Portland NORML News - Wednesday, April 1, 1998

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: A Drug Trade Primer for the Late 1990's
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Steve Young
Source: Current History
Contact: chistory@aol.com
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


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


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

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

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.


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 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.


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.


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: OPED: New Drugs, New Responses:
Lessons from Europe
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 22:48:53 -0700
Lines: 444
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: April 1998
Source: Current History
Contact: chistory@aol.com

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).


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

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.[1] 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

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
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

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

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.

[1]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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Club Ready To Roll Even Without Outlet
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: April 1, 1998
Source: London Free Press (Canada)
Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html
Author: John Hamilton -- Free Press Reporter


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.


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" (maptalk@mapinc.org)
Subject: London marijuana club starts....
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 16:43:56 -0500
Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)
Date: April 1, 1998
By: Jean Goddu


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

"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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: Waging War On Drugs Does Not Pay
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave Haans (haans@chass.utoronto.ca)
Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1998
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Page: B1
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Website: http://www.thestar.com/
Author: Rosie DiManno


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

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

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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 08:27:03 -0800
Source: London Free Press
Contact: letters@lfpress.com

April 1, 1998


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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 19:53:28 +1200 (NZST) To: drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com, update@adca.org.au 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: editor@evpost.co.nz 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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Editorial: Do We Need Any More Drugs?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Daily Mail UK
Contact: letters@dailymail.co.uk
Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1998
Editor note: At the end, this editorial makes an interesting shift in stance.


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: i've Seen The Future And It Makes Me Smoke
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: Suzanne Moore


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Date-Rape Pills To Be Outlawed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998
Source: Times The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent


NEW curbs are to be imposed on the "date-rape" drug Rohypnol amid growing
concern that women have been sexually attacked after consuming spiked

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Gardai In Club Raid Had To Be Rescued From Gay Customers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998
Source: Irish Independent
Contact: independent.letters@independent.ie
Website: http://www.independent.ie/


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.


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Naive Viewpoint On Drinking And Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1998
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Harry Bego hbego@knoware.nl
Pubdate: Wed, 1 April 1998
Source: Algemeen Dagblad (the Netherlands)
Author: Robert Vinkenborg
Contact: ad@ad.nl

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:


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

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: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense Weekly April 1, 1998	#040




DrugSense Weekly
April 1, 1998 #040

A DrugSense publication




* 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



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

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

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.




Domestic News

The War on Drugs

OPED: Why Send Drug Addicts to Prison?

Editorial: Drug Laws That Don't Work


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


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


Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.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



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.


Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998
Contact: tuletters@timesunion.com
Fax: 518-454-5628
Website: http://www.timesunion.com/


Editorial: Kicking The Quick Fix - War On Drugs

>From the Moyers Family to Yours


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.


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.


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.


Source: Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
Pubdate: 24 Mar 1998
Website: http://www.stlnet.com/
Section: Editorial
Contact: letters@pd.stlnet.com



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.


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


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


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.


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


But an attorney for Jonathan Kollman, 17, questioned the Police
Department's tactics.


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.


Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
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



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

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.


Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.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


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.


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.


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."


Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 1998
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
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


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?


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.


Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.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



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.


Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Maria Alicia Gaura, Chronicle Staff Writer
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
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


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.


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

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."


Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.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


Even when one already knows the details of this case, just reading
about it conjures up anger at the mindlessness of American policy.


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

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.


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.


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.


Source: Waco Tribune-Herald
Contact: letters@mail.iamerica.net
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


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


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

"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.


Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Mar 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n219.a05.html



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.


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.


Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Contact: opinion@startribune.com
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


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.


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

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.


Source: BBC News Service
Pubdate: Saturday, 28 March 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n221.a03.html



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.


Source: Independent on Sunday
Pubdate: Sun, 29 Mar 1998
Author: Ros Wynne-Jones
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n221.a10.html


May Boost Military Aid to Colombia's Anti-Drug Effort


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


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.


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



Check out the new "War on Drugs Clock" at


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/



"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)




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 editor@mapinc.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 rlake@mapinc.org 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 (tjeffoc@drugsense.org)
Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org)

We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks.


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.


Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug
related issue to editor@mapinc.org


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
CA 93258
(800) 266 5759



The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

Previous page of today's news
Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to 1998 Daily News index for March 26-April 1

Back to Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980401c.html