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 use of marijuana. "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."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Waging War On Drugs Does Not Pay ('Toronto Star' Columnist Rosie DiManno Says Drugs, In All Their Insidious Forms, Should Be Decriminalized So That We Finally Might Have A Chance To Beat Them Back) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 11:45:14 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Waging War On Drugs Does Not Pay Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Dave Haans (email@example.com) Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Page: B1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Author: Rosie DiManno WAGING WAR ON DRUGS DOES NOT PAY AN UNDERCOVER COP miraculously survives a close quarters shooting in Toronto and the emphasis - understandably - was on the bad guy who pulled the trigger. Get him. He shot a cop. But notwithstanding the profession of the victim, a police officer, this was just another bang-bang night in the big city. A drug deal had gone bad. A sting had stung. The outcome - blood on the ground - was all too familiar. Drugs propel crime. Whether on an international scale, with cocaine kingpins from South America, or in the local microcosm of territorial management, the result is always violence and a repugnant disrespect for life. In Toronto, murder and mayhem evolve from domestic disputes, twisted passions, the occasional business disagreement and young men dissin' each other. But, over and above all else, it's the drugs: production, distribution, and the terrible hunger for a high. Any honest cop will tell you the same thing: This is not a war we can win by law enforcement. Despite the billions of dollars thrown at policing drugs in North America, despite the lucrative recovery industry drug addiction has created, despite all the lives lost, there has not been a significant dent in stopping the flow of drugs and the flow of blood. We really can't expect the police to openly declare what must be said - not when their own jobs would be put at risk. And we can't expect politicians to make the bold moves required. And we can't expect the ``care-givers'' - the detox agencies and clinics - to befriend the enemy. But there is only one answer: Decriminalizing drugs. All of them. Not just cannabis, which is heading in that direction, despite recent efforts by the World Health Organization to squelch the results of their own study that showed cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. (This, the same increasingly politicized WHO that all but quashed the results of a long-anticipated seven-year study, which it had commissioned, that showed absolutely no link between lung cancer and second-hand smoke.) Politically speaking, these dual findings were not in synch with the moral tone of Western countries, especially the U.S., where zero tolerance on drugs has created draconian third-strike laws. Drugs, in all their insidious forms, should be decriminalized so that we finally might have a chance to beat them back. Remove the criminality and what you have left is a major health problem. But we can deal with health issues without getting hysterical. All that money saved from law enforcement can be directed toward health promotion and treatment. And if those same drugs were available legally on the streets, surely we would at least cut down on the gunmen and the gunplay and the innocent victims and the clumsy robberies which occur simply to support those drug habits. It's taken us a hundred years of inappropriate treatment to realize that perhaps depression is physiological in nature for many people, and that new anti-depressants can almost immediately accomplish what therapy could not. Is there any chance that such a drug can be developed for those people who are predisposed to drug addiction? Do we want to put research dollars into this? That's not so outrageous, really. It's a question that was posited in a recent issue of The New Yorker, which looked at the high cost (and profitability) of private drug treatment facilities. Would it not make more sense to siphon off money for research into a quasi-Prozac pill for drug addicts, just as there are anti-psychotic drugs for schizophrenics? A drug that cures the urge for drugs. Just imagine.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Waging War On Drugs Does Not Pay (Letter Sent To Editor Of 'Toronto Star' Praises Columnist's Conclusion, But Criticizes Her Wish For A Pill To 'Cure' Addiction) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 15:34:07 -0500 (EST) From: "Kelly T. Conlon"
To: LettertoEd@thestar.com Subject: Re: Waging war on drugs does not pay To the editors, I applaud Rosie DiManno for having the guts to tell it like it is; I agree that the War on Unpopular Drugs is unwinnible, unworkable, and that its about time we change the course of our policy, preferably through decriminalization or depenalization. However, I have fears that her policy cure may be as bad (or worse) than the so-called disease. She suggests that we redirect our efforts towards finding a cure for addiction, perhaps in the form of a pill. This suggests that every single person who smokes pot, snorts cocaine and injects heroin is "sick". It also suggests that all drug users desire to be "cured". In the absence of criminal sanctions, would the state feel obliged to force recalcitrant drug users into treatment for their own good, or would we simply provide drug users with whatever quantity of drugs they can afford to buy? It is a question left unanswered by Ms. DiManno. In that respect, I am inclined to agree with the views of the American psychologist Thomas Szasz, as expressed in his seminal work "Ceremonial Chemistry". We must recognize the modern drug war for what it is; a moral crusade to purify the soul of the country. Kelly T. Conlon 196 Glen Rd. Hamilton ON. L8S 3N4 (905) 577-1170
------------------------------------------------------------------- Couple Faces Drug Trial In June ('London Free Press' Says A Couple In Parkhill, Ontario, Who Won $22.5 Million In The Lottery Will Go On Trial June 10 For Marijuana Cultivation And Trafficking) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: COUPLE FACES DRUG TRIAL IN JUNE Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 08:27:03 -0800 Source: London Free Press Contact: email@example.com April 1, 1998 COUPLE FACES DRUG TRIAL IN JUNE CREDIT: By Don Murray -- Free Press Court Reporter The Parkhill couple who won $22.5 million in the Super 7 lottery is scheduled to appear in a London courtroom June 10 for trial on three drug charges. Bernard (Bernie) Nauss, 60, and his 36-year-old wife Krista (Kris), were jointly charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession. The charges were laid after an OPP raid on a residence, just west of Parkhill in February 1997, uncovered a hydroponic cannabis growing operation. Police said the marijuana seized had a street value of $125,000 and the equipment $10,000. The couple also faced a series of weapons and stolen property charges. In December, Bernie Nauss was fined $200 for unsafe storage of firearms. Fourteen other firearms charges against him and 15 charges against Kris Nauss were withdrawn. Also withdrawn were several stolen property counts relating to motorcycles and a semi trailer.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Government Rules Out Moves To Legalise Cannabis ('Evening Post' In Wellington Says New Zealand Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry Has Dismissed A Report From The Drug Policy Forum Trust Calling On The Government To Legalise The Drug And Take Control Of The Market)Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 19:53:28 +1200 (NZST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: PUB: Govt rules out moves to legalise cannabis Source: Evening Post (Wellington) Author: Claire Guyan Pubdate: Wednesday, 1 April 1998 Contact: email@example.com Govt rules out moves to legalise cannabis The Government has ruled out any move to legalise cannabis until more research into its health effects is done. Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry has dismissed a report from a group of doctors and professionals which has called on the Government to legalise the drug and take control of the market. The report from the Drug Policy Forum Trust says such a move would protect public health and minimise cannabis abuse. But Mr Sowry said he was disappointed the report did not address or acknowledge the harmful effects of cannabis use. "It is well known amongst health professionals that cannabis use can have ill effects on people's mental state, particularly when they are intoxicated or where they have taken another drug in combination with cannabis, yet this report ignores that," he said. "I believe that it would not be in the public interest to decriminalise cannabis while there are real question marks about the safety of its use. "I have no intention of supporting decriminalisation in any way while such questions remain unanswered," Mr Sowry said. His views were echoed by a number of MPs from the Wellington region spoken to by The Post. Only ACT list MP Ken Shirley, who has tried the drug, said the report backed what he already believed. "I still think the current laws are a nonsense and to a large extent counterproductive. The qualifications of the people on the trust are beyond dispute." Alliance list MP Phillida Bunkle said her personal view was that there were not enough facts to make a final judgment on the drug, but it was an issue governments were going to have to face. Ms Bunkle has asked the parliamentary select committee on health to investigate the mental health effects of cannabis. It was to decide the terms of reference today. Mana MP Graham Kelly said while he was against the drug being legalised, he would keep an open mind on the issue. Ohariu-Belmont MP Peter Dunne, who tried cannabis as a student, said his party did not support decriminalisation, but believed it was time the issue was properly debated. Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard said more research was needed. Rimutaka MP Paul Swain, Otaki MP Judy Keall and New Zealand First MP Deborah Morris were opposed to decriminalisation. Police Assistant Commissioner Ian Holyoake, crime and operations, said he did not agree with the report. "Police do not support the decriminalisation of cannabis and I believe considerably more research and analysis is required before such a step is seriously considered," he said. Drug Policy Forum Trust head Dr David Hadorn accused Mr Sowry of putting up smokescreens and stalling on the issue of cannabis law reform. He said there was plenty of research, which he had sent to Mr Sowry, which showed the health effects of cannabis were no worse than alcohol or tobacco. He said legalising cannabis would make it easier to educate and deal with health problems, which he said were being driven underground by current laws. Forum trustees are Dr Robin Briant, Auckland Hospital senior physician; Dr Peter Crampton, Health Services Research Centre research fellow; Professor Fred Fastier, University of Otago emeritus pharmacology; Amster Reedy, Maori scholar; Professor Norman Sharpe, Auckland Medical School medicine department head; Helen Shaw, educationalist; and Professor Warren Young, Victoria University professor of law.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Do We Need Any More Drugs? (Staff Editorial In Britain's 'Daily Mail' Says Cannabis Should Remain Illegal - The Ban On Cannabis May Indeed Be Ineffective, But Then, So Are The Bans On Harder Drugs Such As Heroin And Cocaine - There Were Just 333 Registered Addicts In 1958 - Today The Number Hooked Runs Into Tens Of Thousands) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 17:35:30 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: Editorial: Do We Need Any More Drugs? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (CLCIA) Source: Daily Mail UK Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 Editor note: At the end, this editorial makes an interesting shift in stance. DO WE NEED ANY MORE DRUGS? One deeply-felt conviction unites the thousands of demonstrators who will be marching though the streets of London today: that the law banning cannabis is an absolute ass. It may not be a view shared by the Government, but it cannot simply be brushed aside. The protest will show that the campaign to legalise the drug now reaches far beyond the ranks of the young and rebellious. The marchers will be led by the Labour MP Paul Flynn, supported by a number of prominent European MPs. A liberal broadsheet is giving the campaign its backing. And it is not just the fashionable bien-pensants who think the present law is unworkable. The Mail's Ann Leslie has argued powerfully in this newspaper that cannabis should be decriminalised. Their case can seem beguilling. The law in this matter is more honoured in the breach than the observance. Academic studies suggest that half of all sixteen-year-olds have experimented with the drug. Millions of adults have puffed the occasional joint without coming to any noticeable harm. And it is arguable that cannabis is less injurious to health than either alcohol or tobacco. Yet when all that is said, today's demo still does not deserve to succeed. Yes, the ban on cannabis may indeed be ineffective. But then, so are the bans on harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine. There were just 333 registered addicts in 1958. Today the number hooked runs into tens of thousands. Despite police successes - like yesterday's arrest of a Turkish drugs baron - junkies can all too easily find a fix. But should the law be changed simply because it isn't always obeyed?
------------------------------------------------------------------- I've Seen The Future And It Makes Me Smoke (A Sometime Smoker And Columnist For Britain's 'Independent' Finds California's Anti-Tobacco Groupthink Just Makes Him Want To Smoke More - The Country That Produced The Civil Rights Movement And Gay Liberation Once Defined Civil Disobedience As Part Of Political Activism - Nowadays, Civil Disobedience Has Been Reduced To Simply Lighting Up In Public - The Political Has Become Entirely Personalised) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:48:42 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: i've Seen The Future And It Makes Me Smoke Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Suzanne Moore I'VE SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT MAKES ME SMOKE It is true that peer-group pressure encourages smoking. After a lifetime of resistance, I finally gave in and started smoking at the age of 35. One drug, as they say, leads to another. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that hard drugs lead inevitably to soft drugs. That's my experience anyway. Even now, though, my habit is not properly formed. I can go for weeks without a cigarette then smoke millions in a night. My friend Deborah always complains: "You are the most crap smoker I know". But I maintain that though I am not a particularly committed smoker, I am committed to the idea of smoking. Recent visits to California have greatly increased my commitment. I have seen the future and it is ghastly. I felt compelled to smoke twice as much there as usual. The question, "Do you mind if I smoke?" is equivalent to saying, "May I use your children in a Satanic ritual?" Nipping into the garden is also out of the question. The great outdoors apparently belongs to everybody. Except smokers. I have had the bizarre experience of being seated outside at a restaurant in order to abuse myself. There were many empty tables around us. Yet, within minutes other people were seated beside us who proceeded to complain. This begs the question: who does public space actually belong to? The arguments about passive smoking have not led, among smokers anyway, to anything resembling a resistance movement; but non-smokers have become increasingly aggressive towards anyone who they see as violating their right to clean, fresh air. In America, of all places, where the car is king, one might presume there to be equal concern about pollution; but there isn't. In the land of individualism, the car continues to rule, because so much social and economic life is based around car ownership. Smoking, an individual activity, is regarded as profoundly anti-social. Such attitudes are crossing the Atlantic. Tower Hamlets Council is to try to ban its workers from smoking outside its town hall buildings. The new rules, expected to be approved next year, would mean that employees cannot smoke, in working time, inside or outside any council building or vehicle. No one can believe that this will stop those who smoke from smoking. I suppose it will just add an extra thrill to sneaking off for a quick fag, the very thrill that gets so many people hooked in the first place. What is astonishing about California is not that it is run by health freaks but the passivity of smokers themselves. You can be in a bar full of Hells Angels who meekly leave the bar if they want a cigarette. On St Patrick's night, it was still hard to find an Irish bar that allowed smoking. We eventually reached a compromise, whereby we could smoke but leave no evidence. "You have to take your butts outside," said the barman menacingly. It is easy enough, I suppose, to divide and rule. If the world is made up of smokers (dirty, filthy, selfish types who pour fumes out into the environment) and non-smokers (clean-living saints who are considerate both of their own and others health), then it's fine to wage a war on smokers. The majority of people, when polled, will vote to work in a smoke-free environment and I don't blame them. They want to be able to use public transport without having to encounter the stale smell of cigarette smoke. Far enough. But would the majority of people also vote to ban smoking altogether? If smoking were to be presented as a civil liberties issue - the rights of smokers to self-destruct versus the rights of non-smokers to a smoke-free environment - surely you would get a more balanced view. This compromise is one we seemed to have achieved without too fuss much already. There is less and less smoking in confined public spaces. Outside, however, still means outside, and is therefore beyond jurisdiction. The Californian situation seems to redefine public space as only available to certain members of the public (ie, non-smokers). Those who are really concerned about smoking - particularly the numbers of young women smoking - should pay attention. Young women smoke not just to keep their weight down but because they believe it to be "cool". Anti-smoking bodies are keen to re-educate these misguided young things so that they realise that smoking isn't actually cool. It kills you or, worse, makes you smell so bad so you cannot get a boyfriend. Yet, the more you drive smoking underground, the cooler you make it. The coolest man I met in California was full of the joys of extra-wide Camels and regaling me with tales of how his friend David was being driven out of California because of the draconian anti smoking legislation. David, a libertarian, had originally gone to California for the freedom and light it offered. The David he was talking about was David Hockney. The country that produced the civil rights movement and gay liberation once defined civil disobedience as part of political activism. Nowadays civil disobedience has been reduced to simply lighting-up in public. The political has become entirely personalised The deadly problems of American society make many citizens feel personally powerless. By insisting that others do not blow smoke in their faces, they desperately exercise control in the tiny space they feel they can. To be anti-smoking also allows the majority to be victims. You don't have to be black, poor, gay or female to feel in some way "violated" by the behaviour of others. Anti-smoking legislation allows people to assert their "rights" in a way that they rarely do in other areas of their lives. Smoke itself - vague, cloudy, insidious - comes to represent all kinds of social evils that leak into our environment. But, unlike racism, poverty or crime, smoking can simply be banned. In such an environment it is undoubtedly cool to smoke, to remind others of human frailty and human failings, to appear publicly fallible. The anti-smoking lobby has achieved what pathetic smokers themselves never could. They have given credence to the adolescent idea of smoking as intrinsically rebellious, as active rather than passive, as meaningful rather than meaningless. At last we find ourselves truly rebels without any cause whatsoever. But my god do we have an effect.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Date-Rape Pills To Be Outlawed (Britain's 'Times' Says Possession Of Rohypnol, Or Flunitrazepam, Without A Prescription Will Be Criminalized May 1) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 18:45:33 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Date-Rape Pills To Be Outlawed Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 Source: Times The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent DATE-RAPE PILLS TO BE OUTLAWED NEW curbs are to be imposed on the "date-rape" drug Rohypnol amid growing concern that women have been sexually attacked after consuming spiked drinks. The tiny diamond-shaped purple tablet is so fast-acting that a woman given it would rarely remember anything of a subsequent assault. Until three months ago, Rohypnol was colourless when ground up, but Roche, the manufacturer, changed its makeup so that it releases a blue dye when dissolved. Rohypnol, known on the streets as Roofie, can induce a trance-like state within 15 minutes. It is tasteless and odourless. >From May 1, it will be a criminal offence to possess flunitrazepam, which is usually sold under its trade name of Rohypnol. Anyone convicted of possessing the drug without prescription faces a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both. Pharmacies and warehouses will be required to store the drug, prescribed as a sleeping tablet, more securely and import and export licences will be required. George Howarth, a Home Office minister, welcomed the decision to reformulate the drug. "This action, together with tighter statutory controls, should help reduce its potential for misuse," he said. Despite concerns about wide use of flunitrazepam in rape cases, there is little solid evidence. The Forensic Science Service did not find the drug during tests related to 18 rape cases in England and Wales in 1997. Flunitrazepam is one of a group of sleeping drugs regarded by doctors as having few adverse effects and being relatively safe in overdose.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gardai In Club Raid Had To Be Rescued From Gay Customers ('Irish Independent' Says The Alter, Formerly A Gay Nightclub Known As The Shaft, Failed To Get Its Licence Renewed Yesterday At Dublin District Court After Gardai Claimed Drug Abuse Was Widespread In The Club - Including 34 After-Hours Drinking Convictions Over Four Years) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:30:11 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Gardai In Club Raid Had To Be Rescued From Gay Customers Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 Source: Irish Independent Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.ie/ GARDAI IN CLUB RAID HAD TO BE RESCUED FROM GAY CUSTOMERS UNDERCOVER gardai investigating alleged drug dealing in a Dublin nightclub had to be rescued when some of its gay patrons "propositioned" them, a court heard yesterday. The Alter, formerly a gay haunt known as 'The Shaft', of Ely Place, failed to have its licence renewed yesterday after gardai claimed drug abuse was widespread in the club. Owners Derry O'Sullivan and Noel St John Ryan had failed to co-operate with gardai in tackling the problem and the club had amassed 34 after-hours drinking convictions over four years, Dublin District Court heard. Mr O'Sullivan was particularly obstructive and accused a garda inspector of being "a pawn of Opus Dei". The court heard: * Two undercover gardai investigating drug dealing had to be rescued by other officers when their cover was blown because they did not respond to being "propositioned" by some of the gay clientele; * A disc jockey was caught dealing drugs in the club and later convicted; * Young men stripped to the waist were frequently found dancing in a "trance-like state", a symptom of ecstasy use; * Bottled Volvic water was the main drink sold at the bar at £2 a go; * Gardai found an ecstasy tablet hidden on a chair, a bag on the floor with traces of the drug ephedrine in it and one young man openly rolling a joint during a raid by uniformed officers; * An empty glass bottle was thrown at a sergeant and wine poured over an inspector on separate occasions. MOULDY BURGERS Gardai also found the premises, which was supposed to operate as a restaurant, did not serve substantial meals and did not even have a kitchen capable of preparing them. Management tried to rectify this by having paper plates at the ready with burgers and chips on them but Inspector Thomas Murphy said when he examined them they appeared to be covered in mould. "This was just a ruse to try to show they were operating as a restaurant it was ridiculous," he said. Mr O'Sullivan was particularly bitter towards gardai and objected to claims of drug dealing. "He resented it and said I was not going to tell him how to run his premises. He said it was a restaurant, that he was a chef, and that the food available was fine cuisine." Gardai denied they had singled out the club, which previously had a large gay clientele. Inspector Murphy said it was precisely because of this that gardai were "reluctant" to pay greater attention to these premises. Mr O'Sullivan did not give evidence but his partner Noel St John Ryan said he was surprised at the garda claims. "Both Derry and myself abhor the use of drugs and have no interest in it." It was they who had reported the disc jockey and they had a strict door policy. Judge James McDonnell said he was refusing to renew the licences and would give his reasons for doing so tomorrow.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Naive Viewpoint On Drinking And Drugs (Letter Sent To Editor Of 'The Scotsman' Contradicts Earlier Letter That Said Alcohol Is A Good Drug And Others Are Not, Merely Serving To Make Their Users Stupid And Unable To Perform, By Noting In Real Life Cannabis Users Find Drinkers To Be The Buffoons) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 14:12:35 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Naive Viewpoint On Drinking And Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com NAIVE VIEWPOINT ON DRINKING AND DRUGS Sir, - Tom Morton claims (Opinion, 25 March) that alcohol is a good drug and others are not, merely serving to make their users stupid and unable to perform to anywhere near the level which they themselves perceive. Was his column designed to allow anti-prohibitionists to poke fun at him for his naive viewpoint, or was he doing it deliberately? Claiming that alcohol "is subject to rules" sounds to me like an argument in the favour of legalisation. The suggestion that cannabis makes you talk rubbish, that even the "drunkest buffoon would find moronic", needs to be looked at from the other point of view, where cannabis users interact with others who have been drinking and are seen as "buffoons", incapable of holding a rational conversation without arguing ineffectually, shouting, and possibly even getting violent. Is it any wonder that the cannabis smoker shies away and becomes nervous? Tim Hughes Wellington St York
------------------------------------------------------------------- Action For Legalization Of Drugs - 'Repression Is A Big Mistake' (Translation Of Item From 'Algemeen Dagblad' In The Netherlands Notes Drug Policy Reformers Will Sponsor Events June 6-8 In Amsterdam As Part Of The International 'Global Days Against The Drug War' Happening In More Than 25 Cities In 16 Countries) Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 20:30:39 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: The Netherlands: Action For Legalization Of Drugs "Repression Is A Big Mistake" Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Harry Bego firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 1 April 1998 Source: Algemeen Dagblad (the Netherlands) Author: Robert Vinkenborg Contact: email@example.com Editors note: Our newshawk writes "The following article appeared in Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch national newspaper, April 1st. Interview with Freek Polak, board member of the Dutch Drug Policy Foundation, a member organisation of the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War. Translated from Dutch." The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense is proud to participate in the Global Coalition. For more details see: http://www.legalize.org/ ACTION FOR LEGALIZATION OF DRUGS "REPRESSION IS A BIG MISTAKE" AMSTERDAM - In over 25 cities in 16 countries, among which Amsterdam, there will be actions for legalization of drugs on June 6th, 7th and 8th. The worldwide struggle against the anti-drug war, the "Global Days against the Drug War", is taking place on the eve of the three-day meeting of the United Nations about global drug policy. It is a sequel to the international actions last year during the European Summit in Amsterdam. The aim is to convince public opinion and authorities of the necessity to legalize drugs. Originally, the UN was going to take a critical look at current anti-drug policies. This point has been removed from the agenda, however. The UN will only discuss the question whether all countries have in the past years kept to the agreed repression of drugs. "When proponents of drug legalization realised what the UN wants to talk about, they have united into an alliance", says F. Polak of the Drug Policy Foundation in Amsterdam. "It is incredible that in New York there will be no evaluation of the effectiveness of current policy." Polak is not unsatisfied with the Dutch policy of tolerance. "Elsewhere, we see a lot of appreciation for the Dutch system, in health care and at lower levels of administration, but political authorities are afraid. In fact a few prominent politicians should have the courage to say that the repression of drugs has been a big mistake. Then public opinion will be won in no time. At the moment people are so misinformed. Even the health organisation of the UN has problems in bringing out that alcohol is much more damaging than cannabis." After legalization, the social consequences of drug use would be much smaller, according to Polak. "Repression of drugs stimulates illegal trade, crime, and unsafe patterns of use. The profits that go to criminals now, can be used in much better ways. If the UN realises that a discussion is needed about policy as carried out so far, we will have reached our goal". On June 6th there will be a musical parade in the center of Amsterdam, and a major party at night. A political debate in Krasnapolsky, on June 7th, will be the culmination of the Dutch actions. The grand final will be a day later, in New York with a big demonstration at the square in front of the UN building. There are actions in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Sidney and other cities as well. (c) Algemeen Dagblad, Amsterdam.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, Number 40 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists, Including Such Original And Excellent Commentary As The Feature Article, 'Changed Forever - American Families Respond To The War On Drugs,' By Paul Lewin) Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 08:59:21 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer
Subject: DrugSense Weekly April 1, 1998 #040 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly April 1, 1998 #040 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Changed Forever: American Families Respond to the War on Drugs By Paul Lewin * Weekly News In Review Domestic News- The War on Drugs OPED: Why Send Drug Addicts to Prison? Editorial: Drug Laws That Don't Work Editorial: Kicking The Quick Fix - War On Drugs From the Moyers Family to Yours Plano Chief Defends Drug Stings Editorial: Kids Shouldn't Be Informants Customs Blitzes Border In Drug Hunt Medical Marijuana Pot Club's Co-Founder 'Shaken-Up' San Jose Police Scan Pot Files Federal Judge Delays Ruling on Pot Clubs Column: Ninety-Three Years for Pot Needle Exchange Pelosi Blasts Fed Policy Against Needle Exchange Needle-Exchange Issue Shows Clinton's Lost His Edge International News - Wire: Cannabis Campaign On The Move UK: Cannabis Campaign: Pot Power U.S. May Boost Military Aid to Colombia's Anti-Drug Effort * Hot Off The 'Net New War On Drugs Clock - Don't miss this * Quote Of The Week Peace In My Neighborhood * DrugSense Tip Of The Week Volunteer Help needed *** FEATURE ARTICLE Changed Forever: American Families Respond to the War on Drugs After attending a rally for Kemba Smith on Capitol Hill, which opened his eyes to the anguish experienced by the Smiths, Paul felt it was important to examine the subject scientifically. With the help of a professor at The George Washington University who guided the development of the project, Paul conducted a pilot study on the experience of parents whose children received long, mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes. This article describes the results of that study. I was nervous as I walked up the steps to her house. Although she had volunteered to be interviewed, I realized that I didn't know what to expect. After all, I had never known anyone who had gone to prison - I had never met anyone who had lost their child to the penitentiaries of America. Until this moment, prison had always been something that was fairly abstract to me, but Mrs. Black, and others like her over the coming weeks, was about to make the realities of our legal system brutally clear to me. Mrs. Black's teenaged son received a sentence of 40 years for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. "They had them making millions of dollars! I don't know how he made millions of dollars." she said. Looking around the well-kept, but modest home, I wondered the same thing. But surely he had done something else - beaten someone, robbed a bank, something to get such an enormous sentence at the age of 19? No, she assured me, he just refused to turn in his friends to the police, and so they estimated how much drugs were ever sold by his 'crew' and charged him with the full amount. A tear began to fall as Mrs. Black began to talk about her grandchild who was born while her son was behind bars, about having to retire early to deal with the emotional strain of the trial, how her family was terrorized when the police broke down her door in the middle of the night, guns drawn and ransacking the house looking for "evidence." My conversation with Mrs. Black was the first of many evenings, sitting with parents who described for me, with shocking similarities, the violence, abuse and destruction that rained down upon their families when the police decided to take their children in the name of the War on Drugs. All of the parents acknowledged that their kids must have been involved in some fashion or another, but they also knew that their kids were decent people. People who would return a wallet if they found it on the street, people who would stand up for what was right, people with promise and a future that was now permanently changed. What became chillingly clear to me, is that it is not just the young man or woman who is put in jail that pays a price. It is the whole family who suffers. And these parents, who mostly didn't think about the War on Drugs and believed in the basic legitimacy of this country's legal system, undergo a permanent change which bodes ill for the future of our society. The first thing I realized, was that these parents all saw the government as an agent of harm. By that I mean, they realized that the government wasn't trying to help society, or protect the innocent. They were, as Mr. Green put it, "being goddamn punitive, against people that they shouldn't - against everybody but real criminals." Or, as Mr. Gray said, "The longer we got into the situation, the more I began to truly understand that this was not about my son, and it was not about fairness, and it was not about justice. It was about prosecutors trying to demonstrate that they were arresting people and dealing with the drug situation." Mrs. Brown, who grew up believing in police and America said, "I see police, and I remember being thrown to the floor. I remember the way I was treated." After reading the search warrant for her house, Mrs. Brown said, "I realized that they had cut corners, I realized that they fudge and lie to meet their objectives." After letting out some of their anger, the parents began to tell me what it is like to witness the government abduct their children under the guise of law. Mr. Gray told me, "I left the jail in tears. For the first time in my life having encountered a situation, other than death, where there was absolutely nothing you could do about it." Mrs. Brown told me how she cried for almost a year and couldn't eat. Mr. White told me about waking up in the middle of the night, under the strain of spending his small pension on jail-visits that are two states away, and buying a few thing for his granddaughter that was left behind. "Can I keep this up?" he asks, "Why am I being punished like this? My life is as dreadful as any one man's can be!" Underneath the pain, the cynicism and the anger, the parents exhibited a quiet strength, that perhaps only a parent knows. They all said that they would not give up, that they would do their best to keep their kids from growing bitter, and that they would do whatever they could to help stop this insanity from happening to others. Mr. Gray said, "It makes me more determined to get out and work with young people... so that if I have anything to do with it, this will never happen to another kid in this country." Over the course of the study, it became clear that these parents and family members are the best allies that truth and freedom have. They speak from the heart, and they are telling others what its like to think that it only happens to someone else. Because it doesn't. Millions of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers are victims of this endless conflict called the War on Drugs. When they speak out, their words are undeniable, and their message irrefutable. The madness must end, families must be reunited, and healing must begin. To those who must bear the worst oppression, it must seem that this will never end. But it will. History shows us that seemingly permanent abominations like slavery and Nazism could not last - they buckle under the weight of their own hypocrisy and the collective efforts of those who will not tolerate injustice. When things seem their bleakest, it often means that change is coming- after all, midnight is where the day begins. Paul Lewin is a graduate student at The George Washington University completing a masters degree in International Development. As the External Relations Associate, he is the newest staff member of Common Sense for Drug Policy. He firmly believes that when the people lead, the leaders will follow. *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Domestic News The War on Drugs OPED: Why Send Drug Addicts to Prison? Editorial: Drug Laws That Don't Work COMMENT: There is growing endorsement of the idea that drug addiction is a disease and the war on drugs should be medicalized. How much "progress" this represents is debatable, since the need for prohibition seems to remain unquestioned, at least to those making the endorsement. EDITORIAL: WHY SEND DRUG ADDICTS TO PRISON? A new conflict between politics and science has emerged from a recent recommendation that the nation treat drug addicts as sick people rather than jail them as criminals. More emphasis on medical treatment rather than jail for addicts was endorsed by a group of doctors, including top officials from the administrations of Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. But there was an immediate negative reaction from Capitol Hill, where a lock-them-up-and throw-away-the-key attitude to drug addicts dominates. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., chairman of the subcommittee on crime, says the country needs to spend more money, not less, on catching drug pushers. [snip] Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 Author: Laurence M. O'Rourke of the Sacramento Bee URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n210.a02.html *** EDITORIAL: DRUG LAWS THAT DON'T WORK New York state's chief judge adds her voice to a growing chorus seeking reform of Rockefeller statutes By adding her prestige and wisdom to the drug law debate, Chief Judge Judith Kaye has given state legislators added reason to make reform a top priority this session. She deserves praise not only for that contribution to drug law sanity, but also for her leadership in urging that rehabilitation be as much a part of the war on drugs as incarceration. [snip] Source: Times Union (Albany, NY) Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 518-454-5628 Website: http://www.timesunion.com/ http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n229.a04.html *** Editorial: Kicking The Quick Fix - War On Drugs >From the Moyers Family to Yours COMMENT: Medicalization of the drug war received two other important boosts; an editorial in the Post-Dispatch and a Washington Post review of Moyers on Addiction which suggests it will be a major pitch for "prevention and treatment" as the focus of American Policy. The important question is "What about criminal prohibition?" As these comments are written, Moyers' fifth (policy) episode has yet to be aired. KICKING THE QUICK FIX - WAR ON DRUGS When it comes to the so-called war on drugs, Americans are hooked on quick fixes. We require the immediate gratification of harsher sentences, stiffer fines and slick slogans - even if that means forfeiting real progress. [snip] Despite the facts, we continue to spend just 20 percent of our drug-fighting dollars on treatment. The rest is thrown at politically popular, but fundamentally flawed, get-tough policies. [snip] Source: Saint Louis Post-Dispatch Pubdate: 24 Mar 1998 Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ Section: Editorial Contact: email@example.com *** FROM THE MOYERS FAMILY TO YOURS Sharing What They Learned About Addiction Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers sat in the lobby of a fashionable Washington hotel, talking about their PBS series on addiction, aptly titled "Close to Home," and recalled how much they had learned about the subject since the day in 1989 when they discovered -- to their astonishment -- that their eldest son was hooked on drugs. [snip] The fifth installment, "The Politics of Addiction," looks at government programs, including Arizona's Proposition 200. It mandates treatment for non-violent drug offenders, including moving people out of incarceration and into treatment. "That represented a sophistication about drugs that had not been manifested before in an election," said Bill Moyers. Among those with whom he talks are drug offenders in Maricopa County's tent-city jail outside Phoenix; and, in Washington, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. [snip] Source: Washington Post Author: Patricia Brennan, Washington Post Staff Writer Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n222.a05.html *** Plano Chief Defends Drug Stings Editorial: Kids Shouldn't Be Informants COMMENT: There seem to be no end to the latitude police expect in enforcing drug laws. So far, whether the issue has been forfeiture or vehicle searches, the courts seem inclined to go along. The issue here is about drafting teens to serve on the front lines. PLANO CHIEF DEFENDS DRUG STINGS But suspect questions tactics of investigation Plano Police Chief Bruce Glasscock defended his department's undercover stings in Plano high schools Monday against allegations of entrapment and child endangerment by a student and his parents. "We . . . are confident this investigation was handled in a professional manner," the chief said during a news conference Monday afternoon. [snip] But an attorney for Jonathan Kollman, 17, questioned the Police Department's tactics. [snip] Specifically, attorney Phillip Wainscott said the undercover detective knew that Mr. Kollman, who was 16 at the time, was battling a two-year addiction with drugs when she lured him into using heroin again. She gave him the cash to buy it, drove him in a little red sports car to the pushers who sold it and then, Mr. Wainscott said, she allowed him to use it. [snip] Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 Author: Linda Stewart Ball / The Dallas Morning News URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n210.a08.html *** KIDS SHOULDN'T BE INFORMANTS Police use of teenage informants in drug cases is bad policy and should be abandoned. The murder this month of Chad MacDonald Jr. of Yorba Linda proves the point. MacDonald, 17, was arrested in January for possessing and transporting a small amount of methamphetamine. His mother gave permission for her son to work for Brea police but says she later changed her mind. Her lawyer said MacDonald gave police information that led to two or three arrests. However, Brea police said they were not using the youth as an informant when he went with his girl friend to a Norwalk house known as a center for drug sales. His body was found days later in South Los Angeles; the girl, who had been raped and shot, was found alive in Angeles National Forest. [snip] Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n213.a10.html *** Customs Blitzes Border In Drug Hunt COMMENT: This is just one more illustration that drug prohibition laws have their most important impact in the area of economics. Ironically, economists seem not at all interested. U.S. CUSTOMS BLITZES BORDER IN DRUG HUNT BLAINE, Whatcom County - There was little reason to notice an elderly Canadian couple crossing the border into Lynden last month. But when their car was pulled over by U.S. Customs workers as part of a drug-enforcement "block blitz," 20 pounds of high-grade Canadian-grown marijuana was found in their trunk. [snip] DeFries said a pound of the marijuana can be purchased in Canada for as little as $1,500 in U.S. funds, but can sell for $3,500 in Seattle and $6,000 by the time it gets to Southern California. "The money goes north, the marijuana goes south," DeFries said. "It used to be a half-pound was a lot of marijuana. Now 50 to 100 pounds is not unusual." [snip] Source: Seattle Times (WA) Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Susan Gilmore Seattle Times staff reporter URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n217.a05.html *** Medical Marijuana Pot Club's Co-Founder 'Shaken-Up' San Jose Police Scan Pot Files COMMENT: Last year, a long NYT Magazine article, cited Peter Baez and the San Jose Police as models of compliance and cooperation in implementing 215. The following two stories suggest that in the case of the police, cooperation has been replaced by a chilling policy of harassment. Can leopards ever change their spots? POT CLUB'S CO-FOUNDER 'SHAKEN UP' A day after his arrest, Peter Baez, co-founder of the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, said he doesn't understand why he's accused of selling marijuana without a doctor's approval. He also criticized his treatment during his 13-hour jail stay, and wondered if the sympathetic relationship he said he once had with San Jose police had changed. He and the center's other founder, Jesse Garcia, said they have a good track record, working under the guidance of city and county officials since they began operating a year ago. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 Author: Raoul V. Mowatt - Mercury News Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n215.a04.html *** SAN JOSE POLICE SCAN POT FILES Patients, Doctors Protest Probe Of Cannabis Center San Jose police are going through patients' files seized this week from the county's only medical marijuana clinic and calling doctors to determine whether the drug was indeed recommended for their patients. The seizure of the confidential records from the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center and the telephone calls to doctors listed in the files have raised concerns among AIDS patients who fear being identified. Physicians also say they worry about losing their federal licenses to prescribe drugs. [snip] Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Section: FRONT PAGE Author: Maria Alicia Gaura, Chronicle Staff Writer Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n218.a10.html *** Federal Judge Delays Ruling on Pot Clubs COMMENT: When 215 was passed, pundits said that the government would avoid a Constitutional battle over the issue, however recent events now seem to be moving in just that direction. FEDERAL JUDGE DELAYS RULING ON POT CLUBS SAN FRANCISCO -- A judge heard four hours of oral arguments Tuesday in the federal government's case against six medical marijuana clubs, but postponed his decision on whether to shut them down until after April 16. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he had hoped to find a middle ground between Proposition 215, California's 1996 medical marijuana initiative, and the U.S. Justice Department's desire to enforce the 1970 U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which makes it a crime to distribute pot for any purpose. Breyer concluded, however, that he would have to choose sides because "the federal government is not going to change its position." [snip] Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 Author: Claire Cooper - Bee Legal Affairs Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n213.a05.html *** Column: Ninety-Three Years for Pot COMMENT: Even when one already knows the details of this case, just reading about it conjures up anger at the mindlessness of American policy. NINETY-THREE YEARS FOR POT Is this man a threat to society? Judge for yourself MANSFIELD, Texas -- The hands may tell the story in the case against Will Foster, who just completed the first of an assigned 93 years in prison. Or maybe the tale is told by a bloated left pinky. You couldn't call it a little finger. It's huge. It has the swerve of a highway off-ramp. The detour that has become of this man's life centers around a crime he admits to committing. He says he smoked marijuana because of arthritis pain in a bum ankle and his left hand. For this offense, the 39-year-old is paying an incomprehensible price. [snip] Prosecutors asserted that he had between 50 and 70 plants and that he meant to distribute. A Tulsa jury sentenced him to a little over a year per plant, 70 years for cultivation. It tacked on 20 years for possession in the presence of minors, his children. Foster asserts they never knew. [snip] The sentence "certainly falls within the realm of punishment within Oklahoma law and I think it's a fair verdict," said Tulsa County assistant District Attorney Brian Crain. [snip] Source: Waco Tribune-Herald Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 254-757-0302 Pubdate: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n225.a11.html *** Needle Exchange Pelosi Blasts Fed Policy Against Needle Exchange Needle-Exchange Issue Shows Clinton's Lost His Edge COMMENT: The Clinton Administration continues to receive bad press for its stonewalling on the issue of needle exchange. The perceptive political analysis by Tom Teepen suggests that Shalala's hands are tied. PELOSI BLASTS FED POLICY AGAINST NEEDLE EXCHANGE Cites S.F. program in anti-AIDS appeal for HHS funds WASHINGTON - A coalition of House Democrats and health experts urged the Clinton administration Friday to lift a ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs when a moratorium ends next week. Last year's Health and Human Services appropriation bill gave HHS Secretary Donna Shalala authority to lift the moratorium on March 31, if the department determines the exchange programs are effective in reducing the spread of HIV and do not encourage the use of illegal drugs. "The administration now has the science, the support and the authority to move ahead with this life-saving intervention," said Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. [snip] Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n219.a05.html *** NEEDLE-EXCHANGE ISSUE SHOWS CLINTON'S LOST HIS EDGE ATLANTA -- With his presidency trembling in the hot wind of alleged scandal and hanging by the thread of an amazingly indulgent electorate, this is not the time to expect Bill Clinton to take policy risks. For the record, though, his own AIDS advisory council was right to read him the riot act. [snip] The idea doesn't lack for pedigreed endorsement. It is supported, the president's council points out, by the American Medical Association and the Public Health Association. But Congress has forbidden funding for exchanges unless the secretary of Health and Human Services certifies no increase in drug use would follow, and Donna Shalala continues to balk, repeating her skepticism even in the wake of the AIDS council's zinger. Shalala's hesitance is loyal service to a president whose boat already is rocking enough. [snip] Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 Website: http://www.startribune.com/ Author: Tom Teepen / Cox News Service URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n219.a09.html *** International News Wire: Cannabis Campaign On The Move UK: Cannabis Campaign: Pot Power COMMENT: The march sponsored by the Independent on Sunday was at least a moderate success and a good beginning. It also demonstrates conclusively that resistance to recreational pot is far greater in the US than elsewhere. CANNABIS CAMPAIGN ON THE MOVE About 11,000 people have joined a march through the streets of central London in support of decriminalising cannabis. The rally was described as the biggest of its kind in Britain for decades. Supporters from all over Europe joined the pro-cannabis demonstration. People were openly smoking cannabis at the march as they congregated behind a huge "legalise it" banner, despite police warnings that they risked being arrested. Police said they did not make any arrests or cautions despite the dozens who were smoking. [snip] Source: BBC News Service Pubdate: Saturday, 28 March 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n221.a03.html *** POT POWER Thirty years after the first cannabis rally, veterans and new campaigners gathered to fight a law that has left two generations alienated and criminalised. They came. They saw. They sang from Bob Marley's "Legalise It". Some smoked. Some even inhaled. It was the big day for the Cannabis Campaign and the people came in thousands from around the country, from Europe and some from even further afield. [snip] Source: Independent on Sunday Pubdate: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 Author: Ros Wynne-Jones Contact: Email: email@example.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n221.a10.html *** May Boost Military Aid to Colombia's Anti-Drug Effort COMMENT: Given the depth of federal commitment to the drug war, look for us to move to shore up Columbia's outclassed military, despite the real danger that the civil war there could turn into a Viet Nam style quagmire. U.S. MAY BOOST MILITARY AID TO COLOMBIA'S ANTI-DRUG EFFORT Alarmed by recent setbacks to the Colombian military in its decades-old war against rebel armies, Clinton administration officials are considering increasing U.S. military assistance to the government within the framework of cooperation between the two countries to fight drug trafficking. [snip] The efforts to help the Colombian armed forces reflect changing U.S. attitudes about the gravity of the threat to the government posed by drug-financed rebels. U.S. aid to Colombia's military has been virtually nonexistent since the late 1980s because the Colombian army, as well as the right-wing paramilitary groups that operate with its support, has been implicated in scores of civilian massacres, disappearances and cases of torture. Source: Washington Post Author: Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writer Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n222.a04.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET Check out the new "War on Drugs Clock" at http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm It is a counter, updated as you watch, of the number of dollars spent, the number of drug arrests this year up to the minute, and the number of new prisoners based on government stats. Linking to this on your web page sends a strong message to the uninitiated and uninformed. A reminder that past issues of the DrugSense Weekly Newsletter are available online at: http://www.drugsense.org/nl/ *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK "I live in a terrible neighborhood. This is not what I want. What I see every morning, afternoon and night is trash on the streets, young teen-age men selling drugs and graffiti on the walls everywhere I look. I want peace on earth everywhere, but especially in my neighborhood." -- Michele (5th grade student) *** TIP OF THE WEEK VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED Just as we have appealed to you in the past for funds, we are appealing for a few to step forward and volunteer their online help. The news service, an effort of about 100 volunteer Newshawks, now posts almost 900 items per month, a significant increase over even only a few months ago. This growth is likely to continue. All these items, which are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by our Newshawks for posting, are processed by a team of volunteers - Olafur Brentmar, Joel W. Johnson and Richard Lake. Sharing the workload, at about 10 minutes of work per item, they ensure that the format is proper, the contact info is present, and create the necessary leads and titling information in our normal format. We need a few volunteers to reduce this every day workload and allow for the workload to be more easily shifted so that folks may take a break or vacation. We would like to just say, 'If not YOU, Who?' But the volunteer work involves being able to use an email program with filters - understanding how Internet email functions - and an understand for and appreciation of the standards we try to maintain. Additionally it results in about 100 email messages per day, all of which are handled with ease if you are willing to learn to use your email program well. The commitment is not insubstantial and should not be made lightly. If you wish to help, one of the best teams on the 'net is ready to welcome you. Just drop a note to our Senior Editor, Richard, at email@example.com He will gladly send you more details to include background discussions used in training. Plus, when you are ready, he can add you to the private mailing list just for the team. Please consider helping. We want to continue to provide and expand the our service. All of our volunteers are our most valued resource. You are making a difference! Mark Greer Executive Director Richard Lake Senior Editor *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. COMMENTS Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org http://www.drugsense.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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